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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Toyota Highlander Platinum Hybrid Mountain Drive By Matt Barnes

Toyota was first to market a mass-produced hybrid vehicle with the Prius, and they continue to innovate and improve. The new Highlander is evidence of that with incredible efficiency for a three-row SUV. It switches from full electric to hybrid to full gas motor so smoothly that you’ll miss it unless you’re paying very close attention. The e-CVT uses an ingenious planetary gear system, so no belts like other CVT’s. Toyota has made significant updates for the 2020 Highlander and it is by far the best Highlander yet! Exterior Toyota redesigned the Highlander for 2020 and it looks significantly better …

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2020 Cadillac XT6 Drive Review – By Matt Barnes – An Almost Excellent 3-Row Crossover

The XT6 is a front wheel drive luxury crossover from Cadillac using the same platform as the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse. While the quadruplets are based on the same platform, the XT6 looks significantly different. The XT6 is more upscale and sportier than the other three. It appears nimbler and more luxurious yet retains the same 310 hp 3.6-liter V6 used in the others. Exterior When compared to its siblings, the XT6 has sharper lines, a lower body, and more chrome. The headlights are unique from all other Cadillac vehicles, but the grill, bumper, and fog lights …

Read more 2020 Cadillac XT6 Drive Review – By Matt Barnes – An Almost Excellent 3-Row Crossover

2020 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve 4WD by Ben Lewis

Now more than ever, our vehicles have become our sanctuaries. And if you’re like us, you think, why not make my sanctuary a big, luxurious, comfy and powerful one? Allow us to introduce the perfect place to hang out – the 2020 Nissan Armada. Armada Exterior –Big, Bold, Style One thing we like about Nissan is that they don’t just do the same vehicle in different sizes. A Rogue is not a small Pathfinder, an Altima is not just a mid-size Maxima. Everything has its own vibe. And that’s especially true with the Armada. All-new in 2018, the Armada hasn’t …

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2020 Toyota Land Cruiser – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

What can be said about the 200 series Land Cruiser that hasn’t already been said? It’s been around since 2008 and has only had a few meaningful changes since then. For 2020, there is an all new Heritage Edition that removes the rear seats and center armrest cooler and adds a roof rack, BBS forged wheels, and special badges. Other than that, little has changed from the 2019 model year. For our review, Toyota sent us a base model Land Cruiser for a week. Keep in mind the base model Land Cruiser starts at over $85,000 and there is only …

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2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro – Off-Road Review – By Matt Barnes

Like nearly all other body-on-frame vehicles Toyota makes, the Sequoia is getting old. The current generation came out for the 2008 model year. Of course, there have been updates here and there over time, but there hasn’t been a major redesign in 12 years. For 2020, Toyota has introduced the TRD Pro trim level to the Sequoia. Like all other TRD Pro vehicles, the Sequoia has upgraded suspension components and a few unique color and trim items. Exterior No matter how you look at it, the Sequoia is a beast. Nearly everything about it is big. The front greets you …

Read more 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro – Off-Road Review – By Matt Barnes

Car-Revs-Daily.com’s Most Popular YouTube Video! 2021 Cadillac Escalade Walkaround

What’s the most-viewed video over on youtube.com/carrevsdaily ? Is it the drive reviews that take hours of prep, planning and editing?  Nope. It is a humble and quick walkaround of the 2021 Escalade in the sun at Amelia Island Concours. The appeal of this big beast is universal and shooting vid right before the covid quarantines gave it plenty of time to be top of page on Escalade search results. Take a look below and check out the gallery too.  It looks slightly strange in person to these eyes, but is clearly a massive upgrade inside and out. The new …

Read more Car-Revs-Daily.com’s Most Popular YouTube Video! 2021 Cadillac Escalade Walkaround

2020 Kia Telluride – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Kia has created a winner with the all-new three-row Telluride. It has won many industry awards for best in class. Is it actually as wonderful as it seems? Outside If you have seen any of Kia’s advertising for the Telluride, you will have likely seen it wading through water or plowing through mud. Kia is pushing the Telluride as a capable, go anywhere family hauler. To push this idea even further, Kia has given the exterior design of the Telluride a boxy off-roader look. Kia has done an excellent job of separating the Telluride from the Palisade, which shares the …

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2020 Infiniti QX80 Edition 30 – Off-Road Test Review By Matt Barnes

Like Lexus and Acura, Infiniti has been around for quite a while now and they are no longer new players in the game. What does thirty years of experience building luxury vehicles stack up in the new Infiniti QX80? To celebrate 30 years of Infiniti for 2020, Infiniti is offering an Edition 30 Package throughout its lineup. In the case of the QX80 Luxe we received for review, the package includes 22-inch forged dark aluminum alloy wheels, black mesh grill, dark chrome exterior trim, black mirror caps, additional badges, graphite headliner, and 1st row illuminated EDITION 30 kick plates. When …

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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 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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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 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 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 …

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

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition – Review By Matt Barnes

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

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

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

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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 …

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

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

2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD – First Drive – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

For 10 straight months, sales of Hyundai’s SUV’s have increased sales. Kona, Tucson, and Santa Fe are models leading the way. Now the Korean manufacturer has just launched their largest SUV to date, the Palisade.  At a recent press event with the Midwest Automotive Media Association, outside of Chicago, we had a chance to spend several hours behind the wheel of the top level Palisade Limited.  It’s a special vehicle with a lot to offer anyone looking for a mid-size luxury SUV. The Palisade has standard 3-row seating that can seat 7 people or 8, if you choose a second …

Read more 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD – First Drive – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SELS S-AWC – Review By Ben Lewis

Quick!  What’s the world’s best-selling Plug-in Hybrid? If you’re like us, you probably said the Toyota Prius. I mean, they pretty much own all things hybrid, no? No. Surprise! It’s the Mitsubishi Outlander. Which was a surprise to us, too. Mitsubishi is one of the smaller players in the U.S. – until recently when Nissan bought a large share of it. (For those playing at home, Renault is a 43% owner of Nissan, while Nissan owns 34% of Mitsubishi). Those deeper pockets are sure to see investment in Mitsubishi, and a rosier future for the brand. We already felt the …

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2019 Lexus RX350 F Sport AWD – Review By Matt Barnes

For 2019, there haven’t been many changes to the RX 350 F Sport from the 2018 or even 2017 model years. It remains a strong seller for Lexus and a great all-around vehicle. Inside, the F Sport trim adds a variety of interior pieces from the pedals and steering wheel to the F Sport leather trim and seats. Outside, the F Sport gets a nice set of 20-inch rims and a couple of F Sport badges. Performance wise, there aren’t any substantial changes. It still uses the 295 hp V6 that all other RX 350’s use, however, the F Sport …

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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 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

Toyota Brings More Refinement, Technology To the 2020 Highlander CUV

Remember when the Toyota Highlander was stylish and refined? If you said no to either of these, it’s completely understandable considering how past iterations of the venerable Highlander embraced the functionality and purposeful lines that defined it as a perennial favorite among family buyers, but at the cost of losing ground to more design centric family haulers. Toyota is out to completely change the way people perceive the big Highlander, and has given it a very massive makeover for the 2020 model year. The exterior of the 2020 Highlander will certainly draw plenty of stares thanks to its rebooted styling …

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2019 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line V6 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The Volkswagen Atlas is a vehicle that rides, drives and handles much smaller than it actually is. For 2019, it has been updated to include more standard features across the lineup, including forward collision warning, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Our test vehicle was the SE w/ Technology R-line model equipped with the 3.6 liter V6 and 8-speed automatic. Mid-size SUVs have been gaining in popularity for quite some time now, which is a great thing for buyers in this segment. Being in a profitable segment means that there is a lot of R&D put into these vehicles, …

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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, …

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

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser – Off-Road & Towing Review – By Matt Barnes

The Toyota Land Cruiser has a loyal global following, and for good reason. It is one of the most reliable, longest lasting vehicles in automotive history. Cruisers are lauded as the ultimate overlanding vehicle. There are many different variants sold throughout the world, but here in the United States, we get one model with one trim level, and only one available option package. Unless you account for the Lexus LX570, which offers a few more features and a more luxurious interior. To test the capability of the Land Cruiser, we decided to head into the desert hills to see what …

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2018 Lexus GX460 – On & Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Badged as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado worldwide, the Lexus GX460 is a luxuriously adorned version for the United States and other upscale markets. The underpinnings are as durable as one would expect from a Toyota product with all the luxury of a Lexus. Interior The GX460 is a very luxurious vehicle with all the features you would expect in a Lexus. The leather is soft and supple, with heated and ventilated seats. The second row has heated seats, but not ventilated. The steering wheel is also heated. The middle row captain’s chairs are comfortable and allow easy access to …

Read more 2018 Lexus GX460 – On & Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

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Cadillac Unveils Three Row 2020 XT6 CUV Ahead of NAIAS

With the ferocity unseen by the brand in recent years, the once car focused Cadillac has rapidly revamped and expanded its lineup of utility offerings. Once territory that was occupied most successfully by the Cadillac Escalade (review pending,) the luxury brand has added the XT4 and the XT5 in its arsenal to try and allow it to expand its reach in the hotly contested CUV segment. But a void always existed between the XT5 and the Escalade, and Cadillac has addressed this by unveiling its newest XT badged offering, the 2020 Cadillac XT6. When its exterior styling is looked over …

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Lincoln Unveils 2020 Aviator, Second Attempt Brings New Tech, Flair To Luxury SUV Market

Lincoln is out to up its presence in the utility segment and while entries such as the Navigator, Nautilus, and MKC have helped spearhead this effort, a notable omission void has always existed between the Navigator and the Nautilus. Lincoln is out to solve that problem, and has unveiled the 2020 Lincoln Aviator to not only pump some juice back into the segment, but also showcasing the next step in Lincoln’s broader transformation plan. While the Aviator in its current form is all new, the reappearance of the moniker is actually the second attempt Lincoln has made to try and …

Read more Lincoln Unveils 2020 Aviator, Second Attempt Brings New Tech, Flair To Luxury SUV Market

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. …

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2019 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

With a $125,000 base price, the Mercedes GLS 63 AMG is out of range for many people. For those who have the wherewithal and need to haul six people, it is an excellent — and perhaps only — choice. Featuring a hand assembled AMG 5.5 liter twin turbo (Mercedes calls it a biturbo) V8 with 577 horsepower and 561 torque, the GLS AMG has only one three-row performance competitor: the 475 horsepower Dodge Durango SRT 392.  [Audi is not bringing the diesel SQ7 to the USA.] When it comes to luxury, the Mercedes is at the top in this class. …

Read more 2019 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2019 Kia Sorento SXL AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’re suckers for a good ad campaign. And when we saw the new Kia Sorento ad, with it climbing a heinous off-road course at Hell’s Gate, Moab, Utah, we thought – “hey, we haven’t been in a Sorento in a while”. Time to make that right. Well, it’s a perfect time to test the ’19 Sorento, as it features some significant upgrades that take this likable 3-row crossover a step up in the desirability department. Devilishly Handsome. The Sorento has always been a good-looking piece, with an upscale-vibe and a rugged square-shouldered look. Its last complete redesign was in 2016.  …

Read more 2019 Kia Sorento SXL AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 – MEGA Photo Gallery – By Matt Barnes

Check out the rave review of this muscle-truck over here too!   http://www.car-revs-daily.com/2018/09/17/2018-dodge-durango-srt-392-road-test-review-gifs-by-matt-barnes/     http://www.car-revs-daily.com/2018/09/17/2018-dodge-durango-srt-392-road-test-review-gifs-by-matt-barnes/    

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 – Road Test Review + GIFs – By Matt Barnes

The SRT 392 Durango is by far the best-looking Durango produced to date. The SRT package takes the Durango from mundane to monstrous. As we spent more time with it, the Durango just kept growing on us to the point that we didn’t want to return it. Exterior It’s nice to know that the hood vents and scoop are real and have an actual purpose, something not seen on many vehicles today, performance or otherwise. The SRT 392 sits lower than the standard Durango and has a more aggressive stance with wider tires. The black dual racing stripes that run …

Read more 2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 – Road Test Review + GIFs – By Matt Barnes

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Car Manufacturers Can Now Collect and Sell Your Personal Data. What are the Implications?

Your car isn’t just on the road anymore – it is fast becoming part of the ever-expanding internet of things. Information on your vehicle, you and your driving habits are now being harvested by tech companies and car manufacturers can now collect and sell your personal data. But what are the implications of this for the everyday driver? “Warning, Unsafe Driver” Newer cars are able to collect detailed data about the vehicle’s state and the driver’s driving habits. For example, the car can collect data on how hard and fast the driver brakes and accelerates. This data is already starting …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Audi Q7 3.0T – By Carl Malek

With the way crossover entries have evolved over the past several decades, automakers are scrambling to keep more established entries relevant as the segment rapidly evolves. One of these is the venerable Audi Q7 which is the biggest and most opulent (for the moment) entry fielded by the German luxury car giant. When it first appeared in the U.S. back in 2007, it represented a seismic shift for Audi, and turned the once car focused brand into a more balanced juggernaut. As for the Q7, it was a key entry in Volkswagen’s greater ploy towards expanding its diesel lineup. This …

Read more Road Test Review – 2018 Audi Q7 3.0T – By Carl Malek

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2018 Buick ENCLAVE Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If you haven’t had a Buick Enclave SUV on your shopping list in the past few years, it’s understandable. The previous model has been in production since 2007. And while it’s always been a strong seller, with so many new players coming in every year, it’s got to be hard to attract new buyers. Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick? While that’s the tagline from Buick in the 60’s, with the all-new 2018 Enclave SUV, it’s a great question to ask – this is an excellent model for today’s SUV buyer. B is for Bigger With a 2-inch longer …

Read more 2018 Buick ENCLAVE Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 VW Atlas V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion – Road Test Review + Video

A recent comment on our amazing VW Atlas youtube drive review has really stuck in my craw. “Atlas is not a Tahoe competitor,” they say. “Atlas competes with Pilot and Highlander, dude,” is the refrain. And I used to agree with these guys. On paper, Atlas with its seating for 8 and pricing from $30k, might seem like a natural rival to car-based midsize crossovers.  It even runs a standard turbo four and front-wheel drive, after all!  (Same for new Q7 on the turbo four…) But Atlas is so much more than a proper three-row rival to Explorer and Durango. …

Read more 2018 VW Atlas V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion – Road Test Review + Video

2018 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Seems like every manufacturer has their “Luxury Flagship SUV” these days, and Nissan is no exception. While most of these are more luxo-barge than flagship, there are a few that remain true to the real SUV credo of ruggedness, capability and anywhere anytime composure. We’d include the Range Rover and Toyota Land Cruiser in this select group. And now we’d also add the new Nissan Armada. It’s a whole ‘nother kind of Armada. One look and you know this is different. Where the old model was an SUV version of the previous-gen Titan, Nissan does us a solid and gives …

Read more 2018 Nissan Armada Platinum 4WD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate LWB – Road Test Review

There should be a Buzzfeed-style online quiz for SUV and crossover shoppers.  “How big an SUV do you really need?” You see, once the idea of a three-row truck enters some family minds, they go haywire and right to the extreme of a Tahoe or Land Cruiser-size vehicle.  Without thinking for a minute if one of these goliaths is actually the right vehicle.  Don’t spend years having trouble parking your big-rig and gassing up constantly. If you answer No to very-heavy Towing, keep going to the car-based, mid-size crossover category. If you value ultra-modern LED lighting and tech, carry on. …

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If you go by sales, VW SUVs have always been the scrawny kid on the beach getting sand kicked in his face. But, as if answering one of those mail-order bodybuilding courses, a new, big, powerful and buff VW Atlas is giving those other bullies a roundhouse to the jaw, and claiming its rightful place in the sun. Behold: the VW Atlas. Or as we named out tester, Charles Atlas. If you don’t remember Charles Atlas, you can still appreciate that the U.S. is big SUV country, and up until now VW hasn’t really courted the buyer who needs three …

Read more 2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 INFINITI QX80 – First Drive Review w/ Performance Handling Video

QX80 is truly a gentle giant.  This full-size SUV has massive amounts of space and towing strength – key reasons this big brute is still so popular years since its 2011 launch. This 2018 refresh is the second round of facelift updates for the QX80.  New bodywork in the entire nose and tail strikes a fresh pose for 2018 – and certainly looks sharp. We got an early chance to drive the new QX80 around Charleston SC this week.  This is a deeply impressive truck with superb ride quality and luxury galore.  Lux materials and of course the luxury of …

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Brabus STARTECH Land Rover DISCOVERY is Hottest Disco Since 54

In the flesh, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery has an unforgettably futuristic look.  The design is incredibly stunning but is a challenge to capture in photos.  Trust me. So when StarTech launches their bodykit and tuning mods, it takes a sexy truck even further into the future. Deep and chiseled new nose details and lower splitter, dark contrast hood and mirror caps and side sills make up the big changes up front.  All is gloss black with not a touch of chrome to interrupt the look. Around back is where things go particularly bonkers: huge square pipes at each corner …

Read more Brabus STARTECH Land Rover DISCOVERY is Hottest Disco Since 54

Road Test Review – 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature – By Carl Malek

When it comes to sporty driving, the folks at Mazda have always had a knack for balancing sporty virtues with enough value and style to make their vehicles a compelling choice for budget minded enthusiasts. For a while, that tradition didn’t necessarily apply to their SUV/CUV offerings. But with the recently revamped CX-5 and CX-3 blowing a blast of fresh air into this segment, it was only fitting that the CX-9 would embrace this wind of change with vigor. Does the 2017 CX-9 gain some new tricks from its suite of updates, or does this people hauler lose out against …

Read more Road Test Review – 2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature – By Carl Malek

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2018 Land Rover DISCOVERY – Off-Road First Drive

When the truck that gets stuck — metal to rock — in front of you on an offroad course is a 2017 Raptor, you start to wonder if your truck will make it through the same obstacle. Except when it is a Land Rover? We found out just how incredible the 2018 Disco was offroad the other week.  And documented the experience thoroughly! Not totally fair to call this a review of any sort.  Seat time was less than an hour, while we never touched pavement.  So these observations are nearly static impressions. But here goes. WOW! The most ultramodern …

Read more 2018 Land Rover DISCOVERY – Off-Road First Drive

Novitec Debuts Tesla Model X Stage One Bodykit, Vossen 22s and CCBs

Welcome to Hell! Electric cars heading to the supertuning boutique? Yes, the day has come, folks. Just kidding. The Tesla X is already over $100k easily and rips to 100-mph like a stabbed rat.  So why not upgrade its style and stance to match? If you’re like us, you loathe the Tesla roofline and bloated surfaces.  But realize: the looks outside, and the glasshouse in particular, are basically just there to create ridiculously airy cabins.  The same reason there is a double-height windshield — to make the X feel like a legit spaceship.  Once you accept that — and know …

Read more Novitec Debuts Tesla Model X Stage One Bodykit, Vossen 22s and CCBs

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid – Road Test Review – by Ben Lewis

Hybrids are everywhere. And with the rare exception, while they offer improved fuel efficiency, they rarely offer the enthusiast excitement. Now an Acura hybrid? Well that might be something. After all, the new NSX supercar qualifies as a hybrid. Then again, so does the Accord Hybrid, from Acura’s sibling Honda. So the question is, is the MDX Hybrid a sleeper supercar, or just a snooze? Well the looks don’t give anything away. This is the same large 3-row SUV we’ve known for some time. Acura has been honing the design for 2017, with a new “Diamond Pentagon” grille, “Jewel Eye” …

Read more 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid – Road Test Review – by Ben Lewis

2017 Toyota LAND CRUISER – HD Road Test Review + 3 Videos

Driving the incredible Land Cruiser for a week is a major dream-come-true for any car reviewer. So legendary!  So rare! Practically speaking, Land Cruiser is also a test of skills to describe – and do this unique machine justice.  But all the while?  A huge grin on my face and a major thrill to accept this challenge. What makes Land Cruiser so special?  For one, it sits proudly atop the Toyota hierarchy in terms of pricing.  This is the most expensive Big T by far. Continuous production since 1951 is evidence of enduring appeal. And sure, Land Cruiser’s worldwide acclaim …

Read more 2017 Toyota LAND CRUISER – HD Road Test Review + 3 Videos

2018 Dodge DEMON and SRT Durango – Startup, Revs and Exhaust Note VIDEOS

Dodge brought out the big guns for the recent Midwest Auto Media event at Road America racetrack. Their two new sluggers left the crowd in awe!  The SRT Durango was a surprising arrival — considering it has never been seen in real life to date.  The huge news with this monster-V8 SUV is that its tires are simply massive.  Taller than you might expect and wider than most true performance cars — these Pirellis are critical for putting so much power to the ground.  Dodge promises performance to wallop the Yukon Denali and even out-handle the SRT Grand Cherokee. But the …

Read more 2018 Dodge DEMON and SRT Durango – Startup, Revs and Exhaust Note VIDEOS

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Best of NYIAS – 2018 Lincoln NAVIGATOR – 450HP, 10-Speed

There have been three or four times in my lifetime when Lincoln Motor Company seemed like it was really on to something.  It had a lot to prove: we only knew it as the Town Car company.  Certainly not a credible luxury contender. The Jag-look Continental of the late 1990s had us doing double takes, even if it was a total boat and deeply FWD from behind the wheel.  Or when the first Nav arrived. Then when the LS sedans came out.  A luxed-up, 4-door Mustang for Lincoln sounded great! But these moments for Lincoln were one-offs. Flukes, almost, in …

Read more Best of NYIAS – 2018 Lincoln NAVIGATOR – 450HP, 10-Speed

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2017 Subaru ASCENT Concept is Jumbo, 7-Seater Outback Headed to Showrooms Next Year

Subaru has been hinting and teasing its 3-row intentions for years now.  Since the Tribeca bowed out gracefully, in fact, we’ve seen VIZIV concepts galore.  We lost track. Maybe six concepts on that Viziv badge.  Refining what a seven-seat Subaru might be. A new approach was needed, and we now have a 98-percent look at the finished, production product.  The high roofline adds nearly a half-foot of air inside the cabin versus the 5-seat Outback.   An all-new platform drops the floor dramatically in the second row too, giving what looks like amble wayback access and big captains chairs for …

Read more 2017 Subaru ASCENT Concept is Jumbo, 7-Seater Outback Headed to Showrooms Next Year

Animated Debut – 2017 Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept

The newest Infiniti is upon us!  It is dubbed the QX80 Monograph. That term is defined as a singular passion project – and shows the lux truck business is important to Infiniti. Very important. This design study upgrades the design of the QX80 immeasurably.  The glasshouse feels familiar, as does the nose. But they are slippery, sexy new expressions on this frame.  The bodysides take a similar space-future upgrade to their look, too, naturally.  The silhouette-racer description is apt.  Minus the giant mirrors of the current model. This beauty uses camera stalk embeds.  Stance is seriously low, with massive rubber …

Read more Animated Debut – 2017 Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept

2017 Hyundai SANTA FE Ultimate – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

  Overlooked by many consumers, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is the sleeper pick by many journalists as the best full-size CUV on the market. Why the disconnect between consumers and critics? No idea, it is really that good. The Hyundai Santa Fe has been around for years and in 2012 a longer-wheel base model called the Limited hit the sales rooms. As opposed to the smaller Sport model, the Limited offers a third-row – a key item for family shoppers. It also received a different grille design, optional 19 inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips and its overall shape …

Read more 2017 Hyundai SANTA FE Ultimate – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

2017 Nissan ARMADA Platinum – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

In a segment long dominated by the Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon, the 2017 Nissan Armada arrives to take them both head on. With a huge interior and plenty of horsepower under the hood along with a very unique style, it is bold challenger, yet does it truly measure up? Yes and it might just surprise many large SUV buyers. Fresh off a one-year hiatus, the 2017 Armada is back with new looks, improved V8 and loads of safety and security tech. It continues Nissan’s push to be more than a low-budget volume seller and instead be a major …

Read more 2017 Nissan ARMADA Platinum – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

2017 GMC Acadia DENALI – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

  GMC angling to be a “premium brand” these days — a long way from their trucks’ deserved reputation as rebadged Chevrolets.  GMC has definitely changed, but not everything makes sense. The 2017 GMC Acadia Denali is a perfect example of this. It is essentially a rebadged Chevrolet Traverse with upgraded features and luxury. Do these luxury features push it to another level above the Traverse? Absolutely, yet they may do more harm than good. The 2017 GMC Acadia is one of several SUV models offered by GMC these days as the brand works to find complements to its better-selling Yukon Denali and Sierra …

Read more 2017 GMC Acadia DENALI – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

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2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4×4 – HD Road Test Review

As recently as ten years ago, all you had to ask for was a seven-seat SUV. The options were pretty limited and you found your way into various full-size Suburbans or Expeditions. These days, car shoppers have to get a lot more specific.  There are over 50 SUV and crossover models capable of seating seven.  But they are certainly not all equally capable. The Ford Explorer aims to be one of the largest mid-size SUVs out there – one with real seating in the third row and decent luggage room with all seats up.  The Explorer is very-much an SUV versus a …

Read more 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4×4 – HD Road Test Review

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Launch Gallery – 2017 Land Rover DISCOVERY

Ahhh-roooo-bahhh! Definitely lives up to its One Happy Island tagline. The hilly island is the perfect backdrop for the all-new Discovery. Just kidding!  Many of these pics were labelled Aruba… but that is the name of the color. =]   Photos from Utah.  Aruba does have awsome cliffs and red rock… but much more ocean and flora all around.  Our real clue was seeing snow in one of the photos. The 2017 Discovery arrives around April/May to US showrooms with pricing from $50k to $74k.  Two engines: the supercharged gas six or a turbodiesel that adds about $8k to the base price. …

Read more Launch Gallery – 2017 Land Rover DISCOVERY

2018 Dodge Durango SRT

4.4s, 475HP 2018 Dodge Durango SRT Revealed + Video

  There is something hypnotic about watching the new SRT Durango churn all four wheels in a hard burnout!  The video below is the perfect intro to such an awesome machine.  The best part of this burnout!!?  He never actually moves an inch! But the idea of the SRT392 engine with AWD and all the Hellcat-inspired suspension/grip upgrades seems insanely smart.  The numbers speak for themselves.  A 4.4-second launch matches the SRT392 itself thanks to the four-paw grip. The SRT Durango also has a giant tow rating and herculean bellow for all seven passengers to enjoy! 2018 Dodge Durango SRT …

Read more 4.4s, 475HP 2018 Dodge Durango SRT Revealed + Video

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD – Road Test Review + New Photos!

  The new Pathfinder is quite the looker in this flashy Sandstone paintwork! It is quite unusual for a family crossover to attract as much attention as this beauty received in our care for a week.  The facelift definitely works at reinvigorating the Pathfinder’s style, then. But the 2017 refresh for the Pathfinder is actually more than skin-deep. An all-new 3.5-liter V6 is the big news under the redesigned hood – upping the tow rating to 6000-pounds and juicing the 0-60 times as well. Is the refresh enough to make the Pathfinder top of the class with the Toyota Highlander, …

Read more 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD – Road Test Review + New Photos!

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2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 FWD – HD Road Test Review

You know the shorthand details on the all-new 2017 Acadia from GMC:  it is 700-pounds lighter and overall far more carlike than its predecessor. While still seating six or seven with its three-row seating. Another few changes slipped out of the big news, though: the Acadia is gorgeous now, and runs a gorgeous 26-mpg highway via its standard front-drive, four-cylinder power. This is pretty huge news versus the Acadia’s at the top of the range with their big V6 engine and ubiquiotus AWD and huge wheels.  A rarity in the car-reviews business, then. We have ourselves an entry-level model to …

Read more 2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 FWD – HD Road Test Review

2016 INFINITI QX60 3.5 AWD – HD Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart

  Is carlike handling and seating for seven too much to ask for in the luxury car market?  Mainstream brands seem to have this formula pretty well nailed with the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. But name a three-row, car-based crossover from a luxury brand that really delivers easy access, kid-friendly tech and a price less than $75k! Sure, there is the Mercedes-Benz GLS or the Audi Q7.  But both of those big, heavy trucks drive like forklifts around town and in carpool lanes.  Yes, you have the Lexus GX460 or Range Rover Sport to consider.  But those third rows …

Read more 2016 INFINITI QX60 3.5 AWD – HD Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart

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2018 VW Atlas R-Line First Look – Arrives May 2017 to USA Showrooms!

No big power bump on the Atlas yet, but this R-Line upgrade is the sportiest we’ve seen yet! Available as a style and grip tweak to the 235HP turbo four or 276-pony V6, the R-Line adds unique 20-inch alloys and a very chic new appearance front and rear.  Baby steps! The Atlas itself is en route to production and a showroom arrival by around April of 2017 in the USA.  Yes! It is true.  The truck is on the way! In fact, based on these pics… we’d say it is already in pre-production as we speak!  It cannot come soon …

Read more 2018 VW Atlas R-Line First Look – Arrives May 2017 to USA Showrooms!

2017 Nissan Armada Platinum – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

The big news with the second-generation Nissan Armada is this: We finally got a Nissan Patrol in America! Perhaps bigger news still is that the 2017 Nissan Armada, Nissan’s largest SUV, doesn’t drive nearly so large as it is. Nissan does the SUV — bigly Riding on a 121.1-inch wheelbase, the 6,000-lb. Armada measures 208.9 inches from bumper-to-bumper and straddles a piece of ground 79.9 inches wide. It stands 75.8 inches tall. It’s a large beast — not quite as large as the also new-for-2017 Nissan Titan, but close. Maneuvering in tight quarters may require your full, undivided attention. Thankfully, …

Read more 2017 Nissan Armada Platinum – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

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2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  Is the Mazda CX-9 a Miata for 7? It’s an interesting thing. Used to be, you had needs, you bought a vehicle that fit those needs. Things changed when SUV’s got popular. Suddenly, if you needed a minivan, but didn’t want to be seen in a minivan, you could get something cooler. No more settling. Well, that opened the floodgates. Pickup truck that’s decked out like a luxury sedan? You can get them with more cow on the inside than you can tow on the outside. EV’s that will stomp all over supercars? Here’s your Tesla. Convertible Crossovers? How …

Read more 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Volvo XC90 – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  It has been a very long time since I’ve reviewed a Volvo. So I was anxious to get my hands on the 2017 XC90 T6 Inscription with AWD.  As I did a quick walk around of the vehicle, the styling showed a fairly generic shape, especially when viewed from the side.  It doesn’t have a long front overhand, nor a steeply raked windshield.  The front end shows the traditional Volvo grill, which in my youth looked outdated, as it was mostly seen on boxy shaped boring sedans. But on the XC90 it looks more stately, sitting between the headlights …

Read more 2017 Volvo XC90 – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Nissan and the Pathfinder are working hard to give you the SUV you really want. Which is really pretty admirable. Along with Toyota’s 4Runner, the Pathfinder is one of the most storied names in SUV-dom. But unlike the Toy, which has soldiered on being rugged and truckish – with pros and cons attached – in 2013, Nissan took the Pathfinder into the meat of the SUV marketplace with a unibody, 3-row family vehicle. OK, this was tough for some to swallow; the rugged little Nissan that drove all the way to the Amazon (memorialized in a series of commercials in …

Read more 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Nissan ARMADA – Road Test Review

When Nissan announced the details of the 2017 Armada, we were confused but optimistic.  Optimistic because this is indeed a huge upgrade versus the outgoing model, but confused because it appeared virtually identical to the Infiniti QX80. Nissan has sold their version of the QX80 globally for a few years now under the Patrol badge.  But it is only very-slightly cheaper than the QX80 proper in most markets.  That is how close these two platform-mates are.  The last QX80 we tested, mind you, cost close to $100k with its Limited package.  And it is still supremely competitive with the latest Navigator, …

Read more 2017 Nissan ARMADA – Road Test Review

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Land Rover Unveils All-New 2018 Discovery

Following a host of teaser videos and images, Land Rover has formally unveiled the 2017 Land Rover Discovery ahead of its official debut at the Paris Motor Show. Once known for its squarish lines, Land Rover designers decided to take a radical approach with this new Discovery pitching the four corners theme in lieu of a more streamlined look. The front end takes much of its inspiration from the current Range Rover, and even carrys over that model’s headlight design. Meanwhile the rear styling takes inspiration from the smaller Discovery Sport, and features slick LED taillights. The end result is …

Read more Land Rover Unveils All-New 2018 Discovery

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2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  Mazda’s new 2016 CX-9 is the largest of their three SUV offerings, and in fact, the largest Mazda vehicle they have ever made.  The larger dimensions are put to good use, as there is ample room for driver and passenger in the front, very good leg and headroom for second row passengers, and even decent, if not spacious, room for average size adults in the third row. We had a chance to spend a week with the top of the line Signature AWD model.  Mazda threw everything it had into this one, and it came with a very un-Mazda …

Read more 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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2016 Lexus LX570 – Road Test Review + Sport Plus DRIVE VIDEO / 100 Photos

Welcome to the shockingly good 2016 Lexus LX570! This mid-cycle upgrade brings new styling all around, a fresh cabin and a healthy new dose of F Sport-infused performance.  This all moves the Lexus flagship dramatically upmarket versus its Land Cruiser sibling from Toyota. And you are looking at more than just a crisp jawline, industry-best LEDs all around and ultra-lux cabin upgrade versus its much-cheaper sibling.  The improvements are truly substantive, despite the two trucks sharing much of their glasshouse and door shapes. First thing to note in the LX?  This bluff new face up front is gorgeous and sets …

Read more 2016 Lexus LX570 – Road Test Review + Sport Plus DRIVE VIDEO / 100 Photos

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2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Tell the truth: when you see one of the big SUV on the road, the first thing you think about is how much the gas costs to run it. And while we are currently enjoying relatively low gas prices right now, trust me, the oil companies are working night and day to reverse that trend.  And they will invent some reason to scare us into believing that gas prices are justified in going up.  But I digress . . . When the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited showed up in my driveway, I was amazed to look on the Monroney Label and …

Read more 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

2016 has brought a stormy spring to our beloved Mitsubishi. From the firm’s recent troubles with emissions, to the ensuing merger with Nissan, the company has forged through some pretty turbulent waters. But can models like the recently updated 2016 Outlander allow Mitsubishi to tap into the recent surge in SUV/CUV sales? Or does it get lost in the shuffle? The exterior styling of my Cosmic Blue tester is certainly an improvement over past iterations of the Outlander, but it ends up being disjointed and unbalanced. On the one hand, the front fascia embodies the sporty spirit that once defined some …

Read more 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

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Review – 2016 DODGE Journey CROSSROAD – By Tim Esterdahl

For years now, larger vehicles have dominated car sales with families putting a premium on space and seating over handling and fuel economy. The 2016 Dodge Journey is a perfect example of this with its third-row seating offering room for seven while sacrificing great handling and power. Yet, after driving it around for a week, it is clear why it has perennially been one of Dodge’s best-selling models. The extra space in the smaller size (easy to park and easier to drive for most) with a seating position that fits many people is quite honestly precisely what the American buying …

Read more Review – 2016 DODGE Journey CROSSROAD – By Tim Esterdahl

Road Test Review – 2016 Dodge DURANGO – By Tim Esterdahl

Review: 2016 Dodge Durango Citadel Offers Luxury at Bargain Price One of the great things about the Dodge brand is how they can take one product and completely change it with features and styling upgrades. A great example of this is the 2016 Dodge Durango Citadel with its luxurious interior materials, plethora of features and great exterior styling touches. It almost feels like a completely different vehicle and not a Durango at all. Quite frankly, the 2016 Dodge Durango Citadel is so much different than a Durango, it really could be a wholly separate vehicle and it is so good …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Dodge DURANGO – By Tim Esterdahl

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Road Test Review – 2016 Infiniti QX60 AWD – By Tim Esterdahl

Review: 2016 Infiniti QX60 AWD Great Style, Small Misses Over the past several years, Infiniti has really turned up the heat on its competitors by adding great styling and really improving their interiors. Add in a host of new features and a competitive price point, the 2016 Infiniti QX60 is really good, yet small details and a lack of torque hold it back. With Infiniti products, I often refer to them as the “sleeper” luxury pick. Why? Where other manufactures have a strong brand presence to bring in customers – like BMW, Mercedes Benz or Audi – Infiniti, for whatever …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Infiniti QX60 AWD – By Tim Esterdahl

BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese Production Models

PART TWO One look at any of the top concepts from the Beijing Motor Show will tell you: China has come of age in the car business. These were some of the most well-executed, on-trend and exciting models in the entire, gigantic show. The Chery FV2030 earns our vote as the best in show for futuristic concepts.  The Hongqi S Concept wins best in show for production-intent machines. And a special nod to the custom Karlmann King!  This SUV may or may not be a superlux, stealth-skinned Ford Expedition.  For $1.9-million.  =] A variety of sexy EV concepts and supercars definitely …

Read more BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese Production Models

BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese CONCEPT Cars and SUVs!

One look at any of the top concepts from the Beijing Motor Show will tell you: China has come of age in the car business. These were some of the most well-executed, on-trend and exciting models in the entire, gigantic show. The Chery FV2030 earns our vote as the best in show for futuristic concepts.  The Hongqi S Concept wins best in show for production-intent machines. And a special nod to the custom Karlmann King!  This SUV may or may not be a superlux, stealth-skinned Ford Expedition.  For $1.9-million.  =] A variety of sexy EV concepts and supercars definitely warrant a …

Read more BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese CONCEPT Cars and SUVs!

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2016 Volkswagen BEIJING CONCEPT – CrossBlue GTE Preview?

The only way out of this VW TDI mess is product.  That much is clear.  Product, asap! So this latest reveal from VW is very promising. Even as just teaser images. The specs outlined below from VW are enticing: 516-pound-feet of torque via its PHEV drivetrain.  Along with 6.0-seconds to 60-mph and a top end of 139-mph. No word on what the production intentions are for this new truck, nor the number of seats.  But this Beijing Concept is a good look at a five and seven-seat medium crossover coming from all VW regions in the mid-term future. Sliding under …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen BEIJING CONCEPT – CrossBlue GTE Preview?

Road Test Review – 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum with Tim Esterdahl

Review: 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum – Fully Loaded SUV Goodness As the leader of the SUV market, the all-new 2016 Ford Explorer has big shoes to fill. Fortunately, Ford filled the Explorer Platinum with an almost absurd of luxury features making sure it not only hits all the marks, but it blows customers away. Simply put, it feels like a luxury SUV and that is precisely the point. The new Explorer is an evolution of where the SUV has been heading in the past few years and for this recent iteration, Ford really went after the design. There is new …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum with Tim Esterdahl

HD Road Test Review – 2016 GMC Yukon DENALI 4WD

GMC unknowingly timed their full Yukon redesign perfectly:  as the new full-size trucks arrived in 2015, gas prices dropped to historic lows.  Rave reviews on the new trucks’ style, tech and performance propelled massive sales gains: nearly double the sales of the overall vehicle, and almost tripling the previous year’s Yukon XL sales. These are still down from their heady highs in the 70k-units-plus annual tallies that evaporated after 2008’s gas-price spike.   There is much more to the success of the Yukon Denali than external factors like gas prices., however.  This lux truck is a perfect sweet-spot between yummy …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2016 GMC Yukon DENALI 4WD

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Road Test Review – 2016 INFINITI QX80 Limited with Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2016 INFINITI QX80 Limited AWD Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   The first thing I noticed when the Infiniti QX80 arrived in my driveway was how big it is.  It’s HUGE.  How huge is it?  I think the front bumper resides in a different zip code than the rear bumper. (Rim-shot)  You don’t look for a parking space as much as a mooring. (Another rim-shot).  If you are not Shaquille O’Neal, you better get a ladder if you want to wash the roof. The QX80 is a full five-inches longer than a Cadillac Escalade, and has a five-inch longer wheelbase.  That’s …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 INFINITI QX80 Limited with Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Future VW USA SUV Roadmap Projects 15 Variants by 2021

The new Tiguan is a great shining hope for VW lately, and they could use a win.  Here is the loaded Euro-spec model in its first photoset.  Around Berlin and a fun off-road park, the next-generation model is defined by much greater scale all around.  Wider and much longer, with the roof looking quite chic and low.  The new Tiguan’s style is also a close preview of its larger, US-made CrossBlue.  The CrossBlue is set for launch as a seven-seater, with a fastback 5-seat model likely for 2019. The Tiguan as we see here will spawn a few variants itself: …

Read more Future VW USA SUV Roadmap Projects 15 Variants by 2021

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NY Debuts – 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid – Li-ion eAWD 7-Seater

The brand-new Outlander PHEV from Mitsubishi just brought state-of-the-art to the masses.  And their kids! Lithium-ion batteries in potent 12-kWh form let the car drive as an EV for real distances, seat seven people and even have AWD via twin rear-axle motors. Seriously impressive — and the same template as the Cayenne S E-Hybrid costing nearly $200k. The new Outlander PHEV will have a premium over the $22k base of the gasoline trucks, but should still come in at an estimated $35k base when it arrives in USA showrooms in September 2016 as a 2017 model-year.  Full release below for …

Read more NY Debuts – 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid – Li-ion eAWD 7-Seater

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Leads Updated Range (+50 Images)

Very cool to see Acura’s well-liked SH-AWD Hybrid tech join the firm’s best-seller: the MDX! Since its debut on the RLX and now the NSX, the Sport Hybrid has been the saving grace for at least one of those cars.  We’ve yet to sample it but the sheer pace alone is impressive: it drops the RLX’s sprint times almost two seconds.  The tech is tuned more for comfort and efficiency in the MDX Sport Hybrid, adding seven MPG at all times and 35-horsepower too. Will it work the same magic on the MDX? Acura certainly hopes so! The less we …

Read more 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Leads Updated Range (+50 Images)

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2016 Lincoln NAVIGATOR Concept (+Video and Live Photos)

  First look this morning at a *stunning* vision for the future Lincoln Navigator. Innovative and super-posh throughout, as you would expect, but also extremely elegant outside and in.  The most striking element at first sight is the clean and all-new styling for the nose, tail, glasshouse and panel surfaces.  Most elements of the truck-based model are banished in favor of a million-mile first class airline experience.  This extends to the giant showcar gullwing doors, of course, but also to the lower panels and the design in total.  As though a Range Rover and Bentayga met in a bar and …

Read more 2016 Lincoln NAVIGATOR Concept (+Video and Live Photos)

Hawkeye Drives - 2016 Acura MDX Review 1

Hawkeye Drives – 2016 Acura MDX Review

Hawkeye Drives – 2016 Acura MDX Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman The 2016 Acura MDX is a luxury crossover with seating options for up to seven people, and can be had in front wheel drive, or all-wheel-drive, like the test car. The MDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that puts out a hefty 290 horsepower, and 267 ft. lb. of torque.  Power gets to the pavement via a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.  That 9-speed is designed to increase gas mileage, which comes in at 19 City and 26 highway (which includes the engine start/stop features).  Our real …

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2017 Toyota HIGHLANDER Preview – Revised Styling, New V6 and 8-Speed Automatic

Toyota just pulled the wraps of its revised 2017 Highlander ahead of its public debut in New York. The updates are fairly extensive for such a new truck, starting from the streamlined exterior with new lights, grille and tail for the new model year.  Under the skin, the base Highlanders stick to their trusty 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic. But the sporty new SE trimline, all four varieties of Hybrid and most others get big improvements in the drivetrain.  The 3.5-liter V6 is said to be all-new, but we do not have power or efficiency figures yet.  They are …

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2017 Audi SQ7 TDI – Triple-Turbo Diesel V8 is Ultimate Tax on Society

  Could there be a worse time for the SQ7 TDI to make its world debut? Ultra-high-performance.  Diesel.  SUV. These top models like the previous V10 turbodiesel appeal to a tiny slice of the population, mostly in crowded European city centers, who are incentivized by the tax programs of their countries to choose a high-powered diesel over a similar gasoline model. The differences in tax, insurance and running costs for any diesel — no matter how hot — are dramatically lower than a similar Cayenne Turbo of GLE63 AMG.  Ballpark?  About a third cheaper for the diesel models like this 90k …

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Hawkeye Drives – 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad Plus AWD Review

The Dodge Journey is mostly unchanged from the previous year’s model. In fact, it’s little changed since its introduction back in 2009. There was a refresh in 2011, but that was mostly cosmetic. Beneath the skin, it shows its age a bit as the other competitors in its class, like the Nissan Rogue, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav 4, or the Kia Sorento, have out classed it over the years. The Journey just isn’t as sophisticated as the others, and feels a bit dated. That’s not to say that the Journey doesn’t have some positive attributes. Unlike the Honda, Toyota, and …

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2017 Nissan ARMADA Swaps From Truck Basis To Bomb-Proof Global PATROL Models

  This 2017 Nissan Armada is a go!  You’re forgiven for recognizing this exact vehicle as the international Patrol model, or the US Infiniti QX80.  That makes sense — they are all on the same next-gen platform that is stiffer, more refined and just as gigantic as the current truck-based Armada. The new Armada majors on active safety along with its extreme, go-anywhere capability.  The drivetrain of the new Armada loses only 10 horsepower versus its very-potent QX80 sibling: 390HP. All through a seven-speed automatic with available 4WD.     2017 Nissan ARMADA ALL-NEW 2017 NISSAN ARMADA DESIGNED FOR FULL-SIZE …

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2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Pack Is High-Impact Styling Upgrade with Blacked-Out Trims, New LED Fogs!

  Everyone wants their new Explorer to look cool and mean, like some kind of crosso between a Raptor and a Range Rover Sport. But not everyone is willing to pay for the Explorer Sport and its V6TT engine. Solution? XLT Sport Appearance Package! Despite the awful name, the results of this very-sexy upgrade to 20-inch dark grey wheels, dark grey or black trims all around, and semi-suede sport seats are clear to see.  Still stuck with this ghastly halogen foglights, but that is a quick DIY bulb swap to LEDs if you want. I stand corrected — the XLT …

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2016 Nissan WINTER WARRIORS! Murano, Pathfinder and Rogue Get DOMINATOR Tracks

Nissan just revealed three deeply cool concepts for the Chicago Auto Show! These three comfy family crossovers might be slightly unlikely candidates for tank tracks, and that is what makes them so cool. The Winter Warriors are crossovers upgraded with black wraps, Nissan accessories and Dominator brand truck tracks.  Sleek red foil wraps look shimmery over dechromed V-motion grilles.  On a white backdrop with dark tints all around makes these quite captivating to see.   Our favorite part of the new look — besides the tracks! — might be the extended V shape in black up the hoods of the machines.  It is …

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2017 Audi Q7 Visualizer – Colors, Cabins, Pricing and Options Guide

The new Q7 is already burning up the sales charts in the Audi USA lineup! Beset as the brand is with many woes at the moment, the SUV lineup is still a shining beacon of hope.   And cash. Lots of cash! The Q7 in its all-new 2017 generation appears completely immune to the dieselgate saga.  After all, the TDI variants were only ever a 9-percent slice of the model’s sales. The new Q7 really leapfrogs its Touareg and Cayenne cousins for this generation.  Where those two are the lightest of light facelifts for 2015’s refresh, the new Q7 is …

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2016 Mercedes-Benz ZETROS – Next-Gen Heavy Hauler Combines 6×6 Grip, 110-Ton Max GVWR

We love the Special Trucks section of the Mercedes Commercial Vehicle website. Just the name is a bit exciting!  It speaks to their obscene engineering and armageddon-proof construction strength, as well as their purposes for buyers. Few two are exactly alike thanks to MB’s Custom Tailored Truck group — that is able to upfit the three truck bases into virtually anything. Luxury motorhome, fire-fighter, crane/loader, locomotive…. pick your purpose! Unimog, Zetros and Econic are the Special Trucks crew, and each is exceptionally special indeed. We all love the new Unimog — or any ‘mog, actually — with its sleek new …

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2017 GMC ACADIA Shows Radical Redesign: 700Lb Weight Loss, New All Terrain Spec

My my, what have we here! A very sexy makeover for the well-liked GMC Acadia? This three-row crossover has been winning friends for years with its Yukon-like cabin room, but easier parking manners and comfier ride quality. The 2017 model builds on these strengths… but does it drop some capability along the way? Surely, something MUST have fallen by the wayside for the 2017 Acadia to be a massive 700 pounds lighter than the current model.  No swap to aluminum a la the Range Rover or new Q7.  High-strength steel can only do so much, right? It turns out what …

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2016 Kia TELLURIDE Concept – LWB SUV Brings 7-Seat Chalet Cachet

The face of this all-new KIA Telluride concept hit me like a sucker punch in thumbnail form.  What is that, a Lada Bentley? But after a closer look, we have nothing but praise the this Telluride’s bluff yet rounded design themes. The core basics are all there: short front overhang, awesome long and level hood, plus a steep windshield rake like a future G-wagen. It all really works for the Telluride, especially in profile. Here the elegant, techy and innovative glasshouse wears a signature brightwork wrap-around.  In the tail, we have more clean lines and vertical forms. Yet all smooth …

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