Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 12:44 PM
You are in the Automotive News & Views
What is this discussion about?
#30283 of 35292 Re: 2011 Nissan Altima - An 8.5 on "The Sandman Scale" [sandman_6472]
Feb 16, 2013 (10:53 am)
The new one supposedly has zero gravity seats, so you'll have to try them and let us know if that's just hype.
#30284 of 35292 Re: Elantra GT test drive [sandman_6472]
Feb 16, 2013 (11:00 am)
Like sandman I have the Mazda3 Hatch (an 07) and it has been a real gem in 6 years of ownership. I haven't had a single problem to report for that period unless you count the fact that it was hit twice by other cars and once by hail. All three repairs restored it to a basically new appearance. If I have one niggling complaint it's that it doesn't get as good gas mileage as the Civic it replaced, but Mazda's new Skyactive technology should take care of that. I have the five-speed and Mazda makes a very refined manual transmission.
Although I have no direct experience I have heard countless complaints about Ford's mytouch system as is borne out in sandman's post. I like the look of the new Focus and I know that lower trim lines can be purchased without mytouch or I guess you can learn to live with its idiosyncrasies.
#30285 of 35292 Re: 550 anyone [qbrozen]
Feb 16, 2013 (11:41 am)
I drove an F10 535i and it struck me as biased too much towards luxury, and not nearly enough towards sport. My first impression? An old man's car.
My wife also drove an F10 and her comment was, "I hate it; it's a boat."
#30286 of 35292 Re: Elantra GT test drive [gogiboy]
Feb 16, 2013 (12:08 pm)
Like sandman I have the Mazda3 Hatch (an 07) and it has been a real gem in 6 years of ownership.
My 2007 MS3 has behaved itself ever since it hit 60,000 miles. At 116,000 miles the front suspension is clunking a bit; if I keep it(the odds are currently 50/50) I'm going to replace strut/shock mounts and fit Bilstein Sports at all four corners.
I window shopped at the Ford dealer yesterday; they had a Focus ST with no options. All of the options I'd like(heated Recaros, HIDs) are bundled with nav and MyFord Sucks, I mean Touch- which gets you close to $29,000. The car just doesn't have any personality, and to add insult to injury it's not nearly as quick as the Mazda either. I also hate to give aid and comfort to the UAW(although I might if the car was compelling enough), so that knocks the ST off the radar screen.
The Abarth is no rocket either, but at least it is an engaging drive; the exhaust not alone is worth the price of adnission.
Still need to check out an FR-S; the nearest dealer is Oxmoron Scion, which is a store I refuse to even visit. Swope owns a Scion store, but it's over on Dixie Highway, which is in the opposite direction from virtually every other destination I visit in Jefferson County...
#30287 of 35292 Re: 550 anyone [roadburner]
Feb 16, 2013 (2:01 pm)
It felt too big to me as well. They've grown so the 3 is like the old 5, and the 5 is the old 7.
The next 1 series is supposed to come as a sedan, let's see something light and more 2002-like than the current car.
#30288 of 35292 Re: Elantra GT test drive [roadburner]
Feb 16, 2013 (2:04 pm)
You should drive the ST. Don't they have a cool yellow pearl color with wild seats?
I'm more worried about torque steer than a lack of character, that thing should have AWD.
#30289 of 35292 Re: Elantra GT test drive [roadburner]
Feb 16, 2013 (3:23 pm)
"Swope owns a Scion store, but it's over on Dixie Highway, which is in the opposite direction from virtually every other destination I visit in Jefferson County..."
Make a half day of it and have a meal at Mike Linnig's...
#30290 of 35292 2013 VW Jetta GLI impressions
Feb 16, 2013 (3:24 pm)
One or two of you asked for my impressions of the Jetta GLI I bought last week. I had the opportunity to take it on some back roads earlier today, and Iím still pleased with the car.
VWís 2.0T is still an excellent engine. At no time did I wish the car had more power. Most of my driving today was at around 5/10ths, and I didnít feel the need to put the DSG in sport mode or use the paddle shifters. If youíve never driven VWís DSG, there is a slight shudder when starting off from a dead stop as the clutch engages. This doesnít bother me, but itís different than most cars, and I can see how it would annoy some people. The transmission does upshift fairly early, but the 2.0T has so much torque, it never lugs and it never feels like the car doesnít want to accelerate. I might use the sport mode if I were driving more aggressively.
The steering is less communicative than the E39 (my E39 was a 540i and therefore had recirculating ball steering, making it less communicative than six cylinder E39s). That said, itís ideally weighted. There isnít what I would call torque steer in the conventional sense of the car pulling at the wheel, but if you hammer the throttle, the steering becomes far less precise. Iím sure an aftermarket turbo upgrade to increase the carís power would make this issue worse. New for 2013 is a button in the center console to disable the stability control. This button is mounted just to the right of the keyless ignition start/stop button. I think this is an ergonomic flaw and would prefer that the start/stop button be mounted closer to its traditional location on the dashboard or in the steering column.
The GTI and uplevel GLI models both come equipped with 18Ē Dunlop SP Sport 01 A/S tires. These appear to have the same tread pattern as the summer SP Sport 01 tires, with some additional siping to improve snow traction. Tire Rackís reviews of the all-season tire are not positive, and I particularly donít look forward to driving in the snow with them. Dry traction is good. I have not yet driven the car in the rain. VW uses the ABS sensors to monitor tire pressure, and there is a reset button in the glove compartment. I assume this system is less precise than using wheel-mounted sensors, but should reduce servicing costs for those who switch between winter and summer tires, as well as the fact that there are no battery powered sensors in the wheels which will eventually have to be replaced. The car rides very solidly. It isnít as firm as my E39 with its sport suspension, but itís not soft, either. It doesnít feeal nearly as heavy as the E39óprobably because it isnít. The bi-xenon headlamps and cornering lamps are excellent.
The interior is very well laid out and the GLI features a soft-touch dashboard. As some reviews have noted, the tops of the door panels are not soft touch. More annoyingly, neither the glove compartment nor the pockets in the doors are lined with felt or rubber to prevent the items inside them from rattling around. (My 1999 Jetta had a felt-lined glove compartment and removable rubber mats in the door panels.) The seats are comfortable and both front seats are heated and feature adjustable lumbar support. They are upholstered in black fake leather with red stitching, and the GLI has a black headliner. VWís fake leather isnít as nice as BMWís. The automatic dual-zone climate control has a feature which will synchronize the temperature of both driver and passenger zones if you wish. When driving alone, this saves you the trouble of adjusting both zones. Bluetooth works well, but the navigation and infotainment system isnít as sophisticated as the one in the 2013 Altima. Hondaís system in the 2013 Accord blows both Nissan and VW out of the water. The VW navigation system has a small screen and lacks traffic support, but it does display driving directions in the instrument cluster. There is no Pandora integration. A three month SiriusXM subscription is complimentary. Many of the stations sound the same and I am amazed that people will pay around $20 a month for this and then pay an extra fee to be able to listen onlineóI get far more value out of spending $8 a month for Netflix or $36 per year to remove the ads from Pandora. I will only renew the SiriusXM subscription if Iím offered a substantial discount. Models with navigation have a backup camera, but no parking sensors, blind spot warning, or lane departure warning. Nav models also get a passive entry system and keyless ignition. The trunk is cavernous and there is a full-size spare on a 16Ē steel wheel inside.
The car is relatively quiet, but suffers from some wind noise. Also, VW installs a ďsoundaktorĒ to increase the sound of the engine in the GTI and GLI. Itís an electronic speaker located under the hood next to the firewall. It makes an impressive growl at high RPM, but it also appears to activate at low RPM under loadóe.g., when going uphill at 1600 RPM. I plan to disconnect this device and see how the engine sounds without this ďenhancement.Ē
It isnít perfect, but overall, the GLI is a very enjoyable car to drive. Several years ago, I leased an Audi A4 2.0T Quattro. That remains one of my favorite cars, and there is a lot of that DNA in the GLI. As I have previously posted here, I test drove loaded versions of the 2013 Accord and Altima. I also drove a 2013 GTI before requesting that the dealer locate a GLI for me. The GTI offers a firmer suspension and real leather seats, but lacks the automatic climate control and backup camera of the GLI. Moreover, the GTI costs about $2,400 more. I was particularly impressed with the sales process in that the dealershipís first offer was not that bad, as well as the fact that the sales personnel were very businesslike and didnít really engage in a lot of idle chatter (ďwhat do you do for a living,Ē ďwhat donít you like about your current vehicle,Ē etc.)
That pretty much sums up my thoughts so far. Iíd be glad to entertain any questions.
#30291 of 35292 Re: 2013 VW Jetta GLI impressions [corvette]
Feb 16, 2013 (7:09 pm)
Punch my card again.
Long story at least somewhat shortened...
Late last week my daughter blew up the engine on the famous 00 Accord. I figured with looking at a junk engine (though with 63K on it) still broke $4K on a car with 271K on the clock. I start hunting landing a couple of nice candidates. The one I really liked out of those was an 04 Mazda 6 wagon with a stick and reasonably nicely loaded with a cloth interior. Gray/gray. Dealer was an hour away.
Well, one look at the picture and she saw wagon and that was a no. Meanwhile, took the other daughter's car over to the same mechanic who still had the Accord and next thing I know I OK the repair. I have it back now and they did a nice job. My daughter really loves the car and I've put her on a payment plan for the repair so she's happy. The stalk to the highbeams needs to be replaced but otherwise the car chugs on. If she gets another two years out of it it was worth it. So that takes care of that.
Unfortunately that Mazda stuck in my head. I asked a buddy in the business about it and he said they wanted too much money. Figuring I have nothing to lose I E-mailed the dealer. Well, actually I had E-mailed him back when I thought I might be putting my daughter in it. Made an offer based on what my buddy said they were they were going for at auction, allowing for the fact that he'd put some money in it and allow him profit. Well, I wake up the morning that I I ended up OKing the Accord repair and the dealer has sent me a "come on over - we can probably make a deal" E-mail. I figure I'm not going that far to dicker and went to the mechanic. I get back home and the dealer had sent another E-mail accepting my offer (I hadn't answered the first E-mail and thought I was off the hook.)
Well, that started pulling at me. I fought it for days but the lure had been set. I bought it today. Gives us 5 cars for 4 people but that is likely only temporary. But maybe not...
I love this thing. I've been in automatic purgatory for a long time. It only has 77K on it and runs like a top. I had lined up a mechanic who checked it out and the only thing he found it needed was a rear wiper blade.
So now I'm poking through the owner's manual because some of the things like the stereo and the clock are not as intuitive as the Honda or Toyota but when you read it it's actually quite logical.
Sorry for the ramble but it's late and I'm fading. Further reports coming. I had my two younger daughters in for the test drive and one of them rode back with me in the 6 while the other opted to go home with my wife.
#30292 of 35292 Re: 2013 VW Jetta GLI impressions [fezo]
Feb 16, 2013 (7:18 pm)
I am jealous. I love those, but never thought I would see one! If it has a moonroof, perfect.
V6, right? either engine is fine in those, but the 6 is certainly more fun.
I will probably be bummed out to find out what it cost. At least you could have overpaid to make me not feel like I missed out on something!