Two liter turbo four with 228 horsepower, six speed manual transmission, 185″ overall length, four door/five passenger, 3,200# curb weight, 225/45R18 Hankook radials on aluminum rims, 33mpg/highway, 13.2 gallon tank, 14 cubic foot trunk, moon roof, Beats custom stereo with navigation, heated/air conditioned front leather buckets, made in Puebla, Mexico, $31,740.00 window sticker.
George Gray and Matt Arguello – Pirate Radio review:196″ length – BluePrint blue paint – All-wheel drive – 2.5 liter four with 205 horsepower – Eight speed automatic – JBL 14 speaker stereo – Cognac leather interior with seating for five (four heated seats) – 16 cubic ft. trunk – 14.4 gallon tank provides 490 miles of range with 34 MPG highway rating Moon roof – Head up display – $44,728.00 MSRP – built in Georgetown, KY
Radio review by Pirate Radio DJ’s George Gray and Matt Arguello:Forest Mist paint and seven passenger beige leather seating – four buckets – navigation system – heated and cooled outboard seating with sunshades all around the rear – heated steering wheel – DVD rear entertainment package – power sliding side doors and power rear hands free tailgate – moon roof – 19” shark gray finished wheels with Hankook 235/55R19 all season radial tires – 3.5 liter V-6 and 10 speed automatic transmission – 19.5 gallon tank, 28 mpg highway rating, and 546 miles of range – 280 horsepower and 262 lb. ft. of torque – center console and push button dash mounted shifter – $49,335 .00 M.S.R.P. – built in Lincoln, AL
The Toyota Corolla XSE that I was recently able to test came in a pleasing Blueprint blue metallic paint scheme and featured black SofTex seating surfaces. The Toyota Corolla, one of the best-selling nameplates of all time, has moved over 45 million cars onto driveways around the world (well, mostly driveways), and the car is in its twelfth generation configuration, having been around since 1966.
The 2021 front wheel drive Corolla sits on a 103.9” wheelbase, is 70.5” wide, 57.1” high, and weighs 3,060 lbs. The way that Greeley and Ft. Collins have grown, it seems you are always poking around looking for parking space, so with a car that’s 172 inches long, it is not too difficult with Toyota’s Corolla.
Acceleration, handling, visibility and guidance were all acceptable for the Corolla. The power was supplied by a 2 liter, 4 cylinder engine, putting out 168 horsepower through a continuously variable (CVT) transmission. Silver and gray ten-spoke alloy wheels were fitted with P225/40R18 all-season radials on the car.
The 5 passenger interior of the Corolla was comfortable and the seating was supportive and looked good. The car had a backup camera, 8″ touchscreen, cruise control, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope steering column, and keyless entry. M.S.R.P for my test Corolla came in at $29,289.00, including freight. The biggest item added to its $25,725.00 base price was a premium audio/navigation package ($1,715.00) consisting of a JBL stereo and dynamic navigation.
The Corolla did a super job for me during the test in Northern Colorado. The slick styling caught a lot of eyes, the car kept pace at the stoplights, and with the 38 mpg highway mileage rating, I spent a nominal amount of money on gas. I’d say it is a good value.
This last week I received a Subaru to test, a 2020 Outback with the four-cylinder turbocharged engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). It was the Onyx edition in Abyss Blue Pearl with two-toned gray StarTex interior. This car is made by Fuji Heavy Industries, a Japanese firm, with final assembly taking place in Lafayette, Indiana. The Onyx is one of the the top-line Outbacks out of seven models offered in both turbo and non-turbo configurations. This one had an option package that included Starlink 11.6” multimedia navigation infotainment system, moon roof, and reverse automatic braking. This $1,845.00 package, plus $245.00 for wireless charger, brought the total M.S.R.P. to $37,995.00, including freight. I really enjoyed the charger in the console for keeping my flip phone charged up.
The Outback is a derivative of the Subaru Legacy wagon, introduced in 1994. It was originally called the Legacy Outback, and the Legacy name was dropped in 2003. Subaru in the 1990s did not want to spend the money for a new design for its crossover SUV to be produced, so simply modified an existing offering. They added side body cladding, raised the ground clearance, and added a rugged-looking rack on the top. In 2009, the second generation Outback was introduced, and sales since then have been brisk – over 181,000 in 2019. Crossover SUVs are quite popular nowadays, and a large part it is the result of the Subaru Outback.
Power for the Outback is supplied by a turbocharged 2.4 liter, boxer four-cylinder, DOHC, all-aluminum engine with 260 horsepower and 277 lb. ft. of torque. The boxer designation refers to its horizontally-opposed configuration, like a Corvair or Porsche. Think of a boxer, throwing punches. The weight of the engine, although modest, is kept at a lower center-of-gravity with this design. Ground clearance, however, is a category-best 8.7 inches. The transmission is a Lineartronic continuously variable automatic with Hill Holder feature and eight-speed manual mode – paddle shifters are behind the steering wheel. Symmetrical all-wheel drive, is, of course, standard equipment. Fuel economy is rated at 23-city and 30-highway for the car, and the fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons of regular gasoline. Acceleration from zero to sixty is reportedly 7.37 seconds. Wheelbase/length/weight are 108.1”, 191.3”, and 3,915 lbs., respectively.
The front buckets in the Outback are nice, and the three-passenger rear seat is split and reclines somewhat. Cargo space is 34 cubic feet with the back seats up and 75.7 cubic feet with the back seats dropped down. The center passenger in the rear has a shoulder belt, adding to the Outback safety reputation. Both of the front seats are power-adjustable, and the driver ergonomics are fine.
The ten-spoke black 18” alloy wheels on the Onyx are attractive, and they are surrounded by 225/60R18 all-season radials. The blue paint was offset with the dark cladding and bumpers, and the black roof rack gave the car an off-road look. I did not go off-road, but took some bumpy dirt roads with satisfactory results. I like the hefty, solid feel of the car both in town and out on the highway.
A few days with the Subaru Outback, and this reviewer can see the reason that these Outbacks are so popular, particularly in our home state of Colorado, where they outsell everything else. Crossover shoppers would be well-advised to consider an Outback at purchase time.
The Highlander was taken over the the Pirate Radio studios for an analysis by the DJ’s, George “Elvis”Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello:Ruby Flare pearl metallic paint – heated leather jet black interior – 7 passenger seating with 4 buckets – Navigation system with 12.3” touchscreen – Radar dynamic cruise control – Power sunroof and power rear tailgate – JBL AM/FM/MP3/CD/Satellite stereo with eight speakers – Pushbutton start and backup camera – Blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist – 243 horsepower hybrid four – 2.5 liter with stop/start technology – CVT automatic transmission All wheel drive – 20” polished aluminum wheels and P245/55R20 Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 all season radials – $52,512.00 window sticker – 34 mpg highway gas mileage – 35 mpg city gas mileage – 35 mpg combined gas mileage Made in Princeton, Indiana