Monday, October 15, 2018

Lexus NX 300h

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Lexus NX 300h 
  • ENGINE: 2.5-liter Hybrid 4 
  • TRANSMISSION: Electronic CVT   
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 194 combined hp/152 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 104.7 in.  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.3 x 73.6 x 64.8 in.  
  • TIRES: P225/60R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 16.8/53.7 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)  
  • ECONOMY: 33 mpg city/30 mpg highway/32.9 mpg test  
  • FUEL TANK: 14.8 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,180 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,500 lbs.  
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Edge, Kia Sorento, Subaru Ascent 
  • STICKER: $46,389 (includes $995 delivery, $5,059 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: If it’s from the Toyota family, it’s a capable hybrid. Therefore, the Lexus NX 300h is small for a Lexus, but big on economy.

            “Back in the day” the Lexus NX 300h was known as the 200t. No matter what you call it, the NX is still an NX, and as such it’s a small SUV in name, but it’s more of a compact to mid-size sedan. Okay, it does have some of the practicality of an SUV, but 
it’s not one I’d want to take off road. I did like taking it on road, though.
            I found the NX to be quiet overall in operation, but there is significant tire noise intruding onto the cabin. It’s worse on poorer roads, like concrete. 
            The dash is dominated by a larger rectangular infotainment screen in the center of the dash. Navigating the screen is a touch pad-type controller (like a laptop mouse pad) on the center console that is not intuitive. Basically, you swipe across it to move the highlighted portion on the info screen. Sometimes. Personally, I prefer the mouse-like controller used on other Lexus models.
            The default screen for the infotainment is a map. You can get an audio listing. I figured that out. 
            There’s decent power from the 2.5-liter hybrid power plant. Handling is equally good. We had a few “instances” on one commute and the NX allowed us to escape unscathed. 
            Facing the driver is a clear instrument panel with an eco-gauge on the left and speedometer on the right. Instruments are white-on-black, my preferred combination. 
            Between the front passengers is a comfortable large arm rest/console. Next to the two cupholders is a pad to rest your hand when you’re trying to finagle the controller, and also a small hand mirror that has many uses besides checking makeup (not mine). Next to the shifter is a knob to shift among eco, normal and sport performance modes 
            Among the many safety assist features is a lane keeping assist that vibrates the wheel gently when you go off line. There’s a blind spot mentor and rear cross traffic alert as well. These are part of the $1,270 Premium Package.
            Rearward vision is restricted somewhat by large rear seat head restraints. This handicap is worse for shorter drivers.
            All the controls on the center stack are intuitive. Also, the radio/sound system is a simple two-button affair, one for on/off/volume and one for tuning. 
            Heated and cooled front seats are comfortable with some side support. Rear seat legroom is good for a small vehicle, even though the seats themselves aren’t overly comfortable. The flat rear floor makes it better for center passengers back there.
            SUVs of all sizes are defined by their cargo capacity. The NX’s cargo area is a practical size (16.8 cubic feet with the rear seat backs up, 53.7 cubic feet with them down). There’s a rubber mat on the cargo floor (part of the $190 all-weather floor mat package) that is very useful. 
            There is a power tailgate with a kick sensor to open it. I could only get it to work once. 
            Overall, the NX 300h is pretty good. It has some nice features and others I found to be totally vexing.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

Cadillac CT6, a luxury counter puncher!!!

There is a battle going on among luxury car makers these days and surprisingly Cadillac is in the midst of it. Bumper2Bumpertv thinks the CT6 sport sedan is a contender among this group.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The abbreviated version of the Nissan Rogue—the Sport

Rather than come up with a compact crossover Nissan is simply putting one of its most popular vehicles on a diet. The Rogue was reduced in size and renamed the Rogue Sport and Bumper2Bumpertv checks out the 2018 and a half model.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A first look at the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe has undergone another redesign along with some slick engineering. Bumper2Bumpertv checks out some of the new technology as well as the drive train.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The BMW I3s, small and now mightier

The quirky looking BMW I3 is getting an upgrade in the new I3s version. What has changed in the new model and does it work? Bumper2Bumpertv tries to find answers to those questions.

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Jaguar XF SportBrake AWD
  • ENGINE: 3.0-liter supercharged V6  
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddles 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 300 hp/332 lb.-ft.  
  • WHEELBASE: 116.5 in  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 195.1 x 82.3 x 58.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P275/55R20   
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 20.0/60.0 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)  
  • ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/19.8 mpg test  
  • FUEL TANK: 17.4 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,200 lbs. (est.) #/HP: 14.0  
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 4,400 lbs.  
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo V90
  • STICKER: $84,245 (includes $995 delivery, $ 12,800 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: Combine the practicality of a station wagon with the luxury and handling of a Jaguar XF, and you have the XF SportBrake, a vehicle with very few flaws. 

            I have driven station wagons in my day. Heck, I even owned a Ford LTD Country Squire back in the day. But the Jaguar XF SportBrake is a new take on the old theme. Yes, despite its name, it is a STATION WAGON. Get over it. 
            Unlike the Country Squire, the SportBrake has excellent ride quality. It’s hard to believe you’re driving one of these. Handling is excellent, but then, it is a Jaguar. We had the opportunity to drive the SportBrake over some unfamiliar winding roads at a high rate of speed, and never felt out of control. We also got to play with it on our usual assortment of roads and had a ball.
            On back roads and highways the ride is firm, but comfortable. We had issues with the cruise control and limit control on the highway, but once we sorted these out, we were fine. You see, the XF has a speed control that looks like cruise control. What it does is keep you at or below your set speed. My problem was that the switches look like cruise control switches, but they aren’t. On the other side, the cruise control has no on/off switch, you just set it. 
            My grandkids loved riding in the back seat, even with limited leg room. They’re addicts to side window shades, so the XF was in their wheelhouse.
            With the second row seats up, cargo capacity is very good. On our trip up we took clothes for the weekend plus food. We returned with three large chrysanthemum plants and still had plenty of cargo capacity. 
            In this modern world of SUVs, styling of the XF SportBrake is sleek and low. It still evoked aahs and “ooh it’s a Jaguar” comments.
            The supercharged 3.0-liter V6 delivers good power. There was never any need for more, even though we traveled a few Interstate miles. It also drove well at normal speeds.
            IN front of the driver is an interesting speedometer. It has enough tick marks to reach well over 100 mph, but only displays the nearest 10 mph around the pointer. In general, the controls are clear, but there is a learning curve, as with the cruise and limit controls.
            Thankfully, there is a good HVAC system. We drove the XF during some hot Indian summer weather, but the HVAC cooled the cabin quickly and efficiently. 
            Front seats are comfortable with good side support, but don’t forget, this is a Jaguar. Rear legroom is adequate but limited. Rear seats are comfortable and heated, plus they have their own HVAC controls. My granddaughters liked the huge sunroof that extended all the way to the backs of the rear seats. Rear seat back releases are located in the cargo area. 
            All in all, the Jaguar XF SportBrake has all the qualities of the XF sedan plus the added advantage of station wagon utility. And, unlike SUVs, that utility comes without compromising style.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate