Design

Nissan's design team shows what they're creating at home during the coronavirus lockdown

Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design, gives a peek at his lockdown life and what he's sketching these days.

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motors

Every new car starts with a single line. Lines bend, curve, and connect whether you're drawing the new Nissan all-electric SUV your version of a fish for your wannabe marine biologist son in an effort to keep him busy during the extended COVID-19-related lockdown.

Nissan's design team has been busy during this time of social distancing, woking from home and creating sketches of possible new vehicles as well as drawing some of the vintage models in Nissan's lineup.

"To draw, draw, draw, in our world, is one of the best ways to close the gap between wonderful creative impulses in your head and making it a reality – especially as we face this global pandemic together," said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design. "Our team of designers, worldwide, are using this time to breathe, to draw, to dream creatively. I know that some of their best work will come from the challenges that we're facing now."

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Dubbed the #DrawDrawDraw effort, Albaisa is launching this campaign with a video from his home, and with input from his two young sons, showing what he is currently drawing and why. Designers from his team will post additional videos in coming weeks to talk about their design inspirations, what they are drawing, how they became car designers, and tips for those looking to break into the business.

"Our inspiration for this project came from Nissan designer Giovanny Arroba, the creative mind behind the recently unveiled Ariya Concept car," said Albaisa. "Gio was asked for advice on becoming a car designer. He said, simply and beautifully, 'Draw like crazy. Draw, draw, draw."

Nissan is now offering 23 downloadable coloring pages featuring the company's classic cars, current models, futuristic concepts. The company's designers from around the world created the pages over the last few weeks. Other automakers including Land Rover, Audi, and Ford have also made free coloring pages available.

Nissan is asking individuals to tag their drawings, from sidewalk art to napkin sketches to the downloaded coloring book pictures, with #drawdrawdraw.

"We're looking forward to celebrating passion and creativity," said Albaisa. "Don't be surprised if you see a Nissan designer comment on your drawings and artwork."

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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