2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum AWD SUV

The Toyota RAV4 was driven to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) for a review by the DJ’s – George Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello:

Blizzard Pearl White metallic – Heated gray/cinnamon leather buckets and heated steering wheel – Navigation system with 7” touchscreen – Radar, or adaptive cruise control – LED headlights and taillamps – Power moonroof – JBL 9 speaker stereo – 176 horsepower 2.5 liter 4 with dual overhead cams – 6 Speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive – Blind spot monitor, backup/around view camera, foot operated power tailgate, and lane watch – Forward emergency braking and 18” alloy wheels – $39,666.00 – 28 highway-22 city-24 combined  MPG – Made in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

2017 Infiniti QX50 AWD

The Infiniti QX50 was driven to Pirate Radio (FM 104.7) for the “Morning Show” with George Gray and Matt Arguello:

Graphite Shadow metallic – Graphite leather heated buckets – 5 passenger – 7” touchscreen with navigation – Radar cruise control – Keyless entry/blindspot monitor – Xenon auto-leveling headlights, daytime running lights, LED taillights – Bose 11 speaker premium sound stereo – Backup camera and “around view” parking monitor – 325 horsepower 3.7 liter V-6 w/ 267 lb. ft. of torque – 7 speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive – $45,535.00 EPA rating is 17 MPG city , 20 MPG combined 24 MPG highway – 20 gallon tank – Weighs 4,020 lbs./18.6 cubic ft. of cargo space – 186” long – 19” split-five spoke wheels

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T AWD

20170118_092122_hdrHyundai is a giant South Korean automobile manufacturer based in Seoul and it is the fourth largest such firm in the world.  The company owns almost half of KIA Motor Company, as well, and has been in business for 45 years.  In North America, Hyundai has designs on becoming the number three automaker by 2020.

This last week I had the pleasure of testing a new, 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate model courtesy of DriveShop, the local press vehicle media concern. The Santa Fe is a midsize crossover that has been around since 2001, and was on the forefront of the crossover boom that started at that time.  Styling of the 3rd generation Santa Fe is a hallmark of this latest model, and chrome abounds on the car, including a big grill, door handles, and exhaust finisher.   The vehicle was painted Nightfall blue metallic and featured premium exterior lower door trim.  The all-wheel drive Santa Fe rides on attractive, 19”, ten-spoke dark gray alloy wheels.

Speaking of abundance, inside the Santa Fe was the Ultimate Technology package along with a panoramic sunroof.  The package allow the occupants to enjoy dual-zone climate control, navigation/rearview camera, a 8” touch screen, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, premium 12 speaker Infinity QuantumLogic surround sound, heated seats (everywhere) and heated steering wheel.  The car is also equipped with power locks/windows, tilt/telescope, USB/Ipod connections, Bluetooth capability, HID Xenon bending headlights, auto-open hands-free power tailgate, lane departure warning, overhead multi-view camera system for parking, and radar cruise control.  This is an extremely luxurious vehicle – list price with all options and freight totaled $40,820.00.20170118_092525

A nice feature also found inside the Santa Fe is a mammoth rear cargo area with 35.4 cubic feet.  That expands to 71.5 with the 3-piece split rear seat folded down.  That’s right; the rear, sliding bench seat is a 40/20/40 so that two skiers can ride along with their equipment in the middle.

Power for the Santa Fe is supplied by a turbocharged 2.0 liter, 240 horsepower, 4 cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission.  The EPA mileage ratings are 19/city and 24/highway (17.4 gallon tank), and acceleration is reportedly zero to sixty in 6.5 seconds.  The ride of the Hyundai is compliant and the handling is SUV-superb.

Interestingly, the Santa Fe Sport features both Hillstart Assist Control and Downhill Brake Control, items I would have loved to have on my rental car the last time I visited San Francisco.  Such amenities are indicative of the value associated with this Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate.

 

 

2017 Infiniti QX-30 Premium AWD Crossover

20170117_124537The Infiniti crossover was taken to Pirate Radio for a review by this writer as well as George Gray and Matt Arguello:

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Graphite Shadow Gray metallic – Heated and ventilated leather brown and black buckets – Navigation system with 7” touchscreen – Radar/adaptive cruise control – LED bending headlights – Bose 10 speaker stereo – Pushbutton start – LED Headlamps – Surround view monitor – 208 horsepower 4 cylinder/2 liter with turbocharger – Seven-speed automatic transmission – Blind spot monitor, backup camera, and lane watch – Lane departure warning and collision-mitigation – $46,035.00 – 30 MPG Highway

2016 Toyota RAV-4 Limited AWD Compact SUV

20161118_162250_hdrThe Toyota RAV-4 was taken to Pirate Radio for a look-see during The Morning Show with George Gray and Matt Arguello:

My latest test car from the Rocky Mountain Redline people was a 2016 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD SUV that was painted Black Currant metallic and featured a black Softex (leather-like) five passenger interior.  The RAV4 is classified as a compact SUV, and is currently in its fourth generation of production, having been sold in America since 1996.

My test car carried an M.S.R.P. of $37,365.00, including freight and options, and was the Limited all-wheel drive model.  The RAV4 can be purchased with front-wheel drive, although part of its name, RAV4, denotes four-wheel drive.  RAV stands for recreational activity vehicle, by the way, and it’s a big seller – 30,000 units per month on several occasions.  Options on the RAV4 included a technology package for $1,435.00 and a number of items with the largest in cost being a remote starter for $499.00.  The Limited had standard items such as proximity keyless operation with pushbutton start, power liftgate, moon roof, remote start, backup camera, twin heated power buckets, Bluetooth/USB connections, roof rails, and tilt/telescope/leather steering wheel.  The technology items were satellite radio, 11-speaker JBL stereo, and a navigation system.

Power for the RAV4 is supplied by a 2.5 liter, four-cylinder DOHC engine (176 hp/172 lb. ft.) coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission.  Zero to 60 mph acceleration time is reportedly 8.4 seconds, and fuel economy ratings are 22 city/29 highway, 25 overall.  Weight of the RAV4 is 3,425 lbs., wheelbase is 104.7”, overall length is 179.9”, width is 72.6”, height is 65.4”, and the fuel tank holds 15.9 gallons.

Ruth and I took the Toyota to Denver twice, and in typical Toyota fashion, the car almost drove itself.  It rides, guides and passes other vehicles in OK fashion, and holds five adults comfortably.  With the back seat folded down, the cargo capacity is 73.6 cubic feet.20161118_162838

RAV4 Wheel

The RAV-4 is a treat to test, probably would be the same to own, and I give it a “thumbs up” for my week in its company.

2016 Lexus NX300h Hybrid Crossover

20161112_164644Recently the Lexus hybrid was taken over to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) for a look-see by the “Morning Show” DJ’s – George Gray and Matt Arguello.

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Blue Vortex metallic paint – 5 passenger and 5 doors with moon roof – power heated and air conditioned leather bucket seats – Touchscreen/navigation – All wheel drive – LED headlamps – XM radio and  premium Lexus 10 speaker stereo – Keyless entry – power windows and locks – pushbutton start – 2.5 liter four with hybrid technology – 194 horsepower combined rating – CVT Automatic transmission – Enform, backup camera, and blind spot monitor – 18” Ten – spoke alloy wheels – $47,818.00  list price – 32 MPG combined mileage, 33 in city and 30 on highway

 

2016 Lexus RX-350 F Sport

20160922_100157Recently the Lexus RX-350 was taken to Pirate Radio FM-104.7 (KELS) for a Friday edition of “Stu’s Reviews” featuring George Gray and Matt Arguello:

Adaptive Variable Suspension – Full-time All Wheel Drive – Blind Spot Monitor – Power Tailgate – Moonroof – Heated Steering Wheel – 12.3” Touchscreen Navigation – 15  Speaker Stereo by Mark Levinson – “Caviar” Metallic Black paint – White leather seating for five – $57,375.00, as equipped

Styling of the RX has always been a hallmark and this 2016 had a revised (substantially) look that was an eye-catcher .  Chrome tailpipes were present at the rear, and a nice black cladding strip adorns the lower body panels.  Up front the car features Lexus’ new “spindle”, pinched-in, somewhat massive, grill design.

Power for this car is provided by a 3.5 liter, 295 horsepower V-6 with an EPA rating of 19-city and 26-highway miles per gallon.  I observed 25.1 mpg during my week driving around in the RX, predominately on the highway.  Zero to 60 acceleration is reportedly 7.8 seconds.  Behind the power plant is a eight speed automatic with manual shifting and snow mode.  It, of course, is an all-wheel drive configuration, and the wheels are twenty-spoke black alloys fitted with P235/55R20 Michelin Premier LTX all-season radials.

It’s not a surprise that the Lexus RX is the top-selling luxury SUV;  I can recommend the RX, as it was an enjoyable week with it in my possession.

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