Saturday, July 20, 2019

2019 Volkswagen Jetta SE


THE AUTO PAGE
By
John Heilig


  • MODEL: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SE 
  • ENGINE: 1.4-liter turbocharged 4 
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 147 hp @ 5,000 rpm/184 lb.-ft. @ 1,400 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 105.7 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 185.1 x 70.8 x 57.4 in. 
  • TIRES: P205/60R16 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 14.1 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway/48.1 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK: 13.2 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 2,970 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra
  • STICKER: $23,005 (includes $850 delivery) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: Just as the famed Volkswagen Beetle has died, so the redesigned Jetta may be posed to take its place, but with better economy from a stronger engine and more interior room.



            Compact cars these days are trending toward smaller engines that are turbo/supercharged in an effort to improve fuel economy while not detracting from the needed power. It often doesn’t work. 
            The Volkswagen Jetta, on the other hand, seems to have it right. The engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four rated at 147 horsepower. This is good power for a car that weighs 2,970 pounds, and we had no power issues in more than 500 miles of driving.
            I confess that the great majority of those miles were on long trips with considerable Interstate usage. I issue this caveat because we averaged a phenomenal 48.1 miles per gallon. Not only was our economy outstanding, but ride quality was very good. On good road surfaces - asphalt - there was almost no road noise transmitted into the cabin. Concrete road surfaces were a different issue.
            The Jetta is hard-sprung, so you also feel all the little road imperfections. While these don’t contribute to a harsh ride, they do detract. The Jetta uses a strut-type front suspension with lower control arms and long-travel coil springs. At the back, there is a torsion beam setup with telescopic dampers. 
            We traveled to our daughter’s house and, naturally, brought food supplies along with our luggage. My golf clubs were also included. The clubs fit neatly horizontally in the trunk, leaving plenty of room for all the other goodies. there was no need to lower the rear seat backs for extra cargo capacity, but I did anyway to reduce the stuffing component. With the seat backs lowered, there’s a “frame” around the trunk opening that restricts space somewhat. I’m sure this metal helps strengthen the chassis.
            My biggest complaint with the Jetta was with the trunk lid. If you didn’t make the extra effort to open it to its full gap, it had a tendency to drop down and whack you in the head. It definitely needs a stronger strut to hold it up.
            Front seats are comfortable, if firm. Our tester had manual seats that were slightly difficult to adjust for maximum comfort. However, since we only had one driver, once we had it set there was no need to change it. Rear seats offer decent legroom and are more comfortable than the fronts. Sadly, there is no rear seat HVAC, so passengers back there must rely on the kindness of the front passengers. 
            Speaking of heating and cooling, we found the air conditioner to work like a charm, and the weather demanded it. 
            The driver faces a clear instrument panel with a digital speedometer chosen as the information panel display. Our infotainment was basic with a Bluetooth radio along with AM and FM. 
            Interior storage consisted of a large cubby at the base of the center stack, a medium-sized console/arm rest and room for water bottles in the doors. 
            I’ll admit that some of the amenities in our tester were basic - seats, audio, etc. But, to compensate, the sticker price is outstanding, as is the economy. Many compacts can’t pass the comfort test on long rides, but the Jetta also did that in spades.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Monday, July 15, 2019

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson, packed to the gills!!



There are a lot of compact crossovers in the market and what they offer can differ widely. But as Bumper2Bumpertv has found the Hyundai Tucson offers a well thought out combination of technology, drive train ability and comfort in one vehicle.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Jeep Gladiator, a first look



The Jeep faithful are getting excited over the debut of the Gladiator and the brand’s return to the light duty truck segment. Bumper2Bumpertv has a first look at what it brings to the party.

Friday, July 5, 2019

2019 Mustang Bullitt



THE AUTO PAGE
By
John Heilig

  •  MODEL: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt 
  • ENGINE: 5.0-liter V8  
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 480 hp @ 7,000 rpm/420 lb.-ft. @ 4,600 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 107.1 in.  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.5 x 75.4 x 54.3 in.  
  • TIRES: P255/40ZR19 (F)/P275/40ZR19 (R)  
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 13.5 cu. ft.  
  • ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/24 mpg highway  
  • FUEL TANK: 16.0 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,850 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Nissan Z  
  • STICKER: $46,595 (base) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Ford Mustang’s latest performance iteration is the Bullitt, created and named in honor of Steve McQueen’s chase car in the movie of the same name. As such, it does offer great performance, but…

           

            They say the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a Mustang, but the only ponies on the car are on the wheel hubs. Ford also says it’s a Bullitt, and it says Bullitt all over the place. We owned a 1965 Mustang, and I miss the appearance of the ponies. I’m sure Lee Iacocca would have missed them too.
            The Bullitt is named after the Steve McQueen character who drove a Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in one of the classic movie chase scenes of all time. Under the skin, this Bullitt is probably faithful to the original, although the exteriors are different. This version is more muscular looking with a big maw of a grill (no pony) and much wider tires. It also has Brembo disc calipers at all four corners that do an excellent job of stopping the car smoothly.
            Handling is excellent. The suspension is firm, but not harsh. We drove the Bullitt on our favorite hillclimb, but I had to behave because  the road is fairly narrow and I wasn’t sure of what may have been coming the other way. 
            The real fun may be in shifting the 6-speed manual transmission. First, there is a positive clutch that won’t give you leg pains every time you push the left pedal. The shifter itself is nicely located for short shifts with a 2-inch diameter cue ball on the top with the shift pattern imprinted. Get up to sixth, and you’ll eventually have to downshift. The transmission automatically “blips” when you go down gears. It’s fun.
            Of course there’s a caveat. With the Bullitt’s wide tires and Mustang’s historic reputation for a light rear end, the Bulitt can be twitchy when the roads are wet. I had a friend following me for a  while after a rain storm and he told me later that he kept wondering why I was driving what was obviously a hot car so cautiously. 
            Front seats are comfortable with excellent side support. They are semi-automatically adjustable, with power front and back adjustment but a manual seat back angle adjustment. Rear seat legroom is sparse, much like our old ’65.
            The instrument panel is clear with a tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. There’s a digital speedometer inside the 180 mph analog one, and a shift indicator inside the tach. Additionally, there’s an information panel in between.
            In the middle of the dash is a fairly standard infotainment screen with the usual options. I was impressed with how easy it was to program the navigation system. Additionally, there’s a good audio system and heating/cooling.
            Trunk capacity is surprisingly good. In our ’65 Mustang, cargo capacity was about as sparse as rear seat legroom, although in both the rear seat backs fold easily to create extra cargo capacity. 
            Overall, the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a fun, fast car to drive. I would have liked to see more Mustang references (like how much air flow would be reduced by a prancing pony in the grille?). Bullitts are numbered with a plaque on the dash. Our tester was MP002, for Manufacturer’s Prototype #2. I wonder what happened to #1?

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

THE AUTO PAGE
By
John Heilig

MODEL: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
ENGINE: 5.0-liter V8
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 480 hp @ 7,000 rpm/420 lb.-ft. @ 4,600 rpm
WHEELBASE: 107.1 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.5 x 75.4 x 54.3 in.
TIRES: P255/40ZR19 (F)/P275/40ZR19 (R)
CARGO CAPACITY: 13.5 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/24 mpg highway
FUEL TANK: 16.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,850 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Nissan Z
STICKER: $46,595 (base)
BOTTOM LINE: The Ford Mustang’s latest performance iteration is the Bullitt, created and named in honor of Steve McQueen’s chase car in the movie of the same name. As such, it does offer great performance, but…
           
            They say the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a Mustang, but the only ponies on the car are on the wheel hubs. Ford also says it’s a Bullitt, and it says Bullitt all over the place. We owned a 1965 Mustang, and I miss the appearance of the ponies. I’m sure Lee Iacocca would have missed them too.
            The Bullitt is named after the Steve McQueen character who drove a Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in one of the classic movie chase scenes of all time. Under the skin, this Bullitt is probably faithful to the original, although the exteriors are different. This version is more muscular looking with a big maw of a grill (no pony) and much wider tires. It also has Brembo disc calipers at all four corners that do an excellent job of stopping the car smoothly.
            Handling is excellent. The suspension is firm, but not harsh. We drove the Bullitt on our favorite hillclimb, but I had to behave because  the road is fairly narrow and I wasn’t sure of what may have been coming the other way. 
            The real fun may be in shifting the 6-speed manual transmission. First, there is a positive clutch that won’t give you leg pains every time you push the left pedal. The shifter itself is nicely located for short shifts with a 2-inch diameter cue ball on the top with the shift pattern imprinted. Get up to sixth, and you’ll eventually have to downshift. The transmission automatically “blips” when you go down gears. It’s fun.
            Of course there’s a caveat. With the Bullitt’s wide tires and Mustang’s historic reputation for a light rear end, the Bulitt can be twitchy when the roads are wet. I had a friend following me for a  while after a rain storm and he told me later that he kept wondering why I was driving what was obviously a hot car so cautiously. 
            Front seats are comfortable with excellent side support. They are semi-automatically adjustable, with power front and back adjustment but a manual seat back angle adjustment. Rear seat legroom is sparse, much like our old ’65.
            The instrument panel is clear with a tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. There’s a digital speedometer inside the 180 mph analog one, and a shift indicator inside the tach. Additionally, there’s an information panel in between.
            In the middle of the dash is a fairly standard infotainment screen with the usual options. I was impressed with how easy it was to program the navigation system. Additionally, there’s a good audio system and heating/cooling.
            Trunk capacity is surprisingly good. In our ’65 Mustang, cargo capacity was about as sparse as rear seat legroom, although in both the rear seat backs fold easily to create extra cargo capacity. 
            Overall, the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a fun, fast car to drive. I would have liked to see more Mustang references (like how much air flow would be reduced by a prancing pony in the grille?). Bullitts are numbered with a plaque on the dash. Our tester was MP002, for Manufacturer’s Prototype #2. I wonder what happened to #1?

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate