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2018 Mazda Mazda3 Driving Impressions 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Driving Impressions

Still looking fresh five years after it debut as the third-gen model, the 2018 Mazda Mazda3 adds standard low-speed automatic emergency braking across the lineup to a slick design, stellar performance, and solid fuel economy figures. But we continue to have issues with the 3's cramped rear quarters, awkward and distracting infotainment system, and the fact that advanced safety features that are only available in an option package on the top trim.

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2018 Lexus LX 570 Driving Impressions 2018 Lexus LX 570 Driving Impressions

The 2018 Lexus LX 570 features off-road capable body-on-frame construction, big V8 power, plenty of towing capability, and a leather and wood-trimmed cabin worthy of a luxury yacht. At the same time, body lean in cornering is abundant, third row occupants should be limited to small people, gas mileage is horrible, while most owners will never need - or use - its off-road capabilities.

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2018 Hyundai Kona SEL AWD Driving Impressions 2018 Hyundai Kona SEL AWD Driving Impressions

The 2018 Hyundai Kona cruises onto the stage in a class already awash with solid entries from Subaru, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan, along with nearly every other automaker on the planet. What the Kona brings to the party is a solid value proposition, smooth ride, and a durable, practical interior. But it's also hampered by fussy exterior touches, a finicky optional dual-clutch transmission, leisurely acceleration, and limited availability of advanced safety features.

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2018 Mazda Mazda6 Signature Driving Impressions 2018 Mazda Mazda6 Signature Driving Impressions

Updated styling and equipment enhancements across the lineup that include a new turbo-four borrowed from the CX-9 only confirm our opinion that - despite the fact that the new engine is mated exclusively to an automatic transmission, while the clumsy infotainment system lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - the 2018 Mazda Mazda6 remains the best-handling and best-looking sedan in the midsize segment.

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2018 Lexus RX 350L AWD Driving Impressions 2018 Lexus RX 350L AWD Driving Impressions

The 2018 Lexus RX 350L, all-new to the lineup this year, offers a wide range of standard advanced safety features along with increased cargo space compared to the regular model and a standard third row – a feature not heretofore available. But fuel economy remains average, adding options can quickly boost the price, while its eye-catching design isn't for everyone.

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2018 Mazda CX-5 Driving Impressions 2018 Mazda CX-5 Driving Impressions

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 marks the first major re-design of the brand's best-selling vehicle - with a slicker design inside and out, a more fuel efficient engine, additional safety equipment, and class-above features at every price point. But it's held back by a clumsy infotainment interface, mediocre cargo volume, and a stiff ride with too much road and wind noise on models with larger wheels.

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2018 Lexus GS 350 Driving Impressions 2018 Lexus GS 350 Driving Impressions

In a class dominated by the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the 2018 Lexus GS 350 has – through reliability, low ownership costs, and spectacular customer service – stolen a bit of the German's thunder. The latest iteration is market by flowing lines, supportive front seats, and handling prowess. A 2016 refresh added a much-needed spark, but rear seat knee room remains tight, the smaller gas engine lacks punch, the larger gas engine is hardly thrifty, while the infotainment interface is a nightmare to operate while moving.

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