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 to be.  Our tester came in with a price only slightly above its $90k base price and therefore was missing the leather lux package, the giant moonroof and many of the active safety kit that is offered. We didn’t miss much of this except for the moonroof.  Grand Cherokees are …

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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 left coast, at least. There’s the Hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell (California only, lease only), pure EV Clarity Electric (California and Pacific Northwest only, lease only) and our tester, a plug-in hybrid – available for sale, everywhere! The plug-in hybrid is an interesting way to go – a mix of true …

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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 time, Hyundai was in its revolution, going from a low-end, low-esteem brand, to a feisty competitor to take on Nissan, Honda, and Toyota. It was 2011, and the Korean competitor came out with an all-new Sonata that was jaw-dropping gorgeous – looking like someone from Jaguar had penned the lines …

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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 Sport, Nissan Rogue all offer room for 7. And for those luxury-minded individuals, there’s the all new Lexus RX350L.   What the L? We recently had the opportunity to test a 5-passenger RX350 and then a 7-passenger RX350L, and we came away surprised, intrigued, and a little bit – scratching …

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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 is everything. So, we were a little surprised at first glance at our XC60 tester. It was nice, but kind of ho-hum. Then we figured it out…it’s not the lines, in this case, it was the color. Called Pine Grey Metallic, it certainly sounds outdoorsy enough, but in the wrong …

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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 have lost their way somewhat. Perhaps they were victims of their own success. Maybe after this golden age they didn’t feel like they had anything to prove anymore. Maybe they felt they could put the brand on cruise control and let styling and brand recognition alone carry them. I hoped …

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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 the last one prior to a new model 2018 version on dealer lots as of this writing. The new 2018 model was a facelift revision with major cosmetic changes inside and out. It is essentially the same vehicle as the 2017 model. My week behind the wheel of the 2017.5 …

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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 with the 301 hp XSE V6 model, we were interested to see if the hybrid model could enjoy as much of a transformation as the XSE model did. No More Hand-me Down Threads First thing you notice, the Camry Hybrid is handsome. While the whole line up of Camrys is …

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Tips for Choosing Your Next Family Car

When it comes to choosing a family car, there can be a lot of viewings, test drives and scouring the local magazines trying to find your perfect vehicle. It goes beyond the looks and the comfort to the accessories, optional extras and fuel consumption. Although most new cars are all trying to be fuel efficient, there are still variations between manufacturers. To try and help you decide, here are a few tips on choosing your next family car. Budget With so many choices available the price range for new and used cars can be considerable. For that reason, it’s important that you decide on your budget before you arrive to view the cars. It might be that you see something different when you arrive that captures your interest, but you need to stick to your budget, or you risk financial difficulties. Have an Idea What You Need Before you go …

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