Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Mustang GT gets some extra technology and torque.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

2018 Toyota Prius C

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Toyota Prius c Four
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 73 hp @ 4,800 rpm/82 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm  
  • WHEELBASE: 100.4 in.  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 159.8 x 67.5 x 58.7 in. 
  • TIRES: P195/50R16  
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 17.1 cu. ft.  
  • ECONOMY: 48 mpg city/43 mpg highway/43.3 mpg test  
  • FUEL TANK: 9.5 gal.
  • CURB WEIGHT: 2,530 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Spark, Honda Fit, Fiat 500
  • STICKER: $26,799 (includes $895 delivery, $919 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: As the smallest of the Prius variants, the c is intended for city driving and as such isn’t totally comfortable on the highway.

            Because of its long history and its sales volume, the Toyota Prius is the benchmark among dedicated hybrids. Among its many variants you won’t find a performance Prius, but you will find all versions of the base Prius. 
            Our tester is the Prius c, originally intended to be the “city” version. As such it is slightly smaller in size than its cohorts, with a more conservative engine. It still offers outstanding fuel economy. 
            Also, our tester is the Prius c Four, the top-of-the-line among Prius c’s four grades. And the most expensive. Prius c’s range from a base of $20,630 for the One to $24,995 for the Four.
            However, even in the Four, power is modest from the 1.5-liter four at 73 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque. With the combination of the gasoline and electric combined, acceleration is decent, and power is acceptable. The engine tends to be a bit noisy at time, though.
            We took the Prius c on a turnpike trip with some fun local driving at the end. Our tester was a bright orange (Tangerine Splash Pearl, a $395 option), so there was no fear that we might be overlooked by the big semis. It was also easy to find in parking lots.
            There’s no mistaking this car for a Prius. The front end is the same as all the others with Toyota touches. The hatchback rear is reminiscent of a crossover, giving the c good cargo capacity (17.1 cubic feet) for a small car. In general, we found the cargo capacity to be adequate, but a trip to Costco forced us to lower the rear seat backs. 
            Front seats are comfortable. There’s a nice shelf in front of the passenger that’s great for phones. It even has USB and AUX outlets in it.
            The two cupholders are inconveniently located at the base of the center stack which can make it difficult for tall cups. The center console/arm rest is small, in keeping with the car’s compact size.
            Prius dash design has come a long way. Instead of a huge blank panel facing the driver, there is now some design there. The instrument panel is centrally located atop the dash with a digital speedometer and clock, outside temperature, economy and trip odometer and range. 
            Toyota’s Entune system provides entertainment. In addition, Toyota’s Star Safety System is standard in all four grades.
            The Toyota Prius c shows its mettle with its compact crossover design, offering practicality plus utility plus economy in its last year.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Armada is now on Patrol!!!

The eight passenger Nissan Armada has undergone a change from an SUV designed primarily for the North American market to something that has a global appeal. What’s different? Bumper2Bumpertv has a look.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ready for anything, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon!

Make no mistake about it. The Jeep Wrangler is designed and built to go off road without a sweat. What makes it so tough? Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at some of its features hardened from years of experience.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

How smart is your new car? Really!!

In the past decade we have seen automotive technology evolve to nearly self-driving vehicles. While we are there quite yet Bumper2Bumpertv notes there is a lot of new tech stuff worth knowing about and how it impacts the driving experience.

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.