2025 Mazda CX-70 Has Less Seats, Still Costs As Much As a CX-90

When we had the chance to see the 2025 Mazda CX-70 up close in New York a short while ago, Mazda wasn’t ready to talk about pricing for what was essentially a two-row version of the CX-90. Thankfully, the company didn’t make us wait very long to get the answer with the Japanese auto giant releasing final figures for the two-row SUV which turns out to be more than the CX-90.   CX-70 Wants How Much For Two Rows? At first glance, we were understandably puzzled about what we were seeing in the overall pricing ladder. The CX-70 will only …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Kia Niro PHEV & EV – Sharper & Greener Than Ever

The Kia Niro wanted to bring green motoring to buyers in a shape that was functional yet bold at the same time. However, the outgoing model had exterior design elements that were bland and awkward looking with performance that made it drive like a bland plate of oatmeal. Kia was paying attention to feedback from its customers and used the 2024 model year to make changes to both the PHEV and the EV models. However, are all of these changes enough to help the duo stand out in the green vehicle race? To find out, we had the opportunity to …

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Mazda Formally Unveils 2025 CX-70, There’s More Here Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Mazda’s commitment to the SUV segment has grown over the past few years. Models like the CX-50, CX-30, and even the flagship CX-90 are keen to show that the Japanese auto brand is willing to play with some of the most iconic high rollers in the segment. That includes the two-row side of the coin and Mazda has decided to fill a gap in its lineup with the all-new 2025 Mazda CX-70 which slots in between the CX-90 and the smaller CX-50 in the brand’s SUV lineup.   It May Look Like A CX-90 But Look Closer At first glance, …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Lexus RX 500h AWD F Sport – Lexus Goes For Performance With This RX

The Lexus RX has been the ultimate jack of all trades for Lexus in the CUV segment. While the doomed RX 350L showed that there were limits to how far the RX could go in meeting certain segment needs, the CUV proved to be more than capable of meeting challenges when it was allowed to operate within its comfort zone. Lexus wanted to build on the core formula when it redesigned the RX for 2023 but it also wanted to inject more spice into the mix with the new 2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance model. But does the …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Toyota Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid – A Corolla For The SUV Set

The Toyota Corolla has certainly had a very interesting history during its long time in production. We have seen it appear as a sedan and a hatchback over the years, but the one segment that it has never ventured into is the utility vehicle segment. That’s now changing with the 2024 Toyota Corolla Cross which is preparing to help the nameplate venture into this new frontier. Is The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid the perfect gateway into the CUV segment?   Corolla Cross Formula Is Time Tested At first glance, it’ll be hard to see how Toyota is reinventing the wheel …

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2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Pinnacle Review by Ben Lewis

There was a time when Minivans were big. Really big. Anyone who had kids, hauled around sports teams or even had to carry around a ton of camera gear fell in love with them. Then, well you know, SUVs and Crossovers stole much of their thunder. So, now thereʻs only a handful of these master multi-taskers left. But Chrysler hasnʻt given up on them – in fact, with our plug-in hybrid Pacifica, theyʻre showing that you can have a sliding door on each side and still be at the leading edge of tech. Does the Pacifica have the gravitas to …

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Road Test Review – 2024 BMW X7 M60i – This Brute Can Haul The Family And Carve Corners

The 2024 BMW X7 shook opinions when it made its appearance some time ago. While the outgoing model was already pushing the boundaries when it came to exterior styling, the SUV still had a certain level of charm to it especially with offshoots like the Alpina model we experienced. In contrast, the second-generation model goes all in when it comes to embracing BMW’s latest design language for better or for worse. However, the German auto giant is undeterred and thinks that injecting more horsepower into the SUV will help draw in family buyers looking for more performance in their family …

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2025 Toyota Crown Signia Adds Depth To Crown Family, WIll Go On Sale This Summer

The Toyota Crown lineup is growing for 2025 with the company confirming that the all-new 2025 Toyota Crown Signia will be joining the funky sedan in dealer showrooms as the firm adds depth (and hopefully sales) to the Crown nameplate.   Crown Signia Is The One We All Saw Coming The 2025 Toyota Crown Signia could be considered one of the worst-kept automotive secrets in recent years, with the model being previewed in full at an event the company threw in Japan. At the time, it was known as the Crown Estate, but that portion of its name was chopped …

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2023 Venza Nightshade Review: Toyota Knows Hybrids

2023 Venza Nightshade: Toyotas Upscale Rav 4 The 2023 Toyota Venza Nightshade is a stylish and modern hybrid powered two-row SUV that stands out in the crowded midsize crossover segment. 2023 Venza Design and Exterior Exhibiting a sleek and sophisticated design, the venza differentiates itself from other crossovers with unique styling. Its exterior boasts a contemporary look, with clean lines and a sporty profile. LED headlights and taillights contribute to its modern aesthetic. The Nightshade edition is a popular package offered by Toyota, typically showcasing dark-themed accents and cosmetic upgrades for various models. These features often include blacked-out elements such …

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Could The Toyota Crown Get A New Sibling? New Teaser Image Suggests Second Crown Model Is Coming

The Toyota Crown has always been an iconic nameplate in Japan, with the Crown being exclusively associated (until recently) with an ultra-luxury flagship sedan. However, Toyota understands that consumers (Americans in particular) want more SUVs and CUVs, and it appears that the company is preparing a follow-up to the Crown liftback sedan with a teaser image that could suggest one of the Crown CUV models is making the trip stateside. Meeting Demand One Utility At a Time The lone teaser image Toyota released earlier today doesn’t reveal too much, but it does show off one of the taillights, the liftgate, …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV – The Hybrid That Sips Gas And Carves Corners

When we last drove the 2024 Mazda CX-90 out in San Francisco, Mazda reps quickly pointed out just how much of a game changer this model would be for the company. The longitudinal rear-wheel drive platform is a radical departure from Mazda SUVs of the past, while the interior refocuses itself to be more luxurious than the outgoing CX-9. The CX-90 certainly has the goods to make a strong first impression, but does it hold up after long-term exposure?   CX-90 PHEV Blends Organic Styling With Functional Lines Unlike other PHEV or EV models that tend to embrace styling that’s …

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2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid SX Prestige AWD review by Ben Lewis

Sometimes, when we test a vehicle, we find it so nice, we test it twice. Well, sort of. In the beginning of the year, we tested the all-new 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid EX and were greatly impressed. So, when Kia offered us a chance to have another go, but this time in the more luxurious Hybrid SX Prestige model, we jumped at the chance. So, is it worth the extra money to add some Prestige in your life? Let’s find out! Bold Looks  When the 2023 Sportage bowed in, the looks were controversial. Calling the design “Opposites United” it made …

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Toyota Goes Full Circle On Corolla Updates, Corolla Cross Nightshade and GR Corolla Premium Grade Confirmed

Toyota is preparing a two-pronged wave of updates for the iconic Corolla nameplate, with the 2024 GR Corolla and the 2024 Corolla Cross debuting new updates for the new model year as the pair attempt to inject new vigor into Corolla sales.   Corolla Cross Embraces The Nightshade Package, Premium Package Coming To GR Corolla   Toyota’s Nightshade lineup of models has already proven to be a sales success with buyers, and the company is extending the sinister charms to the Corolla Cross, which will be the latest model to feature a Nightshade Edition for 2024. Like other Nightshade models, …

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Bentley Bentayga Gets Sustainable Carpets, Auto Climate Rear Seats For New Model year

The Bentley Bentayga reshaped the way folks thought about Bentley when the luxury SUV allowed the storied British luxury brand to venture into new territory when it first appeared in 2020. The company is preparing some minor updates for its best seller that boosts the amount of luxury on hand and expands the customization experience for potential buyers.   Four-Wheel Steering Sharpens Bentayga’s Handling, Airline Seat Expands Reach   Before we get into some of the other updates that the company has made to the Bentayga for the new model year, we might as well take a moment to talk …

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2024 Toyota RAV4 Debuts New Pricing Ladder and Minor Updates, Starts At $29,825

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 lineup is entering the new model year with minimal updates, including some minor equipment revisions and a revamped pricing ladder with a base RAV4 model now starting at $29,825, which includes the $1,350 destination fee.   RAV4 Woodland Edition Goes Two-Tone, Pricing Tweaked For Rest Of The Lineup The most prominent update is found in the Woodland Edition, with the bulk of the RAV4’s changes focusing on more trivial things. It’s still exclusive to the RAV4 Hybrid, but buyers can now equip it with a new two-tone paint scheme and a new Weather package. The Woodland …

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Pricing Comparison Test – 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Limited vs 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid has always been a favorite visitor to the office. Its futuristic styling and its fuel-sipping 1.6-liter turbocharged hybrid motor make it a commendable companion on long road trips. However, the 2023 Tucson is not the only contender in the hybrid SUV wars and is facing a growing pool of rivals. One of them is the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which aims to bring electrification technology to this popular nameplate. But which one is the right fit for your family budget?   A Tale of Contrasting Personalities The Tucson and the RAV4 have gone a bit …

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2024 Toyota Sequoia Gets NightShade Package, Off-Road Package Comes To Platinum Models

The 2024 Toyota Sequoia is entering the new model year with two package revisions that are the only high points in an otherwise carryover transition for Toyota’s biggest SUV offering for U.S. buyers.   New Nightshade and Off-Road Packages Add Depth To Lineup While there’s not much to talk about when it comes to the Sequoia’s core essentials (i.e., exterior, interior etc.) The SUV is getting some updated package offerings for the new model year. The Sequoia Nightshade variant is the latest entry into Toyota’s blacked-out lineup of special editions and, like other Nightshade models, the Sequoia swaps out its …

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2024 Hyundai Santa Fe Debuts Two Powertrains, Doubles Down On Capability

When Hyundai last teased the 2024 Santa Fe, we saw its revamped exterior styling and even a peek at the reworked interior. However, Hyundai left out key information on powertrains and what we could expect here in the U.S. Hyundai is now delivering the goods by unveiling more details, including the final powertrain lineup.   Two Powertrains Lead The Way For Santa Fe, Interior Bleeds Luxury When the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe arrives in the U.S., Hyundai will bring two powertrain options along for the ride. A 277 horsepower, 2.5-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder will be the standard engine for most Santa …

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2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV Premium Plus review by Ben Lewis

Lately, Mazda has been updating their line with new models, but to keep it simple, they have just added a zero – so you know what belongs where. Hence, the CX-3 was replaced by the CX-30, and the CX-50 is the update for the CX-5 (which continues to be sold, for the time being). So, it wasn’t a big surprise when Mazda introduced the CX-90, the new hotness taking place of the much-loved CX-9, three-row SUV. Since each of the previous “0” models have been a distinct and delightful improvement, we couldn’t wait to try out the latest and greatest …

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Mazda MX-30 Axed In U.S. MX-30 R-EV Not Coming To Our Shores Either

The Mazda MX-30 was a very curious EV offering when Mazda first revealed it several years ago. The stylish CUV was supposed to be Mazda’s first foray into the EV ranks, but sales were initially limited to the California market only. Mazda’s recent confirmation of the MX-30 REV plug-in hybrid appeared to confirm that the company was potentially ready to expand the MX-30’s availability. However, the company has confirmed that it’s not only axing the MX-30 for the U.S. market but also not bringing the MX-30 R-EV to our shores either.   Slow Sales and Compromised Range Proved To Be …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone – Newest Sequoia Gets Overhauled For Modern Age [Video]

It’s not too often that a vehicle offering manages to go over 15 years without any form of major changes, but that was the state of affairs for the Toyota Sequoia. The model was last updated way back in 2007, and it managed to solider on mostly unchanged for all those years. But the full-size SUV market has rapidly grown over the past few years, and the Sequoia’s age was readily apparent. Toyota set out to change all that with the 2023 Toyota Sequoia, A major infusion of Tundra DNA has given the Sequoia a new lease on life, but …

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Honda Adds Sport-L Trim To 2024 CR-V Lineup, Aims To Sharpen Sales Numbers

The 2024 Honda CR-V lineup will be arriving in dealerships soon and looks to build on the impressive sales momentum that the 2023 model managed to achieve during its initial launch. Honda wants to expand this sales footprint even more by adding an all-new Sport-L model to the CR-V lineup for the new model year.   Debuting Sport-L Adds Equipment To Sport Trim Contrary to what the name might imply at first glance, the Sport-L is not an extended wheelbase model; instead, it follows Honda’s playbook for trim levels and is meant to be an equipment upgrade for Sport-equipped CR-Vs. …

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Lexus Brings Three Row Luxury To The Party With 2024 Lexus TX, Aims To Be Contender In Segment

When Lexus first teased that it was going to bring a luxury three-row SUV to the party, it was pretty obvious that the Toyota Grand Highlander would play a prominent role in its construction. However, we were curious to see what Lexus exclusive touches the Japanese luxury brand would give the TX in its attempt to make the SUV distinct and unique. Thankfully the wait is now over, and we get to see the final result, the 2024 Lexus TX   2024 Lexus TX Adds Spice To Grand Highlander Formula If the Grand Highlander is the equivalent of a steak …

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2024 Ranger Rover Sport SV Retires SVR Moniker, Produces 626-hp and Gets Slick 23-inch Carbon Wheels

The bell was tolling for Jaguar/Land Rover’s 5.0-liter supercharged V8, with the engine recently appearing in the Land Rover Velar and Defender. Thankfully, Land Rover is out to prove that bigger is not necessarily better with the all-new 2024 Ranger Rover Sport SV, which gets a smaller engine with more power and styling that elevates it to a higher plane of luxury.   Smaller Sport SV V8 Comes With More Power As mentioned, the aging 5.0-liter V8 has been pitched. In its place is a smaller BMW-sourced 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 626 horsepower and also comes with BMW’s mild-hybrid …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport Handling – A Performance Hybrid That Trumps Others?

The second-generation Lexus NX has been a sales success for the brand, with the model bringing buyers more technology, style, and efficiency. But while the mainstream versions certainly deliver the goods on fuel economy, what if you’re an SUV buyer that craves more performance to go along with your ability to dodge the pump? Lexus thinks the 2023 Lexus NX450h+ might be the perfect antidote for these buyers. However, can it deliver the driving fun enthusiasts want and good fuel economy?   F Sport DNA Adds Flash To NX 450h+ While the current generation NX is not as wild of …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid – New Styling Hides Green Focused Performance

The compact SUV segment can be a brutal and very challenging place foe automakers to make a profit. This segment is seeing an influx of young buyers who in turn want more from their SUV purchase. The Honda CR-V is one of the strongest selling players in the game, but it was no secret that the outgoing CR-V was starting to show its age and was relying more on its reputation versus offering anything state of the art. Honda is out to change that with the 2023 Honda CR-V which gets new exterior styling and a reworked interior but are …

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2024 Porsche Cayenne Debuts, Overhauled Interior and Updated Styling Shine A Light On Performance

Porsche promised that big changes were coming to the Porsche Cayenne with the SUV being a key part of Porsche’s sales machine. The outgoing model was starting to show its age. The 2024 Porsche Cayenne is eager to iron out the wrinkles with a whole new suite of updates and performance.   Familiar Face Hides Finer Updates At first glance, the 2024 Porsche Cayenne looks familiar and you may think that Porsche designers didn’t do too much to change it. However, look past some of the carryover bits and you’ll see that there still some changes to be found here. …

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2023 Toyota Venza XLE Nightshade review by Ben Lewis

Toyota is a brand that likes to offer something for everybody. From sports cars like the Supra and GR86 to the massive Tundra truck, there’s a vehicle for you. And when it comes to SUV’s, you’re really spoiled for choice, with the Highlander, RAV4, Sequoia, Corolla Cross, bZ4X EV, 4Runner. And the subject of our test, the Venza. So, what sets it apart from its family members and the competition? Let’s take a look. It’s a Looker First glance tells you this is one of Toyota’s most handsome vehicles. Up front, the lines are very clean and remind us of …

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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC review by Ben Lewis

Have you ever met someone, and new immediately that you were going to be great friends?  Well, that happens with cars, too. Last year we tested the then all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander and loved it. The only thing missing – the popular PHEV (plug-in hybrid) model remained on the previous chassis. But now for 2023 you can get the PHEV model with all the goodies. So, is it still love at first sight? Let’s find out! Same Great Looks – Can you say I Fu Do Do? We were super happy to see that the PHEV has inherited the same …

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2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance review by Ben Lewis

It’s comforting when there’s things you can rely on. Like the Lexus RX. You know it’s going to be a pleasantly styled SUV, with loads of luxury, quiet and refined. So, all of sudden they announce a serious performance-minded, hard-edged RX! What!!!! Well, actually, we have seen Lexus and parent company Toyota getting more sport serious, from the IS 500 to the new GR 86, so it’s not that outrageous. But can it live up to the promise? Let’s find out. Looks the Part The RX 500 makes a bold first impression – instantly identifiable as a Lexus, but a …

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2023 Toyota Grand Highlander Grows In Size, Amps Up Luxury and Versatility For Family Buyers

The Toyota Highlander is already a versatile player in the SUV segment thanks to its versatility, style, and hybrid performance. However, what would happen if you took the Highlander, stretched it out, and added more of what family buyers want? Toyota thinks it has the answer with the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander, which aims to not only answer that burning question but also transform itself into another sales success for the Highlander nameplate.   Grand Highlander, Bigger and More Capable Than Ever At first glance, the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander looks like a standard Highlander that has been stretched through …

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2024 Mazda CX-90 Debuts Inline-Six, Bigger SUV Will Play Key Role In Mazda’s Green Future

Mazda is preparing for a CUV-centric future, and while the recently launched CX-50 provided a glimpse into some of the new design and technology solutions that will play a role in Mazda products moving forward, the company knows that ultimately a flagship is needed for it to bring its sales to the next level. Mazda has solved this glaring problem with the unveiling of the all-new 2024 Mazda CX-90.   Performance Takes Center Stage In 2024 CX-90, Artisan Red Paint Sparkles Usually, we would use this section to talk about the exterior styling, but Mazda reps made it clear that …

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2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid EX AWD review by Ben Lewis

As long as there’s been Kia in the US, it seems like there’s been a Sportage SUV. It started out small and rugged, and grew into a stylish, strong-performing model that we liked to call the Korean Cayenne. No small praise, giving Porsche props there. And now we have an all-new 5th generation Sportage, and while we might have expected a further development of the current model, Kia has instead unleashed the designers and engineers to create something completely different. How did they do? Let’s take a look! Opposites United No, that isn’t a name for a new English soccer …

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2022 Audi e-tron quattro Review by Ben Lewis

It’s been an Audi lovefest the past few weeks here at CRD. We’ve tested the S4, A4 and now we’re reviewing the fully electric e-tron SUV. While the other sedabs wooed us with their wonderful engines, we wondered can an EV powered Audi win our hearts as well? Let’s find out! Hello Handsome We’ve noticed a trend in the EV world, either you make it look crazy and unique, or you make it look much like the gas-powered choices, the BMW i4 comes to mind – making an easier transition for those coming from fossil fuel cars. We’d say that …

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Hyundai Unveils 2024 Kona, Will Be Global Offering With Radical Redesign

It’s no secret that Hyundai has been hard at work on the next generation Kona thanks to various prototypes that we have spotted running around select parts of Metro Detroit. However, the Korean car giant has chosen (surprisingly) to not only unveil the 2024 Kona lineup, but also share some new information about some of the features that will be coming to the model for 2024.   Radical Redesign Adds Sci-Fi Style To Kona The current generation Kona had styling that was already unique to say the least, but the 2024 model doubles down on things and embarks in an …

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2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD review by Ben Lewis

About a year ago, we tested the all-new ’22 Hyundai Tucson Limited HTRAC and were very impressed. Great looks, a luxurious interior, Hyundai’s best seller was a very desirable vehicle. Except, well, it was kind of ho-hum to drive. But we know that Hyundai and its sibling Kia are making more and more interesting vehicles to drive – we were pretty sure an upgraded model was around the corner. And that model has just shown up on our driveway – a Tucson with the added oomph of a plug-in hybrid powertrain – more power and greater mpg, sounds like a …

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Jeep Wagoneer S Adds Electrons To Iconic Moniker, Embraces New Shape And Compliments Wagoneer 4xe Model

The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models are the ultimate expressions of Jeep capability and luxury. We enjoyed our time with the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but it’s no secret that, like their ancestors, fuel economy is not a strong suit. However, it would seem that Jeep is out to change all that, with the brand confirming that it has begun exploring the idea of an all-electric EV version with the all-new Grand Wagoneer S and the Grand Wagoneer 4xe.   Sleek Grand Wagoneer S Embraces Three Distinct Pillars Unlike the Recon, Jeep revealed that the Grand Wagoneer S name itself …

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Dodge Calls Upon The Swarm With 2023 Dodge Hornet, Will Shape Dodge’s Next Chapter

As mentioned yesterday, Dodge is killing off the bulk of its V8s after 2023, but what will serve as the next chapter in Dodge’s performance ambitions? The performance brand has given us a glimpse of this future with the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet, which is supposed to shake up the way we think about SUVs and Dodge as a whole.   Tonale Underpinnings With Unique Hornet DNA As we suspected, the Hornet is a reskinned version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale. But unlike other reskin jobs we have seen, the Hornet’s is more than a mere copy and paste job …

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Toyota Polishes Iconic Nameplate For 2023 Crown, Will Form New Family Of Offerings

When Toyota axed the Avalon sedan a short while back, we were curious to see what the company had in store to fill the void that the aging four-door sedan left behind. The Japanese auto giant answered that question with the 2023 Crown, which not only aims to fill the shoes left by the Avalon but also create a new model sub-family within Toyota’s vehicle lineup too.   Toyota Pulls Automotive Swerve, Confirms Full Crown Family If you managed to stay up and catch Toyota of Japan’s late-night live stream reveal of the Crown (we sure did), you would’ve seen …

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2023 Honda CR-V Arrives Bigger And Better Than Ever, Sport Trim Goes Hybrid

The Honda CR-V has always been the proverbial bread and butter model for Honda, with the current generation being in service since 2016. You would be hard-pressed to remember just how different a globe it was back then, especially with the notion of a pandemic being a borderline fantasy. Alot has changed in those six years, but the CR-V’s need to innovate hasn’t, which is why Honda chose to finally unveil the 2023 Honda CR-V as it seeks to gain the attention of more younger buyers in this hotly contested segment.   CR-V No Longer The Butt Of Jokes In …

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2023 Lexus RX Is Greener Than Ever, Loses V6 For All Four Cylinder Lineup

The Lexus RX has rapidly become one of the key lynchpins in Lexus’s sales machine thanks to its combination of style and versatility. However, it’s no secret that the current generation RX has also fallen behind the times thanks to dated infotainment and performance hardware. The luxury brand is out to deep-six that reputation with the all-new 2023 Lexus RX which aims to be leaner and better than ever. New Styling Puts RX In Bolder Direction A noticeable change for 2023 is the exterior styling which has undergone a radical transformation. A longer wheelbase forced Lexus to tweak the proportions …

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2023 Honda CR-V Brings Fresher Looks, New Technology To Model

Honda’s long-running CR-V SUV jas become a staple in Honda showrooms and sales, with the model being a potent sales force for the Japanese auto giant. While the model is still relatively fresh when it comes to how long it has been on the shelf, Honda knew that there was room for evolution, and it has released the first tease images of the 2023 CR-V, which adds detail and newfound crispness to the CR-V.   Subtle CR-V Updates Tell A Bigger Story   At first glance, the 2023 CR-V doesn’t deviate too much from what we have seen in the …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition – Does Art Make The Highlander Better?

The Toyota Highlander is an SUV entry that largely follows the same script that has come to define many others in its segment. It’s large, has the ability to haul up to three rows of passengers, and has doubled down on its attempts to be a fuel miser with an available hybrid equipped four-cylinder. These things individually are all good traits, but we won’t be shocked if they failed to make the Highlander ring a bell in your memory bank. The Japanese auto giant thinks it might have just the thing with the all-new Highlander Bronze Edition, but is this …

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2022 Kia Sorento PHEV SX-Prestige AWD review by Ben Lewis

Like we’ve noted before, the Kia Sorento has one big problem – it lives in the shadow of its big brother the Telluride. Ok, the Telly does deserve the acclaim it’s a great 3-row SUV that looks, goes and performs just how you’d want a big SUV to. But the Sorento has a lot going for it, too. In fact, while it’s smaller, it still serves up 3 rows of seats, and we’d argue it’s a more advanced vehicle, first being offered in a Hybrid model, and now with a new for ’22 PHEV plug-in hybrid variant. And with the …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Toyota Venza Limited – A Reboot That Embraces The Green Side Of Life

When We last saw the Toyota Venza it was a much different offering. Designed to be a comfortable crossover for empty nesters, the Venza’s sales reflected this with that version performing well below Toyota’s expectations of 75,000 to 100,000 sales per year. However, going full circle can sometimes be a good thing and Toyota is aiming to achieve just that with the 2022 Venza. This iteration of the Venza appears to have alot of the core attributes down, but are they all enough to finally make it a sales winner? Venza Styling Goes In Radical But More Aerodynamic Direction The …

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2022 Lexus NX 350 F SPORT Handling AWD review by Ben Lewis

We’re always happy to test a new Lexus – but a little like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes they are just lovely, refined vehicles that you’d be happy for your grandparents to toddle around town in. But lately, Toyota’s luxury division has been messing with us – throwing some Jalapeno poppers into our box of creamy nougats. The IS 350 and IS 500 are both jaw-droppers – thrilling to drive, stunning to look at, proof that Lexus is ready to take on the world’s best and give them a good stomping. …

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Mazda CX-60 Debuts With PHEV Performance, New Rear Wheel Drive Platform

It wasn’t too long ago that Mazda teased the CX-60 SUV which is the next strategic piece in the company’s push towards enhancing its presence in the utility vehicle market. With the smaller CX-50 poised to make a splash in the U.S., the CX-60 is looking to achieve the same feat across the pond in European markets.   New CX-60 Platform Embraces Rear Wheel Drive The CX-60 is a bigger SUV offering and that extra size means a new platform with the CX-60 being the first of these new CX models to use an all-new rear-wheel-drive-focused platform. This platform has …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Santa Fe Hybrid Limited (AWD) – A Good Hybrid Family Option?

If you were to ask a passerby what company is best known for hybrid SUVs? The chances are good that most respondents will say Toyota and typically leave others like Hyundai in the back of their minds. While Hyundai has made great strides in enhancing its green-vehicle presence with models like the Ioniq hybrid lineup, their SUVs have been late to the party when it comes to hybrid technology. But the firm is aiming to change that and has done so in many ways, including models like the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited. But does an infusion of hybrid …

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Aston Martin DBX Debuts Straight Six Engine, Will Be Chinese Exclusive

When we last drove the Aston Martin DBX, we fell in love with the delightful noises that emanated from its twin-turbocharged V8 and the way it managed to blur the line between a sports car and a sports utility vehicle when it came to going through the motions. However, we were curious to see how the DBX would accommodate smaller engines especially considering the company’s strong partnership with Mercedes-Benz. The world got a glimpse of this future today with the all-new DBX straight-six model.   Fewer Cylinders Means More DBX Fuel Economy Before we get into the details surrounding this …

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2021 Lexus NX 300h

2021 Lexus NX 300h Luxury Review

On It’s Way Out The 2021 Lexus NX is being redesigned for 2022, but how does this outgoing model stack up to the competition? Outside The exterior of the 2021 NX 300h is sleek and modern and really doesn’t look like it’s in need of an update. Up front, the signature Lexus spindle grill is massive and prominent. Projector LED headlights sit up high with Nike swoosh daytime running lights just below them. LED fog lights sit inside of aesthetic cooling ducts at the bottom of the bumper. Moving down the side, the small proportions of the NX become more …

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2021 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e quattro review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new VW ID.4 EV and loved a lot about it. But there’s part of us that still loves the sound and feel of a good old gas engine. Is there a best of both world’s vehicle? Well, we just tested the Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid to find out if we can have our EV thrills and conventional engine cake all in one bite. Let’s look. Fresh Face For 2021 Audi has freshened the looks of what was already a handsome SUV. Up front, you’ll see the octagonal Singleframe grille is thinner and wider, with taller side …

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2022 Kia Niro Hybrid Gets Revamped Badge, Tweaked Pricing Ladder

As a wise man once said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It appears that the folks at Kia took this lesson to heart when it came to the 2022 Kia Niro and as a result, it appears to be fundamentally unchanged from the outgoing model. However, look closer and you’ll see that Kia made some minor revisions to the Niro which allow it to march in unison with the rest of the updated Kia lineup.   New Badging Is Sole Update In 2022 Niro When we said minor revisions, we’re not kidding in that regards with Kia designers …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Lexus NX 300h Black Line Edition – A Sporty Send Off Before The Next Gen Arrives

Lexus is preparing a new iteration of the urban-centric NX CUV, but before that model arrives, the Japanese luxury giant has unleashed one last sporty surprise into the marketplace with the 2021 NX 300h Black Line Edition. Black Line Edition models blend sporty styling cues with an interior that puts distinction and refinement in the driver’s seat. The RX Black Line Edition has been a success for Lexus so far, but can some of this sales magic translate into a smaller CUV?   Black Line Edition Adds Depth To NX Range That depth starts on the exterior of the NX, …

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Lexus RX To Receive Black Line Edition Model For 2022, Will Join RXL In Offering Sporty Styling Package

When Lexus first revealed that the RX lineup was to receive the Black Line Edition treatment, the package was originally limited to the RXL extended-wheelbase model, which is the company’s half-baked attempt at creating a three passenger CUV for minimal investment. That announcement left us wondering about the standard RX and whether the Black Line would migrate to that variant of RX? Lexus revealed that it’s bringing things full circle and will introduce the Black Line Edition to those models for 2022.   Darkened Styling Adds Substance To RX’s Styling This version follows the path set by other models equipped …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 – Private Jet Luxury For The Open Road

Ever wondered what would happen if you took a private jet, sliced off the wings, and infused all of its luxuries into a large SUV? The idea of a luxury-laden large SUV is nothing new. Still, ultra-luxury automakers’ current push into this once unoccupied space is a recent development with Bentley and Rolls-Royce all entering the fray. With these big British luxury names throwing their hats in the ring, it only fits that Mercedes-Benz wanted a slice of the pie for itself and has created the all-new 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600. But can this first-ever Maybach SUV lure buyers away from …

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2021 Lexus NX300h Black Line Special Edition Review by Ben Lewis

So, this is always a tough thing to do – a review of an existing model when an all-new model has been previewed. Well, that’s the problem here – an all new 2022 Lexus NX is waiting in the wings, so the question is should you wait, or plump for the 2021 NX? Let’s take a drive in the current model and find out! Blue Thunder The NX hasn’t changed much visually since it got a refresh in 2018, but that’s okay, it was a stunner then, and it is still a bold, strong presence. Up front, you get key …

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2022 Lexus NX Goes For Maximum Styling, Debuts New 450h+ Model

The Lexus NX is the Japanese luxury brand’s entry for city-dwelling millennials and Gen Z buyers looking for a utility that not only delivers the goods in terms of luxury appointments but is also compact enough to zip its way through city streets. While the NX proved to be popular with buyers, Lexus admitted that the outgoing model wasn’t perfect and has attempted to fix all of its shortcomings with the 2022 NX.   Slicker Styling Aims To Turn More Heads And Project A Sportier Image The exterior styling of the outgoing NX was, for better or for worse, a …

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2021 KIA Sorento Hybrid EX Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the 2021 Kia Telluride, and noted how for the past years, the Korean manufacturer has been on a roll, creating many exciting, desirable and affordable vehicles. Now we have an all-new, 3-row Sorento, which competes in one of the hottest SUV segments. Can Kia hit another one out of the park? Let’s see. Good Looking! Well if first impressions are the most important, the 2021 Sorento is off to a great start. The front end is recognizably Kia with the familiar “Tiger Nose” grill, although now the shape is more subtle, as it is framed by LED …

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Ford Explorer Platinum Gains RWD Variant For 2021, Also Goes Green With Hybrid Model

With the 2021 Enthusiast ST stealing the show in regards to the Explorer’s 2021 updates, Ford wanted to ensure that no stone was left unturned and has revealed that the range-topping Explorer Platinum will also receive some new additions for 2021 with the trim now adding a rear-wheel-drive option and even a hybrid flavored model for fuel-conscious buyers.   Rear Wheel Drive For The Jet Set Sets Explorer Platinum Apart In its base form, the $54,480 Explorer Platinum is a very potent statement of luxury with perforated leather seats, warm wood accents, and standard all-wheel-drive to buyers looking to have …

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2021 Toyota Venza Limited Review by Ben Lewis

Toyota likes to offer something for just about everybody. That’s what makes them consistently in the top two (sometimes 1st, sometimes 2nd to VW) manufacturers in the world. So, let’s say you have your heart set on a new SUV. Perhaps the RAV4 feels too small, and the Highlander too large. No worries! Introducing the all-new 2021 Toyota Venza, as they say in the three bears…this one’s just right. Sleek and Sophisticated One look and you know this isn’t your Auntie’s Venza! (That model went away in 2015). While the Venza shares a chassis with the RAV4, it looks entirely …

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2021 BMW X5 X Drive 45e by Ben Lewis

Amazing how quickly time and technology change things. It used to be an EV was a golf cart, and a hybrid was one of the agrarian looking Toyota Prius models. The good thing is, there are a lot of talented engineers that work for the automakers, and the vehicles we get today are exciting and fun – no matter what may be under the hood. And a perfect example of today’s performance hybrid is the 2021 BMW X5 with the all-new 45e plug-in hybrid system. If you were expecting something for the Birkenstock and Bean Sprout crowd, the X5 will …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited Hybrid – Does Luxury and Green Driving Mix?

The RAV4 has emerged as one of the most versatile SUVs in Toyota‘s vehicle arsenal. The RAV4 has a foundation that can be suited for a wide variety of uses including camping as we proved in a prior RAV4 related test and even in the plug-in realm with the recently launched RAV4 Prime. But what if your a buyer that’s looking for something that can sip fuel instead and also deliver decent amounts of comfort for the money? Toyota may have just the solution for you with the RAV4 Hybrid Limited. But does this particular flavor of RAV4 go far …

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Lexus swings for the fences with the 2020 Lexus UX 250h hybrid, comes up short

It’s no secret that Lexus practically invented the luxury SUV category when it first debuted the RX a few decades ago. The RX was a hit and it rode a proverbial sales rocket towards the top of the segment. Despite some recent challenges by a few rivals, Lexus is clearly trying to replicate the success of that model. It’s doing so by introducing a diverse range of smaller crossover models but can models like the 2020 UX 250h hybrid bring some much needed to the lineup? Or is it a noteworthy dead end? Controversial styling reigns supreme on UX The …

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD

If I say name the fastest 4-door Toyota right now, with over 300 hp and 0-60 under 6 seconds what would you say? Camry TRD? Avalon? Nope. It’s the Toyota RAV4 Prime. Wait a sec. The friendly and familiar RAV4 SUV? A performance vehicle? Yep, and then some. Toyota has been on a roll lately, and they’ve making fun to drive a big part of their new direction as a brand. Camry, Corolla, Supra, heck, even the Highlander is a lot more fun than it used to be. And where hybrids used to be just for super-efficiency, Toyota is showing …

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2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum L4 AWD by Ben Lewis

The Toyota Highlander has always been a solid choice in the mid-size SUV segment. By solid, we mean, well-built, good value, Toyota reliability. But ahem, nothing to get excited about. Well, until now. For 2020, there’s an all-new Highlander, and while it hasn’t lost any of the things that make a Highlander a stress-free choice, this one’s notably more passionate, from style, to driving, to features. You can now lust after a Highlander and not be locked up in the automotive looney bin. Big and Bold The first thing that hits you is the Highlander’s take-no-prisoners design. It looks bigger, …

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2020 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium by Ben Lewis

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

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2020 Lexus NX 300h by Ben Lewis

We always hear about “Best in Class”, “Class-Leading” or “Class Standard”, but what happens when you’re the only one in your class? And that’s what we have here, in its segment ,the Lexus NX 300h is the only regular hybrid in its class. Well, some manufacturers might take that as an opportunity to set the bar low – where else you going to go? – but not Lexus. Like all their products, they hold everything to a higher standard. But is it worth going to a hybrid, when there a lot of other interesting choices, including a non-hybrid Lexus NX?  …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota Highlander: Platinum Hybrid

It seems that there is no shortage of capable three row SUVs to choose from these days. With the segment currently going through a massive boom time, manufacturers big and small have unleashed a whole swath of models to try and cash in on the pent up demand. The Ford Explorer, Hyundai Palisade and the Honda Pilot are just some of the popular marques out in the market place today. However, the Volkswagen Atlas Mazda CX-9 and the Subaru Ascent are eager to disrupt the established pecking order. One of the veteran offerings is the Toyota Highlander which underwent a …

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2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring by Ben Lewis

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

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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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