|Reviewed By||Tony Piff|
|Price as Tested||$55,170: 3.5-liter V6, 265 hp, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, CVT. Technology Package, Theater Package, Deluxe Touring Package, Premium Package.|
Svelte, sculpted body diminishes bulk without reducing presence. “Liquid Platinum” is a beautiful, eye-catching color well suited to the form. Good visibility high above the road. 3.5-liter V6 offers excellent balance of power and fuel economy. Ample horsepower easily accessible at all times. Technology Package features like Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Cruise Control are all very well executed, intuitive and easy to use. Quiet. Dual sky lights.
Interior finishes less opulent than expected for $55k. Car feels large and rather minivan-like, especially when backing up and navigating confined spaces. Third-row passengers seem 15 feet away (which might be a good thing in certain cases). Infuriating rear theatre controls. Cup holders difficult to reach from the driver’s position; fewer convenient slots, trays, pockets, etc., than usual — no place to rest my phone with the screen visible. Third-row seats difficult to access and cramped. Steering wheel controls for stereo, cruise, phone, etc. are laid out with no regard for ergonomics and require a dangerous amount of attention.
Luxurious presence with an impressive 18/23 mpg fuel economy. The Intelligent Cruise Control automatically adjusts following distance — which is the kind of “big brother” feature I’m generally opposed to — but I can’t deny that it worked beautifully and turned a three-hour nighttime road trip into an easy, restful drive. The third-row seat is too small for adults (although the rear moon roof makes it a slightly more appealing space), but it’s a nice option for occasional use, and the cargo area is impressive with the seats folded down. My favorite features of the car were the options, but I think that buyers spending this kind of money on a luxury SUV may end up looking elsewhere to get more refined, expensive-looking finishes — which is a shame, because this is a great package.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
Jan 21, 2013