2020 GMC Sierra Review: The Pickup With X-Ray Vision for Trailering

Federal mandates require one camera for backing up in all vehicles. The 2020 GMC Sierra full-size pickup truck matches and raises the feds. You can have cameras on all four sides, looking down into the pickup bed, another inside your trailer, another looking behind the trailer — as many as fifteen camera views of the trailer alone. The most fascinating is an X-ray view that effectively sees through your trailer and shows the view. GMC has finally solved the blind-spot problem with trailers.

Add in the carbon fiber bed liner and six-way MultiPro folding tailgate introduced last year, more efficient and more powerful gas and diesel engines, and the ability for a pair of the heaviest-duty Sierras to carry the payload of an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler, and it shows GMC more than matches the competition in new features.

Upscale Brand, Great HUD, Not Afraid to Get Dirty

GMC is the upscale pickup truck and SUV brand to Chevrolet, as Lincoln would be to Ford if Lincoln did more than dabble in the pickup business (Blackwood 2002, Mark LT 2006). For now, GMC has several innovations — they are more than gimmicks — that make its pickups a viable alternative to the similar Chevrolet Silverado that hasn’t yet gotten GMC’s technology. The 2020 models tested here are GMC’s heavier duty pickups, the Sierra 2500 HD and Sierra 3500 HD, both of which are beefier than the mainstream GMC Sierra 1500 LD (light duty) introduced a year ago. The HD pickups are for people who tow big boats or trailers or want a full-size heavy-duty pickup (Sierra AT4) to go off-roading. “Light-duty” is a relative term; the Sierra 1500 LD can tow up to 9,300 pounds, versus 4,000 pounds for a midsize GMC Acadia SUV or 8,100-8,500 pounds for the full-size Yukon Denali SUV.

Here’s what I found driving various GMC heavy-duty pickup trucks on the highways, country roads, and hilly/muddy off-road areas of Wyoming and Idaho: These are serious trucks. The new features, such as the cameras, multi-way tailgate, and carbon fiber bed liner, are all useful. The crew cab cockpits are roomy, there are plenty of USB jacks, the cupholders are sized for Big Gulp cups, the diesels really haul yet one gets 30 mpg on the highway, and the competition should figure a way to work around any patents GMC has on its camera system. The head-up display provides the biggest image I’ve seen, and one of the most useful. The one tech downside is the eight-inch center stack display looks positively tiny in a truck that fits three NFL linemen side-by-side in the crew cab row.

GMC Sierra’s Transparent Trailer Rear Camera View. Software working with the cameras identifies the edges of the trailer box, outlines them, and makes the inside transparent so the center stack LCD shows the view as you had an X-ray camera. The software also has to do some parallax corrections since the trailer box camera could be 30 feet behind the truck bed camera.

Amazing ProGrade Trailering Camera System

Rear side camera view when turning left.

No surprise: Full-size pickup trucks are big (213 to a whopping 247 inches long for the Sierra HD). Possible surprise: Not every driver is 100 percent comfortable driving a pickup and a trailer. Maybe the owner feels savvy, but less so the spouse/partner or young adult family member, who has to share the driving. The ProGrade Trailering System cameras give normal people a chance to drive more safely and confidently. With the multi-camera package, you have these views:

  1. Front view
  2. Front top-down view
  3. Front side view
  4. Rear view (with a trailer, you’d see the hitch and front of the trailer)
  5. Rear top-down view
  6. Rear side camera
  7. Rear trailer view (looking back from atop the trailer)
  8. Picture-in-picture side-view camera (rear side views and the view behind the trailer — the view that cries out for a Ram 1500- or Tesla-size LCD)
  9. Bowl view (looking back showing the truck and trailer, using realistic icon imagery, as if a drone flew 10 feet in front of your truck)
  10. Transparent trailer rear camera
  11. Bed view
  12. Hitch view
  13. Rearview mirror camera (the optical inside mirror that flips to a wide-angle LCD camera view)
  14. Rear surround view (wide-angle)
  15. Inside trailer view

The camera system can switch views automatically, or when you flip the turn signal blinker. Say you’re driving and start to make a turn. The system switches to cameras on the turning side and you get a wide-angle view of the truck, trailer, roadway, and possible hazards such as center berms, curbs, or vehicles possibly within the arc of your turn. I found this most helpful making wide turns (the only kind possible here) with a 30-foot trailer and 14,000 pounds of cargo. Sometimes you don’t always see things, like say a Suzuki Samurai that is but a blip in the side mirror otherwise.

Currently, ProGrade Trailering works with box trailers (the ones that haul stuff, or horses) or camping trailers up to 32 feet long. Boat trailers are currently not compatible.

Land Rover’s Transparent Bonnet concept of 2014 shows what’s under the hood when driving off-road.

X-Ray Vision: Good Idea, Finally in Production

Samsung Transparent Truck

Others have shown X-ray concepts over the years. Land Rover five years ago demoed a Transparent Bonnet, which uses the forward-facing camera plus time-lapse to show off-roaders the rocks and hazards under the hood (bonnet). It also showed a concept Transparent Trailer which does exactly what GMC’s ProGrade Trailering system does.

In 2015, Samsung showed an even-more conceptual Samsung Transparent Truck. The rear of the truck box would show a video image of the road ahead, useful for showing cars behind when it’s not safe to attempt a pass on a two-lane road as in the image (right).

Hauling Big Loads

The point of a heavier-duty pickup is the ability to haul bigger loads, or be ready to haul them should the need arise. To wit, a recent Ford survey of big-SUV intenders said virtually all wanted to tow trailers. But only a handful actually towed anything their current vehicles. GMC may tell you that’s SUVs and not pickups, or Ford and not GMC. But still: People often buy vehicles for the most extreme use they might have over their years of ownership or lease.

A pair of GMC Sierra HD 3500 pickups, suitably equipped, can haul nearly as much as an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer. A gooseneck trailer (with the hitch in the truck bed) can be 35,500 to 43,500 pounds. Watch your mirrors, Peterbilt.

There are four-, six-, and eight-cylinder gasoline engine choices, at least if you include the Sierra 1500 LD along with the 2500 and 3500 HD. For hauling, diesels are the choice since you want to maximize torque. Torque, not horsepower, is what gets a truck and 10,000-pound trailer up a 6 percent grade, and torque is an attribute of diesels (also electric motors). The base diesel for Sierra is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with 277 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque, allowing a tow load of 9,100 pounds or a cargo load of 1,830 pounds, which is less than the sibling Chevy Silverado, the Ford F-150, and Ram 1500, all rated for 10,000-pounds-plus towing. GMC says it wanted a 30-mpg highway rating for the 1500 LD. For those who dislike pickups because they’re big and therefore fuel-inefficient, the light-duty diesel is an elegant rebuttal.

Anyway, GMC says, people who want to haul more than 10,000 pounds typically go for the HD trucks. They did this knowing competitors will beat up on GMC for selling a diesel that hauls less than 10,000 pounds.

For the HD Sierras, there’s a gas-engine 6.6-liter V8 with 401 hp and 464 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic. An optional Duramax 6.6-liter diesel produces 445 hp (not much more than the gas engine), but with 910 pound-feet of torque and connected to a 10-speed Allison automatic transmission. That’s a $9,500 upgrade. Add a second-wheel (still one axle) on each side in back, the big Duramax, and you have a regular cab Sierra HD DRW (dual-rear-wheel) that has a gross combined weight rating of 43,500 pounds, a fifth-wheel hitch tow rating of 32,000 pounds, a gooseneck trailer rating of 35,500 pounds, and a max payload of 6,532 pounds. Every Sierra HD, gas or diesel, 2500 or 3500 HD, tows at least 14,500 pounds.

Fans of Ford and Ram will note that depending on configuration, their brand has more of X-feature. Ram’s Cummins HD diesel is rated at 1,000 pound-feet of torque, most notably. All this shows that no one has a clear or long-term advantage in the specs wars, which makes GMC’s newest features – ProGrade Trailering (the cameras), the MultiPro tailgate and the carbon fiber bed so compelling.

The GMC Sierra AT4 off-roading and kicking up dirt in the Rocky Mountains. It makes for great photos. Note the photographer mired in the mud, getting in-close for a great shot …

Off-Roading: Why Not?

GMC has a solid, midsize off-road capable truck in the GMC Canyon, sibling to the Chevrolet Colorado. Now there’s an all-new 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty AT4 with off-road suspension, Rancho shocks, skid plates, an Eagon locking rear differential, an off-road mode for the traction selection system, hill-descent/hill-start assist, an off-road inclinometer in the optional head-up display, and a surround vision system with low-speed views showing vehicle surroundings such as big rocks and ditches.

… The same Sierra AT4, this time splashing through the mud. Note the photographer (NOT the author) suffering for his art. He stepped back for this lap. But not far enough.

I toured an off-road course GMC set up for the AT4 and would have happily spent the entire day there. There is nothing like getting dirty a truck you don’t own, and giving it back in the same condition, with no repercussions.

If you’re an off-roader, you already know this: Big pickups are fine for off-roading in wide-open spaces. On narrow trails, a smaller vehicle is better. It’s one reason the Jeep Wrangler sells and sells.

The GMC Sierra pickup ranks fourth in 2019 sales among full-size pickups. (The Tacoma is a midsize.)

Should You Buy?

The GMC Sierra full-size pickups trail Ford, Ram, and Chevrolet in sales. But GMC is ahead on features, especially for towing. (Ford has one useful feature that hasn’t been matched: Pro Trailer Backup Assist, a dashboard knob that turns the whole truck and trailer in the direction you want, without fear of jackknifing or figuring which way to turn the steering wheel.) The fourth-generation Sierra launched in 2019 with the 1500 LD; the 2500 HD and 3500 HD are new for summer 2019.

From low to high, the GMC Sierra trim lines are SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and Denali. The carbon fiber bed comes standard in the top three trim lines, optional in the others. There are regular and long cargo boxes, and single cab, double cab, and crew cab seating configurations.

If you want the most flexible towing options, GMC is the go-to brand. The camera system is outstanding and should be put on 18-wheeler trucks as well, to improve safety. GM has improved the state of the art, and vehicle safety, with its ProGrade camera system. It’s a gem.

The carbon fiber bedliner definitely protects against dents and damage. Some of GMC’s comparative-advantage claims use extreme tests cases such as sharp objects dropped from 25-50 feet up. Lots of pickup trucks survive extreme daily use with many small dents and never a puncture. A spray-on bedliner minimizes cosmetic damage, while GMC’s CarbonPro bed virtually stops cosmetic and puncture damage. If you’re into a pickup for $60,000 or more, $1,000 for a carbon bed isn’t unreasonable.

The Sierra 1500 now gets adaptive cruise as an option, but the best you can get with the 2500 and 3500 HD is cruise control. ACC on the big pickups would be a benefit, suitably modified so ACC’s minimum following distances are modified relative to the cargo you’re carrying. A pickup with 10,000 pounds of cargo takes a longer time slow or stop.

There are only a couple downsides you should know about the GMC Sierra series. The Sierras you want cost a lot, same as pickups from every maker. The higher-end AT4 and Denali trim lines are quite nice, but overall Ram and F-150 have nicer interiors at comparable trim lines, even when GMC is the one premium-nameplate, pickup-truck maker.

If technology matters, GMC has a lot to offer than no one else: the great head-up display, the unmatched camera system, the carbon fiber bad, and the multi-way tailgate.

Now read:

10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute email address is a disposable temporary email that self-destructed after a 10 minutes. https://tempemail.co/– is most advanced throwaway email service that helps you avoid spam and stay safe. Try tempemail and you can view content, post comments or download something

2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar Review: the PHEV Path to High Performance

The new Volvo XC60 Polestar Engineered is how other future performance cars should be propelled, as long as we have combustion engines: with help from electric booster motors in addition to turbochargers and superchargers. That is the case with the 2020 Volvo T8 XC60 eAWD Polestar-Engineered, a compact SUV with a big name, meant to compete with the Audi SQ5, BMW X3 M, Mercedes-AMG GLC 43, and even the Porsche Macan S.

For $70,000, you get a car that’s fast, safe, roomy for four, and tastefully appointed inside. This plug-in hybrid EV is good for about 17 miles on battery alone, with the battery caching enough electricity to take you from zero to 60 mph in as little five seconds. The XC60 PE runs $30,000 more than the entry XC60, much of the extra cost from equipment made standard and the rest from PHEV technology and go-fast parts.

XC60 PE on the Road

The XC60 Polestar Engineered retains much of the ride smoothness, cabin amenities, and driver assists of the second-generation XC60 that debuted a year ago. It is a lot faster, the PE’s 11.6-kWh battery lets you drive electrically in HOV lanes without the burden of carpool passengers, and the optional 22-inch wheels and 35-series tires will be pothole magnets outside Florida and Arizona. This test drive, however, was scenic Banff in the Canadian Rockies. Canada, apparently, has built a border wall that keeps out American-style potholes.

When you tromp the throttle to pass, the XC60 responds very quickly. Volvo cites the 5-second 0-60 time; I was able to get down to 6 seconds on a private airfield made available to Volvo, but had to abort the last and seemingly best run because a private plane was landing at the other end. (The cars, the plane, and the makeshift tower were in radio contact.) On slalom and emergency braking courses, there was very little body roll in testing, and the Akebono brakes hauled the car down from near-double-digit speeds while maintaining a straight line. Under the hood are user-adjustable Swedish Ohlins shock absorbers you can dial in to 20-some settings by opening the hood and turning the gold-colored knob at the top of the shock tower. In doing this Volvo stepped back from adaptive suspensions that adjust the ride and handling multiple times a second. I’m not sure this is an improvement for most drivers.

There are six drive modes accessed by a shiny console roller wheel (that is a bit slippery) and that controls engine, transmission, steering, brakes, stability control, and auto start/stop functions, including Hybrid, Pure (prioritizes battery operation), Power, AWD, Off-Road, and Individual. A Hold-and-Charge button maintains the current battery level for later use (Hold) or brings the battery up to a fixed level (Charge). The PE model also has the crystal starter knob but not the Orrefors crystal shifter that, to some, brings ostentation into the cockpit (and then got copycatted by BMW).

Volvo put a lot of work into smoothing the transition from electric to gas-only driving and back, as well as to the braking transition from power regeneration to friction.

Back-seat passengers have reasonable room and supportive seats. They only thing they might wish for is their own USB jacks, an oversight on any 2020 car, let alone one at this price point.

Unlike a lot of sporty cars and SUVs, the XC60 Polestar Engineered never rides harshly.

Tech and Safety Features

It’s a Volvo. It’s safe. End of discussion. If you must know, safety includes the following:

Volvo On Call (telematics), roll stability control, electronic stability control, lane keeping aid, drowsy/distracted driver alert control, oncoming lane mitigation, road sign information, automatic braking after collision, run-off road mitigation, run-off road protection, collapsible steering column, safety belt pre-tensioners, safety belt load limiters, automatic unlocking after collision, collapsible brake pedal, city safety (includes accident avoidance or mitigation with 37 mph speed difference), intersection auto brake, pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection with auto brake & brake support, energy absorbing seat cushions, front, side & knee airbags, inflatable curtain airbags, anti-submarining protection in seat design, forward collision warning (including short brake pulse. audible warning signal, warning in driver display or head-up display).

Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system is very good, keeping the car centered while maintaining a set speed or pacing the car in front. A Level 2 autonomous car by definition must have adaptive cruise control and lane centering assist.

Other driver assists include lane centering assist and blind-spot detection (blind-spot information system) with steer assist that provides counter-steering when trying to merge into a nearby vehicle’s path and oncoming lane mitigation that tries to avoid a collision if you drift in the path of an oncoming vehicle, at anywhere from 37 to 87 mph. Basically: It reacts before you might, you can always overcome the force, and you don’t have to arm-wrestle the wheel the way you do with BMW’s over-active steering corrections.

The instrument panel is a 12.3-inch LCD (“Digital Driver Display,” now standard at Volvo), and the 9-inch center stack, portrait-orientation center touchscreen (“Sensus Connect”) continues. Some owners and reviewers ding Sensus Connect for complexity. The main trick to Sensus karma is remembering if you don’t see what you want, swipe left or right for two additional screens.

Seventy large gets you gold seatbelts with the XC60 Polestar Engineered.

Polestar: How You Beat Volvo’s 112 mph Cap

The XC60 Polestar adjuster knob on the Ohlins shocks is also gold.

Polestar is Volvo’s performance sub-brand, a joint venture of Volvo and Volvo parent Geely. Polestar will be an electrified performance brand. Its first two vehicles are Polestar 1, a “low-volume electric performance [plug-in] hybrid GT,” with 600 hp and a battery range of 93 miles (150 km), and Polestar 2, an EV-only vehicle competing with Tesla Model 3. Polestar Engineered will apply performance techniques to new Volvos such as the XC60 PE here, but also as performance and software tweaks for existing Volvos. And there is a related Polestar Racing team.

When Volvo announced would cap top speeds at 112 mph (180 km/h) in 2021, in the interests of higher safety and lower energy consumption, Polestar was not subjected to the mandate. Otherwise, Volvo would be competing with one hand tied behind its back against the performance models from Acura, Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. The SQ5 and MB-AMG GLC top out at 155 mph, the Macan S at 157, and the X3 M at 174, for instance. The XC60 Polestar Engineered will reach 140 mph. Close enough.

Volvo XC60 Models and Trims

The XC60 Polestar Engineered sits atop the XC60 food chain. Except for the XC60 PE, there are three four-cylinder engine choices: T5 turbocharged with 250 hp, T6 turbocharged and supercharged with 316 hp, and T8 turbocharged, supercharged plus an electric motor, with 400 hp, or 415 hp for the Polestar Engineered.

The trim lines and variants are:

XC60 Momentum, $41,790-$55,590 base prices (plus packages and options). On all trim lines, front-drive is for the T5 only and AWD adds $2,300, T6 AWD adds another $3,500, and T8 eAWD adds $8,000.

XC60 R-Design, $48,490-$62,290 base prices for the four engine/drivetrain variants. This is the sporty model. The T8 R-Design comes pretty close to the Polestar Engineered model.

XC60 Inscription, $48,490-$62,290 base prices. This is the luxury model.

XC60 eAWD Polestar Engineered, $70,495. The is the high-performance sport model (reviewed here) and comes standard with all-wheel-drive, the T8 engine, and the features optional on other XC60s. The only options are 21- or 22-inch wheels instead of the stock 20s, and $645 for most paint colors.

Should You Buy?

While the Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered runs $30,000 more than the cheapest XC60, it runs a more reasonable $8,205 over the R-Design T8 PHEV and is in line with what the competition charges for its highest-performance compact SUVs. Recharge time at a Level 2 charger is a decent 2.5 hours. The same supplied cable also does 120 volts at home.

Among premium compact SUVs, if you want the efficiency of a plug-in hybrid, or you want the ability to get in HOV lanes with only you in the car, the XC60 Polestar Engineered does the trick, as do the mainstream Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription with the T8 PHEV powerplant.

If you want all-out performance, then look also at the BMW X3 or X3 M, arguably the best premium compact SUV on the road today, along with the Audi Q5 / SQ 5, and the Porsche Macan / Macan S. Most of them will be getting plug-in hybrid variants over the next year or two, both because it’s one way to wring more power from four-cylinder engines, and because it helps the automaker’s corporate average fuel economy numbers. Also, buyers in this demographic want efficient cars. The Lexus NX is interesting because it offers a hybrid version, though critics say it’s not as refined as other Lexus hybrids.

Shop and test drive the new XC60s as well. The famous names have trackable SUVs and now Volvo does. If you want performance, definitely look to the Polestar Engineered version, as well as the T8 version of the XC60 R-Design, which is effectively Polestar Lite and $8K cheaper, but you don’t get gold seatbelts or brake calipers.

Do not buy the 21- or 22-inch wheel option unless you also spring $1,000 for tire/wheel damage insurance, or you live in a state that doesn’t see snow. The twenties are good enough.

In addition to the usual buy-or-lease choices, check out Care by Volvo, a subscription service (yes, CBV sounds like an extended maintenance and warranty program, but it isn’t) that lets you get a new Volvo for a year, swap for a second Volvo for a year, then end the program, or continue with another car. Care by Volvo covers all costs outside of gas and tolls, including insurance. If the carrier (Liberty Mutual) approves you, you pay the same as everyone else does for the car, for instance, $750 a month for an XC60 Momentum. You can do most of your shopping online and only see the dealer for paperwork and delivery.

One final buying tip: Before seeing the 2020 Volvo lineup, I was not a fan of light-colored interiors because they’re a bear to keep clean if you have kids or pets, if you eat in the car, or if you do Subaru-like things (kayak, camp, mountain-climb) that track in dirt. But Volvo SUVs with blonde interiors – light-colored seats and interior trim – are dazzling, worth a look (especially the XC90 with second-row captain’s chairs), and worth the extra cleaning.

Who knows blonde better than the Swedes? The light upholstery (here in the six-passenger XC90) makes the cabin light and airy.

Now read:

10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute email address is a disposable temporary email that self-destructed after a 10 minutes. https://tempemail.co/– is most advanced throwaway email service that helps you avoid spam and stay safe. Try tempemail and you can view content, post comments or download something

2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e Hybrid Review: The Premier Off-Roader Conquers the HOV Lane

Land Rover’s 2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e is a big, roomy plug-in hybrid SUV. A battery motivates its 5,500 pounds for about 25 miles before handing off to a turbo-four-cylinder engine, at which point the battery still providing reserve electric power under acceleration.

The HSE costs a ton, the driver’s seat is not for small people, and a full recharge takes 14 hours or more if you use 120-volt current. But how many competing vehicles can go seriously off-road, ford almost three feet of water while occupants sit on buttery leather massaging seats … and the P400e gives you entrée to HOV lanes because it’s a plug-in?

The Plug-In on the Road

My P400e test car, in Firenze Red with a black contrasting roof, was cat-quick. In testing, I got all 5,450 pounds motivated to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. On highways, the air suspension gave the P400e a comfortable ride. Four-wheel-drive is standard, along with a Terrain Response system and multiple off-road modes. Going off-road (dirt, small rocks, no boulders), the air springs can raise the car’s undercarriage 10.9 inches above the ground. Most passenger cars and on-road SUVs are in the realm of 6-8 inches. Adding in almost $13,000 in packages, options and freight, the $79,000 P400e ran $93,200 as tested. You will be eligible for an estimated $7,100 federal tax credit.

Push hard on the throttle and cabin noise increases a bit, but it wasn’t harsh. The NiMH battery under the rear load floor always retains enough capacity to act as a second turbocharger. And as long as there’s battery power, you can press the EV button to shift to battery-only mode, but the car slips back to combustion engine/hybrid drive if you call for more power, or to save some juice for later.

EPA figures haven’t been released yet. In a full day of city/suburban driving or commuting, say 50 miles, you might get in the 40s (MPGe, e for equivalent). On a pair of 250-mile drives starting with a full charge, I got in the mid-20s, and even at the end the electric motor still kicked in for passing. My best effort at EV-only driving was 28 miles. A couple of issues: There was an overnight charge that netted no more than 15 miles range, and another where I shut down during a utility company power failure because it’s a money-losing proposition for the home generator to burn natural gas to charge a battery at a cost higher than burning gasoline in the engine. (Home-generating a kilowatt-hour of electricity costs about 40 cents; the local power company sells it for 13 cents.)

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) controls are big and easy to use, particularly the large resume button. The glossy finish makes them look slippery but with the driver’s hand on the wheel, it’s not a problem. Others should steal (“adapt”) RR’s design.

Excellent Driver Controls

I was impressed by the steering wheel controls for the full-range adaptive cruise control system. The buttons are big, legible, and the most important one — Resume — is the largest and easiest to find after you accidentally tapped the brake and want to resume auto-piloting. The Touch Pro Duo twin 10-inch displays in the center stack also work well. There is a learning curve, after which some aspects are genius: tap the rubber-edged knob in the HVAC cluster and it sets cabin temperature; tap it again and it adjusts seat cooling (counterclockwise) and heating (clockwise). The Meridian audio with 825-watt amp sounded excellent. Wi-Fi is built-in as part of telematics.

Possible drawbacks in the cabin: Drivers 5-foot-6 and under, meaning the majority of women, will want to sit in the driver seat in the showroom to make sure the seat cushion isn’t too long. While the first two rows are both spacious, load capacity is fair: 24.8 cubic feet or 56.8 cubic feet with the second row down, 2.7 cubic feet less than other models because the battery raises the load floor 1.8 inches.

The PHEV Range Rover Sport has a 13.1-kWh LiIon battery in the load floor. The onboard charger is in the front grille. Using 120-volt power, the recharge takes “as little as 14 hours,” and sometimes takes more. Spring for the 240-volt Level 2 32-amp Level 2 charger.

Technology for a Price

My test car had a lot of technology. Some of it is included (the HSE in the name standard for high specification equipment), such as air suspension. Even for a premium car, however, the driver assists were pricey. The $4,000 Driver Assist Pack is built around full-range adaptive cruise control lane departure warning/lane centering assist, and forward-collision warning/braking, which on Hondas and Toyotas are part of the base price. The assist pack also includes blind-spot assist (detection is standard), parking assist, and surround-view cameras. Every part worked well. With ACC and lane centering enabled, you could let the car drive itself — Level 2 automation — with your heads lightly on the wheel and your eyes still watching the road.

My car also had a Vision Assist Pack for $1,385 that combines the cosmetic (ambient interior lighting), simple technology (auto high beams), and significant technology (head-up display). It also had a Climate Comfort Pack for $1,635 with a heated steering wheel (for eighty large base sticker price, maybe it should be included, and sorry about that for South Florida buyers), a refrigerator in the center console (now that’s handy), a panoramic roof, and four-zone HVAC. Nine standalone options added $5,885, notably those front/rear cooled and heated seats; premium paint on the body; a separate black finish on the roof ($665); and the most reasonable option at $135, a 120-volt AC outlet, another ought-to-be standard.

But: If you gripe about, say, the AC power adapter being a cost-adder, you are not a luxury car candidate. (That or you have the not-unreasonable notion every big premium SUV should have AC power on tap.) You must know you and the sales associate will find ten grand in need-to-have options. It’s how the game is played and, anyway, a premium-auto dealership serves a nicer cup of Keurig. At least Land Rover doesn’t nick you $80 a year to rent Apple CarPlay the way BMW does. It also has Android Auto, plus USB jacks and satellite radio.

The P400e plug-in hybrid comes with air suspension, adaptive dynamics, 20-inch alloy wheels, surround-view cameras, blind-spot detection, driver awareness monitor, traffic sign recognition, LED headlamps, and “Windsor Leather” seats.

JLR Expands Its Lineup

Jaguar-Land Rover is pushing to grow its technological and environmental presence in a time of increased fuel-efficiency and clean-air mandates around the world, give or take the US. No surprise: 5,000-pound SUVs don’t get 40 mpg, not even 30, without help. The rest of the world is cracking down on fuel consumption by setting caps on CO2, a contributor to climate change, which is generated in proportion to how much gas or diesel you burn.

Thus the plug-in hybrid Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE P400e – yes, that is a long name, 39 characters in all. The PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) gives the company six Range Rover Sport variants of 254 hp to 567 hp: two V6 gas turbo engines, two V8 supercharged engines, a V6 turbo-diesel, and now the 398-hp plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. Land Rover remains one of the last suppliers of diesel-engine vehicles in the US (about 30 mpg on the highway, more than 650 miles range).

Land Rover 2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e. The Range Sport is 192 inches long, the Range Rover is 197 inches, and the Range Rover Long Wheelbase is 205 inches

Which Land Rover Is Which?

Everybody knows Land Rover stands for vehicles that go over rocks and through streams and is at home at polo matches. But why are there six models called Range Rover? Here’s a spotter’s guide. First, “Land Rover” is the umbrella brand, the SUV part of Jaguar-Land Rover USA. Range Rover is the prefix term for many of the models, Land Rover for the others.

2020 Ranger Rover Evoque. The outgoing Gen 1 dated to 2012..

The vehicle tested here is the PHEV version of the Range Rover Sport, a mid-size SUV at 192 inches long; it weighs 4,755 to 5,430 pounds, with the PHEV the heaviest by 285 to 695 pounds. Range Rover Sport is 5 inches shorter than the Range Rover (197 inches) and 13 inches shorter than Range Rover Long Wheelbase (205 inches). The Range Rover is the pinnacle of Land Rover luxury and size and runs $92,000 to $210,000 (for the Range Rover SV Autobiography).

The value-oriented Land Rover Discovery Sport (181 inches) and Discovery (196 inches, available with two or three rows of seating) start at about $40,000 for the Sport with a turbo four.

The Range Rover Evoque is a compact SUV, 172 inches long; it’s the stylized one with small windows. It has an aura of a city car for young urban dwellers, although it does have four-wheel-drive. It’s long in the tooth, but the second generation (photo) arrives shortly as a 2020 model.

2020 Land Rover Defender, under test in the UAE.

The Range Rover Velar is a compact-almost-midsize at 189 inches. Velar came out in 2018 and the looks say baby Range Rover. It’s two rows/five passengers only, the base engine is a turbo-four, and prices start around $50,000.

Coming in 2020 is a return of the tallish Land Rover Defender models: Defender 90 (170 inches, close in size to Jeep Wrangler by way of reference), Defender 110 (187 inches) and Defender 130 (201 inches). As for Defender’s role, think serious off-roading, think “Out of Africa” (never mind the book was published in 1937, three decades before the first Range Rover), think Ralph Lauren photo shoots. Or to be more 21st century appropriate, the Range Rover image is driving the Red Cross into disaster-ravaged areas. Actually, the Red Cross has been helping LR test the Defender in the UAE, a nice tie-in for both.

Range Rover Sport offers a wealth of interior fabrics and trims, some restrained, a handful pretty bold.

Should You Buy the P400e?

The 2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e is thinly available in the US at the moment, since demand is so high elsewhere, with the modest USA allotment set aside for media testers, promotions, and the like. The availability improves with the similar 2020 model arriving soon. Hold on a month or two.

When you’re paying at least $80,000, the choice in a premium vehicle is as much how you feel about the vehicle’s aura and how it looks in your driveway, in addition to how it goes on- and off-road. There is little question the Range Rover Sport is desirable, especially if you do go off-roading or tow 5,000-plus pounds. It is the premium off-roading benchmark. In some ways, the scarcer the vehicle, the more desirable. The entire Land Rover line will sell about 100,000 vehicles this year in the US. A comparative handful will be the P400e. As with any Range Rover, the cockpit furnishings are first-class. Nobody cut corners.

You might hope that a hundred-thousand-dollar vehicle would be solid on reliability. That is not Land Rover’s forte. On the 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) measuring reliability at three years, Land Rover ranks 30th of 31 brands, ahead of only Fiat. It’s not a British thing because Mini, long near the bottom, is now sixth.

Another way to look at reliability: Low-rated 2019 vehicles are reliable compared with the average car of a generation ago. The average three-year-old car has 1.4 reported problems on VDS where Land Rovers have 2.2. Also, if you can afford a Land Rover, it’s probably not your only car, and the dealer’s going to give you a loaner when you come in for work. But still: Among the key competition, Lexus, Porsche, BMW, and Audi are in the top 10 and Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz are above average, while only Lincoln, Cadillac and Volvo are below average. (For the first time in VDS history, every German car was ranked above average, and the Porsche 911, not exactly a simple vehicle, is the most dependable car, rated more reliable even than, say, the Toyota Camry or Corolla.)

You may not get 31 miles on battery — that’s based on the more generous European standards –but 25 is attainable and there’s always battery reserve to boost performance. Which it does when you tromp the throttle. First and second-row passengers will all be comfortable and all can have those ventilated seats. Other Range Rover Sports offer three rows, but not the P400e, and row three is snug in any midsize SUV.

The competition by the end of the year for compact to full-size electrified vehicles includes the $80,000 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, the $70,000 Lincoln Aviator PHEV, the $54,000 Volvo XC60 and $67,000 XC90 PHEVs, the $51,000 Mercedes-Benz GLC350e, and the $74,800 Audi E-tron all-electric. BMW will have X3, X5 and X7 plug-ins by 2020. Then then there’s the best-selling EV SUV, the Tesla Model X. The Jaguar i-Pace pure-electric is our reigning Car of the Year; it’s a compact SUV, much snugger in the second row than the P400e.

Some in the US  say climate change is in doubt, but what’s not in doubt is this: When you drive a plug-in hybrid, you get a high occupancy vehicle sticker for the expressway. That could be the tipping-point reason to go with this Range Rover.

Now read:

10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute email address is a disposable temporary email that self-destructed after a 10 minutes. https://tempemail.co/– is most advanced throwaway email service that helps you avoid spam and stay safe. Try tempemail and you can view content, post comments or download something

2019 Fiat 500X Review: City-Size SUV, Mighty Engine, Decent Driver Assists

More people depart the ‘burbs and move to cities every year. As a result, they need smaller cars. Add the renewed Fiat 500X to the mix: The 2019 edition gets a light design makeover, a new engine geared toward performance departing stoplights, standard all-wheel-drive, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. (Sorry, no stick shift.)

The 500X is an enjoyable car in a competitive market – think Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3. The 14-foot length of the 500X allows for a decent cargo bay but not a spacious rear seat. Fiat offers useful driver assists, but adaptive cruise control is not stop-and-go. Did we mention the dashboard is to-die-for-red on our test car? Fiat also means style.

A Hint of Sex Appeal

You may recall a TV commercial circa 2016 of an older gentleman tossing a Viagra-looking pill toward his mouth. He misses, the blue pill bounces out the bathroom window, down steeply pitched urban roofs and gutters, and into the fuel tank of a car whose engine revs and roars as passersby, male and female, smile with appreciation. That’s the Fiat 500X: cheeky, fun, a little hint of romance.

For the 2019 500X, Fiat tweaked the outside with new designs for the headlamps, fog lights, and tail lamps. The faux front skid plate is gone. There are new wheel designs, and inside, the upholstery styles have been revamped. But the big change is the engine.

At 168 inches, the 500X works well in cities where graffiti is bigger than many parking spaces. (Okay, there’s parking outside this NYC diner because it’s a no-parking zone.)

New MultiAir III Engine

For 2016 to 2018, the Fiat 500X offered a 160-hp 1.4-liter MultiAir (Fiat-Chrysler term) turbo engine of 160 hp (or a non-turbo 175-hp four-cylinder). The new MultiAir III in the 2019 model (the same engine as on the Jeep Renegade) drops to 1.3 liters, still four cylinders, plus a low-inertia turbocharger with an electronically triggered wastegate, which keeps too much pressurized air from being fed into the engine. Add variable timing of the intake valves and you’ve got what would have been a race-car engine a generation ago (meaning more than 100 hp per 1.0 liters of engine displacement).

This one puts out 177 hp, which is good (136 hp/liter), and 210 pound-feet of torque, which is just amazing for an engine that isn’t diesel or electric. Also, the torque is all there by 2,200 rpm. What that translates to is stellar performance at low speeds. The car feels like a Ferrari the first two or three seconds you’re hard on the throttle.

The 500X handles well. It’s a Fiat. The latest MultiAir engine (it needs gasoline, too, despite the name) has impressive low-rpm power. The technology is so good, others are licensing it. 

Fiat 500X on the Road

In a day test-driving the car on a trip out of and back into midtown Manhattan, plus some twisty suburban/rural roads, and along the New Jersey/New York palisade above the Hudson River, this was an enjoyable cruiser. The air conditioning worked well, the premium Beats Audio system with eight speakers sounded good, and driver and co-pilot had decent legroom and headroom. But we sat close together, as you’d expect in a smaller SUV.

The engine responded instantly to close gaps in heavy traffic, and the car was a blast to drive. As the torque curve with its early peak suggested, 0-30 mph comes up quickly; then 30-60 is a bit more leisurely. But it also means if you’re in a higher gear – the fifth gear ratio is 1.00 to 1 and 6-7-8-9 range from 0.81 to 0.48 – at low rpm, you’re right in the sweet spot of the torque band.

As a long-distance cruiser, the noise level is mostly acceptable but not class-leading. The luggage space is quite good, for two. Back seat space is okay if the driver is normal height or shorter. A console selector lets the driver choose three traction modes: automatic, sport, or traction-plus. The rear axle automatically disconnects for cruising efficiency. It is rated at 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, 26 mpg combined, or about 2 mpg better than the older 500X. It wants mid-grade premium fuel but runs on regular.

2019 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus. Note the amazing glossy red dash on this car. (It’s the same color as the exterior paint.) If you like red, there’s both Amore Red and clearcoated Rosso Passione. 

Technology and Driver Assists

The car comes standard with a 7-inch center stack LCD, and the well-regarded FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile) UConnect version 4 touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Driver assists and safety features that are available, mostly in packages, include adaptive cruise control, rear and front parking sonar, lane departure warning/lane keep assist, forward collision warning, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, and LED headlamps. Adaptive cruise and front sonar are new for 2019.

Most of the driver assists worked well on my drive. The lane departure system will pull the car back if you drive onto a lane edge, but it is not designed to self-center. The adaptive cruise control maintains speed on the highway down to 20 mph. Most new ACC systems are stop-and-go, meaning they go all the way down to 0 mph and then back in, say, rush hour expressway traffic.

The 2019 Fiat 500X. Easy to park in the city especially you order the front and rear sonar.

Fiat 500X Trim Lines

There are three variants, all four-door, all all-wheel-drive  of Fiat’s largest model:

Fiat 500X Pop, $26,235 including the mandatory $1,495 freight charge. It has 17-inch alloy wheels with 60-series tires (relatively pothole resistant), LED running and taillamps, manual-adjust cloth seats, a 3.5-inch instrument panel LCD, the Uconnect audio system with 7-inch color LCD, Bluetooth, 3 USB ports, remote entry, and remote start. A $595 Popular Equipment Group package adds rear parking sonar, tinted glass, satellite radio, and auto-on headlamps. There are no safety or driver-assist packages you can add to the entry model.

Trekking, $27,740. It adds most of the Popular Equipment Group gear, as well as premium cloth seats. The Advanced Driver Assistance Group (ADAG), $1,395, is an important option: adaptive cruise, full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure warning/lane keep assist, and blind-spot detection/rear cross-traffic alert. A separate Driver Assistance Group, $895, provides LED headlamps and front/rear parking sonar. A very good onboard navigation system is $695.

Trekking Plus, $30,940. Beyond Trekking, it adds leather seats, heated front seats, front and rear parking sonar, power driver’s seat adjustments, LED headlamps, eight-speaker audio, and windshield wiper de-icing. There are the same Advanced Driver Assistance Group and Premium Group options. All in, you can pay $35,000.

The 2019 Fiat 500X. The headlamps, taillamps, and running lights are different, as is the front fascia (no more skid plate). The big changes are in the engine room.

Should You Buy?

Wheels are 17- and 18-inchers. No ultra-low profiles that attract potholes.

This is a mid-cycle refresh of a fun, subcompact car that goes after the upper level of the mainstream-brand segment, that is more Hyundai Kona or Mazda CX-3 than Nissan Kicks. It has style aplenty and the little engine that could. It also has competition aplenty. Mazda has done the best job among mainstream brands at proving “class above” is more than a buzzword, as has Hyundai with its little Kona and more recently with its largish Palisade SUV.

The rounded lines of the Fiat 500X make it stand out. Its size makes the 500X easy to park in big cities, especially if you order rear and front parking sonar. Some competitors make standard much of Fiat’s optional driver-assist features. The Premium Group, $1,395, provides a dual-panel panoramic sunroof – how many subcompact cars fit a sunroof panel for the back seat? – plus nine-speaker Beats-branded audio with subwoofer, and 18-inch alloys with 55-series tires. It’s quick off the line to about 30 mph, less so to 60 mph. A combination of a firm suspension and wheelbase just over 100 inches make this a car you’ll want to test drive with your spouse/partner on the kinds of roads you usually drive.

You may like the style of the 500X. It works well for a city resident who wants a car that parks almost anywhere. A minor plus is that Fiat didn’t go crazy-low-profile with the road wheels, so even with the optional rims, you’re less likely to suffer pothole damage.

With the new engine, the 500X is more competitive in a segment that has many good choices. You’ll want to also look at the Hyundai Kona, arguably the car to beat in the subcompact SUV segment, as well as the aging-nicely CX-3. If you’re looking for safety, be sure to add in the price of the Advanced Driver Assistance Group and Driver Assistance Group to the Fiat and the similar package on the competition. The right 500X to us is the Trekking with the two driver-assist packages, making it $30,830.

Now read:

10 minutes mail – Also known by names like : 10minemail, 10minutemail, 10mins email, mail 10 minutes, 10 minute e-mail, 10min mail, 10minute email or 10 minute temporary email. 10 minute email address is a disposable temporary email that self-destructed after a 10 minutes. https://tempemail.co/– is most advanced throwaway email service that helps you avoid spam and stay safe. Try tempemail and you can view content, post comments or download something