Tag Archives: 2014

2014 Kia Optima Turbo Sx Photo Gallery

2014 Kia Optima Sx Turbo

The Kia Optima makes a bold stride to prove that it can offer luxury qualities without the luxury price tag.  The 2014 Kia Optima is a 4 door sedan bridging the gap between mid to high class.  Under the hood in the 2014 Kia Optima Sx lies a 2.4 Liter turbo charged 4 cylinder engine producing 274 horsepower and 269 ft.lbs of torque.  While the numbers are there, our week long test drive revealed below copacetic ride quality with its lazy suspension response and turbo lag.  Nevertheless, the Kia Optima is filled with luxury traits inside out that makes up more than what the underlying mechanics offer.

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan Photo Gallery

Dodge emblem

Let’s face it, the Dodge name doesn’t exactly resemble any specific form of crown jewel in the automotive realm, but it was Dodge that pioneered the versatile full-sized passenger car that spawned the concept of what is known today as the infamous minivan.  Evident to the success of the Dodge Caravan, it didn’t take long for its audacious contenders to step into the game with their own version of the minivan, namely the Nissan Quest, and Honda Odyssey.  Being the first adopters helped put Dodge into the lead of the game.  Regardless of multiple flavors available in the market, the Dodge Caravan remained the most popular choice for consumers seeking full-size 7-passenger capacity coupled with versatility and convenience.

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2014 Dodge Grand Caravan | Review

Red Exterior

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan

Let’s face it, the Dodge name doesn’t exactly resemble any specific form of crown jewel in the automotive realm, but it was Dodge that pioneered the versatile full-sized passenger car that spawned the concept of what is known today as the infamous minivan.  Evident to the success of the Dodge Caravan, it didn’t take long for its audacious contenders to step into the game with their own version of the minivan, namely the Nissan Quest, and Honda Odyssey.  Being the first adopters helped put Dodge into the lead of the game.  Regardless of multiple flavors available in the market, the Dodge Caravan remained the most popular choice for consumers seeking full-size 7-passenger capacity coupled with versatility and convenience.

2014 Maserati Ghibli: The more attainable rare Italian (CNET On Cars Episode 42)

Maserati’s Ghibli has a tantalizing take on four-door performance; see CNET’s top-rated 2014 cars; and find out if you have the right junk in your trunk.







CNET Car Tech

Getting dirty in the 2014 Toyota 4Runner 4×4 Trail

Meet the 2014 Toyota 4Runner 4×4 Trail Premium: a simple, old dog that’s learned a few new tricks in this latest generation. On paper, it’s rocking a 12-year-old power-train that’s as dumb as a bag of hammers, but atop those hammers is a bit of high-tech intelligence with an Advanced Traction Control system. At a glance, the chunky dashboard looks like a child’s toy, but powering the infotainment is Toyota’s Web-connected, app-based Entune system. No doubt you’ve already seen the middling star rating above, but I actually enjoyed my week spent with Big Red.

I wasn’t sure what to think of the 4Runner upon accepting delivery, but I soon learned that while it’s not necessarily the most CNET style vehicle to pass through our garage, it’s worth a second (or third) look.

Keeping it simple in the engine roomBeneath the bulging hood and the fake hood scoop, you’ll find Toyota’s 4.0-liter V-6 engine. It’s got no direct injection and no forced induction, but Toyota’s variable valve timing technology does help this 12-year-old engine to output 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. That’s decent, but not mind-boggling power.

Behind this grill, you'll find no surprises. The 2014 4Runner features basically the same engine and transmission as the previous generation.

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

Power now flows through the only option, a 5-speed automatic transmission, on i… [Read more]

    








Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

CES 2014 will showcase the near future of driving

Toyota will bring its latest Fuel Cell Vehicle Concept to CES, demonstrating its green car development.

(Credit: Timothy Hornyak/CNET)

Auto shows make great places to see the cars coming to showrooms in the next year, but CES shows how we will be driving by 2020. Automakers and suppliers are participating in CES 2014 to show off their latest tech concepts, designed to make driving safer and easier than ever.

At CES 2013, both Lexus and Audi made important announcements about their efforts to develop autonomous vehicles. While those efforts have not come to dealers yet, Audi will be demonstrating its test vehicles at CES, showing how the future car will drop off its passengers, then go find a parking spot on its own. At CES 2013, Audi executives displayed the hardware that would make self-driving cars practical, including a sensor array much more compact than that seen on the tops of Google’s autonomous cars. The company is working to integrate its sensor array into cars to enable self-driving capabilities.

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2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe gets more bark, more bite

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

LAS VEGAS — I was a big fan of the 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe, so I wasn’t disappointed when, for the 2013 model year, the Si Coupe went unchanged, despite the many revisions that the Civic Sedan and Civic Si Sedan received as part of the “emergency refresh” of the 2013 model year.

Unveiled today at the 2013 SEMA Show here in Las Vegas, the 2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe finally gets its refresh, bringing it in line with the four-door variant but with styling twists of its own.

The 2014 Civic Coupe gets new headlamps that are visually similar to those of the sedan, but the grille that flows into and joins those lights is more aggressive and streamlined. The result is a fascia that’s even less visually complex than the already simplified 2013 design. The Si Coupe model differentiates itself even further with a unique front bumper and air dam that is much angrier-looking, with larger openings at the corners that envelop the foglamps.

Honda debuts, customizes 2014 Civic Si at SEMA 2013 (pictures)

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2014 Volkswagen CC Executive debuts new Car-Net connectivity suite

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

When it first debuted, the Volkswagen CC was known as the “Passat CC,” a sporty variant of the large sedan that featured a more coupe-like design. Over the years, the CC and Passat have further diverged, the former dropping the “Passat” moniker back in 2011. For the 2014 model year, the two vehicles’ driving characteristics and engine choices are now very different.

I think that it’s fitting that so soon after our First Take in the 2014 Passat, that we take a look at the new 2014 Volkswagen CC Executive to see how it compares to the sedan upon which it was based and shares a platform.

RNS 510 cabin tech Cabin tech is modular within the VW brand, so it’s no surprise to see the the same RNS 510 receiver in the 2014 CC that can be found across the automaker’s line of vehicles.

The RNS 510 navigation system isn't visually impressive, but it gets the job done.

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

The RNS 510 navigation system features rudimentary graphics that aren’t visually impressive, but get the job done. The list of audio sources includes CD playback, MP3 and iPod connectivity, a 3.5mm analog auxiliary input, and satellite and terrestrial radio, but digital media is connected to the receiver via VW… [Read more]

    








Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Dated dash tech meets the connected age in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

The 2014 Volkswagen Passat doesn’t come up very often in my discussions about and comparisons with other sedans in its class. Perhaps, it’s because the Passat is like a Jetta or because the RNS 315 and 510 navigation systems simply aren’t exciting to techies and have been around forever. Perhaps it’s because, for VW enthusiasts, the Passat is almost a foregone conclusion, the obvious choice when you need more space than the Jetta offers and for everyone else, suggesting a Volkswagen will be met with, “Yeah, but what about the reliability?” Perhaps it’s that you either want a Passat or you don’t that keeps it out of discussion.

Let’s discuss it anyway, because the 2014 Passat SEL Premium 1.8T that I was able to take for a spin at a recent Volkswagen full-line driving event is interesting for a few reasons — the most obvious being the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine, which is a new, strong performer, and the debut of VW’s Car-Net telematics system, which brings the dated dashboard tech into the connected age.

Dashboard tech and Car-Net telematics The Passat’s dashboard tech doesn’t seem to have changed much. Front and center, our SEL trim level featured the same RNS 510 navigation receiver that has graced Volkswagen models for as far back as I care to remember. It’s not a bad system, boasting a combination of physical and touch-screen controls that are easy to understand and an inte… [Read more]

    








Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

2014 Pioneer car audio line supports Android over USB

(Credit: Pioneer)

Pioneer joins the all too short list of car audio manufacturers to support media playback and browsing on Android phones with the announcement and launch of its 2014 lineup of CD receivers: the DEH-X6600BS, DEH-X6600BT, DEH-X5600HD, DEH-X4600BT, DEH-X3600S, DEH-X3600UI, DEH-X2600UI and FH-X500UI.

All eight models in the new 2014 lineup of Pioneer single-DIN DEH recievers (and the double-DIN FX-X500UI) are able to browse media stored on a USB-connected Android phone with the aid of the media transfer protocol (MTP), which has been adopted by the Android operating system as of version 4.0 to handle all file transfers. (Older Androids made use of the same mass storage protocol that USB drives do.) Once connected, the receivers will be able to browse and playback digital audio files stored locally.

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If the system works like I expect it will, users may end up having to browse the sometimes confusingly organized Android … [Read more]

    








Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET