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Cars for Latinas to Drive in 2017… and A Few Trucks, too!

By Sue Mead.

We can all agree on one thing: it’s been an exciting year. For autos, it’s been the best year in close to a decade with rising sales and an ever-growing number of all-new models, plus dozens of others that have been refreshed and upgraded. The power of the purse has clearly established that women are the top purchasers of vehicles. We also know this: we might all be the same gender but, when it comes to picking out a vehicle, women have many different needs and desires for their car-of-choice; sometimes, it’s a truck and some women choose more than one vehicle to get things right for their household, or to reward their hard work and fan the flames of their passion for fine and spirited motoring. We took a look at vehicles we’ve come to know for 2017 and have given you a few notes on their characteristics and features, plus added a few thoughts of our own. These are some of our favorites; what are yours?

2017 Chevy Bolt EV

Chevrolet’s long-awaited follow-up to its ground-breaking Volt extended-range electric vehicle promises more than 200 miles of range on a full charge, while also offering a surprising top speed of 92 mph and a 0-to-60-mph acceleration speed of 6.5 seconds. This five-passenger, five-door hatch has a passel of technology and options, and stores its power in Lithium ion battery packs charged by a permanent magnetic drive motor boasting 200 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque.

What LATINA Style thinks: The future is now! There’s no need to fear range anxiety with this compact electric plugin runabout. On 120-volt household current, the Bolt stores about four miles of range per hour or 50 miles of range in two hours on a 240-volt charger; it can also be powered enough with a 30-minute zap from a fast charge unit to travel 90 miles.

2017 Toyota Corolla

In celebration of its 50th birthday, Toyota’s compact sedan receives an edgy new exterior design with two additional color choices, attractive LED lighting, and standard backup camera. With room for five and 13 cubic feet of storage, this small four-door promises a comfortable interior with numerous smart technologies. Its 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mates to a choice of four-speed automatic or CVT transmission to deliver fuel economy of 29 mpg city/38 highway.

What LATINA Style thinks: Toyota deserves its reputation for quality and dependability, and the Corolla consistently ranks in the top five of the best-selling cars in America. We also like standard ToyotaCare. It brings two years/ 25,000 miles of scheduled services and two years/unlimited miles of 24-hour roadside assistance. Of note is the 50th Anniversary limited volume, special edition Corolla.

2017 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai’s best-selling model worldwide enters its sixth generation boasting a bold aerodynamic design with LED lighting, a comprehensive suite of safety features, modern interior styling with a driver-oriented cockpit and environmentally friendly SoyFoam seating material, plus a plethora of user-friendly technologies. Two new fuel-efficient powertrains are paired with a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission. Its 10-year/100,000-mile warranty brings reassurance of quality and dependability.

What LATINA Style thinks: More than 10 million Elantras have been sold around the globe in the past 25 years, including more than 2 million here in the United States. It has a sleek and urbane style with a number of segment-first and class-above features, plus the new Sport model is sassy and sexy. Elantra is shockingly affordable, very talented on the road and loaded with content.

2017 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Updated for 2016, this two-door, lux-laden coupe rides on performance wheels and tires, seats five, and is heralded for its aerodynamic style, agility, and innovative body structure. The standard 202-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine can deactivate cylinders and has fuel-saving stop/start; these technologies couple with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters to deliver potent power and capitalize on the lightweight platform to complement performance with efficiency. An available 335-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine adds even more spirit. Magnetic Ride Control reads the road and makes for silky-smooth motoring.

What LATINA Style thinks: Thoughtfully designed with good taste and flare, speed, and agile handling, you can drive to the office with panache and contentment or take it to the track for fast laps that will let the pressures of your work blow in the wind.

2017 Kia Cadenza

Kia’s large front-wheel-drive sedan gets a second-generation remake on an all-new platform that is stronger, lighter, and stiffer to promise better driving dynamics and more comfort than the model it replaces. The full-size upscale four-door is available in base, Premium, and Limited trims, and seats five in comfort, thanks to standard leather upholstery and heated power-adjustable front seats. A 3.3-liter V-6 producing 293 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift controls. An enviable list of available features and technology includes a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, UVO eServices with voice-commanded navigation, and a rear parking assist system.

What LATINA Style thinks: Cadenza shows off Kia’s new “art” form with high-style exterior and interior, plus cutting-edge technology. We’re wild for the front grille: choose mesh “Diamond Butterfly” or “Intaglio” with vertical slats.

2017 Lexus LX570

This full-size luxury SUV has three-rows and holds up to eight. Its 5.7-liter V-8 makes 383 horsepower and 403 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired to an eight-speed transmission with paddle shifters. Engineered with full-time 4WD and four-wheel Active Traction Control, it seamlessly responds to varying road conditions by sending power to the wheels that need it. The recent interior redesign brought four-zone climate control, ambient lighting, artisan-crafted wood inlays, and leather-trimmed surfaces.

What LATINA Style thinks: Made for the open road and mountain passes, this upscale sport ute is a lavish cabin on wheels. But, more than just a pretty face, the well-designed and highly-nuanced people- and cargo-carrier is also a full-on, off-road warrior thanks to technologies like Crawl Control with turn assist and a Multi-Terrain Select system that make you feel secure — no matter the landscape or the weather.

2017 Toyota RAV4

This crossover comes in five grades: LE, XLE, SE, Limited, and all-new Platinum — the Hybrid is available in XLE and all-new SE and Limited trims. A new, standard Toyota Safety Sense package combines a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Available in front- or AWD, the compact SUV is powered by a 176-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic; hybrid model adds a small high-torque electric motor for 194 system horsepower.

What LATINA Style thinks: It’s been a game-changer since it came to market and created its segment more than 20 years ago. We love RAV4’s small stance and maneuverability, but appreciate all the roominess inside as well as its host of standard and available user-friendly interior features and high-level safety.

2017 Nissan Rogue

Redesigned, the second-generation Rouge has a refreshed exterior, enhanced available safety and technology, and a new hybrid powertrain. Available in both front- and AWD, the five-passenger crossover is powered by either a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a 2.0-liter gasoline engine paired with an electric motor to produce 176 net system horsepower; both are mated to an advanced Xtronic continuously variable transmission with standard Sport Mode and Eco switches. It’s one of the few small SUVs that can be equipped with a third row to increase seating to seven.

What LATINA Style thinks: We love this roguish player! It was the first non-luxury vehicle to offer the unique Around View Monitor feature which utilizes four small super wide angle cameras mounted on front, side, and rear to provide a virtual 360-degree view around the vehicle, helping to maneuver it in tight spots.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The brand-new-for-2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is an all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf Sportwagen powered by a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode. By making 4Motion all-wheel drive standard and adding an inch of ground clearance as well as enhanced suspension and rugged bumpers, VW has changed the character of its popular sub-compact station wagon into a rugged crossover SUV. Even with its adventurous all-wheel-drive persona, the Golf Alltrack still boasts fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg in the city, and 30 mpg on the highway.

What LATINA Style thinks: This tallish sporty wagon has been endowed with outdoorsy looks and backcountry-capable cladding. It also has the chops to carry your kayak and camping gear into the lands where the pavement ends and weekend adventure begins.

2017 Ford F-150

A favorite pickup in America for nearly 40 years, the F-150 was completely redesigned in 2016 with a brand-new lightweight aluminum-alloy body and a 325-horsepower, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. New for 2017 is an innovative fuel-efficient 10-speed automatic transmission, and convenient Pro Trailer Backup Assist system, which allows you to control the direction of your trailer with a simple dashboard-mounted knob. Available in Regular cab, SuperCab, and SuperCrew styles, in both two- and four-wheel drive, and with three bed lengths, the F-150 provides everything savvy buyers need and want.

What LATINA Style thinks: Today’s trucks offer comfort and convenience like never before. More than just a functional workhorse, the F-150 is indulgently endowed with performance and abundant safety, and is a 2016 IIHS Top Safety Pick when equipped with optional Forward Collision Warning.

2017 Chevy Silverado 2500

Recently renovated from the ground up, this pickup wears an appealing contemporary exterior with a steel bed set up with cargo tie-downs and spray-in bedliner for work or after-hours projects, while the modernized and fashionable interior is a mobile hot spot and has On Star for navigation and emergency needs. The truck benefits from improved powertrains that bring more power and torque, for better towing and hauling, and also increase fuel economy. Notable is the all-new 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8, which offers best-in-class 445 horsepower and 910 lb.-ft. of torque-and lower exhaust emissions.

What LATINA Style thinks: GM’s patent-pending new hood scoops aid in faster acceleration, better performance when towing up grades, and stronger passing and merging manners. The updated heavy duty 2500 can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds! It’s a great package for towing your horse trailer or RV.

2017 Ram 1500

This pickup truck has a variety of new special-edition trim and appearance packages — like the Lone Star Silver Edition, Limited, and Laramie Longhorn edition — that bring high-tech features, rugged themed grilles, special lighting, and unique badging. Diesel lovers will enjoy the 240-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which offers 420 lb.-ft. of torque and promises a good balance between heavy towing capability and excellent fuel economy. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A pair of “store in the floor” bins with removable liners offer versatile storage, and are large enough for ten 12-ounce beverages and ice, and its tailgate also boasts a standard assist feature that reduces the effort needed to raise and close it.

What LATINA Style thinks: Did you know the Ram 1500 is the industry’s only half-ton pickup with an available diesel engine? Whether powered by gas or diesel, it’s a work horse with fine saddlery.

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