Valverde Barcelona are fired up for success

first_imgErnesto Valverde believes his team is extra motivated to win the Champions League, as they bid to end their barren run since 2015.The Spanish Champions were dumped out of the competition in the Quarter-final stage by Roma but Valverde thinks they have the right mindset to enjoy European success once again.“We would like to win this competition, and surely this feeling is being felt by other teams too,” he told a pre-match press conference.”Teams like Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Manchester City and Real Madrid all have the same desire, yet I like that there is an extra motivation to win the Champions League this year.”Many pundits have tipped Barca to win the tie PSV, however, Valverde is wary of their attacking talents.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“They are the Dutch champions and are used to taking the initiative,” he said.”I don’t see them changing that. Most teams want to maintain their style. They will want to attack and we are going to have to defend well against them.”We try to play the same way every game and we will try to do the same again tomorrow.”They have some very talented wingers, especially on the left. They have some very good full-backs as well, and we have to deal with that regardless of who plays for us.”last_img read more

The best small SUVs and crossovers for the money

first_img 2019 Porsche Macan S: As lovely as ever 24 Photos 78 Photos Land Rover Range Rover VelarStarting at $49,950, the 2019 Velar is clearly not cheap. But this compact SUV feels far more expensive than it really is. Its minimalist design inside and out makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing vehicles on the road.The Velar delivers a comfortable, quiet ride with reasonable athleticism and more off-road ability than any owner will ever ask of it. More From Roadshow SUVs Crossovers 62 Photos 2018 Nissan Kicks: Appreciating the unconventional Subaru CrosstrekThe 2019 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,895, offers standard all-wheel drive, and hey — you can even get it with a six-speed manual transmission. Equipped with the continuously variable transmission, the Crosstrek is pretty darn efficient, returning 27 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway.The 2019 Crosstrek now comes with automatic emergency braking on all models, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across all trims. 2019 Honda CR-V is one of our favorite compact crossovers 12 Photos 24 Photos Subaru ForesterThe Forester still has enough of its tall-wagon DNA to make it enjoyable to drive, yet it offers all the practicality of an SUV, starting at $24,295.Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance package is among the best available in this category, and while the rest of the Forester’s in-cabin tech is a little tame, support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay mostly mitigates that.A number of 2019 model-year upgrades make the Forester an even better offering in the compact SUV space.Originally published March 21. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek: Just as good as before, only better The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is rugged, practical and affordable 50 Photos Enlarge Image Honda Boy howdy, do American consumers love their crossovers and SUVs. And because many are looking to utility vehicles in place of compact sedans and hatchbacks, we’ve seen a big rise in the number of pint-size SUVs on offer.To that end, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite small-ish crossovers and SUVs. From cheap-and-cheerful compacts to luxury and performance offerings, these are the best small utility vehicles on sale in America today.. And these days, compact offerings seem to be all the rage. To that end, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite small utility vehicles that hit all the sweet spots, from utility, efficiency, luxury and yes, even sportiness. Subaru Meet Roadshow’s long-term 2019 Volvo XC40 Mazda CX-5Starting at under $25,000, the Mazda CX-5 offers tons of style, inside and out.A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Whether in all-wheel or front-wheel-drive guise, the Mazda serves up genuine driving fun and excitement behind the wheel.The post-refresh model is now considerably quieter and better riding than earlier models, with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert standard across all trim lines.  Volvo XC40A brand-new Volvo for $32,000? Sign us up.The XC40 doesn’t scrimp on kit, even though it’s the cheapest Volvo, coming standard with the Sensus Connect infotainment system and the always-great “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights.Not only does it look good, the XC40 drives really well, too. Fuel economy isn’t the best, but life is full of tradeoffs.  Mazda CX-3The smaller Mazda CX-3 can be had starting at $20,390. While it’s been updated for 2019, Mazda didn’t mess with the good stuff. The same 2.0-liter engine is under the hood as last year, though power and torque have increased just slightly.The rear glass is thicker, which should result in a quieter cabin. The LED taillights out back get a new design as well. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all trims. The base Sport model can be had with an i-ActivSense Package, including such active driving aids as full-range adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and rain-sensing wipers.center_img Volkswagen Tiguan is bigger all around, but still compact 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel review: Was it really worth the wait? Volkswagen TiguanThe Volkswagen Tiguan is softer than it used to be, but it’s also much more spacious, comfortable and quiet than the previous generation. The new look is bold, but also very classic VW.VW’s Car-Net and Digital Cockpit are basically scaled-down versions of the amazing Audi tech we’ve been raving about for years.A rare thing among compact SUVs, the Tiggy can actually be optioned with a third row of seats. 2019 Mazda CX-3 is brimming with personality 33 Photos Nissan KicksStarting at just under $18,000, the Nissan Kicks is a lot of car for the money, and can be had with a truly outstanding Bose Personal Plus audio system.The Kicks is a great, honest little crossover — and it’s not too shabby to drive, either.Aside from moderate noise over bumps, this budget crossover is a lot quieter than many of its competitors. 42 Photos Honda CR-VThe latest-generation Honda CR-V features a lot more style, has a roomier backseat, boats class-leading cargo space, and starts at a reasonable $25,000.A strong engine lineup includes a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated base engine with 180 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, or a punchy 1.5-liter turbo with 190 horses and 179 pound-feet. The good thing about the turbocharged engine is that peak torque is available from just 2,000 rpm.The CR-V provides a well-damped ride quality, while also being competent through corners. 2019 Subaru Ascent review 24 Photos Porsche MacanThe Porsche Macan does the small-sporty-SUV thing better than pretty much any of its rivals. It’s handsome, spacious and super fun to drive. Plus, that Porsche badge ain’t for nothin’ — the Macan will outdrive any other sporty crossover on the road today.For 2019, the Macan S got a brand-new turbocharged V6 engine, and some slightly refreshed style. It’s an SUV we’d love to drive every day — and on some of our favorite roads, too. 2019 Mazda CX-5 adds premium style with new Signature trim Tags Share your voice 7 Comments 22 Photos Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography packs 550 hp, high-end trimmings 2019 Subaru Forester: Welcome improvements for an already solid SUV Land Rover Honda Mazda Nissan Porsche Subaru Volkswagen Volvolast_img read more

The VW Beetle is officially out of production

first_imgEnlarge ImageIt’s the end of an era — again. Volkswagen Update, July 10: The final Volkswagen Beetle, a coupe clad in Denim Blue paint, rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico, today. Before the third-generation car departed from this mortal coil, though, we were given the chance to head down yonder Mexico way and assist in the assembly of some of VW’s final Beetles. Head south by one paragraph to read our account of that experience.I step into a production-line-adjacent conference room at the Volkswagen Beetle factory in Puebla, Mexico. The air inside is tinged with the aroma of what seems to be a nearby bathroom leaking its wretchedness into the air conditioning vents. A presentation slide entitled “How will be work” details the day’s schedule upon a projection screen at the other end of the room. I’m ushered around a table along with a handful of US and Canadian media colleagues. We’re given a schedule rundown and safety briefing that lasts a mere 15 minutes, and then we’re directed toward the production floor to help build a home-stretch batch of Volkswagen Beetles. In just a few weeks’ time, VW’s Bug will be swatted.This factory-floor fast-tracking runs in stark contrast to my Volvo S60 production line experience in South Carolina just two months ago. With Volvo, I was put through a half-day’s training to learn how to perform just one task on the line. Today with the Beetle, I’ll be installing front bumper and radiator covers, mounting the right-rear wheel, bolting in the rear suspension and placing the front emblem.I don’t mind the opportunity to be involved in more of the Beetle’s production process, of course. We’re talking about one of history’s most recognized and influential machines. Since the Beetle’s inception in 1938, more than 23 million bugs have crawled out of VW factories the world over, from Germany to Nigeria, Indonesia to Ireland and presently, Mexico. Getting a chance to build some of the final examples of the “People’s Car” is one of those stories I’ll likely tell my grandchildren.Volkswagen Beetle EvolutionEnlarge ImageVolkswagen Beetles rising through eight decades. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Slug bugMy first task is to install the front bumper cover on a Stonewashed Blue Beetle headed to a Chinese customer. Bumper assembly would have been a rather simple process had I been given a crack at more than one car. That’s not in the cards, though, so I go about my duties like a toddler navigating along the Brooklyn Bridge’s railing. Thankfully, I’ve got a supervision safety net of pros standing around me. For these men and women who work the line every day, proper component mounting is a matter of muscle memory. Click together a few electrical connectors, bang on the body panels just right so they snap into place (kind of like you’re playing “punch bug” with the Beetle itself) and six screws later, the little Beetle’s cute face is complete. That’s not the end of my job at this station, however. I still have to install a black plastic panel that sits under the hood ahead of the radiator, which is simply a matter of lining up the component and banging it in. Easier said than done, I soon realize. My infantile banging proves futile, so a line worker helps me by realigning the piece and then popping it into place as effortlessly as your most recent breath. Once that’s complete, the car continues down the line, never for me to see it again.The latter three assembly tasks prove smoother with other Beetles. My toddler fumbling isn’t disruptive enough to make a mess of mounting the right-rear wheel. Nor is installing the rear suspension, which is simply a matter of torquing four bolts on each side and letting the computer validate my worth by lighting up with green OKs. Installing the front VW emblem is actually an automated process, but I get to place one on a Bug’s nose anyway, because why let a good photo op go to waste?2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final AssemblyEnlarge ImageVW Beetles get an inspection under the lights before heading out the factory doors and onto their test drives. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow By the numbersSurprisingly, robots perform just 48% of the Beetle’s assembly. The other 52% is by hand. Today’s Beetle, which has slid to become VW’s least popular vehicle in the US, shares its assembly line with Volkswagen of America’s best-seller: the Tiguan compact crossover SUV. This popularity chasm is evident as I stretch my eyes down the production line. About one in every 10 vehicles is a Beetle, and there are moments walking along the floor where nothing but Tiguans flood my sockets.Over the course of three shifts within a 24-hour production day (Monday to Friday and sometimes two shifts on Saturday), 937 new vehicles emerge off the line, 170 to 180 of which are Beetles. In addition, every unit is test-driven. Fun fact: According to surveys distributed by the plant’s human resources department, the test drivers are the factory’s happiest employees.Come on, get happyAfter getting to play on the production line, VW lets me briefly test-drive some Beetles outside the factory. I’m surprised at how heavy the (1998-2011) New Beetle’s steering is, and how it feels sportier to drive than the current (2012-2019) Beetle, which is a comparative snooze fest. I’m most excited to drive the 2003 Beetle Ultima Edicion (Final Edition), the last of the original air-cooled Beetles. The Ultima Edicion is much quieter than any classic Beetle I’ve heretofore experienced. Modern seating makes it categorically comfortable, too, but from there, its modernity slopes into the abyss.The Ultima Edicion has no power steering, but that’s fine, as there’s little weight over its nose. The car’s clutch, brake and gas pedals, however, delineate evolution in reverse. The clutch is as light as any economy car’s third pedal from 2019. The brake pedal trails the clutch’s contemporary ease, but scrubbing speed isn’t terrifying: Unlike with earlier Beetles, you needn’t stomp halfway to the floor before barely stopping in time. Even still, the pedal’s modulation is precision’s distant cousin. Traveling farther back in time, the throttle is straight out of World War II, somehow feeling heavier and clumsier than Beetles I’ve driven from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.The Ultima Edicion proves more ponderous than I’d expected, but it’s a heartening reminder of an automotive icon whose production has lasted longer than the average human lifespan.Volkswagen Beetle Última EdiciónEnlarge ImageThe 2003 Volkswagen Beetle Ultima Edicion is what I consider to be the ultimate expression of the original, air-cooled Bug. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Is this really goodbye?The Beetle’s demise is the lamentable result of how the world has moved away from the spunky and toward the practical. In its ’60s heyday, the original Beetle checked a slew of boxes for the pragmatic but imaginative American consumer. Today, crossover SUVs speak to buyers padlocked by bottom-line idealism. The current Beetle lacks the cargo space, interior volume and ride height that today’s consumer demands. Consequently, the Beetle is now an unsustainably sluggish-selling lifestyle play. VW delivered roughly 14,000 Beetles in the US last year, according to GoodCarBadCar. That’s a far cry from 423,000 US sales in 1968, according to Euronews.And so, as America and the rest of the world have moved beyond Beetle Mania, so, too, must the Bug’s factory in Puebla. The Beetle’s discontinuation will free up space to build more of VW’s popular Tiguan.While Volkswagen currently has no plans to resurrect the Beetle after manufacturing ends in mid-July, I’m willing to bet money the Bug will return sometime next decade. VW’s new, incredibly limber electric MEB platform can spawn a litter of vehicles as diverse as the ID Buzz Cargo and the ID Buggy. It seemingly wouldn’t take much of a business case or a ton of development money for VW to engineer an electric Beetle off that flexible architecture. As a result, assembling some of the last Beetles really feels like “See ya later,” as opposed to a final goodbye. At least, that’s what I hope.Originally published June 24. Tags 2019 VW Beetle Final Edition review: The last goodbye 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder first drive: A Boxster with way more bite 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe review: Stylish and sure-footed More From Roadshow Share your voicecenter_img Volkswagen Automobiles Convertibles Classic Cars Coupes Hatchbacks 7 Comments Volkswagenlast_img read more