2019 BMW Z4 M40i – Road Test Review & Drive Video

It was a BMW fun-fest at Car-Revs-Daily.com this Fall and we loved every minute of it. Driving the new Z4 let us experience the amazing torque-rush of the B58 “M40” motor we loved so much in the X4 in a lighter and far more aerodynamic package.  One with the wind in your hair and sun on your face.  There are quite a few contrasts in the new Z4’s mission: to be both more luxurious while still keeping its playful and sporty appeal intact. We came away thrilled with the machine for so many reasons — and only mention the Supra …

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Best & Worst Of 2019 – Michigan Edition – By Carl Malek

Another year is drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to reflect on the good and not so things that defined the year in general. In our case, it’s time to reflect on some of the good and not so good cars that we reviewed during 2019. Like last year, the Michigan branch had a very busy year reviewing some of the best cars on the market today, and we even managed to add some new brands to our list of visitors as well. Like last year’s list, eligibility begins during the first week of January, and ends …

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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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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 …

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

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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2020 Buick Enclave ST – Road Test Review + Drive Video

The new-for-2020 Enclave ST looks amazing!  It is shocking how much the body-color grille edge and new gloss-black inner mesh changes the look of this jumbo crossover. Nowhere near as shocking as the resounding praise you’re about the read, though!  Believe me, this car will make anyone who drives or rides inside into a Buick fan. This coming from the kid who truly believed the 1990s Skylark was the most hideous vehicle ever made, and had disgusted reactions to every element of LeSabre and Century. This is a new era though, and this Buick is the best ever. ST stands …

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2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD – First Drive Review Video + Mega Gallery

Lots of Palisade love this summer! You can really tell how seriously Hyundai is taking this full-size SUV launch by the media events scheduled on its behalf. Instead of one major media drive with an ultra exclusive invite list, Hyundai did a Palisade road show and had at least five of them across the country.  Presentations from the product teams and great roads to try out this three-row biggie’s capabilities. The one we attended was in Asheville North Carolina, a short jump inland from CRD HQ in Charleston, SC.  But years in the ‘lowcountry’ made me forget all about hills …

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2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

What’s the purpose of owning a car besides just transportation? Sure, you need to be able to scoot around town, commute and take the occasional road trip. But beyond that, the real joy of car ownership is the entertainment value. Having a car you love to drive, and one that makes you smile every time you tap the start button, is one of the true joys in this life for some of us. Over the course of 2019 there is no car that has elicited more howling laughter in my hands than this Veloster N. Here we have Hyundai’s first …

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2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Kia has been on a roll. Every vehicle we’ve tested lately, from the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line to the K900 has been a gem, and now we have the all-new Kia Telluride – a full-size, 3-row, 8-passenger SUV, and it may be the best Kia yet. And that’s saying something. The Bold and the Beautiful The Telluride is the largest vehicle Kia offers, and it’s also the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. Kia itself calls the Telly big, bold and boxy, but this is one handsome box, looking more like a cross between a Ranger Rover and a …

Read more 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor – On and Off-Road Test Review + Video

The Raptor Returns! Raptor in summertime seems to be a tradition here at CRD and we’re not taking one minute for granted this time!  Last year we were too busy to take the beast into its off-road element and (gasp) barely discovered its drive modes until the last day or so. Not happening this time. The 2019 refresh of the coolest and most capable factory off-roader ever made got a thorough test and a great drive video too!  We savored every moment during this Raptor visit and have some awesome insights, highs and lows to share with you, loyal readers. …

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2019 BMW X2 M35i – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Every time there’s a new small BMW, we hear the talk about the “Spiritual Successor to the BMW 2002.” This was BMW’s small 2-door that around 1970 took the quite pleasant 1600 2-door and stuffed a larger 2.0-liter 4-cylinder motor in it – classic hot-rodding, actually – and basically turned the automotive world on its ear. With the 2002, you had a totally practical, roomy and innocuous little sedan that outperformed the traditional sports cars of the day, and when the later fuel-injected 2002tii appeared, it was hunting down bigger game – including expensive European cars and powerful domestics, too. …

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2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

Eclipse Cross is such a class-leading vehicle that it instantly moves Mitsubishi to the A-list of car brands.  It is that well-equipped, feels like it has stellar build quality, and just leapfrogs most of its rivals on drive manners. Mitsubishi gone from worst to first!!? Perhaps we should take a step back and explain what makes the new Eclipse Cross so great. Yes, let’s take a more mature approach to detailing how Eclipse Cross’s build quality, tech and drive manners make it one of the most sophisticated supermini SUVs available.  Kick things off by watching the performance drive review video …

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2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition DSG Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve been talking about great European sedans lately. In fact, we came away saying the new Mazda 3 sedan might be your best entry level Euro choice – yes, it technically isn’t European, but it sure drives that way! Well VW must have heard us, because they’ve now introduced an all new Jetta GLI, (we recently drove the regular Jetta) and it’s not only a great European sedan, it’s what the GLI should always have been – a true 4-door version of the beloved GTI hatch. Big is More We used to see that motto on popcorn at the movie …

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature (Turbo) – Road Test Review with Performance Drive Video

Is there anything that a huge lump of horsepower cannot solve?!   The 2019 Mazda CX-5 went from a top-5 crossover in our books to the best of the best.  All thanks to a generous dollop of turbo horsepower – and especially torque! Mazda’s goal for 2019 is to keep the CX-5 sales party going at full steam. They are achieving this via not one but two new engine options in addition to the base 2.5-liter with 187 horsepower. There is a 2.2-liter turbodiesel offered in the USA for the first time and then this all-new turbo gas powerplant we so …

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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 Lexus LS500 F Sport – Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve always been fans of the Lexus luxury flagship. And when it’s the sporty F SPORT model, even more so. We enjoyed the previous-gen 2017 Lexus 460 F SPORT, and were enamored with its powerful V8 engine. And then we were seduced by the new 2018 Lexus LS500, especially with the reclining rear seats with massage function – pure luxury limo. But even then, we knew the hot ticket would be the LS500 F SPORT. Losing the 460’s V8 would be tough, but gaining 30 hp and 67 lb-ft of twin-turbo V6 muscle seemed like a pretty good deal. Add …

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Scalpel or Hammer?

2019 Acura NSX vs 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye If you’re like me, you might be anticipating a major life phase change. And as a car person, likely the next thing on your mind will be how this might positively affect your future stable. My current phase is one of “peak college”, let’s call it. Come autumn, three of my offspring will be chasing higher education. The title of this post does not represent which of my kids are shooting to become a doctor and which are aiming for trade school. But, instead, which car might anyone in anticipating that …

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2019 Buick Enclave Premium FWD – Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Buick Regal TourX and concluded that it’s a sweet sport wagon – and not the big and friendly family Roadmaster wagon of day’s past. What if a big comfy wagon is what you’re looking for? As we like to say, step right this way, to the 2019 Buick Enclave. While the wagon market is rapidly shrinking, the crossover segment is going like gangbusters. And for the family with places to go, the three-row Buick is a great way to get there. Sleek 7-seater If you’re hoping for slabs of plasticized pine, you’ll be disappointed here. On …

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2019 Kia Niro EV – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Cynics that we are, we are slowly becoming fans of Electric Vehicles. While we still love the sound of a good engine, there’s a lot to love about the newest wave of fully electric and plug-in hybrid models. Our favorite plug-in may be the Honda Clarity,  whose futuristic good looks and reasonable 47 miles of EV mode range won us over. More important was the Hyundai Kona Electric, with an amazing 258-mile Tesla-baiting range, and great fun-to-drive spirit. We could easily drive it every day. Maybe the Kona is a little too small? Good news, we now have the Kia …

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2019 Ferrari P80/C Is Heavenly One-Off Based on 488 GT3 Car

Ferrari has done an amazing job over the last five years at creating one-off machines for its most special customers.  From the Sergio to the FXX series and many more, Ferrari has found a way to make bespoke designs feasible for extremely limited production.  The 488 and its mid-engined platform has proven the perfect donor for many of these customs.  Perhaps Ferrari got the idea from the reborn Stratos that also reskinned the entry-level Ferrari? This latest example is a favorite so far. The design is extreme and pushes boundaries that production Ferrari models avoid. The hyper-rounded glasshouse and bubble …

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2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera – Startup Video & Gallery – Amelia Concours Highlight

The DBS Superleggera is hard to preview in photos. We were blase about the machine overall and leaning toward thumbs-down on the design — before seeing one in the flesh at Amelia Concours. Witnessing this machine is enough to bring butterflies — even when parked next to a Countach and new Vantage. Nearby to McLarens galore and even the SCG-003C hypercar.  DBS simply has stage presence and curb appeal that is impossible to quantify. Impossibly cooler than its lightweight clamshell bonnet or wider tracks could imply on paper versus DB11. Of course, the fact that this vehicle has all the …

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1998 Nissan R390 GT1 – Amelia Concours 2019 Highlight

This one-of-a-kind machine is the only road-going variant of the Nissan R390 LeMans racecar series. It usually lives locked away in the Nissan’s Zama museum in Japan so we were very fortunate to have it attend the Amelia Island Concours 2019. Every vehicle ever looks stunning on bright green grass under Florida sun. The design is a thing of great beauty, even if the nose detailing is dull and this road variant lacks the giant rear wing of the racecars. The 3.5-liter V8 shoots 550 fiery horsepower out the rear bumper edges on command from inside the leather-wrapped cabin. We …

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2019 McLaren SENNA – Design Walkaround Gallery & Video – Amelia Concours Highlight

There are so many wild design elements in the McLaren Senna that we discovered four or five never-before-seen details hidden in this track-attack aero design. The most notable design theme and element is the flow-through of air. The fenders front and rear feature massive venturi tunnels and air channels aimed at maximizing grip through downforce. Everywhere you look you find more slices in the design aimed at pulling or pushing air and heat away from the heart of the beast. This livery of owner Paul Orwicz pays homage to Ayrton Senna’s Brazilian heritage with yellow and green details over lacquered …

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2019 Unimog U128 – Extreme Terrain Driving Experience Gallery

The annual press conference for Daimler Trucks occurred recently and they let the execs and shareholders loose to test the impossibly cool 2019 Unimog.  In a wild simulation of the roughest terrain it might find it is wild life. This off-road course is no joke, with wild inclinations and turf rougher than double-black-diamond ski moguls! The Zetros is thumping through all the obstacles too – but looks slightly more like a locomotive that’s jumped its tracks.  The Unimog in this crew-cab pickup trim is best able to use its inherent suspension skills and power — without the weight of a …

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2019 Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Volvo has had a renaissance for a few years now. From its hearty agrarian roots, to its German-baiting performance years, to now – a Premium Luxury division with impeccable style, the brand is extraordinarily capable of reinventing itself, while still keeping a Volvo a Volvo. And nowhere is that more notable than the Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD we recently tested. Meet Thor’s Hammer While its design is closely related to the Volvo XC60 we tested, the larger proportions of the XC90 really give visual heft, and conveys a premium quality. Our tester was all that, starting with a bold front end, …

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550HP 1969 Ford Bronco Supercharged by Velocity Restorations

On the long list of incredible big-boy (or girl!) toys to get once you make it big, a classic Ford Bronco is definitely up there near the top for many of us. A perfectly resto-modded example makes driving it a pleasure from day one, and also reduces the years-long headaches most DIYers would encounter trying to restore one themselves. Velocity Restorations specializes in Broncos and has a few turn-key examples ready for delivery. This latest example might be my favorite — its glossy wet-look black paint, beefy stance and gorgeous cabin make quite an impression even while parked. Favorite details …

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Flawless 1994 Toyota Supra Twin-Turbo Targa 6MT – RM Amelia 2019 Preview

The excitement for this summer’s hottest new sports car is palpable since the Supra bowed in Detroit last month.  Base price from $50k, a turbo straight six and handling that is sure to be a purist’s delight — that is the promise from Toyota for the 2020 Supra.  Even before the forthcoming Gazoo Racing ‘GR’ pack comes along with its stiffer springs and giant wing out back. What better time to appreciate and remember the Supra tha really cemented the badge’s reputation among performance enthusiasts: the Mk 4. This example is the best and most unmolested example we’ve seen in years.   …

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Subtlest RUF Ever? 1990 Porsche RUF BTR Carrera 4 Turbo – RM Amelia 2019 Preview

Who says RUF can’t make some refined and restrained posh models along with their wild bodykits and slantnoses of the same era. This 1990 model was a classy AF upgrade in its day.  So much so that the inhouse name for the 425HP stunner was The Ultimate. This beauty’s condition today more than two decades later is nearly as good — and surely a drive feel that is a lot more rare. 1990 Porsche RUF BTR Carrera 4 Turbo     RM | Sotheby’s – AMELIA ISLAND 2019   Full RUF BTR conversion with 425 hp; dubbed the “Ultimate” Built at …

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2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS – First Drive Gallery

The new Blazer is easily the best-looking SUV to be launched in recent years.  Just because we are not on the charmed list for the US media launch does not mean we can’t celebrate a sexy design with a full photo gallery! And like most GM cars and crossovers in the last year — that all drive with exactly the same level of non-feel and non-fun — the Blazer is likely to be a deep snooze behind the wheel.  Until you get to the top motor, which also skyrockets the price into the $40s.  Tough call. The LT and Premier trims …

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