Travel

2017 Hyundai Elantra

As I mentioned in my previous, post the family and I went away to the beautiful Kalahari.  This trip was about 2 hours from our house, and traveling with kids you want comfort in a vehicle.  I had the opportunity to take the 2017 Hyundai Elantra on the road for this trip. It’s a small compact car, but was actually comfortable. The passenger space in the back was small but comfortable and standard.  This car is perfect for a couple that is just starting out or maybe for a college graduate. 

Pros: 
  • Quiet, comfortable cabin, especially at highway speeds
  • Lots of available technology and safety features
  • Classy and thoughtfully laid-out interior design
Cons:
  • Underwhelming performance from base engine
  • Dual-clutch transmission feels clunky during slow-speed acceleration 
  • More steering effort required than in most cars in this class
  • Limited cabin space 

Luxury car technology

Elantra is the compact sedan with just about every popular luxury and technology feature. Available features include: Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay™, navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen with segment-first Clari-Fi™ Music Restoration Technology and rearview camera, plus Smart Cruise Control, just to name a few.

Safety is key, especially being a parent of 2 little ones. The Elantra has Seven airbags including a driver’s knee airbag. The list of advanced safety features is long and impressive, and includes available Blind Spot Detection and Automatic Emergency Braking with segment-first Pedestrian Detection—a feature not offered on most compact class sedans.

Thanks at Driveshop for providing me with the opportunity. Visit https://www.hyundaiusa.com/ for more information.  

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Travel

2017 Genesis G80 and G90

Meet the 2017 Genesis G80 and G90. These cars fit perfectly in the luxury vehicle world. I was so impressed with the comfortable rides they provide, and all the latest features.

There’s nothing inside that looks shared with the Hyundai market either. The G90 looks and feels expensive inside, like a proper luxury car should. Here are some of the specs:
EXTERIOR DESIGN
In crafting the Genesis G90, the Prestige Design Group aimed to capture the vehicle’s strength and originality, while presenting fresh appeal through innovative styling and athletic proportions.

From the front, the G90 identity is easily distinguished by its bold ‘CREST’ grille, and crowned with the winged Genesis emblem. Ideally proportioned, the G90 combines a prominent hood with short overhangs, a design feature that accentuates the model’s strength and presence. Available full-LED signature headlights (V8 model) flow from fascia to fender – a key design element of the new Genesis brand. On the lower fascia, standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) add a distinctive illumination signature.

A bold arcing character line spans the length of G90, accentuating the vehicle’s dynamic profile. Refined use of chrome elements also serve to create an elegant and premium appearance, along with standard 19-inch alloy wheels. In the rear, chrome dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated in the lower bumper balance the vertical LED taillights providing a modern luxury feel. Even more, the clean lines of the G90 yield the additional benefit of an exceptional 0.27 coefficient of drag for minimized wind noise and enhanced fuel efficiency, a best-in-class for the segment.

The G90 is available in six colors created to accentuate its distinctive lines. Ranging from Casablanca White and Caspian Black to Manhattan Brown, Santiago Silver, London Gray and Patagonia Blue. The color palette was painstakingly matched to its interior environments and sophisticated material selections.

INTERIOR DESIGN
Effortless ergonomics, interior design harmony, convenience and luxurious comfort are seamlessly combined to craft the Genesis G90 interior design. Virtually every element of the interior focuses on the passenger’s needs, from the intuitive horizontal layout of driver controls to meticulous craftsmanship with precision stitching, and a premium material selection perfectly complimented by an elegant interior color palette.

Extensive consideration was given to material selection for the G90. The highest-quality, authentic materials adorn the cabin, with ease of operation and intrinsic beauty as fundamental priorities for the interior. Occupants are surrounded by genuine wood accents, including the leather-stitched instrument panel. Even the Lexicon® audio speaker grilles convey an ultra-luxury feel, precision-machined out of stainless steel.

Passenger space is a key component of interior comfort and design, and the new G90 has improved spaciousness, derived in part from a generous 4.5-inch increase in wheelbase for greater passenger comfort. This increase in wheelbase also resulted in reduced overall overhangs. Inside the cabin, this translates to superior front headroom (41.1 inches) and legroom (46.3 inches) when compared with key competitors.

Out of the pair of them, the G90 is my absolute favorite. My kids and hubby loved it as well. This car was super hard to give back. If you ever get the time or are in the market for a new car, go test drive and see for yourself how amazing these cars are.

The G80 is a rear-wheel-drive, midsize luxury sedan that seats five people. Hyundai recently spun off Genesis as a standalone luxury brand, and the 2017 Genesis G80 is one of the first models to come out under Hyundai.
The G80 is smaller than the G90 but still very roomy. For those seeking value and something distinct from established luxury brands, the G80 is a compelling choice. A 311-hp 3.8-liter V-6 with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive is standard, and a 420-hp 5.0-liter V-8 is optional; all-wheel drive is available, but only with the V-6 engine. The G80’s long standard-equipment list includes an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a head-up display, navigation, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Safety is important. Hyundai’s new Genesis G80 and G90 were recognized for their top rate safety features by the Car Connection, which awarded one of their rarely awarded perfect scores. Federal and IIHS tests also gave perfect scores to both vehicles in all five of their safety tests.

In closing, these are vehicles suitable for families, cruising, classy events, and bachelor’s/bachelorettes. There’s not much else that can be said, other than the Genesis brand is sure to last a long time.

I give the Genesis a 9 out of 10. For more information visit https://www.genesis.com/us/en/genesis.html

Travel

2016 Mazda CX 5

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The Mazda CX 5 is a perfect little crossover, offering a great drive and comfort.  Mazda CX 5 receives several improvements intended to refine its appearance, enhance its functionality, update its technology, and polish its driving dynamics.

 
After a week of running around to taking my kids to school and to after school activities I can see why Mazda is popular with families.  It’s convenient interior space, and comfortable seating alone makes it worth while, but the overall package is amazing as well. 
 
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The interior of the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is designed for both functionality and modern style. Front seats are roomy enough to make any driving position easy to settle into with plenty of support. The backseat is spacious for passengers. On models equipped with a folding seatback, the mechanism lowers the seat bottom before the seat itself folds to provide a floor that is as near to flat as possible for your cargo needs.
Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, a Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, satellite radio, navigation, a power moonroof, a rearview camera, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic braking with forward collision warning.
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Gas mileage manages 24 mpg city, 30 highway with all-wheel drive.
All in all this is a great crossover.  I give it a 7.5 out of 10.
Visit Mazda for more information https://www.mazdausa.com/
Travel

2017 Mazda 6

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Here’s another great car addition to my review list. When you have to be on the road for either work or pleasure, I think the 2017 Mazda 6 can provide that. Comfortable seating and roomie interior is key to an enjoyable drive. As a family of 4 we really enjoyed this sedan.
Mazda now offers SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control, to help achieve a smoother, less fatiguing drive. When cornering, on initial turn-in and throughout, the system works seamlessly by adjusting power delivery and shifting vehicle weight.

Its style gives it a sleek appearance and the strong engine gives a sporty feel. The 2017 Mazda 6 is a midsize sedan with seating for five.
Standard features for the Sport trim include: 17-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable front seats with lumbar support for the driver, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a rearview camera, the Mazda Connect infotainment system with voice control, text messaging capabilities, a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker CD player with auxiliary/USB input, HD radio and internet streaming radio.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 28 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) for models with the manual transmission. The Mazda 6 has strong safety ratings in all forms. Making it a safe ride for the family.

All in all I give this an 8 out of 10. Visit https://www.mazdausa.com for more details.

Travel

2017 Lexus RX 350

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Lexus has been on my list of different car brands to try.  I have always been in love with the style of the car. They have sleek looks on all their models. When I got this opportunity to be able to try the Lexus RX I was excited. This car is just beautiful, providing you with so much.

RX 350 is a pleasant place to spend a long road trip. It has comfy seats with available intelligent heating and cooling.  The cabin is quiet and relaxing, and the ride smooth.
The rear seats have plenty of room for passengers and they recline, which my kids were super excited about.
The 2017 Lexus RX 350 comes with a generous list of standard features, including automatic dual-zone climate control, satellite radio with real-time traffic information, a nine-speaker sound system, a liftgate, a rearview camera, proximity key entry, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch display, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. The 2017 RX has the standard Lexus Safety System, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, and lane keep assist.
Available features include rear cross traffic braking, a panoramic moonroof, blind spot monitoring, a multi-angle camera, smartphone integration, navigation, park assist, a hands-free power liftgate, a dual-screen DVD entertainment system, a 12- or 15-speaker audio system, and sport-tuned suspension.

2017 Lexus RX 350 Safety Features

  • Driver Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag On/Off Switch
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear Air Bag
  • Side Head Air Bag
  • Rear Head Air Bag
  • Side Air Bag
  • Rear Body Air Bag
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • ABS
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • 4-Wheel Drum Brakes
  • Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Auto-On Headlights
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Night Vision
  • Adjustable Pedals
  • Rollover Protection System
  • Front Tow Hooks
  • Rear Tow Hooks
  • Traction Control
  • Emergency Trunk Release
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Auto-Leveling Headlights
  • Lane Departure Warning
It gets above-average fuel economy for its class. 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive. Fuel economy drops just a bit to 19/26 mpg city/highway with all-wheel-drive models.
All in all I give this car a 9 out of 10. I’m just in love with what Lexus has to offer and I can’t wait to tryout other models and maybe even do a video for you.
Visit http://www.lexus.com/models/RX for more information.
Travel

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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December has been such a busy month from holiday shopping to TV segments and events.  While doing all this running around, I had the opportunity to try out the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.  My opinion on this car before I go into the break down, is it’s a great little inexpensive vehicle with many uses.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a four-cylinder base engine, and a five-speed manual and automatic transmission is standard.  The acceleration on this is not on the strong side, and perhaps that’s my real complaint.  It’s a 24/31 mpg city/highway with the CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The Outlander Sport’s ride is smooth and comfortable.

The cabin design I thought could use some updating, but both rows of seats are supportive and somewhat roomy.   The infotainment system is generally easy to use, although the one I drove did not have navigation which made things a little harder.  The Outlander Sport has good cargo capacity for the class.

 Available features include push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and a navigation system with a 7-inch touch screen and voice recognition.
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The 2016 Outlander Sport has 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 49.5 with them folded. The available panoramic sunroof was pretty cool, and one of the biggest ones I have seen; although it does not open. The trunk was perfect for all the shopping or traveling that some of us have to do. 
All in all I give this a 6 out of 10.

Travel

Volvo XC60 T6 AWD

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I have been wanting to try a Volvo out for a while now. I have heard so many amazing things about them being top rated on safety, which to us having 2 littles ones is a must when reviewing cars. The XC60 received a top five-star rating in government crash tests for overall, frontal and side crash protection. It also received the best possible rating of “Good” in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash tests, which is a rare achievement. Finally, the 2016 XC60 received a rating of “Superior” for its frontal crash prevention technology. One of the greatest features as a parent other the safety is the car has built in carseats. It’s so convenient and from what I hear it’s so comfortable. 

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The exterior of the XC60 T6 AWD is a small luxury crossover. It’s has a modern look with some sleek touches. I love the back of the car which offers a stylish look, but I think the front could be amped up a bit in terms of style. 
The interior offers seating for 5 along with the built in car seats.  XC60 cabin is a modern design. Volvo offers comfortable and supportive front seats, and is great for long road trips. The middle console is okay. I think that could be worked on. The screen is very tiny, which makes it hard to navigate at times.  I wasn’t a big fan of the middle console.  I think Volvo could change that up to make it more convenient for the driver and passenger. 
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The drive is easily the highlight of this vehicle. The pick up on the car is amazing and provides you with great acceleration.  It also offers great fuel efficiency, better perhaps than any of the other vehicles I’ve had the pleasure of testing.  I could easily see myself driving one of these every day.
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All in all I give this car an 8.5 out of 10 for me. Volvo has come a long way from its boxy look and is high on the scale of classy vehicles. Visit http://www.volvocars.com/us
Travel

Mitsubishi Outlander

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I had the pleasure of trying out the new 2016 Mitsbushi Outlander a couple of weeks ago.  I have heard on and off reviews on the Outlander so I was excited to check it out.  It had a cute look with nothing too stylish compared to its opponents.  The interior was standard for a crossover.  The 3rd row seating in my opinion isn’t worth having, but it is a convenient option.  It’s super cramped even for my kids who are still little.  I say get rid of the whole 3rd row. The trunk is very small , this is why I think they should just get rid of the 3rd row all together, but the leg room for the passengers in the middle seats and front is wonderful.

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To my surprise the Eco feature on it actually saved us on gas.  I loved that feature.  EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2016 Outlander are average for this class, starting at 27 mpg combined (25 city/31 highway) with the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive and dropping to 26 mpg combined (24/29) with all-wheel drive.  The V6-powered GT returns 23 mpg combined (20/27). 
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Standard safety features on the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, a driver knee airbag, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. 
The dashboard has a sleek, subtle look, and it’s covered with a refined soft-touch material that’s matched by supple trim on the door panels. Infotainment features are class-competitive, highlighted by standard voice controls and a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface that’s standard on all but the base ES trim.
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There is not too much power to the acceleration if you’re in eco mode on the highway.  Driving around town isn’t to bad. 
All in all it’s not bad for the average starting price of 22,995, and of course you can add other features.  I think it’s a great car for people who are just starting a family or for people who have older kids.  Out of a 10 I give it a 7
Travel

2016 Nissan Murano Platinum

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I had the opportunity to try out a Nissan Murano for a week. This was the perfect week for it because we had plans to go up to the Pocono mountains. The Murano has to be one of my top 3 favorite cars that I have tried.
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Murano has a sleek exterior and luxury interior. The comfort level of the seats were outstanding. Front & Rear Zero Gravity Seats developed to simulate the weightlessness of space, Murano’s zero gravity seats may help reduce fatigue. Then there is the Available Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection. This clever system not only shows you a clear image of what’s directly behind you, it gives you a virtual 360° bird’s eye view of your surroundings, which helps make parking a whole lot easier. The competition offers backup and rearview cameras only.

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I love how spacious this car was especially with 2 kids. It gave us lots of room for comfortable travel. The Murano delivered what is most important in comfort, style and safety. The Platinum, which is what I had, has features like heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and power-folding rear seats. The interior had fancy marble/metallic trim; just beautiful. Also we were getting 27 mpg on the highway and 22 in the city.

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Travel

2016 Mazda 6 i Touring

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I had a ton of running around this week from meetings, events and taking the kids to school, so I was excited to try out the Mazda 6 i grand touring.  It provided me with everything you would need in a mid size car.

This was such a fun vehicle to drive. I was also very impressed with the gas mileage this car got. I ran around the with car all week and all over the place and by the end of the week I still had a 1/4 tank left. The kids loved the sunroof and all the leg room they had. The feature my husband and I agreed on that was total genius is the console-area knob that can control the 7 inch touch screen making it so much easier to control the radio and functions.

Another great feature is a head-up screen called an Active Driving Display. It sits directly in front of the driver, showing you the speed. Driving in the city with this car was great.  The back up camera totally helped when parking in the city. I can’t wait to try other Mazda’s. If you’re looking for a sedan for your family this car is perfect; or if you’re looking for a sporty good looking car this is it.

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AVAILABLE FEATURES

LED headlights with automatic on/off, Adaptive Front-lighting System, Moonroof with one-touch open, 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment, Variable heated front seats, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio capability, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, Rearview camera*, Mazda navigation system, Bose® Centerpoint Surround Sound system with AudioPilot® 2 and 11 speakers (including woofer), Dual-zone automatic climate control system, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights, Auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink®, Leather-trimmed seats, Rain sensing windshield wipers

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SAFETY FEATURES (which I think is super important with little ones)

Standard safety features include advanced front air bags, front side-impact air bags, side-impact air curtains*, Dynamic Stability Control* with Traction Control System, 4-wheel ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist, Available Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert*, Smart City Brake Support*, Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning*, Lane Departure Warning System*, High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Close Proximity Warning*;

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Thanks to Mazda #drivemazda and Driveshop for allowing me to experience this great ride.