By Sue Mead.
We have been testing an exciting cache of all-new and upgraded 2018 models and have selected a dozen just for you. From a bold and brawny pickup to a mini-sized urban runabout and a bit of everything in between, with small and large SUVs and compact crossovers, as well as a couple of sizzling performance models, a dazzling four-door that will be sure to see duty as a concierge livery and an earth-friendly hybrid sedan. It is also important to us to choose a cross-section of autos that are available in different price categories. Now, it’s time for you to go motoring and get your New Year On!
2018 Lexus LS500
The Lexus brand launched 28 years ago with its LS sedan and set benchmarks for powertrain smoothness, ride quietness, craftsmanship, attention to detail, dependability, and long-term quality. Now, it’s repeating history with the all-new LS flagship sedan. Developed from a completely blank CAD screen design, the fifth-generation model will be available in base LS earth-friendly hybrid 500h and high-performance F-Sport trim levels when it goes on sale in February; pricing is expected to start around $75,000.
What LATINA Style thinks: Lexus takes its styling seriously! That impressive front grille isn’t just pretty to look at; its Takumi modeler clicked for eight hours a day for six months at a computer to program each of the points for its more-than-5,000 surfaces. It’s performance art!
2018 Lexus 500h
The earth-friendly version of the 2018 Lexus LS flagship sedan is powered by a 295-horsepower Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 gas engine paired with two electric motor generators that boost output to 354 total horsepower; it offers acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds (in rear-drive). With a 22.2-gallon fuel tank and estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined, the LS 500h has a range of more than 600 miles, depending on driving conditions and habits.
What LATINA Style thinks: This sleek and sporty sedan defines luxurious comfort, right down to Shiatsu massage seats with spot heaters that mimic a hot stone massage for all four passengers and 3D Mark Levinson sound system. Think: Boeing Dreamliner!
2018 Honda Accord
This four-door sedan has been the number-one best-selling car in America for more than 41 years, with more than 13 million sold. Honda hopes its 10th-generation version will revitalize midsize car sales, despite the increasing popularity of the crossovers and SUVs. Honda’s “re-imagined” five-passenger sedan starts at $23,570 with a 192-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter engine connected to a continuously variable transmission that delivers fuel economy of 38 mpg highway/30 mpg city.
What LATINA Style thinks: The all-new, sportier full-sized model has more sophisticated looks, with premium design and features and an expanded trim lineup. It is also endowed with an impressive collection of top “intelligent” technologies. It’s more fun and economical to drive with new engines and transmissions. Plus, there’s an updated hybrid model.
2018 Honda Civic Type R
Honda broadened its 10 generation Civic lineup in 2017 by offering a high-performance Type R version — thanks to its 306-horsepower sport-tuned 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC turbocharged engine, six-speed manual transmission, and helical limited-slip differential; it set a 7-minute, 43-second front-drive production-car lap record during testing on Germany’s famed Nurburgring. It offers all this performance along with fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 28 highway, and 25 combined.
What LATINA Style thinks: It’s hot! The scarlet-badged Civic Type R is the most-powerful production vehicle in Honda’s history and the first-ever in the U.S. to wear this exclusive color that signifies its ultimate performance, reduced weight, track-oriented aerodynamics, and other ‘hi-po’ enhancements—it hooked us and is certain to attract auto enthusiasts.
2018 Fiat 500X Urbana
Love the iconic little Fiat 500X Urbana but want something with even more personality? The new Fiat 500X Urbana Edition takes the top-selling Trekking trim — best known for its rugged exterior and interior appearance — and adds unique content with black and copper accents to create a fresh new option for Fiat customers. Inside are exclusive black Castiglio seats with copper embroidery, plus additional black trim. The Urbana Edition package is available for $845 on both front-and all-wheel-drive 500X Trekking models, which start at $23,350 and $25,250, respectively.
What LATINA Style thinks: The Fiat 500X Trekking model is packaged to offer plenty of fun adventures; adding the Urbana appearance package takes you there with additional style in a small, sporty package.
2018 Toyota Camry
The eighth-generation Camry has been built with a sleek and sporty approach to design, engineering, and packaging with new engines, technology, transmissions, and a platform that uses ultra-high-tensile steel, thinner body panels, and specialized welding to produce the strongest, quietest, and most exciting, powerful, and efficient Camry ever. Everything is new—except the Toyota logo. Powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, pricing for the five-passenger sedan starts at $23,495.
What LATINA Style thinks: From the LED cat’s eyes and the smile of the two-tier gloss black mesh grille to the red leather interior, this is a Camry that even a truck girl could get hooked on! It’s the jewel in the Toyota crown.
2018 Nissan Rogue Sport AWD
The Nissan Rogue was updated in 2017 to offer refreshed styling and a compact new Sport version powered by a fuel-efficient 141-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission that brings 25 mpg city or 32 mph highway (FWD models) or 24/30 mpg (AWD models). Pricing starts at $21,420 for the entry-level S trim Sport model, including standard Bluetooth hands-free telephone and streaming audio as well as Siri Eyes Free connectivity.
What LATINA Style thinks: Americans love utility vehicles and the Nissan Rogue has been the top-selling ‘non-pickup’ in the land. Nissan keeps the party going with the addition of the smaller, sport that boosts versatility and is a fun, fashionable, safe, practical, and affordable runabout.
2018 Subaru Crosstrek
The Crosstrek is built on Subaru’s new Global Platform, like the Impreza sedan, but it’s been endowed with a more rugged look, more sporty characteristics, and true SUV performance. It’s priced starting at $21,795, which is an increase of only $100 more than the 2017 edition. Motive force comes from Subaru’s revised 152-horsepower 2.0-liter Boxer engine paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an available Lineartronic CVT.
What LATINA Style thinks: Find what drives you: try an unbeaten path! We’re impressed by Subaru’s claim that its fuel economy and 16.6-gallon fuel tank combine to give a “kidney-busting driving range” of 547 miles, calculated to be nine hours of motoring at 60 mph. That’s quite a road trip on one take of gas!
2018 GMC Terrain
More than 700,000 Terrains have been sold in North America since it went on sale in 2009; GMC hopes to continue that momentum with the all-new second-generation model. Outside, the premium crossover wears the next chapter of GMC’s bolder design language. Inside, the emphasis is on refinement and functionality. Under the hood is a choice of three all-new turbocharged engines with fuel-saving start/stop technology mated to an electronically controlled nine-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and driver shift control.
What LATINA Style thinks: The long-overdue redesign of the GMC Terrain was worth the wait. Designed for the open road and mountain passes, it’s light on its toes!
2018 Chevy Traverse
The completely redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Traverse seats up to eight with best-in-class maximum cargo space. Starting at $30,875, including destination, the Chevy Traverse is a charming meld of crossover, SUV, and minivan/wagon styling that can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 310 horsepower and 366 lb.-ft. of torque; it’s matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission to deliver fuel economy rated at 18/27 mpg.
What LATINA Style thinks: Kudos to Traverse’s long and impressive list of up-level features and smart technologies, especially its Teen Driver technology.
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
2018 Jeep Grand
The up-level Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined with an upgraded eight-speed automatic transmission, world-class on-road driving dynamics, and new Brembo brakes, this track-runner promises 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, a quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 116 mph, a top speed of 180 mph, and 60 to 0 mph braking distance in 114 feet.
What LATINA Style thinks: The all-new beastly beauty is an authentically capable on-and off-road SUV with an up-level, comfortable interior and exhilarating performance regardless of road conditions. It’s healthy dose raucous power is the buzz!
2018 Ford F-150
This 13th-generation Ford F-150 pickup gained attention with brand-new aluminum alloy body and a 325-horsepower, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine with impressive fuel economy: 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway. It’s tougher and more capable than ever thanks to advanced safety technologies, a new powertrain lineup and a 10-speed transmission—plus, best-in-class towing of 13,200 pounds.
What LATINA Style thinks: The F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 35 straight years and it’s been primped to stay at the top! An all-new V-6 gas engine and the first diesel to join the lineup is the icing on the cake. New faces and trim elements make them look snazzier outside and redressed to look fancier and be smarter inside — it matters!
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