About: Autolove

Joe Mavilia is a syndicated columnist with more than 35 years in the automotive industry. He is a member of the Motor Press Guild and Automotive Press Association. His reviews have been published in print media including the Los Angeles Times, The Golden Transcript - Colorado, La Feria News - Texas, The Pasadena Weekly - California, and others around the country, including www.theweekenddrive.com where he is the West Coast Editor. Reviews and Opinion Columns may also be seen in Sunnews.org and The Country Journal every week in the Antelope Valley, CA. I hope they are helpful

Recent Posts by Autolove

2019 Ford F-150

The F-150 is the bread and butter vehicle of Ford Motor Company – and for 2019 its been updated with new features.

An Automotive Love Affair
By Vince Bodiford

2019 Ford F-150 – the backbone of Ford’s product lineup

Overview:

When you think about pickup trucks –one brand that immediately comes to mind is the Ford F-150. Full size pickup buyers today have four choices of American-made pickups – those are the Ford F-150, The Ram pickup, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Toyota Tundra.

The F-150 is the grand-daddy of them all, with Ford literally inventing the pickup truck as a body variant of its earliest vehicles (Ford’s very first truck was built in 1917 and it was based on the Model T and named the Ford Model TT. Chevrolet followed in 1918 with their first pickup truck, the Model 490).

This current model of F-150 traces its roots back to the 2004 introduction of “P-221” – the all-new F-150 at that time, and has been updated and improved since. Like that model, this new F-150 offers up an entirely new driving experience in a full-size pickup. The steering is crisp and direct, the ride is plush yet controlled, the braking is strong and assured, and the cabin is very quiet.

Loaded with gear and passengers or empty, on the pavement or off-road, this pickup performs with a balance that lends itself nicely for how most of us use our pickups in real life. It’s this versatility, and some innovative new features that make the F-150 one of the most popular pickups of all time.

Engine performance has always been a great reason to drive the F-150, and the newest version of this light-duty pickup sets the bar even higher with a new ultra-powerful engine. If you decide to invest in this pickup truck, you’ll have access to a world-class 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine that offers 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Even drivers that can never have enough power are sure to be impressed by this new engine option.

There are several engine choices – including four variants of the V6, a powerful 5.0 liter V8, and a 3.0 liter Powerstroke turbo diesel (which powered our test vehicle).

Along with offering powerful engine choices, the 2019 Ford F-150 also features several new technology features that you’ll appreciate while out on a long or short drive. Whether you prefer utility or entertainment, the technology in this truck is impressive and useful.

To make towing easy and effective, this pickup truck comes standard with an integrated trailer brake controller, and there is also a standard 360-degree camera system that features a dynamic hitch assist. For drivers that value connectivity, there are several F-150 features that can’t be missed. The available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot can support up to 10 internet capable devices, and the B&O PLA stereo system offers great sound quality. This truck is also available with Android Aut and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

Traditionally when we think of pickup truck features, comfort usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind – but with modern pickups today that has all changed and improved, including on the F-150. On long drives, you’ll appreciate the front seats of this truck, which are covered in supple leather upholstery and are available with heating, ventilation and massaging capability. We also found the back seats to be very comfortable with plenty of legroom.

The cabin of this truck also offers a variety of world-class style features, including wood trim with an ash swirl and aluminum covered bezels. When you go for a ride in this light-duty pickup, you’ll have a comfortable experience.

Overall, I love pickup trucks. Nothing says “America” like a full size truck. The Ford F-150 delivers on the pickup promise of “do anything” ability. This is a great truck.

Some technical data and info supplied by Ford Motor Company, Ford Direct and a dealer. For more information, see your local Ford dealer or visit Ford.com.

2018 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

2018 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell sedan. Many car makers have been producing Hydrogen Fuel Cell concept cars since the late 1990’s. I first test drove the Hy Wire from General Motors in the early 2000s.

Now, it is clear to me, this is a technology that has gone from concept to production for public consumption. Yes, it is a little pricey but that is always expected in the early years but there are work-arounds to own and drive this exciting ‘electric’ car. Yes, it is an electric car – not an internal combustion powered vehicle.

I was less anxious about refueling with the Fuel Cell car than with an all-electric car. Electric require anywhere from 45 minutes to 24 hours to recharge. It only takes 5 minutes to refuel a Hydrogen car. Remember, this is simply an electric car with an on board charging system including regenerative charging from braking. There is even a shift select labeled Br so you can recharge when going downhill as in driving in the mountains where descending will allow recharging and afford some braking. That is much like an internal combustion engine car where you can use the engine to slow you by using lower gears.

General Information:

Assembly- Toyota, Aichi, Japan; Classification is- Subcompact; Vehicles from Toyota- 4Runner, 86, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry Hybrid, C-HR, Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, Prius V, RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma Access Cab, Tacoma Double Cab, Tundra CrewMax, Tundra Double Cab, Tundra Regular Cab, Yaris and Yaris iA.

Handling & Performance:

This is nearly the same as any other electric car. Quick acceleration and a smooth quiet ride. It holds about 5 kg (kilograms) of hydrogen fuel at about 11 lbs at a cost of about $14.50 to $16.00 a Kilo. I found the fuel usage to be pretty accurate but because of the limited number of refueling stations you have to plan ahead to know where all stations are located and that fit your travel needs and habits. One tank of fuel takes you about 260 miles.

Here’s how it works:

Styling:

Futuristic which is in line with much of the designs of today.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

There is no question most will find a Fuel Cell car are similar in cost to purchase of the competition noted here. The cost of Hydrogen is more expensive than gas / diesel, or Hybrid power systems.

Conveniences and comfort:

Generally, you can have all the great high tech features available on most other cars. I also found it to be an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride.

Although there are only about 35 refueling stations in California at this time, there are that many under construction and those I’ve been to are on the property (leased space) of gas / diesel stations like Chevron and ARCO. What that tells me is that the infrastructure is expanding faster than Rapid Electric Charge stations – (45 minutes for an 80% charge). Not my idea of ‘rapid’.

Consumer Recommendations:

The competition noted includes Hybrid offerings and that puts the Mirai in the company of pricey similar transportation cars. However, this newly available Fuel Cell technology electric car market is still evolving. This Mirai is currently available to purchase or lease arrangements, which I would prefer and found that to be the usual case for those I interviewed at refueling stations. Generally, the lease includes fuel and maintenance and may vary with each manufacturer. One man I spoke with who was driving a Mirai had a lease which included $15,000 in fuel during the lease period.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars published:
• 2007 – Honda FCX Clarity
• 2010 – Mercedes-Benz
• 2014 – Hyundai Tucson
• 2015 – Toyota Mirai .
• 2016 – Riversimple Rasa.
• 2016 – Honda Clarity
• 2018 – Hyundai Nexo.

I have only written about the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Car, but would like to test drive more of the above listed production cars. Note: contact me if you are driving a Fuel Cell car and what your experience has been.
joe@autolove.com.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Toyota Mirai 59,000 NA 4 4 Japan Japan
Jaguar XF 59,000 28 5 4 UK UK
Volvo S90 60,000 25 5 4 Sweden Sweden
Audi A6 60,000 23 5 4 Germany Germany
BMW 5 Series 54,000 72 5 4 Korea Korea
Mercedes E-Class 54,000 25 5 4 USA Canada
Cadillac CTS 55,000 24 5 4 USA USA
Lexus GS 48,000 26 5 4 Japan Japan
Infiniti Q50 58,000 24 5 4 Japan Japan
Lincoln MKZ 41,000 24 5 4 USA Mexico

Good News:

New technology that has come of age. Emissions are water and so pure that it is said you can even drink it.

Bad News:

More expensive than conventional cars of today.

Standard Equipment:

Toyota Fuel Cell system, 151 horsepower, Electric motor, power and ECO modes, stability and traction controls, ABS electronic brake system with Brake force distribution and brake assist, smart stop technology, Safety and emergency connect assistance, stolen vehicle locator, roadside assistance, radar cruise control with pre-collision system, lane departure alert, blind spot detection / monitor with rear cross traffic alert, carbon fiber reinforced polymer, fuel cell stack protective structure and Hydrogen storage tanks, eight airbags, 17” alloy wheels, LED headlights with auto high beam, auto folding and heated mirrors, rain sensing wipers, 7” touch screen with backup camera, Siri eyes free, Wifi connect powered by Verizon, Sirius XM radio, Bluetooth Hands-free and Music streaming, smart key system with push button start, power windows, heated front seats, USB, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

Gas Stats:

67 combined City and Highway MPG

$3.79 / Gal of gas avg. October 12, 2018
$14-16.00 per Kg (Kilo) of Hydrogen

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $58,365.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport

2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport. While driving Electric cars over the recent past weeks from today I realized how anxious I felt always wondering if I would reach my destination without incident. For over 100 years we’ve demanded reliable easy to operate and maintain vehicles and the internal combustion engine provided our need. So, I felt comfortable when I stepped into this gas-powered 5-seat SUV that is perfect for most including small families.

However, you wouldn’t likely be taking the whole fam-damly camping very easily. I say that because it is a reminder that we should buy a car, truck or SUV that fits our need. For me and my wife it would be just fine taking off on a camping trip. One year we took a similar size Ford Escape to escape on a 3,000-mile camping road trip. Just fine for two with all our gear.

General Information:

Assembly- Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan; Classification is- Small SUV; Vehicles from Lexus- CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

This NX is in very capable competition listed here and it is up to the challenge. No complaints and it passed the very challenging Angeles Crest mountain course. Nice.

Styling:

I’m getting used to the radical lines of several of the new models across many brands we see on the roads these days. It’s not my favorite look, but it’s interesting and flashes me back to prior years where auto designs went from pointy to round. Like other fads and styles change is inevitable from the ‘runways’ in clothing to the ‘highways’ for automobiles. In the late 1950s cars morphed from Fins to everything had to be rounded in the decade of the 1960s.

Fit and Finish:

Assembly is consistently good relative to bygone days where rattles and squeaks were the norm. Today we’ve come to expect perfection, and most deliver.

Cost:

Competitively priced and for the serviceability we’ve been blessed with a range of prices to fit every budget.

Conveniences and comfort:

Really good stuff I’ve noted in standard equipment below that passes the test of what we need in our cars these days. Additionally, this Lexus is a comfy ride that is not always the case. But in this class, you expect it.

Consumer Recommendations:

In some ways I’m sorry there are so many choices but we’re all different people with varying perceptions of what pretty or comfortable is. I’ve driven them all and would have a hard time choosing. The good news is you could put this chart on the wall, throw darts and not get hurt in any case. If you like following the leader and patronize American car makers who pioneered the industry, the German’s made it precise and the Japanese watched and with the help of America post WWII they replicated the process and successful marketing. They too had to retool from wartime production.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus NX 300 39,000 25 5 4 Japan Japan
Infiniti QX30 39,000 27 5 4 Japan UK
Acura RDX 40,000 22 5 4 Japan USA
Audi Q3 39,000 23 5 4 Germany Germany
GMC Terrain 39,000 ? 5 4 USA Canada
VW Tiguan 39,000 23 5 4 Germany Mexico
Jeep Cherokee 38,000 23 5 4 USA USA
Chevy Equinox 38,000 24 5 4 USA Canada
MBZ GLC 41,000 24 5 4 Germany Germany
Toyota RAV4 37,000 24 5 4 Japan Canada
Subaru Forester 30,000 25 5 4 Japan Japan

Good News:

Turbocharged power, great features for a small SUV, good handling and size for zipping around town – easy to park.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter Turbo VVT 235 horsepower 4 cylinder engine,6-speed auto trans, torque control all wheel drive, 17” aluminum wheels, drive mode select ECO, Normal & Sport, tire pressure monitor, Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, All-speed smart cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam headlights, 8-airbags all around, power ABS braking with electronic brakeforce distribution & smart stop technology, backup camera, theft deterrent system, 8-speaker sound system with HD radio / iTunes USB/iPod/MPS control and scout GPS link, Remote touch interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, 8-way power driver & passenger seats, power folding mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering column, 60/40 split rear seats, climate control, F Sport Features: sport tuned suspension special seats, metallic sport trim, leather heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, cornering front fog and driving lights, 18” sport wheels.

Gas Stats:

22 City and 27 Highway MPG

$3.59 / Gal avg. October 4, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $39,775.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Limited

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Limited

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Limited. Boy, does “Limited” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to ‘all electric’. A year ago, I reviewed the Ioniq plug in Hybrid. Fuel economy is great on that and it has an engine to boot. That is a ‘big’ or BIG difference.

Commercials are hot and heavy recently pushing Electric Vehicles and I can’t help but take exception to this mode of propulsion.

Example to consider regarding “All Electric”: I travel 50 miles one way. I begin with a full charge of 136 miles. I get to my destination with 76 miles remaining. Because the journey was uphill it uses much more juice than downhill or level ground. It takes 12 hours to get back to near full charge. When I travel downhill to the office 50 miles away battery miles will be less than actual miles traveled, thus it took only 41 battery miles to go 50 actual miles. But now it will require all day charging just to get enough charge to get back home.

Contrast that with: If I live under 20 miles from work I can be assured to get there and back easily, and I don’t even need a recharge facility at my job, unless I must buzz around during the day, then I may need some charge time. I return home plug in, which will require all night to get back to full charge.

SO – a little old lady from Pasadena who drives very few miles MAY be able to adjust to the all-electric option.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Ulsan, Korea; Parts- US/Canadian 1%, Korea 9%, Japan 1%; Engine and transmission- Korea; Classification is- Midsize Cars; Cars from Hyundai- Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra GT, Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Electric, Santa Fe, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, Tucson and Veloster.

Handling & Performance:

Good acceleration but it will drain the battery very quickly. In my youth we’d burn the tires off, just because we could. But there was a gas station on every corner to refuel in a matter of minutes. With All Electric I become very conservative and so gun shy about running out of charge I felt I’d better turn off anything that consumes power. That means, no A/C on a 95-degree day, no navigation system and I even turned off the radio.

In all fairness, however, I was able to make the 53-mile trip, uphill both ways, in the snow and return home. No joke (except the both ways and snow). That wasn’t the case the last time I tested an All Electric car. That car promised a range of 95-miles, but it barely made the 53-mile trip with only 4 miles on the charge meter remaining. I was not a happy camper.

The performance good news is that the cost for a full charge is said to be between $2.40 and $4. Ok, I’ll accept that, but it does not consider there are hybrids that will deliver 100 miles for about the same money. So, I’m not convinced (for most people’s use) the inconvenience of plugging in everywhere you stop is going to appeal to very many.

Styling:

Very Hyundai and that is a very good thing.

Fit and Finish:

Very good job on the seams.

Cost:

More money than I (personally) could justify paying for an all-electric car. “MY” driving needs is many miles and instant need, and I want to go without major planning on where I’ll run out of charge. When I feel like taking a trip I want to go to the gas station, fill up and GO. Ain’t happening with All-Electric.

Conveniences and comfort:

This Ioniq is well equipped and I even got brave enough to turn on the radio and Air Conditioning, both at the same time. It simply is not convenient to have to figure out how far I can drive before stopping to recharge.

Consumer Recommendations:

Consider your driving habits and if it allows for travel of no more than 50 miles out, you should feel comfortable being able to return home without a long stop to recharge. If you go 75 miles you won’t make it back without staying the night with a minimum of 8 hours charge time.

Final recommendation: DO NOT INVEST MONEY IN TESLA. Remember why I say that? I’ll repeat it: 1903 Electric cars had a range of 100 miles. Let’s see, 1903 to 2018 is 115 YEARS with no significant breakthroughs in battery technology. Look for my upcoming review of a Hydrogen powered car. The first time I reviewed a hydrogen car was the GM Hy-Wire in 2002 and was impressed. 16 years later they still haven’t solved all the problems. BUT, a good indication they will come on strong is that when I tested a Hydrogen Hyundai about 5 years ago there were 9 hydrogen fueling stations in all of California. Today there are over 35.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Hyundai Ioniq Electric 37,000 136 5 4 Korea Korea
Nissan Leaf 37,000 112 5 4 Japan USA
Chevrolet Bolt 37,000 119 5 4 USA USA
Ford Focus 30,000 107 5 4 USA USA

Good News:

Economical commuter for short distance commutes.

Bad News:

All Electric is a very limiting factor. Expensive small car, Huge recharge times – 24 hours to full charge and not a practical road car.

Range:

136 City and Highway MPCharge

Pricing:

MSRP $36,000.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Toyota Prius c Four

2018 Toyota Prius c Four

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Toyota Prius c Four. To clear up some confusion on the model designation of the “Prius c” a brief explanation is in order. The model protocol has changed with Toyota and it simply means they have numbered the model 1 through 5. “One” is the base model and each succeeding number to “Five” adds more features to the last. This, instead of designations like CE, LE, XLE etc. It is easier to understand since we all know 5 is greater than 1.

Prius was introduced in 1997 in many countries and was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It went over big in a PC world where economical vehicle operation and being friendly to the planet was high on the list of important matters. Heck, you even had a free pass, at the time to ride in the diamond lane with only one person in the car. Anything to advance the interest in ECO cars. Well, we all have opinions on that group think, but most will agree on the idea in principle. Now, of course, in 2018 there are many choices for ECO cars on the market generally, but specifically there are only a couple of manufacturers who dabble in this small ECO car market. But in this class, I like the Hyundai and Kia small efficient around town options. I say around town because most small cars are not Highway Cars. A classic example is the ‘All-Electric’ car that I’ll talk about more in the coming weeks. Simply put Electric only cars are ok for local travel where carrying a lot of stuff is not important, or short commute uses of these cars.

General Information:

Assembly- Isawa, Iwate, Japan; Classification is- Compact; Vehicles from Toyota- 4Runner, 86, Avalon, Camry, C-HR, Corolla, Corolla Hatchback, Corolla iM, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris and Yaris iA.

Handling & Performance:

Just fine handling, easy to maneuver and park and more than fast enough.

Styling:

Design is in the can, and since introduction in 1997 Prius has changed little. Size varies from the ‘c’ to the larger Prius V.

Fit and Finish:

Typical and good fitting components that are easy to assemble.

Cost:

Prices range from the low to high twenty-thousand-dollar range.

Conveniences and comfort:

Most of today’s usual features are available for comfort and all the gadgets we are addicted to these days.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you are convinced you want a Prius and are as confused as most in all the variations a great source of explanation can be found at this Autotrader link:
https://www.autotrader.com/car-reviews/toyota-prius-vs-prius-c-vs-prius-v-whats-differenc-223750

I like the Hybrid idea because it provides economical operation. I’m not convinced, however, that All-Electric cars will work for all applications, but rather only close to home use. Beyond local use only Hybrids fill the bill. But for best all-around use gas / diesel cars are the best option. To me, gas powered cars and trucks will dominate the auto scene for a good long time. This is especially true because gas / diesel power has become so efficient there is little difference in performance and operating cost. I like the idea of owning a car where there are refueling facilities everywhere. Electricity is everywhere but the charge times for all electric is way too long.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Toyota Prius c Four 26,000 46 5 4 Japan Japan
Toyota Prius 26,000 56 5 4 Japan Japan
Volkswagen Golf 22,000 29 5 4 Germany Mexico

Good News:

Great economical 5 seat car, fast enough, good fuel economy.

Bad News:

On the mountain road test proved passing is a very tough thing, fuel economy is not significantly greater than gas powered.

Standard Equipment:

Hybrid synergy drive system, 1.5-liter DOHC 16V VVT inline 4-cylinder engine, EV / ECO modes, 15” alloy wheels, VSC & traction controls, ABS brake system with elect. Brake force Distribution and brake assist, smart stop technology, 9-air bags, safety sense, pre-collision system, lane departure alert, auto high beams, LATCH Child safety system, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitor, LED projector headlights, stop and tail lights, heated power outside mirrors with turn signals, rear spoiler, power tilt / slide moonroof, Auto climate control, premium audio and Nav and App suite, 6.1 touch screen with backup camera, AM/FM/CD with 6-speakers, SXM, HD radio, aux jack, USB port and Bluetooth, 3.5” TFT multi-info display with selectable screens, Cruise control, power windows, smart key with push button start, heated front seats, 6-way adjustable driver seat, 4-way adjustable passenger seat, 60/40 split fold down rear seats and cargo area tonneau cover.

Gas Stats:

48 City and 43 Highway MPG

$3.49 / Gal avg. September 11, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $24,965.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe

2018 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe. Yep, there is a small back seat if you’re in a pinch and don’t want to put someone in the trunk. But you may have to remove their legs first. Most cars like this have never had a useable rear seat. Case in point in my mind is the much larger Ford Mustang where the rear seat is nearly as bad as these 2-seat sports cars.

General Information:

Assembly- Ota Guma Japan; Vehicles from Toyota- 4Runner, 86, C-HR, Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris and Yaris iA.

Handling & Performance:

As you’d expect this class sport car is an outstanding performer beyond even what they look like they could do. I test most all cars over a mountain road course, in Southern California it is usually the Angeles Crest which is Highway 2. Of course, I call it the ‘Crest Test’ for that reason and as a kid the Crest test referred to Crest Toothpaste. Anyone remember that?

“On RAILS”is a term that comes close to describing how well it corners and handles the ‘curves’. It will surely get your heart started. And on top of that, it will pull more G’s as speed increases and grip seems to improve. I never once felt uncomfortable about it holding the road. However, I must say the same about the competition listed here. All three are super on the curves and the rides are equally impressive.

One way I judge the road-ability of a car is how fast you can take a curve over the posted suggested speed. If the yellow sign suggests 30 mph most cars will feel right at the edge of in control at about 50, or 20 mph over. This Toyota 86 is comfortable at 40 miles over.

Dynamic rev Management is an innovative sport car feature that manages RPMs with an automatic transmission so that in a downshift the engine automatically revs the engine to match the engine speed of the next lower gear. This automatic action mimics the shifting characteristics of a manual transmission. What they won’t think of next, eh.

Styling:

Sporty look to go along with the feel you get when you drive it. But most first impressions from others was that it must be very expensive.

Fit and Finish:

Very Good.

Cost:

Excellent option if you’re looking for a sport car.

Conveniences and comfort:

You’ll notice it comes with most of the features so common on cars these days. But when it comes to comfort you will expect entry and exit to be a pain in the neck, back and other parts of your body. You will also expect to have limited space and thus you won’t have convenient storage compartments you get accustomed to in larger cars.

Consumer Recommendations:

It is clear and amazing, to me, that you can have such capable sports car handling performance in this price range. Anything beyond this is, in my opinion, to be left to the professional race car class of drivers anyway.So, don’t waste your money on more if you are not a race car driver.

I say that because a friend of my son, Paul Walker, died for this very reason. The car was far too powerful for Paul’s friend, who was driving, to control and a crash at over 100 mph killed them both. If you know the story you know alcohol or drugs were not involved. Moral of the story: Know your limitations when you get behind the wheel.

Paul Walker and friend (driving) died in fiery crash in 2013 – Car Porsche Carrera GT

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Toyota 86 28,000 27 4 2 Japan Japan
Subaru BRZ 26,000 24 4 2 Japan Japan
Nissan 370Z 32,000 22 2 2 Japan Japan

Good News:

Affordable performance sport car, fabulously fun to drive.

Bad News:

Anything built this low to the ground is for the young who are still limber enough to get in and out of. That holds true for a woman in a dress or skirt as it is awkward to negotiate entry and exit moves. Know what I mean!

Standard Equipment:

2.0 LITER 4-cylinder Boxer 200 HP engine, dual variable valve timing, direct and port injection system, dynamic rev management and controllers on a 6-speed sequential auto transmission, 17” alloy wheels, 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes with brake assist and electric brake force distribution, MacPherson strut front suspension, Torsen limited slip differential, stability and traction controls, hill start assist control, VSC Track mode, front airbag system with seat mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags front and rear, back up camera, tire pressure monitor, power exterior mirrors, auto projector beam LED headlights and taillights, 7” touch screen display audio AM/FM/HD radio with 8-speakers, aux/USB ports with iPod connectivity, hands free phone capable and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, aha application, remote keyless entry with engine immobilization, power windows and locks, 1-piece folding rear seatback, leather trim, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, air conditioning, rear window defogger, multi-information display.

Gas Stats:

24 City and 32 Highway MPG

$3.45 / Gal avg. August 26, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $26,975.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T 392

2018 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T 392

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T 392. In a word it is a Racer. Not your ‘normal’ driver. This is special and not for everyone looking for a transportation car for the family. It is a serious performance car that will appeal to the Macho Guy who wants ‘muscle’. One look and one crank of the engine will speak volumes – like you’re in for Mr. Toads Wild Ride (as Disneyland lovers will recall).

Hang onto your hat. Better yet wear a helmet. This is serious business and not for the Faint Hearted. BUT you’re gonna love the exhilarating ride.

And for the serious performance driver this car has an App. The Performance Pages App that gives drivers the tools to become familiar with their vehicle’s performance. The App provides access to real-time vehicle performance information including timers (such as 0 to 60 mph elapsed time), G-force, gauges, and engine performance. This data can be downloaded to a USB stick or SD card, allowing for easy sharing of your driving performance. You can also download the data to the web.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Brampton, Ontario, Canada; Parts- US/Canadian 63%, Mexico 26%; Engine – Mexico / Transmission – USA; Classification is- Large; Cars from Dodge- Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey and Viper.

Handling & Performance:

392 horsepower V8 HEMI (High Energy Metals, Inc. or HEMIspherical combustion chambers in the engine) MDS (Multi Displacement System which shuts down 4 of the 8 cylinders to conserve fuel). Bottom line – it is an exciting power plant that takes us back to the Muscle car days of the mid-20thCentury. Those were happy days when the roar of the engines of the day excited the passions of youth.

The Active Exhaust or dual mode exhaust system uses a pair of electronic valves located near the rear of the vehicle to control the level of the exhaust noise. At idle and in light throttle situations, the valves are in their closed position to keep sound levels down. This also helps to reduce “drone” when cruising on the highway, but when you put the hammer down, the valves open and the exhaust gets a whole lot louder.

Today this Charger is unique on an automotive landscape where cars are to be seen and not heard. So, you get looks of curiosity about what the noise is. But at the end of the day it is a deep roar bellowed out of the exhaust that attacks your senses of sound and feel whether you’re in or outside of the car. The sound is rich and exudes raw power as your body literally vibrates. Not a car for everyone, especially in today’s world, where that exhibition is looked down on. But it has a way of exciting the senses in a rather magical way for those who found their manhood behind the wheel of Muscle Cars of the 1950’s and 1960’s. You gotta love it.

Styling:

Retro look that speaks of bygone days.

Fit and Finish:

Today the assembly of Chrysler cars is light years advanced from the early days of most cars of the day. That careless assembly so often resulted in rattling and squeaking when the rough roads caused a “shake rattle and roll” and even Elvis wrote songs about that.

Cost:

Well, cost is a relative value and although it is competitively priced, it is expensive, unless you appreciate cars that are bold performers, then they are cheap. This is the way it is with this Charger. It is surely worth the price of admission.

Conveniences and comfort:

The MSRP price represents the basic standard features. If you want all the trick hi-tech stuff the price jumps to nearly $53,000 or about $12,000 additional. At about $40,000 it is decently equipped. Heck, some folks would rather not have a sun roof anyway, and at the end of the day we did without all the gadgets for over 100 years. However, there is much more in the options that would appeal to most if they can justify the cost. Look at the optional equipment below and see how much you could do without.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you are looking for a rocket, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. And I’m guessing this car will resonate largely with those who can now afford to have what they could NOT afford in their youth. But if it appeals to the nostalgic or adventuresome feelings in you, this may just be the car you’re looking for.

Driving this Daytona gave me a tingle that took me back to my teenage years when I had a love affair with a Corvette powered 1928 Ford model A Sedan. It was beautifully painted a Rose Mist with a white Naugahyde top.

My sedan was featured in the June 1956 issue of Hot Rod Magazine.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Dodge Charger 46,000 18 5 4 USA Canada
Cadillac XTS 47,000 22 5 4 USA Canada
Genesis G80 45,000 20 5 4 Korea Korea
Toyota Avalon 42,000 24 5 4 Japan USA
Chevrolet Impala 37,000 22 5 4 USA Canada
Cadillac CT6 55,000 25 5 4 USA USA

Good News:

Wow – fast, astounding performance, roar of the glory days of Muscle cars in the mid-20th Century and it has a mountain road ride magic about it. Fabulous experience!

Bad News:

Muscle Car performance that will consume fuel voraciously. Low to the ground limits roads you can take.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 392 HP V8 HEMI MDS (Multi-Displacement System) engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, front, side, side curtain front and rear airbags, Parkview backup camera and park sense park assist system, stability control, high speed engine controller, Bilstein high-performance suspension, Brembo 4-piston high performance brakes, active exhaust, stability control, traction control, power steering, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring, keyless enter and go, remote start, sentry key theft deterrent system, security alarm, Dodge performance pages.

Options:

Custom Package $5,000: 20” forged painted aluminum wheels with performance tires, Daytona upgrades with decals and badges to signify such things as 6-cylinder Brembo high performance front brakes and Pirelli brand tires, special seat and interior Carbonite accents, heated and ventilated front seats & steering wheel and heated rear seats, power tilt and telescopic steering column, auto adjust in reverse exterior mirrors, auto dimming driver exterior mirror, memory for radio, driver seat and mirrors, power heated memory mirrors and manual fold away.

Technology Package $1,495: Blind spot and cross path detection, adaptive cruise control with stop, full speed forward collision warning, lane departure warning with Lane Keep assist, auto high beam control, advanced brake assist, rain sensing windshield wipers, power heated memory mirror with blind spot indicator.

Harman Kardon Audio Group $1,995: 19 premium speakers including subwoofer.

Power Sunroof $1,295: Special tires Navigation with 8.4” display, SiriusXM with Traffic Plus and travel link with 5-year subscription. Adds another couple of grand.

Gas Stats:

$2.45/ Gal avg. September 3, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

15 City 25 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $39,995.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe

2018 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Toyota 86 2-Door Coupe. Yep, there is a small back seat if you’re in a pinch and don’t want to put someone in the trunk. But you may have to remove their legs first. Most cars like this have never had a usable rear seat. Case in point in my mind is the much larger Ford Mustang where the rear seat is nearly as bad as these 2-seat sports cars.

General Information:

Assembly- Ota Guma Japan; Classification is- MiniCompact; Vehicles from Toyota- 4Runner, 86, C-HR, Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius C, Prius Prime, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris and Yaris iA.

Handling & Performance:

As you’d expect this class sport car is an outstanding performer beyond even what they look like they could do. I test most all cars over a mountain road course, in Southern California it is usually the Angeles Crest which is Highway 2. Of course, I call it the ‘Crest Test’ for that reason and as a kid the Crest test referred to Crest Toothpaste. Anyone remember that?

“On RAILS” is a term that comes close to describing how well it corners and handles the ‘curves’. It will surely get your heart started. And on top of that, it will pull more G’s as speed increases and grip seems to improve. I never once felt uncomfortable about it holding the road. However, I must say the same about the competition listed here. All three are super on the curves and the rides are equally impressive.

One way I judge the road-ability of a car is how fast you can take a curve over the posted suggested speed. If the yellow sign suggests 30 mph most cars will feel right at the edge of in control at about 50, or 20 mph over. This Toyota 86 is comfortable at 40 miles over.

Dynamic rev Management is an innovative sport car feature that manages RPMs with an automatic transmission so that in a downshift the engine automatically revs the engine to match the engine speed of the next lower gear. This automatic action mimics the shifting characteristics of a manual transmission. What they won’t think of next, eh.

Styling:

Sporty look to go along with the feel you get when you drive it. But most first impressions from others was that it must be very expensive.

Fit and Finish:

Very Good.

Cost:

Excellent option if you’re looking for a sport car.

Conveniences and comfort:

You’ll notice it comes with most of the features so common on cars these days. But when it comes to comfort you will expect entry and exit to be a pain in the neck, back and other parts of your body. You will also expect to have limited space and thus you won’t have convenient storage compartments you get accustomed to in larger cars.

Consumer Recommendations:

It is clear and amazing, to me, that you can have such capable sports car handling performance in this price range. Anything beyond this is, in my opinion, to be left to the professional race car class of drivers anyway. So, don’t waste your money on more if you are not a race car driver.

I say that because a friend of my son, Paul Walker, died for this very reason. The car was far too powerful for Paul’s friend, who was driving, to control and a crash at over 100 mph killed them both. If you know the story you know alcohol or drugs were not involved. Moral of the story: Know your limitations when you get behind the wheel.

Paul Walker and friend (driving) died in fiery crash in 2013 – Car Porsche Carrera GT

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Toyota 86 28,000 27 4 2 Japan Japan
Subaru BRZ 26,000 24 4 2 Japan Japan
Nissan 370Z 32,000 22 2 2 Japan Japan

Good News:

Affordable performance sport car, fabulously fun to drive.

Bad News:

Anything built this low to the ground is for the young who are still limber enough to get in and out of. That holds true for a woman in a dress or skirt as it is awkward to negotiate entry and exit moves. Know what I mean!

Standard Equipment:

2.0 LITER 4-cylinder Boxer 200 HP engine, dual variable valve timing, direct and port injection system, dynamic rev management and controllers on a 6-speed sequential auto transmission, 17” alloy wheels, 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes with brake assist and electric brake force distribution, MacPherson strut front suspension, Torsen limited slip differential, stability and traction controls, hill start assist control, VSC Track mode, front airbag system with seat mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags front and rear, back up camera, tire pressure monitor, power exterior mirrors, auto projector beam LED headlights and taillights, 7” touch screen display audio AM/FM/HD radio with 8-speakers, aux/USB ports with iPod connectivity, hands free phone capable and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, aha application, remote keyless entry with engine immobilization, power windows and locks, 1-piece folding rear seatback, leather trim, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, air conditioning, rear window defogger, multi-information display.

Gas Stats:

24 City and 32 Highway MPG

$3.45 / Gal avg. August 26, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $26,975.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue. I had tested the Limited Plug-in Ioniq last year, but it is worth another look at Hyundai – this time the Blue, that is NOT a Plug-in. That’s just fine with me since I’m not thrilled with the plug in anything automotive, especially if it is All Electric.

Mark my words, all electric will not impress the world at large and they will not turn out to be the dominant mode of transportation, unless there is some miraculous breakthrough in battery technology. I repeat that Hybrid is, however, a good option. OK, but what about the fuel economy numbers of the Plug-in Hybrid? That is impressive for sure, but you must remember electricity at your house is NOT free. At least it isn’t at my house.

In the meantime, this Hybrid was easy to love. I took a trip up the coast of California from LA to Pismo beach to meet family and friends. At over 51 mpg that 400-mile round trip cost me about $25. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Two people with sleeping bags, tents (just in case), cooler with food and drink, suit cases, pillows, blankets, camp chairs etc. Trust me, we didn’t forget anything but it all fit easily in this hatchback with the rear seats folded flat. You gotta love it, especially when you fly by all those gas stations. It doesn’t get much better.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Ulsan, Korea; Parts- US/Canadian 1%, Korea 91%; Engine and transmission- Korea; Classification is- Midsize Cars; Cars from Hyundai- Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra GT, Ioniq Hybrid, Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid, Santa Fe, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, Tucson and Veloster.

Handling & Performance:

Great handling size car and I’m impressed with the acceleration and highway speeds that is a very stable feeling ride. No complaints with this one.

Styling:

Styling is very commonplace in a computer design sort of way. It has simple lines that are easy on the eyes. Older folks will recall how radical designs were in the early years.

Fit and Finish:

Very good attention to detail in assembly.

Cost:

I mean, really, it is amazing that you can have a car like this so affordably. In a word it is an ‘offer you can’t refuse’. That’s how they put it in my family.

Conveniences and comfort:

The ride is comfortable, not lush, but as priced this is an impressive ride.

Consumer Recommendations:

In this very economical class there are very few players. In this case only Toyota and Hyundai. My vote is Hyundai because I never warmed up to the Prius. It was more interested in the technology rather than how it looked. Ever known a nerdy suitor like that?

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Hyundai Ioniq Blue 23,000 58 5 4 Korea Korea
Toyota Prius C 24,000 46 5 4 Japan Japan
Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid 26,000 119 5 4 Korea Japan
Toyota Prius 24,000 43 5 4 Korea Japan

Good News:

Economical, well priced, 5 passenger family car, handles well and is fast.

Bad News:

N/A.

Standard Equipment:

1.6 liter gas 4-cylinder engine, synchronous motor (32 KW), combined system power 139 horsepower, 6-speed automatic transmission, 240 volt lithium – ion polymer battery system and hybrid starter generator (lifetime Hybrid Battery warranty, stability management with traction control, 4-wheel disc brake with integrated regenerative braking, ABS electronic brake force distribution with brake assist, front, front side curtain airbags, rearview camera, tire pressure monitor, 16” alloy wheels, automatic headlights, bodycolor side mirrors with blind spot indicators, proximity key entry with push button start, 4.2” color trip computer display, power windows and locks, climate control, tilt and telescopic steering column and steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controls, cloth seating with 6-way adjustable front seats, 60/40 split folding rear seatbacks, 7” color touchscreen audio display, AM/FM/MP3 audio system with USB and Aux input jacks, HD Radio technology, SiriusXM, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, Bluetooth hands free phone, emergency tire puncture repair kit (no spare tire).

Gas Stats:

$3.49-Gal avg. August 18, 2018g

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

57 City and 59 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $23,210.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Subaru Impreza 2.0 i Limited

2018 Subaru Impreza 2.0 i Limited

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Subaru Impreza 2.0 i Limited. In 2016 I reviewed the Impreza Premium and now I’m checking out the Small Wagon.

At the end of the day, I think it is my duty to present the good auto options and ignore others that don’t measure up to what we all demand in something so indispensable in today’s fast-moving population. Subaru is one of those good car manufacturers that seem to spend more on engineering than they do advertising. I don’t think they blow their own horn as much as most, but if you deliver a good product, as they say the world will beat a path to your door.

Advertising is self-serving, of course, so for me I’m more interested in the actual performance ‘at the wheel’ to get the experience, unrehearsed and unchoreographed, which is what advertising does.

For more than a quarter century I have been testing most all cars on and off road because the manufacturers believe in the process of independent reviews to give unbiased and unvarnished opinions of their cars. Never has a car company even hinted at the idea of saying only nice things about their cars. To me that is a testimony they have confidence in their products. Let’s face it, buying a car is a major purchase decision for us all, and one we won’t have to make any time soon.

General Information:

Parts- US/Canadian 40%, Japan 45%; Engine and transmission- Japan; Assembled in- Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Class- Small Wagon; Cars from Subaru- BRZ, Crosstrek, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback, WRX.

Handling & Performance:

I’m always impressed with the innovation that is taking place in the auto industry as they apply technology that is so subtle you don’t even know it’s working in the background.

Safety Pedal System, or Brake override protects, via computer, against the occurrence of both the accelerator and the brake being pressed at the same time. The system senses that and then applies the brake and closes the throttle. Yes, it may be a rare occurrence, but it can and does happen with bad results.

Another subtle feature is VDC (vehicle dynamic control), to increase stability on slippery surfaces and to improve cornering performance by preventing skids. It does that by reducing engine power and / or apply the brakes to slow down individual wheel spin to keep the intended path rather than allowing you to go off the road. Neat feature.

Styling:

Clean and conservative body design.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost:

Subaru, to me, is always a good investment.

Conveniences and comfort:

A good features list for the money, but if you can afford the options noted for about 4-grand I think it is worth the cost.

Consumer Recommendations:

Subaru is ‘first class’ and should be looked at closely as an option for that next economy small wagon / sedan.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled Drive Train
Subaru Impreza 20,000 32 5 4 Japan USA 4WD
Chevrolet Cruze 20,000 33 5 4 USA USA FWD
Mazda 3 20,000 32 5 4 Japan Japan FWD
Hyundai Elantra 21,000 32 5 4 Korea Korea FWD

Good News:

Priced well, good quality, economical, comfortable ride for seating of 5.

Bad News:

N/A.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 4-cylinder Horizontally opposed engine, Symmetrical all-wheel drive, Continuously Variable (CVT) automatic transmission, 17” alloy wheels, Vehicle Dynamic Control, front, side and side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag, safety pedal system, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, rear vision camera, tire pressure monitor, anti-theft system with engine immobilizer system, power folding exterior mirrors with turn signals, climate control, multimedia audio system, smartphone connectivity, HD radio, Sirius XM, Bluetooth hands free phone, USB port with iPod and iPhone connectivity, cruise control, auto on/off headlights, power windows, Locks and mirrors, keyless access with push-button start, 6-way power driver’s seat, leather, illuminated vanity mirrors, trip computer, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, 60/40 split fold down rear seatback, all-weather package with heated front seats.

Options: On this vehicle included Eyesight feature including pre-collision braking, lane departure, adaptive cruise (smart cruise) control, power moonroof, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, reverse auto braking, high beam assist, upgraded audio system, Sirius XM traffic. Cost: $3,845.

Gas Stats:

$3.45 / Gal avg. August 5, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

28 City and 37 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $24,595.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

Recent Comments by Autolove

    No comments by Autolove yet.