Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Astrology Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook! Art



Test-drive stories by NITISH S. RELE –

LEXUS LC500 First introduced in 2004, the compact SUV has undergone a makeover in the past. But the inside out redesign and power train transformation for the front-wheel or all-wheel-drive 2022 Tucson is major. So is the launch of its all-new plug-in hybrid version.

Undoubtedly, the Tucson is a bigger vehicle than the predecessor in every respect. Length is up by 6.1, width and height 0.6 and wheelbase 3.4 inches; cargo volume increases by 7.7 and passenger volume 6 cubic feet. In essence, there is plenty of leg room now for rear-seat passengers. Make it a total of 108.2 cubic feet for total passenger room. Cargo space is a cool 80.3 cubic feet with the rear seat down.

A 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged hybrid engine develops a total of 261 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque with a 44.2kw electric motor and 13.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The SUC can only electric-only for nearly 33 miles before fuel kicks in. You can juice up the battery in fewer than two hours with the on-board charger. Power routed through the 6-speed auto gearbox gives sufficient performance. The front MacPherson strut and multilink rear suspension have been re-engineered while body rigidity, sound damping and safety enhanced with advanced high-strength steel.

A top-selling SUV for Hyundai, the fourth-gen Tucson boasts a sporty, modern, sleek look up front as diamond-cut elements gaze at you from the sharp parametric-jewel grille. The cabin is “hidden tech” as the Hyundai folks likes to call it with a lowered and hoodless digital instrument cluster, button less center stack, capacitive touch controls, multi-air mode, ambient lights, 10.2-inch color touch infotainment display, Hyundai digital key (lock/unlock vehicle with phone), latest version of Bluelink and remote smart park assist. Standard features on the Limited trim include a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, heated/cooled and power front seats, Bose premium audio, hands-free power liftgate, tilt/telescopic steering column, and 60/40 fold seat with recline/center armrest.

Safety is paramount for Hyundai with dual front and side airbags, side curtain with rollover sensor, lane keep/follow assist, forward-collision warning, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, front/rear parking sensors and crumple zones, electronic stability and traction control, blind-spot warning, forward collision avoid-assist, remote keyless entry, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system standard.

High gas prices on a burden on daily driving? The Tucson PHEV may be the perfect alternative, especially if you drive around 30 miles every day. Regardless, this is a promising start from Hyundai as the Korean carmaker seeks to electrify more of its vehicles. The hybrid engine shows off plenty of power to result in a well-balanced ride, with sharp handling and decent overall balance. A roomy, attractive and well-crafted cabin is another plus.

Tires: P235/55R19
Wheelbase: 108.5 inches
Length: 182.3 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 65.6 inches
Weight: 4,235 pounds
Fuel capacity: 11.1 gallons
Combined gas only: 35 mpg
Combined MPGe: 80
Base price: $44,640
Web site:


VW ID.4 PRO (RWD)Completely revamped for 2023, the Kia Sportage is an extra 3.4 inches in wheelbase and 7.1 inches in length than its predecessor. And more taller and wider too. But best of all, the compact SUV gets a fresh gas-sipping hybrid power train.

Our test-drive EX model was equipped with a 1.6-liter inline-4 turbo engine putting out a total of 227 horsepower (beating the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 hybrids) and 258 pounds-feet of torque. Finding help for that extra energy is a 44-kw electric power backed by a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The fifth-generation crossover utility vehicle, also Kia’s longest running nameplate, continues with the 6-speed auto gear box.

The all-wheel-drive Sportage, which has center-locking differential capabilities, distributes power between front and rear wheels depending on road and driving conditions to result in a safe and comfortable ride. A MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension ensure that the SUV handles the rigors of daily driving with comfort. The motor-driven power steering is quick and precise. Want to save fuel? Switch to eco mode.

A centered gloss black “tiger nose” radiator grille spanning the entire front fascia meets up with LED headlights in outer corners and boomerang daytime running lights to create a sleek and eye-catching appearance. The interior is spacious than before with rear legroom now at 41.3 inches and cargo capacity topping at 39.6 cubic feet. And yes, storage bins are scattered throughout, including a dual-level cargo floor. Two 12.3-inch screens, one for the digital instrument cluster, and the other for infotainment, float to sync as one. Standard amenities include dual auto a/c, 10-way power driver and 4-way front-passenger manual heated seats, D-shaped tilt/telescopic leather steering column, push-button start, 60/40 rear seat.

Kia needs to be commended for offering numerous standard safety features, which are optional in competitor vehicles. Some are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, rear-cross traffic alert, front/rear park and lane-keep assists, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, four-wheel antilock brakes, rollover sensor, electronic stability, traction and downhill brake controls, hill-start assist, daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The revamped Sportage hybrid is a good-looking, sizeable, sporty, useful and inexpensive vehicle. With gas prices still lingering over $3 a gallon, it’s a welcome add-on to the Kia SUV roster. That it comes with a 10-year or 100,000-mile power train and battery, and a five-year or 60,000-mile basis warranty is a bonus.

Tires: P235/60R18
Wheelbase: 108.5 inches
Length: 183.5 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 66.1 inches
Weight: 3,732 pounds
Fuel capacity: 13.7 gallons
City: 38 mpg
Highway: 38 mpg
Price: $30,390
Price as tested: $33,860
Web site:


homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontent newseditor's notehealth
immigrationfinanceMINDBODY/NUTRITIONmoviesfashionbooks/getawaysIIFA 2014ART
astrologyyouthmotoringplaces of worshipclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK