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2019 Lexus UX In which city would you launch a small crossover designed for the modern urban explorer? Seattle, of course, the vibrant city that offers an array of experiences from underground grunge to Pike Place Market to the Amazon Spheres!

And that’s where we found ourselves after Lexus for a preview of its all-new 2019 UX in the fastest-growing compact SUV segment. The urban-centric ride will be available in two trims: the front-wheel-drive UX200 with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine putting out 169 horsepower @ 6600 rpm and 151 pounds-feet of torque @ 4800 rpm; or the all-wheel-drive UX250h gas/electric hybrid with a 2.0-liter developing a total of 181 horsepower @ 6000 rpm. The former is mated to a 10-speed direct-shift auto gear box and the latter gets a continuous variable transmission. The UX250h employs a four-cylinder gas engine, two electric motors and a 216-volt nickel-metal hydride battery. At higher speeds, power comes primarily from the gasoline engine. During deceleration and braking, the vehicle uses regenerative braking to apply much of the wasted energy toward recharging the hybrid battery.

Standard bi-LED headlights and daytime running lights flank a massive three-dimensional mesh spindle grille to give the UX a muscular stance. Attention to detail is apparent in the cabin with its three-spoke steering wheel, dual auto a/c, 8-way power front seats, six speakers and four USB ports, 60/40 rear fold seat, wireless phone charger, and Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay integration. A mouse-like Remote Touch enables the driver to toggle navigation, climate, audio and phone controls, which are displayed on a 7-inch or the optional 10.3-inch screen, next to the familiar analog clock. Passenger volume is at 90.4 and trunk space at 21.7 cubic feet, which is OK for a compact SUV. Add $2,000 for each trim if you would like the sporty F Sport trim, which includes a sport-tuned suspension, perforated leather shifter and heated steering wheel, F Sport grille, front/rear bumpers, 8-inch display screen, and more.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, front knee airbags, vehicle stability and traction controls, three-point seatbelts for all, front/rear crumple zones and side-impact beams, rearview camera, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Also, the Lexus Safety Sense + 2.0 fetches you a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist, dynamic cruise control and intelligent high beams at no cost.

Starting at $32,000 for the UX200 and $34,000 for the UX250h, this Urban + X-over (crossover) is a purposeful vehicle with no compromises. Rivals such as the BWW X1 and Audi Q3 now have plenty of catching up to do with this immensely pleasant and rewarding ride.



2018 Nissan ROGUE SPORT AWDGuess which is Nissan’s top-selling vehicle? No, it isn’t the Altima sedan. It is the Rogue, a compact crossover that has delivered a comfortable well-damped ride while targeting youthful and active lifestyles.

For 2018, the 2.5-liter inline-4 DOHC cylinder engine still puts out 170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 175 pounds-feet of torque @ 2800 rpm. It is coupled with a continuous variable transmission, which can be noisy at times. The electric power rack-and-pinion steering conveys a solid on-center feel, willing to change directions when hustled along on the road. An independent strut with coil springs make up the front while the rear is equipped with a multilink suspension.

Ensconced on the unibody-type structure is a V-motion black grille with chrome accents, and halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights. Offered at no extra cost on the SL trim are dual auto a/c, 7-inch touchscreen, eight-way power driver seat, leather seats and shifter, tilt/telescopic steering column, push-button start and a 9-speaker Bose audio system. The D-shaped heated, leather steering wheel offers a solid and confident feel. Ingress and egress is effortless with the 60/40-split rear seat, which when folded, ekes out 70 cubic feet of space. And passenger volume is an admirable 105.8 cubic feet. An under-floor cargo area tray can come in handy to store soaked belongings.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, vehicle dynamic control, antiskid system, front seat active-head restraints, automatic emergency braking, front seatbelts with pretensioners, front and rear crumple zones, hill start assist, blind spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert, lane-departure warning, auto emergency brake with pedestrian detection and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Looking into the future of autonomous transport, the optional ProPilot Assist helps drivers to maintain their lane, and set vehicle speed and distance to a car ahead.

Listen up, all you younger and urban SUV buyers. Nothing beats the Rogue in versatility, functionality, decent fuel-economy figures and value. This is a no-brainer. In fact, it is one useful ‘Rogue’ you want to keep by your side, or in this case, parked in your garage.



2018 Lincoln ContinentalSometime back, we test drove the Lincoln Continental with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine under the hood. And recently we received the 2018 full-size luxury sedan but with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo engine cranking out 335 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 380 pounds-feet of torque @ 3500 rpm. The Lincoln flagship is mated to a smooth 6-speed auto gearbox and an option of comfort, normal and sport modes add color to the ride.

HID headlights and LED accents flank a split-winged grille with the centered Lincoln emblem. The E-latch door handles are a rarity even among high-end cars. But it is in the extravagant, stylish and exquisite cabin that the Continental rightly shines. For an extra $1,500, we suggest the Perfect Position option, which are basically 30-way front heated and cooled massaging seats. The user-friendly Sync3 interface controls audio, phone and navigation systems via voice, touch or both. Total passenger volume is an admiring 106.4 cubic feet and the trunk opens up 16.7 cubic feet of space. Tri-zone auto a/c, panoramic sun roof, 40/20/40 reclining rear heated/cooled/massage seats (separately packaged), Revel audio system with 19 speakers, suede headliner, foot-activated trunk, power tilt/telescope steering column, manual rear sunshades and power rear-window sunshade, and the Lincoln welcome/farewell light elements are standard.

Safety features included at no extra cost are dual front and side airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic stability and traction control, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert, rearview camera, front and rear three-point seatbelts, tire pressure monitor and daytime running lights.

Don’t be misled into believing that the 4,346-pound vehicle lacks power. In fact, the gas pedal unleashes strong acceleration to make this $65,415-base priced luxury sedan a graceful and easy-riding companion. Now, all that is needed is an inflated bank balance.



2019 SILVERADO 1500 4WD LTZThat the pickup market, like the SUV segment, is tough and competitive is a given. There’s the best-seller Ford F-150, the revamped Ram, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, GMC Sierra and more. In the midst of all lands an overhauled 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD with a wheelbase stretched by 3.9 and length by 1.6 inches offered in either a 5’ 8” or 6’.6” box. Rear seat legroom gets a 3-inch boost. And the truck is lighter by 450 pounds from previous model.

Our LTZ Crew cab version was equipped with the optional 6.2-liter V-8 engine blasting off 420 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 460 pounds-feet of torque @ 4100 rpm. It is mated to a slick-shifting 10-speed auto gear box. GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management system deactivates half of the cylinders to conserve gas while cruising or at slower speeds. A tweaked front independent coil-over-shock front and solid axle rear suspension ensures a solid but compliant and calm ride with poised handling and response. Guiding the large SUV into a tight parking spot with little effort is an accurate and well-weighted electric power steering. Tow capacity peaks at a commendable 12,200 pounds. And 12 fixed tie-downs now have a capacity of 500 pounds, up from 250 in the 2018 model.

More muscular than its predecessor, the 88-pound lighter fully-boxed steel frame Silverado shows off chrome accents on the bumpers, dual-port grille, mirror caps, door handles and hockey-stick beltline as LED headlights, fog lamps meet up with a louvered, power dome-style hood. Step into the airy interior and you are greeted by a large, clear six-gauge instrument cluster, easy-to-use HVAC and entertainment controls, and of course supportive seats. Hands-free navigation, phone and audio controls are within quick reach with the 8-inch color touchscreen. Well-placed storage bins and cubbies are scattered throughout. Best of all is the center console bin, which can consume a laptop. Other no-cost goodies include a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, dual auto a/c, 60/40 rear seat and a 6-speaker audio system.

Dual front and side airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, rearview camera, remote keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

The revamped Silverado comes with a varied choice of power trains, abundant passenger room and incredible tow/haul capabilities. What more can a pickup shopper ask for in a work ride?


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