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Found 12 results

  1. The Cadillac ATS and CTS didn't sell well. They had great handling and a large selection of engines, but they were hampered by interiors that were cramped for the class and infotainment systems that could confound people. Sedans are dying, Cadillac gets that too. That's why they are consolidating the ATS and CTS onto a single car called the CT5, released last week at the New York International Auto Show. Rumors have it that the CT5 will start in the mid-30s and Cadillac is insisting that, despite its size, the CT5 is aligned against the 3-series and C-Class. But in doing so, where does that leave the car? Could Cadillac be realigning their cars so they become the largest cars in a particular price class? It would be a very traditionally Cadillac thing to do. There was a time when Cadillac would brag about having the longest production cars in its class. Even the original CTS was sized like a 5-series but priced like a 3-series. More on that later. I'm a lifelong fan of Cadillac. I want to be excited about the CT5. While I do think the car looks handsome, it doesn't excite me like the CT6 does. There is no one thing I can put my finger on, not even the black plastic triangle playing the part of a third window. The car just doesn't command a presence as the CT6 does. And though the overall look of the front is handsome, I get flashbacks of Impala from certain angles. It does look far better in person than Cadillac's or my own photography show. Inside, Cadillac has upped their game on the quality of the materials, but they phoned the styling in. As some readers have pointed out, it even appears as if some trim pieces have been repurposed from the CTS. There is a large tablet stuck to the dash for the infotainment system, which is thankfully no longer the old CUE system. It looks to be similar in function and layout to those found in GMC's trucks. I have found that system to work well, so I don't see any problem there. A large dial in the center console can control the unit as well, useful if you're wearing gloves. Capacitive touch buttons have been replaced by real physical buttons. They are well weighted and feel substantial, indeed even Mercedes-like for the HVAC controls. Cadillac took to heart all of the criticism over their gauges in the previous cars and produced a good looking set of round dials for tach and speedometer with a driver information screen between. The seats are firm and supportive, getting into position is quick and easy, but they don't match the 24+ way seats that Lincoln is offering these days. Rear seat room has improved dramatically over the ATS, though feels about the same as a CTS. Cadillac's Precision Control Shift is there. I've found it annoying to use, but it has a similar operation to the BMW gear control that many people like, so maybe it is just me. I think Cadillac (and everyone else) should chuck the shifter knob on their cars and go to something more digital. One piece of technology in the CT5 that I really love is Cadillac's SuperCruise. I've used SuperCruise to drive from Pittsburgh to New York, roughly 350 miles, and I was only actively piloting the car for about 10% of the time. Engines in the CT5 seem to be introductory offers, but there is also room to grow. The base engine is a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbo producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a bit light for the class. The optional engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo making 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional. Both engines also have displacement on demand and can shut down cylinders to conserve fuel in light-load situations. Cadillac has plenty of room to maneuver here with engines though. For future versions like V-Sport and V-Series, they have the 400hp version of the 3.0TT, or the 420hp 3.6TT, or the new 4.2 liter Blackwing when more performance is called for. Overall, this could be a very compelling car starting at $34,995 and being as long as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That's where the size issue comes in. Cadillac would have a hard time moving this CT5 if they price it alongside the same size German models. If this is going to be Cadillac's strategy, offer the biggest car for the price, then they need to drum that mindset into the heads of consumers. That takes advertising dollars. Otherwise, they are just going to be repeatedly compared to vehicles outside of their price class and lose in every comparison test. The CT6 being priced just $1,000 more than an E-Class leads me to believe this is what they are intending to do. Read other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below: First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape View full article
  2. The Hyundai Sonata broke cover a couple of weeks before the New York Auto Show, but I finally got to see it on Thursday. While there are frequent reports that the midsize sedan segment is dying, it still is able to move about 153,000 units just in the month of March. Hyundai sees an opportunity here as some of its competition, namely the Ford Fusion, will be going to the great used-car lot in the sky in the near future. Still, the Sonata has only sold around 21,000 units year to date while Nissan can move that many Altimas in a month and Accord and Camry do even better. So what is Hyundai going for here by introducing a new Sonata? They're going for sexy. The midsize market is a conservative one, few models are ever called sexy. Hyundai has gone out of their way to give the Sonata a sexy look without looking odd (Accord) or overwrought (Camry). Up front, there is a huge.. HUGE...grille opening. It has the somewhat traditional six-sided shape but is pinched in a little at the bottom. Above that are the lighting accents that most everyone will mention when talking about this car. Along the hood, they are chrome strips that light up when the car is on. Once this thing hits the streets it will be a very distinctive visual feature that will separate this car from the Accords and Camrys. The character line flows from the headlights along the body in a very slight S-curve. Multiple creases on the door panels help keep the car from looking slab-sided. The wheels are an attractive two-tone 10-spoke design. Around back is a full-width U-shape taillamp setup that looks like the Honda Civic setup, but upside down. It integrates into a rather tall (for a family sedan) spoiler on the rear trunk like. The tops of the taillights have small fins that ostensibly direct airflow the way Hyundai intends. The overall exterior is handsome and sensuous and does a good job of distinguishing itself from others in the class. Inside is a mixed bag. The overall look is handsome and restrained, but areas of cost-cutting were visible. There is cheaper plastic on the door panels, lower dash, and parts of the center console. Still, it is hard to argue with a full TFT screen for the gauge cluster and a large, wide infotainment system in the center. The infotainment system sits high on the dash and looks like a tablet popping up from below. Controls are simple and easy to reach, and Hyundai has joined the ranks of the new decade by removing the shifter and replacing it with push-button controls. I like Hyundai's setup better than Honda's which I have to think about to use. The seats are a bit flat, but there is plenty of head and leg room. I do like Hyundai's use of two-tone interior, but that won't be on all cars. At release, the Hyundai Sonata will come with two engines, a 2.5 direct injected 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. An optional 1.6T will have 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,5000 - 4,500 rpm. The 2.5 will get 33mpg combined and the 1.6T will get 31mpg combined. Some have balked at the idea that the buy-up engine has less horsepower than the base engine, but in this case, it is the flat torque curve that will really make the 1.6T feel faster. For those who are wanting more power, Hyundai is reportedly working on an N-Line version that will have over 275 horsepower. For the greenies, a hybrid is coming soon as well, with a possibly plug-in version in the works. Driving impressions will have to wait until this fall. Overall, Hyundai has a very strong contender for the shrinking mid-size market. Not all of the Ford Fusion owners will go to crossovers, so Hyundai looks ready to scoop them up. View full article
  3. The Hyundai Sonata broke cover a couple of weeks before the New York Auto Show, but I finally got to see it on Thursday. While there are frequent reports that the midsize sedan segment is dying, it still is able to move about 153,000 units just in the month of March. Hyundai sees an opportunity here as some of its competition, namely the Ford Fusion, will be going to the great used-car lot in the sky in the near future. Still, the Sonata has only sold around 21,000 units year to date while Nissan can move that many Altimas in a month and Accord and Camry do even better. So what is Hyundai going for here by introducing a new Sonata? They're going for sexy. The midsize market is a conservative one, few models are ever called sexy. Hyundai has gone out of their way to give the Sonata a sexy look without looking odd (Accord) or overwrought (Camry). Up front, there is a huge.. HUGE...grille opening. It has the somewhat traditional six-sided shape but is pinched in a little at the bottom. Above that are the lighting accents that most everyone will mention when talking about this car. Along the hood, they are chrome strips that light up when the car is on. Once this thing hits the streets it will be a very distinctive visual feature that will separate this car from the Accords and Camrys. The character line flows from the headlights along the body in a very slight S-curve. Multiple creases on the door panels help keep the car from looking slab-sided. The wheels are an attractive two-tone 10-spoke design. Around back is a full-width U-shape taillamp setup that looks like the Honda Civic setup, but upside down. It integrates into a rather tall (for a family sedan) spoiler on the rear trunk like. The tops of the taillights have small fins that ostensibly direct airflow the way Hyundai intends. The overall exterior is handsome and sensuous and does a good job of distinguishing itself from others in the class. Inside is a mixed bag. The overall look is handsome and restrained, but areas of cost-cutting were visible. There is cheaper plastic on the door panels, lower dash, and parts of the center console. Still, it is hard to argue with a full TFT screen for the gauge cluster and a large, wide infotainment system in the center. The infotainment system sits high on the dash and looks like a tablet popping up from below. Controls are simple and easy to reach, and Hyundai has joined the ranks of the new decade by removing the shifter and replacing it with push-button controls. I like Hyundai's setup better than Honda's which I have to think about to use. The seats are a bit flat, but there is plenty of head and leg room. I do like Hyundai's use of two-tone interior, but that won't be on all cars. At release, the Hyundai Sonata will come with two engines, a 2.5 direct injected 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. An optional 1.6T will have 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,5000 - 4,500 rpm. The 2.5 will get 33mpg combined and the 1.6T will get 31mpg combined. Some have balked at the idea that the buy-up engine has less horsepower than the base engine, but in this case, it is the flat torque curve that will really make the 1.6T feel faster. For those who are wanting more power, Hyundai is reportedly working on an N-Line version that will have over 275 horsepower. For the greenies, a hybrid is coming soon as well, with a possibly plug-in version in the works. Driving impressions will have to wait until this fall. Overall, Hyundai has a very strong contender for the shrinking mid-size market. Not all of the Ford Fusion owners will go to crossovers, so Hyundai looks ready to scoop them up.
  4. Arguably, one of the most important reveals at the New York Auto Show is the Hyundai Venue. The Venue is Hyundai’s smallest crossover slotting in just below the Kona. With a price starting somewhere in the $17k - $18k range, it will also likely be the most prolific of the cars unveiled this week. The Venue’s main competition is the Nissan Kicks, Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade, and Ford EcoSport. Outside, the Venue sits perky and upright, it will be the shortest length crossover on the market when it goes on sale in the fall. In spite of its diminutive size, it manages to look more premium than it is. It’s about 5 inches shorter than the Hyundai Kona which sits just above it in Hyundai’s lineup. It has a deep set grill with a complex crosshatch pattern that gives an expensive look. The split light clusters add visual height to the front, making it look more truck-like. There are a contrasting color roof and mirror covers. I like the looks of the alloy wheels too. In back, a good size hatch opens to 19 cubic feet of cargo room that expands to 32 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Hyundai even put some work into making the tail lamps display a unique Z pattern. Inside, the Venue really shines. The upright dash is covered in a soft rubberized material. The seats have a denim-like look to them and they offer a good seating position for the driver. There are options on the upper trim to have the front and rear seats heated. Front legroom seemed a little tight, and I would need to move the seat back far enough that an adult probably couldn’t sit behind me. Rear seat legroom is tight, and I struggled slightly to get in and out. The rear seat is rather flat and park-bench-like. It is unlikely that if you are any taller than my 5’10” that you will be comfortable with the headroom. All of the controls are in easy reach. The primary HVAC controls are three large simple round dials. An 8-inch touch screen sits high on the center stack and only pops up about an inch over the dash. My experience with Hyundai’s infotainment systems has been mixed, but the car was off when I visited, so I didn’t get the chance to try it. Either way, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, so as long as you’re happy with those, it should just work. Hyundai is offering the Venue in just two trims, SE and SEL, and a single engine option, a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. This engine will produce an estimated 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. Like the Soul and Kicks, there is no all-wheel-drive option offered. Power is sent to the front wheels either via a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Hyundai is hoping to get an EPA combined rating of 33 mpg. Tiny crossovers have become the 1990's hatchback of the twenty-teens. The Venue, Kicks, Soul, Renegade, and others offer crossover versatility in a city-sized package. Unlike those old hatchbacks which could be penalty boxes, my overall impression is that the Venue isn’t a car you buy just because it is cheap, but because you actually like it. It is a handsome, perky little package that looks more premium than it really is and offers a host of standard and optional safety features that some lack in the segment. Given that the Venue is likely to take the title of the most affordable crossover and do it while looking this good puts Hyundai in a great position. Read our other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below: First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape View full article
  5. The Cadillac ATS and CTS didn't sell well. They had great handling and a large selection of engines, but they were hampered by interiors that were cramped for the class and infotainment systems that could confound people. Sedans are dying, Cadillac gets that too. That's why they are consolidating the ATS and CTS onto a single car called the CT5, released last week at the New York International Auto Show. Rumors have it that the CT5 will start in the mid-30s and Cadillac is insisting that, despite its size, the CT5 is aligned against the 3-series and C-Class. But in doing so, where does that leave the car? Could Cadillac be realigning their cars so they become the largest cars in a particular price class? It would be a very traditionally Cadillac thing to do. There was a time when Cadillac would brag about having the longest production cars in its class. Even the original CTS was sized like a 5-series but priced like a 3-series. More on that later. I'm a lifelong fan of Cadillac. I want to be excited about the CT5. While I do think the car looks handsome, it doesn't excite me like the CT6 does. There is no one thing I can put my finger on, not even the black plastic triangle playing the part of a third window. The car just doesn't command a presence as the CT6 does. And though the overall look of the front is handsome, I get flashbacks of Impala from certain angles. It does look far better in person than Cadillac's or my own photography show. Inside, Cadillac has upped their game on the quality of the materials, but they phoned the styling in. As some readers have pointed out, it even appears as if some trim pieces have been repurposed from the CTS. There is a large tablet stuck to the dash for the infotainment system, which is thankfully no longer the old CUE system. It looks to be similar in function and layout to those found in GMC's trucks. I have found that system to work well, so I don't see any problem there. A large dial in the center console can control the unit as well, useful if you're wearing gloves. Capacitive touch buttons have been replaced by real physical buttons. They are well weighted and feel substantial, indeed even Mercedes-like for the HVAC controls. Cadillac took to heart all of the criticism over their gauges in the previous cars and produced a good looking set of round dials for tach and speedometer with a driver information screen between. The seats are firm and supportive, getting into position is quick and easy, but they don't match the 24+ way seats that Lincoln is offering these days. Rear seat room has improved dramatically over the ATS, though feels about the same as a CTS. Cadillac's Precision Control Shift is there. I've found it annoying to use, but it has a similar operation to the BMW gear control that many people like, so maybe it is just me. I think Cadillac (and everyone else) should chuck the shifter knob on their cars and go to something more digital. One piece of technology in the CT5 that I really love is Cadillac's SuperCruise. I've used SuperCruise to drive from Pittsburgh to New York, roughly 350 miles, and I was only actively piloting the car for about 10% of the time. Engines in the CT5 seem to be introductory offers, but there is also room to grow. The base engine is a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbo producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a bit light for the class. The optional engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo making 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional. Both engines also have displacement on demand and can shut down cylinders to conserve fuel in light-load situations. Cadillac has plenty of room to maneuver here with engines though. For future versions like V-Sport and V-Series, they have the 400hp version of the 3.0TT, or the 420hp 3.6TT, or the new 4.2 liter Blackwing when more performance is called for. Overall, this could be a very compelling car starting at $34,995 and being as long as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That's where the size issue comes in. Cadillac would have a hard time moving this CT5 if they price it alongside the same size German models. If this is going to be Cadillac's strategy, offer the biggest car for the price, then they need to drum that mindset into the heads of consumers. That takes advertising dollars. Otherwise, they are just going to be repeatedly compared to vehicles outside of their price class and lose in every comparison test. The CT6 being priced just $1,000 more than an E-Class leads me to believe this is what they are intending to do. Read other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below: First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape
  6. Arguably, one of the most important reveals at the New York Auto Show is the Hyundai Venue. The Venue is Hyundai’s smallest crossover slotting in just below the Kona. With a price starting somewhere in the $17k - $18k range, it will also likely be the most prolific of the cars unveiled this week. The Venue’s main competition is the Nissan Kicks, Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade, and Ford EcoSport. Outside, the Venue sits perky and upright, it will be the shortest length crossover on the market when it goes on sale in the fall. In spite of its diminutive size, it manages to look more premium than it is. It’s about 5 inches shorter than the Hyundai Kona which sits just above it in Hyundai’s lineup. It has a deep set grill with a complex crosshatch pattern that gives an expensive look. The split light clusters add visual height to the front, making it look more truck-like. There are a contrasting color roof and mirror covers. I like the looks of the alloy wheels too. In back, a good size hatch opens to 19 cubic feet of cargo room that expands to 32 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Hyundai even put some work into making the tail lamps display a unique Z pattern. Inside, the Venue really shines. The upright dash is covered in a soft rubberized material. The seats have a denim-like look to them and they offer a good seating position for the driver. There are options on the upper trim to have the front and rear seats heated. Front legroom seemed a little tight, and I would need to move the seat back far enough that an adult probably couldn’t sit behind me. Rear seat legroom is tight, and I struggled slightly to get in and out. The rear seat is rather flat and park-bench-like. It is unlikely that if you are any taller than my 5’10” that you will be comfortable with the headroom. All of the controls are in easy reach. The primary HVAC controls are three large simple round dials. An 8-inch touch screen sits high on the center stack and only pops up about an inch over the dash. My experience with Hyundai’s infotainment systems has been mixed, but the car was off when I visited, so I didn’t get the chance to try it. Either way, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, so as long as you’re happy with those, it should just work. Hyundai is offering the Venue in just two trims, SE and SEL, and a single engine option, a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. This engine will produce an estimated 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. Like the Soul and Kicks, there is no all-wheel-drive option offered. Power is sent to the front wheels either via a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Hyundai is hoping to get an EPA combined rating of 33 mpg. Tiny crossovers have become the 1990's hatchback of the twenty-teens. The Venue, Kicks, Soul, Renegade, and others offer crossover versatility in a city-sized package. Unlike those old hatchbacks which could be penalty boxes, my overall impression is that the Venue isn’t a car you buy just because it is cheap, but because you actually like it. It is a handsome, perky little package that looks more premium than it really is and offers a host of standard and optional safety features that some lack in the segment. Given that the Venue is likely to take the title of the most affordable crossover and do it while looking this good puts Hyundai in a great position. Read our other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below: First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape
  7. One of the most anticipated releases of the New York International Auto Show was the 2020 Lincoln Corsair. The Corsair is the replacement for the Lincoln MKC, and with that, Lincoln has only two MK vehicles left in production, the MKT which is surprisingly still in production, and the MKZ which may go away once the Ford Fusion dies out. Lincoln upgraded the MKX to Nautilus for 2019. That same year, the MKC got a refresh to look more like the rest of the Lincoln lineup for the 2019 model year only and that was an evolutionary step to the Corsair we see today. To say that the Corsair is a step up from the MKC is probably an understatement. Though similar in exterior form, the Corsair wears its styling in a much more confident fashion. It is more upright and assertive a look than the outgoing MKC. While the Corsair shares a platform with the 2020 Ford Escape (My first impressions of the 2020 Escape here), this isn’t a simple badge job as all the sheet metal is different, and though they share the same wheelbase, the Lincoln is longer and wider than the Ford. While originally derided as derivative, the big Lincoln grille is really coming into its own as a signature look. I’m glad that Lincoln has kept at it and not listened to critics of the look. The full-width tail lamps also are a continued improvement, this time reminding me of the Lincoln Continental. The overall look is a much more cohesive design than the MKC which could look like a design compromise from some angles. The Corsair deserves the award for “Most Improved Interior”. While the MKC was never a bad design, it hasn't aged well and still had some recession-era components. This new interior looks well above its class. While I detected some areas of cost-cutting on door panels and lower trim, nothing seemed out of line for the class and the excellence of the styling will let most people overlook it. I am a big fan of Lincoln’s interior styling direction and they are greatly outpacing crosstown rival Cadillac in that department. There is the “stuck on iPad” look of the infotainment system, but such is life in most vehicles these days. The infotainment system runs Sync3 which I’ve had good experiences with in the past. Lincoln’s toggle button shift control and the pod of buttons that reaches out from the dash feels almost like a 1950’s steampunk spaceship (that is a compliment). Front seating position seems just right and the leg room in the 2nd row is what I would expect from this class. It’s adjustable too, as the second row can slide 6 inches fore and aft to give more cargo room or more legroom as needed. I clock in at 5’10” and found there to be more than enough headroom. Lincoln’s 24-way adjustable seats take a while to get set up, but once you do, they feel great. Both the 2.0T and 2.3T from the MKC carry over, though the 2.3 has been tweaked slightly to add a bit more torque (Now 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque) and both come with an 8-speed automatic. Neither engine is a bad choice and should move the Corsair along with zest. A plug-in hybrid variant is coming. All-Wheel drive is optional on the 2.0 and standard on the 2.3. The AWD system is able to decouple the rear axle in order to save fuel and recouple it when traction is needed. Up to 100% of the torque can be directed to the rear. Hopefully, the 8-speed automatic and decoupling AWD will improve the only average fuel economy of 20/27 city/highway that the MKC gets, but if not, at least there will be better performance. Corsair will likely start around $35,000, which makes it a better value than the smaller and less powerful Cadillac XT4 that starts around the same price. It will also likely be a better value than anything coming from Europe. The most direct competition, in both size and price, will come from the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Lexus NX. I expect the Corsair to do well against them. The Corsair will be in dealerships by the Fall. The Lincoln Corsair Gallery has been updated with shots from the show floor.
  8. One of the most anticipated releases of the New York International Auto Show was the 2020 Lincoln Corsair. The Corsair is the replacement for the Lincoln MKC, and with that, Lincoln has only two MK vehicles left in production, the MKT which is surprisingly still in production, and the MKZ which may go away once the Ford Fusion dies out. Lincoln upgraded the MKX to Nautilus for 2019. That same year, the MKC got a refresh to look more like the rest of the Lincoln lineup for the 2019 model year only and that was an evolutionary step to the Corsair we see today. To say that the Corsair is a step up from the MKC is probably an understatement. Though similar in exterior form, the Corsair wears its styling in a much more confident fashion. It is more upright and assertive a look than the outgoing MKC. While the Corsair shares a platform with the 2020 Ford Escape (My first impressions of the 2020 Escape here), this isn’t a simple badge job as all the sheet metal is different, and though they share the same wheelbase, the Lincoln is longer and wider than the Ford. While originally derided as derivative, the big Lincoln grille is really coming into its own as a signature look. I’m glad that Lincoln has kept at it and not listened to critics of the look. The full-width tail lamps also are a continued improvement, this time reminding me of the Lincoln Continental. The overall look is a much more cohesive design than the MKC which could look like a design compromise from some angles. The Corsair deserves the award for “Most Improved Interior”. While the MKC was never a bad design, it hasn't aged well and still had some recession-era components. This new interior looks well above its class. While I detected some areas of cost-cutting on door panels and lower trim, nothing seemed out of line for the class and the excellence of the styling will let most people overlook it. I am a big fan of Lincoln’s interior styling direction and they are greatly outpacing crosstown rival Cadillac in that department. There is the “stuck on iPad” look of the infotainment system, but such is life in most vehicles these days. The infotainment system runs Sync3 which I’ve had good experiences with in the past. Lincoln’s toggle button shift control and the pod of buttons that reaches out from the dash feels almost like a 1950’s steampunk spaceship (that is a compliment). Front seating position seems just right and the leg room in the 2nd row is what I would expect from this class. It’s adjustable too, as the second row can slide 6 inches fore and aft to give more cargo room or more legroom as needed. I clock in at 5’10” and found there to be more than enough headroom. Lincoln’s 24-way adjustable seats take a while to get set up, but once you do, they feel great. Both the 2.0T and 2.3T from the MKC carry over, though the 2.3 has been tweaked slightly to add a bit more torque (Now 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque) and both come with an 8-speed automatic. Neither engine is a bad choice and should move the Corsair along with zest. A plug-in hybrid variant is coming. All-Wheel drive is optional on the 2.0 and standard on the 2.3. The AWD system is able to decouple the rear axle in order to save fuel and recouple it when traction is needed. Up to 100% of the torque can be directed to the rear. Hopefully, the 8-speed automatic and decoupling AWD will improve the only average fuel economy of 20/27 city/highway that the MKC gets, but if not, at least there will be better performance. Corsair will likely start around $35,000, which makes it a better value than the smaller and less powerful Cadillac XT4 that starts around the same price. It will also likely be a better value than anything coming from Europe. The most direct competition, in both size and price, will come from the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Lexus NX. I expect the Corsair to do well against them. The Corsair will be in dealerships by the Fall. The Lincoln Corsair Gallery has been updated with shots from the show floor. View full article
  9. Ford unveiled the 2020 Escape ahead of the New York International Auto Show and yesterday I finally got my chance to check it out. The Escape’s overall shape has lost some of its edge. It is now more rounded and car-like born out by the fact that it is longer, lower, and wider than the current model. From certain angles in the front, it almost looks to be a Tesla, an association I’m sure Ford won’t mind me making. In back, it has lost almost all of its character. Scrape the badges off and I couldn't tell you what manufacturer this car came from. Inside is a mixed bag. The dash is laid out in a simple organized fashion and I like how it no longer juts out at you as the outgoing model does. The screen is well placed and easy to reach. My experiences with Sync3 in the past have been good, so I expect that will carry over into this Escape. The rear seat room is good for the class, though the rear seats do sit lower than I would like. Where I’m let down is in the quality of materials. Everything seems to be made of hard plastic. The door panels in the rear were especially tupperware feeling. One strange item is the unusual placement of the engine start/stop button, down and behind the steering wheel almost as if they were intentionally making it hard to reach. I did back to back comparisons with Ford’s competition at the show and I would put the new Escape near the bottom of the list on interior quality. It is even a step backward from the current Escape. The Escape will have four powertrain choices, a 1.5-liter turbo, a 2-liter turbo carried over from the previous generation, and making a return is the hybrid version, powered by a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder. A plug-in hybrid will also be available, but only in front-wheel drive form. The most interesting of these engines is the 1.5 liter. It is a 3 cylinder EcoBoost producing 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. It is capable of running on just 2 cylinders during times of light load. I liked the 1-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost in the Ford Fiesta, and if this new 1.5 liter runs the same, that would be a good thing. Driving impressions will have to wait till later this year when the Escape goes into production. Overall I think this Ford could and should do better on the interior quality. A 3-cylinder turbo may be a hard sell no matter how good the mileage is and Ford will have an interesting time convincing customers of that. You can read more about the 2020 Ford Escape from the release article below. View full article
  10. Ford unveiled the 2020 Escape ahead of the New York International Auto Show and yesterday I finally got my chance to check it out. The Escape’s overall shape has lost some of its edge. It is now more rounded and car-like born out by the fact that it is longer, lower, and wider than the current model. From certain angles in the front, it almost looks to be a Tesla, an association I’m sure Ford won’t mind me making. In back, it has lost almost all of its character. Scrape the badges off and I couldn't tell you what manufacturer this car came from. Inside is a mixed bag. The dash is laid out in a simple organized fashion and I like how it no longer juts out at you as the outgoing model does. The screen is well placed and easy to reach. My experiences with Sync3 in the past have been good, so I expect that will carry over into this Escape. The rear seat room is good for the class, though the rear seats do sit lower than I would like. Where I’m let down is in the quality of materials. Everything seems to be made of hard plastic. The door panels in the rear were especially tupperware feeling. One strange item is the unusual placement of the engine start/stop button, down and behind the steering wheel almost as if they were intentionally making it hard to reach. I did back to back comparisons with Ford’s competition at the show and I would put the new Escape near the bottom of the list on interior quality. It is even a step backward from the current Escape. The Escape will have four powertrain choices, a 1.5-liter turbo, a 2-liter turbo carried over from the previous generation, and making a return is the hybrid version, powered by a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder. A plug-in hybrid will also be available, but only in front-wheel drive form. The most interesting of these engines is the 1.5 liter. It is a 3 cylinder EcoBoost producing 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. It is capable of running on just 2 cylinders during times of light load. I liked the 1-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost in the Ford Fiesta, and if this new 1.5 liter runs the same, that would be a good thing. Driving impressions will have to wait till later this year when the Escape goes into production. Overall I think this Ford could and should do better on the interior quality. A 3-cylinder turbo may be a hard sell no matter how good the mileage is and Ford will have an interesting time convincing customers of that. You can read more about the 2020 Ford Escape from the release article below.
  11. Americans can’t seem to get enough crossovers. A study done by IHS Automotive showed that one out of every three vehicles sold in the U.S. is a crossover of some various size. Hence why it seems a week doesn’t go by without an announcement of a new crossover from ‘x’ automaker. One area that seems to have new or redesigned models coming fast and furious is the compact crossover class. New models are wanting to take a nice chunk of sales from the stalwarts such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4. Whether it's with impressive handling characteristics (Mazda CX-5) or the availability to have three rows (Nissan Rogue), new models are beginning to take a stand on the sales chart. Hyundai is the latest automaker to ready an attack on the old guard with the third-generation Tucson. The Korean automaker hopes the formula it has seemingly perfected over the past few years of great looks, an impressive feature set, and a low price tag can make the Tucson a contender in the class. I recently spent some time in Minneapolis and parts of Wisconsin driving the new Tucson to see if the model has a chance. One of the key focuses for Hyundai on the 2016 Tucson was style. How do you make your model stand out in a crowded class? Hyundai decided to grace the 2016 Tucson with its Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language complete with sharp lines, hexagonal grille, and a set of slimmer head and taillights. One key design item Hyundai pointed out during the briefing was how the wheel arches were raked forward to promote the feeling of movement. I have to admit that Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 has been hit and miss on some of the Hyundai models. I think it works great on the Genesis as it gives it an identity, while it makes the Sonata quite boring. For the Tucson, it works very well. The model is very striking and at certain angles, reminds me of the Mazda CX-5. The interior doesn’t have quite the same flair as the exterior, which is kind of a shame. But that doesn’t mean Hyundai left the interior as an afterthought. The design is simple with a wraparound dashboard and the use of contrasting materials. There is an equal mix of hard and soft-touch materials throughout, common for the class. Higher trims get a bit more soft-touch materials to make it feel more premium. In terms of standard equipment, the Tucson comes loaded. The base model boasts spilt-folding rear seats, a five-inch touchscreen radio, backup camera, and Bluetooth. Climb up to higher trims and features such as an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats, and leather seats become available. In terms of comfort, the Tucson scores well when it comes to passengers. The front seats have a fair amount of adjustment to get you into the right position, and also provide enough support for short and long trips. Back seat passengers will find a fair amount of head and legroom. The only disappointment in the Tucson’s interior is cargo space. Compared to the best-selling CR-V, the Tucson is 4.2 cubic feet smaller with the seats up (31 vs. 35.2) and 9 cubic feet smaller with the seats down (61.9 vs. 70.9). For power, the Tucson comes with two engines. The base SE model uses the 2.0L GDI four-cylinder from the Elantra with 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This paired to a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard, though if you want all-wheel drive, you’ll need to order the SE Popular package. Eco and trims above it come with the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder found in the Sonata Eco. The 1.6 makes 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy numbers for both engines are as followed: 2.0L FWD: 21 City/31 Highway/26 Combined 2.0L AWD: 21 City/26 Highway/ 23 Combined 1.6T FWD Eco: 26 City/33 Highway/29 Combined 1.6T AWD Eco: 25 City/31 Highway/27 Combined 1.6T FWD Sport/Limited: 25 City/30 Highway/27 Combined 1.6T AWD Sport/Limited: 24 City/28 Highway/26 Combined Now the slight difference in fuel economy numbers between the Eco and Sport/Limited models mostly comes down to wheel size. The Eco comes with 17-inch wheels, while the Sport and Limited use 19-inch wheels. Let’s move on to the drive. Now before we dive into my impressions of the 2016 Tucson, I need to make note of something important. I didn’t get the chance to get behind the wheel of the Tucson equipped with the 2.0L engine. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to provide some impressions on that model. Getting behind the wheel of the 1.6T, I found it to be a very potent engine. This is thanks in part to the 195 pound-feet of torque that arrives at 1,500 rpm and continues to 4,000 rpm. No matter when I needed to make a pass or merge onto the expressway, the engine was ready to get moving. Hyundai also deserves some credit for making the engine very quiet at idle. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic did cause me some worry as I had an unpleasant experience in a Sonata Eco I drove a couple months back. The transmission in the Eco was very sloppy in its shift and seemed to be confused with the 1-2 shift. For the Tucson, Hyundai has made a number of improvements to the transmission to make the shifts much smoother. The difference is very apparent with the transmission delivering smooth and quick shifts. As for ride and handling, the Tucson strikes a balance between sport and comfort. Hyundai has put a bit work into the suspension with a multi-link rear setup coming to all models - the last-generation Tucson used a single-link rear setup on the front-wheel drive model. The Tucson’s structure has also seen some improvements, with the body seeing a 48 percent bump in rigidity thanks to increasing the use of high-strength steel. Driving on a wide range of roads, the Tucson impressed in how it managed all manner of bumps and imperfections. The suspension was able to keep the impacts from reaching the passengers inside. More impressive was how quiet the Tucson was. Even on rough, gravel roads, the Tucson was able to keep road noise at a minimum. The Tucson’s handling may be Hyundai’s best effort yet. The crossover feels planted and shows no sign of body roll when being pushed. The only downside is the steering has a dead-zone when you begin to turn the wheel. Some resistance does appear when you turn the wheel further. This will annoy some people, but many will not even notice it. Pricing for the new the 2016 Hyundai Tucson begins at $23,595 for the base SE front-wheel drive (includes an $895 destination charge) and climbs to $34,945 for the Limited all-wheel drive equipped with the Ultimate package. Considering the amount of standard equipment for each trim level, the Tucson is quite the value. The third-generation Hyundai Tucson looks be the model to take on the old-guard in the compact crossover class. The new Tucson does mostly everything a crossover should do, along with impressive exterior design, an extensive feature set, and a turbocharged engine that is punchy. It may be that the 2016 Hyundai Tucson can be considered one of the best in its class. Disclaimer: Hyundai Invited Cheers & Gears To A National Launch for the Tucson. Year: 2016 Make: Hyundai Model: Tucson Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC Four-Cylinder, Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive: Six-Speed Automatic, Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Horsepower @ RPM: 164 @ 6,200 (2.0L); 175 @ 5,500 (1.6T) Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000 (2.0L); 195 @ 1,500-4,500 (1.6T) Curb Weight: 3,325 to 3,710 lbs Prices: $23,595 to $34,595 (Includes $895 destination charge) View full article
  12. Americans can’t seem to get enough crossovers. A study done by IHS Automotive showed that one out of every three vehicles sold in the U.S. is a crossover of some various size. Hence why it seems a week doesn’t go by without an announcement of a new crossover from ‘x’ automaker. One area that seems to have new or redesigned models coming fast and furious is the compact crossover class. New models are wanting to take a nice chunk of sales from the stalwarts such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4. Whether it's with impressive handling characteristics (Mazda CX-5) or the availability to have three rows (Nissan Rogue), new models are beginning to take a stand on the sales chart. Hyundai is the latest automaker to ready an attack on the old guard with the third-generation Tucson. The Korean automaker hopes the formula it has seemingly perfected over the past few years of great looks, an impressive feature set, and a low price tag can make the Tucson a contender in the class. I recently spent some time in Minneapolis and parts of Wisconsin driving the new Tucson to see if the model has a chance. One of the key focuses for Hyundai on the 2016 Tucson was style. How do you make your model stand out in a crowded class? Hyundai decided to grace the 2016 Tucson with its Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language complete with sharp lines, hexagonal grille, and a set of slimmer head and taillights. One key design item Hyundai pointed out during the briefing was how the wheel arches were raked forward to promote the feeling of movement. I have to admit that Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 has been hit and miss on some of the Hyundai models. I think it works great on the Genesis as it gives it an identity, while it makes the Sonata quite boring. For the Tucson, it works very well. The model is very striking and at certain angles, reminds me of the Mazda CX-5. The interior doesn’t have quite the same flair as the exterior, which is kind of a shame. But that doesn’t mean Hyundai left the interior as an afterthought. The design is simple with a wraparound dashboard and the use of contrasting materials. There is an equal mix of hard and soft-touch materials throughout, common for the class. Higher trims get a bit more soft-touch materials to make it feel more premium. In terms of standard equipment, the Tucson comes loaded. The base model boasts spilt-folding rear seats, a five-inch touchscreen radio, backup camera, and Bluetooth. Climb up to higher trims and features such as an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats, and leather seats become available. In terms of comfort, the Tucson scores well when it comes to passengers. The front seats have a fair amount of adjustment to get you into the right position, and also provide enough support for short and long trips. Back seat passengers will find a fair amount of head and legroom. The only disappointment in the Tucson’s interior is cargo space. Compared to the best-selling CR-V, the Tucson is 4.2 cubic feet smaller with the seats up (31 vs. 35.2) and 9 cubic feet smaller with the seats down (61.9 vs. 70.9). For power, the Tucson comes with two engines. The base SE model uses the 2.0L GDI four-cylinder from the Elantra with 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This paired to a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard, though if you want all-wheel drive, you’ll need to order the SE Popular package. Eco and trims above it come with the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder found in the Sonata Eco. The 1.6 makes 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy numbers for both engines are as followed: 2.0L FWD: 21 City/31 Highway/26 Combined 2.0L AWD: 21 City/26 Highway/ 23 Combined 1.6T FWD Eco: 26 City/33 Highway/29 Combined 1.6T AWD Eco: 25 City/31 Highway/27 Combined 1.6T FWD Sport/Limited: 25 City/30 Highway/27 Combined 1.6T AWD Sport/Limited: 24 City/28 Highway/26 Combined Now the slight difference in fuel economy numbers between the Eco and Sport/Limited models mostly comes down to wheel size. The Eco comes with 17-inch wheels, while the Sport and Limited use 19-inch wheels. Let’s move on to the drive. Now before we dive into my impressions of the 2016 Tucson, I need to make note of something important. I didn’t get the chance to get behind the wheel of the Tucson equipped with the 2.0L engine. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to provide some impressions on that model. Getting behind the wheel of the 1.6T, I found it to be a very potent engine. This is thanks in part to the 195 pound-feet of torque that arrives at 1,500 rpm and continues to 4,000 rpm. No matter when I needed to make a pass or merge onto the expressway, the engine was ready to get moving. Hyundai also deserves some credit for making the engine very quiet at idle. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic did cause me some worry as I had an unpleasant experience in a Sonata Eco I drove a couple months back. The transmission in the Eco was very sloppy in its shift and seemed to be confused with the 1-2 shift. For the Tucson, Hyundai has made a number of improvements to the transmission to make the shifts much smoother. The difference is very apparent with the transmission delivering smooth and quick shifts. As for ride and handling, the Tucson strikes a balance between sport and comfort. Hyundai has put a bit work into the suspension with a multi-link rear setup coming to all models - the last-generation Tucson used a single-link rear setup on the front-wheel drive model. The Tucson’s structure has also seen some improvements, with the body seeing a 48 percent bump in rigidity thanks to increasing the use of high-strength steel. Driving on a wide range of roads, the Tucson impressed in how it managed all manner of bumps and imperfections. The suspension was able to keep the impacts from reaching the passengers inside. More impressive was how quiet the Tucson was. Even on rough, gravel roads, the Tucson was able to keep road noise at a minimum. The Tucson’s handling may be Hyundai’s best effort yet. The crossover feels planted and shows no sign of body roll when being pushed. The only downside is the steering has a dead-zone when you begin to turn the wheel. Some resistance does appear when you turn the wheel further. This will annoy some people, but many will not even notice it. Pricing for the new the 2016 Hyundai Tucson begins at $23,595 for the base SE front-wheel drive (includes an $895 destination charge) and climbs to $34,945 for the Limited all-wheel drive equipped with the Ultimate package. Considering the amount of standard equipment for each trim level, the Tucson is quite the value. The third-generation Hyundai Tucson looks be the model to take on the old-guard in the compact crossover class. The new Tucson does mostly everything a crossover should do, along with impressive exterior design, an extensive feature set, and a turbocharged engine that is punchy. It may be that the 2016 Hyundai Tucson can be considered one of the best in its class. Disclaimer: Hyundai Invited Cheers & Gears To A National Launch for the Tucson. Year: 2016 Make: Hyundai Model: Tucson Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC Four-Cylinder, Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive: Six-Speed Automatic, Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Horsepower @ RPM: 164 @ 6,200 (2.0L); 175 @ 5,500 (1.6T) Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000 (2.0L); 195 @ 1,500-4,500 (1.6T) Curb Weight: 3,325 to 3,710 lbs Prices: $23,595 to $34,595 (Includes $895 destination charge)

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