Wednesday, 25 May 2022

WIth so many automakers making commitments to going fully electric in the years to come, one question is what will happen to hybrids once all the dust settles. WIll they still have a place in the automotive landscape?

I believe they will, though it will be a more limited role and only the best ones will survive and thrive. Not everyone will want to go electric in the short-term, so having quality hybrid options is a nice middle ground for this group.

On the luxury end of the world of sedans, one gem that is likely to continue shining is the Lexus ES 300h, a sedan that is a rare combination of roominess, strong fuel economy and an enjoyable ride. It has few true competitors as a midsize hybrid sedan, and is priced well in comparison to the few hybrids it does battle (Audi A6, Benz E-Class).

Changes for 2022 include the addition of the F Sport trim level to the hybrid ES, improved safety features, updates to the tech setup, and slight design changs.

I recently spent a week in the ES hybrid, an F Sport version to be exact, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

The Genesis G70 made a bold entry into the compact luxury sedan segment a couple years back, another new offering from the upstart luxury brand launched in the 2017 model year by Hyundai.

Going up against heavy hitters like the Benz C-Class, Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Cadillac CT4 and Lexus IS, the G70 has quite a challenge on its hands.

Realistically it’s not going to win the name recognition battle, so as a new luxury brand it has to dazzle in nearly every category to draw luxury car buyers away from the longtime European and Asian traditional go-to brands.

The 2022 model features some updates to the front and rear styling, an updated dashboard design, larger infotainment screen, and moves deeper into semi-automated driving technology.

The pure driving experience offered by the G70 rivals the best in this tough class, but is it a complete enough package to draw buyers to the Genesis brand?

I recently tested a 2022 Genesis G70 AWD 3.3T model, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Automakers worldwide are making steps — at different speeds — toward a lineup full of electric vehicles, and BMW has been among the leaders in that regard in the luxury realm.

The 3-series has long been a success for BMW, and it’s been around for nearly 50 years with no sign of disappearing anytime soon, but there are now new versions of this iconic ride to match the times, including the 2021 BMW 330e plug-in. I recently spent some time in this eco-friendly ride and I’m back with a full report on whether it lives up to the BMW 3-series name.

LOOKS
The 2021 BMW 330e features an attractive and sleek exterior design, and my test vehicle had a clean Alpine White paint job.

It’s low to the ground, and has a distinctive and eye-catching grille. It’s the type of car you love to look at. Interior and exterior design live up to BMW name and expectations. This is a smaller luxury ride, but inside there is decent room for everyone, even in the back seat, considering the segment. Quality seating materials offer extreme comfort.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

With the rise of SUVS, the sedan is a vehicle type that has had its obituary written by many, but that’s a bit premature. While it’s true that many sedans are ceasing production or being converted into SUVs, the ones that have remained are still very strong.

Toyota is arguably the leader for the sedan, primarily through its strong-selling Camry. But at the top of their sedan arsenal is the Avalon, a full-size sedan — that rare breed of vehicle which is truly a dying breed.

Hybrids are an even rarer vehicle type to find in the full-size sedan realm, outside of luxury models, making the 2021 Toyota Avalon hybrid an extremely unique offering. There are some vehicles — including the Honda Accord hybrid and Hyundai Sonata hybrid — that come close in size to the Avalon hybrid, but lack the sophistication and performance it offers.

I recently sent time in a 2021 Avalon hybrid, and here is a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

The luxury sport sedan segment is one of the most brutal in the business. Featuring strong entries from everyone from Audi and BMW to Mercedes-Benz and Genesis, success in this field requires a near-perfect effort from rival automakers.

Volvo’s entry in this category, the S60, manages to shine despite the prominent foes it is facing. I recently tested a 2020 Volvo S60 and I’m back with a full report on what stands out.

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After a strong redesign for 2019, the look of the S60 carries over for the 2020 model.

The exterior design of the S60 is simple and elegant, yet also smooth and eye-catching, with a low design and nice side lines. It stands out in a segment known for good-looking rides.

Moving inside, Volvo really nails the luxury look and feel that’s needed to succeed in this segment. The Nappa leather seats are incredibly plush and comfortable, even on longer trips.

The R-Design trim level that I tested featured standard four-zone climate control, interior lighting and a tailored dashboard. For 2020, a virtual instrument panel is now standard for all models.

Among other features that boost the luxury in the S60 include a panoramic moonroof with power sunshade, leather steering wheel and gear shift knob, auto dimming interior & exterior mirrors and metal mesh aluminum inlays.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

If you have the need for speed, and a luxurious design to go along with it, there are plenty of sedans to choose from among the elite luxury brands.

For Mercedes-Benz, one such crown jewel offering is the AMG E53 (a high-end version of its E-class sedan), which I recently was able to experience. Read on for full details on how it measures up.
 

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Long, low and shapely by anyone’s definition, the E53 boasts a simply beautiful exterior design, which is typical of a Mercedes offering.
You can also opt for attractive 5-spoke wheels with black accents (a $750 option) and a panorama sunroof ($1,000).

The Interior, with extremely comfortable seating and a smooth design that flows well, is equally impressive and one of the best in class. 

Published in CAR REVIEWS

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.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

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