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Matt Barnes

Matthew Barnes is an experienced towing expert. He works as a mechanical engineer and his day job involves testing a variety of vehicles while towing trailers of all types and sizes. Matt shares his knowledge by writing for automotive news outlets in the evenings. When he's not working he can be found spending time in the great outdoors with his family. He enjoys camping, hiking, canyoneering, and backpacking. Whenever possible he spends time riding in or on any power sports vehicle he can find and claims he can drive anything with a motor, which probably isn't true. Matt lives in the Utah mountains and often posts cool off-roading videos to his Instagram and YouTube channel.

Sweepstakes! Win A Free Fastway Ball Mount Tow Hitch

Engine Adventures is giving away an all new Fastway Flash Integrated Scale Ball Mount. This adjustable height ball mount has a built in tongue weight scale to make finding your tongue weight easy and provides for a safer towing experience. The mirror finish is so reflective you could use it to shave. The ball mount comes in four different drop sizes ranging from 4 inch to 10 inch drops and the winner will get to choose which size they want. The prize package also includes a set of locking hitch pins to keep the ball mount secure. Currently it is …

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2019 Honda Passport Elite – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Returning after a 16-year hiatus, the Honda Passport is a large, 2-row CUV that slots between the Pilot and CRV. The Passport is built on the same platform as the Pilot and Ridgeline and uses the same power train, but is six inches shorter, one inch taller with an extra inch of ground clearance. Exterior All Passports come with a blacked-out grill and LED lights, but the Elite we tested had glossy trim throughout and even gloss black wheels. Other trims get a matte finish with polished aluminum or grey wheels. One thing that is immediately apparent is that the …

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2019 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport – Review By Matt Barnes

The only major update for to the Toyota Sequoia 2019 is the all-new TRD Sport trim level. In addition, many safety features are now standard that were optional in the past. This includes blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and rear cross traffic alert. While the platform is over a decade old, it is still relevant. Toyota has one of the best reputations for reliability and the 5.7 V8 is still on par with its large SUV rivals for horsepower and torque. Review Video     Outside The Sequoia is very large and has a significant presence, yet it still somewhat …

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 6.6L Gas V8 – Off-Road Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

Chevy has updated the 2500 and 3500 Silverados for 2020. The grill is even bigger than before, the cab is longer and more spacious, the bed is wider and longer, and they are now offering a bigger V8 gas engine. Chevy has used the 6.0 gas V8 for over a decade now, and it’s long past due for a major update. We found the new 6.6-liter V8 gas engine to be more than adequate for most uses. With a towing capacity of up to 16,600 pounds most weekend warriors will be able to take their boats to the lake or …

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition – Review By Matt Barnes

Nissan gave us the opportunity to drive the 2019 Pathfinder SL 4wd Rock Creek Edition. The Pathfinder name has been used by Nissan for almost 60 years, and this newest iteration delivers. The Rock Creek Edition adds a ton of the most commonly popular features at a discounted price and makes for a beautiful color scheme. Outside There’s something about the color scheme and Midnight Pine Metallic paint that says “take me on an adventure”, but Nissan doesn’t add any additional off-road capability with the Rock Creek Edition. What it adds is a plethora of dark and rugged themed features, …

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2019 Nissan Armada – On and Off-Road Review – By Matt Barnes

For 2019, the Armada only gets additional standard features that were options last year. Things like rear door alert, intelligent cruise control, automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning are now standard across the Armada lineup. Outside Being the largest SUV in Nissan’s lineup, the Armada has presence. It is slightly larger than a Tahoe but smaller than an Expedition, putting it right in the middle of its class. While some other vehicles are starting to look the same as everything else in their class, the Armada has standout looks. Recently, Nissan has done an excellent job in creating beautiful …

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2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD – Road Test Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

Nissan has done a good job of making their SUV’s feel higher class than they have in the past. Often, Nissan’s are thought of as budget Toyotas, with great reliability but very basic. However, in the past few years, Nissan has moved into luxury interiors with comfortable seating and plenty of standard safety features. While bare bones base models are still available for price conscious customers, it’s Nissan’s middle and upper trims that really bring out the comfort and convenience features. Outside Our test model was an AWD SL trim with the premium Sunset Drift paint color. It is a …

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss – Off-Road Traction Systems Test

Spending time with the 2019 Chevy Trail Boss allowed us to dive deep into how the various traction systems work on all light duty Chevy trucks. We combined the information we gained from speaking with an engineer at Chevy with some real-world testing and here is what we found. All of the systems below work in 2WD, AWD and 4WD Chevy trucks except of course for the 4WD auto, 4WD high and 4WD low for vehicles not equipped with 4WD or 4WD low. Brake Limited Slip There are a variety of manufacturers that use a brake limited slip system as …

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2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Toyota made many changes to the Rav4 for 2019, including a new chassis, new bold look, and more space. How will Toyota’s top seller in the United States fare with these new changes? Coming in at $37,699, is this loaded crossover worth the coin? Overview The Rav4 has long been a big seller for Toyota. It was an early, if not the first, car-based SUV, now called crossovers. For 2019, the Rav4 is more aggressive with a higher stance and a half inch higher ground clearance. This bodes well for the Rav4 Adventure whose focus is on outdoorsy people who …

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