Monday, 28 November 2022
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The station wagon, once the vehicle most associated with family excursions, is arguably the most overlooked class of vehicles available today.

It doesn’t help that so few wagons are being produced (they make up only 1.4 percent of U.S. auto sales), and the biggest factor in this trend is the 500 SUVs and crossovers that dominate family vehicle buying these days.

But for folks who have SUV fatigue and want some alternative options, a few brands are still in the wagon business. In the luxury realm, the most notable player is Volvo, who offers a couple wagon options in the V90 and V60.

I recently tested a Volvo V60, which was redesigned for the 2019 model year, and I’m back with a full report on what it offers.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2019 Volvo V60
  • Price as tested $61,490 (starts around $40K)   
  • Best feature Sleek redesign, versatility, safety features  
  • Rating 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle? Buyers seeking a luxury ride who also want alternatives to SUVs
Posted On Sunday, 24 November 2019 17:06 Written by
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When the term luxury vehicle is thrown out, many people automatically envision something far out of the reach of the average car buyer, pushing toward the six-figure price range.

But in reality, on the lower end of the luxury scale are many vehicles that are well within reach for people who don’t fit into the 1 percent class.

With that in mind, Mercedes-Benz introduced an all-new vehicle for 2019, the A-Class (aka the A220). It’s an attempt to draw new and younger buyers to the brand as they battle BMW, Audi, Lexus and other luxury brands for category supremacy.

I recently tested an A-Class and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 sedan
  • Price as tested $51,925 (starts around $35K)
  • Best feature Driving experience, strong tech features, sharp design 
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle? Buyers seeking a solid entry-level luxury sedan
Posted On Thursday, 14 November 2019 00:08 Written by
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While it’s important to be practical with your vehicle choices, if you have the means it’s also nice to have some fun — and there are quite a few vehicles out there that will let you do exactly that.

One such ride is the 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport, a luxury sport coupe that offers no shortage of thrills. Read on for a full report.

LOOKS

One look at the RC350 and you know it’s a hot rod.

From the aggressive front grille to its low-to-the-ground status, it gives off racy vibes. The exterior design is a work of art, with a beautiful, sleek design — a contender for best look in the class.

Point blank: THe RC350 is designed for speed and a fun driving experience.
It’s not set up for driver comfort, especially on longer drives (this isn’t a cushy SUV). The sport-style seating hugs the driver tight into the seat.

The back seat is strictly for storage, not people. Unless perhaps it’s a small child, and the people sitting up front are very short. Realistically, think of this vehicle as a 2-seater.

The seats are very low to the ground, and you really sink into the vehicle. This is a Lexus, so you’re going to have high-end materials inside. You’ll be greeted by quality leather seating and other high-end materials.

Options include triple-beam LED headlamps (a $1,160 option); Power moonroof ($1.1K) and heated steering wheel ($150).

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport
  • Price as tested $58,010
  • Best feature An absolute blast to drive
  • Rating 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle? Folks looking for a fun, sporty luxury ride
Posted On Saturday, 02 November 2019 12:02 Written by
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As the automotive world becomes electrified more each year, there is a race to get people further and further on electric power only. But it’s not all pure EVs.

The market for plug-in hybrids is still out there, with the potential to get people great fuel mileage with a bit of an electric boost. 

One such entry is the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid, which I recently got a chance to test. Here’s a full report on how it stacks up in the hybrid arms race.



LOOKS

First introduced in 2017, the Ioniq features a standout design compared to other plug-in hybrids, including a shark-fin style antenna on top. 

Unlike some other vehicles in this class, you wouldn’t know it’s a plug-in hybrid if nobody told you. It blends in quite well.

There are 16-inch alloy wheels, plus LEDs all around on its headlights, daytime running lights and taillights. 

The inside of the Ioniq is roomy for the class and well-designed, but not fancy. This isn’t a luxury model — but it doesn’t look or feel cheap either..

My test vehicle was a high-end Limited trim level and featured leather seating and heated front seats. It also had a leather-wrapped tilt and telescopic steering.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid  
  • Price as tested $33,335  
  • Best feature You’ll rarely visit the gas station  
  • Rating 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle? Anyone seeking a modern, eco-friendly and affordable plug-in hybrid 
Posted On Sunday, 27 October 2019 00:18 Written by
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It’s important to be unique when you reach the upper echelons of the vehicle food chain. 

Prestigious luxury brands must offer a flagship vehicle that stands out from the competition in a segment where all competitors are going to have a quality offering, by definition.

Lexus is one of those brands competing for the luxury car buyer’s dollar, and its LS 500 full-size sedan is quite the specimen. I recently spent some time in a 2019 LS 500 and I’m back with a full report on whether it holds up to the crème de la crème.

LOOKS

Lexus is up against some extremely heavy hitters in the luxury realm, folks who’ve been at it for much longer that Lexus has been around. 

So Lexus has made the decision to boldly style its grilles in a large spider-web design that takes up most of the front of the vehicle.

This is in sharp contrast to the competition, which are typically more sedated and classically designed. The exterior of the LS 500 also features very sharp, attractive sidelines and a low profile.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2019 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT     
  • Price as tested $88,605  
  • Best feature Exquisite design, sporty performance       
  • Rating 4 out of five stars       
  • Who will want this vehicle? High-end luxury sedan buyers wanting a roomy, attractive, smooth and speedy ride.
Posted On Thursday, 24 October 2019 00:55 Written by
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