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2016 VW Golf R – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

You read the headline correctly: This is a review of a 2016 VW Golf R — not a 2017. Why are we just now getting to review this model? Because when a car is this good, every media outlet wants to drive it. Luck of the draw meant we got this Lapiz Blue example of the 2016 Golf R late in the calendar year. That’s how it goes sometimes. The Golf R is now available as a 2017 model, with an MSRP starting a little bit north of $35K and topping out at $40,475. We hear you saying it: “Forty-large …

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2017 Nissan Armada Platinum – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

The big news with the second-generation Nissan Armada is this: We finally got a Nissan Patrol in America! Perhaps bigger news still is that the 2017 Nissan Armada, Nissan’s largest SUV, doesn’t drive nearly so large as it is. Nissan does the SUV — bigly Riding on a 121.1-inch wheelbase, the 6,000-lb. Armada measures 208.9 inches from bumper-to-bumper and straddles a piece of ground 79.9 inches wide. It stands 75.8 inches tall. It’s a large beast — not quite as large as the also new-for-2017 Nissan Titan, but close. Maneuvering in tight quarters may require your full, undivided attention. Thankfully, …

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2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

  In Europe, they make fun of the Volkswagen Passat Americans drive. Their suspension and materials are superior, they argue. OK, fine. Relish that superiority, Europe. That doesn’t change the fact the ‘Merican Passat remains one of the best all-around midsize family sedans in ‘Merica. Family values I spent a week with a 2017 VW Passat and pretty much fell in love with its practicality and handsome good looks — but mostly its practicality. Some people have criticized this generation of the Passat for being too understated. It takes on Volkswagen’s corporate low-and-wide styling, so the grille and headlights aren’t …

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

The Volkswagen Tiguan was early to the party of compact crossovers, debuting in 2006 during a period of high gas prices. One would think it was great timing to introduce a small SUV to consumers concerned with conserving fuel. But in fact, by the time it got here in 2009, the gasser Tiguan was rated at 19 MPG city, 26 MPG highway by EPA. That didn’t get MPG-conscious consumers beating down the doors of their nearest VW dealer, and falling gas prices did little to boost Tiguan sales. Fact is, the VW Tiguan has stayed right there at an EPA …

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2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

When I took delivery of the 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk for testing, a colleague told me, “The little Jeep is surprisingly capable.” Those two words — “surprisingly capable” — came to define my experience with the Renegade Trailhawk as I took it down some deep, difficult rock-and-mud-and-gravel trails in the hills of eastern Middle Tennessee. Design Notes There’s no denying the Jeep Renegade has a definite cute factor. That’s probably the first reason many Jeep purists scoff at the littlest Jeep in the lineup. It doesn’t look like a chiseled-jawed Wrangler. That notwithstanding, there’s no mistaking the Renegade for anything …

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

Is the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited a “dad car?” What the heck is a “dad car,” anyway? Those are the questions with which I wrangled during a weeklong test of the model. A couple of friends of mine described it as a “dad car.” I’m a dad of two boys. They said the car was a good fit for me. I typically like my cars quirkier than the Hyundai Elantra. My daily driver is the antithesis of what most might consider a “dad car:” a Nissan cube. For many other men I know, sedans with a definite masculinity such as …

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