When the compact sedan segment was born a decade ago, we knew it wasn't just a flash in the pan. These cars distorted the idea of a sedan for many considering how manufacturers simply slapped a boot onto existing hatchbacks, though we knew the second generation onwards most would become full-fledged, cohesively designed cars. And that's exactly the case with the second generation Honda Amaze. The all-new Honda Amaze was first showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo, where it garnered attention for how radically different the design is from the previous generation Amaze. It also boasts higher equipment levels as Honda wants to offer a richer, more premium feel to the compact sedan buyer. And while the previous generation Amaze was the first Honda to use a diesel engine in India, the second generation Amaze is the first diesel to come mated to a CVT. A quick spin behind the wheel of the petrol and diesel versions on the outskirts of Bengaluru helped us acquaint ourselves with the car. The 2018 … [Read more...] about 2018 Honda Amaze first drive review
Piston slap noise
Wind the clock back a few years and most weren’t even sure if Alfa Romeo would live on or if it would go the way of Lancia, let alone make it to the United States. Yet here we are today with Alfa having not one, but three models for sale in America, including its first crossover, the Stelvio, named for a mountain pass in Italy. Now, we all know that in today’s hotly contested crossover market, slapping Alfa’s coat of arms on an attractive Italian suite wasn’t going to be enough if they wanted a fighting chance against the likes of tthe Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Fortunately for the Italians, they already had the blueprint with the Giulia sedan and let’s just say that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. We got our hands on the cooking version of the Stelvio fitted with a gutsy 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 276 horsepower (280 PS) along with 296 lb- ft of peak torque paired to a standard 8-speed automatic from ZF and all-wheel drive. … [Read more...] about 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0T Q4 Review: Does It Pass Or Fail?
Bentley has for sure reset the benchmark with the latest-generation Continental GT, featuring an entirely new design inside and out that is both innovative yet still using traditional materials. It's the first car in decades to put a fresh spin on timber, chrome and leather. Going hell for leather across Austria’s epic high alpine pass known as the Grossglockner isn’t the kind of natural habitat for a spanking new-generation Bentley Continental GT.It’s known for its tight switchbacks and ice-banked walls, even at this time of the year. Not the sort of place you want to be going at it in a 4.85m long (and almost 2.2m wide) coupe with a $422,000 price tag hanging off it – plus on-roads and options, of course. Though, the views are spectacular.Perhaps the British luxury carmaker was out to prove a point, or simply to shake off the age-old criticism levelled against the company all those years ago by Ettore Bugatti, with whom they once competed.Bugatti was said to … [Read more...] about 2018 Bentley Continental GT review
Launched exactly five years back in 2013, the first generation Honda Amaze was created by slapping a boot onto the Honda Brio. The soon to be launched, second generation Honda Amaze though is a thoughtfully designed and packaged car, developed from scratch as an all-new compact sedan. Pretty much everything in the car is new, right from the styling to the interiors to equipment levels, as also the automatic transmission which is a brand-new CVT. Here's all you need to know about the car, before you bring you our full-fledged review. The 2018 Honda Amaze sports an all-new design The design is entirely new as seen at the 2018 Auto Expo first. The all-new Honda Amaze's design in fact draws inspiration from the Honda City and Honda Civic. The interiors are all-new as well, with the dashboard sporting a completely new design. The central air-conditioning vents sit right at the top of the centre console. The new generation Honda Amaze will be on offer in four variants – E, S, V and VX … [Read more...] about 2018 Honda Amaze: Everything you need to know
Josh writes: I’ve asked you a few questions over the years, and the answers have always been excellent. Well now… I’ve yet another: about a month ago I picked up a rather humble ’99 Fleet Car White Saturn SL1. Despite an intermittent “Service Engine Soon” idiot light (which I suspected to be the typical rather crusty EGR valve, and was right), rear power windows I was warned by the owner “to not put them down,” it was clean overall, had traveled only 110k miles in its lifetime, and was a one-owner car. I paid the sum of $1,100 cash money and became the proud new owner. It has four new tires (that match!), doesn’t piss any of its fluids or smoke, and has cold air conditioning. And three cheers for damned near 40 mpg. On to my question: when the engine idles, it sounds “squeaky.” Not squeally, like belt squeal… but squeaky. And it’s more than just a squeak when it idles, it’s present while driving. I can … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Saturn Squeaks for a New Serpentine Belt?
Last month, we reported on a VIN filing dug up by Road & Track that showed that the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata's 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine would get a power bump, from 155 to 181 net horsepower. As for how the 2019 Miata would make that extra power, we heard rumors it'd utilize a new cylinder head allowing higher revs, accounting for that extra power. Now we have what appears to be a leaked document from Mazda Canada showing exactly where that extra power comes from. According to the document posted at Miata.net (registration required to see the image), Mazda will alter camshaft lift and valve size on both the intake and exhaust side, fit freer-flowing exhaust, and smooth and enlarge the piping on the air intake side. There are also internal engine modifications: lighter pistons with lower crowns for better swirl in the combustion chamber, lighter connecting rods, and a crankshaft balanced for higher-RPM operation. All those extra revs mean extra vibration and noise, so Mazda will … [Read more...] about What a 181-horsepower 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata means for us, and you
If you want a car that can tackle muddy trails, bound through snow-covered lanes and carry the dog with ease, you've plenty of options. When you start looking for a car with those capabilities that's also characterful, gratifying to drive and reliable, however, your shortlist will become exponentially shorter. There is one potential candidate that can fulfil many those requirements though - the Subaru Forester. The first-generation Forester, dubbed the SF, was launched in 1997. It proved a dependable, comfortable and pleasant car to drive; in turbocharged form, known as S-Turbo for UK models, it was also surprisingly quick. SF-gen Foresters are few and far between these days, and their drab looks cause many to steer clear. The sharper second-generation SG version of the Forester, however, is a much more appealing option. It arrived on UK shores in 2002, featuring a new platform and a whole host of upgrades, and was offered up until 2008. There was also a mild facelift in 2006, which … [Read more...] about Subaru Forester (SG): PH Used Buying Guide
To think that a much greener and environmentally friendly car than its predecessor can be a faster and ultimately more fulfilling experience to drive may sound rather nutty, but here it is, in the form of a car that is surely bound to divide opinion among the brand’s faithful. Turbocharging may be accepted fashion elsewhere, but this is a Ferrari, and for a long time it would have been sacrilegious to even venture blown as a means of propulsion until the California T appeared – the last road-going one to feature such novelty was a 485 PS beast from nearly three decades ago, a fling which some older folk might remember and have even lusted over. Everything else since then has trodden the atmospheric pressure path, uncomplainingly lapped up by the adoring. Well, the divisive tip is here, and on time as planned. The seeds for the engine in the car you see here were planted quite a while back – seven years ago, in the very same building at Maranello where the technical … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: Ferrari 488 GTB
Ryan writes: Hi Sajeev, I have a problem with the air conditioning not functioning properly on my ’89 Ford Taurus LX equipped with Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC). When I start the car on a warm day the AC can blow icy cold air immediately, but the temperature gradually rises to ambient temperature by the time I reach the freeway, and is bad enough that I turn the EATC off. When I turn on the EATC by pressing AUTO, it often feels like it’s blowing maximum heat. I have noticed that when this happens the AC compressor clutch is not cycling on and off. During the winter, the AC compressor clutch clicks on and off. The problem seems to be intermittent and only occurs during warmer months. Also, during startup, you can hear an audible “whirring” noise in the dash, and that started to sound abnormal about the same time the AC stopped working. By “abnormal” I mean it lasts much longer than it used to. I believe the noise I’m hearing is … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Bullish on Ford’s Electronic Automatic Temperature Control?
TTAC commentator PandaBear writes:Hi Sanjay, (First Sanjeev, now we’re using my brother’s name? – SM)I have a ’97 Acura Integra RS on which my mechanic recently did a top end rebuild. The radiator got stuck closed and somehow created a vacuum in the cooling system, overheated and warped the head. Soon after the rebuild a new grinding noise started and the mechanic isolated it to a failing water pump bearing. Before the rebuild my car had a noise that I thought might be exhaust or valvetrain related, but ended up being the failing water pump. After the water pump was replaced the car is a lot quieter, and because it is a lot quieter, I’m now hearing cold start piston slap that I never heard before.The cold start piston slap seems to remain till the engine is completely warmed up. It seems to come when the outside temperature is about 50F or lower. The car has about 260k original miles and is in OK condition, and I’ve replaced the ignition coil, … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Batting an eye at B18B1 Piston Slap?