Say hello to the Volkswagen Atlas, a seven passenger SUV that is the largest VW ever assembled in America. It was unveiled last night at the end of Route 66 at the Santa Monica California, but the Atlas will be assembled in Chattanooga. The big VW will offer three row seating, five trim levels, and customers can choose a four or six cylinder engine, both tied to an eight speed automatic. Front drive or all-wheel drive will be offered depending on the model. How big is it? At 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide, and 69.6 inches high it is the same length as the Ford Explorer. One interesting feature is called Automatic Post-Collision Braking that will apply the brakes after an initial collision in an effort to avoid further crashes. The Atlas will appear in showrooms in the spring of 2017. No word yet on prices or fuel economy.
Honda has released photos and details of its 2017 CR-V, the fifth generation of the compact sport utility that will go on sale this winter. It will feature a turbocharged engine, and “a more premium interior.” In the picture you might notice a volume control knob, replacing the much criticized sliding screen based control. The turbo four is rated at 190 horsepower and will be available in EX and higher trims mated to a CVT. Inside, Honda is claiming best in class space and the most rear seat legroom in the compact class. Key features will include remote engine start, dual-zone climate controls, heated side mirrors, an Electric Parking Brake, rear USB charging ports, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment and driver’s seat with 8-way power adjustment, 4-way power lumbar support, and a long list of safety equipment. The CR-V will be produced at three plants in North America – in East Liberty, Ohio; Alliston, Ontario, Canada; and, for the first time, in Greensburg, Indiana.
You might remember back in November of 2012 when Hyundai/Kia restated fuel economy claims on about a quarter of its lineup. It reduced economy ratings by one or two mpg. Now, the automakers have announced they will pay $41.2 million to 33 states to settle the issue. They admitted no wrongdoing or violation of law.
Car wash blues. That’s what a new study says will occur when semi-autonomous cars go through automatic washes. Bestride.com said, for instance, an automatic braking system would stop a car when it first encounters the brushes. That would require the driver, ahead of time, to know how to deactivate the system before the soap is applied. And that could require some deep diving into the owner’s manual because there is no standardization on how the systems work, or even if they can be disabled. It might be easier to dig out your boots, bucket and sponge at home in the driveway. You know, the old fashioned way to clean a car. Goodness – could a return of whitewalls be next?