Both the TourX and its Sportback sibling boast active hoods for pedestrian safety. For added toughness, the TourX's "blastic" cladding incorporates little mud-flap–like flares at the trailing edges of the rear wheel wells. From the July 2017 issue The station wagon has long faced extinction, but a counterpoint to the rise of the crossover and the decline of the sedan can be found in the current wobbly resuscitation of the wagon. Subaru has done its part to preserve an otherwise unfashionable style, recasting the wagon as an outdoorsy hiking shoe that isn’t an SUV. It sold nearly 183,000 Outbacks in 2016. The Audi A4 Allroad and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, among others, now mimic that template. Latest to the party is Buick, which is getting in on the wagon-conservation effort with its new Regal TourX, the first wagon to wear the tri-shield badge in the 22 years since the Buick Roadmaster Estate wagon expired. Exterior It could be said that the Germany-built Buick … [Read more...] about 2018 Buick Regal TourX Dissected: Exterior, Chassis, Powertrain, and More!
From the July 2017 issue The mainstream is an easy place to drown in cow pies. Just look at the news, or a TED Talk. And few things are more mainstream than cars. There are more than 240 million light vehicles registered in America, and lately we’ve been buying some 17 million new ones per year. While that churn provides enthusiasts our very own 24-hour news cycle of product intel, it also enables a high-flow fire hose of crap—from marketers, from indifferent consumers who see the wonder that is a modern car as a mere commodity, and from the media. Media other than us, of course. What follows is our field guide to automotive bullshit, because awareness is the first step in an effective defense. At least, we hope so. Because if there’s no point to this, it would just be whining. And that’d be bullshit. “Consumer.” • 24-hour news cycles. • Roadkill. Some chimpanzees have learned to look both ways before crossing busy streets. Time to … [Read more...] about The Car and Driver Guide to Automotive Bullsh!t
From the July 2017 issue Throwing money at problems is how corporations make them go away. Pay for more lawyers, pay for more public relations, and certainly pay for more marketing in the hopes that the world will believe your new promises. For Volkswagen, those invoices have recently been supersized, befitting the scope of the diesel cheating scandal that has engulfed the company and prompted the recall of approximately 590,000 vehicles in the United States. Yet, its attorney bills and the costs of hiring extra PR staff must seem like little more than a few padded expense reports to the accountants in Wolfsburg. Since a group of West Virginia University scientists announced in May 2014 that they had found unexpectedly high emissions from VW’s TDI vehicles—which led to the uncovering of the company’s conspiracy to cheat government regulators and defraud consumers—Volkswagen has committed to spend at least $25 billion in the U.S. in legal settlements … [Read more...] about The Fix Is In: We Test the Software Update for Cheaty VW TDI Diesels
From the July 2017 issue History tells us that Zunis have good aim. On July 7, 1540, at a large pueblo near what is now the Arizona and New Mexico border, Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado took a well-placed rock to the head. The blow, delivered by a Zuni tribesman, removed him from the first military encounter between Europeans and first peoples in the future United States. Coronado regained his wits to discover that his men, lacking their concussed leader, had gone on to conquer the city of Hawikuh. Though Coronado’s stated purpose was to turn the locals’ loyalty to the pope and the Spanish throne, what he really wanted, the thing that had driven him there from deep in modern-day Mexico and before that from across the Atlantic, was gold. Our purposes in Arizona are different. We’re here to retrace the steps that led Coronado to Hawikuh, to take the measure of the terrain, and to experience one of America’s most glorious … [Read more...] about 2018 Audi S5
From the June 2017 issue First, they’re called dampers, not shocks. And dampers, as any suspension engineer will tell you, get no respect. In fact, considered against the noisier, flashier, and more easily seen components of the automobile, these inconspicuous components may be the most underappreciated pieces on a car. Their job—keeping the tires on the ground to accelerate, brake, and turn, while making the ride livable—is rather important. And though damper calibration is one of the last elements to be finalized in suspension tuning, it’s the part that endows a chassis with its personality. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular varieties: Monotube Damper Found in: Audi A4, Mazda MX-5 Miata This design uses a single cylinder split by a floating divider into oil and gas chambers. A shaft pushes the piston in the cylinder to create damping force. During compression, oil is metered through a shim stack on the shaft side of the … [Read more...] about Damper and Awe: 6 Types of Automotive Dampers Explained
From the June 2017 issue One hundred fifteen. That’s the number of parts in an SRT Hellcat that Dodge changes to make a Demon. Some are made lighter, some are made stronger, and some are simply removed altogether. Compared with the total number of parts that it takes to make a running car, 115 is a small number. So is 9.65. That’s how few seconds Dodge claims the Demon needs to run a quarter-mile, blistering the trap at 140 mph. If we can match that figure—a sizable “if,” since our testing venue better approximates grip levels on the street than the drag strip where Dodge ran its numbers—it will make the Demon the quickest street car we’ve ever tested. Period. That includes million-dollar hypercars and 1000-hp aftermarket specials. It’s also quick enough that an NHRA-sanctioned drag strip will require you to install a roll cage. Indeed, SRT boss Tim Kuniskis is proud of the letter he received from the NHRA telling him his car is … [Read more...] about Quarter Pounder: In Depth with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Some benefits of buying a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle are obvious. By definition, these manufacturer-backed used cars and trucks are expected to be in better shape than other, non-CPO used counterparts. They’re also significantly less expensive than new vehicles, have fewer miles on their odometers than the average used car, and will have gone through a multipoint inspection. These are some of the reasons we’ve cited that make them potentially enticing to buyers. But there are some lesser-known perks, too. If you’re on the hunt for a CPO car or truck, here are some potentially free add-ons to look out for. A Lending Hand Just because many cars come with a jack and a spare doesn’t mean everyone wants to—or even can—change a flat tire. Fortunately for the less mechanically inclined, many CPO vehicles come with 24-hour roadside assistance. Automakers such as FCA (which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram) offer towing, a battery … [Read more...] about Five Unexpected Extras You Can Get with a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle
From the June 2017 issue C/D: Early in your career, you had a reputation for crashing frequently and even earned yourself a nickname—Stuff ’em Buffum. Was there an occurrence that made you transition into a more mature and faster driver? JB: No, it was an experience thing. I wanted to go fast and I crashed because I was going faster than my skill and experience level would allow. I believe that’s the correct way to go. Going fast to start and then gaining experience and tempering yourself as you mature makes you faster in the end. C/D: Did you ever drive on emotion and make errors that you wouldn’t have made otherwise? JB: No, I don’t think I was an emotional driver. I think I am an emotional guy because I cry at some movies, but no, I don’t get jacked up and have road rage. I drove to win. C/D: Who was your biggest rival? JB: That’s easy. Rod Millen. He was right there from the late ’70s until I stopped in the later … [Read more...] about What I’d Do Differently: John Buffum
Pictured clockwise from top left: Camilo Pardo, Ken Lingenfelter, Kris Singh, and Mark Lindee. From the June 2017 issue Preston Henn (who died at the end of April at age 86) was the owner of an extremely profitable south Florida swap meet, as well as some of the world’s most elite vintage and contemporary cars. Quite a few are emblazoned with the prancing horse. Yet, although he already owned a Ferrari FXX and a LaFerrari, when the 200 exuberantly affluent buyers for the $2 million LaFerrari Aperta were recently alerted to their anointment, Henn was not among them. So he did what any respectable flea-market oligarch would do: He sued, demanding a car and a five-figure defamation settlement. Did this result in his acquiring an Aperta? Negative. A payout? Nope, he ultimately dropped the suit. Was the legal action likely to advance Henn’s ability to acquire rare new Ferraris from the factory in the future? Signs point to no. Experienced experts concur that … [Read more...] about How Do You Make the List to Buy a Supercar? Be Like These Guys
From the June 2017 issue There is no such thing as a clean-sheet vehicle design in 2017. In its relatively brief existence, the automobile illustrates Darwin’s natural-selection theory better than the platypus, which has persisted—mostly inexplicably—for somewhere between 19 million and 48 million years. Unlike a duck-billed, beaver-tailed, egg-laying mammal, every modern vehicle is an adaptation of intelligent designs, most of which strengthen the breed and are logically passed down through the generations—in this case, through university lecture halls, technical papers, and CAD files. Suspension tuning is no exception. Chassis engineers start with proven concepts and aim to improve on those ideas. Put plainly, they benchmark. They measure and analyze the outgoing model and the competitors, and when ambitions grow large, automakers occasionally end up buying $90,000 rear-engined German sports cars to advance the development of a Ford … [Read more...] about This $3 Million Machine Tests Car Chassis While They’re Sitting Still
The Trackhawk needs air for its monster engine and for an oil cooler more than it needs the additional lumens of fog lights. From the June 2017 issue Once upon a recent time, Fiat Chrysler’s SRT division slapped a supercharger on a big V-8. The engineers huffed, the marketers puffed, and they blew the garage down with not one, but two production cars packing 707 horsepower and wearing Hellcat badges. Now there’s a third vehicle stuffed with the blown 6.2-liter, except it’s not a car but an all-wheel-drive Jeep that forgoes the Hellcat label. Even former Chrysler president Bob Lutz, fighter-jet pilot and father of the Viper, couldn’t have foreseen a drag-racing Grand Cherokee when he climbed one up a staircase during the model’s 1992 Detroit auto show debut. But things are different now. SUVs are more popular than they were in the ’90s, with some offering the acceleration of Porsches (and some, indeed, are actual Porsches). The 2018 Jeep … [Read more...] about 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Dissected: Powertrain, Performance, Chassis, and More!
From the May 2017 issue The tweet from the President-elect came early in the morning, 7:30 a.m., on the first business day of the new year: “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax.” Compared with other corporate bullying from the most powerful Twitter account on the planet, this one seemed relatively tame. GM is just one of 10 carmakers, including each of the top eight, that assemble vehicles in Mexico destined for dealership lots north of the Rio Grande. The company responded the same day, issuing a similarly brief statement pointing out that it also builds the Cruze here. “All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio,” it read. “GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.” What GM didn’t mention is that Lordstown … [Read more...] about Smashing NAFTA Is Harder Than It Seems, Especially When You’re Blindfolded
Larry Kelley, retired Marine Corps colonel and ex-reconnaissance man, on the Glienicke Bridge, a.k.a. the Bridge of Spies. From the May 2017 issue ‘‘Soviet soldiers were always hungry,” says Larry Kelley, a retired Marine Corps colonel who during the Cold War swapped the excitement of piloting Douglas A-4 Skyhawks for the even greater thrills of gathering military intelligence behind the Iron Curtain. Apparently, rather than issue maps, the Red Army used “route directors,” or troops who would be dropped at junctions to act as human signposts, showing a convoy which way to go. “They’d be left for hours, sometimes even forgotten,” Kelley explains. “We’d give them cigarettes or sandwiches. If there was nobody around, they’d often talk to us, tell us where they were from, even when a column was coming back.” Yet despite operating inside enemy territory, and often having to evade capture, Kelley … [Read more...] about 4WD Diplomacy: We Retrace U.S. Intelligence Cold War Routes in a Mercedes G-Wagen and SRT Jeep
Used-car prices are expected to fall, while dealer trade-in inventories are on the rise, because of recent record-setting new-car sales. In this climate, Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles are likely to become even more of a fixture on dealer lots. To help you decide whether or not to buy a CPO car, truck, or SUV, here are the answers to 10 frequently asked questions to walk you through the details. How much cheaper are CPOs versus new cars? One of the main selling points for a CPO vehicle is that you can get a newish car without paying new-car prices. A two-year-old CPO typically can be about 25 percent cheaper than buying a brand-new version of the same vehicle. Four-year-old CPOs can be marked down as much as 40 percent from the original sticker price. On the other hand, they will cost more than non-certified used vehicles because of some of the perks they offer. What kinds of perks are included? CPO vehicles are, by nature, lightly used. Automakers require vehicles to … [Read more...] about Is CPO the Way to Go? Here are 10 Questions You’ll Want Answered before Deciding
From the May 2017 issue McLaren marches to a speedy techno drumbeat. It’s been only six years since the company’s supercar-making Automotive division launched its first product, the MP4-12C. McLaren gave that car what was essentially a heavy facelift—and a far less clunky name—just three years later, rechristening it the 650S. Now the mostly new 720S is here, based around a substantially advanced version of the 650S’s carbon-fiber tub and a turned-up-to-11 twin-turbocharged V-8 mounted amidships. McLaren, a brand we don’t associate with hyperbole, claims on-track performance will make that of the 650S feel almost leisurely. Certainly looks that way. Chassis McLaren has stuck with commendable adhesion to the plan it announced when it launched its road-car division back in 2010. That is, to use the same core architecture to create a family of models graded thusly: entry-level “Sports,” mid-ranking “Super,” and extreme … [Read more...] about 2018 McLaren 720S Dissected: Chassis, Powertrain, Styling, and More!
Chevrolet India has announced its year-end retail campaign offering special discounts across its product line. The offer is available on Chevrolet bestsellers –the Beat, Enjoy, Cruze and Trailblazer. As part of this campaign, Chevrolet is encouraging customers to book an experiential drive online on Amazon India, with whom it has partnered for this industry-first initiative, as per the customer’s preferred date, time and location. Chevrolet is the first automobile company to partner with an e-commerce platform to reach out to a larger customer base and create a stronger presence in India. The experiential drive bookings have gone live from November 16, 2016, on the Amazon India website and app. This service will, initially, be offered in Chennai, Bangalore followed by Mumbai and Delhi – and will be followed by other cities,on the basis of customer feedback. The 45-dayyear-end retail campaign enables customers to avail of exciting deals on the entire product portfolio. … [Read more...] about SPONSORED FEATURE: Chevrolet extends festivities with an early start to year-end offers
From the March 2017 issue You hear a lot these days about “car sharing,” the vehicle-usage model that allows people in a network to borrow cars as they need them. It’s the part of the post-ownership society that sounds most to me like a psychological substitution for wife swapping. But car sharing promises to increase per-vehicle efficiency, as the typical car or truck spends around 95 percent of its life just sitting around. Here at Car and Driver, we’ve been running our own car-sharing pilot program for well on to six decades. It’s called the “car board,” and it allows editors to sign themselves out in a different car each night, depending on what’s in our lot. While successful in many regards—who doesn’t want to spend an evening in a new Lamborghini Huracán?—it is also a complete pain in the ass. For one thing, you can’t leave items in any car. For me, that means schlepping my watchmaking … [Read more...] about Here at Car and Driver, We’ve Been Running a Car-Sharing Program for Six Decades
From the March 2017 issue Every other Saturday around 8:00 a.m., Robert Roach rolls up the doors of the cluttered auto shop at Carson High in south Los Angeles and welcomes anyone who wants to stop by. During the week, Roach teaches auto shop at the school, and on odd weekends the Boys and Girls Club of Carson kicks in a few bucks to sponsor “Cars & Guitars,” Roach’s informal name for these Saturday gatherings. When I poked in the other day, about 15 young people were there, both current students and alumni who have moved on but are still drawn back to friends and comfortable surroundings. A pair of teenagers dabbed paint on a metal stand on which an old Buick V-6 had been partially stripped and its parts labeled for learning. Another was pulling the front springs off a well-worn Studebaker pickup. And, sure enough, a couple of kids were strumming guitars. Oil changes, brake jobs, and pet go-kart and ATV projects are common activities on these Saturdays. … [Read more...] about Teachers Like This Are the Only Hope for Auto Shop Programs
Mileage as of writing this 1800 kms, out of which about 800 were on the "highway". It is kind of ridiculous though that I'm unable to maintain a constant speed of 90-100 km/h even for short bursts during the day, and that on a 6 lane NH1. Driving has become increasingly frustrating, but I digress. Mileage per L is around 11.5. Which is okay because my local usage is mostly bumper to bumper all the way. On highway runs the MID shows a mileage of 14+ km/L, and I think it is quite accurate.Edit on Feb 14: I'm upto about 3400 kms now. Exterior styling and designHoo boy. The Tucson is unmistakably a Hyundai in exterior design. I believe it to be the most accomplished, most modern, most coherent Hyundai badged car in existence today. It looks mouth watering-ly good from every single angle. I really can't find fault anywhere though if I had to nitpick, I'd say that the rear exterior lights and the rear windscreen could've been better.As far as looks go, it is a proper evolution of the … [Read more...] about Hyundai Tucson 2.0L CRDi GLS – Thunder Black Boom Shankar
When contemplating a vehicle purchase, it’s important to know your options. There are more considerations than simply new or used; going down the used-vehicle path will also necessitate a choice between buying from a private seller or a dealer. Even among used vehicles at the dealer lot, there’s a subset advertised as “certified pre-owned,” or CPO, which are typically sold through licensed new-car dealers. Since they generally come with a better warranty, relatively modest miles, and a thorough inspection, CPO vehicles strike a potentially compelling middle ground between new and used. Here are five reasons a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle may be right for you: 1. It’s Cheaper Than Buying New Let’s get the most obvious reason out of the way first. New cars and trucks are, by nature, more expensive than their used brethren. On average, two-year-old CPO vehicles are typically 25 percent cheaper, and those four years old tend to be 40 percent … [Read more...] about Five Reasons a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicle May Be Right for You