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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X

      Filling in the white space between light and heavy-duty pickups.

    Nissan never fully understood the rules with competing in the full-size truck marketplace. They had most of the basics with the choice of two different cab styles, range of trims, and a powerful V8 engine. But Nissan forgot one key rule about trucks; constant improvements will keep you in the spotlight. If you don’t believe this, just look at the Detroit three and their pickups. Every year, it seems one of them introduces new feature or improvement that will catapult them into the spotlight. It could be a new engine option, larger towing numbers, or an improved interior.

     

    Nissan never did that. Throughout the lifecycle of the first-generation Titan, the Japanese automaker only made minor changes. The biggest one of note was a revised interior toward the end of the 2000s. But with Nissan not making constant improvement or changes, the Titan fell to the back of the pack in a number of key areas such as towing and fuel economy. In 2014, Nissan only moved 12,527 Titan trucks. That largely trailed the Detroit three and even the Toyota Tundra.

    • Ford F-Series: 753,851*
    • Chevrolet Silverado*: 529,755*
    • Ram Pickup: 439,789*
    • GMC Sierra: 211,833*
    • Toyota Tundra: 118,493


    *Includes light and heavy duty trucks.

     


    The company isn’t giving up on the full-size truck market. Late last year, Nissan introduced the Titan XD. This model is said to provide the towing numbers and stability of a heavy duty truck, while having the maneuverability of a light-duty truck. The truck also features the brand’s first diesel engine. Later this year, Nissan will introduce a fully-redesigned Titan that will fix a number of the issues from the previous-generation model. That includes the choice of both a V6 and V8 engine, and a range of bed and cab configurations. It should be noted that the Titan and Titan XD don’t share much in terms of mechanical bits.

     

    We spent a week with a Titan XD to see if Nissan has a real chance of making any inroads in the full-size truck marketplace.

     

    Disclaimer: The Titan XD tested for this review is a pre-production model.

     

    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 4

    The Titan XD doesn’t get off to a good start when it comes to the exterior. My first thought seeing the truck was, “is that an old Ford F-150?” A lot of this impression comes from the Titan XD’s front end as it looks very similar to the last-generation F-150 in terms of how it angles forward and the grille design. At least the rest of the Titan XD’s design does stand out. Our tester was the Pro-4X which adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, a gray finish for the lower part of the body, and skid plates.

     

    The bad news for some buyers is that you can’t get the Titan XD in an extended cab or with a longer bed. On one hand, Nissan might be on to something as many heavy duty trucks come in a crew cab configuration with a short bed. But limiting the configuration to just one style limits the appeal.

     

    Nissan has put a lot of work into the Titan XD’s bed to make it one of the most capable in the class. It begins with a dampened tailgate that makes it easier to open and close it. The bed itself comes with integrated tie-downs to help secure cargo and integrated LED lighting to make it easier to load or unload whenever it is dark. In the middle of the bed is an integrated gooseneck tow hitch that allows the Titan XD to tow even more types of trailers such fifth-wheel RVs.

     

    Getting into the Titan XD’s interior is slightly difficult due to the tall ride height. Entry rails are an option and one we would highly recommend getting. Otherwise, it is the perfect way to train for the Olympic high jump. Once you get inside, you’ll find an interior that isn’t special in terms of design. At least Nissan got the basics right with a large amount of soft-touch materials and contrasting trim pieces. Controls are large and within easy reach for both driver and passenger. The interior featured no squeaks or rattles, impressive for a pre-production model.

     


    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 14


     

    Depending on trim, the Titan XD will seat either five or six people. Our Pro-4X tester came with seating for five. Getting yourself comfortable up front is very easy thanks to optional power adjustments for the seats and steering wheel. The back seat is very spacious with plenty of head and legroom for up to three passengers. Storage is impressive with an expansive center console and lockable storage bins under the rear seats. Nissan also made the lids of the storage bins fold out to provide a flat surface for carrying items in the back.

     

    Our tester came fitted with the optional seven-inch touchscreen with the NissanConnect infotainment system. Despite being one of the newer systems in the marketplace, the interface looks like it came from the Windows 95 era. At least moving around the system isn’t a big issue with large touch points and buttons on either side taking you to various functions. The screen Nissan uses for the infotainment system isn’t the best as it easily washes out in sunlight.

     


    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 10


    The big news with the Titan XD is what lies under the hood: A 5.0L Cummins turbodiesel V8 with 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. There is also a new 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes solely with a seven-speed automatic. No matter which engine you choose, most trims will have the choice of either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The Pro-4X is the only trim that comes with four-wheel drive standard.

     

    Despite what numbers say for the diesel V8, it doesn’t feel fast. Acceleration can be described as leisurely as most of the engine’s power is used to overcome the Titan XD’s heft - 7,257 pounds in the case of our tester. Much like the Ram 2500 Power Wagon I drove a few months back, the diesel engine sounds like you’re going fast, but you’re not. One other disappointment with the diesel V8 is how noisy it is. Compared to other diesel trucks, the 5.0L V8 sounds like a Peterbilt truck at idle. Despite Nissan’s efforts with using double-pane glass and sound-deadening material, a fair amount of engine noise comes in. The six-speed automatic is the bright spot in the Titan XD as it delivers smooth shifts.

     

    In terms of fuel economy, we recorded an average of 17.6 with most driving taking place in urban environments. Don’t expect any EPA fuel economy numbers as the Titan XD is exempt thanks to its gross vehicle weight sitting above 8,500 pounds.

     

    Nissan is promoting towing as one of the key strengths of the Titan XD and on paper, it seems there is a good case for it. When properly equipped, the Titan XD can tow up to 12,314 pounds when using a tow hitch and 12,160 pounds with a gooseneck hitch. But when you compare it to light-duty trucks, the Titan XD holds a slim advantage. Here is a table outlining the tow ratings of Ford, GM, and Ram trucks when equipped with their optional engines.

     


    gallery_10485_1234_232784.jpg

     


    As the table shows, both the F-150 and Silverado/Sierra 1500 (when equipped with Max Tow Package) can trounce the Titan XD when equipped with 5.6L Endurance V8. But when equipped with the 5.0L Turbodiesel V8, only the F-150 comes close by about 400 pounds. The Silverado and Sierra 1500 can cut that gap to around 300 pounds, but you'll need an optional tow package. The Titan XD can also tow with a gooseneck hitch from the factory, something that none of the light-duty trucks can say. Plus, the Titan XD is said to provide a more secure feeling when towing a heavy trailer. We can’t really say if that one is true or not since we didn’t get the chance to tow with the truck.

     

    The Titan XD’s ride is up there with the Ram 1500 in terms of ride quality. No matter the road surface, the Titan XD was able to provide a smooth ride. Around corners, the Titan XD feels planted in terms of the suspension. The steering is another matter. When the steering wheel was dead center, we found we could turn the wheel a few degrees and the truck would still go straight. We also found the steering to be very light and not having much feel. This didn’t give us the confidence that we were in control or able to maneuver the truck easily in tight spaces. It was a good thing our tester featured Nissan’s around-view camera system which made maneuvering a bit easier.

     

    In terms of the Titan XD’s pricing, Nissan undercuts most heavy-duty trucks except the Ford F-250 when it comes to models equipped with the gas engine. When it comes to diesel option, the Titan XD’s undercuts them all.

     

    Some of the issues we can chalk up to this Titan XD being a pre-production model. But when we talked with a couple of folks who have driven production models, they said the steering still felt somewhat light. We hope Nissan can work some of these issues out.

     


    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 5


     

    I really don’t feel comfortable giving a full verdict on the 2016 Nissan Titan XD at the moment, mostly due to this being a pre-production model and the issues I had with the steering. I am considering doing a re-test of the Titan XD at a later date to see if these issues were only with the pre-production model or not.

     

    That said, I do have some impressions on the truck. Nissan is trying something different with the XD by trying to fit in between the light and heavy-duty trucks and I have to applaud them for this. Trying to do something different in a highly competitive marketplace could lure in some buyers. But it also could backfire. For one, truck buyers are the most brand loyal of any vehicle type. Trying to draw someone away from a brand they have been with is a difficult task. Making it even tougher is where Nissan has placed the Titan XD. How do you convince someone who is looking at either a light-duty or heavy-duty that the truck they want is in between? You could use towing, but as we showed, the advantage is with the diesel V8 and it is slim one compared to certain models. You could say it is more stable when towing. But in that case, why not get a heavy-duty that provides that along with higher tow ratings? The only case we could make it for it would be in terms of pricing.

     

    Nissan may have put themselves between a rock and hard place with the XD.

     

    Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Titan XD, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Nissan
    Model: Titan XD
    Trim: Pro-4X
    Engine: Cummins 5.0L Turbodiesel V8
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 3,200
    Torque @ RPM: 555 @ 1,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A
    Curb Weight: 7,257 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Canton, Mississippi
    Base Price: $50,970
    As Tested Price: $58,285 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Pro-4X Convenience Package - $3,310
    Pro-4X Luxury Package - $1,510
    Pro-4X Utility & Audio Package - $1,100

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I see allot of complimentary coping to older Fords from the plastic looks cheap interior to the exterior nose.

     

    Over all not bad, but not a home run. I expect some based on heavy discounts to buy it, but over all a failuer out of the gate. 

     

    Nissan just needs to forget the full size truck market. Not their game ever or now.

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    The story is more than just the numbers. This truck is already priced below the competition (half-tons) when equipped comparably. 

     

    And every review of the truck - when they had the chance to tow or haul found that this is a serious truck if it fits your needs.

     

    And I think the frame is capable of probably towing and hauling a lot more. I think it's just that they don't have the big rig gas or diesel engines like the HD's.

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    This is actually not a bad looking truck in person but that heft is going to kill sales for it when most of the competition has gone on a diet.

    I noticed that 7200+ pounds as well. That's freakin heavy. What are the HDs for the D3 weighing around? 

     

    I also don't think it is a bad looking truck in person. It's actually pretty good looking in person. Pictures definitely don't do it justice. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      View full article
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