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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

      The little changes make a difference

    Mazda is already known for building vehicles that are fun to drive and is garnering one for their distinctive designs. One area that Mazda might not get a lot of credit is the constant improvements they make to their lineup. Take for example the Mazda6 sedan. Since its launch back in 2013 as a 2014 model, Mazda has been updating the 6 with new improvements and features to make it better. For example, when we drove the 2016 Mazda6 back in 2015, it featured new dashboard and infotainment system that made it more pleasant to be in. For 2017, Mazda has introduced two big changes for 6 - one dealing with handling and the other dealing with overall refinement.

    • First up is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control. This system monitors steering and throttle input (along with a few other things according to the brand), and when it deems necessary, will reduce engine power to shift weight to the front. This is said to improve overall handling in a corner.
    • Here’s the thing, I really can’t tell if this system makes the 2017 Mazda6 a better handler than the previous 6 I drove back in 2015. The model shows the sharp handling characteristics that has made it one of the best driving models in the class with little body roll and steering that feels direct. 
    • I would need to drive both a 2016 and 2017 Mazda6 back to back to see if there is a difference.
    • The other improvement for the 2017 Mazda6 will be noticed by anyone going for a ride; a quieter interior. Mazda has added a bit more sound insulation for the 6 and it makes for a more pleasant driving experience. There isn’t as much wind whistle as there was in previous 6s I have driven. You still do get a fair amount of tire noise, but that’s more due to the 19-inch wheels fitted on the Grand Touring.
    • The 19-inch wheels also make the ride slightly rough with various bumps being transmitted clearly to the backsides of you and your passengers.
    • Mazda hasn’t messed with anything else for the 2017 6 and that’s mostly a good thing. It still retains the striking good looks of the outside, especially in this bronze color seen here. 
    • The Mazda6’s interior is towards the top of the class with a modern design, high-quality materials, and an easy to understand control layout. The leather seats offer the right amount of comfort for long trips. Those sitting in the back will have no complaints in terms of head and legroom.
    • Under the hood is a 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Sport and Touring models get the option of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the Grand Touring makes due with only the automatic.
    • The engine is a spritely performer with strong acceleration and having the power ready to go when needed. The six-speed is quick when it comes to downshifts. But the transmission does stumble when it comes to upshifts as it is slow to respond when you need that punch of power. At least the automatic transmission does feature paddles on the steering wheel to allow for some manual control to solve this.
    • The continuous updates Mazda makes to the vehicles should be applauded as it helps keep them competitive in light of tougher competition. The 2017 Mazda6 is a key example of this. You might not be able to detect one of the changes made, but the other one us quite noticeable and makes the 6 that much better.

    Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Mazda
    Model: 6
    Trim: Grand Touring
    Engine: 2.5L DOHC Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
    Horsepower @ RPM: 184 5,700
    Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/35/30
    Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
    Base Price: $30,695
    As Tested Price: $34,530 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    GT Premium Package - $2,500.00
    Machine Gray Metallic - $300.00
    Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
    Cargo Mat - $75.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    in terms of the tires, once the dunlops are done,..most anything will be an improvement. i put pilot sport a/s3+s on mine. much quieter. does have a ~2lb/tire weight penalty though. still love my 6, just need to fix or disconnect the passenger door sub.  any good advice to get this fixed by mazda,even though it happened after the mile warranty would be appreciated.

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    5 minutes ago, ykX said:

    That's MSRP, nobody pays MSRP

    It's still crazy. It's way higher than competitors. Mazda doesn't typically run real aggressive incentives, either.

    Besides, it really isn't as amazing as people make it out to be. It wouldn't make the top 3 if I were shopping in this segment.

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    @Frisky Dingo

    I disagree.  First of all if you build competitive vehicles with the same level of equipment the price will be similar or higher.  

    Also, it might not be amazing but it drives very well for a 4-cylinder sedan and IMHO looks better then anything else currently in the segment (which is debatable of course).

    In regards to incentives, last fall I got my dad 6 Sport for $20k. The MSRP on it was $23.8k.

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    On 3/30/2017 at 3:00 PM, ykX said:

    @Frisky Dingo

    I disagree.  First of all if you build competitive vehicles with the same level of equipment the price will be similar or higher.  

    Also, it might not be amazing but it drives very well for a 4-cylinder sedan and IMHO looks better then anything else currently in the segment (which is debatable of course).

    In regards to incentives, last fall I got my dad 6 Sport for $20k. The MSRP on it was $23.8k.

    You can disagree all you want, but you'd be wrong. There is not a single other competitor than reaches this price when loaded up with all available options on the standard engine. The Fusion won't even come within 2 grand with the 1.5 equipped. Honda, Chevy, and Toyota are all between 30 and 32K.

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    @Frisky Dingo

    Well, lets see

    Mazda 6 GT starts at $30.5k.  The $2.5k premium package they have on this particular car gives you: regenerative braking system, active grille shutters, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, nappa leather trimmed sports seat, led accenting.  Lets be realistic and say no other company will have such equipment on a base engine or even high trim car and most people will not take that package.  The standard Grand Touring has leather heated seats, led lighting, Navigation, Active safety system, 19-in wheels.

    Accord, you can't even get to that level of equipment with 2.4L engine but EX-L has MSRP of $29.4k without the active safety  system that 6 GT has, so when you add Navigation and Honda Sensing to match Mazda the MSRP price comes to $30.9k.  So that's already a little more then Mazda.

    Malibu  - you can't even get leather heated seats with base engine, you have to step up to Premier to get same level of equipment.  The MSRP goes up to $31.6k, and yes, you will have 2.0L turbo engine with 250hp.

    Camry - XLE with 2.5L engine and same equipment as Mazda - MSRP $30.5k

    So it appears to me that Mazda priced exactly as it should be.

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    5 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    @ykX

    The Mazda's MSRP is 35K.

    Some of the other cars have things you can't get on the Mazda, so it works both ways. And you can get heated leather seats with the Malibu's base engine.

    This is from Mazda's website for 2017 Mazda 6:

    GRAND TOURING

    Starting at $30,6951
    HWY352
    HP184
    TRQ185
    ENG2.5L
     
    Also quote from the review above:
     
    On 3/28/2017 at 9:15 AM, William Maley said:

    Base Price: $30,695

     
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    1 minute ago, ykX said:

    This is from Mazda's website for 2017 Mazda 6:

    GRAND TOURING

    Starting at $30,6951
    HWY352
    HP184
    TRQ185
    ENG2.5L
     
    Also quote from the review above:
     
     
     

    Before options and destination. As-tested it was 35K.

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    @Frisky Dingo

    First of all, the tested vehicle had $2.5k extra package that most people will not get or need, Secondary, I quoted prices for other cars from their respective manufacturers websites based on MSRP before taxes, destination and fees, just like the Mazda.

    So just to refresh your memory since you keep insisting, from THEIR respective  manufacturer websites:

    Mazda 6 Grand Touring - base MSRP $30.7k

    Honda Accord EX-L - base MSRP $30.9k

    Chevy Malibu Premier - base MSRP $31.6k

    Toyota Camry XLE - base MSRP $30.5k

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    Just now, Frisky Dingo said:

    @ykX

    Malibu Premier has 2.0T and things like A/C seats that Mazda doesn't have. With all options, every single competitor in this segment comes in cheaper. 

    Listen, I am done arguing with you because you simply don't read what I have wrote and just keep insisting even when you are proved wrong.  I went to EACH manufacturer website and build a car with compatible options.  AS I MENTIONED ABOVE with Malibu, yes you are getting a more powerful engine, but not with Accord or Camry.

    You are free to check options on the base Mazda 6 Grand Touring and build other cars with compatible options and see the MSRP by yourself. 

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    4 minutes ago, ykX said:

    Listen, I am done arguing with you because you simply don't read what I have wrote and just keep insisting even when you are proved wrong.  I went to EACH manufacturer website and build a car with compatible options.  AS I MENTIONED ABOVE with Malibu, yes you are getting a more powerful engine, but not with Accord or Camry.

    You are free to check options on the base Mazda 6 Grand Touring and build other cars with compatible options and see the MSRP by yourself. 

    I did. They are all cheaper. Every. Single. One.

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    14 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    I did. They are all cheaper. Every. Single. One.

    No you didn't.

    Here is from Honda website:

    Your 2017 Accord Sedan EX-L CVT with Honda Sensing and Navigation 

    $30,920 MSRP

    Base Price $28,920

    CVT Automatic

    W/ 2.4L 4-CYL. ENGINE

    $0   EXTERIOR COLOR

    Modern Steel METALLIC

    $0

    INTERIOR COLOR

    Black Leather

    $0

    Honda Sensing™

    $1,000

    Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™

    $1,000

    17-inch Alloy Wheel

    $0

    Subtotal

    $30,920

    Destination and Handling

    $875
    Total MSRP as Built

    $31,795

     

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    1 minute ago, ykX said:

    You know, it is true what they say about arguing on the internet ...

     

    The only one arguing is you. I'm simply presenting facts. It's more expensive than rivals. And I for one, don't believe Mazda has the cachet or reputation to justify it.

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    @Frisky Dingo

    You don't present ANY facts while I presented many, just to make my LAST point here is the one that I build on Mazda website

    2017 MAZDA6

    GRAND TOURING

    2017 MAZDA6 GRAND TOURING $30,695
    TOTAL PRICE
    (MSRP)
    $ 31,870
    BUILD OPTIONS (1) $300
    DESTINATION FEE $875

    Last I checked $31870 and $31795 are basically the same (Ohh yeas Iyou are correct Mazda came out whole $75 more then Accord).  Also, Mazda Grand Touring has much more equipment then Accord EX-L.

     

     

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    On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 9:13 AM, Stew said:

    I really like the 6, but it is dire need of more "Zoom Zoom". 

    Definitely needs a more powerful engine as an option. Something in the 230-240hp range would do well as Mazdas are typically on the lighter side anyway. Heck, they could probably get away with something like 215-220 as that's still a 30-40hp bump. (also just assuming tq would match or exceed the hp number)

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    4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Definitely needs a more powerful engine as an option. Something in the 230-240hp range would do well as Mazdas are typically on the lighter side anyway. Heck, they could probably get away with something like 215-220 as that's still a 30-40hp bump. (also just assuming tq would match or exceed the hp number)

    They could and should put that new 2.5L turbo they have now in CX-9 into Mazda 6 as an option.

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    14 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Definitely needs a more powerful engine as an option. Something in the 230-240hp range would do well as Mazdas are typically on the lighter side anyway. Heck, they could probably get away with something like 215-220 as that's still a 30-40hp bump. (also just assuming tq would match or exceed the hp number)

    240 to 250 would be perfect I think.  it would equal or exceed the majority of the turbo 4 midsizers out there. 

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    • By William Maley
      I rarely get the opportunity to drive two different flavors of the same vehicle within a short timeframe. But that's what happened in the fall when I had the chance to drive the new Hyundai Sonata in its standard and hybrid forms. The Sonata has always been a favorite of mine as it offered a lot for a midsize sedan, with a surprising price tag. It has also come very close to being at the top of the class, but falling somewhat short due to one thing or another. This new version has the chance of changing that.
      Very Polarizing Design

      The consensus from several readers on Cheers & Gears and various social media sites on the Sonata's design was of dislike. Many found the design to be a bit much and overdone. I found myself in the minority as I was impressed by the lengths Hyundai went. The flowing lines and raked roofline reminded me of the 2012 Sonata which gave notice to other automakers to step up their game. Little details such as the bars the run along the outer edge of the hood to the headlights to a distinct rear-end treatment make the Sonata stand out.
      If there is an issue I have with the Sonata's design, it is the grille. I find it to be slightly cartoonish due to the large size and shape.
      Simple, Yet Elegant Interior
      If you're worried that the polarizing ideas from the exterior make their way inside, don't. The interior is surprisingly sedate with clean lines and a simple design. Hyundai should be commended for using a lot of soft-touch plastics and leather on various surfaces. It makes the Sonata look and feel more premium than its price tag may suggest.

      Despite the coupe-inspired roofline, the Sonata's interior space is quite spacious. Most no one will have any complaints sitting in the back as there is ample head and legroom. Taller passengers should be aware that the optional panoramic sunroof for the Sonata will take away some headroom. The Sonata Hybrid doesn't worry about that as it doesn't offer the sunroof.
      Tech Galore!
      Both of the Sonatas on test came in the Limited trim which means a bountiful selection of technology. It begins with a 10.2-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster which provides all of the key information needed at a glance. A clever trick is when you engage the turn signal, the respective 'dial' brings up a camera mounted underneath the side view mirrors to provide a blind-spot view. I found this system to be helpful as it gave me an extra set of eyes whenever I needed to change lanes.

      Next up is another 10.25-inch screen housing Hyundai's latest infotainment system. I like the three-window layout on the home screen that you can customize to your needs. Navigating around the system is a breeze with a response touchscreen and capacitive touch buttons sitting on either side. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
      The next two tech features are exclusive to the standard Sonata. First is what Hyundai calls a digital key. Using the BlueLink application on a compatible smartphone, you can use this instead of the key to start the car and drive away. At the time of this writing, this is only available on Android phones. Hyundai did provide a loner Samsung Note smartphone for the week to try this out. I did not have the best experience with this feature at first because I found you need to be pretty close to the vehicle to make a connection. Trying to connect from my room upstairs, just above where the vehicle was parked, the application would throw up a connection error. I found that if I moved to the living room or just outside the front door, the phone was able to make the connection. This sours some of the appeal of this feature. 
      At least using the phone as the vehicle's key does work a bit better. It only takes a few seconds for the phone to make the connection to the vehicle and you can start it up. Although, I found myself wondering wouldn't it be easier and faster to have the key. The only feature that makes any sense to me is the ability to share the key with other people, but lock down certain aspects.
      Second is Smart Park (or smart parkh as made famous by the Super Bowl commercial from last year). Using the key, you can have the Sonata move forward or back out of the parking spot to allow for easier access to get into the vehicle. It's simple to operate, just hold down one of two buttons for a few seconds; the Sonata starts up and goes into the correct gear to move in the desired direction. I can see the appeal in urban areas where space is limited. But in the current pandemic times all of us find ourselves in, this seems to be more of a gimmick.
      Power Selection
      Hyundai offers two engines for the regular Sonata; a naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6L four. A more potent turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is available on the upcoming Sonata N Line. My tester featured the turbo 1.6 which produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That puts it in line with some of the base engines found in the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
      I wouldn't call this engine quick, but it handles most driving situations with aplomb. This comes down to most of the torque being situated at the lower end of the rpm band. The only area where you might be wishing for more power is merging onto a freeway or keeping up traffic. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing the engine's output.
      Under the Sonata Hybrid's hood is a system comprised of a 2.0L four-cylinder and electric motor to provide a total output of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid feels just as fast as the standard Sonata around town and on country roads. It does struggle slightly on the highway due to the smaller torque figure. The six-speed automatic doesn't stumble when the change over from electric-only to hybrid mode like I have experienced on other Hyundai/Kia hybrid models.

      Opting for Limited on the Sonata Hybrid brings a solar panel for the roof which acts as a trickle charger for both the 12-volt car battery and 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack for the hybrid system. Hyundai says that the panel can add an extra two miles of range with adequate sunlight. I can't attest to this claim, but will say the solar panel did add an extra bit of charge to the battery, even on an overcast day.
      Fuel economy for both models are as followed,
      Sonata 1.6T: 27 City/36 Highway/31 Combined Sonata Hybrid: 45 City/51 Highway/47 Combined My week saw an average of 29 mpg in the Sonata and 39 mpg for the Sonata Hybrid.
      Calm and Collected
      Hyundai has done some work on the Sonata's chassis and suspension to make it more rewarding to drive. It shows on a winding road as both versions show little body roll and feel more agile than the outgoing model. Steering feels direct and has a decent amount of weight. I will say the Mazda6 is still the one to beat if driving pleasure is your key goal.
      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

      The previous generations of the Sonata were always so close to being at the top of the class. But there always something that held it back whether it was the design, handling, or powertrains. But this new model shows how much Hyundai has put in. There is a nice balance between ride and handling; powertrains are very competent, and the interior is best in the class. Plus, the Sonata still retains Hyundai's trademark of offering a lot for not much money.
      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
      But there is one more question to answer. Between the regular and hybrid versions, which one I would drive away with. The answer which surprised me is the hybrid. I found it to be a little bit more well-rounded and deliver some excellent fuel economy figures during my time.
      Alternative:
      Kia K5: Like the idea of the Hyundai Sonata, but not to sure on the design? Then the Kia K5 may be the answer. Based on the same bones as the Sonata, the K5 takes a more evolutionary approach to the design. The basic shape may remind you of the previous-generation Optima, but its the little details such as a new grille and revised rear deck lid that help it stand out. From reviews, the K5 proves to be a bit sportier. We hope to get our hands on this challenger in the near future. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonatas, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. 
      Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becoming a point of contention. Other changes include new wheels and a restyled rear end that makes the G90 look a bit cleaner. No changes of note for the interior. It still is very luxurious to sit in and the controls are logically laid out. The only item I'm sad not to see is the new 12.3-inch digital cluster that is found in the all-new G80 and GV80. Opting for the Ultimate means back seat passengers get their own screens mounted behind the front seats. This allows you to tap into the G90's infotainment system to play audio, check various information, and look at the navigation system. Ultimate models come with the larger 5.0L V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is a bit of a tough sell when compared to the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 as it slower off the line and not as flexible whenever you need to accelerate quickly. Both engines also are similar in terms of refinement, offer a muted engine note. The only place I found the V8 to be slightly better than the V6 was in my average fuel economy. The V8 returned 24.7 mpg, while the V6 only got 20.3 mpg. A combination of the V8 G90 being rear-wheel and not all-wheel, along with more miles being done on the highway likely contributed to the better fuel economy figures. Ride quality is still on the hallmarks of the G90. With the adaptive suspension in either SMART or Comfort, the G90 glides along any road surface with nary a bump or pothole coming inside.  Around bends, the G90 doesn't feel at home with a fair amount of body roll. There is a Sport model to help reduce this, along with adding more weight to the steering. For the as-tested price of $76,695, you are getting quite a lot of equipment. There are LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, power sunshades, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, memory settings for seats, and much more. The only way I could recommend the G90 Ultimate is either if you're operating a livery service or just want a V8 engine no matter what. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the G90 Premium and its twin-turbo V6. That said, the current G90 is starting to show its age, especially when compared to some of the new Genesis models such as the G80 and GV80. A new model is coming down the pipeline and if the recent models are any indication, the G90 has a real shot of becoming one of the best luxury sedans. Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 5.0 Ultimate
      Engine: 5.0L GDI V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 4,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $75,700
      As Tested Price: $76,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
  • Posts

    • The only reason ICE vehicles considerably increased in costs is because now active safety systems became standards.  That alone increased costs of all vehicles by at least $3-5k.  Before active safety systems came into play the yearly increase in vehicle cost was only few hundreds at most to compensate for the inflation. The price disparity between comparable  ICE and BE vehicle is still significant and so far doesn't seem to decrease.  It might change in the future, but as of right now it is a valid argument.  It is dead horse argument already but so is getting daily bombarded about other side of the argument which you seems to ignore.  
    • I feel you are omitting the competition factor here. Plywood, I suppose, only competes with OSB, tho I imagine the same companies manufacture both. It's pricing is much more directly tied to supply & demand, having no 'MSRP'. BE's have to compete with IC directly, and built by a multitude of companies. Price is the primary factor for consumers. Look at it this way- if the Model 3 came out at $25K, where do you think it's sales (sans production limitations) would be?
    • And all of those models (with the exception of the TB due to it short time out) have gradually gone up in price with every passing year. Again, it should be stated that BEV cost savings have been mostly with batteries in mind. It does not take into consideration how those BEVs will be packaged or optioned before they are shipped off to dealerships. Same reason why ICEs engines have gone down in certain costs while the cars they go into have not. There is a clear distinction to made here if folks bothered to actually see it instead of the endless back and forth and dead horse beating about "Well, David said they'd be cheaper and they're not so lets continually attack him while not understanding the context of what he was saying in the first place". Apparently one week timeouts have not changed this habit for some. Actually the timber industry has had a history of promising lower prices on lumber while rarely delivering on it, going all the back to the early 1900s. They are still doing it despite the sharp increase in lumber prices over the last year. It's an easy search.
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