Jeep enthusiasts can finally rejoice. The Gladiator has finally arrived.
Building upon the success of its Wrangler SUV, Jeep has created the Gladiator pickup truck, ripe and ready for Jeep fans who fondly recall the company’s past off-road ready trucks from the storied brand, such as the Scrambler and the Comanche.
In short, it’s the four door Wrangler with a pickup truck bed grafted on but yet so much more.
Jeep has actually been teasing the idea of a pickup truck since the 2005 Gladiator concept. Since then a few aftermarket companies have also created Wrangler conversions but all have been limited by the donor vehicle’s original platform size.
In order to create more of an integrated look, the designers have tried to create some continuity through a sharp character line that carries forth from the doors through to the bed.
Out back, the Gladiator has a five-foot steel box supported by four crossmembers. Jeep says that it looked at all of the materials available and decided steel was the best choice in terms of strength, durability, and cost.
The box’s layout is well thought out and functional with a low bedrail height and only 18-inches of depth. This means that even an average-sized person can palm the bed floor as it is easily accessible, no matter where you choose to load your cargo from.
The five-foot bed also has adjustable tie-down anchors, under-rail lighting, and can also be fitted with a cargo cover, a 115-volt power outlet, a bed divider, and the requisite (optionally available) spray-in bed liner.
The Gladiator’s tailgate is nicely dampened so that it lowers slowly instead of crashing down. There are three positions in which it can be stopped. The 45-degree position allows for two-tiered loading, as the tailgate in this position is at the same height as the 2×4 detents in the wheelhouses. Jeep says the Gladiator can carry a whopping 20 4×8 sheets of plywood in this configuration.
Jeep’s design team kept the legendary seven-slot grille seen on Wrangler, but widened the grille slots for additional air intake to assist with the increased towing capacity.
The top of the keystone-shaped grille is gently swept back to enhance aerodynamics. It’s a modern take on an authentically Jeep design.
A four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame allows for the windshield to fold down quickly and easily. A header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down. Cleverly, this allows the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windshield folded.
Two-piece body-colour fender flares with a black lower insert give a raised profile and are standard on Overland and available on Rubicon models.
A tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windshield is provided as standard equipment.
A premium Sunrider soft top provides a segment-exclusive easy open-air option, which helps to quiet wind noise and allows for access to partial and full open top positions. The soft top features retainers that slide into a track for easy rear window removal.
Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models share an available three-piece body-colour hardtop option, offering a unique, premium appearance, while a black three-piece hardtop, available on all models and as fitted to my test vehicle, offers even more options for open-air driving.
These dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations allow for endless configuration possibilities.
Jeep expects that most Gladiator owners will use their new toys for daily commutes, then haul their dirt bikes to weekend escapes. As such the vehicle has been designed with best-in-class towing and payload capacity in mind. The Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds when properly equipped, and has a 4×4 payload of up to 1,600 pounds.
Weight-wise, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is about 4,500 pounds, while a similarly equipped Gladiator Rubicon will be around 5,100 pounds or about 500-600 pounds heftier.
As the Gladiator is based on the Wrangler’s body-on-frame design, the Wrangler’s familiar 285 horsepower 3.6-litre V6 is also carried over, as is the eight-speed automatic transmission and the six-speed manual. A 3.0-litre EcoDiesel option is said to arrive sometime in 2020, paired with the auto gearbox.
As a nod to the truck nature of the Gladiator, the Jeep uses some of the smooth riding Ram 1500’s parts such as the completely revamped five-link rear suspension.
The Jeep’s forged steel upper and lower control arms are also shared with the Ram, but the shocks have been forward-tilted for better control under load. A different sway bar design is also used, and dual-rate coils replace the Wrangler’s linear rate coils for superior ride and load control. Incidentally, the Gladiator Rubicons come standard with Fox 2.0 smooth body shocks.
Impressively, even when in stock configuration, the Rubicon Gladiator already comes with 8.5 inches of front and 9.5 inches of rear travel. Like its Wrangler Rubicon sibling, the Rubicon Gladiator comes with 33-inch LT285/70R17 tires, but switches from the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A to either Falken Wildpeak A/T or a Falken Wildpeak M/T tires.
The latter, as fitted to my test vehicle, are sure to be great in muddy off-road conditions but are too aggressive in day-to-day driving. There is a fair amount of road wander and noise due to the large open blocks. Personally I would’ve chosen the less-aggressive All-Terrain tires rather than the Mud-Terrain ones as an acceptable compromise.
Unsurprisingly, the same off-road goodies as the Wrangler make their appearance on the Gladiator. All Gladiators are 4x4s and the four-wheel drive systems are also shared with the Wrangler. This includes the 2.72:1 Command-Trac system and the Rubicon’s 4:1 Rock-Trac.
Curiously, it doesn’t appear that the Sahara’s Selec-Trac with 4-Hi Auto will be offered. The Rubicon gets electronic front and rear Tru-Lok lockers, as well as the disconnecting front sway bar.
Choose from a plethora of off-road driving aids such as Hill Decent Control (which keeps the Gladiator from over speeding down steep slopes), or the new Selectable Speed Control system (which acts like cruise control in the dirt, letting the driver concentrate on steering while the Gladiator’s computer handles the throttle).
There is even a Selectable Tire Fill Alert feature that flashes the lights and honks the horn when you air the tires back up to let you know when you are back to street pressure. This clever feature allows uses the tire pressure sensors and eliminates the need to carry a tire pressure gauge.
Experienced off-road enthusiasts will love the new Off-Road Plus button, which assumes high friction surfaces and low driving speed in 4-Low Range and high speed and low friction in 4-High range, adjusting the traction control sensitivity, accelerator sensitivity, and responsiveness (more in 4-Hi, less in 4-Lo).
Hold down down the traction control button for 5-seconds in Off-Road Plus to eliminate the stability and traction control intervention altogether.
A Jeep interior for the 21st century
The Gladiator’s cabin is essentially a carry-over from the Wrangler. Far from luxurious but rugged and ready for adventure, there are wonderful touches such as a gear selector with a red trigger release and a classic Jeep image on top.
Essentially everything from the Gladiator’s B-pillar forward is that same as the Wrangler, save for a few minor differences. Essentially the front row of the cab is shared. Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator gets aluminum doors, hinges, hood, fenders, windshield frame and tailgate help to reduce weight.
Despite its agricultural roots, there is really no shortage of technology in the cabin. Functional features, including climate and volume control knobs, media charging and connectivity ports, and Engine Stop Start control are all sculpted for quick recognition and are easily within reach of the front-seat occupants.
Inboard and outboard circular HVAC vents are surrounded by a platinum chrome bezel for a precise and premium yet rugged appearance with full functionality.
Cloth or leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Available comfort features also include heated front seats and steering wheel.
There are various other cool retro bits such as the straps on the front seat backs, a modern throwback to the seats in the original Willy’s Jeep. Clever nets in the front doors hold a variety of items. It’s simple yet effective.
The all-new rear seats feature high-quality premium materials giving the seats an athletic look that also delivers comfort and support. These rear seats, exclusive to the Gladiator, feature segment-leading rear legroom and utilizes a unique design that can be locked in place to provide secure storage behind the seat back.
The rear seats can be folded flat to access cab-back storage and provide a load floor for larger items.
Clever storage solutions are found throughout, including durable mesh pockets that extend the entire length of the doors and numerous phone storage areas.
The rear seat cushions can fold up into “stadium” position to reveal a standard open storage bin, which utilizes the space under the seat for stowing miscellaneous items. An optional lockable bin provides secure storage space when the top or doors are removed. The available lockable storage bin features two different size doors that correspond to the 60/40 split rear seat cushion. Removable dividers can provide up to five separate compartments and uses the same lock as the glove box and centre console.
A removable bolt bin fits in the under-seat storage space and makes it easy to secure bolts when the doors and top are removed, or the windshield is folded down. The bolt bin lid indicates the corresponding number of bolts and their location under the lid in Petroglyph style.
The instrument cluster features a 3.5- or an available 7-inch information LED display. The 7-inch LED display allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways, including current media being played, tire pressure, tire-fill alert or digital speed readout. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice and speed functions, allowing the driver to keep hands on the wheel at all times.
A 7.0- or an available 8.4-inch touchscreen houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the centre stack. The fourth-generation Uconnect system enhances the user interface and system performance with quicker startup times and improved screen resolution. A 5.0-inch touchscreen is standard on Gladiator Sport.
Directly below the touchscreen are functional features, such as climate and volume control knobs and media connectivity ports.
Exclusive to Gladiator Rubicon models, a clever forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen. The front camera sits behind the middle slot of Gladiator’s seven-slot grille and can be accessed through the Uconnect system’s Off-road Pages.
For increased safety, the Gladiator will offer adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a backup camera with dynamic grid lines.
As one of the year’s most anticipated vehicles, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator seems to live up to its hype. It cleverly builds upon the Wrangler’s character, creating a unique midsized pickup truck with solid off-road credentials and seemingly unlimited aftermarket support for customization.
The Wrangler’s shortcomings, such as excessive wind noise, a firm ride, and awkward entry and egress are carried forth as well, but Jeep buyers do know what they’re getting into and count it as part of the enjoyment of the Jeep experience.
North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex Hosts Official Grand Opening
Surrey, BC – The North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex marked its official grand opening today, with a community event attracting over 500 guests to the state-of-the-art facility in the Bridgeview community. The celebration included free skating and rentals, access to the fitness centre, family entertainment and an artist talk with Katzie Nation artist Trenton Pierre.
“The North Surrey area of our city has long been underserved when it comes to having recreational facilities and programs close at hand,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “With the opening of this new complex, that all changes and I invite everyone to take the opportunity to visit and make full use of this state-of-the-art facility. This new complex is also an illustration of how Surrey is combining thoughtful and advanced design to ensure that our spaces provide accessibility for all ages and ability levels. The City of Surrey is continually pressing forward as one of Canada’s most accessible and livable cities, offering recreational opportunities for everyone.”
The North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex features three sheets of ice, spectatorship opportunities for large-scale events, a state-of-the-art fitness studio and weight room, outdoor activity areas, multi-purpose room programming, rentals and food services. First Nation artist Trenton Pierre’s public artwork, Guardian Spirits, wraps the building exterior, which is mirrored inside the facility from the windows of the modern fitness studio.
Accessibility features include:
- Level access to the ice from dry surface, built to para ice hockey standards
- Players boxes and penalty boxes made of clear lexan, instead of regular puck board, allowing para ice hockey players a clear view from their sledges
- Removable benches in the players boxes, allowing for para ice hockey players to remain in their sledges when off the ice
- Universal hook heights and depths of benches in dressing rooms
- Fully accessible change rooms, referee rooms, sound room, multi-purpose and fitness studios
- Fully accessible washrooms
- Vehicle drop-off area accommodates side-loading vans
Utilizing the three sheets of ice, large-scale spectatorship seating capacity and meeting rooms at the new facility, Surrey will host Olympic Gold Medalist Hayley Wickenheiser’s WickFest Tournament from January 30 to February 2, 2020. This is the tournament’s second year in Surrey, which has now expanded from hosting 800 young female athletes to 1500, as a result of North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex’s increased capacity for ice and meeting space.
Click here for a message from Hayley Wickenheiser about WickFest 2020 at the North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex.
For more information, visit surrey.ca/arenas
[REVIEW] 2020 Nissan Armada Platinum
Nissan has had a storied history when it comes to building four wheel drive vehicles. The company’s first such vehicle started with the Japanese domestic market-only 4W60, which had overall styling similar to the Willys Jeep.
In 1958, the first use of the “Patrol” nomenclature appeared with the Nissan 4W65 Patrol. The four wheel drive vehicle had a “Nissan” badge on the grille and “Patrol” badges flanked the sides of the bonnet.
Fast forward over 61 years and the iconic “Nissan Patrol” lives on as the “Nissan Armada” in North America, having been launched in its current second generation in 2017.
Engineered from the wheels up to tackle the most demanding driving conditions on the planet, over the years, the Nissan Armada has more than earned its reputation, providing the same outstanding level of comfort cruising on the Trans Canada Highway, or negotiating rocky mountain terrain.
It is interesting that Nissan Canada has decided to continue to bring the Armada here despite the fact that it is almost identical to its much more expensive twin, the Infiniti QX80. This platform sharing has both its positives and negatives.
In late September 2019, Nissan unveiled the new 2020 Nissan Patrol in the Middle East, its largest market, with a facelifted model and upgraded infotainment system.
These changes have not carried over yet into the 2020 Nissan Armada, which remains unchanged since the 2017 model year. This is not necessarily a bad thing as Nissan’s V-motion grille and strong angular front still look surprisingly bold and in line with the rest of the company’s products.
The Armada may not be the most popular large SUV on the Canadian market, but Nissan’s reputation for quality, the vehicle’s attractive bold exterior and serene interior are underrated compared with more mainstream vehicles such as the Toyota Sequoia, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and the Ford Expedition.
Material quality is almost indistinguishable from its QX80 twin, a boon for owners.
My top-of-the-range Platinum model added top grain leather surfaces and a lot of chrome surfaces among other things.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are not yet available, nor is a colour driver’s info display in the gauge cluster.
If you’re a hater of touchscreens but a lover of hard buttons to control the climate control and infotainment systems, you won’t be disappointed as there are plenty.
Pushing some of these control buttons will also reveal the thunderous 13-speaker Bose audio system.
My three-row Armada Platinum test vehicle easily accommodated seven passengers with its second row captain chairs and massive centre console. The chairs folded easily and quickly with a handle that springs the seat forward.
Third row seats are power folding on the Platinum model, controlled via buttons in the cargo area or on the third row’s armrests. Just don’t plan on doing this action if you’re in a rush as the motors move at a snail’s pace, if not slower.
Nonetheless, when you’re back in either the second or third row, you’ll find competitive amounts of legroom and cargo space.
My vehicle was also equipped with the rear-entertainment system option with wireless headphones, sure to be a hit for whomever is occupying the rear seats on long road trips (or for wary parents sitting up front).
The 2020 Nissan Armada also stands out for its extensive suite of advanced safety and security technologies.
In addition to the Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies already available, the Armada is also equipped with Nissan’s latest Intelligent Emergency Braking system with pedestrian detection, Intelligent Cruise Control, and an Intelligent Forward Collision Warning system.
Like its more expensive Infiniti counterparts, just a push of the steering wheel button activates the majority of the systems whether or not you actually have a cruise control speed set. One could conceivably drive the vehicle with just one pedal in stop-and-go traffic, making the day-to-day driving tremendously more relaxing.
New from the 2019 model year onwards is Nissan’s Rear Seat reminder feature. Also found in other Nissan vehicles, Nissan’s system detects if a rear door was opened or closed before the car was started, but then wasn’t re-opened again after the vehicle was put in park and turned off. The system notifies the driver with display notifications in the instrument panel of the car.
If the driver still fails to open the rear door, the car will then emit subtle but distinctive chirps of the car horn.
The idea came from Nissan engineers Elsa Foley and Marlene Mendoza who wanted to find a way to remind drivers to check the backseat before leaving the vehicle. It is part of a growing effort by automakers to help tackle the problem of children dying of heat stroke from accidentally being left in vehicles.
Drivetrain and NVH
One engine choice remains, a smooth running 5.6-liter “Eudurance” V8 producing 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque. Both work through a very civilized seven-speed automatic transmission.
However don’t look for paddle shifters or selectable drive modes, such as with the Ford Expedition, as you won’t find any. Fuel economy was also below average even for a big SUV with me averaging a high 19L/100 kms in mostly city driving.
However, what the Armada lacks in engine options it makes up in acceleration. 0-100 km/hr runs take only 6.1 seconds with the powertrain making hearty exhaust rumbles while doing so.
For comparison, this 0-100 km/hr run is roughly equivalent to what you will find with the Nissan Maxima sedan.
There is a selectable “tow” mode on the transmission which holds the shift points to higher revs, and the Armada is capable of towing a trailer up to 8,500 pounds.
You will have to add an aftermarket trailer brake controller though as there isn’t an option for an integrated OEM unit.
Also unchanged for 2020 is the Armada’s excellent all All-Mode 4X4 system with high and low range. As before, the advanced system lets the driver select various modes which have been designed to handle different on- and off-road conditions.
Nissan’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control ensures a more comfortable ride thanks to the improved suspension and vibration reduction.
Despite what its size suggests, the Armada handles surprisingly well. Sure, its soft suspension has an air of floatiness, but that doesn’t negatively affect the driver’s sense of control. My test car had a very comfy and quiet ride even though it rolled on large 20-inch wheels fitted with softer compound winter tires.
While it is far from sporty, the Armada feels more refined than its GM rivals; those alternatives, however, have much better steering feedback than the Nissan’s slow and imprecise steering rack.
The 2020 Nissan Armada has the content and capabilities to deserve some attention for those in the market for a big three-row SUV. These customers will likely be looking for the small choices of SUVs on the market that that can carry a load of cargo and seating for seven or eight while still towing a boat or a trailer.
The Armada’s quality cabin is a nice and quiet place to chew up some highway miles as long as you don’t mind passing up on the latest in driver technology.
Nissan’s solid predicted reliability will also attract those who have been burnt in the past by domestic brands who haven’t fared quite as well in this category.
[REVIEW] 2020 BMW M340i
The British statesman Joseph Chamberlain is known for his famous quote, “we are living in most interesting times”. The father of future Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain and future diplomat Austen Chamberlain, Joseph’s speech in 1898 assigned a complex meaning to “live in interesting times” with connotations of opportunity, excitement, anxiety, and danger.
And indeed we are living in most interesting times when it comes to the future of sports sedans. Once Munich’s bread and butter car, the BMW 3 Series invented this category, blending versatility, balance, power, rear-wheel-drive, and most of all fun.
But times they are a changing and the question that will be is whether anyone still cares about such factors. Long a stalwart support of the manual transmission, BMW was one of a diminishing number of car manufacturers that held onto their manual gearboxes.
As consumer preferences evolved though, one by one, BMW started dropping it from their models.
With the arrival of the seven-generation 3 Series, the manual is gone in North America. It’s difficult to blame BMW though. Statistics don’t lie and not only do a lot of great cars not have manual gearboxes anymore, but people simply aren’t buying them anymore.
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario as dealers aren’t willing to take the chance to stock manual transmission cars as they take longer to turn. Therefore, willing customers find themselves having to likely wait months for special ordered manual transmission vehicles, which likely will cost more as dealers are less likely to offer discounts on special ordered rarer vehicles. And so most customers conceded and opt for automatic gearboxes and thus the vicious cycle continues.
Why the “M” in front of “340”?
A couple of years ago, BMW introduced their M Performance line-up of vehicles. While not the full tilt hardcore BMW Motorsport models, M Performance vehicles were still factory designed and spec’ed, offering greater performance than standard BMWs.
Fast forward to present day and the M Performance line-up has proven to be so successful that it has grown to include not only the M550i, but also the X2 M35i, the Z4 M40i, the X5 M50i, etc., and of course the M340i.
The M340i xDrive actually is the only remaining model in the current 3 Series line-up with six-cylinder gas power. With BMW’s M division still applying the finishing touches to the next-generation M3, this is currently the hottest member of the new G20-generation 3 Series.
This M-tweaked hot halfway house joins the likes of the Mercedes-AMG C43 and the Audi S4, all of which serve as understudies to more established more powerful flagships.
Like BMW, those companies also have had their top engineers applying parts and development from their esteemed performance divisions, making this an interesting time to be a customer.
While the 330i puts out a respectable 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine, the M340i offers up a significant bump in power to 383 horsepower thanks to its new turbocharger and particulate filter among other detailed changes.
The B58 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine offers up a healthy dose of torque too, 369 lbs-ft to be precise, between 1,600 to 4,500 rpms.
Combined with BMW’s tried-and-true ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox, the vehicle never feels breathless, no matter what the situation.
Paired with xDrive permanent all-wheel-drive, the M340i is the perfect sports sedan for all-round use in Canada, be it sunny, wet, or snowy conditions. According to BMW, the M340i just edges out the Audi S4, Genesis G70 3.3T, and Mercedes-AMG C43 in 0-100 km/hr runs by about 1/10th of a second.
The M Performance badge doesn’t just buy you an uprated engine combo. Improving upon the standard 3 Series’ platform, the M340i gets a standard torque-vectoring rear differential, firmer springs, thicker anti-roll bars, a lower ride height, more wheel camber, and adaptive dampers.
The latter has four levels of dampening stiffness via Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus modes to provide what BMW describes as “sporty and authoritative” handling.
The M340i brings along with it seven generations of legacy, and with it, some high expectations. In fact, there seems to be a setting to adjust pretty much every aspect of the car’s behaviour.
Open the driver’s side door and you’re met by a classy-looking cabin with an upmarket air. There are digital gauges, expensive-looking chrome or satin trim bits, and a 10.3 inch infotainment touchscreen.
While it all feels sporty, the cabin doesn’t feel as special as it would’ve in the past. This is in part because Audi’s and Mercedes’ interiors have caught up in recent years.
My test vehicle was also equipped with BMW’s latest Assisted Driving Assistant system, which provides semi-autonomous driving.
There is even an infrared and optical facial recognition camera that is pointed towards the driver to ensure that the appropriate attention is being paid to the road in front.
With the combination of all the aforementioned systems, if the conditions are right, the M340i can even automatically change lanes by the activation of the turn signals when the Assisted Driving Assistant is active.
The G20 3 Series’ centre console and gear lever area now houses the familiar iDrive controller, a wireless phone charging pad, the Driver Experience modes buttons, as well as the engine start/stop button.
The latest iDrive 7.0 operating system is easy to operate and premieres BMW’s new personal assistant activated by saying ‘Hey BMW’. Creatures of tactile habit will rejoice that BMW has still seen fit to include an appropriate number of hard buttons for frequently used functions for the climate controls and infotainment system.
iDrive is now more intuitive (and more feature heavy) than ever, and adjusting the various controls via the iDrive controller or touchscreen soon becomes second nature once you take the time to understand its various menus and submenus.
As before, BMW continues to be the only auto manufacturer that supports wireless Apple Carplay, allowing the system to just work (via WiFi) once you step into the vehicle. Place your phone on the wireless charging mat to keep it juiced up with no cables to fiddle around with.
The instrument screen can be modified to show navigation, active safety programs, G-forces, or be minimised altogether. The head-up display, jacked from the 7 Series, is industry-leading for clarity and quality.
The M340i is one rapid driving machine with the engine revving eagerly up to 6,800 rpms. To be precise, it’s a full 0.5 seconds faster than the old 340i despite its larger dimensions.
To put this in perspective, the M340i is just 0.3 seconds slower than the outgoing fifth-generation M3, whose twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder punches out a greater 425 hp and 406 ft-lbs of torque.
While there is no more manual transmission gearbox, BMW has equipped the M340i’s eight-speed auto with its own unique ratios and an integrated launch control function.
While the M340i never feels as precise as that of a true M-badged car, stability and refinement are clearly amongst the car’s strong suit. Challenging roads are where the car shines, and the directness of its handling reins supreme. Until the M3 arrives later this year, this is the most agile member of the 3 Series family.
The M performance brakes are also well worth the upgrade, firm, confidence inspiring but with a strong initial bite and progressive pedal feel.
While some auto critics have criticized the 3 Series for trying to be all things to all people, to me, it simply feels like it has grown up more to suit the tastes of its audience. Those who want something even more engaging can wait for the M3.
Times they are a changing. Perhaps what is the most astounding is that no longer does one need to buy the most expensive BMW in the line-up to get access to 90 per cent of the tech gadgets. You can pretty much have it all on the M340i.
While there might not be heated armrests or built-in fragrance pods, you can still enjoy semi-autonomous driving, BMW’s novel “caring car” relaxation program within the iDrive system, Laser headlights, adaptive dampers, self-parking, and even the ability to use the BMW Connected Drive app to check out what is going around your vehicle remotely via your smartphone.
It’s all there…on a 3 Series!
While the M340i may no longer be the only player in the sports sedan segment and the BMW design language has arguably evolved to be a bit derivative, the M340i still feels polished, confident, and the one of the best combinations of status, performance, tech, luxury and value.
REVIEW – 2019 Ford Expedition
The 2019 Ford Expedition is a great choice for those with a small family or perhaps just want a mid-range SUV for camping and other outdoor activities. The 2019 Ford Expedition weighs in at 5,900 pounds and offers you up to 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. It seats up to eight people comfortably and has plenty of storage in the back and even more when the seats are folded down.
The 2019 Ford Expedition comes with a 3.5L EcoBoost engine that feels the most responsive of any sport utility vehicle on the market today. The direct injection helps maximize the amount of power squeezed out of the EcoBoost engine and it even has twin air-to-air intercooled turbochargers for a boost of power when you need it.
The 3.5L EcoBoost gets up to 375 horsepower and produces a stunning 470 pounds per foot of torque.
The 2019 Ford Expedition also has a best-in-class towing ability with up to 9,300 pounds of towing capacity when the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package is installed.
The 2019 Ford Expedition for sale at a new car dealership comes in three available trim levels — the XLT, Limited, and Platinum. Each of these trim levels comes with a six-cylinder 3.5L EcoBoost engine with twin air-to-air intercooled turbochargers. The XLT, Limited and Platinum trim levels all seat eight people and all come with a 10-speed automatic transmission. There is also an extended-wheelbase version of the XLT and Limited called the Max.
The XLT is already equipped with 18-inch alloys, running boards, an 8-inch touchscreen, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable driver’s seat, and the choice of four-wheel drive. There are four USB ports and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio as standard.
Move up to the Limited for 20-inch wheels, parking sensors, heated seats throughout, and an upgraded Bang and Olufsen 12-speaker audio system.
The Platinum builds on the Limited and adds interior wood accents, an improved leather trim, noise cancellation, and the ability to increase horsepower and torque when 93 octane fuel is used.
There is also a variety of small upgrades such as aluminum wheels as opposed to hubcaps that can be chosen on the Limited and Platinum models.
Every part of the interior is classy and looks immaculate. The tasteful chrome accents and light tan leathers make the 2019 Ford Expedition a pleasure to be in.
The 2019 Ford Expedition is loaded with technology for modern times with a Wi-Fi hotspot build in that can connect up to ten devices at a range of 50 feet, a wireless charging station, and an 8.5-inch infotainment system at an easy to reach level.
The seating arrangement benefits from the added dimensions of the body and the 2019 Ford Expedition is roomier than ever before.
One thing that Ford has changed about the 2019 Ford Expedition is the seams and contours of the different panels from the quarter panel to the doors. Now the vehicle feels even more seamlessly connected than before. The great line work in the Expedition shows the level of sophistication that modern sport utility vehicles are capable of.
Newly designed front grilles with LED headlamps cut through the snow and fog.
The 2019 Ford Expedition is one of the safest vehicles on the market in the sport-utility division. There is nothing but great safety technologies between you and the roadway when you’re driving the 2019 Expedition. The NHTSA has given the 2019 Ford Expedition a five-star overall rating.
Features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go make driving a hassle-free experience and help prevent collisions with its many sensors. There is also a Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system that will automatically brake in the event that the driver fails to do so. BLIS, or Blind Spot Information System, is another excellent feature that reduces common accidents by showing drivers what is in their blind spot.
It is hard to choose which color looks best on the 2019 Ford Expedition, but if push comes to shove the Blue Metallic is looking like a very nice choice. There are a host of other colors to choose from such as Stone Gray, Silver Spruce, and Ruby Red.
If you haven’t been won over by the 2019 Ford Expedition yet just take one for a test drive and you will feel what it is like to ride in comfort and class without sacrificing any of the power we have come to expect from a sport utility vehicle.
Is It Safe to Work Under a Car on Jack Stands?
Any auto owner needs to access the underside of their vehicle, at least occasionally. However, lying under a heavy object poses risks. Manufacturers of modern ramps, as well as jack stands, guarantee safety. But is there truth in advertising?
Of course, nothing can beat a professional hydraulic system. In general, ramps are regarded as more reliable. Consider some of the top low profile car ramps sold on Amazon. Jack stands, though, will also be safe as long as you follow these basic guidelines.
Whatever maintenance you are planning, begin by choosing the surface. Your car must be placed on hard and even ground. Under no circumstances is it possible to perform the work on gravel, dirt, let alone a slope! The same gravity that keeps your automobile steady may cause it to roll back down.
If you think lack of hardness may be compensated by sliding wood under the jack, think again. Another mistake that could prove fatal is propping a vehicle with breeze blocks, bricks and similar items that may crack.
Which Jack is Best?
It may be tempting to go with the device that came with your vehicle. Although it may be suitable for tire changes, relying on it for something more complex is precarious. Therefore, always choose a top-quality support system. Never work under a car which is supported by a single jack!
Base your choice on objective criteria, including the weight limit. Remember that you will not be lifting the entire weight of the vehicle. A two-ton device may be strong enough to raise a car weighing two and a half tons. Ensure a certain safety margin is allowed. Generally, use stands capable of supporting no less than half of the weight.
The second dilemma is the choice between low-entry and high-lift models, which are suitable for low and higher vehicles, respectively. Thirdly, remember that a large jack is heavy, so make sure you can carry it from the storage to the car. It may be best to choose a lighter model provided it can support the required weight.
Overall, these tools are less safe and more difficult to use than car ramps, as confirmed by reviews on jonsguide. With the necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe working environment. Here are three important conditions.
- Extra Support
Although a jack is supposed to ensure safe access to the underside, it should not be used on its own. Use additional supports, such as a trolley jack. This will prevent potential damage to the sill, even though a standard jack should fit into the corresponding jacking points.
- The Right Points
Refer to your guides for both the car and the supports to identify safe points. Avoid raising the vehicle by placing the supports under its gearbox, engine or plastic undertray. The perfect locations include chassis rail, subframe, and suspension mounting point.
Chocks provide support regardless of their material. They may be produced from rubber, metal, wood or plastic. Once your transmission is in the park or in gear, place two chocks around the wheel on the side opposite to the one being raised. One of them is put in front and the other one behind, so the wheel is firmly secured.
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