Car Review: 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE

2015_Toyota_Camry 2

Toyota has put a new emphasis on design after years of more conservative designs, and now that approach has been applied to the best-selling car in America: the Toyota Camry. Just one glance at the new front end with its aggressive grille and you immediately know you have something new. Younger buyers will probably embrace the changes, though it will be interesting to see how loyal Toyota buyers react. In our opinion, the changes offer a dramatic improvement, so we suspect most consumers will react favorably.

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Car Review: 2015 Lexus CT 200h

If you’re looking for a hybrid, but you still want a luxury vehicle, you’re now in luck, as there are so many more options on the market. Lexus alone has six hybrids in its lineup, so you now have many options to choose from. The sporty CT 200h is aimed at introducing the Lexus brand to younger buyers with its styling and connectivity features.


Lexus has changed its image with its signature spindle grille, which is very prominent on the front end of the CT 200h. The compact hatchback reminded me of many of the cars you see in Europe and the rear spoiler gives it a very sporty look. You certainly don’t get the impression that you’re looking at a hybrid, and I suspect younger buyers and professionals will love it. Little has changed from the 2014 model other than a badge for the F SPORT version.

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Car Review: 2015 Lexus RX 450h


The Lexus RX is a midsize luxury crossover that will appeal to a wide variety of consumers. We tested the hybrid model with the 2015 Lexus RX 450h, which definitely proved to be a pleasant option during a week of January weather. The roominess and comfort of the Lexus RX coupled with the fuel efficiency of the hybrid model offers a tempting option for consumers to consider.

The new spindle grille introduced by Lexus looks great on the RX. It’s not too aggressive, but it certainly adds some much-needed styling to the overall look of the RX.

Hybrid fans have to be thrilled that they have so many options these days, and now you can feel good about saving fuel while enjoying the comforts of a luxury CUV. The interior of the RX 450h is very roomy and comfortable, and it’s ideal for families and city driving. Our driving team ran plenty of errands around town enjoying the comfort of this vehicle.

The RX now features a standard Display Audio with Rear Backup Camera with a seven-inch monitor. We found it very easy to use considering all the options.

It’s all about gas mileage if you’re considering a hybrid, and the Lexus RX 450h delivers nicely. The RX 450h will achieve 32 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined (30/28/29 MPG with AWD). But you’re not sacrificing performance with the RX 450h which the performance of 295 combined system horsepower, with substantial torque at all speeds. Our team enjoyed driving this vehicle in all sorts of conditions.

The RX 450h is a full hybrid with an impressive variety of driving options. It can operate in electric-only, gas-engine-only or combined gas and electric modes. The Lexus Hybrid Drive combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a front-mounted 116-kW electric motor generator, with a continuously variable transmission. Our model also featured on-demand all-wheel drive which is great in bad weather.

Four driving modes can be selected by the driver, including EV, which allows the vehicle to operate on electric-only power at low speeds under certain conditions. Other modes include Normal, Eco and Sport for plenty of flexibility. We were definitely impressed with the responsiveness in Sport mode.

In a growing midsize crossover market, consumers seem to have an endless supply of choices these days. There are plenty of options regardless of your tastes and budget ranges. If you’re in the luxury market and you appreciate the value of a hybrid, the Lexus RX 450h offers an excellent option. Drive it and see for yourself.


Car Review: 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2015 Outlander Sport SE

For the 2015 model year Mitsubishi has updated its perennial best-seller with some aesthetic changes and engineering improvements to this sporty compact crossover. I tested the SE model with all-wheel drive for a week and came away impressed with what the vehicle offered for the price.


The 2015 Outlander gets new, stylish-looking LED running lights in the SE model but otherwise the exterior design remains unchanged, which isn’t a bad thing as the Outlander’s exterior works for a sporty but practical crossover. I like the front end and the vehicle looks great from every angle. The Ruby Red version we tested looked particularly sharp, and I like it in the other offered colors including the blue model pictured here. It has the type of look that should be appealing across a wide variety of consumer groups as the designers haven’t tried to get too cute with any aspect of the design.

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Car Review: 2015 Toyota RAV4 XLE

2015 Toyota RAV4 red

The Toyota RAV4 was the first compact crossover SUV, debuting over 20 years ago. This popular vehicle is now on its fourth generation in a very crowded and growing segment. We tested the XLE model with the Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive system.

Over the years, the look of the RAV4 has evolved considerably, as it now sports more of a lower, car-like stance. This sleeker design is becoming more common in this category, and we suspect many buyers will use design as a differentiator in making their decision.

One of the reasons the compact crossover segment is growing has to do with the roominess you get for a smaller vehicle. Like others in this segment, the RAV4 comfortably seats five adults, and we filled up the vehicle several times during our test. It also has plenty of cargo capacity with 38.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded, the space expands to 73.4 cubic feet. This practical feature plus the roominess for passengers in a smaller, affordable vehicle makes the RAV4 and other options in this segment irresistible to many buyers.

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