If you like the value of the Corolla but favor an SUV body-style, the Corolla Cross is calling. Already offered as a sedan, hatchback and hybrid model with a high-performance variant joining soon, a Corolla crossover SUV just seemed inevitable. Priced from $23,410 including destination it’s a welcome alternative to the slightly more expensive CH-R which favors style over practicality and can’t be had with all-wheel drive. Thought it’s not much to look at this well-appointed XLE grade packs a lot of usefulness and features into its elevated body which clears an impressive 8+”. For those who are intimidated by the size and fuel economy of a traditional SUV but crave its commanding view and 5-door versatility, the Corolla Cross slots in nicely. Rated at 30mpg with a nearly 400 mile driving range it’s a value proposition that asks few sacrifices of its owner. With adequate sizing in the front, middle and rear, a roof rack and the ability to tow 1,500 pounds, the Corolla Cross presents as a do-it-all for the car shopper on a budget. Its least desirable trait comes from the powertrain – a CVT mated to the modestly powered 2.0-liter engine with its 150 pound-feet of torque which can at times cast a pall on the driving experience but I’m guessing it would hardly bother the typical Corolla Cross owner. The Corolla Cross is more than just another utility vehicle – it’s one that strikes a compelling balance in every aspect of its offering.
Nissan has designed their best-selling Rogue to meet the needs of today’s young families. This two-tone Blue/Black example with a smattering of options checks in at $40,060. That’s eye opening but keep in mind that the Rogue is not a compact SUV but rather a midsize. It’s been redesigned with newfound presence that’s evocative of something more rugged yet upscale…look closely and there’s a hat tip to Land Rover in the body. The cabin is special. This is a huge leap forward both in terms of its appearance and the features that Nissan has stockpiled in here. Now, it is nearly 40 grand so let’s not act like they’re giving the store away or anything but it is extremely well-equipped and contains all of the features I would want in my new car. This is smart, well-executed, sized right and brimming with goodies people will love. Count me in.
This is the nicest, most modern new Toyota cabin in a long time, but is it just a fancier RAV4 Hybrid? Fact is they do share the new Toyota platform like several other of their sedans and crossovers. This new Venza feels like a completely different vehicle; much more luxurious and upscale. And I’m really digging this Limited grade. With a starting price of $33,645 including delivery, the Venza slots in between the RAV4 and the Highlander occupying the space of a quasi-midsize 5-seater but in reality its interior dimensions are more compact. Going into my test week I can’t say I was really expecting too much – Toyota has been the target of my criticism of late – which is why I’m so surprised at how well they’ve executed the Venza’s return. It’s as smartly crafted and perfectly positioned as any model in their vast lineup.
LEXUS RX 350 L 2020 QUICK TAKES. The pioneer of the luxury crossover segment is receiving an update – inside and out – for the 2020 model year. The new 2020 Lexus RX and RXL three row enhance both their elegance and captivating appeal through improved driving dynamics, an updated Lexus Multimedia System, additional standard safety features and elevated styling that bring a new sophistication to the RX lineup.
All 2020 Lexus RX models feature updated exterior styling that includes revised front and rear fascias and a new standard 18” wheel design. Triple-beam LED headlamps have also been redesigned as an option. Inside, an available 12.3-inch touchscreen paired with the remote touch pad supports added dynamic voice and navigation functionality. The updated Lexus Multimedia System now includes advanced in-dash technology to simplify a guest’s life, such as Apple CarPlay® integration for your iPhone.
HONDA CR-V HYBRID TESTDRIVENOW QUICK TAKES.
The 2020 CR-V Hybrid is distinguished from the rest of the CR-V lineup by unique front and rear styling cues that include Hybrid badging on the grille, front fenders, and tailgate; hybrid-exclusive 5-lamp LED fog lights; and a unique rear bumper design. Like the rest of the 2020 CR-V lineup, the 2020 CR-V Hybrid benefits from new headlight designs, new alloy wheel designs for EX and EX-L trims, and new 19-inch wheels on Touring trims.
Inside, the CR-V Hybrid offers the same spacious and tech-savvy cabin as the non-hybrid, including its full-flat folding and 60/40-split second-row seat. Unique to CR-V Hybrid versus its non-hybrid counterpart are three buttons to the right of the push-button gear selector that let the driver select between Sport, EV and ECON modes to help maximize power or fuel efficiency. CR-V Hybrid’s digital gauge cluster also offers functions distinct from the non-hybrid, such as a power-flow meter.
The new CR-V Hybrid comes standard with Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™, and a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price starting at $27,750 (excluding destination and handling charges).
The Real Time All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Control System gives buyers additional inclement-weather driving confidence. Like its gasoline-only counterpart,
CR-V Hybrid also comes standard with the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, automatic climate control, and automatic high beams. The CR-V Hybrid also comes with additional standard features that include LED headlights, Smart Entry and Pushbutton Start, and a cargo cover.