Saturday, 17 June 2017 07:47 PM

2018 Porsche Maran-Great Reviews

2018 Porsche Macan 4dr SUV Exterior

edmunds expert review

 

No automaker is more skilled at making an amalgamation of a sports car and an SUV as Porsche. As a great example, check out the 2018 Porsche Macan. The Macan minimizes the compromise in trading performance and handling for utility. But how does it do it?

It starts with what's under the hood. Five fast-revving and powerful engine options, from 252 horsepower all the way to 440 hp, give the Macan plenty of performance. That's combined with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, a quick-shifting seven-speed transmission and a suspension that's calibrated more for a winding mountain road than for off-roading. Equipped properly, though, the Macan performs respectably well once the road gives way to dirt or gravel.

Mix in a high-quality interior and an understated yet handsome exterior and you end up with a compact luxury crossover that's the sportiest in its class. There are a couple downsides. From an interior volume perspective, the Macan isn't the roomiest pick you can make. And like every other new Porsche, the Macan can be optioned and equipped to your heart's desire, but that often results in an uncomfortably steep price. But if you want a small crossover that's a lot like a sports car, the Macan is the way to go.

Pros

  • Quick acceleration regardless of engine choice
  • Most athletic and engaging to drive SUV in its segment
  • Surprisingly comfortable and composed ride
  • Long list of options means you can customize every last detail

Cons

  • Less rear-seat and cargo space than segment competitors
  • Must pay for numerous stand-alone options to get full-featured cabin

what's new

The 2018 Porsche Macan is unchanged.

we recommend

We like the balance of price and performance you get in the Macan S. It has more capability than you'll likely ever need, yet it is still tame enough for daily driving. As for options, the Premium Package Plus is a good place to start since it adds a nice grouping of desirable equipment without getting too fancy with the customization possibilities.

trim levels & features

 

The 2018 Porsche Macan is a five-seat compact luxury SUV available in five trim levels that correspond to different engines: base, S, GTS, Turbo and Turbo with Performance Package. All come standard with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission as well as a respectable amount of standard features. Porsche adds a few more standard items as you move up in the range, but you'll likely need to visit the options list to get a Macan equipped the way you truly want.

Friday, 09 June 2017 04:14 PM

Honda Accord goes turbo, drops V-6 for 2018

An image of the 2018 Honda Accord released Friday. Photo credit: HONDA

Honda's redesigned 2018 Accord will follow an industrywide trend of using turbos and advanced transmissions to aid power and performance without sacrificing fuel economy when it goes on sale this fall.

Honda detailed the change in powertrains on the latest Accord on Friday. They includes the nameplate's first-ever turbocharged engine and the elimination of an optional V-6 engine.

The base Accord will use a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine paired with a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The previous Accord's optional V-6 engine has been replaced by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's largely the same as the engine in Honda's new Civic Type R.

The upmarket Accord's turbo engine will be paired to a ten-speed automatic transmission -- a first in the industry for a front-wheel-drive car -- or a

Slide 3 of 25: 2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition

The Ford Focus RS is pretty sweet right out of the box. With a trick electronic all-wheel-drive system and 350 horsepower under the hood, there's not much more we could want from the Blue Oval's flagship hot hatch. But an open front differential and a lack of color options left some enthusiasts wanting more. That's where the Focus RS Limited Edition comes in.

The Focus RS Limited Edition adds two major features that many early adopters of the hatchback thought it should have—a limited-slip differential for the front axle and available red paint called Race Red. The Limited Edition is meant as a sendoff for the Focus RS, which will end production at the end of 2018.

 

Four automakers agree to $553 million settlement to resolve

Takata claims

 

 

WASHINGTON -- Four automakers agreed to a $553 million settlement to address class-action economic loss claims covering owners of nearly 16 million recalled vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s share of the settlement costs is $278.5 million, followed by BMW AG at $131 million, Mazda at $76 million and Subaru Corp. at $68 million. Lawsuits against Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have not been settled, lawyers said.

Takata inflators, which can explode with excessive force and unleash metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks, are blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide by 19 major automakers, the largest automotive recall ever for a single safety issue.

The four automakers said in a joint statement they agreed to settle "given the size, scope and severity of the Takata recall," but did not admit fault or liability. The automakers said the settlements, if approved by a Florida judge, will be overseen by a court-appointed administrator.

The settlement includes an outreach program to contact owners; compensation for economic losses including out-of-pocket expenses; a possible residual distribution payment of up to $500; rental cars for some owners; and a customer support program for repairs and adjustments, including an extended warranty.

Of the $553 million, automakers will use about $50 million to provide rental cars. Owners getting a recall can be reimbursed for lost wages, transportation and child care costs. 

In January, Takata agreed to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing and to pay $1 billion to resolve a federal investigation into its inflators.

As part of the settlement, Takata agreed to establish two independently administered restitution funds: one for $850 million to compensate automakers for recalls, and a $125 million fund for individuals injured by its airbags who have not already reached a settlement.

The criminal settlement and penalties were set in the U.S., where most of the airbag-related fatalities and injuries have occurred. Takata has been seeking a buyer or financial backer for a year.

In late April, trading in Takata shares was suspended after a report that the company was considering a bankruptcy plan.

Automakers have recalled 46 million Takata airbag inflators in 29 million U.S. vehicles. By 2019, automakers will recall 64 million to 69 million U.S. inflators in 42 million vehicles, regulators said in December. Most inflators have not been fixed.

A spokesman said the court was reviewing a judge's decision to select former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee the Takata settlement funds. Mueller resigned from his law firm to head the Justice Department's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Andrew Trahan Photography LLC

Tesla is making waves as the only automaker devoted solely to electric vehicles, but once the industry's heavy hitters step in, it's going to be a whole different game.

erbert Diess, Volkswagen's brand chief, believes the German automaker can beat Tesla at its own game once it settles into its plan to sell a whole bunch of electric cars, the Financial Times reports. "Anything Tesla can do, we can surpass," Diess said in Germany at a press conference.

"[Tesla] is a competitor we take seriously. Tesla comes from a high-priced segment, however they are moving [to less expensive cars]," Diess continued. "It's our ambition, with our new architecture, to stop them there, to rein them in."

The hope is that Volkswagen will achieve electric vehicle sales of 1 million units by 2025. Volkswagen has already introduced a single EV platform, nicknamed MEB, which will underpin a number of different electric vehicles across its many brands, including Audi and VW itself.

VW already touted the MEB platform's flexibility in the past year as it showed off several different concepts. It started with the ID concept, which is about the size of a modern Golf. From there, it unveiled the ID Buzz concept, which replaced the small hatchback with a larger, minivan-like body. Its latest ID concept, the ID Crozz, took the same platform and adapted it to fit a crossover body. Clearly, it's flexible.

One million EV sales by 2025 is a solid goal, but if Tesla's production ramp-up goes as planned, it won't be enough to claim the crown. With Model 3 production slated to begin later this year, Tesla hopes to boost its assembly volume to 5,000 cars per week later this year and ideally doubling that by 2018. That would put Tesla at 500,000 cars produced per year a full seven years ahead of VW's goal. Of course, that assumes Tesla has the demand to meet those production targets.

Tesla has long been praised for doing things differently to traditional automakers. But now the industry is finally reaching the point where we'll be able to see who can do this whole EV thing better -- the stalwarts, or the upstarts.

We’d asked our pals at Mercedes-Benz for something/anything to push around and write about while making the journey from Philadelphia to New York City to Westchester County. We like all Benzes so whatever they had was fine, we mumbled, figuring a C-class might be forthcoming.

“How about a Maybach S-550 4Matic?” came the reply

We said “yes” before the “bach” part of “Maybach” was uttered.

And away we rolled, cruising, meandering, enjoying, getting a move on where appropriate and experiencing I-95 north as seen through this $178,135 rolling Presidential suite. It was our first Maybach test, though we'd ridden in the back seats of them for ten years here and there.

Monday, 24 April 2017 09:45 PM

BMW M4 CS Delivers 454 HP, Will Come to U.S.

Slide 3 of 4: BMW-M4-CS-Front-Three-Quarter.jpg

The track-bred GTS may be the ultimate expression of M4 power and performance, but unfortunately that model isnot ideal for everyday driving and is limited to just 300 examples. Enter the BMW M4 CS, which could be the next best thing.

Research

The BMW M4 CS made its global debut at the Shanghai auto show this week. Slotting between the M4 Competition Package and the extremeM4GTS, the special edition will arrive in U.S. dealerships next year.

Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, the BMW M4 CS produces 454 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. That means it has 29 more hp than the standard M4 coupe and 10 more hp than the Competition model. Top speed is limited to 174 mph, and according to BMW's preliminary estimates, the model should hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds. The CS was able to lap the Nrburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes, 38 seconds.

NEW YORK -- General Motors has nearly 100 days' worth of inventory right now but plans to get that down to about 70 by the end of the year, in part by taking some of its plants offline for 10 weeks in the summer and fall.

GM says it purposely built up its inventories -- currently at their highest level in nine years -- in anticipation of the downtime, which is needed to retool for upcoming models, including updated pickups. The plans, revealed last week by GM North America President Alan Batey, are a sign that redesigns of the all-important Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will arrive in 2018.

"Our inventory is high because we're going to take 10 weeks out in the back end of the year as we're modifying our plants, particularly with pickup trucks," Batey told reporters after GM unveiled the second generation of its Buick Enclave crossover in New York.

GM had a 97-day supply of vehicles as of April 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center, up from 91 days a month earlier and 71 days on Jan. 1. But considering the coming downtime, "we are absolutely where I want us to be," Batey said.

He said GM expects to finish 2017 with about the same level of inventory as it started the year with and that GM could cut production further if the market falls short of expectations, though no specific plant actions are planned.

"If we need to balance supply and demand, we'll do it," he said.

GM eliminated production shifts at two car plants in Michigan and one in Ohio during the first quarter. That helped reduce car inventories to a 101-day supply as of April 1 from 123 days on March 1.

But supplies of light trucks jumped to 96 days' worth from 81 last month. GM had a 115-day supply of the Silverado on April 1.

Batey declined to say when GM planned to introduce a redesigned Silverado and Sierra. Analysts and dealers have told Automotive News that they expect GM to begin selling its next-generation full-size pickups in the second half of 2018. The current generation of the Silverado and Sierra went on sale in 2013, and GM freshened them in 2015.

He said pickups account for "a big piece" of the plant retooling planned for later this year but that other models are involved as well.

"I'm not going into details," Batey said, "but we have some exciting things coming out."

GM officials also have cited the introduction of four redesigned crossovers as a major reason for the company's inventory spike. Chevy dealers began selling the second-generation Equinox in March, and GM is preparing to launch new versions of the Chevy Traverse, GMC Terrain and Buick Enclave by the fall.

In terms of volume, GM's inventories have climbed 36 percent since Aug. 1, reaching 925,000 units on April 1. Executives have said they expect inventories to begin declining in the second quarter.

By Cheryl Jensen

Today the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its newest used-car choices for teens, which are broken down into two categories with 49 “best choices” starting at under $20,000 and 82 “good choices” starting at under $10,000.

The choice of a car for a teen is important, given these most recent (2015) statistics about teen drivers: 1,886 young drivers (those ages 15 to 20) died in motor vehicle crashes and approximately 195,000 were injured.

Because inexperienced drivers have higher crash rates than older, more experienced ones, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it doesn’t make sense to put young, inexperienced drivers in older cars that may not have the latest safety equipment. Yet it happens, as parents may want to pass down an older car or truck to a teen -- or may need to because of stretched budgets.

How wise that is depends on the vehicle.

In 2014, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published the results of a small survey of parents of teen drivers, which found that cars driven by teens of these parents were older, smaller and less safe. That’s when the organization issued its first recommendations of what it considered to be the safest used vehicles for teens, while keeping an eye on the budget.

This year's safe choices range in price from $2,000 for a Saab 9-3 from the 2005 to 2011 model

years up to $19,800 for an Infiniti M37/M56/Q70 model year 2013 or newer. (Although the Saab choice may seem strange, at least it did to me since the brand is gone, an IIHS spokesman said they did not want to exclude the Saab for that reason.)

The prices on the list apply to the earliest model listed, are provided by Kelley Blue Book and based on purchases in the Arlington, Va. area, which is where IIHS is headquartered. You can check prices in your area at KBB.com.

There are choices in all vehicle segments with two exceptions: No minicars or small cars are on the list because the laws of physics apply -- so I'm told by those who understand them -- and bigger, heavier vehicles are safer in a crash. Size is one of several basic principles that the IIHS used to make these choices and it recommends that all parents take these principles into account when looking for any car for their teens.

The organization also recommends avoiding vehicles with a lot of horsepower, since it can prove too tempting for teens to use that power. Even though some of the vehicles have versions with high-horsepower engines, it recommends versions with the base engine.

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