2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:00

Last July, I drove to San Diego in our long-term 2017 Hyundai Tucson to attend the launch of the 2018 Sonata and Elantra GT. The latter shares the same 1.6-liter turbo-four and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with our Tucson in Sport guise but makes 26 hp more. In that application, the transmission is smooth, responsive, and snappy even in manual mode, doing exactly what you want. However, in the Tucson, it’s like a different unit, slow to respond and laggy. Why such a drastic change between the two cars? It’s all in the tuning.

Whereas the Elantra GT Sport has been calibrated for enthusiastic driving, the Tucson is efficiency-minded.  On the highway, the powertrain is unobtrusive, but once you hit congested areas, things start to get clunky. At low speeds, the gearbox hunts frequently, shudders, and shifts roughly. You grow to expect but perhaps not accept it after a while; it will remain annoying because we’ve driven eco-minded powertrains that are less noticeably clunky. It also doesn’t help that the Tucson’s throttle response is sluggish, making it feel even more unresponsive. The best solution is to not put your foot down suddenly, because the transmission will get confused and ease into the throttle when you’re in traffic to keep it from shuddering. Sport mode also alleviates things slightly and makes city driving slightly smoother.

As a result of its transmission tuning, the Tucson lags behind its rivals when it comes to on-road refinement. The Honda CR-V doesn’t jerk you around at low speeds, and the CVT operates nearly invisibly. The Mazda CX-5, on the other hand, is more agile and responsive. City driving is where the Tucson’s weaknesses appear, and it doesn’t help that despite the economy-minded transmission, it’s EPA-rated at 24/28 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive and 25/30 mpg with front-wheel drive. That’s right in line with most of the class but behind the most efficient entries, the CR-V and the Nissan Rogue, both of which are rated 2 to 3 mpg higher, so there’s no efficiency gain with the eco-tuned transmission when matched against the competition.

Read more about our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD:

The post 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:45

Lexus has gained a reputation for polarizing design over the past several years. And whether you like or don’t like the look of other Lexus crossovers, you’ll likely feel the same way about the new 2019 Lexus UX. When it arrives in the U.S. this December, it will compete against the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. But does it have a more compelling design than these two rivals?

The 2019 Lexus UX features the much contended spindle grille that permeates throughout the automaker’s lineup. It takes on an interesting 3D appearance with a mesh pattern. The grille takes up most of the front fascia, although the headlights and side vents also try and grab your attention. Take a look at the BMW X1, and you’ll notice it bears a less controversial dual-kidney grille design that’s simple, unobtrusive, yet almost too expected. The lights inside the headlamp housings take on a rounded shape. On the GLA, the rounded headlamps are almost as tall as the grille, which itself features soft lines. Because it doesn’t have sharp edges, the GLA looks less imposing than its rivals from many angles.

From the side profiles, the three models look quite different. Comparatively, the UX features a lot of cladding around the wheel arches. It has a more bulbous rear than that on the X1, which is flatter. The GLA has pleasant character lines running across its body and looks particularly diminutive from this angle. It’s the shortest of the bunch, measuring 173.9 inches long compared to the BMW’s 175.4 inches. Lexus says the UX that debuted in Geneva measures in at 177 inches in length.

Strong fender flares characterize the back end of the UX. Its full-width taillights project a “nighttime signature” using 120 LEDs and tapers toward the center, Lexus says. Below the light strip, character lines form a trapezoid. This angle of the UX is also a bit polarizing since the rear protrudes so much, and is arguably overly sculpted. Meanwhile, the BMW features a much more conventional rear end that is more upright. For the GLA, the taillights are so big that they dominate the rear end. A silver trim piece joins the two lights together in the very compact rear.

Each model features a luxurious cabin. On the UX, Lexus made it so the upper part of the instrument panel appears to extend out beyond the windshield. The large, low screen sits above the dashboard, and there is an old-school analog clock on this unit. Below the big screen, there are neat rows of buttons and a touchpad. The BMW features perhaps the oldest-looking screen of the bunch, and probably the starkest interior of the group as well. On the GLA, you’ll notice playful circular air vents and a stand-alone, square infotainment system.

Which crossover takes the cake: the 2019 Lexus UX, BMW X1, or Mercedes-Benz GLA? Let us know on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:00

The name “Tesla” may be synonymous with electric cars, but since the end of 2010, Nissan’s been quietly selling the fully electric Leaf hatchback. It was even popular enough to earn a second generation. But from the sound of it, Nissan thinks sales of its next electric car will blow Leaf sales out of the water. That’s because it’s reportedly planning to turn the Leaf into an SUV.

According to Autocar, Nissan’s developing an electric SUV that looks a lot like the IMx concept we saw last year. Despite being larger and offering more ground clearance, Autocar believes this electric crossover will be built on the Leaf’s platform. And when it finally goes into production, Nissan expects the electric crossover to be extremely popular.

“Of course, we have the new Leaf, but I think the [production version of the] IMx concept will become a breakthrough model.” Mamoru Aoki, Nissan’s head of European design, told Autocar. “The IMx is not just a concept car. In a few years, it will appear.”

According to Aoki, removing the engine will make the production IMx much more spacious than its gas-powered competition. “The interior is notably bigger than with a conventional vehicle and there’s much more usable space, thanks to the totally flat floor allowed by the battery pack,” said Aoki. “The dashboard is also pushed right back because the HVAC unit is under the bonnet.”

So far, there’s no word on how much Nissan’s electric SUV will cost or what kind of range it will actually offer. But Hyundai’s Kona Electric may soon face some serious competition.

Source: Autocar

The post The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 22:00

Now we’re starting to understand why Volkswagen didn’t bring the T-Roc to the U.S. market. The automaker apparently has a different small SUV in mind for us, one that is currently under development and will come from Mexico.

Although we don’t have an official name yet, VW calls the model “Volks-SUV,” or People’s SUV. “We call it internally Volks-SUV – the production car won’t have that name – because it turned from a regional project into a global project,” said VW brand sales boss Juergen Stackmann, reports Automotive News.

The model, to be sold globally, is slightly more compact than the Tiguan. It will sit on the MQB architecture for cars with front transverse engines. VW just approved the design last week, so the process is already pretty far along.

Volkswagen will initially build the model through a joint venture in China, and sales for this market will begin in August. Production will expand into Mexico, Russia, and Argentina starting from 2020. The automaker didn’t say when we can expect to see it in the U.S., but VW brand CEO Herbert Diess revealed Mexico will supply the crossover for the U.S.

Small crossovers are hot in the U.S. right now, and VW clearly needs a competitor in this space. So why didn’t the T-Roc make the cut, you ask? VW says its smaller size and lower roof make it more compatible with Europe. Meanwhile, the automaker will sell the “Volks-SUV” in various different markets, but there are no plans to introduce it in Europe.

According to Diess, VW wants to sell 400,000 copies of the new crossover globally each year. If it sells well, the model can help fund VW’s extensive electric vehicle lineup planned for the future.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

The post Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 19:45

It has been about seven years since Ford redesigned the Focus, and despite receiving an update for 2015, it feels a little outdated. Past spy shots have shown that Ford is hard at work developing a new Focus, but it hasn’t been clear when the car would officially be revealed. Based on these photos, that date is probably just around the corner.

Our spy photographer caught this Focus sedan prototype on the road in Europe, and while they’re technically spy shots, it’s clear Ford wanted this car to be seen. Instead of wearing traditional camouflage, the car is covered in a bright, colorful wrap with comics. Really, we shouldn’t even call it a prototype since it’s being used as more of a marketing vehicle.

From what we can see, the new Focus is curvier and looks a little more mature than the current car, while the headlights and taillights have a more upmarket feel. Of course, it also looks a lot like the Focus hatchback that was caught completely undisguised last month.

Ford has yet to confirm an exact date for the official reveal, but we do know the new Focus won’t be shown at the New York Auto Show. Last we heard, it will get an event of its own somewhere in Europe next month.

Source: CarPix

The post Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 18:30

Resurrecting a nameplate we haven’t seen since 2005, Lincoln will preview a new Aviator SUV at the New York auto show later this month.

Lincoln last used the Aviator name on an SUV based on the Ford Explorer. Although short-lived, running from the 2003-2005 model years, the SUV provided Lincoln customers with a slightly smaller alternative to the Navigator. It featured a 4.6-liter V-8 engine delivering 302 hp, and fuel economy topped out at 11/17 mpg city/highway. We should see downsized, but still powerful, engines on the new Aviator, and expect a big improvement in fuel economy.

Judging from the past, we can expect the Aviator will slot between the Nautilus and Navigator in Lincoln’s current lineup of recently updated SUVs. The current Navigator, which we really like, has been on sale since late last year while the Nautilus will go on sale this spring as a replacement for the MKX crossover.

Lincoln is expected to offer an electrified version of the new vehicle. “The Aviator, which will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, is the first of two all-new utilities that Lincoln will bring to market in the next two years as it grows its utility portfolio and commits to electrification across its lineup globally,” the automaker said in a press release.

We don’t know much about the Aviator, but we have to say we like the name and Lincoln’s move away from vehicles starting with “MK.” We’ll learn more about the Lincoln Aviator when it debuts in New York on Wednesday, March 28. In the meantime, check out the teaser video below for a look at parts of the exterior design.

Source: Lincoln

The post Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:45

Every spring, Jeep builds a handful of wild concepts and heads to Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari. Last year, we saw a Wrangler that had been modified to look like a ’60s gasser hot rod, a tastefully restored 1993 Grand Cherokee, and several others. Jeep hasn’t revealed which concepts it will bring to this year’s event, but the teasers it released today definitely have our attention.

The first image shows a JL Wrangler with a retro two-tone paint job. Look a little closer, and you’ll see a badge on the fender that says “Jeepster.” To us, it looks a little more like the Commando from the ’70s that had dropped the Jeepster name, but we’ll reserve judgment until the concept is revealed in full. Jeepsters are cool, and so is this concept’s retro look.

The Wrangler in this second teaser definitely looks more off-road-focused. It appears to have been lifted, given larger tires, and fitted with a bull bar and lights. Since it’s also got a hood scoop, there’s a chance Jeep swapped in a Hemi V-8. And while the image is far too blurry to be certain, it kind of looks like there’s a truck bed out back.

According to Jeep, we’ll get more details, as well as more images, next week before the 52nd annual Easter Jeep Safari kicks off on Saturday, March 24.

Source: Jeep

The post Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:45

Attention lottery winners and blockchain bros: British luxury brand Aston Martin is engaging in a massive product offensive that will result in an all-new or seriously redesigned vehicle arriving pretty much every year through 2023.

The surge will include Aston Martin’s entry into the SUV market as well as two pure battery-electric vehicles under the Lagonda brand name. It also means a new mid-engine sports car.

2019 Aston Martin Vantage

In a far-reaching interview at the media introduction of the Vantage in Portugal (driving impressions of which are embargoed until April 10), Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that the brand is looking at portfolio expansion as a way to dramatically increase global sales and brand recognition past that of Ferrari.

The expansion into mid-engine sports cars could result in the brand’s traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout going away after the current generation, Palmer said.

Although Aston Martins will retain their classic dimensions—yes, even in SUV form—“we unleashed the designers on Lagonda,” Palmer said.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept

Make no mistake—Lagonda will be “fully electrified,” as in having only battery-electric propulsion—not hybrids—with development done in-house. Palmer adding that Aston Martin has “help wanted” positions for 400 Lagonda battery propulsion engineers.

“It will not be a compromised platform,” Palmer said. “It will have no tailpipe. We want to do our own cells. We want to master the battery controller.”

By not having the restriction of a powertrain at the front axle, the designers have more freedom to create unique new vehicle designs—as seen with the Lagonda Vision concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston’s product roll-out
  • 2018 Vantage, DB11 Volante redesigns
  • 2018 Vanquish redesign, Vantage roadster
  • 2019 DBX SUV intro
  • 2021 Mid-engine sports car into
  • 2022 Lagonda sedan intro
  • 2023 Lagonda SUV intro

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief designer, said that “without the lump of a V-8 or V-12, we can design from the inside out.”

The new lineup also means the withdrawal of the Rapide sedan from the lineup. The Rapide is at the end of its cycle but will fulfill a crucial duty in being transformed into a battery-electric fleet of 155 vehicles to test consumer wants and needs for the upcoming Lagondas.

That said, Aston Martin will still be in the business of building V-12 flagship sports cars, although future V-12s might be hybrid-powered (but not plug-in hybrids, which Palmer sees as inefficient).

In addition to the series production vehicles, Aston Martin will also create two “limited series” vehicles a year, such as the Valkyrie hypercar or design variations with outside coachbuilders like Zagato, Palmer said.

The track-only Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro that debuted in Geneva

Aston Martin sold 5,100 vehicles in 2017, a 58 percent increase, but Palmer is not satisfied with that volume level. With the home plant in Gaydon, England, soon to be maxed out for capacity building sports cars, Aston Martin is building a new 7,000-unit plant in Wales to account for 4,000 DBXs and 3,000 Lagondas annually. Palmer expects volumes to reach 14,000 units in 2023—which would be nearly double that of Ferrari’s 8,398 sold in 2017.

Although the automaker is in the midst of its heaviest R&D spend in its history, it posted a £207 million EBITDA profit in 2017 on £1.2 billion in revenue. The only previous annual profit in Aston Martin’s 105-year history was in the global boom year of 2007—and that comes with an asterisk as a chunk of Aston’s costs were dispersed throughout then-owner Ford Motor Co.’s larger structure. The automaker also has refinanced its debt, shaving its borrowing rate from 10 percent to 6 percent senior securitized debt, Palmer said.

“The chapter of loss making is done,” Palmer said. “The money is spent. Now we will reap it in.”




The post Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Skinnydip opens five new stores

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:09
Accessories brand Skinnydip has opened five new stores within Intu shopping centres.
Categories: Property

Secure Income REIT raises £315m in oversubscribed share placing

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:53
Secure Income REIT has announced an early close on its latest share placing having raised £315.5m to fund two portfolio acquisitions totalling £436m.
Categories: Property

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Looks Ready to Swallow Rivals

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:45

After months of waiting, Ford has finally given us a sneak peek at the new Mustang Shelby GT500 in this teaser photo. One thing is for sure: This won’t look like a standard Mustang.

Arriving in 2019, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 receives more visual differentiation than any other car in the automaker’s pony car stable. The large, gaping grille completely dominates the front fascia. Compared to previous Shelby GT Mustangs, the Cobra logo is more prominent. Curiously, the headlights appear to take after the pre-refresh Mustang rather than the face-lifted 2018 model.

Ford has confirmed the new Mustang GT500 will be its most powerful production car to date. A teaser video released by Ford at the Detroit auto show announced the GT500’s return and revealed the car will pack more than 700 hp. If the leaked images we’ve seen are any indication, that power should come from a supercharged engine. The previous GT500, which concluded its run after the 2014 model year, made “just” 662 hp from a 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine. The coupe version managed to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds in Motor Trend tests, and we can only imagine the new version will be even quicker.

Right now, Ford only offers the GT350 and GT350R, which are impressive in their own right. We tested the GT350R, which makes 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V-8, hitting 60 mph in 4 seconds. The GT350, GT350R, and past GT500 have all come with manual transmissions, so it’s likely the new GT500 will follow suit.

In other Mustang news, Ford confirmed plans for a hybrid version of the pony car. But even more interesting will be an all-electric SUV with Mustang-inspired styling. That model is destined to arrive in 2020.

Source: Ford

The post Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Looks Ready to Swallow Rivals appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Ram 1500 driven, Ford Bronco teased, Ford goes all-in on hybrids: What’s New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 14:30
2019 Ram 1500 first drive: the luxury car of pickup trucks The 2019 Ram 1500 has fully adapted to the way most drivers use their trucks: livability trumps utility. Ford Co-Pilot360 safety systems are coming, ready to take on Honda and Toyota Ford announced a raft of standard safety systems for its cars, crossover SUVs, and trucks at a press...
Categories: Property

Import tariffs on aluminum may not have an immediate affect on car prices in U.S.

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 13:18
Aluminum suppliers to carmakers are revving up their investments to push out as much metal as possible while the White House decides whether or not to grant permanent tariff exemption status to Canada, but those import taxes may not necessarily translate to higher new car prices in the short term. President Donald Trump last week imposed penalties...
Categories: Property

Updated 2019 Kia Sorento priced from $26,980

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:41
The 2019 Kia Sorento has a new price to go with its updated looks: $26,980, the automaker said Thursday. With its standard three-row seating, the 2019 Sorento is one of the least-expensive seven-passenger vehicles on the market. Rivals like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot cost upward of $32,000 to start. MORE: Read our 2019 Kia Sorento...
Categories: Property

London office under-offers up 76% year-on-year

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:06
The amount of London offices under offer in February reached 3.7m sq ft, up 76% year-on-year and significantly ahead of the 10-year average of 2.8m sq ft.
Categories: Property

Sunbelt ready: BMW adds two-wheel-drive X2, X3 crossover SUVs

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 11:37
The BMW X2 and X3 are now up to $2,000 less expensive, if buyers are willing to forgo all-wheel drive for new two-wheel-drive versions of the automaker's crossover SUVs. The crossovers will now start under $38,000 for the less snow-friendly 2018 X2 sDrive and $42,000 for the 2019 X3 sDrive. For the X2, that means front-wheel drive, while the...
Categories: Property

ADIB funds Saudi acquisition of Bristol office

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 10:47
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has arranged a structed Islamic financing transaction to fund the acquisition of The Hub in Bristol a private Saudi based client.
Categories: Property

BL exchanges on £96m Royal Victoria Place buy

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:44
Hermes Investment Management has exchanged on a £96m deal to sell its Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells to British Land.
Categories: Property

Toyota RAV4 History: A Closer Look at the Popular Crossover’s Heritage

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:30

Although it was born in an era dominated by minivans and sedans, the Toyota RAV4 continues to prove it has staying power. The crossover has experienced a long and twisty road to becoming Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and now, is the RAV4 is preparing to enter its fifth generation. Here, we take a look back at one of the most influential crossovers in history.

The Idea

If the RAV4 were a person, it would call itself a millennial. The small crossover made its debut in 1989 as the RAV Four concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. In 1993, Toyota revealed a revised version of the concept that would more closely resemble the final production version. The idea was simple: Create a vehicle that mixes the light off-road capability of an SUV with the on-road comfort of a passenger car. The spirit of this vehicle was captured in the seemingly random RAV4 name, which actually means “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD.”

First Generation: So Many Variants

At last, the production RAV4 arrived in Japan and Europe in 1994 followed by the U.S. in 1996. Here, it was powered by a 120-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine paired to a standard five-speed manual or available four-speed automatic. The vehicle was offered in two- and four-door versions. Globally, Toyota sold nearly 300,000 copies of the RAV4 in its first three years on the market, a small number compared to the more than 400,000 units a year that model sells today in the U.S. alone.

An all-electric RAV4 with a nickel-metal hydride batteries launched in 1997 to satisfy California’s zero emissions requirements. This model would be offered until 2003. For 1998, Toyota introduced a cabrio version, which we recorded hitting 0-60 mph in 9.8 seconds. That same model year, the RAV4 received an increase of 7 hp.

Second Generation: Getting More Power

Although new players were beginning to challenge Toyota in the small SUV segment, the automaker was consistently making changes to keep the RAV4 fresh. Moving into its second generation, the 2001 Toyota RAV4 became more powerful. It was now producing 148 hp and 142 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and we tested it hitting 60 mph in 10.4 seconds with the four-speed automatic and 8.9 seconds with the five-speed manual. In the U.S. market, only the four-door version was available, but a two-door continued to be available in other markets. In Motor Trend’s 2001 SUV of the Year evaluations, we praised the RAV4 for its generous legroom and nice interior feel.

By the time the 2004 model year rolled around, the RAV4 upgraded to a 2.4-liter engine making 161 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. We tested the RAV4 with this engine reaching 60 mph at 9.3 seconds with the four-speed auto and 7.8 seconds with the five-speed manual.

Third Generation: Upsizing

For the 2006 model year, Toyota offered a V-6 for the first time. The Avalon-derived 3.5-liter unit made an impressive 269 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque, and reaching 60 mph took just 6.4 seconds, according to our tests. Four-cylinder models also had more juice: 166 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque, and we clocked a 2008 model reaching 60 mph in 9.5 seconds.

The U.S.-spec RAV4 ballooned in length by 14 inches, making it more practical but allowing it to slowly creep into the Highlander’s territory. A third row was offered, though room was tight back there. We enjoyed the vehicle’s acceleration in V-6 form.

In a review of the V-6 Sport model with a firmer suspension and other updates, we wrote “The RAV4 is nimbler than ever due to the steering rack’s direct mounting to the frame, and its reflexes are especially striking in the nimble Sport version, where the RAV4 feels like a sports car in hiking boots.”

For 2009, the RAV4 jumped in power again, this time to 178 hp from a new 2.5-liter engine. This generation, the engine came with the familiar four-speed automatic, but V-6 models had a five-speed auto. No manuals were offered in the U.S.

At the end of the generation, Toyota tried its hand once again at an electric RAV4. It delivered 100 miles per charge with the help of a battery pack and electric powertrain designed and produced by Tesla. Maxing out at 154 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, the RAV4 EV boasted a sport mode that offered more spirited driving. Production on the model would end in 2014.

Fourth Generation: Time to Scale Back

When the new RAV4 made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto show in 2012, it had already fallen behind the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape in the sales charts. It had lost its original charm as a small, maneuverable SUV and had grown too far from its roots. For its fourth generation, the RAV4 reversed many of the changes from the third-generation model. The V-6 engine was gone, and instead, U.S. models only had a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 176 hp, a tiny decrease from the previous generation. A new six-speed auto replaced the old four-speed auto.

Toyota also axed that third row. Going back to basics, the new RAV4 shrank 2 inches in length and an inch in height, although it grew slightly in width. Instead of a single-hinged liftgate door, the RAV4 switched over to a more traditional design hinged at the roof. Another deletion: the model’s signature spare tire mounted to the rear. More practical but less fun, the spare tire was now hidden underneath the floor.

For the 2016 model year, Toyota introduced a hybrid version that shares its powertrain with the Lexus NX 300h. Utilizing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and three electric motors, the model makes a total of 194 hp. In its 0-60 run, the RAV4 hybrid managed 7.8 seconds in our tests. Because it’s more powerful than the standard RAV4, it’s no surprise the hybrid beat out the 2017 RAV4 SE we tested at a more leisurely 9.3 seconds. Perhaps more importantly, the hybrid blows other crossovers out of the water in our Real MPG tests, averaging 34.3/39/36.3 mpg city/highway/combined.

Fifth Generation: Era of TNGA

The fifth-generation RAV4 debuts at the New York auto show on March 28. So far, Toyota has released one shadowy image of the model, but it appears the model will receive a more upright body and more raked rear windshield.

At this point, the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. by a large margin. Toyota sold 407,594 copies in 2017, ahead of its next best-seller, the Camry, at 387,081 units. We expect the RAV4 to offer improved fuel economy and a more powerful naturally aspirated engine, possibly paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Most importantly, it will sit on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which should have positive implications for ride quality and handling.

The post Toyota RAV4 History: A Closer Look at the Popular Crossover’s Heritage appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Berkeley Homes ignores government call for housebuilders to build houses

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:52
Berkeley Homes has positioned itself directly against prime minister Theresa May, by refusing to increase the number of homes it builds despite government threats to housebuilders to either build homes on their land or face planning blocks.
Categories: Property