2019 GMC Sierra 1500

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 12:45
With the 2019 Sierra, GMC has a truck that falls shy of maximum capability, but looks to cameras and software to optimize the truck experience. It also counts on a unique, versatile six-way tailgate and a carbon-fiber bed to score tech and utility points away from its stablemate, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. This year’s Sierra scores...
Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 12:44
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado gets a new design this year, and drops up to 450 pounds in the process, but it’s more focused on its mission than ever. Its bed is bigger and offers more features, and its cab gets bigger, making this brawny pickup better at hauling cargo and people. Chevrolet also improves road manners, adds safety features, and...
Categories: Property

2019 Honda Passport

The Car Connection News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 12:40
With its 2019 Passport, Honda hasn’t invented anything new. The five-seat Passport neatly plugs a gap in Honda’s crossover SUV lineup with minimal fuss. It didn’t take much effort for the automaker to create the 2019 Honda Passport: It’s a Pilot with 6.2 inches lopped off its rear end. The new Passport has a different front...
Categories: Property

Boutique Workplace Company opens in King's Cross

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 11:29
Flexible workspace provider The Boutique Workplace Company has launched its latest centre at 41-43 Chalton Street, in London’s King’s Cross.
Categories: Property

Kier to sell property and housebuilding arms

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 10:02
Kier Group has puts its property and housebuilding arms up for sale.
Categories: Property

2019 Mazda6: Why I’d Buy It – Alisa Priddle

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 09:00

“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would Detroit editor Alisa Priddle drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.

I’m mad that automakers aren’t making as many sedans any more. My choices are limited, and that makes me angry.

Ideally, I want a small car that looks luscious, has a manual transmission, lets me take the top off, and is affordable. And I am stymied.

I love Lincoln’s styling these days, but Ford has all but gotten out of the sedan business. FCA has nothing for me short of a muscle car. GM is also cutting back on its sedan offerings, but I’m intrigued by Cadillac’s new CT4 and CT5, which come out this fall with softer lines and the long hood of a rear-driver.

Toyota’s Corolla hatch has a manual, but I want more power and styling. The new Sonata’s styling has plenty of wow factor—the headlights that run up the hood are especially cool—but I have yet to drive it.

As for convertibles, most of the shopping is higher-end German luxury that exceeds my price ceiling. I can’t even justify them as a midlife crisis. A Mazda Miata is every journalist’s choice, but I need room for passengers and enough clothes, food, gear, and sundries for a week at the cottage so it’s just not practical enough. And even with winter tires, it would be challenged in deep snow in northern Michigan and Canada.

More about Alisa: Alisa Priddle is the Detroit editor for MotorTrend and does not like hot weather. Even Detroit is too warm a clime, which sends her scurrying to cottage country in northern Ontario as often as humanly possible, with an overstuffed SUV and a trailer hitch to get the boat in the water.

So I would likely wax nostalgic and head to the Mazda dealer for a 2019 Mazda6. I loved my 2004 Mazda6, which dealer staff begged to test-drive because it was the first to be delivered with the five-speed manual transmission.

I can’t get a stick shift in the Mazda6 anymore. But I’m still smitten with the sedan, especially the side profile where the A-pillar flows into the hood. It’s sexy, like the curve of a lower back.

I would spec up a Grand Touring trim, which starts at $30,420, in Soul Red Crystal Metallic (extra $595 for the paint) with a Sand leatherette interior. The Grand Touring includes the 250-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, six-speed automatic transmission with sport mode, and all-wheel drive. It also includes must-haves such as heated seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, and Apple CarPlay, along with other features also included on lower trims such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning and assist. My trim choice means I get a sunroof I don’t need, and there are a few extras I’d like but don’t get such as cooled seats, a wiper deicer, and heated steering wheel. But I have to be prudent and can’t jump to the highest trim levels.

Mazda keeps it simple. There are no packages to add to the Grand Touring, though there are some option choices. I would add the $125 all-weather floor mats because this car will see all kinds of weather including deep snow. And I’d spend $475 on rear parking sensors to alert me of obstructions that could easily be trees and stumps given the cottage life I lead on the side. Here is my car configured.

Total cost: $31,615. Well worth it for the perky engine, sporty suspension, premium materials, and smiles per ride—even if it doesn’t have a manual transmission or convertible top.

The post 2019 Mazda6: Why I’d Buy It – Alisa Priddle appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

What to Buy: BMW X3 M or BMW X4 M?

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 09:00

It’s 2019 and 500-hp SUVs are a normal part of life now, so you’d better get on board. You used to want that M3 coupe, but reality got in the way and an SUV just fits you and the family better now. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, though. With 70 to 80 grand financed for a few too many months, you could be getting the kids to school at a top speed of 174 mph with either the 2020 BMW X3 M or X4 M, but how do you choose between these almost identical SUV rocket ships? We’re here to help.

Read our 2020 BMW X3 M and X4 M review HERE.

Money Matters

If the bottom line is priority one, the standard X3 M is the best bang for your buck with 473 hp, 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and a starting price of $70,895. The X4 M is an extra $3,500 for the same performance and fuel economy, and adding the Competition package to either vehicle only nets you an extra tenth of a second to 60 mph for $7,000. Of course, if money is that much of a concern, the X3 M40i is only seven-tenths of a second slower for $55,645 and doesn’t drink nearly as much gas.

I Wanna Go Fast

Can’t totally let go of that M3 Coupe dream? We can get you close. The X4 M Competition gives you that swoopy, coupe-like styling you prefer with rear doors for the kids and an easy-to-load trunk. The Competition package gets you an extra 30 hp and knocks a tenth of a second off the official 0–60 time, too. That’s actually three-tenths quicker than the last M3 Competition we tested. Have your kid’s birthday cake and eat it, too.

Practicality is King

We get it—you bought an SUV because you need to haul stuff. Although BMW has done a lot of work to make the X4 M more practical this time around, there’s no getting around that sloping roofline. You need an X3 M with an extra 1.6 inches of rear headroom and, crucially, an extra 10.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. The X3 M also gets reclining rear seats and rear window shades to keep the sun off the kids. The good news is, getting the Competition package on your X3 M doesn’t affect cargo capacity, so feel free to go for the big gun.

In Your Face

Let’s face it, you’re not getting an M car to be subtle. Both the X3 M and X4 M make a statement, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd, it’s the X4 M Competition. Coupe-like SUVs are less common to begin with, so you won’t fade into the crossover crowd. Competition models also get snazzier V-spoke wheels standard and “Competition” badges to let people know you mean business.

Gas Guzzler

Fuel economy isn’t generally a top priority for those considering a 500-hp vehicle, but gas still costs money and the price is going up again. Good news for you: All X3 Ms and X4 Ms, Competition or not, get the same dismal fuel economy. It’s 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined no matter which body style you pick, so get the one you want.

Add Lightness

Sure, you’re buying an SUV, but you’re also buying a high-performance vehicle, and we all know weight is the enemy of performance. Plus, the heavier it is to start with, the more important weight savings are. If that’s your credo, then you need the Competition package. On either the X3 M Competition or X4 M Competition, it’ll save you 30 pounds compared to the standard X3 M or X4 M. It’s not much, but every little bit counts, right?

Tight Fit

Small garage? No problem. If it’s short front to back, you need an X3 M or X3 M Competition, which is 1.3 inches shorter in length. It’s the same story if your garage is narrow. The X3 M and X3 M Competition are 1.2 inches narrower. If height is the issue, go for the X4 M or X4 M Competition. They’re 1.9 to 2.0 inches shorter in height.

The post What to Buy: BMW X3 M or BMW X4 M? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk vs. 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure: Trailhawk Adventure

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 09:00

In January, we Big Tested eight compact SUVs and ranked the aging Jeep Cherokee seventh, adding this caveat: “If you’re planning to take your compact CUV off-roading, bump the Cherokee to the top of your list.” But then we got to wondering, is the Cherokee still the king of the soft-roader hill? The Toyota RAV4 Adventure trim level now gets a Jeep-ish Multi-Terrain Select dial of its own, Mud & Sand and Rock & Dirt settings, hill descent control (HDC), a new dynamic torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, and increased ground clearance (8.6 inches versus other RAV4s’ 8.4). Is this enough to dethrone the Cherokee in this segment of the segment? To find out, we ordered up one of each and headed to our local off-road park to find out.

Pre-trip Inspection

Before setting out, we carefully examined each ute from top to bottom (using our lift) to assess their off-road bona fides. Our going-in assumptions about the Jeep were reinforced by its two front and one rear recovery hooks, all of which are open so they can accept a fabric loop or a metal hook on the end of a recovery strap. It carries a full-size spare tire of the same specification as the tires on the ground, mounted on a steel wheel (note that this eliminates the bi-level cargo floor, which adds 1.8 cubic feet on Cherokees with mini-spares). Off-road buttons actuate a genuine 2.92:1 low range, a rear differential lock, HDC, Selec-Speed control (off-road cruise control to maintain a steady, slow pace), and a five-position Selec-Terrain knob (Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, Rock). The transfer case even includes a neutral mode to allow flat-towing. The engine air intake is located high in the right front fender to enable deep fording (the spec is 20 inches, but we went deeper), and nearly every vulnerable component, hose, or line running underneath the Cherokee is protected by steel skidplates. Of course, all of this gear adds weight—some 740 pounds of it relative to the Toyota—which explains its 8/9-mpg city/highway fuel economy penalty with our tester’s base 3.2-liter V-6. (Spending $500 for the optional 2.0-liter turbo only shrinks those deficits by 2 mpg.)

The RAV4 by contrast features a compact T165/90D18 spare tire and no skidplates; that silver thing in front is a plastic falsie, and the plastic underbody sheathing is strictly for aerodynamics. Worse yet, it offers no recovery points whatsoever—no screw-in recovery eyelets in the bumpers and no shipping tie-downs underneath. (Ours was built in Canada.) All Adventure models are prepped for 3,500-pound trailer towing (bigger radiator, oil and trans-fluid coolers), but ours had no hitch, either. So before pulling the RAV4 off the rack, I attached a tow strap to the rear suspension subframe and vowed to have the Toyota lead the way into any potentially “sticky situations” so the Jeep or our Toyota 4Runner recovery vehicle could tug it out using this strap. Doing this after getting stuck would be super un-fun. On the upside, there is a 110-volt outlet in the cargo area for powering campsite compressors and the like.

Advantage: Jeep

1st Challenge: Fist-Size Rock Pile

This seemingly innocuous low pile of roundish rocks looks easy, but the rocks don’t interlock much, making it a little treacherous to climb even on foot. Both vehicles made quick work of scaling and descending this obstacle, and the RAV4 had a chance to impress us with its rear-axle torque distribution, reversing up one section with one wheel well up in the air and the diagonally opposite front momentarily airborne.

Advantage: Tie

2nd Challenge: Hell’s Steps

This massive rock staircase is designed to challenge lifted Wranglers and Defenders, so our expectations were minimal for either of these car-based entries. We started out in the Jeep, set to low range, diff lock, and Rock mode. The knobby, tall-sidewall (245/65R17) Firestone Destination all-terrain tires plus approach and departure angles that, at 29.9 and 32.2 degrees, are at least 10 degrees steeper than the RAV4’s allowed us to ascend about four “stairs” in the Jeep (with spotters assisting), with its impressive 48.4:1 low-range crawl ratio making it easy to scale rocks very slowly. Chin clearance ultimately stopped us from climbing the fifth step. The RAV4 valiantly climbed up onto the first full stair before its 19.0-degree approach angle stopped it. We contemplated placing a loose rock or two under the left front tire to clear the next step, but as the Jeep required no such assistance, we stopped here.

Advantage: Jeep

3rd Challenge: Sharp Downhill Left Hook

This dirt trail involved a steep incline with a sharp crest and decline around a very tight left turn to avoid a fallen tree. The Toyota’s suspension can’t articulate quite as much as the Jeep’s, so in the middle of the sharp left, its left front and right rear tires spent a moment or two airborne, with the front spinning a bit as the torque-vectoring rear end helped maintained forward motion. The Jeep’s front tire spun momentarily, too, but the Cherokee suspension keeps its feet on the ground better. On the downside, slightly larger wheelbase and turning circle dimensions required the Cherokee to reverse and reposition a bit before negotiating this turn.

Advantage: Tie


4th Challenge: Splash Pond

After wading through this pond in my Wellington Boots to verify it wasn’t bottomless and dialing up each vehicle’s mud setting, we motored through at about 15 mph, discovering a low spot my recce-wade had missed. Hitting this spot in each ute prompted an impressive windshield-high splash and subsequent bow-wake over the hood. Then just to make sure momentum hadn’t covered for a lack of grip from the RAV4’s less aggressive 235/55R19 Yokohama Avid GT tires, we drove that one back through, stopping in the middle, then slowly accelerating out. No problem.

Advantage: Tie

5th Challenge: Boggy Waterways

Feeling somewhat vexed that none of our challenges had managed to get either vehicle stuck, we found a waterlogged, mud-bottomed “canal to nowhere” that didn’t devour or fully submerge my Wellies, so I set the Jeep up for max-attack Mud mode and entered with Selec-Speed set to 5 mph. Nice as you please, it trundled right through and up the other side, with the engine rpm only rising once, briefly toward the end. OK, surely this challenge will confound the Toyota. Nope! Granted, with less aggressive tire treads and no low range torque multiplication assisting, I had to work the throttle a lot more than Jeep’s cruise control had. But the plucky RAV4 popped out the other side, too. Feeling bound and determined to make use of the four tow straps we’d brought along, I decided to try the canal lane next door, which was just slightly deeper than my Wellie boots but seemed passable. I entered in the Jeep with the Selec-Speed set to 5 mph, but within about 40 feet, with the exhaust burbling from beneath the surface, I felt the skidplates high-center on the submerged muck. Selec-Speed revved fruitlessly until I braked and shifted to park. With water halfway up the doors, I exited via the windows to link our three remaining tow straps to the 4Runner after easily locating the Jeep’s tow hook in the murky water and slipping my loop over it. Minutes later, the Jeep was back on dry ground. We were impressed to note that not a drip of water came in through the door seals, and although the doors themselves filled with water, the stereo speakers in them were unaffected. We knew better than to bother sending the RAV4 into that canal.

Advantage: Jeep

Bonus Challenge: Slick Clay Ditch

Desperate to use the Toyota’s subframe-mounted tow strap, I attacked one last slippery clay ditch and indeed managed to get the RAV4 into hopeless wheelspin mode, but backing up and changing the angle of attack got me through this obstacle, too.


We were right. If playing in the dirt like you see us doing in these pictures holds any allure to you, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is the compact SUV for you. If you’re just outdoorsy and want an economical compact that will get you back out of your state park bivouac after a storm, the RAV4 Adventure offers an impressive leg up on all the other competitors in the space. And please. If you’re neither of the above, pick a different version or vehicle altogether, because on pavement the equipment added to make these two do what you see them doing here makes them heavier, noisier, and less efficient than you need.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD Front-engine, AWD ENGINE TYPE 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads I-4, alum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 197.7 cu in/3,239cc 151.8 cu in/2,487 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.7:1 13.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 271 hp @ 6,500 rpm 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 239 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm REDLINE 6,500 rpm 6,750 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 16.2 lb/hp 17.9 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic 8-speed automatic AXLE/FINAL/LOW RATIO 3.52:1/1.69:1 3.18:1/2.14:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 15.4:1 14.4:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.7 2.7 BRAKES, F; R 13.0-in vented disc; 12.6-in disc, ABS 12.0-in vented, disc; 11.1-in disc, ABS WHEELS 7.5 x 17-in, cast aluminum 7.5 x 19-in cast aluminum TIRES 245/65R17 105T M+S Firestone Destination A/T 235/55R19 101V (M+S) Yokohama Avid GT DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 107.1 in 105.9 in TRACK, F/R 63.6/63.5 in 62.6/63.3 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 182.9 x 74.9 x 67.8 in 181.5 x 73.4 x 68.6 in GROUND CLEARANCE 8.7 in 8.6 in APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 29.9/32.2 deg 19.0/21.0 deg TURNING CIRCLE 38.1 ft 37.4 ft CURB WEIGHT 4,380 lb 3,640 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 58/42% 57/43% TOWING CAPACITY 2,000 lb (4,500 lb w/$795 trailer pkg) 3,500 lb SEATING CAPACITY 5 5 HEADROOM, F/R 37.9/38.5 in 37.7/37.7 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.1/40.3 in 41.0/37.8 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.6/55.1 in 57.8/56.4 in CARGO VOLUME 54.7/25.8 cu ft 69.8/37.5 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 2.9 sec 3.0 sec 0-40 4.3 4.7 0-50 6.0 6.4 0-60 8.3 8.5 0-70 11.1 11.4 0-80 14.3 14.7 0-90 18.9 18.6 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 4.4 4.5 QUARTER MILE 16.4 sec @ 84.9 mph 16.6 sec @ 85.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 128 ft 126 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.72 g (avg) 0.81 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.6 sec @ 0.57 g (avg) 27.5 sec @ 0.62 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,200 rpm 2,200 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $35,440 $33,945 PRICE AS TESTED $41,125 $38,865 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee 8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee, passenger thigh BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles 2 yrs/unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 15.9 gal 14.5 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 18/24/21 mpg 26/33/29 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 187/140 kW-hrs/100 miles 130/102 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.96 lb/mile 0.67 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded midgrade Unleaded regular

The post 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk vs. 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure: Trailhawk Adventure appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Glenhawk appoints Ong to board

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 08:38
Glenhawk has hired Caroline Ong as non-executive director from early stage UK specialist mortgage lender Octane.
Categories: Property

Tritax secures £200m loan

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 08:27
Tritax Big Box REIT has agreed a £200m unsecured revolving credit facility with a syndicate of its relationship lenders.
Categories: Property

We Drive the 503-HP BMW X3 M and X4 M: Are They Real-Deal M Cars?

Motortrend News Feed - Sun, 06/16/2019 - 23:01

“Don’t know why I have to drive so fast, my car has nothing to prove,” country superstars Alabama harmonized in their 13th number one single “I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why),” an upbeat commentary on the pace of modern life. Even still, lead singer Randy Owen brags about how quick that car is two lines later. That’s the nearly-as-Southern, South Carolina–built BMW X3 M and X4 M in a nutshell: fast because they want to be, not because they have anything to prove.

At this point, BMW doesn’t need to convince anyone it can build fast SUVs. The X6 M was the production SUV lap record-holder at Willow Springs International Raceway’s notorious Big track until very recently. The X5 M is no slouch, either, and the X3 M40i is as quick as any average commuter really needs. The only expectation you can really put on the new X3 M and X4 M is to not screw it up, and BMW didn’t.

Just to be sure, though, BMW had us out to Monticello Motor Club—a private track in southern New York state—to see for ourselves. Monticello’s a tricky track. It seems deliberately designed both to look like an old-school track and to have a number of artificially difficult corners. Many of them are blind just because, and the runoffs are all grass so you won’t slow down before you’re introduced to the wall. It’s a fast one, too, with two long and two short straights each ending at a very sharp corner. Not really the kind of place you want to come in too hot with 4,600 pounds of SUV and 8 inches of ground clearance. BMW’s either confident or crazy.

You haven’t seen any news reports about a fleet of BMW SUVs wrecked at a New York track because BMW’s confidence is well placed. If you’re the kind of person who puts an SUV on a racetrack, you can do far, far worse than an X3 M or X4 M. When you look at the build sheet, though, it’s no surprise. Forget dirt, these things have the same all-wheel drive system as the M5, complete with active rear differential. Add underrated twin-turbo I-6, adaptive dampers, variable ratio steering, four-piston 15.6-inch steel front brakes, and a carbon-fiber strut tower brace, and you’ve got yourself a real-deal M Car.

Alabama might’ve been proud of that old car back in ’92 for hitting 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, but V-6 Camrys do that today. For its part, BMW says the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition, which get an extra 30 hp over the standard M models, will do it in 4 seconds flat (standard cars need an extra tenth). Turbocharged BMWs are notoriously underrated from the factory, though, and the 473 to 503 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque these things claim to make is more likely what’s hitting the ground, with a lot more going on upstream at the crank. Expect high threes when we get one on our own test track, because it sure feels that way behind the wheel. For comparison, a 2016 M3 Competition needs 4.3 seconds.

Put that power on a track, and you’re going to see some big speeds, though it’s hard to believe them. You’re well isolated in the cabin, divorced from the sensation of speed, and quickly find yourself going much faster than you expected. This is a monster of an I-6, absolutely charging to redline without slowing down. M engineers say they’ve done a ton of work optimizing the twin intake tracts, and it shows in the seeming absence of turbo lag and stout midrange torque. Pooh-pooh the eight-speed automatic’s torque converter all you want, but it shifts more than quickly enough for track work.

Really making things happen, though, is that active rear differential. There’s no way you won’t feel it working as you flatten the throttle on your way out of a corner. It wants to rotate the car, and the only thing holding it back is the stability control computer. In M Dynamic mode, it’ll give you just a taste of oversteer under power to rotate the car, and the nice BMW people assure me if you turn the computer off this thing will drift real good. They also requested I not do that.

Of course, physics has its limits, and a high center of gravity and hefty curb weight mean you can only do so much. The big anti-roll bars and active dampers keep the body pretty flat, but there’s a lot of weight moving around under you. The brakes do an even better job, refusing to fade under moderately hard hot laps despite the weight. Less impressive is the electrically assisted power steering, which is accurate and precise but fairly lifeless for an M vehicle. Business up front and a party in the back, just like those mullets the Alabama boys were rocking back in the ’80s.

For that other 100 percent of the time you’re not tracking your SUV, the X3 M and X4 M are private jets with afterburners. Pro tip from someone who used to work on them: Most private jets aren’t especially fancy, just expensive. Only the biggest ones are flying presidential suites. The X3 M and X4 M are still X3s and X4s at their core, in the middle of the BMW SUV size and luxury hierarchy. The interiors get carbon-fiber trim and annoying shifters that emulate BMW’s obnoxious dual-clutch shifter, plus color inserts in the seats. It’s all perfectly nice, but there’s no doubt your $70,895 (X3 M) or $74,395 (X4 M) is going to performance parts, and if you want all the ponies, it’s $77,895 (X3 M Competition) or $81,395 (X4 M Competition).

Get on a real road, and the X3 M and X4 M are stonking fast and still isolated. The adaptive dampers are the real heroes here, giving them a moderately firm but never harsh ride in Comfort setting. Few vehicles that can do these track times are this pleasant to drive to and from the track. Meanwhile, that same separation from the world around you that lets your speed sneak up on you at the track is all the more effective on the street. You and every car around you on the interstate can be doing 90 mph, and you’ll still feel like everyone else is driving too slow.

You’ll pay for it, though. Regardless of which model you pick, you won’t get better than 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined, and you better believe it’s premium gas only in these puppies.

It’s the money that’s the real kicker here. If you’re in a hurry and need to hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds, then I guess you need an X3 M or X4 M. If you can spare an extra second, an X3 M40i will do it in 4.8 seconds, starts at $55,645, and gets 20/27/34 mpg city/highway/combined. But hey, it’s your 15 grand plus gas to spend.

The post We Drive the 503-HP BMW X3 M and X4 M: Are They Real-Deal M Cars? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2013 Ford F-150 trucks recalled for second time over transmission update

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 11:00
Ford has issued an update to a previous recall for 123,000 2013 Ford F-150 pickups. The recall affects trucks that haven't undergone a transmission software update, and models that have already received the previous fix, Ford said Wednesday. The problem surrounds a powertrain control module for 2013 Ford F-150 pickups equipped with the 5.0-liter...
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2019 Volkswagen Golf: Why I’d Buy It – Kelly Pleskot

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 09:00

“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would online editor Kelly Pleskot drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.

The Volkswagen Golf isn’t on most people’s radar when shopping for a small car. When it won our 2015 Car of the Year award, I remember getting some puzzled looks. “Does anyone actually buy this car?” people would ask me about the seemingly obscure choice. It remains a small player in the compact segment, with 42,271 Golf family vehicles sold in the U.S. last year, including just 6,642 copies of the standard Golf hatch. But it’s a true hidden gem, and it’s the car I would pick if I were in the market.

The current-generation Golf is remarkably competent given its age, even my favorite version, the standard hatch. After five years on the market, it still holds its own with other compacts thanks to its stable ride, agile handling, confident braking, and smooth powertrain. Perhaps the most significant change the hatch has received in its current iteration is a 1.4-liter turbo-four making 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Although that doesn’t seem like much, the engine packs a strong punch while saving on gas. It nets 29/37 mpg city/highway no matter whether you pick the purist six-speed manual or the quick-shifting eight-speed automatic.

About Kelly: I’m an online editor at MotorTrend and enjoy hiking, rock climbing, traveling, and reading classic literature. 

It’s that kind of balanced performance I’m looking for in a car. I also enjoy the Golf’s easy maneuverability when I’m parking in tight spaces in my native Orange County or even tighter spots in my work home of Los Angeles. At the same time, I need plenty of cargo room for weekend luggage, athletic gear, grocery runs, and the semi-complete sweater collection I keep in my car so I’m ready for any weather on the go. The Golf more than fits the bill for my married, kid-free lifestyle. And call it vanity, but I can’t own a car that everybody else has. That means very solid competitors like the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra are off my list. And I’m just not interested in a luxury car.

How I’d Spec My 2019 Volkswagen Golf

Sadly, VW may no longer offer the standard Golf and SportWagen in the U.S. as it moves into a new generation. As of May 2019, only the GTI and Golf R have been confirmed for North America. But for now, I would pick the standard hatch for its value proposition. Only two trim levels are available on the 2019 Volkswagen Golf: S ($22,740) and SE ($25,040). I would stick with the base model because it has all I need including a 6.5-inch touchscreen, cloth seats, automatic headlights, and the peace of mind that comes with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and other key safety features. The SE upgrades to an 8.0-inch touchscreen, leatherette seats with front seat heating, and a panoramic sunroof. If the regular Golf disappears, I could be strong-armed into a GTI, which benefits from a more powerful engine currently making 228 hp.

The eighth-generation Golf will be revealed at the end of this year, and we hope the standard hatch makes its way to the U.S. It’s expected to sit on a lighter version of the existing MQB platform, so it should feature even sharper driving dynamics.

Two other cars I would consider: Volkswagen Beetle, Subaru Impreza

The post 2019 Volkswagen Golf: Why I’d Buy It – Kelly Pleskot appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Is More Truck for Less Money

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 00:21

Chevrolet has announced pricing for the 2020 Silverado HD, and despite offering greater capability and technology than the model it replaces, the heavy-duty pickup comes at a lower starting price.

Before we get into the numbers, let’s have a quick overview of the Silverado HD range. The heavy-duty truck is offered in strong 2500 or stronger 3500 guise, the latter of which is available as a dually. Trims, from entry-level to high-end, are Work Truck, Custom (exclusive to 2500), LT, LTZ, and High Country. All come standard with a 6.6-liter gasoline V-8 that makes 401 hp and 464 lb-ft backed by a six-speed transmission, but any can be had with a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 producing 445 hp and a mighty 910 lb-ft of twist through a 10-speed transmission.

Now, about money: The 2020 Silverado HD 2500 will start at $35,695, $300 less than the previous equivalent model. That’s for the entry-level Work Truck trim in regular cab/long bed, with the LT of the same configuration starting at $39,595.

Double cab/standard bed configuration is available for Work Truck at $38,095, Custom at $40,595, LT at $41,595, and LTZ at $50,295. Adding the long bed increases those prices by $200.

Crew cab/standard bed starts with Work Truck at $39,895, Custom at $42,395, LT at $43,395, LTZ at $52,095, and High Country at $62,695. Again, the long bed brings a $200 premium.

The 2020 Silverado HD 3500 brings different bed/cab combinations, and optional dually rear wheels add $1,200 over standard. Regular cab/long bed starts at $36,895, and LT at $40,795. Double cab/long bed Work Trucks go for $39,495, and LTs for $42,995.

Crew cab/standard bed Silverado 3500s in Work Truck trim start at $41,695, LT at $44,595, LTZ at $53,295, and High Country at $63,895. Like Silverado 2500s, the long bed costs an extra $200.

These trucks are built for work and have impressive towing and hauling capability. Gas-powered Silverado HDs are rated to carry a 7,466-pound payload and tow up to 17,400 pounds. Payload rating for diesel Silverado HDs isn’t yet available, but Chevrolet is proud of its 52-percent increase in towing capacity, now at 35,500 pounds.

Between the different cab, bed, rear axle, and engine combinations, 80 variants are available—and that’s before optional extras. With pricing now available, 2020 Silverado HD is making its way to dealer lots—and to our Truck of the Year contest in a few months.

Source: Chevrolet

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Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Kia Telluride vs. Toyota Highlander

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 21:21

Kia finally entered the three-row SUV market when it introduced the Telluride this spring. One of its most formidable competitors will be the upcoming 2020 Toyota Highlander, which sheds its staid image thanks to a recent makeover. Does the Telluride’s quirky design compete with the newly elegant Highlander? Let’s examine the design differences between the two models before you make up your mind.

If you see the Telluride on the street, you’ll probably be able to tell it’s built from the company that makes the Soul. Like the small hatch, the 2020 Kia Telluride adopts an exceptionally boxy look. Up front, it features a squared-off face with rectangular headlights and a rectangular grille with a honeycomb pattern. You could say the Highlander adopts a softer look, with wedge-shaped headlights and rounded grille with a 3D-effect lattice design. A decorative wing element is attached to the Toyota badge for a little flair. Not content with a simple Kia logo, the Telluride sprawls its name out in silver letters across the hood.

The boxy theme continues when you look at the side profile of the Telluride. The Highlander gets a more car-like nose, and instead of sharp straight character lines on the Telluride, it features a fluid hip line. It also gets a floating roof design, and the window tapers off dramatically from the front to back, further contributing to its windswept look. The Telluride stands out for its extensive body cladding, giving it an off-road-ready look.

Both vehicles feature simple rear designs without too many embellishments. In the rear, the Telluride features its name in wide lettering once again, this time in between the taillights. The quote mark-shaped lights have vertical lines as lighting signatures. In contrast, the Highlander sports thin, wide taillights. The Telluride has a chunky bumper, complemented by a bold rear skid plate with integrated twin exhaust pipes.

Hop inside the Telluride, and you’ll find the cabin feels wide. It gets a stretched-out dash with a wide 10.25-inch touchscreen available, plus a row of buttons and vents all oriented in a straight horizontal line. The Highlander features a more cluttered array off buttons, and a more layered dash design. The dash is set off by ambient lighting in pockets under the screen and in the passenger side compartment. The Highlander offers a massive 12.3-inch touchscreen.

Which three-row SUV is the better looker: the 2020 Kia Telluride or Toyota Highlander? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Kia Telluride vs. Toyota Highlander appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Best Father’s Day Gifts for Your Car-Loving Dad

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 18:45

My first memory behind the wheel is of steering my father’s 1998 Ford Taurus down our little dead end street and turning into our driveway. Notice I said steering, not driving. I was sitting on his lap. Many of us wouldn’t be anywhere near as enthusiastic about the automotive world without the presence of our car guy dads, so this Father’s Day, grab your rad dad some sweet car-related gifts he’ll never forget.

And if you’re more of a last-minute shopper, MotorTrend On Demand has quite the Father’s Day offer! Your choice of $2.99 for the first month or $29.99 for the first year will get Dad access to our entire collection of automotive programming, plus a bonus Father’s Day episode of Roadkill and a whole bonus season of Wheeler Dealers. This Roadkill episode should be a fun one; Freiburger and Finnegan are battling Ford vs. Chevy in a cheap beater battle. It’s full of V-8s and burnouts and drag races and all the vehicular madness you and your dad love. Plus, if he’s a racing fan, we’ll be streaming live from Le Mans all weekend.

We might be biased, but we think a MotorTrend On Demand subscription is your best bet. In case you want something to pair with it, here are some other Father’s Day gifts your dad will also love.

Autoart Scale Model

What would your dad enjoy more than looking at his car all weekend? Looking at a lovingly crafted 1:18 scale model of his car all day, every day because it’ll fit on his desk! Plus he won’t make you sleep in the backyard if you scratch the fender. The folks at Autoart make exactly what we look for in a scale model: millimetrically precise interior and exterior details that celebrate each and every tiny car they build.

Turo car for the weekend

A unique rental car is the perfect temporary vacation from your dad’s practical daily driver, and Turo is probably the best place to find one. Because Turo vehicles are owned by real drivers (not rental agencies), the rides available for booking are a lot more interesting and more varied than the sea of white Mitsubishi Mirages or similar at your average rental lot. Outdoorsy dads would love a weekend in a doorless Wrangler, sporty dads could live out their boy racer dreams in a Porsche 911—the possibilities are nearly endless. Want to get an idea of what’s available? Check out our article here.

Hot Wheels ID Smart Track Kit

Yes, this box of fun might be more targeted toward children than fathers, but hear me out: how many years has your dad been buying Hot Wheels for you? Isn’t it time to give back? Hot Wheels ID might be the biggest product launch for the Mattel-owned toy brand in the last 50 years. The new line of Hot Wheels cars and tracks incorporates the capability to track and log each individual car’s performance, and the new Smart Track has the most powerful booster Hot Wheels has ever made! Bonus point: the Hot Wheels ID line goes on sale June 14, so Dad will probably be the first kid on the block to have one.

Automotive Wall Art

Your car-guy dad needs more automotive art in his life—he’s just too busy wrenching and doing other car-guy things to buy some for himself. The folks at Blipshift seem to have a direct artery into what we love about cars and their always-changing collection of posters (and t-shirts!) would make great gifts for Dad.

Lego Speed Champions

Lego struck gold with the Speed Champions collection. It consists only of real licensed cars, rather than generic car-like figures in Lego sets of old. These sets start at only $14.99, but if you’ve got a little extra money to spend, check out one of their automotive pairings like the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T.

Linear Edge Track Sculpture

Is your dad a racing fan? A track nut? If he has a favorite track, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate it than a hanging sculpture from Linear Edge. Their built-to-scale wooden track sculptures are minimalist enough to pass as modern art, but you and dad will know the deal. Linear Edge has 100 different tracks to choose from, and if they don’t have the circuit you’re looking for (say Mario Kart 64’s Moo Moo Farm, a track I distinctly remember racing with my dad back in the day) they’ll custom build it for you at no extra cost. He’ll love it.

Autodromo Group B

Put ‘yer dang phone away! Your dad still remembers the days when a small clock on your wrist was still the easiest way to check the time, and he probably still wears one. Wristwatches and race cars have a long history and there are plenty of motorsport-inspired timepieces to choose from, but we’re recommending the Autodromo Group B Series 2. It’s a 1980s rally–inspired time-teller that will definitely look rad on Dad’s wrist, and the robust Miyota 9015 automatic movement will last a lot longer than ‘yer phone.

Xbox One X and Game Pass Ultimate

Racing games are a blast for any car fan, and the 4K-capable Xbox One X may be the best machine out there for taking a virtual drive. Spring for an Xbox Game Pass subscription for dad so he’ll have access to racers like Forza Horizon 4 and F1 2018. Is your dad a little too old to be proficient with a modern controller? Consider splurging for a simulation-grade wheel and pedal setup from Fanatec.

Detailing Equipment

If Dad’s got an old classic in the garage, chances are he likes to keep it clean. Get him a bucket of detailing products and microfiber towels from Meguiar’s Ultimate Line so he can toss the old t-shirt he’s been using to buff the hood. Maybe enough paint correction could get rid of that fender scratch he “isn’t” still mad about.

Coffee table book

Your dad isn’t just a gear head, he’s a brilliant intellectual thinker and he’s better than everyone else’s dad—and there’s no better way to let the world know than a serious flex of a coffee table book. Check out the Luftgekühlt Book, a three-part telling of the origins of the Luftgekühlt story. It’s perfect for any person who loves Porsche, and it would look fabulous on your dad’s coffee table.

The post Best Father’s Day Gifts for Your Car-Loving Dad appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD to cost less than outgoing truck

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 15:35
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD will cost less than the truck it replaces with a starting price of $35,695. That price is $300 lower than last year's model and it includes a $1,595 destination charge, Chevrolet said Thursday. Plunking down $35,695 puts a buyer in a Silverado HD Work Truck model with a regular cab and long bed—not a...
Categories: Property

2020 Kia Cadenza, Aston Martin Valkyrie, Best deals on plug-in cars: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 15:30
2020 Kia Cadenza to get new look next year The 2020 Kia Cadenza has a new look for the new year. The automaker brand an updated version of the big sedan in its home market of South Korea. 1.2M Ford Explorer SUVs recalled to address suspension component About 1.2 million Ford Explorer SUVs have been recalled over a suspension part that may crack...
Categories: Property

Hot Wheels ID Is the Classic Toy Reimagined for a Connected Age

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 14:00

I can’t remember how I got it, but I can vividly recall my very first Hot Wheels. It was a red double-headed dragon on four chrome wheels. I remember how the contrast of smooth plastic and cold metal felt in my hands, and being certain it could roll forever if only my kitchen floor were bigger. That was over 30 years ago, and since then Hot Wheels has expanded to include many more designs and features, but the way you play with them hasn’t changed much. Not until today.

Hot Wheels ID is Mattel’s vision for the future of the die-cast toy line, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. A project three years in the making, the Hot Wheels ID series takes the classic 1:64-scale cars we all know and grants the ability to download digital versions of them into a mobile game (launching first on iOS). It’s a concept that’s been done before in the toy industry by the likes of Skylanders and Lego Dimensions, but because you play with Hot Wheels differently from either of those the experience is unique.

Like others in the toys-to-life genre, Hot Wheels ID cars use Near-Field Communication (NFC) to scan the toy and retrieve the information needed to create an avatar for it in the game. Each Hot Wheels ID car has a chip on the bottom, visible through a layer of clear plastic, that stores information specific to that toy. Like a virtual VIN, the data tells you what number your car is in the series. As with real cars, you can expect Hot Wheels with low sequence numbers to be prized. The chip also stores performance data and racing history (more on those later), which stay with the car its entire life. If you trade a car, its new owner can see everything it’s ever done once they scan it, at which point it will disappear from your virtual garage.

The scanning can happen one of two ways: by tapping the car to your iPhone (7 and up) or by passing it through a Hot Wheels Race Portal, which is sold separately. The portal runs on a rechargeable battery, and uses Bluetooth to relay info to your device. What’s cool about it is there’s a pair of infrared sensors that record speed and count laps. The game shows you scale speed, so you can achieve some ridiculous numbers (we saw up to 800 mph in a demo). You can attach the portal to any Hot Wheels track, but if you connect it to the Hot Wheels ID Smart Track, whatever you build in real life is mirrored in the game.

Your virtual track can be raced using cars you’ve scanned or digital-only cars you earn or buy in-game. In campaign mode, there are challenges that get harder as you progress, and each offers a chance to earn ID Coins to upgrade your car or purchase blueprints for digital cars. Mattel will hold live events where you can scan NFC tags for exclusive digital cars, and there will be global events in the game bringing new challenges periodically.

You can of course still play with the physical track and cars when you’re not on the app–and if you’re like us, you’ll have plenty of fun without the digital aspect. The Smart Track Kit includes Hot Wheels’ most powerful launcher ever, which is what enables the above mentioned ridiculous scale speeds and will send a car flying off the track if you overcharge it. Adding multiple cars increases the challenge and the fun. The data recorded by the portal will appear the next time you connect to the game.

At launch, the Hot Wheels ID line will have eight cars, the portal, and Smart Track available exclusively at select Apple Stores, with the game available for download on the App Store. The Android version will be released a month later on Amazon Prime Day, along with another eight cars. In total, 51 cars are planned for 2019, with 100 more on the way in 2020, including designs licensed by more than a dozen OEM brands. Hot Wheels ID lands at Target stores this October, just in time for the holidays.

The cars retail for $6.99 each—more than the $0.99 we’re used to paying for a regular Hot Wheels, but not outrageous considering production will be limited. The cars also get fancier packaging better suited for collectibles. But the other two products in the ID line are significantly pricier. The portal goes for $39.99 and the Smart Track Kit asks a whopping $179.99. Kids better be extra-good this holiday season if they put that on their list.

Mattel says today’s kids expect more from their toys, and Hot Wheels ID certainly delivers more. But crucially, the added features also don’t take much, if anything, away from the original toys. Kids can still create lasting memories like the ones I have, plus a few more. But if you get nostalgic for good, old-fashioned die-cast metal and plastic wheels, don’t worry. Traditional Hot Wheels cars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The post Hot Wheels ID Is the Classic Toy Reimagined for a Connected Age appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Kier explores sale of housebuilding arm

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:48
Kier Group is exploring a sale of its housebuilding arm for up to £150m in a bid to improve its finances, according to reports.
Categories: Property