Saturday, May 12, 2018

The big G from Genesis !!!

The Genesis brand produces a large luxury sedan that offers many of the same features found in European and Japanese competitors. For the G90 to be a success it will need to match the other entries feature for feature. Bumper2Bumpertv has a look at the platform.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Jeep Wranger

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 3.6-liter V6/8-speed automatic 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 285 hp @ 6,400 rpm/260 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 118.4 in.
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.4 x 73.8 x 73.6 in. 
  • TIRES: LT285/70R17 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 31.7/72.4 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down) 
  • ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/16.2 mpg test
  • FUEL TANK: 21.5 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 4,455 lbs. #/HP: 15.6 
  • TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 lbs.
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Edge, Land Rover Discovery, Nissan Murano 
  • STICKER: $52,175 (includes $1,195 delivery, $10,485 options) 
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Jeep Wrangler, both “limited” and Unlimited is probably the most unique vehicle on the planet. It has go-anywhere capability, but it is hampered by significant wind and engine noise.

            A Jeep is a Jeep. It is probably the most unique vehicle around. Okay, the Hummer was unique, too, but they aren’t available any more for civilian use. While other vehicles in the Jeep family try to capture Jeep Wrangler styling cues, you can only do so much. The seven-slot grille traces back to WWII. The square styling has been softened a bit in the JL edition, like with the less vertical windshield, but it’s still one-of-a-kind. Even the plastic fender overiders are legendary. But, there are still round headlamps - not really! There are projection beam headlamps “inside” the round exterior shells.
            I realize it’s a “Jeep Thing,” but the designers almost go too far.
            Under the square hood is a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 285 horsepower, connected to an 8-sped automatic transmission. Of course, you can shift into low-low for serious off-road travel. I felt the engine was noisy, but a good portion of the noise could have been wind noise. Because of the Wrangler’s aspect ratio, there is considerable wind noise that intrudes into the cabin. On the plus side, though, there’s enough power to do almost anything. 
            Inside, you almost get the feel that you’re ready for combat, or serious off-roading. There’s even a “chicken bar” handle for the front passenger to hang on. The simple dash is all business. There’s a basic tachometer and speedometer with clear water and fuel gauges. There’s a larger infotainment screen in the center of the dash with Chrysler Corporation’s Uconnect system (a $1,295 option) for navigating it.
            The center stack has all the HVAC controls, as well as the power window switches, a 12-volt outlet and media connections. Below this are the 4-wheel drive and sway bar controls.
            Entry and egress is aided by assist handles on the A and B-pillars. For senior citizens, the tall entry (the Wrangler has 9.7 inches ground clearance to get over all those rocks on the Rubicon Trail) can be a challenge and the assist handles are necessary.
            Our four-door Unlimited tester had a soft top all around. If you can figure out how to work all the snaps, etc., you can convert the Jeep into an all-over convertible. For example, we had issues with the rear because we had to carry a tall can to the local compost center. Then we had a problem getting it back together without significant gaps that would have allowed rain water inside. We still had an interior rain shower when we opened the front door after rain and water poured into the cockpit. Fortunately, our Wrangler had all-weather floor mats (a $130 option) to catch the water. 
            Front seats are firm and not that comfortable for long rides, but they do work for sore backs. There’s good rear seat legroom and an essentially flat floor. There’s also excellent rear headroom and visibility. There are audio speakers in the “roll bar” that protects all the passengers in case of a roll-over (we didn’t check this feature).
            As a small sport utility, the Wrangler Unlimited has very good cargo capacity. However, I had to lower the rear seat backs in order to get my golf clubs into the rear. The rear head restraints fold when you lower the seat backs.
            I know it’s a Jeep Thing, and a true aficionado would appreciate the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited a bit more than I did, but I did like the vehicle’s ruggedness and almost willingness to get off-road and do its thing.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Growing the Toyota brand, Mississippi style

Toyota thinks there is a strong future for the Corolla. So much so, that the company is putting a lot of money and effort to expand their assembly plant near Tupelo Mississippi. Bumper2Bumpertv has details.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator, going big and definitely not staying at home.

Bold styling, a robust power plant, luxury appointments, these are some of the traits of the latest version of the Lincoln Navigator. The brand is taking a distinctively American approach as it reclaims its space in the global luxury market, as Bumper2Bumpertv has learned.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, a throwback looking forward!!

A radical redesign is the first thing you notice in the 2019 Toyota Corolla. And Bumper2Bumpertv has found the changes are more than skin deep in this first drive impression.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2019 Toyota Avalon, a first look!!

For 2019 the Avalon gets some new styling, new technology and a new power plant. Bumper2Bumpertv has a first look at what has changed in the premium sedan.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Alfa Romeo Giulia

John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti AWD
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4/8-speed automatic
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 290 hp @ 5,200 rpm/306 lb.-ft. @ 2,000-4,800 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 111.0 in. 
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.6 x 73.7 x 56.5 in. 
  • TIRES: P225/40R19 
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 12.0 cu. ft.
  • ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway/24.8 mpg test 
  • FUEL TANK: 15.3 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 3,695 lbs. #/HP: 12.7
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Acura TLX, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS
  • STICKER: $50,035 (includes $995 delivery, $9,045 options
  • BOTTOM LINE: In many ways the Alfa Romeo Giulia is as quirky as a Saab 900, but its primary assets are fantastic Italian looks and stirring performance. 

            The last time I drove an Alfa Romeo Giulia was back in Alfa’s previous iteration in the States. I remember that at that time pieces fell off the car and I couldn’t get the radio to work. No pieces fell off this version of the Giulia, but I still had radio problems. Tuning is a challenge, even after browsing through the owner’s manual several times. So we locked on to a SiriusXM channel that was preset and acceptable. Also, the on/off/volume control knob was located way back on the center console. It matched the engine start/stop button located on the steering wheel.
            I also recalled driving an Alfa Romeo Giulia for my navigator/owner Vic Wallder in New Jersey rallies back in the day. That was a fun car to drive, and Vic would never let me upshift, preferring to keep it in a lower gear to hear the engine whine. Hey, it was his car.
            This Giulia had a similar sound. It seems to want to go on forever when you’re accelerating. Alfa claims 0-60 mph times of less than 5.1 seconds and I won’t disagree. 
            Of course, this is an Alfa Romeo, and as such it wears great Italian styling behind its distinctive grille. The Giulia is low-slung with a pronounced wedge shape. My wife felt the entry was too low, but I enjoyed it. Entry and egress are aided by four assist handles over the doors.
            Once inside, the heated red leather seats ensconce you, gripping you nicely in the kidney area to make cornering more fun.  There’s also a great wheel to hold on to. The 8-speed automatic transmission has large column-mounted paddle shifters designed to shift gears in less than 100 milliseconds. However, the paddles are large and almost get in the way when you’re not using them. Hitting the turn signal stalk can be fun. There are also unique wiper controls on the right stalk that take some learning. 
            Instrumentation in the swoopy dash consists of clear analog dials with an information panel in between that we set for a digital speedometer. The infotainment screen is too small.
            On the center console are three knobs. The smaller one is the radio on/off/volume. The large center one works the menus, radio (supposedly) and navigation. On the left is once labeled dna, with settings for “d” for dynamic sports driving mode, “n” for normal driving mode, and “a” for advanced efficiency. A button in the middle of the knob adjusts the calibration of the suspensions in “d” mode.
            The Giulia has what I call a modern shifter. You park by pushing the “P” button. Pull the shifter toward you with your finger on a button to shift into drive and push it forward to hit reverse. You can’t go from park straight to reverse, but must go to drive or neutral first.
            While the front seats are comfortable, rear set legroom is tight. There’s also a high center hump to preclude thing a third passenger back there. However, the rear seats are comfortable. But, once seated, your feet are under the front seats and it can be difficult to extricate them. In fact, it can be danged dangerous in an emergency situation. Out back is a useful trunk, but the rear seat backs apparently don’t fold to increase cargo capacity.
            Overall, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a performing mid-size sedan on the small end of the scale. It brought back both good and not-so-good memories of previous Giulia's I have driven.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate