Category: New Cars

By on June 13, 2017

2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec - Image: Acura

Upon its debut in late 2014, the Acura TLX had big shoes to fill. Not only was the TLX intended to replace the Acura TL, the TLX would also serve, at least in part, as a replacement for the Acura TSX.

Not surprisingly, the TLX never sold as often as that duo did at their peak. Acura sold over 113,000 TLs and TSXs in 2005. Yet by the end of their run, in 2013, Acura managed to sell fewer than 42,000 TLs and TSXs. As a result, the arrival of the Acura TLX — and yes, it’s difficult for both reader and writer to keep the letters straight — was heartily welcomed by Acura dealers. The TLX represented a simpler lineup, one sufficiently spacious car, and 47,080 sales in 2015.

But TLX sales have trailed off rather precipitously ever since, and Acura is counting on a thorough refresh for the 2018 model year to spur TLX demand once again.

And quite a spur it must be. Wards Auto is reporting that Acura’s goals for the facelifted TLX are loftier than ever. Read More >

By on June 12, 2017

Porsche 911 GT2 RS at E3, Image: Microsoft Studios

Porsche unveiled its most powerful production 911 in history and not exactly where you’d expect. Dodge saved the unveiling of its much-teased Challenger SRT Demon for the New York International Auto Show, so where did Porsche choose to present the new GT2 RS? The Electronic Entertainment Expo — the world’s premiere video game convention.

There are two ways to look at this sacrilege. You can either take offense, accusing the brand of betraying its fervent automotive base, or you can see this as one of the smartest marketing choices it could have made. E3 has a lot of eyes on it and video games are a booming industry. For a long time Porsche cars weren’t even in most video games, thanks to an exclusive deal made with Electronic Arts. When that ended, the brand slipped its cars into Forza Motorsport 6 through downloadable content, and the GT2 RS is on the cover of Forza Motorsport 7Read More >

By on June 12, 2017

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir - Image: BuickPricing for the long-awaited, second-generation 2018 Buick Enclave starts at $40,970, nearly $1,000 more than the 2017 model, according to Automotive News.

But it’s at the top of the 2o18 Enclave’s lineup where Buick begins the launch of its new Avenir sub-brand. The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir is a $54,390 three-row crossover; $56,690 for an Enclave Avenir with all-wheel drive.

Buick has high hopes for the new Enclave, and rightly so. With the brand’s U.S. car sales flagging, the Enclave takes its place as the rightful flagship of a three-pronged crossover lineup — a lineup that now accounts for more than three-quarters of Buick’s U.S. sales. Already helping itself to high average transaction prices, the Enclave will become an even more premium entity with the new Avenir trim.

And how will you know it? Enclave Avenirs feature a “three-dimensional” mesh grille, pearl nickel 20-inch wheels, and badges on each front door and the left side of the tailgate. Read More >

By on June 12, 2017

2018 Toyota Camry Canada reveal - Image: Toyota Canada

The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry’s new 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine generates 203 horsepower in the entry-level model, 206 horsepower in the 2018 Camry XSE.

This means the eighth-generation Camry offers the most standard horsepower of any car in America’s midsize segment, at least for the time being.

We know not yet what the 2018 Honda Accord will bring. Honda released some engine details last Friday, including information that reveals the death of the Accord’s V6 and future reliance on the 1.5-liter turbo from the Civic and CR-V — as well as the 2.0-liter turbo from the Civic Type R. But we don’t know how much power Honda, notoriously not a participant in any horsepower war, will allow the Accord’s basic 1.5T to produce.

Meanwhile, the Camry’s upgrade engine continues to be a 3.5-liter V6, and Toyota’s gone and done the right thing with that powerplant, too. Moar powah. Read More >

By on June 12, 2017

2016 Volkswagen Polo - Image: Volkswagen UK

It’s a Volkswagen Golf, only slightly smaller and with a more affordable price tag.

Isn’t this what you’ve always wanted?

Maybe not.

The 2017 Volkswagen Polo is a close relation to the Mk7 Golf Americans can get their hands on, and shares the MQB platform that underpins just about everything at the Volkswagen Group except the factories themselves. But in a U.S. market that’s increasingly willing to pay just a bit more for a larger car with essentially no degradation in real-world fuel economy, would the sixth-generation Polo stand a chance?

Probably not, especially given the speed at which subcompact cars are losing sales. Read More >

By on June 9, 2017

2018 Next Generation Honda Accord Camo - Image: HondaThe 10th generation of Honda’s venerable Accord will debut for 2018 without a V6 engine option.

A few months later to the all-new midsize party than the next-generation 2018 Toyota Camry, the new Accord will not follow the Camry’s entrenched path of providing customers with a base four-cylinder and a V6 upgrade.

Instead, Honda will make do with the 1.5-liter turbocharged four already under the hood of the 10th-generation Civic and the fifth-generation Honda CR-V. As an upgrade, Honda will offer the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit from the 2018 Honda Civic Type R. In both cases, Honda has not yet revealed the power output. Honda will continue with an Accord Hybrid, as well.

But the V6 is a goner. Read More >

By on June 9, 2017

2004 Ford GT trio - Image: Ford13 years ago, Ford introduced a stunning V8-powered supercar. It was not affordable.

At roughly $150,000 — or $188,000 in 2017 dollars — the 2005 Ford GT was out of my reach. More than likely, the 2005 Ford GT wasn’t on your shopping list, either.

But because its price placed the reborn Ford GT in the realm of attainability, nearly 3,600 GTs found homes between the end of 2004 and early 2007. Sure, a lot of them spend much of their time parked in garages. Many scarcely move. And it’s not as though a Ford GT is daily commuter in mid-winter Des Moines.

But because of that Blue Oval badge and value-oriented pricing — hey, the GT cost a lot less than a Ferrari F430 — the Ford GT was common enough and American enough and crazy enough to be The People’s Supercar.

The new Ford GT, on the other hand, is a $450,000 beast with a pair of missing cylinders, disappointing noises, and such exclusivity that spotting one in the wild will be virtually impossible outside supercar havens in SoCal and South Beach.

Forgive me, but I prefer the old Ford GT. Read More >

By on June 8, 2017

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA, Image: Subaru of America

It’s a lot of letters, but not a lot of extra horsepower. That’s the synopsis of two limited edition performance models revealed by Subaru today.

We already knew both were on the way, and indeed the models seem well equipped to trounce the handling dynamics of their regular-production stablemates. The appearance, too. Festooned with every measure available to enhance downforce, braking, body stability, and traction, the 2018 WRX STI Type RA (“Record Attempt”) and BRZ tS are instant collector’s items for Subaru superfans.

Is there more power to be had? Are both the revamped WRX and BRZ faster than their corporate siblings? Short answer: yes, and…maybe? Read More >

By on June 8, 2017

2017 BMW SAV lineup - Image: BMW USALittle more than 18 months from now, BMW’s utility vehicle lineup will be dramatically altered, primed to absorb rising SUV demand in an increasingly anti-car market.

According to Australia’s Motoring, BMW will expand its entry-level utility vehicle lineup — BMW calls them SAVs — in early 2018 and the top end of the brand’s SAV lineup by late 2018.

The production BMW X2, due early next year, was previewed by the Concept X2 at 2016’s Paris auto show. BMW’s long-awaited Mercedes-Benz GLS challenger, the BMW X7, is a late-2018 arrival.

But the expansion of the BMW SAV lineup is only part of the story, as new versions of the SAVs currently sitting at the heart of BMW’s lineup will arrive in short order, as well. Read More >

By on June 8, 2017

2018 Porsche 911 Turbo Exclusive Series - Image: PorscheLet’s stop beating around the bush. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is slow.

At first, the upgrade from a proletarian, 370-horsepower 911 to the 540-horsepower 911 Turbo sounds momentous. But, pfft. Puh-leeze.

The 911 Turbo S should therefore be the answer. 570 horsepower. Nought to 60 in 2.9 seconds. 205 miles per hour.

But I remain unimpressed. You remain indifferent. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is found wanting.

Porsche recognizes this. Porsche has heard our demanding cries for a genuinely fast car. This is the Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. It is very exclusive, very expensive, and finally, the 911 Turbo S is sufficiently quick. Read More >

By on June 6, 2017

2017 Mazda 3 5-door – Image: Mazda

About three weeks ago, my Question Of The Day focused on public statements about Mazda’s future plans. The statements came from the CEO of Mazda North America, as reported in an article by Tim Cain. Many of you responded and agreed with the assertions and opinions I put forth, while some were brave enough to disagree. By and large, it was a fairly productive conversation, with over 150 replies in the comments.

Now that some time has passed and the comments have largely ceased, I can fulfill a request made by commenter slow_poke: a summation of your top recommendations, in our first Mazda QOTD FU (follow-up). Let’s see what you had to say.

Read More >

By on June 5, 2017

TVR T37 teaser, Image: TVR

After being chopped up and spread around by owner Nikolay Smolensky in 2006, TVR appeared to be dead in the water. By then, production had dwindled from a dozen vehicles per week to just a few and the company seemed more doomed than usual. Eventually you just stopped hearing about it, unless you found yourself engrossed in a discussion about the craziest cars in history.

Smolensky sold TVR in 2013 to — get this — TVR Automotive Ltd., a company helmed by the U.K.’s Les Edgar and John Chasey, to minimal fanfare. However, our interest was piqued earlier this year when news arose of a new car in development with Gordon Murray and Cosworth. We weren’t alone — the model “sold out” immediately upon its announcement. Now the company is letting us know where and when we can first lay our eyeballs upon it.  Read More >

By on June 5, 2017

2017 Buick LaCrosse rear - Image: Buick

There was plenty to like about Buick’s heavily revised 2017 Buick LaCrosse when it debuted last year, but the shrinking passenger car market rubbed some of the shine off the full-sizer’s standard features and newfound efficiency. It also propelled sales further downhill.

Buick isn’t resting on its laurels for the generation’s sophomore year. For 2018, Buick’s eAssist mild hybrid system returns to the LaCrosse after a year’s absence, joined by a new transmission in V6-powered models and a starting price designed to lure more buyers into the showroom. Read More >

By on June 5, 2017

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited, Image: Volkswagen

The enlarged, second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan arrives at Volkswagen of America’s dealers this summer, leaving room beneath Volkswagen’s Honda CR-V challenger for a smaller, more affordable utility vehicle.

No, not the T-Roc. That’s later. Automotive News has received confirmation from a Volkswagen spokesperson regarding a rumor we already knew well: the existing Volkswagen Tiguan will survive as the Volkswagen Tiguan Limited.

We would have preferred the City Tiguan nomenclature, but so be it. Read More >

By on June 5, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Coupe Si – Image: Honda

Not everyone was blown away by the new Honda Civic Si’s 205 horsepower, especially after a year of rumors suggesting output could fall in the 220-hp range. While the hotter (but not hottest) version of Honda’s 10th-generation Civic possesses the same horsepower rating as its predecessor, albeit with significantly less displacement, many Big H aficionados had hoped for more.

Nah, you don’t want that, Honda says. The Si’s massaged 1.5-liter turbo does offer increased torque (192 lb-ft) compared to the previous 2.4-liter model, but the automaker claims the addition of more ponies would have harmed the model. Read More >

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