Road Test Reviews https://www.roadtestreviews.com Car reviews, news and opinion Fri, 19 May 2017 14:59:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Subtle and Fast – 2017 Audi S3 Sedan Review https://www.roadtestreviews.com/subtle-and-fast-2017-audi-s3-sedan-review/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/subtle-and-fast-2017-audi-s3-sedan-review/#respond Fri, 19 May 2017 14:53:56 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9700 Rewind back 39 years to 1978 and  you could buy a Porsche 911 Turbo (0-60 in 4.9 seconds) for $34,150 or equivalent of $122,350 in today’s money. Fast forward to today and you can buy a sub compact 4 door with a base price of $43,500 that is faster than the Porsche………. Our 2017 Audi [&hellip

The post Subtle and Fast – 2017 Audi S3 Sedan Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
Rewind back 39 years to 1978 and  you could buy a Porsche 911 Turbo (0-60 in 4.9 seconds) for $34,150 or equivalent of $122,350 in today’s money. Fast forward to today and you can buy a sub compact 4 door with a base price of $43,500 that is faster than the Porsche……….

Our 2017 Audi S3 sedan showed up in a not so subtle Vegas Yellow, not a color I would choose but it certainly got noticed, which was the point.

So what’s new for 2017. Well some fairly subtle styling adjustments, a new looking grille, reworked front and rear fascias and aluminum caps for the side mirrors. Inside, an updated infotainment system can now record lap times. The standard audio kicks our 180 watts through 10 speakers and a sub, our tester had tho optional B & O system. 2017 adds the very good Audi Virtual Cockpit with its high-res video display in place of conventional gauges. Our Prestige model came with Active Lane Assist and Active Cruise Control.

The S3’s Quattro all-wheel drive, which has been updated for 2017 with the same system found in the TT and TTS. We found it almost completely mitigated under-steer in most situations unless you have a complete disregard for the laws of physics.

Sadly the US market S3 doesn’t get the boost in power its Euro counterpart gets, 11 more hp to give it 306 and another 15 lb-ft of torque to deliver 295 lb-ft. We’re not convinced that this would make much difference but we are nevertheless still jealous.

2017 Audi S3 Sedan

 

Magnetic Ride, what is it?

Out tester came with Magnetic ride and even at it’s firmest, it’s not nearly as spine-punishing as, a Subaru WRX….but what is it exactly?

Using magnetic fields, Audi magnetic ride adjusts the firmness of the dampers to the current driving situation within a fraction of a second. The liquid contained in the dampers has magneto-rheological properties. Tiny magnetic particles are bound inside the basic oil which is used to fill the dampers. When a magnetic field is applied, the magnetic particles are aligned against the direction of movement of the damper. As a result, the damping force of the damper is increased depending on the strength of the magnetic field. Short answer it corners flatter and somewhat faster.

How Does it Go?

The S3 has 4 Drive Select modes to choose from, Dynamic, Auto, Individual and Comfort. We kept it in Dynamic for most of the time with an occasional foray into Comfort. We found Dynamic to be perfect except for really uneven pavement. Performance is sensational in Audi’s little sedan with 0-60 coming up in 4.65 seconds using Launch Control, a tad faster than the 2015 model we tested.

The S3 is even better once on the move…..from standstill there is some delay/lag on take off, but then this car grips like no other. Shod with summer tires on 19 inch rims it will enter a corner at life threatening speeds and  still have you come out breathing. The new suspension and all wheel drive system is now controlled by one brain, so decisions are quicker and the torque gets shuffled around in milliseconds, it’s brilliant.  This is an Audi that will finally eat up the corners and not under-steer you into a ditch. It feels quicker for it.

Our route took us from San Diego to the mountains in the East, on some fairly technical roads, with tight 90 degree turns and fast sweepers.  A couple of times we came across some slower traffic, so we hung back and stabbed at the throttle occasionally just for fun. The car simply surges forward and unless you are going at 15 mph or slower there is always instant pick up.

Having driven hard for a week we averaged 18 mpg, which is pretty good considering most people won’t drive as hard all the time. Cruising on the highway you should expect 31 mpg.

Interior

The first thing you notice when you step inside the S3, is the lack of fuss and by that I mean a lack of switchgear. This is a good thing and not a measure of the quality of the interior. There are plenty of controls to play with and our car, a Prestige model had the MMI Navigation Plus with voice control. Interior quality is what you would expect….brilliant….and still shows everyone else how it should be done.

Our car had the optional sports seats with the Nappa upgrade. These seats are pretty good and its important to note, have manual adjustment, which I like, less to go wrong and less electric motor weight. Complaints are few, mostly the fact the cup holders are too close to the HVAC controls and the cup will obscure them. Don’t let that stop you from buying one, just buy a smaller cup.

Should I get One?

If you want a very good sub compact sports sedan then there are a few other options, however the S3 really doesn’t have any direct competitors. Some options include MercedesBenz CLA 45 AMG which is faster and more money.  You could get the insane and more powerful Ford Focus RS, however, subtlety is not it’s forte. Strangely the biggest challenger here is the Volkswagen Golf R, which is a few thousand less than a base S3 and is a hatchback.

Last time we tested the S3 we asked Audi to bring us the RS3 and they have finally obliged…….it’s coming very soon. In the meantime the S3 is a true joy to drive and it has  plenty in reserve to produce serotonin induced grins……..

2017 Audi S3 Sedan Numbers

VEHICLE TYPE: Front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
BASE PRICE: $43,500 (Our Tester – $52,600)
ENGINE TYPE: 2.0 L turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4
POWER: 292 hp @ 6500 rpm
TORQUE 280 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT: 3,400 lb
ZERO to 60 mph: 4.65 sec
STANDING ¼-mile: 13.1 sec
TOP SPEED: 155 mph
EPA City/Hwy/Combined 21/28/24 mpg
OUR OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY: 18 mpg
PROS Point and squirt agility, superbly fun on the twisty bits
CONS Pesky turbo lag off the line, cup holders hide HVAC controls

The post Subtle and Fast – 2017 Audi S3 Sedan Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/subtle-and-fast-2017-audi-s3-sedan-review/feed/ 0
Cars We Can’t Have – VW Golf GTI Clubsport S https://www.roadtestreviews.com/vw-golf-gti-clubsport-s/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/vw-golf-gti-clubsport-s/#respond Wed, 03 May 2017 01:10:37 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9668 As is usual America gets starved of some pretty nice hot hatches, in particular Europe’s GTI Clubsport, however you can turn a darker shade of green now as the 305-hp version of the Clubsport is available at a European dealer near you. Ours would be 5,679 miles away in Lisbon, Portugal. Volkswagen says that the new [&hellip

The post Cars We Can’t Have – VW Golf GTI Clubsport S appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
As is usual America gets starved of some pretty nice hot hatches, in particular Europe’s GTI Clubsport, however you can turn a darker shade of green now as the 305-hp version of the Clubsport is available at a European dealer near you. Ours would be 5,679 miles away in Lisbon, Portugal. Volkswagen says that the new variant will be a “full-production Golf,” rather than a limited-run special, and that it will went on sale Europe last fall. In VW’s words it’s the raciest, most track-focused version of the Mark VII Volkswagen Golf GTI to date.

The current Volkswagen Golf GTI  Clubsport, without the S, is no slouch, its 2.0-liter turbo engine upgraded to push out 261 hp to the front wheels — and 286 hp during over-boost for up to ten seconds at a time. The Clubsport also wears a sportier body kit, has a lower ride height, stiffer suspension springs, and more aggressive tires. It is, essentially, an exciting middle-ground between a regular Golf GTI and the all-wheel-drive Golf R.

2017 VW Golf Clubsport S

 

With 306bhp the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S becomes the most powerful Golf ever, as well as the fastest, surpassing the Golf R, but only just. It uses the same EA888 2-litre, four-cylinder turbo unit that powers all high performance Golfs, breathed on by engineers to deliver its peak output @ 6500 rpm, with 280 lb ft of torque available from 1850 rpm. You aren’t going to beat a Golf R in a drag race though as this one is is a manual only…….which is great news as long as you expect to be a few tenths behind. We estimate this will be hitting 60 from standstill in 5.2 seconds, some 6 tenths slower than the DSG R we tested earlier this year. Drive is sent to the front wheels and controlled by an electronically controlled limited slip differential.

The Golf GTI Clubsport S is fitted as standard with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and a driving profile selector. In the ‘Individual’ driving profile, the engineers have developed a setting that is fine-tuned to suit the unique conditions of the Nürburgring. Over and above that, the Comfort, Normal and Race settings are also available. The driver can still adjust the settings in the Individual profile, as usual, and can revert to the Nürburgring setting by resetting the Individual profile on the touchscreen menu. This unique configuration switches the Sound, Engine and Steering parameters in the Race profile as well as DCC to Comfort.

Sadly the production run will be limited to 400 cars worldwide, 100 of which will be delivered to customers in Germany. Colors will be limited to those of the original GTI: “Tornado Red”, “Pure White” and “Deep Black Pearl Effect”, with the roof painted black. The Clubsport S is based on the two-door model with a manual transmission, in order to keep the weight as low as possible.

The Clubsport S is a pure two-seater, so no taking granny and her friends to bingo, all in the name of saving weight, including a smaller battery, no insulation, and an aluminum sub-frame for the front suspension. To keep you on the road 235/35 ZR Michelin tires mounted on 19-inch “Pretoria” aluminium-alloy wheels and standard. Curb eight is 2,833 pounds, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 9.14 pounds per horsepower.

Exterior

Other changes for this most exclusive Golf GTI include tinted rear windows that absorb 65 percent of the light, “Clubsport S” type plates, Bi-Xenon headlights with cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. The brake system was also modified to withstand the high temperatures inflicted at a racetrack. To further improve the braking performance, the Golf GTI Clubsport S has special brake pads.

Interior

Each of the 400 Golf GTI Clubsport S cars made will have its production number on the center console in the front. The driver and the front seat passenger sit in racing bucket seats that provide good lateral support while flying around the Nordschleife. The car also features GTI insignia that’s featured in the “normal” Golf GTI Clubsport, including the iconic golf ball shifter knob with Alcantara trim, a red line in the safety belts, “Honeycomb 40” design decals on the dashboard and doors, and elegant Piano Black accents. The extremely grippy Alcantara-trimmed sport steering wheel, which has a chrome GTI emblem, red stitching and the 12-o’clock position marked out, was designed to be ergonomically perfect for the track.

Where Can I Get One?

Soauto Expo – Concessionário Volkswagen in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

 

The post Cars We Can’t Have – VW Golf GTI Clubsport S appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/vw-golf-gti-clubsport-s/feed/ 0
Getting Dirty – 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Review https://www.roadtestreviews.com/getting-dirty-2017-jeep-wrangler-willys-wheeler-review/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/getting-dirty-2017-jeep-wrangler-willys-wheeler-review/#respond Sat, 22 Apr 2017 02:12:27 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9569 We thought we would be getting a Sport model, however, what turned up was a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willy’s Wheeler, inspired by the original Willys CJ, the father of recreational vehicles. The 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler has the usual off-roading components together with classic styling. Based on the Sport base model the Willys Wheeler edition [&hellip

The post Getting Dirty – 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
We thought we would be getting a Sport model, however, what turned up was a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willy’s Wheeler, inspired by the original Willys CJ, the father of recreational vehicles. The 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler has the usual off-roading components together with classic styling. Based on the Sport base model the Willys Wheeler edition comes standard with a Command-Trac 4×4 System, a 3.73 Trac-Lok rear differential, off-road rock rails, BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A,  Performance suspension, a premium Alpine sound system and best of all a 6 speed manual transmission.  Off road here we come.

The Wrangler is equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that delivers 285 hp at 6,500 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. The six-cylinder drives the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, which is standard. The Wrangler has a part-time four-wheel drive system meaning you are running in rear-wheel drive for everyday driving conditions. Right next to the gear selector is another stick that allows the driver to engage one of the two four-wheel drive modes, 4 High or  4Low. Engaging both can be done on the fly, however for selecting 4L it’s necessary best to be doing about 5 mph and to depress the clutch while engaging. 4 High is what you are going to want to use for most off road driving, 4 Low is more for very steep terrain and rock crawling, which with its 10.2 inches of ground clearance our tester was pretty good at.

2017 Jeep Wrangler 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willy's Wheeler 2017 Jeep Wrangler

On Road

The Jeep isn’t as bad as you would expect as a daily driver, the gear ratios are low so you can switch from 2nd and 3rd for most urban driving. The manual takes a bit of getting used to with a high clutch take up and it’s noisy, especially with the soft top tester we had. At highway speeds wind noise becomes quite loud but you can still hear the sound system pretty well, if you turn it up. The the suspension is pretty stiff and jiggly, especially going over small undulations in the road and the steering, while superb off road, is vague, low geared and has zero feedback. Turn in to a corner and the body rolls considerably but the Jeep can be hustled along at decent speeds if pushed. With our test equipment strapped on we ran 0-60 in 7.8 seconds, traction control off in 2WD mode. Not too bad.

Off Road

If I had one of these I would spend my entire weekend on the truck trails in southern California, which for the week I had one, I did. The Otay Mountain Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in San Diego County, California, 12 miles east of the city of Otay Mesa and just north of the Mexican border. Some parts of the wilderness area rise quickly from sea level, reaching a peak of just over 3,500 feet at the summit of Otay Mountain, where you find a bunch of antennas and Border Patrol. It’s managed by the BLM and has a couple of truck trails that will take you to the summit and several more technical offshoots that beg you drive up, especially in a jeep. I headed out from Highway 94 and a few miles after the Border Patrol checkpoint you turn right onto Marron Valley Road which winds its way slowly up the Eastern slopes. Eventually you reach a hard right turn signposted Otay Mountain Summit. We continued on Marron Valley Road instead and after a few miles you reach a locked gate, however we had seen a very steep rocky track a mile back, which was worth investigating. I was already in 4WD High so I plough up the hill and promptly stalled so I had to back down and engage 4Low. Once engaged the Jeep becomes virtually unstoppable. No need to use the clutch, the ratios are so low, just squeeze the gas and it simply climbed right up. Once the terrain became less technical I switched back to 4H and continued on. Rocky, steep and occasionally wet the Jeep took it all in its stride until we reached the end of the spur road and joined the Otay mountain summit trail. We drove to the top, enjoyed the views and then came back down the Northern trail to the bottom. I don’t think I could have enjoyed the test in any other vehicle. Check …..grin inducing fun.

The following day we headed North through Ramona, CA and into the very scenic Pamo Valley to get some shots of the Jeep. Lusardi Truck trail is gated at about mile 4 but you cross streams and although not technical, is still great fun. Across the valley we tried a couple of other trails that were a tad more technical and provide more photo opportunities. As before we arrived at locked gates and had to head back the way we came.

Verdict

Although not great for day to day commuting, in my opinion the Wrangler is the best factory-built off-roader on the market, period. It’s livable on a daily basis and absolutely shines off road. Go drive one………

2017 Jeep Wrangler Willy’s Wheeler Numbers

BASE PRICE $23,995
PRICE AS TESTED $35,120
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 4-pass, 2-door SUV
ENGINE 3.6L DOHC 24-valve V-6
POWER 285-hp
TORQUE 260-lb-ft
TRANSMISSION 6-speed auto
CURB WEIGHT 4,132 lb
0-60 MPH 7.8 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.9 sec @ 82 mph
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/18/21 mpg
PROS Spectacularly capable off-road, classic styling
CONS Unrefined around town

The post Getting Dirty – 2017 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/getting-dirty-2017-jeep-wrangler-willys-wheeler-review/feed/ 0
5 Cars We Need To Drive Now! https://www.roadtestreviews.com/5-cars-need-drive-now/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/5-cars-need-drive-now/#respond Thu, 13 Apr 2017 14:31:14 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9530 There are some great cars coming out in 2017/2018, including the Bugatti Chiron, but these 5 are realistically the cars we would really like to drive now and ones we can get ours hands on….we hope. 1. 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon   Just revealed at the New York International Auto Show the Demon offers [&hellip

The post 5 Cars We Need To Drive Now! appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
There are some great cars coming out in 2017/2018, including the Bugatti Chiron, but these 5 are realistically the cars we would really like to drive now and ones we can get ours hands on….we hope.

1. 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

 

Just revealed at the New York International Auto Show the Demon offers up 840 horsepower and 770 pounds-feet of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Demon V-8 engine, it’s the highest horsepower V-8 production car engine ever produced. It’s also the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds and 140 miles per hour (mph) as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and can go from 0-60 in 2.3 seconds.

2. 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

 

Powered by the LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine estimated at 650 hp and either a six-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match or an all-new 10-speed automatic.

Performance specs:
0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
Quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds at 127 mph
1.02g max cornering
60-0 mph braking in 107 feet (35 meters)

3. Honda Civic Type R

 

With 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque available from its 2.0-liter DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged i-VTEC® in-line 4-cylinder engine, the 2017 Civic Type R will be the fastest, most powerful Honda ever sold in America.
The first Type R-badged Honda will go on sale nationwide in late spring with an MSRP in the mid-$30,000 range.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

 

With 707-horsepower 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the the most powerful and quickest SUV ever. With a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine putting out 645 lb.-ft. of torque it will scorch from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, quarter mile in 11.6 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph. The upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and driveline components have been engineered to handle the additional torque output and the new Brembo braking system includes largest-ever front brakes on a Jeep vehicle.

2018 Audi RS 5 Coupe

Audi RS 5 Coupé

 

The 2.9 TFSI V6 bi-turbo engine, which Audi developed from the ground up, produces 450 hp and 442 lb-ft up 125 lb-ft from the previous model, available across a wide band from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The top model in the A5 family will sprints from 0 – 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and with the optional dynamic package reaches a top speed of 174.0 mph.

The post 5 Cars We Need To Drive Now! appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/5-cars-need-drive-now/feed/ 0
Smooth Operator – First Drive 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV https://www.roadtestreviews.com/smooth-operator-first-drive-2017-chevrolet-bolt-ev/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/smooth-operator-first-drive-2017-chevrolet-bolt-ev/#respond Sat, 08 Apr 2017 00:26:21 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9543 No press cars are available until Summer 2017 as GM fills up dealer lots with available inventory, but we were able to secure a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV for a day, which gave us a chance to drive one for the first time. GM has managed to beat Tesla by being the first to push [&hellip

The post Smooth Operator – First Drive 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
No press cars are available until Summer 2017 as GM fills up dealer lots with available inventory, but we were able to secure a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV for a day, which gave us a chance to drive one for the first time. GM has managed to beat Tesla by being the first to push out to market a sub $40K all electric vehicle with a 200+ mile range. Take into consideration a possible $7,500 federal tax credit and a possible $2,500 or more (depending on income) from California and this becomes quite an affordable proposition. Up until now you had buy a Tesla at double the cost or more to  get 200 miles of range.

GM refers to this car as a wagon instead of a hatchback or an SUV. It’s smaller than expected and offers a tad more rear seat legroom and cargo space than the, now defunct Spark EV. That said there is, at least, room for a large dog now instead of a poodle. First impressions of how it looks, well it is a little boring, when compared to the Tesla but its a better looker than the Spark EV, which is odd to say the least.

2017-Chevrolet-BoltEV-006

How Does It Go?

Smooth and quiet is the first sensation you get, push the go pedal and the Bolt surges forward with no fuss at all, lift off the pedal and if you have it in L mode, it transitions to braking (without the need to use the brakes). In fact, it will come to a complete stop if you drive around in L, put it in D and it acts like a typical transmissions and will creep forward. It is truly a one pedal car, I think I used the brakes only a couple of times in total. If you need to regen more KwH back to the battery there’s a paddle on the steering wheel that bumps it up a notch and it works like a brake lever on a bike. Power delivery is seamless, no jerkiness, which is to be expect given the 266 lb-ft @ 0 rpm. This is the beauty of electric power.

The suspension is much more grown up than the Spark EV, the Bolt simply soaks up imperfections in the road, but at the same time holds a good line and remains composed in the turns. Hard acceleration from a stop will chirp the tires but not enough to get embarrassed about. We didn’t have time to test acceleration but 0-60 should take around 6 .5 seconds.

Inside

Verdict

It’s a great driving car, fast and fun and pretty cheap to run. You will need a 240v, 30 amp charger or it will take 19 hours to charge on ordinary 110v. What’s most impressive though is the range and for the first time there is an affordable EV that won’t give you range anxiety and you won’t need a gas car as a back up.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Numbers

VEHICLE TYPE: Front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICE: $37,500
MOTOR TYPE: permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 60.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
POWER: 200 hp
TORQUE 266 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 1-speed direct drive
ZERO to 60 mph: 6.5 sec
TOP SPEED: 90 mph
CARGO VOLUME: 17 cu ft
CURB WEIGHT: 3600 lb
EPA city/highway driving: 128/110 MPGe
PROS  No need to buy gas, quick, 238 mile range,
CONS  Some cheaper plastics used

The post Smooth Operator – First Drive 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/smooth-operator-first-drive-2017-chevrolet-bolt-ev/feed/ 0
Scorpion Sting – 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review https://www.roadtestreviews.com/scorpion-sting-2017-fiat-124-spider-abarth/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/scorpion-sting-2017-fiat-124-spider-abarth/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 22:14:24 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9511 After getting a taste of the Lusso version last year and naming it our favorite car of 2016 we finally got a chance to savor the Abarth version. The 124 Spider Abarth gets a small bump in power over the lesser models putting out 164 hp @ 5500 rpm and 184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm. The Fiat [&hellip

The post Scorpion Sting – 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
After getting a taste of the Lusso version last year and naming it our favorite car of 2016 we finally got a chance to savor the Abarth version. The 124 Spider Abarth gets a small bump in power over the lesser models putting out 164 hp @ 5500 rpm and 184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm. The Fiat 124 Spider gets pretty stiff suspension in Classico and Lusso flavors but the Abarth’s tuning is the most aggressive among them. The Abarth adds Bilstein dampers, bigger wheels 17 inch wheels with grippier tires, a throatier exhaust system,with quad exhaust, Brembo brakes and Recaro sport seats.

Not forgetting though is that the Abarth gets a limited-slip differential over the standard Fiats which is a recipe for a tail-sliding grin fest. An LSD in a small, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car is a recipe for huge fun. Finally the Abarth has a Sport switch makes the throttle feel more immediate, adds a tad more weight to the steering and slackens off the ESP and traction control. The exhaust isn’t quite as obnoxious as it is in the Fiat 500, which scared a few pedestrians in the week we had it but it doesn’t matter here, with the top down the aural sensations are a pure delight.

When FCA delivered us the 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth, we thought there had been a mistake as the hood was not matte black as we had expected. The car was completed covered in Gelato White paint. On closer inspection we noticed the scorpion on the trunk, all was well. I actually prefer the solid color paint, instead of the matte black hood. The Abarth along with the other 124’s are unahsamably retro but I prefer the look to the very Japanase Miata.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

 

On The Road

It’s nothing short of a grin fest at any speed. I spent the whole week with the top down, even on colder San Diego mornings, and the very good heated seats kept me nice and toasty. The 6 speed is a joy to use, short throws and fairly precise, if a little heavy. You need to take it by the scruff of the neck and drive it, which is the way it should be. The first thing you notice as you drive down the in the Abarth, is that the body structure feels taught and more rigid than the other Fiats, why? ….the Abarth gets a strut brace to strengthen the body and stop any resonance and twist. It works but isn’t as solid as other heavier soft tops. The suspension allows for more body roll than expected but it is not an issue and push hard out of a low speed corner and the back end will kick out in a beautifully controlled manner. Yes, there is some turbo lag but it isn’t nearly as big an issue as some have pointed out. As a daily driver this is the most enjoyable car to drive without breaking the speed limit.

We strapped on the test gear and recorded a 0-60 time of 6.5 secs, not super fast, a Golf GTI will out accelerate it, but this is not what the Fiat 124 Abarth is all about. Take it up to the mountains and seek out some twisty roads because this is where this car comes alive. You won’t need the radio, besides you can hardly hear it at speed, instead simply drive with a purpose and you become totally engaged with this car. It’s a precise, purposeful, driver’s car. Top down the sound of the engine improves, and you hear the turbo whine as it spools up, then you grab the next gear. Sensational! Wind is mitigated by a small screen behind the seats that cuts the breeze flowing into the driver compartment.

Inside

The Fiat and the Miata are fairly similar inside, room is tight for larger occupants, and the cup holders are a bit wobbly, I had to reach and grab my wayward coffee cup a couple of times when getting into a corner too fast. There is a small cubby between the seats so I put the cup holder sin there. Forget the coffee and just drive. Better than getting 1st degree burns from your latte. With no rear seat space and annoyingly no telescoping steering wheel it took a few adjustments to get an ideal seat position, but once I did it’s pretty comfortable. Fiat changed the gauges slightly, added a few soft-touch materials, added new door panels, and on the whole fit and finish is pretty good. The roof mechanism is delightfully simple and easy to use. I only put it up once all week, due to rain so it’s as easy as a simple reach back, pull over your head and click into place. Perfect.

Verdict

I ran more errands in the week I had the Fiat than in any other car. Forgot something at the grocery store, “I’ll go” and I did. Any excuse it didn’t matter I just wanted to be driving the Fiat. I’ve driven some pretty good cars in my time but I have to say this little Fiat 124 Abarth has been one of my favorites. I still can’t wipe the grin off my face. Go get one……you won’t regret it.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Numbers

Vehicle Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible
Base Price:  $28,195
As Tested Price: $29,190
Engine: Turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 16-valve inline-4
Power:  164 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque:  184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Curb weight: 2,436 lb
Zero to 60 mph:  6.5 sec
Top speed:  130 mph
EPA city/highway driving:  25/29/36 mpg
Our Observed Fuel Economy: 23 mpg
Pros Superb fun at any speed, great engine, excellent handling 
Cons Wobbly cup holders

The post Scorpion Sting – 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/scorpion-sting-2017-fiat-124-spider-abarth/feed/ 0
2017 Golf GTI SE – Review https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-golf-gti-se/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-golf-gti-se/#respond Sat, 18 Mar 2017 02:08:27 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9501 It’s Still Great We last tested the Golf GTI back in 2015, with Performance Pack and loved it, especially the trick front diff that virtually eliminates under steer. Now it’s the turn of the 2017 Golf GTI without Performance Pack to be put through it’s paces. For 2017 the range has simplified options and a [&hellip

The post 2017 Golf GTI SE – Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
It’s Still Great

We last tested the Golf GTI back in 2015, with Performance Pack and loved it, especially the trick front diff that virtually eliminates under steer. Now it’s the turn of the 2017 Golf GTI without Performance Pack to be put through it’s paces. For 2017 the range has simplified options and a new Sport trim.

All 2017 Golf GTI models are equipped with the XDS®+ Cross Differential System. This technology acts somewhat like an electronic substitute for a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential (available on the Performance Pack model), working by actively monitoring data from each wheel sensor. If the suspension becomes unloaded, the system automatically applies braking to the driven inside wheel as needed to reduce under-steer. This not only helps keep the Golf on the road, but can also help improve handling and cornering performance. We found it work very well buyt would still spend the extra $$ on the full mechanical suspension.

Under the hood is the well used and tested 2.0 T DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with direct fuel injection. It puts out a respectable 210 hp @ 4700 rpm and 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm. Mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters the DSG works pretty well around town, there is some throttle tip in on take off, and we found it was better to set off on a partial throttle then mash it once underway, otherwise some mild lag is evident. The engine sounds good too, particularly on full throttle up-shifts. Strapping put test gear on we launched it, with some careful use of the right foot, from standstill to 60 in 6 seconds dead, 0.2 seconds slower than the PP model which has an additional 10 hp.

2017_golf_gti_

 

On our road course, which consisted of some deserted back-roads East of San Diego the GTI is incredibly impressive for a front-wheel drive car, even without the trick front diff it resolutely held its line and refused to under-steer. Torque steer has been  virtually eliminated. It simply bites into the corner, gets it’s power down early and powers out, ready for the next one. I am sure the 18-inch tires help a lot, but it is hard not to be utterly impressed with this car. Even on the wet day it felt super secure and even though our speeds were lower, was just as much fun.

The DCC option which allows you to adjust the shocks between, Comfort, Normal, Sport or Individual, works great too. In Sport mode uneven pavement can cause some jarring but I was grinning too much to notice. Of course we kept it in Sport mode with everything dialed and only steering in Normal. Steering is also the best I have come across, with a great sense of feel of what the front wheels are doing and extremely direct. What defines the GTI is it’s ’s point-to-point pace and the capacity to engage the driver, it simply doesn’t beg for more power such is the composure it offers. Even in Sport mode there is some  suppleness, and the car is superbly stable and settled at all times. Weird cambers, sharp corners it takes every single one in its stride. The chassis is so capable it simply filters all this kind of stuff away so you can drive one of the most well balanced and confidence inspiring cars on the market today. It’s simply grin inducing.

Interior

The interior will be familiar to Golf GTI owners, having that typically Teutonic style, slightly somber but with all the controls in the right place. In our car we got excellent seats, leather covered with full electric adjustment for the driver and partial for the passenger, a Fender Audi system and a panoramic sunroof, which given a choice, we wouldn’t option.  The 5.8 inch touchscreen controls the Nav, Audio, Phone and Car systems and is pretty good except for the voice control, which was very badly behaved and refused to do what it was asked. That aside there is really very little to find fault with this car, and it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Fuel economy was pretty good with an average of worst of 19.5 mpg during performance testing and an overall of 25.7 mpg over the testing period.

Verdict

Is this the best small car on the market? Yes …..it’s definitely the best Golf GTI to date (except for the PP version), the chassis is massively accomplished and in my book it’s still in first place ahead of the very good Focus ST.  It simply rides better, corners better, is faster and has a nicer interior. It’s also practical, there’s a hatch, the seats fold down and Fido can sit comfortably without craning his neck. We never understand why people choose sedans when hatchbacks are brilliant. Sure you can find faster hot hatches but you won’t find a more complete one.
Unfortunately we only had the car for 7 days, I wanted to keep it forever, and that included a weekend and one day of rain in San Diego; so we had to work fast to get the performance numbers and all the testing complete. I’ve been fortunate to drive many expensive high-performance cars, and yet this GTI is still at the top of my wish list.

2017 Golf GTI SE Numbers

BASE  PRICE $31,990
AS TESTED PRICE $33,405
VEHICLE TYPE Front-engine, FWD, 5 door hatchback
ENGINE 2.0L Turbocharged I-4, DOHC, 4 valves
POWER 210 hp @ 4,500 rpm
TORQUE 258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed twin-clutch auto.
CURB WEIGHT 3,159 lb
CARGO VOLUME 52.7/22.8 cu ft
0-60 6.0 secs
QUARTER MILE 14.8 sec @ 97 mph
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 13.2 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 25/33/28 mpg
OUR OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY 19.5 mpg 
PROS Fantastic fun, great engine, superb handling
CONS Some mild turbo lag, premium fuel 

The post 2017 Golf GTI SE – Review appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-golf-gti-se/feed/ 0
2017 Audi A4 allroad quattro Full Test https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-audi-a4-allroad-quattro-full-test/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-audi-a4-allroad-quattro-full-test/#respond Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:58:13 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9458 The Anti SUV Audi used to sell some of the best wagons in the U.S, but unfortunately the trend shifted to SUVs since they are regulated as light trucks instead of passenger vehicles under CAFE. This distinction effectively killed the wagon here……but not quite……Audi still has one left in its lineup here, the 2017 Audi [&hellip

The post 2017 Audi A4 allroad quattro Full Test appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
The Anti SUV

Audi used to sell some of the best wagons in the U.S, but unfortunately the trend shifted to SUVs since they are regulated as light trucks instead of passenger vehicles under CAFE. This distinction effectively killed the wagon here……but not quite……Audi still has one left in its lineup here, the 2017 Audi A4 allroad. I personally love wagons, they have all the handling and performance characteristics of a good sedan along with the ability to carry a bunch of extra stuff, like your granny’s antique dresser. Some people have become used to the higher seating position that the SUV offers but that requires additional engineering, more weight, worse fuel economy and way less fun.
The Audi allroad sold just 3,500 last year and that’s a pretty low number, but Audi says it’s simply a low-volume vehicle with a limited target audience. As long as they keep making a wagon for US consumption I will be happy, well kind of, I would really like to see the RS6 Avant Performance edition make it here………keep dreaming.Our 2017 Moonlight Blue Audi A4 allroad tester arrived in Prestige spec so was loaded to the roof rails with goodies. Even the roof rails look posh. The exterior has seen some minor changes and is a good-looking car. The large shield grille continues up front, with LED running lamps and smooth lines toward the horizontal taillights, the sloping rear lines put it a few notches above the slightly ungainly Subaru Outback.
Like previous A4 allroad models, our tester came equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive system. That engine is virtually identical to the one in the 2017 A4 sedan, making 252 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque.That’s up on the outgoing model which had 220 hp and 258lb-ft. which helps as it weighs roughly 150 pounds more than an all-wheel-drive A4 sedan. With our test gear attached we launched it to 60 mph in 5.57 seconds and the all important 50-70 mph took only 2.98 seconds. Consider that an Audi Q5, which has pretty similar interior space takes almost a second longer to hit sixty.

2017 Audi A4 allroad 2017 Audi A4 allroad

 

How Does It Go?

On and off road I like the allroad a lot. The new engine has much more torque and it gives the car plenty of power for passing. I also like the new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with that extra ratio it makes for even smoother progress. I only tried Sport mode for a short time then settled into Individual so everything in Sport except steering. With that set up there was no need to knock the lever back to Sport, such is the ample torque low down from this 2.0T. From a standstill the allroad launches fast thanks to the Quattro system. Even in the recent storms in San Diego we couldn’t get the wheels to slip, even mashing the pedal into the carpet. In spite of a slightly raised suspension, the allroad still handles well. Body movement is controlled when taking turns, and I threw it into some tight turns with no under steer apparent.

To really test its off road chops though, I headed to Otay Mountain truck trail, a half dirt, half decomposed granite road that winds its way 15 miles to the summit. It’s not too challenging of a road and to be honest a 2 wheel drive car could make it, but with the allroad it does snow, dirt, mud and limited rough terrain, including some pretty good sized ruts that I encountered. Keeping Audi’s Drive Select system in “Off-road” mode for this portion of the test softens up the new adaptive dampers, making progress more comfortable over the rough terrain. I made it to the transmission towers at the top and although the car was somewhat dusty, it had been a very enjoyable trip.

The allroad is the first to offer the revised Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The system can essentially decouple the rear differential and prop shaft from the driveline when not needed. It can also fully lock and vary the amount of drive to the rear wheels and from left to right, depending on conditions. It learns from the driver. So now, effectively the Quattro is now a front-wheel drive-based system which replaces the permanent 60:40 rear/front all-wheel drive system for which Audi has been known. No need to fret as I mentioned earlier this does not produce any noticeable under steer.

Inside

The A4 allroad’s cabin is nothing short of luxurious, which is no surprise as it has the same DNA as the A4. Our tester car, being a Prestige model, came with Audi’s virtual cockpit screen, and it’s brilliant. I spent hours fiddling with it, changing the resolution, switching out the ambient lighting, blue one day , red the next.  The MMI infotainment system comes with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and the smart phone integration schemes work just as well as in other cars. The only issue I have is that smart phone interfaces are typically touch screen and every time my phone screen appeared I wanted to touch the screen to select. As is usual all interior finishes are of a very high quality.

Seats are very comfortable for both driver and passenger, although I wish Audi would offer passenger seat height, especially on the Prestige trim. Cargo capacity is 24.2 ft³, 58.5 ft³ with seat area and this translates into decent comfort for two 75 lb dogs, albeit with limited headroom.

Verdict

The only thing that gives me slight concern is the price tag, which starts at $44,000 (The Q5 starts at 40K), but if you are a hard core wagon fan that difference is well worth it. Go crazy with the add-ons like Technology package which gives you the stunning virtual cockpit ($3,250); the Premium Plus Package, which gets you things like the upgraded sound system, LED headlights and the parking system ($3,000); and the Driver Assistance Package ($1,800) for adaptive cruise, and the price heads North of $50K.  The Prestige (Our Tester) package runs $7,400 and includes stuff from the Technology Package and the Premium Plus Package, along with the acoustic glass, which works great and keeps the cabin beautifully serene. Our car came out to be a slightly eye watering $55,575………..but I really think it’s worth it. Come the day when my Subaru Outback bites the dust, this Audi allroad is on my wish list and it should be on yours.

2017 Audi A4 allroad Quattro Numbers

VEHICLE TYPE: Front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICE: $44,000
AS TESTED PRICE: $55,575
ENGINE TYPE: 2.0 liter turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4
POWER:  252 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE:  273 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode
ZERO to 60 mph:  5.57 secs
30-50 MPH 5.11 secs
50-70MPH 2.98 sec
CARGO CAPACITY: 24.2 ft³, 58.5 ft³ with seat area
EPA City/Highway/Combined:  23/30 mpg
OUR OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY 21.8 mpg
PROS  Cool looks, great handling, works offroad, plenty of space
CONS Cup holders block some buttons

The post 2017 Audi A4 allroad quattro Full Test appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-audi-a4-allroad-quattro-full-test/feed/ 0
Next Gen 2018 Fiesta ST Has 3 Cylinder Turbo https://www.roadtestreviews.com/next-gen-2018-fiesta-st-3-cylinder-turbo/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/next-gen-2018-fiesta-st-3-cylinder-turbo/#respond Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:32:14 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9441 Ford has revealed the 2018 Fiesta ST, which will be powered by an all-new 200 hp, three-cylinder, 1.5 liter EcoBoost engine ahead of it’s appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s a first for the 3 cylinder to appear in a performance based Ford and it also also features Drive Modes that adjust engine, steering, [&hellip

The post Next Gen 2018 Fiesta ST Has 3 Cylinder Turbo appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
Ford has revealed the 2018 Fiesta ST, which will be powered by an all-new 200 hp, three-cylinder, 1.5 liter EcoBoost engine ahead of it’s appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s a first for the 3 cylinder to appear in a performance based Ford and it also also features Drive Modes that adjust engine, steering, stability controls and even exhaust sound for optimised driving. Add Electronic Sound Enhancement and active exhaust valve to amplify the sound of three-cylinder engine that also features cylinder deactivation to reduce emissions.

FORD_2017_Fiesta_ST_05

 

All-new 1-5-litre EcoBoost engine

Part of Ford’s EcoBoost range of gas engines that also includes the multi-award-winning 1.0 liter EcoBoost, the all-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine uses technology including turbocharging, high-pressure fuel injection and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing to deliver optimized performance and fuel efficiency.  The new 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine produces 200 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. Ford estimates it will hit 62 mph in 6.7 seconds, but we think it will be faster. The engine’s three-cylinder architecture delivers naturally high torque at low rpm. Performance is further boosted by a new turbocharger that uses an optimized turbine design to build boost pressure faster and minimize lag for a more responsive and fun driving experience.

New Drive Modes

Selectable Drive Modes add even more versatility for the next generation Fiesta ST, enabling drivers to optimize the driving experience to suit scenarios from school run to the race track. Sport mode changes the engine mapping and the throttle pedal response is sharpened. Active noise control valve open puhing a sporty exhaust note into the cabin. In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for hard circuit driving

The agile and responsive Ford Performance-tuned chassis will be supported by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control technology that improves road holding and reduces under-steer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering. Three-mode ESC will enable drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full system de-activation.

It’s All Grown Up

The new Fiesta ST has a more refined look, with its striking mesh grille along with oval-shaped headlights taken from the 2018 Fiesta. The ergonomic Fiesta ST interior will feature supportive Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Exterior color options will include new Liquid Blue and the Fiesta ST will feature exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels.

Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system will enable Fiesta ST drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™, SYNC 3 is supported by floating, tablet-inspired touchscreens up to 8-inches that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures.

The next generation Fiesta ST also will be offered with a high quality B&O PLAY Sound System for a high-end audio experience – among features Ford first announced last year for the next generation Fiesta.

The new Fiesta ST will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. It will be available globally in three and five-door body styles starting early 2018. So far, no information has been given regarding a U.S. market launch.

The post Next Gen 2018 Fiesta ST Has 3 Cylinder Turbo appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/next-gen-2018-fiesta-st-3-cylinder-turbo/feed/ 0
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT – Full Test https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt-full-test/ https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt-full-test/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 02:54:30 +0000 https://www.roadtestreviews.com/?p=9408 5,000 lbs of Pure Fun! The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the the second-most popular midsize SUV in the United States and for good reason, it drives well both on and off road and has a broad appeal. So back in 2007 Jeep came up with the SRT version which at the time, made as much sense [&hellip

The post 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT – Full Test appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
5,000 lbs of Pure Fun!

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the the second-most popular midsize SUV in the United States and for good reason, it drives well both on and off road and has a broad appeal. So back in 2007 Jeep came up with the SRT version which at the time, made as much sense as a screen door on a submarine, at least until you drove it. Since then they have tweaked and massaged it into one of the most fun cars I have ever driven.

Up till the expected release of the Trailhawk, the almost official Hellcat version of the Grand Cherokee SRT, which will have an expected 707 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the 2017 Grand Cherokee SRT here is the most powerful yet.

The SRT trades the standard SUV’s off-road focused chassis setup for a lowered and stiffened sport suspension. Jeep also re-calibrated the 6.4-liter Hemi’s engine management software, giving a small bump in power to 475 hp and 470 pound-feet of torque.

In 2014 the old five-speed automatic was replaced with the excellent eight-speed gearbox and it transformed the way the car drove as well as  improve fuel economy, although it’s still a thirsty beast.  Acceleration also improved with the all important 0-60 mph sprint dispatched half a second quicker. We did a couple of runs, with our car wearing 285/45 Pirelli P-Zeros and launched it to 60 in 4.6 seconds. It’s not the fastest SUV on the planet but it makes up for this by being a grin inducing drive.

2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

So How Does It Go?

I hit the streets of San Diego and immediately there was a problem, I couldn’t stop myself from mashing the right pedal at every stop light, such was the instantaneous throttle response, with no lag from turbochargers and all wheel drive to put the power down. I found myself doing this a lot. This had a catastrophic effect on my average fuel economy though with 10.8 mpg showing after a day of in town driving. Things improved over the course of the week and I finished up at an average 12.8 mpg, still short of the EPA 15 mpg. Still, despite having to fill up the beast 3 times I couldn’t have had more fun in any other SUV. Push hard and the eight-speed automatic dispatches ratios with ease and as we have said before this transmission is so much better then the outgoing 5 speed auto.

With it’s adaptive dampers and big six-piston Brembo brakes, the Grand Cherokee handles the twisty bits with ease, never feeling tall and unstable, just fantastically planted. Only in very tight turns do you feel the weight but it’s all very controlled. The brakes are good too, not grabby and very effective at hauling the SRT from high speed. We kept it in Sport almost all the time and the ride feels just fine even over San Diego’s many potholes.

I took the SRT up Nate Harrison Grade, a truck trail on the West side of Palomar Mountain. It’s paved for a couple of miles, then compacted DG. It climbs almost 4,700 feet to pick up the Hwy S7. It coped well despite running on those P-Zeros and once at the summit came into its own, devouring straights and charging into corners at insane speeds. The Grand Cherokee SRT offers seriously quick straight-line acceleration, incredibly responsive handling, superb stopping power and a great exhaust noise. Oh and you can fit stuff in it too with its 36 cu ft of cargo space.

Inside

Last year the dash display was upgraded, the tachometer is now front and center. The SRT button allows drivers to pick and choose the various mode parameters such as throttle response, steering weight and suspension stiffness. Our car had full leather Sepia colored seats with a black dash and accents. The SRT seats are super supportive, all power adjustable for driver and passenger. Our test car had $10K worth of optional equipment including Rear Blu Ray, Harman Kardon audio system, Brembo brakes and a dual panoramic sunroof. We would keep the brakes and the Harman Kardon, which would make it almost a bargain. Fit and finish is very good and we didn’t hear any rattles or squeaks despite the fact that press cars have been driven pretty hard.

Should I Buy One?

Some of its European rivals offer greater performance, more luxury, or both, but none of them come close to matching Grand Cherokee’s price tag for the type of performance it offers……..and that exhaust sound is simply wonderful. Some of the rivals are almost double the price. Some prospective buyers may want to wait for the Cherokee SRT Hellcat Trackhawk).
I think the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT in this form is just perfect.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Numbers

VEHICLE TYPE: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV
BASE PRICE: $66,795
PRICE AS TESTED:  $78,355
ENGINE TYPE: 6.2 liter pushrod 16-valve V-8,
POWER: 475 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE: 470 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
CARGO VOLUME: 36 cu ft with seats up
CURB WEIGHT: 5,104 lb
ZERO to 60 mph: 4.6 sec
EPA combined/city/highway 15/13/19 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: 12.8 mpg
PROs Huge Fun, Excellent Handling, Cheaper Than Competition
CONs Thirsty

The post 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT – Full Test appeared first on Road Test Reviews.

]]>
https://www.roadtestreviews.com/2017-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt-full-test/feed/ 0