Monday, April 17, 2017

Springtime means the New York Auto show!!!!!

With Easter, Passover and seasonal holidays on the calendar the auto industry has its own fashion parade .Bumper2Bumpertv has a sampling from the 2017 New York Auto Show.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A preview of the New York Auto Show.

It is the final big show of the season for the auto industry and they came to New York ready to show off. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at a few of the vehicles debuted before the show even opened its doors.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chrysler Pacifica, the mini van reimagined!!!

More than sheet metal the Chrysler Pacifica is taking the company's mini vans to a new level. Bumper2Bumpertv finds the vehicle embraces technology, comfort and capability.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fiat 500 X

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Fiat 500X
  • ENGINE: 2.4-liter I-4 
  • TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 160 hp @ 5,500 rpm/184 lb.-ft. @ 2,500-4,000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 101.2 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 167.2 x 75.5 x 69.7 in. 
  • TIRES: P215/60R17 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 12.2/19.9 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24.5 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 12 gal. (est)  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,305 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended  
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Trax, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V  
  • STICKER: $31,720 (includes $995 delivery, $3,690 options)  
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Fiat 500X is by far the best looking of the many Fiat 500 models. While it is an okay CUV, it is hampered by a buzzy engine and poor fuel economy for its size.

            It seems everyone has seen the Fiat 500 “Viagra” commercial, where a humble two-door 500 is transformed by the addition of a blue pill to the gas tank into the 500X crossover sport utility vehicle. The pill did a wonderful job of transforming the 500X into the best looking of the many 500 variants. The exterior styling is cute. In many cases, that’s where the appeal ends.
            The 500X is a sister vehicle to the Jeep Renegade. It is two feet longer than the base 500, and the same length as the 500L The X’s 101-inch wheelbase is 10 inches longer than the base 500. 
            Inside, the front passengers are faced with a metal dash that is painted body color, in our tester it was bright red. Upper dash surfaces are soft touch.
            Seat upholstery in our tester was a nice deep brown. While the color was striking, it certainly didn’t go with the red dash. Now if they painted the dash a nice matte black, it would have looked a lot better. Front seats are also firm and don’t have a lot of side support. They were comfortable on long rides, and they were heated. Rear seat upholstery matches the front, but there is minimum legroom. One neat feature of the rear seats is that they have their own sunroof, with the front seats having another. The front sunroof moves in all the standards ways, while the rear is fixed.
            Ride quality is not great. We took the 500X on a long road trip and probably felt every road nonconformity over 300 miles. With a relatively stiff suspension, one would think handling would be good to very good, but it is less than that. 
            My biggest complaint is with the engine. Our tester was equipped with the 2.4-liter I-4 rated at 160 horsepower. A 1.4-liter turbo four is available. The engine had decent power and acceleration was good. For example, the 500X did a good job on highway entry ramps and merging was never a problem. However, the engine tended to be buzzy most of the time. It was less buzzy on long Interstate runs, but it was always there to some extent.
            I felt that our test fuel economy of 24.5 mpg was unacceptable for a vehicle of this size. And this included hundreds of Interstate miles. We have a large 16-year-old American sedan in our garage that gets more than 30 mpg on the highway with a V6 engine.
            There are three transmission settings: sport, normal (automatic), and snow and rain. Sport mode increases steering feedback and changes the transmission shift schedules, for example. 
            Cargo capacity is about what you’d expect from a small CUV. We had more than enough room for our luggage and a few extras even without flipping the rear seat backs. For empty nesters like ourselves, cargo capacity was what we would need more than 90 percent of the time. 
            The instrument panel consists of a central digital speedometer that can be con figured other ways, an analog speedometer to the left and a tachometer on the right. The centrally mounted infotainment screen contains an easy-to-program navigation system that picked up our intended destination easily. 
            The audio system is okay, but because of small speakers and the noisy engine, it was sometimes hard to hear. The HVAC system did its job as we traversed from freezing temperatures to those in the 80s.
            Interior storage consists of two glove boxes, one in the red metal section and one below. There’s a cubby at the base of the center stack that has 12-volt, USB and AUX plugs. The small center console/arm rest also has a USB plug. There’s room for water bottles in all four doors.
            We were impressed with the number of safety features. The 500X has a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and back up camera. With the blind spot monitor, if you engage the turn signal while there is a vehicle in the blind spot (even if you can see it) you get a very loud alarm.
            The 500X is disappointing because it has a lot of very good features. The engine isn’t one of them, because it’s noisy and has very poor economy. Maybe Fiat would have been better served if they had used a Fiat engine, rather than  the Jeep engine.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A new name for a familiar vehicle, the Toyota iM!!

While many automakers are concentrating on crossovers, SUV's and light trucks , Toyota has not forgotten what made the brand's fortunes- well done compacts. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at one entry in the segment that was salvaged from the defunct Scion Division.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Kia Soul!!!, a small wagon with attitude.

The compact station wagon segment is not routinely known for performance. But Kia is changing that with the Soul Exclaim as Bumper2Bumpertv recently learned from behind the wheel.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Kia Cadenza

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Kia Cadenza Limited
  • ENGINE: 3.3-liter V6 
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with Sportmatic paddle shifters
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm/253 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 112.4 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 195.7 x 73.6 x 57.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P245/40R19 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 16.0 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/25.5 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK: 18.5 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,765 lbs.
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Jaguar XJ, Cadillac XTS, Audi A8
  • STICKER: $45,290 (includes $900 delivery)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Kia Cadenza is a luxurious package with ride quality to match. It’s Kia’s best ever.

          Kia made its reputation by building small cars. It was the perfect companion to its sister brand, Hyundai.
          But now the Korean manufacturer is set to give Hyundai’s Genesis cars a run for their money with the redesigned Cadenza, which is a large car with all the comfort and luxury you would expect from any large luxury car manufacturer. Well, maybe not Rolls-Royce or Maybach, but you get the idea.
          Cadenza’s redesigned chassis and body do not appear to be built on the Genesis platform, as one might expect. The dimensions are all too different. Nevertheless, Cadenza offers outstanding front and rear legroom. The upholstery is cream-colored with diamond pleating and very good side support, both for the front and rear. Both front seats and the outside rear seats are heated, which was an asset since we drove the Cadenza in some bitter cold weather.
          Under the hood is a 3.3-liter V6 rated at 290 horsepower, driving the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Sportmatic paddle shifters are located behind the wheel, but the character of this car seems to preclude “manual” shifting, even if it is clutchless. Cadenza has four drive modes - Eco, Sport, Smart and Comfort. We drove in Eco all the time, and it is reflected in our 25.5 mpg overall.
          Between the front seats is a clamshell-covered console/arm rest. It is deep, with a 12-volt outlet inside. An additional 12-volt outlet is located in a cubby at the base of the center stack along with USB and AUX connections. 
          There is a nicely designed clean dash with all the controls within reach of the driver. Instrumentation consists of the standard tachometer and speedometer with an information panel between them. The white-on-black dials add a touch of luxury, rather than some exotically designed mishmash.
          My only complaint is that the HVAC controls are on the top and the nearly identical audio controls are lower down on the dash. This is sometimes confusing, but an owner could master it quickly.
          In the middle of the dash is a clear infotainment panel. At start-up, it shows a map on the left and audio on the right, but you can easily convert it to a full-screen map or audio. The navigation destination is easy to program once you get it in the right state. We were trying to find a location in New York state and the navigation system kept toggling back to Pennsylvania. 
          Shift into reverse and the show begins. First, the outside rear mirrors dip to give you an idea of the relationship between the tires and the curb. On the infotainment screen are two views. One is the “standard” rear view camera view. To its right is an “overhead” view that gives you the car’s position in relation to curbs, parking lot lines and any other obstacles. This was very convenient when we had to navigate large piles of snow. 
          Cadenza is equipped with all the necessary safety goodies, plus a full assortment of air bags. For example, the Cadenza has Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and a Smart Blind Spit Detection System. The latter seemed to be “touchy” at first when we noticed that it was detecting vehicles further to the rear than most BSMs do.
          Ride quality is excellent, thanks to significant improvements in NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) over the previous model. Sound absorbing insulation abounds, as does a full floor pan that reduces road noise. 
          Rear legroom is excellent. In addition, rear passengers have their own HVAC controls plus the outboard heated seats. There are also shades for the side and rear windows. With the shades down, there is excellent visibility for the rear passengers that includes a panoramic sunroof that extends to the rear seats. 
          Cargo is taken care of with a large lighted trunk (16.0 cubic feet). The rear seats apparently don’t fold to increase the trunk. The trunk lid is powered and can be opened remotely or (occasionally) using a switch on the dash.
          Clearly, Cadenza is a big step toward a possible future luxury brand coming under the Kia nameplate. Even if Kia chooses not to go that route, they have an excellent top-of-the-line model at a very good price point.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate