HB Reavis hires Argent's head of construction

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:13
Developer HB Reavis has poached former Argent head of construction Joe Martin to become its new UK construction director.
Categories: Property

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Vs. Tesla Model X 75D: Compare Electric Cars

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:11
It's said comparison is the thief of joy. We're here to steal the joy from Tesla Model X fans. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is a better electric car, though the Tesla still has a superior charging infrastructure at its back. We give the extraordinary new I-Pace a 9.4 out of 10, compared to the Model X's score of 7.7, which will be recalculated and may...
Categories: Property

Slade to chair Duff & Phelps Real Estate Advisory Group

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:57
Evans Randall executive chairman John Slade has been appointed as non-executive chairman of Duff & Phelps’ Real Estate Advisory Group (REAG) international practice, covering all countries outside the US.
Categories: Property

Slade to chair Duff & Phelps Real Estate Advisory Group

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:57
Evans Randall executive chairman John Slade has been appointed as non-executive chairman of Duff & Phelps’ Real Estate Advisory Group (REAG) international practice, covering all countries outside the US.
Categories: Property

Former council officer Woodley joins GVA’s strategic advisory platform

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:38
GVA has added a director to its strategic advisory platform, with the appointment of former Plymouth City Council lead officer Peter Woodley.
Categories: Property

Former council officer Woodley to lead GVA’s strategic advisory platform

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:38
GVA has added a third lead director to its strategic advisory platform, with the appointment of former Plymouth City Council lead officer Peter Woodley.
Categories: Property

Korean brands top latest J.D. Power new-car quality study

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:00
A study released Wednesday by J.D. Power found that while the number of problems reported by new-car drivers during the first year of ownership declined last year, consumers continue to find fault with advanced connectivity features in their vehicles. In the 2018 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, Genesis came in first place with 68 problems...
Categories: Property

Regional REIT makes Glasgow retail park sale

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:44
Regional REIT has exchanged on a deal to sell The Point Trade & Retail Park near Glasgow for £14.1m.
Categories: Property

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Will Receive More Power

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:00

We pretty much already knew Mazda was giving the Miata more power. A Japanese car magazine, Car Watch, reviewed an updated Miata with 181 hp earlier this month. Now, Mazda has confirmed that the U.S.-spec Miata will also receive this sweet upgrade.

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata will deliver 181 hp from its 2.0-liter engine, up from 155 hp. Torque has increased from 148 lb-ft to 151 lb-ft, and Mazda is promising a richer torque curve throughout the entire rev range. Redline has jumped from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm.

To achieve better performance, Mazda implemented a number of mechanical changes. These include lighter pistons and connecting rods, as well as reconfigured intake ports and higher-pressure fuel injectors for improved efficiency. The engine’s increased valve opening angle and valve lift height, as well as the increased inner diameter of the exhaust manifold, help reduce exhaust loss. Like we learned earlier this month, the Miata will receive a low inertia, dual-mass flywheel that promises to improve smoothness and responsiveness over the previous single-mass flywheel.

The improvements don’t stop there. Mazda also increased the transmission’s final drive ratio from 3.454 to 3.583. Meanwhile, a new exhaust system promises to improve the Miata’s sound.

Mazda will add new safety features to the docket. Finally, the Miata gets a new, standard rearview camera. Newly available features include Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Support, which helps drivers avoid frontal collisions at low speeds.

Other updates include an available brown canvas soft top and new black metallic 17-inch wheels. Mazda also says the doors are now easier to open. Peek inside and you’ll notice Mazda revised the cup holders and seat levers. A big upgrade is the car’s new telescoping steering wheel, which can adjust more than 1.6 inches.

Despite all the new equipment, Mazda managed to keep weight gains to a minimum. An aluminum steering shaft replaces the previous steel unit. Thanks to small counteractive measures like these, the car has plumped up just 7 pounds from the previous model.

The 2019 Miata goes on sale this fall in the U.S. More information, including prices, will be announced closer to the launch date.

Source: Mazda

The post 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Will Receive More Power appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic HSE First Test: Sports Car Aspirations

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:00

Of all the cars I’ve driven with Motor Trend over the past few years, my favorite might be the Jaguar F-Type. It’s not the quickest, most powerful, or most expensive sports car we’ve reviewed, but it’s both balanced and emotional. Its agile steering and throaty engine note are just as satisfying as its styling, and it offers everything from a sensible four-cylinder to a supercharged V-8. Jaguar drew inspiration from the F-Type when designing the E-Pace crossover, but it’s another matter altogether if its performance will capture our hearts in the same way as the sports car.

You’ll immediately notice the E-Pace shares visual cues with the F-Type, from the teardrop design of the side windows to the shape of the lights and the tapered-off rear end. In many ways, dimensions for the two vehicles aren’t all that far off. The E-Pace is 3 inches shorter than the F-Type, and its wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer. The model offers 246 hp in base form. But the more powerful version of the E-Pace delivers 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, and you’ll find these same specs on the turbo-four version of the F-Type.

We recently tested this more potent E-Pace crossover. Despite the same engine specs and its sporty looks, the E-Pace doesn’t resemble the F-Type at all in terms of driving experience. Unsurprisingly, the crossover proved slower in 0–60 tests. It hit 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, a whole second behind the F-Type equipped with the four-cylinder engine.

But let’s compare the E-Pace with its direct rivals. A 2019 Volvo XC40 we recently tested made it to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Similarly, a 2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i AWD and 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4Matic AWD hit the mark in 6.8 seconds and 6.9 seconds, respectively. The Jag’s superior numbers makes sense because it has the horsepower advantage here.

We were more surprised by another test. Although the E-Pace accelerates more quickly than its competitors, it’s slower to brake. This is despite the fact that the brakes bite down sharply when you first press them, giving the impression that they are going to bring you to a full stop quickly. The E-Pace required 130 feet to reach a complete stop from 60 mph. The Mercedes and Volvo only took 120 feet, while the BMW needed 122 feet.

In the figure eight, the crossover rounded the curves in 26.5 seconds at an average of 0.67 g. Among the competitors, the Mercedes came the closest to the E-Pace’s time, making its mark in 26.6 seconds at 0.67 g. Meanwhile, the Volvo managed 27.0 seconds at 0.65 g, and the BMW completed the test in 26.8 seconds at 0.65 g.

Although the Jag’s numbers are certainly reasonable, our test team reported noticeable understeer in the figure eight/skidpad tests.

“I wound up using third and fourth gears, as second is too short at corner exit,” road test editor Chris Walton said. “You have to drive this thing very carefully and well within a defined range of hustle to get the best out of it. Otherwise it delivers wide lines and mushy responses.”

Around town, the E-Pace won’t remind you of the nimble nature of the F-Type. Maneuvering at low speeds requires more turning of the wheel than you’d expect, even in Dynamic mode, and the wheel feels a bit heavy. And we were slightly disappointed with the E-Pace’s fuel economy. In our Real MPG tests, it scored 19.6/24.9/21.7 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s below its EPA rating of 21/27/23 mpg.

Despite sitting on 20-inch wheels, our E-Pace barely flinched over bumps and potholes. The cabin remained composed, though on the rigid side, when driving over imperfect roads, and it exhibited less rolling than our recently tested Volvo XC40. When accelerating onto the highway, this Jag emits a hearty exhaust note that hints at its bond with the F-Type.

One of the best-looking compact crossovers on the market is made even more comely with an optional black exterior package, which adds dark accents to the grille, side vents, and window surrounds. Inside the cabin, the E-Pace borrows the wraparound cockpit design and color schemes from the F-Type. Our model featured sumptuous Windsor leather seats, which were comfortable for long drives. The 10-inch touchscreen that comes standard with this high-trim model is equally as pleasing to the eye, and using the system isn’t so bad once you get the hang of it. We liked the navigation system that recognizes the names of many destinations, so drivers don’t have to type out the entire address. Unfortunately, the small emergency flasher button is positioned right below the screen where your hand might touch while your fingers are operating the controls. So I ended up activating the emergency flashers unintentionally on more than a couple occasions. The clean arrangement of buttons underneath the touchscreen and the simple climate control knobs are refreshing. One point of contention with the interior: It can be more difficult than usual to get into the rear seats. The rear doors don’t open very wide, which makes it inconvenient for loading passengers or cargo.

Depending on the trim, the E-Pace starts between $39,595 and well over $50,000, making it more expensive than rivals. However, we can’t complain about the bevy of features and the extra horsepower this coin affords. Some buyers will see the E-Pace as a more spacious alternative to a sports car, with F-Type looks and growl.

2018 Jaguar E-Pace P300 R-Dynamic AWD HSE BASE PRICE $54,095 PRICE AS TESTED $62,090 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.0L/296-hp/295-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,248 lb (59/41%) WHEELBASE 105.6 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 173.0 x 78.1 x 64.9 in 0-60 MPH 6.4 sec QUARTER MILE 15.0 sec @ 91.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 130 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.86 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.5 sec @ 0.67 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 19.6/24.9/21.7 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/27/23 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/125 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.83 lb/mile

The post 2018 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic HSE First Test: Sports Car Aspirations appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

11 Well-Equipped SUVs Under $25,000

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:00

Although the average vehicle transaction price these days is well above $30,000, there’s a silver lining for those who don’t want to pay a lot but still want a well-equipped crossover. This list features well-equipped automatic-transmission crossovers priced under $25,000. Keep reading to learn about these crossovers’ cool standard and optional features (plus accessories), crash safety scores, and cargo space capacities. Before you head to the dealership and crack open your wallet, check out the crossovers below to see what you can get for under $25,000, before factoring in regional incentives.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Premium 2.0i AWD: $24,854

With Subaru’s raised-hatchback-like crossover, opt for the mid-level Premium trim to get 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, roof rails, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with orange stitching, automatic headlights, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. All-wheel drive is standard, but the Premium trim also comes with an off-road mode and hill-descent control for light off-road excursions. Even with all that, there’s still room left in the budget for optional accessories: a rubber rear seatback protector, a rear bumper cover, and all-weather floor and cargo mats. Additionally, the Crosstrek delivers 27/33 mpg city/highway, can carry up to 55.3 cubic feet of cargo, and has a five-star NHTSA overall crash rating, the highest rating available.

You’ll Like: Lots of cargo room, impressive off-road capability, good crash safety scores, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard

You Won’t Like: The EyeSight driver-assist package and a proximity key with push-start ignition can’t be optioned at this price point

Motor Trend’s Take: We commended the Crosstrek for its comfortable ride and impressive handling skills during a First Test review. The raised hatchback also offers lots of interior room, good value, and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Although we wish the Subaru had more power and a better-performing lane keep assist system. We concluded our review by saying, “The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited is capable and dependable, ready to go wherever you want to go, to enable you to do whatever you want to do—your BFF on wheels. It’s an endearing little crossover that’s just a few lb-ft away from greatness.”

2018 Honda HR-V EX AWD: $24,915

Honda’s smallest crossover can be purchased for under $25,000 in the mid-level EX trim with all-wheel drive. The EX trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, heated front seats, automatic climate control, a proximity key with push-start ignition, LaneWatch (a rear-facing camera mounted on the passenger side-view mirror), a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and Pandora compatibility. Honda’s versatile second-row Magic Seats come standard on the EX, but roof rails don’t. The EX trim doesn’t offer any packages, and optional accessories will break the price cap. The HR-V AWD comes with a 27/31 mpg EPA rating (28/34 mpg with front-wheel drive), a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, and it offers 55.9 cubic feet of maximum cargo room.

You’ll Like: Loads of cargo room, versatile second-row Magic Seats, good crash safety scores, heated seats and moonroof are standard on the EX

You Won’t Like: The 2018 model doesn’t offer automatic emergency braking, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto, roof rails available only on the EX-L Navi trim

Motor Trend’s Take: The HR-V’s interior offers lots of versatility thanks to the Magic Seat feature and plenty of cargo room considering its small footprint. However, in a First Test review, we didn’t like the subcompact’s acceleration, engine sound, and the location of the USB and 12-volt ports. “For those who put a priority on packaging and reliability over performance, the Honda HR-V is a compelling entrant in the growing subcompact crossover segment,” we concluded.

2018 Nissan Kicks SR FWD: $24,630

Nissan’s new subcompact crossover is packed with value thanks to its low starting price, but all-wheel drive is not available. Staying below the $25,000 price cap, the Kicks can be ordered in the top SR trim that comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, roof rails, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster display, a proximity key with push-start ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert are also standard, and not usually found at this price.

Load up the 2018 Kicks SR with the Premium package, which includes heated front seats, faux-leather seating with orange stitching, and an eight-speaker Bose Personal Plus audio system. Most buyers would be happy with all those features, but you can keep it under $25,000 and still add various packages including Exterior (crossbars and rear bumper protector), Exterior Electronics (puddle lighting and rear parking sensors), Interior Electronics (ambient lighting with 20 available colors and auto-dimming rearview mirror), and Wi-Fi and Apps. For kicks (pun intended), throw in the illuminated door sill plates and carpeted floor and cargo mats, as well. The lightweight Kicks comes with a 31/36 mpg rating and can haul 32.3 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded (though Nissan says there’s an extra 21.8 cubic feet of space in the rear cargo area).

You’ll Like: The lengthy standard features list, automatic emergency braking is standard, high fuel economy rating, optional Wi-Fi capability

You Won’t Like: All-wheel drive is not available

Motor Trend’s Take: The Kicks offers lots of standard features at a low starting price, including automatic emergency braking and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. We were very impressed by the optional Bose audio system and appreciated that even the midlevel SV trim has blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. All-wheel drive is not available, but acceleration feels adequate and the crossover is “pleasant to drive” around the city. We concluded our First Drive review by saying, “The Kicks is surprisingly well equipped with features you actually want, and it boasts killer fuel economy. If all-wheel drive isn’t a must-have, it’s hard to come up with another compelling reason to keep the Kicks off your shopping list.”

2018 Mazda CX-3 Touring AWD: $24,820

The CX-3 is Mazda’s smallest crossover—get the mid-level Touring trim with all-wheel drive and a couple of accessories to avoid going over $25,000. The Touring trim features 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated front seats, leatherette-trimmed seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, keyless quick-entry with push-start ignition, low-speed automatic emergency braking (up to 18 mph), and a 7.0-inch touchscreen display. If you choose AWD, all-weather mats and roof rails can be added (and are included in our price above). If not,  you’ll have enough money for the Preferred Equipment package that includes a sunroof, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a cargo cover. The CX-3 is rated at 29/34 with front-wheel drive (27/32 with AWD), comes with a five-star overall NHTSA rating, and can hold between 42.3 and 44.5 cubic feet of cargo (depending on whether the CX-3 has the Bose audio system).

You’ll Like: Low-speed automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert are standard, good crash safety scores

You Won’t Like: No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, satellite radio and a cargo cover are extra, cargo area could be more spacious, AWD model has a smaller fuel tank

Motor Trend’s Take: Mazda’s CX-3 is fun to drive, has a nice interior, good ride comfort, and good acceleration considering the segment. As with many subcompacts, cargo space is tight and the front armrest covers the cupholders. We ended our First Test review by noting that “the 2016 Mazda CX-3‘s combo of just-enough power and class-leading handling, tech, and interior quality should propel it to [success in the subcompact CUV segment].”

2018 Hyundai Kona SEL AWD: $24,930

Select the SEL trim with AWD on Hyundai’s new subcompact crossover to keep the price tag below $25,000. Standard features on the SEL include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, a proximity key with push-start ignition, heated front seats, roof rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

That leaves enough room for the only offered package on the trim level, the Tech package: a sunroof, eight-way power driver seat, foglights, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and a driver attention system. If you don’t need AWD, the budget allows for a few accessories such as carpeted floor mats, an all-weather cargo mat, and mudguards. The Kona delivers 27/33 mpg (25/30 with AWD) and offers 45.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded down. Upgrade beyond our price cap to the Limited or Ultimate trims to replace the Kona’s 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4 with a 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four.

You’ll Like: Can be equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, and a driver attention system (an uncommon driver-assist feature at this price); heated seats and roof rails are standard on the SEL

You Won’t Like: The Limited trim must be purchased in order to get LED taillights, automatic climate control, and foglights; conservative interior design

Motor Trend’s Take: Although the suspension is on the firm side, “it takes a sizable bump or pothole to unsettle the car and bounce you around.” The trade-off is agile handling on winding roads. The optional 1.6-liter turbo-four has plenty of power, and the twin-clutch transmission shifts well. Cargo space is not impressive, but the multimedia system is easy to use and responsive. “If hauling people and gear is your main mission, the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek will serve you better. The Kona puts style and an entertaining driving experience first, especially with the independent rear suspension on all-wheel-drive models,” we said in our First Drive review.

2018 Kia Soul Plus FWD: $24,515

With the front-drive Kia Soul under $25,000, you can get lots of tech or the more powerful 201-hp turbocharged engine (the most powerful one on this list) but not both. If you opt for the midlevel Plus trim, there’s enough in the budget for the Audio package that adds an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Harman Kardon audio system, speaker lights, a proximity key with push-start ignition, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. That still leaves plenty in the budget for accessories including crossbars, interior ambient lighting, a rear spoiler, remote start, and exterior puddle lighting.

For the top turbocharged Exclaim trim, any package will take the Soul over the limit, so a $25,000 budget means settling for the 7.0-inch touchscreen without  the Harman Kardon audio system. The Soul is rated at 25/30 mpg with the Plus’ non-turbo engine and 26/31 mpg with the Exclaim’s turbocharged unit. The Soul isn’t available with all-wheel drive, but it can carry between 49.5 and 61.3 cubic feet of cargo depending on whether you’re using the cargo tray. The NHTSA gave the Soul its highest five-star crash rating.

You’ll Like: Having a choice at this price point between a powerful turbocharged engine or a package with plenty of technology, five-star NHTSA safety rating; loads of cargo space

You Won’t Like: Automatic emergency braking and heated seats can’t be purchased at this price point, AWD is not offered

Motor Trend’s Take: Inside, the Soul offers good interior fit and finish, an easy-to-use multimedia system, and a spacious interior. Even though the Soul has a tall body, body roll is well controlled and the hatchback is fun on back roads. The base engines don’t offer much power, but there’s a turbo-four option. After spending a year with a 2.0-liter Kia Soul (the engine option below the newer 201-hp turbo option), we said, “I grew to appreciate what the Soul was good at, realizing that it has more pros than cons. I never would have considered the Soul before my time in it, so it definitely proved me wrong.”

2018 Toyota C-HR XLE FWD: $24,778

The C-HR subcompact comes in two trims but doesn’t offer all-wheel drive. Because the top XLE Premium trim puts the C-HR above the $25,000 mark, stick with the base XLE trim that comes standard with 18-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated rear camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. The C-HR also comes standard with a package of driver-assist features that includes adaptive cruise control (the only vehicle on this price-sensitive list with that feature), automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, and automatic headlights. There’s still some room left in the budget for several accessories: all-weather floor and cargo mats, door sill protectors, foglights, mudguards, a rear bumper protector, and crossbars. The C-HR is rated at 27/31 mpg, comes with a five-star overall NHTSA rating, and offers up to 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

You’ll Like: Having adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist, unmistakable styling

You Won’t Like: No Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or heated seats at this price point, AWD is not offered, small cargo capacity

Motor Trend’s Take: In Motor Trend SUV of the Year testing, we said, “There were kind words for its unique styling, fun handling, and funky interior with embossed diamond motif. But the C-HR’s lack of capability, utility, and features is made all the more galling by the availability of all-wheel drive, a hybrid powertrain, and a modern infotainment system in global markets. A frustrating entry.”

2018 Ford EcoSport SE FWD: $24,605

Ford’s new subcompact crossover stays below $25,000 with the SE trim, front-wheel drive, and two packages. The SE trims comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, foglights, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Our $24,605 EcoSport SE build also includes the Cargo Management package (cargo net and organizer) and the Cold Weather package (all-season floor liners, heated side-view mirrors, heated steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer). The EcoSport comes with a 27/29 mpg rating (23/29 with AWD) and can carry up to 50.0 cubic feet of cargo.

You’ll Like: Rear parking sensors, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio are standard on the SE

You Won’t Like: Lacks driver-assist safety features at this price, mediocre fuel economy, subpar handling dynamics and ride comfort

Motor Trend’s Take: Designed for overseas markets, the EcoSport does not perform well against rivals from the U.S. due to its poor handling, rough ride, small interior, and subpar interior fit and finish. We ended out First Drive review by saying, “If you don’t need AWD, a Kia Soul is better looking, way more fun to drive, and way cheaper; an HR-V brings legendary Honda resale value; and a $25,905 midgrade Subaru Crosstrek with the EyeSight option package gets world-class crash-prevention systems and adaptive cruise control…”

2018 Chevrolet Trax LT FWD: $24,840

Buyers can load up the Chevrolet Trax’s LT trim, but AWD will put the subcompact above the $25,000 mark (before considering regional incentives). The LT trim comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, automatic headlights, LED taillights, remote start, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The LT Convenience package (a proximity key with push-start ignition, six-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and deluxe cloth seats with leatherette trim) and the Driver Confidence package (blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors) can be added. The front-drive Trax delivers 25/33 mpg (24/30 mpg with AWD), comes with a five-star NHTSA overall rating, and offers up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

You’ll Like: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM are standard, five-star overall NHTSA rating

You Won’t Like: No heated seats or sunroof on models with MSRPs under $25,000

Motor Trend’s Take: The Trax is an average crossover with a decent amount of standard tech. Ride quality is fine (unless you opt for the 18-inch wheels), cornering grip and acceleration are OK, and it lacks stand-out good looks.

2018 Jeep Renegade Latitude FWD: $24,920

Keeping the Renegade below $25,000 is not easy if you want anything higher than the base Sport trim. The Latitude trim features 17-inch alloy wheels (with the automatic transmission), dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, roof rails, foglights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Front-drive is necessary because adding all-wheel drive (or additional packages) puts the price north of the limit. If you want all-wheel drive, opt for the Upland trim that sits below the Latitude and above the Sport trim. If you go that route, the 7.0-inch touchscreen is replaced by a 5.0-inch unit, and you lose Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With front-wheel drive, the Renegade is rated at 22/30 mpg, or 21/29 mpg with all-wheel drive. The subcompact received a four-star overall rating (out of five) from the NHTSA and comes with a maximum cargo capacity of 50.8 cubic feet.

You’ll Like: Lots of cargo space, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard in the Latitude trim

You Won’t Like: No heated seats, sunroof, or proximity key with push-start ignition on models with MSRPs under $25,000, four-star overall NHTSA rating, fuel-economy rating is low for the segment

Motor Trend’s Take: Jeep’s Renegade has a roomy, well-packaged interior and unique styling that stands out from the others on the list. The Trailhawk version provides good off-road capability, but other models with all-wheel drive don’t. Acceleration is average for the segment, but the automatic transmission can be sluggish when power is needed—something that we noted in a long-term update.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE 2.4 FWD: $24,825

Mitsubishi’s most affordable crossover is well equipped and can be purchased for under $25,000 if you opt for the second-highest SE trim without AWD. The SE trim includes 18-inch wheels, a proximity key with push-start ignition, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, foglights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. While still keeping the MSRP under $25,000, you can also order the all-weather floor and cargo mats, crossbars, and a cargo cover. The Outlander Sport is rated at 23/29 mpg with front-wheel drive (23/28 with AWD), comes with a four-star overall NHTSA rating, and holds up to 49.5 cubic feet of cargo.

You’ll Like: Decent cargo space, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto

You Won’t Like: Lacks automatic emergency braking at this price, four-star overall NHTSA rating, mediocre fuel economy

Motor Trend’s Take: The Outlander Sport has not changed much since 2011, and the Mitsubishi shows its age with poor interior fit and finish, lots of engine and road noise, vague steering, and run-of-the-mill handling dynamics. We concluded our First Test review of a 2018 model by saying, “If you’re set on a Mitsubishi, consider the all-new and similarly sized Eclipse Cross. I have driven it, and it’s by far a superior vehicle.”

Larger Options

If the above vehicles are too small for your needs and you still want to stay around $25,000, consider base-model crossovers from the segment one size up. The Honda CR-V (75.8 cubic feet of total cargo space) is the 2018 Motor Trend SUV of the Year. For a $25,245 base front-drive LX trim, you get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, automatic climate control, a multi-view rearview camera, and a USB port. The LX is equipped with a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I-4 and is spacious but lacks the more expensive EX trim’s 7.0-inch touchscreen, more powerful 1.5-liter turbo-four engine, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a proximity key with push-button start, and automatic emergency braking.

The Mazda CX-5, with 59.6 cubic feet of total cargo space, is another good choice. Like the Honda, the CX-5’s base front-drive Sport trim starts above the $25,000 mark at $25,145, and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, LED headlights, low-speed automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. The midlevel Touring trim starts at $27,210 and adds 19-inch wheels, a proximity key with push-start ignition, rear air vents, leatherette seating, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning.

It all comes down to your priorities. If passenger and cargo room are the most important, consider the larger CR-V LX, but if you want lots of options and features, it’s hard to beat the new Nissan Kicks. Need a capable and safe AWD option? Get the Subaru Crosstrek.

The post 11 Well-Equipped SUVs Under $25,000 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

LondonMetric in £55m portfolio buy

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:00
LondonMetric has bought ten single let properties for £55m from the ACT Foundation.
Categories: Property

MetaProp closes $40m proptech fund

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 08:54
MetaProp has closed its second PropTech VC fund early after raising $40m (£30.4m).
Categories: Property

Berkeley profits peak, as Pidgley slams government housing policy

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 08:46
Berkeley Group has revealed a 15% rise in pre-tax profit, but has warned profitability will drop around 30% when it returns to what the housebuilder calls “more normal” levels in the current financial year.
Categories: Property

2019 Honda Insight First Drive: Third Try’s A Charm

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:01

Strapping into the original 2000-model-year Honda Insight, I was never more certain about anything: This will be a hit.

Man oh man, here’s the first hybrid sold in America. It’s a radically aluminum, slippery teardrop of a two-seater that looks like an eye-catching cross between a Chiclet and a space-pod dropped from Venus. Brilliant, brilliant car. And in the end, a few engineering professors did in fact, buy them—but there’s only so many of those, and then it quietly disappeared.

In 2009, I stared at the words “All-New Second-Generation Honda Insight.” This was in the context of a showdown with the recently redesigned, third-generation Prius. What can I say—my only defense for picking the four-door, five-seat Honda the winner was temporary insanity. I was way too enthusiastic about its cheapskate cost of ownership during the frightening downdraft of the Great Recession, and not nearly disturbed enough by its otherwise dreariness. In the end, a few car-hating accountants bought them—but there’s only so many of those, and then it quietly disappeared.

So here I am pecking out the words “Honda Insight” for a third time. A bit nervously, too, I’ll admit. If I screw this one up, who knows what’s going to happen. Perhaps I’ll have my writer epaulettes ripped from my shirt sleeves and be pushed out of the car-guy treehouse. However, just maybe, Honda—and I—have finally learned our lesson: A successful car’s gotta be more than a one-trick pony. It’s reassuring, then, that Honda’s packed the 2019 Insight with both the first edition’s caliber of technology and the second generation’s equally compelling value proposition.

For starters, it recycles the full-hybrid blueprints already used in its bigger brothers—the latest Accord Hybrid and Clarity Plug-In hybrid—but simply shrunk everything to about 75 percent scale. The gas engine is a 107-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder (Atkinson cycle, naturally) with its crankshaft offset to decrease rubbing friction. Most of the time, it spins a generator to energize a 129-hp traction motor. But during highway cruising it might instead find itself simply clutched to the drive wheels via a solitary gear ratio to cut out the electrical middlemen to produce maximum efficiency. If the traffic gets feisty, pressing the accelerator pedal past a subtle (admonishing) resistance point (at 75 percent of its travel) soars the engine revs to make maximum juice and acceleration. And when you’re trying to keep a low profile, there’s an EV mode for briefly slinking through the neighborhood when you get home, um, a bit too late.

The other driving modes are the usual trio of suspects: Eco, Normal, and Sport. Each is software-tailored for its own accelerator alertness and enthusiasm for climate controlling. But it’s the cabin’s repertoire of customizable augmented acoustics that grabbed my attention even more: On top of the always-on sound-cancellation of road rumble, any anomalous change in the 1.5-liter’s volume as its rpm changes is artificially smoothed (satisfying our subconscious expectation that the engine’s volume should steadily climb with revs). Then, in Sport mode, there’s even an additional texture—a subtle snarl layered onto what’s, when naked, simply a thin, raspy exhaust. The effect is rather appealing, actually. Except for the occasional long incline when everything gets entirely too raucous.

With 151 system hp, this feels like a fairly brisk car, and Honda’s probably right when it says the Insight will walk away from a Prius. Yet it’ll do that while being nearly as efficient, too; its LX and EX versions (wearing 215/55 R16 tires) return a triumphant 55/49/52 mpg city/highway/combined (that ebbs slightly to 51/45/48 for the top-drawer Touring version rolling on 215/50 R17s). Here’s the eye-opener: Corrected to contemporary EPA methodology, that first-generation teardrop Insight produced mpgs of 49/61/53 city/highway/combined—a single combined mpg better than this loaded-with-features (and modern crash-safety tech), five-passenger sedan that exhibits virtually none of the polarizing bodywork of aerodynamic sculpting.

The car that surrounds the spiffy drivetrain is a mostly reskinned Civic to visually differentiate it, meaning it’s still a practical five-seater with a notably big back seat and a nice-sized, 15.1-cubic-foot trunk. To maximize those cubic feet, Honda situated the hybrid system’s small, lithium-ion battery under the rear seat, shrinking the tank size to 10.6 gallons (though that’s largely offset by the car’s stingy fuel consumption). And Honda’s trunk team defended its cargo capacity through some unorthodox packaging elsewhere. Snooping under the hood, I paused. Where’s the battery? There’s nothing but hybrid guts in the engine bay. I checked the trunk. Nothing there, either. It turns out that the battery is inside the cabin, under the shifter, where somebody realized there was a little bit of room doing nothing.

On the road, the 2019 Insight seems more solid and drives more fluidly than the tenth-generation Civic platform it’s based on. Although its extra sound deadening didn’t subdue the tires’ occasional yowls on grooved concrete highway, it’s way calmer inside than I expected. Its ride is better isolated via hydraulic front suspension bushings (that are even cooled by little underfloor air scoops), and the front, lower L-arms are redesigned for less longitudinal stiffness (for more relaxed bump compliance) but stiffer laterally for crisper steering feel.

The steering itself is variable-ratio, having happily exorcised of the common demons of nonlinearity, while providing quicker responses near lock for zippy parking. At the other extreme—carving through windy back-road hills—steering turn-in is sweetened by a lighter aluminum hood and the subtle antics of the inside front wheel’s brake pads, which can lightly scuff their disc to amplify yaw. Try to drive dead-straight down a strongly cambered road, and the electrically assisted steering will eventually notice your subtle efforts to countersteer and add its own torque to compensate. Stopping a hybrid often means brake pedal feel that’s as predictable as stepping into a bouncy-house, but this one has kudos-worthy linearity, backed by three-setting, easy-reach finger-tap paddles behind the steering wheel.

Indeed, the list of sophisticated standard features here is roll call of greatest hits: adaptive cruise control (down to 0 mph), lane centering, auto high-beams, a multi-angle rearview camera, traffic sign recognition, collision-mitigation braking, heated side mirrors; the EX and Touring versions get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, SMS text messaging, and plenty more.

At prices stepping from $23,725 for the LX, $24,995 for the EX, and $28,985 for the Touring, it seems that the third time’s finally the charm, right? Not so fast.

Despite all its good stuff—fabulous features, even more fabulous mileage, interior spaciousness, completely unexpected driving sophistication, and sheer technological terrificness—Honda is pushing a boulder uphill by debuting a sedan exactly when other carmakers are axing some of theirs. Moreover, it’s risking cannibalizing its two existing, world-class sedans—the Civic and Accord—that still sell well by threading a complicating needle between them. Things will only get harder if gas prices drop, too.

The first- and second-generation Insights failed due to overspecialization; this one risks having learned that lesson too well. It’s a Swiss Army knife of a car: great at so many things that its audience has left the elevator by the time it’s done making its pitch. Which would be a shame because, after 18 years, it’s a story lots of people would enjoy.

The post 2019 Honda Insight First Drive: Third Try’s A Charm appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Honda Insight first drive: relief in a rising sea

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:01
Consider us as proverbial frogs, adrift in the rising oceans and paying nickels, dimes, and quarters more for gallons of the same gasoline every time we go to the pump. Impervious to the slow march toward $5 a gallon again, we’ll march happily along in crossovers and pickups until our credit cards boil over in exhaustion. Gas can’t get...
Categories: Property

2019 Honda Insight hybrid sedan costs $23,725 to start

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:01
When it goes on sale later this month, the 2019 Honda Insight hybrid sedan will start at $23,725 the automaker announced Wednesday. That price is for a base Insight LX that includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a 5.0-inch display for audio, Bluetooth connectivity, LED headlights, cloth upholstery and a suite of active safety features that includes...
Categories: Property

2019 Honda Insight

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:01
Forget what you may remember about the Honda Insight. The 2019 Honda Insight is the third generation hybrid to wear the “Insight” name but shares little in common with its direct predecessors. The newest Insight takes competent bones passed down from the Civic and adds grown-up looks cribbed from the Accord. The Insight earns a 6.8...
Categories: Property

2019 Mercedes-Benz C300 First Drive: A Car That Talks to Itself

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:01

Take a quick glance at the exterior of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C300, and you’d be forgiven for not spotting any conspicuous visual changes. Squint, and perhaps you might notice the revised shape of the bumpers, or the way the standard LEDs brighten up the head- and taillights at night. But that’s about it.

The choice to keep things similar is intentional, Mercedes says. Customers are happy with how the car looks, so why mess with success? Instead, Mercedes’ focus is to bring the 2019 C-Class up to the top of the tech heap, upgrading its electronics architecture to accommodate the latest and greatest safety features—with a few extra tricks added for good measure. Indeed, it might not look all that different, but the big deal here is that the C-Class is much smarter than before.

All of the intelligent drive features found on the S- and E-Class are now available on the smaller C. Semi-autonomous driving is enhanced by the use of GPS data, automatically adjusting speed for curves and intersections, while upgraded radar and camera systems keep an eye on traffic conditions ahead of and around the car. Active Lane Change Assist is also included—engage the turn signal while the system is operating, and it’ll change lanes for you, even leaving the turn signal on until the maneuver has been completed. Automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are also on hand. Even the climate control is now smarter courtesy of GPS, automatically recirculating the air when the car enters a tunnel and reverting to fresh air upon exit.

Inside, the changes are a little more obvious. Buyers can opt for an all-digital cluster that replaces the traditional speedo and tach with a 12.3-inch configurable display. In the center of the console, the “floating screen” is now a little less prominent. Going from a square shape to a squat rectangle makes it feel more harmonious and less of a tacked-on afterthought. It’s bigger now, too, with the standard screen measuring 7.0 inches and the upgraded display clocking in at 10.3 inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard across the board.

A redesigned steering wheel features the thumb pad controllers from the S- and E-Class, as well. Using little swipes, the driver can use the left one to change the info in the instrument cluster, and the right one to interact with the center display. Continuing with the tactile theme, the COMAND touchpad now offers haptic feedback.

The rest of the interior is a knockout, as it’s been since the C-Class debuted in 2015. My tester wears a domino-inspired scheme, with diamond-quilted white Nappa leather nestled in between swaths of black, part of the optional AMG Line package. And although some might admire the anthracite black open-pore wood trim, it looks a little too artificial and drab for my tastes. The warmth of the brown walnut wood is a much better complement.

In the 2019 C300—the base trim for U.S. buyers—a new 2.0 turbo-four makes 14 more horsepower than the old engine, for 255 hp, while torque stays steady at 273 lb-ft. Peak torque now arrives 500 rpm later at 1,800, likely contributing to the slight manufacturer-estimated dip in 0–60 to 5.9 seconds from 2018’s 5.8.

Part of the horsepower increase comes from how the new twin-scroll turbocharger gets its twist on. Instead of exhaust gases hitting the turbine all at once, it’s now divvied up into two cylinders at a time, providing a more even and metered flow of air. Think of it like blowing out candles on your birthday cake: A big heave of breath might have more power behind it, but it’s the controlled exhale that lasts longer.

The result is a happy little mill, delivering a healthy dose of grunt throughout the rev range with only small pockets of turbo lag on occasion. Even in the upper revs, Mercedes’ 2.0-liter retains its composure, avoiding the thrash and clatter that befalls other four-cylinders. Only at much higher speeds on the autobahn does the C300 begin to show any kind of strain.

Throw it into a corner, and the C300 quickly reminds you that it’s tuned for comfort, not agility, even with the suspension set to its Sport setting. Of course, if it’s more chutzpah you’re after, Mercedes offers the C-Class in C43 guise. And even though the nine-speed automatic delivers its gear changes in a mostly refined fashion, at times it was a little too eager to hold gears after a spirited start. Calm down, C300, I’m just leaving the mall at rush hour.

Speaking of malls, C300 can also notify you if it’s been broken into, or if someone smacks into it while it’s parked, and can similarly tell you if the vehicle is being towed. Details of the incident are beamed to the Mercedes Me app as well as displayed on the center display during startup. In the event of an impact, this optional system uses the accelerometer and anti-theft sensors to determine where the car was hit and indicates the area on an illustration within the alert. Assistance can be summoned if the damage interferes with driving. It’s also technically possible for the car’s cameras to record the incident, though current privacy laws prevent this part of the feature from being activated.

So although the C300 might not look that much different at first glance, the tech has taken a big leap forward. The 2019 C300 sedan will arrive on dealer lots later this year, joined once again by convertible and coupe versions. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect a slight bump in starting MSRP from the 2018 models. All that new tech comes at a price, after all.

Photos of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet and 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 variants are featured in the gallery below.

The post 2019 Mercedes-Benz C300 First Drive: A Car That Talks to Itself appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:01
The 2019 Mercedes C-Class runs deep with upgrades, but a quick glance won’t reveal many of them. Most tuck in under the skin, and that works out beautifully, since the C-Class never met a handsome angle it didn’t like. In C300 or AMG C43 spec (with AMG C63 yet to come), the 2019 C-Class flourishes with a new base engine, and revamped...
Categories: Property