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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Chrysler 300S AWD

      This old full-size sedan

    Is it possible to teach an old car new tricks? That’s the question Chrysler believes it has answered with the 2018 300. The current-generation model has been with since 2012, though the platform it uses goes back to nineties. Chrysler has been making various improvements to it with an updated look, new transmission, and revised trims. Spending a week with the 2018 300S, I found there were a number of things that make it a worthy contender. But there were some issues that made me leery of fully recommending this model.

    • Somehow, the Chrysler 300’s design just gets better with age. The boxy shape of the body is complemented by a large mesh grille, slim headlights, and a clean looking rear. The S trim adds a hint of aggression with side skirts, rear spoiler, and multi-spoke 20-inch wheels.
    • The green color and bronze trim pieces on this vehicle received a number of comments from the peanut gallery during my week. They ranged from what 1940’s army base did the 300 come from to some comparing it to appliances from the late sixties to early seventies. While I do applaud the chutzpah of the person who decided to go with this combination, I think the bronze accents are a bit much. Thankfully, they are an option and one I recommend skipping.
    • Inside, the 300 isn’t aging so well. Most of the interior is fitted with cheap and somewhat flimsy plastics, very disappointing on a vehicle with a nearly $50,000 price tag. The soft-touch plastic used on the dashboard looks somewhat out of place with its textured pattern.
    • For 2018, the 300 gets the new UConnect 4 system. The key changes are updated graphics and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Thankfully, the updated UConnect system retains the logical layout with large touchscreen buttons and menu structure that we like so much.
    • Our 300S tester came equipped with the base 3.6L V6 engine. Unlike most 300s equipped with this engine, the S gets slightly more power (300 horsepower and 284 pound-feet vs. 292 and 280). This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and optional all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive comes standard.
    • Despite the small boost in power, the V6 in the 300S feels similar to other 300s and Dodge Charger/Challengers we have driven. On paper, the V6 is somewhat slow to the competition with a 0-60 time of over six seconds. But on the road, it doesn’t show any sign of sluggishness. There is enough power for most driving situations such as making a pass or leaving a stoplight. This is likely helped by the eight-speed automatic which provides quick and smooth shifts.
    • Fuel economy is slightly disappointing if you opt for the AWD with EPA figures of 18 City/27 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed around 20.4 mpg on a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving.
    • S models differ from other 300s in the suspension. Chrysler uses a stiffer setup on the S to improve handling. It does show a marked improvement with less body lean and the chassis is willing to play. But it isn’t a vehicle you want to push around as the 300’s weight is very noticeable when cornering.
    • The stiffer suspension will mean a slightly rougher ride. The 20-inch wheels that come standard on the S doesn’t help matters.
    • As I mentioned earlier, this particular 300S is quite expensive with an as-tested price of $49,660 with destination. It isn’t worth the money considering you can get into a well-optioned Buick LaCrosse or Kia Cadenza for similar prices and feel you got your money’s worth. Also, Dodge offers the Charger R/T Scat Pack and Daytona 392 with 6.4L V8 that provide more performance for less money.

    Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the 300S AWD, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Chrysler
    Model: 300
    Trim: S AWD
    Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-Valve V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 300 @ 6,350
    Torque @ RPM: 264 @ 4,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/27/21
    Curb Weight: 4,267 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
    Base Price: $38,295
    As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    300S Premium Group - $3,495
    300S Premium Group 2 - $1,895
    SafetyTec Plus Group - $1,695
    S Model Appearance Group - $1,495
    Beats Audio Group - $995
    300S Alloy Package - $695



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    I dig that green. It doesn't work on this as well but it's one cool color. 

    It'd be perfect on their Jeep lineup. 

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    2 hours ago, thedriver said:

    The platform dates back to 2005. Please stop the old false info that it is just a mercedes e class.

    Actually the W211 Mercedes-benz platform is from 2002 to 2009, Chrysler was allowed to use it starting in 2005. The W211 is an enhanced version of their W210 platform that was all new starting in 1995. So this family platform ended in 2009 as it was replaced by the global W212 platform at MB. Chrysler continues to use it so if you look at the whole family, then you have 1995 to current on a W210, enhanced platform called W211 when given to chrysler.

    Pretty old platform no matter what.

    I agree with @ccap41 Green with bronze wheels is a lovely color.

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    Falsehoods repeated without research.

    Though Chrysler had chosen rear wheel drive before the merger, hooking up with Mercedes provided existing technologies and parts, including the A580 electronic automatic, and Mercedes stability control, steering, rear suspensions, electronics, and seats; the traction and stabilitycontrol systems, axles, wireharnesses, five speed automatic transmissions, steering columns, and some other components were shared with Mercedes(Wolfgang Bernhard claimed 20% of the Magnum’s components were shared with Mercedes).

    WA580 - NAG1 automatic transmission

    AutoWeek’s Mark Vaughn quoted chief engineer Burke Brown as saying that while Mercedes provided many components, “few parts are straight out the Benz bin.” He cited the front suspension as having a lower roll center and wider track, for example.

    And for that matter, they have gone to great lengths to replace all the MB parts after Daimler got rid of them.

    Edited by thedriver

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    19 minutes ago, thedriver said:

    Falsehoods repeated without research.

    Though Chrysler had chosen rear wheel drive before the merger, hooking up with Mercedes provided existing technologies and parts, including the A580 electronic automatic, and Mercedes stability control, steering, rear suspensions, electronics, and seats; the traction and stabilitycontrol systems, axles, wireharnesses, five speed automatic transmissions, steering columns, and some other components were shared with Mercedes(Wolfgang Bernhard claimed 20% of the Magnum’s components were shared with Mercedes).

    WA580 - NAG1 automatic transmission

    AutoWeek’s Mark Vaughn quoted chief engineer Burke Brown as saying that while Mercedes provided many components, “few parts are straight out the Benz bin.” He cited the front suspension as having a lower roll center and wider track, for example.

    And for that matter, they have gone to great lengths to replace all the MB parts after Daimler got rid of them.

    @Drew Dowdell Please comment as well.

    In regards to your falsehoods comment, nothing but actual research. Yes there is Wiki which also says this is a stretched widened version of the W211 platform from MB that is an enhanced W210 version. Then there is all the reviews from 2005 where Chrysler is quoted as staying they were given the MB E-Class platform and stretched it, widened it and made it better than the current W211 E-Class platform and reviews show that the 300 did handle better.

    I do see stories that say Chrysler has been replacing Benz parts as they continue to improve the 300 platform. Yet it seems to me that the begining of the auto started with benz.

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    There is almost no Benz left in this car, if any. 

    I had one of these as a rental for my trip to Detroit for NAIAS, though mine was RWD rather than AWD. It is a fantastic roadtrip car. I don't know what kind of wheel bearing they are using but the 300C/S rolls better than nearly anything out there.. and I say that in while in the past week I've been at the helm of CT6/LS/G80. 80mph is way too easy.

    It's comfortable. It's big. It handles well. It goes fast. It has road presence.  It is everything a big American sedan should be.

    On top of that, it is efficient and the infotainment system works well. My long distance trips at the aforementioned 80 mph have yielded 27mpg.  Ya'll keep it under 70mph and you can get it over 30 on RWD models. 

    If there is any letdown it is in the quality of materials in the interior.  The S and the C Limited do fix some of that, but not all. 

    This is one of my favorite vehicles on the market right now.... not because it is the best at any one thing, but because of the blend of things it does so well.  I would absolutely drive the one pictured above and be very happy with it. 

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    Though I like how the driver rips stuff right off allpar ( common theme I've seen in uses like this)-but bottom line-he is pretty much right. Many of the things things used in the FCA products were pretty much "modded" and borrowed" tech from Benz. There was no way Benz was going to give up the good stuff to what they thought was the "weaker" company.

     

    Many forget how Benz was more in it for the money rather than FCA's product line.....still the worse marriage I've seen-worse than Fiat and GM.....I've haven't forgot the stories of my friends who worked there.

     

    Back to the subject at hand- it's hard to put lipstick on an old dated pig, but regardless-I still like them-and would pick one up in a heartbeat....

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    4 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

    Though I like how the driver rips stuff right off allpar ( common theme I've seen in uses like this)-but bottom line-he is pretty much right. Many of the things things used in the FCA products were pretty much "modded" and borrowed" tech from Benz. There was no way Benz was going to give up the good stuff to what they thought was the "weaker" company.

     

    Many forget how Benz was more in it for the money rather than FCA's product line.....still the worse marriage I've seen-worse than Fiat and GM.....I've haven't forgot the stories of my friends who worked there.

     

    Back to the subject at hand- it's hard to put lipstick on an old dated pig, but regardless-I still like them-and would pick one up in a heartbeat....

    It wasn't FCA at the time and none of those parts are still in use today.  The suspension has been completely revised since the first generation. Transmission, engines, rear-diff are all replaced. Even the stupid MB cruise control lever was replaced after the first gen. 

    There might be some random power window motor still shared, but parts like that get shared among manufacturers all the time.  We don't call the Escalade based on an F-150 just because they share a transmission. 

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    35 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    It wasn't FCA at the time and none of those parts are still in use today.  The suspension has been completely revised since the first generation. Transmission, engines, rear-diff are all replaced. Even the stupid MB cruise control lever was replaced after the first gen. 

    There might be some random power window motor still shared, but parts like that get shared among manufacturers all the time.  We don't call the Escalade based on an F-150 just because they share a transmission. 

    True, pretty much all the parts that they used (or kinda shared) were gone after the first few years.....as they updated them pretty quick. 

    Yes, I know that they were not FCA back then......I just hate using the "D" word.....😜🙂

    • Haha 1

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    There is almost no Benz left in this car, if any. 

    I had one of these as a rental for my trip to Detroit for NAIAS, though mine was RWD rather than AWD. It is a fantastic roadtrip car. I don't know what kind of wheel bearing they are using but the 300C/S rolls better than nearly anything out there.. and I say that in while in the past week I've been at the helm of CT6/LS/G80. 80mph is way too easy.

    It's comfortable. It's big. It handles well. It goes fast. It has road presence.  It is everything a big American sedan should be.

    On top of that, it is efficient and the infotainment system works well. My long distance trips at the aforementioned 80 mph have yielded 27mpg.  Ya'll keep it under 70mph and you can get it over 30 on RWD models. 

    If there is any letdown it is in the quality of materials in the interior.  The S and the C Limited do fix some of that, but not all. 

    This is one of my favorite vehicles on the market right now.... not because it is the best at any one thing, but because of the blend of things it does so well.  I would absolutely drive the one pictured above and be very happy with it. 

    AND what exactly does GM build like this any time in the last few years....is 

    what

    m sayin

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    59 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    AND what exactly does GM build like this any time in the last few years....is 

    what

    m sayin

    CT6, second gen Lacrosse.

    It doesn’t have to be RWD to get the nod.

    The only one at Ford I would give such a trophy to is the latest Explorer, Navigator too if we’re not considering budget.  None of their cars though.

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    7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    There is almost no Benz left in this car, if any. 

    I had one of these as a rental for my trip to Detroit for NAIAS, though mine was RWD rather than AWD. It is a fantastic roadtrip car. I don't know what kind of wheel bearing they are using but the 300C/S rolls better than nearly anything out there.. and I say that in while in the past week I've been at the helm of CT6/LS/G80. 80mph is way too easy.

    It's comfortable. It's big. It handles well. It goes fast. It has road presence.  It is everything a big American sedan should be.

    On top of that, it is efficient and the infotainment system works well. My long distance trips at the aforementioned 80 mph have yielded 27mpg.  Ya'll keep it under 70mph and you can get it over 30 on RWD models. 

    If there is any letdown it is in the quality of materials in the interior.  The S and the C Limited do fix some of that, but not all. 

    This is one of my favorite vehicles on the market right now.... not because it is the best at any one thing, but because of the blend of things it does so well.  I would absolutely drive the one pictured above and be very happy with it. 

    I pretty much agree with everything you said here...

    Feel the same way about the Charger too.....

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    I like that color.  There was one at the Cleveland Auto Show on display in this color.   The Challenger looks great in this color also...would love to see a GC in this color. 

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    Benz never "gave" anything to Chrysler; pieces/components were SOLD to ChryCo, and in some instances mandated that they be used to boot. I have seen ex-insiders claim the prices were "full development cost" and royalties were also charged for components MB was moving to the next generation of (were worthless to MB).

    ChryCo was already moving to the RWD LX platform before the take over; the FWD LH platform was engineered to support RWD. MB also had all their US/Germany conference calls billed to Chrysler.

    Daimler raped & pillaged Chrysler.

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    I love Chrysler Corp's use of retro colors, and this one is a knockout, and when sprayed on a beautiful car like the 300, it really is the total package.  I do love the Dodge Challenger in this color... I'm dreaming of a Challenger in this color with matching interior... and a black vinyl top!

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    Another recent Mopar color I like is a dark red I've seen on the Challenger and Charger. Octane Red.    jOs0GlE.jpg

     

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    6 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    I love Chrysler Corp's use of retro colors, and this one is a knockout, and when sprayed on a beautiful car like the 300, it really is the total package.  I do love the Dodge Challenger in this color... I'm dreaming of a Challenger in this color with matching interior... and a black vinyl top!

    Weekend play toy and cruising or replacement for the current auto?

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    Look. I had a 2013 and sold it to my Brother in Law as I bought a 740 IL. I still miss the thing. Furthermore, I swear that this thing is faster than over six seconds on the 0-60. It also is very happy with regular unleaded gas. The engine is SO SMOOTH. I am ticked that they dropped the transmission slapstick for that round dial selector. Yes, the interior is a bit cheap. My biggest gripe about this story lies in the price. It may have a "As Tested" price of around 50, BUT do they ever discount this thing. I'll bet that your actual cost is closer to 40.

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    Guest potluck

    Posted

    that is very..... green

    but they are the best rental car for your money

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    I'd love a 5.7 300 or Charger. I think it would be difficult to buy a 300 over a Charger though. There doesn't seem to be a large enough gap in "niceness" for a 300. 

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    2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I'd love a 5.7 300 or Charger. I think it would be difficult to buy a 300 over a Charger though. There doesn't seem to be a large enough gap in "niceness" for a 300. 

    They are pretty darn close.  To me, the Chrysler looks a bit more prestigious on the outside.  I just like the more upright roofline.  It's just a visual preference though. I know most here will prefer the more sport looks of the Charger.

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    I prefer the 300 as well, and the S trim looks sporty enough IMO.  My brother still has his first gen 300 SRT.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    10 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    They are pretty darn close.  To me, the Chrysler looks a bit more prestigious on the outside.  I just like the more upright roofline.  It's just a visual preference though. I know most here will prefer the more sport looks of the Charger.

    If they are priced the same, I think I'd only really want the Charger because I would see myself with some aftermarket exhaust and a louder 300 seems trashy but an equally loud Charger seems to fit. FWIW, I wouldn't do anything obnoxious, likely a Borla/Flowmaster/Magnaflow cat-back. 

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    4 minutes ago, frogger said:

    I prefer the 300 as well, and the S trim looks sporty enough IMO.  My brother still has his first gen 300 SRT.

    I keep looking at the 300S as a possible lease replacement for the Encore.  Our miles have cut way down now. He takes the bus to work most days, and if I go into the office, he rides in with me. 

    We still need an SUV though.

    1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

    If they are priced the same, I think I'd only really want the Charger because I would see myself with some aftermarket exhaust and a louder 300 seems trashy but an equally loud Charger seems to fit. FWIW, I wouldn't do anything obnoxious, likely a Borla/Flowmaster/Magnaflow cat-back. 

    Oh, yeah, not me at all.  I want quick but quiet.

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    2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I keep looking at the 300S as a possible lease replacement for the Encore.  Our miles have cut way down now. He takes the bus to work most days, and if I go into the office, he rides in with me. 

    We still need an SUV though.

     

    I would love a 300s either if my commute was shorter, the deals on used ones are nice.. it currently costs me $10 per commute in gas for a TSX so I'd imagine I'd be... not happy.  My partner would definitely not be happy if I showed up with a full size car for her to drive, even if just occasionally.  

    If we absolutely need to buy a car in a year to be our one and only vehicle, it is probably is going to end up being a Sportwagen/Alltrack 4Motion or hybrid RAV4 unless the GM Voltec powertrain makes it into something we like.  Not worth continually paying $150 extra a month in insurance for a second car when our total mileage annually is around 12,000 miles.

     

     

     

     

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    18 minutes ago, frogger said:

    I would love a 300s either if my commute was shorter, the deals on used ones are nice.. it currently costs me $10 per commute in gas for a TSX so I'd imagine I'd be... not happy.  My partner would definitely not be happy if I showed up with a full size car for her to drive, even if just occasionally.  

    If we absolutely need to buy a car in a year to be our one and only vehicle, it is probably is going to end up being a Sportwagen/Alltrack 4Motion or hybrid RAV4 unless the GM Voltec powertrain makes it into something we like.  Not worth continually paying $150 extra a month in insurance for a second car when our total mileage annually is around 12,000 miles.

    If you can be gentle on the go-pedal and it's all highway, you might be able to squeeze 30+ out of it.  You'd be better off in a C though. They actually get a higher EPA rating because of slightly less power. 

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    I have always liked the current 300 over the Charger. For me, I would be willing to go for a low mileage 300 SRT as I would love the 6.4 L over the current 5.7 L V8. 

    AutoTrader Listing

    Amazing how many low mileage 300 SRTs are available.

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    20 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I have always liked the current 300 over the Charger. For me, I would be willing to go for a low mileage 300 SRT as I would love the 6.4 L over the current 5.7 L V8. 

    AutoTrader Listing

    Amazing how many low mileage 300 SRTs are available.

    Wow! Those ARE cheap. It's a shame they are practically useless in my area because of the condition of our roads. 

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    I prefer the 300 to the Charger as well.  I'd love a 300C in that green with a saddle color leather interior.  :wub:

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    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Tundra holds the title of being the oldest full-size truck, coming in at thirteen years without any sort of redesign. On one hand, this makes the Tundra a very reliable and dependable truck. On the other hand, the Tundra isn’t able to fully compete with the likes GM, Ram, or Ford with their more modern designs and hardware. But there is one exception to this where the Tundra can be a good alternative to the Detroit Three, and it comes in the form of the TRD Pro.
      Color can do a lot to a vehicle such as making an older model look modern or highlighting some of the polarizing elements of a design. This Army Green paint, which is new on all TRD Pros for 2020 makes the Tundra look younger and a bit more aggressive.  Inside, you can tell that the Tundra is getting up there in age. The design hasn’t changed much and material quality cannot even compare to the likes of GM and Ram’s trucks. But I like the large buttons and knobs for various controls. Not only does it make it easier to find, but it means you can have a set of gloves on and easily control various aspects. One key improvement for 2020 is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto being added to the Tundra’s Entune system, which gives drivers another choice in their infotainment choices. The Crewmax model seen here is huge. Step into the back seat and you might think you entered a limo with an endless amount of head and legroom on offer. I do wish the seats had a little bit more padding. Only one engine is available on the 2020 Tundra; a 5.7L V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. This engine provides plenty of thrust and provides an engine burble that you might expect from one of the Detroit three’s V8 trucks. The automatic is very smooth when changing gear and seems to where it needs to be in any situation. The downside to this V8 is fuel economy. The EPA says TRD Pro CrewMax will return 13 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I saw an average of 14.2 mpg during my week of a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Maybe a couple more gears for the automatic could improve this. Toyota has kitted the Tundra TRD Pro with some serious off-road chops; Fox internal bypass dampers for all four corners, TRD springs that increase wheel travel, and a set of Michelin LTX off-road tires. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try it off-road. But other reviewers who have taken it off the beaten path report the TRD Pro is very capable.  What I can report is the changes to the suspension makes for a surprisingly comfortable ride. This suspension does mean you will experience a fair amount of body roll when cornering, but that is to be expected with a truck like this. My Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax starts at $52,780. With some accessories and destination, the price climbs $55,020. The Tundra is getting long in the tooth as evidenced by the interior and poor fuel economy from the V8 engine. But the TRD Pro helps freshen the Tundra a bit and makes a compelling option for those who plan on spending more time off the beaten path. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tundra, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Tundra
      Trim: TRD Pro CrewMax
      Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve i-FORCE V8
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/14
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX 
      Base Price: $52,780
      As Tested Price: $55,020 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Chrome Tube Steps - $535.00
      Stainless Steel Door Edge Guard - $140.00
      Door Sill Protector - $70.00
    • By William Maley
      When I was driving the 2020 Lexus GS in late February, rumors were flying around that the model would be discontinued at the end of the model year. There was some credence to this rumor as sales had been falling and Lexus hasn’t been updating the model to keep it somewhat up to date with competitors. It would sometime later that we learned that the GS would be going away at the end. So this is the last look at a sedan that I liked at the beginning but now have some mixed feelings.
      Not much has changed in the overall design of the GS since our last review in 2018. The F-Sport has its tweaks such as a mesh grille insert, more aggressive bumpers, and dual-spoke wheels. I still find this sedan very striking, especially in this bright blue. The interior is much the same as the 2013 and 2017 models I have driven. Plus points are high-quality materials, very comfortable front seats, and an easy to read instrument cluster. Downsides are the very dated infotainment system and confounding controller for it; and tall transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in many Lexus and Toyota vehicles. In the GS, it produces 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. My test vehicle came with the optional all-wheel drive system, which means a six-speed automatic is standard. Sticking with rear-wheel drive gets you the eight-speed. The performance of the V6 doesn’t really wow as it once did. 0-60 takes around six seconds for the AWD version, which is unremarkable as other competitors can do the same in around five seconds or less. Not helping is the six-speed automatic which limits the flexibility of the engine. The pluses to the V6 are minimal NVH levels and silky smooth power delivery. The EPA says the GS 350 AWD will return 19 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 22 mpg during my week. The GS surprised me as to how it well handled in the corners, especially in the F-Sport trim. That continues here as the GS 350 F-Sport AWD shows off minimal body roll and sharp steering. You do miss out on some of the trick features on the RWD model such as limited-slip differential and variable gear-ratio steering, but you’re likely not to notice it. What is a bit surprising is the GS F-Sport’s ride quality. Those expecting more bumps to disrupt the ride will be surprised as the GS glides over them like it was nothing. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Previously, the GS 350 F-Sport would have been my recommendation for a luxury midsize sedan with a sporting edge. Now, it is difficult for me to recommend the GS at all considering the age and how many competitors have moved forward. Right now, I would go with a BMW 5-Series as being the one for sport while the S90 takes the place of being something a bit different in the class. Still, if I had the opportunity to get my hands on the GS 350 F-Sport, I would do it. This is a prime example of do as I say, not as I do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 350, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: GS
      Trim: 350 F-Sport AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve VVT- V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 3,891 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $54,505
      Author's Note: Unfortunately, I lost my copy of the window sticker for this particular test vehicle, hence why I don't have the as-tested price or option list for this review.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I was driving the 2020 Lexus GS in late February, rumors were flying around that the model would be discontinued at the end of the model year. There was some credence to this rumor as sales had been falling and Lexus hasn’t been updating the model to keep it somewhat up to date with competitors. It would sometime later that we learned that the GS would be going away at the end. So this is the last look at a sedan that I liked at the beginning but now have some mixed feelings.
      Not much has changed in the overall design of the GS since our last review in 2018. The F-Sport has its tweaks such as a mesh grille insert, more aggressive bumpers, and dual-spoke wheels. I still find this sedan very striking, especially in this bright blue. The interior is much the same as the 2013 and 2017 models I have driven. Plus points are high-quality materials, very comfortable front seats, and an easy to read instrument cluster. Downsides are the very dated infotainment system and confounding controller for it; and tall transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in many Lexus and Toyota vehicles. In the GS, it produces 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. My test vehicle came with the optional all-wheel drive system, which means a six-speed automatic is standard. Sticking with rear-wheel drive gets you the eight-speed. The performance of the V6 doesn’t really wow as it once did. 0-60 takes around six seconds for the AWD version, which is unremarkable as other competitors can do the same in around five seconds or less. Not helping is the six-speed automatic which limits the flexibility of the engine. The pluses to the V6 are minimal NVH levels and silky smooth power delivery. The EPA says the GS 350 AWD will return 19 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 22 mpg during my week. The GS surprised me as to how it well handled in the corners, especially in the F-Sport trim. That continues here as the GS 350 F-Sport AWD shows off minimal body roll and sharp steering. You do miss out on some of the trick features on the RWD model such as limited-slip differential and variable gear-ratio steering, but you’re likely not to notice it. What is a bit surprising is the GS F-Sport’s ride quality. Those expecting more bumps to disrupt the ride will be surprised as the GS glides over them like it was nothing. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Previously, the GS 350 F-Sport would have been my recommendation for a luxury midsize sedan with a sporting edge. Now, it is difficult for me to recommend the GS at all considering the age and how many competitors have moved forward. Right now, I would go with a BMW 5-Series as being the one for sport while the S90 takes the place of being something a bit different in the class. Still, if I had the opportunity to get my hands on the GS 350 F-Sport, I would do it. This is a prime example of do as I say, not as I do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 350, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: GS
      Trim: 350 F-Sport AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve VVT- V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 3,891 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $54,505
      Author's Note: Unfortunately, I lost my copy of the window sticker for this particular test vehicle, hence why I don't have the as-tested price or option list for this review.
    • By William Maley
      I felt very mixed when I reviewed the Mitsubishi Outlander last year, There was a lot to like about the crossover, but the list of negatives pushed me towards recommending it if you could find one at a good price. How would I feel when I drove the Outlander PHEV? Spoiler: About the same.
      (Author's Note: If you're looking for thoughts on the interior, I will direct you to my Mitsubishi Outlander review from last year as the PHEV shares all of the positives and negatives from the standard model.)
      Not much is different from the standard Outlander I drove last year to the PHEV except for the various hybrid badging around the vehicle, and additional fuel filler door on the rear passenger-side fender housing the charging outlets. The hybrid system is comprised of 60kW electric motors mounted on each axle providing 80 horsepower. The motors draw their power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery. A 2.0L inline-four acts as the generator for the battery and can power the wheels in certain situations. Total output stands at 190 hp. The driver has three different drive modes for which the Outlander can operate. EV which makes the Outlander PHEV only run electric power; Battery Save which turns on the engine to power the wheels to save charge; and Battery Charge where the generator charges up the battery. Most of my week, I found myself using Battery Save and Charge when driving on the freeway. Around town, it was left in EV or automatic mode. When the Outlander PHEV is running on electric power only, it provides enough grunt to get out of the way of traffic when leaving a green light. But begin to climb in speed and you realize this isn’t a quick car. Despite the instantaneous torque, the Outlander PHEV does take its time getting up to speed. Some of this can be attributed to the curb weight of 4,222 lbs.  Not helping is when the engine comes on to charge/power the wheels. When the engine is put under a load, it sounds very harsh and under a lot of stress. EPA figures for the Outlander PHEV are 74 MPGe (electric and gas combined) and 25 MPG (gas only combined). My average for the week landed around 35 MPGe, which is well under the EPA figure. But I will cut it a fair amount of slack as it arrived during one of the coldest weeks Michigan experienced. For electric-only range, Mitsubishi claims 22 miles. I saw between 16-18 miles which isn’t bad considering the cold temps. On recharging, Mitsubishi says that the Outlander PHEV takes about 13 hours when plugged into 120V/8A outlet, or 8 hours for a 120V/12V outlet. In my testing with 120V charging, it took about 8 hours to fully charge a depleted battery. The Outlander PHEV feels at home on long stretches of road where it shows off one of its strongest attributes, a smooth ride. On some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Outlander glided over them like it was nothing. On a winding road, the Outlander PHEV feels slightly out of its depth partly due to very num steering. What is surprising is that the PHEV doesn’t have as much body roll as the standard model when put into a corner. I feel conflicted on the 2020 Outlander PHEV as on the surface, it is a pretty competent crossover with the ability to run on electric power only. But the gas engine needs a bit of NVH work and performance could be slightly better. Also, it has several issues that I talked about in the previous Outlander. The final nail is the price; $43,600 for the top-line GT seen here. Yes, it does qualify for a federal tax credit of almost $6,000 that drops the price to under $38,000. But that still a fair amount of money for what is an old crossover.  If you can find one at a decent price, around $35,000 or less, then I would say take a closer look at it. Otherwise, wait to see Ford and Toyota’s entrants into the PHEV crossover market.  
      Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Outlander PHEV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Outlander PHEV
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 60kW Electric Motors (Front and Rear Axles), 2.0L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Single Speed Reduction Gearbox (Front & Rear), All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 80 @ 0 (Electric), 117 @ 4,500 (Gas),  190 (Total)
      Torque @ RPM: 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 137 @ 4,500 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: MPGe/Gasoline Combined - 74/25
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $41,495
      As Tested Price: $43,600 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Interior Package - $400.00
      Pearl White Paint - $395.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats and Portfolio - $145.00
      Charging Cable Storage Bag - $70.00

      View full article
  • Posts

    • 'EV Volumes', via Forbes : https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2020/08/02/tesla-model-y-passes-chevy-bolt-in-global-sales-underscores-gm-electric-car-challenges---as-renault-zoe-gains-report/#5368cc382586
    • Ford just released the details on their F-150 Hybrid. The most Powerful HP/Torque ever in an F-150. https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1129765_2021-ford-f-150-hybrid-hits-a-new-high-for-torque-if-not-mpg Quote: The model, badged PowerBoost, will make 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque, Ford revealed Tuesday—the highest power and torque ratings of any other powertrain available in the new F-150, and according to the automaker the most torque ever in the F-150. 
    • Where Yoda are you pulling this figure since Tesla does not break out the Model 3 to Model y sales, both quarters they are combined. Q1 sales = 76,200 of the Model 3/Y and 12,200 of the Model S/X = Total Sales of 88,400 Q2 sales = 75,496 of the Model 3/Y and 6,326 of the Model S/X = Total Sales of 82,272 I am sure if we look at state by state registration we can get this number, but forgot where I would find it. California does publish their own breakout of sales by every model sold in the state. https://www.cncda.org/wp-content/uploads/Cal-Covering-2Q-20.pdf Would love to have an account here that would show the US individual models sold by state. https://www.autocount.com/# Even here where you have to pay at Staitsta they have a higher number for the Model Y which is not in full production yet due to the pandemic per Tesla. https://buyshares.co.nz/2020/08/20/tesla-accounts-for-over-80-of-electric-vehicles-sold-in-the-us-in-h1-2020/
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