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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

      The Golf SportWagen embraces its off-road side

    Most wagon options in the U.S. fall under the slightly-lifted off-road category. The reason is quite simple as buyers like the looks and capability on offer when compared to standard wagons. Case in point is the latest member of the Golf family, the Alltrack. Volkswagen recently revealed that 75 percent of Golf SportWagens sold in the U.S. are Alltracks. We happen to be big fans of the Golf SportWagen as it builds upon many of strong points of the regular Golf by making it more practical. Can the Golf Alltrack do the same?

    • The small changes made to the Golf Alltrack’s exterior help make it stand out somewhat. It begins with the slight 0.6-inch increase in ride height and a larger tire and wheel combination. Our SEL tester feature 18-inch wheels, while the S and SE make do with 17-inch wheels. Other exterior changes include new bumpers and lower body cladding.
    • Volkswagen didn’t make any changes to the Alltrack’s interior which is a good thing. It retains the clean if a somewhat boring design that makes it easy to find the various controls. Build and material quality is very solid. 
    • SEL models get a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Volkswagen’s Car-Net infotainment system and navigation. We like how fast the system is with switching between various functions, physical shortcut buttons, and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Car-Net loses some points for low-resolution graphics and the navigation system looking very dated. 
    • The seats are quite comfortable with excellent support and good bolstering to keep you planted when traversing down a winding road. Head and legroom are excellent in both rows of seats.
    • A turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque provides the motivation for the Golf Alltrack. This is paired with a six-speed DSG transmission (a six-speed manual is available on the S and SE) and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Despite being about 300 pounds heavier than the SportWagen, the Alltrack doesn’t break a sweat. It feels just as fast as the SportWagen we drove last year with strong acceleration throughout the rpm band.
    • The DSG still exhibits some sluggishness when leaving a stop, but improves when you’re up to speed with rapid and smooth shifts.
    • Fuel economy is disappointing with EPA figures of 22 City/30 Highway/25 Combined. We saw an average of 25 MPG with a mix of 70 percent city and 30 percent highway driving.
    • Ride and handling characteristics is much like the standard Golf and SportWagen. No matter the road surface, the Alltrack’s suspension was able to provide a comfortable ride. Around corners, the Alltrack does show a little bit of body roll. However, it feels as agile as the standard SportWagen and the steering is quick to respond to inputs.
    • The Golf Alltrack begins at $25,850 for the base S with manual transmission. Our loaded SEL tester totaled $35,705 with the Driver Assistance and Light package. That’s a lot of money for a compact off-road wagon, especially considering you can get into a larger Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited with the excellent EyeSight active safety system for around the same money. If we were buying a Golf Alltrack, we would drop down to the S with the DSG and order the Driver Assistance package, bring the total price to just over $28,500.
    • The Alltrack is a worthy addition to the Golf family as it provides something a bit more capable while retaining many of the plus points of the standard Golf. We do wish the DSG was smoother during low-speed driving and fuel economy was slightly better.

     

    Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf Alltrack, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017 
    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: Golf Alltrack
    Trim: SEL
    Engine: Turbocharged 1.8L TSI DOHC Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed DSG, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4,500
    Torque @ RPM: 199 @ 1,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/30/25
    Curb Weight: 3,351 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: N/A
    Base Price: $32,890
    As Tested Price: $35,705 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    SEL Driver Assistance & Lighting Package - $1,995.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    All Alltracks get the same size screen for the infotainment. It's also 1.6" extra ground clearance. I personally think the SE is the sweet spot of the lineup, as it is with rest of the Golf lineup. There are some different bits on the interior in the way of trim, and it also gets the adjustable 'Drive Modes' from the GTI and R, as well.

    Right now VW has 3k+ in incentives on remaining 2017 Alltracks. You can pick up a $32,000~ SE model w/ DSG for ~27K out the door before taxes.

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    I know it's me being a little picky but I with this had the GTI's engine to go with the rest of the car. It seems like a pretty sweet vehicle. 

    There's actually one of those in that underground parking lot here at work as well. 

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    9 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    ~27K out the door before taxes.

    I hate when dealerships word things like that.. It's not 27k out the door because taxes must be paid. It's just 27k with dealer fees. 

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    7 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I hate when dealerships word things like that.. It's not 27k out the door because taxes must be paid. It's just 27k with dealer fees. 

    Well, you don't pay taxes at the dealership, and the dealer has no way of knowing what your tax rate is when advertising pricing so.......

     

    People complain about a lack of upfront pricing, but then complain about when it's upfront and accurate as possible, too. Nothing new there.

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    2 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Well, you don't pay taxes at the dealership, and the dealer has no way of knowing what your tax rate is when advertising pricing so.......

     

    Taxes are paid at the dealer, they get sent to the state, but sales tax is collected at the dealer..at least they were in Arizona. 

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    2 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Taxes are paid at the dealer, they get sent to the state, but sales tax is collected at the dealer..at least they were in Arizona. 

    It's a state by state deal. Missouri does not collect sales tax.

    And even they did, it's still a stupid argument to make. Even if I know your sales tax rate, and I collect, I still don't know what your total sales tax will be. If you have a trade in and only sales tax on the difference, Idk what that amount is until we agree on figures. 

    Literally NO facet of retail advertises the prices of their goods with taxes included. That's such an incredibly bogus argument.

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    13 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Well, you don't pay taxes at the dealership, and the dealer has no way of knowing what your tax rate is when advertising pricing so.......

     

    People complain about a lack of upfront pricing, but then complain about when it's upfront and accurate as possible, too. Nothing new there.

    In IL we pay taxes at dealerships. The internet should know your tax rate based on your license's address. The only reason I didn't pay taxes when I bought my Escape in MO was they said they don't do out of state taxes, which made sense. 

    That's not the most accurate way of advertising, imo. If it wasn't a tens of thousands of dollars purchased it would make sense. Add a low 6% sales tax on that $27,000 vehicle as it's a $28,620 vehicle. 

    They'll do registration but won't do taxes...

    The best way to word that, imo, is "27k before taxes" or "27k before tax, title license" Not "out the door". It's a dealership type of thing to do. 

    10 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Taxes are paid at the dealer, they get sent to the state, but sales tax is collected at the dealer..at least they were in Arizona. 

    Same here in IL. 

    5 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Literally NO facet of retail advertises the prices of their goods with taxes included. That's such an incredibly bogus argument.

    And literally NO facet of retail advertises "out the door" pricing either. 

    Dealerships are scammy and this is one reason why. 

    5 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    And even they did, it's still a stupid argument to make. Even if I know your sales tax rate, and I collect, I still don't know what your total sales tax will be. If you have a trade in and only sales tax on the difference, Idk what that amount is until we agree on figures. 

    Then it is also not 27k out the door if there's a trade-in so that's a stupid argument. 

    A trade-in completely changes everything and an advertised price doesn't really mean a whole lot. 

    Edited by ccap41
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    9 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    In IL we pay taxes at dealerships. The internet should know your tax rate based on your license's address. The only reason I didn't pay taxes when I bought my Escape in MO was they said they don't do out of state taxes, which made sense. 

    That's not the most accurate way of advertising, imo. If it wasn't a tens of thousands of dollars purchased it would make sense. Add a low 6% sales tax on that $27,000 vehicle as it's a $28,620 vehicle. 

    They'll do registration but won't do taxes...

    The best way to word that, imo, is "27k before taxes" or "27k before tax, title license" Not "out the door". It's a dealership type of thing to do. 

    Same here in IL. 

    And literally NO facet of retail advertises "out the door" pricing either. 

    Dealerships are scammy and this is one reason why. 

    Then it is also not 27k out the door if there's a trade-in so that's a stupid argument. 

    A trade-in completely changes everything and an advertised price doesn't really mean a whole lot. 

     

    Dealerships are required by law to provide disclaimers for TTL. In the dealer world, OTD just means all the fees that are necessary to complete the dealership transaction are accounted for. It's not scammy at all. It's just you choosing to be combative over a miniscule detail. Out the door- what you have to pay to walk out the door with the car. It's pretty self explanatory. Once you have done so, you can skip your sales tax, not pay your insurance, and refuse to pay your mortgage for all I care. That all has 0 to do with what you owe the dealer to take possession of the car.

     

    And I even included ".....before taxes." in my original post. 

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    It is scammy when there is a lot more cash required to drive the vehicle "out the door". Just because in the dealership world it means "you still have things to pay for" doesn't mean that's what it means for any other retail product you buy. 

    I know you included "before taxes" and that's why it doesn't make any sense to word it that way to me.. Out the door before additional fees. :confused0071:

    What's another retail product that is advertised that way? 

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    43 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    It is scammy when there is a lot more cash required to drive the vehicle "out the door". Just because in the dealership world it means "you still have things to pay for" doesn't mean that's what it means for any other retail product you buy. 

    I know you included "before taxes" and that's why it doesn't make any sense to word it that way to me.. Out the door before additional fees. :confused0071:

    What's another retail product that is advertised that way? 

    Pretty much everything is advertised "before taxes" in the US.  All the prices are before taxes.

    In Europe on the other hand taxes are included in the advertised price in most countries.

    Now maybe we should get back to the car in question?

    I think it would look much more attractive with optional more powerful engine.  Right now for $28.5k you can buy 2.5i Outback premium, which is bigger and have better awd system.

    Edited by ykX
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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    I know it's me being a little picky but I with this had the GTI's engine to go with the rest of the car. It seems like a pretty sweet vehicle. 

    There's actually one of those in that underground parking lot here at work as well. 

    I don't think that's being picky at all. I would like to have the GTI's motor in this as it would give it a little bit more oomph and might bump fuel economy.

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    17 minutes ago, William Maley said:

    I don't think that's being picky at all. I would like to have the GTI's motor in this as it would give it a little bit more oomph and might bump fuel economy.

    Yeah, especially considering it's a little larger and higher off the ground with, assuming more suspension travel, eating that power a little more. So it still wouldn't be GTI quick but I think it'd be a more attractive package. 

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    6 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    But not "out the door" because taxes are required. 

     

    Again, you're failing to acknowledge 2 things-

     

    1) Not all states collect sales tax at the dealer. In MO, you DO NOT have to pay sales tax to drive away in a car. Point blank.

    2) Even ignoring that, even if you DO have to pay sales tax to the dealer, it ISN'T a FIXED AMOUNT. 

    I can't add an amount that I don't know what it is. Coming up with some fictional, completely arbitrary number just to appease consumers' skepticism and ignorance is scammy.

    6 hours ago, William Maley said:

    I don't think that's being picky at all. I would like to have the GTI's motor in this as it would give it a little bit more oomph and might bump fuel economy.

    Just through a tune on it, and it will make GTI power. $500.

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    8 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Well, you don't pay taxes at the dealership, and the dealer has no way of knowing what your tax rate is when advertising pricing so.......

     

    People complain about a lack of upfront pricing, but then complain about when it's upfront and accurate as possible, too. Nothing new there.

    This is not true as every state is different, in Washington state, you pay all your taxes and fees at the time you buy your car, so an ad like this is deceptive and would not be allowed as taxes, fees, title, etc. can vary depending on the final agreed purchase price of the auto.

    6 hours ago, ykX said:

    Pretty much everything is advertised "before taxes" in the US.  All the prices are before taxes.

    In Europe on the other hand taxes are included in the advertised price in most countries.

    Now maybe we should get back to the car in question?

    I think it would look much more attractive with optional more powerful engine.  Right now for $28.5k you can buy 2.5i Outback premium, which is bigger and have better awd system.

    So you're saying in Europe prices are fixed, there is no dickering you just pay what they advertise?

    Interesting, :confused0071:

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    On 11/22/2017 at 7:15 PM, dfelt said:

    This is not true as every state is different, in Washington state, you pay all your taxes and fees at the time you buy your car, so an ad like this is deceptive and would not be allowed as taxes, fees, title, etc. can vary depending on the final agreed purchase price of the auto.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's somewhat deceptive advertising. 

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    14 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's somewhat deceptive advertising. 

    I like how here in Washington, state law was passed to keep deceptive advertising from happening. The dealerships advertise their MSRP price or the current discounted price from the OEM on the auto and state plus taxes, title and misc. fees. This way you know there is more than just the price advertised in regards to buying the auto.

    Out the door ads suck as they are deceptive and if a person needs to stay in a set budget range and show up only to have an alternative and usually higher price, that can really screw up their budget if they get the normal car sales person pressure to buy. Plus they have wasted their time going to the dealer who deceived them anyway.

    I know each their own on how they interpret the ads but I agree with you CCAP41.

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    3 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's somewhat deceptive advertising. 

     

    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I like how here in Washington, state law was passed to keep deceptive advertising from happening. The dealerships advertise their MSRP price or the current discounted price from the OEM on the auto and state plus taxes, title and misc. fees. This way you know there is more than just the price advertised in regards to buying the auto.

    Out the door ads suck as they are deceptive and if a person needs to stay in a set budget range and show up only to have an alternative and usually higher price, that can really screw up their budget if they get the normal car sales person pressure to buy. Plus they have wasted their time going to the dealer who deceived them anyway.

    I know each their own on how they interpret the ads but I agree with you CCAP41.

     

    For the bajillionth time, all such ads will say this. It's required by law. Is reading comprehension a thing??

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    18 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

     

     

    For the bajillionth time, all such ads will say this. It's required by law. Is reading comprehension a thing??

    Nope far from it, common sense is what is failing from ads like this. 

    In a 30 second spot you cannot tell me that you or anyone else can actually read all that fine print. So having a ad that says out the door at $28,500.

    These ads have ended up in the courts here in Washington state and lost every time as to why they are no longer allowed here. Many people do not read the fine print, do not have the common sense to read the details and only see as you state the Out the Door Price and expect that end of story.

    As much as I hate government oversight and big brother watching, there is a case to be made to make sure businesses do not take advantage of the average citizen and abuse the marketing. Case in point is VW ABUSE of the Green Diesel Marketing that is costing them dearly.

    What is required by law versus common sense and protection of the citizen are very much at odds to each other. Sadly we need to protect citizens from themselves as to why @CCAP41  and I believe these type of ads are deceptive and should be banned nationwide.

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    27 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Nope far from it, common sense is what is failing from ads like this. 

    In a 30 second spot you cannot tell me that you or anyone else can actually read all that fine print. So having a ad that says out the door at $28,500.

    These ads have ended up in the courts here in Washington state and lost every time as to why they are no longer allowed here. Many people do not read the fine print, do not have the common sense to read the details and only see as you state the Out the Door Price and expect that end of story.

    As much as I hate government oversight and big brother watching, there is a case to be made to make sure businesses do not take advantage of the average citizen and abuse the marketing. Case in point is VW ABUSE of the Green Diesel Marketing that is costing them dearly.

    What is required by law versus common sense and protection of the citizen are very much at odds to each other. Sadly we need to protect citizens from themselves as to why @CCAP41  and I believe these type of ads are deceptive and should be banned nationwide.

     

     

    Common sense is what is failing on the consumers' end.

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      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
  • Posts

    • On a side note, all of my closest friends recently bought bikes either this year or last year and it REALLY has given me the itch. I just don't have a garage for one yet and couldn't justify spending the money when we have a home to finish and garage to build.. Two of them have some Harley of sorts and two of them have Indians, none of them are my style or anywhere near what I would want to ride. I'm a HUGE fan of the naked sporty bikes.  Something like a Monster 796,  Triumph Street Triple 675, Yamaha MT-09, would be perfect for me
    • ^ Not sure it's that specific; on the Silverado/Sierra, the active safety features package is optional, and costs $890. I do think electronics in general are responsible for most of the recent price escalations. I can easily see calling claims of 'BE's are going to cost the same or less than ICs' as "misinformation".   
    • Yeah, that's probably true for most vehicles.  The big GM (and probably Ford and Chrysler) V8s are probably the exceptions as they just loaf along at 1500 RPM at 65 and dropping below that would lug them.  This BMW doesn't mind being lugged... just twist and go. 
    • I'm a very easy driving person so I have thought every vehicle I've ever driven could use a little taller top gear... If I'm just cruising, I don't need many RPM. I'll downshift(or it'll do it for me) to pass if I really need to. 
    • I'm still being very gentle on it as I'm getting comfortable with it, but yeah, it's just like that.  I've read reviews where the reviewer wishes 6th gear was a bit taller, but I haven't been at 6th gear speed long enough to comment on that yet.  I'm just doing all back roads to work and back, and haven't gotten it over 60mph yet. Still pretty nervous. 
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