2019 Nissan LEAF SL – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Ok, let’s start with Good News, Bad News. The Good News – for 2019 there’s a new LEAF PLUS model with more power, enhanced tech and improved range. The Bad News – There wasn’t one in the fleet to test, so we go the current 40 KWH battery model. Actually, it’s not that bad, in fact after spending a week with our LEAF, we’re not sure most buyers will need that new PLUS model. A new LEAF Introduced as a 2018 model, the all-new builds on the goodness that made the previous – and continues to be – the world’s best-selling EV. The new model looks more like a member of the Nissan family. Smart, contemporary, stylish.  Like the Kicks we recently tested, the LEAF features Nissan staples like the signature V-Motion grille, the boomerang lights, and the “floating” roof. Letting it stand out from its siblings, there’s a clear-blue …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – By Carl Malek

When we last met the Mitsubishi Outlander, it was in its base 2.4 liter form and it proved to be a very reliable steed, with the one we had impressing us with its Prius like fuel economy on a summer road trip from our Metro Detroit office to Wisconsin for a press association event. But what if your an SUV buyer who thinks even this insane display of fuel economy isn’t enough for your needs? Mitsubishi has you covered with the all new Outlander PHEV. But does it retain some of the subtle charms that allowed its four cylinder counterpart to crawl its way into a well deserved spot in our hearts? or has it lost some of its basic virtues in the quest for even more fuel economy?   Budget Focused Style: When viewed alongside its pure gasoline powered cousin, the Outlander PHEV shares a lot of the same …

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2018 Kia Soul EV+ Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

You may have heard the term “Range Anxiety” when it comes to Electric Vehicles. (EV to you and me). It describes the nervousness you have over not having enough range to get where you’re going. With a gas car, it’s a stop at the local sip ‘n go. But with an EV, if you can find a place to plug in, it’s still between 45 minutes to a couple hours to get a meaningful charge. But now we have a new term. EV Anxiety? This is different. For many of us enthusiasts, we look at the EV as the death knell of the gas-powered machines we love. Fully autonomous, electric vehicles – even without a steering wheel – look to be our ultimate future. And while that may be decades away, that can be enough to make many of us give the stink-eye to any EV that glides by us. …

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2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A friend just asked about buying a Diesel-engine car. Diesel? Really? It seems like that boat has sailed a while ago, with VW’s diesel-gate putting the powertrain on the chopping block for most passenger cars. Hybrids and EV’s are where it’s going – for their combination of low or zero emissions, hefty government subsidies (ok, those may go away) and driving fun. Yes, driving fun. And one of the most interesting of these vehicles is the new Honda Clarity. A new way to roll Well, the Honda Clarity actually gives you three ways to roll – if you’re on the left coast, at least. There’s the Hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell (California only, lease only), pure EV Clarity Electric (California and Pacific Northwest only, lease only) and our tester, a plug-in hybrid – available for sale, everywhere! The plug-in hybrid is an interesting way to go – a mix of true …

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2018 Kia Niro PHEV LX – ~240MPG Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Last year we tested the Kia Niro hybrid, and it came away as one of our favorite vehicles of the year. Here was a hybrid with the practicality of a small crossover, excellent fuel economy, and best of all, it was truly fun to drive. We’d gladly have one in our driveway – and it would make a perfect day-to-day partner to some rip-snorting, fuel guzzling, socially questionable weekend toy. Plugging into the latest and greatest While hybrids have been around for quite a while now and become extremely successful, getting people into full EV electric vehicles has been a much greater challenge. Two main reasons cause problems – range and charge time. It even spawned a new psychological phenomenon – range anxiety. Clearly there was room for a middle ground, where people can enjoy the benefits of EV without the anxiety. Welcome the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), where …

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2018 INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept – Photo & Video Flyaround

The Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept is not an instant love-at-first-sight type of machine. Its Tesla overtones are quite obvious.  And not always for the best. The white front grille and the ultra rounded fenders do come to life in person.  The grille is not just a slat shield but a 4D bending thing of great beauty.  Check out the new depth on the Infiniti badge up front — directly off the Prototype 9 open-wheel EV racer in the background of tna few of these shots. And as smooth and dolphin-like as the tail is… keep an eye on the upper slashes in bodywork above the horizontal light-bar.  There is menace and ingenuity in this design.  If might not be very practical for production purposes… but does show a clear look at Infiniti’s future face. 2018 INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept You May Also Like:2018 Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD – First Drive …

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2018 Mercedes-AMG Project ONE – Amelia Island Concours 2018 Photoset

The AMG Project ONE has an undeniable magic in the flesh that is absent in most photography. The slinky, almost formless nature of the bodywork is actually a pure, emotive skin wrapped tight around each wheelhouse like cheekbones.  A supermodel of a machine if there ever was one. The dimensions alone are damn near Chiron large, for one, but the cabin tucked inboard radically too.  A lower than low roof and snorkel intake up top are almost casual in their hardcore obviousness. Watching the car arrive silently was quite a spectacle indeed.  Project ONE is a star! Even with its wide turning radius and excess of grey plastic…. 2018 Mercedes-AMG Project ONE You May Also Like:2018 Lexus LC500h at Amelia Island Concours [44 Photos] Kicking off the slew of posts we have to write from the always-fun Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Amelia Island’s tight layout in the Ritz Carlton hotel …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus – By Carl Malek

Ever wondered how you could make a Toyota Prius even more fuel efficient and environmentally conscious, while also cramming even more convenience features and technology into its distinctive wrapper at the same time? This conundrum reminds us of some of the great engineering challenges that America has faced over the years. While brilliant minds, technological advances, and the occasional rocket scientist or two played a hand in solving these fore-mentioned problems, Toyota had a delicate balancing act to achieve when it came time to build its latest Prii offering. The end result is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, but does it succeed in pushing the relatively conservative envelope of the Prius into unexplored frontiers? or does it end up being washed up? The exterior styling of our boldly hued Hypersonic Red Prime Plus tester tests the limits of aesthetic taste just as much as the standard Prius does. The front …

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4.6s 2018 BMW i8 Roadster Is No-Brainer Ragtop

The i8 is amazing to drive!  In Sport+ this machine opens up its full 374HP and rockets forward with glee.  Triple turbo thrumming behind you and popping out racy noises from the exhausts. But the i8 has a problem.  It is so light because of all that carbon fiber.  Which is expensive. And intrudes on the doorsill in a major way.  This makes i8’s beautiful swan wing doors make sense.  They are very-much needed to help get in and out.  With a low roof on the coupe, this has been a barrier to the car’s wider success. This Roadster hopes the reinvigorate sales of the $150k flagship.  By doing more with less. Less roof, more joy.  Not quite a full roadster with the flying buttresses of the rear three-quarter continue on the roadster.  But there is airiness between the uprights and surely enough to make the even more delightful. Makes …

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