BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sports is just a sweetheart all-wheel drive vehicle...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The Hyundai Palisade is as good as the namesake “Palisade Peaches” th...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLMUNIST I received the “Ultimate Driving Machine” last week in the form of the 2020...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The Toyota 2019 RAV4 “Adventure” all-wheel drive four-door SUV is sp...
BY H. THROTTLE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST It was one of the very cold snowy mornings recently that the factory Toyot...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 2020 Acura MDX all-wheel drive A-Spec model has been the drive of the w...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST General Motors is still on strike, but the great Chevrolet brand is still s...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The 2019 Mazda6 has a turbo 4-cylinder engine that turns out 227 horsepower...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST The Toyota “Blizzard Pearl” Land Cruiser is a massive V8 all-wheel SUV capa...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest car manufacturing companies that e...
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST
The 2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sports is just a sweetheart all-wheel drive vehicle. It is not a huge SUV, but more like a graceful ballet dancer.
This F Sport is fast, with a 2-0-Liter turbocharged engine that provides 230 horsepower and delivers an fuel economy average of 24 mpg.
With Japanese quality, assembled in Tahara, Aichi, Japan, this luxury sedan has all of the latest hi-tech and safety features. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $40,360 with a lengthy list of desirable options that can lift the price higher such as the navigation system and premium F Sport package. The test model is complete with all features listed at $51,023.
This Lexus is a perfect lady’s car, petite in style and beauty, easy to drive with great comfort. There are at least three options of eco, sport, and super sport, along with steering wheel paddle shifters. There is a snow option and heated steering wheels and seats. The windshield wipers have heat to prevent that icy build up on winter drives.
The F Sport has a perfect five-star safety rating and features road sign assists, showing the speed limit and your speed, really a nice feature in the fast-changing speed zones and radar police patrols.
Most of us probably drive to fast. But it seems traffic either moves really fast, or very slow, one just goes has to go with the flow. The real speeders stand out and they need to be nailed. Courtesy is also something to keep in mind. Allowing people to change lanes and slowing up so another car can merge. Maybe a “thank-you” wave is in order when someone slows and lets you enter from a side street or from another lane. We need to have more road decorum.
In driving many cars, it is interesting that small cars don’t receive the courtesy of larger pickups or luxury cars.
This NX 300 has the full Lexus Safety System that has lane tracing and road sign assist and pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, so handy in grocery store parking lots.
The NX sports eight air bags and Smart Stop Technology which helps prevent hitting an object in the front. Bi-LED headlights are included, with auto dimming capability. The latest included feature is Car Play which takes the smart phone out of your hand.
This is an elegant model that has racing car features and ballet style class and beauty. A classic masterpiece on wheels.
The Hyundai Palisade is as good as the namesake “Palisade Peaches” that come in late summer every year. While the word palisade deals with mountain ranges the fruit is the best usage of the word, next best is this new 2020 Palisade limited all-wheel drive SUV.
Talk about a sweet vehicle, this new “Sierra Burgundy” metallic paint Hyundai is a masterpiece at $47,605. The appearance is sleek and the “blackjack “ Napa leather seats score a perfect 21 on the highway like the name. But no gamble with this prime vehicle that has a 100,000/10-year warranty on the power train. The V6 3.5L engine produces 293 horsepower connected to the 8-speed “Shiftronic” transmission with paddle shifters.
Hyundai engineers have performed wonders with this new 2020 model starting with safety. First test drive began in the driveway with the car locked in park with the brake light illuminated in red on the dash. Shifting to on the push button transmission panel nothing happened, the car was locked in park. A message related press brake pedal but the key to mobility rested in fastening the seat belt, then the brake pedal and success and the car’s reverse was engaged. The rearview camera has a broad view and also pedestrian alert.
This vehicle is too new for safety ratings but no doubt with all of the safety features will be in the perfect category. This 2020 Hyundai has some new safety features never encountered in any other vehicles so far. Side rear camera lane views when signaling to change lanes, a clear view of lane change in a large circle on the speedometer glass. Additionally, a small yellow light showing any car on either side of the vehicle, no more blind spots with the Palisade. Lane changes in the congested traffic lanes are delicate and these new safety features are very welcome. The speed zone signs and the vehicle traveling speed are displayed on the lower windshield that are also a valuable features when cruising with the 293 horsepower in the sport mode, rather than snow, comfort, smart, or eco modes.
With the recent snow this mode locks in the all-wheel drive and the advanced technology warns of icy roads.
There are seven UBS outlets for smart phones along with Car Play and all Bluetooth features. The second-row seats have one-touch controls and full heating and cooling capacity. The third-row seats can fold down for a huge cargo storage area with a simple rapid switch on the back of the seats. The Palisade can accommodate seven passengers with ease.
Led lights give a bright shine to the early darkness descending on the standard time darkness with daylight time withdrawal.
The Harmon/Kardon premium sound system is easily controlled with screen and dial controls and is loud and clear. A full range of navigation options and the large center control panel lights up at night with a powerful image of controls and features of heated seats, and steering wheel.
The V6 turns out 24 miles per gallon with the eight-speed transmission, 21 mpg overall average for this larger SUV. The Eco mode and a lighter shoe on the gas pedal can boost the mileage
The Hyundai is manufactured in Ulsan Korea by the famed family with 91 percent of the parts made in Korea.
This is a real “Peachy” product and comes complete with a full tank of gas and loaded with very functional exciting new safety features that really add to highway safety.
This is a five-star quality vehicle in all categories.
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLMUNIST
I received the “Ultimate Driving Machine” last week in the form of the 2020 BMW X3 M Competition all-wheel drive SUV. The factory isn’t kidding with that title, this is a 503 twin-turbo beast that will do 0 to 60 in 4.0 seconds. Powered by a six-cylinder 3.0 engine and an 8- speed transmission it is always in sports mode or even ultra-sports mode. The factory states a 161 mile an hour top speed, but a governor control tops out at that level, otherwise it feels like 200 mph could be achievable or beyond.
Adding to the joy of driving this ultimate machine described by the factory as having the most powerful engine ever built by BMW it has a muffler “snarl” that is awesome. (The state patrol can hear this car coming for miles.)
The BMW has a standard 3X SUV, but this is the top of the line M competitive series with all the bells and whistles and the performance to match that of muscle cars in today’s market. The starting price for the X3 M model is $76,900. Add more special features and the test model price goes to $82,695.
The X3 M seats five passengers in elegant leather with 29 cubic ft. of cargo space enough for some skis and snow boards. This SUV will roar up the road to Vail in a flash, but gas up before you go, mileage for the 503 horses is an average of 14 city and 19 on the freeways.
The 2020 BMW has a final assembly in Spartanburg, GA with a German engine and transmission. The frame has multi-chassis braces, stiffer springs, and vented disk brakes. The X3 goes fast and brakes fast earning a five-star perfect safety rating.
Supporting the vehicle are Michelin pilot sport tires on 21-inch wheels. The vehicle has been described as a “Hot Rod” SUV. Outside of the twin chrome mufflers this Beamer looks like a standard BMW all-wheel SUV with that trademark BMW grille and sloping hood.
This is a special vehicle for an experienced driver who can handle extreme performance and major horsepower.
You’ll feel the power in the first 100 yards!
BY H. THROTTLE
The Toyota 2019 RAV4 “Adventure” all-wheel drive four-door SUV is spectacular in every aspect. This is one of Toyota’s stellar models and many older RAV4s still on the highway with that distinctive rear tire molding in the rear deck panel.
The 202 horsepower 2019 version has plenty of spunk and the six- speed sequential transmission works well. Toyota transmissions are the best in the business.
Final assembly of this model is in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada and could be subject to any future tariff considerations. The RAV4 has risen in price considerably over the years and this test model has every bell and whistle that can be added to a RAV4. The initial suggested retail price is $32,900, but the factory has added a long list of desirable options amounting to over $7000 making a final sticker price of $39,948. The options include an Adventure Grade weather package at $1,185 that includes heated wipers with deicer function, along with heated seats and steering wheel. Most of the other options deal with navigation and a technology package of additional safety and communication features.
The RAV4 is a fine drive with excellent handling, performance, comfort and easy center console controls. There are three drive modes of Eco, Normal and Sport and fuel economy averaged 28 mpg. overall during the drive.
Safety features are so impressive in the new vehicles such as lane departure warnings, pedestrian rear traffic alerts, and the Safety- Sense Pre-collision system that prevents striking a forward object.
RAV4 owners will be pleased at the advancements in the 2019 models and the multiple safety, navigation, and technical features.
However, the upgrades have given way to a higher price range.
The RAV4 is a solid drive and so well suited to Colorado weather and traffic conditions. The drive alone is worth of strong consideration and the many options are just adding more frosting to the cake.
Toyota is excited with the 2020 GR Supra that is igniting show room floors with excitement with stock and fully race prepped models celebrating the 40th anniversary of Toyota racing developments.
It was one of the very cold snowy mornings recently that the factory Toyota representative showed up on time to deliver a bad weather “dream car” in the form of the all-wheel drive 2020 Toyota Sienna LTE premium. While the outside temperature hovered well below freezing the Sienna paint color was “Toasted Walnut Pearl.”
This sliding door van model is made for easy entry with doors that slide back and forth rather than the standard door design. The second-row seats are bucket style with fold down third-row seating capable of transporting 7 passengers.
The power plant is a spirited V6 3.5L engine that with a handle style gear lever extending from the dash that operates the sequential 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Sienna has a suggested manufacturer’s list price of $49,190 with almost all safety and “Safety Sense” features included in the price. Consumers should note that this vehicle is assembled in Princeton, IND.
The sliding doors take some savvy but really are a great safety and loading option for packages and passengers. No opening doors in tight parking spaces with the sliding system.
Much of the drive occurred in bad weather conditions and snowy roads. The Sienna never faltered and nary even a slide on the icy roadways. The heated steering wheel was a treat on the cold days along with the outside heated rear view mirrors.
The computer system in the center console takes some attention to run the many operational systems and radio selections. I yearn for the old simple station dial and sound controls. Best, to get the controls done while parked rather than on the highways.
The pre-collision system is so vital in that it helps prevent this vehicle from having a forward impact. Add in the “Safety Sense” package of safety features and all of these features make driving a 2020 Sienna a good choice and a very safe drive.
Spirited, comfortable, great forward view from larger windshield, and ease of overall drive. This is a fine selection for family or business usage.
The 2020 Acura MDX all-wheel drive A-Spec model has been the drive of the week and is a very pleasurable experience. This top selling MDX is a product of the Honda Motor Co. and is totally manufactured in Liberty, Ohio with U.S.A. engine and transmission.
The powerplant is a 290 hp. V6 engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The drive has three modes, normal, comfort and sport.
The overall fuel economy average is 21 mpg. The A-spec all-wheel drive has a suggested manufacturer’s suggested list price of $54,900.
A sleek design with “Apex Blue Pearl” paint is complimented with a red leather appointed interior making a very attractive package.
The headlights are described as “Jewel Eye” LEDS that are the best in their field.
Safety is a strong feature with the MDX popularity and it comes with a multitude of air bags, including knee and side curtain areas. This 2020 model has yet to be safety rated but no doubt will maintain the very high standards of past perfect ratings.
The Acura has a unique transmission with a push button shifter for the drive mode and adjacent knob for reverse that is unusual but works well with experience.
I found the sound system difficult to operate but again it takes experience to master the many sound and navigation features found in this very high-tech MDX.
The Acurawatch special features are adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist system.
Acura offers a 6YR/70K mile powertrain warranty that is among the best in the industry.
Overall this is a really smooth, swift, swanky, all-wheel drive that I would consider purchasing, very well-rounded and likeable. It just feels good to drive surrounded by the safety systems, the sunroof, the great lighting, and overall performance.
General Motors is still on strike, but the great Chevrolet brand is still strong and a new 2019 all-wheel Traverse all-wheel drive was the weekly test vehicle.
The V6 SUV with a nine-speed transmission performed well. The overall gas mileage for the larger vehicle and 3.6L engine was 20 mpg. The cabin was roomy, the seats comfortable and the vehicle performed well.
The final assembly for this Traverse was Lansing, MI. with transmission made in the USA and the engine in Mexico, and parts made in U.S. and Canada.
The package comes together well and the vehicle rates a perfect five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The all-wheel package has major safety features with blind zone warning, rear cross traffic and lane change alerts. The seat vibrates to alert the driver of a forward object, along with visual dash warning.
The trunk is spacious with third row seating and power rear door lift. Fully loaded with navigation system and infotainment system, the vehicle lists at $45,090.
Well suited for Colorado weather, Chevrolet’s have been a community iconic brand for decades.
The 2019 Mazda6 has a turbo 4-cylinder engine that turns out 227 horsepower linked to a six speed-variable transmission with a sports mode and steering wheel paddle shifters. Overall fuel economy averaged 26 mpg.
This is an elegant designed four-door sedan with awesome “Soul Red Crystal” paint on the outside and parchment leather seating inside.
Made exclusively in Hofu, Japan the car has a suggested manufacturer’s list price of $35,100. The powertrain carries a 50 month, 60K warranty.
Along with the beauty of design the front-wheel drive Mazda6 performs outstanding on the highway under every condition. The turbo boosted engine has a sport mode for even higher performance. The windshield traffic sign recognition helps keep the car and driver under the many speed zone signs.
Mazda6 achieves a perfect overall vehicle five-star safety rating on this vehicle. This vehicle is loaded with special equipment that warns of forward objects and a lane keep assist that shows on the dashboard screen.
Solid 4-wheel disk brakes, electric power assisted power steering, and independent front and rear suspension adds to the superior ride and drive.
This is a quality sedan worthy of a smart consumer’s attention.
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