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Small SUVs

2024 VW TAOS SE review by Ben Lewis

We love VW’s. And we especially love the sensible ones. They always remind us of the brand’s beginnings, from the early Bug to Rabbits and Golfs. They make a simple vehicle fun, useful and have a little bit of European charm. All without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for affordability and hatchback/SUV/crossover capability, the VW Taos is your vehicle. It’s the second least expensive model behind the Jetta, but it offers scores more usability. So, in 2024 does the Taos have the goods we’re looking for? Let’s find out! All in the Family If you like the current design …

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2025 Cadillac Optiq Is Promising To Sharpen Cadillac’s Focus On EV Market

Cadillac is hoping that cooling EV demand will not hamper its plans to become an all-electric brand. The Lyriq and the Escalade IQ are providing glimpses into its broader electrification strategy but Cadillac knows that more models are needed in order for it to truly complete its EV transformation. One of these is the 2025 Cadillac Optiq SUV. The Optiq will allow Cadillac to compete in a segment where small luxury crossovers have rapidly become key players in the broader sales plans of automakers. But does the Optiq have the tools to help shift Cadillac’s plans into high gear? Size …

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2024 Subaru Solterra Touring review by Ben Lewis

In the world of automakers, Subaru is a smaller one, which means it sometimes pairs up with other manufacturers to help create vehicles at a more affordable cost. It has worked great for the brand, teaming up with Toyota, they have now created two generations of the BRZ sports car, (aka Toyota GR86) that are a complete delight to drive. While the marketplace seems to be adding new EV’s weekly, Subaru – along with many of the Japanese automakers – have been slow to market. And EV’s are expensive and time-consuming to create. Which meant it was a perfect time …

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2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Road Test Review by Ben Lewis

If you haven’t noticed, we’re seeing a resurgence in rugged, off-road type crossovers and SUV’s. From Honda’s TrailSport to Nissan’s Rock Creek editions, people are lining up for that extra-capable, extra-rugged look. And Subaru has been happily playing in that sandbox. We’ve tested the Outback Wilderness, and Forester Wilderness, and enjoyed them both, for their added outdoors-capable look, and upgraded running gear. So now, Subie has added an all-new Crosstrek Wilderness model, and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it! Crosstrek Gone Wild! Well, there’s no doubt about what you’re seeing when you look at it – this …

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2024 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Turbo Edition by Ben Lewis

We recently spent some time in the Mazda CX-50, which would seem to be designed to replace the current CX-5, which is their best-selling model. Mazda replaced the CX-3 with the CX-30, and the CX-9 with the CX-90. So were we wrong. Maybe, as the carmaker continues to offer the CX-5, so we felt it was good time to drive one again and see how it shapes up against the ’50. Zircon Sand Persuasion One thing that gives away that this is a 2024 is the new Carbon Turbo Edition, which wears an exclusive paint color that Mazda calls Zircon …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir – GX Packs Impressive Luxury, Stumbles on Style

Buick’s gamble on SUVs is paying off with the brand reporting record sales and demand for its lineup of utilities. That includes the Buick Encore GX which not only got revamped for the 2024 model year but also newly promoted up a rung in the model ladder with the release of the entry-level focused (albeit very stylish) Buick Envista. But does the 2024 Buick Encore GX Avenir wear its new clothes well enough to still stand out? or are there a few rough edges remaining in the final product?   Wildcat Cues Don’t Translate Well Before we dive into many …

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2024 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD review by Ben Lewis

Hyundai is having a great run on vehicles lately. From the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 EVs, The updated Kona and even the rocket ship Elantra N. But when you talk about the bread-and-butter vehicles for the brand, you can’t forget the popular Tucson SUV. And since we love bread and butter, it felt like time to check out a 2024 Tucson. Evocative Design One of the reasons for the Tucson’s popularity is its gorgeous design. Up front, the “parametric” grille features half-mirror daytime running lamps hidden inside, only visible when illuminated. And while the Tucson has been around a …

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Insider: Unveiling the Mysteries of Car Protection – A Comparative Study

We’re diving into car protection, an essential topic for vehicle owners. While cars are built tough, they need help to stay in top shape. Many factors can damage your vehicle, from the sun’s fading to hailstorms’ dents.   Cars are a significant investment in our lives. Safeguarding your car today will pay off in the long run. Protecting them for a higher resale value and extending their lifespan is essential. So, let’s explore methods and materials to shield your car from these threats. Buckle up for this journey to keep your car looking its best! Understanding the Car Protection Landscape Selecting …

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2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus review by Ben Lewis

Mazda is revamping its lineup. First, the CX-3 was replaced by the handsome CX-30, The CX-9 was put out to pasture for the new CX-90. And they’ve just introduced the CX-70, basically a 2-row version of the CX-90. About a year ago, Mazda also introduced the CX-50, but the CX-5 still remains. At least for 2024. But it’s clear the ’50 is the future of their compact SUV. Worth another look? You bet. Hot New Looks The CX-50 follows the new design language we’re also seeing in the CX-30 and CX-90. They look wider, more muscular and substantial than the …

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

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

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2024 Dodge Hornet R/T Plus review by Ben Lewis

The times, they are a changin’ – especially for muscle car enthusiasts. We’ve been seeing lately a lot of “Final Editions” of V8 muscle cars, as the market is turning to turbo 4 and 6 cylinders, as well as hybrid and EV vehicles. That’s the bad news…the V8 seems to be on its last legs. The good news – carmakers on Dodge aren’t giving up on performance, they’re just taking it in new directions. One that’s especially interesting is the new Dodge Hornet R/T. It’s got a whole lot of cool stuff going on, from a plug-in hybrid turbo 4 …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Volkswagen Taos SEL – Has VW Found Gold In The CUV Segment?

The Volkswagen Taos was a gamble for Volkswagen when it first hit the market a short while ago. The Taos was entering new territory for VW in the CUV wars and expectations were high especially for its long-term success at attracting younger buyers to the brand while also blending many of the things that buyers liked about the Golf and Tiguan into one unified package. The Taos has so far met VW’s expectations in terms of sales and the company is releasing light updates for 2024 that attempt to add zest to the urban-focused model. Is it all enough to …

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VinFast Doubles Down On U.S. Market With VF3 SUV and VF Wild EV Pickup Concept

When VinFast first announced plans to build the VF3 mini-SUV it wasn’t clear if the compact utility would enter the U.S. market or if it would remain an international market exclusive just out of reach of American buyers. VinFast thankfully answered our prayers by not only announcing that the VF3 was indeed coming to the U.S but that the company is also entering the EV pickup wars with the VF Wild concept.   VinFast VF3 Promises To Be The Perfect Urban Commuter At first glance, it appears the VF3 is doing an impression of the Suzuki Jimny (another international market-only …

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2024 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD review by Ben Lewis

It seems like we often spend the Holidays in Kona. But donʻt get jelly, because itʻs the Hyundai Kona, the companyʻs cheerful small crossover/SUV. Actually with an all-new model for 2024, maybe a little envy is due. So is the new model a little slice of paradise? Letʻs find out. Bigger, Bolder and Electric The first clue that things have changed is the massively different exterior design.  Hyundai says that while the previous model started as an ICE (internal combustion engine) that migrated to an EV, for the new model, they started with the EV look, and then applied that …

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

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

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2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD review by Ben Lewis

Do you have friends that you always see around the holidays? For us, it seems like we usally end up reviewing Mazdaʻs CX-30 around this time of year – and itʻs always a great visit, because this is one of the best hatchback/crossovers around – especially for drivers. But in the past year weʻve made some great new friends, like the Toyota Corolla GR, and Hyundai Elantra N. So does the CX-30 still get the guest bedroom, or does it end up sleeping on the pull-out couch? Letʻs find out! Hot, High Hatch With the popularity of Crossovers and SUVʻs, …

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Cadillac Confirms Smaller Optiq EV SUV, Will Flesh Out EV Lineup For The Brand

Cadillac is embarking on its most ambitious model expansion yet with the brand going all in on electric vehicles. The Lyriq, Celestiq, and Escalade IQ all help Cadillac fill specific niches in the broader EV segment. However, a noticeable void in the brand’s roadmap existed in smaller entry-level models with the Lyriq currently serving as the gateway model. But that will soon change, with Cadillac releasing new details on the 2025 Cadillac Optiq.   Cadillac Optiq Sharpens The Optics on EV Mission While it can be easy to dismiss the Optiq name as free material for witty puns, there’s nothing …

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2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Electrifies N Performance, Will Spearhead Future EV Performance Models

When we last saw the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N it was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with the Korean car giant staging an elaborate demonstration on the fabled course that showed off a small taste of its performance capabilities. However, eager enthusiasts in the United States were left in the dark regarding when the performance-infused SUV would hit our shores. Hyundai has revealed the answer however with the 2025 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N which is debuting in L.A. as a U.S. spec variant and we even got more information about what it will bring to customers here on …

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2023 Toyota bZ4X FWD Limited review by Ben Lewis

It may come as a surprise, but in fact the Japanese manufacturers have been slow to join the full-EV bandwagon. Yes, a loooooong time ago you could get a RAV4 EV, and the Nissan LEAF has been around for a while, but as Kia/Hyundai and the Europeans like BMW has flooded the market with electric choices, Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Subaru have had limited offerings – often times more focusing on hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. They are slowly coming around though, and one of the most important vehicles is the all-new Toyota bZ4X, which is also sold as …

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2023 Venza Nightshade Review: Toyota Knows Hybrids

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

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Road Test Review – 2024 Hyundai Kona – More Tech And Comfort Define Second Chapter Of CUV

The Hyundai Kona is preparing to enter its second generation with more tech, style, and comfort. While the model lineup has shrunk to four models for 2024, the company claims that this simplification of the trim ladder will have more long-term benefits, but does it all add together into one seamless package? To find out, Hyundai invited us to fly out to Charleston, South Carolina to spend some time with the 2024 Hyundai Kona and see if all the pieces fit together in this elaborate jigsaw puzzle.   Kona Goes To The Future For Exterior Update: Is It Too Watered …

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Kia Makes EV Triple Play, Debuts EV3, EV4 and EV5 Concepts, All Three Entering Production

When Kia first unveiled the EV6 and the EV9 we had questions on whether the duo would represent a broader leap for the Korean car giant in its attempt to expand its presence in the EV segment. Kia gave us an answer today at their first-ever EV day, with the unveiling of three EV concepts: EV3, EV4, and EV5. Each one brings something unique to customers, and all three promise to make a statement in the EV wars.   Kia EV3 Is Firmly Targeting The Youth Market Kia claims that it wants to sell 1 million EV vehicles annually by …

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2022 Hyundai Tucson XRT Review: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson XRT brings rugged looks without sacrificing the Tucson’s good on-road driving dynamics. We know it’s 2023, but not much has changed for 2023 from the 2022 model. Exterior Design For 2022 Hyundai brought XRT equipment to the Tucson for the first time. With wider fender flares, black cladding, darker bumpers and side steps, the XRT trim adds adventurous looks. Also featured are black accents including the 19” wheels, window trim, and mirrors. It certainly looks the part. Inside 2022 Tucson XRT Space and Comfort One of the greatest benefits of having a crossover in this class …

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2023 Lexus NX 350 Luxury review by Ben Lewis

We get asked for vehicle recommendations all the time – it comes with the job. And there are a few we consider no-brainers, it’s hard to go wrong with one. On that list would be the Toyota RAV4 and its fancy sibling the Lexus NX. In the past year we tested the NX 350 F SPORT and the NX 450h+ plug in hybrid. We’ve found each model to be notably different, so when Lexus offered us the opportunity to test the NX350 Luxury, we jumped at it. So which Lexus NX is right for you? Let’s find out! Nori Green …

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2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid SX Prestige AWD review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD Review by Ben Lewis

Trends come and go – and then sometimes they come back. Take the small pickup truck. In the 70’s and 80’s they were huge. Small Toyotas, Datsun/Nissan Li’l Hustler, Chevy Luv. And later you had interesting things like the Subaru Brat. Then came the SUV craze and the diminutive pickup was put on the back burner. But now small trucks are back! And one of the most interesting, stylish and fun is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Could it lure you away from a small Crossover/SUV? Let’s find out! Truck Cool While the compact pickups of old were pretty utilitarian, the …

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2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Drive Review: Blending Efficiency with Adventure

6th Generation CR-V The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is the first model year of the 6th generation CR-V. As such it has been redesigned outside and in and has additional powertrain improvements.  Driving the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Terrain Management While the CR-V Hybrid lacks a dedicated off-road mode like some of its competitors, it does offer multiple driving modes to adapt to various conditions. The ECON mode prioritizes fuel efficiency, while the Sport mode enhances throttle response and steering feel. In slippery or uneven terrain, you can engage the Snow mode, which optimizes power distribution for improved traction. These …

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2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i Review by Ben Lewis

“Entry Level” is a term that gets a bad rap sometimes. But it can also be a good thing, especially when you’re talking about a premium automotive brand. Case in point is the BMW X1, the company’s entry-level small crossover. It’s the perfect opportunity to function as a gateway drug to the more expensive and exotic Bavarian models. And now, we have an all-new 3rd-generation X1 for 2023. But how does it stand up on its own? Let’s find out! Cool but not Polarizing Design With the bold, but maybe too bold direction of many BMW products lately, we were …

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2024 Kia Soul Gains New EX Design Package, Prices Also Going Up For The New Model Year

The venerable Kia Soul is entering the 2024 model year with minimal changes. But while the core essentials carryover unchanged, Kia is not only making revisions to the pricing ladder but also adding a new package to help keep things fresh.   EX Design Package Adds Style To Soul, Performance Is Unchanged A prominent change for 2024 is the debut of the EX Designer Package. As the name implies, this EX model exclusive package comes with a slick set of 18-inch alloy wheels, cloth/leatherette seating and a Umber Interior color theme. Kia has also improved vehicle security, with the Soul …

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2024 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Review by Ben Lewis

You might think that the Subaru’s best-selling vehicle is the Outback – you see them everywhere. Nope. The Forester? Nope. It’s the Crosstrek. Introduced 11 years ago, it was an immediate success, and became the fast-selling vehicle in Subie’s history. In 2022 it remained the brand’s best seller, so you know there’s a lot of pressure to make sure the all-new 2024 Crosstrek makes everyone happy. So, will it continue to be a big seller? Let’s take a look! Ruggedly Reimagined The exterior is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. In fact, many people we talked to didn’t realize this was an …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Mazda CX-30 – A Nip And Tuck Add Polish To Mazda’s Smallest CUV

Mazda’s CX-30 CUV is the smallest CUV offering in Mazda’s North American lineup (the California-only, highly compromised, and newly axed MX-30 does not count), and the company knows that the model’s role as a gatekeeper will help encourage customers to move into the bigger models including the CX-90. But does the CUV still have what it takes to lure new buyers in? Mazda claims that minor updates for 2024 are enough, but is it really?   CX-30 Still Has Stylish Looks, But Age Is Catching Up The 2024 Mazda CX-30 still looks as fresh as it did when it was …

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Fisker Unveils Bold Plans For Future, Debuts Alaska Pickup, Ronin Supercar and Pear

Fisker showed that it was off to a strong start when the company unveiled the Ocean all-electric SUV. The Ocean was a glimpse into how CEO Henrik Fisker would take full advantage of his second attempt at the EV market (after prior failures with VLF and the original Fisker company.) However, if the company wants to reach the maximum number of customers, it would have to expand the model lineup. Fisker has managed to do just that in a big way, with several models making their debuts during an event the company threw in California to help provide the Ocean …

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

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

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2024 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD review by Ben Lewis

Kia is relentless. But in a good way. It seems like they keep bringing in great new products like the full-size Telluride SUV and the fantastic EV6 electric vehicle. And if that’s not enough, they don’t hit the snooze button on current products. Case in point – the Seltos. We drove Kia’s small SUV as a 2021 model and loved the rugged looks and capability. But did that stop there? Nooooooooo. For 2024, they’ve given the little Ute a major re-do and made it even better in a lot of ways. Let’s take a look! Slicker and Savvier On the …

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Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Brings N To EV Ranks, Features 641 Horsepower Electric Powertrain

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUV served as a symbolic launching pad for Hyundai’s EV ambitions, with the award-winning SUV proving to be a surprise sales hit during Hyundai’s calculated launch of the model. But while the standard model already offers a balanced mixture of range and performance, some buyers wanted more raw performance and speed. Hyundai has answered these concerns with the all-new 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N.   Ioniq N First Step In Broader Electrification Plan For N Hyundai claims that more N-badged EV models are in the cards (the company already teased an Ioniq 6-based concept), but …

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2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid review by Ben Lewis

It’s interesting to see how Hybrids have changed. Previously it was a way to get great fuel economy, but you suffered along, with less performance and refinement. But from the lowliest econocar to expensive European plug-in models like the Volvo S60 Recharge we recently drove, Hybrids are now the hot setup, giving more power, better fuel economy, great handling and smart value. And here’s a perfect example – the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. Is this the one to buy? Let’s take a look! Sporty SAV On the outside, the Hybrid takes a definite step up from the standard Corolla …

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2025 VinFast VF3 Emerges As Affordable EV SUV For Vietnam, Will It Come To The U.S.?

The Suzuki Jimny is an adorable little off-roader that has become a cultural icon thanks in no large part to its cute styling and impressive off-road capability. However, is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? VinFast thinks so and has unveiled the all-new 2025 VinFast VF3, which is not only aiming to bring the fight to the Jimny, but also be a hot seller for the Vietnamese firm. VF3 Is Cute And Adorable Like the Jimny, the VF3 adopts a boxy two-door design, with the company claiming that it has enough room for five passengers. VinFast also says that the …

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2024 Volvo EX30 Bring Electrification To The Masses, Starts At $36,145, Cross Country On The Way

The all-electric 2024 Volvo EX30 is the answer to a question that many asked at Volvo, what would an affordable EV crossover look like? Volvo is out to answer this question with its fourth all-electric model, which aims to reshape how most buyers think about the brand.   EX30 Is Ready For The City And Urban Terrain The EX30 was designed to be a more city-friendly alternative to the C40 Recharge and the XC40 Recharge, with the EX featuring styling that allows it to fall in line with Volvo’s current design language for the broader EX lineup. There’s plenty of …

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2024 Acura ZDX Will Debut Google Based Software, Be First Acura Model To Use Google Tech

The 2024 Acura ZDX is poised to become Acura’s first-ever production EV, but while the company is still not ready to formally unveil it yet, the luxury brand chose to unveil another piece of the ZDX puzzle instead with confirmation that the model will be the first model to come integrated with Google based software.   Google Aims To Make ZDX Better EV While the ZDX will technically be the second Honda/Acura model to feature Google’s integrated software (the Honda Accord beat it to the punch), the ZDX’s Google-sourced software will be the first time that the company’s software package …

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First Drive Review – 2023 VinFast VF8 City Edition – VinFast’s First U.S. Model Has Potential But Is Marred By Flaws

It’s no secret that Vietnamese company VinFast is facing an uphill battle when it comes to carving a slice of the sales pie for itself in the BEV SUV market. The company is part of the larger VinGroup corporate umbrella, but while the corporation has managed to make waves in its home country, it faces a tougher job of convincing Americans to embrace an EV future from a brand that does not have as much brand cache as rivals like Tesla. Despite this, the company is pressing forward with their first U.S. model, the 2023 VinFast VF8 City Edition. But …

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2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Twin AWD review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Volvo S60 Recharge plug-in Hybrid and came away massively impressed. With Volvo mentioning that all vehicles sold for 2023 on will be hybrid or full-on electric, we wondered if the fun was going to get lost in the process. Well, it certainly didn’t on the S60. So now, we were really excited to test the all-electric C40 Recharge. We’re pretty hopeful about the fun, but we also wondered in the world of EVs, does the C40 keep that special Volvo-ness that we’ve come to love? Let’s find out! Swedish Smurf The first thing you notice about …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury – Aging Contender Can Still Hang In The CUV Ranks

The luxury compact luxury CUV market has emerged as a hot battleground for sales for many automakers. As a result, we have seen many automakers go all in on the segment, with some of them even ditching their sedan models in the process. The 2023 Cadillac XT4 aims to show that the brand can still compete with the segment’s best. However, with the updated 2024 model poised to make its way to dealerships and the competition sharpening their game, can the current generation XT4 hold down the fort and still be a sales leader for Cadillac?   Crisp Design Still …

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2024 Buick Envista Storms Onto U.S. Shores, Will Bring Style And Boldness Back To Buick Showrooms

When the world last saw the 2024 Buick Envista, it was in the Chinese market, with Buick neither confirming nor denying that it would be available in the U.S. Fast forward to today, and Buick is confirming that not only is the Envista finally ready for the U.S. market, but that it will also perhaps be the boldest Buick offering we have seen in a long time.   Wildcat DNA Makes Envista SUV Purr While we are still disappointed that the Wildcat concept is not entering production in its current form (we’ll buy a coupe Buick we promise,) it’s refreshing …

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2023 Toyota Venza XLE Nightshade review by Ben Lewis

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

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Genesis GV80 Coupe Concept Adds Sportiness And Flair To Brand, Production Bound

Genesis is once again helping to kick off the New York Auto Show with the unveiling of the GV80 Coupe Concept which brings Genesis into the world of SUV coupes where style and performance are added into the default luxury blueprint. Unlike other concepts we have seen from Genesis though, this one is earmarked for production and looks ready to bring the fight to BMW and Mercedes-Benz   Vivid Orange Paint Highlights GV80 Coupe Concept Styling The GV80 Coupe Concept (at least on the surface,) appears to be very similar to the standard GV80. However, the front grille gets new …

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2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid review by Ben Lewis

A long time ago, if we said “name a Honda” odds were pretty good you’d say Civic or Accord. Of course, the crossover/SUV craze has meant that the nameplates most familiar are ones like the CR-V. (Although the Civic and Accord are pretty great vehicles). And the best-selling CR-V fights in one of the most competitive segments around, with such marquee idols as the RAV4, all-new Mazda CX-50, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Rogue. To keep up, Honda knew it was time for an update. Enter the all-new 2023 Honda CR-V. Does the 6th generation CR-V keep its crown …

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Hyundai Confirms 2024 Kona Electric Powertrains, Promises More Performance And Range

The 2024 Hyundai Kona is continuing its systematic tease campaign, with Hyundai choosing to share some new details about the 2024 Kona Electric, including performance, range, and more, ahead of the 2024 Kona’s arrival on our shores later this year.   Kona Electric Gets Class-Leading Range, But U.S. Figures Unknown Hyundai’s announcement confirmed that the 2024 Kona Electric would get the best range figure in its segment. The one catch here is that Hyundai didn’t reveal U.S. figures and instead opted to reveal figures the SUV got under the WTLP measurement system used in international markets. While that means we …

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2024 Buick Encore Refresh Adds New Front Fascia, Channels Inner Wildcat DNA

When Buick unveiled the sleek Buick Wildcat concept, it was out to show the world that the brand still had design pedigree left in its iconic blood. While this might be hard to see with the brand’s current lineup of SUVs, the situation is now beginning to change, with Buick taking the wraps off of the 2024 Buick Encore GX, which aims to shake up Buick’s sales fortunes.   Wild Cat Front End Adds Sport To Encore GX When taken at the sum of its parts, the 2024 Encore GX is not a radical ground-up reboot but a long overdue …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Volkswagen Taos SEL – Volkswagen Enters The Compact CUV Wars

The current crop of subcompact SUVs helps satiate buyers’ hunger for a utility vehicle that can deliver the goods on versatility but in a smaller package. For an increasing number of automakers, these subcompact entries have proven to be strong sellers. They have rapidly become a crucial cog in the sales machine that powers their U.S. operations. Volkswagen used to be an automaker that was on the outside looking in, with their smallest CUV being the Tiguan. But that’s now changing with the 2023 Volkswagen Taos SEL. Is the Taos a good spearhead for Volkswagen, and can it help supercharge …

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2024 Subaru Crosstrek Makes U.S. Debut, Benefits From More Powerful Engine But Loses Manual Transmission

The international market has had the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek in its dealer inventories for the past few months, but the U.S. now gets its time to shine, with Subaru revealing the U.S. version of the Crosstrek at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show, where it’s expected to bolster Subaru’s SUV sales here in the U.S.   Light Tweaks Make Familiar Crosstrek Formula Shine At first glance, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek might not seem like a radical update over the outgoing 2023 model, with the new model having the same shape and core design elements. However, some differences make themselves known after …

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2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid EX AWD review by Ben Lewis

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

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2022 Audi e-tron quattro Review by Ben Lewis

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

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Project XJ Frame Stiffeners

Stronger = Better Jeep Cherokee XJ’s are known for being capable off-road vehicles. However, they do have some short comings. The unibody frame makes the XJ lightweight and is plenty strong for stock applications. Even when modified with a lift and large tires the unibody is strong enough for daily driving and on road use. However, modifications along with significant off-road use can take it’s toll on the frame. So to go from this: To this: We decided to start Project XJ off right and reinforce the frame with a set of Iron Rock Off Road unibody XJ frame stiffeners. …

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Introducing Project XJ

Project XJ Begins Car Revs Daily is teaming up with Engine Adventures on Project XJ, affectionately named Jeep Car by a 2-year old. The goal is to build a stock 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport, into a reliable daily driver and weekend warrior. Follow along with this video series as we show everything we do to build an auctioned XJ to a well balanced daily driver and off-road machine. This will be roughly a 5 year project. We’re sorry, but XJ Brief History The Jeep Cherokee began life in 1984 under AMC and Renault. AMC, known for their AWD sedans and …

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First VinFast VF 8 Models Reach U.S Shores, Boasts 180 Mile Driving Range

VinFast promised it would turn the EV segment upside down when it announced plans to bring the VF 8 and VF 9 SUVs to the U.S. market. The young upstart company appears to have succeeded in some of its early goals and recently announced that its first shipment of VF 8 models has arrived in the U.S.   VF 8 Serves As Spearhead, But Sacrifices Range When VinFast execs announced their plans last year, the company hinted that the VF 8 would have a range of 260 miles between charges. However, the first batch of SUVs appears to have sacrificed …

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2023 Kia Niro PHEV SX Touring Review by Ben Lewis

The Kia Niro has always been an interesting player. More of a tall hatchback than a true small SUV, we’ve found that its fun to drive nature and responsive performance made it one of the most enjoyable small hybrid vehicles. Well for 2023, we have an all-new 2nd generation Niro, so we’re wondering, is it a second helping of Kia goodness, or a sophomore slump? Let’s find out. Big on Bold Season 2 starts with a bold new look for our hero. Kia calls the new design philosophy “Opposites United” – yes, it does sound like a pro soccer team …

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2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S AWD Carbon Edition Review by Ben Lewis

There are certain brands that we’re always excited to test, and Mazda is one of them. Lately many of our test vehicles from the carmaker including the – CX-30, CX-50 – have had the powerful 2.5-liter, turbo engine. So many, that we kind of forgot about the nice, non-turbo engines that are in the more affordable models. So, we jumped at the chance test a Mazda CX-5 with the normally aspirated engine, and we were shocked! Stay tuned. All Gorgeous Well, no matter which CX-5 model you like, you’re going to get a work of art. Mazda talks about its …

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

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

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2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L Review by Ben Lewis

With the expensive price of gas, you might think that SUV/crossovers might be giving way back to small sedans, but nope – they’re as popular as ever. One thing that might be changing is the greater demand for the smaller models that are more fuel efficient. Count in models like the Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30. Honda already had a fine competitor in the class, the HR-V, but to keep things competitive, there’s an all-new 2023 model with major upgrades all around. So how does it stack up in this ultra-competitive segment? Let’s take a look. Bigger and …

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2022 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD Premium review by Ben Lewis

It’s been a little over a year since we last tested the Mazda CX-30. And while the changes are small for the CX, the compact SUV/crossover marketplace continues to be red hot, so we wondered, does one of our favorites still reign supreme? Let’s find out! Still the Supermodel While the CX-30 shares a platform with the Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback, we think the CX Is the pic of litter – and that’s no small feat – the sedan has an Audi-like tastefulness, and the 3 hatch has the kind of aggressive looks you’d want in a true sports …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Lexus NX 350 F Sport – This NX Is Finally Ready For CUV Spotlight

The luxury CUV market has exploded in popularity over the past few decades. But while many luxury CUVs used the opportunity to grow and expand their profile, Lexus, it seemed, preferred to sit in the nosebleed seats. Minus the RX, the UX and the slightly bigger NX had potential but could never seem to match some of the pre-game hype. The 2022 Lexus NX aims to be the superstar that Lexus has always wanted it to be. But have all the changes really succeeded in making the 2022 NX a true segment benchmark?   Sleeker NX Styling Sheds Some Of …

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VinFast VF6, & VF7 To Spearhead U.S. Launch, Company Also Hints At Sports Car Offering

VinFast used the 2022 L.A. Auto Show to reveal the all-new VF6 and VF7 CUVs. The duo aim to be the mass-market focused spearheads that will help propel VinFast into the U.S. market while also perhaps laying the foundation for an all-new sports car offering.   New VinFast Models Flesh Out Lineup, Join VF8, VF9 In Showrooms When we last checked in with VinFast, we got the chance to see the VF8 and VF9 at the New York Auto Show and even went for a brief lap inside one at the EV test track they had. While illness kept us …

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Ford Extends Black Diamond Treatment To Bronco Sport, Bronco Roadeo Covers All Bronco Sport Models

The Ford Bronco Sport has managed to do what many thought was impossible. Originally envisioned as the second wave of a 1-2 punch of Bronco models, quality issues with the more significant standard Bronco forced the Sport to emerge as an improvised spearhead model. Ford’s gamble paid off, with the Sport posting impressive sales numbers and forming the glue that holds the Bronco family together. This glue is about to get stronger with the company unveiling the 2023 Bronco Sport Black Diamond.     More Capability And More Style Add Luster To Black Diamond   Up until now, the most …

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2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD review by Ben Lewis

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

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2022 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road review by Ben Lewis

We’ve tested a variety of models of the new Toyota RAV4, and it’s shown to be a versatile platform starting as a handsome and practical small SUV, all the way up to a stormingly quick 302-horsepower RAV4 Prime, and many models in between. Since the new RAV was introduced, we’ve seen a huge increase in outdoorsy trim models from a bunch of manufacturers, including the Subaru Forester and Outback Wilderness models, and the Honda Passport TrailSport.  Some, like the Subies have an impressive amount of off-road updates, while others like the Honda are more show than go. So, we figured …

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Chevrolet Proves That Size Is Indeed Better With 2024 Chevrolet Trax, Bigger Than Trailblazer

We might not be betting men here at Car-Revs-Daily , but if you told us that the Chevrolet Trax was coming back for 2024, we would’ve scoffed at the notion. When we last saw it in the market, the Trax was being upstaged by the Chevrolet Trailblazer, a bigger model that packed more interior technology into its compact frame. As a result, the Trax was axed, but the surprise appearance of the 2024 Trax not only helps the proverbial underdog bettor cash in on their bet but also expands GM’s sales pie to include another CUV-sub-segment.   Bigger Trax Offers More …

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2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line H-Trac review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the new Toyota 4Runner Sport model, an interesting blend of upgraded looks, but without the heavy-duty off-road bits that come on models like TRD Pro. It’s a trend, like the Honda Passport Trailsport – adding some sporty style without going overboard on performance gear, and here’s another take on that same formula, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line. We previously tested the Tucson Limited, and were very impressed, so let’s see if the N Line keeps those good vibrations! Buff and Tough On the outside, Hyundai takes what was already one of the best-looking small SUV’s and …

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

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

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2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo Premium Plus Review by Ben Lewis

An all-new Mazda model is always a point of celebration for us. Whether it’s the 2-passenger MX-5 sports car or the three-row CX-9 crossover, the brand always manages to make the vehicle stylish and great fun to drive. So, we sort of set the bar high for the all-new CX-50 crossover. Is Mazda up to the task? Let’s find out! The Outdoorsy One The first look at the CX-50 is interesting, because, well, it doesn’t look like other Mazdas. But not in a bad way. When the manufacturer decided to design it – and this is for the US – …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge – Stylish CUV Trades Practicality For Good Looks

There was a time when square and boxy styling defined many SUV and other utility offerings. Volvo was once considered a prominent player in this cube-themed world, thanks mainly to its lineup of estates. But as tastes have changed, the brutish slab-sided entries of yesteryear are rapidly being replaced by curvy rounded offerings aiming to achieve maximum fuel economy. Volvo is aware of the times and has been working on adding some curves to its lineup. That includes the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge but does this EV have what it takes to be a good gateway into Volvo’s electrified future? …

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2022 Lexus UX 250h Review by Ben Lewis

Have you looked at the price of gas lately? We have. And when we got our latest tester the Lexus UX 250h hybrid might just be the perfect answer for those who want luxury with a green (cash or environment) friendly ride. Is it worth your green? Let’s take a look. Lexus Looks While the UX is an “urban” vehicle, and the brand’s smallest crossover, it doesn’t come up short on design. From the front, you’ll get the familiar Lexus spindle grille. And like other models, it’s huge. Maybe we’re getting used to it, but the proportions don’t bother us …

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Honda Drops The Mic On 2023 Honda HR-V, Confirms Pricing Info Too

Honda’s HR-V compact utility showed that the Japanese auto giant could play in the popular compact CUV segment but while its fuel economy was very impressive, the rest of it felt like it was meant to be a jack of all trades, being competent at everything but not standing out in any discernible way. Honda is not content with being merely competent in this hot-selling segment of the utility market anymore and has unveiled the bigger 2023 Honda HR-V and even confirmed official pricing as well.   Bigger Dimensions Create More Conventional HR-V Styling The biggest change that buyers will …

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2022 Mazda MX-30 review by Ben Lewis

Ok, Mazda will be the first to admit, but they are late to the EV party. But as a small, independent automaker, we can see that there are only so much development dollars to go around. That said, while the MX-30 EV is their first product, there will be more hybrid/EV type vehicles coming. So how does Mazda’s first crack at an EV come out? Let’s see! Sporty Styling The first look is exciting. While it’s based on the CX-30 that we love, the look differently goes its own way. The MX-30 continues with the “Kodo” design philosophy, plus adds …

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2022 Hyundai Kona Electric Limited Review by Ben Lewis

Ok, maybe it’s the name but we always seem to be spending our holidays in Kona. The Hyundai Kona, that is. Last year we spent Xmas with the new 2022 Kona Limited, and now we’re spending Memorial Day with the Kona Electric. We’ve always been fans of the Kona – a very sporty small crossover, especially with the powerful 1.6-liter turbo engine. So, we wondered, would we still love it with a full EV powertrain? Let’s find out! Sporty but Unique At first glance, you know this is a Kona. That’s good, we love the expressive style, especially with the …

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

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

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2023 Kia Soul Gets New Updates, Pitches Turbo Model

The Kia Soul has proven to be a winner for Kia in terms of sales with the 2023 model enhancing the design and technology for buyers in its latest round of updates. However, this has come at a cost, with Kia confirming that the spicy turbo model is getting the ax in 2023.    Slight Tweaks Maintain Core Soul Essentials Unlike other mid-cycle updates, the Soul’s takes a lighter approach when it comes to its exterior updates. The front fascia has the most noticeable improvements with the headlights being larger than before while the lower lights appear to have vanished. …

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2021 Hyundai Venue Denim Review by Ben Lewis

When we first tested the Hyundai Venue, we commented on how the small affordable SUV, with models like the Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V had come of age. Wow, with the rise in prices everywhere, the bulging gas bills, etc.…we feel like we should have been on the psychic network. So, it felt like a good time to look again at one of the best small vehicles for the buck, the Hyundai Venue crossover/SUV. Style to Make You Smile The Venue first strikes you with its size. 5 inches shorter than the Kona crossover, it looks perfect for duking it …

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2021 Land Rover Defender 90 First Edition Review by Ben Lewis

So, we road test a lot of different vehicles. And some of them are very expensive, status-y models, and it’s no surprise that you get an interesting range of responses. Often times with the pricey ones, you get pushback, the anti-snobbism. So, it’s interesting when you have a vehicle that’s a luxury brand, loaded with status, yet everyone seems to love it. Case in point – our 2021 Land Rover Defender 90. It’s a charmer. Lovable Looks Well, the first thing that bowls people over is the Defender’s design. Our 2-door 90 model looks like a giant Tonka Toy – …

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

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

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross review by Ben Lewis

This may come as no surprise to you, but the best-selling nameplate in history is Corolla. Yep, Toyota has been making them for over 50 years, and selling them like crazy the whole time. So, with the ever-continuing growth of small SUVs, it seems only natural that the carmaker would combine an SUV with the Corolla name. Welcome to the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross! Stylish but mainstream Two things strike you about the Corolla Cross. First of all, while it is stylish, there is nothing that screams Toyota or Corolla about it. We guess Corolla buyers aren’t the kind to …

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2022 Mazda CX-9 Carbon Edition Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Toyota Sienna minivan, and found the “Swagger Wagon” to still be in effect, a great vehicle. But for many, the word minivan has too many negative connotations. And that’s why we’ve seen a huge upsurge of three-row SUV’s, from the large and princely Kia Telluride and Hyundai Pallisade, to smaller models, where that 3rd row is pretty much for occasional use. And one of our favorites of the occasional 3rd row SUVs is the Mazda CX-9. It may give you bumped knees in row #3, but it gives you back so much more! Let’s take a …

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Jeep Unveils First EV Model, Will Be Making Appearance Next Year To Take On Segment Benchmarks

Stellantis promised to make waves when the firm revealed that it intended to launch a full-scale assault on the EV market with an army of BEV offerings. While we have seen a few of these models in concept form, Stellantis kept the production versions of these models largely out of the public eye. That’s starting to change though with the Jeep brand releasing a pair of images of its first production EV SUV.   Aiming For The Compact Segment The SUV in today’s images doesn’t have a name yet, but we can still dissect some of the goals that Jeep …

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2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Subaru Outback Wilderness and loved the added capability and looks that the manufacturer gave its popular SUV/Wagon – doing what many owners have been doing for a while but giving it the factory goodness to raise it all to a new level. So, it only makes sense that Subie did the same idea to the popular Forester – so is it equally successful, even more successful, or maybe a marketing flop? Let’s take a look! The Wild Blue   The Forester Wilderness makes a strong first impression, thanks to our tester’s available exclusive Geyser Blue paint. …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL R-Line – Sporty Styling Hides Conservative Character

The SUV wars have forced many automakers to rethink and change the way they approach certain segments of the SUV market. That has included Volkswagen which has shifted gears in its attempts to woo customers. It wasn’t too long ago that buyers could purchase a standard Golf hatchback, but the surging popularity of models like the Tiguan and the recently launched Volkswagen Taos forced the Golf to be a Europe only offering with the performance infused GTI and R models being the two sole remaining members of its species. The Tiguan in particular has become a key part of Volkswagen’s …

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Alfa Romeo Finally Reveals 2023 Tonale CUV, Aims To Reinflate Alfa’s Sales Projections

The Alfa Romeo Tonale has been a long-awaited and quite frankly overdue response to the rapid growth in the CUV segment. Alfa Romeo has long been limited to two models (the Giulia and the Stelvio) with the combined sales total of the two models in the U.S. lagging behind some of its luxury rivals. The Tonale aims to change all that and not only allows the Italian performance brand to offer a smaller utility offering, but also embraces the growing trend towards electrification too.   Tonale Packs Performance In Smaller Package The Tonale share some of its underpinnings with the …

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz 2.5T Limited review by Ben Lewis

We were really excited to test the new Hyundai Santa Cruz. While and SUV-type vehicle with a truck bed isn’t a new idea, – the original Subaru Brat, the Subaru Baja and even the Honda Ridgeline – fit the bill, It seems like a great time for this kind of vehicle. So, let’s take a cruise in the Santa Cruz! What Today’s Truck is Wearing Well, let’s start with saying we love the looks. Built off the Tucson SUV platform, there are a lot of similarities – no problem there, that’s borrowing from one of Hyundai’s best designs. Up front …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Mazda MX-30 – Mazda Enters The EV Wars, Misses The Memo On Range

When Mazda crafted the MX-30 EV CUV, they wanted to achieve three key things with it. They wanted it to be a potent spearhead for their EV projects, a stylish family commuter, and a testbed to learn from. We recently had a chance to spend time with the MX-30, and while it does have some potential in a few categories, Mazda missed the mark in one essential category, range.   Eye Catching Suit Of Clothes Draws Plenty Of Attention Before we get into some of the other things that make the MX-30 stand out from rivals, we might as well …

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Honda Teases 2023 HR-V SUV, Joins Acura In Sharing Long Term Plans

The road map to the future is full of twists and turns, and many automakers are preparing for a future where green vehicles are rapidly becoming a vital component of the broader sales sphere. Honda is no exception, and the Japanese auto giant has revealed that it not only plans to roll out a next-generation Honda HR-V SUV but also revealed that plug-in hybrid models are not in the final blueprint for both Honda and luxury brand Acura.   Next Generation HR-V Promises To Be Unique For North America The Honda HR-V has made a splash since it arrived on …

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2022 Kia Niro EV Review by Ben Lewis

We’re all pretty familiar with makers like Tesla and RIVIAN, showcases of what EV vehicles can do. And while they are great vehicles, they are expensive. If you want to own the hearts and minds of regular folks, you’ll need something more affordable. Enter the Kia Niro EV. The Niro has been one Kia’s most popular crossovers for a while now, and being offered in Hybrid and plug-in Hybrid versions, it’s a showcase for advanced power tech. But is the full-on EV model the one to make you give up your need for gasoline? Let’s take a look. Modern and …

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VinFast Unveils All Electric Lineup, Will Build U.S. Battery Plant

Vietnam-based VinFast made a splash at CES 2022 when the company not only revealed its full lineup of EV vehicles but also confirmed that it will be building a battery cell plant in the U.S. which will not only help bring new jobs but also allow VinFast to secure a key step in its ongoing efforts towards entering the U.S. market.    A Gasoline Free VinFast A big slice of news that the company revealed right out the gate is that the young company will have a lineup free of gasoline-powered models by the end of the year. VinFast (part …

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2022 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD review by Ben Lewis

Well, we’re spending the holidays in Kona. No, not the balmy town on the Big Island of Hawaii (we wish) but something nearly as fun – the heavily revised 2022 Hyundai Kona. It’s long been one of our favorite small SUV’s – especially if you pony up for the turbocharged model. So, does it remain a vacation from other sleepy small SUVs? Let’s take a look. Go For the Bold The exterior has gotten a major freshening, and while we were frankly pretty happy with previous design, we’ve got no complaints with the new duds. Up front, a larger split …

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2022 Acura RDX A-SPEC ADVANCE Review by Ben Lewis

2 years ago, we reviewed the then all-new RDX and were mightily impressed with both the SUV, but also direction the brand had been going. This was before the massive upgrade we saw on the TLX, and the introduction of the soon-coming, Integra 4-door. But if you thought Acura would catch a breather, you’re wrong. We’ve just tested the 2022 model, and there are significant upgrades all around. Re-test one of our favorites? You bet! Bolder = Better The RDX was one of the first to get a hunk of love from the brand’s new design language, taking what was …

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2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited Review by Ben Lewis

The compact SUV segment remains on fire, even if dealers are scrambling to find inventory to sell, and some are packing ridiculous markups on the sticker. And Outside of a few full-size pickup trucks, the number one selling vehicle is the RAV4. So, we know Toyota knows what it’s doing, and it’s also probably in the crosshairs of every other carmaker. We recently tested the new Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 and they all are excellent, and none of them are standing still, with everything from small changes to all-new vehicles being touted in front of buyers to …

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2022 Hyundai Kona N Pricing Announced, Will Start At $36,650

Hyundai promised to keep the upcoming Kona N a juicy value-focused play for CUV buyers looking to add some track-ready capability to their daily commute. We have learned other details surrounding the Kona N but pricing remained an elusive slice of information, until now. Hyundai confirmed final pricing for the 2022 Kona N and it appears that they have kept their promise.   Kona N Firmly In $30,000 Range, Will Be Unique CUV Offering A big selling point of any Kona is the combination of value and features that come packed into it. It appears that the N model follows …

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2022 Buick Envision Avenir FWD review by Ben Lewis

So, when someone asks us about what’s hot in compact-size SUVs, they’re probably expecting us to mention Audi or BMW. Maybe Acura. Or Kia, they’re on a roll…It’s fun to see the looks on their face when we say Buick. Maybe you have that same look on your face? Well, you shouldn’t, because there’s an all-new Buick Envision, and it is one gorgeous SUV, inside and out. Let’s take a look. Bold and Buick This is simply one of the most handsome compact SUVs out there. Up front there’s a mesh grille unique to our top-of-the-line Avenir trim, that surrounds …

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2021 BMW X5 45e Review

The Plug In Hybrid X5 The X5 has been a big hit worldwide since its inception and now the plug in hybrid BMW X5 45e is adding another aspect to the lineup. Outside To the untrained eye, there isn’t much to obviously set the X5 45e apart from the rest of the X5 lineup.  Up front the kidney grille is just as large and in your face as on other X5’s. The lower bumper opening is also oversized with additional large vents on the outside edges. Everything about the front end is big. Newer to the US market are the …

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2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition Review by Ben Lewis

The Outback is a huge success for Subaru, and extremely well-loved among the Subie faithful. And those faithful come in all types too, from those who want something just a little more confident in snow and slick weather to serious off-roaders and outlanders willing to travel the edges of the earth, paved or unpaved. For those go out-there and get-em types, it’s quite common to see an Outback riding around on a raised suspension with blacked out wheels, protective cladding, and racks capable carrying some serious gear. So, Subaru thought, why let the aftermarket have all the fun? Let’s build …

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