Sunday, January 27, 2019

2019 Subaru Ascent

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Subaru Ascent
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 2.4-liter turbocharged H-4/CVT with 8-speed manual mode
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 260 hp @ 5,600 rpm/277 lb.-ft. @ 2,000-4,800 rpm
  • WHEELBASE: 113.8 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 196.8 x 76.0 x 71.6 in. 
  • TIRES: P245/50R20 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 17.8/47.5/86.5 cu. ft. (all seats up/3rd row down/2nd and 3rd rows down)
  • ECONOMY: 26 mpg city/20 mpg highway/14.5 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 19.3 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,603 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 5,000 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander
  • STICKER: $45,670 (includes $975 delivery)  
  • BOTTOM LINE: Subaru’s venture into full-size SUVs with the Ascent seems to be a good idea, with very good cargo capacity combined with good performance.

            The Subaru Ascent is Subaru’s largest vehicle ever and puts the brand squarely in the middle of the highly competitive full-size SUV market. While to some it may make the Forester and Outback look like Tinkertoys, the Ascent has three rows of seating and, if preferred, a lot of cargo capacity.
            More importantly, the Ascent provides a comfortable ride with adequate power. In addition, good handling completes the positive side of the equation. 
            Another advantage is the heating system. We drove the Ascent in cold weather (it is winter in the Northeast remember), and we were completely comfortable with a great HVAC system and heated seats and wheel. I almost didn’t want to leave the Ascent.
            Front passengers face an interesting dash. There’s a fairly normal instrument panel, but two screens dominate the center. The main screen is for infotainment, and that’s fairly normal. On top of the dash is an economy gauge screen that tells you everything you’d want to know and more about the fuel, plus the outside temperature and a digital clock. Oddly, there’s a heads-up display (HUD) for the driver but it only warns about lane departure, nothing else. The dash includes many controls for functions that requires a study of the owner’s manual to figure them all out.
            For convenience there’s a shelf in the middle of the dash. On the driver’s side it’s good for a phone or keys. The shelf is longer on the passenger side. Additional storage includes a small cubby at the base of the center stack with two USB outlets and an AUX outlet. X-mode and AVH switches are there also. There’s a nice deep center console/arm rest for larger storage.
            The steering wheel is busy with manual shifter paddles behind. 
            Subaru has installed an all-new version of its legendary horizontally opposed four cylinder engine that is 2.4-liters in capacity and delivers a healthy 260 horsepower, enough to tow 5,000 pounds if you so choose. 
            While the third row seating offers the usual tight legroom, the second row has good legroom. Second row seats are heated, and the captain’s chairs have arm rests for comfort. Additionally, the Harmon Kardon sound system offers good sound quality in the second row. There’s also a large sunroof that extends back to the second row.
            Cargo capacity, which is what an SUV is all about, is excellent. I would love to have challenged it with larger items, but we didn’t have the opportunity.
            Safety is aided by blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning, as well as a “spy mirror” instead of a sunglass holder so you can check on the antics of the children in the third row.
            Ascent’s most important feature is the total of 19 cup and bottle holders scattered around the cabin.
            Subaru’s Ascent is a welcome addition to the full-size SUV segment. It offers performance and capability is an attractive package. The Boxer 4-cylinder engine lowers the center of gravity to make it a formidable challenge to those SUVs with taller 6-cylinder engines.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Tundra TRD Pro plays with the big boys!!

Toyota has proven that a well-designed light duty truck can be created by a non domestic brand. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at the Tundra TRD Pro which is ready to tackle any kind of road even if it isn’t paved.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mazda CX9, stepping up in class

Mazda is staying on course to put some of its vehicles in the premium category. Bumper2Bumpertv recently looked at a reminder of that move with the CX9 crossover which is trying to be ready for the fancy ball

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The final winter party in Detroit

The lead players are changing the in the auto industry and so will the time when they gather to show off their new products to the world. Bumper2Bumpertv has trekked to the birthplace of the car to see what will mark the change.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Detroit Auto Show early reveals

This will be the last year the North American International Auto Show will take place in January. For some companies it was also time to get out there early with new models before the show even opened. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at two key players that took that route.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019 Honda Insight—Classy and Green

It was not a surprise when Green Car Journal honored the Insight as the best sedan offering performance and environmental awareness. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what this hybrid offers in terms of the daily driving experience.

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Kia Forte, more than a buzz box!!

Kia has given the compact Forte a serious overhaul for 2019. As Bumper2Bumpertv found in just a week behind the wheel the sedan has moved from an entry level car to something with manners and guts.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Honda Accord

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T TRG 
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4/10-speed automatic with paddle shifters 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 252 hp @ 6,500 rpm/273 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 111.4 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.2 x 73.3 x 57.1 in. 
  • TIRES: P235/40R19 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 16.7 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25.4 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 14.3 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,377 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,000 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion
  • STICKER: $36,690 (includes $890 delivery) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Honda Accord is a good solid mid-size sedan with good ride quality.

            The mid-size segment is one of the most competitive in America, with a slew of vehicles from a slew of manufacturers, all seeking a piece of the pie. Most of these sedans are pretty good, and a few are better than good. The Honda Accord is one of the latter.
            Almost from the day I began these ramblings I remember being impressed with Honda engines, especially the smaller ones. I think this harkens back to Honda’s early history as a motorcycle manufacturer. 
            While the Accord has played with larger engines in the past, notably a 3.0-liter V6, our tester was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four that proved to be perfectly adequate. The engine develops 252 horsepower, which is more than enough for a car that weighs 3,377 pounds. 
            We enjoyed brisk acceleration. We have a small hill that we travel regularly. Essentially we turn left at a stop light and floor the accelerator until we hit the speed limit, then back down. The Accord reached terminal velocity a lot quicker than many other cars, which ask for a floored accelerator to the top. As with most four-cylinder engines, there is some engine noise on hard acceleration, but the engine is normally quiet, leading to an overall quiet ride.
            Surrounding the engine is a new, more rigid, lightweight and tightly sealed body and all-new chassis design. Honda claims it’s the Accord’s most radical redesign.
            Ride quality's good, although it doesn’t deal with rougher roads very well. Handling is good, as attested to by the car’s response over some interesting winding roads we found.
            The driver faces a clear instrument panel and a heads up display that highlights economical driving. The instrument panel surround glows green for economical driving, white otherwise. The information screen in the center screen has 12 different options to scroll through from tachometer to audio to warnings. It proved very useful. In addition, it has speed limit notifications, as well as on the HUD.
            The shifter is unique to Honda vehicles, and we have used it in Acura's as well. There is a Park push button, a Reverse pull lever, neutral and drive push buttons. All light with different colors so you have a tactile feel for the different gears as well as a color sense. 
            Interior storage consists of a huge cubby at the base of the center stack that includes a charge pad. I almost lost the keys when I put them in there. This cubby also has 12-volt and USB outlets. There is a large two-level center console/arm rest that is useful. 
            In the center of the dash is a clear audio/navigation screen. The audio system offers excellent sound quality. The heating system is very efficient, almost too efficient. I got in the car on a cold day, heated up the seats and jacked up the temperature. Within a few minutes I was ratcheting everything down.
            Front seats have good side support in the kidney and thigh areas. Rear legroom is very good, but I hit my head on the roof the first time I entered. The rear seats are heated as well as the fronts. 
            Cargo capacity is a good size. The rear seat back releases are in the trunk, where they can be used when you suddenly notice that you have more stuff than the standard trunk can handle.
            Overall, the Honda Accord is a nice package that should help continue its streak as America’s best-selling car over the past 41 years, and ikea it on track for its fifth consecutive year as America’s number one mid-size car.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate