Archive for August 2017

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Premier HB

Overview

Cruze is an important model for Chevrolet. The bow-tie brand sold four million Cruze sedans since 2011 making it the best-selling Chevy model worldwide. And Chevrolet expanded the lineup, by introducing a hatchback model to a market of approximately 60K units in Canada.

I think that Canada has become more aware of the merits of compact hatchback recently. In my subjective opinion those cars and an introduction to a “SUVish” market. Cheaper than a comparable SUV model, hatchbacks offer much of the versatility and practicality of this class. And there are very strong competitors too: Models such as VW Golf, Mazda3 Sport, Ford Focus Hatch, and Honda Civic HB are globally successful.

The hatch shares the same global platform under the Cruze sedan, has the same wheelbase and almost the same length. While the sedan production is based in the U.S., the new hatch is built in Mexico. Don’t tell this to the President of the United States.

Interior cabin space is exactly the same and apart from the cooler and sportier design, the main difference originates from the rear cargo space. It is simply more versatile and more practical than the sedan. (It is bigger too: 523L compared to 419 in sedan)

Driving Impressions

Chevrolet offers only one engine: A turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder producing 153 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. Our test vehicle with the range-topping Premier package had a six-speed automatic transmission as standard. With this powertrain the Chevy drives well. Well, obviously this is not a GTI from Wolfsburg. But the ride is settled, communicating well with the road surface and shifts smoothly. I remember my earlier Cruze test with a previous generation model five years ago. By then, I enjoyed the driving with this compact Chevy and appreciate GM’s efforts to create a car that can compete with the Golfs, Corollas and Civics of this world. May the ex-cousin Opel have a share in this automobile refinement?
Fuel Consumption
The official fuel consumption numbers for the gasoline-powered Cruze hatchback are slightly higher than the four-door, at 8.3/6.4/7.4 (city/highway/combined) for the LT manual, 8.1/6.2/7.3 for the LT automatic, and 8.4L/6.4/7.5 for the Premier automatic.
In our one-week, mixed-mode test drive, we came up with an average of 9.2 liters. Not a surprising deviation form the highly theoretical measurements of Natural Resources Canada.
Conclusion
The expansion of the already successful Cruze Family shows the GM takes it very serious to build high-quality, yet affordable compact cars that can compete with the Golfs, Corollas and Civics of the global village.

Type of vehicle: Compact hatchback
Engine: 1.4L DOHC, I4 Turbo W/CWT
Transmission: 6-speed, automatic
Price (base/as tested): $24,645 / $31,085
Destination charge: CAD 1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km): 8.4 city; 6.4 highway

Optional features

Tru North Edition: $4,370 (adaptive cruise control, front collision alert, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam control, rear park assist, side blind zone alert, pwer sunroof, MyLink radio with navigation, Bose sepaker system, automatic climate control, heated rear seats, wireless charging, auto dimming inside mirror, clour driver information centre, driver express up&down power window)

True North Edition credit: -775

RS package: $995 

Power Moonroof: $1,695

Engine block heater: $150

Total Price as Tested: $31,085

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Buick Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

www.buick.ca

Total Price as Tested: $36,530

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by GMC Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

www.chevrolet.ca

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are allowed.

2017 Jaguar XE R Sport 3.5t

Overview

Under the ownership of Tata, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Group successfully continues its model offensive. With the financial strength and confidence thanks to Indian conglomerate, JLR is on its way to become a luxury manufacturer with economics of scale comparable to BMW.

Since to unfortunate S Type under the Ford management, Jaguar badly felt the lack of an entry level sports sedan that can compete with BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4. The new XE Family, introduced last year, expands its offerings to match the depth of the model range a Bimmer can offer.

Earlier this year, we tested the Diesel version of XE (and XF too, in a double-test).

To read this test, please click the link below:

Jaguar XE to XF and Diesel

This Time, we drove the r-Sport version with the 3.0L,

Driving Impressions

Our second test drive with the XE was the opportunity to experience the V6 supercharger with 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque.

A couple of months later and compared to Diesel, this is the real Jag to me.  It offers the performance I expect from this car, the magic power reserve-on-demand a supercharger can offer is a feature that makes a car a Jaguar.

We enjoyed our road test also in a closed parking lot and were satisfied with the XE’s flowing, smooth handling and fast driving fast through some twisting roads. The well-balanced chassis and quick steering are what you can expect a luxury sports sedan and we are not disappointed. The XE is easy to to drive fast, and a comfortable enough for long drives, although we did not have this opportunity.

Having said that, only the front seats are comfortable, to provide long-distance comfort and in this regard, the rear seats can accommodate two people only for long drives.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The XE will probably be the backbone of Jaguar’s model range over the coming years with new engines and and even body styles like Estate or Sport Brake even if Ian Callum, the chief designer talks otherwise.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Base price:$57,500

Total Options: Comfort & Convenience Package ($1,900), Driver Assist Package (3,100), Metallic Paint ($600), Navigation SD Card ($800), 20 Blade, 5 Spoke Grey Wheels ($500), Destination & Delivery: ($1,375)

MSRP For The Test Vehicle: $71,050 (including other options not included above)

  • Engine:3.0-litre V-6, supercharged
  • Drive:all-wheel drive
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 8.9 combined, using premium fuel.
  • Alternatives: BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class, Audi A4

Article: Varol McKars, Dokan Gunay

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars, Dokan Gunay

Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

http://www.jaguar.ca

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are allowed.

2017 Buick Envision Premium II AWD

Overview

We are living in the era of SUV’s and crossovers. And how would a legendary automobile manufacturer like Buick escape this reality? And especially in the red-hot compact SUV  segment? With the “new” Buick Envision, the compact-sized, model fitting between the subcompact Encore and the full-sized Enclave, Buick can now claim that it offers a complete model range of SUV’s and crossovers. With this model produced in China, the country Buick owns its survival to, it will compete in the small luxury segment against the more established players such as Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC and even Cadillac XT5 from the same house

Engine

Our test vehicle had a 252-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, offered exclusively in Canada with all-wheel drive and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The twin-scroll unit delivers 260 pound-feet of torque, of which 90 per cent is available starting at 1,800 rpm, with the full load coming on-board from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm.

Driving Impressions

The boosted four is now only quiet, but you also enjoy the wide torque band as you you drive a bigger engine with at least six cylinders. Even if we may live in the last times (as some experts argue) of the internal combustion engine, the turbo technology has its golden times, in my subjective opinion. The engine is designed with balance shafts and sound-attenuating components, and is isolated on a hydraulically damped substructure that helps quell noise and vibration. Four powertrain mounts are used, says Buick, rather than the conventional three. All these features offer a quiet and refined driving as you would expect from a premium brand.
Handling light years away from the street  cruisers of earlier decades. It is still a buick of modern times. Roadholding, steering and braking are softer and more indirect than a BMW X3, but you always feel secure in sharp corners or during acceleration in the curves. The interior is well-finished. The material quality is less than premium in more “remote” corners of the dashboard. The rear seat is very roomy for this class and here we have to give some credit to the tasted of buyers in China, Buick’s biggest market. In this country, a roomy rear seat for the “boss” is so important that longer versions of even compact luxury cars like BMW 3 Series may be offered. The list of active safety equipment includes forward-collision warning and lane-departure mitigation systems, as well as automatic braking.
Conclusion:
For Buick, it is the right thing to do to fill this important gap in its model range. It remains to be seen how well the Envision will perform in this hyper-competitive market segment. The chances look good, even if we should not expect a sales leader in its category.

Type of vehicle: Compact SUV
Engine: 2.0L DOHC DI I4 Turbo/W/VVT
Transmission: 6-speed, automatic
Price (base/as tested): $49,565 / $55,530
Destination charge: CAD 1,700
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km): 11.8 city; 9.1 highway

Optional features

Driver confidence package: $1,975 (adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking, surround vision)

Power Moonroof: $1,695

Midnight Amethyst Metallic: $495

Total Price as Tested: $55,530

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Buick Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

www.buick.ca

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are allowed.