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Posts Tagged ‘luxury car review’

Acura Offers a Peek at Refreshed 2018 RLX

A "transformational" redesign.

by on Aug.10, 2017

The new "diamond pentagon grille" highlights the changes to the 2018 Acura RLX.

After years of struggle trying to define itself in a crowded luxury market, Acura has finally begun to gain some traction, though most of that has been on the SUV side of its line-up. So, there’s a lot riding on the updated 2018 RLX the Japanese maker will roll out during the week-long extravaganza anchored by the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next week.

Like the recently restyled Acura TLX, the bigger RLX will draw heavily on the design cues first revealed in the form of the Acura Precision Concept first seen at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. That includes the new “diamond pentagon grille,” sculpted hood and LED strips framing the updated headlamps of the 2018 update.

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“This redesign…is transformational, creating road presence and styling that better reflect underlying performance capabilities of the vehicle,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president & general manager – and its former design chief.

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First Drive: 2018 Infiniti Q50

A few new tricks from a not-that-old sedan.

by on Jul.21, 2017

Once known as the G model, the Infiniti Q50 remains the brand's top-selling model.

There always seems to be that one product that truly represents a brand: in the luxury category the list is likely to include the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A6. Despite its rapidly expanding line-up and the growing shift from passenger cars to SUVs, the Q50 is the model most folks are likely to think about when talk turns to Infiniti.

In various incarnations, it dates back to the earliest days of the brand and has been the brand’s best-seller since the days when it was known by such designations as the G30 and G35. Now dubbed the Q50, the sedan has remained Infiniti’s top model since undergoing a complete makeover in 2016. And now, just two years later, it’s getting a welcome, if not extensive, mid-cycle update.

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The 2018 refresh of the Infiniti Q50 isn’t going to deliver any major surprises. There are some modest exterior and interior visual updates, some additional technology and subtle changes to the unique drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering System. There’s also a new hierarchy of trim levels, starting with the now base-level Q50 Pure, and running up to the top-line Q50 Red Sport 400.

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First Drive: 2017 Genesis G90

Big car, big ambitions.

by on Aug.16, 2016

The 2017 Genesis G90 will take on such lofty competitors as the BMW 7- and Mercedes S-Class.

Say the name, “Hyundai,” and most folks are likely to think of a small econocar like the original Excel, or perhaps something a little larger and more modern, such as the Sonata. And that’s the problem the Korean carmaker has been struggling with as it has tried pushing into the luxury market with offerings like the Genesis and Equus sedans.

No wonder, then, that Hyundai decided to reverse course last year, announcing plans to launch a separate luxury brand that could more directly be positioned against established high-line competitors like BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

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The all-new Genesis brand made its debut earlier this year with the launch of the G80, a modestly updated version of the Hyundai Genesis sedan targeted against the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class. But now, the Koreans are set to put a halo around the new marque with the roll-out of the big Genesis G90. And we jumped at the chance to take the premium luxury sedan for several hundred miles of driving through the gorgeous mountains outside of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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First Drive: 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith

Leather-clad luxury missile.

by on Mar.29, 2016

Forward into the past, the Rolls-Royce Wraith harkening back to the grand GTs of yore.

“How much is too much?” That’s a question that frequently arises when the conversation turns to uber luxury cars.

“I would never pay $300,000 for an automobile,” some will say, which might rule out a car like the 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith. Actually, at $372,545 as tested, it’s not inexpensive by any measure, but after spending some time behind the wheel, we’re convinced it’s worth it.

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The 2016 Wraith embodies the best of the British motorcar tradition and continues to build cars where possible using “olde world” assembly methods like hand stitching, hand assembly and hand finishing of myriad leather and wood components.

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First Look: 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Try, try again…it’s still a van.

by on Mar.29, 2010

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class goes through an "assertive" exterior upgrade.

Some vehicles never quite live up to their initial expectations, and the original Mercedes-Benz R-Class was one of those.  Of course, it would have helped if the automaker did a better job of positioning the people mover.  Those who bought the R-Class were generally pleased with its van-like qualities, but the van-like looks didn’t quite live up to the official designation of “sport tourer.”

So, Mercedes is giving it another try, with a fairly significant mid-cycle update that looks more sporty – “a new level of assertiveness,” in the automaker’s words – but still maintains the original R-Class functionality. The 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class will make its formal debut, this week, at the New York International Auto Show.

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The new nose on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is less droopy, with a taller hood and wider grille, as well as a revised fascia and the addition of LED driving lamps.  There’s a new rear bumper, restyled tailpipes and an updated taillights, as well.  All add up to a look that’s more macho, SUV-like.

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