JUNE 2022
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Test-drive stories by NITISH S. RELE –motoringtampabay.com

LEXUS LC500 Rarely does a vehicle score a triple whammy of wins at an awards program. But the all-new, all-electric Ioniq 5 has beaten the odds! At the recent New York International Auto Festival, the Hyundai earned three top honors – World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle of the Year and World Car Design of the Year! The World Car Awards is comprised of worldwide professional automotive journalists, so there is significant validity in the recognition bestowed upon this very fine SUV.

The Ioniq 5 AWD is equipped with a 77.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that assures the driver of going 256 miles on a full charge. A 74 kW and 165 kW dual-electric motor cranks out 320 horsepower and 446 pounds-feet of torque. Believe it or not, that takes the SUV fewer than five seconds to reach 0 to 60 mph and top speed to peak at 115 mph. Not bad for a vehicle that weighs nearly 4,662 pounds! On a 240-volt, it will take about seven hours but a fast DC charge (350 kW) can load up 80 percent in just 18 minutes. The good news is that Hyundai is offering a two-year complimentary charge at any Electrify America station. The single-speed direct transmission is instant and seamless with eco, comfort, sport and snow modes.

Up front, jewel-like parametric-pixel LED headlights, V-shaped bumper and active grille shutters convey a distinctive presence. As you near the vehicle, flush automatic door handles are a sight to behold! Our Limited test version came with high-tech dual 12.3 screens for infotainment and a digital instrument cluster of speedometer, power gauge, charge level, digital and trip odometers. The column-mounted shifter is straightforward to operate. We especially liked the center console, which moves 5.5 inches back and forth. With Vehicle-to-Load feature, you can charge electric bikes, scooters and other gadgets via the outside port or a second interface under the rear seat. A power tilt/slide panoramic sun roof, eight-way power driver and six-way front-passenger seats (cooled and heated), auto a/c, 60/40 rear seat, HUD display and a leather tilt/telescopic steering column come at no extra cost.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, electronic stability and traction controls, brake assist, blind spot, forward-collision, park-collision and rear-cross traffic collision avoid assists, front avoid, lane keep and follow assists, front crumple zones, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

With gas nearly $4.50 a gallon as summer brings an even bigger hit at the pump, the Ioniq 5 is a no-brainer. Its futuristic appearance and cutting-edge technology make the all-new electric SUV an enticing choice. Move over, Tesla, for this new Hyundai entrant into the market with more EVs to come: Ioniq 6, midsize sedan and a larger SUV Ioniq 7!

Tires: 225/45R20
Wheelbase: 118.1 inches
Length: 182.5 inches
Width: 74.4 inches
Height: 63 inches
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear
Steering: motor-driven power
MPGe: 110 city, 87 highway, 98 combined
Base price: $54,500
Price as tested: $56,320
Web site: www.hyundaiusa.com


VW ID.4 PRO (RWD)Just a few months after testing last year’s X-Line AWD Sorento, Kia dispatched over another of their fourth-gen SUVs, this one with the 2022 SX-Prestige trim added to the mix.

Once again, the midsize SUV is equipped with a forceful 2.5-liter turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder engine that cranks out 281 horsepower @ 5800 rpm and 311 pounds-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm. Coupled to a robust 8-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox, it seats six though it can hold seven in other packages. Modes include eco, smart, comfort, sport and snow drive. Tow capacity is adequate at 3,500 pounds.

A silver radiator “tiger nose” grille is surrounded by LED headlights and daytime running lights up front. Thanks to molded-in skid plates, the bumper delivers a tough look. But it is the elegant cabin in the steel unibody SUV, packed with abundant creature/tech goodies, that takes the cake. The enormous 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster sports an analog speedometer and tachometer with fuel and engine temp readings. Space is lots with a one-touch, slide-and-fold second-row Captain’s chairs and a 50/50 third-row seat, i.e., 75.5 cubic feet of space with both seats down. Other eases are 14-way power driver and 10-way front-passenger seats, heated second-row seats, power-fold outside mirrors, dual auto a/c, push-button start, satin-chrome door handles, vigorous leather shifter and tilt/telescopic steering column, 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen, panoramic sun roof, power lift gate and attractive wood on doors and dashboard.

Safety is assured via dual front and side airbags, driver knee airbag, side curtain airbag for both rows, electronic stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, front active headrests, side impact door beams, front/rear crumple zones, forward, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assists, lane keep and follow assists, surround view monitor, rearview camera, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring.

The sporty X-Line AWD model with its praiseworthy off-road capabilities is a perfect balance of luxury and performance. Whether you are planning a long trip up North or a short jaunt to the Keys, the Sorento should serve the purpose remarkably well. And it is tough to beat if you consider the Korean carmaker’s basic 5-year, 60,000-mile and 10-year, 100,000-mile limited power train warranties.

Tires: 255/45R20
Wheelbase: 110.8 inches
Length: 189 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 70.3 inches
Suspension: MacPherson front strut, multilink rear
Steering: motor-driven power
Fuel capacity: 17.7 gallons
City: 22 mpg
Highway: 27 mpg
Base price: $43,090
Price as tested: $45,120
Web site: www.kiausa.com


2022 GENESIS G70There’s the Elantra for folks who want a small sedan to go from point A to point B. And then there’s our recent test-drive Elantra N Line trim, which brings vim and vigor to the ride. Just switch to sport mode (normal and smart are other options) and you will have a blast whether on the highway or dodging peak-hour traffic.

A 1.6-liter turbo inline-4 cylinder engine puts out 201 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 195 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. Power reaches the front wheels via a crisp-shifting 7-speed auto gearbox. By no means is this a speedster but the car takes off real quick and comes to a stop at a moment’s notice. Both suspension and steering have been sport tuned along with reworked powertrain mounts, especially for the N Line model.

The compact sedan portrays a low and wide stance with a glossy black grille flanked by projector headlights. The rear acquires a N Line rear fascia, dual chrome exhaust, and LED tail and brake lamps. That this is not your base Elantra is evident from the red imprinted N Line on the steering wheel, shifter tip and front seatbacks. Further enhancing the stylish appearance are alloy pedals and a black headliner along with eye-pleasing leatherette/cloth seats. The purposeful cabin sports a horizontal dash layout of a standard 8-inch display audio/nav/phone screen, 60/40 rear seat, 4.2-inch instrument cluster, leather-wrapped power tilt/telescopic steering column, power and heated driver and manual front-passenger seats, sun roof, six speakers and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.

Endless safety features are standard. There are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, front/rear crumple zones, electronic stability and traction control, forward-, blind spot- and rear cross traffic collision- avoidance assists, lane keep and forward assists, rearview camera, remote keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring system.

Base-priced at just $25,700, the addition of the N Line trim makes the Elantra an agile, delightful and a cool car to drive. Its audacious looks, reasonable price tag and gas-sipping capabilities should encourage you to sign on the dotted line.

Tires: P235/40R18
Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Length: 184.1 inches
Width: 71.9 inches
Height: 55.7 inches
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear
Steering: power, rack-and-pinion
Weight: 3,020 pounds
Fuel capacity: 12.4 gallons
City: 28 mpg
Highway: 36 mpg
Web site: www.hyundaiusa.com


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