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Fiat attempts to lure customers with 500X Sport intro

Fiat is describing the new 500X Sport as "youthful and sporty".

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Fiat sales in America are abysmal. In an effort to lure more U.S. shoppers to its dealerships, the automaker has introduced the Fiat 500X Sport for the 2020 model year.

Described by Fiat it as "youthful and sporty" the 2020 Fiat 500X Sport features new front and rear fascia designs, body-color painted side moldings, and dark-finish exterior accents. It also has an eye-catching Rovente Red paint job. Its mirror caps, door handles, and rear license plate brow are finished in black and the model rides on 18-inch aluminum wheels. New 19-inch premium aluminum wheels wearing Micheline CrossClimate all-season tires are available. At the back are chrome dual-tire exhaust tips.

2020 Fiat 500X Sport The 500X Sport comes standard with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 500X Sport comes standard with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and achieves 210 pound-feet of torque. That's a lot of torque for a car this size. The Fiat 500X is the only vehicle in its class to have 30 mpg highway and standard all-wheel drive.

"Our Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500X is the only vehicle in its class to feature standard all-wheel drive and achieve 30 miles per gallon," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – North America. "With standard turbo power, the Fiat 500X Sport is a fresh, new alternative in one of the fastest growing segments in the industry."

2020 Fiat 500X Sport The model comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch screen.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The interior of the car features a dark-black headliner and pillars. There are new interior door and console bezel surfaces finishes. The car's techno-leather steering wheel is an upscale touch and features handcrafted red stitching and Alcantara inserts with paddle shifters. Alcantara leather also features as the cover on the cluster brow and there's a new cluster graphics and instrument-panel bezel finish.

Sport seats feature black fabric and vinyl inserts. A grey "500" logo is stitched on them just below the unique, circular headrests.

Below the seats are standard aluminum pedal covers and new Sport floor mats.

The model comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Navigation, SiriusXM, a Beats audio system, and automatic climate control are available.

2020 Fiat 500X Sport Sport seats feature black fabric and vinyl inserts.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 500X is available with adaptive cruise control and front park assist. It comes standard with blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, rearview camera, and seven standard air bags.

The 2020 500X Sport model is available for $26,895, excluding destination.

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The Toyota Highlander Hybrid has been completely redesigned for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid isn't going to make any headlines for its sexy looks, rugged prowess, or zero to 60 mph time. It doesn't have to. While the Toyota Supra, Ford Bronco, and Ferrari SF90 Stradale dominate that conversation, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid goes about its day.

It doesn't have time to stop and check out the other models. It's too busy solidly doing its job, just like it has been for the last two decades. And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's precisely that premise that carries over from the last-generation Highlander Hybrid to the new one. Redesigned for 2020, the model isn't revolutionary in the way that the new Ram 1500 was when it debuted. Instead, it's a thoughtful improvement.

2020 Toyota Highalnder Hybrid The Highlander Hybrid is fuel-efficient and can lug around three rows of passengers.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid shines in its practicality, continuing to move the midsize SUV story along in (mostly) all the right ways.

Like many things that Toyota has done with its vehicles over the last decade, the Highlander Hybrid hits that sweet spot blending the expectations of buyers with the modern technology that they may not have even known that they wanted.

The three-row SUV's hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 243 horsepower and is just powerful enough to get you through your drive with ease. The SUV achieves over 600 miles of range, which is fantastic for road trips.

There's an EV mode in the hybrid that gets you going out of parking lots and driveways with little exterior noise. However, the SUV's passengers can hear wind noise against the windshield – something that only goes to prove just how comparatively quiet an electric vehicle is.

2020 Toyota Highalnder Hybrid Steering the Highlander Hybrid is easy and it comes equipped with a boatload of standard safety technology.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Driving the Highlander, which came equipped with all-wheel drive, in mixed conditions resulted in right around 33 mpg. That's not bad considering the week included short trips for groceries, running the air conditioning at full blast most of the time, and keeping up with traffic off the line. It's rated at 35 mpg combined by the EPA. It's not uncommon for real life driving to be slightly lower than expectation.

The SUV is fantastically easy to maneuver, and the wheel feels good in-hand. Multi-view parking cameras make fitting into and out of a parking spot a breeze, which is good because rearward visibility through the glass isn't great.

The Highlander Hybrid is comfortable in every row. Adults can easily fit in the first two for extended periods of time. There's gobs of small item storage space providing perfect opportunity to keep your car plenty cluttered if you'd like.

The peanut butter and jelly-colored interior in the Highlander Hybrid tester isn't a favorite and there are some less-than-premium materials in the premium-priced model but the overall design is attractive.

2020 Toyota Highalnder Hybrid The large 12.3-inch infotainment screen dominates the dashboard in higher trim levels.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Its large 12.3-inch infotainment screen on the tester isn't the most pleasing to use, but it gets the job done. Use Apple CarPlay and most of your problems in that regard are solved.

Moving the second-row seats is relatively easy but having a permanent cupholder base between captain's chairs, no matter how rugged, is not my favorite design choice. A family's littlest third-row occupants are likely to choose to go this route and there's plenty of space for feet to get stuck and plastic to get scuffed.

The third-row seats go up and down with ease. There's a good amount of cargo room at the back for groceries.

2020 Toyota Highalnder Hybrid Putting down the second- and third-row seats for storage is an easy endeavor.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

A flat load floor is something minivan owners rave about. Personally, I prefer foot wells in the second row, which provide more contained storage solutions for when you pop out to the store and don't need/want to store in the cargo area. They also provide a divider between second-row passengers leading children kicking each other less.

The three-row SUV isn't revolutionary. It never had to be. What it is, is very good, especially compared to the Honda Pilot. The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid should be on your test drive list for the very reason that it makes life with a family easier.a

But (and this is a big but) it is pricey. The Highlander Hybrid can cost over $50,000 in its highest trim (the cheapest is $38,200). The Highlander's hottest competition, the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade, aren't nearly that expensive, but they also don't come with hybrid variants.

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The 2021 Genesis G90 Stardust features a two-tone exterior.

Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The 2020 Genesis G90 went on sale in the U.S. last autumn with a new generations worth of improvements. Now, for the 2021 model year, Genesis is offering the model in a special Stardust variant that won't be sold in the U.S.

The 2021 Genesis G90 Stardust features design inspired by the night sky above a red carpet event. Light bulbs flash, celebrities pose, magic is made.

"The G90 Stardust represents the ultimate form of elegance," said SangYup Lee, the head of Genesis Global Design. "In that moment when you arrive at a red carpet event, nothing less is expected."

2021 Genesis G90 Stardust The interior of the model features two-tone leather and metallic pore ash wood.Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The model features special carbon fiber paintwork with a sparkling pearl effect. The lower half of the exterior features Vik black paint work. The two-tone exterior requires specialized craftsmanship that naturally limits production.

Inside the cabin the G90 Stardust features bespoke seats upholstered in two-tone leather. Metallic pore ash wood accents the interior.

Only 50 G90 Stardust models will be made. They will all be sold in South Korea, the home of Genesis and parent company Hyundai.

For 2021, the G90 gets added standard features. The Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension and Intelligent Front-Lighting System have been added to the base model roster. The suspension automatically adapts the stiffness of the suspension to road conditions, making the ride more comfortable for passengers. The Genesis Front-Lighting System features automatic high beam functionality.

Additionally, the 2021 model will be available with reverse parking collision avoidance assist, which warns a driver pulling out of a parking spot when it detects an object or pedestrian behind the vehicle. It can apply the brakes if necessary.

New 19-inch wheels are also available.

The 2021 Genesis G90 is likely to go on sale in the U.S. later this year.

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