2017 Chevrolet Bolt Premier

Overview
The Chevy Bolt is the first EV, offered by a big auto manufacturer that is affordable in price and reasonable in range. These two conditions are very crucial to pave the way of EV’s to be sold in large numbers. And GM apparently has achieved this.
The timing of the Bolt’s launch at the end of 2016 was also crucial. Prior to launch of Tesla Model 3 GM demonstrated the strength of a big manufacturer against Tesla, the poster child of EV’s. Tesla has a long way to go to become a large-scale producer of cars and Model 3 will be a real and tough test for this.
The Bolt is a functional, user friendly car, before it moves at all. It may be defined even as a sub-compact SUV with a very usable space for passenger and cargo. Unlike some other vehicles that are electrified afterwards, the Bolt is designed from the beginning as an EV. The battery pack is under the floor, thus making an excellent weight distribution and low centre of gravity. And it offers a deep luggage that is not filled with battery.
Driving Impressions
Bolt’s electric engine delivers 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, it accelerates to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. With instantly available torque, as you would expect fro man EV, it offers a significant amount of driving pleasure. Add to this a range of 320 kilometers, this car is quite practical for daily use. Moreover, it allows for energy regeneration while braking and it makes more sense especially when you drive in the city. I read in some forums that courageous drivers without range anxiety tested the limits of the car and claim the the actual range may reach 400 kilometers.
With a standard 120-volt outlet, at your home you need a 12-hour charge to get a range of 76 kilometers. It means that range will be a constraint if you rely only on your home outlet while driving the car to its limits every day.
If you install a 240-volt charger at your home, your can fully charge the battery in less than 10 hours and can enjoy the full range practically everyday. And this is a very reasonable investment when you drive an EV.
And in a super-fast charging station, it is possible to fully charge the battery in about one hour.
Conclusion:
The sales performance of the Bolt will be very indicative about the short-term success of EV’s. In Ontario you can receive up to 13K as provincial and federal incentive and this makes the Bolt highly affordable.
The final decision to buy and EV depends on individual needs for every driver and family how and when to amortize the price difference with a gasoline car. (See the specs below).
No matter what calculations you have, once you drive the Bolt, the driving pleasure remains the same.

Type of vehicle: Compact-size hatchback
Engine: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery propulsion (60 kWh), Electric drive unit
Transmission: 1-speed, automatic
Price (base/as tested): $47,795 / $51,530 (before incentives)
Destination charge: CAD 1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (Le/100 km): city; 1.8 liter equivalent, highway, 2.1 liter equivalent (17.6 kWh/100 km)

Optional features

Driver confidence package: $575 (low-speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, following sitance indicator, front pedestrian braking, intellibeam auto high beam control)

Infotainment package: $565 (Bose Premium six-speaker system, wireless charging device, USB-charging only ports for rear passengers)

Arttic Blue Metallic: $495 

Total Price as Tested: $51,130

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Basak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Chevrolet 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.

BMW 540i xDrive: The Benchmark of Luxury

About the 5 Series

Seven years back, The BMW 535i was the first car I tested in Canada. This was a great driving experience. I can still remember our slaloms at Ian Law Driving School Training ground in Brampton. The steering, the suspension, the roadholding. Everything and each component pronounced sportiness and dynamic driving.

After seven years, I was sitting behind the steering wheel of “not exactly the same car”. Because, the 535i does not exist any more and was replaced by 540i.

Without doubt, the 5 Series is one of the most successful luxury sedans globally. In its 7th generation, the Bavarian company sold more than 7.6 million 5 Series Sedans worldwide since 1972.

The 2017 model is a pioneer in automotive technology with its performance, active and passive safety features and driver assistance systems. Many features are offered as optional extras thus creating a long and “salty” list. (See below in “Specification”)

During our one-week test drive, at some moments, I asked myself whether we need so much technology and if the human factor will be eliminated at the end (which you should think seriously about)

Engine

The 3.0.-liter inline 6-cylinder with twin-scroll turbocharging generates 332 lb-ft of torque and  335 horsepower. This is enough to propel the Bimmer from zero to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. You never feel underpowered and will not even miss and 8-cylinder.

Driving Impressions

Whichever mode you choose, (Comfort, Sport or Eco-Sport), your communication with the road is nothing less than perfect.

As usual, our test car was equipped with all safety and comfort features worth more than 20 grand. Well, just the total of options is worth a not-so-humble new car price in itself.

All these elements create a perfect driving experience you do not want to leave behind after a one-week test drive.

And this BMW does not disappoint us with its sharp and responsive steering, ultra-quiet cabin, superbly comfortable seats with massage function and so much more.

The extended legroom in the rear is palpable compared to previous generations and even can give some disturbance to its bigger brother, 7-Series.

Conclusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a luxury car in the “upper-midsize or “gehobene Mittelklasse” (as the Germans say) class, you already have a shortlist mostly dominated by Germans. And if you expect a sports sedan at the same time, BMW 5 Series is a wise choice. And you know, you are an achiever who either can afford a price just south of 6-digit. No matter if you pay for it or your employer thinks you deserve it.

Specifications:

Model: 2017 BMW X5 40e

Paint Type: Bluestone Metallic
Base /as tested MSRP: $69,000 /$90,400

Optional Equipment:

Premium Package Enhanced ($6,500) includes:

  • Automatic Trunk
  • Universal Remote Control
  • Comfort Access
  • Soft Close Doors
  • Side and Rear Sunshades
  • Lumbar Support
  • Storage Compartment Package
  • Heated Front & Rear Seats
  • Ceramic Controls
  • Adaptive Full LED Headlights
  • High-Beam Asisistant
  • Auto 4-Zone Climate Control
  • Lights Package
  • Active Blind Spot Detection
  • Active Protection
  • Driving Assistant
  • Surround View
  • Park Asisstant Plus with 360 Surround View
  • Head-Up Display
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner
  • Harman/Kardon Sound System
  • ConnectedDrive Services Package

Driving Assistance Package ($1,900)

  • Driving Assistance Plus
  • Forward Collision Warning w/Full Braking Function
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Cross-Traffic Alert, Front and Rear
  • Rear Collision Prevention
  • Speed Limit Information
  • Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Steering and Lane Control with Traffic Jam Asisst
  • Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance
  • Evasion Assist

Interior Comfort Package ($2,500)

  • Ventilated Seats
  • Comfort Seats, Front
  • BMW Individual Reading Lights
  • Ambient Air Package
  • Massage Function for Driver and Passenger

Smartphone Connectivity Package ($750)

  • Apple CarPlay Preparation
  • Wireless Charging w/Extended Bluetooth and USB
  • WiFi Hotspot

LED Lighting Package ($2,500)

  • Active LED Headlights
  • LED Fog Headlights
  • High-Beam Assistant

Remote Parking Package

  • BMW Display Key
  • Remote Control Parking

Stand Alone Options

  • M Sport Brakes ($750)
  • Adaptive Drive with Dynamic Damper Control ($3,500)
  • Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection ($2,500)
  • Nappa Leather ($1,500)

Wheelbase (mm): 2810
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4671 / 1881 / 1624

Curb weight (kg): 1873
Engine: 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six
Horsepower: 241 hp @ 5000-6500 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1450-4800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic with paddle shifters
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD (xDrive)
Suspension-Front: MacPherson struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension-Rear: Multi-link, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Brakes-Front: Ventilated discs
Brakes-Rear: Ventilated discs

Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 11.8 / 8.4 / 10.3
Tires: Goodyear Eagle LS – 245/45R19

Article: Varol McKars

Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Burak McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada

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

http://www.bmw.ca

2017 Ford Focus EV: Again After A Model Year

A Follow-up From Last Year

Last year, we tested Ford Focus EV as 2016 model.

So, this year’s test drive, is like a follow-up.

The Focus EV is essentially the same car from 2016 to 2017. With a noticeable difference: For the current model year, Ford improved the range of its only all-EV model from 120 to 200 kilometers.

As the race to build EV’s heat up, and affordable EV’s with a range of nearly the double range, like the Chevy Bold reach the market, Focus EV is lagging behind in this race despite this significant improvement.

 

Early this year at CES, Ford has announced plans to build a range of new electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, revealing plans for seven of its total 13 planned electric cars set for arrival in the next five years. These include a brand-new, fully electric small SUV, and a new fully autonomous car that will be the basis of its new electric ride-hailing fleet, with a target debut date of 2021.

These encouraging plans set aside for now, Fors has to rely on the Focus EV, a derivative of an existing model which wasn’t developed as a dedicated EV.

Driving Impressions

From a different perspective, this is the EV version of a reliable model range which is more affordable and now with a more realistic range. We drove the car several times between Burlington, Mississauga and Toronto with a single charge including return trip. These trips usually avoided rush hours and congestion, but were still encouraging for more daily use of an EV. Based on our real-life experience, this is a considerable improvement. I would go so far to say, it is more important then increasing the range from 500 to 600.

Conlusion:

In this model year and with increased range, the Focus EV is a more serious alternative for people who are looking for an affordable EV. And think this model always as a second car. Focus EV has a natural disadvantage against newer models like Chevrolet Bolt, a car designed as an EV from the beginning.

Let’s wait and see Ford’s EV plan to bear fruits in the next four to five years.

The Specifications

Type of vehicle: 5-Door Compact-size Harchback
Engine: 107 kW Electric Motor,
Transmission: 1-speed, automatic transmission
Price (base/as tested): CAD 31,999 / 33.748
Transportation & Handling: CAD 1,650

Optional features:

P225/50R17 LRR Tires

Total Price as Tested: 33,748

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada (via BHG Media)

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

http://www.ford.ca

Mini Cooper S Countryman

Overview

In an SUV-hungry market, this Mini looks as the right product at the right time.

The the new generation Countryman is the most spacious Mini offered and marks an important step in expanding the Mini model family.

With the All4, all-wheel driving system, that automatically delivers power to the wheels, the Countyman is a more adaptive vehicle to drive in winter on icy Canadian roads.So, a product, with good chances of success in the premium compact segment.

The design is beautiful. and when I look at the vehicle and its proportions, (which I enjoyed so much) it looks attractive and dynamic.

Not surprisingly, The Countryman is the best-selling Mini in Canada. The all-wheel-drive, four-door Countryman is offered in Cooper S form as well as a high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) model. Both are powered by 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid version will follow, which is a first for Mini.

Driving Impressions

We tested the Cooper S version with 181 horsepower with the optional six-speed manumatic. The Countryman is the first model in the Mini range with four doors and a wide-opening rear lid. With the standard All4 all-wheel-drive system, the engine’s power is distributed seamlessly between the front and rear axles by an electromagnetic centre differential. The All4 system’s control electronics are integrated directly into the management unit of the Dynamic Stability Control system.

The go-cart like driving characteristics of the essential Mini do not exactly exist in this bigger and heavier model, yet it has a dynamic, sporty driving.

The interior has the typical Mini ambiance with toggle switches and the giant, round central display. The “very vertical” A-pillar, a Mini feature helps for a very good forward vision and headroom. The over-years perfected “i-drive” system to navigate the infotainment menus is doubtlessly a great contribution from BMW, the mother company. The seats are comfortable. Also here, you feel the hard, yet ergonomic shells of the German approach is telling about how to build high-quality seating. Sliding and folding rear seats, a high roofline and especially adjustable trunk floor make this vehicle a serious and highly functional compact SUV.

With three drive modes (Sport, Mid and Green) the setups are similar to BMW and help to customize your driving experience.

 

Conclusion

Once peoples’ car with a character, the Mini as we know today is not a cheap alternative for the masses. Our fully loaded test vehicle has a MSRP of almost 45 grands, including options worth 13 grand. BMW positioned Mini as a premium brand. As my daughter, who is a very experienced driver with a lot of BMW and Mini experience calls, “Mini is a cheaper BMW” which is never a negative definition.

Base MSRP: $31,990

Optional Equipment:

Essentials Package: $1,450

(Panorama sunroof, heated front seats, centre armrest In Rear, Front Fog Lights, Adjustable Rear Seats

Loaded Package: $1,800

(Automatic Trunk, Comfort access, Auto dimming interior mirror, electric sets with driver memory, storage compartment package, automatic climate control)

LED Lights Package: $1,400

(LED foglights & headlights)

Wired Navigation Package: $1,000

(On-board navigaiton, MINI Connected XL, Wired Package)

Style Package: $650

(MINI Your sport leather steering wheel, Chrome line Interior, Chrome Line Exterior, Interior Trim Piano Black)

Cargo Package: $500

(Through loading system, storage compartment package)

Stand Alone Options:

Leather Chester: $2,250

Automatic Transmission: $1,500

Harman Kardon Sound system: $750

Mini All4 Exterior Styling: $500

Mini yours Interior Style Piano Black Illuminated: $250

Mini Head-Up Display: $750

Metallic Paint: $500

Park Distance Control, rear: $500

Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Burak McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, , Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada

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

http://www.mini.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 permitted.

2017 Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic: Forever Young

Introduction to Land Rover Driving Club: The compact and urban Evoque

No manufacturer can afford to be absent in the red-hot luxury compact crossover segment neither in Europe, nor in North America. Land Rover’s compact-sized Range Rover Evoque does perfectly fill this market segment even if it is slightly coming to ages. On the market since 2011, the Evoque debuted as a two-door vehicle first. With the following four-door version, the most compact Range could utilize the market potential more effectively.

In my humble, subjective opinion, it is one of the most beautiful compact SUV’s on the market. We tested the Si4 2.0L HSE Dynamic version with 5-Door and obviously All-Wheel-Drive.This is the second model variant after the range-topping autobiography version (which we tested earlier)

The power source is a Ford-based 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 240 horsepower and an impressive 340 pound-feet of torque, which is available at as low as 1,750 rpm. Mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive, it delivers a smooth yet powerful ride and very firm roadholding. This is still a bit short compared to similar SUV’s on the market. Such as: — the 300-hp BMW X3 xDrive 35i ($48,900), 340-hp Porsche Macan S ($54,300), the 354-hp Audi SQ5 ($57,400), 355-hp Mercedes GLA 45 AMG ($50,500). Considering the fact that the Tata-owned JLR Group is getting armed for a fiercer competition with the Germans, apparently more horses must be called for duty.

Not exactly so: The plus side for the Evoque is the its light weight architecture south of 1,670 kilograms, thanks to high-strength steels, aluminum hood and roof panels, polymer and composite front fenders and tailgate and more. You drive  a quick, dynamic vehicle and this is usually what matters at the end of the day.

The Evoque can reward you for your environmentally responsible driving style.

The Evoque can reward you for your environmentally responsible driving style.

Some degree of German technology is at work: The smoothly shifting nine-speed ZF automatic transmission with an adaptive shift program to accommodate different driving styles successfully prevents any feeling of lack of performance.

After a week of week of mixed highway and suburban commuting, my average consumption was 11,6 liters. Very acceptable for this type of vehicle.

Conclusion

Although a replacement is not very far, the almost timelessly beautiful design and the solid Land Rover technology make Evoque a wise choice in the crowded luxury, compact SUV segment.

The Specifications

Type of vehicle All-wheel drive SUV
Power 2.0, four-cylinder-gasoline-turbo engine, 240 hp with 250 lb-ft of torque
Transmission Nine-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $61,190 / $76,240
Destination charge $1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km)  city, highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors,  Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Firenze Red Metallic Paint: $650, Sirius Satellite Radio: $450, Meridian Sound System: $1,100, Black Pack: $2,300, Head-up display: $1,300, Heated Windscreen: $400, Adaptive LED Headlamps + Signature DRL: $1,700, Adaptive Cruise Control: $1,500, Luxury Seating Pack: $1,750, Driver, Assistance Pack: $2,300,  Destination & Delivery: $1,600

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media

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

http://www.landrover.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.

Lincoln MKX 2.7T. A Luxury Brand Beyond Ford

A View at Lincoln

Based on the capable and popular Ford Edge, the Lincoln MKX was one of the most-enjoyable luxury SUVs this year. since the Edge itself is based on the mature and reliable Fusion platform, it is no mistake to state that the MKX has a solid foundation.

Realistically, we should not expect a dedicated platform for any Lincoln model in a foreseeable feature. to do that, Lincoln has to prove itself as a major and global luxury player which is probably at least two model generations away.

Or test vehicle was fully loaded and had options worth of $14,575 thus catapulting the total price to almost 70 Grand (to $68,575, to be exact). Lincoln’s new pricing policy shows courage and self-confidence.

Driving Impressions

As the Blue Ovals put great efforts to establish Lincoln as their only luxury brands, MKX’s success is vitally important. The first impressions were a very quiet interior, well-crafted and refined, with high-tech features. Our test vehicle had the 335-hp, 2.7-liter turbo V6 under the hood. This was a smooth engine delivering an effortless thrust and joy of driving.  The handling was sporty and I thought that Lincoln is looking at sporty, premium German brands and got some inspiration. Tall drivers, like my son found the push-button shifter a bit problematic. He says the buttons are too away when you move your seat rearward for a comfortable legroom. The shift dial is a Lincoln feature, and even if it is not to everybody’s taste it will probably remain.The quiet cabin, with abundant wood, brushed metal, and leather surfaces gives you sufficient level of differentiation from a Ford Edge and helps to justify the price difference of about 20 Grands. Convenience and safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and cross-traffic alert.

 

As the infotainment system, Synch-3 replaces MylincolnTouch which is much easier to use.

I myself love the high seating position and the big doors which facilitate entry and exit comfortable.

The exterior design is its own character. Subjectively speaking, I could not make sure which of the cousins is more attractive when it comes to exterior design. Edge or the MKX?

Fuel Consumption

Everything comes at a price. This fully-loaded car with AWD generated an average consumption of 13.9 liters after a mixed mode of driving.

Conclusion

Having tested several Lincolns in the last couple of years, I can say Ford takes Lincoln much more serious to establish Lincoln as a luxury brand with its own identity. And more efforts seem to be necessary on the side of exterior design. Again, subjectively speaking.

The Specifications
Type of vehicle All-whell midsize SUV-CUV
Power 2.7L, V6-cylinder GTDI Ecoboost engine,
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $52.100 / $68,575
Destination charge $1,900
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) 14.4 city, 10.3 highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, Easy Fuel capless fuel filler, Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Cargo Utility Package: $350, Technology Package $ 1,100 (Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist), Driver Assistance Package: $2,500, Canadian Touring Package: $2,950, Luxury Package: $5,500, Class II Trailer tow Pkg $ 500, 22-Way Power Driver Seat: $1,500, Enhanced Security Package: $75

Total options: $14,575

Destination charge: $1,900

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media

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

http://www.lincolncanada.com

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.

 

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE

Filling All The Niches In The Growing SUV Market

This is not your ordinary SUV, but a Land Rover.

The Compact SUV segment is flourishing and Land Rover wanted a slice from the pie. So, JLR introduced the Discovery Sport as a cousin of the Range Rover Evoque two years ago. It shares the same platform and some components with the Evoque, but slightly longer (80 mm) and more versatile with optional third-row and 5 + 2 seat configuration.

This is our second test drive with the compact, yet capable Disco Sport, (in Corris Grey). Our test vehicle was equipped with a lot of options (see the specs below) elevating the price to almost 70K. With the 2017 model year, we not only had a long-range highway test, but also put emphasize off-road capabilities like hill descent control, gradient release control, roll stability control, dynamic stability control, electronic traction control and were not disappointed.

As you approach Gravenhurst, the stools get bigger:-)))

Driving Impressions

The Discovery Sport is available with only one engine option: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder-gasoline-turbo-charged engine, 240 hp with 250 lb-ft of torque. Even if the nine-speed automatic from the German ZF provides a very smooth torque curve and it cannot hide the fact that this vehicle deserves a slightly powerful engine. I noted this specifically in our long drive from Toronto to North Bay and while accelerating and passing on the highway. Nevertheless, in a country with a tolerated speed limit of 120 km/h, you may get used to this feeling or think that an SUV for 70 Grand should provide more power no matter what. The intelligent full-time all-wheel drive continuously varies the torque split front to rear to optimize traction on all surfaces.

Inside The Cabin

The infotainment screen is big and easy to read. But the buttons around the screen may not be ideal for tall drivers, especially with tall legs.

The cabin looks slightly less luxurious than the Range Rover Evoque but still upscale with Ebony pimento trim.Seats are both supportive and comfortable, although I would like a bit more length in the bottom cushion.

Back from our visit to Nipissing University in North Bay, we had a stopover in Huntsville, capital of the cottage country.

 

This vehicle is not just for high seating position, but also for some off-road adventure far from asphalt.

 

 

Conclusion

Since its introduction in 2015 and based on the proven success of its cousin Range Rover Evoque, the SUV market in North America grew further and even for a truly SUV brand like Land Rover, it is so important to fill every sub-segment. And this LR is not only a capable off-roader, but also fun to drive on the asphalt.

This vehicle is not just for high seating position, but also for some off-road adventure far from asphalt.

The Specifications

Type of vehicle All-wheel drive compact SUV
Power 2.0-liter, four-cylinder-gasoline-turbo-charged engine, 240 hp with 250 lb-ft of torque, all-wheel drive
Transmission Nine-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $50,990 / $69,090
Destination charge $1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km)  city, highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors,  Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Dynamic HSE Pack: $3,800, Touch-Pro Pack: $2,100, Driver Tech Pack $1,400, Vision Assist Pack: $1,200, Sirius Satellite Radio: $450, Heads up Display: $1,000, Heated Front Windscreen: $400, Ebony Headlining: $350, In Control Apps: $250, Black Contrast Roof $650, Destination & Delivery: $1,600, Green Tax: $100

Article: Varol McKars, Dokan Gunay

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media

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

http://www.landrover.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 Ford Focus Titanium Sedan

A Quick Review

Despite the falling sales in North America, sedans will occupy an important segment in the car market.

As I test-drove the first generation Focus in Europe, this was in the last century, year 1999 to be exact.
Buy then, two features had caught my particular attention: On the (subjectively) negative side, the 5-speed manual gearbox (which was much more common than auto by this time) was tuned for fuel economy with very long ratios reducing the engine revolution but also the driving pleasure. On the positive side, the car’s roadholding was superior and was beyond the compact class.

Driving Impressions

The dashboard is functional with legible instruments and screen.

After nearly 20 years, my impressions are a bit similar to my first drive: The very good, comfortable yet safe roadholding is still there. And surprisingly, I still had an issue with the gearbox. This time, a 6-speed auto transfers the engine’s power to the wheels. The transmission occasionally shifts up and down too early or too late.

The 2.0L Ecoboost engine with 160 horsepower delivers 146 lbft at 4450 rpm

The engine delivers sufficient torque for this class and I never felt under-powered in daily highway and city commuting. The steering response was firm and makes you feel the road surface. And the brakes are well tuned. Although we did not have an instrumental measurement, stopping distance for braking from 100 km/h to zero is well under 40 meters. The average consumption was 10.6 liters is realistic in real-world conditions.

Developed by Canada’s QNX (a Blackberry company), SYNC 3 has a new eight-inch touchscreen with quicker response and better graphical design. Other new SYNC 3 features include integration of AppLink (to to control smartphone apps), Siri eyes-free capability for Apple iPhone, software updates via Wi-Fi, and enhanced 911 Assist for subscription-free emergency calling.

Other than this, I enjoyed driving this mature car with a solid engineering, good design, good space for this class and the very good level of safety and comfort equipment.

The Future

We already know that Ford will shift the production of the next generation Focus and C-Max from Wayne, MI to Mexico. With falling sales of Focus and sedans in general, its seems also possible that the Focus production may end entirely. At least in North America. As the FCA discontinued its weak-selling Chrysler 200C and Dodge Dart sedans, in today’s unforgiving competition, capacity utilization and scale of production is of vital importance. To me, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ford stops Focus production and utilizes its North American capacity for new SUV’s, like the legendary Bronco. In this case, importing Focus from Europe would be a more feasible solution.

Conclusion 

For me Focus has a mature, well-facelifted design despite the falling popularity of sedans.

Our future concerns set aside, this automobile is a good choice for more conservative customers who also value a fully-loaded vehicle.

The Specifications

Type of vehicle Sedan 4-door compact car
Power 2.0L, 4-cylinder, inline, GDI gasoline engine, 160 horsepower, 146 lb-ft torque (4450 rpm),

Transmission Six-speed auto,

Price: base/as tested $26,708 / $30,508
Destination charge $1,650
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km)  12.1 city, 9.3 highway, 10.8 combined

Tires: Michelin P215/50R17

Options: Technology Package ($750), Engine Block Heater ($100), Voice-Activated Navigation ($800), Active Park Assist ($400)

Article: Varol McKars, 

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media

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

http://www.ford.ca

2017 Lincoln MKC 2.0T AWD

Lincoln Brand Deserves Not Only Survival, But Success

The MKC has an elegant yet relatively conservative body style compared to, for instance Range Rover Evoque or Acura RDX

More than two years ago, we had our first test drive with the Lincoln MKZ. By then with the 2.3L Ecoboost engine. You can read this post at the link below:

Lincoln MKC 2.3 EcoBoost AWD

This time we had another engine from Ford’s inventory:

The proven 2.0L Ecoboost-turbo engine is poerful enough to move this mass forward with an average consumption of 12,2L (during our test drive)

2.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 240 horsepower (on 93 octane, 231 on regular) at 5,500 rpm, with 270 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. This engine is slightly less powerful than than the 2.3L engine we tested earlier. The difference is negligible in daily driving. also the price: Our test vehicle, fully loaded (see the details below) has a sticker (MSRP) of $53,975.

Thanks to the panorama roof, the interior is awash with (sun)light

Except the engine (for our test purposes) essentially everything remained the same since our first test.
The MKC is a high-quality product in a surging, but crowded and highly competitive luxury compact SUV segment. The differentiation from its Ford cousin, Escape is good and it has no common sheet metal. The body is elegantly styled with unique-to-Lincoln features like the shift button on the console and the panorama glass.

Sales Figures

As of the first two-months of 2017, only 253 units were sold in Canada, down from 309 in the same period of the previous year.
Ford Escape, on this the MKC is based, reached 5048 units sold in the same period and up from 4721 in 2016. The factor of internal competition also deserves attention: A fully loaded Escape has the roughly the same price as a base MKC.
With regard to MKC’s direct competitors; the sales figures are: Acura RDX 909 units, the BMW X3 770 and Lexus NX 756.

The liftgate opens widely and allows easy loading-unloading

Looking Back in Earlier Decades

Obviously, there is a problem especially when you factor in the rich history of the Lincoln brand. I think the problem lies in the Ford’s mistakes in earlier years: Remember the serial failures with the luxury brands like Jaguar, Volvo and and Land Rover which Ford owned in the previous decades. In an unforgiving, tough statement, may I say that “Ford killed the identity of all these brands and then had to give up”.

Remember the unlucky Jaguar S-Type that borrowed so many parts from Ford Mondeo and had a less-than average quality record.

Now Lincoln is the only luxury brand Ford owns.And even in the last decade, during successful restructuring and re-defining Ford under Alan Mulally, Lincoln was still largely omitted. The design language was still half-defined, as we saw the change in the face-lifted MKZ series. (It is much better now).

So, among at least half a dozen luxury brands in North America, Lincoln is still a fading name and whatever Ford has done so far, is not enough. My 19-year old son, who drove and liked the MKC said, he would not consider buying an MKC or even a Lincoln.

The wraparound rear with the liftgate is nice and also provides good visibility

Conclusion:

In today’s market realities, every major manufacturer has to have at least one luxury brand to survive. Ford still has some time to build and define the identity of Lincoln. This brand with a great history deserves to survive.
Remember the long journey of GM’s Cadillac. Lincoln probably needs the same “pilgrimage”.

The Specifications
Type of vehicle All-whell drive compact SUV-CUV
Power 2.0L, 4-cylinder GTDI Ecoboost engine,
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $48.300 / $53,975
Destination charge $1,900
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) 12.4 city, 9.0 highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, Easy Fuel capless fuel filler, Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Technology Package $ 2,250 (Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist), Class II Trailer tow Pkg $ 500, Aluminium Trim / Sonata Spin Pkg $ 225

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media

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

http://www.lincolncanada.com

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BMW X5 40e: Bimmer’s Biggest SUV Gets Boost By Electrons

BMW’s Midsize SUV With Electro Mobility

We as AutoAndRoad tested and wrote about the X5 earlier.

BMW’s biggest member of the SUV Family (for now, until the X7 arrives), based on the 5-Series platform is a great product in the BMW model family and remains so since our earlier test three years ago. (You can read below)

Each Wheel Costs almost 25K: BMW X5 xDrive50i

The first generation X5 went into production in 1999. It is manufactured in Spartanburg, in South Carolina. In its 3rd generation since 2013, the X5 is a mature product BMW offers as a perfect response to today’s SUV-hungry customers in North America.

Say, driving characteristics, roadholding, steering or brakes. Each component adds up to a car-like driving that you would probably not expect from this vehicle; if you are not familiar with BMW driving dynamics.

The model we tested this time was the X5 40e, with e referring to electric. BMW fans and auto enthusiasts will easily remember that the Bavarian company takes electro-mobility very seriously and and they already have a dedicated model family called “i-cars”.
To be well-armed and prepared on the electrification front, it makes sense to add  “electrification” to the core BMW brand.

Back in 2013, BMW launched a lineup of hybrids they called ActiveHybrids. However, those models with very limited electric-only range were the first dots into a steep learning curve and did not find much interest. But this was only the beginning.

Engine and Powertrain

As the company’s first plug-in-hybrid Sports Activity Vehicle (as BMW calls its SUV’s) this model has the well-know 2.0-liter Twin Power Turbo four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery, integrated into its 8-speed automatic transmission.

Driving Impressions

The practical result is a driving pleasure that you would hardly expect from a 4-cylinder engine in a big SUV (pardon, SAV). The combination of ICE and electric motor delivers 308 horsepower and produces 332 lb-ft. With its intelligent, permanent all-wheel drive system, the vehicle securely sticks to the road surface and is fast enough to accelerate to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. (We did not make instrumental measurements but were convinced that this value was realistic.)

BMW says that this model can travel approximately 21 kilometers on pure electric power and the average consumption is 4.3L/100 km (equivalent)

In our real-life test drive biased towards highway driving, we reached an average of 6.8 liters which is still great for this category. During our one-week test drive, pure electric drive was only possible up to 15 kilometers. Maybe, we could not create the ideal test conditions. We think that in the heavy stop-and-go traffic it seems possible though.

 

The high-voltage battery is housed under the luggage compartment. This is a safe and convenient place in terms of crash safety and weight distribution. But, you have to compromise the luggage space, which is still big enough to accommodate for people for a trip from Ontario to Florida or so.

Conclusion

Realistically, for those who can afford a vehicle priced at north of 80 Grand, saving a few drops of fuel is not the main issue. More importantly, you are the ambassador of a mighty German brand that is well prepared and advancing in all fronts of future’s power alternatives (worth to remember that BMW is also working on the hydrogen front)

And with this model, you not only enjoy a refined driving, but also “slightly” contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.

Specifications:

Model: 2017 BMW X5 40e

Paint Type: Glacier Silver Metallic
Base /as tested MSRP: $74,700 /$84,250

Optional Equipment:

Premium Package Enhanced ($6,300) includes:

  • Universal Remote Control
  • Comfort Access
  • Soft Close Doors
  • Manual Side Sunshades
  • Lumbar Support
  • Storage Compartment Package
  • Heated Rear Seats
  • Auto 4-Zone Climate Control
  • Lights Package
  • Active Blind Spot Detection
  • Active Protection
  • Driving Assistant
  • Surround View
  • Park Asisstant (inc PDC Front/Rear)
  • Head-Up Display
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner
  • Harman/Kardon Sound System
  • Speed limit Info

Smartphone Connectivity Package ($750)

  • Apple CarPlay Preparation
  • Wireless Charging w/Extended Bluetooth and USB
  • WiFi Hotspot

LED Lighting Package ($2,500)

  • Active LED Headlights
  • LED Fog Headlights
  • High-Beam Assistant

Wheelbase (mm): 2810
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4671 / 1881 / 1624

Curb weight (kg): 1873
Engine: 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six
Horsepower: 241 hp @ 5000-6500 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1450-4800 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic with paddle shifters
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD (xDrive)
Suspension-Front: MacPherson struts, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension-Rear: Multi-link, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar
Brakes-Front: Ventilated discs
Brakes-Rear: Ventilated discs

Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 11.8 / 8.4 / 10.3
Tires: Goodyear Eagle LS – 245/45R19

Article: Varol McKars

Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Burak McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada

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

http://www.bmw.ca