In the recent past, a lot of cars are being tested on public roads before they are launched. The real purpose behind such tests is a matter of debate. A few years ago, it was really difficult to spot a vehicle which was about to be launched on public roads. Usually, companies tested them at their own testing facilities or closed roads. But nowadays, ‘on test’ vehicles are being spotted in different parts of the country often. The question is whether manufacturers are actually testing cars on public roads to ensure they are suitable for India or are they doing it for free publicity before the launch. This question is a topic which would result in a big debate. Most people believe that manufacturers test their cars on the roads for a long time to ensure the longevity of various components and to adjudge the serviceable life of consumables like brake pads. While true on the face of it, if you think with a different mindset, you would realise the other motive companies have … [Read more...] about Are Indian Automakers Finally Warming Up To Road Testing?
Bajaj Auto has been working on its next segment bike, the Pulsar CS 400. The bike’s prototype was spied testing heavily camouflaged. Bajaj, one of the leading motorcycle brands in India has never failed to come up with new category of products. They have ruled the market with the legendary Pulsar models for over a decade. Pulsar was launched back in 2001 and it was the youth’s favourite motorcycle in India. Pulsar is the perfect value for money motorcycle when compared to similar class offerings. Bajaj offers a wide range of Pulsars, namely 135, 150, 180, 200 and 220. Bajaj launched its first full-faired Pulsar RS 200 last year and it was a success. Bajaj had showcased two new variants of the Pulsar, namely the SS 400 and the CS 400 at the 2014 Auto Expo. The company is expected to launch the Pulsar CS 400 by the end of this year in a 200 or 400 variant. The prototype of the CS 400 was recently spied testing on road.CS stands for Cruiser Sports and it will be a powerful … [Read more...] about Pulsar CS 400 Road Testing Commences With Heavy Camouflage | MotorBeam
We're a little more than halfway through our six-month road test of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster. So, what have we found? Great fuel economy and technology, and shortcomings with its visibility and rear seat, as you'll see here in our video road test. No doubt, the Veloster's styling can be somewhat polarizing. The snub-nosed front end draws attention, but we think the strong sculpting down the sides and rear end make the car really stand out. So do the hatch's curved glass and a spoiler--while they also affect visibility. Forward visibility is terrific thanks to relatively thin A-pillars, but the thick C-pillars hinder rearward visibility, and the seat belt hanger for the driver creates an even larger blind spot. We recommend $2,000 technology package which includes backup sensors and a backup camera as these two things make backing up much easier. In the cabin, the Veloster's seats have lived up to their long-haul potential. They're comfortable both around town and supportive on long … [Read more...] about 2012 Hyundai Veloster Six-Month Road Test: Video Update
Now that awards season is behind us, The Car Connection's editors are ready for some in-depth seat time with one of our highest-rated vehicles from the 2016 model year. Join us in welcoming the 2016 Honda Pilot Touring AWD to the TCC long-term test fleet. The Pilot is a well-known quantity on these pages. We named it our Best Car To Buy 2016, and already have spent hundreds of miles behind the wheel on first drives and in video road tests. Over the past nine months, we've already found the Pilot is an ideal all-around vehicle for a wide range of drivers. It nails the "utility" part of "sport-utility vehicle," and makes for a fantastic automotive au pair, what with all of its space, safety and infotainment options. It has to be great, with tough rivals like the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, and Hyundai Santa Fe gunning for it. Flying business class Our White Diamond Pearl long-term vehicle arrived at a completely green 259 miles. After a few long-distance trips and lots of short-hop … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot: our long-term road test begins
When people look back at this moment in automotive history, they'll almost certainly see it as the time when the industry began transitioning to electric and autonomous cars. But there's another change afoot, one triggered by years of deception and falsely advertised products manufactured by one of the world's largest automakers. The Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal took most people by surprise, and it's led consumers and regulators to look at automobiles more skeptically than they had before the news broke last September. That's not only true in the U.S., but also in Europe, where tests have revealed that few, if any, diesels on the road in the United Kingdom meet emissions guidelnes. Like the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.K.'s Department for Transport has been busy conducting emissions tests on diesel vehicles. While those tests may have initially been limited to cars manufactured by VW, Audi, and other Volkswagen group brands, they were recently extended to diesels from other … [Read more...] about It’s not just VW: Every diesel road-tested in the U.K. fails emissions tests
We've already put our Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster through a battery of unusual tests, including the Fido test and our Cars and Coffee challenge. Now it's time for its greatest challenge of all: the great American road trip. This Thursday evening, I'll be setting off on a cross-country road trip in our Vitamin C-colored Veloster for an epic trip with my wife Karen and our dog Otto. Call it a family adventure, or call it the High Gear Media road trip of the year. Whatever it is, it's going to be one heck of an adventure. We'll be starting out in Portland, Oregon with our final destination being Minneapolis, Minnesota. While the route is still being discussed, places such as Yellowstone National Park, the Badlands, and the Black Hills National Forest are all being discussed as potential pit stops. I'm interested to see how the visibility challenges we've talked about with the Veloster affect cross-country driving. And to find out what kind of gas mileagewe'll get while driving in … [Read more...] about Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster: The Great American Road Trip
We may sound like a broken CD here, but the 2014 Subaru Forester is one of the most versatile, safest vehicles you can buy--which is why we named it The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2014. It's a perfect example of the "utility" part of "sport-utility vehicle," even though, yes, we know it's more a crossover wagon. The Forester's a go-to tool for lots of jobs and joys: it's a capable all-weather commuter; a great family wagon; and a ready companion for outdoorsy types. On top of all that, it's a vehicle so well-engineered to survive accidents, it's been cited specifically by the agencies that crash-test cars for a living. It should be obvious, then, why we've decided to spend the next half-year digging deeply into the Forester's portfolio. And as luck would have it, we seem to have timed its arrival in Atlanta at the perfect moment, when that digging involves the sleety stuff you see in the photos above. What we've got Our Forester XT showed up with some warm-up miles on its … [Read more...] about 2014 Subaru Forester XT: Six-Month Road Test
Today at High Gear Media, we reviewed the new 2013 Cadillac ATS and Nissan recalled the 2012 Juke. The 2012 Chrysler 300 stars in our latest video road test and Mitsubishi priced the 2013 Outlander Sport. All this and more in today's car news, right here on The Car Connection. We took a spin in the 2012 Chrysler 300 in our latest video road test. Mitsubishi priced the 2013 Outlander Sport from $19,170. We reviewed the 2013 Cadillac ATS and found the BMW 3-Series has some real competition. Are women more prone to road rage than men? BMW announced it will offer its On Demand short term rental service in the U.S. Nissan recalled the 2012 Juke for a rear seat latch issue. Nissan priced the 2013 370Z from $33,900. Tesla opened a new store in Portland, Oregon. Cadillac gave the green light for a new flagship sedan. The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid received a 4-star NHTSA safety rating. … [Read more...] about 2013 Cadillac ATS Reviewed, 2012 Chrysler 300 Video Road Test: Car News Headlines
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster, as we have it for our first Six-Month Road Test, includes a lot of standout technology for the money. Many of the Veloster's features, whether we're talking about mechanical underpinnings like the direct-injection engine, or its excellent connectivity and infotainment interface, are way ahead of other small cars with the same price tag. But there's one feature in the Veloster that you won't find anywhere else in the Hyundai lineup, as of yet: its so-called EcoShift DCT transmission, which is an automated, dual-clutch manual gearbox. While dual-clutch gearboxes are new to Hyundai—and this one was developed by the automaker itself, rather than by a supplier—they aren't new to the U.S. market. Known under a range of terms, such as DSG (VW), Twin Clutch SST (Mitsubishi), and PowerShift (Ford), these transmissions generally offer more of a performance driving feel than conventional automatics, while optimizing gas mileage. Simply put, you can slide … [Read more...] about Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster: Dual-Clutch Differences
It's been six months since we took delivery of our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot Touring AWD, and we have been packing on the miles as quickly as one can. After just over 8,000 miles, our Pilot's trip computer informed us it was time for its first service stop. How did we get to over 8,000 miles in six months? Lots of errands, road trips from Atlanta to Florida, Atlanta to Detroit, Chicago, its current home, Minnesota, and, of course, some family road trips to the cabin in Northern Minnesota. Automakers are calling for longer intervals between service stops than ever before, and while we don't necessarily love the idea of putting 8,000 miles on the odometer before performing an oil change, we're abiding by Honda's recommendations. So, what does the first service stop include for our Pilot, and what was it like? The actual service requested Our Pilot's trip computer gave us a chime along with a pop-up notification at 8,216 miles informing us the A 1 maintenance was due soon. Scrolling … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: the first service stop
Now that spring is here, we're saying goodbye to our Three-Month Road Test luxury crossover, the 2013 Infiniti JX. We've sent it home, but not before a full video road test--and a last long road trip. The JX has been a terrific vehicle for long road trips, both planned and unplanned. It's nuanced in style, but straightforward in what it offers, in what Infiniti has lacked--a big and relatively efficient family vehicle. It's also proven useful in more ways than we ever expected. Gas mileage has been slightly below the rosiest EPA estimates, but the JX has delivered consistent numbers on premium fuel. Storage space has been enormous--we've toted everything from Christmas trees to armchairs to cranky relatives with equal grace. It's all laid out for you here in our video road test. Stay with us for one more post, as we wrap up the JX's full stay in Atlanta and points north, east, west, and south. ____________________________________ Wrap up our extended stay with the Infiniti JX with us … [Read more...] about 2013 Infiniti JX / QX60 Video Road Test
As we wrap up our Three-Month Road Test of the 2013 Infiniti JX, it's time to take a look back over the pages of fuel logs, and to report on the gas mileage we earned over its extended stay. First, some background. The JX is rated by the EPA at 18 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, or 20 mpg combined when it's equipped with all-wheel drive, as was our loaner. With front-drive, the JX picks up a mile per gallon highway and combined, for an EPA-rated 18/24 mpg, or 21 mpg combined. What does that compare with? Well, for starters, the front-drive Nissan Pathfinder that shares the JX's drivetrain is rated at 20/26 mpg, or 22 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive, it's pegged at 19/25 mpg, or 21 mpg combined. The differences come primarily from the added weight of more standard equipment on the Infiniti, and some slight differences in throttle and transmission tuning. Against its top competitors, the Infiniti JX fares well, though its CVT doesn't offer a huge benefit versus some six-speed … [Read more...] about 2013 Infiniti JX / QX60 Gas Mileage: Three-Month Road Test
After one year, nearly 17,000 miles, over 61 fuel fill ups, and dozens of memories, it's time to say goodbye to our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot. We spent the last year with the 2016 Honda Pilot after naming it The Car Connection Best Car To Buy 2016. Why? To get to know it far more intimately with some in-depth seat time. From learning its quirks to seeing how it performed in various situations, the Pilot was used and abused. And after twelve months, what's the verdict? Refresher For those needing a quick reminder, our pearl-white 2016 Honda Pilot showed up with 259 miles on the odometer. It's a Touring model with a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, nine-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. All in, our Pilot ticked almost all the boxes at $43,700. That puts it one step below the range-topping Pilot Elite, which now stickers for a hair over $47,000. What we did In the last year we've taken a look at the different Pilot trim levels, and discussed which one might be right … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: wrap up
Perhaps the most exciting thing we do here at Auto Express is road-testing. We get to go out in the hottest new cars long before they go on sale to the general public, drive them around and give our thoughts on what they're like. 2016 was a great year for road testing, too, and featured some of the most eagerly anticipated cars in years. We drove everything from humdrum hatchbacks to spectacular supercars - cars to buy with the head, and cars to buy with the heart. 2016 also marked yet another 'year of the SUV', with more and more manufacturers producing these jacked-up family favourites for us to test. Cars like the Jaguar F-Pace and Audi Q5 were just some of the scores of SUVs we drove this year. Many manufacturers really pushed the performance envelope, too. It seems we were just getting dewy-eyed about the 306bhp Honda Civic Type R when Ford came along with the blistering Focus RS, while even Alfa Romeo got in on the powerful action with its 503bhp Giulia Quadrifoglio, a BMW … [Read more...] about Best new cars 2016: our road tests of the year
If you're looking for an A4 Avant station wagon as you troll the local Audi dealer this coming model year, you'll be out of luck. Rather than stock the good-looking wagon, Audi's crossed over, reaching back into its bag of nameplates to come up with the Allroad. You might remember the last car to wear the same badge--an A6 mildly uprated with more ground clearance and the slightest nod to SUV cliches in its pronounced wheel wells and side sills. This time, the Allroad's an A4 wagon in all but name, but it's been Outbacked. The exterior changes are pretty pronounced: the fenders swell more, the skid plates and side sills wear aluminum trim, and the grille gets vertical ribs. It's clearly an Avant, but this Allroad picks up the baton from the most expensive Subarus as if the brands were colluding behind the off-road scenes. Like the rest of the A4/A5 range, the Allroad's also been fluffed up inside, with some rearranged controls and with some aluminum trim applied to the dash--it's … [Read more...] about 2013 Audi Allroad: First Drive and Video Road Test
In the last 11 months we've talked a lot about our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot. Everything from car seats and diaper bags to the safety tech and its first service stop have been discussed. Now, as we enter the holiday season it only seems fitting we turn our attention to what kind of presents you can buy your Pilot. Of course we are talking about accessories. Being a vehicle that is aimed at doing it all--from family hauling duties and soccer practice to hitting the beach with your buddies--it's only fitting that Honda and its dealerships welcome you with open arms to a plethora of things you can purchase as an add-on for your new Pilot. Today the question is: which accessories are worth the price? The must haves If you ever plan on hauling anything, from a trailer full of mulch or couches to a boat or pair jet skis, you'll need a hitch. More specifically, you'll need some form of tow package. This is a dealer-installed option and can be added to your Pilot at any time. For light-duty … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: which accessories are worth the price?
We've now entered the final quarter with our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot, and we've really put it to work over the last 12,500 miles. From hauling kids and dogs to grocery shopping and road trips. The Pilot's lived the life many other Pilots will, that is, shuttling families around constantly while enduring the abuse children and pets put it through. Of course, through all this we've had dozens of passengers pass through our Pilot's seats. Like everything in this world, opinions were voiced. Today the question is: what do our passengers say about the 2016 Honda Pilot? What we were told Porsche Cayenne owner: "The Pilot has a particularly comfortable ride, and it's far more quiet inside the cabin than I expected. The exterior looks sharp, inside it's well packaged, and overall it seems terrific for families. Lower trim models seem like a value." ALSO SEE: 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: 7 reasons to buy one Lexus LS 460 owner: "It's sharp, and inside it's pretty nice. I hate these … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: what do our passengers say?
As we barrel past 13,000 miles in our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot you might say we've covered quite a bit of ground in the large, three-row crossover SUV. Before this, we spent more than our fair share of time behind the wheel of multiple Pilots in its run-up to being named The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2016. To say we've come to know it inside and out barely covers it. That includes its tech, from its safety systems to its infotainment and apps. We've covered the former in detail, but today we turn our attention later. ALSO SEE: Bad app-titude: The problem with infotainment is our expectation What we love about it The infotainment system's 8-inch touchscreen is simple to use with an interface featuring large digital icons to navigate the system. Overall it's responsive to inputs and boots up relatively quickly when starting the Pilot. The Bluetooth connection picks up quickly and streaming music from you smartphone is easy. Connectivity isn't an issue with multiple USB ports … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: how smart is its infotainment system?
Our long-term Pilot is safely out of the snow belt now, but its short winter stint in the Great White North was just enough to give it a heavy dose of winter. Spending the summer and fall months in the Midwest gave our Pilot exposure to kids, dogs, family road trips, and of course, the Home Depot run and Bed, Bath, and Beyond, if there was time. Before our white family hauler left the Midwest, winter rolled in. We aren’t talking just cold, but snow. Real snow. A legitimate blizzard with measurable snow (over 8 inches then we stopped counting) blasted through Minnesota. This gave us the perfect opportunity to really test the Pilot’s all-wheel-drive system. Today the question is: how does the 2016 Honda Pilot handle winter weather when it gets nasty outside? The setup The Pilot’s powered by a horizontally-mounted 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 which sends power to all four wheels. While front-wheel drive is standard, we opted for all-wheel drive, which, in normal driving … [Read more...] about 2016 Honda Pilot long-term road test: handling winter weather
BMW’s M235i has earned the highest marks ever bestowed upon the German automaker’s lineup from Consumer Reports, while also besting the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette in road tests whose results were recently released online. Bloomberg reports the coupe earned a 98 out of 100 in its road test, falling one point short of the all-time leaders, the Tesla Model S and Lexus LS460L. The 911 and Corvette, packing more firepower with less comfort than the M235i, earned 95 and 92 out of 100 in their respective road tests. Deputy editor Jon Linkov proclaimed the M235i a “dual-purpose car” that anyone “could drive to work every day of the week” without leaving the driver in pain, followed by a weekend at the track taking on the likes of the 911 and Corvette. He added that this particular BMW “has almost a direct lineage” to BMWs of the past that lived up to the marketing of “Ultimate Driving Machine.” Neither of the trio were … [Read more...] about BMW M235i Bests Corvette, 911 In Consumer Reports Road Testing