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    Dodge Challenger Adds All-Wheel Drive for 2017


    • All-Wheel Drive in a Muscle Car? Say it isn't so!


    Dodge is doing something that can be considered as sacrilegious in the muscle car class. They are adding an all-wheel drive version of the Challenger to their lineup.

    The 2017 Challenger GT will go on sale early next year with a base price of $34,990 (includes $1,095 destination charge). The all-wheel drive system that the Challenger will use is the same one found in the Charger AWD - power is sent to the rear wheels until slip is detected, at which point the front axle will hook up to the transfer case and get power. The bad news is that you can only get the GT with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 305 horsepower and 286 pound-feet of torque, and eight-speed automatic. On the plus side, the GT will come with the Super Track Pak that brings launch control, performance pages, and other items.

    Not much sets the Challenger GT apart from other models in terms of the exterior. The GT comes with a new hood, LED head and taillights, decklid spoiler, and a set of 19-inch wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

    Source: Dodge
    Press Release is on Page 2


    New 2017 Dodge Challenger GT Is World’s First and Only All-wheel-drive American Muscle Coupe

    • Dodge Challenger GT Joins Charger AWD to Complete the Dodge Lineup of All-wheel-drive Muscle Cars, Delivering Unparalleled Year-round Performance
    • Segment-first: 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is the first two-door American muscle car with all-wheel drive, providing muscle car enthusiasts all-weather driving confidence exclusive to Dodge
    • Challenger GT features the same high-performance all-wheel-drive system found in the award-winning Dodge Charger AWD with active transfer case and front-axle disconnect
    • Dodge’s award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is standard, delivering 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm
    • New 2017 Dodge Challenger GT model has a starting U.S Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $33,395 (excluding $1,095 destination charge)
    • Dodge Challenger GT AWD production is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and vehicles will be available in dealerships the first quarter of 2017

    December 7, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Designed and engineered for world-class precision, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT all-wheel drive (AWD) delivers the performance, power and all-weather capability to carve through some of the worst weather Mother Nature can dish out.
     
    From winding through twisty stretches of mountain roads, escaping away to a snow-covered ski resort, to daily commutes through the slush and snow of Northeastern and Midwestern winters, the Challenger GT AWD is built to handle it all.
     
    “Dodge is shifting the muscle car paradigm with the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT – the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The Challenger has always been the most wide-ranging and functional muscle coupe, and now, with the new 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive Challenger GT, we are stretching the functional and geographic boundaries even further.

    Available this winter
    The new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD model has a starting U.S Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $33,395 (excluding $1,095 destination charge).
     
    With production beginning in January, the all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger GT is scheduled to arrive at Dodge dealerships nationwide in the first quarter of 2017.

    Power, precision and prowess
    The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD features Dodge’s award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.
     
    A tuned induction system and dual exhaust from the manifolds back to the tips help deliver more than 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque from 1,800 to 6,400 rpm – all for outstanding drivability and responsiveness. With the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, Challenger GT offers up to an EPA-estimated 18 city/27 hwy miles per gallon (mpg).

    The Dodge Challenger GT features Dodge’s high-performance all-wheel-drive system. Also found in the Charger AWD, this technologically advanced system includes an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for excellent all-season performance and fuel economy. The Challenger GT seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive with no driver intervention. Under normal driving conditions, the front axle is disengaged and 100 percent of the engine’s torque is directed to the rear wheels. This preserves the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling characteristics inherent to rear-wheel-drive vehicles. When sensors indicate the need for additional traction, the system automatically engages the front axle, instantly transitioning Challenger GT into all-wheel-drive mode.
     
    Enhanced with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), the Challenger GT AWD has impressive handling on all surfaces, especially snow and ice. VDC provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces and also helps the driver maintain the desired vehicle path. Enhancing the on-road dynamic performance using precise front-to-rear torque control integrated with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, VDC maintains Challenger’s fun-to-drive character, regardless of road conditions.
     
    In addition, the new Dodge Challenger GT AWD features paddle shifters and Sport mode. With Sport mode active, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use the die-cast steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and view gear election through the full-color Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) centered in the instrument cluster.
     
    The Challenger GT Super Track Pak button activates Dodge Performance Pages and launch control features embedded in the 8.4-inch touchscreen radio. Visible performance information, such as reaction times, 0-60 times, G-force indicator and lap times, can be monitored, and even mirrored, in the 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable cluster display. The new Challenger GT model also features three-mode ESC with “full-off” mode, a fun feature for drifting through snowy scenes.

    All-weather traction all year long, rain, sleet, snow or shine
    For muscle car enthusiasts who want more all-weather traction, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT delivers premium amenities inside and out, including 19-inch aluminum wheels with Hyper Black finish and P235/55R19 BSW all-season performance tires, projector fog lamps, a deck-lid rear spoiler, ParkSense rear park assist and ParkView rear backup camera.
     
    Challenger GT is equally well equipped on the inside with standard features, such as premium Nappa leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats with four-way power driver lumbar adjustment, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping column, Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six Alpine speakers with 276-watt amplifier, bright pedals, universal garage door opener and Hectic Mesh aluminum bezels.
     
    GT Interior Package
    The all-new GT Interior package, which is unique to this Challenger AWD model, includes performance Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seats – available on a V-6 for the first time – nine Alpine speakers, including a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier, and the Dodge performance steering wheel. U.S MSRP for the GT Interior package is $995.

    Performance-inspired design, all year round
    1971-inspired design, both inside and out, the Dodge Challenger GT features refined exterior styling and heritage muscle-car appearance with split grille, pronounced and functional power bulge hood, LED halo headlamps and LED tail lamps.

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    Pair it up with a V8 and stop wasting everyone's time FCA. Good grief. They are just phoning it in if it doesn't involve a Jeep or a Fiat. Probably why they are headed to the great crapper in the sky. 

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    29 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

    This car, with that propulsion system and at that price, just doesn't make sense to me.

    Me either....

    7 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    Pair it up with a V8 and stop wasting everyone's time FCA. Good grief. They are just phoning it in if it doesn't involve a Jeep or a Fiat. Probably why they are headed to the great crapper in the sky. 

    ...and can't get there fast enough IMHO.  They are copying a design from 1970 for crying out loud...I was 5 years old in 1970....now several people I went to high school with are grand parents...when you rely on a design from half a century ago, your brand is dead....

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    3 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Me either....

    ...and can't get there fast enough IMHO.  They are copying a design from 1970 for crying out loud...I was 5 years old in 1970....now several people I went to high school with are grand parents...when you rely on a design from half a century ago, your brand is dead....

    I have no problem with the design but this is just pure neglect and half-assery by FCA. 

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    13 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    I have no problem with the design but this is just pure neglect and half-assery by FCA. 

    I have no problem with the design per se, but when the main car they are relying on is a copy of a half century old design, and they go half way on the power train, that to me really shows they don't care much.

    Show me that you care and then maybe I will be willing to drop coin on product....

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    Boo on leaving the 5.7 out of the equation.  That said, i could see myself getting a used one as a dail driver in a few years time.  I am really starting to wonder if the reason the Hemi AWDs died was actually sales or something else, like the Hemi and 8 speed being too large to fit the current AWD system, at least without making i look like a 4x4?  Heck, let's just jack the MFer up, give it underbody armor and some nice fat all terrain tires, give the the Hemi and sale them like hotcakes in the northern region.  I mean wtf not!

     

    maxresdefault.jpg

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    Honestly though, if they had put the 5.7 in, people would bitch it isn't the 6.4.  if they put the 6.4 in people would bitch because they didn't use the hellcat.  it is kind of like them killing car models to concentrate on the much higher demand SUVs and people bitch.  Ford says they are going to do it and they get praise.  They could replace every model tomorrow with brand new ones all on new platforms and people would bitch.  just saying.......

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    Here is another example of where they need to put the money into making a new car on a new platform.

    This is an old over weight Chrysler based on an Older over weight Benz E class from around the early 1990's.

    It has gotten to the point that even the media does not even use this car in comparisons with the Mustang and Camaro.

    Now they are pushing this back to 2021 so I get the feeling we may be seeing the last of the cars from Chrysler.  Sergio has raped and pillaged Chrysler Jeep to the point that they receive little in return.

    Yet they have a new Alfa that will under perform in sales and never really be a challenger to the Germans outside being a car for those who want something different and like to spend time a the dealer waiting rooms.

    I really wonder how long the Dodge engineers will hang around as they try so hard but get so little support.

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    2 minutes ago, hyperv6 said:

    Here is another example of where they need to put the money into making a new car on a new platform.

    This is an old over weight Chrysler based on an Older over weight Benz E class from around the early 1990's.

    It has gotten to the point that even the media does not even use this car in comparisons with the Mustang and Camaro.

    Now they are pushing this back to 2021 so I get the feeling we may be seeing the last of the cars from Chrysler.  Sergio has raped and pillaged Chrysler Jeep to the point that they receive little in return.

    Yet they have a new Alfa that will under perform in sales and never really be a challenger to the Germans outside being a car for those who want something different and like to spend time a the dealer waiting rooms.

    I really wonder how long the Dodge engineers will hang around as they try so hard but get so little support.

    Please show me any proof of this.  We actually knew for a very long time it would be 2021 before the LX replacements appeared.  Also, VERY little of LX was based on the old Benz platform and at this point EVERY single E-class part has been replaced and it now shares nothing with that old platform.  Also, for the size the weight is average, they really need Aluminum blocks on their Hemis to cut weight from he nose.  In this climate and with what is selling it makes MUCH more sense to concentrate on trucks and SUVs unless you are Toyota or Honda, that is just how it is right now and you act as if they are the only ones doign this when that isn't remotely the truth.

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    24 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Honestly though, if they had put the 5.7 in, people would bitch it isn't the 6.4.  if they put the 6.4 in people would bitch because they didn't use the hellcat.  it is kind of like them killing car models to concentrate on the much higher demand SUVs and people bitch.  Ford says they are going to do it and they get praise.  They could replace every model tomorrow with brand new ones all on new platforms and people would bitch.  just saying.......

    I see what you're saying but being in any variation of a V8 is a no brainer to me. 

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    3 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    I see what you're saying but being in any variation of a V8 is a no brainer to me. 

    Me too, but you know what I say is correct.  If they decide to counter with an AWD Camaro it will simply use ATS hardware which means turbo 4 or V6 and this wouldn't surprise me at all.  I bet they would get praised for it. 

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    19 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Please show me any proof of this.  We actually knew for a very long time it would be 2021 before the LX replacements appeared.  Also, VERY little of LX was based on the old Benz platform and at this point EVERY single E-class part has been replaced and it now shares nothing with that old platform.  Also, for the size the weight is average, they really need Aluminum blocks on their Hemis to cut weight from he nose.  In this climate and with what is selling it makes MUCH more sense to concentrate on trucks and SUVs unless you are Toyota or Honda, that is just how it is right now and you act as if they are the only ones doign this when that isn't remotely the truth.

    Actually the LX replacements were pushed back several times before the 2021 date was set. Either way it is long overdue. I love the Challenger but it is long past time to move it into a more modern platform. 

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    Just now, surreal1272 said:

    Actually the LX replacements were pushed back several times before the 2021 date was set. Either way it is long overdue. I love the Challenger but it is long past time to move it into a more modern platform. 

    I do agree there, but compared to say, the Taurus, explorer, flex, etc it isn't that old of a platform as all of those ARE on a platform from the 90s.  I am not saying I agree with the neglect, but you can't judge them harshly for a thin and then praise another fordoing the same thing.  The whole industry is heading in the direction .of concentrating on trucks and SUVs while leaving the cars alone for longer.  These are still businesses so they are still going to flow to where the profit is. 

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    I can't help but wonder who the target buyer for this is??

    Who is demanding a huge, 2 door, auto-only AWD V6 sled priced in the mid-upper 30's?? What is the point of the car?? A Golf R, WRX/STI, or Focus RS all kill this car for similar or less money. And off a ton more practicality to boot.

     

    In other words, AWD widebody Hellcat or bust. :nono:

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    13 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    I can't help but wonder who the target buyer for this is??

    Who is demanding a huge, 2 door, auto-only AWD V6 sled priced in the mid-upper 30's?? What is the point of the car?? A Golf R, WRX/STI, or Focus RS all kill this car for similar or less money. And off a ton more practicality to boot.

     

    In other words, AWD widebody Hellcat or bust. :nono:

    EXACTLY!

    There are so many other vehicle out there for similar money(higher and lower) that do the job of this so much better. It isn't like this 3.6 is going to win many drag races matched to a 4500lb sled. realistically(and sadly) my 2.0T Escape probably won't be far behind this in a race. and it does all of the other things this is supposed to do...better.. AWD/4WD Jeep Cherokee 3.6 is in the same ballpark.

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    2 hours ago, Stew said:

    Please show me any proof of this.  We actually knew for a very long time it would be 2021 before the LX replacements appeared.  Also, VERY little of LX was based on the old Benz platform and at this point EVERY single E-class part has been replaced and it now shares nothing with that old platform.  Also, for the size the weight is average, they really need Aluminum blocks on their Hemis to cut weight from he nose.  In this climate and with what is selling it makes MUCH more sense to concentrate on trucks and SUVs unless you are Toyota or Honda, that is just how it is right now and you act as if they are the only ones doign this when that isn't remotely the truth.

    The media reported a while back that it was 2018 and then later it was pushed to 2021 Do a search on Autoblog or any of the other sites that reported it. It was well reported. 

    The cars platform was based on the Benz platform and that is part of the weight issue. The car just as a Chrysler is two generations older than Ford and Chevy. 

    For Chrysler to survive as a automaker they will need to have smaller cars be it of their own or with a partner. The market watchers have pointed that out clearly. Selling smaller cars to meet regulation in fuel economy is a must. They for sure are not doing it with Fiat as it is. 

    Second the only small efficient crossovers they have are at Jeep. Ram is in need of a new truck soon too as Ford is ahead a gen and Chevy will have a new one in about a year and a half. It is a very competitive market. 

    For someone who like Chrysler you appear much in denial and it is to their detriment. I am not a Chrysler fan but I for sure do not want to lose another American brand as we have lost too many. 

    It was also made clear that there has been some consideration that they may kill the V8 also. Not sure how serious that is but Ford is nearly there now so it is a possibility. 

    The real shame is they have some very talented engineers there as we have seen what they have done with the old outdated products. Imagine what they could do with a clean sheet of paper. If I were Sergio I would take all that wasted Alfa money and pump it into Chrysler and tell them to do what they do best. 

    Where is this wrong. To defend what is going on is Nuts. In fact if this were GM I would as a GM fan be so very pissed off as I have been in the past when they have failed to do what was right. 

    Even their trucks and SUV models need more work soon as they are getting old and not market leading. Not bad but not the best in segment other than the mini van that is dying like the Coupe. 

    Let put it this way the LX is selling at low prices and high discounts. This is a segment where they could be making a good ATP on a modest amount of models but the powers to be in Italy don't care. 

    The sooner you get rid of Sergio the better chance they have to pull it out. 

    The real question is who will partner with Chrysler or who will buy Jeep and Ram from them when they fail. Fiat is hemorrhaging more money than Jeep and Ram can support. 

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    16 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    EXACTLY!

    There are so many other vehicle out there for similar money(higher and lower) that do the job of this so much better. It isn't like this 3.6 is going to win many drag races matched to a 4500lb sled. realistically(and sadly) my 2.0T Escape probably won't be far behind this in a race. and it does all of the other things this is supposed to do...better.. AWD/4WD Jeep Cherokee 3.6 is in the same ballpark.

    Simple, someone looking for all-weather capability in a pretty package.  I doubt they are expecting high sales, but this is a no-brainer as there is basically no real work or certification needed to make his happen as everything is just being carried over from the Charger.  This actually should have been done years ago (like when they were still making Hemi AWDs. 

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    It just doesn't make any sense at all to me. Buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Charger/300, Ford Edge, the new Equinox and Traverse do everything better... You can get a 4X4 Cherokee Laredo E(Not sure what the "E" is for but it's a step up from the Laredo by $2,000) for less money than this Challenger.

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    20 hours ago, Stew said:

    Me too, but you know what I say is correct.  If they decide to counter with an AWD Camaro it will simply use ATS hardware which means turbo 4 or V6 and this wouldn't surprise me at all.  I bet they would get praised for it. 

    In fairness though, the Camaro would get a pass but it's because it's much lighter than the Challenger and the addition of AWD would not hurt it that much. A V6 Challenger is just too heavy to justify the addition of AWD. That is the biggest problem with it. Just my opinion though. 

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    GM would also put a proper "athletic" AWD system in the Camaro that would likely be capable of SS duties as well. Not just whatever is on the shelf(okay maybe they would because of the ATS/CTS).

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    19 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    It just doesn't make any sense at all to me. Buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Charger/300, Ford Edge, the new Equinox and Traverse do everything better... You can get a 4X4 Cherokee Laredo E(Not sure what the "E" is for but it's a step up from the Laredo by $2,000) for less money than this Challenger.

    No need to go to extremes. Many people love the style of the challenger, performance with V6 is more than adequate, would never own an SUV and don’t want 4 doors – yet live in a Northern climate and can’t justify a RWD coupe anything.  Until now.  And let’s face it, nobody will notice the added weight, because nobody will be cutting apexes with one.  But they will certainly notice AWD.

    Edited by Wings4Life
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    3 minutes ago, Wings4Life said:

    No need to go to extremes. Many people love the style of the challenger, performance with V6 is more than adequate, would never own an SUV and don’t want 4 doors – yet live in a Northern climate and can’t justify a RWD coupe anything.  Until now.  And let’s face it, nobody will notice the added weight, because nobody will be cutting apexes with one.  But they will certainly notice AWD.

    So you narrowed the population down to like 5 people.

    1: You and everybody in the US knows it is a SUV/CUV craze happening, not coupes

    2: Add an AWD system to an already bloated car and performance is..like the Cherokee

    3: How many people "won't own a vehicle w/ 4 doors"? Again, almost none. This is supported by the SUV/CUV sales and car sales being down.

    4: Narrow that field down to the northern third of the US and you have 5 people who will buy these. :w00t:

     

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    4 hours ago, Stew said:

    Simple, someone looking for all-weather capability in a pretty package.  I doubt they are expecting high sales, but this is a no-brainer as there is basically no real work or certification needed to make his happen as everything is just being carried over from the Charger.  This actually should have been done years ago (like when they were still making Hemi AWDs. 

    This!!!!

    Edited by Wings4Life
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    • By William Maley
      Mazda is already known for building vehicles that are fun to drive and is garnering one for their distinctive designs. One area that Mazda might not get a lot of credit is the constant improvements they make to their lineup. Take for example the Mazda6 sedan. Since its launch back in 2013 as a 2014 model, Mazda has been updating the 6 with new improvements and features to make it better. For example, when we drove the 2016 Mazda6 back in 2015, it featured new dashboard and infotainment system that made it more pleasant to be in. For 2017, Mazda has introduced two big changes for 6 - one dealing with handling and the other dealing with overall refinement.
      First up is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control. This system monitors steering and throttle input (along with a few other things according to the brand), and when it deems necessary, will reduce engine power to shift weight to the front. This is said to improve overall handling in a corner. Here’s the thing, I really can’t tell if this system makes the 2017 Mazda6 a better handler than the previous 6 I drove back in 2015. The model shows the sharp handling characteristics that has made it one of the best driving models in the class with little body roll and steering that feels direct.  I would need to drive both a 2016 and 2017 Mazda6 back to back to see if there is a difference. The other improvement for the 2017 Mazda6 will be noticed by anyone going for a ride; a quieter interior. Mazda has added a bit more sound insulation for the 6 and it makes for a more pleasant driving experience. There isn’t as much wind whistle as there was in previous 6s I have driven. You still do get a fair amount of tire noise, but that’s more due to the 19-inch wheels fitted on the Grand Touring. The 19-inch wheels also make the ride slightly rough with various bumps being transmitted clearly to the backsides of you and your passengers. Mazda hasn’t messed with anything else for the 2017 6 and that’s mostly a good thing. It still retains the striking good looks of the outside, especially in this bronze color seen here.  The Mazda6’s interior is towards the top of the class with a modern design, high-quality materials, and an easy to understand control layout. The leather seats offer the right amount of comfort for long trips. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints in terms of head and legroom. Under the hood is a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Sport and Touring models get the option of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the Grand Touring makes due with only the automatic. The engine is a spritely performer with strong acceleration and having the power ready to go when needed. The six-speed is quick when it comes to downshifts. But the transmission does stumble when it comes to upshifts as it is slow to respond when you need that punch of power. At least the automatic transmission does feature paddles on the steering wheel to allow for some manual control to solve this. The continuous updates Mazda makes to the vehicles should be applauded as it helps keep them competitive in light of tougher competition. The 2017 Mazda6 is a key example of this. You might not be able to detect one of the changes made, but the other one us quite noticeable and makes the 6 that much better. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 6
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
      Base Price: $30,695
      As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
      Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
      Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00

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    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

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    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Later this month, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 will begin arriving at dealers in the U.S. Before this happens, Mazda has revealed the pricing for the upcoming crossover. The base CX-5 Sport will carry a price tag of $24,985 (includes a $940 destination charge).
      All CX-5s will come equipped with a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder and six-speed automatic (sorry, no manual transmission is on offer for this generation). The 2.5 produces 187 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive comes standard, while Mazda's i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system adds $1,300 to the base price.
      The CX-5 Sport comes decently equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Smart City Brake Support, 7-inch color touchscreen with Mazda Connect, push-button start, and power accessories. 
      The CX-5 Touring ($26,855) adds blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat, keyless entry, and auto-leveling LED headlights.
      Wrapping up the CX-5 lineup is the Grand Touring ($30,335). This model features full LED lighting outside, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar, rain-sensing wipers, and heated exterior mirrors.
      Options for the CX-5 include navigation, Bose audio system, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, radar cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.
      Source: Mazda 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2017 MAZDA CX-5 PRICED FROM MSRP OF $24,045
      Mazda’s Best-Selling Compact Crossover SUV a Remarkable Value with Segment-Exclusive Standard and Available Technologies IRVINE, Calif. (March 8, 2017) – The previous Mazda CX-5 ended its tenure as a compact crossover SUV segment favorite, winning the praise of automotive critics and the hearts of consumers. CX-5 became Mazda’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Its successor, the all-new 2017 CX-5, will arrive in late March at dealerships nationwide with a starting MSRP of $24,045, building on the momentum that has made the model an unequivocal hit.
      The 2017 CX-5 hits a sweet spot in the compact crossover SUV segment for its refinement, quality, craftsmanship, design, efficiency, safety and dynamics among a long list of other reasons. No matter which trim level is selected, CX-5 also represents a remarkable value.
      The entry CX-5 Sport trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, black cloth-upholstered seats, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, pushbutton starter, LED headlights, variable intermittent windshield wipers, carpeted floor mats, a 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat, Smart City Brake Support and power door locks. Additionally, CX-5 comes standard with MAZDA CONNECTTM, which pairs a 7-inch color touchscreen- and Commander-control-knob-operated infotainment display that incorporates AM/FM/HD radio, vehicle diagnostics, a backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio integration and two USB ports for phone connectivity and charging.
      CX-5 Touring adds a six-way power driver’s seat, leatherette seating surfaces with Lux Suede inserts, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, auto-leveling LED headlights, a six-speaker audio system, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle, illuminated vanity mirrors, a rear center armrest, rear HVAC vents, dual-zone climate control, rear USB ports and a reclining rear bench seat.
      Further building on CX-5 Touring is the Preferred Equipment Package, which includes a BOSE® 10-speaker audio system with CenterPoint 2 and AudioPilot 2, a power glass moonroof, power liftgate, navigation, auto-dimming mirrors with Homelink and auto on/off headlights. Customers can also opt for the Touring i-ACTIVSENSE Package on top of the Preferred Equipment Package, adding High Beam Control, Lane-Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake Support.
      Adding greater levels of equipment yet is CX-5 Grand Touring, adopting black or parchment leather seating surfaces, 19-inch alloy wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, SiriusXM satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors. Other additions include Adaptive Front-lighting system, LED fog lights and LED tail lights. Finally, CX-5 Grand Touring’s Premium Package comes with a windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a power front passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and windshield wiper de-icer.
      All models come standard with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine and six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive available on all trim levels.
      MSRP FOR ALL MODELS IS AS FOLLOWS:
      Model/Trim Package Front-Wheel Drive i-ACTIV AWD CX-5 Sport $24,045 $25,345 CX-5 Touring $25,915 $27,215 •Touring Preferred Equipment Package $780 $780 •Touring  
      i-ACTIVSENSE Package
      $625 $625 CX-5 Grand Touring $29,395 $30,695 •Grand Touring Premium Package $1,830 $1,830  
      AVAILABLE PREMIUM PAINT COLORS:
      Soul Red Crystal $595 Machine Gray Metallic (CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models only) $300 Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200  

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