2018 Ford F-150 Raptor 4×4 SuperCrew – Road Test Review

You really learn a hell of a lot when driving the world’s coolest pickup truck on the daily for a week. The first things might be about yourself.  No matter how good you might feel on a typical day, there is another level of happiness at least 3X greater!  Lording over all traffic with this menacing widebody is great for the soul and for an instant upgrade in self-confidence. You also learn about the folks around you.  Colleagues who might not talk much will become Raptor fanboys.  Circling and touching the badass FORD grille, the enormous tires and the sheer machismo of every angular panel. There is a whole truckload of info to actually learn about the vehicle, too.  We discovered some awesome traits indeed – but with one nagging issue that never really fades from your Raptor wishlist.   EXTERIOR The Raptor’s coolest elements are its totally unique stance …

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2019 Subaru Forester Limited – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Subaru owners are faithful. To the vehicles, to the brand, to the ethos. It keeps owners in the fold, and attracts new buyers in big numbers. Like the Prius, Tesla, Jeep and others, people like a brand or model that stands for something. So, you don’t go messing with success. Familiar lines Now that we have an all-new, 5th –generation Forester for 2019, it’s not a big shocker that this model is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. Which is okay, since there wasn’t anything wrong with the previous model. You might have trouble picking the new one out, so here’s some tips. Built on the Subaru Global Platform, the new model is a bit larger, while front, side and rear under guards give a more rugged look. New LED headlights give a fresher front end, while the signature hexagonal grille incorporates active shutters to improve fuel efficiency. New colors, including our …

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2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Sport AWD – Review By Ben Lewis

Have you ever been at a get-together, and it’s ok, but kinda snoozy? You know just about everyone; the talk is the same stuff it always is. Then someone new shows up that’s fun, different and interesting, and all of a sudden, you’re glad you were there. Meet the Alfa Romeo Giulia – the life of the party. You may know Alfa Romeo. The last time the brand sold a vehicle here was in 1995. But this is a famous brand with an amazing heritage. Alfa was the first car to win the World Automobile Championship in 1925, and followed with a win in the first F1 championship. Heck Enzo Ferrari started as a race driver for the brand in 1921. Even more so, Alfa is bona fide in making awesome road cars. Even though their presence was small here in the US, we did have Dustin Hoffman tooling around …

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2019 Hyundai Accent SE – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The honest car. In a world of SUVs and Crossovers dominating the landscape, there’s still a need for an entry-level sedan. Whether you’re just looking for “transportation” a good first car, or even something to dutifully wait for you at the train station, a small well-built sedan can fit the bill. And way back in the day, before the wide array of cars and trucks it now offers – plus brands including Kia and Genesis, Hyundai made their bones on simple, durable sedans. So, it’s no surprise that if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to park your backside, the Hyundai Accent is a great choice. Honestly appealing The new Accent starts out by making you feel a level up – starting with styling. This is a fresh, modern-looking sedan – that also looks a bit larger than you’d expect. For 2019, Hyundai added the chrome grille surround on our …

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2019 Kia Forte S – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It pays to have a good-looking sibling in the family. Especially an automotive family. Let’s say you’re drawn to your friendly neighborhood Kia dealer to see the hot ‘n sexy Stinger sedan. And it’s more than a looker – the 6-cylinder rear wheel drive Stinger we tested was a great performance sedan, with the credentials, capabilities and feel-good pricing to keep the European brands looking over their shoulders. So, when it came time to redesign the company’s small sedan, the Forte, Kia was clever enough to make it’s reasonably-priced, fuel-sipping, value player look like its handsome big brother. So, we have a question – Is the new Forte a baby Stinger…or just stingy? Well, the looks say…hello baby! The previous model was nice looking, blending in the with the crowd of compact sedans. But the new model has picked up the cues of the handsome Stinger, with a long hood, …

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2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The sedan is not dead. Sure, SUVs and Crossovers are the big biz these days, but there are a lot of folks who like sedans. And there are some areas where those SUV’s and Crossovers are still falling short. Take Fuel Economy When it comes to efficiency, a crossover or SUV with its bigger body, poorer aerodynamics and greater weight, is going to be challenged. Yes, they’re getting better, but they’re not there yet. Also, sedans are fighting back with technology from hybrid, to plug-in hybrid, to EV. Take for example, the Honda Accord Hybrid Recently introduced, the new Accord wowed us – great looks, beautiful interior, a great drive –our recent Accord Touring even had a detuned version of the monster Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter turbo engine. What’s not to love? Honda, smart marketer that they are, knows that not …

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2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video

Toyota does not shy away from a challenge. In the face of shrinking interest and sales of four-door sedans, Toyota has gone and made the evergreen Camry seriously better.  This new Camry is easily the best ever, and sets a high bar for its cheapie rivals all the way up to cars like the Audi A4. Nobody might have taken a Camry vs A4 battle very seriously until this generation. This is not just hyperbole: we were firmly expecting a lightly re-heated model with updated tech and style for the 2018 redesign. It is only since driving the top Camry XSE V6 that the newness claims really proved themselves.  It is not hype: this Camry is a strong contender for the best midsize sedan ever made.  We can think of no superiors until hitting the premium brand offerings. Let’s floor the new 301HP sweetheart and see if the all-new platform …

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2018 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Manual – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Classic. What makes a car a classic? Often times, it takes years, or even decades to bestow a title like that. Or an ad on Craigslist for some clapped-out conveyance you should never consider buying. Let’s ignore the latter, and concentrate on the former. And we’re here to tell you that the 2018 Audi A4 is a classic. Classical Elegance Even though the A4 was all-new last year, you might not have noticed. Audi is a founding member of the Evolution, not Revolution design club. And besides, the previous model was pretty sweet. The new model looks a little crisper, a little more athletic, but still has the tasteful lines that seem to age effortlessly through the years. There’s the massive Single frame grille – of all the carmakers, Audi does the big grille best to our eyes. The LED headlights have what Audi calls a “progressive undercut” design, we’ll …

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2018 Lexus RX450h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The 2018 Lexus RX has always been a big seller for Lexus, and the new version is the best one yet. All variants of the mid-size luxury SUV use a 3.5 liter V-6, but the 450h (hybrid) model adds a small battery and three electric motors. There is also a new long version that has been stretched a little over four inches to accommodate 3rd row seating. Like all Lexus vehicles, the RX 450h has high quality interior materials, a quiet ride and smooth braking and steering. Does the hybrid RX really deliver luxury-car feel and econo-car mileage? The V-6 powers only the front wheels. One electric motor assists the front wheels, one drives the rear wheels and a third is used to generate electricity from the gas engine. While the power ratings aren’t up much from RX350, the electric motors and CVT do make the acceleration feel strong no …

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