The Truth About Cars » New Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » New Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/new-cars/ Toyota Axing Venza Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-axing-venza-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-axing-venza-crossover/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:43:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1011162 Toyota is reportedly ending production of the Venza crossover. The Venza, which sold less than 30,000 units last year, has long struggled to find a foothold in the marketplace. While production will continue until 2017 for export markets, the end of the Venza means that further capacity will be freed up at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky […]

The post Toyota Axing Venza Crossover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2013 Toyota Venza Limited, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Toyota is reportedly ending production of the Venza crossover.

The Venza, which sold less than 30,000 units last year, has long struggled to find a foothold in the marketplace. While production will continue until 2017 for export markets, the end of the Venza means that further capacity will be freed up at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant, allowing Toyota to produce more Camrys.

The post Toyota Axing Venza Crossover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-axing-venza-crossover/feed/ 93
Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-revealed/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:58:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1011026 At 310 horsepower, the Honda Civic Type R represents the first turbocharged performance vehicle from Honda, and the big H is aiming for the fastest front-wheel drive time around the Nurburgring. Unlike past VTECs, peak torque of 295 lb-ft will come online at just 2500 rpm. The only transmission choice will be a 6-speed manual […]

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-02

At 310 horsepower, the Honda Civic Type R represents the first turbocharged performance vehicle from Honda, and the big H is aiming for the fastest front-wheel drive time around the Nurburgring.

Unlike past VTECs, peak torque of 295 lb-ft will come online at just 2500 rpm. The only transmission choice will be a 6-speed manual transmission. Brembo brakes, bucket seats, a stiffer suspension and selectable drive modes round out the rest of the package. While the front suspension features a new “Dual Axis” setup similar to Ford’s RevoKnuckle system in the old Focus RS, the rear utilizes a torsion beam rather than a fully independent suspension.

Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-05 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-02 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-11 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-07 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-06 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-03 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-04 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-08 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-09 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-01 r-fstat3 r-fthqstat r-fside r-fstrear r-fstat2 honda-news-sm4ud-type-r-2a honda-news-sm4ud-type-r-4a honda-news-sm4ud-type-r-3a r-sdash r-seatsf r-seatsf2 r-sgdisplay r-stimeattack r-xexhaust r-xspoiler

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-revealed/feed/ 25
Range Rover Introduces Murano Cross Cabriolet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/range-rover-introduces-murano-cross-cabriolet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/range-rover-introduces-murano-cross-cabriolet/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:10:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010474   For anyone who mourned the demise of the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet, Land Rover has you covered. The droptop version of the Range Rover Evoque will debut tomorrow at the Geneva Auto Show. Three years ago, Land Rover previewed this Evoque in concept form, but now it appears to be greenlit. No word on […]

The post Range Rover Introduces Murano Cross Cabriolet appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Range_Rover_Evoque_Convertible_Crossrail_2

 

For anyone who mourned the demise of the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet, Land Rover has you covered.

The droptop version of the Range Rover Evoque will debut tomorrow at the Geneva Auto Show. Three years ago, Land Rover previewed this Evoque in concept form, but now it appears to be greenlit. No word on whether the digital camo pattern will be a factory option. Given the car’s target demographic, it would make sense.

The post Range Rover Introduces Murano Cross Cabriolet appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/range-rover-introduces-murano-cross-cabriolet/feed/ 22
More Pictures Of The Civic Type-R http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/pictures-civic-type-r/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/pictures-civic-type-r/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:38:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010418 Anyone willing to take bets we’ll see something like this on our shores? I’m thinking we’ll see the same powertrain but in a sedan or coupe. A Civic hatchback seems like a longshot, but with the Focus, Mazda3 and Golf offering them, perhaps there’s an opportunity for a revival?  

The post More Pictures Of The Civic Type-R appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda-Civic-Type-R-1Carscoops

Anyone willing to take bets we’ll see something like this on our shores? I’m thinking we’ll see the same powertrain but in a sedan or coupe. A Civic hatchback seems like a longshot, but with the Focus, Mazda3 and Golf offering them, perhaps there’s an opportunity for a revival?

 

Honda-Civic-Type-R-2 Honda-Civic-Type-R-1Carscoops

The post More Pictures Of The Civic Type-R appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/pictures-civic-type-r/feed/ 9
Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Spied http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spied/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spied/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:02:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010074   Here it is, the first turbo Type-R. The Civic Type-R will debut at Geneva’s auto show this coming week, with an all-new (for Honda) turbocharged 2.0L VTEC engine. Honda claims it will be the fastest front-driver to lap the Nurburgring. Let’s hope it comes to North America.  

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Spied appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
6321677461116928046

 

Here it is, the first turbo Type-R.

The Civic Type-R will debut at Geneva’s auto show this coming week, with an all-new (for Honda) turbocharged 2.0L VTEC engine. Honda claims it will be the fastest front-driver to lap the Nurburgring. Let’s hope it comes to North America.

 

311553107567906138 1608433515291349512 6321677461116928046 9853336241462204620

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Spied appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spied/feed/ 32
Editorial: Will Gordon Murray’s City Car Finally See The Road? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/editorial-will-gordon-murrays-city-car-finally-see-road/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/editorial-will-gordon-murrays-city-car-finally-see-road/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:20:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1009658 The saga of Gordon Murray’s T.25 city car may finally reach an end in 2019 when Yamaha plans to launch their own line of four-wheeled vehicles. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Japanese industrial conglomerate is planning to launch a car by the end of the decade, to help diversify away from motorbikes and […]

The post Editorial: Will Gordon Murray’s City Car Finally See The Road? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
gordonmurrayyamaha-550x387

The saga of Gordon Murray’s T.25 city car may finally reach an end in 2019 when Yamaha plans to launch their own line of four-wheeled vehicles.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Japanese industrial conglomerate is planning to launch a car by the end of the decade, to help diversify away from motorbikes and to capture customers in the developing world who are migrating away from motorcycles and into cars.

While the WSJ article suggests that Yamaha is going at it alone with their car project, this would be an enormously expensive project. The more likely scenario is a production version of the Yamaha Motiv, a city car based on the T.25 project, engineered and designed by former McLaren F1 visionary Gordon Murray.

While the Motiv uses a number of innovative design features , the real value add for Yamaha is Murray’s iStream production process. As our own Ronnie Schreiber reported

The main concept of iStream is to abandon the traditional stamped metal, spot welded construction, used almost universally by the auto industry for more than 60 years, and replace it with one based on relatively simple tubular steel frames reinforced with sheets of composites that make up the floor, firewall, bulkheads and roof structure. The outer skin is made from non load bearing impact resistant plastic.  Murray claims class-leading stiffness and crashworthiness.

gordonmurrayyamaha3-550x367

While it’s possible that Yamaha may have abandoned the Murray-based design and manufacturing system for its new car, the most recent reports indicated that the two parties had worked closely on the project and were sufficiently mutually invested to the point where production was an inevitability. Past city cars, from the Toyota iQ to the Smart Fortwo have generally been unpleasant, poorly thought out attempts at easing urban mobility. The Motiv might turn out to be something different. If nothing else, it has the right pedigree on both sides of the gene pool.

The post Editorial: Will Gordon Murray’s City Car Finally See The Road? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/editorial-will-gordon-murrays-city-car-finally-see-road/feed/ 28
Question Of The Day: What Brand Has The Most Cars You’d Never Buy? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-brand-cars-youd-never-buy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-brand-cars-youd-never-buy/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:46:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1009570 So I’m driving along the other day, and I get up behind a Saturn Relay. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this vehicle, imagine a minivan with 1992-era styling and a 1994-era interior and 1996-era switchgear, except it inexplicably came out in 2005. Seriously: it was the kind of thing where, when it […]

The post Question Of The Day: What Brand Has The Most Cars You’d Never Buy? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2009_Saturn_Sky_Redline_Ruby_Red_Limited_Edition

So I’m driving along the other day, and I get up behind a Saturn Relay. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this vehicle, imagine a minivan with 1992-era styling and a 1994-era interior and 1996-era switchgear, except it inexplicably came out in 2005. Seriously: it was the kind of thing where, when it debuted, you checked both sides of the van just to make sure General Motors knew everyone was doing dual sliding doors now.

So anyway, as I’m sitting behind the van, I realized something: there isn’t a single Saturn I would buy. Not the awful S-series models, which were great in the 1990s, but have about as much modern relevance as Palm Pilot. Not the L-Series, which came later, and looked worse, and transformed Saturn from a cute, cool, forward-thinking car company into the kind of thing your middle school gym teacher drove. Not the Astra, not the Vue, not the Relay. No Saturn at all.

And then I remembered the Sky. Do you remember the Sky? This was right near the end of Saturn, when General Motors realized that by God, if we’re going to stay out of bankruptcy, we’d better come up with some cars that people will actually buy. So they developed the SSR.

But they also developed the Sky and the Pontiac Solstice, which were these cool little roadsters that had two-seats, and rear-wheel drive, and eventually a 260-horsepower turbocharged engine which made them surprisingly enjoyable on the road. I loved these things, and I especially loved the Sky, which still looks like an exotic sports car when you see it all these years later.

So maybe there are some Saturns I would buy, but by God there aren’t any Mitsubishis. I mean seriously: you have that electric thing shaped like the egg, God only knows what it’s called, but there are a bunch of lowercase “i”s as if it’s an Apple product. You have a couple of SUVs, all of which are indistinguishable from one another. There’s the Mirage, which is generally agreed to be the worst car on sale; equivalent to a laundry basket on wheels, when it comes to driving dynamics. And maybe there’s a sedan or something, I don’t know.

So all this got me thinking: is Mitsubishi the car company whose products I would least like to own? I mean, does Mitsubishi really manufacture the fewest vehicles I would actually purchase for myself? And I thought, and I thought, and I thought, and I briefly considered Dodge until I remembered the Viper, and I thought some more, and I thought, and I thought, and then I remembered I am trying to hit a word count here so I thought thought thought thought some more, and then in the end, I reached the conclusion that by God, yes, Mitsubishi is the brand whose cars I’d least like to own, at least ever since Plymouth came to an end.

And so now I pose the question to you: whose cars would YOU least like to own?

And before you answer, I think a rule clarification is necessary. We aren’t talking about all-time automakers here. You can’t say Edsel, or AMC, or some obscure car brand that only existed in the 1920s and manufactured cars out of satin. I’m talking modern, current, presently existing automakers that make modern, current, presently existing vehicles that comply with at least some of the federal government’s safety regulations.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, the floor is yours: which automaker makes the most cars you’d never buy? Which brand has so few desirable products that you’d never consider one of their vehicles? Which car company is so mediocre that you’d never set foot in their showroom?

And why is it Mitsubishi?

The post Question Of The Day: What Brand Has The Most Cars You’d Never Buy? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-brand-cars-youd-never-buy/feed/ 248
Manuals Comprise 20 Percent Of All New USDM Models Available For Sale http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/manuals-comprise-20-percent-new-usdm-models-available/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/manuals-comprise-20-percent-new-usdm-models-available/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1009330 Enjoy rowing your own instead of allowing Skynet to do the shifting? If you’re in the United States, your manual transmission options are few. Jalopnik‘s commentariat-driven Oppositelock recently compiled a list of every vehicle sold in the U.S. that has a manual transmission. Of note, nearly every subcompact and compact model gives the right to […]

The post Manuals Comprise 20 Percent Of All New USDM Models Available For Sale appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2011-audi-r8-42-spyder-shifter-photo-416617-s-1280x782

Enjoy rowing your own instead of allowing Skynet to do the shifting? If you’re in the United States, your manual transmission options are few.

Jalopnik‘s commentariat-driven Oppositelock recently compiled a list of every vehicle sold in the U.S. that has a manual transmission. Of note, nearly every subcompact and compact model gives the right to shift to the driver, including the Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa and Kia Soul.

Among the midsizers, only five have manuals: Buick Regal, Honda Accord, Mazda6, and Volkswagen CC and Passat. SUVs, crossovers and trucks didn’t do so well, either, with most offerings found among Jeep, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi models, and only one big truck — the Ram HD — standing with the mid-size pickups in the manual game.

Finally, quite a few sports cars landed on the row-row-your-car list, including the Audi R8, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Mazda MX5 Miata and Porsche 911, while a handful of luxury models — Cadillac’s ATS and Infiniti’s Q60 among them — threw down for the cause.

In total, 50 of 265 models sold in the U.S. come with manuals, making up 20 percent of the market in 2015. Most of the automakers offer them on 30 to 40 percent of their vehicles, while Mazda, Jeep, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen offer one on over 50 percent of their respective lineups.

The post Manuals Comprise 20 Percent Of All New USDM Models Available For Sale appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/manuals-comprise-20-percent-new-usdm-models-available/feed/ 79
Georgia Bill To Eliminate EV Credits Gains Traction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/georgia-bill-eliminate-ev-credits-gains-traction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/georgia-bill-eliminate-ev-credits-gains-traction/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1009290 The bill that would kill EV incentives in Georgia has taken a step closer to being voted upon by the state’s legislature. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Georgia House Bill 122, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Martin of Alpharetta, was thought to have been struck down by the House’s Ways and Means subcommittee last week, only to […]

The post Georgia Bill To Eliminate EV Credits Gains Traction appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Hannah Solar Nissan Leaf

The bill that would kill EV incentives in Georgia has taken a step closer to being voted upon by the state’s legislature.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Georgia House Bill 122, sponsored by Rep. Chuck Martin of Alpharetta, was thought to have been struck down by the House’s Ways and Means subcommittee last week, only to be brought back to life by the same subcommittee under the circumstance that it was merely tabled.

A spokesperson for the House later explained that HB 122 — which would eliminate the $5,000 tax credit for those who buy or lease an EV like the Nissan Leaf — was treated as a tabled bill when it failed to receive the “do pass” recommendation in the subcommittee, thus allowing members to vote on the bill again.

The bill’s language is also on HB 170, a transportation projects bill that legislators hope will pull in $1 billion in new revenue per year for potential projects. The tax credit, meanwhile, would cost the state $628 million between 2016 and 2020, per official state estimates.

The post Georgia Bill To Eliminate EV Credits Gains Traction appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/georgia-bill-eliminate-ev-credits-gains-traction/feed/ 11
GM Retreats From Indonesia In Major Blow To Emerging Markets Strategy http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/gm-retreats-indonesia-major-blow-emerging-markets-strategy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/gm-retreats-indonesia-major-blow-emerging-markets-strategy/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:29:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008714 Indonesia has long been touted as one of the next major emerging markets, and only four years ago, GM was set to make a major push in the Southeast Asian nation. But in a major about face, GM is essentially giving up on Indonesia, ending an 80 year manufacturing presence and transitioning solely to a sales […]

The post GM Retreats From Indonesia In Major Blow To Emerging Markets Strategy appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Chevrolet-Spin-1

Indonesia has long been touted as one of the next major emerging markets, and only four years ago, GM was set to make a major push in the Southeast Asian nation. But in a major about face, GM is essentially giving up on Indonesia, ending an 80 year manufacturing presence and transitioning solely to a sales and marketing arm.

According to Reuters, GM will shutter its Bekasi factory which was producing the Chevrolet Spin minivan, a product that GM intended to go up against market leader Toyota and its Avanza minivan. Toyota dominates 90 percent of the Indonesia market and the Avanza is Indonesia’s most popular car. Of the top ten selling vehicles in Indonesia, the Spin ranked in 8th place last year, with brands like Toyota, Honda and Daihatsu (another Toyota brand) dominating the market.

Indonesia is a particularly enticing market for many auto makers. It is the most populous nation in Southeast Asia and the largest economy in the region as well. It also has one of the lowest rates of car ownership, with 32 vehicles per 1,000 people, compared to 132 per 1,000 people in Thailand and 300 per 1,000 people in Malaysia. The locally built Spin was supposed to give GM a leg up in Indonesia, but as another Reuters piece notes, GM only advanced seven tenths of a percent in market share during their 80 year run in Indonesia.

Reuters claims that GM will pivot to a more SUV and truck focused brand, along with establishing a foothold for its Chinese affiliate brands like SAIC’s Wuling. But the minivan is Indonesia’s most popular vehicle, since it allows for carrying multiple passengers in comfort while the high ground clearance is suited for the frequent floods and rough terrain of the island nation. While Wuling offers some low cost vans, offerings like Chevrolet’s Trailblazer and Captiva will likely be more expensive while offering qualitative disadvantages.

GM’s Stefan Jacoby told the news service

“We could not ramp up Spin production to boost the volume as we had expected … although the product was really good. The logistics chain of the Spin was too complex; we had low volume so we could not localize the car accordingly, and from the cost point of view we were just not competitive.”

While the Spin is popular in Brazil and other markets, it was unable to dethrone the Avanza, which uses crude but cost-effective body on frame construction which means it can be manufactured in a relatively easy, inexpensive fashion. Jacoby claims that the end goal is to turn Indonesia “into a sustainable business model.” If the last 80 years are any indication, it’s not looking good.

 

The post GM Retreats From Indonesia In Major Blow To Emerging Markets Strategy appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/gm-retreats-indonesia-major-blow-emerging-markets-strategy/feed/ 22
Geneva 2015: Audi R8 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-audi-r8-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-audi-r8-revealed/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:11:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008650 The 2016 Audi R8 will feature two V10 engines, but there will also be an electric version as well. The “base” V10 will produce 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft, while the V10 Plus will pump out 610 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains will be mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and all-wheel […]

The post Geneva 2015: Audi R8 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
r8150092-large-1

The 2016 Audi R8 will feature two V10 engines, but there will also be an electric version as well.

The “base” V10 will produce 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft, while the V10 Plus will pump out 610 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains will be mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.

The R8 e-tron will also debut in concept form, with a range of  280 miles, while producing 456 horsepower and 679 lb-ft of torque from its all electric drivetrain. The Audi-made lithium-ion battery pack is integrated into the center tunnel in a T-shape, ala the Chevrolet Volt. The new R8 will debut next week at the Geneva Auto Show.

 

r8150113-large-1 r8150093-large-1 r8150092-large-1 r8150067-large-1 r8150058-large-1 r8150114-large-1

The post Geneva 2015: Audi R8 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-audi-r8-revealed/feed/ 17
General Motors Cutting Production To Relieve Inventory Glut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008274 Facing growing dealer inventories, General Motors is cutting back production at two of its plants to adjust supply and demand. Automotive News reports Orion Assembly in Detroit and the Flex line at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Canada will be idled in March and April, respectively, each plant to idle for four days. Orion is […]

The post General Motors Cutting Production To Relieve Inventory Glut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015-buick-verano-model-overview-exterior-938x528-splash-guards_2

Facing growing dealer inventories, General Motors is cutting back production at two of its plants to adjust supply and demand.

Automotive News reports Orion Assembly in Detroit and the Flex line at Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Canada will be idled in March and April, respectively, each plant to idle for four days. Orion is responsible for the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano, while the Flex line handles the Chevrolet Camaro and Impala, Buick Regal, and Cadillac XTS.

The reduction in production comes amid consumer demand for trucks and crossovers over said vehicles, of which the Sonic and Regal hold the highest inventory levels at 216 and 213 days as of February 1, 2015. The Sonic’s inventory level is the highest since the subcompact’s August 2011 debut, while the Regal jumped to its level from just 96 days back on January 1.

The post General Motors Cutting Production To Relieve Inventory Glut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/general-motors-cutting-production-relieve-inventory-glut/feed/ 84
Review: Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/review-toyota-4runner-trd-pro/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/review-toyota-4runner-trd-pro/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:12:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008322 Ladies and gentlemen, there are road tests, and then there are off-road tests. In a typical road test, writers use the car on their daily commute, playing with all the features and determine which bother them and which don’t. There may be some family activities thrown in, like going on a weekend trip or driving […]

The post Review: Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
DSC_0253

Ladies and gentlemen, there are road tests, and then there are off-road tests. In a typical road test, writers use the car on their daily commute, playing with all the features and determine which bother them and which don’t. There may be some family activities thrown in, like going on a weekend trip or driving around the soccer team carpool. Sometimes, they might attempt to verify the manufacturer-reported performance numbers and use their smartphone to record 0-60 acceleration times and lateral g-forces in the corners. Other times they might go to the hardware store and fill the trunk with bricks to cargo volume and payload capacity. But most of the time, writers just utilize the car for day-to-day activities, evaluating a product in the most mundane of circumstances.

DSC_0196

In an off-road test, the writer has to set aside a day or two of his or her time and plan an excursion that doesn’t involve driving on paved roads. Their smartphone probably won’t work unless they’ve scaled the top of a hill with their vehicle. The only features worth using are the radio (if it can pick up any stations), and the transfer case to shift into low range so you can climb up the nearest mountain for the ultimate photo of your off-road test car. There won’t be any other people, let alone cars, for miles, meaning you can avoid loud stereos and your carpooling buddies’ conversations about how they now have to watch Birdman since it won a lot of Oscars. You won’t have people staring at you in the Home Depot parking lot with a stack of bricks that can collapse on you at any time. Nothing around you during the test is ordinary.

DSC_0239

Such was the case I was presented with when I found out I’d be getting the 4Runner TRD Pro for a week. Beyond driving on the road, I had to discover how the truck performed off the concrete, since that’s what most buyers would buy a 4Runner TRD Pro for. It was perfect since a) I don’t like going to Home Depot, and b) testing the 4Runner off-road was a great reason to spend the day away from civilization.

First, let’s start focus on the looks of the 4Runner TRD Pro. With the black wheels and 31.5-inch Nitto Terra Grappler tires, the “TOYOTA” lettering on the grille rather than the emblem, and the TRD suspension kit, the TRD Pro looks the business. The exterior colors offered are a solid black, a solid white, and a solid red-orange color called “Inferno,” color choices that are oddly very similar to what the BMW 1-Series M was offered with. All the interiors have black SofTex (think a very nice-feeling vinyl material that most people will mistake for leather) seats and black interior trim with red stitching. Again, very similar to the 1-Series M. You can’t get any other interior color choices from the factory.

Toyota didn’t focus too much on on-road performance of the 4Runner TRD Pro. They stuck with what they knew in the 4.0-liter V-6 and 5-speed automatic combination that’s found in all new 4Runners. Sure, you might want more power, but I wouldn’t be comfortable dealing with a faulty turbocharger or supercharger in the middle of any desert in the world. I will admit it doesn’t accelerate to 60 miles per hour very quickly. As for handling, even with those immense Nitto tires and the TRD Bilstein shocks, the TRD Pro still drove well. It isn’t available with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System like the Trail model, so the handling isn’t as sharp. However, don’t expect U-turns to go perfectly. Three-point turns will become the norm if you suddenly decide to go in the other direction. I learned that the hard way.

DSC_0268

Regarding comfort and ergonomics, considering the off-road modifications, the 4Runner remained a refined vehicle, especially compared to some Jeeps and modified Nissan Xterras that the 4Runner was hanging with. The heated front seats were power-adjustable with two-way lumbar support, while the back seats provided plenty of legroom. On the highway the 4Runner rode like any normal car. After five hours round-trip of highway driving and off-roading, there were no complaints of discomfort or soreness from any of the passengers. Unlike the Limited, the TRD Pro only seats five people, so it is not for large families. Cargo room is plentiful, and I was able to fit two bikes with two-thirds of the rear seat folded down.

The TRD Pro comes standard with the Entune premium audio system and navigation. The audio system was fairly good for a base unit and I can only imagine what the JBL unit in the Limited sounds like. As for operating the navigation system, the same Toyota quirks apply. There’s limited use of the system while driving, so I found myself shifting into Park at some stoplights; however, using voice control on the go (which understood what I said surprisingly well) eliminates a good deal of the problem. You can install apps on the Entune system as well, while the screen doubles up as a back-up camera display.

DSC_0290

This thing was absolutely exceptional off-road. And all things considered, I wasn’t easy on it. Since driving into the creeks around my house to test the 4Runners off-road capabilities would likely earn me a visit from local law enforcement and looks of scorn from my neighborhood, I took it to the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area. Think of it as a skate park, but for people with off-road vehicles rather than wearing skates. There are trails and obstacle courses to take your 4WD vehicle on. When you’re there, the views are secondary to the driving.

The key off-road features in the 4Runner were the Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. Those controls were located on the overhead console, and were very simple to use in tandem with the driver information screen in the gauge cluster. Multi-Terrain Select came in handy plenty of times when going in the mud, traversing the rocks, and doing the mogul obstacles. All I had to do was make sure the 4Runner was shifted into low range with the correct mode selected, and the Multi-Terrain Select managed to find grip on such surfaces, even with a wheel in the air.

DSC_0261

Crawl Control could be thought of as an off-road cruise control system. It worked by engaging low range, pressing the on/off button on the overhead console, selecting a speed (Low, Medium, High), and then the car would work both the throttle and the brakes while I steered the 4Runner. Steering input from the driver is a must, but your feet can be off the pedals when the Crawl Control is on. Putting a foot on the throttle or brakes disengages Crawl Control. The system worked exceptionally well when ascending and descending steep and rocky dirt roads, and working without fault when doing the adventure course at Hollister Hills.

When it came to Hollister Hills SVRA’s 4×4 Obstacle Course, where the avid four-wheelers bring their rock crawlers and production vehicles with plenty of off-road upgrades, the 4Runner held its own very well for a truck that was entirely stock. Some obstacles which Jeeps couldn’t climb, the 4Runner managed to do, while on muddy roads, the 4Runner managed to keep going without requiring me to select low range. On one particularly steep obstacle, the locking rear differential helped tremendously, as otherwise, the vehicle would have had a more difficult time climbing up. Overall, I enjoyed the 4Runner TRD Pro off-road and the vehicle (without any modifications whatsoever) was very, very capable.

On the trails, the 4Runner was delightful. It was able to climb up the rockiest of trails in order to get to a nice overlook to have the lunch I brought. When descending or ascending some of the trails, all I had to do was engage Crawl Control, point the 4Runner in the correct direction, and the onboard systems did the rest of the work. The size of the truck wasn’t an issue; there were no dents on the bodywork of the car and few moments where I preferred the size of a Jeep Wrangler. I left Multi-Terrain Select on most of the time as an added line of defense, which was extremely helpful when ascending some steep trails at Hollister Hills.

As for downsides with the TRD Pro, there are a few. One is the fuel economy, where I got 17 mpg during my time with the 4Runner both on- and off-road in 2WD, 4WD, and low range enabled. On the bright side, the fuel tank is 23 gallons, meaning the range is quite good. On the other hand, get used to long fill-ups (both a Yaris and a Cavalier filled up at the same pump during the time it took me to refuel the 4Runner) and $60+ gas bills. Another downside is that there are only going to be 3,400 units of the 4Runner TRD Pro for 2015. As such, the only available options on this model are only the dealer-installed accessories. A sunroof, leather seats, and a factory-installed high-end sound system aren’t available.

However, Toyota knows the 4Runner TRD Pro isn’t for everyone if they’re offering only 3,400 of them. If you need a third seat and/or leather seats, you should choose the Limited (or spend $30,000 more for a Land Cruiser). If you have to have a sunroof and want the option of more adaptive and dynamic suspension (KDSS), you can go with the Trail. If you don’t want to spend more than $40,000, and I don’t think dealers will lower the price much on the TRD Pro, get the SR5. If fuel economy is your thing, get a Highlander. And if you want more power, consider a Tundra TRD Pro with the 5.7-liter V-8 or getting the Land Cruiser, as it too has Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select.

DSC_0286

As for pricing, the 4Runner TRD Pro I tested stickered at $43,134, with some accessories installed. Oddly, the base price on my test car was $200 lower than the base price on the Toyota website, which is $41,310 before the $885 destination charge. Additionally, be aware that many TRD Pros will come equipped with the sliding rear cargo deck for an extra $350, so factor that into the final price. Despite the price increases, with an MSRP of around $43,000, I think the 4Runner TRD Pro is a steal. Normal 4Runners are generally listed towards the top of Kelley Blue Book reports of projected resale value, and the 4WD TRD Pro is certain to depreciate less due to its low production numbers.

Now, be aware that procuring a 4Runner TRD Pro is actually pretty tough at the moment. After going on the forums, many people have to order their TRD Pros and wait a few months. Some have even had to pay over sticker due to where they live. When I tried searching for a 4Runner TRD Pro in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had an extremely tough time finding one. After my search and contacting local dealers, it looked like I would have to order the car (and even pay over sticker in some cases) to get my hands on a new TRD Pro. If anything, I think the depreciation will be a lot less than any of us ever would think.

In the end, I am enamored with the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, especially its off-road and even on-road capabilities. If you’re considering a Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, Xterra PRO-4X, Land Rover LR4, or a Grand Cherokee with the off-road package, take a good look at the 4Runner TRD Pro. It’s rare that I write this of any car, but if you can manage to get your hands on one at MSRP, you should seriously think it over. Considering that it’s being made in limited quantities, is reliable, managed to do some very tough trails that some highly modified off-road vehicles can’t do, looks really good, and is still your normal, closed, comfortable 4Runner at the end of day, the TRD Pro is phenomenal.

Toyota provided the vehicle, a full tank of gas for this review, and insurance. That last one was important since I returned it with a couple gashes on the underbody.

DSC_0188 DSC_0196 DSC_0210 DSC_0222 DSC_0231 DSC_0233 DSC_0239 DSC_0246 DSC_0253 DSC_0261 DSC_0265 DSC_0268 DSC_0278 DSC_0286 DSC_0290 DSC_0292 DSC_0308

The post Review: Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/review-toyota-4runner-trd-pro/feed/ 74
2016 Audi R8 Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/2016-audi-r8-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/2016-audi-r8-revealed/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:37:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1007946 Ahead of its unveiling in Geneva, here’s a leaked pic of the next Audi R8. Two V10 engines will be available from the start, with no V8 option – yet. A twin turbo V6 is also rumored. We’ll know more next week.

The post 2016 Audi R8 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Audi-R8

Ahead of its unveiling in Geneva, here’s a leaked pic of the next Audi R8.

Two V10 engines will be available from the start, with no V8 option – yet. A twin turbo V6 is also rumored. We’ll know more next week.

The post 2016 Audi R8 Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/2016-audi-r8-revealed/feed/ 21
Lincoln ‘Dares Greater’ Than Cadillac In Google SEO Game http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lincoln-dares-greater-cadillac-google-seo-game/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lincoln-dares-greater-cadillac-google-seo-game/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1007698 Oscar viewers who are seeking on Google the Cadillac that “dared greatly” are suddenly hearing Matthew McConaughey’s voice, thanks to Lincoln’s SEO skills. Autoblog reports the first instance of Lincoln’s slogan hijacking appeared less than 24 hours after Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” adverts aired during the 87th Academy Awards. As seen above, those wanting to know […]

The post Lincoln ‘Dares Greater’ Than Cadillac In Google SEO Game appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Lincoln Dares Greater Than Cadillac In The SEO Game

Oscar viewers who are seeking on Google the Cadillac that “dared greatly” are suddenly hearing Matthew McConaughey’s voice, thanks to Lincoln’s SEO skills.

Autoblog reports the first instance of Lincoln’s slogan hijacking appeared less than 24 hours after Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” adverts aired during the 87th Academy Awards. As seen above, those wanting to know more about Cadillac — and about that mysterious car making a brief appearance in a separate Oscars advert — will find a sponsored link for the brand at the top, followed by Lincoln’s version of the truth in second.

Originally, the second sponsored link — which read, “Dare Greatly – It’s not about making a statement, it’s about doing what you love” — directed consumers to Lincoln’s homepage, greeting them with the sight of the 2015 MKZ Hybrid. Since then, the link directs to the same page, but the image is that of the 2015 MKC. The link’s slogan, meanwhile, changes with every search; for this author, it currently reads, “You don’t have to make a statement when you know who you are,” likely a swipe at brand president Johan de Nysschen’s and brand director Melody Lee’s ambitions and aspirations for Cadillac.

As for the Oscars campaign, AutoTrader said that searches for Cadillac jumped 53 percent within an hour after the first advert aired.

The post Lincoln ‘Dares Greater’ Than Cadillac In Google SEO Game appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/lincoln-dares-greater-cadillac-google-seo-game/feed/ 80
UMTRI: US New-Car Fuel Economy Averaged 25.3 MPG In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/umtri-us-new-car-fuel-economy-averaged-25-3-mpg-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/umtri-us-new-car-fuel-economy-averaged-25-3-mpg-2014/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006746 The final numbers are in for new-car fuel economy in the United States for 2014, and they are better than they were in 2008. According to Autoblog, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that the average U.S. fuel economy for a 2014 model landed at 25.3 mpg, 22 percent higher than six years […]

The post UMTRI: US New-Car Fuel Economy Averaged 25.3 MPG In 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
057

The final numbers are in for new-car fuel economy in the United States for 2014, and they are better than they were in 2008.

According to Autoblog, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that the average U.S. fuel economy for a 2014 model landed at 25.3 mpg, 22 percent higher than six years ago.

The same percentage of improvement holds up when it comes to vehicles rated at 16 mpg or less, where only one in 30 new cars held that distinction. On the other end of the spectrum, one in six new cars garnered a rating of 32 mpg or above in 2014; only 1 percent could say the same in 2008.

UMTRI 2008 - 2014 US New-Car Fuel Economy Comparison Chart

The post UMTRI: US New-Car Fuel Economy Averaged 25.3 MPG In 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/umtri-us-new-car-fuel-economy-averaged-25-3-mpg-2014/feed/ 15
Study: US Auto Sales To Rise Through 2017, Modestly Decline Through 2020 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/study-us-auto-sales-rise-2017-modestly-decline-2020/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/study-us-auto-sales-rise-2017-modestly-decline-2020/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006458 Happy days are back again for automakers selling to the United States, with auto sales projected to rise through 2017 before dipping slightly through 2020. According to The Detroit Bureau, a study by AutoPacific found that consumers bought 16.4 million vehicles in 2014, a 6 percent increase over 2013. Further, the group predicts 2015 sales […]

The post Study: US Auto Sales To Rise Through 2017, Modestly Decline Through 2020 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Bill Colwell Ford Dealership

Happy days are back again for automakers selling to the United States, with auto sales projected to rise through 2017 before dipping slightly through 2020.

According to The Detroit Bureau, a study by AutoPacific found that consumers bought 16.4 million vehicles in 2014, a 6 percent increase over 2013. Further, the group predicts 2015 sales will hit 17 million, peaking at 17.24 million in 2017.

Per AutoPacific industry analysis vice president Ed Kim, the boom is fueled by both “continued increases in truck and SUV sales,” and the rapid growth of compact crossover sales among mainstream and premium brands. Combined, such sales would make up 55 percent of the overall U.S. market this year.

As for the aforementioned downturn beginning in 2018 and going forward through 2020, Kim cites rises in interest rates, Millennials waiting to purchase their first vehicle, and extended loan terms as factors in the upcoming decline. He adds that despite this, sales are likely to bottom-out at 16.8 million by the start of the next decade, 60 percent better than the 10.4 million vehicles sold in 2009 during the early days of the Great Recession.

The post Study: US Auto Sales To Rise Through 2017, Modestly Decline Through 2020 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/study-us-auto-sales-rise-2017-modestly-decline-2020/feed/ 16
iM Pretty Sure This Is The Next Scion http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/im-pretty-sure-next-scion/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/im-pretty-sure-next-scion/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:35:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006554 This is the facelifted Toyota Auris, set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show next month. It’s also our best look at the upcoming Scion iM. For those of you looking to replace that Toyota Matrix, here you are. Check out Ronnie’s review of the Auris here.

The post iM Pretty Sure This Is The Next Scion appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
toyota-nxhe-auris-2015-1

This is the facelifted Toyota Auris, set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show next month. It’s also our best look at the upcoming Scion iM. For those of you looking to replace that Toyota Matrix, here you are. Check out Ronnie’s review of the Auris here.

The post iM Pretty Sure This Is The Next Scion appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/im-pretty-sure-next-scion/feed/ 24
Capsule Review: 2015 Volkswagen Golf R http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-2015-volkswagen-golf-r/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-2015-volkswagen-golf-r/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 17:53:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=990738 The raindrops, small as #12 shot, plink against the glass, coating the pavement in a greasy film. Not ideal for a spirited drive in a nearly 300 horsepower hot hatch, even one with AWD, but Southern California needs the rain, even if it’s just a half-hearted attempt by the clouds. The ground is still parched, […]

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Volkswagen Golf R appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-39

The raindrops, small as #12 shot, plink against the glass, coating the pavement in a greasy film. Not ideal for a spirited drive in a nearly 300 horsepower hot hatch, even one with AWD, but Southern California needs the rain, even if it’s just a half-hearted attempt by the clouds. The ground is still parched, the trees half blackened by the wildfires of the summer, while the remaining bark is a soft ivory like the leather in this Euro market test car, one of four examples that Volkswagen brought over with a manual transmission.

In my rearview mirror, the black and white Expedition from the San Diego Country Sherrif’s office fades away over the crest, and the two point oh tee mill pulls the car closer to 100 mph, exhibiting the kind of top-end torque that’s absent from its front-drive GTI sibling. But the 6-speed manual gearbox is the same, and all I can think is how much I’d rather have the DSG.

Since the manual won’t be available until 2016, Volkswagen supplied us with Euro-spec Golf R models with the big 19″ wheel package and the three-pedal transmission. Both of those sound like great ideas, but you’ll want a Golf R with 18s for the sake of ride quality, and the DSG because it’s so superbly matched to the rest of the car, that shifting your own gears detracts from the experience.

For one thing, the Golf R is quicker with the DSG. You can hit 60 mph in just under five seconds if you let the transmission do its work, but the manual adds an additional half-second. Shifts are quick, quicker when the car is in “Race” mode, but in normal driving, its tough to believe that just two generations ago, this was the same gearbox that would roll back on hills if you took your foot off the brake, and let you feel the clutch take up when rolling away from a stop light in first.

The second is that the manual gearbox isn’t that great. Having only driven the 6-speed manual in both the GTI and the R, one would find it perfectly acceptable. The throws of the shifter are light but precise, the clutch easy to modulate. But driven back to back with the DSG, it weakens the argument that “three pedals good, two pedals bad”. The fact that the pedals are spaced too far apart to execute a heel-toe downshift doesn’t help either. The only real benefit of the 6-speed manual is the $1100 discount off the $37,415 MSRP that the DSG version commands.

The rest of the package holds up its end of the bargain. The steering is just as crisp and direct as the GTI, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel is a nice touch. Compared to the most recent BMW 2-Series we drove, it makes The Ultimate Driving Machine feel like something from Toyota. The brake pedal feels a touch grabby, but its hard to fault the competence of the brakes themselves, which are the same as the GTI Performance Pack. For all the hype about the Haldex AWD system, the biggest positive attribute is the lack of torque steer when accelerating out of a corner – an affliction that affects the driving experience of the front-drive GTI. Otherwise, it was fairly transparent in its operation, which is to say it was hardly noticed at all. Perhaps a brisk drive in somewhere other than Southern California would have shown of its capabilities in a more demonstrative manner. Here’s hoping for a longer review during a Canadian winter.

Performance aside, the rest of the Golf R has all of the positive attributes of the other MQB based Golfs. The cabin seems impossibly spacious for a C-segment car, with ample space both fore and aft. The interior materials wouldn’t seem out of place in an Audi, but the current infotainment system is in desperate need of replacement – it doesn’t even have a USB port for your smart phone. Apparently, this, along with Apple CarPlay and Android integration will be available for 2016 as part of a revised infotainment system.

While VW is positioning the Golf R against the Subaru WRX STI and the BMW M235i, the real competition for this car is on VW’s showroom. There’s approximately $10,000 between the base price of a Golf GTI and a Golf R. Granted, a GTI 5-door with the DSG and Performance pack will narrow the gap some, but the biggest point of contention is that the GTI is just so good, even with front-wheel drive, that it’s hard to imagine making a case for the Golf R unless you must satisfy one of two criteria; you’re living in a snowy state where the AWD would be a benefit in poor weather, or you’re a member of the VW faithful who must have the uber-Golf, if only for internet bragging rights. Anyone else could get a nicely equipped GTI and an aftermarket ECU re-flash without ever regretting it.

 

2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-1 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-2 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-3 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-4 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-5 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-6 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-7 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-8 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-9 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-10 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-11 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-12 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-13 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-14 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-15 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-16 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-17 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-18 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-19 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-20 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-21 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-22 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-23 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-24 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-25 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-26 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-27 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-28 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-29 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-30 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-31 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-32 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-33 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-34 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-35 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-36 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-37 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-38 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-39 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-40 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-41 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-42 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-43 2015-Volkswagen-Golf-R-44

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Volkswagen Golf R appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-2015-volkswagen-golf-r/feed/ 53
Chart Of The Day: Is Minivan Fuel Mileage A Big Part Of The Problem? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chart-day-minivan-fuel-mileage-big-part-problem/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chart-day-minivan-fuel-mileage-big-part-problem/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 13:21:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004658 “America’s minivan segment generated only 3.4% of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle volume in 2014, down from 5.2% in 2007.” So said I earlier this week in my review of the updated 2015 Toyota Sienna, the only remaining all-wheel-drive minivan. The Sienna was America’s top-selling minivan in each of the last three months. And […]

The post Chart Of The Day: Is Minivan Fuel Mileage A Big Part Of The Problem? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Minivan fuel economy chart 2015“America’s minivan segment generated only 3.4% of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle volume in 2014, down from 5.2% in 2007.”

So said I earlier this week in my review of the updated 2015 Toyota Sienna, the only remaining all-wheel-drive minivan.

The Sienna was America’s top-selling minivan in each of the last three months. And although the accompanying chart displays its official EPA mileage ratings at 16/23 mpg on the city and highway, front-wheel-drive Siennas are rated at 18/25. Forget the 14.4 mpg we saw during our test. Temperatures were brutal, the vehicle spent much of its time idling as we attempted to clear it (along with every other car on the street) of multiple inches of ice, the city streets on which the Sienna spent most of its stay were mostly snow-covered, and the van was fresh off the assembly line.

But could we have reasonably expected more than 16 mpg in city driving? Not according to the EPA.

A 2005 all-wheel-drive Sienna was also rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city, and it was marked down on the highway by just one mpg compared with our 2015 version. But at that time, the most efficient 4WD Ford F-150 was rated at 13 mpg in the city.

Pickup trucks have made massive progress. Ford’s 2.7L EcoBoost V6 is rated at 18 mpg in 4WD trim today.

Minivans are impressive vehicles. But are we surprised that in a relatively em-pee-gee-conscious society, a dearth of progress will be rewarded when other vehicle categories are leaping forward?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

The post Chart Of The Day: Is Minivan Fuel Mileage A Big Part Of The Problem? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chart-day-minivan-fuel-mileage-big-part-problem/feed/ 112
MQB GLI Is A-OK http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/mqb-gli-ok/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/mqb-gli-ok/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:32:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004866     We haven’t yet received an updated Volkswagen Jetta based on the MQB architecture, but maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get a Jetta GLI based on this. The newest edition of the Skoda Octavia vRS features the usual VW 2.0L turbo engine, bumped up to 230 horsepower, along a limited slip differential - sort […]

The post MQB GLI Is A-OK appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
150220-ukoda-octavia-rs-230

 

 

We haven’t yet received an updated Volkswagen Jetta based on the MQB architecture, but maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get a Jetta GLI based on this.

The newest edition of the Skoda Octavia vRS features the usual VW 2.0L turbo engine, bumped up to 230 horsepower, along a limited slip differential - sort of.

The GLI has received only a lukewarm reception in the enthusiast press, one that might not be deserved. Either way, the latest MQB GTI is a massive leap forward, and one can only imagine how that would translate to a qualitative improvement over the GLI, which rides on a now-dated architecture. Maybe keep the Skoda chassis tuning as well. We hear it’s pretty damn good.

The post MQB GLI Is A-OK appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/mqb-gli-ok/feed/ 29
Question Of The Day: Has Acura Fooled Us All? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-acura-fooled-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-acura-fooled-us/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 17:57:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004850 If you ask any automotive enthusiast about Acura, you’re likely to get approximately the same response. “Oh, ACURA?” they’ll say, with a look of disgust, as if they were just informed their flight is experiencing mechanical issues and will be stopping in Des Moines. “Acura used to be so cool. And now…” And then they […]

The post Question Of The Day: Has Acura Fooled Us All? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016-Acura-RDX-2

If you ask any automotive enthusiast about Acura, you’re likely to get approximately the same response. “Oh, ACURA?” they’ll say, with a look of disgust, as if they were just informed their flight is experiencing mechanical issues and will be stopping in Des Moines. “Acura used to be so cool. And now…”

And then they dazzle you with all the ways that Acura used to be cool. The Integra. The RSX. The NSX. The Vigor. The Legend Coupe with that cool 6-speed manual transmission and those oversized alloy wheels. Then they tell you about how Acura was so cool that you couldn’t leave an Integra Type-R outside the grocery store for five minutes without some car theft ring stealing it and dumping the stripped shell in a ditch in a part of town where train tracks outnumber living trees.

But now?

Acura is BORING, car enthusiasts say. They’ve lost their direction, their purpose, their progress. Acura is the automotive equivalent to that time Robert Downey, Jr. told his agent that yes, it does seem like a good idea to do that Shaggy Dog movie where I play an evil geneticist who kidnaps a sacred, shape-shifting dog from a Tibetan monastery.

And car enthusiasts may have a point, because Acura is hardly as exciting as it once was Think about it: a brand formerly consumed by manual transmissions and sharp handling has now given way to the torque converter, the ventilated seat, and a dual infotainment setup with more total screen inches than my parents’ living room. So where the hell did they go wrong?

Or… did they?

I say this because I recently discovered that Acura’s two SUVs – inexplicably named the RDX and MDX – are two of today’s best-selling luxury crossovers. And this is no easy feat: in today’s world, everybody sells a luxury SUV. BMW has five of them. So does Mercedes. Lexus is going to create twenty-six luxury SUVs, one for every letter of the alphabet (followed by the letter “X”), each uglier than the last, until finally they come out with the ZX 350, which looks like a desktop fax machine on wheels.

And leading the charge through all this is… Acura? The brand that forgot enthusiasts? The brand that gave up on the fun car?

It isn’t just SUVs where Acura seems to be making a killing. Take, for example, the Acura TL, which is a midsize sedan known for its transmission problems (1999-2003), good looks (2004-2008), and scary-looking beak nose (2009-2013). Well, guess what? The TL is also insanely popular. Seriously: you cannot drive through an HOA-controlled condo complex in the Los Angeles suburbs without seeing at least a dozen TLs, all in various nondescript colors that Acura calls something like Pearl Stormcloud Metallic.

Admittedly, the TL is now dead; replaced instead by a new model called the TLX. But guess what? It has an expanded engine lineup, a wider variety of features, lower pricing, and a normal front end that doesn’t make it look like an automotive killing machine. I’m guessing this won’t lead to fewer sales.

Now, I’m not to say Acura is without faults. We all know about the bizarre ZDX, which cost like fifty grand and had a backseat designed for a headless turtle. And then there’s the ILX, which is little more than a cynical Honda Civic clone with an unfortunate markup. And of course, there’s also the RLX, which is still on sale in the same way that John Glenn is still alive: you have to check the Wikipedia page every few months just to make sure.

But what I’ve noticed is that Acura actually does pretty damn well for being a company that “turned its back” on automotive enthusiasts, and “lost its direction.” So well, in fact, that you have to wonder if “losing its direction” happened precisely on purpose. In fact, you kind of have to wonder if Acura’s direction isn’t really lost at all.

So what do you think? Am I wrong? Is Acura a directionless, formless blob of a luxury car company? Or, by ignoring automotive enthusiasts, have they found a better direction?

The post Question Of The Day: Has Acura Fooled Us All? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-acura-fooled-us/feed/ 116
Volkswagen’s Outback Competitor – The One We Won’t Get http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volkswagens-outback-competitor-one-wont-get/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volkswagens-outback-competitor-one-wont-get/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 23:49:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004338 In North America, the Golf Alltrack will be Volkswagen’s sole offering in the “raised up station wagon” segment of pseudo-CUVs. Europe will get this Passat based version – but we got it first. Sort of. Back in 2012, VW previewed a Passat Alltrack in New York of all places. While the concept wasn’t as rugged […]

The post Volkswagen’s Outback Competitor – The One We Won’t Get appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
VW-Passat-Alltrack-4

In North America, the Golf Alltrack will be Volkswagen’s sole offering in the “raised up station wagon” segment of pseudo-CUVs. Europe will get this Passat based version – but we got it first. Sort of.

Back in 2012, VW previewed a Passat Alltrack in New York of all places. While the concept wasn’t as rugged looking, it followed the same formula; an Outback competitor with German engineering (namely a diesel and a DSG gearbox as well as Haldex AWD).

A range of gasoline and diesel engines will be available, and a 6-speed manual can be had on lower trim levels. Otherwise, a 6-speed DSG is standard. Haldex AWD with an “offroad” mode is also mandatory – though it’s hard to imagine that it will be terribly effective on anything more rugged than a gravel driveway.

8VW-Passat-Alltrack-8 VW-Passat-Alltrack- VW-Passat-Alltrack-1 VW-Passat-Alltrack-3 VW-Passat-Alltrack-4 VW-Passat-Alltrack-5 VW-Passat-Alltrack-6 VW-Passat-Alltrack-7 VW-Passat-Alltrack-9 VW-Passat-Alltrack-10

The post Volkswagen’s Outback Competitor – The One We Won’t Get appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volkswagens-outback-competitor-one-wont-get/feed/ 26
Look Out For An Acura Crossover Based On The Honda HR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/look-acura-crossover-based-honda-hr-v/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/look-acura-crossover-based-honda-hr-v/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:17:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004306 Roughly a year ago, Acura previewed a small crossover for the Chinese market, dubbed the SUV-X, that sparked rumors of an HR-V based crossover for Honda’s luxury brand. According to Autoguide.com, Honda has trademarked the “CDX” nameplate for automobiles, which suggests that the vehicle is one step closer to reality. Aside from China, the United States […]

The post Look Out For An Acura Crossover Based On The Honda HR-V appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
suvx-450x278

Roughly a year ago, Acura previewed a small crossover for the Chinese market, dubbed the SUV-X, that sparked rumors of an HR-V based crossover for Honda’s luxury brand. According to Autoguide.com, Honda has trademarked the “CDX” nameplate for automobiles, which suggests that the vehicle is one step closer to reality.

Aside from China, the United States is an obvious market for such a car, where Acura already enjoys a successful two-crossover lineup. A CDX could serve as a companion to the ILX and TLX, while allowing Honda to make fat margins off the Fit/HR-V platform. Aside from the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, the Buick Encore also represents a natural target for the CDX.

The post Look Out For An Acura Crossover Based On The Honda HR-V appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/look-acura-crossover-based-honda-hr-v/feed/ 44
Infiniti Teases QX30 Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/infiniti-teases-qx30-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/infiniti-teases-qx30-crossover/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:11:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004274   Nissan’s deal with Daimler is bearing further fruit in the form of the QX30, a compact crossover that’s based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Like the Q30 concept, the QX30 is a front-wheel drive compact designed to go head to head with the Audi A3 and the upper end of the mainstream market. Expect a […]

The post Infiniti Teases QX30 Crossover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
infiniti-qx30-concept-hero-image-19-feb-2015-300dpi

 

Nissan’s deal with Daimler is bearing further fruit in the form of the QX30, a compact crossover that’s based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Like the Q30 concept, the QX30 is a front-wheel drive compact designed to go head to head with the Audi A3 and the upper end of the mainstream market. Expect a range of powertrains similar to the CLA (2.0L turbo gasoline engine, a selection of diesels), as well as a price tag close to the magic $29,995 mark.

infiniti-qx30-concept-teaser-image-5-feb-2015-300dpi infiniti-qx30-concept-hero-image-19-feb-2015-300dpi

The post Infiniti Teases QX30 Crossover appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/infiniti-teases-qx30-crossover/feed/ 31