Friday, January 31, 2020

Hyundai Venue-back to the basics!!

Hyundai first made a name for itself with small low cost cars that proved durable. Now they are offering a compact SUV, the Venue that goes back to that concept while including a lot of new technology. Bumper2Bumpertv has a first look.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Still working the segment, the Lexus ES350.

Is there still a place or interest in a luxury sport sedan? Lexus thinks there is and the latest edition of the midsize ES350 is the brand’s argument for such a vehicle. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at what is being offered.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Where tech meets torque!!!

The merging of mobility with technology is common these days. But where does this relationship start. Bumper2Bumpertv reports one place is in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Hyundai Tucson AWD



John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2020 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD
  • ENGINE: 2.4-liter 4 
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 181 hp/175 lb.-ft. 
  • WHEELBASE: 105.1 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 176.4 x 73.8 x 65.0 in
  • TIRES: P225/55R18 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 31.0/61.9 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)  
  • ECONOMY: 21 mpg city/26 mpg highway/19.5 mpg test  
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 15.0 gal. (est.) 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,475 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 1,500 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Escort, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V 
  • STICKER: $31,875 (includes $1,095 delivery, $330 options)
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Hyundai Tucson offers the best value among the other small/medium SUVs.

Over the past 35-3/4 years, we have owned a few vehicles and driven nearly 2,000 for The Auto Page. So, as this career winds down, we went shopping for a reliable (the other cars in our stable are less so) vehicle that can take us back and forth from Virginia as well as the town compost center. We chose the Hyundai Tucson.

We compared the Tucson with the competition and felt it offered the best value. To get all the safety and convenience features we desired it would have cost as much as $8,000 more from the others. Besides, the warranty will probably outlive us. 

Outside, the Tucson looks like any other small SUV with a standard two-box design. We liked the way the chrome trim worked with the black body and tinted windows.

Inside, the Tucson is all Hyundai, with ergonomically thought-out placement of controls and switches. This is one of the easiest vehicles I have driven in that regard. For example, when I wanted a heated wheel the switch was right there beside the heated seat switch. 

The Tucson Limited is powered by a 181 horsepower 2.4-liter four. A 2.0-liter four is the base engine. It drives the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission (who needs more?). Front wheel drive is standard, but we wanted all-wheel drive because of the weather in the northeast.  

Performance is smooth, although a few more horses wouldn’t hurt. The engine makes noise under stress, but basically it is quiet.Front seats are comfortable, and my wife commented on how easy it is for entry and exit. Rear seats offer very good leg room.

Modern features include a Qi wireless charger, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and USB and 12-volt outlets all around. A key selling point is the abundance of safety features that I have come to expect in vehicles these days.   

The Tucson has: forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist (that isn’t annoying), blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, electronic stability control with traction control, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring system, automatic headlights and variable wipers. Shift into reverse and there’s the (now) standard rear view camera, but there’s also an “overhead” 360-degree view that is a big assist in parking.

Many vehicles have hands free smart lift gates, where you dance on one foot and wiggle the other under the rear bumper. No dancing with the Tucson. Just approach the tailgate with armfuls of packages and the fob in your pocket and it opens automatically. This is so convenient at Christmas time when you’re frequently loaded down.

When we decided we were going to need a new vehicle, I did the requisite research. The Hyundai Tucson offered all the safety and convenience features we wanted, at a lower price than the competition. It’s a good driver, too. 

Finally, writing these reviews has been a blast for nearly 36 years. I have been blessed by the opportunity. My thanks go out to the many manufacturers who supplied me with vehicles, to the late Bethlehem Globe-Times who published the first reviews back in 1984, and to the many outlets (more than two dozen) who also chose to use them. 

Drive safely my friends.

(c) 2020 The Auto Page Syndicate

Editors note:  John will not be totally idle going forward. This means he has more time to play golf, spoil his beloved grandchildren and  enjoy his 65 MG Midget.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Boxy car with attitude

Can a utilitarian design and mission also be fun in a car? Bumpe2Bumperv thinks the KIA Soul GT Line answers that questions with an emphatic yes!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020 Lexus LS500 AWD

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2020 Lexus LS500 AWD 
  • ENGINE: 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 
  • TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 416 hp @ 6,000 rpm/442 lb.-ft. @ 1,600-4,800 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 123.0 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 206.1 x 74.8 x 57.1 in. 
  • TIRES: P248/45 R20 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 17.0 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/23.2 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 21.7 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,751 lbs. 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Mercedes-Benz S Class, Lincoln Continental, Jaguar XJ 
  • STICKER: $115,375 (includes $1,025 delivery, $35,880 options)  
  • BOTTOM LINE: As it has been since its inception, the Lexus LS 500 is an outstanding luxury sedan with all the options.

            When Lexus first came on the scene as Toyota’s luxury brand, there were only two models, ES (for economy sedan?) and LS (for luxury sedan?). From the start, the LS 400 built a reputation for nearly silent operation. It was almost eerie.
            The 2020 LS 500 fifth generation continues that tradition and adds to it with a $23,080 Executive Package option that kicks it up a notch by putting the LS into limousine status. It requires no stretch of the imagination to see an executive riding comfortably in the back doing deals. 
            Many years ago, when The Auto Page first hit newspapers, I had a yearly Christmas fantasy car column. The first entry was a Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn for the (then) enormous sticker of $137,000. This LS 500 is in the same class.
            Under the hood of the LS 500 is a twin turbo 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out an impressive 416 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined with a 10-speed direct shift automatic transmission, performance is smooth. Lexus claims a 0-60 time in the 4.5 seconds range. Okay, when you’re shooting for that time there is a slight exhaust roar, but that’s it.
            Front seat comfort is exquisite. Both front seats are powered - 28 ways for the driver, only 18 for the passenger - and heated and ventilated. You can also get a massage, which is convenient for older drivers who have backache issues. My only issue is that all settings except heater temperature are controlled through the 12.3-inch infotainment screen and remote touch interface that’s like an Apple laptop touch pad. I’m certain that with practice you can get the remote touch interface to do almost anything, but novices have difficulty “aiming” the pointer.
            With the Executive Package you get Kiriko glass ornamentation that is created using a technique that involves hand-cutting clear colors and delicate lines in glass. The door upholstery is also on a different level with deep pleating, while the dash decorations mimic the Lexus grille.
            When my granddaughters first got in the back seats their exclamations of wonder at the door decorations (like the front doors) and the fold-down armrest with its own infotainment screen. Then they discovered that the rear seats also recline (up to 48 degrees), are heated and ventilated, and also offer a massage option. Rear seat side support is very good.
            Additionally, the rear seats have fold-out ottomans and privacy screens on all windows. Rear and front doors appear to have floating door pulls. And yes, there are cupholders in the back as well as the front. You can raise or lower the window shades using the controller, and the driver also has the ability to raise or lower them. 
            For those who may be interested, there are dual sun-roofs for front and rear passengers. 
            Since the fifth generation LS is also 0.6 inches lower than previous models, there is an available air suspension with an access function. By unlocking the car with the smart key, access mode automatically raises the vehicle to make it easier to get in or out of it. 
            I admit I had difficulty navigating the infotainment screen with the mouse controller, but I loved just about every other feature of the LS500. I recommend taking one for a test ride at the very least.

(c) 2020 The Auto Page Syndicate

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Growing its Legacy, what Subaru brings to the sedan market.

Subaru is building a well thought out sedan that includes some cutting edge technology, a proven drive train and as Bumper2Bumpertv tells us an improvement in the driver and passenger experience.