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    William Maley

    Review: 2018 Mazda CX-5 vs. Volkswagen Tiguan

      Mazda v. Volkswagen, Part 2

    A few weeks ago, I wrote a comparison test between the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. It was a close fight, but the Atlas ended up being the victor as it proved to be the better all-around three-row crossover. I find myself comparing these two brands once again, this time with their compact crossovers. Like their larger brethren, the two models take different approaches. The Mazda CX-5 goes for something that provides a premium feel and exciting drive, while the Volkswagen Tiguan uses space and comfort as its guide. Which one of these crossovers  Which one of these crossovers is right for you?

    Exterior

    Mazda’s design team believed evolution would be the right approach for the second-generation CX-5’s design and we have to agree. Taking the first-generation model, designers added more curves to the body, widened the front grille, and angled the front LED headlights. In what is becoming a very crowded class, the CX-5 stands tall, especially when wearing the optional Soul Red paint.

    Like the Atlas, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s shape can be explained as  “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” Little details such as the three-bar grille, LED daytime-running lights, and slightly bulging fenders help give the Tiguan a touch of class. The optional Habanero Orange Metallic paint color on my test vehicle does show Volkswagen is willing to step outside of its comfort zone. In terms of dimensions, the Tiguan is six inches longer in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.6-inches longer than the CX-5. 

    Interior

    The Tiguan’s interior follows Volkswagen’s ethos of keeping it functional in terms of the design. It features simple dash and design touches such as a silver finish for various trim pieces. Volkswagen does make up for the boring design with an excellent layout of controls. For example, the climate control system is slightly angled upward to not only make it easier to reach, but also make it less of a hassle to look down and see the current settings. Material quality is average for this type of vehicle with a mix of hard and soft plastics.

    The front seats in the Tiguan SE offer a power recline and manual adjustments for fore/aft and height. I really liked the seats in the Tiguan as they provided excellent comfort and firmness for any trip distance. But the Tiguan really surprises in the back seat with head and legroom similar to what you’ll find on a full-size SUV. Passengers sitting back here can also move the seats back and forth, and recline to make themselves more comfortable. The long length of the Tiguan allows for a third-row seat. The seat is standard on front-wheel drive models and optional for all-wheel drive variants. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is a minuscule amount of legroom. Another downside to the third-row is cargo space. The third-row causes a significant reduction in cargo space. With the third-row folded, it offers 4.6 cubic feet less than the two-row variant (33 vs. 37.6). Fold the second-row and the reduction becomes larger - 7.8 cubic feet. I would recommend skipping the third-row option if you opt for an AWD Tiguan.

    Like the exterior, the CX-5’s interior stands out. The dash shows Mazda’s effort on trying to make their interiors feel more like a luxury vehicle with sculpted contours, brushed aluminum, soft-touch plastics with a grain texture, and stitching on certain trim pieces. Compared to the Tiguan, the CX-5’s control layout is more spread out, making it somewhat difficult to find and reach certain controls. 

    The Grand Touring tester featured power adjustments for both front seats. The seats will feel a bit too firm for some passengers, but I found them to be just right. It would have been awesome if Mazda provided ventilation for the front seats to bolster their premium ambitions. The CX-5’s back seat offers a decent amount of headroom for those under six-feet. Legroom is somewhat lacking when put against the competition. I found that my knees were almost touching the back side of the front seat. Cargo space is right in the middle with 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.6 when folded.

    Infotainment

    A seven-inch touchscreen featuring the Mazda Connect infotainment system and a rotary knob controller is standard on all CX-5s. Grand Touring models get navigation as standard, while the Touring gets it as an option. Mazda Connect is a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look somewhat old due to the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Also, trying to figure out which parts of the system are touch-enabled becomes quite tedious as there is no way to tell except through trial and error. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, but I’m hoping the 2019 model will get it.

    For the Tiguan, Volkswagen offers three different infotainment systems ranging from 6.5 to 8-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The current Volkswagen infotainment system is one of the best thanks in part to snappy performance and a simple interface. You can do various smartphone gestures such as swiping to move around the system. One disappointment is the lack of any sort of haptic feedback when touching any of the shortcut buttons sitting on either side of the screen. We would also recommend keeping a cloth in the Tiguan as the glass surface for the infotainment system becomes littered with fingerprints.

    Like in the Atlas I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Tiguan experienced an issue with Apple CarPlay. Applications such as Google Music or Spotify running in CarPlay would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to unfreeze the applications unless I restarted the vehicle. Resetting my iPhone solved this issue.

    Powertrain

    Under the CX-5’s hood is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet (up one from the 2017 model). Mazda has added cylinder deactivation for the 2018 model that allows the engine to run on just two cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen has dropped in a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive complete the package.

    With a higher torque figure and being available between 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, the Tiguan should leave the CX-5 in the dust. But at the stoplight drag race, the CX-5 bests the Tiguan thanks to a sharper throttle response and a steady stream of power. The Tiguan’s turbo-four gets hit with a double-whammy of turbo-lag and a somewhat confused eight-speed automatic transmission, making it feel anything but eager to get off the line. As speeds climb, the story changes. The Tiguan’s engine feels more willing to get moving whenever you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. The CX-5’s engine runs out of steam and you’ll need to really work it to get up to speed at a decent rate.

    Fuel Economy

    The EPA says the 2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD will return 24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan AWD returns 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. Both models returned high fuel economy averages; the CX-5 return 28.5 while the Tiguan got 27.3 mpg during my week-long test. Both models were driven on mix of 60 percent city and 40 percent highway.

    Ride & Handling

    When I reviewed the 2017 Mazda CX-5, I said that it carried on the mantle of being a fun-to-drive crossover set by the first-generation. Driving on some of the back roads around Detroit, the CX-5 felt very agile and showed little body roll. The steering provides sharp responses and excellent weighting. The sporting edge does mean a firm ride, allowing some road imperfections to come inside. Not much road or wind noise comes inside.

    Volkswagen took a different approach with the Tiguan’s ride and handling characteristics. On rough roads, the Tiguan provides a very cushioned ride on some of the roughest payment. This soft ride does hurt the Tiguan when cornering as there is slightly more body roll. But that doesn’t make the Tiguan a bad driving crossover. The chassis feels very willing when pushed and the steering provides a direct feel.

    Value

    The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE AWD begins at $30,230. This particular tester came to $31,575 with the optional Habanero Orange Metallic and fog lights. But the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes with more equipment such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and power adjustments for the driver for only $2,175 less than the Tiguan SE’s base price. You can add navigation, Bose audio system, and sunroof as part of $1,200 Preferred Equipment package. When it comes to the midlevel, it is no contest as the CX-5 walks away.

    The script flips however when you put the 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring under the microscope. The AWD version begins at $30,945 and with a few options such as the Soul Red paint and Premium package, the vehicle seen here comes to $34,685. But you can get into the Tiguan SEL AWD that adds adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and navigation for only $2,295 less than our as-tested CX-5. While the CX-5 does offer more of a premium interior, the larger interior and slightly better infotainment system give the Tiguan a slight edge.

    Verdict

    It feels weird to describe the verdict between the two compact crossovers as a decision to satisfy your desires or needs. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls into the former as it boasts a handsome look that very few models can match, luxurious interior, and handling characteristics that make you feel like you’re driving a sports car. As for the Tiguan, it falls in the latter camp by offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and a better infotainment system. I consider these two to be the best-in-class. But deciding which one is better will ultimately come down to deciding whether to give into your wants or needs.

    Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Mazda
    Model: CX-5
    Trim: Grand Touring AWD
    Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000
    Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26
    Curb Weight: N/A
    Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
    Base Price: $30,945
    As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Premium Package - $1,395.00
    Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00
    Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00
    Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00
    Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00

    Year: 2018
    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: Tiguan
    Trim: SE 4Motion
    Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400
    Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23
    Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
    Base Price: $30,230
    As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Habanero Orange Metallic - $295.00
    Front Fog Lights - $150.00



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    Recommended Comments

    Can VW make vehicles looking more dull and generic?  It is like they are trying to be as ugly and as generic looking as possible.  

    • Upvote 1

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    Mazda just does nothing for me much like the VW and yet I will say I saw a black one that had all the emblems removed and smoked rear and front lights and looked really sharp. 

    I think they are doing this to allow 3rd party companies to offer exterior upgrade kits.

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    CX5 is nice, but in the end most of the time Mazda doesn't do it for me.  But the blandness of the VW.....

    I can't fathom how these two could be construed as best in class.  Must be a pretty sad and sorry 'class'.....

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    2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    5f9d2268-f763-4a1c-8548-ebe96f15e448.png

    Also like the Redline package, just sucks that you cannot get it in other colors as a Redline package in Ivy Metallic would be awesome. Weird that they also do not allow the sunroof option though that I could careless about for myself, others in the family like the big panoramic roof.

    image.png

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    well and then getting to short drive those two last weekend.  I liked the Tiguan more than the CX-5.  And the CX-5 advertises greatness with its supposedly nice interior.  But to me the Tiguan was more useful, had more room, better dash layout, and i liked the turbo instead of the torqueless CX5.

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    So cool!  I like the Sunlit Bronze and Kinetic Blue, although I found GM's CGI representations of their colors can be pretty far off reality.  The Graphite, for example, looks way bluer in the CGI than in realtime. 

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    2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    So cool!  I like the Sunlit Bronze and Kinetic Blue, although I found GM's CGI representations of their colors can be pretty far off reality.  The Graphite, for example, looks way bluer in the CGI than in realtime. 

    Totally agree with you that the computer website color representation is way off the reality once you see it in person.

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    On 9/14/2018 at 8:17 AM, ykX said:

    Can VW make vehicles looking more dull and generic?  It is like they are trying to be as ugly and as generic looking as possible.  

    They are very generic but I definitely do not see anything ugly about them. I think they are simple and clean looking and that alone is attractive. They're not trying to have bends, creases, swoops, angles, scoops in places they're not needed just for the sake of putting them there.

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    19 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    They are very generic but I definitely do not see anything ugly about them. I think they are simple and clean looking and that alone is attractive. They're not trying to have bends, creases, swoops, angles, scoops in places they're not needed just for the sake of putting them there.

    To each it is own.  To me personally it looks that the proportions are off, something looks wrong to me the way the lights are positioned and the way overhangs to wheels proportioned.   Also it looks like a most generic car anybody could draw, no personality what so ever.  And I saw few in person and they look even worse in person than in pictures.  But that's my personal opinion.

    CR-Cars-Inline-2018-Volkswagen-Tiguan-Dr

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    50 minutes ago, ykX said:

    To each it is own.  To me personally it looks that the proportions are off, something looks wrong to me the way the lights are positioned and the way overhangs to wheels proportioned.   Also it looks like a most generic car anybody could draw, no personality what so ever.  And I saw few in person and they look even worse in person than in pictures.  But that's my personal opinion.

    CR-Cars-Inline-2018-Volkswagen-Tiguan-Dr

    While not as ugly as others out there, it is bland that I agree with you on. The bigger brother Atlas is better looking, but VW has always gone with Utilitarian blah look on all their Auto's.

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    8 hours ago, ykX said:

    To each it is own.  To me personally it looks that the proportions are off, something looks wrong to me the way the lights are positioned and the way overhangs to wheels proportioned.   Also it looks like a most generic car anybody could draw, no personality what so ever.  And I saw few in person and they look even worse in person than in pictures.  But that's my personal opinion.

    CR-Cars-Inline-2018-Volkswagen-Tiguan-Dr

    Tiguan looks a bit like a wagon in its proportions.

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    13 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    So cool!  I like the Sunlit Bronze and Kinetic Blue, although I found GM's CGI representations of their colors can be pretty far off reality.  The Graphite, for example, looks way bluer in the CGI than in realtime. 

    I'm starting to warm up to a Blazer more and more.  I had an Aztek, so how can I not like the Blazer!

    I think chevy put out Blazer pictures into the wild so soon, so people could adjust and get used to it.

    Edited by regfootball
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      Connected and engaging driving dynamics mean road trips are no longer just for special occasions. Each experience in the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo feels more pronounced and spirited. The Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine will deliver an impressive 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium (93 octane) fuel or a solid 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque with regular (87 octane) fuel. This engine is specifically calibrated to the Mazda3 so as to deliver the unique driving dynamics expected by our most passionate drivers. The evolution of Mazda’s turbo engine brings a sense of refinement befitting the brand’s recent updates to the i-Activ all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The high torque characteristic of the Skyactiv-G 2.5T paired with the predictive i-Activ AWD create harmony with the driver’s intentions — delivering greater responsiveness and confidence.
      The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo comes standard with Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM, Mazda Connected Services with three-year trial and in-car Wi-Fi hot spot with six-months or 2GB trial, Bose® 12-speaker premium audio, 8.8-inch large center display with Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, two front USB inputs and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry. Complementing the feel of refined performance, heated leather wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, frameless auto-dim rearview mirror and chrome finishes around the push button start and glove box are exclusive to the turbo offering. Other interior features include Mazda’s Active Driving Display head-up unit, power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leatherette seating, leather wrapped shift knob and aluminum speaker grilles. To encourage peace of mind, the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo includes standard i-Activsense safety technologies such as Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, Smart Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Adaptive Front-lighting system and High Beam Control. Additional standard equipment include larger tailpipes, 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, gloss black heated door mirrors, “TURBO” badge on the trunk and on the engine cover, rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, automatic on/off LED signature headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a shark fin antenna. The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo sedan also features a gloss black front grille and sleek lower front bumper decoration.
      The new 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo with Premium Plus Package heightens the refined styling with a gloss black rear lip spoiler for the sedan while the hatchback is equipped with a gloss black rear roof spoiler and front air dam. Further supporting driving confidence, this top-tier package introduces all-new i-Activsense safety technologies. Rear Smart City Brake Support with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking will automatically apply the brakes when the vehicle is in reverse, if an obstacle or a crossing vehicle is detected. The 360° View Monitor with front and rear parking sensors is now available on the Mazda3 with high-definition digital clarity. A new convenience feature, Traffic Jam Assist enhances Mazda Radar Cruise Control by providing steering inputs at speeds under 40 mph. These advancements in safety technology build upon other features such as Mazda’s Active Driving Display and Adaptive Front-lighting System, which help the Mazda3 stand out among entry-level premium vehicles. The Premium Plus package includes leather seats, navigation and adds HomeLink to the frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror.
      Fans are encouraged to download the MyMazda mobile app to receive exclusive Mazda content as it becomes available (must have push notifications turned on), including the latest information on Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, which is expected to arrive in dealerships by the end of this year. For information on Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, please visit: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/2021-mazda3-turbo.
      2021 MAZDA3: WELL-SUITED WITH ADDED POWERTRAINS
      Mazda Connected Services and in-car Wi-Fi hot spot standard across all models Available Skyactiv-G 2.0 joins Skyactiv-G 2.5 and Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine in Mazda3 offerings IRVINE, Calif. (July 8, 2020) – Following an impressive World Car Design of the Year win, the world’s best-selling Mazda is not resting on its laurels and will continue to find ways to enrich fan’s lives. Alongside the new Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, two additional powertrains are now available. With many options, fans can find a Mazda3 that best fits their unique lifestyle. Today, Mazda North American Operations is announcing that the 2021 Mazda3 will go on sale in the fall of 2020.
      New for 2021, the Mazda3 2.0 sedan is equipped with the efficient Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter engine, rated to deliver 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque with front-wheel drive and standard with G-Vectoring Control Plus.
      Three-year trial of Mazda Connected Services, which allows the ability to monitor or control certain features of the vehicle through the MyMazda app and includes in-car Wi-Fi hot spot with six-months or 2GB trial are newly standard on all 2021 Mazda3 models. Standard exterior features include LED daytime lights, automatic on/off LED headlights, LED taillights, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, matte finish front grille, rearview camera and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The stylish interior is standard with an 8.8-inch large center display, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, two USB inputs, AM/FM eight-speaker sound system with HD RadioTM, push button start, electronic parking brake and black cloth seats. Standard i-Activsense safety features comprise of Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert and High Beam Control.
      The Mazda3 2.5S, available in both hatchback and sedan, will continue to offer the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter engine capable of 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque and standard front-wheel drive. Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM are standard on Mazda3 2.5S, in addition to all the features equipped on the Mazda3 2.0.
      The Mazda3 2.5S with Select Package is a new offering for the hatchback and remains available for the sedan. Along with available i-Activ all-wheel drive, this package adds more conveniences such as Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather steering wheel and shift knob, black leatherette seats, rear armrest with cup holders and door mirror turn signals. The Select Package also upgrades to 18-inch gray aluminum alloy wheels.
      Opening to more potentials, the Mazda3 2.5S with Preferred Package now adds a power moonroof. The Preferred Package consists of heated front seats, gloss black front grille, door mirrors with memory positioning and eight-way power driver seats with power lumbar support and seat memory. As part of this package, the interior and leatherette seats are available in either black or greige.
      Elevating to the Mazda3 2.5S with Premium Package brings the highest qualities to the hatchback and sedan. New for 2021, this package is enhanced with navigation, Bose® 12-speaker premium audio with aluminum speaker grilles, SiriusXM® that includes a three-month trial subscription and a shark fin antenna. Also included in this package is Active Driving Display, Adaptive Front-lighting System and paddle shifters. Leather seats complement the quality of the interior. Along with available black interior, the white interior option is exclusive to the sedan with the red interior option reserved for the hatchback. For the exterior, this package is equipped with 18-inch black finish aluminum alloy wheels and LED signature illumination headlights and taillights. Limited to the Premium package hatchback FWD, Mazda will continue to offer its Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission.
      2021 Mazda3 pricing will be announced on a later date.
    • 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
    • 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
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen unveiled an updated 2021 Arteon tonight. Now you might be thinking this is a quick turn around as the Arteon has been on sale in the U.S. for only a year. But you need to keep in mind that Volkswagen has been selling the Arteon in Europe since 2018, so a refresh was in the cards.
      Changes for the exterior are subtile with a more prominent grille, new lighting, updated Volkswagen badging, and new choices for paint and wheels. The interior is a bit more dramatic with updated dash featuring revised air vents and climate control system with touch controls. A new steering wheel with touch controls, improved materials, and the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit becoming standard on all Arteons finishes off the changes.
      Power for the U.S. will remain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic that routes power to either the front or Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
      There are some versions we'll be missing out on such as a new Shooting Brake (aka wagon), a 315 horsepower R model, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
      No word on pricing, but you'll be able to pick up a 2021 Arteon at your Volkswagen dealer sometime in November.
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2021 Volkswagen Arteon world premiere

      Jun 23, 2020
      Brand halo is updated inside and out—a new front end impresses with sharpened design elements and available illuminated grille, while inside, a new cockpit offers greater levels of refinement Digital Cockpit standard across lineup European offering includes new Arteon Shooting Brake, as well as plug-in hybrid (160 kW / 218 PS) and Volkswagen R-developed performance (235 kW / 320 PS) powertrains Herndon, VA — The Arteon is Volkswagen’s Gran Turismo—marrying the sleek design of a premium coupe to the space of a midsize sedan. For 2021, Volkswagen is introducing an extensive product line update to the brand halo, including sharpened design elements, interior refinements, and intelligent comfort systems. In Europe, Volkswagen is enhancing the product line with a second version—the new Arteon Shooting Brake—alongside new powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid drivetrain generating 160 kW (218 PS) and Arteon R versions with 235 kW (320 PS).
      For 2021, the U.S. market Volkswagen Arteon features a simplified trim lineup—SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line.
      Exterior
      The refreshed Arteon features a refined front end with sharpened design elements. The long, wide hood stretches across the entire front profile to the wheelarches to form the shoulder section. At the front it reaches far down into the grille, emphasizing the ample width of the Arteon with its crossbars. It’s not just avant-garde, it’s also aerodynamic—with a drag coefficient of a mere 0.265.
      For the first time, the Arteon can also be configured with an illuminated grille. On midrange models, new LED daytime running lights (DRLs) connect to form a central light bar in the grille, surrounding the new Volkswagen logo and using light as the new chrome. Consequently, the Arteon has been given a new and unmistakable daytime and night-time lighting signature.
      The lower section of the front profile, the front apron, has also been modified. Up to now, this area featured four chrome bars. These have now been transformed into three significantly more striking chrome bars. The outer and bottom segments of the front apron are always the same color as the vehicle’s paintwork (except the lateral air intake grilles). How the equipment scopes differ: the SE trim now has two additional, separate air intake openings in front of the front wheels, as well as a chrome bar that has been integrated above the front spoiler. In contrast, the R-Line features one larger, continuous, bottom air intake above the front spoiler that is surrounded by a C-shaped section on the outside in front of the front wheels, which has been painted in the main vehicle color.
      As drawn, the character line runs around the entire car. It visually presses the body’s volume downward to the ground, giving it a dynamic appearance. The character line starts in the radiator grille at the front and runs smoothly across the silhouette up to the tail light clusters. At the rear it transforms into a sharp undercut that visually reduces the Arteon’s height and carries the strong shoulder section towards the rear. At the rear, the VW badge and Arteon lettering have been redesigned.
      Three new colors are added for model year 2021—Oryx White, Kings Red Metallic, and Lapiz Blue.
      Interior
      On the inside, Arteon has been equipped with a redesigned cockpit that has been refined to match the model’s exclusive nature. Volkswagen’s interior designers have redesigned the entire dash panel—consisting of surfaces, air outlets, and trims—the center console, including infotainment section and air-conditioning control, and the top sections of the door trims. The fabrics and leather in the vehicle interior have also been upgraded.
      At the dash panel’s top-most level, new leatherette surfaces stand out by having been refined are more pronounced with decorative seams to visually build a bridge to Volkswagen’s luxury-class SUV, the Touareg. On the second level, new aluminum décor graces base models, while midrange models offer translucent aluminum décor with 30-color ambient lighting The air outlets, stretching up to the third dash panel level, have been redesigned and also fully integrated here.
      A new generation of multifunction steering wheels featuring digital touch surfaces are used in the Arteon. In combination with the Travel Assist system (see below), the steering wheel rim additionally features touch-sensitive surfaces which, once Travel Assist has been activated, detect whether the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel for safety reasons.
      The temperature can now be set intuitively via a touchslider for the optional three-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. The same applies to the blower function in the manual mode. Seat heating, windscreen and window defrosting functions as well as other air conditioner regulations are also controlled using new touch-sensitive surfaces in the center console.
      The Arteon is equipped with the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which allows the driver to configure the instrument display. The graphics of the 10.25-inch display are clear and of a high quality. The driver can quickly and easily switch between three basic layouts using a View button on the multifunction steering wheel.
      Arteon adopts the all-new MIB3 infotainment system, integrated in a clearly visible and easy-to-reach position above the new air-conditioning controls. All models come standard with the 8.0-inch Discover Media system with navigation. MIB3 offers natural voice control, multi-phone pairing that can easily switch between devices, and wireless App-Connect. Wireless charging is also new for 2021.
      Volkswagen is also offering a newly developed, high-end sound system made by audio specialists harman/kardon for the very first time. It has been specifically geared towards the Arteon product line. The system uses a 700-watt, 16-channel Ethernet amplifier to power a total of twelve high-performance loudspeakers. One loudspeaker acts as the center speaker in the newly designed dash panel while another operates as a subwoofer in the trunk. The remaining treble, mid-range, and bass loudspeakers have been arranged in the doors. The infotainment system coordinates the individual sound control of the harman/kardon sound system which also provides pre-configured settings, such as Pure, Chill out, Live and Energy.
      Powertrain
      The Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting; 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on SEL R-Line models and standard on SEL Premium R-Line models.

      View full article
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