Subscribe:
Chilton’s Repair:
Sponsored Ads:
Car Charger:
Sponsored Ads:
AutoBarn.com:
Auto Europe:
SuperTune Auto Parts:
Fitting Adapter NPT 1/8" Female Metric M12X1.5 Male Replace auto meter 2277 _5P
$8.98
End Date: Monday Feb-5-2018 9:46:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8.98
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2 Handee Clamp Tools, Auto Mechanic, Car, Truck, Tractor, Aviation, Marine, Rod
$33.00
End Date: Tuesday Jan-30-2018 5:51:26 PST
Buy It Now for only: $33.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

AlpineStars 3550317 Aramid Auto Racing Gloves, XL, Navy Blue/White/Red
$39.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 12:15:22 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
$159.95
End Date: Thursday Feb-15-2018 15:38:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $159.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

NOS Hypertech 689011 Power Module engine tuning chip 1989 Mustang 302 HO w/ auto
$0.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 19:00:32 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

MOTORCYCLE AND AUTO VALVE LAPPING COMPOUND 600 GRIT
$8.95
End Date: Monday Feb-5-2018 10:07:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

ATM-3211 Auto Meter Light Bulb & Socket 2 1/16" & 2 5/8" Gauges 4.9 Watts No.168
$7.95
End Date: Monday Jan-22-2018 19:47:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $7.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
$175.00
End Date: Thursday Feb-15-2018 15:38:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $175.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2x Wireless Car LED Logo Projector Ghost Shadow Laser Lights for DODGE Auto Door
$12.79
End Date: Tuesday Jan-30-2018 18:43:50 PST
Buy It Now for only: $12.79
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
$199.95
End Date: Thursday Feb-15-2018 15:38:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $199.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Archive for the ‘utility vehicle’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport – Driven

The Toyota Tacoma has been a mainstay in the compact and mid-size pickup segments for more than 30 years. Even before the Tacoma name, the Toyota pickup impressed hard-nosed Americans with innovation, durability, and performance. Those traits continue today with the third-generation truck. And like any proper truck should, Toyota offers the Tacoma with several cab, bed, trim, and drivetrain combinations. Generally speaking, there is a Tacoma for everybody.

If I were a single man who didn’t need room for car seats and kiddos, the Tacoma Access Cab would be a tempting acquisition. I’ve never really been a big fan of extended cab trucks, favoring the roomier crew cab (double cab in Toyota’s case) over the cramped quarters behind the front seats of an Access Cab. However, a week behind the wheel of a 2017 Tacoma Access Cab has changed my mind. There’s enough room for smaller people and plenty of room for groceries. Better still, the Tacoma’s six-speed manual transmission won my heart thanks to its more engaging driving experience over the automatic.

Continue reading for my full thoughts on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.

Exterior

  • Access Cab has four doors & four seats
  • Optional Tonneau cover keeps cargo dry
  • Optional bed extended is extremely handy
  • Bed-mounted 110-volt power outlet
  • TRD Sport includes faux hood scoop
  • 17-inch alloy wheels

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756172
“The TRD Sport trim is basically a street-biased package opposite of the TRD Off-Road option”

The third-generation Tacoma debuted for the 2016 model year and has remained unchanged. Nevertheless, its appearance is still fresh and remains the most athletic offering in the current mid-size truck lineup. That is thanks, in part, to the aggressive headlights, chrome grille, bulging fenders, and on the TRD Sport, its faux hood scoop.

The TRD Sport trim is basically a street-biased package opposite of the TRD Off-Road option. The two TRD trims cost the same money but offer different variations on the same theme. While the TRD Off-Road comes with underbody skid plates, all-terrain tires on 16-inch wheels, and a locking rear differential, the TRD Sport rolls on 17-inch wheels with all-season tires, lacks the off-road equipment, and adds the hood scoop and front air dam.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756132
“My tester also has a few optional extras, including the $650 hard tonneau cover and $300 bed extender”

My tester also has a few optional extras, including the $650 hard tonneau cover and $300 bed extender. Both proved extremely practical over the week of evaluation. The three-part, hard tonneau cover folds easily for hauling larger items and the bed extended also acts as a cargo divider when flipped into the bed.

I hauled an older, 70-inch projection-style TV in the bed and was able to remove both the tonneau cover and bed extender with ease. The tonneau cover simply requires one 12-mm bolt to be removed and the entire cover lifts off the truck. Built-in buckles and straps secure the three panels together to prevent it from unfolding during removal. The bed extender pulls out of its base when held at a roughly a 45-degree angle.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756170
“The black vinyl graphic is supposed to emphasize the shape of the hood and scoop while adding some flair to the truck’s overall appearance”

The Tacoma’s bed also has tons of tie-down options. The composite bed has D-rings bolted to the floor in all four corners and the slidable bed cleats allow for even more tie-down options. My truck also had the $120 rubber bed mat. This kept things from sliding around and proved especially handy with the TV.

The bed comes standard with a nifty 110-volt power plug for running household equipment, making the Tacoma really handy for tailgating. The bumper also includes the standard four- and seven-pin wiring connectors for trailer connections.

Another interesting – though less functional – option is the $129 hood graphic. The black vinyl graphic is supposed to emphasize the shape of the hood and scoop while adding some flair to the truck’s overall appearance. In practice, I’d have to agree with Toyota’s description; the graphic is kind of neat.

Interior

  • Bright Orange cabin accents
  • Cloth seats have orange contrast stitching
  • Foldable rear jump seats
  • Under-seat storage in back
  • Sliding rear window
  • Qi wireless phone charger
  • 7.0-inch Entune infotainment system

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756143
“The interior's controls, driver information screen, and Entune system are all typical Toyota”

The Tacoma’s interior, like the exterior, hasn’t changed since 2016, but it still looks fresh. Its controls, driver information screen, and Entune system are all typical Toyota, so there are no surprises for anyone familiar with any other Toyota product.

My tester’s black cloth cabin is accented by a fun, orange halo ring around the dashboard and orange contrast stitching in the seats. Even the TRD shift knob has the orange accent.

As for the size, the Access Cab has seating for two up front and two more (small) people in back. The jump seats work great for small kids over short distances or even adults when the situation calls for it, but if hauling more than two people is on the regular agenda, I’d definitely recommend the Double Cab.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756152
“Under the seats are small storage boxes, with the passenger side box housing the tire changing equipment.”

When it comes to hauling stuff other than butts, the jump seats quickly fold against the back wall and the headrests fold down, opening up the back window. Under the seats are small storage boxes, with the passenger side box housing the tire changing equipment.

Back up front, the Tacoma’s dash boasts extremely intuitive controls with three knobs for the dual-zone temperature control and fan speed. Three-level seat heaters get hot enough to fry an egg and retain the last-used setting. Down low, buttons for the blind spot monitoring, parking sensor, and Qi wireless phone charger sit by a USB port and 12-volt power port. The 4WD system’s knob sits by the HVAC controls, within easy reach, too, though it’s possible someone could accidentally select 4WD high range when meaning to turn the driver’s side heat up. Owners shouldn’t have that problem after a couple days, though.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756142
“Entune might not be the latest or flashiest infotainment on the market, but it gets the job done”

As mentioned, the Entune system is similar to any other Toyota product, though that’s not a bad thing. Entune might not be the latest or flashiest infotainment on the market, but it gets the job done. Knobs make volume and tuning control super easy, and touch-sensitive buttons along the sides of the screen make quick work of navigating between menus.

As for the gauges, the white-on-black font is easy to read and the digital speedometer available in the driver information screen makes it even easier. Steering wheel controls include the five-way button pad for the driver information screen, a button for voice commands, radio volume and tuning, and phone controls for a paired Bluetooth device.

Drivetrain

  • 3.5-liter V-6
  • 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm
  • 265 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm.
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Part-time 4WD with electronic shifting
  • 17 mpg city / 21 mpg hwy / 18 mpg comb.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756121
“The Tacoma comes standard with a 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, but the vast majority come with the optional 3.5-liter V-6”

The Tacoma comes standard with a 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, but the vast majority come with the optional 3.5-liter V-6. In fact, all the trims above the base SR come with the V-6. The engine uses an innovated D-4S fuel system with both direct and port fuel injection. Toyota uses the old-school port injection to help keep intake valves free of carbon build-up, while the direct injection is used for most of the fuel delivery. Variable valve timing is also included in the mix, as is Toyota’s interesting Otto/Atkinson combustion cycle system.

Basically the engine uses the Atkinson combustion cycle when under light loads, allowing for less fuel usage. When more power is needed, the traditional Otto combustion cycle kicks in and generates the extra oomph. What’s the difference? Well, the two cycles use different timing with opening and closing the overhead valves. The Atkinson cycle delays the intake valve from closing until the piston is already making its upward travel during the compression stroke. This ensures that every drop of fuel is used to its fullest potential. During the Otto cycle, the intake valve is closed before the piston begins rising. While slightly less efficient, the Otto cycle makes more power. Combined with the variable valve timing and lift, the 3.5-liter V-6 can be both a fuel-sipper and power-maker.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756123
“My TRD Sport is EPA-estimated to achieve 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined”

The result is 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. And even despite its 4WD and manual transmission, my TRD Sport is EPA-estimated to achieve 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. Sure, those are fantastic numbers, but they would undoubtedly be lower without the advancements inside the engine.

Speaking of that manual transmission, this six-speed unit feels like a traditional truck transmission. Its throws are long and its gear engagement soft. A mildly weighted clutch makes for easy in-town driving without leg cramps and a predictable engagement point makes for less chance for stalls. And though I quickly got used to the long throws, I kept wishing for a short-throw shift kit early in my testing. It probably didn’t help the Tacoma’s case that I had just gotten out of a Honda Civic Type R. Still, the gearbox is perfectly suited for the Tacoma and it made driving that much more fun.

Driving Impressions


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756149
“The steering is tight when in a turn, but there is some on-center vagueness, though no more than what is unusually found in a pickup”

Besides the extra fun had thanks to the six-speed manual transmission, the Tacoma is a hoot to drive. Especially when held in the mid-range, the V-6 offers plenty of punch and its optional TRD cat-back exhaust makes for a pleasing auditory experience. The steering is tight when in a turn, but there is some on-center vagueness, though no more than what is unusually found in a pickup. Throttle and braking inputs are commendable, with zero throttle tip-in or grabby initial bite with the brakes. Things just worked smoothly.

Body roll though a turn is certainly present, though I never had the gumption to push the Tacoma hard. Even without trying, the skinny Toyo tires start squealing long before the truck reaches its limits. That’s probably a safe thing. Brake dive is mostly managed, too.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756129
“Even without trying, the skinny Toyo tires start squealing long before the truck reaches its limits”

The truck’s TRD Sport suspension includes MacPherson front struts and control arms up front with a solid axle held in place with leaf springs and shock absorbers out back.

The sprint to 60 mph takes roughly 7.5 seconds, which is perfectly average and fine for a mid-size pickup. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to haul anything with substantial weight or pull a trailer, so I can’t comment on those driving qualities. Still, Toyota says the Tacoma Access Cab V-6 will haul 1,275 pounds in the bed and tow 6,500 pounds with the optional Class-IV towing package.

Pricing


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756164

The Toyota Tacoma Starts at $25,200 for the base SR trim in 2018. According to Toyota’s build-and-price website, the 2018 version of my 2017 TRD Sport starts life at $31,895. Adding the optional 4WD moves the price to $33,810. Foregoing the optional six-speed automatic transmission saves $1,370. (Call that a win-win!) The hard tri-fold tonneau cover costs $650 and the Premium Package, which adds dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, and automatic headlights, costs $710. Interestingly, the Premium Package listed for $1,510 in 2017.

Other options on my truck include the $300 bed extender, the $395 paint protection film on the nose, the $120 bed mat, the $90 TRD engine air filter, the $129 hood graphics, the $799 TRD performance exhaust, the $208 carpet floor mats and door sill protector, and the $140 TRD shift knob.

Add in the $940 destination fee, and my Tacoma TRD Sport lists for $37,671.

The Competition

Chevrolet Colorado


2015 Chevrolet Colorado - image 532896

The current Chevy Colorado and its corporate cousin, the GMC Canyon, have been around since the 2015 model year. Like the Tacoma, they are offered in an extended and crew cab format with short and long cargo beds. Likewise, they come with a base four-cylinder, though a V-6 is the bread-n-butter engine. GM one-ups Toyota with a four-cylinder turbodiesel, however. Inside, the Colorado’s cabin is roomy and comfortable, while boasting the optional and highly praised 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system.

As mentioned, the four-cylinder comes standard and is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 3.6-liter V-6, however, is only available with the six-speed automatic. The V-6 makes 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The other optional engine, the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel, makes 181 horsepower and a very respectable 369 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing for the Colorado starts at $21,195 for the extended cab, long bed model with rear-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter four-cylinder. A comparable truck with the extended cab and Z71 Off-road package and powered by the V-6 starts at $34,595.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado

Nissan Frontier


2016 Nissan Frontier - image 649408

If age doesn’t matter to your truck purchase, the Nissan Frontier might work. It’s been around for nearly a decade, yet still offers some competitive features. Its interior is very dated compared to the Tacoma and Colorado, but it’s lower price makes up for the difference. And like the others, it comes standard in an extended cab form and a crew cab is optional.

Power comes from either the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder or the volume-leading 4.0-liter V-6, which makes 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is available, as is a five-speed automatic. Nissan offers several trim lines ranging from fleet spec to well-equipped off-roader.

Prices start at $18,990 and range to upward of $36,000 for the range-topping SL grade. An extended (or King Cab in Nissan speak) with the off-road ready PRO-4X package starts at $33,030.

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Frontier

Conclusion


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756175

The Toyota Tacoma, even with its smaller Access Cab, proved to be an excellent and fun daily driver thanks to its peppy V-6, six-speed manual transmission, 4WD, and TRD Sport suspension. The handy tonneau cover, bed extender, and cargo tie-down points were very useful during the week and are must-buy accessories in my book.

For those not wanting to hit the trail or tempt fate with getting stuck, the TRD Sport is a great street-biased alternative to the TRD Off-Road. While I’d be more included to get the TRD Off-Road, I know TRD Sport would handle 95 percent of the off-road I’d actually ever do. And the rest of the time, I wouldn’t suffer with loud tire growl and the extra weight I’d be lugging around with skid plates and rear differential locks. Still, it’s great to see Toyota offer both TRD packages at the same price. That allows customers to pick the truck that’s right for them without worrying about the price.

All told, it’s completely understandable why the Toyota Tacoma outsells the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Nissan Frontier by a wide margin. Though the other trucks are highly competitive, the Tacoma just does so much really well. For that, it earns a gold star in my book.

  • Leave it
    • * Could be more fuel efficenct
    • * Cramped back seat for adults
    • * Options start to add up

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2019 Chevy Silverado

2019 Chevy Silverado


Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2019 Chevy Silverado - image 753278

Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2019 Chevy Silverado - image 753280

Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2019 Chevy Silverado - image 753277

See our up-to-date review on the 2019 Chevy Silverado

Detroit Auto Show


maker logos - image 755805

Check out the latest news about the Detroit Auto Show

PostHeaderIcon GM Will Continue Current Silverado & Sierra Production Past 2019 Model Launch

General Motors has apparent plans to keep the current-generation 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 in production while simultaneously building and selling the all-new, 2019 versions. GM has tapped its Oshawa plant in Canada to continue production while its other plants in the U.S. and Mexico will build the new model.

“This strategy will help us meet customer demand as we transition our production and introduce our exciting new models into the market starting later in 2018,” said Jennifer Wright, a GM Canada spokeswoman to Automotive News Canada. “The length of the program in Oshawa will be dependent on market demand.”

For anyone who has followed the auto industry, this news isn’t surprising, especially for GM. Most recently, GM built both the previous and new generation of Equinox crossover and Jeep plans to do the same with the outgoing Wrangler JK while the new 2018 Wrangler JL’s production is ramping up. Automotive News reports that even the current Ram 1500 will continue production alongside the next-generation Ram 1500 when it begins assembly in early 2018.

As for the Oshawa’s future, Canada’s Unifor union president Jerry Dias, told AN, “They are being very careful about what they are announcing right now. But they have invested a fortune in Oshawa. Right now the commitment is to the existing portfolio. More decisions will be made.”

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters


GM Will Continue Current Silverado & Sierra Production Past 2019 Model Launch - image 753281
“By continuing to produce current models, it gives automakers the chance to perfect the new model’s assembly while giving customers a shot at deeply discounted “classic” models.”

Automakers cannot afford to create a gap in their sales flow. Simply ending production of an outgoing model, allowing for weeks of renovation and retooling, and then spending several more weeks ramping up production just isn’t feasible. By continuing to produce current models, it gives automakers the chance to perfect the new model’s assembly while giving customers a shot at deeply discounted “classic” models.

That “classic” name actually has a history at GM. The automaker has used it on several occasions to denote previous-generation models that share the same model year as the new generation vehicle. Notable nameplates with the Classic treatment include the Malibu, Caprice, and of course, the Silverado. The last Silverado Classic happened in 2007 as GM transitioned from 1999-2006 GMT800 pickup to the 2007-2013 GMT900 pickup.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


GM Will Continue Current Silverado & Sierra Production Past 2019 Model Launch - image 753284

Read more about the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name - image 739865

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Cherokee

Jeep is bringing a mild facelift and some powertrain improvements to the Cherokee for 2019. The announcement comes before Jeep divulges all the details on the revised crossover on January 16 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. However, from the images Jeep released, we can see the exterior changes bring a more handsome face and less odd rear to the Cherokee’s aesthetics, while a promise of an “even more fuel-efficient powertrain options” is all the automaker had to say about internal changes.

This marks the first change to the current Cherokee since its introduction in 2014. Despite strong sales averaging around 200,000 per year in the U.S. alone, many complained about the Cherokee’s ugly mug. Jeep obviously listened as the front and rear mark the only external changes, though new wheel options are expected. The interior shows now blatant signs of changes. As for those powertrain updates, Jeep could replace the current 3.2-liter V-6 with the new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder found in the new 2018 Wrangler JL. We’ll know for sure come January 16, so stick around on TopSpeed.com for that breaking information.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.

Exterior

  • Redesigned headlights
  • Reworked fog light surrounds
  • License plate moved to tailgate
  • New rear bumper design
  • No other changes to bodywork

2019 Jeep Cherokee - image 753485
“Surprisingly, the Cherokee’s handsome new face includes the same upper grille as before.”

Jeep hasn’t divulged much information on the 2019 Cherokee’s updates, but from the images it released ahead of Detroit, it’s clear the Cherokee has been given a much-needed makeover.

The front end now has traditional headlights with the main projectors, turn signals, and LED daytime running lights all encased in the same clear housing. That’s a big change from the outgoing model, which separated the headlights from the turn signals and DRLs. The fog lights have a larger surround, too, which helps give the Cherokee a more conventional appearance.

The lower grille loses the kinked-up shape it previously had, now getting sleeker horizontal lines. Surprisingly, the Cherokee’s handsome new face includes the same upper grille as before. We always thought it was that grille that made the Cherokee so ugly, but as it turns out, it’s not so bad when surrounded by more traditional styling.


2019 Jeep Cherokee - image 753487
“The bumper follows the more traditional styling update and uses chrome trim and different colored plastic to add character”

Around to the rear, the 2019 Cherokee has its license plate relocated to the tailgate. The bumper follows the more traditional styling update and uses chrome trim and different colored plastic to add character. Chrome-tipped dual exhaust finish off the bumper’s lower line. We do wonder how Jeep will integrate the Cherokee’s optional towing package and its bulky two-inch receiver hitch.

The other changes back here involve the taillights. The new LED lights have clear lenses with white-colored turn signal and reverse light reflectors. The running lights and brake lights use an LED outline along the bottom. Again, the rear matches the front’s more handsome appeal. Everything between the bumpers appears unchanged, meaning the doors, roofline, windows, and their pillars are all carried over from 2014. That’s totally expected with this being a mid-cycle refresh, of course.

Interior

  • Interior remains basically unchanged
  • Available 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • 25 cubic feet behind second row
  • 55 cubic feet with second row folded

2019 Jeep Cherokee - image 753486
“The Cherokee’s interior remains unchanged from previous years.”

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee’s interior remains unchanged from previous years. We commend Jeep and FCA on its recent interior designs, though the Cherokee is known to have some cheap-feeling materials scattered about the cabin. Functionality wise, though, the Cherokee is top notch.

It starts with the steering wheel and its logical controls. A large TFT display in the gauge cluster shows plenty of vehicle information, too. Dual-zone climate controls, available heated and vented front seats, and FCA’s wonderful 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system with the latest Uconnect 4 software lines the center stack. USB, AUX, and Bluetooth connections make streaming music easy, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make full phone connections a breeze.

The Cherokee continues to seat five people, though three across in the second row isn’t overly comfortable. The 60/40-split rear seat folds flat to reveal 55 cubic feet of cargo room. The front passenger seat even folds flat for carrying longer items like a ladder or surfboard. Behind the second row, the Cherokee still offers 25 cubic feet of room.

Drivetrain

  • More efficiency powertrain option coming
  • 2.4-liter Tigershark likely returning
  • Jeep’s new 2.0-liter turbo-four might become available
  • 3.2-liter V-6 rumored to be axed
  • FWD is standard; 4WD is optional
  • Trailhawk trim is the off-roader’s choice

2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 748526
“Our bet is Jeep swaps the optional V-6 for the potent 2.0-liter turbo-four found in the new Wrangler JL.”

There are some unanswered questions in this department thanks to Jeep’s vague statement about having “more fuel-efficient powertrain options” in its teaser press release. Though we can’t know for sure, our bet is Jeep swaps the optional 3.2-liter V-6 for its all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the new Wrangler JL.

The current 3.2-liter V-6 is basically a smaller-displacement version of the 3.6-liter V-6 and makes 271 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 239 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. The 2018 Wrangler’s new 2.0-liter Hurricane turbo-four makes 270 horses at 5,200 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at only 3,000 rpm. That means the 2.0-liter basically retains the V-6’s horsepower rating but makes peak power available sooner while adding 56 pound-feet of torque and making it available 1,400 rpm lower. That’s a significant improvement and would warrant Jeep’s use of the “more fuel-efficient” term.

Speaking of efficiency, part of the 2.0-liter turbo-four’s magic is its mild hybrid system. The engine uses a belt starter generator to not only restart the engine after an Automatic Stop/Start event, but also to add torque to the crankshaft at lower engine speeds. That’s how the engine manages its impressive torque figure.

“The 2019 Jeep Cherokee will likely continue to come standard with its 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir four-cylinder”

It’s too early to speculate about fuel economy – not even the Hurricane-powered Wrangler has been tested for fuel economy at this point. Still, expect an improvement over the 3.2-liter Cherokee’s 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee will likely continue to come standard with its 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir four-cylinder. This naturally aspirated engine makes 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Though far less powerful than the current V-6, the 2.4’s appeal is fuel economy. It’s EPA-estimated to get 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

When it comes to towing, the current Cherokee can pull a maximum of 4,500 pounds when equipped with the V-6 and the Trailer Tow Package. Without that package, the V-6 is limited to 2,000 pounds. The 2.4-liter is rated to pull 2,000 pounds as its maximum.

Pricing


2019 Jeep Cherokee - image 753755

Obviously, Jeep hasn’t announced pricing for the 2019 Cherokee, though we shouldn’t have long to wait. We expect the new model will begin hitting showrooms in mid-2018. Prices shouldn’t change too much over the current Cherokee, either.

Pricing for 2018 starts at $24,395 for the base Latitude trim in front-wheel drive. Selecting 4WD moves the price to $25,895. That $1,500 price for 4WD continues through the lineup except for two models. The Trailhawk comes standard with 4WD and the range-topping Overland model, which somehow charges $3,245 for the 4WD option. Back to the trims, the Latitude Plus slots in the mid-range with the Limited above that. The Trailhawk comes in next with the Overland taking the top spot. Prices for the Overland start at $34,095 for the FWD models and $37,340 with 4WD.

Competition

Honda CR-V


2017 Honda CR-V - image 699172

The Honda CR-V isn’t the go-anywhere crossover the Jeep Cherokee tries to be. Rather, the CR-V focuses on family comfort and outright practicality. It offers seating for five people over two row with 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Fold the 60/40-split bench and the CR-V holds 75.8 cubic feet of stuff. The first row is equally functional thanks to a smartly designed dash and tons of cubby spaces. Features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard while Navigation is optional.

The CR-V comes with only one engine: the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It makes 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. While that doesn’t sound like much, the CR-V only weights 3,500 pounds. Compare that to the Jeep’s 3,900- to 4,400-pound curb weight. Fuel economy is impressive, too, with the EPA estimating 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. The standard Continuously Variable Transmission likely has something to do with that. And like CR-Vs of the past, front-wheel drive is standard and AWD is optional.

Prices start at $24,150 for the base LX and $32,650 for the range-topping Touring trim.

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda CR-V.

Toyota RAV4


Toyota RAV4 Gets New Adventure Trim in Chicago - image 704873

Like the CR-V, the RAV4 is built more for the urban jungle than the actual jungle. That’s just fine, after all, since 99.999 percent of RAV4 owners will barely ever venture off anything more than a dirt road. The RAV4 likewise has seating for five within its two rows. It’s 60/40-split bench folds down for 73.4 cubic feet of space. Behind the second row lies 38.4 cubic feet of space.

The RAV4 offers both a conventional gasoline powertrain and a gasoline hybrid option. The standard mill is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It can power either the front wheels or all four, should you opt for the AWD option. The hybrid powertrain utilizes a similar 2.5-liter, but with an Atkinson combustion cycle for improved efficiency. It’s mated to two electric motors, with the front making 141 horses and the rear 67horses. A CVT does the shifting. A 1.6-kWh battery provides the juice. Don’t expect to drive very far on battery power alone; this system is designed to supplement the gasoline engine. The EPA estimates it will get 34 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

Pricing starts at $24,410 for the base LE. The middle trims include the XLE, Adventure, SE, XLE Hybrid, Limited, SE Hybrid, and Limited Hybrid. The Platinum is the range-topping trim and has a starting price of $36,150 before options and extras.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota RAV4.

Conclusion


2019 Jeep Cherokee - image 753487

The changes for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee aren’t major, but they are very welcomed and should help to increase the crossover’s popularity. The exterior changes, especially, give the 2019 Cherokee a more modern and mature appearance. And while we suspect Jeep will introduce the 2.0-liter Hurricane turbo-four, only time will tell if we’re right. Either way, expect the Cherokee to show improvements in the EPA’s fuel economy evaluations.

We’ll know all the details come January 16 when Jeep debuts the 2019 Cherokee at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. As always, stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for all the latest automotive news and reviews.

  • Leave it
    • * Competes in a very hot segment
    • * Cargo volume on the smaller side

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler JL – First Look

The time has finally come; we’ve gotten a chance to spend quality time behind the wheel of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Jeep flew us out to the deserts of Arizona for our first view of the Wrangler since it debuted the week prior at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show.

We’ve coved the new Wrangler to death with nearly a dozen articles focused on various aspects of the Jeep, and most recently, our driving impressions, pricing information, and fuel economy. We can say the new Wrangler is wholly improved and in no way less capable off-road. In fact, Jeep designers and engineers worked tirelessly to retain (and in many areas improve) the Wrangler’s capabilities. So without further ado, here’s our take on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.

Exterior


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751434

While we’ve got a full review of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler already online, here’s our thoughts now that we’ve seen it in person.

It’s clear Jeep designers sweated the details on the new Wrangler. It might look too similar to the outgoing Wrangler JK in photos, but in person, the new JL has a completely different persona. Every body panel is different and that is very apparent the second you get close.

The grille and optional LED headlights go a long way in making the Wrangler JL feel modern. The LED turn signals and daytime running lights in the front fenders also contribute. The longer, flatter hood brings better proportionality to the Wrangler Unlimited’s profile, while the newly lowered beltline and character line under the windows make it appear less top heavy.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751462
“Around back, the new taillights and bumper are quickly identifiable against the older Wrangler JK”

Around back, the new taillights and bumper are quickly identifiable against the older Wrangler JK. The license plate was moved from the body to the bumper, as well, helping with aerodynamics. It also keeps the license plate from getting ripped off on the trail – a common occurrence with the JK. The tailgate’s hinges are now exposed rather than being covered in plastic and the spare tire is mounted lower for better visibility out of the rear window.

Other noticeable improvements are the new pull-style door handles. They are much easier to operate than the JK’s and even include passive entry. Push-button starting is standard across the board, too.

And speaking of aerodynamics, the Wrangler JL’s new shape is far better at managing air. Sport models have a new air dam that fits between the bumper and front fenders. Hard top models now have a mild spoiler lip above the rear window. The new windshield is slightly more raked but is still far more vertical than anything seen on a crossover or car. Only the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon can compete with the Wrangler’s tall windshield.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751478

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 2-door 96.8 (2,460)
4-door 118.4 (3,008)
Overhang Front: 29.2 (741.6)
Rear: 40.8 (1,036.3)
Track Front: 62.9 (1,598)
Rear: 62.9 (1,598)
Overall Length (includes spare tire) 166.8 (4,237) – 2-door
188.4 (4,785) – 4-door
Overall Width 73.8 (1,875)
Overall Height 73.6 (1,868.4)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Cargo Width at Swing-Gate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Cargo Height at Swing-Gate Opening 36 (942.3)
Load Floor Height 30 (762.1)

The Tops

The Wrangler JL has three tops to choose from. The soft top, the Freedom hard top, and the Powertop. There are actually two versions of the soft top: a vinyl top on the base model and a thicker, more insulated canvas top as an extra-cost option. The Freedom top is similar to the JK’s Freedom top, but Jeep eliminated the hand screws that took forever to undo. Now, only eight latches secure the two panels. The panels are now lighter, too, making removable and replacement super easy. The Powertop is available on the Sahara and Rubicon trims only and offers a one-touch power operate that opens the canvas panel. What remains is a massive sunroof from the A-pillars back past the C-pillars. What’s more, the side windows easily remove with two latches. The Powertop is the right choice for anyone not up for heavy lifting or getting wet when it starts raining.

Interior


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751441
“In person, the JL’s interior feels nothing like the hard-plastic mess seen in the JK.”

We knew the Wrangler JL’s interior was miles better than the JK’s from the photos we’d seen, but that didn’t prepare us for reality. In person, the JL’s interior feels nothing like the hard-plastic mess seen in the JK. Everything is soft-touch or purposefully hard. If it looks like metal, it is. The screws on the dashboard are actually screws – even those around the HVAC system. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is a joy to hold and the gear shifters give a satisfying feedback. The seats are far more supportive and the driver seat now has an adjustable lumbar feature.

Still, the Wrangler isn’t too plush for its own good. The dash is still weather resistant and the carpet is still removable. Yep, the floor pan still has drain plugs and the seats are manually adjustable so there are no electric motors to fail. The seats in upper trims are heated, though, which is a big blessing on cold drives with the doors and top off.

Handy features in the interior include a bevy of USB and USB-C ports, a 110-volt household plug, longer and more padded armrests in the doors, more storage spots, a folding center armrest in four-door models, and a two-tier center console lid.


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 751637
“The Wrangler comes with three Uconnect infotainment systems”

The Wrangler comes with three Uconnect infotainment systems: Uconnect 3 with a 5.0-inch display, Uconnect 4 with a 7.0-inch display, and Uconnect 4 with an 8.4-inch display with navigation. The 8.4 system comes standard in the four-door Sahara and Rubicon models.

Rear seat comfort is upgraded, too. Along with that center folding armrest on four-door models, every Wrangler JL has rear HVAC vents. The four-door offers an inch more legroom than before and more supportive seats with a more reclined seatback. More USB ports and that 110-volt household plug reside at the back of the center console.

Unlimited models can be had with Jeep’s new TrailRail system – an integrated aluminum rail with adjustable hooks for securing cargo. Another rail is integrated onto the tailgate. And in an effort to maximize utility, the tailgate even has a flat spot above the latch for holding a drink.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751490

Interior Dimensions

Seating Capacity (front/rear) 2/2 – 2-door, 2/3 – 4-door
SAE Total Interior Passenger Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m) 103.7 (2.94)
Front: Headroom: 40.7 (1,036) hardtop / 42.6 (1,083) soft top
Legroom: 41.2 (1,038)
Shoulder Room: 55.7 (1,417)
Hip Room: 53.9 (1,370)
Seat Travel: 8.1 (206)
EPA Front Volume Index: 53.8 (1.52)
Rear: Headroom: 40.2 (1,023) hardtop, 41.7 (1,059) soft top
Legroom: 35.7 (904.2) – 2-door, 38.3 (974) – 4-door
Knee Clearance: 61.6 (1,565.9)
Shoulder Room: 57.7 (1,458) – 2-door, 55.7 (1,417) – 4-door
Hip Room: 45 (1,143) – 2-door, 56.7 (1,440) – 4-door
EPA Rear Seat Volume Index (cu. ft. / cu. m): 49.9 (1.40)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Maximum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 47.9 (1,218.7)
Minimum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Maximum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 36.0 (942.3)
Minimum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 35.7 (907.8)
Distance between Wheelhouse Interior Trim 45.0 (1143)
SAE Cargo Volume: Rear Seat Folded: 72.4 cu. ft. (2.05)
Rear Seat Upright: 31.7 cu. ft. (0.89)
Total Passenger plus Cargo Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m): 150.4 cu. ft.

Drivetrain


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 748526
“The standard engine is the familiar but improved 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque”

For 2018, the Wrangler finally has more than one engine to choose from. Jeeps of the past have had at least two available engines, so the JL harks back to those bygone days. The engine choices a bit more modern, however.

The standard engine is the familiar but improved 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It’s improvement centers on the new automatic start/stop system it employs to save on fuel consumption. The V-6 is available with the new six-speed manual transmission and the new-to-the-Wrangler ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

The optional engine is an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. it comes mated exclusively with the eight-speed automatic. Its impressive torque rating comes by way of a mild hybrid system. A belt-starter-generator uses electricity to help turn the engine’s crankshaft at lower revs. This helps with low-end torque and added smoothness when low-speed crawling. An automatic start/stop system is used here, too.

Three 4WD transfer cases are available: the standard Command-Trac for all but the Rubicon, the Rock-Trac that’s exclusive to the Rubicon, and the new Select-Trac transfer case with a full-time 4WD mode that’s an exclusive option on the Sahara. You can read all the details on these transfer case in our full review here.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751502

Drivetrain Specifications

ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 2.0-LITER TURBO I-4
Availability Standard — all models Available — all models
Type and Description 60-­degree, V-­type, liquid-­cooled I-4 16-valve with direct injection, turbo charging, with throttled, cooled EGR
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3604 cu. cm) 121 cu. in. (1995 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83) 3.31 x 3.54 (84 x 90)
Valve System Chain-­driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-­pivot roller rockers Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless Direct Injection
Construction Aluminum deep-­skirt block, aluminum alloy heads Aluminum block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10.2:1 10:01
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM 270 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 6,600 rpm (electronically limited) 5,800 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2 Minimum unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2, 91 octane or higher recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 22.5 18.5 (2-door), 21.5 (4-door)
Oil Capacity 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters) 5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 14 quarts (13.25 liters) 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)
Emission Controls Dual three-­way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and internal engine features GPEC4 engine-management system with close-coupled catalyst; and wide range O2 sensor
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) 18/23/20 (automatic); 17/23/19 (manual) TBD — automatic (2-door); TBD — automatic (4-door)

Final Thoughts


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751477

Jeep has most definitely improved the Wrangler. From its appearance and interior refinement to its drivetrain and efficiency, everything is better than before. It takes sitting behind the wheel and getting up close to the new JL to really appreciate the changes. Thankfully, the new Wrangler JL’s improvements shouldn’t alienate Jeep’s loyal fan base of hard-core off-roaders. It might be more refined, but the Wrangler is still a Wrangler. Even better for Jeep’s pockets, the JL will be more appealing to the everyday customer whose only off-roading happens in the wet grass at the local soccer field complex.

Read here for our detailed driving impressions of both on-road and off-road conditions.

  • Leave it
    • * More expensive
    • * Turbodiesel & hybrid not available at launch
    • * Still compromized on pavement

References

Jeep Wrangler.


2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - First Look - image 751501

Driving the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Powertop Top in Action - image 752259

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Powertop Top in Action


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Freedom Top in Action - image 752258

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Freedom Top in Action


Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Soft Top & Windshield in Action - image 752131

Watch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Soft Top & Windshield in Action


A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Dashboard - image 752115

A Detailed Look At the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Dashboard


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler's Three Infotainment Systems - image 752000

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s Three Infotainment Systems


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit - image 751893

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Come With its Own Tool Kit


What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler's Other Trims - image 751706

What Separates the Rubicon from the Wrangler’s Other Trims


The 2018 Wrangler's Cargo Area is Ready For Anything - image 751679

The 2018 Wrangler’s Cargo Area is Ready For Anything

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Traverse – Driven

The Chevrolet Traverse made a big splash into the three-row crossover pond when it debuted for 2009. It offered more interior room than Chevy’s own Tahoe, and at a much more family-friendly price. The same is true for Chevy’s all-new, second-generation Traverse, which debuts for the 2018 model year. It rides on a new chassis, comes with updated powertrains, and classier styling. Inside is Chevy’s latest tech-filled cabin with plenty of creature comforts spread over three rows and seven seats – or eight seats with the standard second-row bench.

To get an in-depth feel of how Chevy’s redesigned Traverse handled a family road trip, I embarked on a 1,500-mile road trip with my wife, daughter, and sister-in-law all piled aboard. The trip took us from sunny Central Florida to the chilly hills of East Tennessee for Thanksgiving. Our chariot was a Premier trim, second only to the High Country trim in the 2018 Traverse’s lineup. That means it came with just about every wish-list item, including heated and vented front seats, heated second-row bucket seats, the MyLink infotainment system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, USB ports galore, and Sirius XM radio for uninterrupted music over the day-long, 12-hour drive north. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth allowed for other choices for the front-seat DJ.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse family road trip.

Exterior

  • All new design for 2018
  • Wheelbase lengthened by two inches
  • D-Optic headlights
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Hands free power tailgate
  • Trailer tow package
  • Skyscape panoramic moonroof

2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752359
“The new Traverse looks far more upscale thanks to its new proportions.”

Chevrolet completely ditched the bubbly styling of the old Traverse and adopted a much more angular, modern appearance for 2018 – much to everyone’s approval. The new Traverse looks far more upscale thanks to its new proportions. It looks far less like a minivan and more like a Tahoe. In fact, much of the Tahoe and Suburban’s styling cues can be seen in the Traverse.

Up front, chrome lines the black grille and accents the fog lights without being too in-your-face about it. Chevy’s new D-Optic headlights come standard on the Premier and High Country. Not only do they look really neat up close, but they do an amazing job at lighting dark country roads. They provide a crisp, white light with very little fall off. The high beams reach noticeably further, too, which is handy when driving through areas known for suicidal deer and skunks.

The 2018 Traverse’s roofline is flatter than the previous model, but outward visibility is still impressive. The tall windshield, thin A-pillars, and big side windows provide a panoramic view for the front seats. Generously sized mirrors and blind spot monitoring made easy work of lane changes. Even better, Chevy’s rear camera mirror provided an unobstructed view free of headrests, luggage, and stretching arms. The depth perception takes some getting used to, but I never found myself turning the camera mirror to its “analog” mirror position.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752358
“The Traverse offers an optional trailering package and roof rack.”

And thanks to Chevy’s available 360-degree camera system and quick access app on the MyLink screen, a bird’s eye view of the Traverse was just one click away. This made parking much easier, especially in the crowded streets of Gatlinburg.

My Premier model rolled on handsome, 20-inch aluminum wheels with painted pockets and machined faces. Continental Crosscontact LX20 Eco Plus tires provided plenty of grip with no road noise.

On the utility side of things, the Traverse offers an optional trailering package with a two-inch receiver hitch, four- and seven-pin wiring connectors, and an upgraded cooling system for the engine and transmission. Max towing is rated at 5,000 pounds with the V-6. A roof rack offers even more places to put things.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (in./mm) 120.9/3,071
Overall Length (in./mm) 204.3/5,189
Overall Width (in./mm) 78.6/1,996
Overall Height (in./mm) 70.7/1,795
Track (in./mm): 67.3/1,709 (front)
67/1,702 (rear)

Interior

  • All new interior design
  • Seating for seven
  • Adjustable second-row bucket seats
  • Heated & vented front seats
  • Second-row HVAC controls
  • Tons of USB and power ports
  • MyLink 8.0-inch infotainment system
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • 98 cubic feet of cargo space

2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752369
“The 2018’s interior is completely reworked and shares no parts with the previous crossover”

The newness doesn’t stop at the Traverse’s doorsills, either. The 2018’s interior is completely reworked and shares no parts with the previous crossover. That means Chevy was able to improve the overall design, the materials, the functionality, and the in-dash technology.

On top of the front seats being incredibly comfortable even after a full day, the middle seats proved to be the spot to be. The bucket seats could be slid rearward, opening up to limo levels of legroom. The seatbacks reclined and folding center armrests kept elbows happy. Heated seat bottoms kept buns toasty on those cold mountain mornings, and the rear HVAC controls allowed for separate adjustments from the front HVAC settings. Vents in the ceiling are well placed, too.

Slide the second row forward maybe five inches, and the third row provides a surprising amount of legroom. That means small kids aren’t the only ones able to ride back there. The 60/40-split bench allowed us to fold the smaller section flat for luggage, leaving the larger section free for the six-year-old to claim the space. Cup holders and UBS ports in the walls kept her iPad charged and her drink held upright throughout the trip. And thank heavens for that 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Netflix.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752389
“Thank heavens for that 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Netflix.”

Getting into the third row is simple, too. There are two ways: the first by simply walking between the second-row bucket seats and the second by tumbling the passenger side second-row seat forward with a single handle. This tumble action even works with a child seat fastened in place, making the Traverse a solid pick for families with more than one LATCH seat in use. Sadly, the driver’s side second-row bucket seat doesn’t have this tumble feature.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752374
“Under the rear load floor lies a large area for more luggage.”

Another annoyance is the shiny chrome scattered around the dashboard and center console. Sometimes these pieces will reflect the sun’s glare, even when the sun is high in the sky. More than once I found myself using a napkin to cover the chrome around the gear shifter and cup holders. Beyond that, though, the interior proved incredibly complaint-free. Oh, and owners will have to learn to kick slowly when opening the hands-free tailgate. Do it too fast and it won’t respond. The projected Chevy bowtie does provide a great reference to where to kick, though. The bowtie also garnered a few awe-struck comments from passer-bys in a parking lot one evening.

With the tailgate open, the Traverse shows its cargo-hauling prowess. There’s 23 cubic feet of room behind the third row, 58.1 cubic feet behind the second row, and a whopping 98.2 cubic feet with both rows folded flat. Under the rear load floor lies a large area for more luggage or items like jumper cables, tow straps, and trailer hitches. Under that is the compact spare tire.

Interior dimensions

Headroom (in/mm) front: 41.3/1,049 (without sunroof)
2nd row: 40/1,016 (without sunroof)
3rd row: 38.2/970
Legroom (in. / mm) front: 41/1,042
2nd row: 39/990
3rd row: 33.5/850
Max Cargo Volume (cu. ft. / L) 23/651 (behind third row)
58.1/1,645 (behind second row, third row folded)
98.2/2,781 (second and third rows folded)

Drivetrain

  • 3.6-liter V-6
  • 310 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • FWD & available AWD
  • 18 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy / 21 mpg comb
  • 23.4 mpg average of 1,600 miles of testing
  • Max tow rating of 5,000 pounds

2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752368
“I averaged 23.4 mpg over the 1,592 miles driven during my trip.”

Powering my 2018 Traverse tester is the latest version of General Motors’ 3.6-liter V-6 making a respectable 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission that sends power the front wheels. AWD is available on all but the base L trim and comes standard on the range-topping High Country. The EPA estimates the 2018 Traverse V-6 FWD will get 18 mpg city 27 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. I averaged 23.4 mpg over the 1,592 miles driven during my trip. Regular 89-octane is all that’s required.

A small percentage of that efficiently comes from the V-6’s new automatic start/stop system. It works by shutting off the engine when stopped at a red light or in traffic and automatically restarting the engine when the brake pedal is released. While the system is fairly smooth, there is no way to turn it off.

The nine-speed automatic transmission, on the other hand, plays a big part in the Traverse’s efficiency. The gearing is spaced close enough for smooth, seamless shifts yet far enough apart that engine revs are kept as low as possible. Running at 70 mph sees the engine only turning around 1,700 rpm.


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752367
“As for power, 310 horses is more than enough for moving the Traverse.”

As for power, 310 horses is more than enough for moving the Traverse. Interstate on-ramps and passing on two-lane roads is done with ease thanks to the V-6’s variable valve timing and direct fuel injection making the most from the 3.6 liters.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.6L DOHC direct injection 2.0L turbo DOHC DI
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 3.74 x 3.37 / 95 x 85.8 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86
Block material Cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners Cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners
Cylinder head material Cast aluminum Cast aluminum
Valvetrain Dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing Dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing
Fuel delivery Direct, high-pressure fuel injection with electronic throttle control Direct, high-pressure fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Horsepower 310 HP @ 6,800 RPM 255 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 266 LB-FT @ 2,800 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Transmission Hydra-Matic 9T65 nine-speed automatic Hydra-Matic 9T65 nine-speed automatic

Behind the Wheel


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752370
“The crossover proved surprisingly spry to drive.”

On top of the Traverse’s adequate power, the crossover proved surprisingly spry to drive. The steering felt tight with almost no on-center play, the suspension soaked up bumps like a champ without feeling too squishy or allowing too much body roll, and the cabin remained library quiet regardless of speed or road surface.

As mentioned, outward visibility is very good thanks to the large side mirrors and rear mirror camera system. Ergonomics are impressive thanks to an eight-way power driver’s seat and power-adjustable steering column. Memory settings allowed me to keep my favorite seating position, too. Despite its length, the Traverse feels comfortable navigating through tight city streets.

My tester came with the $475 Driver Confidence II Package, which brought the following distance indicator light in the gauge cluster, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, low speed forward auto braking, pedestrian braking, and the IntelliBeam auto high beam headlights. These features really helped with long-distance comfort, though adaptive cruise control was missed. Only the High Country offers that feature.

All told, the 2018 Traverse is surprisingly rewarding to drive for being a three-row crossover. Its ridged new chassis, four-wheel independent suspension, grippy tires, and well-sorted steering combine to make a very willing road tripper. It proved completely comfortable over a full day of driving thanks to its spacious interior, comfortable seats, quiet cabin, and entertainment options like 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM radio.

Pricing


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752362

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse has a wide range of trims with an equally wide price range. The base L trim with zero options starts at $30,925. Good luck finding that version outside the airport rental car agencies’ fencing, though. Most folks will go for the LS starting at $33,045, the LT with cloth for $35,545, the LT with leather for $42,145, or the RS with the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and all the features of the LT with leather for $43,045. The High Country is the range-topping trim and comes standard with just about every feature for $53,045, but the Premier (like my tester) offers tons of features while leaving a few of the more expensive features as optional add-ons for $45,445. In my book, the Premier offers the best bang for the buck.

My Premier tester came with a few options that gave it a more upscale feel but added $2,565 to the price. These include the $1,400 Dual Skyscape Sunroof, the $650 trailering package, and the $475 Driver Confidence II Package. Add on the $945 destination fee, and the total price came to $47,960.

Competition

Dodge Durango


2015 Dodge Durango R/T - image 623948

The Durango has been around a while, so the Chevy certainly has the newness factor on lock. Still, the Durango offers a ton of interior room and comfort, three available engines (two of which are Hemi V-8s!) the popular Uconnect infotainment system, standard rear-wheel drive, and a tow rating ranging from 6,200 pounds to 8,700 pounds. The Durango will hold seven people in a 2+3+2 configuration or six with the optional second-row bucket seats. Fold the seats down and the Durango will swallow 84.5 cubic feet of luggage.

As far as those engine options go, the standard mill is the familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The optional 5.7-liter Hemi offers a respectable 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. They can be had with either RWD or AWD. But for those needing something more powerful, Dodge offers the Durango SRT with the monstrous 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 making 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The SRT is only offered in AWD and all versions of the Durango come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing for the 2017 Dodge Durango starts at $29,995 for the base SXT model. The SXT Plus adds more features at $32,195 and the GT brings mid-level luxury at $37,495. The Citadel is the range-topping luxury choice at $41,395 and adding the Anodized Platinum package brings the price to $45,090. The sporty R/T with the 5.7-liter starts at $42,095. Those wanting the powerful SRT will have to shell out $62,995.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Durango.

Volkswagen Atlas


2018 Volkswagen Atlas - image 693391

Debuting for the first time is the new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas – the automaker’s first three-row crossover designed for U.S. customers in mind. The Atlas undercuts the Touareg is pricing while offering far more interior functionality. The Atlas rides on VW’s familiar MQB platform and orients its engine to power the front wheels like the Traverse. AWD is optional, too. And like the Traverse, its interior space is cavernous. There is 21 cubic feet behind the third row, 56 behind the second row, and a total of 97 cubic feet behind the first row.

Standard power comes from 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque when fed premium gasoline. The optional 3.6-liter V-6 brings 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and only requires regular fuel. As for fuel economy, the 2.0-liter offers an impressive 22 mpg city and 26 mpg highway while the 3.6-liter manages only 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

Pricing is separated between the 2.0-liter and 3.6-liter with the four-cylinder starting at $30,500 for the base S trim. The other trims include the SE, SE w/ Technology, and SEL. The V-6 starts at $31,900 and grows up to $48,490 for the range-topping SEL Premium w/ 4Motion AWD.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Conclusion


2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven - image 752355

Crossovers and SUVs are all the rage these days – and for good reason. They are very functional, comfortable, and are getting better fuel economy than ever before. Sure, they’re not a sexy as a two-seat roadster or a 700-horsepower muscle car, but their purposeful carryall design makes them irresistible.

I’ve driven nearly every crossover and SUV currently available and can vouch for Chevy’s improvements on the 2018 Traverse. The composed, quiet ride matched with the spacious interior and wrapped in its handsome styling make it a very strong competitor in a field of worthy advisories.

  • Leave it
    • Interior chrome can reflect light
    • Undefeatable auto start/stop
    • Would be amazing with a turbodiesel

References

Chevrolet Traverse


2018 Chevrolet Traverse - image 700701

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse.



Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon Watch the Lamborghini Urus Debut Here!

The Urus is set to make its world debut, and you can see the action right here. After the debut, let us know what you think in the comments section below — your comment just might be featured in our first article after the debut!

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Seems to Think that Trucks are Supercars, and It’s Wrong!

500-mile range towing 80,000 pounds

After years of rumors and speculation that Tesla might build a pickup truck or a Semi, the electric car manufacturer finally unveiled the latter in a press conference that also revealed the second-generation Roadster. And just as it happened in the past with the Model S, Model X, and Model 3, Elon Musk made some spectacular claims about the performances of both vehicles. Actually, I’d dare say he went farther than usual by calling the next Roadster the “quickest production car ever made. Period.” He also described the semi truck as a vehicle that “accelerates like nothing else.” Granted, both claims can become reality, but maybe Musk is talking a bit too much a bit too soon. And it seems to me that he’s considering the semi a sports car rather than truck that’s supposed to haul stuff the efficient way.

Sure, the fact that this truck won’t use expensive diesel to move about enables Tesla to think about other factors, including performance, but I still don’t get why a truck must accelerate like “nothing else.” Should it be about a truck that brakes like nothing else or an electric hauler that allows you to cover at least the same distance as a diesel truck on a tank of fuel? Musk also seems to be concerned about that fact that truckers must wait for 15 minutes while the tank gets filled at the gas station. Seriously now, have you heard of a trucker who fell asleep at the pump while his tank was gulping diesel? Trucks are high maintenance; I’m pretty sure a semi driver has plenty of chores to do at the gas stations.

More importantly, Musk ignored a few important facts about trucks in his speech.

Continue reading to find out what.

Trucks Need to Break


Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck - image 745865
“A vehicle that catches speed pretty fast needs to be able to come to a stop too, right?”

Musk brags that the semi-truck will be able to hit 60 mph in five seconds. That’s quicker than a lot of sports cars out there and definitely impressive. But what about braking? A vehicle that catches speed pretty fast needs to be able to come to a stop too, right? Trucks aren’t exactly impressive when it comes to braking, mostly because they’re quite heavy. A loaded trailer, which can weight up to 80,000 pounds, needs around 600 feet to stop from 60 mph. That’s an issue when another driver suddenly decided to change lanes or stop in front of you. So why is Must focusing on acceleration instead of ways to not turn cars in front of you into scrap metal? Marketing? Sure, I get that, but again, we’re talking trucks, not sports cars. It’s about shipping the goods in one piece, not just fast. There are airplanes for that.

What’s more, while a 400-mile range is darn impressive for an electric car, it won’t get you very far in a truck. All told, at least at first, Tesla’s semi will make a name for itself in short distance, stop-and-go traffic hauling. Think of carrying containers inside ports or to local distribution centers. These jobs do not require tremendous speed or insane acceleration. They require good maneuvrability, good visibility, and a battery that doesn’t overheat.

What’s with the Sports Car Cockpit?


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746093
“Why is this truck fitted with a center-mounted driver seat?”

Speaking of visibility, why is this truck fitted with a center-mounted driver seat? How is this practical? It certainly doesn’t improve visibility since a normally positioned seat is already a few feet above traffic. I’ve never driven a truck, but I’m pretty sure this positioning of the driver’s seat makes it difficult to look around the trucks in front. It’s like overtaking without knowing what is in the lane you want to use for a pass. I know technology evolves at a rapid pace and drivers need to adapt, but some things are better left unchanged, and the seating position in a semi truck is one of them. No side mirrors is another thing I could put on the “this doesn’t look right” list, but I guess the screens could do the job. It really depends on where the cameras are placed around the truck, though. The big problem here is that many drivers would rather lean out of the truck to watch the trailer as they back up, so it will be interesting to see Tesla’s solution to such complaints. The trucks we saw in the presentation simply can’t go into production like that.

References

Tesla Semi


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746088

Read our full review on the 2019 Tesla Semi.



Read more Tesla news.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Semi

2019 Tesla Semi

Elon Musk and Tesla have defied the odds by finally debuting the automaker’s first stab at the commercial trucking industry. It’s called simply the Tesla Semi and it finally broke cover at a media event on November 16, 2017, after years of teasing. Debuting alongside the hot 2020 Tesla Roadster, the Semi is designed to reinvent the way trucking is done. Tesla says its all-electric drivetrain will give more than 500 miles of range on a single charge while towing 80,000 pounds, be far less difficult to maintain, and outperform convention semi trucks in both performance and safety – all at a lower operating cost. That’s a tall order. Oh, and it’ll hit 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds when unloaded.

Along with the Semi, Tesla will be releasing a new charging system. It’s called the Megacharger and it’s a high-speed DC charging station capable of adding roughly 400 miles of range in only 30 minutes. Tesla says the Megachargers can be installed by fleet operators anywhere along their routes and will be common at truck stops in heavily trafficked areas.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746087
  • Sleek design for improved visibility and aerodynamics
  • Drag coefficient of 0.36
  • High and low roof versions
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Hooks to any conventional 18-wheeler trailer
“Ask a 10-year-old kid to draw what an 18-wheeler might look like in 50 years, and this is probably what you’d get.”

The Tesla Semi looks like the future. Ask a 10-year-old kid to draw what an 18-wheeler might look like in 50 years, and this is probably what you’d get. Every shape is new since the Semi doesn’t have a massive turbodiesel engine to contend with. Rather, the massive battery pack is located between the frame rails, way down low. That gave Tesla designers nearly free reign in shaping the truck. Naturally, aerodynamics is a big factor, so the front looks smoother than a proctologists’ tool set. Tesla will apparently offer both a low-roof and high-roof model.

Aerodynamics continues playing a big role in the Semi’s lower sections, too. The bumper hangs down low, the fenders wrap closely around the wheels, and the side skirts expend almost to the ground. Fenders over the rear axles further help reduce drag. In fact, Tesla says the Semi has a drag coefficient of 0.36, which is less than a Bugatti Chiron at 0.38 (which is true for Auto mode). Tesla says regular semi trucks range between 0.65 and 0.70 drag coefficient. That seems like an awful outlandish claim, but Musk should know what he’s talking about since he also runs an aerospace company…

Interior


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746093
  • Center-mounted driver’s seat
  • Touchscreen display and control all vehicle systems
  • Sleeper cab includes living accommodations
  • Autopilot and active safety systems
“The driver is positioned front and center within the cab, putting him in the perfect position to see everything.”

The Tesla Semi further separates itself from conventional semis with its interior. The driver is positioned front and center within the cab, putting him in the perfect position to see everything around the front end of the truck, aided by the short overhangs and 360-degree camera system. Two large touchscreens serve as workstations, the gauge cluster, system controls, and displays for the cameras.

Behind the driver is a sleeper cab, offering a place to relax while on the road. And speaking of relaxing, the Tesla Semi will come with Autopilot, allowing the driver to hand over driving duties to the computer. The Semi is also programmed to follow a convoy, which has one truck leading the way and a gaggle of autonomously controlled Semis following behind. Vehicle to vehicle communications keeps the convoy in sync and allows each truck to brake and accelerate simultaneously with those around it. Naturally, this would make for a lessened workload for the driver.

The built-in computer systems and tablet screens also contain the driver’s logbook information, making it easier to keep track of mileage on driving time.

Drivetrain


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746092
  • Low-mounted battery
  • 500-mile range towing 80,000 pounds
  • Consumes less than 2.0 kW per mile driving fully loaded
  • Regenerative braking
  • Megacharger adds 400 miles of charge in 30 minutes
  • 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds when unloaded
  • 0 to 60 mph in 20 seconds when fully loaded

Specifics have not been given regarding the kWh or physical size of the battery pack, but Tesla says the electric motors are derived from those used on the Model 3 and are validated to last more than a million miles. The battery will supply enough charge to drive 500 miles at the legal load limit of 80,000 pounds. The truck is also said to scale five percent grades at 65 mph without losing momentum – a feat mostly turbodiesel Semis can’t do past 45 mph. On flat ground with 80,000 pounds in tow, the truck will consume less than 2.0 kW per mile at highway speeds.

Performance wise, the boundless torque of the electric motors will allow the Tesla Semi to hit 60 mph in just five seconds without a trailer and 20 seconds when fully loaded to 80,000 pounds. Plan out a full minute to hit 60 mph in a conventional semi.

As for brakes, the Tesla Semi uses regenerative braking. The regen brakes are said to recover 98 percent of kinetic energy before converting it to electrical energy to recharge the battery. Since the conventional friction brakes only handle two percent of the load, they are expected to last the life of the truck.

Safety


2019 Tesla Semi - image 745885
  • Thermonuclear blast-proof windshield
  • Low center of gravity reduces rollover risk
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Autopilot and autonomous features
  • Event recorder in case something happens

One of the biggest highlights of the Tesla Semi is its safety features – both active and passive. On the passive side, Tesla says the Semi’s architecture is designed to handle impacts better than regular 18-wheelers. An impact resistant windshield helps guard against flying debris on the road. Tesla even demonstrated this with a flying trailer hitch ball mount. The glass breaks, but the steel tube and hitch ball are kept outside the truck and away from the driver’s face.

The Tesla Semi’s low-slung battery pack will also help keep body roll under control. With the majority of weight near the ground, the Semi will have a smaller chance of rolling over in an accident. Should something happen, the battery is protected in a reinforced shell.

But preventing accidents is what the Tesla Semi does best. It uses its 360-degree camera system to automatically warn the driver of dangers lurking around the truck. The Semi also has Enhanced Autopilot, Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, and Lane Departure Warning. And like the last airplane you flew in, it’s got an event recorder that saves everything happening in and around the truck before, during, and shortly after an accident.

Pricing


2019 Tesla Semi - image 745851

Tesla has not confirmed how much the Semi will cost in total, but companies wanting a shot at early ownership can pay a $5,000 down payment for each truck. News of supermarket chains Wal-Mart and Meijer, along with the trucking giant J.B. Hunt have already placed orders.

Despite not knowing the actual price of the truck, Tesla says the Semi can save roughly $200,000 in fuel costs alone when compared to a diesel-powered semi over a million miles. (And yes, a million miles is about the life expectancy of a semi-truck.) That saving is possible thanks to low electricity costs. The average price hovers around $0.12 per kWh in the U.S. and can even be lower for large-scale industrial users. Regardless of the actual specifics, Tesla claims companies will save money by switching to the all-electric Semi.

Conclusion


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746099

Tesla is no stranger to making big promises and taking forever to deliver on them, so only time will tell how things transpire with the Tesla Semi. If history teaches us anything, the Semi will be delayed multiple times and be shrouded in secrecy until hype of its introduction dies down. Don’t get us wrong – we’d love Tesla to reinvent the way commercial trucking is done while saving companies money and reducing the amount of local emissions on our highways.

The Tesla Semi is important for regular folks for several reasons. One, the truck could potentially reduce shipping costs and therefore the price of goods. Two, it could increase safety on our roadways. Three, it would improve the flow of traffic thanks to convoys, active safety systems, and better performance. Four, it would make roadways quieter since loud diesel exhausts would be eliminated, including engine braking devices like the Jake Brake.

Only time will tell if Tesla Semi succeeds. If any automaker or billionaire entrepreneur could pull it off, it’s Tesla and Elon Musk.

  • Leave it
    • No word on MSRP
    • Could suffer from typical Tesla production woes
    • A disruptor in a highly important industry

PostHeaderIcon Ford And Roush Giving 2018 F-150 V-8 a Supercharged Punch

Remember the Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck from the 2017 SEMA show? Well, Ford Performance and Roush Performance are paring yet again to bring the Muscle Truck’s muscle to customers nationwide. Ford will offer a Roush supercharger kit for the 2018 F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8. The roots-style blower will be installed at Ford dealerships by ASE-certified Ford technicians and come with a Ford-backed warranty.

Don’t think the F-150’s V-8 is no dud from the factory. Rather, the 2018 update brought ten more horsepower and 13 more pound-feet of torque for a total of 395 and 400, respectively. Adding the supercharger is said to bring levels to 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque! That’s impressive. Other modifications would include a re-flash of the ECU, a new high-flow intake, and likely an exhaust system. Naturally, with this being a dealer add-on part, anybody willing to pony up the cash can get the extra power – regardless of what trim or cab configuration their 2018 F-150 has. Imagine a single cab, short bed F-150 with 640 horsepower. Oh, wait… one Ford dealership already has.

Ford has not released pricing for the Roush Performance supercharger kit or the shop fees for installation. We do know the blower will become available sometime in early 2018.

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700456

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck - image 741993

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac XT5 – Driven

2017 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac is diligently working on polishing its brand reputation after decades of forgettable cars. Over the last few years, General Motors’ luxury brand has gotten a good start with updates to the ATS and CTS, while launching the all-new and impressive CT6. But, sedans aren’t hot right now – it’s crossovers. Cadillac needed a high-end crossover with classy digs and tons of tech capable of competing with the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Jaguar F-Pace. That’s where the new XT5 comes in, debuting for the 2017 model year.

The XT5 rides on GM’s new C1XX platform that’s shared with the GMC Acadia. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Buick Enclave ride on a lengthened version of the C1XX, as well. The new architecture gave Cadillac engineers a clean-sheet start over the outgoing SRX crossover and the ability to bake in better ride characteristics, handling, softened NVH levels, more interior room, and better fuel economy. The icing on the cake is then advanced part-time AWD system with a twin-clutch rear differential capable of active torque vectoring. Not only does it improve all-weather drivability, but it improves handling on dry roads, too. A new V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission complete the important under-hood parts. Tech-savvy customers will love the new CUE system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging. Luxury bits include amazingly comfortable seats, high-end leather, wood and metal accents, and a suede headliner.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 XT5 and can vouch for Caddy’s new crossover. It’s got plenty going for it, but it isn’t perfect. Keep reading to see why.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

Video

Exterior

  • All-new design but with familiar cues
  • LED headlights
  • 20-inch polished wheels
  • Towing Package
  • Power liftgate
  • Illuminated door handles

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745026
“The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with”

The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with. Naturally, brand cues were kept like the V-shaped grille, LED projection-beam headlights with the cascading LED daytime running lights, and the sharp creases on the hood. Those details can be found on the ATS, CTS, and CT6. Even the Escalade shares a few.

The XT5’s overall shape does suggest it’s a front-wheel-drive crossover, which is true. AWD is an option, but more than that, the transversely mounted engine and its surrounding supports dictate a short front clip. Unlike the sexy CT6 and its long, low-slung nose, the XT5 looks more upright and a bit less elegant. This is my biggest aesthetic complaint on the XT5 – its design just isn’t as graceful as it could be.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745028
“Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good.”

Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good. The roof has a very mild slope, which leaves plenty of headroom for rear passengers. That’s a departure from what the competition is doing; there’s a lot to be said for that. Out back, the LED taillights recall the same cascading design seen across the Cadillac lineup, as does the horizontal chrome pieces on the tailgate and bumper. Twin, chrome-tipped exhaust finishers and a removable metal hitch cover finish off the lower bumper in style. The cover also hides a seven-pin trailer wiring connector, too.

My Platinum-trimmed tester rolls on 20-inch, 12-spoke wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Between them, black plastic cladding protects the lower bodywork from rock chips and flying debris. Matched with the Stellar Black Metallic paint, the black plastic is hard to spot at a glance, but other colors contrast more quickly. Illuminated chrome door handles, chrome window trim, and chrome roof rails finish off the XT5’s outward appearance.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 112.5
Length (Inches) 189.5
Height (Inches) 66.0
Width (Inches) 75.0
Track front/rear (Inches) 64.4/64.4

Interior

  • CUE Infotainment system with 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • Customizable 4.2-inch Driver Information screen
  • Full leather seating
  • Suede headliners and trim panels
  • Wood and metal accents
  • 30 cubic feet of cargo behind 2nd row
  • 63 cubic feet of cargo with 40/20/40 2nd row folded
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745050
“Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5 – and that’s a great thing.”

Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5. Thankfully, that’s a great thing. The updated CUE, or Cadillac User Experience system, is much-improved with toggle switches controlling the HVAC system and what seems like an improved response from the touch-sensitive slider for the radio volume.

The driver enjoys a rich-feeling, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood and metal accents and a heated rim. A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts while dual analog gauges show speed and engine revs. The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the center stack runs familiar software. Here it’s called the Cadillac CUE, but it’s nearly identical to Chevy’s MyLink and GMC’s IntelliLink software. All three are incredibly intuitive to use. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM, and navigation.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745042
“A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts”

Both the driver and front passenger ride on very comfortable and thickly padded front seats. Both have three-way heat and ventilation to keep backsides happy. They do lack massaging – something that’s becoming more common in luxury vehicles these days. Rear seat comfort is excellent, too. The 40/20/40-split bench is nicely padded with reclining backrests, a folding center armrest, and properly raked seat bottoms. There’s ample legroom and headroom. Separate HVAC controls, air vents, USB ports, and a 110-volt household plug all reside on the center console for rear passengers to enjoy.

When it comes to hauling cargo, the XT5 offers 30 cubic feet of room behind the second row and an impressive 63 cubic feet of room with the second row folded flat. An aluminum cargo divider slides along the metal tracks in the floor, giving options as to how space is used.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745038
“I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.”

The overall experience inside the XT5’s cabin is memorable. The materials are high quality and feel well screwed together. There is very little road noise and zero wind noise. The suede-covered dash is a nice touch, though I did find the leather dash gives puts a gnarly reflection on the windshield during the midday sun. Everything else is very commendable. I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.7/38.4
Legroom
front/rear (Inches)
41.2/39.5
Shoulder front/rear (Inches) 58.3/56.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 56.0/54.7
EPA passenger volume (cu ft) 104.5
EPA trunk volume (cu ft) Behind 1st Row: 63
Behind 2nd Row: 30

Drivetrain

  • All-new 3.6-liter V-6
  • 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Part-time AWD system with twin-clutch rear differential
  • Active torque vectoring rear differential
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • 18 mpg city/ 26mpg highway/ 21mpg combined

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745062
“The engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS.”

Under the hood is an all-new 3.6-liter V-6. I know what you’re thinking – “all new? Doesn’t every Cadillac come with a 3.6-liter?” You’d be right; just about every Caddy besides the Escalade offers the familiar displacement V-6. However, this engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS. It shares almost no parts with the previous 3.6-liter. It’s now got direct fuel injection on top of the variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation seen on the previous engine. Power is up, too, at 310 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 271 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered, and it sends power to the front wheels most of the time. Now, the XT5 gets a fancy new part-time AWD system (no, that’s not a type-o) that will send power to the rear driveshaft upon the driver’s command. A button on the center console quickly turns the system on and off. When off, the system completely disengages the rear driveshaft from the transmission to save on fuel. When on, the AWD system works on any road condition and at any speed. The system’s computer quickly responds to traction issues and can send 100 percent of power to the rear tires.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745065
“The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.”

More than that, the AWD system’s rear differential unit uses a twin-clutch design to engage each axle half-shaft independently. This is what allows for active torque vectoring around corners. This means the outside rear wheel slightly pushes the vehicle around the turn. The system is also able to send 100 percent of power side to side, meaning either of the rear tires can send all of the engine’s power to the ground. In heavy Florida rains, the XT5 was completely sure-footed and never spun a tire, even with heavy throttle. The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.

Fuel economy is pretty respectable. The EPA estimates the XT5 AWD to get 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Premium fuel is required, though.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.6L V6 VVT DI (LGX)
Cylinder head material cast aluminum
Valvetrain DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing (VVT)
Ignition system coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 310 HP @ 6,700 RPM
Torque 271 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
Transmission AWF8F45 paddle-shift Eight-Speed Automatic (MRC)

Behind The Wheel


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745058
“The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect.”

The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect. It’s easy to get into; it’s easy to see out of, and it’s easy to drive. The steering feels appropriately weighted without being too heavy to requiring too many turns. Its on-center feel is tight without being twitchy. The throttle and brakes are easy to apply, with both having a smooth, predictable pedal travel.

The comfy front seats and power-adjustable steering column make it easy to get comfortable. Memory setting allows the driver to keep his settings. All-day comfort is very high, making the XT5 an excellent highway burner. Add in the large side mirrors and Head-Up display, and this Caddy just begs to rack up the miles.

Pricing


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745023

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 starts at $40,390. Four trim levels are available: the base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. The Luxury trim starts at $48,790; the Premium luxury starts at $55,790; and the Platinum starts at $63,890. The base trim only comes with FWD and the range-topping Platinum only comes in AWD. The middle two trims have the option of FWD or AWD.

My tester came with a few optional extras, too. The $2,340 Driver Assist Package adds adaptive cruise control, auto-tightening seat belts, automatic collision braking, front and rear automatic braking, and the Automatic Park Assist feature. There is also the $575 trailering equipment and the $350 compact spare tire that replaces the tire goo and air compressor. Add on the $995 destination fee, and the total comes to $67,155.

The Competition

2018 Audi Q5


2017 Audi Q5 - image 690295

The Audi Q5 is completely new for 2018 and is lighter, more stylish, and more techie than before, while still holding onto its Germanic background and familiar yet modern Audi character. The Q5 has become nearly omnipresent these days, so it’s clear Audi is doing something right. The new model expands on that in all the right ways. The 2018 Q5 features Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit, a large infotainment screen with Audi’s latest MMI software, and a modern interior.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the Quattro AWD system. The Q5’s 4,100-pound curb weight is a couple hundred pounds less than the XT5, meaning the 2.0-liter perfectly peppy. The sprint to 60 mph comes in 5.8 seconds, which is quicker than the XT5’s 6.6-second run. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 23 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Those who want more power can opt for the SQ5 with its 354 horsepower turbocharged V-6.

Prices for the 2018 Q5 start at $41,500 and will grow beyond $57,000 with all the options added to the Prestige trim.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi Q5.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace


2017 Jaguar F-Pace - image 645923

In the same vein of sporty crossovers, Jaguar has its new F-Pace. It offers the same levels of luxury as its popular sedans, but in a higher-riding, more all-weather capable package. Naturally, the F-Pace comes in several flavors and with six trims to choose from. Niceties include Meridian sound systems, Jaguar’s infotainment system, and tons of optional features.

The standard engine is a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a high-output version with 296 horsepower. Diesel fans will love the 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 180 horses and 318 pound-feet of torque. Those wanting performance should go for the familiar 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 found in other Jaguar Land Rover products. Here it makes 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in the F-Pace S trim. All trims and engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.

Prices start at $42,065 for the 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Getting a diesel model requires $46,275 and the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 takes $59,775.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745030

The XT5 is great at being a plush, luxurious, living room on wheels, but its competition goes about things differently. The Audi, Mercedes, and Jag all have sportier personalities that might appeal to a younger buyer. The XT5 is more passive when it comes to carving corners and blasting up Interstate on-ramps. Its luxury-first approach might make the XT5 appear dull and unathletic by comparison.

But in my view, that’s what makes the XT5 good. It doesn’t try being something it’s not. The XT5 is different, and I’m betting plenty of people want comfort over performance. I’ve got to give credit to Cadillac for that. The XT5 directly appeals to the classic Cadillac spirit of premium luxury without being too geriatric. Any Millennial or Gen-Xer should be more than proud to be seen behind the wheel. So sure, he XT5 takes the old-school Caddy approach of luxury over sport, but executed the idea rather well and without alienating any generation of customer. That’s a big win for Cadillac.

Now I’m left looking forward to what other XT-branded crossovers Caddy has up its sleeve. Perhaps an XT3 or XT4 will take the sporty approach to better compete against the Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC63, while the XT6 or XT7 might give the Land Rover Range Rover and Bentley Bentayga a run for their money

  • Leave it
    • Front end looks overweight
    • Luxury-focused in a sports-focused segment
    • Gets expensive with options

References


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745027

The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743169

How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD System


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742588

Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA

Information surrounding the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler keeps pouring out of Auburn Hills, but the latest news from D.C. The EPA has published the fuel economy stats for the 2018 Wrangler Unlimited with the updated 3.6-liter V-6. Both the six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission are included. The new Wrangler JL shows a marked improvement over the outgoing Wrangler JK, though we expect an even bigger increase with the 2.0-liter turbo-four and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.

The 2018 Wrangler Unlimited JL with the six-speed manual is EPA-estimated to get 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. Opting for the eight-speed automatic bumps the numbers to 18 mpg city and 20 mpg combined, with the highway number staying at 23 mpg.

Both fuel economy estimates are big improvements over the previous Jeep. The 2017 Wrangler JK with the six-speed manual could only muster 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. That means the new six-speed JL improves by two mpg on the highway and one mpg combined. The old JK with its outdated five-speed automatic actually scored the exact same as its manual counterpart, meaning the new eight-speed-equipped JL improves by one mpg city, two mpg highway, and two mpg combined.

Continue reading for more information.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 3.6-liter V-6 EPA Fuel Economy


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 742823

The outgoing Wrangler JK will continue into the 2018 model year. This is its EPA-estimated fuel economy.


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 742824

The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JL sees fuel economy improved by as much as two mpg over its predecessor.

The Other Two Engines


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 741967
“For 2018, the Wrangler will have three engine choices”

For the first time in more than a decade, Jeep is offering engine options in the Wrangler. The last time customers had a choice; it was with the 1997–2006 Wrangler TJ. It offered a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (and after 2002, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder) and the venerable 4.0-liter inline-six cylinder.

Now for 2018, the Wrangler will have three engine choices: the aforementioned 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder known as the Hurricane, and the familiar 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 currently found in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The EPA has yet to release fuel economy estimates for the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter, but we strongly suspect both with have improved economy over the already improved 3.6-liter V-6. The 2.0-liter turbo-four could achieve something around 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined, while the V-6 turbodiesel will be the fuel-sipping champ. It could achieve something like 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

Final Thoughts


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 741968
“Regardless of engine choice with the all-new 2018 Wrangler, fuel economy numbers are up”

Regardless of engine choice with the all-new 2018 Wrangler, fuel economy numbers are up. Sure, we don’t know exactly what the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter will score, but both will surely outperform the 3.6-liter V-6. That’s great news for Jeep in light of the CAFÉ standards and Wrangler owners who can save money at the pump. Of course, we’re still waiting for Jeep to mention the hybrid powertrain that’s rumored to be paired with the 2.0-liter. That’s still a few years off, though, so don’t expect word anytime soon.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 741967

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.



Read more Jeep news.

PostHeaderIcon This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber

The 2017 SEMA Show was packed with modified pickup trucks, but none was as spectacular as this EcoBoost-powered rock climber built by CJ Pony Parts. The aftermarket parts supplier has been a constant presence in Las Vegas in recent years, showcasing a restomod 1965 Ford Mustang built with TMI Products, a custom Focus ST with Ford, and a beefed up Mustang EcoBoost with Ford Performance. In 2017, CJ Pony Parts chose to stay away from the car performance realm and opted to create a stunning off-road-equipped F-150 pickup truck.

Already a solid truck thanks to its aluminum body, leading technology, and fuel-efficient engines, the F-150 is now able to tackle the Moab Easter Jeep Safari alongside the most hardcore Jeep Wranglers out there. CJ Pony Parts says that its goal with this build was to create something “that not only looked tough but can back up that look with massive off-road capability,” it seems that the result matches the description. Exterior upgrades are numerous, starting with Lund fender flares, custom two-tone paint with orange graphics, and a rear differential cover. There’s also a T-Rex grille; Rigid Radiance LED lights, Rock Slider side steps, and new Stealth Fighter and Honey Badger bumpers front and rear. The truck also features an Oracle Lighting ColorShift LED underbody lighting kit.

The list of accessories continues inside with a Raptor steering wheel with orange stitching, Ford Performance door sill plates, custom headrests with CJ Pony Parts logo, and orange accents on the dashboard, door panels, center console, and floor mats. But the really important upgrades were operated under the skin.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts.

What’s under the skin?


This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber - image 742565
“Performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.”

This pickup truck uses the same 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission as the production model, but there’s no word whether it’s the standard unit or the high-output version. The former generates 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet, while the latter cranks out 450 horses and 510 pound-feet. But no matter the drivetrain, performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.

The enhanced off-road capability comes from a ReadyLift seven-inch lift kit with SST3000 shocks and Custom Power suspension by PA Powder Works. The standard wheels have been replaced by two-piece, forged 20-inch rollers wrapped in BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. A spare wheel was mounted in the bed in case one goes flat while climbing rocks. Arguably the most off-road capable vehicle at the 2017 SEMA Show, CJ’s F-150 is a sight to behold!

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700457

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Debuts Limited Trim on 2018 Super Duty and It’s Expensive

New vehicle prices have drastically risen over the last two decades, with pickup trucks leading the surge. Now, Ford is pushing the envelope even further by launching the Limited trim on its 2018 Super Duty Lineup. First seen on the 2015 F-150, the Limited trim had not been offered on Ford’s heavy-duty pickup line. That’s changed now, along with the max price somebody can pay for a pickup.

Check every option box on a 2018 F-450 Limited and the price can soar to $95,750!

Even the “base” price for a Super Duty Limited is expensive. For $82,130, Ford will sell you an F-250 version. That’s nearly $10,000 more than the 2017 F-250 Platinum, the Super Duty’s current top trim. Of course, it doesn’t matter what weight class Super Duty you pick, the Limited trim comes standard with just about every conceivable feature and creature comfort available in anything short of a Maybach or Rolls Royce. Two-tone leather front seats have 10-way power adjustability, heating, venting, and massage functions. A panoramic moonroof spans nearly from the windshield to the rear window. Power-folding side steps, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and full LED lighting are also present.

Tech features include Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with its 360-degree camera system and innovative auxiliary camera for attaching to the rear of a trailer. It has adaptive cruise control with collision warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring for both the truck and trailer, and an 8.0-inch productivity screen in the gauge cluster that hosts a bevy of information, including drivetrain parameters, tire pressure monitors for the truck and trailer, and other customizable screens. The Super Duty even has Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature, which allows the driver to maneuver the truck and trailer in reverse by twisting a dash-mounted knob in the direction the trailer should travel rather than having to think about counter-steering with the steering wheel.

Naturally, the Super Duty Limited has the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel for pulling heavy loads. It boasts 440 horsepower and 925 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to pull 32,500 pounds via a gooseneck trailer in the F-450. The Super Duty can also tow 21,000 pounds from its receiver hitch and haul 7,630 pounds of payload in its aluminum cargo box – all when the right cab, bed, and drivetrain combination is chosen.

Ford has said in the past that customers of high-end, heavy-duty pickups are typically hauling expensive things, like a million-dollar yacht or a $200,000 horse trailer with a prize-winning stallion riding inside. It’s no wonder, then, why these customers won’t mind spending six-figures on their tow rig.

What do you think? Is $100,000 too expensive for an ultra-luxury truck? Will GM and Ram have to develop an equally expensive trim level to compete with the Limited? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ford Super Duty


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648424

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Super Duty.

Ford F-150 Limited


2016 Ford F-150 Limited - image 637605

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford F-150 Limited.

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Discovery Turbodiesel Pulls 121-Ton, Seven-Trailer Semi Truck

Land Rover wants you to know its fifth-generation Discovery SUV is capable – so capable, in fact, that it can flat-tow a semi truck with seven trailers weighing a total of 121 tons a distance of 10 miles. Is this a publicity stunt that’s well beyond what anybody would attempt in their luxury SUV? Of course. But, Land Rover’s point is that the Discovery and its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel Td6 are built to do the extremes. Even with the marketing hype, I can say I’m honestly impressed.

This sort of extreme towing test isn’t new. Land Rover had done similar feats before, as had other automakers like Volkswagen, Porsche, and Toyota – not to mention Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram. Nevertheless, these demonstrations show the importance of low-end torque and traction. Obviously, the Discovery Td6 has plenty of both. Its turbodiesel makes 443 pound-feet of torque that’s routed to all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case with low-range gears. The torque-multiplying transfer case is key to making 443 pound-feet do the work of the semi truck’s turbodiesel engine and its 2,200 pound-feet of torque. The Disco’s use of low range also explains why it topped out at 27 mph. Keep in mind, the Discovery Td6 is rated to tow 7,716 pounds.

What Land Rover didn’t attempt was slowing all that weight. Braking is a huge limiting factor when it comes to max tow ratings. After all, a vehicle and its load have to stop eventually. The Discovery’s brakes just wouldn’t be up to the challenge. That’s partly why the tractor sits between the Discovery and the trailers – to operate each trailers air brakes. That, and because the Discovery doesn’t have a fifth-wheel hitch.

Interestingly enough, a seven-trailer road train is illegal in Australia. The government down under limits road trains to “only” four trailers. Here in the U.S., the DOT caps the number at two. Land Rover says it had to get special permission to conduct the stunt and contract with local authorities to temporarily close the road.

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Discovery Turbodiesel Pulls 121-Ton, Seven-Trailer Semi Truck

Land Rover wants you to know its fifth-generation Discovery SUV is capable – so capable, in fact, that it can flat-tow a semi truck with seven trailers weighing a total of 121 tons a distance of 10 miles. Is this a publicity stunt that’s well beyond what anybody would attempt in their luxury SUV? Of course. But, Land Rover’s point is that the Discovery and its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel Td6 are built to do the extremes. Even with the marketing hype, I can say I’m honestly impressed.

This sort of extreme towing test isn’t new. Land Rover had done similar feats before, as had other automakers like Volkswagen, Porsche, and Toyota – not to mention Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram. Nevertheless, these demonstrations show the importance of low-end torque and traction. Obviously, the Discovery Td6 has plenty of both. Its turbodiesel makes 443 pound-feet of torque that’s routed to all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case with low-range gears. The torque-multiplying transfer case is key to making 443 pound-feet do the work of the semi truck’s turbodiesel engine and its 2,200 pound-feet of torque. The Disco’s use of low range also explains why it topped out at 27 mph. Keep in mind, the Discovery Td6 is rated to tow 7,716 pounds.

What Land Rover didn’t attempt was slowing all that weight. Braking is a huge limiting factor when it comes to max tow ratings. After all, a vehicle and its load have to stop eventually. The Discovery’s brakes just wouldn’t be up to the challenge. That’s partly why the tractor sits between the Discovery and the trailers – to operate each trailers air brakes. That, and because the Discovery doesn’t have a fifth-wheel hitch.

Interestingly enough, a seven-trailer road train is illegal in Australia. The government down under limits road trains to “only” four trailers. Here in the U.S., the DOT caps the number at two. Land Rover says it had to get special permission to conduct the stunt and contract with local authorities to temporarily close the road.

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Discovery SVX

Land Rover has finally debuted its concept of what the hard-core off-road Discovery SVX will be when it enters production in 2018. The long-rumored SVX version of the new Disco is the latest creation from Land Rover’s in-house skunkworks and customizer, Special Vehicle Operations, otherwise known as SVO. Designed to handle even worse terrain than a standard Discovery, the SVX boasts an upgraded suspension with more flex and ride height, restyled bumpers for improved approach and departure angles, exposed tow hooks, and even a recovery winch mounted in the rear bumper. Naturally, the interior is given a flair of outdoorsy extremism.

The Discovery SVX project takes inspiration from the classic Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge events, which used to pit man and machine against incredible odds in extended cross-country driving through remote areas with basically no roads. While both off-road events have been dead since 2000 and 2008, respectively, Land Rover has tried to infuse that adventurous spirit into the Discovery SVX. Perhaps one day we’ll see Land Rover organize another G4 Challenge, but until then, let’s check out its new Discovery SVX.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser is about as iconic as vehicles come, so it’s a big deal when something changes. For 2018 in global markets, the Land Cruiser is getting a few appearance upgrades and a redesigned dashboard – both in an effort to keep this go-anywhere, three-row SUV flying off showroom floors. Toyota debuted its updated Land Cruiser at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of its on-sale date later this year.

The Land Cruiser’s reputation is rooted in reliability and its rugged dependability in off-road situations, often far from civilization. It makes sense, then, that Toyota boasts about the SUV being “easy to maintain and repair” right in its press materials. You won’t find that in a Land Rover’s press kit. While easy trail repairs isn’t the Land Cruiser’s best selling point in North America where customers view it as a status symbol, many of the 190 countries place an extreme value on making a round trip when leaving the house. Of course, the 2018 Land Cruiser is more than just reliable transportation. It offers plenty of luxury and creature comforts, too. Let’s check out what changes Toyota has made for 2018. Perhaps some of these will even make it to the U.S.-spec Land Cruiser, as well.

Continue reading for more about the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Launches First Production Hydrogen Hybrid With GLC F-Cell

The latest crop of green alternative passenger vehicles is making the rounds at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and Mercedes is getting in on the action with a brand-new hybrid SUV. It’s called the GLC F-Cell, and it’s touted as the world’s very first production-ready hydrogen hybrid vehicle. Flying the German automaker’s EQ Power banner, also known as the go-to branding for Merc’s various green solutions, the GLC F-Cell is essentially an SUV that combines plug-in all-electric battery power with hydrogen fuel cell power. The marriage of these two alternative power sources hopes to find a synergy whereby benefits are maximized and disadvantages are minimized, combining the quick refill times of hydrogen power and the long-range capability of electrified assistance, all without the traditional explodey dino juice normally associated with “typical” hybrid vehicles.

The new SUV is part of the latest Mercedes product strategy to produce 10 new battery-electric models by the year 2022. The GLC F-Cell is also a modern addition to the Mercedes CASE strategy, an acronym that stands for, Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric. And while the SUV has yet to show anything terribly noteworthy in terms of connected, autonomous, or sharing features, the novel hybrid stuff is more than worthy of the attention of anyone interested in powertrain technology development. Read on for the specs and details.

Continue reading to learn more about the GLC F-Cell.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota “Invincible 50” Celebrates 50 Years Of Hilux

Hey, did you know the Toyota Hilux is a capable pickup that’s sold basically everywhere besides North America and is apparently indestructible against the best Jeremy Clarkson can throw its way? Of course, you know that since it’s practically common knowledge and rumored to be on driving tests in at least 95 countries. What you might not realize is Toyota has been selling the thing for half a century. Yep, 2018 marks the 50th birthday of the iconic Hilux pickup. Naturally, Toyota can’t let such an occasion pass without building some tribute, so here it is, the 2018 Hilux “Invincible 50.”

This Double Cab Hilux has several Toyota dealership parts bolted on, along with a custom wrap, all designed to grab attention at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Toyota says the truck is “ideally suited to a broad range of both professional and leisure activities,” or basically, that a so-configured Hilux is at home on the job site and doing fun stuff on the weekend. Sounds like the automotive equivalent of a mullet hairstyle, right? Unlike the mullet, the Hilux’s popularity didn’t die in the 1990s. In fact, the truck is expected to sell more than 40,600 examples in Europe for 2017, besting its previous record of 40,104 sold in 2007. That’s pretty impressive, especially in a place where pickups aren’t the “it” vehicle to drive. Perhaps Toyota’s expectation rides on folks falling in love with the Hilux “invincible 50” and its customized flair. Probably not, but let’s have a close look at this one-off show truck.

Continue reading for more information.

TiresDirect
SuperTune Kit:
Auto Auctions:
2014 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2014 FORD MUSTANG GT ROUSH RS3 STAGE 3 S/C 6-SPEED 23K #211181 Texas Direct Auto
$24,100.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 14:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $33,730.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT 5.0 AUTO LEATHER HID LIGHTS 41K MI #218165 Texas Direct
$5,100.00 (54 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Jan-23-2018 10:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $20,480.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT REAR CAM HUD 4K MI #103779 Texas Direct Auto
$61,980.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:18:03 PST
Buy It Now for only: $61,980.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2015 BMW i8 Base Coupe 2-Door 2015 BMW I8 HYBRID GIGA WORLD AWD NAV HUD 20'S ONLY 15K #392350 Texas Direct
$55,655.00 (22 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 19:59:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $88,480.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

1967 Ford Mustang fastback GT 1967 Mustang Fastback GT S Code
$50,500.00 (35 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 18:10:37 PST
Buy It Now for only: $72,995.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Ford F-150 FX4 Crew Cab Lariat Sport FX4 4X4 Ecoboost Custom Lifted Truck New Wheels Tires Nav
$42,600.00 (29 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:31:03 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 1965 Corvette Coupe original red car, numbers matching
$26,100.00 (21 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 8:57:17 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT FASTBACK 5.0 6-SPD SPOILER 36K MI #281725 Texas Direct Auto
$16,100.00 (17 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 7:55:18 PST
Buy It Now for only: $19,419.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 Ford Mustang Base Convertible 2-Door 2014 FORD MUSTANG V6 PREM CONVERTIBLE AUTO LEATHER 58K #240287 Texas Direct Auto
$15,230.00
End Date: Tuesday Jan-23-2018 14:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $15,230.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS CONVERTIBLE LEATHER NAV HUD 22k #166875 Texas Direct Auto
$34,730.00
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $34,730.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2016 Ford Mustang GT350 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
$45,000.00 (29 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 16:35:38 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT Roush Edition 727 HP- Warrior Special Ops - Only one ever made
$35,100.00 (12 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-17-2018 18:09:16 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 BMW i8 Base Coupe 2-Door 2014 BMW I8 AWD HYBRID PURE IMPULSE NAV HUD 20'S 2K MI! #X64774 Texas Direct
$1,300.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $89,980.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS2 COMMEMORATIVE SUNROOF NAV HUD 3K #211182 Texas Direct Auto
$18,100.00 (52 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $31,980.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F-150 CREW 4X4 LIFTED LEATHER REAR CAM 9K MI #D74031 Texas Direct Auto
$38,980.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 14:15:56 PST
Buy It Now for only: $38,980.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS CONV AUTO HTD SEATS HUD 20'S 45K #299773 Texas Direct Auto
$102.50 (10 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Jan-23-2018 15:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $23,730.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NAV 1K #101720 Texas Direct Auto
$40,500.00 (380 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 8:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $62,230.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 1LZ S/C HUD REAR CAM 4K MILES #613401 Texas Direct Auto
$68,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 9:20:31 PST
Buy It Now for only: $68,480.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2015 Ford F-150 LARIAT Ford Crew Cab Lariat 4X4 Ecoboost Custom New Lift Wheels Tires Grill Leather Nav
$30,100.00 (12 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jan-19-2018 15:06:49 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 2LT AUTO NAV HUD 4K MI #112474 Texas Direct
$32,300.00 (41 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 10:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $49,230.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Ford F-150 2017 FORD F150 XLT CREW 4X4 5.0 LIFTED LEATHER 35'S 14K #A48652 Texas Direct
$10,100.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $39,480.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 5K #521566 Texas Direct
$53,730.00
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $53,730.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F150 LTD CREW 4X4 ECOBOOST PANO NAV 22'S 9K #D31861 Texas Direct Auto
$1,025.00 (11 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 7:56:10 PST
Buy It Now for only: $48,846.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY SUPER SNAKE 800-HP ONLY 544 MI #227961 Texas Direct
$84,980.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $84,980.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2011 CHEVY CORVETTE Z16 GRAND SPORT 3LT Z51 HUD 31K MI #101903 Texas Direct Auto
$20,100.00 (9 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $34,357.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Ford Mustang GT 2017 Ford Mustang GT - Performance Pack + ROUSH SUPERCHARGED 670hp!!
$37,855.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 9:23:58 PST
Buy It Now for only: $46,812.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F-150 XL REGULAR CAB SPORT BED LINER 13K MI #E41814 Texas Direct Auto
$22,230.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-18-2018 8:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $22,230.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Ford F-150 2014 FORD F-150 STX SUPERCREW LIFTED 5.0L 35" TIRES 57K #D30166 Texas Direct
$25,230.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 16:43:44 PST
Buy It Now for only: $25,230.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ S/C 7SPD LEATHER NAV HUD 8K #602574 Texas Direct
$65,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 13:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $65,480.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1968 Ford Mustang 2+2 1968 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback 289 / Auto
$30,000.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 8:59:08 PST
Buy It Now for only: $30,000.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Dietrich Web Consulting