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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a Sufficient SUV

      Rolls-Royce enters the SUV arena

    Rolls-Royce is talking up a big game with their new Cullinan SUV with their press release mentioning it is the "most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time," and an "all-terrain high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time." Okay...

    Our first thought seeing the Cullinan was, "wow, Rolls-Royce has built a tall Phantom wagon." The front and part of the side profile comes directly from the Phantom sedan. There is the large Rolls-Royce grille, square headlights, and the suicide rear-doors. For the back, the Cullinan is the first Rolls to use a tailgate. The company calls it the ‘The Clasp’, which references an "era when luggage was mounted on the exterior of the motor-car, so the occupants did not travel with their belongings." The tailgate opens up automatically by pressing a button on the keyfob.

    From the measurements, the Cullinan looks to be imposing,

    • 230-inch overall length
    • 130-inch wheelbase
    • 85-inches wide
    • 72-inches high

    To give some perspective, the Cullinan is 7.2 inches shorter overall than the Phantom, but the SUV is 5.6-inches wider.

    The interior is the same as you'll find in the Phantom with a minimalist dash design, digital instrument cluster, and a large infotainment screen that is touch-enabled. Back seat passengers sit higher than those in the front so they get a commanding view of the road. There is the option of a bench seat that offers 60/40 split folding or two plush, powered seats with a center console with integrated fridge. Behind the rear seats, the Cullinan offers 19 cubic feet of space with the seats up and 68 cubic feet with seats folded and cargo self in place - perfect for picking up a "Mark Rothko from the Art Gallery or a newly discovered artefact from the latest archaeological dig." (This is an actual line from the press release -WM.)

    Power comes from a 6.6L twin-turbo V12 (Rolls still refers to the engine as a 6.75L) producing 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. This is channeled through an eight-speed automatic and a new all-wheel drive system with all-wheel steer. Underpinning this is the all-aluminum Architecture of Luxury first used on the new Phantom. The platform features a self-leveling air suspension that will automatically lower the vehicle 1.5-inches when entering the vehicle. The suspension will also actively push down on wheels that are losing traction to help keep the vehicle moving in off-road situations.

    As for pricing, the Cullinan will begin at $325,000 with deliveries beginning in early 2019.

    Source: Rolls-Royce

     


    EFFORTLESS EVERYWHERE: THE ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN

    When Rolls-Royce announced three years ago that it would launch Cullinan, it did so in the knowledge that its customers around the world had asked it to build “The Rolls-Royce of SUVs”, with luxury, performance and usability not seen before in the SUV market.

    #RollsRoyceCullinan #EffortlessEverywhere

    “The super-luxury lifestyle is evolving and Rolls-Royce is in the lead. Luxury is no longer an urban concept. More and more it is about embracing and experiencing the wider world. Our customers expect to go everywhere in luxury, effortlessly and without compromise, conquering the most challenging terrain to enjoy life’s most enriching experiences, wherever they may be. For this reason, they have asked us to create a Rolls-Royce that offers uncompromised luxury wherever they dare to venture. Cullinan is that car. It is Effortless, Everywhere.

    It is incomparable and dramatically evolves the parameters of super-luxury travel, translating Rolls-Royce’s ethos of ‘Effortlessness’ into physical capability, anywhere in the world. Cullinan will simply take the world in its stride.”
    Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

    “The launch of a new Rolls-Royce model is always a seminal moment in the luxury industry. Today we are setting a new standard by creating a new class of motoring and motor car for customers who are well-connected, highly mobile and have a global perspective. They want a new type of motor car that gives them unbounded access in ultimate luxury. Their sense of adventure and daring demands a “go-anywhere in ultimate luxury” motor car that will both take them to and meet them at the pinnacle of life. Cullinan is that motor-car.” 
    Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of Rolls-Royce and Member of the Board of the BMW Group.

    “From the very beginning the design team treated this brand new Rolls-Royce as a unique, high bodied car. With global customer expectations in mind, our aim was two-fold – realise a presence to match the magnificent capability of Cullinan, whilst setting sector defining standards for luxury and elegance. We know that many of our luxury patrons pursue sports or leisure hobbies that require precisely this type of go anywhere vehicle – Cullinan’s design gesture had to possess an immediate sense of effortless accomplishment.”

    “The label SUV is now applied to anything with a two-box silhouette and the least suggestion of going off tarmac. We envisioned an authentic, three-box high-bodied all-terrain car with a convention-challenging design and absolute capability that would satisfy the adventurous urges of our clients.”
    Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

    “This landscape is savage, but this journey has been seamless. What's unique is the ability to absorb the road without thought and simply let yourself get lost. You don't so much drive as you float and it seems to get almost smoother the faster you go. The turning and the grip are unreal, almost hugging the road and seeming to glide above it. Sometimes making pictures is as much about getting there as it is about the image itself.”
    Cory Richards, National Geographic photographer and star of The Final Challenge.

    Cullinan at a glance

    • The most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time.
    • Named after the largest diamond ever discovered which now resides in the British Crown Jewels.
    • An all-terrain high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time. Luxury travel is now Effortless, Everywhere.
    • Contemporary and functional design ensures Cullinan gains iconic status in the face of increasingly bland SUV designs.
    • The first “three-box” car in the SUV-sector. Cullinan’s rear partition wall creates a distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment.
    • The most practical of Rolls-Royces. Cullinan is the most versatile, family oriented, fun-to-drive super-luxury SUV available today.
    • The second new Rolls-Royce to sit on the all-new aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury’, Cullinan is the most technologically advanced, and only purpose-built, luxury SUV in the world.
    • Tested to destruction all over the planet, Cullinan is an incredibly capable off-roader that sees the development of the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ for off-road enjoyment, without sacrificing any Rolls-Royce on-road behaviour.
    • Cullinan offers a suite of Bespoke features developed specifically for the many various lifestyles of its owners including the Viewing Suite and the Recreation Module.
    • The 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine delivers 563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque to the all-new all-wheel drive, all-wheel steer system needed to overcome any challenge.
    • A century-long pedigree of adventurous quests and campaigns successfully carried out across all terrains thanks to the luxury offered by a stout vehicle that was swift, stealthy and dependable.  “A Rolls in the desert is above rubies” – T.E. Lawrence.

    Introduction

    When Rolls-Royce announced three years ago that it would launch Cullinan, it did so in the knowledge that its customers around the world had asked it to build “The Rolls-Royce of SUVs”, with luxury, performance and usability not seen before in the SUV market. Many of these customers were younger, very successful high-net-worth individuals who are heavily engaged in the experience economy, and wanted a Rolls-Royce that would take them to the ends of the Earth in ultimate luxury.

    Automotive mobility has always been a fast moving and dynamic business, with new concepts – such as SUVs – appearing with great regularity. But those new concepts need to be perfected in order to be adopted by those customers who will accept no compromise – the patrons of true luxury. Hence the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

    “History set our precedent, and today Rolls-Royce answers its call to action,” comments Müller-Ötvös. “Our answer to the visionaries, adventurers, explorers and those who believe in the supremacy of liberty is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.”

    What is Cullinan?

    The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Rolls-Royce as it’s never seen before. When Sir Henry Royce said, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, he could have had Cullinan in mind.

    “We knew we had to offer our clients what they couldn’t find in the SUV market,” continues Müller-Ötvös. “They do not accept limitations or compromises in their lives. They are the new pioneers, and for them it’s about their sense of adventure and daring in how they live their experiences. This approach to life demands a motor car that can go-anywhere in ultimate luxury and style – Rolls-Royce style. Hence Cullinan.”

    It was clear that these new, younger and more adventurous customers wanted a Rolls-Royce that would take them completely off the beaten track and reward them with life’s most enriching experiences. What they didn’t want was a vehicle as ubiquitous as an SUV with compromises such as increased cabin noise due to the “two-box” formula; shared platforms that affect performance and comfort; the choice of being good either on-road or off-road; or a lower, more featureless SUV that blends in and becomes just another car.

    “Cullinan is luxury in its purest form blended with perfect practicality and off-road capability,” comments Müller-Ötvös. “Effortless, Everywhere is not just the promise behind Cullinan. It’s the fact.”

    Making luxury Effortless, Everywhere engendered an evolution in Rolls-Royce’s approach to creating an authentic Rolls-Royce SUV. The most obvious sign of this was the radical rear of Cullinan.

    For the first time a Rolls-Royce has an opening tailgate, called ‘The Clasp’. In a nod to the era when luggage was mounted on the exterior of the motor-car, so the occupants did not travel with their belongings, the rear profile of Cullinan is a two-part, ‘D-Back’ format, with the bustle denoting the place of the luggage. ‘The Clasp’ opens and closes in its two sections automatically at the touch of the key fob button.

    The rear passenger compartment of Cullinan has been designed to offer the best seat in the house for the owner’s particular needs. Two rear configurations are offered – Lounge Seats or Individual Seats.

    The Lounge Seat configuration is the more functional of the two options. With space for three passengers in the rear, it will likely be more attractive to families. The rear seats also fold down – a first for Rolls-Royce.

    The seats fold electronically in a number of configurations by pressing the appropriate button in the boot or rear door pocket. One press sees each backrest effortlessly fold down, whist at the same time moving the headrests upwards to avoid making an imprint on the seat cushion. Both seat backs can be folded completely, creating a flat load area or in a 2/3 and 1/3 split, increasing practicality even further. Rear passengers can still travel with a long load, or use the carpeted seat back as an occasional table on which to rest their precious personal items.

    For those who intend to transport large items back from their adventures, the rear of Cullinan offers a large amount of space in different arrangements.

    The rear compartment or boot area offers a standard 560 litres of space, growing to 600 with the parcel shelf removed. Furthermore, the base of the rear seats sits higher than the boot floor, so even with both rear seats folded, the items in the boot cannot slip forward and are safely contained, unlike in any other SUV. But for those wishing to carry a long item back from their trip – whether it be a Mark Rothko from the Art Gallery or a newly discovered artefact from the latest archaeological dig – a loading length of 2245mm and load capacity of 1930 litres is accessed by electronically raising the boot floor to meet the seat base, allowing the item to slide through effortlessly.

    Rolls-Royce’s investment in making the rear of Cullinan effortlessly and ultimately practical has the side benefit of offering a loading length longer than a Range Rover Vogue Extended Wheelbase. A very practical Rolls-Royce indeed.

    Knowing that the Rolls-Royce customer expects to bespoke his or her Cullinan, a second rear configuration is offered.

    The Individual Seat configuration is for those who value the ultimate luxury an SUV can offer over practicality. The two individual rear seats are separated by a Fixed Rear Centre Console incorporating a drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce whisky glasses and decanter, champagne flutes and refrigerator. The seats also move in a number of planes to offer ultimate comfort whilst travelling in the rear.

    One final feature brings Rolls-Royce’s ultimate level of luxury to this configuration of Cullinan, creating the first truly “three-box” SUV. Inspired by the age when one never travelled with one’s luggage, a glass partition isolates the passenger cabin from the luggage compartment, creating an inner ecosystem for the occupants. In addition to enhanced and class-leading silence within the cabin, a further benefit becomes clear in the hottest and coldest of environments. Thanks to the sealed cabin created by the glass partition wall, the occupants can remain in the optimum temperature even when the luggage compartment stands open.

    Adventure awaits

    Cullinan awakes at the touch of the unlock button on the Bespoke key, or indeed by simply reaching out to its beautifully tactile stainless steel door handle. It lowers itself by 40mm to make entry effortless as the iconic Rolls-Royce coach doors stand open to welcome driver and passengers to their adventure.

    Having stepped directly into the cabin, thanks to the wide aperture of the doors and completely flat floor, driver and passengers press the door closing button to seal themselves within the sanctuary of Cullinan’s cabin. Or one touch of the sensor on the exterior door handles will see the doors automatically close themselves from outside.

    A touch of the start button then elevates Cullinan 40mm to its standard, commanding ride height, placing its occupants in the perfect position from which to see the world as it drives off.

    The driver instantly recognises Cullinan as a driver’s car thanks to its thicker, smaller steering wheel. It’s heated, pliant rim hints at epic voyages which Cullinan is all too eager to begin, whilst heated and ventilated seats mean passengers will be perfectly acclimatised. From their commanding position at the helm of Cullinan, all equipment and technology is clearly seen and reached by the driver.

    All information is clearly communicated by the latest generation of digital instruments, with the displays themselves designed with clear and beautiful virtual needles, Rolls-Royce jewellery-like chaplets and clear lettering.

    The central information screen is for the first time touch sensitive, allowing the driver to quickly select functions, map views and vehicle set-up whilst on the trail. This portal can still be controlled from the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy controller which nestles on the central console with the ‘Off-Road’ button, Hill Descent Control button and Air Suspension height adjustment controls.

    A host of other cutting-edge technology makes Rolls-Royce Cullinan the most technologically advanced car of its type in the world. Further equipment includes: Night Vision and Vision Assist including daytime and night-time Wildlife & Pedestrian warning; Alertness Assistant; a 4-Camera system with Panoramic View, all-round visibility and helicopter view; Active Cruise Control; Collision Warning; Cross-Traffic Warning, Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning; an industry leading 7x3 High-Resolution Head-Up Display, WiFi hotspot, and of course the latest Navigation and Entertainment Systems.

    For those not behind the wheel, the world’s most spectacular scenery is to be seen from a privileged position. Those in the rear sit higher than those in the front of the car on Rolls-Royce’s Pavilion Seating, enjoying grandstand views of their surroundings thanks to the large glazed area of Cullinan’s side windows and industry-leading panoramic glass roof. And if they wish to locate themselves or their latest far-flung discovery, they can zero in on their location on the rear touchscreen map.

    Also, no photographic opportunity will be missed as all electronic devices can be charged via the five USB ports around the cabin, whilst phones can be wirelessly charged in the front of the cabin.

    Arriving at their remote destination, the occupants can descend without dirtying their trouser legs as both front and rear coach doors wrap low under the sill of Cullinan, ensuring that all dirt remains on the outside of the door. A feature only Rolls-Royce would have considered.

    The ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ taken off-road

    The integration of new technologies into the architecture was also key to ensuring the fundamental quality of Cullinan as Effortless, Everywhere. The engineering team began by creating a drivetrain that would bring Rolls-Royce’s famous ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ off-road.

    “The drivetrain system we engineered for Cullinan had one key job to do,” explains Caroline Krismer, Engineering Project Leader for Cullinan. “To bring the famed Rolls-Royce ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ to all other terrains possible, while ensuring class-leading on-road behaviour in the SUV sector.”

    Rolls-Royce’s celebrated Magic Carpet Ride impresses off-road as well as on-road thanks to the new lighter architecture, and the latest generation of self-levelling air suspension. Through a thorough re-engineering of the existing air suspension system – including adding larger air struts with more air volume to cushion the blows of the toughest of terrains – the strengthening of drive and prop shafts, the inclusion of drive to the front wheels as well as the back for the first time in Rolls-Royce history, and the complete reworking of the new 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 Rolls-Royce engine to deliver just the right level of torque (850Nm) at the lowest possible revolutions (1,600rpm), the Rolls-Royce engineering team has ensured Cullinan will take owners to places no modern Rolls-Royce owner has travelled in luxury before.

    The suspension makes millions of calculations every second as it continuously varies the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system – reacting to body and wheel acceleration, steering inputs and camera information. A new double-wishbone front axle and 5-link rear axle deliver astounding levels of control over lateral roll and shear forces and deliver incredible agility and stability, as does the addition of four-wheel steering, all contributing to incredible drivability and nimbleness.

    In the case of driving off-road, the electronically controlled shock absorber adjustment system uses an air compression system to actively push down any wheel it detects losing traction to ensure every wheel is constantly in contact with the ground and maximum torque is being provided to all wheels.

    “Put simply, what makes the car great on-road makes the car great off-road,” concludes Krismer.

    The final piece of the puzzle of ensuring that the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is Effortless, Everywhere is one single button. Known within Rolls-Royce as the ‘Everywhere’ button, one single push is all it takes to harness all the aforementioned peerless Rolls-Royce engineering and unleash all of Cullinan’s off-road capability.

    Once engaged, the driver can finesse the off-road setting to glide over any situation, whether it be rough track, gravel, wet grass, mud, snow or sand delivering all 850Nm of torque to all four wheels without interruption. And faced with deep snow, sand or the need to ford streams, Cullinan delivers the deepest wading depth of any super-luxury SUV at 540mm thanks to its highest ride height.

    One life, many lifestyles

    Driving to your remote location is simply the first part of the adventure in a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Further enjoyment awaits in the shape of a Rolls-Royce Recreation Module.

    Imagine the scene. Having chosen your adventure you call down to your garage. “Jason, we’re going to go drone racing today. Can you load the Drone Module into the Cullinan?” Downstairs, Jason selects the Drone Racing Module from the rack containing several other Recreation Modules that the owner has had commissioned from Rolls-Royce to satisfy his or her preferred recreational pursuits.

    Fly fishing, photography, rock climbing, snowboarding, parascending, kite boarding, base jumping, volcano boarding or simply sitting and taking in the view, anything is possible thanks to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective. Easily slotted and plugged into the boot of Cullinan, each Recreation Module contains a motorised drawer housing the equipment and paraphernalia specific to each Cullinan owner’s pursuits. When the owner is ready to play, it presents itself.



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    Some things to like about this and some things to just shake your head at, but considering that @Potus45 loves his Rolls, he will probably buy one since he does not care about supporting America auto's.

    Guess an Armored version could be the new Potus Ride! 😕

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    First off I think this is great value,  this is $100k cheaper than the Phantom and it is the same chassis and engine and most of the same equipment.  The price is great.  

    I love the tailgate seats, and I am not sure what “volcano boarding” is but I am pretty sure the peasants driving Navigators don’t partake in such activities.

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    23 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I love the tailgate seats, and I am not sure what “volcano boarding” is but I am pretty sure the peasants driving Navigators don’t partake in such activities.

    I can't imagine RR buyers are into 'active lifestyle' stuff like that either, aren't their buyers usually tasteless hip hop felons or very rich senior citizens? 

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    Ballin'   is exactly what this is. 

    Also, HUGE! I never would have guessed this is actually longer than a Navigator. 

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    4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Ballin'   is exactly what this is. 

    Also, HUGE! I never would have guessed this is actually longer than a Navigator. 

    Yeah, 6 inches longer than a Suburban..doesn't look it from the pics.   I assume they will do an extended length version also.

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    If there's any sort of 'need' for a extended length version when the standard one is on a 130-in wheelbase, Rolls F'd it up royally.

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    3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    If there's any sort of 'need' for a extended length version when the standard one is on a 130-in wheelbase, Rolls F'd it up royally.

    Well, they might want to do a 3 row variant...

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    I read it was 210 inches long which makes it smaller than a standard Phantom.  Still plenty large enough for what is mostly a 4 passenger car unless you get the rear middle seat.  

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    The article above says 230, Wikipedia says 210...210 seems more plausible, not much rear overhang and only 2 rows..

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    I see the RR Ghost does a 130-in WB and a 136-in WB. Piss poor development: just build one.

    BTW- there are scads of 3-row SUVs that don't come anywhere near a 210-in OL. Ghost is 213/219 and is only 2 rows. ;)

    Ghost @ 219 is 1 inch longer than my B-59... but I have the 'junior' B-59; they went up to 225". :D

    Edited by balthazar

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    The long wheelbase is because of the doors, looks like.  And the 2nd row is where a 3rd row would be in other SUVs.    I wonder what the weight is.  3 tons, at least I would think.  A V12 SUV, is that a first?  There have been a couple W12 ones.   An SUV that costs twice what my house did.  But I have more sq feet inside ;)

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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      On Badlands and First Edition series, the system includes uniquely tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound stops designed to provide a quieter, less jarring off-road experience. In addition, 46-millimeter-diameter monotube rear shocks are among the largest in the class, helping provide improved response and more comfort off-road, while softer springs and antiroll bars offer greater articulation over obstacles.
      Class-exclusive Trail Control™ technology furthers the vehicle’s off-road prowess. The available feature enables a cruise control-like setting up to 20 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse for vehicle-controlled throttle and braking, letting the driver stay focused on navigating the trail.
      For adventurers taking on rough and rocky terrain, the small SUV’s design includes made-for-the-trails departure, approach and breakover angles. An available class-exclusive front off-road camera with lens washer serves as a spotter and helps provide better visibility of the trail ahead, displaying the video on the center stack-mounted touch screen.
      In Rock Crawl mode, the electronic power steering assist system is uniquely calibrated to provide more precise control and help reduce steering wheel disturbance during low-speed maneuvers over rocky terrain.
      Off-road capability is further reinforced by four steel bash plates, plus available frame-mounted front tow hooks that can individually withstand static loads up to 100 percent of the gross vehicle weight. Badlands and First Edition can wade through up to 23.6 inches of water.
      Thrilling performance borne of Bronco DNA
      Staying true to the DNA of the first-generation Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport SUV pays it forward with modern, heritage-inspired style, agile off-road architecture and optimized suspension for better control in all environments.
      The Badlands and First Edition series are powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine that produces a targeted best-in-class 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque for high-speed off-road performance*. Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks series feature the proven 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a targeted 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque*.
      Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition add SelectShift® with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to help drivers maximize control both on- and off-road. A cooling system with additional transmission and rear-drive coolers keeps 2.0-liter models running strong over tough terrain.
      The Bronco Sport SUV’s design inspiration is directly linked to the all-new Bronco halo model. Its rugged design attributes include signature encapsulated cartridge grille, round headlamps, clean, flat bodysides, and timeless proportions that enable the short front and rear overhangs required for off-road maneuvers. Tough unpainted finishes smartly cover exterior contact points, so the vehicle is ready for almost anything the rough and tumble outdoors can throw at it.
      The Badlands series comes standard with 28.5-inch all-terrain tires. First Edition comes standard with 29-inch all-terrain off-road tires with more aggressive, deeper treads that stretch on to the sidewalls for improved off-road traction.
      Ready for fun to venture into the wild
      Human-centered design led to special Bronco Sport features such as class-exclusive liftgate LED floodlamps – because out in the wild, there are no streetlamps – MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage, and even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.
      Its upright design and safari-style roof contribute to Bronco Sport’s adventurous silhouette, which not only features a long flat roof rail for maximum carrying length, it also treats occupants to best-in-class first- and second-row headroom. The cargo area has enough height to accommodate two standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes with the available Yakima dealer-installed interior bike rack accessory.
      Bronco Sport will launch with more than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each owner’s individual adventure needs. Bronco Sport buyers can also opt for any of four lifestyle accessory bundles themed Bike, Snow, Water and Camping.
      A flip-glass rear window, low-load floor cargo area, overlanding-ready roof rack with capacity to make roof-top tent camping easy, and front fender peaks that allow the driver to see the corners of the vehicle easily from behind the wheel reveal this small SUV is purpose-built for adventure from front to back, top to bottom.
      Bronco Sport can quickly help with basecamp setup thanks to an innovative slide-out working table, part of the available five-way configurable Cargo Management System, plus a class-exclusive 400-watt inverter and liftgate floodlamps that illuminate up to 129 square feet for when the adventure ends after sundown.
      To make post-adventure cleanups painless, the Badlands and First Edition series offer washable rubber flooring throughout the cabin and cargo area, easy-to-clean cloth seating surfaces and silicone-sealed control switches. For stowage of wet, icy or muddy gear, an available storage bin is located below the second-row passenger-side seat.
      Smart in addition to being rugged, the vehicle features a SYNC® 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. Other available technology features include Ford+Alexa and SiriusXM™ satellite radio.
      The Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite of advanced driver-assist technologies is standard across the lineup, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, Auto High Beam Headlamps and a rearview camera. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 technology adds Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane-Centering and Speed Sign Recognition.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      (Author's Note: For those wondering where the 2021 Bronco story is, that will be up sometime tomorrow morning. There is a lot to digest, and need some more time to figure out how to structure that. Stay tuned. -WM).
      If the standard Bronco is a bit out of your reach, then Ford has another option in the form of the 2021 Bronco Sport. Yes, it is based on the Escape platform, but Ford is very adamant this us a very different animal.
      Lets begin with the dimensions. The Bronco Sport measures 172.7 inches in length and rides on 105.1 inch wheelbase - 7.8 and 1.6 inches shorter than the Escape. But the Sport is about an inch wider and is taller in terms of ground clearance (7.8 to 8.8 inches depending on the trim). Design-wise, the Sport looks very rugged with a boxy shape. chunky c-pillar, and a deep cut in the doors. The roof is raised slightly higher towards the back, reminding us of the first and second-generation Land Rover Discovery. This allows for better headroom and more cargo space.
      The only items that the Bronco Sport and Escape share inside are the switchgear. Everything else is unique to Bronco Sport such as the steering wheel featuring a bucking Bronco, MOLLE webbing on the back of the front seats to allow owners to attach various items, and optional rubberized floor. An eight-inch touchscreen with SYNC 3 comes standard. 
      Power will come from two engines. A turbo 1.5L three-cylinder providing 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque come standard on the base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks. The Badlands and 2021 model year only First Edition get the 2.0L turbo-four with 245 hp and 275 lb-ft. All with come with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Like the larger Bronco, the Sport gets a range of drive modes called GOAT (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain). Controlled via a knob in the center console, a driver can select from five different modes - Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Sand. Badlands and First Edition add Mud/Ruts and Rocks.
      Surprisingly, Ford has announced pricing for the Bronco Sport. The base model begins at $28,155 including a $1,495 destination charge. The rest are as followed,
      Big Bend: $29,655 Outer Banks: $33,655 Badlands: $34,155 First Edition: $39,995 The first Bronco Sports are expected to arrive in dealers this fall, but you can put in a reservation right now with a $100 deposit. Though, we would wait a bit as Ford's servers are having some issues dealing with the load of everyone trying to put a reservation for the standard Bronco.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      ALL-NEW FORD BRONCO SPORT RUGGED SMALL SUV EQUIPPED FOR TRAILS WITH STANDARD 4X4 AND BUILT WILD CAPABILITY AND CONFIDENCE
      The Bronco of small SUVs: All-new Ford Bronco Sport expands the rugged Bronco family of 4x4-only vehicles, giving more outdoor adventurers Bronco off-road capability, durability and technology Built Wild™: With standard 4x4 across the lineup, Bronco Sport lives up to its G.O.A.T. (goes over any type of terrain) heritage with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design to deliver unsurpassed ground clearance, made-for-the-trails approach and departure angles, water fording, obstacle protection and segment-first trail technologies Thrilling: Bronco Sport SUV enables exciting, high-speed off-road driving thanks to its Bronco-specific variant architecture, Bronco design DNA, available 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine targeting segment-best horsepower and torque, and advanced 4x4 system with class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature Ready for fun: Class-exclusive features designed for life on the trails include safari-style roof enabling class-leading headroom and a cargo area high enough to hold two 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes; more than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories are available to transport gear such as kayaks, surfboards, skis and camping equipment Reservations: Open now for $100 at ford.com DEARBORN, Mich., July 13, 2020 – The all-new Ford Bronco Sport off-road vehicle – the Bronco of small SUVs – signals for adventure-seekers a welcome return to roads and trails less traveled.
      With unmistakable Bronco styling and unrelenting Bronco capability, the smaller sibling of Bronco two-door and first-ever four-door SUVs joins the family with its own idea of fun. As with all Broncos, 4x4 is standard, and this rugged SUV is engineered to handle whatever weekend adventure its owner has in mind.
      “Bronco Sport has the toughness and smarts to help turn off-road novices into 4x4 pros,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “Bronco Sport embraces the needs of outdoor enthusiasts – every inch of it was designed and engineered with weekend adventurers in mind.”
      Bronco Sport is smartly designed to transport two mountain bikes standing up in its cargo area – and two cyclists up front. Four available accessory bundles – in addition to more than 100 factory-backed standalone accessories – let owners easily make the vehicle their own by outfitting it to transport kayaks, skis, camping equipment or whatever gear propels their adventure.
      Five trim levels are available, including the base model, Big Bend™, Outer Banks™, Badlands™ and First Edition™.
      Reservations for Bronco Sport open today at ford.com; vehicles can be reserved for $100.
      Vehicles arrive in dealerships late this year.
      Built Wild 4x4 confidence
      Like the larger Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport delivers the 4x4 off-road capability that made the original Bronco a legend. With off-road performance at its core, Bronco Sport provides solid footing on sand, snow, mud, rocks and more.
      For maximum off-road capability and long-term durability, Bronco Sport was tested in extreme conditions in places such as the Johnson Valley desert in California, as part of Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing. Badlands and First Edition models pack an advanced 4x4 system with a class-exclusive twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature to allow greater off-road performance – similar to a traditional mechanical locking differential. The system can divert virtually all rear axle torque to either wheel, setting it apart from any other vehicle in the non-premium subcompact utility segment.
      Bronco Sport’s suspension can take on rugged terrain and is complemented by Ford’s trail technologies. The small SUV’s Terrain Management System™ with up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes™ helps drivers “go over any type of terrain” and in various conditions. Standard modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand; Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes are available on Badlands and First Edition.
      All models feature an independent front and rear suspension engineered and performance-tested in demanding environments across North America. The suspension is optimized to help drivers confidently maintain vehicle composure while aggressively taking on rugged terrain.
      On Badlands and First Edition series, the system includes uniquely tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound stops designed to provide a quieter, less jarring off-road experience. In addition, 46-millimeter-diameter monotube rear shocks are among the largest in the class, helping provide improved response and more comfort off-road, while softer springs and antiroll bars offer greater articulation over obstacles.
      Class-exclusive Trail Control™ technology furthers the vehicle’s off-road prowess. The available feature enables a cruise control-like setting up to 20 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse for vehicle-controlled throttle and braking, letting the driver stay focused on navigating the trail.
      For adventurers taking on rough and rocky terrain, the small SUV’s design includes made-for-the-trails departure, approach and breakover angles. An available class-exclusive front off-road camera with lens washer serves as a spotter and helps provide better visibility of the trail ahead, displaying the video on the center stack-mounted touch screen.
      In Rock Crawl mode, the electronic power steering assist system is uniquely calibrated to provide more precise control and help reduce steering wheel disturbance during low-speed maneuvers over rocky terrain.
      Off-road capability is further reinforced by four steel bash plates, plus available frame-mounted front tow hooks that can individually withstand static loads up to 100 percent of the gross vehicle weight. Badlands and First Edition can wade through up to 23.6 inches of water.
      Thrilling performance borne of Bronco DNA
      Staying true to the DNA of the first-generation Bronco, the all-new Bronco Sport SUV pays it forward with modern, heritage-inspired style, agile off-road architecture and optimized suspension for better control in all environments.
      The Badlands and First Edition series are powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine that produces a targeted best-in-class 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque for high-speed off-road performance*. Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks series feature the proven 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a targeted 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque*.
      Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition add SelectShift® with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to help drivers maximize control both on- and off-road. A cooling system with additional transmission and rear-drive coolers keeps 2.0-liter models running strong over tough terrain.
      The Bronco Sport SUV’s design inspiration is directly linked to the all-new Bronco halo model. Its rugged design attributes include signature encapsulated cartridge grille, round headlamps, clean, flat bodysides, and timeless proportions that enable the short front and rear overhangs required for off-road maneuvers. Tough unpainted finishes smartly cover exterior contact points, so the vehicle is ready for almost anything the rough and tumble outdoors can throw at it.
      The Badlands series comes standard with 28.5-inch all-terrain tires. First Edition comes standard with 29-inch all-terrain off-road tires with more aggressive, deeper treads that stretch on to the sidewalls for improved off-road traction.
      Ready for fun to venture into the wild
      Human-centered design led to special Bronco Sport features such as class-exclusive liftgate LED floodlamps – because out in the wild, there are no streetlamps – MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage, and even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.
      Its upright design and safari-style roof contribute to Bronco Sport’s adventurous silhouette, which not only features a long flat roof rail for maximum carrying length, it also treats occupants to best-in-class first- and second-row headroom. The cargo area has enough height to accommodate two standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes with the available Yakima dealer-installed interior bike rack accessory.
      Bronco Sport will launch with more than 100 factory-backed and aftermarket accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each owner’s individual adventure needs. Bronco Sport buyers can also opt for any of four lifestyle accessory bundles themed Bike, Snow, Water and Camping.
      A flip-glass rear window, low-load floor cargo area, overlanding-ready roof rack with capacity to make roof-top tent camping easy, and front fender peaks that allow the driver to see the corners of the vehicle easily from behind the wheel reveal this small SUV is purpose-built for adventure from front to back, top to bottom.
      Bronco Sport can quickly help with basecamp setup thanks to an innovative slide-out working table, part of the available five-way configurable Cargo Management System, plus a class-exclusive 400-watt inverter and liftgate floodlamps that illuminate up to 129 square feet for when the adventure ends after sundown.
      To make post-adventure cleanups painless, the Badlands and First Edition series offer washable rubber flooring throughout the cabin and cargo area, easy-to-clean cloth seating surfaces and silicone-sealed control switches. For stowage of wet, icy or muddy gear, an available storage bin is located below the second-row passenger-side seat.
      Smart in addition to being rugged, the vehicle features a SYNC® 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. Other available technology features include Ford+Alexa and SiriusXM™ satellite radio.
      The Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite of advanced driver-assist technologies is standard across the lineup, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, Auto High Beam Headlamps and a rearview camera. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 technology adds Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane-Centering and Speed Sign Recognition.
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00
    • 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
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