Friday, May 31, 2019

Stepping up into luxury, the Acura RDX A Spec.

With the lines between premium and luxury cars getting blurred these days Acura is making its move to move upscale. Bumper2Bumpertv has found the RDX A Spec has broken through that barrier.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Is Mitsubishi getting it right with a Plug in Hybrid ?

How does a car maker build a crossover that stands out in the pack? Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what Mitsubishi has done with the Outlander to give it “a charge “ so to speak.

2019 Dodge Durango SRT

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT392 
  • ENGINE: 6.4-liter HEMI V8  
  • TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters  
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 475 hp @ 6,500 rpm/470 lb.-ft. @ 4,300 rpm  
  • WHEELBASE: 119.8 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 201.2 x 85.5 x 71.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P295/45ZR20  
  • ECONOMY: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway/13.3 mpg test   
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 24.6 gal.  
  • CURB WEIGHT: 5,510 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 8,700 lbs. 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner  
  • STICKER: $76,450 (includes $1,495 delivery, $11,960 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Dodge Durango is, at base, a solid three-row SUV. Add SRT performance to the base package and you have a vehicle that can rock your drive.

            Three-row SUVs are getting more popular with growing families (don’t forget the grandparents) and numerous trips to Costco. Dodge Durango fits nicely into the segment. 
            Our tester, far from being a base Durango with a 293 horsepower 3.6-liter V6, was the top-of -the-line (both in trim and performance) SRT version, with a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 rated at 475 horsepower. A decent amount of exhaust roar goes along with this power, but essentially this is a quiet engine. Hit the loud pedal too enthusiastically, though, and the SRT jumps ahead. There are 413 square inches of swept brake area to stop all this performance.
            Even for its size, the Durango handles well. We had fun challenging the corners on our hill climb test.
            Inside, the instrument panel is clear, but has issues. The large centrally mounted tachometer is augmented by a 180 mph and degree speedometer that is almost impossible to read. The (legal) useable range is only two to three inches long (maybe 20-30 degrees). Fortunately, there’s a digital speedometer tucked into the lower right corner of the tach. This is one car that needs a heads up display.
            In the center of the dash is a clear infotainment screen with the usual suite of options. All the dash readouts are white-on-black with red highlights. It’s all very “Dodge,” including the typeface used for the numbers.
            Front seats are comfortable with excellent side support. The heat and vent seat controls are incorporated into the infotainment screen. Second row rear seats are comfortable with good leg room. There’s a low center hump, but a permanent two cup holders and arm rest/console preclude middle passengers in the second row. There are UConnect screens in the backs of the front seat headrests for entertainment.
            The third row bench is tight but has manageable leg room. The second row seats fold and lift for third row access.
            With the second and third row seats folded, you have a large flat cargo floor for just about anything you’d want to tote. One caveat. In order to fit the third row seats in, some base cargo capacity is compromised. For example, I had to fold the third row seat backs flat in order to get my golf bag in.
            The rear hatch is something of an anomaly that requires some learning. You can unlock it with two pushes on the fob button, but you have to lift it manually. You can power lower it with the same two pushes. Power up and down can also be achieved with button on the console above the rear view mirror. Yes, it does have a learning curve.
            Besides the large cargo area, there is good interior storage. A cubby at the bar of the center stack has two USB and an AUX outlet. There’s room for water in all four doors. And between the front seats there is a large useful arm rest/console with a 12-volt outlet and the workings of the CD player. 
            At its heart, the Dodge Durango is a good large SUV, except for the color.Our tester was painted F8 Green. Our tester was over-optioned and over-powered, but it was a good driver that was hard to park.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Finding the best ride for your family!!

Automotive journalists routinely are asked what car someone should buy. The answer can sometimes be complicated based on family size, needs, income and desires. To sort through some of those questions Bumper2Bumpertv is part of a group of journalists in Atlanta who consider that question every year.

Monday, May 20, 2019

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid 
  • ENGINE: 2.0-liter Boxer 4 
  • TRANSMISSION: Lineartonic CVT 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 123 hp @ 5,600 rpm (148 combined horsepower)/134 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 104.9 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 175.8 x 71.0 x 62.8 in. 
  • TIRES: P225/55R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 15.9/43.1 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
  • ECONOMY: 90 mpge/29.5 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 13.2 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,726 lbs.
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,000 lbs.  
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, Ford EcoSport
  • STICKER: $38,470 (includes $975 delivery, $2,500 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: While the Subaru Crosstrek has possibilities for being a good small SUV, the plug-in hybrid version simply has too many negative issues.

            I was looking forward to driving the Subaru Crosstrek because one of my daughters indicated that she might be interested in buying one when her current Subaru dies. While the Crosstrek has possibilities, the plug-in hybrid version has simply to many deficiencies. 
            First and foremost, the engine/transmission combination is noisy, too noisy. I recall the first time I drove a vehicle with a CVT transmission it was also a Subaru, a Justy. Like the Justy, the Crosstrek’s transmission whines when the car slows and whines when you accelerated back up to speed. I know CVTs have improved over the years, so I was concerned about this one. My daughter, however, said she has Crosstrek owners in her office and that haven’t indicated noisy transmissions.
            Besides the transmission, the engine is noisy all the time. Usually, engines that are noisy on acceleration aren’t too bad when cruising the highway. And Subaru boxer engines aren’t usually bad. This one was. 
            The deficiencies are disappointing, because the Crosstrek is an ideal entry into Subaru’s family of SUVs that includes the Forester and Outback. I just hope the standard version is less noisy.
            Plug-in hybrids just don’t cut it for me. In the case of the Crosstrek, you have a cargo area full of battery pack (plus the plug-in connector) all for an EV range of a mere 17 miles. Charging time is two hours at 240 volts and five hours at 120 volts. Sure, there are tax credits and a minimal effect on the environment, but one of the main reasons for an SUV is defeated by the severe reduction in cargo volume. For example, I had to lower a rear seat back just to get my golf clubs in. The bag might have made it without the battery pack.
            Complaining over, the Crosstrek is a nice small SUV, although it’s closer to a sedan/wagon. I like the size.
            One of the first things you notice is the color, of course. We had several comments, mostly positive about Lagoon Blue Pearl. The exterior color is reflected by matte blue interior accents.
            Instrumentation is clear, with an eco gauge, information panel and speedometer. You can adjust the information panel to have a digital speedometer at the top.
            The Crosstrek has two center screens. The top one is for fuel economy and all the variations. It also includes a digital clock and outside temperature gauge.
            The main infotainment screen below it is fairly standard with all the normal functions.
            Heating, ventilation and air conditioning are accomplished well. The system did a good job of heating us in the early morning, then cooling us as the day warmed up.
            Interior storage consists of a deep cubby at the base of the center stack, a useful arm rest/console that has two USB and an AUX outlet plus 12-volt access.
            Four assist handles ease entry and exit. The visors have extensions for sun blockage. 
            Handling is good. We had fun on our favorite hillclimb. There wasn’t a tendency to speed, and the Crosstrek handled corners well. 
            Rear legroom is good. There’s a fold-down armrest between the outside seats that has a pair of cupholders. The fairly tall center hump makes seating in the middle difficult. The seat backs fold easily and the cargo capacity is good without the battery pack.
            All in all, the Subaru Crosstrek could be very good, but I would not recommend the plug-in hybrid version.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate