2019 BMW M850i Convertible Review and Drive Video – The Richmaker

What is it like spending a week behind the wheel of the new M850i?  There are barely words to capture how amazing it is, but we will try. This reborn 8 series continues the essence of that original shark-nosed executive supercoupe perfectly — updating and evolving it into the present and future. How well?  After a few days behind the wheel, this M850i will make you feel ridiculously rich. Tax haven rich. City, beach and Tahoe ski house rich. Capital gains tax rich. So rich you stop calling it money and start calling it wealth. So rich you can barely …

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2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe – Road Test Review + Drive Video

The C43 had huge shoes to fill when it arrived out front for its review recently. The car it replaced was none other than a flagship from its top rival BMW in the M850i.  Though not size or price rivals at all, the level of excellence as my benchmark for comparisons was sky-high. So it is a shock to say that this car exceeded all expectations of what a hot exec sports coupe can and should be. The AMG C43 is a scalpel for slicing apexes on track, dicing with rivals in long straights, and icing its competitors with brick-wall …

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2019 Honda Civic 1.5T 2dr Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Love at first sight. Okay, not at first sight. The Honda Civic coupe has been around for a while now, but there’s something special about our tester that keeps us coming back for more. And we have an idea why. It starts with choosing the right Civic We have tested a wide range of Civics, and being enthusiasts, we’ve gravitated to the hi-po models like the Civic Type R, the Civic Si and the grins-for-the-buck Civic Sport.  The first thing we noticed, they’re all 4-doors. And in the case of the Type R (or CTR for those in the know) …

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2019 Mazda3 Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new Mazda 3 sedan, and with its premium feel and refined road manners, called it the best Euro sedan for the money right now. Not bad for a Japanese brand, eh? Well, Mazda seems to always serve up a hatchback on the 3 as well, to give those who want more practicality with a larger cargo bay, but the vehicles are usually pretty similar. (If you wanted a high-performance Mazda 3, the MazdaSpeed 3’s were built on the hatchback, but they haven’t done that in a while.) So, we were excited to test the all-new Mazda …

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2019 BMW X4 M40i Review and Drive Video – A Love-Bug Passion Play

There are some cars you just click with right away as a reviewer, and the rest of the week with that ride just makes you love it more and more. I sometimes refer to these as “first-block” cars.  Vehicles that enchant you moments after putting them in Drive and rolling away for the very first time.  These are machines that sell themselves better than any salesperson ever could.  For me, the X4 M40i is one of those cars and is actually one of my top-three SUV drives of 2019.  (Behind Levante Trofeo and X7 M50i). X4 is an amazing machine …

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2019 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 60th Anniversary – Review by Ben Lewis

When we talk about performance cars, the benchmark is still 0-60. Which may be outdated, but it’s easy to get your head around and compare cars of the past with cars of today. (Spoiler Alert – cars of today are much faster today.) That said, we are talking 0-60 mph. But with the 2019, we are talking something completely different. 0 – 60 Years Yep, years. Hard to believe that the original Mini first bowed in 1959. Especially since a super-small, efficient and fun vehicle seems so now. 1959 was an interesting year – The first Barbie Doll was introduced, …

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2020 Hyundai Palisade – Road Test Review + POV Video in All Seats

Our first outing the the Palisade was up at the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC and the surrounding mountains.  As you can read and watch, we hauled our butts up a mountain then did some off-roading in a mad caravan of Palisades.  We looked like a villain’s entourage with so many black luxury SUVs in convoy form! This follow-up was much more down to earth.  When the villains go home for the weekend, perhaps, and take on normal parenting and lifestyle duties. This involved a boring commute in traffic, jaunts around town running errands and lots of everyday life …

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2019 VW Arteon SEL 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all new Nissan Altima, and came away impressed and hopeful for the fate of the 4-door sedan. Yes, the Crossover/SUV is the new King, but there still seems to be plenty of room in the royal family for a sedan. And for a lot of manufacturers – especially luxury brands – there still needs to be a halo sedan. Enter the VW Arteon. Replacing the VW CC, which was a stylish version of the Passat Sedan, the Arteon, is bigger, more stylish and more expensive. So our question – Is VW’s new flagship a dreamboat, or …

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2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited – Review By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, and came away hugely impressed. It’s a total rethink of the RAV4, and it’s bigger, better, more handsome. A winner. But in an interesting twist, Toyota made the Hybrid the performance model, with 219 horsepower, and in our XSE tester a performance tuned suspension. We’re wondering if we had been sucked in by the top of the line hybrid power version. So now, we’re back testing a well-equipped but non-hybrid model – the kind most people will end up buying to see if the standard model is as good. Looks Good Since we …

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