Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 23:30

Hyundai has few crossovers in its lineup, but all of them are getting a makeover. This year, the automaker began selling the new subcompact Kona and will bring out a face-lifted Tucson in the fall. Meanwhile, Hyundai is completely revamping the Santa Fe. Replacing the midsize, two-row Santa Fe Sport, the new Santa Fe seats up to five passengers while offering them more modern amenities than the old model. But has Hyundai made a more visually compelling crossover?

The Santa Fe’s front face is an attention-grabber because it’s so different than that of its predecessor. Taking after the smaller Kona, the new Santa Fe features a split light design. LED daytime running lights are positioned above the LED headlights, unlike traditional cars which put the two together. The grille takes on a new shape, funneling down from a silver bar that encases the top lights.

Although it replaces the Santa Fe Sport, the new model is actually a bit bigger. It measures 2.8 inches longer and 0.4 inch wider, and it has a wheelbase that’s 2.6 inches longer. You can sort of see the difference in size between the two models by looking at their side profiles. And while the Santa Fe Sport had a sloping roofline and wedge-shaped window profile, the 2019 model appears to have a more upright back end.

Moving to the rear, we can see the Hyundai Santa Fe has updated taillights. They’re not as droopy as before, and are connected by a silver bar. Once again, the back end appears a bit more upright, and it also features more character lines, one of which runs right below the rear window. Both models feature a spoiler that flows down from the roof.

New screens comprise some of the biggest interior updates on the Santa Fe. The instrument cluster display has been redesigned, and the new model also features a head-up display that projects key information on the windshield in front of the driver. Also notice a new center infotainment screen that sits on the dash. The array of buttons below the screen has been reorganized to take up less space. The cupholders are now positioned in a vertical fashion to the right of the shifter, unlike the old model that arranges the cupholders horizontally below the gear stalk.

In case you were wondering what happened to the three-row Santa Fe, Hyundai will keep selling the old-generation version under the name Santa Fe XL. Eventually, Hyundai will bring out a new three-row SUV, although we haven’t seen this model yet.

Do you think the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is refreshing or revolting? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook.

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Infiniti Hopes to Triple its Sales in China Over Next Five Years

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 22:30

Infiniti will launch five new vehicles in China as it prepares to triple its sales over the next five years in the world’s largest auto market, the automaker has revealed. The announcement comes ahead of the Beijing auto show which takes place next week.

The first new vehicle coming to China is the redesigned QX50 midsize crossover that’s now on sale in the U.S. The model will enter production at Infiniti’s factory in Dalian, China, and all copies produced there will be sold in China. The model goes on sale in China later this year, and should help Infiniti reach its goal to sell around 150,000 vehicles on an annual basis.

Right now, infiniti produces just two vehicles in China, long-wheelbase versions of the Q50 and Q70. These vehicles are built at Nissan’s plant in Xiangyang.

Just like here in the U.S., crossovers are proving popular in China. Sales of SUVs and crossovers were up 11 percent in the first quarter, reaching 2.66 million units, reports Automotive News. This growth outpaces the overall market’s rise of 2.6 percent.

Electrification will also help Infiniti achieve success in China and other parts of the world. By 2025, Infiniti hopes more than half of its new vehicles sold globally and in China will be electrified. Infiniti’s Q Inspiration concept, which makes its Asia debut in Beijing, provides a glimpse into the automaker’s future electric offerings with compact powertrains and clean design lines.

Source: Infiniti, Automotive News (Subscription required)

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You Can Own This Original-Condition BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 20:45

Not all Batmobiles are black and driven by caped crusaders. This pristine 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL happens to be Chamonix Metallic White and is one of only a handful of 3.0s built with the “Batmobile” aerodynamics package.

The car will cross the block at RM Sotheby’s Monaco 2018 sale in May along with several other choice BMWs and other marques.

It appears to be in original condition and wears the optional aerodynamics kit that includes a front air dam, short roof spoiler, and a wild-looking three-piece rear wing.


The interior looks clean and features original black and red Scheel sport seats and the original three-spoke steering wheel. Also, to sweeten the deal, the engine numbers match and there’s just 39,072 kms (roughly 24,278 miles) on the clock.

Records indicate that it was built in the summer of 1973. The car spent much of its early days in Spain, but was not registered until 1975 by the first owner.

Ten years later it moved back to Germany and remained there until 2007. It was sold and returned to Spain once again and reportedly received a complete service in Barcelona by an expert racing mechanic. The auction house states that the auto was purchased by its current owner in 2013.

RM Sotheby’s estimates this rare bewinged bimmer will sell for 290,000-390,000 euros (roughly $356,000-479,000 U.S.), so if you’re interested, you’d better be as cash-flush as Bruce Wayne.

Source: RM Sotheby’s

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

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This Tiny Honda Hot Hatch Concept is the Definition of Forbidden Fruit

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 19:45

As far as mainstream automakers go, Honda’s current lineup is pretty darn fun to drive. You don’t even have to spring for the Si or Type R to enjoy driving the Civic, and it’s almost impossible to not have a great time behind the wheel of the 2.0-liter Accord Sport. Heck, even the Fit is pretty sporty. But despite all of that, we’re still going to complain about the fact there’s no chance Honda will bring this tiny hot hatch concept to the U.S.

Revealed this week at the Indonesia International Motor Show, the diminutive concept in question is called the Small RS. According to Autocar India, it’s most likely a lightly disguised version of the next-generation Honda Brio, a city car sold throughout the Asia Pacific region. But to our American eyes, it looks like the Civic Type R got put in the dryer and shrunk down to an adorable size. And while it’s still identifiable as a modern Honda, we think we like the styling even better than the aggressively in-your-face Civic.

According to a Google-translated release from Honda Indonesia, the Small RS “features a sporty, stylish exterior design in accordance with Honda’s DNA in a small car platform that can be used for everyday activities for young-minded consumers while offering a sporty driving experience.” It also “represents Honda’s vision of how a small sports car should be.” With its large wing, hood scoop, and aerodynamic body kit, we agree. This thing looks like an absolute hoot.

We haven’t been able to find what kind of engine the Small RS uses, but as a concept likely built to get potential customers excited about an upcoming city car, it may not have one. Still, we can only hope the local reception is positive enough to convince Honda to actually put it into production. Even if the U.S. won’t ever get the Small RS (or even a Fit Type R), enthusiasts in the Asia Pacific region deserve to enjoy this baby Type R.

Source: Honda, Autocar India

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Audi e-tron SUV Can Recharge in as Little as 30 Minutes

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 18:30

Audi is expected to bring out the production version of the e-tron SUV sometime this year. Ahead of the debut, we now know what to expect from the electric SUV in terms of range and recharging, at least for European markets.

Early press releases said the e-tron could travel 310 miles on a single charge. Now, Audi is placing range at 248.5 miles based on the new WLTP driving cycle, an update to the NEDC test cycle. It’s unclear how this rating would translate to the EPA cycle that’s used here in the U.S. Audi confirmed the floor-mounted battery can store an impressive 95 kilowatt-hours of energy.

The e-tron will be the first vehicle on the market capable of charging at stations with up to 150 kilowatts. An advanced thermal management system in the battery enables the SUV to safely charge up at this level at high-power charging stations that use the European standard Combined Charging System. Audi says it takes less than 30 minutes to juice up. There will be nearly 200 of these compatible stations with six charging points each by the end of 2018, with more to come in the following years.

The e-tron can recharge at AC and DC stations in public areas, or at home with a 230-volt household outlet or a 400-volt three-phase outlet, which takes 8.5 hours. An optional connect charging system will charge your car according to your home’s energy usage and can double the charging power to 22 kilowatts.

Perhaps to draw attention to the strides it has taken to recharge EVs quickly, Audi placed its e-tron prototype in a Faraday cage at the Siemens high-voltage test bay in Berlin. Here, where experts are researching the possibility of lightning-fast charging, Audi ran a test on its e-tron. In the middle of an impulse voltage generator the size of a house, the Audi e-prototype is targeted with a flashover voltage, creating a light show and a crackle over the roof measuring 82 feet tall.

In addition to the e-tron SUV, Audi also plans on introducing an E-tron Sportback in 2019. Both models will be built in Brussels, Belgium.

Source: Audi

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Watch the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Clock 6:56.4 on the Nurburgring

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:00

Porsche debuted the 911 GT3 RS, its most powerful naturally aspirated car ever, at the Geneva auto show in March. And already, the track beast has set a lap time of 6:56.4 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The GT3 RS is one of only three production sports cars from Porsche to lap the ‘Ring in under seven minutes. The 918 Spyder recorded a time of 6:57 back in 2013, and the 911 GT2 RS became the quickest production car to hit the Nürburgring by achieving a time of 6:47.03 last year.

Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre piloted the GT3 RS to its impressive new lap time. The car came in 24 seconds quicker around the ‘Ring than its predecessor.

Packing a 4.0-liter flat-six, the GT3 RS makes 520 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired exclusively to a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic, and according to Porsche, can hit 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. Top speed is 193 mph.

The GT3 RS borrows its aero and lightweighting technologies from the standard GT3 while also tacking on a magnesium roof and carbon-fiber front lid and fenders. From the GT2 RS, it takes the larger front spoiler for additional downforce and NACA ducts in the frunk lid that aid with brake cooling. During the recent run, the GT3 RS was equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which will be available for order at Porsche Centers and selected dealers and tire fitters. The sports car arrives in the U.S. this fall with a starting price of $188,550.

Watch the video below to see the 911 GT3 RS conquer the Nürburgring.

Source: Porsche

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Cadillac shakeup, Jaguar F-Type, Maybach SUV concept: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 15:30
Cadillac shake up: division chief out, strategy could shift General Motors announced Wednesday what could be the beginning of a major shift for its Cadillac luxury division—starting from the top down. 2019 Jaguar F-Type Review The 2019 Jaguar F-Type defines beauty without beastliness. This shapely two-door, available as a coupe or as a...
Categories: Property

Sigma acquires £31m dev sites for PRS REIT

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:29
Developer Sigma Capital has acquired a trio of PRS development schemes in the North West and Midlands.
Categories: Property

Sweet deal sees Choccywoccydoodah secure first London location

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:22
Shaftesbury has signed specialist chocolaterie Choccywoccydoodah for a London flagship at 27 Shorts Gardens at Seven Dials.
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Grainger refinances with £350m bond issue

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:11
The UK’s largest listed residential landlord Grainger has issued a £350m senior bond aimed at cutting the cost of its debt.
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M&G unveils plans for £100m Glasgow office development

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:00
M&G Real Estate has unveiled plans for a new £100m office development in Glasgow, which will provide 277,500 sq ft of grade A space over 12 levels.
Categories: Property

Green light for East Croydon station resi-led redevelopment

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:34
Joint venture partners Menta and housebuilder Redrow have received planning permission to develop a major new infrastructure and residential-led regeneration scheme which will create a new station entrance to East Croydon Station.
Categories: Property

Birmingham resi values grow 31% in five years

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:12
Average residential values in Birmingham have grown by 31% in five years, causing the traditional city centre boundaries to expand, according to Savills.
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Wrenbridge adds 400,000 sq ft of warehouse stock

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:43
Developer Wrenbridge has secured 25 acres of space in Rainham to add 400,000 sq ft to its warehouse pipeline.
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South Bank Tower apartments sold for £125m

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:29
The final apartments at South Bank Tower have been sold to an international investor for more than £125m.
Categories: Property

JLL boss Ulbrich sees pay leap 53% to $9m despite shareholder rebellion

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:02
JLL chief executive Christian Ulbrich’s total pay package rockets 53% to more than $9m, as the firm outlines a raft of changes to its executive pay policy following last year’s shareholder rebellion.
Categories: Property

New FD in shake-up at Taylor Wimpey

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:16
FTSE 100 housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has announced that group finance director Ryan Mangold is stepping down after eight years in the role to be replaced by current London divisional chair Chris Carney.
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2018 Ford EcoSport First Drive: Launch Control

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:00

“Dearborn, we’ve got a problem here.” We imagine the 2018 Ford EcoSport’s marketing manager paraphrasing Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert’s famous line upon discovering the full details of the hand-me-up subcompact cute-ute he or she was tasked with launching into one of America’s hottest and fast-growing sales segments. Swigert was reporting what turned out to be an oxygen-tank explosion that compromised the ship’s electrical and life-support systems. Ford’s marketing team faces the daunting if less critical task of peddling a “brand new” six-year-old vehicle optimized for emerging markets.

The EcoSport is based on 2011 Fiesta underpinnings and since mid-2012 has been produced in Romania, China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, and (for our market) India. We bet it’s a peach in those places. But in the U.S., where it must lure customers away from Subaru Crosstreks, Kia Souls, Jeep Renegades, Honda HR-Vs, and the Chevrolet Trax, the EcoSport looks to us like a tough marketing challenge.

How have Ford’s “mission controllers” handled this dicey launch? By taking a page from Buick’s introduction of the Chinese-built Envision and quietly releasing the car into the market in January before ever formally inviting any automotive press to drive or report on it, thus bending the adage: “If they won’t have anything nice to say about it, don’t let them say anything at all.” So in March we finally drove two EcoSports that were on hand following a 2019 Ford Fusion backgrounder.

The mainstream 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost EcoSport (say eek-oh-boost echo-sport) engine produces 123 hp at 6,000 rpm and 125 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm. These numbers are lowest in the class, resulting in the highest weight-to-power rating, so it’s no shocker that this three-banger seemed to struggle with two adults onboard. It moans under hard acceleration and it vibrates the steering wheel when it’s working hard. Not even a brake-torque launch could elicit so much as a chirp from the front tires. Ford optimistically rates the 1.0-liter as capable of towing 1,400 pounds. Please don’t try this.

Opt for all-wheel drive and you automatically get the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four cylinder and an “intelligent” torque distribution system that lets you monitor where the torque is going via a dash screen. This engine produces a healthier and more class-competitive 166 hp at 6,500 rpm and 149 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm, earning a more plausible 2,000-pound tow rating. The only available transmission with either engine is a six-speed torque-converter automatic—a welcome upgrade from the little-loved dry dual-clutch box the EcoSport was born with. Ford claims the steering wheel shift paddles offered on the SES 2.0-liter we drove are a segment first (our Titanium 1.0-liter lacked them). Although the big engine greatly improves acceleration response, it still feels and sounds coarser and less refined than those powering the class leaders.

By the literal yardstick, EcoSport measures among the smallest in the class, measuring 1.7-14.5 inches shorter than the top six sellers, riding on the only sub-100-inch wheelbase in the bunch. It’s also narrower than everything in the class since the Nissan Juke’s departure. In fact, dimensionally it’s like a Juke that stands about 3 inches taller.

That short wheelbase and tall seating position give EcoSport a slightly squirrelly handling demeanor. Nothing dangerous, mind you (stability control comes standard), but we found it disconcertingly easy to induce oversteer—and instantaneous intervention from the nannies—when braking into some ess-turns in north-central Detroit. Ride quality is another area where the intersection of elderly underpinnings and a design optimized for third-world roads and expectations result in sharp reports and steering wheel judders from driveway curb-cuts and frost-heaved pavement slabs its competitors take in stride.

Inside, the segment’s top sellers are all larger in the front and back seats, though the EcoSport holds a narrow cargo-space advantage over the Trax and the Renegade with its seats up. There’s also an available cargo-management system with a movable load floor. Of course, if you find yourself needing to carry something a bit longer than the cargo floor, you’ll be better served by a top-hinged hatch you can tie down to meet it than by the Ford’s left-hinged, side-opening rear door. As unique selling propositions go, this is not a strong one.

Our EcoSport SES’ interior was trimmed in attractive black cloth with copper stripes on the seats and copper anodized-look accents on the dash, console, and door panels. And looking more closely at the pebble-grain plastic on the dash revealed it to feature a unique pattern of recessed circles inside raised squares. Ironically, the more expensive Titanium grade trim looked cheaper, with shiny “piano black” trim replacing the SES’ copper anodized stuff. Because nothing in this interior hints “Steinway,” this shiny black stuff comes off looking plasticky and contributes to making the black perforated leather seem more like vinyl. All EcoSports get Sync connectivity, with most getting the upgraded Sync 3 (on-screen Waze!) with a 6.5- or 8.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and available 4G LTE Wi-Fi that can connect 10 devices.

Finally, it’s hard to find any compelling news on the value front. EcoSport base prices span from $20,990 to $28,325, which only convincingly undercuts the Trax. If you don’t need AWD, a Kia Soul is better looking, way more fun to drive, and way cheaper ($18,695-$23,795 for automatic-transmission models); an HR-V ($21,445-$27,515 for automatic models) brings legendary Honda resale value; and a $25,905 mid-grade Subaru Crosstrek with the EyeSight option package gets world-class crash-prevention systems and adaptive cruise control not available on this little Bollywood Ford. We wish this EcoSport a safe and expeditious landing and hope its imminent successor reminds us more of Apollo 14.

2018 Ford EcoSport BASE PRICE $20,990-$28,325 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINES 1.0L/123-hp/125-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 12-valve I-3; 2.0L/166-hp/149-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT 3,050-3,300 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 99.2 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 161.3 x 69.5 x 65.1 in 0-60 MPH 9.0-10.0 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 23-27/29/25-28 mpg ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 126-147/116 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.70-0.76 lb/mile ON SALE IN U.S. Currently

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2018 BMW X5 Diesel First Test: Efficient Twist

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:00

The X5 was BMW’s first crossover, and it has since become one the automaker’s best-selling models. In its third generation, there’s an X5 for every taste, from traditional gas-powered models to a plug-in hybrid to the potent X5 M. We got our hands on the diesel-powered 2018 BMW X5 xDrive35d to see how it stacks up as an alternative to your run-of-the-mill, gas-burning luxury crossover.

See spy shots of the next-generation BMW X5 right here

Power for the 2018 BMW X5 xDrive35d comes via a 3.0-liter turbodiesel I-6 rated at 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. With an EPA estimate of 23/29 mpg city/highway, the diesel-powered X5 is the second-most efficient variant in the lineup, behind the X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid. After undergoing our own Real MPG fuel economy testing, we found that the diesel-powered X5 is more efficient than expected, yielding 26.0/33.2 mpg city/highway. With a 22.4-gallon tank, you have a luxury crossover that will do well over 600 miles before needing to refuel.

At the track, the diesel-powered crossover hit 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds at 91.3 mph. Associate road test editor Erick Ayapana said the engine has noticeable turbo lag off the line but that the transmission keeps the engine right in the heart of its powerband in Sport mode. Stopping from 60 mph took 125 feet; however, the ABS pulsates aggressively during hard braking, and the crossover dives when you suddenly hit the brakes.

The X5 xDrive35d finished the figure-eight course in 27.0 seconds with an average of 0.64 g. It generated 0.84 g of lateral acceleration on the skid pad. Road test editor Chris Walton was impressed that the X5 “hustles around the figure eight as a BMW should” but noted that the standard all-season tires causes it to understeer. Walton also noted that the steering needs constant attention and that the body rolls a lot in corners.

On the road, the diesel-powered X5 is pleasant to drive, and there’s plenty of power for passing slower traffic or climbing up grades. The ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic provides quick, smooth shifts and snappy responses. Combined with its responsive throttle and torquey engine, the X5 is easy to drive quickly. The mushy brake pedal doesn’t give the driver much confidence, though. It feels like there’s not enough stopping power even though there’s plenty. Other than a rough start/stop system, which you can turn off, it’s hard to tell that the refined powertrain is a diesel.

For its size, the X5 handles well; it’s no sports car, but for a large crossover, it’s well sorted. The X5’s steering doesn’t feel connected to the front wheels, and the imprecise system makes the crossover feel as large as it is, especially on narrow roads. Ride comfort is excellent, especially with BMW’s optional Dynamic Damper Control system. In Comfort mode, the X5 soaks up road imperfections well. Sport mode stiffens the dampers, but it’s still compliant on bad roads. The standard run-flat tires produce some road noise, though.

Inside, the cabin features high-quality materials with soft plastics on the dash and plenty of padding where your arms fall. Hard plastics are nowhere to be found in the X5’s cabin, and everything feels well put together. On the road, nothing rattles or creaks, even when you go over less-than-perfect pavement. Engine noise is minimal even at full throttle, but wind noise is noticeable, especially from the A-pillar on the driver’s side. Passenger space is excellent for front and second-row passengers. There’s a third row option, too, but think of that small area as an occasional-use-only space for two kids—if you want a full-size BMW three-row crossover, wait for the upcoming X7. Front-seat comfort could be better, as the seat backs are flat and don’t have much side support, making the optional multicontour front seats worth the extra cost.

For hauling, the X5 has a generous 35.8-cubic-foot cargo area behind the second row. BMW includes 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seats as standard for improved flexibility, allowing you to carry long items and four passengers at the same time. Behind the front seats there’s 76.7 cubic feet of cargo space, plenty for a Costco run or Ikea shopping spree. (Our tester didn’t have the third-row seat.)

BMW’s iDrive multimedia system has seen continuous improvement, and in the 2018 X5 xDrive35d, it’s more user-friendly. With the addition of a touchscreen, you don’t have to rely on the knob to navigate through the system, and its layout has been simplified with the addition of reconfigurable tiles. A touchpad on top of the knob has a hard time recognizing letters and numbers, which means when writing the letter “A,” it will sometimes think it’s a “4.” The standard audio offers good sound, but audiophiles should opt for the Harman Kardon system or the Bang & Olufsen surround sound systems, both of which offer superior in-car listening experiences. Apple CarPlay is the only smartphone integration app available, and it can be operated wirelessly.

Our tester came equipped with the Driving Assistance and Driving Assistance Plus packages. The former adds active blind-spot monitoring (a visual warning is followed by a vibrating steering wheel if you start to drift), a head-up display, and lane departure warning. The Plus package adds adaptive cruise control and the Active Driving Assistant, which bundles forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. All of the active driver assistance features were mostly unobtrusive except for the lane departure system, which mistook the grooves on the road for lane lines, causing the steering wheel to vibrate because it thought the car veered off its intended path. Other features on our tester included LED headlights and a surround-view camera system.

As tested, our 2018 X5 xDrive35d checked in at $73,445 and was still many thousands of dollars away from being loaded. (The AWD-only diesel X5 is only $1,500 more than an X5 xDrive35i.) A Volvo XC90 T6 has a more elegant interior for about the same price as our tester, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 checks in just slightly above but comes with more features. A similarly priced Audi Q7 gets you more creature comforts, including massaging front seats, heated rear seats, and a 19-speaker Bose audio system, while a fully loaded Acura MDX will leave you with around $10,000 for a vacation.

Even though this generation of X5 has been on the market for years and comes with a hefty price tag, the diesel model remains a solid entry. You get a quiet, spacious cabin for five passengers with surprisingly good fuel efficiency for such a large vehicle. The X5 does its job as a family vehicle well, and when equipped with the diesel engine, it adds prodigious torque and good fuel efficiency for a big crossover—just make sure you keep an eye on the price when selecting options.

2018 BMW X5 xDrive35d BASE PRICE $61,995 PRICE AS TESTED $73,445 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 3.0L/255-hp/413-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve I-6 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,935 lb (51/49%) WHEELBASE 115.5 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 193.2 x 76.3 x 69.4 in 0-60 MPH 6.0 sec QUARTER MILE 14.6 sec @ 91.3 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 125 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.84 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.0 sec @ 0.64 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 26.0/33.2/28.8 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 23/29/25 mpg ENERGY EMISSIONS, CITY/HWY 164/130 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.88 lb/mile

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Celebrity Drive: Tarek El Moussa of HGTV’s ‘Flip or Flop’

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 09:00

Quick Stats: Tarek El Moussa, HGTV’s Flip or Flop
Daily Driver: 2014 GMC Sierra Denali (Tarek’s rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: see below
Favorite road trip: Orange County to Mammoth, CA
Car he learned to drive in: 1994 Toyota 4Runner
First car bought: 1985 Buick Park Avenue

Tarek El Moussa, star of HGTV’s Flip or Flop, has an eclectic garage—but his favorite ride isn’t his Lamborghini as you might expect.

Photo: Nuphoto Photography

“My daily driver is my lifted white GMC Denali truck. It has a big engine,” he says. “I like trucks because they’re good with storage. It’s lifted so I can go off-roading, and the inside—it’s really nice, nice dash, big screen. I like all the technology, it’s just a really, really beautiful truck.”

El Moussa does go off-roading in it when he can, and rates it a perfect 10: “It’s the longest I’ve owned a car,” he says, with a laugh. “I drive that a lot.”

2017 Jeep Wrangler

Rating: 20 for coolness, 7 for drivability

Photo: Nuphoto Photography

More recently, El Moussa bought what he says is a “crazy” 2017 Jeep Wrangler he wasn’t even looking to buy. While he was looking at new Lamborghinis at a local car dealership, he saw the Jeep and ended up buying it.

“[It was] completely taken apart and then completely rebuilt and looked like a Transformer,” he says. “The Jeep Wrangler is absolutely the coolest Jeep you’ll see on the road, big 38-inch tires. It’s not the easiest to drive, because the tires are so big, it kind of throws you all over your lane. So it’s more difficult to use that as a longer daily driver.”

He rates it a 20 for coolness, but for functionality and drivability he gives it a 7. “I get as many looks in that thing as I do my Lambourghini,” he says.

2011 Lamborghini Gallardo

Rating: 10

Photo: Nuphoto Photography

“I just love everything about it,” he says about his Gallardo. “The only thing that’s lacking is the updated technology, which is why I’m buying the new one.”

“I love driving the Lamborghini, it’s super, super fast. I’m probably going to get the Aventador or the Huracan,” he says. “I do like Ferraris, I was in Canada last April racing Ferraris, which was the coolest experience ever. I love racing everything—motorcycles, dirt bikes, trucks, cars.”

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Rating: 10

Photo: Nuphoto Photography

“What I’m in right now, which I use multiple days per week when I go to set, is a Sprinter that was completely modified to be a Sprinter executive limo,” he says.

He’s come to rely on the Sprinter, especially when shooting his HGTV show. “I have two 50-inch screen TVs, I have a full bar, I have a surround sound system, refrigerator, all this cool stuff. [With a driver in the front], I just hang out in the back like I am right now. I have captain’s chairs, five iPads, it’s like the coolest thing ever. I love this thing,” he says.

The customized van comes in handy when he’s out on the town with friends. “I go on dates, or whatever I’m going to do, I get a driver, so I have to worry about driving or Uber, and it’s just really, really great.

Car he learned to drive in

Growing up in Buena Park, California, El Moussa learned to drive in a 1994 Toyota 4Runner. “I got my permit on the day I turned 15 and I got my license on the day I turned 16. I’ve always loved driving. I took my test in the city of Downey in the middle of traffic, and thank god I passed,” he says, with a laugh.

First car bought

El Moussa’s parent’s bought him a Toyota T100 truck for high school, which he had to sell when he was going into real estate at 19.

“I downgraded and bought a 1985 Buick Park Avenue, because I just got into real estate and I needed more of a professional car, so I paid five grand and that was my real estate car,” he says.

At the time it was the best he could afford for a proper real estate car. “It was good for clients. My truck was a lifted black truck, so that definitely wasn’t the best real estate car,” he points out.

One day, while driving a client in Anaheim, the car did something that surprised both of them. “The car’s 16 years old and I’m at a red light, and then all of a sudden all these little black balls came flying out of the AC vent, and the car started vibrating,” El Moussa says. It was really weird.”

El Moussa only had the Buick for two and a half years, after which he bought a brand new 2004 Cadillac Escalade, his first splurge car. “I was building my company, I was making good money,” he says. “And then my first high end high end car, I bought a Bentley Continental GT Speed, that was a really fun car.”

Photo courtesy of HGTV Favorite road trip

El Moussa’s favorite road trip memories are the ones from Orange County to Mammoth with his mom on a trip that took about four and a half hours. “I would always go with my mom to Mammoth. It was just something we always did because I was snowboarding,” he says. “[I have] a lot of fond memories of driving as a kid, and there’s one specific restaurant that we always would stop at on the way there, so it was just a ride that I grew up with.”

He recalls one trip that was particularly memorable. “As I was driving to Mammoth, my mom fell asleep and I was driving 110 mph and she woke up,” he says, laughing. “She goes, ‘What are you doing?’”

HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” Season 7 Photo courtesy of HGTV

The hit show Flip or Flop returns on HGTV at the end of May. El Moussa says the crew is working hard on season 7, saying he thinks it’ll be the best season yet.

With his strong work ethic, he kept working on the show even when he was battling cancer. “It’s been a fight, coming from nothing, getting to where I am, losing everything, starting over. And when I was faced with cancer,” he says, he determined that  “the best thing I could do for my family is stay positive, love my family, [and] keep working. I mean, it was horrific, I was sick on set, and had migraines and went through it.”

He’s since become a spokesman for Movember, and also works with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation.

“The only positive is that I’ve been able to create awareness … and I’ve gotten messages from people letting me know they found out they had cancer because of reading my story,” he says.

The post Celebrity Drive: Tarek El Moussa of HGTV’s ‘Flip or Flop’ appeared first on Motor Trend.

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