BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest car manufacturing companies that e...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST Honda is one of the best companies in the world and they make a long list...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The “Electric Storm Blue” four-door Prius XLE Hybrid is an-all wheel drive...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST It has been a pleasure to test drive the 2019 Toyota Highlander for the pas...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTO COLUMNIST Finally, an affordable work car in the new Corolla Hatchback XSE four-door that h...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTO COLUMNIST This 2020 Acura RDX-RH is fresh from the factory in East Liberty, Ohio where it w...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The Lexus GS350 F Sport four-door sedan is a compromise between a sport an...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 86 TRD, SE two door sedan is designed as a mini-sports car with attract...
If you need an economy vehicle for work, play, or student heading off to college, this Toyota C-HR is th...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST I’ve met a car that is smarter than the driver, so may electronic features...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST
Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest car manufacturing companies that encircles the globe. I’ve driven many VW cars, including several “Beetles” that were so fun and economical to drive and unique as the “People’s Car.”
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL premium is a long way from the historic “Bug” and is very advanced in technology, fuel economy, and safety features. The sleek machine comes as a complete package for a sizzling value of manufacturer’s retail price of $27,590.
This Jetta has every safety feature and earns a perfect overall five-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The 1.4L four-cylinder engine is turbocharged and is linked to a variable transmission that gives a spirited performance. The drive is impeccable in steering and comfort.
Volkswagen has really hit the ball out of the park with the well-rounded four-door vehicle. The appearance is attractive with “Pyrite silver metallic” paint and “Titan black leather” interior. The seats are heated with heated outside rearview mirrors. Driver’s seats have six-way power control with power lumbar support.
Made for Colorado winters, this Jetta has a cold weather package of remote engine start, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, heated front wiper area on lower portion of the windshield and heated front washer nozzles.
The overall safety rating is partially earned by a long list of safety equipment that include forward collision warning, autonomous braking, active blind spot monitor and rear traffic alert.
The international flavor of this Jetta is revealed in its genes with the engine made in Brazil, the transmission made in Japan, and the final assembly in Puebla, Mexico. The car comes with a six-year powertrain warranty, or 72,000 miles, whichever comes first and a seven-year, 100,000 corrosion warranty.
The attractive price also includes a power sliding panoramic sunroof. Rear seats fold down for enlarged trunk space for camping or recreational equipment.
Fuel economy is very high with highway mileage at 40 mpg. and overall city/highway mileage at 34 mpg.
This is a car that puts a smile on your face and a firm grip on your wallet or purse. Just an outstanding all-around vehicle.
BY H. THROTTLE
Honda is one of the best companies in the world and they make a long list of products from great lawn mowers, motorcycles and cars.
This past week they launched their summer sale and are offering great summer deals on their cars, including this one reviewed this week, a 2019 Honda Civic 4D touring model.
I really like this car, assembled in Greensburg, Indiana U.S.A.
The Honda Civic has been an iconic brand for decades with now billions of miles traveled on American highways.
The overall quality is apparent when opening the driver’s door and looking at the neat cab and the attractive leather trimmed seats. The leather extends to the steering wheel and wrapped shift knob. Then we have the premium sound system with ten speakers.
The four-door touring model has a spacious trunk and rear seating. Heated front seats with driver’s eight-way power seats and four-way for passenger seats. The Civic has all of the safety bells and whistles.
The best feature is how the car performs and has excellent performance from the 174-horsepower turbo-charged four-cylinder engine. The variable speed transmission can be controlled by steering wheel paddle shifters.
The Civic has a firm ride with front McPherson suspension and rear multi-link rear suspension and 4-wheel disk brakes. So many features, along with a perfect five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This is a quality car with a long list of the most safety features that include the forward mitigation system.
The last feature and probably the most important in the competitive car market is the attractive price of $28,220. This is a very attractive package and the summer sale is on now.
The “Electric Storm Blue” four-door Prius XLE Hybrid is an-all wheel drive sedan that has a manufacturer’s suggested list price of $28,820. A few options can raise the price several thousand dollars that includes an advanced technology package.
The 2019 Toyota Prius is a smart car and people who drive them are equally smart. The car performs excellent for how it is designed to perform with a 1.8L four-cylinder engine and battery assist that provided 55 miles per gallon during the week’s test drive.
The seats are deep and comfortable but have to be adjusted by manual levers, surprising at first, but they do adjust to comfortable positions easily.
A hybrid Prius is a different type of car and a prelude to the ever fast advancing electric car world. This car really works well, drives extraordinary well and has plenty of freeway acceleration. The electric boosted power steering works well with the overall low gravity of the car. The fuel economy averaged 55 mph. for the week and I only used the battery power on one occasion, fearing that I might actually run out of fuel on a trip back from Ft. Collins.
Toyota is a leader in their “Safety Sense” features that lead to a perfect overall safety rating on this Prius XLE. The features include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. Almost every day in the routine commute I see front end collisions with drivers looking at the smashed grills and dented rear ends. Some of this from tailgating too close and the majority from using smart phones while driving.
Other safety features include lane departure alert, automatic high beam night lighting, dynamic radar control that allows the car to maintain the same distance from the lead car, lane tracking assist, and sign reading assist on the center control board.
This is a powerful easy synergy drive system where the driver has one gear forward and the transmission adjusts to the driver required speed at every level, slow or fast. The odometer has large numerals showing the driver’s mileage, time of trip, and fuel consumptions in the center console, rather than in front of the steering wheel.
The car is quiet when starting without the roar of the starting gasoline combustion engine. Air conditioning works very well, and the radio system is easy to operate but did miss the XM satellite radio program and was limited to the standard stations.
A great car for frugal drivers who want quality and economy.
It has been a pleasure to test drive the 2019 Toyota Highlander for the past week. The ride is like soft velvet and the 295 horsepower, 3.5L V6 engine provides a spirited performance attached to an eight-speed variable transmission.
Gas mileage averaged 21 mpg in all city driving, could be better, but this is a larger SUV all-wheel drive that will seat seven passengers with the folding third row seats. The cargo space is quite large and the seats fold down to haul a large load of sporting equipment or luggage.
The Highlander is assembled in Princeton, IN. with a suggested list price of $41,900. A rear seat entertainment system can add an additional $1810 that is optional for the kids in the family.
This is such a fine all-around family vehicle that can plow through snow with the all-wheel drive and stay cool on a 90-degree, September Denver day.
The Highlander has a perfect five-star overall safety rating with eight airbags, power assisted four-wheel brakes and the full Toyota Safety Sense System. This has the radar cruise control and the pre-collision system, rear pedestrian detection, and lane departure alerts, described as the Star Safety System. These safety systems are a vital asset in purchasing a new vehicle that has these new systems, they do work, and they can prevent accidents.
Overall, this Highlander is quality and performance that makes for an outstanding all-around family choice for Colorado roads and weather.
The Highlander’s sister Toyota 4Runner is the family hauling, boat towing, hill climbing SUV that’s been on the road getting it done for five-model generations since 1984. The core. DNA is a body-on-frame “do anything” vehicle. The new 2020 4Runner has a new safety package and numerous new tech, comfort and convenience upgrades. No doubt these changes will reach the Highlander soon.
BY H. THROTTLEAUTO COLUMNIST
Finally, an affordable work car in the new Corolla Hatchback XSE four-door that has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $22,990.
I’ve always liked Toyota Corolla’s, and this is a very good compact work horse vehicle for younger drivers. Why young? This model comes with 188 horsepower and a six-speed stick shift. It drives and handles like a hotrod with McPherson struts and disk brakes.
Stick shift cars are fun to drive, but in heavy traffic around the Denver metro it takes a lot of gear shifting. In this Corolla XSE the transmission works smoothly, and shifting is easy mainly using the first four-gears. The highway fifth and sixth gears are high-speed ratio gears and made for faster cruising and higher fuel mileage.
Driving a frisky front wheel drive stick shift is exciting and this Corolla performs. Nimble, the “blue flame” painted Japanese machine can rumble, fourth gear is especially versatile.
The front seats are heated,
and the air conditioning works well.
The car is loaded with the latest Toyota Sense safety features that include the pre-collision system that prevents a front-end disaster.
Headlights have the automatic dim and bright that are very exact on the highways. Couldn’t figure out how to turn them off.
Interesting incident as I was parking a young man pulled up driving a Lexus and wearing a Lexus shirt from the local district office as he had spotted this new Corolla. So new he had to ask me questions about the car and how rare this new model was on the roads.
He asked if it would get a good review and I said, “Yes, I really like this little car.”
Best features, first it is a Toyota product, that say’s a lot in mechanical features. Secondly, the price is really low for a high-tech car with so many of the latest safety features loaded with cameras, warning lights, and air bags.
The factory mileage is rated at 32 overall, my drive was lower, but I never got the car out of fourth-gear where it was a spirited drive with the horsepower and stick shift.
The car will last a long time, has a long-lasting warranty on the drive train and transmission and is basic solid transportation, but with all of the latest safety features included in the attractive price.
A very good bang for the buck.
This 2020 Acura RDX-RH is fresh from the factory in East Liberty, Ohio where it was assembled with U.S. engine and transmission. These parts carry a six-year/ 70,000 power train warranty.
This Acura features a 272 horsepower four-cylinder engine that is turbocharged linked to a ten-speed transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters. This RDX does not lack for power and high performance with sport and comfort modes by a center console dial.
This “Platinum white” painted all-wheel drive is very attractive in appearance and fully loaded with all options included for $46,795.
This Acura RDX is a luxury vehicle with 12-way power seats for the driver and passenger. The seats are heated and cooled and the ventilated seats so nice on these waning hot summer days.
This is a vehicle that is so easy to drive and built to please the driver. Electric power assisted steering and the paddle shifters work perfectly with the automatic transmission. The center console control has a pad to scroll the various home page features. The sound system works perfectly with 16 speakers and a dial for volume control along with steering wheel controls.
The transmission is a push button arrangement of drive, park and reverse that takes a quick adjustment to operate but once mastered is easy to maneuver. The extensive gear selections lead to an overall fuel mileage of 23 mpg. for this larger SUV.
A full panoramic moonroof and heated rearview mirrors and power trunk lid offer more luxury features.
The RDX rides on 20-inch tires and owners should be aware that the new concept in many new cars to is offer tire sealant and inflator kit rather than a spare tire. Not a good system when experiencing a flat tire and finding a kit that may not work on a blowout tire.
The “jewel eye” headlights feature an automatic bright and dim function that really works well at night.
Loaded with all the new safety features and multiple air bad locations the RDX rates a perfect overall five-star safety rating.
This is a classy, smart, and driver friendly vehicles that is a strong choice for work or play. The quality and craftsmanship are top-of-the-line and overall this is a great vehicle to own and drive for all family members.
The Lexus GS350 F Sport four-door sedan is a compromise between a sport and a passenger car suitable for both functions. The design is sleek and the V-6 engine supplies 311 horsepower without any turbo assist. The power train flows through an eight-speed variable transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters.
The 3.5L engine and overall driving modes of eco, normal and sport provide sport car performance and overall fuel mileage of 21mpg. The emission system has that great sound as the engine and transmission provide ample acceleration.
Suspension is made to support high speeds and has front independent double wishbone suspension and multi-link rear suspension. The firm suspension system offers a firmer ride than some of the larger passenger Lexus line of luxury vehicles.
The F sport model is loaded with the latest Lexus safety system that includes the pre-collision system that prevents striking a forward object. Additionally, pedestrian alerts, lane departure warnings and radar cruise control are among the best safety features.
The GS350 had not received a safety rating score but will no doubt rank very high. Most recently Edmunds, the car shopping experts, announced their 2019 “Retained Value Awards” that Lexus and Toyota were awarded the highest projected residual values after five years with the highest awards in their class.
Night vision is enhanced with the Bi-LED auto-leveling high beam headlights and LED daytime running lights. The leather wrapped steering wheel and the 16-way leather lined front seats are heated and ventilated.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $54,105 with a list of additional options that can include a 17 speaker Mark Levinson premium audio sound system and triple beam LED headlights.
Rear seating is adequate for children but cramped for adults.
This vehicle is an all-wheel drive four door sedan that has a snow mode control for snow day drives.
The twin chrome exhaust pipes are a hidden clue to the road power of the F Sports sedan.
The 86 TRD, SE two door sedan is designed as a mini-sports car with attractive design and a six-speed manual transmission and rear wheel drive.
Seating is tight and low to the ground with very small back seats and small trunk space. Seats have manual controls without any power seat adjustments.
While the car looks great, the performance is lacking from the 205-horsepower engine that labored on mountain highways. The six-gear transmission works smooth and gear changes are a must to maintain higher speeds. The TRD is in bad need for a turbo-charged boost to the four-cylinder engine.
The sound system is awkward, it’s hard to change stations and the radio sound system was awkward competing with the loud tuned sports dual pipe muffler system.
The TRD is flashy in design but low in performance that needs more horsepower. Fuel mileage averaged 24 mpg overall, which seemed low considering the 205 horsepower and six-speed transmission.
Sometimes cars made in Japan at sea level are not tuned correctly for higher altitudes here in Colorado.
Made in Ota Gunma, the vehicle has a manufacturer’s suggested list price $33, 346, complete with all Toyota safety systems. The car has a four-star frontal crash rating. Built very low to the ground, the car had very little noticeable wind sway from mountain winds.
Younger drivers will find this car exciting to drive and the appearance is sporty.
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