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.  …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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