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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Volkswagen Golf R

      Distilled Madness, With A Large Cost

    When it comes to hot hatchbacks, there is a line that floats around in my head from one of the earlier episodes of Top Gear.

    “I love hot hatchbacks as they offer drawback free motoring. You can put a chest of drawers in the back and then take it home at a million miles per hour.”

    The only hot hatch that has come close to this is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Not only is a hoot to drive, but you can carry your friends and stuff with no real issue. But what about the Volkswagen Golf R? It offers the space as the GTI, but with a more powerful turbo engine and all-wheel drive. But the Golf R also comes with a price tag that is nearly $10,000 more than Golf GTI. Is it worth the extra cost?

    • The Golf R uses the same turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the Golf GTI, but the wick has been turned up. The R’s 2.0L pumps out 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with either a six-speed manual (what my tester featured) or six-speed DSG. No matter the transmission, Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system comes standard.
    • Acceleration in the Golf R is an exciting experience. It only takes a brief moment for the turbo to spool up and then hold on. Power comes on a fast and steady rate.
    • The six-speed manual is a bit notchy when changing gears. Like other Volkswagens equipped with the manual, the take-up point for the clutch is very narrow and you’ll have to have your foot almost off the floor to find it.
    • It should be noted that the manual is over a half-second slower than the DSG - 5.1 vs. 4.5. But the manual does give you a bit more control with controlling the engine’s performance and making you feel that you’re playing a role.
    • The 4Motion AWD system helps put the power down and keep the Golf R glued to the road when it’s dry. But the system really comes into its own when it is snowy. A few days into my loan and Mother Nature decided to drop a bit on snow in the Metro Detroit area. Driving through unplowed roads, the 4Motion system was able to keep the vehicle moving through some deep snow.
    • One issue that arose was a too-eager stability control system that would come on every few seconds to combat wheelspin when driving through the deep snow - something you don’t want. At least Volkswagen was smart to equip the Golf R with a sports mode for the stability control to allow some wheelspin. This made all of the difference to keep the Golf R moving.
    • Handling-wise? It is like a Golf GTI. Entering a corner, the Golf R feels composed and doesn’t show any sign of body roll. Steering is a bit disappointment as the R doesn’t have the weight or feel you would expect in a performance car.
    • The ride is slightly firmer than what you find on the GTI as some bumps and road imperfections will make their way inside. There are adaptive dampers, but you’ll need to spend an extra $3,000 to get it (along with some other features). Personally, I find the standard suspension setup is ok for most people.
    • Volkswagen has made some slight exterior changes for the Golf R such as a new slim grille, 19-inch wheels, a set of quad exhaust tips. On one hand, I wished Volkswagen could have done some more work to make the Golf R a bit more exciting to look at. On the other hand, the downplayed nature of the Golf R’s changes gives it the ability to hide its true nature.
    • The interior of the Golf R is mostly the same as the standard Golf, which isn’t a bad thing. A lot of the traits that we like in the standard Golf such as high-quality interior, loads of space for passengers, and one of the easiest infotainment systems to use.
    • The only changes Volkswagen did make are a set of sport seats, flat-bottom steering wheel, and carbon fiber trim.
    • If there is one problem for the Golf R, it is the price. As I mentioned in the introduction, the base Golf R is about $10,000 more than the base GTI. For some folks, this is tall order as the GTI can you 85 to 90 percent of the Golf R’s performance at a reasonable price. But for others, that extra 10 to 15 percent the R offers is very much worth the extra cash.

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

    Year: 2017
    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: Golf R
    Trim: N/A
    Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L TSI DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 292 @ 5,400
    Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 1,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
    Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Wolfsburg, Germany
    Base Price: $35,655
    As Tested Price: $36,475 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    N/A

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    Love the Hatch design, space and while not a fan of DOHC engines with high HP and low Torque, at least it has AWD.

    Body Style and Dash are my hang ups with this. Traditional Bland VW style. Does nothing for me, ignites no passion or excitement. I look at the Dash and see an IRS audit. BLAH, ARGhhhhhhh. Body Style is like dating a nune. :puke: 

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    There's a lot of misinfo here that needs to be adressed-

    1) The Golf R and GTI engine differ in many ways. In addition to having a larger turbocharger, the R has some upgraded internal components, as well.

    2) It's a subjective matter I suppose, but in the plushest setting, the R rides better than the GTI. Also, the DCC is standard and NOT a $3,000 option. Nav and DCC both are standard for MY 17, which is part of the reason the price increased. That, and DAP became a forced option.

    3) There are no changes to either the grille or the exhaust on the R for 17. Only the wheels were changed.

    4) There are no difference to the seats or the steering wheel in comparison to the GTI. They both share the same design of each feature. 

    5) The price gap between an R and a base GTI is MORE than 10 grand. But it's only a 4 grand gap between a GTI with similar equipment. 

     

    You can't make the case for the car being worth the extra money on paper stats alone. You're paying extra for the greater exclusivity, unique touches, greater potential, and better resale. 

    There's no right or wrong answer, they're both great cars. I will say however, that the DSG really makes the R. It's another animal altogether. I've had a lot of diehard manual lovers be swayed by the DSG after experiencing it. 

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    1 hour ago, Frisky Dingo said:

     You're paying extra for the greater exclusivity, unique touches, greater potential, and better resale. 

    OK, Your gonna have to help out with a side by side photo comparison as I question the exclusivity other than lower production numbers of the auto. Unique touches? Where, as all I see in the existing photo's is the same bland VW formula used in all their other auto's. Greater Potential? Very subjective. Better Resale, maybe. Again very subjective.

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    22 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    OK, Your gonna have to help out with a side by side photo comparison as I question the exclusivity other than lower production numbers of the auto. Unique touches? Where, as all I see in the existing photo's is the same bland VW formula used in all their other auto's. Greater Potential? Very subjective. Better Resale, maybe. Again very subjective.

    The lower production numbers are exactly what I'm referring to by mentioning the exclusivity. That's the very definition of the word.

    The R has totally different facsias, lights, trim, and other pieces from the GTI. It's intended to look low-key. It's not supposed to be boisterous and draw attention.

    The tuning potential and resale are not subjective at all. They're both very easily measured. The R has a much higher power ceiling due it's upgraded engine and larger turbo. It also enjoys easily a 5-7% advantage in residual value. 

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    40 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    That's not a subjective metric. It can be measured by looking at the used market and book values.

    Not totally, I can look at resale values here in Washington state and VW has piss poor resale and trade in value. Elsewhere it might be higher or even lower. Yes there is the range on the auto, but specific areas especially in a High Tech city like Seattle, VW is considered bottom dwelling auto's and as such, there is very little demand or desire for them. This shows up in how cheap they are to purchase here. 

    Like all auto's even MB, BMW, Cadillac, all resale is subjective to the market forces and the specific areas of where demand might or might not be. Market forces and desires will affect this no matter what KBB or the auto association might say resale prices are.

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    4 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Not totally, I can look at resale values here in Washington state and VW has piss poor resale and trade in value. Elsewhere it might be higher or even lower. Yes there is the range on the auto, but specific areas especially in a High Tech city like Seattle, VW is considered bottom dwelling auto's and as such, there is very little demand or desire for them. This shows up in how cheap they are to purchase here. 

    Like all auto's even MB, BMW, Cadillac, all resale is subjective to the market forces and the specific areas of where demand might or might not be. Market forces and desires will affect this no matter what KBB or the auto association might say resale prices are.

    But there can always be a number assigned to the vehicle even though that number will vary by zip code. Even if it does have a piss poor resale for an area a number can still be put to that.

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    42 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    But there can always be a number assigned to the vehicle even though that number will vary by zip code. Even if it does have a piss poor resale for an area a number can still be put to that.

    Yes, a number can always be assigned, but that does not mean is is a factual in the sand number. Like everything, life is very subjective be it a number on an auto, a expert chef's view on seafood or even polling info on presidents. Someone will always find the info to be subjective and will interpret the results in their own mind. 

    After all the biggest crowds for inauguration happened for the POTUS, they had millions there to see him brought into office.

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    What? We're not talking about life or a chef's opinion(which are both subjective) we're talking about a price of a vehicle.  So, to you, vehicle prices across the board are completely subjective 100% of the time?

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    What? We're not talking about life or a chef's opinion(which are both subjective) we're talking about a price of a vehicle.  So, to you, vehicle prices across the board are completely subjective 100% of the time?

    Yup, So far, have you ever really paid the price stated? I have never paid the price stated on any auto. The price on KBB gives you a range / ball park price that you can get or pay for something but it does not mean you only pay that price as does everyone else.

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    On 2/28/2017 at 0:57 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

    There's a lot of misinfo here that needs to be adressed-

    1) The Golf R and GTI engine differ in many ways. In addition to having a larger turbocharger, the R has some upgraded internal components, as well.

    2) It's a subjective matter I suppose, but in the plushest setting, the R rides better than the GTI. Also, the DCC is standard and NOT a $3,000 option. Nav and DCC both are standard for MY 17, which is part of the reason the price increased. That, and DAP became a forced option.

    3) There are no changes to either the grille or the exhaust on the R for 17. Only the wheels were changed.

    4) There are no difference to the seats or the steering wheel in comparison to the GTI. They both share the same design of each feature. 

    5) The price gap between an R and a base GTI is MORE than 10 grand. But it's only a 4 grand gap between a GTI with similar equipment. 

     

    You can't make the case for the car being worth the extra money on paper stats alone. You're paying extra for the greater exclusivity, unique touches, greater potential, and better resale. 

    There's no right or wrong answer, they're both great cars. I will say however, that the DSG really makes the R. It's another animal altogether. I've had a lot of diehard manual lovers be swayed by the DSG after experiencing it. 

    6

    Allow me to take on these points aside from 1 (since I talked about some, not all of the changes) and 5 (talking comparable base prices, not a similarly equipped Golf GTI, for which I agree)

    2: On Volkswagen's consumer's site, it may show the Golf R DCC as the only model. But I had the base Golf R (no DCC, navigation, etc).They built a small number of these models. You can find this in Volkswagen's PR materials and the window sticker.
    3 and 4: I should have made it clearer, but I was comparing the Golf R with the standard Golf.

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    1 hour ago, William Maley said:

     

    Allow me to take on these points aside from 1 (since I talked about some, not all of the changes) and 5 (talking comparable base prices, not a similarly equipped Golf GTI, for which I agree)

    2: On Volkswagen's consumer's site, it may show the Golf R DCC as the only model. But I had the base Golf R (no DCC, navigation, etc).They built a small number of these models. You can find this in Volkswagen's PR materials and the window sticker.
    3 and 4: I should have made it clearer, but I was comparing the Golf R with the standard Golf.

    Makes more sense.

     

    As for non-Nav and DCC cars, those must be press/demo cars only. No such cars were available for sale to the public afaik. At least we were never able to order any.

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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

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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
      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!
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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.
      Power Selection
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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.

      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

    • I'm very much a science and technology guy, and I'm pretty sure space launches and the moon missions, etc have all happened.   But being cynical, I've never seen much point in going to space (beyond launching satellites).. seems like a big money pit...billions and billons of $$$ wasted that could be put to better use to improving life on Earth, IMO.    I don't see the value in spreading the scourge of humanity into the solar system, humanity will destroy itself here eventually...better to contain the destruction wrought by humans to Earth.     
    • There are so many effing reasons to believe we actually went.    https://youtu.be/UT23ogeC1nI
    • Been a crazy Tuesday, so playing devils advocate and yes it is an established FACT, I agree with you on. But still stirring the pot to see what rises!  
    • Honda showed off their first of 10 up coming BEVs, the Honda SUV e:prototype which is scheduled to go on sale spring 2022 as the first Honda-brand EV in China. Interesting is that Honda has kept very quiet about their Global plans for EV's or even PHEVs. Honda which has not in the past had much R&D into BEVs signed a contract with GM to use their BEV platform for EVs and one could make the assumption that this is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV auto. Honda has also stated that they will use the Ultium platform of batteries and motors in future auto's also. If this Honda SUV e-prototype is based on the Chevrolet Bolt platform, it is a striking image. Honda also then premiered their Breeze PHEV as their first ever plug-in hybrid model. This auto is based on Honda's original hybrid system that has been sold in Europe as well as the North America market. The Breeze will go on sale in China in the second half of 2021. Honda has stated that their third generation of Honda CONNECT will be available in the Breeze and all new products coming out in China this year and moving forward. All Honda brand auto's will have advanced driver-assistive systems and over-the-air updates, wireless delivery of software updates. Honda Global | April 19 , 2021 "Honda Exhibits the World Premiere of the “Honda SUV e:prototype” at Auto Shanghai 2021" View full article
    • https://jalopnik.com/the-evos-is-the-future-of-ford-sedans-like-it-or-not-1846721014         https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a36166446/lincoln-zephyr-concept-revealed-china/              
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