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Lincoln Continental and Toyota Rav4


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Lincoln Continental | Starting price: $45,600

By Kelly Foss mycardata.com

Lincoln, the luxury brand of Ford Motor Company, has a long history in the automotive world. The Continental is the signature model, the heritage life blood of the line. It has been through many iterations over the decades but now, in its latest form, the Continental again plows new luxury ground.

For introduction, the Continental is a full-sized luxury sedan; Lincoln’s interpretation of what luxury should look like in 2017. Rather than being a copycat, “me too” type of sedan, it manages to carve out a space for itself in a market that is crowded and has been developing and selling cars for a very long time. As opposed to the philosophy that many other manufacturers are using, the new Continental is totally current with the reality, demands and desires of the market today.

The styling is unique yet familiar and in one stroke, makes several competitive models look clumsy and aged. The vehicle’s exterior sets the car apart with an intriguing shape that bespeaks luxury and presence. It’s truly a masterful exercise in automotive styling.

Even the base model, priced at a relatively inexpensive (for this class) $45,000, is striking. It’s a perfectly suitable luxury sedan, but as with many luxury models, the Continental has an additional $30-35,000 worth of options and equipment that can be added to make it a true “luxury” model.

The Continental would compete with vehicles like a 5 Series BMW, E Class Mercedes, XTS Cadillac or the Acura RLX. It is a front-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive vehicle. It’s powered by 3 different V6 engines, the upper two being turbocharged with the top one delivering 400 horsepower.

The Continental designers were clever enough to provide several ride profiles ranging from “Comfort,” with is ultra-smooth yet controlled dynamic, to “Sport” which allows this sedan to hustle down the road in a manner that you wouldn’t normally associate with this class of vehicle.

The interior is modern, luxurious and tomb quiet thanks in part to noise-cancelling technology. The shapes and contour are new. The front seat forms are unique and offer up to 30 seat adjustments. The front seats even provide a thigh extender and even adjustable seat bottom cushions allowing separate tweaking for your right and your left sides!

The Continental is festooned with the latest safety and entertaining gadgetry. An updated SYNC3 technology interface is a thoughtful interpretation of an infotainment system that is easy to use thanks to its intuitive logic. The Continental has a self-parking system that actually works as advertised. You press a button and then drive slowly down a street. It spots a space that is large enough for the vehicle and then will masterfully, automatically on its own, parallel park the car in a stress-free manner, perfectly every time!

The 2017 Continental is a fusion of style, luxury and driving enjoyment that may make it irresistible to potential luxury sedan buyers.

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Toyota Rav4 Starting price: $24,400

Toyota has had lots of practice making compact SUVs. In fact, they were one of the early adopters and creators of the segment. The Rav4 has always been a very popular top seller in this class and with the current upgrades aims to continue that trend.

Compact SUVs or CUVs are car-based vehicles. Their popularity stems from a number of vehicle attributes. They are easy to drive in the city, largely because of easy handling and their near-360-degree panoramic view of the driver’s surroundings. The seating position is slightly elevated, giving a great view of the road yet retaining easy passenger access. That means you just horizontally slide into the vehicle rather than climbing up or falling down into the driver’s seat. Additionally, the seating is comfortable and roomy both for front and second row passengers.

Then there is the utility with a highly flexible and useful cargo area. Even with the second row of seats in the normal upright position, the space behind them is large and accommodating with easy access through the hatch. Additionally, the lift over height is quite low, meaning that it’s easy to load and unload cargo without having the muscles of a weight lifter.

The cargo space with the second row of seats in normal sitting position is 38 cubic feet. The Hybrid version is slightly less allowing space for the batteries. When you do need space for longer and taller items, the second row will fold flat yielding 73 cubic feet of space. For comparison, the trunk in a sedan in this class would hold about 14 cubic of stuff, plus the trunk opening is much smaller than a large hatch.

In addition to Toyota’s ultra-reliable 2.5 liter 4 cylinder gas engine, the new Rav4s are also offered with an equally reliable and segment first Hybrid drivetrain. The Hybrids come pre-packaged with an AWD all-wheel-drive system making them sure-footed fuel sippers that reduce fuel consumption by about 30 percent. The Hybrid AWD vehicles are smooth and secure and unless someone told you, you wouldn’t know you were driving a hybrid vehicle.

Though the exterior styling will seem like a modernized version of a familiar shape, the interior has been radically upgraded. The timid utilitarian trappings have been replaced with contrasting colors, surface stitching and soft touch panels. The upgrades are driven by consumer demands. Though many city dwellers are replacing larger vehicles for smaller ones, that doesn’t mean they don’t want their premium gadgets in those new smaller vehicles. Consequently, the latest Rav4s are offered with a plethora of upgraded, near-luxury items that its predecessors never could have even dreamed of.

Technology offerings can include Toyota’s Entune technology system, which provides smart phone connection, navigation, online apps, JBL audio and voice command. Additionally, you’ll find a backup camera, blind spot and cross traffic alert systems, and keyless entry technology.

The Rav4 is a safe, comfortable and trusted companion to take you down the road of life.

For more information on these and other vehicles, visit MyCarData.com


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