No Time to Die Isn’t the Only Bond Film With Sweet Rides

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 21:10

James Bond is the quintessential spy. The orphan turned assassin likes to work alone, but frequently shares the silver screen with some pretty hot sheetmetal. The first trailer for No Time To Die dropped on Wednesday, and it gave us our first glimpse at the 25th Bond film in the storied franchise. The new teaser shows a retired Bond being pulled back into service by an old friend, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright).

The trailer is packed with action. Motorcycle chases, an Aston Martin DB5 with miniguns in the headlamps, and a Land Rover being chased by a helicopter all feature in this first teaser. This is the fifth and likely final James Bond film Daniel Craig will headline, and we decided to put together a list of the cars that have starred alongside the most recent incarnation of the legendary British spy. Check out the trailer below and read on for a look at almost all the James Bond cars Craig has piloted through the years.

Casino Royale

The first installment of the Craig-led Bond film era features a 2006 Aston Martin DBS that is eventually rolled at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford, England. Toward the end of the film, Bond is thrown into the back of a Jaguar XJ8 of the same vintage. The bad guys always drive Jags.

Quantum Of Solace

The second Bond film to feature Craig has the most “eclectic” assortment of cars on its roster. After Bond almost completely destroys his black DBS in the opening minutes of the film, the cars take a turn for the less exciting. Bond ends up driving a retro Land Rover and a black Ford Edge—powered by hydrogen—throughout the film. Quantum of Solace does feature a 1970s Volkswagen Beetle, though!


Skyfall doesn’t feature many vehicles, but M (Judy Dench) and Bond take a long road trip to the orphanage where Bond was raised in an Aston Martin DB5. In their last stand against Silva (Javier Bardem), the DB5 is sadly destroyed. But I guess that’s Q’s problem, not ours.


Spectre featured a host of sweet sheetmetal. Bond pilots an Aston Martin DB10 concept—into the Tiber River in Rome—while being pursued by Hinx (Dave Bautista) in a Jaguar CX-75 supercar. Sadly, neither of the two cars ever made it to production, but it’s a chase we’re happy to have seen played out on the big screen. The previous generation Land Rover Defender also makes an appearance in a snowy action sequence in which Bond chases a de-winged propeller plane down a mountain.

No Time To Die

The newest installment in the Bond franchise isn’t set to be released until April of next year, but a few sweet cars have already been revealed in the initial teaser trailer. The new Land Rover Defender, which made an appearance at the L.A. Auto Show, an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and an ’80s Aston Martin V-8 Vantage that Bond will be piloting through London can be seen in the trailer.

The post No Time to Die Isn’t the Only Bond Film With Sweet Rides appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

CMS to take 47,500 sq ft in Sheffield Council scheme

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 20:07
Law firm CMS is set to become the second anchor tenant in Heart of the City II scheme in Sheffield.
Categories: Property

Blackstone considers £4bn IQ takeover

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 19:55
Blackstone is considering buying student accommodation giant IQ as the operator mulls a sale or flotation in the new year.
Categories: Property

Subaru Forester Competitors: How Other Small SUVs Stack Up

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 18:00

What’s the best small SUV on the market right now? We have our opinion, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Consumers have differing priorities when it comes to fuel economy, cargo space, design, and other buying factors. Although not a sales leader, the Subaru Forester is a solid contender in this space, especially after its recent redesign. Find out how this underdog SUV stacks up to the segment leaders in this Subaru Forester competitor comparison.

The Competition

First of all, who are the Subaru Forester’s competitors? In this comparison, we’ll look at a diverse range of rivals, including the Jeep Cherokee, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue. Along with the Forester, these models are the best-selling compact SUVs on the market. Other rivals include the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Volkswagen Tiguan.


We’ll address this right away—the Forester is not the most thrilling SUV when it comes to performance. Although it packs a sufficient 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque from its 2.5-liter flat-four engine, it’s a little slow to accelerate off the line. In the 0-60-mph run, the quickest Forester we’ve tested came in at 8.3 seconds, which is on par with a Toyota RAV4 (8.2 seconds) and Ford Escape (8.4 seconds). It’s behind the zippy Honda CR-V (7.6 seconds), but ahead of the Chevrolet Equinox (8.7 seconds).

Some rivals offer engines that are more powerful, making them much quicker. The Cherokee, for instance, offers a 270-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine that propels the SUV to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, and the CX-5’s optional turbo engine delivers 227 hp to hit the mark in 6.4 seconds. But to keep things even, let’s look at how the Forester stacks up with similarly powered rivals we’ve tested:

Subaru Forester Competitors: 0-60 MPH Performance

CR-V: 7.6 seconds
CX-5: 8.3 seconds
Escape: 8.4 seconds
Equinox: 8.7 seconds
Forester: 8.3 seconds
RAV4: 8.2 seconds
Rogue: 9.5 seconds

Handling and ride quality are just as important to many buyers as acceleration. In past reviews, we’ve noted the Forester is easy to maneuver, and as you can see from the numbers below, it performs well in our figure eight handling test. But subjectively, the steering feels a little disconnected. If you’re looking for a canyon carver, the Mazda CX-5 is often considered the most agile crossover in the segment, with satisfying steering. The CR-V also impresses.

Subaru Forester Competitors: Figure Eight Performance

Cherokee: 27.1 seconds at 0.62 g (avg)
CR-V: 27.5 seconds at 0.61 g (avg)
CX-5: 27.8 seconds at 0.59 g (avg)
Escape: 28.2 seconds at 0.62 g (avg)
Equinox: 28.1 seconds at 0.59 g (avg)
Forester: 27.3 seconds at 0.63 g (avg)
RAV4: 28.9 seconds at 0.57 g (avg)
Rogue: 28.0 seconds at 0.59 g (avg)

Subaru Forester Competitors: Engines

Cherokee: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 | 270 hp and 295 lb-ft
CR-V: 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4 |190 hp and 179 lb-ft
CX-5: 2.5-liter I-4 | 187 hp and 186 lb-ft
Escape: 1.5-liter turbocharged I-3 | 181 hp and 190 lb-ft
Equinox: 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4 | 170 hp and 204 lb-ft
Forester: 2.5-liter flat-four | 182 hp and 176 lb-ft
RAV4: 2.5-liter I-4 | 203 hp and 184 lb-ft
Rogue: 2.5-liter I-4 | 170 hp and 175 lb-ft

Expect a smooth, pleasant ride inside the Forester. In our 2019 SUV of the Year testing, in which the Forester was a finalist, we noted, “Subaru did an excellent job keeping road and wind noise out of the cabin and providing a relatively magic-carpet ride for its class.” The crossover earned similar praise in our First Test, where we noted, “Its ride quality rivals that of more expensive vehicles wearing premium badges.” That said, the CR-V exhibits an exceptional ride quality, and we think it offers the best combination of ride, handling, and power in its segment.


Functional. That may be the best way to describe the design of the Forester. It’s not a bad-looking SUV, but it doesn’t feature the soft, fluid lines of competitors like the CX-5, Equinox, and Escape. Instead, the Forester looks like a big box, a design that reaps plenty of benefits. Its upright greenhouse makes for exceptional visibility out the front windshield, and there’s gobs of headroom, too. The Forester’s shape helps it maximize interior space, but more on that later.

Even the RAV4 looks flashier, with angular headlights and a wide grille. Meanwhile, the Cherokee adopts iconic Jeep design cues that make it immediately recognizable on the road. The Forester blends in the background with few creases or interesting shapes on the sheetmetal. LED headlights come standard, adding a bit of modernity to the Subaru crossover.

The Forester won’t turn any heads, but there is a way to jazz it up. Opt for the Forester Sport, which features orange accents and badging.


The Forester comes with plenty of standard safety features. Every model features EyeSight, which bundles together adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist. Blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert is optional.

Automatic emergency braking is standard on most entries in the segment, including the Forester, CR-V, CX-5, Equinox, Escape, RAV4, and Rogue. However, it’s an optional feature on the Cherokee; you can get it on higher-trim models.

The 2019 Forester was named a Top Safety Pick+, the highest award available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2019 CX-5 and RAV4 also earned the distinction. The 2020 Escape, 2019 CR-V, and 2019 Cherokee won the lesser Top Safety Pick designation, missing out on the top award because of their headlight ratings. The 2019-20 Rogue also lost out due to its headlight rating and “Acceptable” score in the passenger-side small overlap test.

Chevrolet’s Equinox received no award from IIHS. Although it earns top scores in all crash tests, its headlights earned a “Marginal” rating, below the “Acceptable” level required for the Top Safety Pick award.

Passenger Space

The Subaru Forester offers plenty of legroom for three adults to sit comfortably in the back row, and it’s easy to get in and out because the rear doors open wider than you might expect. But if you look at the numbers, many other competitors offer more rear legroom.

However, the Forester offers a greater amount of total passenger space than most rivals. The base model is particularly spacious with 111.9 cubic feet, while other trims offer 107.8 cubic feet. Either way, it beats all its competitors in this metric, except for the Cherokee, which offers 128 cubic feet.

Subaru Forester Competitors: Passenger Volume (cubic feet)

Cherokee: 128
CR-V: 105.9
CX-5: 103.6
Escape: 104
Equinox: 103.2
Forester: 111.9
RAV4: 98.9
Rogue: 105.8

Subaru Forester Competitors: Rear Legroom (inches)

Cherokee: 40.3
CR-V: 40.4
CX-5: 39.6
Escape: 40.7
Equinox: 39.9
Forester: 39.4
RAV4: 37.8
Rogue: 37.9

Cargo Space

The Forester compares favorably to other small SUVs when it comes to cargo space. By the numbers, it has the most available total cargo space of its competitors. If you keep the second row up, however, it doesn’t offer quite as much cargo room as competitors like the CR-V, RAV4, and Rogue. Unsurprisingly, Subaru designed the cargo bay with practicality in mind. The Forester’s liftgate opens wide for easy loading and unloading.

Subaru Forester Competitors: Cargo Space (cubic feet) (behind second row/second row folded)

Cherokee: 25.8/54.7
CR-V: 39.2/75.8
CX-5: 30.9/59.6
Escape: 37.5/65.4
Equinox: 29.9/63.9
Forester: 35.4/76.1
RAV4: 37.6/69.8
Rogue: 39.3/70.0

Off-Road Capability

Equipped with standard AWD, the Forester easily tackles gravel, sand, and unpaved surfaces. It has a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and its approach, departure, and breakover angles are better than many of its competitors. However, we’ve found that the overly gentle engine can hinder its off-road abilities. In our SUV of the Year testing, we got stuck following a hard stop on a slushy-silt slope.

The RAV4 performs better off the beaten path than many crossovers, especially in beefier trims like the Adventure and TRD Off-Road. But the Jeep Cherokee is the true king of tough terrain. Although the Toyota performed impressively in our off-road comparison test, the Cherokee tackled a massive rock staircase, boggy waterways, and other tasks with particular aplomb. The Cherokee should top your list if you’re looking for an off-road small SUV.



If you want to maximize towing on your compact crossover, the Forester will not be your top choice. Neither will the CR-V or Rogue. The Cherokee wins this category, offering a max towing capacity of 4,500 pounds with the 3.2-liter V-6. Toyota is offering an impressive 3,500 pounds of towing on the RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road, while the Equinox offers the same capability with the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine.

Subaru Forester Competitors: Towing

Cherokee: 2,000 pounds | 4,500 pounds with 3.2L V-6
CR-V: 1,500 pounds
CX-5: 2,000 pounds
Escape: 2,000 pounds | 3,500 pounds on 2.0L models
Equinox: 1,500 pounds | 3,500 pounds on 2.0L models
Forester: 1,500 pounds
RAV4: 1,500 pounds | 3,500 pounds on Adventure, TRD Off-Road
Rogue: 1,102 pounds


J.D. Power issues an Initial Quality Study every year. Not only does it measures a vehicle’s quality at 90 days of ownership, it is also considered an indicator of long-term reliability. For 2019, the Chevrolet Equinox took the cake by recording the fewest problems per 100 vehicles. The Escape also earned high marks, along with the CR-V and Rogue. The Forester and RAV4, however, were among the worst performers. Check out the full rankings here.


Keep in mind the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive unlike its competitors. When you compare the Forester with AWD versions of the competition, it does very well. Delivering 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving, it’s on par with the AWD CR-V. However, the RAV4 nets 30 mpg on the AWD LE trim. If you’d rather maximize fuel economy with a front-drive crossover, take a look at the CR-V, Escape, and RAV4.

Subaru Forester Competitors: Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined mpg)

Cherokee: 23/31/26 (2.0L FWD) | 21/29/24 (2.0L AWD) | 22/31/25 (2.4L FWD) | 21/29/24 (2.4L AWD) | 20/29/23 (3.2L FWD) | 19/27/22 (3.2L AWD)

CR-V: 28/34/30 (1.5L FWD) | 27/32/29 (1.5L AWD)

CX-5: 25/31/28 (2.5L FWD) | 24/30/26 (2.5L AWD) | 23/28/25 (2.5L Turbo FWD) | 22/27/24 (2.5L Turbo AWD)

Escape: 27/33/30 (1.5L FWD) | 26/31/28 (1.5L AWD) | 23/31/26 (2.0L AWD)

Equinox: 26/31/28 (1.5L FWD) | 25/30/27 (1.5L AWD) | 22/29/25 (2.0L FWD) | 22/28/24 (2.0L AWD)

Forester: 26/33/29 (AWD)

RAV4: 28/35/30 (FWD) | 27/34/30 (AWD LE)

Rogue: 26/33/29 (FWD) | 25/32/27 (AWD)

*hybrids and diesels are excluded in this comparison


Interior Comfort

In addition to boasting plenty of headroom, the Forester greets occupants with a pleasant mix of high-quality materials. Likewise, the RAV4 benefits from an uncluttered interior design, but its cabin feels narrower than that of the Forester and CR-V, and it has less headroom than we’d like. We’ve also lamented the space inside the Cherokee, including its lack of storage cubbies near the driver. Look for generous storage space in the center console area on the extremely well-packaged CR-V.

The Equinox and Rogue are also spacious, although lower trims have a rental car feel with cheaper plastics. The CX-5 goes for a premium feel inside the cabin, particularly with the Signature model that gets real wood trim. The Escape has a simplistic design, unfortunately accompanied by some cheap-feeling materials on recent pre-production models we tested.

Infotainment and Cabin Technology

Don’t forget to play around with the infotainment system when you’re checking out a new vehicle at the dealership. Because this is an area not all small SUVs have mastered. Fortunately, the Forester’s central touchscreen features large, easy-to-read icons and responds quickly to touch commands. A 6.5-inch screen is standard, and an 8-inch unit is available. The Forester has one of the sharpest infotainment systems in its class; it may even be the best.

Another responsive infotainment system can be found on the Cherokee, which has an optional 8.4-inch screen. The Equinox gets an easy-to-use 7-inch screen, or optional 8 inch screen, with a logical arrangement of buttons underneath. The Rogue, however, has an awkward array of buttons positioned by the driver’s left knee. The RAV4’s infotainment system feels a bit underwhelming compared to others, featuring less impressive graphics and taking a while to respond.

The CR-V’s touchscreen is pretty easy to use, too, although we’ve found the gear shift kind of clunky to operate. The Escape features a rotary shifter, but the feature that really makes it stand out in its class is the available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.


The 2020 Subaru Forester starts at $25,505. The starting price is lower than most competitors, despite offering AWD as standard equipment. Even top-trim testers are a good value. In our recent compact SUV comparison, we praised the 2019 Subaru Forester Limited for offering an outstanding value and beating rivals in IntelliChoice’s five-year cost of ownership analysis.

Subaru Forester Competitors: Price

2020 Cherokee: $27,235
2020 CR-V: $26,145
2020 CX-5: $26,135
2020 Escape: $26,080
2020 Equinox: $24,995
2020 Forester: $25,505
2020 Rogue: $26,395
2020 RAV4: $26,970


Here’s one area where the competitors are equal. All of the crossovers in this list come with a basic warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles as well as a powertrain warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles.

Subaru Forester Competitors

The post Subaru Forester Competitors: How Other Small SUVs Stack Up appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Car thieves prefer Honda sedans, American pickup trucks

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 16:45
Nearly 750,000 vehicles were stolen in 2018, according to the FBI, and very few of them were the high profile vehicles glamorized in films like "Gone in 60 Seconds," "John Wick," or all of the "Fast and Furious" films. The vehicles most prized by car thieves were workaday models easily stolen and easily stripped for parts. The Honda Civic and...
Categories: Property

Car thieves prefer Honda, Acura SLX retuned for RADwood, Toyota Vs. EVs: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 16:30
Hot take? Honda sedans, pickup trucks top most stolen vehicle list Commuter sedans and pickups topped the list for most stolen cars of 2018. Free and clear: BMW relents on charging for Apple CarPlay Rejoice! BMW is dropping its subscription fee for Apple CarPlay. 2020 Volvo S90 review The luxury sedan with an available plug-in hybrid powertrain...
Categories: Property

2020 Volvo S90

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 16:09
The 2020 Volvo S90 is a European luxury sedan without the normal European luxury pretense. Looking good from every angle (outside and in) is only one of its many virtues. For 2020, the good stuff gets even better, thanks to a new R-Design trim incorporating popular features and unique looks The 2020 Volvo S90 earns a 7.2 on our ratings scale...
Categories: Property

Cockburn made new head of Schroder Real Estate Capital Partners

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 16:00
Schroders has appointed Sarah Cockburn as head of its Real Estate Capital Partners.
Categories: Property

Schroders Real Estate Capital Partners appoints Sarah Cockburn as new head

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 16:00
Schroders has appointed Sarah Cockburn as head of its Real Estate Capital Partners.
Categories: Property

Hot take? Honda sedans, pickup trucks top most stolen vehicle list

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 15:00
Nearly 750,000 vehicles were stolen in 2018, according to the FBI, and very few of them were the high profile vehicles glamorized in films like "Gone in 60 Seconds," "John Wick," or all of the "Fast and Furious" films. The vehicles most prized by car thieves were workaday models easily stolen and easily stripped for parts. The Honda Civic and...
Categories: Property

Credit Suisse, Chancerygate and Hines buy Bracknell site in JV

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 14:18
Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate, Chancerygate and Hines have teamed up in a joint venture to buy a 23-acre site in Bracknell, Berkshire.
Categories: Property

Oxford Science Park gets planning permission for Plot 16 expansion

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 14:17
Oxford City Council East has approved plans to develop two office buildings totalling 168,000 sq ft at Plot 16.
Categories: Property

Court Collaboration’s resi tower gets green light

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 13:58
Court Collaboration’s One Eastside Scheme has been given the green light by Birmingham City council.
Categories: Property

Revo appoints Philip Bier as new vice president

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 13:14
Revo has hired Philip Bier, the entrepreneur responsible for bringing Copenhagen’s Tiger to the UK, as its new vice president.
Categories: Property

Free and clear: BMW relents on charging for Apple CarPlay

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 13:00
Our editorial team doesn't agree on many things, but we were unanimous in calling out BMW for fleecing shoppers by charging a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay. "BMW still irks us with an $80 annual CarPlay user fee that begins a year after purchase," Editorial Director Martin Padgett wrote in his 2019 BMW X7 review. "It’s a chintzy...
Categories: Property

Resolution Property leases 4,000 sq ft to axe throwing company

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 12:07
Resolution Property has leased 4,000 sq ft to axe throwing company Whistle Punks at its Programme building in Bristol.
Categories: Property

Landbay exits retail market to focus on institutional investment

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 12:02
Buy-to-let mortgage lender Landbay has exited the retail funding market in order to focus on institutional investment.
Categories: Property

Grainger funds Cardiff PRS scheme for £57m

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 11:27
Granger has announced that it will fund a 307-home PRS development at Capital Quarter in Cardiff.
Categories: Property

2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar Review: Less Than the Sum of Its Parts

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 09:00

Making a normal car sporty isn’t simply a matter of more. Adding a pile of parts and a gob of power doesn’t guarantee improvement. The approach must be thoughtful, balanced, and holistic, even if that means doing less than what’s possible.

It’s established that the Volvo XC60 is a very nice midsize crossover. Superb styling, a lovely interior, and solid practicality make it great to live with every day. Volvo intends the range-topping Polestar specification to be the enthusiast’s choice. Starting with the plug-in hybrid T8 powertrain, Polestar increases output, enhances the chassis and rolling stock, and revisits styling for a sporty demeanor. Each separate element seems like an upgrade supporting the XC60 Polestar’s performance intents. It’s how they all come together that leaves driving aficionados wanting more.

The disparities start to arise as soon as the golden seatbelts are buckled. Like in the standard XC60’s interior, snazzy stitched leather and textured metal abound. The biggest difference is the seats, which are supportive and trimmed in grippy faux suede. But padding is thin and stiff, leading testing director Kim Reynolds to say, “Front seat bottom side bolsters are made of plywood, I think.” Although seat heating can be toggled between three levels, cooling is unavailable. Sporty as they are, the seats feel at odds with the upscale ambiance.

Check out an in-depth review of the Volvo XC60’s interior here.

Twisting the ignition knob brings the “Twin Engine” hybrid powertrain silently to life, so called because of its two distinct power sources. The front wheels are turned by a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter I-4, while an electric motor drives the rears—there’s no mechanical connection between the two. Combined system output is a stout 415 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque, more power than the Audi SQ5’s 354 hp, and more torque than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s 443 lb-ft. But how that power is delivered is hard to comprehend.

The car defaults to hybrid drive, with initial zoom provided by the electric motor. Then the gas engine decides to join in, but only after it shuffles through the transmission’s eight speeds and the twin chargers start spinning out boost. This being a front-wheel-drive platform, there’s a fair amount of torque steer to wrestle—no central differential to distribute power here. Still, the electric motor provides enough shove that power feels mostly balanced between the two ends.

Given the electric motor’s flat, responsive delivery and the gas engine’s laggy feel, “linear” is not a word that describes the XC60 Polestar’s throttle responses. Unpredictable, too, are the paddle shifters, which in our time with the car, responded instantly to some commands and never to others. These reactions yield a 5.1-second 0–60 mph run, not especially quick for the segment, behind the Porsche Macan S’ 4.6-second time and the BMW X3M’s 4.0-second launch.

It’s easy enough to mute those foibles, though. Roll the drive mode dial, and the XC60 Polestar will run on rear-wheel electric power as much as possible. Unlike some hybrids’ all-electric settings, which force extreme chastity upon the driver’s foot, the XC60 Polestar allows reasonably deep pedal application before the gas engine kicks in to help. It’s terrific for quiet, relaxed driving, or any situation when efficiency is prioritized over sportiness.

The XC60 Polestar plug-in hybrid’s electric-only range is 17 miles, before the gas engine helps out for a few hundred more miles.

No matter the mode, the big Akebono brakes are great. With gilded calipers gleaming behind optional 22-inch wheels, the stoppers feel, according to road test editor Chris Walton, “extra firm” with “super-short pedal travel,” although he noted a delay between pedal pressure and actual braking. Unlike some hybrids that have a noticeable transition between regenerative and friction braking, the XC60 Polestar’s pedal feels linear.

That said, there’s room for stronger regenerative braking. Even in its maximum setting, it’s nowhere close to allowing one-pedal driving. Regardless, 60–0 stopping distances were short and consistent, varying just 3 feet after a 106-foot best. That’s a foot ahead of the Porsche Macan S, and a foot behind the carbon-ceramic rotor-equipped Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe.

Among the XC60 Polestar’s sporty aims, handling is a high point. Beyond a smidge of numbness on-center, steering is quick and accurate, with nice heft. The chassis allows the car to be confidently tossed through corners, feeling stiff enough to provide a connected sensation, but never to the point of being uncomfortable. Through a figure-eight test measuring 25.5 seconds at 0.72 g, Reynolds noted “nice grip for its configuration,” with some understeer on entry and mild drifts available on exit.

This handling prowess comes with a huge caveat, however. During its transformation to Polestar trim, the XC60 gained trick Öhlins manually adjustable suspension dampers at all four corners. Each offers 22 clicks of adjustment; turning the adjustment knobs clockwise firms responses, counterclockwise softens them. The dampers’ operation is brilliant. At one extreme the ride is nearly devoid of body roll; at the other it’s plush despite the car’s massive wheels. With so much adjustment the driver can dial in their exact preference, and single clicks are noticeable from behind the wheel.

It’s the process of making those adjustments that ruins the dampers’ presence in the first place. To adjust the front pair, the driver must open the hood and twist knobs at either side of the anti-roll bar. Adjusting the rears requires reaching into each wheelwell above the tire, pulling off a dust cover, and twiddling the dial. Compounding the annoyance is that adjustment clicks sometimes aren’t obvious, so the driver isn’t sure if settings are matched—side-to-side and end-to-end variations are possible. Only once that’s done and everything’s closed up can driving resume. In many comparable vehicles, damping can be altered on the fly, from within the car, depending on the situation. Given the time-consuming and hand-dirtying procedure in the XC60 Polestar, only the most committed drivers will use this feature. The rest will ignore it entirely.

The pervasive discombobulation doesn’t make the XC60 Polestar a bad crossover. It’s still attractive, given the stylish sheetmetal and big wheels. It’s still comfortable, if requiring some manual labor to get there. It’s still quick and efficient, thanks to its multifaceted hybrid drivetrain. But it’s hard to prefer over any other XC60 trim as a daily driver, and much less so over sporty crossover competitors. These other options are more holistic and thoughtful in their execution. It seems, then, that the XC60 Polestar is less than the sum of its parts.

2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar BASE PRICE $70,495 PRICE AS TESTED $71,940 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.0L/328-hp/317-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 46-hp/110-lb-ft front, 87-hp/177-lb-ft rear elec motor; 415 hp/494 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,730 lb (54/46%) WHEELBASE 112.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.6 x 74.9 x 64.9 in 0-60 MPH 5.1 sec QUARTER MILE 13.6 sec @ 100.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.92 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.5 sec @ 0.72 g (avg) EPA COMB FUEL ECON 27 (57 MPGe) mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125 (59)kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.72 (0.34) lb/mile

The post 2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar Review: Less Than the Sum of Its Parts appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

BMW X2 as Support SUV: What We Learned From Thousands of Miles on the Road

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 09:00

The X2 has been a reliable road warrior lately, serving a vital role as errand runner and support runabout at our annual Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year productions. It has spent thousands of miles running up and down the desert highways, back roads, and, at times, dirt roads of California and Arizona.

During our weeklong SUV of the Year testing, the staff used the X2 to shuttle equipment, supplies, and personnel back and forth from Los Angeles to California City, and many of these open highway runs showed that the X2’s eight-speed can easily deliver over 400 miles of range, proving that its four-cylinder can be very thrifty at highway speeds.

At our Car of the Year program, the X2 provided logistical support during the endless photo shoots and began most days hauling large bags of cooler ice to our test facility in Mojave, California. At lunch we took advantage of the large rear cargo tub and stuffed it with boxed sandwiches from the local Tehachapi deli then doled out hoagies and chips to our hard-working crew. Most days ended by using the little BMW to collect test track cones from our figure-eight course on the proving ground’s asphalt lake.

There were huge temperature swings during Car of the Year, with daytime highs rising to 95 degrees and nighttime temps dropping to 40 degrees. The oscillating temps posed a significant challenge for X2’s HVAC system, which frequently made the cabin temperature too cold or too hot but rarely settled at the temperature that had been selected. Later, a staffer experienced a similar behavior on a 67-degree day in Los Angeles when the HVAC system couldn’t maintain a steady cabin temperature when set at 74 degrees.

Added to the support crew for Truck of the Year, the X2 shuttled our production assistants as they followed our contender trucks to photo locations down various dirt roads near the eclectic Arizona outposts of Oatman and Bullhead City. The front-wheel-drive X2 always maintained grip, but there were lots of harsh impacts that quickly reminded drivers of this hatch’s stiff ride. We experienced a similar choppy, harsh ride when driving on the paved yet rustic Route 66 in the nearby mountains. Many of the road’s imperfections reverberated through the chassis and steering wheel, as did too much road noise. On the highway, though, it’s hard to ignore how eager the 2.0-liter turbo-four was to rev hard as it merged the X2 onto Arizona’s 75 mph highways, making it a cinch not to get squeezed by all the tractor trailers traversing Northern Arizona.

These long highway trips also allowed for ample testing of the X2’s cruise control. Impressively, the system holds its selected cruise control speed on steep downhill grades like the large one found east of Ludlow, California, heading toward Needles.

Read more about our long-term 2018 BMW X2:

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