Tuesday, 20 February 2024
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

When exploring the luxury car realm, the word hybrid is usually paired up with the adjective “plug-in”, as so many luxury brands focus on getting their brand to the next level with EVs, or the plug-in hybrid offerings which are a bridge to EVs.

But bucking that trend is the Lexus ES 300h, a midsize hybrid sedan with no plugging in required. As the automotive world rethinks requiring a plug for all green vehicles, the hybrid concept launched en masse years ago with the Toyota Prius continues to live on in models like the ES 300h.

I recently spent some time in a Lexus ES 300h F Sport. (Note: The F Sport model debuted in 2023 and carries over unchanged for 2024.)

Read on for a full report on how the ES hybrid holds up against rival luxury offerings — sacrificing some sportiness but delivering a whole lot of comfort and class.

Toyota has many vehicles with impressive popularity, but in the SUV realm their clear champion is the Toyota RAV4, a compact crossover that consistently lands at or near the top of sales charts.

In terms of variety of RAV4 models, Toyota has been smart to recognize that not everyone is eager to jump into an electric vehicle, so they offer some other more reasonable alternatives — namely a hybrid version and a plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4.

This makes lots of sense, especially considering how Toyota was a longtime pioneer in the hybrid space going back to the launch of the Prius.

The plug-in option is called the RAV4 Prime, and I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a RAV Prime. A carryover to the 2024 model from the 2023 version, the RAV4 Prime is a well-designed, user-friendly vehicle that delivers a solid drive quality plus strong fuel economy.

Read on to learn more about what the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid has to offer compared to other vehicles in this space, and who will want to take one home.

Sunday, 11 February 2024 16:42

2024 Acura MDX: 5 Things To Know

In the midsize luxury SUV category, there are many strong choices that are worth considering, so each entry in this category must present its own unique character.

I recently tested one of those options, the 2024 Acura MDX, which has a lot to offer to the SUV buyer — even against strong competition from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Cadillac and other key luxury players.

Between its athletic drive quality, striking design and affordable nature compared to most luxury rivals, it’s an SUV that should strike a sweet spot for many car buyers.

Read on for 5 key things to know if you’re considering the 2024 Acura MDX for your next vehicle.

1. Unique, bold Acura design   

Though the look of the 2024 MDX carries over from the most recent redesign in 2022, it remains one of the standout exterior designs in the segment.

The front end features a muscular-looking grille and unique lighting design that won’t be confused with any of its luxury rivals, the rear features a dual exhaust setup, and the overall design is sleek and eye-catching.

19-inch wheels are standard, but you can upgrade to 21-inch wheels. You also get a panoramic sunroof and power liftgate.

The debate over whether fully electric vehicles are the best answer for most car buyers, or if hybrids and plug-in hybrids better fit our lifestyles, rages on.

Volvo has covered all angles with its largest SUV offerings. For those ready to make the leap, they have just unveiled the brand new EX90, a cutting-edge, fully electric, three-row SUV that is starting to make waves.

But they also recognize that not everyone is ready for that big of a leap, and still offer their XC90 three-row offering in a plug-in hybrid option, called the XC90 Recharge.

I recently tested a 2024 XC90 Recharge, which fills an important role in the Volvo lineup and is a great middle ground for buyers who aren’t on board the full-EV train yet.

Read on for full details on how the XC90 Recharge measures up to rival luxury SUVs from Genesis, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and others.

The number of sedans for sale continues to dwindle, and within that group is an even rarer type of vehicle, the hybrid sedan.

In the realm of nonluxury cars, just a few car makes continue to produce a hybrid sedan for buyers who aren’t quite ready for a leap to EVs but don’t want an ICE vehicle.

I recently tested a 2024 Honda Accord hybrid, one of the leaders in this category. The Accord hybrid underwent a major redesign in 2023 that carries over into the new model year.

Read on for a full report on how the 2024 Accord hybrid holds up against its key midsize hybrid sedan competitors — including the Toyota Camry hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata hybrid.

DQS Solutions & Staffing is off to the races.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company, which places employees in a variety of industries in areas like security, warehousing, healthcare, and automotive, is now in the passenger seat of a promising young Truck Series racer making his full-time debut. 

Along with strategic partner Masked Owl Technologies, DQS will support Bayley Currey’s first full-time season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which gets underway in February. Currey drives the No. 41 truck for Niece Motorsports. The team’s primary sponsors include Precision Vehicle Logistics and AutoVentive.

“I’m excited to work with everyone at Precision Vehicle Logistics, AutoVentive, Detroit Quality Staffing and Masked Owl Technologies” Currey said. “We can’t do what we love without the support of great partners, so it means a lot that they’ve returned to Niece Motorsports with the 41 team. We’re looking forward to a strong season.”

The death of the sedan has been greatly exaggerated.

For all the talk of the SUV takeover of the automotive industry, a few brands continue to push the sedan as one of the segments where they hope to continue for a long time to come.

The sedan segment still accounts for about 20 percent of new vehicle sales in the U.S., which is a significant number of vehicles (roughly 3 million).

One of those brands still battling in the segment is Hyundai, whose sedan offerings include the midsize Sonata — which has the pleasure of competing with big-name rivals such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Kia K5 and Subaru Legacy.

The Sonata is the largest sedan in Hyundai’s portfolio, and features a healthy amount of room for all five passengers. (Note: I tested a 2023 Sonata; and there have been some further design updates made for the 2024 model)

With such strong competition, the Sonata aims to stand out in the category with its strong looks, excellent tech features and strong safety record.

Read on to learn more about how it holds up vs. the remaining sedan stalwarts battling for their piece of the pie.

Saturday, 06 January 2024 16:12

Kia EV6 GT is a standout rocket of an EV 

The road to an EV-focused lineup is going more smoothly for some automakers than others, and one of those having a strong performance as of late are the Hyundai-Kia family of EVs.

Both brands are seeing strong demand for their recent EV offerings, and I recently spent some time behind the wheel of one of the most impressive options, the Kia EV6 GT. (Note: I tested a 2023 model of the EV6, but the 2024 model sees no major changes)

After the EV6’s initial debut in 2022, it was time to ramp up the power for 2023 and beyond, and that’s what the GT model does, unleashing a massive 576 horsepower to deliver massive acceleration and a driving experience you won’t be able to equal in most cars on the road — EV or otherwise.

Competing most directly in the EV space against Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and the Tesla Model Y (as well as its in-house rival, the Hyundai Ioniq 5), the EV6 GT is a force to be reckoned with. Read on to learn more about how it stands up against the EV competition.

A new powertrain has arrived for the 2025 Lexus UX 300h, and the compact crossover now boasts 196 total system horsepower. A new hybrid transaxle and lightweight lithium-ion battery contribute to the higher output with the 2025 UX 300h, providing more responsive performance. 

Infused with dynamic attitude, the Lexus UXh is engineered to deliver quick and engaging driving with a Lexus-smooth demeanor. The 2025 model year also sees updated technology and safety features, and Copper Crest has been added as an exterior color option. 

Only offered with a hybrid powertrain in the U.S., the 2025 UX 300h supports Lexus’ work towards the realization of a carbon-neutral society. Pricing for the 2025 Lexus UX 300h will be announced in the new year with the vehicle going on sale shortly after.

RESTON, Va. — As the Audi RS Q e-tron faces its third Dakar Rally, Team Audi Sport has optimized the pioneering rally car prototype that has an electric drivetrain, a high-voltage battery and an energy converter, in meticulous detail for the toughest rally of the year. The three driver crews of Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger, and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz are facing the most difficult task of the year with optimism, but also respect.

Audi was the first manufacturer to develop a T1U model for the Dakar Rally. The aim: for an electrically powered prototype is to prove that a low-emission vehicle can master one of the toughest motorsport events and be competitive at the same time. “The Audi RS Q e-tron rally car has already caused quite a stir in its first two Dakar appearances,” says Rolf Michl, Head of Audi Motorsport. “Audi was once again a technological pioneer in its outstanding motorsport history. We have initiated a paradigm shift. The combination of an electric drivetrain and a reFuel-powered energy converter is unique and very efficient. We know what we have already achieved. At the same time, we are looking forward to the next Dakar Rally with respect. It represents a major challenge.” As was the case the past two years, Audi is relying on the Q Motorsport team of experienced team principal Sven Quandt.

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