Saturday, July 5, 2014

2015 Acura TLX

I'm confident in saying that the 2015 Acura TLX, revealed before two months at the New York Auto Show, will be a perfectly nice car to drive. It'll be nice to sit in, with plenty of luxurious amenities.

I say that because while the TLX is an all-new offering (it replaces both the TL and TSX), it hardly shakes up the Acura formula we've come to accept over the past few years. It looks like everything else in the automaker's lineup, complete with the neat LED headlamps and signature beaked grille. Power comes from either a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline-four with 206 horsepower, or a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 hp. The front-wheel-drive version uses a Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system like that in the RLX (Acura tells us it has been modified for TLX use), and high-end V6 models use the Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) that we've enjoyed across the rest of the Acura range. Really, there's nothing to write home about here, except maybe, how that power is sent to the wheels.

Acura is finally – finally – moving beyond the world of the six-speed transmission, offering a new eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox with the 2.4-liter engine, and a swanky new nine-speed automatic with the 3.5-liter V6. This is arguably the biggest news surrounding the TLX, though do note, fuel economy hasn't vastly been improved in the process. The TLX 2.4 musters up 24- miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg highway, while the front-drive V6 is rated at 21/34 mpg. Optioning for the V6 SH-AWD reduces things to 21/31 mpg.

                                             2015 Acura TLX 8 speed dual clutch transmission

Inside, it's more of the same – the company's dual-screen center console and infotainment system is used here, and it all looks like the same setup as in RLX and MDX. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014



A drag race is a contest between two vehicles racing side by side in a straight line at a designated, controlled racetrack, usually on a quarter-mile. In most drag racing categories, the first vehicle to the finish line wins. In some cases, such as Jr. drag racing, the course is an eighth-mile instead of a quarter-mile.

A drag racing event is made up of a series of individual two-car races called eliminations. Winners of each two-car race advance until only one winner remains.

NHRA offers two types of drag racing: heads-up and handicap. Heads-up racing is the easiest to understand because both cars leave the starting line at the same time, and the first to cross the finish line wins. Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Top Alcohol Dragster, and Top Alcohol Funny Car race heads-up.

In handicap racing, the object of the game is to predict how many seconds it will take your car to get to the finish line, then try to run as close to that number as possible without going quicker, or "breaking out." The driver who comes closest is the winner. Handicap racing allows cars of different speeds to race one other because the slower car gets a head start. In some categories, the driver chooses his or her own handicap, or dial-in/dial-under. These are Super Stock, Stock, E.T. bracket, and Jr. Dragster classes. In other categories, the class handicap is predetermined and may not be changed. These classes are Comp, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street. In Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street, breakout rules apply.
 Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s.

World's Greatest Drag Race!

This is the first look at the hardcore Porsche Cayman GT4

The 2014 911 GT3 engine fire debacle was a black eye for Porsche. As the smoke clears, though, there are a couple things we know. Porsche's commitment to the GT3 philosophy of keeping revs and driver involvement at a slow boil is intact, and it's being downsized. You see, the GT3's chief engineer, Andreas Preuniger, likes mid-engined platforms. This is the result: the Cayman GT3. Or possibly the Cayman GT4—both names are swirling around in the ether.

A spy shooter in Germany caught this Cayman mule out on the road, and in a glance we can see that this isn't any Cayman we've seen before. Unlike the GTS, which is the newest official Cayman variant, the front splitter wraps around all the way to the wheels, there's a vent on the top of the front bumper cap, and there's the massive rear wing whose shape loosely resembles that of a 911 GT3. Underneath that, there's a revised ducktail spoiler. It's lower than a normal Cayman, and it has larger brakes.

According to Porsche's GT model tradition, it should be a higher-performance model that combines excellent trackday abilities with acceptable comfort and refinement levels to make it useable as an everyday car.

What we can see from these pictures is the new styling and aerodynamics package with an extended front lip spoiler, an additional air inlet in front of the hood, a fixed rear wing, a rear bumper with a diffuser and twin pipes similar to that used on the GTS, plus different wheels and huge brakes on all corners.

We can't see what's hiding under the sheetmetal, but rumor has it that the Cayman GT4 will sport a flat-six with a larger displacement than the GTS at 3.6-liters and an output of around 360-horses that would place it just about the base 911 Carrera. Suspension tweaks are to be expected as well. Whether it will be offered exclusively with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission or if Porsche will give the option of a manual gearbox, remains unknown at this point.

Top 10 Signs of Transmission Trouble

Diagnosing car problems yourself may seem like an impossible task, but try to think of it in terms of your own body. For instance, if your stomach begins to hurt without warning, you'll probably start thinking of the last thing you ate in order to figure out why you're having the pain. A similar type of thinking goes into diagnosing car trouble. The moment you start noticing something out of the ordinary, it's time to start considering the problem and finding a way to fix it.

Mechanical auto problems, as opposed to electrical auto problems, are usually coupled with distinct sounds and sensations that are key indicators that something isn't functioning the way it was designed to. Transmissions take a lot of use over the years, and after a while, they're bound to start having some problems. Transmission repairs can be expensive, so it's worthwhile to pay attention to anything that seems unusual.

1.Refuses to Go Into Gear

One potential problem is that the transmission refuses to budge when you depress the clutch pedal and attempt to move the stick shifter.

It may happen when trying to get into first gear from a stop, or at any point up and down the assorted gears. Common causes include low transmission fluid, wrong viscosity (thickness) of fluid, or required adjusting of the shift cables or clutch linkage.

2.Burning Smell

If you get a whiff of burning transmission fluid, be advised it is definitely not the sweet smell of success. That's because it may indicate your transmission is overheating. Transmission fluid not only keeps the transmission's many moving parts properly lubricated, but it prevents the unit from burning itself up, by providing much-needed cooling.
In some vehicles, the transmission even has its own mini-radiator (an oil cooler) that circulates fluid to transport heat away from the transmission unit itself.
Common causes include low or inadequate transmission fluid, which can in turn indicate a leak or dirty fluid that needs changing.

3.Transmission Noisy in Neutral

It seems intuitive that if you hear weird noises when the car should be shifting, that the transmission is acting up. But would you suspect it if things were going "bump" in neutral? Yes, it could be the transmission.
Such sounds could have a simple and inexpensive solution -- as with many of the problems on our list, adding or replacing the transmission fluid sometimes does the trick. Bear in mind that as is the case with engine oil, different vehicles do best with the specific formulation called for in the owner's manual.

Alternatively, lots of noises from the transmission while it's in neutral could signal something more serious, like mechanical wear that will need the replacement of parts. In this case, common culprits are a worn reverse idler gear or worn bearings, possibly coupled with worn gear teeth.

4.Gears Slipping

In a normally functioning transmission, the car stays in the gear you designate, or that the computer designates for a given RPM range, until you or the computer initiate a gear shift.
But on a transmission in which the gears slip, the car can spontaneously pop out of the gear it's in while driving and (in a manual) force the stick back into neutral.This is unnerving at best and potentially dangerous at worst: when you mash the gas pedal to avoid an out-of-control vehicle, the last thing you want is a transmission that doesn't get power to the wheels. No need to scratch your head over whether this is trouble or not: if it happens, you know it's time to have your transmission examined.

5.Dragging Clutch

Here's another transmission trouble sign that haunts manual transmission vehicle owners: the dreaded dragging clutch. A dragging clutch is one that fails to disengage the clutch disk from the flywheel when the driver pushes in the clutch pedal.
When the driver attempts to shift gears, he or she can't because the still-engaged clutch is still spinning along with the engine. The driver is abruptly made aware of this by the grinding noise that then ensues with each attempt to shift.

Fortunately, the most common cause for this problem is not that severe or costly to fix -- at least not compared to some other transmission issues. More often than not, the problem is too much slack in the clutch pedal. With too much free play, the cable or linkage between the pedal and the clutch disk doesn't have enough leverage to disengage the clutch disk from the flywheel (or pressure plate).

6.Leaking Fluid

Leaking transmission fluid is probably one of the easiest ways to identify that your transmission needs attention. Automatic transmission fluid is vital to your car's shifting capabilities, so a little fluid on your driveway can quickly turn into a major problem. Automatic transmission fluid is bright red, clear and a little sweet-smelling when everything's working correctly.

                  Automatic transmission fluid should be bright red, clear and a little sweet-smelling.

When you check your automatic transmission fluid, make sure it's not a dark color and that it doesn't have a burnt smell. If it is, you'll need to take it to a mechanic and have it replaced. Unlike your car's motor oil, the transmission doesn't really consume or burn up any fluid during use, so if you notice you're running low on fluid, then it's definitely leaking out somewhere.

If you have a manual transmission, checking the fluid levels may not be as easy as simply lifting the hood and reading a dipstick. Manual transmission fluid has to be checked right at the transmission case -- usually through the fill plug.

7.Check Engine Light

The check engine light can be a great early indicator that something is starting to go wrong with your transmission. The check engine light can come on for any number of reasons not related to your transmission as well, but don't overlook this clear warning sign.

In newer cars there are sensors throughout the engine that pick up irregularities in the engine and notify the computer that there's something wrong in a particular area. In the case of transmissions, these sensors can pick up vibrations and early problems that you may not even be able to feel or see. If you want to know if your check engine light is telling you about a transmission problem, you can purchase a diagnostic scan tool that you plug into your car underneath the driver's side of the instrument panel. The scan tool will display a code that corresponds to the area of the vehicle causing the fault. If the code tells you there's a transmission problem, well, that's a good time to see your mechanic.

                                  Pay attention to your car's warning lights.

Car Dashboard Warning Lights - Understanding What They Mean 

Dash lights are nothing new, but the messages are. The following list of warning lights are the most common lights used by auto manufacturers. Not all warning lights are universal. Always refer to your owner's manual when you're not 100% sure what the light indicates.

Many warning lights indicate that a fault has occurred inside the vehicle's system, but it doesn't pinpoint the item or system that has failed. In these cases, a code reader or scan tool can help determine the part that needs to be replaced.

Here are some warning lights:

  • Check Engine or Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL):

Indicates the engine computer has set a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). Usually requires diagnosis with a professional scan tool. 

  • Coolant Temp Warning:
Indicates temperature has exceeded normal limits. Check coolant level, fan operation, radiator cap, coolant leaks.

  • Oil Pressure Warning:
If this light stays lit, it indicates loss of oil pressure. Immediately check oil level and pressure.

  • Brake System
Indicates one of three possible conditions: parking brake is on; problem with the braking system/brake fluid is low, or ABS problem. Check brake fluid and make sure the parking brake is fully released. If the problem is in the ABS system, it may need a professional diagnosis.

  • ABS Light:
Indicates that the Anti-lock Brake computer has set a code and needs professional diagnosis.

  • Traction Control or ESP:
Illuminates when the vehicle's traction control/anti-skid or electronic stability system is in use. Usually an indicator that conditions are slippery.

  • ESP Fault
Indicates that there is a problem with the vehicle's traction control/anti-skid or electronic stability system.

8.Grinding or Shaking

Depending on whether you have a manual or automatic transmission, your car may respond differently when your transmission isn't working correctly. As noted in a previous section, with a manual transmission, a common sign of trouble is a grinding sound or feeling when you shift into a new gear. If you fully engage the clutch, shift and then hear a grinding sound, you may have a worn clutch or you may just need to have it adjusted.

Or perhaps one or more of your transmission's gear synchronizers, or synchros, is worn out or damaged. Grinding gears can be caused by a number of different factors.
For automatic transmissions problems, you'll most likely feel the car shimmy into each gear rather than the typical almost unnoticeable shifts, or the transmission will make a jarring transition into the next gear. Both are signs that your transmission needs attention.

9.Whining, Clunking and Humming

It's difficult to nail down exactly how your car may sound if there's transmission trouble, but one thing's pretty certain, you'll probably get a that-doesn't-sound-right feeling when you hear it. Every car is built differently, so the sounds they produce can vary greatly, but if you have an automatic transmission, there's a good chance you may hear a whining, humming or even a slight buzzing sound.

With manual transmissions, the sounds will usually come across as a bit more abrupt and mechanical sounding. If you shift gears and hear a clunking sound, then you definitely need to have it checked out by a professional.

10.Lack of Response

Transmissions are designed to go into the correct gear every time, so when they hesitate or refuse to go, it's a sure sign there's something wrong. With manual transmission problems, you may notice after shifting into a gear that the car's engine will rev up, but the car won't be moving as quickly as the engine is running. In this case, a worn-out clutch or more serious transmission problem may be occurring.

Automatic transmissions have the same lack-of-response problem, but will usually manifest the issue while engaging the "Park" or "Drive" selection. The car should shift quickly into either of these modes, but if your transmission hesitates to go into either one, then it's likely there's an issue with the transmission.

                             The Chevrolet Corvette is powered by this GL80 transmission

                        A graphic illustration of a Mercedes-Benz C-class sport coupe's 
                                               six-speed manual transmission

Interesting Facts About Cars

A car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor. Most definitions of the term specify that automobiles are designed to run primarily on roads, to typically have four wheels. Here are some interesting facts about Cars:

1. The first car was invented in the year 1672 by Ferdinand Verbiest. 

2. The first self-propelled car was invented by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769. It was designed with three wheels and an engine in the front along with the boiler. The car was able to run at a speed of 6 km/h.

3. The first cars did not have steering wheels. Drivers steered with a lever.

4. World’s first motor-accident was in 1769. The vehicle is still preserved in the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers in Paris.

5. The first engine powered car was built in Mannheim, Germany by Karl Benz in 1885. 

6. The first steam car was invented in 1769 by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in France. 

7.  The first gasoline automobile was made in 1885 by Karl Friedrich of Germany. 

8.  The car that sold more than one million units in 1965, setting a record that even stands till date is the Chevrolet Impala. 

9. The first auto insurance policy was purchased in in 1897 in Westfield, MA. 

10. Windshield wipers were introduced by a woman. 

11. An airbag moves up to 4500 mph within a second when triggered. A force of 200g is generated. They are designed to explode at an impact speed of 19 mph. The bag inflates within 40 milliseconds of a crash. 

12. In 1924 a Ford automobile cost $265. 

13. The word 'automobile' is a blend of French words 'auto' and 'mobile' which means self and moving respectively. 

14. Chevrolet Impala was one such car that had enjoyed a breaking sales record of more than one million in 1965.

15. The Most expensive Car ever sold is 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe with price of  $87,00,000.

16. First Car Radio was invented by Paul Gavin in 1929.

17. Red Cars Are prohibited in Shanghai,China.

18. Being used in movie Gone in 60 seconds, 1967 Shelby Mustang GT-500 is recognizes as one of the most famous cars ever.

19.Ferrari produces a maximum of 14 cars per day.  Most manufacturers put out thousands of cars on a daily basis. As a case in point, Ford reaches an astronomical production rate of  8,000-10,0000 each day.

20.An airbag takes only 40 milliseconds to deflate.

21.1 out of every 4 cars produced in the world come from China.

22.Drivers kill more deer than hunters.

23.The world’s most profitable car manufacturer is Porsche.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

2015 Porsche Cayenne

2015 Porsche Cayenne is a luxury SUV.On the roads around the world is present since 2002.Represents a great pride of the German car factory from Leipzig.

The platform as some other parts the Porsche Cayenne shares with the Volkswagen Touareg.Equipped with high-quality, advanced equipment that is connected to the performance of the exterior.A special air suspension system provides a comfortable and dynamic drive.Active vehicle suspension adjusts ground conditions.Air vents on the front side are available in two versions.Their job is to control the behavior of the chassis when driving.The design of alloy wheels fits in perfectly with the design of Cayenne.The wheels are available in size from 18 to 20 inches.With excellent performance easily digestible different fields and is suitable for off-road driving.On the roof is a large glass panel and aluminum roof rack.To be complete it is possible to use a hitch.Behind can tow a maximum payload of 7,716 pounds.By using light materials in the production the weight of the vehicle is reduced. In this way, reduced fuel consumption.The headlights have been redesigned and equipped with high-quality LED lighting.Some of the changes included the hood and rear bumper.Certainly everything has improved for the better.There is a well-designed roof spoiler.Rear lighting is slightly different but with excellent features.

Interior of the 2015 Porsche Cayenne:

The cabin of the 2015 Porsche Cayenne is just as it corresponds to a luxury SUV vehicle.To that contribute the quality and comfortable seats and plenty of carbon fiber parts.Dominated by black color, with a sleek gray accents.Built-in three-spoke steering wheel that is sensitive to speed.While at the hybrid version of the Cayenne present electro hydraulic servo.Luggage space is large enough and sliding rear seat becomes huge.Passengers can absolutely enjoy the extra quality audio system.From other equipment should also mention the use of phones, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, electronic diary and HD radio.It really is a long list of what is represented in the new Porsche Cayenne vehicle.In addition to the above-mentioned pieces of equipment and safety is high, making it easier to drive for anyone who get behind the wheel.

The engine of the 2015 Porsche Cayenne:

Additional certainly contributes the good engine that will be found under the hood of the Porsche Cayenne.It is a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine.It will produce a power of 420 horsepower.As a second option comes V6 diesel engine with 300HP.As for the hybrid mode it is connected to 3.0-liter V6 engine with 316HP and 9.4kW lithium ion battery and an electric motor.From this combination comes 94hp.All engines can be combined with 6-speed manual transmission or a Tiptronic S automatic transmission with 6 or 7 speed.

For now, the exact date when the 2015 Cayenne can be found in the sale is unknown .There are assumptions that it will be in the summer of next year.Estimated price for the basic model is currently around 50.000$.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C  is made of a combination of high-quality carbon fibers and aluminum. This just shows that certainly provides a good driving performance and fuel economy. The headlights are simply phenomenal and reminiscent of the eyes of some bugs. The lights may be a halogen or a Bi-LED with carbon fiber. Wheels are 17 and 18 inches or aluminum or matte black with diamond finals. Even the brake calipers can be ordered in different colors. 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C has the exhaust system which is provided through two pipes, and you can choose a regular or sport. At the rear has been redesigned light signaling and enhanced with LED lighting. Weight of the car is only around 890kg and installation of the power steering pump is avoided. The front grille proudly carries the company logo and shape is tapered down until it reaches the peak. On the left and right side are also set lattice parts which act as a leaf. Air vents are awesome and embedded in the upper right corner above the door. It all seems very aggressive and dynamic.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C interior:

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C  with it's interior, new colors and high technological advancement provides phenomenal fun in drive. The steering wheel is totally sports, and passengers have plenty of room to comfortably accommodate.Into the cabin is injected a cup holder and holder for mobile phone. Seats are without a doubt sports and are available in black and red leather, submitting to unambiguous fabric with red stitching and a mixture of leather and microfiber fabrics. Of course for the better enjoyment in the equipment will enter a new audio system with an excellent sound system, the display in the center console, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, and more.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C engine:

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C will place under it hood 1.7 liter turbo 4-cylinder engine based on a level playing field models from the factory Alfa Romeo.It is promoted with a new intake and exhaust system. Innovation is also the use of Alpha’s “scavening” system. His job is by using using a computer controlled valve overlap, torque and throttle response. The result of all these combinations and connecting is output of 240HP and peak torque of 258lb/ft. And acceleration is improved. In just 4.5 seconds exceeds 62mph and reaches maksilanu speed of 160mph. For lovers of fast and aggressive driving there is a button for Race Mode. Just one click and achieves phenomenal feeling.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C price:

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C will come to market later this year.Customers in the United States will have to wait the start of 2015 to ride one such athlete.It will give you the comfort, speed and dynamics. It's price will be around 45,000£ or 75.000$.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis premium sedan has taken the higher road in its second-generation. The exterior looks more refined, its handling has become a touch more sporty, and the interior more sophisticated. What this car may lack in sporty chops it more than makes up in high-tech features and a luxurious ride.

Hyundai is calling its new design language Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, which is the natural evolution of the overdrawn Fluidic Sculpture 1.0. That design language, which arrived with the outgoing Sonata a few years ago, proved the point that sometimes the best line is the line not drawn. All of those extra wrinkles have been ironed out of the 2015 Genesis, which looks elegant and smooth. There’s a pronounced centerline that moves the length of the car’s body and its roofline is graceful. The Genesis sedan keeps its long hood and short rear deck, while the grille is bigger and wider. There are some nice Audi-esque cues with this car’s design, but the car maintains its own identity.

The 2015 Genesis’ HID headlights with LED turn indicators draw attention to the car and everything is laid out in long horizontal lines that make the sedan look wider. At night, a custom Genesis puddle lamp serves as a nighttime reminder that this car is special. Hyundai did increase the car’s length by 0.2 inches, but that’s nearly negligible. However, the 2015 Genesis’ wheelbase has stretched by 2.9 inches to 118.5 inches to smooth out the ride and create more interior space. There were also some big improvements to the car’s frame and suspension. Hyundai uses more than 50 percent high-strength steel, more than any of its competitors. This improved stiffness by 40 percent and adds the car’s sportier performance. There’s an all new multi-link rear suspension and a beefed-up front suspension with aluminum shocks and greater wheel travel.

Drivers will feel more confident behind the wheel, though they won’t mistake the Genesis sedan for a sports car, even if they switch to Sport mode in one of the three selectable modes that include normal, sport, and eco. Those modes adjust a number of calibrations on the vehicle such as throttle response, transmission shift points, and other features. The changes are slight, but still noticeable. The 5.0-liter model also uses a continuous dampening control system to adjust to the road.

The 2015 Genesis V-8 sedan is  extremely quiet on the road, the 420 horsepower under the hood mated to a silky smooth eight-speed automatic transmission with standard paddle shifters provides more power than most people need, aggressive acceleration for high-speed passing and great cruising. The all-wheel-drive V-6 model, new to the lineup and a necessary for luxury buyers in certain regions, was also excellent, though the 311-horse 3.8-liter V-6 under the hood with the 3.8-liter felt underpowered after driving the bigger V-8.

Additionally, Hyundai has added a lot of technology for long hauls including adaptive cruise control and an aggressive Lane Keep Assist. The cruise control does a nice job of matching the speed of the vehicle in front and slowing down if that vehicle drops its speed.

The Lane Keep Assist uses a camera to monitor the car and make sure it is staying between the lines. If the car begins to cross a line, the system will shudder the wheel and let out an audible beep. (It does this as well with the blind-spot detection system.) There’s a more aggressive setting for the Lane Keep Assist, which actually steers the car back into the lane and forces you to fight it though the lane if you want to cross over it. You can actually let go of the wheel and watch the car turn through a corner in a very disturbing way. But you can only let go of the wheel for 15 seconds before the system announces it will shut down and you need to grab the wheel. It wasn’t engineers who devised this system, but rather lawyers who want the driver to still be responsible for the vehicle’s trajectory.

However, that backseat wrapped in leather is pretty comfortable. All of the seats are pretty comfortable for that matter. There’s certainly a lot of space with an interior volume of 123 cubic feet. That beats the Cadillac CTS (110.7 cubic feet), the Lexus GS (113.3 cubic feet) and the Mercedes E Class (113.1 cubic feet). More importantly, it feels spacious and open and the ride is insanely quiet, even quieting the big V-8. Inside the 2015 Genesis, there’s also a rear window shade that can be electronically drawn up or down, nicely done real wood trim with different grains on different vehicles, and the instrument cluster is clean and precise. The little details are executed very well in this cabin in both construction and choice of materials. Hyundai has done some ergonomic work on the steering wheel and many of the switches have been replaced to give them a better feel. There’s a standard 8-inch screen with navigation (as well as an optional 9.2-inch high definition screen available). Both are touch screens, though there’s also a control wheel that makes navigation easier. There’s only one USB port at the base of the center stack and it’s a little awkward to use, but if you need to charge more than one thing at a time, just get a 12V plug with USB ports for additional charging needs. It only takes a few minutes to adjust to everything inside this car, from connecting your phone to turning on your seat heater and turning off the Lane Keep Assist. The car is laid out in a very driver-friendly manner with no surprises or disappointment. All of the boxes have been checked. 

Perhaps the most intriguing feature is the automatic trunk opening. It sounds more like a gimmick than anything else but it’s certainly something your neighbor is going to show you if he buys a Genesis. Just walk up to the back of the car, wait to hear four beeps and the trunk opens. No foot waving or button pushing, it just opens like it is reading your mind. Very cool. But Hyundai has always provided owners something to boast a little about. More to the point, though, owners will be bragging about the purchase price. Starting at $38,950 and arriving loaded up with features, the Genesis remains a great near-luxury purchase with all of the trappings of much more expensive cars.

2015 Audi A3 1.8T

While people interested in the entry-level luxury class are all over cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLA, it's easy to forget that the segment existed long before Mercedes introduced its swoopy new four-door to the U.S. Audi was actually one of the first to enter the segment, way back in 2006 with the A3. The original A3 failed to leave its mark, though. It was a four-door hatchback, and because it was a four-door hatchback, Americans generally weren't that interested. The all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan likely won't have that problem. With the entry-lux segment more important than ever, the 2015 Audi A3 1.8T proves that Audi's taking the segment seriously.

Powered by VW Group's new 1.8-liter turbocharged I-4, the front-drive-only 2015 A3 1.8T makes 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, which it puts to the ground through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Accelerating from 0-60 mph in the A3 1.8T takes 6.8 seconds, and the base A3 is through the quarter mile in 15.4 seconds at 89.4 mph. In comparison, the A3 2.0T Quattro launches quicker thanks to its 220-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 and standard all-wheel-drive system, needing 5.4 seconds to hit 60 mph and 14.0 seconds to finish the quarter mile, with a 98.6 mph trap speed.

Though the A3 2.0T sports better performance numbers than the 1.8T, I think the A3 1.8T is the one to have if all-wheel drive isn't on your must-have list. The A3 1.8T doesn't feel noticeably slower while driving and its gearing feels shorter, making it feel perky around town. The 1.8T-equipped A3 also has lighter, more communicative steering than the 2.0T, which makes it much more fun on back roads, especially considering the A3 2.0T seems to have a bit of trouble transitioning quickly left to right on quick switchbacks.

Among the biggest changes to the 2015 A3 is the way it looks: the Americanized A3 now sports a traditional sedan body style, and for better or worse it looks like a three-quarters-sized A4. Parking the A3 next to an A8 gives an interesting look at how scalable Audi's design language is. While the A3 is certainly handsome, I can't help but feel like it's almost too conservative for the young millennial buyers Audi is targeting. Park the A3 next to Mercedes' CLA and I bet you the majority of passersby younger than 30 would choose the CLA over the A3 on looks alone.

Inside, the 2015 Audi A3 makes up ground compared to Mercedes. Though some members on staff are quick to call the A3's interior cheap, I think minimalistic is the right word. The Audi's interior is simple, looks nice, and is intuitively laid out. The CLA is beautiful and has a bigger trunk. In my opinion the interior of this Audi is terribly boring. It actually looks like a simpler version of the CLA's interior.

The Google Maps-based navigation system renders quickly, the Siri-like voice control is better than Siri, and its chock full of why-didn't-they-think-of-that-sooner features like picture destination, which uses GPS data saved on a photo you take with your smartphone to navigate the car to that exact destination. Trying to track down a lost friend? Have them text you a picture of where they are, import it into the A3's MMI system, and off you go.

While the 2015 Audi A3's bells and whistles are killer, there are a handful of issues with the interior – tire noise being chief among them. The A3 is already relatively heavy, an extra 10 or 20 pounds (just 171 eggs!) would make a big difference.

With a base price of $30,795, the A3 is pretty well-equipped. The neat flip-out screen in center stack is standard, as are leather seats, HID headlights with LED running lamps, automatic wipers, and a plus-sized "panoramic" sunroof.

2015 Audi A3 1.8T

BASE PRICE:  $30,795
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE:   1.8L/170-hp/200-lb-ft turbo  DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION:  6-speed twin-clutch auto.
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) : 3108 lb (60/40%)
WHEELBASE: 103.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 175.4 x 77.2 x 55.7 in
0-60 MPH: 6.8 sec
QUARTER MILE: 15.4 sec @ 89.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH: 106 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT:  26.7 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY:  147/102 kW-hrs/100 miles

CO2 EMISSIONS:  0.73 lb/mile