Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 Subaru Impreza

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Limited
  • ENGINE: 2.0-liter H-4 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 152 hp @ 6,000 rpm/145 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 105.1 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 175.6 x 70 x 57 in 
  • TIRES: P205/50R17 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 20.8/55.3 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)  
  • ECONOMY: 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway/25.5 mpg test  
  • FUEL TANK: 13.2 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,015lbs./19.8 lbs/hp 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended  
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Sentra, Ford Focus, VW Golf 
  • STICKER: $29,260 (includes $820 delivery, $3,845 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Subaru Impreza is a surprisingly smooth-riding compact with decent power and economy.

            In fairness, one expects a compact car to force you to make compromises - in comfort, ride quality and performance. After all, compacts usually aren’t your first choice (Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz might be), but economics can dictate where you go. However, the redesigned Subaru Impreza is, well, Imprezzive. Sorry.
            First, front seat comfort is there, with heated leather-faced seats, a good audio system with all the usual choices, and a simple three-knob HVAC system that does the job well in oppressive heat.
            Power is okay, but not great, with the 2.0-liter boxer four producing 152 ponies driving all four wheels through a CVT transmission that has a 7-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. The engine is essentially quiet, but it does complain a bit under hard acceleration.
            Where the Impreza does feel like a compact is in ride quality. While the car is good over decent roads, it tends to feel firm over less-than-perfect surfaces. It is livable, though.
            Handling is good. The Subaru boxer flat four helps lower the center of gravity and therefore aid handling. The four-wheel independent suspension uses McPherson-type struts up front with lower L-arms, coil springs and a stabilizer bar. The rear uses double wishbones and coil springs. 
            The instrument panel is fairly standard, with a round tachometer and speedometer, and an information panel between them. We set the info panel to a digital speedometer.
            Impreza is equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite of safety features. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keeping Assist. Also included are Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Reverse Automatic Braking (the capitals are all courtesy of Subaru). These are vital safety assist features. Frankly, there are many luxury and near-luxury vehicles that are not as well equipped. 
            In use, we lit up the lights once when we triggered pre-collision braking. And, we discovered the switch to turn off the lane departure warning. Blind spot detection uses bright lights on the exterior mirror housing. Rear cross traffic alert is very handy in a small car when you’re backing out of parking spaces. 
            Cargo capacity is very good at 20.8 cubic feet normally and 55.3 cubic feet with the rear seat backs lowered. Those seat backs fold easily to create a flat floor that can hold golf bags. Additional interior storage consists of a cubby at the base of the center stack and a small center console/arm rest. 
            Rear seat leg room is good, excellent for a compact car, thanks to the 1.0-inch increase in wheelbase in the redesigned Impreza.. Also, the rear seats are comfortable. While the rear floor is flat, center seat foot room is compromised by an extension to the center console. Subaru is all about a lot of glass, so rear seat visibility is very good. Quite often, rear seat passengers can get claustrophobic, but a good amount of glass can ease those fears. 
            All in all, though, the Subaru Impreza is a very good compact car in a crowded market segment.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First look-2018 Toyota Camry, new style and new guts!!

The 2018 Toyota Camry breaks with the tradition of a staid family sedan. Bumper2Bumpertv has a first look at the lines and the drive train and what has changed.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Ford Edge

By John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Ford Edge Sport AWD 
  • ENGINE: 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 315 hp @ 4,750 rpm/350 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm  
  • WHEELBASE: 112.2 in.  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.1 x 75.9 x 68.6 in. 
  • TIRES: P265/40R21  
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 39.2/73.4 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/22.7 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 19.2 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,078 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Equinox, Acura MDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee 
  • STICKER: $47,925 (includes $895 delivery, $6,630 options)  
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Ford Edge is a good mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle, with a ride that is hampered by tire selection. 

          When you’re shopping for an SUV, you want it to have decent power, utility in the form of cargo capacity, reasonable economy, and it should look good. Ride quality is an asset.
          The Ford Edge delivers on all of these but the last, but we’ll get to that later.
          Under the sloping hood is a 2.7-liter Ecoboost (turbocharged) V6 that delivers a healthy 315 horsepower. The engine offers very good power, delivered through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is good, especially from 40-50 mph and up. It’s not quite neck-snapping, but there’s enough oomph to give you confidence. We did a lot of local driving in the Edge, but when we took it on the highway and let it stretch its legs, it did quite well.
          Cargo capacity is very good, with 39.2 cubic feet available with the rear seats up and 73.4 cubic feet available with them down. There’s a button in the cargo area that powers the seat backs down. Be sure to disconnect the rear shoulder belts first, though. There’s also storage under the cargo floor around the compact spare. The powered rear hatch can be operated with the key fob or a switch on the dash. It will also raise or lower by putting your foot in the proper location under the rear bumper.
          As I said, we drove the Edge around town a lot, but we still averaged a decent 22.7 mpg. 
          As for looks, with the Edge sitting in my driveway, we saw both an Acura MDX and a Lexus RX drive by. In profile, they were almost identical to “my” Edge. The fact that all three cars were white didn’t hurt.
          And now we get to ride quality. Our tester was shod with 265/40R21 tires. The low (40) profile of the tires contributed to a hard ride. I personally would opt for a lower diameter wheel with a tire with a thicker profile. In addition, the lower profile tires allowed a significant amount of road noise into the cockpit. 
          Maneuverability of the Edge is good. While it sits on a longish wheelbase, it isn’t that long overall, so it handles well in tight spaces, including tight parking spots. 
          Front seats are comfortable in a spacious interior. They are both heated and cooled. The console/arm rest between the front seats has a 12-volt outlet. The rear seats, which are also heated, offer excellent leg room. In addition, a low center hump allows for comfortable seating for three back there. There is room for water bottles in all four doors, besides the usual number of cupholders.
          Interior surfaces are soft touch. There is a cubby with a pop-up top at the top of the dash that is useful for phones or keys. In addition, there is a cubby at the base of the center stack that has two USB outlets. 
          There is a simple and clear instrument panel with a large, round centrally located speedometer. Accessory gauges flank the speedometer. In the middle of the dash is a clear infotainment screen. There are the usual choices for entertainment, including a CD player, something that is disappearing from many cars these days.
          The Edge was equipped with a good assortment of safety features, such as blind spot warning and a lane keeping system. One of the most useful was a pre-collision warning that would flash a string of red lights at the base of the windshield if you were approaching the vehicle in front of you too rapidly. It will work even if you have your foot on the brake, although there may have been a close tie as to which came first. I didn’t have the nerve to check to see if the Edge would actually stop itself. Fortunately, I didn’t of this, because a quick check of the owner’s manual told me that it would NOT automatically brake. 
          The Ford Edge as a whole is a nice vehicle. Out tester was hampered by what I felt was a poor tire choice. While the tires looked good, they contributed to a harsher ride that I would have preferred and also transmitted too much road noise into the cabin.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate 
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