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Overdrive movie review: dumb and dubious

Overdrive is, in fact, written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, who wrote 2 Fast 2 Furious. And when I say they “wrote” this, I mean that I suspect that they dusted off all the stuff they cut out of that earlier script for being too idiotic, too clichéd, and/or too ridiculous, and reassembled it into this limp excuse for a movie. This is the tale of two criminal brothers– excuse me, half brothers, as one keeps reminding the other, like there’s something funny about that. Vaguely dudebro-y wannabe insults like this litter the dialogue: everything is meant to sound quip-ish, even when it makes no sense.tweet Anyway, American Andrew (Scott Eastwood: The Fate of the Furious, Suicide Squad) and Brit Garrett (Freddie Thorp) Foster — heh, Foster! — hang out in Marseille and steal cars, and apparently they are the greatest car thieves ever, except possibly not; the way in which this is established is problematic, as is almost everything else that happens or is said onscreen here. We are introduced to their supposed genius in stealing cars — and I’m talking serious cars, like a one-of-only-two-of-a-kind classic that just sold at auction for $40 million — when they pull a dangerously stupid stunt that involves Andrew jumping from an overpass onto the top of the truck transporting the car while it’s barreling along at high speed, and when that goes bad, they end up doing what they could have just done in the first place, as Andrew merely climbs onto the truck from the car alongside that Garrett is driving.

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2018 Honda Odyssey Elite quick take: Almost good enough

What is it: Honda’s totally redesigned and rethought minivan with oodles of new tech features, the Odyssey takes the fight to the now-established Chrysler Pacifica.

Key Competitors: Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Sedona

Base Price: $47,610 As-Tested Price: $47,610

Highlights: There’s still no better way to move people and their stuff than a minivan, and Honda’s latest top of the line Odyssey Elite adds family-friendly features like CabinWatch, a camera that lets the driver see second-row passengers, the HondaVac built-in vacuum and, for the driver, a stout 280-hp V6 coupled to a slick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.

Our Opinions: To be fair, Honda was probably caught flat-footed by Chrysler’s home-run Pacifica minivan last year; the 2018 Odyssey was finalized at that point, amounting to what Honda figured was a competitive suite of incremental enhancements to its class-leading people mover.

Things like CabinWatch and CabinTalk, allowing the driver to see and speak to passengers via a camera/microphone, respectively, are cute ideas, but in real-world use with a couple of tweens they amounted to little more than a novelty, quickly forgotten. More useful are the improvements to Honda’s navigation/phone/radio interface, which operates via an intuitive and very responsive touch screen high on the center stack. All the controls are easy to find and operate, save for Honda/Acura’s strange pushbutton shifter design. No complaints about the 10-speed (!) automatic transmission to which it’s connected, though: Combined with the stout V6, the Odyssey Elite delivers power whenever it’s needed and still returned 26 mpg in mostly highway driving with four people, luggage and bikes aboard.

Against a similarly equipped Pacifica, though, Honda’s monochromatic interior design, frumpy styling and absence of disappearing second-row seats are glaring. Where’s the three-panel moonroof? The dual touchscreen rear-seat entertainment system? The brushed-metal accents and contrast seat piping? Adding insult, the Odyssey Elite is significantly more expensive than the better-equipped Chrysler.

It’s a good effort that should satisfy Honda loyalists, but it’s not enough to regain the “best minivan” crown.

Andrew Stoy

Andrew Stoy

– Digital editor Andrew Stoy has spent the past 20 years wrenching on and writing about cars. He’s worked everywhere from dealer service bays to the headquarters of the world’s largest automakers.

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On Sale: Now

Base Price: $47,610

As Tested Price: $47,610

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter SOHC V6, FWD, ten-speed automatic

Output: 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm; 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,593 lb

Fuel Economy: 19/28/22(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Pros: Nice upgrades to the competent Odyssey package

Cons: Chrysler Pacifica is a better minivan for less money

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2017 Alfa Romeo 4C: Our View

Sports cars have gotten fat. The days of truly lightweight, minimalist, only-has-what-it-barely-needs sports cars came and went in the age of touchscreen multimedia systems, airbags for your kneecaps and hybrid-electric drivetrains. But Alfa Romeo thinks a few thousand folks out there are still interested in coughing up some cash for something that feels like a true classic sports car — something super lightweight, built to be entertaining and featuring only what it absolutely needs in terms of equipment and creature comforts.

That car is the 4C, Alfa Romeo’s two-seat, mid-engine coupe and roadster that it builds out of carbon fiber and aluminum at a plant in Modena, Italy. Powered by a tiny, turbocharged four-cylinder engine behind the occupants’ heads, its goal is to be a track toy that can also be used (if you need it to be) as a street vehicle. It’s a throwback to when sports cars were purpose-built things, not cushy commuter cars.

So with the understanding that the 4C is not going to be a luxury car (despite its lofty price), is its performance worth the trade-off in comfort? Or for that much money, could you get something just as entertaining that won’t abuse you in the process?

Exotic Car Looks Exotic

I took the 4C to a car show — an evening of enthusiasts parking their rides in downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., amid other supercars, classics, hot rods, street machines and muscle cars. It was the only Alfa Romeo at the show, and it stopped passersby dead in their tracks with its low, wide, mid-engine-supercar styling. It’s not a Ferrari (it’s too bug-eyed for that comparison), but it shares a lot of that brand’s proportions and scoops. It’s striking, it’s beautiful, and it being painted in racing red only added to its Italian, exotic-car mystique. The fact that it’s a tiny car — shorter than a Porsche 718 Cayman by more than a foot and just 3 inches longer than a Mazda Miata — also added to its uniqueness.

Exotic Car Feels Exotic

If you think it’s small on the outside, just wait until you try to get in. The door opening requires you to do the supercar sit-n’-spin maneuver, wherein you plant your butt on the wide carbon-fiber side sills, slide it into the seat, then spin your legs in. It’s not for the portly among us, nor for the tall.

If you can make it inside, it’s decently comfortable in there, with adequate legroom for most drivers, but the heavily bolstered and narrow seats won’t be to everyone’s liking, and the driver’s footwell is narrow.

Outward visibility is atrocious, especially to the rear. Those thick B-pillars, and the fact that the tail on this thing is high in order to accommodate the motor, blocks almost any view to the rear — and there’s no parking camera to help you out, just some optional, vague parking sensors. The way to back up a 4C in a busy parking lot is to slowly inch backward and listen for a horn or a shout. The forward view is acceptable, with a low hood, but there’s also a low roof that can make seeing stoplights a challenge.

Minimalism is the order of the day inside, with tons of exposed carbon fiber and hard, body-color-painted surfaces. There’s almost no sound insulation in the cabin — again, a way to keep weight down — but you do get basic amenities like air conditioning and power windows and locks.

Don’t expect anything else in terms of creature comforts. The Alpine audio system is laughably cheap; it looks like something a teenager would buy on clearance at Walmart to stick in a clapped-out Lumina. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto weren’t even drawing-board ideas when this stereo was designed. Want to plug in your personal electronics? There’s a plug dangling out the bottom of the passenger side of the dashboard that you can plug your own cord into, provided your passenger doesn’t kick it or get tangled in it.

There is a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, but the wheel obscures part of the digital gauge cluster regardless of how high you tilt it. The ergonomics need some work: Alfa has taken its inspiration from old classic sports cars a little too literally, making the 4C’s interior a primitive, fragile-feeling environment that doesn’t quite match the sophistication of the exterior. And while some of this has to do with maintaining an extremely low weight — the whole car weighs less than 2,500 pounds, which is almost 500 pounds less than a Porsche Cayman and 800 less than a Chevy Corvette — you pay for that lightness in discomfort, other frustrations and a sense that you didn’t get quite what you paid for.

Forza Italia!

One twist of the key, however, clues you in that despite the challenges of getting into and seeing out of the 4C, you’re in for a treat driving it. The tiny, 1.7-liter turbocharged engine roars to life with a snarling growl right behind your head, as it’s separated from you by just a glass panel. Surprisingly, none of the engine bay’s heat reaches the cabin, but plenty of its noise does. It makes you realize why Alfa didn’t put too much effort into the audio system — you can’t hear it anyway.

Gear selection happens either automatically, by the car, or manually, by you using paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. There is no gearshift lever, just four buttons on the console, labeled N, A/M, R and 1. Not the most intuitive setup. You start by selecting 1, then either A or M for automatic or manual. The transmission is a six-speed, dual-dry-clutch auto-shift manual transmission, meaning the underlying hardware is more like a conventional manual than a traditional automatic even though it shifts itself. The benefit is that the shifts are lightning-fast, so while you give up the row-your-own fun of a traditional sports car, you gain serious performance.

And what performance it is. Use the Alfa “DNA” drive mode selector to put the car in Dynamic instead of Normal mode, and you’ll have a baby Ferrari on your hands that responds instantly to throttle, brake and steering inputs. There is no power steering, so there’s nothing interfering between the road, tires, suspension and your hands. This gives the 4C incredibly communicative steering with wonderfully entertaining feedback, but it also means you need to devote 100 percent of your attention to driving at highway speeds. It’s skittish at higher speeds, where small inputs make big changes, and road imperfections throw you around in the lane thanks to the aggressively firm sport suspension. The ride stops just short of being harsh — but only just.

One twist of the key (there’s no push-button starter here) clues you in that, despite the challenges of getting into and seeing out of the 4C, you’re in for a treat driving it.

The manual steering also makes low-speed use a serious bear. Your arms will get a workout until you perfect the art of driving at a crawl when trying to turn the wheel, which does make things easier than standing still and trying to crank the wheel.  

Acceleration is fierce, accompanied by a wailing, turbocharged whoosh that you seldom hear outside of highly boosted Subaru rally cars. The exhaust opens up when put in Dynamic mode, making for a sound that matches the 4C’s looks — a snorting, rasping growl that turns every head on the street and draws attention in traffic the likes of which I’ve experienced only in much more expensive exotic cars.

I found myself keeping the car in Dynamic mode more often than not, as it also changes the throttle input for much more immediate response. Normal is fine, but it’s tuned for more relaxed driving. Thing is, in a car like this, you’re never really relaxed, so why not go for the gold at every opportunity?

Braking performance is equally strong thanks to Brembo performance brakes, although the floor-hinged brake pedal takes a little getting used to (less so if you’re already used to classic Volkswagen Beetles or Porsche 911s). They’re firm and strong, and they don’t fade under aggressive use. The whole experience is far more visceral than what you’d get in a Porsche Cayman or Chevy Corvette, with very little separating you from the car’s crazy speed and ridiculous abilities. There’s minimal electronic nannying, no sound insulation, no padding, no adjustable suspension, no moonroof, nothing but you and the absolute minimum needed to prevent you from injuring yourself too severely. It’s a throwback to earlier times for sure, but like an old flame or your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant, you’re going to keep coming back for more because it’s just too good not to.

Safety Features? It Has a Few

Like most limited-production vehicles, the Alfa Romeo 4C has not been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It does make some allowances for safety systems, like side and knee airbags and mandated traction control, antilock brakes and electronic stability control. Backup sensors are optional, but there’s no backup camera (and there really should be, given the abysmal rear visibility). Cruise control is optional, and as for advanced collision systems like collision avoidance or anything autonomous — well, autonomous driving is not what this car is about in any form. All that stuff is part of the reason today’s sports cars are so portly, and the 4C will have nothing to do with that, thank you very much.

Cargo? See: Safety

Like leaving no allowances for safety features, the same thing goes for cargo room. The only space the 4C has for your stuff is behind the engine bay: Pop the rear hatch and you’ll find a small space that can accommodate a standard-size roll-aboard suitcase. But it’s not insulated from the heat of the motor just inches away, so this is not the car to take to buy a gallon of ice cream unless you want to keep it in the cockpit with you. There’s also very little interior storage room, with just one cupholder and no good place to stash a cellphone. But that’s okay — you shouldn’t be on your phone or drinking anything while driving the 4C, anyway, as that would require having one hand off the wheel, which is not what you want to do in a car this razor’s-edge.

Pricey for a Four-Cylinder, Cheap for a Ferrari

The starting price for a 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe is $57,495 including destination. That price gets you a standard, base coupe with minimal equipment — just power windows and locks, aluminum pedals, air conditioning, Brembo brakes, remote keyless entry and LED running lights. My test car featured items like $1,500 red paint, $1,500 leather seats and $2,000 worth of other leather interior bits, plus cruise control, rear parking sensors and an Alpine sound system with subwoofer.

There’s also an available track package with a carbon-fiber spoiler, leather steering wheel and even more aggressive suspension tuning. The 18-inch wheels add $1,800, and bi-xenon lights are $1,000. All told, my test car rang in at $71,045 — a lot of money for a four-cylinder sports car but a veritable bargain for what turns out to be a three-quarters-scale Ferrari 488.

Competitors make some compelling arguments. The closest in price and layout is the Porsche 718 Cayman coupe, which starts within a few hundred dollars of the Alfa and features a far more comfortable interior. Yet while the Cayman is an outstanding sports car in its own right, it doesn’t have that direct-connection feeling the Alfa does — a totally plugged-in, non-insulated experience you just can’t find anywhere else outside of a used Lotus Elise.

The Chevrolet Corvette is the same way. While it forgoes the mid-engine layout for a front-engine setup (for now, wink wink), it provides its own level of fun and excitement with a far more American V-8 bluster. It, too, has a lot more comfort and modernity built in, but while it’s far more capable as a sports car now than in previous generations, it’s still more of a grand tourer than the track-ready Alfa. Compare the Alfa and a few of its competitors here.

With limited production runs every year, the Alfa Romeo has more exclusivity and rarity than any other sports car in this price bracket. Its limited amenities and decidedly track-oriented abilities limit its appeal, however — if you see someone driving one, you’ll know they sought out this specific vehicle; they didn’t land on it because of a deal or out of convenience. And for shoppers looking for the kind of thrills it provides, the Alfa Romeo 4C will not disappoint.

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How to understand your car’s audio

Rock your car’s audio system

There may be more to your car’s audio system than you’ve unlocked.

by Brian Cooley

A lot of you are car audio geeks, but for those who are mystified by increasingly complex car audio systems, here’s a quick take on how to get the most out of yours.

Think of your car audio system as two parts: Sources and sound.

First, a list of sources and some of their pros and cons: 

Satellite radio
Pros: National coverage, lots of stations, few commercial interruptions.
Cons: Subscription starts at $11, highly compressed audio can sound brittle and harsh. 

AM Radio
Pros: Free. The old standby for news, sports, talk and information, and many stations have vast reach. 
Cons: Do you have an AM radio? Not a lot of great AM stations, fidelity is poor, lots of commercials on most stations.

FM Radio
Pros: Free, easy access to an FM radio, wide station choice, sound quality is quite good.
Cons:  Limited content compared to streaming, no interactivity to speak of, lots of commercials on most stations. 

Pros: Pristine audio quality, widely available media, works in all conditions and locations, durable.
Cons: Music takes up a lot of physical space, limited selection on disc, carmakers are starting to phase out disc players.

Hard drive
Pros: Much more capacity than CDs, highly personalized collection, fully built in.
Cons: Another MP3 collection to manage, few cars ever had a music hard drive, fidelity depends on MP3s you load. 

Pros: Lots of choice, follows you from the same services you use outside the car.
Cons: Requires a data connection, with all the availability and data limit concerns that may entail.  

Pros: A easier-to-manage version of the in-car hard drive, wide availability and high capacity.
Cons: Another MP3 collection to manage, often kludgy to have something sticking out of a USB port in a car.

Pros: Wireless, plays whatever is coming from your phone, including phone calls, decent meta tags on car display.
Cons: Tends to make the audio from your phone sound worse, ties up your phone, doesn’t charge phone.

Pros: Cables just plain work, plays whatever is coming from your phone.
Cons: Newest iPhones don’t support this without an adapter, cables are messy, doesn’t charge phone.

Once you select one of the above, you have a lot of ways to control how it sounds:

Volume is obvious, but check if you car has a speed compensated volume setting so you aren’t having to fiddle with volume all the time as your car’s speed and background noise change.

Balance moves the perceived center of the sound left or right. 

Fader moves the perceived center of the sound front or back.

Bass controls the amount of low or bass frequencies in your music. Normally a Bass control will have a center position, which is “flat” (does not modify the sound) as well as equal amounts of reduction or emphasis on either side of that flat position. 

Treble is the same as Bass, except it affects the high frequencies in your music. 

EQ or Equalization is just a more elaborate set of bass and treble controls that let you adjust many distinct slices of tone, not just the two rather crude slices of it that are addressed by bass and treble. 

DSP or Surround is part of the family called DSP or Digital Signal Processing. These are presets that will digitally add echo, reverb, compression and other techniques you don’t need to know about to achieve what the audio manufacturer thinks sounds like a concert hall, stadium or vintage guitar amp. These presets often have a proprietary name like Logic7 or Fender audio. Use them if you like them, but know they have little relationship to reality and are just other ways to filter the sound and typically make it sound “wider”.

Pro tip: When using Bluetooth streaming, adjust your phone’s volume to 75% and then adjust your car’s audio volume. This will help reduce hiss and background noise. But don’t take it too far and set your phone at full volume: That often sends too loud a signal to the car stereo and results in nasty distortion. Also, check your car’s audio menus for one that lets you adjust Bluetooth or AUX level or sensitivity. These are additional ways to achieve a balance of clean sound and plenty of volume, but I would still leave the phone set at 75%. 

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Is the Tesla Model 3 really ‘Car 2.0′? Maybe not: here’s why

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2017 Tesla Model 3 and 2011 Nissan Leaf, Half Moon Bay, California, Aug 2017  [photo: Scott Forrest]

2017 Tesla Model 3 and 2011 Nissan Leaf, Half Moon Bay, California, Aug 2017 [photo: Scott Forrest]

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Like the company’s three previous electric cars, the Tesla Model 3 launched into production with a splashy media event during which owners received the keys to their new cars and the company’s fans applauded.

Like the Model S and Model X, production is starting at very low rates, with the rate of increase—to 5,000 cars a week by December 31, CEO Elon Musk says—closely watched by analysts, owners, and advocates.

The Model 3 is the culmination of Tesla’s August 2006 “Secret Master Plan,” which has played out more or less as Musk envisioned it.

DON’T MISS: Which electric car will history view as most important? Poll results

Accordingly, some commentators and owners have taken to suggesting that the Tesla Model 3 is essentially “Car 2.0,” the most important car Tesla has made and perhaps the most important car to date of the 21st century.

We think that notion is a mite overblown.

Instead, we’d suggest that the Tesla Model S of 2012 remains the company’s most important vehicle, for the earth-shattering impact it had on the entire automotive industry.

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

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It was the first electric car from a new, hip, tech-forward Silicon Valley auto startup that was simultaneously sleek, sexy, and alluring and also entirely emission-free … and really fast to boot.

Despite shaky quality in its early years, the Model S deeply startled and frightened the German luxury brands, all of which now have multiple vehicles planned to compete with the Model S and its Model X crossover utility vehicle sibling.

With well over 100,000 Model Ses now delivered globally, that car and its equally important Supercharger network of DC fast-charging stations entirely eradicated the nerdy “golf cart” image of electric cars in a way the Nissan Leaf simply never could.

CHECK OUT: 2017 Tesla Model 3 prices, features, details, specifications from Handover Party

The idea that the Tesla Model 3 may be slightly less than the second coming of [fill in deity or deities of your choice] is eloquently presented by electric-car owner and ChargeWay creator Matt Teske.

In a post on his LinkedIn account, he comments on a rhapsodic opinion piece in The Guardian entitled, “The car is dead, long live the car, thanks to Tesla.”

He sums it up quite simply:

Chargeway electric-car charging symbols for Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S

Chargeway electric-car charging symbols for Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S

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The iPhone comparison [in the article] is wrong. The DAY consumers bought an iPhone their experience with communication changed forever.

Model 3 is not that kind of change for cars, but it’s a step. It offers the same utility as other cars: Point A to B, with different energy propulsion.

Not until we can buy Level 5 autonomy will the “iPhone car” moment occur.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Consider the comparisons: the Tesla Model S was the first long-range electric car in mass production. Period.

The Chevy Bolt EV, on the other hand, beat the Model 3 by six months as the first 200-mile-plus electric car under $40,000, and base Model 3s at the quoted $35,000 price aren’t even in production yet.

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

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There’s no question that the Tesla Supercharger network is an enormous, unmatched asset and a brilliantly forward-looking creation that significantly helped Tesla get to where it is today.

But the Model 3′s charging rates aren’t necessarily as fast as those of the Model S and Model X, and many of its owners will have to pay for DC fast charging above a certain amount of free usage each year.

The Tesla Model 3 continues to have the potential for significant achievement if Tesla can in fact build and deliver in the ambitious volumes it plans.

With 455,000 deposits received, according to a recent update from the company, it should be able to sell the first year’s production handily.

But we still think the Model S will remain the more important and innovative vehicle in the eyes of history.

That’s our 2 cents; your mileage may vary.


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PowerSteering: 2017 Mazda 6 Review

Before we discuss the results of our evaluation of the 2017 Mazda 6, it’s helpful to understand who buys this midsize car and what they like most and least about it.

Mazda 6 buyers are more likely to be men (69% vs. 61% for the midsize car segment), younger in terms of median age (48 years old vs. 54 years old), and wealthier in terms of median household income ($97,361 vs. $86,876). The Mazda 6 is particularly popular among Gen X (those born 1965 to 1976) and Gen Y (1977-1994) buyers, with 55% of them falling into these demographic groups compared with 42% for the segment.

Twice as many of the people who choose the Mazda 6 consider themselves performance buyers compared with the Midsize Car segment. More Mazda 6 buyers are likely to agree that their friends and family think of them as someone who knows a great deal about autos (68% vs. 61%), and they are more likely to strongly agree that they like a vehicle that offers responsive handling and powerful acceleration (54% vs. 43%).

Styling is important to Mazda 6 buyers, too. J.D. Power finds that 85% of Mazda 6 buyers agree that they like a vehicle that stands out from the crowd, compared with 71% of midsize car buyers.

Fuel economy is less important to Mazda 6 buyers, with 70% agreeing that it is their first consideration in choosing a vehicle (vs. 75%). They are less likely to pay more for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly (51% vs. 55%), and less likely to pay extra for the latest safety features (71% vs. 76%). Just 54% of Mazda 6 buyers strongly agree that reliability is their first consideration in choosing a vehicle (vs. 66%).

Buyer say their favorite things about the Mazda 6 are (in descending order) the exterior styling, interior design, seats, engine/transmission, and the driving dynamics. Buyers indicate their least favorite things about the Mazda 6 are (in descending order) the visibility and safety, storage and space, fuel economy, climate control system, and the infotainment system.

In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM the Mazda 6 fell from its top ranking in 2015 to 7th position among 12 rank-eligible models.

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2018 Honda Ridgeline

Overall Rating:

Transcending pickup-truck tropes, the Ridgeline tosses tradition to the wind with unconventional comfort and ingenious features. Looking for a quintessential crossover? It has a comfortable cabin and refined road manners. Yet its towing capability and its innovative cargo box, which has an in-bed trunk as well as an available audio system, exploit and enhance truck tradition. A speedy 280-hp V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission comprise the sole powertrain; front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Honda’s pickup not only compares with class competitors, it excels with exclusively available features such as automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Although it’s only built as a crew cab with a 5.3-foot bed, the Ridgeline caters to and satisfies a wider society than its rivals—a key reason it was named one of our 2017 10Best Trucks and SUVs.

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2017 Land Rover Discovery Td6 Diesel


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED: $80,150 (base price: $62,095)

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel V-6, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 183 cu in, 2993 cc
Power: 254 hp @ 3750 rpm
Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

Wheelbase: 115.1 in
Length: 195.7 in
Width: 81.6 in Height: 73.5 in
Passenger volume: 139 cu ft
Cargo volume: 9 cu ft
Curb weight: 5586 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 8.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 23.6 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 47.0 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 9.1 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 4.4 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 5.8 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.1 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 187 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.71 g

EPA combined/city/highway: 23/21/26 mpg
C/D observed: 22 mpg
C/D observed 75-mph highway driving: 28 mpg
C/D observed highway range: 630 mi


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2017 Jaguar F-Pace performs like a sports car, but dashboard …

I was on my last day with the 2017 F-Pace S, Jaguar’s first ever SUV, reveling in British luxury when the navigation system turned itself on. The new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system had already frozen up on me once, now it had decided to take me to Target, a destination I had input the day before.

At first I wasn’t sure what the final destination the F-Pace had in mind, as it was only telling me to get on the highway. Once I zoomed out on the navigation screen and realized what had happened, I chalked it up to yet another electrical quirk from the British automaker and continued on to Roadshow HQ… without the help of the navigation.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

The F-Pace S cuts a very sexy figure. 

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The five-seat Jaguar F-Pace was introduced in 2016 as a 2017 model year, jumping on the crossover craze that has hit America in the face like a punch from Connor McGregor. It’s available in base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, S or Portfolio. All come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The F-Pace sports a 3.0-liter engine or 2.0-liter diesel engine under the hood, although Jaguar will put more engine options on tap for 2018.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Don’t be fooled by the good looks of InControl Touch Pro. It’s really technology sent from the underworld to frustrate drivers to no end. 

Emme Hall/Roadshow

While the InControl Touch system is standard, my tester had Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro, which bundles navigation, audio and phone controls on a 10.2-inch touchscreen. The system itself isn’t the most intuitive and I experienced a few glitches. Buttons froze up and became unselectable. And even though I left the system on Sirius satellite radio when turning off the car, it would often (but not always) turn itself back to terrestrial radio upon start up. The volume control on the steering wheel is slow to react, causing me to stab it with my finger in frustration when a good song came on. 

I am far from the only person to have a bad experience with Jaguar’s infotainment technology. My colleague Antuan Goodwin recently had his own quibbles with the InControl Touch Pro system, with the screen unexpectedly going black and general lagginess across the system.

Jaguar supplements the InControl Touch Pro display with a large 12.3-inch screen in place of a traditional gauge cluster. It’s not quite as slick as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, but you have your choice of four layouts plus navigation. Having the nav front and center means my eyes on the road more, not on the center stack. It’s a super-slick feature that is especially useful in heavy traffic, when chances for a rear-end collision are higher.  Unfortunately selecting the full map display takes a few clicks and I had to do it every time I started the car. I wish it would default to the last screen used.

And speaking of navigation, you can’t literally speak to navigation. The nav system does not support voice recognition, although you can tell it to call your mom or change the radio station.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported. Instead Jaguar relies on its own InControl app from your phone to throw things like Stitcher, Spotify, and Sygic or Magellan navigation to the head unit. Getting the system to recognize the app was hit-or-miss, and you have to upgrade the premium paid version of some apps, like the parking spot finder app Parkopedia.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

The supercharged V6 puts out 380 horsepower. Yeah, that sounds pretty good. 

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There is a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to eight devices. I was able to connect my computer easily to get some work done while on the road. 

When it comes to driver’s aids, the F-Pace S comes standard with a rear-view camera, Blind Spot Monitor and Lane Keep Assist. If you want the big guns, you’ll have to pay the big money. The Driver Assistance Package is a $3,265 extra bit of tech that unfortunately my tester did not have. Bummer, too as it includes Adaptive Cruise Control that works at low speeds, and Traffic Sign Recognition, which reads speed limit and no passing signs and displays the information to the driver. The package also has Adaptive Speed Limiter, which uses speed limit information to keep the F-Pace at an appropriate speed. As a lead foot who often needs help keeping my speed in check, this feature would be awesome.

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2017 Honda Civic Si review – Roadshow – CNET

Honda’s Civic Si returns with turbo power

Forced induction brings a whole new feel to this sport compact, but is it better?

by Chris Paukert

Since 1986, the Civic Si has waved Honda’s flag brightly among affordable sport compact cars. Before Honda ever ventured upmarket with the Acura NSX or S2000 roadster, the Civic Si was its chief overture to gearheads, attracting disciples on the strength of its manic, high-revving engines, taut handling and telepathic manual gearboxes. A generation of enthusiasts — including me — were born and raised on a steady diet of Si models.

Honda rested on its small-car laurels for a while, though. And over the last decade, the entire Civic range grew frayed around its edges as new rivals stepped up with more power, improved technology and sharper handling. Thankfully, Honda finally roared back when it introduced a new 10th-generation Civic line for the 2016 model year. 

As a whole-cloth redo, today’s Civic is once again well executed from grille to taillights, with smart packaging, able handling, enviable efficiency and modern (if fussy) styling. And this year, the sportier Civic Si is back to battle models like the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, Ford Focus ST, Mini Cooper S and Volkswagen’s evergreen GTI.

2017 Honda Civic SiEnlarge Image

Honda’s Civic Si is back on the block after a one-year hiatus.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

In a marked departure from past iterations, this 2017 Si is the first to employ a turbocharger. Powered by a higher-output version of the 1.5-liter four-cylinder found in many ordinary Civics, the 2017 Si musters the same 205 horsepower as its predecessor, but it does so in a completely different way.

Turbocharging helps deliver more power lower on the tachometer, along with a bigger slug of torque — 192 pound-feet — so you don’t have to rev the bejeezus out of it to achieve strong acceleration. That’s excellent news for around-town drivability, but it comes with a price: Whereas previous Civic Si models sounded and felt special because they revved sky-high like a motorcycle, this car’s engine checks out at humdrum 6,500 rpm. It’s a perfectly well-behaved engine, it just isn’t as charismatic as its predecessors.

On the plus side, EPA fuel economy estimates are solid, at 28 miles per gallon city and 38 mpg highway — and they’re achievable results in the real world.


Overall, though, the Si’s powertrain fails to feel significantly peppier than a regular 1.5-liter Civic Sport — 0-60 mph happens in around 6.5 seconds, at which point it’s staring at most of its competitors’ taillights. And whereas Honda was once legendary for its manual gearboxes, the short-throw shifter in the Si is merely good, nothing more. The clutch’s engagement also isn’t as linear as one might hope.

Available as both a front-wheel-drive two-door coupe and a four-door sedan, the Si is recognizable thanks to its more aggressive front fascia shared with the Civic Sport hatch, 18-inch wheels and prominent center-exit exhaust. Sedans are treated to a spoiler, while coupes like my Rallye Red test car brandish a look-at-me rear wing.

Still, the Si appears only slightly more pugnacious than garden-variety models — today’s 10th-generation Civic already looks so brash that perhaps Honda didn’t feel the need to push the envelope with this model’s aesthetics. In fact, it’s arguably less assertive visually than the five-door Civic Sport hatchback (a bodystyle unavailable in Si-strength) with which it shares its front fascia.

For those watching their weight, the Si has gone on a diet versus its forbearer, with coupes tipping the scales at 2,889 pounds and sedans registering 2,906 pounds (before options). That’s commendably light for a new car in this day and age, and that lack of mass helps pay handling and efficiency dividends.

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