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2017 Ford F-250 review: Spring for the diesel, get 925 lb-ft

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People who know me probably can guess that I love this thing. I mean c’mon, how can you not love 925 lb-ft?!? And according to Ford[1], this baby can tow 32,500 pounds.

That should do it. Yeah the torque is impressive but not as impressive as the refined way the F-250[2] goes down the road. The turbo diesel is an £8,595 option, so it’s not cheap, but if you’re in the market for one of these, you need to spring for it; it’s so quiet and smooth (both in putting down the power and overall noise levels) and mated so well to the gearbox, to me it’s worth it.

It’s astonishing, really. Power just seems to never end. In fact, thanks to the truck’s smoothness, I often found myself going faster than I thought.

Plus, according to the in-dash mpg readout, I was averaging 16-plus mpg in the city. Impressive for a 7,200-pound rig that can tow 16 tons. The ride quality is impressive as well.

There’s slight bouncing over bad road imperfections but not nearly as bad as I feared. The interior is ginormous, well-built and comfortable. There are nice, big knobs for the radio and heat and whatnot.

Always appreciated. Oodles of storage too. –Wes Raynal, editor

Ford issues recall for 13 million F 150 and Super Duty trucks

OTHER VOICES:

I was lucky enough to pull the straw for the Ford F-250[3] for a weekend move across town, which, if you’re planning on buying one of these, you’ll probably help move a lot of beds. Of course, moving furniture and clothes with a Super Duty truck is like using a power hammer to crack open walnuts — it’s complete overkill. But no one buys a diesel-powered full-size pickup because they like to help their friends move.

No, if you’re buying a big diesel-powered full-size pickup, you (hopefully) have a big race trailer, boat trailer, horse trailer, camper or affinity for making people with compact cars look even more compact. That being said, like Wes mentioned, the 6.7-liter Powerstroke oil-burner is incredibly smooth. There is a faint hint of diesel clacking, which I feel most diesel truck fans actually want — even in the plusher trims.

Power delivery is linear and obviously unchallenged by the light load. Unlike Raynal, I found the ride to be considerably harsher than the diesel-powered HDs rolling off the Chevrolet and GMC assembly lines. But it’s a big-ass pickup.

If you don’t option the upper trim levels and can live with pleb-spec amenities, the truck’s firm ride will remind you that you’re actually in a work truck. That said, the King Ranch package does have an incredibly well-appointed interior. The spacious cabin might be big enough to qualify as a New York City studio apartment and is full of cowhides.

The materials feel high-quality, and the heated front and rear seats would make this a joy to climb into during a cold Montana winter. The Ford F-250 is a monster of a truck. Adding the King Ranch package makes it a monster of a truck with an incredible interior.

Personally, I think that keeping the diesel and dropping the luxe guts would be the move for me.

–Wes Wren, associate editor

OPTIONS: 6.7-liter diesel (£8,595); King Ranch package with power running boards, power moonroof, quad-beam headlights, blind-spot monitors, tailgate step (£2,960); Tow technology bundle including adaptive steering, lane-keeping assist, ultimate trailer tow camera (£1,735); 20-inch wheels (£1,420); adaptive cruise control (£740); TPMS accessories (£725); spray in bedliner (£495); 3.55 rear axle (£390); fifth wheel (£370); upfitter switches (£165)

By Autoweek Staff

On Sale: Now

Base Price: £58,650

As Tested Price: £76,350

Powertrain: 6.7-liter turbdiesel V8, 4WD, six-speed automatic

Output: 440 hp @ 2,800 rpm; 925 lb-ft torque @ 1,800 rpm

Curb Weight: 6,851 lb

Pros: The power to tow a whole stable of horses

Cons: Nowhere to park it

References

  1. ^ Ford (autoweek.com)
  2. ^ F-250 (autoweek.com)
  3. ^ Ford F-250 (autoweek.com)

New SEAT Arona 1.6 TDI diesel 2017 review

The world may seem to be turning its back on diesel[1], which is why our first taste of SEAT[2]‘s new Arona[3] SUV came courtesy of the VW Group’s tried-and-tested 1.0 TSI turbo petrol[4]. But what if you’re not ready to make the switch and want a small crossover with appreciably low running costs? Can a diesel offer the best of both?

Those intrigued by the Arona TDI will be pleased to hear the petrol car’s fine driving dynamics remain intact. The smallest SEAT SUV[5] impressed in petrol form, and despite not being as quiet or refined, it remains good to drive – with little body roll and a smooth-shifting manual gearbox. o New SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI petrol review[6] It may not feel quite as light on its feet, but the 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel offers plenty of grunt and decent mid-range shove.

The great slug of torque allows swift overtakes without changing gear, too. Those after an auto should look to the lower-power 93bhp TDI, available with a seven-speed DSG.

Image 2 of 10

New SEAT Arona 1.6 TDI - rear

Image 2 of 10 The Nissan Juke[7] rival also rides pretty well, despite its sporty character.

We’ll be subjecting the car to a full UK road test in the coming weeks, however, which will offer the true measure of refinement. Still, rattles and shakes are kept to a minimum, and while you can feel more vibrations through the wheel, it’s far from intrusive. The petrol Arona is quieter at 70mph, but if you want to cover long distances, there’s little wrong with the small SEAT SUV.

The thing is, at nearly ?23,000, our Xcellence TDI test car is ?2,160 more than the equivalent (and identically powered) 113bhp 1.0 TSI petrol. For private buyers it’ll cost the same to tax, while company car users will be stung by the three per cent Benefit-in-Kind diesel surcharge.

Image 3 of 10

New SEAT Arona 1.6 TDI - dash

Image 3 of 10 o Best crossovers and small SUVs[8]

Official fuel economy and emissions figures have yet to be confirmed, but it’s unlikely the Arona will dip below the 100g/km CO2 threshold achieved by the most frugal Renault Captur[9]. Still, the petrol and diesel Aronas are equally spacious in the back, and both have lots of kit in top-spec Xcellence guise. Less expensive trims make more sense, however, with SE Technology offering SEAT’s crisp eight-inch touchscreen sat-nav with Apple CarPlay[10] and Android Auto[11], plus wireless charging, air-con and automatic lights.

Be sure you need the chrome trim, keyless entry and cruise control before forking out the extra cash.

References

  1. ^ diesel (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  2. ^ SEAT (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  3. ^ Arona (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  4. ^ 1.0 TSI turbo petrol (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  5. ^ SUV (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  6. ^ New SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI petrol review (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  7. ^ Nissan Juke (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  8. ^ Best crossovers and small SUVs (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  9. ^ Renault Captur (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  10. ^ Apple CarPlay (www.autoexpress.co.uk)
  11. ^ Android Auto (www.autoexpress.co.uk)

2017 Renault Koleos Intens diesel new car review

Australian’s are slowly warming to Renault. While the French brand is still only a small player in the local market, the Koleos SUV, which shares a lot of mechanical DNA with the more popular Nissan X-Trail, has recorded more than 140 per cent sales growth in 2017 (at the time of writing). To add another element to that growth potential, Renault Australia has expanded the Koleos range, adding a new engine option with a turbo diesel.

So what does the new engine bring to the Koleos? What do you get? Renault Australia is offering the Koleos diesel in a single specification – its range-topping Intens trim level.

It’s priced from £46,990 plus on-road costs, but the brand is currently offering it for £50,490 drive-away (at the time of publication). For that money, the Intens diesel comes well equipped for a small SUV with 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats with electric adjustment, a reversing camera, navigation, keyless entry and ignition, and 8.4-inch tablet-style touchscreen, 12-speaker Bose stereo, leather trim and an electric sunroof all standard.

Renault Koleos Intens. Photo: Supplied

The Intens also comes with Renault’s latest active safety suite which includes autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning and self-parking systems, plus full air-bag protection for all occupants. Servicing is covered by the brand’s capped price scheme, which puts a £299 maximum on each visit.

What’s inside? While the Koleos and the X-Trail share mechanical similarities, they diverge is in design, with the Renault getting a more sophisticated French look outside and for the cabin. It looks similar to the rest of the brand’s range, with the portrait-orientated 8.4-inch infotainment screen the focal point of the design.

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Unfortunately, while it looks nice and controls the majority of the car’s infotainment functions, it can be too complicated at times.

For example, while there are still temperature control dials for the air-conditioning, adjusting the fan speed requires multiple inputs on the touchscreen, which takes time and means you have to take your eyes off the road. Like the X-Trail, the Koleos has a spacious cabin for a small SUV, with decent room for both front and rear occupants. Adults won’t complain about the knee and headroom in the back seats.

However, the front seats are firm so become uncomfortable during longer commutes. In practical terms the 458-litre boot is generous in size with a good load area. Under the bonnet

The most obvious new element of the Koleos is the new turbo diesel engine. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit produces 130kW of power and 380Nm of torque and is paired exclusively with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is rated at 6.1-litres per 100km, which is a significant improvement of the 2.5-litre petrol engine’s claimed 8.3L/100km.

While the engine has enough performance to feel strong in the mid rev range, it struggles down low. There’s lag off the mark as the engine spins up and that lazy initially feeling isn’t helped by the CVT, which lacks urgency and causes the engine to drone as it works. On the road

The Koleos finds itself in the middle of the crowded small SUV pack, in terms of the way it drives. Renault has managed to inject the car with more dynamic appeal than the X-Trail, as the steering feels direct and it sits quite flat in the corners for a tall SUV.

Renault Koleos Intens. Photo: Supplied

However, it lacks the comfortable ride of some of its peers, with the firm suspension often jarring or bouncing over imperfections in the road. The suspension is also noticeably noisy, with bumps heard as well as felt in the cabin.

Verdict The diesel engine adds another dimension to the Koleos, bringing a big improvement in fuel economy. While the dull initial response diminishes the typical extra pulling power of a diesel over its petrol-powered siblings the fuel economy benefits make up for it.

However, the Koleos remains behind the best small SUV offerings, so will appeal to buyers more on its style than substance.

Renault Koleos Intens. Photo: Supplied

2017 Renault Koleos Intens diesel pricing and specifications Price: From £46,990 plus on-road costs Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel

Power: 130kW at 3750rpm Torque: 380Nm at 2000rpm Transmission: CVT automatic, all-wheel drive

Fuel use: 6.1L/100km The Competitors Volkswagen Tiguan 110TDI Adventure

Price: From £43,990 plus on-road costs Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel Power: 110kW at 3500-4000rpm

Torque: 340Nm at 1750-3000rpm Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, AWD Fuel use: 5.9L/100km

Our score: 7/10 Mazda CX-5 GT diesel Price: From £47,390 plus on-road costs

Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol Power: 129kW at 4500rpm Torque: 420Nm at 2000rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic, AWD Fuel use: 6.0L/100km Our score: 6.5/10

Peugeot 3008 GT Blue HDi Price: From £49,490 plus on-road costs Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel

Power: 133kW at 3750rpm Torque: 400Nm at 2000rpm Transmission: Six-speed automatic, AWD

Fuel use: 4.8L/100km

Our score: 6.5/10

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