New Car Technology 2017


-Mercedes-AMG E43


Mercedes car comes with a new technology auto , there are four driving modes— Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ — as well as a driver-set Individual option. Eco, which sets stop/start to be more aggressive and uses a glide function to effectively declutch the transmission, is pointless; the same holds true for the intermediate Sport mode, which is only slightly softer than Sport+ and does not have an obvious use case.  On the switchbacks of Highway 39 on the way up the San Gabriel Mountains, it was Sport+ time.

Steering is direct, precise, and predictable, but would be even better with the addition of a little more resistance. Burying the accelerator doesn’t create any undue drama or violence — the E43 simply goes, accented by the droning six-cylinder soundtrack.


-Audi Q7

  • Audi pre sense® city and basic
  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Panoramic sunroof with sunshade, power tilt and slide features
  • Panoramic sunroof with sunshade, power tilt and slide features
  • LED interior lighting package
  • Electric tilt/telescoping steering column

-BMW 240i


In our drive, we turned on Eco Pro mode about halfway home, and managed to rack up an extra 0.6 miles of driving range over a short distance. The next morning, one quick rip down a rural road killed 0.3 miles of that range. Over the next 30 or so miles, though, we got that figure back up to 3.0 miles of earned range by taking it a little easier on the throttle and minding the tips on the instrument cluster.

Besides the grey/blue bar, there are just a few other coaching alerts in Eco Pro mode. It’ll give you an icon to cue you to ease off the accelerator if you’re driving too aggressively. It’ll tell you to lower your speed, but you can customize that limit in the settings. The only other icon we saw show up next to power/charge meter was one to let me know to move the shift lever back to D, as pushing it over into M/S disables stop-start. (Our test vehicle came with the eight-speed automatic transmission, which takes some of the complication of trying to drive economically out of the equation.) It’s all subtle but useful.

If you live in the desert, you may find that climate option useful. In winter driving, Autoevolution points out, Eco Pro helps reduce wheelspin (from the less-lively throttle), but you’ll want to untick the Coasting box in the snow. We didn’t get any winter weather during our time with the M240i to test these recommendations, but it’s nice that BMW gives owners the option to choose. For the rest of us, go ahead and pick your speed preference, but, otherwise, the car knows best.

Whether or not most owners will even use the Eco Pro mode on a car like the BMW M240i, we’re glad it’s there. It gives us greenies something extra to play with, and BMW’s execution makes it actually worthwhile and quantitatively rewarding to use. Although it doesn’t make it a green car, Eco Pro is entertaining in its own right and provides a fun way to save some gas when it’s not appropriate to take full advantage of the car’s sporting chops. The fact that the car will still spring to life when quick reflexes are demanded is a wonderful thing, too.

– Ford Explorer 

  • 3.5L V-6 Engine
  • 6-spd w/OD Transmission
  • 290 @ 6,500 rpm Horsepower
  • 255 @ 4,000 rpm Torque
  • Front-wheel Drive type
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • 18″ painted aluminum Wheels
  • Front air conditioning, manual
  • Rear air conditioning, with separate controls
  • AM/FM/Satellite-prep, seek-scan Radio
  • 2 – 1st row LCD monitor
  • Keyfob (all doors) Remote keyless entry
  • Cloth Seat trim
  • Driver Lumbar support
  • 50-50 split-bench Third row seats


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