2020 Honda Civic Si 4-door by Ben Lewis

Normally, when a carmaker does a few mid-lifecycle tweaks to keep things fresh, it’s not a big deal. Maybe the looks get a little update, the electronics get brought up to speed, and if you’re lucky, they squeeze out a couple horsepower. So, when Honda offered us a 2020 Civic Si, we were happy to see it – we love the current-gen Si – but not really expecting much. But hold the phone! Those little things add up to be a big change. Fresh Face There was some moaning and groaning about the Civics’ exuberant styling when it first came …

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2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth by Ben Lewis

Ok, we’re spoiled here in California. While a great part of the country is dealing with old man Winter and shoveling their way to get cars out of the driveway, we’ve had a nice touch of warmth hitting the low 70’s. A perfect time for a zippy drop top like the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. It’s a What? We forget sometimes that everyone isn’t a car enthusiast. But we had more than a few people asking us what our tester was. Well, it’s a Fiat, obviously, right? Until you notice that it does not say Fiat anywhere on the vehicle. …

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2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4 EcoDiesel by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new Jeep Gladiator and came away extremely impressed. The Glad was an intriguing combination of Jeep, pickup truck, and convertible. But that’s not the only surprise coming to us from Jeep this year – there’s an all-new EcoDiesel model that’s been long awaited, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on one. Dive Right In Well that’s easy enough as our tester came in a beautiful blue Jeep calls Ocean Blue. From the front it could be any Jeep – and that’s good – we love the round headlamps, the seven-slot grille, and the …

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve had our share of exciting new vehicles lately. Ones that drew crowds, from the Honda Civic Type R, to the Lexus LC500. Thing is, it’s usually of interest to a certain kind of buyer. The hi-po import guys for the Civic, the luxury buyers for the LC. But with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, we’ve had tons of interest – not just from Jeep loyalists – but folks from all different backgrounds and interests. It’s the people’s vehicle! (Sorry VW) Friendly Looks The first thing that draws them in is the Gladiator’s exterior design. From the front, it’s pure Jeep …

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2020 Lexus RC F – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

For a long time, Lexus has stood for really wonderful cars. Beautifully built, wonderfully smooth, but it’s been the rare Lexus model that could turn the heads of buyers who pony up serious dough for Mercedes’ AMG, BMW’s M Division, and Porsche. Well, there was the Lexus LFA. And it was sensational, but priced new at $400,000 and going for mid-400’s to 600’s (yes, thousands) now, it was always a halo car that was going to be out of reach of almost all of us. (We do still buy Lottery tickets and dream, though). For the rest of us, Lexus …

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2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Review by Ben Lewis

The Kia Soul has long been one of our favorite vehicles – cool style, hip vibe, strong performance, loads of tech at a reasonable price. What’s not to love? And we were equally thrilled when we recently tested the all-new 2020 X-Line, we came away very impressed. Except we kind of missed the Hamsters that Kia has killed from their ad campaign. What Kia didn’t kill was the available turbo-engined model, which has always been the enthusiast’s choice. But with the new 2.0-liter, non-turbo we tested we didn’t miss the turbo rush as much as we he had remembered. So, …

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2020 Subaru Outback Limited – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If there’s a company that epitomizes the “You Don’t Mess with Success” mantra, it’s Subaru. You rarely get a revolutionary, all-new, blow-your-mind model from the automaker. And we’re fine with that. Everything’s so good already, they prefer to perfect what they got. Introducing the all-new 2020 Outback! You didn’t notice? Well, it does look very familiar to anyone who has loved the previous five generations of Subie’s tall wagon. The size is about the same – 1.4” longer and 0.6 wider than the previous model. The lines look a bit crisper, with a large hexagonal grille, LED fogs and front …

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2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL FWD Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new Kia Telluride, and came away mightily impressed. So, we couldn’t wait to try its sibling, the Hyundai Palisade. We were surprised in a couple ways. They’re very different, and yet both deserve your consideration. And Hyundai’s flagship SUV even has a surprising accent. (Not to be confused with the Hyundai Accent) Swedish Fish Many times we’ve pointed out that Kia design feels very European, thanks in part to putting Peter Schreyer the head of Audi design in charge. Hyundai has never felt that way, until now. Well, except for the front. Here we have a …

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2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Review by Ben Lewis

You have to give Toyota credit. After all, with home runs like the RAV4 (best-selling SUV in America) Camry (best-selling car in America 18 out of 19 years) Tacoma (best-selling mid-size pickup), they really don’t have to go out and sell sports cars. But they do. In fact, this year they’ve got not one, but two, the 86, and the all-new Supra. OK, you can argue the big T doesn’t go it alone – the 86 is a cooperative effort with Subaru that markets its near twin the BR-Z, and the Supra shares a great deal with the new BMW …

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