Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Astrology Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook! Art



Test-drive stories by NITISH S. RELE –motoringtampabay.com

2020 Lexus ES350 review Launched more than 30 years ago, the Lexus ES350 has been the standard bearer for midsize luxury sedans. Delivering an entertaining and energetic ride since its launch, Lexus totally overhauled the front-wheel-drive car last year. The seventh-gen ES now is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor. And Lexus also added the more lively F Sport trim to the ES badge for the first time.

The 3.5-liter V-6 engine cranks out 302 horsepower @ 6600 rpm and 267 pounds-feet of torque @ 4700 rpm. The 8-speed auto gear box is capable, smoother and fuel-efficient than the previous 6-speed. Suspension handled via independent front MacPherson strut-type and rear trailing-arm multilink does a worthy job of soaking up potholes and other road bumps. Returning a weighted response to the driver’s input is the power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. And 0 to 60 mph is achieved in 6.6 seconds, which is fittingly quick for a 3,649-pound vehicle. Eco, sport and normal modes are offered.

Ensconced on a unitized steel body is the signature spindle grille with a centered Lexus insignia, flanked by slim L-shaped bi-LED headlights and daytime running lights. A low, sleek roofline leads to wraparound LED tail lamps. The cabin is typical Lexus with welcoming wood and piano black trim and leather as occupants are pampered in spacious seats. The rounded large tachometer housing a digital speedometer and multi-information display is easy to read. Passenger and trunk volume is commendable at 99.9 and 16.7 cubic feet space respectively. Other amenities include dual auto a/c, power moon roof, 12.3-inch touch screen for navigation, audio and phone controls, 3-spoke power tilt/telescopic steering column with paddle shifters, keyless entry/engine start, 14-way power front seats, analog clock, power rear and manual rear-door sun shades, three USB ports, 10-speaker Pioneer audio system with a CD player and satellite radio, and rain-sensing wipers.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, front knee airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability assist with traction control system, front/rear crumple zones, smart stop technology, three-point safety belts for all, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system. 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.

Placed between the entry-level IS and the larger GS, the ES350 is the near-perfect ride. Tweaks to the mouse-like Remote Touch for toggling navigation, climate, audio and phone controls are welcome. This delightful Lexus is a well-balanced blend of luxury and performance.



2020 CR-V reviewAbout three years, the Honda CR-V (Comfortable Runabout Vehicle) underwent a major transformation. Never known to rest on their laurels, engineers at the Japanese carmaker have refreshed the exterior of the popular compact SUV while enhancing it with more features. Trust us, the changes are all for the better.

Offered as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive (which was our test drive), the fifth-generation 2020 CR-V is available in a 1.5-liter direct-injection, turbo 4-cylinder engine that develops 190 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 179 pounds-feet of torque @ 5000 rm. Your other choice is a hybrid/electric CR-V version also. Power is put to the road via a new continuously variable transmission. An independent MacPherson strut front and a multilink rear suspension isolates occupants from road noise and rough bumps. The motion-adaptive electric power steering, which nixes use of hoses and pumps, translates into gas savings.

The CR-V styling appears even more aggressive and sleeker than its predecessor. Tweaked LED headlights and wing-shaped daytime running lights flank a redesigned chrome-slathered two-bar grille while vertical darker LED tail lamps and dual chrome exhaust tips take up the rear. The 60/40 rear seat is easy to fold. Just pull the small levers located near the tailgate and you have a flat seat to haul cargo. Bins and cubbies are scattered throughout. Cargo space is with the second row down is a vast 75.8 cubic feet while passenger volume is also worthy at 102.9 cubic feet. Also standard are dual auto a/c, 7-inch display for audio/navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, leather on seats, shifter and the tilt/telescopic steering column, sunglass holder, 12-way driver and four-way front-passenger power seats, power tailgate and moon roof, push-button start and a driver information center.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag with rollover system, vehicle stability assist, traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, three-point seatbelts, front/rear crumple zones, blind-spot and rear cross traffic monitor, front-seat active head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard. Honda Sensing fetches the owner collision mitigation brakes, adaptive cruising control, lane keep assist, and forward collision and lane departure warnings.

The car-like CR-V boasts admirable passenger- and cargo-hauling capabilities. And you can count on the turbocharged power train to add more peppiness and fun to the ride. Besides, the practical and fuel-efficient SUV (averaging almost 30 mpg in combined driving for us) comes with Honda’s solid reputation for reliability and durability.



2020 Acrua MDX reviewAfter introduction of the A-Spec trim last year, engine idle-stop and some minor interior changes, the 2020 MDX continues as is. Overhauled just a few years ago, the three-row midsize luxury SUV from Acura is one stylish vehicle with all the bells and whistles, especially the tech type.

The retained 3.5-liter V-6 still puts out 290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 267 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. And one couldn’t have a smoother nine-speed gearbox. Once again, the MDX is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive (our test drive). Thanks to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), the driver can choose sport, normal and comfort settings. Looking to save fuel? The Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system can operate in three or four cylinder modes for substantial fuel savings. Braking duties are handled competently by 12.6-inch ventilated front and 13-inch rear solid discs.

Thanks to A-Spec, the even bold-appearing front fascia shows off gloss-black and dark chrome trim on the jewel-eye LED headlights, grille, window surround and rear tailgate spoiler. The cabin is awash in extravagance with red/black cooled leather seats and Alcantara inserts (also on door), sport medals, distinct A-Spec instrument gauges, thicker steering wheel, and LED fog lamps. The supersized center console bin, which is 2 inches deeper and wider and 5 inches longer, can accommodate a laptop. And the second-row seat can go fore and aft 6 inches so third-row passengers can settle in effortlessly. The vast under floor bin in the cargo hold is a smart space saver. Passenger volume is a competitive 132.7 cubic feet. Other amenities are tri-zone auto a/c, power rear tailgate and moon roof, 12-way power heated/cooled front seats and eye-catching metallic trim.

And if you are looking for exclusivity, Acura has introduced an MDX Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) edition limited to just 330 models in Valencia Red Pearl. It’s one way of inching closer to owning the supercar. Yes, the PMC has been hand-assembled by the same tech wizards behind the track weapon NSX.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, front/rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, vehicle stability assist with traction control, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist (which maintains the ride in its path), blind-spot monitor, collision mitigation system, multi-angle rearview camera, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. These also include all the safety technology that comes with AcuraWatch.

Packed with tech-savvy trimmings, the best-selling three-row luxury vehicle of all time (1 million units sold), displays swift acceleration, lavish cargo/passenger space and worthy fuel economy despite its 4,486-pound weight.


homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontent newseditor's notehealth
immigrationfinanceMINDBODY/NUTRITIONmoviesfashionbooks/getawaysIIFA 2014ART
astrologyyouthmotoringplaces of worshipclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK