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Consumer Reports

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    Freshened Porsches Bring Entry-Level Macan, Turbo Boxster

    Arriving as the lightest SUV in the Porsche lineup, the Macan—no suffix for this one—is the new entry-level variant of Porsche’s small SUV. Like the Macan S that Consumer Reports tested, this new version comes with standard all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automated manual transmission. But this new variant uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while its big brothers all employ turbocharged V6 engines.

    This small four-cylinder puts out 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, enabling a claimed 0-to-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package and its launch control feature. The EPA-rated fuel economy is 20 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. That should be an improvement over the 19 mpg overall we got with the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 we tested.

    With a base price of $47,500, you’d be saving at least $5,000 compared to the 3.0-liter turbo. Deliveries are expected to start this July.

    But if a Porsche SUV is still sacrilege for you, check out the updated classics making their U.S. debuts at the New York auto show. The first is the updated Boxster roadster, renamed 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S. It’s still the same terrific Boxster but slightly freshened. And, for the first time the Boxster will use a four-cylinder engine.

    Unlike the four-cylinder turbo in the Macan, which is based on a Volkswagen/Audi family engine, this is a purely Porsche-designed powerplant and of course, a horizontally opposed configuration (aka Boxer). The 718 Boxster uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that will generate 300 hp; the S version gets a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder that makes 350 hp. Compared with the last-generation Boxster, that’s a bump of 35 hp for each car and by the nature of the turbo, these will have more readily available power at lower revs. While EPA figures aren’t yet available, the new cars are said to be 14 percent more efficient on the European driving cycle than the old ones.

    With more power comes more performance: 0-to-60 mph is 4.5 seconds for the Boxster and 4.0 seconds for the S, when each car is equipped with the seven-speed automated manual and Sport Chrono package.

    Under the revised skin, which features larger air intakes to cool the turbo engines, is an all-new suspension and larger brakes. Both models offer a standard six-speed manual, or the seven-speed automated manual. The cars will begin arriving in June, with an MSRP of $56,000 for the 718 Boxster and $68,400 for the 718 Boxster S.

    Finally, the granddaddy of the Porsche line, the 911, gets a new trim, the 911 R which is aimed at club racers.

    At 3,021 pounds, the 911 R is the lightest 911 available, and the 500-hp, 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine should be able to get it moving with more than a bit of immediacy.

    Porsche claims the 0-to-60 mph run will take a mere 3.7 seconds. Halting from speed is courtesy of the standard ceramic composite brakes. Some advantages of these brakes are their lower weight, compared with metal brake rotors, their resistance to heat and their longer working life between pad/rotor changes.

    Additional weight savings come from reduced interior insulation, foregoing of the rear seats, and the omission of air conditioning and the audio system. Those last two items can be added back at no charge.

    Even priced at $184,900, the 991 total production run will go fast—as seems appropriate.

    Read the road tests of the Porsche 911, Boxster, and Macan.

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    Production Honda Clarity FCV Fuel-Cell Sedan Makes U.S. Debut

    Looking much like a next-gen Honda Accord or Civic, the production five-passenger Honda Clarity FCV fuel-cell sedan breaks cover at the 2016 New York auto show. Set to be available for lease in California by the end of 2016, the FCV Clarity is one of a number of alternative-fuel vehicles in Honda’s planned lineup.

    With this version of the Clarity, Honda has made a number of improvements to eliminate the compromises found on previous Honda fuel-cell cars. For example, the fuel cell and powertrain are more compact, now similar in size to a V6 engine. This allows the unit to sit under the hood of the car, freeing up additional passenger space. Despite the smaller size of the pack, this generation is said to be more powerful, and Honda expects the EPA driving range to exceed 300 miles. Honda says that it should take just three to five minutes to fully fuel the FCV with hydrogen. 

    Aside from the advanced powertrain technology, the Clarity will feature, as standard equipment, the Honda Sensing safety system. This suite of safety gear includes forward-collision warning (FCW), automatic-emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning (LDW), and lane-keeping assist (LKA), among other systems.

    Inside, cabin amenities include a floating eight-inch Display Audio touch screen, which will handle the audio, navigation, and energy-monitoring functions, including a hydrogen fueling station locator. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms are both integrated, allowing for app-based navigation, streaming audio, and voice-controlled search capability, among other features.

    Only Honda dealers in select markets within California—likely ones with a robust-enough hydrogen-fueling infrastructure—will offer the Clarity. With an estimated price of $60,000, the Honda is targeting a sub-$500 per month lease price. There is a choice of colors, so long as you like white, black, or red.

    Honda plans to roll out a number of new alternative-fuel vehicles this year, including a new 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring; a plug-in hybrid based on the same platform as the Clarity, due by 2018; and a new battery-electric vehicle, also due to launch by 2018. 

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    2017 Maserati Levante Races Into the Premium SUV Market

    Maserati, better known for high-end sports cars and executive-level luxury sedans, enters the SUV fray with its first-ever SUV, the Levante.

    The new five-passenger Maserati will compete with other high-end coupe-like SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and BMW X6.

    The company proudly proclaims that the Levante is “made in Italy” and built on the Ghibli sedan platform. According to Maserati, the SUV’s name was “inspired by a warm, Mediterranean wind that can change from mild to gale force in an instant.”

    Base models are powered by a Ferrari-built twin-turbo 3.0 liter V6 engine making 345 hp. Top-trim S models use the same engine but crank out 424 hp. Both are hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission, a powertrain similar to the one in our tested Ghibli. Adjustable drive modes include Normal, Sport, and Off-Road. Each setting alters the vehicle’s engine, transmission, and suspension performance. It’s reasonable to expect that in Sport mode the Levante will emit the trademark Maserati bark.

    Company-supplied performance data pegs the Levante S hitting 60 mph from rest in a brisk 5.0 seconds while the base model goes from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    Maserati also says the Levante has a 50/50 weight ratio to facilitate sporty handling.

    Standard equipment includes all-wheel drive and an adaptive air suspension—providing five different ride height levels depending on the conditions.

    Expect the usual high-end interior treatments inside, including fancy leather and available wood or carbon fiber trim. We hope that this SUV’s fit and finish is a step up from what we found in our tested Ghibli S Q4 sedan, whose craftsmanship was decidedly not up to snuff for a $90,000 car.

    Other interior features include a standard 8.4-inch touch screen with navigation that uses Chrysler’s UConnect system, a hands-free power tailgate, dual-zone climate system, heated and vented front seats, and other luxury amenities.

    Standard safety gear includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake assist, lane departure warning, and a surround view camera.

    The Levante will be available by late summer 2016 starting at $72,000 for the 345-hp base model and reaching $83,000 for the 424-hp S version. 

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    Update Your Amazon Kindle. Like, Now.

    If you own an Amazon Kindle, you might want to grab it and turn it on. Today will be the last day your Kindle will have access to the Amazon Kindle Store or Kindle books in the cloud, at least until you update it. And if you want to update it painlessly, you should do it now.

    According to Amazon, “Customers using an outdated software version on Kindle e-readers require an important software update by March 22, 2016, in order to continue to download Kindle books from the Cloud, access the Kindle Store, and use other Kindle services on their device.” The update isn’t necessary for all Kindle e-readers, though. Affected devices include Amazon’s first two Kindles, the extra large Kindle DX, and the fourth-generation Kindle Touch, among others.

    The full list of affected Kindle devices includes:

    • Kindle 1st Generation (2007)
    • Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)
    • Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)
    • Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)
    • Kindle 4th Generation (2011)
    • Kindle 5th Generation (2012)
    • Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)
    • Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)

    Updating your Kindle is a painless procedure. Just make sure it’s connected to Wi-Fi and the update should download automatically.

    But what happens if you don’t update your device? You’ll receive this message: “Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again.”

    The message might sound dire, but your Kindle won’t become some e-ink paperweight. You can download the update manually from Amazon and install it yourself. You’ll have to connect your Kindle to your computer and follow Amazon’s update instructions, but you’ll end up with a fully functional Kindle once more. 

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Joins Coupe and Sedan

    Honda's impressive Civic sedan and coupe had a new sibling introduced as the Civic Hatchback concept at the New York auto show.

    Don't get too hung up on the word concept; the car in these photos is likely 90-95 percent of what the real version will look like when it goes on sale later this year. Just take away the blacked-out windows and the center-mounted dual-exhaust, and you pretty much can see what the production car will look like.

    Power will come from the same 174-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that was in one of the two Honda Civic sedans that we tested earlier this year. In those tests we found that the turbo engine has “impressive mid-range power, making merging maneuvers a cinch…[but] the engine has an oddly gruff sound. But our test numbers backed up what our seat bottoms told us: The EX-T was 1.6 seconds quicker to 60 mph (at 7.1 sec.) than the LX. Fuel economy was slightly different between the two, with the LX getting 32 mpg overall and the turbo 31 mpg.”

    Honda claims an EPA rating of 42 mpg on the highway. We got 21 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway in the Civic turbo sedan we tested.

    Read our complete Honda Civic road test.

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    While this was the U.S. debut of the Civic Hatchback Concept (it had originally debuted at the Geneva Auto Show), Honda made a big announcement about the transmission. First, the production version of the hatchback will offer either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. But, in a surprise announcement, Honda said that starting this fall, all Civics with the turbo engine can be equipped with a six-speed manual.

    Honda didn’t discuss the suspension of the Concept, but it is worth noting that the production car will be built in Honda’s Swindon, United Kingdom, production facility, alongside the mighty Civic Type R. This could mean that the U.S. market will get a slightly more sporty version of the Civic in the new hatchback (think: European-style tuning), compared with the sedans.

    In our tests we said the “...redesigned Civic handles with newfound confidence thanks to a more sophisticated chassis. It's still not quite as much fun to bend into corners as a Ford Focus, Mazda3, or Volkswagen Golf, but it's secure and predictable with minimal body lean.” A little more sport in the hatch would add enthusiast appeal.

    Look for the Honda Civic Hatchback to go on sale as a 2017 model later this year. 

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    2017 Toyota Prius Prime Adds Plug-In, Doubles Its EV Range

    With a pure-electric range of 12 miles in our tests, the previous-generation Toyota Prius Plug-in didn’t have much added value compared to a traditional Prius. Go up one mild incline and, zip, you’re running on gasoline just like a regular Prius.

    For the 2017 model year, however, Toyota will sell an updated plug-in version that will get a claimed 22 miles on only electricity. That puts it much closer to the typical one-way commute distance of many suburban Americans. It also can cruise on electric-only power at speeds up to 84 mph, Toyota claims.

    Although it will have slightly altered styling than the redesigned 2016 Prius, the Prius Prime that arrives this fall rides on the same upgraded platform that will carry across most of Toyota’s midsized vehicles. Sporting a more responsive suspension setup than the outgoing model, this new Prius platform has significantly improved the standard Prius’ driving dynamics, making it more engaging to drive.

    To aid the Prius Prime’s range, Toyota used a wind-cheating design and also incorporated lightweight aluminum for the hood and carbon fiber for the rear hatchback. Even when not running in EV mode, the Prius Prime’s software will frequently rely on electric power, boosting range to a claimed fully fueled and charged distance of 600 miles or more.

    As for recharging, Toyota says the battery pack can be filled from empty in less than six hours from a standard household outlet, and in half the time with a 240-volt source. That means the Prius Prime can be fully recharged overnight or during a typical work day. The Prius Prime's ports will work ChargePoint's network of 20,000 stations, 60 percent of which are free to use.

    Available, but not standard, are the following safety features: pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; lane-departure alert with steering assist; and all-speed adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop. Automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are also available. Intelligent Parking Assist can help the Prius Prime squeeze into tight parallel-parking spots.

    An 11.6-inch center display screen with swipe-and-drag capability rivals those in the Tesla Model S and Volvo XC90 for the wow factor.

    In Consumer Reports’ Owner Satisfaction survey, plug-in hybrids had varying results. The outgoing Prius Plug-in, with its meager electric range, had less satisfied owners than a standard Prius. However, the Ford C-Max Energi Plug-in, with a better 18-mile range, received higher owner satisfaction scores than a typical C-Max hybrid. In our tests, we got the equivalent of 94 mpg overall with the C-Max Energi running solely on electricity, much better than the old Prius Plug-in's 67 mpg. More electric-only range promises more satisfaction and more choices when the Prius Prime goes on sale.  

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    2017 Hyundai Ioniq Takes on Toyota Prius

    For well over a decade, no car has truly rivaled the Toyota Prius for its combination of fuel economy and practicality. Hyundai finally answers the green car call with their Ioniq, the first car to be offered with three stages of electrification: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full electric.

    Those three powerplants allow the Ioniq buyer to choose the car that best suits their commuting style. Based on a mostly-unique Elantra-sized platform, no "normal" gasoline-only Ioniq is available. Most will opt for the conventional hybrid, which uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 104 hp along with an electric motor (making 139 hp combined) and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. That relatively large battery can be leveraged for more acceleration assist and battery-only capability.

    Helped by a very aerodynamic body and automatic-closing shutters in the grille that reduce drag, Hyundai claims that the hybrid Ioniq will be the most fuel-efficient car that you don't plug in. EPA fuel economy estimates are not available yet, as final development continues, but that means it needs to beat 56 mpg combined for the 2016 Prius Eco, a lofty goal.

    Opting for the plug-in brings an 8.9 kWh battery, good for a claimed all-electric range of over 25 miles. If that boast holds up, it will beat the Toyota Prius Prime's 22 mile claim. Topping the electrification ladder, the Ioniq Electric has a 28 kWh battery, good for approximately 110 miles of range. That's no Tesla, but it is on the upper end of the range among current less-expensive electric cars, like uplevel versions of the Nissan Leaf.  

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    One of Hyundai's mantras seems to be a corporate hatred towards continuously-variable transmissions (CVT). Despite efficiency gains over conventional automatics, CVTs tend to suffer from non-linear power delivery and pronounced engine noise. Most hybrids, including Toyotas, use CVTs; luckily the hybrid's electric torque masks some of the transmission's untowards characteristics. Hyundai skips CVTs all together, using instead a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. More efficient than normal automatics, the dual-clutch design aims to deliver a more natural driving feel.

    While an embargo on driving impressions limits what we can say about the Ioniq prototype we rented from Hyundai, we can say that their hybrid system has improved markedly from earlier attempts. Our tests found that the previous generation Hyundai Sonata hybrid offered so-so efficiency and unrefined power delivery. By contrast, the current Sonata hybrid shows that Hyundai is paying attention to the details, rivaling Toyota for hybrid efficiency and smoothness.

    Maybe where the Ioniq follows a different road is in how normal and unassuming it tries to be, not shouting "Look at this green car!" to the world. By now, there's nothing revolutionary about the Ioniq's aerodynamic shape. Its rounded hatchback profile, terminating in a split rear window, has become familiar from the Prius and Chevrolet Volt. While the latest Volt aims to be sleek and sporty, and the latest Prius channels crisply-folded origami, the more-conservative Ioniq blends in.

    The same goes for the Hyundai's interior. Sitting in the Ioniq hybrid feels, well, decidedly normal. Conventional knobs and buttons make the controls simple, and other than some hybrid-specific displays, the instruments look familiar. Driving a Prius requires adjusting to some idiosyncrasies, like an unusual stubby shifter and odd Stormtrooper-white plastic adorning the center console. Instead the Ioniq is more upscale, offering features the Prius lacks, like real leather seats and memory for the power driver's seat adjustments.

    Like the Prius, the Ioniq is decidedly practical. A spacious rear seat comfortably fits adults, and there is plenty of cargo room under the hatchback. Rear visibility is better than the Prius or Volt, although it still falls short of being great. Advanced safety gear, including forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, is optional on the top two trim lines.

    There's no question that the Ioniq faces an uphill battle. Currently-low fuel prices make efficient cars a hard sell. But Hyundai is playing the long game, facing global demands for reduced greenhouse gasses and tightening fuel economy standards here. Maybe the bigger question is if Hyundai can win over Prius buyers. After all, over more than a decade, the Prius has built an enviable reputation for being cheap to own and very reliable. We'll see if the Ioniq lives up to its lofty efficiency claims in one of the most eagerly awaited shootouts of the year. 

    See our hybrid and EV buying guide and ratings.  

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Brings Muscle to New York

    Sure, auto shows provide a great opportunity to inspect the latest models in a non-sales environment, while easily moving from booth to booth to check out wares from many brands. But for a car enthusiast, it also means a chance to see the latest dream machines. At a rather practical New York auto show this year, General Motors displayed the latest high-performance variant, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, to quicken pulses.

    The Camaro rollout continues, with the brutish ZL1 joining the line late this year, again using a supercharged V8, track-tuned suspension, super-sticky tires, and the latest go-fast electronics to create an extreme muscle car—one ready to face the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Ford Mustang GT 350R.

    The 6.2-liter engine creates a Chevrolet-estimated 650 horses, routed through either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission—the first Chevy to get that gearbox. This marks a 60-hp and 80 lb.-ft. of torque advantage over the previous ZL1—in a car that weighs 200 lbs. less.

    To make the most of that prodigious power, the ZL1 has magnetic ride control to actively adjust to road surfaces and driver demands, performance-focused traction management system, electronic-controlled limited-slip differential, launch control, and a driver mode selector.

    An argument could made that the ZL1 offers true high-performance for the family, except as we have seen with our own Camaro SS, the back seat is of limited used for passengers. In which case, Chevrolet enthusiasts might as well turn to the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport, unveiled recently at the Geneva Motor Show. 

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    The name alone evokes memories of the five history-making 1960s Grand Sports, and even the more recent fourth-generation model, distinguished with a 330-hp LT4 V8, bold graphics, telltale fender hash marks, and rear wheel flares.

    Today’s Corvette Stingray offers more performance than most drivers could safely explore on the street. The Grand Sport extends that ability by focusing on chassis revisions, with an eye toward track use. The regular magnetic ride control system is augmented with specific stabilizer bars and springs, plus an electronic-controlled limited-slip differential. With meaty Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, Chevrolet claims the car can pull a belt-straining 1.05g in corners. But if you add the Z07 package, with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, carbon-fiber aero package, and carbon-ceramic brakes, the automaker says the car can achieve a staggering 1.2g.

    The Grand Sport will be available as both a coupe and convertible this summer. A Grand Sport Collector Edition will be offered later in the year, with a distinctive gray metallic exterior complimented by black stripes and blue hash marks. For Corvette buyers looking to pair race-grade power and handling, there is always the Z06.

    Read our Chevrolet Corvette road test. And see our Chevrolet Camaro first drive.  

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    2017 Acura MDX Gains Advanced Safety Features, Hybrid Option

    With the introduction of the 2017 MDX, Acura is taking the approach that if one freshening is good, two must be even better. Following its 2014 redesign and 2016 updates, the refreshed 2017 Acura MDX gets a new hybrid version, standard advanced safety features, and styling tweaks that feature a grille emblem worthy of the heavyweight champion.

    The biggest news for consumers is the inclusion of the AcuraWatch safety system as standard equipment across the MDX line—a move we applaud. This safety suite uses radar and cameras to monitor other vehicles and lane markings to determine if it should intervene to prevent or mitigate a collision. AcuraWatch includes forward-collision warning (FCW), automatic-emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning (LDW), and lane-keeping assist (LKA), among other systems.

    In addition to the standard safety equipment, Acura is also rolling out a new powertrain for the MDX. A Sport Hybrid trim level will feature a 3.0-liter V6 engine that is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There is an integrated electric motor that sends power to the front wheels, and two electric motors that power the rear wheels. These electric motors combine with the gas engine to produce 325 horsepower, which is 35 more than the non-hybrid MDX puts out. Acura says that EPA fuel economy ratings are likely to be 25 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. In our tests of the Acura MDX we got 21 mpg overall. 

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    The Sport Hybrid will come with a new Active Sport Suspension, and an adjustable driving mode selector, as found in other Acura models, which Acura calls Integrated Dynamics System. It will feature a new Sport+ mode which alters shift points and suspension firmness for a more spirited drive.

    For 2017, all MDX’s will receive styling updates, including a new diamond pentagon grille, updated fog and headlights, and other minor trim changes.

    Consumer Reports supports automakers making automatic emergency braking standard equipment on every vehicle. Acura’s action comes on the heels of our new Overall Score, which rewards manufacturers for having standard forward-collision warning and automatic braking. Honda, Acura’s parent company, is one of the manufacturers that has agreed to make the feature standard by 2022, and we hope they quickly add this feature as standard equipment to their non-luxury vehicles, as well.

    Read our complete Acura MDX road test.

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    BeON Home Protection System Lights Up Your Home When You're Away

    More companies are breaking into the home security business one lightbulb at a time. Manufacturers have figured out that LED lightbulbs, with their semi-conductor chips and electronic circuitry, are ideal for housing sensors, cameras, or microphones designed to protect the home from intruders. So the experts at Consumer Reports tested the BeON Home Protection System.

    Noisy alarms and door locks that slow down burglars are common deterrents to break-ins. So is lighting, when used to create a lived-in look when you’re not home. The $200 BeON Home Protection System contains three LED bulbs, each housing a microphone, rechargeable battery, and BlueTooth.

    “Your home is very personal. Your home protection should be too,” says a statement on BeON’s website. “Use BeON bulbs with your current routine, your own doorbell and your existing alarms—saving yourself both time and money.” The company offers a 100-day trial, promising free returns and a full refund if you are not satisfied.

    How BeON Works
    After each LED bulb is placed in a light fixture in your home, you can program them using the BeON Home app—it works with smartphones and tablets that use BlueTooth 4.0. The bulbs’ software learns your patterns and can mimic your typical usage by turning the lights on and off when you’re away from home. The system also has settings that turn the lights on and off in a timed sequence when the doorbell rings, or turns them on when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.

    Our Test Results

    BeON works as promised, though we question if it prevents break-ins. You have to hope the burglar isn’t too bright. Each time the doorbell is rung, the lights turn on and off in the same sequence. A clever burglar might catch on when nobody ever answers the door. And lights automatically turning on and off during the day might tip off thieves, since most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to the FBI.

    Our tests also found that these LEDs provide the same amount of light as 60-watt incandescents, and we liked that the LEDs could also operate on battery power during a power outage. They’ll last 10 hours on the dimmest setting, or 20 minutes on the brightest.

    BeON is a work in progress, and we’ll watch for software app updates to see how it evolves.

    Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.

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    Updated 2017 Toyota Highlander Gets More Safety and Performance

    The 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV is updated with a new eight-speed transmission, more power, and a slew of available safety features.

    For years, the Highlander dominated our midsized SUV ratings, scoring the coveted Top Pick crown with its combination of comfort, fuel economy, easy day-to-day livability, and strong reliability. It’s no mean feat to knock such a strong contender like the Highlander out of CR’s top spot, but the Kia Sorento did just that.  

    Toyota, not a company to rest on its laurels, just introduced its 2017 model with a clear statement: We’re back.

    All 2017 Highlanders will be available with Toyota’s Safety Sense P suite of safety equipment, including pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. All models also can be equipped with a pedestrian pre-collision system, which uses a camera and radar to detect objects in the road and prompts the driver to brake with audio and visual alerts. The system will also automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t take action. The XLE trim line will also get blind-spot monitoring as standard equipment.

    Top-level Limited Platinum models will come standard with a 360-degree bird’s-eye view camera, using four cameras mounted on the front, the side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to deliver a panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings on the dashboard’s center screen.

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    Other changes for the 2017 model include more horsepower for the 3.5-liter V6, which is paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. All V6 models (except the LE) will come standard with a new start/stop system to save fuel.

    The base powertrain will remain the 2.7-liter four-cylinder paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. All Hybrid models continue with the continuously variable transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is standard on Hybrid models; the gas-only versions continue to be offered in all- or front-wheel drive.

    A new sporty SE model joins the line and gets 19-inch wheels, a stiffer suspension, and various interior and exterior trim pieces to set it apart from the mainstream Highlanders. The Highlander Hybrid adds two more affordable trim lines (LE and XLE) to accompany the current high-grade Limited and Platinum models.

    Depending on the trim level, you have the choice of second-row captain’s chairs (providing seating for seven) or second-row bench seats that will allow you to pack in up to eight people. Finally, the interior gets four more USB ports.

    The updates will keep the Highlander competitive, and they address some of our criticisms, such as the limited availability of advanced safety systems. However, we are not seeing measures to address our road test findings that the Highlander is not as quiet or plush-riding as the previous generation.

    The 2017 models will hit showrooms in the fall of 2016.

    Read our complete Toyota Highlander road test

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    Redesigned 2017 Subaru Impreza Brings Safety, Styling Updates, and More Room

    Subaru unveiled its redesigned Impreza compact at the New York auto show, highlighted by more available safety equipment, a larger interior, and a touch more sporty flare. Still available in both sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, the Impreza continues to be offered with standard all-wheel drive.

    The company says the 2017 Impreza rides on a new platform with a longer wheelbase and a wider cabin. The new Impreza is said to have a stiffer body than the outgoing model to improve stability and ride comfort while also suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness.

    The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine now makes 152 horsepower (up from 148). The standard transmission is a continuously variable unit; no manual is offered. The CVT in high trim lines comes with a “manual mode” with paddle shifters that allow the driver to override the transmission through seven pre-set ratios.

    Fuel economy estimates were not disclosed. 

    The Impreza will be available with the company’s EyeSight suite of safety equipment, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are also available.

    A somewhat uncommon feature is a new reverse automatic braking system, which can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while backing up. All models come with a standard rearview camera.

    A new Impreza 2.0i Sport model joins the line. It includes different suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, aluminum pedals, and other interior and exterior trim bits. Call it WRX light.

    Other trim lines include 2.0i base, Premium, and Limited. We’re pleased to see that the top-trim Limited model now comes with six-way power driver’s seat—a first for the Impreza.

    On the infotainment front, all Imprezas get the company’s latest infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

    The 2017 Impreza lands in dealerships in late 2016.

    Read the road test on the current Subaru Impreza.

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

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    Frigidaire Professional Refrigerator Offers High-Styling For Less

    The Frigidaire Professional line of appliances, which launched in 2015, promises premium styling and performance at a more affordable price point, compared with the Sub-Zero refrigerators and Wolf ranges of the world. The new Frigidaire appliances come in standard sizes, unlike many pro-style behemoths, so you can get a higher-end look without renovating your kitchen.

    We recently tested the Frigidaire Professional FPBS2777RF French-door refrigerator, $2,300. It does bring several sleek touches to the category, but from a performance perspective, it’s strictly middle of the pack. 

    Let’s start with the design. The stainless steel finish is in keeping with the industrial look, and the material’s fingerprint resistant coating cuts down on cleaning. The sturdy handles add to the refrigerator’s hefty form and feel, plus it comes with an optional trim kit, including louvers that can take the exterior height from 70 inches up to 79 inches. All in all, an impressive looking refrigerator. 

    As for performance, the Frigidaire Professional FPBS2777RF proved capable in our tests, delivering very good temperature control, energy efficiency, and quietness. But several dozen French-door refrigerators earned higher overall scores in our refrigerator Ratings, including the nearly 20 models on our recommended list.

    The Frigidaire’s so-so ease of use score was a factor in the scoring. Though it has several nice convenience features, including an external ice and water dispenser, spillproof shelves, and an additional icemaker in the freezer, it’s lacking a temperature-controlled meat/deli bin and there’s no light in the freezer. If you can live without those features, and peak performance isn't a priority, the Frigidaire Professional FPBS2777RF is worth a look.

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    Your Retirement Savings Are Big Enough, Study Shows

    If you're worried about your retirement savings, you can probably relax. If you’ve been saving in a 401(k), IRA, or taxable account, you're likely to be just fine, a recent study shows.

    Why? Because Americans who consistently sock away money also end up spending less than they expect to in retirement, according to the Retirement Consumption Gap, a study by Texas Tech University. “There is definitely pervasive underspending” among wealthy retirees, says Christopher Browning, assistant professor of personal financial planning at Texas Tech University and coauthor of the study.

    The research looked at the retirement savings and spending habits of retirees. Browning ran hundreds of portfolio simulations that used different mixes of stocks, bonds, and fixed-rate annuities to see how much retirees could spend each year while being assured they would not run out of money for 30 years. Overall, the research found that retirees have enough in retirement savings that they could spend 8 percent more than they do every year.

    Some people could spend even more than 8 percent, the study showed. Households that started retirement with investable assets of at least $650,000, for example, could spend 38 to 54 percent more and not run out of money for 30 years. Households with assets of more than $100,000 but less than $200,000 could spend between 17 and 25 percent more based on their mix of stocks, bonds, and fixed annuities.

    So why are retirees not spending more? It could be in order to leave a bequest or to have enough money to cover the costs of later-life care.  But even when the researchers reran the numbers starting with an assumption that 40 percent of a household’s assets on their retirement date would be held in reserve, the median underspending for wealthier households was still more than 40 percent.

    This information aside, not everyone should be worry-free. In its new annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 40 percent of respondents had no retirement savings at all, beyond what they have earned through Social Security or a pension from an employer.

    Boost your confidence in your financial future by taking these steps: 

    • Create a retirement savings plan. Consider hiring a financial planner to help you nail down a safe-meaning sustainable-retirement income plan. In a recent survey, about half of pre-retirees with a written plan say they are confident about their retirement, compared to less than 20 percent without a formal plan.
    • Recognize your spending will fall through retirement. According to EBRI, spending for a 65-year-old retiree decreases by 19 percent by age 75, and spending is halved for retirees who live to 95. Morningstar Investment Management retirement expert David Blanchett found that even though later-life medical expenses tend to rise, reduced spending elsewhere, such as  on entertainment and travel, offsets those costs.
    • Understand the shortcomings of retirement calculators. Even the best online tools, such as the T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Calculator, have an embedded flaw: They assume that your spending will be constant throughout your retirement and that there will be automatic annual inflation adjustments. Not only will you likely spend less through retirement but you will also have the ability to adjust your spending in the face of portfolio declines. Skipping an annual inflation adjustment when the market dips or even scaling back your withdrawal in a year following a bear-market is a sure-fire way to extend the life of your investment portfolio.

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    2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Hardtop Model Looks to Make a Great Car Better

    The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF (Mazda-speak for “retractable fastback”) looks to make an already great sports car better. This new model features a retractable hardtop and powered rear window to let in the sun and breezes.

    And while the three-piece top magically disappears, Mazda says that its fastback bodystyle doesn’t negatively impact trunk space compared to the soft-top model. Another part of the car that seemed to disappear is the “Miata” name…

    Mazda claims that the roof can be opened or closed up to speeds of 6 mph—handy if you get caught in a sudden rain storm. And with the added hardware and mechanisms, it’s likely that this new model will weigh slightly more than the standard Miata.

    This is not the only time Mazda has offered a hardtop (removable or retractable) version of its long-loved sportster. But it is the first time such a sweeping fastback silhouette has been crafted on a Miata. And it looks fabulous in person.

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    Certainly, one of the goals of this hardtop is to produce a quieter driving experience. It’s a safe guess that top-up driving might quell some of the constant din experienced with our tested soft-top model, no doubt helped with the new model’s sound-absorbing headliner and other extra insulation.

    While we’ve yet to drive this version, we imagine that it will produce the same zesty fun as the regular, cloth-top Miata. The 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission is one of the most satisfying powertrains in the business. Handling is enjoyable, engaging, and predictable—just as a sports car should be. Its 34 mpg overall fuel economy is just icing on the cake.

    Mazda must be doing something right: The company says that the Miata will soon reach the “1 million mark in global production volume.” That’s many miles of smiles.

    Pricing and on-sale dates were not announced.

    Read our complete Mazda MX-5 Miata road test.

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    Beware of the Fake Food Festival

    Have you an appetite for the occasional food festival? So do fraudsters, who have been serving up a new twist on credit card scams.

    Here’s how the fake food festival fraud works: Scammers advertise a taste-bud-tantalizing smorgasbord through social-media sites, known and trusted companies like Groupon, and local radio stations and newspapers.

    The advertisements appear genuine and the ticket prices are mouthwatering: A Facebook invitation to a food festival touted $49 tickets for all-you-can-eat crab, salad, pasta, bread, and desserts at a recent “Hot Garlic Crab Feed Houston” or $99 for VIP tickets that offered an additional helping of steak. Food festival fans clicked on the link to buy tickets and tapped in their credit card number. But when they showed up at the “location” of the food festival, there was nothing there: no event, no festival, and no explanation. The only sign of the “food festival” was a crowd of similarly confused ticket holders. Refunds? Forget about it.

    Over the past three months, “Hot Garlic Crab Feed,” “The Super Crab Festival,” and “The Dungeness Crab Association” and similarly questionable events have been touted in 21 cities around the United States. The fake festivals started in the San Francisco Bay Area, moved south to Los Angeles, spread to Phoenix and Houston, and are currently being marketed in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Philadelphia. 

    Uncover the Fake Food Festival

    While you can always battle fraudulent charges with the help of your bank or credit card company, it’s best to avoid being suckered in the first place. Protect yourself by taking precautions:

    • Examine the ticketing website. Does it look professional or slapdash? Some of the words on the dungenesscrabassociation.com page, for example, are truncated and there are enough grammatical mistakes scattered throughout the linked pages that your scam antenna should tingle.
    • Suspect the redirect. When you click on a link for a food festival be suspicious if you’re redirected to an unrelated site to “buy” tickets.
    • Check the contact information. In the case of a fake festival, the telephone number wouldn't work. The email address would bounce back your inquiry back.  

    Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to trick you. Stay alert and do your research before handing over your credit card number for a fake food festival. 

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    What Personal Data Stays on a Phone?

    The wrangling between the FBI and Apple over an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters in December highlights an area of confusion for many smartphone users. It's hard to know what personal data resides only on our smartphones, and what is also stored in the cloud.

    To recap: In February, a court ordered Apple to help FBI investigators hack into the killer’s phone. The company refused to write the software necessary to comply. And since then, personal data safety has been pitted against national security in a debate pulling in politicians, mobile security experts, and privacy advocates.

    On March 21, the case took a new twist, when the government said it may have found a way to defeat the iPhone’s security without Apple’s help.

    You might think that in our highly connected age all personal data on a smartphone would also be stored on cloud computers. Don’t cellular companies and websites retain records of phone calls, emails exchanges, bank transactions, and other tasks performed with mobile devices? But if that’s true, why would the FBI need to hack into the handset?

    The subject doesn’t matter just for national security. Any time you use a mapping program, send a text message, or upload a photograph to a social account, some personal data is generated. Much of that data does migrate to big computers owned by corporations such as Google and Facebook. But not all of it.

    Understanding the details can help you predict what companies may have access to your personal data. It can also help you understand what information can be recovered if a phone is lost—and what data might be vulnerable to hackers.

    Here’s a brief explanation of where your phone data is stored, broken out by type of file. 

    Your Photos

    Photographs taken by an smartphone reside solely on the phone until they are shared or backed up. Many iPhone users have their pictures saved automatically to iCloud, and both Android and iPhone users can have photos automatically backed up to other services such as Google Photos. (When personal photos were stolen from Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities in 2014, the criminals did it by accessing their iCloud accounts.)

    A user can also manually save photos to a cloud service or computer, or share them through Facebook, email, or another forum.

    The phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino killer, hadn’t been backed up for more than a month, so it’s possible that the phone retains pictures no one else has seen. For the rest of us, avoiding backups means that photos remain private—but vulnerable to loss if the phone is stolen or the data accidentally erased. 

    Standard Text Messages

    We’ll get to Apple’s iMessages in a moment. But ordinary text messages transmitted from one phone to another have to pass through cell providers’ computer systems. Carriers retain metadata, or information on when text messages were sent, and to whom. That data is used for billing. However, most carriers only store the body of texts for as long as it takes to transmit them—once the message hits its target, the data is deleted. Verizon is an exception, though it doesn’t hang onto the data for long. “Text message content is generally retained for a week or less,” Richard Young, a spokesman for the carrier's legislative, regulatory and policy office, says. (The company wouldn’t say why it retains the data.)

    iMessages

    Apple’s own messaging app, iMessage, works differently from conventional texting services.

    “Carriers have no metadata on iMessages,” says Dan Guido, a security researcher and Hacker in Residence at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. “It all gets sent to and from Apple.”

    All the cell network knows is that it’s transmitting an encrypted message to Apple’s servers—and if the files are sent through Wi-Fi, they bypass the cellular carriers.

    Any messages that have been backed up can be recovered—and Apple shares such information with law enforcement when provided with the right legal documentation. (Yes, Apple can decrypt iMessages stored on iCloud.) That only applies to iMessages that have been backed up by the user, either manually or through automatic backups. The company doesn’t retain the messages as they are routed from one device to another.

    Where You've Been

    When it comes to location data, cellphones are natural born snitches. Law enforcement has long been able to ask carriers to find a customer in real time. If there’s an ongoing kidnapping investigation, for instance, a cellular provider can often use multiple towers to triangulate a phone’s position; this method can also be used to locate phones when they make 911 calls.

    Additionally, cellular companies can peer into their records to see where phones were located when making ordinary calls a year or more in the past. However, those records are highly imprecise—phone calls aren’t always routed through the nearest tower, and towers can have a range of dozens of miles. If you remember how to calculate the area of a circle, you’ll see why records may only indicate where a phone was within several square miles, or even hundreds of square miles, when it made a call.

    Smartphones also have GPS chips, and mobile app developers may be able trace everywhere a phone’s been. Google Maps, for example has an optional feature called Timeline that stores detailed location data for years, if it’s turned on in a phone’s settings. Precise doesn't begin to describe this data—you can look years into the past to see where you walked or drove on a particular day. Law enforcement can request these detailed Timeline histories from Google with a warrant.

    Some geographic data is only stored locally, on the handset. The iPhone has a feature called Frequent Locations, which generates a list of specific spots you've visited, as well when and how often.

    “We don't do tracking of our users’ devices, so we don't have location logs in the way that, say, a cellular company would with their cell tower pings,” says a senior Apple engineer, speaking on condition that he not be named. Frequent Locations, he confirms, “is done locally on the device, as opposed to by Apple collecting everyone's location.”

    Apple says the feature is intended to offer services such as predictive traffic routing. The phone can learn your commuting schedule, and offer up what Apple hopes are useful notifications, such as how long your drive home may be, based on current traffic conditions. Android phones have the same capability.

    Frequent Locations can be handy, but once you look at the records, the level of detail can be unsettling. If you’ve been to your home 58 times in the past two months, it will tell you that, along with what time you arrived and left each day. (To find this data on an iPhone go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. Tap on the name of a town in the list of places you’ve been to see the details.)

    The feature can be turned off. However, if it was running on Farook’s iPhone, it could contain a record of locations the killer frequented in the days and weeks before the shooting.

    Email, Contacts, and More

    Emails are stored in the cloud—if you use Gmail, for instance, the content of your correspondence resides on Google servers. It can be accessed by law enforcement armed with the right warrants. Contact lists are stored online only if they’ve been backed up by the user.

    Now, this isn’t a complete list of the data generated by smartphones. There are browser histories, records of items purchased on Amazon, movies watched, and notes or videos created by mobile apps. Much of this data is stored somewhere in the cloud, and if investigators knew about every online service used by a smartphone owner, they could probably request subpoenas and uncover most of it.  But no amount of such sleuthing would rule out the possibility that something important remained on the phone, and only on the phone.

    That sort of uncertainty can be haunting, says one former prosecutor who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity. “Imagine if there was another terrorist attack, and it came out that there was something on a phone that might have helped stop it,” he says. “You don't always know what you're looking for. You just want all of it.”

    That’s why there’s a genuine conflict at the heart of this national debate.

    If companies such as Apple can be compelled to write software that undercuts security protections, security experts say, personal and financial data will be gradually become more accessible to hackers based both in the United States and abroad. And if tech companies can’t be compelled to do that, some clues in criminal investigations, even ones involved horrendous crimes, may never be discovered.

    However the FBI fares in its new attempt to hack into Farook's iPhone, those tradeoffs will persist. 

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    California Regulators Approve Merger between Centene and Health Net Subject to Key Conditions Sought By Consumer Advocates

    Merger Will Require Strong Oversight By Regulators to Ensure Consumers Benefit

    SACRAMENTO, CA  The Department of Managed Healthcare and the California Department of Insurance announced today that they are approving the proposed merger between Centene, Corp. and Health Net, Inc., subject to a number of conditions designed to protect consumers from potential pitfalls of the deal. While these conditions offer some protection for consumers from unjustified health insurance premium rates and require the newly merged plan to improve its services, state regulators must monitor the insurer closely to ensure compliance, according to Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports.

    “The benefits of health plan mergers overall are clear for the insurers, but not for consumers,” said Dena Mendelsohn, Staff Attorney at Consumers Union. “We know from past experience that market consolidation usually comes with higher prices. State regulators will need to ensure that Centene and Health Net hold up their end of the bargain to make health coverage affordable and high quality.”

    In July, 2015, Centene and Health Net announced their plan to merge with Missouri-based Centene acquiring the California-based Health Net, Inc. This merger is subject to approval by both DMHC and the California Department of Insurance (CDI), each of whom reviewed the proposed merger separately. Consumers Union questioned whether consolidation of the health plans was in the best interest of consumers, and testified on current quality issues and the risk that the newly merged plan may actually eliminate some insurance products offered in California.

    As announced by both DMHC and CDI today, approval of the merger of Centene and Health Net comes with a number of contractual obligations, including:

    • A commitment to maintain key officials and personnel in California, as well as an obligation on Centene to increase its proficiency in the California commercial health plan market.

    • An agreement to sustain and grow its health plan products offered in California, including those offered through Covered California.

    • Quickly resolving on-going plan performance issues and improving quality scores by 2019.

    • Creating and making publicly available an accurate and complete provider directory by July 2016.

    • Community investments—such as grants to support consumer assistance programs, programs designed to improve health outcomes in underserved areas of California, and contributions aimed at strengthening the Medi-Cal health care delivery system—totaling approximately $140 million as well as investments of $200 million for providing new jobs in an economically distressed community in California.

    • An obligation for the merged company to come to the table with DMHC to resolve any issues regarding proposed premium rate increases that the Department considers unreasonable or unjustified.

    The agreements announced today evidence that many of the consumer concerns were heard by DMHC and CDI. Affordability concerns remain, however, and whether consumer interests are truly protected in the coming years depends on ongoing enforcement by the department. “We recognize that improvement takes time,” noted Ms. Mendelsohn, “and we look to the regulators to continue to pressure these and other plans to continuously improve starting on day one.”

    Media Contact:
    Michael McCauley, Consumers Union, 415.4316747 ext 7606 or mmccauley@consumer.org

     

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    Lincoln Navigator Concept Hints at What's to Come in 2018 SUV

    Lincoln took the wraps off a classy Navigator Concept at the New York auto show, replete with gullwing doors. The concept gives a strong clue as to what an all-new Navigator will look like when it goes on sale in the second half of 2017 as a 2018 model.

    To update the current Navigator’s dated interior, Lincoln’s design team took inspiration from luxury sailboats and yachts. These vessels influenced the teak interior bits and a wardrobe management system, which for a boat holds gear for a day spent out on the water. The cabin features six of Lincoln’s new, highly contoured, 30-way adjustable seats. The concept’s shifter buttons were inspired by the keys on a piano.

    Power comes from the same 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the current Navigator, but with power bumped to over 400 horsepower (from 380 hp). The driver can swap between several drive modes to adjust steering, suspension settings, and even noise levels.

    The concept has pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, a lane-keeping assist system, and a 360-degree display, which integrates views from four cameras to create an overhead image of the entire vehicle.

    See our complete New York auto show coverage.

    While we were told the gullwing doors will definitely not make it into production, some aspects of the Navigator Concept will. For instance, the front and rear styling is said to be quite similar to the truck’s final design. And although we won’t see the concept’s deployable three-step “concertina” entry system, a two-step version is likely. Lincoln has a strong history of production vehicles staying fairly true to concepts, with the most recent example being the new Continental sedan.

    Lincoln’s claim that the new Navigator will bring “quiet luxury” to buyers of full-size luxury SUVs could bode well, as our testing has shown the current Navigator is neither as quiet nor as plush as its GM competitors.

    Read our current Lincoln Navigator road test.  

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    Why Dirt Gets Your Dishes Really Clean

    If you wonder why dishes come out of your dishwasher with bits of food still stuck to them, it could be because you’re rinsing them first. It seems counterintuitive, but prerinsing can make your dishes come out dirtier, not cleaner. That goes for glasses, pots, and silverware, too.

    The reason is that most dishwashers costing $500 or more sold in the past five years or so have a sensor that determines how thorough a wash is needed. At the start of the cycle, it rinses the dishes and then checks how dirty the water is to determine the proper amount of time and water to get everything clean. If you’ve already rinsed off much of the muck, the sensor misreads the dishes as already fairly clean.

    When that happens, the dishwasher gives them just a light wash, and items come out less than sparkling. To avoid that lackluster result, don’t rinse; just scrape off bits of loose food. And use one of the detergents that did best in our dishwasher detergent tests.

    Dishwashers to Consider

    Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the May 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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