Tue07222014

On The Road

Sensational sedans: Toyota Avalon and Kia Cadenza offer style and comfort at an affordable price


courtesy of Kia
The 2014 Kia Cadenza offers 295 horsepower and has a combined fuel efficiency of 22 mpg.

Many car owners need a four-door sedan. These vehicles are suitable for a family road trip, an evening out with another couple or taking clients on a tour of the area.

Last month we drove two sedans that are ideal for such outings: the Toyota Avalon Limited and the Kia Cadenza. These 2014 models are stylish, comfortable and – best of all – affordable. And neither could be called soft, slow or uninspiring – all adjectives that once described all full-sized sedans.

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Matt solves the mysterious case of the professor's brake shake

A car’s ability to brake effectively is obviously one of the most important components of safe driving.

Braking problems come in all shapes and forms – from intermittent squeaking to complete failure.

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New fuel for thought Innovative cars, pumps are coming to California


COURTESY OF TOYOTA
Toyota has unveiled a fuel-cell concept car that could be in dealerships next year.

When we reported in December on announcements at the Los Angeles Auto Show of new developments in fuel systems, we were skeptical about the fuel-cell electronic vehicle (FCEV) concept cars presented by Toyota, Honda and Hyundai. That’s because we had been fooled before.

We were impressed by the 2013 Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell compact that we drove from New Orleans to San Antonio as part of its round-the-world tour. As we noted, hydrogen fuel-cell cars are technically superior to battery-electronic vehicles. They can be built with a 300-mile range and tanks that can be filled in five minutes.

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Jaguar XJR & Mercedes E63 AMG offer speed and comfort  at a cost


courtesy of Jaguar
The 2014 Jaguar XJR boasts an understated front and rear design.

Full-sized, four-door sedans are generally considered the meat and potatoes on the automotive menu, not the fancy dessert – that’s what sports cars are for. But two sedans we recently drove for a week and tested on the racetrack, the Jaguar XJR and the Mercedes E63 AMG, are the entire meal.

For most of us, these high-powered beasts will only ever be aspirational. The XJR has a list price of $120,170, including $3,275 in largely unnecessary cosmetic packages and delivery preparation, while the E63 is a relative bargain at $106,825, which includes the performance package, delivery preparation and $2,530 in custom trim options.

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