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Cheers and Gears Weekly Update 07/20/2012

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Rumorpile: Nissan Working A Competitor To The FR-S, BRZ

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 11:30 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 20, 2012

Automakers are taking notice of the red hot sales of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. And if rumors play true, Nissan could be working on a competitor.

According to Motor Trend, Nissan is hard at work on a sports coupe to compete with the FR-S and BRZ. However, the coupe will not use a RWD platform. Instead the coupe will utilize a FWD platform with an AWD variant, most likely from the Juke. Also coming from the Juke will be the 1.6L, turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 190 HP.

The coupe would be primarily for China, with Japan and Europe being secondary. The U.S. is under consideration.

Source: Motor Trend

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


Honda Unveils HondaLink

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 09:43 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 20, 2012

Honda has revealed their new HondaLink infotainment system which will be appearing in the 2013 Accord and Fit EV.

As we reported last month, HondaLink will use will feature Aha Radio, a cloud-based digital content service that uses data from a smartphone to provide a variety of music, news, podcasts, other traditional audio content, and reading of facebook and twitter updates. (Because everyone wants to hear an update on someone's relationship status or what they're for lunch today. (Steps off soapbox))

Also, HondaLink will provide Pandora Internet Radio and voice-to-text messaging that was first introduced on the 2012 CR-V.

There is another version of HondaLink called HondaLink EV that will allow the driver to check driving range and locate EV charging stations, as well as remotely initiate charging, view the state of charge and activate the air-conditioning and heater. HondaLink EV will be on the Fit EV and the upcoming Accord Plug-In Hybrid.

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is on Page 2


New Cloud-Based HondaLink™ Connected Car System Helps Drivers Put Away Their Phones While Maintaining Intuitive Access to Their Favorite Media

HondaLink™ provides first-ever OEM application of Aha™, delivering robust digital content via preset smartphone app

July 18, 2012

TORRANCE

Honda today unveiled HondaLink™, a new in-vehicle connectivity system that will debut this fall on the all-new, ninth-generation 2013 Honda Accord. Featuring the first automotive OEM application of Aha™ by Harman, HondaLink will provide a personalized experience connecting drivers to thousands of cloud-based news, information and entertainment feeds from around the world, using an intuitive, audio-system based interface.

"HondaLink will enable customers to put away their phone and still stay connected to the people, music and media they love," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda. "By creating an intuitive and customizable user interface, HondaLink allows drivers to access digital content as easily as choosing a radio station."

Honda's intuitive new HondaLink smartphone application allows owners to preset content on their phone. Once in the car, consumers can enjoy personalized content accessible via voice recognition, steering-wheel mounted controls and in-dash audio system controls. With a tethered smartphone serving as a conduit to a wealth of cloud-based media, HondaLink creates a unique, connected driving experience.

"Honda's strategy is about leveraging the cloud to bring a wealth of new information and services to Honda owners," said Charles Koch, American Honda manager of new business development. "This is the next evolution of the connected car and the connected customer."

Through the Aha service, for example, HondaLink users can listen to Facebook and Twitter audio newsfeeds, podcasts from NPR, location-based personalized restaurant listings from Yelp!, and access internet music services such as Slacker. The service is free and instantly accessible from the cloud.

Aha delivers a user-friendly experience requiring infrequent smartphone software updates, with in-vehicle content and channel access updating simply and automatically throughout the vehicle life. And content available from HondaLink will grow as the system continues to expand its services for Honda owners. HondaLink will also incorporate Pandora internet radio and voice-to-text SMS text services with pre-programmed responses, which Honda introduced on the 2012 CR-V.

HondaLink EV

The HondaLink family also includes HondaLink EV, specifically designed for the all-new Fit EV all-electric vehicle and the upcoming Accord Plug-In Hybrid. Owners of these electric vehicles will have access to unique applications designed specifically to maintain connectivity to their vehicle. The HondaLink EV application will allow the user to remotely view the state of charge, initiate charging, and activate the air conditioning and heater to pre-condition the vehicle while connected to the grid to maximize battery range on start-up. HondaLink EV will launch with the Fit EV, which will be available for lease in California and Oregon beginning on July 20, 2012.


Quick Review: 2012 GMC Terrain SLT-2

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 07:32 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 20, 2012

Back in January, Drew got his hands on a 2012 GMC Terrain SLT-2 AWD with the 3.0L V6. Seven months later, I have almost the same GMC Terrain, right down to the black paint.

However, Drew has driven the Terrain and its platform mate, the Chevrolet Equinox before. This would be my first go with it.

After a week, what would I think about the Terrain?

Has anything changed since the Terrain's last visit to C&G Garage?

Only a few items of note. In the infotainment department, the Terrain dropped its base radio and replaced it with a large, seven-inch touchscreen radio. Also, GMC's Intellilink which provides smartphone integration, and the ability to stream Pandora and Stitcher Internet Radio is now on the option list.

Also on the options list (only for the SLT-2 model though) is lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

The Outside & Inside Story


Exterior

The Terrain definitely fits the "Professional Grade" persona that GMC puts out there. The front end features a large, bold chrome grill that lets everyone know what you're driving. A pair of large, square headlights and a uniquely sculpted hood complete the front. The side profile features prominent front and rear fenders, body cladding running along the bottom of the doors, and a set of five-spoke, eighteen-inch chrome wheels. The back end has a set of taillights that flank a large chrome bar hiding the release for the hatch and a rear-view camera. Also featured on the rear are twin exhaust pipes.

However, the designers pumped up the fake testosterone too much and the end result looks like it is trying too hard to fit the Professional Grade persona.

Given the choice between the Terrain and the Chevrolet Equinox, I would choose the Equinox every time.

Interior

Stepping into the Terrain's interior, I was amazed as to how much interior space there was for passengers. Front seat passengers get a pair of heated leather seats, with the driver getting eight-way power-adjustments. Back seat passengers will have nothing to complain about with Terrain as head and legroom are well above average. Also, back seat passengers can also recline and move the seat backwards and forward. Cargo space for the Terrain measures at 31.6 cu.ft. with the seats up and 63.9 cu.ft. with the seats down.

As for the Dash, build quality and materials are good. The center stack is laid out well and most of the controls are in easy reach. The only set of controls that I would move is for the trip computer. The buttons are set too low in the stack for easy reach. I would put them onto a stalk on the steering wheel column like other GM vehicles.

The Terrain comes with a variety of infotainment options, ranging from a standard seven-inch touchscreen radio that provides AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD and USB input to a Naviagtion system with a 10 GB hard drive for music. This particular Terrain came with GMC's Intellilink system. Like the Chevrolet Malibu Eco and Buick Verano, I had a couple of problems (iPod playback at Alvin & Chipmunks speed on certain tracks and Pandora playing without sound).

Powertrain, Ride, Safety, and Verdict


Drivertrain

The Terrain comes with the choices of a 2.4L direct-injection four-cylinder or a 3.0L direct-injection V6 engine, and front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. This Terrain is equipped with the 3.0L DI V6 producing 264 horsepower and 222 lf-ft of torque and all-wheel drive. No matter which engine or drive configuration you choose, the only transmission available is a 6-speed automatic. The 3.0L V6 makes its 222 lb-ft of torque at a high 5100 RPM leaving the crossover's transmission constantly on the hunt for the right gear. Making a pass requires a lot of planning.

Fuel economy for the V6-AWD is 16mpg city and 23mpg highway, which shockingly, is identical to the more powerful, larger, and heavier GMC Acadia V6 AWD. Somehow, I was able to coax out 21 MPG for my average.

If you want/need V6 power in your Terrain, wait for the 2013 models with the 3.6L DI V6 to begin rolling out.

Ride & Drive

Driving the Terrain is very a pleasant experience. The suspension does a good job of providing a comfortable ride and isolating road imperfections.

Also, the suspension does a good job of keeping the Terrain stable in cornering and emergency maneuvers. As for the steering, it is weighted just right.

Noise from the engine and the road is kept to a minimum thanks in part to triple door seals, double pane glass, and other sound deadening materials.

Safety

This particular Terrain was equipped with the optional lane departure warning and forward collision alert. Using a camera mounted in the rear-view window, the two systems warn you if you're drifting into another lane or are about to run into the back of a vehicle. In theory, both systems should work very well. In practice, one out of two isn't bad.

The lane departure warning is more a nuisance than a help, just a warning light and audible beep. Also, a study from HLDI found out vehicles equipped with lane departure warning were in more accidents than vehicles without the system. The forward collision alert is a good system, flashing a big, red light on the dash and beeping. The system also prepares the braking system for the driver to hit the brakes quickly.

One item I do have to give GMC kudos for is the dual mirrors for the side-view mirrors, which helps minimize the Terrain's blind spots.

Verdict

The GMC Terrain is one of the best CUVs on sale today. Despite my dislike for the exterior styling, most of the overall package is just right for most crossover buyers.

There is an Achilles heel though to the Terrain and that is the optional 3.0L V6. The power isn't quite where you want it in certain situations, the six-speed automatic hunts for gears, and fuel economy makes you think you're driving a larger vehicle. This is a case of right car, wrong engine.

For most buyers, the 2.4L Ecotec four is all you need. For those who need V6 power, wait till the 2013 Terrain comes with the 3.6L V6. You'll sacrifice nothing in fuel economy but gain more horsepower and torque.

Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gas for this review.

Album: 2012 GMC Terrain SLT-2 AWD

16 images

0 comments

Year - 2012

Make - GMC

Model - Terrain

Trim – SLT-2

Engine – 3.0L DI V6

Driveline – All Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic

Horsepower @ RPM - 264 @ 6950

Torque @ RPM - 222 @ 5100

Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/23/19

Curb Weight – 3798 lbs

Location of Manufacture – CAMI Assembly, Ingersol, Ontario

Base Price - $33,010.00

As Tested Price - $36,495.00 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge)

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


Interactive Review: 2012 Nissan Quest LE

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 06:28 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 19, 2012

Well, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC and Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE have left the Garage and in their place is this; the 2012 Nissan Quest LE.

The Quest LE comes with a 3.5L V6 producing 260 HP and 240 lb-ft of torque, and is equipped with a CVT.

First Impressions:Woah, this is very distinctive. I feel that the Quest's design is a love it or hate it. I like it myself.I've been in houses that aren't as nice as the Quest's interior.V6 and CVT combination is a surprise. Really can get the Quest moving at a surprising rate.Don't like the Quest's transmission gate. Think I'm in Drive when I'm actually in Low. Very annoying.

I'll have some updates on the Quest as the week goes on. In the meantime, drop off your questions for the Quest.

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


Rumorpile: Is There A 7-Series M Model On The Way

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 11:13 AM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

July 19, 2012

BMW has long maintained there would be no M version of the 7-Series sedan, despite competitors offering a performance version of their flagship sedans. However, BMW could be changing their tune.

Automobile Magazine has learned the next generation 7-Series could be seeing a sort of, kind of M7 called the M770i xDrive. The M770i xDrive will likely use a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 producing 475 HP and 480 lb-ft of torque. While those numbers sound impressive, the M770i xDrive pales in comparison to the V12 760i which comes with 570 HP and a 665 lb-ft of torque.

But the M770i xDrive will be more agile than a 760i thanks to significant weight loss. The M770i xDrive will use carbon fiber on the roof, trunk, and hood. Other weight losses will come from lightweight seats, carbon-ceramic brakes, thin-wall exhaust, and lightweight 20-inch wheels.

The M770i xDrive could arrive sometime in 2015.

Source: Automobile Magazine

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.



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