2020 Acura Rdx Review And Buying Guide | Specs, Features, Photos, Impressions - Autoblog

2020 Acura RDX Review and Buying Guide | Specs, features, photos, impressions - Autoblog

The 2020 Acura RDX is a bold compact luxury crossover that represents a return to its roots – providing some athleticism and adrenaline to a segment not known for either. We think this is a positive development, as the previous RDX lost its way a bit. However, that last RDX's biggest strength was its very spacious interior for its overall size, which carries over to the new version despite the increased athleticism. These aren't usually attributes that go together; sporty vehicles can be smaller, with poor space utilization. That isn't the case here. The turbocharged engine and advanced all-wheel drive system mean the RDX is as lively as any crossover buyer could want. The bottom line is that it has more character and a superior combination of attributes than many of its sport-luxury competitors.

What's new with for 2020?

The RDX carries over mostly unchanged for 2020 after receiving a complete redesign last year. There's a turbocharged engine under the hood again, instead of the V6 in the last-generation model, and the technologically-advanced Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system also makes a return. On the outside, the chrome grille "beak" has thankfully vanished, and there's some nifty tech in the slick interior – although its signature touchpad infotainment controller is a mixed bag. More on that below. You can read about last year's changes more fully in our 2019 Acura RDX First Drive, but in short, it's sportier, more distinctive and more luxurious than its predecessor. Part of that is the fact it's no longer based on the same vehicle platform as Honda's CR-V.  

2019 Infiniti Qx50 Essential Review | Features, Specs And More - Autoblog

2019 Infiniti QX50 Essential Review | Features, Specs and More - Autoblog

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is the brand's second smallest crossover, and it's fully redesigned for the 2019 model year. Infiniti decided to use the stylish QX50 as a technology flagship, specifically using it to debut its variable-compression engine technology. It has since been shared with Nissan in the new Altima, but Infiniti got the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder first. It makes a solid 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, numbers that are very similar to the outgoing QX50's 3.7-liter V6. However, the 2019 QX50 with all-wheel drive (as our tester is equipped) nets you 26 mpg combined to the old car's 20 mpg combined rating. Infiniti pairs the new engine with its continuously-variable transmission. We happen to be testing the absolute pinnacle of what a QX50 can be: the "Essential" trim level. The base QX50 Pure starts at $37,645, whereas ours towers up to $59,085. That steep price is thanks to the addition of several high-dollar packages, including the $7,500 Sensory Package. This is the price you'll pay to get the ultra-luxe interior that we happened to fall in love with. The Autograph Package added $2,000, netting us white leather with the blue suede accents. Then the ProActive ($2,000) and ProAssist ($550) packages provide all the advanced driver assistance features like ProPilot Assist. Take note that the frustrating steer-by-wire (DAS) system is also included in the ProActive Package. Assistant Editor, Zac Palmer: When fully optioned as our QX50 Essential tester is, this interior can mix it up with the best in the business. You may have to sell a kidney to afford it, but the quilted white semi-aniline leather, soft blue suede and light maple (real) wood is going to make it all worthwhile. Infiniti certainly nailed it on the materials, but the interior design and styling flourishes are executed just as successfully. There's a simplicity to the flatness and gently curving horizontal lines that feels so graceful and luxurious. I feel that I'd never tire of the cream, brown and blue color combination, though that light-colored leather means I'd forever be trying extra hard to keep it clean. All of this interior loveliness was almost enough to make me forget about this crossover's interior tech shortcomings. Infiniti hasn't integrated Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and the stock infotainment system isn't nearly polished enough to warrant such an omission. I'm no fan of Infiniti's unusual stacked dual-screen setup, and the newest infotainment systems from the Germans are far more advanced. Even when connected via Bluetooth, the QX50 was unable to tell me the name of the song and artist that was currently streaming from my phone. At least I thoroughly enjoyed that sound quality from the 16-speaker Bose Performance Series speakers. If you're able to overlook the tech issues, then spending time in the most expensive of QX50s becomes a luxury experience right at the top of its class.

Was a bit shocked at how nice the interior can get on a fully-loaded @INFINITIUSA QX50. The quilted stitching, blue suede and brown leather all play together rather nicely. But where's Android Auto and Apple CarPlay? @therealautoblog pic.twitter.com/gaGpFWpUXy — Zac Palmer (@zacpalmerr) June 20, 2019 Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I enjoyed my weekend in the QX50. The VC Turbo engine, a finalist for the 2019 Autoblog Tech of the Year Award, sounds good and has plenty of pull. A compact crossover with 280 lb-ft of torque and all-wheel drive feels right. The 268-hp output is middling, but the torque more than makes up for it. The four-cylinder engine is achieving efficacy in the car business. We see it used in everything from sports cars to full-size trucks and it's working. Infiniti spent a lot of time and money developing the VC (Variable Compression) Turbo and it's giving a vehicles throughout the brand's lineup a new energy. Like Zac says, the interior is gorgeous. It's quiet, well-laid out, comfortable and near the top of the class. The only issue I have is with the infotainment. It's fine, but the controls and workflow are a bit nebulous. Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: Zac and Greg went over the best parts of the QX50, so I guess I get to talk about the less stellar ride and handling. The ride itself is fairly good, very smooth and isolating, but handling is pretty disappointing. There's a fair amount of body roll, and not a lot of grip. You wouldn't know that through the steering wheel, though, which is connected to Infiniti's steer-by-wire system known as "Direct Adaptive Steering." It's feather-light and completely uncommunicative. But on the plus side, it doesn't feel nearly as disconcertingly disconnected as Infiniti's past steer-by-wire iterations. Maybe one day it will finally feel decent. Or maybe Infiniti will wise up and just stick to a direct physical connection between the wheel and the steering rack. At least it's an option, so you can skip if you want (and trust me, you do want). All this being said, if you're just looking for something comfortable to get you from A to B, this isn't a big issue, and the engine's impressive power, the Autograph package's spectacular interior, and reasonable pricing for this size of crossover, all make a compelling case for the QX50.

2019 Honda Hr-v Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos - Autoblog

2019 Honda HR-V Review | Price, specs, features and photos - Autoblog

The 2019 Honda HR-V is one of the most space-efficient SUVs, managing to provide far more passenger and cargo space than you'd think possible from its diminutive exterior dimensions. If getting the most out of the least is important to you, the HR-V is going to make a lot of sense. It also boasts a reasonable price given that size plus a high-quality interior, ample feature content (especially the EX trim) and Honda's legendary reliability. Even its crash scores were improved for 2019 along with a number of other elements described below. The HR-V has a lot going for it, but it's certainly not a slam dunk. Acceleration is among the slowest in the segment, and you don't need a stopwatch to notice. Its all-wheel-drive system isn't particularly sophisticated and isn't a great choice if you'll be dealing with deep snow or mud. Taller drivers are also unlikely to be comfortable in the driver seat, which has insufficient travel in all but the top Touring trim. As such, we'd recommend also considering the Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona or even the Kia Niro Hybrid.

What's new for 2019?

The HR-V gets its first significant update this year. The styling has been tweaked, but it's minor. New Sport and Touring trim levels debut, bringing with them distinctive styling and noteworthy features (the Touring includes a sorely needed power driver seat). The top three trim levels now come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of accident avoidance technologies, which were previously unavailable on the HR-V. IIHS crash scores have also improved. As in other updated 2019 Hondas, the touchscreen interface gets a volume knob and some other updates. In terms of the oily bits, you can no longer get the HR-V with a manual transmission, which no one should be particularly concerned about. Happily, the CVT has apparently been retuned to be more refined than before.

What's the HR-V's interior and in-car technology like?

The HR-V's cabin is distinctive in the Honda SUV family as it skews a little more toward form than function. The rising "floating" center console that can be wrapped in padded simulated leather looks great, as do the unique touch-operated climate controls. Materials quality is excellent for this budget segment, and in general, we think this one of the more attractive and well-made interiors in the segment. The same cannot be said for its infotainment system. Sure, Honda added a volume knob to the available touchscreen for 2019, but that omission wasn't the system's only flaw. It's still a bit slow, and the menu structure convoluted. You only need to look inside an Accord to see what Honda infotainment is capable of. Along with that touchscreen, all but the base LX trim come with two USB ports (inconveniently located under that floating center console), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a variety of smartphone apps through HondaLink.

How big is the HR-V?

If you're looking for a sub-compact SUV (or at least an inexpensive SUV) with the most interior space possible, it's hard to beat the HR-V. It features the same "Magic Seat" as the Honda Fit – with the gas tank under the front seat, the back seat can fold completely flat into the super-low floor – affording it unmatched space and versatility. There's a best-in-class 24.3 cubic-feet with the seats raised (FWD) and 57.6 cubic-feet with them lowered. Only the Nissan Kicks comes remotely close to that. The Magic Seat's 60/40-split bottom also flips up, allowing you to store things across an ultra-long rear footwell. Up front, those of above-average height will struggle to get comfortable behind the wheel due to a driver seat that doesn't slide far enough back or dip far enough down. There is thankfully an eight-way power driver seat available for 2019 that should at least partially rectify this, but it's exclusive to the top trip level. Outside, the HR-V is 169.1 inches long, which is pretty much mid-pack for the segment, falling in between the bigger Subaru Crosstrek and smaller Hyundai Kona. Its 63.2-inch height is typical for the segment, and its ground clearance is modest at 7.3 inches with front-wheel drive and 6.7 inches with all-wheel drive. That's actually as good or better than many competitors, but also not well suited to actually venturing off the beaten path (its unsophisticated all-wheel-drive system doesn't help on that front, either).

What's the HR-V's performance and fuel economy?

The situation under the HR-V's hood is pretty simple. Every version comes with a 1.8-liter inline-four that produces 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque, one of the lowest outputs in the segment. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are standard, while all-wheel drive is an option. The front-drive HR-V returns an estimated 28 mpg city, 34 mph highway and 30 mpg combined, making it one of the thriftiest in the segment. All-wheel drive lowers those estimates to 26/31/28 in most trim levels with the LX basically getting 1 mpg better. 

What's the HR-V like to drive?

The HR-V is very slow. Honda says it improved the sluggish responses of the CVT for 2019, and although we haven't yet sampled this change, we doubt it'll do much to help one of the weakest engines in the segment. This is a shame, since Honda has much better engines at its disposal. It's also a shame since the HR-V is otherwise a competent little SUV to drive. Corners are taken with relative poise and the steering is precise. Meanwhile, ride comfort is better than most as are wind and road noise.

What more can I read about the Honda HR-V?

2019 Honda HR-V: More trims, higher prices, no manual

Our breakdown of what's new for the 2019 Honda HR-V.

2019 Nissan Murano Drivers' Notes Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos - Autoblog

2019 Nissan Murano Drivers' Notes Review | Price, specs, features and photos - Autoblog

The 2019 Nissan Murano is one of six crossovers or SUVs in Nissan's ever expanding lineup. This third-gen model hit showrooms back in 2015 and received a minor update for 2019 focused mainly on appearance. Like its predecessors, the current Murano is a stylish offering compared to models like the Rogue and Pathfinder, much the same way the Maxima relates to the Altima sedan. It may seem odd to have so many models right on top of each other in terms of size and price, but Americans bought more than 87,000 Muranos in 2018, an increase of 8.9 percent over 2017. That said, sales are down significantly through June 2019. As before, power comes from a version of Nissan's long-running VQ engine line. This 3.5-liter V6 makes 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, sending power to all four wheels through a continuously-variable transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard. Our fully-loaded Platinum model comes with niceties like leather seats with diamond-quilted inserts, ventilated front seats, heated seats both front and rear, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, LED lighting, a Bose audio system, and a 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A base front-wheel-drive Murano S starts at $32,415 with our Murano Platinum tester coming in at $46,420. Assistant Editor Zac Palmer: The Murano is a crossover that isn't confused about its purpose as a comfortable daily driver, but it also doesn't offer anything special to set it apart from the other mid-sizers. Perhaps the most distinctive part about it is the design, yet it's no more eye-catching than similarly stylish competitors like the Edge, Passport and Blazer. In fact, the Murano looks more like a generic crossover than any of those. Comfort is the priority in all facets, and that's probably the way it should be for the buyer Nissan is after here. The semi-aniline leather seats were big pillows that were shockingly great to sit in. There's a dedicated leather pad for your right knee to rest against that is greatly appreciated. Then the armrests on both sides are positioned just right for relaxed driving, soaking up the highway miles. The center armrest actually has a little split in the cushions that acts as a neat little nook/resting place for your elbow and arm. Some may dislike it, but I found that it worked for me. These may seem like no-brainer, small things, but the Murano nails it all, and not every car does. As for the rest of the interior … Nissan has some work to do. Even though this crossover was ever-so-slightly refreshed for 2019, it doesn't feel it on the inside. A clashing mashup of fake wood and silver trim muck up the dash in an attempt at looking luxurious. I appreciate all the physical buttons to control the climate settings and radio, but the steering wheel buttons are incredibly ill-conceived. The most-used control — volume up and down — is just out of your thumb's reach, meaning you have to physically take your hand off the steering wheel to press them. At that point the knob close to your right hand on the dash is easier to use. Then the cruise control "Cancel" button is a difficult stretch at the top on the right side. Pretty much everybody else makes these buttons usable without any sort of trouble like this, so Nissan really needs to get that layout changed. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I've always liked the looks of the Nissan Murano, and in Platinum trim, this thing is blinged out. I give Nissan credit for really going for it with this sometimes polarizing design. Nissan made the Murano, which was always quirky, into a sleek, futuristic design for the 2015 model year. I think they've pulled it off better than companies like Hyundai and Ford, which have also tried similarly aggressive styles with mixed results. The Murano's prominent grille, angled headlights and long hood make a statement, while the chiseled beltline and raked roofline keep the design mojo going from stem to stern. Some think the Murano is a bit much. It probably is, but it's a risk-taking design in a crowded segment. Road Test Editor Reese Counts: Like so much of Nissan's current lineup, I forgot about the Murano about 10 minutes after I got out of it. It looks ... interesting? I don't know. I don't hate it, but I sure don't love it either. It's certainly more distinct than some of Nissan's other crossovers, but I'm not sure if that's a plus or minus. I do like the engine, or at least I like the power. With everyone going to downsized turbocharged inline-fours, it's good to see Nissan sticking with a naturally-aspirated V6. The VQ is a little uncouth, but I don't think most buyers will mind. Power is relatively smooth, though the CVT saps any bit of joy from the driving experience. It's fine I guess, but, like the Maxima, I don't know or understand who is buying these things. 

2020 Nissan Altima Base Price Creeps Up, Saftey Features More Widely Available

2020 Nissan Altima base price creeps up, saftey features more widely available

Pricing for the 2020 Nissan Altima midsize sedan is out, and most trim levels have gone up in price. The smallest increase is on the base S trim, which creeps up $100 to $24,995. The SR trims see the highest increase at $350. There is one exception to the price increases, and that's the SV trim, which actually dropped by $300. Adding all-wheel drive still costs an extra $1,350 and remains unavailable on the turbo models. You can see the full list of prices compared to last year in the chart below.

In addition to adjusting prices, Nissan has also made its suite of safety features, branded by the company as Safety Shield 360, more widely available. The features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high beams. These features are now standard on SR trim and higher, and are available as an option on the base S trim. The base S trim continues to come with basic automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning as standard.

Android Q Beta Released; Gives A Good Idea Of New Features To Come

Android Q Beta released; gives a good idea of new features to come

Google has released the Android Q Beta for early adopters and developers today. Google has made this first beta available for all Pixel smartphones (including the original 2016 devices). While the final release of Android Q is not expected to arrive until the third quarter of 2019, this preview gives everyone a good idea of what we can expect in this latest Android version.

2020 Toyota Tacoma Sports Lots Of New Tech Features At Chicago Auto Show

2020 Toyota Tacoma sports lots of new tech features at Chicago Auto Show

Toyota just showed off what amounts to a mid-cycle refresh for the midsize Tacoma pickup at the Chicago Auto Show. Having been thoroughly redesigned for the 2016 model year, the 2020 Tacoma enjoys slightly different styling up front and a bevy of tech/comfort improvements. Nearly every trim level of the 2020 Tacoma will be getting a new grille and set of wheels. It's a minor change, but perhaps they're working off the old mantra, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The Tacoma has been the top seller in the segment for 14 years running.

A new infotainment system sits in the center of the dash now, with functionality for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even Amazon Alexa. The SR trim will have a seven-inch infotainment screen, while SR5 trucks and above get the eight-inch unit. Every new Tacoma (except for manual transmission trucks) will get an upgraded JBL audio system to go along with the new screens. For your comfort, Toyota has added a power adjustable driver seat to most grades of the Tacoma — they were previously manual all around. If you opt for the TRD Sport or above, you'll get keyless entry. LED headlights come standard on the luxury-oriented Limited, while the lamps are optional on the TRD Sport trim.

Asahi Buys Fuller's Beer Business For $327 Million

Asahi buys Fuller's beer business for $327 million

LONDON--Japanese brewer Asahi is buying the beer business of Britain's Fuller Smith & Turner's for 250 million pounds ($327 million), in a deal that includes its flagship London Pride.

The deal announced Friday includes the Griffin Brewery in the London neighborhood of Chiswick, where the company was founded in 1845, and will allow Fuller's to focus on its pub and hotel holdings.

Imperial Guard Members Show Determination In Tokyo Parade

Imperial Guard members show determination in Tokyo parade

About 250 Imperial Guard Headquarters members paraded solemnly through central Tokyo on Jan. 25 with unwavering determination ahead of the upcoming historical events in accordance with Emperor Akihito's abdication of the throne.

The members of the Imperial Guard Headquarters, dedicated to the protection of the emperor and his family, marched in perfect unison with 12 guard horses and three guard dogs during an annual parade through Higashi Gyoen (east garden of the Imperial Palace) to mark the beginning of the year.

Sights, Sounds Of Showa Era Greet Visitors To Fukui Culture Museum

Sights, sounds of Showa Era greet visitors to Fukui culture museum

FUKUI--A permanent exhibition at the Fukui Prefectural Museum of Cultural History here allows visitors to travel back to the Showa Era (1926-1989) to see how people's lives were beginning to change at the time.

"Life in the Showa Period" features items and scenes from the period during which Japan achieved rapid economic growth after its defeat in World War II.