Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The final winter party in Detroit

The lead players are changing the in the auto industry and so will the time when they gather to show off their new products to the world. Bumper2Bumpertv has trekked to the birthplace of the car to see what will mark the change.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Detroit Auto Show early reveals

This will be the last year the North American International Auto Show will take place in January. For some companies it was also time to get out there early with new models before the show even opened. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at two key players that took that route.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019 Honda Insight—Classy and Green

It was not a surprise when Green Car Journal honored the Insight as the best sedan offering performance and environmental awareness. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what this hybrid offers in terms of the daily driving experience.

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Kia Forte, more than a buzz box!!

Kia has given the compact Forte a serious overhaul for 2019. As Bumper2Bumpertv found in just a week behind the wheel the sedan has moved from an entry level car to something with manners and guts.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Honda Accord

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T TRG 
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4/10-speed automatic with paddle shifters 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 252 hp @ 6,500 rpm/273 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 111.4 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.2 x 73.3 x 57.1 in. 
  • TIRES: P235/40R19 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 16.7 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25.4 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 14.3 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,377 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,000 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion
  • STICKER: $36,690 (includes $890 delivery) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Honda Accord is a good solid mid-size sedan with good ride quality.

            The mid-size segment is one of the most competitive in America, with a slew of vehicles from a slew of manufacturers, all seeking a piece of the pie. Most of these sedans are pretty good, and a few are better than good. The Honda Accord is one of the latter.
            Almost from the day I began these ramblings I remember being impressed with Honda engines, especially the smaller ones. I think this harkens back to Honda’s early history as a motorcycle manufacturer. 
            While the Accord has played with larger engines in the past, notably a 3.0-liter V6, our tester was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four that proved to be perfectly adequate. The engine develops 252 horsepower, which is more than enough for a car that weighs 3,377 pounds. 
            We enjoyed brisk acceleration. We have a small hill that we travel regularly. Essentially we turn left at a stop light and floor the accelerator until we hit the speed limit, then back down. The Accord reached terminal velocity a lot quicker than many other cars, which ask for a floored accelerator to the top. As with most four-cylinder engines, there is some engine noise on hard acceleration, but the engine is normally quiet, leading to an overall quiet ride.
            Surrounding the engine is a new, more rigid, lightweight and tightly sealed body and all-new chassis design. Honda claims it’s the Accord’s most radical redesign.
            Ride quality's good, although it doesn’t deal with rougher roads very well. Handling is good, as attested to by the car’s response over some interesting winding roads we found.
            The driver faces a clear instrument panel and a heads up display that highlights economical driving. The instrument panel surround glows green for economical driving, white otherwise. The information screen in the center screen has 12 different options to scroll through from tachometer to audio to warnings. It proved very useful. In addition, it has speed limit notifications, as well as on the HUD.
            The shifter is unique to Honda vehicles, and we have used it in Acura's as well. There is a Park push button, a Reverse pull lever, neutral and drive push buttons. All light with different colors so you have a tactile feel for the different gears as well as a color sense. 
            Interior storage consists of a huge cubby at the base of the center stack that includes a charge pad. I almost lost the keys when I put them in there. This cubby also has 12-volt and USB outlets. There is a large two-level center console/arm rest that is useful. 
            In the center of the dash is a clear audio/navigation screen. The audio system offers excellent sound quality. The heating system is very efficient, almost too efficient. I got in the car on a cold day, heated up the seats and jacked up the temperature. Within a few minutes I was ratcheting everything down.
            Front seats have good side support in the kidney and thigh areas. Rear legroom is very good, but I hit my head on the roof the first time I entered. The rear seats are heated as well as the fronts. 
            Cargo capacity is a good size. The rear seat back releases are in the trunk, where they can be used when you suddenly notice that you have more stuff than the standard trunk can handle.
            Overall, the Honda Accord is a nice package that should help continue its streak as America’s best-selling car over the past 41 years, and ikea it on track for its fifth consecutive year as America’s number one mid-size car.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The 2019 Avalon Hybrid, a second look

Toyota upgraded its power, enhanced its technology and changed the appearance of the Avalon Hybrid sedan. Bumper2Bumpertv has a second look at this full sized ride that gets fuel economy like a subcompact.

Buick Regal TourX

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Buick Regal TourX Essence AWD 
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4/8-speed automatic  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 250 hp @ 5,500 rpm/295 lb.-ft. @ 3,000-4000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 111.4 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 196.3 x 73.3 x 58.4 in. 
  • TIRES: P235/50R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 32.7/73.5 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24.8 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 12.0 gal. (est.) 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,708 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, Audi A4 Allroad, Volvo V60 
  • STICKER: $42,200 (includes $925 delivery, $6,205 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: Unlike all the SUVs and CUVs on the market, the Buick Regal TourX is unabashedly a wagon, and therefore has more traditional styling and amenities.

            Several times during my week with the Buick Regal TourX, people asked me if it was an Audi. To be honest, it does resemble an Audi. And since the final assembly point is Russelheim, Germany, there’s perhaps a good reason for the resemblance. 
            But no, this is a Buick, despite its build location. 
            Part of the reason for the misconception is that Buick hasn’t built a wagon since the old “Roadmonster.” While not quite as large, the Regal TourX is more stylish, and built on a Regal platform rather than the larger sedan platform. 
            One obvious difference is that there are no facing seats in the well by the rear hatch, but all the other goodies are there. Like cargo capacity. We found the cargo volume to be huge. It compares well with smaller SUVs, and you get the bonus of not driving a truck.
            Still, the TourX is still a Buick Regal at heart, with decent performance and conservative styling. Yes, my gray hair qualifies me as a Buick driver. 
            The 2.0-liter turbocharged four offers more than enough power. When we wanted acceleration, or to merge into traffic from an on-ramp, we were score. Additionally, the TourX offered quiet operation. On the highway, or even around town, the Buick was essentially silent. Almost zero road noise intruded into the cabin, and this allowed us to keep the audio at senior citizen levels. 
            Driver and passengers sit in a comfortable interior with issues. For example, the cupholders buried at the base of the center stack leave precious little room for taller cups. There’s another sure cupholder between the shifter and the console/arm rest, but cups rattle around in it. 
            There’s a busy console with two USB, an SD card, plus a special adaptor for phones. But, if the phone rings, you have to open the console to answer it.
            We found the heating system to be very good in early winter weather. Heated seats help, and there are individual controls for the passengers. 
            Front seats are comfortable. Hey, this is a Buick after all. Rear seats offer very good legroom and headroom, even with the extended sunroof. For rear passenger convenience, there are two USB outlets at the rear of the center console.
            A nice touch with then TourX is that a Buick logo lights up by the rear hatch when you unlock the doors with the fob. You can also unlock and raise the hatch by placing your foot under the rear bumper, and of all the versions of this facility, this is the easiest to operate that we have seen. The cargo area has four sliding tethers to tie down cargo if necessary. Rear seat backs lower by using buttons in the cargo area. 
            There’s a clear instrument panel facing the driver. The information panel in the center can switch among a digital speedometer, or fuel information or vehicle data.
            I must confess to a built-in prejudice in favor of the Buick Regal TourX (we own a Buick and I like wagons), but the TourX is a superb package. Maybe you need wagon experience? But this is so much better than our Country Squire.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate