2019 Toyota Prius C Drivers' Notes Review | Sunsetting The C

2019 Toyota Prius C Drivers' Notes Review | Sunsetting the C

The Toyota Prius C was a fine little hatchback when it debuted back in 2012, but time is a cruel mistress. The car has been outdone and outclassed by a myriad of other products, including some from within Toyota's own ranks. It seems the automaker agrees, as it's ditching the model at the end of this model year. Still, you might be able to snag a deal on a spacious and fuel efficient little hatchback if you keep your eyes peeled.

Our tester was a Prius C LE, the top of two available trims. Standard features on this model include LED projector headlights, LED taillights, automatic climate control and navigation. The only two options on our car were Tide Pool Pearl paint for $395 and floormats for another $264. All in, this one stickered for $24,534.

2019 Audi Q8 Drivers' Notes Review | Sharp Dresser

2019 Audi Q8 Drivers' Notes Review | Sharp dresser

The 2019 Q8 is the latest and greatest from Audi, a so-called four-door coupe that was inspired by models like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe. These models trade in a little utility for a heavy dose of style, though the Audi is the least compromised of the trio when it comes to useable space. It's 21 cubic-feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats is roughly the same as the other two, but the way it's packaged allows for a more usable area. Rear visibility and rear headroom are improved, too. That said, new versions of both the X6 and GLE are on their way, so expect to see both of those models make some gains.

Like most Audis, the Q8 shares a lot with other Volkswagen Group models, namely the Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. Our tester was the mid-level Premium Plus model. It's $4,000 more than a base Q8 Premium but includes features like 21-inch wheels, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, illuminated door sills, four-zone climate control, ventilated front seats and wireless charging. Other options on this model include $595 for the Daytona Grey paint, the $600 cold weather package and the $2,750 driver assistance package. The latter adds adaptive cruise with traffic jam assist, active lane assist and traffic sign recognition. All in, this Q8 will set you back $79,340.

Xperia Xz3 Wins 2019 If Design Award

Xperia XZ3 wins 2019 iF Design Award

Sony has a history of winning awards for design, and that is no different for its Xperia smartphones. Last year saw four Xperia products pick up iF Design Awards, including a Gold Award for the Xperia XZ1. This year, Sony is once again not empty-handed, as the Xperia XZ3 has won a 2019 iF Design Award. It's very much a worthy winner. The Xperia XZ3 was the first Sony phone to use an OLED display, and came with a seamless design appealing to the mass market including the use of a 3D curved display.

2019 Toyota Sienna Awd Vs 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid | New Meets Old

2019 Toyota Sienna AWD vs 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid | New meets old

The Toyota Sienna has always been an inconspicuous van. They're out there, there's a lot of them and they're huge, but they blend in with darn near everything. Perhaps Toyota noticed that a little while ago and slapped on the slightly garish grille/not a grille plastic thing in the front bumper, but it still doesn't really stand out. On the other hand, our long-term Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which is a great deal newer than the Sienna, has slick styling that gets noticed. Toyota hasn't properly redesigned the Sienna since the 2011 model year, and it shows on every front. Despite its many shortcomings, there are still some valid arguments for going with the dinosaur.

Ride and handling

Of all the reasons to choose a Sienna over the much newer competition, available all-wheel drive has to be the main one. My tester was so equipped, and I got a chance to test it out in both snow and ice. Obviously, the first thing I did in powder was see if the rear end would break loose. I can confirm that with traction control off, the Sienna will slide around a little bit. You won't be doing any sick drifts, but it's undoubtedly more fun than our Pacifica.

The Chrysler is fitted with Nokian Hakkapelitta winter tires. As you might guess, this means that braking and grip around corners is better than the Sienna in snow. If the Sienna were to ditch its slippery all-seasons for a proper set of winters, it would be running circles around the Pacifica. Still, I drove our Pacifica through a lake effect blizzard in Buffalo and it never blinked from lack of traction with multiple inches of snow on the ground. Some folks are going to want the assurance of all-wheel drive, and the Sienna will offer it, but don't make it your only option. All-wheel drive might help you get going, but winter tires are there to save the day when sledding gets tough.

2019 Nissan Leaf Review And Buying Guide | Leaf Branches Out

2019 Nissan Leaf Review and Buying Guide | Leaf branches out

The 2019 Nissan Leaf brings choice to the table. The bestselling electric car in the world is now offered in a choice of two battery packs with substantially different ranges (150 miles for the base Leaf and 226 for the new Leaf Plus). Buyers can choose which is a better fit for their driving demands and budget. After all, if you only go a handful of miles to work and back every day, why plunk down extra cash for range you don't need? At the same time, the availability of a longer-range model better aligns the Leaf with the Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Tesla Model 3. As for the car itself, the Leaf is a comfortable, well-equipped hatchback that can be more practical than many of the EVs with which it competes.

What's new with the Leaf for 2019?

For 2019, there are now two versions of the Nissan Leaf. While it was completely redesigned last year boasting a longer 150-mile electric range, this year sees a second Leaf Plus model good for 226 miles. This model gets a new, larger battery pack, a tweaked electric motor and some slight appearance updates to differentiate itself from the normal Leaf.

An updated infotainment system with an 8-inch display also finds its way into the Leaf Plus for 2019, but the normal Leaf keeps the old 7-inch unit. The menus look a little different, a few new features are added and it supports multi-touch inputs, but it still feels dated in actual use.

2019 Lexus Is 350 Awd Drivers' Notes Review | Trouble In Tech Town

2019 Lexus IS 350 AWD Drivers' Notes Review | Trouble in tech town

The third-gen Lexus IS has been on sale since 2013 and has benefited from few updates in the meantime. Our tester was an Atomic Silver IS 350 with all-wheel drive, the most expensive model in the lineup. A base IS 300 (formerly known as the 200t) starts at just under $40,000, though our well-equipped tester toped out at $50,780. Rather than the 300's 2.0-liter turbocharged V6, the IS 350 uses Toyota's tried-and-true 3.5-liter V8 churning out 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That's less than models like the BMW 340i and Mercedes-AMG C43, but still a good amount of grunt.

Options on this car include the $2,365 F Sport package. Changes include accents on the front and rear bumpers, F Sport 5-spoke 18-inch wheels, a digital instrument cluster, perforated leather on the steering wheel, and a few F Sport logos sprinkled throughout. Other options include adaptive lighting for $300, upgraded audio and infotainment system for $2,845, and a heated steering wheel for $150.

Xperia Xzs Gets March 2019 Security Patches (41.3.a.2.234)

Xperia XZs gets March 2019 security patches (41.3.A.2.234)

A quick heads-up for Xperia XZs owners – Sony Mobile is now rolling out the latest 1 March 2019 Android security patches. The update moves the build number from 41.3.A.2.223 to version 41.3.A.2.234. There does not appear to be any other changes, but let us know your impressions in the comments below.

2019 Lexus Lx 570 Drivers' Notes Review | Long In The Tooth

2019 Lexus LX 570 Drivers' Notes Review | Long in the tooth

Body-on-frame SUVs like the 2019 Lexus LX 570 might have ruled the market a couple decades ago, but the old-school form factor has given way to smaller, more efficient car-based crossovers. That said, there's still a big market for models like this. Just take a look at the success of the Toyota 4Runner or other luxury SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade or the Ford F-150-based Lincoln Navigator. Crossovers may be more popular, but nothing beats an old-school SUV's chops when it comes to going off-road or towing big cargo.

The Lexus LX is available in two flavors: a five-passenger two-row model and a seven-passenger three-row model. We had a chance to drive both, the first in Michigan and the latter in Oregon. There's a $5,000 difference between the base price on the two models. Both models had the $1,190 Luxury Package (upgraded leather, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second row and LX puddle lights). The three-row came with quite a few more options, including a heads-up display, a cool box in the console, a Mark Levinson audio system and a dual-screen rear entertainment system. All in, our two-row tester came out to $88,195 while the three-row would set you back $99,710.

2019 Nissan Rogue Review And Buying Guide

2019 Nissan Rogue Review and Buying Guide

The 2019 Nissan Rogue compact crossover makes a wonderful first impression. Its attractive styling bucks the usual trend of frumpy and/or utilitarian design, and despite this model being around for five years since its last full redesign, it still looks pretty fresh. The interior similarly looks good, there's plenty of up-to-date tech, and those seeking lots of family-friendly space will find one of the roomiest cabins in the segment.

However, the longer you spend with the Rogue, you might start to notice the underpowered engine, unrefined transmission and general dreary driving experience. Back-to-back test drives of key competitors — most of which have been more recently redesigned — might also reveal that they manage to at least match the Rogue's strong points while substantially bettering it in others. Not a bad choice, but we think there are better ones.

2019 Nissan Murano Second Drive Review | Crossover Maximus

2019 Nissan Murano Second Drive Review | Crossover Maximus

The Nissan Murano was an early entrant into what is now a sprawling universe of midsize crossovers, first appearing as a 2003 model. Against a rising tide of fellow two-row midsizers such as the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorrento, and Subaru Outback, the Murano has attempted to retreat to more luxurious ground. The vehicle's most recent full redesign in 2015 saw it adopt a much more stylized exterior and more upscale interior. And now, four years on, the 2019 Murano gets a mild update.

From the outside, the Murano gets restyled LED headlamps and taillights, new LED fog lights, a black-painted front bumper section that visually heightens the grille, and redesigned 18- and 20-inch wheels. Inside, the top-spec Platinum model gets fancier with diamond-stitch patterned, semi-aniline leather, and all models up the airbag count with side airbags for the rear seat and knee airbags for the front passenger. Additionally, Nissan's rear door alert is now standard (if a rear door is opened before a trip but not reopened afterward, the system honks the horn to remind the driver to check the rear seat). The available navigation system features enhanced graphics including satellite imagery and adds traffic-sign recognition and online POI search capability.

2019 Nissan Altima-te Awd: What It's Like To Drive An Altima On Tracks

2019 Nissan Altima-TE AWD: What it's like to drive an Altima on tracks

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec — All-wheel drive comes to the Nissan Altima with the model's 2019 redesign, and while that's big news for the U.S. market, it's an even bigger deal in the Great White North, where all Altimas are so equipped. To herald the news, Nissan had built what it calls the Altima-TE, an AWD Altima outfitted with snow tracks, and we recently had a chance to drive it. "Altimate" ... get it?

The tracks are 30 inches tall, and although the car's standard suspension travel is retained, the tracks necessitated raising the ride height by three inches. It's not unlike the Nissan "370Zki" we drove in February of last year, in concept if not execution. The result is a big climb up to get in, but once inside, the interior is standard Altima. The powertrain is unmodified, which means even this AWD Altima sends 100 percent of its torque to the front wheels — er, tracks — unless it detects slippage (which seems unlikely in this application).