2020 Subaru Ascent by Ben Lewis

What if you love your Subaru Outback but find yourself needing more room, especially a 3rd row of seats? Or if you have a 3-row SUV and always wanted a Subaru to call your own? Easy, get yourself a Subaru Ascent. We worried that the transition to such a large vehicle might dilute the Subie goodness we’ve found in the Outback, Forester, Crosstrek – even the WRX. So, we had to ask. Is the biggest Subaru still true to the cause? Subaru Design on Display Well, it certainly looks that way. If you didn’t have a reference point, you might …

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2021 Toyota Camry debuts XSE Hybrid trim, enhanced safety tech and beefed up infotainment system also on board

Sometimes its often the little things that define a suite of updates for an automobile. In this instance, with the Toyota Camry already benefiting from some big 2020 changes, the Japanese auto giant has chosen to focus 2021’s enhancements on updating some of the supporting cast that has helped make the Camry one of the leading sales forces in the mid-size sedan segment. A big change for 2021 is that the Camry Hybrid will now receive an XSE trim. XSE is the mainstream sporty trim in the Camry’s trim roster (only topped by the TRD Edition) and as is the …

Read more 2021 Toyota Camry debuts XSE Hybrid trim, enhanced safety tech and beefed up infotainment system also on board

2020 Buick Encore GX Essence FWD by Ben Lewis

Have you ever been at a pizza place and seen something called “The Meat Lover’s Pizza”? Or a place that has “The Veggie Lover’s” sandwich? It’s called specialization – and why should food have all the fun. Introducing the all-new 2020 Buick Encore GX – we call it “The Tech Lover’s Buick. Stylish SUV Before we go any further, we need to point out that the Encore GX is not related to the previous Buick Encore, which is still available – small, fun, funky, and frankly one of our favorite small SUVs. But between the much larger Enclave and Envision …

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2020 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the 2020 Kia Sportage, and noted that Kia in a very Porsche-like manner, continuously tweaks and updates as it goes along, and like the Sportage, we find the same is true for Niro hybrid model. Since the Niro is one our favorite Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and EV models, that’s all good news for us. Let’s take a look at the changes. Updated Looks On the outside, the Niro has received some updates to keep it looking fresh. Up front, there are new projector-type headlights and fogs, dual chevron-style LED daytime running lights, and a new diamond-pattern grille. …

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2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody by Ben Lewis

Sometimes we drive a car that makes us smile with joy. Heck, we grin just looking at it. And our 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody is such a car. And once you drive it – you’ll never be able to wipe that smile off your face. Green Giant Well the first thing to kick in the old endorphins is the new -for-2020 Widebody exterior. Originally seen on the Challenger model and offered on the 707-horsepower Charger SRT Hellcat model, the Scat Pack widebody adds integrated fender flares that add 3.5 inches in width. And the Charger was already a …

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2020 Toyota Camry TRD V6 Sedan by Ben Lewis

Introducing Toyota’s hot new performance vehicle – the TRD Camry. Toyota Racing Development? The in-house racing division of the big T? And Camry? Sounds like two things that don’t go together – like jumbo shrimp. But just like that crave-worthy crustacean, it comes together quite nicely. And it just might be a performance bargain to boot. Big Bold Style When the Camry was redone in 2018, we loved the new aggressive look – muscular and wide, it looked more like a European sport sedan, and had real presence. To give it the “Competition Look” the TRD adds unique piano-black front …

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2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 – Mountain Drive Review +Video – By Matt Barnes

The premium crossover class is very competitive and constantly growing. To play in this field, manufacturers must be at the top of their game. Mercedes has updated the GLC for 2020 with some new exterior styling bits, optimized wheels, the updated MBUX infotainment system, and more power. Exterior The GLC is very stable in appearance. It is short and low with a long wheelbase and wide track. As is common with many vehicles today, the grill is oversized and the Mercedes emblem in this grill might be the largest emblem on any vehicle I’ve seen. Because of all this, and the …

Read more 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 – Mountain Drive Review +Video – By Matt Barnes

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring by Ben Lewis

Honda is often times a technology leader, but in the case of the Hybrid SUV’s, it’s been a bit slow. But good news is here for those who love the CR-V and want all the goodness a Hybrid can bring – for 2020 we have the all-new CR-V Hybrid. And with Toyota turning up the heat in the segment with the excellent RAV4 Hybrid, it’s perfect timing. CR-V Hybrid Exterior – The Best Looking CR-V Ever! For 2020, all CR-V models get a makeover, including bolder front and rear styling and redesigned wheels. And like the Civic Coupe we recently …

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2020 Subaru WRX Series. White by Ben Lewis

Subaru does something very European. They never seem to be completely satisfied and are constantly tweaking the WRX. Of course, you have the big cycle changes, and the smaller ones, and don’t forget the Special Editions. Since 2002, when it was introduced, the WRX has evolved. But this is more than just that.  The WRX Series. White is something really special. The changes are subtle in the overall scheme of things, and yet, this thing just works. Impressively so. So is the Series. White the best WRX ever? Let’s find out.   WRX Series. White Exterior – the Plain White …

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2020 Subaru Legacy Sport Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve always liked Subaru. They’re the perfect example of a company zigging while others zagged. Steadfast in their belief in all-wheel-drive (except for the BR-Z sports car), Subies gained a foothold in areas with lots of snow or slop and became beloved for their mountain-goat-like abilities. The brand has been smart, spreading the gospel of AWD, the horizontally-opposed “Boxer” engine, and has created a name with true identity; green, caring, safe. Subaru isn’t just for the snow-belt anymore. They use the word Love a lot in their ads. All good. Of course, the other brands aren’t just going to sit …

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2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited by Ben Lewis

Well, we are always excited to hear about a new Hyundai Sonata. It seems that the automaker always tries to do something special, and their flagship sedan also seems to get some hand-me-down (we should all be so lucky!) technology from its wealthy sibling Genesis. And if you saw the Superbowl commercial, it’s bringing some amazing tech to the segment as well. So, is this the sedan to beat Camry and Accord at their own game? We’ll see! Sonata exterior – Distinctive Styling Ok, you see the word “distinctive” and you wonder – and well you should. At first glance …

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2021 BMW 5-Series Debuts With Refreshed Design, Brings More Powerful Electrified Powertrain To Consumers

BMW recently took the wraps off of the 2021 BMW 5-Series earlier this week, and it brings a number of welcome updates that not only help keep the 5-Series fresh in the minds of buyers for a few more years, but also allows the 5-Series to take a big step closer towards formally fitting in with BMW’s renewed push towards electrification technology. But before we get into the more radical changes that take place in the performance hardware, we might as well address the decidedly more subtle updates that define the exterior styling. Being a mid-cycle refresh, the 5-Series avoids …

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2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road – Off-Pavement Drive Review – By Matt Barnes

The RAV4 is a tent-pole for Toyota USA with nearly half a million sales in 2019 and as the top-selling SUV in the United States. The RAV4 was updated in 2019 to be better in almost every way. Toyota moved away from the bland styling of yesteryear to create a more athletic and polarizing vehicle with more Tacoma and 4Runner design cues. Toyota is offering a new trim level for the RAV4, the TRD Off-Road for 2020 to match this newly masculine and athletic theme. On-Road For on road driving, the TRD Off-Road handles similarly to all other RAV4’s we’ve …

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2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited X 4×4 by Ben Lewis

These days, we’ve been thinking a lot about “bug out” vehicles. Maybe it’s too much bingeing on the Walking Dead, but hey when the Zombies come a-munching, what you gonna do? We say hop in your 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee and head for the hills! Grand Cherokee exterior – familiar and friendly While the idea of a Zombie Apocalypse is really not that new, neither is the Grand Cherokee. But that’s not a bad thing. Jeep says it’s the most rewarded SUV ever, and that’s believable. And the Jeep GC continues to be the same tasteful, handsome vehicle it has …

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Kia Design Boss Appears To Hint At Future Electrified Version Of The Stinger

When we last caught up with the Kia Stinger, it was the subject of a report which indicated that the sleek four door might not live to see a second generation due to slowing sales despite a mid-cycle refresh that the model was supposed to receive in the near future. However, an all new report appears to not only confirm that the mid-cycle refresh is on track, but that the Stinger could survive by evolving to better cope with the times. This was all revealed in remarks released by Kia design chief Karim Habib during an interview that was done …

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2020 Fiat 500x Sport by Ben Lewis

Are you a fan of Monty Python? (OK, we may be dating ourselves here..) Well, they used to have a segment with a newsman-like person at a desk saying, “And now for something completely different.” And you know, they could have been talking about the Fiat 500x. Fiat 500x Exterior – Thinking out of The Box It starts with expressive looks. While it shares the running gear with the Jeep Renegade, it won’t be confused with that, or any other small SUV. Last year, the 500x got a facelift, with new front and rear fascia that trade in a little …

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2020 BMW M340i xDrive Sedan by Ben Lewis

In every market segment there is the dominant player. Small affordable sports car? Miata. Import pickup truck? Tacoma. And when it comes to premium sport sedan, that would be the BMW 3-series. Which is not to say there isn’t competition there, in fact a bunch of wonderful sedans from the Audi A4 to the Genesis G70 to the Volvo S60 are gunning to be the quickest gun in town. But it always seemed that the BMW 3 is the benchmark. And now they went and made it incredible – welcome to the BMW M340i. M340i Exterior – Low-key flyer The …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Volvo S90 R-Design – By Carl Malek

In the world of high end luxury cars, marques such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and more can usually be found flooding the parking lots of shopping malls, bustling downtowns, and those elegant high end restaurants. This is due to how well built they are, as well as the love affair that many loyalists have with their elegant charms, state of the art technology, and luxury trappings. As a result, they present a formidable bar for others to surpass. One such contender looking to do this is Volvo, which has recently mounted a renewed effort at adding ample amounts of …

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2019 Audi RS5 Sportback Review by Ben Lewis – Green with Energy

To paraphrase a famous SNL sketch, Audi been very, very, good to us. Looking back, we spent quality time with the beautiful A5 coupe, the potent S5 Sportback, and now we’re driving the Uber-fast (not to be confused with Uber, fast) RS 5 Sportback. It’s a nice progression, as each one has built on the other, but you’re never really prepared for the jaw-dropping performance an Audi RS model can provide. Green, with Energy The first thing that hit us about our tester was its Sonoma Green Metallic paint. We loved it. Audi has a tradition of bringing some awesome …

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2020 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new 2020 Kia Forte and came away impressed. It’s the latest of the new-class of fun-to-drive sedans that are taking the fight to the small crossover/SUV market. And one of the most exciting members of that new class is the VW Jetta GLI. For a long time, the GLI has been the hot-tach GTI’s poor relation – nice, and fun, but no GTI. Well, all that changed last year with the introduction of the new Jetta, which included a new GLI. And VW did enthusiasts a solid – giving us the same running gear of the …

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2020 Kia Forte GT by Ben Lewis

Many have said that the small car is on the way out. That small crossovers like the Hyundai Kona or tall hatchbacks like the Mazda CX30 will pushing them out. And the numbers don’t lie, SUV crossovers are king. (outside of full-size pickup trucks). But the sedan isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. In fact, struggling to stay relevant has brought some of the best 4-doors to market that we’ve seen in a long time. The new Toyota Camry is excellent and fun. The Honda Accord, too. Heck they even put a turbo motor in the Mazda 6. …

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2021 Hyundai Elantra To Officially Debut March 17th In L.A. [Video]

A new Hyundai Elantra is indeed on the way, with numerous sightings of testers all over the world hinting that something is indeed cooking within the halls of the South Korean automaker. With the Elantra’s debut fast approaching, Hyundai has released a couple of teaser images to provide a small taste of what is to come, and also revealed that the revamped four door will be making its debut on March 17th. The arrival of this iteration of Elantra is a much needed boost to the nameplate, with the current generation model receiving some criticism for its odd exterior styling, …

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2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

If you’ve been thinking about a 3-row SUV, but you’re not sure, you’re not alone. It seems like the automakers can’t make up their minds either. A few years ago, we saw a bunch of new models feature available third row seats. And while they initially took a bite out of the minivan segment, a lot of them have gone away, or made them low-volume models. Mazda’s CX-9 is one of those. But we wouldn’t weep about limited availability of a 3rd row, because frankly, the largest Mazda SUV is a dynamite vehicle. It’s a Looker We’ve seen a nice …

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2020 Lexus NX300 F Sport – Review By Matt Barnes

Lexus tries to keep a model as long as possible before they make any major updates. This holds true for the NX which is largely unchanged since its debut in 2014. So what, if anything, is new for 2020? Outside there are a few color changes with Silver Lining Metallic and Autumn Shimmer no longer available and Cadmium Orange being added. Inside the infotainment system now has Android Auto (for all NXs built after October 1st 2019) which joins Apple CarPlay that became available last year. There is an optional Mark Levinson audio system. The steering wheel now includes power …

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2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium AWD Platinum Package – Review & Road Test Video

It’s been very frustrating to watch Cadillac suffer this past decade as their sedans seem bolted to showroom floors while all the other luxury brands have launched dozens of hot-selling three-row crossovers.  Finally — finally! — Cadillac can compete in the car-based SUV market with a rockstar entry that combines amazing style, Euro handling, a lux cabin and the perfect size/value equation. The XT6, ladies and gentleman, is that vehicle.  Sliding in with base prices of around $50k means this machine is a cool $25k less than the shortie Escalade and a whole lot easier to drive, own and garage …

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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 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 Dodge Charger GT Brings Four Season Capability To Dodge’s Musclecar Entry

When it comes to making lemonade out of squeezed lemons, few can top Dodge and their incredible ability to do just that with some of their models. One prominent example is the Dodge Charger, with the model last receiving a major refresh in 2015, with the updated platform tracing its roots back to 2011. While this makes the Charger an aging grizzled veteran in a sea of decidedly younger competitors. The Charger is defying the trend of slumping sedan sales, with the model actually recording a noticeable double digit increase in sales. This is the best sales performance in a …

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2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve mentioned before that car years are kind of like dog years. Two years in people time can be a long time on the showroom. Take the Honda Accord. When it was introduced as a 2018, it was the new hotness. One of, if not the best reasonably-priced family sedan. Time flies, though, and an all-new Toyota Camry and more recently Nissan Altima are vying to steal the Accord’s steak off the grille while it’s still sizzling. So, is the Honda Accord still hot? Bring Your Oven Mitts Well, in the ficklest of all areas – exterior style – the …

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2020 Nissan Sentra Debuts With Improved Styling, Upgraded Technology

When the Nissan Sentra first debuted back in 1982, it was when small econoboxes ruled a far bigger slice of the American car market, and it already had to contend with not only the Toyota Corolla, but also a whole host of long forgotten domestic entries that were vying for the attention of frugal minded U.S. shoppers. But 32 years of evolution have helped the Sentra not only become one of Nissan’s most successful models ever (with over six million units sold,) but also a much better entry in the compact car segment. Nissan is eager to showcase just how …

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2020 Hyundai Sonata Starts At $24,330, Avalible With Whole Suite Of Upgrades

The 2020 Sonata is hot off the heels of its official debut, but while many aspects of the car have been revealed, the lone item that has eluded detection is just how much the Sonata will go for when it begins making its way to dealerships. Hyundai has formally revealed this information today, and those looking for maximum amounts of value, content, and style will be pleased with what they find when they have a chance to formally slip behind the wheel.   The base SE model for example starts at $24,330, and is designed to take the fight to …

Read more 2020 Hyundai Sonata Starts At $24,330, Avalible With Whole Suite Of Upgrades

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid Review by Ben Lewis

Subaru loves to go their own way. That’s one of the things we love about them. We recently tested the WRX – a powerful sports sedan with rally-car DNA. The new Forester, a crossover with that same feel of something a little different from the mainstream. Need a 3-row SUV? You can get the Ascent, and enjoy that Subaru goodness in a larger package. It takes real engineering talent to stay true to your school (cue Beach Boys), and still meet, compete, and beat other vehicles in your segment. So, now we have the all-new Crosstrek Hybrid – the company’s …

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2019 VW Tiguan SEL Premium 4Motion Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the massive 2019 Toyota Sequoia, and we felt that it had earned the motto (ok, we read it on a popcorn box) Big is More. In its class the jumbo Toy makes the most of its size. But it’s not the only class where size matters. Take for example the 2019 VW Tiguan. The previous gen was one of our favorite small SUV’s – it felt like you were getting some GTI DNA mixed in with crossover practicality. When time came around for VW to update the Tig, it decided to aim directly for the U.S. market. …

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2019 Nissan Maxima SR – Road Test Review + Drive Video

Have you ever seen a sexier facelift?  This term for a vehicle’s mid-cycle refresh is usually a bit of a put-down but in Maxima’s case it takes a sexy silhouette and gives it the nose and tail the design always deserved. It is enough to make folks do a double take on the road and that is quite surprising for such a popular mainstream model. Maxima’s 2019 upgrade and also 2020 tweaks to the range update the machine very nicely — and not a moment too soon in the face of impressive new competition from the Kia Stinger, the ever-popular …

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2019 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport Review by Ben Lewis

We used to go to a movie theater that had catchy phrases on the popcorn containers. On the largest size was the especially memorable: BIG IS MORE. Well, there’s no arguing that in popcorn. Or full-size SUV’s. Which brings us to the 2019 Toyota Sequoia. If an SUV ever deserved that motto on the side, this would be it. But there’s plenty to talk about outside of the big and tall dimensions. Big is Beautiful The 2019 Sequoia is a good-looking beast. Unlike the new RAV4 (that we loved) that’s dressed up to look rugged, the big Toy bowls you …

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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 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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Road Test Review – 2019 Honda Civic Touring – By Carl Malek

Honda has a lot riding on the shoulders of the 2020 Civic sedan and hatchback. While the Civic still commands a sizable chunk of sales in the compact car market, it’s no secret that the nameplate has felt the pressure in recent years from a resurgence in CUV and SUV demand in the U.S. While the Civic Si and the range topping Type R have helped the Civic bolster its impressive performance credentials, the mainstream Civic has had to use a completely different set of skills to help it maintain its lofty position in Honda’s broader sales pie. The 10th …

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2020 Nissan Altima SR AWD Review by Ben Lewis

Sometimes, we wonder if family sedans sit around and reminisce about the good old days. Yeah, remember when the big box office was 4-doors? Camry and Accord, we ruled. The best-selling cars, the bring-home-the-bacon for most automakers. At least until…ugh…. SUV’s. Well, lately, it seems like auto manufacturers aren’t taking things sitting down. The all-new Camry and Accord are dynamite cars, with loads of style and performance and value. And now we have an all-new Altima – the sedan that’s always been a little different from the rest of the pack – but always a delight in its own right. …

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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 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 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 Nissan LEAF PLUS Review by Ben Lewis

Ok, first things first. We promise not to make any “Turning over a new LEAF” jokes. Which isn’t to say that’s not what the new LEAF Plus is, because the Plus trim gives the LEAF the full EV credentials it needs to compete in today’s marketplace. Which is important, because since its introduction in 2010, it has been the best-selling electric vehicle in the world. And Nissan would like to keep it that way. An all-new LEAF was introduced for the 2018 model year, and when we tested it, we came away impressed – loads of tech, fun to drive, …

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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 …

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

Road Test Review – 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE 6-Speed Manual – By Carl Malek

When it comes to the venerable Toyota Corolla, the iconic compact sedan has developed a very loyal following during its several decade production run, and it has managed to even block the challenge to its sales supremacy that has been cast into stone by a growing field of CUV competitors. But while the Corolla has managed to check all the other boxes that car buyers think in their minds when they purchase one, the lone item that has been missing in recent years is excitement. So when Toyota revealed that it planned to release a five-door version of its econobox, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE 6-Speed Manual – By Carl Malek

2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody

Dodge Charger Product Manager, Ashton Munoz, details the upcoming 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody to the media on July 31, 2019: I want to quickly talk about the overall Charger first, before we start getting into the Widebody, we’ve seen some great success with this car in the past few years. The past five years in retail, we’ve sold more chargers than any other standard full size car. In the past seven years, we’ve sold about 80,000 chargers per year. There’s a lot of chargers on the road. There’s a few things that we think that make this car pretty …

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2019 Mazda3 AWD Sedan Review by Ben Lewis

A lot of people love European vehicles. The quality, the ride, the design, the feeling that you’re in something special – it’s all good, and it’s all there. So, we often get asked, “what’s a good entry-level European sedan?” Well, the best Euro sedan for the money right now is… the 2019 Mazda 3. Yes, the Mazda 3. We’ve just spent a week in the all-new Mazda 3 sedan (a hatchback is available, too), and it is impressive. Now we’ve always liked the 3 – a lot of enthusiasts we know who’d like a BMW or an Audi end up …

Read more 2019 Mazda3 AWD Sedan Review by Ben Lewis

2020 Toyota Corolla SE 6-Speed Manual Sedan – Review by Ben Lewis

If I tell you there’s a 4-door compact sedan that’s got hot styling, some real attitude, and is lots of fun to drive thanks to a 6-speed manual transmission, what would you say? Civic? Mazda 3, Elantra? How about a Toyota Corolla? Yes, the Corolla. Okay, we can’t blame you if it didn’t pop in your mind. Although there have been the occasional performance versions including the hot-hatch 1988 Corolla FX16, and the 2005 Corolla XRS sedan (8,000 rpm redline!), most of the model’s reputation has been built on solid, sensible and reliable transportation over flash. And it’s been a …

Read more 2020 Toyota Corolla SE 6-Speed Manual Sedan – Review by Ben Lewis

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 …

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

2020 Kia Soul X-Line – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First, a moment of silence. Today we mourn The Hamster. Well, not a real Hamster, but the special-FX rodents that came to be identified with the Kia Soul, thanks to their great commercials. For the all-new 2020 Soul, it looks like the furry funmakers have been tossed in the proverbial dustbin. (At least they could have been buried in the backyard, no?) Shed no tears, though, because this is an all-new Kia Soul, and while it keeps the, errr…Soul of the previous model, it sports a lot of great improvements that keep it one of the most enjoyable and endearing …

Read more 2020 Kia Soul X-Line – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

Read more 2019 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Review by Ben Lewis

2019 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Drive Review with Performance Video

What a difference a year can make! For the shockingly designed Camry that was so polarizing in 2018, 2019 has mellowed the reaction to its looks and let us really focus on what a terrific upgrade it is. Both versus previous-gen Camrys and its most of its mid-size rivals, for that matter. For your scribe, a year of driving his personal ‘beach car’ (CX-9) during in a press-car drought meant that getting in Camry V6 is nothing short of a revolution!  So fast! So quiet and such sophisticated electronics!  I had a thought the day before Toyota announced there will …

Read more 2019 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Drive Review with Performance Video

Dodge Unveils Wild 2020 Charger Widebody Scat Pack and Hellcat Models [Video]

The Dodge Charger is truly a jack of all trades. From being a competent family hauler, to a supercharged track slaying beast in Hellcat guise, the Charger offers something for everyone. But the lone piece that was missing from the puzzle was one that many enthusiasts wanted for a very long time, the Widebody treatment. Dodge is out to finally address this lone omission, and following the recent announcement of a concept, has unveiled the production 2020 Charger Widebody lineup. Like its two door platform mate the Dodge Challenger, the broader fenders add 3.5 inches of width to the car …

Read more Dodge Unveils Wild 2020 Charger Widebody Scat Pack and Hellcat Models [Video]

2020 BMW 330i M Sport xDrive – First Drive Review Video & Photo Gallery

A rainy morning in hilly northern Wisconsin was the perfect time and place to try out the new BMW 3 series with AWD.  This redesign was sure to be pretty excellent – focused on the interior roominess and luxury, and maintaining the excellent pace and agility that the sedan perfected generations ago. We flogged its turbo four to really feel the 5.3-second sprint to 60-mph and came out grinning.The xDrive AWD models have the same turbo four as the rear-drive models but this time tuned with about 80 extra pound-feet of torque. BMW has done this for years and it …

Read more 2020 BMW 330i M Sport xDrive – First Drive Review Video & Photo Gallery

Resurgence of the American Car

Manufacturers redouble efforts in face of SUV domination Will 2019 go down as the final hurrah, or when the tide turned for the American Car? A rising tide has lifted most all boats in the SUV/CUV ocean. The manufacturers enjoy the ease with which they can print money, for the most part. Traditional car companies, once dosed with a recipe rich in higher hip points, and one of the multitude of more than two wheel drive systems, see their bottom lines shored up. In the unsure future bets for some form of electrification of drivetrains, the next safest option is …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Buick Regal TourX Essence – By Carl Malek

When Buick first unveiled the revamped Buick Regal a few years ago, the liftback’s lines reflected the current styling trends embraced by some of its European competitors, while also cementing its quest to bring the Regal even more upmarket. Imagine our surprise when Buick also revealed the all new TourX wagon after a several decade absence from the segment. The TourX is far different from the lumbering Caprice based Roadmaster Estate that defined Buick’s prior attempt at the station wagon, and the TourX aims to trade bulk and pillow-esque isolation for a more involved driving experience that still aims to …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Buick Regal TourX Essence – By Carl Malek

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2019 Lexus NX300 F Sport – Review By Ben Lewis

If you have a younger sibling, you might remember this. One day, everything is fine – you’re the new baby, star of the show, everything is going well. And then boom! A new baby comes along, and the spotlight has shifted. Wuh happened? Well in the case of the Lexus NX, it was the birth of the all-new, cute and cuddly Lexus UX. Suddenly, the NX is another member of the growing Lexus SUV family. Of course, not being in the spotlight has some advantages. Where the NX used to need to be the price leader SUV of the line, …

Read more 2019 Lexus NX300 F Sport – Review By Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2019 Kia Optima SX Turbo – By Carl Malek

Kia has been on a roll as of late. Led by the Kia Stinger, the sleek four door sport sedan helped change peoples perception of the Korean car brand. Once known for making budget focused entries that eschewed style and performance for the sake of a low price tag, the Stinger showed the world that style, performance, and technology have become the new pillars for future Kia products going forward. The Stinger’s DNA has begun trickling down to other members of the Kia lineup including the 2019 Kia Forte, as well as the reworked 2019 Kia Optima. But can the …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Kia Optima SX Turbo – By Carl Malek

2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD – Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

FEATURES-FUN-PRACTICALITY AND VALUE The 2019 Hyundai Kona is one of the best subcompact crossovers that money can buy. That’s a bold statement, but the Kona can back it up. This 5-passenger SUV is available in five trim levels, the SE, SEL, Limited, and Ultimate, with starting front-wheel-drive models coasting $19,240, $21,050, $24,300, and $26,250 respectively. Add $1,400 for All-Wheel-Drive. The Iron Man trim, at $30,550, comes with a matte grey finish with red accents all around the vehicle,  red trim inside the cabin, and larger wheels. Not worth the money. The first 2 trim levels come with a 2.0 liter …

Read more 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD – Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Road Test Review – 2019 Toyta Avalon Limited Hybrid- By Carl Malek

When it comes to big sedans, few can come close to matching the unique arsenal of traits that the venerable Toyota Avalon brings to the table. Focusing on providing comfort and borderline luxury to its owners, the Avalon is a key name in the large sedan segment. But with schools of CUV and SUV models circling this iconic segment like sharks, the Avalon faces turbulent waters in its quest to remain true to its virtues. Despite this (as well as the success of its own utility offerings) Toyota is still keen to be a key player in the sedan segment, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Toyta Avalon Limited Hybrid- By Carl Malek

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve been into Sports lately: The Elantra Sport, the HR-V Sport and soon, the Civic Sport. So, in the growing enterprise of sporty vehicles, it’s interesting that for the all-new 2019, the model formerly known as Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has been simplified to just Santa Fe. Hey, the Santa Fe has been here for 32 years, and is the burgeoning brand’s best-selling SUV. Has Hyundai found a different path? Will it have lost the fun-to-drive and stylish vibe of the previous model? The question is… Do We Know the Way to Santa Fe? Well, it’s still pointed in a …

Read more 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

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

Acura Reveals Hand Built PMC Edition TLX and MDX Ahead of New York Debut [Video]

With all the performance infused muscle that will be making their way onto the floor of the 2019 New York Auto Show, Acura did not want to be left out in the spring sunshine, and has revealed that attendees to this year’s show will recieve a unique surprise (two all new special edition models.) Dubbed the PMC edition, Acura claims that the basic framework for these special TLX and MDX models was inspired by the bespoke capabilities of the brand’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, with the TLX PMC driving home this point by being hand assembled at the facility. …

Read more Acura Reveals Hand Built PMC Edition TLX and MDX Ahead of New York Debut [Video]

Subaru Teases 2020 Outback, Promises More Capability and Technology

When the 2020 Subaru Legacy first made its appearance at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show in February, the first question on the world’s mind was when the Subaru Outback going to make its eventual appearance? The long running wagon version of the Legacy has always been a key partner for its sedan sibling, and the company has revealed that the Outback will indeed make its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show on April 17th. Subaru’s teaser images don’t reveal too much about what kind of design defines the newest iteration of the Subaru Outback, but the Outback does …

Read more Subaru Teases 2020 Outback, Promises More Capability and Technology

2019 Buick Regal TourX Essence AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Tonight, the as I drive the streets of Gotham, the city is safe. I glide silently by, constantly aware, constantly on the watch. I am Batman Ok, maybe I’m not the Caped Crusader, but when I first saw my Buick Regal TourX, dressed in its Ebony Twilight Metallic, I thought “Batmobile”. Which brought up a great discussion – while we all have our favorite actor, from Adam West to Ben Affleck, there seems to be a mutual agreement – the Batmobile has always been cool. Purists, I apologize, we’re talking only TV and movies here. It’s the Buick that makes …

Read more 2019 Buick Regal TourX Essence AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Chevrolet Malibu – Daily Driver Review – By Jake Newvine

The Chevy Malibu is a staple of American culture. Equivalent almost to apple pie or baseball in the way that it rolls off of the American consumers tongue. In 2016, Chevrolet reported that they’d sold their 10 millionth Malibu in the history of the name plate. Just in time for them to roll out their all-new model for 2016, The 9th generation Malibu. Chevrolet’s best Malibu yet! Today, I’m going to give you my take after a 20,000 mile test of the 2017 Malibu, equipped with the 1.5l Turbocharged I4. Let’s start with the packaging and trim levels. Chevrolet has …

Read more 2017 Chevrolet Malibu – Daily Driver Review – By Jake Newvine

Dodge Unveils Widebody Charger Concept, Could Tease Production Model

The fantasy of a Dodge Charger widebody variant has always resonated strongly in the minds of some enthusiasts, especially those that already enjoy the charms and unique curb appeal that defines the Challenger widebody. Dodge officials have listened to these ambitious dreams, and has unveiled a special Charger widebody concept. Unveiled at Spring Fest (an annual gathering for LX platform enthusiasts) Dodge claims that the concept is a near production prototype, which could mean that it could feasibly make its production debut after the 2020 model year. Visually, the concept retains alot of its Charger DNA, with the key change …

Read more Dodge Unveils Widebody Charger Concept, Could Tease Production Model

2019 Honda HR-V Sport AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve tested Honda’s HR-V a while ago and found it surprisingly sporty and fun – especially when equipped in front-wheel-drive with a 6-speed manual transmission. So, when Honda announced a new HR-V Sport model for 2019 we were excited – in Europe, there’s an HR-V Sport with a manual transmission and the 1.5-liter turbo we get here in the Civic. This ain’t Europe. Unfortunately, we’re not getting that Sport. No turbo motor. And for 2019, the manual transmission is gone, too. Farewell… That said, our HR-V Sport gets some goodies unique to the model that should make it more fun …

Read more 2019 Honda HR-V Sport AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Hyundai Unveils Radically Redesigned 2020 Sonata Sedan Ahead of New York Auto Show Debut

When Hyundai first unveiled the sixth generation Sonata several years ago, it was immediately apparent that this new sedan was willing to take risks, and go places where its bland and drab predecessor was just unwilling to go. The rest of the industry noticed, and immediately did a double take when they saw just how far the Sonata was willing to go to try and woo over buyers that might have otherwise walked into the nearby Toyota or Honda dealer to buy benchmarks like the Camry and the Accord. However, like a one hit wonder that fails to solidify their …

Read more Hyundai Unveils Radically Redesigned 2020 Sonata Sedan Ahead of New York Auto Show Debut

2019 Honda CR-V Visualizer – All 10 Colors + Animated GIFs

The CR-V has held onto its spot in the top six selling vehicles in the USA for years now. This latest generation brings a huge leap forward in design and style — to the point we’ve started to really admire them on the road! Pricing is from about $25k and up with four trim levels and all CR-Vs come with these gorgeous LED daytime running lights up front.  To get the sexy full-LED headlights takes the Touring trim or an option package.  To help out on your CR-V shopping, we’ve put together a full visualizer of the new CR-V in …

Read more 2019 Honda CR-V Visualizer – All 10 Colors + Animated GIFs

2019 Subaru Forester Limited – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Subaru owners are faithful. To the vehicles, to the brand, to the ethos. It keeps owners in the fold, and attracts new buyers in big numbers. Like the Prius, Tesla, Jeep and others, people like a brand or model that stands for something. So, you don’t go messing with success. Familiar lines Now that we have an all-new, 5th –generation Forester for 2019, it’s not a big shocker that this model is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. Which is okay, since there wasn’t anything wrong with the previous model. You might have trouble picking the new one out, so here’s some …

Read more 2019 Subaru Forester Limited – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Battle of the 2019 Jeep Cherokees – Trailhawk Vs Limited – By Matt Barnes

A few months, back we had the chance to test drive the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited. We really enjoyed our time with the vehicle and you can read about it here. Recently, Jeep sent us the Trailhawk version of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee, with the same 3.2 liter V6 and 9 speed automatic transmission. This gave us a good opportunity to compare the two similarly equipped vehicles, costing within $200 of each other. Similarities Both 2019 Cherokees we tested came with: Adaptive cruise control Lane keep assist 9 speaker audio system with the 8.4 inch Uconnect and GPS setup Leather …

Read more Battle of the 2019 Jeep Cherokees – Trailhawk Vs Limited – By Matt Barnes

Road Test Review – 2018 Mazda 6 Signature – By Carl Malek

When an automotive enthusiast looks at the 2018 Mazda 6 Signature, quiet and refined may not be the first characteristics that come to mind. This is partially due to prior generation Mazda 6 models, which boasted commendable levels of performance, but with much more noise than many of its rivals. The 2018 Mazda 6 aims to exorcise this image, but without ruining the basic delectable bits that lurked beyond the high decibel levels. But can the 2018 Mazda 6 pull off this trick? Or does it still fall short of being a true disrupter to mid-size sedan icons like the …

Read more Road Test Review – 2018 Mazda 6 Signature – By Carl Malek

2018 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It’s amazing how time flies in the auto industry. Especially in the compact SUV segment. We tested the all-new 2017 CR-V less than a year ago, but it’s got loads of competitors nibbling at its heels, from an all-new Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Toyota RAV4 plus a heavily-revised Jeep Cherokee. And don’t forget the Nissan Rogue Sport, Hyundai Kona and other ilk, that are a little smaller, but still in the hunt. How you holdin’ up? Being such a competitive segment, most manufacturers seem willing to be more expressive in their styling – you don’t want to be …

Read more 2018 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The sedan is not dead. Sure, SUVs and Crossovers are the big biz these days, but there are a lot of folks who like sedans. And there are some areas where those SUV’s and Crossovers are still falling short. Take Fuel Economy When it comes to efficiency, a crossover or SUV with its bigger body, poorer aerodynamics and greater weight, is going to be challenged. Yes, they’re getting better, but they’re not there yet. Also, sedans are fighting back with technology from hybrid, to plug-in hybrid, to EV. Take for example, …

Read more 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2019 Subaru ASCENT Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve always admired that Subaru stays true to its roots. A clever mix of marketing and engineering makes Subie owners set apart from the crowd. And in an age where so many brands seem to offer similar products, that difference is a fresh and welcome breeze. That said, Subaru doesn’t operate in a vacuum – they have to offer vehicles that buyers want. A perfect example is the 3-row crossover. Right now, that 7-passenger capability is a hot ticket, and we’ve seen everything from the new VW Tiguan to Kia Sorento stepping up to snag a bite of that apple. …

Read more 2019 Subaru ASCENT Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Lexus RX450h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The 2018 Lexus RX has always been a big seller for Lexus, and the new version is the best one yet. All variants of the mid-size luxury SUV use a 3.5 liter V-6, but the 450h (hybrid) model adds a small battery and three electric motors. There is also a new long version that has been stretched a little over four inches to accommodate 3rd row seating. Like all Lexus vehicles, the RX 450h has high quality interior materials, a quiet ride and smooth braking and steering. Does the hybrid RX really deliver luxury-car feel and econo-car mileage? The V-6 …

Read more 2018 Lexus RX450h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2019 Mazda6 Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Some say the sedan is dead, that the SUV/Crossover buried it. We say poppycock. (Actually, no one says poppycock anymore, but it keeps us out of trouble with the language nannies). Proof? Look at the aggressive tack we’re seeing right now, with an all-new sporty Toyota Camry, an all-new Honda Accord with available detuned Civic Type R motor, and all-new Nissan Altima with a world’s first Variable displacement turbo engine.  Sedans are back and they’re mad as heck. With all this new sheetmetal on sale, it’s got to be tough for a not-so-new sedan like the Mazda 6 to keep …

Read more 2019 Mazda6 Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Kia Sportage SX Turbo AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Welcome to the jungle.    Not the Amazon – we mean the compact SUV market. But it’s almost as treacherous –  while you won’t find Piranha, you’ll find every car maker worth their salt constantly biting at each other for that big, delicious share of the hottest segment in the marketplace. Your guide today through this land of hungry hippos is the 2018 Kia Sportage. In these treacherous waters, it’s good to have experience on your side, and the Sportage is tried and trusted. In our previous test, we loved the performance, quality, features and style. But that was almost …

Read more 2018 Kia Sportage SX Turbo AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2019 VW Passat GT V6 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It seems like the de-facto performance engine for reasonably priced cars these days is the 2.0-liter, turbo, 4-cylinder. From Audi A4, BMW 3, to Honda Accord and Kia Optima, the moderately-sized, turbo motor strikes as the perfect combination of power and economy. But what about 6-cylinders? For a long time the 6 was the engine, that sweet spot between big muscular V8’s and wheezy fours. Now, it’s a premium item – out of the reach of most buyers – especially if you want that engine wrapped in some sexy European sheet metal. VW to the rescue Yes, the brand that …

Read more 2019 VW Passat GT V6 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Platinum Reserve – Road Test Review w/ Drive Video

  A few nice updates for Nissan’s crossover sales-champ, the Rogue. In addition to the modest facelift the previous year, the latest Rogue drops the 7-seat option with the mini jump seats, brings a top-notch active safety suite and a new flagship trimline: the Platinum Reserve. The core machine is better than ever – and is a stunningly simple car to drive and own.  As we note in the drive video below, the Rogue sells itself in the first block for many shoppers.  It just seems to be the perfect size for awesome visibility but without being too wide or …

Read more 2018 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Platinum Reserve – Road Test Review w/ Drive Video

2019 Toyota AVALON Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Some say Toyota is like a Cruise Ship – once it starts moving it takes a while for it to make a turn. We say not so, in the last couple years, under the direction of new management to create a sportier, livelier, more-fun-to drive product. We’ve seen model after model, from Camry to Corolla, get some sharp new duds, make sharp new moves, and surprise a lot of people. And nothing is more surprising as the all-new 2019 Avalon. Bad Grandpa Not in the bad-not-good sense, but in the bad-is-awesome sense. Once the poster car for our seasoned citizens …

Read more 2019 Toyota AVALON Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Lexus GS350 F Sport RWD – Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart

In an age now where mid-size luxury sedans are stronger, faster and better than ever before…. How come they aren’t the kings of the family fleet any more? Way back in the 90s when your scribe grew up, we had a quick way of telling whether the cars lined up for a party in the neighborhood were from parents or the kids.  If it was all 4Runners and Explorers, then it was definitely a kid party and time to get wild! But if it was stately 740iL’s, XJ’s and Lexus LS sedans… then we knew it was a parent party …

Read more 2018 Lexus GS350 F Sport RWD – Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart

2018 Buick Regal GS – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve been really impressed by Buick lately. Both the Enclave and Encore crossover/suv’s impressed us, and the word has been getting out – Buick is selling well, and appealing to a new, younger, audience. But the Buick Regal may be the biggest surprise of all. Yes, the Regal. You probably know the name – it started way back in 1973. Along the way it has soldiered on, some models better than others. One of the high points was the Regal Grand National, with a turbo engine that caught the imagination of enthusiasts and brought back some of the luxury/performance sparkle …

Read more 2018 Buick Regal GS – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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Industry Insider – New or Used Cars: Which is Better?

This is an age-old question. Should you buy a new or used car? Everyone seems to have a different answer and different reasons why. There really is no single right answer because it all depends on your current lifestyle and living situation. Different financial obligations, abilities, hobbies, and plans will determine whether a new or used car makes sense for you. In order to figure out which is best, let’s consider the upfront cost of the car, the gas mileage, the insurance cost, and the cost of repairs. It’s important to crunch the numbers before making any decisions. Determine What …

Read more Industry Insider – New or Used Cars: Which is Better?

2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

When looking at the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee, one may wonder how a solid axle XJ from a few decades ago has evolved into a smooth-riding, fully independent suspension and a seemingly less off road capable vehicle. From our experience, the new Cherokee is much better on road and is every bit as capable and possibly even more capable than its predecessor. Exterior For 2019, the Jeep Cherokee has a few exterior updates that are different from the 2018 model, making it more attractive and lighter. The bumpers, LED head lights, LED tail lights, hood and liftgate have all been …

Read more 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2018 Hyundai KONA Ultimate FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Hyundai Elantra sedan and Elantra GT hatchback, which we really liked. We even mentioned the GT Hatch might be an excellent alternative to a small crossover. And then Hyundai introduces the all-new Kona compact crossover – and makes liars out of us. Well, maybe not liars. There’s a lot to like about the Elantra GT, but after our time in the Kona, we’re ready to go Island time, full time. (Kona, Hawaii reference for those playing at home). We do it Island Style Let’s start with the looks. The Kona is one great-looking small CUV, with …

Read more 2018 Hyundai KONA Ultimate FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 SRT TRACKHAWK Jeep Grand Cherokee – Road Test Review

Ever felt like traffic was standing still around you? That spooky feeling when your car is just exploding with power from all four wheels. Ready to pounce and snarl. You have to actively hold this truck back 99% of the time. But then what happens?   You find a clear spot on the horizon. You are about to learn what it feels like to floor this Hellcat Jeep.   Find out in this re-edited Trackhawk video.  No donuts or wheelspin whatsoever in this version of the performance drive review.       INTERIOR The Trackhawk cabin is certainly a special place …

Read more 2018 SRT TRACKHAWK Jeep Grand Cherokee – Road Test Review

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A friend just asked about buying a Diesel-engine car. Diesel? Really? It seems like that boat has sailed a while ago, with VW’s diesel-gate putting the powertrain on the chopping block for most passenger cars. Hybrids and EV’s are where it’s going – for their combination of low or zero emissions, hefty government subsidies (ok, those may go away) and driving fun. Yes, driving fun. And one of the most interesting of these vehicles is the new Honda Clarity. A new way to roll Well, the Honda Clarity actually gives you three ways to roll – if you’re on the …

Read more 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Have you noticed this great resurgence in family sedans lately? The all-new Accord and Camrys that we’ve tested are really pushing the limits of design, performance and technology – fighting back against the rising tides of crossovers and suvs. And who do we have to thank for the sedan revival?  Hyundai. A few years back, it seemed like the sedan had settled in for a nice long snooze, content to be shopped by those who wanted 4 doors and a trunk – but not interested in grabbing customers by the collar and saying “Hey check me out”. At the same …

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Comparo! 2018 Lexus RX350 vs RX350L Luxury – By Ben Lewis

Now Trending It seems that no carmakers are immune to the latest trends. And here is the latest in crossover-dome, 3rd row seats in mid-size vehicles. It’s actually not a new idea, heck you could even get 3rd row seats in small SUV’s like the RAV4 for a while. Then we had a nice long run where mid-size vehicles were sensible 5-passenger models, and if you needed to seat 7 you got a larger SUV or even a minivan. And then, all of a sudden 3 row vehicles started coming back. Models like the new VW Tiguan, Land Rover Discovery …

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2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Volvo has been on a roll lately, every vehicle we’ve tested has been a tasty blend of performance, luxury and uniquely Swedish design. We’re always up for a fresh serving of the carmaker’s fare. But the XC60 is more than just another entree, it’s their biggest seller, and it fights in one of the most competitive SUV/Crossover segment on the planet. So, we wondered: Is the all-new XC60 another sweet-dish or a stinky Lutefisk? Well, if you don’t know what Lutefisk is, we’ll leave it up to your googling skills. Or trust us, it’s an “acquired taste” at best. Presentation …

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2019 Acura RDX A-Spec – First Drive Review – By Josh Seaman

When I found out that Acura was going to release an all new RDX, redesigned from the ground up, powered by a new 2.0L turbo powerplant, I was cautiously optimistic. You see, I remember Acura’s glory days. I remember the Legend and Integra and Honda’s feverish devotion to prove that they could swing with the big boys. Even today, many of their vehicles from this era remain sought after by enthusiasts and commuters alike. [Ed’s note: Josh drove an early-1990s Legend in his youth!  The one with the shouty V6 howl!] But somewhere between then and now they seemed to …

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Review: 2017.5 Mazda6 Delights With Handling, Styling and Features – By Tim Esterdahl

Admittedly, I’m not much a mid-size car guy. I like pickups and SUVs with 4×4. However, driving around in the 2017.5 Mazda6 Grand Touring edition, it didn’t take me long to understand why I keep hearing good things about this car. The 2017.5 Mazda6 is one of two cars Mazda offers with the Mazda3 being the smaller of the two. It competes with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and other mid-size cars. Mazda offers the 6 in three models: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring and all the models share a 2.5L 184 horsepower inline-four engine. This model year is also …

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2018 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First off, game over. Hybrid has beaten Diesel. At least for passenger cars. The VW debacle has pretty much snuffed the light out for diesel cars as your super-efficient way to motor around. And with the departure of our dear departed Diesel, expect to start seeing more hybrids. Hybrids ‘R Us. So, it makes sense to see what Toyota’s up to. Especially since they pretty much owned the tech for a long time, and made Prius and Hybrid a household word. And no, this isn’t a Prius test, because there’s a brand-new Camry for 2018, and after having a ball …

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