Monday, September 18, 2017

Honda Civic, a fire breathing compact!!

If the Honda Civic is Clark Kent, mild mannered and thorough, then the Civic Si is the Superman version of the vehicle. What makes them different is what got Bumper2Bumpertv's attention.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Volkswagen Touareg

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Volkswagen Touareg V6 Sport 
  • ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6 
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with Tiptronic 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 280 hp @ 6,200 rpm/266 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 113.9 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.8 x 76.4 x 68.2 in. 
  • TIRES: P255/55R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 32.1/64.0 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 17 mpg city23 mpg highway/16.5 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 26.4 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,696 lbs. #/HP: 16.8 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 7,716 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Acura MDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz ML 
  • STICKER: $50,405 (includes $910 delivery) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: While the Volkswagen Touareg is a fully capable midsize-to-standard SUV, it suffers from an outlandish sticker.

          Gone are the days of the Beetle, the original one, I mean. Volkswagen is now a major player in all market segments, even if a few of the company’s choices have been less than stellar. However, the Touareg is in the top echelon of midsize-to-standard SUVs.
          First, let’s talk power. A 3.6-liter V6 rated at 280 horsepower drives the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic (sequential manual shift). We took the Touareg all over and never felt for a lack of power at any time. In addition, Volkswagen’s 4Motion 4-wheel drive provides sure-footedness over all surfaces and contributes to good handling. 
          The transmission is shiftable with the lever, but we didn’t feel the  need on our hill climb route as it shifted as well as I could. 
          Regarding comfort, the four-wheel independent suspension (upper and lower control arms in front with coil springs and telescopic shocks and a multi-link rear suspension with coil springs and telescopic shocks) added a comfortable rode on all the road surfaces we encountered. 
          Front seats are comfortable with about as much side support as the old Beetle. Leatherette  faced, they are also heated. 
          Standard “Teutonic” instruments feature round white-on-black dials that are easy to read. Smaller water and fuel gauges are tucked in the corners of the instrument panel. 
          The Touareg has a unique key fob/starter. You insert the fob in a slot in the dash and turn it as you would a key to start the car. Turn it to the left to shut the engine off. There’s  a start/stop button on the console, but it isn’t needed. What makes this arrangement cool is that it also provides a place to put the fob after you open the doors and get in.
          Adaptive cruise control was a pleasure. A few times we came upon a leading vehicle too quickly and the ACC slowed us to that vehicle’s speed automatically.
          I found the audio interesting. When you return to the car and turn it on, the Bluetooth volume is lower than when you left. Okay, but when you use the phone, the volume is up. There is the normal assortment of choices, but we chose Bluetooth.
          There’s a deep cubby at the top of the dash with a lift-up cover that is ideal for holding a phone (wedged in the cover), so you can read the screen. It’s also deep enough for holding sunglasses.
          The HVAC is good in normal weather, and is easy to set.
          At the base of the center stack is a small cubby that might have served as an ash tray in cars so equipped. Inside this cubby is a 12-volt outlet (lighter?).
          On the center console are a pair of cupholders with a transmission setting switch for between off- and on-road. There is a deep center console/arm rest with a lightning charge cable attached. In addition, the doors all hold large water bottles. 
          The rear bench has good legroom. Rear passengers have a small cubby at the rear of the center console for storage. Rear seat backs fold easily to increase cargo capacity. The rear cargo shade is hard to remove, though, if you want to carry large objects back there. In addition, the cargo area has four tie-downs, plus elastic straps on the right side.
          Now the sticker. The Volkswagen Touareg is a highly capable vehicle. However, it lacks some almost standard safety features, although a forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking is included. While I admit to being “old school,” I feel it should be priced more in the $35,000-$40,000 range.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Nissan unviels the 2018 Leaf!!

The presentation of the 2018 version of the Nissan Leaf was a world wide event. The new model has more power, new looks and upgraded technology. Bumper2Bumpertv has highlights of the reveals.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Sedan.

While it is a compact the Mazda3 comes with a lot of upscale technology and features in the Grand Touring Edition. Bumper2Bumpertv took a look at the sedan which may be getting a new power plant in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2018 Chevy Equinox

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD
  • ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 
  • TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 252 hp @ 5,500 rpm/260 lb.-ft. @ 2,500-4,500 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 107.3 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 183.1 x 72.6 x 65.4 in. 
  • TIRES: P225/60R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 29.9/63.5 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down) 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,327 lbs. #/HP: 13.2
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Hyundai Tucson, Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee
  • STICKER: $24,525 (base) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The 2018 Equinox is a significant upgrade to Chevrolet’s second most popular vehicle (behind Silverado).

            When thinking of small to mid-size SUVs, one wouldn’t necessarily think of the Chevrolet Equinox. But it is Chevy’s second-best selling vehicle, behind the Silverado pickup, so a lot of people obviously do think of the Equinox. 
            Our tester actually arrived the week after driving the Silverado, so there was significant culture shock in switching between vehicles. Once I got over the size differential, I began to enjoy Equinox’s attributes a bit more.
            First, there’s the new styling from the redesigned Equinox. There’s a significantly restyled hood and the side styling has more creases than Princess Di’s wedding dress. Projector beam headlamps light the way.
            Under the sculpted hood rides a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four. The quiet engine delivers good power for the 3,327-pound vehicle, and its operation is quiet. There is little or no engine noise, although some tire noise intrudes into the cabin on less-than-perfect road surfaces. That isn’t Chevrolet’s fault.
            The 9-speed automatic is smooth. Except on acceleration, you barely feel it shift. 
            However, with the relatively small engine, start-stop technology and the 9-speed automatic, I felt fuel economy was low at 19.5 mpg during our test run. Even the estimated EPA readings of 22 city/ 28 highway aren’t that great. Granted, we didn’t do a whole lot of highway driving, but we did have a couple of long runs that should have pushed the numbers up.
            The Equinox is equipped with all the amenities. Entertainment has all the bells and whistles. We used Apple Car Play for entertainment and phone. It was simple to connect, and as with most Bluetooth applications, once you’re hooked up, you stay hooked up.
            The clear instrument panel has a tachometer, information panel and speedometer, reading from left to right. Fuel level and water temperature gauges run across the top. The information panel scrolls among a digital speedometer, fuel economy set, fuel range, oil life, tire pressure and assorted other screens. We settled for the digital speedometer. The dash style brought to mind the Impala’s, which I liked very much.
            We were kept comfortable in some very hot weather thanks to a functioning HVAC system, We used remote start from the key fob to fire up the engine and HVAC before we entered the car. I know this usually works in winter to warm up the vehicle. It also works in summer to cool it off.
            Front seats are comfortable with good side support. As a matter of fact, I was surprised by the side support which was more suited to a sportier vehicle. The rear seats also have some side support, even for the center seat, along with a flat floor.
            All four doors have places for water bottles. Additional interior storage consists of a large cubby at the base of the center stack with 12-volt, USB and AUX outlets. There are also a 12-volt and two USB outlets at the back of the center console for rear seat passengers. 
            The rear hatch opens using either then key fob, or a switch on the driver’s door. It reveals a generous cargo area that can hold at least one golf bag diagonally. One owner of an older Equinox we spoke with said she would like to be able to put four golf bags in the back without having to lower the rear seat backs. It might be possible in this iteration, although we didn’t put it to the test.
            For safety the Equinox is equipped with a blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, teen driver feature that lets you monitor how your teen is driving, and a rear seat reminder. The latter beeps when you shut the engine off and a message appears on the instrument panel reminding you to check the back seat for packages, etc. My wife and I have been known to leave food back there, so the reminder is a good one.
            Now a discussion of color. Our tester was an interesting shade of green, called Ivy Metallic. First, it was unusual, since most of the vehicles I drive are either grey or black. My wife wasn’t thrilled at the beginning, but said the color grew on her during the week. Others seemed to have a like-not like so much attitude about it. There was no question that it was easy to find in a parking lot.
            All in all, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is a nice package that is certain to continue the product’s strong sales success.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

Monday, August 28, 2017

Toyota Corolla XLE, a mid grade offering.

The Toyota Corolla has made incremental changes over the last half century while holding its own as a key offering in the compact segment. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at the XLE version which offers a growing number of creature comforts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Volkswagen is committing itself to building a new version of the Microbus. Bumper2Bumpertv has more on the plan to put the ID BUzz on the road.