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Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Lexus LX 570

2015 Lexus LX 570 Main Art

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 is a large luxury SUV that’s designed to tackle just about anything mother nature can throw its way, but is this machine ready for life in suburbia?

The post Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Lexus LX 570 appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Bentley Ponders Sub-Bentayga SUV

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Bentley is thinking seriously about building a smaller SUV to sit below the upcoming Bentayga.

The Volkswagen Group owned ultra luxury brand plans to unveil its first SUV later this year before a launch toward the end of 2015 as a 2016 model year. Bentley competes directly with Rolls-Royce on product, unlike that company it is also actively engaged in chasing sales volume.

“We are keeping a close eye on what Land Rover has done with the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and even the Evoque,” Bentley sales and marketing boss Kevin Rose said in an interview with Auto Express.

Bentley sales increased nine percent in 2014 to 11,020 vehicles.

[Source: Auto Express]

Discuss this story at our luxury lifestyle forum

The post Bentley Ponders Sub-Bentayga SUV appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Alfa Romeo Sedan, SUV Planned for US

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Alfa Romeo is planning two more models for the U.S. market.

At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the Italian automaker unveiled its 4C Spider but the company has more in the works. Later this year, Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil a midsize sedan that will be followed by a compact SUV in 2016. Both models will be based on rear-wheel drive “Giorgio” platform developed by an engineering team led by former Ferrari managers.

2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The SUV is reportedly similar in size to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and will be the first model to come equipped with a V6 diesel engine from the brand. Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the sedan on June 24 to celebrate its 105-year anniversary.

GALLERY: Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

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[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story at our Alfa Romeo forum

The post Alfa Romeo Sedan, SUV Planned for US appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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2015 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Review

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It’s no secret that the Mazda CX-5 is a favorite among the AutoGuide.com staff.

Last year we embarked on a long-term test of Mazda’s first entrant into the growing small CUV segment and for the most part we came away impressed. Furthermore, the CX-5 finished a close second place in an eight vehicle compact crossover shootout last summer.

2015-Mazda-CX-5-08.JPGBut that was then and this is now. Over a year later, how does the CX-5 stack up in everyday life? Some have said that the praise heaped on the CX-5 has as much to do with its sporty drive characteristics that appeal to our auto-obsessed staff, as it does its practicality. What would someone who isn’t particularly concerned with sporty driving dynamics think of the crossover?

This sounds like a job for Amanda. Quickly becoming a semi-regular feature on AutoGuide, our general consumer reviews put my wife Amanda into a mainstream car to garner her impressions as someone who appreciates automobiles from a purely practical standpoint. On one of her previous reviews, an AutoGuide commentator requested her impressions on the Mazda CX-5 so here we are.

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The Specs

Unlike most compact CUVs, the CX-5 is available with a choice of two different four-cylinder engines. Sport models come equipped with a 155 HP 2.0-liter four cylinder engine, while Touring and Grand Touring versions get the more powerful 184 HP 2.5-liter unit. Both engines are available with either front- or all-wheel drive. 2015-Mazda-CX-5-10.JPGBase, front-wheel drive CX-5s can be had with a six-speed manual transmission while all other versions come exclusively with a six-speed automatic.

At a weight of 3,560 lbs., the CX-5 is lighter than a Ford Escape and right on par with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Amanda’s all-wheel drive, automatic CX-5 with the larger engine is officially rated at 24 MPG city and 30 MPG highway. During a snowy week behind the wheel, she averaged 22.6 MPG thanks to endless commutes in thick traffic caused by foul weather.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Mazda CX-5 vs 2013 Toyota RAV4

Rear seat room in the CX-5 is generous offering up 39.3 inches of rear legroom. Behind the seats resides 34.1 cubic feet of cargo space; again, class competitive. Pricing for the Mazda CX-5 begins at $22,375 after destination charges for base Sport models. Amanda’s Grand Touring AWD with the technology package came in at $31,475.

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How does it Drive?

Amanda found power delivery to be good in both city and highway driving. The CX-5 drove very smooth and she found it easy to maneuver. Parking in tight spaces wasn’t an issue thanks to a good turning radius and easy to see back-up camera.

The Grand Touring CX-5 comes equipped with larger 19-inch wheels wrapped in winter tires. Although winter tires do hurt fuel economy to a degree, the tradeoff for sure footed traction during an unexpected, sizable snow storm was worth it. Never getting upset or sliding around, Amanda appreciated the capability of Mazda’s all-wheel drive system, but didn’t quite feel the same confidence in it as she did with Subaru’s system in similar conditions last year.

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The View from Inside

The seat and mirrors were easy to adjust for Amanda and she found initial comfort and sightlines to be quite good. Although the CX-5 is still relatively new, the interior design looks plain and outdated to her. Same goes for the GPS. The display to her looks like an old video game.

From a usability perspective, all of the CX-5’s controls were easy to find and simple to operate. There’s enough space in the backseat to accommodate all but the tallest passengers and seat comfort for rear passengers is good for this class as well.

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What She Liked

Amanda still really likes the looks of the CX5, just not in the Blue Reflex Mica paint like her test vehicle. The overall proportions and clean lines work for her as she finds it to the right size for her needs.

The GPS system drew praise for how easy it is to use. She especially likes that it remembers the last cities it visited, which saves time the next time she had to use by not needing to retype the whole word again. It also recalculates quickly when off route. Her only issue with it, aside from the graphics, is the fact it lost signal quite a few times during the week.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Review

The CX-5 is also glove friendly which was a big plus for Amanda during the cold week she had the CUV for evaluation. The steering wheel buttons and infotainment unit are both easy to operate without bare hands.

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What She Didn’t Like

Like the Mazda3 she drove last year, the front seats are her biggest issue with the CX-5. She found the backrest of the seat bothered her the longer she drove the vehicle. Over the week she found it increasingly uncomfortable and would complain of neck and back pains when arriving home from work. The seat doesn’t fit her petite frame right and no amount of fidgeting with the adjustments would get it in an acceptable position.

She also wasn’t a fan of the gauge cluster’s menu setup. Although it may seem like a small detail, the digital speedometer and clock both can’t be shown in the gauge cluster at the same time. Her final small gripe has to do with the push-button keyless entry on the CX-5s door handle. There is a significant delay from pushing the button to the doors actually unlocking.

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The Verdict

Overall, Amanda is still impressed with the CX5 as it’s attractive, easy to drive and easy to operate. But, there’s one issue that would be a deal breaker for her: the driver seat. Her advice for anyone thinking of buying a CX-5 is to go spend some time behind the wheel of the vehicle and see if seat comfort is an issue. If it’s not, then she recommends the CX-5 as a solid purchase in the growing compact crossover segment.

FAST FACTS

  • Engine: 2.5 L four-cylinder engine, 184 HP, 185 lb-ft.
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Fuel economy (US): 24 MPG city, 30 MPG highway, 22.6 MPG observed
  • Fuel economy (CDN): 9.9 L/100 km city, 7.9 L/100 km highway, 10.4 L/100 km observed
  • Price (US): Starts at $22,375 after destination charges for base Sport. Grand Touring AWD with the technology package came in at $31,475 as tested.
  • Price (CDN): Starts at $24,890 after destination charges for base GX. GT AWD with the technology package came in at $37,185 as tested.

Discuss this story on our Mazda CX-5 forum.

The post 2015 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Review appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Bentley SUV Might be Named Bentayga’

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Bentley’s upcoming ultra luxury SUV might finally have a name.

When the company first showed the concept preview of its new utility vehicle at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, it used the name EXP 9F. Neither the name nor the exterior design stuck and in subsequent releases, Bentley only referred to its forthcoming model as the “SUV.” Now Autovisie reports that the Germany-owned British luxury company is filing to trademark the name “Bentayga.”

Companies routinely file to trademark names that don’t necessarily end up being used with a production vehicle. Previous speculation suggested the “F” in the EXP9 F name stood for “Falcon” and that the production version would run with that name.

GALLERY: Bentley SUV Spy Photos

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[Source: Autovisie]

Discuss this story at our luxury lifestyle forum

The post Bentley SUV Might be Named ‘Bentayga’ appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler to Gain Eight-Speed Auto

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Jeep’s off-road enthusiast focused Wrangler SUV will be significantly more fuel efficient for the 2018 model year.

The iconic utility vehicle is slated to be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission that will ease its fuel consumption. Chrysler currently uses the same transmission in the Ram 1500 pickup truck, the Dodge Durango SUV and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Jeep hasn’t officially announced the change, but a filing with the SEC originally reported by Automotive News is tipping the brand’s plans.

According to the filing, Jeep expects the Wrangler to return nine percent better fuel economy when equipped with the eight-speed than it currently does with a five-speed automatic. Currently the five-speed automatic Wrangler is rated to return 17 MPG in city driving and 21 MPG on the highway.

The Wrangler is slated to be re-designed for 2018 with an aluminum body that will also enhance fuel economy. Chrysler needs to improve average fuel economy across the Jeep line and a smaller displacement engine than the current 3.6-liter V6 will be necessary to do so in the Wrangler, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said.

Other efficiency-minded changes are afoot at Chrysler. The company plans to produce its next-generation plug-in hybrid Town & Country minivan at its Windsor, Canada assembly plant.

GALLERY: 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport S

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Discuss this story at our Jeep Wrangler forum

[Source: Automotive News]

The post 2018 Jeep Wrangler to Gain Eight-Speed Auto appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Porsche Brings Back Sporty Cayenne GTS

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In the grand hierarchy of the Porsche naming structure, GTS signifies the sportiest models, even for SUVs.

Not always the fastest version, the name GTS adorns cars and SUVs that give the driver the rawest, most rewarding driving experience. Returning to the Cayenne model line-up this year is the Cayenne GTS. Unlike the previous generation’s model, power does not come from a V8 anymore. It’s replaced by a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 twin-turbo engine similar to the one found in the Cayenne S. But, power has been pumped up 20 hp to a total of 440 hp and torque rises by 62 ft.-lbs. to 445 ft.-lbs.

Complete 2014 LA Auto Show Coverage

This is good enough for the big Cayenne to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, while a sport exhaust system ensures everyone around knows this is a seriously sporty SUV.

But a GTS model is about more than just engine power, it also needs to handle well. The Cayenne GTS sits 20 millimeters lower with revised suspension tuning and features the larger brakes found on the Cayenne Turbo.

The Cayenne GTS should be recognizable from the outside thanks to a front fascia borrowed from the turbo model combined with more contoured rocker panels and wheel arch extensions. To offset the looks of the GTS, all badging, the 20-inch wheels, the exhaust tailpipes, the headlights and the trim surrounding the rear taillights are all black. Inside are eight-way powered GTS sports seats along with various GTS badging.

Pricing for the Cayenne GTS will come in at $95,500 including destination charges.

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GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS Live Photos

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GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS

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Discuss this story on our Porsche Cayenne forum

The post Porsche Brings Back Sporty Cayenne GTS appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Entry Level Porsche Cayenne Lives On

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Quietly tucked in the corner of the Porsche booth at the 2014 LA Auto Show is the Cayenne.

Not the Cayenne S, the Cayenne GTS, the Cayenne E-Hybrid or the Cayenne Turbo. No, this is just the regular, naturally aspirated V6 Cayenne the world assumed had been put out to pasture in North America. Well, not so fast. Porsche claims it was never discontinued; it just hadn’t yet been released yet with the new 2015 redesign.

Now on sale, the Cayenne comes standard with 18-inch wheels and a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine making 300 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. Available exclusively with all-wheel drive, the Cayenne is equipped with Porsche’s eight-speed tiptronic automatic that is good enough to propel the 4,488 lbs. SUV from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.7 seconds or 7.6 seconds with the sport chrono package. Sadly, it appears the six-speed manual transmission has not made a return for 2015.

Complete 2014 LA Auto Show Coverage

Pricing for the new entry-level 2015 Cayenne begins at $59,275 after destination charges that is almost $9,000 more than the 2014 Cayenne V6. But, the Cayenne does comes better equipped for 2015, a move surely made to better differentiate the base Cayenne from the smaller Macan crossover.

Although official fuel economy ratings have not been released, with the drivetrain and curb weights of the 2015 model being very similar to the 2014, we expect it should return roughly 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.

According to Porsche’s USA retail site, the Cayenne V6 is on sale as of now – or at least can be built virtually.

GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Cayenne V6

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The post Entry Level Porsche Cayenne Lives On appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Entry Level Porsche Cayenne Lives On

porsche-cayenne-v6-2014-la-auto-show-01

Quietly tucked in the corner of the Porsche booth at the 2014 LA Auto Show is the Cayenne.

Not the Cayenne S, the Cayenne GTS, the Cayenne E-Hybrid or the Cayenne Turbo. No, this is just the regular, naturally aspirated V6 Cayenne the world assumed had been put out to pasture in North America. Well, not so fast. Porsche claims it was never discontinued; it just hadn’t yet been released yet with the new 2015 redesign.

Now on sale, the Cayenne comes standard with 18-inch wheels and a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine making 300 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. Available exclusively with all-wheel drive, the Cayenne is equipped with Porsche’s eight-speed tiptronic automatic that is good enough to propel the 4,488 lbs. SUV from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.7 seconds or 7.6 seconds with the sport chrono package. Sadly, it appears the six-speed manual transmission has not made a return for 2015.

Complete 2014 LA Auto Show Coverage

Pricing for the new entry-level 2015 Cayenne begins at $59,275 after destination charges that is almost $9,000 more than the 2014 Cayenne V6. But, the Cayenne does comes better equipped for 2015, a move surely made to better differentiate the base Cayenne from the smaller Macan crossover.

Although official fuel economy ratings have not been released, with the drivetrain and curb weights of the 2015 model being very similar to the 2014, we expect it should return roughly 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.

According to Porsche’s USA retail site, the Cayenne V6 is on sale as of now – or at least can be built virtually.

GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Cayenne V6

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The post Entry Level Porsche Cayenne Lives On appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Jaguar Land Rover Offers Improved Cell Phone Connectivity

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Jaguar Land Rover announced its latest move in the ongoing fight to curb distracted driving today at the L.A. Auto Show.

Jaguar Land Rover is expanding its in-car smartphone integration with the launch of justDrive. Designed for use with InControl, the new justDrive system integrates voice control for multiple smartphone apps like Spotify, Twitter and Yelp.

InControl already enables drivers to plug smartphones directly into their vehicles and control many apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen. In essence, it’s like turning the vehicle’s infotainment into into a giant smartphone. JustDrive takes things a step further.

Instead of just relying on touch controls, the new software allows plain natural speech to be used to control various InControl Apps. This means phrases like “find me a gas station” or “is this pizza place any good?” would be fed through the appropriate app, followed by a response from the system.

2014 LA Auto Show Coverage

You will also be able to ask for songs by name and dictate tweets or text messages through justDrive with simple voice commands like “This traffic is horrible.” The system can also read all messages back to the driver before they are sent as well as reading new incoming messages aloud.Jaguar-Land-Rover-justDrive-02.jpg

Based out of Silicon Valley, CloudCar is the company behind the development the new justDrive software. Using state of the art voice recognition software, CloudCar claims the new program is one of the most advanced systems when it comes to recognizing natural speech.

justDrive marks the 17th app now available for Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl infotainment system, continuing the trend of further smartphone-to-car integration. For 2015, justDrive will be available on the Jaguar F-Type and any of Land Rover’s 2015 vehicle line-up. The company expects full integration of justDrive for all its vehicles by the 2016 model year.

Initially, justDrive will be available for Apple iOS8 users while Android users will have to wait until early 2015 for justDrive to be available.

The post Jaguar Land Rover Offers Improved Cell Phone Connectivity appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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