LATEST NEW CAR INFORMATION AND EXPORT NEWS
08/30/2017 - wrote:

2018 Toyota Highlander
2018 Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is a smooth midsize crossover with a third row for kids, front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive available. It’s bigger than the RAV4 and less rugged than the 4Runner. It can be compared with crossovers such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot, and Chevrolet Traverse.
Last redesigned for 2014, it got a revision in 2017, including a facelift, more tech, and more power with an eight-speed transmission. It’s unchanged for 2018.
The base Highlander LE uses a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it gets 22 combined miles per gallon. The available V6 has more power and gets better fuel mileage.
The 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection makes 295 horsepower. Mated to an eight-speed automatic, it gets 23 combined miles per gallon, helped there by the standard start/stop system. On the highway, it gets 3mpg more than the four-cylinder engine.
There is a sporty Highlander SE, with 19-inch wheels and a firmer suspension.
Also a Highlander Hybrid LE or XLE. It uses an Atkinson-cycle version of the V6 with direct injection. There are two electric motors, one for the front wheels and another for the rears. It makes a combined 306 horsepower and brings 30 City, 28 Highway and 29 Combined miles per gallon. We got seat time in a 2017 Hybrid XLE, all of it relaxed city driving, and it returned considerably less than that. Much the same with our 2016 Highlander Hybrid.
With the forward-collision warning system, the IIHS gives the Highlander its Top Safety Pick+ rating, with top Good ratings in every test. The NHTSA gives it five stars overall, with four stars for frontal crash and rollover.
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08/28/2017 - wrote:

2018 BMW 2 Series
2018 BMW 2 Series
The thing about the BMW 2 Series is its size. It’s the original size, the correct size, before nimble small cars got big, like about 50 years ago when the truly iconic BMW 2002 ruled the back roads. So that’s what the 2 Series gives you, that the 3 Series doesn’t. More feel, more nimble, more thrill if you care to take it there.
The engines were new for 2017. The BMW 230i gets a beautiful 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, while the BMW 240i outrageously and wonderfully gets a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo.
Coupe or Cabriolet, either model.
The 2.0 turbo in the 230i makes 248 horsepower, while the 3.0 turbo in the M240i makes 330 horsepower. Two transmissions are available, an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual. The xDrive all-wheel drive is available with either engine, mated to the automatic transmission.
There’s also an M2 model that’s pretty extreme in its capabilities, overkill for the street. But if you intend to use it for track days, it’s a winner. It’s still the 3.0 twin-scroll turbo engine, but built with stronger pistons and cylinders, to handle 365 horsepower created by more turbocharger boost pressure. The M2 rockets from zero to sixty in 4.2 seconds with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, or 4.4 seconds with the six-speed manual. Top speed is 155 mph.
One thing BMW does to keep tradition alive and the price low, is offer a base model with fabric seats and few options, to go with the manual transmission. Bare bones, like the original 2002. So, fewer expensive features, but you still get the best of BMW engineering, engine, transmission and handling without having to pay for the luxury you can live without. You’ll have just as much fun with this car.
With rear-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic, the 230i gets an EPA-rated 24/35 miles per gallon City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined. With all-wheel drive, the M240i xDrive gets 21/31/25 mpg, not bad for 330 horsepower and awd. And the 2 Series aced its IIHS crash tests.
Not much has changed for 2018, different options packages, a couple new colors, some other small things.
Model Lineup
The rear-wheel drive 2018 BMW 230i coupe ($33,150) comes with fabric seats with manual adjustment, and no rearview camera. Also available: the 230i Convertible ($38,950).
The high-performance M2 Coupe ( $52,500) comes with the six-speed gearbox, or optional seven-speed dual-clutch with paddle shifters. Standard equipment includes heated seats, navigation, adaptive cruise control, and electronic safety features, but still not a rearview camera. An Executive package adds a heated steering wheel, plus park distance control, automatic high beams, active driving assistant, and that rearview camera. The Drivers Package adds 13 mph to the 155-mph top speed.
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08/25/2017 - wrote:

2018 Cadillac CTS
2018 Cadillac CTS
The 2018 Cadillac CTS begins the fifth year of its generation, after being revised for 2017, outside and in, plus tech upgrades. For 2018, CTS gets an available automatic heated steering wheel. Otherwise, it carries over unchanged.
The CTS holds its own, at the least, when compared to German sedans like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6. It blows them out of the water in looks, with its sharp creases and stunning LED lighting. It shares its platform with the smaller Cadillac ATS; the CTS came first, so the ATS is more efficiently packaged. In return, the ATS has shown the CTS how to handle like a smaller car.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 268 horsepower; it accelerates from zero to sixty in about six seconds, which is nearly as quick as the bigger engine, a smooth 3.6-liter V6 making 335 horsepower. Whose fuel mileage of 24 miles per gallon Combined city and highway EPA rating is nearly as good as the four-cylinder’s 25 mpg Combined. So the four-cylinder turbo is almost as fast and almost as thirsty as the normally aspirated V6.
The third choice is the CTS V-Sport, with its twin-turbo V6 making 420 horsepower and blasting from zero to sixty in 4.7 seconds. It rates just 18 miles per gallon.
There is one transmission, a paddle-shifting eight-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available.
A separate model is the awesome and other-worldly CTS-V, using the Corvette Z06 engine, a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 making 640 horsepower and 630 concrete-ripping foot pounds of torque. The CTS-V uses a lot of carbon fiber. Zero to sixty is 3.7 seconds. What else do you need to know?
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08/24/2017 - wrote:

2018 Honda Accord
2018 Honda Accord
A completely redesigned 2018 Honda Accord goes on sale this fall, the 10th generation of the popular sedan. A coupe version will not be available this time, the company said.
The upcoming Accord sedan rides on a longer wheelbase than before, for increased roominess in the back seats and a larger trunk. Lower and wider than before, it’s a sleek, attractive vehicle.
Several drivetrains will be available, and Honda promises improved fuel economy and increased performance at the same time. A hybrid version will be available that will look very similar to the other models, available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim.
A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder will be most popular, rated at 192 hp and generating 192 foot-pounds of torque. It comes with a continuously variable transmission, though a 6-speed manual is available for the Accord Sport.
An optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine rated at 252 horsepower and 273 foot-pounds of torque will be available with a 10-speed automatic. The Accord Sport with this engine and the 6-speed manual gearbox is expected to be the sportiest Accord.
The Accord Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors.
The Accord has been lightened and strengthened through the use of more expensive high-strength steel. All things being equal, a more rigid chassis usually allows more precise suspension tuning, all of which results in improved ride quality and sharper handling. An active suspension system will adjust damping according to road conditions. A sport mode will sharpen throttle response, transmission shifting, and the electric power steering. More sound deadening along with active noise cancellation should result in a quieter cabin.
The audio system will come with volume and tuning knobs, a welcome change from the sliders used previously that are hard to operate precisely while driving. A 450-watt system with 10 speakers will be available. Wi-Fi 4G LTE will allow the Accord to be a hotspot.
Rearview cameras will be deployed across multiple angles and will display their images on an eight-inch screen on the center stack. A head-up display will be available that projects navigation data onto the windscreen.
Pricing is expected to be similar to the outgoing version.
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08/24/2017 - wrote:

2018 Jaguar E-Pace
2018 Jaguar E-Pace
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace, a totally new five-seat compact crossover SUV, goes on sale fall 2017. Shorter in overall length than the recently introduced F-Pace, E-Pace is designed to deliver Jaguar performance and panache in a small utility with all-wheel drive.
Two engines will be available, both turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinders. The more powerful version is rated at 296 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque, capable of propelling the 4,175-pound E-Pace from 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. The standard engine is rated 246 hp, 269 lb-ft. A ZF 9-speed automatic comes standard with all models, with paddle shifters on R-Dynamic versions.
All will come with all-wheel drive, but the R-Dynamic models get a high-performance setup that provides true toque vectoring.
The upcoming E-Pace measures 173 inches overall on a 105.6-inch wheelbase. Cargo space is 52 cubic feet total.
The cabin is nicely designed, reminiscent of the F-Type, with a wide center console and similar controls. Synthetic leather is standard, leather is optional. Cabins come loaded with luxury features. Touchscreens are 10 inches or 12.3 inches, depending on model. A tailgate that opens with a wave of the foot is available, as are premium audio, five USB ports, navigation, 4G Wi Fi.
The Jaguar E-Pace set a Guinness World Record title for the farthest barrel roll in a production vehicle when it was revealed in July 2017.
A special E-Pace First Edition model ($53,550) will launch first.
The other models (prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge): E-Pace ($38,600); E-Pace S ($41,500); E-Pace SE ($44,300); E-Pace R-Dynamic S ($47,250); R-Dynamic SE ($50,050); R-Dynamic HSE ($53,100).
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08/10/2017 - wrote:

2018 Honda Odyssey
2018 Honda Odyssey
Completely redesigned for 2018, Honda Odyssey is an eight-passenger minivan with class-leading power, space, technology, comfort, handling and fuel efficiency.

The new Odyssey has been thought out extremely well, and can carry a family even better than before, with its standard 60/40 folding third row seat, and many safety features. It was seriously challenged last year by the new Chrysler Pacifica, and has responded by upping its game.

A new 3.5-liter V6 engine makes 280 horsepower, which is 32 hp more than before. So it’s faster, the chassis is stiffer, the steering quicker, cabin quieter, and there are two new automatic transmissions, a nine-speed and ten-speed.

New features include a sliding rear seat with removable middle section and removable outboard seats that slide sideways as well as forward or back. With just the middle seat removed, it’s like captain’s chairs. Four kids with that setup is perfect. Can carry eight when needed. Can carry refrigerator when needed. A canoe will fit on the roof.

There is a new 4G LTE WiFi hotspot that can drive the rear entertainment system, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s another optional new feature that allows parents to watch their kids like a hawk, in the big screen on the dash, zooming in with infrared vision, so there’s no hiding in the dark, they are doomed.
Model Lineup

Odyssey LX ($29,990) comes with cloth upholstery, power windows, doors and mirrors; a rearview camera, seven-speaker sound system, 18-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power driver seat, 4-way power front passenger seat, keyless ignition, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering column, Bluetooth, USB port, and automatic climate control. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

Odyssey EX ($33,860) features dual power sliding side doors, as well as the Magic Slide second-row seats that slide in four directions. The driver’s seat adjusts 12 ways and front seats are heated. EX also adds three-zone automatic climate control, a display audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, HD radio, HondaLink apps connectivity, the CabinControl app that lets occupants control the climate system and send songs to the playlist from their smartphones, automatic headlamps, heated door mirrors with turn indicators, foglamps, and remote starting. EX also adds safety features, including blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts and automatic high beams, plus the Honda Sensing package, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings and active lane control, and road departure mitigation.

Odyssey EX-L ($37,360) upgrades to leather upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, sunroof, and power liftgate. Odyssey EX-L with Navi/RES adds navigation with voice recognition, a Blu-Ray rear entertainment system with wireless headphones, 115-volt power outlet, and Honda’s CabinTalk system that allows the driver to talk to all passengers through the speakers or headphones.

Odyssey Touring ($44,510) gets the new 10-speed automatic transmission, stop/start technology, Honda’s CabinWatch feature that points a camera at any seat in the vehicle and lets the driver see the image on the center screen, 4G LTE mobile hotspot capability, an in-vehicle vacuum cleaner, third-row sunshades, a hands-free power tailgate, LED headlights, LED fog lights, and front and rear parking sensors.

Odyssey Elite ($46,670) upgrades further with an 11-speaker audio system, wireless phone charging, a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, ambient lighting, gloss black interior trim, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding exterior mirrors, and 19-inch wheels.

Available safety features include automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warnings, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. Every model gets two knee airbags in front, as well as a camera for the driver to keep an eye on his or her passengers.
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08/10/2017 - wrote:

2019 Audi A8
2019 Audi A8
An all-new version of the Audi A8 luxury sedan goes on sale late spring 2018 as a 2019 model holding out the promise of more self-driving capability.

From the outside, the 2019 A8 looks similar to the outgoing 2018 model. The grille is wider, the front intakes are bigger, and the headlights are more slender.

All will come with the long wheelbase.

All will come with all-wheel drive.

All will come with hybrid powertrains, but there will be choices.

Initially, the 2019 A8 will come to the U.S. with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with a mild-hybrid system expected to aid acceleration and widen the range of Stop/Start operation. More powertrains will follow later, among them a 4.0-liter V8, twin-turbocharged for nearly 450 horsepower.

Two large touchscreens have replaced buttons for secondary controls. The top screen displays the navi, while the bottom screen manages climate controls. The previous interface has been abandoned in favor of touch and swipe controls.

The structure uses the latest materials to reduce weight, among them magnesium, plastic reinforced with carbon fiber, high-strength steel, aluminum.

A highly sophisticated active suspension will adjust damping based on road conditions.

Rear-wheel steering will be available for tighter maneuvering in close quarters that turns the wheels to 5 degrees, twice as far as most systems.

Self-driving will be expanded to Level 3, not yet legal, controlling the car at speeds of up to 37 mph without input from the driver. The system can also park the car.
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06/20/2017 - wrote:

2017 Toyota Highlander
2017 Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is a comfortable and smooth-riding midsize crossover with three rows of seating, standard front-wheel drive but available with all-wheel drive. It’s considerably larger than the RAV4 but not rugged like the 4Runner.

It was last redesigned for 2014, but for 2017 Highlander receives a facelift, more power, a new eight-speed transmission, and more high-tech safety features. It also gets four more USB ports, for a total of five. The third row remains very small.

There’s a new sporty Highlander SE, with a stiffer suspension and 19-inch wheels, so the ride is more firm and less smooth. The Highlander Hybrid is now available in lower LE and XLE trims.

Highlander can be compared with other large crossovers such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot, and Chevrolet Traverse.

The 3.5-liter V6 that powers most models of the Highlander gets upgraded with direct injection, which increases its horsepower to 295 from 270. The new eight-speed automatic transmission has a broader range for the torque-converter lockup, which gives it a more direct feel, according to Toyota. The new powertrain raises fuel mileage a bit, to 21 city, 27 highway, and 23 miles per gallon combined. It uses a start-stop system that shuts the engine off at stop signs and redlights, and restarts it when the drive takes his or her foot off the brake pedal.

The base Highlander LE uses a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite having much less power, it gets one less combined mile per gallon than the new V6, and three less highway mpg.

Hybrid models use an Atkinson-cycle version of the V6, also with direct injection. The hybrid system uses two electric motors, one for the front wheels and another for the rear wheels. It makes a combined 306 horsepower (up from 26), and brings 30 City, 28 Highway and 29 Combined miles per gallon. We got seat time in a Hybrid XLE, all of it relaxed city driving, and it returned considerably less than that. Not unlike our experience with the 2016 Highlander Hybrid.

With the forward-collision warning system, the IIHS gives the Highlander its Top Safety Pick+ rating, with top Good ratings in every test. The NHTSA gives it five stars overall, with four stars for frontal crash and rollover.
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06/20/2017 - wrote:

2017 Toyota 4Runner
2017 Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner, last redesigned for 2014, and unchanged from 2016 to 2017, is Toyota’s offroad SUV, with its truck-like body-on-frame chassis. It hasn’t crossed over from the rugged days, unlike the Highlander, although it isn’t rough.

It comes with a smooth 4.0-liter V6 making 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque that makes it quick, and a five-speed automatic transmission, which feels like enough gears if you haven’t driven the eight- and nine- and ten-speeds, many of which have been disappointing.

The 4Runner drives better than it should. It’s even easy to maneuver in parking lots. It’s comfortable for long hours, with a fairly smooth ride and very little road noise.

Inside, it’s less refined than the Ford Explorer or Dodge Durango, two main competitors. And since the 4Runner’s bolted-on body is narrower and its floor higher, there’s less cargo space than in a same-sized crossover.

The TRD Off Road and TRD Pro Series models only come with 4WD. The TRD Pro is serious, with Bilstein shocks having remote reservoirs, Nitto all-terrain tires, TRD front springs, skid plates, exclusive wheels, and TRD trim and badging.

The 2017 4Runner TRD Off Road model is new in name, having been called the Trail previously.

Eight airbags are standard. It scores well in crash testing, but not always the top rating in each test by NHTSA and IIHS.

The base SR5 model with rear-wheel-drive is EPA rated at 17 miles per gallon City, 22 Highway, and 19 Combined; four-wheel drive gets 1 mpg less.
Model Lineup

The 2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 comes with rear-wheel drive ($34,210) or four-wheel drive ($36,085). Standard equipment includes power driver seat, roof rack, audio system with satellite radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, and Toyota’s Entune services. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

4Runner Premium comes with 2WD ($36,090) or 4WD ($37,915). The Limited 2WD ($42,525) and Limited 4WD ($44,560) comes with dual power front seats, navigation, and a 15-speaker JBL sound system.

The 4WD TRD Off Road ($37,335) and TRD Pro ($42,400) are tuned for rugged terrain.
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06/20/2017 - wrote:

2017 Chevrolet Suburban
2017 Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet Suburban is an American institution dating to 1935, and enabling an American tradition, the big family hauler. It began its 12th generation in 2015 with fresh styling and a refined cabin, and hasn’t changed for 2017.

The chassis is body-on-frame, like a truck, and comes from the 11th generation. The engine was all new in 2015, a direct-injected 5.3-liter V8 EcoTec3 with aluminum block and heads. It makes 355 horsepower (380 hp on E85 fuel) and 383 pound-feet of torque (416 lb.-ft. on E85). It’s mated to a smooth six-speed automatic, but don’t be surprised if that’s soon replaced by a transmission with more gears, to increase fuel mileage.

Suburban’s only rival is the Ford Expedition EL with its EcoBoost turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that makes 365 horsepower, 420 pound-feet of torque, and a 9200-pound towing capacity.

It would be nice if the more powerful 6.2-liter EcoTec3 engine that’s available in the Tahoe and Silverado would also be optional for the Suburban, that needs it the most. The Suburban is rated to tow 8300 pounds with rear-wheel drive, but that’s making 355 horsepower work awfully hard. That much towing needs the bigger engine that can’t be had.

The handling is impressive for a nearly three-ton vehicle, that’s 224 inches long on 103-inch wheelbase. It’s surprisingly brisk, which contributes a lot to family safety. And the ride is smooth, which contributes a lot to family happiness. So does the quiet cabin.

The Suburban gets 15 city and 23 highway miles per gallon with rear-wheel drive, a whisker less with all-wheel drive.
Model Lineup

The 2017 Chevrolet Suburban comes in LS ($49,915), LT ($55,515) and Premier ($64,840) models, all with 5.3-liter V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission, and fold-flat second- and third-row seats. All-wheel drive is $3000 more.

All Suburbans come standard with a rearview camera, seven air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, trailer sway control, traction control, and more.

Suburban LS comes with cloth upholstery, front bucket seats with 10-way power-adjustable driver and two-way passenger seats, tri-zone climate controls, AM/FM/CD audio, satellite radio, remote vehicle starting, rear view camera, rear park assist, manual-adjustable second- and third-row seats. A font bench seat is optional.

Suburban LT upgrades with leather trim for first- and second-row seats, heated power front seats with memory feature, Bose premium audio, MyLink infotainment system, power liftgate with programmable height, lane departure warning, forward collision alert.

Suburban Premier adds heated and cooled front seats, fog lamps, HID headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, heated power side mirrors, power tilt/telescope steering column with memory, heated leather steering wheel, keyless entry, pushbutton start, power folding second- and third-row seatbacks, power adjustable pedals, 110-volt power outlet, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, blind spot warning, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert.

Options include navigation, power-folding second- and third-row seats, power liftgate, cargo management system, Blu-Ray DVD entertainment system, and as many as six USB ports and six power outlets.

Safety features on all models include a safety alert seat that vibrates if the system determines the driver is at risk of colliding with another vehicle. A rear vision camera comes standard that shows the area immediately behind the vehicle on the audio screen, very helpful for hooking up a trailer. Bucket-seat models include a front center air bag that deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and inflates between driver and front passenger for added protection in a side-impact crash. Also available: side blind-zone alert, lane-change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, crash-imminent braking.
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