Thursday, October 27, 2016

Three rides: a bit pricey but high in quality

A menu of Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California – It’s all my fault.  Really.

I’ve been on the road or sampling one-day rides and fallen behind on my reviews of recently delivered vehicles.  It’s time to catch up, so today, I’m offering up my impressions of three 2016 motor vehicles in which I’ve enjoyed seat time – not only recently but dating back several generations of the models.

Fasten your belts.  Ready?  Here goes:

+ 2016 Lexus RX 350 ($54,820 as tested; 20 mpg city/28mpg highway): The venerable RX (PICTURED) was extensively reworked for the 2016 model year, so be advised that the 2017 model showing up at dealerships now is pretty much unchanged.

It’s pretty easy to see why this practical-size sport-utility vehicle has maintained its popularity over the long-term.  The 3.5-liter V-6 generates plenty of juice at 300 horsepower, the luxury features inside are exceptional and it looks very sporty on the fly.

The 2016 redesign included a monster front grille and sharp, eye-catching lines that slice through the air with ease.

And yes, there’s a hybrid RX to be had as well.

Alas, the fuel mileage on the tester was a bit tepid, and the cost has swelled somewhat dramatically over the years.  But then again, this is a Lexus.

Bottom line: This SUV gives you most of the high-end Lexus treatment for a price that’s still within range of middle-range incomes.

+ 2016 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium ($49,301 as tested; 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway): This super-loaded tester minivan made me feel like Father of the Year as it was positively stuffed with primo comfort/convenience/entertainment features.

You want the prototype family road trip vehicle?  This might be the one.

Again, gas mileage was not the best, and it made my heart jump to look at dropping nearly 50-grand on a minivan.

But if you’re looking at this particular seven-passenger, all-wheel drive Sienna as a long-term investment that simultaneously makes a lot of happy family travel memories, it’s probably worth the dent in your checkbook.

+ 2016 Ford Edge Sport AWD ($49,990 as tested; 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway): The model’s name conveys a sense of hit-the-road abandon, but a closer look reveals a solid mainstream hauler.

Consider the outstanding federal safety ratings, including a top-level, five-star overall rating.  Check out that hands-free liftgate that prompts the neighbors to applaud as you unload groceries from the back.  Leather all around inside?  Why, of course.

Yes, the Edge rounds out my trifecta with not-so-hot fuel mileage and a bottom line that’s 10 bucks short of $50,000.

Is it worth it?  Yup, if you pack on the miles, myriad chores and happy road trips over at least five years.

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