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    William Maley

    2019 Lincoln MKC Clips Its Wings

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      Farewell Split Wing Grille


    The Lincoln MKC crossover has been around for a few years with no major changes. That changes next week as the company will be unveiling a refreshed version at the LA Auto Show next week.

    The biggest change for the 2019 MKC is the loss of the split-wing grille. In its place is a new grille that looks like it was lifted from the new Navigator. Other exterior changes include new LED headlights, a smoother hood shape, and extra chrome details for the rear.

    Lincoln has also added a number of active safety features for the 2019 MKC. Automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning come standard on all models. Optional safety equipment includes lane keep alert, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and active park assist.

    The interior doesn't see any changes with this refresh.

    Powertrains for the MKC are still a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder with 285 horsepower. 

    The 2019 Lincoln MKC arrives at dealers next summer.

    Source: Lincoln
    Press Release is on Page 2


    New Lincoln MKC: Small SUV Amps Up Style, Connectivity To Stand Out From The Crowd

    • New 2019 Lincoln MKC debuts with increased connectivity and enhanced ownership services – updates that luxury travelers want and need
    • MKC is bringing new clients to Lincoln; one out of two Lincoln MKC sales come from other luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz and Lexus
    • Lincoln’s small SUV introduces a suite of driver-focused technologies with the addition of Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which can help drivers avoid potential front crashes, and can help reduce the severity of or even eliminate some front collisions involving other vehicles and pedestrians

    DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 21, 2017 – The new 2019 Lincoln MKC is poised to attract even more luxury SUV buyers, thanks to its commanding new design, driver-focused technologies like automatic emergency braking and pedestrian collision avoidance, and an effortless ownership experience that builds on Lincoln’s exclusive Pickup and Delivery service.

    Since its introduction in 2014, Lincoln MKC has introduced more people to the Lincoln brand than any other vehicle, with nearly half of all clients coming from other brands. Women account for more than half of MKC sales and, in turn, are driving growth in this luxury segment, which has increased 29 percent over the past decade. 

    “Our redesigned Lincoln MKC offers style, substance and technologies that create an effortless ownership experience,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “We recognize it takes a lot to attract a buyer from other luxury competitors, but the Lincoln MKC has that kind of appeal. We believe the new MKC will capture even more luxury clients.”

    Eye-catching from any angle

    The 2019 Lincoln MKC exemplifies the refined new face of Lincoln. The signature grille evokes a sense of confidence, and beautifully detailed LED headlamps illuminate the road with crisp lighting designed to minimize eyestrain. A new rear design features attractive chrome highlights that enhance the appearance from all angles.   

    LED lighting in the lower front body and tail lamps subtly illuminates to greet clients upon approach, and a luminous Lincoln welcome mat appears beneath both front doors to light the way for driver and passenger. During the day, an available panoramic roof fills the cabin with natural light.

    Inside, the cabin is quiet, warm and inviting, replete with plush, soft-to-the-touch materials. Lincoln craftsmanship is apparent in every detail, from the available heated and cooled seats to standard WiFi and USB ports throughout, allowing everyone to stay connected.[WK1]

    For those seeking a more personalized experience, Lincoln Black Label is available for the new MKC. Lincoln Black Label not only provides the best level of materials in custom designer themes, but also offers a host of membership privileges. These include annual vehicle detailing, anytime carwashes, and access to a list of select restaurants where noted chefs will provide a curated dining experience.

    The three Lincoln Black Label themes for the new MKC have  drawn inspiration from the realms of the arts, travel, fine food and culture. The themes are:

    • Modern Heritage: A timeless ensemble of elegance without ostentation, Modern Heritage is perfect for those who appreciate a clean, modern aesthetic. This theme features seats in Vianca [RC2] White Venetian leather finished with the Lincoln Black Label star insignia, with Argento wood accents.
    • Indulgence: A rich, sumptuous interior, this theme is designed to match the most refined tastes. Visually enticing, Indulgence features surfaces trimmed in Venetian leather and Alcantara® cloth, in tempting hues like Truffle and Ganache, finished with accents from rich Ziricote wood – the same as you might find in the world of yachts or musical instruments.
    • Center Stage: Inspired by the fashion of the theater, Center Stage captures the excitement of a curtain skirting across the main stage on opening night. It features an exclusive diamond-L perforation pattern on the Alcantara cloth inserts, finished with meticulously stitched Foxfire Red piping. Exotic wood accents enhance the architectural design, while Jet Black Venetian leather accented by Firefox Red adds a dramatic flair.

    In line with Lincoln’s commitment to offering inspired interior environments, the new Lincoln MKC also will feature a rich Rialto Green cabin with black ash wood accents, available on Reserve models. This new deep green is inspired by the vibrant tones emanating from the world of high fashion.

    Technology that inspires confidence

    Because today’s luxury clients expect to be constantly connected, the new Lincoln MKC offers standard SYNC® 3 with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, enabling occupants to manage audio, phone, navigation and more from the vehicle touchscreen or steering wheel-mounted controls.

    A suite of driver-assist technologies designed to inspire confidence includes Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. This system is designed to reduce the severity of – and in some cases eliminate – frontal collisions, including those involving pedestrians. It uses advanced radar and camera sensors to provide a collision warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond in time, the system can automatically apply the brakes.

    Available active park assist can reduce parking anxiety by helping guide drivers in to and out of tight parallel-parking spaces. Other available technologies include lane-keeping alert and Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.

    Luxury meets performance

    Three technologies – turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing – are responsible for a powerful engine offering for the new Lincoln MKC. This twin-scroll turbocharged 2.3-liter engine producing 285 horsepower and 305 lb.-ft. of torque allows Lincoln MKC to offer an available towing capacity of 3,000 pounds when properly equipped.

    Both the powerful turbocharged 2.3-liter and the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter engine delivering 245 horsepower are designed to be exhilarating and fuel efficient. Either option can be paired to Lincoln’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which delivers enhanced all-weather capabilities and sportier performance.

    Effortless ownership

    Effortless ownership with the new Lincoln MKC is offered through the Lincoln Way™ app. Lincoln Way enables clients to start, lock, unlock and locate their MKC, as well as schedule remote starts to allow the vehicle to heat or cool to comfortable levels. Lincoln Concierge, which allows owners to schedule Pickup and Delivery for vehicle service, as well as find and reserve parking, is also available through the app.

    The brand’s increased focus on offerings that provide an effortless ownership experience now includes standard Pickup and Delivery. The service can pick up a client’s vehicle at an agreed location, then take it to a dealership for service, providing a complimentary Lincoln loaner vehicle. Once service is complete, clients can arrange for their washed and serviced vehicle to be returned to them at a location of their choice.  

    Lincoln remains the only luxury automaker to provide Pickup and Delivery as a standard service for all vehicles to save its clients time and effort.

    Galhotra says Lincoln’s commitment to being a world-class brand goes well beyond its exceptional vehicles.

    “For Lincoln, every client is unique and and we want every element of the Lincoln shop, buy and own process to be a truly personalized and effortless experience,” he said.

    The new 2019 Lincoln MKC will be available at Lincoln dealers this summer.  

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    Ughhh....

    Actually I like how the Lincoln design language works on their SUV's. It's not a bad looking vehicle in some ways.

    Departing now to wash my mouth out with soap and stick pins and needles into a dolls that looks suspiciously like Mark Fields.

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    About that active park assist I keep seeing on Fords and Lincolns:  why doesn't GM have that on any of its models?

    Also, why don't GM crossovers allow you to open the rear gate with your foot, just like a Ford Escape or this model?

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    Not a very flattering angle...

    MKC.jpg

    Just now, riviera74 said:

    About that active park assist I keep seeing on Fords and Lincolns:  why doesn't GM have that on any of its models?

    Also, why don't GM crossovers allow you to open the rear gate with your foot, just like a Ford Escape or this model?

    Best guess on the tailgate is some patent/copyright. 

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    8 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    About that active park assist I keep seeing on Fords and Lincolns:  why doesn't GM have that on any of its models?

    Also, why don't GM crossovers allow you to open the rear gate with your foot, just like a Ford Escape or this model?

    Off the top of my head, the Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade (Escalade since 2015) and XT5 and CT6 have kick to open as an option.  

    XT5, CT6, CTS, Envision, Malibu, and Volt each have optional active park assist. 

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    5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Then GM is just lazy/cheap. lol 

    It's an option.  I'd want to see what the take rate is before I'd make any conclusions. 

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    Probably pretty high on Fords as I see Titaniums quite often. I'd only assume similarly for Chevy. 

    Then again the Titanium name has been watered down ever since 2013. That mean fully loaded at one point and now it means there are a bunch of options on it and a bunch more you can still add..  

    Okay, not as bad as I thought. I went to Ford's website and built an Escape titanium and it started at 32k and I added every option(that wasn't floormats and cargo nets) and it got up to 35k. I know at one point the 2.0T was an option for Titaniums. 

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    If it is only available on $32k Escapes, I'm guessing the overall take rate is fairly low. That's not where the bulk of Escape sales is going to be. 

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    Can't even lie, that is one mighty damn fine looking automobile. From the outside, it certainly looks 'expensive', which is a good thing.

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    About that active park assist I keep seeing on Fords and Lincolns:  why doesn't GM have that on any of its models?

    Also, why don't GM crossovers allow you to open the rear gate with your foot, just like a Ford Escape or this model?

    They are excellent products...if one was not averse to buying FOMOCO...they do have a lot of features for the price IMHO.

    20 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Can't even lie, that is one mighty damn fine looking automobile. From the outside, it certainly looks 'expensive', which is a good thing.

    The interior quality is nice also.

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    2 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    About that active park assist I keep seeing on Fords and Lincolns:  why doesn't GM have that on any of its models?

    Also, why don't GM crossovers allow you to open the rear gate with your foot, just like a Ford Escape or this model?

    I would rather have it as an option. I myself see no need for it. Proper planning makes these electronic options just that optional and for the most part lazy people features.

    Driving is a privilege you earn and you should be actively involved in all you do even when you use your auto to haul. Right now we have way to many nanny devices that has created a very lazy group of drivers.

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    6 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    You're not forced to use active park assist if the vehicle is equipped with it. 

    Seems like it would be a nice to have when confronted with parallel parking. 

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Seems like it would be a nice to have when confronted with parallel parking. 

    I've always been able to parallel park my vehicles but I could see it being very useful on larger CUVs with wicked blind spots. 

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    56 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I've always been able to parallel park my vehicles but I could see it being very useful on larger CUVs with wicked blind spots. 

    Parallel parking was one of those things I remember having to practice for the driving test, but that I never do...I think I've only parallel parked maybe a dozen times in 30 years of driving.    I can do it if I have to, but I don't believe in it.  I always either park in a lot, a garage, or valet. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I've always been able to parallel park my vehicles but I could see it being very useful on larger CUVs with wicked blind spots. 

    Same here. Always was able to parallel park anything that I was able to legally drive that I was licensed for.

    Parallel assist? For wicked blind spotted vehicles?

    Sure...not only useful...but helpful!

    I learned how to parallel park a similar ride.

    A4293F.JPG

    The only windows I had to go with when backing up were these at the back, and the side mirrors. Talk about blind spots...

    gmc-vandura-3500-1-ton-van-350-auto-over

     

    I feel that our society does not take enough time to teach and practice good, safe and necessary driving skills to avoid killing ourselves on our roads.

    We spend an enormous amounts of money trying to solve the riddles of how to make our cars safer, how to introduce all kinds of safety features and electronics and nannies and ultimately make our cars drive themselves...yet we have NEVER EVER TAUGHT OURSELVES PROPERLY HOW TO DRIVE PERIOD!

    In all the human intelligence thrown into our safety regarding cars, we have ignored the most basic one of them all...to teach ourselves how the phoque to drive! We are willing to throw all kinds of data to self driving cars, yet we never gave that much attention to ourselves...

    Ironic on so many levels...

     

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    50 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I've always been able to parallel park my vehicles but I could see it being very useful on larger CUVs with wicked blind spots. 

    That is why you have higher ground clearance. My daughter used to be afraid of parallel parking her Durango.

    I taught her to just pull in, take the front wheel up onto the sidewalk / curb and then slowly drop it off back onto the street. Parallel parked in record time.

    She never has a problem and loves how easy it is to do.

    Yea, many are not able to P - Park, but I consider myself the exception rather than the norm.

    Just drive up, drop off and done being parked close.

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    17 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

    Same here. Always was able to parallel park anything that I was able to legally drive that I was licensed for.

    Parallel assist? For wicked blind spotted vehicles?

    Sure...not only useful...but helpful!

    I learned how to parallel park a similar ride.

    A4293F.JPG

    The only windows I had to go with when backing up were these at the back, and the side mirrors. Talk about blind spots...

    gmc-vandura-3500-1-ton-van-350-auto-over

     

    I feel that our society does not take enough time to teach and practice good, safe and necessary driving skills to avoid killing ourselves on our roads.

    We spend an enormous amounts of money trying to solve the riddles of how to make our cars safer, how to introduce all kinds of safety features and electronics and nannies and ultimately make our cars drive themselves...yet we have NEVER EVER TAUGHT OURSELVES PROPERLY HOW TO DRIVE PERIOD!

    In all the human intelligence thrown into our safety regarding cars, we have ignored the most basic one of them all...to teach ourselves how the phoque to drive! We are willing to throw all kinds of data to self driving cars, yet we never gave that much attention to ourselves...

    Ironic on so many levels...

     

    Part of that problem is a double edged sword..

    Be safer so they make wider, thicker pillars. But we want to learn how to drive better but we can't see out of these cabins anymore. My Escape had a wicked blind spot at the back because they had itty bitty rear windows but they sat up so high that a car could literally be below the window when I look back and miss it if I didn't use the mirrors as well. You used to just be able to turn your head and look with your own eyes now we almost have to use multiple things/systems to make sure we're clear. This would cover parallel parking and the curb as well. 

    1 minute ago, dfelt said:

    That is why you have higher ground clearance. My daughter used to be afraid of parallel parking her Durango.

    I taught her to just pull in, take the front wheel up onto the sidewalk / curb and then slowly drop it off back onto the street. Parallel parked in record time.

    She never has a problem and loves how easy it is to do.

    Yea, many are not able to P - Park, but I consider myself the exception rather than the norm.

    Just drive up, drop off and done being parked close.

    That works great with an SUV with some sidewalls on their tires but that can't be done in like any car. or one with lower profile wheels were there's less give in the tire and it might not be angled just right to go up on the curb. 

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    5 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    That is why you have higher ground clearance. My daughter used to be afraid of parallel parking her Durango.

    I taught her to just pull in, take the front wheel up onto the sidewalk / curb and then slowly drop it off back onto the street. Parallel parked in record time. 

    I've done that before..one of the things I love about the ground clearance of 4x4s.  I don't believe in parallel parking, but I can do it.   The worst time I had parallel parking was in Dec '04 in downtown Portland on Couch Street (which is inexplicably pronounced 'cooch') when I went to Powell's Bookstore...it was raining, and I was in an '04 Grand Prix rental..too low to go up on the curb, and hard to see out of..

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    58 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I've done that before..one of the things I love about the ground clearance of 4x4s.  I don't believe in parallel parking, but I can do it.   The worst time I had parallel parking was in Dec '04 in downtown Portland on Couch Street (which is inexplicably pronounced 'cooch') when I went to Powell's Bookstore...it was raining, and I was in an '04 Grand Prix rental..too low to go up on the curb, and hard to see out of..

    Some awesome places to visit on Couch Street. Named after John H. Couch the treasure and a sailor of Portland OR.

    Couch Beer is pretty good there too since there are a bunch of micro brews in that area.

    I agree with everyone that modern auto's are a pain in the ass to P - Park. Another reason I love my SUV's. :P 

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    3 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Some awesome places to visit on Couch Street. Named after John H. Couch the treasure and a sailor of Portland OR.

    Couch Beer is pretty good there too since there are a bunch of micro brews in that area.

    I agree with everyone that modern auto's are a pain in the ass to P - Park. Another reason I love my SUV's. :P 

    Yeah, great city..I need to go back out there..haven't been out since 2010...have friends in Portland and Beaverton and been to a few conferences there.    Love the beer, been to a number of the McMinimins owned places...I remember especially liking the Blue Moon Tavern & Grill.

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    42 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Yeah, great city..I need to go back out there..haven't been out since 2010...have friends in Portland and Beaverton and been to a few conferences there.    Love the beer, been to a number of the McMinimins owned places...I remember especially liking the Blue Moon Tavern & Grill.

    When you do get back out, check out one of the Theater Breweries. Some great places to enjoy custom micro beer and a movie with food.

    https://www.travelportland.com/article/portland-brew-n-view-theaters/

    https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/portland/portland-s-best-theater-pubs-beer-movie-theaters

    Been to most of them, course as a fan of Terminator, I have a fondness for Mission Theater. Hollywood Theater is a blast also. Cool 70mm films are still shown there. :cheers:

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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 William Maley
      When Toyota introduced the last-generation Avalon for the 2014 model year, I was shocked by how Toyota had built the better Lexus ES. On the surface, this seems a bit crazy. But Toyota had put a lot of effort into shedding the image of Avalon of an old person’s car by bringing a modern and sleek look; luxurious interior, and a balance between a relaxing ride and sporty dynamics. This became more apparent when compared to the ES launched a couple of years earlier, looking very dated in terms of looks and driving like a cream puff.
      The times are a changing and the two brands have launched new versions of their respective sedans within the past year. I find myself wondering if Toyota still builds the better Lexus or if the ES has finally stepped up and can give the Avalon a real challenge.
      Exterior
      Toyota stuck with the shape of the previous Avalon but gave it some refinement. The low roofline and sloping rear glass shape are paired with more aggressive rear end featuring a full-length taillight. Where the new design falls apart is in the front. Toyota must have taken some of the pages out of Lexus’ design book on grille design as the Avalon has a massive grille. Lower trim models make do with black slats for the insert, but my Hybrid Limited tester features chrome slats that make it more polarizing. I understand Toyota wants to give the Avalon a bit more presence on the road, but this new grille design is a bit much.
      The ES 350 is a different story as Lexus’ designers pulled off an extensive transformation. Wearing a toned-down version of the brand’s current design language, the new ES has an overall look of something formidable and elegant. The spindle grille is front and center, but Lexus has made it slightly smaller to have fit in with the flowing lines. Other design traits include a sloping roofline and shortened rear deck.
      Interior
      Like the exterior, the ES’ interior is completely unrecognizable from the outgoing model. Gone are the cheap feeling and mismatch plastics. In their places is a combination of leather, soft-touch plastics, and wood trim that brings forth a sense of premium uniformity. Ergonomics are also top of the class with such touches as control knobs sitting on either side of the instrument panel, and controls for the climate and audio being in easy reach for driver and passenger.
      Those sitting in the front are treated to leather-covered seats that provide an excellent balance between support and coddle. Those sitting in the back seat might complain about the low position, but will like the ample amount of head and legroom.
      Stepping inside the Avalon Hybrid, Toyota has given it a major makeover. Gone is the flowing and rounded center stack with capacitive touch controls. Instead, the Avalon uses a narrower and blocky center stack with actual buttons. I’m sad to see the touch controls go away as I found them to be quite responsive. Toyota likely dropped them as buyers complained there was no feedback - a click sound or pulsation - to whoever was using it. Other changes include a slim chrome bar running along the dash vents and more color choices.
      Finding a comfortable position in the Avalon was no problem due to the numerous amount of power adjustments available on the Limited. Like the ES, the Avalon’s seats strike the balance of comfort and support just right. In the back, there is an abundance of legroom that allows passengers to stretch out. Headroom is fine for most adults.
      Infotainment
      Toyota has installed the latest version of Entune for the 2019 Avalon. While looking somewhat dated with a muted color palette and dull screen, Entune retains its ease of use. The menus with large touchscreen buttons make it very easy to move around the system, along with clearly marked buttons and knobs sitting on either side. Toyota has also got with times and made the Avalon the first model to feature CarPlay integration. Those wanting Android Auto will need to wait until 2020.
      If there is an Achilles heel to the ES 350, that would be Lexus’ Remote Touch. I have written numerously about how using this system is not only a pain, but very distracting when driving. Take for example changing an XMSirius station.
      Look at the screen to see where the cursor is. Use the touchpad to move the cursor to the station you want, making sure to keep an eye on the screen. Press down on the touchpad to make the selection, hoping you’re finger doesn’t slip and causes something else to happen. This whole routine plays out time and time again whenever you want to do something. Even Apple CarPlay which was introduced for 2019 is a pain to use with Remote Touch. There is salvation on the horizon. Earlier this year, Lexus unveiled an updated RX crossover with a touchscreen for the infotainment system. The automaker said that it will be available on other models in the coming years. Here’s to hoping the ES is one of the first recipients. 
      Performance
      Both vehicles come with the choice of either a 3.5L V6 or hybrid system using a 2.5L four-cylinder. An eight-speed automatic is teamed with the V6. The hybrid uses a CVT.
      The 3.5 V6 has been given a bit more power for 2019, now producing 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This bump makes for a noticeable improvement in overall acceleration, feeling slightly quicker than the last ES 350 I drove. Power builds on a smooth and linear fashion. The engine is also noticeably refined, with barely a rumble coming from underneath the hood. 
      With only a total output of 215 horsepower, the hybrid system in the Toyota Avalon may seem underpowered. This is only an issue when climbing a steep hill or needing to make an immediate pass. Otherwise, the hybrid system provides plenty of oomph for the daily drive. I like how the system seamless transitioned from electric to hybrid power with only a minimal buzz coming from the engine bay. Like other Toyota hybrids, the Avalon Hybrid can travel on electric power alone - albeit a short distance and at speeds below 25 mph.
      In EPA testing, the ES 350 returns 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined and the Avalon Hybrid returns 43 City/43 Highway/43 Combined. I clocked averages of 25 in the ES 350 and 40 in the Avalon Hybrid.
      Ride and Handling
      Aside from engines, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 share another vital component. Under the skin of both models is a version of Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA) known as GA-K. This variant provides the stiffer structure and lower-center of gravity found on other TGNA models, but allows both Toyota and Lexus to build larger front-wheel drive vehicles.
      In the Avalon Hybrid, the move to GA-K doesn’t change much. The last-generation model showed that you could have good driving dynamics and retain a mission of comfort. The new model continues that with slightly improved handling and sharper steering response. The ES 350 is a different story. Changing over to GA-K transforms the model from a creampuff on wheels to a luxury sedan with that can take corners without embarrassing itself. Body roll is significantly reduced and the steering responds to inputs without fuss. Neither one of these sedans will challenge the likes of the Germans or the Kia Stinger GT, but they will not fall over and cry uncle when pushed.
      Ride quality is still one of the impressive points for both models. On some of roughest, pothole-ladened streets that the Metro Detroit has on offer, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 made it feel like mere ripples. Not much outside noise comes inside the cabin of either model, making them a perfect place to decompress after a long day.
      Verdict
      Let’s begin with the 2020 Avalon Hybrid. This updated sedan didn’t surprise me and that’s fine. Aside from the styling, Toyota made small changes to address certain issues of the previous-generation and build upon its strengths. Getting 40 MPG is still an impressive trait for such a big sedan. With a starting price tag of $35,560 for the gas version and $36,650 for the hybrid, the Avalon is still the one to buy if you want the luxuries of the ES without the luxury tax.
      The ES 350, on the other hand, is the more impressive of the two. You have to wonder if Lexus was motivated by what Toyota was able to pull off with last-generation Avalon. In a lot of ways, the ES 350 looks and feels like a proper luxury car. Add in a new platform that doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to tip over and Lexus is very close to that idea of “Experience Amazing”. The only fault is Remote Touch which sours many of the dramatic improvements. If Lexus can get that new touchscreen into the ES ASAP, I would gladly give it my “Most Improved Car of the Year” award. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Lexus ES 350 or Toyota Avalon Hybrid
      Starting with the ES 350, I would skip the base model and go with the Luxury trim. This adds such items as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and ambient lighting. On top of this, I would add Blind Spot Monitoring package and a power rear sunshade. With destination, I'm out the door with a final price of $45,540.
      For the Avalon Hybrid, I would pick the XSE. This is positioned as the sporty model with various exterior treatments including a mesh insert for the grille. Other standard equipment includes a moonroof, leatherette and suede upholstery, and wireless phone charging. The only two options I would tick are the Ruby Flare Pearl paint and 14-Speaker JBL Audio System. Add destination and the final price comes to $41,480.
      Alternatives
      Genesis G80: A perennial favorite, the G80 slots between the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 in terms of price - $41,750. It comes showered with loads of standard equipment and an excellent engine lineup. It cannot match the ES and Avalon in terms of interior design, but provides a more modern and easier to understand infotainment system. Ride quality is similar in all three vehicles, but the ES and Avalon have a slight edge in handling. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2019
      Make: Lexus
      Model: ES 350
      Trim: Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 302 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,755
      As Tested Price: $45,955 (Includes $1,025 Destination Charge)*
      Options:
      Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking - $1,065.00
      18-Inch Split Five-Spoke Alloy Noise Reduction Wheels - $950.00
      Wood and Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel - $300.00
      Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
      *No window sticker was provided for the ES 350. This is me taking a guess as to final price and options.
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Avalon Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder, 650V Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5,700 (Gas);  118 (88 kW) (Electric); 215 (Total Output)
      Torque @ RPM: 163 @ 3,600-5,200 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 43/43/43
      Curb Weight: 3,715 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,800
      As Tested Price: $45,118 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Safety Package - $1,150.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $248.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When Toyota introduced the last-generation Avalon for the 2014 model year, I was shocked by how Toyota had built the better Lexus ES. On the surface, this seems a bit crazy. But Toyota had put a lot of effort into shedding the image of Avalon of an old person’s car by bringing a modern and sleek look; luxurious interior, and a balance between a relaxing ride and sporty dynamics. This became more apparent when compared to the ES launched a couple of years earlier, looking very dated in terms of looks and driving like a cream puff.
      The times are a changing and the two brands have launched new versions of their respective sedans within the past year. I find myself wondering if Toyota still builds the better Lexus or if the ES has finally stepped up and can give the Avalon a real challenge.
      Exterior
      Toyota stuck with the shape of the previous Avalon but gave it some refinement. The low roofline and sloping rear glass shape are paired with more aggressive rear end featuring a full-length taillight. Where the new design falls apart is in the front. Toyota must have taken some of the pages out of Lexus’ design book on grille design as the Avalon has a massive grille. Lower trim models make do with black slats for the insert, but my Hybrid Limited tester features chrome slats that make it more polarizing. I understand Toyota wants to give the Avalon a bit more presence on the road, but this new grille design is a bit much.
      The ES 350 is a different story as Lexus’ designers pulled off an extensive transformation. Wearing a toned-down version of the brand’s current design language, the new ES has an overall look of something formidable and elegant. The spindle grille is front and center, but Lexus has made it slightly smaller to have fit in with the flowing lines. Other design traits include a sloping roofline and shortened rear deck.
      Interior
      Like the exterior, the ES’ interior is completely unrecognizable from the outgoing model. Gone are the cheap feeling and mismatch plastics. In their places is a combination of leather, soft-touch plastics, and wood trim that brings forth a sense of premium uniformity. Ergonomics are also top of the class with such touches as control knobs sitting on either side of the instrument panel, and controls for the climate and audio being in easy reach for driver and passenger.
      Those sitting in the front are treated to leather-covered seats that provide an excellent balance between support and coddle. Those sitting in the back seat might complain about the low position, but will like the ample amount of head and legroom.
      Stepping inside the Avalon Hybrid, Toyota has given it a major makeover. Gone is the flowing and rounded center stack with capacitive touch controls. Instead, the Avalon uses a narrower and blocky center stack with actual buttons. I’m sad to see the touch controls go away as I found them to be quite responsive. Toyota likely dropped them as buyers complained there was no feedback - a click sound or pulsation - to whoever was using it. Other changes include a slim chrome bar running along the dash vents and more color choices.
      Finding a comfortable position in the Avalon was no problem due to the numerous amount of power adjustments available on the Limited. Like the ES, the Avalon’s seats strike the balance of comfort and support just right. In the back, there is an abundance of legroom that allows passengers to stretch out. Headroom is fine for most adults.
      Infotainment
      Toyota has installed the latest version of Entune for the 2019 Avalon. While looking somewhat dated with a muted color palette and dull screen, Entune retains its ease of use. The menus with large touchscreen buttons make it very easy to move around the system, along with clearly marked buttons and knobs sitting on either side. Toyota has also got with times and made the Avalon the first model to feature CarPlay integration. Those wanting Android Auto will need to wait until 2020.
      If there is an Achilles heel to the ES 350, that would be Lexus’ Remote Touch. I have written numerously about how using this system is not only a pain, but very distracting when driving. Take for example changing an XMSirius station.
      Look at the screen to see where the cursor is. Use the touchpad to move the cursor to the station you want, making sure to keep an eye on the screen. Press down on the touchpad to make the selection, hoping you’re finger doesn’t slip and causes something else to happen. This whole routine plays out time and time again whenever you want to do something. Even Apple CarPlay which was introduced for 2019 is a pain to use with Remote Touch. There is salvation on the horizon. Earlier this year, Lexus unveiled an updated RX crossover with a touchscreen for the infotainment system. The automaker said that it will be available on other models in the coming years. Here’s to hoping the ES is one of the first recipients. 
      Performance
      Both vehicles come with the choice of either a 3.5L V6 or hybrid system using a 2.5L four-cylinder. An eight-speed automatic is teamed with the V6. The hybrid uses a CVT.
      The 3.5 V6 has been given a bit more power for 2019, now producing 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This bump makes for a noticeable improvement in overall acceleration, feeling slightly quicker than the last ES 350 I drove. Power builds on a smooth and linear fashion. The engine is also noticeably refined, with barely a rumble coming from underneath the hood. 
      With only a total output of 215 horsepower, the hybrid system in the Toyota Avalon may seem underpowered. This is only an issue when climbing a steep hill or needing to make an immediate pass. Otherwise, the hybrid system provides plenty of oomph for the daily drive. I like how the system seamless transitioned from electric to hybrid power with only a minimal buzz coming from the engine bay. Like other Toyota hybrids, the Avalon Hybrid can travel on electric power alone - albeit a short distance and at speeds below 25 mph.
      In EPA testing, the ES 350 returns 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined and the Avalon Hybrid returns 43 City/43 Highway/43 Combined. I clocked averages of 25 in the ES 350 and 40 in the Avalon Hybrid.
      Ride and Handling
      Aside from engines, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 share another vital component. Under the skin of both models is a version of Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA) known as GA-K. This variant provides the stiffer structure and lower-center of gravity found on other TGNA models, but allows both Toyota and Lexus to build larger front-wheel drive vehicles.
      In the Avalon Hybrid, the move to GA-K doesn’t change much. The last-generation model showed that you could have good driving dynamics and retain a mission of comfort. The new model continues that with slightly improved handling and sharper steering response. The ES 350 is a different story. Changing over to GA-K transforms the model from a creampuff on wheels to a luxury sedan with that can take corners without embarrassing itself. Body roll is significantly reduced and the steering responds to inputs without fuss. Neither one of these sedans will challenge the likes of the Germans or the Kia Stinger GT, but they will not fall over and cry uncle when pushed.
      Ride quality is still one of the impressive points for both models. On some of roughest, pothole-ladened streets that the Metro Detroit has on offer, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 made it feel like mere ripples. Not much outside noise comes inside the cabin of either model, making them a perfect place to decompress after a long day.
      Verdict
      Let’s begin with the 2020 Avalon Hybrid. This updated sedan didn’t surprise me and that’s fine. Aside from the styling, Toyota made small changes to address certain issues of the previous-generation and build upon its strengths. Getting 40 MPG is still an impressive trait for such a big sedan. With a starting price tag of $35,560 for the gas version and $36,650 for the hybrid, the Avalon is still the one to buy if you want the luxuries of the ES without the luxury tax.
      The ES 350, on the other hand, is the more impressive of the two. You have to wonder if Lexus was motivated by what Toyota was able to pull off with last-generation Avalon. In a lot of ways, the ES 350 looks and feels like a proper luxury car. Add in a new platform that doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to tip over and Lexus is very close to that idea of “Experience Amazing”. The only fault is Remote Touch which sours many of the dramatic improvements. If Lexus can get that new touchscreen into the ES ASAP, I would gladly give it my “Most Improved Car of the Year” award. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Lexus ES 350 or Toyota Avalon Hybrid
      Starting with the ES 350, I would skip the base model and go with the Luxury trim. This adds such items as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and ambient lighting. On top of this, I would add Blind Spot Monitoring package and a power rear sunshade. With destination, I'm out the door with a final price of $45,540.
      For the Avalon Hybrid, I would pick the XSE. This is positioned as the sporty model with various exterior treatments including a mesh insert for the grille. Other standard equipment includes a moonroof, leatherette and suede upholstery, and wireless phone charging. The only two options I would tick are the Ruby Flare Pearl paint and 14-Speaker JBL Audio System. Add destination and the final price comes to $41,480.
      Alternatives
      Genesis G80: A perennial favorite, the G80 slots between the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 in terms of price - $41,750. It comes showered with loads of standard equipment and an excellent engine lineup. It cannot match the ES and Avalon in terms of interior design, but provides a more modern and easier to understand infotainment system. Ride quality is similar in all three vehicles, but the ES and Avalon have a slight edge in handling. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2019
      Make: Lexus
      Model: ES 350
      Trim: Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 302 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,755
      As Tested Price: $45,955 (Includes $1,025 Destination Charge)*
      Options:
      Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking - $1,065.00
      18-Inch Split Five-Spoke Alloy Noise Reduction Wheels - $950.00
      Wood and Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel - $300.00
      Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
      *No window sticker was provided for the ES 350. This is me taking a guess as to final price and options.
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Avalon Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder, 650V Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5,700 (Gas);  118 (88 kW) (Electric); 215 (Total Output)
      Torque @ RPM: 163 @ 3,600-5,200 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 43/43/43
      Curb Weight: 3,715 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,800
      As Tested Price: $45,118 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Safety Package - $1,150.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $248.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Ford is preparing to launch a pair of mid-size crossover electric vehicles according to sources. One Ford and one Lincoln are code named CDX746 and CDX747 are similar in size to the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus and both will be 2023 models.  The vehicles were originally destined for Ford's plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico but have been moved to Flatrock Assembly in Michigan just south of Detroit.   Flatrock Assembly is where the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental are currently built. 
      These two EVs are slated for about 65,000 units annually and because of the move to Flatrock, essentially spell the end for the slow selling Lincoln Continental.... at least in the US.  It is possible that Lincoln could continue building the Continental in China and import it to the U.S., however tariff concerns which killed the Ford Focus Active from being imported from China could also filter over onto the Continental.

      View full article
  • Posts

    • 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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