Road Test Review – 2024 BMW Z4 M40i – Dropping The Top On Fun and Style

All sports cars come with fundamental DNA that makes them enjoyable to drive while also being stylish and reasonably comfortable at the same time. The 2024 BMW Z4 aims to bring these fundamentals into a package that’s upscale and luxurious but without sacrificing some of the dynamics that have made the model special over the years. The 2024 models aim to continue this but has it lost some of the sharpness that has defined it over the years?   Sinister Purple Adds Character to M Sport Lines When our tester arrived at the office, one of the things that made …

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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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Road Test Review – 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe – This SUV Is The Real Deal

When Hyundai announced that it was revamping the Santa Fe for the 2024 model year, we wondered how the Korean car maker could possibly top the previous generation model. While it was starting to show its age, the previous generation Santa Fe had a strong focus on comfort and technology. This time around, Hyundai wanted to bring the Santa Fe back to its roots with the company bringing rugged charm to the Santa Fe’s bag of tricks. But is it all enough to bring the fight to a new crop of SUV entries?   Boxy Shape Mixes Santa Fe With …

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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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Road Test Review – 2023 Toyota Crown Limited – Is It’s Luxury Indeed Fit For A King?

It has been a few decades since Toyota brought the Crown nameplate to our shores. The Crown was originally offered here in the U.S. market from 1958 to 1972 before it was replaced by the Corona. The Crown morphed into a Japanese-exclusive offering at that point which was supposed to offer well-heeled buyers a step up in Toyota luxury with the U.S. getting the Lexus luxury brand as a consolation prize. The Crown returned to the U.S. in 2022 and this time, Toyota is using it as a distinctive sub-brand. But is it enough to lure in buyers and Avalon …

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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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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 BMW XM review by Ben Lewis

And now for something completely different. If youʻre a fan of Monty Pythonʻs Flying Circus – the crazy Brit comedy sketch series, youʻre certainly know that line – often delivered by a Python-ish TV Newscaster presenting a news story. OK, maybe this a bit of an old and odd reflection, but itʻs what comes to mind when people ask us about the BMW XM. Because while weʻre pretty sure itʻs a BMW, thereʻs really nothing like it. And we sort of think that was the idea. So what is this super-power plug-in hybrid SUV? Letʻs find out. Itʻs a Statement …

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Road Test Review – 2023 BMW M3 50 Jahre Edition – M3’s Golden Anniversary Homage Still Has Sizzle & Bite

In the 50 years that BMW’s M brand has terrorized race tracks around the world, the performance-focused sub-brand has undergone a number of key transformations as it attempted to maximize the performance that BMW products were capable of. It can be easy to forget that this gold standard of the performance-driving world once started out as a small in-house race shop. BMW has prepared a surprise to help celebrate the occasion, the 2023 BMW M3 50 Jahre Edition which helps celebrate the M3’s history, but are new styling touches enough to help this beast stand out in a crowd?   …

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Road Test Review – 2023 MINI Clubman Untold Edition – Latest Special Edition MINI Crafts Its Own Story

When it comes to outlandish special edition offerings, few can top the creative minds over at BMW’s MINI brand. MINI has always been known for offering customers a strong roster of models that not only embrace their quirky British heritage but also offer an impressive array of options and features designed to help buyers personalize their MINI to suit their distinctive tastes. One of these is the 2023 MINI Clubman Untold Edition which not only celebrates the end of production for the Clubman model but also promises to show buyers the untold side of the model. But is the Untold …

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

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

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Road Test Review – 2024 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring – A New Face Highlights Key Updates

The Lincoln Corsair represented a step up for Lincoln when it debuted several years ago. It replaced the aging MKC in the lineup and the Corsair introduced new levels of luxury and technology to entry-level luxury SUV buyers. However, the segment is rapidly evolving and Lincoln knows that it has to evolve to try and stay ahead of the pack. The second-generation 2024 Lincoln Corsair brings new exterior styling and some tweaks to the Corsair for the new model year, but is it all enough to make the Corsair stand out from the crowd?   New Front Fascia Gets More …

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2023 Honda Civic Sport HPD Sedan Review by Ben Lewis

Who doesn’t love Honda’s Civic? Well, ok, there may be a few haters, but the Civic has long been one of Honda’s most popular vehicles, scoring legions of fans, and millions of happy owners. Happy journalists too, We loved the new Civic Si when we tested it recently, and also loved the Touring model as well. Truth be told, like most cars, the Civic is not as inexpensive as it once was, both the Si and Touring models hovering around $30k. So, we thought, in the spirit of the affordable Civic that many of us grew up with, it was …

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First Look – Lotus Emeya & Lotus Eletre – New Lotus Models Aim To Catapult Firm To EV Age, Will They Succeed?

Lotus is preparing to make big moves in the EV vehicle segment. While the company cemented its history as an automaker that made lightweight vehicles that emphasized weight-cutting and exceptional handling, Lotus has also been on a proverbial rollercoaster in recent years with COVID-related challenges and a 2017 stock purchase by Chinese firm Geely being some of the twists and turns that have faced Lotus owners the past few decades. That said, Lotus is preparing to embark on a bold strategy and will focus all of its efforts on building a lineup of EV-only offerings with the Lotus Emira being …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Maserati MC20 – Maserati’s Return To Supercar Segment Marks End Of ICE Era

Maserati is the figurative traveler who’s facing a choice at the proverbial fork in the road. The Italian luxury automaker tried to embark on a push towards enhancing its sales, but while the Grecale and the Levante have certainly made their mark in the SUV segment, the broader sales picture is mixed at best. In the meantime, Maserati is also focusing on returning to some of the core things that helped it be an icon in the luxury segment, with performance and artistic flair being two prominent pillars. One example of this in action is the Maserati MC20, which launches …

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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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Road Test Review – 2023 Hyundai Elantra N – Light Updates Keep This Hot Compact Ticking

The Hyundai Elantra N might not get as much attention in Hyundai showrooms as other members of the corporate team. But the sporty compact has managed to obtain a loyal following, and it now also has the distinction of being the only pure N model in Hyundai’s lineup (for now.) But does the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N retain its high amounts of sizzle even with the optional eight-speed automatic?   Elantra N Still Blurs Styling Lines, But We Love It Anyway The exterior styling of the Elantra N builds on some of the unique features and design choices that help …

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2023 Lexus LS 500 AWD F SPORT review by Ben Lewis

All manufacturers have what is called a “flagship” – the top-of-the-line model that shows off what the brand is all about. And for Lexus sedans, that means the LS 500. The LS has the longest history with the brand, it was the LS 400 that started the legend in 1990, taking on all comers from luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes and Cadillac. Yes, there was also an ES model, but that was a fancy Camry. So, 33 years later, does the Lexus still have the stuff to take on the high-end Europeans? Let’s take a look! Aging Passionately We recently …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Genesis GV70 Electrified Prestige – An EV For The Traditionalist Now With More Tech

In a world where many electric vehicles are embracing exterior styling that borders on the edges of sci-fi, there is a growing pool of customers who want the EV experience but don’t want to be forced to jump headlong into a vehicle that goes too far out of their comfort zone. Genesis is aware of this and has created EVs that channel their green driving mission well and look like their traditional ICE counterparts. However, is this enough to help models like the 2024 GV70 Electrified stand out against a growing pool of EV contenders?   GV70 Electrified Features Familiar …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Subaru Impreza RS – This Hatch Has The Moves To Succeed

When Subaru announced that the Impreza would ditch the sedan body style and focus on it being a hatchback-only experience for 2024, it certainly had us asking questions. For one thing, could we buy a four-door in time? (my wife was in the market for a new vehicle back then) and how will consumers respond to this radical transition. Thankfully, the Subaru faithful have responded positively to the changes, and after spending some time with the 2024 Subaru Impreza RS, we grew to like a hatchback-only future as well.   Impreza RS Is Ready For Fun Or Work The RS …

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2023 Toyota GR86 Review by Ben Lewis

There’s a song made famous by singer Etta James called “At Last” – about finally finding love. Well, we know that feeling. We’ve been wanting to drive a Toyota GR86 with a manual transmission since it was introduced for the 2022 model year. Well, so did a lot of other journalists, so we were pretty darn happy to drive a ’22 with the 6-speed automatic. Which as it turns out was a fantastic sports car. But for many of us, a true sports car still has three pedals, and no, the emergency brake does not count. So, when our turn …

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2023 Lexus IS 500 Premium review by Ben Lewis

2023 Lexus IS 500 Premium review by Ben Lewis Do you remember the original Mad Max movie? We see Max, aka Mel Gibson driving the Pursuit Special, a heavily modified Australian Falcon GT, that in the movie they call “The last of the V8 Interceptors.” It’s funny that the thought popped in my head when I drove the Lexus IS 500 with its massively powerful 5.0-liter V8. But I did wonder, how much longer will we have cars like this? While we seem to be marching towards a world of EVs, many of the IS competitors have swapped a naturally …

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First Drive Review – 2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range – Tesla Aims Big In CUV Segment

The Tesla Model Y is shaping up to be a veritable sleeper hit for the upstart EV company with the CUV actually being on par in sales with the Model 3 sedan. However, until now, getting Tesla to review (especially in Michigan) was easier said than done due to various factors. As a result, we had to wait a bit to get our chance to get behind the wheel, but is the 2023 Tesla Model Y worth the wait and your hard-earned dollar?   Futuristic Styling That Doesn’t Forge New Ground To find out, we traveled to Detroit and attended …

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First Look – 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse – Playing Second Fiddle Isn’t So Bad In This Pony

When the 2024 Ford Mustang lineup made its debut late last year, it was evident that a broader transition was taking place. The Mustang’s two bitter rivals (Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro) were all preparing to enter retirement due to electrification for the former and a collapse in sales for the bowtie brigade. This means that the Mustang will once again be all alone in the traditional pony car segment and will have the market largely to itself for the foreseeable future. But what will this segment domination formally look like? If the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse is to …

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2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 limited review by Ben Lewis

Hyundai and sibling Kia have been killing it lately, from the sporty Elantra N sedan to the Kia Telluride 3-row SUV, each product has been impressive. But probably the most impressive to us, are the EV’s. We’ve tested the Ioniq 5 and loved the combination of utility, quirky style and performance. And now have the Ioniq 6 with added quirky style and performance – but a loss in the utility department. Is it another home run? Let’s put it up to bat. Meet the Streamliner Wow, indeed. We love that Hyundai dances to its own tune – the new Toyota …

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

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

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Road Test Review -2023 Volkswagen Jetta Sport – Affordable Performance In A German Package

The Volkswagen Jetta is often considered to be the outsider looking in. With the GTI and Golf R lineup commanding the bulk of the attention from a shrinking pool of buyers, Volkswagen knows it has to think outside the box when it comes to occasionally when it comes to keeping things fresh for the Jetta. One of these efforts is the 2023 Jetta Sport which aims to inject value-focused performance into the lineup. But is that enough to help reel buyers who would otherwise gravitate toward crossovers?   Jetta Sport Styling Walks Proverbial Tightrope The Jetta Sport is one rung …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Kia Telluride X-Line – X Marks The Spot For Fun

The Kia Telluride has been a regular attendee on the world stage ever since it made its debut, with the full-size SUV not only receiving multiple awards and accolades but also exorcising our bad memories of the ill-fated Kia Borrego in the process. The Korean car giant hopes to continue this trend by lightly updating the Telluride for 2023 and even giving it an all-new X-Line model like some of its corporate teammates, but does X truly mark the spot for Telluride luxury and fun?   Light Updates Retain Telluride Fundamentals All 2023 KiaTellurides benefit from a mild styling update …

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2023 Mercedes EQS 450 4MATIC SUV Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid, and found it delightful, efficient and affordable. It’s pretty much the very affordable end of the electrification movement right now. In the middle, we have vehicles like the Volvo C40 recharge – bringing great fun and style at a slightly elevated price. And finally, we have the premium EVs, which are growing by huge amounts. BMW, Mercedes and Audi are already experienced players in this sandbox. So, what’s state of the art EV Luxury look like today? That’s what we wondered, and that’s why we’re testing the 2023 Mercedes EQS. Let’s take …

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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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2023 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid review by Ben Lewis

The Honda Accord is an icon. Think about it – America’s best-selling car over the last 5 decades. The first Accord started here in 1976, and has continued to be a sensible family sedan (and coupe and wagon) that was long on reliability, quality, value, and economy. And even though it has grown larger and more sophisticated over the years, it’s stayed true to form – it’s easy to believe that someone who started with one in 1976 still owns one today. So now for 2023, we have the 11th generation Accord. Can Honda continue its winning streak? And just …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition – Celebrating 40 Years Of Off-Road Prowess

The trend of nostalgia has been a persistent presence in the automotive world. While it’s not as prevalent as it was during the 1990s and early 2000s, automakers know that paying tasteful tribute to the past is always a reliable way to increase sales. Toyota is very familiar with this strategy and has prepared a tasteful tribute for the Toyota 4Runner’s 40th anniversary with the all-new 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Edition.   Happy Birthday 4Runner At first glance, you might be hard-pressed to find what’s exactly new about this 40th Anniversary Edition 4Runner. The standard 4Runner is already a …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor – Newest Maverick Sends Aftershock Through The Segment

The Ford Maverick min-truck has proven to be a potent sales hit for Ford, with the truck recording an impressive amount of demand and sales for the Blue Oval. While the standard truck is already a very versatile tool, Ford knows that Maverick buyers also crave adventure in their pickup purchases, and have introduced the all-new 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor to bring budget off-roading to the masses. But is this newest Tremor model the aftershock that will inject more profits into Ford’s bottom line?   Tremor Package Gives Maverick A Rugged Pair Of Levis Like other Tremor versions of its …

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Red White & Electrified – Road Test Review – 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Extended Range

The Ford F-150 has worn many hats over the years, with the truck not only functioning as America’s best full-size pickup but also a family hauler, off-road performance champion, works site office, and more. This chameleon-like ability to wear so many hats has helped the F-150 retain its top-selling position in the segment, with the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning now preparing to add electrification to the F-150’s list of tricks.   The Future Comes In A Familiar Looking Wrapper With F-150 Lightning While other EV pickups like the Rivian R1T and the Chevrolet Silverado Silverado RST adopt a look that …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Ram 1500 TRX Review – This Beast Has Claws- Can It Stand Up To The Raptor R?

When Ram first unveiled the Ram 1500 TRX several years ago, it was very clear that they wanted to go above and beyond in their quest to dethrone the Ford Raptor. Unlike the Raptor, the Ram had a 700-plus horsepower, a 6.2-liter, supercharged Hellcat V8, and enough performance upgrades and swagger to outshine a Silverado ZR2. This mishmash of performance insanity allowed the Ram TRX to rapidly ascend to the top of the off-road performance truck food chain. But the marketplace is evolving, and with the Raptor getting a new V8-powered “R” variant, can the 2023 TRX hang on to …

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2023 Toyota GR Corolla Core Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve recently tested some interesting high performance vehicles, like the Kia EV6 GT, and Volvo S60 Recharge – all pointing to a direction in the future of hybrid and EV being the enthusiast’s choice, right? Not so fast.  We just spent a week in the Toyota Corolla GR – a fascinating confection of both old-world performance and modern technology, featuring good-old gas fueled technology. And this little car is one of the most thrilling vehicles we have driven in a long time. Yes, a Corolla. Buckle up, we’re going for a ride. A Corolla on Steroids We’ve always liked the …

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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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Road Test Review- 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 – Second Piece In Ioniq Puzzle Has The Right Stuff

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 SUV served as a proverbial crystal ball into Hyundai’s broader EV plans, with the hatchback-like utility vehicle debuting the state-of-the-art E-GMP platform and some of the advanced EV components lurking underneath. However, the 5 was not known for its performance character, with Hyundai developing the model to be an urban-focused commuter. The 2023 Ioniq 6 aims to change all that with its focus on style, performance, and sustainability. But is all of this enough to make the Ioniq 6 stand out against rivals like the Polestar 2 and the Tesla Model 3?   Ioniq 6 Styling …

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

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

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

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

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Road Test Review – 2023 Nissan Leaf SV Plus – Value Packed EV Bucks The Trend To Help Consumers

The 2023 Nissan Leaf is bucking the trend in the EV segment, This particular realm is still a relatively young segment and alot of the entries tend to be priced higher than some gasoline powered cars. But Nissan is out to change that with the second generation Leaf and is keen to show that value and green vehicle technology can exist in the same sphere of influence.   Hatchback Styling and Simple Styling Motif Makes Leaf Unique The Nissan Leaf has been around for awhile now but while the first generation model looked like a futuristic Jetsons creation, this iteration …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Nissan Titan Pro-4X – Is Pro-4X Still Viable In A Rapidly Changing Segment?

The Nissan Titan has been an enigma in the pickup segment. At a time when many of its rivals are gravitating towards smaller engines, fewer cylinders and even pure electrification the Titan has still managed to stick to some of the old-school essentials that have made it an enduring classic with some truck buyers. A big burbly V8 and a body-on-frame construction are certainly two of the key benchmarks, but with the rest of the segment changing around it, does the 2023 Nissan Titan still have what it takes to stand out from the rest of the pack? or is …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Genesis G90 – The Ultimate Rolls Royce Pretender?

When we last checked in with the Genesis G90 it was in the middle of a clumsy refresh with the car’s exterior styling doing little to project its ambition of being a potent disruptor in the luxury flagship sedan segment. Genesis designers went back to the drawing board for 2023 and have unleashed the 2023 G90 which aims to add polish and substance to the G90 while also allowing owners to get closer to living out their ultimate Rolls Royce inspired luxury fantasies.   2023 G90 Styling Goes In More Bespoke Direction The 2023 Genesis G90 has benefitted from an …

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Road Test Review – 2024 Mazda CX-90 – Mazda Remixes The Flagship SUV And It’s The Best One Yet

The 2023 Mazda CX-9 embodied the best and the worst characteristics in a flagship three-row SUV offering. One the one hand it featured an impressive amount of luxury, a sporty shape, and a hearty amount of performance from its engine lineup. On the other hand, the CX-9 also suffered from terrible electronics, horrible blind spots, and a third row that could barely haul people. The CX-9 also infamously lost to the Nissan Pathfinder when we subjected it to our television hauling test. The Japanese automaker claims that it has finally addressed these items and more with the 2024 Mazda CX-90. …

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2023 Hyundai Elantra N Review by Ben Lewis

This may be the era of the SUV, but there’s still great news for those who like cars – especially affordable performance cars. Within the last year or so, we’ve seen an all-new Civic Si and Type R, Toyota GR Corolla and VW GTI. Oh, and the latest player, the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N. Did we say Hyundai? You bet. The N moniker is somewhat recent, having appeared first on the quirky Veloster hatchback and the Kona small crossover. But the real meat of the enthusiast market is going to be sedans and hatchbacks, so we’re happy to welcome the …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport – Trails and Sport, Do They Mix Here?

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner is a classic metaphor of function before beauty while proving that age is just a number. The 4Runner has existed in its current form since 2009, with the model receiving its most recent refresh in 2013. While the TRD PRO is the model that gets the bulk of the spotlight, other models in the 4Runner family aim to cover any gaps in the SUV’s resume for Toyota. They include the 2022 TRD Sport, which aims to put more on-road performance into the 4Runner’s DNA.   TRD Sport Gives 4Runner A Track Suit, Still A Trail Warrior …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Lexus RC350 F Sport – Light Updates Keep This Coupe Fresh

The 2023 Lexus RC350 F Sport is an interesting entry in the luxury coupe segment. While the aggressive exterior styling projects sporty driving and track-ready prowess, the RC350 prefers to cruise through the motions with the range-topping V8-powered F model taking on formal track duty. But while the mainstream RC’s approach to the slow life has helped it maintain a presence in the marketplace, it’s also no secret that the model is rapidly aging and losing ground to rivals. But does the RC lineup as a whole still have a few tricks up its sleeve to help it stay fresh …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Hyundai Kona N – This CUV Has Performance To Spare

The Hyundai Kona has proven to be equivalent of the legendary Barbie doll for Hyundai. While the Kona doesn’t have as strong of an emphasis on providing customers with a dream house or playsets like the iconic doll, the CUV has proven to be good at the other side gig Barbie is known for: being the ultimate flex play for Hyundai sales machine. Whether its in its traditional ICE form, a pure EV or serving as a hybrid model in international markets. The Kona has proven to be a good chameleon for Hyundai and can easily morph to fit a …

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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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2022 Audi A4 Sedan review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Audi S4 sedan and were blown away by the beautiful sedan’s stunning performance and luxo interior. So, we wondered, can you get the same kind of thrills from the less powerful, less expensive 2022 A4 sedan? Let’s find out. Aggressive and Stylish Like the S4, the A4 makes a bold first impression. In fact, you’d have to be an Audi-phile to know our model was the less expensive model. You get the same segmented LED running lights framing the hexagonal headlights. The same large – but not over the top – grille, and lower side intakes. …

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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 BMW M340i xDrive review by Ben Lewis

Like the sun rising in the morning, you can count on certain things in the automotive world. And one of them is a BMW 3-series is a great drive. OK, some sun rises are better than others, but for 45 years, the compact BMW has been the target that everyone who makes a premium performance vehicle has been aiming for. BMW has made some changes to the venerable 3 for 2023, so we ask, is it once again an early riser? Or has the carmaker hit the proverbial Snooze button? Let’s take a look! Fresh But not Freakish We can …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Jaguar F-Type Roadster – Aging Cat Is Losing Ground To Rivals

When the Jaguar F-Type appeared in dealer lots, it was supposed to bring the iconic British luxury car maker back into the mix in the two seat sports car market. The F-Type was the spiritual successor to the E-type and proved so popular it managed to upstage the Jaguar XK. But Jaguar is navigating rough waters as it prepares to morph into an all-electric luxury brand. Can the aging 2023 F-Type still be a top feline in the sports car ranks, or is its age finally beginning to catch up with it?   F-Type’s Added Lipstick Can’t Hide Wrinkles The …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R – There’s A New Sheriff In The Off-Road Wars

The 2023 Ford Raptor was already a very capable truck in its own right thanks in part to its capable platform, suspension, and the 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that lurked under the hood. However, what would happen if Ford decided to add a V8 back into the Raptor? The answer is one of the most exciting off-road trucks we have ever experienced, the 2023 Ford Raptor R and it could be the TRX rival that we have all been waiting for.   Minimal Changes Hide The Beast Lurking Within Raptor R At a glance, the 2023 Raptor R might look …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 – Adding Green To Established Estate Form

Volvo’s commitment to electrification is unquestioned especially when you look at the wild EX90 flagship EV SUV that the brand recently revealed in Sweden. However, the company also knows that for now, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will play a key role in laying down the foundations for this EV future. The 2022 Volvo V90 B6 Cross Country is one of these models and it aims to prove that green technology and a proper station wagon can indeed co-exist. But has Volvo indeed succeeded in this pursuit?   V90 Styling Carries Over, Hides Changes Underneath At first glance, you would …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek – Is This Overlander Special A Better Pathfinder?

The Nissan Pathfinder was once known for being one of the most rugged and trail-ready SUVs in the market, with various models in the 1980s and 1990s were known for their body-on-frame construction and billy goat character. But in recent years, the Pathfinder transitioned to a uni-body frame, and focused more on providing on-pavement comfort. Nissan is aiming to resolve that with the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek. But does the Rock Creek treatment make this a better Pathfinder while also restoring some of its past off-road luster?   Second Attempt At Rock Creek Makes Pathfinder More Rugged When we …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Audi Q3 S-Line – Audi’s Smallest CUV Offering Soldiers On For Another Year

At first glance, the 2022 Audi Q3 may seem like it’s nothing more than a shrunken-down version of its bigger Q SUV siblings, especially the elegantly bespoke Q8. But the little 3 has managed to carve out a unique niche for itself over the past few years thanks to the family resemblance as well as its compact dimensions. But its spot in the compact luxury CUV pecking order is being threatened by rivals like the BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Can the Q3 still be the compelling value darling for Audi?   Handsome Styling Allows Q3 To Make Full …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Genesis G80 – Latest G80 Moves Even Closer To German Rivals

The Genesis G80 has always been our favorite whenever it visits the office. It was already an exceptional value lay in the luxury segment when it was known as the Hyundai Genesis. The second generation G80 pivoted closer to the brand’s core mission, but there was no denying that it was still a Hyundai underneath. Genesis has listened to these complaints and has launched the revamped 2022 G80. But is this radical refresh finally enough to make the G80 a true threat to German mainstay models?   Elegant Styling Makes G80 Look Like Jewelry As mentioned, a prominent complaint of …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Jaguar F-Pace SVR – This Cat Still Has Claws

The auto industry is rapidly changing, and no brand serves as a better example of this fact of life than Jaguar. It wasn’t too long ago that Jaguar was once a brand defined by car-based offerings (SUVs were left to corporate sibling Land Rover.) In recent years, sluggish sales and the strong surge in SUV demand forced Jaguar to change its core identity and embrace the utility vehicle with the debut of the F-Pace and the smaller E-Pace. The standard F-Pace is already an impressive luxury SUV that delivers luxury and spirited performance in a balanced package. But what if …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Volkswagen Jetta SEL – The Jetta For The Masses?

Volkswagen may be rapidly expanding its presence in the utility vehicle market, but it also understands that the compact sedan segment is still hotly contested in the broader sales sphere. The Jetta has certainly gone through its ups and downs, but while the GLI we recently reviewed provides budget enthusiasts with a pinch of GTI-inspired performance flavor, we wanted to see how the Jetta does as a vehicle of the masses and we decided to spend some time with a 2022 Jetta SEL to see how it fares in this role.   Jetta’s Exterior Styling Blends In With The Masses, …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Hyundai Palisade – A Nip And A Tuck Make This SUV A Better Companion

It’s tough to build on something that’s already proven to be a sales winner, and that was certainly the case when Hyundai made the 2023 Hyundai Palisade. The hot-selling three-row SUV is a very popular choice with consumers. Still, while we were impressed with the interior and some of the design choices Hyundai made, it was balanced out by some odd omissions as well as a range-topping model that did little to tell you that you were at the top of the range. The Korean car giant set out to fix all that with the 2023 Palisade, but have they …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium – BMW DNA Creates Disitnct Performance Coupe Offering

The Toyota Supra has always been an enigma in the minds of performance enthusiasts. While the BMW-based iteration we know now is a far cry from the heyday models that defined the 1990s, it’s still a potent performance entry. This is due to the Supra managing to create a perfect blend of world-class performance hardware and distinctly Toyota design. But are these two pillars still enough to help the Supra stave off threats from traditional sports car rivals and internal competition from BMW?   Style Still Remains A Supra Strong Suit The 2022 Toyota Supra (2023 models are just now …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Maserati Levante Trofeo – Ferrari Power In A Maserati Badged Designer Suit

A Maserati is a rare treat, an Italian-themed slice of perfection that’s supposed to show that you made it in the high-paced society that we all live in. That said, it’s no secret that the marque has had a turbulent history recently, especially in the decades before it ended up in the fold of the juggernaut now known as Stellantis. Maserati has greatly benefitted from this arraignment and even used it to help prepare its first-ever SUV model, the Levante. While lesser Levantes are known for coddling occupants in world-class comfort, the Trofeo model serves to satiate buyers looking for …

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2022 Toyota GR 86 Review by Ben Lewis

You hate long lines? Try being an auto journalist getting a Toyota GR 86 to test! But sometimes it’s worth the wait, because you know it will be worth it. So now we have the Toyota sibling to the Subaru BRZ we tested and loved. So how does it stack up? Let’s take a look! Fresh Interpretation of the Modern Sports Car There’s a strong family resemblance between the GR 86 and previous 86/FR-S. While the overall dimensions are very close, the new model looks beefed up and more aggressive. Most buyers will we be weighing the GR 86 against …

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Road Test Review – 2022 F-150 Lightning – Electrcity Adds New Angle To Ford’s Best Seller

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is arguably one of the most highly anticipated EVs in recent memory. While it was beaten to production by the Rivian R1T, Ford is still in a position to make a splash in the EV pickup wars, especially since the Tesla Cybertruck has still not entered production despite repeated promises by Elon Musk and Tesla representatives. But does the Lightning give the F-150 the perfect opportunity to dominate another pickup market niche, or is it an evolutionary dead end for an icon?   F-150 Lightning Styling Combines Familiarity With Slick Touches When you first lay …

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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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Road Test Followup – 2023 Mazda CX-50 Premium Plus Turbo – A Bargain For All Of America?

When we last met the 2023 Mazda CX-50 in the sun-kissed state of California, we put the SUV through its paces on mountain roads, trails, and even the coastal freeways that dotted our route. However, we were curious to see how the CX-50 could measure up on the opposite side of the country, especially in Michigan.   CX-50 Does A Color Reversal In our first outing, we traveled through California in an example that was slathered in Polymetal Grey Paint. This time, we got to see the Zircon Sand Metallic hue in person and when viewed in the sunny weather that …

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First Drive Review – 2023 Cadillac Lyriq RWD – The Harbringer Of Cadillac’s EV Future

Remember back when Cadillac was once one of the pillars in the U.S. luxury car market? Back in the 1920s and 1930s owning a Cadillac was a sign that you made it in life and that you had the wallet needed to put one in your garage. Since then, Cadillac’s star has gone through its fair share of ups and downs as it strived to stand out from established German contenders, as well as upstart Japanese brands like Lexus and Acura. The brand is looking to change that with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq which elevates Cadillac into a new realm …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 – Insanity In A Fine Leather Suit

The 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 is the answer to a question that few asked. What would happen if you took the trail-ready Defender and infused a pinch of SVR magic into its off-road DNA? The very notion of such a thing may seem outright insane at first glance, but as we discovered, there’s more here than the sum of its parts.   Handsome Looks On A Short Wheelbase Add Depth To Defender The exterior styling of the Defender V8 will certainly draw plenty of stares though it won’t be because of any bright work or shouty exterior styling. Instead, …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Kia EV GT vs 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 – Which One Is Better?

Hyundai and Kia are both preparing for an EV-fueled future with the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Both of these SUVs are eager to show off their green roots but go about it in different ways. But which one is best? We decided to follow up on Ben Lewis’s recent experience with the EV6 to see which one is indeed best?   Ioniq & EV6 Birds Of A Different Feather Both of these models share the same platform, but that doesn’t mean that things have devolved into a situation like the old Chevrolet Trailblazer and its myriad of …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT – Can Electrons Replace Raw Power?

The Ford Mustang Mach-E was a controversial move when Ford first unveiled it especially after it was revealed that it would use the name Mustang which would put it in the same corporate family as the iconic Mustang pony car. Fast forward to now, and that initial wave of skepticism has transformed into strong sales with the Mach-E rapidly becoming a sales leader for Ford. But the one thing that seemed to be missing at first was performance, with lower grade models lacking the spice to make them true performance models. The Mach-E GT aims to change that but can …

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2022 Kia EV6 Wind Review by Ben Lewis

Today, we are driving the car of the future. When you look at Kia’s new EV6 electric vehicle, it’s easy to think that this is what the future of the automobile might look like. Especially if you put on your 1980’s hat. If the EV6 had plopped down at the LA Auto Show as a “future concept” we all would have nodded our heads – something stylish, unique, using electric power and loaded with all sorts of amazing tech. Well, the future is here. So how does it stack up? Meet George Jetson Well, Kia has nailed the look. First …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Lexus ES 300h F-Sport – New Moves And Makeup Define Sporty Lexus Hybrid

Green motoring is rapidly becoming the new normal with the overall lineup of hybrid and all-electric models growing at a rapid pace. Amid all of this growth though, it would seem that performance (with a few exceptions) is on the backburner with fuel economy being front and center. Lexus is out to change that narrative though with the 2022 Lexus ES 300h F Sport. But does the ES 300h have the chops to balance out efficiency and fun? Or is it a flawed specimen?   Attention-Grabbing Red Paint And F Sport Cues Make This ES A Hit The exterior styling …

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Land Rover Unveils 2023 Defender 130, Will Be Flagship For Moniker

The Land Rover Defender is seeing a strong surge in sales ever since Land Rover resurrected the iconic moniker several years ago. But as the sales picture has become clearer, the need for more variants has emerged with the company formally unveiling the flagship model of the Defender lineup the all-new 2023 Defender 130 eight-passenger SUV.   Defender 130, A Reboot Within A Reboot The Defender 130 designation maybe a new thing for American consumers but it’s not the first time that Land Rover has used the 130 designation with the digits last being used to represent vintage pickup-based Defender …

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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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Road Test Review – 2022 Polaris Slingshot SLR – Turbocharging Improves The Breed

When the Polaris Slingshot first appeared a few years ago, it signified a bold push for Polaris with the model being the first cyclecar that the company ever produced outside their usual lineup of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The Slingshot’s blend of traits and its ability to be licensed as a car in some states (instead of a motorcycle) helped generate a strong surge in sales. However, the first generation Slingshot was also a crude offering and lacked some of the things that we take for granted in traditional cars. Polaris sought to remedy this with the second generation Slingshot …

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2022 Subaru WRX Limited Review by Ben Lewis

So, it’s easy to be a fan of Subaru – we’ve recently tested the Outback, the Forester, and the Ascent and loved them all. That’s the SUV outdoorsy type of owner. But you’ve also got the performance-type Subie lover, and that means the BRZ and the WRX. We recently tested the BRZ rear-wheel drive sport coupe and it’s a huge step forward for an already great driver’s car. So, when we heard there was an all-new WRX, we gladly got in line. Introduced in 2002, the WRX stunned the performance world with turbocharged all-wheel-drive performance that gave rally car goodness …

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Road Test Review – 2023 Nissan Z -This Z Is Worth The Wait

It has been a long time since we have seen an all-new Z car. When Nissan last updated the moniker, it was the 370Z that first appeared on the scene all the way back in 2009 (2008 in Japan.) The 370 promised more power and even more usability. However, just like how a box of Hostess Twinkies does not stay good forever (despite local legend) Nissan left the 370Z on the shelf too long without any significant updates. That large lapse in time caused the car to fall behind its rivals and slumping sales reflected this sorry state of affairs. …

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Comparison Test – 2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum vs 2022 Mazda CX-9 Signature

The quest for family vehicle sales dominance has rapidly become the number one priority for many automakers with the SUV and CUV segments bearing the brunt of sales demand from consumers. However, consumer expectations of what they want from a large three-row utility and what it should have has grown from over 20 years ago with tech and fuel economy becoming key requirements. The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder and the 2022 Mazda CX-9 are two entries trying to lure in more families, but while they each have a different way of doing it, we wanted to find out which one is …

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

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

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Road Test Review – 2022 Ford Maverick XLT Hybrid FWD – Shifting The Green Balance In Mid-Size Pickups

Ford’s bold plan of being a pure SUV and pickup company (Mustang excluded, of course) generated its fair share of criticism and faced a test courtesy of surging gas prices. But despite all of this, Ford is still generating massive profits and is rocketing towards an all-electric future. The Ford F-150 and the Ranger pickups are two vital cogs in the company’s broader sales machine. However, the family still had room for a smaller offering, and Ford has delivered the goods with the all-new Ford Maverick. But can the Maverick be the urban-entric truck offering that will allow the company …

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

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

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First Ride – VinFast VF 8 – Does It Live Up To The Hype?

VinFast has rapidly become the new darling of the EV segment. This is thanks partly to the strong support from the VinGroup parent company and some of the automotive talent that the company has managed to recruit to its ranks. But can VinFast do what Chinese firms failed to do and bring an affordable EV alternative to consumers? We were eager to find out and made our way to the EV Test Track at the New York Auto Show to go for a ride inside the VF 8 to get a small taste of what’s in store for consumers when …

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First Ride – INDI EV Indi One – Is It The Ultimate Gamer Station?

When INDI EV was founded back in 2017, the basic formula seemed to be a very promising one: make a futuristic EV that would deliver the goods on mileage and enhance connectivity. INDI made a splash this week when they kicked off pre-ordering for the Indi One during NYIAS press days. But is it worth the sum of its parts?   First Ride Gives Mixed Impression To find out, we made the trek down to the EV test track (after a brief stop at INDI’s booth) to have our chance to ride in the futuristic crossover. The exterior styling of …

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

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

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Road Test Review – 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor – Is It Still The King Of The Mountain?

The off-road pickup segment has seen a renewed resurgence in recent years both in demand and in performance, with many of these trail-ready offerings offering more performance than ever before. The truck that’s often credited with launching this revolution is the Ford F-150 Raptor. Originally created in borderline secrecy deep in the bowels of the Ford Motor Company, the Raptor has rapidly become one of the strongest sellers in the F-150 family and has rapidly emerged as a potent benchmark for all that came after it. Ford gave the model some updates for the 2021 model year, but with the …

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

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

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First Drive Review – 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 Pickup – Supercharging GM’s Ultium Ambitions

The pages of history are quickly turning at General Motors. It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of a pure EV offering from GM would’ve been seen as laughable never mind one with the Hummer badge dubbed the Edition 1. In those days, Hummer was known for two things, delivering the goods on off-road capability, and laughably low fuel economy. But the times have changed, and GM has brought back the Hummer moniker (as a sub-brand this time) to not only spearhead its assault on the EV market but also storm the pickup segment as the world’s first “supertruck.” …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 – Insanity Unleashed

Jeep has had a very complicated relationship when it comes to giving its iconic Wrangler a V8 engine. While aftermarket companies have done it for years, Jeep resisted the urge of giving its Wrangler an injection of V8-powered fun. However, the emergence of the Ford Bronco has at long last finally forced Stellantis’s hand, and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the long-awaited fruit of this dream. But is it a case of you should never meet your heroes? Or is it the perfect definition of insanity?   A Familiar Wrapper Hides The Essentials With all the magic happening under …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series III – Living Large And Hunting For European Luxury Rivals

It has been a long time since Jeep has fielded a competitor in the full-size SUV ranks. With the ill-fated Jeep Commander best being left as a forgotten historical dead end, one has to go all the way back to the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer which were once key cogs in the long-departed American Motors Corporation, as well as Chrysler’s for a brief period after the company, completed its acquisition of AMC with the last ones being built in the early 1990s. But Stellantis is hoping that a new generation of full-size SUV buyers will be able to breathe some …

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First Drive – 2023 Mazda CX-50 – Filling A Void In Mazda’s Growing SUV Family

When Mazda first confirmed that it was expanding its SUV lineup, we were curious to see precisely what Mazda had in mind. The CX-30 was the first in what Mazda called the “CX” family of utilities, with the model not only replacing the axed CX-3 but also proving that the model was more than the sum of its Mazda 3 sourced parts. Naturally, the company is thinking bigger this time around and has revealed the second member of the gap-filling family, the 2023 CX-50. But does it successfully follow up on the solid praise the CX-30 has received? Or is …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road – Light Updates Keep This Solider Ahead Of The Pack

The Toyota Tacoma has long been an enduring benchmark in the mid-size pickup ranks thanks to its value, capability, and quality. Its grip on the throne has been unchallenged. Still, these days even the king of mid-size pickups is facing dissent from a resurgent pool of entries like the radically updated Nissan Frontier, an expanding Ford Ranger family, and the updated Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Can the Toyota Tacoma maintain its hold on the throne?   Lightly Updated Styling Retains Core Tacoma DNA The Tacoma’s exterior styling was updated back in 2020. As a result, the changes in this …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – Updates Can’t Mask Middling Performance

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a CUV that’s always had some form of an identity crisis. The Eclipse Cross has the exterior styling needed for it to be one of the boldest CUV entries in the market, but suffered from inconsistent presentation, especially with its performance and interior. Mitsubishi has made some updates to help give it a better presentation while also fixing some of the flaws that hobbled older models. But have the changes made the Eclipse Cross better?   A Nip and Tuck Adds Cohesion To Exterior Styling Mitsubishi stylists had alot on their plate when they were …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Hyundai Veloster N DCT – Better Seats And Extra Amounts Of Fun

When Hyundai first released the Veloster N hot hatch several years ago, it seemed the Korean car giant finally hit all the right notes when it came to making a fun performance car. The Veloster N packed an impressive amount of power, technology, and value into its flanks. However, the interior resembled a pieced together Fischer Price kit and it was a manual-only offering. Hyundai is not only committed to enhancing the Veloster N’s sales success but also learn from past mistakes with the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N which adds a DCT and a few welcome enhancements into an already …

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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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