Posts filed under ‘Car Reviews’

Our Top Family Cars for 2019

By Keith Turner

Start by feasting your eyes on Subaru’s new Forester for 2019 (video above), which comes complete with their “Eye-Sight” and the “Driver Focus” distraction mitigation system, both designed to help keep you and your family safer while on the road.

Also coming in early summer from Subaru, is their new Ascent (see below), a three-row midsize SUV with high ground clearance for rough off-roading and better road visibility than other Subaru models, plus it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the Ascent will be $31,995 and it will get 21 miles per gallon (MPG) when driven in the city and 27 MPG out on the highway.

2019_Subaru_Ascent_Touring

What other vehicles are available, or will become available? The term “everything old is new again” could surely be applied to the 2019 crop of family-friendly cars and trucks being rolled out by automakers. At least four model names are being recycled from past years, yet in their modern form, they present the most up-to-date technology that today’s families demand in their transportation. Trucks and sport-utility-vehicles dominate the current offerings, with a few sedans, hybrids, and electric vehicles sprinkled in.

You can look down a bit at our LA Auto Show post to check out the Jeep Gladiator climb up stairs. It features a crew cab configuration and best-in-class towing.

2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn

Another couple trucks are noteworthy. The Ram 1500 has been redesigned and is leading the charge in popularity among the big rigs of family trucking. It has a full-size cabin, and more back seat space than any of its competitors. And the Ford Ranger is being revived in this model year with a high-strength steel frame, EcoBoost engine, and all the active safety features typically found in high-end models.

2019 Ford Ranger

Hyundai Palisade — The Korean automaker is busting into the large SUV market in a big way, with the three-row, eight-seat Hyundai Palisade coming in the summer. A host of family friendly features will include an in-car intercom that allows the driver to talk to third row occupants without interrupting those in the second row. Price to be announced.

Hyundai_Palisade

Honda Passport — The all-new Passport may have a blast-from-the-past name, but the five-passenger SUV will be anything but old and boring. Featuring off-road capability, on-road comfort and ample underfloor storage, the Passport is focused on families looking for more utility than the compact CR-V, but not as much as the three-row Pilot SUV. Price to be announced.

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack

GMC Acadia Denali — (below) The Denali name represents the top of the GMC model lineup and garners about a third of the sales. This year the Acadia features front- and all-wheel-drive models, second-row sliding seats and “Tow Vision” that uses the rear camera to help line up with a trailer. MSRP: $45,500 / MPG: 18 city, 25 highway.

2018 GMC Acadia Denali

Also from General Motors, consider the 2019 Chevy Equinox. We did, in our recent video review of it, below…

Ford Edge — (below) Completely redesigned for 2019, the Edge is a midsize SUV with two rows of seats and an optional all-wheel-drive and an ST model that features a twin turbo for extra get-up-and-go when needed. Price to be announced.

2019 Edge Titanium Elite

Lincoln Aviator – After a 14-year hiatus, Lincoln is bringing back the Aviator name in a three-row, midsize SUV that is a smaller than its sibling Navigator. It features lots of interesting options, including using your phone as a key to lock/unlock the doors, tailgate and even start the vehicle. Price to be announced.

Lincoln Aviator

Honda Insight — Another historic nameplate returns this year as Honda brings back the Insight, the very first hybrid to enter the market. But beyond the great 50-plus mpg fuel mileage, the Insight is a quiet, well-equipped and budget-priced family sedan. MSRP: $22,830 / MPG: 55 city, 49 highway.

[For the latest on electric and hybrid vehicles for your family, see greenfamilycar]

2019 Honda Insight

Kia Soul — Ever since it launched in 2010, the Kia Soul has gained the attention of budget-minded families who need a small car with ample cargo space. This year, the Soul gets a makeover and more powerful engines, including a turbo, and the Soul electric (EV) model will sport better battery range of more than 200 miles per charge. Price to be announced.

2020 Soul GT-Line

Mazda 3 — While trucks, SUVs and electric models are making the biggest news in 2019, compact cars are continuing to get their share of attention. Having sold more than 6 million Mazda 3 models since 2003, the automaker is redesigning the vehicle for 2019 and offering choices of a sedan and hatchback for small families. Price to be announced.

2019_Mazda3_5HB_EXT_9

Keith Turner is a professional auto reviewer for families. He can be reached at carguy@hotmail.com

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February 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

At the 2018 LA Auto Show – from trucks to SUVs to electric

The Los Angeles Auto Show is now known as Automobility LA, for good reason, as this year’s show represents a major transition from conventional vehicles, in this case trucks and SUVs, and the future of self-driving mobility as nearly all automakers are launching electric-powered and semi-autonomous vehicles over the next few years.

This “present vs. future” paradigm is evident with a quick stroll of the two giant showroom floors as we travel from the present to the future of mobility — the top-selling trucks and SUVs of today morphing into the all-electric vehicles of tomorrow and eventually leading us to the self-driving future of mobility.

From a business perspective, fully electric and autonomous technology is expensive for manufacturers, so most are finding their way into the high-end models now in order to recover the cost of this technology into the future. But even today we are starting to see this semi-autonomous, self-driving, technology finding its way into mid-level models.

While the headline grabbers are the new Jeep Gladiator pickup truck and SUVs like the Lincoln Aviator, Hyundai Palasade and Honda Passport, we also saw great entries into the small car market // like the new Toyota Corolla plug-in hybrid and sporty and efficient Mazda 3 compact sedan.

And in a clear merging of today with tomorrow, there’s the Rivian, and all-electric pickup truck that is both stylish and sustainable.

December 16, 2018 at 4:02 am Leave a comment

Family Car – 2019 GMC Acadia Denali goes to East LA

Loaded with safety features, comfort and technology, the 2019 GMC Denali Acadia edition is a mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle with seating for seven passengers and seats that fold easily down to provide extra cargo space.

We took the GMC Acadia across Los Angeles to see some of the innovative mobility technology — from self-driving vehicles to last-mile transportation — at the 2018 LACoMotion event.

Then, we took the Acadia Denali across the concreted Los Angeles River, on the iconic 4th Street Bridge, seen in countless movies, to enjoy East LA and the great views of downtown LA that can be glimpsed there.

2019Denali2EastLA.jpg

December 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

Dynamic 2018 Land Rover Discovery

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Td6 is a dynamic diesel-powered vehicle that we toured through the landscapes of the City Of Industry, California. What, there’s a city actually called Industry? I know, right. It’s a crescent of warehouses east of East LA with two Union Pacific railroad routes running through it.

The Rover line’s new diesel SUV, the Discovery Td6, has an appealing three rows of seats, two of which power down for cargo carrying activities (or to accommodate six foot tall individuals nicely stretched out).

Discovery is a multi-purpose family hauler featuring many interesting options.
“If you’re in the market for a seven person vehicle that offers everyone a comfortable ride,” Wayback (Dean Curtis’ auto journalist alter ego) states, “This baby is for you.”

November 28, 2018 at 1:24 am Leave a comment

Bucket seats and bumble-bee yellow enhance 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2018FordMustangEcoboostMILEAGE
By Keith Turner

Celebrating fall and cruising through its colors in the foothills around California’s capitol, Sacramento, we enjoyed the bright bumble-bee yellow 2018 Ford Mustang coupe with EcoBoost, which delivers more than 300 hp from its 2.3 liter, 4-cylinder engine. We experienced 22 miles per gallon on our test drive through the hills.

Different driving modes are great, including Sport, Racing, and Drag Strip mode!

This year’s Mustang is great fun to drive, comfortable to be in, especially due to its leather bucket seats, and definitely stimulating to look at!

The fully loaded 2018 Ford Mustang coupe, EcoBoost Edition we test drove was listed at $42,765.

October 25, 2018 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

Driving a 2018 Terrain Denali to the coast

With all the luxury and comfort of a large, high-priced SUV, the Terrain Denali from GM has a more compact stance than most, while still providing plenty of space for families and cargo.

We drove the Terrain to Monterrey, to participate in the Western Automotive Journalists Media Days, where writers were given the opportunity to experience both off-roading and track-driving on the world famous Laguna Seca Raceway.

Without further ado, we share some of the experiences with you.

 
 

October 12, 2018 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

What’s So Hot About Turbo?

By Dean Adams Curtis and Keith Turner

SACRAMENTO, CA – What’s so hot about turbo? It creates smaller bits of gas, a spray that explodes hotter when ignited by a spark. The hotter explosion, captured within a cylinder with its head bolted on tight, causes a piston within the cylinder to slide down its well-oiled walls. Why? To help other pistons crank a shaft below, to ultimately turn the wheels of your car faster. Turbo is a word in our lexicon that need no translation, turbo = power.

Last week we had a turbo-charged automotive experience in the 2018 Volkswagen Golf S (SportWagen), taking it out for a tour of the California Delta region south of Sacramento. In addition to the Golf’s TSI turbo engine, its packed with safety features, which added an extra quantum of comfort to our day in the country.

March 27, 2018 at 12:42 am Leave a comment

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