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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Ask Me Anything: 2015 Volkswagen CC Sport 2.0T

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      The People's Four-Door Coupe Comes In For Review

    It has been close to eight months since I last drove a vehicle equipped with manual transmission - a Volkswagen Jetta TDI. So it seems fitting that another Volkswagen is equipped with a manual. In this case it happens to be the CC, Volkswagen's top of the line sedan in the U.S.

    This CC is the base Sport model - which coincidentally is the only trim that you can get with a six-speed manual. But despite it being the base trim, the Sport comes with a impressive feature list. Standard equipment includes leatherette, heated front seats, 5-inch touchscreen with navigation and backup camera; and 17-inch wheels. Total cost? $33,550 with a $865.00 destination charge.

    Power comes from Volkswagen's highly-regarded turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet. This engine feels more powerful than the power figures suggest as power is right there and will get you moving in a quite a hurry. The six-speed manual is easy to shift and throws are somewhere in the middle - not too short, not too long.

    Complaints? The only one I have at the moment is with the 5-inch touchscreen being too small to glance at closely and having a somewhat dated interface.

    I'll have more thoughts and a update in the coming days. If you have questions about the CC, post them below.

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    Applaud for the Minimalist dash as it is clean but have to ding them big time for a dated look from the 90's and that reflective aluminum on the dash.

     

    Does it glare on a sunny day in the windshield? This is a big pet peeve of mine where you end up seeing the dash reflect in the windshield as you drive and it ends up being a distracting experience.

     

    How is fit and finish?

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    Applaud for the Minimalist dash as it is clean but have to ding them big time for a dated look from the 90's and that reflective aluminum on the dash.

     

    Does it glare on a sunny day in the windshield? This is a big pet peeve of mine where you end up seeing the dash reflect in the windshield as you drive and it ends up being a distracting experience.

     

    How is fit and finish?

     

    I don't find it to be that dated looking. I think its a fairly timeless design that's held up well to time, now being 10 years since its release. Can't say that about most designs that originated from 2006. 

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    Applaud for the Minimalist dash as it is clean but have to ding them big time for a dated look from the 90's and that reflective aluminum on the dash.

     

    Does it glare on a sunny day in the windshield? This is a big pet peeve of mine where you end up seeing the dash reflect in the windshield as you drive and it ends up being a distracting experience.

     

    How is fit and finish?

     

    I don't find it to be that dated looking. I think its a fairly timeless design that's held up well to time, now being 10 years since its release. Can't say that about most designs that originated from 2006. 

     

     

    I'm with BV on this. The CC is still quite good looking and interior has to be one of the best (alongside the new Golf)

     

    As for the Aluminum trim, I can't say at the moment since it has been cloudy here in Detroit for the past day or so. 

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      Make: Lexus
      Model: UX
      Trim: 200 F-Sport
      Engine: 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC VVT-i Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 29/37/33
      Curb Weight: 3,307 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $40,260
      As Tested Price: $41,285 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      F-Sport Premium Package - $975.00
      Power Rear Door w/Kick Sensor - $600.00
      Premium Paint - $595.00
      Parking Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert w/Braking - $565.00
      Blind Spot Monitor - $500.00
      Head Up Display (HUD) - $500.00
      Heated F Sport Steering Wheel w/Paddle Shifters - $150.00
      Windshield Deicer - $100.00
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Like it or not, crossovers are becoming the de facto choice for many buyers and automakers are responding. There is now a wide variety of crossovers available: From large three-row models to small, compact vehicles perfect for urban environments. The latter is what we’ll be focusing on this review with the latest entrant into subcompact luxury crossover class, the 2020 Lexus UX 200 F-Sport. It’s a late arrival to the class, but as I found out with the Volvo XC40 last year, that isn’t a bad thing. So how does the most affordable Lexus model stack up to the competition?
      Crossover or Hatchback on Stilts?
      It feels odd to think of the UX being more of a hatchback with a taller ride height than a crossover, but allow me to make my case. To start, the overall shape reminds me more of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback than the NX and RX crossovers. The roofline is a perfect example as the shape is similar to Corolla than any Lexus crossover. Second is when you get inside the UX. You may think that you step up to get inside, but it’s the opposite. The lower position might cause you to think that you lose out on the visibility gain with a higher ride height, but that isn’t the case as you have excellent visibility around most of the vehicle. The rear is difficult to see out of due to the thick pillar and it is recommended to order the optional backup camera.
      The UX 200 does make its presence known to everyone due to some bold design choices. Upfront lies the latest iteration of Lexus’ spindle grille along with some deep cuts in the bumper to give the model an aggressive attitude. The side profile features unique sculpting on the doors and the roof steeply raked towards the back. A vibrant color palette such as this orange on my tester only adds to the bold ideal.
      A Small, Premium Interior
      Lexus has mostly nailed the UX’s interior appointments with soft-touch materials featuring stitching on the dash, metal-like buttons for the climate control system, and contrasting stitching for the seats. The only part which slightly ruins this luxury feeling is the cheap-feeling door panels. Leatherette upholstery is used on the seats and it feels quite nice when sitting on them. F-Sport models get heavily bolster front seats which may make some larger people uncomfortable. Power adjustments for the front come standard on all UX models and allows both driver and passenger to find a comfortable position.
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      The base infotainment system is a 7-inch screen, while a larger 10.25-inch screen is available as an option. Controlling each screen is Lexus’ Remote Touch system. The touchpad controller is unwieldy because you need to pay attention to the screen while making a selection. Otherwise, you’ll end up selecting a different function or setting than what you had originally aimed for. Lexus has added a touchscreen to the recently refreshed RX for 2020 and I can only hope this appears on other Lexus models down the road.
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      Where the UX does well is in fuel economy. EPA figures are 29 City/37 Highway/33 Combined for the UX 200. My average for the week landed around 31 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      I’m wondering if the UX could fit the 2.5L four-cylinder from the Toyota Camry. It would improve overall performance with a slight hit to fuel economy.
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      Going for the F-Sport version like my test vehicle will net you a revised suspension setup. Going around bends, the UX shows little body roll and quick reactions. The only item that falters is the steering which feels very rubbery and doesn’t encourage enthusiastic driving. For normal driving duties, the UX’s ride quality is on the complaint side with a few bumps making their way inside. I do wish Lexus had done more to keep tire noise from coming inside, especially at highway speeds
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      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: UX
      Trim: 200 F-Sport
      Engine: 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC VVT-i Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 29/37/33
      Curb Weight: 3,307 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $40,260
      As Tested Price: $41,285 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      F-Sport Premium Package - $975.00
      Power Rear Door w/Kick Sensor - $600.00
      Premium Paint - $595.00
      Parking Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert w/Braking - $565.00
      Blind Spot Monitor - $500.00
      Head Up Display (HUD) - $500.00
      Heated F Sport Steering Wheel w/Paddle Shifters - $150.00
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      Wireless Charger - $75.00
    • By William Maley
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      UPDATE: As promised (albeit slightly late), some more first impressions of the S60.
      The T5 engine is a surprisingly punchy engine, providing rapid power when driving on the freeway or exiting a turn. But the downside is noticeable turbo lag when leaving a stop - something I noted in my XC40 review. Volvo Sensus and my iPhone 7 Plus aren't seeming getting along at the moment. When I first plugged my phone in, the system recognized it and brought up the button to launch Apple CarPlay. But I couldn't bring up the CarPlay interface as the button did nothing. I had to unplug and plug the phone back in before it worked. One more issue concerning CarPlay. Some apps only bring up a blank screen when first opened. I would close them and relaunch to bring them to back to regular status. I can't explain whether this is due to me still running an older version of the OS or something with the car. To answer @regfootball comment on the space, this feels slightly larger than the outgoing S60. In the back, I have slightly more legroom than the previous models I have driven. Headroom is still tight, partly due to the optional panoramic sunroof. Volvo still hasn't solved getting in and out of the back as it still feels like a tight squeeze, even though the rear doors do have a wider opening.


      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Today saw the Lexus UX 200 F-Sport being swapped for this 2020 Volvo S60 T5 Momentum. This base model comes very well equipped with a LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, 10-way power seats12.3-inch display for the instrument cluster, and a 9-inch infotainment system. But this particular vehicle is loaded with over $9,000 in options including metallic paint, 19-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, Harman/Kardon audio system, and power trunk lid. This brings the price to $46,240 with destination - base being $36,050.
      Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 250 horsepower, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
      I'll be updating this piece later in the day with some first drive impressions and I only briefly drove it around my work's parking lot to grab some pictures. In the meantime, start dropping off your questions.
      UPDATE: As promised (albeit slightly late), some more first impressions of the S60.
      The T5 engine is a surprisingly punchy engine, providing rapid power when driving on the freeway or exiting a turn. But the downside is noticeable turbo lag when leaving a stop - something I noted in my XC40 review. Volvo Sensus and my iPhone 7 Plus aren't seeming getting along at the moment. When I first plugged my phone in, the system recognized it and brought up the button to launch Apple CarPlay. But I couldn't bring up the CarPlay interface as the button did nothing. I had to unplug and plug the phone back in before it worked. One more issue concerning CarPlay. Some apps only bring up a blank screen when first opened. I would close them and relaunch to bring them to back to regular status. I can't explain whether this is due to me still running an older version of the OS or something with the car. To answer @regfootball comment on the space, this feels slightly larger than the outgoing S60. In the back, I have slightly more legroom than the previous models I have driven. Headroom is still tight, partly due to the optional panoramic sunroof. Volvo still hasn't solved getting in and out of the back as it still feels like a tight squeeze, even though the rear doors do have a wider opening.

    • By William Maley
      This week marks my first review vehicle for 2020 - the Lexus UX 200 F-Sport. This one comes equipped with such items as F-Sport exterior package, 18-inch wheels, Lexus Enform with Apple CarPlay  compatibility;  Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 10-way power driver's seat. Options on this vehicle include blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, navigation, and a windhield de-icer - the last one being quite important as we had an ice storm roll through last night.
      Power comes from a 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder with 169 horsepower. This is likely the same engine I had in my 2019 Toyota Corolla SE hatchback I reviewed last month. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. Disappointingly, Lexus isn't offering all-wheel drive on the UX 200. To get that, you need to climb up the UX 250h. 
      For the day and a half I had the UX, I found to be quite nippy around town. Though on the freeway, the engine becomes quite buzzy and you do need to step on it to get some forward momentum. It is also surprising how maneuverable the vehicle is. I was able to snatch a narrow parking space at a popular restaurant with no issue.
      The price-tag on this tester is $42,285 with destination. This surprised me considering how much stuff this vehicle is equipped with.
      So while I put some more miles on and grab some photos, drop off any questions you have for Lexus' smallest crossover.


      View full article
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