caption The Lexus UX 250h. source Matthew DeBord/BI The 2019 Lexus UX 250h is a new subcompact luxury hybrid. Lexus now offers hybrid versions of three crossovers in different segments, providing alternatives to sedans. The Lexus UX 250h is offbeat, but I liked the small crossover quite a lot. A fuel-economy rating of nearly 40 mpg combined certainly helps. In the world of departed luxury hybrid oddities, the Lexus CT200h wagonette seemed to have exactly one fan, and that fan was me. Understandable, as the CT200h was a slicked-up version of my own Toyota Prius. That car is now gone, but Lexus hasn’t given up on offering customers a downsized hybrid. Enter the UX 250h, a subcompact premium crossover that I recently sampled with an available F Sport package. Combined with a fully loaded infotainment system and some driver assist tech, this added over $5,000 to the base price of $36,000. Toyota’s luxury brand now offers a hybrid version of three … [Read more...] about I drove a $42,000 Lexus UX hybrid SUV to see if this offbeat, entry-level crossover is worthy of its luxury nameplate. Here’s the verdict.
Midsize hybrid suv
If you're a technology enthusiast—and you obviously are, because you're reading Ars Technica—you'll know that poor software or a bad UI can drag down even the best hardware. It's frustrating, and not just because lousy software can make using the newest, shiniest gear less fun. The frustration is also fueled by the vision of what could have been if the manufacturer had truly gotten its act together. That, in a nutshell, describes my week with the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid. The MDX is the first hybrid SUV from Acura. It was refreshed for the 2017 model year, and, aside from a few new color options, it is essentially unchanged for 2019. It's a three-row, midsize SUV that sits in the same luxury segment occupied by the Infiniti QX60 (look for our review soon), Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and Lexus RX 350L. It has a 3.0L, 24-valve V6 under the hood, accompanied by three electric motors—borrowed from the hybrid NSX supercar no less. There's also a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission … [Read more...] about Love the hardware, hate the UI: The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
caption Our BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance hybrid. source Hollis Johnson The BMW X5 and the Audi Q7 are two of the most popular midsize luxury SUVs in the US. The X5 and Q7 both offer a large complement of tech features, stellar driving dynamics, and room for seven passengers. The Audi Q7 starts at $49,900 while our top-of-the-line V6 Prestige trim test car starts at $65,400. The BMW X5 starts $57,200 while our xDrive40e iPerformance hybrid tester starts at $63,750. The Audi Q7’s superior ride, technology, and interior space won out over the BMW X5’s stellar driving dynamics and fuel economy. It’s hard to believe that the BMW X5 is now one of elder statesmen in the luxury SUV game. But the reality is that the X5 is coming up on its 20th birthday along with the imminent arrival of the fourth iteration of BMW’s stalwart crossover. With the new 2019 BMW X5 expected to US showrooms this November, it’s easy to overlook the … [Read more...] about We drove a $64,000 BMW X5 and a $65,000 Audi Q7 to find out which one is a better luxury SUV — here’s the verdict
caption Our Volkswagen Atlas SE tester. source Hollis Johnson The Toyota Highlander is one of the best selling midsize crossover SUVs in the US while the Volkswagen Atlas is a popular newcomer to the segment. The base 2018 Toyota Highlander starts $31,230 while the top-of-the-line Hybrid Limited Platinum model starts at $48,480. The base 2018 Volkswagen Atlas starts at $30,750 while thetop-spec SEL Premium with 4Motion starts at $48,740. The Toyota Highlander’s superior refinement, build quality, and usability edges out the Volkswagen’s superior driving dynamics, size, and infotainment systems. It’s official. The crossover SUV is now the undisputed vehicle of choice for American families. It’s role once filled by the minivan and before that the good ol’fashioned station wagon. But as far as the family crossover go, there are few more popular than the Toyota Highlander. Last year, Toyota sold nearly 216,000 Highlanders … [Read more...] about We drove a $42,000 Toyota Highlander and a $40,000 Volkswagen Atlas to see which one is the better family SUV — here’s the verdict
Still a great SUV — the BMW X5.Matthew DeBord/BI The 2018 BMW X5 xDrive40e adds a plug-in hybrid option to a popular luxury SUV. In practice, the system helps with fuel economy, but it doesn't otherwise radically alter the vehicle. Our confidence in the X5 as a compelling luxury crossover option was restored after a week with the vehicle. And without question, you won't be getting the ultimate driving machine. For that, you can take a look at BMW's "e" lineup. And pony up the premium. We've sampled the 3-Series plug-in hybrid sedan and have been impressed. So we hopped at the chance to give the X5 SUV a shot. The X5, after all, is the built-in-South Carolina crossover that's going to keep BMW in business in the US, as consumers increasingly favor SUVs over four-doors. Our luxury midsize people-and-stuff hauler tipped the cost scales at just over $75,000, after $10,000 in options took control of the $63,000-ish starting price. Here's what I thought after a week of tooling … [Read more...] about We drove a $74,000 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid SUV to see if it’s worth the investment — here’s the verdict