Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cadillac CTS v Sport

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Cadillac CTS-v Sport Performance Lux
  • ENGINE: 3.6-liter turbocharged V6
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 420 hp @ 5,750 rpm/430 lb.-ft. @ 3,500-4,500 rpm
  • WHEELBASE: 114.6 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 195.5 x 57.2 x 72.2 in.
  • TIRES: P255/35ZR19 (F)/P275/35ZR19 (R)
  • CARGO: 13.7 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway/16.4 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK: 19.0 gal.
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,992 lbs. #/HP: 9.50
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,000 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, Ford Taurus
  • STICKER: $77,730v(includes $995 destination, $5,940 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Cadillac CTS-v Sport is a very nice package, but it has issues.

            I was glad when they said unto me - no wait. Really, I was thrilled when I learned that I would be driving a Cadillac CTS-v this week. I was even more thrilled that is was the Sport version. The Sport is the middle of the “hot” CTS-v lineup, sandwiched between the “normal” 3.6-liter-powered base model and the monster 6.2-liter V8-powered model. Frankly, the Sport is as much as I can handle.
            I had driven the original CTS-v that had a turbo V6 a few years ago in California and enjoyed thrashing it about the hills north of LA and even on the contested freeways. The present-day Sport version has a twin turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that pumps out a very healthy 420 horsepower. And the first four days I drove the car were almost perfect, with dry roads and a couple of essentially empty roads to play with the car.
            But on Sunday morning it snowed. Not a lot of snow, but snow nonetheless. Our ride to church takes us up over a short inverted V stone bridge over a creek and then up a hill. The CTS-v struggled with the bridge, and found the hill impossible. What surprised me was that I had my foot on the floor and the rpms stayed below 1,000 and we had no sliding or anything.
            Eventually I maneuvered away from the hill to a flatter route to church, along which I discovered that there was a switch that would modulate transmission and engine performance. We switched from “Tour” to “Snow/Ice” and had little problems over the remainder of your journey. The snow melted on the way home so we didn’t have an opportunity to check the Snow/Ice mode in real action.
            Oddly, we checked the owner’s manual later and there was no mention in it that the engine would act as bizarre as it did. 
            We also discovered that on normal dry straight roads the steering wheel acts as if is in lane keeping assist mode even when you’re in the middle of the lane. Steering input if very loose. Again, the owner’s manual proved useless.
            Except for these driving issues, which are, let’s face it, serious, the CTS-v is a fine upscale large sedan. The exhaust roar on startup is very non-Cadillac, but it is interesting. Aren’t Cadillacs supposed to be whisper quiet?
            Exterior styling is excellent. I like the way Cadillac designers have used the vertical taillights to simulate the classic tail fins of historic Caddy’s. 
            Front seats are comfortable with side support worthy of a performance car. Rear seats are comfortable as well, although In would have expected more leg room. 
            The dash is pure luxury and shows some insight into its design. The central instrument panel, for example, can be configured to reflect the owner/driver’s choices. 
            Audio and HVAC controls appear to have “sliding bars” where you slide your finger along to get the desired result. However, all you have to do is touch above the bar to get the desired result. Also, I challenge you to get the glove box open in less than a minute, even though the push button is a good design.
            Our tester was equipped with Cadillac’s rear-facing camera. Unlike the back-up camera, which projects its image on the infotainment screen, this has the image projected on the rear view mirror. This is excellent when the snow covers the rear window and the excellent defroster hasn’t completed its job. It also gives a lower image than the mirror itself.
            We also had park assist with warnings via a vibrating seat and an “overhead” view, leaving the driver no excuses for messing up. 
            Of course, the CTS-v is equipped with all the goodies Cadillac could find in its parts bin, like blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, that pesky lane departure warning and lane keeping assist. Soft materials abound inside the cabin. I especially like the feel of the wheel, which is fat and covered in a suede-like material.
            Overall, the CTS-v Sport is a fun large sedan with the added bonus of performance. I had some issues that might have been avoided with a good lesson on how to drive the car or better familiarity with the owner’s manual.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018 Kia Rio 5 Door, playing in a small sandbox.

In a lot of places around the world there is a market for subcompacts that can work hard. Bumper2Bumpertv thinks the 2018 Kia Rio 5 Door is one of those vehicles.

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 Mazda CX-3, trying to stand out in a crowded field.

Mazda's entry in small crossover segment is upping the game with enhanced standard features. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what the CX-3 brings for the 2018 model year.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Hot cars at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Even with the shift toward alternative fuel systems some interesting automobiles were debuted at the 2018 North American Auto Show. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at a few of them.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Detroit Auto Show, Concepts and Trucks

This was the year when concepts and trucks played a big role in the North American International Auto Show. Bumper2Bumpertv says major milestones were reached in ideas and among vehicles designed to do the hard work.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Nissan Rogue Sport

By John Heilig      
  • MODEL: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SL AWD 
  • ENGINE: 2.0-liter DOHC I-4
  • TRANSMISSION: XTronic with Eco mode switch
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 141 hp @ 6,000 rpm/143 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
  • WHEELBASE: 106.5 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 184.5 x 72.4 x 68.5 in.
  • TIRES: P225/45R19 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 39.3/70.0 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/23.7 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 14.5 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,659 lbs. #/HP: 26.0 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,102 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Subaru Crosstrek, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V 
  • STICKER: $31,105 (includes $835 delivery, $2,850 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Nissan Rogue Sport proved to be capable of all we asked of it, but it didn’t cause any excitement in the Heilig household.

            The Nissan Rogue has always held a special place in my heart, because of fond memories of the introduction of the first model. The Rogue Sport is a variation of the original, with the difference being in that the Sport has a smaller engine. 
            Nevertheless, the Rogue Sport still has decent power at 141 horsepower. Acceleration could be better, but it never got us in any trouble.
            Additionally, the handling is good with a strut front suspension and independent rear suspension. The Rogue Sport handles curves well, and is easy to park, especially with the “overhead” video camera that allows the driver to see all the lines in a parking space as well as any obstacles around the car. The camera turns on in reverse mode, but you can also turn in on when you want to check how close you are to objects in front.
            Overall styling is not unlike the big brother Murano, which is to be expected. I think the Murano’s styling is a little curvier, but the Rogue Sport doesn’t disappoint. Interior design is also nice. Our tester was fitted with a black and cream interior with a well-designed dash. Instrumentation is standard.
            In the center of the dash is a clear infotainment screen with the usual assortment of choices. Audio performance was good as was the HVAC system. We had a minor complaint with the heating in that it didn’t work as fast as we wanted it to, but we had a spell of wicked cold weather and I’m getting old. Okay, I am old. The heated front seats helped.
            Front seats are comfortable. The driver’s seat is power adjustable, while the passenger has to do with a manually adjustable seat. Both seats offer some side support. Rear seat legroom is cozy with the passenger’s knees developing a close relationship with the back of the front passenger’s seat. Rear passengers have good visibility.
            Interior storage consists of a cubby at the base of the center stack with USB, AUX and12-volt outlets. The center console/arm rest is deep. There is the standard pair of cupholders and there is room for water bottles in the front doors. There is also a small cubby to the rear of the cupholders that is ideal for holding keys. Twice I forgot, though, and left the keys in the car when I went shopping. Is my mind going? (see age reference above) Rear doors also have room for water bottles and the rear door pulls have bottoms. Two cupholders reside in the pull-down arm rest.
            The Rogue Sport has a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, both part of the $2,280 SL Premium Package. That package also contains a power sliding moonroof, forward emergency braking and high beam assist, where you can leave the high beams on all the time and the Rogue Sport decides when you are blinding oncoming traffic. The Blind Spot Monitor lights are located not on the outside mirrors, but inside, near the A Pillar. I prefer them to be on the mirrors, but you can learn to look inside. 
            Cargo capacity is good, and the rear seat backs fold easily to create a flat floor with 70 cubic feet of capacity. Additionally, there are two lift-up panels that allow you to configure the cargo area for various uses.
            In general, the Nissan Rogue Sport is a nice package and a decent competitor for the other vehicles in its class. Sadly, it just didn’t “wow” me.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate