2016 Toyota Prius Hybrid 4-Door Hatchback (Review)

Without a doubt, the Prius is the most popular and distinctive hybrid vehicle that Toyota has ever produced and is a true pioneer in hybrid technology. Since the Prius was introduced in the early nineties, other hybrid vehicles have entered the automotive scene in more recent years, but none other has been able to surpass the popularity of the Prius. With a unique style, smooth handling, and excellent fuel economy with the new Prius Eco yielding an amazing 56 MPG combined, it is easy to see why it is still the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle.

The 2016 Prius has been completely redesigned with a lower, ergonomic, and supportive driver seat, increased front cabin leg and headroom, 14 percent more cargo/trunk space, improved handling, and a sleek, new exterior design.

The four-door hatchback seats up to five passengers and is available in six trim levels- Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring. Also available are the compact Prius C and larger Prius V models.

Standard features include- height adjustable driver and passenger cloth seats, split-folding rear seatback, storage center armrest, hands-free entry, 4 one-touch power windows, clock, trip computer, external temperature display, cruise control, front and rear cupholders, front door pockets, overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, electric power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, sound and cruise controls on steering wheel, rear view camera, interior air filtration, climate control, simulated alloy steering wheel, dual illuminating vanity mirrors, 6 speakers, AM/FM stereo, auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control, radio data system, USB connection, Telematics, and Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone connectivity.

The Prius Two trim features- automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, cruise control, LED running lights and taillights, automatic climate control, dual 4.2-inch driver information screens, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 6.1-inch touch screen display, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice recognition with Siri Eyes, CD player, a 6-speaker sound system, an auxiliary audio jack, and a USB port.

The more efficient Prius Two Eco comes equipped with two-tone wheel covers, illuminated keyless entry on three doors, a more lightweight lithium-ion hybrid battery, ultralow-rolling-resistance tires, and an inflation kit instead of a spare tire. A rear wiper that is standard on the other trims is not included on the Two Eco.

Standard features for the Prius Three trim include- a navigation system, leatherette steering wheel and armrest trim, white interior accents, a wireless phone charging pad, satellite radio, HD radio, Toyota’s Entune premium infotainment system with a bigger 7-inch touch screen display, real-time traffic, weather, and fuel price information, as well as easy access to apps such as- Yelp, iHeartRadio, OpenTable, and Pandora.

The Prius Four comes fitted with a power driver seat with adjustable lumbar, leatherette upholstery with contrasting white stitching, a rear cargo cover, automatic wipers, blind spot monitoring, seatback storage pockets, rear cross-traffic alert, and heated front seats.

Standard equipment for the Three Touring and Four Touring trims include all of the aforementioned features that the Prius Three and Four models have, but add LED clearance lights, fog lights, a pre-collision warning system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, leatherette upholstery with contrasting blue seat stitching, automatic high beams, 17-inch alloy wheels, and unique rear bumper detailing.

An Advanced Technology Package that includes a head-up display, sunroof, and the Toyota Safety Sense System is available and the Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trims can be equipped with a Premium Convenience Package, which adds a self-parking system, a premium JBL 10-speaker sound system, and Safety Connect emergency services.

The interior of the Prius is simple, yet very modern with controls with easy to use controls. Road noise is minimal and both the front and rear cabin are spacious with enough head/legroom for taller passengers. Even though there are a lot of hard plastics throughout the front cabin, the layout looks clean and uncluttered. I found that all of the controls were easy to reach and operate while driving and the interior was surprisingly roomier than it appears from the exterior. Trunk space is quite accommodating and can be expanded with the split folding rear seats to haul larger items.

The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter hybrid engine with a mixed production of 121 horsepower that is connected to a (CVT) continuously variable transmission. A plug-in version is also available, however; due to its heftier batteries, it can reach 62 MPH solely on electric power. Other trims are available, such as the bigger Prius V Wagon and the smaller and less expensive Prius C hatchback.

The 2016 Toyota Prius has a high safety rating and is one of the safest hybrid vehicles available. It comes equipped with 4-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, auto delay off headlamps, 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, rear center 3-point belt, stability control, traction control, rear folding headrests, tire pressure monitoring, first aid kit, an Emergency Assistance Kit, and a security system with impact sensor.

On the road, the Prius has great driving dynamics and has a stable, yet lightweight feel. A Plus Performance package is available, which improves the driving experience, adding a rear sway bar, lowering springs, and 17-inch wheels.

The 2016 Prius is the perfect choice for consumers desiring a vehicle that can be driven all day in both the city and on the highway delivering optimal fuel economy and a fast charging rate.  The Prius is also very affordable with a starting MSRP of only $24,200.

If you have been looking for a hybrid vehicle that is fun to drive, comfortable, spacious, and affordable with excellent fuel economy, then I highly recommend looking at the 2016 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback.

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

 

 

 

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

2016 Toyota Camry 4-Door Sedan (Review)

The Toyota Camry is a five-passenger midsize sedan that has undergone a complete redesign in the previous model year with new exterior styling, noise insulation, better driving dynamics and interior details, improved handling, more equipment, better materials, and a more contemporary appearance making it a top competitor in its class.

Even though the changes seem subtle at first glance, every element of the new Camry has been restyled, except for the roof. The grille is more prominent, larger, and the exterior has a more refined appearance with stylish LED front running lamps, the door panels are enclosed in a padded leather-like material, the tail lights have an elongated look to them that is similar to some luxury sedans, and side mirrors have been redesigned to improve airflow. The dashboard and center console now have an upscale appearance with larger buttons and knobs with every trim level coming fitted with an attractive Entune touch screen.

There have also been major changes implemented in 2015 to improve the Camry’s responsiveness by introducing a retuned brake-booster system and better electric power steering, which improves handling.

For 2016, Toyota has introduced a new Special Edition trim that is based on the sporty Camry SE. The new 4-cylinder Special Edition comes equipped with a sport tuned suspension, sunroof, stylish 18-inch wheels, keyless entry/ignition, vibrant blue interior trim accents, smoked taillights, and a sportier gauge cluster.

The 2016 Camry comes in four main trims: L, SE, XLE, and XSE with the newest trim to the group being the sporty Special Edition. Every Camry comes standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 178 of horsepower, 170 lb-ft. of torque, front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the XSE and XLE trims can be fitted with a more powerful 3.5-liter, V6 engine that produces 268 of horsepower, 248 lb-ft of torque, front-wheel drive, and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The base LE trim comes standard with automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, heated mirrors, keyless entry, a backup camera, a 6.1-inch Entune touch screen electronics interface, 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, voice controls, a 60/40-split folding rear seats, an 8-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar adjustment, Siri Eyes Free, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player.

The SE adds sport fabric and simulated leather upholstery, advanced gauges, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, unique exterior styling and interior trim elements, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. An Entune Plus Package is available for the LE and SE trims and includes Satellite radio, HD radio, and an upgraded 7 inch touch screen display. A sunroof is optional.

The XSE adds dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather and simulated suede upholstery, sport tuned suspension, LED running lights, heated front seats, satellite radio and HD radio, and a 4-way power passenger seat. A Convenience package for the SE and XSE models and adds keyless ignition/entry and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

The XLE is very similar to the XSE trim, except that it has full leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels and a more comfortable suspension. Also, the XLE trim has a wireless charging area for smart phones and a smart key push button start.

Safety features for all trims include- front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags, antilock disc brakes, a Pre-Collision System with Auto High Beams, stability and traction control, and a rearview camera. A Blind Spot Monitor and Warning System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available on the XLE and XSE trims. Adaptive Cruise Control is optional.

The Advanced Technology package adds a pre-collision system that uses the adaptive cruise control sensors and a lane-departure warning system. Optional only on the XLE trim is Safety Connect, which adds automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator, and an emergency assist button.

From testing, I have found that the 2016 Toyota Camry is a fun to drive, engaging sedan with a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine that provides adequate acceleration and smooth on the road performance. The automatic ECT-I transmission is incredibly responsive and the Eco mode helps to increase fuel efficiency. The XLE trim goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds and yields an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

The 2016 Toyota Camry has a very comfortable and spacious interior and provides enough head and leg room in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers. The seats are supportive and plush with an ergonomic feel. Audio and climate controls on the center stack are big and are easy to reach, while the larger 7-inch Entune touchscreen interface with audio and navigation is intuitive and user friendly. Trunk space is ample measuring approximately 15.4 cubic feet with plenty of room to haul a variety of mid to large sized items with ease.

On the road, the Camry is a strong performer with responsive handling and has a composed, planted demeanor on busy highways, and when making sharp turns and travelling on curvy roads.

If you have been looking for a modern family sedan with comfortable interior, strong on the road performance, advanced technology, sleek exterior styling, and many features that are usually only available in more expensive luxury vehicles, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2015 Toyota Camry XLE 4-Door Sedan.  The Camry has a starting MSRP of $23,070 and in my opinion; it is well worth the price.

To find out more about the 2016 Toyota Camry, please visit- http://www.toyota.com/camry/

 

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

2016 Toyota Tacoma SR5 Midsize 4×4 Truck (Review)

The Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size truck that is smaller than the full-size Toyota Tundra and has better maneuverability and ease of entry than its bigger sibling. Since its introduction in 1995, it has been one of the most popular mid-size pickup trucks in the world and is a great alternative to more expensive and bigger full-size models.

For 2016, the Tacoma has received some great updates, has been redesigned, and is now better than ever before with a more fuel efficient and quieter V-6 engine, more insulated cabin, an updated infotainment system, 6-speed automatic transmission, and 42 more horsepower.

The Tacoma is available in five trims- SR, SR5, TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Sport, and comes fitted with a 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine (SR and SR5 trims) that produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb. ft. of torque or a more powerful 3.5 liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower and 265 lb. ft. of torque. The 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine yields an estimated 19 mpg in the city/23 mpg on the highway for the 4×2 automatic, 19 mpg in the city/21 mpg on the highway for the 4×4 with manual transmission and 19 mpg in the city/22 mpg on the highway for the 4×4 automatic.  Both four-wheel-drive (FWD) and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configurations are available and every 4×2 Tacoma comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the 4×4 trucks can be equipped with an automatic or a choice of two manual transmissions- 6-speed for the V6 or a 5-speed for the 4-cylinder engine. All 4-cylinder models can tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs., while V6 models can tow between 6,400-6,800 lbs, which is impressive.

Standard features for the base SR trim include- a rearview camera, 16-inch steel wheels, a sliding rear window, a cargo bed rail system with fixed and adjustable tie-downs, power windows/door locks/mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, air-conditioning, a GoPro windshield mount, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes, a 6.1-inch touch screen display, a 6-speaker sound system, CD player, auxiliary audio jack, voice controls, and USB port. An SR Convenience package is optional and adds cruise control, 16-inch black alloy wheels, and remote keyless entry.

The SR5 model is the one I tested in the Barcelona Red color and it comes equipped with all of the aforementioned standard features and adds the SR Convenience package features as well as chrome exterior accents, fog lights, , a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio/phone controls, variable intermittent wipers, a better trip computer, satellite radio, and rear privacy glass. An SR5 Appearance package adds body-color over-fenders, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (V6 models), and 16-inch silver alloy wheels. Additional features such as HD radio, rear parking sensors, and an upgraded infotainment system that includes an intuitive navigation system, Entune App Suite, and a larger 7-inch touch screen display.

The TRD Sport trim adds LED daytime running lights, unique exterior trim detailing, keyless entry and ignition, 120-volt power outlet, 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned shock absorbers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a wireless phone charger, an infotainment bundle, a leather-trimmed shift lever, and better upholstery. A Premium and Technology package is available for the TRD Sport and adds dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, sunroof, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and heated front seats.  The TRD Off-Road trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers, electronic locking rear differential, the Crawl Control System, which assists with low speed off the road activities.

The top of the line Limited trim is only available as a double cab and adds leather upholstery, a JBL sound system, unique exterior and interior trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, and premium technology features.

Safety features for the Tacoma include- driver and passenger knee airbags, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front headrests, brake assist, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. A blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on the Limited model and optional on the TRD models.

The interior of the Tacoma SR5 is very nice with a contemporary styled dashboard and console area. Because it is a truck, the interior’s materials are more rugged and durable rather than luxurious. The controls/knobs are easy to reach, are user friendly, and the touch screen is responsive. There is ample head/legroom in the front cabin for taller passengers and the seats are firm, comfortable, and supportive. In the rear, there is less space and is better suited for children and smaller adults, yet there is adequate legroom in the back and the seats fold down for additional room and there is a storage compartment under the seats.

On the road, the 2016 Tacoma SR5 is a strong performer with a firm and planted feel. Steering is excellent, braking is firm, and the Tacoma handles a variety of terrains very well, however, from testing the SR5, it can get a little bouncy on bumpier surfaces.

If you are looking for a mid-size pickup truck that is stylish with spacious interior, large cargo capacity, advanced technology, and great off the road and towing capability, then the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma is a great choice.

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

2016 Lexus ES 350 Review

2016-lexus-es-350

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)

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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

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