Here is my new Western Star (formerly Malvern Star, for those of you who rode a pushbike in the 80’s) Commander. It’s a great pushbike alternative for those who can’t afford a luxury car, such as the Bentley-equalling Infinity, or even a Nissan. This pushie features 7 forward gears as well as a 200cc 2-stroke overboost function for getting up those really steep hills, as well as pedally range-extenders. This pushbike features fully world-class luxury features like a leather seat and a lightweight alloy space-frame chassis. Front disc brakes are standard. As one would expect from such a lightweight vehicle, handling is exceptional. It’s a joy to chuck around any corner at any speed, although much care needs to be taken in the wet. Braking in the wet can be difficult if you’ve just gone through a puddle, but when it’s dry she virtually pulls up on a 5c coin. Acceleration is great up to about 20kmh, but pulls all the way up to 30km, or 40kmh if … [Read more...] about 2016 Western Star Commander 7564 (6×4) Review
2016 year in review
Land Rover’s early years in the United States saw a simple product lineup: the Defender was the small off-roader, and the Range Rover was the larger, nicer off-roader. Since then, their range of models has expanded in every direction, and they enter 2018 with seven distinct offerings, of varying sense to the casual observer. When I was handed the keys to this 2018 Discovery Sport, I had little idea what to make of it. [Land Rover wanted me to drive this Discovery Sport so badly that they installed a Takata airbag in my 2010 Range Rover eight years ago, issued a recall recently, and let me take this new, wayward vehicle for a few days while a less shrapnel-y airbag was fitted to my old Range Rover courtesy of Rosenthal Land Rover.] What Is It? This is a 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE. It’s got the less-powerful of the two 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engines, making 237 hp and 251 ft-lb of torque at just 1,250 rpm. That Land-Rover-designed “Ingenium” … [Read more...] about LuluLandRover Review: 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport
After first appearing in 2014-2015 and then taking model year 2016 off, the Honda Accord Hybrid is back at dealers as a refreshed 2017. Honda’s car faces fierce competition from the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized hybrids, but it comes back still at the top of its class for EPA mpg, total system horsepower, and at least matches key specs in other areas like acceleration, ride, interior space and comfort. Positioned as a bit of a range topper however, it has yet to grab the mainstay market share from the Fusion Hybrid which leads the mid-size hybrid sedan segment, trailed by the Camry Hybrid. This new version with 49 mpg city, 47 highway, and 48 mpg combined is a little more efficient than the 2015 version which was rated 50 city, 45 highway, and 47 mpg combined. Honda also says that under new EPA testing guidelines, the previous Accord Hybrid’s 50 mpg would have been 48 now. Total system power combining the gas engine with the … [Read more...] about 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Review – First Drive
Current transportation systems are rife with problems that can lead to global warming, environmental degradation, health implications, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Indeed, traditional modes of transportation that depend on fossil fuels contributed to 27% of overall GHG emissions in 2017, according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sometimes the most important stories about green transportation and climate change aren’t as glamorous, sexy, or intriguing as those about fast cars or exclusive automotive auctions — but they may be more important than those that make the media headlines. So, for this edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review,” we’ll move from new data on transportation and climate change to stories about how a couple of companies are investing today in a vision of a zero-emissions future tomorrow. A Primer on Greenhouse Gas Emissions GHG emissions inventories identify and quantify a country’s primary … [Read more...] about Gas2 Week in Review, February 25: Green Transportation Is Essential and Often Complicated
There’s no automotive segment in Malaysia that is quite as competitive as the B-segment sedan market. The crossover may be the darling of the car-buying public right now, but the affordable three-box, four-door with a small engine and a big boot remains firmly in the mainstream, and pretty much every mass-market carmaker that has a proper foothold in the Malaysian market has an entry in this cutthroat sector. For years, the Toyota Vios and its arch-rival, the Honda City, have sat at the top of the food chain, being the progenitors of the genre. At the time when the latter was an ungainly Jazz sedan, the world’s largest carmaker showed with the original Vios that you could have a handsome, reliable sedan for minimal outlay, and it established an early dominance. Fast forward to today, and the City has turned into a formidable competitor, with thrusting, square-edged styling hiding a new drivetrain and plenty of new toys. Hamstrung not least by an engine and gearbox … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: 2016 Toyota Vios review – new heart, but any better?
Subaru of America is fresh off its best U.S. sales year.Its lineup is anchored by three all-wheel-drive crossovers that remain in strong demand, and the brand has achieved 74 consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases.This year, with a flowing pipeline of fresh products headed to retailers, including its largest model ever, the three-row Ascent, Subaru anticipates it will chalk up still another record sales year in the United States.That hasn't always been the narrative for Subaru, a car brand created by the Japanese industrial conglomerate formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries.This month, as the automaker marks its 50th anniversary of selling vehicles in the U.S., Subaru of America officials and people who shaped today's business over the last few decades remark that success has been a long, and occasionally bumpy, road.Since its start here in 1968 as an importer of a quirky microcar called the 360, Subaru has fought — and usually won — a slew of uphill battles … [Read more...] about Underdog Subaru celebrates 50 years in the U.S.
Autoweek in review is where we bring you the biggest stories in the car world that you might have missed this week. Whether you were actually getting some work done or you stepped away from your computer for a moment, here's your chance to catch up and have something cool to talk about over the weekend. 2018 Detroit auto show: Everything we saw Detroit auto show media days are winding down as the international journalists escape to warmer climes, like Sweden and Canada, and this means that public days are approaching. We've seen just ... 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt rolls on stage before Detroit auto show Ford let out the world’s worst-kept secret Sunday night, revealing the 2019 Mustang Bullitt before its debut at the Detroit auto show. It appeared on stage with a surviving dark Highland green ... Mercedes-AMG ups its EQ with 2019 CLS53, E53 Coupe and Cabriolet at NAIAS It wasn’t all Gelandewagen … [Read more...] about Autoweek in review: Everything you missed Jan 14-19, 2018
Was it really 22 months ago that I first encountered the fleet-customers-only 2016 Chevrolet Malibu? Indeed it was — and although the rental companies were quick to take advantage of what was presumably an absolutely massive discount on the General’s leftovers, they have not been in a hurry to release their inventory of these cars into the auction lanes.That’s particularly true in the case of our local National Car Rental franchisee, which is actually a Chevrolet dealer in disguise. Which explains why Danger Girl’s final car rental of the year turned out to be a rather well-worn and thoroughly undistinguished example of the fleet-spec ‘Bu LTZ.Why review this car yet again? Simple. You’d never guess it, but my review of the rental-spec Chevrolet Captiva turned out to be one of the biggest articles in TTAC history. A lot of people who were looking at ex-rental Captivas in the used market ended up reading it and (one hopes) learning something about the … [Read more...] about 2016 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Rental Review – Your Next Used Car?
Trucks and SUVs may be selling like hotcakes, but according to the latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency, when using real-world figures, average fuel economy in the U.S. actually hit a new high in 2016, the most recent year on record. Reuters reports that the U.S. car and truck fleet averaged 24.7 mpg in total, up 0.1 miles per gallon over 2015. Based on current projections, 2017 is expected to set an even more significant record, hitting an average of 25.2 mpg.The improvement between 2015 and 2016 was significantly lower than the 1 mpg increase the previous administration’s rules had called for, but thanks to low oil prices, there’s been little to deter consumers from buying the trucks and SUVs they prefer. Back in March, the Trump administration ordered a review of Obama-era fuel economy regulations and is considering revising them. But environmental advocates and states like California have pushed back against those potential changes. The … [Read more...] about Average Fuel Economy in the U.S. Rises to 24.7 MPG
DETROIT — General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra has made a bold promise to investors that the Detroit automaker will make money selling electric cars by 2021.What Barra has not explained in detail is how GM intends to do what, so far, no major automaker has done.The answer is a big bet on combining proprietary battery technology, a low-cost, flexible vehicle design and high-volume production mainly in China, according to six current and former GM and supplier executives and six industry experts interviewed by Reuters.If GM can meet Barra's ambitious profitability target, then it will house two different businesses by the mid-2020s: A traditional focus in North America on trucks, sport utility vehicles and cars fueled with petroleum, and a global electric car company centered in China, branching into pay-per-use services such as robotaxis.Barra's promise to turn a profit is a bold claim in a market segment that has been driven more by government policy than consumer demand, … [Read more...] about GM planning EVs that will turn a profit just 3 years from now