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Month: January 2018

NYC congestion fees, Hyundai Santa Fe, Porsche Mission E: What’s New @ The Car Connection

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New York City skyline (by Flickr user AngMoKio)NYC hopes congestion fee won’t get stuck in legislative gridlock New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a so-called congestion charge in an attempt to combat New York City—and specifically Manhattan—traffic jams. If implemented, drivers would face fees of $11.52 to enter the most traffic-prone areas of Manhattan, and trucks…



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NYC hopes congestion fee won’t get stuck in legislative gridlock

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a so-called congestion charge in an attempt to combat New York City—and specifically Manhattan—traffic jams. If implemented, drivers would face fees of $11.52 to enter the most traffic-prone areas of Manhattan, and trucks would see a daily fee of $25.34.

The Manhattan charge, which would be levied on any car entering the island lower than 60th street, is far from the first proposal lobbed into the heart of NYC’s gridlock. Numerous bills have been proposed and rejected, dating back four decades, though none ever made it past the state legislature for a variety of reasons.

London famously employs a similar fee to ease its own notorious congestion, with motorists in the U.K. capitol charged up to £11.50 to enter certain areas of London’s city center on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

One of the key aims of the proposed charge is to help speed up traffic, which last year slowed to an average just 4.7 mph in Manhattan. A likely impact is that the fee will hit the taxi and ride-share industries particularly hard, with surcharges predicted to be anywhere from $2 to $5 for each ride within Manhattan’s congestion zone.

Two central aspects of the new proposal separate this version from its predecessors. Drivers who enter the island via the East River (and who avoid the congestion zone), won’t be assessed the fee. Also, the plan stipulates that no fees would be levied while mass transit is being repaired (both on the surface and below).

Opponents, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, argue that a congestion fee impacts middle class residents who commute into Manhattan every day, while proponents say the number of middle class commuters who drive themselves into the city center each day is negligible.



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2018 Land Rover Discovery Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos

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The 2018 Land Rover Discovery is available in three trim levels with two engine options and two drivetrains—you can order a Discovery without a low-range transfer case, and you can order a scotch and water without the scotch. Are you getting all that you paid for?

Gas-powered versions are available in SE, HSE, and HSE Luxury trim, while diesel-powered Discovery models are available in only HSE and HSE Luxury trim.

All Discovery models are equipped with 19-inch wheels, power adjustable front seats, dual-pane fixed sunroofs, leather seats, dual-zone climate control, two rows of seats, keyless ignition, a rearview camera, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment.

That’s good base equipment, a very good touchscreen, and the Discovery bundles a healthy set of optional equipment—for an equally healthy price. We rate the Discovery’s features at an 8 out of 10, with an important note: Most of those good options are spider-webbed with other prerequisite packages that the order sheet feels like a college upper-division course catalog. Asking for a small upgrade can require thousands of dollars in additional extras. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Stepping up to HSE models with the gas or diesel engine adds 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, power tailgate that can hold 660 pounds, premium audio, navigation, and a 10-inch touchscreen for infotainment.

Conquering mountains in HSE Luxury Discovery models are fine, fine ways to assert dominance over nature. In addition to the big wheels, the HSE Luxury adds air suspension, a standard low-range transfer case, heated rear seats, three rows of seats, upgraded leather interior bits, three-zone climate control, power folding third-row seats, and a 14-speaker audio system.

We think options worth considering will be the third-row seating package for SE and HSE models that not only adds the small third row, but also the air suspension, and low-range transfer case for roughly $2,000. An added Capability Plus Package adds Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 off-road package with an active locking rear differential and selectable modes for sand, snow, rocks, fire, brimstone, the works.

Additional packages include safety systems that we wish were standard, but are relatively reasonably priced. Blind-spot monitors and traffic sign recognition add about $500 to the bottom line (provided you opt for a $1,000 vision package first) and adaptive cruise control with active lane control adds roughly $1,800 more.

Rear seat entertainment packages are slick, and mimic the main infotainment screen, but require swallowing a baseball-sized lump of a price tag: more than $2,200. A head-up display is almost $1,000, and frankly, it’s not worth it.

A slick tow assist feature helps loading and unloading by controlling the trailer via a rotary knob on the center console. It’s reasonably priced at $400, provided you have the right prerequisite features down.

Review continues below



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