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William Maley

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Is An Italian Take On the Luxury SUV: Comments

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"It has been long time coming" could be Alfa Romeo's slogan for the U.S. considering how long it has taken the brand to make a return here. But it is also an apt description for their first SUV, the 2018 Stelvio which debuted today at the LA Auto Show.

Design-wise, the Stelvio is a taller, more practical version of the Giulia sedan. From the narrow headlights and triangular grille up front, to the sculpted lines along the side, Alfa is making sure the DNA of the Giulia is extended to other models. The interior is the same as Giulia with a similar design for the dash, a 6.5-inch touchscreen (an 8.8-inch screen comes standard on higher trims), and leather seats.

Let's talk powertrains. The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti (Turismo Internazionale) will come with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio features the twin-turbo 2.9L V6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Alfa says the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds - a tenth slower than the Giulia Quadrifoglio. No matter the engine, an eight-speed automatic and Alfa's Q4 all-wheel drive system will come standard. Alfa's DNA drive mode system will feature three different drive modes to alter settings for the engine, transmission, and steering. The Quadrifoglio will get four different modes.

Like the Giulia, the Stelvio uses the Giorgio platform that promises a near 50/50 weight distribution front and rear. Many body panels, suspension components, and chassis are made out of aluminum in an effort to save weight.The Quadrifoglio gets an an adaptive suspension, which is optional on the other trims.

Alfa Romeo hasn't announced a release date or pricing for the Stelvio. Considering their track record of missing dates, this might be a wise decision.

Source: Alfa Romeo 
Press Release is on Page 2


Born From the World’s Greatest Driving Road – Stelvio Pass – the All-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sets a New Benchmark in Performance, Style and Technology in an SUV That Could Only Be Italian 

  • The SUV for the S-Curves: Built in Italy, the Top-of-the-line Stelvio Quadrifoglio Delivers a Class-leading 505 Horsepower and 0-60 in Just 3.9 Seconds
  • Building on the excitement of the award-winning 4C and the all-new Giulia premium mid-size sedan, Alfa Romeo – the heart and soul of the automotive industry – introduces the all-new Stelvio premium mid-size SUV
  • The all-new Stelvio is the second of a new lineup of vehicles built off a world-class architecture that embodies the brand’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit
  • Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models feature an all-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine delivering a class-leading, standard 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to achieve a top speed of 144 mph
  • Stelvio Quadrifoglio – the “halo” model in the lineup – continues to highlight Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport expertise with best-in-class 505 horsepower, powering it from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph
  • State-of-the-art technologies, including Alfa DNA Pro selector, torque vectoring differential, Chassis Domain Control (CDC), and aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters with 100 millisecond shifts, maximize the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s driving pedigree
  • The innovative Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system – standard on all Stelvio models, including the Quadrifoglio, provides additional driving confidence and superior control
  • Iconic Alfa Romeo design and genuine Italian craftsmanship combine to create a premium mid-size SUV that truly stands apart
  • Stelvio offers innovative safety and security features and leverages advanced driver-assist features, including Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus
  • Crafted by Alfa Romeo artisans at the Cassino plant in Frosinone, Italy

November 16, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - As the second of a new generation of vehicles built on an all-new platform, the 2018 Stelvio epitomizes Alfa Romeo’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit, delivering race-inspired performance, real-world driving confidence, state-of-the-art technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size SUV segment.

“The all-new Stelvio, named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps – sets a new benchmark for the segment,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo. “Stelvio is uniquely engineered to challenge two-door sports cars on the track, without sacrificing any of the characteristics you would expect from a premium SUV, resulting in the perfect mix of high performance, capability and Italian design.”

Infused with Italian passion, craftsmanship and innovation, the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio will conquer the winding road for which it is named.

Three exhilarating, capable Stelvio models showcase Alfa Romeo’s captivating mix of Italian performance, style and technology
Crafted by Alfa Romeo artisans at the Cassino plant in Italy, the all-new 2018 Stelvio lineup is a testament to Alfa Romeo’s perfect balance of engineering and emotion, creating a premium mid-size SUV for driving enthusiasts that stands out in one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the U.S.

Stelvio and Stelvio Ti
The true manifestation of Italian performance, craftsmanship and design, the all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models provide a wide-ranging list of standard features, including an all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission, delivering a class-leading, standard 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, class-exclusive carbon fiber driveshaft, dual exhaust with bright tips, 18-inch aluminum wheels (available 19- and 20-inch wheels), leather seating, backup camera with rear park sensors, power liftgate, Formula One-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with integrated push button start and much more.

In addition to the expansive list of standard features in the all-new Stelvio, Stelvio Ti adds even more luxury and convenience offerings, including standard 19-inch wheels, genuine wood interior accents and an 8.8-inch widescreen infotainment display. Available Sport and Lusso packages provide drivers with two unique offerings that further accentuate the bold characteristics of Stelvio Ti.
 
Stelvio Quadrifoglio
With the most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever, Stelvio Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport pedigree as the “halo” model in the lineup.

The heart and soul of this ultra-high performance SUV is an all-aluminum, direct-injection 2.9-liter 24-valve bi-turbo intercooled V-6 engine, delivering a best-in-class 505 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, and a standard Q4 all-wheel-drive system.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio includes exclusive high-performance and functional exterior design elements, plus unique performance suspension, brakes and wheels. Inside, high performance leather and Alcantara front seats, featuring 12-way power and adjustable thigh support, provide the optimal control center. Additional features include a Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours, leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching and carbon fiber interior trim.

Advanced technology features unique to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio include a four-mode Alfa DNA Pro selector with Race mode, torque vectoring differential, Quadrifoglio-tuned adaptive suspension, Quadrifoglio instrument cluster with 200 miles per hour (mph) speedometer and cylinder deactivation system.

Ultra-high performance options for Stelvio Quadrifoglio include:

  • Ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shell Sparco racing seats, providing maximum lateral support during extreme cornering thanks to more aggressive bolstering, and designed to be the lightest in the segment, while providing comfort for long road trips 
  • Ultra-high-performance Brembo carbon-ceramic material (CCM) brake system

Driver-centric capability and performance 
The Stelvio’s intuitive interior is fully committed to the driver’s every need, offering easy access to vital and next-level technologies. A Formula One-inspired steering wheel features a thick-rim profile that transmits the chassis’ direct-steering feel and neatly groups the vehicle controls and the engine start button. Behind the steering wheel, the Stelvio features available all-aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters and a standard full-color 7-inch thin film transistor (TFT) cluster display straddled by two large white-on-black face analog gauges.

Conveniently located in the center console are two simple rotary dials. The first controls Alfa’s DNA Drive Mode system with three unique driver selectable modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency), which can be used to fine tune the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, boost pressure and suspension settings in Stelvio and Stelvio Ti. Stelvio Quadrifoglio adds a fourth mode – Race – with its exclusive DNA Pro Drive Mode system.

The secondary rotary dial controls the high-resolution 6.5-inch, or 8.8-inch, wide-screen infotainment system with real-time vehicle performance pages and telemetry, plus 3-D graphic navigation that recognizes handwritten gestures on the top of the rotary pad (late availability), allowing the driver to easily interact with the 3-D Navigation system.

With easy access to vital technologies in mind, all Stelvio models will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

State-of-the-art engines are the beating hearts of each and every Alfa Romeo 
Every Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio is powered by best-in-class all-aluminum engines that embody the brand’s passion for next-level technology and state-of-the-art performance.

Best-in-class 280 horsepower with all-aluminum Alfa Romeo turbocharged four-cylinder engine
Featured in the all-new 2018 Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models, an all-aluminum 2.0-liter direct-injection, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled engine, designed specifically for Alfa Romeo, delivers a best-in-class 280 horsepower, along with world-class levels of performance, efficiency and refinement.

To deliver its best-in-class 280-horsepower output and flat torque curve with 306 lb.-ft. of torque available between 2,250 – 4,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features exceptional turbo responsiveness thanks to a “2-in-1” turbocharger design, with the charging system driven through two pipes, which gathers exhaust gas from pairs of cylinders in an alternating sequence.

Performance and fuel economy of these engines are fostered by the MultiAir electro-hydraulic variable-valve actuation technology, a direct-injection system with 2,900 PSI injection pressure, a water-cooled cylinder head integrated manifold and a water-cooled charge air cooler.

Best-in-class 505-horsepower all-aluminum 2.9-liter bi-turbo V-6 engine 
Arriving to the premium mid-size SUV segment is the most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever, with an all-aluminum 2.9-liter direct-injection bi-turbo V-6 serving as the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s “heart and soul.”
 
Designed to optimize the all-new lightweight Alfa Romeo architecture, the all-aluminum 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine features a compact 90-degree layout and was holistically designed for a low center of gravity within the chassis.

To deliver a best-in-class 505 horsepower and a flat torque curve with 443 lb.-ft. of peak torque available between 2,500 – 5,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features a bi-turbo design. In addition, the engine’s turbochargers are integrated into the exhaust manifold and feature a low-inertia, single-scroll turbo design with variable-boost management for ultra-responsive throttle response. A direct-injection system maximizes fuel combustion for improved engine output and efficiency.

For improved fuel efficiency, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio features a Cylinder Efficient Management (CEM) deactivation system, which enables the engine to run on three of its six cylinders.

Crafting control: Q4 all-wheel drive (AWD)
The intelligent Q4 all-wheel-drive system – standard on all Stelvio models, including Quadrifoglio – delivers even more all-season traction and performance capability, thanks to the system’s ability to transfer up to 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the front axle.
 
The innovative Q4 AWD system is linked to the Stelvio’s Chassis Domain Controller (CDC) and driver-adjustable Alfa DNA or DNA Pro (Quadrifoglio exclusive) drive mode system – enabling the driveline’s next-generation integrated actuator to adapt to changing ground conditions or driver need in milliseconds, and instantly optimize the required torque to each wheel.

Italian ingenuity with broad use of lightweight materials 
Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s architecture extensively integrates lightweight, state-of-the-art materials that enable and deliver near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering available.

Alfa Romeo engineers designed a lightweight rear-wheel-drive platform with a low center of gravity – all to deliver the high-performance and precision expected from an Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s aluminum front and rear vehicle frames, front shock towers, brakes, suspension components, doors and fenders also help shed weight compared to conventional steel. For example, the rear cross member features an extensive use of lightweight materials, including aluminum and composite.

An Alfa Romeo exclusive double wishbone front suspension with semi-virtual steering axis guarantees rapid and accurate steering feel. With the most direct steering ratio in the segment, Alfa Romeo Stelvio can tackle high lateral accelerations as a result of the always perfect footprint. At the rear, a patented Alfa-link rear axle design with vertical rod ensures top performance, driving pleasure and passenger ride comfort.

State-of-the-art technologies add to a premium SUV that only Italy could create
Competing at a world-class level requires the highest attention to detail, including the use of next-level technologies that continually please and impress the center of Stelvio’s universe: the driver.

Q2 Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential
This new feature – included within the Performance Package – is a rear mechanical limited-slip differential that optimizes rear-wheel traction. The Q2 differential balances the machine torque, which works on the SUV’s rear axle. This system provides the proper level of torque to one of the two rear wheels based on traction conditions.
 
Chassis Domain Control (CDC)
The “brain” of Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s benchmark-level dynamics can be attributed to its innovative Chassis Domain Control (CDC) system. The CDC system coordinates all of the vehicle’s available active systems (stability control, torque vectoring differential and Alfa Active suspension system), using predictive-type dynamic models to deliver balanced, safe and natural driving, thus optimizing performance and drivability.

Integrated braking system (IBS)
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio features a segment-first integrated braking system, replacing a traditional system of electronic stability control (ESC) and brake booster for even more instantaneous braking responsiveness. The innovative electromechanical system improves braking performance through a faster increase in pressure and makes it possible to vary brake feel jointly with the Alfa DNA Pro system. As a result, this lightweight technological solution delivers new levels of brake response and stopping distance.
 
Alfa DNA and Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selectors
Innovative Alfa DNA drive mode system and Alfa DNA Pro (Quadrifoglio exclusive) drive mode selectors modify the dynamic behavior of the vehicle, according to the driver’s selection:

  • Dynamic: delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations
  • Natural: comfort setting for balanced daily driving
  • Advanced Efficiency: eco-friendly mode to achieve the lowest fuel consumption
  • Race: exclusive to Alfa DNA Pro, this mode activates the over-boost function, opens up the two-mode exhaust system, turns ESC off and delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations

Thanks to the interaction with the Chassis Domain Control, Alfa DNA Pro instantaneously adapts car behavior to the selected driving mode.
 
Torque vectoring
Torque vectoring makes it possible for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio to achieve higher performance during lateral acceleration. The rear differential optimizes torque delivery to each wheel separately for improved power delivery, traction and control on all types of road surfaces, without cutting power like traditional systems.

Alfa Active suspension system
Available on Stelvio Ti and standard on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, this innovative four-channel chassis damping system instantly adapts to driving conditions and can be adjusted by the driver via the Alfa DNA selector. This technology allows for a setting of softer shock absorbers for a more comfortable drive, or a more rigid setting for more accuracy in sports driving.

Peace of mind: safety and security
The all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers innovative safety and security features and leverages advanced driver-assist features.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers safety and security features that include:

  • Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus: provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent
  • Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop: helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the Stelvio to a full stop without driver intervention
  • Lane Departure Warning: alerts the driver of inadvertent lane departure

To help rear visibility both on the road and in parking situations, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and front- and rear-park assist sensors are available.

In addition, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio features advanced multistage driver and front-passenger air bags, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side air bags, front and rear side curtain air bags, and driver and front-passenger inflatable knee air bags.

Italian style, inside and out
In true Italian fashion, the all-new Stelvio allows owners to customize their performance SUV with up to 13 exterior colors; seven wheel choices, ranging from 18 inches to 21 inches; and an almost endless selection of interior color and trim choices.

For sophisticated music lovers, the refined Harman Kardon Premium Audio System is offered on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which delivers detail-rich audio output. The heart of the Sound Theatre system is a 900-watt 12-channel class D amplifier, which distributes clear sound through a system of 14 speakers for superior audio quality. Harman Kardon’s Logic 7 sound technology is used to secure a surround effect from different high-resolution sources and harmoniously uniform stereo playback. With this sound system, occupants can experience the premium quality for which Harman Kardon is renowned.

With the all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, where other SUVs stop at utility, Alfa Romeo took on the challenge to create the perfect mix of high performance, capability and design.


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Another niche product that no one wanted or needed is coming from FCA? This is the way you bankrupt a company.

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So true, no one has asked except the Italian Unions to restart the dead Alfa brand. FCA quality sucks, this SUV is clearly stuck with dual identities, parts want to be a luxury brand, other parts want to be boy ricer racer.

On top I suspect way over priced for a car with terrible history and Meh engines.

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Small crossover is a booming segment, but I don't think this will match up to what BMW and Mercedes are already selling.  And really, Alfa Romeo has the same problem as Dodge/Chrysler.  Alfa Romeo in unable to compete with BMW, Benz and Audi, just like Dodge/Chrsyler can't compete with Honda, Toyota and Ford.  

This thing has a ton of power which is great, but they'll charge $80,000 for the V6, and you can get a Porsche or AMG product for that money, and you'll get the performance, with better reliability and better interiors, resale, etc.

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So they can take their sales of 0 crossovers and make it 100?

 

That's like an infinite increase in sales. Wow, such a massive increase in sales.

 

(I'm just being sarcastic.....bleh)

 

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I feel like these Alfas will never go on sale, and if they do arrive at dealerships they'll be limited supply, limited options, and just no exposure or marketing dollars and no one will buy them.  You should be able to sell any crossover in the thousands with ease, people walk blindly to buy the things, but someone Alfa will be the one to build a crossover with sluggish sales.

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With FCA getting rid of some models already, it might actually come this time!

 

I could see it having a chance here in the US....

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12 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

So they can take their sales of 0 crossovers and make it 100?

 

That's like an infinite increase in sales. Wow, such a massive increase in sales.

 

(I'm just being sarcastic.....bleh)

 

Right!!!!!, all for the lowly sum of raping billions from the American divisions that could have been put back into building even better established products.

FCA's way of keeping their failed socialist system going in Europe with minimal give back to the system.

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13 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

So they can take their sales of 0 crossovers and make it 100?

 

That's like an infinite increase in sales. Wow, such a massive increase in sales.

 

(I'm just being sarcastic.....bleh)

 

Sarcasm always seems to have a basis in reality....

1 hour ago, dfelt said:

Right!!!!!, all for the lowly sum of raping billions from the American divisions that could have been put back into building even better established products.

FCA's way of keeping their failed socialist system going in Europe with minimal give back to the system.

I tend to agree with hyperV6, the end will not be good.

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I'd bet Jeep has a much better chance of selling performance oriented RWD Crossovers that Alfa ever could.

 

I mean, like really. Jeep already has a following for Trail-rated, Trailhawk and SRT.

 

Not much more of a push to get into on-road performance.

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Jeep is know for off road though, not performance.  And I don't think the folks at the Dodge-Jeep wing of FCA can make a Jeep go around corners like this Alfa probably can.  The only rear drive Jeeps are the Wrangler which isn't doing anything with performance and the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee, Compass and Renegade are front drive Fiats and Darts.

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Alfa should have been left dead. Close Fiat and reinvest all those billions stolen into new product for the real money makers of FCA.

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26 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

Jeep is know for off road though, not performance.  And I don't think the folks at the Dodge-Jeep wing of FCA can make a Jeep go around corners like this Alfa probably can.  The only rear drive Jeeps are the Wrangler which isn't doing anything with performance and the Grand Cherokee, the Cherokee, Compass and Renegade are front drive Fiats and Darts.

What I meant is that a badge engineered derivative of an Alfa platform Jeep would sell like hotcakes.

Jeep has the luxury to reinvent itself whenever it wants, as long as Sergio would allow. People want MOAR and MOAR Jeep.

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On 11/18/2016 at 11:33 PM, Suaviloquent said:

What I meant is that a badge engineered derivative of an Alfa platform Jeep would sell like hotcakes.

Jeep has the luxury to reinvent itself whenever it wants, as long as Sergio would allow. People want MOAR and MOAR Jeep.

Jeep has to have done the best job actually marketing their products of any automaker. 

VW did a fantastic job with creative adverting int he 1960's, but interestingly enough Subaru has totally stolen their vibe of the offbeat car you buy if you are somewhat less than traditional.

This product kind of fits in with FCA DNA in terms of them offering a lot of creative truckish and SUVish products.

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I mean, it's not like they would forgo any off road tech. Probably the same model can have a Trailhawk too.

 

Like Active Drive 1 (I think) is comparable to the AWD systems found in most other automakers, it has an axel disconnect feature tho. And a Jeep Renegade isn't much more off-road capable with that  AWD compared to a Honda HR-V (it might have more ground clearance, but not much esle).

 

Like they could give the JGC a diet, but I think look at what Jaguar did with the F-Pace. They gave certain models All Surface Progess control, a shot across the pond, borrowed from LR. 

 

So I really think a performance oriented Jeep crossover could sell. Arguably, even if not that popular, much more than some Alfa that has no brand presence or any kind of established prestige here in North America.

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    • By William Maley
      The Mazda6 is a prime example of how making various improvements throughout the lifecycle can make a vehicle. Since the first model I drove back in 2014, Mazda has been messing around with various aspects such as the interior and NVH levels. Last year saw Mazda make some key changes to 6 with the big news being the introduction of a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9 crossover. This was to address one of the major shortcomings of the sedan, lackluster performance when it comes to making a pass or merging onto a freeway. There are some other minor changes to go with the updated engine that help make the Mazda6 feel a bit more rounded.
      The turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder produces 227 horsepower (250 on premium fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic to the front wheels.  I praised this engine in the CX-9 I drove back in the summer with a linear flow of power and no hint of turbo lag. Those carry over to the 6, along with the feeling of confidence that you’ll be able to pass or merge onto a freeway without any issue. It was quite startling how quick the 6 accelerated from 45 to 70 on a freeway on-ramp, only taking a few seconds. The six-speed automatic works seamlessly with the turbo engine, providing snappy up and downshifts. One other trait of the turbo engine I was impressed with was NVH levels. There was barely any engine noise or the whoosh of the turbo when accelerating. Mazda hasn’t messed with the 6’s chassis with the addition of the turbo engine. It still has the planted feeling and minimal body roll that imparts a lot of confidence to a driver. Steering is quick and provides the right balance of weight and feel. One surprise is how the 2018 model rides slightly better than the 2017 model as bumps are better isolated. This might be  Exterior enhancements are small with a new grille design, LED headlights, and the 19-inch wheels. But they do a surprising job of keeping of the 6’s exterior looking fresh. The enhancements for the interior really help Mazda’s ambition to become more premium. The dash has been slightly restyled and now comes with stitched upholstery and natural wood trim. The climate control system has been redesigned that makes it slightly easier to use. Mazda has started rolling out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on the 6 for 2018 via an update. My test car had had the update, but I was unable to try it out as I could not pick the option in the system. I’m not sure of the issue, but I hope to try it once again in a future Mazda product. The turbo engine is only available on the Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. My test 6 was the top-line Signature that carries a base price of $34,750. With destination and some options, the as-tested price came to $36,140. If I was to buy one, I would drop down to the Grand Touring Reserve which begins at $31,750. I would lose out on the 360-degree camera system, Nappa leather upholstery, and digital gauge cluster. But I would keep a number of desirable features such as the ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, and power front seats. Every Mazda6 review has seen me come to the same conclusion; the sedan is so close to being considered one of the best, but it is missing a certain thing. But this conclusion is different. Mazda has been able to fix the various issues I have complained about over the past few years and now have a very compelling midsize sedan. It's a shame that the 6 along with other midsize sedans are being overshadowed by the likes of crossovers. But for those who still have their heart set on a sedan, then I have no issue in recommending the 6 as an option worthy of consideration. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      2018 Mazda6 Signature Gallery

      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 6
      Trim: Signature
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/31/26
      Curb Weight: 3,560 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
      Base Price: $34,750
      As Tested Price: $36,140 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Machine Gray Paint - $300.00
      Scuff Plates - $125.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00
    • By William Maley
      2019 marks some key changes for Jeep's smallest vehicle, the Renegade.
      The big news is a new turbocharged 1.3L four-cylinder that will take the place of the turbo 1.4. The smaller engine produces 177 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque - up 17 and 16 respectively from the 1.4. The engine will also feature an auto start-stop system and active grille shutters to improve fuel economy. It will come standard on the Limited and Trailhawk, and be available as an option for the Sport and Latitude. The base engine will continue to be the 2.4L four-cylinder.
      Interestingly, the Fiat 500X (sister model to the Renegade) will not get the turbo 1.3L.
      There are some changes for the Renegade's exterior with updated front and rear fascias, optional LED headlights, and new wheel designs. Other changes for 2019 include adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, and self-parking system being added to the optional Advanced Tech Group package.
      Pricing hasn't been announced, but we're expecting to come very soon.
      Source: Jeep


      2019 Jeep Renegade Fact Sheet

      October 1, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Jeep Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, as well as fuel-efficient powertrains, including an all-new 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission. This combination contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, world-class refinement and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.
      New for 2019:
      All-new 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine with engine stop-start (ESS) technology mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that increases fuel efficiency and reduces emissions now standard on Limited and Trailhawk models (optional on Sport and Latitude), providing 177 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. of torque New active grille shutters now included (not on Trailhawk models) and ESS technology for increased fuel efficiency Refreshed exterior design includes new front fascias and grille surround New aluminum wheel designs New 19-inch aluminum Granite Crystal-painted wheel option on Latitude and Limited models New Bikini, Slate Blue and Sting Grey exterior paint colors (late availability) New LED Lighting Group includes LED headlamps, daytime running lamps (DRL), cornering fog lamps and tail lamps New features added to Advanced Tech Group include adaptive cruise control, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist Plus and front park sensors New instrument cluster graphics Highlights:
      Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s vehicle lineup, competing in the growing small sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment, while staying true to the adventurous lifestyle and 4x4 capability for which Jeep is known Choice of two fuel-efficient engines: All-new 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine standard on premium Limited and Trailhawk models (available on Sport and Latitude models), plus 2.4-liter Tigershark engine standard on Sport and Latitude models Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on or off road and in any weather condition Renegade Trailhawk delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability with standard Jeep Active Drive Low with improved 21:1 crawl ratio; 8.7 inches of ground clearance; skid plates; signature red front and rear tow hooks; up to 8.1 inches of wheel articulation; Hill-descent Control; up to 19 inches of water fording; and up to 2,000-lb. towing capacity Segment-exclusive disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) optimize fuel efficiency of Jeep Renegade 4x4 models Jeep Renegade features fresh styling with rugged body forms and aggressive proportions, which enable best-in-class approach and departure angles purposely designed to deliver best-in-class off-road capability For segment-exclusive panoramic views, available My Sky open-air roof panel system conveniently stows in the rear cargo area to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease Jeep Renegade is available with up to 70 safety and security features, including the segment’s first availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus Jeep Renegade offers advanced technology, including Uconnect 4 8.4-inch touchscreen radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; navigation; HD Radio; Bluetooth handsfree calling, voice command and streaming audio; and SiriusXM Radio Apple CarPlay enables iPhone users to access Apple Maps, Messages, phone and Apple Music through Siri Voice control or the Uconnect touchscreen Android Auto enables easy and safe access to Google voice search, Google Maps and Google Play Music via the Uconnect 7-inch touchscreen or steering wheel controls Uconnect 4 system includes performance improvements with faster startup time, enhanced processing power, vivid imagery, plus higher resolution and sharper graphics The available BeatsAudio premium sound system includes eight speakers and a subwoofer for studio-quality sound  Model Lineup
      For 2019, the Jeep Renegade lineup consists of four models:
      Sport Latitude Limited Trailhawk Available Exterior Colors:
      Sting Grey Clear Coat (late availability) Colorado Red Clear Coat Omaha Orange Clear Coat Slate Blue Pearl Coat (late availability) Bikini Clear Coat  (late availability) Granite Crystal Clear Coat Jetset Blue Metallic Clear Coat Glacier Metallic Clear Coat Black Clear Coat Alpine White Clear Coat  Available Interior Colors:
      Black Sandstorm with Metal Diamond accents Trespass Black with Metal Diamond accents Black leather with Grillz accents Polar Plunge with Metal Diamond accents Polar Plunge leather with Grillz accents Trailhawk Black with Ruby Red accents
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      2019 marks some key changes for Jeep's smallest vehicle, the Renegade.
      The big news is a new turbocharged 1.3L four-cylinder that will take the place of the turbo 1.4. The smaller engine produces 177 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque - up 17 and 16 respectively from the 1.4. The engine will also feature an auto start-stop system and active grille shutters to improve fuel economy. It will come standard on the Limited and Trailhawk, and be available as an option for the Sport and Latitude. The base engine will continue to be the 2.4L four-cylinder.
      Interestingly, the Fiat 500X (sister model to the Renegade) will not get the turbo 1.3L.
      There are some changes for the Renegade's exterior with updated front and rear fascias, optional LED headlights, and new wheel designs. Other changes for 2019 include adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, and self-parking system being added to the optional Advanced Tech Group package.
      Pricing hasn't been announced, but we're expecting to come very soon.
      Source: Jeep


      2019 Jeep Renegade Fact Sheet

      October 1, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Jeep Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, as well as fuel-efficient powertrains, including an all-new 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission. This combination contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, world-class refinement and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.
      New for 2019:
      All-new 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine with engine stop-start (ESS) technology mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that increases fuel efficiency and reduces emissions now standard on Limited and Trailhawk models (optional on Sport and Latitude), providing 177 horsepower and 200 lb.-ft. of torque New active grille shutters now included (not on Trailhawk models) and ESS technology for increased fuel efficiency Refreshed exterior design includes new front fascias and grille surround New aluminum wheel designs New 19-inch aluminum Granite Crystal-painted wheel option on Latitude and Limited models New Bikini, Slate Blue and Sting Grey exterior paint colors (late availability) New LED Lighting Group includes LED headlamps, daytime running lamps (DRL), cornering fog lamps and tail lamps New features added to Advanced Tech Group include adaptive cruise control, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist Plus and front park sensors New instrument cluster graphics Highlights:
      Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s vehicle lineup, competing in the growing small sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment, while staying true to the adventurous lifestyle and 4x4 capability for which Jeep is known Choice of two fuel-efficient engines: All-new 1.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine standard on premium Limited and Trailhawk models (available on Sport and Latitude models), plus 2.4-liter Tigershark engine standard on Sport and Latitude models Both Jeep Active Drive and Active Drive Low 4x4 systems include the Jeep Selec-Terrain system, providing up to five modes (Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud modes, plus exclusive Rock mode on the Trailhawk model) for the best four-wheel-drive performance on or off road and in any weather condition Renegade Trailhawk delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability with standard Jeep Active Drive Low with improved 21:1 crawl ratio; 8.7 inches of ground clearance; skid plates; signature red front and rear tow hooks; up to 8.1 inches of wheel articulation; Hill-descent Control; up to 19 inches of water fording; and up to 2,000-lb. towing capacity Segment-exclusive disconnecting rear axle and power take-off unit (PTU) optimize fuel efficiency of Jeep Renegade 4x4 models Jeep Renegade features fresh styling with rugged body forms and aggressive proportions, which enable best-in-class approach and departure angles purposely designed to deliver best-in-class off-road capability For segment-exclusive panoramic views, available My Sky open-air roof panel system conveniently stows in the rear cargo area to provide passengers open-air freedom with ease Jeep Renegade is available with up to 70 safety and security features, including the segment’s first availability of Forward Collision Warning-Plus and LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus Jeep Renegade offers advanced technology, including Uconnect 4 8.4-inch touchscreen radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; navigation; HD Radio; Bluetooth handsfree calling, voice command and streaming audio; and SiriusXM Radio Apple CarPlay enables iPhone users to access Apple Maps, Messages, phone and Apple Music through Siri Voice control or the Uconnect touchscreen Android Auto enables easy and safe access to Google voice search, Google Maps and Google Play Music via the Uconnect 7-inch touchscreen or steering wheel controls Uconnect 4 system includes performance improvements with faster startup time, enhanced processing power, vivid imagery, plus higher resolution and sharper graphics The available BeatsAudio premium sound system includes eight speakers and a subwoofer for studio-quality sound  Model Lineup
      For 2019, the Jeep Renegade lineup consists of four models:
      Sport Latitude Limited Trailhawk Available Exterior Colors:
      Sting Grey Clear Coat (late availability) Colorado Red Clear Coat Omaha Orange Clear Coat Slate Blue Pearl Coat (late availability) Bikini Clear Coat  (late availability) Granite Crystal Clear Coat Jetset Blue Metallic Clear Coat Glacier Metallic Clear Coat Black Clear Coat Alpine White Clear Coat  Available Interior Colors:
      Black Sandstorm with Metal Diamond accents Trespass Black with Metal Diamond accents Black leather with Grillz accents Polar Plunge with Metal Diamond accents Polar Plunge leather with Grillz accents Trailhawk Black with Ruby Red accents
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do some serious thinking about the future of these models if they want to keep them around.
      Exterior
      Both the Land Cruiser and LX 570 share the same boxy shape with a slightly angled front end, large area of glass, and a split opening tailgate. Where the two differentiate is in the details. Toyota plays it safe with a large rectangular grille and chrome bars that separate the front headlights. The set of 18-inch alloy wheels look somewhat small on the Land Cruiser, mostly due to the large size of the off-road tires. The LX 570 is very extroverted as evidenced by the front end styling. It features the largest version of Lexus’ spindle grille that gives it an intense look. A set of LED headlights with a unique lamp design sit on either side. Multi-spoke 20-inch wheels are standard and seem suited to fit the large size of the SUV.
      Interior
      Considering the $84k+ price tag of this Land Cruiser, it is slightly disappointing that Toyota went for a very utilitarian look. It doesn’t have the flash or elegance and you’ll find in competitors such as the Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS. Material quality is what you expect for the price with an abundance of soft-touch plastic, leather upholstery, wood trim, and faux metal used all around. 
      The Lexus LX 570 takes a different approach with the interior, feeling more like a real contender to the likes of the Germans and Range Rover. The dash design is very modern with a short center stack, a widescreen display for the infotainment system, and glossy wood trim. Both models have a button-ladened center stack, but I found the LX 570’s easier to use as the buttons weren’t tightly packed.
      Getting inside either SUV is somewhat tough due to the tall ride height. But thanks to doorsteps and pull handles, entering both models becomes easier. The front seats are some of best I have sat in, offering plenty of cushioning and support for any trip length. Power adjustments and memory come standard on both models. The second-row offers plenty of head and legroom for passengers. You can slide the seat to either increase legroom or cargo space. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is only a minuscule amount of legroom. The lack of padding also makes third-row best for short trips.
      One quirk about the Land Cruiser and LX 570’s third-row is that the seats don’t fold into the floor. Instead, the seats flip towards the side. Not only does it make it slightly awkward to load cargo into either model, but it also makes for a small cargo area. Measurements for the two models are 16.1 cubic feet with all three-rows up, 44.7 with the third-row folded, and 81.7 with the second-row folded. For 2018, Lexus did introduce a two-row version that increases space by 5.8 cubic feet - bringing the total to 50.5 cubic feet.
      Infotainment
      Lexus has fitted one the of largest infotainment screens in the class into the LX 570. Measuring 12.3-inches, this allows for a split-screen capability where you can have various functions up at the same time. For example, you can have navigation on one side and audio on the other. Some of the configuration options Lexus offers are strange to say in the least like having two maps of the navigation system up at the same time. Where the LX 570 falls short is the Remote Touch controller. The joystick controller is a pain to use as it feels quite vague when moving around and causes you to overshoot when trying to select something. This is very problematic when you’re driving as you’ll find yourself paying more attention to the system than the road.
      In the Land Cruiser, you’ll find a smaller 9-inch infotainment system with Toyota’s Entune system. Thankfully, Toyota had decided to use a touchscreen instead of a frustrating controller. Moving around in Entune is easy thanks to a simple interface with large touchscreen buttons and a set of physical shortcut buttons underneath. I did notice that Entune was a few ticks slower than the system found in the LX 570.
      Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is not available on either model.
      Powertrain
      Under the hoods of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 is a 5.7L V8. The Land Cruiser gets 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The LX 570 features 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Interestingly, the Land Cruiser feels slightly faster than the LX 570. Outlets who have timed both models say the Land Cruiser is about 0.5 seconds quicker to 60 than the LX 570. This is a bit surprising considering the two models are nearly identical in power and weight. But the LX 570 has a noticeable pause when accelerating. It feels like the engine was asleep and was startled by the throttle being prodded, before realizing it needed to get to work. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth upshifts, but stumbles somewhat when it comes to downshifts.
      Both models come fully-equipped to take on whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. This includes a two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, crawl-control system, terrain selection system, and an adjustable suspension system. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to take either model off the paved road to see what they are capable of.
      Fuel Economy
      EPA rates the 2018 Land Cruiser and LX 570 at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. My average in both vehicles landed around 14.9 mpg in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving.
      Ride and Handling
      These SUVs prefer the roads to be straight as there is significant body motion when cornering. Blame the tall ride height and soft-suspension tuning. Steering feels very numb and slow, making it somewhat tough to figure out how much input is needed when turning. When the road is straight, both vehicles provide a smooth ride. I did find that on the highway, I needed to make constant corrections with the steering to keep it in the middle of the lane.
      One major difference between the two is braking. The LX 570’s braking system felt very discombobulated. It was very difficult to modulate the pedal to provide a smooth stop. Either the vehicle wasn’t slowing down or the braking system would enter panic stop mode and passengers being thrown from their seats. I thought this was an issue that was limited to my LX, but other people who have driven different LXs have reported similar behavior. The Land Cruiser didn’t experience any of this during my week.
      Value
      The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser begins at $83,665, while the LX 570 begins at $85,630 for the two-row variant and $89,980 for the three-row model. Both models come generously equipped with a number of standard features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated front seats; power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and three-zone climate control. The vehicles tested here came lightly optioned. The Land Cruiser featured a set of optional floor mats, bringing the as-tested price to $85,185. For the LX 570, it came with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and center console cool box to bring its as-tested price to $93,350.
      The best value of the two models has to be the two-row LX 570 as you get a nicer interior and more cargo space, for not much more money than the three-row Land Cruiser. But if you really want three-rows, then the Land Cruiser is your best bet.
      Verdict
      Unless your daily commute includes traversing the Rocky Mountains or driving through Death Valley, I cannot recommend either of these SUVs. They have a number of flaws such as middling fuel economy, small cargo area, and needing constant steering corrections on the highway. But the LX 570 comes off slightly worse as it has some issues with the powertrain and brakes need to be addressed quickly. Besides, the Land Cruiser offers many of the features of LX 570, albeit in a more utilitarian package for a couple of grand less.
      But for some people, the off-road capability and legendary reliability of these two models are more than enough to excuse the faults. That group of people though we have to think is getting smaller as time goes on and makes us wonder if the next-generation of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 will go through a dramatic change or not.
      Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Lexus
      Model: LX 570
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15
      Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
      Base Price: $89,980
      As Tested Price: $93,350 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Entertainment System - $2,005.00
      Cool Box - $170.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Land Cruiser
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 381@ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15
      Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
      Base Price: $83,685
      As Tested Price: $85,185 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpet Floor/Cargo Mat Set - $225.00

      View full article
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