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

2018 Kia Rio EX

2018 Kia Rio EX

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Kia Rio EX. I hadn’t reviewed a Kia since 2016 and always trumpet this company as price competitive and a reliable product. I haven’t heard anyone bad mouth the product including readers, consumer or any journalist colleague. On the contrary, at auto journalist gathering the talk is how good the product is.

Consumers have apparently experienced what I have and that is seen in the huge growing number of Kia products on our highways. It’s always nice to be validated in predicting based on my exposure to all manufacturers. In the case of Kia / Hyundai, I’ve had the opportunity of visiting their manufacturing facilities and meeting all levels of labor and management. I was encouraged by meeting those people and learning their policies to be noble.

Kia, in this class, is so well priced I can’t imagine anyone being without transportation in cities like Los Angeles. That is not true is places like New York City where parking is virtually an impossible obstacle to owning a car. Thus, it makes total sense to ride public transportation as they do.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Pesqueria, Mexico; Parts- US/Canadian 2%,Mexico43%, Korea55%; Engine and transmission- Mexico; Classification is- Compact; Cars from Kia- Cadenza, Forte, Forte5, K900, Niro,Optima, Rio, Rio 5-door, Sedona, Sorento, Soul, Soul, Sportage and Stinger.

Handling & Performance:

Well, it is light weight at about 2700 pounds and thus is a little light on its feet which you feel in high winds on the open highway. But it is a solid city-friendly and commuter compact sedan that handles well around town and to and from work, etc.

Its small 4-cylinder engine serves it well on city streets but a little light weight on those highway road trips. You will think twice about traveling slow behind a slow truck and then wanting to pass. But if you are moving with traffic it is not a problem passing other traffic.

On-the-whole the Rio is an unexpectedly comfortable ride, even on longer trips. One must keep the pros and cons in perspective when you look at its functionality in light on the cost to buy and operate as well.

Styling:

Simple clean lines. Well-appointed and nice look and feel inside.

Fit and Finish:

Good.

Cost:

Exceptional value.

Conveniences and comfort:

UVO eServices is a subscription-free OEM infotainment and telematics service offered in America on select vehicles. UVO is short for your voice and activates media such as the HD radio, CD player and built-in digital jukebox. It also can interface with your Bluetooth-enabled phone.

Good high-tech features for the money and competitive in class.

Consumer Recommendations:

This is a great young family car and especially when budget is important. This is a great value.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Kia Rio 19,000 32 5 4 Korea Mexico
Nissan Versa 17,000 34 5 4 Japan Mexico
Ford Fiesta 20,000 30 5 4 USA Mexico
Honda Fit 20,000 36 5 4 Japan Mexico

Good News:

Great value, good fuel economy, great company, good features listing.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

1.6 liter gas injection 4-cylinder 130 hp engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, 15” alloy wheels, 6 airbags, Latch child safety system, ABS braking system, traction and stability control systems, stability management, hill start assist, tire pressure monitor, air conditioning, power windows, heated mirrors and locks, AM/FM/MP3 with 7” touchscreen and rear camera, UVO eServices and Infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Sirius XM, USB and AUX input jacks, Bluetooth, cloth seating, 60/40 split folding rear seats, remote keyless entry, tilt and telescopic steering column, leather wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, steering wheel controls for audio, cruise and Bluetooth, automatic emergency brake, forward collision warning system and fog lights.

Gas Stats:

$3.79 Gal avg. October 23, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

28 City and 37Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $18,400.

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

2018 Volkswagen Beetle 2.0T SE

2018 Volkswagen Beetle 2.0T SE

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle 2.0T SE. I had heard the Beetle was going to be discontinued as a model. I was shocked. Can’t be, I thought. It is a lovely car with a rich history since the late 1930’s. I’ve owned several and they occupy a special place in my heart. They have indeed announced the line will be shut down in July 2019. Sad. One would have to assume it is because they are not being received well enough by consumers to continue them. Sad indeed, because it is impressive (not so small) car.

To me, if I were to give a car to my kids to go to college, I would consider a VW “Bug” or a Fiat 500 than most others. But I recognize that if sales are down and the consumer no longer supports this model, that is what counts in the final analysis. I’ll miss it and many others will not be able to experience the magic of the VW BUG.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Puebla, Mexico; Parts- US/Canadian 12%, Mexico 45%; Other 43%, Engine – Mexico, Transmission – Japan; Classification is- Compact; Cars from Volkswagen- Atlas, Beetle, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf Gti, Golf R, Golf Sportswagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan & Touareg.

Handling & Performance:

A solid ride that handles well in all highway conditions. It is FAST and fabulously fun to drive. Engine brake assist is an engineering feature to prevent possible skidding when downshifting.

Styling:

Classic Volkswagen look that is unmistakable.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent, but of course that wasn’t always true, as with all early automotive products.

Cost:

Priced very well.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very well equipped. A super comfy ride. Recent experience was on the highway to and from San Diego area (from LA) where high winds and high speed combined for an impressive ride. As some will recall that was a deadly combination for 1960s models of the Beetle. They were very light, and the undercarriage was like a sail that could launch you from lane to lane under windy conditions. The Carmen Ghia, I owned, was the exception in design to make it more wind resistant.

Consumer Recommendations:

All the competition listed here are very good inexpensive transportation. VW and MINI are arguably the most stable performers but I also like the Fiat a lot which is a tough price competitor.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Country of Origin Assembled
VW Beetle 25,000 29 4 Germany Mexico
MINI 26,000 26 4 Germany UK
Fiat 500 21,000 30 4 Italy Mexico
Ford Fiesta 22,000 29 4 USA Mexico

Good News:

German/American icon with a great track record, good fuel economy, powerful Turbo acceleration, competitively priced.

Bad News:

Discontinuing the model in 2019.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter turbo 4-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection, 4-wheel independent suspension, front, side and side curtain airbags, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, engine brake assist, anti-slip regulation (traction control), electronic brake force distribution, stability control, intelligent crash response system, LATCH system, tire pressure monitoring, 17” alloy wheels, auto halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, heated power mirrors, rain sensing intermittent wipers with heated washer nozzles, power tilt and slide sunroof, dual zone climate control, leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, tilt / telescopic steering column, front heated 8-way manual adjusting seats, 2nd row 50/50 split folding seats, leatherette seating, rear view camera, blind spot monitor and rear traffic alert, keyless access with push-button start, composition media 6.3” touch screen, multi-band radio & CD player, dual USB inputs, 8-speaker sound system, Sirius XM satellite radio, Cruise control.

Gas Stats:

$3.55/ Gal avg. November 12, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

26 City and 33 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $24,020.

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

2018 Fiat 500 C POP Cabrio

2018 Fiat 500 C POP Cabrio

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Fiat 500 C that is what I refer to as a pea popper. But it is much more than that, and it comes to us from the largest car company in the world. Yep, Fiat must be doing something right.

Cost is just one of the reasons for you to check it out. The last Fiat I reviewed was a Fiat 124 Spider that I have loved since I had great experience with the Spider I owned in years past.

F I A T was an acronym for “Fix it Again Tony” that we’d kid about back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. That’s when I owned a Foreign car repair shop in La Canada, CA. Most of the time back then repairing and maintaining Fiat cars were small things that were annoying but not expensive to fix. Of course, over the past decades the entire industry has had the benefit of newer technology and all are light years apart from then to now. Today Fiat remains at the top of the list of quality reliable cars.

I traveled to Poland in the 1990’s where I found how Fiat was “The Car”. In Europe as in many parts of the world Fiat had a cult following. Like most places in the world gas is a very dear and expensive commodity. Thus, consumers are stingy with gas and demand more of manufacturers. I realized with small town streets driving and parking is friendlier to smaller cars like this Fiat 500.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Toluca, Mexico; Parts- US/Canadian 11%, Mexico 54%; Italy 16%; Engine – US; Transmission – Italy; Classification is- MiniCompact; Cars from Fiat- 124 Spider, 500, 500c, 500e, 500L and 500 X.

Handling & Performance:

It handles like a dream. It is Turbo fast, provides a solid ride and you’ll be impressed with how it corners. It was great on the ‘Crest Test’ mountain course where its performance is truly put to the test. Nice.

Styling:

It is Cute and attracts the eye of most I come in contact with.

Fit and Finish:

Very well put together.

Cost:

It is pretty hard to complain when the cost is surprisingly easy on the budget. You get a lot of bang for the buck and it blows my mind to think transportation can be so inexpensive.

Conveniences and comfort:

The standard features speak well of most of what I like to see on the car I’ll be driving for many years to come.

Consumer Recommendations:

Fairly small field of players so pretty easy to narrow down your preference. Budget will make a difference and considering 25% more for the MINI and VW Beetle these may be eliminated right off the bat. The Smart car is ALL electric and separates itself from the rest and surely is a real consideration as it may only apply to the less demanding transportation requirements. I’ve tested them all at one time or another so I’d rate them (for me) Fiat, Fiesta and Fit, one – two and three.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled Drive Train
Fiat 500c 19,000 30 4 2 Italy Mexico FWD
Ford Fiesta 22,000 29 5 4 USA Mexico FWD
Honda Fit 19,000 31 5 4 Japan Mexico FWD
MINI Cooper 26,000 28 5 5 UK Germany FWD
VW Beetle 25,000 29 4 2 Germany Mexico FWD
Smart for two 19,000 35 2 2 Germany France RWD

Good News:

Fast, fun to drive, easy handling, comfortable ride and priced for most budgets.

Bad News:

Limited size in all cases. Need will dictate.

Standard Equipment:

1.4 liter MultiAir 135 horsepower Turbo Engine, engine immobilizer, 5-speed manual transmission, rear park assist, ParkView rear back up camera, front, seat mounted side airbags, and side Curtain airbags, LATCH child seat anchor system, stability control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, sport tuned suspension, tire pressure monitor, hill start assist, power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, Uconnect, 5” touchscreen display, Bluetooth with integrated voice command, Media Hub for USB and Auxillary, USB port in glove box, 12 volt power outlet in center console, 7” color display, audio system, power windows, air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, tilt steering column, driver and passenger seat memory settings, cloth seating, rear 50/50 split fold down seat, fog lights, 16” aluminum wheels and power heated mirrors.

Gas Stats:

$3.79/ Gal avg. November 4, 2018
About a buck a gallon more than last year.

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

28 City and 33 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $17,740.

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

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4

General Information:

It is assembled in- Detroit, Michigan, USA; Parts- US/Canada 61%, Mexico 27%, Engine – Mexico, Transmission – USA; Classification is- Standard SUV; Cars from Jeep- Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler, Wrangler JK, Wrangler JK Unlimited and Wrangler Unlimited.

Handling & Performance:

Pretty when you want it, but off road capable when you need it. Powerful V6 engine when you need the highway power and handles like a comfortable dream on any journey.

Styling:

Jeep tradition.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent assembly beautifully presented.

Cost:

Competitive.

Conveniences and comfort:

All those features I would want.
Selec-Terrain is a system designed to calibrate the vehicle to provide the best on-road and off-road performance; depending on which terrain mode is selected. The modes are selected by a dial located near the center console and have five settings: “Auto”, “Snow”, “Sport”, “Sand/Mud” and “Rock”.

Consumer Recommendations:

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled Drive Train
Jeep Grand Cherokee 40,000 21 5 4 USA USA 4WD
Dodge Durango 50,000 21 7 4 USA USA AWD
Land Rover Velar 65,000 UK UK AWD
Toyota 4Runner 46,000 20 5 4 Japan Japan 4WD
Chevrolet Tahoe 47,000 18 9 4 USA USA 4WD
GMC Yukon 49,000 18 9 4 USA USA 4WD
Volvo V90 50,000 N/A 5 4 Sweden Sweden AWD
Subaru Outback 40,000 22 5 4 Japan USA AWD

Good News:

Luxury SUV with Jeep capability, super smooth comfortable ride with open road power. Great features included with most additional options available.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 24 valve VVT engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, front and side seat airbags, driver knee bolster airbag, Select Terrain system, Quadra Trac II 4-WD system, rear back up camera, park sense park assist with Stop, selectable steering modes, keyless enter and go, remote start, sentry key theft deterrent system, ready alert braking, cruise control, power liftgate, stability control, ABS 4-wheel disc brakes, hill start assist, trailer sway damping, Uconnect with 7” display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable, Sirius XM satellite radio, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, Media Hub with 2 USB, Aux, heated front and second row seats, power 8-way driver and passenger seats, illuminated entry, leather wrapped heated steering wheel, dual zone climate control, exterior temperature and compass display, 18” aluminum wheels.

Gas Stats:

$3.95 / Gal avg. October 27, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $40,495.

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

Ford Ranger now in production at Wayne plant, Bronco to follow

Ford Ranger has entered production after a long absence. Erik Williams, site manager, Michigan Assembly Plant, celebrates the start of production for the 2019 Ford Ranger at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. Photos by Ford Motor Company.

An Automotive Love Affair
By Vince Bodiford

Ford Ranger now in production at Wayne plant, Bronco to follow

Ford Motor Company has re-started production this week of the Ranger mid-size pickup truck, after being absent from the market for years. The truck is being built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

“We have been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Michigan Assembly Plant Manager Erik Williams. “The Ranger is back home in the U.S., and our employees at Michigan Assembly Plant are thrilled to be able to build it for our customers.”

The event marks a renaissance for a plant just outside of Detroit that has experienced the highs and lows of the American auto industry for the past six decades. The occasion also signals the rebirth of Ford Ranger, the mid-size pickup that will return to American roads early next year after an eight-year hiatus, fully modernized for today’s truck buyer.

The special celebration to mark the kickoff of Ranger production included leaders from Ford and the United Auto Workers. Plant employees, media and others had a chance to ride in the Ranger on a custom-built, off-road course in the parking lot of the plant.

“Ford truck fans demanded a midsize pickup that’s ‘Built Ford Tough,’ and we’re delivering with our all-new Ranger that’s specially designed and engineered for American truck customers,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. “At the same time, we’re revitalizing our Michigan Assembly Plant and securing good-paying jobs for our hourly employees here in the U.S.”

Ford has invested $850 million to build exciting new vehicles at Michigan Assembly Plant, including the all-new Ranger for North America and the highly anticipated new Ford Bronco, scheduled to begin production in 2020.

For Michigan Assembly, a sprawling 369-acre plant in Wayne, Mich., which opened in 1957 building station wagons, the start of Ranger production marks a new era.

Beginning in 1966, the plant began a 30-year run of building Bronco, one of the original sport utility vehicles that gained popularity in post-War America. Michigan Assembly gained acclaim as being among the most important and profitable factories in the world when it made Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from 1996 to 2008.

Early this year, Michigan Assembly ended production of the Focus small car to make way for a massive retooling in preparation for the Ranger launch.

The factory is set to build two high-profile vehicles again in the Ranger and all-new Bronco as American appetite for pickups and SUVs continues to grow.
“The revitalization of the Michigan Assembly Plant and renewed production of the Ford Ranger is another exciting chapter in our state’s comeback story,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This is also an opportunity to look toward its promising future with production of the all-new Ford Bronco on the horizon. I thank our partners at Ford for investing in Michigan and contributing to the Motor City’s legacy as the automotive capital of the world.”

Ford is transforming its product lineup, building on truck, SUV and commercial vehicle strengths. Ranger is one of the first in an onslaught of all-new vehicles that will see Ford aim to replace more than 75 percent of its current North American portfolio by 2020.

“UAW-Ford members take pride in relaunching the all-new Ranger right here in Michigan,” said UAW-Ford Vice President Rory Gamble. “Our UAW brothers and sisters take great care in the quality and craftsmanship customers will discover when they experience the relaunch of this iconic nameplate.”

Ford says the Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer who blends city living with off-the-grid adventure. The midsize pickup promises to deliver utility, capability and technology Ford says those customers want and need.

Powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission, Ranger will deliver driver-assist technologies and connectivity features as well as best-in-class payload, gas towing and gas torque.

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

Recent Comments by Autolove

    No comments by Autolove yet.

Multiple Link Social Bookmarking Sites List Password Generator Youtube Video Downloader
English EN Spanish ES