Archive for September, 2015

2016 Nissan Leaf, Leaf Range

2016 Nissan Leaf

For what should have been a quiet year for the all-electric Nissan Leaf, 2016 brings an available higher-capacity battery that extends the car’s EPA-estimated range by 27 percent.

Scion iA and iM

New for 2016: the Scion iA (left) and Scion iM

The 2016 Scion iA and the 2016 Scion iM began arriving in dealerships nationwide last week, ushering in an important new chapter in Scion history. The iA (a subcompact sedan) and iM (a compact hatchback) are really the first “mainstream” Scions aimed at addressing the shifting demographics of Scion’s target market (70 percent of which didn’t even have a driver’s license when the brand was introduced).

2015 Audi Q3

Consumer Guide’s test 2015 Audi Q3 arrived with a modest complement of optional equipment. Including the destination charge, our test crossover came to $39,175.

2015 Audi Q3 2.0T quattro Tiptronic   2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Compact Crossover

Miles Driven: 312

Fuel Used: 14.3 gallons

Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway

Hyundai Genesis V8

2015 Hyundai Genesis V8

Chicago radio legends Steve and Johnnie take the 2015 Hyundai Genesis V8 for a video test drive. What did they think of their test vehicle? Watch and find out.

Martin Milner on Route 66, Martin Milner Obituary

“Route 66” stars Martin Milner (right), and George Maharis and, of course, their Corvette.

On the surface they may seem like slivers of a 50-year Hollywood career, but the two starring roles that Martin Milner landed in the 1960s put him in the car-buff-television hall of fame. Mr. Milner, who died September 6 at age 83 in California, sought adventure across America in a Corvette from 1960 to 1964 on Route 66, then protected and served Angelenos with a succession of Los Angeles Police Department “black-and-whites” between 1968 and 1975 on Adam-12.

1981 Saab 900 Turbo, Fastest Cars of 1981

Reaching 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, the Saab 900 Turbo was the fifth fastest vehicle tested by Consumer Guide in 1981.

Here’s an eye-opening then-and-now comparison for you. The 1981 Lincoln lineup’s sole engine choice was Ford’s corporate 5.0-liter V8. In Lincoln trim, it produced a tepid 130 horsepower, and in the Town Car, it returned a leisurely 14.9 second 0-60 time. Fast-forward 35 years, and Lincoln’s largest sedan, the MKS, scoots to 60 mph in just over five seconds when equipped with the available 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.

2016 Volvo S60

Volvo applies its Cross Country formula to the S60 sedan for 2016 to come up with–you guessed it–the S60 Cross Country. It’s joined by a longer version of the base sedan that gives new meaning to the Inscription designation.

Scion iM

Although Volvo has used the “Cross Country” and “Inscription” monikers in the past, they’ve never been used like this.

Cross Country has long been applied to an SUV-flavored version of a Volvo station wagon, while Inscription has been used of late to denote a high-end trim level. But Volvo will now be using those established names in a somewhat different manner. New for 2016 are the S60 Cross Country, which applies the designation’s traditional formula to a raised S60 sedan, and the S60 Inscription, which “expands” the use of that name to indicate a stretched S60 sedan.

2019 Dodge Hornet

Plans to build a production version of the 2006 Dodge Hornet Concept (above) were scuttled during the financial crisis of 2009. Dodge is again looking to produce a subcompact car, due this time for the 2019 model year. 

Future CarHornet is the likely name of a forthcoming subcompact hatchback that would give Dodge a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, and other fuel-efficient pint-sized cars.

Expected in 2018 as an early ’19 model, the 2019 Dodge Hornet would be positioned in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) showrooms between the Fiat 500 and 500L, and comfortably below the compact Dart, the Dodge brand’s smallest and least expensive current offering.

2016 Volvo XC90

Consumer Guide’s test 2016 Volvo XC90 arrived in top-tier Inscription trim. Equipped with almost every possible option, our test truck came to $66,705, including the destination charge.

2016 Volvo XC90 AWD Inscription   2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Midsize Crossover

Miles Driven: 366

Fuel Used: 19.2 gallons

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway

2015 Lexus GS 350 AWD F Sport

The Lexus GS 350 is the company’s “sport” entry in the premium-midsize class, whereas the similar-size ES 350 leans more toward the luxury side. GS comes with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Our test car was the latter, and loaded with options (including the performance-oriented F Sport Package), it stickered at just over $60,000. 

2015 Lexus GS 350 AWD F Sport  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Miles Driven: 674

Fuel Used: 36.2 gallons

Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway