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    • By William Maley
      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?
      The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.
      Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
      For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.
      Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.
      The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 
      On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.
      But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
      Base Price: $38,800
      As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
    • By FAPTurbo
      for a rental I got a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (RVR in Canada) with about 200 miles on the odo.
       
      the target buyer is your weird aunt who always called herself ‘the fun aunt’ when you were 11 because she’s 44 but says she looks 41, unmarried, says words like ‘groovy’ , funky’ and ‘kiddo’ and always takes you to applebees for appy hour for some belated birthdate you had a week and a half ago.
      the aunt whose name your mom would slowly sigh out after hanging up another phone call where the subjects shifted between dried ovaries, outdated match.com profile photos, gravity’s toll and questioning why that nice boy way back in grade 12 never called again, while your dad sat at the kitchen table staring stone faced at the newspaper knowing if he made one smart remark, he’d be hit with it.
      she was on a tuesday evening date with a divorced 47-year old beergut named richie who drives the shuttle for an automall, and the sales manager at the mitsu dealer promised richie a $100 gift card to montana’s for each successful referral. your aunt jumped at the chance for a second date to ride richie’s short bus around the dealerships all day.
      unfortunately, richie interpreted ‘ride richie’s short bus’ incorrectly on the second date, so your aunt was promptly dropped off in front of a shiny Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
      she loved how ‘it looks like a little truck’ and couldn’t believe the giant sunroof. a sales rep upon seeing an actual person on the lot, thought she was lost
      opening the door, the old navy yoga pants on aunt’s diminishing derrière slid onto the cheap, plasticky leather seating, her chunky jewelry-laden hands running along hard, hollow, textured plastics, leaving fingerprints on the sparse piano black plastic accents. 
      ‘ooooh i can fit all my girlfriends in this for a road trip’ exclaimed your aunt to the sales rep, who silently doubted the plural in girlfriends as he looked at the decent interior space that welcomed nobody. 
      as if by magic, the radio is tuned to 95.9 SPLASH FM, ‘WITH TRIX AND THE CHIX,‘ and shania is belting out on speakers tinnier than the discman headphones you had when she was popular.
      unable to see over the exaggerated hood and rear quarter panels, your aunt doesn’t care because the outlander allegedly has four wheel drive, so even snow won’t stop her from safely getting to her administrative job at the caster wheel wholesaler.
      in just a few short hours, the young finance guy who politely yet deftly ignored any ‘is there a missus todd?’ questions has put your aunt in the outlander for 72 months at just a little over $100 a week.
      now your aunt has plenty of hatchback to put bumper stickers like ‘I got crabs in Maryland’ and ‘Caution: Blonde Driving,’ and you’ll appreciate the last one because the mitsu’s handling isn’t good and feels disconnected from the road.
      the cvt makes the engine seem lazy, devoid of pep and drive.
      like your aunt, the mitsubishi outlander sport just... exists. it pleases no one even if it’s trying and it makes you feel bad.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Alfa Romeo still has some crossover rollouts coming, however a recent peak at the quarterly earning statement gave a clue as to what else is happening at the brand, and the truth is, it isn't much. During the earnings call this week, CEO Mike Manley said that Alfa's "future product lineup has been significantly scaled back with a corresponding reduction in capital spend." 
      Alfa currently has two products on the market in North America, the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover.  Those will both be getting a refresh for the 2021 model year.  That same year, a new C-segment crossover will make an appearance. This model, previewed by the Tonale concept car, will ride on the same platform as the Fiat 500x and Jeep Renegade. It should eventually be offered as a plug-in hybrid as well.  After that, a B-segment crossover should appear as well. 
      Once the crossovers are on the road though, there isn't much left.  The expected return of the GTV and 8C Competizione don't appear anywhere in the plans. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Alfa Romeo still has some crossover rollouts coming, however a recent peak at the quarterly earning statement gave a clue as to what else is happening at the brand, and the truth is, it isn't much. During the earnings call this week, CEO Mike Manley said that Alfa's "future product lineup has been significantly scaled back with a corresponding reduction in capital spend." 
      Alfa currently has two products on the market in North America, the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover.  Those will both be getting a refresh for the 2021 model year.  That same year, a new C-segment crossover will make an appearance. This model, previewed by the Tonale concept car, will ride on the same platform as the Fiat 500x and Jeep Renegade. It should eventually be offered as a plug-in hybrid as well.  After that, a B-segment crossover should appear as well. 
      Once the crossovers are on the road though, there isn't much left.  The expected return of the GTV and 8C Competizione don't appear anywhere in the plans. 
  • Posts

    • Yeah, that was so sad.. 😞  Not a big basketball fan, but always thought Kobe was a first class guy. Even worse that his daughter was in it as well.
    • Was in Flicksville PA today, I'll be generous and call it 'painfully rural'. Not that I don't like that, but where to even get a pizza. I didn't take this pic in/of Flicksville (tho I did drive down this road); I stole it from....   Flickr.
    • ^ there are some numbers / facts worth consideration. Oils, greases and petrochemicals are required to build a wind turbine, a 2 MW unit costs 3-4 million & only lasts 20 yrs (with 3 gearbox changes along the way). Any discussion of efficiency must also take into account base costs and longevity.  There’s a hydro-electric turbine that at least circa 1990 was using the same main bearing installed circa 1902. I believe the turbine was of mega-tonnage. Sorry I don’t recall the details, but it may very be still running.  It was a major disappointment for me to learn a modern, new millennium turbine, that turns so incredibly slowly, isn’t built to last 75-100 years. That’s unquestionably, an inefficiency.
    • RIP Kobe.   Its even more tragic that his 13 year old daughter also had to go.   This event truly saddened me tonight.       
    • Any component can be made to any level of quality/longevity, but all else 'being equal' ; mechanical should outlast multi-component electronics every time. Permanently sealed/lubricated pivot points are not going to get contaminated/corroded or fail before electronics- which don't seem to ever meet 'military grade spec' for longevity; that's not a basis the military really designs on.
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