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    William Maley

    2019 Lexus ES Grows In Size, Adds F-Sport

      Not your father's ES


    The Lexus ES has always been the safe, conservative choice in the midsize class. There was nothing controversial or exciting about it. But that is changing with the seventh-generation model that made its debut today at Auto China.

    Lexus has already given us a preview of what most of the ES looks like last week, but we weren't sure about what the back end looks like. We now know and it looks very similar to the current GS with a short trunk lid, triangular taillights that extend into the rear fenders, and sculpting on the bumper. This generation of the ES will also get for the first time an F-Sport package with a mesh grille, body kit, and new wheels.

    In terms of dimensions, the 2019 ES sees a 2.6-inch increase in overall length, 2-inch increase in wheelbase, and a 1.8-inch increase in width.

    The interior borrows a fair amount of ideas from the LS and LC with a trapezoidal gauge cluster and control knobs sitting on either side; real wood and aluminum dash accents, and a large infotainment screen measuring out 8- or 12-inches. The ES will be the first Lexus model to get (finally) Apple CarPlay intergration. Those with Android phones are just out of luck.

    Lexus will offer two engines for the U.S. market. The ES 350 packs a 3.5L V6 producing 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. For those who care about fuel efficiency have the ES 300h which pairs a 2.5L four-cylinder with an electric motor to produce a total output of 215. The V6 gets an eight-speed automatic, while the ES 300h makes do with a CVT. Platform-wise, the ES uses a variant of the GA-K platform found in the new Camry and Avalon. Lexus added extra reinforcement for the ES to improve overall rigidity.

    The 2019 ES arrives at Lexus dealers in September.

    Source: Lexus


    A New Level of Performance and Sophistication—The Next Generation Lexus ES

    • Emotional Design Reflects New Dynamic Capabilities
    • Introduction of the First F SPORT Model in the ES Lineup
    • Hybrid Model Delivers Exceptional Mileage and Improved Performance

    BEIJING, April 25, 2018 — After six generations of unprecedented success in the entry-luxury sedan category, the next-generation Lexus ES is forging a new, more ambitious path. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the seventh-generation ES builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT.
     
    Representing the third vehicle in the Future Chapter of Lexus that started with the LC coupe and LS sedan, the new ES expands that vision of the brand’s future to a broader audience. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious, quieter and safer than ever before while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, class-leading active safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment.  
     
    The New Dimension of ES Design
    Built on the all-new Global Architecture – K (GA-K) platform, the new ES pushes the limits of design in the luxury sedan class. This ES is longer (+2.6 in), lower (-.2 in) and wider (+1.8 in.) than before with wheels that have been pushed closer to the corners thanks to a two-inch longer wheelbase and wider tracks front (+.4 in) and rear (+1.5 in). Its stance and proportions reflect its newfound performance capabilities and give the ES the kind of eye-catching appearance that will make owners take a second look as they walk away.
     
    Project Chief Designer, Yasuo Kajino, describes the look of the ES as “provocative elegance”.
     
    “The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan. For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”
     
    To create a dynamic yet fluid shape, Kaijino’s team used the low hood enabled by the new ES platform to produce a distinctive silhouette emphasized by an aggressive downward slant. Up front, the ES offers two dramatically different grille designs. The standard ES 350 and the ES 300h use elegant vertical bars that radiate out from the center while the ES 350 F SPORT model adopts a blacked out pattern consisting of “L”-shaped clusters with corresponding cut outs at each corner of the fascia.
     
    In a break with ES models of the past, the seventh-generation design uses a fast roofline that emphasizes its lower stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end is clean and sharply chiseled, with LED taillamps that wrap around the quarter panels to provide a continuous styling line from any angle. F SPORT models add a rear spoiler, additional rear badging and a dark lower valance to further refine the look. There are three different wheel designs (standard 17-inch, two 18-inch) for the ES 350 and ES 300h while the ES 350 F SPORT gets standard 19-inch wheels with a design similar to that found on the LC coupe. 
     
    A dozen colors make up the exterior paint palette including two new shades, one green and one beige, that are anything but typical. Moonbeam Beige Metallic was designed to mimic light reflecting off fresh snow, while Sunlit Green replicates the color of ocean water brightened by the sun. F SPORT models get an exclusive Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0 color that complements its high-energy design.
     
    The Future of Lexus Interiors
    When designing the look and feel of the ES’s interior, Kajino’s team started with the Lexus Future Interior concept which blends a driver-centric cockpit with a spacious and comfortable area for the front passenger. In the ES, the driver’s focus is kept on the road ahead by placing the center display screen, instrument panel and available heads up display in a tight cluster in the driver’s field of view. Front passengers, on the other hand, get a more open and spacious environment that promotes relaxation. 
     
    Rear seat passenger comfort has long been a hallmark of the ES and the seventh-generation model still prioritizes rear package capability despite the sleeker exterior roofline. A lower hip point and a carefully configured headliner preserve headroom while the longer wheelbase delivers generous legroom.
     
    To create an entirely different appearance for the inside of new F SPORT model, an all-new kind of metallic cabin trim was developed that is unlike anything else Lexus has done before. Inspired by the making of a traditional Japanese sword, Hadori aluminum trim features fluctuating wave patterns that give it a three-dimensional appearance that varies depending on the viewing angle. The effect is subtle yet indicative of the level of detail and craftsmanship that Kajino’s team put into giving the F SPORT a unique place in the lineup. The standard ES 350 and ES 300h will continue to offer traditional materials like Matte Bamboo, Linear Dark Mocha and Linear Espresso wood which give the ES a hand-crafted appearance that luxury buyers expect in this category.
     
    A New Era of Performance
    The engineering team led by Yasuhiro Sakakibara had one clear goal when it came to the ES: transform the image of the ES. That meant turning a sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness into one that is equally capable of delivering class-leading handling and power that you can feel and hear.
     
    According to Sakakibara, this ES was built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of performance than any of its predecessors. “We knew that this ES had to feel responsive and easy to drive, no matter what kind of road it was on and that can only be achieved with a solid foundation.”
     
    The starting point was the newly developed GA-K chassis. It’s an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis, rivalling the GA-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC coupe and LS sedan in terms of torsional stiffness. Various grades of high-tensile steel reduce weight versus previous platforms while additional enhancements like an all-new multi-link rear suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat gave the engineers the flexibility to tune the ES with a newfound level of precision.
     
    All of the upgrades to the chassis were designed to deliver a sense of comforting predictability coupled with a feeling of quick response to every movement. Yoshiaki Ito, chief test driver for Lexus, describes the ES’s heightened level and refined definition of comfort by saying: “We want every kind of driver to feel a sense of complete control when they are behind the wheel of the ES. It’s a level of comfort that goes beyond merely delivering a smooth ride.”
     
    For an enhanced level of dynamic performance, F SPORT models offer an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) similar to that found on the LC coupe. AVS adds adjustable dampers at each corner that feature 650 levels of damping force for the ultimate in control over any surface.  Another F SPORT exclusive is a Sport+ mode for the Drive Mode Select system that selects the most aggressive engine, transmission and suspension settings for maximum performance. A new Engine Sound Enhancement feature is also activated in Sport+ mode that adds an additional layer of engine noise that enhances the natural rhythms of the spirited driving.
     
    Standard V6 Power and a New 8-Speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission
    All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that is designed to deliver commanding acceleration along with an invigorating sound. With an update to D4-S fuel injection, the impressively smooth engine now develops 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Both of those numbers are up significantly (+34 hp, +19 lb-ft) compared to the previous generation V6.
     
    In addition to the boost in power, the ES 350 also benefits from a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. It uses an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi-plate lock up clutch to more efficiently transfer power to the front wheels, and has been tuned to deliver crisp, precisely timed shifts with quick responses. With a wider spread of ratios, the new eight speed is able to utilize high torque gears on the low end for quick starts and tall gearing on the high end for optimum efficiency.
     
    Fourth Generation Hybrid Drive System 
    Not to be outdone by its gasoline siblings, the ES 300h is capable of delivering exceptional fuel efficiency, responsive performance and minimal emissions for an entry-level luxury sedan. A new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System couples an ultra-efficient, Atkinson cycle 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine with a lighter, more compact, more power dense electric motor and self-charging hybrid system. Together they deliver a combined 215 total system horsepower and a preliminary estimate of 44 mpg in combined driving.
     
    An all-new engine, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder incorporates fast-burn combustion technology that makes it one of the most thermally efficient engines ever offered in a Lexus. The result is more power without increasing emissions or fuel consumption. Various methods were used to achieve such impressive results including straight intake ports, increased valve angles and laser-clad valve seats. A variable capacity oil pump, multihole injectors, VVTi-E on the intake valves and a variable cooling system also contribute to the engine’s impressive heat and combustion management.   
     
    Overall drivability of the ES 300h has been improved thanks to a more sophisticated hybrid system control computer that is better able to mimic the feel and power delivery of a standard gas engine. An all-new nickel metal hydride battery is smaller than before which allows it to be mounted underneath the back seat so it doesn’t infringe on trunk space.
     
    Unparalleled Safety Comes Standard
    One element of the ES that hasn’t been radically transformed is its dedication to safety. All versions of the seventh-generation ES feature the new Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard equipment. Already one of the most sophisticated systems of its kind, LSS+ 2.0 adds new features that further expand its capabilities.
     
    One such feature is daytime bicyclist detection which is part of the comprehensive Pre-Collision System (PCS). Already designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian, the PCS system’s ability to potentially detect a bicyclist addresses a common accident scenario. PCS has also been enhanced to help better detect a pedestrian at night by increasing the radar’s sensitivity and dynamic range.
     
    Technology That Connects and Simplifies
    Staying connected has never been so important to ES owners, so there are now multiple ways to engage with technology in a safe and convenient manner. For example, the seventh-generation ES is the first Lexus product to offer Apple CarPlay™ phone functionality, enabling drivers to control their iPhones® through the dashboard display screen or with Siri Eyes Free® voice control.
     
    The ES is also Amazon Alexa®-enabled, so drivers can use natural language commands to control a variety of functions. That functionality includes car-to-home and home-to-car commands, so owners who have Alexa enabled devices in their home can interact with their ES before they ever get behind the wheel.
     
    On board Wi-fi powered by Verizon is also available on the ES as part of an optional navigation system that includes an easy-to-read 12.3-inch wide dashboard display. Along with its on-board data set, the navigation system is also capable of receiving over-the-air updates for improved routing and the latest Points of Interest (POIs).  Models without navigation will use an 8-inch display and all interactions will be controlled through the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) trackpad.
     
    The Next Chapter of ES 
    When it goes on sale in September, the 2019 Lexus ES will usher in a new era for one of the brand’s most popular models. Much like the flagship LS, the new ES sedan addresses the need to engage a broader range of customers. It delivers everything that traditional Lexus buyers expect along with elements that will draw in those who haven’t considered the brand before. Bolder styling, more dynamic performance, unique cabin materials and the latest technology add a chapter to the ES story that hasn’t been told, but that all changes in 2018.



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    WOW, Talk about Toyota doing what GM did in tacky Rebadge work of their luxury line compared to their basic line.

    Talk about using the Spindle grill on both Toyota and Lexus auto's. PATHETIC!

    2019-Toyota-Camry.jpg

    2019-toyota-camry.png

    2019-Toyota-Camry-XSE-youtube-hybrid-blue-.jpg

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    I wonder what Toyota calls their current grille theme...'angry fish' would be appropriate.  They use it on several models now.

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    14 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Wow a 302 hp V6, how 2011 of them to offer that!

    Because we all know you need at least 350 hp to get to the Old Country Buffet after bingo.

    This is the exact target market where enough horsepower is plenty.  One thing that I'll give Toyota here is that their 3.5 V6 outperforms its spec sheet. The Avalon is way faster than it ever needs to be.  With the 8-Speed and lighter weight over the previous model, this ES should satisfy the performance needs of the target market while still being very fuel efficient.

    But hey, maybe they should spend $15k more to get a lower power Benz with plastic seats.

     

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    1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Because we all know you need at least 350 hp to get to the Old Country Buffet after bingo.

    This is the exact target market where enough horsepower is plenty.  One thing that I'll give Toyota here is that their 3.5 V6 outperforms its spec sheet. The Avalon is way faster than it ever needs to be.  With the 8-Speed and lighter weight over the previous model, this ES should satisfy the performance needs of the target market while still being very fuel efficient.

    But hey, maybe they should spend $15k more to get a lower power Benz with plastic seats.

     

    Why not use a turbo 4 with or without electric assist with gets better gas mileage and makes the same power and torque?     I think a 2008 CTS had a 304 hp V6 if memory serves me correctly, that is 10 years ago, and Lexus hasn't gone past that yet.  

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    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    Why not use a turbo 4 with or without electric assist with gets better gas mileage and makes the same power and torque?     I think a 2008 CTS had a 304 hp V6 if memory serves me correctly, that is 10 years ago, and Lexus hasn't gone past that yet.  

    What is the business case? Sell it to me in cost savings or additional sales.

    Keep in mind that the ES and Avalon V6 are already capable of Low-mid-30s in mpg on the highway. The full Hybrid without a turbo only manages to increase that to 41.  The V6 is in use in a bunch of other cars on this platform. V6es are smoother than 4-cylinders and smoothness is something Lexus has a reputation for.

    So what is the benefit to Toyota or to the customer to engineer a different engine into it?

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    5 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    What is the business case? Sell it to me in cost savings or additional sales.

    Keep in mind that the ES and Avalon V6 are already capable of Low-mid-30s in mpg on the highway. The full Hybrid without a turbo only manages to increase that to 41.  The V6 is in use in a bunch of other cars on this platform. V6es are smoother than 4-cylinders and smoothness is something Lexus has a reputation for.

    So what is the benefit to Toyota or to the customer to engineer a different engine into it?

    The Camry V6 gets 22/32 mpg, the 4 cylinder gets 28/39 mpg.   They could add a turbo to the 2.5 liter get the same power and acceleration as the V6 and if they lose 2 mpg with a turbo add they are still at 26/37 mpg, that is a 4.5 mpg gain, that is the benefit to the customer.

    I can see the age 75+ crowd that buys this thing wanting a V6 because their old ES had one, and their 90s Camry had one and their 80s Buick had one, and buy gosh they are a V6 man.   But then why not make an all new small displacement V6 with a turbo that makes 300 hp/300 lb-ft that gets better gas mileage than this 3.5 liter unit from 2008.

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    25 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The Camry V6 gets 22/32 mpg, the 4 cylinder gets 28/39 mpg.   They could add a turbo to the 2.5 liter get the same power and acceleration as the V6 and if they lose 2 mpg with a turbo add they are still at 26/37 mpg, that is a 4.5 mpg gain, that is the benefit to the customer.

    I can see the age 75+ crowd that buys this thing wanting a V6 because their old ES had one, and their 90s Camry had one and their 80s Buick had one, and buy gosh they are a V6 man.   But then why not make an all new small displacement V6 with a turbo that makes 300 hp/300 lb-ft that gets better gas mileage than this 3.5 liter unit from 2008.

    Engine platforms aren't just an app that you can download...."Oh, I'll just develop a 2.5 liter turbo V6 today!" It takes hundreds of millions of dollars and has to fit with global designs. A 2.5 liter turbo V6 isn't doing to do much if any better than a 3.5 liter naturally aspirated.  The Camry V6 does substantially better on the highway than its EPA rating.  I have routinely gotten 35mpg highway out of the old Avalon with the 6-speed driving it like I stole it.  That 3.5 is used in a whole bunch of Toyota vehicles.

    The ES being the best selling in its segment, I wouldn't want to change the formula much if I were Lexus.  Changing from a 3.5 V6 to a Turbo-4 isn't going to increase sales for them and buyers who want fuel economy will just buy the hybrid.

    There is literally zero financial or practical reason for Lexus to do what you suggest.

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    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

    Engine platforms aren't just an app that you can download...."Oh, I'll just develop a 2.5 liter turbo V6 today!" It takes hundreds of millions of dollars and has to fit with global designs.

    Toyota isn't strapped for cash and I am not saying overnight, but the Toyota 3.5 V6 originally came out in 2004, I had to look it up because the earliest I remember it was the 2006 Lexus GS redesign.  And sure they added some VVT or direct injection over the years, but this is the same bones as the engine in this:

    2006+toyota+avalon+_9_.jpg

     

     

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    Lexus ES sales were down 10.4% in 2015, down 10.5% in 2016, down 11.8% in 2017 and down 14.9% YTD 2018.  Things are surely working for them with 4 consecutive years of double digit declines (in a growing luxury market no less).

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    7 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Lexus ES sales were down 10.4% in 2015, down 10.5% in 2016, down 11.8% in 2017 and down 14.9% YTD 2018.  Things are surely working for them with 4 consecutive years of double digit declines (in a growing luxury market no less).

    The sedan market as a whole is in decline.  Adding a 2.5T isn't going to change that.  Fusion sales weren't turned around by the Fusion Sport. Accord sales slid after dropping the V6 in favor of a 2.0t... and in a car that I believe is the current best in class.  Mazda 6 sales are not going to explode with the intro of a 2.3t.  Altima isn't going to take over the market by dropping their V6. Cherokee is not going to suddenly eclipse the CR-V now that a 2.0T is available in addition to a V6. The previous generation Navigator couldn't be saved by its Turbo V6. The number of vehicles where sales stayed flat or fell after switching to a turbo-4 is far far greater than vehicles that increased in sales after a switch to turbo-4 from a V6.

    You latch on to these single aspects as if that one single thing is the sole arbiter of the fate of a vehicle.  Not only that, but you stake your position on something that is demonstrably wrong.  

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    Those vehicles are all good examples of how the turbo didn’t help turn it around.  I still feel like a Lexus should have something better than what you get in the Camry but I will concede the argument because the people that buy an ES are clueless probably as to what is under the hood.

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    Just now, smk4565 said:

    Those vehicles are all good examples of how the turbo didn’t help turn it around.  I still feel like a Lexus should have something better than what you get in the Camry but I will concede the argument because the people that buy an ES are clueless probably as to what is under the hood.

    Which is exactly why Toyota shouldn't bother spending the money to change it.

    Sometimes, the status quo really is sufficient and spending money just to change it doesn't have any ROI.

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    16 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Because we all know you need at least 350 hp to get to the Old Country Buffet after bingo.

    This is the exact target market where enough horsepower is plenty.  One thing that I'll give Toyota here is that their 3.5 V6 outperforms its spec sheet. The Avalon is way faster than it ever needs to be.  With the 8-Speed and lighter weight over the previous model, this ES should satisfy the performance needs of the target market while still being very fuel efficient.

    But hey, maybe they should spend $15k more to get a lower power Benz with plastic seats.

     

    I'd upvote you but I have maxed that out apparently. So, here's this: 👍🏼

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    35 minutes ago, Paolino said:

    Yuck.

    This.

    8 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Those vehicles are all good examples of how the turbo didn’t help turn it around.  I still feel like a Lexus should have something better than what you get in the Camry but I will concede the argument because the people that buy an ES are clueless probably as to what is under the hood.

    You know what would turn the ES's fortunes around? The debut of an attractive new grille design that eventually is adopted by the entire brand.

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    There's something about the side of the car that makes me feel like I'm watching a late 90's movie and someone souped up a generic midsize sedan with a spoiler and some wheels and a big exhaust... nothing about the exterior screams premium or luxury to me.  Nothing in my opinion is attractive at all.  And the interior looks awful and looks like it'd be frustrating to operate.

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    On 4/25/2018 at 9:56 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

    You care about things that no one else who actually buys cars actually cares about.

     

    🤣

     

    I don’t use emojis lightly so, yeah, job well done there.

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    1 hour ago, Paolino said:

    There's something about the side of the car that makes me feel like I'm watching a late 90's movie and someone souped up a generic midsize sedan with a spoiler and some wheels and a big exhaust... nothing about the exterior screams premium or luxury to me.  Nothing in my opinion is attractive at all.  And the interior looks awful and looks like it'd be frustrating to operate.

    Yes, more of this.  

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    • By William Maley
      What a difference that four years make. That's the timeframe from the first Kia electric I reviewed (Soul EV) to the model seen here, the 2019 Niro EV. So much has changed in terms of battery technology and overall range that I could see myself having an electric vehicle as a primary mode of transport. There are some still some issues that make me think twice, but they are getting smaller.
      Kia avoided the trend of going crazy with the Niro EV’s design. Little touches such as blue accent trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, and closed-front grille hiding the charging port help the EV stand apart from other Niro models. Changes inside are even smaller with a new center console featuring a dial control for the drive selector. This move is very smart as many buyers really don’t want their vehicle to shout “LOOK AT ME” when driving. The electric powertrain in the Niro EV packs quite the punch - 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. This is up 62 and 92 respectively from the Niro Hybrid I drove a few years back. Providing the electricity is a 64 kWh Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery that provides an estimated range of 239 miles. Kia says the Niro EV will hit 60 mph in under eight seconds. But I found it to be slightly quicker thanks to all of the torque being available instantly. Merging onto a freeway is where the electric powertrain does lose steam - blame a hefty curb weight of 3,854 pounds. I saw a maximum range of 208 to 210 miles throughout my week. This was due to cold temperatures ranging from low 30s to high 40s. But I was able to do a forty-mile round-trip commute for most of the week without having any range anxiety issues. Charging anxiety is a different story. If you have been reading my electric and plug-in hybrid reviews, then you’ll know that I only have access to 120V charging at home. Plugging the Niro EV after my day job meant waiting over sixteen hours for a full charge. This caused me to not want to venture out far unless I had some important errands to run as it would mean a longer time for a recharge. If I had completely depleted the battery, I would be waiting over two days for the battery to recharge. If you have a 240V charger, that time drops to 9.5 hours for a full-recharge. Finding a quick charger has gotten easier in the past year or two, but it is still a hit and miss affair. There are no quick chargers near where I live (unless I have a Tesla). It's slightly better further south where I work as there some around the area. But that introduces its own set of problems such setting aside the time to charge up the vehicle to finding if one works. I should note that I didn’t get the chance to try quick charging with the Niro EV during my week.  Handling is slightly better in the Niro EV thanks to the additional weight of the battery pack which reduces body roll. Steering is very light when turning, but will surprise you with how quick and accurate it deals with changes in direction. Ride quality is a little bit firm with some bumps and imperfections making their way inside. Where the Niro EV shines is noise isolation. During my work commute, I was surprised by how little wind and road noise came inside.  The major downside to the Niro EV is its limited availability. At the time of this writing, Kia is only selling the Niro EV is twelve states - most of them having Zero Emission Vehicle (or ZEV) programs that require automakers to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles in their lineups. Nothing is stopping you from purchasing a Niro EV in one of the states that it is available, but I’m wondering how many people will do that. Pricing for the Niro EV begins at $38,500 for the base EX model. I had the EX Premium at $44,000 which adds such goodies as an eight-inch touchscreen, premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats; sunroof. Add in a $1,000 Launch Edition package (LED headlights, front parking sensors, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror), and my as-tested price came to $45,995. Expensive bit of kit, but the Niro EV does come with a long list of standard features including heated outside mirrors with power folding; seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and push-button start. Plus, the Niro EV qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit which may sway some buyers when it comes time to do their taxes. The Kia Niro EV is the first electric vehicle that I could see myself living with. It drives for the most part as a normal vehicle and offers enough range for most people. The big item you need to be aware of is charging. If you decide to purchase, be sure to get a 240V charger and check to see if there are any sort of fast chargers in your area. It may mean the difference between worry-free and a large amount of anxiety. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Niro EV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia
      Model: Niro EV
      Trim: EX Premium
      Engine: 356V Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Lithium Ion Polymer Battery Pack
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 3,800 - 8,000
      Torque @ RPM: 291 @ 0 - 3,600
      Estimated Range: 239 Miles
      Curb Weight: 3,854 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: 
      Base Price: $44,000
      As Tested Price: $46,045 (Includes $1,045.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Launch Edition - $1,000.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Honda debuted the 2020 Honda CR-V today with a lightly refreshed exterior, but with a big announcement under the hood.  This is the first time Honda  will be offering the CR-V with a Hybrid Powertrain.  There are some other powertrain changes as well.
      Starting with the Hybrid, the system is a two motor hybrid that combines electric power with gasoline propulsion from a 2.0 liter DOHC engine. This engine boasts a thermal efficiency over 40 percent, the highest of any mass-produced Honda engine.  Peak total system horsepower for the Hybrid is now 212, up from 190 on the standard gasoline model. This is the same powertrain found in the Accord Hybrid. It is also the first time Honda has offered AWD on a hybrid vehicle. In times of low traction, a clutch can engage an electric motor to the rear wheels to help with grip.  Hybrid models are equipped with Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, a small speaker on the front of the car that makes a noise for passers by while the vehicle is traveling in electric only mode.
      Previously, base model CR-V LXes got a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Now for 2020, all non-hybrid CR-Vs will come with the 190 hp 1.5-liter turbo unit. No matter which mode of power you choose, power flows to the wheels through a CVT. 
      On the safety front, the CR-V now comes standard with Honda Sensing, a suite of sweet safety technologies that include Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist. Additionally, as an option, are blind spot information, rear cross traffic monitor, and auto high beam headlights. 
      EPA figures will be released closer to launch, but Honda is forecasting a 50% increase in fuel economy over the non-hybrid models. Non-hybrid production begins this fall and hybrid production starts in early 2020. 
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Honda debuted the 2020 Honda CR-V today with a lightly refreshed exterior, but with a big announcement under the hood.  This is the first time Honda  will be offering the CR-V with a Hybrid Powertrain.  There are some other powertrain changes as well.
      Starting with the Hybrid, the system is a two motor hybrid that combines electric power with gasoline propulsion from a 2.0 liter DOHC engine. This engine boasts a thermal efficiency over 40 percent, the highest of any mass-produced Honda engine.  Peak total system horsepower for the Hybrid is now 212, up from 190 on the standard gasoline model. This is the same powertrain found in the Accord Hybrid. It is also the first time Honda has offered AWD on a hybrid vehicle. In times of low traction, a clutch can engage an electric motor to the rear wheels to help with grip.  Hybrid models are equipped with Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, a small speaker on the front of the car that makes a noise for passers by while the vehicle is traveling in electric only mode.
      Previously, base model CR-V LXes got a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Now for 2020, all non-hybrid CR-Vs will come with the 190 hp 1.5-liter turbo unit. No matter which mode of power you choose, power flows to the wheels through a CVT. 
      On the safety front, the CR-V now comes standard with Honda Sensing, a suite of sweet safety technologies that include Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist. Additionally, as an option, are blind spot information, rear cross traffic monitor, and auto high beam headlights. 
      EPA figures will be released closer to launch, but Honda is forecasting a 50% increase in fuel economy over the non-hybrid models. Non-hybrid production begins this fall and hybrid production starts in early 2020. 
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Land Rover has transformed their Defender off-road vehicle which went out of production in 2016 into a more luxurious, roomier, and much more high tech.  The new generation of Defender comes in 3-door and 5-door versions.  The first on offer will be the 110, a 5-door model with 5, 6, or 7, seats that will arrive in early 2020. Later that year will be the 3-door 90 short wheelbase model with 5 or 6 seats and a van version of the 90 will be on offer also. Following in 2021 will be the longer 130 version with a choice of 7 or 8 seats. While not all pricing has been released, the 110 version will start at $50,925 and will be the only version offered in the US for now. 
      Powering the Defender will be a choice of 296 hp 2.0-liter, JLR's new 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder with a mild hybrid system that packs 395 horsepower. Diesel power may come later, won't be available at launch. A plug-in hybrid version will also show up later in the production cycle. 
      JLR says the new Defender will leave you refreshed after a long drive but still pass through water up to 35.4 inches deep and tow 8,200 lbs.
      The new Defender is built on a heavily modified version of the D7u platform used on the Discovery, but that it is so heavily modified, it gets its own codename (D7x) and own assembly line. It also introduces a new entertainment system called Pivi Pro that is more user friendly and uses fewer inputs to perform common tasks. It is capable of taking over the air software updates with 14 different modules capable of taking updates remotely. 
       

      View full article
  • Posts

    • ^^^ Clearing out the 2019s for the 2020s to arrive. 
    • I'd rather see what the car does at half throttle, but the manufacturers have already found a cheat for that. 
    • Nice! Super Cruise is awesome, tried it driving a CT6 Platinum I had for Cadillac's 24 hr. test drive. It's pretty accurate and a camera on top of the steering column watches your eyes too "see" if you're paying attention. With dark sunglasses on I tested it by looking at my passenger without moving my head and within 5 or 6 seconds it started beeping and flashing lights in the steering wheel and in the head-up display to alert me, so it saw the whites of my eyes through the sunglasses that's pretty badass really. Kinda like a backseat driver though haha! It stays in the lane really well and isn't jerky or slow to react or too fast to react if someone changes lanes in front of you and that was First Gen. SuperCruise early last year. Second Gen. SC for 2020 is suppose to be much more intelligent too. Pretty soon we'll be having conversations with our cars as we drive, something good to vent our frustrations to that doesn't get overemotional 😆
    • Got this cadillac marketing flyer in the mail today. Everything is 0% interest or some.serious cash on the hood on every model they sell. Wow, $11,000 off an Escalade. 
    • OK,  30 to 40 years ago the SOHC and DOHC were screaming Sewing machine engines with no go and sucked other than just a somewhat reliable nature in generic crappy compact auto's. They got a perception of reliable as they pushed service intervals out to 100,000 miles versus US OEMs stuck with stupid 30,000 mile intervals into the late 90's and sadly most auto owners are lazy with maintenance as such, US auto's would stop running when you failed to do the 30K tuneups and 3K oil changes. Plus most asian autos were manual everything where US was pushing electric everything. US auto's could survive a long life if people only followed the maintenance manual.  Sadly I doubt many on this forum have even read their own current owners manual. Being OCD, I have read everyone of my auto's I own and my 1994 GMC Suburban, the oldest car I own and bought new still out performs most current asian SUV/trucks. Take my GMC Suburban SLE over anything Asian or german that is sold today.  
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