2013 Acura ILX Hybrid: Rumor and Review Roundup

2012 acura ilx hybrid
photo courtesy of Acura

Considering a new 2013 hybrid and wondering about the 2013 Acura ILX hybrid? Here’s a roundup of what we know about the vehicle so far. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2013 ILX hybrid isn’t totally a secret. We didn’t have to contract the CIA to find out about it. In fact, a concept of the car was displayed at a number of auto shows including the 2012 Chicago Auto Show held in February. Acura’s website is showing videos of the car and it’s due out in late May. If you want to get in on the ground floor, so to speak, there is a page on the Acura website where you can sign up to receive details on the vehicle before it is released. According to Acura, the registration commits you to nothing and you can opt out of the process at any time. Pricing for the hybrid ILX starts at $28,900.

2012 Toyota Prius V Hybrid Wagon: Review Roundup

2012 Toyota Prius v
photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Shopping for a hybrid vehicle and thinking about the 2012 Toyota Prius v hybrid wagon? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The Toyota Prius was the first hybrid to really get the attention of the American public when it was introduced in the 1990s. Now the Japanese manufacturer has expanded the line to include a plug-in hybrid, a wagon known as the v, and a smaller model called the Prius c.

The Prius V has an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. MSRP is $26,400.

2012 Mercedes R350 BlueTEC Diesel People Mover: Review Roundup

2012 mercedes r350 diesel
photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTEC crossover diesel? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

It is the diesel turbo engine of the Mercedes R350 that excites consumers. The 3.0 liter turbodiesel V6 engine generates 210 horsepower and the vehicle has a maximum towing capacity of 3500 lbs. It gets 18 MPG city and 23 MPG highway. MSRP is $53,840.

Kelly Blue Book — 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

Kelley Blue Book starts out with a comment on the design of the vehicle:  “It’s definitely not a minivan nor is it really a crossover (even though that’s what Mercedes-Benz calls it). Rather, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class has staked its territory as a no-nonsense rolling monument to practicality.” They like the diesel engine, noting: “the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTEC is quick enough to keep you from lamenting the diesel engine…. This great engine proves the viability of the right diesel in the right machine.”

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Diesel: Review Roundup

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel Reviews
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the Volkswagen Jetta TDI? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The Jetta experienced a redesign for the 2011 model year.  The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Diesel is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel inline 4-cylinder that generates 140 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. VW also offers an optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It has an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 MPG in the city and 42 MPG on the highway. Standard equipment includes a navigation system, Bluetooth, iPod input, Satellite Radio, side and curtain air bags, and stability and traction control. MSRP starts at $22,775.

Car and Driver — 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan TDI Diesel

Car and Driver noted that the Jetta is larger since its redesign in the 2011 model year and that the base price of the car was reduced. They mark the highs as a roomy back seat, good fuel economy, efficient diesel engine, a good base price, and a sports-sedan handling and feel. They identify low to be the interior, which they say lacks the “richness” of the previous version.

They conclude, “Despite cost cutting, the Jetta is still a solid-feeling sedan with good steering and handling.”

Cars.com — 2012 Volkswagen Jetta

Cars.com reported that the standard manual transmission features stiffer clutch pedals than any other compact car they have driven. They also cautioned that they stalled more than once, but not from a standstill: “Every stall happened at low speeds when I thought 2nd gear was called for, but the engine bogged and stalled. Once I started keeping it in 1st gear longer, the stalls stopped.”

They found the car to be “punchy” after driving it.  “The Jetta TDI moves away from lights and passes quickly. There wasn’t lag at any point, and it always felt like there was more power on tap,” they said. They also said that the car’s performance made it fun to drive. This is because the car has more torque than other cars in its classification due to the diesel engine.

They liked the steering too. However, they did comment that it required more effort. “The payoff is that it also gives you more feedback and you feel more connected to what the car is doing… It’s my favorite steering in this car class.”

Handling also passed muster with them. “It feels planted to the road, and the suspension and chassis are well-tuned. The Jetta doesn’t squat or roll as much as others in this segment do, so it feels level going through turns. The suspension absorbs bumps very well for a small car, and that gives you a sense of security at high speeds. The road doesn’t beat up and toss the car around,” they said.

They noted that the car is not as “light and sprightly” as the previous version.

C&D concluded, “To my mind, the new Jetta isn’t a dilution of the previous model, it’s simply a slightly different take on the car — but the spirit of the machine remains.”

Edmunds.com — 2012 Volkswagen Jetta

What jumped out to Edmunds was the roomy interior and that the car was more affordable.

Their review identified the pros to be a spacious interior and trunk, that the car was well-equipped and featured a smart electronics interface, and that the diesel engine was fuel efficient.

They defined the cons to be “lackluster interior materials, sluggish throttle with automatic, and numb steering.”

They cautioned that the newly designed Jetta may be lacking in what it had in the previous models because the German manufacturer wants to attract more entry-level buyers. The car has been downgraded somewhat and the price has been reduced substantially. “The Volkswagen Jetta once presented a good middle ground between Japanese compact sedans and entry-level German luxury. It offered a sturdy chassis, tasteful interior materials and enough sport to make the package lively around town. Most buyers felt the premium quality was worth the extra price of admission. But Volkswagen thought the premium price discouraged an even greater amount of shoppers. So last year it made its redesigned Jetta a centerpiece of an aggressive new pricing strategy,” they reported.

On interior design and special features, Edmunds wrote, “ We particularly like the available touchscreen stereo interface and its redundant dial knob that’s ideal for controlling an iPod. The associated navigation system, however, is a bit of a letdown due to the small screen and limited amount of displayed information.”

Their driving impressions were pretty good. “Though it’s notably more expensive than the 2.5-equipped SE and SEL, the TDI is a keen choice thanks to its meaty low-end torque and frugal fuel economy. The manual would again be a preferred choice, though the [automatic], with its automated and manual modes, works well as a best-of-both-worlds choice,” they said.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Clean Diesel TDI Review Summary

In conclusion, the consensus appears to be:

Likes:

  • Roomy back seat
  • Good fuel economy
  • Efficient diesel engine
  • Good base price
  • Sports-sedan handling and feel
  • Good steering
  • Punchy
  • Great torque
  • Cruising range

Dislikes:

  • Interior not as rich
  • Stiff clutch pedals
  • Stalling problems with manual transmission
  • Handling not as light and sprightly

Do you own this car, or have you driven one? What’s your take?

Leave a comment and help out the people who are researching this car!

2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Diesel: Review Roundup

Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel 2012
photo courtesy of Volkswagen of America

Shopping for a 2012 clean diesel car and thinking about the Volkswagen Passat TDI? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!

The 2.0 turbocharged diesel inline 4 engine in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat has a dazzling EPA fuel economy rating of 31 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. Although many may find that it lacks punch on initial acceleration, it’s been clocked at 9.1 seconds in the 0-60 mph test.

The Diesel Driver — 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Review and Report

 The Diesel Driver wrote, “I found the Passat TDI to be an excellent Autobahn cruiser.  Expansion joints, bumps, and potholes go practically unnoticed. Passengers will not be disturbed. It is Verboten.”

It was the torque that they really liked. “Ultimately, it’s the torque of the diesel engine we’re after, not the horsepower, and the omnipresent 236 pound-feet available to the driver made overtaking on highways something to look forward to,” they continued.