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    Chicago Auto Show: 2016 Acura RDX


    • Small Changes Are the Story for the 2016 Acura RDX


    Possibly the only bright spot for a few years at Acura has been their crossover lineup. The seven-seat MDX has been a strong seller, while the smaller RDX had its best sales year in 2014. Acura wants to keep that momentum going by introducing a refreshed RDX at the Chicago Auto Show today.

    The 2016 gets minor changes inside and out. Up front is a more chiseled face with a new grille and Acura's Jewel Eye headlights. Around back are a set new LED taillights. A new set of wheels finish off the exterior.

    Heading inside, Acura updated the trim and has installed a new 4.2-inch TFT screen for the instrument cluster. Acura has also added more standard features for each RDX trim level. Here's how it looks,

    • RDX: Heated front seats and air vents for rear passengers.
    • RDX w/Tech Package: Dual-screen infotainment system, eight-way power passenger's seat, blind spot monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.
    • RDX w/Advance Package: rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies.

    The 3.5L V6 has been updated with 6 more horsepower and 1 more pound-feet of torque to deliver final power figures of 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The V6 also boasts cylinder deactivation which improves fuel economy to 20 City/29 Highway for the front-wheel drive model and 19/28 for the all-wheel drive model.

    The 2016 Acura RDX will be coming this spring.

    Source: Acura

    Press Release is on Page 2


    2016 Acura RDX Brings the Heat in World Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show

    • Hot-selling Acura RDX luxury crossover boosts its considerable market strength with significant upgrades to performance, luxury, styling and safety features

    Feb 12, 2015 - CHICAGO

    Coming off its best-ever year, the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a host of significant upgrades to performance, luxury prestige and styling. Launching at Acura dealerships nationwide this Spring, the 2016 Acura RDX receives Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights, a new, more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, an expanded list of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including a new line-topping RDX with Advance Package.

    The Acura RDX and MDX have formed a potent 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, posting record sales in 2014 well ahead of European rivals in their segments. With the 2016 MDX also getting significant new features and technologies, including a 9-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX and MDX stand as an even more formidable presence in the luxury SUV space.

    "The RDX ended on a high note in 2014, posting its best sales year ever, but at Acura, we are not content in resting on our laurels," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. "The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment."

    The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up—279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of two of the engine's six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway). Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX's all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance.

    The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fasciae, including the addition of Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. The lower front and rear fascia areas also support the new look with fresh luxury details while all models receive new wheel designs.

    Inside, the new RDX gets a fresh look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger's front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura's intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.

    A new Advance Package for the 2016 RDX adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages are equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation.

    While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Keeping Assist, along with a standard Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver's side mirror. AcuraWatch™ uses sensor fusion technology, the cooperative operation of a millimeter wave radar system and a windshield-mounted monocular camera to expand both the scope and fidelity of its sensing capabilities, including the ability to sense and respond to numerous road hazards, including a pedestrian detected in the roadway.

    In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced collision performance with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

    The RDX is produced at the company's award-winning East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Today, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America are made in the company's plants in Ohio and Alabama.

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    I added a gallery of live shots from the show floor.

     

    I've gotta say, this one does impress me, I think Acura will have an unexpected hit here. 

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    This is a pretty dang nice CR-V.  Honda did a nicer job disguising the plebeian roots of the RDX than Lexus did with the NX (RAV4).

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    It has been selling like a beast since intro for 2013 model year back in 2012, with the V6 power, fuel economy (if only mom's Terrain 3.6L could put the power done as smoothly and sip gas like the RDX 3.5L/6-speed does...), even with a bit plan interior and looks. Clean and classy.

     

    Now nicely dressed with the latest tech features its been missing and even higher fuel economy, we can't wait to get it.

     

    We have clients in the midsize crossover class who first come to the RDX thanks to knowing its one of the few with a V6 that has more power yet better real world mileage than most of the oddball turbo 4's in the class.

     

    Should be a solid increase.

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      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00

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    • By William Maley
      Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.
      That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle.  Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00
    • By William Maley
      Like life, reviewing vehicles sometimes mean having a curveball thrown your way. Originally, I was going to be reviewing the Chrysler 200 before its production run would end. Sadly, the 200 was pulled out of Chrysler’s test fleet before I was able to drive. But sometimes, that curveball can be a positive. In this case, a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would take its place. More importantly, it would be equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. We like this engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. How would it fare in the Ram 1500? Quite well.
      The EcoDiesel V6 in question is a turbocharged 3.0L with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our test truck came with four-wheel drive, but you can order the EcoDiesel with two-wheel drive. The EcoDiesel might not have the roar or performance figures of the 5.7L V8 (0-60 takes about 9 seconds for the diesel compared to just a hair over 7 seconds for the V8), but it is a very capable engine. There is a lot of punch on the low end of the rpm band and the engine never feels that it is running out of breath the higher you climb in speed.  You can tell the EcoDiesel is a diesel during start up as it has distinctive clatter. Also, it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up if you let the truck sit for awhile. But once the engine is going, you can’t really tell its a diesel. Whether you’re standing outside or sitting inside, the V6 is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions in the class as it delivers imperceptible gear changes. In terms of towing, the EcoDiesel V6 has a max tow rating of 9,210 pounds (regular cab with 2WD). The crew cab with 4WD drops the max tow rating to 8,610 pounds. This does trail the V8 considerably (max tow rating of 10,640). But the EcoDiesel makes up for this in terms of fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined for the EcoDiesel equipped 4WD. Our average for the week was a not too shabby 23.4 mpg. This generation of the Ram 1500 has garnered a reputation for having one of the best rides in the class. We can’t disagree. The coil-spring setup on the rear suspension smooths out bumps and other road imperfections very well.  Our truck also featured the optional air suspension which is more focused on improving the capability of the pickup and not ride comfort. There are five different ride height settings that allow for easier access when getting in and out of a truck to increasing ground clearance when going off-road. The air suspension will also level out the truck if there is a heavy load in the bed or pulling a trailer. The Ram 1500’s exterior look hasn’t really changed much since we reviewed one back in 2014. Up front is a large crosshair grille finished in chrome and large rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. The Laramie Longhorn features it own design cues such as two-tone paint finish, 20-inch wheels, and large badges on the front doors telling everyone which model of Ram you happen to be driving. Inside, the Laramie Longhorn is well appointed with real wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, high-quality leather upholstery for the seats, and acres of soft-touch plastics. Some will snicker at the seat pockets that are designed to look saddle bags, complete with a chrome clasp.  Comfort-wise, the Laramie Longhorn’s interior scores very high. The seats provide excellent support for long trips, and no one sitting in the back will be complaining about the lack of head and legroom. One nice touch is all of the seats getting heat as standard equipment, while the front seats get ventilation as well. The UConnect system is beginning to show its age with an interface that is looking somewhat dated and certain tasks taking a few seconds more than previous versions. There is an updated UConnect system that debuted on the 2017 Pacifica with a tweaked interface and quicker performance. Hopefully, this is in the cards for the 2017 Ram 1500. As for pricing, the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 comes with a base price $52,365. With options including the 3.0L EcoDiesel, our as-tested price was $60,060. Sadly this is the new reality for pickup trucks. Many buyers want the luxuries and features found on standard vehicles and are willing to pay for it. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 can justify the price for what it offers, but it is still a lot of money to drop. The nice thing about the Ram 1500 is the number of trims on offer. You’ll be able to find a model that should fit your needs and price range. Personally, I would be happy with a Big Horn or Laramie as they would offer everything I would want or need in a truck. But if you want something luxurious with a cowboy twist, you can’t go wrong with Laramie Longhorn. The EcoDiesel is just the cherry on top.   
      Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel
      Year: 2016
      Make: Ram Trucks
      Model: 1500 Crew Cab
      Trim: Laramie Longhorn
      Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 3,600
      Torque @ RPM: 420 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $52,365
      As Tested Price: $60,060 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - $3,120.00
      4-Corner Air Suspension - $1,695.00
      Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $600.00
      Convenience Group - $495.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $280.00
      Cold Weather Group - $235.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $75.00

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