If you want to get a small truck, it could possibly be a good concept to lift your hand now. Even though the Tacoma is here to remain for the direct future, it’s one of very few compact version staying in a relatively dwindling corner of the industry. The Tacoma is one of the few cars provided in basic, short-wheelbase form. Perhaps even it has led up through the years; it and rival designs such as the GMC Canyon and Nissan Frontier could be thought to be mid-sizers in some aspects. For us, there’s still considerably a place for vehicles like the 2012 Tacoma, which provides those who don’t require the hardcore carrying and towing ability of the full-size trucks but still need day-to-day workhorse durability.
It is known to us all, the Toyota Tacoma hasn’t transformed drastically in quite a few years. And even though it’s carried into 2012, the ratios of the grille have been extended just a bit, and the lower dam and the bumper have been contoured to seem more aggressive–with the net impact painting the front end as a bit taller than larger than before. Given that you’re not attempting to move too speedily or push or carry much of a load—the base 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder will deal with well enough. The 4.0-liter V-6 that’s supplied on the rest of the lineup offers a entirely different character, as it creates 236 horsepower and an even more significant 266 pound-feet of torque—enough to move the Tacoma rapidly even when you have a hefty load.
In terms of the five-speed manual transmission, it changes smoothly but has long throws; both the four-speed automatic that’s optionally available with the the five-speed automatic and and four-cylinder that’s regular on V-6 models are sensitive. Overall, ride and handling are a little unsatisfactory in the Tacoma—even among pickups, which generally do trade off some ride relaxation and nimbleness for heavy-carrying ability. The steering is excellent and communicative, but the car, on each of the several Tacomas we’ve experienced, has been choppy and hard — to the stage that on pockmarked city areas, the tires basically lose connection with the road. And maneuverability in the Tacoma doesn’t seem any better than that of a full-size truck. For 2012, the Tacoma has some much-needed audio-system developments, with the standard system integrating built-in Bluetooth hands-free online connectivity, as well as a USB or iPod port. The foundation system has six speakers now and even that is satellite-radio capable.
Also new to the Toyota Tacoma line is the Entune system, which packages navigation functions, voice commands, Bluetooth audio streaming and real-time traffic and weather, among other features. To get more info about some special car parts, you can refer to carpart4u.com.
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In this business, models of earlier vehicles are always re-introduced time and time again with little to no justification for an older buyer to purchase a new one that it has left us car owners somewhat sceptical when another “rechristening” is announced by a major company.
But leave it to Dodge to make things look a bit more exciting—this time, they have focused their sights on a car model that badly needs a reinvention: the much-maligned Sports Utility Vehicle. And with this in mind, let us welcome back an older, yet trimmer, friend of ours back to the market and to the hearts of Vancouver Dodge patrons everywhere, the 2012 Dodge Durango.
Okay, we know that “small cars” are all the rage nowadays, but remember the time when it was deemed “cool” to ride inside a bulky vehicle and making you feel like you’re the center of attention everywhere when you’re out on the road? Well, you may be able to recapture that feeling once you test-drive this bad boy out from any of your local Langley Dodge or Langley Chrysler dealerships.
And it’s not just any SUV, no sir, no—the core model has been updated to modern standards to enable the driver to feel like s/he is not driving a relic from the Dubya era. Want more convincing then? To suit the taste of every car connoisseur, the 2012 Dodge Durango comes in four trims that are sure to cater to the tastes of the modern car owner. Here are some of them:
Economical SXT (Rear-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive)
The first rule that every car owner should abide—buy only what you can afford. That does not mean, however, that you should really settle for some embarrassingly dirt-cheap models. As evidenced by the Economical SXT, you can always maximize your value for your buck. Some of its corresponding features include:
An automatic glass sunroof
A dual-zone climate control system
Multimedia entertainment system
Five-speed, OD automatic transmission
Adjustable air-conditioning in the rear
Switchable fog lights
Hands-free key fob system
18″ aluminium-plated mags
Updated Antilock Braking System (ABS)
V-6 engine with 3.6 liter capacity
Parksense automatic collision system
If you were familiar with the earlier builds of the Dodge Durango, you may have noticed that the Base Express and Heat trims are conspicuously absent on this year’s models. Instead of saddling us, the humble consumers, with models that we will surely have little use for, the manufacturers have instead opted for the more commercially sound SXT, Crew, R/T and Citadel models. If that’s not corporate responsibility, then I don’t know what is.
Jazzy Crew (Rear-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive)
I do not know what the name has to do with it, but I have to say that this model still boasts some really sweet features. First off, the Jazzy Crew retains all the features of the SXT, but with the addition of a Garmin-patented voice-activated Global Positioning system (GPS) and a—get this—automatic “seat heater” for both the front and the rear seats. Finally, the V-6 engine (with a 5-speed automatic transmission) only sweetens the deal even further. How many times did I mention “sweet’ already? Twice? Anyways, it’s still—ahem—sweet
Rampaging R/T (Rear-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive)
The overt “maleness” of this particular model only serves to accentuate how powerful the vehicle can really perform. If you need proof, look no further than the features listed below:
Automatic dual-zone climate control
ABS and driveline traction system
Parksense parking assistance application
DVD-based entertainment system with digital storage media
Voice-based GPS application (Garmin-branded)
Temperature-controlled front and back seats
Rear air-conditioning system with corresponding control system
Alternating driving and fog lights
20″ aluminium-painted wheels
Key fob system on all doors of entry
Want to know one surprising fact I have discovered about the R/T trim version? A female—of all persons—was the one who bravely volunteered to test-drive this beast of a vehicle from my local Langley Chrysler dealer. And guess what was her reaction was upon alighting from the car? She was beaming from ear to ear, I tell you. She was raving to me about how the 5.7 liter HEMI V-8 engine had jacked up that car’s performance to such outstanding proportions that it only felt natural driving it along with a six-speed transmission inside.
You really have to look out for this one when you are planning to buy a 2012 Dodge Durango.
Classy Citadel (Rear-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive)
For the car consumer who only wants nothing but the best, the features of this SUV include:
A sliding/tilting glass sunroof on the first row
An automatic built-in climate control system
ABS and driveline traction control
Temperature-controlled front and back seats
Multimedia entertainment system
Built-in heaters on both driver and passenger seats
Separate air-conditioning controls on the back seat
Customizable fog lights
An updated key fob system
Yes, this model may be a bit on the expensive side of things, but if you’ve got other features like Nappa leather on your car seats, a 20’’ chrome-plated gams and some personalized chrome grille on the front, and a cross-path warning system on top of a V-6 engine, then of course you would really have to think long and hard if you think that the Citadel model should indeed be right for you.
By now, you may already know that there are already two distinct “big” cars that are each used for very different purposes. The Jeep that I bought from my local Langley Jeep dealer should be driven on my way to the woods. Of course, SUVs like the 2012 Dodge Durango—available from your local Langley Dodge or any Dodge dealer—are meant to be driven on the wide expanse of the city and the suburbs.
Now that we have cleared this all up, this vehicle should only disprove the notion that SUVs are so 2004. Test-drive one now, and soon enough, you’ll be chuckling to yourself at why you have ever abandoned your SUV at the first place.
Langley Chrysler is one of British Columbia’s largest Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealerships. We are located in the heart of the Lower Mainland on the edge of the Surrey and Langley border. Langley Chrysler is considered a World Class facility in the middle of the auto mile on the Langley Bypass. With a great leadership team that is dedicated to service excellence, and committed to providing exceptional customer experience, Langley Chrysler has become a recognized leader in their industry. Visit our Vancouver Dodge chain today.
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The hottest production Camaro ever built will make its debut early next year — the 550-horsepower ZL1 model, which Chevrolet unveiled during the recent media preview of the Chicago auto show.
Under the hood will be a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 engine that also cranks out 550 foot-pounds of torque at just 3,800 rpm, connected to a six-speed Tremec manual gearbox.
This isn’t a brand-new engine — Cadillac introduced it on the 2009 CTS-V sedan and has since expanded it to the CTS-V Coupe. In those cars, it’s rated at 556 horsepower and 551 foot-pounds of torque.
The all-aluminum, small-block LSA engine is a variation of the 638-horsepower LS9 V-8 that powers the latest Corvette ZR1 super car. In that vehicle, it has 604 foot-pounds of torque.
Perhaps the Camaro would have gotten the LSA engine first had the newest generation of the Chevy come to market before the CTS. But 2010 was the first year for the re-introduced Camaro, which had been out of production since 2002.
The ZL1 will have some other features found on the Cadillac, especially Magnetic Ride Control, along with “advanced materials,” General Motors says, including a vented carbon-fiber hood insert.
Computer-aided design and wind-tunnel testing helped GM develop the ZL1’s aerodynamic body for high-performance driving. It will come with “track-ready handling and braking,” the automaker said.
No performance data have been released yet, such as top speed and zero-to-60 or quarter-mile times.
GM said it took the ZL1 name from an all-aluminum racing engine of the same designation that was developed in the late 1960s and used on just 69 of the 1969 production Camaro models. That engine was rated at 430 horsepower and 450 foot-pounds of torque.
The company said the 1969 cars with the ZL1 engines have “achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance until now.”
“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, Chevy’s marketing vice president. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”
This is an effort to keep the Camaro excitement going after a hugely successful launch of the coupe for 2010 and the addition of the convertible model for 2011.
“The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new — a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street,” GM said. “To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.”
It’s not just a regular Camaro with a more powerful engine. While the vehicle’s overall appearance is close to that of the regular coupe, there are many changes designed to enhance its performance and to accommodate the higher speeds that this vehicle will run.
“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, GM’s vice president for global design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”
Differences in the appearance from the regular Camaro coupe include a new front fascia and a unique hood with air extractors, which the company said were “designed in tandem to create aerodynamic down force to aid handling.”
The hood’s center section is made of the carbon fiber and has a satin black finish. There also are new rocker panels, wider tires, 20-inch wheels and special exhaust tips. ZL1 badges on the grille, hood and the brake calipers help identify the car as a special model.
As with many newer cars, especially the hybrids, the ZL1 comes with electric power steering, so no engine power is drained off to assist in the steering effort.
The dual-mode exhaust system “alters the sound level and character” in response to engine speed, GM said. This system was borrowed from the Corvette and is designed to give the ZL1 its own signature sound.
The heavy-duty disc brakes were developed with help from Brembo and include 14.6-inch, two-piece front rotors with six-piston calipers. At the rear are 14.4-inch rotors with four-piston calipers.
Other special features include vertical P13W fog lights, with air intakes to help cool the brakes. High-intensity-discharge headlights are standard, and there is a rear spoiler, as well.
The 20-inch wheels are lighter than the ones that come on the Camaro SS model, and they’re fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires developed just for the ZL1.
Inside, there are heated leather bucket seats up front with microfiber suede inserts. Other features include a special steering wheel that is flat at the bottom, alloy pedals, a head-up display that projects the speed and other information onto the bottom of the windshield in front of the driver, and a “four-pack” of gauges.
The ZL1 will be offered in all of the colors available on other Camaro models, but black will be the only interior color.
There is room for four inside. The front seats both have six-way power adjustments. Also included are a standard Boston Acoustics premium audio system, rear-parking assist and a rearview camera (with the display in the rearview mirror), Bluetooth phone connection, a unique instrument panel and door-panel inserts, and a USB port.
No prices have been announced yet. The official on-sale date will be announced later, but GM said it expects the car to be available early in 2012.
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At the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, FIAT showed a mysterious concept car called the “FIAT 500 BEV”. Journalists were told this was a working title for the little car on display and the BEV suffix stood for Battery Electric Vehicle. There wasn’t much data released at the show so it appears that FIAT simply wanted to make the statement that “they too” were investing in the electric car concept. Journalists noted that electric drivetrain part was fantastic but the car’s utilitarian look needed a little help.
Well, fast forward two years and things have changed a little. Now officially named the Fiat 500E, Fiat has jazzed things up a little and the first FIAT 500Es will be shown to the public at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show starting Nov. 30, 2012. Pictured below in striking orange decor, the first 500Es will be available first in California. We visited our Arrigo Palm Beach FIAT dealer and they suggested that later in 2013 that they may be released to other FIAT dealers.
As far as technology details are concerned, we are told that Chrysler technology is behind the 500E’s electric running gear. This makes perfect sense as it would seem a natural to install an all-electric drivetrain into the FIAT 500 rather than a larger car, say a Dodge Dart. Not only does the FIAT 500 present a smaller, much lighter form factor, having an electric FIAT would frankly be good for FIAT US public relations.
Pricing has yet to be determined on the 500E but competitive forces would likely put in the $30K range as this would be less than the other electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf (retail $36,050), Ford Focus Electric (retail $39,900), and the Chevy Volt (retail $39,145). As previously stated, we should all know quite a bit more about the 500E as soon as the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show opens.
Compact sedans and other vehicle models are beginning to make a true impact on the automotive market. Earlier, the compact was frowned upon because: a) it didn’t offer drivers enough power, b) most were front-wheel drive only, c) they compromised class and comfort with crunch, and nobody likes being crunched.
The 2012 Lancer Ralliart debunks all three of the above reasons why most people do not buy compact vehicles. The Ralliart is a high-performance compact sedan and comes with what they call, all wheel control (AWC), providing drivers with more grip and control of their vehicle in slipper weather conditions. The electronic all-wheel drive system left us starstruck by how far technology has come along. You are able to calibrate the AWD for certain road conditions, let it be gravel, snow, or hardtop. More specifically the all-wheel drive Lancer Ralliart is the high-performance trim of the Lancer model-lineup. The Ralliart comes with an inter-cooled turbocharged 2.0 liter engine that surprises a lot of people by pushing nearly 240 horsepower. That’s not all, the Ralliart comes with Yokohama speed tires, and a 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission. Say what? A tongue-twister, but it gives the driver an incredibly sporty feel.
Power is one thing, but how does it handle? The Lancer Ralliart took to the corners as we expected any high-performance compact would, tight, hugging the line for dear life, and with us white-knuckling the wheel. The Ralliart was a thrilling ride, one of the sportiest compact sedans we have driven in a while. The new Sportronic transmission provided great up-shift and downshift around town – even more so when we accelerated onto the highway to open it up.
After our rally-car like experience with the Ralliart, we decided to stop over at The Firkins Automotive Group to give the Lancer SE a spin. Even with the spoiled experience we had with the Ralliart, the SE still offered a lot of torque for a compact sedan. The throttle hums beautifully, and if we hadn’t played with the sportier Ralliart, we both agreed that the Lancer SE offered much more than you would anticipate for such a small car. The SE or the Ralliart, either way the Lancer did not disappoint.