和家公睡了

和家公睡了

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2017 Volvo XC90 T6 review: Gorgeous and nearly autonomous

VOLVO XC90 DUAL-BOOSTED FOUR FEELS LIKE A STOUT SIX


By JAKE LINGEMAN


Turns out the 2017 Volvo XC90 is just the right size for a golf trip up to northern Michigan with the boys, three golf bags, six travel bags and a cooler -- everything we needed and some stuff we didn’t.
So we had three guys, three golf bags and the rest of our luggage, but I don’t think a fourth would have fit. I folded down the third row and we basically stacked it to the ceiling. We had plenty of room to stretch out in the front though, and the massaging seats were a blessing after 54 holes of golf. Besides the massage, the front seats have bolster, lumbar and under-knee adjustments, which made the 3.5-hour drive a breeze, there and back. The huge sunroof lets in a ton light, and with it and the windows open, it was like driving in a convertible. 
The XC90 has always been a good highway cruiser, but this new one is like the purest expression of that form. The adaptive cruise control works great, though these systems always seem to leave a little too much room in between cars, and the Pilot Assist “semi-autonomous” drive mode kept me between the lines most of the time. I say most of the time because I played with it on the way home, and a few times it didn’t quite see the road markings and a few other times it kept bouncing me back and fourth between them. Eighty percent of the time, it worked every time. The driver just has to hold his or her hand on the wheel, and make an adjustment once in a while.
The central screen, about the size of a small iPad, takes some getting used to. There are a couple of main screens, and everything else branches off of those. Once I understood the central home button, it helped. By the end of our trip there, I had it down pat. The sliding and pinching motions are nearly as good as a new smartphone, while the optional $2,650 Bowers & Wilkins radio is plenty loud, and crystal clear. 
Even in comfort mode, the XC90 was stiffer than I expected. Part of that comes from the 21-inch wheels, and probably partly from the air suspension, but still, this is far from plush or floaty. It’s a little loud over potholes and train tracks. However, it does make it more fun to drive for an enthusiast. The steering is quick, and I think it became quicker as the modes got sportier, but there isn’t a lot of feel.
The superturbo four -- yes, it has both a supercharger and a turbocharger -- makes this XC feel way quicker than I expected. In sport mode, it feels like a strong V6 or a weak V8, seriously. And the throttle is sensitive, so a little stab will make this thing jump forward, and it'll pull until it starts to lose power at 6,000 rpm. The transmission is just OK. Most of the time it shifts perfectly, but sometimes it hiccups or goes into gear harder than I expected. I didn’t mess with the auto stick. 
I love the new front-end look on this XC and was surprised that more people didn’t notice it. I mean, c’mon it has “Thor’s hammer” daytime running lights -- we’re talking Mjolnir baby, Mjolnir! The profile and rear still feel like classic Volvo though, which is good.
I don’t know if $72,000 is too expensive, but it seems steep. The base XC90 SUV can be had for about $52,000, which is a big chunk less. The only things I’d miss from the Inscription package are the vented front seats and the power adjustments. The Vision package could probably be ditched, as could the Convenience package, if you could still get the Pilot-Assist/adaptive cruise control, because that makes this feel like a spaceship. If you could get into it for less than $60K, I think it’s a great deal for a gorgeous three-row SUV.


Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/2017-volvo-xc90-t6-inscription-drive-review-gorgeous-and-nearly-autonomous#ixzz4RPtCKQC3

Volkswagen previews its CC sedan replacement: Meet the Arteon


Still not a sure thing for the US, but the Arteon is 'under consideration'

By Ryan Beene, Automotive News

Volkswagen previewed a successor to the brand’s aging CC sedan that a U.S. spokesman for the company says is “under consideration” for the U.S.
The automaker today released a sketch of the Arteon, a sedan with fastback styling that VW says previews the next era of VW design. The Arteon is to debut in March at the Geneva auto show and, according to German press reports, is expected to go on sale next summer in Europe for about $35,000.
The new model will sit above the Passat sedan and replace the CC in VW’s global lineup, yet its U.S. prospects are unclear, leaving VW with a potential gap at the top of its U.S. car lineup ahead of the planned wind-down of the CC.
The company is evaluating whether to sell the Arteon in the U.S., a VW of America spokesman said. If approved, the Arteon would likely arrive stateside in 2018, he said. CC production is scheduled to wind down in advance of the Arteon, which will be built at VW’s factory in Emden, Germany.
The Arteon’s styling echoes that of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown at the 2015 Geneva show. The production sedan is built on a stretched version of VW’s MQB platform that also underpins the Golf, Audi A3, upcoming Atlas midsize crossover and redesigned Tiguan compact crossover.
VW brand chief Herbert Diess said last week that the brand planned to intensify its focus on the U.S., in part by offering more SUVs and large sedans in the near term.
Meanwhile, sedan sales have waned as U.S. car buyers gobble up SUVs and crossovers amid low fuel prices, sending U.S. sales of midsize sedans tumbling 13 percent through October.
The CC is a low-volume model in the U.S. and globally. U.S. sales peaked at more than 29,000 CCs in 2011 before falling to fewer than 10,000 each year since 2014. This year through October, fewer than 2,600 CCs were sold in the U.S.

Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/rumormill/volkswagen-previews-its-cc-sedan-replacement-meet-arteon#ixzz4RPoZhVdy

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Medium SUV comparison

Hyundai Tucson Active X v Kia Sportage SLi v Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport




By: Mike Costello

Mid-sized SUV sales are growing more rapidly in Australia than any other vehicle type, and the two class benchmarks based on our testing to date are the Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5.

Proving, in this case at least, that our testing aligns with actual car buyers, this pair are also topping the sales charts in their segment so far in 2016. But both have a new enemy to contend with that, on paper, stacks up very well indeed.

Said enemy is the all-new Kia Sportage, which launched earlier this year to extremely positive reviews. It wraps its underpinnings in an edgier design to its South Korean sibling from Hyundai, and offers superior aftersales care.



The reality is, though, you couldn’t find a more similar trio of cars. The CX-5, Tucson and Sportage are all but identical in terms of drivetrains, dimensions and capabilities. And all three will be cross-shopped relentlessly.

We’ve chosen to test each in low-grade (but not base) specification, with entry petrol engines, automatic transmissions and front-wheel drive. This is the ‘sweet spot’ in the class, the box a significant number of people tick.

And so the breakdown is: Hyundai Tucson Active X v Kia Sportage SLi v Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport. Which is best?



Price and equipment

The cheapest car here is the Mazda, at $32,790 (before on-road costs). This undercuts the Tucson at $32,990 and the Sportage at $33,990.

The commonality in specification is marked. Each car here gets a 7.0-inch screen, USB/Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a reverse-view camera, automatic headlights and six airbags.

But there are differences. The two South Koreans (Hyundai and Kia) get 18-inch alloy wheels with full-size spare wheels, while the Mazda gets 17s with a temporary spare. The Hyundai and Kia also get leather seats over the Mazda’s cloth upholstery, which is a big tick for parents, and electric-folding mirrors.


Pictured above: Kia Sportage (top). Mazda CX-5 (below).


The Mazda is also the only car without parking sensors, with the Kia getting front and rear units and the Hyundai getting them at the rear. The Mazda is, finally, the only car here without daytime running lights. The Mazda is, however, the only car here with push-button keyless start.

The Tucson alone misses out on climate control air conditioning (it has a manual setup instead), rear privacy glass and rain-sensing wipers. It also lacks satellite navigation, unlike the other pair, though at present it’s the only one with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (the Kia gets it in the second half of 2016 as part of a software update). Therefore you have maps, albeit ones that rely on data.

As the newest car here, the Sportage misses out on nothing here, except for the aforementioned keyless start. It is also the only car with a standard electro-chromatic (auto-dimming) rear-view mirror.




Pictured above: Hyundai Tucson (top). Kia Sportage (below).

But it’s not necessarily a win for the Kia. First, it costs $1000 more than the Hyundai and $1200 over the Mazda. Second, our Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport is fitted here with the $1230 Safety Pack, which adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and low-speed autonomous braking.

Thus, as tested, the Mazda CX-5 plays catchup in a big way. It boils down for this tester to which you’d prefer — the Kia’s leather seats and ‘proper’ spare wheel, or the Mazda’s optional safety tech (which you can buy with the cost difference you save on the CX-5).

The Hyundai’s lack of integrated navigation is a fail from us, but some people won’t mind. Objectively, though, it has a little bit of ground to make up.


Pictured above: Mazda CX-5.

Cabins

Each of these three offer very respectable cabins for a family SUV. There is ample room in each for five adults plus gear, and a higher-riding and thereby more commanding driving position than an average small hatchback.

All also offer ample storage under the fascia with USB and 12-volt sockets (two in the Kia), big door pockets, sunglasses holders and door pockets, as well as suitably comfortable driving positions with enough seat and steering wheel adjustment to suit most.

Up front, it’s the Mazda that feels the most premium and upmarket. Its lovely leather wheel, tactile switches, silver cabin inserts, expensive-looking gauges (albeit without a digital speedo) and electric parking brake all feel like the province of a more expensive vehicle.





Furthermore, its MZD Connect rotary dial that operates the tablet display is by far the most ergonomic here, the infotainment UX is the simplest to navigate, and the sound system (as checked by our chief technology officer and audiophile, Cam) is easily the best of the bunch.

But the presence of cloth seats bereft of proper bolstering or base length undoes the premium vibe somewhat. The seats are frankly, flimsier and cheaper than what the other pair offer. Which is a real shame, and a good reason to consider the $43,390 CX-5 GT AWD.

The Porsche influence carries over from the Sportage’s nose through to its cabin. Do you think those upright air vents flanking the fascia are just coincidentally similar to a Cayenne’s?





Indeed, the Sportage offers an excellent cabin for the money. Its black leather seats are the best here, given they have the full gamut of electric adjustment and, despite the presence of some hard, cheap-feeling plastics, the overall tactility of the switchgear and most touch points, is superior to the less well-equipped Tucson.

We make particular mention here of the silver-rimmed window switches, the great sports steering wheel, the superior UX from the properly integrated 7.0-inch screen, and the contemporary, less sparse, dash layout. Cam also noted the Kia had the fastest electric windows here — 1.9 seconds to go down. ‘Every last detail’ indeed.

Compared with the Kia, the Hyundai looks austere. And next to the CX-5, it feels less tactile. The giant ‘voice control’ button in place of a sat-nav one, and the sea of black plastics, are notable, though the ergonomics are essentially without flaw. The presence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is a welcome fillip, though, Apple Maps is no substitute for satellite navigation.





In the rear, the clear winner is the Kia. It’s the only car here with rear air vents, and even offers a rear USB to recharge your phone/tablet. And while it has the fattest C-pillar here, and no third side-window, outward visibility is fine.

All cars here offer ISOFIX anchors, though, only the Mazda has a neater seat-mounted middle seatbelt, unlike the tacky roof-mounted setups in the Hyundai and Kia. On the flip side, the hard plastic seat backs in the Korean brands’ offerings are more child-friendly than the soft cloth setup in the Mazda.

There’s a similar amount of occupant space in the back row, which is to be expected given the equality of dimensions. The Hyundai and Kia share a 2670mm wheelbase, 30mm shy of the Mazda. The CX-5 is also 65-70mm longer and 50mm taller, but widths are about identical.






Pictured above (top to bottom): Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage.

In the cargo area, the Tucson wins, with 488 litres expanding to 1478L when the middle seats are folded. The Kia is close, at 466L/1455L, ahead of the Mazda at 403L, which grows to an excellent 1560L.

The Mazda also has the best cargo cover, because it clips to the tailgate, and is the only car with levers in the rear to drop the middle seats (it even drops the 40:20:40 individually), meaning you don’t have to walk around the car to perform this task.

So when it comes to cabin analysis, the Kia and Mazda win again. The Kia offers the best rear seats, and has a more contemporary layout than the Hyundai. The Mazda has the best tactility and feel of quality, the cleverest boot and the greater sound system, but the lack of leather seats (plus the average bolstering) lets the team down.






Pictured above (top to bottom): Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage.

Drivetrains

Each car here uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, sending torque to the front wheels (front-wheel drive). Let’s be realistic — do you really need all-wheel drive in any of these cars? Rarely.

If you really need AWD, only the Mazda at this spec level comes with that option, paired to a bigger 2.5-litre engine for an extra $3000 (this previously said $5000, erroneously). You can get the Hyundai and Kia in AWD, but only in higher spec grades and again, with different engines.

Leading the pack in this test is the Hyundai, with 121kW of power (at 6300rpm) and 203Nm of torque (at 4700rpm). This is ahead of the Mazda with 114kW (at 6000rpm) and 200Nm (at 4000rpm), with the Kia just behind at 114kW (at 6200rpm) and 192Nm (at 4000rpm).







The Mazda (with start-stop) claims the lowest combined-cycle fuel consumption at 6.4 litres per 100km, appreciably better than the other two at 7.9L/100km. In our real-world urban testing the differences between the three were close to this, though each used about 25 per cent more fuel (we weren’t driving in the most efficient manner). All run on cheaper 91 RON petrol.

As the figures suggest, none of these SUVs are speed machines. All feel perfectly adequate punting around the city and at lower speeds, with decent response from their naturally aspirated engines, but feel rather laboured under heavier throttle. In other words, they’re fit for purpose but a touch uninspiring.

As the least powerful car here and the heaviest (at 1606kg kerb), the Kia feels marginally more lethargic than the other two. But in truth, the GDi engine in the Hyundai, despite its extra 7kW/11Nm and 22kg lighter kerb weight to pull about, feels scarcely different to the casual observer.





It’s the Mazda that has the edge, presumably because at 1491kg, it’s far and away the lightest car here. It also has that signature annoying SkyActiv (Mazda’s engine family) loud initial idle and tinny note.

But where it wins easily is its superior ‘Sport’ mode (all three cars have a mode that changes the throttle to make acceleration punchier, but the Mazda’s works best), and its brilliantly calibrated six-speed automatic transmission.

It’s the most intuitive here, not that the Kia or Hyundai’s torque-converter units are bad. They’re perfectly fine.

We did basic acceleration tests on each of these cars partially laden, and all measured between 10.5 seconds and 11 seconds 0-100km/h over repeated testing. There’s not much in it.





Ride and handling

So far, then, we’ve seen the Kia and Mazda edge ahead. But now, we’ve found an area where the Hyundai shines.

Both the Tucson and the Sportage have Australian-developed suspension tuning, but for ours, the Tucson’s ride comfort is superior. It positively glides over all those road imperfections you’ll find out there, from potholes, to bridge joins, corrugations, cobbles and gravel. There are many, many European luxury crossovers that don’t ride this well.

The Kia, by comparison, feels just a touch harsher on initial impact. Both ride on larger 18-inch alloy wheels, though, neither actually feel it. The Kia is still well ahead of the class average. It just feels a little firmer and a little sportier as it reflects its branding, but is this what buyers want?





The Mazda feels the sportiest here, with a little more steering resistance and a little more eagerness to turn-in (thanks its lighter kerb weight). But all three have excellent body control for SUVs, staying flat in corners. The Mazda is a few decibels louder at a cruise, with some tyre roar sneaking through compared to the other pair.

The reality is, all three ride and handle better than the class average. None have an overly choppy or brittle ride, each steers and handles well, and each has the ability to be both comfortable yet sporty for the class, though, not compared to the average small hatchback of course.

But when you factor in what should be the priorities here, it’s the Tucson that wins, on account of its applause-worthy ride. The others are a little sportier, but that’s not what buyers here want, surely. We’d take any of them over a Toyota RAV4 or Nissan X-Trail in a heartbeat.



Ownership

The Kia wins in terms of ownership. And not just against these rivals. There is simply no car brand with a longer-lasting aftersales program. You get an industry-topping seven-year/unlimited km, fully transferable warranty with roadside assist, and seven years of capped-price servicing covering a period of seven years/105,000km (this is seven services).

Sister brand Hyundai offers a very decent five-year/unlimited km warranty and roadside assist. It also offers a fantastic lifetime servicing plan, meaning every Hyundai dealer must charge the same amount for a given interval at a given time, which you can find out on its public website (as with Kia).

The Mazda comes with a three-year/unlimited km warranty. Mazda standard roadside assistance costs $68.10 per year, while its premium roadside assistance adds benefits such as accommodation, a rental car, or vehicle recovery, at a cost of $83.50 per year. It also comes with lifetime capped-price servicing.



Verdict

If you’re determined or limited to spending around $35,000 on a mid-sized SUV for urban use, you won’t do better than this trio. Each offers an outstanding proposition, but there’s a clear order to be found.

The Hyundai Tucson Active X rides like a dream, offering supreme comfort, while its cabin is vast and its external design very stylish indeed. But it’s under-equipped and sparse inside compared to the Kia.



The Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport has the best cabin tactility, interface and sound system. It’s the sportiest in feel here, has the cleverest cargo area and comes available with outstandingly affordable preventative safety features.

But this sales champion is shaded by the new Kia Sportage SLi, though they’re both 8.5/10s. As you step up into higher price brackets, the order will no doubt change. But in this part of the segment, the Sportage offers the best balance between equipment, design and comfort, with the fewest compromises. It also offers the best ownership credentials.



If any of these cars floats your boat more than the other, rest assured that none are bad choices. The Kia for our money would be the best one. But it’s close.

Information boxes

Kia Sportage SLi FWD auto — $33,990
Hyundai Tucson Active X FWD auto — $32,990
Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport FWD auto — $32,790*
Sportage
SLi
Tucson
Active X
CX-5
Maxx Sport
Leather seats
Yes
Yes
No
Cruise control
Yes
Yes
Yes
Keyless start
No
No
Yes
USB port
Yes
Yes
Yes
Screen size
7.0-inch
7.0-inch
7.0-inch
Sat-nav
Yes
No
Yes
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Soon
Yes
No
Bluetooth
Yes
Yes
Yes
Climate control
Yes
No
Yes
Alloy wheel size
18-inch
18-inch
17-inch
Spare wheel type
Full-size
Full-size
Steel
Roof rails
Yes
Yes
Yes
Privacy glass
Yes
No
Yes
Rain-sensing wipers
Yes
No
Yes
Parking sensors
Front/rear
Rear
No
Reverse-view camera
Yes
Yes
Yes
Electric-folding mirrors
Yes
Yes
No
Isofix points
Yes
Yes
Yes
Daytime running lights
Yes
Yes
No
Auto headlights
Yes
Yes
Yes
Number of airbags
6
6
6
ANCAP rating
Not tested
5 stars
5 stars

*Note: The CX-5 Maxx Sport here had the optional Safety Pack fitted, which costs $1230. Adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, an auto-dimming rear mirror and low-speed autonomous brakes.
Sportage
SLi
Tucson
Active X
CX-5
Maxx Sport
Engine
2.0 petrol with 114kW (at 6200rpm) and 192Nm (at 4000rpm)
2.0 petrol with 121kW (at 6300rpm) and 203Nm (at 4700rpm)
2.0 petrol with 114kW (at 6000rpm (and 200Nm (at 4000rpm)
Transmission
6 AT
6 AT
6 AT
Fuel use combined-cycle 91 RON
7.9L/100km
7.9L/100km
6.4L/100km
Front-wheel drive
Yes
Yes
Yes (also available in AWD with bigger 2.5 engine for $3000 more)
Length
4480mm
4475mm
4540mm
Width
1855mm
1850mm
1840mm
Height
1655mm
1660mm
1710mm
Wheelbase
2670mm
2670mm
2700mm
Cargo capacity
466/1455L
488/1478L
403/1560L
Max kerb weight
1606kg
1584kg
1491kg
GVM
2100kg
2090kg
1972kg
Towing capacity
750/1600kg
750/1600kg
750kg/1800kg
Ground clearance
172mm
172mm
150mm
Turning circle
10.6m
10.6m
11.2m

KIA SPORTAGE BREAKDOWN

Medium SUV comparison: Hyundai Tucson Active X v Kia Sportage SLi v Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport
  • 8.5
  • 7
  • 8.5
  • 8.5
  • 8.5
  • 8

MAZDA CX-5 BREAKDOWN

Medium SUV comparison: Hyundai Tucson Active X v Kia Sportage SLi v Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport
  • 8.5
  • 7.5
  • 8
  • 8.5
  • 8
  • 8

HYUNDAI TUCSON BREAKDOWN

Medium SUV comparison: Hyundai Tucson Active X v Kia Sportage SLi v Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7.5
  • 8
  • 7.5
  • 8.5