2019 Nissan Kicks SR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Before we start this review, a moment of silence for the Nissan Juke. Yes, that odd, amphibious-looking crossover that was a bunch of fun to drive, interesting to look at, and a breath of fresh air in the stuffy small crossover segment. And now to the all-new Nissan Kicks, the Juke’s replacement. While it certainly is more conventional, it does a lot of things very well, and comes in at a bargain price. That’s a different kind of a kick, to be sure…. Goodbye Froggy, Hello Smurfy While some at Nissan tried to tell us that the Juke looked like …

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2018 Buick Encore Premium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the new Buick Enclave, and found it to be an excellent blend of style, performance and luxury. What if you want all that, but something in a smaller package, perfect for running around the city as well as the open road? Well then, how about the Buick Encore?  Refreshed in 2017, the small SUV has proven to be exceptionally popular – it’s Buick best-selling model – and it shows how quickly the brand has moved from stodgy to hip and cool in a short time. Not the urban lumberjack, Jack. In the land of small SUV’s trying …

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2017 Kia NIRO Touring – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

The Deep Cerulean blue Kia Niro was waiting for me and the wife at the Ft. Lauderdale airport parking lot, and it was a welcome sight after a long day of airline travel. We dropped the rear seatbacks down, and the generous 54.5 cubic feet cargo area swallowed up two huge suitcases, that in a bygone era would have been labeled “steamer trunks”. A set of golf clubs, and the carry-on bags were added easily. As we eased into the front seats, we basked in the glory of comfortable perforated leather seats, with all the leg room we could want.  …

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2018 Kia Rio EX 5-door – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve often said it’s more interesting to see how a manufacturer makes their inexpensive cars vs. the big-ticket items. We recently tested the Genesis G80 Sport, one of the most lux of the Kia/Hyundai/Genesis family, and came away mightily impressed. How about the other end of the spectrum, Kia Rio? Can the littlest Kia win us over? Welcome to the Rodney Dangerfield section of the auto market. It’s hard to get any respect. The little Rio is the cheapest car K-H-G sells in the U.S., and while the brand has made huge strides, especially in the last 10 years, it’s …

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2017 Mazda CX-5 GT Premium AWD – HD Road Test Review

The compact crossover segment has a ‘masculinity gap.’  There are more than a dozen of these cute utes on the market, but none of them really looks or drives manly.  Yes, the Audi Q3 and Honda CR-V are good cars. But do they increase or decrease their driver’s sex appeal? Among the dudes of the world coming up from econoboxes and blah mid-size sedans, CUVs are theoretically perfect machines.  A bit of all-weather ability here, a dash of extra practicality there. Like it or not, people buy cars based on strange psychology.  Men and women are usually both fine with …

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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Base Automatic – Road Test Review + 2 Videos

There are cars that are simply better than they have to be. They go beyond just beating their obvious rivals and into another level of long-term partnership potential for their drivers. Such is the case with the five-door Hyundai Elantra GT.  This variant of the best-selling sedan shares much of its drivetrain cabin, but none of its exterior or platform design. It enters a market segment that has more strong rivals than ever.  Focus and Cruze hatchback might be easy to beat.  But how about the new Civic Sport 5-door, Mazda3 and VW Golf?  Those are some seriously good global …

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2017 Fiat 500C 1.4L Auto – Road Test Review

Is “hilarious” a helpful car description?  What about uproarious laughter at redline on the video review? Not really.  You migtht think the guy is laughing at the the car when he is actually laughing along with it. Either way, a serious case of the giggles comes standard on the Fiat 500C. The $17k 500 Cabrio is actually the cheapest way into a softtop in the USA for 2017 and 2018.  But with hard metal roof pillars, some might say this isn’t an all-the-way cabriolet. It might not be a full ragtop but it is delightfully sunny in the little Fiat …

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2018 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

There’s a lot of talk lately that the small car is on its last legs. And you-know-who is to blame…the crossover. It started quite a while ago with SUVs swaying the public, with their rugged looks, great versatility, and comfy, tall seating position. Then came the small SUV wave, and it’s become a Tsunami – the Nissan Rogue is currently the best selling non-pickup vehicle (full-size pickups are still big business) in the country, with a passel of CR-V’s, RAV4’s, and CX-5’s and more not far behind. Still, the smallest of the small cars felt safe until recently, when the …

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2018 Jaguar E-Pace – 300HP CUV Pricing and USA Launch Details!

Jumping for joy! This new Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV is the perfect model for Jag right now.  Hot on the heels of the F-Pace SUV’s knockout launch, this E-Pace is firmly on the way for the 2018 model-year — and even has USA pricing in full included below!  Spoiler alert: it runs from $39k to about $55k. While the I-Pace name has been linked to a full EV concept from the big cat, this new E-Pace is a close relative.  Sharing a platform and much design and tech, they are both starting assembly in the next six months. Jaguar is …

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