BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST This week it snowed and the “Estoril Blue” 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR was d...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST There is something to be said about a SUV with good size, a powerful 301 ho...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback XLE is a front wheel drive eco...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST There are so many vehicle choices consumers are challenged to make in the a...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST Let’s go places,” is the Toyota marketing slogan and their vehicles transpo...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST Hybrid vehicles are becoming more efficient but also more complex. Th...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The Fiats have become famous, speeding around European streets in movies a...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 2020 Lexus GS350 was parked out in front of a local bistro and a passin...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The Toyota 4Runner arrived just in time for the recent winter blast of icy...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 2020 Lexis RX 350L is sleek with sloping designs and “Nori Green...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST
This week it snowed and the “Estoril Blue” 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR was delivered to my driveway. It arrived laden with ice and snow from the raging early season blizzard. The storm cleared quickly, and I enjoyed testing the amazing vehicle for the week.
The sticker suggested manufacturer’s suggested retail price was a shocking $114,500. Optional equipment on this test sport model took the price even higher to $131,520.
This Range Rover was assembled in Solihull, U.K. with a British engine and surprisingly a United States transmission. The engine is a 5L-V8 that features a 575-horsepower turbo-charged power plant. When accelerating in this machine it is like the roar of a lion on safari where so many Range Rover vehicles are used for their rugged durability. This vehicle is designed for off road terrain and has two off road modes. The transmission is a five-speed with steering wheel paddles for quick shifting.
The seats are deep, heated and comfortable with lumbar and memory controls. The rear seats are heated with heated fold options.
A complete navigation system with a ten-inch screen are featured along with a powerful Meridian sound and speakers. Air bags surround the passengers and the vehicle has the latest safety features of blind spot monitor, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, and Perimetric alarm protection.
This is a powerful machine that can maneuver almost anywhere yet is nimble and handles easily in Denver traffic. The turbo-engine provides exceptional acceleration but also is heavy on fuel consumption resulting in an overall 16 mpg performance.
The Range Rover has a 4-year/50,000 miles limited warranty.
Overall this is a classic all-around outdoor vehicle that has a long-standing reputation in the great outdoors.
Slide back that panoramic roof and enjoy the Colorado mountain parks and trails.
There is something to be said about a SUV with good size, a powerful 301 horsepower engine, a great suspension system, and luxury captain seats. That describes the 2020 Lexus GX460 and it is luxury all the way. Starting at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $64,265 with options listing up to $70,985.
The GX460 has a 4.6L-V8 engine and averages 16-mpg overall. The sequential transmission has six-speeds and the GX has full time four-wheel drive. This is a heavy-duty SUV with transmission and fuel tank protectors for rugged terrain. Built for hard work with power and comfort it is hard to fathom taking such a luxury vehicle too far off the beaten path.
Made in Tahara, Aichi, Japan it has the meticulous quality of the Lexus craftsmanship and comes with a powertrain warranty of 6-years/70,000-miles.
The “Nightfall Mica” paint makes this sizeable SUV a powerful package in both performance and appearance. The best feature of this GX460 is the velvet smooth ride coming from a kinetic suspension system (KDSS). In addition, adaptive variable suspension and auto-leveling rear air suspension adds to the smooth ride.
The interior has semi-aniline heated and ventilated seats. Heated second row outboard captain seats, and power-fold third row seats.
The rear seats have an optional dual screen entertainment system.
The 2020 GX460 contains all of the latest Lexus safety systems, that include pre-collision, pedestrian detection, high speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, and intelligent high beams with wash featured LED headlamps and foglamps.
Passengers have mountain views thru the power moonroof with privacy glass. A power trunk lift gate has an easy entry glass panel for quick access.
This vehicle is top of the line in luxury, performance, and sport’s utility for outdoor recreation, ski trips, and camping.
Ten airbags provide passenger safety, it’s loaded with navigation and safety features, including a 9-speaker premium sound system with 4 UBS ports.
Lexus says, “Experience Amazing” and they mean it.
BY H. THROTTLE
The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback XLE is a front wheel drive economy four door sedan. The Yaris features a 4-cylinder 1.5L engine that generates 105 horsepower and achieves 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The smaller engine linked to a sequential 6-speed transmission with a “sport” mode provides adequate acceleration and excellent fuel economy.
This Yaris has final assembly in Salamanca, Mexico and has a suggested retail price of $19,795 delivery price including quite a few safety options. While at the lower end of the Toyota priced models, the hatchback earns an overall five-star safety rating from the National highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Yaris is fun to drive, a small sedan, it is easy to squeeze into tight parking spots and the transmission is smooth and the car has plenty of spunk with a sport’s mode option for additional power.
The ride is very firm and similar to a sport’s car high speed ride where the driver and passengers can feel the road, including the bumps. The suspension system has front McPherson struts and torsion beam rear suspension usually found in more expensive sport’s cars.
Seats are adjustable by levers and with a little work can adjust to the various body sizes. The radio tunes by a large dial and once mastered is easy to operate. Car play is featured along with other navigation and technical features. It appears that the Toyota Safety Sense” package is not available on the Yaris. That system has more safety camera guided features and adds expense to the vehicles.
This Yaris has a 5-year/ 60,000 miles powertrain warranty.
Overall this is solid transportation with excellent fuel economy and very attractive for a student who wants dependability with low cost transportation. A very good value and solid drive.
There are so many vehicle choices consumers are challenged to make in the auto world today. Many of the decisions are based on price and fondness for historic brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and Ford. However, the influx of cars that started 50 years ago with the Japanese car invasion has continued with outstanding vehicles manufactured in South Korea, Italy, England and China.
The competition in cars drove Ford to discontinue their sedans and go to trucks, SUV’s, and Mustangs. Ford and General Motors stock prices have barely budged in recent years. Ford is remembered as the U.S. car manufacturer that did not take a government bailout in 2008, while General Motors had to be saved by the Obama administration.
The intense foreign competition in quality, innovation, and pricing has been a boon to U.S. consumers as manufacturers offer massive discounts and low interest rates on vehicle purchases. It is relatively easy to purchase a vehicle and credit is available to almost all vehicle buyers. The debt on cars and trucks in the U.S. is massive as we have become a nation on wheels as more jobs have been created from the strong Trump driven economy.
New auto plants have been constructed in Texas, Alabama, and Georgia with jobs coming back from cheaper Mexican labor south of the border.
The rise of the electric and hybrid vehicles is in full swing as more charging stations emerge. One new charging station is in the parking lot at the Centennial city building on Arapahoe Rd.
The technology of hybrids has become attractive and the warranties on batteries extended up to ten-years on improving battery efficiencies.
The latest test vehicle is a Corolla Hybrid LE sedan that averages 52 miles per gallon with a 1.8L four-cylinder engine. The car will operate efficiently with the engine or battery driven power from an easy drive shift to battery power. A slight “whine” can be heard from sole battery power, but the acceleration is identical. A charging image appears on the center console screen showing the engine recharged the battery to full power during the drive. The system works flawlessly and 52 mpg. is attractive mileage.
The Corolla hybrid is fun to drive, fast and nimble, four-doors, and a five-star crash safety rating. The best part of all is the very attractive manufacturers retail price of $22,950. A few options can be added, but this is a stellar Toyota bargain for consumers.
This Corolla is attractive with a sleek design and “Celestite” gray paint with final assembly in Toyota, Aichi, Japan.
Toyota offers a Toyota Safety Sense system that includes all of the new major safety systems such as pre-collision and Smart Stop Technology. These systems are designed to keep the vehicle from striking a frontal object. This Corolla is loaded with safety features, LED lights, and back up and forward cameras.
Missing were XM satellite radio and power seat controls. Handles adjust the seat height and length. With a little adjustment to body size the seats become comfortable and in place for the drive. It appears that Toyota put safety number one in the car design along with the hybrid features.
This is a car of the future for all ages and easy on the billfold.
Let’s go places,” is the Toyota marketing slogan and their vehicles transport millions of drivers around the world every day. This is a very popular and successful brand with good reason. They engineer and design excellent, long-lasting vehicles that have strong resale value. Toyota has also developed many “Safety Sense” features that add many new safety features to their products many featured in the new “smart bumper” cameras that detect front and rear movement and prevent striking a forward object or a rear pedestrian.
We all face many driving challenges every day and drivers need to be alert as defensive and courteous motorists. Granted, almost everyone is in a hurry these days, schools, grocery stores, jobs, airports; hurry, hurry, hurry. But the bottom line to be safe and provide a safe ride for your passengers. Excessive speed is dangerous and driving impaired is suicidal and terribly expense in life, limb, purse and wallet. Hundreds of drivers were given DWI tickets over the holidays.
The featured drive this week comes with a “”Hot Lava” silver and black 2020 Toyota C-HR Limited made entirely in Iwata, Japan. This front-wheel drive, four door sedan is sporty in appearance and has adequate power from a 4-cylinder 2.0L without a turbo boost. The engine is enhanced by the always versatile Toyota sequential transmissions. The power train combination elicits an overall 29 mpg. with a perfect overall 5-star safety rating.
This C-HR has an attractive manufacturer’s suggested price of $26,050 that is among the lower range for new vehicles loaded with safety equipment, navigation, and the latest technology features.
The vehicle has a strong suspension system with independent front and rear shocks with a stabilizer bar and dampers. The ride is firm, the steering precise, and strong all-wheel disk brakes. The car comes with a five-year, 60,000 miles powertrain warranty.
The sporty appearance, safety features, attractive pricing make this a good entry level vehicle and especially for a younger driver who likes “Hot Lava” paint on a sporty looking vehicle.
Hybrid vehicles are becoming more efficient but also more complex. The featured all-wheel drive 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV G-5 is a very versatile Japanese import.
The two electric motors with lithium batteries can power the car for 22 miles that achieve 74 mpg on a charge of 3.5 hours. When the battery power runs out somewhere around the 22 plus miles that gasoline engine averages 25 mpg. A single drive with a shift to battery power provides the forward propulsion. The Outlander is spirited on both battery and the gasoline engine. There is a slight whine sound when operating on sole battery power.
This is a vehicle that for short commutes would demand little gasoline and just an easy charge at night. This is a high-end hybrid model with all-wheel drive and loaded with technical and safety features. The fully loaded Outlander is priced at $42,505
The vehicle is nimble, with quick acceleration and a comfortable ride.
The sound system is easy to operate with many steering wheel controls for source and volume.
This Outlander boasts a five-star overall safety rating, LED lighting, and multiple air bags, including driver knee bags and all the latest forward collision mitigation systems including pedestrian warnings.
Because of the battery power this vehicle comes with electric heat.
Additional heating elements include the front seats, steering wheel and outside mirrors. The vehicle is well-designed for Colorado weather with the many cold weather features and large trunk space with rear fold seating.
Overall the Mitsubishi is well made, has a bevy of navigation with Car Play and UBS ports. Drivers interested in hybrid technology and the use of battery power, boosted with a gasoline engine will find this vehicle can be a very economical selection. Many bells and whistles, strong safety ratings, and the all-wheel drive make this a very versatile machine.
The Fiats have become famous, speeding around European streets in movies at high speeds. They do move fast, and the 2019 Fiat 500 X is a turbo charged rocket with red “Rosso Passione” paint. and brown interior. This Fiat is all-wheel drive with a nine-speed automatic transmission. A lot of car for $34,325 with final assembly in Melfi, Italy with a Polish engine and American transmission.
This turbocharged legend has leather trimmed bucket seats and four doors with rear seating and adequate cargo space. The all-wheel-drive makes it especially unique for Colorado weather and mountain terrain.
The turbo feature adds a burst of power that makes this a very frisky and nimble driver. The leather-wrapped steering wheel adds to the sports car flavor along with leather wrapped shift knob.
With the speed comes many safety features that include front, side and knee advanced air bags. Additional safety features include electronic stability control and roll mitigation.
Weather features include heated seats, outside mirrors and windshield wiper de-icing. Add in fog lights, LED projector headlights, and all-season performance tires.
The Fiat features all of the latest safety features, advanced collision warning plus system, passing blind spot warning and cross-path detection.
Fuel economy averages 26 mpg overall and somewhat better if not pushing the turbo power. The Fiat comes with an overall basic powertrain warranty of four-years/50,000 miles.
The car handles exceptionally well and fits well into tight parking spots at the grocery store.
Certainly an all-around fun vehicle with all-weather features for a fast run to the ski slopes.
The 2020 Lexus GS350 was parked out in front of a local bistro and a passing lady commented on how impressive the “Ultrasonic blue mica” sedan looked. “Nice car” she said. This is a special Lexus sedan that is pretty to look at and impressive to drive.
Exceptional quality comes at a price and this all-wheel drive has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $54,505. A lengthy list of options such as the Mark Levinson premium surround system with 17 speakers adds $1380, illuminated door sills $425. Customers have a plethora of luxury options to choose from on this vehicle.
This test model had them all including the latest safety features such as the Lexus Safety System and Smart Stop Technology. There’s no shortage of these cutting-edge safety features and one of the best reasons to purchase a late model car.
This GS350 boasts a V8 engine with 311 horsepower without needing any turbo assistance for fast acceleration. The tuned exhaust system purrs when the engine RPM’s rise. The transmission matches the powerful engine with 8-speeds with steering wheel power shift paddles. The vehicle offers three power selection modes of Eco, Normal and Sport. Naturally the economy mode adds to the mileage which is really good for this larger sedan and V8 engine averaging 21 mpg.
The Toyota/Lexus transmissions are just the best with sequential drive selection and the ease of paddle shifting. So easy to move the gear range up or down in mountain driving and exit ramp speeds.
The engine, transmission, safety features, elegant interior and blue Mica paint just make this an impressive all-wheel drive sedan.
The 12’ plus navigation screen has dynamic voice command. The easy dials control radio volumes and channel changes.
The F Sport features add to the passion and performance of this GS350. This package adds 18” split-five spoke alloy wheels with all-season tires, a 16-way adjustable driver’s seat, leather steering wheel, a unique front fascia, grille and a rear lip spoiler.
The F Sport features just add to the fine performance of this special vehicle made by Toyota in Aichi, Japan. This is a fine line of cars and this GS350 has the beauty of a custom sedan and the performance of a sports car. Like Lexus mission statement says, “Experience Amazing.”
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |