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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Hyundai Goes To The Darkside With 2021 Kona Night Edition:

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

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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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2021 Ford Bronco: Looks To The Past In New Teaser Videos

The 2021 Ford Bronco is only a few weeks from its debut, but Ford is ramping up the campaign surrounding the reborn off-roader in an attempt to not only build up precious buzz, but also to try and establish the groundwork for a dedicated community of Bronco enthusiasts that will help the brand grow for years to come. This is highlighted by an all new shadowy teaser image that shows all three members of the Bronco family. While the darkness does obscure the finer details, it does confirm that the standard Bronco will not only have removable doors and panels, …

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2020 Mazda CX-30 by Ben Lewis

Okay, we’re spoiled for choice these days. If you say you can’t find a vehicle to meet your needs, you’re not looking hard enough. Let’s take small cars/SUVs/crossovers. And a manufacturer like Mazda. Need a small car? There’s the Mazda 3 sedan and the Mazda 3 hatchback. We’ve tested both and loved them. Maybe want a small crossover/SUV? There’s the Mazda CX-3. Also, excellent. But you say, well, I want something a little taller than a sedan/hatch, but not quite an SUV. Okay says Mazda – here’s the all-new CX-30! And it might be the perfect blend of all the …

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2021 Jeep Compass Teased Ahead Of June 4th Virtual Unveiling

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

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2020 Toyota C-HR Limited By Ben Lewis

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

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2020 Fiat 500x Sport by Ben Lewis

Are you a fan of Monty Python? (OK, we may be dating ourselves here..) Well, they used to have a segment with a newsman-like person at a desk saying, “And now for something completely different.” And you know, they could have been talking about the Fiat 500x. Fiat 500x Exterior – Thinking out of The Box It starts with expressive looks. While it shares the running gear with the Jeep Renegade, it won’t be confused with that, or any other small SUV. Last year, the 500x got a facelift, with new front and rear fascia that trade in a little …

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2021 Kia Seltos S FWD by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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2020 Hyundai Venue Road Test Review by Ben Lewis

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

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2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD by Ben Lewis

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

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2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport Revealed In Massive Leak

Today has not been very kind to Ford Motor Company. While the company was able to snuff out a smaller leak a week ago that showed off select elements of the Bronco’s side profile and rear fascia, things got turned up a notch when both the Bronco and its smaller cousin the Bronco Sport were leaked in full to the world. With the cat now essentially out of the bag at this point, we take a dive into both of these models, and see how Ford is betting big on the revival of the iconic Ford Bronco. The latest leak …

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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 Lexus NX300 F Sport – Review By Matt Barnes

Lexus tries to keep a model as long as possible before they make any major updates. This holds true for the NX which is largely unchanged since its debut in 2014. So what, if anything, is new for 2020? Outside there are a few color changes with Silver Lining Metallic and Autumn Shimmer no longer available and Cadmium Orange being added. Inside the infotainment system now has Android Auto (for all NXs built after October 1st 2019) which joins Apple CarPlay that became available last year. There is an optional Mark Levinson audio system. The steering wheel now includes power …

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2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Review by Ben Lewis

The Kia Soul has long been one of our favorite vehicles – cool style, hip vibe, strong performance, loads of tech at a reasonable price. What’s not to love? And we were equally thrilled when we recently tested the all-new 2020 X-Line, we came away very impressed. Except we kind of missed the Hamsters that Kia has killed from their ad campaign. What Kia didn’t kill was the available turbo-engined model, which has always been the enthusiast’s choice. But with the new 2.0-liter, non-turbo we tested we didn’t miss the turbo rush as much as we he had remembered. So, …

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2020 Hyundai Venue SE – Entry Level Quick-Take

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

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

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

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

2019 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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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 Lexus UX 250h Luxury – Review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2019 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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2020 Kia Soul X-Line – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First, a moment of silence. Today we mourn The Hamster. Well, not a real Hamster, but the special-FX rodents that came to be identified with the Kia Soul, thanks to their great commercials. For the all-new 2020 Soul, it looks like the furry funmakers have been tossed in the proverbial dustbin. (At least they could have been buried in the backyard, no?) Shed no tears, though, because this is an all-new Kia Soul, and while it keeps the, errr…Soul of the previous model, it sports a lot of great improvements that keep it one of the most enjoyable and endearing …

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Review by Ben Lewis

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

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2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD – Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

FEATURES-FUN-PRACTICALITY AND VALUE The 2019 Hyundai Kona is one of the best subcompact crossovers that money can buy. That’s a bold statement, but the Kona can back it up. This 5-passenger SUV is available in five trim levels, the SE, SEL, Limited, and Ultimate, with starting front-wheel-drive models coasting $19,240, $21,050, $24,300, and $26,250 respectively. Add $1,400 for All-Wheel-Drive. The Iron Man trim, at $30,550, comes with a matte grey finish with red accents all around the vehicle,  red trim inside the cabin, and larger wheels. Not worth the money. The first 2 trim levels come with a 2.0 liter …

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Hyundai’s Venue Brings Big Personality In Small But Tidy Package

Hyundai has bold plans for the SUV market, and with the flagship Palisade and the subcompact Kona CUV covering both ends of the spectrum, the Korean auto giant has decided to unleash an even smaller utility entry into the fray to try and steal precious sales from new rivals such as the Nissan Kicks, Ford EcoSport, and the Chevrolet Trax, the 2020 Hyundai Venue. When we last met the Venue, it was through several teaser images. However, Hyundai has finally pulled the veil off of its newest SUV offering. When we say the Venue is small, we’re not exaggerating, with …

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2019 Kia Niro EV – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Cynics that we are, we are slowly becoming fans of Electric Vehicles. While we still love the sound of a good engine, there’s a lot to love about the newest wave of fully electric and plug-in hybrid models. Our favorite plug-in may be the Honda Clarity,  whose futuristic good looks and reasonable 47 miles of EV mode range won us over. More important was the Hyundai Kona Electric, with an amazing 258-mile Tesla-baiting range, and great fun-to-drive spirit. We could easily drive it every day. Maybe the Kona is a little too small? Good news, we now have the Kia …

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Hyundai Sheds More Light On Upcoming Venue CUV With New Sketches

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

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2019 Honda HR-V Sport AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve tested Honda’s HR-V a while ago and found it surprisingly sporty and fun – especially when equipped in front-wheel-drive with a 6-speed manual transmission. So, when Honda announced a new HR-V Sport model for 2019 we were excited – in Europe, there’s an HR-V Sport with a manual transmission and the 1.5-liter turbo we get here in the Civic. This ain’t Europe. Unfortunately, we’re not getting that Sport. No turbo motor. And for 2019, the manual transmission is gone, too. Farewell… That said, our HR-V Sport gets some goodies unique to the model that should make it more fun …

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2019 Lexus UX200 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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

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2019 Mazda CX-3 2

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

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

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Nissan Unveils Updated 2020 Rogue Sport

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

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

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

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2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL 1.5T S-AWC – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

What’s in a name? Well, if you’re Mitsubishi, that’s a good question. Until recently, the company has kind of languished in the market place, with fewer dealers and a small line-up of vehicles. All of that changed recently with the purchase of Mitsu by Nissan. Deep pockets, advanced engineering, and massive resources mean good things ahead for the brand. There are a couple names that do stand out, Evo – the high-performance rally-bred four-door sedan that’s a legendary giant-killer in performance circles. No longer in production. And then there’s Eclipse, an equally legendary front wheel and all-wheel drive sport coupe …

Read more 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL 1.5T S-AWC – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Ford EcoSport 2.0L Titanium AWD – Road Test Review w/ Drive Video

You’re looking at one of the best surprises of the year in the car world. Yep, this little fella here! The new EcoSport is the entry-level SUV in the Ford range moving forward – and you might have seen one on the road without realizing it. We definitely let out a few giggles on first sight but really came to like the machine after a few days on the road.  Yes, tiny.  But so current with tech and the drive experience is very perky in city traffic. What we have here is the first true supermini sport-ute!   That means you …

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2018 Kia Soul EV+ Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

You may have heard the term “Range Anxiety” when it comes to Electric Vehicles. (EV to you and me). It describes the nervousness you have over not having enough range to get where you’re going. With a gas car, it’s a stop at the local sip ‘n go. But with an EV, if you can find a place to plug in, it’s still between 45 minutes to a couple hours to get a meaningful charge. But now we have a new term. EV Anxiety? This is different. For many of us enthusiasts, we look at the EV as the death …

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2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design 2

2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Volvo is on a roll. For a while, the Swedish brand (owned by Chinese company Geely), was more of a bit player in the premium European segment, trading on a well-earned rep of safety and Swedish sensibility – but not really setting any hearts afire. Well, all of that has changed. The big spark came from the gorgeous XC90, one of the most handsome big SUV’s, with a to-die-for interior and loads of well-engineered tech. In the always-hungry SUV market it became a huge hit, and it put the brand on the shopping list of loads of BMW, Mercedes and …

Read more 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Hyundai KONA Ultimate FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Hyundai Elantra sedan and Elantra GT hatchback, which we really liked. We even mentioned the GT Hatch might be an excellent alternative to a small crossover. And then Hyundai introduces the all-new Kona compact crossover – and makes liars out of us. Well, maybe not liars. There’s a lot to like about the Elantra GT, but after our time in the Kona, we’re ready to go Island time, full time. (Kona, Hawaii reference for those playing at home). We do it Island Style Let’s start with the looks. The Kona is one great-looking small CUV, with …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Hyundai Kona – By Carl Malek

Typically when it comes to small value focused cars, Hyundai has always been one of the front runners, and has largely done a good job catering to this still strong segment with offerings like the Elantra GT, the recently tested Hyundai Veloster, as well as the budget minded Hyundai Accent. However, in a curious twist of irony, the firm did not have a formal compact crossover entry to take advantage of this recently growing offshoot of the utility market. The 2018 Hyundai Kona aims to rectify that, but can the Kona’s youthful confidence allow it to standout in a segment …

Read more Road Test Review – 2018 Hyundai Kona – By Carl Malek

Road Test Review – 2018 Jaguar E-Pace P300 R-Dynamic – By Carl Malek

When the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace arrived on the scene, it brought a breeze of inevitability to the storied British luxury brand. Once known for stubbornly resisting the SUV craze with its car-centric lineup, and the erratic reliability that came along with it, Jaguar is making a serious push at being a true contender in the luxury automobile ranks. This included adopting SUVs into its ranks starting with the bigger F-Pace SUV. The F-Pace was a great first step, and it offered buyers a good blend of performance and capability. However, its large size also caused the F-Pace to not resonate …

Read more Road Test Review – 2018 Jaguar E-Pace P300 R-Dynamic – By Carl Malek

2018 Kia Niro PHEV LX – ~240MPG Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Last year we tested the Kia Niro hybrid, and it came away as one of our favorite vehicles of the year. Here was a hybrid with the practicality of a small crossover, excellent fuel economy, and best of all, it was truly fun to drive. We’d gladly have one in our driveway – and it would make a perfect day-to-day partner to some rip-snorting, fuel guzzling, socially questionable weekend toy. Plugging into the latest and greatest While hybrids have been around for quite a while now and become extremely successful, getting people into full EV electric vehicles has been a …

Read more 2018 Kia Niro PHEV LX – ~240MPG Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE – By Carl Malek

The legacy of Scion still continues to permeate throughout Toyota’s current lineup. The brand once known for its youthful swagger had a proverbial ace in the hole before Toyota pulled the plug several years ago. But can the newly rechristened Toyota CH-R hold its own in an increasingly crowded marketplace? or is it too little too late for a CUV that was supposed to be the shining star of a defunct past? The exterior styling of our tester certainly drew plenty of stares when viewed in the flesh. There’s alot going on in this busy canvas, and it all starts …

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2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium R-Code 30

2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium R-Code Design – Video Road Test Review w/ Mega Gallery!

  Don’t get too bogged down in what type of vehicle C-HR is before you start to love it.  SUV Compact?  City Style Hatchback? It is a racy five-door hatchback with off-road-ish looks and playful road handling. Exclusively front-drive and sliding in right above the Corolla in fun-to-drive and standout style. Pricing matches that four-door but there are many differences under the skin. This C-HR for example runs a slightly tighter wheelbase and overall length.  And a slightly wider stance with its bubble hardtop accentuating the racy roofline and concept-like body shapes on both ends. But really, all the style …

Read more 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium R-Code Design – Video Road Test Review w/ Mega Gallery!

2018 Buick Encore Premium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the new Buick Enclave, and found it to be an excellent blend of style, performance and luxury. What if you want all that, but something in a smaller package, perfect for running around the city as well as the open road? Well then, how about the Buick Encore?  Refreshed in 2017, the small SUV has proven to be exceptionally popular – it’s Buick best-selling model – and it shows how quickly the brand has moved from stodgy to hip and cool in a short time. Not the urban lumberjack, Jack. In the land of small SUV’s trying …

Read more 2018 Buick Encore Premium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium – Road Test Review

Subaru refreshed its Outback Jr for the 2018 model year with a bump in horsepower and fresh LEDs on the top trims.  New cabin tech and the slightest of slight design upgrade to detailing outside and in completed the refresh. Most notably, the top Crosstreks now have a sexy LED DRL that comes standard with the upgraded bi-xenon, auto-highbeam cornering lamps on the Crosstrek Limited. Humbler trims like our 2.0i Premium tester have to make do another year with bulb DRLs and a decidedly dowdy look on the road. No LEDs in front for this trim but some searingly-bright LED …

Read more 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium – Road Test Review

Comparison Test – 2018 Mazda CX-5 vs 2018 Mazda CX-3

As the CUV market continues to grow in importance, the diverse selection of models, sizes, and trims can sometimes make the process of buying one of these vehicles a daunting endeavor. While the old adage “bigger is better” still resonates in the minds of many buyers, is it really indeed better? To find out, we went behind the wheel of two of Mazda’s bread and butter CUV entries to find out if size really does matter, and whether other factors emerge in the quest for the perfect family hauler?   2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring It’s no secret that Mazda’s …

Read more Comparison Test – 2018 Mazda CX-5 vs 2018 Mazda CX-3

Hyundai Unveils Kona EV, Promises 292 Miles Of Driving Range [Video]

Hyundai’s Kona CUV has already made waves since it was introduced a year ago. While it has not set its wheels on U.S. shores as of yet, the Kona has proven to be a popular choice for international buyers. Naturally, Hyundai wants to maintain this momentum, and has unveiled the next iteration of Kona, the Kona Electric. The exterior styling of the Kona Electric is largely unchanged from the standard Kona, and as a result the majority of the funky lines remain intact. However, there are several minor tweaks that are designed to help the Kona Electric stand out from …

Read more Hyundai Unveils Kona EV, Promises 292 Miles Of Driving Range [Video]

2017 Kia NIRO Touring – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

The Deep Cerulean blue Kia Niro was waiting for me and the wife at the Ft. Lauderdale airport parking lot, and it was a welcome sight after a long day of airline travel. We dropped the rear seatbacks down, and the generous 54.5 cubic feet cargo area swallowed up two huge suitcases, that in a bygone era would have been labeled “steamer trunks”. A set of golf clubs, and the carry-on bags were added easily. As we eased into the front seats, we basked in the glory of comfortable perforated leather seats, with all the leg room we could want.  …

Read more 2017 Kia NIRO Touring – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It’s no fun being judged by your name. Even if it’s a good one. Take Mini, for example. Around since the 60’s, it stood for diminutive cars that surprised and delighted, in part to their snug external dimensions, and their larger-than-life performance. When the Mini Cooper was reintroduced in the US in 2003, it was much larger than the original, but still a lot smaller than just about everything else for sale. And in the past 14 years, we’ve seen the Mini product expand into larger vehicles like the Clubman and small crossovers like the Mini Countryman. And now with …

Read more 2017 Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Jeep COMPASS Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If you like small crossover/SUV’s, you’re living in the golden age. Where most manufacturers were once happy to offer one model, it seems like many are doubling – or tripling – down, to give you your own perfect blend of goodness. And that includes Jeep. Here we have an all-new Jeep Compass. Originally introduced in 2007, the Compass was sort of a slapped-together version based on the Dodge Caliber. More tall wagon than true ‘ute, it still proved to be very popular with buyers, but kind of felt out of place with the Jeep Brand. Fast forward 10 years, and …

Read more 2017 Jeep COMPASS Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Nissan ROGUE SPORT SV AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Over the years there have been plenty of words used to keep certain brand names high on the sales charts, and to use the halo of well-earned reputations to promote the latest and greatest. Think Grand Cherokee, Camry Solara, Mustang II. Some more successful than others. And now we have a spinoff of Nissan’s exceptionally popular Rogue. The Nissan Rogue Sport. What’s up, Sport? Sport fits the smaller, more aggressive looking Rogue, being a good foot shorter than its big brother. Designed to compete against such city funsters as Mazda’s CX-3, Honda HR-V, and Toyota’s CH-R, it’s still a handy …

Read more 2017 Nissan ROGUE SPORT SV AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Hyundai KONA – Arrives February to Clamoring US Shoppers

The Kona is a pretty big deal for Hyundai.  It will be expected to shift more than 100,000 units a year, we estimate, to be considered a success for the brand’s SUV mission. In a perfect world, this machine might even kiss 200,000 units in 2019!?   Can you imagine? Hilarious. Or is it? When you think of the future as seen in movies, Kona’s design will fit right in.  It is a post-apocalyptic surivor — navigating the ruins of cities with enough ground clearance not to scrape.  Or to have those pesky gravel cuts in the paint — thanks to …

Read more 2018 Hyundai KONA – Arrives February to Clamoring US Shoppers

2017 Mazda CX-5 GT Premium AWD – HD Road Test Review

The compact crossover segment has a ‘masculinity gap.’  There are more than a dozen of these cute utes on the market, but none of them really looks or drives manly.  Yes, the Audi Q3 and Honda CR-V are good cars. But do they increase or decrease their driver’s sex appeal? Among the dudes of the world coming up from econoboxes and blah mid-size sedans, CUVs are theoretically perfect machines.  A bit of all-weather ability here, a dash of extra practicality there. Like it or not, people buy cars based on strange psychology.  Men and women are usually both fine with …

Read more 2017 Mazda CX-5 GT Premium AWD – HD Road Test Review

2017 Jeep Compass 4×4 Limited – HD Road Test Review

Guess who does not love compact crossovers, generally, for their woeful speed and handling?  This guy. So the 2017 Compass really had its work cut out for it when it came to CRD for a review.  We were pre-biased and would’ve been tossed from a jury trial for inability to be impartial. Our personal disdain for micro-SUVs is dead wrong based on vehicle sales charts, though. Mini crossovers are the hottest segment of the car business these days.  They are replacing huge chunks of traditional compact and midsize car sales – through their combination of coolness and capability. Jeep is …

Read more 2017 Jeep Compass 4×4 Limited – HD Road Test Review

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2017 VW Golf Alltrack S w/ 4Motion – HD Road Test Review

Wagons are back! Have you heard? Small families and bachelors alike are rediscovering how easy, smooth and practical they are versus the endless line of mini SUVs.  Wagons have better mileage, handling and — sometimes — even long-roof style. There are places where the Golf Sportwagen’s low ride height is simply not ideal — even with that car’s optional 4Motion AWD system.  For mountain states like Colorado or Vermont, there can never be enough tall, 4×4 wagons to choose from. Subaru has had this market on lock for decades now with their big Outback and smaller Crosstrek wagons. VW is …

Read more 2017 VW Golf Alltrack S w/ 4Motion – HD Road Test Review

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VIDEO – 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 Finds Bomb-Crater Lake

    How awful are those posts on sites that just open to a video.  No words really, just a giant play button.  And you never really want to watch the video that second, right? We try to spare you those posts here.  But there are exceptions. When a video production approaches true The Grand Tour production values.  When a drone-cam tracks your Jeep romping in tall grass and from over water.  When dual GoPro’s with different cabin angles was ridiculous but still tolerated by the talent. When you’ve found a peachy dirt road to mimic rally speeds around corners — tail …

Read more VIDEO – 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 Finds Bomb-Crater Lake

2017 Ford Escape Titanium – Road Test Review

How time flies! Ford launched this platform for the Escape around 2012 and it was a revelation for the compact crossover segment.  Handling and engine shared with the Range Rover Evoque, but with pricing $20k less?  Sign us up. Five years later and this newly-refreshed 2017 model is not nearly as appealing.  Is this lightest-of-light refreshes for 2017 enough to keep Escape competitive with its arch-rivals RAV4 and CR-V?  How about the dozens of other new CUVs with the same $25-$40k pricerange? We spent a week with the new Escape Titanium EcoBoost 4WD – the tippy top drivetrain and trim …

Read more 2017 Ford Escape Titanium – Road Test Review

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It’s tough being Mazda. After all, in the automotive world, you’re a small company, up against giants like Toyota, Ford, and Nissan. And even though you’re a famous sports car maker, you need to compete in the big-money segments like small crossovers to survive. But Mazda did more than just compete. With the original CX-5, Mazda made one of the best, most fun to drive small crossovers on the market. But time moves on, and Mazda has to as well. Will Mazda’s new CX-5 be another winner, or will it suffer from sophomore slump? Well, first of all, it’s not …

Read more 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

There’s a lot of talk lately that the small car is on its last legs. And you-know-who is to blame…the crossover. It started quite a while ago with SUVs swaying the public, with their rugged looks, great versatility, and comfy, tall seating position. Then came the small SUV wave, and it’s become a Tsunami – the Nissan Rogue is currently the best selling non-pickup vehicle (full-size pickups are still big business) in the country, with a passel of CR-V’s, RAV4’s, and CX-5’s and more not far behind. Still, the smallest of the small cars felt safe until recently, when the …

Read more 2018 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2018 Jaguar E-Pace – 300HP CUV Pricing and USA Launch Details!

Jumping for joy! This new Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV is the perfect model for Jag right now.  Hot on the heels of the F-Pace SUV’s knockout launch, this E-Pace is firmly on the way for the 2018 model-year — and even has USA pricing in full included below!  Spoiler alert: it runs from $39k to about $55k. While the I-Pace name has been linked to a full EV concept from the big cat, this new E-Pace is a close relative.  Sharing a platform and much design and tech, they are both starting assembly in the next six months. Jaguar is …

Read more 2018 Jaguar E-Pace – 300HP CUV Pricing and USA Launch Details!

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2017 Honda Fit – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’re often asked for buying recommendations, and certain models are our go-to cars. We know they’re good, fun, reliable, and the odds of getting a bad one are slim. (We hate angry emails.) And for many years, the city car of choice has been the Honda Fit. These days, so many buyers are clamoring for mini-crossovers, we forget that for a lot of folks, a small hatch is equally capable to do the job. So, is today’s Fit still a good fit for buyers? Well, it’s certainly a good looking little guy. Okay, we should probably caveat that. The bright …

Read more 2017 Honda Fit – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Kia NIRO Touring Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

As auto journalists, we’re constantly asked about what’s new, what we like, what we’re driving. So, it’s surprising that the vehicle we’re talking a bunch about lately is the exciting Kia Niro hybrid. Kia? Hybrid? Exciting? Yes, Yes, and really… Yes. And we’re just as surprised as you. We were expecting a decent little vehicle – probably more of a penalty box – in the pursuit of all elusive high mpg numbers, at the expense of everything else. But it ain’t so. The Niro is a stylish, well-equipped, little hatch/crossover that happens to be great fun to drive. And fun …

Read more 2017 Kia NIRO Touring Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2017 VW ID Crozz Concept – Goofy Preview of Future E-SUV

The tsunami of EV crossovers in development from all brands is starting to worry us.  Where will demand for these E-SUVs (trademark!:) come from when these all arrive together in late 2018?! Automakers near and far are sure that these vehicles are the way forward.  Expensive vehicles as a way to offset the giant costs of the battery packs needed for 300 miles.  The same size batteries would be needed for a compact size car, but who would buy that?  As such, EV crossovers do make some sense, and will let carmakers in the US keep selling a load of …

Read more 2017 VW ID Crozz Concept – Goofy Preview of Future E-SUV

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4.0s, 400HP Jaguar I-PACE Concept – Design Analysis: Is It Sexy?

The Jaguar I-Pace has a hard name to overcome.  And when it was first shown in silver, it had a mountain to climb for good style, too. Too generic EV, they said. FastForward two months and the I-Pace is back in striking red paint with dark details.  More fitting, perhaps, for the first credible Model X rival. Going full electric for the i-pace means the proportions are radically rethought.  Yes, this is crossover territory, but with a chopped (and hard to digest) nose and nonexistent overhangs.  A lower roof and much lower ride height than F-Pace.  But looking wide as XJ and …

Read more 4.0s, 400HP Jaguar I-PACE Concept – Design Analysis: Is It Sexy?

2017 Nissan ROGUE ONE Star Wars Edition – Review By Ben Lewis

  We had mixed feelings about testing the 2017 Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition Rogue. Nissan has made some notable improvements on its popular crossover, and we were looking forward to testing it. Then they announced the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition model. Since they both had the name “Rogue” it kind of smacked of opportunism. Cue rolling of eyes. So, the question becomes, is The Force with the new Rogue, or just the farce? Well, since we don’t want to spoil the ending, let’s start with what’s new for Rogue. Already a crisp design, we have a …

Read more 2017 Nissan ROGUE ONE Star Wars Edition – Review By Ben Lewis

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Best of NYIAS – 2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept

Welcome to Toyota getting hip with the kids! Since Scion was politely folded into the Big T proper, there are many products in the pipeline that still embody that wacky Scion spirit. The FT-4X is one of those, and looks set for arrival to showrooms within about a year at the most.  This machine is a heavily redesigned and off-road-optimized version of the sexy new C-HR subcompact crossover.  The FT-4X is far more than just a tall-roof variant.  (Although that is its core nature). From a tread perspective, the FT-4X rides far higher, with grippier rubber and longer-travel suspension.  Likely-standard …

Read more Best of NYIAS – 2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept

2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

With all the new entries that have entered the compact SUV segment over the past few years, it is easy to forget about one of the pioneers in this hotly contested segment, the Toyota RAV4. Designed to bring a compelling blend of safety, versatility, and value to a segment that was in its infancy at the time. The RAV4 would emerge as one of the leading compact SUV entries on the market, while also proving to be a huge sales success for Toyota at the same time, but can the current generation RAV4 confidently follow in the tire tracks of …

Read more 2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

2017 KIA Soul Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Kia sells a full lineup of excellent vehicles, from small economy sedans and crossovers, to mid and full size sedans and Suv’s . They even build a luxury sedan rivaling some of the best from Japan and Europe.  They have many hybrid models, and even a fully electric car.  But their best-selling model is the Soul. This compact crossover is designed to appeal to the young Millennial generation, but even this old greybeard find it an engaging vehicle that provides a lot of features, roomy interior, gas mileage economy in a fun package. For 2017, Kia has upped the fun …

Read more 2017 KIA Soul Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the best new Mercedes an Infiniti? It might be. Because sneaky folks that they are, Infiniti started with a fine small SUV, the Mercedes GLA250, and then kept the good bits, massaged some of the other bits, and did a pretty major overhaul of the exterior and interior. The result is a unique blend of performance and style.  But is it enough to lure buyers of the three-pointed star to the sideways Pac Man? Well on looks alone, yes. While the GLA has that Euro-sensible look, like a taller hatchier version of the CLA sedan, the QX30 in comparison, …

Read more 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  An exciting new twist with the 2017 CR-V.  Five of them, in fact!~ Honda’s really got us spinning with the all-new CR-V. And while it already was one of the very best, they’ve done a lot of things – big and small – to make sure it keeps its leadership position.   Twist 1: It will turn heads: CR-V’s have always been modern, contemporary vehicles, but not Wowzers. Until now. First of all, the new CR-V looks noticeably bigger, and it is. Give partial credit to the smaller HR-V being offered so its big brother can stretch out. The …

Read more 2017 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 KIA SOUL! Turbo DCT – HD Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The Kia Soul has been one of the most successful small ‘utes in history.  Those engaging Hamster commercials did a great job of renting some space in our minds. When the Soul was redesigned, we saw the hamsters hit the gym, slim down, and start dressing like Daniel Craig in the Bond films. But what happens when the carmaker introduces the turbo, double-clutch 2017 Kia Soul! (pronounced “exclamation”)? Hamsters on steroids! And we have to give Kia credit for putting the loveable Soul on the juice, because they could probably sell every one they make already. It’s a great little …

Read more 2017 KIA SOUL! Turbo DCT – HD Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Ford ESCAPE Titanium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

A third of the auto industry’s sales last year were SUV’s. That means that about 5 million of them were sold here.  At Ford, their leading SUV model is the Escape. Over 300,000 units were sold last year alone, making the Escape the number 2 selling Ford model, behind only the Ford F-150 pickup truck.  The Escape debuted way back in the year 2000, and they have sold more than 2.4 million of them.  After spending a week with the 2017 Escape, it’s not hard to understand why. For 2017, the Escape gets a mid-cycle refresh, bringing some significant changes to the …

Read more 2017 Ford ESCAPE Titanium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2016 Volkswagen TIGUAN R-Line 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart       

Our reviews here on Car-Revs-Daily.com generally try to be upbeat and playfully informative.  With insightful observations galore and a few critiques along the way. It is usually because the cars manufacturers send our way are all fairly loveable, newsworthy and generally pretty fresh on the market.  We put ourselves in the position of the buyers in that market segment for a week.  A week of driving later.. we’re usually gushing with some form of praise. This Tiguan review will have many of those characteristics, but with a darker edge. The 2016 Tiguan is woefully outclassed by nearly any compact crossover …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen TIGUAN R-Line 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart       

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

The Volkswagen Tiguan was early to the party of compact crossovers, debuting in 2006 during a period of high gas prices. One would think it was great timing to introduce a small SUV to consumers concerned with conserving fuel. But in fact, by the time it got here in 2009, the gasser Tiguan was rated at 19 MPG city, 26 MPG highway by EPA. That didn’t get MPG-conscious consumers beating down the doors of their nearest VW dealer, and falling gas prices did little to boost Tiguan sales. Fact is, the VW Tiguan has stayed right there at an EPA …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

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2017 Honda CR-V – Turbo-powered Redesign Continues March Upmarket

You know those statistics that say California is a top-10 economy, ranked worldwide versus entire countries? The CR-V is a similar story for Honda.  It is an absolute mint. This car makes money like you would not believe, and single-handedly pulls in revenue many automakers can’t achieve with their entire lineups. CR-V is a profit-center extraordinaire. As a result, the model has received careful pruning over the last few years to make up for the missing total redesign.  Even while the compact crossover market has grown to the second-best-selling in all of automobile-dom —- behind pickups and neck/neck with midsize sedans …

Read more 2017 Honda CR-V – Turbo-powered Redesign Continues March Upmarket

2017 Honda HR-V 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A Honda HR-V with 2WD and manual transmission. ! Rare barely begins to describe the 6MT on Honda lots nationwide. Perhaps this is an auto-reviewer special!? It’s certainly possible. In the craze for small crossovers, it seems like an automatic is de rigueur, and most buyers are finding the added grip and confidence of All-Wheel Drive (AWD to you and me) a temptation too hard to resist. A while ago, we tested an AWD, CVT, HR-V (OK, it’s alphabet soup) and really liked it. A bit slow perhaps, but with all the brilliant simplicity of design that we think would …

Read more 2017 Honda HR-V 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

When I took delivery of the 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk for testing, a colleague told me, “The little Jeep is surprisingly capable.” Those two words — “surprisingly capable” — came to define my experience with the Renegade Trailhawk as I took it down some deep, difficult rock-and-mud-and-gravel trails in the hills of eastern Middle Tennessee. Design Notes There’s no denying the Jeep Renegade has a definite cute factor. That’s probably the first reason many Jeep purists scoff at the littlest Jeep in the lineup. It doesn’t look like a chiseled-jawed Wrangler. That notwithstanding, there’s no mistaking the Renegade for anything …

Read more 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

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2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  You say you want a small crossover/SUV? We can’t blame you. It’s just about the hottest-selling segment in the industry, and it looks like the small family sedan is taking a firm backseat because of it. And while there are a lot of nice choices out there, there is a problem. They all sort of look alike. There are notable exceptions like the mutant amphibian Nissan Juke. And the squat-and-squashed Mini Clubman. But in general, and HRV, CRV, CX-3, CX-5, RAV4, Forester, Rogue all look – and function – like relatives at a family reunion. Is the Jeep Renegade the cure …

Read more 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2016 BMW X2 Concept – Live Paris Photos/Analysis of Intriguing New Design Language

Interesting new look for the 2016 BMW X2 Concept today in Paris!  The X2 is smoother and softer than the traditional X3/X5 design feel, but is still quite macho and aggressive.  We love the nose detailing, long and low roofline like a fastback, and the pert rump. This concept X2 hopes to broaden the crossover appeal of cars in the VW Golf size class, with minimal tradeoffs when scaling skyward.  As such, it appears about half-way between the normal BMW aesthetic and the latest X-model appearance. This becomes clear with the ultra smooth bodysides and minimal fender flaring, in contrast to …

Read more 2016 BMW X2 Concept – Live Paris Photos/Analysis of Intriguing New Design Language

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2016 VW Beetle DUNE – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

You might not be a big fan of VW right now. Diesel has once again become a dirty word, and while the automaker struggles to make things right with the government and the buying public, the brand has been getting the stink eye in a lot of ways. We’re going to look past the diesel models, because there’s also a lot of goodness in the VW lineup, and we think there are an awful lot of folks who design, make, and sell the brand that had nothing to do with the problems going on. Right now, VW needs a new …

Read more 2016 VW Beetle DUNE – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2016 Volkswagen TIGUAN SEL 4Motion – Review By Tim Esterdahl

REVIEW: 2016 VW Tiguan AWD – Fun Drive, Boring Design In some cases cars are designed so perfectly their popularity can carry them for years and well beyond when they typically receive updates. For the 2016 VW Tiguan, this is not the case and the all-new 2018 model, set to arrive next summer, is desperately needed. The fact is there is nothing wrong with the Tiguan per se, yet there isn’t really anything that exciting either and that’s a problem. The compact crossover market these days is hot with many great models from all manufactures. Typically, these vehicles provide ample room, …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen TIGUAN SEL 4Motion – Review By Tim Esterdahl

2017 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 2.OL FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  If you’ve read our other tests of Kia vehicles, you might remember that we’ve been noticing a distinctively German feel to these Korean Vehicles, much of it owing to the stewardship of Kia/Hyundai Honcho Peter Schreyer, who previously penned much of Audi’s goodness. When we tested the Kia Optima SX we found loads of Audi-ness in the overall feel of the car. And now with the all-new Sportage SUV, we’re tasting hints of Porsche and BMW in the mix as well. Has Kia created the Korean Kayenne? Well, from first glance, it will definitely catch Stuttgart’s attention. And a …

Read more 2017 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 2.OL FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Drive Review – 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic

A thorough video blast-off for this all-new GLC.  Nearly a quarter-hour of hard starts in Sport Plus for the nine-speed auto and 270-some foot-pound boosted tourbo four. Along with the video? A gorgeous photoset of more than three score.  All alongside a gorgeous yacht club on Lake Lanier, Georgia.               2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic

Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring – By Carl Malek

The CUV sales boom is in full force. Many automakers are revamping their product plans to take advantage of this renewed level of demand. Mazda is one of these companies and has invested large amounts of money and effort into revitalizing its CUV lineup. The 2016 Mazda CX-3 is the first fruit of this renewed effort, and promises to bring Mazda’s trademark levels of sportiness and vigor to the compact CUV segment. But has this focus on driving perfection blunted its capabilities in the process? The exterior styling of the CX-3 incorporates many of the cues that made their debut …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring – By Carl Malek

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2016 JEEP CHEROKEE Latitude 75th Anniversary Edition – Review By Tim Esterdahl

Review: 2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude 75th Anniversary Edition There are iconic vehicles out there and then there are Jeep vehicles. You literally can’t say the word iconic without referencing a Jeep. In fact, describing what an iconic vehicle is to someone who doesn’t know immediately brings up the example of a Jeep. And what happens when an iconic vehicle reaches a milestone like 75 years in production. Well then, you fill it with Jeep iconic badging, offer it in green, accent the exterior with bronze and orange and challenge people to find some open-air, dirt and a smile. The 75th …

Read more 2016 JEEP CHEROKEE Latitude 75th Anniversary Edition – Review By Tim Esterdahl

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Drive Review – 2016 BMW X1 – By Ben Lewis

Baby Bimmer? Mighty Mini? X marks the spot. We recently tested the new Mini Clubman, and came to the conclusion it was as much a less-expensive BMW (sort of a squashed Sport Activity Vehicle) as it was a supersized Mini. So now, here we are, testing the new BMW X1. And that’s really interesting, since it shares the platform with the Clubman. And in many ways, it’s a radical departure from where BMW has been. The question is has BMW lost the melody, or did they manage to get us all singing along? BMW isn’t going to give away the …

Read more Drive Review – 2016 BMW X1 – By Ben Lewis

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Road Test Review – 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk – By Tim Esterdahl

What looks like a box on wheels, rides like a car and can scale the side of a mountain? Why a 2016 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk can and its off-road prowess is downright surprising. When Jeep launched the Renegade, it was a bit of a shock to many with its European-like styling, odd-looking taillights and its flat front grille punctuated by two round headlights. Frankly, it just doesn’t resemble what most in the U.S. think of when they think Jeep. While the exterior looks are subjective and non-traditional Jeep, inside it is closer to a Jeep and especially the Patriot kind …

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Road Test Review - 2017 KIA Sportage SX AWD - By Tim Esterdahl 31

Road Test Review – 2017 KIA Sportage SX AWD – By Tim Esterdahl

Review: 2017 KIA Sportage SX AWD Really Impresses Throughout the year, automotive journalists like myself get to drive a large variety of vehicles and sometimes we drive vehicles from brands we never have before. This was the case of the recently redesigned, fourth generation 2017 KIA Sportage SX AWD when it arrived for a week of testing. After spending that week behind the wheel on pavement, dirt and around town, I won’t be passing up the chance to get behind the wheel again. It is that good and could seriously challenge the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. While I may …

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2014 Toyota RAV4 Limited

First Drive Review – 2016 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid – By Ben Lewis

HYBRIDS.  Thanks for … Somethin’? But first, a little credit where it’s due. Or sacrilege. You be the judge. While we salivate over the Porsche 918 and BMW i8, and at $845,000 and $140,000 respectively, slobbering is about all we’re going to do.  We owe gratitude to the Toyota Prius. Yes, the Prius. While Porsche actually developed the first hybrid automobile in 1901, it was the agrarian little sedan from Toyota that started making hybrid a household name, way back in 1996. And in just 20 years, it has gone from one painfully slow 4-door to become the best selling …

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BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese Production Models

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

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BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese CONCEPT Cars and SUVs!

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

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Road Test Review – 2017 Kia Sportage SX FWD – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Review: 2017 Kia Sportage SX FWD By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman So I get a new Kia Sportage dropped off in my driveway on March 21, 2016.  I look at the window sticker and is says that’s it’s a 2017 model.  What’s up with that?  Seems a little early in the year to be bringing out next year’s model, no?  And they’re still selling 2016’s, next to the all-new 2017’s.  Sometimes I just can’t figure out how the car companies work.  So depending upon when you’re reading this post, you’ll get an insight into this authors work habits.  Do I write …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda CX-5 – By Tim Esterdahl

A surprise hit for many automotive journalists, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 has been called out for its “impressive efficiency, responsive handling and bold style.” Add this journalist to the list of those pleasantly surprised by the CX-5. It is really, really good. One of the first things grabbing you about the CX-5 is the exterior styling and, more specifically, the nose. The look is almost a take on a Mercedes-Benz GLE which is a big compliment to the Mazda designers. Fortunately, it doesn’t stand out as a direct knock-off and the CX-5 retains its own personality with a well-designed front …

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Future VW USA SUV Roadmap Projects 15 Variants by 2021

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

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Concept Flashback - 2001 Chevrolet BORREGO Concept 2

Concept Flashback – 2001 Chevrolet BORREGO Concept – Reborn Subaru Brat?!

At first sight, the short-wheelbase pickup truck concept from Chevy in the early naughties seems to be a baja or rally variant of some kind of truck in the existing range.  Perhaps the S10 or even the Blazer of the 1990s?  Surely a small-block V8 up front, right? In fact, this machine is something else entirely. Under its trendy panels and reconfigurable tailgate — to allow the two-seater to add two more in back — the Borrego is actually an AWD Subaru under its Chevy-tastic panels.  Turbo four and all…. Needless to say, this ‘Brat 2.0’ was never built… as …

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2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid 4

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

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

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