2020 Mazda CX-9

Road Test Review – 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature – The Ultimate Signature of Luxury?

In a world where many CUVs appear to have been crafted out of soulless toasters and dryers, the 2020 Mazda CX-9 has emerged as a very vibrant exception to the rule. The exterior styling looks like it was lifted from a sports car, and the interior blurs the line between mainstream and luxury. But in a segment where the pool is rapidly becoming a very crowded place, Mazda’s biggest utility offering needs to be sharper than ever. But does it succeed in drawing attention to itself? Or does it miss the mark in other regards?   Sultry Exterior Styling Makes …

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2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

If you’ve been thinking about a 3-row SUV, but you’re not sure, you’re not alone. It seems like the automakers can’t make up their minds either. A few years ago, we saw a bunch of new models feature available third row seats. And while they initially took a bite out of the minivan segment, a lot of them have gone away, or made them low-volume models. Mazda’s CX-9 is one of those. But we wouldn’t weep about limited availability of a 3rd row, because frankly, the largest Mazda SUV is a dynamite vehicle. It’s a Looker We’ve seen a nice …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature – By Carl Malek

When it comes to sporty driving, the folks at Mazda have always had a knack for balancing sporty virtues with enough value and style to make their vehicles a compelling choice for budget minded enthusiasts. For a while, that tradition didn’t necessarily apply to their SUV/CUV offerings. But with the recently revamped CX-5 and CX-3 blowing a blast of fresh air into this segment, it was only fitting that the CX-9 would embrace this wind of change with vigor. Does the 2017 CX-9 gain some new tricks from its suite of updates, or does this people hauler lose out against …

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2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  Is the Mazda CX-9 a Miata for 7? It’s an interesting thing. Used to be, you had needs, you bought a vehicle that fit those needs. Things changed when SUV’s got popular. Suddenly, if you needed a minivan, but didn’t want to be seen in a minivan, you could get something cooler. No more settling. Well, that opened the floodgates. Pickup truck that’s decked out like a luxury sedan? You can get them with more cow on the inside than you can tow on the outside. EV’s that will stomp all over supercars? Here’s your Tesla. Convertible Crossovers? How …

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2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  Mazda’s new 2016 CX-9 is the largest of their three SUV offerings, and in fact, the largest Mazda vehicle they have ever made.  The larger dimensions are put to good use, as there is ample room for driver and passenger in the front, very good leg and headroom for second row passengers, and even decent, if not spacious, room for average size adults in the third row. We had a chance to spend a week with the top of the line Signature AWD model.  Mazda threw everything it had into this one, and it came with a very un-Mazda …

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2017 Mazda CX-9 Revealed: Gorgeous Redesign, Lux Cabin and New Turbo Power

  Official debut of the quite sexy CX-9 crossover from Mazda. This three-row truck goes seriously upmarket outside and in, yet also high-tech with a new turbo powertrain. This new 2.5-liter engine makes 250-horsepower and a stout 310-pound-feet of torque, well adept at chasing the Volvo XC90 T6 or Toyota Highlander.   2017 Mazda CX-9   ALL-NEW MAZDA CX-9 THREE-ROW CROSSOVER DEBUTS AT 2015 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW 18/11/15   CX-9 offers elevated experience with innovative technologies, new SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine and premium, authentic materials When the Mazda CX-9 made its world debut back in 2006, it was an epiphany: …

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2022 Nissan Pathfinder Drive Review

Heading Back To Its Roots For many, the R51 Pathfinder is the peak of the Pathfinder era. It had a stout 4.0 V6 and an optional V8. Power was run through a reliable 5-speed auto to a transfer case with a true low range. Finally it had body on frame architecture, making modifications for off-road much easier. So how does the 2022 Pathfinder stack up? Nissan sent us a pre-production model to test for a week. As such there may be some minor flaws that are still in this vehicle that will be worked out before production begins. 2022 Pathfinder …

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2022 Acura MDX A-Spec review by Ben Lewis

If there’s one brand that’s working hard to reboot itself right now, it’s Acura. Honda’s luxury brand, it’s been cranking out impressive new products for the last year or so, starting with the excellent RDX and even more impressive TLX sedan. Of course, the big money currently is in the 3-row SUV segment, so when we got the new MDX to test we were excited. Let’s see if Acura keeps those fires burning! Bold New Style Like the RDX and TLX, the MDX is sharp, aggressive, and eye-catching. It looks bigger and more powerful, sitting on a wheelbase that’s 2.8-inches …

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2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

You don’t really have to twist our arms to get us to review a Mazda. Just about all of them are great fun to drive, from the Miata sports car up to the big CX-9 SUV. The Mazda 3 and CX30 are also faves. But the heart and soul of Mazda’s lineup – and for most manufacturers – is its compact SUV. And with some nice updates to make it more appealing, we’re excited to take to the road in the CX-5. Stay Classy, CX-5 For 2021 not much has changed on the CX-5’s shapely flanks, and that’s ok, it …

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Best & Worst Cars of 2020: The Metro Detroit/Pandemic Apocalypse Edition

The year 2020 will arguably go down as one of the most significant periods in all of human history. In addition to the social upheaval and rapid political changes that took place, the world was also thrusted into the shackles of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges though, we still remained committed to not only bring you world class news content, but also a steady stream of Michigan made reviews. With that out of the way, Here’s our three best and not so best cars of 2020   The Best: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label It’s no secret that …

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2020 Subaru Ascent by Ben Lewis

What if you love your Subaru Outback but find yourself needing more room, especially a 3rd row of seats? Or if you have a 3-row SUV and always wanted a Subaru to call your own? Easy, get yourself a Subaru Ascent. We worried that the transition to such a large vehicle might dilute the Subie goodness we’ve found in the Outback, Forester, Crosstrek – even the WRX. So, we had to ask. Is the biggest Subaru still true to the cause? Subaru Design on Display Well, it certainly looks that way. If you didn’t have a reference point, you might …

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Mazda adds its signature to the mid-size sedan segment with 2020 Mazda6 Signature

When it comes to straddling the line between mainstream and entry level, we’ll admit that Mazda is a very hard act to follow. When you look at the company’s pricing ladder as well as the segments it competes in, it’s easy to write it off as a mainstream luxury brand. However, the interior designs recently make it clear that Mazda is shooting far above its weight class when it comes to this particular category. With sedans being pinched for sales and attention by a growing army of SUV and CUV entries, they have to embrace new ways of maintaining the …

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2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum L4 AWD by Ben Lewis

The Toyota Highlander has always been a solid choice in the mid-size SUV segment. By solid, we mean, well-built, good value, Toyota reliability. But ahem, nothing to get excited about. Well, until now. For 2020, there’s an all-new Highlander, and while it hasn’t lost any of the things that make a Highlander a stress-free choice, this one’s notably more passionate, from style, to driving, to features. You can now lust after a Highlander and not be locked up in the automotive looney bin. Big and Bold The first thing that hits you is the Highlander’s take-no-prisoners design. It looks bigger, …

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Comparision Battle – 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature vs 2020 Ford Escape Titanium

Shopping for an SUV these days can be a very difficult endeavor for many buyers. There are a wide range of models, trims, and other items all vying to try and get your hard earned dollars when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put a crimp on new vehicle sales across the board, many of the local dealerships we visited in Metro Detroit have reported steady SUV and CUV sales. We decided to compare the 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature and the 2020 Ford Escape Titanium to see how they would …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota Highlander: Platinum Hybrid

It seems that there is no shortage of capable three row SUVs to choose from these days. With the segment currently going through a massive boom time, manufacturers big and small have unleashed a whole swath of models to try and cash in on the pent up demand. The Ford Explorer, Hyundai Palisade and the Honda Pilot are just some of the popular marques out in the market place today. However, the Volkswagen Atlas Mazda CX-9 and the Subaru Ascent are eager to disrupt the established pecking order. One of the veteran offerings is the Toyota Highlander which underwent a …

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2020 Mazda CX-30 by Ben Lewis

Okay, we’re spoiled for choice these days. If you say you can’t find a vehicle to meet your needs, you’re not looking hard enough. Let’s take small cars/SUVs/crossovers. And a manufacturer like Mazda. Need a small car? There’s the Mazda 3 sedan and the Mazda 3 hatchback. We’ve tested both and loved them. Maybe want a small crossover/SUV? There’s the Mazda CX-3. Also, excellent. But you say, well, I want something a little taller than a sedan/hatch, but not quite an SUV. Okay says Mazda – here’s the all-new CX-30! And it might be the perfect blend of all the …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir – By Carl Malek

Buick is in a very interesting state of flux. Once known for having a vibrant car lineup, the brand is in the middle of a rapid transformation into a CUV and SUV focused brand. While new entries like the Encore GX and the refreshed Envision are helping Buick explore new niches in the utility segment, ultimately, the weight of the brand’s sales success rests with the Buick Enclave. This full-size hauler has the size and the luxury needed to be the perfect family truckster, with the model being a sales force for Buick since it first made its appearance back …

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Review by Ben Lewis

The CX-5 crossover is a big deal to Mazda – it’s the best-selling vehicle they have in the U.S., and having sold over 2 million units worldwide it’s a bona fide success. It’s a well-loved product, too. Having been here since 2012, it got a nice refresh when we tested the 2017 CX-5, and we felt that it was still our favorite small crossover – it’s a great drive. But time moves on, some big hitters have come our way, including the all-new 2019 RAV4, which we loved for its looks, performance, and hybrid efficiency, all in one package. Mazda …

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2019 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Drive Review with Performance Video

What a difference a year can make! For the shockingly designed Camry that was so polarizing in 2018, 2019 has mellowed the reaction to its looks and let us really focus on what a terrific upgrade it is. Both versus previous-gen Camrys and its most of its mid-size rivals, for that matter. For your scribe, a year of driving his personal ‘beach car’ (CX-9) during in a press-car drought meant that getting in Camry V6 is nothing short of a revolution!  So fast! So quiet and such sophisticated electronics!  I had a thought the day before Toyota announced there will …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD – By Carl Malek

It’s no secret that Mazda’s CX-5 has emerged as a very key player for the Japanese car maker for the past several years. Once known for having a very car focused lineup over 10 years ago, Mazda has been very quick to embrace the recent shift towards CUV and SUV entries, with the CX-3 and the CX-9 being just two examples of how the Hiroshima based company has responded to this abrupt shift in buyer demand. However, it is ultimately the CX-5 that has emerged as the key cog in Mazda’s plans to sharpen up its position in the utility …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Honda Pilot Elite – By Carl Malek

The race for supremacy in the mid-size SUV segment has never been as hotly contested as it has been over the past few years. A strong push in sales and a rapid shift in demand from U.S. customers has forced many automakers to step up their game in catering to the ever evolving needs of a new generation of families. But can even benchmark entries standout against a growing pool of mid-size SUV offerings? To find out, we spent some time with the 2018 Honda Pilot to see if this venerable Honda can still maintain its winning ways in this …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Mazda 6 Signature – By Carl Malek

When an automotive enthusiast looks at the 2018 Mazda 6 Signature, quiet and refined may not be the first characteristics that come to mind. This is partially due to prior generation Mazda 6 models, which boasted commendable levels of performance, but with much more noise than many of its rivals. The 2018 Mazda 6 aims to exorcise this image, but without ruining the basic delectable bits that lurked beyond the high decibel levels. But can the 2018 Mazda 6 pull off this trick? Or does it still fall short of being a true disrupter to mid-size sedan icons like the …

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2019 Subaru ASCENT Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve always admired that Subaru stays true to its roots. A clever mix of marketing and engineering makes Subie owners set apart from the crowd. And in an age where so many brands seem to offer similar products, that difference is a fresh and welcome breeze. That said, Subaru doesn’t operate in a vacuum – they have to offer vehicles that buyers want. A perfect example is the 3-row crossover. Right now, that 7-passenger capability is a hot ticket, and we’ve seen everything from the new VW Tiguan to Kia Sorento stepping up to snag a bite of that apple. …

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2019 Mazda6 Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Some say the sedan is dead, that the SUV/Crossover buried it. We say poppycock. (Actually, no one says poppycock anymore, but it keeps us out of trouble with the language nannies). Proof? Look at the aggressive tack we’re seeing right now, with an all-new sporty Toyota Camry, an all-new Honda Accord with available detuned Civic Type R motor, and all-new Nissan Altima with a world’s first Variable displacement turbo engine.  Sedans are back and they’re mad as heck. With all this new sheetmetal on sale, it’s got to be tough for a not-so-new sedan like the Mazda 6 to keep …

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2019 Kia Sorento SXL AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’re suckers for a good ad campaign. And when we saw the new Kia Sorento ad, with it climbing a heinous off-road course at Hell’s Gate, Moab, Utah, we thought – “hey, we haven’t been in a Sorento in a while”. Time to make that right. Well, it’s a perfect time to test the ’19 Sorento, as it features some significant upgrades that take this likable 3-row crossover a step up in the desirability department. Devilishly Handsome. The Sorento has always been a good-looking piece, with an upscale-vibe and a rugged square-shouldered look. Its last complete redesign was in 2016.  …

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Comparison Test – 2018 Mazda CX-5 vs 2018 Mazda CX-3

As the CUV market continues to grow in importance, the diverse selection of models, sizes, and trims can sometimes make the process of buying one of these vehicles a daunting endeavor. While the old adage “bigger is better” still resonates in the minds of many buyers, is it really indeed better? To find out, we went behind the wheel of two of Mazda’s bread and butter CUV entries to find out if size really does matter, and whether other factors emerge in the quest for the perfect family hauler?   2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring It’s no secret that Mazda’s …

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If you go by sales, VW SUVs have always been the scrawny kid on the beach getting sand kicked in his face. But, as if answering one of those mail-order bodybuilding courses, a new, big, powerful and buff VW Atlas is giving those other bullies a roundhouse to the jaw, and claiming its rightful place in the sun. Behold: the VW Atlas. Or as we named out tester, Charles Atlas. If you don’t remember Charles Atlas, you can still appreciate that the U.S. is big SUV country, and up until now VW hasn’t really courted the buyer who needs three …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD – By Carl Malek

With ample cargo room, a healthy suite of features, as well as purposeful styling, it’s no secret that the 2017 Toyota Highlander has emerged as a key family focused entry for the Japanese auto giant. When we last met the Highlander, we gave it high marks for interior room, and the flexibility provided by its sizable cargo area. However, a key weakness that emerged during that encounter was the Highlander’s low fuel mileage. Toyota aimed to try and correct this flaw with the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but does it stand out as a must have option for Highlander fans? …

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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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2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It’s tough being Mazda. After all, in the automotive world, you’re a small company, up against giants like Toyota, Ford, and Nissan. And even though you’re a famous sports car maker, you need to compete in the big-money segments like small crossovers to survive. But Mazda did more than just compete. With the original CX-5, Mazda made one of the best, most fun to drive small crossovers on the market. But time moves on, and Mazda has to as well. Will Mazda’s new CX-5 be another winner, or will it suffer from sophomore slump? Well, first of all, it’s not …

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2017 Subaru ASCENT Concept is Jumbo, 7-Seater Outback Headed to Showrooms Next Year

Subaru has been hinting and teasing its 3-row intentions for years now.  Since the Tribeca bowed out gracefully, in fact, we’ve seen VIZIV concepts galore.  We lost track. Maybe six concepts on that Viziv badge.  Refining what a seven-seat Subaru might be. A new approach was needed, and we now have a 98-percent look at the finished, production product.  The high roofline adds nearly a half-foot of air inside the cabin versus the 5-seat Outback.   An all-new platform drops the floor dramatically in the second row too, giving what looks like amble wayback access and big captains chairs for …

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Nissan and the Pathfinder are working hard to give you the SUV you really want. Which is really pretty admirable. Along with Toyota’s 4Runner, the Pathfinder is one of the most storied names in SUV-dom. But unlike the Toy, which has soldiered on being rugged and truckish – with pros and cons attached – in 2013, Nissan took the Pathfinder into the meat of the SUV marketplace with a unibody, 3-row family vehicle. OK, this was tough for some to swallow; the rugged little Nissan that drove all the way to the Amazon (memorialized in a series of commercials in …

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#NYIAS: 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF – Retractable Fastback Is New GT86 Rival

RF does not stand for Really Fast.  But it could stand for Really Fun! In reality, it is the new badge for the MX-5 hardtop. This power retractable targa panel slides behind the new B-pillar uprights in back and atop the trunk. Scratch that: the entire roof actually folds under the rising uprights behind each seat.  These buttresses lift up and let the hardtop fold away.  This keeps a wind deflector in back with the top down, but does not appear to let the rear glass or roof move individually: only as a unit. It is not exactly as clean …

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LA Auto Show 2015 – Mega Gallery PART TWO

Huge LA show this year.  Many more reveals than typical for this early-season auto show!  New Subaru Impreza Concept is pretty sexy, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra and Kia Sportage are fresh, while the new Acura NSX and Honda Civic Coupe are production models already on their way to showrooms around March.  The new Prius is also pretty big news for the left coast. Other highlights? The new Mazda CX-9 looks very upmarket, the new Ford Escape is hideous but has a cool blacked-out Sport package for the 2017 model-year.  The new AMG SL63 also bowed, but it still looks sad …

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2015 LA Auto Show – MEGA Gallery in 250 Photos

Worst of show so far?  Definitely the 2017 SL63. Best is perhaps the Fiat 124 Spider, or the new Mazda CX-9.  Or the new Honda Civic Coupe!!! Just the humdrum EX trim shown so far, but it looks hot and wide and high-tech from all sides. Also lovely to catch any glimpse of the 2017 Ford GT supercar, plus its kid bro the 2016 Focus RS in Nitrous Blue. 2015 LA Auto Show Photos

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HD Track Drive Review – 2016 Mazda MX-5 Is INCREDIBLE!

Freshly back from a track drive with the 2016 MX-5 Experience tour — and have some serious vehicular brilliance to report! As you might know already, or simply expect, this latest MX-5 is an absolutely breathtaking evolution on the light/rear-drive roadster theme. Improving upon a genre the Miata defines conclusively? Not easy to do — especially with firm price and power caps limiting headline performance numbers. Yet the latest engineering, style and handling excellence from Mazda has done wonders for the MX-5. After all, if Mazda can make the CX-5 into a lively steer, the SkyActiv mantra should really make …

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2015 Mazda KOERU Concept Previews Upcoming CX-7 with Slinky Style, 7 Seats

Mazda just released the first official images of a swanky new crossover concept: a sporty yet long-wheelbase SUV dubbed the KOERU. Just a single sketch so far, but we have a finger on the pulse of Mazda’s next crossover move. We predict this concept outlines a replacement for the seven-seat CX-9 SUV for the ~2018 model year. The CX-9 has been refreshed a few times over its lifetime, but the vehicle is near the end of a long platform and engine-sharing deal with former owners Ford Motor Company. In additon to hefty licensing fees paid to Ford to use the …

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DIY How-To: 20-Minute, $20 Nose Makeover Via Carbon-Fiber Wrap

Here is a fun and very easy DIY project that requires just a few tools, no complex disassembly, and minimal time or money to achieve. What is it? A DIY de-chrome of an OEM nose brightwork in favor of a carbon-fiber pattern wrap. “Carbon Fiber” and “Wrap” are both ambitious descriptions. It is neither real CF nor a full wrap. Just a bit of adhesive-backed tape in a woven pattern. We picked up ours from Autozone for about $15, but much better deals are available at Amazon etc. Almost all car parts stores carry this trim tape in their nasty …

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Track Drive Dates! Fun, Free …and in Your City?

Mazda’s new MX-5 looks stellar. We cannot wait one minute longer to try it out. Is that how you feel too? You might be in luck!  There are five or so dates left on the initial MX-5 Experience tour: Atlanta today Sept 11 and tomorrow Sept 12, followed by more dates in New Jersey, Texas and Arizona.  There is no RSVP list and no $2k fee, a la Jaguar and Lamborghini. First come first served!  Looks like the stations to try out the MX-5 are autocross, braking and hot track lap.  Mmmmm! Seriously debating the six-hour drive to Atlanta…. forgive …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Highlander AWD Limited – Fave Family Truckster Is Tahoe-Tough but Lexus-Smooth

2015 Toyota Highlander AWD Limited Review There is a huge rationality shake-out in the large SUV segment. Buyers are no longer willing to shoulder enormous fuel bills and big-rig parking manners in order to seat seven. Nor are they up for joining the minivan clan — typically using the AWD or all-weather argument to avoid that blatant admission of parenthood. The 2015 Highlander is right at the center of a new SUV ideal for millions of post-van, post-SUV buyers. Why can’t there be a car-based crossover with jumbo cabin space, but AWD and enough ground clearance to glide over gravel …

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2016 TESLA Model X – Fug EV SUV May Carry $150k Sticker As Gas Falls Below 2 Bucks

  The Model X SUV is big news for Tesla — a reminder that the company actually makes cars versus headlines. Amid the inventions and novel solutions for the first seven-seat, AWD EV SUV lurks a pair of big concerns for Tesla and car lovers alike: the Model X’s awkward design and expected obese pricetag. Morbidly obese pricetag? Perhaps…. INTRO The Tesla hype machine can be seriously exhausting. The company relies on fairly gratuitous financial PR outreach — juicing NASDAQ:TSLA with every snippet of info rehashed by analysts ad nauseam. The entire operation starts to feel like a boilerroom pump …

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2018 Mazda CX-7 Rendering Shows Longer, 7-Seater CX-5 Sibling

  After writing up a prediction about what Mazda’s new Frankfurt concept will lead to, we decided to head into photoshop to envision a long-wheelbase CX-5. This fairly simple stretch will solve many buyer wants in a fairly affordable way: more luggage space and a third row, yet still easy on fuel and tight city streets. The rendering here is fairly basic, but gives us a good idea of how the CX-5 package will translate into a seven-seater from its current five. What is more likely than this simple stretch might be a fully new next-gen CX-5, engineered and designed …

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2015 Mazda KOERU Concept to Bow At Frankfurt – Previews 2018 CX-7

Mazda just released the first teaser image of its next crossover: a sporty yet long-wheelbase SUV dubbed the KOERU. Just a single sketch so far, but we have a finger on the pulse of Mazda’s next crossover move. We predict this concept outlines a replacement for the seven-seat CX-9 SUV for the 2018 model year. The CX-9 has been refreshed a few times over its lifetime, but the vehicle is near the end of a long platform and engine-sharing deal with former owners Ford Motor Company. In additon to hefty licensing fees paid to Ford to use the engine and …

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2015 INFINITI QX60 Buyers Guide – Pricing, Specs and Features – AWD Hybrid Highly Recommended

There was a time when the Hybrid models in many car ranges were much more of a style and eco-conscience type of choice. The biggest example of this paradox of the Hybrid actually being a far worse machine, but much more successful with consumers, is the Lexus RX350 versus the RX450h. The RX Hybrid is so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget the standard model still exists! But is it a better car? That is very open to debate – as the Lexus system of AWD with electric power to the back axle is less-than-helpful in many slick road …

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