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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

There is a new Toyota Corolla. It is better than you think.

Since 1966, Toyota’s compact car laid the foundation for the brand’s success in the USA. In its twelfth edition, the Corolla arrived as a sporty new hatchback first with the sedan coming later this year. The new hatchback serves as an entry into what the new Corolla has to offer its owners.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

We had a nice run in the new Corolla Hatchback – the SE model. Here is what we think of it.

The design is sharper, influenced by recent designs on a few Toyota models so far. It is safe to say that it is one of the best-looking Corollas of all time. The bold front end utilizing a large mesh lower grille and “boomerang” headlamps with a combination of projector beams and LED driving lights. The body flows from there with a series of curved shapes throughout the body ending with a bubbly rear end.

One drawback on this hatchback version is that the rear doors are a bit shorter than usual. We wondered about that but realize that the hatchback for a different kind of Corolla buyer than the sedan. In all, it is a very sporty Corolla, something we have not seen in decades.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

In all, the Corolla Hatchback’s interior is pretty good. The front seats are bolstered with plenty of support to lock you in. The cloth upholstery is durable and wears well. Our SE tester came with manual adjustments for height, rake, and recline. However, rear seat room is tight for taller people, but you can fit four average sized adults inside easily. The hatch area seems a bit small, with a slight lip for loading items over the bumper.

Behind the wheel, the instrument binnacle offers a big center analog dial, a tachometer to the left, and an excellent TFT screen to the right giving you loads of information. The steering wheel had a thick rim for better grip for enthusiasts. We love the positioning of the gear lever and center stack controls, including climate controls. Overall interior quality is much better than before.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The center stack is crowned by a large tablet-like infotainment system. Powered by Toyota’s Entune 3.0 infotainment structure, you can use Apple CarPlay through the system. This is something that is evolving in newer Toyota models.

Underneath the Corolla Hatchback’s hood is a new 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts and 16-valves. This new engine offers up 168 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. It is very responsive and works well with the Hatchback. You can get either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission on all hatchback models. In particular, the CVT works extremely well with this engine. The Corolla Hatchback turned in a fuel consumption average of 35.3 MPG.

The ride/handling mix is great, as rougher roads were absorbed well for a good ride while managing the curves with ease. The steering serves up a tight turning circle through a light feeling system. On-center feel is very good, and it is quite responsive. The brakes are very solid with good pedal feel. The Corolla exhibited good stops in normal and panic situations.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

One good thing to note on the Corolla Hatchback is the standard availability of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety features. There is adaptive cruise control on all models, which works very well and will make traffic management much easier.

Pricing for the Corolla Hatchback starts at $19,995 for a manual transmission SE model. Our SE tester with the CVT was stickered at $23,639. You can also get the hatchback in the upgraded XSE model, starting at $22,990.

The Corolla Hatchback matches up well with its rivals. Consider one If you are looking at the Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda3 5-door, Subaru Impreza 5-door, Honda Civic hatchback, and the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback.

Later this year, the new generation Corolla sedan will join the hatchback on the new platform. If you can’t wait for the new sedan, you can get the hatchback right now. It brings out a fun side that has not been seen in a Corolla in decades. And, most of all, it is better than you think.

Story Credits: Carsoup Editors

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2019 Ram 1500

2019 Ram 1500

What is the best pickup truck around?

If you have been around pickup trucks lately, you will find how many new 2019 Ram 1500s are driving around. Towards the end of 2018, the new full-sized pickup truck by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was outselling the equally new Chevrolet Silverado by a wide margin,

Why is the new Ram 1500 a hot pickup truck? We had a chance to sample a few of these new pickups in the course of a few months to find out.

The new Ram half-ton pickup truck was engineered for excellence. The first thing they did was to mix component materials on the cab and box, while maintaining a strong rolled-steel frame underneath. This resulted in a claimed weight loss of 225 pounds compared to the previous Ram 1500.

2019 Ram 1500

Starting with the exterior, which has been changed towards creating a new brand look. While the “big rig” front is still there, the grille and headlamp areas were slimmed down for a sleeker look up front. The Ram Box storage units built on the outside box wall appear to be bigger and more useful than before. n all, it is both handsome and distinctive, especially when put next to the Ford F-150 and the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.

Ram has also stepped up in quality and design of their award-winning cabin. The first item you will notice is the center stack and the available 12-inch UConnect Touch screen. The new touchscreen eliminates key controls that usually are placed underneath it, which may confuse plenty of consumers used to tangible climate and audio controls. We also found it to be a bit slower in operation and a bit sparse on some displays. On most models, you can still get the smaller 8.4-inch UConnect screen.

2019 Ram 1500

All of our samples were Crew Cabs. It offers a large space with extraordinary rear seat room. All of the seats are very comfortable. They are truly made for work, play, and long drives for either/or. All trims have high levels of quality materials and build inside, along with a superior design for the driver.

Of the Ram 1500s we drove, we found the Big Horn’s cabin to have the best value with its durable cloth interior and comfortable seats. The Rebel version offers more support up front with its sporty cloth combination. We found the leather seating in the Laramie trim to be as comfortable as the others, while offering a tasteful atmosphere. At the top of the heap is the Limited trim, which we felt was the finest of the Ram 1500s we drove. It is not just the leather, but the details that will attract those looking to drive the ultimate luxury pickup truck around.

There are three engine choice available for the new Ram 1500. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 now has the new eTorque mild hybrid system as standard. It increases the amount of torque from the standard engine for more towing capacity and low-end grunt, It also comes with an expanded 48-volt electrical system. The same eTorque system is available on the 5.7-liter HEMI V8.

2019 Ram 1500

However, all of the Ram 1500s we drove came with the available 5.7-liter HEMI V8 without the eTorque system. With 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, this V8 can haul. The payload rating for all four testers was 1,770 pounds, with a maximum towing rating of 11,700 pounds. This engine comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission controlled by a rotary eShift knob on the dashboard by the lower center stack with a four-wheel-drive system that features an automatic mode.

In terms of fuel economy, we averaged overall around 15.4 MPG for the HEMI V8 Ram 1500 with four-wheel-drive.

Ride quality has always been good on the Ram 1500. It is the only pickup truck equipped with independent suspension at all four corners. Our Limited and Laramie testers came with the available air suspension, which enables the Ram 1500 to lower the truck automatically at highway speeds for more efficiency. With the normal set-up, it still rides well without a lot of feedback from the road.

2019 Ram 1500

Our Rebel tester added an E-Locker electronic locking rear differential, 18-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, skid plates, Hill Descent Control, and heavier duty shocks. It is set up just right for the off-road enthusiast.

Overall, the Ram 1500 handles and corners quite well – near-flat through the corners at proper speeds. It helps to have a good steering system and brakes on board, too.

Starting price for the 2019 Ram 1500 lineup is $31,695. Our testers ranged from the $51,710 Big Horn to the $68,785 Limited.

2019 Ram 1500

There is a reason why the new 2019 Ram 1500 has been picking up new customers. It is not because that it does something better than the Ford F-150, the new Chevrolet Silverado, the Toyota Tundra, and the Nissan Titan. Overall, it is a really good pickup truck. No matter which trim you choose, you can’t go wrong with a new Ram 1500.

Story Credits: Carsoup Editors

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

When crossovers and SUVs are attracting more buyers across every brand sold in this country, there will be a sedan that will buck the trend.

Case in point: The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. At the end of 2018, the Jetta returned as the brand’s best-selling vehicle after a year competing for attention alongside the newest Volkswagen models – the Tiguan and the Atlas.

The reason for its recent success is that the Jetta is much better than ever before. We had the chance to drive two different Jetta models: The sporty R-Line and the luxurious SEL Premium. Both examples show how well executed the new Jetta turned out.

It starts with a sharper design that is longer than the previous Jetta. The sleek look has a bit of Audi influence in it, which gives the Jetta a more upmarket feel, even in its lowest trim level. The new grille is larger, indicating a new brand identity for Volkswagen to be found ion future models. We also like the rakish roofline and creases that shape the new Jetta all around.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

The biggest reason for this upgrade is that the Jetta is now built off of the MQB platform – the most versatile architecture in Volkswagen history. The MQB platform serves as the basis for all current Golf, Tiguan, and Atlas models. The advantage of the MQB platform is solidity and structural rigidity. It is a great platform to build a popular car on.

The sleeker exterior is just the beginning. Once you step inside the cabin, you will find a vast improvement upon the last generation Jetta. The materials have been upgraded, including soft touch areas above the interior’s belt line. Our SEL Premium tester came with the Digital Cockpit, a fully customizable TFT screen that encompasses more than just the instrumentation. Similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, you can bring in the navigation screen to full resolution, while you get key readouts in digits instead of dials.

In contrast, our R-Line tester came with analog dials and a digital TFT in-between them. Either way, you are always informed of how your Jetta is doing. In both models, controls and switches are easy to work and to the touch – just like a lot of modern Volkswagen models. Our two testers were equipped with the Car-Net-backed touchscreen infotainment system that has smartphone integration.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Seating for four is achieved in a cabin that was increased over the last generation. The front seats offer plenty of support for most bodies. The SEL Premium had power adjustments for rake, recline, and lumbar support for the driver. Rear seat room may be a bit of a challenge for those of us with tall torsos, as the head will brush against the roof where the sunroof folds into. Four average-sized adults will have no problem enjoying the ride inside the Jetta.

Trunk space is very generous, with 14.1 cubic feet to stuff everything inside of it. There is a bit of a higher lip for roller luggage to manage, but space itself goes deep. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split for longer loads.

Currently, the Jetta is powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged TSI four-cylinder engine. It offers 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, which brings the power right off the bat with nominal turbo lag. The base S model get a six-speed manual transmission, while the new eight-speed automatic is standard across the rest of the range. Fuel economy is superb, as we saw a high average of 37.5 MPG between the two testers.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

In both versions of the Jetta, we found a superb balance between ride and handling. The Jetta offers solid ride quality, while managing the road with its superb reflexes and sharper cornering. The brakes are superb with excellent pedal feedback and feel. Normal and panic stops were also good. The steering system offers a solid turning radius with great wheel feedback. The steering wheel is the right size, which is great because of the system’s solid on-center feel.

Standard on these two testers were some key driver assistance features. These features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, and forward collision warning with autonomous braking assist. The SEL Premium tester added adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and high beam control among other enhancements.

The 2019 Jetta is also a great value in its class. Starting price for the S model with manual transmission is $18,745. Our R-Line tester came with a sticker price of $24,140, while the SEL Premium tester was priced at $27,795.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

The compact sedan field is still a strong one, but the Jetta matches well and even exceeds those of its key rivals, namely the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and the new Kia Forte.

In all, the new 2019 Jetta has jumped to the top of the compact sedan class. Its sharp styling, improved interior, superb fuel economy and driving manners will absolutely win you over.

Story Credits: Carsoup Editors

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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

A few years ago, Hyundai announced that they wanted to get serious with their SUV lineup. They recognize that these essential vehicles are ruling the market, outselling their sedan counterparts. So, Hyundai went all-in…and doubled down.

After the successful launch of the new Tucson and Kona, Hyundai released an all-new 2019 Santa Fe. We had a chance to drive the Ultimate version with all-wheel-drive to see whether the new Santa Fe has made the grade.

It is a very handsome vehicle. The silhouette alone is welcoming – and right-sized. It is not too big or small. It is simply just right. That also includes the wide-opening doors and excellent cargo access. Consumers will love the sculpting of the sharp creases found across the new Santa Fe.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

The large grille up front is flanked by a set of “lower” headlamp units, upper LED driving lamps/turn signals, and fog lamps on the lower edge of the fascia. The chrome details on our Ultimate tester, as well as the 19-inch alloy wheels, make the Santa Fe pop out some more.

Inside the Santa Fe is a welcoming space for drivers and passengers. The instrument binnacle is flanked by two analog sets of gauges – the tachometer on the left, the fuel and temperature gauges on the right. In the middle is a TFT screen that includes the speedometer and other information screens. In all, it is a great set-up with a step forward for Hyundai models to come. You do have a series of switches and controls that are of high quality – just as you expect from a Hyundai. That includes the climate controls which offer both heated and cooled seats, along with a heated steering wheel.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

We found the front seats to be comfortable and supportive. They are perfect for all sorts of tasks from the grocery run to a vacation far, far away. I just love the adjustments to fine tune your driving position and how it responds to the rest of the vehicle – and your body. Rear seat room is excellent and can fit two adults and a child – or three children – with superb leg room and excellent door access. The cargo space is tremendous – 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seat up, expanding to 71.3 cubic feet with it down.

The tablet-like infotainment screen offer playback and information options are tremendous. Options include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, a vast array of pre-sets.
Powering the new Santa Fe are two engines. Most models get the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower, connected to a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Limited and Ultimate models have a choice to upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, also mated to the new 8-speed automatic transmission. All models can be equipped with Hyundai’s HTrac all-wheel drive system.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

The turbo is a perfect engine for the Santa Fe. It was very responsive off the line with absolutely no turbo lag. Lane changes and on-ramps are accomplished with ease. The transmission is smooth and quiet, while the all-wheel drive system provided necessary grip through snow and ice. It even turned 23.1 MPG in our care.

Ride quality is excellent. The suspension system does a great job absorbing road imperfections and uneven icy/snow surfaces. It takes corners quite well, without much lean or roll. In fact, the overall handling package feels more like a Sonata than a mid-sized, two-row SUV.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

The steering system offered a tight turning radius and solid response from the wheel. Braking is also good with great pedal feel and response. The Santa Fe offered solid stops in normal, panic, and winter situations. In all, the newest member of Hyundai’s SUV family is highly maneuverable and well-behaved.

Pricing for the Santa Fe lineup starts at $24,750 for an SE with front-wheel drive. Our Ultimate tester with the turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and a long list of standard features came to $39,905.

Hyundai’s Santa Fe is one of the leaders of an emerging new SUV segment – two-row models that fir in-between compact and mid-sized, three-row models. Its competitors include the Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Murano, and the upcoming Honda Passport. The new Santa Fe also matches up well with similarly-sized three-row models, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander and Dodge Journey.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

It seems that Hyundai is enjoying new success with its SUV lineup. The Santa Fe is now its shining star with its sharp design and excellent execution. If you are looking for a two-row SUV that offers space for growing teenagers and more cargo capacity – look no further than the Hyundai Santa Fe,.

Story Credits: Carsoup Editors

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2019 Toyota Tundra

2019 Toyota Tundra

With new full-sized pickup trucks coming into their respective showrooms, is there room for one that has been around for a long time that simply works.

The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2014. It may seem “old” by today’s standards, it is still one of the hardest working pickups out there. Our time in the 2019 4X4 Limited Double Cab model affirmed its hard-working credentials with flying colors.

The Double Cab is Toyota’s “extended cab” model, with all four doors opening the front hinges. Access to the rear seats is not as tight as other similar pickups, and the rake of the rear window gives a unique profile for the cab. With the Double Cab, you only get a six-and-a-half-foot bed – a foot longer than the Crew Max model. For either the Double Cab and the CrewMax, the wheelbase remains the same.

2019 Toyota Tundra

The Limited trim features a handsome upgraded chrome grille with some additional chrome trim all around. The TRD Off Road package adds sporty 18-inch wheels, along with other suspension and protection add-ons to induce maximum capability.

Inside is a tough leather upholstery with two bucket seats up front split by a wide console. The rear seat is a full bench that offers adequate leg room for average-sized adults. Instrumentation is straight forward with dials that are readable and large. Both main dials are flanked by a TFT screen providing key information to the driver. You also get all four gauges, including oil temperature and battery charge.

Every control is familiar with a solid Toyota touch, including the cruise control stalk, climate, and steering-wheel controls. The audio system resides in the center stack with a seven-inch touchscreen powered by Entune, along with tactile knobs and buttons. You can connect your phone by Bluetooth, while using a USB connection to charge it up.

2019 Toyota Tundra

Our Limited tester came with a package that included several driver assistance features. These features include Front and Rear Parking Assist Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These features join the standard Toyota Safety Sense-P package, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beams.

Tundra Limited customers can choose between two V8 engines. The standard 4.6-liter iForce V8 has 310 horsepower with 327 pound-feet of torque. However, the best engine to choose in the Tundra lineup is its 5.7-Liter iForce V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. With the Double Cab, the payload rating is 1,570 pounds with a maximum towing capacity of 9,100 pounds. The Tundra is capable of towing up to 10,100 pounds, depending on specification.

2019 Toyota Tundra

A six-speed automatic is attached to the big V8, which gives it smooth shifts and nice throttle response to go along with its power numbers. On the flip side, fuel economy is on the low side, with an EPA rated 13 MPG in the city, 17 MPG on the highway.

The Tundra offers a smooth ride overall, though it does its best to handle rougher roads. The leaf springs in the rear work hard to manage loads. One might say that the Tundra offers an “old school truck” feel that has been lacking in newer pickups these days. For truck people, the Tundra feels alive, just like a truck from an earlier era should.

The steering is a bit loose, but responsive when it needs be. On-center offers some play even at high speeds and you get to rudder a big, wood-and-leather trimmed wheel if it calls for that. Brakes have great pedal action while offering strong performance in both normal and panic stops.

2019 Toyota Tundra

The Tundra lineup is available only in the Double Cab or CrewMax and the choice of two V8 engines and two- or four-wheel-drive. You do get a selection of trim levels – SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, the 1794, and TRD Pro. Pricing starts from $31,420. Our Limited 4X4 Double Cab tester with the TRD Off Road Package came to $46,610. Similarly-equipped trucks can cost thousands more.

Toyota’s full-sized pickup has been proven to match its rivals square in the face. Those rivals include the new Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, along with the Ford F-150 and the half-ton version of the Nissan Titan.

2019 Toyota Tundra

While newer trucks offer an almost-car-like experience with amenities to boot, the Tundra feels like the kind of truck that feels like it’s always ready to punch in a clock and go to work. However, it has key modern features to keep it safe and sound. For pickup truck lovers who want something that proven, strong, and fells like how a truck should drive, pick up a Toyota Tundra!

Story Credits: Carsoup Editors

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2019 Honda Insight

2019 Honda Insight

Since 2001, the Honda Insight provided its customers a hybrid car that was forward thinking and mold-breaking. After two versions of this groundbreaking automobile, a new Insight was released for 2019. Instead of being a hatchback, Honda went with a sedan design for this third generation Insight.

We had the opportunity to sample the 2019 Honda Insight Touring to find out if this is the right compact hybrid sedan for you.

Honda created the hybrid Insight from the Civic platform. It was designed to fit in-between two popular models in the Honda lineup – the Civic and the Accord. One look around this forward-looking sedan and you will find elements from both models all around. The overall look results in a handsome vehicle when compared to other electrified-only models from Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia.

2019 Honda Insight

The front end is flanked by split headlamp units combining LED turn signals and running lamps. The rear end shows some interesting design pieces with the C-pillar extending beyond the trunk opening encasing the rear glass a bit further back. We also like the taillights where the turn signal lens curls over to cap the upper rear quarter panel.

Inside, the Insight offered a full TFT instrumentation screen in our Touring tester. The console features a push-button transmission along with electronic parking brake. The single-screen infotainment system crowns a cleaner center stack, which includes climate controls. Steering wheel controls are more tactile, similar to the Accord. In all, the entire cockpit is designed with the driver in mind.

2019 Honda Insight

The Touring tester offers these Ivory leather seating surfaces with contrasting black elements throughout the cabin. The front seats are from the Civic, but they appear to be more accommodating for most bodies, with just enough bolstering and support for longer drives. The driver’s side seat is electrically adjustable for rake, recline, and height. Rear seat room appears to be equal in space to the Civic Sedan. Four average-sized adults will enjoy the Insight on runs across town – and, perhaps, some app-based ridesharing duty. Trunk space is exactly the same as in the Civic Sedan – 14.7 cubic feet in the Touring trim, with more available as the seats fold down.

Honda’s infotainment system has been improved recently and it shows. The screens are easier to navigate while offering quick connectivity to your smartphone by either Bluetooth, USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or through the on-board Wi-Fi.

2019 Honda Insight

The Insight is powered by a combination of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. This combination offers a net power output of 151 horsepower. The electric motor alone puts down 197 pound-feet of torque. This hybrid is pretty responsive, but the continuously variable transmission can spool up before settling down into cruising speed under heavy throttle. Fuel economy is rated up to 51 MPG in the city with an average of 48 MPG.

Driving the Insight, you will notice that it has a more sporting feel found on other Honda sedans. This is thanks to the multi-link rear independent suspension, which makes tracking through the corners exciting. The ride quality is smooth with a lot of absorption of bumps and cracks along the way.

2019 Honda Insight

Steering is done with a superb system that was precise and responsive. I like the on-center feel at the wheel, as well as the tight turning radius. Braking was also good, exhibiting solid stops in normal and panic situations. Add the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite, and you have an all-around compact sedan that is truly worth living with.

The base price for the 2019 Insight is $22,830 for a well-equipped LX model. Our Touring tester came with a sticker price of $28,985.

Honda positioned the Insight to resemble a more traditional sedan than the other hybrid-only models it competes against. Those models include the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, and Kia Niro. There have been comparisons made between the Insight and other electrified vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

2019 Honda Insight

Being a traditionally designed sedan does help the Insight’s cause. Not to mention its excellent road manners and great fuel consumption are also main attractions to this newest edition to Honda’s lineup. There is some bit of news to pass along: The Insight is still a forward-thinking vehicle. Same as it ever was, as it remains today.

Story Credits: Carsoup Editors

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2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

You can count the number of luxury sport wagons available in the U.S. market on one hand. Raised crossovers and low-volume plug-in electrics aside, BMW offers one true wagon, Mercedes-Benz antes up with another, and Volvo gives us the choice of two, one of which I recently spent some quality time with.

I purposely slid the word “quality” into my previous sentence to highlight the incredible lengths the Swedish brand has gone to up its game when it comes to fit, finish, premium materials, attention to detail, technology leadership, powertrain advancements, and just generally providing an awe inspiring sense of occasion that at the very least measures up to its German contemporaries, and often surpasses them.

My tester this time around was the 2018 V90 in T6 R-Design trim, which in Volvo-speak means that I had the sportiest of its various trim levels. This said I won’t go into too much detail regarding trims and features for this review, because there’s a twist to V90 ownership in the U.S. market, it’s a special order car that’s not even shown on the brand’s website.

Other markets offer a base Momentum trim line, this R-Design model, and top-tier Inscription trim, but the latter two can both be considered top of the line as they’re both priced within a couple of thousand and include most of the same convenience and luxury features. It really comes down to priorities. Personally, I’m more attracted to this sportier R-Design model, but I must admit to really liking the design of this practical five-door sport wagon no matter the trim.

2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

A review of standard features with my tester shows auto on/off “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights with active cornering and high-pressure cleaners, fog lamps, proximity access, pushbutton start, an electromechanical parking brake, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, a leather shift knob, rain-sensing wipers, a powered panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Road Sign Information (RSI), adaptive cruise control with Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving capability, a large tablet-style touchscreen filled with one of the best infotainment interfaces in the industry, rear parking sensors, accurate navigation with detailed mapping, satellite radio, Volvo On-Call featuring remote start and vehicle tracking, active noise control, heatable power-adjustable front seats including four-way lumbar and driver’s memory, power-folding rear seat headrests that flip down to make seeing rearward easier when no passengers are in back, power release folding rear seatbacks, a hands-free powered liftgate, and more, while that doesn’t include the features specific to R-Design trim.

Ready for the next list? The R-Design enhances styling with unique diamond-cut 19-inch alloys framing an upgraded sport suspension, a special blackened grille and trim, matte silver side mirror caps, and silk metal side window trim, while inside it gets an even nicer perforated leather sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, metal foot pedals, a full 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that’s beautifully detailed and filled with functions, four-zone auto climate control that includes a panel with controls in back, a subwoofer for the stereo, richer Nubuck leather upholstery, ultra-comfortable contoured sport seats with added side bolstering and a driver’s cushion extension that nicely cups under the knees for added support, unique Metal Mesh décor inlays, a black headliner, rear side sunshades, and plenty of R-Design branding.

I won’t go into too much detail regarding Inscription trim, but as noted before its feature set is much the same as with the R-Design other than the latter model’s sportier theme getting replaced by a unique chromed waterfall grille and ritzier chrome elements on the outside, whereas the interior is pure class due to beautiful Linear Walnut trim and stunning perforated Fine Nappa leather.

2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

Volvo never shortchanges its loyal clientele on standard safety features either, so along with Volvo’s usual tire pressure monitoring, hill start assist, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist, ABS, usual collection of airbags including one for the driver’s knees, etcetera, the V90 comes equipped with autonomous front collision mitigation with pedestrian detection as well as a lane keeping aid, and the systems weren’t overly sensitive so they gave off no false alarms, yet came into action each time they were needed.

Autonomous in mind, aforementioned Pilot Assist won’t completely take over the steering wheel, but as a precursor to full autonomous driving it works together with the adaptive cruise control to provide short-duration self-driving in the city and on the highway, so long as road markings are clearly visible. It works quite well too, but for the time being such systems are in their development stage and therefore are more novelties than anything particularly useful. I did find it helpful during bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic, however, where it when about its business quite effectively, allowing me to relax a bit more than I would normally.

No matter the trim specified, everything comes together within a cabin that’s not only beautifully finished as noted earlier, but also supremely comfortable and ergonomically ideal. Finding the perfect driving position is easy, and that’s a big bonus for me as my shorter torso and longer legs don’t always fit within Volvo’s competitors. The V90 offers ample telescopic steering wheel reach and plenty of rake, while the seat adjustments provide more than enough flexibility for most any body type to find a good position.

2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

The outboard rear seats are comfortable too, and especially supportive at the lower back while wonderfully sculpted with thick side bolsters similar to those up front, plus the flip-down armrest is wide and filled with pop-out cupholders as well as a handy lidded storage compartment. The large panoramic sunroof overhead offers an open and airy environment, while Volvo also provides real air via an excellent rear ventilation system that includes outlets on the backside of the front center console plus additional vents on the B-pillars. Lastly, the three-way heatable outboard cushions noted earlier add rear passenger comfort on cold winter mornings.

Those rear seat heaters will be appreciated when traveling home from a day on the slopes too, and thanks to ultra-useful 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks they can be put to use while everyone’s skis are placed down the middle. Volvo also finishes the V90’s cargo area off beautifully, with a stylish metal cargo door protection plate that sits above another similar metal guard atop the bumper, two of the nicest chromed tie-down hooks available from any luxury manufacturer, high quality yet durable carpeting most everywhere, and lastly a reversible cargo mat. What’s more, V90’s cargo cover is a technological marvel all on its own, automatically moving up and out of the way when the powered liftgate is opened, while below the strut-mounted load floor is a shallow but useful carpeted tray that sits above the compact spare tire and tools.

If you’re getting the idea that Volvo goes above and beyond to provide a new level of luxury to its fortunate followers, I’m glad. That’s what I’m trying to convey, and it gets even better when factoring in the driving experience. It starts with the most advanced 2.0-liter engine available today, the Swedish brand’s direct-injected four-cylinder benefiting from turbocharging as well as supercharging in order to make a stellar 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s real V6 power from a fuel-efficient four, the EPA numbers coming in at 22 mpg city, 31 highway and 25 combined, which is excellent considering the performance available, while the base FWD model gets an even more efficient 24 city, 34 highway and 27 combined rating.

2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

Aiding the powertrain is an efficient eight-speed automatic with auto start-stop that shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, reducing fuel consumption and emissions, but to just comment on this highly responsive transmission’s wallet and environmentally friendly attributes wouldn’t be doing it full justice, as, together with the aforementioned paddle shifters, it provides engaging hands-on performance that really ups the entire driving experience.

Improving handling and stability in both dry and slippery conditions is available all-wheel drive, but my favorite V90 attribute is its incredible ride quality. Together with the previously noted seats, the V90’s cushioning ride is best in class, and that’s even after factoring in my tester’s optional 20-inch eight-spoke silver diamond-cut alloys on 255/35 Pirelli P Zero performance rubber.

My test car didn’t include the available Four-C Active Chassis and rear air suspension however, which would have made it even smoother, while upping performance by automatically maintaining a constant ride height. The Four-C system utilizes the standard Drive Mode settings, which include Comfort mode, Eco mode, and Dynamic sport mode, but specifically enhances the suspension calibration of each, while the standard Drive Mode system enhances powertrain and steering characteristics, plus climate control in Eco mode.

While we’re on the subject of options, my tester also included deep, rich Onyx Black metallic paint on the outside and sensational carbon fiber inlays inside, plus auto-dimming power-retractable side mirrors, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, one of the best 360-degree surround parking cameras in the biz, front and rear parking sensors, Park Assist Pilot semi-autonomous self-parking, a tailored leather dash top and door uppers, heated wiper blades, a heatable steering wheel, those heatable rear outboard seats noted earlier, an outrageously good Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system with a 12-channel amplifier, 1400 watts of output and 19 separate speakers including a tweeter on top of the center speaker that minimizes acoustic reflection from the windshield, and lastly graphical head-up display that projects speed, speed limit info, navigation directions and more onto the windshield ahead of the driver.

2018 Volvo V90 T6 R-Design

There were a few other options available, like rear entertainment, dual two-stage child booster seats integrated within the rear outboard seats, and the aforementioned suspension upgrade, but for the most part this is a fully loaded mid-size Volvo sport wagon.

Getting back to the competition, the V90 truly only really competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon being that both are mid-size E-segment vehicles, whereas the others are based on compact D-segment models. So if you happen to appreciate the practicality of a larger five-door body style yet want the low-slung performance of a luxury sport sedan, the V90 is an excellent choice. You’ll just need to jump through a few hoops to get one. Yet when you do you’ll have something truly unique, and truly special. Pricing for the T6 AWD starts at $56,295.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, American Auto Press Photo credits: Karen Tuggay, American Auto Press Copyright: American Auto Press

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2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

Needing a roomy back seat and the convenience of large cargo compartment accessed by a handy rear liftback? Not willing to put up with a boring, run-of-the-mill mid-size crossover SUV? Nissan has the answer.

The Murano has long offered a lot more style than its class average, which works perfectly considering how well it balances premium levels of execution with mainstream branded value. While positioned below the Pathfinder when it comes to family hauling and cargo loading capability, the five-seat Murano delivers at a higher level when factoring in styling, refinement and performance.

In fact, the Murano bests plenty of its mid-size rivals when it comes to wow factor, both by its eye-catching design from the outside in, and by its impressive interior materials quality that makes it look and feel more like a luxury branded crossover SUV than it truly has a right to.

2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

Every time I slide inside a Murano I’m reminded how car companies should do interiors. Truly, this Platinum trimmed version is finished better than some luxury brands’ offerings. Small but much appreciated details include fabric-wrapped and padded A-pillars, padded soft-touch leatherette door uppers front to back, the same rich leather-like synthetic across the front portion of those door panels and the armrests, which are French-stitched as well. The instrument cluster hood and section ahead of the front passenger is finished similarly, which perfectly matches the stitched and padded steering wheel rim, plus the side edges of the lower console.

Of course the entire dash-top is soft to the touch too, while Nissan applies some wonderfully artistic mother of pearl-style inlays to the instrument panel and door panels, not to mention the lower console surfacing and center armrest decoration. Granted, this won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I’m guessing those who like it love it. Of note to most male readers, Nissan offers a new Murano Midnight Edition that might suit your sporting performance aspirations more thanks to a cool black grille, black side mirror caps, dark alloy wheels, roof rails, and a more down to business interior, while there are also more conservative interior motifs in between. Either way, this detail, along with all of the chrome, satin-silver and piano black lacquer accents, provides a true sense of occasion that sets this mid-size crossover SUV apart from the masses, while making all of its occupants feel special.

2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

As noted, my tester was in top-line Platinum trim, which is priced at $42,230, so there were more attributes making its occupants feel pampered than just the style and quality of finishings. Standard Murano Platinum features include unique 20-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, LED headlamps, a powered tilt and telescopic steering column, memory settings for the latter as well as the eight-way powered driver’s seat and side mirrors, ventilated front seats, a powered panoramic sunroof, power return rear seatbacks, and more.

Other features you can see in the photos get pulled up from lesser $30,800 base S, $34,100 SV and $38,500 SL trims, such as my tester’s heatable leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, perforated leather upholstery, heated front and rear outboard seats, adjustable ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, remote start with Intelligent Climate Control, dual-zone automatic HVAC, electroluminescent gauge cluster, large 7.0-inch full-color TFT multi-information display, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, upgraded Around View parking monitor, navigation, great sounding 11-speaker Bose audio system, proximity-sensing access with pushbutton start, motion activated powered liftgate, adaptive cruise control, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking, blindspot warning, rear cross traffic alert with moving object detection, automatic on/off headlights, fog lamps, and much more.

2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

Nissan’s Intelligent all-wheel drive is a $1,600 option across the entire line, and it’s an excellent system that not only improves traction in slippery situations, but also provides handling advantages in the dry, and thanks to its standard 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque the Murano really benefits from the extra stability AWD provides while traveling at high speeds.

Key to Murano performance is a nicely sorted fully independent suspension, the crossover SUV’s capability around curves a strongpoint since this model first came on the scene back in 2002. Likewise, that model was one of the first SUVs I can remember with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and while Nissan has steadily improved its Xtronic gearbox over the past decade and a half it’s always been a cut above the rest. In fact, thanks to an immediate punch off the line and smoothly stepped gear ratios I think you’ll be hard pressed to notice it’s a CVT at all, yet it still benefits from better fuel economy than a regular automatic transmission, the Murano rated at 21 mpg city, 28 highway and 24 combined in both FWD and AWD.

2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

I’ve got to say Murano ride quality is particularly impressive, made even better thanks to the incredibly comfortable NASA-inspired “zero gravity” seats. The Murano is spacious too, especially from side-to-side, making those seats ideal for larger folk. The only complaint I can think of is two-way lumbar adjustment instead of four, but such is the same for some similarly sized premium-branded SUVs, so we can overlook this faux pas.

The rear seats are sizable too. With the driver’s seat positioned for my five-foot-eight frame I had about 10 inches remaining ahead of my knees when seated in back, and almost enough space on the floor to stretch out my legs. My feet went underneath the front seat nicely too, even when wearing winter boots, while I also had about four inches above my head and about five next to my shoulder and hip. Additionally, a tug on a mesh loop lets you recline the rear seatbacks for greater comfort, while Nissan provides a decent sized folding center armrest as well, complete with two integrated cupholders. If you need to transport three abreast it won’t be a problem either, just flip that armrest up and your rear passengers can enjoy this SUV’s generous width.

2018 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

The cargo compartment is roomy for the class too, and nicely finished with carpeting on the floor, seatbacks and sidewalls, its attention to detail once again unusually impressive for the mainstream sector. What’s more, levers on each cargo wall automatically fold the rear seatbacks flat when pulled, while a button powers them back up again. I like this system better than fully powered seats, because they hardly take any time at all to fold flat.

Features like these make the Murano easy to live with, while its updated electronics and beautifully designed and finished interior keep it modern and inviting. The driving experience continues to be a high point, ideally combining comfort and control into a highly substantive SUV that rises above most of its peers, the Murano coming across as extremely well made and solid feeling. I can easily recommend the Murano to anyone in the mid-size five-person SUV market.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, American Auto Press Photo credits: Karen Tuggay, American Auto Press Copyright: American Auto Press

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2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

Electrifying!

Consider the history of Audi here in the United States. The four-ringed brand from Ingolstadt, Germany toiled in the shadows during its nascent years in the U.S. with solid but relatively unknown models like the Audi 100 LS, Fox, and 5000. It was the 5000, totally redesigned in its third generation as an aerodynamic sedan that really began a sales trend for Audi. The 5000 was large, safe and technologically advanced. After all, the motto for the company for quite some time has been Vorsprung durch Technik (Progress through Technology), and the 5000 was technologically ahead of its time.

And then a bad thing happened.

The long running CBS program 60 Minutes aired a report that Audi 5000 cars were accelerating on their own, and started an “Unintended Acceleration” scare that almost sank the company. Audi was ultimately cleared during this unfortunate hysteria, but the damage had been done, sales tanked, and Audi’s ship slowly began to sink.

Thankfully, the bright minds at Audi retooled the brand and came out with the A4, A6, luxury A8 and performance S Car variants, and the sales numbers started to climb again.

For over 40 years, Audi has also enjoyed special success on many race circuits around the world, with the legendary quattro all-wheel drive system proving its mettle in Rally Racing, Hill Climb events like Pikes Peak, and endurance events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

At Le Mans, Audi regularly enjoyed trips to victory lane with the gasoline powered R8, V8 twin turbo and R10 turbodiesel twelve cylinder supercars. The R10 produced 590 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque and was legendary; winning every race at Le Mans it was entered in. And then along came Peugeot, winning in 2009 with their 908 HDi twelve cylinder turbo-diesel endurance racers that had more power and torque than Audi’s offerings 730hp/890 lb-ft torque). But Audi would have no part of this short lived dominance by Peugeot, responding with the V10 powered R15, and the winning ways continued, placing first, second and third in 2010 in the vaunted LMP1 group. I was there that year as a guest of Audi, and it was a special experience for me personally and for the company worldwide. Audi’s endurance race efforts eventually used V6 “e-tron” hybrid power, and the renamed R18 continued to dominate in endurance racing. Smartly, Audi’s technology on the racetrack was used to develop stout powerplants, particularly diesels, and other hi-tech for consumer Audis.

Audi’s success with the diesels spread like wildfire, with domestic sales of turbodiesel cars booming with Audi’s parent Volkswagen Group. Yes, VW, Audi and Porsche all shared in the success of the extremely fun to drive and super efficient TDI powerplants.

2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

And then the bottom fell out for Audi again, and for the VW Group as a whole, as the Group was accused of and admitted to goosing software to make their TDI cars and SUVs appear to be cleaner in Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Act testing. After paying record fines and buying back many beloved TDI vehicles from owners, like the Audi Q7 TDI, the VW Group abandoned the diesel business here in the U.S. Before the scandal, diesels represented 25 percent of all VW sales, and a significant percentage of Audi sales.

Whether the Group eventually returns to TDI power in the future remains to be seen, but one thing is sure, Audi won’t be part of the equation. Why? Because the marque has chosen to stake its future on an entirely electrified lineup of cars and SUVs. By 2025, every Audi will have some form of electrification.

Ambitious? Certainly. But other luxury manufacturers like Volvo have made similar proclamations.

At its shareholders meeting earlier this year, Audi’s future strategy was laid out, as the brand plans to sell 800,000 electrified cars in 2025 between 20 different electric models. Audi says that most will be fully electric, with the remainder being plug-in hybrids.

According to an official statement by Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management for Audi AG, “Our ambition has always been and will continue to be Vorsprung durch Technik. Our goal is to revolutionize mobility. Also in electric mobility, we want to become the Number 1 among the premium manufacturers – with full suitability for everyday use, no compromises, top quality and driving pleasure for the customer. With our technological excellence, we are utilizing our Vorsprung and lifting electric mobility to the next level.”

Smart? I certainly think so, as Audi can carve out a large chunk of the luxury electric car business, and produce cars and SUVs in a way that electric car innovator Tesla simply can’t.

Recently, more than 2,500 Audi dealers and customers and a throng of auto writers from traditional and social media platforms joined Audi in San Francisco for the spectacular e-tron World Debut.

2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

With the glamor and glitz of a Hollywood production, e-tron rolled into a packed warehouse on San Francisco Bay and “charged” the audience with the same type of hype and emotion of Mayweather/McGregor at the MGM in Vegas. One could say the match was Electric v. Gasoline, and it was quite a show. When the epic event was over and we got a chance to see e-tron up close, Audi’s motto rose from whatever ashes the diesel debacle left behind, as Vorsprung durch Technik is reborn with e-tron.

So what is e-tron? It’s a sport-ute styled like the Q5 and Q7 that features three trim levels, with the base Premium Plus starting at $74,800, Prestige at $81,800, and the limited (999 units) “Edition One” starting at $86,700. Premium Plus includes a 9.6kW AC home charger, Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, Audi “phone box” wireless charger and signal booster, heated and ventilated leather seats, panoramic sunroof and integrated toll module.

Prestige includes all Premium Plus gear plus a head-up display, driver assistance package, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, intersection assistant, Audi pre sense 360, traffic sign recognition, power soft close doors, rear window sunshades, dual pane acoustic windows, contour seats with massage, Valcona leather and an air quality package with an ionizer.

While all trim levels are well contented, Edition One differentiates itself from other trims mostly through unique body and interior trim, and special paint and wheels.

One super high tech feature Audi hopes will be standard equipment on the e-tron 55 quattro is side cameras to replace traditional sideview mirrors. At a display I visited prior to the world debut called Audi Tech Park, all of e-tron’s super cool hardware was on exhibit, including the impressive high-definition sideview cameras. Audi is awaiting U.S. Government safety approval of this exciting new feature.

The e-tron 55 quattro will join the A3 Sportback e-tron hybrid (on sale now) in Audi’s whirlwind march toward the model total expected in 2025.

The e-tron 55 features seating for five adults, quattro electric all-wheel drive (one motor at each wheel), air suspension, and a towing capacity of 4,000 pounds.

2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

The two electric motors accelerate the e-tron from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.

The Audi e-tron uses an innovative recuperation system encompassing both electric motors, to boost efficiency. With its estimated range of more than 250 miles, expect as much as 30 percent of the e-tron’s range to come from recovered energy, depending on the conditions, terrain and driving style. The e-tron can recover energy in two ways: by means of coasting recuperation when the driver releases the accelerator, or by means of braking recuperation by depressing the brake pedal.

The battery system in the Audi e-tron is located beneath the cabin and comprises a total of 36 cell modules in square aluminum housings, each of which is roughly the size of a shoebox.

A cooling system of flat aluminum extruded sections divided uniformly into small chambers has the task of maintaining the battery’s high-performance operation over the long term. Heat is exchanged between the cells and the cooling system beneath them via a thermally conductive gel pressed beneath each cell module. A special cooling lance provides additional heat reduction to power motors.
A strong surround frame and lattice-type aluminum structure that holds the cell modules is designed to protect the battery block. A substantial aluminum plate provides protection against damage from flying stones or curbs. These measures demonstrate how Audi’s engineers have developed the battery and cooling systems with safety in mind.

For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a full charge overnight.

Audi e-tron buyers will also have the opportunity to experience the first-ever home charging collaboration between online retail giant Amazon and an automaker. “Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home Services” will offer e-tron buyers a fully-digital experience for in-home electric vehicle charging installations, designed to make the process of home charging set up as easy as ordering home charging with installation from Amazon.

E-tron buyers can also define their own personal priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive where available. With the myAudi app, owners can plan, control, and monitor e-tron charging and pre-heating/cooling. Owners can set a departure time, for example, so that the Audi e-tron is charged and/or heated/cooled at the desired time. They can even choose to heat or cool certain zones in the car. On cold winter days, for example, owners can turn on optional seat heating. The app also displays charging and driving data.

2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

For charging on the go, the e-tron will be supported by a nationwide charging network, “Powered by Electrify America.” By July 2019, this network will include nearly 500 fast-charging sites complete or under development throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. Offering advanced charging, Electrify America’s chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW. With the purchase of the e-tron, customers will receive 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.

Take years of German engineering and production know how, and Audi’s capacity to produce e-tron on a large scale looks better than Tesla’s struggling efforts to meet consumer demand long before the first e-tron hits U.S. streets in Q2 of 2019.

Additionally, Audi left internal combustion engine powered endurance racing, and now competes and wins in the all-electric “Formula E” racing series with the e-tron FE04. Successes with technology in Formula E will certainly trickle down to Audi consumer electric vehicles, in the same way Le Mans successes helped spur their once strong diesel sales.

The 2019 Audi e-tron 55 quattro seems to have covered all of the bases that make it a safe, well equipped option for luxury electric car buyers. Watch out Tesla. The competition now is real.

2019 Audi e-tron E55 Quattro

Ready to get yours? Visit audiusa.com, configure your e-tron, and place a $1,000 fully refundable deposit.

And while you’re waiting for your car to arrive, check out these great e-tron e55 quattro videos provided by Audi:

Electrified: the world premiere of the Audi e-tron (3:13):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8ScvRoWSug

May we present: the all-new Audi e-tron (4:00):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJaHCNlDRcs

A new era of electric mobility: the first fully electric Audi e-tron (2:10):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxv5I6CKcwk

Audi e-tron: Electric has gone quattro (0:15):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q6diRBNuMs

*Story credits: Brian Armstead, American Auto Press Photo credits: Audi and Brian Armstead Copyright: American Auto Press *

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Have you considered Apple Car Play?

Have you considered Apple Car Play?

Image: Apple

Maybe you have heard of CarPlay but never had the change to experience it? Perhaps you are shopping for a new vehicle and want to know if it has CarPlay? In either case, you have come to the right place.

Let’s look at the benefits of having or adding Apple CarPlay to your in-car experience.

Reduce distractions
You probably have your phone in a cup holder, phone mount, or pocket while driving. As you know it is easy to become distracted by notifications or trying to change the song.
With CarPlay, alerts are kept to a minimum, leaving your attention on the road. If you do get a call or text, CarPlay will allow you to respond without ever taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.

The display is built for driving
A factory installed CarPlay stereo or aftermarket radio is likely much larger than your phone screen. CarPlay takes over your factory screen and gives you easy access to the apps used most while driving and allows you to do almost anything needed with Siri.

Siri
When Apple CarPlay is enabled, your only need to say, “Hey Siri,” to get anything you want.
Here is an example:
“Hey Siri, text Brian, I am running late but will be home in 15 minutes.”
Siri responds, “OK, Ill send a text to Brian that says, I am running late but will be home in 15 minutes. OK to send?
If you respond yes, the text will be sent.

Built-in Navigation
While your car may have navigation, with CarPlay, you have access to Google Maps, Waze and Apple maps for free with real-time traffic updates! This means no more subscription fees or map updates needed.

Other Features:
Live Sports Scores
Weather
Streaming Music (Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and more…)

Here is a quick video that shows the latest updates to CarPlay:

Here are a few of the vehicles that have CarPlay as standard or optional.

View the full list from Apple here.

Acura
2017 - 2018 NSX
2018 MDX
2018 TLX
2019 RDX
Audi
2017 - 2018 A3
2017 - 2018 A4
2017 - 2018 A5
2017 - 2018 A6
2017 - 2018 A7
2017 - 2018 Q2
2017 - 2018 Q7
2017 - 2018 R8
2017 - 2018 TT
2018 Q5
2019 Q8
BMW
2017 - 2018 2 Series
2017 - 2018 3 Series
2017 - 2018 4 Series
2017 - 2018 5 Series
2017 - 2018 6 Series
2017 - 2018 7 Series
2017 - 2018 X3
2017 - 2018 X4
2017 - 2018 X5
2017 - 2018 X6
2018 X1
2018 X2
2018 i3
Buick
2016 - 2017 Excelle
2016 - 2018 LaCrosse
2016 - 2018 Regal
2017 - 2018 Encore
2017 - 2018 Envision
2018 Excelle GT
2018 Excelle GT-MPV
2018 GL6
Chevrolet
2016 - 2017 Cavalier
2016 - 2018 Camaro
2016 - 2018 Camaro Convertible
2016 - 2018 Colorado
2016 - 2018 Corvette
2016 - 2018 Corvette Convertible
2016 - 2018 Cruze
2016 - 2018 Impala
2016 - 2018 Malibu
2016 - 2018 Sail LOVA
2016 - 2018 Silverado
2016 - 2018 Silverado HD
2016 - 2018 Spark
2016 - 2018 Suburban
2016 - 2018 Tahoe
2016 - 2018 Volt
2017 - 2018 Aveo
2017 - 2018 Bolt EV
2017 - 2018 Prisma
2017 - 2018 S10
2017 - 2018 Sonic
2017 - 2018 Trax
2018 Equinox
2018 Traverse
2019 Blazer
Chrysler
2017 - 2018 300
2018 Pacifica
Dodge
2017 - 2018 Challenger
2017 - 2018 Charger
2018 Durango
Ford
2017 - 2018 C-MAX
2017 - 2018 Edge
2017 - 2018 Escape
2017 - 2018 Expedition
2017 - 2018 Explorer
2017 - 2018 F-150
2017 - 2018 Fiesta
2017 - 2018 Flex
2017 - 2018 Focus
2017 - 2018 Fusion
2017 - 2018 Taurus
2017 - 2018 Transit
2017 - 2018 Transit Connect
2017 - 2018 Mustang
2017 - 2018 Super Duty
2018 EcoSport
GMC
2016 - 2018 Canyon
2016 - 2018 Sierra
2016 - 2018 Yukon
2016 - 2018 Yukon XL
2017 - 2018 Acadia
Honda
2016 - 2018 Accord
2016 - 2018 Civic
2017 - 2018 Ridgeline
2017 - 2018 CR-V
2017 - 2018 Pilot
2018 Odyssey
2018 Fit
2019 Insight
Hyundai
2016 - 2018 i10
2016 - 2018 i30
2016 - 2018 i40
2015 - 2016 Genesis Sedan
2015 - 2018 Azera
2015 - 2018 Sonata
2016 - 2018 Elantra GT
2016 - 2018 Tucson
2016 - 2018 Veloster
2017 - 2018 Elantra
2017 - 2018 Ioniq
2017 - 2018 Kona
2017 - 2018 Santa Fe
2017 - 2018 Santa Fe Sport
Jeep
2017 - 2018 Compass
2018 Grand Cherokee
2018 Renegade
2018 Wrangler
KIA
2014 - 2018 Soul
2015 - 2018 Optima
2015 - 2018 Optima Hybrid
2015 - 2018 Sedona
2015 - 2018 Soul EV
2017 - 2018 Sorento
2017 - 2018 Sportage
2017 - 2018 Cadenza
2017 - 2018 Forte
2017 - 2018 Forte Koup
2017 - 2018 Forte5
2017 - 2018 Niro
2017 - 2018 Optima Plug-In Hybrid
2018 Stinger
2019 K900
Mercedes
2016 - 2018 A-Class
2016 - 2018 B-Class
2016 - 2018 CLA-Class
2016 - 2018 CLS-Class
2016 - 2018 E-Class Cabriolet
2016 - 2018 E-Class Coupe
2016 - 2018 GLA-Class
2016 - 2018 GLE-Class
2017 - 2018 E-Class
2017 - 2018 GLS-Class
2017 - 2018 SL-Class
Mitsubishi
2017 i-MiEV
2016 - 2018 Pajero
2016 - 2018 Pajero Sport
2016 - 2018 Mirage
2016 - 2018 Mirage G4
2017 - 2018 Outlander
2017 - 2018 Outlander PHEV
2017 - 2018 ASX
2017 - 2018 Triton
2017 - 2018 Delica D:2
2017 - 2018 Delica D:2 Custom
2018 Eclipse Cross
Nissan
2017 - 2018 Maxima
2017 - 2018 Micra
2017.5 - 2018 Murano
2018 GT-R
2018 Kicks
2018 Leaf
2018 Rogue
2019 Altima
RAM
2018 Ram 1500
2018 Ram 2500
2018 Ram 3500
2018 Ram 4500
Subaru
2017 - 2018 Impreza
2018 Outback
2018 Crosstrek
2019 Ascent
2019 Forester
2019 WRX
Toyota
2019 Avalon
2019 Corolla Hatchback
2019 RAV4
2019 RAV4
VW
2016 Spacefox
2016 - 2018 Amarok
2016 - 2018 Beetle
2016 - 2018 Beetle Cabriolet
2016 - 2018 Caddy
2016 - 2018 California
2016 - 2018 Caravelle
2016 - 2018 CC
2016 - 2018 e-Golf
2016 - 2018 Fox
2016 - 2018 Golf
2016 - 2018 Golf Cabriolet
2016 - 2018 Golf SportsVan
2016 - 2018 Golf Variant
2016 - 2018 Golf R
2016 - 2018 Golf SportWagen
2016 - 2018 GTI
2016 - 2018 Jetta
2016 - 2018 Lamando
2016 - 2018 Multivan
2016 - 2018 Passat
2016 - 2018 Passat Variant
2016 - 2018 Polo
2016 - 2018 Scirocco
2016 - 2018 Sharan
2016 - 2018 Tiguan
2016 - 2018 Touran
2016 - 2018 Transporter
2017 - 2018 Atlas
2017 - 2018 Crafter
2017 - 2018 CrossFox
2017 - 2018 Gol
2017 - 2018 Saveiro
2017 - 2018 Voyage
2018 Arteon
2018 Bora
2018 Magotan
2018 Sagitar
2018 T-Roc
Volvo
2016 - 2018 XC90
2017 - 2018 S90
2017 - 2018 V90
2018 XC60
2019 V60
2019 XC40

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