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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec

      Acura starts to find itself again

    For the past decade, Acura has felt lost at sea. Not sure of what it wanted to be as a brand. This was shown by mixed messaging in their lineup as they weren’t sure to focus on luxury, technology, or sport. This muddled mess of identities would cause a fair amount of issues. But in the past couple of years, Acura started to get its act together thanks in part to new leadership. The first fruits of their efforts came last year in the form of the third-generation RDX. 

    It has been over two years since I last drove an Acura, so when the opportunity for an RDX A-Spec landed on my desk, I took it with both hands. It was time to see what Acura has been up to and if they’re taking a step in the right direction. 

    You Want Presence? You Got It!

    The RDX is the first production model to feature Acura’s newest design language and its no shrinking violet. The front end draws your attention with a large trapezoidal grille paired with a massive Acura emblem. Sitting on either side is Acura’s Jewel-Eye LED headlights that add a distinctive touch. My A-Spec tester takes it further with distinctive front and rear bumpers, 20-inch alloy wheels finished in black, and a special Apex Blue Pearl color that is only available on this trim. This crossover garnered a lot of looks during the week I had, something I hadn’t experience in quite some time.

    Cozy, Polarizing Interior

    The RDX’s interior captures the feeling of being in a sports car with a symmetrical dashboard design that cocoons the front passengers. A rotary drive-mode selector found in the center stack echos the design found in the NSX supercar. While it does emphasize the sporty nature of the vehicle, the position of the knob does make the climate controls a bit hard to reach. A-Spec models have some special touches such as red contrast stitching, a suede panel on the passenger side of the dashboard, and new trim for the instrument cluster that help it stand out. Material and build quality are quite close to some competitors from Germany.

    A set of sport seats with increased bolstering and power adjustments come standard on the A-Spec. I found them to be quite comfortable for any trip length and were able to hold me if I decided to be a bit enthusiastic. Back seat passengers will be plenty comfortable with an abundance of head and legroom. I would have like to see the back seat be able to slide forward and back to offer more comfort. Cargo space is towards the top of the class with 29.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 58.9 when folded. There’s also a little storage nook under the cargo floor to stash valuables.

    Intuitive Infotainment?

    Acura’s previous infotainment system drew a lot of ire from people. The dual-screen layout was confusing as some functions were split between the two screens such as changing the audio input. Not helping was the two different control methods for this setup; touchscreen for the bottom portion and a controller for the top screen. Thankfully, Acura has introduced a new infotainment system for the RDX. A large 10.2-inch screen sits on top of the dash and is controlled by a touchpad on the center console. Seeing the touchpad for the first time sent chills down my spine as I thought back to my frustrating experiences with Lexus’ Touchpad Controller. But Acura says this controller is much easier and logical to use than competitors. Okay, challenge accepted.

    Acura’s touchpad controller is slightly different from Lexus’ setup as it is mapped to the screen. So if you want to access the navigation, you tap that part of the pad that corresponds to the screen. This removes the dragging of the finger across the touchpad to get it to the selection you want. This seems quite logical on paper, but I found to be somewhat frustrating. It took me a few days to mind-meld with the system as I was still used to dragging my finger across the touchpad to select various functions. This made simple tasks such as changing presets or moving around in Apple CarPlay very tough.

    There is also a smaller touchpad that controls a small section of the screen. This allows you to scroll through three menus - audio, navigation, and clock. This would prove to be the most frustrating aspect of this system as it didn’t always recognize whenever I scroll down on the touchpad to move to another screen.

    Thankfully, Acura has left a number of physical controls for the audio and climate systems. I’m glad that some luxury automakers aren’t falling into the trap.

    Powertrain Goes Back To Its Roots

    The RDX has always found itself with a different powertrain throughout its various generations. The first version used a turbo-four engine, while the second-generation moved to a V6. For the third-generation, Acura went back to the RDX’s roots and settled on another turbo-four engine. The 2.0L engine punches out 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic and either front or my tester’s Super-Handling all-wheel drive system.

    The turbo-four is quite a potent engine with little turbo lag when leaving a stop and a seemingly endless amount of power for any situation. The ten-speed automatic is very smooth and quick when upshifting. But it does stumble somewhat when you need a quick shot of speed. 

    I did notice that the 2.0L turbo isn’t a quiet engine when traveling on the expressway, going above 2,000 rpm when traveling at 70 mph. This may explain the slightly disappointing 21.7 mpg average I got during the week. EPA fuel economy figures for the A-Spec SH-AWD are 21 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. The standard RDX models see a small bump in their EPA fuel economy figures.

    Capable Driver

    Acura is no stranger to building a crossover that is good to drive, the larger MDX crossover is a prime example. But the RDX A-Spec takes that a step further. This version gets a slightly stiffer suspension setup which negates a fair amount of body roll on a winding road. The steering firms up nicely when pushed through corners. When going through the daily grind, the RDX A-Spec will let in a few more bumps and road imperfections due to its suspension tuning. Road and wind noise are kept to very minimal levels.

    Welcome Back Acura

    The 2020 RDX shows that Acura is starting to figure out what it wants to be; a brand that offers something playful in the class. The RDX certainly has the qualities with a bold exterior, punchy turbo-four, and a surprising chassis that offers sporty handling and a mostly-comfortable ride. The slightly-confounding infotainment system and poor fuel economy figures do sour it a bit. But the RDX is a very compelling alternative to many compact luxury crossovers.

    It does give me hope that Acura is figuring out who it wants to be and excited to see what comes down the road such as the new TLX.

    How I Would Configure An RDX: For me, I would basically take the exact RDX tester seen here. That will set me back $47,195 after adding destination and $400.00 paint option. Everyone else should look at the Technology package that will get you most of the safety equipment that is part of Acurawatch, along with a 12-speaker ELS audio system, navigation, and parking sensors. It will not break the bank at $41,000 for FWD or $43,000 for AWD.

    Disclaimer: Acura Provided the RDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2020
    Make: Acura
    Model: RDX
    Trim: A-Spec
    Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve VTEC Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: 10-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 272 @ 6,500
    Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 1,600 - 4,500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/26/23
    Curb Weight: 4,015 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: East Liberty, Ohio
    Base Price: $45,800
    As Tested Price: $47,195 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Premium Exterior Color - $400.00



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    Nice review read, so performance over efficiency which explains the MPG issue. Not a fan of the NSX, so I was not thrilled to see that center stack dial knob and appreciate the feedback on how it was not easy to use. I am honestly surprised that they built it this way when Japanese are such tiny people and reaching so far for a knob to make things work is hard.

    Over all Acura fans will be happy, I do not see this getting conquest sales.

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    I like it a lot.  That infotainment system seems like a huge improvement on the previous dual screen system.  My wife's car has it and I hate it.  They do drive very nice, so that's a huge plus.  Also, Acurawatch safety system is not very intrusive like on some other vehicles.

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    Im liking the 2021 TLX. Interior and exterior.   And with a TT 3.0 V6, I might have a canditate to replace my 2012 eventually.  Again, depending what other cars are available in 2023-2024-2025 because Im kinda  thinking about NOT spending money needlessly...  I wasnt gonna change my TL anytime soon anyway, but Covid reinforced that mindset.   I could FINALLY say that a recent new car has peaked my interest again.  And Im hoping that Acura will keep producing the 2021 TLX until  Im ready to part ways with my 2012 TL in another 3 years or so.  That will make this new gen TLX 3 years old. I dont think Acura will cancel it due to low sales... (Covid economy, CUV/SUV sales reality, etc)  Hope not.    There is nothing else out there in 2020 that I want to own.  Maybe a Cadillac CT5, but it doesnt hit the right buttons within the price range that I want to be in. A CT5 V or Blackwing is where its at with me, and THAT is too much money for me to spend on a car.  

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    Love that they have kept the climate control (and hopefully seat heat/ventilation?) controls outside of the touch screen.  Red seats would be a bit too obnoxious for me.  Given the price similarity I wonder how this compares to the Blazer.

     

     

     

     

     

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    Getting a bit of a ricer vibe from it , but in a good way. Has a sporty look to it- with some power to back it up. Love that blue color! Also liking the mean looking front end....

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    It looks good, ups the ante for Acura/Honda cultmembers, sort of a return to form for them.

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    Problem is Acura wants to position themselves as a performance brand but there are 500+ hp competitors in this segment.  So they aren’t even close to competition on performance. 
     

    Acura is giving $12,000 off the RLX right now before they kill it off.  This is another brand in contraction.

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    There’s a while bunch of performance-oriented sedans out there with less than 500 HP. Not everyone wants or needs that level, and those that do don’t buy often.

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    Yeah 500hp and probably almost 50% more expensive except for Tesla, and projecting a 100% douchebag image driving one.

     

     

     

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    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Problem is Acura wants to position themselves as a performance brand but there are 500+ hp competitors in this segment.  So they aren’t even close to competition on performance. 
     

    Acura is giving $12,000 off the RLX right now before they kill it off.  This is another brand in contraction.

    Who is adding sedans in a CUV/SUV market?  No One I suspect.  The car sales are no longer there unlike 7-10 years ago.

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    Acura isn’t adding SUV’s either, they have 2 still, most have about 5.  

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    5 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Problem is Acura wants to position themselves as a performance brand

    They were always a performance brand since the introduction of Acura in North America.  

    Not a brutish, big block 455 V8 engine in a small, compact Civic kinda way.  But with high revving, silky smooth 4 cylinder,s great manual transmissions, great handling like a golf cart kinda way partnered up with "technological" dual overhead cam shafts and variable valve timing in a Civic and Integra.  Leading the way was Acura's Ferrari fighting mid-engine gem 1st gen NSX.  

    The rest of that early line-up, were not torque monster cars. Were not high horsepower behemoths. What they were, were sporty oriented, great handling, mid level luxury cruising sedans.  The compact car Integra early on and well into its 2nd and 3rd generation were sporty, zippy and peppy things.    Fun cars to drive.    A different, very Honda approach to performance...

    And they lost that in the early 2000s.  

    In reality, all Acura (and Honda) is doing now, is just going back to its 1980s roots.  So, not a problem...

    5 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    but there are 500+ hp competitors in this segment.

    What Balthy said...

    And this was never Acura's image to begin with.  So...not a problem. 

    5 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    So they aren’t even close to competition on performance. 

    Acura was always a different kind of performance. Had a different approach to performance. A different angle if you will. 

    Actually, BMW first did this angle of performance with their 2002 in the 1970s.  Acura's cars emulated that. But with FWD instead of RWD.   

     

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    Acura builds 2 FWD crossovers with near segment bottom power.  And they have the TLX with currently segment bottom power and the Type S that is coming is still less powerful than CT5-v I think and the Acura is wrong wheel drive with a 57/43 weight balance.

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    Concerning Honda/Acura. Being FWD on their smaller cars like the Civic or the ILX  is not really an issue.  

    On their mid level CUVs and TLX, being FWD with their SH-AWD  system or PAWS really is not an issue.  The SH-AWD system or PAWS takes care of any RWD bias there is because Acura's systems are that good in that all important fun in handling  category...  Which those systems are also available in their bigger CUVs. 

    Concerning Acura, their problem from the 2000s all the way to 2020 is not about wrong wheel drive. 

    Their problem was a lack of focus and eye off the ball of what their cars really mean to their buyers.  And of course, really ugly front fascias and really porky vehicles that stopped being about fun driving characteristics with bulky, old looking interiors.

    Acuras (and Hondas) of the 1980s and 1990s, had just about the industry's most youthful looking cars exterior wise and their interiors were simple, driver oriented with sportiness in mind.  

    The handling of their cars during this heyday were spirited and fun.

    And then the 2000s came along and Honda/Acura became...old man cars.    

    Acura always reminded me of what Oldsmobile used to be in the 1950s/1960s/1970s and certain 1980s models.  About mid-level 'sporty' luxury.  Acura, I felt, replaced Oldsmobile in the market place in the 1990s. 

    And then, I felt, Acura BECAME Oldsmobile in EVERY sense of the way. In that Acura became a shadow of its former self, became  stale and 'old' in the 2000s EXACTLY how Oldsmobile became that in the 1980s and 1990s. 

    Front wheel drive IS Acura's image.

    NOW...its SH-AWD and  PAWS.

    Acura successfully marketed this SH-AWD thing.

    Acura is just now, redefining and re-engineering their cars and CUVs to fit EXACTLY that image and infusing that DNA SUCCESSFULLY into their cars and CUVs.    Acura cars and CUVs are JUST NOW, getting back that fun to drive quotient they once had in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Is it too late?   Only time will tell.  Time ran out on Oldsmobile as in the mid-to late 1990s, Oldsmobile got back on track. But it was too little too late for Oldsmobile.  Will it be the same for Acura?

    But one thing is for sure....Acura does NOT need RWD, does NOT need 500 HP.  If Acura does THAT, then they will surely be doomed.   Acura is ALL ABOUT the fun-to-drive quotient.   

    I mentioned Oldsmobile and how Acura to me replaced Oldsmobile in the marketplace.   

    I should also include BMW.  Acura closely resembles BMW.   Acura is Japan's BMW.  A FWD (and now SH-AWD)  version of BMW (of the 1970s -1990s)   

    BMW has became just another CUV company with ALL their vehicles becoming fat and bloated AWD things.  Lots of HP, but disconnected to the road because of all that heft and drive by wire bullshyte they have incorporated in their driving characteristcs.

     Acura has tried to get their cars to be more connected to the driver as of late and made their cars more responsive and more fun for the driver...

    One does NOT need 500 HP to be fun to drive.  I think Acura has finally found the right mixture for fun to drive cars with just the RIGHT AMOUNT of HP and weight and SH-AWD or PAWS.   

    The BMW M5 has OVER 500 HP.   Closer to 600 HP with 500 some odd ft/lbs of torque.  This M5 is the FIRST M5 to NOT BE RWD.  Its AWD.  I havent heard ANYBODY say that the M5 is fun to drive...   And BMWs were at one time...fun to drive...

    Ill repeat.  Acuras need not be 500plus HP.    Acuras just need to be fun to drive...  And they are fast becoming so... 

     

     

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    They are doing enough to survive, but competition is far greater these days compared to their heyday of the 90s and early 2k.  Tesla has eaten up a lot of that market of entry lux vehicles with the 3 and Y, Porsche is no longer just a sports car company, Koreans are moving upmarket and investing a lot of coin attempting to do so.

     

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    It is rather interesting that while Nissan/Infiniti are circling the drain, Acura is struggling because of what the Koreans are doing. 

    Oldsmobile reached its sales peak in 1986 when half of the models sold were the rear-drive G-body Cutlass Supreme models.  Once that was replaced by the W-body in 1988, Olds was losing lot of sales (at least until the first Aurora).  By the time the Intrigue and the Alero showed up, Olds was on its way out for good.  If Acura was meant to replace Olds, it has wildly succeeded.  BMW of course is a tougher nut to crack.  Pontiac has been replaced by Nissan and Honda/Acura will probably replace Nissan sooner than any of us think.

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    Ill go a step further.

    What @frogger said about the Koreans...

    Hyundai is wonderfully replacing Chevrolet cars.  The Elantra is doing in the marketplace what the Cavalier/Cobalt and Cruze did in the market and what Chevrolet failed to do as where Hyundai is succeeding.  To SUSTAIN people interested in the car.  Hyundai is also succeeding where Chevrolet failed big time with Cavalier/Cobalt/Cruze is that Hyundai seems to have a POSITIVE public image on the Elantra as where Chevrolet always had negativity surrounding its image with the Cavalier/Cobalt/Cruze trio.  

    The Sonata seems to be Hyundai's equivalent to what an Impala was to Chevrolet. An upscale, classy Chevrolet with some styling pizzazz.  This new generation Sonata has gone back to the droopy faced Sonata's image.  Call that Sonata ugly if you will, that Sonata made a splash in the marketplace and lost that momentum when they revised and retracted the aggressive styling on the next gen.  This new gen, which actually looks like Chevy's last gen Malibu, seems to get back that mojo. 

    KIA will replace Nissan.  I see KIA as a modern form of Datsun. If KIA doesnt get visions of grandeur.  The managers of KIA should let Hyundai and Genesis handle the higher end stuff. KIA will do wonders if they handle the lower end stuff.     

    Honda will just continue to be Honda.   

    Genesis is replacing Infiniti quite easily.   Acura better be careful and not let Genesis steal their food off their table.  Its up to Acura at this juncture to not let that happen.  GM dropped the ball on Pontiac, Oldsmobile.  Spent tooo much money on Saturn, but had a good starting point, but flubbed it.  Spent unnecessary money buying and trying to save SAAB. THAT money could have been spent on the road to success on Oldsmobile and perhaps, Oldsmobile would have STILL been here TODAY had GM not wasted their time on money on SAAB...

    BMW will not be replaced by anybody.  What I meant to say above was that Acura is  kinda Japan's BMW.  But with FWD (SH-AWD) instead of RWD.

    BMW is just killing itself.  BMW has just become just another CUV manufacturer with a few expensive, bloated sedans and coupes in the line-up.   IF EVs ever become a thing and replace ICE (which I think WILL happen), TESLA will eventually replace BMW. Especially now that autonomous driving pods may have been put to rest for good BECAUSE of Covid19. 

    Acura could EASILY make fun to drive EVs and remain faithful to their fun to drive image as Acura in the future if EVs become the norm, like I have already stated, because it seems as Acura is in line of righting their ship.   I think BMW has gone tooo far off course that it seems almost impossible to get back to their roots.   Tooooo many folk just dont know about fun, handling BMWs anymore.  BMW has built toooo many bloated sedans and CUVs    SAVs  (yeah right)  for people to give a shyte about driving dynamics and about BMWs anymore.  When the next "in" car company comes along with a new generation of drivers in the next decade, I think BMW is done for.  Tesla could be that company.  But one thing is for sure, BMW is on the way out. I see the signs. In hindsight, the signs are the same ones as how Cadillac was going down in the 1980s and 1990s... 

     

     

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    I don't see where Oldsmobile fits and would have enough sales to be around still.  Do we really need more 1.5t, 2.0t and 3.6L CUV's from GM? 

     

     

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    42 minutes ago, frogger said:

    I don't see where Oldsmobile fits and would have enough sales to be around still.  Do we really need more 1.5t, 2.0t and 3.6L CUV's from GM? 

     

    Buick and GMC seem to cover the filler niche between Chevy and Cadillac pretty well..

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    To be fair, Oldsmobile had a hand with GM's initial DOHC 4 and 6 cylinder engines. Lotus did Chevrolet's first DOHC V8 in the Corvette, but Oldsmobile did their own DOHC and Cadillac used it.  More precisely, Cadillac "hired" Oldsmobile to do their DOHC V8 and Oldsmobile did  a version of that to use as well. 

    If a different timeline had occurred and Oldsmobile had survived, I think Oldsmobile would be on the cutting edge of automotive trends right about now so I dont think Oldsmobile would have been doing  1.5t, 2.0. and 3.6 liter V6 CUVs.   I think Oldsmobile would be doing EV CUVs right about now, trying to compete with Tesla.  And for the last 3-4 years.  I think Oldsmobile would have used the Bolt platform to do their own CUV with it.  Oldsmobile would have probably used the Volt, to do their own version and Opel, would have badge engineered the Olds version rather than Chevy's.  

    I get this vibe as Oldsmobile was doing turbos first in the 1960s, before Chevy with its Corvair. Oldsmobile saw DOHC from the Japanese in the 1980s and did their very own in the mid-80s with the Quad 4, and then Shortstar V6 waaaay before any other GM division.   Oldsmobile did GM's first lux oriented SUV in the late 1980s with Bravada with the old S-10 based Blazer.  LATE 1980s...Waaaaay ahead of the SUV craze. Luxury or otherwise.  Waaaay before any BMW SAVs or Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer editions. Waaaay before OJ Simpson Bronco super slow speed chases....   Waaaaay before Jurassic Park Wrangler or Mercedes Benz MLs...   Waaaaay before Navigators and Escalades and RAV4s and Lexus RXs...

    And I think this trend of Oldsmobile being ahead of trends were gonna continue. 

    But...we will NEVER know...

    Things happen the way they do because it is the way its suppose to be...

     

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    BMW worldwide outsold Acura, Lexus, Infiniti and Genesis combined last year, so I think they are doing just fine.

     

    Acura might be able to pick up Infiniti’s leftovers if they fizzle from the market.  But you can get the same performance Acura has from a Sonata, Edge, RAV4 or whatever other garden variety car is out there.

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    20 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    BMW worldwide outsold Acura, Lexus, Infiniti and Genesis combined last year, so I think they are doing just fine.

     

    Nah. They are not.

    Like I said. They are just like anybody else doing shytty CUVs.

    Like I said, when another "in" car company comes in to charm the masses, BMW is done for.  

    BMW does NOT do CUVs better than anybody else.  They do NOT do memorable CUVs. There are no 2002 CUV equivalents. No M badged 3 or 5 Series cars or CUVs that charm today. No CUV E36 or E 46 equivalent.  No Z3 or  Z8 or 7 Series saloon James Bond CUV equivalent movie star...

    They just do the same ol same ole. Like everybody else.  They are riding on the coattails of those past vehicles. But they are NOT charming any new drivers.  New drivers are buying them BECAUSE of their past.  But when another  enthusiast car maker takes the market by storm, BMW is done for.  

    In other words. The X5 and X6 have lost that loving feeling they once had.  The X7 is a disgusting design. Neither CUV just mentioned is gonna  carry the BMW flame to the next generation of BMW lovers...  The X3 and X1 are just...well, they are just the same ole same ole I was talking about. No better than a KIA RIO or Ford Escape...

    THIS is what happened to Cadillac.  Cadillac too, was outselling Mercedes and BMW in the very 1990s that BMW enthusiasts all go  googoo gaagaa with E30 M3s,  E36 M3s, E46 M3s,  E34 M5 inline 6 AND V8, E39 M5s.  Cult classic Z8s and Z3s... And Cadillac...was outselling them.  But by the late 1990s. A different story all together. Same with BMW now.   Tesla has taken a fair share of market share from BMW and EV sales are still very very niche. Even Tesla sales are niche.  They are growing fast, and at the expense of many auto manufacturers. Not just BMW.  But Tesla has got that same type of following that BMW enjoyed in the 1970s/1980s and 1990s. Its taken Tesla just a decade to achieve what BMW achieved  in 30. 

    Irony. 

    What Cadillac did to their image in that same 30 year span that BMW took advantage of, BMW flubbed itself in just less than 20.  

    Edited by oldshurst442

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    9 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

    Nah. They are not.

    Like I said. They are just like anybody else doing shytty CUVs.

    Like I said, when another "in" car company comes in to charm the masses, BMW is done for.  

    BMW does NOT do CUVs better than anybody else.  They do NOT do memorable CUVs. There are no 2002 CUV equivalents. No M badged 3 or 5 Series cars or CUVs that charm today. No CUV E36 or E 46 equivalent.  No Z3 or  Z8 or 7 Series saloon James Bond CUV equivalent movie star...

    They just do the same ol same ole. Like everybody else.  They are riding on the coattails of those past vehicles. But they are NOT charming any new drivers.  New drivers are buying them BECAUSE of their past.  But when another  enthusiast car maker takes the market by storm, BMW is done for.  

    In other words. The X5 and X6 have lost that loving feeling they once had.  The X7 is a disgusting design. Neither CUV just mentioned is gonna  carry the BMW flame to the next generation of BMW lovers...  The X3 and X1 are just...well, they are just the same ole same ole I was talking about. No better than a KIA RIO or Ford Escape...

    THIS is what happened to Cadillac.  Cadillac too, was outselling Mercedes and BMW in the very 1990s that BMW enthusiasts all go  googoo gaagaa with E30 M3s,  E36 M3s, E46 M3s,  E34 M5 inline 6 AND V8, E39 M5s.  Cult classic Z8s and Z3s... And Cadillac...was outselling them.  But by the late 1990s. A different story all together. Same with BMW now.   Tesla has taken a fair share of market share from BMW and EV sales are still very very niche. Even Tesla sales are niche.  They are growing fast, and at the expense of many auto manufacturers. Not just BMW.  But Tesla has got that same type of following that BMW enjoyed in the 1970s/1980s and 1990s. Its taken Tesla just a decade to achieve what BMW achieved  in 30. 

    Irony. 

    What Cadillac did to their image in that same 30 year span that BMW took advantage of, BMW flubbed itself in just less than 20.  

    SUVs sell, every one makes them.  You are out of business without SUVs, and Acura only has 2, they need more.  
     

    BMW is #2 luxury car in the world, their cars weigh less and handle better than Tesla’s.  And BMW has plenty of fast cars still.  Just a 550i is faster than any Cadillac ever made, not even talking M models.  The 7-series has a 205 mph top speed, faster than a C8.  How much more performance do they need?

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    • 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
      The Toyota Yaris and Yaris Hatchback will be no more in the U.S. come the end of June. That's according to a leaked memo posted to Reddit and found by CarBuzz. Sent to "All Southeast Toyota Dealers and General Managers" by Toyota, the memo says the Yaris will "cease production" at the end of June.
      "The Yaris sedan and Yaris Hatchback will not be available for model year 2021. Model year 2020 will be the last year for Yaris. June 2020 will be the last month of production for the Yaris sedan and Yaris Hatchback for the US," wrote Christine N. Henley, Toyota North America's Western Communications Manager in the memo.
      Toyota confirmed the memo, and gave Car and Driver this statement;
      "The entry-subcompact segment has new regulations that require additional homologation. Those regulations, coupled with declining sales in the segment, are some of the reasons behind the decision."
      (Author's Note: We're wondering what Toyota means by the statement we bolded here, and we'll update if we get some sort of clarification. -WM).
      The declining sales makes sense as Toyota only moved 21,917 Yaris models in 2019, down 5,293 units when compared to 2018. To give more perspective, the Corolla moved 304,850 units last year.
      So if you're interested an affordable Toyota, we would hurry down to your nearest dealer ASAP.
      Source: CarBuzz, Car and Driver

      View full article
  • Posts

    • I have a few that I enjoy watching frequently..  for wrenching on money pits: The Kansas guys---they often appear in each other's videos: Hoovie's Garage (maybe my favorite for Tyler Hoover's goofy persona and banter w/ the Car Wizard)  Car Wizard Watch JR Go   Velocity Garage    The Florida guys: Tavarish (good personality, and so optimistic about his wrecked exotics) Wrench Every Day (spin off of Tavarish's channel w/ Jared Pink wrenching) Samcrac (never finishes anything, but always adding high mileage, worn luxury and sports cars from Copart auctions) VTuned Garage (a kid that seems good at fabrication) vehcor is an interesting outliner..very dry presentation, guy doing extensive repairs on ordinary late model vehicles like a body swap on a wrecked Silverado..weirdly compelling. For car reviews, I like The Smoking Tire, Savage Geese and Seen Through Glass.. Others I enjoy are Drive Tribe (related to the Grand Tour) and Vinwiki Car Stories (lots of interesting stories). 
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