Throttle House spent some time with the Honda Ridgeline Black Edition recently. This is one of those vehicles that divides truck owners. Some find it totally acceptable as a utility vehicle, and some like to remind you that it’s not a “real” truck. Either way, one thing is for sure: it’s just fine to drive. Watch Below!
With a new Toyota RAV4 being ushered in this year, I decided to take a quick look at the current iteration to see why it has continued to sell like flower crowns on Etsy the week before Coachella.
At first glance, I wondered why a new one was needed. The front looks a bit weird, but not bad at all. Thedesigners have somehow managed to make the front end look modern, and functional, all while resisting the current trend to make it look like it has either thrown-up its own grill, or someone has taped a section of fencing to the front bumper. And when you delve into the spec sheet of the “Trail” model- (heated steering wheel, 3500 lb towing capacity, bird’s eye view backup camera, Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a raised ride height for your off-road family adventures) it starts to look like it has already been brought up to 2019 standards. However, it’s a bit of a Grandpa in Sonny’s clothing.
After spending some time with it, I was impressed with the ride and body control. It’s smooth, composed and deals with Toronto bumps very well. The steering feels organic while maintaining predictability and the trim on the interior feels modern. The seats are comfortable, and the driving position is acceptable. However that’s where the modernity stops. The rest feels like it is need of that update. Desperately.
For starters, let’s tackle that engine. While smooth in its power delivery, it doesn’t live up to the standards of modern twin-scroll turbo motors. The 175 HP 2.5 L four cylinder feels sluggish, and desperately
in need of some modern low down torque. It does get the AWD RAV4 up to speed but it doesn’t do it effortlessly. The transmission shifts fine, but even when it desperately drops a gear to let you pass on the highway, it truly feels like it was in vain.
Sadly the infotainment makes the engine feel like it was designed yesterday. The graphics look like a first gen gameboy and the interface isn’t intuitive at all. However, I’m not going to harp on this, as we know that that a new RAV4 is on its way.The point is, the current RAV4 is still a solid car. With the AWD and ride height in the “Trail” edition, it will get the minor off-road job done all while hauling family and groceries, and indeed that’s what most people are looking for. However, I implore you, if you are shopping for this car, (or one like it), make sure you wait for the 2019, as the only thing the RAV4 could be, is better.
For those track junkies out there, here is Colins lap data for the fastest lap in the BMW M5 Competition and The Dodge Demon on the road course.
On this episode of ONE TRACK MIND, Colin and Thomas take the new BMW M5 Competition out on the track to see how it stacks up agains the king of the drag strip: The Dodge Demon.
This is literally a scalpel vs a sledge hammer. The BMW’s sophisticated turbocharged v8 and trick AWD most certainly is enough to make the Mopar guys sweat in their flannel and steel-toes.
Thomas and Colin drag race these cars, do a rolling race, then Thomas was released onto the track in each car, where typically, he proceeded to immediately attempt to destroy the rear tires on both cars. Then Colin lays down the hammer on each, to see how fast they are capable of going when pushed to their absolute limit on the road course.
We don’t want to spoil TOO much, so:
CLICK TO WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW!
This week Throttle House tests the EcoBoost Mustang with the 10-speed transmission.
The V8 Mustang with the 10-Speed is actually quite good. The gaps between the shifts are small, and the quick ratios sound exciting. The paddle shifters are fun to operate as well. However, when paired with the EcoBoost Engine the result is a bit different.
The EcoBoost motor certainly has potential, but the 10 speed transmission didn’t seem to give it a chance to breathe. That said, the “magneride” suspension resulted in a Mustang that still felt sharp in the front end. Watch the video below for a full review!
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This week, Throttle House tests the Mercedes- AMG GLA 45. As it turns out, this is a ridiculously fun car that is essentially never boring at any speed.
The funny thing is, Mercedes claims this is an SUV… which it most clearly is not. In fact its probably the hottest hatch out there. With the most powerful four cylinder engine in production today, the GLA 45 AMG punches the Focus RS in the face, and makes the Type R look like it’s trying too hard. You need to watch the video below to truly understand how awesome this car sounds. The only issue is that without the AMG styling package the GLA 45 looks a bit understated, thankfully the price of over 60K CAD is more than enough to make you go “wow.”
Watch the video below!
Mercedes-AMG GLA 45
The Stinger is not “just” a Kia
This week, Throttle House delves into whether or not you should spend your almost 50K CAD on a Kia Stinger. Many people seem to be unable to get by the fact that this is “just a Kia” but the reality is, that at some point the quality trumps the badge. The Stinger is in fact a Kia, but it’s a very, very good one…
Watch the Video Below!
This week we take a look at the “fiata” which, as it turns out, has a totally different feel than an MX-5. And that’s a good thing. The 124 Spider is basically a Miata on the inside, but the similarities end there.
Watch the video below for a full road test of what might just be the Miata’s more charismatic cousin…
Check out the 2019 Mazda MX-5! Now with MORE POWER (and a telescoping steering wheel!)
This week I tested the new 2019 Mazda MX-5. I never really thought that the Miata needed more power, but clearly Mazda disagreed with me, because here it is. All 7500 RPM of it. However one of the biggest improvements this year is the telescoping steering wheel. That’s a game changer for taller drivers. Watch the video for a full review!
For those data junkies out there, here is Colin’s lap data for the fastest laps at Toronto Motorsports park.
If you want anymore info on the laps or the data, please email myself email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for watching!