Friday, November 29, 2019

2019 LA Auto Show

If there was any doubt that the auto industry is embracing technology in a big way it was dispelled at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Bumper2Bumpertv has an overview of a few of the highlights.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD

John Heilig

·         MODEL: 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD
·         ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6
·         TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
·         HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 311 hp @ 6,600 rpm/280 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm
·         WHEELBASE: 107.5 in.
·         LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 155.0 x 72.4 x 55.1 in.
·         TIRES: P255/35R19 (F)/P275/35R19 (R)
·         CARGO CAPACITY: 10.4 cu. ft.
·         ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway
·         FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 17.4 gal.
·         CURB WEIGHT: 3,891 lbs.
·         TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
·         COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Z, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette
·         STICKER: $57,135 (includes $1,025 delivery, $3,710 options)
·         BOTTOM LINE: The Lexus RC350 stands alone among luxury sport coupes. It has performance to go with the luxury and good handling. 

            As with many Lexus vehicles, there is an F Sport version that is sportier than the base model. So, with the Lexus RC350 F Sport, it rides lower than the standard RC350, which may account for the headaches I received every time I entered it. That door opening just seemed an inch or two too low for my body.
            Otherwise, the RC350 is a comfortable car to drive, especially with the F Sport seats that have excellent side support and really grab you once you get in.
            The exterior design is striking. I don’t there’s one straight line on the whole car. It evokes a Formula 1 car with all the scoops and air direction panels. Interior design with red seats and trim and black overall color is nice.
            The RC350 has a firm suspension, which aids in good handling, but isn’t harsh. We have roads in Pennsylvania that can challenge any suspension, but the RC handled them all and still provided a good ride.
            Under the hood the 3.5-liter V6 offers excellent power at 310 horsepower. On acceleration you almost feel as if you can go on forever (assuming you don’t have speed limits or tachometer red lines), and that’s a comfortable feeling. You feel every transmission shift, but the shifts are smooth. Even in automatic, the gear position is displayed in the center of the speedometer. I like knowing it’s not only “D” but also 1-6. When you’re in manual mode with the paddle shifters, the numerical gear is also displayed.
            The instrument panel is clear with a large digital speedometer within the encircling tachometer. Water temperature and fuel gauges are on the outer fringes.
            The driver grips a busy wheel with multiple switches to handle audio, phone, information, lane departure and radar cruise control (distance to the vehicle in front). The standard (and favorite) Toyota cruise control stalk is behind the wheel on the right side.
            There’s a nicely integrated information screen at the top of the dash. However, navigating around the screen requires ability to work the touch pad on the console, and although I’ve been using an Apple touch screen for several years, I had difficulty getting this one to behave. Perhaps it’s just that I need more time.
            There’s a good audio system and heating/cooling.
            Getting into the rear seats is an issue. Our granddaughter and her backpack had to use every contortion skill she has to get in and out. Honestly, I did’t try.
            Overall, the RC350 F Sport is a great car to drive. I had issues entering and exiting, but once inside it offered a fun, sporty ride with an abundance of power.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Friday, November 22, 2019

2020 Green Car and SUV honors revealed.

The Green Car Journal has made its choices for the best Green passenger vehicles on the road . Check out who the winners are and why.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Is the Tundra a truck or a luxury vehicle that can work?

The 2020 Toyota Tundra has a split personality. On side is as a work vehicle and the other is closer to a well-appointed SUV. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what each side offers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hyundai is betting on Hydrogen

Hyundai taking a different direction in making vehicles more Eco friendly. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at how the brand is readying itself to offer alternative power trains across the mobility platforms.

Monday, November 11, 2019

2019 Honda Civic 1.5 Touring

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2019 Honda Civic 1.5 Touring 
  • ENGINE: 1.5-liter turbocharged 4 
  • TRANSMISSION: CVT with paddle shifters
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 174 hp @ 6,000 rpm/162 lb.-ft. @ 1,700-5,500 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 106.3 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.7 x 70.9 x 55.7 in. 
  • TIRES: P235/40R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 14.7 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway/20.0 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 12.4 gal.
  • CURB WEIGHT: 2,963 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla  
  • STICKER: $28,220 (includes $920 destination)  
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Honda Civic is a very nice compact car, but it doesn’t have any “wow” factors to elevate it from being ho-hum.

            The Honda Civic is, and always has been, a very nice compact car, even though the EPA classifies it as a mid-size. It has many interesting features, and some questionable ones. 
            Among the latter there is the absence of a blind spot monitor, something I consider essential in any size vehicle. There’s absolutely nothing on the left to tell you what may be approaching. On the right, a camera located under the exterior rear view mirror picks up what’s there when you turn the signal on, and projects the image on the infotainment screen. It’s a clear view in daylight, but essentially useless at night.          
            Civic is a light car (2,963 lbs.), so therefore the 174 horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four offers enough power for merging into traffic and maintaining speed. Economy, however, was not so good. It’s listed at 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 33 overall. Granted, we didn’t accumulate many highway miles that might have contributed to better mileage, but we barely touched 20 mpg on our test in economy mode. The CVT transmission is smooth
            Economy is taken seriously at Honda. For example, there’s a bar across the top of the instrument panel that is white, but it turns green when you’re driving economically. Adaptive cruise control is a nice feature in an economy car.
            The instrument panel is clear with a large digital speedometer surrounded by a 180-degree tachometer. I found it easy to read.
            The infotainment screen is clear with the usual options. 
            Ride comfort is very good for a small car. Front seats are comfortable with some side support. Both the driver and passenger have power assisted seat controls (8-way for the driver, 4-way for the passenger), and both are heated. Rear seat legroom is good,and the rear seats are heated as well. However, every time I tried to get into the rear seat I banged by head on the door opening. Fortunately, I drove the Civic from the front seat. Four assist handles aid in entry and egress, and there is room for water bottles in all four doors.
            There’s a sliding cover on the center console/arm rest that is good for comfort, but it obscures one of the cupholders when it’s in the forward position.
            Overall, the Honda Civic is a nice package for a compact car. Sadly, there are no features that stand the Civic apart from the crowd.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate