Friday, August 30, 2019

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

John Heilig

·         MODEL: 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT
·         ENGINE: 2.0-liter MiVEC with twin electric motors
·         TRANSMISSION: 1-speed
·         HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 117 hp @ 4,500 rpm (190 hp with electric)/137 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
·         WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.
·         LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 184.8 x 70.9 x 67.3 in.
·         TIRES: P225/55R18
·         CARGO CAPACITY: 30.4/66.6 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
·         ECONOMY: 74 mpge/25 mpg fuel
·         FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 11.3 gal. 
·         CURB WEIGHT: 4,178 lbs.
·         TOWING CAPACITY: 1,500 lbs.
·         COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Ford EcoSport
·         STICKER: $43,920 (includes $995 delivery, $430 options)
·         BOTTOM LINE: The Mitsubishi Outlander is a good SUV, but the electric range of only 22 miles seems like much ado about nothing.

            I know that manufacturers are doing their best to comply with Federal guidelines for overall fuel economy, and I appreciate their efforts. However, the much-touted Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT is a disappointment insofar as the electric power aspect. You can get a “basic” gasoline Outlander for around $25,000. Yet, for an additional $18,000 you get a whopping 22 miles electric before it switches back to gasoline. Why?
            The 2.0-liter 4 under the hood is an under impressive 117 horsepower. The two electric motors boost that to 190 horsepower for reasonable performance through the one-speed (yes!) transmission. The tranny does have a manual shift mode, but even on our hill climb it was a “why bother?” situation.
            Obviously, there’s a lot to be desired from the performance perspective. 
            There’s an interesting shift pattern to the automatic that I’ve seen before. Push the lever left and up for reverse, left and down for drive. When you’re in drive, tap it down and you get B, which hooks up the manual mode. Paddles behind the wheel are large and not connected to the wheel.
            On the plus side, front seats are comfortable and heated. Rear seats offer good legroom. Rear passengers also have their own heating and cooling controls, plus USB and 110-volt outlets at the rear of the center console. 
            We enjoyed the proprietary Rockford Fosgate sound system.  The centrally mounted infotainment screen has the standard menu of options - FM, AM, Bluetooth, Phone, SiriusXM, Apps, iPod, settings, plus 11 more on secondary screens. 
            Cargo capacity is very good. In addition, there’s a 110-volt AC plug in the cargo area, EV plug-in connectors stow below the cargo floor.
            Overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, because of its electric limitations, is just another ho-hum SUV with the questionable feature of electric drive.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The VW Bug is going away, catch it before it disappears.

The iconic VW Beetle is in its final year of production. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at the final edition which is part of a long legacy of the brand.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A survivor of the boxer wars, the KIA Soul X Line.

After nearly ten years in the market the KIA Soul has become ubiquitous as a boxy runabout. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at some of the changes in the 2020 model year version.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A show horse or a work horse? The Ford F150 Limited.

There is no doubt that light duty trucks are able to work and in many instances also be a comfortable driving experience. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at an offering from Ford that seems to have a dual personality.

Monday, August 12, 2019

2019 Mazda3

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Mazda3 AWD
  • ENGINE: 2.5-liter 4  
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manual mode 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 186 hp @ 6,000 rpm/186 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 107.3 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 183.5 x 70.7 x 56.9 in. 
  • TIRES: P215/45R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 13.2 cu. ft.  
  • ECONOMY: 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway/18.2 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 12.7 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,248 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Forte, Volkswagen Golf 
  • STICKER: $30,635 (includes $920 delivery, $1,845 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Mazda3 is a serviceable compact car the offers a good ride but is slightly underpowered.

            The great thing about testing cars over a long period of time is change. I remember driving a Mazda3 several years ago and wasn’t overly impressed. This edition, however, offers a lot of amenities that you’d expect from a larger car at a more reasonable price. The Mazda3 is still a compact, however, and displays some of the characteristics of that segment.
            For example, ride quality is borderline good. It tends to be choppy on less-than -perfect road surfaces, but it’s fine on asphalt. 
            Under the hood is a 2.5-liter 4 that is rated at “only” 186 hp. Many cars have smaller 2.0-liter engines that deliver more power. In general, the power level of the Mazda3 is decent, although it could use a tad more. On my hill climb test, I had my foot to the floor on a couple of sections, although most of the time power was adequate.
            Also on the hill climb I used the manual shift paddles tucked behind the wheel. These paddles are smaller than most, but they work just as well. They don’t get in the way. Shifting was a lot of fun. 
            Like few cars in its segment, the Mazda3 offers a heads-up display, where your speed is projected on the windshield. Most HUDs are almost impossible to read if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses. You must tilt your head to read the HUD clearly. However, Mazda either “pre-tilts” the HUD or has compensated for the polarization issue and you can read the HUD even when you’re wearing sunglasses. 
            Front seats are comfortable with some side support. Great support isn’t necessary because this isn’t one of the Mazda’s you’d race. Rear seat legroom is cozy and passengers back there get intimate with the backs of the front seats. In addition, there’s a tall center hump that would make it even more uncomfortable for the center passenger back there.
            In the center of the dash is a larger horizontal infotainment screen. The home menu has a choice among information, entertainment, communication, navigation and settings. For entertainment, I found it impossible to change the Sirius XM station and resorted to Bluetooth and my iPhone.
            The master controller on the center console has major choices, then you can use it to “fine tune” once you’ve made a major choice. An owner should spend some time with the owner’s manual before taking the Mazda3 out on the road and trying to figure it out there.
            The air conditioner worked very well during our test. We had 100-degree weather and the AC cooled us as quickly as could be expected.
            Interior storage consists of a large cubby at the base of the center stack. Cupholders are tucked in under the center stack. There’s a medium-sized console/arm rest with a Qi charger inside plus 12-volt and USB outlets. I liked that you can slide the arm rest forward.
            What impressed me a lot was the large trunk that was wide enough for my golf bag. A foursome could make it to the course in the Mazda3 with all their gear, so long as the two in the back seat aren’t too robust.
            I have a few complaints. When you shut the car off, the emergency brake automatically sets. It won’t unset until you fasten your seat belt.
            And the radio comes on every time you start up, even if you shut it off manually.
            Overall, the Mazda3 fares well among its competition. The only knock is the tight rear seat and the difficulty in trying to tune the Sirius XM radio.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate