Cars that drive themselves are coming to a roadway near you. So why are automakers so focused on fun?
Can a Toyota Camry legitimately be described as fun to drive? Toyota thinks so, and expects this to come to pass when the redesigned 2018 Camry arrives later this year.
The next-generation Camry is built on Toyota’s new global vehicle architecture, designed from the ground up to improve driving dynamism. Chairman Akio Toyoda, himself a fan of taking the long way home, has decreed that Toyotas and Lexuses must be more than just high-quality, dependable, and efficient vehicles. They must spark emotion, they must be enjoyable to drive, and they must be aspirational rather than an appliance.
Toyota is not alone. Multiple automakers are flexing their engineering muscles in order to appeal to people for whom the journey is just as much fun as the destination. Clearly, if you are a driving enthusiast, now is a great, if disconcerting, time to be alive.
Continue reading “Autonomy is Right Around the Corner, Yet Car Companies are Doubling Down on Driving Fun”
You don’t need to spend extra for a luxury brand to buy an entertaining and safe crossover SUV.
Everybody wants a crossover SUV, except for driving enthusiasts because weight + taller center of gravity = sad face emoji.
If you like to drive, but daily life demands more space for passengers and cargo in a safe, all-wheel-drive vehicle, don’t worry. There are several crossover SUVs that meet the criteria without sucking all of the joy out of your commute.
Personally, my favorite is the 2017 Ford Edge Sport, equipped with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, available 21-inch wheels and performance tires, and a driving thrill unmatched by anything at its price. Unfortunately, it does not qualify as a “Top Safety Pick” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), coming up short in the small overlap frontal-impact test.
The five vehicles that follow, however, do earn this crash protection designation. So if that’s your most important consideration, as it should be for any vehicle in which you’re planning to carry your family, check out one of these fun and safe crossover SUVs. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Continue reading “Five to Drive: Fun and Safe Crossover SUVs”
Consider rear-impact collisions before putting your kids, or anyone you love, in the third-row seat.
If you’ve overlooked the 2017 Kia Sorento in your quest for a new family-sized crossover SUV, you’re doing yourself a tremendous disservice.
It is a terrific vehicle, sized between the traditional compact and midsize SUV segments, stylish, comfortable, and enjoyable to drive. It meets a wide range of budget requirements, and when loaded with every option, could easily pass for a luxury SUV except for the Kia badge on the center of the steering wheel.
Plus, it gets the highest possible crash-protection ratings from the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and for 2017 Kia further stepped up the Sorento’s game by installing an automatic emergency braking system on every trim level as standard or optional equipment.
This is an SUV I can easily recommend to families. But I have a concern, and that relates to the Sorento’s third-row seat design.
Continue reading “Are Third-Row Seats Safe for Children?”