Here are the Safest Small Cars in 2019

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:00

Just because your car is small doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice safety. Thanks to technological advancements, small cars are safer than ever. We’ve combed through test results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to see which models have the best crash test ratings and collision prevention technologies.

In order for a vehicle to get the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, it must get a Good score in all crash tests, a Good headlight rating, and an Advanced or Superior rating in front crash prevention. The second highest rating, Top Safety Pick, requires a Good rating in nearly every category, with the exception of the passenger-side small overlap front test and the headlight test. In both these categories, the vehicles may earn an Acceptable rating. Top Safety Picks must also score an Advanced or Superior rating in the front crash prevention test.

All entries on this list have earned either a four- or five-star overall rating from NHTSA, in combination with either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ designation from IIHS. We have excluded models that have not been rated by both safety agencies. It’s important to also keep in mind that IIHS only tests mainstream vehicles, prioritizing those with high sales numbers. With that said, here are all the small cars that are regarded highly by both organizations.

Honda Insight

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

The Honda Insight gets you a nearly complete package; it’s fuel-efficient, comfortable, and it’s not a slug. But did you also know it’s one of the safest small cars? Not only did it ace the NHTSA tests, it also got a perfect score across the board in the IIHS’ categories including front crash prevention where it avoided low- and high-speed collisions. All variants of the 2019 Honda Insight come standard with Honda Sensing, a suite of active driver assistance features that includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Kia Forte

NHTSA Overall Rating: 4 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

One of the strongest values in the compact segment, the 2019 Kia Forte puts safety to the forefront with every model coming standard with front crash prevention technologies. It received high marks from NHTSA; however, its IIHS test result had one caveat: Only models with LED headlights get to qualify for the 2019 Top Safety Pick+ rating because the standard halogen headlights received the lowest rating, which is Poor.


NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

A compact car beloved by enthusiasts for its agile, responsive handling, the 2019 Mazda3 also gets high marks on the safety front. Both body styles get solid scores from NHTSA and IIHS on the crashworthiness and front crash prevention tests. However, it stumbled on IIHS’ headlight test, achieving only an Acceptable rating, which kept it from getting the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation.

Hyundai Elantra

NHTSA Overall Rating: 4 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

Don’t let its angry looks fool you. The 2019 Hyundai Elantra remains a great all-around compact sedan that appeals to a wide range of tastes. While it has solid safety ratings, its IIHS test results reveal one small downside: Only models equipped with LED headlights (Sport and Limited trims only) qualify for the 2019 Top Safety Pick+ rating because the SE, SEL, Value Edition, and Eco grades all have the standard halogen headlights that are rated Poor. All but the base SE trim come standard with a long list of active driver assistance features including lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Toyota Prius

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

Legendary for its fuel efficiency (and spaceship-like looks), the Toyota Prius also knows how to keep you safe. All models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P, which bundles together automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. In IIHS testing, the Prius misses the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award because it was only able to get an Acceptable rating on the headlights and passenger-side small overlap front test.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

The Volkswagen Golf GTI pairs great handling with power and practicality. On the safety front, the GTI just misses the IIHS’ coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating because it received an Acceptable headlight rating with the optional LED headlights and a Poor rating when equipped with the standard halogen units on the base S trim. It also performs Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test.

Subaru Impreza

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+

With standard all-wheel drive, the Subaru Impreza gives you four-season practicality in hatchback or sedan flavors. The Subaru Impreza also got perfect scores on the IIHS and NHTSA evaluations when equipped with the EyeSight driver assistance suite. Caveats? Only the Limited trim is eligible for the Top Safety Pick+ rating because it’s the only one with adaptive LED headlights that get a Good rating. Other trims with the halogen units got a Marginal score.

Kia Soul (2019)

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

Funky and full of character, the Kia Soul keeps the party going by looking out for you. The boxy little hatchback scored well in NHTSA’s testing but had some minor setbacks in the IIHS’ evaluations. In the passenger-side small overlap front test, the Kia Soul only received an Acceptable rating, and on the headlights test, only examples equipped with HID headlights got a Good score while others were rated Poor. Its collision prevention tech is also limited only to the Plus (+) trim, which is the only model available with features like automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, both of which are part of the Primo Lit package.

Hyundai Elantra GT

NHTSA Overall Rating: 4 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

The 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT only shares its name with its sedan counterpart because it’s essentially the European-market i30 hatchback. The Elantra GT earns IIHS’ second highest award and performs well in NHTSA’s tests. But like the Elantra sedan, its score in the IIHS’ headlight test means not all models are rated equally. Only cars with LED headlights and automatic high beams (N-Line with Tech package) received the Acceptable rating while those without it got a rating of Marginal. The standard headlights on the Elantra GT got a Poor rating. Additionally, the N-Line with the Tech package is the only model with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. Still, if you’re looking for a C-segment hatch, the Elantra GT is a great option that provides excellent safety when properly equipped.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback

NHTSA Overall Rating: 5 Stars
IIHS: Top Safety Pick

No longer vanilla, the Toyota Corolla gets a much needed infusion of style and improved driving dynamics with the hatchback offering the most distinctive look. Although LED headlights come standard, the Corolla misses the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating due to the headlight test. Models with adaptive headlights (available only on the XSE trim) get an Acceptable rating while the rest receive a Marginal score. However, solid crash ratings from both agencies make the Corolla hatch a compelling choice.

The post Here are the Safest Small Cars in 2019 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Honda Passport: Why I’d Buy It – Alex Leanse

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:00

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

I wouldn’t buy an SUV if it weren’t for bicycles. See, I’m an avid cyclist and as much as I want a daily that’s quick, fun, and small, I need something that’ll take me and my two-wheeled whip to a trailhead. My car needs to fit a bike inside, where it’s safely ensconced away from being smashed on a bike rack in a rear-end collision. That’s basically my only requirement—the flexibility of my single status, and the constraints of my journalist salary (I love my job, I swear), mean I don’t need or can get much else.

That’s why I’d buy a Honda Passport. Honda revived the nameplate to add an in-betweener to their crossover lineup. It’s smaller than the Pilot family hauler but more capable than the CR-V soft-roader—perhaps perfectly targeted at active outdoorsy millennials like myself. Well played, Honda, I’ve taken the bait. Now where can your Passport take me?

For my Passport I’d choose entry-level Sport trim, because it’s approachable at $31,990, and it has everything I need. Like all trims, the Sport includes the Honda Sensing driver assist suite, which bundles adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist. It also gets a neat-o digital gauge cluster that shows information like speed, revs, fuel range, and all-wheel drive status. What the Sport doesn’t get is Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, for which I’d have to find $4,420 to move up to the EX-L trim. That adds niceties like a bigger touchscreen, heated seats, moonroof, and power tailgate. But for my needs, a magnetic phone mount on the dash seems like a better value.

Installed across the range is a 280 hp, 262-lb-ft 3.5 liter V-6. That’s solid output; if it works in the big Pilot it should be enough to move the Passport. It gets a nine-speed automatic, compared to the Pilot’s six-speed and CR-V’s CVT (say CR-V CVT five times fast). Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is a $1,900 option I’d spring for. With snow, mud, and sand traction modes, plus decent approach and departure angles, it seems Honda baked real off-road readiness into the Passport. Using it to explore trails sounds fun.

The Passport seats five, boasting best-in-class interior volume of 115.9 cubic feet. It has 41.2 cubic feet of cargo area behind the second row, but I’d usually have the rear seats folded, which expands space to 77.9 bicycle-friendly cubes. Also appealing is the secret storage compartment beneath the cargo floor. It’s a 2.5 cubic foot cubby that Honda press photos show holding bike helmets and water bottles—the brand really knows its target market.

Look, the Passport isn’t my dream car—far from it. But I love riding as much as I do driving, and for that reason I need an SUV. It would keep me happy enough with its strong engine and Honda reliability, or maybe it would get me into off roading. For its capability, features, and potential, I pick the Passport. I’ll take mine in Black Forest Pearl paint, please.

Other SUVs I’d consider: Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The post 2019 Honda Passport: Why I’d Buy It – Alex Leanse appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

BMW 3 Series vs. Alfa Romeo Giulia Comparison: Which Is the Ultimate Driving Machine?

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:00

For decades, the BMW 3 Series was the epitome of the luxury sport sedan. Its great handling, punchy power, and dynamic ride made it the leader of its class. “Ultimate Driving Machine” was more uncontested truth than mere advertising slogan.

But the Bavarian brand took a left turn with the previous generation, which lacked the emotion and precision that so defined the 3 Series of yore. Other brands—like Alfa Romeo—used that misstep to jump in the game, creating exciting machines that made up for the BMW’s shortcomings. Now in its seventh generation, the 2019 BMW 330i is facing stiff competition.

With the Giulia, the Italian brand created one of the best sport sedans in the market. We liked it so much that we named it Car of the Year in 2018, mostly for reintroducing the world to the concept of thrilling driving dynamics in sedan form. In a recent comparison, the Quadrifoglio was superior on Streets of Willow, staying ahead of the Tesla Model 3 Performance and Jaguar I-Pace. With that in mind, we asked ourselves, if we are evaluating solely from the perspective of spirited driving, can the 3 Series retake the best-driving sport sedan title from the Alfa Romeo Giulia?

For this comparison we wanted to stay around the $50,000 cap, but BMW sent us a 330i with the M Sport package ($5,000), Track Handling package ($2,450), Drivers Assistance Pro package ($1,700), Premium package ($2,800), and Executive package ($2,100), which increased its price to a hefty $59,920. Equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, the 330i develops a punchy 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends the power to the rear wheels.

Our long-term 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Q2 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine that sends 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic. Equipped with the Ti Sport RWD package ($2,500), Driver Assistance Static package ($650), Driver Assist Dynamic Plus package ($1,500), and Ti Sport Performance package ($1,200), the Giulia carries a wallet-friendlier price tag of $51,635.

Both cars have 19-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (though in the 3 Series it’s an option included in the Premium package). The Bimmer includes Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport driving modes, while the Giulia comes with Natural, Dynamic, and All-Weather modes.

Driving and handling

Driving the 3 Series on the hilly and twisty canyon roads above Malibu, testing director Kim Reynolds found himself feeling almost every other bump, ripple, and pebble, and not in a good way. “Its ride is odd, finding annoying bumps without the commensurate handling composure payoff,” he said. Road test editor Chris Walton agreed, adding that the aforementioned packages were to blame for the stiff ride.

Not everything is bad news for the Bavarian model, though. Its punchy engine adds a good amount of character, though the turbo lag can be noticeable when passing on the freeway. Derek Powell, a guest judge in this comparison, described the transmission’s shifts as “intuitive and crisp,” and he enjoyed the bite of the M Sport brakes.

Because the 3 Series dominated the segment for decades, perhaps we were expecting too much from BMW. But for the brand that created the Ultimate Driving Machine slogan, you can’t expect less. The 3 Series behaved differently as we engaged Sport mode, making the steering a tad stiffer and raising the volume of the exhaust. Powell disliked the digital amplification of the exhaust note in Sport mode. “It’s another instance of BMW telling you that the car is sporty rather than delivering the experience.”

How would the 330i compare against the Genesis G70 and Tesla Model 3? Find out here.

Counter these impressions with the inherent Italian passion of the Alfa. We found the Giulia’s ride and handling superior to the BMW’s. “Alfa absolutely cracked the ride/handling code,” Walton said. The steering is well balanced, and the suspension is firm enough to feel sporty yet comfortable when you want it.

Whether you’re tearing through the back roads to the grocery store or gliding along the boulevards on your way home, the Alfa will deliver the driving pleasure we expect from a sport sedan. Its engine feels torquey for a four-cylinder, though there’s a similar bit of lag when you tromp the gas pedal from a stop. “Once underway, the eight-speed always seems to have the right gear on tap and is quick to downshift,” Powell said. Reynolds complained that it was hard to predict how the pedal would react.

And although the Italian gallant is a couple of years longer in the tooth than the just-redesiged BMW, the Alfa does a lot of things right. When driven in Dynamic mode, the car doesn’t beat you up. It simply moves with composure and swiftness. The Giulia feels natural, an extension of your corporeal form. “It’s just so good in many different ways,” Walton said. “And in the ways it doesn’t quite measure up, it really doesn’t matter to me.


Each model offers a different approach to its interior. BMW’s feels more modern; it has a nicely integrated 8.8-inch touchscreen with the latest iDrive infotainment system. The all-digital instrument panel blends well with the rest of the cabin, and we applaud the attention to detail on some of the trims—like the iDrive knob being located in the center console and the quality of the materials around the air vents. The blue stitching on the seats, door panels, and dash adds character to the cabin. it feels even more elegant at night when the ambient lighting is visible. But the large number of buttons on the dash and the steering wheel made us wish for a simpler cabin.

Although we applaud the use of the all-digital instrument panel and love the way the colors change with the drive mode, the navigation map’s graphics leave something to be desired. We prefer Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which includes satellite images and great resolution. BMW could take a page from Audi’s book in this regard.

Alfa’s take on interiors is quite different from its Bavarian counterpart’s. The Giulia’s infotainment screen is completely embedded in the dash, but it lacks a touchscreen; the only way to control the infotainment system is through the massive knob in the center console. Although the system has simplified menus, it’s just quicker to get around using a touchscreen.

Speaking of simplicity, we appreciated the Alfa’s sparse interior layout: The only buttons are the HVAC controls. However, we’d like a quicker workaround to change the radio station; it takes time to get used to the sole knob to control the audio. “It’s not overly complicated, and it’s old-school in a way—it’s definitely not showy like the BMW,” Powell said. “But you know what? I don’t care. It gets the job done.”

We prefer the Alfa’s seats, which provide more lateral support than the BMW’s, and Reynolds also preferred the Italian’s driving position. But we had different opinions on its second row. Whereas Walton described the Alfa’s back seat as “the best of the bunch by a mile,” Reynolds and I had problems with the headroom, as both of our heads brushed the headliner. The dual-pane sunroof gives back-seat passengers a nice experience, though. We all agreed on the new 3 Series’ great interior space, including good legroom and headroom even for rear passengers.


As brands equip their cars with the latest tech, there was a strong contrast between the 3 Series’ and the Alfa’s approach. The BMW uses a virtual assistant that’s activated by simply saying, “Hey, BMW.” And you can ask for anything—from directions to your destination to help finding a nearby parking spot. You can use your smartphone to unlock and start the 3 Series, and it also does a great job parking itself in parallel or perpendicular spots with the touch of a button. Gesture controls can change the audio system’s volume or skip or repeat a song.

Our Alfa, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of these technologies, though that’s not a deal breaker. “The infotainment is also decidedly low-tech—but really, it offers everything I need,” Powell said. Given that the Alfa arrived a couple of years earlier than the 3 Series, its technology isn’t as advanced as BMW’s—you still have to park it manually and will have to carry the key in your pocket.

With the Wi-Fi hot spot, the 3 Series lets you use Apple CarPlay wirelessly, though there were a couple of times when my iPhone had trouble connecting to the system, leaving me with no CarPlay. On the other hand, you’ll need a USB cord to use CarPlay in the Alfa, though it can be complicated to use given the lack of a touchscreen.


With safety technologies evolving every day, both Alfa and BMW are trying to pack the newest techs in their cars. BMW’s Active Guard comes standard on the 3 Series and includes front collision warning, automatic city collision mitigation, and lane departure warning. But the Active Driving Assistant Pro, which is part of the Driver’s Assistance Pro package, includes adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist with traffic jam assist. I tried this system in our loop, and it did a great job of keeping the car centered on its lane while driving on city streets. I thought the distance between the car in front was a bit too much, though, as other cars kept cutting me off. On the freeway, the system did a better job staying closer to the car in front and keeping the car centered in its lane.

The Alfa’s Driver Assist Dynamic Plus package includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. This last feature worked very well, with Reynolds saying it was second to only Tesla’s Autopilot. “It has close following gaps, accelerates hard, brakes hard, and rarely gives up and throws emergency braking into your lap,” Reynolds said. “But its steering assist is only lane departure warning, so it’s of little use.” We hope Alfa adds lane departure mitigation in the midcycle refresh of the Giulia, which should be shown soon.

Final verdict

Both cars offer different approaches with the same goal in mind: to be the best sport sedan. We appreciate the changes BMW made to the 3 Series to deliver a better ride and improve the dynamics over the last model, but the competition did its homework in the years BMW was looking the other way. The Giulia still keeps its promise of making drivers happy, as it transmits emotion while being a natural player.

With new players in the game, BMW must examine how and why the competition has surpassed its 3 Series in ways implausible a few years ago. To us, the Alf Romeo Giulia is simply a better driver’s car. The Alfa is “the best, most satisfying, most visceral sport sedan—even in this lower-rung version,” Reynolds said. “It’s the modern 3 Series.”

Second Place

BMW 3 Series

First Place

Alfa Romeo Giulia

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Q2 2019 BMW 330i DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, RWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head VALVETRAIN SOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 121.6 cu in/1,993 cc 121.9 cu in/1,998 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1 10.2:1 POWER (SAE NET) 280 hp @ 5,200 rpm 255 hp @ 5,000 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 306 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm 295 lb-ft @ 1,550 rpm REDLINE 5,500 rpm 6,500 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 12.9 lb/hp 14.3 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.15:1/2.02:1 2.81:1/1.80:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 11.8:1 13.2:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.4 2.2 BRAKES, F; R 13.0-in vented disc; 12.5-in vented disc, ABS 13.7-in 2-pc vented disc; 13.6-in 2-pc vented disc, ABS WHEELS, F;R 8.0 x 19-in cast aluminum 8.0 x 19-in; 8.5 x 19-in, cast aluminum TIRES, F;R 225/40R19 89W; 255/35R19 92W Pirelli P Zero AR 225/40R19 93Y; 255/35R19 96Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 111.0 in 112.2 in TRACK, F/R 61.3/64.0 in 62.3/62.9 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 182.6 x 73.7 x 56.5 in 185.7 x 71.9 x 56.4 in TURNING CIRCLE 35.4 ft 37.4 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,600 lb 3,646 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 50/50% 51/49% SEATING CAPACITY 5 5 HEADROOM, F/R 38.6/37.6 in 38.7/37.6 in LEGROOM, F/R 42.4/35.1 in 42.0/35.2 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.1/53.6 in 56.0/54.6 in CARGO VOLUME 13.4 cu ft 17.0 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.7 sec 1.9 sec 0-40 2.6 2.8 0-50 3.8 4.0 0-60 5.2 5.4 0-70 6.8 7.0 0-80 8.6 9.1 0-90 10.9 11.6 0-100 13.6 14.6 0-100-0 18.6 18.6 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.7 2.8 QUARTER MILE 13.8 sec @ 100.6 mph 14.0 sec @ 98.1 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 110 ft 103 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.91 g (avg) 0.95 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.6 sec @ 0.71 g (avg) 25.2 sec @ 0.73 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,600 rpm 1,300 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $41,440 $41,245 PRICE AS TESTED $51,635 $59,920 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, front knee BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles 4 yrs/Unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 15.3 gal 15.6 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 24/33/27 mpg 26/36/30 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 140/102 kW-hrs/100 miles 130/94 kWh/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.71 lb/mile 0.65 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

The post BMW 3 Series vs. Alfa Romeo Giulia Comparison: Which Is the Ultimate Driving Machine? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

MJ Gleeson boss quits in row over pay and succession

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 08:45
The chief executive of housebuilder MJ Gleeson has left with immediate effect following a boardroom bust-up over his pay and succession planning.
Categories: Property

Helical receives ‘more than one’ bid approach

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 08:21
Mike Slade’s Helical has received “more than one” takeover approach, but claims none reflect “the fair value of the company”.
Categories: Property

Fire engulfs new flats at Barking Riverside

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 08:09
A fire engulfed a block of flats at Barking Riverside yesterday where residents have recently raised concerns about the fire risk posed by the wooden balconies.
Categories: Property

Fellow Auto Journalist Davey G. Johnson Is Missing

Motortrend News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 02:11

Davey G. Johnson, our friend and colleague, is missing. He was last heard from early Wednesday morning while riding along the Sonora Pass in California (Rt 108 to Rt 49). Police from Calaveras County and Amador County have been searching since Saturday, and as of this writing search and rescue operations are still ongoing.

According to fellow journalist and close friend of Johnson Abigail Bassett, the Honda CB1000R he was riding was found in good condition at a rest stop off Rt 49 near Mokelumne Hill. On Saturday, June 8, Johnson’s clothing, backpack, cell phone, and laptop were found near the river. His wallet was not recovered, however. Police are now searching by boat and helicopter.

David Gordon Johnson is 5’10” and around 200 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair and beard. If you have seen him, or have knowledge of his whereabouts, please contact the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department at (209) 754-6500. We are hoping for his safe return.

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UPDATE 4: 11:16 AM PT, Sunday, June 9 Search and rescue continues. 45 people from both counties are searching along with 2 boats and a helicopter. The Sacramento PD is sending someone to Davey's house to check there and possibly force entry. No request for volunteers as the counties work the investigation. Please continue to share any info with the Calaveras County Sheriff (209) 754-6500. Please note, I am in close contact with primary sources. Anything I post here, on Twitter or FB is confirmed with those sources. UPDATE 3: 2:09 PM Saturday, June 8 Calaveras County Sheriff Dept has confirmed that they have found Davey's clothing, backpack, cell and laptop near the river. His wallet is missing. If anyone has info about his cell carrier and/or banking & cc info please DM me. UPDATE 2: 11:50 AM Saturday, June 8 Search & Rescue is underway. Both Amador and Calaveras Counties are working together. CHP is flying both sides of the river near Big Bar Launch. All updates posted here, on FB & Twitter are confirmed with primary sources. Any leads/sightings should be reported to Calaveras County Sheriff: (209) 754-6500 UPDATE 12:19AM Saturday, June 8: The police have found the bike. It was parked outside of a rest area off Rt 49 near Mokelumne Hill. No Davey but the bike is fine. His backpack, cell, wallet and computer are missing and the local police department will be launching a robust search tomorrow morning. ****MISSING PERSON ALERT**** This is my friend Davey Johnson (@daveygjohnson) and I'm trying to help @jaclyntrop find him. Name: David Gordon Johnson He is 5'10" and around 200 lbs. Grey hair and riding a Honda CB1000R press bike (mfg plate 3421). Last contact was somewhere along the Sonora Pass (Rt 108 to Rt 49) around 2:11am PT on Wednesday morning. He's been out of touch with everyone we know, since. The police have pinged his cell and the last location was Amador County, CA around 8 am on Wednesday morning. Nothing since. We've called hotels and hospitals in the area and still no Davey. The case is now with Calaveras County.

A post shared by Abigail Bassett (@abigailbassett) on Jun 7, 2019 at 7:08pm PDT

The post Fellow Auto Journalist Davey G. Johnson Is Missing appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Hines acquires John Lewis DC as it raises €141m for fund

Property Week News Feed - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 00:01
Hines has acquired an 85,000 sq ft logistics centre in Enfield, London on behalf of Hines Pan-European Core Fund.
Categories: Property

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Limited: Why I’d Buy It – Collin Woodard

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 06/08/2019 - 09:00

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

When my wife and I bought our 2008 Subaru Forester, we chose it because we needed something affordable, reliable, practical, and versatile. There’s also no beating its fantastic visibility. It was the kind of car we could drive daily but also take camping without having to worry about getting stuck in a little mud or sand. But if we were to buy a new SUV today, we’d probably skip the 2019 Forester and go for the Crosstrek instead.

More about Collin: I’m 30 and married with one dog and no kids, and I enjoy camping any time I get a vacation or long weekend.

If the Forester were still a small wagon using a moderate lift and a stretched greenhouse to disguise itself as an SUV, that would be one thing. But currently, there’s no way we could justify upgrading to something that large. For around-town driving, the Hyundai Kona makes lots of sense. The optional turbocharged engine has a little more power, and there’s no need for all-wheel drive in L.A.

But one often overlooked part of camping is all the driving you typically have to do to get there. And one big advantage the Crosstrek has over the Kona for road trips (as well as heavy traffic) is adaptive cruise control. Plus, even though you’d expect a front-wheel-drive car to get better fuel economy, there’s a negligible difference between the front-drive Kona 1.6T’s EPA combined rating of 30 mpg and the Crosstrek’s 29.

As for which Crosstrek we’d buy, the hybrid would certainly be tempting. After all, it’s both quicker and more fuel efficient. But because we don’t have charger access at our apartment, a plug-in hybrid doesn’t make sense. Oh, and it’s $36,000 with destination. We could probably swing a decent down payment after selling our Forester, but we’d still have to finance at least $27,000 after taxes and fees.

Even with a scarily long 60-month loan and 3.5 percent interest, our monthly payments would be about $500. That would be doable, but we’d have to make cuts in other places that I’m not willing to make. Once you get used to eating fresh Parmesan at home, there’s no going back to Kraft sprinkle cheese.

Instead, we’d probably drop down to the Crosstrek Limited. The Premium’s even lower base price and manual transmission are appealing, but my wife doesn’t like driving stick. And after you add the automatic transmission and the EyeSight package, the Premium’s price advantage all but disappears.

In terms of options, we’d keep it simple: Cool Gray Khaki paint, the rear seat back protector, and the crossbar set in case we need to add a cargo carrier at some point. Because Apple CarPlay comes standard, we don’t need to add navigation. And although the upgraded audio system and moonroof might be nice to have, they’re not a priority.

It would still be pricey, but I think we’d be happy with our decision for a long time.

The post 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Limited: Why I’d Buy It – Collin Woodard appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and GLC 63 Review: Don’t Mess It Up

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 23:01

Midcycle product updates are tricky. Capital is typically limited, so you can’t do much with the sheetmetal or engineering bits. But you need your vehicle to feel current compared to the competition that has come out since you launched the car.

The pressure is even more intense when your vehicle is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class crossover, which won MotorTrend’s 2017 SUV of the Year.

This time around, it looks like Mercedes nailed it.

While keeping all the things that we lauded back when it hit the market—its elegant design, nimble chassis, perfectly weighted steering, a 2.0-liter turbo-four that feels like a V-6, and the quality of its interior materials—Mercedes also gave the GLS more power, more tech, more off-road capability, and more value.

Under the hood, the GLC 300 gets a new engine family. (For you alphanumeric geeks out there, it was the M274 engine; now it’s the M264.) Output increases smartly to 255 hp (up from 241 hp on the current model) and 273 lb-ft (which stays the same).

A twin-scroll turbo has replaced the single standard turbo before. Yes, that makes for a more expensive unit, but there’s less lag, so responsiveness is better than before, it gets better fuel economy, and it spits out less CO2, said Lars Habeck, manager of powertrain integration for gasoline engines.

Other changes to the engine: The cooling gallery, piston coatings, and ring carrier all are new, the piston rings have a low-friction design, and the piezo injectors have been relocated. Although the transmission has been adapted to the new engine, it remains essentially the same nine-speed automatic.

Does it feel faster? A little bit, though there was really no opportunity for a proper 0–60 or quarter-mile test on the crowded roads around Frankfurt where we drove the new model. Midrange acceleration seems to have a bit more pop. We await the opportunity to properly test the revised engine.

How does it drive? One of the thumbs-down items we called out back in the 2017 SUVOTY was the GLC’s rather busy ride. That feeling is still there, even on the smooth tarmac of the German autobahn. Some might call it a “precise” road feel. Others might find it jittery. Granted, we only drove the optional air suspension–equipped models, so perhaps the steel-springed base model might deliver a more civilized response.

For 4Matic models with the Off-Road package, adjustable ride height can raise the GLC by 50mm (about 2.0 inches) for a total of 245mm (9.6 inches) of ground clearance. With that package, new off-roading software and cameras make the GLC 300 sufficiently capable of overcoming obstacles that would terrify most mall moms and soccer dads.

Be it a sheer slope (up to 71 degrees), deep mud, deeply rutted roads that hang a wheel in the air, or even a river crossing passable only by logs laid in the direction of travel, a solo driver in a GLC can conquer what would have been achievable only in a proper 4×4 vehicle with a spotter a decade or so ago—on summer tires, no less. However, the Off-Road package is available on the SUV shape only, not the GLC Coupe.

(An after-the-fact note: Mercedes later informed us that the off-road suspension we drove was a Dynamic Body Control suspension, which is not the exact offering that we will have for the U.S. market. Americans will get a standard adaptive steel off-road suspension, which adjusts the ride height by up to 20mm/0.8 inch. The Euro version allows for a change in the damping, but the off-road capabilities should be the same for both versions.)

A word or two about headlights: The GLC-Class comes standard with a new multibeam LED system with 84 directional LEDs in each headlights. Each beam is directed by computer, which allows for more usage of high-beam illumination.

When navigating a curve, if an approaching car suddenly appears, the high-beams can stay on except for dimming what the computer recognizes as the ever-changing outline of the approaching car. In Europe, an “ultra beam” system that can reach up to about 650 meters down the road is available. (Sadly, U.S regulations restrict the reach to 380 meters, just less than a quarter mile.) When in Off-Road mode, the headlamps automatically adjust to shine more light downward and to the sides, said Holger Kraiss, manager of GLC project development.

Inside, the look remains much the same, though an upgraded MBUX infotainment system with larger screens is in place. The instrument cluster is now 12.3 inches, and the center screen has grown from 8.0 to 10.0 inches.

The MBUX infotainment system gets the more intuitive touchpad interface we’ve seen in recent new Mercs, plus upgraded user-experience software. That said, the “Hey, Mercedes …” prompt has about as much interactive intelligence (read: frustration) as you have with Siri. Unless the question is really specific about the car itself, Mercedes ain’t the most sparkling conversationalist. At least there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to bail you out.

What does work really well is the upgraded augmented navigation system. It uses the vehicle’s cameras to provide real-time visual prompts on the center screen to show exactly where you should turn. In crowded urban settings, this can be extremely handy.

The usual Mercedes blend of driver assist systems, most notably the Distronic smart cruise control system, work impeccably. Although we don’t advise driving with your hands off the wheel, a brief test of the system’s capabilities showed it to be comfortable in semi-autonomous mode in stop-and-go traffic on a curving section of the well-lined autobahn.

Other cool features? For those who would try towing, there’s HitchTronic, which uses the rear camera and parking assist to guide the GLC to its trailer—just like a heavy-duty pickup out of Detroit. Wait, what? Not for America, you say? Call MBUSA and demand your HitchTronic!

Designwise, the shape of the LED headlights takes a more progressive look, with more family resemblance with the GLC’s big-brother GLE. Taillights are now full LED; before they were part LED, part halogen.

And yes, the GLC Coupe will return with its sleek, tapered roofline and lessened rear-seat headroom. Everything you read above applies to the Coupe, as well. Both will go on sale this fall.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and 63 S

This model is largely unchanged. It still has its thunderous 469-hp, 479-lb-ft bi-turbo V-8 (470 hp and 516 lb-ft in GLC 63 S trim). Some equipment levels have been improved, and it also gets the new MBUX infotainment system. A rear locking differential is now standard. So are a “performance” steering wheel and the haptic touchpads for the infotainment interface of the regular GLC.

In the GLC’s 63 S form, Mercedes claims a time of 3.8 seconds from 0 to 62 mph. That also provides the sort of high-end performance that delivered a scalding 7:49.369 lap at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which makes this the fastest SUV around that track.

Inside, the AMG versions have sportier flair than their mainstream brethren. The front sport seats hold you like a bearhug by the Mountain.

For civilians who want to try their hand at performance driving, the AMG Dynamics system seen in the C 63 comes over to the GLC 63.  The existing AMG Dynamics involved steering, damping, transmission, and throttle settings. Now the system includes changeable settings for the electronic differentials, engine mounts, 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, and stability (ESP) programming.

AMG Dynamics also adds a Race mode with submenus for Pro and Master. Master involves entirely turning off electronic stability control; it’s the only mode where that is possible. The one restriction in Race mode is that the driver cannot adjust individual settings for the vehicle—you have to trust AMG on this one, as well you should.


The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and GLC 63 Review: Don’t Mess It Up appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

The Hottest Wheels From the Hot Wheels Legends Tour: Charlotte

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 22:48

We took a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, over Memorial Day weekend for the sixth stop on the 2019 Hot Wheels Legends Tour—a series of 18 unique car meets around the United States. The winners from each stop will be flown out to display their cars at the SEMA Show this November where judges will select one wild ride to be immortalized in 1:64 scale and sold around the world as the next Hot Wheels car.

When we arrived at the show early Saturday morning, the air smelled like gasoline and cigarettes. A line of cars waited for their moment to pose in front of the life-sized Hot Wheels blister pack and get a taste of what life would be like as a miniaturized die-cast. North Carolina’s thick, humid air was rich with the sound of American V-8s. Some had aggressive, lopey cams that clearly didn’t enjoy partial throttle. Some had whining superchargers or whistling turbos. Others were installed in massively lifted trucks with exhaust outlets above my head.

Even at 7 a.m., a line of families and showgoers stretched across the parking lot waiting for the Hot Wheels vending machine. The machine lives inside the official Legends van, a Ram ProMaster that had been driven across the country twice in the past month. (The tour was in El Segundo just a week prior.) Some ultra-fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. to lay down $20 for an especially rad limited-edition Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon.

The Craziest Cars in Charlotte

The lineup of show entrants in Charlotte was heavily American—lots of pony cars, big ol’ trucks, and hot rods—but there were some fun Euro rides, too. Highlights include an original Harlequin Volkswagen Golf and a twin-engine Mini Pickup with a single, centered seating position, just like the McLaren F1. Although the Mini was surrounded by curious crowds throughout the day, Hot Wheels designers acting as judges told its owner that the Mini might just be too difficult to shrink down to toy-size.

Hot Wheels also brought along several cars from its corporate fleet, including a cab-forward surf cruiser called the Deora II. In addition to looking the way it does and riding on 24-inch wheels, it also has a supercharged Cadillac Northstar V-8 … in the back.

There were too many wild rides in Charlotte to talk about all of them here, but it’s safe to say we were impressed. We saw a lifted, V-8–swapped Miata, a dually Humvee rat rod, and more Dodge Challengers than we could count. Multiple cars had tiny Hot Wheels versions of themselves sitting on a rotating platform under the hood. One guy built a colossal drivable toolbox around an old Chevy S10—he’s gunning for world records for the largest and fastest diamond-plated wrench-holder. A fellow called Mousey even built a monster truck out of a two-door ’37 Chrysler that now sports four-wheel steering, 18 inches of suspension travel, driveshaft brakes, and a remote control buffalo skull mounted to the grille.

Judges for the event—including NASCAR legends, Hot Wheels designers, and former Charlotte Hornets star Muggsy Bogues—evaluated entrants based on three criteria: authenticity, creativity, and what Hot Wheels is calling garage spirit. They were looking for cars that aligned with the Hot Wheels aesthetic and performance history but still embodied the built-not-bought lifestyle. The mechanic’s choice award went to the Mini with its pair of turbocharged, nitrous-equipped Honda engines, but judges awarded top honors to a beast known by its owner as Brutally Sexy. Chad Martin designed and built the 10,000-pound dually hot rod pickup based on a dream he had 20 years ago. Its stunning proportions, 24-inch semi-truck wheels, and 750-horsepower Cummins inline-six separated Chad’s car from the crowd, and we reckon it’ll put up quite a fight at SEMA in November.

Photo credit: Mattel/Hot Wheels and Duncan Brady

Check out the Legends Tour for yourself!

  • June 1—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • June 15—New York/New Jersey
  • June 29—Detroit, Michigan
  • July 13—Chicago, Illinois
  • July 27—St Louis, Missouri
  • August 3—Dallas, Texas
  • August 10—Denver, Colorado
  • August 24—Seattle, Washington
  • September 7—Phoenix, Arizona
  • September 21—San Jose, California
  • October 5—San Diego, California
  • October 19—Los Angeles, California

The post The Hottest Wheels From the Hot Wheels Legends Tour: Charlotte appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 BMW M8

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 19:54

The 2020 BMW M8 completes the two-door 8 Series range as a stylish yet potent grand tourer that’ll be right at home doing triple digits on the Autobahn. Available with up to 617 hp in M8 Competition guise, the 2020 M8 replaces the M6 as the top dog of the Bavarian automaker’s lineup of performance cars. Like the standard 8 Series, the M8 is available as a coupe or convertible. A four-door Gran Coupe model will arrive this month followed by its M8 iteration, and these cars will effectively replace the 6 Series and M6 Gran Coupe.

From the design alone, the 2020 BMW M8 differs significantly from the M6 that it replaces. Whereas the M6 is visually hefty, the M8 is sleeker, streamlined, and sultry, especially when you view its side profile. The M8 looks particularly athletic up front, boasting large lower air intakes, a massive grille, and angry-looking headlights. The M6, on the other hand, looks chunky and rounded up front; its smaller kidney grille, lower front openings, and diamond-shaped headlight design add considerable bulk. Out back, the M8 emphasizes its wide stance with thin taillights and quad exhaust tips versus the M6, which looks more like an evolution of the old “Bangle butt” from its V-10-powered predecessor from the early- to late-2000s.

Both the 2020 BMW M8 and the M6 feature driver-centric interiors. The M8’s dash, for instance, is tilted towards the driver slightly while the M6 has a design element on the lower center console that clearly separates the driver from the front passenger. Their dashes feature a large screen as the centerpiece and a horizontal button layout for a simple, uncluttered look. Where the M8 starts to differentiate itself is in how it employs new technologies. A digital gauge cluster replaces the old analog units, giving the interior a techy look that the M6 lacks. The M8 also uses metal, carbon fiber, and wood trim liberally to break up the colors and add more eye candy.

Powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 paired to a specially tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2020 BMW M8 will be the halo vehicle in the M division’s lineup. Like the new M5 sedan, the M8 is the second M car to come with a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system that can go into rear-wheel-drive mode. All M8s will come with a high level of customization, giving drivers the ability to adjust everything from the powertrain and brakes to the steering and suspension.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 BMW M8 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Silverado crash tests, Ford Mustang honors WWII flying ace, Karma dealer expansion: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 15:30
2019 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra score four-star NHTSA crash-test rating The redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra earned four-star overall ratings in the NHTSA's barrage of crash tests and measurements, a downgrade from the five-star rating the feds bestowed upon last year's version of the trucks. Hertz tests car subscription...
Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Silverado safety rating, special Ford Mustang teased, Karma dealer expansion: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 15:30
2019 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra score four-star NHTSA crash-test rating The redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra earned four-star overall ratings in the NHTSA's barrage of crash tests and measurements, a downgrade from the five-star rating the feds bestowed upon last year's version of the trucks. Hertz tests car subscription...
Categories: Property

BCO Conference 2019: What the UK office market can learn from 'the happiest city in the world'

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 14:08
At the annual BCO conference in Copenhagen, BCO chief executive Richard Kautze tells Property Week about what the British office market has to learn about workplace culture from the Danish and how it can adapt to keep up with the “happiest city in the world”.
Categories: Property

Green sweetens deal for landlords in bid for CVA approval

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 13:36
Sir Philip Green is set to make a series of concessions to landlords in a bid to get his Arcadia cost-cutting measures voted through, Property Week can reveal.
Categories: Property

Electric van company signs at SREF’s Kensington Village

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:31
Electric vehicle company Arrival has taken 50,000 sq ft of office space at Schroder UK Real Estate Fund’s Kensington Village.
Categories: Property

German firm tests external airbag for side-impact crashes

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:00
German automotive supplier ZF revealed its external airbag system Wednesday and said that the experimental safety feature has the ability to shield passengers and protect them to a greater extent in a side-impact crash. The system operates exactly like how it sounds. External airbags deploy on the exterior of the car should the system determine a...
Categories: Property

Kier and Investec snap up Luton logistics site

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:47
Kier Property and Investec Structured Property Finance have acquired a six-acre logistics development site in Luton from Downton.
Categories: Property

Monsoon delays CVA following Arcadia postponement

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:46
The owner of womenswear retailer Monsoon has delayed plans to launch a CVA after seeing Philip Green struggle to secure backing for his Arcadia restructure earlier in the week.
Categories: Property