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Daily Archives: June 4, 2019

2020 Cadillac CT4-V: What Sets It Apart From The ATS-V

Cadillac CT4-V

The 2020 Cadillac CT4-V is now the brand’s entry-level model, effectively replacing the well-loved ATS-V that ended its run last year. The ATS-V was a four-door sedan that produces 464 horsepower. Will the CT4-V be able to compete?

Cadillac showed us the CT4-V version, which is a notch higher than the base model but still isn’t the track variant we are expecting. The CT4-V looks pretty athletic already, though, with its wide grille with a dark mesh pattern framed by a dark border. This is reminiscent to the ATS-V, as well as the vertically-oriented headlights. The CT4-V diverged a little by adding lights that drip down on the sides of the front fascia.

If you can remember, the ATS-V has a smaller upper grille and a more prominent lower grille. Its carbon fiber package will get you a carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber hood vent, and composite black rocker extensions. Hopefully, we’ll get to see all these on the track variant of the CT4-V.

Viewed from the side, the CT4-V doesn’t look out of the ordinary. It features a character line near the top of the door handles and a sharper line at the bottom near the wheels. The roof has an interesting slope to it that made the window look wonky.

The two models—the ATS-V and the CT4-V—share the same wheelbase, but the latter is 3.2 inches longer. The difference is barely visible but we’re sure the passengers will appreciate the extra space.

The CT4-V has quad exhaust tips popping out of its rear end. The taillights are also oriented vertically, much the same as the headlamps out front. The overall design of the rear end is simple; the ATS-V has a bolder rear spoiler.

Moving inside, the CT4-V will be completely different from the ATS-V. The new model has a redesigned infotainment setup—a screen that sits on top of the dashboard and a rotary control that knob that sits right next to the driver. There are other control buttons, too, that have all been made for user comfort.

Goodbye Jaguar XJ, Welcome All-New Electric Flagship Car

jaguar xj (1)

Luxury carmaker Jaguar confirmed that the production of the Jaguar XJ will come to an end in July. The last car will roll off the production line on July 5 this year. This prepares the lineup for the coming of a flagship electric model in 2020.

The current XJ, known as the X351 was launched over a decade ago, with some 122,330 units sold since it was built. The original XJ was first launched in 1968 with Jaguar even unveiling an anniversary special edition called the XJ 50 model in 2018 to commemorate the feat.

A spokesman for Jaguar confirmed that the XJ’s end of production has been planned, but that the company plans to use the XJ nameplate again in the future to highlight the brand’s “renowned engineering capability and technological innovation.”

Sources said the relaunch might be earlier than expected. The end of the production of petrol-dependent XJs opens the doors for a new XJ with an all-electronic powertrain.

This should not come as a surprise for those who’ve been following Jaguar’s plans. The company facelifted the XJ in 2015 but last year, the range cut off the high-performance XJR—which has Jaguar’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine—and all other petrol engines. It left only the 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine that makes 296 horsepower.

The X351 is the eight-generation XJ. It was the first to feature Jaguar’s modern design language since the previous seven generations shared the same iconic look.

The X351 was also the fifth most produced XJ. The X340 was the one built in highest numbers with some 208,733 produced between the year 1986 and 1994. The XJ Series III made 177,243 units from 1979 to 1992.

The XJ Series II, on the other hand, produced 127,078 examples between 1973 and 1979. It comes in both salon and coupe forms.

2020 Ford Escape SUV Starts At $25,980

ford escape (5)

The 2020 Ford Escape compact SUV will start at $25,980 but could top off at $40,000 when fully loaded. Ford released the price details for its Escape range, which is due to arrive in dealerships in a few months.

The compact SUV did not divert from its affordable pricing, only increasing slightly from its predecessor. Considering the added features and the hybrid option, the price increase isn’t significant at all.

The base S model is the one priced at $25,980 while the SE can be bought for $28,190. The SE Sport (hybrid) will cost $29,530 and the SEL $30,350. The top-of-the-line Titanium (hybrid) loaded with all the options will sell for $34,495 while the Titanium regular comes with a price tag of $37,780.

The base model is $780 more than the predecessor’s entry-level model. That gets you the standard features of a suite of driver-assist systems such as blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning.

The SE model adds an 8.0-inch touchscreen that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SEL model gets more features. These three models will have a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive configuration. The engine can generate 180 horsepower.

If you want the all-wheel-drive setup, you need to add $1,500. For the SEL trim, an AWD configuration will get the more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower. That’s an additional $2,285.

The top-of-the-line Escape Titanium regular (not the hybrid) has the 2.0-liter engine and AWD. At $37,780, any additional option will put it on the $40,000 mark.

The hybrid model comes in two trim levels: the SE Sport and the Titanium. Standard to these two trims is a front-wheel-drive, although you can get the AWD for $1,320 or $1,500, respectively.

There’s no official EPA rating yet for the Escape hybrid but it should have around 38 mpg combined. There’s talk of a plug-in hybrid model with 30 miles of range, but that would probably arrive next year.

2020 Lexus RX Improves Its Multimedia System

lexus rx interior1

If you were one of those disappointed by Lexus for its confusing infotainment system on the present Lexus RX, you’ll be happy to know that the car’s 2020 model will greatly improve on this user experience. The new model’s infotainment system now has a touchscreen and smartphone integration, two key features that were lacking in the present model.

The most controversial parts of the Lexus’ multimedia system were the touchpad and the mouse-like interface that were overly sensitive and lacking intuitiveness. In fact, when infotainment systems were talked about, Lexus’ multimedia system ranked last, especially when compared to the likes of FCA’s Uconnect system.

Thankfully, the 2020 Lexus RX is now coming with a touchscreen. This means the user has more control over the features of the multimedia system. The screen now responds in a timely manner. It has minimal lag. It’s powerful enough that it doesn’t get bogged down even if you input too many commands at once. You can still use the touchpad but that is now optional.

Today, if your car doesn’t have smartphone integration, you are losing on a whole lot of consumer experience. The 2020 Lexus RX is the first model in the brand’s lineup to carry both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. When the car was revealed, Lexus presented two cars—one that’s compatible with Apple and another one that works with the Android system.

Apple CarPlay covers the entire 12.3-inch touchscreen while Android Auto uses only half so you can still use the other half of the space for widgets. Android said they’ll have an update this summer to fix this issue so Android users have to deal with this layout for now.

Lexus still didn’t change the tiny icons despite it being a touchscreen already. This makes it harder for the driver to see the icons and click on them. And since the layout hasn’t changed, it means there is still no dedicated home button. Drivers have to depend on the buttons perched above the touchpad.

These are minor problems, though, and drivers can easily get used to them. The best news is Lexus heard your grievances and decided to act on them.

Top 3 Brilliant Features of the 2019 Mahindra Roxor

mahindra roxor

Mahindra typically makes trucks and utility vehicles but ever since it streamlined into passenger vehicles, we had a feeling it’s only a matter of time before we see an off-road passenger truck that doesn’t break the bank. And we’re right. The 2019 Mahindra Roxor is exactly what we envisioned Mahindra will one day release—a tough and reliable off-roader that’s cheaper than a lot of compact sedans in the market.

Old-School Exterior

The boxy Mahindra Roxor, which is offered in 900 different color combinations, looked like it was carved out of military vehicles used in the second world war. At the front, there are two headlights with a flat, five-slat grille sandwiched in between. The Mahindra logo is positioned above the grille. The bumper is made of pure steel.

There’s not much to say about the profile, but the rear is as simple as it can get. It has a spare tire that’s attached to a tailgate that opens sideways. The tail lamp only has the brake lights and the reverse light. The bumper, much like the one in front, is made of steel and has hooks for towing.

Basic Interior

If you’re here looking for the latest infotainment system and touchscreen display, you’re out of luck. The Roxor is functional but it is not luxurious. It doesn’t even have doors! Instead, you’ll find two capable seats for the driver and the passenger, a three-spoke steering wheel, a large tachometer, a switch for the headlights, and a grab handle for the passenger. Yes, that’s about it.

Competent Engine

The Mahindra Roxor has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a five-speed manual transmission. It produces 62 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. It has a top speed of 55 mph. Since this is an off-roader, it can tow up to 3,490 pounds while the payload capacity is at 349 pounds.

The Roxor is priced at $16,000 but adding all options and accessories will set you back by $20,000.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Nears Release

volkswagen atlas (4)

The German company Volkswagen revealed at last year’s New York auto show that it plans to release a two-row version of its Atlas crossover. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport concept will supposedly come into production this year and it seems that Volkswagen kept its promise.

When the Teramont X was released to the overseas market a couple of months ago, many thought this was the Cross Sport crossover that the German automaker promised. However, recent spy shots of another VW crossover showed how the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport will be different from the Teramont X.

The spy photos showed the Cross Sport’s prototype wrapped in camouflage but this clearly is a diversion. The crossover is ready for production and its on the final stages of testing. The overall shape is similar to the Teramont X. It has that boxy, old-school profile. The rear hatch, however, leans far forward, similar to many luxury coupes. It also has a very thick D-pillar.

The Cross Sport’s front fascia is similar to the concept, unlike the regular Atlas and the Teramont X. It can be said that it rallies close to the VW Jetta with the grille dipping below the headlight line. The grille opening in the middle of the front bumper is also positioned much lower than the outboard ones.

Moving to the back, the Cross Sport is fitted with taillights that have redesigned LED bars like the ones found in the VW Golf.

We can expect the Atlas Cross Sport to enter production in the next few months. It should be ready in dealerships before the year’s end as this will be a 2020 model. The competition is tough, though, as it should be ready to compete with the likes of the Nissan Murano, the Honda Passport, and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The Chevrolet Blazer and the Ford Edge are competitors, too.

New 2019 BMW X1 Now Available In Plug-In Hybrid Version

bmw x1 (1)

BMW just released the 2019 BMW X1. The sport utility vehicle comes with a fresh look, some upgraded tech, and plug-in hybrid powertrain for the very first time. This entry-level SUV has been “buffed and polished,” the German automaker said.

Outside, there’s a larger kidney grille, which is typical of BMW cars. There’s a new bumper, redesigned headlights, and two-tone LED puddle lights made specifically for the door mirrors. These lights project an “X1” image on the ground below. Pretty snazzy, right?

There are also three new exterior colors to choose from and four new wheel designs are awaiting those who can get their hands on the BMW X1.

Inside, fans will be treated to some new trims that include options for three new upholstery. That takes the number of color and material combinations to 13. If you can get your hands on the Flagship M Sport model, you’ll also get the “Micro Hexagon” fabric with the special M piping.

There’s also an upgraded tech. BMW’s latest ConnectedDrive technology is now available in the X1. This feature gives convenience to drivers in terms of providing real-time traffic information, as well as a Concierge Service that allows you to book and pay for things while you drive. Other features include the Apple CarPlay and a full-color heads-up display.

Rumor has it that the entry-level car will have an 8.8-inch infotainment screen as standard and a 10.25-inch Touch Control Display as an option.

The X1’s best feature is the availability of a plug-in hybrid X1 xDrive 25e powertrain. It can power the X1 on electricity alone, thanks to its range of 31 miles. It has a low carbon dioxide emission rating of 43g/km. BMW X1’s other engines—from the basic 18i petrol to the powerful 20d diesel—have been updated to meet EU6d-temp emissions standards.

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