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2019 Toyota Avalon

By Frank S. Washington DEL MAR, Calif., -- Quilted leather, 300 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters, adaptive variable suspension, a 1200 watt, 14-speaker audio system, all this stuff and more suggest that the 2019 Toyota Avalon is no longer your grandma’s conservatively styled four-door sedan. The fifth generation of Toyota’s flagship has undergone a radical makeover. Daring ...

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2018 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

By Frank S. Washington DETROIT –The Lexus RC was the first tangible proof as in sheet metal that Lexus intended to put some design snap in its lineup. The two-seat coupe was unlike anything else the luxury brand had offered to the mass market. It was low, had a rounded top as not to crimp interior headspace and it seemed to be the car that the then new spindle grille was designed for. And though it is in it ...

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2018 Toyota Prius C

I got a 2018 Toyota Prius C on short notice to come here. The point is that I had to learn this car literally on the fly, or in this case on the road. ...

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2019 Ram

by Frank S. Washington PHOENIX -- Every pickup truck maker is upping its game. For Ram, the 2019 edition is all new from the ground up and that includes a new Ram’s head logo and RAM spelled out in all the grilles and on the tailgates. Gone is the horse collar grille as Ram continues to step away from Dodge and establish itself in the market as an independent brand. This process started in 2009 and though i ...

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2019 Volvo XC40

By Frank S. Washington AUSTIN, TX, — It has taken eight years and $12 billion and some good old fashioned Scandinavian patience. But Volvo has finally righted the ship and is ready to reassert itself in the premium luxury market. What’s more, those big bucks don’t include the additional billions spent to build assembly plants in China and South Carolina. Volvo has developed three-cylinder and four-cylinder ...

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2017 Kia Forte SX 5 DR

By Frank S. Washington DETROIT – The Kia Forte5 SX was a sharp looking five-door hatchback. It was a head turner; more than once did I notice people taking a second look at it. It had a wider version of Kia’s tiger nose grille. The headlights were swept back around the front fender. The daytime running lights as well as the redesigned taillights were LEDs. I had the SX trim line. It came with 18-inch alloy ...

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