2019 Toyota Avalon First Drive Review: A New Hope

2019 Toyota Avalon First Drive Review: A New Hope

If the 2019 Toyota Avalon isn't fit enough to survive, then the entire full-size sedan species is doomed to extinction. It's really simple as that, because as the new-and-improved replacement for a car that was already well-entrenched as the segment benchmark, it stands the best chance of coaxing customers away from an onslaught of SUVs and similarly priced smaller sedans with fancier badges. Perhaps it could even snag a few people not yet old enough to collect Social Security.

That last point is key, because at 64 years old, the current Avalon's average buyer is actually a few years older than the segment average. While there's certainly nothing wrong with building a car for retirees, one must also acknowledge that fixed incomes and well, the inevitable march of time, will erode your customer base even more than it has (from about 71,000 when the current generation was introduced to about 32,600 in 2017). So, while Toyota isn't trying to capture young buyers, knocking a few years off that average would be nice.

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2018 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 Quick Spin Review | Beauty Before Brawn

2018 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 Quick Spin Review | Beauty before brawn

The 2018 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is an absolute beauty in person. And that's important, because, more than any other segment in the automotive marketplace, a personal luxury coupe has got to have the kind of attention-grabbing looks that can lead off the discussion about a brand-new vehicle. Like this one.

It's also important because the name Red Sport 400 conjures up a kind of performance imagery that the Q60's hardware doesn't quite live up to. But before we delve into the world of horsepower and torque, let's finish talking about style. Like most luxury marques these days, Infiniti is working really hard to put a variant of its instantly recognizable corporate face on everything it sells. Unlike some other automakers — *cough* Lexus *cough* — Infiniti has been mostly successful in the styling-led marketing push without making each new car a caricature of the model it replaced.

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Honda Program Teaches Young Drivers To Use Manual Transmission

Honda program teaches young drivers to use manual transmission

With the manual transmission becoming less common as time goes on, there are fewer opportunities to learn how to use it and subsequently order a car with one. In response to this, Honda hosted an experience in the Los Angeles area near Angeles Crest Highway called "Shifting Gears." There Honda brought out a bunch of its own manual-equipped cars to teach people how to use a manual transmission.

Honda had some cool cars available, too. In addition to new cars such as the Accord, Civic and Fit, the company brought out some older models such as an early Civic CVCC, a Prelude Type SH, and the hardcore S2000 CR. The event included low-speed areas to teach those with little to no experience how to handle a manual, and those with more experience could drive the cars on the Angeles Crest Highway, the road where we got our first taste of the new Civic Si.

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2018.5 Nissan Rogue Sport Gets More Standard Safety Equipment

2018.5 Nissan Rogue Sport gets more standard safety equipment

Nissan is updating the Rogue Sport line for 2018.5. It's not a major refresh, but it does make a number of safety features standard on all models including the base-level S. The standard features include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic assist. The top-level SL trim also gains another standard convenience feature in the form of adaptive cruise control. This feature will also be available on the mid-level SV in the SV Technology Package.

Although these new features are now standard, they aren't free. Prices for 2018.5 Rogue Sports start a tad higher than the outgoing 2018 model. The base-level S model is $470 more with a new starting price of $23,085. The SV is $500 more than the previous model starting at $24,715, and the SL is $900 more at $28,165.

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