AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Going to Cars and Coffee in an Aventador
Bleary eyed and nauseous, I woke up to an alarm chirping long before sunrise. For a moment, my knotted stomach teetered on the brink of convulsion as I drew deep, slow breaths. The sick feeling started to fade and I swore never to smoke cigars and sip scotch again. So it was a normal Sunday.
Standing up out of bed and jammed fists into my eyes, regretting my choice to sleep with contact lenses still in, I stumbled to the bathroom and started a shower while wondering why the hell I was up so early in the first place.
Then it all came flooding back. This was a special Sunday because instead of rifling through an AutoGuide review over a cup of reconstituted orange juice, I was scheduled to attend a cars and coffee event with the Aventador I somehow hoodwinked Lamborghini into lending me for the weekend.
I had no idea what to expect, but this is what I learned that morning.
Five Reasons a Volvo Makes a Great Winter Car
We are on the cusp of a minor revolution at Volvo. A set of new Drive-E powertrains, updated models and all-new offerings are almost here. Despite the new technology, increased efficiency and updated styling, one key pillar of Volvo will remain: safety.
And we don’t just mean from a crash-safety standpoint either. Volvos are designed to help the driver avoid an accident as much as survive one. So it should come as no surprise that a manufacturer hailing from a Scandinavian country would know a thing or two about winter safety. More than that, Volvos seem to just laugh off treacherous, miserable winter conditions in a way many other vehicles cannot. Here are five reasons why.
Should there be More Manual Crossovers?
It’s a fact: the manual transmission is on its deathbed. Long absent from most family vehicles, one the last bastions of the manual transmission are compact crossovers. These however are becoming harder and harder to find. Most mainstream manufacturers in America have abandoned offering a stick-shift in compact CUVs and only minor players in the segment, like Jeep, Mazda, Subaru and Volkswagen, still allow owners to row their own gears.
If the manual transmission is in critical condition in the USA, it is merely in serious condition in Canada. More vehicles in a greater number of trims are available with a manual transmission in Canada. Want any level Mazda6 with a stick north of the border? No problem. Want a Nissan Versa Note SL with a manual? It’s yours.
See Also: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Review
There are two other crossovers still offered in Canada with a manual transmission that are strictly automatic-only in the U.S: the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. Curious as to whether or not Americans are missing out, we headed to Hyundai Canada to sample a 2014 Tucson equipped with the six-speed manual. Here is our five-point guide to the stick-shift crossover.
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan Five-Point Inspection
Can a minivan have a wild side? Groans and a few “never mind, we’ll take my car” responses leading up to a weekend camping trip didn’t bode well.
But three days, several camp fires and an unnecessarily generous load of gear and beer saw everyone agreeing that mom vans aren’t so bad after all.
Forget what style conscious contrarians will tell you. The Dodge Grand Caravan is a capable bachelormobile.
1. Annoying Engine Stop-Start Feature
It has power, style and surprisingly good fuel economy. If you haven’t guessed it, the subject of AutoGuide.com’s Five-Point Inspection is the 2013 BMW M6.
In case you didn’t already know, the BMW M6 has one hell of a powerful engine to play with. Its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 makes 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, all while singing up to a 7,200 rpm redline.
That is, if it ever gets there. Maxing first gear out on anything other than a highway on-ramp is grounds for jail time.
On the slower side of daily driving, you’re going to deal with BMW’s engine start-stop technology. Yes, it saves fuel. But it also means that jumping from a foot on the brake to the gas yields disappointing results.
The system is pretty good at starting the engine quickly, but there’s still a little lag time. It’s fun for the first day when the engine roars after every stop sign. Then it gets old faster than the M6 hits 60 mph…. which, by the way, takes just 4.1 seconds.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
With its supercharged V8, the CTS-V is a serious performance machine, referencing the days of comfy, yet powerful American muscle cars – though with a decidedly more luxurious ride quality. At $64,515 the CTS-V Coupe already has a high price of entry. With the extras our tester was outfitted with, including diamond black tricoat, black rims, yellow Brembo brakes, Recaro seats, a sunroof, suede interior and the Ebony/Saffron interior color scheme the final cost was $72,200.
AutoGuide.com Five-Point Inspection
A true automotive enthusiast will scoff and point their nose to the sky when shown a sports-coupe outfitted with an automatic transmission. We managed to hold off on any pre-conceived thoughts of automotive snobbery when testing out the latest sports car from Subaru, the BRZ.
Tested in Premium trim, it starts at $25,495, and with the optional automatic transmission adds $1,100 more to the total cost of the car.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
The SES has since been replaced by the Titanium trim package, but still represents the top of the line model for the 2012 model year. Starting at $13,995, the Fiesta is equipped with a 1.6-liter four cylinder engine that makes 120 hp, and comes with standard features like seven airbags, including a knee airbag. The IIHS also named the Fiesta a top safety pick.
For more on the 2012 Fiesta, read on into this week’s Five-Point Insepction.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
The XTS is a front-wheel drive full-sized luxury sedan, with a starting price of $44,075. The model tested is the Premium model, which has almost all the bells and whistles, and costs $54,505. The only things missing from this model are massive 20″ rims, a sunroof and sunshades for the passengers.
The XTS is meant to lead Cadillac to a new generation of luxury, so lets take a quick look and see how it fares.
Autoguide Five-Point Inspection
During this week’s Five-Point Inspection we put the Ford Flex crossover to the test, stuffing all our family and friends into the three rows of seats, and driving it in the city, highway, and rural gravelly side-roads.
A visually striking vehicle, the base Flex SE starts at $30,885, while we drove the upgraded Limited model with AWD and the 365-hp EcoBoost Engine.