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Anthony Fongaro

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About Anthony Fongaro

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  • Birthday 11/22/1989

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  1. Apologies, that sentence was not supposed to be there.
  2. *Note: this isn’t my opinion. This article is more to spark a discussion. I love #savethemanuals. With that, please enjoy a controversial article. Some people are fans of electric cars. Others regale the days of the glorious V12s which are now few-and-far in-between. Same goes for interiors. While the days of analog gauges, non-infotainment systems, and simple controls hearken back to an easier time, trends are making those just memories. Most people, car lovers or not, accept changes to vehicles. Fuel economy, safety, performance, and technology are constantly evolving. However, there is one aspect of vehicles that isn't sport or performance-based that needs to go away. The manual transmission. If you’re reading this and are a #savethemanuals fan, you probably hate me for talking about ditching the manual transmission. I’m sure the comments are not going to be the most positive. Granted, my thought process of manual transmissions is not new. Performance companies such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren don’t have manual transmissions anymore. There is a reason why there has been a campaign for over ten years called #savethemanuals and fans rejoice when a car has either a standard or optional manual transmission. Should they be completely taken off the map? No. I believe sports cars and performance vehicles should still have the option of a manual transmission. The Porsche911 and 718 range and Toyota’s 86 both have a manual as optional or standard. Even “hot-hatchbacks” such as the Honda Civic Type R and the VW Gold GTI/R have manuals, with the manual being the only transmission for the Civic Type R. Do they expect to sell a lot of them? Transmission wise, no, but owners of this type of vehicle want to shift the car themselves. I will admit that cost and upkeep of a manual is cheaper before you count replacing the clutch. This brings me to a few different complaints. First, “I feel one with the car.” Excellent! But I feel one with a car that has an excellent automatic or dual-clutch transmission. Inexpensive cars such as a Nissan Versa or Honda Fit seem ok with a manual, but what’s the point then? Feeling one with a car that’s $14,000 doesn’t seem to make sense. If you’re spending that much for a new car, why not get a more fun or practical car with a manual if that’s all you want? To me, feeling one with the car means I know what’s going on constantly with the tires, suspension, and brakes. I also do know what’s going on with my transmission because of complaint number two. “Rowing gears”. You start out at first gear, accelerate while shifting to a certain gear, and go down to second gear when you turn a corner. That’s what I did in my Volkswagen GTI with the DSG gearbox. For me, I didn’t really “row gears” the same way you would in a manual, but I did get to choose which gear I wanted to be in. Choice is what manual only drivers like. They can be in the tallest gear such as 6th or 7th and drop instantly to 2nd for a tight corner. Slight problem with that. Thanks to advanced automatic gearboxes that are constantly evolving, vehicles with automatics can shift manually. Not just let the car rev a little bit, but let the car stay in one gear all the way to the top of the rev range. Thanks to paddle-shifters, shifting can feel more fun and like a race-car. Speaking of race-cars, complaint number three is “manuals are quicker around a track compared to an automatic.” There is some truth to this but remember the types of vehicles we are talking about. This isn’t about a BMW M4 or a Porsche 911. These are vehicles that probably cost under $50,000. We are talking vehicles like the Honda Accord. Can you take a manual or an automatic Accord around a track? Sure. It would be hilarious to see a brand-new Accord go against another brand-new Accord, but it would be pointless. You don’t buy these to go on a track. So, with the complaints out of the way, why do I think automatics are better? They’re fast. There is a reason that high-performance vehicles are ditching the manual for the automatic. Even in mundane vehicles, clever automatics such as dual-clutch automated manual transmissions can be faster than their manual counterpart. Driving in rush hour traffic or through a city is easier with an automatic. You can change gears the way you want and once driving becomes frustrating, switch the car into Drive and you’re set to go. With technology advancing, the automatic transmission is also evolving. Granted, I still don’t like the CVT transmission. That said, we now have automatics with more gears, faster shifts, and better fuel economy. When was the last time you saw a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid with a manual? Before I end, I have to say this: this article only applies to car owners in the United States. If you travel out of the country frequently, you will certainly be in countries where you need to know how to drive a manual. Otherwise, the manual transmission is already going the way of the CD changer. It’s just unnecessary to have to shift gears yourself if the car isn’t made for performance. Granted, with the rise of electric vehicles, we soon may see a #savetheautomatics as a hashtag. What is your opinion? Are you livid with me bashing the sacred manual transmission and will only drive manual? Do you care what transmission you have, or do you only drive automatic? Leave a comment below and follow us on social media. View full article
  3. *Note: this isn’t my opinion. This article is more to spark a discussion. I love #savethemanuals. With that, please enjoy a controversial article. Some people are fans of electric cars. Others regale the days of the glorious V12s which are now few-and-far in-between. Same goes for interiors. While the days of analog gauges, non-infotainment systems, and simple controls hearken back to an easier time, trends are making those just memories. Most people, car lovers or not, accept changes to vehicles. Fuel economy, safety, performance, and technology are constantly evolving. However, there is one aspect of vehicles that isn't sport or performance-based that needs to go away. The manual transmission. If you’re reading this and are a #savethemanuals fan, you probably hate me for talking about ditching the manual transmission. I’m sure the comments are not going to be the most positive. Granted, my thought process of manual transmissions is not new. Performance companies such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren don’t have manual transmissions anymore. There is a reason why there has been a campaign for over ten years called #savethemanuals and fans rejoice when a car has either a standard or optional manual transmission. Should they be completely taken off the map? No. I believe sports cars and performance vehicles should still have the option of a manual transmission. The Porsche911 and 718 range and Toyota’s 86 both have a manual as optional or standard. Even “hot-hatchbacks” such as the Honda Civic Type R and the VW Gold GTI/R have manuals, with the manual being the only transmission for the Civic Type R. Do they expect to sell a lot of them? Transmission wise, no, but owners of this type of vehicle want to shift the car themselves. I will admit that cost and upkeep of a manual is cheaper before you count replacing the clutch. This brings me to a few different complaints. First, “I feel one with the car.” Excellent! But I feel one with a car that has an excellent automatic or dual-clutch transmission. Inexpensive cars such as a Nissan Versa or Honda Fit seem ok with a manual, but what’s the point then? Feeling one with a car that’s $14,000 doesn’t seem to make sense. If you’re spending that much for a new car, why not get a more fun or practical car with a manual if that’s all you want? To me, feeling one with the car means I know what’s going on constantly with the tires, suspension, and brakes. I also do know what’s going on with my transmission because of complaint number two. “Rowing gears”. You start out at first gear, accelerate while shifting to a certain gear, and go down to second gear when you turn a corner. That’s what I did in my Volkswagen GTI with the DSG gearbox. For me, I didn’t really “row gears” the same way you would in a manual, but I did get to choose which gear I wanted to be in. Choice is what manual only drivers like. They can be in the tallest gear such as 6th or 7th and drop instantly to 2nd for a tight corner. Slight problem with that. Thanks to advanced automatic gearboxes that are constantly evolving, vehicles with automatics can shift manually. Not just let the car rev a little bit, but let the car stay in one gear all the way to the top of the rev range. Thanks to paddle-shifters, shifting can feel more fun and like a race-car. Speaking of race-cars, complaint number three is “manuals are quicker around a track compared to an automatic.” There is some truth to this but remember the types of vehicles we are talking about. This isn’t about a BMW M4 or a Porsche 911. These are vehicles that probably cost under $50,000. We are talking vehicles like the Honda Accord. Can you take a manual or an automatic Accord around a track? Sure. It would be hilarious to see a brand-new Accord go against another brand-new Accord, but it would be pointless. You don’t buy these to go on a track. So, with the complaints out of the way, why do I think automatics are better? They’re fast. There is a reason that high-performance vehicles are ditching the manual for the automatic. Even in mundane vehicles, clever automatics such as dual-clutch automated manual transmissions can be faster than their manual counterpart. Driving in rush hour traffic or through a city is easier with an automatic. You can change gears the way you want and once driving becomes frustrating, switch the car into Drive and you’re set to go. With technology advancing, the automatic transmission is also evolving. Granted, I still don’t like the CVT transmission. That said, we now have automatics with more gears, faster shifts, and better fuel economy. When was the last time you saw a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid with a manual? Before I end, I have to say this: this article only applies to car owners in the United States. If you travel out of the country frequently, you will certainly be in countries where you need to know how to drive a manual. Otherwise, the manual transmission is already going the way of the CD changer. It’s just unnecessary to have to shift gears yourself if the car isn’t made for performance. Granted, with the rise of electric vehicles, we soon may see a #savetheautomatics as a hashtag. What is your opinion? Are you livid with me bashing the sacred manual transmission and will only drive manual? Do you care what transmission you have, or do you only drive automatic? Leave a comment below and follow us on social media.
  4. The only things I like are the information system and the stats. Hate the styling but after my last article that may not be surprising haha. Like @dfelt said, the BMW faithful will buy the X2 over the X1 for the styling.
  5. In my previous article, I praised four-door coupes. I love how they look in exchange for lost practicality while making up for the latter with charm and class. This is fine because they’re usually based on regular coupes or sedans. Great. Unfortunately, BMW had to mess things up. They had the excellent X5 and thought to themselves with a German accent: “We need to appeal to even fewer people. What if… we make the X5 ugly and harder to see out of?” Hence, the BMW X6 was born. Excellent, thank you, BMW. It sold well and now Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Acura at one point, and even Lamborghini have SUVs with raked rooflines. There must be a reason why I like sedan to coupe to four-door coupes compared to these SUV-coupes, right? When BMW first introduced the X6, Top Gear had Jeremy Clarkson review it on their show. He said the same things I was thinking. The X6 is a worse version of the X5 that isn’t good off-road. Now, I know that they set up some things to make the review of the X6 more scathing, but two points hit home. It’s an uglier version of the X5 that isn’t as good and has worse visibility. You would think that a power-house journalist like Clarkson, combined with that review, would have BMW scared that their new vehicle would go down in history as one of those “one-hit wonders.” Nope. That didn’t happen. Instead, BMW sold enough to “justify” a few different events. Mercedes-Benz got onto the bandwagon. They created the GLE coupe as well as the GLC coupe. It was the same concept as the X6: Make the SUVs uglier, less space, and “look like a coupe.” Out of all the Japanese manufacturers, Acura went in with the ZDX, one of the ugliest SUVs to walk the earth. It was based on the MDX and was given a body that no one wanted. If you’ve seen more than two ZDXs in the flesh, leave a comment below. BMW then created a smaller of the X6, dubbed the X4, to go against Mercedes’s GLC coupe. Audi jumped in the fray with their Q8 SUV. The Germans really like making niches that no one asked for. Now, Porsche has created the Cayenne coupe. Excellent. At this point, I usually try to give some good points to balance the article. I’ll try my best to get a few in here. Since these are all SUVs, most have standard or optional all-wheel drive to help in the Midwest or states that get a good amount of snow. They also have high ground clearance and tall driving positions like a regular SUV so you can see over cars. You must remember that these are close to or the same as their regular SUV counterparts. The X6 gets a fire-breathing X6M version with over 500 HP from a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8. Unnecessary but fantastic. I understand that style is in the eye of the beholder, which is why people go after these vehicles. If you can’t tell, I am not a fan of these, which BMW labels “Sports-Activity Coupes.” Do you want a SAC in your life? I know I don’t. The regular SUVs they are based on are usually more handsome, have more space, and cost a good amount less. There are powerful versions and hybrid versions, so people have a choice. Why were these created? Because why not. Would I recommend an X6 over an X5? No. Never. Will people still buy? Sure. These help companies like Porsche continue to make sports cars. Regular SUVs do the same. Wait… should you get a regular SUV over the limited hatchbacks and wagons we have available in the United States? I think… you should read my next article to find out. What are your thoughts? Do you own or like SUV coupes? Are you like me and think they’re pointless? Leave a comment below and like/interact with Cheers and Gears on social media! View full article
  6. In my previous article, I praised four-door coupes. I love how they look in exchange for lost practicality while making up for the latter with charm and class. This is fine because they’re usually based on regular coupes or sedans. Great. Unfortunately, BMW had to mess things up. They had the excellent X5 and thought to themselves with a German accent: “We need to appeal to even fewer people. What if… we make the X5 ugly and harder to see out of?” Hence, the BMW X6 was born. Excellent, thank you, BMW. It sold well and now Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Acura at one point, and even Lamborghini have SUVs with raked rooflines. There must be a reason why I like sedan to coupe to four-door coupes compared to these SUV-coupes, right? When BMW first introduced the X6, Top Gear had Jeremy Clarkson review it on their show. He said the same things I was thinking. The X6 is a worse version of the X5 that isn’t good off-road. Now, I know that they set up some things to make the review of the X6 more scathing, but two points hit home. It’s an uglier version of the X5 that isn’t as good and has worse visibility. You would think that a power-house journalist like Clarkson, combined with that review, would have BMW scared that their new vehicle would go down in history as one of those “one-hit wonders.” Nope. That didn’t happen. Instead, BMW sold enough to “justify” a few different events. Mercedes-Benz got onto the bandwagon. They created the GLE coupe as well as the GLC coupe. It was the same concept as the X6: Make the SUVs uglier, less space, and “look like a coupe.” Out of all the Japanese manufacturers, Acura went in with the ZDX, one of the ugliest SUVs to walk the earth. It was based on the MDX and was given a body that no one wanted. If you’ve seen more than two ZDXs in the flesh, leave a comment below. BMW then created a smaller of the X6, dubbed the X4, to go against Mercedes’s GLC coupe. Audi jumped in the fray with their Q8 SUV. The Germans really like making niches that no one asked for. Now, Porsche has created the Cayenne coupe. Excellent. At this point, I usually try to give some good points to balance the article. I’ll try my best to get a few in here. Since these are all SUVs, most have standard or optional all-wheel drive to help in the Midwest or states that get a good amount of snow. They also have high ground clearance and tall driving positions like a regular SUV so you can see over cars. You must remember that these are close to or the same as their regular SUV counterparts. The X6 gets a fire-breathing X6M version with over 500 HP from a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8. Unnecessary but fantastic. I understand that style is in the eye of the beholder, which is why people go after these vehicles. If you can’t tell, I am not a fan of these, which BMW labels “Sports-Activity Coupes.” Do you want a SAC in your life? I know I don’t. The regular SUVs they are based on are usually more handsome, have more space, and cost a good amount less. There are powerful versions and hybrid versions, so people have a choice. Why were these created? Because why not. Would I recommend an X6 over an X5? No. Never. Will people still buy? Sure. These help companies like Porsche continue to make sports cars. Regular SUVs do the same. Wait… should you get a regular SUV over the limited hatchbacks and wagons we have available in the United States? I think… you should read my next article to find out. What are your thoughts? Do you own or like SUV coupes? Are you like me and think they’re pointless? Leave a comment below and like/interact with Cheers and Gears on social media!
  7. Thanks, Mercedes-Benz. You created a car that literally no one asked for. What did they do? Well, in the early 2000s, they went to their E-Class, removed the hideous body, and replaced it with a different body. The new body looked like a coupe, but it had…four doors. With this, Mercedes-Benz created the “four-door coupe.” Let’s be honest—this vehicle, called the CLS, was beautiful. AMG created powerful versions that made the CLS even more appealing. Mercedes-Benz created a segment that nobody really asked for, but it worked. Granted, it cost more than the E-Class and was less practical. Both cars have been redesigned within the last few years, but these vehicles pose a question: Is a four-door coupe worth it? Audi, BMW, and Porsche saw that people liked the CLS and decided to create their own four-door coupes. Some of them are labeled as “coupes.” some are labeled as “fastbacks.” Once again, most of these vehicles minus Porsche’s Panamera are based on normal sedans that first turned into regular coupes and then into four-door coupes. Once again, these are less practical than the regular vehicles off which they are based. Except for BMW, manufacturers Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz all have or will have wagon versions in the United States that are more practical and cost less. Some come standard or have optional two seats in the rear compared to three. But other than for less space, why buy them? It’s all about style! Audi’s A7 lineup started in 2010. It was a beautiful and sleek alternative to the A6. At the time, there weren’t any high-performance version of an A6 wagon, but there was the RS7. Fantastic car! It had the interior and build quality of Audi along with a great-looking body. The A7 lineup has been redesigned and the interior is completely different than the rest of Audi’s vehicles. No wait, it’s exactly the same interior of the A6. As of right now, the brand new RS7 has arrived to compete with the Germans. It is more of a “fastback” with a large opening in the trunk, and the rear seats do have some compromise with the sloping rear end but that is a flaw that all of these vehicles have. Would I have the RS7 over the RS6 wagon when it comes out? Hard to tell but for now, the RS7 is a fantastic car. BMW used to have something called the 6 Series Gran Coupe. This was based on the 6 Series coupe, which was based on the 5 Series sedan. Seeing a trend? As with Audi, the interior was the same as the 6-series coupe and the 5-series sedan. At the time, the 6 Series Gran Coupe was also a great-looking vehicle. Did it have its compromises? Absolutely. There was an M6 Gran Coupe that competed with Audi and Porsche and could be a grand touring vehicle. The 6 Series is gone, and we have the 8 Series. Soon, there will be the 8 Series Gran Coupe and I suspect it will be a bigger version of the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Porsche’s Panamera is the only vehicle here that isn’t based on a humdrum sedan. The first-generation Panamera was…ugly. My goodness was it ugly. Did it have good tech and fantastic engines and semi-act like a Porsche? Yes. Did others buy it mainly for the badge and ignore it for how it looked? Yes. The second generation rectified the styling of the Panamera and Porsche created a high-performance version plug-in hybrid with over 650 HP. The interior is like the Cayenne SUV and Porsche’s own wagon, the Sport Turismo. It’s become one of the best-selling Porsches behind the SUVs, which isn’t surprising. What has Mercedes-Benz been up to? Oh, they now have two four-door coupes. One is an updated CLS, and the other is a fire-breathing vehicle called the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe. Mercedes didn’t want people to get confused about what that AMG GT 4-door is. At first, you ask “why have two when they’re about the same size and do share one engine?” The CLS is more of a lower and less performance-oriented version of the AMG GT 4-door Coupe. It has less powerful engines and is less expensive. Its sister car is all about performance and is seen as the four-door version of the regular AMG GT vehicles, although it isn’t just a stretched AMG GT. There is one engine that both cars have and they have the “Mercedes-AMG 53” designation with a 3.0-liter turbocharged incline-6 producing 429 HP. Between the two, I would save the $20,000 and get myself the $79,000 CLS. Or, spend $159,000 for the 4.0L V8 Biturbo, which has 630 HP. My thoughts on these vehicles: I love most of them. There are 4-door coupes such as the Volkswagen Arteon, which was the CC, but I haven’t driven one so I can’t give too much information. Out of all the vehicles I listed, my favorite ones are the Audi A7/RS7 and the Mercedes-AMG too long of a name or the AMG 4-door Coupe. Both have incredible style, technology, and performance. As I said, I like four-door coupes. That said, there is a niche within a niche that I must talk about. SUV-coupes. What do you think? Do you like, own, or are interested in four-door coupes? Do you think they spoil the name “coupe” and are not real coupes? Comment below and make sure to follow us on social media. View full article
  8. Thanks, Mercedes-Benz. You created a car that literally no one asked for. What did they do? Well, in the early 2000s, they went to their E-Class, removed the hideous body, and replaced it with a different body. The new body looked like a coupe, but it had…four doors. With this, Mercedes-Benz created the “four-door coupe.” Let’s be honest—this vehicle, called the CLS, was beautiful. AMG created powerful versions that made the CLS even more appealing. Mercedes-Benz created a segment that nobody really asked for, but it worked. Granted, it cost more than the E-Class and was less practical. Both cars have been redesigned within the last few years, but these vehicles pose a question: Is a four-door coupe worth it? Audi, BMW, and Porsche saw that people liked the CLS and decided to create their own four-door coupes. Some of them are labeled as “coupes.” some are labeled as “fastbacks.” Once again, most of these vehicles minus Porsche’s Panamera are based on normal sedans that first turned into regular coupes and then into four-door coupes. Once again, these are less practical than the regular vehicles off which they are based. Except for BMW, manufacturers Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz all have or will have wagon versions in the United States that are more practical and cost less. Some come standard or have optional two seats in the rear compared to three. But other than for less space, why buy them? It’s all about style! Audi’s A7 lineup started in 2010. It was a beautiful and sleek alternative to the A6. At the time, there weren’t any high-performance version of an A6 wagon, but there was the RS7. Fantastic car! It had the interior and build quality of Audi along with a great-looking body. The A7 lineup has been redesigned and the interior is completely different than the rest of Audi’s vehicles. No wait, it’s exactly the same interior of the A6. As of right now, the brand new RS7 has arrived to compete with the Germans. It is more of a “fastback” with a large opening in the trunk, and the rear seats do have some compromise with the sloping rear end but that is a flaw that all of these vehicles have. Would I have the RS7 over the RS6 wagon when it comes out? Hard to tell but for now, the RS7 is a fantastic car. BMW used to have something called the 6 Series Gran Coupe. This was based on the 6 Series coupe, which was based on the 5 Series sedan. Seeing a trend? As with Audi, the interior was the same as the 6-series coupe and the 5-series sedan. At the time, the 6 Series Gran Coupe was also a great-looking vehicle. Did it have its compromises? Absolutely. There was an M6 Gran Coupe that competed with Audi and Porsche and could be a grand touring vehicle. The 6 Series is gone, and we have the 8 Series. Soon, there will be the 8 Series Gran Coupe and I suspect it will be a bigger version of the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Porsche’s Panamera is the only vehicle here that isn’t based on a humdrum sedan. The first-generation Panamera was…ugly. My goodness was it ugly. Did it have good tech and fantastic engines and semi-act like a Porsche? Yes. Did others buy it mainly for the badge and ignore it for how it looked? Yes. The second generation rectified the styling of the Panamera and Porsche created a high-performance version plug-in hybrid with over 650 HP. The interior is like the Cayenne SUV and Porsche’s own wagon, the Sport Turismo. It’s become one of the best-selling Porsches behind the SUVs, which isn’t surprising. What has Mercedes-Benz been up to? Oh, they now have two four-door coupes. One is an updated CLS, and the other is a fire-breathing vehicle called the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe. Mercedes didn’t want people to get confused about what that AMG GT 4-door is. At first, you ask “why have two when they’re about the same size and do share one engine?” The CLS is more of a lower and less performance-oriented version of the AMG GT 4-door Coupe. It has less powerful engines and is less expensive. Its sister car is all about performance and is seen as the four-door version of the regular AMG GT vehicles, although it isn’t just a stretched AMG GT. There is one engine that both cars have and they have the “Mercedes-AMG 53” designation with a 3.0-liter turbocharged incline-6 producing 429 HP. Between the two, I would save the $20,000 and get myself the $79,000 CLS. Or, spend $159,000 for the 4.0L V8 Biturbo, which has 630 HP. My thoughts on these vehicles: I love most of them. There are 4-door coupes such as the Volkswagen Arteon, which was the CC, but I haven’t driven one so I can’t give too much information. Out of all the vehicles I listed, my favorite ones are the Audi A7/RS7 and the Mercedes-AMG too long of a name or the AMG 4-door Coupe. Both have incredible style, technology, and performance. As I said, I like four-door coupes. That said, there is a niche within a niche that I must talk about. SUV-coupes. What do you think? Do you like, own, or are interested in four-door coupes? Do you think they spoil the name “coupe” and are not real coupes? Comment below and make sure to follow us on social media.
  9. I do love the Taycan. Still disappointed about the range but I'm sure with time, it'll get much better. At $110,000 for the performance plus battery is a steal! (Porsche pricing, naming and performance. Makes sense)
  10. A friend of mine has a 2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. It’s a very safe car, has a good interior, and a rather weak engine. Oh, it also has a CVT or continuously variable transmission. When I talked with him while he took me for a spin, he told me he doesn’t mind the CVT and it is smooth for his Lyft passengers. While being a passenger in his car, the CVT did act like a conventional transmission, although it did dip in the rev range lower than usual. Then he floored it. Drone. It stayed at 3,000 RPM for at least five minutes. It was extremely annoying, but not surprising. Let me explain how a CVT works, and how I think manufacturers need to stop using them. Nerd moment approaching. You will learn many facts and you are welcome. As a surprise, a CVT is an automatic transmission. Manufacturers use this to improve fuel economy. What isn’t surprising is how they work. Instead of using traditional gears, a CVT uses a combination of pullies that are connected by a belt and “steps” . Steps are artificial gears which are preset and made so buyers feel like they’re getting a convenient transmission. Some CVTs, especially in hybrids, tend to not have steps to maximize fuel economy. They are more less compared to traditional transmissions, even 10-speed automatics, but manufacturers think they are worth it. Are they? I do have to point out the positives, no matter how much I dislike this transmission. They can be smooth. Since there is no actual shifting, when a CVT wants to behave, acceleration can feel less jerky compared to a traditional transmission. CVTs have infinite ratios, so they can find the right…ratio…to assist not only with seamless power. They do help with fuel economy which is part of the reason why most Toyota hybrids have forgone the traditional automatic transmission in favor of the CVT. Positive points over, let’s shift to what I hate about the CVT. First, You won’t find a CVT in a powerful car over 300 HP. They just can’t handle all that power! Like I said in the first paragraph, they can drone and be almost obnoxiously loud. I once drove a Honda Accord Hybrid in Colorado, and it decided to stick to 4,000 RPM at 60 mph. For 2 hours. Needless to say, the average sounding sound system was necessary to drown out the noise. My biggest issue with any CVT is that it robs the driver of spirited and fun driving. I have never driven a CVT, gotten out of the car, and said “Wow, this was really fun. I’m glad that this engine and transmission combination exist.” Now, which companies are the biggest culprits? Japanese companies. Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, and Honda all use CVTs in mostly all their vehicles, and in all of their hybrids. A few other companies such as Audi will use a CVT in their cheaper models, but most of their cars use dual-clutch automatics or traditional automatics. A disappointment of a vehicle created with a CVT is the Infiniti QX50. It is a handsome looking vehicle with a unique turbocharged engine and…a CVT. Basically, it’s ruined because of the CVT. I understand why manufacturers use CVTs due to how smooth it can be along with the increase in MPG , but they just seem to ruin the cars. I don’t understand why they can’t use dual-clutch automated manual or 8-10 speed automatics? These transmissions are getting better all the time. Manufacturers, stop with the CVTs! They are not necessary! Just use regular transmissions! They can return similar MPG, drive smooth, and won’t stick to 4,000 RPM for 2 hours while in Colorado. I can safely say that I hate the CVT, and I think that I’m not the only one. Have you driven a vehicle with a CVT and either liked or disliked it? Did you decide not to buy a vehicle with a CVT or were you sold on the two benefits it has? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on social media. View full article
  11. A friend of mine has a 2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. It’s a very safe car, has a good interior, and a rather weak engine. Oh, it also has a CVT or continuously variable transmission. When I talked with him while he took me for a spin, he told me he doesn’t mind the CVT and it is smooth for his Lyft passengers. While being a passenger in his car, the CVT did act like a conventional transmission, although it did dip in the rev range lower than usual. Then he floored it. Drone. It stayed at 3,000 RPM for at least five minutes. It was extremely annoying, but not surprising. Let me explain how a CVT works, and how I think manufacturers need to stop using them. Nerd moment approaching. You will learn many facts and you are welcome. As a surprise, a CVT is an automatic transmission. Manufacturers use this to improve fuel economy. What isn’t surprising is how they work. Instead of using traditional gears, a CVT uses a combination of pullies that are connected by a belt and “steps” . Steps are artificial gears which are preset and made so buyers feel like they’re getting a convenient transmission. Some CVTs, especially in hybrids, tend to not have steps to maximize fuel economy. They are more less compared to traditional transmissions, even 10-speed automatics, but manufacturers think they are worth it. Are they? I do have to point out the positives, no matter how much I dislike this transmission. They can be smooth. Since there is no actual shifting, when a CVT wants to behave, acceleration can feel less jerky compared to a traditional transmission. CVTs have infinite ratios, so they can find the right…ratio…to assist not only with seamless power. They do help with fuel economy which is part of the reason why most Toyota hybrids have forgone the traditional automatic transmission in favor of the CVT. Positive points over, let’s shift to what I hate about the CVT. First, You won’t find a CVT in a powerful car over 300 HP. They just can’t handle all that power! Like I said in the first paragraph, they can drone and be almost obnoxiously loud. I once drove a Honda Accord Hybrid in Colorado, and it decided to stick to 4,000 RPM at 60 mph. For 2 hours. Needless to say, the average sounding sound system was necessary to drown out the noise. My biggest issue with any CVT is that it robs the driver of spirited and fun driving. I have never driven a CVT, gotten out of the car, and said “Wow, this was really fun. I’m glad that this engine and transmission combination exist.” Now, which companies are the biggest culprits? Japanese companies. Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, and Honda all use CVTs in mostly all their vehicles, and in all of their hybrids. A few other companies such as Audi will use a CVT in their cheaper models, but most of their cars use dual-clutch automatics or traditional automatics. A disappointment of a vehicle created with a CVT is the Infiniti QX50. It is a handsome looking vehicle with a unique turbocharged engine and…a CVT. Basically, it’s ruined because of the CVT. I understand why manufacturers use CVTs due to how smooth it can be along with the increase in MPG , but they just seem to ruin the cars. I don’t understand why they can’t use dual-clutch automated manual or 8-10 speed automatics? These transmissions are getting better all the time. Manufacturers, stop with the CVTs! They are not necessary! Just use regular transmissions! They can return similar MPG, drive smooth, and won’t stick to 4,000 RPM for 2 hours while in Colorado. I can safely say that I hate the CVT, and I think that I’m not the only one. Have you driven a vehicle with a CVT and either liked or disliked it? Did you decide not to buy a vehicle with a CVT or were you sold on the two benefits it has? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on social media.
  12. All I can say is bring on the AMG GLB45 and all the problems this engine may have due to how much PSI the turbo is putting out!
  13. Not a fan of this, but it isn't the type of vehicle I'm interested in. The interior is ok, nothing special, but the exterior doesn't look good.
  14. Imagine you’re me: someone who has used 0-60 MPH to judge how fast a car is. If a car is slower than 8.0 seconds, I wouldn’t poke it with a 10-foot pole. If it’s faster than 4.0 seconds, I cling to it to feel the rush and acceleration. That was until I was a short-lived car salesman and automotive blogger. As a car salesman, I found out that people didn’t understand or care that their vehicle did 0-60 MPH in 6.7 seconds. As a blogger, performance enthusiasts did care, but there are other statistics that mattered more. When I combine both, which happened at different parts of my life so there was no conflict of interest, I found out that 0-60 MPH has a few flaws. Let’s start with the obvious question: “Anthony, why do we measure performance with 0-60 MPH? That sounds really random and weird.” The obvious answer: Americans aren’t exactly the most informed about the metric system. Non-obvious answer: In the metric system, the measurement for performance is 0-100 kilometers per hour or KPH. That translates roughly to 62 MPH, which is rounded down to 60 MPH. Due to this, all vehicles are judged on how quickly they can accelerate to this number. Part of me understands why we measure this. It’s ingrained in us that these numbers matter. As I said, I would rather take a car that would go from 0-60 in 4 seconds compared to 8 seconds. Especially with electric car manufacturers like Tesla, 0-60 times are plummeting. It is fun to drive something that you know is going to be fast because of these numbers. For enthusiasts, knowing a car’s basic stats like 0-60 MPH makes it simple to pick between different vehicles. These measurements can also be skewed. Like trying to weigh yourself on different scales, 0-60 MPH times can vary. Sometimes they are even quicker than what the manufacturer says while other times they can be a full second slower. So, this all makes sense now, right? No. No, it doesn’t. Problem number one: Who goes from 0-60 MPH as quickly as they can? I know I don’t. Here are a few ways that, combined, make up this number. Most cars have a sport mode that can make the car faster by making the engine more vivacious. Combine this with something called launch-control which is used to “launch” the car as easily as possible—cars are measured and given their number. These measurements aren’t accurate because not everyone will get the same results. Like trying to weigh yourself on different scales, 0-60 MPH times can vary. Sometimes they are even quicker than what the manufacturer says while other times they can be a full second slower. Can I try to go 0-60 MPH? Sure, but on public roads, it just doesn’t make sense. I live in the suburbs far enough from Chicago that the roads are usually under construction with many police officers who want to pull you over for going too fast. I also live by a highway that can get to 70 MPH after about 20 miles. Even on the highway, I can probably count a few times I went from 0-60 MPH, and it was a lot slower than what VW told me. Problem number two: People don’t understand or care. When I was selling a German luxury brand, I would spout out all the facts and figures I knew about the vehicle. One of them would be the horsepower, along with the torque and 0-60 MPH figures. Most of them didn’t care unless we were talking about the performance versions of the car. Instead, they would rank how the car feels on the road, how the car does on the highway, technology, fuel economy, and looks. Yes, performance can factor into this but if you want a hybrid or a frugal vehicle, you either know it won’t be as fast as a BMW M3 or don’t really care since you’ll get almost triple the fuel economy. Problem number three: Bragging rights. “My brand-new car can go 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds!” “Wow!” Then you get in and drive at 35 MPH. Like horsepower figures, 0-60 MPH is the benchmark for performance. Because of this, if you own a car with a lower 0-60 MPH time, you might be considered one of the cool kids. Once again, electric manufacturers like Tesla make some seriously quick cars, but that isn’t the entire story. Off the line, their cars will feel like a rocket but at certain speeds, like at 70 MPH, that figure doesn’t matter anymore. What should we do instead of measuring in just 0-60 MPH? I think we should start at different speeds. On the highway, sometimes you must go 20 or 30 to 60 or 70 MPH or faster on passing speeds. Also, we should judge cars based on more than just straight-line performance. A car can be extremely quick off the line, but if it doesn’t feel right when you drive it, the speed doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, stats are meaningless unless you drive what you’re interested in unless it’s some 2.6 seconds 0-60 MPH Ferrari. In this case, just fire up Forza or Gran Turismo. Thoughts and opinions? Think 0-60 MPH or 0-100 KPH times are the king of statistics? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on social media! View full article
  15. Imagine you’re me: someone who has used 0-60 MPH to judge how fast a car is. If a car is slower than 8.0 seconds, I wouldn’t poke it with a 10-foot pole. If it’s faster than 4.0 seconds, I cling to it to feel the rush and acceleration. That was until I was a short-lived car salesman and automotive blogger. As a car salesman, I found out that people didn’t understand or care that their vehicle did 0-60 MPH in 6.7 seconds. As a blogger, performance enthusiasts did care, but there are other statistics that mattered more. When I combine both, which happened at different parts of my life so there was no conflict of interest, I found out that 0-60 MPH has a few flaws. Let’s start with the obvious question: “Anthony, why do we measure performance with 0-60 MPH? That sounds really random and weird.” The obvious answer: Americans aren’t exactly the most informed about the metric system. Non-obvious answer: In the metric system, the measurement for performance is 0-100 kilometers per hour or KPH. That translates roughly to 62 MPH, which is rounded down to 60 MPH. Due to this, all vehicles are judged on how quickly they can accelerate to this number. Part of me understands why we measure this. It’s ingrained in us that these numbers matter. As I said, I would rather take a car that would go from 0-60 in 4 seconds compared to 8 seconds. Especially with electric car manufacturers like Tesla, 0-60 times are plummeting. It is fun to drive something that you know is going to be fast because of these numbers. For enthusiasts, knowing a car’s basic stats like 0-60 MPH makes it simple to pick between different vehicles. These measurements can also be skewed. Like trying to weigh yourself on different scales, 0-60 MPH times can vary. Sometimes they are even quicker than what the manufacturer says while other times they can be a full second slower. So, this all makes sense now, right? No. No, it doesn’t. Problem number one: Who goes from 0-60 MPH as quickly as they can? I know I don’t. Here are a few ways that, combined, make up this number. Most cars have a sport mode that can make the car faster by making the engine more vivacious. Combine this with something called launch-control which is used to “launch” the car as easily as possible—cars are measured and given their number. These measurements aren’t accurate because not everyone will get the same results. Like trying to weigh yourself on different scales, 0-60 MPH times can vary. Sometimes they are even quicker than what the manufacturer says while other times they can be a full second slower. Can I try to go 0-60 MPH? Sure, but on public roads, it just doesn’t make sense. I live in the suburbs far enough from Chicago that the roads are usually under construction with many police officers who want to pull you over for going too fast. I also live by a highway that can get to 70 MPH after about 20 miles. Even on the highway, I can probably count a few times I went from 0-60 MPH, and it was a lot slower than what VW told me. Problem number two: People don’t understand or care. When I was selling a German luxury brand, I would spout out all the facts and figures I knew about the vehicle. One of them would be the horsepower, along with the torque and 0-60 MPH figures. Most of them didn’t care unless we were talking about the performance versions of the car. Instead, they would rank how the car feels on the road, how the car does on the highway, technology, fuel economy, and looks. Yes, performance can factor into this but if you want a hybrid or a frugal vehicle, you either know it won’t be as fast as a BMW M3 or don’t really care since you’ll get almost triple the fuel economy. Problem number three: Bragging rights. “My brand-new car can go 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds!” “Wow!” Then you get in and drive at 35 MPH. Like horsepower figures, 0-60 MPH is the benchmark for performance. Because of this, if you own a car with a lower 0-60 MPH time, you might be considered one of the cool kids. Once again, electric manufacturers like Tesla make some seriously quick cars, but that isn’t the entire story. Off the line, their cars will feel like a rocket but at certain speeds, like at 70 MPH, that figure doesn’t matter anymore. What should we do instead of measuring in just 0-60 MPH? I think we should start at different speeds. On the highway, sometimes you must go 20 or 30 to 60 or 70 MPH or faster on passing speeds. Also, we should judge cars based on more than just straight-line performance. A car can be extremely quick off the line, but if it doesn’t feel right when you drive it, the speed doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, stats are meaningless unless you drive what you’re interested in unless it’s some 2.6 seconds 0-60 MPH Ferrari. In this case, just fire up Forza or Gran Turismo. Thoughts and opinions? Think 0-60 MPH or 0-100 KPH times are the king of statistics? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on social media!

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