Tag Archives: options

2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

Mr. Lincoln returns with statuesque Continental …2017 Lincoln Continental

            Lincoln’s new Continental, its first since 2002, has the type of curb appeal that will instantly allow it entry into the country club parking lot. It looks luxurious and that big chrome grille lets you know it’s a Continental.

For those interested in making a luxury statement, but really only hoping for that big mellow Continental ride, relax. The 2017 iteration delivers on the boulevard ride. Thankfully it’s simply pleasant, not floaty as in model years past.

Lincoln uses a long 117.9-inch wheelbase, multi-link suspension front and rear and continuously controlled damping to ensure a ride worthy of yourself and three or four of your country club friends. And yes, there’s plenty of room in the trunk for a couple golf bags.2017 Lincoln Continental

So with distinguished looks and supple ride you may consider the Continental right on target for its audience. Except, like Cadillac, Lincoln is hoping to lure the 45-55-year old luxury sedan buyer, not senior citizens. For middle-aged luxury buyers power and handling also play a big role in brand selection.

Power is no problem here. The base Premium model features a 3.7-liter V6 making 305 horsepower, while the Select and Reserve models boast a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that creates 365 horses and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. Turbos always deliver more oomph than naturally aspirated engines.2017 Lincoln Continental

Ah, but the silver test car added (for $3,265) the upper crust 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that cranks an impressive 400 horsepower, with an equal torque rating. This turbo empowered beast is standard on the top level Black Label edition too. Continue reading 2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

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2015 Lexus NX 300h FWD

Lexus NX 300h (hybrid) long on edgy styling, short on power

Credit Lexus with designing a sporty, exciting looking hybrid SUV/crossover.lexus NX4

With swept-back styling the NX looks fast and agile from its sporty LED headlights to its sculpted angular sides. It stands out from most of the luxury SUV crowd, and its hybrid-ness, only adds to the appeal, if you’re looking for high-tech efficiency to match the looks.

The tested pre-production “silver lining metallic” model was the top-end NX 300h, the h signifying it’s a hybrid. Sadly, it was only the front-drive model, not all-wheel-drive, which would have helped give it grip on a couple slippery, snowy mornings.

I love the angular looks, but I couldn’t warm to the overall hybrid experience.

lexus NX2Oh, it’s easy to love the economy. I put on 255 miles and just used 8.5 gallons to average 29.9 mpg in a week that was heavier on highway miles than usual, about 70%. Hybrids perform most impressively in city driving, the NX being rated at 35 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway by the EPA.

But here’s the deal. I get tired of hearing the high-pitched whine of the hybrid recharging its batteries every time I let off the gas pedal or got on the regenerative brakes. Partially you notice that whine much more here because the NX is a luxury ute with good sound deadening for road noise, but that clears the way to hear the whirr of the electric motor and braking. Continue reading 2015 Lexus NX 300h FWD