Seat Time: 2015 Lincoln MKC

June 12th, 2014 at 8:00am

Lincoln MKC

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: John McElroy
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Make: Lincoln
Model: MKC
Type: 5-door crossover
Competitors: BMW X3, Audi Q5, Acura RDX
Price: Base: $33,995. As tested: $50,000
Made in: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Drivetrain: 2.0 L Eco-boost; 2.3 L Eco-Boost (opt.); 6-speed automatic; AWD available
EPA Ratings: 2.0 L FWD = 20 city/29 hwy/23 combined
2.0 L AWD = 19 city/26 hwy/22 combined
2.3 L AWD = 18 city/26 hwy/21 combined

Final Impression:

Lincoln MKCFirst off, this car passes the 100-yard test. No, make that the 20 yard test. There’s something about the MKC that makes it feel good from the get go. The driver’s seat feels snug but not cramped. The driving position is very good, with your feet planted firmly. The steering, despite being an EPS (electric) system, feels direct, not vague. And the brake pedal provides good modulation.

And then you step into the power. Wow. The optional 2.3 L Eco-Boost engine is surprisingly resonsive. Tip-in at moderate or highway speeds is exceptionally good. The throttle input is instantaneous, with no turbo lag and none of the buzziness or whines typical of four-bangers, not even at wide-open throttle. That’s partly thanks to active noise control and thicker, laminated front door glass and windshield, and many people could be fooled into believing this is a V-6. Rated at 285 horsepower and an impressive 305 pount-feet of torque, these are very impressive numbers for this engine size. We did not get a chance to drive the turbo 2.0 liter yet. EPA labels suggest the MKC will have comparable fuel economy to the other CUV’s in this segment. Look for 21 mpg with the 2.3 liter, and about one mile per gallon better with the smaller engine.

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Seat Time: 2015 BMW i8

June 11th, 2014 at 8:00am

2015 BMW i8

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: Seamus McElroy
Manufacturer: BMW
Make: BMW
Model: i8
Type: 2-door sports car
Competitors: Cadillac ELR, Tesla Model S
Price: $136,650
Made in: Leipzig, Germany
Drivetrain: Front – 129 horsepower electric motor. Rear – 1.5L 3-cylinder w/ 6-speed automatic transmission. Plus a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
EPA Ratings: Not Available

Final Impression:

2015 BMW i8Recently BMW introduced its first electric vehicle, the i3. And later in the year the company will launch the second car in its new i sub-brand, the plug-in hybrid i8. We just got a chance to drive BMW’s new “green” sports car and wow! What a cool car. It drives as great as it looks. There is nothing “green” about this car once you’re behind the wheel thanks to its powertrain.

That setup helps the i8 crank out 357 horses and 420 pound feet of torque. BMW is still waiting for the official EPA numbers but says the i8 can travel around 22 miles in electric only driving and over 300 miles in total range.

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Seat Time: 2015 Volkswagen GTI

June 10th, 2014 at 9:00am

Golf GTI Exterior 3

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: Volkswagen AG
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Golf GTI S; Golf GTI SE; Golf GTI Autobahn
Type: 2 & 4-door hatch
Competitors: Ford Focus ST, Civic Si, Subaru WRX
Price: Base: $24,395
(Price based on 2-door hatch with manual transmission)
Made in: Puebla, Mexico
Drivetrain: 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged direct-injection engine with a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG dual-clutch AT
EPA Ratings: 24 City/35 Highway
(EPA numbers are for base model with a manual transmission)

Final Impression:

Golf GTI InteriorFor the car basics, please refer to the Golf TSI/TDI final impression. However, for the GTI difference see below…

VW gave the 2015 Golf GTI a new 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with more horsepower – 210 – and torque – 51 lb.-ft – over the previous engine. All while keeping its mpg numbers the same: 25/34 for the MT, 21/31 for the AT.

In addition, to highlight the performance roots of the car, VW lowers the GTI a little over a half-inch over its TSI version making it much more sporty driving experience.

Seat Time: 2014 Toyota Corolla S Plus

June 9th, 2014 at 10:36am

2014 Toyota Corolla S

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: Ben Sanders
Manufacturer: Toyota Motor Corporation
Make: Toyota
Model: Corolla S Plus
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Ford Focus
Price: Base: $17,610; As Tested: $22,870
Made in: Blue Springs, Mississippi, U.S.
Drivetrain: 1.8L DOHC I-4 engine; CVTi-S transmission; 133 hp; 128 lb-ft torque
EPA Ratings: 29 city/37 highway/32 combined/29.7 observed

Final Impression:

2014 Toyota Corolla InteriorThe Toyota Corolla promises a lot from the start. No longer is this compact car a melted Camry in miniature; aggressive styling gives it a presence like no other small car out there and presages similar goodness within. Not everyone will love the sharpened “keen look” (Toyota’s vocabulary, not ours), but then that’s the point. Its face, dominated by a gaping lower grille and blacked-out bumper, is hard to miss and bears an undeniable resemblance to its bigger brothers, the Avalon and newly reworked 2015 Camry.

Inside the design does not disappoint. Those who complain that automakers these days play it too safe with monochromatic interior colors should be pleased with what the so-called “beige” brand has done to amp up the Corolla. No, you won’t find a lemon-hued vinyl dashboard, but this is a car that comes across as more premium and sporty than you might expect for its segment and price.

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AAH #245 – Jeep Renegade Gets Ready to Invade the World

June 6th, 2014 at 3:16pm

Audio-only version:

Download MP3

UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- GM’s internal investigation.
- First impressions after driving the Lincoln MKC.

SPECIAL GUEST: Philip Jansen, Vehicle Line Executive, A/B Segment, Minivan & Current C/D Segment Vehicles, Chrysler
- A closer look at the Jeep Renegade in studio and an exploration of Jeep’s Product Development Process

All that and more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; and Todd Lassa, Automobile.

Thanks to our sponsor who makes Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone.

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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

Seat Time: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

June 6th, 2014 at 11:52am

Golf TSI Exterior

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: Volkswagen AG
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Golf TSI, S, S w/ Sunroof, SE, SEL; Golf TDI S, SE, SEL
Type: 2 & 4-door hatch
Competitors: Ford Focus, KIA Forte, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza
Price: Base Golf TSI: $17,995; Base Golf TDI S: $21,995
(all prices reflect 2-door hatch w/ manual transmission)
Made in: Puebla, Mexico
Drivetrain: 1.8-liter TSI engine w/ five-speed manual or six-speed AT.The automatic is optional on the S & S w/ sunroof but standard on SE & SEL. The Golf E288 TDI Clean Diesel comes equipped w/ either a six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch AT.
EPA Ratings: Golf 26 city/37 highway; TDI 31 city/42 highway
(EPA numbers reflect only base model w/ manual transmission for the Golf & TDI)

Final Impression:

Golf TSI InteriorIf you want longevity in a compact car, it’s hard to beat the VW Golf. The car has been around for 40 years and sold more than 30 million over those four decades. But the category is so competitive these days, VW realized it couldn’t rest on those laurels and gave its new seventh-generation Golf a variety of upgrades inside and out.

The 2015 Golf is the first car produced on VW’s MQB architecture, which will be outfitting 4 or 5 other VW/Audi vehicles in the coming years. And because of that upgrade, this vehicle is longer, wider and out-and-out bigger than the previous gen even though it’s 51 pounds lighter.

The Golf TSI gets a new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and can get up to 37 MPGs on the highway with the six-speed manual transmission.

Meanwhile, the Golf’s diesel cousin, the TDI, also receives a new engine, in this case, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel that has 150 horses –- an improvement of 10 from the last engine –- and tops more than 40 MPGs on the highway.

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