Seat Time: 2015 RAM ProMaster City Tradesman SLT Cargo Van

September 2nd, 2015 at 9:00am

2015 Ram ProMaster City Tradesman SLT

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: FCA
Make: RAM
Model: ProMaster City Tradesman SLT Cargo Van
Type: Cargo Van
Competitors: Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200, Mercedes-Benz Metris
Price: Base — $25,655 + Options; Total Price (as driven) — $28,805
Made in: Bursa, Turkey
Drivetrain: 2.4-Liter Tigershark Multiair Engine; 9-Speed FWD Automatic Transmission
EPA Ratings: City 21/Highway 29/ Combined 24

Final Impression:
2015 Ram ProMaster City SLT interiorBack in the ‘70s, reviewing automakers’ van offerings must’ve been an embarrassment of riches. Everyone had one or two and they were about as popular as Bill Murray’s lounge singer character on Saturday Night Live. In fact, you can almost imagine “Nick Cargo” at some truck stop with his trusty piano player belting out yet another song to the Star Wars theme; “Van Wars, give me those Van Wars, those people versus payload wars…” or something like that. Everyone had a van, and then just as fast, it seemed most of the automakers didn’t.

But these days it looks like the van is back! From Ford to Nissan to GM everybody seems to be offering both a cargo and passenger version; In fact, some even offering a couple different sizes.

Take the folks at FCA for instance. They didn’t have a North American version until recently when it took a couple of solid Fiat platforms and reengineered them for this market. The smaller of the two – the Fiat Doblo – became the RAM ProMaster City. The Tradesman SLT is your classic Cargo Van; a two-seater with almost 132 cubic feet of cargo volume with the cargo width at 60.4 inches, the length at 87.2 with a Payload of almost 1,900 pounds.

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AD #1692 – Pentastar V6 Updated, Land Rover’s Invisible Trailer, Used Car Prices to Soften

September 1st, 2015 at 11:52am

Runtime: 7:15

- FCA Offers Recall Incentives
- Pentastar V6 Upgraded
- Used Car Prices to Soften
- Open Source Cyber Security
- Infiniti Reveals Q30 Interior
- Land Rover Makes Trailers Disappear

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Seat Time: 2016 Mazda CX-3

August 31st, 2015 at 2:00pm

Mazda-CX-3-Exterior-1

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: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: Mazda
Make: Mazda
Model: CX-3
Type: Subcompact Crossover
Competitors: Honda HR-V, Fiat 500X, Buick Encore, Nissan Juke
Price: Base – $20,840; Grand Touring – $25,870 + options
Made in: Hiroshima, Japan
Drivetrain: 2.0L SKYACTIV-G; 6-speed AT; optional AWD
EPA Ratings: 29 city/35 highway/31 combined (27/32/29 AWD)

Final Impression:
Mazda-CX-3-Interior-1Mazda is a hard brand to figure out. It seemingly makes some very good products, but yet it’s barely increasing sales in a market that’s seeing some pretty good growth. Its sales are up just .26% so far this year, while the total market is up 4.7%. But the automaker is looking to change that around as it jumps into the red-hot subcompact crossover segment with the CX-3. And if you pair the way it drives with the way it looks, the CX-3 fits right in with Mazda’s sporty persona.

It’s powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, which can be found in other vehicles in its lineup and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The suspension package features a MacPherson strut setup in front and torsion-beam out back. So, how does this translate to the road? Well, I think it’s better than any other little CUV out there today. While the CX-3 has a ride quality similar to its competitors on surface streets and the highway, this small crossover really starts to shine when you push it. It’s surprisingly well balanced through tight twisting turns. Push a little too hard and the weight up front does want to carry you wide, but the vehicle gives ample feedback before that happens. This can partly be attributed to a reworked all-wheel-drive system that’s now taking readings from 7 additional sensors, which helps it predict what’s going to happen. And for a little extra fun, switch into sport or manual mode to hold gears a little longer and get the most out of its torquey engine, which starts to kick in around 3,000 RPM.

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AD #1691 – VW Gives Up Suzuki Stake, GM Stock Value Drops, Emerging Markets Like Autonomy

August 31st, 2015 at 11:57am

Runtime: 7:21

- VW Ordered to Give Up Stake in Suzuki
- GM’s Shareholder Value Drops
- Emerging Markets Like Idea of Autonomy
- Ford Takes Smart Mobility Plan on Tour
- BMW Adds i-Vehicles to Driving Academy
- Ford Making Sure New GT Gets to Private Owners

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Hyundai, Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and MEDC.

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AAH #300 – 6 Years, 300 Shows & 1 of the Most Beautiful Cars in History

August 28th, 2015 at 2:48pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Dodge Barracuda and Ford Bronco coming back.
- Is it time for closed cockpits in racing?
- Chaos in the Market: What it means for August sales.

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Karl Brauer, Kelly Blue Book; Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone, Ram Trucks and Hyundai.

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

AD #1690 – VEBA is Thriving, Cadillac’s Super Cruise Feature, Strong Sales ≠ Big Profits

August 28th, 2015 at 11:31am

Runtime: 7:43

- VEBA is Thriving
- smart fortwo cabrio Revealed
- Cadillac Adds Semi-Autonomous Feature
- Hyundai Shows New i20 Rally Car
- Hopped-Up Peugeot 308 Headed to Frankfurt
- Strong Sales Not Equaling Big Profits

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Hyundai, Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and MEDC.

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ATW #1924 - The Dealer Economy

August 27th, 2015 at 4:00pm



Steven Szakaly, Chief Economist, National Automobile Dealers Association, Steve Finlay, Ward’s Dealer Business, John Stoll, The Wall Street Journal. Topic: Auto Dealers.

With car and truck sales predicted to hit around 17-million for the year, you’d imagine that most dealers are singing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” But is that really true? Joining John McElroy as his Autoline THIS WEEK guest is Steven Szakaly, the Chief Economist for the National Auto Dealer Association. John & Steven are joined by Steve Finlay from Ward’s Dealer Business and the Wall Street Journal’s John Stoll.

AD #1689 – Used Car Prices Soar, The Bronco and Barracuda Return, FCA Scores Video Views

August 27th, 2015 at 11:54am

Runtime: 6:53

- The Bronco’s Back…
- …And So’s the Barracuda
- FCA Scores Video Views
- Used Car Prices Keep Climbing
- GT350 Transmission Details
- U.S. Rare Earth Mine Closes

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Hyundai, Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and MEDC.

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NVIDIA’s Brain Teaches a Car to Think – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 26th, 2015 at 5:03pm

Danny Shapiro is the Senior Director of Automotive for NVIDIA. He talks with John McElroy about the company’s supercomputer “brain” for autonomous cars, which accepts all of the automobile’s sensory inputs and makes sense of them. Shapiro demonstrates how NVIDIA’s hardware can tell the difference between trucks, cars, police vehicles, ambulances and so forth. He also makes his prediction for when we’ll see the first autonomous cars ready for primetime.

My Car is More Autonomous than Your Car – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 26th, 2015 at 3:02pm

Manuela Papadopol is the Global Marketing Director for Elektrobit Automotive. She talks with John McElroy about the changing face of marketing as the era of self-driving vehicles closes in. She says that as the driver becomes a passenger we will see the battle between “economy and business class” accommodations in vehicles.




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