2016 Audi A7 3.0T Quattro Tiptronic (Review)


The A7 is definitely one of the most stylish and beautiful large 4-door sedans Audi has ever made, so it seems that there would be no need for improvement, but for 2016, the A7 has received some minor restyling and technical upgrades that have made the very popular luxury sedan even better. Upon first glance these enhancements may not be immediately noticed, but they truly do make the A7 more appealing, desirable, and better looking with a sharper trapezoidal grille, redesigned exhaust outlets, taillights, upgraded LED headlights, a revised front and rear fascia, a faster Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system, USB audio connectivity, and an additional 23 horsepower.

The 2016 Audi A7 is available in two trims- Premium Plus and Prestige comes fitted with either a supercharged 3.0-liter (3.0T) V6 or a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 (TDI) engine. The supercharged 3.0T gas engine produces 333 horsepower (previously 310 hp) and 325 lb. ft. of torque, while the turbocharged TDI diesel engine produces 240 horsepower and 428 lb. ft. of torque. Both trims come equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive (AWD), and quickly accelerates to 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds, which is impressively fast for vehicles in this class.

Standard features for the Premium Plus trim include- leather upholstery, a blind-spot warning system, an 8-inch pop-up display screen, automatic adaptive LED headlights, four-zone automatic climate control, 19-inch wheels, a power-adjustable steering wheel with shift paddles, LED running lights and taillights, a power liftgate, automatic wipers, driver memory settings, an MMI infotainment system with console-mounted controls, auto-dimming power-folding heated mirrors, a Google Earth navigation system with voice controls, a sunroof, Bluetooth, Google search capability, smartphone-app integration, front and rear parking sensors, an adaptive rear spoiler and keyless entry and ignition, heated 8-way power seats (with 4-way driver lumbar adjustment), satellite radio, a 10-speaker audio system with CD player, USB audio connectivity, 4G LTE with mobile WiFi hotspot capability, a rearview camera, and Audi Drive Select which provides adjustable settings for the accelerator, steering, and transmission.

The Prestige trim comes equipped with all of the aforementioned features, but adds a 14-speaker Bose Sound System, a head-up display, LED ambient interior lighting, ventilated front seats, and passenger lumbar adjustments.

All A7’s come equipped with Audi Drive Select, which adjusts transmission, shifts throttle response, and steering strength with four different modes- Auto, Dynamic, Individual, and Comfort-which is my favorite mode when driving the A7 3.0T, because I found this mode to be the most pleasant and enjoyable, delivering a smoother and quieter driving experience.

There are a number of packages available for the A7, such as a Cold Weather package, which adds a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The S Line Sport package adds a sport-themed exterior design, stylish 19-inch wheels, and firmer suspension. The Black Optic package adds high-gloss black trim on the grille/window areas and bigger 20-inch wheels, while a Driver Assistance package adds a front and rear corner-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking.

Available exclusively for the Prestige trim is an Individual Contour Seating package which adds 14-way power front seats with memory and massage functions and improved leather upholstery, while an Audi Design Selection package adds distinctive extended leather trim and walnut insets.

The A7’s interior is very luxurious, highly appointed, and is the finest in its segment. The sedan can easily seat up to five passengers, but due to the sleek, sloping roof line, headroom in the rear cabin is not as accommodating for taller passengers, however, headroom and legroom in the front cabin is spacious and the seats are comfortable, plush, supportive, and ergonomic. The interior is constructed of high quality materials with beautiful wood accents and ambient lighting that give the vehicle an elegant and upscale appearance.

The trunk of the A7 with its hatchback design is spacious, measuring about 24.5 cubic feet and can accommodate a variety of larger items that usually don’t fit in the trunk of a smaller sedan.

On the road, the A7 is a strong performer and the 3.0T can easily pass slow moving vehicles in just seconds with quick acceleration, athletic handling, and immediate throttle response that rival many luxury competitors in its segment.

The A7 3.0T yields an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is an increase in fuel economy from previous models, while the A7 TDI yields better fuel efficiency with an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Safety features include- stability control, antilock disc brakes, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system, front knee airbags, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, an Audi Pre-Sense safety system which tensions the seatbelts and closes all of the windows if a possible accident is detected and warns the driver, and a Pre-Sense Rear system which uses the brake light to warn traffic behind the vehicle in the event of a rear impact. A Driver Assistance package is optional and adds lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, and a corner-view camera system.

With its beautiful exterior, upscale interior, good fuel economy, quiet and luxurious interior, advanced technology, strong acceleration, and excellent handling, the 2016 Audi A7 is definitely one of the best performing, stylish, and sought after full sized sedans available today.

To find out more about the 2016 Audi A7, please visit- www.audiusa.com




Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.


Bringing The Toyota Mirai’s Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Technology to Schools in an Exciting Way

Toyota invited me, as well as several science teachers to a special training class at their headquarters in Torrance, California to learn Horizon Education’s methods to teaching and instructing new hydrogen fuel-cell technology to their high school students.

Since Toyota’s successful introduction of the Mirai Hydrogen Fuel-Cell 4-door Sedan in 2015, there has been much excitement and acceptance of the new vehicle and innovative technology. The positive reception has made Toyota look at growing Technology, Science, Mathematics, and Engineering education, also known as STEM, in schools within Southern California.








The teaching session was thorough, fun, interactive, and informative, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m.

A wonderful breakfast and lunch was provided while the teachers learned all about how they could teach their students about the Mirai and how hydrogen fuel-cell technology works.  Also, during the training class, Mirai engine models and various parts were displayed on a table near the instructor for the participants for observation and visual learning.

The instructor, Lindsey Spalding, was very knowledgeable, articulate, understood her subject, and explained to the teachers in attendance how the engine is built, how it runs on hydrogen, and how to teach this new technology to their students in a fun, exciting, hands-on way, getting them ready for future race competition with their very own hydrogen fuel-cell powered miniature cars.








Lindsey demonstrated how the mini Mirai engines function and kits were provided to teachers to show their students how the hydrogen fuel-cell engine works.

For more than two decades, Toyota has been fully committed to the advancement of fuel cell technology with worldwide research and development. The Mirai is the first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle Toyota has ever produced and is fueled by hydrogen. Yoshikazu Tanaka, who is Toyota’s chief engineer, was the overseer and business manager of the Mirai project at Toyota.








I found the training session to be very interesting, informative, educational, and I believe that high school students will enjoy learning about the Mirai, engine, and fuel-cell technology with their teachers instructing them, demonstrating, and giving hands-on assignments, class discussions, and engine models to work with. The students will be able to design their own mini cars, sculpt the exterior, and build the chassis. It is a wonderful subject for students to learn how the Mirai operates using hydrogen as fuel. Also, by learning how the Mirai runs and operates, they may want to own and drive one in the future.








The special Toyota after-school program has a fun and exciting conclusion for all participating students at the Los Angeles Convention Center between March 30th-April 2nd 2017 when they will have the opportunity to compete and race their custom, hand built mini Mirai Vehicles in front of a large audience.


2016 Lexus ES 350 Review


The 2016 Lexus ES 350 is a midsize, 5-passenger sedan that remains a benchmark for the entry-level luxury segment with smooth on the road performance, sleek styling, plush interior, and a host of advanced technological features.

For the 2016 model year, the ES 350 received some minor upgrades, such as better sound insulation in the interior, optional bi-LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a restyled front and rear end, and a revised safety package featuring an updated version of Lexus’ pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

The ES 350 comes fitted with a quiet 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb. ft. of torque that is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features for the ES 350 include- a sunroof, driver-adjustable drive settings, LED daytime running headlights, keyless ignition/start and entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a 7-inch touchscreen, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, heated mirrors, an 8-speaker sound system with a CD player, Safety Connect emergency communication system, iPhone voice control integration, 8-way power front seats with two-way adjustable lumbar, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB audio interface, HD radio, and a rearview camera. A panoramic sunroof, navigation, perforated leather upholstery, HID headlights, a Mark Levinson audio system, and 18-inch alloy wheels are optional.

On the road, the ES 350 provides a smooth and very comfortable driving experience with a well-mannered and sophisticated ride quality that is similar to an Audi A6. Although the ES is not sporty, the sedan has a firm and planted feel on the road with precise steering, strong braking, provides quick acceleration in Sport mode, handles sharp corners with ease, and at highway speeds, the interior is extraordinarily quiet, mostly bereft of road, wind, and engine noise.

The interior is modern, comfortable, and the seats in the front and rear cabin are plush and supportive with an ergonomic feel. There is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers and the dashboard and console areas are made with high end materials. The well designed analog clock and the interior color scheme with matte finish bamboo trim elements adds an elegant touch, while the large 7-inch touchscreen is easy to use and the controls are within arm’s reach.

Cargo space is ample measuring 15.2 cubic feet, but space in the rear cabin cannot be increased because the rear seats do not split and fold down.

Safety features include- dual front, front-side, and side curtain air bags, frontal knee airbags, and rear-side airbags as well as the Lexus Safety System+, which includes driver assistance and safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, intelligent high beam, and a Pre-Collision System that offers  automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning.

For something a bit sportier, the 2016 Lexus RC 350 is definitely worth looking at, but in my opinion, the ES 350 is one of the best entry-level midsize luxury sedans available and with an MSRP of less than $38,500, the ES 350 provides a luxurious and comfortable driving experience at an affordable price.

To find out more about the 2016 Lexus ES 350, please visit- www.lexus.com





1480530575757Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Lexus NX 200t F Sport Review

As the compact crossover segment becomes more and more competitive, there are a few luxury SUV’s that stand out and have become a popular choice among consumers looking for a stylish, yet practical vehicle that can provide comfort, bold exterior style, advanced technology, great on the road performance, and that is exactly what the 2016 Lexus NX 200t F Sport does.

The 2016 Lexus NX 200t is a luxury SUV with an incredible style, plush interior, sleek exterior details, and a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 235 horsepower and 258 lb. ft. of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The NX 200t with front-wheel-drive yields an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The NX has three driving modes- Sport, Normal, and ECO. Normal mode regulates fuel productivity and engine performance, Sport mode delivers faster gear changes and quicker throttle response, and ECO mode increases fuel efficiency.

The base NX 200t has a starting MSRP of about $34,960 and comes equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, push-button start, a USB port, navigation system, Siri iPhone incorporation, and a 7-inch display screen that works in conjunction with a console-attached controller.

There are a variety of convenience/technology packages and options available, such as leather upholstery, front-seat memory settings, automatic parallel park assist, power lift gate, automatic emergency braking, power-folding and reclining back seats, adaptive cruise control, an additional USB port, an upgraded stereo system, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic tilt side mirrors, and a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

If you are seeking more athletic driving dynamics and better styling, then the NX 200t F Sport would be a better choice with bolstered sport seats, bolder interior and exterior styling, sport-tuned suspension, and a starting MSRP of about $37,000.

The exterior of the NX 200t is unique and distinct with bold angles and sharp lines that make the SUV stand out among the majority of its competition.  Even though the NX’s diverging appearance is different, it is a refreshing and exciting option in a segment in which many SUV’s tend to all look alike.

On the inside, the Lexus NX 200t features perfect cabin construction with high quality materials throughout the spacious front and rear cabin areas. There is ample head/legroom in the 2nd row (backseat) for taller passengers with comfortable and supportive seats and the dashboard has an upscale and streamlined appearance with numerous advanced technology features throughout.

Cargo space is a little less than average for this segment, measuring 17.7 cu. feet and 54.6 cu. feet with the rear seats folded down, but still provides enough room to transport a variety of items.

On the road, the NX 200t F Sport trim provides an enjoyable and smooth ride with responsive steering and feels composed and in control when making sharp turns and when navigating on bumpier surfaces. The F Sport’s tuned suspension and paddle shifters make the driving experience even better and more engaging.

Safety features include- a rearview camera, traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags, a front passenger cushion airbag, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and Lexus’ Enform Safety Connect telematics that offers an emergency assist button, stolen-vehicle location, and automatic crash notification. Adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning system, and a frontal collision mitigation system are optional.

The 2016 Lexus NX 200t is a well-equipped, luxurious, comfortable, quiet crossover SUV with a unique bold exterior design that delivers more than the ordinary and goes far beyond standard expectations all for an affordable price.

To find out more about the new Lexus NX 200t, please visit: www.Lexus.com

2016 Lexus RC 350 (Review)

2016 Lexus RC 350 Front

Quick and fun to drive, the 2016 Lexus RC 350 may not be the most practical, but it is definitely a sporty, stylish, luxury 2-door coupe with a lot more to offer than an average sports car.

For 2016, two new and exciting models have been added to the lineup- the RC 200t, which features a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and the RC 300, which features a 3.5-liter V6 engine.  Also new is the addition of Lexus Enform Service Connect and F Sport varieties which now offer performance dampers and a limited-slip differential as standard features for the RC 200t and optional for the RC 350 F Sport.

The RC comes with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and is available in three distinct models- RC 200t, RC 300, and RC 350.

The base RC 350 features a 3.5-liter V6 and produces an impressive 306 horsepower and 277 lb. ft. of torque that can be paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel-drive or a 6-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive. The RC 350 yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive and 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with all-wheel drive. The RC 200t features a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower, 258 lb. ft. of torque, and yields 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. It comes with rear-wheel drive and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The RC 300 is equipped by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 255 horsepower, 236 lb. ft. of torque, and yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. It is only available with all-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

2016 Lexus 350 Side

Standard features for all RC trims include- dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, heated side mirrors, LED headlights and taillights, keyless entry/ignition, selectable drive modes, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a 10-way power driver seat, Bluetooth, an 8-way power passenger seat, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, real wood and aluminum trim, a 60/40-folding rear seat with armrest, voice controls, a 7-inch color display, a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, HD radio, iPod/USB connectivity, and Lexus Enform Service Connect.

There are also a variety of packages with optional features that can be added to the three trims. The Premium package adds auto-dimming side mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Luxury package adds the aforementioned features plus perforated leather upholstery, driver memory settings automatic wipers, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and the The All-Weather package offers headlight wipers, a supplementary electric cabin heater, and a windshield wiper de-icer.

A Navigation package adds upgraded voice controls, a console-mounted touchpad controller, navigation system, and smartphone app integration that includes Yelp, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Destination Search while the Mark Levinson Navigation package adds a 17-speaker sound system.

The F Sport package adds sportier features, such as bigger 19-inch wheels, a mesh grille, perforated leather upholstery and trim, sport front seats, a distinctive front fascia, a unique instrument cluster, adaptive sport-tuned suspension dampers, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and driver memory settings.

Standard safety features for all 2016 Lexus RC trims include- traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags, roadside assistance, a stolen-vehicle locator, one-year subscription to Lexus Enform Safety Connect, and an emergency telematics system with collision notification.

The interior of the 2016 Lexus RC 350 is upscale and impeccable with a beautifully styled cabin consisting of attractive, high-quality materials throughout the multi-tiered cockpit. There is ample head and leg room in the front cabin, but similar to other coupes, the rear feels a bit snug. The front seats are comfortable, supple, supportive, and thick padding shelters the sides of the center console, upper dashboard, and armrests. The audio and climate buttons, knobs, and controls are easy to use and are within arm’s reach, except for the computerized touchpad controller, which takes some practice and time to get used to. It is the the main way for selecting and operating the navigation and audio functions.

The exterior of the RC 350 is definitely a head turner with its sleek lines and sloped roofline, especially in the brilliant blue color, which I love!

Cargo space is small, but average for its class, measuring 10.4 cubic feet. More space is available when the 60/40-split folding rear seats are folded down flat.

On the road, the RC 350 provides an amazingly quiet and smooth driving experience with little wind and road noise. Performance is strong, braking is accurate, body roll is minimal, acceleration is quick, and the RC 350 maneuvers around tight corners with great ease, proving that it is one of the best entry-level luxury sport coupes available.

The RC has a starting MSRP of $42,780, so if you are looking for a quick, fun to drive, full powered, smooth, and affordable high performance luxury sport coupe, then the RC 350 is a great choice. It is the perfect combination of features, performance, price, and is worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2016 Lexus RC 350, please visit- www.Lexus.com




1480530575757Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.


2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron ultra (Review)


The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron is a four-door, compact luxury plug-in hybrid hatchback. The e-Tron is the first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle that Audi has ever introduced and stands out for being the only A3 available in a hatchback style.

The A3 Sportback e-tron is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige and comes equipped with a turbocharged 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine that is paired with an electric motor. The rechargeable 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located beneath the rear seats. The gas engine produces 150 horsepower and 184 lb. ft. of torque on its own, while the electric motor adds an additional 102 horsepower and 243 lb ft. of torque, so with both motors in operation, the e-Tron delivers a combined 204 horsepower and 258 lb. ft. of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels by a 6-speed automatic S tronic transmission.

2016 Audi A3 e-tron front picture view red

Standard features for the base Premium trim include- a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, automatic wipers and headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, LED daytime running lights and taillights, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, 8-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, LED interior lighting, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Audi’s MMI electronics interface with a 5.3-inch display, satellite and HD radio, CD player, front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker sound system, and an SD card slot.

The Premium Plus trim adds heated front seats, Audi’s digital music interface, 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, upgraded trim, an iPod cable, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The top of the line Prestige trim adds a navigation system, a larger 7-inch display, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, Audi Connect online services with a 4G LTE connection, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, an advanced MMI system that includes a touchpad that can read finger handwriting, a set of driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure prevention, blind-spot monitoring, and a frontal collision warning system with automatic emergency braking.

A Sport package is available for both the Prestige and Premium Plus trims and adds sporty front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sport steering wheel. For the Premium trim, there is an available MMI Navigation Plus package, which adds Audi Connect and a better MMI system. A Technology package can be added to the Premium Plus trim which adds blind-spot monitoring, a basic MMI system, and Audi Connect.

There are four different hybrid and EV modes that the A3 e-tron can function in- EV, Hybrid, Battery Hold, and Battery Charge. The EV mode utilizes only electricity for totally silent and emissions-free driving. The Hybrid mode is activated when the battery is low on electric power and the gasoline engine kicks in to increase the e-Tron’s driving range. The Battery hold mode is beneficial for preserving the battery’s energy level throughout extended road trips and the lastly, the Battery charge mode continuously uses the gas engine in order to add EV range to use ahead of a trip, but because of its extensive use of the gas engine, it is not as efficient as the other modes.  In addition to the four hybrid and EV modes, there are also four Drive Select modes- Comfort, Dynamic, Automatic, and Individual. From testing, my favorite driving mode is comfort, because it provides a smoother and quieter driving experience and seems to use less fuel. As with other hybrid vehicles, onboard regenerative braking adds some power to the battery while the A3 e-Tron is being driven and like some other plug-in hybrids, the actual mileage will vary significantly depending on how much all-electric driving is utilized.

There is a charging port that is hidden in the grille area behind the Audi rings and with just the turn of a knob, the chrome rings are lifted and reveal the charging area. The battery can be charged from a 240-volt outlet in approximately 2.5 hours using the provided charging cord and an estimated 8 hours from a standard 110-volt outlet.

When the e-tron is completely out of electricity, you can still expect 39 mpg in combined driving with the standard 16-inch wheels. It is important to note that the top speed in only EV mode is 80 mph, which makes the e-Tron totally efficient even when it’s running entirely on battery power alone. The e-tron’s hybrid powertrain delivers an impressive 83-86 mpg in mixed driving, offering the perfect blend of both electric and fuel power that gives the ability to drive longer distances.

Safety features for all A3 e-tron trims include- stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front and rear side airbags, and an Audi Pre-Sense system which automatically pre-tensions the seatbelts and closes all of the windows when a frontal or side collision is imminent.

The Prestige trim comes with all of the aforementioned safety features, but also adds- blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure prevention, and an Audi Pre-Sense Front system that includes a radar-based frontal collision mitigation system as well as optical and audible warnings with automatic emergency braking to decrease damage in front collisions.

Even though the e-tron has the same kind of interior features and technology that the A3 sedan has, in my opinion, the A3 Sportback e-tron has a more upscale appearance with the stylish hatchback design and has a heavier, more planted feel on the road. The e-tron’s interior has a simple, yet luxurious look with high quality materials throughout the front and rear cabin.  The front seats are comfortable and supportive, but because of the A3’s compact design, there is limited head and legroom in the rear cabin for taller passengers. There are many sophisticated and well-appointed elements, such as the MMI display that glides modestly into the top of the dashboard when the power is turned off, but unlike the A7 and some of the other new 2016 Audi models, there are no USB ports to connect certain devices to.

Cargo space is good measuring approximately 13.6 cubic feet and the amount of space can be increased greatly when the rear seatbacks are folded down. The hatchback design is more accommodating and makes loading and unloading larger items easier to do.

On the road, the e-tron is a strong performer and is one of the best hybrids available, providing an enjoyable and smooth ride in a variety of road conditions and navigates easily around tight corners and in heavy traffic with excellent handling and responsiveness.

The 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron has a starting MSRP of $37,900 for the base Premium trim and a fully loaded Prestige trim can be about $48,000. A little pricey? Maybe, but I think it is well worth the price, because the e-tron is the perfect blending of plug-in hybrid technology, style, quiet and comfortable interior, luxury, and very quick on the road performance that stands out among other hybrid vehicles in its segment.

To find out more about the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, please visit- www.audiusa.com




picture-blue-mom Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.


2016 Toyota Corolla S (Review)

The 2016 Toyota Corolla is a 5-passenger compact sedan that from first glance may not appear very exciting, but for fifty years, it has been one of the bestselling compact vehicles in the U.S., currently ranks as the world’s best-selling small sedan, and has gained a reputation for being reliable, dependable, and affordable. With the Corolla, reliability is one of its most popular strength and feature, but after undergoing a redesign in 2014, the Corolla is now better than ever with a more sleek and refined exterior, greater technology features, and improved interior elements throughout the front and rear cabin, including a fold-down rear center armrest which is available on the upper trim levels. Also, the new exterior is bolder with a large trapezoidal lower grille and an attractive taut upper grille.

For the 2016 model year, the Corolla received an S Special Edition variation, an updated Entune sound system, and a variety of cosmetic improvements.

The Corolla is available in four trims- L, LE, LE Eco, and S.  All models are equipped with a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower and 128 ft-lb of torque. A Plus and Premium package are available on LE and S models, an Eco package is available on the LE trim, and all of the trims, except for the L trim are accessible in both Plus and Premium sub-trims.

Standard features on the base L model include 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, air-conditioning, running lights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack, and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, metallic cabin accents, automatic climate control, back-up camera, voice controls a 6-speaker sound system with a 6-inch touchscreen display, and Bluetooth audio connectivity.

The LE Plus Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, piano black interior accents and eligibility for both an optional sunroof and the Driver Convenience package, which includes the sunroof and adds keyless entry and ignition, a roof-mounted antenna, Entune App Suite, satellite radio, HD radio, and a navigation system.  Available and optional features include heated front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, and a power driver seat.

The LE Eco Trim includes all standard features but adds 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler, transmission tuning, low-rolling-resistance tires, an efficiency-maximizing engine, and better aerodynamics. The LE Eco Plus adds 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome window trim, fog lights, and an Eco driving mode.

The sporty S trim offers all of the features that the LE trim has, but adds special wheel covers, a chrome grille frame, color-keyed mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, a chrome exhaust tip, sport instrumentation, a rear spoiler, sport front seats, trip computer, and a sport driving mode.

The S Plus adds firmer suspension tuning, 17-inch alloy wheels, and rear disc brakes.  A Driver Convenience package and sunroof are options available for the S Plus trim.

A limited-production S Special Edition, marks the Corolla’s 50th anniversary and comes equipped with the standard gear of the S Plus, but adds keyless entry and ignition, 17-inch alloy wheels with a special gloss black finish, all-black interior with red contrast stitching, red accents on the instrument panel, and Special Edition badges. Although, the S Plus has a sporty design, it is not available with a manual transmission.

Standard safety features include- stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a driver knee airbag, front side airbags, a passenger seat cushion airbag, and side curtain airbags. All trims except the base L include a rearview camera.

After undergoing a complete overhaul in 2014, the exterior and interior is more refined, with a better style, an easy to use touch screen display, and a stylish dashboard.  In the upper trim levels, the 6.1-inch touch screen and bolstered seats give the sedan a more upscale appearance.  There is ample room to accommodate taller passengers in the front and rear cabin and the seats feel comfortable and supportive. Trunk space measures approximately 13 cubic feet, which is average for its class.

On the road, the Corolla offers a quiet, comfortable ride- similar to the Camry, handles very well on the highway, and road noise is very minimal. The 4-speed automatic yields an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway and the LE Eco yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

Even though the Corolla may not appear particularly exciting upon first glance, the vehicle has a lot to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and with an MSRP of only about $18,000, it represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a sedan that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

To find out more about the 2016 Toyota Corolla, please visit- www.Toyota.com

2016 Toyota Yaris 5-Door LE Limited Hatchback Review

It is the most affordable subcompact and fuel efficient vehicle in the Toyota lineup, but the Yaris offers a lot more than just basic transportation these days after undergoing some new upgrades in 2014 with new distinctive front and rear styling, better soft touch materials on the dashboard, and improved interior tech features, including a 6.1 inch touchscreen infotainment interface on every trim level, voice recognition, music streaming, six speakers, HD radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, and an optional navigation system.

Available as either a sedan or hatchback, the Yaris offers a lot of choices and some upscale features that were formerly only reserved for cars that are bigger and more costly. Standard features include power locks and mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning.

There are three trims- L, LE, and the SE trim which is only offered for the 5-door model.

Standard features for the L trim include- a trip computer, air-conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels, power door locks and windows, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, a USB/iPod interface, a 6-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and a CD player.

The LE adds keyless entry, power side mirrors, cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome interior door handles, metallic interior accents, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The top-of-the-line SE trim comes fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, unique exterior styling elements, better cloth upholstery, a sport-tuned suspension, sportier tires, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, and 4-wheel disc brakes.

The Yaris comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb. ft. of torque and is available with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3-door L and 5-door SE trims come equipped with a standard manual transmission, but an automatic is optional and all 5-door L hatchback and LE trims come equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Yaris is very fuel efficient, yielding an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the manual and an estimated 30 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway for the automatic transmission.

The Yaris has an appealing style and lightweight design, making the vehicle extremely nimble on the road, however it does not feel as smooth driving or spacious as the Corolla does.

Even though the Yaris has more competition in its segment, it is still one of the most reliable subcompact vehicles and a top choice for every day driving with a 4-speed automatic transmission, composed ride quality, steady handling, comfortable seats, and bigger cargo space in the hatchback model.

Standard safety features include- front seat side airbags, anti-lock brakes, a driver knee airbag, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seat cushion airbags.

Interior features are very nice with easy to use controls and the seats in the front and rear cabin feel firm, supportive, and there is enough head/legroom for taller passengers. The front seats are mounted a bit high for my preference, but do help give better visibility of the road. The dashboard area has greatly improved since 2011, but there are still many hard plastic elements.

On the road, the Yaris performs very well, but does not accelerate or pick-up as quickly as the Corolla does and feels a little underpowered at times. The Yaris feels steady when navigating curvy roads and delivers a reasonably smooth ride when driven at normal speeds.

Overall, the Yaris is sporty, cute, fun to drive, and is a practical car for every day commuting.   It will definitely save you a lot of time and money at the gas pump.

In a time when gas prices have reached record levels, more and more people are looking for vehicles that are fuel efficient and affordable.  For these reasons, the 2016 Toyota Yaris is the perfect choice.  With a modern, appealing, attractive design, and an excellent fuel economy, the Yaris has quickly become one of the most popular and practical cars for commuters today.

The Yaris is competitively priced with a starting MSRP of only $14,895, which makes it one of the most affordable subcompact vehicles in its class.

Whether young or old, if you are looking for an inexpensive, reliable, and affordable car to drive, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2016 Toyota Yaris.

2016 Toyota Avalon 4-Door Sedan (Review)

The 2016 Toyota Avalon is a full-sized premium sedan that is comfortable, practical sedan, and luxurious offering a smooth ride even on some of the bumpiest surfaces. The Avalon does not display the luxury label that Toyota’s Lexus division offers, but it is just as luxurious as a Lexus ES350 in upscale and plush interior, advanced technology, exterior design, and powerful on the road performance, but is available for a much lower price.

New for 2016 is an XLE Plus trim, all Touring models now feature a sport-tuned suspension, and the Touring Sport trim has been removed from the lineup.

The Avalon is available with either a gas-powered or hybrid engine. The base gas engine is a stout 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 268 horsepower, 248 lb. ft. of torque, and is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which yields 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The hybrid 4 cylinder engine combines a 2.5-liter engine with an electric motor that produces 156 horsepower, is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) V-6, and a yields 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

The Avalon comes in four trims- XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Plus, XLE Touring, and Limited. Both the hybrid and gasoline models are available in Touring, Premium, and Limited trims, but the base-level Avalon XLE is exclusively limited to the gas-powered model.

Standard features for the base Avalon XLE trim include leather upholstery, automatic headlights, power front seats, iPod connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a 6.1-inch center-mounted touchscreen. The XLE Premium trim adds a built-in garage door opener, improved keyless entry functionality, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power sunroof. The XLE Touring adds fog lights, larger wheels, an upgraded sound system, a navigation system that includes satellite radio, and Toyota’s impressive Entune app-integration system.

The Avalon has been facing some major competition from other full-sized vehicles in its segment and has responded to the challenges by making the Avalon more visually appealing, bolstering the vehicle’s powertrain, improving handling, and adding a full amount of high-tech safety features. Toyota has recently given the Avalon a distinctive look that is different from the Camry and Lexus models with flared-out rear fenders and an attractive roofline that make it really stand out.

Interior features are quite impressive too with a modern instrument-panel with flat, touch-based dashboard buttons/switches that eliminate physical knobs and buttons. The front and rear cabin areas are very spacious with upscale elements throughout and the seats are comfortable, ergonomic, and supportive. The Avalon feels luxurious, with high quality materials, elegant details on the dashboard/console areas and the rear seats are contoured and have elongated lower cushions that provide great thigh support. Rear seats do not fold down, but trunk space is generous measuring 16 cubic feet to accommodate mid-large sized cargo with ease.

On the road, the Avalon feels poised and sophisticated, not sporty, however; when navigating around tight corners it handles much like a sports car in a capable and disciplined manner.

Safety features include- a backup camera system, anti-lock brakes, security system stability control, knee bags, front impact airbags, overhead airbags, and pretensioners. A Blind Spot Monitor is now standard on the XLE Touring and Hybrid XLE Touring models.

Overall, the 2016 Toyota Avalon is one of the most luxurious full-size sedans available today and with a starting MSRP of only $32,650, it is a great choice for anyone wanting a luxury car without the high price tag.  The 3.5-liter V6 gas powered engine is smooth, powerful, and delivers an enjoyable driving experience that is like no other in its class.

If you have been looking for a stylish full-sized sedan that has a lot to offer, then I highly recommend checking out the new 2016 Toyota Avalon today by going to- www.Toyota.com/Avalon

2017 Audi Q7 3.0T Quattro tiptronic SUV (Review)

The 2017 Audi Q7 is definitely a new and sprightlier SUV in practically every way, with a slimmer body, improved technological features, better engine options, and is about 700 lbs. lighter than the 2015 model, increasing fuel efficiency.

After being completely redesigned for 2017, the Q7 also features revised styling, a more spacious interior, a prominent angular grille, and a more wagon-like exterior. Some of the changes seem subtle at first glance, but upon closer evaluation, the new changes can be both seen and felt.

2017 Audi Q7 3.0T Front View SUV

Although, the Q7 is the largest crossover SUV in the Audi lineup, it is very easy to drive. In fact, it feels just as nimble as a mid-size sedan when making sharp turns and on winding roads, but what really makes the Q7 stand out, is its amazing ability to almost drive itself by recognizing speed limit signs and making adjustments, continuing speed and distance from other vehicles in front of it, consistently staying within its lane, and spontaneously slowing down before turning by utilizing huge amounts of data from cameras and sensors on the SUV.

The Audi Q7 is a luxury 7-passenger, three-row full-size SUV and comes available in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.  All Q7’s feature a powerful 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower, 325 lb. ft. of torque, an 8-speed automatic transmission, can tow up to 7,700 lbs., and yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which is average for this segment.

The Premium trim includes- a panoramic sunroof, three-zone automatic climate control, roof rails, 19-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, xenon headlights, 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, LED running lights and taillights, automatic wipers, a power lift gate, 35/30/35-split second-row folding seats, automatic brakes, front and rear parking sensors, selectable drive modes, driver memory settings, 50/50-split power folding third-row seats, HD and satellite radio, heated 8-way power front seats with driver four-way power lumbar controls, Bluetooth and audio connectivity, two USB ports, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, Audi’s MMI infotainment system, frontal collision warnings with pedestrian recognition, a rearview camera, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 7-inch color driver information display, and power-folding heated mirrors. A 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, a handwriting recognition controller pad, and navigation system are optional.

The Premium Plus includes all of the aforementioned features, but adds interior ambient lighting, auto-dimming side mirrors, a navigation system, keyless entry and ignition with hands-free tailgate access, and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

A Vision package which offers a surround-view camera system LED headlights, and a configurable gauge-cluster display is optional as well as a Cold Weather package that adds manual rear window sunshades, heated steering wheel, a four-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, a tow hitch, a rear-seat entertainment system and ventilated 12-way power front seats.

The Prestige trim adds a 19-speaker Bose surround sound system, 20-inch wheels, extra interior lighting, side exit warnings, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and a large high-resolution 8.3-inch display.

A Driver Assistance package is available for both the Prestige and Premium Plus trims and adds automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and lane-departure intervention.

Options exclusively for the Prestige trim include a special Luxury package which adds power door closers, upgraded leather upholstery, 18-way power front seats with massage functions, and a faux-suede headliner as well as an Adaptive Chassis package which adds a night vision camera, a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System, all-wheel steering, and adaptive air suspension.

All 2017 Q7 models come equipped with standard safety features, such as a rearview camera, frontal collision warning, stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, front and rear parking sensors, full-length side curtain airbags, automatic braking, and the intuitive Audi Pre-Sense system that senses if the driver is trying to avoid an accident and automatically tightens the seatbelts, prepares the brakes, and closes the sunroof and windows. Audi Connect services, which include emergency assistance, speed and valet alerts, automatic crash notification, and remote door locking are optional.

The interior of the Q7 is quite impressive with high quality materials throughout the cabin with ambient lighting that enhance the vehicle’s luxury appearance. There are many functions on the dashboard and middle console areas, but I found that they are easy to operate by using the MMI controller, steering wheel controls, and a touchpad with handwriting recognition.

The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and have an ergonomic feel. In the second row, there is plenty of head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats recline, slide, and can fold down for easy access to the third row. Similar to the majority of other SUV’s in this segment, the third row seats are best for children and shorter adults and can fold down flat with the push of a button.

Cargo space is average in its class, measuring 14.8 cubic feet when the seats are up, 37.5 cubic feet when the third row is folded down, and a good 71.6 cubic feet when both the second and third rows are flat.

On the road, the 2017 Audi Q7 is amazingly nimble and maneuvers very well in difficult driving conditions and actually drives like a smaller crossover vehicle, such as the Audi Q3. Acceleration is quick due to the powerful V6 engine and the interior cabin is remarkably quiet even at highway speeds.

What I think is most impressive about the Q7 is its ability to do much of the driving in heavy traffic and on long stretches of highway by using a combination of new technologies, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, navigation information, and forward-looking cameras.

The 2017 Audi Q7 has a starting MSRP of $54,811 for the base model with special features that can be added with various packages.  The Q7 is the perfect blend of performance, luxury, advanced technology, and in my opinion, is one of the best SUV’s Audi has to offer.

To find out more about the new 2017 Audi Q7, please visit- www.audiusa.com




1480530575757Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

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