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

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

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

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

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


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

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

It'd be perfect on their Jeep lineup. 

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2 hours ago, thedriver said:

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

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

Pretty old platform no matter what.

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

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Posted (edited)

Falsehoods repeated without research.

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

WA580 - NAG1 automatic transmission

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

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

Edited by thedriver

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19 minutes ago, thedriver said:

Falsehoods repeated without research.

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

WA580 - NAG1 automatic transmission

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

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

@Drew Dowdell Please comment as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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4 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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35 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

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

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

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

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

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

what

m sayin

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59 minutes ago, regfootball said:

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

what

m sayin

CT6, second gen Lacrosse.

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

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

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7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daimler raped & pillaged Chrysler.

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

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

 

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6 hours ago, ocnblu said:

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

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

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Weekend playtoy strictly.  Would be cool.

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17 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Weekend playtoy strictly.  Would be cool.

I can upvote and agree with that with no problem whatsoever

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

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Guest potluck

that is very..... green

but they are the best rental car for your money

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Seems like Chrysler is exiting stage left now anyways...

 

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      The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was originally supposed to arrive in the U.S. a few years back. But the launch would be pushed back as the model would prove to be quite popular in Europe, causing Mitsubishi to reallocate supplies. Now, Mitsubishi has finally started selling the Outlander PHEV in the U.S. Was it worth the wait?
      Much like the Eclipse Cross I posted a couple of weeks back, this first drive of the Outlander PHEV was quite brief. I only had about 15 to 20 miles of driving under my belt, while the rest saw me sitting in the passenger seat. Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll be able to spend some more time to give an overall impression.
      The Outlander PHEV wants everyone to know that it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with PHEV decals on the rear doors and badges on the front fenders. Most people will find it to be a bit much. Otherwise, I like the Outlander’s shape with a boxy profile and slightly bold front end. The interior design is a bit plain, but most controls are within easy reach. The top-line GT I drove featured leather surfaces and plenty of soft-touch materials. I would have liked to see less piano black plastic used throughout as it becomes a fingerprint magnet. One issue with the Outlander PHEV’s interior is the placement of the Park button. Due to the location of the gear selector, it isn’t easy to find the button. My drive partner spent a few moments wondering where the button was before I pointed it out. Not the most user-friendly setup. Unlike the standard Outlander which offers three-rows of seating, the PHEV makes do with two. This is due to the placement of the battery pack in the back. I’m ok with this sacrifice as the third-row in the regular Outlander should only be used for emergencies due to the limited amount of space and uncomfortable seats. Powering the Outlander PHEV are two 80 horsepower electric motors. The one on the front axle produces 101 pound-feet and the one on the rear makes 144 pound-feet. A 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder with 117 horsepower and 137 lb-ft acts as the generator. There are three different driving modes on the Outlander PHEV: EV Mode, Series Hybrid mode (gas engine provides energy for electric motors for extra power and charges the battery), and Parallel Hybrid mode (gas engine power the wheels and electric motors). The plug-in hybrid system is very responsive in EV mode thanks to the instantaneous torque available from the two electric motors. In the Series Hybrid mode, the gas engine, for the most part, is muted and doesn’t intrude. Only during hard acceleration does the engine begin to make some racket. Transitions between the electric to the hybrid powertrain is very seamless. One disappointment is the range. Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV can travel up to 22 miles on a full charge. Chrysler’s bigger Pacifica Hybrid can go 32 miles on a full charge. A lot of this comes down to the Pacifica using a larger battery pack. Mitsubishi has introduced an updated Outlander PHEV for Japan and Europe that introduces larger battery pack and engine. The overall electric range has increased to 28 miles on the WLTP testing cycle. We’re wondering when this updated powertrain will arrive in the U.S. (2020?) Mitsubishi offers three different charging options for the Outlander PHEV - 120V, 240V, and a DC fast-charging through a CHAdeMO port. Charging times are eight hours with the 120V charger, 3.5 hours on the 240V, and 25 minutes for an 80 percent charge on the DC fast-charger. Six-levels of regenerative braking from B0 to B5 can be selected through a pair of paddles behind the wheel. I left the vehicle in B3 and found it to be a nice balance of regeneration without slowing the vehicle down too much. Handling is about what you might expect with a crossover. There is a fair amount of body roll when cornering and the steering feels somewhat light. Ride quality is quite nice as most bumps and imperfections are ironed out. The 2018 Outlander PHEV begins at $34,595 for the SEL S-AWC and $40,295 for the GT S-AWC. There is a tax credit available for the model, but be aware that only comes into play when you do your taxes. You cannot use it to help drop the price of the Outlander PHEV. Disclaimer: Mitsubishi provided breakfast, a quick snack, and the Outlander PHEV for this first drive event.
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Outlander PHEV
      Engine: 2.0L MIVEC DOHC, 16-valve Inline-Four (Gas Generator); Twin AC synchronous permanent magnetic motors
      Driveline: Single-Speed Transmission, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 117 @ 4,500 (Gas); 80 @ 0 (Electric Motors)
      Torque @ RPM: 137 @ 4,500 (Gas); 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor); 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor)
      Fuel Economy: Gas+Electric Combined/Combined - 74/25
      Curb Weight: 4,178 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $34,595 (SEL S-AWC), $40,295 (GT S-AWC)
    • By William Maley
      The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was originally supposed to arrive in the U.S. a few years back. But the launch would be pushed back as the model would prove to be quite popular in Europe, causing Mitsubishi to reallocate supplies. Now, Mitsubishi has finally started selling the Outlander PHEV in the U.S. Was it worth the wait?
      Much like the Eclipse Cross I posted a couple of weeks back, this first drive of the Outlander PHEV was quite brief. I only had about 15 to 20 miles of driving under my belt, while the rest saw me sitting in the passenger seat. Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll be able to spend some more time to give an overall impression.
      The Outlander PHEV wants everyone to know that it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with PHEV decals on the rear doors and badges on the front fenders. Most people will find it to be a bit much. Otherwise, I like the Outlander’s shape with a boxy profile and slightly bold front end. The interior design is a bit plain, but most controls are within easy reach. The top-line GT I drove featured leather surfaces and plenty of soft-touch materials. I would have liked to see less piano black plastic used throughout as it becomes a fingerprint magnet. One issue with the Outlander PHEV’s interior is the placement of the Park button. Due to the location of the gear selector, it isn’t easy to find the button. My drive partner spent a few moments wondering where the button was before I pointed it out. Not the most user-friendly setup. Unlike the standard Outlander which offers three-rows of seating, the PHEV makes do with two. This is due to the placement of the battery pack in the back. I’m ok with this sacrifice as the third-row in the regular Outlander should only be used for emergencies due to the limited amount of space and uncomfortable seats. Powering the Outlander PHEV are two 80 horsepower electric motors. The one on the front axle produces 101 pound-feet and the one on the rear makes 144 pound-feet. A 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder with 117 horsepower and 137 lb-ft acts as the generator. There are three different driving modes on the Outlander PHEV: EV Mode, Series Hybrid mode (gas engine provides energy for electric motors for extra power and charges the battery), and Parallel Hybrid mode (gas engine power the wheels and electric motors). The plug-in hybrid system is very responsive in EV mode thanks to the instantaneous torque available from the two electric motors. In the Series Hybrid mode, the gas engine, for the most part, is muted and doesn’t intrude. Only during hard acceleration does the engine begin to make some racket. Transitions between the electric to the hybrid powertrain is very seamless. One disappointment is the range. Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV can travel up to 22 miles on a full charge. Chrysler’s bigger Pacifica Hybrid can go 32 miles on a full charge. A lot of this comes down to the Pacifica using a larger battery pack. Mitsubishi has introduced an updated Outlander PHEV for Japan and Europe that introduces larger battery pack and engine. The overall electric range has increased to 28 miles on the WLTP testing cycle. We’re wondering when this updated powertrain will arrive in the U.S. (2020?) Mitsubishi offers three different charging options for the Outlander PHEV - 120V, 240V, and a DC fast-charging through a CHAdeMO port. Charging times are eight hours with the 120V charger, 3.5 hours on the 240V, and 25 minutes for an 80 percent charge on the DC fast-charger. Six-levels of regenerative braking from B0 to B5 can be selected through a pair of paddles behind the wheel. I left the vehicle in B3 and found it to be a nice balance of regeneration without slowing the vehicle down too much. Handling is about what you might expect with a crossover. There is a fair amount of body roll when cornering and the steering feels somewhat light. Ride quality is quite nice as most bumps and imperfections are ironed out. The 2018 Outlander PHEV begins at $34,595 for the SEL S-AWC and $40,295 for the GT S-AWC. There is a tax credit available for the model, but be aware that only comes into play when you do your taxes. You cannot use it to help drop the price of the Outlander PHEV. Disclaimer: Mitsubishi provided breakfast, a quick snack, and the Outlander PHEV for this first drive event.
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Outlander PHEV
      Engine: 2.0L MIVEC DOHC, 16-valve Inline-Four (Gas Generator); Twin AC synchronous permanent magnetic motors
      Driveline: Single-Speed Transmission, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 117 @ 4,500 (Gas); 80 @ 0 (Electric Motors)
      Torque @ RPM: 137 @ 4,500 (Gas); 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor); 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor)
      Fuel Economy: Gas+Electric Combined/Combined - 74/25
      Curb Weight: 4,178 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $34,595 (SEL S-AWC), $40,295 (GT S-AWC)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’m one of the few people who actually like the current Toyota Prius - I named it one of my favorite vehicles last year. It offers excellent fuel economy and noticeable improvements to the interior and handling. So what happens when you add a plug to it? You end up with the Prius Prime which is much better than the last-generation Prius Plug-In and makes for an interesting alternative to Chevrolet Volt if you happen to be on a budget.
      The regular Prius was already a model that you either loved or hated the design. The Prime only exacerbates this as it comes with new front and rear styling to set it apart. The front end gets a new black treatment for the middle that makes it look like it is wearing a mask to hide its identity. A set of quad-LED headlights come from the Mirai and makes the Prime look futuristic. The back features a new tailgate design with what Toyota calls a “dual wave.” It may look ridiculous when put next to the standard Prius, but I dig it. One more thing about the rear tailgate; it happens to made out of carbon fiber to help reduce some weight out of the Prime. The weight loss is not really that impressive as the tailgate only drops 8 pounds from the curb weight. Move inside and the Prime is mostly similar to the Prius I drove last year with an abundance of soft-touch materials, color screens for the instrument cluster, and comfortable front seats. The key differences? You’ll only find seating for two in the back and cargo space is slightly smaller (19.8 vs. 24.6 cubic feet) due to the larger battery taking up some of the precious cargo space. One key item Toyota is proud of in the Prius Prime is an 11.6-inch, vertical touchscreen that controls many of the vehicle’s function such as navigation, audio, and climate control. But you may notice our test Prime doesn’t have it. That’s because the larger screen is only available on the Premium and Advanced models. The base Plus sticks with the 7-inch touchscreen with Entune. From reviews I have been reading about the Prime with the larger screen, it is a mess. The user interface is a bit of mess, performance is meh, and the screen washes out when sunlight hits it. The 7-inch system doesn’t have all of these issues - aside from the sunlight one. Entune may look a little bit dated, but the interface is easy to wrap your head around and performance is pretty snappy. The Prime’s powertrain is the same as the standard Prius; 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators producing a total output of 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Where it differs is the battery. The Prime comes with a 95-cell, 8.8-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for 25 miles of electric motoring - 14 miles more than the last-generation Prius Plug-In. In electric mode, the Prius Prime feels confident when leaving a stop as the electric motors provide that immediate thrust of power. This is a vehicle that will make other drivers question their thoughts about the Prius. When the Prime is put into the hybrid mode, it feels and goes like a slower Prius. A lot of this is due to extra weight brought on the larger battery - about 300 pounds. You will notice the vehicle taking a few ticks longer to get up speed, especially on hills or merging on to a freeway. How much range was I able to squeeze out of the Prime? I was able to travel between 24 to 27 miles on EV power. Average fuel economy landed around 75 mpg with mostly city driving. When I first got the Prius Prime, I had to plug it in to get the battery charged up. On a 120V outlet, it took 5 hours and 30 minutes to recharged - exactly the time listed by Toyota. If you have a 240V charger, a full recharge only takes 2 hours and 10 minutes on 240V When the battery is halfway depleted, it took about 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully recharge. The Prius was quite a shock when I drove it last year as it drove surprisingly well. It provided decent handling and the steering felt somewhat natural. The same is true for the Prime.  You would think after four-generations of the Prius, Toyota would have finally figured out how to make the regenerative brakes feel like brakes in a standard car. But this isn’t the case. Like in the Prius I drove last year, the Prime exhibited brakes that felt numb and having to push further on the pedal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The Toyota Prius Prime is a huge improvement over the old the Prius Plug-In Hybrid as it offers a better EV range, short recharging time, and a much nicer interior. The exterior will put some people off and Toyota still needs to work on improving the Prius’ brakes. We have to address the elephant in the room, the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt does offer a longer range (53 miles), much better brakes, and a sharper exterior. The Prius Prime fights back with a larger interior, shorter recharging times, and low price. If I had the money, I would be picking up a Volt Premier as I think it is the slightly better vehicle. But if I only had $30,000 to spend and wanted something fuel efficient, the Prius Prime would be at the top of the list. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Prime, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Prius Prime
      Trim: Plus
      Engine: 1.8L DOHC, VVT-i Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Two Electric Motors
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, ECVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 71 @ 0 (Electric), 121 (Combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 5,200 (Gas), 120 @ 0 (Electric)
      Fuel Economy: Electric + Gas, Hybrid City/Highway/Combined -  133 MPGe, 55/53/54
      Curb Weight: 3,365 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $27,100
      As Tested Price: $28,380 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Special Color (Hypersonic Red) - $595.00

      View full article
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