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MotorTrend October 2020

MotorTrend is the world's automotive authority. Every issue of MotorTrend informs and entertains with features on the testing of both domestic and import cars, car care, motor sports coverage, sneak peeks at future vehicles, and auto-industry news.

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12 Issues

in this issue

7 min
midsize sedans

#1 Honda Accord SCORE 8.5/10 Base Price $25,500–$37,500* MINOR Spacious, great to drive, fuel efficient, and safe, the Honda Accord is a superb midsize sedan. Available with three powertrain options, including a 47-mpg hybrid and two turbo-four gas engines, and a CVT or 10-speed automatic, the Accord’s all-around excellence allows it to punch above its class. (The wonderful manual is dead.) We even named it the winner of a comparison against a base Audi A4. Honda hasn’t announced anything for 2021, but it has hinted to us that updates are coming later this year, likely a midcycle refresh given the model’s redesign for 2018. Our favorite midsize sedan is about to get even better. 0–60 mph 5.7–7.6 sec EPA Econ City/Hwy 22-48/32-47 mpg Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles Safety NHTSA: 5 Stars; IIHS: TSP IntelliChoice Value Rating Excellent Pros…

4 min
full-size sedans

#1 Toyota Avalon SCORE 7.7/10 Base Price $37,000–$43,500* MINOR Look beyond the Avalon’s questionable front-end styling, and you’ll find an impressive full-size sedan. The interior feels legitimately premium thanks to its good material quality, and there’s ample passenger space in either row of seating. XSE, Touring, and TRD trims offer a sportier demeanor with an amplified exhaust note and an available adaptive damping system to feed more road texture to occupants, but we prefer the smooth wafting of the Avalon XLE and Limited, which better capture what most Avalon buyers are after. The standard V-6 feels eager and strong, and the hybrid variant nearly doubles that engine’s city fuel economy numbers. For 2021, Toyota now offers the Avalon with AWD (with the four-cylinder), standard Android Auto, and an XSE Nightshade Edition. 0–60 mph 6.0-7.5…

6 min
luxury full-size sedans

#1 Audi A8 SCORE 7.8/10 Base Price $86,500-$130,500* MINOR Audi’s technological flagship offers a spacious, quiet cabin and a supple ride, which makes road trips a joy, especially for rear-seat passengers. A modern, user-friendly infotainment system puts the A8 ahead of its competitors. Meticulous attention to detail adds to the interior’s luxurious feel, especially at night with the ambient lighting activated. This year, the A8 gains additional standard features, including ventilated front seats, a phone holder, and a 360-degree-view parking camera system. Under the Audi A8’s conservative exterior design is a car that's perfect for tech lovers. 0-60 mph 3.8-5.4 sec* EPA Econ City/Hwy 13-21/22-27 mpg*; 41/61 mpg-e (PHEV gas+electric) Basic Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles IntelliChoice Value Rating Poor Pros Supremely comfortable ride, excellent tech features, ultra-quick S8 model Cons Bland exterior styling, rough stop/start system #2 Genesis G90 SCORE 7.6/10 Base…

5 min
luxury subcompact sedans

Acura ILX SCORE Not Yet Ranked Base Price $27,000-$31,000* UNCHANGED Although it's still based on the previous Civic platform, the ILX is reasonably entertaining. Acura’s entry-luxe car enjoys tight and agile handling; tossing it around corners is a pleasure. Zippy, naturally aspirated acceleration is aided by a smart dual-clutch automatic that shifts faultlessly for power on demand or efficient cruising. A smooth and quiet ride isn’t sacrificed for sportiness, and well-bolstered front seats keep occupants in place. There’s generous legroom up front, but certain drivers might not fit, as the curving roofline impedes headroom. Without split-folding back seats, versatility is reduced, and its button-riddled center console and dual-display infotainment are needlessly complex. We’ll have to wait for the next-gen version for a Type S. 0-60 mph 6.8 sec EPA Econ City/Hwy 24/34 mpg Basic Warranty 4…

5 min
full-size trucks

#1 Ram 1500 SCORE 8.3/10 Base Price $34,000-$61,000* MINOR After winning our Truck of the Year three times in the past seven years, it’s safe to say the Ram 1500 is a MotorTrend favorite. With the best interior in the class and a smoother-riding coil- or air-sprung rear suspension, the Ram is the most comfortable truck in the segment while maintaining capability and ratings commensurate with the best the competition has to offer. After a major redesign for 2019, Ram has kept its flagship pickup fresh with added features, and it continues this strategy for 2021. The flashiest update is the TRX model, designed to go toe to toe with the Ford F-150 Raptor off-road. 0-60 mph 5.9-8.5 sec EPA Econ City/Hwy 15-22/21-32 mpg Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles Safety NHTSA: 5 Stars IntelliChoice Value Rating Average Pros Looks…

5 min
full-size three-row suv

Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban SCORE Not Yet Ranked Base Price $49,295-$73,595 MAJOR Once essentially truck chassis with enclosed bodies on top, the Tahoe and Suburban receive a transformative change: independent rear suspension. Ditching the previous live rear axle makes a profound difference in comfort and capabilities. Ride quality and handling should feel better than ever. Because there’s no longer a differential “pumpkin” bouncing around, the rear floor is mounted several inches lower, increasing cargo space and loading ease. That and the longer wheelbase and body provide significant gains in passenger space. New semi-unibody construction is said to improve rigidity and crash safety. This new suspension arrangement may decrease towing capability, but in any other measure, the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban seem like the best yet. 0-60 mph 5.2-7.8 sec* EPA Econ City/Hwy 14-18/19-23 mpg* Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000…