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2020 Kia Telluride First Look

The Telluride still makes a bold presence with a profile that’s not too dissimilar from a Range Rover Velar.  This is also the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. market, so that big, boxy, go anywhere SUV-look is very much in the details.  Kia calls it “upscale exploration.” Families on the go will appreciate its spacious cabin that designers promise offers generous hip, shoulder, leg and head room in all 3 rows in what the company says is more luxe living room than utility vehicle. 

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Mazda Mazda6 2018 Quick Takes

TestDriveNow Overview: Mazda Mazda6 2018 Quick Takes. Signature trim level positions Mazda’s midsize sedan against premium competitors.
Adorned with authentic materials like our Japanese Sen Wood and Nappa leather, the 2018 Mazda6 elevates its premium positioning above the mainstream fray and into a higher class of competition.

New technologies and refinements complement Mazda6’s stellar reputation for driving dynamics and design.

Thoroughly re-engineered for 2018, Mazda6 is quieter, more comfortable, carries more standard and available features and even comes with a newly available engine option, the torquey, turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T.

Every detail has been rethought to polish and elevate Mazda6. Yet, Mazda6 doesn’t betray its roots, still available with its six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission in the entry Mazda6 Sport model as well as an available, quick-shifting SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode that recalibrates the transmission for more spirited driving.

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2019 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF Quick Takes

2019 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF Quick Takes TestDriveNow Overview. How do you make the world’s best-selling, two-seat roadster even better?

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2020 Ford Explorer First Look

2020 Ford Explorer First Look By Auto Critic Steve Hammes. Ford says this Explorer is roomier in all 3 rows, and more capable, comfortable and sportier.

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LEXUS ES 300h 2019 QUICK TAKES

After nearly thirty years of success, the seventh-generation Lexus ES is set to redefine its status among entry-level executive sedans. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the 2019 Lexus ES builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT. The introduction of the new Lexus ES continues the brand’s commitment to crafting vehicles with heightened excitement, emotion and passion. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious and quieter while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, advanced active safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment. A new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System is used in the ES 300h. In addition to delivering stronger performance and exemplary fuel economy, the latest Hybrid Drive System has been designed to help eliminate the rubber band feeling associated with some hybrid systems.
An all-new 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine (A25A-FXS) running on the Atkinson cycle is coupled with a smaller, more power dense electric motor and an all-new hybrid transaxle. The preliminary internal results are a combined 215 total system horsepower and a manufacturer estimated 44 combined mpg. The new aluminum-intensive gas engine delivers exceptional efficiency by combining a high-speed combustion design with several variable systems designed to conserve energy. The result is an engine that has a nearly identical displacement to its predecessor, yet delivers approximately 20 additional horsepower and 12 additional pound feet of torque. High-speed combustion is a core element of the new engine’s ability to provide the most efficient use of energy. To achieve this, the cylinder bores have been narrowed slightly (3.54 in. to 3.44 in.) and the stroke lengthened (3.86 in. to 4.07) to create an optimal 1:1.2 bore-to-stroke ratio as well as reducing the distance the fuel must travel to reach the edges of the cylinder. The angle between the valves was also increased to create a more direct path for the incoming air while the intake valve seats use a laser cladding process that allows for a larger valve seat area, reduced seat face temperatures and a smoother transition from the intake port to the combustion chamber. The result is an optimized swirl pattern and the ability to run more ignition advance in lean conditions without approaching knock limits.The new transaxle is over an inch (1.2) shorter than its predecessor thanks to a new arrangement of the electric motors that places them in a multi-axle configuration instead of the previous coaxial setup. The traditional planetary gear set has been replaced by a parallel shaft gear and a multi-function gear that incorporates a power split planetary ring gear, parking gear and counter drive gear into one compact unit.

The nickel-metal hydride battery that powers the electric motor has been relocated from the trunk to underneath the back seat. This was made possible by a 4.7-inch reduction in the height of the battery and the adoption of a more compact cooling system. Moving the battery under the seat not only frees up trunk space, it also improves the front-to-rear weight distribution of the ES for better handling.

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