2021 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Luxury


 

Acura TLX  Cadillac CT4  Infiniti QX50  Nissan Maxima 
Audi A4  Cadillac CT5  Jaguar i-Pace  Tesla Model 3 
BMW 3-Series  Genesis G70  Lexus ES  Toyota Avalon 
BMW 4-Series  Genesis G80  Lexus IS  Volvo S60 
  Infiniti Q50  Mercedes-Benz C-Class  Volvo V60 

2021 Infiniti Q50

 


 

 

What’s new
The trim level names and equipment have been shuffled once again as the Q50 enters its eighth year in its current form. 

Performance
Rated at 400 horsepower, the 3L twin turbo V6 that powers the ultimate Q50, the Red Sport,  furnishes bountiful power along with a stirring soundtrack. The detuned version of the turbo V6, with 300 horsepower, delivers abundant power and is significantly less expensive than the Red Sport. The transmission was slightly reluctant to kick down in normal mode but the transmission became more pro-active when the Sport and Sport+ modes were selected. Unlike the electronic toggle that selects gears in many luxury cars, the gear selector on the Q50 is a conventional device that has a direct mechanical connection with the transmission. 
Though nicely weighted, the Q50's steering, which is activated by a drive by wire system, feels, not surprisingly, a bit remote, even when turning large, low-profile 19 inch wheels and tires. Handling is stable and unflappable and the Red Sport's ride, though firm, is surprisingly comfortable. 
The cabin of the Red Sport, though nicely appointed, is not overtly luxurious in an old school wood-accented way. The driver faces large, clearly-marked gauges that have trim rings featuring bizarre and totally superfluous fluting. The controls for the climate system can be accessed both via buttons or a dashboard screen, which will let those familiar with conventional controls to use them and tech-forward fans an operation mode they believe is futuristic. The audio controls work well but tuning by a toggle rather than a knob is counter-intuitive. The substantial, comfortable seats, front and rear, are supportive but also a bit softer than the generally firm seats in this segment. Some rear seat occupants complained that the rear seat back angle was too reclined. A good seating position combines with larger than average windows to deliver better visibiltity than many other cars in this category. Abundant legroom for those sitting upfront with substantial rear seat legroom for this class. The trunk is very tight for a car of this size. Air-conditioning output is adequate but drivers cannot select a temperature cooler than 18C, even when the ambient temperature is below that figure.


Comments
Engine options are limited to 300 or 400 horsepower versions of the 3L-V6 turbo. Power goes to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission in all cases.  

Pricing

The base model, the Pure, is nicely equipped, though it lacks leather upholstery. The Luxe trim, which is overpriced, keeps the vinyl seating but adds a sunroof, alloy cabin trim, remote start, a 60-40 split fold rear seat and a blind spot monitor. The Essential Tech upgrade, which adds leather, a Bose-branded audio system and a number of minor items, is offered at a price that reflects the value of the additional content. The 400 horsepower Red Line I-Line model adds 100 extra horsepower, navigation and Aniline leather, for $8000. The Red Sport I-Line ProActive range-topper includes a lane departure warning and active lane centring, but looks expensive. The Q50 is an exceptional lease value for 2021. 

Reliability
Average to better than average reliability predicted. Maintenance is less expensive than German-branded luxury cars. Run-flat tires permit the driver to continue after a puncture but can rarely be repaired and are expensive to replace. Repairs to the steer by wire system could be expensive once the warranty is over. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3L-V6 T (300 HP*, 400 HP) 

Transmissions: 7A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  12.5L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, including pedestrians and autonomous emergency braking. Optional blind spot and lane departure warnings and rear collision prevention autonomous braking 
Warranty: 4/100,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: n/r

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: n/r

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: M

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Jaguar i-Pace

 


 

 

What’s new
The on-board battery charger has been updated from a single phase 7 kW device to a three-phase 11 kW unit, and the battery thermal management system has been refined. The all-wheel drive management system has been updated. Cordless cellphone charging and a head-up display system are new options this year and the rear seat USB ports now feature "C" type receptacles. A "Bright" appearance package with chrome accents to replace black trim elements, is available for 2021. Additional cabin updates include a new 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat with a ski-sack and a new Pivi- Pro infotainment interface using dual sim technology and 2 LTE modems that can accept over the air updates.

Comments
Built on a dedicted electric-vehicle platform, the tall-hatchback format i-Pace is marketed as a crossover. The electric motor puts out 394 horsepower, with its 90 kWh battery pack providing enoungh energy to deliver 377 kilomteters of range under ideal conditions. Driven briefly, the i-Pace is very fast, with power delivered in the linear manner expected of electric cars. The all-wheel drive system gets power to the road in an efficient manner. Typical for Jaguar, ride, handling and steering are all honed to a very high level. Strong braking. If there is a fault, road noise is higher than expected in this class.
The i-Pace is sublimely beautiful, even for a Jaguar. The cabin uses typical Jaguar cues, like wood, leather and chrome, in new and pleasing ways. Most controls are accessed via touch screens, which is not that practical when on the move. Comfortable seats, front and rear, but rear legroom is adequate, but no more. The new 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat enhances flexibility of the big truck this year. Like various Teslas and the new Volvo XC40 Recharge, the i-Pace has an additional trunk under the hood. 

Pricing
The base S trim includes L.E.D. headlamps, 8-way power front seats, heated steering wheel, a Meridian-branded audio system, front and rear parking sonars and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, but lacks leather upholstery. La version SE, qui ajoute notamment le cuir, a memory system for the seats and mirrors, a power tailgate and 12 way power front seats, but is priced higher that it should be. The range-topping HSE, with a foot-gesture tailgate, 16-way power front seats, heated rear seats, upgraded audio equipment, a heads up display system and adaptive cruise control, is modestly overpriced. Adaptive cruise control is a $1330 option on the S and SE models.
Reliability
Not rated due to the small number of XEs sold. Reliability should be at least as good as German-branded rivals. No powertrain coverage past four years 80,000 km.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (247 HP and 296 HP*)  

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.7L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Standard autonomous emergency braking and a lane keep assist system. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings and adaptive cruise control
Warranty: 4/80,000 with no powertrain coverage past 80,000 km
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  England

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: n/r

Mod. Front: n/r

Side: n/r

Roof: n/r

Sm. Front Pass.: n/r

Head/Seat: n/r

Headlight: n/r

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Lexus ES350 and ES300h

 


 

 

What’s new
A new ES 250 AWD model, using the powertrain from the related Camry, is the big news for 2021. The ES350 gains a new Black Line trim variant this year. The Signature base model of the ES300h hybrid model has been discontinued.
The ES is built on what Lexus refers to as the K (G-AK) platform, which is a rebranded version of the Toyota New Generation Architecture that underpins most new Toyotas. The ES is built on the same wheelbase as the Toyota Avalon.
The new ES is fronted by the latest iteration of the Lexus "Spindle" grille, with the rest of the car resembling a cross between the previous-generation ES and the previous LS super luxury sedan. The cabin is fronted by a dashboard featuring a small gauge pod containing a  speedometer surrounded by a tachometer and flanked on one side by a fuel readout and the other side by a temperature indicator. The top centre of the dash is dominated by a large info screen, which is controlled but an infuriating touch-pad that is too distracting to be used in a car. The cabin style on the luxury themed models, is both elegant and visually calming. The cabin design of the F Sport trims is carefully assembled but is not overtly luxurious compared with the sumptuous cabins of the non-sporting models. While the front seating position seems tighter than it is in the related Avalon, there is abundant legroom up front and in the rear, and the seats are very comfortable.

Pricing
The base ES350, with heated and cooled seats, power front seats and a a sunroof, is well equipped but lacks leather seating. The Luxury trim adds the leather and wireless cellphone charger, but costs more than twice the value of its extra content. The Ultra Luxury upgrade adds a Mark Levinson audio system, a 360 degree camera, higher quality leather upholstery, among other things, is priced to reflect the value of the extra content. Compared with the Premium, the sporty-themed F Sport 2 is reasonably priced if you like the look. The ES Black Line trim upgrade lacks value for the price. The ES250 all-wheel drive can't really be compared with the ES350 front-wheel drive as it lacks the punch, silky 3,5 L-V6. Taking the ES250 AWD on its own. the upgrade from the Signature to the Premium, which adds blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and navigation, parking sonar and rear auto stop, is overpriced. Migrating from the Signature to the F Sport 1 includes the blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and rear auto brake, but is very expensive. The base hybrid is nicely equipped, including a sunroof and power front seats that are also heated and cooled. The Luxury trim upgrade adds leather upholstery and a variety of other features, but is significantly overpriced. The Ultra Luxury trim, with upgraded leather and a Mark Levinson audio system, is reasonabley priced. The hybrid is priced $2000 higher than a 3,5L-V6 ES350 of the same trim. The ES is an exceptional lease value for 2021.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average. Servicing costs are low for the luxury segment. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.5L-4 H (215 HP)*, 3.5L-V6 (302 HP)

Transmissions: 8A*, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  5.5L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, including pedestrians and cyclists, autonomous emergency braking, and active cruise control. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings 

Warranty:4/80,000, 6/110,000, 8/160,000 (hybrid components)
Current Generation Debut:  2019
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: A

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Lexus IS

 


 

 

What’s new
Lexus is presenting the 2021 as all-new, but with the same wheelbase, mechanicals and with lightly-altered exterior and cabin, the IS is a pretty significant update for a car so late in its lifecycle. Lexus unveiled an IS 500 Sport Performance (Launch Edition) model, powered by a 472 horsepower 5L-V8 in late March 2021. Limited to 50 units in Canada, the carl will be sold as a 2022 model. 

Comments
The cabin, fronted by a clear gauge package and a vaguely 1980's BMW instrument panel, looks conservative and tasteful. Rear legroom is class competitive. Engine offerings include a 2L turbo four rated at 241 horsepower, and a 3.5L V6 that produces 260 and 311 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. There are few takers for the rear-wheel drive variant, with most IS cars sold with all-wheel drive and powered by a V6.
The IS350 is smooth, fast, flexible. The six-speed automatic transmission gets its job done with little fuss. Handling that inspires confidence is combined with a firm, yet compliant ride. Steering is nicely weighted, quick, but steady on the highway. 

Pricing

The rear-wheel drive variant, powered by a 2L four, finds few takers and is offered only in the F Sport 1 trim. The IS300 AWD, with heated, power front seats and dual-zone climate control, is reasonably well equipped. The Premium trim upgrade includes a sunroof, ventilated seat and a heated steering wheel, and is a bargain. The Luxury upgrade adds adaptive headlights, parking sonar, navigation and a 10.3 inch infotainment screen, at a price that reflects the value of the extra content. The more powerful IS350 AWD F Sport 2 is priced $3800 higher than a similarly-equipped IS300. The IS is an exceptional lease value for 2021
Reliability
Above average reliability. Cheaper service costs and better durability than a comparable German-branded car make it better suited to people who buy their cars and keep them for the long haul, rather than lease them.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (241 HP), 3.5L-V6 (260 HP*: !S300, 311 HP: IS350)

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

City Fuel Economy:  12.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.1L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist and active cruise control. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. 


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

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: n/r

Mod. Front: n/r

Side: n/r

Roof: n/r

Sm. Front Pass.: n/r

Head/Seat: n/r

Headlight: n/r

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

 


 

 

What’s new
it looked like the C-Class was going pass on the 2021 model year as they prepared the finish up the next-generation car car, however, 2021 sedans and wagons broke cover in late February.  
Performance
Driven in C300 sedan form, which comprises the bulk of C-Class sales in Canada, our test unit was powered by a 255 horsepower 2L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With 273 lb-ft of torque, the 2L turbo furnishes abundant power and commendable flexibility. Refinement, while lacking the more sonorous soundtrack of the previous-generation car that featured a standard V6, is acceptable and doesn't constantly remind you that you paid for a V6 but got a four. The nine-speed automatic transmission is notable for just getting on with its job without fuss. Even equipped with an overly-sporty wheel, tire and suspension package, steering on our C300 was no better than reasonably precise. Equipped with the Sport package, the Active suspension option and the optional AMG 19 inch wheels, the C300's ride bypasses harsh and transitions to flinty, crashy and jarring. The extreme impacts excite cabin trim squeaks are well as protest groans from the structure of the car. The Sport package should be avoided at all costs. Mercedes cars used to be exemplars of predictable handling, good road holding with some lean and unflappable ride characteristics. What happened? Some observers claim the deplorable ride is caused by the run-flat tires fitted to the cars, but inept spring and damper rates unsuited to use on North American road surfaces are the real causes. Handling is crisp and predictable but is no compensation for the bone-jarring ride. 
While the cabin design is modern and looks striking, it becomes less and less impressive as you spend more time inside the car. While the interior style is leaps ahead of the previous C-Class and many of the cabin fittlngs are more luxurious than previously, some pieces, like the climate controls, look cheap and feel nasty when manipulated, as does the lidded bin at the base of the centre console. The faux piano black trim pieces are unconvincing; opt for the real wood trim available at no extra charge. Seating is comfortable front and rear and rear seat occupants have enough legroom to keep them quiet. The power seat controls, a representation of the seat and mounted on the upper doors, look ueber cool but in fact don't work as well as conventional controls that are located on the outboard side of the seat base. The HVAC fan adjustment toggle has a delayed action and drivers are constantly over-compensating for fan speed increases and decreases because of the delay. The Mercedes Comand system, which controls a variety of functions, is an unfathomable apparatus that needs a serious rethink. The air-conditioning on our tester performed just adequately and emitted an unpleasant odour as well.   
In a recent group vehicle test including the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50 and the Genesis G70, the C-Class was ranked dead last by a large margin. It appears people are buying the C300 not because of its performance, which is disappointing, but because of the prestige of the brand.

Comments
The C-Class sedan marked a return to elegance for Mercedes and also became the first C-Class to comfortably house four adults. The dashboard contains 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 top centre of the dash. The base C300 is powered by a 2L turbo four that produces 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque; a twin turbo V6 (marketed as the AMG C43), develops 385 horsepower. The V8 AMG C63 and AMG C63S models are rear-wheel drive only and thus essentially three season cars in Canada. 

Pricing 
The 2021 C-Class is offered in sedan and wagon body styles. On the mainstream 2L turbo model, marketed as the C300 model, the station wagon body costs $2100 more than the sedan, an $800 price boost over last year. The wagon body style costs $1500 more. The C-300 is sold in a single Avantgarde trim with a limited number of packages. The $1900 Technology package, with active headlamp and a TFT gauge package, is overpriced. The Night package, at $600, is reasonable value if you like the look. The $1500 Convenience package is just slightly overpriced. Marketed as the C43 AMG, the 3L-L turbo V6 is priced up to $16,600 higher than a 2L turbo of the same body style. Expensive leather upholstery and metallic paint surcharges. The supplement charged for the V8 turbo AMG C63 models places them in a different market segment than even the pricey AMG C43. The APA strongly recommends the Prepaid Maintenance Package ($1409 for three services at 20,000 kilometre intervals and $2089 for four services at 20,000 kilometre intervals, on the C300).  The Mercedes-Benz build configurator does not offer payment information details precise enough to determine lease value. 

Reliability
The C-Class should exhibit average reliability for the first three years, deteriorating after that. 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 plans offered by Mercedes-Benz are strongly recommended. With the short powertrain warranty, C-Class intenders should only lease this vehicle.   

Specifications


Body Style:  2CP, 4SD*
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (255 HP C300)*, 3L-V6 T (385 HP C43), 4L-V8 T (C63: 469 HP, C63 S: 503 HP) 

Transmissions: 9A* 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive (C63 only)

City Fuel Economy: 11L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.3L/100 km


Active Safety Features: No solid informtation is available. 

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

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

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: A

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Nissan Maxima

 


 

What’s new
No changes of note for the Maxima in its seventh year in its current form. 

Comments
With the Maxima, Nissan changed direction and moved away from the frumpy-retro styling exemplified by the previous-generation Sentra and Altima, towards radical-futuristic design. The car is striking, and distinctive but you can’t really call it pretty.
The Maxima jettisons its avantgarde look inside, which displays clean, contemporary design. The elegant dashboard houses big, clear gauges and logical controls. After several years of poorly appointed interiors, Nissan is trying to make amends as the appearance and apparent quality of the interior components of the Maxima are impressive.
The sole engine for the Maxima is the 3.5L V6 that powers most large Nissans. Power reaches the front wheels exclusively via a CVT.
The Maxima had long been a wallflower in Canada, with sales of just 971 sold last year, down from 1357 units in 2018 and 2200 in 2016. It is unlikely that the Maxima will be replaced once the current model reaches the end of its run. 

Pricing
Even the base Maxima is very nicely equipped and buyers really don't need to migrate to pricier trims. The SR model, with a wealth of additional features including larger wheels and tires, but lacks value for the money asked. The range-topping Platinum model features a plethora of comfort and convenience features for a tempting price. The Maxima is a good lease value for 2021. 

Reliability
Incomplete reliability information available due to limited sales. The Maxima shares components with the previous-generation Atlima, which was rated average for reliability. Premature CVT transmission failures are still being reported.     

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (300 HP)

Transmissions: CVT
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  11.6/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.9L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision, including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, including reverse, blind spot, rear cross traffic, driver awareness and lane departure monitors and adaptive cruise control. Optional lane keep assist system  


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2015
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: A

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Tesla Model 3

 


 

What’s new
Tesla changes its specifications and packages constantly so there are no fixed model year updates in the traditional sense. 

Comments
The Tesla 3's front end, a tribute to the Renault Caravelle, blends with refreshingly clean and and modern lines to make for a very elegant car. Inside, there is no conventional dashboard on the 3, Drivers face a low-profile door-to-door trim panel, on the centre of which is clipped a large format touchscreen that contains all the controls for the car. The touchscreen is innovative and multi-configurable but does impose a learning curve on all initial users and may be a deal breaker for some intenders. Even simple tasks, like adjusting the ventilator fan or opening the glovebox, requires interacting with the touch screen. Like other Tesla products, interior fit and finish are not up to standards expected for the price asked. The cabin is roomy for front seat occupants and the fixed glass roof panel (mandatory) lends an airy feel to the car. Rear seat riders are a bit of an afterthought on the 3. The rear seat is oddly located in its space and legroom is very tight. Those intending to carry adults back there should try the back seat before they buy. Good trunk space for a car of this size but the trunk opening is small. There is a secondary trunk under the hood.  
The base 3, the Standard Range, offers 423 kilometres of range; about the same offered by the Hyundai Kona (415 km), and the Chevrolet Bolt (417 km). Tesla offers two all-wheel drive variants, the Long Range (568 km), and the Performance (507 kilometres). Impressive acceleration with vivid passing power. The 3 handles well, with very little lean in curves. The steering is overassisted and lacks the degree of feedback expected of a car in the luxury segment. Hard brake pedal feel and braking performance is sufflicient but not noteworthy. In typical driving, the regenerative braking system provides most of the braking action.  

Pricing 

Specifications and equipment change frequently and sometimes people don't get the exact car they ordered. In addition, internet sales are encouraged but there is so little solid information available on the Tesla website about the car being ordered, that Tesla intenders must be braver than the general car buying public. The base car, the rear-wheel drive Standard Range Plus, has a range of 423 kilometres and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 5,6 seconds. Moving from rear-wheel drive to the dual-motor all-wheel drive model sold as the Long Range, adds $12,000 to the price, increases the range to 568 kilometres, reduces the 0-100 km/h time to 4.4 seconds and adds upgraded cabin materials, enhanced audio equipment, fog lights and heated rear seats. The Performance model reduces range to 507 kilometres and the 0-100 km/h time to 3.3 seconds, but boosts the price by $10,000. Tesla's AutoPilot system is standard on all models as of January 2021. Metallic paint is priced from $1300 to $2600. As of January 2021, the Government of Quebec offers a rebate of $8000 for the Standard Range Plus and Long Range models, with the Federal Government kicking in an additional $5000 for the Standard Range Plus model. As of January 2021, Tesla was quoting wait time from seven to 11 weeks for customers ordering a new 3.   
Reliability

New model, no data available. Below averge reliaility is expected. Assembly quality is much better than when the car was released.  

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
One or two electric motors. 386 and 499 kilomere range. 

Transmissions: None

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n.a.
Highway Fuel Economy: n.a


Active Safety Features: No information is available


Warranty: 4/80 000, 8/192 000 (battery and powertrain)
Current Generation Debut: 2018
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: G

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Toyota Avalon

 


 

 

What’s new
The 2.5L four-all-wheel drive powertrain, available on the Camry, is now standard on the Avalon Limited for 2021. Audio Plus with Remote, is standard on the XSE trim. Premium Audio with Remote is standard on the Limited trim.

Comments
Though it has never been a market success in Canada, the Avalon has always been a very competent conveyance. Still stuck in the virtually non-existent market niche between a top-spec Camry and the Lexus ES350, the Avalon, with 405 units sold in 2019, has not taken the market by storm. Toyota will only release a new Avalon to a dealer if it receives a "sold" order. 
As for the car itself, the Avalon Limited driven at briefly by the APA was a delight. Its cabin is a symphony of sumptuous leather, matte soft-touch surfaces and genuine wood, all fashioned into shapes that border on the avant-garde. Crisply marked gauges, a large info screen and logical controls make life easy for the driver. Seating is very supportive front and rear and rear seat legroom is impressive. One journalist wanted to grab the keys to the Avalon and set off for Florida, convinced it would be a peerless long-distance ride.
While many luxury cars adopting four-cylinder turbo engines for packaging and government fuel test cycle score reasons, the Avalon has retained its 3.5L V6, which is delightfully refined in normal driving but emits a feral wail when pushed hard. The conventional eight speed automatic transmission in the Avalon is smooth and responsive. While the steering is a bit light, it holds its line well and does have some heft as it is moved off the centre position. The ride-handling compromise Toyota arrived at for the Avalon combines ride compliance and handling confidence in a way that will please most buyers.

Pricing

The base XSE is, except for the lack of leather seating, nicely equipped. Upgrading to the Limited is needed to get leather upholstery, but also adds navigation, audio system JBL, a memory system and genuine wood trim. The equipment included in the Limited is worth about $5700 plus the value of the all-wheel drive system, which is offset by the loss of the silky V6 engine. The Avalon is a very good lease value for 2021.

Reliability
New model, not rated. Predicted reliability is above average, like the previous generation fo Avalon. The use of a normally-aspirated engine and conventional hydraulic automatic transmssion should lead to better durability than if the car was powered by a turbocharged engine or if the car was equipped with a dual clutch transmission or a CVT. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (301 HP)

Transmissions: 8A
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 10.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward colision warning, including pedestrians, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, a lane centring system and an adaptive cruise control system 

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Current Generation Debut: 2019


Country of Origin: United States


IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: P

 

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Volvo S60/V60

 


 

 

What’s new
All Volvos, including the S60 and V60, have added standard equipment for 2021, including, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and steer assist, active L.E.D. headlamps and L.E.D. cornering fog lamps, as well as door mirrors that are auto-dimming and power folding. All Volvo models are speed-limited to 180 km/h and a “Care” key permits owners to further limit top speed. Volvo Connected Safety actually allows individual Volvos to speak with each other to alert of road hazards. AM radio capability has been discontinued from the audio system. Numerous packaging shuffles have taken place for 2021.

Performance
Our V60 Cross Country was powered by a 250 horsepower, 2L turbocharged four that Volvo refers to as T5. From a smooth, linear throttle tip-in to maximum acceleration, the T5 engine is quick, eager and flexible. What it isn’t, except at idle or when cruising, is smooth and quiet. Whether accelerating leisurely in town or pushed hard at highway speeds, engine noise from the T5 is too prominent for a luxury car. While it could be difficult to alter the sound profile of the engine, it should be easy enough to stuff in enough sound absorbing materials to prevent the din from reaching the cabin. While excess engine noise in a luxury car powered by a high-powered small-capacity engine is not unique to Volvo, it is disappointing. Thrilling sounds (BMW’s normally-aspirated straight six) or power unit serenity (the old Jaguar V8) was traditionally a key reason for stepping up to a luxury car, is rapidly evaporating in the luxury class. 
The T5 engine is hooked up to a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission that ably harnesses the output of the engine, providing enough gears for quick low-speed acceleration and relaxed cruising. Observed fuel economy of 12.9L/100 km during early winter conditions was heavier than expected and shows the engine is meant to flatter the U.S. EPA fuel economy test cycle rather than to deliver real-world fuel economy benefits to owners.
The Volvo’s steering feels meaty with good heft and tracks true at highway speeds.
The brakes are nicely weighted, easily modulated and very strong, with no lost motion.
Control weights for throttle, brakes and steering are all similar and all responses to driver inputs are measured and predictable.
Volvo must have spent a great deal of time honing the ride-handling balance of the V60 Cross Country, as the car feels unflappable on the road.
Small door windows and the rising line of the cargo area glazing combine to create outward visibility that is less than panoramic. Large door mirrors, a comprehensive 360 degree camera system and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors meld together to help compenstate for the limited visibility.

Comments
Like the XC90, S90, V90 and XC60, the new S60 and V60 are built on Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture. The sedan and wagon are both very elegant. The V60 is built in Belgium but the S60 sedan is sourced from Volvo's new U.S. factory.
Volvo has become a master at using the same components across their model range. XC90, XC60, S90 and V90 owners will be very familiar with the gauges, touch screen, audio, climate controls as well as the front seats of their new S60s and V60s. The cabins of the new cars is a vision of restrained elegance and are assembled from very attractive components. Seating, a Volvo hallmark, is very comfortable. Space is very good up front but rear seat legroom should be better in a car this big. The raised ride height combined with a regular station wagon cabin height make for awkward ingress and egress on the V60 Cross Country, especially for rear seat occupants. 

Pricing

S60: with heated, power front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and active L.E.D. headlamps, the front-wheel drive T5 Momentum base model is nicely equipped, except for the vinyl upholstery. Moving up to the more powerful T6 also includes all-wheel drive, for a reasonable $4000. On the S60, migrating from the Momentum to the R-Design trim brings four-zone climate control, navigation, a Harmon-Karmon branded audio system, navigation, Nappa leather and a variety of minor features, and is an impressive bargain. The range topping Inscription adds ventilated front seats and some minor trim features, at a fair price. The T8 PHEV is offered only in the R-Design trim, and is priced $14,200 higher than an R-design powered by the T6 engine. The T8 Polestar is priced $12,700 higher than the T8 PHEV. On the Momentum trim, the Premium package is very good value and the Advanced package is overpriced. The mainstream Momentum, R-Design and Inscription versions of the V60 are priced up to $1650 higher than an S60 of the same engine and trim. The V60 T5 Cross Country wagon costs $4000 more than the front-wheel drive V60 T5, for all-wheel drive and some body cladding, which seems excessive. Compared with the Audi A4 Technik, the S60 T6 Inscription offers more power, a more contemporary design, is cheaper and less commonly seen than the Audi. Volvo's website does not offer monthly payment information so lease value is not possible to assess. 

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Complex supercharged and turbochared T6 engine. Four year/80,000 km warranty with no additional powertrain waranty. Some engine troubles have been reported and electrical glitches are common. Leasing the S60-V60 for no longer than the warranty is recommended.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD, 4SW
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2 L-4 T (250 HP), 2 L-4 T S (316 HP)*, 2 L-4 T PHEV (400 HP, 415 HP Polestar)
Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 11L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking and a lane keep assist system. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, a lane centring system and adaptive cruise control

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no additional powertrain warranty
Current Generation Debut: 2019
Country of Origin: Belgium and United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Headlight: P

 

NHTSA Rating:


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