Vibrant Copper Metallic ($550), Multimedia Package ($2,700 -- includes premium multimedia sound system with MultEQ XT by Audyssey; Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound with 650-watt amplifier and 12 premium loudspeakers; 7-inch high-definition color screen; rear park assist camera; navigation system with real-time traffic updates and Map Care with two complimentary updates); Technology Package ($2,100 -- includes collision warning and pedestrian detection with full auto brake; adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist; distance alert; driver alert control; lane departure warning); Premium Package ($1,900 -- includes power glass moonroof; leather seating surfaces; power front passenger seat; auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass; HomeLink remote garage door opener); Dynamic Package ($900 -- includes Dynamic Chassis; speed-sensitive steering with driver-selectable settings; 18-by-8 inch Sleipner alloy wheels with 235/40R18 tires); Climate Package ($800 -- includes heated front seats; heated windshield washer nozzles; rain-sensing windshield wipers; headlight washers; interior air quality system with active carbon filter); Keyless Drive With Personal Car Communicator ($550 -- includes Personal Car Communicator (PCC), advanced remote control system providing two-way communication with vehicle).
Turbocharged, port-injected, inline-5, gasoline
DOHC, 5 valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
250 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
266 @ 1,800
Six-speed automatic with console shifter with sport/manual modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 4.15; II = 2.37; III = 1.56; IV = 1.16; V = 0.86; VI = 0.69; Final drive = 3.20
No matter whether Trac is on or off because wheelspin is oddly illusive. There was a slight advantage to pedal overlap, but it won't allow it for more than a fraction of a second. Zero torque steer, then smooth, droning acceleration with somewhat lazy upshifts -- even in Sport Drive. Also, does perform auto upshift even in Manual Shift mode (and no matched-rev downshifts either).
Pretty dramatic dive, but no rear-end wander/wiggle. Quick-cycling ABS provides shudder-free pedal and quiet stops. Minimal fade after first (best) stop. Medium-firm pedal from first to last.
Skid pad: With ESC in Sport, stability control remains on, yet with a high threshold so the system won't intrude during skid pad lapping. Result is steady, easily maintained understeer at a fairly high limit. With ESC on, it drops the throttle well below the grip limit of the tires. Steering weight is adjustable (and I chose "Medium" for all tests). Slalom: First impression was "Whoa, lots of body roll!" Once I acclimated, I found it frustrating as I wanted to lift to help the car rotate, only to be checked by ESC (even in Sport ESC mode). Either way, smoothness is rewarded. It might feel slow in transition (and hobbled by ESC), but the decent grip and precise steering earn it some points back. Sporty, just not what we'd call a sport sedan.