2016 Ford Fiesta ST Real Driver Reviews

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There is no denying that the 2016 Ford Fiesta is a hot item. I’ve been hearing the buzz so I had to do some looking for myself. I have to admit, I got hung up on the Fiesta ST, so that’s what you get to hear about.

2016 Ford Fiesta

There is no shortage of very formal, and technical, reviews of the 2016 Fiesta ST. A quick search and you’ll land on more video reviews than you can watch in an evening. No, I went looking for real driver, real owner reviews- no specs, just opinions based on ownership. Many were super informative, some entertaining, and all commanded at least a little of my respect. Here is the collection of what I found out about the 2016 Ford Fiesta ST….

The 2016 Ford Fiesta, Affordable, Practical and Sporty

The 2016 Ford Fiesta ST is sporty, but refined too. It’s an affordable and practical performance car. From the rear spoiler and visible brake calipers to interior ambient lighting, it has style and appeal. Cosmetic improvements and a restyled front end are just the beginning of why Ford’s designers deserve applause. The Fiesta ST has Recaro seats to hold you in well during its quick, responsive handling around tight corners. Generous room in the front seats is afforded at the cost of the room in the back seats; there isn’t much. The seats have side bolsters such that they don’t quite fold down flat. The Sync 3Infotainment system, developed by Blackberry is way, way better than the My Ford Touch that it replaced. A super quick response touch screen- even in the corners!- makes up for its plain graphics. The dashboard gauges even have a sporty look in their font, but the boring digital display/trip meter is nothing to look at.

The Ford Fiesta is a pleasure to own and even more fun to drive. Drivers can’t help but smile, or at least smirk, as the turbocharged engine does its thing on acceleration. A smooth clutch engagement makes it an easy drive. Drivers can ‘feel’ what gear they’re in or moving to through feedback of the gear shifter. If that’s not sufficient, there’s an upshift indicator that, itself, is responsive to throttle engagement- when driven hard, the indicator does its job a little earlier so that you have adequate time to respond properly. Cool. The brake pedal gives good feedback to the driver. The Fiesta ST is absolutely amazing on corners, with tight steering and great handling all-round. You can drive it with abandon on corners and still not break the law.

Safety-wise, the 2016 Fiesta ST gets a 4 out of 5 for overall crash test protection. Driver visibility is great; you can see plenty out the side and back windows. Obviously, as a sub-compact it’s easy to park anywhere. Its CO2 emissions rating is 122 g/km. (This is on par with other subcompacts, but far lower than most performance cars of its class).

Overall, it’s obvious that those Ford folks did lots of quality checks, but Fiesta ST drivers have a few complaints too:

  • It has a small gas tank (12 gallons).
  • There are cheap knobs on the climate controls.
  • Pedal box is narrower than most cars. Wide shoes might accidentally nick the brake.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good, but the design seems awkward and a bit too big for the car.
  • Recaro sports seats are quite narrow. Larger drivers will want to get standard seats.
  • Heated seats (in the ST-2) only have one, too-hot setting.
  • A compact console means the cup holder so close to handbrake, it’s hard to use either.
  • The cargo space is smaller than what its competitors offer.
  • The Sound Symposer is awesome when roaring down the highway but is a dull annoyance when the car is driven at slower speeds.

If I could, I’d be going out to get myself one right now, and not just because drivers consistently call it an amazing ride with a sporty feel. I’m also fiscally intelligent. The projected 3-year old resale value of the 2016 Ford Fiesta is set at 50% of its sticker price , with a 5-year resale value of 39% of its sticker price. This, by the way, puts it 3rd in its class for resale.

If buying the 2016 Ford Fiesta ST was the next big choice you made, I’d say you made a great one. Sporty, stylish, fast and fun… and it’ll hold its value. Plus, you’d have my respect; anyone who owns one of these cars will.

The Future of Autonomous Driving: Five Vehicles That Will Be Watching Out For You

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Today’s vehicles have a lot of technology in them that we would call driver assist technology. This is the precursor to fully autonomous driving vehicles that completely drive themselves and you around safely from point A to point B. Here are five vehicles that are in or beyond the prototype stage of producing a fully autonomous driving experience.

Tesla Model S 90D

Tesla Model S autonomous driving vehicle

The Model S is not quite an autonomous car…yet. Recently though Tesla unveiled a new software update that will enable the Model S cars to automatically steer, change lanes and even park themselves. Tesla calls this new update ‘autopilot’ because it has capabilities of autopilot but some features will occasionally require input from a human driver, such has putting hands on the steering wheel. The Model S has an entry level price point of $95,300 and a ceiling price point of $133,000.

Google Self-Driving Car Project

Google's self-driving car

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Google’s pioneering foray into the autonomous driving arena. Google has built a prototype vehicle that looks not unlike a clown car. Their vehicle is packed with sensors and software that helps the vehicle to answer four important questions. Where am I? What’s around me? What will happen next? What should I do?

While not available to buy yet and we don’t know the expected price, we are excited for what Google will eventually offer to consumers in this field.

Audi A7

Audi A7

This is Audi’s A7 Sportback piloted driving concept, a fully functioning test vehicle that’s currently running on the German autobahn. While still in development stage and not commercially available yet, Audi has set a release date of sometime during the year 2020. Audi is in fact poised to release this vehicle within the next 2 years, however the legalities of self driving vehicles are causing a delay.

Mercedes Benz F 015

Mercedes Benz F 015

The actual price of the Mercedes Benz F 015 has not yet been revealed by Mercedes, but it is expected to cost around $300,000 to $500,000.

Powered by a hybrid electric fuel cell with the range of 900 kilometers, or about 559 miles, and a battery with a range of about 200 kilometers, or about 124 miles, the luxurious F 015 is uniquely designed with cameras, sensors and displays for monitoring the road ahead.

The interior contains four swiveling lounge chairs that serve as Mercedes’ ideal basis for impact-protected comfort. The self-driving car’s door concept makes getting in and out a cinch, while the seating allows passengers to have comfortable face-to-face conversation.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Expected cost is not known at this time. Self-driving cars are not a thing of the future – the technology is already working today. Despite that, Nissan has tentatively set a release date availability at sometime during the year 2020. This is because infrastructure and legislation need to catch up. Nissan has been working to develop this technology alongside teams from some of the world’s top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo.

What Does This Mean For The Future Of Autonomous Driving Vehicles?

All of these companies are working hard to bring autonomous driving technology closer to reality and to make it safer. Many of these companies are ready to release their autonomous driverless cars to market by 2017. That is likely not going to happen though. The technology has been so rapidly improving that legislators and law makers are having a difficult time keeping up. Here’s a table that summarizes SAE International’s levels of driving automation for on-road vehicles. With criteria such as is found in that table it’s no wonder lawmakers are taking time to consider things carefully. While California and Texas allow autonomous vehicles on their streets, those are the only two States that have laws allowing that. We just hope that lawmakers don’t take too much longer to enact laws that make autonomous vehicles legal on the rest of our streets.

Finally, a Battery for Electric Vehicles that Doesn’t Suck

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Today, aluminum is quickly gaining popularity with major producers of electric vehicles. It is a vital element in a new electric vehicles type of battery that is deemed to be so green that it partially runs on air!

Besides that, this new aluminum-air battery could greatly extend the electric vehicle range by nearly a thousand miles. Aluminum, which is available widely, contains huge levels of energy (8kWh/kg). What makes it even more attractive is that it can easily be recycled, making it suitable energy systems material.

The Power of Air

Owing to the revolutionary components, the aluminum-air energy systems from Phinergy use the energy that gets released by the reaction between oxygen and aluminum in generating electric power. Phinergy’s proprietary air electrodes are used in transforming the aluminum-air energy systems into energy sources that are reliable, robust, clean and highly effective.

Aluminum Air Battery

Put simply, the technology:

  • Harnesses the chemical reaction between oxygen and aluminum
  • The aluminum serves as the anode and the oxygen (together with a solution made of water electrolyte) becomes the cathode, which gets depleted as you drive the vehicle.
  • A large surface area of porous electrode captures the needed oxygen.
  • A silver-based catalyst is contained in the electrode that stops any unnecessary interaction with the present carbon dioxide.
  • To recharge the aluminum-air battery drivers, simply have the aluminum cartridges replaced.

It must however be noted that aluminum-air batteries possess more energy, although their energy release is much more slowly. This makes it impractical to have the aluminum-air battery as a main source of power in the car.

For that, the aluminum-air battery has to work along with a lithium-ion battery through recharging, effectively giving the electric vehicle the capacity of extending their range by a previously unimagined 1,000 miles per each charge!

  • Besides extending the electric vehicles range, aluminum-air batteries are even friendlier to the environment.
  • These aluminium batteries don’t generate any carbon dioxide; hence leave nil negative carbon footprints.

It is hoped that if additional ongoing tests proceed positively, the aluminum-air battery could help in solving a major hurdle that faces electric car makers today; range anxiety.

Metal-Air Technology

For years, metal-air technology has remained at the forefront of ongoing research into energy due to its huge potential. The technological breakthroughs by Phinergy in this sector have made it possible to efficiently tap into this potential for a variety of applications, outperforming standard batteries.

A typical battery is composed of:

  • A cathode and an anode in which the cathode’s weight is about 70% of the total battery weight.
  • The cathode gets utilized as the holder for a reactant, such as Oxygen, which is needed for releasing the required energy in the anode made if metal (this is usually close to 5% of the battery).
  • The end outcome is that the bigger portion of a standard battery’s weight gets utilized poorly.

The metal-air battery by Phinergy comes with an air-electrode that injects oxygen from the surrounding air, rather from the standard cathode. What this means is that the battery is using the needed oxygen from the ambient air, instead of having heavy materials holding down the oxygen inside.

Therefore, metal-air batteries have a huge potential in terms of delivering higher energy capacity but at weights that are lower.

Air Electrodes

The proprietary air electrodes from Phinergy are turning the dream of metal-air battery into an actuality. The metal-air battery key component is the air-electrode, and is very vital in regard to its performance.

In order to absorb the needed oxygen, the air electrode structure is porous with an extremely large surface area. Besides their durability, the air electrodes from Phinergy exhibit enhanced performance leading to:

  • Flexible mechanical structure
  • High electrochemical performance
  • Aluminum-Air
  • Complete recyclability.

Aluminium which is a widely available resource has high levels of energy (8kWh/kg). In addition, it’s easily recyclable which makes a very appropriate material for usage in energy systems.

Phinergy’s proprietary anode production process leads to enhanced usage of aluminum energy, while at the same time cutting down on unwanted chemical reactions.

  • The company in addition uses a superior battery management system to boost the energetic battery utilization.
  • The aluminum-air energy systems from Phinergy are more advanced compared to standard batteries when it comes to specific energy and energy density. The systems are loaded mechanically, hence circumventing long charging duration’s.

When it is being employed in an aluminum-air battery, the aluminum substance converts into aluminum hydroxide. This can then get recycled, enabling a sustainable life cycle.

Zinc-Air

Previously, zinc air car batteries got seriously limited by the air electrodes short lifespan, plus destructive processes like the formation of dendrite between the cathode and anode. This usually led to very early destruction of the battery cell and air electrodes.

The company Phinergy has come up with zinc-air batteries that are electrically rechargeable. These batteries outperform the standard batteries in terms of energy density and specific energy.

Phinergy has in addition developed a zinc anode, which avoids cell damage because it doesn’t suffer from the formation of dendrite. This breakthrough combination of innovations has made it possible for Phinergy to manufacture zinc-air batteries that are electrically rechargeable which are also extremely durable.

Conclusion

Whether its aluminum, solar, converting seawater, or Free Energy (zero-point), it’s clear that there is potential for improvements. For instance, the aluminum-air battery as it is now only a vehicle range extender, not yet the car’s primary battery.

It worth noting that three European automakers have continued to carry out testing and are continuing to doing so in the days ahead, which is a good pointer. We are not yet fully there but we certainly are on the right direction towards a reliable battery that doesn’t really suck.

Can Cars really Run on Water?

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A couple of years ago, if somebody told you it’s possible to have a car fueled through feeding it with saltwater, you probably would have called them a proponent of a conspiracy theory.

Just try and visualize that instead of your car spewing out a continuous outflow noxious mixtures of gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, benzene, particulates and hydrocarbons, the exhaust of your car emits only water.

It’s now not too hard for us to envision a future where all our motor vehicles are electric, but for us to imagine a future where electric cars are being powered by water; yes, salt water!

The Toyota Mirai

Toyota-Mirai

It could sound more like a science fiction theory, but this is now a reality. Rather than having your car fuel tank filled up using diesel or petrol, the Mirai (Japanese for ‘future’), from giant car maker Toyota is getting powered by one of the most widely available element in the world, hydrogen

  • Hydrogen gets introduced into the tank of the Mirai’s tank just as petrol would be injected at a petrol pump.
  • Then, using the fuel cell wonders — which trigger a chemical reaction that takes place between oxygen in the air and the hydrogen — this gets converted into electricity that in turn will power the auto.
  • Amazingly, the only by-product that comes from this process is pure drinkable water.
  • The Toyota Mirai can in a mere 9.6 seconds hit speeds of 111 mph (62 mph)
  • Most significantly, the car has a huge range of approximately 300 miles.
  • The Mirai’s tanks made of ultra-strong carbon-fibre can get filled up in about 10 minutes.

Quant e-Sportlimousine

Quant-E-SportLimousine

The technology that uses electrolyte flow cell has in fact been around for quite a while, although it is just recently that several auto manufacturers got the green light to begin producing cars running on the electrolyte flow cell technology.

German company Quant recently announced that their new Quant e-Sportlimousine, a salt water powered car, has received certification to be used on roads in Europe. This is a sure and very positive indicator that the powerful Oil Cartels have began to lose the protracted energy war.

  • The German makers have gone on to produce an electrical car that is powered using salt water. The Quant e-Sportlimousine has 4 electric engines.
  • It is a fast car that comes with some excellent fuel savings for any worthy sports car.
  • To put it correct technically, the salt water is not used as the fuel, but rather the medium of storage.
  • Using two tanks that can hold 50-gallon water and 4 electric motors, the car is run using the electrically charging salt water (ionic liquid) to store the generated energy.
  • This boosts energy efficiency that permits for a higher range compared to the standard electric car batteries.

This new form of alternative energy technology is possibly going to finally make gasoline powered cars to become obsolete. This based on the fact that using electrolyte flow cell technology for powering cars is much more cost effective and by far cleaner compared to using gasoline.

How Quant Works

The Quant e-Sportlimousine gets powered through a power system known as electrolyte flow cell. This an element of the innovative technology referred to as NanoFlowcell technology. The electrolyte flow cell power system works similar to the working of a hydrogen fuel cell; the difference being that it is salt water that is being used in the storage of power.

Specifically:

  • 2 liquids that have metallic salts, acting as the electrolyte, get mixed in such a manner to lead to an electrochemical reaction.
  • Subsequent to that, electric motors make use of the ensuing reaction in producing electric current.
  • The electricity is stored first and then distributed using super capacitors.

Quant Unique Features

Different from the standard cars that are running on gasoline, the German made Quant e-Sportlimousine operates on a system made by NanoFlowcell known as electrolyte flow cell power system.

  • Has the capacity of generating an incredible 920 horsepower (680 kW).
  • This car that powered by salt water can go in 2.8 seconds from a 0 speed to 100 km/h (62 mph) with a top speed of 350 km/h (217.5 mph).
  • The system efficiency reaches 80% because the car has literally got no moving parts and the waste heat produced is insignificant when contrasted against cars that are powered by standard batteries made of lithium-ion.

The sleek design of the Quant e-Sportlimousine makes it quite competitive among electric and sports cars alike. However, beyond the great aesthetics, this car is also proving its worth in terms of performance.

Phinergy-Renault-Nissan Aluminum-Air Battery

The Company Phinergy has produced a car battery that is carbon-neutral electricity which consumes slices of aluminum slowly to yield more energy density in comparison to the best batteries made of lithium-ion.

  • The aluminum-air battery from Phinergy’s mixes de-ionized water (drinkable) into a solution of alkaline electrolyte.
  • It then injects air to trigger a chemical reaction which dissolves the aluminum plates to generate electricity.

If the plans remain on schedule, Phinergy is optimistic their aluminum-air battery will prove itself as the greatest innovation in recent years for the transport industry.

Conclusion

Emerging alternative energy technologies like the efficient electrolyte flow cell system are certainly going to become more main stream in the days ahead. Alternative new energy technologies are going to assist us in solving our perennial “energy crisis” and possibly usher in a new modern age.

With a single stroke, our entire economy and environment would be radically transformed. This is a new era where worries about accessing clean and cheap energy become a thing of the past.

A Review Of The 2016 Honda Odyssey

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This post, a 2016 Honda Odyssey review, was written by guest author Brendon Turner. If you enjoyed reading this post please use the social share buttons above to share it with your friends.

I wasn’t a fan of Honda until I married into a family of Honda owners. My wife’s parents both drove a Honda and always spoke favorably about the brand. I myself was always a fan of domestic’s and had only ever owned GM vehicles. While today I still drive a GMC Sierra 1500 Denali pickup truck, my wife up until last week drove a Honda Civic model with DXG trim.

Last weekend we took delivery of a brand new 2016 Honda Odyssey from Calgary Honda for my wife. We purchased the EX-L trim. I would say that she’s rather enjoying her new ride since I’ve barely seen her in the three days since she took delivery of the vehicle because she’s been out driving.

2016 honda odyssey

Available Trim

The 2016 Odyssey is available in six different available trim packages with an MSRP* as follows.

  • LX – $29,275
  • EX – $32,425
  • SE – $33,375
  • EX-L – $35,925
  • Touring – $42,180
  • Touring Elite – $44,750

Available Colors

We purchased our EX-L with a White Diamond Pearl paint color, however the 2016 Odyssey is available in 7 different colors from the factory.

  • White Diamond Pearl
  • Smoky Topaz Metallic (EX and above)
  • Crystal Black Pearl (EX and above)
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Deep Scarlet Pearl
  • Obsidian Blue Pearl

2016-honda-odyssey-paint-colors

Accessories

Although the 2016 Odyssey already has a sharp look and style to it, there are a lot of accessories available for the Odyssey. I won’t list them all here but they include roof rails, door guards, wheels, locking wheel nuts, towing equipment, lighting, body side molding, all weather floor mats and even a Honda camping tent that attaches to the rear open hatch. There are no shortage of add-ons that can be purchased for the Odyssey.

Standard Features

2016-Honda-Odyssey-vacuumStandard features that vary by model include the HondaVAC, which is essentially a built in vacuum. Handy if the children are throwing Cheerios around.

2016-honda-odyssey-entertainmentAlso the kids can enjoy a rear entertainment system with wireless headsets. In the Touring model you’ll find an HDMI port on the side panel interior of the 3rd row of seating. And a 115V power outlet. This is great if you want to plugin a gaming console. Did I mention that the Odyssey also features an air conditioned cooler box too?

Engine

The Odyssey features a 6 speed automatic transmission and a very smooth powertrain. The engine also has a cylinder-deactivation switch on its 248 horsepower 3.5 liter V6 block, making it quite fuel efficient. The EPA rating on the 2016 Odyssey is 19/28 MPG. The engine can produce 0-60 MPH in 7.5 seconds. And has a top speed of about 120 MPH.

Spacious Interior

2016-honda-odyssey-interior

The 2016 Honda Odyssey is an 8 passenger minivan that has 5 doors. It features dual sliding doors for the second and 3rd row seating. The sliding doors can also be remotely opened and closed with the key fob. We found that with two boys ages 2 and 6 years old it’s quite easy to lean into the vehicle and buckle them up into their car seats in the second row without actually having to step into the vehicle. This is a definite plus. The second row of seats can be removed from the vehicle completely. The third row of seats easily fold down into the trunk area creating a flat cargo space behind the second row of seats.

Other Highlights of The 2016 Honda Odyssey

This vehicle drives well and handles most road conditions with agility and grace. I test drove a 2016 Honda Odyssey Touring model a few weeks ago in very heavy rain conditions and the vehicle held the road very well. What surprised me the most was the Lane Departure Warning feature. Even in very heavy rain when I could not see the painted lane lines on the road ahead the vehicle’s camera mounted at the top center of the windshield was able to accurately warn me when I was departing my lane without using my turn signal. Clever technology!

2016-Honda-Odyssey-dashboard

The dashboard features easy to read gauges and has a central display mounted lower that shows audio and phone functions apart from the upper central display screen – on EX models and up.

The second row of seating offers built in retractable sun shades on the side windows. There are two external view cameras. One rearview camera mounted on the rear hatch of course and one right adjacent lane view camera mounted on the right side external mirror. Activated when signaling right the right side mirror camera is a nice touch enabling you to see what’s directly in the lane to the right of you.

The headlights on the 2016 Honda Odyssey’s have a dark trim housing HID, High Intensity Discharge, bulbs. They also feature LED lit taillights too.

With a roomy interior, an exterior length of 202.9 inches, width of 79.2 inches and height of 68.4 inches most families would agree that the Odyssey has more than enough space to accommodate their needs.

The 2016 Honda Odyssey outperforms most any three row crossover and looks a lot nicer than some of its direct competitors.

If you’re considering purchasing a new Honda Odyssey click here to get a price quote.

*MSRP is noted in US dollars.