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 –

2021 LEXUS IS350 This is one of our favorite compact sport sedans. Why? It is just a real fun car to drive, ready to take off in an instant, nimble in traffic and swift to merge on busy highways. In figures: 0 to 60 in barely 5.6 seconds, ¼-mile in 13.8 seconds and top speed of 143 mph. What makes the IS350 even better for 2021 are the numerous changes Lexus has made inside out though the power train stays as is. Length and width are up by 1.8 inches though height is unchanged.

Under the unitized steel body still resides a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that cranks out 311 horsepower @ 6600 rpm and 280 pounds-feet of torque @ 4800 rpm. Equipped with the IS F high-performance model’s eight-speed auto gearbox, it can be driven in eco, normal, sport or snow modes. Though our test was a rear-wheel drive, you can opt for an electronically controlled all-weather drive for firmer grip and traction. Suspension is handled by an independent double wishbone front and a multilink rear system to smoothen breaks, bumps and turns on the road. The rack-and-pinion steering with electric power assist is quick, precise and well-weighted.

Slimmer LED headlights and daytime running lights flank the massive and redesigned spindle grille, a color-coordinated front functional air intake with full-width tail lamps and dual chrome tips in the rear. Now that all IS350s will have standard F Sport features, the front and rear bumpers receive a distinctive look as does the grille surround and rocker moldings. Niceties include dual auto a/c, 60/40 rear seat, 10-way power and eight-way front-passenger heated/cooled seats, moon roof, LFA-inspired 8-inch TFT instrument cluster with sliding bezel, silver-metallic analog clock, and a power tilt/telescopic steering column. A mouse-like, easy-to-use Remote Touch enables the driver to toggle navigation, climate, audio and phone controls, which are displayed on a 10.3-inch screen.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, front knee airbags, vehicle stability and traction controls, front/rear crumple zones, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Add in a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane departure assist and dynamic cruise control, all part of the no-cost Lexus Safety Sense+.

Looking for a little bit of gusto in your ride? Then the rev-happy and powerful IS350 will be more than delighted to oblige. A lavish cabin and respectable fuel economy should help seal the deal.

IS350 (RWD)


2021 VW AtlasIntroduced in 2018, the fairly new Atlas is the largest VW on the road today, eclipsing its younger sibling the Tiguan. Under the hood sits a sole 3.6-liter V-6 engine putting out 276 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 266 pounds-feet of torque @ 2750 rpm. For a vehicle weighing nearly 4,700 pounds, it’s quick off the mark, responding with agility in any situation. The midsize SUV offers an 8-speed auto gearbox. Ensconced on the unitary body is a robust independent four-wheel suspension. Tow capacity is a remarkable 5,000 pounds.

Available as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive (our trim), this replacement for the Touareg appears to be attracting lots of attention, all good. Horizontal LED headlights and daytime running lights flank chrome bars with a centered VW insignia. The attractive cabin of the SUV epitomizes European styling and flair with a simple but elegant instrument panel of large analog speedometer and tachometer gauges and a centered driver information center. The 60/40 second-row seat tilts and slides 7.7 inches forward effortlessly while the 50/50 third row is big enough for two adults to sit comfortably. Passenger volume is commendable at 153.7 cubic feet while you get an astonishing 96.8 cubic feet behind the front row with all rear seats down. Like the sun to come down on you? Open up the 4.4-by-2.8-foot panoramic sunroof. Amenities include an 8-inch touch screen for audio, nav and phone controls, tri-zone auto a/c with second-row air vents, three-spoke leather steering column, front heated/cooled seats, and a power lift gate.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability with anti-slip regulation and engine brake assist, traction control, lane departure and forward collision warning, blind-spot monitor, front/rear park distance control, hill start assist and descent control, adaptive cruise control, overhead and rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

Competition is fierce in the midsize SUV segment but this fairly new ride has been receiving rave reviews from its owners. Apart from a potent power train and good looks, a roomy third-row seat and generous cargo hold should ensure that the VW Atlas becomes a frontrunner.


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