‘Consumer Reports’ picks worst cars of 2015

Consumer Reports, known for its independence when it come to auto reviews, has singled out four car models as representing the worst of the lot for 2015.

One is a familiar car, two are luxury crossovers and the last is a minivan that’s also known as a SUV. They are singled out in the magazine’s October issue. If nothing else, the picks show how the auto market has blended genres.

The magazine buys all the cars it tests, as opposed to virtually all other publications and websites, which borrow them from automakers. The goal is to buy the same vehicle that any consumers would get on their own at a dealership.

Here are the four at the bottom of the car barrel:

•Chrysler 200. It’s now dead last among its midsize car rankings. When it was introduced, the new 200 was considered a vast improvement over the one it replaced.

But Consumer Reports disliked its “raspy” four-cylinder engine, balky transmission and “klutzy” handling. The cramped rear seat is something only a submariner could appreciate, the magazine writes.

•Land Rover Discovery Sport. The SUV has a “flat footed” engine and a transmission that’s unrefined. Handling is “lumbering,” and the entertainment system seems to be from another age.

•Lexus NX 200t/300h. The new compact SUV edition form the Lexus line seems too much to Consumer Reports like the Toyota RAV4, especially the “jostling” ride. Some components feel cheap, and overall it falls short of German competitors.

See the full list here...

Originally posted on USA Today

Is This the Tesla Model X Out for a Drive?

n eagle-eyed car enthusiast spotted what may be the new Tesla Model X being road tested today in California.

Brandon Kiehne posted an image to Instagram, which was picked up by Electrek, which suggested he caught “the first photo” of Tesla’s long-awaited SUV, expected sometime next year.”I saw this one being pulled into the trailer at [Naval Air Station Alameda] at an entrance to the closed airfield,” Kiehne wrote in a caption. “The truck pulling it was a Tesla vehicle.

“After [the trailer] was closed up I asked if I could be nosey hoping to find out what the car was but I got a quick ‘not on this one,'” he said.

The 1.5-minute clip shows a Prius-like vehicle driving at high speeds, making wide loops, and braking. Its camouflaged body, TechCrunch pointed out, appears to share common design and size elements with the Model X.

Tesla did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

In February 2012, the motor company unveiled a prototype of its third battery-powered car—a crossover vehicle described as a blending of SUV and minivan, with unique “falcon wing” rear doors (see video below).

Initially set for production in late 2013, the Model X has been delayed twice; as of November, the car is set to ship in the third quarter of 2015.

See the Instagram post and keep reading

Originally posted on pcmag.com