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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.

     

    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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      The Camaro Convertible is shocking as to how well it handles. Part of this comes down to optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system which limits body roll. Chevrolet engineers also worked on improving the structural rigidity of the Camaro. The combination makes the convertible just as good as the coupe in corners. Direction change is fast and there is plenty of grip coming from the meaty tires. Where the Camaro Convertible falters is the ride quality. The SS comes with a set of twenty-inch wheels. While they do look sharp, it makes for a somewhat unbearable ride. Bumps of any size are clearly transmitted to those sitting inside. MRC does its best to provide a comfortable ride, but it might be worth considering going down to a smaller wheel to improve the ride. Wind buffeting is kept in check with the windows up or down.
      Price:
      The 2016 Buick Cascada starts at $33,065 for the base model. Our up-level Premium starts at $36,065 and comes to an as-tested price of $37,385 thanks to the vehicle being finished in an optional blue color. You really don’t get much in terms of additional features when compared to the base Cascada aside from some additional safety features - front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert - and automatic wipers. Also for that amount of cash, you could with the Audi A3 cabriolet which offers a slightly more premium interior. But you would lose out on the larger back seat of the Cascada. You would be better off with the base Cascada.
      If you have your heart set on a Camaro Convertible, be ready to shell out the cash. The 2016 Camaro 2SS Convertible carries a base sticker of $48,300 - $6,005 more expensive than the coupe. Add on the list of options fitted to our tester such as the eight-speed automatic, magnetic ride control, and dual-mode exhaust system and you’ll end up with an as-tested price of $54,075. I’ll give you a moment to pick yourself up from the floor due to the price shock. The Camaro is nice car all-around, but is it really worth dropping $54,000?! We’re not so sure. 
      Verdict:
      Both of vehicles have issues that don’t make them as appealing. The Cascada’s engine either needs to be kicked to the curb or head off to the gym to get a bit more power. It would nice if Buick could also figure how to put in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascada, although that might prove to be an engineering nightmare and something that would be better suited for the next-generation model. The Camaro Convertible’s price tag will make a number of people and their bank accounts cry. Also for being a convertible, the Camaro still feels as claustrophobic as the coupe.
      But when you drop the tops in both models, you forget all about the issues. Instead, you begin to take in the sky and rush of the wind. This makes you remember why you bought a convertible, to enjoy the feeling of openness. It is only when you put the top back up that makes you wonder if you can live with the issues. In the case of the Cascada, the answer is no. The Camaro is a maybe.
       
       
      Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Cascada and Camaro; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Buick
      Model: Cascada
      Trim: Premium
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L SIDI DOHC with VVT
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1,800 - 4,500, 221 @ 2,200 - 4,000 (with overboost)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,979 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gliwice, Poland
      Base Price: $36,065
      As Tested Price: $37,385 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Deep Sky Metallic - $395.00
      Year: 2016
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Camaro Convertible
      Trim: SS
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 455 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 455 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/28/20
      Curb Weight: 3,966 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $54,075 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Magnetic Ride Control - $1,695.00
      Eight-Speed Automatic - $1,495.00
      Dual-Mode Exhaust - $895.00
      Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
      20" 5-Split Spoke Aluminum Wheels - $200.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Summertime means something different for everyone. For some, it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. For others, it is the time to take that trip you have been thinking about for awhile. If you’re an automotive writer like myself, summertime means convertible season. The feeling of having the roof down and enjoying the expanded view of the sky is something quite special. This summer saw two of GM’s latest convertibles roll into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit garage, the new Buick Cascada and recently redesigned Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. How did these two droptops fare in the summer heat?
      Exterior:
      There is no denying the Opel/Vauxhall roots of the Buick Cascada as it is just basically the Cascada sold in Europe with Buick basing. But that isn’t a bad thing since the Cascada is handsome for the most part. The front features a new grille design and headlights with LED accents. The side profile reveals short overhangs for the front and rear. These overhangs make the side look somewhat oddly proportioned. A set 20-inch wheels come standard. Around back, a long chrome bar runs along the trunk lid into the taillights. 
      On the opposite end is the Chevrolet Camaro. If you’re looking for something quiet and doesn’t bring attention, then maybe you should pass on it. Redesigned last year, Chevrolet retained the Camaro’s basic profile with its sharp lines and rounded corners. But major work was done on the front and rear ends. The front features a narrow top grille and slim headlights. A massive grille sits underneath between a set of deep cuts into the front bumper. The back has been cleaned up with a new trunk lid design, rectangular headlights, and quad-exhaust tips. 
      One item both the Cascada and Camaro share is a fabric top. Putting the top down or up takes under 20 seconds for both vehicles. With the tops down, both vehicles look quite good. But put the tops up and the Cascada is the better looking of the two. I can’t put my finger as to why, but I think it deals with how the Cascada has a little bit more glass than the Camaro. 
      Interior:
      Unfortunately, both the Cascada and Camaro fall on their face when it comes to the interior for different reasons.
      In the case of the Cascada, it features the dash from the outgoing Verano and Encore. This reveals that the Cascada is older despite what Buick may have you think. For example, the center stack is laden with buttons and it will take you a few moments to find the specific one you’re looking for. Not helping is the Cascada using GM’s last-generation infotainment system. While the system is easy to use, the interface is looking very dated. It would have been nice if Buick could have slipped in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascade, but that would have likely introduced more problems than solutions.
      On the upside, the Cascada’s interior is well-built and features decent quality materials. A fair amount of dash and door panels feature some soft touch material. The front seats are comfortable for short and long distance trips. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat make it easy to find a position that works. One touch Buick deserves applause for is the seat belt presenter. The front seat belts are nestled away when the Cascada is turned off to make it easier to get in and out of the back seat. But when you start it up, the presenter extends for both the driver and passenger to buckle in. The back seat provides enough space for kids or small adults. Taller folks like myself will find minimal legroom. With the top up, anyone sitting back here will feel very confined. With the top down, this feeling goes away. 
      Step into the 2016 Camaro Convertible’s interior and you’ll find the same retro ideas from the previous model such as the shape of the dash and circular vents. But Chevrolet improved the overall usability of the Camaro’s interior. For example, the retro-inspired engine information gauges that were placed ahead of the shifter in the previous generation are gone. In its place are a set of air vents that also control the temperature of the climate control system. 
      Our tester featured the optional Chevrolet MyLink system with navigation. We know we’re beating a dead horse with our complaints with MyLink such as a slow response when going from various screens and recognizing devices plugged into the USB ports. But you would think that GM would maybe issue an update or something by now to fix some of these issues? Like other Chevrolet models we have driven this year, the Camaro’s MyLink system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We tried CarPlay and found it to be easier to use than most automaker’s infotainment systems. But, we had issues with apps crashing and the system not always recognizing our phone.
      The front bucket seats are quite comfortable and will hold you in if you decide to tackle that special road aggressively. A set of power adjustments makes it easy for anyone to find a comfortable position. The back seat is best reserved for small kids or extra storage as legroom is nonexistent. You would think that the Camaro Convertible wouldn’t feel as claustrophobic as the coupe since you can put the top down, but it isn’t. Sitting in the Camaro convertible with the top down, I felt like I was being contained in a small box. Blame the high belt line for this.
      Powertrain:
      Power for the Buick Cascada comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The figures are impressive for this engine. But drop it into the Cascada and it is quite disappointing. Performance is very lethargic as the engine has to overcome the nearly two tons of Cascada. It feels like an eternity getting up to speed and you’ll find yourself putting the pedal to the floor to get the vehicle moving at a sufficient rate. EPA figures for the Cascada stand at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed at 21 mpg. 
      The Camaro’s engine lineup includes a 3.6L V6, turbocharged 2.0L four, and our SS tester’s 6.2L V8. The V8 pumps out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. We had the optional eight-speed automatic, but you can get a six-speed manual. The V8 makes the Camaro Convertible stupidly fun. I found myself wanting to roll down the window at a stop light to tell the vehicle next to me “let me play you the song of my people” before stomping on the accelerator and having the V8 roar into life as the light turns green. The engine will pin you in your seat if you floor it and there is a never-ending stream of power throughout the rev range. A nice touch is the optional dual-mode exhaust system that only amplifies the noises of the V8. The eight-speed automatic is ofine around town and on the highway but stumbles somewhat in enthusiastic driving where it takes a moment to downshift when slowing down. Fuel economy for the Camaro SS Convertible stands at 17 City/28 Highway/20 Combined. I got about 19 mpg during my week-long test.
      Ride & Handling:
      Describing the ride and handling characteristics of the Cascada can be summed up in one word; smooth. Buick’s engineers tuned the Cascada’s suspension to deliver an almost magic carpet ride. Even with a set of twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment, the Cascada is able to deal with rough roads with no issues. Around corners, the Cascada feels planted and body roll is kept in check. But don’t plan on doing anything enthusiastic with it. The steering is a little bit too light for it. Drive it like a relaxed cruiser and you’ll enjoy it. Wind buffeting is minimal with either the windows rolled up or down.
      The Camaro Convertible is shocking as to how well it handles. Part of this comes down to optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system which limits body roll. Chevrolet engineers also worked on improving the structural rigidity of the Camaro. The combination makes the convertible just as good as the coupe in corners. Direction change is fast and there is plenty of grip coming from the meaty tires. Where the Camaro Convertible falters is the ride quality. The SS comes with a set of twenty-inch wheels. While they do look sharp, it makes for a somewhat unbearable ride. Bumps of any size are clearly transmitted to those sitting inside. MRC does its best to provide a comfortable ride, but it might be worth considering going down to a smaller wheel to improve the ride. Wind buffeting is kept in check with the windows up or down.
      Price:
      The 2016 Buick Cascada starts at $33,065 for the base model. Our up-level Premium starts at $36,065 and comes to an as-tested price of $37,385 thanks to the vehicle being finished in an optional blue color. You really don’t get much in terms of additional features when compared to the base Cascada aside from some additional safety features - front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert - and automatic wipers. Also for that amount of cash, you could with the Audi A3 cabriolet which offers a slightly more premium interior. But you would lose out on the larger back seat of the Cascada. You would be better off with the base Cascada.
      If you have your heart set on a Camaro Convertible, be ready to shell out the cash. The 2016 Camaro 2SS Convertible carries a base sticker of $48,300 - $6,005 more expensive than the coupe. Add on the list of options fitted to our tester such as the eight-speed automatic, magnetic ride control, and dual-mode exhaust system and you’ll end up with an as-tested price of $54,075. I’ll give you a moment to pick yourself up from the floor due to the price shock. The Camaro is nice car all-around, but is it really worth dropping $54,000?! We’re not so sure. 
      Verdict:
      Both of vehicles have issues that don’t make them as appealing. The Cascada’s engine either needs to be kicked to the curb or head off to the gym to get a bit more power. It would nice if Buick could also figure how to put in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascada, although that might prove to be an engineering nightmare and something that would be better suited for the next-generation model. The Camaro Convertible’s price tag will make a number of people and their bank accounts cry. Also for being a convertible, the Camaro still feels as claustrophobic as the coupe.
      But when you drop the tops in both models, you forget all about the issues. Instead, you begin to take in the sky and rush of the wind. This makes you remember why you bought a convertible, to enjoy the feeling of openness. It is only when you put the top back up that makes you wonder if you can live with the issues. In the case of the Cascada, the answer is no. The Camaro is a maybe.
       
       
      Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Cascada and Camaro; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Buick
      Model: Cascada
      Trim: Premium
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L SIDI DOHC with VVT
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1,800 - 4,500, 221 @ 2,200 - 4,000 (with overboost)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,979 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gliwice, Poland
      Base Price: $36,065
      As Tested Price: $37,385 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Deep Sky Metallic - $395.00
      Year: 2016
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Camaro Convertible
      Trim: SS
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 455 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 455 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/28/20
      Curb Weight: 3,966 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $54,075 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Magnetic Ride Control - $1,695.00
      Eight-Speed Automatic - $1,495.00
      Dual-Mode Exhaust - $895.00
      Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
      20" 5-Split Spoke Aluminum Wheels - $200.00
    • By William Maley
      Three years might not seem like a long time. But in the automotive industry, it is an eternity. In that short amount time, a vehicle may be surpassed by competitors and sales may take a dive. Take for example the Nissan Altima. When the redesigned model was launched back in 2013, it was considered to be above-average and some key advantages over rivals. But time has passed and the Altima has been surpassed in a number of key areas by refreshed/redesigned competitors. Nissan knew they needed to do something to get the Altima back in contention. Last year, they introduced a refreshed Altima that would hopefully give them a fighting chance in the class. Let's see if it does.
      If you were expecting some big changes to the Altima’s exterior in this mid-cycle refresh, then you’ll be disappointed. The front end features a new V-shaped grille and revised headlights to bring the model in line with the current Nissan design language. Updated taillights and new wheel choices finish off the changes. The interior is mostly left alone in this refresh aside from some new choices of trim pieces. That isn’t a bad thing as the Altima’s interior is a nice place to be in with ample space for passengers, a fair amount of soft-touch materials used throughout, and a simple dash layout. 
      One item we do wish Nissan would have addressed in this refresh is the NissanConnect infotainment system. All Altimas come with a five-inch touchscreen as standard, while our SL tester featured the optional seven-inch screen. This system has a number of issues ranging from an interface that makes it look older than it really is to the system crashing our iPod on a regular basis. More worrying was the system crashing and rebooting twice during our week-long test. It would be nice for Nissan to take the system out of the Maxima and Murano and put it into the rest of their lineup as it doesn’t have the issues listed here.
      Under the hood of the Altima are the same engines that have powered it since 2013. Our Altima SL tester came with the standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 183 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. No matter which engine you pick, a Xtronic CVT routes the power to the front wheels. The 2.5 does quite well around town as the engine gets up to speed at a decent rate. Getting onto the highway is another story as you’ll need to almost floor the gas pedal to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. This also brings forth an abundance of engine noise, something we complained about in our 2014 Nissan Altima SL review. At least the Xtronic CVT is responsive when you step on the accelerator and the illusion of the stepped gears can make most buyers believe they’re driving an automatic.
      The EPA rates the Altima’s fuel economy at 27 City/39 Highway/31 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 31.7 MPG.
      The Altima’s ride and handling characteristics are in the middle. The suspension does a decent job of soaking up most bumps, but some larger ones will make their way inside. The recently redesigned Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Passat do a better job in this regard. In the bends, the Altima feels composed and shows little body roll. But the steering is way too light and doesn’t offer enough feel to feel sporty. If you want that, a Mazda6 or Ford Fusion should be on the list.
      How do you sum up the 2016 Nissan Altima? It is a competent midsize sedan. But competent isn’t a strong selling point to a midsize sedan as you can apply to any model in the class. What you need is something that makes your model stand out whether in terms of design or features. The Altima doesn’t have anything like that.
      Picking the Altima may be the safe choice, but it be might a choice you regret.
      Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Altima, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Nissan
      Model: Altima
      Trim: 2.5 SL
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Xtronic CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 182 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 180 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/39/31
      Curb Weight: 3,254 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN
      Base Price: $28,570
      As Tested Price: $32,115 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Technology Package - $1,700
      Moonroof Package - $800.00
      Carpeted Floormats and Trunk Mat - $210.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Three years might not seem like a long time. But in the automotive industry, it is an eternity. In that short amount time, a vehicle may be surpassed by competitors and sales may take a dive. Take for example the Nissan Altima. When the redesigned model was launched back in 2013, it was considered to be above-average and some key advantages over rivals. But time has passed and the Altima has been surpassed in a number of key areas by refreshed/redesigned competitors. Nissan knew they needed to do something to get the Altima back in contention. Last year, they introduced a refreshed Altima that would hopefully give them a fighting chance in the class. Let's see if it does.
      If you were expecting some big changes to the Altima’s exterior in this mid-cycle refresh, then you’ll be disappointed. The front end features a new V-shaped grille and revised headlights to bring the model in line with the current Nissan design language. Updated taillights and new wheel choices finish off the changes. The interior is mostly left alone in this refresh aside from some new choices of trim pieces. That isn’t a bad thing as the Altima’s interior is a nice place to be in with ample space for passengers, a fair amount of soft-touch materials used throughout, and a simple dash layout. 
      One item we do wish Nissan would have addressed in this refresh is the NissanConnect infotainment system. All Altimas come with a five-inch touchscreen as standard, while our SL tester featured the optional seven-inch screen. This system has a number of issues ranging from an interface that makes it look older than it really is to the system crashing our iPod on a regular basis. More worrying was the system crashing and rebooting twice during our week-long test. It would be nice for Nissan to take the system out of the Maxima and Murano and put it into the rest of their lineup as it doesn’t have the issues listed here.
      Under the hood of the Altima are the same engines that have powered it since 2013. Our Altima SL tester came with the standard 2.5L four-cylinder with 183 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. No matter which engine you pick, a Xtronic CVT routes the power to the front wheels. The 2.5 does quite well around town as the engine gets up to speed at a decent rate. Getting onto the highway is another story as you’ll need to almost floor the gas pedal to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. This also brings forth an abundance of engine noise, something we complained about in our 2014 Nissan Altima SL review. At least the Xtronic CVT is responsive when you step on the accelerator and the illusion of the stepped gears can make most buyers believe they’re driving an automatic.
      The EPA rates the Altima’s fuel economy at 27 City/39 Highway/31 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 31.7 MPG.
      The Altima’s ride and handling characteristics are in the middle. The suspension does a decent job of soaking up most bumps, but some larger ones will make their way inside. The recently redesigned Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Passat do a better job in this regard. In the bends, the Altima feels composed and shows little body roll. But the steering is way too light and doesn’t offer enough feel to feel sporty. If you want that, a Mazda6 or Ford Fusion should be on the list.
      How do you sum up the 2016 Nissan Altima? It is a competent midsize sedan. But competent isn’t a strong selling point to a midsize sedan as you can apply to any model in the class. What you need is something that makes your model stand out whether in terms of design or features. The Altima doesn’t have anything like that.
      Picking the Altima may be the safe choice, but it be might a choice you regret.
      Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Altima, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Nissan
      Model: Altima
      Trim: 2.5 SL
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Xtronic CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 182 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 180 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/39/31
      Curb Weight: 3,254 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN
      Base Price: $28,570
      As Tested Price: $32,115 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Technology Package - $1,700
      Moonroof Package - $800.00
      Carpeted Floormats and Trunk Mat - $210.00
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