Displaying items by tag: SUV

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 13:26

2024 Mazda CX-70 Review

Mazda is growing its SUV setup to incorporate another two-line fair size model called the CX-70. It rides on another stage and is supposed to be more lavish than the brand's more modest CX-5 and CX-50 SUVs. A module half breed drivetrain is probably going to be accessible, alongside an inline-six motor with a 48-volt mixture framework — like the powertrains found in numerous BMW and Mercedes models. While Mazda hasn't yet uncovered the CX-70, we anticipate that it should seem to be like the Europe-market CX-60 (imagined) yet highlight a more extensive body. Its inside will offer more space than the CX-5's and will probably be wearing premium materials.

What's going on for 2024?

The CX-70 is an all-new SUV that in the middle of between the minimal CX-50 and the three-column CX-9. Mazda is currently overhauling its scope of hybrids and says there will be another new model called the CX-90 coming soon also.

Evaluating and Which One to Purchase

Estimating for the CX-70 hasn't been declared, yet we anticipate that it should offer a comparable scope of trim levels as other Mazda models. All-wheel drive will be standard no matter how you look at it, yet we don't know precisely which powertrain designs will be standard and discretionary. Search for the module crossover arrangement to cost a piece extra.

Motor, Transmission, and Execution

We think the CX-70 will offer a decision of either an inline-six gas motor with a 48-volt crossover framework or a module half breed drivetrain with a 2.5-liter inline-four. The inline-six will probably create upwards of 300 drive and put its power through an eight-speed programmed transmission. The module mixture model is supposed to share its powertrain with the CX-60, which offers a joined result of 323 pull and 369 pound-feet of force and claims an electric traveling scope of 39 miles. Under the CX-70 is Mazda's new stage highlighting a longitudinal motor design, which in principle could empower both back and all-wheel drive — however all CX-70s will come norm with the last option. This design means to give taking care of, execution and refinement more much the same as extravagance SUVs from BMW and Mercedes when contrasted and standard SUVs, which use front-drive based cross over motor stages. It likewise empowers the planners to give the CX-70 the scramble to-front-hub extents of the costly back drive extravagance vehicles and SUVS.

The CX-70 will be a two-line model with space for five travelers. To oblige its more upscale twisted, the CX-70 will have a more pleasant lodge than many comparatively valued rivals. In the event that the CX-60's inside is any sign, it will offer extravagant materials, for example, woven materials, Nappa cowhide, and wood trim that make for an alluring dashboard plan.

Infotainment and Availability

We think the CX-70 will have an infotainment screen as extensive as 12.3-inches, like the screen that is prepared on the comparative CX-60 worldwide model. It will be constrained by a revolving handle on the mid control area. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto cell phone availability highlights ought to be standard hardware.

The most effective method to Purchase AND Keep A Vehicle

Security and Driver-Help Elements

Most Mazda models offer an extensive variety of driver-help highlights as standard hardware and we don't expect the CX-70 to be any unique. Key security elements will probably include:

  • Standard programmed crisis slowing down
  • Standard path takeoff cautioning and path keep help
  • Standard vulnerable side observing
Published in Mazda
Thursday, 10 November 2022 04:30

2024 Audi SQ8 e-tron & SQ8 e-tron Sportback

A 496-hp electric powertrain gives the 2024 SQ8 e-tron a kick in the jeans and a believable spot among the brand's hotted-up models. In light of the solace situated Q8 e-tron SUV and accessible in two completely traditional looking body styles — squareback and fastback (called the Sportback) — the SQ8 e-tron team offers a lot of similar extravagance treatment as their tamer cousins however with a sportier look and more go-power. A 106-kWh battery pack ought to convey good driving reach, albeit not so much as opponents, for example, the BMW iX and the Tesla Model X. The SQ8 e-tron can be charged rapidly by means of a DC quick charging station. We figure the 240 miles of reach it will probably convey ought to be enough for the vast majority. Audi's best tech is all remembered for each SQ8 e-tron, including its Virtual Cockpit computerized checks, touchscreen infotainment with Wi-Fi network, and a far reaching set-up of driver-help includes that incorporates versatile journey control and path keeping help.

What's happening for 2024?

The SQ8 e-tron is another nameplate for the Audi arrangement for the 2024 model year. It's basically a renamed variant of the 2023 e-tron S SUV, with no significant changes to the squareback and Sportback body styles.

Audi hasn't delivered valuing for the 2024 SQ8 e-tron yet, yet we anticipate that it should follow a similar trim construction as the 2023 e-tron S. While it's feasible to burn through six figures on a SQ8 e-tron, we figure the one to purchase is the passage level Premium In addition to manage. It comes standard with the entirety of the extravagance and comfort includes that you'd expect — including an all encompassing sunroof, real calfskin upholstery, and four-zone programmed environment control — without adding a solitary choice bundle.

EV Engine, Power, and Execution

While the SQ8 e-tron shares its foundation with the Q8 e-tron, it sports an all the more remarkable three-engine electric powertrain that makes 496 strength. We haven't tried it yet, yet Audi gauges it can show up at 60 mph an entire second sooner than the Q8 e-tron. In view of our trial of an e-tron Sportback, that implies the SQ8 could arrive at 60 mph in approximately four seconds — yet our testing will affirm assuming that is the argument once we run it against the clocks. Since there are two electric engines on the back hub instead of one, the SQ8 e-tron can imitate a force vectoring differential by sending more capacity to the external back tire on a case by case basis to improve cornering We drove a model on a race course back when it was known as the e-tron S and found it simple to execute tire-obliterating, smoke-tastic floats. We don't know how SQ8 purchasers will manage this capacity in reality, yet watch for smoke signals. In typical driving, the SQ8's dealing with is certain and sensibly athletic, however don't expect similar fresh reactions you'll find on other S-marked Audi models.

Range, Charging, and Battery Duration

All SQ8 e-tron models accompany a 106.0-kWh battery pack that can be energized using 170 kW DC quick charging association. Audi says this battery ought to give the SQ8 e-tron a scope of 307 miles for every charge, except that is as indicated by the European WLTP test cycle which is famously hopeful. We figure the EPA will provide it with a rating of around 240 miles, yet that is not official yet.

Mileage and True MPGe

The active e-tron S was appraised by the EPA for up to 73 MPGe city and 78 MPGe interstate and we expect the SQ8 e-tron to convey comparable assessments. Whenever we have an opportunity to drive the SQ8 e-tron, we'll refresh this story with test results from our 75-mph roadway mileage test. For more data about the SQ8 e-tron's mileage, visit the EPA's site.

Inside, Solace, and Freight

The SQ8 e-tron's lodge is quieted while cruising and offers a lot of room for grown-ups in the two lines of seats. The initial feeling is that of a generally computerized insight, as the SQ8 e-tron's dashboard is loaded with numerous high-goal screens that incorporate Audi's computerized check group — called Virtual Cockpit — and two flush-mounted touchscreens in the middle. Obviously, there's a plenty of upscale elements too, including cowhide upholstery, an all encompassing sunroof, four-zone programmed environment control, warmed front and back situates, a power-worked back liftgate, and a power-customizable guiding segment — all norm.

Infotainment and Availability

A huge 10.1-inch touchscreen show is flush-mounted into the SQ8 e-tron's dashboard while a more modest 8.6-inch show interfaces the scramble to the mid control area. The lower show is utilized basically for the SUV's optional controls like the environment settings and the drive modes. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both norm, as is in-run route, a remote cell phone charging cushion, a Bang and Olufsen sound system, and an installed Wi-Fi area of interest.

Security and Driver-Help Elements

A set-up of driver-help highlights comes standard on each SQ8 e-tron model and incorporates robotized crisis slowing down, path keeping help, vulnerable side observing and versatile journey control with path focusing. For more data about the SQ8 e-tron's accident test results, visit the Public Thruway Traffic Wellbeing Organization (NHTSA) and Protection Foundation for Parkway Security (IIHS) sites. Key security highlights include:

Standard robotized crisis slowing down with walker location
Standard path takeoff cautioning with path keeping help
Standard versatile journey control with a path focusing highlight

Guarantee and Support Inclusion

The Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron Sportback offer a similar restricted and powertrain guarantee as the customary Q8 e-tron and more modest Q4 e-tron SUVs.

Restricted guarantee covers four years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain guarantee covers four years or 50,000 miles
Electric parts are covered for a very long time or 100,000 miles
No free planned support

Published in Audi
Friday, 04 November 2022 04:41

2024 Chevrolet Trax

The Chevy Trax has until now been known for its snack-size proportions and affordable starting price. Just as quick as Chevy ended its production run, the Trax returns as an all-new model with a dazzling redesign, more space, and enhanced safety features. Every Trax is front-wheel driven and powered by a 137-hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It borrows that powertrain from the smaller Trailblazer; its style inspiration comes from the mid-size Blazer. The new Trax will continue to be built in GM’s South Korea plant, and its low starting price should make it the third-cheapest crossover on the market, behind the subcompact Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue. The Trax is scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2023.

What's New for 2024?

After a brief hiatus, the Chevy Trax is scheduled to reappear sometime in spring, 2023 as a thicker crossover with more standard features than before. New inside and out, the Trax has a longer wheelbase with more rear legroom and increased cargo capacity. The Trax is now offered in five trim levels rather than just two. Chevy uses the 137-hp turbocharged three-cylinder from the Trailblazer this time around, giving the Trax 18 fewer horsepower than the previous model—a significant reduction when you have only 155 ponies to start with.

The Chevy Trax offers some promising extras without breaking the bank. The LT is the sweet spot between affordability and features. The LT comes with a big 11.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and remote start, and we’d spend the extra cash for the optional heated front seats and steering wheel. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard on LT and up, which makes navigation and playing music from your smartphone a breeze.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Every Chevrolet Trax is powered by a 137-hp 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It’s the same powertrain under the hood of the Chevy Trailblazer. This is the only powertrain, and it’s front-wheel drive only. While the Trax is somewhat larger in size than the Trailblazer, the last Trailblazer we tested reached 60 mph in a patience-demanding 9.4 seconds, but it was all-wheel drive. We expect the Trax’s performance to be about the same when we eventually test it.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA hasn’t rated the 2024 Chevy Trax’s fuel economy yet; we’ll update this section as soon as they do. We’ll also plan to take the Trax on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route to test its real-world efficiency. For reference, the front-drive Trailblazer the new Trax shares its powertrain with is rated for 29 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. We expect the Trax to be able to either match those estimates or be slightly below them due to its larger size. For more information about the Trax’s fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The new Chevy Trax has a completely redesigned interior. Its driver-facing infotainment screen and climate controls are neatly placed, and the rest of the interior is made up from the unexceptional materials expected in this affordable segment. The new Trax has a longer wheelbase than before, which has resulted in about three inches of additional rear legroom and more cargo space. While tech luxuries such as remote start, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a sunroof are trim-dependent, these features help liven up an otherwise corporate interior.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Chevy gives the Trax LS and 1RS trims an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard equipment, which is already a larger unit that what was previously offered on the fanciest version of the previous generation. An 11.0-inch infotainment touchscreen comes on trims LT and up and includes an 8.0-inch gauge cluster. This driver command center controls much of the new Trax tech such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an available wireless phone charger, and WiFi hotspot.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Every Trax comes standard with the Chevy Safety Assist driver-assistance suite. For more information about the Trax's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Available adaptive cruise control

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Chevrolet
Wednesday, 02 November 2022 04:01

BMW X7 review

For those that want the finest luxury that BMW has to offer in SUV form, then the X7 is the answer. It is of course packed with the latest technology and driver aids, yet at well over five metres long it also has the fundamental provision of space in abundance. Naturally, that puts it squarely in the sights of popular large SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover, but BMW’s recent form in this department has been excellent.

And sure enough, there’s lots to like about the X7 – even more so after its facelift in late 2022. The styling is still controversial, but the rest of the car exudes all the luxury and premium quality that you’d expect of a high-rise 7 Series. Three rows of seats make for a standard seven-seat configuration, while a six-seat variant is also on offer for those that want more space in the second row.

Meanwhile, engine choices have been updated for 2022 with the xDrive 40i getting performance and efficiency tweaks, while the range topping M50i xDrive is now badged M60i xDrive. In addition, the xDrive30d and M50d models have been rolled into one, badged xDrive40d. All variants get xDrive all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and 48-volt mild-hybrid technology as standard.

As for trim levels, there’s a choice of three on UK models, ranging from entry-level Excellence spec, through to M Sport and top-spec M50i xDrive. In truth, you’ll never be wanting for equipment regardless of which variant you get, with all versions getting luxuries such as a panoramic glass sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, air suspension and much more.

Post-facelift cars also get the same infotainment setup as the newest 7 Series and i7 models, meaning a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch curved central screen that runs BMW’s latest iDrive operating system. Predictably, it’s one of the best on the market even if it does take a little time to get used to the myriad features and functionality.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the BMW X7, including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it’s like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

BMW X7 boot space, practicality and safety

How much space is there?
That upright bodywork liberates a considerable amount of interior space, but it’s unlikely you’ll feel inclined to risk damaging the high-quality interior furnishings by turning it into a makeshift van.

All X7s have three rows of seats, just like the similarly sized Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery and Mercedes-Benz GLS, but BMW offers the option of specifying two individual middle-row captain’s chairs instead of a bench with a trio seats to customers wanting a bit more comfort. With these captain’s chairs, which turns the X7 into a six-seater, you get a much wider range of adjustment and a pair of armrests to feel more like a seat found in the front of the car.

In either configuration, the middle-row seats are electrically adjustable making them exceptionally comfortable, but while having them move forwards out of the way to access the third-row seats is also electrically powered, they operate at such a pace that you’ll get wet on a rainy day waiting to climb aboard.

Passengers in row two can slide the bench back or forth by up to 14.5cm, as well as tilt the backrest, and foot-space is generous with an almost flat floor.

Climbing back to row three is a bit tight, but there’s generous room for fully grown adults once seated (as long as the middle is moved forwards slightly), with armrests, cupholders, heated seats and, optionally, air vents and a climate-control panel.

BMW X7 rear seats

Although the side windows are rather small for the rearmost row, it still feels airy thanks to an elevated view ahead and high roof, a separate glazed roof panel overhead, third-row-specific climate control buttons and ambient lighting strips just like the rest of the cabin.

There are Isofix child-seat anchors too, so you’re not forced to clip small kids into the middle row, which also makes accessing the third row harder.

The more opulent six-seat version is more comfortable and spacious for six, and the gap between the seats makes it easier to walk through to the back row – just.

Boot space and storage

The boot area is spacious, well-trimmed and peppered with electrically powered conveniences. The tailgate is horizontally split – both sections operate electrically – while the lower portion can be used as a seat, able to hold a combined weight of 150kg.

BMW X7 boot

As you would expect, the boot volume is limited (326 litres) when all seven seats are upright with enough space for a couple of squashy overnight bags, but with all rear seats folded, total capacity is a cavernous 2,120 litres. In five-seat mode, it offers 750 litres of space.

Should you need to load some heavy cargo into the boot, you can also lower the car by 40mm to help slide it in thanks to standard-fit air suspension.

If you’d like to use your X7 for towing, then there’s further good news: factory-fitted tow bars are available and all versions can haul up to 3.5 tonnes where trailers are fitted with brakes.

BMW X7 safety

The X7 hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP as yet, but the latest X5 has and received a five-star rating, so there’s little reason why the larger, more expensive X7 should fare any differently. A suite of airbags throughout the car should ensure the occupants are kept safe in the event of an accident, while a wide array of safety and driver assistance tech is available.

On post facelift models, the standard-fit front collision warning detects oncoming traffic when turning right, as well as pedestrians or cyclists when turning left. Included in the Driving Assistant Professional package and Lane Change Assistant, meanwhile, is Active Cruise Control, Steering and Lane Control Assistant plus Active Lane Change and Merging Assistant.

Also featuring on post facelift X7s is Manoeuvre Assistant. This can store individual manoeuvres that can then be replicated by the car when a pre-determined location is reached. So for example, if you need to navigate your X7 into a tight underground parking spot, the Manoeuvre Assistant can take over the accelerator, steering and gearshifts. From 2023, this will also be available from the BMW mobile app.

 BMW X7 interior, tech and comfort

BMW X7 interior

All-round quality in the X7 is superb – as you’d expect from an SUV that’s priced from over £80k. The large screens present a strong digital feel to the cabin, yet there’s still plenty of good old-fashioned luxury present in the choice of materials. Merino leather is lavished throughout the cabin, while fine wood and the ambient lighting bar add a real sense of exclusivity.

The centre console area is fairly minimalist, yet there’s still buttons for the infotainment system as well as the iDrive rotary controller. Sadly, physical climate control switches have been jettisoned yet the icons to change the temperature are ever-present on the central touchscreen.

Infotainment and tech
There’s a high-tech feel to the media system too. BMW’s latest 8.0 iDrive infotainment is standard, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch curved central screen on post facelift models. It’s operated via either a rotary controller, touchscreen, voice control or gestures (including twirling a finger to adjust volume), or a mixture of all of the above.

BMW X7 interior and infotainment

If it sounds confusing, it’s soon intuitive, with BMW’s iDrive system showing why it’s one of the best on the market at any price point. The graphics and menus look sharp, while the responsiveness and functionality is second-to-none.

Key to the luxury levels in the X7 are standard-fit comfort seats for the driver and passenger. Boasting fully electric adjustment of the seat position and head rest height, they are extremely supportive and make even the most arduous of journeys fly by. Heated seats are standard, while active seat ventilation and massage functionality is available as an option.

Meanwhile, ride comfort and refinement on the standard air suspension is deeply impressive. Cracks and lumps in the road are ironed out, while the amount of noise making its way into the cabin is surprisingly low given that you’re enclosed inside a 2.6-tonne SUV punching a hole in the air. Post-facelift cars are available with 23-inch alloy wheels and while we’re yet to sample them, the ride will likely still be serviceable – if not quite as imperious as versions with smaller alloys.

 BMW X7 running costs and reliability

Diesel engines 3.8 - 4.5 mppLow figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Fuel economy
Petrol engines 21.7 - 29.4 mpg
Diesel engines 31.0 - 36.7 mpg

BMW X7 front

A car the size of the X7 won’t be especially cheap to run in any form, but go for the least-expensive diesel and it shouldn’t be too bad. The xDrive40d claims between 32.8-36.7mpg under the latest WLTP testing regime that better replicates real-world fuel efficiency.

Beyond that model, the X7’s a thirsty beast, particularly if you like to exploit the engines’ power and torque. The entry level petrol – xDrive40i – claims 26.4-29.4mpg, while the high-performance M60i xDrive returns 21.9-23.3mpg.

Servicing and warranty
As with other BMWs, the X7 is available with a number of service plans including one where an upfront payment will cover at least the first four years’ worth of services. BMW also offers monthly service plans. In addition, the X7 comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty – with breakdown cover – as standard.

BMW has a fine reputation for building cars that are dependable – especially when it comes to the mechanical components such as engines and gearboxes – so there shouldn’t be too much cause for concern as the X7 makes use of engines that are already found in several other BMW models.

Where you might find a little bit of trouble is with the company’s latest infotainment system. While it’s slick in operation with endless facilities, we’ve found in other models it can be a little unresponsive at times, with hit-and-miss voice control and connectivity issues in some cases. If this is a problem, a software update should fix it as with any other car.

 BMW X7 engines, drive and performance

The BMW X7 is available with three engines in post-facelift form, ranging from the xDrive40d and 40i versions to the performance focused M60i xDrive variant. All come with 48v mild-hybrid capability, aiding efficiency and responses.

Starting with the xDrive 40i, it offers an impressive combination of 340hp, 5.8-second 0-62mph time and 26.6-29.4mpg. The six-cylinder turbocharged unit is smooth even at high revs, pulls keenly from low speeds and feels perfectly fast enough at full throttle. The purposeful but subdued exhaust note fits the bill, too.

If you can stomach the high running costs (it’s got a big car to haul around), it’s a very satisfying car to drive in this form. It feels eager without being too frantic, and beautifully smooth and refined in its power delivery, thanks in part to the slick eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s also quick to respond when you put your foot down or take manual control via the paddles.

You can also tweak how response the steering, throttle and gearbox is via the drive mode selector – standard on all models. There’s a choice of Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive, with an Individual mode available for the Sport mode.

If you want more power, then the M60i xDrive version should have you covered, delivering 530hp from its 4.4-litre V8 and accelerating from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds – hugely impressive figures for such a big car.

Aside from raw numbers, the powertrain is smooth and makes a satisfying noise under load. Torque is also prodigious, with 750Nm on tap meaning acceleration from low revs is almost as impressive as the 0-62mph sprint. We’d perhaps question if this engine is entirely necessary, but if you want the absolute ultimate performance and refinement in your X7 then this is it.

For those that want diesel, the xDrive40d is the only option and produces 352hp and 720Nm of torque (the latter almost as much as the M60i). That means 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, as well as much more respectable fuel economy that should settle in the mid-thirties. We haven’t driven this variant yet, but sufficed to say it may well be the best compromise of the current engines on offer.

What’s it like to drive?

For the engineering team in charge of developing the X7, the primary challenge wasn’t simply to make it comfortable – that’s comparatively easy. Instead, the hard work comes in terms of making it feel like a BMW, and on that score, it delivers.

Of course, it’s not as agile as a 1 Series Sports Hatch or a 3 Series Saloon, but that the X7 is comparable with a 7 Series is remarkable given its sheer size and elevated ride height. Air suspension is fitted as standard, allowing for greater suppleness in ride quality and more adjustability between the drive modes of Eco Pro, Comfort (the default setting) and Sport. Those air springs also endow the X7 with greater off-road ability thanks to the system that allows for up to 80mm of adjustment.

With the standard steering, Sport mode feels suitably weighty, encouraging you to hustle the BMW along, but the car’s more nimble overall with the optional Integral Active Steering (four-wheel steering) package. You lose a little bit of feel and weighting through the steering wheel, but gain because the rear wheels have up to three degrees of steering input, too. This is especially noticeable at lower speeds, a you can turn the X7 in a much tighter area than you’d expect it to.

At motorway speeds, they turn in the same direction as the front wheels for increased stability, which BMW claims improves passenger comfort as there’s less lateral movement for passengers in the back along curves in the road.

When speeds are much lower, they point in the opposite direction to the fronts, making the X7 even more manoeuvrable. Combine this with BMW’s Active Roll Stabilisation that prevents the car leaning so much when cornering, and it feels impressively responsive.

Is the BMW X7 also capable off-road?
BMW doesn’t really talk up the X7’s all-terrain credentials, but the xOffroad package is optionally available with modes for sand, rocks, gravel and snow.

While virtually no X7 customers will take their cars off the beaten track, BMW’s engineers understand that for it to be seen as credible, it has to be able to go off-road for the few who want to.

The four-wheel drive package, air suspension and trick steering system, which help make the X7 so capable on tarmac, also allow it to impress off-road, aided and abetted by Hill Descent Control – think of it as a low-speed cruise control for all-terrain driving.

We’ve tried the car on a very challenging off-road course meandering up and down hills, through a tight and twisty wooded area, as well as some tricky terrain that’s normally traversed by Land Rover Defenders – including some parts of river and loose, rocky inclines. It would have been challenging to walk it, let alone drive it, yet the X7 proved more than its match.

Whether it’s more capable than the similarly-sized, but lower-priced Land Rover Discovery isn’t immediately clear, but even if it’s not quite as good, the fact that it’s a discussion point illustrates how able the BMW is.

BMW X7 verdict

Yes, with provisos. If you don’t need seven seats, then the Range Rover just edges the X7 in terms of opulence and prestige, but for fit and finish, more cutting edge technology and a sportier driving experience, the BMW shade’s Land Rover’s icon. Of its German-badged rivals, we’d take the X7 over the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS without hesitation – it’s simply more polished and, providing you can live with its looks, more desirable.

But there’s the rub. The BMW X7 polarises opinion on account of its sheer mass and bluff, glitzy front end, but there’s actually a lot to enjoy once you’re onboard. Quality is impressive, the vast array of technology available is easy to operate, there’s plenty of room and it doesn’t feel too intimidating on the road. Plus, there isn’t a bad engine available. There’s no doubt its mix of luxury, versatility and dynamic ability is unmatched by anything else in this segment at comparable money.

What we like
This is an undoubtedly huge car that’s crammed with tech, yet it’s still more enjoyable to drive than many smaller vehicles. That’s because BMW prides themselves on how sharp its cars are when you’re sitting behind the wheel and that really shows, here.

What we don’t like
The looks really won’t be to everyone’s taste. BMW has gone down a brave route with the styling of its cars and it’s not a stretch to say that some may be put off by the current

Source: parkers.co.uk

Published in BMW
Tagged under

SUV models and crossovers are more popular than ever before, and the larger dimensions of these cars bring more mass, which negatively affects not only fuel consumption, but also significantly increased tire wear.

It seems that nothing can stop the dominance of SUV models in the market. They are present in all classes, and customers simply adore them. A good example is Volkswagen, whose best-selling car in Europe is no longer the Golf but the T-Roc.

What many owners of SUVs do not know, and it is imposed by simple logic, is that the maintenance of these vehicles is more expensive. At least because of one important component, namely the tires. According to the results of research published by Euromaster, the tires of SUV models wear out up to 30% faster compared to compact models and small city cars, i.e. similar vehicles in those classes.

If a conventional vehicle like a hatchback changes tires on average after 48 months, SUV models end up at the vulcanizer after 34 months. Increased tire wear is actually easy to explain because SUVs have more mass. For example, crossovers are up to 100 kilograms heavier than small city cars, and with larger SUVs the difference is even more pronounced.

As HAK Magazine writes, this is the main reason for higher tire wear, but there are more, and they concern the reasons why customers choose SUV models. You can sometimes go off-road with them, which puts even more strain on the vehicle, and thus on the tires.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under

SUV with sports suspension, 19-inch wheels and 300 hp.

Opel is expanding its performance-focused electrified range with the Grandland GSe, following the recently introduced Astra GSe.

The new top-of-the-line trim doesn't give this compact SUV any extra power over the standard AWD PHEV drivetrain, which delivers 300 hp (220 kW / 300 hp), but it does bring a sportier suspension setup and minor visual enhancements that set it apart from the rest of the range.

The Grandland GSe also owes its athletic nature to a set of 19-inch wheels inspired by the Manta GSe concept, a new diffuser and a GSe emblem on the tailgate.

A black hood is optional, matching the gloss black details on the emblem, fender vents, mirror housings, roof, spoiler and alloy wheels.

Like the regular facelifted Grandland, the GSe also features LED lights and the signature Opel Visor front fascia.

Inside we find a pair of AGR-certified sports seats upholstered in Alcantara, adding more lateral support without sacrificing comfort.

As already mentioned, the drive system is a plug-in hybrid that combines a 1.6 turbo gasoline engine with two electric motors, which gives a total of 300 hp.

As expected, it is equipped with e-AWD all-wheel drive, and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 6.1 seconds. The maximum speed is 235 km/h (135 km/h if driving exclusively on electric drive).

According to the WLTP, the consumption is 1.3 l/100 km, of course provided that you regularly charge the battery.

The GSe signature also indicates some additional modifications. Opel's SUV thus has stiffer springs and shock absorbers with KONI FSD (frequency selective damping) technology, which enables different damping characteristics for handling versus comfort.

The price has not been announced yet, but Opel has announced that the Grandland GSe will arrive on the market soon.

Published in Opel/Vauxhall
Tagged under
Saturday, 22 October 2022 05:42

First drive: Mazda CX-60 – luxury in every way

Mazda has joined the manufacturers that offer a large SUV according to European standards, or a medium SUV according to American standards. In Leverkusen, we tested the most powerful version, which is also the most powerful production Mazda of all time.

In recent years, it has been obvious that Mazda is aiming for the premium segment and it has really become that, not only in terms of luxury, quality of finish, rich equipment, but also in terms of technology.

It is famous for technical solutions that defy general trends; then when everyone was pushing for downsizing, Mazda was increasing engine displacement.

Today, everyone is following in the footsteps of Mazda's engineers, while they prepare a concept in their laboratories that seriously disturbs other premium manufacturers.

The new issue of Auto magazine is on sale, read the driving impressions of the latest car models.

To show us what it's all about, Mazda invited us to its European headquarters in Leverkusen.

In the parking lot, we were greeted by a large number of copies of the latest model - the Mazda CX-60.

Before the ride, we were given a short presentation where we were introduced to the technology. It is definitely clear that this is a premium approach.

Mazda has developed a completely new mechanical platform for this model with a longitudinally mounted engine and primarily rear-wheel drive.

Of course, four-wheel drive versions are also available. The show of power does not end there.

For this platform, including the Mazda CX-60, engines of large volume are provided! It will be a three-liter e-Skyactiv X gasoline and a 3.3-liter e-Skyactiv D diesel.

Both have six cylinders and mild hybrid technology with a voltage of 48 volts.

While the specifications for the petrol are not yet known, they are for the diesel. It will have two power levels. The weaker one, of 200 HP, will have rear drive, while the more powerful one of 254 "horses" will be available exclusively with four-wheel drive.

The specialties don't end there either; all of these engines will have an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission without a torque converter.

What Mazda has prepared for a short press trial is the CX-60 with a plug-in hybrid combination of a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine with 191 hp and an electric motor with 175 hp.

The total power of the system is 327 "horses", making it the most powerful serial Mazda of all time.

Immediately after the presentation, we get into the car. More precisely, we climb into it, since it is quite high.

This is now the brand's largest SUV model in Europe. The Mazda CX-60 is positioned above the Mazda CX-5 in terms of its dimensions, which can be felt not only in terms of length, but also width.

This is perhaps most easily visible in the really wide central ridge between the driver and front passenger, while the passengers in the front seats have 44 mm more shoulder room and those in the back even 50 mm more.

Speaking of the difference in dimensions, it should also be said that in the rear, the Mazda CX-60 is larger than the CX-5, so the tailgate is 35 mm wider.

The trunk offers 570 liters of volume, which is more than enough for large amounts of luggage.

The cabin is definitely premium quality; there are upholstered surfaces everywhere, including those lined with real wood, with plenty of interestingly textured materials, especially on the dashboard.

The fineness of detail and finish also leaves the highest impression.

Already the settings of the driver's position let us know that the technology is at the top level; as with some German brands, the driver's height is entered here, and the sensors do the rest of the work and adjust the ideal position of the seat, steering wheel, mirrors and head-up display according to eye height.

We immediately connect the phone; this is the first Mazda with wireless Android Auto connectivity.

Larger dimensions are particularly noticeable in city driving, and the camera and parking systems are very helpful when maneuvering.

Plag-in hybrid, weighing about two tons, does not feel quite at home on uneven city roads, due to the wheels with low-profile tires with a diameter of 20 inches, due to the suspension, which does not have adaptive shock absorbers zera a bit harder than we would expect.

The steering is surprisingly direct for an SUV, which is especially noticeable when you get out onto a winding country road or highway. This is very important, especially considering the maximum 327 "horses" available to the driver.

Precisely because of the powerful engines but also the elevated concept, Mazda has developed a new torque vectoring system.

At no point does the "nose" or rear end feel like it's running away, even when accelerating in a corner.

Moreover, the trajectory in the curve is corrected by the imperceptible activation of the brake at a certain wheel, which the driver does not notice at all, but seriously affects the stability.

It can be said that this is a great combination of SUV, sports and environmental vehicle. Power is transmitted to all four wheels, but the rear drive is primary.

Only if the need arises, up to 50 percent is transferred to the front axle.

This applies to all modes, from purely electric to classic, when the SUS engine is activated.

Considering that we are driving cars that are practically test series, a slight jerk is felt for a moment when changing the mode, i.e. when switching from purely electric to gasoline and vice versa.

In general, it is very quiet in the cabin due to the excellent sound insulation, and the silence can only be disturbed by the high-quality sound system of the Bose brand, with well-designed acoustics.

The test route was short, so we didn't have the opportunity to make sure of the real range on electricity alone, especially since we drove mostly on local roads.

Mazda promises up to 68 kilometers in the city and 63 on the highway, which is not exactly a top result, but for most buyers it is quite enough for everyday driving.

Otherwise, the electric motor is in the gearbox, so the complete construction is very compact.

In order to lower the center of gravity, the batteries are embedded in the floor. All this affected the driving characteristics.

Apart from highways with a speed limit of 100 km/h, the real testing ground for the Mazda CX-60 is the "autobahn".

You guessed it, we were looking forward to the section with no speed limit. Although they are very short due to the large crowd, they are quite enough to push the hybrid drive to its limit.

Full gas and four-cylinder gasoline in combination with an electric motor give their maximum. Only now, the petrol can be heard more clearly, and with a rather powerful sound, which is usually not the case with hybrids.

It was relatively imperceptible until the throttle was "pathosed", but now... You can simply feel the imposing power that accelerates the over two-ton car to "hundred" in just 5.8 seconds.

The fact that it accelerates strongly up to the electronically limited 200 km/h, and then suddenly stops, like when you set the speed limiter, shows how powerful the system is.

This is not so bad, most have started to limit the speed to 180 km/h...

Until the big six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines arrive, the plug-in hybrid is the only and at the same time the most powerful and fastest option.

Whichever option you choose, low registration costs await you, given that there is no tax on the use of motor vehicles for hybrids, even if they are light hybrids.

In any case, Mazda has definitely provided its customers with maximum comfort, practically at the level offered by the famous German trio, and at really affordable prices.

It is not yet known how much it will cost here, but it is certain that it will be cheaper than in Germany, where it will cost from 47,390 euros.

Electric up to 140 km/h

Considering that it is a plug-in hybrid, the Mazda CX-60 allows driving only on electricity with a range of 68 kilometers in the city cycle according to the WLTP standard, i.e. 63 kilometers on local roads.

Of course, if you drive 140 km/h, which is the maximum on electricity, the range will be somewhat less.

The first model on a new mechanical platform

The Mazda CX-60 is just the first model on the new platform with a longitudinally mounted engine and primarily rear-wheel drive.

A longer Mazda CX-80 with seven seats is expected soon, but also other surprise models.

Fast charging

Like most plug-in hybrids, the CX-60 allows charging at 11 kW chargers with a power of up to 7.2 kW.

A completely empty battery is charged to 100 percent in two hours and 20 minutes, which is quite enough to fill up a good part of the capacity while you are shopping.

Charging takes longer on the home Shuko socket in the garage, but it is certain that it can be charged during the night.

By the way, the maximum range of 63, that is, 68 kilometers of electric range in the city is included in the average gasoline consumption, hence the declared 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

Specific gearbox

Mazda has developed a specific eight-speed automatic transmission specifically for this platform that is characterized by the absence of a torque converter.

However, its mode of operation is similar - it changes gears via planetary gears and a multi-plate clutch, but it does not have converter hydraulics as an input clutch, but a multi-plate clutch in combination with an integrated electric motor and generator performs this function.

By replacing the torque converter with a clutch, torque is transmitted directly, similar to a manual transmission. In addition, friction transmission and clutch cooling have evolved to smooth start-up and high efficiency were achieved.

The Mazda CX-60's hybrid powertrain enables the independent combination of gasoline and electric motor power.

For example, when driving on electricity, the gear change is gently felt, just like when driving on gasoline, or with the help of both engines at the same time.

Such a solution enables a great saving in space.


  • Mazda CX-60 E-Skyactiv PHEV AWD
  • Engine: 4 cylinders, longitudinally mounted
  • Volume: 2488 ccm
  • Power: 141 kW (191 hp) at 6000 rpm
  • Max. about. torque: 261 Nm at 4000 rpm
  • Electric power engine: 129 kW (175 HP) at 5500 rpm
  • Max. about. torque el. engine: 270 Nm
  • Total system power: 241 kW (327 hp) at 6000 rpm
  • Max. about. system torque: 500 Nm at 4000 rpm
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 17.8 kWh
  • Battery mass: 176 kg
  • Battery voltage: 355 V
  • Gearbox: automatic, 8 degrees
  • Dimensions (L/W/H): 4745/1890/1685 mm
  • Intermediate shaft. distance: 2870 mm
  • Trunk: 570/1726 l
  • Tank: 50 l Weight: 2055 kg
  • Max. speed: 200 km/h
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 5.8 l/100 km
  • Combined consumption: 1.5 l/100 km
  • CO2 emission: 33 g/km
  • Electric range: 68 km city, 63 km outside the city
Published in Mazda
Tuesday, 18 October 2022 03:01

World premiere: Electric Mercedes EQE SUV

The Mercedes EQE SUV is a versatile alternative to the EQE business sedan.

Like the Mercedes EQE sedan, the new electric SUV is available with the basic innovations of the EQS model and at the same time is more dynamic than the EQS SUV model.

Mercedes says that the EQE SUV is one of the most spacious representatives of its class. Still, with a 3,030 mm wheelbase that's nine centimeters shorter than the sedan, it's more compact than the EQE sedan.

As the fourth model, following the EQS and EQE sedans, as well as the EQS SUV, the EQE SUV uses a new mechanical platform designed for three-pointed star electric vehicles.

The modular drive concept enables the EQE SUV to offer a wide range of maximum total power outputs from 215 to 300 kW. Depending on the equipment and configuration of the vehicle, the European variants of the vehicle can have a WLTP autonomy of up to 590 kilometers.

In the EQE SUV, the lithium-ion battery consists of ten modules. In certain cases, the company's innovative battery management software can be updated over-the-air (OTA).

The current generation of driving assistance systems includes a number of functions that support the driver.

General standard equipment on the EQE SUV includes ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with reversing camera and Speed ​​Limit Assist. System status and activity are shown full-screen on the driver assistance display.

Additional options are available in the Assistance package, as well as in the Driving Assistance Plus package.

The mechanical basis of the new EQE SUV consists of a four-link suspension at the front and a multi-link independent suspension at the rear.

Due to the relatively short wheelbase of 3,030 millimeters and the appropriate suspension settings, Mercedes claims that the car is particularly nimble and manageable even with the basic setup.

AIRMATIC air suspension with ADS+ continuously adjustable damping is available as an optional extra. To increase the ground clearance, the vehicle level can be raised by up to 30 millimeters.

In addition to the DINAMIC SELECT programs ECO, COMFORT, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL, EQE SUV models with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system also have an OFFROAD program for off-road driving.

A rear axle steering system with a maximum steering angle of 10 degrees is available as an option.

MBUX Hyperscreen on demand

With customizable software, the MBUX display and operating system make personalized suggestions for numerous infotainment, comfort and vehicle functions. The highlight of the interior is the optional MBUX Hyperscreen.

With the MBUX Hyperscreen, the three displays merge almost seamlessly to create a screen range over 141 centimeters wide.

The front passenger in the EQE SUV has the option of a 12.3-inch OLED display with its own user interface.

The system uses intelligent camera-based blocking logic that recognizes whether the driver is looking towards the passenger display. If this is the case, the system automatically dims the dynamic content for security reasons.

Smart route planning

When it comes to navigation with "electric intelligence", the name says it all. Because based on numerous factors, it plans the fastest and most convenient route including charging stations.

It also reacts dynamically to traffic jams or a change in driving style, for example.

Navigation with electric intelligence is smart; calculates estimated charging costs per charging stop. In addition, the user can individually edit the planned routes.

Planned routes can be individually edited by adding desired charging stations along the route or excluding suggested charging stations.

Heat pump as standard

The Mercedes EQE SUV has a sophisticated thermal architecture with a heat pump as standard. This makes the system work very efficiently: excess heat from the electric drive (inverter and electric motor) as well as high-voltage batteries that would otherwise be released into the environment can be used to heat the interior.

This drastically reduces battery consumption for the heating system, thus increasing the range.

Another useful and efficient function is air conditioning control before departure. The THERMATIC automatic climate control system with two climate zones is standard in the vehicle, while THERMOTRONIC with four zones is available as an option.

Adjusted charging tariffs

From June 2022, Mercedes me Charge offers three new charging tariffs in Europe that are tailored to individual driving performance.

"Mercedes me Charge S" for occasional charging, "Mercedes me Charge M" for normal charging and "Mercedes me Charge L" for frequent charging.

With the introduction of a new, transparent tariff system, fixed prices that are valid regardless of the operator are partially available to customers. With the Plug & Charge function, the EQE SUV can also be easily charged.

Lots of high-tech features

The DIGITAL LIGHT headlight technology (special equipment) enables innovative functions, such as the projection of auxiliary markings or warning symbols onto the road.

Another highlight of the equipment is the ENERGIZING AIR CONTROL Plus. The HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter cleans the incoming outdoor air at a very high level of filtration. ENERGIZING COMFORT connects the various comfort systems in the vehicle.

Individual ENERGIZING COMFORT programs allow a special program for good mood depending on the mood or needs of the user. This improves physical comfort and performance while driving and during breaks.

The Dolby Atmos sound format raises the audio experience in the EQE SUV to a new level, according to Mercedes.

The proportions of the EQE SUV combine function and aesthetics with the sporty character of an SUV.

Wheels in sizes from 19 to 22 inches are mounted flush with the outer edge of the body.

The EQE SUV shares some aerodynamic measures with models from the same family. The chassis with numerous aerodynamic details plays a central role in the very good drag value Cd of 0.25, which is achieved despite the large cargo volume and short rear overhang.

But the dimensional concept with the flat windshield, broad roofline and recesses were also important factors.

High level of passive safety

The principles of Integral Safety apply regardless of the type of drive system. Like all other Mercedes Benz models, the EQE SUV therefore has a rigid passenger compartment, special deformation zones and state-of-the-art restraint systems.

The European version of the EQE SUV can detect whether the rear seats are actually occupied. If the passenger in the back is not wearing a seat belt, the driver receives a special warning. The so-called passenger presence reminder can indicate children in the back of the vehicle.

In vehicles for Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada, this system is fitted as standard.


Mercedes will initially offer three versions of the EQE SUV.

The basic EQE 350+ with rear-wheel drive and a single electric motor of 292 HP (215 kW) develops 565 Nm of reverse torque.

It is followed by the EQE 350 4Matic with 4-wheel drive and two electric motors. It is interesting that the total power is the same as in the rear-wheel drive model (292 hp), but the maximum torque is higher thanks to the additional electric motor and is 765 Nm.

At the top of the range is the EQE 500 4Matic, also with all-wheel drive and two electric motors. The total power of this version is 408 hp (300 kW) and the torque is 858 Nm.

CO2-neutral production as part of eco-balance

Production of the EQE SUV will begin in December at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA).

A battery plant in nearby Bibb County supplies batteries for this model as well as the EQS SUV.

As of this year, all Mercedes-Benz passenger car and van plants worldwide have achieved CO2 neutral production as part of their environmental balance – including the two Mercedes plants in Alabama.

Published in Mercedes
Friday, 14 October 2022 03:01

EuroNCAP: Five stars for the Mazda CX-60

The Japanese SUV scored 91% in the child passenger category, and 88% in the adult passenger category.

The all-new model, the Mazda CX-60, received the maximum five-star rating from EuroNCAP in the latest series of tests conducted by the organization. The Japanese SUV scored 91% in the child passenger category, and 88% in the adult passenger category.

An impressive result of 89% was also achieved in the category for unprotected road users (pedestrians, cyclists...).

European manufacturers are not sleeping peacefully: Every fifth electric car already comes from China
The Mazda CX-60 achieved the maximum number of points in the 6- and 10-year-old category for performance in the crash test, both for frontal and side collisions.

In tests for child passengers, the correct installation of child seats also received high marks, leading to an excellent combined score of 91%.

With high scores in side crash tests and a good level of protection recognized in the full-width rigid barrier test, it also achieved a significant score of 88% in adult occupants.

In both the side barrier and the – more severe – side pillar impact, the protection of all critical body parts was good, leading to the maximum score in this segment of the assessment.

The Mazda CX-60 scored an impressive 89% in the category of vulnerable road users. The adequate performance of the intelligent automatic braking system (AEB) made the result one of the best so far for all tested vehicles since the last EuroNCAP ratings.

The all-new large SUV joins the likes of the Mazda CX-5 (2017), Mazda 6 (2018), Mazda 3 and Mazda CX-30 (both 2019), as well as the Mazda MX-30 (2020) in getting the maximum five star in the EuroNCAP test.

The Mazda CX-60 achieved an impressive result in the fourth category of the EuroNCAP test: safety systems, where it recorded a score of 76%.

The five-star rating is contributed by the adaptable Skyactiv architecture on which the CX-60 is based (Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture).

The wide range of the company's advanced i-Activsense driver support safety technologies that the vehicle is equipped with play another key role in achieving this rating.

New technologies, including Turn Across Traffic Assist, SBS-R pedestrian detection and BSM Vehicle Exit Warning, which detects vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists approaching from the rear of the vehicle (BSM Vehicle Exit Warning), they help drivers recognize potential risks and reduce the likelihood of damage or injury, while offering high standards of pedestrian protection.

In addition, Mazda's Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) system additionally stabilizes the vehicle while in motion, facilitating safe driving, and these functions further reduce the possibility of an accident, the Japanese manufacturer explains.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under

As a traditional-style hybrid, this compact luxury SUV is less expensive than a plug-in but also less desirable.

Although hybrids are proliferating in the compact luxury SUV space, the 2022 Lexus NX350h is in a class of its own. Whereas those other compact luxury SUVs, including the range-topping Lexus NX450h+, are plug-ins (or PHEVs), the NX350h is a traditional-style hybrid.

Compared to a PHEV, the NX350h's much smaller, lithium-ion battery pack has only enough energy to power the SUV short distances on electricity alone, whereas its plug-in peers are all capable of traveling more than 20 miles on battery power. The old-school NX350h still delivers impressive fuel economy, though, and its more basic powertrain also keeps costs down, allowing the $42,700 gasoline-electric Lexus to take the title of most affordable hybrid in its segment.

The Price You Pay

That said, going heavy on the options can quickly cut into the cost-effectiveness of the NX350h, with our Nori Green Pearl test vehicle wearing $13,630 in options. The priciest was the $7450 Luxury package, which added heated and ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, ambient interior lighting, a 10.0-inch head-up display, and a massive 14.0-inch infotainment screen with in-dash navigation in place of the standard 9.8-inch display.

HIGHS: Least-expensive hybrid in its segment, comfortable ride, quality interior.

While both infotainment options feature physical knobs for adjusting the temperature of the dual-zone automatic climate-control system and the audio volume, neither includes a physical control for audio tuning or a dedicated homepage, the lack of which makes navigating through the system's menus an unnerving experience. As Steve Krug writes in his book Don't Make Me Think, a homepage is like "a North Star," providing a comparatively "fixed place" to return to in a digital environment that otherwise requires users to remember where they are in the setup's "conceptual hierarchy [to] retrace [their] steps."

Though it vastly improves upon the maddening touchpad interface of the outgoing model, the latest NX's touchscreen system is not without its flaws. This sentiment also applies to the NX350h's powertrain.

Driving Dynamics

The all-wheel-drive NX350h packs an additional 45 horses compared to its predecessor, extracting a total of 239 horsepower from its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and trio of electric motors. (There are two up front—one of which connects to a planetary gearset to mete out the combustion engine's power in a manner that mimics a belt-driven continuously variable automatic transmission—and one mounted at the rear axle.) Factor in a curb weight of 4062 pounds, 151 fewer pounds than the last NX300h we tested, and it's little surprise the 2022 NX hybrid is also a good deal quicker.

Accelerating to 60 mph is a 7.6-second affair, while the run from 50 to 70 mph happens in 5.0 seconds, figures that cut 0.5 and 0.6 second from those of the aforementioned NX300h. Granted, it can't keep up with the 275-hp NX350 or the 302-hp NX450h+. (The turbo four-cylinder NX350 hits the mile-a-minute mark in 6.6 seconds and accelerates from 50 to 70 mph in 4.5; for the NX450h+ F Sport, those times are 5.6 and 3.8 seconds, respectively.) Still, the NX hybrid is less of the slowpoke it once was and now packs acceptable punch for merging onto freeways and passing at highway speeds.

Use all of that performance, however, and the NX350h lets more of the four-cylinder engine's grating grumble enter the cabin. The 75 decibels we recorded under flat-foot acceleration exceeded both that of the NX300h and the Toyota Corolla Hybrid by 1 decibel.

Avoid pinning the accelerator, though, and the interior of the NX350h is appropriately tranquil. Soft springs make for a cushy ride that further contributes to the sense of repose. That softness comes at the expense of body control, as the NX350h wallows through turns and nosedives under braking. Although innocuous enough in day-to-day driving, these motions underscore the fact the NX350h favors a comfortable ride over engaging responses. The nose-heavy Lexus understeers at the limit, and the optional 20-inch Bridgestone Alenza A/S 02 run-flat tires squealed shrilly as the NX350h circled our skidpad at 0.79 g—0.02 g less than its two NX siblings and its NX300h forebear.

Stomp on the left pedal at 70 mph, and the SUV comes to a halt in a class-competitive 180 feet. In non-emergency braking, though, it was difficult to smoothly bring the NX350h to a stop. Blame the pedal's unpredictable action as it switches from regenerative to mechanical braking—particularly in low-speed stops, such as at neighborhood stop signs. Instead of a seamless handoff between its two braking systems, the NX350h suddenly slows at a far greater rate once the mechanical binders take over stopping duties from the electric motors' regenerative function. That awkward modulation is a surprising misstep given that Toyota has been developing and producing hybrids for nearly a quarter of a century.

Dollars and Cents

What the NX350h lacks in grace, it makes up for by way of its low cost of entry. Only devoted plugger-inners whose daily commute is less than the plug-in's range will find a cost savings. Otherwise it will be decades before the additional $14,600 outlay for the 450+ is recouped. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, the NX350h returned 34 mpg, missing the EPA's estimate by 3 mpg.

LOWS: Four-cylinder engine gets shouty at higher revs, not a sporting bone in its unibody, clumsy handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking.
Even the segment's most affordable PHEV, the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, is more expensive by $10,305. This does not mean consumers have no reason to choose vehicles such as the Corsair Grand Touring and NX450h+, the latter of which includes a number of dynamic enhancements over the NX350h.

However, it does mean the NX350h, as the least expensive hybrid in its segment, better meets the needs of buyers looking to purchase a hybrid compact luxury SUV as a matter of financial prudence. It may be unexciting and—in some areas—unpolished, but the 2022 Lexus NX350h is arguably a more sensible hybrid option than better-performing PHEVs.

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Lexus
Tagged under
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