2022 VW Taos SEL FWD review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new VW ID.4 EV SUV and came away impressed. VW is on a roll. So, we were equally excited to test the all-new Taos, their smallest SUV that slots below the Tiguan. And since the automaker no longer is going to sell a Golf TSI hatchback, the Taos is your go-to for affordable and capable VW-ness. Let’s see if VW has another hit, or a sophomore slump. Family Resemblance Well, the exterior is clearly VW. And in the case of Taos, it’s a big player – it is almost as large as its big brother Tiguan, …

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Electrification Coming To Grand Cherokee, Jeep Confirms 4xe Model And Confirms Other 2022 Grand Cherokee Details

When we last saw the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it was in its stretched L form, which brought three-row seating to the GC for the first time, made the Dodge Durango instantly irrelevant, and promised to be the best one ever made by Jeep. However, the giant elephant missing in the room was the standard-sized Grand Cherokee with Jeep repeatedly saying that it was still undergoing development. Thankfully, the wait is almost over, with Jeep confirming that it will be unveiling the short-wheelbase version and the 4xe model on September 29th.   A Return To Form For Jeep’s Bread And …

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Ford Confirms Rumored Bronco Raptor Model, Will Appear In 2022

We should’ve known that Ford would have a huge surprise in its bag of tricks when we listened eagerly to the brand’s announcement of the 2022 Expedition lineup. What seemed like the typical conclusion of a press conference diverted in an exciting direction when Ford reps revealed that not only is the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor a production reality. But that we wouldn’t have to wait very long for it either, with the beefed-up Bronco expected to make its appearance sometime in 2022. Brief Teaser Provides A Literal Glimpse Of The Bronco Raptor And Not Much Else While our glimpse …

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Mazda Unveils Updated 2022 CX-5, Tweaked Styling Promises To Elevate Elegance And Sportiness

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the few in the utility vehicle segment that has managed to nail the perfect balance of sport-inspired performance and value-focused luxury that can actually blur the line between mainstream and luxury when equipped properly. But even the ultimate jack of all trades needs to be refreshed once in a while, and the company has unveiled the updated 2022 CX-5, which follows closely on the heels of its recently unveiled Chinese market cousin.   Subtle Evolution Focuses On The Essentials The exterior styling of the 2022 CX-5 shares a lot of its basic traits with …

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Toyota Confirms September 19th Debut For 2022 Tundra, Will Make Physical Debut At Motorbella

The 2022 Toyota Tundra‘s teaser campaign has been a very interesting ride for us over the past few weeks. Marred by multiple leaks, the Japanese auto giant has been teasing the world with subtle glimpses of its next-generation full-size pickup over the past few months, with each one being more intriguing than the last. Thankfully, it appears that we are in the home stretch, with Toyota confirming that the new truck will make its global debut on September 19th.   Kicking Off The Truck Wars In Style According to Toyota reps, the new Tundra will make its official debut as …

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Toyota Announces Official 2022 Corolla Cross Pricing, Sales Start In October

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross was initially an international market-only model, but the Japanese car giant unveiled the U.S. spec version of the model back in June. We had some questions about where the Corolla Cross would fit in the company’s utility lineup. Still, the Japanese auto giant has dropped a hint with Toyota reps revealing the official pricing ladder for the Corolla Cross before it goes on sale in October.   Value-Conscious And Proud Of It The Corolla Cross helps Toyota fill a budget-sized void in its crossover lineup. Base models start at $23,410 when you include the $1,215 …

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2022 Toyota 4Runner Debuts Wild Lime Rush Color, Adds New Model And Safety Tech Too

The Toyota 4Runner has been a rugged off-road warrior for Toyota over the years. While the current generation 4Runner is long overdue for a redesign, the current generation model is still a popular choice among off-roaders. The Japanese auto giant has revealed some notable updates coming to the 4Runner for the 2022 model year.   Lime Rush Adds Boldness To Color Pallette   A big change that many buyers might notice on the TRD Pro model is the all-new Lime Rush exterior color. This hue first made its appearance on the Tacoma TRD Pro, and the vivid green is one …

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2021 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring review by Ben Lewis

Sometimes you wonder about something that’s a best-seller. Are they really good, and everybody knows about it? Like all those Marvel movies. Or maybe they’re just cheap and convenient. Like convenience store coffee from the pot that’s been there since the Clinton administration. So, here we have the 2021 Honda CR-V, Honda’s best-selling vehicle, and one of the best-selling vehicles of any kind. But what do those numbers really mean? Is this a superhero you can cheer for, or a nasty cup of joe that’s going to take a whole lot of sweeteners to get down? Let’s look. Clean and …

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Whoops, Subaru Canada Unveils Beefier Forester Wilderness Model Early

The Subaru Forester has managed to carve a very compelling niche for itself in the utility vehicle market. With a combination of quality, capability, and in recent years, standard equipment, the Forester has always risen to the occasion time and time again. But there’s always room for growth, and thanks to an ill-timed reveal by Subaru of Canada, we now get to see that the Forester will be the latest Subaru model to earn the Wilderness badge for the new model year.   Forester Bulks Up In Wilderness Trim While Subaru’s plans for an epic surprise rapidly turned into dust …

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve been looking forward to the review of the Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo for some time. As part of the Mazda 3 chassis family, we’ve enjoyed the Mazda 3 Sedan and Mazda 3 hatchback immensely. And when Mazda started squeezing the 250-horsepower 2.5-liter, turbo 4-cylinder in these models (as well as the CX-5), we have hoped for a thrill machine like the old MazdaSpeed 3. Close, but no cigar. While the turbo motor does make these mounts quite quick, it seems that Mazda was leaning much more towards sophistication. Nice cars. But they didn’t get your blood up. Well, we …

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Comparison Battle – 2021 Ford Bronco Manual vs Bronco Automatic – Which Flavor Of Bronco Is Best?

The 2021 Ford Bronco is shaping up to be a huge thorn in the side of the Jeep Wrangler. While the hardtop versions are currently being held back by the company to address lingering quality issues, the soft top models are slowly making their way into dealer lots. Along with the choice in tops, the Bronco also offers buyers either a seven-speed manual or an optional 10-speed automatic. This presented a very compelling question for us, which transmission choice is better? We were eager to find out.   Manual Equipped Bronco Does A Good Wrangler Impression While the crowded streets …

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2022 Ford Explorer ST-Line Brings Sporty Looks Without the Hardware

Beauty, it seems, is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, and while having a performance-focused car is the dream of every enthusiast, sometimes the full package can be out of reach for buyers. Ford has thought of this with the ST-Line package, which brings the performance looks without the increased price of the associated hardware. This trim has been a staple in Europe, but it has had a decidedly subtler run in the U.S., with the axed Fiesta ST-Line and the recently launched Edge variant being the lone entries. But Explorer buyers will soon get in on the act …

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Car Shopping: What You Need to Know About Vehicle Depreciation

When it comes to significant purchases, apart from a home, they don’t tend to get more significant than a new vehicle. However, unlike a home, a vehicle is a depreciating asset, which means that it will lose, not gain, value over time.    That’s why, if you’re planning to buy a new vehicle any time soon, you should know a bit more about depreciation and the factors that affect it.   What is vehicle depreciation? Vehicle depreciation normally refers to the drop in value between the time that you purchase the car and the time that you come to sell …

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Ford Bronco Riptide Concept Hits The Sand, Is All About Summertime Fun

When the Ford Bronco was revived, the Dearborn auto giant made it pretty clear that it aimed to take on the Jeep Wrangler in every possible sector of the off-road market. But while the launch has been hobbled by recent issues with the Bronco’s hardtop roof, the company is still eying a strong profit in offering custom accessories (long dominated by the fore-mentioned Wrangler.) Over 200 accessories have already been confirmed, but Ford has unveiled the all-new Bronco Riptide concept to help bring some of these options to life.   Stylish One-Off Has The Beach In Its Sights The Bronco …

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2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Lexus GX460, and found its luxury, combined with impressive off-road equipment made it one of the most capable off-road luxury SUVs. Like the Lexus, the Toyota 4Runner finds itself in a specialist segment of the SUV market. Most buyers want car-like comforts, safety equipment and thoughtful utility. But actual go-for-it, extreme all-terrain capability is low on the list of people who will challenging the mall or Home Depot. A smaller group, though, still lives for what an SUV can do, where it can take you, and how it will get you back. For that crowd, Toyota …

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2021 Lexus GX 460 Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new Mitsubishi Outlander, a great vehicle, and we noted that it’s probably a tough sell in the SUV segment to offer something that is not bristling with the latest and greatest. The Lexus GX has been with us for a long time. So the question we asked – is the big Lexus ready for the mountains, or ready to be put out to pasture? Let’s look. Big and Bold The GX 460 is no shrinking wallflower, that’s for sure. The brand is well known for the large hourglass grille shape, and it in a vehicle of …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited – Radical Refresh Puts Tucson In Step With The Times

When Hyundai revealed plans to radically update the Tucson, they had a hefty order on their hands. The Tucson is one of the most popular SUVs that the company sells, and Hyundai engineers knew that they couldn’t drop the ball when designing this latest chapter of the SUV. But does this futuristic SUV finally take the Tucson name into more premium territory? Or is it still a step short in accomplishing all of its objectives?   Futuristic Styling Pushes Tuscon’s Modern Design Into The Spotlight To find out, Hyundai allowed us to spend a few days with the Tucson, and …

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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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2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC Review by Ben Lewis

Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? The movies are full of them – our star gets knocked down, struggles, and makes an epic comeback. Well Mitsubishi is sort of like that. For a while with vehicles like the rugged Montero SUV, the high-performance 3000 GT and Eclipse and (heavenly halo, please) Evo rally-car for the street, it was a niche player with a big following. Sort of like Subaru is now, when you think of it. Then our hero got knocked to the ground. The models in the lineup were tame, and lack of funds meant that many of …

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2021 Chevy Blazer RS Review

2021 Chevy Blazer RS While not much has changed for 2021 on the Blazer vs the 2020 there is one major difference. The Blazer Premier no longer has the dual clutch rear differential, leaving the RS as the only Blazer equipped with this feature. Exterior Many are lamenting that the new Blazer isn’t anything like the K5 Blazer of yesteryear. However, if you think of it more as the S10 Blazer it’s not as hard of a pill to swallow. While the Blazer is attractive overall, the RS trim adds many appearance features for a sportier, more athletic look. In particular …

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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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2021 Subaru Forester Limited Review by Ben Lewis

Subaru’s are like old friends. Even when you haven’t seen them in a while, you feel immediately at home and comfortable. Good to be around. The Forester is certainly like that – we’ve recently been in a host of Outbacks, Crosstreks and WRXs, all great cars. But we miss our old buddy. Now friendship is one thing, but in the hyperventilating, ever-changing world of SUV’s you gotta keep up, too. So, is the Forester as good as we remember? A Familiar Face It’s no secret that the Outback and the Forester fight in the same arena for not-quite traditional SUV …

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2022 Acura MDX A-Spec review by Ben Lewis

If there’s one brand that’s working hard to reboot itself right now, it’s Acura. Honda’s luxury brand, it’s been cranking out impressive new products for the last year or so, starting with the excellent RDX and even more impressive TLX sedan. Of course, the big money currently is in the 3-row SUV segment, so when we got the new MDX to test we were excited. Let’s see if Acura keeps those fires burning! Bold New Style Like the RDX and TLX, the MDX is sharp, aggressive, and eye-catching. It looks bigger and more powerful, sitting on a wheelbase that’s 2.8-inches …

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2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy Review by Ben Lewis

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a familiar name on the SUV landscape – it’s been around awhile, and has always stood for great value, room and style. But that landscape hasn’t sat still. With new players including bigger sibling the Hyundai Palisade and super popular Kia Telluride, can the Santa Fe Keep up with the big boys? Fresh New Look Hyundai has been on a roll lately, and it’s become a bit of style breakout. The Santa Fe has gotten a nice makeover that makes heads turn. Like almost every new model, a large grille is the way to go, …

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2021 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe Review by Ben Lewis

So, here’s a challenge to many manufacturers – with SUV’s being so popular, how do you keep things fresh? One trend we’ve seen are the “coupe-like” SUV’s, which trade off some of the utility (and headroom) for a racy profile. It’s especially popular with the Europeans, with everything from VW’s Atlas Cross Sport to BMW’s X4 and X6. Mercedes won’t be left out either, so we’re now enjoying GLE Coupe. But with a coupe, you’re driven by passion, so we were especially excited to get our grabby little hands on an AMG GLE 53 Coupe. Big vehicle, larger-than-life performance. This …

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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 Goes To The Backwoods With 2021 Explorer Timberline

The Ford Explorer is rapidly morphing into a jack of all trades. While the Explorer has always had this trait for the duration of its life, it’s hard to argue that things really accelerated when the current generation Explorer appeared. The recently launched King Ranch model offered a very compelling luxury alternative in the lineup, but what if your a buyer that does not need all the frills and instead prefers something that can bring the fight to the Jeep Cherokee as well as the recently unveiled Outback Wilderness. Ford is keenly aware of this and has unleashed an all-new …

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2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD Review by Matt Barnes

Kia Sorento X-Line AWD The Kia Sorento is now on its 4th generation and has been given a major update for 2021. Oddly enough it competes in the same class as the Telluride despite being noticeably smaller. Kia sent us a top dog Sorento X-Line to review for a week. Exterior Outside, Kia has done an excellent job with styling the new Sorento. It is more chiseled and aggressive than before, but not boxy and off-road looking like the Telluride. Up front, the blacked-out grill is large and attractive with a “KIA” lettering logo. Future models will have updated emblems, …

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2021 Lexus UX 200 F SPORT Review by Ben Lewis

In marketing terms, UX is the shorthand for “User Experience”. So, it seems a natural question, does Lexus’ smallest Crossover/SUV give you the user experience luxury buyers expect? Let’s take a look. Familiar Sporty Style Look at the UX and you can see the family resemblance with the larger NX and RX crossovers. That’s a good thing – Lexus has really crafted its own style now, and these vehicles are modern and sporty with sharp angles and aggressive lines. Like our recent review of the Lexus ES250 AWD, the front end has that massive spindle grille, but like the ES, …

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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 Dodge Durango Hellcat Review by Matt Barnes

2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat Adding the Hellcat Durango to the list in Dodge’s 700+ horsepower stable, and dropping the Journey and Grand Caravan, Dodge now offers a hellcat in all of their current production vehicles. Exterior The exterior of the Hellcat Durango, as with the SRT, is subdued yet powerful. The hood contains two functional vents and a hood scoop. The bumper is more aggressive than the standard Durango, and a little lower. From the side the Hellcat Durango is very similar to other Durangos. However, there is a noticeable bulge in the hood, the splitter on the front bumper …

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2021 Mercedes AMG GLE63 S Review by Matt Barnes

2021 Mercedes AMG GLE63 S The Mercedes AMG GLE63 S lives in a market segment we don’t fully understand. What we do know, is that we love the absurdity of it. Exterior From the outside the GLE63 is a little deceiving. From some angles it appears much smaller than it actually is, but not from the front. The grill is large, but the gigantic outboard bumper openings are what really draw attention. With the massive Mercedes tri star emblem in the center of the grill, there is no question who makes the GLE. There are very bright LED headlights with …

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Mitsubishi Reinvents The Wheel With 2022 Outlander, New Styling and Technology Reinvent Languishing Nameplate

Regarding major facelifts, few are as big of a deal as the one that the Mitsubishi Outlander has received for 2022. The Outlander’s last revamp was back in 2014, and it has slipped behind rivals ever since. While our previous exposures to the Outlander did allow us to soak in its impressive fuel economy numbers, it also showed just how behind the times it was, especially regarding interior quality and technology. The 2022 model aims to change that, and here are our four favorite things about this revamped Mitsu.   Concept Car Styling In A Utility Driven World The exterior …

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2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pitches The CVT, Gains New Interior Technology and Revamped Exterior Styling

The Nissan Pathfinder has always been a reliable soldier for Nissan when it came to competing in the mid-size utility segment. The Pathfinder is one of Nissan’s strongest sellers. Still, it was also one of the oldest models in its arsenal, with the Pathfinder only bested in that dubious distinction by the outgoing Nissan Frontier pickup. Nissan is keen to keep the Pathfinder viable and has unveiled the updated 2022 Pathfinder to the digital masses.   What’s Wrong With Being Confident? Much like the hit song by music artist Demi Lovato, Nissan aimed to make the Pathfinder look much more …

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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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2021 Honda Pilot Black Edition by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the VW Atlas, and came away impressed with the 3-row SUV’s nice driving manners and European feel. A VW through and through to be sure. And now we have Honda’s competitor for your same hard-earned dollar the 3-row Pilot. So how does it stack up? Let’s take a look! Dressed to Impress Following the sensible design of such models as the CR-V and Passport, the Pilot was never one to knock you over. In fact, we loved the original Pilot, which was a big, square and blocky – so functional it was stylish in its own way. …

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2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

You don’t really have to twist our arms to get us to review a Mazda. Just about all of them are great fun to drive, from the Miata sports car up to the big CX-9 SUV. The Mazda 3 and CX30 are also faves. But the heart and soul of Mazda’s lineup – and for most manufacturers – is its compact SUV. And with some nice updates to make it more appealing, we’re excited to take to the road in the CX-5. Stay Classy, CX-5 For 2021 not much has changed on the CX-5’s shapely flanks, and that’s ok, it …

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2021 VW Atlas V6 SEL Premium R-Line by Ben Lewis

The 3-row SUV segment is a funny thing. It seems to get hot and cold. Suddenly everyone wants one. Then just as suddenly, only those with an absolute need want them. Right now the market is hot, hot, with big winners including the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Toyota Highlander. Along with them has been the VW Atlas, which for 2021 gets a bit of a makeover, helping it take on these relative upstarts. How does it stack up? Let’s take a look! Bigger and Buffer While the Atlas has been the poster child for the “Big Box” SUV school …

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2021 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD Momentum by Ben Lewis

Volvo has always gone its own way. In the early days, they were stout little machines, that were some of the greatest innovators when it came to safety. Their rugged and reliable drivetrains helped make them rally champions, and became legendary for logging high miles. (Remember that guy with the P1800 that went over 3 million miles?). Outside of maybe the P1800, they weren’t really known for being stylish – they were sensible and functional, but design wasn’t on the menu. And then suddenly we got the modern Volvo, and taking a page out of Swedish Design, with its cool …

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2020 4 Runner TRD PRO Review By Matt Barnes

With Toyota sending us the 4 Runner TRD PRO to test for a week, we have now had seat time in all their currently available off-roaders. The 4 Runner still uses the 4.0 V6 and 5 speed auto, which uses a little more fuel and isn’t as refined as some newer offerings, but that didn’t matter once we left the pavement. In our opinion, the 4 Runner TRD PRO is the best Toyota for all types of off-road terrain. Scroll to the bottom to get our take on the other TRD PRO Vehicles. The 4 Runner TRD PRO starts at …

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek 2.5L Limited by Ben Lewis

It’s hard not to like the Subaru Crosstrek – it’s a great looking small crossover, based on the equally likeable Subaru Impreza and it combines a nice compact size with good off-road abilities, and most of the friendly traits that make Subaru an agreeable brand. It has been hard to love the Crosstrek, though. It’s always felt a little underpowered, and the lack of power seemed to highlight the CVT transmission in a negative light. In short, a good vehicle looking for a better engine. Well, Subie heard our wishes, and for 2021, a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder replaces the …

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Jeep unveils V8 powered 2021 Wrangler Rubicon 392, rewrites the off-road benchmarks

It has been awhile since a V8 engine found its way into the Jeep Wrangler. For the past several decades, the most potent engine that you could get in a Wrangler was the venerable albeit wimpy 285 horsepower 3.6 liter V6. But we always knew that the Wrangler had a hidden potential for more power, and Jeep has finally delivered on the promise of a V8 powered factory Wrangler, with the unveiling of the Wrangler Rubicon 392. Jeep claims that it’s the perfect blend of both worlds, but is it? Here’s 4 key things to know about the fastest Wrangler …

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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 Subaru Ascent by Ben Lewis

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

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Toyota Highlander Platinum Hybrid Mountain Drive By Matt Barnes

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

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2022 Acura MDX Prototype previews a very dynamic future for venerable people hauler [Video]

Acura had alot riding on its shoulders when it unveiled the 2022 Acura MDX Prototype. While the MDX was arguably the more family focused offering of Acura’s SUV lineup, it was also losing ground to some of its rivals in the three row luxury SUV segment. Even though the MDX Prototype is a thinly veiled concept, it does appear to show that the MDX is about to take a big step up in terms of what it can bring to customers. There’s alot to unpack here, but here are some of the key essentials that you should know about the …

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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 …

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2020 Jeep “JLUR” Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

After four years off, FCA brought back the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel. This time they’ve decided to add it to the Jeep Wrangler. Enthusiasts call the newest Wrangler the JL.  If it’s the four-door version they, add a “U,” and for the Rubicon trim they add an R. Our test model was a 2020 JLUR EcoDiesel. Video Intro   Overview Arguably America’s most rugged vehicle, the newest Jeep Wrangler has been modernized without compromise to off-road ability. The Jeep brand is FCA’s top seller in the U.S., and the Wrangler is a big portion of that. In order to please a wider …

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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 Kia Sportage SX AWD by Ben Lewis

We only somewhat jokingly called the Sportage SUV the “Korean Cayenne” for its Porsche like looks, and sporty personality. But it seems like Kia has taken that to heart, as it is continuously refining and improving the popular vehicle and making it better in every way. And it was pretty great to start with. Fresh Face The makeover for the Sportage starts with a more aggressive front and rear fascia, including new headlights with LED indicators and LED fogs, and a new front grille, bumper, air intake and skid plate. It still looks like a Sportage, but the design feels …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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2020 MINI Cooper S Clubman by Ben Lewis

Is there anybody that still thinks MINI is a British company? Well, the truth is, it’s been part of BMW for a long time. In fact, many of the current BMW’s – like the X1 SUV – share MINI running gear. But that’s no reason to cry into your warm beer, as MINI is the best of both worlds. While the stylists who surround the MINI product make grand efforts to keep the bulldog-style, the fun and whimsical vibe, the knowledgeable folks at BMW continue to massage and refine the product. Ever year, there’s lots of little improvements. So, we …

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Ford To Partner With Disney For July 13th Unveiling of 2021 Ford Bronco:

The 2021 Ford Bronco is shaping up to be one of the biggest automotive events on the planet, not only for 2020, but perhaps the decade when all is said and done. Despite the best efforts of digital leakers, Ford is still pulling out all the stops for the debut of the revived off-roader which is scheduled to take place on July 13th.   Like other automakers, Ford will be live streaming the event on that day, and we will have a link to that here on Car-Revs-Daily. But what if your a buyer that is not computer savvy, or …

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

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

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Range Rover VELAR SV600 By Manhart Performance

Germany has such a powerful set of OEM automakers that it is easy to forget the country also has a thriving and world-leading car customization industry.  Manhart Performance is part of this crew taking the hottest vehicles from Europe and the world and making them even faster, louder and sexier than stock. In typical German fashion, these customs are typically executed with a finesse and holistic approach that is much more thorough than simple part-by-part upgrades.  In US tuner terms, they go right to stage two or stage three right off the bat. This new Velar SV600 is a perfect …

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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 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 …

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2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the VW Atlas, the brand’s newest 3-row, 7-passenger SUV, and really liked it. And not just us, it’s been a strong sales success – an affordable, stylish, fun to drive 3-row SUV is a hot ticket these days. Just take a look at the Kia Telluride. But the brand famous for the VW GTI can’t just let that large SUV sit there. They wanted to make something sportier, with a little more attitude and fun. Voila’! Welcome to the swoopier 5-seater Cross Sport. And we found it surprisingly different from its 3-row sibling. Atlas Cross Sport Design …

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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 …

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2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

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

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2020 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 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 Jeep Gladiator Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve had our share of exciting new vehicles lately. Ones that drew crowds, from the Honda Civic Type R, to the Lexus LC500. Thing is, it’s usually of interest to a certain kind of buyer. The hi-po import guys for the Civic, the luxury buyers for the LC. But with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, we’ve had tons of interest – not just from Jeep loyalists – but folks from all different backgrounds and interests. It’s the people’s vehicle! (Sorry VW) Friendly Looks The first thing that draws them in is the Gladiator’s exterior design. From the front, it’s pure Jeep …

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2019 Honda Passport Elite – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Returning after a 16-year hiatus, the Honda Passport is a large, 2-row CUV that slots between the Pilot and CRV. The Passport is built on the same platform as the Pilot and Ridgeline and uses the same power train, but is six inches shorter, one inch taller with an extra inch of ground clearance. Exterior All Passports come with a blacked-out grill and LED lights, but the Elite we tested had glossy trim throughout and even gloss black wheels. Other trims get a matte finish with polished aluminum or grey wheels. One thing that is immediately apparent is that the …

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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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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe & Suburban Breathe New Life Into Iconic GM Nameplate, Bring New Technologies To Consumers

Big SUVS are big business for General Motors with the Chevrolet Tahoe and the bigger Suburban accounting for a large chunk of all SUVS that are currently sold in the U.S. However with rivals such as the Ford Expedition, Toyota Highlander, and the Volkswagen Atlas besting the duo in several categories including fuel economy, Chevrolet designers knew that they had to completely revamp and rethink the way they introduced the Tahoe and Suburban to a new wave of SUV buyers. The brand thinks it has succeeded in this mission with the unveiling of the newly revamped 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and …

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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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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 VW Tiguan SEL Premium 4Motion Review by Ben Lewis

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

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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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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 …

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2020 Buick Enclave ST – Road Test Review + Drive Video

The new-for-2020 Enclave ST looks amazing!  It is shocking how much the body-color grille edge and new gloss-black inner mesh changes the look of this jumbo crossover. Nowhere near as shocking as the resounding praise you’re about the read, though!  Believe me, this car will make anyone who drives or rides inside into a Buick fan. This coming from the kid who truly believed the 1990s Skylark was the most hideous vehicle ever made, and had disgusted reactions to every element of LeSabre and Century. This is a new era though, and this Buick is the best ever. ST stands …

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

Lots of Palisade love this summer! You can really tell how seriously Hyundai is taking this full-size SUV launch by the media events scheduled on its behalf. Instead of one major media drive with an ultra exclusive invite list, Hyundai did a Palisade road show and had at least five of them across the country.  Presentations from the product teams and great roads to try out this three-row biggie’s capabilities. The one we attended was in Asheville North Carolina, a short jump inland from CRD HQ in Charleston, SC.  But years in the ‘lowcountry’ made me forget all about hills …

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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 …

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Car-Revs-Daily Double Review – 2019 Toyta RAV4 Adventure 4WD /MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 Backpacking Tent – By Carl Malek

When the 2019 Toyota RAV4 was unleashed into the mass market, the revamped utility offering had some very big shoes to fill. Its predecessor (outdated as it was towards the end of its life) still managed to post impressive sales numbers in 2018, and the RAV4 has always been a go to choice for many buyers that need a sensible utility offering for their everyday commuting needs. But can the 2019 Toyota RAV4 bring some much needed vigor and polish to the storied nameplate without ignoring its core audience? We were keen to find out, and devised a formidable testing …

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2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR 30

Insider: 4 great 4X4s on the market right now

4x4s, SUVs and trucks took a long time to become as popular globally as they were (and are) in the United States. However, they’re taking over in a big way lately thanks to lower fuel prices and the rough weather we’ve been experiencing over the last few years. You can now find 4X4s that have roughly the same footprint as smaller vehicles, more hybrid and electric engines, and models both for the adventurous and small families. Here are some of the best 4X4s out on the market right now. Range Rover The Range Rover remains a classic, and still has …

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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 …

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

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

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2019 Lexus RX350 F Sport AWD – Review By Matt Barnes

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

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2019 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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Road Test Followup – 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate – By Carl Malek

When we last met the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, it was on its home turf in Alabama, where we had a chance to sample some of the reworked engineering, styling, and performance that went into making this iteration of Santa Fe a true standout in Hyundai’s growing SUV lineup. This time around, we had the opportunity to check out the Santa Fe on the familiar roads that dot our Metro Detroit branch to see if its southern infused charm can translate into a truly capable offering that can bring the best of both worlds to eager SUV buyers.   Functionally …

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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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Road Test Review – 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT – By Carl Malek

With all the various iterations of Outlander that have visited the Metro Detroit branch over the years, the one elusive model that always managed to remain elusive to our scrutiny was its cousin, the Outlander Sport. Wheras the standard Outlander excels at being a family hauler and delivering outright insane fuel mileage when properly equipped, the Sport aims to wrap the efficiency in a decidedly more exciting package that also aims to add some driving fun to the overall driving experience. But can the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport still shine in a slice of the segment where fun and efficiency …

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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 …

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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 …

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550HP 1969 Ford Bronco Supercharged by Velocity Restorations

On the long list of incredible big-boy (or girl!) toys to get once you make it big, a classic Ford Bronco is definitely up there near the top for many of us. A perfectly resto-modded example makes driving it a pleasure from day one, and also reduces the years-long headaches most DIYers would encounter trying to restore one themselves. Velocity Restorations specializes in Broncos and has a few turn-key examples ready for delivery. This latest example might be my favorite — its glossy wet-look black paint, beefy stance and gorgeous cabin make quite an impression even while parked. Favorite details …

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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 …

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Hyundai Tuscon N Model in the Works? New Report Suggest Its Happening

Hyundai’s N performance sub brand has bold aspirations for the performance vehicle market. With the i30 N and the U.S. exclusive Veloster N covering both sides of the globe with their hot hatch performance and the Elantra GT N-Line signaling the emergence of the N-Line lineup, new rumors suggest that an unlikely Hyundai offering could be the third model in Hyundai and N’s ruthless assault on the performance SUV segment. While we had our collective sights on perhaps seeing the smaller Kona CUV receive an N branded model of its own, several company insiders revealed to the folks at Auto …

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ECD Auto Design Shows New Defender 110 Azure Custom w/ Lux Upgrades + 430HP V8

This latest custom Defender 110 from ECD Automotive Design pushes alot of my buttons.  First off, it is already completely finished, is in the USA, and has a huge list of mods and design tweaks. Most exciting is the engine swap to a GM crate LS3 making more than 400 ponies and sent to the wheels via a six-speed automatic. No word on pricing for this one-off but links below for more info!   ECD Auto Design Defender 110 Azure ECD Automotive Design – Project Azure Specifications Model – Custom Defender 110 Engine – 6.2L LS3 V8 with 430 hp Transmission – 6-speed automatic Exhaust – Borla Performance …

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