Wednesday, June 12, 2019


John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 BMW X5 xDrive 40i
  • ENGINE: 3.0-liter twin turbo I-6
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with sport-manual shift modes  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 335 hp @ 5,500-6,500 rpm/330 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-5,200 rpm
  • WHEELBASE: 117.1 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 194.3 x 78.9 x 69.0 in. 
  • TIRES: 275/45R20   
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 33.9/72.3 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway/17.5 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 21.9 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,813 lbs.
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 6,600 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Acura MDX, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX60
  • STICKER: $73,980 (includes $995 delivery, $12,055 options)  

            BMW offers a wide variety of vehicles, not including vans or trucks. The Big Momma of them all is the X5 Sport Activity Vehicle (as opposed to a Sport Utility Vehicle) that is assembled in Spartanburg, S.C. And it’s a beauty.
            First, the X5 is one of the quietest running vehicles of any ilk I have driven lately. In the X5’s defense, I have driven some pretty noisy vehicles of late. But the X5 has absolutely silent operation at all speeds. It’s worthy of the company’s 7-Series sedans.
            To go with the quiet ride is comfort. The front seats offer power adjustments to find the ideal comfort level. Rear passengers also enjoy excellent legroom and a flat floor to accommodate a middle passenger. Those rear passengers have their own HVAC controls as well as pull-down sun shades on the windows.
            The 3.0-liter twin turbo six offers excellent power, even though the X5 weighs in at 4,813 pounds. Horsepower is rated at 335 over a wide range of engine speeds, and torque checks in at 330 lb.-ft. All this power reaches the wheels through an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters if you’re interested in a manual mode. The X5 xDrive 40i can go from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Not bad for a sport ute.
            The X5 also wears BMW’s latest generation of xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive, which can split torque between the front and rear wheels with even greater precision than before. 
            As is to be expected from a vehicle whose sticker is nearly $74,000, the X5 offers BMW luxury along with everything else. Inside there are tasteful dark brown seating surfaces and door trim that work well with the black dash, etc. 
            Instrumentation is clear, although the array is different from most cars with the speedometer on the left and tachometer on the right. The tach is replaced with economy information when the EcoPro ride option is chosen. Other options are sport, comfort and adaptive.
            The infotainment screen is clear and wide. There’s a large controller on the console that aids in navigating the screen, along with six buttons.
            The wheel is busy with the normal array of options. However, I couldn’t find the on/off switch for the cruise control.
            You want luxury? How about a pair of cupholders that can be heated or cooled?
            Along with the start/stop button that is located on the center console rather than the dash, the shift pattern is different, and this is good. You don’t shift robotically, but you have to think. For example, Park is a button on the shifter, and you push forward for reverse, and rearward for drive. Again, it forces thinking. 
            The clamshell tailgate is practical. One owner told me that the shorter bottom part of the tailgate provides an ideal seat for him to put on his golf shoes. It also is convenient of you have longer objects to carry. The cargo area is large enough for several golf bags. The rear seat back releases are in the cargo area. There’s a hidden storage area under the cargo floor for objects you’d like to keep from prying eyes.
            Outside mirrors fold when you lock or unlock the X5. They also fold and unfold every time you walk near the vehicle with the keys in your pocket. 
            It has a couple of quirks, but the BMW X5 xDrive 40i is a near-perfect luxury Sport Activity Vehicle with a healthy sticker price to go along with its many features.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate 

Monday, June 10, 2019

What happens when a small Sport Utility Vehicle gets technical and mechanical vitamins-The 2019 Toyota Highlander!!

Three rows of seats, a lot of tow capacity and well equipped with technology. That is what Toyota is building in with the 2019 version of the Highlander SUV. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at how the whole package comes together.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

In hot pursuit of the police business- 2020 Ford Interceptor

While most car buyers are looking for something with luxury features, extreme economy or tow capabilities their tax dollars get spent on a different kind of vehicle. Police agencies are now getting the option to use some of the new technology in the cars they drive day in and day out. Bumper2Bumpertv has sneak look at what might be chasing you.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Stepping up into luxury, the Acura RDX A Spec.

With the lines between premium and luxury cars getting blurred these days Acura is making its move to move upscale. Bumper2Bumpertv has found the RDX A Spec has broken through that barrier.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Is Mitsubishi getting it right with a Plug in Hybrid ?

How does a car maker build a crossover that stands out in the pack? Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what Mitsubishi has done with the Outlander to give it “a charge “ so to speak.

2019 Dodge Durango SRT

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT392 
  • ENGINE: 6.4-liter HEMI V8  
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 475 hp @ 6,500 rpm/470 lb.-ft. @ 4,300 rpm  
  • WHEELBASE: 119.8 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 201.2 x 85.5 x 71.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P295/45ZR20  
  • ECONOMY: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway/13.3 mpg test   
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 24.6 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 5,510 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 8,700 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner  
  • STICKER: $76,450 (includes $1,495 delivery, $11,960 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Dodge Durango is, at base, a solid three-row SUV. Add SRT performance to the base package and you have a vehicle that can rock your drive.

            Three-row SUVs are getting more popular with growing families (don’t forget the grandparents) and numerous trips to Costco. Dodge Durango fits nicely into the segment. 
            Our tester, far from being a base Durango with a 293 horsepower 3.6-liter V6, was the top-of -the-line (both in trim and performance) SRT version, with a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 rated at 475 horsepower. A decent amount of exhaust roar goes along with this power, but essentially this is a quiet engine. Hit the loud pedal too enthusiastically, though, and the SRT jumps ahead. There are 413 square inches of swept brake area to stop all this performance.
            Even for its size, the Durango handles well. We had fun challenging the corners on our hill climb test.
            Inside, the instrument panel is clear, but has issues. The large centrally mounted tachometer is augmented by a 180 mph and degree speedometer that is almost impossible to read. The (legal) useable range is only two to three inches long (maybe 20-30 degrees). Fortunately, there’s a digital speedometer tucked into the lower right corner of the tach. This is one car that needs a heads up display.
            In the center of the dash is a clear infotainment screen with the usual suite of options. All the dash readouts are white-on-black with red highlights. It’s all very “Dodge,” including the typeface used for the numbers.
            Front seats are comfortable with excellent side support. The heat and vent seat controls are incorporated into the infotainment screen. Second row rear seats are comfortable with good leg room. There’s a low center hump, but a permanent two cup holders and arm rest/console preclude middle passengers in the second row. There are UConnect screens in the backs of the front seat headrests for entertainment.
            The third row bench is tight but has manageable leg room. The second row seats fold and lift for third row access.
            With the second and third row seats folded, you have a large flat cargo floor for just about anything you’d want to tote. One caveat. In order to fit the third row seats in, some base cargo capacity is compromised. For example, I had to fold the third row seat backs flat in order to get my golf bag in.
            The rear hatch is something of an anomaly that requires some learning. You can unlock it with two pushes on the fob button, but you have to lift it manually. You can power lower it with the same two pushes. Power up and down can also be achieved with button on the console above the rear view mirror. Yes, it does have a learning curve.
            Besides the large cargo area, there is good interior storage. A cubby at the bar of the center stack has two USB and an AUX outlet. There’s room for water in all four doors. And between the front seats there is a large useful arm rest/console with a 12-volt outlet and the workings of the CD player. 
            At its heart, the Dodge Durango is a good large SUV, except for the color.Our tester was painted F8 Green. Our tester was over-optioned and over-powered, but it was a good driver that was hard to park.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Finding the best ride for your family!!

Automotive journalists routinely are asked what car someone should buy. The answer can sometimes be complicated based on family size, needs, income and desires. To sort through some of those questions Bumper2Bumpertv is part of a group of journalists in Atlanta who consider that question every year.