Autoline After Hours

October 30th, 2014 at 3:59pm

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Seat Time: 2015 Honda CR-V

October 29th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2015 Honda CR-V

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

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Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: Honda
Make: Honda
Model: CR-V
Type: Mid-Size CUV
Competitors: Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Cherokee
Price: $24,150 (base FWD LX model); $32,350 (FWD Touring model), includes destination charges
Made in: Ohio
Drivetrain: 2.4L 4-cylinder mated to new CVT transmission
EPA Ratings: 27 city/34 hwy/ 29 combined

Final Impression:
2015 Honda CR-V InteriorThe Honda CR-V is a mid-size SUV that competes against the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Cherokee. Base price starts just over $24,000, while the new Touring model, which I drove starts a bit over $32,000. It’s powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine mated to a new CVT transmission. Fuel economy is 27 MPG in the city, 34 on the highway and 29 combined. You can subtract 1 mile-per-gallon for all those numbers for all-wheel-drive models.

Honda is on pace to increase sales of the CR-V this year by 5% compared to last year, once again topping 300,000 units and with 60 all-new or improved components on the 2015 model I don’t see it missing that mark. While most of the front fascia was massaged, you’d be hard pressed to tell the new model from the old at a quick glance. The most noticeable change comes in the form of new headlights that feature LED daytime running lights on trim levels above the base LX model. Two new sets of wheels are also available and the rear fascia did see some minor tweaks as well.

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Seat Time: 2015 Toyota Camry

October 28th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2015 Toyota Camry

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Toyota
Make: Toyota
Model: Camry
Type: 4-door midsize sedan
Competitors: Honda Accord; Mazda6; Hyundai Sonata; KIA Optima; Chevy Malibu
Price: (4-cyl) LE-$22,970; SE-$23,840; XLE & XSE-$26,150; (V6) XSE & XLE-$31,370; (Hybrid) LE-$26,790; SE-$27,995; XLE-$29,980 (Delivery fee — $825)
Made in: Georgetown, Kentucky
Drivetrain: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 178 horsepower; 3.5-liter 6-cylinder with 268 horsepower
EPA Ratings: (4-cylinder) 25city, 35highway, 28combined; (6-cylinder) 21city, 31highway, 25combined

Final Impression:
2015 Toyota Camry InteriorIt started with nearly 2,000 new parts, new sheet metal everywhere — but the roof — and a totally upgraded interior. Add to that the claim that you spent $2 Billion (yes, that’s with a “B”) dollars and you have what Toyota is calling its “mid-cycle refresh” of its best-selling Camry.

When the latest generation came out in 2011, many of the auto meritocracy said “THAT’S the new Camry?” In other words, they were surprised that there weren’t many surprises. So even though Camry continues to sell over 400,000 units a year in the USA alone, obviously Toyota decided to go back to the drawing board to give the car the kind of “oompf” it needs to compete in that bare-knuckled midsize category.

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AAH #263 – Pony Up: Mr. Mustang Pays a Visit

October 24th, 2014 at 7:44pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Takata air bag recalls out of control.
- Are plastic windows the next big lightweighting revolution?

SPECIAL GUEST: Dave Pericak, Mustang Chief Engineer
- Will this finally be the ‘Stang that outsells Camaro?

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Henry Payne, The Detroit News; Chris Paukert, Autoblog.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

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Seat Time: 2014 Infiniti Q50S Hybrid

October 22nd, 2014 at 3:00pm

2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Sport

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Nissan-Renault
Make: Infiniti
Model: Q50S Hybrid
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: BMW 3-Series; Mercedes-Benz C-Class; Lexus IS; Audi A4
Price: MSRP-$46,350; As Tested-$53,655 ($905 Destination Charges)
Made in: Tochigi, Japan
Drivetrain: 3.5-liter HEV engine with 360 Horsepower
EPA Ratings: 28city; 34highway; 30combined

Final Impression:

2014 Infiniti Q50When Tom Wolfe first brought the story to life followed by Phillip Kaufman’s movie masterpiece, I’d always wondered what it would’ve been like to be one of those early astronauts in “The Right Stuff.” Being that I lacked a certain scientific background, among other things, I knew those dreams would never come to fruition. That is until I got behind the wheel of Infiniti’s Q50S Hybrid.

Now please don’t get me wrong; I’m not equating this Infiniti with riding the classic Saturn V or even the newer Enterprise Shuttle, but this car does have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that gives you a rocket ship experience, and it really starts with those beautiful 8-way power sport seats. The leather and lumbar wrap around you giving you a comfort quotient that prepares you for take off. And that’s just what you’re thinking when you look at the tastefully-appointed IP and information screens above the center stack. Colorful yet refined, that’s where you’re going to find all the technology and safety features this car comes equipped with. From the Infiniti entitled “In Touch Apps” to “In Tuition” which stores your preferences when you use the Intelligent Key and voice recognition to name a few, the screens are pleasing to look at and easier to use than most.

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Seat Time: 2015 KIA Sedona

October 21st, 2014 at 2:26pm

2015 Kia Sedona

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: KIA
Make: KIA
Model: Sedona
Type: Multi-Purpose Vehicle (see: Minivan)
Competitors: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna; Nissan Quest
Price: L-$25,900; LX-$32,100; EX-$36,100; SX-$39,700 ($895-destination charge)
Made in: Sohari Plant; Soha-dong,Gwangmyeong, South Korea
Drivetrain: 3.3-liter V6 Lambda GDI with 276-horsepower
EPA Ratings: 18city, 24highway, 20combined

Final Impression:

2015 Kia Sedona interior“Please don’t call this a minivan!”

If we heard this once we heard it countless times during the KIA Sedona media drive launching its all-new Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Of course the KIA team wasn’t so much excoriating the media as it was making a point: that even though it looks like a minivan — with a touch more styling — and acts like a minivan with the kind of room you’re used to — this vehicle is so much more than the aforementioned family hauler. And I do have to say that after spending an afternoon driving the MPV every which way you could — freeways, neighborhoods, hilly terrain and more — this “UN-minivan” was actually fun to drive. Its new 3.3-liter V6 had more than enough power to get me anywhere I needed to and fast, with a ride that was as smooth as the SoCal surf that we passed by.

Now moving from the outside in, there’s an overabundance of soft materials surrounding the cabin — and I do mean soft. Plus, KIA has added a nicely designed and roomy center stack as well as the perfectly layed out Multi Media Interface. All this makes the front cabin more than comfortable.

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AAH #262 – Acura’s Game-Changing TLX

October 17th, 2014 at 3:00pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Will cheap gas wreck CAFE?
- Suddenly Tesla’s Elon Musk likes dealers.
- Test drives… FROM HELL!

SPECIAL GUEST: Mat Hargett, Vice President of Acura Development & Chief Engineer, Acura TLX
- Inside the engineering of Acura’s game-changing TLX

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader Group.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!

Seat Time: 2015 Ford F-150

October 16th, 2014 at 12:11pm

2015 Ford F-150

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Web-Watch-Video-Version

Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: Ford
Make: Ford
Model: F-150
Type: Full-Size Pickup
Competitors: Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra
Price: $42,380 (XLT 4X2 SuperCrew), $51,630 (Lariat 4X4 SuperCrew)
Made in: Dearborn, Michigan; Cocomo, Missouri
Drivetrain: 2.7L V6 EcoBoost; 6-Speed automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: N/A

Final Impression:

2015 Ford F-150 InteriorThe 2015 Ford F-150 is a full size pickup that competes against other trucks like the Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. The first example I drove was a XLT 4X2 SuperCrew that was priced a little over $42,000, including destination charges. My second ride was in a Lariat 4X4 SuperCrew with a price tag of over $51,500. Both trucks were powered by the all-new 2.7L V6 EcoBoost engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. No EPA ratings have been released for the new F-150 yet, but I’ll share my observed fuel economy in just a moment.

For nearly a year now we have been reporting on the aluminum-intensive 2015 F-150 and during that time I’ve wondered, as I’m sure many of you have, what it’s like driving the new and lighter truck. We’ve heard from Ford executives and engineers how much of a difference the aluminum body makes and I finally got my chance to put those claims to the test. While I thought the most noticeable change would be felt during acceleration, it was actually in handling and braking. In fact, it was difficult to discern any difference during acceleration. But driving through a makeshift slalom course and making everyday maneuvers out on the road, really highlighted its handling and braking. The truck felt planted in turns thanks in part to the reduced weight but also to some new suspension tricks, like moving the rear shocks outside of the frame rails and mounting them in opposite directions. The brake response was impressive, slowing or coming to a stop quicker than I would have expected. It often made me feel like I was in a smaller truck.

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AAH #261 – Under the Hood of the 2015 Ford F-150

October 10th, 2014 at 5:53pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Marchionne Retires in 2018. Will FCA merge with another company before then?
- Paris: Was there anything beyond a focus on fuel efficiency on display?
- September trucks sold almost as though gas was averaging $3.30 in the U.S. (it was).

SPECIAL GUEST: Steve Gill, Chief Engineer, Ford Powertrain
- A look at the new aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 and its real highlight, the all-new 2.7L EcoBoost engine.

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Frank Markus, Motor Trend; Keith Naughton, Bloomberg.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!

Full 2014 Paris Motor Show Coverage

October 9th, 2014 at 11:36am

Catch up with our full roster of Paris Motor Show coverage! With interviews ranging from Peugeot‘s battery-less hybrid car to Lamborghini‘s stunning Asterion concept to Audi‘s decluttered approach to the TT interior, there’s something for everyone.

Click the Play button above to watch all of Autoline’s coverage in one convenient spot. Or, jump to your favorite individual interview below.

Lamborghini President & CEO Stephan Winkelmann
Mercedes-Benz AMG R&D Jochen Hermann
Peugeot Head of Project V2L Ladimir Prince
Hyundai Motor Europe Head of Product Mgmt. Christian Loeer
Fiat Brand Designer Roberto Giolito on the 500X
Renault Head of Eolab Laurent Taupin
Audi of America President Scott Keogh
Toyota Europe Design and Development General Manager Lance Scott
Infiniti Executive Design Director Alfonso Albasia
Fiat Brand Designer Roberto Giolito on the 1956 Fiat 500 Buck