Sunday, November 30, 2014


With a list price of $39,150, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV is the only variant in its range to feature the 173kW/340Nm turbocharged 1.75-litre four-cylinder engine.

Helping to relay its sporting heritage, the front-wheel-drive Giulietta QV is not only exclusively tied to a six-speed manual transmission, but has also had its powerplant pinched by Alfa’s new rear-wheel-drive 4C sports car – albeit with outputs upped 3kW and 10Nm.

A significant price increase over the $24,550 entry-level Giulietta with its 88kW/206Nm 1.4-litre turbo-four, the QV does come stacked with equipment.

Apart from the obvious QV sportiva badge and logo, the top-spec Giulietta can be spotted from a distance by its tinted windows, chrome-plated window frames, satin silver wing mirrors, tinted headlights, sports suspension, rear parking sensors, twin exhaust, red brake calipers and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The only mechanical changes are the introduction of a new 148bhp diesel engine, while the existing 1.6-litre diesel engine has been tweaked to improve its economy and efficiency.

All of the Giulietta's engines remain punchy and flexibie, and the new 2.0-litre diesel is no different. The power delivery is smooth, and while it's a little grumbly around town, it quietens down nicely on the motorway.

The refined improvements over the old engine are down to a new injection system and the addition of more sound-proofing material. However, once you are up to speed, there's still a notable amount of road noise, although there is minimal wind noise from the streamlined door mirrors.

The 1.6-litre diesel engine might be more economical than before, but it's still very noisy, and a lot of vibration still makes its way into the cabin, too. The reductions in CO2 emissions mean that it drops a company car tax band, though.

The Giulietta's standard six-speed manual gearbox also disappoints, because it has a notchy action – not what you'd expect in a car that has sporting pretensions. It's a shame, because the Giulietta is composed through bends, even if the steering doesn't offer much in the way of involvement.

The ride is also unsettled and unforgiving over most surfaces. Opting for the largest 18-inch alloys only makes matters worse.

The Alfa’s asking price includes the QV’s headlamp surrounds, unique front and rear bumpers, 18in alloys and a 10mm drop in ride height, as well as Bluetooth and sat-nav on a 6.5in touchscreen inside.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


The 2014 Chrysler Town & Country has lots of standard features and a versatile seating system, reviewers say, but higher-ranking minivans offer better fuel economy and more refined handling.

With a new model on its way, likely for 2016 the Town & Country is largely unchanged for 2015, save for a newly renamed Limited Platinum trim level replacing last year's Limited.Lots of standard luxuries; responsive steering and handling; handy 1-touch folding seats; good value relative to other fancy minivans.Less spacious than primary competitors; flat third-row seats; mechanically identical Dodge Grand Caravan is far cheaper; optional touchscreen is becoming dated.The Town & Country is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that's rated at 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It's only available with front-wheel drive. 

Fuel economy is about average for the class at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.The 2015 Chrysler Town & Country is offered in four trim levels: Touring, S, Touring-L and Limited Platinum.Even the base Touring ($31,800) is chock-full of niceties, including 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, power adjustable pedals, 3-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, first- and second-row leather upholstery (cloth is a no-cost option), fold-flat rear seats, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a 6-speaker audio system, and a 6.5-in touchscreen interface with a rearview camera, USB/Bluetooth connectivity and 30 gigabytes of digital music storage. Adding navigation for $895 also includes a backup camera.

The sporty Town & Country S ($33,900) features sporty body accents such as darkened head-lamp bezels, a black chrome grille, 17-in polished alloy wheels with painted pockets and more. The S model's interior is rendered in all black with Torino leather seats (with the letter S embroidered on the seat backs), as well as contrast stitching, piano-black trim and a black headliner. It comes with a performance suspension. It is also available only in black, white, dark red or dark silver for exterior colors.

The Touring-L ($35,400) receives standard rear parking sensors, automatic high-beam head lamps and a blind spot monitoring system. Rear cross-path detection, second- and third-row window shades and eligibility for a variety of upgrades are included as well, including extra-luxurious second-row captain's chairs, dual rear entertainment screens and a power-folding third-row seat with power recline.

The newly renamed Limited Platinum ($40,900) has polished wheels, HID headlamps, leather and suede upholstery, a Blu-ray DVD player with dual 9-in screens, and knickknacks such as keyless entry with push-button ignition, a leather and wood steering wheel, navigation, and an exclusive 9-speaker, 506-watt audio system.

In government crash-testing, the Town & Country received an overall rating of four stars out of five, including four stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars in the rollover test. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed the Grand Caravan Good -- the highest possible rating -- in every category.

Furthermore, the Town & Country is available with the SafetyTec package (standard on Touring-L and Limited Platinum models), which includes rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors, SmartBeam headlamps, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-path detection.The Town & Country has plenty of power under the hood and delivers quick manual shifts with the automatic's shifter in AutoStick mode. We love the hushed, smooth highway ride, as well. Full loads rarely present a problem, though you may notice that the V6 is a bit soft at low engine speeds if you're a speed demon.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Cadillac's XTS distinctive sculpted lines hold immense visual energy and hint at something equally captivating: a newly available 3.6L 410 HP Twin Turbo direct-injection V6 engine that delivers a new level of invigorating performance with optimal efficiency. Also new to the XTS is Automatic Parking Assist. Once activated, this available system will locate a suitable parallel parking spot and then help you park your car. Stunningly modern, yet meticulously crafted. Powerful, yet efficient. Explore the XTS and discover a car that not only moves you, but accelerates you well into tomorrow.

You are safe with 10 standard airbags, the XTS is as defensive as it is dynamic. It even includes the added protection of progressive driver and front-passenger knee airbags. Not because it’s required, but because it’s a Cadillac. The XTS is engineered with comprehensive safety  5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety—the government’s highest rating—and you'll feel secure and protected no matter where your travels take you. 

Powerful yet remarkably efficient, the XTS delivers an exhilarating driving experience with a refined 30510 HP 3.6L direct-injection V6 engine. When you call for power, the XTS answers immediately.  The big soft Caddy is designed for the brand’s old-school customers and those who might set a priority of roominess and ride quality over rortiness. Cadillac XTS buyers need 410 horsepower like they need a motion-sensing touch screen and capacitive-touch climate controls. But where Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system was maddening, we’re down with the addition of a potent turbocharged V-6 between the front wheels.

The cabin in the XTS rewards each passenger individually. Pressure-mapping technology was used extensively to optimize front-seat comfort, and rear passengers enjoy separate control of the available tri-zone climate system. Room in the back-seat space in particular, it's roomier than most other sedans this size, with plenty of headroom and lots of legroom. Front seats allow plenty of space, too, though they could be a bit more supportive.

The 2014 Cadillac XTS comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, push-button start, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, satellite and HD Radio, Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. Available features include heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, a 14-speaker surround-sound audio system, a dual-screen rear-seat Blu-Ray player and a backup camera. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and automatic parking assistance are also available.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Check out the Lincoln Navigator it is a full-size luxury SUV that reigns over the Ford range;  Nothing beats driving a Navigator, not even the Escalade!

It has a V-8 engine and heavy body-on-frame construction, the Navigator has never in the past been considered very fuel-efficient. But that's improved for 2015, due to a new EcoBoost (turbocharged) V-6 engine that's been subbed in for the entire model line.

The Navigator is very similar to the Ford Expedition SUV. The long-running Navigator once shared showroom space with the Explorer-based Aviator SUV and now sits atop a utility lineup that includes the Flex-based MKT crossover and the MKX, which is based on the Ford Edge. The Navigator's main competitor is the Cadillac Escalade,  Infiniti QX80,  the GMC Yukon Denali .

The heavy update that came for 2015 keeps the Navigator in its third generation. Up until this point, the big Lincoln SUV has been powered by one engine, a 5.4-liter V-8, paired with an automatic transmission and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The package has also included seating for seven, a leather-lined interior, and Lincoln styling to differentiate it from its near-twin, the Ford Expedition.

The new EcoBoost V-6 makes 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque -- more than the V-8 on both counts -- and the 2015 Navigator now includes standard magnetic ride control, with continuous damping; furthermore the instrument panel has been refreshed, and the Navigator at last includes the latest version of MyFord Touch, plus a blind-spot system with cross-traffic alert, and a revised feature set. Gas mileage numbers are up to 16 mpg city, 22 highway with rear-wheel drive. 

In its first generation, which included the 1998-2002 model years, the Navigator gained instant status among celebrities, athletes and music stars for its urbane touches and its tough ability. SUVs were popular, gas was cheap, and the chrome-crusted Navigator hit an upscale demographic right on target. Its 230-horsepower V-8 teamed with a four-speed automatic for uninspiring acceleration, and handling rated along the same lines--with even its off-road ability ignored in favor of wood trim, high-powered audio systems and rear-seat LCD screens with DVD players. Power rose to 300 hp through the years, and the Navigator added side airbags, reverse parking sensors and an optional navigation system to its equipment list.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


A medium sized sedan, the Opel Insignia fills a void left by small and large cars that people may not want because of the size. The Insignia isthe flagship of Opel’s mid sized cars.

As with the Opel Corsa and Opel Astra, the Insignia’s predecessor has history in Australia as a rebadged Holden – though it was then known as the Vectra.

At first impression the Insignia is appealing with its more interesting shape – whether in the sedan or wagon forms being offered locally.

Behind the driver’s seat and the Insignia further distances itself from the Vectra. There’s a far more premium look and feel to the cabin.

The Insigina's interior design element is how the door trim arcs almost seamlessly into the dash in a way that are reminiscent of the Jaguar XJ and Audi A7 cabins.

The symmetrical centre stack also has a functional setting which is appealing to those who like their buttons and controls at hands reach.

Opel has decided to pitch its Insignia at the upper end of the mainstream medium car category, so there’s also a grouping of standard features that reflect pricing that starts at $38,990.

Even that entry point delivers leather upholstery with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and humidity sensor, leather steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels.

One of the tims levels called Select, which begins at $45,490 and slots bigger 19-inch alloys onto the wheel hubs, brings a sportier-looking steering wheel and pedal set, adds ventilation to the front seats, puts the driver in a seat certified by German ergonomics experts, spruces up the dash with a colour sat-nav system, and illuminates the road ahead with a larger array of lighting set-ups including LED daytime running lights and bi-xenon headlights that can peer around corners.

Behind those is a rear bench with sculpted outer pews that show Opel is honest about the comfort the middle rear seat will provide adults.

Most passengers should be content with rear legroom, though taller occupants will find rear headroom is compromised by the Insignia’s sloped-roof design.

The Insignia proved to be a pleasantly quiet cruiser on the country roads and freeways in NSW’s Hunter Valley region, complemented by a 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that provides smooth and punchy progress.

It’s no slow-coach off the line, either, with a quoted 0-100km/h of 7.8 seconds, or 8.1 if you opted for the more practical wagon, or 9.6/10.1sec if your choice is the more efficient 2.0-litre turbo diesel variant that uses an official 5.7 litres per 100km versus the petrol’s 8.8L/100km.

Apart from some mild lag if asking for more than light throttle, the petrol engine’s turbocharger is almost omnipresent – in a positive or negative way depending on the buyer.

There’s a noticeable whistle as the turbo spools up before an equally subtle-free whoosh is heard as the wastegate dispels the exhaust gases.

The six-speed auto seems smart enough at picking gears, though paddleshift levers behind the steering wheel wouldn’t go amiss for this particular engine (the gearlever has a tipshift manual mode, though).

There were too few opportunities for us to assess the Insignia’s dynamic qualities, but can report the steering is good for its weighting but not so good for its feedback.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


The 2015 GMC Canyon has a standard four-cylinder engine or an optional V6 engine. The engine is strong for everyday driving and that V6 models have good power for towing and hauling. An automatic transmission is offered with either engine, and four-cylinder models are also available with a manual transmission. The larger engine V6-powered Canyon has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/26 mpg city/highway, which is above average.  

The Canyon is perfect for work and load and even more perfect for all around the property of large lands. With it's EPA fuel-economy rating of 17 mpg city and 24 highway for a truck equipped with the V-6 and four-wheel drive, the Canyon—and the Colorado, for that matter—may not be the best in fuel efficiency, but it still easily beats the Tacoma, and a diesel model is scheduled to arrive next year. And like its Chevy sibling, a Canyon equipped with the 3.6-liter V-6 and the $250 trailering package can tow 7000 pounds—at that cost, we wouldn’t leave home, er, the dealership, without it.

Both 2WD and 4WD variants are available, in either extended cab or crew cab styles, with a choice of a 6’2” bed, or, for crew cab models, a shorter 5’2” bed. Also, three trim lines will be offered: base, SLE, and SLT. An All-Terrain package will also be offered, available on SLE models, adding 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, and a body-color grille surround, as well as off-road tuned suspension.

The 2015 GMC Canyon has a large cabin design and upscale materials. The front seats are very supportive and remark that the cabin is whisper quiet at high speed. Those serious about off-roading will want to remember that GMC calls its version of the off-road package the “All-Terrain Package” (Chevy’s is Z71). It brings an automatic-locking rear differential and tow hooks (both standard with four-wheel drive), hill-ascent and -descent control, a transfer-case shield, 17-inch 255/65 all-terrain tires, a body-color rear bumper, and some minor interior tweaks designed to keep things comfortable inside while roughing on the outside.

The extended cab's rear seats aren't comfortable for adults. The crew cab has sufficient back-seat space for adults. The Canyon comes standard with a rearview camera and a USB connection which is highly usable in today's dern world. Optional features of the Canyon include GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system, navigation, Bluetooth, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, lane departure warning and forward collision alert. The IntelliLink is intuitive and the system’s controls are easy to reach, making this pick up truck perfect for today's world.

So in conclusion the Canyon is best all around for you if you don't need an industrial sized pick up but you do need power for your every day country or even urban work loads.

Friday, November 21, 2014


There are many cars or SUV's being used in the Suburbs. Below are three of the most unexpected cars for the big city that are small and spend a lot less than most other vehicles on fuel. So what ever you do choose maybe the following three vehicles can help you make a decision on what small car you should buy for the big city.

The 2015 Soul has a nice setup and drive characteristics supported by a premium interior for five that far exceeds its $17,100 (equipped with automatic transmission) base price. The interior by itself could make this one of the best cars for city living. Bright paint hues and crisp boxy styling make the Soul stand out in traffic. The exterior design yields a spacious 61.6 cu-ft. maximum of cargo volume and 39.6 inches of headroom. A 6-speed automatic backs up your choice of either 1.6- or 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engines, with 130 and 164 horsepower, respectively. Maximum fuel economy is 24 mpg city/31 mpg hwy. 

Electric power steering gives a  turning radius of 34.8 feet, and combined with a trim 163 inches of length and 70.9 inches of width, allows the Soul to squeeze into tight parking spaces. This front-wheel-drive compact crossover has good acceleration and a well-damped ride over rough pavement. Base models include a new UVO 1 eService package that comes with Geo Fence, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score features. Available enhancements include a , rear seats and steering wheel, panoramic moonroof and heated front seats. Also new for 2015 is the Soul EV all-electric model (limited availability), but it starts at $33,700 for the base model. 

Hybrid vehicles are the best in urban settings, and Toyota's Prius c (c for city) is at the top of the list. Pricing begins with the Prius c at $19,080. The Prius c has good dimensions of 157.3 inches long, 66.7 inches wide and a turning radius of 31.4 feet. Interior dimensions measure 87.4 cu ft. of passenger volume and 17.1 cu ft. of rear cargo volume. The interior has been upgraded with new soft-touch panels and on board infotainment with a USB port and an available display audio system with navigation and the Entune App Suite. The Prius c model's Hybrid Synergy Drive system (the total hybrid system output is 99 hp) integrates the operation of components that include a gasoline engine, an electric motor within a CVT, a nickel metal hydrid battery, a power control unit (inverter), a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter and a hybrid control computer. For urban drivers, the Prius c offers three drive modes: Normal, ECO and EV. In ECO mode, reduced overall energy consumption occurs by governing climate settings and throttle to increase vehicle efficiency. In peak operating mode, the Prius c can achieve 53 mpg in the city. Toyota indicates that, in optimal conditions, EV Mode enables the Prius c to be driven exclusively on electric power for just under one mile while staying under 25 miles per hour. 

A newer-model, the overhauled Fit maintains the previous generation's good visibility, which is a big plus for city driving. Honda's Fit LX, outfitted with a CVT and paddle shifters, starts at $16,450. On the street, the Fit measures 160 inches long and 67 inches wide. Equipped with a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 130 hp (the only engine offered), power is down from some of the other vehicles listed here, but fuel economy is up with an output of 33 mpg city/41 mpg hwy per the Environmental Protection Agency's ratings. The Fit is a small vehicle yet has surprising acceleration and a 35.1-foot turning radius. The Fit also offers a vgood space of 52.7 cu ft. of interior cargo space and 39.5 inches of headroom. Seating is comfortable for four adults, and you can squeeze in five passengers in a pinch. Standard safety features includes Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors, electronic brake distribution, brake assist and Honda's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Hybrids are beginning to catch on not only with the public but also with car makers such as Hyundai and Ford who plan to bring out their own new versions soon. So as the old saying goes "competition is good for development and prices" the future with Hybrids is unfolding before our eyes in the 21st century. 

So Hyundai and Ford now plan to offer dedicated hybrids, vehicles designed specifically around a hybrid powertrain that offer no gasoline only version, but aside from the now-defunct Honda Insight, there have been no other volume cars designed solely as hybrids.That will apparently change in 2016 and beyond.

The advantage of a dedicated hybrid is apparent that every aspect of the car can be optimized for efficiency, rather than having to adapt the electric motor(s), battery pack, and associated electronics into an existing car designed largely for gasoline engines.

As for what it might look like the Hyundai hybrid may well be the current incarnation of its Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept, first shown back in 2009 and 2010.

The spy shots of Hyundai hybrid development mules published by Autoblog don't show a plug, so it seems likely Hyundai will first launch a conventional hybrid model before extending the new range to include a plug-in variant.

The first model of the new Hyundai hybrid could be introduced as early as next year, making it a 2016 model.The Korean maker has not offered a hybrid version of its redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan. Instead, the 2015 Sonata Hybrid is a carryover model using the body of the previous-generation car.

Whether Hyundai would launch the dedicated hybrid while maintaining a Sonata Hybrid model in the new-generation car is unclear. That's the path followed by Toyota--which offers both the Prius and a Camry Hybrid sedan.

Hyundai is far less established in the hybrid market, however, and may choose to focus its near-term efforts on the dedicated hybrid--which may, like the Prius, become a family of hybrid vehicles over time. 

Based on the Blue-Will concept car, there is undoubtedly a plug-in hybrid model to come. At this point, it's clear that pretty much every major global automaker will offer at least some plug-in hybrids for sale by 2020--though volumes remain highly debatable.

The development mules came in two different lengths, perhaps indicating not only a competitor for the well-known Prius Liftback, but also one for the Prius V wagon. Meanwhile,Ford has a new project to develop a dedicated compact hybrid vehicle, known currently only by its project number of C240.While the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Energi models are effectively dedicated hybrids in North America, they were first designed and built with gasoline and diesel engines in Europe and other markets. The hybrid came later, as a sort of retrofit.

The new 2019 hybrid would be built on Ford's upcoming C2 compact vehicle architecture, the successor to the current design used for vehicles that include the Ford Focus sedan and hatchback, C-Max tall hatchback, and Escape crossover.

The powertrain is expected to be an evolution of Ford's current system, which presently pairs a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with a two-motor hybrid transmission and a lithium-ion battery pack.

Ford, too, could offer a family of hybrids, inevitably including an Energi plug-in hybrid model. According to the report, the company expects to build up to 120,000 per year at its Wayne assembly plant outside Detroit.In all of 2013, Ford sold 86,038 hybrids across five models. It has sold 54,192 in the seven months so far this year.

Next year, Ford will become the largest maker of aluminum vehicles in the world, when the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 goes into full production.

The weight reductions from such a lightweight body might give Ford an edge on a 55-mpg 2016 Prius, if Toyota's fourth-generation car remains all-steel.

It's unclear whether the cost of aluminum four years later would make a 2019 Ford hybrid simply too expensive to compete with the Prius. Toyota benefits from the economies of scale of building more hybrids than any other carmaker.

Still, we have several years to learn about the future Ford--whereas the Hyundai hybrid is likely to arrive within a couple of years.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The 2015 GMC Acadia has gone through some changes. The Acadia is part of a group of vehicles that includes the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse--and has included the Saturn Outlook in the past.

The Acadia has alot of room and can seat up to eight passengers, but it's more accurately described as a crossovervehicle, since it offers all-wheel-drive as an option (which most drivers prefer), and doesn't have sliding side doors. As such, it's a rival for vehicles that also come this close to being minivans--vehicles like the Ford Flex, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Highlander.
MORE: Read our full review of the 2015 GMC Acadia

Back in 2007 GMC introduced the Acadia. It shares its Lambda platform with several other current and past GM crossovers, and was originally intended to take up where three GMC and Pontiac vehicles—the Pontiac Montana SV6 minivan, the GMC Envoy and Envoy XL SUVs—left off. The Acadia is notable as being the first front-drive model in a GMC showroom and the brand's first unibody vehicle.

The 2015 Acadia crossover still gets power from a 288-horsepower, direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. Most of its rivals, such as the Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, start several thousand dollars below this price point, but are less powerful and can't match the Acadia's 5,200-pound towing capacity. The EPA rates the most efficient model, the front-wheel-drive Acadia, at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

The Acadia can be ordered with all-wheel drive, but since there’s no two-speed transfer case or four-wheel-drive low range, there really isn't much off-road capability. Which of course is not feasable for off road enthusiasts or people who require off road capabilities.

The Acadia has a an easy layout that sits somewhere between a minivan and a GMC Yukon. It can fit either seven or eight passengers in three rows of seats, depending on whether a bench or a pair of captain's chairs are selected for the second row. The third row is actually useful, and even when it's being used the Acadia offers 20 cubic feet of storage space behind. With all of the seats folded, the space expands to 115 cubic feet. 

The Acadia offers four trim levels: SL, SLE, SLT and Denali. Standard features for all models include cruise control, full power accessories, front and rear air conditioning, and a full array of airbags. Options include 20-inch chrome wheels, unique roof racks and an iPod/USB port located in the bin atop the center air vents. The Denali doesn't get a distinct drivetrain, but it does receive new grille and bumpers, HID headlamps, 20-inch wheels, tri-zone climate control, DVD navigation with real-time traffic, Bluetooth connectivity, leather trim and heated and ventilated front seats.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


The 2015 Volvo V60 is a brand new wagon that comes standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and reviewers say it feels very powerful and has great acceleration off the line. It comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission that test drivers agree shifts smoothly. A turbocharged five-cylinder engine and a turbocharged six-cylinder engine are available. 

Both come with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The base V60 gets an EPA-estimated 25/37 mpg city/highway, which is outstanding for a wagon. Automotive journalists are impressed with the V60’s comfortable ride and composed handling. The V60 corners with little body lean, especially with the optional sport chassis, and has accurate steering and strong brakes.

The V60, launched this year along with a mid-cycle refresh to the S60 sedan it's based on, is more of a large five-door hatchback than a classic Volvo wagon. It's a low, sleek, stylish adaptation of the sedan in which a descending roofline supplants the trunk with a steeply raked rear window and opening liftgate. Cargo space is minimal, at least for those U.S. households that tend to carry lots of sports gear--and home-renovation goods, and literally the kitchen sink--at the drop of a hat. Fold down the rear seat, and you get just 43 cubic feet in which to put...well, the stuff people haul around in wagons.

If you want the big, boxy wagon-like Volvo, head for the XC60 crossover utility vehicle that's closely related to the S60 and V60. It's got more than twice the V60's cargo space.

tandard features in the 2015 Volvo V60 include Volvo’s City Safety system, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB input, satellite radio and Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, which comes with a 7-inch display. Available features include navigation, adaptive cruise control, an automated parallel parking system, a remote starter, a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system and a touch-screen version of the Sensus infotainment system called Sensus Connected. 

Other optional features include front and rear cameras and parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, driver distraction monitoring and a system that scans and responds to road signs.

• Blind Spot Information System
• Cross traffic alert
• Front and rear park assist
• Lane change merge aid
(Optional T5)
• Steering wheel gear paddles
• 19" Bor alloy wheels
• Sport chassis

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Balancing between crisp and fluid, edgy and smooth, the ILX's exterior is a more youthful take on a compact luxury car than you'll find elsewhere in the segment. The fenders swell gently from the sides, there are character lines to accent its shape, and the greenhouse arches gracefully ove the passenger compartment. On the whole it's a handsome, if not lust-inducing, sedan. Inside, it's a pleasant place to travel, looking like a typical Acura: edgy curves, contoured surfaces, and easy-to-read gauges.

There are two versions of the ILX available, named for their drivetrains: the 2.0 and the 2.4L. The 2.0L offers a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter engine rated at 150 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic with paddle shifters is standard. It scores an EPA-estimated gas mileage rating of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. 

Most owners think the 2015 Acura ILX is not as luxurious as some competitor. We think that the interior is attractively styled with quality materials. Some owners think the front seats are supportive and roomy, and some say that the back seat is spacious for a compact car. Cargo space is average, according to reviewers, but other owners complain that the trunk has a narrow opening. 

The seat back doesn’t split to allow cargo to pass through with a passenger or two in the back seat. Some auto writers think the ILX’s dashboard has too many buttons, but most note that the infotainment system is easy to use. A rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, leather seats, Bluetooth, a USB port and Pandora Internet radio compatibility are standard. A Technology package that features navigation and a 10-speaker ELS surround-sound audio system is available.

Considering the ILX model's enticing starting price of around $28,000, it may not have the commanding power and presence of past premium sedans. This is why we think the competition is safe from this under performing vehicle. Aside from the affordable price tag, nothing big has changed with the Acura ILX.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Because of the success Ford has had with it's Mustang around the world, it  has now begun testing a new prototype with a right hand sided steering wheel and right side drivers seat. For the 50th anniversary of its launch, Ford redesigned the Mustang with features that would make it more appealing to customers who live in countries that require drive on the right side of the road. The new Mustang features an independent rear suspension and a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The first right-hand-drive Mustangs will go on sale sometime in the first half of next year after the home-market launch this fall. All Mustangs will be made in Ford’s Flat Rock, Mich., assembly plant.

Ford engineers recently finished building the handmade prototype, which will be used in various developmental tests in coming months. The redesigned 2015 Mustang was developed to sell more widely in global markets for the first time. Ford plans to market right-hand-drive Mustangs in 25 markets including the United Kingdom are right handed , Australia is also turning Right and South Africa that is right make there move to Right sider's. Until now, the Mustang has been a left-hand-drive vehicle only, designed and manufactured primarily to sell in its home North American market.

The all-new 2015 Mustang features a refreshed engine lineup, revised drivetrain, a clean-slate platform and a fully independent suspension. Let's take a closer look at the key technical 

The right-hand-drive version is part of Ford’s effort to globalize its iconic pony car. Ford now will sell the Mustang in more than 120 countries, including 56 new left-hand-drive markets and 25 right-hand-drive countries.

Mustangs have been sold in small numbers outside the U.S. since the car debuted in 1964 -- about 161,000 cars in total. But the only right-hand-drive versions were created by do-it-yourself enthusiasts using often-expensive conversion kits.

Ford says about 4,000 Right hand turns Mustangs were sold in 35 countries outside North America last year including the United Arab Emirates right, Chile and the Philippines. check out more at: Ford

Monday, November 10, 2014


The new 2015 Infiniti QX80 is a full-size SUV, designed for towing a heavy trailer, carrying passengers in luxurious comfort, or doing some serious off-roading. Changes for the 2015 Infiniti QX80 are primarily related to styling and trim updates. Starting with the SUV's exterior, the new QX80 gets a redesigned grille, new bumper with an integrated lower grille and flush-mounted sonar, LED headlights and fog lights, and a standard rear bumper protector. New 20- and 22-in. wheel designs debut for 2015, along with new paint colors called Hermosa Blue, Graphite Shadow, and Majestic White.

The QX80 is a spacious beast, with a high seating position and big front chairs that don't lack for room in any direction except where knees meet the center console. Ventilated front seats are an option. As for the second row, there's plenty of space for two adults there (perhaps three for shorter distances), and the leather seats can be heated. Second-row bucket seats are available, and we do prefer them. There's a third-row bench as well, but don't think that given the QX80's mammoth proportions it's usable by anyone but small children. Behind it, there's enough space for moderate shopping duty, but the third-row seat can be powered down to expand cargo space to 95 cubic feet.

Infiniti makes its darker Mocha Burl wood trim standard, and adds it to the steering wheel. QX80s with the Graphite-color interior add new silver contrast stitching and accents for the controls.

With its higher ground clearance, thinner profile and lighter side glass, the kinship is there. The QX80 may have the tall forehead and cheesy fender vents, but its interior is a handsome blend of leather, burled wood and metallic trim, all arranged with logical controls and strong, masculine lines. The 2015 refinements for the QX80 include a wider range of trim options, and more visual differentiation between those choices.

All 2015 QX80s come with a 5.6-liter V-8 delivering 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, with drive going to either the rear wheels or all four via a seven-speed automatic transmission. The engine’s numbers might not seem high, but it’s enough to tow up to 8,500 pounds and provide adequate performance for this big and burly three-row SUV. This big ute can hit 60 mph in a surprisingly quick seven seconds, while gas mileage is no surprise -- a low 14/20 mpg. And despite being built by the same company that's responsible for pioneering the first mass-market electric car ever, there's still not an alternative drivetrain in sight for this model line.

You do get surprisingly off-road-worthy underpinnings, though, with full-time four-wheel drive with a real low drive ratio. Torque is biased to the rear, but can be split 50:50 between the front and rear axles when wheels start slipping. It’s fairly simple and effective—more so with the QX’s standard hill-start-assist electronics. Ride quality is excellent, too, in the QX80, even if you get the 22-inch wheels that are available on the most expensive versions. The QX's steering feel is light -- perhaps too light -- but its brakes are big and powerful. There’s an automatic leveling setup on the rear end for towing duty (the QX will drag 8,500 pounds behind it), as well as available Hydraulic Body Motion Control, air pressure at individual wheels to help damp out body lean (a feature not entirely worth the extra cost).

The QX80 remains a standout for those who want a vehicle that feels plush and exclusive; and that's even more the case for 2015 with the introduction of a new Limited model. In the new 2015 Infiniti QX80 Limited, you get a new Truffle Brown cabin marked by a palette of brown, black and silver leather and wood appointments and trim. Quilted leather seats, a suede-like headliner, silver accent piping, leather-wrapped speaker grilles for the instrument panel are among the many dress-ups. 

Some of the much anticipated new features in the 2015 Infiniti QX80 include adaptive headlights that automatically dip the high beams if another vehicle is approaching, and a collision warning system that can detect if an accident is imminent with an object ahead of the vehicle. Other fancy tech features include brake assist, a backup collision warning system, adaptive, and blind spot and lane departure warning systems. There haven't been any U.S. crash-test results for the QX in recent years.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


The Mazda CX-9 is a full-size crossover SUV manufactured by Mazda at the Ujina 1 plant in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.

The CX-9 is built on the Ford CD3 Platform that is shared with the Ford Edge, and it uses the same 3.7 L V6 engine used in the Ford lineup. Although outwardly similar, the CX-9 and Mazda CX-7 do not share platforms.

The Mazda CX-9 is one of just a few truly family-sized large crossovers that have both sportier driving dynamics and a usable third row. It's also been one that carries a design and style that's a little edgier than the crossover norm -- especially when it was originally introduced. 

The CX-9 is the largest vehicle wearing a Mazda badge, with generously sized front buckets and a three-person 60/40-split bench seat in the second row that features up to five inches of fore-and-aft adjustability. Wide-opening rear doors are great for access to the second and third rows but are slightly unwieldy in tight parking spaces. As in most seven-passenger crossovers, the third row is for preteens old enough not to need a booster seat and young enough to consider the trek back there an adventure. For adults, the way back is short on leg- and headroom, although sliding the second row forward can increase knee space in a pinch. 

The second- and third-row seats fold seamlessly with easy-to-use handles and straps. When down, the seats create a nearly flat floor. There’s a hidden storage compartment under the cargo floor large enough to stash a laptop case and camera or a couple of purses. Overall, stowage space is greater than in the Pilot and Explorer but less than in GM’s offerings. A power liftgate is standard on the Grand Touring and optional on the Touring as part of the Touring Technology package.

The CX-9 retains V-6 power and its size and capabilities now neatly complement the CX-5--which itself wins rave reviews for being both practical and fun to drive--for families who need more space but don't want to give up driving pleasure. The underpinnings of the CX-9 are related to those of the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, but Mazda has produced a very different look and a far sportier driving feel than either of those models.

In appearance, the Mazda CX-9 is curvier, with more aggressive sheetmetal and flared fenders, than its siblings under the skin. But it maintains an overall look that makes no allusions to off-roading. Its strong, 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 feels more powerful than most engines in its class, and it's paired with a six-speed automatic that does a great job on quick downshifts when needed. Buyers can opt for front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Rated towing capacity is up to 3,500 pounds.

The three-row CX-9 is agile, comfortable, quiet, and nicely finished. Power comes from a smooth and refined 3.7-liter V6, but its 16 mpg overall is not stellar by today's standards. Handling is taut and agile, and the ride is firm and steady, yet comfortable. 

The cabin is quiet and interior trim is attractive and well assembled. As in many SUVs, the 60/40-split second-row seats slide fore and aft for greater second- or third-row leg room. The third-row seat is relatively hospitable and easy to access. The optional blind-spot detection system works well. Reliability has been above average. We can no longer recommend the CX-9 because it scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap crash test. 

The CX-9 is just what you imagine would happen if you cut loose the folks who created the Miata, RX-7, and 3 to design and engineer a Zoom-Zoom-worthy family hauler. Here at Car and Driver, the CX-9 has been at or near the top of our drop-down menu of favorite three-row crossovers since its 2007 introduction. 

Friday, November 7, 2014


The Mazda 2 also know as the Mazda Demio is a supermini car produced by the Japanese manufacturer Mazda since 1996, currently in its third generation. It is also marketed globally as the Mazda2 and previously under other nameplates, including Mazda 121, Mazda Metro and Ford Festiva Mini Wagon, being at foundation an XUV.

The 2016 Mazda 2 looks more or less exactly like the Hazumi, minus the concept’s big wheels, and the biggest compliment we can give is that it resembles a shrunken Mazda 3 hatch. There’s nothing else in its segment right now that looks anywhere near as upscale or attractive as the new 2.

The dashboard is low and largely free of buttons or extraneous flair, and we really dig the three-vent HVAC layout—one at each end of the dash and one central vent—even though we’re not sure how rear passengers will fare. Like the Mazda 3, it appears as though there are two gauge-cluster designs: one with a digital speedometer embedded in a centralized tachometer for higher trim levels, the other with a central speedo and a smaller digital tach for entry-level versions. Both designs ape the McLaren 12C’s gauge pod to good effect.

The interior is a world apart from the previous car, with stacks of character and style built into a solid, intelligently designed cockpit that keeps everything essential within easy reach of the driver. The high, dash-mounted gearstick is excellent, and all the basic controls and instruments are clear and just where they should be. There’s a reasonable amount of space in here too, with the option of five doors making access to the modest rear more manageable. Boot space is fine at 250 litres, and you can more than triple that by folding the rear seats.

The Mazda2's stark interior and simplicity can remind us a bit too much of older, simpler small cars. Some of those attributes include its short wheelbase, which produces fore-and-aft bobbing on choppy highway surfaces, and the many hard-and-hollow trims found inside--more than many alternative vehicles of the same price and size.

Designed using Mazda’s ‘Kodo’ design language - also deployed on the CX-5, Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 – the new Mazda 2 is one of the sharpest-looking superminis you can buy. Short overhangs give it a squat, sporty stance, while the chrome wing running under the grille and into the (optional) full LED headlights has a more sculptural, three-dimensional look than any other model in the Mazda range.

Available with 15-inch steel wheels on entry-level models, and 15 to 16-inch alloys on higher-spec versions, there’s 10 exterior paint colours to choose from. On the inside Mazda’s designers have created the most premium-looking cabin this side of an Audi A1.

In appearance, the Mazda2 follows Mazda's current design direction quite closely, with a simple, neat look overall and a front end that's a more modest iteration of the brand's 'grinning' look. Mechanically, the front-wheel-drive Mazda2 has what sounds like an old-school economy-car powertrain—a 100-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and a five-speed manual gearbox or four-speed automatic. But thanks to great steering and suspension tuning—as well as a light, 2,300-pound curb weight—we've found the Mazda2 to be a lot of fun to drive, especially in the city.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern and reliable. 

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a real nice sports car anyone could drive, and one of the more unlikely successes of the modern automotive era. The Mazda was Designed in the 1980s as an homage to the classic British roadster, the Miata offered up all the driving fun of those sports cars, but virtually none of the ownership pains. 

A real nice black windshield surround similar to that of the 2015 25th Anniversary edition car will be standard, and it helps accentuate the sleekness of the car. It also matches the darker wheels that Mazda will be specifying for most versions. 

Not only will these wheels will not show brake dust, but the fact that they visually blend with the tire sidewalls helps achieve the look of a full wheel well even in 16- and 17-inch sizes.

Inside the new MX-5 Miata, which will share its architecture but not its styling or engines with a Fiat roadster, much of the gear is borrowed from the Mazda 3, including the rotary control knob in the center console and the infotainment screen perched atop the dashboard. The high-backed bucket seats that have always graced the Miata’s cockpit appear again here. 

Other cool features we noticed: two USB ports on the center stack, a couple of flimsy pop-up cup holders near the rear bulkhead, and a windblocker that looks similar to outgoing car's. We also spotted two sensor openings at the top of windshield behind the rearview mirror, indicating the Miata likely will offer at least adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning.

Inside, the 2015 Mazda Miata is powered by a four-cylinder engine, and reviewers say that while the Miata is less powerful than many affordable sports cars, it still offers sprightly acceleration. A five- or six-speed manual transmission is standard, depending on the trim, and test drivers are delighted with the precise shifter and light clutch action that the manual transmissions offer. An automatic transmission is available. 

According to reviewers, the Miata is an absolute joy to drive, with incredibly athletic handling and responsive steering. They say the Miata offers an overall sense of being connected to the car (and planted to the road) that few other sports cars can replicate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


The Volvo XC60 is a luxury crossover vehicle that's offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. It's a mid-size vehicle, though by American standards it leans a little toward the compact end of the spectrum.

The 2014 Volvo XC60 is a 5-passenger crossover SUV model available in front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions, 10 trim levels, and a choice of two 6-cylinder engines. Competitors include the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X1, Infiniti QX50, and the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.

The XC60's design leans toward the sophisticated side, with a contemporary front and a rather avant-garde rear. It's those vertical taillights that are the signature style of the XC60.

Options for the 2014 Volvo XC60 vary depending on the trim level selected, but highlights include rear child booster seats, myriad safety features, heated seats and steering wheel, wood trim, and a leather-clad dashboard.

Some standard amenities include dual-zone climate control, leather and aluminum interior accents, power driver's seat with 8-way adjustment and memory, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio service, and 18-in. alloy wheels. Volvo also adds an infotainment system featuring a 7-in. display screen, and backs every XC60 with free factory-scheduled maintenance for the first 30,000 miles.

Buyers who opt for one of the 2014 Volvo XC60 3.2 models will be working with, as the name suggests, a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is charged with delivering output to the front or all four wheels.

For T6 variants, Volvo employs a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder that generates 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. The same engine is utilized in the XC60 R-Design, though in that application the power ratings have been bumped up to 325 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque.

Volvo equips the 2014 XC60 with 6 air bags, front active head restraints, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, rain-sensing wipers, and a rearview camera (limited to higher trim levels). Options include forward-collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure warning, front and rear park-assist sensors, bright HID headlights, cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and road-sign information systems, intelligent cruise control, and active high-beam headlights.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


The Audi R8 is the German automaker's current top of the line model based on the Le Mans Quattro concept car. Thanks to lightweight aluminum construction the mid engine super car weighed in at under 3,500 lbs when it was introduced in 2006. 

The original 4.2 Liter FSI V8 powered car made 420 HP and 320 lb-ft of torque sprinting the four wheel drive dream machine from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.4 sec, through the quarter mile in 12.8 sec at 113.2 MPH and up to 187 MPH while an updated version will offer a Lamborghini 5.2 Liter V10 making 520 HP and 390 lb-ft of thrust and gets to the 60 MPH mark in only 3.9 seconds and all the way up to 196.4 MPH

The chassis of the R8 LMX operates with laser-sharp precision, enhanced by beautifully weighted steering, aggressive carbon-ceramic brakes, and 235/35 front and 305/30 rear tires on 19-inch aluminum wheels. Turn-in is vigorous, and it is simple to position the tail and induce easily controllable oversteer. 

As the R8 LMX approaches 200 mph, the aerodynamic enhancements—including canards, a front air splitter, and a fixed, lightweight rear wing—take effect. There are remnants of softness and flexibility in the suspension, and thus the R8 LMX’s ride is never jarring even on truly unsettling roads. It is tuned for the daily drive, not just for ultrasmooth racetracks.

The superpowerful laser high beams ensure that the R8's capabilities can be used around the clock. Compared with the already-impressive LED high beams of the regular R8, the range is more than doubled. We found that it reaches well beyond half a mile, truly and somewhat surreally turning night into day. 

The laser high beams function only at speeds higher than 37 mph, and they cannot be turned on manually. (The road ahead is scanned by sensors and the lasers come on only if no traffic is detected.) Other motorists needn’t fear a laser attack.

So what makes this R8 so different from its brethren? How about a 570-horsepower, 5.2 liter V-10, an S Tronic twin-clutch transmission, sport exhausts, and high performance ceramic brakes?

Audi has also tricked out the Competition edition with a slew of lightweight carbon-fiber fixtures, including a massive fixed rear wing, front spoiler, and rear diffuser.It all adds up to a supercar that can rocket from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds (although many plenty of people around the performance sports car world expect that time to be even quicker) and a top speed of 199 mph. 

Audi has not announced pricing for the R8 Competition. However, a normal production-edition R8 V10 Plus starts just north of $180,000.

Monday, November 3, 2014


The awesome look of the 2014 4Runner isn't just an image conjured up for marketing purposes. It's the reverse: a long time ago, the 4Runner was divorced from truck-based hardware and given a wagon body, with few concessions made to style. That's held true for decades now, and while we might like a ground-up fresh start every generation or so, the 4Runner at least remains honest to its mission. The beltline is high, the proportions are chunky, and the downward slope of the rear pillars are a direct callback to the ur-4Runner. 

A backup camera is now standard at all levels, as is trailer-sway control, and there are four new colors (two offered across the lineup, two others model specific). A new gauge cluster, steering wheel, a redesigned center-stack layout and seating materials are the only changes to the interior. 

The 4Runner's gauge layout is reconfigured with a more conventional two-dial (speedometer and tachometer) look with a new 2.2-inch information screen between the gauges. The air-conditioning controls have larger controls, and the radio screen is bigger to accommodate the new Entune system. 

A 4.0-liter V-6 engine, makes 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, and feels plenty quick either off the line or at highway speeds. Fuel economy is estimated at 17/23 mpg for rear-drive models, and 17/22 mpg for four-wheel-drive versions. V-6 SR5 models are offered either with rear-wheel drive or a part-time four-wheel-drive system, while Trail models are only offered with that 4WD system, with overhead controls. 

Limited models get a separate full-time four-wheel-drive system that's more road-oriented. The Limited gets standard 20-inch wheels and tires, while other models come fitted with 17-inchers.

On the road, it’s clear that Toyota worked hard to take some harshness out of the 4Runner. In a straight line, it’s comfortable, soaking up imperfections without any of the chassis chatter you’d expect from a body-on-frame rig. But that ride compliance means there’s plenty of nose dive any time you get frisky with the brakes, and left-right maneuvers introduce abundant body roll. 

Throw in an intrusively loud cabin at highway speeds and the 4Runner hardly feels worthy of its MSRP. Toyota hasn’t released 2014 pricing yet, but expect to see the 2014 model stick close to the 2013 edition’s $31,590 base price. Throw in four-wheel drive and Limited trim, and you’re looking at a sticker that should sail past the $42,000 mark.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Toyota introduced the still-larger Tundra in 2000, with an available 4.7-liter V-8, and in 2004, a Double Cab model with four real, front-hinged doors. Tough and, for many consumers, pretty right-sized, this Tundra lasted through 2006.

The 2014 Toyota Tundra brings new looks and new features to the venerable pickup model line, though overall proportions, engines, and most of the key details remain unchanged. Adoption of the SAE J2807 rating means the Tundra is the only full-size pickup with capabilities meeting an industry agreed-upon standard, rather than solely internal towing capacity ratings.

Then, with the apprenticeship presumably complete, Toyota allowed itself to build a full-on, whopper-sized pickup for 2007, figuring on three things: that, with 14 years of in-market research complete, Toyota now really understood what truck buyers want; that existing customers weaned on the T-100 and first-gen Tundra would embrace this new beast; and that Toyota’s reputation for build quality would draw plenty of Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Dodge customers into the fold. 

The all-new front design of the 2014 Tundra includes many changes. Designers made the hood taller and the grille wider, punctuating each of the different front grilles with a more chiseled and more modern look. 

The lower bumper design is now made of three distinct pieces to help with repair costs, but also will give the Tundra "face" a more muscular foundation to sit on. In addition, the fenders and wheel openings have a more squared-off look and character lines have been carved into the body. 

At the rear of the full-size pickup, Tundra designers have incorporated a more stylized tailgate that includes an integrated spoiler to help improve fuel economy. Other design changes in the rear include a newly placed and much-larger-than-before Tundra logo on the tailgate that looks as if it was formed into the steel rather than stamped. 

The new Tundra will offer five new trim packages with unique wheel choices as well. The SR and SR5 grades will ride on 18-inch steel wheels, while the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition will include all-new 20-inch alloy wheels specific to each grade.

Select Tundras will still offer a choice between the 4.0-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8 and 5.7-liter V-8 engines, there have been some shock-valving changes to improve overall ride quality and handling. 

Likewise, the steering system has been improved to allow for better control with road variations and imperfections that can move the truck off course slightly. The results are reported to be better straight-line control and less driver fatigue.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes standard with a V6 engine that reviewers say provides ample power for towing light trailers and day-to-day driving. For those with greater towing and hauling demands, most recommend stepping up to one of the optional V8s, which improve the Silverado’s acceleration and make it better-suited to hauling and towing heavier loads. 

A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and while reviewers say it has no inherent flaws, most wish that Chevrolet gave this redesigned truck an eight-speed transmission, which they think would improve acceleration and fuel economy. 

he Silverado achieves up to an EPA-estimated 18/24 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Test drivers report that the Silverado has one of the most comfortable rides in the segment, and that it delivers refined handling. They think that its steering is precise and well-weighted and its brakes are strong.

The steering assist has been changed from engine-driven hydraulic to electric, a common switch these days that cuts noise and saves fuel but sometimes rules out snowplow use. Brakes have returned to all-disc as they were in 2005, and the Z71 suspension option continues, including monotube shocks.

The biggest mechanical changes are under the hood with a trio of EcoTec3 engines. A 4.3-liter V-6 will likely be standard across the board, a 5.3-liter V-8 is optional, and a 6.2-liter V-8 is available on longer cabs. All are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The new Silverado’s dynamics are a matter of record with us; its ride is exceptionally smooth, the serenity augmented by exceptionally low interior noise levels. The driver can summon V-8 rumble from the engine by pressing resolutely on the go pedal, which causes valves to open in the exhaust—we have thorough experience with this—but engine sounds are all but absent in routine operation. We’re impressed by the absolutely seamless operation of the cylinder deactivation. The only clue that it’s working is the little readout at the bottom of the instrument binnacle.

Finally, the new interior is an area where many experts and observers thought the Silverado needed the most work. Show models suggest improvements in both materials and fit and finish, with familiar parts limited to a couple of switches, logos and the shift lever.