Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Honda CR-V Review and Road Test

It has become clear in the last few years that the Honda CR-V and the Toyota Rav4 are no longer guaranteed to be at the top of buyers lists. The Koreans have made major inroads into the small SUV market and so has GM with their Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. In response to this Honda has brought out a brand new CR-V for 2012. The styling has been updated, or if ask many people its been made much worse. One of the new CR-Vs claims to fame is the fact that it will read out your text messages to you. That sounds great until you find out that it is not iPhone compatible. Never the less Honda seems to be selling a fair number of these, so we should see them sanctimoniously blocking left lanes across the country for years to come. With its somewhat high price and unimpressive standard feature list many buyers are wondering if the CR-V should still be on their shopping list.

Inside the 2012 CR-V seems well-built but lacks any distinctive styling. Sitting in the driver seat you are surrounded with a sea of uniform plastics. Granted they are of a good quality but they lack any distinctive design. A welcome feature is a standard back up camera that provides a good view of what is behind you. In the centre console you will find a USB port as well as a power point and audio line in. In terms of electronic connectivity the CR-V is well equipped even in the base model. To the left of the steering wheel there is a green "econ" button that when engaged will slightly improve the overall fuel economy. The steering wheel is nice to handle and is slightly smaller than most in the class, offering a sporty touch. Rear seat room is adequate but not the best in class. The rear cargo area is small when compared with competitors like the GMC Terrain. Special mention must be given to the system that folds the rear seats down. Instead of a laborious process to get the seats to fold it is quite effortless. When standing a the rear of the vehicle you see two small handles on either side of the cargo area, simply pull one of these and the seat folds its self down using a spring-loaded mechanism. It is an innovative and very convenient feature.

On the road the CR-V is pleasant to drive. The ride is quiet and steering feels easy to use. Acceleration is adequate from the one available engine, a 2.4L 4 cylinder engine. Rated at 185 horsepower it is powerful enough for most daily use but returns above average fuel economy for a small SUV. Honda may want to consider a turbo version of this engine for the many buyers out there who want a little more power. The CR-V takes corners well even at higher speeds, which is impressive given its hefty weight and high centre of gravity. At highway speed the CR-V handles well with little drama. Overall the driving experience is like being in a high-up midsize sedan. The available all-wheel drive system is automatic and will distribute torque to each wheel as needed without any input from the driver. Parking the CR-V is easy thanks to the standard back up camera. There are a few blind spots at the rear which is typical in this segment due to styling.

Delving Into the Honda Accord Coupe

The 2006 Honda Accord Coupe is yet another freshened vehicle for the mentioned model year. It holds two doors and it is a family coupe or a sports coupe. It has the capacity to take in a maximum of five passengers in its spacious cabin. It has also been made available in a couple of trim levels which ranges from the LX to the EX.

Upon its introduction, the Honda Accord LX 5 speed MT comes equipped with a standard 2.4 liter I4 engine. It has the capacity to produce some 166 units of horsepower and can attain 26 mpg for driving in the city and some 34 mpg for travails on the highway. Made standard for this trim level is a five speed manual transmission system with overdrive. As per the EX V6 five speed AT with Navigation and XM radio, this trim level comes with a standard 3.0 liter V6 engine. This engine has the capacity and capability to create some 244 horsepower. It can attain and achieve 20 mpg for driving in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Made standard for this trim level is a five speed automatic transmission system with overdrive.

Despite the great power and performance that this vehicle model holds, the Honda Accord Coupe still has been created with preserving the environment in mind. Truth is, Honda, the automobile manufacturer, has constantly been crafting vehicles that are focused on meeting the environmental challenge. And the company believes that their goal is to produce environment friendly products that still hold a wonderful performance and superb appeal to the market. Aside from that, the company still assures its customer base that just like all Honda vehicles, the 2006 Honda Accord Coupe is easy to own and fun to drive as well.

Insight Into the Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is a hybrid car that represents something automotive analysts understand to be true: the car is as much innovative as it underscores a missed opportunity by Honda.

Honda introduced the two seat Insight to the U.S. market just ahead of the Toyota Prius in 1999. Both cars had been on sale in Japan for a few years, but the Insight beat the Prius to the market by a matter of months. This would be the only time that the Insight finished ahead of the Prius as the latter now is the best selling hybrid model in the world.

Ultra High MPG

That first generation model was sold from 2000 to 2006 and offered outstanding fuel economy, even better than what the Toyota Prius offered. However, with a polarizing body style and room for just two passengers and cramped room at that, not enough people embraced a car despite its 60 plus highway mpg rating.

The original Insight was powered by a 1.0-liter three cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Later year models also offered an automatic transmission, but that option dropped fuel economy considerably, by at least 10 mpg on the highway. Throughout its first model run, the Honda Insight featured a nickel-metal hydride battery system.

Crash Concerns

In an effort to save weight, much of the original Insight's body is made of aluminum with plastic used for its front fenders. This car met America's rigorous crash test requirements, but it barely afforded occupants the protection needed to withstand a crash with a large vehicle. Some common concerns with the car is that it fell short in the handling department when crosswinds were present, a concern of any driver passing over a bridge or being passed by a semi for that matter. Still, if you managed the car right, upwards of 70 mpg on some trips was possible enthusiasts contend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And the Award for the Luckiest Russian Alive This Month Goes To…

Somewhere in the Russian city of Orenburg lives a man who should feel extremely lucky and grateful to have walked away unscathed from a very violent accident that took place at a gas station last week.

It all began when a thoughtless driver of a dump truck attempted to turn into the petrol station at the same time that a bus full of passengers was coming from the other direction.

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Scoop: Is This the All-New 2013 Seat Leon Mk3 Hatchback?

A Spanish forum has posted what they claim to be the first undisguised photo of the third generation Seat Leon hatchback ahead of a rumored official debut next week and well before the car's world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September.

The photo shows the rear end of the car, the sharp styling of which appears to be inspired by the 2010 Seat IBE sports hatch concept.

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Spy Shots: 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Also Being Readied for a Nip & Tuck

Our spy shooters have spotted the facelifted Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe on test in Germany, just a couple of months after we first viewed a prototype of the refreshed E-Class Estate.

As it turns out, the entire E-Class family that includes the four-door sedan, station wagon and the coupe models will drop the quad headlights and obtain a single-unit headlamp on each side, likely incorporating the LED daytime running lights (instead of being mounted on the bumper).

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Carscoop is Looking for New Writers

Are you a news and internet junkie with an obsession about cars who would like to share his or her automotive insights and thoughts with the world?

Well, we may just have something for you as we are seeking new writers who wish to join our motor-head team here at Carscoop.

If you happen to be interested, then by all means, click through the jump to learn more about the details and how to apply for the position.

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New Videos of Aston Martin Vanquish and V12 Vantage Roadster

The two newest models from Aston Martin come into focus in these latest videos, which were filmed under different circumstances.

The first clip is from an exclusive presentation of the new Vanquish at Frankfurt's trendy Klassikstadt, while the second film is from a YouTube user who spotted the also new V12 Vantage Roadster parked on the streets of London.

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Hartmann "Primes" Up the Volkswagen T5 Van

The Volkswagen T5 is one of the German tuning industry's favorite models with dozens of companies offering all sorts of cosmetic and power upgrades for the fifth generation of the Transporter series.

Hartmann's treat for T5 owners goes by the name "Prime" and promises to enhance the looks and performance of the mid-size Volkswagen van.

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These Ladies Should Consider Themselves Lucky

The accident you see here and which was caused by a reckless driver of a Renault Laguna could have ended much, much worse for the two ladies that were standing on the corner of a street, presumably somewhere in Russia.

The Laguna driver foolishly tried to overtake a car that was already turning at the crossroad and as a result, it was catapulted towards the unsuspecting women.

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PSA Peugeot-Citroen Group to Slash 8,000 Jobs in France as its European Sales Tumble

French automobile group PSA Peugeot-Citroen has announced a major restructuring plan that will see the company shutting down one factory and axing some 8,000 jobs in its home market as a response to dwindling sales in Europe.

For the first time in two decades, the company will close a factory in France, the Aulney production site near Paris, which will result in the loss of 3,000 jobs. The company will also shed 1,400 jobs from the Rennes factory and some 3,600 positions in other French sites.

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A Brief Look at the History of the BMW 3-Series

For the past 30 years or so, the 3-Series has been to BMW what the Golf is to Volkswagen: the most popular and brand-defying model in its lineup.

BMW has released a video that takes us on a short tour throughout the history of the 3-Series, starting from the E21 in 1975 and finishing with the newly launched F30.

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2013 SRT Viper Earns its Stripes – Literally and Metaphorically

The new generation of the Viper sports car may have made its world premiere back in April at the New York Auto Show, but up until now, we have only seen the same pre-production model finished in a candy red metallic paint.

Today, the SRT brand released a new picture of a different engineering prototype that the automaker says just "passed its dry-track stability control testing with flying colors".

What makes this pre-production model newsworthy is the new paint job that couples a red hue for the body with twin racing stripes in white running from bumper to bumper.

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Motorbike Racer Stops to Celebrate Win One Lap Too Early…

Someone ought to tell Italian motorcycle racer Riccardo Russo that one should wait for the chequered flag before slowing down and celebrating a win.

In what is surely to be remembered as his most embarrassing professional moment ever, Russo began his celebration ride at the 2012 Italian CV Championship race at the Mugello circuit one lap too early.

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Hyundai Prepares for the Zombie-Apocalypse with Mad Max-Style Elantra Coupe

This is it, Hyundai's ultimate "Zombie Survival Machine". Following the release of a handful of teaser photos from the development phase earlier today, the South Korean carmaker blew the covers off the customized model at San Diego’s Comic-Con fest.

The Elantra Coupe Zombie Survival Machine is the design work of the creator of "The Walking Dead" comic series Robert Kirkman, with Southern California-based fabricator Design Craft taking the project from paper to reality.

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New Lexus GS F Sport Sedan Tuned by Wald International

If the factory-tweaked F Sport version of the new Lexus GS sedan isn’t doing the trick for you in the styling department, Japan's premium tuner Wald International is preparing a new assortment of cosmetic accessories.

The tuner said it is currently putting the final touches on its new "Executive Line" aero package for the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport, as evidenced by the photos below.

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Truck Video Teased for the First Time

General Motors' bestselling pickup truck is due for a redesign next year and to prepare us and create some buzz before the unveiling of the new generation of the Chevrolet Silverado, the Detroit carmaker has dropped a short teaser video showing a camouflaged prototype model put through its final paces on the road.

The new Chevy Silverado and its GMC sibling, the Sierra, will likely be based on a modified version of GM's current GMT900 body-on-frame platform for full-size pickup trucks.

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New 2013 Ford Focus ST gets an EPA Rated Fuel Economy of up to 32mpg

Ford has announced the official fuel economy numbers for its new 2013 Focus ST hot hatchback.

The five-door model with the 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine rated at 252 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft will return an EPA-estimated 23mpg (10.2lt/100km) in city driving, 32mpg (7.35lt/100km) on the highway and a combined label of 26mpg (9.0lt/100km).

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Scoop: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Filmed in Spain by a Bicyclist

For the second time this year after a bicyclist inadvertently stumbled upon an undisguised A-Class hatchback that had not yet been revealed, an upcoming Mercedes-Benz model has been caught on film by a biker.

In this case, it's the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon, which was nabbed on camera while entering a guarded residential area in Berlin Spain.

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