PL Automotive News

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring 4-Door Sedan (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

As gas prices remain high and as concern for the environment increases, more consumers are seeking more fuel efficient vehicles that help save money and reduce carbon emissions, but yet still are stylish and fun to drive.  Honda has responded to this need and desire by introducing the Accord Hybrid Touring.

The Accord Hybrid comes in three trims- Base, EX-L, and Touring. I tested the Touring and was very impressed with the excellent way the vehicle feels on the road, comfortable interior details, and hi-tech features, but it is more expensive than some other midsized hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius.  The Honda Accord Hybrid is one of the best hybrids in its segment and yields an amazing 49 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway.  

 

The base Hybrid trim comes fitted with- automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, an 8-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, an auxiliary audio jack, a large 7.7 inch infotainment display screen, Pandora, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, rearview camera, a 6-speaker audio system, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The EX-L trim adds a sunroof, leather upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 4-way power front passenger seat, driver memory settings, heated front seats, satellite and HD radio, smart phone connectivity, a better sound system with 7 speakers, an additional USB port, and a 7-inch touch screen in addition to the 7.7-inch infotainment display screen that comes standard on the base model.

Finally, the top of the line Touring trim adds a navigation system, LED headlights with automatic high-beam control, front and rear parking sensors, and heated rear seats.

Inside and on the road, the Accord Hybrid does not disappoint with a well-designed cabin, comfortable seating in the front and rear cabin, quiet interior, quick acceleration, and advanced technologically advanced features. There is so much to like about this vehicle and is sure to please even some of the most selective drivers.

As far as price is concerned, the Accord Hybrid is definitely higher than many of its rivals with a starting MSRP of $29,605; however, you do get a lot more upscale features for the money with the base trim, such as a full driver assistance suite, LED daytime running lights and taillights, power seats, push-button/remote start, and keyless entry.

 

What I really like about the Accord Hybrid is that it looks so much like the gas powered Accord, and it is hard to tell them apart, unlike the majority of hybrids, the Accord Hybrid does not appear to be a typical hybrid vehicle.  The headlights are different and there are small, blue-accented badges that show that the vehicle is a hybrid and eco friendly, but other than that, the Accord Hybrid has a mainstream and attractive exterior with a smooth and aerodynamic design that sets it apart from the competition. The Honda Accord Hybrid is also available in four exclusive colors.

Safety features include-  a rearview camera, active front head restraints, antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags, side blind-spot monitoring, Lane Watch, forward collision warning and forward collision intervention with automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane and road departure intervention.

On the road, the Accord Hybrid is quick and takes off smoothly and silently when gently pushing the accelerator pedal in electric mode and when the engine comes on, it works with the electric motor in a tandem way to help replenish and power up the battery pack in the Hybrid Drive mode. When you lift your foot off the accelerator, then the motor becomes a generator to change unnecessary energy to electricity to recharge the battery.

 

Although the Honda Accord Hybrid has great features, an elegant design, advanced technology, and is a strong performer on the road, I also recommend checking out the Honda Fit EX because, even though it is smaller, it definitely has a lot to offer too, is comfortable, has plenty of cargo space, is inexpensive, fun to drive, fuel efficient, and has an MSRP of only $16,090.

In summary, I highly recommend the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid to anyone who is looking for a stylish hybrid with a beautiful exterior, excellent fuel economy, quiet and luxurious interior, advanced technology, quick acceleration, and great on the road performance. It is definitely one of the best fuel efficient and high performing hybrid sedans available today.

 

To find out more about the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, please visit- www.Honda.com
 
 

2017 Honda Fit EX-L with Navi Hatchback (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane 

For a decade, the Honda Fit has been one of the best subcompact vehicles available and it’s amazing longevity is no surprise for those who have experienced all that the Fit has to offer, such as excellent fuel economy, advanced technology, spritely on the road performance, a roomy front and rear cabin, spacious cargo area, and an eye-catching exterior design that is like no other.

The 2017 Honda Fit comes in four trim levels: EX, LX, EX-L, EX-L with Navi, and comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 114 lb. ft. of torque. Both the LX and EX trims come equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, but a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city/36 mpg on the highway, the CVT equipped models yield an estimated 32 mpg in the city/37 mpg on the highway, and the LX yields an impressive 33 mpg in the city/40 mpg on the highway.

The LX trim includes- automatic headlights, a rearview camera, LED brake lights, 15-inch steel wheels, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 5-inch display screen, full power accessories, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 4-speaker audio system with CD player.

EX trims add 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a 7-inch touch screen display, an upgraded rearview camera, Honda's Lane Watch blind-spot display, a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Siri voice connectivity, smart phone app integration, and an HDMI input, which is necessary for certain HondaLink features to function properly. The EX-L adds heated body-color side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The EX-L with Navi adds, of course, a navigation system with voice recognition and an HD satellite radio.

From the outside, the Fit appears small, but not from the inside. The entire front and rear cabin feels very spacious with ample head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats are comfortable and supportive.  The rear seatbacks can be folded forward to yield more cargo room than the majority of vehicles in its class.

Because of the Fit’s compact size, it is easy to maneuver and park in crowded places and it handles very well on bumpier road surfaces.

Standard safety features include- antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and active head restraints. The Lane Watch blind-spot system, which comes standard on the EX trim and above, includes a small camera in the passenger-side mirror that offers a wide and low view of a blind spot when the right turn signal is on. In government crash testing, the 2017 Honda Fit achieved a top five-star overall rating- four stars for rollover, five stars for front-crash protection, and five stars for side-crash protection.

 

The interior of the 2017 Honda Fit is comfortable, spacious, and there is ample head/legroom in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers. All of the controls are easy to reach and operate and the touch screen display is large on the EX trim, which improves visibility and readability. The rear seat can split 60/40 and features a flip-up seat cushion that opens floor to ceiling room for taller/elevated items. When both rear seatbacks are folded down flat, there is 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room and the front passenger seat can also fold flat to accommodate cargo up to 8 ft. in length, which is impressive and makes the Fit stand out among other subcompact in its class.

On the road, the Fit is a strong performer and feels poised on the highway. Road noise is surprisingly minimal and the vehicle navigates very well around sharp corners and on curvy roadways. The Fit accelerates quickly and is great for short trips around town as well as longer excursions.

Even though the Honda Fit may not appear that exciting upon first glance, the vehicle has so much to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and has a starting MSRP of only $16,090, making it one of the most inexpensive vehicles in its class. The Fit represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a subcompact vehicle that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

 

 

To find out more about the 2017 Honda Fit, please visit- www.Honda.com

 

2017 Toyota Highlander SUV (Review)
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
by Philippa Lane 
 

The 2017 Toyota Highlander is a midsize 8-passenger, three-row crossover vehicle that has undergone major changes from the previous model year and is still a top choice among consumers seeking a crossover SUV that is both spacious and economical.

For the 2017 model year, the Highlander has received some additions and significant changes, such as updated styling, a larger, more prominent grille, redesigned LED taillights, a more powerful V6 engine that delivers better fuel efficiency, an 8-speed transmission, Toyota Safety Sense technology suite, and an automatic stop/start system.  There is also a new SE trim level that features uniquely sporty styling elements and a retuned suspension for sharper handling.

The Highlander is available in six trim levels- LE, LE Plus, SE, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum and in either front or all-wheel-drive with a choice of a 4-cylinder or V6 engine that is able to tow up to 5,000 lbs.

The base LE trim comes fitted with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 185 horsepower, 184 lb. ft. of torque, and yields an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. A more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine is standard for the other trims, but optional for the LE and produces 270 horsepower, 248 lb. ft. of torque, and can be paired with either front or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel-drive V6 arrangement delivers an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while the all-wheel drive V6 yields slightly less fuel efficiency at 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

The LE trim comes with- automatic headlights, cloth seats, a rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, heated exterior mirrors, a rear spoiler, manually adjustable front seats, sliding and reclining 60/40-split second-row and third-row seats, CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 6-speaker sound system with voice controls, Bluetooth, a 6.1 inch touch screen, and an iPod/USB port.

The LE Plus Package adds an 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a flip-up rear hatch window, fog lights, tri-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio and HD radio, an adjustable-height power lift gate, a larger 8-inch display, and better upholstery with SofTex synthetic leather accents.

The XLE trim adds heated front seats, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a sunroof, roof rails, an upgraded driver information display, a 110-volt power outlet, Driver Easy Speak which is a driver voice amplification system to communicate with rear seat passengers, smartphone app integration, retractable second row sunshades, an 8-inch central touch screen, and a navigation system. A rear-seat entertainment package for the XLE and Limited trims is optional and include wireless headphones, a bigger 9-inch display, RCA jacks, and a Blu-ray player.

The SE is has equipped like the XLE trim, but adds 19-inch wheels, sporty interior trim, LED running lights, sport-themed styling elements, and suspension tuning.

The Limited adds heated and ventilated front seats, LED running lights, 19 inch wheels, LED ambient interior lighting, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, second-row captain's chairs, driver memory functions, a 12-speaker JBL sound system, a 4-way power passenger seat, and rear parking sensors. A Driver Technology Package offers frontal collision warning, automatic high-beam control headlights, a frontal impact crash mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and a safety system which includes-emergency assistance, automatic collision notification, and a stolen vehicle locator.

Lastly, the top-of-the line Limited Platinum trim comes fitted with all of the aforementioned features, but also adds rain sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and heated second row seats.

On the road, the Highlander is a strong performer and delivers effortless acceleration that makes it one of the quickest large crossovers available. The Highlander provides a smooth and enjoyable driving experience on a variety of terrains with responsive braking and handles sharp corners with ease, just like more expensive luxury vehicles that I have previously tested.

Standard safety features for all 2017 Toyota Highlander trims include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a driver knee airbag, front seat side airbags, a front passenger seat-cushion airbag and full-length side curtain airbags, and a rearview camera.

The interior of the Highlander is quite nice with soft touch materials and a contemporary looking dashboard area with a multifunction touch screen display, which is available in either a 6.1 or 8 inch size.  The 8 inch display in the LE Plus has better graphics, functionality, and is more enjoyable to interact with. In the front and rear cabin, there is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats are comfortable, ergonomic, and supportive, however, the third row is a little cramped for taller adults.  There is a special built-in shelf on the dashboard area that can be used to put small items, such as keys or a cell phone and there is a big storage area below the console armrest that is large enough to store an iPad, purse, or a large tote bag. 

Cargo space behind the third row measures almost 14 cubic ft. and when the rear seats are folded down there is an impressive 83.7 cubic ft. of space.

 

If you have been looking for a crossover SUV that looks beautiful inside and out with a comfortable interior, strong on the road performance, advanced technology, and high end features that are usually only available in more expensive luxury vehicles, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2017 Toyota Highlander.  The Highlander has a starting MSRP of $30,630 and in my opinion; it is well worth the price.

To find out more about the 2017 Toyota Highlander, please visit- www.toyota.com    

 
 

2017 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Truck (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size truck that is smaller than the full-size Toyota Tundra and has better maneuverability and ease of entry than its bigger sibling. Since its introduction in 1995, it has been one of the most popular mid-size pickup trucks in the world and is a great alternative to more expensive and bigger full-size models.

Last year, the Tacoma received some great updates, has been redesigned, and is now better than ever before with a more fuel efficient and quieter V-6 engine, extra insulation in the interior cabin, an updated infotainment system, 6-speed automatic transmission, and 42 more horsepower. Also, now all 2017 trims come with a touch screen Entune infotainment system

The Tacoma is available in five trims- SR, SR5, TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Sport, and comes fitted with a 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine (SR and SR5 trims) that produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb. ft. of torque or a more powerful 3.5 liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower and 265 lb. ft. of torque. The 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city/23 mpg on the highway for the 4x2 automatic, 19 mpg in the city/21 mpg on the highway for the 4x4 with manual transmission and 19 mpg in the city/22 mpg on the highway for the 4x4 automatic.  Both four-wheel-drive (FWD) and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configurations are available and every 4x2 Tacoma comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the 4x4 trucks can be equipped with an automatic or a choice of two manual transmissions- 6-speed for the V6 or a 5-speed for the 4-cylinder engine. All 4-cylinder models can tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs., while V6 models can tow between 6,400-6,800 lbs, which is impressive.

Standard features for the base SR trim include- a rearview camera, 16-inch steel wheels, a sliding rear window, a cargo bed rail system with fixed and adjustable tie-downs, power windows/door locks/mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, air-conditioning, a GoPro windshield mount, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes, a 6.1-inch touch screen display, a 6-speaker sound system, CD player, auxiliary audio jack, voice controls, and USB port. An SR Convenience package is optional and adds cruise control, 16-inch black alloy wheels, and remote keyless entry.

The SR5 model comes equipped with all of the aforementioned standard features and adds the SR Convenience package features as well as chrome exterior accents, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio/phone controls, variable intermittent wipers, a better trip computer, satellite radio, and rear privacy glass. An SR5 Appearance package adds body-color over-fenders, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (V6 models), and 16-inch silver alloy wheels. Additional features such as HD radio, rear parking sensors, and an upgraded infotainment system that includes an intuitive navigation system, Entune App Suite, and a larger 7-inch touch screen display.

 

The TRD Sport trim adds LED daytime running lights, unique exterior trim detailing, keyless entry and ignition, 120-volt power outlet, 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned shock absorbers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a wireless phone charger, an infotainment bundle, a leather-trimmed shift lever, and better upholstery. A Premium and Technology package is available for the TRD Sport and adds dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, sunroof, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and heated front seats.  The TRD Off-Road trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers, electronic locking rear differential, the Crawl Control System, which assists with low speed off the road activities.

The top of the line Limited trim is only available as a double cab and adds leather upholstery, a JBL sound system, unique exterior and interior trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, and premium technology features.

Safety features for the Tacoma include- driver and passenger knee airbags, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front headrests, brake assist, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. A blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on the Limited model and optional on the TRD models.

The interior of the Tacoma SR5 is very nice with a contemporary styled dashboard and console area. Because it is a truck, the interior’s materials are more rugged and durable rather than luxurious. The controls/knobs are easy to reach, are user friendly, and the touch screen is responsive. There is ample head/legroom in the front cabin for taller passengers and the seats are firm, comfortable, and supportive. In the rear, there is less space and is better suited for children and smaller adults, yet there is adequate legroom in the back and the seats fold down for additional room and there is a storage compartment under the seats.

On the road, the 2017 Tacoma SR5 is a strong performer with a firm and planted feel. Steering is excellent, braking is firm, and the Tacoma handles a variety of terrains very well, however, from testing the SR5, it can get a little bouncy on bumpier surfaces.  

As a woman of shorter stature, I have found that the Tacoma is much easier for me to get in and out of than the larger Tundra.

 

If you are looking for a mid-size pickup truck that is stylish with spacious interior, large cargo capacity, advanced technology, and great off the road and towing capability, then the new 2017 Toyota Tacoma is a great choice.

 

To find out more about the 2017 Toyota Tacoma, please visit- www.Toyota.com

2017 Toyota Yaris 5-Door Hatchback (Review)

 

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

It is the most affordable subcompact and fuel efficient vehicle in the Toyota lineup, but the Yaris offers a lot more than just basic transportation these days after undergoing some new upgrades in 2014 with a new distinctive front and rear styling, better soft touch materials on the dashboard, and improved interior tech features, including a 6.1 inch touch screen infotainment interface on every trim level, voice recognition, music streaming, six speakers, HD radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, and an optional navigation system.

Available as either a sedan or hatchback, the Yaris offers a lot of choices and some upscale features that were formerly only reserved for cars that are bigger and more costly. Standard features include power locks and mirrors, air-conditioning, and a height-adjustable driver seat.

There are three trims- L, LE, and the SE trim which is only offered for the 5-door model.

Standard features for the L trim include- a trip computer, air-conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels, power door locks and windows, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, a USB/iPod interface, a 6-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and a CD player.

The LE adds keyless entry, power side mirrors, cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome interior door handles, metallic interior accents, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The top-of-the-line SE trim comes fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, unique exterior styling elements, better cloth upholstery, a sport-tuned suspension, sportier tires, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, and 4-wheel disc brakes.

The Yaris comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb. ft. of torque and is available with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3-door L and 5-door SE trims come equipped with a standard manual transmission, but an automatic is optional and all 5-door L hatchback and LE trims come equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle is very fuel efficient, yielding an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the manual and an estimated 30 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway for the automatic transmission.

The Yaris has an appealing style and lightweight design, making the vehicle extremely nimble on the road, however it does not feel as smooth driving or spacious as the Corolla does. 

Even though the Yaris has more competition in its segment, it is still one of the most reliable subcompact vehicles and a top choice for every day driving with a 4-speed automatic transmission, composed ride quality, steady handling, comfortable seats, and bigger cargo space in the hatchback model.

Standard safety features include- front seat side airbags, anti-lock brakes, a driver knee airbag, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seat cushion airbags.

Interior features are very nice with easy to use controls and the seats in the front and rear cabin feel firm, supportive, and there is enough head/legroom for taller passengers. The front seats are mounted a bit high for my preference, but do help give better visibility of the road. The dashboard area has greatly improved since 2011, but there are still many hard plastic elements.

On the road, the Yaris performs very well, but does not accelerate or pick-up as quickly as the Corolla does and feels a little underpowered at times. The Yaris feels steady when navigating curvy roads and delivers a reasonably smooth ride when driven at normal speeds. I am very pleased with the performance of the Yaris and it is a pleasure to drive in the city and on the highway.

Overall, the Yaris is sporty, cute, fun to drive, and is a practical car for every day commuting. It will definitely save you a lot of time and money at the gas pump.

In a time when gas prices have reached record levels, more and more people are looking for vehicles that are fuel efficient and affordable.  For these reasons, the 2017 Toyota Yaris is the ideal choice.  With a modern, appealing, attractive design, and excellent fuel economy, the Yaris has quickly become one of the most popular and practical cars for commuters today.

The Yaris is competitively priced with a starting MSRP of only $15,250, which makes it one of the most affordable subcompact vehicles in its class.

Whether young or old, if you are looking for an inexpensive, reliable, and affordable car to drive, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2017 Toyota Yaris.  

To find out more about the 2017 Toyota Yaris, please visit- http://www.toyota.com

2017 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

It was a big surprise when the Scion brand closed down in 2016, but two special models were launched that year and were brought under the Toyota label in 2017- the iM and sporty FR-S.

The Corolla iM, previously known as the Scion iM, is a great option in the compact segment providing even more trunk space than the Corolla Sedan as well as a host of desirable features, advanced technology, spacious interior, solid on the road performance, and more cargo room than many of its competitors.

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM seats five people and comes fitted with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 137-horsepower and comes with standard features such as- alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a Pioneer stereo, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touch-screen display, central touch screen, and a rearview camera.

Even though the Corolla iM may seem to be underpowered, it actually feels quick on the road and is great for daily commuting and little trips around town. It may not be the fastest compact vehicle, but it is definitely reliable and fun to drive. On the road, the Corolla iM handles very well and provides a comfortable ride and feels composed when making sharp turns and on bumpier surfaces.

Interior features are very nice and the seats are comfortable. There is ample head and legroom in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers, but even though the Corolla iM provides more cargo space, it does not offer as much interior seating room as the sedan. Cabin materials are of great quality for the segment with a stylish dashboard and a lot of soft-touch surfaces. The back seats are 60/40 split and can be folded down flat to increase storage room. Also, a variety of small items can be hidden under the rear floor storage compartment.

Standard safety features for the Corolla iM include- lane departure warning, automatic high beams, a rearview camera, and pre-collision braking.

Even though the Corolla may not appear particularly exciting upon first glance, the vehicle has so much to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and has a starting MSRP of only $18,750, making it a reasonably priced vehicle in its class and just $250 more than the Corolla Sedan. The iM represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a compact hatchback that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

To find out more about the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM, please visit- www.Toyota.com

2017 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring Hatchback (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2017 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring is one of the best in its segment with a stylish exterior, solid on the road performance, great driving dynamics, and is one of the most affordable small cars in America with a bold, yet unique exterior consisting of distinctive sculpted lines and a “grinning” front grille. The 2017 Mazda3 has entered the automotive scene with much to offer and it is easy to see why it is quickly becoming a popular choice throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. 

The Mazda3 is among the very best in its class offering a fun on the road experience, even though it may not capture as much attention as other vehicles from some larger brands, it is definitely not one to ignore.

After undergoing a complete redesign a few years ago, the Mazda3 now offers more efficient engine options, better exterior details, and new features. 

 

With a desire to create a vehicle with excellent gas mileage, responsive athletic handling, and acceleration, Mazda has focused on making a lightweight vehicle by using a smaller amount of stronger steel, more welds, as well as weld-bonded adhesives in the body. Mazda’s engineers found a variety of ways to save extra pounds, for example the wiring harness, door locks and latches, radiator, automatic transmission shifter, pedals, stereo speakers.  As a result, the 2017 Mazda3 is one of the lightest vehicles sold in America. Driving is smooth, easy, and almost effortless, which makes driving the Mazda3 fun, enjoyable, and a pleasurable experience. 

The 2017 Mazda3 is available as a sedan or hatchback and comes in four trims- Touring, Sport, Touring 2.5, and Grand Touring. 

The base trim comes fitted with air-conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, full power accessories, two USB ports, iPod integration, HD Radio, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, rearview camera, push-button start, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a trip computer, auxiliary input, a folding rear seat, a 6-speaker audio system, and the Mazda Connect Infotainment System. The lower trims come equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 155 horsepower, 150 lb-ft of torque, and are available either as a 6-speed manual (standard) or an 6-speed automatic transmission (optional). The sedan with automatic transmission yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, while the sedan fitted with a manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The higher trims, such as the Grand Touring, come equipped a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque, with a choice of either a manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Vehicles equipped with a manual transmission yield an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, while the 6-speed automatic yields an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. 

The Mazda3 Touring comes standard with a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, climate control, heated front seats, and leatherette upholstery. A $1,500 equipment package adds satellite radio, a sunroof, and a 9-speaker Bose Stereo System. The Touring 2.5 hatchback is $22,395 and comes fitted with all of the aforementioned features as well as leatherette upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror,  a 6-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment, and a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque with a choice of either a manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Touring trims do not have a CD player, but add much desired features, such as keyless ignition and entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, heated side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest, rearview camera, rear spoiler, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The Touring Technology package is optional and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium 9-speaker Bose Sound System, a navigation system, sunroof, and voice controls.  

 

Last, but certainly not least in the lineup is the Mazda3s Grand Touring, which adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather upholstery. A technology package for this trim offers additional safety features, such as a forward collision warning and mitigation system, active grille shutters, i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking System, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

Standard Safety features include- stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, side-impact and side curtain air bags, active front head restraints, front disc brakes and rear drum brakes equipped with ABS, frontal airbags, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist. A Technology package offers additional safety features for the Grand Touring trim which include a forward collision warning, lane departure warning system, and Mazda's innovative collision-mitigation system, known as Smart City Brake Support. 

 

Interior amenities in the Mazda3 are quite nice. The front and rear cabin are roomy enough to accommodate up to five people, but because of limited space, I would not recommend transporting three adults in the rear cabin for long road trips. The front seats are supportive, firm, yet comfortable and on the Grand Touring trim, the seats have an attractive design, the trip computer and controls are intuitive, the dashboard/console area are within easy reach, and the upholstery, interior design, and knobs give the vehicle a more upscale appearance. I also really like the mounted color display touch screen that is located on top of the dashboard with a controller on the center console. This feature is similar to what is found in an Audi A4 and is responsive and easy to use.

The trunk of the hatchback measures about 20.2 cubic feet, is very spacious, and offers 47.1 cubic ft. of space with the rear seats folded down.  I found it to be big enough for hauling a variety of medium to large sized items

Compared to similar small hatchbacks, such as the Nissan Versa Note, the Mazda3 has less interior space in the rear cabin for taller passengers; however, it provides faster, more solid road performance, and better handling than the Versa.

The exterior of the Mazda3 is stylish and eye catching with a modern, sporty look that is hard to ignore and a distinctive grille that has become one of Mazda’s signature features.   

On the road, the Mazda3 performs very well with strong braking, responsive steering, solid suspension, and when driving at higher speeds, the ride is very smooth.  It handles tight corners and sharp turns with ease, is engaging, and has a planted feel on the road.

In summary, the 2017 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring is a great choice if you are looking for a small subcompact hatchback that is fun to drive, sporty, inexpensive, stylish, and fuel efficient with excellent driving dynamics, and is affordable with an MSRP of only $17,845. It is definitely one of the best compact vehicles available and worth taking a look at. 

 

To find out more about the 2017 Mazda3, please visit- www.mazdausa.com  

 

 

2017 Toyota Camry 4-Door Sedan (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The Toyota Camry is a five-passenger midsize sedan that has undergone a complete redesign a couple of years ago with new exterior styling, noise insulation, better driving dynamics and interior details, improved handling, more equipment, better materials, and a contemporary appearance making it a top competitor in its class. The Camry was the best-selling midsize car in America last year and it is easy to see why.

Even though the changes seem subtle upon first glance, every element of the new Camry has been restyled, except for the roof. One noticeable change is the front grille. It is more prominent, larger, and the exterior has a more refined appearance with stylish LED front running lamps.  Also, the door panels are enclosed in a padded leather-like material, the tail lights have an elongated look to them that is similar to some luxury sedans, and side mirrors have been redesigned to improve airflow. The dashboard and center console now have an upscale appearance with larger buttons and knobs with every trim level coming fitted with an attractive Entune touch screen. 

There were some major changes implemented a couple of years ago to improve the Camry’s responsiveness by introducing a retuned brake-booster system and better electric power steering, which improves handling and in 2014, Toyota introduced a new Special Edition trim that is based on the sporty Camry SE. The new 4-cylinder Special Edition comes equipped with a sport tuned suspension, sunroof, stylish 18-inch wheels, keyless entry/ignition, vibrant blue interior trim accents, smoked taillights, and a sportier gauge cluster

The 2017 Camry comes in four main trims: L, SE, XLE, and XSE with the newest trim to the group being the sporty Special Edition. Every Camry comes standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 178 of horsepower, 170 lb-ft. of torque, front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the XSE and XLE trims can be fitted with a more powerful 3.5-liter, V6 engine that produces 268 of horsepower, 248 lb-ft of torque, front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The base LE trim comes standard with automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, heated mirrors, keyless entry, a rearview camera, a 6.1-inch Entune touch screen electronics interface, voice recognition, 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, voice controls, a 60/40-split folding rear seats, an 8-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar adjustment, Siri Eyes Free, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player.

The SE adds sport fabric and simulated leather upholstery, advanced gauges, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, unique exterior styling and interior trim elements, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. An Entune Plus Package is available for the LE and SE trims and includes Satellite radio, HD radio, and an upgraded 7 inch touch screen display. A sunroof is optional.

The XSE adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather and simulated suede upholstery, sport tuned suspension, LED running lights, heated front seats, satellite radio and HD radio, and a 4-way power passenger seat. A Convenience package for the SE and XSE models and adds keyless ignition/entry and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.  

The XLE is very similar to the XSE trim, except that it has full leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels and a more comfortable suspension. Also, the XLE trim has a wireless charging area for smart phones and a smart key push button start.

Safety features for all trims include- front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags, antilock disc brakes, a Pre-Collision System with Auto High Beams, stability and traction control, and a rearview camera. A Blind Spot Monitor and Warning System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available on the XLE and XSE trims. Adaptive Cruise Control is optional.

The Advanced Technology package adds a pre-collision system that uses the adaptive cruise control sensors and a lane-departure warning system. Optional only on the XLE trim is Safety Connect, which adds automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator, and an emergency assist button.

From testing, I have found that the 2017 Toyota Camry is a fun to drive, engaging sedan with a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine that provides adequate acceleration and smooth on the road performance. The automatic ECT-I transmission is incredibly responsive and the Eco mode helps to increase fuel efficiency. The XLE trim goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds and yields an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.  The Camry actually looks and performs a lot like a Lexus ES350.

The 2017 Toyota Camry has a very comfortable and spacious interior and provides enough head and leg room in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers. The seats are supportive and plush with an ergonomic feel. Audio and climate controls on the center stack are big and are easy to reach, while the larger 7-inch Entune touchscreen interface with audio and navigation is intuitive and user friendly. Trunk space is ample measuring approximately 15.4 cubic feet with plenty of room to haul a variety of mid to large sized items with ease.

On the road, the Camry is a strong performer with responsive handling and has a composed, planted demeanor on busy highways, and when making sharp turns and travelling on curvy roads.

If you have been looking for a modern family sedan with comfortable interior, strong on the road performance, advanced technology, sleek exterior styling, and many features that are usually only available in more expensive luxury vehicles, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2017 Toyota Camry. 

The Camry has a starting MSRP of $23,070 and in my opinion; it is well worth the price.

 

To find out more about the 2017 Toyota Camry, please visit- http://www.toyota.com/camry/

2017 Toyota Corolla LE (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2017 Toyota Corolla is a 5-passenger compact sedan that from first glance may not appear very exciting, however for more than two decades; it has been one of the bestselling compact vehicles in the U.S. with over a million sales annually and has gained a reputation for being reliable, dependable, and affordable.

With the Corolla, reliability is one of its most well known strengths, but after undergoing a major redesign a few years ago, the Corolla is now better than ever with a more sleek and refined exterior, advanced technology features, great on the road performance, and improved interior elements throughout the front and rear cabin, including a fold-down rear center armrest which is available on the upper trim levels.

For 2017, the Corolla has gotten a new and updated exterior that makes the sedan appear much more upscale and appealing. Also, LED lights and backup camera are now standard features and the new exterior is bolder with a large trapezoidal lower grille and an attractive taut upper grille.

The Corolla is available in six trims- L, LE Eco, SE, S, XLE, and a special 2017 50th Anniversary Edition.  All models are equipped with a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower and 128 ft-lb of torque. A Plus and Premium package are available on LE and S models, an Eco package is available on the LE trim, and all of the trims, except for the L trim are accessible in both Plus and Premium sub-trims.

Standard features on the base L model include 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, air-conditioning, running lights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack, and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, metallic cabin accents, automatic climate control, back-up camera, voice controls a 6-speaker sound system with a 6-inch touchscreen display, and Bluetooth audio connectivity.

The LE Plus Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, piano black interior accents and eligibility for both an optional sunroof and the Driver Convenience package, which includes the sunroof and adds keyless entry and ignition, a roof-mounted antenna, Entune App Suite, satellite radio, HD radio, and a navigation system.  Available and optional features include heated front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, and a power driver seat.

The LE Eco Trim includes all standard features but adds 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler, transmission tuning, low-rolling-resistance tires, an efficiency-maximizing engine, and better aerodynamics. The LE Eco Plus adds 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome window trim, fog lights, and an Eco driving mode.  

The sporty S trim offers all of the features that the LE trim has, but adds special wheel covers, a chrome grille frame, color-keyed mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, a chrome exhaust tip, sport instrumentation, a rear spoiler, sport front seats, trip computer, and a sport driving mode.

Starting at $21,825, the XLE trim includes heated front seats, a 7-inch touch screen with phone-linked navigation, leatherette seats, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, proximity key entry, a sunroof, push-button start, and satellite radio. Integrated navigation and an Entune app suite are optional.

The 50th Anniversary Special Edition is a limited model, which offers upgraded exterior/interior styling as well as special upholstery stitching, badges, and wheels.

Advanced standard safety features include- stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a driver knee airbag, front side airbags, a passenger seat cushion airbag, and side curtain airbags. All trims except the base L include a rearview camera.

After undergoing a complete redesign in 2014, the exterior and interior is much more refined, with a better style, an easy to use touch screen display, and an attractive dashboard.  In the upper trim levels, the 6.1-inch touch screen and bolstered seats give the sedan a more upscale appearance.  There is ample room to accommodate taller passengers in the front and rear cabin and the seats feel comfortable and supportive. Trunk space measures approximately 13 cu. feet, which is average for its class.

If you are looking for more cargo and interior space as well as more powerful performance and quicker acceleration, then the Toyota Camry is a great alternative. The Camry is a midsize sedan that has comparable safety and reliability features to the Corolla, but because the Camry is bigger and has more advanced technology, it is more expensive. The Camry offers all of the great elements of the Corolla, as well as a variety of desirable extras.

On the road, the Corolla offers a quiet, comfortable ride, which is similar to the Camry, handles very well on the highway, and road noise is very minimal. The 4-speed automatic yields an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway and the LE Eco yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

Even though the Corolla may not appear particularly exciting upon first glance and is not the cheapest car in its class, the compact sedan has a lot to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and with a starting MSRP of only $18,500 and a three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty/five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, the Corolla represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a sedan that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

To find out more about the 2017 Toyota Corolla, please visit- www.Toyota.com

2016 Lexus RX 350 5-Door SUV (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 is one of the top luxury midsize SUVs in the world, is the brand’s best selling model, and with one glance it is easy to see why with an attractive and spacious interior, powerful on the road performance, and many impressive features that are not available on many other SUVs in the luxury segment.

After undergoing a complete redesign, the RX 350 has become a stronger contender in the luxury midsize SUV class with sophisticated details, more interior space, new high-tech and safety features, class-competitive performance, revised chassis tuning, and a bolder exterior front fascia.

Available in two main trims- RX and F Sport, the RX 350 comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and yields an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. All trims come fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission that replaces the 6-speed which is in previous models. For the RX trim with AWD, an all new clutch-operated rear differential with a lock feature is available.

On the road the RX 350 offers a smooth, firm, and quiet ride. Even though it is not extremely fast, the SUV has no difficulty getting up to highway speeds in seconds and has a roomy, comfortable interior with a 9 speaker audio system, power-adjustable front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, and satellite radio. The interior feels and looks high quality and is a big improvement from previous models.

Both trims come with an infotainment system that includes an 8-inch screen that displays system information and navigation. There is also a controller mounted in the front of the armrest in the console area. The F-Sport trim includes a special remote touch joystick controller, that is very responsive, but it can be a distraction when driving.

The seats are comfortable, supportive, and the interior is spacious in the front and rear cabin with rear reclining seats, however a third row is not available. Cargo space is smaller than average for this segment due to the vehicle’s unique design and sloping roofline.  One feature that stands out is the power rear seat backs fold forward and flat with easy to use switches on the dashboard.  A power lift gate comes standard and the hands-free option works by waving a limb over the Lexus logo on the back.

The base RX trim has an MSRP of about $41,900 and includes- 18 inch wheels, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a power tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, an infotainment system, 40/20/40-split rear seat that reclines, folds, and slides, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with 2-way power lumbar adjustment, a 9-speaker sound system, NuLuxe premium vinyl upholstery, automatic LED headlights, fog lights, and running lights, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, an 8-inch display with voice recognition, keyless ignition and entry, selectable drive mode settings, CD player, media player interface, an auxiliary audio jack, HD and satellite radio, and two USB ports.

The RX F Sport features a firmer suspension, sportier styling, transmission paddle shifters, adaptive suspension dampers, leather upholstery, more drive modes, unique interior trim, heated and ventilated sport seats, an engine noise enhancer, and 20-inch wheels.  A 15-speaker Mark Levinson system is optional.

Various packages and stand-alone options are available, such as the Premium package adds better leather upholstery, roof rails, a rear armrest storage compartment, driver memory functions, automatic wipers, and wood trim. The Navigation package adds a bigger 12.3-inch display with navigation, a remote touch electronics interface, voice controls, a 12-speaker audio system, and the Lexus Enform App Suite.

The Luxury package includes all of the features of the Premium package, but adds 20-inch wheels with a choice of color inserts, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear door sunshades, heated and ventilated front seats, power folding and reclining rear seatbacks, and 4-way front seat lumbar adjustment. Additional features can be added to the Luxury package that include a DVD player, a rear seat entertainment system, an HDMI port, a 120-volt outlet, and two 11.6-inch adjustable screens.

A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, a regular or panoramic sunroof, and a panoramic-view back-up camera can be added to the Premium, Luxury, or F Sport packages.

Front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free power lift gate, upgraded LED headlights with 18 individual LED accent lights, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, a color heads-up display, and a heated steering wheel are optional.

Safety features for the Lexus RX include- automatic pre-collision braking, front and rear parking sensors, a wide-angle panoramic parking camera, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Although not a self-driving car, the RX can actually steer itself and can stay in its lane of travel, maintain a safe following distance, and comes to a complete stop all on its own.

The RX provides an amazingly quiet and smooth driving experience with little wind and road noise. Performance is strong, braking is accurate, body roll is minimal, acceleration is very good, and the vehicle maneuvers around tight corners with great ease, proving that it is one of the best luxury SUV’s available.

If you are looking for a fun to drive, full powered, smooth, and affordable luxury SUV, then the RX 350 is a great choice. It is the perfect combination of features, performance, price, and is worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2016 Lexus RX 350, please visit- www.Lexus.com 

2016 LEXUS GS 350 F-Sport (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

Quick and fun to drive with a sophisticated interior, high-tech features, and class-competitive performance, the 2016 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport may not be the most practical, but it is definitely a sporty, stylish, luxury mid-size four-door sedan with a lot more to offer than an average sports car.

Even though the GS is still essentially the same as the previous model year, an additional engine choice and some cosmetic enhancements have been added. This midsize luxury sedan remains a feature-rich, comfortable, and competent performer.

Standard features for the GS 350 include- 18 inch wheels, LED headlights, heated auto-dimming side mirrors, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, matte wood trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, remote touch interface, voice controls, driver-selectable drive modes, 12.3 inch screen with navigation, 8-inch display, leather upholstery, smartphone app integration, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, 8-way power front seats with 2-way power lumbar adjustment, satellite and HD radio, ambient lighting, a 12-speaker audio system with a CD player, a USB interface, an auxiliary audio jack, and driver seat memory functions.

There are a variety of packages available, such as a Cold Weather Package which adds headlight washers, a wiper de-icer, heavy-duty heater, and water-repellent front door glass, the Premium Package offers a power rear sunshade, heated front seats, and automatic wipers, and the Luxury Package includes all of the Premium package features as well as passenger seat memory functionality, 19-inch wheels, manual rear door sunshades, 14-way-adjustable front seats, LED fog lights, 4-way power lumbar, adaptive headlights, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, glossy interior wood trim, an adaptive suspension, rear-seat climate and audio controls, and better leather upholstery.

In 2016, the GS F trim was introduced along with the RC F coupe as being the only two models in the F performance line. The F Sport adds a rear spoiler, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, uniquely styled exterior and interior details, 12-way-adjustable sport seats with four-way power lumbar, a variable-ratio steering system, and upgraded brakes. Also new to the GS lineup is the spindle grille that is surrounded by a boomerang shaped frame.

The 2016 Lexus GS offers the perfect blend of comfort and performance.  The F-Sport comes fitted with a powerful 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that produces 467-horsepower, a multi-link rear suspension, aluminum pedals, perforated leather on the seats and steering wheel, and high-back front sport bucket seats.

Standard safety features for the 2016 Lexus GS include- anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front and rear side airbags, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera and front-seat active head restraints. The standard Enform Safety Connect system includes automatic collision notification, stolen-vehicle location and an emergency assist button. Additional safety features, such as front and rear parking sensors and the Lexus Safety System Plus package, which bundles adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and intervention and a forward collision warning system that includes pedestrian detection as well as forward collision mitigation with automatic braking and are optional.

Standard safety features for the GS 350 F trim include- 10 airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and rear-side airbags, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.

Interior appointments are well made and designed with a blend of soft leather, ambient LED lighting, and copious wood trim throughout the dashboard and console areas.  The seats are firm, comfortable, and provide great lumbar support, but are not as plush and comfortable as the seats in the ES 350.  The front and rear cabin areas are spacious, providing ample head/leg room for taller passengers, but compared to the ES 350, it is not as spacious and there is room for improvement; however the GS 350 does offer more interior space than previous models.

A great feature of the GS 350 model is the Remote Touch Multimedia Controller, which is a small device that functions like a computer mouse that helps the user navigate the apps and menus on either an 8 inch screen or on a huge 12 inch display screen.  It is very accurate, easy to use, and helpful when making certain adjustments to the sound, getting system information, and utilizing many other functions.

The GS 350 also comes equipped with Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes, while the F Sport Package adds a tighter suspension and available rear-wheel steering, which gives a sportier feel on the road that enthusiasts are sure to appreciate.  In any mode, the GS 350 handles sharp corners with ease with responsive and accurate braking that is better than many other luxury vehicles in its class.

Driving kinetics of the GS350 is quite impressive offering a genuinely delightful ride and the technology features are some of the best and most advanced that I have ever seen, which include hands free calling, voice command capability, music streaming using Pandora and Spotify apps, access to Facebook, Yelp, Open Table, iHeartRadio, and the ability to charge various devices using a USB port available located in the middle console area.

The GS 350 is a serious competitor in the mid-size luxury vehicle segment with a sleek style, luxurious interior, technologically advanced features, and solid on the road performance. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a luxury sedan that is like no other.

To find out more information about the new Lexus GS 350, please visit- www.lexus.com

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE (Review)

 

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE is a stylish, sleek, and sporty compact crossover vehicle that seats up to 5 people and is one of the most affordable compact crossover SUVs available.  

After undergoing a complete remodel during the 2014 model year, the 2015 Outlander is now better than ever before with smoother on the road performance, improved styling, cabin sound insulation, enhanced technology, a leather wrapped steering wheel, new grille design, and increased fuel efficiency. For the 2015 model year, a new audio trim panel and exterior LED daytime running lights have been added to the Sport.

The Outlander offers outstanding value in its segment and comes in three trims- ES (base), SE, and the GT. The lower trim models come equipped with standard front-wheel drive, while the SE and GT come fitted with all-wheel-drive.  Both the ES and SE trims come paired with a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine that produces 166-horsepower, while the GT comes fitted with a more powerful 6-speed, 3.0 liter V6 engine producing 224-horsepower.

The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes equipped with a 4-cylinder engine and a standard 5-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission is optional. Even though the Outlander Sport delivers an adequate amount of power while driving in the city, it sometimes feels a little sluggish at times on the highway. Fuel economy is very good, with the Sport yielding an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Standard features for the Outlander Sport SE include-Heated side mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, a 4-speaker stereo system, Mitsubishi’s FUSE hands-free system with Bluetooth, iPod control, a USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, 60/40-split folding, reclining rear seats, remote keyless entry, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and two 12-volt power outlets. Heated front seats, navigation system, a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, satellite radio, a rearview camera, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof and automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, high-intensity-discharge headlights, chrome exhaust tip, and fog lights are optional.

The Outlander Sport SE has a starting MSRP of $19,595, but adding premium features can bring the price close to $25,000, which may seem a bit high, however, I highly recommend opting for the additional features, because the driving experience is much better with the added available packages and Mitsubishi has one of the best warranties available- an impressive 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty with unlimited roadside assistance for 5 years.

Standard safety features for the SE include- traction and stability control, 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), driver’s-side knee airbag, side-mounted airbags, and a remote anti-theft alarm system. Adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning are optional.

The interior of the Outlander Sport SE is well appointed and roomy, however, the seats are not as comfortable as they should be for an SUV in its price range, acceleration feels a little slow, and at higher speeds, the engine makes a little more noise than expected.  If the seats were more comfortable and supportive, the Outlander Sport SE would be a great choice for longer road trips. The dashboard has clean lines, but the front and rear cabin have some plain elements that could be improved upon.

Cargo space is great with an estimated 63.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down and the vehicle has a solid and planted feel on the road when navigating tighter corners and when travelling on curvy roadways.

In the midst of other compact SUV’s available, such as the Pathfinder, Rav4, and Rogue, the Outlander Sport SE stands out with its unique stylish exterior and advanced technology.

The vehicle is one of the lesser known compact crossover SUV’s on the market with an excellent warranty, a lot of style, and is definitely worth taking a look at.

 

To find out more about the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander SE, please visit- www.mitsubishicars.com

 

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2015 Hyundai Elantra Sport Review

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

Ranked one of the most affordable compact sedans in the United States, the Elantra is rapidly gaining in popularity among consumers desiring a sleek and fuel efficient sedan that not only looks good, but is also inexpensive with a starting MSRP of only $17,250.

Hyundai has made a lot of major changes, improvements, and updates in 2014 to the Elantra, which have carried over for the 2015 model year and include fine-tuned exterior styling, driver-select steering modes, a new Sport trim with a 2.0 liter engine, optional LED headlights and taillights, a standard 4.3-inch touchscreen display for Sport and Limited trims, optional technology features such as Pandora Internet Radio, a slightly made over dashboard layout, new navigation software, and an easy to use automatic shift lever.

The Elantra represents a great value in its segment, offering a host of high tech features and excellent fuel economy, making it a top choice for consumers and a serious contender among its competitors. The Elantra also comes with a spacious trunk, a great warranty, and distinctive exterior styling that adds to the uniqueness of the vehicle.

The 2015 Hyundai Elantra is available in three trims- SE, Limited, and Sport.  The Elantra Sport comes fitted with a more powerful 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 154 lb-feet of torque. An automatic transmission is optional for the Sport trim, while the manual is standard. The automatic transmission yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, while the manual yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Both the SE and Limited trims are powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 145 horsepower and 130 lb-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the SE, while a 6-speed automatic is optional. An automatic is the only transmission offered on the Limited trim.

The SE with manual transmission delivers an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, while the SE and Limited trims equipped with an automatic transmission deliver an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Standard features for the base SE trim include- air-conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, heated mirrors, a trip computer, full power accessories, USB/iPod interface, satellite radio, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a 6-speaker audio system with CD player, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Bluetooth and a rearview camera are optional and can be added to the lower trims.

Two optional packages are available for the SE trim with the automatic transmission, which are the Style Package and the Popular Equipment Package. The Popular Equipment Package adds Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, a rearview camera, 16-inch wheels, fog lights, automatic headlights, and a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface, while the Style Package adds LED headlight accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a sunroof.

The Sport trim comes with all of the aforementioned features with the addition of a sunroof, a 2.0-liter engine, keyless ignition/entry, and a sport-tuned suspension. A Tech Package is available for the Sport trim, which adds Blue Link telematics.

The Limited comes with all standard and Sport features, except for a sunroof, but adds bigger 17-inch wheels, LED taillights, Blue Link telematics, a 6-way power driver seat with power lumbar, heated front and rear seats, and leather upholstery. A Limited Ultimate Package adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a bigger 7-inch touchscreen display, an improved audio system keyless ignition, and a navigation system.

Standard safety features for all 2015 Hyundai Elantras include- front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, and hill-start assist. A rearview camera is standard for the Limited and Sport trims, but optional on the base SE. The Blue Link emergency telematics system is standard on the Limited trim, providing emergency assistance, geo-fencing, theft recovery, and remote access.

The exterior has an eye catching design with an abundance of prominent and striking swooping lines that give the vehicle a fluidic appearance.

Interior features are very nice for its class and the dashboard/console areas are well appointed with gauges, knobs, and buttons that are easy to reach and operate. Although there are some hard plastic components, they look more upscale than expected and the vivid touchscreen is easy to use and responsive with an instinctual menu layout and bigger virtual buttons. There is limited head/legroom, especially in the rear cabin for taller passengers and because of the sportier swooping roofline, entering and exiting the vehicle does require some extra effort at times. Trunk space is ample with 14.8 cubic feet of space to haul a variety of large bags, boxes, and other items with incredible ease, road noise is minimal, and the Elantra provides a smooth and comfortable ride, navigating curvy roads and tight corners extremely well with a solid and planted feel on the road even though the vehicle weighs less than most sedans in its class. A big strength of the Elantra is it quietness, even on the highway, making the sedan an ideal choice for longer road trips.

The 2015 Hyundai Elantra offers a great value in its segment.  It is stylish, fuel efficient, versatile, and affordable with solid on the road performance that is on par with many of its higher priced competitors.

 

To find out more information about the 2015 Hyundai Elantra, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  


 

2015 Kia Sportage SX AWD (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Kia Sportage is a stylish compact crossover vehicle that offers a lot more than the average SUV. It has a luxurious flair with a distinctive exterior and excellent driving dynamics. It is fun to drive, spacious, stylish, and affordable with upscale interior details, high-tech features, and excellent fuel economy, making the 2015 Kia Sportage an excellent choice and a great alternative to its competitors.

The 2015 Sportage is available in three trims: LX, EX, and SX and comes equipped with a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower, 177 lb. feet of torque, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is good for the front-wheel-drive (FWD) model and yields an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, whereas the all-wheel-drive (AWD) models yield an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

The base LX trim has a starting MSRP of $22,645 and comes fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, automatic transmission, Bluetooth, reclining rear seats, power windows/door locks, a tilt-telescoping steering column, rear privacy glass, USB/iPod interface, an AM/FM/CD stereo with 6 speakers, and air conditioning.

The Sportage EX trim has a starting MSRP of $26,045 and adds additional features, such as- rear spoiler, automatic headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a cooling glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated side mirrors, rear backup sensors, one-touch driver's window, fog lights, keyless entry, sun-visor illumination, Infinity audio system, trip computer, heated front seats, a rear backup camera, UVO infotainment system, a power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The top-of-the-line SX trim has a starting MSRP of $28,995 and comes equipped with a more powerful turbocharged engine that produces 260 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque, HID headlights, push-button start with Smart Key, power-folding exterior mirrors, LED daytime running lights and rear taillights, better 18-inch alloy wheels, and voice-command navigation with a 7-inch color touchscreen.

Additional features can be added to each trim level with certain packages. The Popular Package can be added to the base LX trim and adds a trip computer, rear spoiler, roof rails, a rear backup camera, UVO system, and rear backup sensors. The EX Premium Package adds leather seating, a panoramic sunroof, navigation, ventilated front seats, power-folding outside mirrors, and keyless entry with push-button start. The SX Luxury package adds ventilated front seats, a garage door opener, a panoramic sunroof, and leather interior.

The SX trim’s turbocharged engine is what makes it an ideal choice in my opinion, because it delivers an impressive amount of power on the road that is similar to higher priced luxury crossovers, but at a more affordable price. 

Standard safety features for the Sportage include- standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 6 airbags (front, front-side, full-length side curtain), and active front head restraints.

On the road, the Sportage delivers a smooth ride, handles extremely well on various terrains, and feels nimble, even when travelling in heavy traffic and on busy highways. The interior is quiet and spacious with ample head/legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin seating areas. The seats are supportive, comfortable, and provide enough cushioning for longer trips on the road.

Due to its firmer suspension and responsive steering, the Sportage is very engaging and with the turbocharged engine, it is even a more fun driving experience.

If you have been looking for a crossover vehicle that is stylish, spacious, inexpensive, and versatile with solid on the road performance that is on par with many of its higher priced competitors, then I highly recommend taking a look at the new 2015 Kia Sportage.

 

To find out more information about the Kia Sportage, please visit- www.kia.com

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

2016 Kia Sorento SXL V6 AWD (Review)

 

 

 

  

By Philippa Lane

 

The all new Kia Sorento has been remodeled for the 2016 model year and is now better than ever before with a redesigned, more spacious interior, restyled seating, enhanced technology, refined exterior details with a more noticeable front grille, and an optional turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that make it a top choice in its segment.

The Kia Sorento is a stylish midsize SUV with the ability to seat 5-7 passengers, is available in five trims- L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited, and comes equipped with a six speed automatic transmission and either a standard 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces a 185 horsepower, a 3.3-liter, V-6 engine that produces 290-horsepower, or the new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque.  All powertrains can be equipped with either front-wheel drive or DynaMax all-wheel drive. The L model can accommodate up to 5 passengers, while the V6-powered Sorentos include a third row seat, which can accommodate up to 7 passengers.

The base L trim comes fitted with standard features, such as LED running lights, air-conditioning, cruise control, 3-mode drive settings, 17-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 40/20/40-split second-row seats that recline, slide, and, stain-resistant fabric upholstery, a CD player, a USB/iPod interface satellite radio, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an auxiliary audio jack.

Standard safety features include- traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front/second-row side curtain airbags, and front side airbags. Speed and curfew alert for secondary drivers, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and Uvo eServices are optional on the LX, but come standard on the SX, EX, and SX Limited. The SX Limited can also be equipped with the Technology package, which includes lane-departure, forward collision warning systems, Smart Cruise Control, and an around view monitor.

The LX adds a rearview camera, automatic headlights, Uvo eServices, a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface, roof rails, and rapid-charge USB ports. The Convenience package adds an 8-way power driver seat plus two-way power lumbar, sound-reducing windshield, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming mirror, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The EX comes with all of the aforementioned standard features as well as Convenience package features, but adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and sound-reducing front/side glass. The Premium package offers keyless ignition/entry, second-row side sunshades, a display screen speedometer/trip computer, a blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning system, power-folding mirrors, and a hands-free power lift gate. The Touring package adds an 8-inch touchscreen interface, a panoramic sunroof, a 10-speaker Infinity audio system with Clari-Fi, a navigation system, traffic reporting, and a bigger rearview camera.

The SX comes fitted with all the Premium and Touring package features as well as LED taillights, a 10-way power driver seat, 19-inch wheels, a fabric headliner, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, improved exterior trim, 4-way power lumbar, and driver memory settings.

The top of the line SX Limited adds upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, better chrome 19-inch wheels, and heated second row seats. The available Technology package adds xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control, a multi-angle parking camera, lane-departure, forward collision warning systems, and an electronic parking brake.

On the road, the Sorento is a strong performer and there has been a big improvement in the way the vehicle performs with better steering, improved handling, and stronger braking with a firmer, more confident and planted feel.

The interior is luxurious and has been redesigned, feeling more spacious in the front and rear cabin with ample head/leg room for taller passengers. All of the seats feel plush, comfortable, and supportive with an ergonomic feel. The majority of the dashboard and console materials feel soft and have an upscale appearance, attractive design, intuitive touchscreen interface, and controls that are easy to use. Cargo space is approximately 11 cubic feet, however the second or third row can be folded down to produce more space to accommodate more items. I like that the second row seats can slide, recline, and fold flat by levers in the cargo area, which allows more versatility.

In summary, the new 2016 Kia Sorento is one of the most luxurious SUV’s available today and with a starting MSRP of only $24,900 it is a great choice for anyone wanting a high quality vehicle at an affordable price. It offers an enjoyable driving experience and high tech features that are similar to a Lexus RX, while offering so much more than other crossover vehicles in its class.

To find out more about the new 2016 Kia Sorento and all it has to offer, please visit- www.kia.com

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  


2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is a stylish mid-size sedan with a brand new look, better performance, more advanced technology features, and a bigger, quiet interior making the Sonata one of the best in its class.

After undergoing a redesign for the 2015 model year, the Sonata is now better than ever with smoother handling, an improved high-end interior, a more spacious rear cabin, and a new 1.6-liter turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine has been added to the lineup and when paired with the new Eco trim, the engine feels sprightly and yields excellent fuel economy.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata comes in five trims- SE, Sport, Sport 2.0T, Limited, and Eco.

Standard features for the base SE trim include- LED running lights, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a rear spoiler, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an iPod/USB interface, Bluetooth, a 6-speaker sound system with CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, and satellite radio. The Eco and Sport models add a rearview camera, a 5-inch touchscreen, automatic headlights, an 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment, and smartphone connectivity.

The Sport trim adds body styling tweaks, dual exhaust with chrome tips, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Limited trim comes equipped with standard features and adds LED taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood grain trim, a 6-way power passenger seat, rear air vents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear window sunshades, heated rear seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, an upgraded audio system.

The Sport 2.0T has the majority of features that the Sport and Limited trims do, but without rear sunshades, a power passenger seat, and heated rear seats. The Sport 2.0T adds a rear diffuser with quad chrome exhaust tips, sport seats with accent stitching, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned steering and suspension, xenon headlights, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and a flat-bottom sport steering wheel.

Optional features available for many of the lower trims, such as- a panoramic sunroof, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control, xenon headlights, an improved gauge cluster, sport front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, an Infinity 10-speaker premium sound system, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, forward-collision/lane-departure warning systems, and rear parking sensors.

The SE, Sport, and Limited trims come fitted with a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 178 lb. feet of torque. The SE yields an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 37 MPG on the highway, while the Sport and Limited trims yield an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The Sport 2.0T comes fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 245 horsepower, 260 lb. feet of torque,  yielding an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Every Sonata comes equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, except for the Eco, and all trims have front-wheel drive.

The Eco comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 177 horsepower and 195 lb. feet of torque.

All trims offer three selective driving modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco, which change the transmission and throttle settings to suit the driver’s needs and for different terrains.  And unless you're more patient than most folks behind the wheel, you'd probably avoid the Eco mode, as it notably dulls the powertrain's response.

Standard safety features include- traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and antilock disc brakes. All trims, except the SE, come with Blue Link connectivity and a rearview camera.

The interior of the Sonata Sport is very impressive with high quality materials gracing the dashboard and console areas, the seats are plush, yet sporty, and decorative accents throughout the cabin. The controls are easy to reach and use with special buttons for radio, phone, media, and navigation. A navigation system is optional, but Sonata’s with one display a big 8-inch touchscreen, which gives the cabin a classier appearance.  There is enough head/leg room in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers, however, due to the sloping roof line, headroom is a bit limited in the rear for very tall adults.

Cargo space is ample, measuring 16.3 cubic ft., which is bigger than the majority of vehicles in this segment and more space is available when the 60/40 split-folding rear seat is put down.

The exterior is sleek and I like the smooth and fluid detailing on the sides of the vehicle, which give it an upscale and classy look.

On the road, the Sonata is a strong performer and provides a quiet and enjoyable ride even at highway speeds. In fact, one of the Sonata’s greatest strengths is its quietness and ability to keep road noise to a barely noticeable level. This is a quality that is hard to find in other vehicles in its class.  The Sonata feels confident when travelling on curvy roads and when making sharp turns, feeling similar to an expensive luxury sedan.

In the midsize sedan segment, the Hyundai Sonata shines brightly and stands out with a bold, yet elegant style, strong performance, quiet and comfortable interior, solid fuel economy, and high tech features. The 2015 Sonata has a starting MSRP of only $21,150, which makes it one of the most affordable midsize sedans available today and is definitely worth taking a look at.

 

To find out more about the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  


2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring 4-Door Sedan (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Toyota Avalon is a full-sized premium sedan that is comfortable, practical sedan, and luxurious offering a smooth ride even on bumpier surfaces. The Avalon does not boast the luxury badge that Toyota's Lexus division offers, however; it is just as luxurious as the Lexus ES in exterior design, upscale interior, advanced technology, and powerful on the road performance, but is less expensive.

The Avalon is available with either a gas-powered or hybrid engine. The base gas engine is a stout 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 268 horsepower, 248 lb-ft of torque, and is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which yields 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The hybrid 4 cylinder engine combines a 2.5-liter engine with an electric motor that produces 156 horsepower, is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) V-6, and a yields 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.  

The Avalon comes in four trims- XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring, XLE Touring Sport, and Limited. Both the hybrid and gasoline models are available in Touring, Premium, and Limited trims, but the base-level Avalon XLE is exclusively limited to the gas-powered model.

Standard features for the base Avalon XLE trim include leather upholstery, automatic headlights, power front seats, iPod connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a 6.1-inch center-mounted touchscreen. The XLE Premium trim adds a built-in garage door opener, improved keyless entry functionality, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power sunroof. The XLE Touring adds fog lights, larger wheels, an upgraded audio system, a navigation system that includes satellite radio, and Toyota's impressive Entune app-integration system.

The newest addition to the lineup is the XLE Touring Sport, which adds sportier options such as- aluminum door sills, paddle shifters, 18-inch black-painted alloy wheels, dark blue interior trim, HID headlights, and an exclusive exterior.

The Avalon has been facing some serious competition from other full-sized vehicles in its segment and has responded to the challenges by making the Avalon more visually appealing, bolstering the vehicle’s powertrain, improving handling, and adding a full amount of high-tech safety features. Toyota has also given the Avalon a unique look that is different from the Camry and Lexus models with flared-out rear fenders and an attractive roofline that make it really stand out.

Interior features are quite impressive too with a modern instrument-panel with flat, touch-based dashboard buttons/switches that eliminate physical knobs and buttons. The front and rear cabin areas are very spacious with upscale elements throughout and the seats are comfortable, ergonomic, and supportive. The Avalon feels luxurious, with high quality materials, elegant details on the dashboard/console areas and the rear seats are contoured and have elongated lower cushions that provide great thigh support. Rear seats do not fold down, but trunk space is generous measuring 16 cubic feet to accommodate mid-large sized cargo with ease.

On the road, the Avalon feels poised and sophisticated, not sporty, however; when navigating around tight corners it handles much like a sports car in a proficient and disciplined manner.

Safety features include- a backup camera system, anti-lock brakes, security system stability control, knee bags, front impact airbags, overhead airbags, and pretensioners. A Blind Spot Monitor is now standard on the XLE Touring and Hybrid XLE Touring models.

Overall, the 2015 Toyota Avalon is one of the most luxurious full-size sedans available today and with a starting MSRP of only $32,285 it is a great choice for anyone wanting a luxury car without the high price tag.  The 3.5-liter V6 gas powered engine is smooth, powerful, and delivers an enjoyable driving experience that is like no other in its class. 

If you have been looking for a stylish full-sized sedan that has a lot to offer, then I highly recommend checking out the new 2015 Toyota Avalon- www.Toyota.com/Avalon

 

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  


 

2015 Toyota Camry XLE 4-Door Sedan (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

The Toyota Camry is a five-passenger midsize sedan that has undergone a complete redesign for the 2015 model year with new exterior styling, noise insulation, better driving dynamics and interior details, improved handling, more equipment, better materials, and a more contemporary appearance making it a top competitor in its class.

Even though the changes seem subtle at first glance, every element of the new Camry has been restyled, except for the roof. The grille is more prominent, larger, and the exterior has a more refined appearance with stylish LED front running lamps, the door panels are enclosed in a padded leather-like material, the tail lights have an elongated look to them that is similar to some luxury sedans, and side mirrors have been redesigned to improve airflow. The dashboard and center console now have an upscale appearance with larger buttons and knobs with every trim level coming fitted with an attractive Entune touchscreen. 

There have also been major changes implemented to improve the Camry’s responsiveness by introducing a retuned brake-booster system and better electric power steering, which improves handling.

The 2015 Camry comes in four trims: L, SE, XLE, and XSE with the newest trim to the group being the sporty SE. All Camry’s come standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 178 of horsepower, 170 lb-ft. of torque, front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the XSE and XLE trims can be fitted with a more powerful 3.5-liter, V6 engine that produces 268 of horsepower, 248 lb-ft of torque, front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The base LE trim comes standard with automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, heated mirrors, keyless entry, a backup camera, a 6.1-inch Entune touchscreen electronics interface, 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, an 8-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar adjustment, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player.

The SE adds sport fabric and simulated leather upholstery, advanced gauges, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, unique exterior styling and interior trim elements, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. An Entune Plus Package is available for the LE and SE trims and includes Satellite radio, HD radio and a color trip computer display. A sunroof is optional.

The XSE adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather and simulated suede upholstery, LED running lamps, heated front seats, satellite radio and HD radio, and a 4-way power passenger seat.

A Convenience package is available for the 4-cylinder XSE and SE trims, which offers an auto-dimming rearview mirror and keyless ignition/entry.

The XLE is very similar to the XSE trim, except that it has full leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels and a more comfortable suspension. Also, the XLE trim has a wireless charging area for smart phones and a smart key push button start.

Safety features for all trims include- front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags, antilock disc brakes, a Pre-Collision System with Auto High Beams, stability and traction control, and a rearview camera. A Blind Spot Monitor and Warning System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available on the XLE and XSE trims. Adaptive Cruise Control is optional.

The Advanced Technology package adds a pre-collision system that uses the adaptive cruise control sensors and a lane-departure warning system. Optional only on the XLE trim is Safety Connect, which adds automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator, and an emergency assist button.

Overall, from testing, I have concluded that the Toyota Camry XLE V-6 is a fun to drive, engaging sedan with a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine that provides adequate acceleration and smooth on the road performance. The automatic ECT-I transmission is incredibly responsive and the Eco mode helps to increase fuel efficiency. The XLE trim goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds and yields an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

The 2015 Toyota Camry XLE has a comfortable and spacious interior and provides enough head and leg room in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers. The seats are supportive with an ergonomic feel. Audio and climate controls on the center stack are big and are easy to reach, while the larger 7-inch Entune touchscreen interface with audio and navigation is intuitive and user friendly. Trunk space is ample measuring approximately 15.4 cubic feet with plenty of room to haul a variety of mid-large sized items with ease.

On the road, the Camry XLE is a strong performer with responsive handling and has a composed, planted demeanor on busy highways, and when making sharp turns and travelling on curvy roads.

If you have been looking for a modern family sedan with comfortable interior, strong on the road performance, advanced technology, sleek exterior styling, and many features that are usually only available in more expensive luxury vehicles, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2015 Toyota Camry XLE 4-Door Sedan.  The Camry has a starting MSRP of $22,970 and in my opinion; it is well worth the price. 

To find out more about the 2015 Toyota Camry, please visit- http://www.toyota.com/camry/

 

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2015 Toyota Venza Wagon XLE FWD (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2015 Toyota Venza is a two-row, 5 passenger midsize vehicle that is the perfect blending of a wagon and a small crossover with an incredible style, unique exterior, technologically advanced features, and great on the road performance.

The Venza comes in three stylish trims- LE, XLE, Limited and comes fitted with either front-wheel-drive (standard) or all-wheel drive (optional). The LE and XLE come equipped with a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 181 horsepower and 182 lb-ft. of torque. A more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 246 lb-ft is optional on the XLE trim and standard on the Limited. The front-wheel-drive (FWD) yields an estimated 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway, while the all-wheel drive (AWD), delivers 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

Every 2015 Venza comes with an attractive 6.1-inch touch screen display with a rearview camera and infotainment features, however; navigation, a split-screen, and mobile-app functions are only available on the XLE and Limited trim levels. 

The base LE trim comes fitted with standard features such as- cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, 19-inch wheels, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, fog lights, a rear spoiler, heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar support, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seatbacks, a CD player, a 6.1-inch touch screen, and a 6-speaker audio system with voice controls, HD and satellite radio, and iPod/USB connectivity.

The XLE trim comes equipped with the aforementioned standard features, but adds keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, power-folding exterior mirrors, driver memory functions, a 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a power lift gate, a better trip computer, smartphone app integration with Pandora, Bing, Yelp, and a more sophisticated navigation system with infotainment suite. 

The XLE V6 with premium package comes with additional features, such as xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, automatic high beam control, LED running lights, front and rear parking sensors, and a 13-speaker JBL sound system. 

Safety features include- front side airbags, a driver knee airbag and full-length side curtain airbags traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, a rearview camera, and hill start assist, however; parking sensors are available only on the Limited trim. 

The Venza's interior is spacious and distinctive with a uniquely designed dashboard comprised of a mixture of both smooth and textured materials that includes easy to use controls and large knobs. The center console has an uncluttered, simple design and the 6.1-inch touch screen display with virtual buttons is positioned at the same level as the primary controls, handling the majority of sound and associated functions, while certain radio buttons have been moved to the steering wheel. There is ample head/leg room in both the front and rear cabin for taller passengers with many areas to place a variety of small items, such as cups, cell phones, ipods, and other personal belongings. The rear seats fold down quickly and easily upon pulling a lever. Entering and exiting the Venza is a breeze, because of taller doors and a lower entrance height. With the standard towing package, the Venza V6 can tow up to 3,500 pounds. 

The cargo area measures 36.2 cubic feet behind the backseat, and flipping down the rear seatbacks with the handy remote lever on the cargo wall reveals 70.2 cubic feet. What makes the Venza stand out is its handling, which is more like a sedan, but offers the interior space and cargo room of an SUV as well as more utility than a sedan.  

On the road, the Toyota Venza provides a smooth and comfortable ride, driving more like a sedan than an SUV with quick steering and accurate braking. The Venza navigates tight corners with ease with little body roll and has a firm, planted feel on the road even when driving at higher speeds. 

The 2015 Toyota Venza offers the versatility of a sedan and the utility of an SUV. It is spacious, comfortable, can seat up to five people, and has a unique style that is like no other.  The Venza yields an estimated 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway and has an MSRP of only $29,065. With so much to offer, the Venza is definitely worth taking a look at.

 

To find out more about the 2015 Toyota Venza, please visit- www.Toyota.com 

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2015 Toyota Prius Hybrid 4-Door Hatchback (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Toyota Prius is the most popular and distinctive hybrid vehicle that has ever been produced and is a pioneer in hybrid technology. Since the Prius was introduced in the early 1990’s, other hybrid vehicles have entered the scene in recent years, but none has surpassed the popularity of the Prius and it is easy to see why it is still the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle.

Fuel economy is the primary reason many people buy the Prius, which yields an astounding 51 MPG in the city and 48 MPG on the highway. The 4-door hatchback has an aerodynamic wedge shape and fine-tuned powertrain to optimize efficiency. The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter hybrid engine with a mixed production of 134 horsepower that is connected to a (CVT) continuously variable transmission. A plug-in version is also available, however; due to its heftier batteries, it can reach 62 MPH solely on electric power. Other trims are available, such as the bigger Prius V Wagon and the smaller and less expensive Prius C hatchback.

Standard features include- height adjustable driver and passenger cloth seats, split-folding rear seatback, storage center armrest, hands-free entry, 4 one-touch power windows, clock, trip computer, external temperature display, cruise control, front and rear cupholders, front door pockets, overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, electric power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, sound and cruise controls on steering wheel, rear view camera, interior air filtration, climate control, simulated alloy steering wheel, dual illuminating vanity mirrors,

6 speakers, AM/FM stereo, auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control, radio data system, USB connection, Telematics, and Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone connectivity.

The 2015 Toyota Prius has a high safety rating and is one of the safest hybrid vehicles available. It comes equipped with 4-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, auto delay off headlamps, 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, rear center 3-point belt, stability control, traction control, rear folding headrests, tire pressure monitoring, first aid kit, an Emergency Assistance Kit, and a security system with impact sensor.

On the road, the Prius has great driving dynamics and has a stable, yet lightweight feel. A Plus Performance package is available, which improves the driving experience, adding a rear sway bar, lowering springs, and 17-inch wheels.

The interior of the Prius is simple, yet very modern with controls with easy to use controls. Road noise is minimal and both the front and rear cabin are spacious with enough head/legroom for taller passengers. Even though there are a lot of hard plastics throughout the front cabin, the layout looks clean and uncluttered. I found that all of the controls were easy to reach and operate while driving and the interior was surprisingly roomier than it appears from the exterior. Trunk space is quite accommodating and can be expanded with the split folding rear seats to haul larger items.

The 2015 Prius is the perfect choice for consumers desiring a vehicle that can be driven all day in both the city and on the highway delivering optimal fuel economy and a fast charging rate.  The Prius is also very affordable with a starting MSRP of only $24,200. 

If you have been looking for a hybrid vehicle that is fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and affordable with excellent fuel economy, then I highly recommend looking at the 2015 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback.

 

To find out more about the Prius, please visit- www.Toyota.com

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2015 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4-Door Sedan

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2015 Mazda3 i Touring is one of the best in its segment with a stylish exterior, solid on the road performance, great driving dynamics, and is one of the most affordable small cars in America with a bold, yet unique exterior consisting of distinctive sculpted lines and a grinning front grille. The 2015 Mazda3 has entered the automotive scene with much to offer and it is easy to see why it is becoming a popular choice throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. 

The Mazda 3 is among the very best in its class, even though it may not capture as much attention as offerings from some larger brands. After undergoing a Redesign in 2014, the Mazda3 now offers more efficient engine options, better exterior details, and new features. 

With a desire to create a vehicle with excellent gas mileage, responsive handling, and acceleration, Mazda has focused on making a lightweight vehicle by using a smaller amount of stronger steel, more welds, as well as weld-bonded adhesives in the body. Mazda’s engineers found a variety of ways to save extra pounds, for example the wiring harness, door locks and latches, radiator, automatic transmission shifter, pedals, stereo speakers.  As a result, the 2015 Mazda3 is one of the lightest vehicles sold in America. Driving is smooth, easy, and almost effortless, which makes driving the Mazda3 fun, enjoyable, and a pleasurable experience. 

The 2015 Mazda3 is available as a sedan or hatchback and in either 3i or 3s trims. 

The base 3i SV trim is available only as a sedan and comes fitted with air-conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, full power accessories, USB/iPod integration, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, auxiliary input, a folding rear seat, and a 4-speaker audio system.

The 3i Sport adds cruise control, a 7-inch touch screen display, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone-enabled Internet radio, a 6-speaker sound system with CD player, HD radio, and a USB/iPod audio interface. 

The 3i Touring trims do not have a CD player, but add much desired features, such as keyless ignition and entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest, rearview camera, rear spoiler, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The Touring Technology package is optional and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium 9-speaker Bose Sound System, a navigation system, sunroof, and voice controls.  The Mazda3 i Grand Touring comes equipped with all of the aforementioned special features as well as heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 6-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment.

 

The Mazda3s Touring Trim is similarly fitted like the 3i Grand Touring, but offers a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, a special display for vital driving information, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 

Last, but certainly not least in the lineup is the Mazda3s Grand Touring, which adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather upholstery. A technology package for this trim offers additional safety features, such as a forward collision warning and mitigation system, active grille shutters, i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking System, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. 

All 2015 Mazda 3 i trims come equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 155 horsepower, 150 lb-ft of torque, and is available either as a 6-speed manual (standard) or an 6-speed automatic transmission (optional). The sedan with automatic transmission yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, while the sedan fitted with a manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. 

The 2015 Mazda 3s models come equipped a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque, with a choice of either a manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The sedan with manual transmission yields 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, while the 6-speed automatic yields 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. 

Standard Safety features include- stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, side-impact and side curtain air bags, active front head restraints, front disc brakes and rear drum brakes equipped with ABS, frontal airbags, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist. A blind-spot monitoring system and a rearview camera are not available on the Sport and SV trims. A Technology package offers additional safety features for the 3s Grand Touring trim which include a forward collision warning, lane departure warning system, and Mazda's innovative collision-mitigation system, known as Smart City Brake Support.

Interior amenities in the Mazda3 i Touring are quite nice. The front and rear cabin are roomy enough to accommodate up to five people, but because of limited space, I would not recommend transporting three adults in the rear cabin for long road trips. The front seats are supportive, firm, yet comfortable and on the i Touring trim, the seats have an attractive design, the trip computer and controls are intuitive, the dashboard/console area are within easy reach, and the upholstery, interior design, and knobs give the vehicle a more upscale appearance. I also really like the mounted color display touch screen that is located on top of the dashboard with a controller on the center console. This feature is similar to is found in an Audi A4 and it is very easy to use.

The trunk measures about 12.4-cubic ft., which is somewhat small, but I found it to be big enough for hauling small to medium sized items. For those desiring a little more cargo room, I suggest the hatchback, which offers about 20.2 cubic ft and 47.1 cubic ft. of space with the rear seats folded down.

Compared to similar small sedans, such as the Nissan Versa, the Mazda3 has less interior space in the rear cabin for taller passengers, however, it provides faster, more solid road performance, and better handling than the Versa.

The exterior is stylish and eye catching with a modern, sporty look that is hard to ignore and a distinctive grille that has become one of Mazda’s signature features.    

On the road, the Mazda3 i Touring performs very well with strong braking, responsive steering, solid suspension, and when driving at higher speeds, the ride is very smooth.  It handles tight corners and sharp turns with ease, is engaging, and has a planted feel on the road.

In summary, the 2015 Mazda3 i Touring is a great choice if you are looking for a small subcompact sedan that is fun to drive, sporty, inexpensive, stylish, and fuel efficient with excellent driving dynamics, and is affordable with an MSRP of only $16,945. It is definitely one of the best compact vehicles available and worth taking a look at. 

To find out more about the 2015 Mazda3, please visit- www.mazdausa.com

 

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2015 Kia K900 Luxury Sedan (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

Kia has definitely reached a new level with the K900. With a refined style, lavish interior, innovative technology, classy exterior, and excellent on the road performance, the new 2015 Kia K900 is ready to compete on every level with its German rivals. 

The K900 is the most powerful and luxurious full-sized sedan that Kia has ever made with a 5.0-liter Tau V-8 engine that produces 420 horsepower, 376 lb.ft. of torque, and yields an estimated 15 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, the sedan is a perfect blending of strength, elegance, and refinement all in one beautiful package, it is definitely a great choice among driving enthusiasts that desire a luxury vehicle that is quick, fun to drive, and powerful with luxurious interior and exterior elements that are bold and elegant at the same time. 

The 2015 Kia K900 is available in Premium and Luxury trims. Standard features for the Premium trim include-  a 9.2-inch display screen, adaptive xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, cruise control, LED foglights, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated rear outboard seats, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, driver memory settings, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, an iPod/USB interface and satellite and HD radio, a power trunk lid, front and rearview cameras, front and rear parking sensors, UVO, Bluetooth, a navigation system, front and rearview cameras and a 14-speaker audio system with a CD player, full power accessories, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 8-way power front seats with driver four-way power lumbar, heated and ventilated front seats, a ski pass-through opening in the rear seats, a power rear sunshade, and automatic wipers. 

The Luxury trim adds real wood trim, a heated steering wheel, a credit card-sized smart key, LED headlights, a lane departure warning system, a blind-spot monitoring system, upgraded leather upholstery, a rear cross-traffic alert system, and a 17-speaker Lexicon surround sound system. 

A 360-degree top-down parking camera system,12-way power-adjustable driver seat that include a power headrest and thigh support adjustments, ventilated and reclining outboard rear seats with lumbar support, a frontal collision warning system, upgraded leather upholstery, a virtual instrument panel, a driver head-up display, and adaptive cruise control are all optional. 

Standard safety features include- full-length side curtain airbags, traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes, front and rear seat side airbags, and UVO eservices which include emergency assistance. Additional safety features, such as a 360-degree top-down camera system are optional.  

Interior features are very impressive with a large 9.2-inch multifunction display, reclining rear seats, ambient LED lighting, and copious wood trim throughout the dashboard and console areas.  The seats are ergonomic, supportive, comfortable, and provide excellent lumbar support for long road trips. The front and rear cabin is spacious, providing ample head/leg room for taller passengers and cargo space is very good measuring 15.9 cubic feet, which is somewhat average  for its class.  

Driving kinetics of the K900 is quite impressive offering a genuinely delightful ride and the technology features are some of the best and most advanced that I have ever seen. The majority of bumps and uneven surfaces are absorbed, making sharp turns feels effortless, and acceleration is quick going from 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds. 

One of the most prominent issues for some consumers may be the Kia emblem, but if that element is overlooked, the Kia K900 is truly a wonderful, luxurious sedan that looks and drives like an Audi A7, but with a lower price tag. 

The new 2015 Kia K900 is a serious competitor in the luxury vehicle segment with a sleek style, brilliant interior craftsmanship, technologically advanced features, and solid on the road performance with a starting MSRP of $54,500.  Kia is truly changing perceptions of luxury and the K900 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a full-sized luxury vehicle that is like no other. 

To find out more information about the new 2015 Kia K900, please visit- www.kia.com

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

2015 Mazda Mazda5 Grand Touring 4 Door Minivan

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The Mazda5 Grand Touring is a stylish subcompact crossover that is small in size, seats up to 6 passengers, and combines the utility of a minivan with the quick driving mobility of a sedan making it a great option for small to mid-size families who are looking for a minivan that offers more flexibility, maneuverability, and fuel economy than an SUV. 

All Mazda5 trims come equipped with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 157 horsepower, and 163 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Touring yields an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. 

The vehicle has a sporty feel to it on the road and is amazingly agile, handling a variety of road conditions with ease.  Even though the vehicle does not have a lot of horsepower, it has an athletic feel to it and delivers a composed ride.

Offered in Sport, Touring, or Grand Touring trims, the Mazda5 is one of the smallest, most efficient, and inexpensive minivans available today that is almost the size of the original Dodge Caravan with a starting MSRP of only $19,600.

The basic Sport trim is a great value and comes standard with automatic climate control, power door locks/windows/mirrors,16-inch alloy wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, rear parking sensors, auxiliary jack, USB port, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, cruise control, keyless entry, 50/50-split rear folding seats, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player. The Touring adds foglights, a rear spoiler, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, shifter, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

The Grand Touring comes with all of the aforementioned features as well as leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power sunroof, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, driver lumbar adjustment, rain-sensing wipers, automatic xenon HID headlights, a security system, and Sirius Satellite Radio. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system, remote ignition, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror are optional.

Interior elements are very nice with three usable rows, second row bucket seats that can lean back, easy to reach, lightweight sliding side doors, and a vertical manual liftgate in the back. There is no power rear hatch or power folding seats, however, the third-row split bench seats fold down quickly to create a big cargo area, yielding 44.4 cubic feet of space. The dashboard has a matte appearance with a lot of hard plastic elements throughout with some shiny accented parts, which is an improvement from the 2011 model. I will say that there is one negative aspect of the Mazda5 that simply cannot be ignored and that is, most minivans have tinted glass surrounding the rear cargo area, but the Mazda5 does not have that, which makes concealing/hiding belongings in the cargo and rear seating areas very difficult to do.

Safety features include- front and side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, engine immobilizer, electronic stability and traction control, 7 airbags, and adjustable head restraints. Rear parking sensors are optional. A forward collision warning system, rearview camera, and blind-spot warning system are not available.

On the road, the Mazda 5 delivers a smooth and comfortable driving experience with excellent steering and a quick, planted feel along curvy roads and when making sharp turns. The vehicle does not accelerate quickly, going from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, which makes some maneuvers on busy highways a little difficult at times, but when driving in normal road conditions, the Mazda5 feels confident and performs very well.

Overall, I think the 2015 Mazda5 is a practical, sporty, comfortable, and fuel-efficient minivan that delivers a unique and fun driving experience.  It is a great option for small to mid size families that do not want or need as many features or space that an SUV offers, but still desire three rows of seating and the maneuverability of a sedan. There is no other minivan like the Mazda5 and I highly recommend taking a look at it.

To find out more about the 2015 Mazda5 Grand Touring Minivan, please visit-

 

www.mazdausa.com  

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  


2015 Kia Sedona SX-L Minivan (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

Kia is known for making a variety of vehicles, ranging from sedans, hatchbacks, and crossovers, but many people don’t know that Kia makes a stylish minivan or MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), which has actually been in production for more than ten years. It is the Sedona and is now better than ever after undergoing a complete redesign, featuring new exterior styling, advanced technological features, and upscale upholstery. The Sedona is one of the best looking vans I have seen and it actually looks and feels more like a luxury SUV. 

All Sedona Minivans come fitted with a 3.3-liter, V6 engine that produces 276 horsepower, 248 lb-ft of torque, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. 

The 2015 Kia Sedona is available in five trim levels- L, LX, EX, SX and SX-L with the SX-L trim being the most luxurious option. The L, LX and EX trims yield an estimated 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, the SX trim yields 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, and the SX-L yields 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. 

The L trim comes equipped with rear parking sensors, air conditioning, manual sliding doors, a height-adjustable driver's seat, steel wheels,2nd-row seats that fold down to increase cargo space, satellite radio, a USB port, a 4-speaker audio system, cruise control, Bluetooth,  and an MSRP of $26,795. The LX adds LED running lights, power-folding mirrors, rear privacy glass, a rearview camera, a power driver's seat, alloy wheels, roof rails, a 6-speaker sound system, UVO, and has an MSRP of about $28,995. 

The EX trim adds heated mirrors, a power lift gate, keyless ignition, fog lights, better LED running lights, power-sliding doors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear sunshades, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a cooled glove compartment, 3-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, larger 18-inch wheels, an Infinity sound system with 8 speakers, and an MSRP of $32,995. 

The SX trim adds driver memory settings, a power passenger seat, cooled front seats, LED taillights, upgraded leather upholstery, driver-selectable steering, a better color trip computer, a voice-command system, an 8-inch touch screen display with navigation, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, heated seats, and an MSRP of $36,995. 

The top-of-the line SX-L trim comes with all of the aforementioned features as well chrome exterior trim, front parking sensors, a heated steering wheel with wood trim, extendable leg rests larger 19-in wheels, more wood interior accents, 2nd-row lounge seats, winged headrests, and an MSRP of $40,595. 

Safety features for the Sedona include- 6 airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain). anti-lock disc brakes, and stability control. A parking camera (standard or surround-view), rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and a forward-collision warning system are optional. 

Interior features are quite impressive, upscale, and luxurious with comfortable and ergonomic Nappa leather seats and elegant details throughout the dashboard and console areas. There are also many high tech features within the interior’s lavish cabin in the SX trim.

The front and rear cabin is very spacious with plenty of room for taller passengers in all three rows. I really like the 2nd  row seats, because they slide forward and backward, side to side, recline with airline-inspired pillow headrests, and have footrests/ottomans that fold out. The 3rd row of seats, however, feels very cramped and is best suited for small children. 

On the road, the Sedona performs like a luxury SUV with brisk acceleration, excellent ride quality, and a smooth driving experience that is comfortable and quiet. 

Overall, the 2015 Kia Sedona is a stylish, well appointed minivan that is spacious, fun to drive, comfortable, and is perfect for mid-large sized families that are looking for more features, technology, and luxury than the average minivan provides. The Kia Sedona is definitely exceptional with a starting MSRP of about $26,100. I highly recommend taking a look at it. 

To find out more about the 2015 Kia Sedona, please visit- www.kia.com

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (Review)

 

  

by Philippa Lane 

 

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 5 passenger midsize crossover vehicle with a stylish exterior, roomy interior, advanced technological features, solid on the road performance with the maneuverability of a large sedan. After experiencing some necessary upgrades and restyling, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is now better than ever before with a full powered engine, new technology, and a refined exterior that has made it a great choice for consumers looking for a vehicle that embodies both style and enhanced performance all in one complete package. 

The new Santa Fe Sport weighs about 250 lbs. less than the 2012 model and has an upgraded interior cabin that is quite impressive with plush, upscale interior features that look similar to higher priced luxury brands. The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is available in base and 2.0 Turbo trims and comes equipped with either front wheel drive (FWD) or optional all wheel drive (AWD) and is powered by a 190 horsepower, 2.4-liter, 4 cylinder or a 264 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine. All trim levels utilize a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy is very good on the base trim, with the front-wheel drive yielding an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 264 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque. The 2.0T Sport yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for the front-wheel drive and 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with the all-wheel drive.  Compared with similar vehicles, such as the Toyota RAV4, the Santa Fe Sport is not the most fuel efficient, however; what the crossover lacks in fuel efficiency, it makes up for in style, affordability, and excellent on the road performance that is the best in its class. 

Standard features include- air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, anti-theft protection, AM/FM Radio and CD player with six speakers, satellite radio, cargo area light, four 12V power outlets, trip computer, floor console with covered storage, overhead console, cruise control, front cup holders, voice activating phone system, outside air temperature indicator, driver bucket front seat manual height and manual lumbar, height adjustable driver and passenger front seats, remote power locks, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, steering wheel mounted audio controls, illuminated vanity mirrors, remote control trunk release, rear spoiler, tilt telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, tachometer, USB/iPod ports, ventilation system with micro filter, tinted rear windows, full power accessories, Blue Link Telematics, and 40/20/40 folding rear seats. 

The Sport 2.0T comes with all of the aforementioned features, but has a more powerful turbocharged engine and 18 inch wheels. A technology package adds xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, larger wheels- 19 inch on the 2.0T and 18 inch on the base trim, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a navigation system with a big 8-inch touch screen, a 12 speaker Infinity surround audio system, driver memory settings, an upgraded sound system for the base trim, and heated rear seats. 

Safety features include seven airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, side curtain airbags that cover both rows, front seat side airbags, front seat active head restraints, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, hill start assist control, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management system, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, downhill brake control, electronic brake-force distribution, and BlueLink, which is Hyundai's emergency system, offering roadside assistance, remote door lock control and monitoring, and crash response. A blind spot system and rearview camera are both optional on the base model and come standard on the 2.0T. 

The exterior of the Santa Fe Sport is dynamic, boasting an elegant front fascia. Stylish and intricately placed lines on the sides offer aerodynamic fluidity, LED tail lights, chrome accents on the door handles and grille, and Xenon headlights give the vehicle an upscale appearance.  The rear end of the Santa Fe Sport sweeps upward, which makes the exterior stand out with a refined look, however, the unique design makes rear visibility a little difficult. 

The interior is beautiful with high quality soft touch plastics and smooth vinyl materials adorning most surfaces. The front and rear cabin is very spacious with plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers. Seats are plush, adjustable, and supportive with an ergonomic design that makes long road trips a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rear seats can be adjusted as well and offer a variety of recline angles. The controls are well placed and there is a lot of arm space without any “cramping” feel in the front cabin. In fact, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport’s interior feels more spacious than a Lexus RX450. I also like the large touch screen with navigation system that is located above the instrument cluster available in the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, because it is within arms reach and is easy to see at night.  

Cargo space is abundant with the Sport boasting 35.4 cu. ft. of space and when the second row seats are folded down, there is a 71.5 cu. ft. of space to haul a variety of larger sized items. 

I tested the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T with AWD and I must say, it performs a lot better than the majority of crossover vehicles that I have previously driven.  It handles a variety of road conditions with ease, acceleration is quick, road noise is minimal, braking is responsive, and it navigates extremely well in stop and go traffic.  The Santa Fe Sport also has a tighter turning diameter than most vehicles in its segment, which makes navigating narrow roads and making u-turns easier and nearly effortless. The 2.0T delivers 264 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque, which makes the Santa Fe Sport feel zippy and nimble on the road even at slower speeds and feels more like a midsize sedan than an SUV on the highway. 

The base 2.4-liter trim has a starting MSRP of $25,375, while the 2.0T has an MSRP of about $29,500. All-wheel drive can be added for an additional $1,750.  

The Santa Fe Sport is a competent, fun to drive, well rounded crossover SUV with a great style, advanced technology, comfortable and spacious interior, upscale exterior detailing, smooth on the road performance, and good fuel economy for its size, averaging an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.  

 

To find out more about the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com   

 

  
 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

2015 Kia Soul ! 5-Door Wagon Review

 

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

It is clear that the Kia Soul is a great choice this year among consumers desiring a spacious, fun to drive, reliable, comfortable, and stylish crossover vehicle that is definitely like no other with advanced technology and an appealing unique box-like design. The Kia Soul is the ideal combination of a wagon, crossover SUV, and hatchback all in one well designed and affordable package.  

The 2015 Soul is one of most popular vehicles available and it is very easy to see why with its unique style, great on-the-road performance, advanced technology, and excellent fuel economy. With a “boxy” design that is like the Nissan Cube, the Kia Soul offers more room than a small sedan and better maneuverability than a large SUV, making it stand out from its competitors. The vehicle delivers a distinctive youthful flair with an optional Infinity sound system and illuminated trim rings around the door’s speakers that change colors to the beat of the songs that are being played. 

After being redesigned last year, the new 2015 Kia Soul is now better than ever with changes that are subtle, not major, yet greatly enhance the look and feel of the vehicle.

The Soul is available in three trim levels: base, + and ! (Better known as Plus and Exclaim) The FWD 2015 Kia Soul (base) comes fitted with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower, 118 lb. ft. of torque, a 6-speed manual transmission, and standard features, such as- a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 15-inch steel wheels, dark tinted rear privacy glass, dome light, black cloth seats, illuminated glove box, CD, MP3, Sirius XM Satellite Sound System with 4 speakers, USB port, Bluetooth, auxiliary audio input jack, cruise control, power windows/door locks, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, trip computer, dual front cup holders, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, remote keyless entry, and air conditioning. A 6-speed automatic transmission is optional. The base model (manual or automatic) yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. 

The Soul + trim comes fitted with a more powerful 2.0-liter, 4 cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission, 164 horsepower, and 151 lb-ft of torque. Additional features include- 17 inch alloy wheels, more storage compartments, keyless entry, tweeter speakers, heated power exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, cruise control, front seat center console with storage, better interior fabric upholstery, fold down rear seat armrest, and a center armrest. This trim level only comes with an automatic transmission and yields an estimated 23 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.  The ECO Package increases the fuel economy and is a beneficial package that I recommend, because it provides an Idle Stop & Go system that shuts the engine off when the vehicle is not in motion, such as at a stop sign or in slow moving stop and go traffic in order to preserve fuel.  Overall, the fuel economy of the Soul is better than similar vehicles, such as the Nissan Cube.

After upgrading to the Soul + trim level, three additional packages are available and can be added to the Soul +, such as the UVO eServices package, which includes auto-off headlights. The Audio package offers colorful front speaker lights that pulse with the beat of the music as well as a premium Infinity sound system with HD Radio. A Primo package adds the aforementioned features plus leather seats, heated rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, a 10-way power driver's seat, panoramic sunroof, Smart Key passive entry with push-button start, LED interior lights, and fog lights.  

The Soul ! (Exclaim) trim level comes fitted with top of the line features and adds big 18-inch aluminum wheels, LED running lights, projection-beam automatic headlights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, 2-tone black/sand colored interior, body exterior trim, fog lights, power folding exterior mirrors, floor mats, a color touch screen infotainment system, Infinity sound system, rear view camera, and a power sunroof. 

The Soul ! trim with the Premium Package has a beautiful and sophisticated interior with stylish two-tone sand/black colored seats and adds a UVO color touch screen infotainment system, plush leather upholstered seats, a navigation system, automatic climate control, universal garage door opener, interior lighting kit, Smart Key passive entry system with push-button ignition, compass, and a rear spoiler. There are a lot of hard plastic elements, but the luxurious interior lighting kit balances everything out. The high quality textured materials and technologically advanced features make the vehicle look and feel much more upscale than it really is.

Standard safety features include six airbags, antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, stability control, traction control, hill-start assist side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints.

The Kia Soul has a unique style that is not easy to define, because it looks like a cross between a station wagon, SUV, and a hatchback, but its distinctive box shape makes for a very spacious and roomy interior with plenty of head/legroom for taller occupants in the front and rear cabin seating areas.  The vehicle looks and feels bigger than a sedan, but it is much easier to maneuver in tighter spaces and looks more upscale than any other “box” shaped cars that I have seen and tested. The floating roof design and vertical backlights also add to the vehicle’s appeal.  The Soul’s front grille is not too aggressive and adds a lot of character to the exterior design.

Interior features are quite impressive with advanced technology and easy to reach gauges and controls. There is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers in the front and rear cabin, which makes the Soul a great choice for longer commutes. When the both of the rear seats are folded down, there is approximately 61 cubic feet of cargo space, which is greater than the Nissan Cube. 

On the road, the Soul performs great. Even though the Soul does not feel sporty, the vehicle handles a variety of road conditions very well with a solid on the road feel, accurate braking, and precise steering. 

It is easy to get in and out of the Soul and it is a great commuter vehicle, suitable for daily commutes and handles extremely well in heavy traffic.  In fact, the Soul accelerates quickly for its class and is quite spry on the road, which is ideal for driving through heavily populated cities with bumper to bumper traffic.  This is where the Kia Soul really shines with its ability to zip through traffic and handle stop and go situations with ease.  On rougher surfaces, however, the vehicle’s suspension delivers a bumpier ride. 

The 2015 Kia Soul is a great commuter car with a fun style, solid on the road performance, advanced technology, and is affordable with a starting MSRP of only $15,190.

The Soul is the perfect combination of space, safety, and reliability with a variety of family-friendly features, making the Soul a great choice for small to mid-size families. What is there not to love about the Soul? 

 

To find out more about the 2015 Kia Soul Hatchback, please visit- www.kia.com

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

  

2015 Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan Review

 

 

 by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Hyundai Accent is a subcompact vehicle that is available as either a sedan (GLS) or 5-door hatchback (Sport and GS) and is the smallest car in the Hyundai lineup. Although it is small, it has a spacious, comfortable interior, attractive exterior details, and advanced technology that make it a great choice among consumers in its segment.

After undergoing a complete redesign in 2012, the Accent is now better than ever with elegant fluidic styled exterior doors, improved interior materials, and additional standard and optional features. For the 2015 model year, the Accent has received some new improvements, such as a new front grille design, sliding sun visors, better wheel designs, an updated and a better sound system, a driver's blind-spot mirror, refreshed headlights for the GL and GLS trims, a one-touch turn signal, and new interior fabric options.

The Accent has an uncomplicated design, yet exudes a lot of character, style, and feels much bigger than it really is. The sedan feels very comfortable, roomy with ample head/legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin and driving is smooth, feeling less bumpy than many other vehicles of its size, which is quite impressive for a subcompact car.  There is also a lot of additional room to place small items into, such as trays and bins to store keys, snacks, phones, beverages, pens, and other miscellaneous items.

Every Accent is fitted with a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine, 137 horsepower, and 123 lb. ft. of torque, front wheel drive, and a choice of either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Accent GLS yields an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway (manual) and 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (automatic). 

On the road, the Accent performs very well, providing a smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride with less bumpiness than some other subcompact vehicles that I have tested. There is plenty of room in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers and the seats are very comfortable and supportive. All audio controls, the LCD trip computer, and gauges are easy to reach. The dashboard is attractive with quality materials throughout. 

The GLS Sedan comes equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, 14-inch steel wheels, front-disc/rear-drum anti-lock brakes, a height-adjustable driver seat, heated outside mirrors, keyless entry, power accessories, air conditioning, and a 6-speaker audio system with iPod/auxiliary connectivity. A Premium package is optional on the GLS with automatic-transmission that includes a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, LED headlight accents, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, fog lights, storage box, premium cloth upholstery, piano-black interior accents, and a sliding armrest. 

Standard Safety features include- anti-lock brakes, stability control, active front head restraints, front, front-side, and full-length side airbags. 

Now that compact vehicles have become more popular, smaller cars, such as the 2015 Hyundai Accent have become more desirable and a top choice in its segment due to its affordability, fuel-efficiency, and stylish exterior. 

The 2015 Hyundai Accent delivers excellent on the road performance, a comfortable interior, stylish exterior, great fuel economy, and has a starting MSRP of only $15,570. 

To find out more about the 2015 Hyundai Accent, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

 

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet 2-Door Convertible Review

 

 

 by Philippa Lane

 

Audi once again has proven that good things really do come in small packages and one of the best examples of this is the stylish and completely redesigned Audi A3 Cabriolet 2-Door Convertible. I have always loved convertibles, but the superb design and top of the line performance of the A3 Cabriolet is truly exceptional.

The popularity and demand for compact luxury vehicles has grown exponentially in recent years among consumers seeking something uniquely different from the sea of large sedans and SUV’s that are seen every day. The new Audi A3 Cabriolet is like a breath of fresh air and a beautiful convertible with excellent road performance, a spacious front cabin, great fuel economy, comfortable interior, a sleek exterior featuring attractive sloping lines and aluminum-finished detailing throughout, and a starting MSRP of $35,600, which makes the vehicle one of the most affordable luxury convertibles available today.

Although the A3 Cabriolet is small, it can seat up to four passengers and offers enough head/legroom for taller passengers; however, due to its sporty design, space is limited in the rear cabin. In fact, in my opinion, the rear is better suited for carrying some extra shopping bags, luggage, or small boxes. Cargo space measures 10.1 cu. ft., which accommodates a variety of small to mid-sized items.  The electric powered fabric soft top retracts down quickly and occupies less trunk space, which is a precious feature in a small car.

 

 

The 2015 Audi A3 is available as a 4-door sedan or a 2-door convertible and comes fitted with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with either a turbocharged 4-cylinder 1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TFSI, or a 2.0 TDI (diesel) engine. The A3 Cabriolet equipped with a 1.8 TFSI engine and front wheel drive delivers 170 horsepower and 200 lb. ft. of torque, goes from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, and yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The 2.0 TFSI engine with all wheel drive delivers 220 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque, goes from 0 to 60 mph in a less than 5.9 seconds, and yields an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.  There is only one main trim level- Premium, which can be improved with the optional Premium Plus and Prestige packages.  The Premium Plus includes all standard features and adds dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition/entry, and an 8-way power passenger seat with 4-way power lumbar. The Premium Plus package adds additional features, such as ambient interior lighting, power-folding side mirrors, interior/exterior auto-dimming mirrors. The Prestige adds a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen Audio System, Audi’s signature LED headlights, and an "S line" exterior appearance package. The Advance Technology package adds a front collision warning and braking system, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system. A Sport package is available for the Premium and Prestige options, which adds steering wheel paddle shifters, front sport seats, Drive Select (adjustable vehicle settings), and additional safety features. 

The interior of the A3 is impressive with comfortable and supportive front seats, ample standard instrumentation, advanced technological features, an intuitive MMI display and navigation system, easy to reach controls, stylish jet inspired air vents, and high quality materials throughout that are similar to the A4 and A5 models. Even though the 2015 A3 resembles some other Audi vehicles, the interior design and features have a simple layout that is not flashy, yet is still elegant, beautiful, and unique. A3 trims include an MMI display screen, but the size of the screen depends on whether it comes with navigation.

All 2015 Audi A3 vehicles come fitted with standard safety features, such as- front knee airbags, antilock brakes, front side airbags, stability and traction control, full-length side curtain airbags, rear side airbags(convertible), and Audi Pre-Sense, which is an automatic seatbelt tightening and window closing system that helps in case of a possible frontal collision. A Driver Assistance option can be added to the Premium Plus package, which adds a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitoring system, and an automated parking system, while the Advance Technology package adds additional safety features, which include-  an automatic braking system, lane-departure warning, frontal collision warning, and frontal collision mitigation.

On the road, the A3 Cabriolet feels just as luxurious as it looks with a quiet cabin, smooth performance, comfortable seats, sprightly on the road maneuverability, and a lot of torque for easy passing on highways. The vehicle has a nimble feel on city streets and drives around tight corners with ease with a firm and planted feel due in part to Audi’s innovative quattro all-wheel drive system, which improves performance and handling on almost any road surface and in all seasons of the year, delivering power to wheels with optimum grip.

Another great feature of the A3 is that it is very lightweight, yet still has a solid feel on the road and that is due to the special lightweight technology Audi utilizes as well as high quality materials and construction methods which reduce weight to maximize performance.

The 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet is small in size, but definitely not small in luxury, offering prestige, refinement, incredible style, and solid performance for an affordable price.

To find out more about the new 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet, please visit- www.audiusa.com

 

   Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring Review

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring is a fun to drive, fuel-efficient, mid size sedan with a sleek design, an upscale appearance, advanced technological features, and great on the road performance available in a package that is both affordable and practical.

The 2015 Mazda6 looks a lot more expensive than it really is and comes in three exciting trims- Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring with a base price of only $21,985. The vehicle comes fitted with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, but an automatic transmission is available for an additional $1,705, which also adds an improved sound system with a touch screen 5.8-inch color display, Bluetooth calling and music streaming, text-messaging support, Pandora Internet radio compatibility, and HD Radio.

While the Sport trims have cloth front and rear seats, the Mazda6 Touring offers leatherette seating surfaces as well as dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6-way power driver’s seat, a commander control knob for the infotainment system, both front and rear air conditioning heated vents, keyless passive entry with push-button start, attractive 19-inch aluminum wheels, and a standard blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.

All Mazda6 trims come fitted with a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower and 185 lb. feet of torque.

The Mazda6 Grand Touring has a base price of $30,690 and comes equipped with a standard automatic transmission and features leather seats, heated front seats, a power sunroof, bi-Xenon headlights with LED running lights, a navigation system, Bluetooth, an 8-way power driver’s seat, a Bose Surround Audio System, Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support technology, which is designed to reduce or eliminate the potential for a low-speed impact or accident, and yields an estimated 32 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway.

I tested the Grand Touring model in the color of Soul Red ($300) and was impressed with the driving dynamics, leather trimmed seats, interior and exterior sporty details, and the GT technology package, which is optional and includes a Mazda Radar Cruise Control system, a Forward Obstruction Warning system, an i-ELOOP regenerative braking system which increases the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, a lane-departure warning system, automatic high-beam headlights, paddle shifters, and active grille shutters. With all of the optional equipment, my test vehicle had a total MSRP of $33,345.

Usually red is not my preferred color for a vehicle, but Soul Red seemed to be a perfect color choice for the Mazda6 Grand Touring and definitely garnered a lot of attention to the vehicle on the road in both the city and on the highway.



The interior of the Mazda6 Grand Touring is very nice and comfortable with simple controls, a rearview camera, and an intuitive navigation system. The front and rear seats are plush, supportive, and have attractive red stitching that adds an upscale touch to the vehicle’s interior. There is enough head/legroom for taller passengers and entering/exiting the vehicle is easy to do.  The upper door panels and dashboard are soft and pliable, the cupholders as well as various storage areas are lined, and the center armrest is padded and slides forward, providing more comfort in the front cabin.

On the road the Mazda6 is a strong performer with quick acceleration and a solid feel, navigating curvy roads with ease and precision. In Sport mode, the engine is even more responsive, delivering additional power.

Cargo space is ample measuring 14.8 cubic feet, however, not as spacious as some other sedans, yet still able to accommodate a variety of large items, boxes, luggage, and groceries with great ease. For additional room, the 60/40 split rear seats can be folded down to allow for even more cargo space.

Technology features include HD Radio, Bluetooth, Pandora Internet Radio, and a special mobile 911 system that automatically dials for help immediately after a collision if it is connected to a smartphone that is located inside of the vehicle at the time of impact.

Safety features include- front and rear side air curtains, 24 hour roadside assistance, anti-lock brakes, front-side airbags, dual front airbags, a tire pressuring monitoring system,  and all Mazda6 trims, except for the base Sport with manual transmission, come equipped with a rear view camera and a mobile 911 system. The Touring trim adds a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert and the Grand Touring trim levels adds optional features, such as- automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a navigation system, and a Smart City Brake Support System, which lets the driver know when the Mazda6 may collide with an object and if needed, automatically brake the car in order to avoid a low-speed crash.

 

One thing that sets the Mazda6 apart from so many other mid-size sedans is that it is not overly popular. It is a great vehicle, but not a lot of people know about it and all the Mazda6 has to offer. The sedan stands out and is like a rare gem with a unique, eye-catching style that is different than its competitors.

If you have been looking for a mid-size sedan that is stylish, affordable, fuel efficient, and fun to drive with a unique exterior design, then the 2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring is a great choice and definitely worth taking a look at.

 

To find out more about the 2015 Mazda6, please visit- www.mazdausa.com

 

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

2015 Kia Forte EX Sedan (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The popularity of affordable compact sedans has been growing exponentially over the years and the Kia Forte has become an ideal choice due to its stylish exterior, solid on the road performance, technology features, and roomy interior. 

The Forte is available as a Sedan, Forte 5-Door, and Koup and comes in LX, EX, and SX trims.

The base Forte LX Sedan has a starting MSRP of $16,690 and comes fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission, AM/FM/CD/MP3, SiriusXM Satellite Radio,  Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, power windows, power door locks, auxiliary and USB ports, power mirrors, 15-inch steel wheels with covers, air conditioning, heated side mirrors, a trip computer, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a rear defroster, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. 

The Forte EX Sedan has a starting MSRP $19,390 and comes equipped with a strong 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 154 lb. feet of torque. Standard features include- fog lights, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, 6-speed automatic transmission, auto-off headlights, a sliding front armrest, a 6-speaker stereo, power-folding side mirrors, a cooling glovebox, cruise control, FlexSteer adjustable steering settings, a rear folding armrest, and remote keyless entry. The Premium Package ($2,700) adds leather seat trim, heated outboard rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, a ventilated driver's seat, a power tilt/slide sunroof, outside mirror puddle lights, engine immobilizer, auto dimming mirror with Homelink, front door handle pocket lights, and push button start with smart key. The Technology Package ($2,400) adds Xenon HID Headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, UVO telematics with a rear backup camera, HD Radio, LED taillights, a navigation system with SIRIUS traffic, and dual-zone automatic climate control. 

My test Forte EX Sedan came equipped with both the Premium and Technology Package, which brought the MSRP of the vehicle to $26,400, which may seem a little high, however, the additional features make driving the Kia Forte EX a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience. 

 

The Forte EX Koup has a starting MSRP of $20,190 and has the same features as the EX Sedan, while the Forte5 EX Hatchback is priced at $20,490 and comes equipped with the same features as the EX Sedan, but with a rear window wiper. 

The EX yields an estimated 25 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway, which makes the Forte EX one of the most fuel efficient vehicles in its class. 

Standard safety features include- electronic stability and traction control, 6 airbags, lower anchors and tethers for children, full-length side-curtain airbags, hill-start assist, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. 

Interior features of the Kia Forte EX Sedan are quite impressive. Both the front and rear cabin are spacious with ample head/leg room for taller passengers. The dashboard and console areas have an upscale appearance with high quality materials. Controls are easy to reach and the navigation system is decipherable and accurate. Cargo space in the Forte Sedan is great, measuring 14.9 cu. ft. space and more room is available when the 60/40 split folding rear seats are folded down.

 

On the road, the Kia Forte EX performs better than many competitors in its segment. Acceleration is quick, braking is strong, the automatic transmission is smooth, and overall ride quality is superb. The vehicle handles well on rougher surfaces and on freeways, however, I noticed a little unsteadiness when going over bumps or small dips in the road. 

In summary, the 2015 Kia Forte EX is one of the best compact vehicles available today with great fuel economy, spacious and comfortable interior, advanced technology, and solid on the road performance at an affordable price. 

 

To find out more about the Kia Forte, please visit- www.kia.com  

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 


 

2014 Kia Cadenza Limited Sedan (Review)

 

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

It had been about five years since Kia introduced a full-size sedan, but never in previous years has Kia offered a more luxurious, well rounded large sedan with top-notch performance that is on par with many higher priced European vehicles, as the Kia Cadenza. The 2014 Cadenza seats 5 people, has a stylish exterior, upscale interior, advanced technological features, and a host of standard features with smooth on the road performance due to its stout V6 engine and a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission

I test drove the 2014 Kia Cadenza Limited Sedan and was very impressed with the entire design and layout of the front and rear cabin as well as how the vehicle performed on the road. The interior has high-quality materials, the seats are comfortable, plump, ergonomic, supportive, and the cabin is quiet even when driving at faster speeds. The steering wheel and seats offer a range of adjustable options to suit a variety of drivers’ preferences and needs. Trunk space is average for its class and the rear seats do not fold down to accommodate more cargo, however, I was able to haul a lot of small to medium sized items in the Cadenza without difficulty. The 2014 Cadenza yields an estimated 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, which is not the best in its segment and would like to see the fuel efficiency improved for future model production years. The suspension is comfortable and absorbs minor bumps, yet firm enough for sharp and tight turns.

The Cadenza is wider/longer than the Optima, is available in two trims (Premium and Limited) and comes equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 293 horsepower and 255 lb. feet of torque. Although the Cadenza has a lot of sporty elements, it looks and feels more like a luxury vehicle.

Standard features include- front wheel drive, navigation system with 8-inch touch screen display, dual-zone climate control with air filtration, keyless entry/ignition, a back-up camera, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, a ventilated driver seat, Kia’s innovative UVO Infotainment System, 10-way power driver seat, rain-sensing wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a 12-speaker Infinity surround audio system with CD player, 4-way power passenger seat, active and automatic headlights that turn with the steering wheel that illuminate corners, foglights, power-folding sideview mirrors, heated steering wheel, and USB/iPod/auxiliary audio ports.

The Limited comes with all standard features plus either the White or Gray Interior Package featuring white or gray Nappa leather upholstery, suede headliner/sun visor/rear shelf trim, additional wood-grain accents,  a 7-inch gauge cluster display, a panoramic sunroof, active xenon headlights, a windshield de-icing wiper, driver memory settings, upgraded leather upholstery, a power driver seat cushion extender, blind spot/lane departure warning system, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, heated rear seats, a power rear window sunshade, 19-inch alloy wheels, water-repellent front windows, an electronic parking brake, and adaptive cruise control.

Standard safety features include- front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, rear park assist, hill start assist, and a rearview camera. Lane departure/blind-zone warning systems are optional. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the Kia Cadenza its highest rating of "Good" in their side impact and roof strength/moderate-overlap frontal offset tests and also rated “Good” is the seat/head restraint design for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Even though the Cadenza is a large sedan, it does not feel heavy or cumbersome to drive, instead feeling more lightweight and smaller in size than it really is. The Limited trim is fully loaded with high end features and technology, but everything is neatly designed with ergonomic controls and intricately placed elements on the dashboard and console areas.  The navigation system and interface is very easy to use and I love the large 8 inch touch screen display, because it makes everything on the screen so much more decipherable.

The 2014 Kia Cadenza Limited is an elegant and fine-tuned full sized sedan with a luxurious design, top-of-the line performance, plush interior, upscale features, and in my opinion, is simply the best large sedan Kia has to offer. The Cadenza Limited has a starting MSRP of $42,400, it is an excellent value for the money and definitely worth the price.

 

To find out more about the Kia Cadenza, please visit- www.kia.com  

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 


 

2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8 Sedan (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8 is a luxury full-size, 4-door sedan with a distinctive style, unique features, a lot of power, is a great alternative to higher priced European luxury vehicles, and is currently ranked one of the top upscale mid-size cars in its segment. The Genesis offers all of the luxury that you would expect to find in a more expensive vehicle, but for a lower price than most of its competition and delivers smooth on the road performance, a comfortable cabin with plush seats, and advanced technological features.

The Genesis is available in two trims- 3.8 and 5.0 R-Spec. The 3.8 Sedan with all-wheel-drive comes fitted with a powerful 3.8-liter V6 GDI engine that produces 311 horsepower, 293 lb. ft. of torque, and yields an estimated 16 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. 

The interior is well-crafted and spacious with enough head/legroom to accommodate taller passengers. Seating is very comfortable and the 12-way power front seats with lumbar are easy to adjust, providing optimum support and comfort for long road trips. The dashboard and console areas are tastefully designed with controls that are easy for the driver to reach.  All of the armrests, doors, and buttons have soft-touch materials suiting of a luxury car.

The sound system delivers clear audio and the display and navigation settings are easy to operate with a control knob that is similar to the one in an Audi A7. The 3.8 sedan is available in black, silver, grey, brown, and white with leathery upholstery. Trunk space is quite generous measuring 15.3 cu. feet, which is more than the Lexus GS 350, but the rear seats do not fold down to allow for more cargo.

Standard features include- automatic headlights, LED running lights, heated front seats, an 8-inch touch-screen navigation system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, push-button start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless ignition and entry, electroluminescent gauge cluster with LCD information display, woodgrain and chrome interior accents,18-inch alloy wheels, power heated side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, fog lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, Hyundai Blue Link Telematics System, full power accessories, proximity key, SIRIUS XM satellite radio, Bluetooth, HD Radio and USB/iPod ports.

The Signature Package ($4,000) adds a power tilt and slide panoramic sunroof, integrated memory system/ventilated front seats, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, HID Headlights/auto-dimming outside mirrors, power rear sunshades, manual rear side window sunshades, and blind spot detection.

The Tech Package ($3,500) adds ultra leather seats, 7” LCD Cluster Display, power driver seat cushion extender and side bolster, lane departure warning, smart cruise control with stop/start capability, haptic steering wheel, pre safety belt, auto emergency braking, electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, front & rear parking assistance system. 

The Ultimate Package ($3,500) adds a premium HD 9.2-inch screen with navigation system, genuine matte finish wood trim & aluminum trim, a heads-up display, a power trunk lid, Lexicon 17 speaker audio system, and dual mode vent control with CO2 sensor.

 

For the 2015 model year, the Genesis has received a more distinctive and attractive front grille which still has the spectacular winged Genesis badge on it and the steering has been re-tuned to provide better maneuverability.

On the road the Genesis 3.8 Sedan handles a variety of road conditions extremely well with a firm and solid feel when making sharp turns and driving on curvy roadways. The Genesis feels much more like a Lexus ES 350 than a sports car, but yet still has sporty features that make the vehicle the perfect combination of both elements.

One of the best things about the Genesis 3.8 is the big 8-inch touch screen with navigation and the Ultimate Package offers an even bigger 9.2-inch HD touch screen which is absolutely spectacular and is the largest display that I have ever seen in any other vehicle.

Safety features include- 9 airbags including a driver knee airbag, electronic stability control, traction control, vehicle stability management system, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, 4-wheel disc brakes, and anti-whiplash front head restraints. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis received excellent ratings in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests and earned their highest designation: Top Safety Pick Plus. The Genesis received the top score of “good” in all crashworthy tests as well as a rating of “superior” for front crash prevention when fitted with optional safety features. 

 

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Sedan has a starting MSRP of $40,500, but in my opinion, is well worth the price.  The vehicle’s high performance and luxury features put the Genesis on par with European competitors, but costs thousands of dollars less. It drives, performs, and looks like it should be about $20,000 more than it is and is an excellent choice for anyone who desires a luxury vehicle without a luxury price tag.

 

To find out more about the 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Sedan, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com  

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  


 

2014 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec 3-Door Coupe Turbo

 

 

 by Philippa Lane 

 

From the moment the Hyundai Veloster hatchback was introduced, it was obvious that the vehicle was special. The only problem was that initially, the earlier Veloster models lacked speed, but Hyundai fixed this issue and the 2014 Hyundai Veloster is now available in Turbo or R-Spec trims, which are both turbocharged, making the vehicle one of the best 3-door sporty coupe hatchbacks ever made.

The 2014 Veloster R-Spec is surprisingly inexpensive with an MSRP of only $21,300, yet it looks and feels much more expensive than it really is. The Veloster R-Spec has a unique style, is fun to drive, affordable, and fuel efficient, yielding an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway with the manual transmission and 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway with an automatic transmission.

The Base Veloster has a starting MSRP of $18,610 and comes fitted with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with manual transmission that produces 138 horsepower and 123 lb-feet of torque. A 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional and produces 132 horsepower and 120 lb-feet of torque. Standard features for the base Veloster include- air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, LED exterior accent lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a trip computer, and a six-speaker sound system with a 7-inch touchscreen with rearview camera), iPod/USB connectivity, Bluetooth, and Pandora.

The Turbo trim has a starting MSRP of $23,110 and comes with all of the aforementioned standard features, but with a powerful turbocharged engine, fog lights, better exterior design elements, push-button ignition, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated leather sport seats with intricate embroidery detailing, sporty center-mounted twin circular exhaust outlets, an 8-speaker, 450-watt Dimension Sound System, dual TFT driver-information screens, and alloy pedals.

The new R-Spec has a starting MSRP of $22,110 and has a sportier appearance with some various luxurious elements and features a Turbo GDI engine.

Standard safety features include- electronic stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, front, full-length side curtain front-side impact, a driver’s side blind spot mirror, torque vectoring control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. All Veloster trims come equipped with a rearview camera, which shows Hyundai values the safety of its drivers and the standard 7-inch touch screen makes the Veloster stand out from other vehicles in its class delivering modern connectivity at all times.

I test drove the Hyundai Veloster R-Spec with a 6-speed manual transmission and was quite impressed with the upscale interior and exterior design, sport-tuned suspension, red-trimmed leatherette upholstery, layout of the controls, technological features, and sloping roofline, which gives the hatchback a refined and attractive appearance. There is ample head/legroom in the front cabin, however, it feels a little cramped in the rear cabin, but that is to be expected due to the Veloster’s sporty style. The front seats are comfortable, bolstered, and supportive with leatherette material and there is enough cargo space (15.5 cubic feet) to haul a variety of small-medium sized items. There is 34.7 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down. 

On the road, the Veloster R-Spec has a solid and planted feel with little to no body roll around sharp corners, acceleration is quick and spritely, braking is accurate, shifting is smooth, and road noise is minimal.

I highly recommend choosing the R-Spec, because it has a turbocharged 1.6-liter turbo GDI, 4-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb-feet of torque, which makes driving the Veloster an enjoyable and fun experience. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a 6-speed automatic transmission is optional.

The Hyundai Veloster is like a breath of fresh air with its unique design and is very different from any other sporty vehicle I have ever seen. It has an impeccable style, great fuel economy, advanced technology, and excellent performance at an affordable. There is no other vehicle like the Veloster and with an MSRP of less than $21,000 and a solid 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, it is definitely worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2014 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

 

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC 4 Door SUV (Review)

 

  

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT SUV is a stylish, sleek, and sporty compact crossover vehicle that seats up to seven people and is one of the best automobiles Mitsubishi has to offer.   

After undergoing a full overhaul during the 2014 model year, the 2015 Outlander is now better than ever before with smoother on the road performance, improved styling, cabin sound insulation, enhanced technology, a leather wrapped steering wheel, new grille design, and increased fuel efficiency. The SUV retains its 3 rows of seating; however, the third row is best for children. 

The Outlander offers outstanding value in its segment and comes in three trims- ES (base), SE, and the GT. The lower trim models come equipped with standard front-wheel drive, while the SE and GT come fitted with all-wheel-drive.  Both the ES and SE trims come matched with a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine producing 166-horsepower, while the GT comes fitted with a more powerful 6-speed, 3.0 liter V6 engine producing 224-horsepower. 

Standard features for the Outlander GT include- cruise control, 18-inch two tone alloy wheels, leatherette and fabric upholstery, Bluetooth, electric power steering, reclining second-row seats, leather wrapped tilt and telescopic steering wheel, gloss black instrument panel, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, 4-way adjustable driver’s seat, color multi-information display, heated front seats, auto dual climate control, 50/50 3rd row flat fold down seats, drive mode selector, dual visor vanity mirrors with illumination, and a rear-view camera. 

The optional GT Touring Package offers a host of additional features, such as a 7” high definition touch screen navigation system that displays real time traffic, Mapcare, and 3d mapping, lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, power glass sunroof with tilt and slide functionality, silver roof rails, power remote tailgate, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate Premium Sound System with 9 speakers and a 10IN Subwoofer, power driver’s seat with seatback pocket, and leather seating surfaces for an additional $6,100. 

My test Outlander GT SUV had a starting MSRP of $28,195, but the included GT Touring Package, brought the total MSRP to $35,145, which seems a bit high, however, I highly recommend opting for the additional features, because the driving experience is much better with the added package and Mitsubishi has one of the best warranties available, an impressive 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty with unlimited roadside assistance for 5 years.

Standard safety features for the GT include- traction and stability control, 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), driver’s-side knee airbag, 3-row head airbags, side-mounted airbags, a standard remote anti-theft alarm system, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights, high intensity (HID) headlights. Adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning are optional. 

The interior of the Outlander GT is very nice and spacious, however, the seats are not as comfortable as they should be for an SUV in its price range, acceleration feels a little slow, and at higher speeds engine makes a little more noise than expected.  If the seating were more comfortable and supportive, the Outlander GT would be great for longer road trips. Cargo space is ample with an estimated 63.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down and the Outlander GT has a solid and planted feel on the road when navigating tighter corners and when travelling on curvy roadways. 

In the midst of other compact SUV’s available, such as the Rav4, Pathfinder, and Rogue, the Outlander GT shines with its unique stylish exterior and advanced technology. The vehicle is one of the lesser known SUV’s on the market with a great warranty, a lot of style, and is definitely worth taking a look at. 

To find out more about the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT, please visit- www.mitsubishicars.com


  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  



2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX Sedan (Review)

  

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid is a luxurious 5-seat, midsize sedan with an upscale feel to it and smooth on the road performance that is reminiscent of higher priced luxury vehicles in its segment.  The Optima Hybrid comes in two trims- LX and EX and was completely redesigned in 2013 and now the new model is better than ever with changes that can be seen, felt, and help to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics and fuel economy with the LX yielding 36 MPG in the city/38 MPG on the highway and the EX yielding 35 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway. 

The Optima Hybrid EX comes equipped with a stout 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder hybrid engine that produces 199 horsepower and 235 lb-feet of torque. The engine is powerful, yet amazingly quiet. Acceleration is quick and getting up to highway speeds is easy, almost effortless.  The interior cabin is quiet as well with little to no road noise. The Optima Hybrid is one of the only Kia vehicles I have tested besides the Cadenza that possesses these qualities. 

Standard features include- a 6-speed automatic transmission, 4.3-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, push-button start, a cooled glove box, and dual-zone automatic temperature control. My test vehicle came equipped with heated rear seats, leather seat trim, power-adjustable, an Infinity Sound System, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, Kia’s voice-activated UVO infotainment system, blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, HD radio, gloss black interior trim, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display power windows and door locks, SiriusXM Radio, and a panoramic sunroof.

Both trims come with standard safety features, such as- dual front advanced airbags, front seat mounted aside airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti-lock braking system, vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control, hill start assist control, and 3-point seat belts. 

I tested the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX Sedan and I was very impressed with the luxurious and spacious interior, uniquely styled front grille, smooth on the road performance, and comfortable seating in both the front and rear cabin that feels a lot like an Audi A6 or Lexus ES 350. During the testing period, my sister and a family friend rode in the back seat and they loved the design, spaciousness, and appearance of the vehicle. My sister, who is about 5’9 with long legs, remarked how roomy the rear cabin was and was amazed by how much legroom the Optima Hybrid EX offered. 

The 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX is the best midsize hybrid sedan I have ever driven with a sleek design, luxurious interior, advanced technology, and top notch performance for less than $35,000. 

If you have been looking for a stylish hybrid vehicle that is both spacious and fuel-efficient, then I highly recommend checking out the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid EX. 

 

To find out more about the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid, please visit- www.kia.com

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2013 Toyota RAV4 LE FWD SUV (Review)

 

 

 

By Philippa Lane

 

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 is a 5-passenger crossover SUV with a new, sleek, and refined stylish exterior and interior design, better fuel efficiency, more cargo space, and advanced technology that is a cut above previous RAV4 models.

The restyled 2013 Toyota RAV4 comes in three trims- LE, XLE, and Limited with front (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). All 2013 RAV4 models come fitted with a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower and 172 lb. feet of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features for the RAV4 LE include- power exterior mirrors, air conditioning, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, auto-off headlights, 17-inch steel wheels, power 6-way adjustable front seats, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 60/40-split folding/reclining rear seat, and a 6.1 inch display screen with a back-up camera. The Limited model adds a heated 6-way front passenger seat and a heated 8-way power memory driver’s seat.

The XLE trim adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch aluminum wheels, roof rails, a power sunroof, upgraded French-stitching accents, fog lights, body-color heated exterior mirrors with embedded turn signal indicators, sport-bolstered front seats, height-adjustable driver seat, and a cargo cover. A navigation system, Entune smartphone and multimedia service, and Satellite Radio are all optional.

The top of the line Limited trim comes fitted with the aforementioned features and 18-inch aluminum wheels, heated front seats, automatic projector-beam headlights, 8-way power driver seat with memory, an adjustable power lift gate, SofTex leatherette seating, Smart Key passive entry with push-button ignition, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

All trim levels come with Toyota Care complementary maintenance for 36 months/36,000 miles and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Some major changes are evident with the 2013 RAV4, such as an additional 2 ft. of cargo space, the second row seats fold down with a lever, and the “signature” exterior-mounted spare tire is now beneath the cargo floor. Also, the swing-out rear cargo door that was on previous models has been replaced with a traditional “swing-up” lift gate.

Interior features are very nice with soft-touch materials throughout the dashboard and console areas with easy to use controls and separate buttons to adjust the temperature and sound.  There is plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers and the rear seats split 60/40 and can be folded down, yielding 73.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is great for hauling boxes, luggage, and a variety of larger items.  

Standard safety features include a back-up camera, eight air bags, traction control, stability control, 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, and Smart Stop technology that is designed to make it impossible for the crossover SUV to accelerate if the brake pedal is pressed. A blind Spot Monitoring System is optional. 

I really like the RAV4’s new exterior design, which curves up from the windshield to increase headroom in the front cabin with the rear sloping downward, giving the vehicle a sleek, polished, and softer appearance. The look and feel of the restyled RAV4 reminds me of certain luxury crossover vehicles, such as the Infiniti EX37 and the Lexus RX450h.

On the road, the RAV4 is a strong performer, accelerating quickly, and reaching highway speeds with little effort.  The crossover has three driving modes- Eco, Normal, and Sport. In Eco mode, the RAV4's powertrain works to maximize fuel efficiency and in Sport mode, the vehicle drives with greater speed with enhanced performance.

The 2013 RAV4 LE with FWD yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city/31 mpg on the highway, and has a starting MSRP of $23,300. Compared to many other crossover vehicles in its class, the RAV4 is a great value with an impressive style, beautiful and comfortable interior, and great on the road performance all for an affordable price.

 

To find out more about the 2013 RAV4, please visit- www.Toyota.com  

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2013 Toyota Camry LE 4-Door Sedan (Review)

 

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

One of the most popular mid-size sedans for many years, the Toyota Camry is now better than ever with a bold exterior style, spacious and better interior, smooth on the road performance, great handling, and excellent fuel economy.

The Camry’s exterior and interior was totally restyled in 2012 and the sedan now comes with an intuitive infotainment 6.1 inch touch-screen sound system and USB/Bluetooth, which is standard on all trim levels and a blind-spot-monitoring system is available on the XLE and SE trims.  The new style and features have helped make the Camry a popular choice among consumers seeking a sedan that is appealing, fun to drive, comfortable, and fuel efficient, with the 4-cylinder yielding an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

The 2013 Camry is available in four trims- L, LE, SE, and XLE. The L and LE trims come fitted with a 2.5 liter, 4 cylinder engine producing 178 horsepower and 170 lb. ft. of torque, while the SE and XLE trims come fitted with a 3.5 liter, V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb. ft. of torque. A 6 speed automatic transmission is standard on all four trims.

I really like how the LE performs on the road.  The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is quite powerful, acceleration is quick, and handling is superb. Road noise is minimal with the Camry delivering a smooth, quiet ride, and feels confident navigating around tight corners. 

Standard features include- cloth seats, air conditioning with air filter, 16-inch steel wheels, a 6-speaker touch-screen stereo with iPod/USB, cruise control, center armrest w/cup holders, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows, and 60/40 split fold down seats. The LE adds Bluetooth controls, keyless entry, automatic headlights, variable intermittent wipers, and steering-wheel-mounted sound controls.  The SE adds a navigation system, 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, Entune smartphone-app integration, sport-tuned suspension/steering, and sporty seats. The top-of-the-line XLE adds dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, wood interior trim, power front seats, and an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, which are optional on LE and SE trims.

The interior is quite impressive with textured materials on attractive dashboard and console areas. The main gauges/controls are easy to use with big knobs and buttons that are distinctly labeled for utmost legibility.  Both the front and rear cabin is spacious with ample head and legroom for taller passengers.  Cargo space measures approximately 15.4 cubic feet and accommodates boxes, luggage, and a variety of larger items.

Standard safety features include- stability control, anti-lock brakes, 10 airbags (side, front, knee, and side-curtain), tire-pressure monitoring system, and whiplash injury lessening front seats. A blind-spot monitoring system is available on the SE and XLE trims.

If you have been looking for a high quality mid-size sedan that looks beautiful inside and out with an exquisite and comfortable interior, solid on the road performance, and advanced technology, excellent fuel economy, and is affordable with a starting MSRP of only $22,680, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2013 Toyota Camry LE Sedan.  

To find out more about the Toyota Camry, please visit- www.toyota.com

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

2014 Audi A6 TDI Quattro Tiptronic Sedan (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

With gas prices steadily rising, fuel efficient hybrid and diesel vehicles have become a popular choice among consumers looking for a practical solution that can save money and time, yet still provide the comfort, style, advanced technology, and great on the road performance of a high quality gas powered vehicle. 

The 2014 Audi A6 TDI is a midsize luxury performance sedan with an incredible style, plush interior, sleek exterior details, and a powerful 3.0 liter turbocharged clean diesel engine, making it a serious competitor in the fuel efficient hybrid/diesel segment. The A6 is available in three trim levels- Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige and can be equipped with a choice of three different engines, such as a turbocharged 4-cylinder (2.0T), turbo-diesel 6-cylinder (3.0 TDI), or a supercharged 6-cylinder (3.0T). All-wheel-drive Quattro is standard for the 3.0 TDI and 3.0T trims and optional for the 2.0T.  

The A6 TDI Quattro comes fitted with a quiet and powerful clean diesel V-6 engine paired with an 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, producing 240 horsepower, 428 lb. ft. of torque, reaching 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, and yields an impressive 24 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. 

Standard features for the A6 TDI Quattro Tiptronic include leather upholstery, 18-inch 5-V-spoke design wheels, 8-way power heated front seats, power sunroof, three-zone automatic climate control, garage door opener, split-folding rear seat, 7” color driver information system, an Audi Music Interface, internal memory for digital media storage, Sirius Satellite Radio, touchpad control, MMI navigation plus system, Bluetooth connectivity, passive entry/start, HD radio, real-time traffic information, Audi Connect with internet access and smart phone integration, and Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lamps. 

Safety features on the 3.0 TDI include- anti-theft vehicle alarm system, 8 air bags, electronic stability and traction control systems, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, front/rear parking sensors, a pre-sense collision mitigation system, lower tethers and anchors for children, active anti-whiplash front head restraints, and a rearview camera. Additional safety features are optional and include- Audi Side Assist blind spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, Audi Active Lane Assist, LED headlights and Night Vision Assistant, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality, and Head Up Display. 

 

The Prestige package ($2,800) includes LED ambient lighting, S line exterior, four zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming power folding power folding heated mirrors, a Bose audio system, adaptive light and cornering light, Audi side assist, and front seat ventilation, cooled front seats, and a power adjustable steering wheel. The Sport Package ($1,500) adds 19” 5-double spoke wheels with all-season tires, a sport tuned suspension, and a multifunctional steering wheel with paddle shifters. 20-inch 10-V-spoke design wheels can be added for an additional $800.

The interior is luxurious, spacious, and highly appointed with fine grain natural inlays, intricately placed controls, power glass sunroof, a 4-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel, comfortable leather seats, and a retractable touch screen with navigation.  There is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers in the rear cabin with ample cargo space for hauling groceries, boxes, luggage, and other miscellaneous items. 

 

On the road, the A6 is a strong performer with 428 lb. ft. of torque and is quite enjoyable to drive. It has a solid build, handling is excellent, and the 3.0-liter turbocharged engine delivers a smooth ride, even on rougher terrain. Acceleration is quick, braking is accurate, and the vehicle has a sporty, yet elegant style with a prominent signature grille that blends well with entire exterior design to give the A6 TDI look great from any angle.  

The 2014 Audi A6 TDI Quattro Tiptronic has a starting MSRP of $57,500, but with all of the added optional packages it is $66,795, which may seem a little pricey, however; compared to other luxury vehicles in its class; it is well worth the price and is one of the best luxury turbocharged diesel vehicles available today. 

To find out more about the Audi A6 TDI Quattro Tiptronic Sedan, please visit- www.audiusa.com 

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2014 Kia Soul 5 Door Hatchback Wagon (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane 

There is no doubt about it; the Kia Soul is a popular choice this year among consumers desiring a roomy, fun to drive, and stylish vehicle that is truly like no other with a spacious and comfortable interior, technologically advanced features, with a fun and unique box-like design that is appealing to people of all ages. It is the perfect combination of a crossover SUV, hatchback, and wagon all in one stylish and affordable package.  

The Soul is one of Kia's most popular vehicles and it is easy to see why with its unique style, spunky on-the-road performance, advanced technology, and great fuel economy. With a similar exterior “boxy” design to the Scion xB and Nissan Cube, the Kia Soul offers more room than a traditional sedan and better maneuverability than a large SUV. It stands out from its competition by delivering a certain youthful flair with an optional Infinity sound system with illuminated trim rings around the door’s speakers that change colors to the beat of the music that is being played.  

The 2014 model has been redesigned and is now better than ever with changes that are subtle, not major, yet much appreciated. It is available in three trim levels: base, + and ! (Better known as Plus and Exclaim) The FWD 2014 Kia Soul (base) comes fitted with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower, 118 lb. ft. of torque, a 6-speed manual transmission, and standard features, such as- a tilt/telescopic steering wheel,15-inch steel wheels, dark tinted rear privacy glass, dome light, black cloth seats, illuminated glove box, CD, MP3, Sirius XM Satellite Sound System with 4 speakers, USB port, Bluetooth, auxiliary audio input jack, cruise control, power windows/door locks, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, trip computer, dual front cup holders, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, remote keyless entry, and air conditioning. A 6-speed automatic transmission is optional. The base model (manual or automatic) yields an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. 

The Soul + trim comes fitted with a more powerful 2.0-liter, 4 cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission, 164 horsepower, and 151 lb-ft of torque. Additional features include- 17 inch alloy wheels, more storage compartments, keyless entry, tweeter speakers, heated power exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, cruise control, front seat center console with storage, better interior fabric upholstery, fold down rear seat armrest, and a center armrest. This trim level only comes with an automatic transmission and yields an estimated 23 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.  The ECO Package increases the fuel economy and is a beneficial package that I recommend, because it provides an Idle Stop & Go system that shuts the engine off when the vehicle is not in motion, such as at a stop sign or in slow moving stop and go traffic in order to preserve fuel.  Overall, the fuel economy of the Soul is better than similar vehicles, such as the Nissan Cube. 

  

After upgrading to the Soul + trim level, three additional packages are available and can be added to the Soul +, such as the UVO eServices package, which includes auto-off headlights. The Audio package offers colorful front speaker lights that pulse with the beat of the music as well as a premium Infinity sound system with HD Radio. A Primo package adds the aforementioned features plus leather seats, heated rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, a 10-way power driver's seat, panoramic sunroof, Smart Key passive entry with push-button start, LED interior lights, and fog lights.  

The Soul ! (Exclaim) trim level comes fitted with top of the line features and adds big 18-inch aluminum wheels, LED running lights, projection-beam automatic headlights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, 2-tone black/sand colored interior, body exterior trim, fog lights, power folding exterior mirrors, floor mats, a color touch screen infotainment system, Infinity sound system, rear view camera, and a power sunroof. 

The Soul ! trim with the Premium Package has a beautiful interior with stylish two-tone sand/black colored seats and adds a UVO color touch screen infotainment system, plush leather upholstered seats, a navigation system, automatic climate control, universal garage door opener, interior lighting kit, Smart Key passive entry system with push-button ignition, compass, and a rear spoiler. There are a lot of hard plastic elements, but the luxurious interior lighting kit balances everything out. The high quality textured materials and technologically advanced features make the vehicle look and feel more upscale than it really is. 

Standard safety features include six airbags, antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, stability control, traction control, hill-start assist side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints.  

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Soul its highest possible rating of "Good" in its side-impact, roof strength, and moderate-overlap frontal-offset tests. In government crash tests, the Soul was given a top 5 star rating overall, with 5 stars for total frontal impact safety and total side-impact crash safety. Also, the seat/head restraint was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts. 

The Kia Soul has a unique style that is not easy to define, because it looks like a cross between a station wagon, SUV, and a hatchback, but its distinctive box shape makes for a very spacious and roomy interior with plenty of head/legroom for taller occupants in the front and rear cabin seating areas.  The vehicle looks and feels bigger than a sedan, but it is much easier to maneuver in tighter spaces and looks more upscale than any other “box” shaped cars that I have seen and tested. The floating roof design and vertical backlights also add to the vehicle’s appeal.  The Soul’s front grille is not too aggressive and adds a lot of character to the exterior design. 

 

Interior features are quite impressive with advanced technology and easy to reach/operate gauges and controls. There is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers in the front and rear cabin, which makes the Soul a great choice for longer commutes. When the both of the rear seats are folded down, there is approximately 61 cubic feet of cargo space, which is greater than the Nissan Cube. 

On the road, the Soul performs great. Even though the Soul does not feel sporty, the vehicle handles a variety of road conditions very well with a solid on the road feel, accurate braking, and precise steering.

It is easy to get in and out of the Soul and it is a great commuter vehicle, suitable for daily commutes and handles extremely well in heavy traffic.  In fact, the Soul accelerates quickly for its class and is quite spry on the road, which is ideal for driving through heavily populated cities, such as in Los Angeles.  This is where the Kia Soul really shines with its ability to zip through traffic and handle stop and go situations with ease.  On rougher surfaces, however, the vehicle’s suspension offers a bumpier ride. 

The 2014 Kia Soul is a great commuter car with a fun style, solid on the road performance, advanced technology, and is affordable with a starting MSRP of only $14,900. Really, what is there not to love about the Soul?  

 

To find out more about the 2014 Kia Soul Hatchback, please visit- www.kia.com

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 


 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 


2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The new 2014 Hyundai Elantra is better than ever before. Ranked one of the most affordable sedans in America, the Elantra is quickly gaining in popularity among consumers desiring a sleek fuel efficient sedan that not only looks good, but is also affordable with a starting MSRP of only $18,010. 

Hyundai has made a lot of improvements, changes, and some updates to the 2014 Elantra, which include fine-tuned exterior styling, a new Sport trim with a 2.0 liter engine, driver-select steering modes optional LED headlights and taillights, 4.3-inch touch screen display (For Sport and Limited trims), optional technology features such as Pandora Internet Radio, a slightly made over dashboard layout, new navigation software, and an easy to use automatic shift lever. 

The 2014 Hyundai Elantra Sedan comes in three trim levels- SE, Limited, and Sport, however, the Elantra Coupe is available in one trim.  

SE and Limited trims are equipped with a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower, 131 lb. ft. of torque, and are fitted with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The manual delivers an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway while the automatic achieves an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 on the mpg highway. The Sport and the coupes are fitted with a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produce 173 horsepower and 154 lb. ft. of torque. Fuel efficiency for the more powerful 2.0 liter engine decreases to an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway (automatic) and 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway (manual). 

The standard (base) SE trim is fitted with15 inch alloy wheels, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, air conditioning, driver-selectable steering effort, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, full power accessories, a 6-speaker sound system with USB/iPod connectivity, a trip computer, and has a starting MSRP of $18,010. 

The Limited trim sedan, which is the vehicle I tested, has a starting MSRP of $22,460 and comes equipped with 17 inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights w/ LED accents, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, leather upholstery, fog lights, a sliding center armrest leatherette door trim, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, a power driver seat with power lumbar, LED taillights, heated front and rear seats, a 4.3 inch touch screen display with rearview camera, and Bluetooth with audio streaming.  

The Limited with Technology package adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-in touch screen display with a complete navigation system, Pandora Radio, a 360-watt audio system, and keyless entry/ignition. 

The Sport trim has a lot of the same features of the Limited trim, but comes equipped with a more powerful 2.0 liter engine, a sunroof, stylish 17 inch wheels and exterior trim, sporty suspension, aluminum pedals, sport-tuned steering, and has a MSRP of $23,510. The coupe has a stronger engine like the Sport trim and a technology package which is similar to the limited can be added. 

Standard safety features include stability control and high quality 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, and six airbags (front, front-side, full-length side curtain). In government crash testing, the 2014 Elantra sedan scored 5 stars out of 5 overall with 5 stars in side impacts and 4 stars in frontal impacts. Also, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Elantra its highest rating of “Good” in all categories, except the new small overlap front test category, in which the vehicle received the second highest rating of “Acceptable”. 

Interior features are very nice for its class with easy to use gauges, a vivid LCD trip computer, an intuitive and responsive 4.3-inch touch screen (upper trim models), however, there is limited head/legroom, especially in the rear cabin for taller passengers and because of the sportier swooping roofline, entering and exiting the vehicle requires some extra effort. Cargo/Trunk space is good with 14.8 cubic feet of space to haul a variety of bags, boxes, and other items with ease, road noise is minimal, and the Elantra provides a smooth and comfortable ride, navigating curvy roads and tight corners extremely well with a solid and planted feel on the road even though the vehicle weighs less than most sedans in its segment. 

The 2014 Hyundai Elantra offers a great value.  It is stylish, fuel efficient, versatile, and affordable with solid on the road performance that is on par with many of its higher priced competitors. 

To find out more information about the 2014 Hyundai Elantra, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 


2015 Kia Sorento SX AWD (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2015 Kia Sorento is like a rare jewel in the crossover SUV segment. It comes with a powerful V6 engine and enough interior space to transport large families and cargo easily and comfortably. 

Since 2013, the Sorento has undergone some major changes that have made the new 2015 model one of the best compact crossover vehicles in its class. Beginning in 2014, Kia made extensive and much needed improvements to the Sorento, such as equipping the vehicle with a stronger chassis and finer tuned suspension, a standard 2.4 liter engine, new technological features, an enhanced navigation system, soft touch upholstery, blind-spot warning, a more spacious rear cabin, electric power steering, a six-speed transmission, Kia’s innovative UVO system, and options like a power lift gate, sunroof, and ventilated seats. 

I recently tested the new 2015 Kia Sorento SX with AWD, a 3.3-liter V6 engine, and a starting MSRP of $38,300 and I am very impressed with its updated design, better driving performance, and enhanced technology.  One thing that makes the Sorento stand out is its spacious and comfortable interior, which surprisingly looks and feels a lot like an Audi Q5. The front and rear cabin have plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers. In fact, the interior is roomier than a Buick Enclave and Lexus RX350 and the seats are ergonomic and supportive, which make the Sorento the perfect vehicle for long road trips. 

The Kia Sorento SX that I tested can seat 7 passengers and came in a beautiful and hard to find color- Dark Cherry with Gray leather seats (1st and 2nd rows).  The vehicle also came with a power liftgate, a panoramic roof with power sun shade, heated exterior mirrors, UVO Infotainment eServices, an adjustable power driver’s seat with lumbar support, tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and a big 8 inch touch screen with navigation system and a rear back-up camera.

The Sorento is available in four special trims- EX, LX, SX, and SX Limited. The Sorento's base LX model come fitted with a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, while the higher level 3.3 liter V6 engine that is available on the higher trim levels, produces an impressive 290 horsepower, 252 lb. ft. of torque, and offers quicker acceleration and sportier handling. Both the 2.4 and 3.3 liter engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with either standard front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (optional). 

The base LX model has a starting MSRP at $24,300 and comes fitted with front-wheel drive and 2 rows of upholstered cloth seats. Standard equipment includes- heated mirrors, fabric/leatherette seats, satellite radio, UVO voice system, trip computer, Bluetooth, air conditioning, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls, power windows/door locks, USB connectivity, traction control, and interior accent illumination. LED taillights, alloy wheels, and body-color side mirrors give the base model an upscale appearance that is just as beautiful as the SX trim.

Safety features include stability-control, ignition disable, anti-lock brakes, overhead curtain airbags, and anti-whiplash head restraints.  A rearview camera, heated front seats, and a navigation system are all optional features. 

The Sorento SX with all-wheel-drive (AWD) has a starting MSRP of $38,500 and comes equipped with a powerful V6 engine, heated and cooled front Nappa leather seats, three rows of seating, keyless entry and touch-start, blind-spot monitoring, back up camera, a panoramic moonroof, 8-inch touch-screen display with complete UVO eServices, a navigation system, power liftgate, and a10-speaker Infinity Sound System. Heated rear seats, softer leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel are optional. 

The SX Limited trim adds some extra features that make the driving experience much more enjoyable, such as 19-inch chrome wheels, pillar accents, Xenon HID Headlights, a soft-touch head liner, deluxe Nappa leather trimmed seats, a heated steering wheel with wood-trim, heated rear seats, and stylish exterior SX-L badges. If your hands tend to feel cold and clammy or if you live in a frigid climate, then a heated steering wheel will definitely come in handy. 

Both The Sorento SX and SX Limited AWD come fitted with heated front seats, leather seating for the first two rows, heated wood-trimmed steering wheel, a power front passenger seat, an air-cooled memory driver's seat, instrument cluster with stitched dash visor, rearview camera, Infinity Audio System, voice-command navigation with Sirius XM Traffic, power-folding side mirrors, stainless steel pedals, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and stainless steel sill plates with illuminated scuff trim. The SX also has an upgraded exterior with chrome roof rails, LED taillights, body-color bumpers with stainless steel accents, panoramic sunroof, and mirror-finish alloy wheels. The Kia Sorento SX also delivers great fuel economy for its size of 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. 

The Sorento can accommodate five to seven passengers comfortably, which makes it a great family vehicle and has a host of technologically advanced features, such as a voice-command system. The Sorento maneuvers sharp corners and curvy roads with ease due to it being smaller than a large SUV and the rear back-up camera on the SX model, improves visibility when backing up, especially at night. 

The 2015 Kia Sorento is larger than most compact crossover vehicles in its class and features a roomy interior with a lot of cargo space, advanced technology, and provides a smooth and comfortable ride with a V6 engine, which is hard to find in the crossover segment. The Kia Sorento provides a smooth ride, handles extremely well on a variety of terrains with minimal road noise, comes with a host of features, includes a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and has a MSRP of just $24,100 for the base LX model. 

If you have been looking for a mid-size SUV that is fun to drive, spacious, versatile, stylish, and inexpensive with upscale interior, advanced technology, and excellent fuel economy with solid on the road performance that is on par with many of its higher priced competitors, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2014 Kia Sorento.  

 

To find out more information about the 2015 Kia Sorento, please visit- www.kia.com  

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

 

 By Philippa Lane

 

 

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 5 passenger midsize crossover vehicle with a stylish exterior, roomy interior, advanced technological features, solid on the road performance, and the maneuverability of a sedan. After experiencing some necessary upgrades and restyling, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is now better than ever before with a full powered engine, new technology, and a refined exterior that has made it a great choice for consumers looking for a vehicle that embodies both style and enhanced performance all in one complete package. 

The new Santa Fe Sport weighs about 250 lbs. less than the 2012 model and has an upgraded interior cabin that is quite impressive with plush, upscale interior features that look similar to higher priced luxury brands. The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is available in base and 2.0 Turbo trims and comes equipped with either front wheel drive (FWD) or optional all wheel drive (AWD) and is powered by a 190 horsepower, 2.4-liter, 4 cylinder or a 264 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine. All trim levels utilize a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy is very good on the base trim, with the front-wheel drive yielding an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 264 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque. The 2.0T Sport yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for the front-wheel drive and 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with the all-wheel drive.  Compared with similar vehicles, such as the Toyota RAV4, the Santa Fe Sport is not the most fuel efficient, however; what the crossover lacks in fuel efficiency, it makes up for in style, affordability, and excellent on the road performance that is the best in its class. 

Standard features include- air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, anti-theft protection, AM/FM Radio and CD player with six speakers, satellite radio, cargo area light, four 12V power outlets, trip computer, floor console with covered storage, overhead console, cruise control, front cup holders, voice activating phone system, outside air temperature indicator, driver bucket front seat manual height and manual lumbar, height adjustable driver and passenger front seats, remote power locks, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, steering wheel mounted audio controls, illuminated vanity mirrors, remote control trunk release, rear spoiler, tilt telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, tachometer, USB/iPod ports, ventilation system with micro filter, tinted rear windows, full power accessories, Blue Link Telematics, and 40/20/40 folding rear seats. 

The Sport 2.0T comes with all of the aforementioned features, but has a more powerful turbocharged engine and 18 inch wheels. A technology package adds xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, larger wheels- 19 inch on the 2.0T and 18 inch on the base trim, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a navigation system with a big 8-inch touch screen, a 12 speaker Infinity surround audio system, driver memory settings, an upgraded sound system for the base trim, and heated rear seats. 

Safety features include seven airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, side curtain airbags that cover both rows, front seat side airbags, front seat active head restraints, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, hill start assist control, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management system, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, downhill brake control, electronic brake-force distribution, and BlueLink, which is Hyundai's emergency system, offering roadside assistance, remote door lock control and monitoring, and crash response. A blind spot system and rearview camera are both optional on the base model and come standard on the 2.0T.

The exterior of the Santa Fe Sport is dynamic, boasting an elegant front fascia. Stylish and intricately placed lines on the sides offer aerodynamic fluidity, LED tail lights, chrome accents on the door handles and grille, and Xenon headlights give the vehicle an upscale appearance.  The rear end of the Santa Fe Sport sweeps upward, which makes the exterior stand out with a refined look, however, the unique design makes rear visibility a little difficult. 

The interior is beautiful with high quality soft touch plastics and smooth vinyl materials adorning most surfaces. The front and rear cabin is very spacious with plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers. Seats are plush, adjustable, and supportive with an ergonomic design that makes long road trips a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rear seats can be adjusted as well and offer a variety of recline angles. The controls are well placed and there is a lot of arm space without any “cramping” feel in the front cabin. In fact, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport’s interior feels more spacious than a Lexus RX450. I also like the large touch screen with navigation system that is located above the instrument cluster available in the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, because it is within arms reach and is easy to see at night. 

Cargo space is abundant with the Sport boasting 35.4 cu. ft. of space and when the second row seats are folded down, there is a 71.5 cu. ft. of space to haul a variety of larger sized items.

I tested the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T with AWD and I must say, it performs a lot better than the majority of crossover vehicles that I have previously driven.  It handles a variety of road conditions with ease, acceleration is quick, road noise is minimal, braking is responsive, and it navigates extremely well in stop and go traffic.  The Santa Fe Sport also has a tighter turning diameter than most vehicles in its segment, which makes navigating narrow roads and making u-turns easier and nearly effortless. The 2.0T delivers 264 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque, which makes the Santa Fe Sport feel zippy and nimble on the road even at slower speeds and feels more like a midsize sedan than an SUV on the highway.

The base 2.4-liter trim has a starting MSRP of $25,380, while the 2.0T has an MSRP of about $29,500. All-wheel drive can be added for an additional $1,750.  

The Santa Fe Sport is a competent, fun to drive, well rounded crossover SUV with a great style, advanced technology, comfortable and spacious interior, upscale exterior detailing, smooth on the road performance, and good fuel economy for its size, averaging an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. 

To find out more about the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com  



 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track (Review)

 


 

by Philippa Lane

 

The new Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track is definitely not your ordinary coupe; in fact it is one of the most desirable 2-door vehicles on the road today with a sleek style, aggressive exterior design, great handling, beautiful interior details, solid road performance, and a powerful 3.8-liter direct injection V-6 engine, which is all available for an affordable price. In fact, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track is one of the most inexpensive sports cars in the United States.

Standard features include- 19-inch wheels, Xenon HID automatic headlights with fog lights, a 360 watt Infinity 10 speaker sound system, tilt & telescopic steering wheel, 8-speed automatic transmission, Aero Wipers, rear spoiler, rear wheel drive powertrain, Hyundai Blue Link Telematics System, Brembo brakes, power tilt and slide sunroof, Bluetooth, iPod and USB connectivity, satellite radio, automatic temperature control, a track-tuned suspension, and a 7 inch touch screen navigation system.

Safety features include- front and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, active front head restraints, anti-lock brakes, and traction control.

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track not only looks great, but comes equipped with a supercharged V6 8-speed engine with 348 horsepower, 295 lb. ft. of torque, and yields 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. On the road the Genesis Coupe handles excellently with precision and ease, which is similar to more expensive European luxury vehicles. Interior features are quite impressive as well with comfortable seats, soft touch materials, and an intricately placed instrument cluster, however, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is not as spacious or as smooth on the road as some other sport coupes that I have tested.

Even though the Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track may not be as refined as some of its European competitors, it does offer a host of unique, luxurious, and sporty features that have put Hyundai on a whole new level, such as a distinctively wide grille that gives the front exterior of the vehicle a more masculine and aggressive appearance, while the analog gauges on the center console provide real-time fuel and torque stats. Interior space has a compact feel, but that is expected due to the coupe's sporty styling. Cargo space is minimal, measuring approximately 10 cubic feet, small, but yet still accommodating of basic every day essentials.

With a starting MSRP of only $33,875, the Genesis 3.8 Track Coupe offers so much and is definitely worth the price. It has an amazing style and in my opinion, is one of the best sports vehicles Hyundai has ever made.

To find out more about the Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Track, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 


 
 
2014 Kia Sorento Review

Spacious, Sporty, and Stylish!

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

If you have been looking for a mid-size SUV that is fun to drive, spacious, stylish, and inexpensive with upscale interior, advanced technology, and excellent fuel economy, then the 2014 Kia Sorento is a great choice and a much welcomed alternative to its pricier competitors.

For 2014, Kia has made extensive and much needed improvements to the Sorento, such as equipping the vehicle with a stronger chassis and finer tuned suspension, a standard 2.4 liter engine, new technological features, an enhanced navigation system, soft touch upholstery, blind-spot warning, a more spacious rear cabin, electric power steering, a six-speed transmission, Kia's innovative UVO system, and options like a power lift gate, sunroof, and ventilated seats.

The Sorento is available in four unique trims- EX, LX, SX, and SX Limited. The Sorento's base LX model come fitted with a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, while the higher level 3.3-liter V6 engine that is available on the higher trim levels, produces an impressive 290 hp, 252 lb-ft of torque, and offers quicker acceleration and sportier handling. Both the 2.4 liter and 3.3 liter engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with either standard front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (optional).

The base LX model has a starting MSRP at $24,100 and comes fitted with front-wheel drive and 2 rows of upholstered cloth seats. Standard equipment includes- heated mirrors, fabric/leatherette seats, satellite radio, UVO voice system, trip computer, Bluetooth, air conditioning, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls, power windows/door locks, USB connectivity, traction control, and interior accent illumination. LED taillights, alloy wheels, and body-color side mirrors give the base model a higher priced appearance that is just as beautiful as the SX trim.

Safety features include stability-control, ignition disable, anti-lock brakes, overhead curtain airbags, and anti-whiplash head restraints. A rearview camera, heated front seats, and a navigation system are all optional features.

The Sorento SX has a starting MSRP of $38,550 and comes equipped with a powerful V6 engine, all-wheel drive, heated and cooled front Nappa leather seats, three rows of seating, keyless entry and touch-start, blind-spot monitoring, back up camera, a panoramic moonroof, 8-inch touch-screen display with complete UVO eServices and a navigation system. A power liftgate, 10-speaker Infinity Sound System. Heated rear seats, softer leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel are optional.

The SX Limited trim adds some extra features that make the driving experience much more enjoyable, such as 19-inch chrome wheels, pillar accents, Xenon HID Headlights, a soft-touch head liner, deluxe Nappa leather trimmed seats, a heated steering wheel with wood-trim, heated rear seats, and stylish exterior SX-L badges. If you have cold, clammy hands or if you live in a cold climate, then a heated steering wheel will come in handy.

Both The Sorento SX and SX Limited AWD come fitted with heated front seats, leather seating for the first two rows, heated wood-trimmed steering wheel, a power front passenger seat, an air-cooled memory driver's seat, instrument cluster with stitched dash visor, rear view camera, voice-command navigation with Sirius XM Traffic, power-folding side mirrors, stainless steel pedals, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and stainless steel sill plates with illuminated scuff trim. The SX also has an upgraded exterior with chrome roof rails, LED taillights, body-color bumpers with stainless steel accents, panoramic sunroof, and mirror-finish alloy wheels. The Kia Sorento SX also delivers great fuel economy for its size of 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

The Sorento can accommodate five passengers comfortably, which makes it a great family vehicle and has a host of technologically advanced features, such as a voice-command system. The Sorento maneuvers sharp corners and curvy roads with ease due to it being smaller than larger SUV's and the rear back-up camera on the SX model, improves visibility when backing up, especially at night.

The interior of the Sorento is quiet and spacious with ample head and legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin seating areas. The seats are supportive, comfortable, providing enough cushioning for longer trips on the road, however, the vehicle does not always offer the smoothest ride, but handles extremely well on various terrains.

In the Sorento SX model, which has three rows, seating is comfortable and accommodates both children and adults without feeling cramped, but getting to the third row is somewhat difficult, because the second row does not have a sliding mechanism.

The Kia Sorento provides a great driving experience, handles extremely well on a variety of terrains with minimal road noise, comes with a host of features, includes a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and has a MSRP of just $24,100.

If you have been looking for a midsize SUV that is stylish, spacious, inexpensive, and versatile with solid on the road performance that is on par with many of its higher priced competitors, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2014 Kia Sorento.

To find out more information about the Kia Sorento, please go to- www.kia.com

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

 
 

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T Review

 

 

by Philippa Lane 

 

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a stylish crossover vehicle with enough room to accommodate five people and has the maneuverability of a mid-size sedan. After undergoing some necessary restyling and upgrades, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is now better than ever before with new technology, a turbocharged engine, and a refined exterior that has made it a great choice for consumers looking for a vehicle that embodies a host of features all in one complete package.

The new Santa Fe Sport weighs about 265 lbs. less than earlier models and has an upgraded interior cabin that is impressive and luxurious. The Santa Fe Sport comes fitted with either front wheel drive (FWD) or optional all wheel drive (AWD) and is powered by a 190 horsepower, 2.4-liter, 4 cylinder or a 264 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine and all trims utilize a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The base 2.4-liter trim has a starting MSRP of $25,275, while the 2.0T has an MSRP of about $29,450. All-wheel drive can be added for an additional $1,750.

Standard features include- climate control, anti-theft protection, AM/FM Radio and CD player with six speakers, cargo area light, four 12V power outlets, trip computer, floor console with covered storage, overhead console, cruise control, front cup holders, voice activating phone system, outside air temperature indicator, driver bucket front seat manual height and manual lumbar, height adjustable driver and passenger front seats, remote power locks, cloth upholstery, steering wheel mounted audio controls, illuminated vanity mirrors, remote control trunk release, tilt telescoping steering wheel, tachometer, ventilation system with micro filter, Blue Link Telematics, and 40/20/40 rear seats.

Safety features include seven airbags, a driver's knee airbag, side curtain airbags that cover both rows, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, hill start assist control, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management system, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, downhill brake control, and electronic brake-force distribution.

The exterior of the Santa Fe Sport is dynamic, boasting an elegant front fascia. Stylish and intricately placed lines on the sides offer an aerodynamic fluidity, LED tail lights, chrome accents on the door handles and grille, and Xenon headlights give the vehicle an upscale appearance. The rear end of the Santa Fe Sport sweeps upward, which makes the exterior stand out with a refined look, however, the unique design makes rear visibility a little difficult.

The interior is very nice with soft touch plastics and smooth vinyl materials adorning most surfaces. The front and rear cabin is spacious with plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers. Seats are plush and supportive with an ergonomic design that makes long road trips a comfortable experience. I also like the large touch screen with navigation system that is located above the instrument cluster available in the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, because it is within arms reach and is easy to see the display at night.

I tested the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T with AWD and I must say, it performs a lot better than the majority of crossover vehicles that I have previously driven. It handles a variety of road conditions with ease, acceleration is quick, braking is responsive, road noise is minimal, and it navigates extremely well in stop and go traffic. The Santa Fe Sport also has a tighter turning diameter than most vehicles in its segment, which makes navigating narrow roads and making u-turns easier and nearly effortless. The 2.0T delivers 264 horsepower and 269 lb. ft. of torque, which makes the Santa Fe Sport feel zippy and nimble on the road even at slower speeds and actually feels like a midsize sedan most of the time.

The Santa Fe Sport is a competent, well rounded crossover SUV with a great style, advanced technology, comfortable and spacious interior, upscale exterior, smooth on the road performance, and good fuel economy for its size, averaging an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway.

To find out more about the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com 

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR Review

Stylish, Fast, Fun to Drive, and Affordable!
 
 

 
 
by Philippa Lane 

 

Style, comfort, speed, and a fun on the road experience is what you can expect when you get behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, also known as the "EVO" is a powerful all-wheel-drive turbocharged, five-passenger vehicle that is a modified version of the Lancer. Equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, a four cylinder 291 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, and 300 ft torque, the Lancer Evolution GSR is built for the sports sedan enthusiast. It exhibits all of the features a high powered sports car should have- bold styling, excellent handling, sporty interior, and quick on the road performance.

The Lancer Evolution, or Evo, is available in two trims- GSR and MR. Both trim levels are fitted with a powerful 291 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, however, there are some differences between the models. The GSR has a 5-speed manual transmission and a large rear spoiler, while the MR has a 6-speed twin clutch Sportronic transmission, paddle shifters, and a more modest rear spoiler.

The performance features of the GSR include a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch aluminum wheels with performance tires, while the MR is further outfitted with Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks and exclusive forged aluminum wheels.

Standard features for the GSR include Recaro seats, Brembo brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, cruise control, sports fabric interior, a 6-speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with a 6.1 inch touch screen, SiriusXM Satellite radio with a free three-month trial, power windows, mirrors, and locks, remote keyless entry, fog lights, connectivity, voice recognition system, MP3 capability, auto-off reflector halogen headlights, USB port, rear diffuser with dual exhaust outlet, high-contrast instruments with silver bezels, shift knob, color LCD multi-information display, covered cup holders, and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. Bluetooth connectivity, a 710-watt 9-speaker Rockford-Fosgate audio system, and HID headlamps are optional.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR handles highways, curvy roads, and city streets with ease, accelerates quickly, drives fast, and has a firm feel on the road. Braking is superb, steering is sharp, and air conditioning, heating, and other controls are easy to access with superb functionality. The Rockford-Fosgate Sound System produces high quality audio that is crisp, clear, and enjoyable. Rear seating provides ample leg room for tall passengers, but the trunk area is somewhat small, yet still big enough to carry medium to large cargo items. The seats sit lower than a conventional sedan, giving the EVO a sporty-race car feel.

Standard features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability and traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, driver knee airbags, front, front side-impact, and an overhead curtain, front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters for additional protection. Rear seats integrate child safety seat tethers and anchors. Available all-wheel control enhances safety in slippery conditions. In 2012, the Lancer was awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick, with the best rating in high-speed frontal impact, rear impact, and high-speed side impact.

If you are squeamish and you don't want to feel any traction when you are driving or if you are looking for a luxury vehicle, this is not the car for you. It is perfectly normal to "feel the road" while driving the Lancer Evolution GSR and it has been designed to have a sporty feel verses a conventional one. The Lancer Evolution GSR is a high performance vehicle with 300 lbs. of torque and goes from zero to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. This legendary sedan was created from the world of rallying with a rally-bred drive train and high quality parts, such as Brembo Brakes, BBS Wheels, and Recaro Bucket Leather Seats.

The Lancer Evolution GSR is not your normal family vehicle or a luxury sedan. It is a beautiful, sporty, race car which is surprisingly suitable for both men and women who can appreciate its unique quality, design, strength, and high performance.

I was given the wonderful opportunity to drive the Lancer Evolution GSR for a week and when I first saw it, I thought, "Oh my, what a beautiful vehicle!" It definitely looks like a race car with its aggressive scooped seats, racer styled snout, oversized rear spoiler, and angular headlights. When I sat in the driver's seat of the EVO, I noticed the quality of the upholstery and how the contoured sides hugged my body, offering a secure feel. The interior of the car is luxuriously appointed and rich looking with black, shiny paneling across the front dashboard and chrome accents, which all give the vehicle a regal, classy, and elegant appearance, definitely not cheap.

The 2014 Lancer GSR delivers 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, so while it is fun to drive, it is not considered to be fuel-efficient, however, that is expected due to the vehicle's power and mechanical design.

The Lancer Evolution GSR has a starting MSRP of $34,495, which makes it one of the most inexpensive turbocharged sports vehicles on the road today and in my opinion, it is well worth the price.

So, if you are looking for a high performance car that is sporty, looks good, is fun to drive, luxuriously appointed, comfortable, stylish, and drives very fast, then the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR is a wonderful choice.

To find out more about the Lancer Evolution GSR, please visit- www.mitsubishicars.com

  

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec 

Luxury and High Performance for a Good Price!

 

 

  

by Philippa Lane 

 

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is a full-size, rear wheel drive 4-door sedan with incredible style, unique features, a lot of power, and is a great alternative to higher priced European luxury vehicles.

The Genesis 5.0 R-Spec comes equipped with Hyundai's specially made Tau 5.0 GDi engine and has all of the luxury that you would expect to find in a more expensive vehicle, but for a lower price than most of its competition and delivers smooth on the road performance, advanced technology, a comfortable cabin with plush seats, an excellent Lexicon Sound System, and a powerful V8 engine with 429 horsepower and 376 lb. ft. of torque, along with an excellent warranty.

Standard features on the 5.0 R-Spec include- leather upholstery, heated front seats, black interior, 19-inch premium alloy wheels with P235/45R19 tires, headlamps w/dark chrome inserts, heated mirrors, sunroof, automatic wipers, sport-tuned suspension, automatic headlights, fog lamps, leather dash and door trim, embroidered floor mats, a leather wrapped steering wheel driver seat memory functions, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED running lights, Hyundai's innovative Bluelink system, keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth, satellite radio, seven-speaker sound system with CD player, iPod/auxiliary input, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full power accessories, and the choice of three exterior colors.

Safety features include- traction and stability control, lane departure warning, automatic crash notification, active front head restraints, front and rear side airbags and side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, turn-by-turn navigation, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle assistance, geo-fencing, BlueLink, and remote door unlocking.

Since its introduction, the Genesis has won many awards worldwide and was named as Consumer Reports Top Rated Upscale Sedan and was the highest ranked midsize premium car by a JD Power study, beating the Jaguar XF and BMW 5. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Genesis the best possible score of "Good" in its side and roof as well as frontal-offset strength tests.

The interior is quite impressive and shows how much time, effort, and artistic detailing Hyundai put into the entire cabin of the R-Spec. It actually looks and feels more like an Audi A4 or Lexus GS than some of the other Hyundai models that I have seen and it not only has the looks, but the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec also has the smooth on the road performance, ergonomic seats, powerful drive train, and quick acceleration that you would expect from a luxury sedan. It truly offers an enjoyable, comfortable, and luxurious driving experience without the high price tag.

The fully loaded R-Spec with Convenience Package has advanced technology, features, amenities, and comforts that are perfect for long and short commutes. Controls are within arm's reach, the navigation system is easy to follow, and the Lexicon Sound System with multiple speakers produces impressive audio that is clear and stereophonic.

The Hyundai Genesis R-Spec's impeccable, smooth, and fast performance can be attributed to its powerful and stout 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 429 horsepower and 376 lb. feet of torque. In road tests, the Genesis R-Spec reached 60 mph in less than 5.4 seconds, which is quite impressive for a four door sedan and is a standard time for a V8 equipped sedan in its class. Fuel economy is good with the R-Spec yielding an estimated 16 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

There is no doubt that the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec has been uniquely designed to be a luxurious sports sedan with stylish 19-inch wheels, plush interior, advanced technology, fast performance, all-encompassing sound insulation, making driving the Genesis R-Spec a very pleasant, unique, and quiet experience.

The Hyundai Genesis R-Spec has a starting MSRP of $47,350 R-Spec and is one of the best and most luxurious sedans on the road today for under $50,000. It truly is a special high performance vehicle with so much to offer and I highly recommend taking a looking at one today.

To find out more about the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, please visit- www.Hyundai.com

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring (Review)

 

 

 

 by Philippa Lane

 

The 370Z is one of the sportiest vehicles Nissan has introduced and its reputation for being a powerful top performer on the road is well known. The vehicle is a great example of a stylish convertible two-seater sports car that has been around for many years, yet is still popular among car enthusiasts who are looking for a fast and fun to drive sports car that can compete with the majority of today’s top European rivals.   

 

The Nissan Roadster has a beautiful exterior, a folding fabric top which can be retracted with the push of a button in only 20 seconds, and the Touring model is available in eight exterior colors– Magnetic Black, Pearl White, Midnight Blue, Brilliant Silver, Magma Red, Gun Metallic, Black Cherry, and Solid Red.

 

For 2014, the 370Z comes equipped with a supercharged 3.7-liter V-6 engine with 332 horsepower, yields approximately 270 lb. ft. of torque, can go from 0-60 mph in less than 5.6 seconds, and offers good fuel economy for a sports vehicle, rated at an estimated 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. The vehicle can be fitted with either a 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters or a 6-speed manual transmission.

 

Nissan has worked very hard to make the 370Z as efficient as possible by adding a trunk lid, wind deflector to decrease wind disturbances when the top is down, an aluminum hood, and LED daytime running lights on the rear ends of the bumpers. Because the doors are made out of aluminum, they do feel a little flimsy, lacking a solid feel to them when being opened or closed.

 

The Roadster’s exterior is sleek and stylish with an aerodynamic design with sweeping rear windows, vertical silver door handles, bi-xenon headlights, big fender flares, and a uniquely shaped cloth top that easily folds down with no manual effort. 

 

The interior of the 2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster is impressive with available features such as, automatic climate control, height-adjustable driver's seat, a 4-speaker sound system, power windows and door locks with auto-lock capability, illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls, 12-volt power outlets, push button start, keyless entry, AM/FM/CD, trip computer, three cup holders, cruise control, CD player, Bose Sound System with 8-speakers and subwoofer, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, MP3/WMA playback, and HomeLink Connectivity. Cloth upholstery is standard; however, the Touring trim comes fitted with black, wine, or grey leather upholstery. To add to the sporty look and feel of the Roadster, there are triple dial instrument pods that are strategically located directly above the center console. Controls are easy to reach and there is enough room to seat two passengers comfortably. In back of the driver and passenger seats, there is an area behind each seat to place small objects and hide them from prying eyes. 

 

Due the vehicle’s sporty nature, there is not a lot of head/legroom in the front cabin for taller passengers, there are no backseats, and trunk space is limited, measuring only 4.2 cubic feet, so transporting bigger items in the 370Z is not possible. The seats are comfortable, supportive, and ergonomic with a firm, yet supple feel to them.

 

Standard safety features include- traction control system, brake assist, anti-lock braking system, driver and front passenger side impact and curtain air bags, seat belts with pretensions and load limiters, electronic brake force distribution, pressure monitoring, and a vehicle security system.

 

On the road, the 370Z Roadster is a strong performer with a planted feel, fast acceleration, accurate braking, great handling, and navigates tight corners and curvy roads with ease. The suspension is a little stiff, but the Roadster is quick with an effortless fluidity on the road that is unparalleled.

 

The 2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster has a starting MSRP of $41,470, but the Touring trim with Nissan’s Navigation System and Sport package raises the cost to $51,365, which is a little more than some of the Roadster’s competitors.

 

The new 2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster is a real head turner, especially in the solid red color and embodies everything one would expect a high quality sports car to have- power, excellent handling, stylish exterior design, comfortable and well appointed interior, advanced technology, and smooth on the road performance that truly exemplifies everything that the Roadster is.

 

To find out more about the Nissan 370Z Roadster, please visit- www.nissanusa.com  

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

 

 

2013 Nissan NV200 Commercial Cargo Van

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

 

The 2013 Nissan NV200 is a small front-wheel-drive cargo/work van and is perfect for business owners who do not want a huge full size van for daily essential business driving needs. The NV200 has a sleek design and versatile interior with a variety of customization options to choose from. Because of its smaller size, the NV200 is easier to maneuver than a large van, more fuel-efficient, and provides a lot of utility, while still remaining compact.

 

Nissan made the NV200 from the same platform as the Versa and Nissan Cube, so it is more car based versus van based, providing more versatility and better handling than a full sized van.

 

The NV200 comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 131 horsepower, so quick acceleration and a lot of power is not expected, especially when hauling heavy loads, however, the NV200 still drives exceptionally well under such conditions.

 

Available in two trims- S and SV. The SV trim adds a rear privacy glass, rear defroster, and a rearview mirror. Standard features of the Nissan NV200 include 15-inch steel wheels, a two speed Xtronic CVT transmission with overdrive, manual sliding rear side doors,4-wheel anti-lock brakes, 40/60 split rear cargo doors, power front windows, a two-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary input jack, and air conditioning. The SV includes all of the aforementioned features, but adds keyless entry, power door locks, and cargo area tie-down points. The technology package for the SV offers a navigation system, satellite radio, 5.8-inch touch screen display, a rearview camera, USB port, voice controls, hands-free text messaging assist, Pandora connectivity, and Bluetooth,. The Exterior Appearance package, which can be added to the SV trim offers some additional features, such as specialty mirrors, wheel covers, door handles, and body-color bumpers.

 

Standard safety features on the Nissan NV200 include- traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, and antilock brakes.

Nissan estimates fuel economy for the NV200 to be approximately 24 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway, making the compact cargo van more fuel efficient than the majority of its competitors.

 

The interior of the NV200 is quite spacious with a cargo capacity of 122.7 cubic feet and a maximum weight load of about 1,500 lbs, making the van able to handle a variety of hauling tasks and business activities. Integrated mounting points allow shelves and racks to be installed without any drilling into the van’s walls whatsoever and items can be secured using six cargo hooks (optional) with the mounting points.

 

The front cabin the NV200 is very comfortable with ergonomic, supportive driver and passenger seats and many storage areas. The driver’s seat has a six way adjustable function and the passenger seat can be folded down to increase space and also has a storage tray beneath it. When folded down, the seat can be used as a work station due to the built-in tray that can hold a laptop computer, documents, books, or be used as an eating area.  Also, the exterior of the NV200 with opaque side windows is perfect for a business owner who wants to put the name or company logo on the vehicle to promote or advertise their business. Nissan offers assistance and special services to help in doing this as well.

 

Also, if you have a storage unit with items that you want to get rid of, the NV200 is great for transporting things to various places to be given away or sold as well as transporting items to sell at flea markets. There are a variety of ways to use this cargo van and it can be used for so many purposes.

 

The Nissan NV200 is a great alternative to more expensive full sized vans. It is fuel efficient, comfortable, fun to drive, practical, and affordable with a starting MSRP of only $19,990.  I highly recommend the NV200 to businesses owners who are looking for an exceptional compact cargo van with a lot to offer for a low price.

 

To find out more about the Nissan NV200, please visit- www.nissanusa.com

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

2014 Chevrolet Volt Hybrid Sedan (Review) 

 

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane


As gas prices have continued to climb in recent years, more and more consumers are seeking fuel efficient alternatives that have a stylish exterior and interior, technologically advanced features with fuel efficiency that can be felt with fewer trips to the gas station. The new 2014 Chevrolet Volt embodies all of those characteristics and so much more. Chevrolet has introduced a hybrid sedan that saves gas, money, and time and provides one of the best hybrid driving experiences on the road today.

 

The Volt is a mid-size, 4-door hatchback that is quickly becoming one of the most popular hybrid vehicles in recent years. It is powered by an electric motor that delivers 149 horsepower and 273 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor receives power from a 16-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack until the charge is 70% used up, at this point the vehicle’s 1.4 liter, 4-cylinder gas engine kicks in and powers the electric motor. There are various driving modes, such as normal, sport, a mountain mode for rougher terrain conditions, and a hold mode, which turns of the all-electric propulsion mode until the best driving conditions are met, permitting the vehicle to achieve optimal efficiency.

 

Standard features include- keyless ignition/entry, heated mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, remote ignition, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, LED running lamps, cruise control, an auxiliary audio jack, automatic headlights, a height-adjustable driver seat, satellite radio, an iPod/USB interface, Bluetooth and phone connectivity, OnStar communication, 7-inch touch screen display, a 6-speaker audio system with CD player, and Chevrolet’s MyLink system, which offers Smartphone integration and voice controlled sound functions. The Premium Trim adds leather upholstery, a center armrest, heated front seats, and a removable rear seat.

 

Increased safety packages are also available for the Volt and include a variety of features such as a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, forward collision and lane departure warning functions, front parking sensors, and rear parking sensor. A 7-speaker Bose Audio System, heated front seats, and a navigation system with digital music storage and voice controls are optional.

 

Unlike an all-electric vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt is a hybrid, in which the Volt operates in electric mode for about 38 miles and then the 1.4-liter, 4 cylinder gas engine switches on to generate electricity to help prolong the Volt’s mpg by about 300 miles. Compared to many hybrid competitors, the Volt has a longer electric range. Many of the Volt's plug-in competitors can only operate in electric mode for  about 10-20 miles before switching over to hybrid mode, whereas the Volt can achieve in electric mode more than 35 miles. This makes the Volt the best choice for commuters who typically drive shorter distances to school, work, or in the city, eliminating the need to visit a gas station for a very long time with the Volt’s Hybrid System yielding an astounding 101 in the city and 93 on the highway.

  

It is necessary to plug the car into either a 120 or 240 volt outlet to recharge the battery. I recommend using a 240 outlet, because it decreases the charging time to 3-4 hours, whereas the 120 outlet takes about 10 hours to charge completely.

 

The interior of the Chevy Volt is stylish, modern, with a quiet cabin and comfortable seats. I like the layout of the dashboard, but the flat “touch” controls take some getting used to, cargo space is somewhat limited with no cover to hide items in the trunk, and the bottom of the vehicle seems to scrape the ground when entering or existing driveways.

 

On the road the Chevy Volt provides a smooth ride, navigating curves and tight corners extremely well without and roll feel, and handles rough road conditions with ease.

 

For 2014, the Volt has been discounted $5,000, making it one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles available with a starting MSRP of only $34,185 and is definitely worth taking a look at.

 

To find out more about the 2014 Chevrolet Volt, please visit- www.chevrolet.com

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid 4-Door Sedan

 

 by Philippa Lane

If you are seeking a top-of-the-line hybrid sedan that is unlike any other hybrid vehicle, than the all new 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid is the perfect choice with a stylish exterior,  quick acceleration, a powerful drivetrain, strong on the road performance, and excellent fuel economy averaging an astounding 42 mpg in city and 48 mpg on the highway. It is the perfect combination of fuel efficiency, style, comfort, and with a starting MSRP of only $25,195, it is no surprise that it is increasing in popularity with budget conscious consumers looking for a hybrid vehicle that is both economical and fuel efficient.

 

The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is available in four trim levels- Base (Standard), SE, SEL, SEL Premium, and comes equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that works in conjunction with a 20 kilowatt electric motor, producing 170 horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque.

 

The base Jetta Hybrid is fitted with cruise control, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat with a trunk pass-through, faux leather upholstery, auxiliary jack, Bluetooth Connectivity, CD player, and a six-speaker sound system.  The SE adds additional features, such as power-reclining front seats, LED taillights, iPod interface, satellite radio, VW's Car-Net Telematics, keyless entry/ignition, and a better audio system with a touch screen interface.  The SEL trim offers a rearview camera, navigation system, heated front seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, a 6-way power driver seat, and a sunroof. For more opulence, the top-of-the-line SEL Premium trim adds an 8-speaker Fender sound system, LED daytime running lights adaptive bi-xenon headlights, foglights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

 

In terms of safety, the 2014 Jetta Turbo Hybrid is one of the safest vehicles on the road today, earning five stars in government crash tests along with five stars for side-impact protection and four stars for front crash protection.

 

Standard safety features include- front side airbags, traction and stability control, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, anti-lock disc brakes. A rearview camera is included with the upper SEL and SEL trim levels. The new Volkswagen Car-Net Telematics System is not available on the base trim, but is standard on the SE, SEL, and SEL Premium includes- roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location, automatic crash notification, and geo-fencing, which is a great feature that helps parents set boundaries/limitations on teen drivers.

 

Interior features of the 2014 Jetta Turbo Hybrid are very nice with basic, clean lines, and a conservative control layout. Unlike some of its rivals, the Jetta Hybrid doesn’t have a lot of fancy design elements, such as ambient lighting integrated throughout the dashboard or a curvy, textured instrument panel, instead the interior has simple, easy to use gauges and a basic color scheme that is non-distracting and classy. The interior of the Jetta Hybrid is spacious with plenty of headroom and legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin, especially in the rear seating area, however, the front seats do not have much lumbar support and feel less comfortable and lack the same ergonomic feel that the Volkswagen Passat, Tiguan, and Beetle have.

 

On the road, the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is a strong performer with a turbocharged gas engine that is amazingly quiet and smooth. Braking is strong and accurate, acceleration is quick, and the 7-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. The vehicle has a planted feel on the road and handles sharp corners with ease. 

 

After driving in this vehicle to many places for an entire week, the gas gauge did not move and at the end of seven days of driving, it was still showing that I had a full tank of gas. I estimate that the Jetta Hybrid that I tested achieved more than 42 mpg in the city, making the sedan just as fuel efficient as the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

 

The Jetta Turbo Hybrid is a great alternative to the Jetta TDI, for those who desire fuel economy, but don’t want a diesel engine. The Jetta Hybrid is the perfect combination of style, fuel efficiency, and high performance.  With a starting MSRP of only $25,195, it is a great choice for today’s budget conscious consumer looking for a high quality hybrid vehicle at an affordable price.

 

If you have been looking for a fun, fuel efficient, affordable, finely tuned, stylish, solid performer on the road, with excellent handling, then I highly recommend that you take a look at the Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid.

 

To find out more about the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid Sedan, please visit- www.VW.com 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line (Review)

by Philippa Lane

 

The Tiguan R-Line is a compact crossover and one of the most exciting vehicles Volkswagen has presented this year with new design features, enhanced exterior details, a sportier look, and impressive on the road performance.

Unlike the standard Tiguan trim, the R-Line adds aggressive and sporty styling features, such as Mallory 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, better driving dynamics, body-colored side-skirts exhibiting chrome trim, HID headlamps, LED plate lighting, wheel arch extensions, R-Line badge on the front grille, a roof spoiler, power folding side mirrors, and Bi-Xenon lights with LED daytime operating lights.

The Tiguan R-Line comes equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged TSI engine, 200 horsepower, and 207 lb. ft of torque. The R-Line is available with either front-wheel-drive or 4Motion all-wheel-drive configuration and features a six-speed automatic transmission and has a hauling capacity of 2200 pounds.

On the road, the Tiguan R-Line is a strong performer and fuel efficient for its class, yielding an estimated 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. For a compact crossover vehicle these are good numbers, however, the Volkswagen Golf TDI offers much better fuel economy with a diesel engine that has similar fuel efficiency of a Prius and is great for long road trips.

Interior features of the R-Line are quite impressive and include power-front leather seats, “metallic-finish” dash and door trim, a flat-bottomed R-Line leather wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters; stainless-steel pedals, R-Line scuff plates, a black headliner, soft touch controls, two-tone instrument panel, and a large, panoramic sunroof.

The front and rear cabin of the Tiguan R-Line are spacious with plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers and the panoramic sunroof helps make the interior feel even more spacious than it already is with a brighter, open, and “airy” feel that is like no other.  The entire dashboard and console area is stylish and classy with decipherable and easy to reach controls and the interior lighting is visually appealing and makes the Tiguan stand out from other compact crossover vehicles in its class. On the highway, the cabin is quiet, undisturbed, and the award winning Fender Sound System is amazing and comes standard on all Tiguan models. The audio system features a 10-channel 400 watt amplifier, 8 speakers, and a rear subwoofer.

Even though the R-line does not add more horsepower, it does come equipped with larger 19-inch wheels, paddle shifters, and has a stronger sport suspension, which helps give the vehicle more powerful performance and better handling on the road.

Safety features include- anti-lock braking system with front and rear disc brakes, electronic stability control, 3-point safety belts, side airbags, driver & front passenger airbag supplemental restraint system, child seat anchors, and tire pressure monitoring system.

There are five Tiguan trim models to choose from, with the base S having a MSRP of about $23,000 and the R-Line starting at around $36,500. This price point is a little higher than some of the Tiguan’s American and Japanese competitors, but with all that the vehicle offers in terms of unique styling, stunning detailing, power, and excellent handling, I think it is well worth the price.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is not as popular as the Jetta, but it is a premium vehicle, available for a premium price for people desiring one of the best vehicles Volkswagen has ever made. Yes, the Tiguan R-Line is a bit more expensive, but it has an exquisite and quiet interior, smooth performance, looks great, is powerful, and is more enjoyable to drive than the majority of its competitors.

To find out more about the new 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line, please visit- http://www.vw.com/

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

 

2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI R-Line (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The new sporty Touareg TDI R-Line is an upscale, 5-passenger midsize luxury SUV that is a spacious, powerful, fun to drive vehicle that embodies similar features of a Porsche Cayenne and an Audi Q5 due to the high performance diesel engine option, impeccable high-speed collectedness, and responsive steering.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI R-Line comes equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 clean diesel engine, 4MOTION all-wheel drive, 240 horsepower, 406 lb. ft. of torque, sport suspension, a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, and can haul up to 7,700 pounds.

The Touareg is available in four trims- Sport, R-Line, Lux, Executive and comes fitted with either a gasoline or clean-diesel engine.

The base Sport trim comes equipped with adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, foglights, roof rails, cruise control, heated exterior mirrors, eight-way power front seats (with manual lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, LED running lights, premium vinyl leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth, iPod integration, a six-CD changer, audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system, and satellite radio. An optional Navigation package can be added to the Sport trim and offers keyless entry/ignition, an intuitive navigation system, a rearview camera, and a hands-free power liftgate that can be opened by simply moving a foot below the rear bumper.

The Lux trim is fitted with the Navigation package and adds a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, driver memory functions, power rear-seat releases in the cargo area, front-seat power lumbar adjustment, and power-folding exterior mirrors.

The new mid-level R-Line has a more aggressive exterior and appearance and is distinguished by R-Line badges, front bumper fascia, side skirts, LED taillights, and rear oval-shaped dual exhaust tips. The R-Line does not come equipped with a hands-free liftgate, however, it adds LED taillights, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and a sport body kit.  The R-Line also offers 12-way power, heatable front seats with driver memory, power liftgate, 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, rearview camera system, anti-theft alarm, rain sensing windshield wipers, dual zone climate control, push button start, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces, and a lot more.

The top of the line Executive trim comes equipped with all of the standard and Lux trim features, including a top-view parking display with four cameras, hands-free liftgate, better 20-inch wheels, a premium 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system, LED taillights, rear parking sensors, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.

There is a Hybrid option and it is the most expensive Touareg. It is similar to the Executive trim and comes fitted with a supercharged 3.0-liter gasoline V6 engine matched with an electric motor. This special combination produces an astounding 380 horsepower, 428 lb-ft of torque, taking the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5.9 seconds.

The base gasoline V6 option yields approximately 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, the TDI V6 engine on the R-Line delivers 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, however the more expensive Hybrid trim only yields 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.  In terms of fuel economy, I think that the Touareg TDI R-Line is the best choice.

A rearview camera is standard on all Touareg models, except the base Sport and a top-view camera is standard only on the Executive and Hybrid models.

Standard safety features include- traction and electronic stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, hill hold assist, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, 3 point safety belts, lower anchors and tethers for children, and rear door child safety locks.

The interior of the Touareg TDI R-Line is quite beautiful with wood accents throughout the dashboard and console areas with attractive R-Line badges on strategic parts of the interior.  In fact, the interior is just as fancy as other luxury SUV’s in its class with a regal and upscale feel to it and the dashboard as well as the console area are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The materials are high quality, the controls are easy to reach and are not cumbersome, and the touchscreen is large with an easy to use interface.  The front and rear cabin are quite spacious with ample room for larger and taller passengers with a versatile rear seat that can be reclined to offer additional space. I especially like the panoramic sunroof which adds more beauty and creates a more open and “airy” feel to the entire interior of the vehicle.

On the road, the Touareg TDI is a strong performer and even though the vehicle is large, it does not feel heavy or clunky. Steering is responsive and the vehicle handles sharp corners and rough road conditions with ease. On the highway, road noise is minimal and there is little to no “body roll” as so many other SUV’s tend to have, offering excellent stability on city streets and on freeways.

The 2014 Touareg TDI R-Line is beautiful SUV and has a starting MSRP of $57,615.  The Volkswagen Touareg is expensive, but it is a luxury vehicle available at a premium price for people desiring a high quality SUV with a unique design that is fun to drive with great features, incredible styling, powerful drivetrain, exquisite interior details, and excellent on the road performance that is better than most of its rivals.

To find out more about the new 2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI R-Line, please visit- http://www.vw.com/  

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

 

 

 

2014 Nissan Altima Review

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

 

For 2014, the Nissan Altima has received a major facelift and is now better than ever with new advanced technology, an Xtronic CVT, better driving dynamics, quick acceleration, great fuel economy, comfortable interior, and excellent handling.

Even though the Altima Coupe has been discontinued, the new and improved 2014 Altima Sedan is perhaps the best one Nissan has ever produced and is one of the best vehicles available today. 

The Altima is Nissan's top-selling midsize family sedan and it is easy to see why with its spacious and comfortable interior, smooth performance, innovative technology, and stylish exterior.

The 2014 Nissan Altima comes in seven trim levels- 2.5, 2.5 S, 3.5 S, 2.5 SV, 3.5 SV, 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL, in which the number signifies the chosen engine, either a 2.5-liter or 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The base 2.5 trim comes equipped with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower and 180 lb. ft. of torque, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, Bluetooth and audio connectivity,16-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, and a 4-speaker audio system with a CD player.  The 2.5 S trim comes fitted with- cruise control, automatic headlights, a 6-way power driver seat, a more sophisticated LCD screen and a 6-speaker sound system. A Display Audio package adds a rear view camera, 5.0-inch touch screen display, satellite radio, smart phone app integration, a USB port, and NissanConnect Apps.  The 3.5 S trim comes equipped with all of the aforementioned features, as well as a powerful V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The 2.5 SV trim adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, and remote ignition. The Convenience package offers rear air-conditioning vents, foglamps, a sunroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror on the 2.5 SV trim level.

The top-of-the-line Altima SL comes fitted with heated front seats, leather upholstery, 8-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, heated steering wheel, and a Bose audio system with 9-speakers and an auxiliary audio jack. The 3.5 SL trim gets LED taillights and xenon headlights.  A Technology package is available for the SV and SL trims and offers a large 7-inch touch screen, a navigation system, and voice controls.

Safety features include- stability and traction control, rear cross-traffic alerts, front side airbags and side curtain airbags, and antilock brakes. A lane-departure warning system and blind-spot monitoring are optional. A rearview camera comes standard on all trims, except the base and S trim levels.

The 2014 Altima has an estimated fuel economy of 27 in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, which is excellent for a midsize sedan in its class.  A main contributor to the vehicle’s great fuel efficiency is the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and it is now standard for all new Altima models.

The Altima is well known for having a beautiful interior and the new 2014 Altima is no exception, offering plush and supportive seats with ergonomic construction as well as an upscale cabin with high-quality materials that make the vehicle appear to be more expensive than it really is. The dashboard and console area is attractive with nice detailing throughout.  It is important to note that the seats were specially designed with NASA’s help to improve and provide long term comfort and relieve common pressure points, as a result, seats in the new 2014 Altima are very comfortable and provide long lasting support for long trips.

The new NissanConnect Apps system supports a variety of popular applications, such as Pandora and Facebook and the accompanying navigation system has vivid graphics and an easy to use interface.

On the road, the Nissan Altima provides a smooth and quiet ride. It handles sharp corners, rough surfaces, and curvy highways with great ease and precision. Acceleration is quick, road noise is minimal, and steering is accurate.

In summary, the 2014 Nissan Altima has a starting MSRP of about $22,000 and is a high quality, affordable family sedan with an incredible style, comfortable interior, and smooth on the road performance with new advanced technological features that truly set it apart from other vehicles in its class.

To find out more about the new Nissan Altima, please visit- www.nissanusa.com 

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

2014 Chevrolet Impala (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is now better than ever with impeccable styling, spacious and comfortable interior, advanced technology, and smooth on the road performance that is likened unto the Audi A7 and Lexus ES 350. 

Now considered to be one of the best full-sized sedans on the road today under $30,000, it has become a top contender in its class.

With a contemporary cabin, excellent dynamics, high-quality plush interior, and a host of features, the restyled 2014 Chevrolet Impala is perhaps the most innovative and attractive Impala made.

For years, the Impala had been regarded primarily for its spacious interior, but seemed to be a bit lackluster in styling, interior features, and handling, but that has all changed with the completely redesigned 2014 model.

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is available in three main trims- LS (standard), LT, and LTZ with the LT and LTZ trim levels given the option to be divided into smaller trim packages- 1LT, 2LT, 1LZ, and 2LZ. These additional subdivided trims simply distinguish which engine the car has- the 2LT and 2LZ come with a V6 engine, while the 1LT and 1LZ have a 4-cylinder engine.

Standard features for the Impala include- a 4-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, 18-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, automatic headlights, a 4.2-inch color display, cruise control, a trip computer, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, full power accessories, auxiliary input, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, CD player, a 6-speaker audio system, satellite and HD radio, USB/iPod connectivity, and OnStar emergency communications. A convenience package adds foldable rear headrests, a cargo net, and rear parking sensors.

The LT trim adds dual-zone automatic climate control,18-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, MyLink infotainment user interface with a large 8-inch touch screen display, Bluetooth with streaming audio, SD card slot, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.  Optional features that can be added to the LZ trim are remote start, a rearview camera, parking sensors, as well as special safety package with a lane departure warning system, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, and a collision warning system.

Also available is a handsome premium package, which offers 19-inch wheels, heated seats, simulated suede upholstery, a navigation system, keyless ignition/entry, and a Bose Sound System.

The ultimate trim is the LTZ and it comes equipped with all of the aforementioned features, except for a navigation system and Bose Sound System.  The LTZ comes fitted with plush leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, optional 20-inch wheels with a Comfort and Convenience package, which adds a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, ventilated front seats, and driver memory settings.

Standard safety features include- GM's OnStar service, front seat side-impact airbags, traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, an emergency assistance button, front knee airbags, remote door unlock, full-length side curtain airbags, automatic crash notification, and stolen vehicle assistance.

Worth mentioning is the new eAssist model, which is the most fuel efficient Impala to ever be introduced.  It comes equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine as well as a 2.4-liter eAssist mild hybrid option. The Chevy Impala eAssist uses a small electric motor that helps to save fuel and yields an impressive 35 mpg on the highway.  The eAssist is one of the most fuel efficient full-sized sedans in its class and is definitely a great choice for consumers looking for a large sedan with excellent fuel economy.

The interior as well as the exterior of the new 2014 Impala is nothing short of spectacular with a sophisticated dashboard and console area that has an upscale and luxurious appearance.  The front and rear cabin are spacious with plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers, and the seats are comfortable and supportive. Trunk space is a whopping 18.8 cubic feet and the amount of space increases when the 60/40 split-folding rear seatback is put down.

On the road, the 2014 Impala is strong performer providing an enjoyable and smooth driving experience with quick acceleration, precise steering, accurate braking, and the ability to handle sharp corners with ease and great precision.  It has a planted feel on the road and offers a comfortable ride that you would expect from its higher priced competitors. 

In summary, the newly designed 2014 Chevy Impala is a stylish full-sized sedan with more to offer than ever before.  It drives and looks like a Lexus, but costs a lot less and delivers excellent on the road performance.  I am very impressed with the new 2014 Chevy Impala. There are some people that may say that they prefer the older Impala, but I say that I like the new one a whole lot better.

I highly recommend taking a look at the new Impala, because it is definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a sedan with advanced technology, sleek exterior detailing, comfortable and upscale interior, great performance, and is like no other.

To find out more about the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala, please visit- www.chevrolet.com

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Volkswagen Passat is a midsize and spacious four-door sedan with a stylish exterior, classy interior, and solid on the road performance that has made it one of Volkswagen’s most popular vehicles since its introduction in 1973. 

The 2014 Volkswagen Passat comes in three main trims- S, SE, SEL and offers a variety of engine choices. 

The base S trim comes fitted with a standard 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, trip computer, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, cloth upholstery, automatic headlights, 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, front and rear center armrests, keyless entry, cruise control, and Bluetooth phone connectivity, a height-adjustable driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker sound system with an auxiliary input.  An automatic transmission can be added to the base model with the Appearance Package, which offers a 6-speed automatic transmission, a back-seat center armrest, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The SE trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a power driver's seat, rear climate vents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a larger display with trip computer, an SD-card reader, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 5-inch touch screen, heated exterior mirrors, an 8-speaker sound system, 6-CD changer, and a rearview camera. A sunroof, navigation system, and iPod/USB connectivity are optional.

The SEL trim comes equipped with a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 170-horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque, a 6.5-inch touch screen, sunroof, a rear-seat ski pass-through, high quality bolstered front seats, a hard-drive-based navigation system with digital music storage, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 9 speaker Fender sound system with iPod integration.

The SEL Premium adds keyless entry with push-button start, fog lights, a power passenger seat, leather upholstery, and driver memory functions.  

Standard safety features include- electronic stability control, six airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, tire pressure monitoring, engine immobilizer, intelligent crash response system, and VW's Car-Net Telematics System.

In government crash tests, the Passat received five stars for side, frontal, and overall crash-worthiness, while the Independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety likewise awarded the Passat its most prominent rating of Good in all testing categories.

The interior of the Passat is quite nice with a spacious front and rear cabin that accommodates taller passengers.  The controls/knobs are easy to reach and the seats are firm and supportive with that special “German” feel that so many have come to love over the years. Unlike many other midsize sedans in its class, the Passat is not flashy or stylistically overdone in any way; instead it has a European style that is more refined with simple interior details that set it apart and make it so uniquely different.

On the road, the 2014 Passat performs excellently and handles rough surfaces and sharp corners with ease. The cabin is quiet with minimal road noise even when driving over small bumps or at higher speeds; however the steering can seem a little heavy at times. The Passat is also one of the most fuel efficient vehicles in its segment, yielding an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

The new 2014 VW Passat has a starting MSRP of about $20,800 and is a wonderful choice for consumers who desire a vehicle, with not only a beautiful exterior, but also one with a strong engine, powerful drive train, great handling, a lot of interior space, and smooth on the road performance.

To find out more about the 2014 Volkswagen Passat, please visit- www.vw.com/Passat

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 


2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a mid-size 7-passenger crossover vehicle that is founded on the well known Highlander SUV, offering greater fuel efficiency, an optimized and environmentally friendly hybrid engine, lower emissions, luxurious interior amenities, and smoother on the road performance.  It is one of the only hybrid SUV’s available today and is becoming a top choice among consumers seeking a vehicle that is both spacious and economical.

The Highlander Hybrid is available in either Base or Limited trim levels and comes equipped with a powerful 3.5-liter, V6 gas engine with an electric drive motor that produces 280 horsepower and yields 28 mpg in the city/highway.  The hybrid system is paired with an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is a sophisticated hybrid system that functions synergistically. Standard features include navigation system, satellite radio, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, all-wheel drive, air conditioning, Entune Infotainment System, audio streaming, USB port, and an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror with integrated digital compass. A DVD player is optional.

The Limited trim comes equipped with a power sunroof, heated front seats, 19-inch aluminum wheels, leather upholstery, push-button start, three-zone automatic climate control, and power rear lift gate. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, front side-impact airbags, traction control and electronic vehicle stability, active anti-whiplash front head restraints, a driver knee airbag, overhead curtain airbags for all rows, and anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist.

The Highlander comes available in a variety of colors, but my favorite in the Sizzling Crimson Mica, because the color gives the vehicle a rich, regal, and elegant flair. Fuel economy is superb, which is desirable among today’s budget conscious consumers. Hybrid vehicles, such as the Highlander, offer excellent fuel efficiency and to find one that is also classy and stylish with advanced technology and state of the art features like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, is absolutely wonderful.  I just wish that it was a little bigger like the 2011 Highlander gas model.

Interior features are quite impressive and opulent.  In fact, the interior front and rear cabin of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited looks and feels very much like a Lexus RX 350 with upscale materials, stylish buttons and control knobs, wood grain trim, soft leather seats, and chrome accents.  There is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats are comfortable, ergonomic, and supportive. 

On the road, the Highlander Hybrid Limited is a strong performer, providing a smooth and enjoyable driving experience on a variety of terrains with responsive braking and handles sharp corners with ease, just like more expensive luxury vehicles that I have previously tested.

If you have been looking for a hybrid mid-size SUV that looks beautiful inside and out with an exquisite and comfortable interior, strong on the road performance, advanced technology, and luxurious features that are usually only available in more expensive luxury vehicles, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited.  The Highlander Hybrid Limited has a starting MSRP of $46,370 and in my opinion; it is well worth the price.

To find out more about the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, please visit- http://www.toyota.com/highlander/  

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

 

2013 Toyota 4Runner SR5 (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Toyota 4Runner is a large, durable, reliable, and rugged sport utility vehicle (SUV) made for a variety of rough terrains, weekend excursions, and off-the-road adventures.

Available in three distinguishable models- SR5, Limited, and Trail Edition.  All 4Runner models come equipped with a powerful 4.0-liter V6 engine, 270 horsepower, and 278 lb. ft. of torque with a towing capacity of up to 5000 pounds, which is enough to tow motorcycles, snowmobiles, or even a small boat. 

Standard features for all trim levels include power windows/mirrors/locks, cruise control, 5-speed automatic transmission, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, integrated fog lights, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, a USB port with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, music streaming, AM/FM/CD/MP3 system with eight speakers, power up/down rear tailgate window, 17-inch alloy wheels, and air conditioning. A variety of custom equipment packages are available to fit an assortment of technological, luxury, and recreational needs. 

Safety features include active front head restraints, ABS, quick brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, seat belts with force limiters, electronic brake-force distribution, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), tire-pressure monitor, and LATCH child-seat anchors.  The 4WD models come equipped with Downhill Assist Control (DAC). 

The base SR5 trim has a starting MSRP of $31,490 and comes fitted with all of the aforementioned standard features as well as cloth upholstery, 6-way manual driver's seat with power lumbar,  4-way passenger seat, sliding second-row seats, 10 cup holders, hands-free phone connectivity, center console with storage, compass, remote keyless entry, exterior puddle lamps, garage door opener, sonar park assist, map light, three 12V power outlets, liftgate spoiler, towing hitch, skid plates, and auto-off headlights.  Third-row seats can be added, are optional, and can be added for about $800.  The Convenience Package offers upgraded upholstery, a power sun roof, power seats, and two 120V power outlets for an additional $1,580. 

The Trail Edition with 4 wheel drive has a starting MSRP of $37,100 and comes fitted with a power moon roof, overhead console, specially designed 17-inch wheels, rearview camera along with a small display within the rearview mirror, two 120V power outlets, power front seats, and a sliding rear cargo deck that supports up to 440 lbs.  An intuitive Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System allows for better suspension junction in sluggish and difficult terrain by automatically disconnecting the stabilizer bars is an optional feature that can be added for $1,750. 

The 4Runner Limited has a starting MSRP of $38,995 and comes fully loaded with leather seats, push-button start, chrome exterior trim, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, WMA playback, leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio and telephone controls, snow/mud tires on 20-inch alloy wheels, HD Radio with iTunes, auxiliary audio jack, and X-REAS Sport Enhancement Suspension.

Roof rails are standard on all trims, accentuating the 4Runner's ability to be used as a primary vehicle for fun, off-road excursions and adventures.

There is so much to like about the 4Runner and so little to dislike about this strong and powerful SUV.  It has solid on the road performance, responsive steering, strong braking in the rain, with the ability to handle the roughest terrain and driving in harsh weather conditions with great ease, which makes the 4Runner the perfect choice for people who drive on rough, rugged terrain, dirt roads, or on unpaved surfaces often. The reason why the 4Runner handles rough terrain so well is because it shifts torque between wheels as the vehicle rides over uneven surfaces, equipping it to handle heavy wet spots and slippery areas with greater ease than so many other SUV’s. 

Because of the 4Runner’s size (4800 pounds) and great power, fuel economy is not the best, yielding an estimated 17 mpg City and 22 mpg Highway, however when driven normally, the vehicle offers pretty good mileage. In fact, after a steady week of driving the 4Runner, it appeared to deliver a little more than 19 mpg in the city and handled sharp corners and winding roads with great ease, which is quite impressive considering the 4Runner’s weight.

The Toyota 4Runner interior is spacious with plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin.  There is a mixture of silver trimmed accents and textured materials with ergonomic seats that are comfortable, adjustable, and supportive. Also, second-row seats fold down completely flat to maximize interior cargo space. The rear hatch has a specially designed power window that can be operated electronically by using an interior switch or manually with a key.

The entire interior of the 4Runner is practical and engaging with a unique layout that has an adventurous and almost Jeep-like design.  From the thick four spoke steering wheel and compass to the large control knobs, three gauge cluster with speedometer, tachometer, temperature, and fuel meters, the 4Runner shows that it takes off-road excursions seriously.

If you are an off-road enthusiast who is looking for a rugged, engaging, fun-to-drive, multi-purpose SUV with a solid build and excellent road performance, then I highly recommend taking a look at the Toyota 4Runner has to offer.  It is perfect for daily commutes and a variety of off the road adventures involving rough terrain.

To find out more about the 2013 Toyota 4Runner, please go to- www.Toyota.com

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

 

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Hatchback (First Drive and Review)

 Affordable, fuel efficient, and spacious!

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

In recent years, the popularity of fuel-efficient, compact vehicles has grown exponentially and Nissan has answered the call by introducing the new and stylish Nissan Versa Note.

The new Versa Note has a lot to offer, such as a spacious interior, perky road performance, sleek exterior, comfortable interior, great technology options, and an estimated 35 MPG on the highway all available for less than $20,000.

I have previously reviewed some popular compact vehicles with great fuel economy, but none of them were as spacious as the Nissan Versa Note with its impressive rear cabin seating area, which is big enough to accommodate very tall passengers and there is more than enough head/legroom in the front cabin for taller occupants as well. There is no other compact vehicle that I have seen that offers so much interior space like the Versa does.

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note has a new and improved style that looks so much better than the 2012 Versa Sedan and comes in various trim levels, offering a wide range of features to choose from.

The base Versa Note S has a starting MSRP of $14,780 and comes equipped with basic features, such as- 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, a 5-speed manual transmission, power mirrors, a tilt-only steering wheel, 4-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary input jack, manual windows/door locks, trip computer, and 4-way manual front seats. A Sport Value package adds a rear spoiler and 15-inch alloy wheels. A stolen-vehicle tracking system is optional.

The S Plus trim comes equipped with standard features and also includes a fuel efficient CVT transmission with a starting MSRP of $16,230.

The SV trim offers power windows; keyless entry, power door locks, better interior cloth seats, a height-adjustable driver seat with an armrest, Bluetooth, chrome-like interior accents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with supplementary sound controls, and has a starting MSRP of $16,780.

Where the Nissan Note gets really exciting is on the SV with the Convenience package which boosts the features substantially, offering a rearview camera, iPod/USB connectivity, a 4.3-inch color infotainment display, satellite radio, a fold-down rear center armrest, Divide-N-Hide adjustable rear cargo floor, and cup holders in the rear cabin with an MSRP of $17,320. The SV with the SL package adds fog lights, heated front seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless start, and variable intermittent wipers for $18,480.

The ultimate trim level is the SV with the SL Tech Package which adds an intuitive navigation system with Google Point-of-interest connectivity, heated exterior mirrors, a bigger 5.8-inch touchscreen display, Sirius traffic and weather reports, a 360-degree parking camera system, and a hands-free text-messaging assistant for $19,280.  You get so much for such a low price, which makes the Nissan Versa Note of such great value.

Safety features include- ABS, stability control and six airbags- front, full-length side curtain, and front side.

Cargo/trunk space in the Versa Note measures approximately 21.4 cubic feet and when the rear seats are folded down, that space is almost doubled. Also, available on the SV with Convenience Package trim level there is a special Divide-N-Hide storage system, which adds a hidden cargo-floor compartment with a cover that can be let down or taken off to help with hauling jobs.

I noticed that the new Versa Note doesn’t feel “tinny” like the older Versa Sedan that I previously tested and feels more weighted and solid on the road. This is a significant improvement and makes the driving experience so much better. Road noise is minimal and the Versa Note handles city streets, highways, rough surfaces very well and navigates in stop and go traffic with ease.

The air conditioning system works excellent and is much more effective in cooling the entire interior of the vehicle than many of its higher priced competitors. The stereo system delivers wonderful sound quality and the controls are within arms reach.

The best thing that I liked about the Nissan Versa is that it truly is a fuel efficient vehicle and has the potential to save consumers hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a year on fuel costs. I tested the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and have found it to be one of, if not the best, fuel efficient vehicles available.

To sum it all up, the new 2014 Nissan Versa Note Hatchback is a fuel efficient, stylish, and appealing vehicle with a spacious interior to accommodate tall passengers and a lot of cargo.  It is definitely the kind of car that will get you to where you want to go easily, comfortably and is perfect for every day commuting to work, school, running errands, or going to the beach.

If you are looking for a vehicle that has solid on the road performance, is comfortable, fuel efficient, spacious, reliable, and affordable, then I highly recommend the Nissan Versa Note.  It is simply the best compact commuter vehicle on the road today!

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

 

2013 Nissan Juke SL AWD (Review)

 A Sporty Car with a Unique Style, but Is It the Best Nissan Has To Offer?

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Nissan Juke has been “built to thrill” and designed to get attention, well, it definitely does turn heads with its strikingly unconventional looks, distinctive interior features, and difficult to define crossover size.  Even though the Juke has been around for a few years, its futuristic style is still capturing the attention of consumers that are looking for something different from the typical crossover.

Despite its peculiar design, the Nissan Juke has acquired many dedicated fans who love its unique beauty and modern design. 

The Juke’s exterior is what really makes the vehicle stand out with strategically placed turn signal lights that are mounted on top of the front part of the vehicle’s hood, elevated rear taillights, large headlights that protrude from the grille area, and there are cleverly concealed rear door handles, which add an interesting touch to the vehicle’s exterior body.

The SL model I tested came equipped with a 1.6 liter direct injection turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with 188 horsepower, AWD, 17” alloy wheels, and an Xtronic CVT with Sport Mode.  Comfort and Convenience features include a leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, 5” color touch screen display, XM NavTraffic, power sliding moonroof, leather seats, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, rearview camera, 60/40 split-fold down seats, integrated control system (I-CON) with drive mode selector and auto a/c., Bluetooth, navigation system, 6-way adjustable driver seat, AM/FM/CD/USB Rockford Fosgate and ecoPUNCH Premium Audio System, heated front seats, and power door locks with an auto-locking feature.

Standard Safety features include- a vehicle security system, driver & front passenger, side impact and curtain airbags, electronic brake force distribution, lower anchors and tethers for children, anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring system, and vehicle immobilizer.

Steering is a little stiff, but braking is responsive and accurate, however the powertrain is a little loud at times and the vehicle doesn’t seem to have the same “turbo” feel that I am used to. Actually, the Nissan Versa Note seems to have better pick-up and smoother steering than the Juke, which is surprising, considering the Versa Note has a lower MSRP and better fuel economy. Driving in the Juke is a bit rough, the suspension is firm, and the rear seats are a bit hard.  All of these elements provide a sporty on the road experience, but may not be ideal for commuters looking for a smoother ride.  Fuel economy is very good with the Juke yielding an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

The Nissan Juke is not as spacious nor is it as comfortable as the Nissan Versa Note and even though the Juke SL model features leather seats, a moon roof, and some great tech features, the rear cabin feels very cramped and there is not enough head/leg room for even mid-size passengers, rendering the backseat area most useful for transporting groceries and other inanimate objects, instead of people. 

While parking this vehicle on the side of a road, a man strolled up to me and inquired about the car. He was very interested in it, was intrigued by the Juke’s unique style, and liked the color, which is Atomic Gold, but he did not like where the turn signal lights were situated and said that it reminded him of a “mosquito”. I have to say that I do agree with his opinion and am not fond of the signal lights being positioned on top of the car either, nevertheless, it is a striking feature that is sure to get noticed. 

Most of the front cabin area is inundated with a lot of plastics, however, the Juke SL model redeems itself with modern, technologically advanced, and highly desirable features, such as a Rockford Fosgate Sound System with six speakers, navigation system, back-up camera, automatic temperature control, push button start, satellite radio, and Nissan’s intelligent I-CON System, which offers the ability to select the response of the throttle, CVT demeanor (normal, sport, or eco mode), and the posture of steering boost.

The 2013 Nissan Juke SL with All-Wheel-Drive has a base MSRP of $26,650, which in my opinion, is a bit pricey, considering limited passenger and trunk space, rougher road performance, and louder interior.  I think that the fully loaded 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV with SL Tech Package is a much better choice for people who want more passenger and cargo space, better fuel economy, comfortable seats, and smoother on the road performance for only $19,280.

Overall, the 2013 Nissan Juke has a lot to offer with a unique design, great technology, sporty performance, and an unconventional style that is hard to ignore.

To find out more about the Nissan Juke, please visit- www.nissanusa.com

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

 

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Fender Edition Review

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The new 2013 Beetle Fender Edition is perhaps the most innovative and stylish Beetle that Volkswagen has ever made with a Fender Premium Sound System, a unique sunburst design on the dashboard that duplicates the iconic Fender guitar finish, interior floor mats with contrasting stitching, which complement the dashboard design, and shiny chrome Fender logo exterior badges mounted below the A-pillars of the vehicle.

The Fender Edition Beetle was first shown at an auto show in Germany a couple of years ago as a concept vehicle and because of so much positive acclaim, Volkswagen and Fender teamed up to create a one of a kind Beetle that is visually appealing, fun to drive, and pleasing to the senses with a unique style that is all its own.

Even though the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Fender Edition does not add any major performance upgrades and basically has the same steering and suspension as the turbo model, which is great, it definitely offers a lot of visual and sound upgrades that will certainly appeal to musically attuned drivers everywhere.  The award winning Fender Premium Sound System includes nine speakers, four deluxe tweeters, a 10-channel amplifier yielding 400 watts of power, and uses Panasonic speaker technology, a unique system that cuts through distractions and noise with front two part voice coil speakers to create a concert like sound that is similar to a live performance.  The entire audio system is extraordinary and is the best I have ever experienced.

All Beetle Fender Edition cars are painted in a distinctive deep, black pearl metallic color and come equipped with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, brushed chrome exterior mirrors, bi-xenon headlights for better visibility at night, and on the Fender Edition vehicles that come with a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine with 200 horsepower, there is the addition of high quality fabric seat inserts.

The Beetle Fender Edition has a noticeable exterior design with chrome detailing sweeping the width of the lower exterior grille, Fender emblems, and chrome side view mirrors that distinguish the Fender Edition from the other Beetle models.

Interior features are what make the Fender Edition different from every other Beetle with an upscale “Sunburst” designed dashboard panel that looks like the exterior of a Fender Guitar, light chrome accents, contrasting stitching on the seats, sleek lines, and quieter interior cabin.

Mechanically, the Fender Edition Beetle is a very powerful vehicle with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, 200 horsepower, and 207 pound-feet of torque. This combination of power makes the Fender Edition Beetle with a turbo engine the fastest Beetle ever produced, with the ability to reach 60 mph in less than 6.9 seconds.  That is a big improvement from the 1950’s VW Beetle, which took about 22 seconds to reach 50 mph.  The turbo engine also yields 22 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.

On a personal note,  I took my driver’s test in a VW Beetle many years ago when I was 15 years old, so upon seeing one on the road, I remember the days of my youth and the fun I had zipping around in the wonderful, little “bug” on wheels! Now the "wonder bug", as I call it, has a smile, comfortable seats that are not hard as a rock, technologically advanced features, smoother suspension, and a quieter engine that makes the driving experience even more enjoyable. Yes, the Beetle is the car of my dreams!

The Beetle Fender Edition has a starting MSRP of $25,235 with a six-speed manual and about $28,000 for an automatic transmission. Currently, the Beetle Fender Edition is the only special edition vehicle that I know of in its class and because of that; it most likely will become a desirable and collectable vehicle in the future.  It truly stands out with an eye-catching design that is new in many ways, unique, and yet still has that nostalgic look that men, women, and people of all ages can appreciate and enjoy.

To find out more about the new 2013 Volkswagen Fender Edition Beetle, please visit- http://www.vw.com/

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.   

 

2013 Buick Encore AWD Premium (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

Buick has introduced a luxury compact crossover that is unlike any other on the road today with an incredible style, exquisite interior details, smooth on the road performance, and advanced technology. It combines the flexibility of a compact with the all-weather capability of a sport utility vehicle (SUV).

For years, many people thought that some Buicks were just too big and desired one with a compact size, luxurious features, and more versatility.  The new Buick Encore offers all of that and a lot more with a starting MSRP of $24,950 and the fully loaded Premium for about $32,000, it is quickly becoming a top choice among consumers that are looking for a stylish crossover for every day commuting and fun weekend excursions.

The 2013 Buick Encore comes equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and a 1.4 liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 148 lb. ft. of torque.  This may not seem like a lot of power, but the Encore surprisingly accelerates rapidly and provides quick on the road performance to tackle a wide range of driving conditions.  It also offers great fuel economy, yielding 25 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway, which is a lot better than the majority of other vehicles in its class.  

Standard features include- six-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, leather wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry,18-inch alloy wheels, noise cancelling system, chrome door handles, silver roof rails, satellite radio, audio streaming, IntelliLink Infotainment System with 7” color display, Bluetooth, USB port, and cloth/leatherette seats. Dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, navigation system, a power passenger seat, heated steering wheel, leather seats, and Bose Sound System are optional and available on the higher trim levels.

Safety features include- rearview camera, antilock brakes, 10 airbags, Dual front impact airbags, Rear side-impact impact airbag, panic alarm, overhead airbag, ABS brakes, immobilizer, brake assist, and an electronic stability system. A lane departure warning and forward collision alert are optional.

The 2013 Buick Encore has a variety of luxury options and attractive features such as faux chrome hood vents, soft touch materials overlaying the dashboard, fabric covered A-pillars, chrome accents, faux wood, easy to reach controls on the center stack, a seven inch LCD display, and an intricately designed silver metal grille, which makes the vehicle look elegant and classy with an upscale appearance.

Interior space and comfort is great with an attractive front and rear cabin, opulent materials, plush, ergonomic seats and ample head and legroom for taller passengers, however the center console is a little small a regular armrest. There is a flip-down armrest for the driver, but not for the front seat passenger. There is 18.8 cubic ft. of storage, which becomes 48.4 cubic ft. when the back seats are folded down. 

In my opinion, one of the best features of the Buick Encore Premium is the Bose Active Noise Cancellation system.  It is an intuitive system that listens for engine noise and mechanically transmits an out-of-phase signal through the sound system to quiet the interior and reduce background noise.

If you have been looking for a small, compact luxury crossover that is stylish, fuel efficient, fun to drive, comfortable, with technologically advanced features and smooth on the road performance, then I highly recommend that you check out the 2013 Buick Encore.

To find out more about the Buick Encore, please visit- http://www.buick.com/

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

 

2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe IPL (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The new 2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe is a stylish, fun to drive, fully loaded high performance vehicle with a luxurious, sporty, well appointed interior and exterior that is similar to the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and Audi S, but in a class all its own.

Equipped with a powerful 3.7-litre V-6 engine, 348 horsepower, and 276 lb. ft. of torque, the G37 can compete against some of the most popular luxury high performance vehicles on the road today.  IPL means- Infiniti Performance Line and the G37 Coupe is one of the best vehicles being introduced from this new performance division by Infiniti.

The G37 Coupe IPL is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission, which has a starting MSRP of $57,200 with the hi-tech package, and comes fitted with standard features, such as real leather seats, a moon roof, leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise control, a navigation system with voice recognition, a 9.3GB music hard drive, eight-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seats with two-way power lumbar support, a rear-view camera, keyless entry with push-button start, analog clock, sport-tuned steering gear, four-wheel sport brakes, a 11-speaker Bose sound system, and is available in two striking colors- Graphite Shadow and Malbec Black.

Standard safety features include- ABS, electronic brake force distribution with brake assist, curtain airbags, a tire-pressure monitoring system, side impact airbags, vehicle dynamic control, and traction control.

On the road is where the G37 IPL really shines with a smooth transmission, responsive steering, strong braking, quick acceleration and powerful on the road performance that makes driving the vehicle a fun and enjoyable experience with adaptive shift control and paddle shifters.

The Infiniti G37 IPL Coupe has a sleek, yet aggressive exterior with a restyled front fascia with integrated fog lights, blacked out trim design, and sculpted side sills.  There is also a special IPL emblem on the rear and on the double round chrome exhaust tips to draw attention to the power that is beneath the hood. The 19-inch graphite-polished wheels give the vehicle a powerful, strong, and elegant appearance on the road, while the large chrome exhaust pipes completes and balances the look adding an extra sporty touch.

The interior of G37 IPL is exquisite, yet sporty at the same time.  The controls are within reach of the driver, which is great for people of smaller stature like me.  An intuitive 7-inch color display is strategically positioned at eye level for better readability and the screen is somewhat slanted to minimize any glare from the sun. The front cabin is spacious, however because of the sporty design; the rear cabin is not as accommodating or easily accessible when entering/exiting the vehicle and due to a low roofline, there is not a lot of head and leg room for taller passengers.  The deep front bucket seats, with thigh extensions for taller passengers, are comfortable and give a real sporty feel while driving and cradle the occupants with a firm hold when navigating on bumpy roads and when making sudden sharp turns. 

Infiniti has made a big step forward in an industry that for years has been dominated by

European rivals by introducing the G37 IPL Coupe.  It is the perfect combination of luxury, comfort, state of the art technology, and high performance, making it a top contender this year and in the future.

To find out more about the 2013 Infiniti G37 Coupe IPL, please visit- www.infiniti.com

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

2013 Kia Rio 5-Door SX (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

Today, there is a variety of fuel efficient sub-compact vehicles to choose from, such as the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa, but there is one that stands out from all the rest with advanced technology, upscale interior, and top notch performance and it is the 2013 Kia Rio 5-Door.  Because of elevated gas prices, more budget conscious consumers are seeking a vehicle that not only looks good, but is also practical, fuel efficient, and affordable; this is what the Kia Rio5 SX offers, yielding an impressive 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

The Kia Rio comes available as either a 5-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan.  It has a spacious front and rear cabin, seats five adults comfortably, has upscale interior appointments, a stylish exterior, and state of the art features that you would expect to see in pricey luxury vehicles, but without the high price tag.

After recently undergoing a complete makeover, the new Kia Rio is now better than ever and is currently regarded as being one of the top subcompact vehicles in the automotive industry with its distinctive grille, sleek spoiler, and high sculpted lines. The Rio offers upscale appointments and has been designed to offer the perfect blend of quality, world-class design, safety features, solid road performance, fuel efficiency, and state of the art technology that is both affordable and practical.

Interior features of the Kia Rio EX are very nice with silver trim, a soft-touch dashboard, shiny black lacquer lining, and a variety of push button/switches that make the car look more luxurious than the average subcompact vehicle. 

The Kia Rio5 SX comes equipped with a 1.6 liter direct injection 4 cylinder engine,138 horsepower, and 123 lb-ft of torque. Now, that may not sound like a lot of power, but for a vehicle as small as the Rio, it is enough power to produce excellent on the road performance that is quick, strong, and zippy.

Standard features on the SX include- automatic transmission, power locks/windows/mirrors, cruise control, paddle shifters, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, premium fabric, ipod connectivity, Bluetooth, satellite radio, 17-inch alloy wheels, power folding outside mirrors, cargo tray and net, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, UVO voice-activated information and entertainment system, a backup camera, LED running lights, and a soft-touch dashboard. A navigation system, leather upholstery, push-button start, sunroof, and heated front seats are optional.

Safety features include- front side impact, front and rear side/curtain airbags, 4-wheel ABS, hill-start assist system, traction control, and electronic stability control.

Even though the Kia Rio appears to be small from the outside, the interior is quite spacious and the front cabin boasts of plush materials, readable displays, uncluttered controls, and an illuminated three-dial cluster behind the steering wheel. The seats are comfortable and supportive with plenty of headroom and legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin areas.

All of Kia's models include a solid 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/60,000 mile 24-hour roadside assistance.

The new 2013 Kia Rio5 SX offers excellent value in its class with luxurious features that rival top competitors.

I found the Kio Rio5 SX to be very comfortable and fun to drive with quick acceleration, strong braking, and excellent fuel economy. It is the type of vehicle that is perfect for young and old alike and with a starting MSRP of only $17,700; the SX is a great deal.

If you have been looking for a subcompact vehicle that is fuel efficient, stylish, comfortable, fun to drive, and affordable with solid performance, then I highly recommend that you check out the 2013 Kia Rio5 SX.

To find out more about the Kia Rio, please visit- www.kia.com

 

 

  Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The CX-5 Touring is a stylish, fun to drive, spacious, and fuel efficient compact SUV that has become a big success for Mazda and is quickly becoming a top choice among consumers. It is the perfect combination of advanced technological features, strong on the road performance, and fuel efficiency, which has made it a serious competitor in the automotive industry.

The new 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes equipped with a powerful 2.5 liter four cylinder SKYACTIV engine with 184 horsepower, all-wheel drive, a 6-speed sport automatic transmission, and yields an estimated 26 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.

Standard features include keyless entry, cruise control, 17-inch wheels, air-conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary/USB/iPod connectivity.

Recently, the Mazda CX-5 received a 2013 Top Safety Pick rating from the Safety features include Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the highest score that can be given by the agency.  Standard safety features include side curtain airbags, electronic stability system, side-impact airbags for the front seats, traction control, and antilock brakes.  A blind spot warning system and backup camera are optional.

The Bluetooth Audio package adds Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, touch screen interface, Pandora Internet Radio, automatic crash notification, rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a six-way power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 6-speaker sound system.  Some of the most exciting features of the new 2014 Mazda CX-5 that are worth mentioning is the technologically advanced Smart City Brake Support System (SCBS), available with the technology package, which has been made to lessen the severity or completely avoid a low speed collision by applying the brakes automatically if the driver doesn’t.  Also, to improve driving safety, a new system that can both display and read incoming phone texts from a Smartphone is available with the ability to send a pre-set reply. 

Interior features are quite nice with a soft touch dashboard with fashionable accents. The front and rear cabin areas are spacious with ample head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats are supportive, providing enough cushioning for long commutes. The backrest folds down flat when additional space is needed.

Mazda is well known for producing vehicles that not only look great, but are also fun to drive. The CX-5 is equipped with Mazda’s new SKYACTIV technology, which is a unique blend of fun and efficiency that removes excess weight by utilizing high-strength steel to enhance rigidness, directly transferring energy from the engine to the wheels, increasing fuel efficiency, improving acceleration, and better handling.   

The 2014 CX-5 Touring is a solid performer on the road with quick steering response and handles sharp corners as well as stop-and-go traffic with ease. Compared with other compact SUV’s that I have tested, I found the CX-5 Touring to be one of the best on the road performing crossovers available today, with light steering and a powerful 2.5 liter engine to navigate up steep hills and rougher terrain, while still keeping a firm grip on the road. Even though the 2.5-liter isn’t as powerful as some of the V6 SUV’s, due to modern and advanced corresponding technology, it is still able to produce enough horsepower and torque to tackle everyday driving conditions as well as rugged terrain with great zeal, precision, and fluidity.

In summary, the new 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring is one of the most fun to drive small crossovers on the road today with a unique style, great driving dynamics, technologically advanced features, spacious interior, and so much to offer with a starting MSRP of $25,865.

To find out more about the 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring, please visit- www.mazdausa.com   

 

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

2013 Mazda2 Touring (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2013 Mazda2 Touring is a sporty subcompact hatchback that is fun to drive, fuel efficient, has a lot of style, and is affordable with a bold, yet friendly exterior consisting of distinctive sculpted lines, an attractive sloped hatch, and a grinning front grille. The 2013 Mazda2 has entered the automotive scene with much to offer and it is easy to see why it has become a popular choice throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.

The Mazda2 Touring comes equipped with a 1.5 liter inline 4-cylinder engine, producing 100 horsepower, 98 lb. ft. of torque, and can be paired with either a standard 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features include- air-conditioning, power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel, CD player, 60/40-split folding rear seat, a 4-speaker sound system, and USB/auxiliary ports.  

The Touring trim comes equipped with additional features, such as 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer, cruise control, higher quality cloth seats with red piping, MP3 Player, a six-speaker audio system, and has a starting MSRP of only $16,210 with manual transmission and $17,050 with automatic transmission.  An auto-dimming rearview mirror and a center console with an armrest are optional. Accessories include a bike rack, a roof basket, a kayak carrier surfboard rack, side sill extensions, roof rack, ski rack, snowboard rack, and an interior cargo box. 

Safety features include- stability control, traction control, side-impact and side curtain air bags, front disc brakes and rear drum brakes equipped with ABS, frontal airbags, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. 

With a desire to create a vehicle with excellent gas mileage, responsive handling, and acceleration, Mazda has focused on making a lightweight vehicle by using a smaller amount of stronger steel, more welds, as well as, weld-bonded adhesives in the body. Mazda’s engineers found a variety of ways to save extra pounds, for example the wiring harness, door locks and latches, radiator, automatic transmission shifter, pedals, stereo speakers.  As a result, the 2013 Mazda2 is the lightest subcompact sold in America, even lighter than a small Fiat 500 and even though the vehicle is not considered powerful, it’s 100 horsepower and 98 lb. ft. of torque is more than enough for daily commuting and because it is so lightweight, it can yield an impressive 29 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway when equipped with a manual transmission. Shifting gears is smooth, easy, and almost effortless, which makes driving the Mazda2 fun, enjoyable, and a pleasurable experience.

Interior amenities are quite nice. The front and rear cabin are roomy enough to accommodate five people, but because of limited space, I would not recommend transporting three adults in the rear cabin for long road trips. The front seats are supportive, firm, yet comfortable and the rear seats can be folded down for additional cargo space. On the Touring model, the seats have an attractive red piping that gives the vehicle a more upscale appearance and the adjustable three-spoke steering wheel with a thick rim looks sporty. Silver trim embellishes the air vents, shift knob, armrests, adding an elegant touch to the vehicle, without being intrusive or a distraction. 

Compared to similar small hatchbacks, such as the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa, the Mazda2 has less interior space in the rear cabin for taller passengers, however, it provides faster and more solid road performance and sportier handling than the Versa and quicker acceleration than the Yaris.

The exterior is stylish and eye catching with a modern, sporty look that is hard to ignore and a distinctive grille that has become one of Mazda’s signature features.   The sloped hatchback softens the exterior, which has contoured and sculpted elements, primarily on the sides of the doors.

On the road, the Mazda2 Touring performs very well with strong braking, responsive steering, solid suspension, and when driving at higher speeds, the ride is very smooth.  It handles tight corners and sharp turns with ease, with a planted feel on the road.

In summary, the 2013 Mazda2 Touring is a great choice if you are looking for a small subcompact hatchback that is fun to drive, sporty, inexpensive, stylish, and fuel efficient with excellent driving dynamics, then I highly recommend taking a look at the Mazda2. 

To find out more about the Mazda2, please visit- www.mazdausa.com

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Crossover Limited Edition

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition is a stylish, sleek, and sporty crossover SUV that seats up to five people and is one of the most fuel efficient vehicles in its class, yielding 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

The Outlander Sport LE comes equipped with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 145 lb. ft. of torque, 6 speed automatic transmission, 148 horsepower, with the optional V6 engine delivering 224 horsepower. Also, attached to the 2.4 liter engine is a special balancer shaft that is only available on the 2013 Limited Edition, which yields smoother and quicker acceleration and better performance. 

Standard features for Outlander Sport LE include- 18” chrome alloy wheels, Color LCD multi-information display, climate control, roof antenna, two 12V power outlets, anti-theft protection, cruise control, audio system with AM/FM radio, CD player (reads MP3 format), Bluetooth, satellite radio, cargo area light, trip computer, dashboard console with open storage, floor console with covered storage, front cup holders, outside air temperature indicator, floor mats, driver bucket front seat heated with 6-way power control, center armrest, headlight control with dusk sensor, low tire pressure indicator, card key power locks, reading lights, rear center armrest, split-folding rear seats/manual recline, Illuminated driver and passenger vanity mirror, steering wheel mounted remote audio controls, ventilation system with micro filter, remote control trunk/hatch release, voice activating system for radio and phone, premium cloth upholstery, FAST-key smart card/smart key with keyless entry includes keyless starter, six speakers, leather-trimmed/ tilt telescoping steering wheel, halogen fog lights with chrome bezel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and tachometer. A navigation system is optional.

The Limited Edition also comes equipped with wheel arch trim and roof rails, and blacked-out side mirrors. Brake and throttle pedals have aluminum finish, leather trimmed parking brake, and optional distinctive two tone Black/Dove Grey leather upholstery.

Safety features include- Seven airbag safety system including a driver's knee airbag, front and rear curtain airbags, forward collision warning, front side airbags, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

One of my favorite features of the Outlander Sport LE is the panoramic glass roof with adjustable LED mood lighting, which enhances the entire driving experience and adds a special ambiance, especially during the evening.

Unlike previous models made in 2011 and 2012, the interior of the 2013 Outlander Sport is quite impressive and the interior is more refined, plush, and appears to be a bit more spacious.  The seats in both the front and rear cabin are comfortable, supportive, and are perfect for long road trips.  There is a lot of cargo space to accommodate a variety of luggage, boxes, and grocery items.

On the road, the Outlander Sport LE performs very well and handles rougher road surfaces and stop-and-go traffic with ease and precision.  I will say that sometimes the vehicle seems to lack enough power for more demanding driving tasks, such as going up a steep hill or quick passing on the highway, but I still think the Outlander Sport LE performs better than most of its competition in the small crossover vehicle sector. 

If you have been looking for a crossover SUV that is stylish, comfortable, reliable, and inexpensive with a starting MSRP of just $23,495, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport LE.

To find out more about the Outlander Sport LE, please visit- www.mitsubishicars.com

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

 

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Mitsubishi Lancer SE is a sporty, compact sedan with all wheel drive, a sleek exterior, unique style, and great on the road performance that combines advanced technology, and safety technologies with stylish design and a fun-to-drive character.

The Lancer SE comes equipped with a 2.4 liter, four cylinder engine, 168 horsepower, comes fitted with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and yields an estimated 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway.

Standard features for the SE include-  all wheel drive, air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, all season tires, heated bucket front seats, multi-level/adjustable driver seat, premium cloth, remote power door locks/mirrors, trip computer, tachometer, external temperature display, rear ventilation ducts, folding rear seats with storage center armrest, split folding rear seatback,  trunk light, interior air filtration, cruise control, front and rear cup holders, power steering, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, remote trunk release, a Thule Roof-Rack, AM/FM in-dash single CD player, six speaker audio system, and an MP3 Player.  The Premium Package adds a sunroof, color LCD trip computer, upgraded interior materials, a Rockford Fosgate Sound System, 6-disc CD Changer, shift knob, leather wrapped steering wheel, and satellite radio.

Safety features include- seven airbags, stability and traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and a tire pressure monitor.

Having previously tested the Lancer GT, I must say that the Lancer SE is more comfortable and provides a much smoother ride with better interior features and technology, as well as an overall better driving experience.  Steering on the SE is excellent, braking is accurate, and it has quicker acceleration than the GT trim.

The interior is quite nice with supportive and comfortable cloth seats and plenty of head/legroom for front and rear passengers. Behind the steering wheel, a circular speedometer and tachometer are the main gauges and there are well positioned control knobs to adjust the climate, audio, along with an intuitive display in the top center of the dash.

The Lancer SE has a lot to offer in the areas of fuel economy, interior comfort, safety, handling, and sporty on the road dynamics. On the road, the SE has solid performance and handles normal driving conditions with ease and does not feel as stiff as the GT model. The Lancer SE has a firm and stable feel on highways and on rougher terrain.

Even though the Lancer Evolution MR (EVO) is the funnest vehicle that I have ever driven, I am quite impressed with the Lancer SE and highly recommend it, especially if you are on a tight budget, then the SE is a great choice with a starting MSRP of only $20,295 and a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty package.  The SE is definitely worth looking at, because it is a well built, sporty sedan with good fuel economy, and is a great choice for daily commuting.

To find out more about the Mitsubishi Lancer SE, please visit:

www.mitsubishicars.com    

 

 

 

 Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.

 

2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited Sedan

by Philippa Lane

 

The Hyundai Sonata Limited is a stylish, well appointed, four-door, mid-size sedan with smooth on the road performance, and a sleek design that is like no other in its class.

The Sonata has a refined, upscale, comfortable, and luxurious exterior/interior, which is amazingly similar to more expensive luxury vehicles, such as the Audi A4 and Lexus ES, with technologically advanced features, excellent fuel economy, and top of the line performance that make the Sonata a real competitor with some of the world’s most popular sedans this year. 

 

Available in five trim levels- GLS, SE, Limited, SE 2.0T, and Limited 2.0T. The Limited and GLS models come equipped with a 198-horsepower, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, and a 6-speed automatic transmission, which is standard on all of the trim levels.

 

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power steering, USB and auxiliary ports, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with volume controls, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and cruise control.

 

Standard safety features on all trim models include- front-impact airbags, tire-pressure monitor, brake assist, occupancy classification sensor, traction control, driver and front passenger side impact airbags, active front head restraints, front and rear seat head-protection curtains, brake assist, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution, and electronic stability control.

 

Interior features are quite impressive, especially with the Sonata Limited trim level.  In fact, the Limited is the most luxurious, highly appointed model in the Sonata lineup and comes fitted with either a standard or turbocharged engine, leather seats, sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear console mounted vents, 360-watt sound system, heated front/rear seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, turn signal indicators in the outside mirrors, auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, woodgrain or piano black interior trim accents, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and has a starting MSRP of about $25,500.  The Limited Navigation Package adds a rearview camera, intuitive navigation system, premium sound, and a panoramic sunroof for $2,900.

 

The Hyundai Sonata has a spacious front and rear cabin and can seat five passengers comfortably, providing enough head/leg room for taller passengers. The interior of the Limited model is beautiful with ergonomic, supportive, and plush leather seats, which make the vehicle a great choice for long road trips. There is plenty of cargo space-16.4 cubic feet, to accommodate large, bags, boxes, and luggage.  The Sonata is also fuel efficient, yielding an estimated 24 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway,

 

If more power is desired, Hyundai has an engine upgrade option, which offers the 2.0T, which is a powerful, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 274 horsepower, quick acceleration, and excellent fuel economy, yielding 33 mpg on the highway.   

For even better fuel economy, there is the Sonata Hybrid. This model features a special and unique hybrid system that allows the vehicle to be driven on its 40 horsepower electric motor at speeds of up to 62 mpg and while other similar hybrid vehicles have a gearless, CVT Transmission, the Sonata Hybrid uses a 6-speed automatic transmission, just as the other Sonatas in the lineup, which makes it sound like a regular gas powered vehicle, yet providing better fuel economy than most hybrids available today. 

 

The Hyundai Sonata has an impressive exterior that from many angles look a lot like a luxury sedan.  It could easily be mistaken for a Mercedes, Audi, or a Lexus. Hyundai did an excellent job of designing the Sonata, giving it an upscale appearance, without the high price.  It is classified as “mid-size”, but really has larger dimensions that are similar to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

 

Even though the Sonata looks similar to some expensive luxury sedans, it definitely has a unique style that is all its own with delicate, fluidic creases along the sides of the vehicle that move toward and inward from the side frames of the windshield, attracting attention to the striking chrome grille and Hyundai logo.  The exterior rear is elegant with soft, curved lines, and minimized taillights.

 

Interior amenities in the Limited model are luxurious with refined, chrome-like plastic trim, glossy faux wood grain accents, an attractive dashboard, and a stylish middle console area.

 

The Hyundai Sonata Limited provides a smooth and quiet ride, with minimal road noise.  It also has a regal feel to it while driving and handles like a luxury car, gliding over rough surfaces effortlessly, and accelerating quickly with strong, accurate braking in heavy traffic.

 

If you have been looking for a “luxury” type mid-size sedan that is fun to drive, stylish inside and out, spacious, comfortable, fuel efficient, and affordable, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited.

 

To find out more about the Hyundai Sonata Limited, please visit- www.hyundaiusa.com

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

 

 

2013 Kia Rio Eco w/Idle Stop & Go (Review)

 

 

  

by Philippa Lane 

 

There are a variety of fuel efficient sub-compact vehicles to choose from today, such as the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris, but there is one that stands out from all the rest and it is the 2013 Kia Rio EX Eco with Idle Stop & Go technology.  With gas prices steadily increasing, budget conscious consumers are seeking a vehicle that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also practical and affordable; this is what the Rio offers and so much more.

 

The Kia Rio comes available as either a subcompact five-door hatchback or a four-door sedan.  It has a spacious front and rear cabin, upscale interior design, a stylish exterior, an attractive style, accommodates 5 adults comfortably, and has state of the art features that you would expect to see in more expensive luxury vehicles, but without the “luxury" price.

 

After experiencing a complete makeover, the new Kia Rio is now better than ever and is now considered to be one of the top subcompact vehicles in the automotive industry with its high sculptured lines, distinctive grille, and aerodynamic spoiler. The Rio offers upscale appointments and has been designed to offer the perfect blend of quality, world-class design, safety features, solid road performance, fuel efficiency, and state of the art technology that is practical and affordable.

 

Interior features of the Kia Rio EX are very nice with a soft-touch dashboard, silver trim, shiny black lacquer lining, and a variety of push button/switches that make the car look more luxurious than the average subcompact vehicle. 

 

The Idle Stop & Go feature is available in many luxury vehicles, such as in certain BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche models, but now it is also available in the Kio Rio, yielding 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, assisting drivers who daily commute in heavy stop and go traffic on freeways and in urban areas. The $400 system includes a powerful starter, battery, and adds 7% mpg efficiency. The Idle Stop & Go switches off the engine when the vehicle comes to a full stop, then restarts when accelerating. The system is consistent and increases fuel efficiency, but I noticed some pedestrians do look at the car when they hear the engine restart.

All Rios are powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection 4-cylinder engine that delivers 138 horsepower, 123 lb-ft of torque, and come with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is quick, braking is accurate, and the engine and transmission deliver impressive fuel economy. The interior front cabin boasts of plush materials, uncluttered controls, legible displays, and illuminated three-dial cluster behind the steering wheel. The seats are supportive and comfortable with plenty of headroom and legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin.

 

Standard features include power windows, a height-adjustable driver's seat, sliding center console, and trip computer available at a starting MSRP of only $14,095. The EX trim offers push-button ignition, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, power sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, heated steering wheel, a cooling glove box, satellite radio. You can get all of this and more with the EX Luxury trim for less than $21,000.  Premium options include heated leather front seats, UVO System, and a navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen and a backup camera, and power-folding side mirrors.

 

All of Kia's models include a strong 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year/60,000 mile 24-hour roadside assistance.

 

The new 2013 Kia Rio EX 5DR Hatchback with Idle Stop & Go technology offers excellent value in its class with luxury features that rival top competitors.

 

I found the Kio Rio EX to be very comfortable, easy to drive, picks up quickly, and handles highways with ease. It is the type of vehicle that is great for young and old alike. It is also inexpensive and has a unique style.

If you have been looking for a subcompact vehicle that is stylish, comfortable, fun to drive, and affordable with excellent fuel economy and performance, then I highly recommend that you check out the new 2013 Kia Rio EX Eco.

 

To find out more about the Kia Rio, please visit- www.kia.com  

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC. 

2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe is a beautiful, high performance, midsize luxury sedan that is anything but ordinary with a sporty, yet elegant exterior, classy lines, advanced technology, excellent road performance, and a luxurious interior, the CTS is practically everything that a luxury vehicle should be and so much more.

The CTS-V Coupe can seat four people comfortably and comes equipped with a powerful 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 556 horsepower and 551 lb. ft of torque, which can be matched with either a 6 speed automatic or standard 6-speed manual transmission, however, RWD is the only available trim option. 

There is so much to love about the CTS-V Coupe, from the unique and distinctive styling, impressive speed, gorgeous V shaped rear that offers increased aerodynamics, and a sporty roofline that is sleek and clearly defined.

I was very impressed with the unique look and performance of this vehicle. As a matter of fact, this is one beautiful car inside and out.

Standard features include- 19-inch wheels, telescopic steering wheel, Bose Sound System, navigation system, heated/power-adjustable/memory front seats, 4-wheel anti-lock Brembo brakes, HID headlights, magnetic ride control suspension, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, vanity mirrors, illuminated entry, speed control, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Safety features include- airbag occupancy sensor, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear parking sensors, side seat mounted airbags, traction control, stability control, blind-spot warning system, front and rear side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, and OnStar emergency communications system, which includes on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle locator, active intervention, remote door unlock, and rearview camera. Recaro Seats, Midnight Sapele Wood Trim, suede steering wheel, a shift knob, and sunroof are optional.

The front cabin is very spacious with plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers, but because of the low roof line, the rear cabin is less accommodating for passengers offering little space for legroom and entering/exiting is somewhat difficult due to the sporty design.  A larger sedan may be a better option if you will be regularly driving with three or more people.

I love the interior of the CTS-V Coupe, which has luxurious wood trim accents throughout the front cabin, comfortable seats, and high quality materials that give the vehicle an elegant, yet bold appearance that is one of a kind.

Because of the CTS-V Coupe is a high performance vehicle, fuel economy is not the best, yielding approximately 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway, but that is easily forgotten once you place your foot on the accelerator and go from 0-60 in less than 5 seconds and feel the tremendous amount of power exude from the car while it is in motion.

The 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe has a starting MSRP of $63,215 and is one of the most luxurious midsized sedans that I have ever driven and I highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for a high performance luxury vehicle that is powerful, stylish, fun to drive, comfortable, with stunning road performance that is on par with some of the fastest vehicles available today.

Check out the new 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe by going to- www.Cadillac.com

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

2013 Infiniti JX35 (First Drive and Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

This year Infiniti has introduced a luxury crossover SUV that is stylish, spacious, comfortable, fuel efficient, and is a wonderful option to vehicles such as the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX and it is the brand new JX35.

 

The JX35 seats 7 people and is a 3-row crossover vehicle that comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, 265 horsepower, 248 lb. ft. of torque, and a CVT (continuously variable transmission) with a manual shift mode option, and four driving modes-  Standard, Sport, Eco, and Snow mode. The vehicle yields an estimated 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with 20 combined.

 

One thing that sets the JX35 is its modern, attention getting style and light weight feel on the road.  Unlike other crossover vehicles that I have driven, the JX35 does not feel bulky or heavy and acceleration is superior to many of the SUV’s that are available today.  In fact, it handles sharp corners and curvy roads like a sedan with no rolling, which is quite impressive for a vehicle that weighs more than 4,000 pounds.

The interior is spacious from the 1st-3rd rows, providing plenty of head/legroom for all passengers with advanced technology, and comfortable seats that are supportive, plush, and can be easily adjusted for optimal driving comfort.  The touchscreen is accurate, intuitive, and one of the best that I have ever seen. In the higher trim levels, the JX35 comes fitted with a 360-degree view camera system, twin rear seven-inch displays, and a host of other state of the art features to please the driver and passengers. Third row seats are easy to access with the EZ Flex System and cargo space is ample, allowing the ability to carry large boxes, luggage, bicycles, snow gear, and other items.

 

Standard features include- alloy wheels, speed sensing steering, heated door mirrors, power liftgate, spoiler, power door mirrors, air conditioning, automatic temperature control, telescopic steering wheel, rear camera, leather upholstery, rear seat center armrest, split folding rear seat, rear seats/split-bench, front center armrest w/storage, heated front seats, power passenger seat, leather steering wheel leather shift knob,,

power moonroof, remote keyless entry, 6 speakers, AM/FM radio, CD player, and MP3 decoder, and FWD with optional upgrade to AWD.  Safety features include- iimmobilizer, security system, stability control, traction control, dual front impact airbags, dual front side impact airbags, overhead airbag, occupant sensing airbag, panic alarm, brake assist, and ABS brakes.

 

The Premium package offers Infiniti voice recognition, an 8 inch VGA color touchscreen, Bose 13-speaker premium sound system, Bluetooth audio streaming, hard-drive navigation, NavTraffic and Weather, Around View monitor with moving object detection and front and rear sonar, dual-occupant memory system, Zagat Survey restaurant guide, driver's seat 2-way power lumbar adjust, and enhanced intelligent key for an additional $4,950.  The Technology package adds a backup collision intervention system, remote engine start, intelligent brake assist with forward-collision warning, blind-spot warning and intervention, lane-departure warning,, and intelligent cruise control for $3,100. The Deluxe touring package adds 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, heated second-row seats, advanced climate control system, climate-controlled front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, second/third row moonroof, power sunshade, and maple interior accents for an additional $2,550 and finally the Theater package offers dual 7-inch color monitors, auxiliary audio/video input, two wireless headphones with remote, and rear headphone jacks for an additional $1,700.


One thing I don’t like about the new Infiniti JX35 is that navigation is not a standard feature and for a starting MSRP of $41,250, I think that navigation should be included in the price.  Other than that, the JX35 is an exquisite crossover SUV, perfect for families that want to get from point A to B or travel across the country in style and comfort.


To find out more about the new Infiniti JX35, please visit- www.infinitiusa.com 

 

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

 

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible (Review)

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

Nostalgic, fun to drive, and reminiscent of a different era, the new 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is a real recreation of Beetles of the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, but now better than ever with modern technology, comfortable interior, smooth drive train, and a brand new exterior design that is appealing to both men and women.

 

Available in retro inspired 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s trim varieties to pay homage to the convertible Beetle’s formative years, the new models have a look that vintage car lovers can definitely appreciate along with a bolder appearance and modern conveniences/equipment, such as climatic air conditioning with pollen filter, heated front seats, antilock brakes, power windows, cruise control, special safety features, Bluetooth, and so much more.

 

The new Volkswagen Beetle Convertible comes equipped with a choice of three different engine configurations- 2.5 liter with 170 horsepower, 2.5 liter turbocharged with 200 horsepower, or the 2 liter TDI turbocharged clean diesel engine which yields an amazing 41 mpg on the highway. Both the turbocharged and TDI editions come with a gauge cluster mounted on top of the dashboard that includes a timer, boost indicator, and temperature indicator, which is not only efficient, but a delight to see and a handsome addition to the interior of the vehicle.

 

Unlike Beetles of yesteryear, the new Beetle Convertible provides a very quiet and smooth ride with responsive handling, accurate braking, and no shaking or rolling around tight corners.  Acceleration is great and the vehicle handles extremely well in heavy stop and go traffic.

 

Because the new Beetle Convertible is a two door convertible with a flatter roofline, it is not as spacious as its non-convertible relatives, providing limited space in the rear cabin for passengers, so if you plan on transporting three or more passengers on a regular basis, you may want to consider the standard hardtop Beetle, which provides more head/legroom space in the rear cabin for adult passengers.  Also, trunk space is limited with only 7.1 cubic feet of space for cargo, so it is necessary to plan your hauling duties accordingly to avoid cramming. 

 

The interior of the Beetle Convertible has a streamlined appearance and is quiet with very little road noise, giving the sense of being insolated from the outside world, allowing you to enjoy a conversation or listen to the radio and enjoy every decibel. The dashboard and instrument cluster is neatly designed and fully functional, utilizing a combination of circular knobs/flat buttons and the touch screen navigation system is intuitive and makes travel much easier. The standard 8 speaker audio system sounds great and comes with Bluetooth streaming. A Fender Sound System is optional and can be paired with the intuitive navigation system for a truly integrated experience.

The soft top is easy to activate and can be lowered with the push of a single button in just seconds, in fact Volkswagen claims that the soft top can be lowered and raised in about 10 seconds, even while driving up to 31 mph. This is such a fun feature that anyone should be able to experience.

 

I absolutely love the style of the new 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible; it is the perfect combination of nostalgic flair, practicality, fun attributes, sporty handling, fuel efficiency, youthful essence, solid performance, and technologically advanced features with a unique style that sets it apart from every other vehicle on the road today.  The new Beetle Convertible is the perfect choice for both men and women of all ages to enjoy and appreciate.

 

On a more personal note, I took my driver’s test many years ago in a Beetle when I was 15 years of age. It looked good back then, but now the 2013 Beetle is much more stylish, comfortable, and easier to drive, with better performance and is 100% better.

 

There is so much that the Beetle Convertible embodies that can satisfy a variety of tastes and preferences.  If you are ready to take a trip down memory lane and have been looking for a car that embodies the classic style of the vintage Beetle along with state of the art modern technology and a starting MSRP of only $24,995, then I highly recommend taking a look at the new 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. 

 

To find out more about the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, please visit- www.vw.com

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

Fast, fun to drive, fuel efficient, with smooth, powerful road performance that is like no other is what the new Volkswagen Passat SE TDI offers and so much more.

 

The Passat TDI SE seats 5 people comfortably and comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.0 liter clean diesel engine, 140 horsepower, 236 lb. ft of torque and yields an impressive 31 mpg city and 43 mpg highway.  In my opinion, the Volkswagen Passat TDI is one of the most fuel efficient diesel vehicles available today and is a perfect choice for the budget conscience consumer looking for both efficiency and frugality all in one beautiful package.

The SE trim is the base trim with standard features, nothing too fancy, but still stylish, comfortable, with quick on the road performance and a manual transmission that shifts smoothly producing optimal fuel economy. 

 

Standard features include- 17” Sonoma alloy wheels, ABS anti-lock braking system, electric power steering, heated front seats, 6-speed manual transmission, heated windshield washer nozzles, immobilizer theft-deterrent system, silicone-dampened return assist handles, electric rear window defroster, cruise control,  integrated armrests in front and rear door panels, leather-appearance door trim panels, clock, multi-function trip computer with compass, radio station display, 2 radio-frequency remote transmitter key fobs with lock, rear trunk release, panic button for central locking and selectable access valet key feature, dual front and dual rear reading lights, remote trunk releases, automatic locking feature activated vehicle reaches 8 mph, driver and front passenger visor vanity mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror with on/off switch, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 3-month trial subscription, optimized front head restraints, side curtain protection, head airbags, front and rear, safety belt reminder and fuel cap seal warning, 3-point safety belts for all 4 seating positions, safety belt emergency locking retractors for all seating positions, 6 airbags, power lumbar for driver seat, manual for passenger, 60/40-split folding rear seats, theft-deterrent steering column, lockable glovebox and is illuminated when opened, front seatback storage pockets, 4 cupholders, rear center armrest, leather-wrapped shift knob and brake handle, V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, rear passenger heat and A/C vents in center console, child safety locks on rear doors, and an 8-way power adjustable driver seat.

 

The front and rear is very spacious and provides ample room for taller passengers and the dashboard controls are within arms reach and easy to access to make adjustments to the cabin temperature and change audio settings.  The seats are supportive and are made with smooth and plush materials that are non-irritating and have a luxurious texture that is uniquely Volkswagen. If I have passengers that are seated in the rear cabin, it is great to know that they have ample leg room and space to stretch their arms/legs and be seated comfortably.

 

This is a fun car to drive, especially with a manual transmission. I would definitely love to drive this car on long trips. It is so comfortable, stylish, saves money on fuel, and gets you where you need to go quickly and inexpensively.

 

With fuel costs being higher than most people would want them to be, the new 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI has entered the automotive segment as an answer to what so many people are looking for- a comfortable and spacious sedan offering the fuel efficiency of a hybrid for less than $30,000.  The Passat TDI is a sure winner and with a starting MSRP of only $26,225, it is definitely a top choice for 2013.

 

 

 

To find out more about the new 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI, please visit- http://www.vw.com/

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

2013 Lexus ES 350 Sedan (Review and First Drive)

Amazingly Smooth, Fast, Impeccably Designed, and Affordable!

 

by Philippa Lane

With a sleeker and more polished exterior and interior, the new 6th generation 2013 Lexus ES 350 Sedan has entered the luxury segment looking and performing better than ever.  The changes can be felt as soon as you sit in the ergonomic, plush, and supportive driver’s seat and experience the luxurious, bigger, quieter interior.  Fitted with a 268-horsepowered V6 3.5-liter engine and a six-speed electronic automatic transmission that delivers a combined 24 MPG in the city and on the highway, the new ES 350 is making an indelible impact in today’s automotive industry.

The 2013 Lexus ES 350 has a great new look with better fuel efficiency and comes equipped with a distinctive and striking front grille, 10 airbags, state of the art navigation system, gorgeous wood details throughout the dashboard and middle console areas, a remote touch system with a mouse-like controller to access the screen, and 17-inch wheels.  A panoramic roof and 18-inch all season tires are optional.

Interior appointments are well designed and the wheelbase has been extended, which increases the amount of interior space. The interior of the 2013 Lexus ES 350 is very luxurious, modern, and contemporary with harmonious colors that look elegant and refined. There is plenty of headroom and legroom in both the front and rear cabin for taller passengers and the front cabin has 10-way power seats that can be adjusted a variety of ways for optimal comfort.

The standard trim provides a smooth, quiet, comfortable ride with responsive steering and quick acceleration, going from 0-60 mph in about six seconds.  Road noise is minimal and the ES 350 handles sharp turns and tight corners with ease.

A great new addition to the 2013 ES 350 is the Drive Mode Select feature. The system gives the driver the ability to select either- normal, eco, or sport mode, which can change the electronically controlled transmission, steering, throttle, mapping, and climate control.

After driving the GS 350, I can honestly say that I like the ES 350 much better.  The ES 350 is more spacious, comfortable, easier to drive, and smoother on the road with a sleeker and more luxurious interior and exterior.

With a starting MSRP of about $37,000 and only $45,050 for the Ultra Luxury Package, the new Lexus ES 350 is the perfect choice if you are looking for a luxury vehicle that is affordable, stylish, well made, fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and quiet with smooth on the road performance that is comparable to other luxury vehicles with a higher price tag.   

The ES 350 delivers the best ride in its class with state of the art features, is reliable, looks absolutely beautiful inside and out, and is one of the best and most affordable luxury vehicles introduced in 2013.  It is a great car for the entire family and I highly recommend taking a look at the 2013 Lexus ES 350. 

To find out more about the new 2013 Lexus ES 350, please visit- http://www.lexus.com/ 

 

 

 

 

Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network, LLC.  

 

 

 

2013 Lexus GS 350 (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2013 Lexus GS 350 is a mid-size sedan that has entered the luxury segment with a new sporty appearance, stylish exterior and interior, distinctive spindle grille, firm suspension, innovative technology, and vibrant on the road performance.  With a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, 306 horsepower, 277 ft. of torque, and a combined 23 mpg, the GS 350 is ready to compete on every level with its German rivals.

The GS 350 is a perfect blending of strength, elegance, and refinement all in one beautiful package, it is definitely a top choice among driving enthusiasts that prefer a sporty luxury vehicle that is quick, fun to drive, and powerful with an elegant interior and exterior that is bold and elegant at the same time.  

Standard features include- 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, 10-way power front seats with driver memory, an 8-inch touchpad, CD player, power rear sunshade, Bluetooth/ iPod connectivity, and a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system. The GS 350 is also fitted with standard safety features, such as antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side-impact airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, rearview camera, and a telematics service with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and emergency assistance button.

Optional luxury/premium features include a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 18-way ventilated/heated/cooled front/rear seats, rain sensing wipers, sunroof, adaptive suspension, night vision camera, adaptive cruise control, bigger wheels, navigation system, soft leather upholstery, fog lights, a power-closing trunk lid, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, rear climate controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive headlights, wood-trimmed steering wheel, and a Mark Levinson Premium Sound System.

The GS 350 is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift paddle and comes fitted with rear-wheel drive configuration or optional all-wheel drive. The engine is somewhat louder than the engine of the ES 350 and because of a sportier suspension; it provides a bumpier ride with a closer to the road feel as well.

Interior appointments are well made and designed with a blend of soft leather, ambient LED lighting, and copious wood trim throughout the dashboard and console areas.  The seats are firm, comfortable, and provide great lumbar support, but are not as plush and comfortable as the seats in the ES 350.  The front and rear cabin areas are spacious, providing ample head/leg room for taller passengers, but compared to the 2013 ES 350, it is not as spacious and there is room for improvement; however the GS 350 does offer more interior space than previous models.

A great feature of both the new ES and GS 350 models is the addition of a Remote Touch Multimedia Controller, which is a small device that functions like a computer mouse that helps the user navigate the apps and menus on either an 8 inch screen or on a huge 12 inch display screen.  It is very accurate, easy to use, and helpful when making certain adjustments to the sound, getting system information, and utilizing many other functions.

The GS 350 also comes equipped with Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes, while the F Sport Package adds a tighter suspension and available rear-wheel steering, which gives a sportier feel on the road that enthusiasts are sure to appreciate.  In any mode, the GS 350 handles sharp corners with ease with responsive and accurate braking that is better than many other luxury vehicles in its class.

 

Driving kinetics of the GS350 is quite impressive offering a genuinely delightful ride and the technology features are some of the best and most advanced that I have ever seen, which include hands free calling, voice command capability, music streaming using Pandora and Spotify apps, access to Facebook, Yelp, Open Table, iHeartRadio, and the ability to charge various devices using a USB port available located in the middle console area.

The new 2013 Lexus GS 350 is a serious competitor in the mid-size luxury vehicle segment with a sleek style, luxurious interior, technologically advanced features, and solid on the road performance with a starting MSRP of $47,250.  It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a luxury vehicle that is like no other.

 

To find out more information about the new GS 350, please visit- www.lexus.com

 

2013 Cadillac Escalade AWD Premium (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

The Cadillac Escalade has become one of the most popular American SUV’s in history with its unique design, trendsetting style, and enormous size.  The Escalade is an established luxury vehicle- a cut above of so many others with its shiny chrome detailing, state of the art features, and high-end interior appointments. It is quite a beauty. With just one glance, it is not hard to see why the Cadillac Escalade is so popular and after more than a decade, it’s still going strong and is now better than ever.

Even though it is large in size, the Escalade is surprisingly very smooth on the road with fast acceleration, responsive mechanisms, and has a lavish interior that is hard to find in any other SUV on the market today.  Because the vehicle is fitted with a large and powerful 6.2-liter V-8 flex-fuel engine with 403-horsepower, and 417 lb. ft. of torque, the Escalade can accelerate quickly going from 0-60 mph in approximately 6.5 seconds, regardless of its heavy weight.  Due to the special chassis tuning, it actually does not feel like you are driving one of the largest SUV’s in America. 

When I first saw the Escalade in a beautiful Mocha Steel Metallic color, I was greatly impressed.  The uniqueness of the color combined with the vehicle's sleek exterior is like nothing I have ever seen before and when I sat in the car, I felt like I was sitting in a plush living room on wheels.  The DVD entertainment center is stereophonic and makes you feel like you are in a movie theater.  The intricate wood detailing along the the dashboard area is eye catching and classy.

For the 2013 model year, the Escalade comes in various trim levels with three unique body styles and two different gearings- standard and hybrid.

The Cadillac Escalade AWD Premium comes equipped with performance features, such as a 6 speed automatic transmission, engine oil and transmission cooling system, and magnetic ride control. Luxury features include navigation system, Bose 5.1 Surround Sound, DVD-Audio w/single disc CD, XM NavTraffic, Bluetooth, USB Port, ipod input leather wrapped heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, universal home remote,  third row seats, tri-zone auto climate control, rear seat audio controls, heated and cooled seats in the front cabin, second row heated bucket seats with leather surfaces, luggage rack side and cross rails, intellibeam headlamps, HID headlamps with low/high beams, power sunroof, remote vehicle start power retractable assist steps, rear parking assist, power liftgate, 22” ultra machined finished wheels, and rear seat entertainment system. The Premium trim is also fitted with safety and security features which include- frontal, driver and front passenger air bags, seat mounted side impact airbags for the driver and front passenger, head curtain side airbags with roll over protection in all rows, rear vision camera system, side blind zone alert, and stabilitrak-stability control system with traction control and rollover mitigation.

The 2013 Cadillac Escalade has a spacious front and rear cabin, comfortable seats, and road noise is minimal. In fact, a quiet and smooth ride is one of the best features of the Escalade.  There haven’t been a lot of major changes made to the exterior of the SUV, but the vehicle has still received five-star safety rating in all frontal and side tests.

All Escalade models are filled with a variety of luxury features with a host of customizable options.  If you desire the most technologically advanced and most luxurious features available, then the Platinum trim is the best choice, because it offers LED headlamps, heated and cooled cup holders, Tehama Leather, and a leather-trimmed instrument panel.

The 2013 Cadillac Escalade delivers up to 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway with a starting MSRP of about $74,225 for the Premium trim, but it is well worth the price.  There is no other SUV available today that embodies such a perfect combination of luxury, style, and performance and there is no other SUV that I know of that is as powerful as the Cadillac Escalade and with all of the luxurious interior features and options, it is in a class all its own.

To find out more about the Cadillac Escalade, please visit- www.Cadillac.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ is a large sized SUV with a spacious and comfortable interior, hi-tech features, and exceptional towing/hauling power.  Easily accommodating nine people, the Chevy Tahoe has become a great choice among consumers seeking an SUV that provides comfort, power, and off the road performance all in one. 

Whatever the job is at hand, the Chevy Tahoe LTZ can handle it with a powerful 5.8-liter V8 flex-fuel engine and 320 horsepower, even the most difficult road situations can be tackled with ease, always delivering plenty of torque for difficult driving conditions.

The new 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ provides a quiet and comfy ride, which is great for long trips and comes fitted with leather seats, automatic climate controls, satellite radio, power door locks/windows/mirrors, iPod and USB connectivity, navigation system, Bose surround-sound stereo, a sunroof, Bluetooth, rear DVD entertainment system, and safety features, such as hill-start assist, antilock brakes, and OnStar emergency notification system.

In the Tahoe LTZ, every passenger can control their own personal level of comfort with 12-way power front leather seats that can be heated and cooled.  The seats have lumbar support, power recline, and two-position driver memory. The LTZ also comes with a heated steering wheel to keep the driver’s hands warm on cold days.

The LTZ comes equipped with Chevrolet’s special 6-speed automatic transmission with a standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) transmission.  Four-wheel drive (4WD) is optional, but if you are planning a lot of off-road adventures, then four-wheel drive is the better option. With an impressive towing capacity of 8,500 lbs and maximum payload of 1,652 lbs, the Tahoe is one of the most powerful SUV’s on the market today with the ability to carry more heavy loads than the majority of other small utility vehicles on the road today.

Because of the Tahoe’s size and hauling ability, it is not as fuel efficient as some of its rivals, yielding only 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, making it necessary to make more trips to the gas station than one may want to, however, when I test drove a Chevy Tahoe, I noticed that I was averaging more than 15mpg in the city, even in heavy stop and go traffic.

One of the things that I like about the Chevy Tahoe is its large size, which sits higher than most SUV’s, giving a much better view of the road while driving.  The seats are ergonomic, adjustable, cushioned, supportive, and there is plenty of head and legroom in the front and rear cabin areas for taller passengers.  The wood accents on the dashboard and center console are beautiful details that add a touch of luxury and elegance to the SUV.

The Tahoe is one of the most impressive SUV’s available today, but has too often been overlooked.  The LTZ is the most luxurious of all the Chevy Tahoe trims, but because of its higher MSRP of $53,295, it is not an affordable option for many consumers, however, with all of its high end features, it is well worth the price.  

To some consumers, the Chevy Tahoe may seem a little expensive or overpriced, but with such powerful towing capacity, spacious interior, great seating capacity, and luxurious details throughout the vehicle, it is one of the best choices for the consumer who is looking for a large SUV with high end features.

To find out more about the 2013 Chevy Tahoe LTZ, please visit- www.chevrolet.com

 

 

2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Review

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

Chevrolet has introduced a new and improved 2013 Malibu LTZ, a mid-sized sedan fitted with General Motor’s Ecotec 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and it is impressive.  It is the perfect combination of responsiveness, comfort, style, safety, performance, and a smooth ride all rolled into one fun to drive and solidly built driving machine.

The 2013 Chevy Malibu LTZ has a beautiful exterior with 259 hpr and 260 lb.ft. of torque and comes equipped with either a four-cylinder or V6 engine, fuel efficient 6-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift manual shift control, electric power steering, electric parking brake, and delivers an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway.

The front and rear cabin is spacious, attractive, with a stylish interior that is both modern and pleasing to the eyes with blue ambient lighting.  All of the dashboard controls are easy to maneuver, however there are some hard plastic elements that are a slight distraction from the more upscale interior features. The Malibu has excellent steering that is accurate and responsive, and while driving, there is minimal road noise.  The four-cylinder engine delivers a smooth and quiet ride and the front bucket seats are comfortable and supportive, which is great for long trips.

The Malibu LTZ is fitted with upscale features, such as automatic climate control, heated driver and front passenger leather upholstered seats, dual zone air conditioning, remote vehicle start, eight-way power driver's seat, six-way power passenger's seat, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, XM radio, heated power mirrors, auto-dimming inside mirror, telescopic steering column, six-speaker premium sound, fog lights, Duralife Brake Rotors, LED tail lamps, and 18” aluminum wheels with a starting MSRP of $27,830.

Electronics and entertainment features, such as a power sunroof, Pioneer Premium Sound System, 9-speaker, 250 watt amplifier, rear vision camera system, universal home remote, and 120-volt power outlet are optional and can be added for an additional $1,900.   The LTZ Premium package adds high intensity headlamps, keyless push button start, driver seat memory settings, and EZ key passive entry system for $1,000 extra.

Safety and security features include driver and passenger airbags, stability control with traction control, anti-lock brake system, 4 wheel disc, theft deterrent system, safety belts, child locks, daytime running lamps, tire-pressure monitor system, compact spare tire, front, side-curtain airbags, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control. 

The exterior design of the Malibu is sleek, daring, and has a European flair to it that is appealing and eye catching.  One of my favorite features within the vehicle is the ambient lighting, which is usually seen in more expensive luxury cars. Ambient lighting assists both the driver and passenger front cabin of the vehicle to easily find certain controls/buttons on the dashboard and center console areas.

The standard interior is a single tone, but there are also various two-tone interior options that are available as well, which include a dramatic black and brownstone leather combination that's very beautiful.  Also, the piping on the seats creates a contrast that is attractive and striking. 

There is plenty of head and leg room for taller passengers in the front and rear cabin and there is an area in the middle of the rear seats that flips down to allow for placing small items in the trunk without needing to open the main trunk door, however, the trunk is not large enough to hold larger boxes, because of certain internal design elements. 

In summary, the new 2013 Chevy Malibu LTZ is a beautiful vehicle that is comfortable, spacious, fun to drive, with a unique style that is like no other.  It has all of the features that a modern family needs and is perfect for short trips, long excursions, and everything in between.  The starting MSRP for the Chevy Malibu LTZ is $27,830 and the fully loaded LTZ with all of the special options is $32,360. 

To find out more about the new Chevy Malibu LTZ, please visit- www.chevy.com

 

2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI w/Premium 4 DR Sedan (Review)

 

 by Philippa Lane

The new and improved Volkswagen Jetta TDI is now better than ever giving consumers a premium European sedan with excellent fuel economy for an affordable price. 

The TDI is a perfect combination of fuel economy, style, comfort, and with a starting MSRP of only $25,530, it is no surprise that it is one of the top selling vehicles of 2013 and will continue to increase in popularity with budget conscious consumers looking for a vehicle that is economical and fuel efficient.

About a year ago, Volkswagen made revisions to the Jetta to better compete with other vehicles, such as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.  Also, for the 2013 model year, many great changes have been made to the Jetta which include a soft-touch dashboard, rear drum brakes have been substituted by superior discs, larger and more defined dimensions on the exterior and in the interior as well as the introduction of the new hybrid model, which Volkswagen declares can yield almost 45 mpg on the highway.

The Jetta is available as either a sedan or a wagon and comes in four trims- 2.0L, 2.5L, TDI, and GLI (sedan only). Optional packages are available for each trim.

The basic 2.0L trim comes equipped with 15 inch steel wheels, heated exterior mirrors, air conditioning, height-adjustable front seats, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, cloth upholstery, and a 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input. There is no rear center armrest in the base 2.0L model.  The 2.0L S adds a sunroof, a front center console with an armrest, and cruise control.  The 2.5L SE trim is fitted with the aforementioned features and also adds 16 inch steel wheels, leather trim, partial power front seats, leatherette upholstery, and a rear center armrest. The 2.5L SE with Convenience Package adds heated front seats, steering-wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 6-speaker sound system with iPod integration. 

 

For more opulence, there is the 2.5L SE which adds a touchscreen stereo interface with an SD-card reader, while the 2.5 SEL trim is fitted with fog lights,17 inch alloy wheels, more supportive front seats with driver lumbar adjustment, keyless entry with push-button ignition, navigation system, multi-function trip computer, and a Fender Sound System with a subwoofer.


The TDI Premium comes equipped with a sunroof, navigation system, chrome exterior trim, keyless entry with push-button start, and driver lumbar adjustment.  The base GLI comes equipped with decorative 17 inch alloy wheels, exterior body kit, darkened taillights, sport pedals, red interior stitching, front sport seats with driver lumbar adjustment, cloth upholstery, a soft-touch dashboard, iPod/Bluetooth connectivity and the 6-speaker touchscreen stereo.  The GLI Autobahn trim adds bi-Xenon headlights with LED accents, 18 inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, heated sport front seats, a cooling glovebox, and dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, and a SD-based navigation system with rearview camera.


The interior of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI is spacious with plenty of headroom and legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin.  The cargo/trunk area is 15.5 cubic feet, which is large enough to fit large boxes, luggage, and groceries.  The rear cabin has more than 31 cubic feet of space and approximately 66 cubic feet of additional room when the rear seats are folded down.


The Jetta's standard front seats are supportive and comfortable and the dashboard and controls are easy to understand.  Also, the tilt-telescopic steering wheel and height-adjustable driver's seat are great features that provide accurate seating placement for better driving performance.  The Fender System emits a clear and concise sound with the touchscreen audio system, which is available in the upper trim levels, is easy to use.


Surprisingly, the TDI is quite quick on the road, with a powerful turbodiesel engine with enough torque to get you where you need to go quickly and with ease. This is essential for merging and passing in urban areas. The TDI yields approximately 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway and comes equipped with either a six speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.


The Jetta comes with standard stability control and effective safety features, such as six airbags- front, front passenger side, and full-length side curtain.  In government crash testing, the Jetta sedan received four stars out five overall, including five stars for side impacts and four stars for frontal impacts. Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Jetta sedan its most eminent rating of “good” in every crash test category.


The Jetta is a classic vehicle that is the perfect combination of style and high performance.  With a starting MSRP of only $25,530, it is a great choice for today’s budget conscious consumer looking for a quality at an affordable price.


If you have been looking for a fun, fuel efficient, affordable, finely tuned, stylish, solid performer on the road, with excellent handling, then I highly recommend that you take a look at the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.


To find out more about the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, please visit- www.VW.com  

2013 Infiniti EX37 Review

 

by Philippa Lane

The Infiniti EX37 is a full power mid-size luxury crossover vehicle with a unique style, plush interior, and technologically advanced features have made it one of the leading contenders in the automotive industry.

 

It embodies the driving kinetics of a sedan and spaciousness of a compact SUV with softer exterior lines than most crossover luxury vehicles on the market today. The EX37 seats five adults comfortably and unlike many of other mid-size crossover vehicles, it sits a bit lower, almost at sedan ground level, making navigation easier with a lighter feel on the road. 

The 2013 Infiniti is equipped with a powerful 3.7 liter V6 engine, 7 speed automatic transmission, 325 horsepower, and comes with rear wheel drive, which is standard or optional all wheel drive.  For both all wheel drive and rear wheel drive models, fuel economy ratings are 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The EX37 is fitted with L-shaped headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust, heated side mirrors, fog lamps, keyless entry, 8-way power driver's seat, leather interior, a rearview camera and USB/iPod integration, push-button start, and a 60/40-split rear seat. Bi-xenon headlights and directionally adaptive headlights are optional. 

The interior of the EX37 has beautifully designed wood and leather elements that have a streamlined appearance that make the vehicle look very luxurious with elaborate stitching on the seats, rich interior color choices, and wood ornamentations. Interior features include- leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, maple interior trim, and heated front seats.  A voice-activated navigation system and power flip-up rear seats are optional. Premium interior color options are- black, dark chestnut, or wheat and leather options are maple or black lacquer.

The Journey trim offers even more features, such as Bluetooth, a power sunroof, a power tilting/telescoping steering wheel, and heated front seats.  Additional options include- a Bose 11-speaker sound system, HID headlamps, extendable coat hanger, hard-drive navigation, and an around view monitor which utilizes 4 cameras minimizing blind spots, giving warning signals to the driver when other cars are nearby.

Safety features include front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags, rear side airbags, front active head restraints, 4-wheel ABS, and an electronic stability system. Adaptive cruise control, brake assist with forward collision warning, and a lane departure warning system are optional.  The EX has been given top marks by the Independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and has awarded the 2013 Infiniti EX with a top safety pick rating.

 

The front cabin has comfortable ergonomic seats that are plush and supportive, however, the rear cabin feels a little bit tight and there is not enough head and legroom for taller passengers, which can make long trips for rear seat passengers a bit uncomfortable. 

 

Trunk space is also limited, but when the 60/40 split seat is let down, there is more room to place bigger loads of cargo. Because it is a hatchback, it is important to make sure that your EX37 comes equipped with a retractable/rolling cargo cover to hide your personal belongings, such as shopping bags, boxes, tools, and luggage, because without a cover, your belongings can be easily seen by passerby’s, causing a security issue for both the vehicle and your cargo.

 

The dashboard controls are easy to operate and are centrally located to access the navigation system, a/c, and other important functions. Road noise is minimal, braking is accurate, and steering/handling is precise. 

 

The EX37 has a starting MSRP of about $36,800 for the base RWD and $40,050 for the Journey with All Wheel Drive, which is a little pricey, but I highly recommend the Journey trim, because it offers more luxury features, better technology, and a more enjoyable ride.

 

To find out more about the 2013 Infiniti EX37, please visit- www.infinitiusa.com/ex/ 

 

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan (Review)

by Philippa Lane

The 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan has entered the automotive scene with improved gas mileage of an astounding 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, additional standard features, and new transmission choices that give the budget conscious consumer more versatility, while saving money all at the same time.

The Versa is available in three special trims- 1.6 S, 1.6 SV, and 1.6 SL.  The basic S trim comes equipped with standard features, such as manual windows and door locks, manual (driver) key entry, AM/FM Radio/CD, and can be fitted with a Xtronic CVT transmission, a five-speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic transmission.

The four-speed automatic delivers approximately 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway while the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) delivers maximum fuel efficiency of 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. It is about $2,000 more for the CVT, but is a much better option if you want the most fuel efficient option. The CVT on the S trim comes equipped with a four-speaker stereo system, standard cruise control, silver trim accents, dual front and rear cupholders, trip computer, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, air conditioning/heat, and 15” steel wheels.

Fuel economy has improved greatly with the Versa 1.6 S Sedan with a continuously variable automatic transmission from the previous model year. The CVT transmission is standard on S, SV, and SL trims.  A backup camera can be added to the SL trim with the Tech Package.  Keyless entry capability, remote trunk release, armrest in the front cabin, sunvisor extensions, and engine immobilizer are available and are standard features in the SL model.

The front and rear cabin is spacious and there is plenty of head and leg room for tall passengers. 

The best feature of the 2012 Versa 1.6 S Sedan is its fuel efficiency and spacious interior, but with a starting MSRP of $12,760, I expected the vehicle to be equipped with modern features, such as automatic doorlocks/windows and was disappointed that the only way to enter the vehicle is through the driver’s door with a key.  From within the vehicle, the driver must reach over and manually unlock the passenger’s side to open it and there is no passenger door key entry on the 1.6 S trim.  There are no mirrors on the visors, which is usually a standard feature on most recently manufactured vehicles, but is non existent on the base model. Also, the trunk can only be opened with a key and there is no mechanism within the vehicle that can be pushed to open the trunk.  The interior elements of the 1.6 S are very basic with an abundance of plastic components; however, the controls are easily to navigate and the trunk/cargo area is quite large with plenty of room to put large boxes, luggage, and groceries.

If you have been looking for a simple, budget sedan with excellent fuel economy that will get you from point A to point B without a lot of frills, then I recommend that you take a look at the 2012 Nissan Versa 1.6 S Sedan.  It is currently the cheapest vehicle in the United States and even without all of the modern features that one may expect in a new car, it still is a great value with the ability to save you thousands of dollars at the gas pump.

To find out more about the Versa, please visit- http://www.nissanusa.com/  







 

 

 

 

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist Review

 by Philippa Lane

 

Over the last few years, General Motors has been making great strides in the automotive industry by introducing extraordinary vehicles made with premium materials, equipped with modern technology, and luxurious interior/exterior details that exceed most foreign rivals.  One of GM’s most popular and best-selling luxury sedans is the Buick LaCrosse.

The new Buick LaCrosse, now better than ever, is a fully appointed, large, 4-door luxury sedan with an impressive design, plush interior, unique styling, state-of-the-art features, and great fuel economy because of a special hybrid system called eAssist, which yields an impressive 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

The Buick LaCrosse comes equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, while the LaCrosse eAssist features a six-speed automatic transmission and come fitted with  a Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which provides great performance and better fuel efficiency, however, the 3.6-liter V-6 engine delivers more power.

One of the best vehicles that Buick has introduced is the LaCrosse with eAssist, which uses an innovative lithium-ion battery system and an electric motor-generator to enable renewed braking capability that improves fuel efficiency by 25 percent more than the previous 2.4L engine.  This unique system gives power assistance to the internal combustion engine instead of supplying all electric actuation. With eAssist, the engine can be shut off at stops and restart quickly when the brake is not engaged.

The LaCrosse is available in seven distinctive and exciting trims which are the- LaCrosse Base, Convenience Group, Leather Group, Premium l Group, Premium ll Group, Premium lll Group, and Touring Group, which offer an assortment of technologically advanced features to satisfy a variety of budgets, needs, and personal preferences. The aforementioned product equipment groups have replaced the former CX, CXL, and CXS trims. 

The LaCrosse Base Group is fitted with cloth seats, dual-zone automatic climate control system, and heated/cooled rear-seats, AM/FM/XM stereo with single-CD player, Bluetooth for phone, USB port, high-resolution color driver information center, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, remote keyless entry, eight-way driver power seat adjuster, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.  The LaCrosse Convenience Group adds a power driver lumbar, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, remote start, and universal home remote. 

Out of all of the LaCrosse trim groups available, my personal favorites are the Premium trims, because they offer highly desired features that most people are looking for in a luxury vehicle, such as rear park assist, rear vision camera, memory settings and auto-dimming outside rearview mirror, ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, power rear sunshade, passive entry and push-button start.  The Premium III Group adds premium Harman/Kardon 11-speaker with surround sound audio system and power outlet, while the LaCrosse Touring offers a navigation system with 40gb hard drive. 

Rear-seat mounted thorax air bags, sunroof, premium audio system, navigation, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and side blind zone alert technology are all optional.

The LaCrosse also has a unique ECO gauge located below the speedometer which consistently monitors and helps correct bad driving habits to maximize fuel efficiency. If you accelerate too quickly, the system gauge will let you know that you are no longer in the green ECO mode and because of the new eAssist hybrid system, drivability has become easier and more fluent with a graceful character. 

What really makes the LaCrosse stand out among other luxury sedans is its stylish exterior, comfortable ergonomic seats, plush interior, and exquisite detailing throughout the front and rear cabin.  I love that the LaCrosse embodies style, class, comfort, and performance all in one.

The entire layout is absolutely stunning and makes the car look much more expensive than it really is.  The vehicle also provides a very smooth ride with minimal road noise and easy handling around sharp corners.   One design element that I don’t like is the distance between the driver and dashboard controls, which are not easily accessible from arm’s length without a bit of leaning. While driving, the controls can be somewhat of a challenge to access and distracting. A major issue? No, but definitely could be improved upon. There is ample leg room and head room for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin and there is plenty of cargo space to fit boxes, small furniture items, luggage, and groceries.

The Buick LaCrosse has a starting MSRP of $32,935 for the base eAssist model and $38,000 for a loaded Premium model.

If you are looking for a stylish, comfortable, and fuel efficient luxury midsize sedan that is affordable and fun to drive, then I highly recommend that you take a look at the new 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist.  

To find out more about the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, please visit- http://www.buick.com/

 

2012 Subaru Impreza 5-Door Hatchback (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The 2012 Subaru Impreza is definitely making a mark in the compact small car sector of the automotive industry with a new and improved stylish exterior, distinctive design, comfortable interior, lighter engine, all-wheel drive, solid road performance, and a low price tag. Even though the Impreza is not the fastest small car on the market, its plush interior, great fuel economy, and spacious cargo area make it a practical choice for today’s  budget conscious consumers. 

Available as either a hatchback or a sedan and hatchback, the 2012 Subaru Impreza comes equipped with either a standard five-speed manual or CVT transmission and a new 2.0-liter aluminum engine that has less horsepower than the 2011 model, but is lighter and has more “pep” than the previous generation and with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), fuel economy is increased, yielding an impressive 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.  Also, the all-wheel drive feature, which most inexpensive small cars don’t have, helps the Impreza have great cornering abilities and a more grounded feel on the road.

According to Subaru, the 2012 Impreza is the most fuel efficient all-wheel-drive, gasoline-powered passenger car in America.  Its incredible jump in fuel efficiency, however, is attributed to the new and smaller 2-liter engine, which provides an additional 10% fuel economy increase compared to the 2.5-liter engine.  The plus to this change is better fuel economy, but the downside is a decrease in horsepower, from 170 horsepower to 148 horsepower.

I am not impressed with the lack of horsepower and the engine is a little loud at times. Seating in the driver’s seat was very comfortable and there is ample leg and head room in the back rear seats. It is a great car for college students and a starter vehicle.  All in all I found the 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-Door to be an excellent value for the price.

Subaru has made great improvements to the Impreza's rear suspension with stronger parts for great stability, handling, and the premium trim offers a stabilizing rear-suspension bar for better driving performance.   

The Impreza’s interior is quite impressive with supportive and comfortable seats, ample headroom for taller passengers, with a design/layout that is very European and is similar to a Volkswagen Passat or Audi A3 with clean lines, a stylish dashboard, and a center console armrest. There is plenty of legroom in the rear cabin and a lot of cargo space in the 5-door hatchback, which is great for hauling luggage, boxes, and groceries.

The vehicle is available in five trims- Base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited, and Sport Limited.  The base model offers basic features while the Premium trim is fitted with 15-inch steel or 16-inch alloy wheels, USB port for iPod integration audio system with a CD player, six speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and MP3 auxiliary input. The Limited trim comes fitted with 17-inch wheels, CVT, fog lights, cold weather package, and a 4.3-inch audio display with enhanced graphics.  With both the Premium and Limited trims, a 6.1-inch touch-screen display with navigation can be added. The navigation system has an intuitive interface and decipherable graphics.  

If you have been looking for a compact sedan or hatchback that is fun to drive, stylish, comfortable, fuel efficient, inexpensive, with great road performance, then I highly recommend that you take a look at the new 2012 Subaru Impreza.  The starting MSRP for the 2012 Subaru is only $17,495, and in my opinion, is a great car available for a great price.

To find out more about the new 2012 Subaru Impreza, please visit-  http://www.subaru.com

 

2012 Audi A7 Quattro Sedan Review

by Philippa Lane

 

Classy, sleek, stylish, smooth, and designed for speed, the new 2012 Audi A7 Quattro Sedan is a supercharged masterpiece on wheels and is perhaps the most luxurious and best looking car that Audi has ever made.

The 2012 Audi A7 has a unique style all its own, with a distinguished front grille, inclined coupe fashioned roof, and LED daytime running lights. There is not a single flaw in its design and the exterior is beautiful from every angle.

It is fun to drive, fast, and is a luxury car that is great for every day driving in all kinds of weather, but is at the same time, retains its stunning beauty on the road, yielding 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The A7 is available in three trim levels- Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige, and comes fully equipped with a powerful 3.0-liter V6 engine with 310 horsepower, 325 ft. of torque, Quattro all-wheel-drive for excellent maneuvering, and can go from 0-60 in only 5.4 seconds. To provide maximum road performance, there is also a spoiler hidden in the rear that protrudes when the vehicle reaches a speed over 80 mph and automatically retracts at 50 mph. Adjustable driving modes/settings are at your fingertips with the Audi Drive Select System, which allows you to choose between Comfort, Dynamic, Auto, or Individual, in which you can custom make your own drive settings, adjusting gear change points, steering, and throttle sensitivity. My favorite driving mode is Comfort, because it made the engine and transmission function in a less intense fashion and suited my own personal driving style perfectly; however for someone looking for a more aggressive driving experience, the Dynamic mode is a great option.

Standard equipment for the premium trim includes adjustable drive settings, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, 18-inch wheels automatic wipers, heated windshield washers, a sunroof, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, cruise control, heated eight-way power seats with four-way lumbar adjustment, driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control, MMI system, Bluetooth, 14-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, an iPod audio interface, and satellite radio.

The Premium Plus trim is fitted with front and rear parking sensors, an innovative navigation system, 19-inch wheels, enhanced version of MMI, rearview camera, voice controls, HD radio, and CD changer. The Prestige trim adds ventilated front seats, keyless ignition and entry, adaptive headlights with washers, power-adjustable steering wheel, S line exterior trim, four-zone automatic climate control, and an advanced Bose surround sound system.

The Cold Weather Package and Driver Assistance Package are both available on all trims and offer additional features such as heated steering wheel,  heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, and a front collision warning system.

The A7 is one of the most technologically equipped vehicles available today, boasting a Google earth-based navigation system with beautiful satellite imagery, instead of unrealistic and artificial maps, which integrates Google local search with the navigation system, including gas prices, traffic information, Wikipedia landmarks with descriptions, and satellite maps showing the exact position of the car on a photographic landscape. I have never seen another vehicle with such a technologically advanced navigation system and this one feature alone makes driving an A7 a more wonderful experience.

Over the years, I have driven many cars, but by far, the Audi A7 is the quietest and smoothest one I have ever been behind the wheel of. 

The starting MSRP is $59,250 and in my opinion, is well worth the money. There is no other luxury vehicle available today that can compare to the Audi A7.   It is sleek, fun to drive, engaging, and distinctive with state of the art features, superior performance, and a style that is like no other.

To find out more about the Audi A7 Quattro Sedan, please visit- www.audiusa.com

 

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (Review)

by Philippa Lane

 

The compact crossover segment has been increasingly growing over the years. As a matter of fact, the demand for small crossover vehicles will grow more than 450 percent by 2013 and Mitsubishi has responded to this demand with the all new 2012 Outlander Sport; a five-passenger vehicle that is making a huge impact in the crossover field. It has a sleek, sporty look with the spacious hauling capacity of a crossover, the driving ease of a small car, and the usefulness of a wagon.

The Sport is the smaller version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander and is uniquely different, because of its compact size, stylish exterior, and shape. It is approximately one foot shorter than the Outlander in length, weighs about 400 pounds less, and has a bold, attractive inverted trapezoid shaped grille, which is similar to the full sized Outlander and Lancer Ralliart. The Sport also has softer exterior contours than the full-sized Outlander and seats up to five passengers.

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes in an SE and ES trim and is powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine, produces 148 horsepower, has145 pounds of torque, and handles very well with only minor road noise.

Front-wheel drive is available on the SE trim and all-wheel-drive is available on the ES trim, which adds more stability in slippery road conditions, such as in the rain and snow. Both the ES and SE trims use a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and come with air conditioning, folding and reclining high-back rear seats, power doors and windows, premium fabric upholstery, keyless entry, heated mirrors, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, audio and cruise controls built into the steering wheel, LCD multi-information display, LED combination tail lamps, variable intermittent rain sensing wipers, hands-free link system with USB port, telescopic tilt steering wheel, hill start assist, 12-volt power outlets, halogen head lamps, rear privacy glass, electric power steering, and delivers 25 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.

Optional packages and safety features include a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate nine-speaker audio system, panoramic sunroof, all-wheel drive, backup camera, and heated front seats.

When I first saw the Outlander Sport, I noticed the exterior's beautiful, bright red color, detailing, and compact size, which is bigger than a compact sedan, yet smaller than a Toyota RAV4. The vehicle has specially designed plastic polymer front fender panels on each side and a sophisticated glass roof. That same roof lights up in the evening with LED mood lighting inside of the vehicle with three distinct light settings. This is a unique feature that I have never seen before in any other CUV or SUV.

I also like the fact that the Outlander Sport is not difficult to step into, like so many other crossovers on the market today, however, because of its smaller size I still feel like I am inside of an SUV due to the spacious cabin. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, but the rear cabin seats feel firm and hard, which does not make long distance travel easy, yet there is ample headroom/legroom in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers as well as plenty of room in the second row for three children. The GPA system is both decipherable and accurate, the Rockford-Fosgate Radio produces clear and perfect audio, and the backup camera gives a clear view of people and objects in back of the vehicle while in reverse mode.

Also, if you are looking for a fun way to shift into gear, you can easily do that with the column-mounted magnesium alloy paddle shifters, which are conveniently located on the right side of the steering wheel with six programmed shift points.  You can even save gas by using them and who doesn't want to save on gas these days? I know that I do. You can also use the continuously variable transmission that is easy to use as well and it gently shifts the vehicle into gear smoothly and effortlessly.

The lights and buttons on the console and dashboard area are youthful and modern. I am a rather conservative person and in my opinion, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a great choice for teens and young adults, because of the special LED Illumination Package that provides mood lighting and other modernistic features in the vehicle. While driving, I almost felt like I was on the Space Mountain Ride at Disneyland. This is a positive feature of the Outlander Sport and makes it a unique, exciting, and fun car to drive.

The cargo area is large and provides plenty of room to haul groceries, boxes, luggage, and much more. It also has a hidden compartment for additional storage, but the only thing that I do not like about the hidden compartment in the cargo area is that it is not carpeted. The Toyota RAV4 has a similar hidden storage area, but it is carpeted.  This is not a major problem, but if compartment was carpeted, it could help keep objects from sliding and causing noise in the cargo area while driving. I personally like to put things in the hidden compartment, because the items remain completely hidden from the view of people that walk by the vehicle.

Overall, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a wonderful car that is stylish with a sleek design, handles well; maneuvers highways and curvy roads with ease, is fuel efficient, economical, and is a fun and exciting vehicle to drive.

Whether you are young or have a small family, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a great car to own, which appeals to both the young and the young at heart.

The base 4-wheel drive trim has an MSRP of $21,995 and the fully loaded Outlander Sport has an MSRP of $22,995.

If you have been looking for a CUV with good fuel economy, spacious interior, modern state of the art features, an attractive exterior, and great on the road performance, then I highly recommend that you check out the new 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

2012 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro Tiptronic Sedan

by Philippa Lane

 

The Audi A4 ranks highly among luxury upscale midsize cars and it is easy to see why- stylish interior and exterior, craftsmanship, comfortable and spacious seating, turbocharged engine, and great fuel economy make it a top choice for 2012 and a great choice instead of higher priced competitors.

Offering solid driving dynamics, classy interior design, quality materials, engaging chassis, and quick on the road agility, the Audi A4 has made an indelible impression on the automotive industry.  

The A4 comes as either a sedan or Avant wagon that can be fitted with either front or all-wheel drive and the quattro all-wheel drive system greatly improves the vehicle’s grasp on winding roads.

Compared to the A3, the A4 has a sleeker appearance with controls/buttons that are illuminated for easy nighttime viewing. The interior is comfortable, nicely appointed, with adequate legroom in the front cabin for taller passengers, however in the rear cabin, head/legroom is less accommodating.

The new 2012 Audi A4 is not as luxurious as the A7, but it is still one of the best in its division and is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque with FSI direct injection.  Standard features include an eight speed tiptronic transmission with sport and manual shift modes, anti-lock brake system, Halogen headlights with front and rear fog lights, 17” 10-spoke-star-design-wheels, power glass sunroof with sunshade, rain and light sensor, heated mirrors, space saver spare tire, AM/FM/SAT/CD audio with SD card reader and aux-in, Audi concert radio with Audi premium sound, 245/45 all-season tires, and electronic stability control. The Sport Package comes with front sport seats w/4-way power lumbar, 3-spoke steering wheel, 18-inch sport wheels, sport suspension, and high-performance tires.  The Premium Plus Package is fitted with heated front seats w/driver memory, three zone climate control, driver information system w/driver memory, split-folding rear seat, S line exterior package, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, Audi xenon plus front lighting w/LED DRLs, and heated exterior mirrors.

The A4 accelerates quickly, handles sharp corners with ease, and has a firm feel on the road, whether in the city or on a freeway. The vehicle has more engine noise than the A3, which is surprising, but still has good fuel efficiency producing 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient automobiles in its class.

The fully loaded Prestige trim, which Includes 2.0T Premium Plus comes with 18" wheels with all-season tires, BLUETOOTH mobile phone preparation, Audi adaptive xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Audi side assist, Audi MMI Navigation System, Audi advanced key, has a starting MSRP of $42,000, and offers a fun driving experience that is a great value compared to other luxury vehicles on the market today.

If you have been looking for a luxury vehicle that is stylish, attractive, comfortable, and efficient with great on the road performance, then I highly recommend taking a look at the new 2012 Audi A4 Quattro Tiptronic Sedan. 

To find out more about the Audi A4, please visit- http://models.audiusa.com/a4-sedan

 

2012 Kia Rio EX with Stop-Start Technology

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

Unlike in Europe and Asia, many Americans have never preferred to drive small cars, but as gas prices have been rising, that is beginning to change.  In fact, the sub-compact market is expected to double by 2015, creating increased brand loyalty and Kia has become a trailblazer in the eco/green segment of the automotive industry by introducing the first affordable vehicles in the U.S. to offer “Stop-Start” technology, which cleverly shuts off the engine, instead of letting the car unnecessarily idle.  The gas saving system quickly and automatically restarts when accelerating.

The Kia Rio 5-Door is a subcompact hatchback that has stylish contours, an attractive style, spacious front and rear cabin, and a well designed interior that seats five adults comfortably and has high tech features that you would expect in luxury cars, but without the “luxury” price tag.

After undergoing a major makeover, the new Kia Rio is better than ever and can complete with many of the top subcompact cars in the industry with its high sculpted lines, distinctive grille, and aerodynamic spoiler.  The Rio has been designed to offer a complete blend of quality, world-class design, safety features, safety, fuel efficiency, and state of the art technology that is practical and affordable.

The Idle Stop & Go feature is available in many luxury vehicles, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche, but now it is also available in the Kio Rio yielding 31 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway, benefiting drivers who daily commute in heavy stop/go traffic in urban areas.  The $400 system includes a battery, heavy duty starter, and adds 7% mpg city efficiency. The Idle Stop & Go (ISG) switches off the engine when the vehicle comes to a full stop and restarts when accelerating. The system is very consistent, but I noticed some pedestrians look at the car when they hear the engine restart.

All Rios are powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection 4-cylinder engine that delivers 138 horsepower, 123 lb-ft of torque, and come with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.  Acceleration is quick, the brakes have great modulation, and the new transmission and engine deliver impressive fuel economy. The interior front cabin boasts of plush materials, uncluttered controls, legible displays, and illuminated three-dial cluster behind the steering wheel.  The seats are comfortable and supportive and there is plenty of headroom and legroom for taller passengers in both the front and rear cabin.

Standard features include power windows, a height-adjustable driver's seat, sliding center console, and trip computer available at a starting MSRP of only $14,095.  The EX trim offers push-button ignition, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, power sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, heated steering wheel, a cooling glove box, satellite radio. You can get all of this and more with the EX Luxury trim for less than $21,000.

All of Kia's models include a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year/60,000 mile 24-hour roadside assistance.

The new 2012 Kia Rio EX 5DR Hatchback with Stop-Start Technology offers great value in its class with features that rival top competitors.

I found the Kio Rio to be very comfortable, easy to drive, picks up quickly, and  handles highways with ease. It is the kind of car that is great for young and old alike.  It is also inexpensive and has a unique style.

If you have been looking for a vehicle that is stylish, comfortable, fun to drive, and affordable, then I highly recommend that you check out the new 2012 Kia Rio EX 5DR Hatchback. 

For more information about the Kia Rio EX, please visit www.kia.com 

 

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Review

 

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

Many people would love to buy a hybrid vehicle, but don’t like the way most of them look.  Now, all that has changed with the new Kia Optima Hybrid, which may very well be the best looking hybrid available today.

Voted best car of 2011, the Kia Optima Hybrid is a sure winner because of its sleek and unique design, state-of-the-art features, and impressive fuel economy. Like the standard Optima, the hybrid version has the same dynamic styling, hi-tech features, and spacious interior.

The Optima Hybrid is equipped with a powerful 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower and 154 lb-ft. of torque.  It has a sporty, masculine look to it with a European style. This vehicle is definitely a head turner.

The exterior and interior of the Kia Optima is a complete blend of impeccable style, practicality, modern design, and value. Standard features include  iPod/USB integration, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, power mirrors, touch screen radio, Bluetooth, fog lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and phone controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch power windows, air conditioned glove box, trip computer, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and driver’s seat with w/power lumbar support.  For only $5,000 extra, you can get the Premium Package, which offers a large screen navigation system, eight speakers, panoramic sunroof, back-up camera, auto dimming rear-view-mirror, 17-inch wheels, heated rear seats, Infinity Sound System, HID headlamps, and heated/cooled front seats.  The premium package also incorporates the climate control hybrid status information into the screen’s display area.

The Optima Hybrid’s front cabin is spacious with supportive and comfortable seats that are easy to adjust, angled driver focused center console, leatherette stitched trim around the instrument panel (optional), dual-zone climate control, and easy to read screen display. The navigation system is accurate, antiphonal, intuitive, and data can be entered into the system while vehicle is in motion.   

The hybrid battery does decrease cargo/trunk space to about 9.9 cubic feet, whereas the regular Optima has cargo space of 15.4 cubic feet, but in my opinion, this is not a major issue.

Kia is a pioneer in the automotive industry and the Optima Hybrid is the first Kia model that is fitted with a Microsoft UVO Infotainment System, which is quite similar to SYNC.  UVO is great and offers the ability to give voice commands for a particular track from an iPod.  The UVO system is not a part of the premium package, but is available in the hybrid convenience package an additional $700.

The Optima Hybrid earned a “Top Safety Pick” appellative from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a 5-star crash test score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the agency’s highest honor. Not many vehicles have been awarded both appellatives. Safety features include dual front advanced air bags, front seat mounted side airbags, full length side curtain airbags, anti-lock break system, traction control system, electronic stability control, hill start assist, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

On the highway, the Optima Hybrid renders a smooth, fast, and quiet ride due to its gas-electric powertrain that supercharges the EPA fuel economy rating to 35 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway as well as precise and one-dimensional braking. The vehicle uses both gas and electricity, either independently or simultaneously.

The Kia Optima Hybrid is the only hybrid vehicle that uses a standard 6-speed automatic transmission, while other hybrids use a CVT transmission. The 6-speed automatic transmission gives a more interactive and exciting driving experience.

Unlike many other hybrid vehicles, the Kia Optima Hybrid’s gasoline engine shuts down at cruising speeds up to 60 mph when the electric motor alone can maintain the desired speed and the batteries are charged. The gas engine is activated in order to get the car up to cruising speed, but it is not necessary to maintain speed, and it is at this point, that the gas intake stops. The engine comes back on immediately if acceleration is needed. The Optima Hybrid will run on electric only when cruise control is at 65 MPH, until the battery is partly used up, then the engine will start and charge the battery while running.  When the battery is charged, it will shut down the engine and run on electric power again. This is very different from a lot of other midsized hybrid sedans that tend to operate their gas engines invariably at highway velocities.

The Optima Hybrid can run efficiently and completely in electric mode even up to highway speeds when there is enough battery power and good road conditions are present. The whole process works smoothly and is practically unnoticeable. Because of the vehicle’s ability to cruise at high speeds in EV mode, you will experience the most fuel saving benefits if you spend a lot of time driving at highway speeds.

The MSRP for a fully loaded Optima Hybrid is $31,750, which is a better value than the majority of its competitors and is well worth the price, because it still undersells other hybrids on the market and offers special features, such as a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats, intelligent navigation system, heated rear seats, and a panoramic dual sunroof that is not available with other hybrids in the same price range.

If you have been looking for a sleek and stylish hybrid vehicle with a sporty look, upscale and comfortable interior, and hi-tech features, then I highly recommend taking a look at the fully-loaded Kia Optima Hybrid.

For more information about the Kia Optima Hybrid, please visit www.kia.com 

2012 Mazda6 i Sport Sedan Review

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The all-around 2012 Mazda 6 i Sport Sedan has been highly rated amongst midsized sedans for its spacious interior, clean driving dynamics, large cargo area, and solid performance on the road. With good fuel economy at an EPA rating of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the hwy and an attractive price tag, the Mazda6 is showing no signs of slowing down and has entered the midsize class with much to offer.

The 2012 Mazda6 I Sport comes equipped with either a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 167 ft of torque or a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 272 horsepower.  The 2.5 liter engine can be matched with a six-speed manual or an optional five-speed automatic transmission, but the V6 is only comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. Both automatic transmissions offer a manual shift mode for more control.

Standard safety equipment for the i Sport includes dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, electronic stability, anti-theft engine immobilizer, latch child seat anchors, and side-impact/side-curtain airbags.

The interior for the base model is not fancy, but it is spacious with supportive cloth trimmed seats in the front and rear cabin and plenty of head/leg room for taller passengers. The Mazda6 offers just as much legroom as the Nissan Versa, there is plenty of room for five adults, and the rear cabin can accommodate three adults comfortably. Cloth seats are standard, but leather upholstery is available in the higher trim models.  The vehicle offers 16.6 cu.ft. of cargo space to carry luggage, boxes, and groceries with ease. 

The Mazda6 i Sport has a starting MSRP of only $20,240 for the manual transmission and $21,240 for the 5-speed automatic and comes equipped with Sirius Satellite Radio, AM/FM/CD stereo with 6 speakers, 60/40 split-fold down rear seats, air conditioning with pollen filter, remote keyless entry, tilt & telescopic steering wheel, power windows/ mirrors/locks, automatic door locks, MP3 Auxiliary audio input, illuminated mirrors, stability control, and so much more. 

For every day driving, the Mazda6 is a great choice.  The 2.5-liter delivers a good amount of torque,  navigates through traffic effortlessly, handles sharp turns with ease, and has sporty handling with quick acceleration going from 0-60 in 8.1 seconds.

The Mazda6 appears to be slightly smaller than some other midsize sedans, but its smaller size helps to deliver sportier and more functional road performance for daily driving.

Although the Mazda6 offers good gas mileage at an affordable price, its fuel economy lags behind vehicles such as the Kia Rio and Nissan Versa, both of which have a starting MSRP of less than $21,000 and have better fuel efficiency.

In summary, I believe that the Mazda6 i Sport is unquestionably in the mainstream of midsize sedans and provides a fun and interactive driving experience.  It is a great choice for anyone who wants a spacious, solid, and practical midsize sedan with a stylish exterior and plenty of torque for daily commuting. 

To find out more about the Mazda6 I Sport, please visit:  http://www.mazda.com

 

2012 Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel Hatchback (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

If you have been interested in purchasing a hybrid, but have wondered if there is a stylish alternative that can produce similar results, then you definitely need to check out the a turbocharged Audi A3 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel Hatchback, which yields an astounding 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

When the Audi A3 made its debut in 1996 it made an impression and impacted the luxury small family vehicle market, but upon the introduction of the Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel Hatchback in 2010 with its dynamic performance and hybrid-like fuel economy, it became a top choice in 2012.  In fact, the A3 is so fuel efficient that you can drive 550 miles on a single tank of fuel!  It is like a hybrid, but with a diesel engine.

The Audi A3 TDI has a solid European design with an individual, classic Audi grill, and is powered by a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine with an automatic dual clutch S-Tronic transmission which allows manual choice of gears. It is Audi’s smallest and most affordable car that comes fully equipped with state of the art features such as Bluetooth phone connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, and satellite radio. Rear parking sensors and rain sensing wipers are available on Premium Plus trims. The A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel is a version of Audi's A3 2.0 TDI for the North American market

Standard features include power windows, cruise control, power door locks, leather upholstery, power mirrors, floor mats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic steering wheel, six-way manually adjustable front seats, standard stereo that is equipped with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio input jack, and an SD card slot

Passenger safety is excellent. The vehicle is equipped with six standard airbags, front, side and curtain airbags, four-wheel-disc antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability control, hill hold assist, traction and stability control, front head restraints, and rear side-impact airbags are optional.

The Premium trim comes equipped with LED taillights, 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, S-line exterior detailing, Bluetooth Value Package that includes a power driver’s seat and turn signal indicators in the side mirrors.

The Premium Plus trim is fitted with Xenon HID headlights with LED running lights,  eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, illuminated mirrors, metallic interior trim, ambient cabin lighting, unique 10-spoke wheel design, multi-function steering wheel with Bluetooth and audio control, and map lights. The Premium Plus model can also be upgraded with a Convenience Package that offers rain-sensing wipers, Bose Audio System, rear parking sensors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass.

All A3 models can be furnished with a panoramic sunroof, cargo area protector, aluminum roof rails, wood trim and a Cold Weather Package, which includes heated side mirrors, heated front seats, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

Audi has honed the skill of enforced bioengineering by making all controls easily accessible to the driver with decipherable display areas. The area that is lacking, from my observation, is the interior dash layout area.  At night, it is difficult to see the settings for the cooling/heat, because the buttons are not lit, thus it is necessary to turn the overhead light on to see the controls at night.

The front cabin has two cup holders, which are quite small and are not suited for larger cups.  There is a compartment at the bottom of the center stack for small items, such as an iPod, cell phone, or camera.

The rear cabin is spacious and the seats are comfortable with ample headroom and legroom for taller passengers; however the middle seating area is not as accommodating for adults. The A3 also offers plenty of room to carry cargo with great interior versatility, providing easy to fold down rear seats; yielding 39 cu. ft. of space.

There is enough torque-236 lb-ft for daily commuting, 140 horsepower, and the fuel economy is on equal standing with most top of the line hybrid vehicles.  The four-cylinder engine achieves excellent fuel mileage and acceleration is quick, from 0-60 in just 8.9 seconds.

I was very pleased with the overall performance of the vehicle. It picks up well and has splendid fuel economy; in fact the TDI can be driven from Southern California to Arizona on a single tank of fuel, which is impressive.

Overall, the Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel Hatchback is a sporty, stylish, fuel-efficient vehicle that provides a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. The starting MSRP for the base Premium trim is $30,250.

If you have been looking for a luxury hatchback that is on par with a hybrid, then I highly recommend checking out the Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel Hatchback.

To find out more about the Audi A3 TDI, please visit- www.Audi.com

2012 Lexus RX 450h (Review)

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

There used to be a time when it was very difficult to find a luxury SUV that could achieve good fuel economy, but that changed when the Lexus RX Hybrid was introduced in 2006, rendering high performance, a powerful engine, and an amazing 27 mpg in the city.

Since its debut, the Lexus RX 450h has continued to be a top choice among consumers in the luxury crossover SUV market, because of its excellent fuel efficiency, spacious cabin, plush interior, superior sound system, and hi-tech features, which include an advanced navigation system with a unique multifunction controller.

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h is a 5 passenger mid-size luxury SUV with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and electric motors that are available in either front or all-wheel-drive.  It also has regenerative braking and electric drive, because it is a hybrid.  The full wheel drive (FWD) model utilize two motors- one acts as a starter/generator and the other yields propulsion, while the all wheel drive (AWD) model offers a third electric motor to assist the rear tires.

The one well appointed trim level includes standard features such as wood interior trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, auto-dimming mirrors, 10-way power front seats, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, cloth upholstery, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, an auxiliary audio jack, sliding and reclining second-row seats, and a nine speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD changer.

The Premium package provides a sunroof, leather seating, a power tailgate, driver-seat memory, an iPod interface, and a rear-seat armrest. The Comfort package adds adaptive xenon headlights with automatic high beams, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, and an advanced 12-speaker sound system.

The Luxury package offers upgraded leather seating, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, power-retractable outside mirrors, a wood and leather steering wheel, side-view cameras, and extendable front seat cushion which I felt was very impressive. Single options include a 15-speaker Mark Levinson premium stereo system, park assist, rear-seat entertainment system with twin headrest-mounted displays, and adaptive cruise control.

The Navigation package features real-time traffic and voice control, back-up camera, current and detailed weather forecasts for every major city/state, Bluetooth capabilities, and a remote touch interface with a mouse-like device that replaces the traditional touch screen operation. The device allows the user to roll over on-screen controls, which feels like you are using a mini desktop computer and mouse.  The new interface is much easier to use than many of the other vehicle navigation/screen interfaces. I especially like the ability to check the weather in my city and state, as well as other states across the country. My sister and her husband moved to Denver, Colorado and I was able to let them know the exact weather conditions in Denver, just by using the nifty navigation/forecast system in the Lexus RX 450h.

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h has a host of standard safety equipment such as full-length side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear seat side airbags, dual front knee bags, a telematics service with automatic collision notification, emergency assistance button, and a stolen-vehicle locator. A pre-collision system that determines when an accident is unavoidable and tightens the front seatbelts and initializes brake assist is optional.

I am quite impressed with the RX 450h. Its sleek exterior, comfortable seating in the front and rear cabin, stylish interior, and superior performance on the road is impressive, but because it is a hybrid, I found that while driving, it feels a little rough at times and is not as smooth on the road as I would like it to be, however sound insulation is great and the power train is smooth. Acceleration is excellent, going from 0 to 60 mph in about7.7 seconds, which is great for an SUV of its size.  The RX 450h can also easily tow up to 3,500 pounds and reach up to 30 mph in “electric-only” mode, which helps to improve fuel economy, particularly in times of heavy traffic. An "EV" mode is also at the driver's command, which allows electric-only propulsion at low speeds over short distances.

The rear cabin area is plush, comfortable, spacious with reclining seats that can slide forward and backward to accommodate passengers of various heights and allow more leg room if desired.  There is also plenty of room to store large amounts of cargo in the trunk area.

Overall, the 2012 Lexus RX 450h is a solid luxury crossover SUV that does not disappoint with a starting MSRP of $45,235, it is somewhat expensive, but it is well worth the price. The lavish interior fittings, hi-tech features, smooth ride, prodigious wood and high-quality leather trim set the RX 450h apart from the competition and make the vehicle look and feel much more expensive than it really is.

It is a stylish, classy, SUV that handles the road well and saves you a whole lot of money at the gas pump.

I highly recommend taking a look at the Lexus RX 450h, because to me, there is no other SUV quite like it.

For more information about the Lexus RX 450h, go to:

http://www.lexus.com/models/RXh/

 

2012 Mazda5 Grand Touring 4 DR Wagon Review

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Mazda5 Grand Touring is a compact minivan that is mixture of a wagon, van, and a compact with all of incredible features, sporty feel, comfort, and style that you would expect from Mazda.

Mazda's new sub-compact crossover vehicle is a bit smaller than many other minivans available today, but because of its smaller size it is more versatile than its competitors, has the ability to handle sharp turns with ease, offers better parking options, while still being able to seat up to six passengers comfortably and haul a variety of cargo on a daily basis.

The Mazda5 Grand Touring was first made available to the public in 2006 and during that time, many Americans were not interested in smaller minivans or compact utility vehicles, but that started to change with the introduction of the Mazda5, because of its sleek design, inexpensive price, easy handling, and unique style. Now the Mazda5 has increased in popularity with a completely redesigned exterior with Nagare wind-blown styling that distinguishes itself from other minivans. 

While the majority of the auto industry has chosen to make larger and more grandiose vehicles, Mazda has decided to make a minivan that is almost the same size of the original Dodge Caravan with a price tag starting just under $20,000 and the well equipped Sport priced at around $19,990.

The Grand Touring is available in three trims- Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and is powered by a four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine with 157 horsepower and is available in either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission.

My first impression of the Mazda5 Grand Touring is that it is a family vehicle, because it can seat 6 people comfortably and is not too big, neither is it too small for long driving excursions. 

The second row bucket seats can slide/recline and I like that there is storage compartments beneath the second row seats to store or hide small items such as books, toys, bottles, or other miscellaneous items that you want to stow away and still have easy access to.  The compartments come in handy especially if you have small children.  Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, seven airbags, electronic stability and traction control, engine immobilizer, and adjustable head restraints. The Grand Touring trim features a security system, automatic Xenon headlights, Bluetooth, phone, audio-wireless streaming, a trip computer, MP3 decoder, driver up/down power windows, and rain sensing wipers.

Even though the Mazda5 Grand Touring is stylish and inexpensive, there are just some things that could be improved upon.  The stereo system needs some improvement as well as the heating system, which does not provide enough heat to warm up the front cabin, even when set to a high setting.  There are also some interior space limitations for very tall passengers and the third row does not provide enough leg room, except for very small children.  If travelling only with adults, it is best to just leave the third row folded flat to store more cargo. Also, the center console and dashboard area consist of large areas of hard black plastic and it is not easy to read some of the numbers on the display area because of the overall layout, but the interior design is understandable and is not a major issue, because of the Touring’s affordable price.

The leather seats in the front and second rows are quite comfortable and supportive and the sliding doors make for easy access into the rear cabin and I found that to be a plus. The Grand Touring drives smoothly and handles well in the city and on busy highways.  The Mazda5 gets a solid 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.

If you have been looking for a small minivan that is stylish, inexpensive, and fun to drive, then the 2012 Mazda5 Grand Touring is the perfect choice.  It is a great compact minivan for the price and may just be exactly what you need.

 

To find out more about the Mazda5 Grand Touring, go to http://www.mazdausa.com/

2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD Review

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The Suzuki Grand Vitara is a compact, affordable, and comfortable SUV with off the road ability, spacious interior, and a unique style that is perfect for anyone looking for a vehicle that offers true adventure and excitement.

I personally like the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara more than any similar SUV in its class, because it not only looks great inside and out, but it also performs well on the road. 

I especially like the look and feel of the three tone seats. They have been intricately designed with a blue, black, and beige color scheme that is soothing to the eyes and adds a distinctive and elegant touch to the vehicle’s interior.  Prior to seeing the Grand Vitara, I had never seen three toned seats before, so needless to say, I was quite impressed.  The seats are also supportive, contoured, comfortable, and can be heated with the push of a button.  All of these features improve and enhance the driving experience for both the passenger and driver.

The all weather floor mats are great when driving in the rain or snow or during times when you get mud on your shoes.  The dirt and grime can be easily rinsed from the mats, leaving no unsightly stains and no scrubbing.

There is ample room for five passengers with front bucket seats along with a 60/40 split folding rear seat. The Limited version includes a seven-speaker stereo, Smart Pass keyless start system that locks and unlocks the vehicle with the push of a button, and special interior features, such as a standard navigation system, illuminated steering wheel controls, chrome door handles, automatic climate control, CD stereo system, sun-visor extenders, sliding armrests, and optional Bluetooth connectivity.

There are three trims available for the Suzuki Grand Vitara- Base, Premium, and Limited. The base and premium models come equipped with a removable Garmin navigation system, automatic climate control, full power accessories, and curtain airbags. The Limited has opulent upgrades, such as leather heated seats.

The standard model has stylish features such as 16 inch wheels, front tow hooks, colorful side moldings, and flared fenders, while the new Limited trim boasts stylish18 inch black chrome wheels, side mirrors with incorporated turn signals, fog lamps, water resistant and easy to clean three tone seats, navigation system, and a leather wrapped steering wheel, and a tailgate-mounted spare tire. Special safety features include side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, side-impact airbags for front seats, an electronic stability system, and anti-lock brakes with technologically advanced electronic distribution.

The navigation system, stereo/ sound system, air conditioning and heating system work wonderfully with accuracy and easy to adjust settings/controls.

When driving the Suzuki Grand Vitara in the rain, I noticed that it handles the road very well; navigating sharp turns with ease, delivering accurate braking, excellent traction, with no road slip. The rear window also has a wiper that is perfect for rainy or snowy days and helps to maintain clear visibility.

The Grand Vitara is powered with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 166 horsepower, 162 feet of torque, 3,000 lbs. of towing capacity, and rear-wheel drive is standard in all of the models. The base model is available as a 5-speed manual, while all of the other trims come with a 4-speed automatic transmission.  The Limited trim features a four-mode 4WD system- 4H, 4H Lock (For Slippery Roads), 4L Lock and a neutral position which allows the vehicle to be towed behind an RV without adding any miles to the odometer.

The V6's output lagged slightly and I do wish that the vehicle had a little more horsepower. The SUV is sturdy with a solid feel and, in my opinion, needs more power in order to pick up a quicker when pressure is applied to the gas peddle. Besides this one element, I absolutely love the Suzuki Grand Vitara and is great for mountain excursions, rugged terrains, as well as driving around town or running errands.  It is a versatile vehicle that is fun to drive, spacious, with plenty of cargo space and a style that is like no other.

The Grand Vitara is not fuel efficient by today’s standards, because it only gets an estimated 19 MPG in the city and 23MPG on the highway. This can be a problem in a time when fuel costs have increased and consumers are looking to save money at the gas pump, however, with all of the features, unique style, and ability to handle heavy rain, snow, and off the road adventures, it is a great choice. 

If you are looking for a sturdy, classy, rugged compact SUV that is affordable with a unique style and above-average abilities that can be used for both daily commutes and off road adventures, then the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD may just be the vehicle that you have been looking for.

2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI (Review)

 

by Philippa Lane

 

The original Volkswagen Golf, which was first presented to the world in 1974, became one of the most popular and iconic small hatchback vehicles ever. In fact, more than 25 million have been sold worldwide, making it an international success. Now, the Golf has returned with a new design and an approved eco-friendly TDI clean diesel engine.

I tested the new and redesigned Volkswagen Golf TDI in some of the most crowded and busiest streets of Los Angeles County and was very impressed with its performance and fuel economy.

Volkswagen makes a variety of reliable vehicles and the Golf TDI is no exception. The interior is pretty basic. There are no frills or fancy gadgets to turn or flip on, but it is surprisingly very roomy and can easily seat four passengers comfortably. There is also plenty of room to haul large amounts of cargo and gear, which is great for long distance travel. The Golf has a simple, but yet stylish European appearance, with impressive lines and an ergonomic design. Unlike previous generations, the new Golf TDI has a wider stance, which gives it more on the road presence, with black trim and stylish taillights, which give the vehicle a refined, sportier, streamlined look. The switch to turn on the headlights is located on the dash and the lights can be turned on/off with a simple turn of the knob. The stereo system has a clear, crisp sound, the air conditioning/heating system function perfectly producing the right amount of cold/hot air to fill the front and rear cabin areas, and the interior lights are strategically placed for proper illumination.

Although the Golf has invariably been a sporty handler, that special attribute has been bettered upon, because of the redesigned suspension, which gives the Golf the ability to handle windy roads and tight corners with assurance and ease.

The Golf is fun to drive and because of its powerful diesel driven torque, it accelerates quickly and goes very fast, giving the ability to pass slow vehicles and outperform most of its gas powered competitors. The power train uses an electronically operated turbocharger and injection system to attain better fuel economy and performance than the standard gas-powered models. The 2.0-liter diesel engine has 140 horsepower and a hardy 236 pound-feet of torque yielding an astounding 30 city/41 highway with a 6 speed manual and 30 city/42 highway with a 6 speed automatic transmission. This incredible fuel economy makes it possible to drive more than 500 miles on a tank of diesel.

The Volkswagen Golf TDI that I tested was a 6 speed manual, turbo charged transmission and after an entire week of driving, I hardly used any diesel fuel, driving on busy highways and long curvy roads. In fact the fuel gauge did not move and at the end of the week, it was still at the full level after many days of driving. Unbelievable, but yet true. This is why I am so impressed with this vehicle, because it performs and produces results like a hybrid, but yet is a turbocharged diesel.

As far as drivability is concerned, the Golf TDI is very smooth, comfortable, balanced, with a firm feel on the road. While driving, the car feels steady, even at high speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour with hardly any faltering or rolling. Unlike so many other compact vehicles that usually get drifted around by larger vehicles or heavy gusts of wind, the Golf TDI keeps its place on the road while bigger cars go by at higher speeds. It feels agile and because of the new design and suspension, there is practically no "body roll".

Unlike conventional urea- based diesel engines, such as Mercedes and BMW, the TDI releases 95% less sooty emissions, because of an advanced, specially designed trap and burn system. Even though the Golf TDI is not as clean on emissions as some hybrid vehicles, it costs thousands of dollars less and delivers similar fuel saving results. The Golf TDI has a MSRP of $23,995 and $24,695 for the four-door model and has better equipment than the gas powered Golf.

I love the way the Golf TDI handles the road and takes off with gusto. If you want a car that is like a hybrid- giving an estimated 40+ miles per gallon, is powerful, efficient, affordable, practical, sporty, drives fast, and is well made with a clean, simple style that is like no other, then the Volkswagen Golf TDI is the car for you.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ (Review)

 

 

 by Philippa Lane

 

Chevy has done it again.

The new Chevrolet Cruze is a fuel-efficient, stylish, power packed sedan and is everything a compact car should be. In fact, it is one of the best vehicles GM has ever introduced.

I was given the opportunity to drive this fabulous car and was very impressed with its sleek exterior, advanced technology, plush interior, comfort, easy handling, and excellent performance on the road.

The exterior of the Chevy Cruze has the look of a more expensive vehicle, with its sharp angles, chamfered hood, sleek grille, and tight curves. The headlights and rear taillights have been strategically placed and are specially designed, which add uniqueness and appeal to the car. It has been said that it is important to make a good first impression and when you drive this car, you will do just that. The Cruze is definitely an eye catcher. It is important to know that the impressive angles, curves, and lines do more than just turn heads and delight the eyes, they actually improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle, optimizing its fuel efficiency. When you are inside a Chevy Cruze, you're enveloped in comforts that are uncommon in other compact cars.

The interior of the Chevy Cruze LTZ is incredibly comfortable and the plush, leather seats are ergonomic and supportive. It has a great stereo system, the air conditioning/heating functions are easy to access, adjust, and the navigation system is accurate and dependable. Having a navigation system in any car is a real blessing, because it helps the driver to get to a particular destination faster and eliminates the need to stop and look at a traditional map or ask people along the way for directions. The Chevy Cruze state of the art navigation system is efficient and helps you get where you need to go quickly and easily.

While driving the Cruze, you can enjoy serenity and quiet, because it has been specially designed to keep extraneous noise outside with a triple-sealed acoustic-laminated glass windshield. The rear seats are comfortable as well, with ample leg room for both short and tall passengers. The cargo area is quite spacious with room to fit large bags of groceries or big boxes. In fact, the Cruze has 60/40 folding rear seats that allow even more space for bigger items.

The Chevy Cruze provides a smooth, comfortable ride, and since it has a turbocharged engine, it accelerates quickly, takes off fast, and handles the highways and curvy roads with ease. The vehicle gets an estimated 42 mpg highway, which helps to save a lot of money at the gas pump. To achieve this amount of fuel efficiency, the Cruze has a strong, high performance 1.4L turbocharged engine with 138 horsepower, which enables the vehicle to accelerate with confidence. With a Z-link rear suspension on the LTZ, Eco, LT automatic models and electric power steering, the Cruze can easily handle tight corners and sharp turns.

There is nothing that I do not like about the Cruze. The look, feel, and performance is simply superb and for an MSRP starting at just $16,720, you will be getting a great car for your money.

The Cruze is a combination of style, economy, efficiency, and state of the art features that set it apart from other compact sedans on the market today, offering what the consumer needs, from safety features to modern styling and more miles per gallon; the Cruze provides the best highway mileage of any gas vehicle in America. Try one today!

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring (Review)

The Car that was Made to Drive Fast!

 

 

by Philippa Lane

 

Stylish, comfortable, fast and fun to drive. That is what you will find in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring.

Nominated as one of the top 10 World Performance Cars of the Year and winner of the Automotive Excellence Awards "Fun to Drive" in 2008, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring, also known as the "EVO" is a powerful all-wheel-drive turbocharged, five-passenger vehicle that is like no other. Equipped with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a four cylinder 291 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, and 300 ft of torque, the Lancer Evolution MR Touring is an impressive choice that will not only take you from "Point A to Point B", but it will take you from "Point A to Point Z" in lightning speed!

If you are squeamish and you don't want to feel any traction when you are driving or if you are looking for a luxury vehicle, this is not the car for you. It is perfectly normal to "feel the road" while driving the Lancer Evolution MR and it has been designed to have a sporty feel verses a conventional one. The Lancer Evolution MR is a high performance vehicle with 300 lbs. of torque and goes from zero to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. This legendary sedan was created from the world of rallying with a rally-bred drive train and high quality parts, such as Brembo Brakes, BBS Wheels, and Recaro Bucket Leather Seats.

I was given the wonderful opportunity to drive the Lancer Evolution MR and when I first set my eyes on it, I thought, "Oh my, what a beautiful piece of machinery". It definitely looks like a race car with its aggressive scooped seats, racer styled snout, and sharp trim. When I sat in the driver's seat of the EVO, the plush leather made me feel so comfortable, because the contoured sides of the seat hugged my body securely. The interior of the car is luxuriously appointed and rich looking with black, shiny paneling across the front dashboard and chrome accents, which all give the vehicle a regal, classy, and elegant appearance, definitely not cheap.

I need to say this before I go any further. I love this car! I love the look, the feel, the interior, and most of all I love the power that exudes when putting my foot lightly on the gas, which causes the vehicle to take off in seconds. Never have I experienced driving such a high performance, powerful car before and the Lancer Evolution MR is absolutely the most fun car that I have ever driven.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring includes premium features such as a 710-watt Sirius satellite-equipped nine-speaker Rockford-Fosgate Sound System with an impressive trunk-mounted subwoofer, 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic Transmission, all leather seats, enhanced interior noise reduction, stylish alloy wheels, power glass sunroof, rain detecting windshield wipers, dual exhaust outlets, heated front seats and side mirrors, Sports ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, rear diffuser, Magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters, Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice command recognition, FAST-Key electronic keyless entry and starting system, and a seven-airbag safety system that includes a driver's knee airbag. A 40 GB HDD Navigation with Music Server is optional.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring has great shocks, handles highways, curvy roads, and city streets with ease. It drives fast and has a firm on the road feel. Braking is superb and the steering is sharp. The air conditioning and the heating system and controls are easy to access and work function great. The Rockford-Fosgate Sound System produces high quality audio that is crisp, clear, and enjoyable. Rear seating provides ample leg room for tall passengers, but the trunk area is somewhat small, yet still big enough to carry medium to large cargo items. The seats sit lower than a conventional sedan, giving the EVO a sporty- race car feel.

The Lancer Evolution MR Touring that I had the opportunity to drive did not come with a navigation system, but for a little extra money, one can be added to the vehicle. For me, I discovered that a navigation system comes in handy when driving in an unknown territory. It also helps save time and gas, because knowing where you are going will eliminate the need to drive around and around searching for your destination or needing to stop at a store or gas station to ask someone for directions. That takes time and is inconvenient. So, I definitely recommend purchasing a navigation system for this car.

Also, the EVO is a very attractive car and is sure to get a lot of attention everywhere it goes. I have a neighbor who told me that when he saw the car parked in front of my home that he loved the look of it, both the exterior and interior. He said that he had been reading about the vehicle on the internet and knew how fast that it could drive. Now, he wants one and it is his dream car.

The 2010 Lancer MR Touring model delivers 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, so while it is fun to drive, it is not considered to be fuel-efficient. However, Mitsubishi has recently stopped making the Lancer Evolution MR. The announcement was a shock and disappointment to many people, but Mitsubishi did not forget about what the consumer wants and needs, so it is coming out with a brand new Lancer Evolution Hybrid in 2012. This new EVO will still deliver the same high power performance as the full gas version, but will now be fuel efficient.

The EVO is an exciting car to drive and even though the 2010 model is not fuel-efficient, I didn't care. I was having way too much fun driving it to be concerned about the gas mileage.

The Lancer Evolution MR is not your normal family vehicle or a luxury sedan. It is a beautiful, sporty, race car which is surprisingly suitable for both men and women who can appreciate its quality, design, strength, and performance. I know that it is important to abide by the speed limits, but when I drove the EVO, it reminded me of a race horse that you make walk around the city, but the horse doesn't want to walk, it wants to run, because the horse was intended to run fast and be on a race track. This is how I felt when I was driving the Lancer Evolution MR. If the car could speak and was alive; I could imagine it saying, "Please, just let me take off!"

The base price for the Lancer Evolution MR Touring is $41,710. Yes, the price tag on this car may seem a little high and you may think that is very expensive. Well, in my opinion, I feel that you can spend that much money and more for a Mercedes-Benz, because you are paying for the name, luxury, and performance of that particular make and model of car, however when you purchase a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR, you are paying for the power, high performance, speed, unique design, and luxury, which are rare, hard to find features. It truly is a matter of how much you feel a car is worth. My opinion is that this car is worth every penny and more.

So, if you are looking for a high performance car that looks good, is fun to drive, sporty, luxuriously appointed, comfortable, stylish, and drives very fast, then this is the car for you. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR- Wow, what a car!

 

 

2011 Volkswagon Routan SE with RSE and Navigation (Review)

Stylish, Comfortable, Technologically Advanced, and a Perfect Choice for Large Families

 

by Philippa Lane

Volkswagen has introduced an exciting, new full-sized minivan that combines their distinguishable styling and functionality with Chrysler's minivan skillfulness. This unique combination has given the vehicle an attractive, appealing, and sleek appearance that is like no other minivan on the market today.

Many minivans tend to be lackluster in appearance and devoid of advanced technology, but not the Routan. The Routan has stylish upholstery with comfortable seats, push- button recessed LED lighting, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-function controls, and wired technology packages with entertainment options that set it apart from its competitors.

I was given the wonderful opportunity to drive a Volkswagon Routan and have discovered it to be a vehicle that is more than just a van. The Routan is a highly proficient driving machine with automatic power sliding doors and tail gate that open/close with one click of a button. Many van doors have to be opened and closed by pulling back a handle or lever, but with the Routan there is no need for arm wrestling the door handles, just push a single button and voila!, the rear doors and the lift gate open automatically.

The Volkswagen Routan is available in many trims, the S, SE, SEL with RSE, SEL Premium, and SE with RSE and Navigation.

The S trim is equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, power rear vent windows, cruise control, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter, rear air-conditioning controls, dual power sliding doors with power windows, second-row captain's chairs, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The SE comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, power sliding doors, an eight-direction power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, power-adjustable pedals, heated front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, second- and third-row sunshades, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an overhead storage console, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-CD changer. The Routan SE with RSE (Rear Seat Entertainment) offers a power tailgate, a rearview camera, digital music storage, a touchscreen audio interface, video screens for the second and third rows, and satellite radio.

A Garmin navigation system can be incorporated into the touchscreen audio interface that comes with the RSE package with remote control and wireless headphones. The SEL trim is equipped with automatic headlamps, a remote ignition, sunroof, rearview camera, automatic three-zone climate control, heated second-row seats, leather upholstery, a power-folding third-row seat, touchscreen audio interface, navigation system, real-time traffic, 30GB hard drive with USB and music and photo storage, voice recognition, satellite radio, and an iPod interface.

On the SEL, the rear-seat DVD entertainment features are optional. The SEL Premium trim offers foglamps, xenon headlamps, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, more chrome trim on the vehicle's exterior, driver memory functions, interior wood trim, eight-way power passenger seat, an advanced trip computer, and a nine-speaker sound system.

The DVD entertainment package for the Routan is amazing. It features screens in both the second and third rows with the ability to plug in video game systems and each screen can show a different game or DVD, including the navigation screen in the front cabin.

Even though the Routan looks very much like a Chrysler Caravan, the minivan has its own unique look with nicer upholstery, an updated console area, advanced technology, and sophisticated interior with a European style. Unlike the Caravan, the Routan does not have Stow 'n Go seats, which make it possible to drop the second-row chairs into the floor, but the third-row seats still fold completely into the floor, the second-row chairs can be folded and removed, and there are storage areas under the floor. With so much space and 260 lbs of torque, an enormous amount of cargo can be hauled in the Routan and when the third-row seats are up, there is plenty of room for groceries, bags, and large boxes.

The interior is spacious, comfortable with pillow top armrests on the chairs, and is available in a variety of colors giving a luxurious appearance. I especially like the sunshades and privacy glass, which keep undesirable light from shining through the windows.

It is a breeze to drive the Routan in many different weather conditions and handles the road very well. The gears automatically shift smoothly in normal mode and become more noticeable in "Eco" mode. When the gas saving "Eco" button is off, the transmission quickly downshifts, the vehicle accelerates faster and the speed is increased. The vehicle yields 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The Routan is very classy, spacious, and comfortable. I especially like that the third-row seats reversible and can face the tail gate area and because the tail gate opens horizontally, you can go to the beach, sit in the back of the van and look at the ocean waves right in front of you. That is something that you cannot experience in any other van that I know of.

While driving, I felt comfortable and secure and the nifty navigation system helped me get where I needed to go without getting lost, saving me a lot of time searching for my destination by not having to use a traditional map and compass.

The DVD entertainment package with premium audio system made me feel like I was in a movie theater. Passengers in the second and third-row seats can watch their favorite movies with or without head phones, and they can use the remote control to change or stop the videos any time they want to. I highly recommend the RSE (Rear Seat Entertainment) package to anyone who has children, because the DVD system can keep children occupied for long periods of time.

I thoroughly enjoyed driving the Volkswagen Routan. The fully loaded SE with RSE (Rear Seat Entertainment) and Navigation System is $35,570, but in my opinion, is well worth the price.

If you want a stylish, comfortable, and spacious van that can carry a large family with ease, is technologically advanced, and can haul a lot of cargo, then you should definitely take a look at the Routan. It may just be exactly what you have been looking for.

 

   2012 Nissan Versa Sedan (Review)

The Car that Saves Money on Gas Mile After Mile!

 by Philippa Lane

 

Recently, the popularity of fuel-efficient, compact sedans has been growing exponentially and Nissan has responded to the call with the new 2012 Versa Sedan. Nissan is a company that has been making high quality vehicles for many years that are beneficial, affordable, and fun to drive, with unique features.

The subcompact vehicle has a stylish exterior, sleek lines, and a bold trapezoidal specially designed grille. The style is similar to the Maxima and Altima sedans, but with a unique look all its own. The Versa is also the first to wear Nissan's new Puredrive label, which will be put on cars with the brand's most fuel-efficient technologies.

The Nissan Versa is spacious both in the front cabin and rear seating areas, is comfortable, has a variety of features, a large trunk, and unlike the old Versa that had a basic roof with more of a flat appearance, the new model has smooth lines, sweeping taillights, and the roofline gently inclines toward the trunk, giving a modern and sleek look to the vehicle's exterior.

The Versa's rear seating area offer more legroom than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class and is very spacious, comfortable, with plenty of room to accommodate at least three or four passengers. The dashboard has circular, delineated controls, and a restyled steering wheel.

The Versa is available in three trim levels and each level comes with one optional package. The basic 1.6 S model has a starting MSRP of only $10,990 and comes equipped with AM/FM/CD player, two speakers, air bags, stability control, side and curtain airbags, 15-inch steel wheels, defroster, air conditioning, 6-way manual driver's seat, and 5-speed manual transmission. The optional Cruise Control Package adds a trunk light, 2 rear speakers, and cruise control.

The 1.6 SV has a starting MSRP of $14,560 and is equipped with cruise control, AM/FM/CD audio system, four speakers, chrome grille trim, power windows, power mirrors, air conditioning, and better seats. The optional Convenience Package provides Bluetooth connectivity, a premium audio system with MP3 CD playback capability, a passenger visor vanity mirror, steering-wheel audio controls, map lights, and an iPod interface system.

The top of the line Nissan Versa 1.6 SL Sedan comes with a premium AM/FM/CD audio system, four speakers, MP3/WMA CD playback capability, radio data system, alloy wheels, fog lights, a split-folding rear seat, chrome door pulls, and all of the features that the SV Convenience Package has. The SV can be upgraded with the Technology Package, which includes a Nissan Touch screen Navigation System, XM Satellite Radio, and USB connection port.

The base model is equipped with a manual transmission, but the SV and SL models have a continuously variable transmission. All three trims yield a remarkable 30 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway.

With gas prices on the rise, many Americans, including myself, are very interested in saving money on fuel as much as possible, that is why I was so excited when I was given the wonderful opportunity to test drive the new Nissan Versa Sedan.

When I first set my eyes on the Nissan Versa, I immediately noticed its unique appearance. The vehicle actually looks like some luxury Infiniti models, because of its stylish grille and sleek lines. I was impressed with the Versa's overall driving performance, spacious interior and roomy trunk.

The base model does not have a navigation system, but for an additional charge, one can be added. I do not like where the fuel panel is located on the dashboard, because it is placed right in the middle, between two grooves over the steering wheel, which make it difficult to see and my sun visor did not have a mirror for me to see how I looked (most women like this feature), however the passenger's side did have a mirror on the sun visor.

The cooling and heating system work amazingly well, the stereo system has good sound quality, and the Versa drives well in the city and on freeways.

The best thing that I like about the Nissan Versa is that it truly is a fuel efficient vehicle and has the potential to save consumers hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars a year on fuel costs. I tested the vehicle's fuel efficiency, and have found it to be one of, if not the best, fuel efficient vehicles available.

To sum it all up, the new 2012 Nissan Versa is a fuel efficient sedan, with a lot of style, appeal, a spacious front and rear cabin, and will get you to where you want to go easily, comfortably, and is perfect for daily commuting to work, school, running errands, or going to the beach.

If you are looking for a vehicle that is comfortable, fuel efficient, spacious, reliable, and affordable, then I highly recommend the Nissan Versa. It is simply the best commute vehicle on the road today!

 

2011 Kia Forte 5-Door Hatchback (Review)      Exciting, Fun to Drive, Spacious, and Fuel Efficient!            

 

by Philippa Lane

The popularity of hatchbacks has been growing exponentially over the years and Kia Motors has recently entered this segment with the new Kia Forte 5-Door Hatchback, a spacious compact CUV style vehicle with a style that is like no other.

The Forte 5-Door has a design that is similar to the Forte sedan and incorporates similar front-end styling as the Forte sedan, except it has a newly designed front grille. The vehicle has impressive features, such as alloy wheels, paddle shifters, a center console, push-button start, and an optional navigation system.

Major styling changes have been made to the rear end of the vehicle giving the Forte 5-Door a sportier look and a distinguishable appearance.

Kia Motors is based in Soul Korea, has an impressive line of vehicles to choose from, and 730 dealers through out the U.S.

The Forte 5-Door Hatchback is not only classy, but is also very fun to drive. The rear windows have a wonderful design, and are uniquely shaped, giving them a unique and distinctive appearance. The plush leather seats in the front cabin area as well as the rear are comfortable and supportive. Even the floor pedals have a unique, sporty look and feel to them that I have not seen in any other vehicle. They are made with stainless steel and rubber pads that are slip resistant. The optional power sunroof is perfect in size, gives a great view, and is perfect when I just want to look at the sky or park by a tree and admire its beauty.

The stereo and speaker system is impressive and the sound quality is superb. While driving, the vehicle accelerates quickly, navigates curvy roads and freeways with ease, and provides a smooth ride.

The Kia Forte 5-Door comes in an EX and SX trim, but the main difference between the two models is that the SX has a larger 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 173 horsepower and is paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. EX models come equipped with an automatic transmission and a smaller 2.0-liter engine, but still boasts a lot of power. Both engines have continuously variable valve timing, which assists in fuel economy and responsiveness. The sporty SX model is available either an automatic or manual transmission.

All Forte models include a powerful 4-speaker sound system with Bluetooth connectivity and Sirius Satellite Radio capability, steering-wheel controls, CD player, and a USB connector. In fact, the Forte has one of the most modern and technologically advanced sound systems available with power bass and speed dependent volume compensation that automatically increases the volume at higher speeds.

The SX models also have expanded equipment, such as 17" alloy wheels, automatic headlights, fog lamps, sport seats, leather steering-wheel, shift-knob trim, gauge cluster, and tilt steering adjustment. The standard safety features are similar in class to more expensive vehicles, which include active front headrests, full-length side-curtain bags, front seat-mounted side airbags, electronic stability control, and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Leather upholstery and heated seats are available on the SX, giving the vehicle an elegant and refined appearance.

The Kia Forte 5-Door has a spacious interior, comfortable cabin, and offers 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space to put groceries and other essentials. Also, unlike many other vehicles of similar size, the Forte has amazing noise insulation that makes the driving experience very quiet and enjoyable.

The only feature that I would like to see added to the Kia Forte Hatchback is a way to open the rear door with a key, instead of with remote and being locked automatically. In case of an electrical malfunction, a manual key entry can be pretty handy.

Both trims have great fuel economy (25 mpg city/34 highway with the base engine), but with Kia's optional fuel economy package, the addition of low-rolling silica tires, and aerodynamic enhancements can yield 27 mpg city/37 highway.

The Forte 5-Door has a base price of $17,590, while a fully loaded SX is about $24,000, and every Forte is covered by one of the best warranties available, which includes 10 years or 100,000 miles on powertrain components, 5 years or 60,000 miles limited warranty on the whole vehicle, and 5 years or 60,000 miles of roadside assistance.

On a scale of 1-10, I give the Kia Forte 5-Door Hatchback a 10.

If you have been looking for a car that is fuel efficient, reliable, comfortable, stylish, and fun to drive, then I highly recommend the Kia Forte 5-Door Hatchback. It is an impressive vehicle with state of the art features and is definitely worth taking a look at.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (Review)

by Philippa Lane

The compact crossover segment has been increasingly growing over the years. In fact, the small crossover segment will increase 480% by the year 2013. Mitsubishi recently entered this segment with the new 2011 Outlander Sport, a five-passenger crossover seeking to make an impact in the crossover arena. It has a sleek look, with the all-wheel-drive capacity of a crossover, the usefulness of a wagon, and the driving ease of a small car.

The Sport is the smaller version of the company's Outlander and is uniquely different, because of its compact size, shape, and stylish exterior. It is about a foot shorter than the Outlander in length, weighs about 400 pounds less, and has a bold, attractive inverted trapezoid shaped grille, similar to the Lancer Ralliart and full sized Outlander. The Sport has soft exterior contours and seats up to five passengers.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes in an SE and ES trim. Front-wheel drive is available on the SE and all wheel drive is available on the ES, which adds stability in slippery road conditions, such as in the snow and rain. Both trims use a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and come with air conditioning , fabric upholstery, folding and reclining high-back rear seats, keyless entry, power doors and windows, heated mirrors, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, audio and cruise controls built into the steering wheel, LCD multi-information display, hands-free link system with USB port, LED combination tail lamps, telescopic tilt steering wheel, 12-volt power outlets, halogen head lamps, hill start assist, rear privacy glass, uses electric power steering, and delivers 25 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.

Optional packages and safety features include a panoramic sunroof, 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate nine-speaker audio system, all-wheel drive, backup camera, and heated front seats.

When I first saw the Outlander Sport, I noticed the exterior's beautiful, bright red color, detailing, and compact size, which is smaller than a Toyota RAV4, but yet bigger than a compact sedan. The car has specially designed plastic polymer front fender panels on each side and a sophisticated glass roof. That same roof comes alive in the evening with LED mood lighting inside of the vehicle with three light settings. This is a unique feature that I have never seen before in any other CUV or SUV.

I like the fact that the Outlander Sport is not difficult to step into, like so many SUV's are today, because of its smaller size, although while driving, I did feel like I was in an SUV and the cabin is very spacious. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive, and in the second row, the back seats are solid and plush, and there is plenty of space and leg room for at least two adults or three children. The GPA system is both accurate and decipherable, the radio system has a perfect sound, and the backup camera gives a clear view of objects and people in back of the vehicle while in reverse mode.

The Outlander Sport is powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine, produces 148 horsepower, has145 pounds of torque, and handles very well with only minor road noise.

Also, if you are looking for a cool way to shift into gear, you can easily do that with the column-mounted magnesium alloy paddle shifters. They are located on the right side of the steering wheel and have six programmed shift points. You can even save gas by using them. Who doesn't want to save on gas these days? I know that I do. You can also use the continuously variable transmission that is also easy to use and shifts into gear smoothly.
 

The lights and buttons on the console and dashboard area are modern and youthful. I am a rather conservative person, but in my opinion, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a great choice for teenagers or young adults, because of the mood lighting and other modernistic features in the vehicle. While driving, I almost felt like I was on the Star Tours ride at Disneyland. This is a positive attribute of the Outlander Sport and makes it an exciting and fun car to drive.

There is also a large cargo area to put groceries, boxes, and much more. The one thing that I do not like about the hidden compartment in the cargo area is that it is not carpeted. I know that the Toyota RAV4 has a similar hidden storage area, but it is carpeted. It is not a major element, but an addition of carpeting to this area can help keep objects from sliding that cause noise in the cargo area while driving. I personally like to put things in the hidden compartment, because they remain completely hidden from the view of people that walk by the vehicle.

Overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a wonderful car that is stylish, handles very well and maneuvers highways and curvy roads with ease. It is a fun and exciting vehicle to drive, that is fuel efficient and economical. Whether you are young or have a small family, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a great car to own and drive. It appeals to both the young and the young at heart.

The base front-wheel-drive model has an MSRP of $18,495 and the fully loaded Outlander Sport has an MSRP of $22,995.

If you have been looking for a CUV with good fuel economy, an attractive exterior, modern state of the art features, and a comfortable interior, then I highly recommend that you check out the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

  2011 Toyota RAV4 (Review)

A Great SUV for the Entire Family

 

by Philippa Lane

For more than fifteen years, the Toyota RAV4 has maintained a reputation of being one of the most affordable and reliable SUV's available. It was one of the first crossover vehicles on sale in the U.S. and has only gotten better since its inception. Over the years the RAV4 has become a popular choice with families and young adults.

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 has 4 doors, seats up to 7 passengers, and is available in 12 popular trims, ranging from the Base I4 4X2 to the Limited V6 4X4. The Base I4 4X2 is fitted with a standard 2.5-liter, 179-horsepower engine that attains 22-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway, is equipped with a 4 speed automatic transmission, and has a starting MSRP of only $21,925.00.

The RAV4 features a vehicle anti-theft system, power door locks, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, a vehicle stability control system, electronic brake force distribution, traction control, brake assistance, airbags, child safety door locks, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

In terms of interior comfort, fit, and usefulness, the RAV4 scores very well. The interior is spacious, stylish, with ergonomic front seats that are plush, wide, and comfortable, along with lumbar adjustment and adequate headroom for taller drivers and passengers; however the second row seats are not as comfortable as the front row and have a stiff feel to them. Nevertheless, the second row is spacious with plenty of stretching room and about 38-inches of head clearance for backseat passengers. Under the second row seating area, there is additional cargo space and access to a third row seat. When not in use, the third row seat neatly folds into a small compartment in the floor, leaving a completely flat loading area.

When I first set my eyes on the RAV4, I was very impressed with the sleek exterior and style of the car. Painted in the color of Barcelona Red, the RAV4 stands out and attracts a lot of positive attention. I am a rather conservative person and the vehicle really matches my personality perfectly.

One thing that I noticed is that the cargo door of the RAV4 swings open horizontally, rather than other SUV's, in which the rear door opens vertically. Some people may not be fond of a swing style cargo door in the back of an SUV and may prefer a lift back style, but I like the way it gently swings open and I have discovered that it seems to make loading and unloading items easier.

There is a wheel cover and a full size spare tire on the rear door, and the rear window has a little windshield wiper that works well, especially if you are driving in the rain or the snow.

The RAV4 has a hidden, carpeted storage area in the trunk. I love to put pillows in the compartment and anything else that I want to hide away from view.

When I first sat in the driver's seat, I loved the way the seat was positioned and felt. It supported my back and provided lift and comfort. I am 5'4 and the driver's seat is the perfect height for me, because I can actually see over the hood of the car while driving. The steering wheel is easy to handle while driving and for an additional $475, the RAV4 Base I4 4X2 can be equipped with an integrated backup camera monitor. It does not have a navigation system, which comes in handy when you are driving somewhere unfamiliar and you don't know where you are going, but the RAV4 has many other wonderful features that are some of the best in the industry today.

The heating and cooling systems work perfectly and the hot/cool air is distributed evenly throughout the vehicle. There are two generously sized cup holders under the dashboard console with two removable, washable inserts and a cup holder is located on the side of each back door.

The RAV4 handles well on freeways as well as on winding roads and maneuvers through high traffic areas with ease. In stop and go traffic it handled like a dream. With a fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, the RAV4 has great gas mileage and picks up easily while driving.

One day while parked in a store lot, a woman approached me, knocked on the passenger side of the window, and said, "I like this car. It is beautiful!" I replied to her and said, "Thank you, Toyota makes it."

The RAV4 is a wonderful SUV for men and women, families, young adults, and anyone that wants a reliable vehicle that is stylish, comfortable, affordable, and can easily take you where you need to go.

Toyota makes great vehicles and the RAV4 is one of them.

Way to go RAV4!

 2011 Toyota Yaris 4-Door Sedan (Review)

 An Inexpensive and Fuel Efficient Car that is Hip with Plenty of Zip!

  

 by Philippa Lane

In a time when gas prices have reached record levels, more and more people are looking for vehicles that are fuel efficient and affordable.  For these reasons, the 2011 Toyota Yaris is the perfect choice.  With a modern, appealing, attractive design, and an excellent fuel economy of 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway, the Yaris has quickly become one of the most popular and practical cars for commuters today.

The Toyota Yaris is available as a 3, 4-door sedan, 5 door- hatchback, and is equipped with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.  The sedan has a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a 106-horsepower output.  The vehicle’s affordability, excellent fuel economy, comfortable seats, and stylish appearance are superior to many other small cars on the market today with a wide range of upgradeable options.  The Yaris has a state of the art safety system which includes anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, an anti-skid system, as well as standard brake override technology that automatically cuts off fuel to the engine when the brake applied.

I have been very impressed with the features, comfort, style, and the speed of acceleration of the Yaris Sedan and my experience driving the vehicle was a positive one.  When I first sat in the driver’s seat I said to my daughter who was in the car with me at the time. “I love the seats of this car, because they provide such wonderful back support.”  The seats have a special design that provides excellent support and comfort for the back and neck areas, thus giving an ergonomic driving experience.   This is an attribute of the Toyota Yaris that makes it the perfect vehicle for someone who needs or desires extra back support.

The steering wheel of the Yaris is smaller that what I am usually accustomed to, but I quickly got used to it and discovered that the small sized wheel made maneuvering in high traffic areas and winding roads much easier.  The vehicle handles roads, curves, stops, and freeways with ease, but leans slightly on tight roadways.

The stereo system with CD player is fantastic and has a clear, crisp sound, with large, easy to push buttons, and powerful speakers. The air conditioning and heating system work very well. I primarily used the cooling system in the month of June and I found it very effective in lowering the temperature in the vehicle and kept me feeling cool and comfortable while driving on the highways and byways in 100+ degree weather.  The power windows/door locks work great and have excellent response times.  The trunk of the Yaris Sedan is very spacious and provides plenty of space for transport of groceries and other items.

The braking system is strong and functions amazingly well, except for a small squeaking sound that it made once in a while when I applied the brake.  The sound appeared to be a minor issue and in no way affected the performance of the vehicle. 

Now, to some people cup holders are not important elements in a car, but I usually become thirsty while driving and I do not like water or other beverages falling and spilling on myself or on the interior of the vehicle.   The Toyota Yaris has specially designed cup holders on the driver/passenger sides and in the backseat area that securely hold a variety of cups, cans, and bottles.  They are discreetly hidden under a push button compartment and are only seen when pushed.  With a simple touch of the hand, the cup holders are revealed and ready for use.

The Toyota Yaris 4 Door Sedan also has excellent speed and acceleration.  I noticed that as soon as I applied my foot to the gas pedal, the car accelerated very quickly and the automatic transmission shifted into gear with synchronized accuracy. 

Overall, the Toyota Yaris is classy, sporty, cute, fun to drive, and is a practical car for every day commuting.   It will definitely save you a lot of time and money at the gas pump. 

The vehicle is competitively priced with the MSRP starting at only $13,715 for the 5-speed manual and $14,515 for the four speed automatic transmission.

Whether you are young or old, if you are looking for an inexpensive, good reliable car to drive, then I highly recommend the Toyota Yaris 4-Door Sedan.  Out of 10 stars I give it a solid 10.

Zip, zip away with a Yaris today!

 

 

The Chevrolet Impala (Review)

 by Philippa Lane

 

 

The Chevy Impala is a stylish, 4 door, full sized, fuel efficient sedan. The Impala is available in 3 trims and ranges from the LS to the LTZ. There is the entry-level LS, the midgrade LT, and the luxurious, fully loaded LTZ. The Impala has anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control and every Impala has six standard air bags- dual-stage frontal air bags, side-impact air bags for the driver, right front passenger and head curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear occupants.

The LS is fitted with a standard V6, 3.5 liter, 211 horsepower, conciliatory fuel engine. It has a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, which is standard on both the LS and the LTZ.

When Chevrolet first introduced the Impala in 1958, it was meant to be a "prestige" model that the average American could afford. Chevrolet was very successful in accomplishing this, because for more than fifty years, the Impala has become one of America's most well-known and respected vehicles.

Since the year 2000, the modern Impala has been Chevrolet's primary full-sized sedan, able to transport up to 6 people comfortably. All three models have V6 power, front wheel drive, and are very affordable.

The LTZ has heated front seats with leather appointments, a Bose premium 8- speaker sound system, a universal home remote, outside heated power-adjustable mirrors, a rear spoiler, and an XM Radio. Both the Impala LS and LT come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 211 horsepower, but the LTZ has a 3.9-liter V6 engine.

All of the Impala models have four-speed automatic transmissions, have large passenger and cargo spaces, and provide a smooth driving experience.

The Chevrolet Impala SS, which was offered from 1994- 1996, was short lived and was similar to the Caprice. The SS had a 260 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine and was similar to the Corvette which has large 17-inch wheels and tires, a tuned suspension, a monochrome exterior which was black only in its first year of production. Because of the special features of the SS, these Impalas now have a collectible quality and are still in demand.

There are many Impalas left from previous decades. A lot of the early models of the Impala were frequently considered to be one of America's most popular cars. Throughout the 1960's, the Chevy Impala was on top of the sales charts and in 1965 more than one million were sold.

Although smaller muscle cars began to become more popular and started to eat away at sales of the Impala, the well known and affordable sedan continued to sell in large numbers and became America's best-selling car in 1973.

The new and improved Chevy Impalas have a lot to offer and I highly recommend the model to anyone interested in purchasing a good, reliable, comfortable, and affordable vehicle with a unique, distinctive style and state of the art features.

For more information about the Chevy Impala, please visit- http://www.chevrolet.com/impala