2019 MASERATI LEVANTE VIDEO REVIEW BY AUTO CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. Urus, Cullinan, Bentayga; SUVs have never been more in fashion and brands you thought would never go there are cashing-in with 6-figure price tags. Even Ferrari is readying their first in what they’re calling an FUV. If you want one of these luxe utility vehicles but need the price to come down just a bit, Maserati offers up this; its first-ever SUV, the Levante.
2019 Volvo V60 Review By TestDriveNow Auto Critic Steve Hammes.
Joining the impressive flagship V90 is this all-new V60; a smaller, sportier take on what Volvo does best.
Several years back it appeared as though Volvo had all but given up on their wagon endeavors. But then the all-new V90 arrived to restore the faith and now the rebirth of one of Volvo’s oldest cars, the V60, keeps the line moving. The new 60 Series models mirror everything the Swedes have been up to since the current generation XC90 debuted 3 years ago. The harder edged exterior styling is a resounding success across the board. But Volvo’s Scandinavian-styled, beautiful yet simplistic cabins are all so similar to one another that it’s difficult to tell them apart, making it easy for the Volvo faithful to transition from one model to another but inducing a serious case of Deja vu for the rest of us. At least here in this entry-level Momentum trim you can specify these fashionable City Weave Textile seats which provide some distinction and always start a conversation. Personally, I love them. And these seats don’t just look cool; they’re super comfortable with a perfect blend of softness and support.
TestDriveNow Overview: Honda Insight 2019 Quick Takes. The 2019 Honda Insight offers class-leading power and passenger space, universally appealing styling, and received a 55 mpg2 city from the EPA (LX/EX), while simultaneously bringing a new level of driving sophistication and style to the compact hybrid market. The 2019 Insight joins an expanding lineup of electrified Honda vehicles that includes the Clarity series – Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid – and the recently introduced Accord Hybrid. These models represent the next generation of Honda vehicles as the company advances toward its global initiative to grow electrified vehicle sales to two-thirds by 2030
2019 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF Quick Takes TestDriveNow Overview. How do you make the world’s best-selling, two-seat roadster even better?
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.