2015-16 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Luxury

Acura TLX  Buick Regal  Infiniti Q50  Mercedes-Benz C-Class 
Audi A4  Cadillac ATS  2017 Jaguar XE  Nissan Maxima 
2017 Audi A4  Cadillac CTS  Lexus CT200h  Toyota Avalon 
BMW 3-Series  Cadillac XTS  Lexus ES350, ES350h  Volvo S60 
BMW 4-Series  Hyundai Genesis Sedan  Lexus IS250, IS350  Volvo V60 
Buick Lacrosse  Infiniti QX50  Lincoln MKZ  Volvo XC70 

2016 Infiniti QX50 (formerly EX37)


 

 

What’s new
The QX50 returns for its ninth season with an 80 mm longer wheelbase and some exterior and cabin tweaks. 

Performance
The 3.7L V6 is strong, flexible, mechanically smooth and well matched to its responsive seven-speed automatic transmission. The QX50 chassis serves up a firm yet resilient ride, handles with verve and is very stable on the highway. Nicely weighted and geared steering and strong brakes round out the QX50’s dynamic abilities. If the QX50 has a fault, it is an exhaust system that is described as either “sporty” or “intrusive” depending on whose opinion you solicit. The parking proximity system works very well, allowing the car to be positioned very precisely. Superb audio system. The driver and passenger enjoy ample room and repose on comfortable, supportive seats. The cabin is endowed with clear gauges and straightforward controls. The interior is attractive and carefully assembled. The QX50’s driving position is excellent and the view through the windshield is somehow very satisfying. Tight rear legroom, a chief failing of the previous version of the QX50, has been eliminated due to 109mm additional rear legroom for 2016. Cargo space remains unimpressive. 

Comments
One engine, a 3.7L V6, sends power the all wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. 

Pricing
The Premium package is very good value and is equipped to suit most buyers. The Navigation package is overpriced but the Technology group is priced to reflect its additional content. Good value leasing.

Reliability
Above average reliability. Lower servicing costs than comparably-priced European cars. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3.7L-V6 (325 HP) 

Transmissions: 7A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 13.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available lane departure warning, full range cruise control and blind spot warning.
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 4/100,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2008
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Infiniti Q50


 

 

What’s new
The normally-aspirated 3.7L V6 is replaced by a 3L turbo V6 that produces 300 and 400 horsepower, depending on its tuning. A new base model employs a Mercedes-supplied 2L turbo four that produces 208 horsepower. Updates for 2016 include a revised Direct Adaptive Steering as well as a optional suspension referred to as Dynamic Digital. 
Comments
The previous 3.7L V6 has been jettisoned in favour of a 208 horsepower 2L turbo four brought in from Mercedes and a 3L turbo V6 that produces either 300 or 400 horsepower, depending on tuning. Power goes to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission in all cases. The previous V6 hybrid continues unchanged. Driven by the APA with the previous 3.7L V6, the Q50 was quick, quiet and solid with a well-honed ride-handling balance and good steering feel considering there is no direct connection between the steering wheel and the tires. The Mercedes-supplied 2L four is not especially smooth in the Mercedes cars it is installed in and may lack the energy to move the Q50 with the alactrity buyers in this segment will expect. One Q50 option is a system that can detect the vehicle ahead of the one ahead of you stopping unexpectedly and alert you of the danger. The interior is attractive, has comfortable seats and competitive cabin space for a car is this segment. Small trunk.  

Pricing 

Upgrading from the 2.0T to the 3.0T is very good value especially as it includes an additional 92 horsepower of the smooth V6 and is the model that will best suit most buyers. The , emits culture sounds from its and the sonic luxury bestowed by a V6 engine.  About $4500 of the $8700 supplement Infiniti demands to move up from the 3.0T to the Red Sport can be attributed to additional equipment, the balance of which is to cover the additional 100 horsepwer created by the higher-tuned Red Sport V6. Most option packages are good value. Unimpressive lease rates in mid-June 2016.  

Reliability
Not rated due to insufficient data. Predicted reliability is above average. Hybrid reliability unproven. Cheaper servicing costs than comparable European cars. Electronically operated drive-by-wire steering system could be expensive to fix if it breaks.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (208 HP), 3L-V6 T (300 HP*, 400 HP), 3.5L-V6 H (360 HP combined) 

Transmissions: 7A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  13.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings as well as lane departure warning, and forward collision warning
Additional airbags: None

Warranty: 4/100,000, 6./110,000
Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Jaguar XE

NEW

 

 
What’s new
An all-new Jaguar compact sedan to compete with the BMW 3-Series and other luxury compacts. 
Comments
The XE marks Jaguar’s return to the compact luxury market it abandoned when production of the ill-fated X-Type ended in 2008. The XE should be on sale in Canada early in 2016.
Final powertrain specifications are not yet known but Jaguar has released some preliminary information. The mainstream XE will be powered by a 2L turbocharged four producing roughly 240 horsepower, with a 340 horsepower supercharged 3L V6 and a 180 horsepower 2L four-cylinder turbodiesel, being optional. Power will reach the rear, or optionally, all wheels, via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The XE’s exterior dimensions are in the same ballpark as major competitors such as the BMW 3-series, Lexus IS and Mercedes C-Class. Described as “aluminum intensive” the XE’s structure is all-alloy, with the doors and trunk lid being made of steel, not as a cost-saving strategy, but for weight distribution. The XE’s cabin is edgy, bordering on the Avant Garde, with few of Jaguar’s traditional wood, leather and chrome motifs in evidence. Cabin space is competitive upfront but rear seat legroom is tighter than in the Mercedes C-Class and the BMW 3-Series.

Pricing
The least expensive XE, the 2L TDI AWD Premium, is priced at $45,000. The supercharged V6 costs $3500 more than the 2L TDI. The Prestige and XE R Sport trim upgrades match price and content precisely. It will be interesting to see how buyers react to the diesel engine after the VW dieselgate fiasco.  

Reliability
New model, not rated. Reliability should be at least as good as German-branded rivals. No powertrain coverage past four years 80,000 km.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 D (180 HP), 3L-V6 S (340 HP)  

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n.a. L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  n.a L/100 km
Active Safety Features: No information available 
Additional airbags: No info available

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no powertrain coverage past 80,000 km
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  England

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2017 Kia Cadenza

NEW

 

 
What’s new
An all-new second-generation Cadenza should be on sale by late 2016.

Comments
Though only 25,000 Cadenzas were sold in the U.S. over the past three years (just 173 in Canada in 2015), Kia unveiled a second-generation Cadenza at the New York show. Built on a longer wheelbase, the new Cadenza is about the same length as its predecessor. The new car is crisp and modern and bears some resemblance to Volvo’s new S90 range-topping luxury car. The cabin, with a faux-suede headliner, genuine wood accents and dramatic colour schemes, is a luxurious as it is roomy and comfortable. Kia’s 3.3L, direct-injection V6 sends power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic.   

Reliability
New model, not rated. Reliability should above average.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3./3L-V6 (290 HP estimated)  

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  N/A
Highway Fuel Economy: N/A
Active Safety Features: Active cruise control with stop and go, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, lane departure warning and blind spot detection 
Additional airbags: No info available

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2017
Country of Origin: England

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2016 Lexus CT200h


 

 
What’s new
Revised trim packages including new Executive and F Sport 2 models.

Comments
The CT is a luxury-branded spinoff of the Toyota Prius and uses its powertrain. Crisply-marked gauges are located in a compact housing in a BMW-like dashboard with a strong horizontal emphasis. Rather than a conventional dash centre stack, the centre console of the CT200h sweeps up to meet the dashboard in a similar way to that of a 1960s Thunderbird. The shorter wheelbase and lower height than the Prius don't do the CT 200h any packaging favours. Those sitting up front have sufficient space, but rear seat legroom is very restricted, and there is limited luggage space in the shallow hatch area. The "Sport" mode firms up the steering, sharpens throttle response and releases more horsepower from the batteries. Handling, while more agile than that of the Prius, lacks involvement. The steering, though nicely weighted and geared, is numb. Greater soundproofing improves refinement compared with the Prius. At about 1000 units sold last year, the CT sells quite well despite its high price in comparison with the Prius.

Pricing
Overpriced Touring and Executive trim upgrades. Compared with the F Sport 1, the F Sport 2 is reasonable value but the F Sport 1 seems pricey for its equipment level. Very good value leasing.

Reliability
Rated above average, like the Prius it is derived from.

See the Hybrid and Electric car section.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
1.8L-4 H (134 HP combined)
Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  5.5L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000, 8/160,000  (hybrid components)
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Lexus ES350 and ES300h


 

 
What’s new
The Lexus ES receives a mid-cycle update for its fourth year on the market. Exterior updates include a new grille, road wheels and L.E.D. headlamps. Cabin changes include more attractive materials and a new 4.2 inch screen on the dash. Lexus states that structural enhancements and suspension chanes result is a sharper driving car. Package and packaging changes.

Comments
While instantly recognizable as a Lexus, the company has upped its styling game for the ES, which has greater visual elan than any of its predecessors. The pinched-centre ("spindle" in Lexus-speak) grille, fast-becoming the new face of Lexus, fronts the ES. Big, crisply-marked gauges are housed in a BMW-like dashboard that has a strong horizontal emphasis as well as a visually compressed, button-festooned centre stack. The ES displays a pleasing mix of colours and bright trim accents.
Power stems from the same mechanical units, a 3.5L V6 and a 2.5L four-cylinder hybrid, used in the current Toyota Camry. Power reaches the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with the V6 and a CVT with the hybrid. Driven briefly by the APA, the ES 300h was roomy, comfortable, quiet, had a commendable ride-handling compromise for a luxury touring car and was quite economical as well.
Pricing (2015)
Leather upholstery is only offered on the Touring model. Good value Technology package. Overpriced Executive upgrade. The hybrid versions are generally less well equipped than their V6 equivalents and cost $4950 (Touring), $600 (Tech) and $1800 (Executive) more. Good value resale. With gas prices hovering at around $1.05/L in April 2015 and no government rebate, you have to really want to be green to buy a hybrid as the economics don't add up. Good value leasing.

Reliability
Rated above average for reliability.
See the Hybrid and Electric car section.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.5L-4 H (200 HP), 3.5L-V6* (268 HP)

Transmissions: 6A*, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  11.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors as well as a pre-collision system

Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants and outboard rear seat airbags
Warranty:4/80,000, 6/110,000, 8/160,000 (hybrid components)
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Lexus IS200t, IS300, IS350


 

 
What’s new
Mechanical updates for 2016 include a new rear-wheel drive turbo four-cylinder IS200t base model, and a new IS300 that replaces the previous IS250. New standard features for 2016 include rear airbags for outboard passengers and a standard 60-40 folding rear seat. Package and packaging changes for 2016.

Comments
The cabin, fronted by a clear gauge package and a vaguely 1980's BMW instrument panel, is conservative and tasteful. Rear legroom is class competitiver. Engine offerings include a 2L turbo four rated at 241 horsepower, and a 3.5L V6 that produces 255 and 306 horsepower in the IS300 and IS350 respectively. The 2L turbo sends power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the exclusively all-wheel drive V6 models using a six-speed automatic.

Pricing 

Except for the limited appeal all-wheel drive IS200t, all IS models feature all-wheel drive for 2016. Moving up from the IS300 to the IS350 costs just over $10,000 but does include about $3000 in additional equipment. Trim upgrades are priced to reflect the value of their additional contents. Good value leasing.
Reliability
Above average reliability. Cheaper service costs and better durability than a comparable German-branded branded car make it better suited to people who buy their cars rather than lease them.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (241 HP)*, 3.5L-V6 (255 HP: !S300, 306 HP: IS350)

Transmissions: 6A, 8A 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel  drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors as well as a pre-collision system
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants and outboard rear seat airbags

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin: Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Lincoln MKZ


 

 
What’s new
No changes of note for 2016. A mid-cycle update of the MKZ will be on sale by the summer of 2016

Performance
The MKZ's 2L turbocharged four is quick and refined to the point where several APA drivers believed that our test car was powered by the 3.7L V6. The turbo four is nicely matched to the six-speed automatic transmission. Quick, nicely-weighted steering allies to Lincoln Drive Control that links the steering, stability and traction controls with the Continuously Controlled Damping to optimize ride and handling depending on the road being travelled on. All of Lincoln's electronic devices combine to deliver a compliant ride and confident handling that befits a luxury touring car. The conventional MKZs are very quiet, with subdued engine, road and wind noise. The hybrid model performs well enough and is economical but lacks refinement and undermines the luxury experience the conventional MKZs deliver. The MKZ eschews a conventional gear selector in favour of pushbuttons located on the left side of the dash centre stack. Tall body sides, small windows and big roof pillars limit outward visibility. This is further exacerbated if the car is equipped with the massive glass sunroof that covers about half of the already small rear window when the roof is fully open. The MKZ is not the easiest car to get in and out of.
Like designs of the Bauhaus movement, the MKZ's cabin is visually calming but fashioned from luxurious materials. Instrumentation is by the same components as navigation-equipped Fords and underwhelming for a high-end car. Seat comfort is good and cabin space is competitive with other cars in the mid-size luxury class. Inflatable rear seatbelts are an innovative safety feature but they make fastening the seatbelts very awkward. Good base audio system but the optional THX system is not worth the money. Reasonable trunk space. Good exterior paint and panel fit.

Comments
The Ford Motor Company neglected Lincoln while it owned Aston-Martin, Jaguar, Land-Rover and Volvo. Devoid of attention, Lincoln languished, and became the purveyors of lightly altered mainstream Ford models. This situation reached its nadir with the previous MKZ, which, while a good car, was essentially a Ford Fusion with different end caps and a nicer cabin.
After jettisoning its luxury brands, Ford decided to revive Lincoln as a premium brand and create unique vehicles which could justify higher prices than what Lincoln can charge today.
Like its predecessor, the new MKZ is based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion, but this time it shares no exterior panels and few cabin elements with its Ford sibling. The exterior of the new car, created by a new Lincoln design studio, has a rare visual purity which is spare, but not plain, and is highlighted by some very carefully-considered bright highlights.
The base engine is a 2L EcoBoost four that produces 240 horsepower. Engine options include a 300 horsepower 3.7L V6 as well as a four-cylinder hybrid which produces a combined output of 188 horsepower. The EcoBoost 2L four and the V6 send power to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission; but the hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission.
Available active safety equipment includes a lane keeping aid, a lane keeping alert, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake Support, active park assist, blind spot information system with cross traffic alert and active parking assist.

Pricing
Hybrid versions are priced the same as the 2L four-cylinder variants. All-wheel drive, standard with the V6, is a $3200 option with the 2L four. The Select and Ultra trim upgrades are priced to cover the value of their additional contents but V6 Preferred group is overpriced. Good value leasing. The previous-generation MKZ suffered from withering depreciation.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Complex electronic systems might make a Ford extended warranty a prudent purchase if you plan to keep your car past the warranty period. Some problems reported with the turbo engine. The hybrid and V6 might be surer bets.
See the Hybrid and Electric car section.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4  T (200 HP)*, 2L-4 H (141 HP gasoline engine, 188 HP combined), 3.7L-V6 (300 HP),  

Transmissions: 6A*, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Adaptive cruise control with collision warning and active brake support. Available blind spot and rear cross traffic warning and lane keep assist.
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000, 8/160,000 (hybrid components)
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  Mexico and United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

NOT RATED

 

 
What’s new
A new Luxury package featuring the traditional Mercedes grille and three-pointed star on the hood is new for 2016. A C300d wagon, and its turbodiesel engine, were announced but failed to launch for 2016. model year.  A heated steering wheel is a standalone option this year. The C400 AMG Sport has been replaced by a C450 AMG Sport with 362 horsepower, 33 more than its predecessor. A C-Class coupe, sold as a 2017 model, went on sale in the spring of 2016. Rear-wheel drive V8 C63 and C63S sedans are now available.

Comments
TheC-Class sedan, visually similar to the prestige S-Class, now more comfortably welcomes four adults. The dashboard houses big clear gauges that flank an electronic display and simple-looking but multi-buttoned climate controls. An aftermarket-looking info screen takes pride of place at the centre of the dash. Cabin materials are perhaps best in class for 2015, and a big change from the taxicab interiors Mercedes was delivering 10 years ago. The base C300 is powered by a 2L turbo four that produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque; a twin turbo V6 develops 362 horsepower under the hood of the C400. New for 2016 is a 2.1L four-cylinder diesel with 200 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The V8 C63 and C63S rear-wheel drive models are new for 2016. Auto start-stop that cuts the engine at a standstill is standard. Power reaches all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic regardless of engine choice. The optional Airmatic air suspension has not been successful in other Mercedes-Benz models and should be avoided.

Pricing 
All-wheel drive is standard with both engines. Upgrading from the 2L four to the V6 costs a whopping $7000. C300: Overpriced Premium and Sport packages but the Premium Plus group is priced to reflect its extra contents. C400: Overpriced Premium, Sport and Intelligent drive upgrades. Very expensive leather seating and metallic paint options. The C300 4Matic looks inexpensive compared with a BMW 328xi, but with similar equipment, the Mercedes costs more. Good value leasing.

Reliability
New car, not rated. The previous car was rated average for the first three years. Four year/80,000 km bumper to bumper warranty with no additional powertrain coverage. American and most Japanese luxury brands offer six years for the powertrain. The pre-paid scheduled service plan offered by Mercedes-Benz is strongly recommended.

Specifications


Body Style:  2CP, 4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (241 HP C300)*, 2.1L-4 TDI (200 HP), 3L-V6 T (362 HP C450), 4L-V8 T (C63: 469 HP, C63 S: 503 HP) 

Transmissions: 7A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive (C63 only)

City Fuel Economy:  9.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings as well as active cruise control and forward collision warning.

Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no powertrain coverage afterward.

Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin: United States, Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 


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