Apr 292017
 

Over the decades, the convertible has stood the test of time, sustained by an over-the-top fun factor. Volkswagen continues to grow its convertible offerings with more topless versions of the Beetle. Latino Traffic Report recently embarked on a windy adventure in the 2017 Beetle 1.8T Dune Convertible.

The Dune’s peppy 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI engine hails from Silao, Mexico. It produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb.–ft. of torque, and should earn an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 24 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. I averaged 35.6 mpg on the test drive. It’s matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Sadly, no manual transmission is available.

The test model came in the most striking of three available shades, Sandstorm Yellow, but subtle design cues also differentiate the Dune from its siblings. It has new front and rear fascias and black wheel arches, plus it rides a little higher and sits a little wider. The bumper adds s a large central air intake and on either side, two black honeycomb vents contain the foglights. It sits on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and has “Dune” graphics displayed on both doors. At the back, the Dune sports a large rear spoiler, standard LED taillights, and a new bumper design. In other words, it’s a head turner.

It’s most distinctive feature, however, is the black canvas top that drops with the push of a button and while at a speed of up to 31 miles per hour. According to VW, it should take 9.5 seconds but on my count, it took seven.

Inside, the attention to detail continues with contrasting “Curry” yellow stitching on the sport seats and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, unique to the Sandstorm Yellow exterior color. Additionally, the test model featured body color upper door trims and dashpads, The Pure White and Deep Black Pearl vehicles will have piano black door and dashpad trim.

Standard entertainment features include the Composition Media infotainment system with a 6.3-inch screen and a capacitive touch sensor and a proximity sensor that detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display. Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect, USB and Bluetooth connectivity for compatible devices and an AM/FM/HD radio with SiriusXM Satellite radio, and a CD player are included

Safety features take on a unique focus due to the convertible’s body style. On the Dune, its reinforced front roof crossmember, strengthened A-pillar, and the Automatic Rollover Support System should add confidence. In the event of a crash, two rollover bars, concealed behind the rear bench seat back, will deploy. Additional standard safety features on the test model included a rearview camera and the Park Distance Control (ParkPilot) system, Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, and Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System. A blind spot monitor was not available.

Pricing for the 2017 VW Dune starts at $30,215. With no added packages on the test model, the as-tested pricing matched the starting price.

Sí: The Dune stands out in a crowd and fulfills the thrills of topless driving.

No: At this price point, a blind-spot monitor or navigation should be included, much less available.

Sep 152016
 

2016-09-09-munoz

What better location is there for revealing a new vehicle than a parking garage? Set against the backdrop of the Miami skyline, the 2017 Rogue made its worldwide debut atop just such a location. Nissan took this opportunity last week at the forty-sixth annual Miami International Auto Show press preview, where the 2017 Sentra SR Turbo was also revealed.

Introduced by Executive Vice President Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan North America, Inc., José Muñoz (pictured above), the all-new Rogue competes in the compact SUV segment and now reflects Nissan’s design DNA as well as a more upscale interior. New convenience features on the Rogue include an available Motion-Activated Liftgate, the available Nissan Safety Shield technologies, and the first-ever Rogue Hybrid.

2017 Sentra SR Turbo

2017 Sentra SR Turbo

Hecho en México, the newest Sentra in the lineup brings a sporty option to a segment that tends to lack appeal beyond the price and fuel efficiency. Powered by a 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline turbocharged engine, both the SR manual and Xtronic versions will have the same starting price, under $22,000 and the ability to upgrade. The SR will also offer important safety features, like a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, even on the six-speed manual version, unlike the Sentra base model, also a six-speed manual, which is sold practically as-is.

Both models should appeal to Latino car buyers who will be integral to their success.

“Nissan is one of the top automotive brands with Hispanic buyers and multicultural buyers in general, fueling Nissan’s current strong sales growth nationwide,” said Muñoz. “Sales to the Hispanic community represent a full 21 percent of Nissan’s total sales, well above the industry average.”

2016-09-10-pink-beetle

#PinkBeetle

Other interesting reveals included the #PinkBeetle, Volkswagen’s special edition of the 2017 Beetle, offered in a hardtop or convertible version, that will also serve as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. As the name implies, its exterior paint is a translucent pink or Fresh Fuchsia Metallic. The Pink Agenda will auction the first model for FAB-U-WISH, a non-profit initiated by breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic. Bidding takes place online at Charitybuzz.com/vwpinkbeetle through September 22, 2016.

Genesis G90

Genesis G90

Hyundai’s new luxury brand, Genesis, launched one its first models, the G90, last month. The G90 also received the Best Luxury Sedan Award at the auto show from  Ruedas ESPN. Only the second luxury brand to launch this century, Genesis will continue to do what Hyundai does best, offer more equipment and services than its competitors. Most impressive is the suite of safety features that come standard on the G90 but that still remain options on brands like Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, namely a blind spot monitor, lane keep assist, and a multi-view camera.

ar017_054gu86lhmv5m6dligiu8dr83ncsf4gFinally, the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) ended the day with its award ceremony, naming the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (left) premium midsize sedan the Star of the Show.