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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Detroit 2018: 2019 Ram 1500 Leaks Out

      We're sure someone is not happy at FCA today

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was hoping to a make a splash next Monday with the debut of 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. But someone spoiled the surprise.

    A user on Reddit posted a picture of a 2019 Ram 1500 inside a Fiat Chrysler plant - our hunch being the Warren, MI plant. The 3/4 shot gives us our best look at the truck and matches up with previous spy photos.

    The most apparent change that will sway your decision to liking to disliking the truck is the new grille. Ram appears to be doing away with the crosshair grille that has been a design trademark since the 1994 model. Instead, there is a smaller, octagonal grille with 'RAM' nestled in the middle. We're expecting this will be one of many grille designs on offer.

    Other details we can tell is the 1500 designation has moved from the doors on to the hood. The side profile looks similar to the current Ram 2500/3500 HD models.

    Here is what else we know about the upcoming Ram 1500

    • Engines to include a 3.6L V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
    • Aluminum hood and tailgate
    • Possibly a split tailgate
    • Newest version of FCA's UConnect

    Source: Reddit
    Pic Credit: Eisenj on Reddit



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    It looks okay I guess... but it doesn't look like an all new truck. It looks like just a nose job on the existing truck.   Remember when GM did that with the 2014 Silverado? It was all new, but most people thought it was just a refreshed 2013. 

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    Meh, no big deal, I like the cross grill better, but I am sure this will sell to the faithful and grow on everyone.

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    Hard to tell w/ the silver paint and angle, but the sides and greenhouse look much the same as the current model.   The wheel well arches may be slightly flattened on top..  the grille, bumper and headlights are the biggest noticeable differences.

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    8 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Hope they keep the current DNA strong- don't need 'new for new's sake'. Just minor changes generation-generation.

    I agree with this.  The current truck stills sells great even without the extra production capacity they need and will be adding.  it isn't like the F-150, Sierra,  or Silverado have changed all that much in the last few generations, at least on the outside.  If it works, why mess with it?

    17 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    It looks okay I guess... but it doesn't look like an all new truck. It looks like just a nose job on the existing truck.   Remember when GM did that with the 2014 Silverado? It was all new, but most people thought it was just a refreshed 2013. 

    I don't think it actually hurt it's sales and I really liked the return to the nostalgic front end design with the split headlights. 

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    The angle and color makes it hard to tell, but what it appears, front end is of course all new.  Looks like they have toned down the big ri look a big with taller fenders.  The Hood area still offers the nod to that styling, but is a bit shorter.  I like the cowl induction looking element of the hood, the front fenders look to be slightly flaired out.  i am not sure about the big badge on the side of the hood, but sure it will grow on me.  The cab appears larger than the current quadcab.  the windshield rake is a bit faster while the rest appears a little more squared off.  The body lines or detailing, particularly towards the bottom adds some depth without going gaudy.  The rear bedsides definitely appear to be flared out more.  Like I said, hard to tell too much until we get the reveal.  I am really lookin forward to the New Rebel and hope they show it. 

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    I wonder if a wind tunnel had a lot of say in the new design. I personally think the 94 to 2002 were the best looking trucks they made. I didn't like the softer design that started in 03.  However it wasn't a complete departure from the big rig look, and though I didn't like it as much I did get used to it. Dodge was put back on the map in 94 because so many people loved the style. Unfortunately the new style is pretty much a complete departure from what so many loved. 

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    The primary thing I'm going to look at is what they did to the interior. As a work truck, the current interior is fine, but at the more lux levels it falls behind Ford and GM.  The F-150 limited has the nicest truck interior right now and it will be a tough one to beat. The Denali is good enough, but now a new one is one the way.

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    Well darn it, just look at it.  It looks like Yoda.  I thought I was going to like this.

    1980YodaEmpireStrikesBackLucasFilm.jpg

    And the article states the crosshair grille has been around since 1994.  Wrong-o there, buckaroo.  It goes back MUCH further than that.

    richsmith2.jpg

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    After looking at pics of the new 'Rado, Ram and the current F150, once again the Ram has the best looking face of the bigguns, IMO... wonder what the Sierra will look like. 

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    5 hours ago, regfootball said:

    Car and driver has a writeup and pics. Not bad but the grille is weak. The 'hybrid' setup is intriguing 

    Interesting looking at what everyone is writing about the Ram lineup. Have to agree with you that the Grill is not a winner winner chicken dinner for me. In fact the black grill is a total bust for me as just terrible, Chrome just might be their best looking grill. The more I look at the pictures, I have to wonder due to the rather large LCD center screen and the excessive buttons, levers, dials if we have not hit a tipping point in going to far like Acura has done with way too much of both.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/news/2019-ram-1500-preview-article-1.3756898

    https://www.autoblog.com/2018/01/15/2019-ram-1500-revealed-detroit-naias-hybrid-45834/

    Autoblog has a really in depth pictures of the various interiors which look good and the new powertrains including the hybrid. Still way too many buttons. Interesting the up close pictures of the headlights with the degree of inner and outer rotation so that the beams follow your steering wheel. Maybe the patens are up on the Tucker designs and now the auto industry is using them all. Sad, they really screwed Tucker who was a visionary.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2018/01/15/2019-ram-1500-gets-standard-48v-mild-hybrid-on-all-gas-engines/#6db1e1bb7e9e

    Forbes also seems to really dig into this story and seems positive about the new truck lineup.

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    It's going to be interesting to see the new trucks in person.   I definitely like the Ram the best of the big 3..the new Chevy front is too busy, as is the existing F-series.   Except for the bumper, the Ram is the cleanest overall, IMO.

    unnamed.jpg

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    2 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    It's going to be interesting to see the new trucks in person.   I definitely like the Ram the best of the big 3..the new Chevy front is too busy, as is the existing F-series.   Except for the bumper, the Ram is the cleanest overall, IMO.

    unnamed.jpg

    Agree, I do like the hide away pull down corner steps, this might even be better than the in bumper step of GM, though it does give another point that could catch on offroad and get torn off.

    RamRearBumperStep.jpg

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    As far as the Ram front bumper, it would have been cleaner had the tow hook slots been part of the center slot rather than the bulging lower slots that look like an afterthought, IMO...

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    It's going to be interesting to see the new trucks in person.   I definitely like the Ram the best of the big 3..the new Chevy front is too busy, as is the existing F-series.   Except for the bumper, the Ram is the cleanest overall, IMO.

    unnamed.jpg

    The new Ram front end is definitely the antithesis of the current Ram and the new Chevy.  To me, this new front end could easily be mistaken for a Chevy or Ford as well as blending into the Jeeps adjacent to it on the dealer lot.

    Not a bad thing really.  FCA is trying to unDodge the whole lineup and evidently that includes stripping Ram trucks of dodge signature cues.

    The touchscreen and Uconnect in our new Pacifica is fabulous, the huge new screen in this truck i will say will be a big advantage in the market.  Will look way better than what GM and Ford will be putting in their trucks unless they upgrade.

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      Let’s talk about the front seats, The Regal GS comes fitted with racing-style front seat with aggressive side bolstering and faux holes towards the top where the belts for a harness would go into. This design seems more at home in a hardcore Corvette than a Buick. Before you start thinking that the seat design only allows a small group of people to fit, Buick has fitted adjustable bolstering to allow a wide set of body types to sit comfortably. With this and other power adjustments, I was able to find a position that suited me. Over a long drive, the seats were able to provide the right amount of support and comfort.
      The back seats don’t get the same “race car” treatment as the front, but they do offer ample head and legroom for most passengers. Cargo space is quite impressive with 31.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 60.7 when folded. The Kia Stinger I drove back in January pales in comparison with 23.3 and 40.9 cubic feet.
      The Regal GS features an eight-inch touchscreen with the new Buick Infotainment 3 system. As I mentioned in my Silverado/Sierra 1500 review, the new system is worlds better than Intellilink. The interface has been cleaned up with simpler graphics and fonts that are much easier to read. Also seeing noticeable improvements is the overall performance. The system is much faster when bringing up different functions or crunching a route on the optional navigation system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE round off the system. 
      With the effort Buick has put in, you might have the feeling that the Regal GS has something special under the hood. That isn’t the case. Under the hood of the GS is GM’s venerable 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet. While the V6 packs 40 more horsepower than the 2.0L turbo-four from the last-generation model, it is also down 13 pound-feet. This absence becomes apparent when you decide to sprint away from a stoplight or exiting a corner as you need to work the engine to get that rush of power. A numb throttle response doesn’t help. If you resist from attack mode, the V6 reveals a quiet and refined nature. But again, you will need to work the engine when merging or making a pass.
      Before someone shouts “put a turbo on it”, Buick cannot do that as there isn’t enough space in the engine bay due to the design of the platform. We’ve known about this issue since 2016 when Holden was gearing up to launch the Commodore - its version of the OpelVauxhall Insignia.
      The nine-speed automatic transmission goes about its business with unobtrusive shifts when going about your daily errands, but offers up snappy shifts when you decide to get aggressive. A glaring omission on this sports sedan is the lack of paddle shifters. 
      Fuel economy for the 2019 Regal GS is 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined. I saw an average of 20 during the week. This can likely to be attributed to the test vehicle having under 1,000 miles on the odometer. 
      On paper, the Regal GS’ handling credentials seem top-notch with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system and a GKN all-wheel drive system featuring a twin-clutch torque-vectoring rear differential. The latter allows a varying amount of power sent to each rear wheel to improve cornering. In the real world, the GS is more Grand Tourer than Gran Sport. While the sedan shows little body roll, its reflexes are slightly muted due to a nearly 3,800 pound curb weight. The steering provides a decent amount of weight when turning, but don’t expect a lot of road feel. What about that AWD system? For the most part, you really won’t notice working unless you decide to push the limits or practice your winter driving skills in a snowy and empty parking lot. 
      Thanks to the CDC system, the Regal GS’ ride is surprisingly smooth. With the vehicle in Tour, the suspension glides over bumps and imperfections. The ride begins to get choppy if you One area that I’m glad Buick is still focusing on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. 
      The 2019 Buick Regal GS is a case of expectations being put too high. Despite what the exterior and sports seats of the interior may hint at, this isn’t a sports sedan like a Kia Stinger GT or something from a German luxury brand. But my feelings began to change when I thought of the GS as being more of a grand tourer. It has the ingredients such as a refined powertrain, a suspension that can be altered to provide either a comfortable or sporty ride; and minimizing the amount of outside noise.
      There lies the overall problem with Regal GS as Buick doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sport sedan or a luxury sedan with grand tourer tendencies? This confusion will likely cause many people to look at something else which is a big shame.
      How I Would Configure a 2019 Buick Regal GS.
      My particular configuration would be similar to the vehicle tested here with the Driver Confidence Package #2, Sights and Sounds, and Appearance packages. The only change would be adding the White Frost Tricoat color, which adds an additional $1,095 to the price. All together, it comes out to $44,210.
      Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:
      Kia Stinger: The big elephant in the room when talking about the Regal GS. For a similar amount of cash, you can step into the base GT model with its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive setup (AWD adds $2,200). I came away very impressed with the styling, performance on tap from the V6, and handling prowess. Downsides include the interior design being a bit too minimalist and the ride being a bit rough. Volkswagen Arteon: The other dark horse to the Regal GS. There is no doubt that the Arteon is quite handsome with flowing lines and sleek fastback shape. Having sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I found it to be very roomy and upscale in terms of the interior materials. I hope to get some time behind the wheel in the near future to see how it measures up in handling. Disclaimer: Buick Provided the Regal GS, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Buick
      Model: Regal
      Trim: GS
      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
      Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
      Base Price: $39,070
      As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Confidence Package #2: $1,690.00
      Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
      Appearance Package: $485.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Expectation can be a very dangerous thing. You come into something thinking it will blow your mind and more often than not, it comes up short. That’s how I felt during the first few days into a loan of a 2019 Buick Regal GS. What was being presented didn’t match up with my experience. But over the week I had the vehicle, it began to grow on. That isn’t to say some issues need to be addressed.
      At first glance, you might think Buick decided to stick with a sedan shape. But the sloping rear hatch gives away its true identity as a Sportback. This helps give the impression that the Regal is sporty, helped further by short overhangs. By adding small touches such as large front air intakes, GS-specific 19-inch wheels. Brembo front brake calipers finished in Red, and a small lip spoiler, the GS transforms the Regal into looking like a red-blooded sports sedan. 
      The interior sadly doesn’t match up with what is being presented on the outside. While there was some effort to make the GS stand out with faux carbon-fiber trim, special sport seats, and GS badging, it doesn’t quite match with what is being presented outside. Not helping are some cheap plastics littered throughout the Regal GS’ interior. If this was a standard Regal, I may have given it a slight pass. But considering this GS carries a price of almost $43k, it becomes a big issue. The interior does redeem it somewhat with a logical and simple layout. No one had any complaints about whether the controls were confusing or hard to reach.
      Let’s talk about the front seats, The Regal GS comes fitted with racing-style front seat with aggressive side bolstering and faux holes towards the top where the belts for a harness would go into. This design seems more at home in a hardcore Corvette than a Buick. Before you start thinking that the seat design only allows a small group of people to fit, Buick has fitted adjustable bolstering to allow a wide set of body types to sit comfortably. With this and other power adjustments, I was able to find a position that suited me. Over a long drive, the seats were able to provide the right amount of support and comfort.
      The back seats don’t get the same “race car” treatment as the front, but they do offer ample head and legroom for most passengers. Cargo space is quite impressive with 31.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 60.7 when folded. The Kia Stinger I drove back in January pales in comparison with 23.3 and 40.9 cubic feet.
      The Regal GS features an eight-inch touchscreen with the new Buick Infotainment 3 system. As I mentioned in my Silverado/Sierra 1500 review, the new system is worlds better than Intellilink. The interface has been cleaned up with simpler graphics and fonts that are much easier to read. Also seeing noticeable improvements is the overall performance. The system is much faster when bringing up different functions or crunching a route on the optional navigation system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE round off the system. 
      With the effort Buick has put in, you might have the feeling that the Regal GS has something special under the hood. That isn’t the case. Under the hood of the GS is GM’s venerable 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet. While the V6 packs 40 more horsepower than the 2.0L turbo-four from the last-generation model, it is also down 13 pound-feet. This absence becomes apparent when you decide to sprint away from a stoplight or exiting a corner as you need to work the engine to get that rush of power. A numb throttle response doesn’t help. If you resist from attack mode, the V6 reveals a quiet and refined nature. But again, you will need to work the engine when merging or making a pass.
      Before someone shouts “put a turbo on it”, Buick cannot do that as there isn’t enough space in the engine bay due to the design of the platform. We’ve known about this issue since 2016 when Holden was gearing up to launch the Commodore - its version of the OpelVauxhall Insignia.
      The nine-speed automatic transmission goes about its business with unobtrusive shifts when going about your daily errands, but offers up snappy shifts when you decide to get aggressive. A glaring omission on this sports sedan is the lack of paddle shifters. 
      Fuel economy for the 2019 Regal GS is 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined. I saw an average of 20 during the week. This can likely to be attributed to the test vehicle having under 1,000 miles on the odometer. 
      On paper, the Regal GS’ handling credentials seem top-notch with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system and a GKN all-wheel drive system featuring a twin-clutch torque-vectoring rear differential. The latter allows a varying amount of power sent to each rear wheel to improve cornering. In the real world, the GS is more Grand Tourer than Gran Sport. While the sedan shows little body roll, its reflexes are slightly muted due to a nearly 3,800 pound curb weight. The steering provides a decent amount of weight when turning, but don’t expect a lot of road feel. What about that AWD system? For the most part, you really won’t notice working unless you decide to push the limits or practice your winter driving skills in a snowy and empty parking lot. 
      Thanks to the CDC system, the Regal GS’ ride is surprisingly smooth. With the vehicle in Tour, the suspension glides over bumps and imperfections. The ride begins to get choppy if you One area that I’m glad Buick is still focusing on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. 
      The 2019 Buick Regal GS is a case of expectations being put too high. Despite what the exterior and sports seats of the interior may hint at, this isn’t a sports sedan like a Kia Stinger GT or something from a German luxury brand. But my feelings began to change when I thought of the GS as being more of a grand tourer. It has the ingredients such as a refined powertrain, a suspension that can be altered to provide either a comfortable or sporty ride; and minimizing the amount of outside noise.
      There lies the overall problem with Regal GS as Buick doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sport sedan or a luxury sedan with grand tourer tendencies? This confusion will likely cause many people to look at something else which is a big shame.
      How I Would Configure a 2019 Buick Regal GS.
      My particular configuration would be similar to the vehicle tested here with the Driver Confidence Package #2, Sights and Sounds, and Appearance packages. The only change would be adding the White Frost Tricoat color, which adds an additional $1,095 to the price. All together, it comes out to $44,210.
      Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:
      Kia Stinger: The big elephant in the room when talking about the Regal GS. For a similar amount of cash, you can step into the base GT model with its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive setup (AWD adds $2,200). I came away very impressed with the styling, performance on tap from the V6, and handling prowess. Downsides include the interior design being a bit too minimalist and the ride being a bit rough. Volkswagen Arteon: The other dark horse to the Regal GS. There is no doubt that the Arteon is quite handsome with flowing lines and sleek fastback shape. Having sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I found it to be very roomy and upscale in terms of the interior materials. I hope to get some time behind the wheel in the near future to see how it measures up in handling. Disclaimer: Buick Provided the Regal GS, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Buick
      Model: Regal
      Trim: GS
      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
      Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
      Base Price: $39,070
      As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Confidence Package #2: $1,690.00
      Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
      Appearance Package: $485.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Quarterly:
      Ford Motor Company - Not Reported
      General Motors Co. - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported
      FCA US LLC - Not Reported
      Monthly:
      Audi of America -  Up 0.8% for the month, Down 5% for the year
      BMW of North America -  Down 1.7% for the month, Down 1.2% for the year
      Genesis Motor America - Not Reported
      Honda Motor Co. -  Up 1.9% for the month, Down 0.9% for the year
      Hyundai Motor America -  Up 12.13% for the month, Up 3.10% for the year
      Infiniti USA - Down 11.2% for the month, Down 12.5% for the year
      Jaguar Land Rover North America - Up 5% for the month, Up 5% for the year
      Kia Motors America - Up 0.6% for the month, Up 3.3% for the year
      Mazda North American Operations - Down 3.5%  for the month, Down 13.9% for the year
      Mercedes-Benz USA - 19.5% for the month, Down 4.0% for the year
      Mitsubishi Motors North America -  Down 13.4% for the month, Up 3.2% for the year
      Nissan Group - Down 9.1% for the month, Down 8.3% for the year
      Porsche Cars North America Inc. -  Up 23.3% for the month, Up 5.3% for the year
      Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 7.9% for the month, Up 5.6% for the year
      Toyota Motor North America - Up 0.2% for the month, Down 2.6% for the year
      Volkswagen of America -  Up 2.2% for the month, Up 6.1% for the year
      Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Up 2.0% for the month, Up 4.7% for the year

      Brands (Quarterly):
      Alfa Romeo - Not Reported
      Buick -  Not Reported
      Cadillac -  Not Reported
      Chevrolet - Not Reported
      Chrysler - Not Reported
      Dodge - Not Reported
      Ford - Not Reported
      Fiat - Not Reported
      GMC - Not Reported
      Jeep - Not Reported
      Lincoln - Not Reported
      Ram Trucks - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported

      Brands (Monthly):
      Acura - Down 3.7% - 12,759 MTD / 86,526 YTD
      Audi - Down 0.3% - 19,409 MTD / 101,440 YTD
      BMW - Up 4.7% - 24,842 MTD / 199,865 YTD
      Genesis - Not reported
      Honda - Up 2.5% - 128,537 MTD / 831,765 YTD
      Hyundai - Up 12.3% - 57,340 MTD / 390,668 YTD
      Infiniti - Down 11.2% - 8,660 MTD / 71,718 YTD
      Jaguar - Up 7% - 2,020 MTD
      Kia - Up 0.6% - 53,405 MTD / 358,249 YTD
      Land Rover -  Up 4% - 6,456 MTD
      Lexus - Down 1.5% - 25,025 MTD  / 160,760 YTD
      Mazda - Down 3.5% - 23,292 MTD / 161,847 YTD
      Mercedes-Benz - Up 22.9% - 24,612 MTD / 172,008 YTD
      Mercedes-Benz Vans - Down 1.5% 2,878 MTD / 18,903 YTD
      MINI - Down 34.2% - 2,827 MTD / 20,410 YTD
      Mitsubishi - Down 13.4% - 8,613 MTD / 79,710 YTD
      Nissan - Down 8.9% - 90,220 MTD / 744,198 YTD
      Porsche - Up 23.3% - 4,956 MTD / 35,213 YTD
      Smart - Down 45.6% - 56 MTD / 552 YTD
      Subaru - Up 7.9% - 64,106 MTD / 403,631 YTD
      Toyota - Up 0.4% - 184,179 MTD / 1,200,552 YTD
      Volkswagen - Up 2.2% - 31,188 MTD / 215,796 YTD
      Volvo - Up 2.0% - 8,795 MTD / 58,915 YTD

      View full article
  • Posts

    • DRIVEN: 2020 Subaru Ascent Premium (AWD 2.4 turbo) HIGHS: -Finally, what the market was looking for, a worthwhile Subaru entry into the 3 row crossover segment.  And packaging, size wise, styling, just about perfect for Subaru -2.4 engine can snarl, nice go juice, and the CVT is actually fairly responsive.  Moves out well, or at least feels like it does.  Makes the Ascent feel sporty actually. -As mentioned above, packaging is just about perfect for Subaru.  It might be considered a tweener, but it does not feel hulking or girthy...and it still will be garagable for many of those folks that would shop import brands.  Cabin width not as wide as a Traverse, noticeably so...but conversely feels like a nice size upgrade from an Outback.  Maybe if you try to have three in the second row its a concern but otherwise should be ok.  Plenty of comfort remains and the third row is decent sized for leg room.  This may be the sweet spot size of a 3 row for many customers. -Cloth seats were attractive and did feel nice at the bottom. -Simple clean dash layout, noticeably signature Subaru.  Some interesting trim.   -Open and airy feel inside the cabin, and likewise visibility out.  In particular in front it doesn't feel significantly larger in front then a Forester or Outback. -Carlike ride and handling.  At least in line with the sort of current expectations of a Subaru / Toyota / Honda type of customer.  And reasonably quiet inside. -Nothing particularly egregious, and entirely in line with Subaru and Japanese car in general brand character.  If you are a Subaru fan, this is your manna, this should EXCITE you. LOWS: ...all that said (above) -A few times I caught the CVT with its pants down and it went into slow response / rubber bandy mode. -Dash, to me, did feel plain and basic (and that also is entirely in character for a Subaru).  I will go on record saying that a Traverse is nicer inside and much more interesting.  -Steering felt light and numb enough that I can't say it was anything besides decent.  All while being a huge upgrade in steering compared to other Subarus I have driven the last few years.  It is very much improved compared to those.  And the suspension was composed enough in the Ascent that it didn't bounce and bob and weave like I had when i drove a Forester before. -I didn't dissect the cargo area greatly but I do think maybe it is down a little bit in terms of usable dimensions compared to say, a Traverse or Atlas....probably as useful or more useful than an Acadia. -At the end of the day, apart from the kind of lively powertrain, the whole rest of the vehicle is MILQUETOAST.  Which, if you are a Subaru fan, should EXCITE you.  I mean, I think a Santa Fe may be more appealing emotionally.  I was expecting something to feed the soul here, there is nothing.  How they made it still feel lifeless while still miraculously making this vastly improved over other Subarus, must have required special skill. SUMMARY: At the end of the day, a perfectly innocuous but highly useful device that absolutely fulfills the Subaru brand character while at the same time borders on being something equal to the NPC version of an automobile.  And some will absolutely love that.  While superbly capable, I think I VASTLY prefer my GM's or even the VW Atlas.  Seek those out instead if you want ANY personality in your 3 row family hauler.        
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