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    Geneva Motor Show: 2016 Mercedes-Maybach Pullman


    • The iconic Pullman makes a return to Mercedes


    The preferred vehicle of leaders and villains is making a return to Mercedes. The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman will be shown at Geneva Motor Show next month, and be the second model in the Mercedes-Maybach lineup.

    The Pullman keeps the same styling cues as the standard Maybach S600, but adds more length and height. Overall, the Pullman measures out to 255.9 inches (41.2 inches longer than the standard S-Class) and rides on a wheelbase of 173.9 inches. Overall height increases 3.9 inches.

    All of that space goes towards the back seat which offers seating for four passengers or two passengers with lounge-like seating. The interior is swathed in leather and features electrically opaqueing glass partitions, three analog gauges, and a Burmester sound system. Of course, the Pullman will offer an "unrivalled scope for individualization" the company says.

    "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," said Ola Källenius, member of Diamler AG's board. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."

    Power comes from Mercedes' twin-turbo 6.0L V12 with 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.

    Mercedes says the Pullman will go on sale in Europe next year. Sales for North America are still being decided on.

    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Press Release is on Page 2


    The New Mercedes-Maybach Pullman

    • High-end luxury-class motor vehicle with a proud pedigree

    February 17, 2015 - Stuttgart/Geneva

    The 50th birthday of the best-known Pullman sedan of them all, the Mercedes-Benz 600, is set to coincide with a special debut at the Geneva Motor Show: the launch of the new Pullman. Mercedes-Maybach's second model will assume the top-of-the-range position, with vis-à-vis seating in the passenger compartment and high-end automotive luxury that is traditionally associated with Maybach.

    Its length of 21.3 feet (6.50 meters) alone is a sign of the special status of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman. It provides space for a generously-sized and tastefully-appointed club lounge in the rear, which has a multitude of creature comforts fitted as standard. This chauffeur-driven limousine is more than equal to today's demands for the ultimate in exclusivity and luxury. The VIP occupants sit on two standard-specification executive seats facing the direction of travel. They can enjoy the greatest legroom in the segment; and can get into and out of the car with the greatest of ease and comfort. As is typical for a Pullman, the four passengers can sit facing each other in the compartment with an electrically-operated partition window. The prices for unarmoured models start at around half a million euros (as of mid-February 2015, EURO 500,000 = USD $566,922); the first customers will be taking delivery of their vehicles, which of course offer unrivalled scope for individualization, at the beginning of 2016 (this model is TBD for the U.S. market).

    Many governments, rulers and royal families around the world have for decades chosen Mercedes-Benz sedans with the designation "Pullman" to drive them with the stateliness and style befitting their status. With its new model, the company is now extending its unique position in this demanding segment: "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," commented Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Management Board responsible for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."

    The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman provides extremely spacious seating combined with unique features characterized by their extraordinary and perfect craftsmanship. It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualize the appointments of their top-class limousines. The exquisite Maybach paint finishes, which are applied in several layers, count as part of this specification.

    With a length of 21.3 feet (6499 mm), the Pullman is another 3.5 feet (1053 mm) longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The wheelbase is an impressive 14.5 feet (4418 mm). Furthermore, at 5.2 feet (1598 mm) in height, the Pullman is more than 3.9 inches (10 cm or 100 mm) higher than a Mercedes S-Class, resulting in a tangible increase in headroom.

    The absolute top-of-the-range model is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S 600. Its V12 biturbo engine has an output of 390 kW (523 U.S. SAE hp). With displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 612 lb-ft (830 Nm) is available from 1900 rpm.

    The name Pullman was originally applied to railway carriages with luxurious open-plan compartments manufactured by the American Pullman Palace Car Company. This name was soon also applied to the motor cars from Mercedes-Benz which were based on an extremely long wheelbase and offered a very generously-sized passenger compartment. In the rear, separated from the driver's area by a partition, there was space for four passengers to recline regally in four single seats facing each other.

    Extremely spacious seating in the rear, entire vehicle interior is leather-clad

    As its name suggests, the four seats in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman are arranged vis-à-vis. The owner and VIP guests are seated in the direction of travel on two executive seats which are part of the standard specification; other passengers can sit on the fold-down seats facing backwards. If specifically requested, the Pullman can also be delivered in an exclusive version without the additional seats.

    The executive seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to their special adjustment kinematics. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, with inclination and horizontal adjustment combined. For the executive seats, the maximum backrest angle is 43.5 degrees. The most upright backrest position of 19 degrees allows relaxed working in the rear. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The luxury head restraints come with an extra cushion as standard. The two first-class travellers in the rear have the greatest amount of legroom of any car in the segment, as well as 2.4 inches (60 millimeters) more headroom than in a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

    There is one design difference compared with the existing Pullman model: in the new model, all seats are easy to get to. This improvement was achieved thanks to the large rear doors and the position of the passengers on the executive seats, which is even further to the rear. A real boost in comfort for those heads of state and monarchs for whom protocol dictates that they must take their places ahead of their interpreters. This seating arrangement also preserves their privacy, as a large proportion of their bodies is hidden by the rear roof pillar.

    The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is upholstered in leather throughout as standard. Not only is the roof liner upholstered in high-quality leather, but also the door frames and seat consoles. As one would expect of a Maybach, there are three analog instruments in the roof liner informing passengers in the rear of the outside temperature, speed and time.

    The partition wall between the rear and the driver's area ensures discretion. The glass partition wall can be lowered electrically. It can also change from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. This allows – in combination with the equally standard-specification curtains for the rear windows – for different levels of privacy. The standard-fit 16:9 format 18.5 inch (47 cm) monitor located in front of the partition can also be extended electrically.

    Those who demand uncompromising quality of sound and appreciate perfect music reproduction can choose between two innovative Burmester sound systems. The existing Burmester surround sound system delivers the legendary and unmistakeable magical sound for which the high-end audio specialist from Berlin is famous. But as an option par excellence, the Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound System provides matchless listening pleasure and outstanding sound quality.

    It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualise the appointments of their top-class limousines. The key account managers in the exclusive Maybach centres throughout Europe as well as the sales advisors in the Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets are happy to provide further information on this.

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    Guess I just do not get the allure of MB. The style outside and inside does nothing for me. I do like the spec of the TT V12 engine. Guess when you are so insecure you need a V12 when a V8 or V6 will do just fine.

     

    Heck Corvettes V8 engine does better than this V12 without all the complexity, extra weight and over the top price. But then the Billionaires have to spend money on something.

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    It's truly a bizarre piece. MB shuffles the interior details, gives it a wheelbase stretch, then cuts the price IN HALF from a few years ago. Oh yeah; and they keep the name of a failed brand launch, but add another name no one remembers, assumedly to temper the situation.

     

    Some of the changes, like the diamond-quilted upholstery, the tacky accordion-fold curtains (no smart glass here??) and the stand-up hood ornament strongly evoke the tastelessness of the 1970s. But overall, it looks pretty snazzy. I don't expect a single repeat sales from Maybach 1.0, and I hope MB doesn't either. Those buyers got royally F'd.

    Edited by balthazar
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    The original Pullman came out in 1965, so Mercedes has had that name for a good while now.   I read elsewhere that this car was designed specifically for "governments, rulers, and royal families."  So in other words, dictators and monarchs. 

     

    Clearly the best option is the possibly $500,000 upgrade for the VR9 ballistic protection, which let's be honest, the majority of people that buy this car are getting the armored version.

     

    Also important to note that this car has a rear cabin speedometer, so that El Presidente can yell at Jeeves for driving too fast, or perhaps to make sure that Jeeves is traveling at a high enough speed to run over the ifedels.

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    How about that- you could get a rear speedometer in a 1930 Cadillac. 

     

    Nuttin' like benchmarking...

     

    - - - - -

    Question is, does the 'Pullman' name mean anything to today's buyers??

    I only associate it with railroad cars, not mercedes.

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    This thing is about as big as a railroad car.  It is 3 feet longer than a Suburban.   They will sell every one of these they build I am sure, and probably at $1 million a pop.  And they have made previous versions of the Pullman and 6 door limos, I think this is just a better execution of it than what they did on the W140 and W220 chassis.


    Guess I just do not get the allure of MB. The style outside and inside does nothing for me. I do like the spec of the TT V12 engine. Guess when you are so insecure you need a V12 when a V8 or V6 will do just fine.

     

    Heck Corvettes V8 engine does better than this V12 without all the complexity, extra weight and over the top price. But then the Billionaires have to spend money on something.

    Close to 10,000 lbs with armor, a V12 is needed. A V8 in this car would be like a 2.0T in an Escalade ESV Platinum. 

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    This thing is about as big as a railroad car.  It is 3 feet longer than a Suburban.   They will sell every one of these they build I am sure, and probably at $1 million a pop.  And they have made previous versions of the Pullman and 6 door limos, I think this is just a better execution of it than what they did on the W140 and W220 chassis.

    Guess I just do not get the allure of MB. The style outside and inside does nothing for me. I do like the spec of the TT V12 engine. Guess when you are so insecure you need a V12 when a V8 or V6 will do just fine.

     

    Heck Corvettes V8 engine does better than this V12 without all the complexity, extra weight and over the top price. But then the Billionaires have to spend money on something.

    Close to 10,000 lbs with armor, a V12 is needed. A V8 in this car would be like a 2.0T in an Escalade ESV Platinum. 

    WRONG! It is a little small 6 liter V12, The GM 6.2L V8 would do a better job than this engine with better gas mileage. Again you are hung up on the badge and not the real facts.

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    This thing is about as big as a railroad car.  It is 3 feet longer than a Suburban.   They will sell every one of these they build I am sure, and probably at $1 million a pop.  And they have made previous versions of the Pullman and 6 door limos, I think this is just a better execution of it than what they did on the W140 and W220 chassis.

    Guess I just do not get the allure of MB. The style outside and inside does nothing for me. I do like the spec of the TT V12 engine. Guess when you are so insecure you need a V12 when a V8 or V6 will do just fine.

     

    Heck Corvettes V8 engine does better than this V12 without all the complexity, extra weight and over the top price. But then the Billionaires have to spend money on something.

    Close to 10,000 lbs with armor, a V12 is needed. A V8 in this car would be like a 2.0T in an Escalade ESV Platinum. 

    WRONG! It is a little small 6 liter V12, The GM 6.2L V8 would do a better job than this engine with better gas mileage. Again you are hung up on the badge and not the real facts.

     

     That V8 could not produce the NVH standards needed buy a car like this.  They Maybach cars don't use Mercedes most powerful engine for a reason, they need smoothness and quietness.  The Mercedes-AMG V12 makes 811 lb-ft of torque, but the computer limits it to 738 lb-ft to protect the transmission and reduce wheel spin. 

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    The 6.3 is hella smooth. 


    They will sell every one of these they build I am sure, and probably at $1 million a pop.  

     

    Not particularly difficult when they are basically built to order

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    Yes, because Billionaires care about depreciation or gas mileage or operating costs.   Not sure where you could even find one used.

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    Yes, because Billionaires care about depreciation or gas mileage or operating costs.   Not sure where you could even find one used.

     

    Yes they do, because they can claim the depreciation, gas mileage or operating costs for tax purposes. Higher numbers for those means more tax deductions.

     

    You could possibly find them in junkyards.

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    Have all the Maybach 1.0s evaporated into thin air?
    Are the owners bound to lifetime ownership contracts?
    How come I've seen the older Maybachs in classified ads?

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    This thing is about as big as a railroad car.  It is 3 feet longer than a Suburban.   They will sell every one of these they build I am sure, and probably at $1 million a pop.  And they have made previous versions of the Pullman and 6 door limos, I think this is just a better execution of it than what they did on the W140 and W220 chassis.

    Guess I just do not get the allure of MB. The style outside and inside does nothing for me. I do like the spec of the TT V12 engine. Guess when you are so insecure you need a V12 when a V8 or V6 will do just fine.

     

    Heck Corvettes V8 engine does better than this V12 without all the complexity, extra weight and over the top price. But then the Billionaires have to spend money on something.

    Close to 10,000 lbs with armor, a V12 is needed. A V8 in this car would be like a 2.0T in an Escalade ESV Platinum. 

    WRONG! It is a little small 6 liter V12, The GM 6.2L V8 would do a better job than this engine with better gas mileage. Again you are hung up on the badge and not the real facts.

     

     That V8 could not produce the NVH standards needed buy a car like this.  They Maybach cars don't use Mercedes most powerful engine for a reason, they need smoothness and quietness.  The Mercedes-AMG V12 makes 811 lb-ft of torque, but the computer limits it to 738 lb-ft to protect the transmission and reduce wheel spin. 

     

    Totally and completely disagree with you. GM's 6.2 L V8 is silky smooth and you clearly have never driven one.

     

    Also when did we start talking about the AMG, stick to the facts of the story above, this is about their normal Twin Turbo V12 which is heavier than GM's V8's. 

     

    The 6.2 L Vi puts out 420hp 450lb-ft of torque and I am sure can easily move this beast of a car. Yet if you feel it needs the power of the TT V12 then I know just as smooth and superior would be the Supercharged Z06 Engine with 650HP.

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    I'd like to see Cadillac go after Rolls-Royce with a Covette/Silverado engine and see what happens.  Or Maybe Cadillac can build a Lamborghini Aventador or Ferrari F12 competitor with a Covette motor.  I think people would pay $400,000 for a Cadillac with the same engine in a $60,000 Corvette.  

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    ^ '15 650 HP 6.2L Z-06 starts at $78K. Prior to that, the 638 HP 6.2L ZR1 started at $113K.

     

    RR starts at $263K but only delivers 563 HP in a car that weighs 5500 lbs.

    No one buys a Rolls for the power train anyway- as long as it moves out decently, no one in this demo cares what's under the hood. And yes, it absolutely could be a 6.2L GM engine- car would move out with even better authority.

     

    No Cadillac in our lifetimes is going to sticker at $400K. Now, $150K, that I expect to see.

    In a perfect fantasy world, Cadillac would build a modern equivalent to the Eldo Brougham and bury Rolls once again. Put that in the Ciel body and your half way there.

    Edited by balthazar
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    I'd like to see Cadillac go after Rolls-Royce with a Covette/Silverado engine and see what happens.  Or Maybe Cadillac can build a Lamborghini Aventador or Ferrari F12 competitor with a Covette motor.  I think people would pay $400,000 for a Cadillac with the same engine in a $60,000 Corvette.  

     

    Actually, I would expect them to build a Aventador and F12 beater using the Corvette Z-06 motor as a base.  The Z-06 is within 75 horsepower of the F12 and 50 horsepower of the Aventador today and out torques the both by 141 lb-ft. 

     

    Then there is also the fact that the Corvette's motor weighs substantially less than either of the V12s.....  the fact remains that one of the best upgrades one could do to either the Lambo or Ferrari would be to drop the Corvette Z-06 engine in the back hatch for an instant and substantial increase in torque with a significant decrease in weight.  Put an underdrive pulley on the supercharger and you'll even be ahead in horsepower figures as well. 

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    Why would anyone pay $400,000 for a car with a Corvette motor, when they could just buy a Corvette, for 1/6th the price.   All these high dollar cars have a V12 for a reason.    Cadillac couldn't even compete with the Mercedes SL, I can't see them pulling off a super car.

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    People buy Audi A6s with volkswagon engines in them- how do you explain that?

     

    A Corvette is a Corvette, a very high perform— I feel like I'm talking to a 5 yr old.

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    The A6 isn't quite $400,000.

     

    I'd like to see Cadillac spend $2 billion on a S-class/Maybach competitor and put their money where Johan's mouth is.

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    The A6 isn't quite $400,000.

     

    Neither is any Cadillac.

    No earthly possibility Rolls is going to fit a Corvette engine into a $400K or a $260K car (tho they had zero issues putting a GM Powertrain automatic in their cars for 23 years because they lacked the engineering know-how to build their own, strong-enough).

    No earthly possibility we're going to see a $400K or a $260K Cadillac ($150K is right around the corner, tho).

     

    Try and keep your conversational feet on the ground, hmm?

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    Why would anyone pay $400,000 for a car with a Corvette motor, when they could just buy a Corvette, for 1/6th the price.   All these high dollar cars have a V12 for a reason.    Cadillac couldn't even compete with the Mercedes SL, I can't see them pulling off a super car.

     

    Don't your feet get tired from all the running around you do moving the goal posts?

     

    Why would anyone buy a Ford GT with the Ecoboost V6 out of a Raptor?  Yet, I bet Ford will sell every one they build at or above list price.

     

    If Chevrolet did a mid-engine supercar, I'd expect it to have the Z-06 motor or an even higher tuned variant.  I would also expect that if it is similar weight and design to import mid-engine super cars, it will wipe the floor with them as it would have more power.

     

    The XLR's issues were not what was under the hood, but even then, moving from the DOHC Northstar to the Corvette V8 would have been a substantial upgrade for the car.

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      2016… What a year. This year saw a number of things that no one thought would actually happen did. Not helping matters is the number of famous people that have sadly passed on. Here at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau, it wasn’t such a great year for vehicles. For the 2016 review season, 44 vehicles came in for evaluation. Out of this group, only eight vehicles earned a spot of being my favorite vehicles from the year. Read on to see which vehicles made the cut.
      2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
      It is amazing how far Cadillac has come in the past decade and proof of it can be shown in the ATS- V coupe. A 464 horsepower twin-turbo V6 makes the vehicle fly with no issue. A set of sticky tires and adjustable dampers show the ATS-V is just as capable, maybe more so than its German counterparts. But it can also provide decent ride around town if you set the dampers into a comfort mode. Then there is the look. I’m not usually a fan of red, but it looks killer on the ATS-V coupe. It pairs quite nicely with sharp angles and a low roofline This was one of the models where I found myself grinning from ear to ear because of how much fun I had.
      2016 Chevrolet Volt
      It is amazing how far Chevrolet has come with the Volt. Five years ago, the Volt was this odd looking vehicle with a clever powertrain that made range anxiety nonexistent. Yes, 35 miles of electric-only range didn’t seem like a lot. However, the gas generator acted as an insurance policy if you ran out of juice with the battery. Flash forward to this year and Volt has not only seen an increase in overall range to 53 miles, but it has also gotten sleeker. This is currently my favorite looking Chevrolet vehicle with the new Cruze a close second. Other plus points include an improved interior and smooth ride. The new Bolt is currently basking in the spotlight that the Volt was at one time. But let us not forget the Volt is one of the key reasons why the Bolt exists. 
      2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack & SRT Hellcat
      Dodge covered the two extremes of performance this season with the Charger R/T Scat Pack and Hellcat. The Scat Pack was first up and I fell in love with it. For almost $40,000, you basically got an SRT Charger minus the adaptive suspension and number of luxury items. It was great fun with the 6.4L HEMI V8 bellowing down the road and the sharp looking Plum Crazy paint color. I found that you really don’t need the adaptive suspension as the Scat Pack does ok on bumpy roads or curvy roads.
      Then we come to the Charger SRT Hellcat. 707 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. It seems maddening that we are given a vehicle with all of this power for a price tag under $66,000. Trying to describe the way the Hellcat goes is difficult and something you need to experience. This is a vehicle that will make you laugh like a small child every time you decide to drop the hammer to hear the whir of the supercharger and manic sound of the V8.
      2016 Kia Optima SXL
      It is no secret that the Kia Optima is one of my favorite midsize sedans. It offers distinctive looks and feature set at a price that will surprise many. But it was set to fall off my list earlier this year when I drove the Optima EX. The big issues were an uncomfortable ride and poor noise isolation. So when I found out that the top of line SXL was scheduled later in the year, I was worried that it would be plagued by the same issues. But those issues never appeared. The SXL was not only quiet but showed a noticeable improvement in terms of ride comfort. I still don’t know what black magic Kia did on the SXL, but it kept the Optima on my favorites list. Now if they could work on the lazy throttle…
      2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
      “Sometimes to fully test a vehicle, you need to put it in a situation where it isn’t fully comfortable.”
      That was the case for the Mazda MX-5 Miata as it would not be only driven in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Michigan, but it would also be taking me to and from the Detroit Auto Show. Crazy? Of course. But the MX-5 Miata was wearing a set of winter tires which helped it stick to the road. Despite the cold temps and snow that would fall during the latter half of the week, the MX-5 Miata proved to be just as fun as it would have been in warmer weather. Sharp handling, an engine that loved to rev, and a slick six-speed manual transmission. It didn’t hurt that I could actually fit my suitcase into the trunk of the Miata for the show.
      2016 Scion iA
      I have a trend of driving brands or vehicles that will be ending. Most infamously was the time when I drove a Suzuki SX4 for review and then hearing the news of the brand leaving a couple of days after returning it. That was the case of the Scion iA. A few months after driving the iA, Toyota announced that it was shuttering the brand. Some of the vehicles, like the iA would continue as Toyotas. This was a smart move as the iA proved to be a winner. Being a rebadged Mazda2 was a big reason as to why I liked the iA. It was a fun vehicle to drive around town or on a special road. But it also featured a lot of standard equipment including automatic emergency braking. While the brand is gone, it is good to see the iA lives on.
      2016 Toyota Prius Three
      I have never been a fan of the Prius family. Every Prius that I have reviewed left me wondering who decided to start selling a science experiment and not an actual vehicle. But the 2016 Prius is my biggest shock of the year. Yes, the Prius will take its time getting up to speed on the freeway. But around town, the Prius was a spritely performer. More surprising was how well the Prius drove. Taking a corner, I was expecting to experience motion sickness because of how much body roll previous models had. But the Prius took it like a champ showing little body and some decent steering - thank the new TGNA architecture. It doesn’t hurt that I got 60.2 mpg as my average for the week. Well done Toyota.
      2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
      If there is one shining light at Volkswagen, it would have to be the Golf family. Last year, I named the Golf GTI as one of my favorites. This year, that honor falls to the SportWagen. Yes, it isn’t the sharpest looking vehicle in the class and the DSG transmission needs some more work. But Volkswagen got the basics right. The 1.8T is powerful and delivers excellent fuel economy. The interior spacious for both passengers and cargo - I was able to fit two massive Ikea boxes into it. Volkswagen also mastered the dark art of balancing fun to drive with comfort. I could take the Golf SportWagen down a windy road and be entertained. Afterward, I could drive it around town and not feel any road imperfections. 
      There you go, the eight vehicles that earned a coveted spot on my favorites list. Now it should be noted that some vehicles we’re close to getting onto this list, but were kicked off for one reason or another. Here are those vehicles,
      Chevrolet Malibu 2LT: Chevrolet did an excellent job with the new Malibu with fixing a number of issues that plagued the old model. But the 2LT introduced a new set of problems - questionable materials, poor road noise isolation, and the lack of options. I really do like the new Malibu, just not in 2LT form. Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible: Loved the V8 performance and noise. Hate the $54,000 pricetag. This might explain why GM has such a large amount of Camaros sitting on dealers. Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai played it safe with the updated Elantra and this would have been ok a couple of years ago. But in light of the redesigned Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic, it wasn’t enough for the Elantra to be a strong contender as it once was. Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X: This was a truck I really wanted to like. Nissan was trying something different with the Titan XD - offer something between a light-duty and heavy-duty pickup. Plus, a nice Cummins V8 diesel could have been the cheery on top. But trying to convince someone that your truck is the best is difficult since truck buyers tend to stick with one brand. Not helping is the lack of cab and bed sizes. At the time of our original review, the XD was only available as a crew cab. A regular cab has been since introduced. But it seems Nissan doesn’t fully understand the truck market. You need to have a lot of options available to buyers at launch, not down the road.
    • 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

      View full article
    • 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

      View full article
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