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This Just In: Sedans Not Dead Yet

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 1:42pm
Just when you thought that sedans were an endangered species, Automotive News reports that Cadillac will invest $175 million in Michigan assembly plant upgrades to manufacturer two new generation four-door sedans. GM apparently has already begun installing tooling for the new cars at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant which now builds the compact ATS and midsize CTS sedans. The two sedans, expected to be named CT4 and CT5, will replace ATS and CTS, as well as the XTS. The first new car, the CT5, will begin production next year with the CT4 following a short time later. The new cars may have some of the dynamic design flavor of the Cadillac Escala concept pictured here. The two sedans are part of a major overhaul for cars and SUVs at the brand which will also include at least two new crossover utilities.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: All-New BMW 8 Series Reveal

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 1:35pm
We knew it was coming… and like you couldn’t wait… now we finally get to see it… the all-new 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe.  If you’ve been keeping track, it’s been 20 years since Americans have had a chance to slip into a new one of these luxury sports coupes.  And the numbers make it worth the wait.  Horsepower: 523 Torque: 553 lb-ft  0-60 mph: 3.6 seconds  Looking at it is one thing, driving it is what we really want.  The 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe goes on sale this fall.  The price… well we’ll have to wait for those numbers.

Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3741

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 10:15am

Debut 6.15.2018


Road Test: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Auto World: Callaway Sledgehammer

Goss' Garage: Wheel Alignment

Road Test: 2018 Ford Ecosport

Quick Spin: 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Quick Spin: 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Drivers' Choice: Best of the Year

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: New McLaren Teaser

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 9:49am
Patience super car fans…. the new McLaren is coming. The new model will be unveiled online on June 28. Right now we just get to see another teaser image.  It’s safe to say the mystery machine will have more power, less weight, end even more enhanced aerodynamics.  After the unveiling, McLaren’s latest addition will be driven up the famous Goodwood Hill Climb for the first time on July 12, 2018. You know we’ll be watching.
Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 2.0 liter

Horsepower: 184

Torque: 221 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 8.8 seconds

1/4 mile: 16.8 seconds @ 84 mph

EPA: 22 mpg city / 27 mpg highway

Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr

CO2 Emissions: 6.1 tons/yr

Volkswagen has certainly had their ups and downs in recent years. But their current approach of making larger, more comfortable vehicles; and then selling them to Americans at attractive prices, is a real crowd pleaser. So, let’s see how that tactic works for their all-new compact utility, the Tiguan.

The first thing you notice about the all-new, second generation, 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is how mega roomy it is inside. It may still be considered a compact crossover, but the feel is far more midsize, being clearly aimed at American buyers. In fact, it is even built just south of our border in Mexico.

Now, the first gen Tiguan was imported from Europe. And, while on sale here for ten years, it was never very popular. 

The new Tiguan still looks a little like the original, but VW’s modern, angular theme is much more in play now. The very long rear doors not only speak to all the space inside, but indicate the Tiguan now rides on a stretched wheelbase version of VW’s flexible MQB platform. It’s more than 10-inches longer overall than before.   

Inside, the front seats may appear flat and painful; but actually, it’s the opposite that is true. They are firm, but comfort is excellent; plus, there are plenty of adjustments, and getting in and out is very easy. 

Our SE tester is just one step up from base trim, yet features an 8-inch touchscreen, push button start, dual automatic climate control, a host of safety features, and leatherette seat covers. 

It’s in the 2nd row that you experience all that extra space the most. Legroom is equal to many midsize entries, and seats back here are very cozy as well.  

Need more seats? A 3rd row is standard in front-wheel-drive Tiguans, optional with all-wheel-drive.  But alas, this may be one roomy compact, but it is still a compact. The 3rd row’s two seats are only usable for small children. But, at least they do offer it.

With those seats folded, the cargo bay is also spacious of course; but there’s an unevenness to the space due to the folding 3rd row, that keeps it from being as efficiently packaged as it could be. Still, 33.0 cubic-ft. is quite good, maxing out at 65.7 with the standard 40/20/40 2nd row seats folded. 

No power lift-gate on our SE trim, SEL and above only; but the very light hatch virtually lifts on its own anyway.

The Tiguan is not exactly stimulating or high-tech looking inside, but is highly functional and intuitive. The larger touch screen found in all but base S trim is much easier to use, the radio sounds very good, and gauges are clear and simplistic as always with VW.  

Power comes from a revised 2.0-liter turbo I4 with standard auto stop/start. Horsepower is down from 200 to 184, but torque is up from 207 to 221 lb-ft. It has adequate guts to move the Tiguan’s, 3,800-lbs., but some may wish for more.

We surely did at our test track, where the Tiguan jogged to 60 in 8.8-seconds.It certainly didn’t help that it immediately cuts power at even a hint of wheel spin. Power builds slowly down the track, and the engine sounds pretty decent; but otherwise it’s an unremarkable 16.8-second ¼-mile trip that finishes at 84 miles-per-hour.

Tiguan redeems itself through the cones, however; with quick steering and a nimble chassis, like a slightly heavier Golf wagon, which essentially it is.

No surprise, brakes performed well. 118 feet from 60 to 0 with a short travel, firm, confidence inspiring pedal.

2-wheel-drive Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 27-Highway, and 24-Combined. For an average Energy Impact Score of 13.7-barrels of yearly oil use with CO2 emissions of 6.1-tons. 

Pricing starts at a reasonable $25,495; add $1,300 for all-wheel-drive. 

With the new Tiguan, and the larger Atlas, Volkswagen is clearly pulling out all the stops to gain U.S. market share. Launching two 3-row SUVs in short order is very bold. And, backing them with a 6 year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty is very smart.

The cosmetics may be unremarkable; but the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a comfy, highly useful, competent handling, well thought out, and yes…American-style crossover. To us it sure looks like VW is fast becoming the Honda of German cars. 

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2018 Ford EcoSport

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 2.0 liter

Horsepower: 166

Torque: 149 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 10.0 seconds

1/4 mile: 17.4 seconds @ 76 mph

EPA: 23 mpg city / 29 mpg highway

Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr

CO2 Emissions: 5.8 tons/yr

Ford recently made headlines with a new strategy that will eventually eliminate all of their familiar family sedans. A big reason for that, are vehicles like this new Ecosport crossover. Yes, utilities are not only the new family car; they’re the new everything car. So, let’s take a look at Ford’s bold vision with their smallest crossover yet.

Usually, Ford is right on top of automotive trends. But, it has taken until now for this 2018 EcoSport to give them a subcompact crossover. At least here in the U.S., as the rest of the world has been driving EcoSports for about 15-years now. 

And it doesn’t take much time behind the wheel to know that this EcoSport was not originally intended to please American tastes. There’s no way around it, the ride is rough; but there is also a European sportiness to it. We enjoyed driving it as much as spirited handlers like the Mazda CX-3. And that’s with a relatively high ground clearance of 7.8-inches.  

It also feels narrow inside; almost like a smart car, where you’re just about rubbing shoulders with your front passenger. 

The upside of that, is that all controls, including the tablet-like screen at the top of the dash, are within easy reach.  

Front seats are also narrow and have significant bolstering, even in the bottom cushion. 

Elsewhere inside, it’s a nicely modern space, and there are very good materials for an entry ute; as well as plenty of storage options. 

Rear seat room is just adequate for even small adults; and entry is a little tight. 

We haven’t seen this in a while. Accessing the cargo bay requires swinging the door to the side, and we don’t really mind it; at least it opens to the left so you can load from the curb side. 

A low floor makes loading easy, and there’s more space than you’d expect;

20.9 cubic-ft. Rear seats require an old-school flipping up of the seat bottoms to get everything flat; not quite the flexibility you’d find in the Honda HR-V, but a good 50.0 cubic-ft. of space is the result.

As far as subcompact crossovers go, the EcoSport is a very stylish one, with a bottom-heavy, rounded shape that is consistent with its playful persona.

At our test track the “sport” part of our all-wheel-drive EcoSport does shine through; it’s a fun little ute, providing you don’t push it too hard. It doesn’t feel top heavy at all, and you can get both under and oversteer out of it.

Braking performance was only reasonable.120 feet from 60 to 0 was our average.

Now, we’ve made it this far without talking about the engine. The base unit is a small 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbo, and we were kind of looking forward to seeing how well it moved this little ute around. 

But, Ford sent us an all-wheel-driver which required an upgrade to the 2.0-liter I4, which we liked just fine; but at 166-horsepower and 149 lb-ft. of torque, it’s no EcoBoost. 

After a quick tire chirp off the line, there’s a disappointing delay for real power; which happens at almost exactly the same time that a shift is triggered in the 6-speed automatic transmission. It took a long 10.0-seconds to hit 60, and 17.4 to complete the ¼-mile at 76 miles-per-hour. Yawn!

As for the eco part of the 2.0-liter all-wheel-drive EcoSport, it’s unremarkable. Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 23-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. Yet, we did average a decent 27.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular. The Energy Impact Score is 13.2-barrels of yearly oil use with 5.8-tons of CO2 emissions. 

Pricing is very rational, starting at $20,990 for a front-wheel-drive S. Our top trim SES with the 2.0-liter and all-wheel-drive goes for $27,875  

While the 2018 Ford EcoSport was not originally designed with us in mind, we still think it’s a reasonable first entry into America’s growing tiny-ute market. It’s very modern, handles great, and has loads of cargo space for its small footprint. Plus, if this is a preview of what Ford has in store as their small sedans go away, they just might have a better idea after all.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Tesla Announces 9% Company Layoff

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 2:26pm
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out an email he sent to employees yesterday announcing layoffs as a part of an “organizational restructuring.”  In his message, Musk wrote “we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9% of our colleagues across the company.” He went on to say that the layoffs will not affect Model 3 production, which currently sits at 3,500 units per-week and is anticipated to hit 5,000 per-week by the end of the month. In addition to layoffs, Musk announced that the company will not renew their residential sales agreement with Home Depot and instead “focus our efforts on selling solar power in Tesla stores and online.”  Despite being synonymous with fully-electric vehicles, Tesla has never turned a profit since the company was founded 15 years ago.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: A New Humvee

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 9:04am
AM General, the makers of the iconic High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) aka the “Humvee,” have debuted their next generation light tactical vehicle, the NXT 360 at the Eurosatory 2018 Defence & Security International Exhibition in Paris. Their press release states that the NXT 360 “was developed based on customer feedback for more power, higher GVW, better ride and handling and better overall protection.” In addition to more blast protection, the new military vehicle boasts higher ground clearance and wheel travel as well as larger tires. These additions not only improve off-road capability, but are said to enhance ride quality. It’s powered by a General Motors 6.5L V8 diesel engine with 250-horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque; good enough to handle 15,500 lbs of payload. A 6-speed automatic transmission replaces a 4-speed while stopping power improves and even includes an autonomous brake control interface.   If that’s not enough, clients can opt for the Hawkeye 105mm Howitzer Kit, which “adds another level of lethality and capability.”
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Explorer, Grand Cherokee Earn “Poor” Overlap Crash Ratings

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 10:16am

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released the results for their passenger-side small overlap crash tests on eight midsize SUVs revealing “poor” ratings for both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer. The small overlap test, in which the front corner of the vehicle strikes a stationary barrier, began in 2012 and has forced automakers to rethink crash structure. Originally devised for the driver-side, the IIHS recently started testing the passenger-side to promote equal protection for both the driver and passenger. In addition to the Explorer and Grand Cherokee, this latest round of testing included: The Kia Sorento, Volkswagen Atlas, GMC Acadia, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot. All vehicles are 2018 model years except for the Kia Sorento, which is a 2019 version. According to IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby, “Although some vehicles in this group offer very good protection, in other models, the airbags, safety belts and structure showed serious deficiencies.” The Ford Explorer rated poorly due to a compromised body structure that allowed for 15-inches of intrusion at the lower door hinge pillar and 13-inches at the upper door hinge pillar. The driver-side test also revealed weaknesses and earned the Explorer a “marginal” rating. In the case of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, lower intrusion was measured at 10-inches, but the greatest concern came from observation of the dummy’s head, which hit the dashboard through the front airbag. The passenger side door opened while the curtain airbag failed to deploy, allowing the head to rebound outside of the vehicle. The Honda Pilot also revealed the possibility of head injuries, but still earned an “acceptable” rating as did the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder. The GMC Acadia, Volkswagen Atlas and Kia Sorento all earned a “good” rating.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 Updates

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 2:36pm
As we eagerly await the arrival of the new Shelby GT500, Ford has updated the 2019 GT350 to hold us over. When we tested the 2016 Shelby GT350R, there was little to complain about when it came to track driving. Now with the addition of a Performance Pack 2 to the refreshed Mustang GT, the updates may be a move to widen the gap between the two.  First, Ford went to work with Michelin and engineered new Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with altered compound and a tread pattern exclusive to the GT350. With 295/35 rubber up front and 305/30 in the rear, acceleration, lateral acceleration and braking are said to have improved. In an effort to better manipulate airflow the grille closeout was designed to reduce drag while a new rear spoiler with an optional Gurney flap adds downforce. Both were developed using data from wind tunnel testing on the Ford Performance Mustang race car and the upcoming GT500. These upgrades are complemented by changes to the standard MagneRide active suspension, which include recalibrated springs and revised damping. Moreover, the electric power steering system and stability control settings have also received updates. One thing has not changed and that’s the high-revving 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 under the hood still sending 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via 6-speed manual transmission. Despite unchanged power, lap times should shrink due to the stickier tires and improved aerodynamics.  Set to go on sale early next year, all 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350s will come standard with a machined aluminum instrument panel (carbon fiber version optional) and offer new exterior colors including: Velocity Blue and Performance Blue.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Pocket Size Motorcyles

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 10:34am
Two Wheeling fans listen up.  Honda is bringing the Super Cub back to Americans.  The Super Cub C100 was first introduced in 1958.  For you auto history buffs, that’s one year before the launch of the American Honda Motor Company.  Honda kept making the bike, but stopped importing them to the U.S. in 1974.  To mark the 60th anniversary, it’s coming back as the 2019 Super Cub C125 ABS.  Beyond the classic styling, this little motorcycle will feature a 125cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, fuel injection, and ABS brakes.  The price: $3,599.  It goes on sale in January 2019.

Can’t wait that long?  The 2019 Honda Monkey arrives in October.  Power comes from a 125cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine.  ABS brakes are available. The sticker on the 2019 Honda Monkey will be $3,999… with ABS the price rises to $4,199.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Grandmaster Concept Previews New Hyundai Styling

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 2:06pm
Hyundai is providing yet another hint at both its new three-row SUV and styling direction with the unveiling of the HDC-2 Grandmaster SUV concept a South Korea’s Busan International Motor Show. The Grandmaster is the brand’s second attempt at a new “Sensuous Sportiness” design language, that will supersede the “Fluidic Sculpture” theme that has embodied Hyundai vehicles since 2010.  While production plans are still based on rumors and spy photos, range toping 3-row, 8-passenger SUVs are expected for both the Hyundai and Genesis brands as soon as next year.


Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3740

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:12am

Debut 6.08.2018


Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs

Over the Edge: Electrified Muscle

Goss' Garage: Autonomous Maintenance

Quick Spin: 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Quick Spin: 2018 BMW M550i

Road Test: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Digital Plates

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 9:20am
Hi-tech is coming to a low tech part of your car… the license plate.  Reviver Auto has installed digital license plates on fleet cars in the Sacramento, California.  The new plates are on 24 of the city’s Chevy Bolts.  The digital license plates allow the city to keep track of the movements and mileage of electric vehicles. They can also issue a signal if the car is stolen.  Beyond the typical information on license plates, these can also display messages, like public service announcements and Amber Alerts.  California was the first state to adopt the Rplate Pro.  Reviver Auto says other states are looking into the technology. 


Categories: Syndicated

Podcasts: Ford Ecosport, Lincoln Navigator and New OTE Features

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 9:00am

Podcast #183

In Podcast 183, the MW crew talks about Ford's biggest and smallest SUVs: the Ford Ecosport and Lincoln Navigator. Then, our Over the Edge guy, Zach Maskell fills us in on his latest auto adventures, and we answer a viewer's many questions about the VW Beetle convertible.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Cadillac Expands Super Cruise Availability

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 8:53am
General Motors has announced that Super Cruise, Cadillac’s highly-touted hands-free semi-autonomous driver assistance feature, will soon be available on all Cadillac models, with a rollout launching in 2020.  The technology will eventually make its way into other GM brands as well.   Speaking at the Intelligent Transportation Society’s annual conference this week, GM’s Product Development VP Mark Reuss also announced plans to offer V2X communications in an upcoming crossover model by 2023, then across the Caddy lineup thereafter. 


Categories: Syndicated

Comparison Tests: Luxury Compact SUV Challenge

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 7:00am

The Contenders:

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

2018 Audi Q5

2018 BMW X3

2018 Cadillac XT5

2018 Lexus NX 300 F SPORT


2018 Volvo XC60

Crossover utilities dominate the market these days, and they come in all sizes and prices. And those prices are generally climbing as more and more luxury is being added to even smaller, compact SUVs. But, with around 50-k on the line for something that takes up so little real estate, we thought it might be wise to help you do a little comparison shopping.

When it comes to luxury utilities, there are plenty of choices. But, this time around we’re focusing on compact luxury SUV’s. As usual, we joined the staff of cars.com for this bumper-to-bumper comparison of seven small crossovers.

The price cap: $53,000. Most are 2018 models… with one 20-19 in the mix. There’s also one V6… the rest have turbo-4 powertrains. Each has an automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

We brought them together outside Chicago. Starting witH the Italian bred Alfa Romeo Stelvio… the sporty Audi Q5… the benchmark BMW X3… the sharp-edged Cadillac XT5… the dynamic Lexus NX 300 F SPORT… the innovative INFINITI QX50… and the all-new Volvo XC60.

Joining us was a potential buyer to help keep our test “real”. To make it even more challenging, we added a track component… taking the group to Great Lakes Dragway in Wisconsin. 

For a complete break-down of the track times, specs and overall scoring head on over to cars.com.

But our bottom three finishers were, quite surprisingly, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, BMW X3, and Lexus NX 300 F SPORT. Each lost points for things other than driving performance, such as interior style and materials, lack of advanced safety features, and spaciousness.

That leaves a most practical quartet.

In fourth place, is the Cadillac XT5. It’s the only V6 in the group, and it delivered decent power. Ride and handling are European firm, while still American comfortable. It was the test’s most expensive at $52,560.

Garick ZIKAN: "The Cadillac is the only domestic brand in this group, but it has the driving characteristics to compete with the European and Asian rivals. There’s also plenty of tech and a lot of luxury you can see and feel.”

KELSEY MAYS: “In terms of driving it’s certainly the heavier car here so you can tell it’s heavier in terms of handling. I will give Cadillac credit though for having an immediate accelerator pedal. I mean you get on the gas and it sells a lot of power right away, there’s no lag like there is in some of the others.”

JOHN DAVIS: Third place goes to the INFINITI QX50. The sole 2019 model, it includes the first production Variable Compression engine. The combustion chambers can expand or contract for best power or efficiency. Pricing is mid-pack at $49,685.

Garick ZIKAN: “We’ve driven this 2019 QX50 before and the engineering really steals the spotlight this time around. There’s the new Variable Compression Engine, the chassis is stiffer and it’s now front wheel drive. So while its always been a luxurious ride, it’s now more engaging”

Patrick Masterson: “It’s the only one in the challenge that has two screens. The navigation was very low rez and it was also slow to respond if you were pinching and zooming. The multimedia screen was crystalline. The pixel quality was tremendous and as good as any other vehicle in the test.”

JOHN DAVIS: Coming in at number two is the Audi Q5. This sporty SUV offers a great balance between pampering and performance. At $52,275, it is 2nd highest among the group.

Brian Wong: “The Audi is a good all-around vehicle. I feel like it performed well in many of the different aspects of our testing. If I had one nit to pick with it is there’s a little bit of lag from the engine."

Garick Zikan: “The Audi Q5 is a great blend of luxury and athletic ability. The design inside and out is very clean and modern and it’s comfortable, while at the same time holding on to those firm and stable driving characteristics we like so much in European sport sedans.”

JOHN DAVIS: That leaves the Volvo XC60 as our winner. No surprise to us. Volvo took everything we liked about the larger XC90 and presents it in a smaller package. Even with comfort and spaciousness comparable to a midsize ute, pricing was a relative bargain at $50,540.

Ashish Bodhanwala: “What’s interesting is my wife had the XC60… the old one… and I liked the car other than some reliability issues. This one I like it. It seems a little bigger. I definitely like the infotainment system… much much better than what we had in the old Volvo.”

KELSEY MAYS: “Really easy to see out of. Roomy first and second row. Lots of multimedia technology and lots of kind of driving tech. This was the only car in the test to have lane centering steering that worked all the way down to a stop. That’s a semi-autonomous feature that really puts the XC60 ahead of the other as tested vehicles.”

“The Volvo brings a lot to the driver’s seat. There’s plenty of power, the transmission is smooth… it handles well and its very comfortable.”

JOHN DAVIS: Utility sales are strong across the board. And while they have to be ranked, in this premium segment they all have a lot to offer. But Volvo is clearly on a roll, and the Volvo XC60 stands out in this crowded field of great down-sized luxury utilities.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: New BMW X5

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 1:06pm
BMW has just released photos and specs for its new fourth–generation X5 Sports Activity Vehicle, due to enter production in Spartanburg, South Carolina this November.  The new X5 is dimensionally larger all-around and sports a new exterior design featuring pronounced wheel arch lips, a strong side character line and edgier roofline.  Four engine options include a gas V-8 along with gas and two diesel inline-sixes. An off-road package with two-axle air suspension and chassis guards is a first for BMW’s X lineup.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Audi Debuts Top-Of-The-Line Q8 SUV

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 12:49pm
At the Audi Brand Summit in Shenzhen, China today, Audi unveiled its long rumored range topping Q8 crossover-coupe. The new Q8 not only represents the leading edge of Audi sport-utility design when it comes to technology and functionality, but it also is the first production model to sport the brand’s new face for SUVs, seen in concept form only last year, as well as an updated and more linear interior theme.  Compared to the Q7, the new Q8 is wider and lower, has standard seating for five, plus a generous cargo bay. As fitting a premium SUV, standard mechanical features are plentiful and include quattro all-wheel-drive, adaptive damping suspension, and a mild-hybrid 48-volt electrical system. Powertrains are otherwise expected to be similar to the Q7, which includes a 3.0-liter supercharged V6. The 2019 Audi Q8 will be available in the U.S. this fall.

Categories: Syndicated

Car of the Month: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 9:39am

Volkswagen has certainly had their ups and downs in recent years. However, their current approach of making larger, more comfortable vehicles; and then selling them to Americans at attractive prices, is a real crowd pleaser. That formula is now being tested on their all-new compact utility, the 2018 Tiguan.  The first thing you notice about the second generation Tiguan is how overly roomy it is inside.  It may still be considered a compact crossover, but the feel is far more midsize. The new Tiguan still looks a little like the original, but VW’s modern, angular theme is much more evident. The very long rear doors not only speak to all the space inside, but indicate the Tiguan now rides on a stretched wheelbase version of VW’s flexible MQB platform. It’s more than 10-inches longer overall than before.     The interior is not only roomy, but well put together, and feature packed. Our test SE trimmed model was just one step up from base trim, yet includes an 8-inch touchscreen, push button start, dual zone automatic climate control, plus a host of safety features.   It’s in the 2nd row that you experience all that extra space the most.  Legroom is equal to many midsize entries, and seats back here are very cozy as well.  A much cozier 3rd row is standard in front-wheel drive Tiguans, but optional with all-wheel drive. Folding the second and third row generates a mostly flat load floor. A very light rear hatch lifts almost on its own, with power assist fitted to upper trim levels.  Motive power comes from a revised 2.0-liter turbo I4 with standard automatic stop/start. Horsepower is rated at 184, and torque at 221 lb-ft. As you might guess, this is no rocket. However, the Tiguan handles great for its class with quick steering and a nimble chassis. For all of our impressions of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3741 that begins airing June 15, 2018. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings on the Velocity cable network.  With the new Tiguan, and the larger Atlas, Volkswagen is clearly pulling out all the stops to gain U.S. market share.  The cosmetics may be unremarkable; but the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is a comfy, competent handling, well thought out American-style crossover. 
Categories: Syndicated