2017 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Large Cars

Large cars are a rapidly diminishing market segment as the larger midsize cars offer enough comfort and luxuries to buyers that they see little reason to spend more money. In addition, those who really must spend more money generally seek a luxury badge to go with it.
There are no changes of note in this section for 2017 other than the end of production for the Toyota Venza.  

A note about mileage: The APA is now using the Canada Energuide fuel economy figures as the information was available at the beginning of the el 2017 model year. 

Chevrolet Impala  Chrysler 300 Dodge Charger  Ford Taurus 

2017 Chevrolet Impala

 


 

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for the Impala for its fourth year in its current form. 

Performance
The Impala's direct-injected, twin-cam V6 lays down a strong, flexible stream of power from idle to the redline, accompanied by a soundtrack than runs from near silence to a pleasing melodic snarl when extended.
Like a faithful servant, the Impala's six-speed automatic transmission operates discreetly in background, upshifting seamlessly and downshifting promptly with a gentle prod on the gas pedal, making its presence felt only by the lack of drama its operation conveys.
The six-speed automatic is standard regardless of which engine powers the Impala. The 3.6L and a 196 horsepower 2.5L four will power Impalas in equal numbers. With active noise cancellation measures, the 2.5L is, according to Chevrolet, as refined as the 3.6L V6. With 110 fewer horsepower, the 2.5L four may not supply the type of acceleration buyers in this segment expect.
With reassuring heft, quick, but not nervous responses, excellent highway stability and even some road feel, the steering in the Impala is just plain good.
GM's Epsilon II architecture (seen in the Cadillac XTS), has, with a number of enhancements such as stiffer suspension mounting points, provides a sturdy platform for the Impala's suspension. With MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link system in the rear, the Impala's suspension specifications read like those of dozens of other cars. However, with good turn-in, little noticeable lean in corners, unflappable highway stability and an absorbent ride devoid of any trace of wallow, the Impala provides the kind of reassuring steadiness and cosseting ride its intended buyers will find most pleasing.
Various sound-abatement measures, including extra thick glass in the windshield and front windows, triple door seals, various foam-filled body cavities and  acoustic mats, has resulted in a remarkably serene cabin environment. The clunking rear suspension which cursed various versions of the Epsilon I platform, seems to have been banished from the updated version of the architecture.
Speaking of sound, the name-brand audio system in the APA's top-end test car was massively powerful and capable of delivering distortion-free sound, but its lack of adjustability rendered a sound quality too muddy for some drivers to derive any pleasure from.
Impala drivers enjoy good visibility to the front and generally, to the sides. However, a high trunk line and small rear window makes lane changes in close quarters more angst-inducing than they should be and vision for reversing is such that a backup camera borders on necessary equipment.

The driver faces a wildly-shaped gauge nacelle, which contains the crisply-marked main instruments and crystal-clear trip-computer readouts. This, in turn, is topped by a gently-arced hood under which the fuel and temperature gauges rest.
The dashboard itself is a dramatic piece of sculpture that flows toward the driver but does not intrude upon the space for the front passenger. While some controls (like the audio system tone settings) force drivers to consult the navigation screen, most climate and audio functions can be manipulated by straightforward dashboard controls. The navigation screen glides upward electrically to reveal a large storage compartment with a USB port. Chevrolet notes that a "valet" mode in the new Impala locks the storage compartment and also blocks access to information like the navigation history and phone contacts stored in the computer system of the car.
Aside from the unconvincing fake wood on our test car, copious soft-touch surfaces, matte finishes, French stitching and lustrous faux-alloy highlights make for a very luxurious cabin. Leather upholstery with contrast stitching is very attractive as is the vinyl with mock suede seating combination on the LT variant.
The large, supportive front seats are very comfortable and succeed in properly locating those riding in front without pinching them. Even the tallest front occupants in the Impala should find ample legroom. The proper height seat cushion, comfortably raked backrest, thick padding and generous legroom pamper rear seat passengers.

In Impala tradition, the trunk of the new car is enormous. It is not only wide and long, it is also very tall inside. While conventional gooseneck hinges are used, they glide in designated channels and will not damage luggage as the trunk is closed.

Comments
The Impala can be powered by a 2.5L four or a 3.6L V6. Power reaches the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission in all cases. Despite its excellence, only 2844 Impalas found homes in Canada during 2016. 

Pricing

The price gap between the 1LS and the 1LT is too big considering the equipment included in the 1LT if you step up. Upgrading from the 1LT to the Premier (2LZ) trim level is very good value, especially when its standard V6 is accounted for. Leasing is not worth considering. 

Reliability

Not rated, insufficient data. The 2.5L four appears to be reliable. Issues, including stretched timing chains witht he 3.6L V6. An extended warranty from GM is recommended if you plan to keep the Impala past the warranty period. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
2.5L-4 (196 HP)*, 3.6L-V6 (305 HP)

Transmissions: 6A
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 10.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front airbags and side airbags for outboard rear passengers.

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin: Canada, United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger

 


 

 

What’s new
Chrysler 300: Apple CarPlay-AndroidAuto is standard for 2017. Updated Uconnect infotainment interface with faster processing speeds and enhanced graphics. New Sport Appearance and Alloy Edition packages on the 300S.

Dodge Charger: Apple CarPlay-Android Auto is standard for 2017. Updated Uconnect infotainment system.

Performance
The 3.6L V6 creates ample power and works smoothly in conjunction with the responsive eight-speed automatic transmission. The powerful V8 is much quicker than the V6 but is totally unnecessary. Astonishing handling for such a massive car. Smooth, absorbent ride. Impressive refinement. Nicely weighted and geared steering. Comfortable seats and lots of space, front and rear. Logical controls, with the dash touch screen being particularly logical and easy to work with. 

Comments
The 6.4L V8 SRT8 and supercharged 6.2L Hellcat models are exclusive to the Dodge. An eight-speed automatic is standard on all models, All-wheel drive, which defaults to rear-wheel drive unless slip is detected, is available on mainstream models but not on the SRT8 or Hellcat high-performance variants or the Charger.  
Pricing
300: Upgrading form the Touring to the Touring, S, 300C and the Platinum are all good value. All-wheel drive is a $2200 option on all V6 trim levels. The 5.7L V8, available only with rear-wheel drive, costs from $2600 to just under $3000 more than a V6-engined example of the same trim level. No leasing is available.

Charger: All-wheel drive, offered only with the V6, is a $2200 option on the SE and SXT trim levels. When its V8 engine is accounted for, the R/T model is very good value. Road and Track and the Scat Pack upgrades are both overpriced. The R/T trim is priced $4000 higher than a rear-wheel drive V6-engined SXT model. Good value Popular Equipment, Comfort Seating and Leather packages on the V6 model. The Technology package, offered with the V8 exclusively, contains a full suite of active safety equipment including forward collision warning with active braking and active cruise control, as well as a number of comfort and convenience features, is bargain.

Reliability
Average to above average reliability predicted. Unproven V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. These cars are the most reliable vehicles built by Chrysler. 

 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3.6L-V6 (292 HP, 300 HP)*, 5.7L-V8 (363 HP 300, 370 HP Charger), 6.4L-V8 (SRT 485 HP Charger only), 6.2L-V8 S (707 HP Charger Hellcat) 

Transmissions: 8A* 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision warning with auto brake and adaptive cruise with stop, lane departure and lane keep assist.
Additional airbags:: Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 (Hellcat only 3/60,000)
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR 

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Ford Taurus

 


 

 

What’s new
Revised audio systems.

Performance
Strong, smooth performance from the normally aspirated V6. Slick-shifting, responsive automatic transmission. The turbocharged V6 in the SHO furnishes blistering, linear acceleration but is heavy on fuel. Good handling. Precise, nicely weighted steering. Smooth, quiet ride. Progressive braking despite mushy pedal feel. Poor visibility, especially for reversing. The swept-back dashboard is a dramatic piece of architecture but it consumes a lot of cabin space. Big, clear gauges. Fit, finish and materials are all very good. Despite its vast exterior size, Taurus cabin space is disappointing, with barely more space available than in the smaller Fusion. Low-mounted front seats restrict toe space for rear seat passengers. Weak air conditioning.

Comments
Two V6 engines, a normally-aspirated V6 with 288 horsepower or a 365 horsepower turbocharged V6, are available on the Taurus. An optional 2L four with 240 horsepower can be substituted for the normally-aspirated 3.5L V6. All-wheel drive, optional on the normally-aspirated Taurus SEL V6, is standard on the Limited and SHO variants. The Taurus sold nearly 3000 units in 2016, a surprisingly high number considering it has little more utility than the smaller Ford Fusion model.  

Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on the Limited and SHO, is a $2500 option on the SEL V6. Overpriced SEL trim upgrade. The Limited is good value when compared with the all-wheel drive SEL. The SHO is priced $4700 higher than the Limited with little more than the turbo V6 engine to show for it. The 2L turbo four costs $1000 more than the normally-aspirated 3.5L V6  on the SE and SEL trims with front-wheel drive. Leasing is poor value. 

Reliability
Average reliability predicted. Limited sales. Unproven turbo engine. The 3.5L normally aspirated V6 is the best choice. An extended warranty from Ford is recommended. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (240 HP), 3.5L-V6 (288 HP)*, 3.5L-V6 T (365 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  113.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake support, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and lane keep assist. 
Additional airbags:: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2010
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: