Tag Archives: 2014 cars

2014 Mazda 3

Mazda is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Mazda3 production with a world’s-first vehicle-launch/live-concert-simulcast over Microsoft’s Xbox entertainment console network featuring the band Metric. The next Mazda3, like the recently revamped 6, is a complete departure from the outgoing model, with virtually no lingering Ford DNA whatsoever. Following the anthropometric trend of gradually increasing size, the wheelbase stretches 2.4 inches to 106.3 and the width broadens by 1.6 inches, yielding 2.3 inches of front and 0.4 inch of rear shoulder room. The roofline drops by 0.6 inch for better aerodynamics, and while there’s no loss of headroom, lowering the rear seat pinches legroom by 0.4 inch — bad news, given that we recently judged the last Mazda3 to have the most cramped rear seat in a five-car comparison. Offering potential relief are re-sculpted front seatbacks that result in more knee room.

2014 Mazda 3

2014 Mazda 3

Speaking of aerodynamics, manufacturers often accuse each other of throwing around drag coefficient figures the way ladies who lunch discuss their weight and dress sizes. That having been said, Mazda is claiming some astonishing best-in-class figures: 0.275 and 0.255 for the hatchback and sedan respectively. Those are best-case figures for models equipped with Mazda’s new i-ELOOP suite of fuel-saving extras like active grille shutters that route air around the car except when the radiator absolutely needs it to cool the Skyactiv engines, of which two are now offered. The base 2.0-liter pretty much carries over from the uplevel i trim levels, retuned for a bit more torque (155 hp, 150 lb-ft). That engine’s direct injection and other efficiency optimizations are brought to bear on the uplevel 2.5-liter engine this year, which churns out 184 hp and 185 lb-ft — that’s 10 percent more peak output (midrange torque is up to 15 percent better), and the engine weighs 10 percent less than the old MZR 2.5-liter. Another cool efficiency trick i-ELOOP brings: capacitors that store energy regenerated by the alternator during braking, another claimed world-first. Either engine comes with a choice of manual or automatic six-speed transmissions.

2014 Mazda 3

2014 Mazda 3

Like the new head-up “Active Driving Display” that folds up from the instrument panel brow to present vehicle speed, nav directions, and other vital info up in the driver’s field of view (surely a class exclusive, available in the optional Tech Package). Other information is clustered in groups, organized to help the driver better balance the tasks of driving and managing the firehose of peripheral information that blasts away at us all incessantly through our various devices. The car can read you your SMS text messages, Twitter and Facebook updates, and it allows you use voice commands to reply or to conduct internet searches for locations and directions.

2014 Mazda 3

2014 Mazda 3 back

A suite of new safety-related “apps” utilizing cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and laser sensors is offered under the i-ACTIVESENSE moniker (maybe the hyphen and shout-case are to keep them out of trouble with Apple?), a pricey option package. Features include high-beam control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-obstruction warning, Smart City Brake Support (enhanced or automated braking, when a collision is anticipated at speeds under 19 mph), and radar cruise control. And of course, if all that fails, the new 30-percent stiffer and lighter (thanks to increased use of high-strength steels) safety cage provides incrementally improved protection.

2014 Mazda 3 dash

2014 Mazda 3

We, of course, DO care more about the car-y stuff, and we fully expect to be wowed by this next-gen Mazda3, considering its predecessor’s comparo-winning history (it finished second of five in June 2013 as the oldest car in the competition). We’re promised greater grip, more responsive braking, and quicker steering (14.0:1 versus 16.2:1), all of which sounds promising…

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

The mid-size Chevrolet Malibu sedan was just redesigned last year; yet with the level of change pushed out for 2014, you might wonder why so much, so soon? Simply put, when you factor in tough competition like the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Toyota Camry, there isn’t a weak one in the room. Chevy may have rolled out a good, competent sedan for 2013, but with the compact Cruze and new full-size Impala really showcasing what GM can do with sedans, the automaker has already rushed to fix some issues and make the 2014 Chevy Malibu a better effort.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Malibu has been redesigned to fit right in alongside the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. The sharp-suited theme, with a more prominent lower grille and narrower upper grille, helps ‘ground’ the Malibu’s design a bit better, while a few more chrome accents give the Malibu a more distinctive look than before.

Inside, although Chevy has added more usefulness in seating and storage, not much has changed with respect the design; big square-ringed gauges sit behind a thick steering wheel at a lower vantage point, and the center console gets a perimeter of glossy grey plastic. There’s a large LCD screen front and center but also big, grabby knobs for major audio and climate functions. A woven-metallic trim material that’s metallic and woven in appearance gives a unique, textured accent to some models.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

And most importantly, one of the biggest inadequacies and disappointments for last year’s model–it’s shorter wheelbase (and thus cabin)–has been (mostly) remedied: Thanks to a new, thinner front-seat design, there’s 1.25 inches of additional rear knee room. We also noted that rear headroom was tight in last year’s model so we’re not sure if and how that’s been remedied. Otherwise we have to assume that the new front seats are somewhere close to the excellent, supportive ones that last year’s model got. Elsewhere inside, there’s a redesigned center console with a longer armrest, a pair of cupholders, and storage for two cellphones. The trunk is large on gas-only models; Eco sedans lose a couple of cubic feet to their battery pack.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

In the 2014 Malibu there are still three different four-cylinder powertrains. Acceleration is competitive, if not overly quick, with the base 196-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic; that replaces last year’s 2.4-liter, and these base versions now get engine stop-start–and a boost to an EPA 23 mpg city, 35 highway. With the Eco model, you add a mild-hybrid system that trims consumption and boosts highway mileage from the base car’s 34 mpg to 37 mpg–better. That’s good, but not at all class-leading compared to the new Nissan Altima’s class-leading 38-mpg highway rating, or the likes of the Kia Optima Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, or Toyota Camry Hybrid. The turbo Malibu spools out 259 horsepower, and torque is up to 295 pound-feet this year, which may push its 0-60 mph time close to an even six seconds. The Malibu goes down a curvy road well, with a ride that’s tauter than in the past, albeit with a little more impact harshness than is typical. Electric power steering does well in giving it a precise feel here, although dynamically it falls short of Fusion and Accord.
Safety scores have been top-notch, with the Malibu earning the NHTSA’s five-star ranking and the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also now available, as is a rear-view camera system, and ten airbags are standard.. So is Bluetooth.

2014 Chevrolet Malibu interior

2014 Chevrolet Malibu

This is a very competitive segment of the market, and pricing for the 2014 Malibu isn’t expected to be up markedly versus 2013. The base Malibu LS comes standard with power windows, locks, and mirrors; air conditioning; an AM/FM/CD player with satellite radio and a USB port; Bluetooth; cruise control; keyless entry; tilt/telescope steering; steering-wheel controls; and 16-inch wheels. Eco, LT, and LTZ models add another set of standard infotainment features that enable better connectivity, and put the Malibu on good footing in the class. All get a 7.0-inch LCD touchscreen and Chevy’s new MyLink connectivity system, which allows drivers to stream Pandora internet radio and catch up with podcasts on Stitcher via Bluetooth streaming. Turbo LT models get 18-inch wheels; a power driver seat; steering-wheel audio controls; and remote start…

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

Audi RS5 Cabriolet – A halo car regarding the A5 vary, the brawny Audi RS5 cabriolet could be a four-seat convertible that blends premium exterior and interior appearance with prodigious performance and four-wheel-drive versatility. The drop-top RS5 is powered by ingolstadt’s gloriously meaty, hand-built 4. 2-litre v8 ( naturally aspirated – increasingly rare during this age of turbocharging ) and produces a similar 444bhp and 317lb ft like the Audi RS5 coupe.

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

The engine is mated to some seven-speed s-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, whereas audi’s quattro four-wheel drive technology transfers that power towards the road. Set up as to the RS5 coupe’s metal roof there’s a three-layer fabric hood that retracts in 15sec with the press of the button and unfurls back into place in 17sec, all at speeds of up to actually 31mph. Exterior upgrades together with bigger air intakes, bespoke bumpers and flared wheel arches provide the rs5 a robust stance to actually suit its power output.

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet interior

One issue that would corrupt things a trifle will be the convertibles added weight issue. Its a thing you need when an audi tt removes its prime and gains 176 pounds, or whenever porsche cayman morphs towards a boxster and gains 66 pounds ; the effect on dynamics can still be acceptable. However when it comes to some huge-roof coupe such as the RS5, that gain in mass becomes 400-plus pounds in cabrio kind, and get a grand curb weight of 4, 461 pounds. Currently being a variety connected of this size of the car thats additionally branded with an rs badge promising raciness, we admittedly fretted. Then we drove the Audi RS5 cabriolet to actually cheer up.

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

Would the combination as to the added mass below momentum ( 4. 6 seconds or higher for acceleration to actually 60 miles per hour ) and of course the less dynamic winter tires lessen our enjoyment ?

Though its potential to actually push along the seven-speed s-tronic dual-clutch transmission acceptably in additional dynamic things, the naturally aspirated 444-horsepower 4. 2-liter v8 needs to be kept high within the whole rev band for best effect. The engines torque peak of 317 pound-feet is up prime, too, happening from 4, 000 to six, 000 rpm, however at the very least the twist extremely doesnt lessen appreciably all the procedure to its generous 8, 500-rpm redline.

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

Its no coincidence the fact that version of Audis tried-and-true 4. 2-liter v8 is referred to as hdz for high revving. Issues arise with timely downshifts, though, whenever the transmissions onboard brain tries to avoid wasting the mechanical bits and fluid temperatures by ensuring the revs arent too high. That the driver will either live by it and flap the paddle one, 2, or 3 times until the downshift into your curve is allowed, or force the engine into lower revs by braking such as a sledgehammer before getting into after which downshifting. We stuck along with the latter approach, that truly became entertaining, at the very least whereas driving solo. And neither was our check car gifted along with the 15. 0-inch $6, 000 optional sgl ceramic front brake discs, though the customary compound lead-aluminum units worked fine all the time.

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet back

2014 Audi RS5 Cabriolet

Price $77900;
0-62mph 4.9sec;
Top speed 155mph;
Economy26.4mpg;
CO2 249g/km;
Kerb weight 1920kg;
Engine V8, 4163cc, petrol;
Power 444bhp at 8250rpm;
Torque 317 lb ft at 4000-6000rpm;
Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic…

2014 BMW 5-Series

When the 2014 BMW 5-series goes on sale in August, the 528i will cost $50,425 while the V8-equipped 550i will sticker at $64,825. Those prices include a $925 destination charge. A diesel engine will be offered in the new 535d, for $57,525. The Gran Turismo version goes from $60,925 up to $71,125.

The 5 sedan gets a slight visual refresh for 2014. The lower air intakes have been massaged slightly, the rear gets an extra crease in the apron and the taillights have been redesigned. The 5-series Gran Turismo also gets worked over, including the front apron, rear end and license-plate holder. Xenon headlights are standard on the 5-series, while adaptive LEDs join the options list.

2014 BMW 5-Series front

2014 BMW 5-Series

Four engines are offered, including the 255-hp, 413-lb-ft diesel engine. The three others are the 4.4-liter V8 in the 550i (445 hp, 480 lb-ft), 3.0-liter inline-six (300 hp, 300 lb-ft) and the 240-hp turbocharged four, which carries over in the 528i. The V8 in the 550i now combines the twin-scroll turbochargers, direct injection and BMW’s Valvetronic throttle-less intake valve control. The 535i can be had with a six-speed manual, the rest get an eight-speed automatic. Wheel-mounted paddles shifters are also offered, as is the Sport Automatic option, which adds sportier shifting and Launch Control.

A group of BMW Efficient Dynamics technologies are standard, including a coasting mode, brake-energy regeneration, auto stop/start and eco pro mode, which ratchets down the fun stuff, and doubles up on the economy.

2014 BMW 5-Series profile

2014 BMW 5-Series

The suspension carries over for 2014, but has been fine-tuned, according to BMW. The front double wishbones and integral rear axle are made from aluminum, which BMW says allows the suspension to respond with more precision.

The company’s Dynamic Drive Control system continues. The switch on the center console changes the acceleration, steering and if the Sport Automatic option is specified, the shift characteristics. The 5-series also has Integral Active Steering, which, in addition to adjusting the speed-dependent steering, also can angle the rear wheels through tight turns.

2014 BMW 5-Series

2014 BMW 5-Series

New features for 2014 include an automatic trunk closer when you swing your foot under the rear bumper, a new rear-seat entertainment system and upgraded iDrive with a touchpad.

Enthusiasts will no doubt look into the 560-hp, 2014 BMW M5, which will also debut in August. The M5 gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or an optional six-speed manual. BMW’s Active M Differential is standard, as is the aluminum suspension.

2014 BMW 5-Series interior

2014 BMW 5-Series

The Competition package adds about 15 hp, for a total of 575, as well as a retuned suspension with stiffer antiroll bars. The M5 is lowered by a centimeter all around and the active differential is tuned even more aggressively. The M5 also gets its own 20-inch lightweight wheels and a sport exhaust system with quad tailpipes.

Pricing wasn’t revealed for the M5, but last year’s model was about $28,000 more than the 550i, so figure somewhere around $92,000.