A recent trend in the luxury SUV segment is to offer a sexier, coupe-like styled variant for those willing to compromise a little utility in favor of a heavier dose of sport. And some of the designs being born are absolutely stunning; for example, the all-new Audi Q8.
It’s a head turner as long as you don’t mind Audi’s recent penchant for faux exhaust outlets. And if you can’t tell, I want one…I think it’s the best of this type currently on the market though I’ll be curious what the new BMW X6 has to say about that later this year.
There’s seemingly nothing the X7 can’t do and do extremely well including parking itself and adjusting the cruise control based on speed limit signs. But the Extended Traffic Jam assistant is as close as the X7 gets to autonomous driving permitting hands-off the wheel, slow, rush hour driving with no driver intervention needed…no Cadillac Super Cruise magic here. Heated and cooled cupholders, heated armrests, soft close doors, etc., etc. etc. I think you get the picture. Other than not having the aforementioned Luxury Seating Package, night vision and rear seat entertainment this X7 contains the full pantry of BMW convenience and safety features. I’ve been in the new Mercedes GLS but have yet to drive it…that being said it would take something beyond spectacular to beat what BMW has delivered here.
The tester BMW has provided is a dream machine replete with nearly every feature the X7 has to offer. So keep in mind that for about $75,000 there’s the X7 xDrive40i with 6-cylinder power. This one however is the 50i and has a fire-breathing twin-turbo V8 and nearly $20 grand in options to arrive at an as-tested price of $112,245. For that amount, every aspect of the X7 experience has been pushed to the limit.
Refined, rugged and roomy, Kia Motors America’s (KMA) best-selling Sorento SUV remains as capable as ever for the 2019 model year, touting a number of visual and feature enhancements, inside and out. Aside from new front and rear fascias, which help it achieve a more sophisticated appearance, the cabin is now decidedly more upscale and integrates newly-added technology, including available Driver Attention Warning,4 Lane Keep Assist1 and QuantumLogic™2Surround Sound. In addition, the Sorento now pairs its available 3.3-liter V6 with a newly available 8-speed automatic transmission for an even smoother and more seamless driving experience.
The completely redesigned Kia K900 establishes a new standard for luxury, driving dynamics and automotive technology for Kia. The all-new second-generation model combines a dignified and sophisticated exterior design, a beautifully crafted cabin of premium materials, and performance characteristics that befit a world-class flagship sedan. Reimagined in every way, the K900 brings with it an array of new systems and safety features, making it the most technologically advanced Kia ever.
The model I’m running around in this week is the UX 200 Luxury with front-wheel drive and a handful of options leading to an MSRP of $41,560. As compared with the base UX, the Luxury adds a power rear hatch with kick sensor for hands-free operation, driver’s side memory settings, a blind spot monitor and much more to give its occupants a complete premium experience. Utilizing a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers more power and better fuel efficiency than the Toyota powerplant, the UX is rated at 169 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque while using a trick CVT that’s engineered to behave more like a traditional automatic transmission with 10 simulated gears. In the urban environment for which it in intended, the driving experience is quite agreeable with enough grunt to move things along when needed, crisp steering and a chassis that profits from lightweight materials and a low center of gravity to imbue the UX with a dialed-in agility. The fully independent suspension delivers a welcome feeling of driver control while preserving a Lexus-level of comfort. It’s also quiet but not to the typically high Lexus standard…you’ll actually hear some road noise in here. It’s sized so neatly that maneuvering in traffic and finding suitable parking is a breeze…one of the best parts of owning a small car. And if the Cadmium Orange paint didn’t already awaken the senses this Glazed Caramel interior certainly will. It’s in here where this UX comes closest to earning its asking price – beautiful to the eye as well as the touch, with synthetic leather that is soft and feels like the real deal. It’s a driver focused cockpit with an optional heads-up display, cool graphics and a new twist on an old theme