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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD

    The Toyota Highlander may not be the flashiest or fun to drive. But it has many qualities to make it one of Toyota’s best selling models such as functional and spacious interior, long list of standard equipment, and high-reliability marks. Last year, Toyota unveiled an updated Highlander with tweaks to the exterior, revised V6, and more safety. Considering it has been a few years since we last checked out the Highlander, it seemed a revisit was in order.

    • The 2017 Highlander boasts new front and rear fascias to give it a more SUV-appearance and we think Toyota has mostly succeeded in this regard. The only issue is the front end reminding us too much of a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica TV. Thank the new grille design for this.
    • Move inside and the Highlander is the same as we last saw it back in 2014 when we did our original review. This is both good and bad. The good is that the controls for the various functions are easy to use. The center console features a huge storage bin that you can easily fit a large purse or a laptop computer. A shelf underneath climate controls provides a nice space to throw small items such as a smartphone. The bad is that the controls for certain functions are not in easy reach for the drive. We also not fans of the capacitive touch buttons around the 8-inch touchscreen as they didn’t always respond. There were times we found ourselves hitting the buttons two to three times to get something to happen.
    • The infotainment system itself is beginning to look somewhat dated with an interface that looks like it comes from the Windows XP era and the screen is somewhat dim. But we cannot argue that the system is easy to use thanks to a simple layout.
    • Passengers sitting in the front and second-row seats will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom on offer. Also, the seats themselves are padded quite nicely. We do wish the second-row was mounted slightly higher for better long-distance comfort.
    • The third-row seat as the seats aren’t that comfortable due to the thin amount of padding. Legroom is also quite tight with only 27.7-inches of space, meaning this is a space best reserved for small kids.
    • Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain.
    • Toyota’s V6 engine is one our favorites as it provides impressive acceleration and a steady stream of power up to redline. This updated engine is no exception as it feels slightly quicker than the last Highlander we drove. 
    • The powertrain stumbles somewhat due to the eight-speed automatic’s programming. Toyota went for something that focuses on fuel economy which means the transmission is quick to upshift, but slow to downshift. This means you’ll be waiting for a moment or two for the transmission to get its act together when trying to merge onto a freeway.
    • You might be fooled into thinking that you’re riding in a Lexus considering the smooth ride of the Highlander. Bumps are turned into minor ripples. Little road and wind noise that come inside.
    • The Highlander is a vehicle you want to keep in its comfort zone when it comes to handling. Push it in a corner and you’ll experience excessive body roll.
    • One thing Toyota deserves credit for the 2018 Highlander is having a number of active features standard across the entire Highlander lineup. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The only item we would like to see added to this list is blind spot monitoring. You can only get it on XLE models and above.

    Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Highlander
    Trim: XLE AWD
    Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S with Dual VVT-i V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, 
    Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,600
    Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/22
    Curb Weight: 4,430 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana
    Base Price: $39,980
    As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
    Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
    Body Side Molding - $209.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    Nice ride, over all I am sure a solid CUV competitor and of course the Toyota loyal Lemmings will love it.

    For me I usually like the brick on wheels look but this is just a Meh to me. Weird.

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    I will say ditto to pretty much what dfelt wrote.  Nothing too exciting and it is a Toyota, soooooo..... unless you get in the "Wayback" machine a few decades, you are getting a competent and either poorly styled or. at the very least, mundane looking vehicle.

    And this Highlander is all of that and the proverbial "bag o' chips".

    Edited by lengnert
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    I am not a huge fan of the big grill, but I think it looks overall pretty good considering how everything else in the segment looks.

    It is not sporty but what other 3 row CUV in the segment, maybe besides CX-9, can claim to be sporty?  

    Nice interior, excellent V6 , great reliability.  No wonder Toyota sells boatload of them.

    5-year reliability data from true-delta

    image.png.92e2ef26557d3f1f0c669d0a440edfbe.png

    Edited by ykX
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    Sounds like that XLE Highlander is trying to be a cheaper version of the Lexus RX, if the RX were a 7 seater rather than a 5 seater.  Then again, in some respects it looks like an Enclave competitor without the Buick curves or presumably the personality.

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    A good friend who had 2 crv's in the past (and hated them) just got their second highlander. They love them. He gives them glowing review. Right size for them with 2 kids in college. Good performance and as good of mpg as the crvs. Basically he has nothing bad to say about them. 

    I drove the cx-9 and it's chic but the turbo four is an epic fail compared to this since the v6 here will prob get the same or better mpg. 

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    12 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    A good friend who had 2 crv's in the past (and hated them) just got their second highlander. They love them. He gives them glowing review. Right size for them with 2 kids in college. Good performance and as good of mpg as the crvs. Basically he has nothing bad to say about them. 

    I drove the cx-9 and it's chic but the turbo four is an epic fail compared to this since the v6 here will prob get the same or better mpg. 

    Yeah.  Turbo 4cyl do not belong in a CX-9 or a Highlander.  The V6 is still useful.  Mazda better buy a clue or dump the CX-9.

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    Highlander are boring to drive and on par with everything else. People who have never driven a performance auto thinks there great when in fact they are just boring lemming mobiles.

    This will sell to the same lemming crowd but is far from a performance fun CUV to drive.

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    8 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Highlander are boring to drive and on par with everything else. People who have never driven a performance auto thinks there great when in fact they are just boring lemming mobiles.

    This will sell to the same lemming crowd but is far from a performance fun CUV to drive.

    Which exactly performance CUV you are talking about that would have three rows and will cost around $40k?

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    5 hours ago, ykX said:

    Which exactly performance CUV you are talking about that would have three rows and will cost around $40k?

    True, we no longer have any reasonably priced performance SUV/CUV's that cost $40K.

    Trailblazer SS was the last reasonable performance SUV that was out on the market.

    Durango has them but far from the $40K price.

    Still I would not use performance to describe the Highlander AWD CUV.

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    5 minutes ago, dfelt said:

     

    Still I would not use performance to describe the Highlander AWD CUV.

    No one did...it's a midsize 3 row family hauler like the Explorer, etc..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    10 minutes ago, dfelt said:

     

    Still I would not use performance to describe the Highlander AWD CUV.

    I don't think anybody did describe it as such.   Nor any other CUV in the segment

    Edited by ykX
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    On 10/13/2017 at 8:28 AM, William Maley said:

    Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain.

    I wonder if/when the Tacoma will take over these power numbers with that 8spd. it could desperately use both that hp/tq tune and 8spd(although more tq would be better yet). Heck, even the hybrid system would be great for it. I wonder who will be the first to throw a hybrid system in their mid size trucks. 

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    2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I wonder if/when the Tacoma will take over these power numbers with that 8spd. it could desperately use both that hp/tq tune and 8spd(although more tq would be better yet). Heck, even the hybrid system would be great for it. I wonder who will be the first to throw a hybrid system in their mid size trucks. 

    Agree on the Hybrid for mid size trucks, Hopefully GM will be first and continue to lead the way. Here is to positive thinking.

    3 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    No one did...it's a midsize 3 row family hauler like the Explorer, etc..

     

    2 hours ago, ykX said:

    I don't think anybody did describe it as such.   Nor any other CUV in the segment

    True no one came out and said it was a performance version, but Riviera74 said good performance and even that I am not so sure as the engine has to rev like crazy to product torque to move it's ass.

    In that regards I do not consider it good performance or any performance but then I admit my view is skewed as I see things as one that has nothing but big and small block V8's.

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    5 minutes ago, dfelt said:

     

    True no one came out and said it was a performance version, but Riviera74 said good performance and even that I am not so sure as the engine has to rev like crazy to product torque to move it's ass.

    In that regards I do not consider it good performance or any performance but then I admit my view is skewed as I see things as one that has nothing but big and small block V8's.

    Your are confusing 'good performance' with 'high performance'...a semantic disconnect.   Engines can perform to spec and be class-competitive (perform well within their product class) without being considered high performance.  

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    12 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Your are confusing 'good performance' with 'high performance'...a semantic disconnect.   Engines can perform to spec and be class-competitive (perform well within their product class) without being considered high performance.  

    Yes it is a semantic of words, Perform well in it's class is fine for this auto. Performance is another thing altogether. :) 

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    26 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    as the engine has to rev like crazy to product torque to move it's ass.

    In that regards I do not consider it good performance or any performance but then I admit my view is skewed as I see things as one that has nothing but big and small block V8's.

    Yeah welcome to modern n/a V6's... That's basically just what they're like in comparison to turbo 4s and V8s, let alone tubo V8s.

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    3 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Yeah welcome to modern n/a V6's... That's basically just what they're like in comparison to turbo 4s and V8s, let alone tubo V8s.

    Modern engines suck in many regards as well as have some cool tech, like my NA V6 and V8 Pushrod engines over the cam crap engines and especially the turbos. Would rather have a supercharger that goes with the flow of the engine helping out from low to high rpm than a turbo.

    EV will address all those shortcomings in the near future. ;) 

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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.
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      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
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      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.
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      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.

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      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
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      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
  • Posts

    • Only have ridden it 3 times so far because of the weather here, but I'm getting more comfortable with it. The clutch is heavy, I'm going to need to do hand exercises or just ride it a heck of a lot more to work up the muscles in my left hand.  I brought it to work this morning so I can drop it off for state inspection. Thinking back, this is the biggest bike I think I've ridden, maybe not the heaviest, but certainly the largest engine and most powerful.  It's a lot of bike and I'm still getting used to it. One of the nicest things that makes me glad I bought it is that once I'm rolling, it doesn't really matter what gear I'm in, I can just roll on the throttle and go without having to downshift. Love the torque.
    • The only reason ICE vehicles considerably increased in costs is because now active safety systems became standard.  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 a 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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