Car Review: 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus

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When Dodge brought the Challenger back to life a few years back, the passion for this car was very high. Now with a refresh for the 2015 model year, there is even more to cheer about with the 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus. We drove this beast for a week, and even though the Ohio weather wasn’t the best, we still had a great time behind the wheel.

EXTERIOR

Inspired by the iconic 1971 Challenger, all 2015 models take on a bold new appearance that draws on the 1971 model’s split-grille and split-tail lamp cues, updated to 2015 with four signature LED headlamp halo surrounds offset by piano black trim. Single projector-beam headlamps at each front corner light the road ahead. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps are also available.

In profile, the 2015 Challenger’s signature muscle car proportions and large thruster rear-quarter panels stand out from the crowd, while fender and belt lines tie together at the front and rear of the car to create a sleeker appearance. Nine wheel designs are available, including an all-new forged aluminum lightweight 20-by-9-inch wheel design finished in Hyper Black II, which provides a unique anodized metallic look with a flush body-side appearance. Meatier, high-performance three-season rubber is available on the Challenger R/T Scat Pack and 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker models. The 20-inch hyper black aluminum wheels on our test model were conversation-starters alone. This car is hot!

A new, split tail-lamp design continues the historic 1971 model’s inspiration. For a modern look, the Dodge brand’s signature LED treatment creates a single ribbon of light within each lamp. A redesigned rear valance provides the 2015 Challenger with a widened, more planted appearance, while fascia-mounted exhaust tips (with the Pentastar V-6 engine) provide a high-performance finished look.

Heritage and high-impact exterior colors range from B5 Blue and Sublime Green to TorRed. Seven different stripe options give Challenger drivers the ability to get instant customization straight from the factory.

INTERIOR

Inside the 2015 Dodge Challenger is an all-new enthusiast-designed cockpit featuring world-class materials, execution and technology, also inspired by the interior of the 1971 Challenger. To highlight the muscle car’s performance abilities, the 2015 Dodge Challenger is designed with a performance cockpit that embodies the trapezoidal-themed exterior in an artistic and more organically styled way.

The Dodge Challenger’s new cleanly executed instrument panel features an aluminum-stamped driver’s bezel that establishes the driver’s cockpit. For a high-tech look, an innovative 7-inch TFT instrument cluster screen extends through the driver’s bezel and provides a customizable display. The gauge cluster features an analog speedometer and tachometer that straddle the TFT customizable instrument cluster and provide a heritage-inspired “tic-toc-tach” look with throwback radial numbering and concave shape. Additionally, the center stack neatly houses the new 5-inch and segment’s largest available 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens.

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Car Review: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban 2WD LTZ

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When a brand like Chevrolet controls over 50 percent of the full-size SUV segment, you have to stay ahead of the curve to continue that domination. The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban 2WD LTZ does just that, and after a week behind the wheel of this super-sized ride, you come to realize why Chevy owns this market!

EXTERIOR

The exterior design of the 2015 Suburban is more refined and precisely sculpted. New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly improving the quietness of the interior cabin and contributing to improved aerodynamics – an attribute that helps the vehicles slip through the air on the highway with less drag for greater efficiency. Lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels also enhance efficiency through reduced overall mass.

Projector-beam headlamps flank the Chevrolet-signature dual-port grille – chrome on all models – and sweep into the front fenders. High-intensity discharge headlamps and light-emitting diode daytime running lamps are included on LTZ as tested, along with an exclusive chrome grille surround.

The new hands-free liftgate feature allows a customer with a keyless entry fob – and full hands – to open and close the liftgate by waving his or her foot under a sensor beneath the rear fascia. It is standard on the LTZ and available on the LT edition. Additional exterior features include a windshield with an angle that’s raked forward more than before and is flattened at the corners for better wiper performance; laminated windshield and front door glass that contributes to a quieter ride; lower front fascias to accommodate radar-based safety technology; and for a more refined appearance, a B-pillar that’s been moved forward slightly and a C-pillar that’s a little straighter, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicles – especially when climbing into the third row.

LTZ models feature more bright trim on the fascias, grille, body sides, mirror caps and more, and the LTZ also offers power-retractable and illuminated side steps. The 22-inch aluminum wheels really took the appearance to a new level and gave that extra sport look to an already sporty looking SUV.

INTERIOR

Inside, premium materials and enhanced ergonomics demonstrate the Suburban’s blend of sophistication, craftsmanship and function. The instrument panel, for example, has a straightforward design featuring a large, easy-to-view cluster. It includes a 4.2-inch color driver information center display in the center of the cluster for vehicle, infotainment and other data. There’s also an eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen radio on LT and LTZ models in the center of the instrument panel, incorporating secured storage behind the motorized screen. With the wireless phone charging feature, a magnetic inductive charging system allows users to simply place their phone on a small mat in the vehicle, where it charges without the need to plug it in.

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Car Review: 2015 Lincoln MKC AWD

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Lincoln Motor Company’s transformation takes a major step forward with the unveiling of the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility vehicle, and we had the opportunity to test drive this attractive vehicle. There is no doubt that when you first see the MKC, her appealing design really stands out.

EXTERIOR

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is striking from all angles and clearly has the right look to succeed in a very crowded market. The MKC presents a sleek, sculpted body that helps it stand out among peers. Its high beltline and low shoulders create a sturdy, athletic presence, while features such as soft exterior lighting, pedestal side-view mirrors and an available panoramic, all-glass Vista Roof give the vehicle a luxurious, sophisticated personality. Our ruby red metallic MKC looked sleek with 19-inch, five-spoke wheels. From its signature split-wing grille, to its uniquely crafted, hands-free wraparound liftgate, the Lincoln DNA is evident and showing great confidence in this new offering!

MKC will greet owners with exclusive Approach Detection, which senses when an owner is near and responds by illuminating “welcome mats” on the ground next to both front doors. Simultaneously, headlamps, taillamps and door handles glow with soft lighting tuned to complement the vehicle’s exterior color.

INTERIOR

The unique design also carries through to the interior, where craftsmanship and high-tech combine to offer a warm, luxurious environment. An architecturally unique instrument panel showcases Lincoln’s signature push-button gear shifter, which provides an open, inviting interior space. Plush leathers with French stitching and available Bridge of Weir leather and real wood trim accentuate MKC’s elegance and grace. To be more consistent with the Lincoln driving experience, an all-new Lincoln steering wheel debuts on MKC and will be available on all future Lincoln vehicles. This highly tactile, leather-wrapped wheel provides better feeling and control and puts the brand’s new design DNA in the driver’s hands.

The enhanced THX II Certified Audio System, an industry-first featuring THX-distributed bass technology and 14 right-, center- and left-slot speaker assemblies, is available. The state-of-the-art audio system delivers a rich, immersive surround sound experience that reproduces music as it was mixed in the studio. SYNC with MyLincoln Touch enables drivers to personalize MKC by using voice-activated commands or simple touch controls on the class-exclusive 8-inch touch screen. Knobs and buttons on the center console provide additional and easy access to control the air conditioning and sound system.

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Car Review: 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon

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Ford hasn’t been in the minivan business for a few years now, but the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon wants your attention if you’re looking for a people mover. Dubbed the #unminivan, there is a lot of value in a vehicle that looks good, drives great and can haul the family from A to B and back again! We drove the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon Review and found a sweet ride that doubles as a commercial gem.

EXTERIOR

There is a very distinct look about the 2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT Wagon, and we discovered that folks either love or hate the exterior design. One has to remember that the Transit Connect was originally built for commercial use but has now styled up the skin to fit right in with the traditional SUV or minivan. The vehicle was introduced in Europe in 2002, and now, the 2014 Transit Connect van has been named International Van of the Year by a panel of European auto media. It debuted in North America in 2009, quickly becoming a fleet favorite for its size and capability as a hauler of people and cargo. Now, with the arrival of the all-new Transit Connect Wagon, retail buyers have a fresh alternative to the traditional people mover.

The 17-inch alloy wheels looked smooth along with body color side moldings, body color door handles, fog lamps with body color bezel, halogen headlamps, integrated spotter mirrors, power heated exterior mirrors and privacy glass.

INTERIOR

The Transit Connect Wagon and Transit Connect van offer spacious interiors and customization options that allow owners to personalize the vehicle to their lifestyle. The short-wheelbase, five-passenger wagon model, as tested, allows for the second row to flip, fold or be removed entirely. It features 77.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second-row seats flipped forward, and 46.9 cubic feet of volume behind the second row. The long-wheelbase, seven-passenger wagon model has second- and third-row seats that fold flat. It has 104.2 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row with the second and third row folded flat; with passengers in the second row, cargo volume reaches nearly 60 cubic feet. The wagon model’s interior roominess is especially notable for its headroom, which bests many other seven-seat vehicles. Available headroom in the first row is 46.8 inches, with 45.1 inches in the second row. The long-wheelbase model has 41.3 inches of headroom in the third row.

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Car Review: 2015 Ford F350 4X4 King Ranch Lariat Crew Cab

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The stakes keeping getting higher in the Super Duty Truck segment and there is no doubt that the 2015 Ford F350 4X4 King Ranch Lariat Crew Cab will make her mark both on and off the road. We drove this nimble but very large truck for a week and grew more and more enamored with the vehicle every day that passed. The 2015 Ford F350 4X4 King Ranch Lariat Crew Cab is a very important launch for Ford, and from early indications, they should be just fine.

EXTERIOR

There is no mistaking the 2015 Ford F350 4X4 King Ranch Lariat Crew Cab when you see one on the road, from the King Ranch badging, to the unique ruby red paint with caribou accent. The sheer size and good looks compliment, including the fog lamps, body painted grille, locking removable tail gate with lift assist, pick up box with tie down hooks, bodyside protection moldings and skid plates. The premium cast 20-inch wheels are just awesome and deliver on both looks and functionality.

INTERIOR

It’s amazing how far the cabin of trucks have come along, but there is a whole new step up when you step inside the 2015 Ford F350 4X4 King Ranch Lariat Crew Cab. The attention to detail is admired and the feel inside this truck can build confidence in a man that is sometimes not even warranted! Some of the upgraded interior options on the 2015 Ford F350 4X4 King Ranch Lariat Crew Cab as tested include King Ranch floor mats, cab steps with lights, navigation system, memory group, remote start system and heated/cooled front seats.

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