five.-liter DOHC V8, port and direct injection (467 horsepower @ 7,100 rpm 389 lbs-ft @ four,800 rpm)
16 city/25 highway/19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
17.2 (Observed, MPG)
Base Cost: $ 63,745*
As Tested: $ 79,355*
*Costs contain $ 940 location charge.
In fairness, I was going as well swiftly even for the interstate. Even then, I’m pretty certain I saw a third numeral flicker on the dash show as I apexed the off-ramp onto the unfamiliar rural divided 4-lane.
Then I saw a black and gold Dodge Charger sitting in the median.
I right away asked myself if I can legitimately create off a speeding ticket as a business expense.
Fortunately, the deputy sheriff was either napping or texting, as the bellowing orange 2016 Lexus RC-F was distinctly conspicuous as I slowed to socially acceptable speeds. I unclenched, took a breath, and continued in search of much more enjoyable roads.
And get pleasure from I did.
I do not know if I can call the Lexus RC-F stunning with a straight face. It is purposeful and brutal, definitely, but it’s not an E-Sort Jaguar. The numerous vents, intakes, and flares make a bold statement about the sporting credentials inside.
My tester had the optional $ five,500 Overall performance Package, which adds a carbon fiber roof and rear wing, as well as a trick torque-vectoring differential. Yeah, adding further black accents to the fabulously loud Molten Pearl gave the large Lexus a jack-o’-lantern look, which was a hit at the college drop-off line in mid-October. I loved the appear, nonetheless — it seems to visually decrease the car a bit far more than cars with a painted roof.
Out back, that carbon rear wing raises itself at speed, or with the push of a button for the entertainment of onlookers. The quadruple exhaust suggestions are a bit showy, but practically nothing about this Lexus is subtle. They are ideal for the character of this beast.
The properly-bolstered front seats in the RC-F are spectacular. Plenty of adjustment fore and aft, up and down, with heated and cooled seats on the Premium Package created my lengthy interstate drive effortless. The $ five,500 package also contains carbon fiber interior trim, mostly beneath the steering column and atop the glove box. It’s not fully convincing, although. Otherwise, the leather and sueded leather-like material — Alcantara? — is appropriately plush.
I can’t speak for the rear seats, even though the tears of my eight-year-old daughter may well. We had a mishap upon commencing her first RC-F ride, exactly where the energy seat returned to a memory position incompatible with her booster-seated legs. Much screaming ensued. Removal of the booster seat allowed her feet to slide below the driver’s seat, and the girls rode with but 1 complaint for the rest of my test.
The issue they voiced loudly was the lack of any sort of handle to brace themselves, or to support extricate themselves from the deep seat bottom. Or, place delicately, there were no “Oh Feces!” handles. When I decided to “enjoy” my drive, and let my spawn to enjoy it along with me, they would slide against the interior panels with force. Hence, my time experimenting with and exploiting the a variety of overall performance settings was restricted to solo drives.
It’s the engine that is the huge story here. 467 horsepower from a 5.-liter V8 is nonetheless impressive, although most pony vehicles make related energy. The eight-speed automatic transmission, even though definitely shiftable through paddle or lever, is a letdown — I’d really like to attempt this with a six-speed manual. Sport and Sport Plus drive modes, selected through a knob just to the appropriate of the shifter, do make the transmission shift far more aggressively, holding gears a bit longer, particularly in Sport Plus. The transmission slams firmly into each and every gear with the throttle pinned, and will blip the throttle during downshifts to preserve the rear from becoming also unsettled.
The truly trick bit is the TVD button for the optional Torque-Vectoring Differential, element of the Efficiency Package. Rather than a standard Torsen limited-slip as fitted to the standard RC-F, the TVD allows for electronic biasing of torque to the rear wheels primarily based on driving behavior. Between Typical, Slalom, and Track settings, the differential will adjust how the rear of the car drives – and importantly for your neighborhood tire dealer, how it slides.
As opposed to the IS Turbo I lately sampled, this RC-F utilizes a touchpad interface for the navigation and entertainment systems. It’s positioned immediately aft of the shift lever, and just ahead of an extended lip for the center console storage lid. It performs effectively, but can be a bit sensitive. I identified when driving even though wearing a coat with loose sleeves, these sleeves would sometimes brush the touchpad and choose diverse radio stations. I even sleeve-dialed my wife as soon as.
The optional ($ 2,610!) navigation worked smoothly otherwise, and the the usually-stellar Mark Levinson audio program had no troubles fighting the noise from the wide Michelins.
Between standard commuting, a two-hour early morning highway cruise, and a 4-hour return via the curviest roads I could find, I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the brilliant Lexus. Beyond road noise from the sticky tires and the boisterous exhaust note when exploring the deeper reaches of the correct pedal, the Lexus was practically as serene as a more staid ES sedan. The ride was firm over pockmarked Ohio freeways, but never jarring or unpleasant.
When I encountered the twisties, the RC-F woke up. I turned the selector to Sport Plus, switched the TVD to Slalom mode, and attacked the hills of southern Ohio. Set up like this, I found the Lexus would happily bring the rear around when driven enthusiastically, but it wouldn’t turn into a tire-smoking drift monster.
I wasn’t brave and/or stupid sufficient to attempt turning off the traction and stability controls — I wasn’t on the track, and therefore had no cause to activate either the in-dash lap timer nor my AAA membership.
It is generally a pony car, but with a posh twist. While it certainly compares nicely to an M4 or a C63, a Mustang GT or Camaro SS are all-natural options. It occupies an fascinating spot in the market place, as the Lexus buyer can select rowdy and refined in a single package.
Lexus provided the car and a tank of fuel for objective of this review.
Buyers are getting their 2016 Ford Concentrate RS orders cancelled, and the automaker is providing differing causes as to why, depending on who you ask.
Ford is telling dealers and buyers who placed orders for Ford’s hottest hatch that they’ll receive 2017 models rather. This, for a model Ford stated it could create as many as consumers wanted.
Ford produces the 350-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Concentrate RS at its Saarlouis plant in Germany. The sought-after model arrived stateside this spring, with the automaker promising not to limit production.
According to emails obtained by TTAC, a Los Angeles dealer had 3 of its pending 2016 Focus RS orders cancelled by Ford and moved to the 2017 model year. That could mean months of delays for consumers as they wait for subsequent year’s deliveries.
The cause given to the dealer by a Ford rep for the cancellations? “Economic turmoil in Europe” that forced the Saarlouis plant to shut down, limiting production volume.
Nonetheless, when TTAC asked Ford representative Dan Jones about the e mail, he stated 220 orders were cancelled basically due to the fact Ford couldn’t keep up with demand just before a planned summer season factory shutdown.
“We regularly adjust daily production to be aligned with market place demand,” Jones stated. “Focus RS demand about the globe has exceeded expectations, so these 220 buyer units that had been scheduled for 16MY construct, are now going to be rescheduled into 17MY, and as these orders will be prioritized, buyers will expertise virtually no delay in delivery of their automobile.”
There’s a massive gap amongst planned maintenance and “economic turmoil.”
Would-be Concentrate RS buyers have expressed aggravation over continually changing delivery timetables on on the internet enthusiast forums.
One particular Australian Focusrs.org forum user was told the vehicle’s planned August construct would be moved to November, although an additional had his pushed from July to September. Another user sought answers for why his Focus RS create date went from June to August, and then to October. “Your develop date can move around until it is finally locked in when a VIN is assigned,” mentioned a Ford Australia representative.
At some point in the summer season, the German plant shuts down for a worker’s holiday. When pressed, the user’s Ford rep claimed the plant shut down for a week in early July. That rep returned to say the plant would be shut down for summer season maintenance from July 25 to August 19.
When asked about the shutdown timing, Jones stated workers will return to Saarlouis following a three-week holiday on August 15.
Time will inform what the delivery delay amounts to, if anything, or whether dealers and buyers experience additional aggravation. For an automaker, it is nonetheless better to deal with the fallout of a model with overwhelming demand than, say, a Chrysler 200.
It’s a Dodge Caliber festooned with a seven slot grille and boxy proportions. It exists for no other purpose than to leverage the brand equity built up by decades of Jeep heritage. The Patriot*, according to your nominations, our writers, and your votes is — by far — TTAC’s 2016 Worst Automobile Nowadays.
Right after all the votes had been cast, a staggering 66.1 % of you believed the Jeep Patriot to be the worst new car money could get. And, as numerous of you guessed, it is not the only Fiat Chrysler Automobiles solution in the Prime ten.
A triumvirate consisting of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mercedes-Benz, and Mitsubishi are responsible for seven of TTAC’s 2016 Ten Worst Automobiles Today. As Mazda comes close to cleaning house in the Very best list, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles takes 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the Worst list.
Here are the remaining losers in reverse order.
10th Place: Toyota Yaris
Who knew that Toyota, one of largest automakers in the world that didn’t get caught cheating its way previous emissions regulations, would have an entry on the worst list, even though the cheater would take the 10th spot on the Best list?
Personally, I don’t recognize the hatred for the Yaris. It’s a subcompact automobile that does subcompact automobile issues in ways that subcompact automobiles must do them. But, right here it is because 36.5 % of you decided it need to be here.
Maybe I need to have to drive one particular once more. Or possibly I do not.
9th Spot: Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (such as AMG)
In contrast to the Yaris, vitriol aimed at Mercedes-Benz’s cheapest (in every sense of the word) model is anything I can get behind. In all, 40.three % of you agreed with Jack Baruth.
In front-wheel-drive spec, the CLA is a torque-steer monster when it really doesn’t need to have to be. Automatic Honda Civics from 1992 can shift gears with much more aplomb than this A-Class in drag. It’s an afront to the tri-star, which sits front and center with all the tact of Flavor Flav’s huge neck-hung clock.
If a friend asks you if they ought to obtain a CLA, say no. If they do it anyway, get a new pal. It’s that basic.
8th Place: BMW X6 (such as X6 M)
BMW will discover itself on the wrong side of our Ten Greatest and Worst this year thanks to the X6 and its aspiration-with no-objective styling.
Even although the X6 M — with its brutal 4.four-liter, twin turbocharged V8 very good for 567 horsepower — is much more than able to place a smile on the face of even the most discerning enthusiast, there’s 1 function you just cannot get behind: its sloping rear buttock.
40.eight percent of you thought mentioned buttock deserved flogging.
7th Place: Chevrolet Trax
Chevrolet’s subcompact crossover is the result of GM designers watching “Breaking Bad” and coming to the conclusion that a new Aztek would be a really great idea.
Okay, perhaps the Trax isn’t that horrible to look at, but the its 1.four-liter turbocharged engine is underpowered to put it lightly, an concern somewhat rectified by the new Buick Encore.
Speaking of the Encore, somehow it avoided this list. 46.8 percent of you thought the Chevrolet Trax was the worst vehicle presented by General Motors right now, as opposed to the only 30.1 % that thought the Encore deserved to be fired into the nearest Chinese steel mill.
6th Spot: Mitsubishi Mirage
Have you ever partied so tough that the next morning you find a baleen whale in your bed and a credit-card balance that dangerously approaches your overall credit limit? Some of us would right away take a shower and try to discover a second job to proper those wrongs. Others console themselves by purchasing autos with their remaining credit. The vehicle they purchase: the Mitsubishi Mirage.
Here’s the dilemma with the Mirage: modern day subcompact automobiles want not be dreadful penalty boxes, however the Mirage is. An underpowered 3-cylinder engine sends double-digit horsepower to the front wheels. It’s saddled with a continuously variable transmission if you have neither the want nor the mental implies to shift gears oneself. And even in its most prime spec, the alloy wheels wouldn’t be out of location in a Pep Boys clearance aisle. 47.1 % of voters say “Mirage: not even as soon as.”
(We know the Mirage is not technically accessible for the 2016 model year, but there was a 2015 model and there will be a newly restyled 2017 model. Exceptions have been produced.)
5th Spot: Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Apply every little thing mentioned above about the Mirage to Mitsubishi’s electric automobile, but make one particular very essential alter: the Mitsubishi i-MiEV isn’t cheap (in the transactional sense if you buy one particular new at MSRP). 50.four percent of voters agree.
Go acquire a Leaf.
4th Place: Fiat 500L
In the show “The Walking Dead”, Michonne has two pet zombies that have been freed of their reduced jaws so as to neuter their desire to kill and eat humans. The Fiat 500L is the automotive visual equivalent of those zombies, which sports a style that neuters its desire to find willing buyers.
The 500L tries to trick men and women into pondering it is a fun little runabout with a cutesy demeanor. In reality, it is a Fiat Panda with awkward sheetmetal built in at former Yugo plant in present-day Serbia.
3rd Spot: Intelligent Fortwo
The preceding-generation Intelligent Fortwo was so undesirable that, we think, the majority of respondents of our poll have been in fact voting against the old auto and not the new a single. It doesn’t aid that there’s been small advertising and marketing to increase the image of the new Fortwo, shown above, which we don’t feel is practically as horrible as its predecessor.
Nevertheless, the reality remains that city vehicles just do not do well in America. Americans are massive. American cities are massive (as in spread out). Road trips are huge (as in lengthy). And Americans tend to acquire big items that require big automobiles to cart about. In addition, Americans don’t like big price tags for tiny vehicles, no matter how clever they could be. (Don’t forget the Scion iQ? Neither do I.)
55.eight percent of you believe the Fortwo (no matter whether it be the new model or the earlier car with the kidney-punishing transmission) is one particular of the Ten Worst Automobiles Right now.
(Daimler: Why don’t you send this back to Europe and bring the Forfour here rather?)
2nd Location: Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey is a remnant of prior indiscretions made by DaimlerChrysler and Cerberus, but it chugs along as three-row marketing fodder in regional papers for $ 16,995 (or what ever the price is that week once thousands of dollars in incentives are applied).
For a multitude of factors, the Dodge Journey is the worst 3-row car money can purchase from a new automobile dealer. You’re far better off getting a used Hyundai Santa Fe and shelling out for the extended warranty. Or acquiring a Caravan. Or a employed Econoline. Or nothing just sell off your youngsters and take away the require for such a vehicle in your life.
Last and kinda-sorta least
* Yes, there’s an asterisk. Why? Since the Patriot, even even though it handily won (lost?) this competitors as the worst automobile in America for the 2016 model year, probably wouldn’t be in very first place had we not eliminated the Jeep Compass from the get-go.
Before we 1st announced the resurrected and refreshed Ten Worst Automobiles These days, we teased the reality that the Compass was nominated ten years ago as a single of the worst sacks of platform-prostituted garbage money could acquire. It is still true these days. The Compass is mostly sold on price, not substance, and is the antithesis of what any Jeep should be. A lot of of the very same complaints can be levied against the Patriot, but at least the Patriot looks a bit a lot more like a Jeep.
So, with out additional ado, TTAC is announcing a Lifetime Achievement Award to the Jeep Compass for comprehensive incompetence from birth to present day.
And this is where you come in: this award wants a name! Hit up the comments to offer your ideas. A winner will be picked sometime this week.
There positive has been a lot of talk about crossovers around right here lately, hasn’t there? Regardless of your opinion on owning a CUV, it is challenging to deny the functionality that a 3-row CUV offers the organization and/or pleasure rental client. The capacity to carry an complete sales group to a meeting, as well as some presentation components and suitcases? Useful. The capability to take a loved ones of five to the beach, such as assorted coolers and pool toys? Useful.
For that reason, gents, if you completely should have a crossover for your rental or private needs, well, you might as properly have the manliest damn crossover cash can get. That honor goes to the 2016 Dodge Durango. Ladies, I have a feeling that you will appreciate the big D, too. Let me to share my thoughts with you from the week I spent in the ATL with FCA’s entry in the hotly-contested three-row segment.
If you are anything like me (and really, who is not?), you most likely have a difficult time remembering what the hell all of the a variety of Dodge trim levels imply. My Durango was of the Limited RWD range, meaning that it sits squarely in the middle of the lineup — beneath the pimpin-pimpin’ Citadel and HEMI-powered R/T, but above the SXT and SXT Plus. Except for the R/T, all Durangos are gifted with FCA’s ubiquitous 3.six-liter Pentastar V6, which dishes out an impressive 290 horsepower in this particular application. You also get the placidly smooth eight-speed 845RE automatic transmission in all non-R/T models, which assists make the Pentastar even more delightful to pilot.
Stepping up to the Restricted gets you a whole host of upgrades, like the uConnect eight.four-inch touchscreen, regular leather-trimmed heated seats in the 1st and second rows, a rearview camera, and the choice to add a DVD entertainment program for your offspring. You also get a blingy badge that says “LIMITED” because Dodge just does not employ a single designer that desires understated particulars.
The uConnect eight.four is reason sufficient to bump up those month-to-month payments a bit. Even though it is not specifically user-friendly for the rental buyer trying to figure out exactly how to reduced the headrests in the third-row seats, the interface moves quickly and smoothly by way of the a variety of menus. Almost every little thing that you’d want to handle as the driver — from music to climate controls — is handled via the uConnect interface. The Durango will even recognize cold exterior and interior temperatures upon start off-up and instantly offer you you the option to turn on the heated driver and passenger seats, as well as the heated steering wheel. That is a function I appreciated greatly during the unseasonably cold Atlanta mornings.
Inexplicably, straight behind that sizzling steering wheel, Dodge saw fit to place some utterly useless paddle shifters. While there is some thing satisfying about manually ripping by means of eight gears, I speedily decided that it was a pointless exercise. The 845RE was a lot far better than I was at selecting the proper gear, and I just felt stupid shifting gears in a crossover that weighs 4,838 pounds. Possibly there’s an application for towing or something? I do not tow a lot, but the D is rated for max towing at 7,400 lbs, which is fairly goddamn impressive.
However in spite of this formidable strength and rugged exterior appearance, the Durango is not completely unpleasant inside. Whilst I locate the Durango to be subpar in comparison to the nicer interiors in the class (think Toyota Highlander), it is not as bad as some would have you think. The seating is comfortable and supportive, and there is much more than adequate head and shoulder area in each the very first and second row. I didn’t invest any time in the third row, since it should be for youngsters and emotional assistance dogs.
Nevertheless, there are a few areas where the Durango falls short of expectations, and the very first is in the visibility division. The fifth-generation Camaro is a virtual Willis Tower Skydeck in comparison to the Durango. As somebody who is correct about the exact same height as your standard Durango driver (which is to say, slightly taller than most females and Jalopnik writers), I discovered it impossible to place myself in a seating position that enabled me to see clearly and safely in all directions. Altering lanes was a complete crapshoot I mainly hoped that other drivers could see me and gave them appropriate time to steer clear of the black behemoth headed in their general direction.
The second issue is in the realm of fuel economy. In the fairly flat Atlanta metropolitan location, and even even though I didn’t drive for the duration of rush hour targeted traffic, I wasn’t capable to coax a lot more than 17 mpg out of the Dodge, and that is with the horrifically invasive and earth-shaking start off/cease technology enabled. It is the worst fuel economy I’ve ever knowledgeable in a crossover, period. Hell, I utilized to get equivalent fuel economy in a Honda Pilot … while towing a Honda S2000 CR on a trailer behind it. Dodge claims a class-top 27 mpg, and I just can’t understand how anybody could possibly get that number without a Ram truck pulling it downhill with a tow strap.
That becoming said, from a driver’s point of view, the Durango Restricted is the most engaging and effective crossover you can get for the money. It even sounds strong, with an exhaust note that matches its masculine presence. If you can actually see the gaps in targeted traffic from the driver’s seat, the Durango can shoot any of them. While the Pentastar does the job, it made me lust a bit for the Hemi-powered R/T Durango, since everyone knows what Baron Acton said about power.
The Durango is the crossover for the guy who doesn’t truly want a crossover. It manages to do what the Explorer couldn’t very, which is make the transition from body-on-frame SUV to CUV even though preserving a muscular visage and muscular functionality. The Durango Limited, equipped as my rental was with navigation and energy liftgate, retails for $ 38,885. It looks more funds than that, it drives a lot more money than that, and it feels solid as hell. In this segment, I’ve always been in favor of Flex Uber Alles, but if you can only have 1 car, I’d choose the D.
This weekend, Alex dropped a bonus video evaluation of the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt for us to get pleasure from. Regrettably, he’s also been as well busy constructing sheds to do a full overview, so this is all we’ve got.
(It is okay, although. The ideal perform takes place in a shed.)
Want to check it out? Hit up the video right after jump.
Compact crossovers are huge organization and the Toyota RAV4 is one particular of the segment’s corporate all-stars.
In 2015, the RAV4 practically outsold Mazda. I’m not talking about the RAV4 outselling the Mazda CX-5, which it did handily by more than 200,000 units. No, I’m talking about the RAV4 outselling Mazda in its completely. Every little thing Mazda sells. All model sales place together.The RAV4 nearly outsold MAZDA.
Toyota’s fourth-generation crossover has received a nip-tuck to hold it fresh following just three model years on the market place. Its lineup is bolstered this year with the addition of the new RAV4 Hybrid, which we’ll be acquiring our hands on that in a few weeks. In the meantime, let’s take a deep dive into the second very best-promoting CUV in the USA in traditional gas-burner guise.
Exterior The RAV4 and Honda CR-V kickstarted the compact crossover craze in the ’90s with unibody cars styled like mini-trucks. More than time, the sector evolved and replaced those rough-and-tumble SUVs with the minivan-esque folks haulers we see these days. To wit: The 2013 Toyota RAV4 decreased ground clearance to six.three inches, ditched the rear tire and squared off its rear to swallow much more cubic feet of stuff.
Dimensions and challenging points for the refreshed 2016 model remain unchanged, and the RAV4 remains one of the longer compact CUVs in the segment at 181.1 inches (close to half a foot longer than the new Hyundai Tucson), but it still does not supply third-row seating like its generational predecessor or the Nissan Rogue.
Numerous automakers adorn their vehicles with frequent corporate styles, and Toyota has resisted that urge — till now. The new front finish borrows cues from the Murai and Prius, and LED headlamps are now optional. While the appear is far more distinctive than the preceding bumper, it is nonetheless not my cup of tea.
Interior Toyota has made no drastic alterations to the RAV4’s innards and has opted to refine the current cabin instead.
Awkward shapes and textures aplenty will distress the OCD crowd, and you’ll nevertheless discover difficult plastics strewn about the RAV4’s cabin. Yet, quality remains high and tougher plastics are generally kept out of reach.
Stitched pleather inserts snazz up the main dashboard considerably like the much more high-priced Toyota Avalon. The previously featured low-rent steering wheel is now restricted to base trims and makes other grades feel far more premium in comparison. But, faux carbon fiber trim located in higher-site visitors places about the cupholder and window switches has a finish that’s far also eager to wear the war wounds of day-to-day service.
The RAV4 refresh does address some complaints I had about the 2014 model. Seats now provide far more bolstering, and a power seat with adjustable lumbar help is now obtainable. Yet these upgraded seats nevertheless can’t be had wrapped in genuine cowhide our limited model utilizes the same SofTex faux-moo that Lexus uses in its base models. Front seats are a small significantly less comfy than those in the Nissan Rogue, but they’re softer and much better suited to my six-foot frame than the average CUV.
Rear legroom and cargo space are exceptional thanks to the RAV4’s overall length. You will find a cargo region that is 33-percent larger in the RAV4 than the segment typical, or roughly the identical size as a Ford Edge or Lexus RX. Folding the rear seats flat increases that volume to 73.4 cubic feet, allowing for storage of 4×6-foot products with the proper amount of juggling.
Infotainment In a segment exactly where base modes normally receive hand-me-down stereos, Toyota surprises. The LE trim starts with six speakers, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth speakerphone integration, a single-slot CD player, backup camera and full USB/iPod integration with voice commands as common. XLE and SE trims obtain the same screen and quantity of speakers, but a software upgrade to Entune Plus adds HD Radio, smartphone-primarily based navigation, and HD Radio-sourced traffic and weather displays. Limited trim models swap in a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and smartphone app integration. If you care enough about your tunes to verify an extra option box, there’s an 11-speaker JBL technique with subwoofer in accessible in SE and Restricted grades.
Toyota’s Entune software received important updates back in 2014, and it still compares effectively to GM’s most recent systems with its snappy interface and simple to navigate style. HD Radio downloads traffic and weather data for free, eliminating the need for an XM subscription for these attributes. Toyota has also killed its subscription-primarily based Entune smartphone integrated solutions such as Pandora, OpenTable and Bing. CarPlay and Android Auto integration are suspiciously absent, but you will discover them in the Tucson and new Sportage if the exemption of these by Toyota is a deal breaker.
Drivetrain Toyota killed off the RAV4’s V6 back 2013, leaving just the 2.5-liter inline-four as the sole powerplant. Toyota’s logic was this: the RAV4’s main competitor is the CR-V and that model is supplied solely as a four cylinder.
Output figures for the 2.5 liter are in line with the competition at 176 horsepower and 172 lbs-ft of torque — however fuel economy figures are middling. You need to expect 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway in front-wheel-drive trim, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s two miles-per-gallon behind the CR-V and Tucson Eco.
Drive Our tester was equipped with the optional $ 1,400 AWD system — and that changed the character of the RAV4 in unexpected techniques.
The method makes use of a multi-plate clutch pack like most crossovers, but Toyota’s software is peculiar in that the driver can totally lock the coupling electronically. It acts like a standard four-wheel-drive system with a locked center differential when driving under 25 mph. You’ll even experience driveline binding if it is engaged on pavement. Go over that 25 mph limit and the lock disengages, allowing a single axle to receive 100 percent of offered engine energy when the other axle is slipping. Even a lot more of a surprise: Engaging sport mode shifts an unexpected amount of power to the rear and tends to make the RAV4 feel more like an all-wheel-drive Audi.
Even though the all-wheel-drive system is an engaging companion, the suspension and steering are far more highway cruiser than corner carver. Our Limited model wore 235/55R18 tires, but its road holding ability was squarely middle of the pack due to its soft suspension manifesting itself with lots of body roll, and a steering rack that was as well overboosted and disengaged for spirited driving.
The greatest dynamic challenge for the RAV4 is acceleration. At 3.four seconds to 30 mph and 8.9 seconds to 60, the RAV4 is almost the slowest crossover we’ve tested not too long ago, besting only the base two.-liter Mazda CX-five. The traditional six-speed auto and lack of a turbocharged engine option are the two primary reasons for the lackluster overall performance. The CR-V is only a small a lot more potent, but its CVT helped it run to 60 mph a full second more rapidly than the Toyota. The 25 mpg combined EPA rating and our 24 mpg average have been also notably behind a lot of the competition. On the other hand, the hybrid model will easily return over 30 mpg — making it the most effective — even though also improving acceleration.
Although the Ford, Mazda, Hyundai and even Honda crossovers have become firmer and a lot more “European” over time, Toyota has stuck with a compliant suspension tune. If a lengthy highway trip is in your future, the RAV4 is going to be the most comfy companion by far.
Following the trend of bringing luxury attributes down market place, Toyota now tends to make most of the Lexus feature set optional on the RAV. Our Limited trim had radar adaptive cruise manage, lane maintaining assist, blind spot monitoring, LED headlamps, and an Infiniti-like 360-degree camera method.
Toyota has a history of playing to the “meat” of each and every segment. Rarely does Toyota build something extreme, be it the least expensive vehicle in its class, the most pricey, quickest, slowest, etc. That describes the RAV4 to a tee. I wasn’t offended following a week with the RAV4 — but neither was I enraptured. Toyota’s trucklet is reasonably priced, ranging from $ 24,350 to $ 35,715, and in most trims represents a decent (but not intense) value compared to the competitors. Yes, the CX-five is a lot more exciting, but the base engine is slower than the Toyota, and the other trims will really price you much more. Hyundai’s new Tucson disappointed me when it came to interior high quality and the way they chose to bundle attributes causes the Toyota to be a much better buy in mid-level trims. The CR-V is quieter, but it is also $ 1,500 to $ two,000 a lot more high-priced.
Oddly sufficient, the RAV4 is a lot more capable than any of these crossovers in mud or snow thanks to the locking center coupling. Although you’ll uncover this feature in some Cherokee models, you will not find a completely locking coupling in the Subaru Forester.
Why are the RAV4’s sales so higher when there are far more fun possibilities out there? The factors can be discovered in its strong value proposition, a soft ride about which journalists typically complain, integrated scheduled maintenance and Toyota’s reputation for reliability.
The 2016 RAV4 isn’t going to like several souls on fire, but it provides the typical CUV shopper far more of what they clearly want.
Toyota supplied the automobile, insurance coverage and one particular tank of gas for this review
4 years soon after Lexus unveiled its LF-LC at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the automaker announced Monday that it would put into production largely the identical auto and contact it the LC 500.
Powered by a five-liter V-8 lifted from the RC-F and GS-F, the LC 500 will be the brand’s largest two-door coupe and mostly total the turnaround by the automaker they started around four years ago.
Seriously, the LC 500 is by the same people who make the ES 350.
Lexus didn’t announce how considerably the LC 500 will price, nor when it would be on sale, but said it would be accessible sometime this year.
In announcing the coupe, Lexus signaled that the LC 500 would ride on the identical chassis that will underpin the new LS when that auto is unveiled later. (In Detroit, Lexus showed an LF-FC fuel cell notion with four doors that could foretell what the LS looks like later on.) The coupe is underpinned by Lexus’s new GA-L worldwide architecture for rear-drive, front-engine vehicles, according to the automaker.
Even though the LC 500 is a lot more than a foot shorter than the newly announced Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe, each automobiles have their fair share of similarities. The LC 500 and S550 share almost identical horsepower figures (although the Merc’s turbos give it significantly much more twist) and the coupe’s are practically the exact same height. Both coupes accelerate up to 60 mph in 4.five seconds and it is probably that the two coupes will share similar costs.
In spite of being an all-new car for Lexus, the LC 500 will function largely the identical electronics as current Lexus models without any new autonomous drive modes or tech.
Trading on momentum from its earlier design and style, the LC 500 largely follows the exact same form as the LF-LC idea, such as 20- and 21-inch wheels and wide hips.
Holy crap. These are the very same individuals that make the ES.
Chevrolet announced this week that its hybridized version of the mid-sized Malibu would commence at $ 28,645 which includes location, for a fuel-sipping, 48 city-mpg, lengthy-legged miler with all sorts of excellent appears.
Those are the facts.
Also accurate: the Ford Fusion Hybrid is $ three,585 less pricey (despite the fact that it only manages 41 mpg in the city), the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is $ 1,810 less pricey (40 mpg city), the Toyota Camry Hybrid is $ 1,220 much less dear (despite the fact that it manages 43 mpg in the city) — so only the 50-mpg Honda Accord Hybrid starts at a greater price ($ 1,495 far more).
The Malibu Hybrid will be accessible only in LT trim when it goes on sale in the spring.
The hybrid Malibu sedan sports a 1.eight-liter turbo 4 and a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery that can power the automobile alone up to 55 mph. According to Chevrolet, the automobile weighs 300 pounds significantly less than its predecessor, but sports a 4-inch longer wheelbase.
The Malibu Hybrid will sport a 7-inch MyLink touchscreen (an 8-inch screen will be offered) and LTE hotspot as regular.
A nation of potential mid-size hybrid buyers just wondered aloud if the mid-size, middle-priced Malibu Hybrid constituted a great deal from the Bow Tie brand.
Buick announced Friday that it will bring from China the Buick Envision to sell in the U.S. subsequent summer time, two years following that car was introduced overseas, and that it will be the first Chinese-made car from a domestic manufacturer.
Automotive News reported that the modest crossover would go on sale sometime around August, earlier than expected from initial reports last month.
When it goes on sale, the Envision will be powered by a two-liter turbocharged 4 that makes 252 horsepower and will only be supplied in all-wheel drive to start. The model will be bookended by the subcompact-sized Encore and complete-size Enclave and fill a substantial require for the premium automaker.
The Envision is constructed on Common Motors’ replacement for its Theta platform that will at some point underpin the new Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
The new crossover will most likely start near $ 35,000 to fill the void amongst the Encore, which starts at around $ 25,000, and the Enclave, which begins close to $ 40,000.
The Envision will be roughly 1 inch longer than the Audi Q5 at 183.7 inches and significantly less than 1 inch shorter than the Acura RDX. Each premium crossovers commence at more than $ 35,000 — the RDX is priced closer to $ 36,000 and the Q5 starts more than $ 40,000.
The Envision will be assembled in GM’s Shandong facility.
Coupé-like styling is one particular of the largest buzzwords at new vehicle launch parties. Even though this is a lot more of a modern phenomenon, the root of the seemingly contradictory 4-door coupé is older than you may possibly believe.
In 1962, Rover dropped the rear roofline on its P5 sedan and dared to contact it a four-door coupé. In 2004, Mercedes picked up on this concept with the CLS-class Coupe. It was only a matter of time prior to Audi and BMW joined the celebration with the A7 and 6-Series Gran Coupé.
Now, several of you might say we currently have a name for the 4-door coupé. It’s a sedan. I agree with you. Audi isn’t totally convinced by the “coupé” designation either, and they only dare mention it twice in the 62-web page brochure. This signifies the S7 is a $ 12,000 styling exercise atop a tasty and a lot more practical S6.
Exterior The way BMW, Mercedes and Audi arrived at their four-door coupés is important to understanding the differences among them.
Mercedes took the E-Class, stretched it, slammed the roofline, removed the sills on the doors, pinched the rear end and — voila! — say hello to the CLS. Audi did anything similar with the A6 but took things a step additional by reworking the rear finish to accommodate its signature liftback. BMW didn’t “coupe-ify” the 5-Series. Alternatively, it took the existing six-Series two-door and stretched it until it could accept a second set of doors. Though Audi describes the S7 on occasion as a five-door, it is hard to inform from the outdoors because the rear is made to hide the truth that the glass lifts with the trunk lid.
Audi subscribes to the “same sausage, diverse lengths” school of design — except with the R8 and the A7/S7. Whilst the front end is nevertheless very significantly the identical as the S6, the rear end is a lot a lot more dramatic with powerful lines and creases replacing the “bubbly” theme employed by some Audis. 2015 brings new LED headlamps and taillamps with a “Y” shaped accent strip bisecting the module reminiscent of Volvo’s Notion Coupe and XC90. (In case you had been questioning, the Volvo idea came 1st.) The rest of the conversion from S6 to S7 consisted of adding normal LED headlamps, removing the window sills and integrating a spoiler into the liftback that pops up at 80 mph so the cops know you are speeding to reduce rear-finish lift at larger speeds.
Interior The relation of the S7 to the A6, the CLS to the E-Class and the Gran Coupé to the 6-Series is critical on the inside.
BMW positioned its 6-Series 2-door decently above the 5-Series and priced it $ 17,000 larger than the least costly 5. This signifies while the A7 and S7 use an interior that is largely shared with the $ 46,200 A6 2.0T, and the CLS shares its insides with the $ 52,650 E250, the 650i Gran Coupé has an interior shared only inside the six-Series line and largely special from both the 5-Series and the 7-Series — though some parts are shared. As a outcome, the interiors of the Mercedes and Audi four-door coupe just don’t really feel as particular or as distinctive as the BMW. This distinction is most notable in the design of the dashboard. The S7 gets the head-up display that is optional on the A6. Unlike most luxury vehicles that use a slightly diverse dashboard design when HUD equipped, Audi tacks a massive “donut” on top of the gauge binnacle to residence the projection unit.
Although headroom is far more restricted up front than numerous luxury sedans that are this identical length, there is nevertheless adequate room for my 6-foot frame and a six-foot-5 passenger. The back seat is a various matter. Like the BMW and Mercedes, there just isn’t adequate area for a 6-foot passenger to sit comfortably for any length of time. Though the A7 will seat three shorter people in the back, the S7 loses the middle seat, dropping the total seat count to four. This tends to make the S6 the much more practical individuals carrier as it has a generous quantity of rear headroom and legroom.
Although rear passenger space is surely much less sensible compared to the A6/S6, Audi compensates with a much more sensible cargo region. Thanks to the liftback design and rear seats that fold practically flat, you can truly jam a barbeque from your neighborhood home improvement shop in the back, or a large flat screen Tv. The difficult tonneau cover is less hassle-free than a roller-shade style unit, but it offers a lot more separation from your luggage when the rear seats are latched in location.
Infotainment Audi’s MMI infotainment system has not too long ago received a key overhaul with new hardware and a faster graphics processor. The new hardware allows for smoother animation and screen changes, but we nonetheless don’t discover expanded voice commands for USB/iDevice media library control like those found in Lexus, Cadillac and Acura autos. The refreshed computer software adds assistance for a few new Net-connected characteristics such as INRIX targeted traffic info and Apple Siri Eyes Totally free assistance. Sadly CarPlay and Android Auto had been not along for the ride. On the hardware level, there’s a new LTE cell modem for more quickly downloads and an integrated WiFi hotspot.
The 8-inch LCD at the heart of the system remains unchanged and is still sporting a common aspect ratio, not the widescreen format preferred by BMW. Nestled among the speedometer and tachometer is an optional 7-inch LCD with an expanded feature set that contains a full navigation show with moving 3D map and topographical data. Perhaps the most important change for 2016 may possibly be the simplest: Audi, along with Volkswagen, lastly ditched its proprietary MDI cable. Lifting the center armrest reveals two typical USB ports and you can now connect your device with any old USB cable you have lying around.
Drivetrain Component of the $ 22,000 value difference amongst the A6 and A7 is identified in the sedan to liftback conversion, and portion is under the hood. Although the A6 has to make do with a base 2.-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine and front-wheel drive, the A7 starts off with normal all-wheel drive and a 333 horsepower, three.-liter supercharged V-6. But we’re right here to talk about the S7, which is about $ 12,000 more than the S6. Like the CLS550 and 650i, the S7 makes use of a twin-turbo V8, but Audi chose a smaller displacement of 4 liters vs four.7 in the Mercedes and four.4 in the BMW.
According to some German scientists, Audi’s displacement is the most efficient option. Thanks to the modern miracle of direct-injection, close-coupled turbochargers and intercooling, power is nonetheless a healthful 450 horsepower and 406 lbs-ft of torque, a 30 horsepower bump vs 2015. Even though Audi has the horsepower advantage compared to 402 in the Merc and 445 in the Bimmer, the Audi’s torque is the lowest in the group at 406 vs 443 in the CLS and 480 in the 650i. If that is not sufficient power, Audi will spool the exact same simple creating blocks up to 560 horsepower and 516 lbs-ft in the RS7.
As we’ve come to anticipate from Audi, all S7 models are all-wheel drive, a major distinction from Mercedes and BMW that offer two-wheel drive by default. Under most circumstances, 60 percent of the energy is sent to the rear in the S7, but Quattro is capable of sending as considerably as 80 percent or as small as 20 percent to the rear. In an interesting twist, the 333 horsepower A7 and 560 horsepower RS7 use a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic, although the S7 uses a 7-speed dual clutch transaxle manufactured by Borg Warner. Apparently, the DCT is rated for a maximum of 406 lb-ft of torque, which explains why power got bumped recently but torque stayed the very same.
Thanks to the effective displacement decision, the torque-converter-cost-free transaxle (that is the correct term because Audi integrates the front axle into the transmission case), a variable displacement system that turns off half the cylinders when not necessary and a common start off/stop method, fuel economy is the highest in this telephone-booth-sized segment. At 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, the S7 beats even the two-wheel-drive competition by at least 1 mpg on the highway and matches their rear-wheel drive city numbers. In the real world, generating more than 400 horsepower needs a specific amount of fuel and driving any of them challenging on your favourite road will result in fuel economy in the low teens.
Drive The style of Audi’s all-wheel-drive system pushes the engine and torque converter totally ahead of the front axle, but its weight is a lot more evenly distributed than the CLS 550 4Matic. In fact at 55/45 (front/rear), the S7 is very close to the 650i xDrive’s 53/47 weight distribution. This signifies that the occasional complaints of the “Audi plowed in the corners” doesn’t truly apply to the S7 any much more than it does the Merc or BMW.
Even though I choose the feel of a rear-wheel-drive CLS or 6-Series out on a track, the S7 is the much better handling automobile in the genuine world. Element of the reason is Audi’s tire choice. While most luxury sedans feature a staggered tire design and style, the S7 gets the very same tire on all 4 corners — either 265/35R20s or 275/30R21s as our model was equipped. 265-width rubber is unusually big up front and the list of vehicles that run 275s on the front axle is even shorter. Even though this option would generally lead to heavy steering and possibly reduced steering really feel, we live in an era of electric energy steering so things are pretty numb anyway.
In spite of becoming 300-pounds heavier than the Mercedes CLS 550 4Matic, the wider front tires and common suspension design and style make the S7 quite just the better companion on your preferred winding road. It’s also the more quickly companion. Put the pedal to the floor and the S7 scoots to 60 in a blistering 3.9 seconds. If you’re wondering why this is so far off Audi’s official 4.five second run there are two factors. The initial one is that Audi, like BMW, has been underrating items for a although. Second, Audi never updated their official numbers after providing the S7 a power bump and software program refinements. Searching into the numbers, even the -30 time of 1.3 seconds is extremely short for a car with no a torque converter.
Thanks to the huge front tires, the four,564-pound Audi defies physics by stopping from 60 to zero in a recorded 116 feet. Due to the fact the front tires and brakes are undertaking most of the stopping, the S7 brakes shorter than the lighter CLS550 and the slightly heavier 650i simply because of the wider tires.
That wide rubber on the S7 sets it apart from the S6 as effectively. Audi’s traditional sedan only comes with 255 width rubber from the factory and the distinction in confidence level is noticeable when you start pushing the sedans tougher. The grip on the front axle is particularly extreme and instantly noticeable in the S7 when you are driving the automobile hard on tight corners.
For a performance automobile with a 450 horsepower V-8 and a dual clutch transmission, the S7 is surprisingly civilized. Audi’s most current DCT software program permits low-speed crawl nearly on par with a modern automatic. Almost. Unless I was climbing a steep hill at two mph, it was not possible to tell what was beneath the hood. Also unusual is Audi’s decision of a four-corner air suspension along the lines of the Mercedes S-Class, Range Rover and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Like the off-road alternatives with an air suspension, the S7 makes it possible for a “high-height” mode for improved ground clearance when approaching driveways. Thanks to the air bags, the S7’s ride is also highly polished for this segment. On the down side, air suspensions do really feel “floaty-boaty” when compared to a conventional steel coil setup. The suspension selection makes the S7 the most comfortable for day-to-day driving.
Right after a week with the S7, my thoughts was produced up. If funds was no object, I’d take the 650i Gran Coupé. The 6 has a much more distinctive interior, the rear-wheel-drive dynamic is much more exciting on a track, I favor iDrive to MMI and the ZF 8-Speed auto in the BMW is a hair smoother. For these of us that make our own money, even so, the S7 is the very best overall choose.
The 2016 Audi S7 may not be as special inside, or as tail happy as the 650i, but the BMW is merely not $ ten,000 far better than the Audi. A base 650i expenses about the exact same as our nicely equipped S7, yet it lacks all-wheel drive and isn’t as fast to highway speeds. On the Mercedes side, the S550 is significantly less pricey than the S7 by a couple grand, but it’s not a much better deal. The S7 is at least a few grand nicer on the inside, is quicker and delivers a much more polished ride.
I realise that a few outlets have complained about the S7’s air ride suspension and common all-wheel drive. Whilst I admit the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes and BMW are more fun on a track exactly where you can explore the two-wheel drive dynamics and the Audi’s air suspension feels a lot more boat-like, I do not reside and commute on a track. For the typical purchaser, the S7 is merely easier to reside with. The funny factor is the S7 is so easy to live with and at the identical time so insanely fast that I honestly see little reason to upgrade to the RS7, CLS AMG or M6 Gran Coupé.
There’s just one particular problem: The Audi S6. No, it is not as attractive as the S7 and it doesn’t deal with as effectively either. However, it is about $ ten,000 significantly less pricey when comparably equipped. Much like the S7 vs 650i comparison, the S7 just is not $ ten,000 far better than the S6. Due to the fact of the path Audi took to produce the S7, it does not have a special interior to support soften the blow either. If my money had been on the line, I’d take the S6 and invest the ten grand on wider tires.
Audi supplied the vehicle, insurance coverage and one particular tank of gas for this review