Buick grows Encore range with larger Encore GX, can it fill sales niches for luxury brand?

Buick is now an all SUV brand. With the demise of the Regal and the slow selling Cascada convertible, the venerable luxury marque has now betted all of its chips on SUV and CUV models. A key part of this strategy is to do what rivals are doing, and try to find new niches or holes in the lineup to fill. In this instance, Buick had an opportunity to fill a hole in between the smaller Encore and the Envision models with the all new Encore GX. This model promises more luxury, capability, and the compact size that buyers still …

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Volkswagen doubles down on CUVS with 2022 Taos, fills void in the process

The SUV segment is a rapidly changing place, and when you have a void in your lineup, it can be quite noticeable. That was the predicament that Volkswagen was facing with the firm having a noticeable hole below its volume focused Tiguan SUV. With subcompact CUVs proving to be a very reliable honey hole for consumers, Volkswagen had to act quickly, and it has chosen to do so with the 2022 Volkswagen Taos. The Taos aims to bring instant success to Volkswagen, but can it fill the shoes left by the Golf?   Shrunken Tiguan wrapper creates distinctive look: The …

Read more Volkswagen doubles down on CUVS with 2022 Taos, fills void in the process

Is it possible to lose one’s self for progress? We check out the 2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i

When BMW first unleashed the X6 SAV onto the world, it was a game changer. Not only was it a design focused departure from its cousin the X5, but it could also perhaps be considered the ancestor to the coupe style SUVS that have since rapidly proliferated in the marketplace in the years since. But as is the case with everything up for sale, the occasional update is needed to keep the design fresh, and the finer details sharpened enough to draw in more consumers. But can the 2020 X6 still wow observers the same way it did when it …

Read more Is it possible to lose one’s self for progress? We check out the 2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i

Acura teases fourth generation MDX with new teaser image, will debut on October 14th

Acura has been making waves in recent years, and with the RDX and TLX appealing to young luxury buyers, the company is choosing to give its more function focused MDX some love and attention for 2021. A new teaser video released by the company shines the spotlight on some of the new design elements that will make their debut on the upcoming MDX. Released via the company’s Youtube page, the teaser focuses on the strong character lines that help create the general shape of the RDX, We also get a glimpse of the front fascia as well as the redesigned …

Read more Acura teases fourth generation MDX with new teaser image, will debut on October 14th

2020 vs 2022 Kona what’s new and different?

With Hyundai recently unveiling the heavily updated 2021 Kona for Europe (2022 for our market) its clear that Hyundai is still willing to walk the walk when it comes to making a compact CUV that has a combination of style, technology, and performance. But with the game tightening up in its segment, the Kona still needs to be on its A game to fend off new challengers. Hyundai has done just that with the 2022 Kona. But while Hyundai unveiled it for the European market, it still serves as a glimpse to whats in store for U.S. customers. We recently …

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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 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

2021 Hyundai Kona: facelift teased, confirms all new N-Line model

The hot selling Hyundai Kona is only a couple of years old, but the company still wants it to look as fresh as it can while also avoiding a mid-life crisis at the same time. With that in mind, the Korean car giant has confirmed that the Kona is going to be receiving a light nip and tuck, and has even provided a glimpse into what the 2021 model year will bring to the tiny CUV. The front fascia is still just as expressive as ever, but the full LED headlights are sharper looking than before in the upper and …

Read more 2021 Hyundai Kona: facelift teased, confirms all new N-Line model

Comparision Battle – 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature vs 2020 Ford Escape Titanium

Shopping for an SUV these days can be a very difficult endeavor for many buyers. There are a wide range of models, trims, and other items all vying to try and get your hard earned dollars when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put a crimp on new vehicle sales across the board, many of the local dealerships we visited in Metro Detroit have reported steady SUV and CUV sales. We decided to compare the 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature and the 2020 Ford Escape Titanium to see how they would …

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2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo – Off-Road Drive Review – By Matt Barnes

Kia is at it again! The new-to-market 2021 Seltos is another attempt from Kia to bring a well-equipped and capable crossover to market at a great price. Like the Telluride, the Seltos has an opportunity to disrupt the market. We have previously tested the base Seltos S FWD and quite enjoyed it. Now, Kia has sent us the Seltos SX Turbo AWD for review of a top trim sub $30,000 small crossover. Intro Video Overview Seeing the differences between the base model and top trim model is always a good thing when purchasing a new vehicle. It’s a good way …

Read more 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo – Off-Road Drive Review – By Matt Barnes

2020 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

For decades, Toyota has been known for having bland vehicle styling. To change that reputation, they have recently made an effort to modernize their vehicles and add exciting features to the body work. From the new Camry to the Tacoma, we’d say that it’s working. Continuing that trend, Toyota has updated the 2020 C-HR with a restyled front end, bold new colors, and attention-grabbing wheel designs. Toyota sent us a 2020 C-HR Limited trim to test for a week.   Exterior The most common colors on vehicles sold in the US today are white, black, and every shade of grey …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Venue: SEL

Small crossovers make up an increasingly large percent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. In fact during last year alone, one out of four vehicle sold in the U.S. was either a subcompact or compact crossover, which is a very vivid indicator of just how important the segment has become in the automotive world. Hyundai is no stranger when it comes to this key class of utility vehicles, with the Korean car giant already wielding two very potent entries in the form of the Kona and Tuscon. But the company realizes that there is still room to expand, and …

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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

Hyundai Goes To The Darkside With 2021 Kona Night Edition:

A trip to the dark side has proven to be very popular with buyers over the last few years, with black accents and a minor suite of upgrades translating into a sales winner for many automakers. Hyundai is the latest automaker to join this rapidly growing trend, and has formally unveiled the all new 2021 Kona Night Edition. As the name implies, this particular iteration of the Kona offers gloss black accents in areas where buyers might find standard chrome or other bright work that helps create a very distinctive look. The end result is a very dark monotone theme, …

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The Best Of Balance? – 2020 Mazda CX-30: Review

When Mazda first began revamping their SUV lineup a few years ago, the Japanese automaker made it clear that it was keen on outdoing established rivals with a healthy blend of style and technology. This includes addressing a noticeable hole in their lineup, with the all new CX-30 crossover. But can the newest member of the Mazda family be the perfect middle ground for budget focused CUV buyers?   Mazda 3 Underpinnings Highlight Sensual Design: The CX-30 is essentially a lifted version of the Mazda3, but like the sedan and hatchback it shares its platform with, the CX-30 has a …

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Debuts, Sport Model Adds More Power

When Subaru promised that it had some big changes planned for the 2021 Crosstrek, we were intrigued especially at the thought of a Crosstrek that could finally have the muscle to go toe to toe with some of its rivals. Subaru has finally taken the veil off of the 2021 version and it appears that this Crosstrek has the goods to truly bring the fight to segment stalwarts. Before we get into things, we might as well address the lone disappointment that comes with the 2021 Crosstrek, power. When the Crosstrek Sport was unveiled, we were curious to see if …

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2021 Jeep Compass Teased Ahead Of June 4th Virtual Unveiling

With all the attention that the Jeep Gladiator, Wrangler, and even the upcoming Grand Wagoneer are getting these days, it can be easy to forget that behind the scenes, the iconic off-road focused brand is preparing updates for some of its other models. One of these is apparently, the Jeep Compass, with the brand revealing that the 2021 Compass will make its virtual debut on June 4th.   While the lone teaser that the company released is an extreme close up of the front grille, it’s apparent that some form of refresh is in store for the Compass (contrary to …

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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 …

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

Hyundai Teases Next Generation Santa Fe With New Teaser Image, Hints At Sharper Front Facia

It’s not often that an automaker completely flips the script when it comes to designing a mid-cycle refresh for an automobile. Usually, the company in question would focus on lightly updating the model, but retain its core elements for a bit longer. Hyundai however is doing just the opposite with the Hyundai Santa Fe, and promises that customers can expect more than just a typical refresh for the next generation Santa Fe. A key change here is that Hyundai will be replacing the current platform with an all new one. This rarely happens in the automotive industry, and is a …

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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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2020 Toyota C-HR Limited By Ben Lewis

It’s interesting how time changes things. When we tested the 2018 C-HR, it was one of the first of the mini-crossovers, and it looked like the small sedan was on its way of going extinct. Well, the small sedan still isn’t what it used to be, but it’s around. And we’ve found some really good ones lately, including the Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte GT. But what’s even more interesting to us, is that the mini-crossover has now been attracting the interest of a new type of buyer – those who were thinking about luxury vehicles, but with the economy …

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Toyota Revives Venza Nameplate For Hybrid CUV, Promises To Bring High Fashion To Green Vehicle Ranks

The Toyota Venza has returned after a several year absence. But while the original Venza was a segment blurring entry that straddled the line between a traditional car and a SUV before it was unceremoniously discontinued in 2015, this chapter of Venza aims to push its SUV lineage more into the spotlight, while also doubling down on its green credentials at the same time.   Sharpness and Aggression Define Venza Styling: The original Venza’s styling could be best defined as a bland mixture of styling elements, with the overall look having about as much consistency and excitement as a brand …

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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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Toyota Teases May 18th Unveiling For Two All New Hybrid Models

With the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic keeping automotive related events down to a minimum, worldwide vehicle debuts have been a rarity over the past few months. Toyota on the other hand is trying to keep things interesting, and has revealed that it will be unveiling not one but two all new hybrid models in a live stream event on May 18th.   While the 2020 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition (a lightly spruced up version of the current Prius) is already confirmed to be a part of the event to coincide with its 20th anniversary, the Japanese auto giant is so far …

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Ford Mustang Mach-E Ready For All Of Mother Nature’s Wrath In New Video [Video]

While the bulk of the United States is supposed to be in spring, freak winter weather in the northern parts of the country are subtly reminding buyers that the specter of winter is never too far away. Ford used the unique meteorological opportunity to release a new video that provides some unique insight into the Mach-E’s testing regimen as well as an example of its all weather prowess. The video in question places the spotlight on its all-wheel drive system, with the Mach-E featured being tasked with going through very snowy terrain. The white and the red mixing together produces …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Lexus NX300h – By Carl Malek

Crossovers these days are becoming a solid backbone for many automakers when it comes to hitting crucial sales targets. This fact of life is amplified in the luxury CUV segment, where the battleground is white hot, and these vehicles have effectively stolen the spotlight from their sedan counterparts. Lexus has certainly done a good job of keeping up with trends, and has assembled a very potent lineup of crossover offerings. While some like the Lexus RX take pride in their role as being the figurative bread winner model, the Japanese auto giant knows that other buyers will want something distinctly …

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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 …

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

2021 Kia Seltos S FWD by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Hyundai Kona, and found it to be a stylish, sporty and well-equipped runabout. So, it’s easy to think that the all-new 2021 Kia Seltos, which shares most of the powertrain is its brother from another mother, but that’s not the case – it’s a completely different vehicle with a different purpose. Poised between Kia’s funky Soul and more traditional Sportage, it’s a small, rugged adventurer ready to tackle tough conditions. Kia Seltos Exterior – Bold and Eye Catching Kia likes to say that the Seltos has the same design theme as the big, bold Telluride SUV. …

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2020 BMW X6 40i – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Sports Car in a Crossover’s Clothes: the New BMX X6 German vehicle manufacturers have recently been flooding the US market with a variety of crossovers; Audi offers six, Mercedes offers eight, and BMW offers seven. For BMW, they offer their SUVs as wagons and coupes. The X1 is the wagon and X2 the coupe riding on the same platforms. This goes for the X3 and X4, and the X5 and X6. The only wagon without a coupe is the new X7 as there is no X8 available yet. BMW was kind enough to give us a week with an X6 …

Read more 2020 BMW X6 40i – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Twin Test: 2020 Hyundai Kona Turbo FWD – Cheaper, But Much Less Grip

In the first part of this twin test we crowned the Kona Turbo AWD a best-of-2020 winner and clearly the superior Kona Turbo for performance enthusiasts.  This segment takes a look at what the differences are via a drive review and a new photoset of the 2020 Kona 1.6T front-wheel-drive. The upcoming Kona N performance model makes perfect sense to anyone who has driven the turbo version of these cars.  (The base Kona trims have significantly worse more affordable mechanicals beyond the engine so the boosted upgrade is very worthwhile.) But once you have sprung for the turbo, should you …

Read more Twin Test: 2020 Hyundai Kona Turbo FWD – Cheaper, But Much Less Grip

Twin Test: Hyundai Kona Turbo AWD – Brilliant Speed, Grip & Handling

Testing two cars in different trim and powertrains is often pretty dull with the same conclusions applying to both vehicles. Not in this case. For enthusiasts, the AWD is the clear favorite. The bar is extra high for these small Hyundais since experiencing the pure driving joy that is the Veloster N.  The bar is raised high by that giggly pocket rocket — so its extra admirable that Kona is in same ballpark. The top Hyundai Kona trims both run the 1.6T and double-clutch automatic but differ in their drivetrains and rear suspensions.  The AWD is the clear winner on …

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2020 Hyundai Venue Road Test Review by Ben Lewis

2020 Hyundai Venue SEL Review Here’s a term you don’t here that much anymore. Basic transportation. You probably remember them, usually a small car, no frills, no thrills, just get me to work (or school) and back. Thrifty and reliable. Well, those don’t really exist anymore. Part of that is good – comprehensive safety is becoming standard equipment on just about all vehicles. And with almost everyone using a smartphone, connectivity is important. And oh yeah, might as well make it a small SUV/Crossover – versatility and practicality won’t take a back seat anymore. So that’s opened the door for …

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2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD by Ben Lewis

Small SUV’s are a big thing, and they keep on getting bigger. And they’re not just aiming for small SUV and crossover buyers, they’re going after small car buyers too. The new Mazda CX30 for example, is more a tall hatch than anything else. The Hyundai Kona could fit into that mold as well. It definitely has SUV styling cues, but the size certainly wouldn’t turn off buyers coming from small cars. And as a bonus, this is one of the most fun small SUV’s to drive. Spending a week in a Kona is a much fun as…. well, a …

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2020 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Chevy released the Blazer one year ago and has already done a complete renaming of it’s trim levels for the 2020 model along with a few other trim and package updates. Chevy added a new mid level engine option with the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder. Trim level names have changed from L, 2.5L, 3.6L cloth, 3.6L leather, RS, and Premier to L, LT, 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier. They have also added an auto start stop override button, three new exterior colors and a new redline edition. For our testing Chevy sent us a top-of-the-line 2020 Blazer Premier AWD …

Read more 2020 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

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 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition by Ben Lewis

Words like “Icon” and “Legend” get thrown around a lot in the automotive marketplace. Along with terms like “inspired by” and “an homage to” also thrown in. But there are a few deserving the title of greatness, and in SUV’s, you’d have to include Toyota’s Land Cruiser. First of all, it’s been around a long time, 60+ years. And while we’ve been through many iterations of the Cruiser, despite growing larger, more powerful and more luxurious along the way, it has always maintained its ruggedness, its off-road capability, and unbreakable nature. And it’s a world-wide favorite – from the Sahara …

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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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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 Hyundai Venue SE – Entry Level Quick-Take

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a delightful, affordable, entry-level crossover. This review is for the most basic SE model which is priced $17,250 with basic floor and cargo mats, and wheel locks adding $305, and a $1,095 delivery, for a total of $18,650 before trades, discounts and negotiations. As of this writing, there is a $500 offer; and you might qualify for others. All in for under $20,000 is almost hard to accomplish today, especially in the popular crossover segment. The 2020 Venue drives better than the price would imply. The base transmission is a 6-speed manual, and that is …

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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 Acura RDX SH-AWD A-SPEC – Review by Ben Lewis

Acura has been on the move lately. We’ve been continuously impressed with vehicles like the fun and agile ILX, the luxurious and swift RLX, and the MDX Hybrid, which was a tech tour de force. But of all the nice products, the best may be the all-new RDX. The RDX has had an interesting life. The original model was ahead of its time, coming in   2007 with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a very sporty chassis. For the second gen, the 2013 model featured a V6 engine, and was much more of a scaled down MDX. A very nice mainstream …

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Hyundai Venue Pricing Revealed, Shatters Pricing Cliches With $17,250 Base Price

When Hyundai first introduced the 2020 Hyundai Venue, its boxy shape, as well as its impressive suite of standard equipment immediately caught our eye, but with 2019 rapidly coming to a close, we still did not hear from Hyundai on the final pricing for this tiny CUV. The Korean car giant has thankfully delivered on this lone omission, and revealed that the Venue has a starting MSRP of $17,250. That does not include the $1,095 destination fee which helps push the price to $18,345. This pricing is somewhat of a game changer in the CUV segment, with Hyundai claiming that …

Read more Hyundai Venue Pricing Revealed, Shatters Pricing Cliches With $17,250 Base Price

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

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

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2019 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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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 Followup – 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate By Carl Malek

When we last met the Hyundai Kona, it was in Detroit where we got to briefly experience its charms on various roads in the Metro Detroit area (as well as run into Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond of Top Gear and Grand Tour fame). Our brush with the stars aside, the Kona delivered a good first impression, thanks to its compact size, as well as the sheer amount of standard equipment that is infused into every Kona. The Kona even took its act to the green car market, where the Kona EV has been making waves since it …

Read more Road Test Followup – 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate By Carl Malek

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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2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD – Road Test Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

Nissan has done a good job of making their SUV’s feel higher class than they have in the past. Often, Nissan’s are thought of as budget Toyotas, with great reliability but very basic. However, in the past few years, Nissan has moved into luxury interiors with comfortable seating and plenty of standard safety features. While bare bones base models are still available for price conscious customers, it’s Nissan’s middle and upper trims that really bring out the comfort and convenience features. Outside Our test model was an AWD SL trim with the premium Sunset Drift paint color. It is a …

Read more 2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD – Road Test Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

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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Honda Unveils 2020 CRV Hybrid, Brings All-Wheel Drive To Hybrid Lineup For First Time Ever

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid already made its debut in Europe earlier this year, but with the U.S. version of the CR-V due for an update. Honda has unveiled our version of the 2020 CR-V Hybrid, which will be the third hybrid model that Honda will have for sale alongside the Accord and Insight sedans, as well as the first light utility on sale here to benefit from hybrid technology.   Tweaked Exterior And Interior Styling Defines Light Refresh: Honda knows that when it comes to sales, the 2019 CR-V is a very potent winning formula for the Japanese auto …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 First Edition – By Carl Malek

When Jaguar first announced that it was formally entering the EV vehicle market, we we’re admittedly a bit skeptical at first. The thought of a company with a history of electrical problems building a pure EV? Blasphemy, some might say when first presented with the thought. But after years of development, the Jaguar I-Pace has finally begun trickling its way into dealerships, and it is out to change perceptions, while also establishing Jaguar as a mainstream contender to the Tesla Model X. But can the I-Pace rise above the others to deliver a distinctly unique driving experience? We had a …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 First Edition – By Carl Malek

2019 Lexus UX 250h Luxury – Review by Ben Lewis

There is an age-old conundrum in vehicles. At a certain price, should you buy the top of the line of a mainstream manufacturer, or go into the entry-level of a premium brand? And here is a perfect example – the Lexus UX 250h.  You’ll pay a premium in price over, say a RAV4 hybrid, but is it worth it? We think so. Why? It Looks Like a Lexus This is a second time we’ve tested the UX. We previously had the UX 200, and we really liked the lines of the vehicle. While it is the baby in the family, …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Road Test Review – 2019 Lexus UX200 F Sport – By Carl Malek

Lexus like other automakers, had a bit of a conundrum when it came to the task of luring in young millennials to its model lineup. How do you create something that comes jam packed with technology, style, and sophistication but in the compact dimensions that are needed for a urban commuter? While the Lexus RX is still a venerable nameplate (the bewildering RX350L excluded.) Its bigger size does not bode well for buyers in urban environments, and the Lexus NX can be a bit too extreme for other buyers. Lexus thinks it has finally hit the sweet spot with the …

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2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Toyota made many changes to the Rav4 for 2019, including a new chassis, new bold look, and more space. How will Toyota’s top seller in the United States fare with these new changes? Coming in at $37,699, is this loaded crossover worth the coin? Overview The Rav4 has long been a big seller for Toyota. It was an early, if not the first, car-based SUV, now called crossovers. For 2019, the Rav4 is more aggressive with a higher stance and a half inch higher ground clearance. This bodes well for the Rav4 Adventure whose focus is on outdoorsy people who …

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2019 Jaguar i-Pace EV400 – First Drive Review – By Becky Antioco

The Jaguar I-Pace is everything you’d expect from a luxury car, and more than you would from an electric vehicle (EV). The case for EVs, in general, is complex, with considerations like environmental impact, practicality, range anxiety, and issues of substance and style coming into play. I’d argue that the I-Pace has the last two, in spades. I-Pace’s accolades are many: World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, and World Green Car for 2019, European Car of the Year, and one of AutoTrader’s Best New Cars for 2019, to name a few. Yet, judging by sales …

Read more 2019 Jaguar i-Pace EV400 – First Drive Review – By Becky Antioco

Road Test Review – 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label – By Carl Malek

We like exploration, the sense of embarking on an adventure and discovering new things. It turns out, the folks at Lincoln also like the spirit of adventure too, especially with their recent blitz towards adding more exploration focused motifs into their models. When we last checked in on Lincoln, we checked out the biggest offering in their lineup, the revamped 2018 Navigator. The Navigator aimed to re-establish Lincoln’s dominance in the full-size luxury SUV segment, and we put that to the test by embarking on a road trip that took us throughout northern and western Michigan. However, while the Navigator …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label – By Carl Malek

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

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

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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

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 …

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Review by Ben Lewis

The CX-5 crossover is a big deal to Mazda – it’s the best-selling vehicle they have in the U.S., and having sold over 2 million units worldwide it’s a bona fide success. It’s a well-loved product, too. Having been here since 2012, it got a nice refresh when we tested the 2017 CX-5, and we felt that it was still our favorite small crossover – it’s a great drive. But time moves on, some big hitters have come our way, including the all-new 2019 RAV4, which we loved for its looks, performance, and hybrid efficiency, all in one package. Mazda …

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First Drive Review – 2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury – By Carl Malek

It’s no secret that Cadillac is very late to the compact luxury crossover party. While the XT5 was a humble attempt at giving Cadillac a fighting chance in the broader luxury segment, it could do little to hide the fact that a very noticeable void existed between it and some of the smaller luxury CUVs that are pulling in younger buyers in droves, especially those that want utility, but in a smaller tidy package that still is jam packed with luxury. The 2019 Cadillac XT4 aims to make up for lost time, and is Cadillac’s first formal foray into this …

Read more First Drive Review – 2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury – By Carl Malek

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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Road Test Review – 2018 Audi Q5 2.0 quattro S tronic – By Carl Malek

When it comes to being a true jack of all trades, the Audi Q5 certainly has a lot going for it. With its impressive amounts of luxury, poise, and quickness, the Q5 has always been a consistent presence in Audi’s utility lineup. While the Q8 is currently hogging the spotlight when it comes to showing off its slick infotainment technology and impressive engineering, the smaller Q5 has been quietly doing its job as Audi’s bread and butter offering, especially for buyers looking for something between the Q3 and the bigger Q7. But is the Q5 still an excellent volume player …

Read more Road Test Review – 2018 Audi Q5 2.0 quattro S tronic – By Carl Malek

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 Honda Passport AWD Elite – Review by Ben Lewis

What’s in a name? We’ll skip the Shakespearean reference, and go for the automotive one. Do they make sense? Sometimes. A 911, well that’s a model number. A Maxima – uh, is there a Minima? Now we have the all-new Honda Passport. Wait, we’ve heard that name before. Yep, there was a Honda Passport in the ‘90s. Well sorta. That Passport was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo, which wasn’t a bad vehicle, and it was a smart idea – Honda needed a compact SUV to fight it out in that red-hot segment. This was three years before the 1997 CR-V would …

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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, …

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2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Review By Ben Lewis

Toyota has found their mojo. The new Camry is awesome. The Hybrid version, is too. The Corolla Hatch? Desirable and fun. Even the Avalon is sexy now. Yes, the Avalon. But it’s the SUVs and Crossovers that are make or break for manufacturers. And since the RAV4 pretty much invented the small car-based SUV 22 years ago, it’s been a big hit. In fact, Toyota says the RAV4 is not only the best-selling vehicle in its class, it’s the best-selling non-pickup in the country. That would make a lot of manufacturers cautious, careful and conservative. Don’t rock that money boat! …

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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 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 …

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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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Lincoln Ups Luxury Ante With All New Corsair

When we last saw the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, it was via a heavily veiled teaser video that revealed the new moniker, but not much else. This time around, Lincoln has let the wraps come off its MKC replacement, and folks will certainly be in for a treat when it eventually makes its way to showrooms. Buyers looking for a radical change will find plenty to talk about, with the exterior styling leading the way. The front fascia is much more cohesive than before, and the bulk of the design takes a significant amount of inspiration from its bigger stablemates the …

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Hyundai Sheds More Light On Upcoming Venue CUV With New Sketches

When Hyundai first revealed that they were releasing another utility model in time for the 2019 New York Auto Show, we were curious to see what exactly the Korean car giant had in mind. While the original batch of teaser images preferred to showcase the Venue’s design inspiration (versus the CUV itself,) this time around, Hyundai released several teaser sketches that help shed just a bit more light on what we can expect from the Venue when it eventually makes its debut in the flesh. From what we can see, it appears that the Venue will share a lot of …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Lexus RX350L – By Carl Malek

A key adage that applies in the automotive industry is the classic saying “Build it and they will come.” Indeed, this logic has resulted in some truly impressive models such as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, as well as tamer fare like the Toyota RAV4. However, it has also resulted in the appearance of a fair share of odds ball offerings in the past including the Nissan Murano convertible. But with crossover mania in full swing, this timeless saying has new meaning, especially with how white hot the sales race is in the all important luxury crossover segment. Lexus is …

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Radical Overhaul, Technology Infusion Define 2020 Ford Escape

Ford’s Escape CUV has always been a reliable soldier for the Blue Oval since its debut in the early 2000s. While it might not have the icon status that its bigger stablemate the Explorer has, there’s no denying that the Escape is a powerful force when it comes to re-enforcing Ford bottom line sales. With the 2018-2019 Escape creating a very lofty set of shoes (and sales) to fill, Ford pulled out all the stops to make sure the 2020 version can maintain its winning ways. The exterior styling of the 2020 Escape will arguably be the first thing that …

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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 …

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Hyundai Teases Venue Compact CUV Ahead of Big Apple Debut

Typically when an automaker unveils an important model, they usually pick the perfect venue to help give it maximum impact and appeal. The New York Auto Show is no exception, but in the case of Hyundai, the Korean automaker has decided to flip the script, and has formally begun teasing a new small compact CUV that will make its debut in the Big Apple.   Taking inspiration (perhaps a bit too literally) from the venue it will be debuting in, the new model (dubbed the Venue) will be the smallest Hyundai utility offering, and it will be positioned below the …

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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

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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Tesla Unveils Long Awaited Model Y SUV, Starts At $39,000

Following years of rampant speculation, as well as multiple teasers, and a veil of mystery that would make the Manhattan Project feel jealous. Tesla has finally unveiled the long awaited Model Y CUV to the world, and it appears that Tesla is finally ready to take a serious stab at penetrating the growing and increasingly important mid-size CUV market. The exterior styling of the Model Y is not as ground breaking as some in the industry initially thought it would be, with the Model Y looking alot like its sedan counterpart the Model 3, albeit with a puffed up roof. …

Read more Tesla Unveils Long Awaited Model Y SUV, Starts At $39,000

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We just spent another week in Kona, and although we’re not tan, we can’t wait to go back. This is our second visit – after our first trip, we came back singing praises for its Island Style, the strong performance, and loads of equipment for the buck. And in many ways the Kona EV is even better. Slicker and Sleeker We loved the regular Kona’s style, and it had a tough, aggressive vibe to it. For the EV, Hyundai has decided to go a little more futuristic, a little more upscale. It starts with the grille. Well, it’s a grille …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Inscription – By Carl Malek

It’s no secret that Volvo has had a key void in its utility lineup over the past few years. While models such as the XC90 and XC60 have done a good job meeting the needs of a clientele that demands distinctive Swedish styling and luxury in an upscale wrapper. However, when it comes to addressing the needs of young urban centric buyers that want a good gateway into the brand, there was a noticeable void in its utility lineup. Volvo aims to address this flaw with the introduction of the 2019 Volvo XC40 crossover, which was designed to bring some …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Inscription – By Carl Malek

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

Road Test Review – 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i – By Zeid Nasser

The 2018 BMW X3 rolling out of the Spartanburg, SC plant has received a total revamp inside and out. The new X3 is writing the next chapter in the X3 story with a more striking design, powerful yet efficient drive systems, and standout-driving qualities with unrestricted everyday usability. DESIGN X3 elevates the already boldly dynamic design language of its predecessor. The third generation of the X3 treads a familiar BMW path in combining rugged off-road looks with generous presence. The exterior dimensions are largely unchanged, however, the wheelbase has been extended by 2.2-inches and its long hood, extremely short front overhang …

Read more Road Test Review – 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i – By Zeid Nasser

2019 Lexus UX200 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Hello. Small crossovers and suv’s are all the rage now. Oh, we’ve said that? Well, without further ado, let us introduce the latest of the small luxury crossovers, the 2019 Lexus UX. Small in size, but big in goodies, the UX competes in the segment where we find the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. But we found it’s a very different vehicle than the Europeans, and it’s quite tempting. It’s all about the UX. While Lexus says UX stands for Urban Crossover, in this case, we think it means the tech term User Experience (known as UX) – the process …

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2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring – Review By Ben Lewis

No big shock here, small CUV/Crossover/SUV’s are all the rage. Not only a nice, city-friendly- sized version of larger SUV’s, with their low prices, enhanced fuel efficiency, and utility, they’re knocking the stuffing out of the small car segment as well. And now Mazda is going after the affordable sports car. Which is pretty interesting. With the Miata, they pretty much own the affordable sports car segment. But the 2019 Mazda CX-3 looks like they’re going after one of their own. So, it’s a sports car? Well, it looks like one. It certainly comes from the same family of the …

Read more 2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring – Review By Ben Lewis

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

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Nissan Unveils Updated 2020 Rogue Sport

When Nissan first unveiled the Nissan Rogue Sport in the U.S. market, the repatriated and lightly tweaked CUV was supposed to give buyers a smaller option that would be much more compact than the Rogue, while also being a good companion for urban driving. The lone flaw was that the Rogue Sport looked a bit too much like its bigger brother the Rogue. Nissan has addressed this minor blemish, and unveiled the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport alongside the Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek edition. Wheras the old model looked like a Rogue that went through the dryer one too many times, …

Read more Nissan Unveils Updated 2020 Rogue Sport

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS – First Drive Gallery

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

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Lexus Previews 2019 NX F Sport Black Line Special Edition

When it comes to being popular, the Lexus NX lineup has proven to be a very popular model for Lexus dealers. While we are still scratching our heads over the oddly styled and distinctively smaller UX crossover, Lexus engineers have decided to give the NX a bit more style, with an all new limited edition model that aims to help it reconnect with its sporty DNA. Dubbed the NX F Sport Black Line Special Edition, this particular iteration of NX boasts a very long moniker, as well as an equally long suite of tweaks to help it stand out somewhat …

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2019 Nissan Kicks SR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Before we start this review, a moment of silence for the Nissan Juke. Yes, that odd, amphibious-looking crossover that was a bunch of fun to drive, interesting to look at, and a breath of fresh air in the stuffy small crossover segment. And now to the all-new Nissan Kicks, the Juke’s replacement. While it certainly is more conventional, it does a lot of things very well, and comes in at a bargain price. That’s a different kind of a kick, to be sure…. Goodbye Froggy, Hello Smurfy While some at Nissan tried to tell us that the Juke looked like …

Read more 2019 Nissan Kicks SR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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