Archive for November, 2014
Note: This article is reprinted from the August 2014 issue of Collectible Automobile
While the Maserati nameplate has been part of the automotive world since the Twenties, the five car-building Maserati brothers initially busied themselves solely with competition machines. It wasn’t until after World War II that the marque’s trident logo appeared on roadgoing grand tourers.
2015 GMC Yukon SLT 4WD
Dates tested: 8/21/2014-8/28/2014
Miles Driven: 355
Fuel Used: 21.9 gallons
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
I think it’s fairly typical of people to group memories into convenient categories. Most people probably look back at their lives thus far and see periods of time easily identified by markers such as childhood, high school, post-acne, and marriage—or something akin to that. But, our memories can play tricks on us.
It used to be that “fuel efficient” and “large pickups” would be mutually exclusive in any reference. But that’s no longer the case.
Thank technology. Each of the five most efficient large pickups relies on advances that weren’t available in the class just a few short years ago.
Somewhere between mainstream and luxury lies the murky no-man’s land often referred to as “near luxury.” In the auto world, the near-luxury tag has been applied to such semi-premium brands as Acura and Volvo. More recently, Buick has again ascended into the near-premium domain, offering products that skirt pricewise just under those offered by the likes of Lexus.
Volvo showed a pair of crossovers at the Los Angeles Auto Show: one in its U.S. debut, the other in its world debut.
Nissan showed off a mildly updated 2015 Juke at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. An exterior facelift includes revised front and rear fasciae and new headlights and taillights, both with LED accents. The standard-equipment list is expanded to include keyless entry and starting, rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps. The Juke’s turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is unchanged.
The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show marked the North American debut of the Fiat 500X, a “crossover-ized” version of the Fiat 500L. Two engine choices are offered—a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder with a 6-speed manual transmission, or a 180-hp 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 4-cylinder with a 9-speed automatic.
Acura unveiled a revamped version of its entry-level compact sedan at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2016 ILX gets updated front and rear styling, new safety features, upgraded interior materials, available 18-inch wheels, and a standard 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The ILX’s 201-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is now the lone engine; the 2.0-liter four has been dropped from the line. The 2.4-liter/8-speed pairing is essentially the same powertrain combination as the 4-cylinder version of the new-for-2015 Acura TLX midsize sedan.
Jaguar announced its 2016 F-TYPE sports-car lineup at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, revealing an expanded model roster, a 6-speed manual transmission option, and the availability of all-wheel drive. Also added are electric power steering, Jaguar’s InControl connectivity suite, and more standard equipment.