Monday, April 6, 2020

Test Drive: 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Starts At $25,965



The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is considered a compact SUV, though, at 185.1 inches, has the longest overall length compared to its dozen rivals in the segment, and is a significant 8.7 inches longer than its shortest competitor. The Tiguan's length enables space for a third row seat which only one other vehicle in the class offers, giving it an added benefit for those needing to accommodate 2 more smaller passengers. Three rows of seating are standard in front-wheel-drive Tiguans with a second-row bench that can recline, slide seven inches fore and aft, fold down, and be split 40/20/40. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive Tiguan comes standard with two rows and an optional third row. The flexible configurations give the Tiguan an edge.

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a 184 horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection engine delivering an impressive high maximum torque of 221 lb-ft and mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The Tiguan has the third most horsepower of the thirteen vehicles in the segment but is also the heaviest compact SUV at 3,757 pounds.

The driving experience was excellent, especially the confident feel at fast highway speeds, and overall sporty road feel, nice stiff ride and precise German-style handling, which, for my motion sickness prone family, is a must. The Tiguan is one of five turbos among the compact SUV class and does have some brief turbo lag from a standing stop and it's engine feels like it has to work harder than some others but the Tiguan's highest-in-class torque output may   satisfy you. After all, its a Sports Utility Vehicle and does well to provide more than most.

The top-of-the-line R-line 4motion 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, (starting at $39,815, including $1,020 destination charge), was provided by the manufacturer for a week test drive, and, in addition, I made four dealer visits to evaluate the base Tiguan S, (starting $25,965), as it was narrowed down to one of two compact SUVs I was considering to purchase. Your personal tastes and requirements will dictate which trim level suits your needs and price range but as you climb the price ladder other vehicle comparisons will enter the picture. For example, Keyless access w/push-button start, Dual-zone Climatronic, Rain-sensing wipers, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control, High Beam Control (Light Assist) and Overhead view camera (Area View) are available on more expensive Tiguan trims.



The Tiguan S has many standard features like Forward Collision Warning w/ Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist), Rear Traffic Alert, the expected Rearview camera and even a tire pressure monitoring system. What more do you really need? The Tiguan S also has a nicely integrated, intuitive-to-use 6.5-inch color touchscreen, smaller than the 8-inch found on the more expensive trim levels, but not the protruding from the dash tablet-look found in many vehicles. The large, highly visible, yellow blind spot warning light on the side mirror is a big plus.

The Tiguan comes in S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line models, all equipped with the next-generation Car-Net® telematics system, in-car Wi-Fi capability (when you subscribe to a data plan) and wireless charging starting on the SE trim.

The 2020 Tiguan has four-year/50,000-mile (whichever comes first), which Volkswagen reduced from its 2019 five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. A bonus is the 2 year or 20,000 mile transferable Carefree Maintenance Program that sets the Tiguan apart, though its Korean rivals still boast the longest warranties.

SUMMARY: The quality interior workmanship, clear driver visibility, spaciousness, driving experience, included features, slightly longer than most warranty, make the 2020 Tiguan S a great value and a finalist on your compact SUV shopping list.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

First Quarter 2020 U.S. Auto Sales Hit Hard By Covid-19 Virus Impact


The impact of the Covid-19 virus on the country that started in the second half of March slammed U.S. auto sales:

General Motors (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac) delivered 618,335 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 7.1 percent compared to a year ago.

Ford Motor Company first quarter U.S. sales of 516,330 is a 12.5 percent drop from a year ago. Ford division sales of 490,769 represents a 13.2 percent decline from 2019 while Lincoln sales of 25,561 was a 2.3 increase fom the year quarter.

Toyota Motor North America reported March 2020 sales of 135,730 vehicles, a decrease of 36.9 percent versus March 2019. For the first quarter, TMNA reported sales of 495,747 vehicles, an 8.8 percent decrease. For the quarter, Lexus reported sales of 56,345 vehicles, down 15.6 percent.

FCA US LLC (Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo) reported 2020 first quarter sales of 446,768 down 10.4 percent from a year ago.

American Honda reported March sales of 77,153, a 48 percent drop from March 2019 contributing to first quarter 2020 sales of 298,785, a 19.2 percent drop from 2019's first quarter.

Nissan Group announced total U.S. first-quarter (January-March) sales for the calendar year 2020 of 257,606, a decrease of 29.6 percent versus the prior year.

Hyundai Motor America reported total March sales of 35,118, a 43 percent decrease in comparison with March 2019. Hyundai sold a total of 130,875 units in Q1, a decrease of 11 percent compared with Q1 2019. Genesis Motor America reported sales of 969 in March 2020, a 33.2 percent decrease compared with the prior year. For the first quarter of 2020, Genesis Motor America sold 3,955 vehicles, a 5.9 percent decrease for the calendar year thus far.

Kia Motors America March sales of 45,413 vehicles was an 18.6 percent drop from March 2019, while year-to-date sales of 137,945 is a one percent gain over the first quarter of 2019.

Subaru of America reported 32,611 vehicle sales for March 2020, a 47 percent decrease compared to March 2019. Following eleven consecutive years of sales records, Subaru reported year-to-date sales of 130,591, a 16.7 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2019.

Volkswagen of America March sales were down 42 percent bringing first quarter 2020 sales to 75,075, a 13 percent drop year-to-date. Audi of America March sales fell 52 percent bringing first quarter 2020 sales to 41,367, a 14 percent drop from first quarter of 2019.

Mercedes-Benz USA reported Q1 sales of 67,746 Mercedes-Benz models. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Vans recorded Q1 sales of 7,520, bringing MBUSA to a grand total of 75,266 vehicles for the quarter, a decrease of 4.3 percent over the comparable period last year.

BMW of North America announced Q1 2020 sales for the BMW and MINI brands in the U.S. of 59,455 vehicles, a decrease of 15.3 percent vs the same time period last year. MINI brand sales totaled 5,237 vehicles, a decrease of 35.1 percent vs the first quarter of 2019.

Mazda North American Operations reported total March sales of 15,664 vehicles, a decrease of 41.8 percent compared to March 2019. Year-to-date sales totaled 67,670 vehicles, a decrease of 4.5 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors North America reported March sales of 9,394 vehicles, down 52 percent over March of 2019. Calendar year-to-date sales through the end of March totaled 35,563 vehicles, a decrease of 15.5 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Porsche Cars North America announced first quarter U.S. retail deliveries of 11,994 from January through March, down 20.2 percent from a year ago.

Tesla, in the first quarter, produced almost 103,000 vehicles and delivered approximately 88,400 vehicles globally for their best ever first quarter performance. Tesla delivered 12,200 Model S and X and 76,200 Model 3 and Y vehicles.


Sales will be updated as manufacturers report.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Starts At $28,870


The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, available in  LX, EX, EX-L and Touring trims all with Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™ is powered by the third-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system combining a 143 horsepower 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine with 40-percent thermal efficiency and two electric motors with flat wire technology, a generator/starter motor and a 181-horsepower propulsion motor for a total system output of 212 horsepower. The all-electric EV Drive operation occurs when starting from a stop, during light cruising and acceleration, and when braking. The gasoline engine is off when in EV Drive mode and is decoupled from the drivetrain to reduce friction, and power is supplied by the 1.4 kWh battery pack. The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at $28,870 (including $1,120 Destination Charge). 

2021 Hyundai Elantra, All-New, Goes On Sale In 4th Quarter


The all-new seventh-generation 2021 Hyundai Elantra and Elantra Hybrid compact sedan, with a new vehicle platform, gains 2.2 inches in overall length, 0.8 inch in its wheelbase, and one inch in width while overall height dropped 0.8 inch. The Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited are powered by a 147 horsepower 2.0L MPI Atkinson Cycle engine mated to an Intelligent Variable Transmission. For the first time ever, a hybrid powertrain has been added to the Elantra lineup featuring a 139 horsepower 1.6-liter GDI Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine combined with a permanent-magnet electric motor that delivers 32 kW powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.32 kWh of capacity positioned under the rear seats. Projected combined EPA estimated fuel economy rating is more than 50 MPG. The 2021 Elantra has two 10.25-inch screens all under one piece of glass with standard features that include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, High Beam Assist, and Driver Attention Warning. Optional SmartSense features include Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Highway Driving Assist, Safe Exit Warning, and Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance Assist. The 2021 Elantra sales begin in the fourth quarter.

Monday, March 16, 2020

2021 Chevrolet Traverse Coming Late In 2020


The refreshed 2021 Chevrolet Traverse, powered by a 310 horsepower 3.6L V6 engine mated to a 9 speed transmission, gets restyled front and rear fascias, an available Dual SkyScape sunroof with a new rear power sunscreen, 4 new wheel designs, new LED headlamps and taillamps, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam, and Following Distance Indicator. 2021 refreshed Chevrolet Traverse will be available late this year.

2020 Audi RS Q8 SUV Starts At $113,995


The 2020 Audi RS Q8 SUV, powered by a 591 horsepower 4.0-liter V8 turbocharged engine mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic® transmission, offers active torque distribution to both axles and features standard adaptive air suspension with controlled damping for on or off paved roads. The RS Q8 large SUV accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds to a top track speed of 155 mph or 190 mph when equipped with the RS ceramic brakes. The 2020 Audi RS Q8 starts at $113,995 (includes $995 destination charge). 

2021 Honda Odyssey Refreshed For Sale Later This Year


The refreshed 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan, powered by a 280 horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC™ V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, gets more powerful LED headlights, updated climate controls, second-row seatbacks that fold flat for easier seat removal, a Rear-Seat Reminder system which integrates CabinWatch®, the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies with new features that include Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Pedestrian Emergency Braking. The refreshed 2021 Honda Odyssey was to be introduced in April at the New York Auto Show which has been postponed to August due the Covid-19 virus breakout. Full pricing will be available when the 2021 Odyssey goes on sale later this year.

Genesis G80 New Generation Debuts Soon


The all-new Genesis G80, in its third-generation, will debut this month and features a new design, platform, powertrains and advanced driver assistance systems.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

2021 Genesis GV80 Starts At $49,925 This Summer


The 2021 Genesis GV80 goes on sale this Summer powered by a 2.5T inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine in Standard, ADVANCED, and PRESTIGE trim levels and a 3.5T V-6 twin-turbocharged engine in Standard, ADVANCED, ADVANCED+ and PRESTIGE models. GV80s equipped with the 2.5T engine will be available with rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive and start at $49,925 (including $1,025 in freight charges). GV80s equipped with the 3.5T engine are available only with all-wheel drive. The top-of-the-line GV80 3.5T AWD PRESTIGE starts at $71,975.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas, Refreshed, Starts At $32,565


The new 2021 Volkswagen Atlas seven-seater SUV, powered by a 276 horsepower V6 engine or a 235 horsepower four-cylinder TSI® engine mated to eight-speed automatic transmission with available Volkswagen 4Motion®, is refreshed with the addition of nearly three inches longer, thanks to new front and rear bumper styling. Also, there's new headlight and taillight designs with standard LED lighting. Interior upgrades include advanced connectivity and new driver-assistance features. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas will be available in eight trim levels and is expected to begin arriving at Volkswagen dealers in the 2nd quarter. The Atlas S FWD, with a four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection 2.0-liter TSI engine, starts at $32,565 (including $1,020 destination fee) while the SEL Premium R-Line starts at $51,715.

New Fiat 500 Not Yet Confirmed For U.S. Market


The all-new Fiat 500, 2.4 inches wider and 2.4 inches longer on a 0.8 inch longer wheelbase, has 116 horsepower featuring a 42-kWh lithium-ion battery and come with an 85-kW fast charger. The new 500 offers level 2 autonomous driving that includes intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering and is equipped with the new Uconnect 5 infotainment system, offering a 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen. The new Fiat 500 has not been confirmed for the U.S. as FCA is evaluating its potential for the North American market.

Audi RS 7 Starts At $114,995


The second generation of the Audi RS 7 joins the Audi suite of all-new RS engineered models in the brand’s performance lineup. The five-door coupe is equipped with a  591 horsepower 4.0-liter TFSI® bi-turbo V8 mated to a standard eight-speed tiptronic® transmission with optimized shift times and new launch control function that transmits the power of the 4.0-liter engine to the quattro® all-wheel drive to a top track speed of 190 mph. The 2021 Audi RS 7 starts at $114,995 (including $995 destination charge).

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport1 Coming In The 2nd Half Of 2020


The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport1 is powered by a 1,500 horsepower 8.0-liter W16 engine with a new transmission featuring an overall gear ratio that has been configured 15% closer together with four shafts and seven forward gears. The new chassis setup features 65% firmer springs at the front and 33% firmer springs at the rear, an adaptive damping control strategy geared towards performance. The vehicle unleashes its full power at 217 miles-per-hour (350 km/h), capped by the increased downforce generated by the new rear spoiler. Production of the Chiron Pur Sport1 will start in the second half of 2020. Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport1 is limited to 60 units at $3,362,175 (three million euros excluding VAT).

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Redesigned Models Coming This Fall


The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan and Wagon are updated with redesigned front headlamps, taillamps, radiator grille and front bumper along with next-generation driving assistance systems including two large 12.3 inch display screens. The E 450 models will receive the 362 horsepower 3.0L inline 6-cylinder turbo engine with EQ Boost technology and a 48-volt on-board electrical system. The E-Class Sedan, and for the first time the new All- Terrain, visually similar to the SUV models, will go on sale in the U.S. in the Fall of 2020.

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo S Starts At $204,850


The new-generation 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo S powered by a new 640 horsepower 3.8-liter six-cylinder boxer engine with two VTG turbochargers paired with a Turbo-specific eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung dual-clutch transmission, 60 horsepower more than its predecessor. The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe will be priced at $204,850 (including $1,350 delivery, processing and handling fee), while the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet will retail for $217,650. Both models will be available to order soon and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2020.

BMW Concept i4 - All-Electric


The BMW Concept i4, with maximum output of up to 530 horsepower, represents a look ahead to the BMW i4, slated to enter production in 2021 as the BMW Group’s first all-electric model in the premium midsize class with an estimated EPA range of 270 miles.

2020 Quattroporte S Q4 GranLusso and Levante S GranSport Limited Editions


2020 Quattroporte S Q4 GranLusso Sedans and Levante S GranSport SUVs with PELLETESSUTA™ woven leather interiors crafted by Ermenegildo Zegna are available for a limited time on a first come, first served basis with only 50 of each to be produced.

McLaren 765LT, Only 765 To Be Produced


New McLaren 765LT is powered by a 765 horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine mated to a transmission gearing optimized for throttle response that's 15% quicker in-gear acceleration than a 720S and the fastest lap times of any McLaren Super Series model. The transmission software will acknowledge the downshift request and change gears accordingly when the engine speed and road speed can be harmonized. Just 765 individually numbered cars will be available globally to customer order.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

2020 Audi SQ7 Starts At $85,795


The new 2020 Audi SQ7, with standard seven-passenger seating and front S sport seats, is powered by a 500 horsepower 4.0 TFSI® V8 engine, mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission, sending power to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro® all-wheel drive. Standard All-wheel steering turns the front and rear wheels in opposite directions at low speeds to reduce the turning circle. The second row is a split tumble-folding 35/30/35 design with fore/aft position and seatback angle adjustments and comes with standard power 50/50 split-folding third-row seats with electric fold and return functions. Standard MMI touch response® with haptic and acoustic feedback features a 10.1-inch upper display used for controlling infotainment and navigation functions and an 8.6-inch lower display used for climate control, comfort and convenience functions, as well as for natural handwriting input with whole-word recognition. The 2020 Audi SQ7 4.0 TFSI quattro® with automatic transmission has a starting MSRP of $85,795 (including $995 destination charge).

New Mercedes-AMG GLA 45


The Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, in its second generation, is powered by a 382 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine mated to a 8-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive.

Volvo S90 Gets A Refresh


Volvo S90 sedan and the V90/V90 Cross Country estate models get a refresh, including exterior design, a brand new Bowers and Wilkins sound system, and an Advanced Air Cleaner with a PM 2.5 particle sensor that can clean the cabin air of almost all tiny particles within a few minutes. The 48 volt mild hybrid powertrain options are now available on every Volvo model offering up to 15 per cent fuel savings and emission reductions in real world driving. First introduced on the XC90 and XC60 SUVs last year, the mild hybrids are now also available on all other 90 and 60 Series cars as well as on the XC40.

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Convertible and Bentley Mulliner Bacalar


The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Convertible will be available with Bentley’s 626 horsepower 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12, or the new-generation 542 horsepower 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engines. The new Continental GT Mulliner Convertible features seven different mood lighting  themes, available Naim for Bentley audio system with eighteen speakers and two Active Bass transducers driven by a 2,200-watt, 20-channel amplifier and eight DSP sound modes with Active Bass.


The all-new Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, a two-door, two-seat, open-air luxury car named after Laguna Bacalar, a lake in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty, is a very limited offering with only 12 being created.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

2020 Audi Q7 Offers New Engine Choice


The new 2020 Audi Q7 offers a 248 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI® engine paired with an eight-speed Tiptronic® transmission starting at $55,795 (including $995 destination charge). The Audi Q7 45 TFSI®, with a 4,400-lb maximum towing capacity, starts at $58,195. The new Audi Q7 features the MMI® touch response, Audi virtual cockpit and available adaptive cruise assist.

2020 INFINITI Q60


The 2020 INFINITI Q60, offered in PURE, LUXE and RED SPORT 400 grade levels, is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, which is available in 300 horsepower for the PURE and LUXE or 400 horsepower for the RED SPORT 400, each available in a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The 2020 INFINITI Q60 comes with a new generation INFINITI InTouch™ System with HD twin screen display, WiFi Hotspot and illuminated USB Type-C port Standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Coming This Spring


The new 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, powered by a 150 horsepower Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission, boasts 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with Active Shift Control technology and a Solar Roof System, which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale this Spring.

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Arrives In 4th Quarter


The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is powered by a either the 287 horsepower Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission or the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that delivers more than 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in electric-only mode, an all-electric range of more than 30 miles and a total range of more than 500 miles. The available all-wheel-drive is capable of transferring all available engine torque to the rear wheels, or whichever wheels have more available traction. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has Stow 'n Go seating plus 116 standard and available safety and security features. The all-new Uconnect 5 system includes a 10.1-inch touchscreen, which is nearly 20 percent larger than the screen it replaces. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will be available in dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2020. AWD also will be available on the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Launch Edition, which opens for dealer orders in the second quarter of 2020 and begins arriving in dealerships in late second quarter of 2020.

2020 Kia Cadenza Arrives Refreshed Later This Year


The refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza premium sedan, powered by a 290 horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic transmission, comes in Technology and Limited trim levels, and gets a redesigned hood and grille, multi-lens LED headlights with redesigned LED DRL lamps, new lower front fascia with integrated turn signals, redesigned rear bumper and trunk lid, and inside, a completely redesigned dash and instrument cluster with relocated audio controls above the climate switchgear, a standard 4.2-inch TFT color screen in the instrument panel and new 12.3-inch touchscreen with multi-device Bluetooth®. It goes on sale later this year.

2020 Nissan Frontier Goes On Sale This Spring


The 2020 Nissan Frontier, the last model year of the current generation, is powered by an all-new, 310-horsepower 3.8-liter direct injection V6 engine mated to an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission which replaces the previous 152 horsepower inline 4-cylinder and 261-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine choices. The 2020 Nissan Frontier will go on sale in Spring 2020.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Coming In Late 2020


The all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade is powered by a new 420 horsepower 6.2L V-8 engine offered as standard with an available 3.0L turbo-diesel engine, both matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control. The all-new 2021 Escalade features a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information center to the driver’s left, a 14.2-inch-diagonal cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen to the driver’s right. The 2021 Escalade has Super Cruise driver assistance technology that enables hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways in the United States and Canada, using LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a driver attention system and a network of cameras and radar sensors. The all-new 2021 Escalade goes on sale in late-2020 in North America.