Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Legacy from Subaru lives up to its name.

It can claim the distinction of being one of the first All Wheel Drive platforms that was extremely reliable. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at the Subaru Legacy which has stepped up its game.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Lexus GS350 F Sport

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Lexus GS350 F Sport 
  • ENGINE: 3.5-liter V6
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 311 hp @ 6,400 rpm/280 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm  
  • WHEELBASE: 112.2 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 192.1 x 72.4 x 57.3 in. 
  • TIRES: P235/40R19 (F)/P265/35R19 (R)  
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 18.4 cu. ft.   
  • ECONOMY: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/19.1 mpg test (premium fuel required) 
  • FUEL TANK: 17.4 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,726 lbs.  
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Acura RLX, Cadillac CT6, Jaguar XF 
  • STICKER: $61,950 (includes $975 delivery, $4,420 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The mid-size GS350 exudes all the luxury and comfort one would expect from a Lexus, along with solid performance. 

            When the first Lexus LS400 debuted it was renowned for its almost silent, elegant performance. As a full-size car, it created a target other manufacturers could aim at.
            The GS350, unlike the LS400 (and later iterations) is rated as a mid-size, yet it has all the elegance and silence of the original LS. It offers a solid ride with an essentially silent engine. Very little engine or road noise intrudes into the cabin.
            Of course, since the original LS, technology has improved with regard to interaction with the car, infotainment and navigation to make the GS as interesting an experience as the LS was.
            The question is, Why does the GS even exist? when Lexus also offers the ES that is almost identical in all measurements and doesn’t require premium fuel.
            The 3.5-liter V6 offers very good power at 311 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque working through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The GS gets up and goes with ease. According to Lexus it will go from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. On highways, we had to use cruise control to stay honest. Dynamic Cruise Control kept us a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Also, a pre-collision system alerts you with lights and alarms if the car in front stops or slows dramatically. It warned me faster than my wife did.
            Our tester was the F Sport version with a host of goodies to add luxury and performance. For example, we had an 18-way power driver’s seat with thigh support and power side bolsters, 19-inch staggered width tires, larger front brakes, a limited slip differential, variable gear ratio steering, and F Sport trim options.
            A clear and informative dash faces the front passengers. The instrument panel consists of a large centrally mounted tachometer with an inset digital speedometer. The speed is also displayed on a heads up monitor that also displays the gear you are in as well as a small graphic tachometer. The information panel to the left of the tachometer has an assortment of configurations, while water temperature and fuel level are shown on the right.
            In the center of the dash is a wide angle infotainment system screen. In Map format it is a wide angle view of the area with major roads highlighted. With the audio on, the left half of the screen displays audio information, while the right half shows a smaller map. 
            Lower on the center stack is the HVAC system. It was very efficient and kept us warm on cold days.
            The multi-function wheel is heated and has paddle shifters behind it. 
            A pair of cup holders are located at the base of the center stack ahead of the shifter. Next to the shifter is Lexus’s Remote Touch Interface Controller, which has to be experienced. Essentially it is a mouse-like controller to navigate the infotainment screen. Unlike a mouse, though, it has simulated detents for each of the locations, so it is easier to locate the highlighted section. 
            My biggest complaint with the center console/arm rest is that it is too small. It is a convenient rest when using the RTIC, though.
            There are three transmission settings available with a controller on the center console to select among ECO, Normal/Customize and Sport.
            Front seats are leather and heated and cooled as well as comfortable. The rear seats offer good legroom and visibility. The pull-down armrest is more practical then the front. There are no rear cupholders but there is room in the doors for water bottles. 
            In the rear is a very good trunk with an 11-pound maximum weight hanger for grocery bags. The rear seat backs apparently do not fold down to increase cargo capacity, but 18.4 cubic feet is good for a start. 
            Within the ES already in the stable, one could question the need for the GS, but it is slightly larger and at a different price point, so the proliferation of Lexus models isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Honda Accord Hybrid

Hybrid vehicles are a fact of life these days and Honda is trying to take things up a notch with the Accord sedan version of this technology.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A world car, the VW Golf!!

Volkswagen is the worlds largest automaker and one model is a sales leader for the brand. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at the Golf Hatchback that is liked in a lot of places.

Monday, February 13, 2017

New products at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show

While it may be smaller in size than New York or Los Angeles, Chicago is a key factor in the North American auto market. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at some of the vehicles presented in the Windy City this year at the annual auto show.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2017 Chicago Auto Show, a preview!!!

Automakers get the unvarnished truth from consumers at the Chicago Auto Show and this year several manufacturers are using it to test some new product ideas, Some of them, Bumper2Bumpertv got a chance to see before the show opened to the public.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Jaguar F-Pace

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S
  • ENGINE: 3.0-liter supercharged V6
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 380 hp @ 6,500 rpm/332 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 113.7 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 186.3 x 81.5 x 65.0 in.
  • TIRES: P265/40R22 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 33.5 cu. ft. (rear seats up) 
  • ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/19.0 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 16.6 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,913 lbs.
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 5,290 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Cadillac XT5, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes GLE
  • STICKER: $57,695 (includes $995 delivery)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The all-new Jaguar F-Pace is very Jaguar-like in its overall concept, but it still needs work.

          Almost all the luxury manufacturers in the world today have ventured into the field of sport utilities. Jaguar is one of the late-comers to the segment with the F-Pace, built on the same rear-wheel drive platform as the XF and XE. The result is impressive.
          Despite its platform heritage, the F-Pace has a feel of Jaguar’s “relative,” the Range Rover. The F-Pace rides high, somewhat higher than the American competition, for example. While it is somewhat disconcerting at the start, you get used to it quickly.
          A small point. I felt that the F-Pace had a slight tendency to lean on hard cornering, and I wonder if this was a true sensation or if it was an illusion created by the high ride height. In general, though, ride quality is good, as you would expect from a Jaguar. The suspension tends to soften many minor road imperfections. 
          I also felt the F-Pace had a tendency to wander. It has a lane keeping assist feature that vibrates the wheel when you get too close to either the side lane markers or the center lane markers. 
          Exterior styling is very Jaguar, with leapers front and back and a jaguar head in the center of the large grill on the forceful front end. Hitting the key fob after dark and you notice large puddle lights by the front doors, with “Jaguar” logos in the middle.  
          It is possible to keep the keys locked in the car if you’re going to the gym or for a swim. There is a FitBit-like wrist strap with a sensor on it. All you have to do is wave the sensor at certain locations and the car will lock or unlock. Also, with the wrist strap, your pockets aren’t overloaded with keys.
          Under the hood is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that is rated at 380 horsepower. The engine is quiet most of the time but makes a ruckus on hard acceleration, and since this is a Jag, hard acceleration is part of its DNA.
          Front seats are comfortable. In our test vehicle they were leather with black inserts and red bolsters that made them striking. The four-wheel disc brakes have bright red calipers behind black 22-inch wheels, and they are striking as well.
          Pushing the start/stop button lights up the black dash. As our test unit was configured, there is a large central analog speedometer with a digital speedometer inside it. there is a smaller tachometer to the right with fuel level and water temperature gauges. The engine has start/stop technology like a hybrid. When you come to a stop, the engine shuts down, and restarts when you lift your foot off the brake. 
          The shifter for the transmission is a rotary dial. At the end of your journey, when you shift into “P,” the engine will simply shut down after about five seconds without any action to be taken by the driver. It was disconcerting at first, and I kept re-starting by pushing the S/S button, but I figured it out after a while. 
          The infotainment system screen consists of four quarters, for audio, navigation, phone and HVAC. The navigation screen shows nearby gas stations with a Google-type map. Along the bottom of the screen is a control bar, similar to a MacBook Air.
          Rear legroom is good. The F-Pace is listed as a small SUV, so legroom is in the better part of that segment. Rear seat back angles are adjustable. In addition, there are dual rear HVAC controls and the rear seats are heated. Then rear seat backs fold easily to increase an already good cargo area with a shade. There are four tie-downs on rails in the back to secure cargo. 
          Overall,, the Jaguar F-Pace is a nice vehicle. It needs work to make it a true Jaguar with better ride control. I’m looking forward to the second generation.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Honda Pilot Elite, a second look.

Is it a minivan? Is it an SUV? Is it a crossover? Bumper2Bumpertv has a second look at the Honda Pilot to figure out what the vehicle can really do.