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Apr 17, 2014

2015 Subaru Outback introduced at New York Auto Show

2015 Subaru Outback introduced at New York Auto Show

2015 subaru outback

Press Release

Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Outback, the fifth generation of the World’s First Sport Utility Wagon®, at the New York International Auto Show in the Jacob K. Javits Center. The 2015 Outback offers the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history. Its bold new design delivers an even more compelling…

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Apr 17, 2014

Which Mazda Model Would Best Suit You This Summer?

Which Mazda Model Would Best Suit You This Summer?

by Emily Muelford, a British car enthusiast and friend of CarNewsCafe

If you’re thinking about buying a new car this year, you’d do well to look at the entire Mazda range. While some people do prefer something a bit more luxurious, those of us on a budget could definitely benefit from checking out the models on sale from this manufacturer. For the most part, you will have seen all the cars I’m…

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Apr 17, 2014 / 2 notes

Toyota sold 1.22 million Corollas in 2013, remains Best Selling Car of All Time

Toyota sold 1.22 million Corollas in 2013, remains Best Selling Car of All Time

2014 Toyota Corolla S - PBHS3 AOA1200px

The Toyota Corolla is the best selling car of all time and it seems that will not change anytime soon.  Toyota announced that global sales for the Toyota Corolla hit a record 1.22 million units in 2013.  The data was taken Toyota’s internal data based on individual vehicle sales and reports from distributors of the Corolla from all around the world.

For Toyota and their best selling car,…

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Apr 17, 2014

How Ford got the Mustang on top of the Empire State Building.. again

How Ford got the Mustang on top of the Empire State Building.. again

Fifty years ago, when it debuted the new Mustang for the first time, Ford did a stunt that would be remembered by the world. They placed the new Mustang on top of the Empire State Building so that visitors could see it and helicopters could film it.

Now, fifty years later, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Mustang’s entrance into the pony car arena, Ford is recreating that moment…

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Apr 17, 2014

Electric Saab 9-3 are selling in Sweden

Electric Saab 9-3 are selling in Sweden

Saab Aero EV

Saab Aero EV

We’re happy to hear that Saab, the Swedish unique carmaker is back in business with its delivery of its first new Saab 9-3 Aero sedans. So far the new car will only be available in the Swedish market to the partner of the company.

Saab starts rolling 9-3 to clients in Sweden

Interestingly enough, Saab cars are sold in Sweden through online direct sales only, but buyers can test drive…

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Apr 17, 2014

Our friend Tim Esterdahl over at TundraHeadquarters talked with Toyota’s Randy Hunt at the Denver Auto Show and got a great video interview with him talking about the Tundra TRD Pro pickup truck. All three TRD Pro series vehicles were on display (Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner) and they are AWESOME.

We climbed underneath the trucks and saw that they were still dirty from testing and filming, highlighting that these are the only ones in existence. For now.

Here’s Tim’s video interview with Hunt giving us a once-over look at the TRD Pro series inside and out. Very cool.

And here’s a photo gallery of my pictures of the TRD Pro vehicles at the show.

Toyota’s TRD Pro Series at the Denver Auto Show Our friend Tim Esterdahl over at TundraHeadquarters talked with Toyota’s Randy Hunt at the Denver Auto Show and got a great video interview with him talking about the Tundra TRD Pro pickup truck.
Apr 16, 2014

Mazda shows 25th Anniversary edition MX-5 with its own website

Mazda shows 25th Anniversary edition MX-5 with its own website

Mazda Miata MX-5 Skyactiv

Mazda Miata MX-5 Skyactiv

It’s been 25 years since Mazda breathed life into the convertible sports car market and it is introducing its 25th Anniversary Edition MX-5 at New York Auto Show 2015. While most companies are happy enough slapping a limited edition logo on a car, Mazda is also introducing a much awaited newly developed chassis of the next MX-5. Over the years, the MX-5, or Miata in the…

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Apr 16, 2014

BMW boosts all-electric i3 production after increased demand

BMW boosts all-electric i3 production after increased demand

BMW i3 cutaway

BMW i3 cutaway

BMW’s i-Drive team is different from your run of the mill BMW gasoline cars. They are unique, different, and of course either sport only an electric drivetrain or some form of hybrid system. The all-electric i3, we briefly drove at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2013can be bought as a pure electric vehicle (EV), or with a range extender (REX), as BMW calls it. It’s other i8 is a…

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Apr 16, 2014 / 1 note

The 2014 Infiniti QX80 is a true luxury sport utility with all of the excellence that implies. From every angle, it’s big, bold, and beautiful with an interior refinement that rivals anything the competition might offer. It is so large and comfortable that you may find yourself considering selling your second home and living in the QX80 instead.

2014 Infiniti QX80 - house - AOA1200px

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Infiniti
  • Year, Model: 2014 QX80 AWD
  • Class: Luxury SUV
  • Powertrain: 5.6L V8, 7spd auto
  • Base Price: $64,450
  • MSRP as tested: $78,100
  • Availability: Now

Overview

In the realm of large luxury SUVs, there are a few contenders, each striving for its own mark in this top-end, very lucrative market. Some approach the game with utility that includes some luxury while others approach with luxury that has some utility. The 2014 Infiniti QX80 is of the latter approach, but that does not mean it skimps on utility or capability. The QX80 is the basically unchanged current-edition of the former QX56, but will receive an update and face lift for the 2015 model year.

Although it’s beautiful on the outside, as with most luxury vehicles, it’s the inside that counts in the 2014 QX80. As befits this grown-up luxury market, we will refrain from jokes about freckles and braces.

Inside the beautiful 2014 Infiniti QX80

2014 Infiniti QX80 - interior - AOA1200pxThe QX80 seats seven passengers (eight with the second-row bench instead of pilot chairs). It has one trim level and a few options for technology upgrades in rear- or four-wheel drive. The interior is highly refined and has a lot of quality materials throughout. The front and second row are exceedingly comfortable while the third row is functional and comfortable enough for children and young adults, but does not have the same plush refinement the other rows have.

The rows all fold down automatically, at the push of a button. The third row can be folded from either the cargo compartment or buttons located just behind the second row seating. The second row is folded either manually with the pull of a lever at the back doors or with the push of a button from the center console at the front of the SUV. The second row’s folding, however, is a bit violent, sending the seats forward in a fast-folding “clunk” that belies the refinement of the QX80.

In the second row, our test model was equipped with the optional Theater package which embeds dual-screen entertainment monitors into the headrests of the seats up front. The Theater package includes wireless headsets, a remote control, and the capability of the monitors to be separate, showing different inputs on each.

The second-row captain’s chairs are an excellent lounge chair ensemble for watching movies and television on long drives, but the optional Split Bench Seat package replaces them with more utility-driven cargo space as a 60/40 split bench that folds flat. Either way, you’re getting great seating.

2014 Infiniti QX80 - interior8 - AOA1200pxThroughout the cabin, at nearly all seating positions and in the cargo area, there are 12 volt and 120 volt outlets for use. Plugs for USB, memory cards, and (with the Theater package) DVD and other players are also easy to find and plentiful.

In the driver’s chair and the co-pilot’s seat, comfort remains a high priority, but ergonomics take an even bigger role. Controls and technology are all within reach and at your command. Despite the dizzying array of tech, however, even the most technologically impaired will find the excellent user interface of the infotainment system to be easily navigated and the voice-activation to be better than average in setting up your navigation needs. The CD player in the center console becomes a DVD player as well when the Technology package is included.

No matter how you look at it, the interior of the 2014 Infiniti QX80 is extremely well engineered and highly luxurious. From driver to rear seat passengers, the QX80 caters to everyone.

Exterior look at the 2014 QX80

The full-sized QX80 SUV has a lot of standard features that enhance its exterior styling. The sport utility is more than just a big box on wheels, however, with a beautifully-rounded hood, signature Infiniti grillework, powerfully-shouldered fenders, tri-ports on either side, and a well-shaped body ending in a refined square hatch. It’s primary description is “big and bold.”

2014 Infiniti QX80 - house4 - AOA1200px

Our test model had the Tire and Wheel package added, which upgrades the standard 20-inch wheels to 22-inch, 9-spoke forged aluminum-alloys with all-season tires. This adds to the already bold look of the QX80 and matches nicely with the chrome trim work and peering headlamps.

No one will mistake the Infiniti QX80 for anything but a big, luxurious SUV.

Under the hood of the 2014 QX80

The big hood of the QX80 houses the same 5.6-liter V8 that powers Nissan’s pickup trucks, sporting a growling 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. This runs through a seven-speed transmission for some rubber-peeling capability that’s surprising in a big SUV like this.

Our all-wheel drive (AWD) model included the Infiniti All-Mode AWD system with a computer-controlled transfer case and differential for various user-controlled settings to match conditions on the road. This allows for some strong capability in inclement weather and off the pavement.

Add in the Deluxe Touring Package on our test machine and you get a Hydraulic Body Motion Control system with self-leveling and other goodies. The built-in towing package (standard) allows up to 8,500 pounds of trailer for those who are going somewhere.

The Infiniti QX80 on the road

The word “refined” only begins to describe how the 2014 QX80 feels on the road. Despite the huge wheels and massive engine, the Infiniti feels not just solid, but soft as well. In fact, for all its domineering might and size, the QX80 is far less intimidating than most would assume from the outside looking in.

On the road, noise is non-existent unless you ask for it by pressing the throttle hard or turning up the stereo. Ride quality is very smooth, especially with the Deluxe Touring Package addition of body roll control.

2014 Infiniti QX80 - in snow2 - AOA1200pxAnother interesting note is that the QX80 feels very maneuverable and has a much tighter turning radius than expected of such a large sport utility. Parking is a breeze, especially with the addition of the Around View monitor.

Whether on the highway or in town, the Infiniti QX80 is poised and comfortable. It may intimidate others for its size, but from the driver’s seat, it’s pure joy.

Competition

The chief competition for the QX80 is the GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz. The Lexus LX570, to which we will compare the QX80 soon, is another strong competitor and the Cadillac Excalade is a staple in the luxury SUV market as well.

Compared to these others, the Infiniti QX80 is a great combination of refinement and capability in utility. The Mercedes bests it in third-row roominess and luxury ambiance, but does not have the same offroad capability and interior space utility that the QX80 can have. The LX570 comparison we’ll save for our one-on-one matchup, but the Escalade has far less luxury, opting instead for a more Americanized feel and truck-like capability.

Strong Points

The luxurious fittings inside the 2014 Infiniti QX80 are difficult to find rivals for. It’s beautiful, exceedingly comfortable, and very roomy.

Smooth, yet still offroad capable, the 2014 QX80 is the best of both worlds with a beautiful road presence and a more than capable offroad driver.

Weaknesses

Sits high and has no chassis lowering option to make it easier to get in and out.

Second-row folding is automated, but fast and somewhat disconcerting. The seats fling into their folded position in an unrefined, almost dangerous way.

Relatively small fuel tank, requiring fueling more often.

Conclusions

Few things can rival the experience of a beautiful luxury SUV that carries itself the way the QX80 does. It’s huge interior, understated, yet powerful build, and well-engineered, maneuverable muscle are all top-notch traits. At roughly $80,000 as we drove it, buyers of the 2014 Infiniti QX80 will not be disappointed in their decision.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The QX80 was a manufacturer’s loan for about a week as a press vehicle. A total of about 265 miles were put on the SUV, including some light and moderate offroad, city and highway driving. Inclement weather was had for about two days, including snow and ice.

Gallery

2014 Infiniti QX80 AWD – luxury has no size limit The 2014 Infiniti QX80 is a true luxury sport utility with all of the excellence that implies.
Apr 15, 2014

CarNewsCafe Podcast 40 - Mary Barra SNL Skit, Mustang and Top Gear’s Birthday,

CarNewsCafe Podcast 40 – Mary Barra SNL Skit, Mustang and Top Gear’s Birthday,

This week on CarNewsCafe Podcast 40 we get into several birthday’s and Adam is the only one on the podcast.  That means he talks about all the stories he wrote during the week. :)

Do you love Top Gear?  How about Breaking Bad?  Well you might be happy to hear that Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman, completely destroyed the Top Gear celebrity track record timeand currently sits on the top of…

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