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Sep
17

The BMW X1 Transforms From Wagon to SUV

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers, Family Cars     Tags

If you’ve seen a BMW X1 before, it probably reminds you of older station wagons with its elongated design and low ride height, but BMW just unveiled the new X1, which received a massive injection of SUV DNA. This is the first BMW FWD platform vehicle to make it to the United States, and we’re pretty excited to see it hit the streets.

Let’s take a look at what we know.

Updates to the X1BMW X1

Increases in roof and ride height make the interior of the X1 one of the most spacious yet. The new design gives the vehicle a new look as well, with the roofline peaking right over the front seats and tapering down toward the rear end. Whether it was intentional or not, there’s a clear impression of the BMW X3 here.

The new chassis on the X1 is set to offer a more comfortable driving experience thanks to available features like active dampers, and you should be able to find both front- and all-wheel drive versions when the model arrives. X1 AWD models will have the ability to transfer torque on demand to the individual wheels that need it most for new levels of control on the pavement.

The European release will feature a total of seven different engine options, though we would be surprised if either of the two three-cylinder models made it across the Atlantic. BMW features a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic transmission to pair with their engines.

As far as amenities go, this is a BMW. It’s loaded with the latest in tech and comfort features, from the iDrive infotainment system with touchscreen to available LED headlights to advanced safety features that can actually bring the X1 to a stop on their own to prevent a collision.

We’re still waiting on pricing, but because it’s a BMW, expect it to carry an MSRP appropriate to its class. The X1 is set to debut in Europe this October, with the United States release coming later.

What Do You Think?

Are you excited for the new, sportier, more SUV-like BMW X1? Weigh in down below and be sure to check back regularly for more updates on cars we think our car fans will love.

Sep
18

The Best Cars For Big Families

Author JoeC    Category Family Cars     Tags

If you have a big family you know that trying to pack everyone into an inappropriate vehicle is a nightmare. Here are a few vehicles that can make everything from the trip 2014 Odyssey 3to the grocery store to the cross-country tour that much easier for you and your brood!

  1. The Honda Odyssey: With smart features like easily folding seats, available vacuum cleaner, a fuel efficient 3.5L V6, and plenty of space for you, your family, and your luggage, the Odyssey is an easy choice. It’s far from the least expensive minivan on the market, however.
  2. The Toyota Sienna: Toyota’s minivan costs a bit less than Odyssey, but packs almost the same amount of comfort, convenience, and efficiency. Some standard features include leather seats, and plenty of storage.
  3. The Toyota Highland Hybrid: With a fantastic fuel economy rating of 28 mpg combined based on EPA estimates, it’s hard to imagine a more economical vehicle for large families than this three row crossover.
  4. The Lincoln MKT: This upscale crossover gives you three rows of seating and a long list of standard features, along with something that most family haulers can’t boast: style.
  5. The Chevrolet Suburban: This long running truck-based SUV is ideal for those who really do need a ton of space and many many tons of towing capacity. The Suburban can also tackle some off-road terrain if necessary and can seat up to nine with available bench seats.
  6. The Mazda Mazda5: This mini-minivan is perfect for families of up to six. It’s more maneuverable and more fuel efficient than many full-size minivans, but offers plenty of space inside!
  7. The Dodge Durango: The old Durango was a rugged, truck-based SUV, but the new model is a smooth riding, easy to drive, comfortable crossover, with three rows of seating.
  8. The Infiniti QX56: This luxury SUV comes packed with high-tech features, including available preventative safety features like adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, and collision warning systems. If safety is your first priority look out for these features.
  9. The Chevrolet Traverse: This three row crossover should be on every large family’s list. It offers convenient features like remote start and a parking aid standard.
  10. The Nissan Pathfinder: Much like the Durango and the Highlander, the Pathfinder has made the jump to a crossover format from its old truck-based setup. Nissan nailed the execution and the current Pathfinder is a comfortable, spacious, and stylish three row crossover.
Jun
16

The 2013 Toyota Sienna FWD V6 vs. the 2013 Honda Odyssey FWD V6

Author JoeC    Category Family Cars     Tags
2013 Toyota Sienna

2013 Toyota Sienna

Minivans certainly aren’t the coolest cars out there, but many families need them for the comfort and space. Some people are turning to crossover SUVs as another option while others still prefer the classic minivan feel. There are still plenty of minivans on the market and they can all seem very similar at first glance. We’re going to see how the 2013 Toyota Sienna and the 2013 Honda Odyssey do in a side-by-side comparison.

Vehicle Price

The Toyota Sienna starts with an MSRP of $26,585 while the Honda Odyssey weighs in at $28,675. These days most people are looking for the cheapest car out there and are going to settle on price alone. The Honda Odyssey is very close to $30,000 and that might be too prohibitive for some.

Powertrain and Fuel Economy

Both vehicles have a 3.5L V6. The Toyota minivan gets a little more horsepower (266 hp vs. 248 hp) while the Honda minivan has a little more torque (250 lb-ft of torque vs. 245 lb-ft of torque). Not a lot of difference here to justify paying more, but let’s take a look at fuel economy. The 2013 Sienna gets 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway while the 2013 Odyssey gets 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway; however, the Odyssey’s one gallon larger fuel tanks means both cars have a $232 average monthly fuel cost.

Vehicle Features

The question lies with whether or not Honda offers more features to justify its higher price. Well, they do offer standard Bluetooth connectivity and power-adjustable seats, the latter to cost extra on the Sienna. However, the Toyota does come with standard satellite radio and an optional DVD player on the base trim, which is not available on the base Odyssey.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is both vehicles are so similar that there’s not a whole lot of justification for spending over $2000 more for the Odyssey unless you’re really into Bluetooth, which is an optional feature on the Sienna. Of course, it’s all going to come down to personal preference. Who knows, the Honda might have a design that just appeals more to you.

Where to buy?

We like Middletown Honda in NY

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