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. THROTTLE
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.
BY H. THROTTLEAUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST
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.
The Toyota “Blizzard Pearl” Land Cruiser is a massive V8 all-wheel SUV capable of transporting seven passengers in comfortable leather seats. The powerful 381 horsepower engine linked to an eight-speed variable transmission can pull a trailer or a boat with ease.
Made in Achi, Japan, the Land Cruiser craftsmanship is perfection and the vehicle is loaded with all of the latest safety features. This is the masterpiece of SUVs and comes with a hefty $84,765 manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
The Land Cruiser rides and drives perfect with soft seats and the purr of the V8 engine. Fuel consumption is low, overall average of 15 mpg. for the powerful vehicle.
This vehicle is loaded with the latest safety features and the Toyota Safety Sense system. These features prevent striking a forward object, radar cruise control, pedestrian detection, and lane departure alert. The rearview mirrors are large, and the nine-inch screen gives a wide rearview picture. The premium JBL sound system features 14 speakers.
Overall this is just a premium all-wheel vehicle that will last for years and be the family workhorse for all occasions.
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.
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.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |