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2015 Kia Novo Concept Is Surprise 4-Door Coupe for Seoul Motor Show

  Some impressive design coming from the latest Kia studio! This concept shows the potential look of a Forte replacement in the coming years. We love the nose best, as the profile and tail are near clones of the just-revealed Optima for 2016. But unfortunately for the production Optima, the Novo is far cleaner and more appealing. Part of what makes the Novo feel cool are its heavily rear-drive proportions and long dash-to-axle ratio in front. But there are more subtle things, too, like the fairly steep windshield angle and the way the hood’s leading edge becomes the grille below. …

Read more 2015 Kia Novo Concept Is Surprise 4-Door Coupe for Seoul Motor Show

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2016 Kia Optima Brings New, Wider Style With Dramatically Better Handling and Refinement

  The 2016 Kia Optima refresh has a very familiar feel to it, does it not! We were surprised with how much sheetmetal appears to be carry-over on first glance. In fact, the car has a half-inch longer wheelbase and is an inch wider overall. Only the doors appear to be carry-over from the existing car, with a new shape to the front and rear fenders, nose, tail and rear glasshouse. The design is similar to the SportSpace concept from Geneva, but highly toned down for production. A new shape to the hood leads into a painted top part of …

Read more 2016 Kia Optima Brings New, Wider Style With Dramatically Better Handling and Refinement

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2015 Kia SPORTSPACE Concept in 20 New Photos + Powertrain Details

Updated 2.27.14 With 20 New Photos Half of these are official shots from Kia, and the other half from KoreanCarBlog. In addition to the pics, Kia confirms that the powertrain is a 250-horsepower turbo four with the firm’s new DCT driving the front wheels. In that regard, the SPORTSPACE’s name is clearly SportSpace… not SportsPace. 2015 Kia SPORTSPACE Concept – Latest Photos   Darnit! Right when we had almost completely written Kia off as poorly-driving, and poorly-marketed cars aimed at idiots — here comes this stunning SPORTSPACE estate concept for Geneva 2015. Hitting my fast-wagon passion right in the jugular, …

Read more 2015 Kia SPORTSPACE Concept in 20 New Photos + Powertrain Details

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Wow! 2015 Kia SPORTSPACE Concept Previews Future Optima Estate in Stellar Fashion

Darnit! Right when we had almost completely written Kia off as poorly-driving, and poorly-marketed cars aimed at idiots — here comes this stunning SPORTSPACE estate concept for Geneva 2015. Hitting my fast-wagon passion right in the jugular, the bleeding passion down my neck is almost as red as this SPORTSPACE. Long, low and sexy — the SPORTSPACE concept packs a gorgeous new design from double-quad LED light-pods back to its low-roofed tail and slimline glasshouse. Inside, things improve perhaps even further, with a full-length The SPORTSPACE is a strong statement of intent and first glimpse of the new Frankfurt-led design …

Read more Wow! 2015 Kia SPORTSPACE Concept Previews Future Optima Estate in Stellar Fashion

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2015 KIA Trail’Ster Concept Previews Upcoming Soul Refresh + All-New Interior

The Kia Soul is easily our favorite model in the Kia range – with actual sportiness in the handling and impressive power, there is no other car on the market with such a flexible crossover package. Best of all? The Soul is priced like an economy car, and has almost double the power of the Scion xD and xB. But how to make it a real SUV instead of just a fun and light-hearted crossover? For that, you need all-wheel-drive. KIA has gone theRX450h route here — powering the rear axle with hybrid electric motors. Efficient, compact, and lacking any …

Read more 2015 KIA Trail’Ster Concept Previews Upcoming Soul Refresh + All-New Interior

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Road Test Review – 2015 Kia K900 V8 – By Ken Glassman

  2015 Kia K900 Review By Ken Glassman For 2015 Kia has jumped into the high end luxury sedan market with the K900, just as their sister company Hyundai has done with the Equus. In fact, both cars share the same basic platform, and mission statement. That is – to build a high quality automobile, stuff it with a long list of standard safety, and luxury appointments and amenities, and offer it at a price that is thousands of dollars less than similarly equipped German, Japanese, and even American luxury brands. Under the long hood, you’ll find a muscular 5.0 …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Kia K900 V8 – By Ken Glassman

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2015 Kia Sedona SXL Snapped in 65 Real-Life Photos

Updated 12.1.14 with 65 Real-Life photos in SXL range-topping trim. We are really impressed by the complete transformation of the Sedona SXL for 2015. The new van wears a unique and fresh style that shares many design themes with the also-fresh 2016 Sorento. The result is not quite a full crossover conversion for the Sedona, but certainly moving toward the freshest style in the minivan segment. The coolest part of the new design for these eyes is the nose. The hood is slightly taller and the grille far more upright than most minivans, with the resulting style quite evident from …

Read more 2015 Kia Sedona SXL Snapped in 65 Real-Life Photos

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2016 Kia Sorento SXL Adds Quad-LED Fogs for LA Debut

Updated 11.25.14   The updated Sorento is likely to arrive in the US market some time in the spring of calendar 2015 as a 2016 model. The 2015 Sorento is already available at dealers, which is why we speculate about the 2016 model year. Kia calls this the third-gen Sorento, as Europe is less concerned with model years than we are in the USA. Overall, the styling update is a big success. It is paired with a new refinement on the road, an all-new cabin, and a much larger third row of seats than before. The design upgrade really helps …

Read more 2016 Kia Sorento SXL Adds Quad-LED Fogs for LA Debut

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2016 Kia Sorento X-Men Custom For Wolverine at Australian Open!

Kia’s new X-car Sorento for the X-men will bring out the inner comic book nerd in all of us. Set to attend the Australian Open in Jabuary, the Sorento X-Men model ties in with the blu-ray release of the latest film in Australia. The 2016 Sorento just made its US debut in LA – stay tuned for details in a different article. Pretty cool – but not sure if it would pass pedestrian safety regulatory approval with those adamantium blades on each side of the nose… =] 2016 Kia Sorento X-Men ‘X-Men’ inspired Kia Sorento to debut at the Australian …

Read more 2016 Kia Sorento X-Men Custom For Wolverine at Australian Open!

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Are The Kia SEMA 2014 K900 Trunk-Mounted Twin Turbos Fake?

  Update1 11.4.14 We have to be honest here: these concepts are not doing it for us. Despite Kia’s Optima GT actually winning its racing series this year, the latest SEMA concepts from Kia just have a resounding suckiness. The K900 upgrade is the most performance-oriented, but the car seems beyond hope. Without icecream desserts at the booth, we worry that the Kia stand at SEMA would be totally deserted. A resounding “meh.” Why push performance when 2015 Kia road cars drive like salvage-title 1998 Tauruses? It is just not authentic or convincing in the least. Sorry to be a …

Read more Are The Kia SEMA 2014 K900 Trunk-Mounted Twin Turbos Fake?

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Concept to Reality – 2011 Kia GT Was Stunning; Too Bad About The K900

Looking over the details of the gorgeous 2011 Frankfurt concept from Kia, the GT, really triggers frustration. Sure, some of these ideas like the C-pillar and roof accent made it into the latest Optima — but the most desirable rear-drive nature was lost on that front-drive model. Lost forever? One would think — until the K900 flagship debuted this year with pricing from $60,000, rear-drive, and a V8 engine. But where the GT concept is artful in its form, the K900 is a blob of vaguely-melted shapes, like a plus-size model who is not afraid to show some skin. The …

Read more Concept to Reality – 2011 Kia GT Was Stunning; Too Bad About The K900

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Kia SEMA 2014 Preview – K900, Soul and Sedona “Day At The Races”

  Kia just rolled out its latest SEMA concept car – and it is clearly the best yet. A K900 called the “Day at the Races,” it promises a huge upgrade in style as well as performance. Big brakes, a deep body kit and a massive intercooler appear in this teaser photos. So will this be the holy grail? A turbocharged V8? Stay tuned for more details as they become available. Overall, the K900 needs all the halo it can get. Sales have been extremely lackluster in the first six months. This is in sharp contrast to the new Hyundai …

Read more Kia SEMA 2014 Preview – K900, Soul and Sedona “Day At The Races”

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70 New Photos! 2016 Kia Sorento Debuts in Paris With Jaguar-Baiting Style at Ford Prices

Updated 9.29.14 with 70 official (Euro-spec) 2016 Sorento photos!   The updated Sorento is likely to arrive in the US market some time in the spring of calendar 2015 as a 2016 model. The 2015 Sorento is already available at dealers, which is why we speculate about the 2016 model year. Kia calls this the third-gen Sorento, as Europe is less concerned with model years than we are in the USA. Overall, the styling update is a big success. It is paired with a new refinement on the road, an all-new cabin, and a much larger third row of seats …

Read more 70 New Photos! 2016 Kia Sorento Debuts in Paris With Jaguar-Baiting Style at Ford Prices

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2013 Kia CUB Concept Is Retro-Futurist Hatch With Surfacing and Stance To Best Even MINI Cooper

  Here is a real charmer of a concept – one that shows what the aesthetic of the Soul might look like in a traditional five-door hatchback. The retro portion of the design is in the low hood and steep windshield glass, while the futurist element comes with the lack of gaudy chrome detailing or a big grille up front. Rounding takes over in the front corner vents and the smooth flow of the rear canopy and hatch region. A shark-fin element appears in three-dimensional relief in the front door panel, while the rear glass incorporates a CHMSL LED as …

Read more 2013 Kia CUB Concept Is Retro-Futurist Hatch With Surfacing and Stance To Best Even MINI Cooper

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2013 Kia Niro Concept Packs Gullwing Doors, Brushed-Alloy Finishes and Quad-Beam LEDs

The Kia Niro concept from 2013 uses almost every youthful design trick in the book — but falls flat to these eyes. Dark wheels, blushed-alloy surfaces, a coupe bodystyle, and quad-beam LEDs all say ‘hip’ and ‘sexy’ sub-Sportage crossover. But what is going on with the blob-like nose, obese hood bulges and minivan windshield angle? Ick! 2013 Kia Niro

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2012 Kia Trackster Concept Is Widebody Soul Coupe with 250HP

Since driving a Kia Soul around Monterey Bay in August for the concours week, we have a real fondness for this boxy profile. The car is a real joy on the roads – with perky handling and a zingy engine and autobox combo that is far more fun than any econobox in its segment. Lively handling was a huge part of that fun, along with a great road view and headroom to spare. This 2012 Trackster concept takes care of some of that space with a roof chop, a bump in horsepower up to 250, and a widebody coupe conversion …

Read more 2012 Kia Trackster Concept Is Widebody Soul Coupe with 250HP

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Updated With First Official Photos – 2016 Kia Sorento Paris Preview

Updated 8.10.14 with three official (Euro-spec) 2016 Sorento photos   Kia reveals first official photos of third generation Sorento First photos of the all-new Kia Sorento released today confirm that the third generation of the popular SUV will feature a new look, with bold, swept-back styling and sophisticated surface detailing. Longer, lower and wider, with an extended wheelbase, the new Sorento builds on the success of the outgoing model, delivering a premium look and feel, with more space and numerous innovative features. With the brand’s hallmark design features and a more mature appearance, the new model is instantly recognizable as …

Read more Updated With First Official Photos – 2016 Kia Sorento Paris Preview

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2015 Kia Sedona Becomes Seriously Competitive With Lux Style, Tech and Comfy Cabin Space

Among savvy families and van-experts, the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey have been the go-to choices for at least the past decade. The comfort, road manners, interior quality and exterior style shaded the dated and extremely un-refined Chrysler and Dodge options.  The previous Kia Sedona carried premium styling but a wretched cabin, dynamics, feature-set and performance versus the top-two players. Kia is looking to leapfrog up to the top of the class with this very handsome and premium 2015 Sedona. Value pricing will certainly be a part of the equation with low-$20s base prices. But the top end of the …

Read more 2015 Kia Sedona Becomes Seriously Competitive With Lux Style, Tech and Comfy Cabin Space

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2016 Kia Sorento Paris Preview Shows Deeply Sexy New Design, With Elements of K900 Flagship to Nose

INTRO CAVEAT: All these hopefuly statements are moot. Why? Kia is still furious with your humble scribe for what he said about the current Sorento’s woeful steering.   The Kia Sorento has the makings of a great SUV – but needs a few extra tweaks to really get to the same levels as its Hyundai Sante Fe cousin. Those changes required include a fresher and more appealing exterior style, some dynamic tweaks, and a sportier cabin and driving position. 2014 Kia Sorento SX-L Kia looks set to address all three of these needs in one fell swoop for the all-new …

Read more 2016 Kia Sorento Paris Preview Shows Deeply Sexy New Design, With Elements of K900 Flagship to Nose

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2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Updated With New Grille, LEDs Front and Rear – Specs, Features and Pricing

The Kia Optima is a run-away success for the brand: since its latest design debuted, sales of the model are nearly double what the nameplate has ever achieved before. To keep this momentum and address buyer priorities, the Hybrid model has rounded out the base and turbo engine options. For the current model-year, the Hybrid brings a few updates both outside and in. The LED accents in the nose are a Hybrid exclusive, as are the lower double fog-lamp elements. These are not nearly as cool as the quad-LED setup in the SX-L trim, but are still pretty nice elements …

Read more 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Updated With New Grille, LEDs Front and Rear – Specs, Features and Pricing

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Road Test Review – 2014 KIA Soul Exclaim is Funky/Practical – With A Dash Of Cool and Calm

Written by Special Contributor Ken Glassman   When the Kia Soul first came out in 2010, I was fairly ambivalent about their boxy little Tonka Toy. It was an efficient use of interior space and a ho-hum performing little econobox. But for 2014 the Soul has been re-done and greatly improved. And model I tested was the Soul !. (the exclamation point after Soul is designated as the “Exclaim” trim level – the most upscale model they offer.) The Soul + (called the “Plus” trim level sits in the middle above the Base model) And this 2014 Exclaim model has …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 KIA Soul Exclaim is Funky/Practical – With A Dash Of Cool and Calm

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1963 JAGUAR E-Type Series 1 Classes Up Kiawah Island Cars and Coffee

Classes up? Kiawah is already pretty darn fancy, including this faux village of a town square. The mini town is dubbed Fresh Fields, by the way, in charming faux-thenti-city. But the presence of any genuine Jaguar E-Type Series I instantly adds charm to any venue. Even when painted a color I dubbed “Swedish Racing Purple.” No, it does not make sense. Yes, this English charmer is painted what is claimed to be a factory color. But still, this deep lilac metallic pearl (?) is pretty far from the dark greens that most E-Types wore out the factory doors… 1963 JAGUAR …

Read more 1963 JAGUAR E-Type Series 1 Classes Up Kiawah Island Cars and Coffee

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2015 Kia K900 Potential Revealed in Flesh: LED Low, High and Brake Lighting Photos

2015 Kia K900 LED Lighting Photos   We are in major fence-mending mode at the moment with Kia after learning the extremely displeased reaction the company has had to some of the previus coverage written on this keyboard. A thoughtful and well-prepared brief on the K900 luxury sedan accompanied part of last week’s big rally at Road America – and it does make one believe that there is a market for this car, albeit small. The K900 will appeal to self-made men and women of all stripes. They will be successful and define success based on their own metrics, less …

Read more 2015 Kia K900 Potential Revealed in Flesh: LED Low, High and Brake Lighting Photos

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Rare Ragtops – A Pair of Lotus Elans Graced Kiawah Island, SC Cars and Coffee Today

A few fun facts about the very-rare Lotus Elan series three, of which less than 600 total were ever imported to the United States: — it was designed by Peter Stevens, who later designed the McLaren F1 — the turbo-charged engine and super-wide layout of the chassis gave the Elan much more speed on tracks and in corners than its MX-5 contemporary But prices nearly double the MX-5 meant the Elan was doomed to a niche fate in many core markets. As much as the badge appealed, the front-drive layout was hard to admire when Mazda had just proven beyond …

Read more Rare Ragtops – A Pair of Lotus Elans Graced Kiawah Island, SC Cars and Coffee Today

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DRIVEN REVIEW: 2014 Kia Sorento SX-L Feels Lux Inside, But Steering Is Very Unusual

Orig Published on: Dec 4, 2013 @ 10:18 My Snow White Kia Sorento SX-L loaner from the other week has been very perplexing. On the one hand, I was downright smitten with the interior quality and materials. As my first press loan from Kia, I started the week very eager to impress the company’s California-based team as well as the executive bosses at HQ in Korea.   But my time with the Sorento was not a love-fest. With recent driving impressions of the very impressive Ford Explorer Sport and Nissan Pathfinder 4×4 Platinum, the Sorento had competition in the seven-seat …

Read more DRIVEN REVIEW: 2014 Kia Sorento SX-L Feels Lux Inside, But Steering Is Very Unusual

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Update1 – 2015 Kia Sedona, Is That You? KIA Previews NY Debut of Sharp New Van

KIA just send out a curious teaser — but we have a strong hunch this is the next Sedona van! That, or a swanky crossover with sliding doors? That seemed silly to type, but why do no SUV models have sliding rear doors?     The nose design looks to closely mirror the very handsome Sportage. All will be revealed in a few weeks.   KIA 2014 NYIAS TEASER Kia will unveil an all-new midsize multi-purpose vehicle at the 2014 New York International Auto Show in two weeks. This global debut will challenge the segment and will offer the functionality …

Read more Update1 – 2015 Kia Sedona, Is That You? KIA Previews NY Debut of Sharp New Van

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BOX SOCIAL: New 2014 Kia Soul Takes On Scion xB, xD and Nissan Cube

The Scion xB brought a series of updates for 2013, including LED running lights up front and LED brake lights out back. The Kia Soul is also new for 2014, but to call this all-new is a bit far-fetched. It is refreshed — but where it counts. The LED brake lights are really cool at night, on the highway, from behind. This should be a simple article to write: xB has a $17,500 base price and one engine, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 158 horsepower. This boxy shape is still pretty useful and popular – see the all-new 2014 Kia Soul’s …

Read more BOX SOCIAL: New 2014 Kia Soul Takes On Scion xB, xD and Nissan Cube

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KIA GT4 STINGER Concept — Track Thrills — RWD Layout — 315HP Turbo — Lightweight Aero Shell

This KIA GT4 Stinger Concept headline took many tries to get right! Here are the key details: – Superlightweight and low proportions – Rear-drive, 315-horsepower turbo 2.0-liter – Sleek shape with black-frame glasshouse and very sexy nose – Concept. – Subaru BR-Z dynamics we all want – But far more speed: 115 extra horsepower versus 2.0-liter atmospheric boxer in BR-Z I like the styling from most angles, and think it will be extremely cool in black. THe rear end seems a bit too streamlined for my tastes, but does have a big hatchback cargo area versus the BRZ’s tiny, tiny …

Read more KIA GT4 STINGER Concept — Track Thrills — RWD Layout — 315HP Turbo — Lightweight Aero Shell

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Update1 – Teaser Images Only – KIA GT4 Stinger Coupe to Pack 315HP Turbo

Update1: This article has been updated to remove some amateur renderings of the rear-drive coupe ahead of its show debut today. The real thing looks AMAZING! Kia is building buzz around the debut of its first RWD performance coupe with a new teaser image and an official name: the GT4 Stinger. That is an aggressive badge, and one that leaves room for this car to compete with the Ford Mustang or Subaru BRZ at one end, or perhaps even the BMW M6 on the top end. The Stinger GT4 is more likely to hit the market with a $32,000 price …

Read more Update1 – Teaser Images Only – KIA GT4 Stinger Coupe to Pack 315HP Turbo

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Update1 – Teaser Images Only – KIA GT4 Stinger Coupe to Pack 315HP Turbo

Update1: This article has been updated to remove some amateur renderings of the rear-drive coupe ahead of its show debut today. The real thing looks AMAZING! Kia is building buzz around the debut of its first RWD performance coupe with a new teaser image and an official name: the GT4 Stinger. That is an aggressive badge, and one that leaves room for this car to compete with the Ford Mustang or Subaru BRZ at one end, or perhaps even the BMW M6 on the top end. The Stinger GT4 is more likely to hit the market with a $32,000 price …

Read more Update1 – Teaser Images Only – KIA GT4 Stinger Coupe to Pack 315HP Turbo

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2014 Kia Forte Koup Spooling Up! New Turbo Power for Slinky 2-Door

The bright red Kia Forte Koup is new for 2014 – and just started arriving in dealers this week. What is so new about this Forte? Well, it now brings all the latest style and tech from its Forte5 and Forte sedan siblings – just in a far cooler profile. Along with its standard LED accents up front, the $2,000 turbo SX trim option brings LED lights for the lower fogs and brake lights as well. The opening price for the Forte Koup is $18,600 with a six-speed manual and the base 2.4-liter engine making 173 horsepower. From $20,600, the …

Read more 2014 Kia Forte Koup Spooling Up! New Turbo Power for Slinky 2-Door

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New Kia Soul Scores on LED Coolness – A Hookah Bar on Wheels!

The 2014 Kia Soul is hugely revised for 2014, with helpful updates throughout to enhance comfort and style. Many people do not understand these boxy compacts. Allow me to illustrate the ideal target market: teens whose nights out might include much more “cruising around” than actual destinations. For these aimless but high-mile young drivers: an upright seating position, thumping audio, and fresh style are the key buying metrics. Pace? Not really mandatory. A multi-hose hookah pipe might be a popular option, if offered, however… or would have been with my pals back in the day. With pricing from just $15,000, …

Read more New Kia Soul Scores on LED Coolness – A Hookah Bar on Wheels!

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2015 Kia K900 Revealed in RWD V6 and V8 Options, But Looks Dreadful Inside and Out

Kia has been signalling its upmarket intentions for years now, and is really acting on that ambition in a pretty remarkable way. The upcoming flagship Kia K900 is not priced yet, but is set to arrive in spring 2014 across the U.S. with rear-drive and the choice between a 310-horsepower V6 engine or the 5.0-liter V8 from the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec. But what is Kia’s real ambition in the executive limo market? The company is realistic about the challenges in luring conquest sales from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. The K900 is a long-term vision for the company, asserted with …

Read more 2015 Kia K900 Revealed in RWD V6 and V8 Options, But Looks Dreadful Inside and Out

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KIA Launches All-New Kia.com – With Help Of Brilliant Denuo Digital Brains

KIA Launches All-New Kia.com – With Help Of Brilliant Denuo Ad Agency The race to have the best consumer-facing car manufacturer website is really heating up toward the close of 2013. The combination of new shopping habits among car shoppers, far better graphics and personalization options online, and the old classic – hating any car showroom experience. As GM runs trials with a few all-star dealers on an online ordering process for private shoppers, Kia is also upping its game dramatically. Kia.com is all-new today, with a far more simplified and relaxing layout than any other OEM website we can …

Read more KIA Launches All-New Kia.com – With Help Of Brilliant Denuo Digital Brains

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2014 Kia Sorento SX-L – Inside and Out – 86 High-Res Press Loaner Photos

Press Loaner Photo Gallery – 2014 Kia Sorento SX-L in Snow White Metallic Same situation… great pics, but review is still a week away from being complete. Please enjoy these until then! 2014 Kia Sorento SX-L – Exterior Gallery   2014 Kia Sorento SX-L – Interior Gallery

Road Test Review – 2021 Genesis GV80 Prestige – The Budget Bentley Of Your Dreams?

The Bentley Benntayga is easily considered by many to be one of the pinnacle entries in the luxury SUV segment. Besides its sky-high price tag, the Bentayga also brings world-class luxury and performance to buyers. But what if your someone that wants some of the good life, but you don’t have the checkbook to bring home a Bentley? Genesis thinks it might have just the thing for the budget-conscious luxury SUV buyer with the Genesis GV80 but is it really a good budget alternative for luxury buyers looking to get the best of the high life?   GV80 Shares Family …

Read more Road Test Review – 2021 Genesis GV80 Prestige – The Budget Bentley Of Your Dreams?

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy Review by Ben Lewis

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

Read more 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy Review by Ben Lewis

Volkswagen Releases Official Pricing For 2022 Taos, Starts At $24,190

The compact SUV market is exploding in popularity right now, with many new entries emerging on the scene to tale their respective slice of the broader sales pie. Volkswagen is poised to make a surgical strike on the segment with the 2022 Taos. While it has been a while since its unveiling, Volkswagen has formally revealed pricing for the Taos, and it’s clear that it’s aiming to put the squeeze on some of its rivals.   Making A Name For Itself The 2022 Taos is replacing the Golf lineup here in the U.S. (enthusiasts can still buy the GTI and …

Read more Volkswagen Releases Official Pricing For 2022 Taos, Starts At $24,190

2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec Review by Ben Lewis

Here’s a term: Brand-lag – when a manufacturer is making big strides, but it takes a while for the word to get out. A perfect example, we recently tested the Kia K5, loved it recommended it to friends, and were surprised to hear “Hyundai and Kia? Oh, I wouldn’t get near one of those.” Where you been the last few years? Their new stuff is great. Acura is sort of in the same boat.  In the last few years though, Acura has really stepped up their game – we enjoyed the little ILX sedan, the sporty new RDX, and the …

Read more 2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD A-Spec Review by Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum – The Perfect Hybrid Minivan?

The Toyota Sienna was in a bit of a pickle before it was redesigned for 2021. It was a capable minivan, but it suffered from having frumpy exterior styling, forgettable performance hardware, and rapidly aging interior technology. Toyota is out to change that for 2021 and has unveiled an all-new Sienna that aims to draw more attention to itself and bring it closer to traditional SUVs. We’ll understand if you’re still trying to process the latter item. Still, with the recently launched Kia Carnival embracing its SUV side, it’s apparent that this is rapidly becoming a new sales trend in …

Read more Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum – The Perfect Hybrid Minivan?

Road Test Review – 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium – What’s In A Name?

When Ford first announced that it was creating an electrified version of the Ford Mustang, the world held its breath, waiting to see what Ford had up its sleeve. What ensued was perhaps one of the most controversial and yet hotly-anticipated unveilings ever, with the 2021 Mach-E appearing as a futuristic all-electric CUV. This, in turn, started a fierce debate over whether it could indeed be considered a true Mustang and whether the Mach-E was riding on the credibility of a legendary muscle car to achieve its aims. The Mach-E’s stay here in the office proved to be a very …

Read more Road Test Review – 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium – What’s In A Name?

Road Test Review – 2021 Genesis G80 Prestige – Can It Finally Dethrone The Germans?

The very notion of Korean design might seem like an established lexicon of premium fashion, but it wasn’t too long ago that it once was relegated to the background. That was also the case with Hyundai and Kia (Genesis was not a brand yet), with both brands being content with making budget-friendly but very plain automotive entries. But fast forward to 2021, and the scales have completely flipped. Genesis is rapidly becoming the lovable new kid in the luxury car landscape. K-Pop music is hot on the U.S. music charts, and Hyundai and Kia have made massive strides in design …

Read more Road Test Review – 2021 Genesis G80 Prestige – Can It Finally Dethrone The Germans?

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL Review by Ben Lewis

Everyone loves a good success story, and you’d certainly be hard pressed to find a better one than Hyundai. Back in 1986 the Korean maker came to the US with the Excel with an extremely durable yet otherwise forgettable Excel sedan. But much like the Japanese carmakers in the late 50’s and early 60’s, Hyundai paid its dues, worked hard, and constantly improved its products to become what it is today – a top brand, with a wide variety of vehicles, three brands (Kia and Genesis also part of the fam), and as we’ve said in many recent reviews, the …

Read more 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL Review by Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2021 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid – Eco Warrior Brings Sportiness To Fuel Saving Mission

When the current generation Toyota Camry first arrived on the scene, the Japanese auto giant promised to bring fun back into the Camry’s bag of tricks. The Camry TRD that we tested a short while back on the west coast proved that the Camry had a wild side to exploit. But what if you’re an enthusiast that wants the sporty looks but without giving up the impressive fuel economy that Toyota’s hybrid lineup is known for? The company has heard your requests and has created the all-new 2021 Camry XSE Hybrid. But is it truly the best of both worlds? …

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2020 Mazda CX-9

Road Test Review – 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature – The Ultimate Signature of Luxury?

In a world where many CUVs appear to have been crafted out of soulless toasters and dryers, the 2020 Mazda CX-9 has emerged as a very vibrant exception to the rule. The exterior styling looks like it was lifted from a sports car, and the interior blurs the line between mainstream and luxury. But in a segment where the pool is rapidly becoming a very crowded place, Mazda’s biggest utility offering needs to be sharper than ever. But does it succeed in drawing attention to itself? Or does it miss the mark in other regards?   Sultry Exterior Styling Makes …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature – The Ultimate Signature of Luxury?

Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Kona EV – Can Old Man Winter Damper This Electrified CUV?

The change of the seasons can be a make or break time for certain automobiles. In the case of EVs, this dilemma plays out when it comes to battery capacity, with the extreme heat of summer and winter’s icy cold grip having their respective effects on battery charge and driving range. When we last met the Hyundai Kona EV in Michigan, it was during the fall of 2018, with the state experiencing summer-like weather. Hyundai also limited our brief exposure to the area near its Hyundai America Technical Center (HATCI), which kept us from exploring the EVs day to day …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Kona EV – Can Old Man Winter Damper This Electrified CUV?

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

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

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

2021 Honda Pilot Black Edition by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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

2020 Genesis G70 Sport 2.0 T Road Test Review: Will We Miss The Manual Transmission?

The sport sedan segment has been one long dominated by benchmarks like the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class and even the Audi A4. Many attempts have been made to try and usurp this trio from their respective pedestals for years. Some have come very close to achieving that goal, while others promptly flamed out and settled for low sales numbers. The 2020 Genesis G70 is the latest contender to try and do the seemingly impossible task of toppling Germany’s finest. But can it channel its inner Sam Darnold and lead Genesis to a New York Jets worthy upset win? Or will …

Read more 2020 Genesis G70 Sport 2.0 T Road Test Review: Will We Miss The Manual Transmission?

2021 Honda Odyssey Elite by Ben Lewis

It’s always interesting to see what an Automaker does with a best-selling model. You want to keep things fresh and exciting, but you also don’t want to alienate the faithful, right? Such is the case with the Honda Odyssey minivan – America’s retail best-selling minivan for the past 10 years. It’s a great record. But do you mess with success, or play the conservative game? Let’s see what the 2021 Model Year brings for the popular Honda people mover. Fresh Face Well, the Odyssey was already quite a sporty looking vehicle, but that didn’t stop Honda from making it even …

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Hyundai reveals E-GMP platform, confirms that it will make its debut in the Ioniq 5

A key part of any electric vehicle is what lies underneath the skin with the platform playing a big part in its fuel saving mission. Many automakers have already released dedicated platforms for their offerings, and that includes Hyundai which took the covers off of its all new E-GMP platform and revealed that it will be the spearhead platform in the launch of the Ioniq sub-brand. The true sum of its parts In prior statements, Hyundai revealed that it plans to unleash no less than 23 different electrified models by 2025. That’s a very ambitious target, and hitting this proverbial …

Read more Hyundai reveals E-GMP platform, confirms that it will make its debut in the Ioniq 5

2020 Mazda CX-30 Off-Road Drive Review By Matt Barnes

Mazda is unique in the automotive world, as it doesn’t report to a parent company. Mazda has a proven record of making reliable and fun to drive vehicles. They have once again delivered with the all new CX-30. Exterior From the outside the CX-30 looks very similar to the Mazda 3 hatchback. Upon closer inspection it becomes clearer that these two are quite different. The CX-30 is about 5-inches taller than the 3 with an additional 2.5-inches of ground clearance. Interestingly enough the CX-30 is also shorter than the 3 by 2.5-inches and has a 3-inch shorter wheelbase. The exterior …

Read more 2020 Mazda CX-30 Off-Road Drive Review By Matt Barnes

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD

If I say name the fastest 4-door Toyota right now, with over 300 hp and 0-60 under 6 seconds what would you say? Camry TRD? Avalon? Nope. It’s the Toyota RAV4 Prime. Wait a sec. The friendly and familiar RAV4 SUV? A performance vehicle? Yep, and then some. Toyota has been on a roll lately, and they’ve making fun to drive a big part of their new direction as a brand. Camry, Corolla, Supra, heck, even the Highlander is a lot more fun than it used to be. And where hybrids used to be just for super-efficiency, Toyota is showing …

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Buick grows Encore range with larger Encore GX, can it fill sales niches for luxury brand?

Buick is now an all SUV brand. With the demise of the Regal and the slow selling Cascada convertible, the venerable luxury marque has now betted all of its chips on SUV and CUV models. A key part of this strategy is to do what rivals are doing, and try to find new niches or holes in the lineup to fill. In this instance, Buick had an opportunity to fill a hole in between the smaller Encore and the Envision models with the all new Encore GX. This model promises more luxury, capability, and the compact size that buyers still …

Read more Buick grows Encore range with larger Encore GX, can it fill sales niches for luxury brand?

1979 Porsche 935 - Gooding Amelia 20197

Insider: 11 Car Maintenance Checks You Should Never Do By Yourself

Knowing how to perform essential maintenance jobs on your car, like replacing your oil and air filter, can save you hundreds of dollars. Do you have access to the right tools or a work area? With good knowledge and skill in vehicle fixes, you are all set up to cut down your car maintenance cost. However, there are some complicated vehicle fixes you should trust the professionals with instead of fixing them yourself.  With the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributing 20% of road accidents to poor car maintenance practices, it is crucial to check your vehicle regularly. While …

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2020 Buick Encore GX Essence FWD by Ben Lewis

Have you ever been at a pizza place and seen something called “The Meat Lover’s Pizza”? Or a place that has “The Veggie Lover’s” sandwich? It’s called specialization – and why should food have all the fun. Introducing the all-new 2020 Buick Encore GX – we call it “The Tech Lover’s Buick. Stylish SUV Before we go any further, we need to point out that the Encore GX is not related to the previous Buick Encore, which is still available – small, fun, funky, and frankly one of our favorite small SUVs. But between the much larger Enclave and Envision …

Read more 2020 Buick Encore GX Essence FWD by Ben Lewis

2020 Hyundai Ioniq HEV Limited by Ben Lewis

It’s interesting how popular hybrids are these days. Historically, gas is relatively cheap, and with the pandemic, lots of people are driving less. Seems like a good excuse to get something crazy like the 485-horsepower Dodge Charger Scat Pack we recently tested. But no, being frugal, and eco-friendly seem to be trends that are not going away. So, we decided to test one of our favorite hybrid vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq. And although the Korean carmaker was later to the market with this kind of vehicle, it has quickly become a major challenge to the Toyota Prius. Let’s see why. …

Read more 2020 Hyundai Ioniq HEV Limited by Ben Lewis

2020 Genesis G70 Sport RWD V6TT – Road Test Review + Drive Video

Every midsize premium sport sedan thinks it can dethrone the 3 series.   Beat BMW at their own game with the best engineering they can muster to make a relatively practical four-door sedan as playful and fun as the best sport coupes in the world. The 3 series might be king of the comparison tests but in truth all sedans in this price and size category are also chasing another prize: the top-selling Tesla Model 3.  It comfortably outsells the Euro premium brand sedans this size – combined.   But electric performance and the blob-like design of the Model 3 mean it’s …

Read more 2020 Genesis G70 Sport RWD V6TT – Road Test Review + Drive Video

2020 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

For decades, Toyota has been known for having bland vehicle styling. To change that reputation, they have recently made an effort to modernize their vehicles and add exciting features to the body work. From the new Camry to the Tacoma, we’d say that it’s working. Continuing that trend, Toyota has updated the 2020 C-HR with a restyled front end, bold new colors, and attention-grabbing wheel designs. Toyota sent us a 2020 C-HR Limited trim to test for a week.   Exterior The most common colors on vehicles sold in the US today are white, black, and every shade of grey …

Read more 2020 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Venue: SEL

Small crossovers make up an increasingly large percent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. In fact during last year alone, one out of four vehicle sold in the U.S. was either a subcompact or compact crossover, which is a very vivid indicator of just how important the segment has become in the automotive world. Hyundai is no stranger when it comes to this key class of utility vehicles, with the Korean car giant already wielding two very potent entries in the form of the Kona and Tuscon. But the company realizes that there is still room to expand, and …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Venue: SEL

2020 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve 4WD by Ben Lewis

Now more than ever, our vehicles have become our sanctuaries. And if you’re like us, you think, why not make my sanctuary a big, luxurious, comfy and powerful one? Allow us to introduce the perfect place to hang out – the 2020 Nissan Armada. Armada Exterior –Big, Bold, Style One thing we like about Nissan is that they don’t just do the same vehicle in different sizes. A Rogue is not a small Pathfinder, an Altima is not just a mid-size Maxima. Everything has its own vibe. And that’s especially true with the Armada. All-new in 2018, the Armada hasn’t …

Read more 2020 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve 4WD by Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir – By Carl Malek

Buick is in a very interesting state of flux. Once known for having a vibrant car lineup, the brand is in the middle of a rapid transformation into a CUV and SUV focused brand. While new entries like the Encore GX and the refreshed Envision are helping Buick explore new niches in the utility segment, ultimately, the weight of the brand’s sales success rests with the Buick Enclave. This full-size hauler has the size and the luxury needed to be the perfect family truckster, with the model being a sales force for Buick since it first made its appearance back …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir – By Carl Malek

2020 Toyota C-HR Limited By Ben Lewis

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

Read more 2020 Toyota C-HR Limited By Ben Lewis

2020 Fiat 500x Sport by Ben Lewis

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

Read more 2020 Fiat 500x Sport by Ben Lewis

Hyundai Palisade Gains Uplevel Calligraphy and VIP Trims In Korea, Hopes For U.S. Arrival Uncertain

The Hyundai Palisade and its Kia badged cousin the Telluride are currently the two best three-row SUVs that money can buy. Both of them offer an impressive suite of standard equipment, styling, and a driving experience that could easily be mistaken for something that is worth twice as much. But while the Telluride has remained firmly entrenched in its role as a mainstream offering, the already luxurious Palisade has gained two new trim levels that up the game both in luxury and exclusivity. Dubbed the Calligraphy and VIP, these two trim levels are meant to show the world what would …

Read more Hyundai Palisade Gains Uplevel Calligraphy and VIP Trims In Korea, Hopes For U.S. Arrival Uncertain

2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Touring by Ben Lewis

If you love Honda, and want a full-on EV, there’s some bad news. You can’t get one. Honda has decided to discontinue the 100% Honda Clarity Electric. If you really want to be on the edge, there’s still the Hydrogen-powered model Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, but it’s a California-only model, and you’re really limited for fueling stations. But there’s good news, too. The Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid continues, and it’s one of our favorite PHEV’s as they’re known. In fact, you might love it, even if you have no interest in hybrids or EV’s at all! Honda Clarity Design – …

Read more 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Touring by Ben Lewis

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport by Ben Lewis

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

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Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota Yaris XLE Sedan – By Carl Malek

The Toyota Yaris has had a very interesting life, with twists and turns worthy of a Tom Clancy novel. Once unveiled as a port of the model lineup for the axed Scion brand, the little four door transitioned to the main Toyota roster where it was briefly sold alongside its cruder predecessor. This went on until it took over the Yaris nameplate a short while ago, and has continued its role as Toyota’s smallest sub-compact offering. When we last met it, it was a few years ago where we had the chance to pilot a manual transmission equipped model. But …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota Yaris XLE Sedan – By Carl Malek

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

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

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

2020 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new 2020 Kia Forte and came away impressed. It’s the latest of the new-class of fun-to-drive sedans that are taking the fight to the small crossover/SUV market. And one of the most exciting members of that new class is the VW Jetta GLI. For a long time, the GLI has been the hot-tach GTI’s poor relation – nice, and fun, but no GTI. Well, all that changed last year with the introduction of the new Jetta, which included a new GLI. And VW did enthusiasts a solid – giving us the same running gear of the …

Read more 2020 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn by Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited – By Carl Malek

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade has certainly all the right pieces to be a successful entry in the three row SUV segment. A good V6 engine is married to a proper three row platform, that also features an interior that straddles the line between mainstream and opulent luxury. But wheras its cousin the Kia Telluride has ridden a rocket of popularity in its quest to top the sales charts, the Palisade has played more of a supporting role, but does the Palisade do a good job of asserting its own distinctive identity? We were eager to find out.   Polarizing Design …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited – By Carl Malek

2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD by Ben Lewis

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

Read more 2020 Hyundai Kona Ultimate FWD by Ben Lewis

2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

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

Read more 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD by Ben Lewis

Product Review – Accell AxFast Level 2 Electric Vehicle Portable Charger – By Carl Malek

With electric vehicles rapidly becoming more of a presence in the lives of the American consumer, the quest to try and create products that can better necessitate the unique demands and challenges that EV ownership brings can be a very daunting task for companies. One of these firms trying to improve things for EV buyers is Accell. The California based company has made a name for themselves when it comes to creating portable electric charging products for buyers looking to bring EV charging wherever they go. The company kindly invited us to try one of their newest products the AxFast …

Read more Product Review – Accell AxFast Level 2 Electric Vehicle Portable Charger – By Carl Malek

North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year revealed. Motor Bella event announced

News Flash: The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year were announced this morning. Car: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Utility: 2020 Kia Telluride Truck: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Look at the world we live in, when a Jeep Wrangler variant can sell for more than a base Chevrolet Corvette and both win a Car of the Year award. https://naias.com/ Also announced was the new motoring event called Motor Bella. This event will showcase British and Italian cars. It is billed as a European Supercar street festival. And will take place Friday, June 5 – Monday, June 8. https://naias.com/news/festival-of-italian-and-british-supercars-brings-international-flair-to-2020-naias     …

Read more North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year revealed. Motor Bella event announced

2020 Hyundai Venue SE – Entry Level Quick-Take

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

Read more 2020 Hyundai Venue SE – Entry Level Quick-Take

2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL FWD Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new Kia Telluride, and came away mightily impressed. So, we couldn’t wait to try its sibling, the Hyundai Palisade. We were surprised in a couple ways. They’re very different, and yet both deserve your consideration. And Hyundai’s flagship SUV even has a surprising accent. (Not to be confused with the Hyundai Accent) Swedish Fish Many times we’ve pointed out that Kia design feels very European, thanks in part to putting Peter Schreyer the head of Audi design in charge. Hyundai has never felt that way, until now. Well, except for the front. Here we have a …

Read more 2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL FWD Review by Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Nexo Blue – By Carl Malek

Hyundai is on a roll when it comes to hydrogen. A key player in a green segment that is still attached to the hip of EV and PHEV vehicles. Hyundai still sees tremendous potential in hydrogen as a viable alternative fuel source. The company has had a long running program in California, and even recently unveiled a hydrogen powered semi truck concept. But, the Korean car giant still needed a viable platform to test its hydrogen technology, and it has unleashed the latest chapter in its green exploits, the 2019 Hyundai Nexo, but is the Nexo the next key chapter …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Nexo Blue – By Carl Malek

2019 Honda Civic 1.5T 2dr Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Love at first sight. Okay, not at first sight. The Honda Civic coupe has been around for a while now, but there’s something special about our tester that keeps us coming back for more. And we have an idea why. It starts with choosing the right Civic We have tested a wide range of Civics, and being enthusiasts, we’ve gravitated to the hi-po models like the Civic Type R, the Civic Si and the grins-for-the-buck Civic Sport.  The first thing we noticed, they’re all 4-doors. And in the case of the Type R (or CTR for those in the know) …

Read more 2019 Honda Civic 1.5T 2dr Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid Review by Ben Lewis

Subaru loves to go their own way. That’s one of the things we love about them. We recently tested the WRX – a powerful sports sedan with rally-car DNA. The new Forester, a crossover with that same feel of something a little different from the mainstream. Need a 3-row SUV? You can get the Ascent, and enjoy that Subaru goodness in a larger package. It takes real engineering talent to stay true to your school (cue Beach Boys), and still meet, compete, and beat other vehicles in your segment. So, now we have the all-new Crosstrek Hybrid – the company’s …

Read more 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid Review by Ben Lewis

2019 Nissan Maxima SR – Road Test Review + Drive Video

Have you ever seen a sexier facelift?  This term for a vehicle’s mid-cycle refresh is usually a bit of a put-down but in Maxima’s case it takes a sexy silhouette and gives it the nose and tail the design always deserved. It is enough to make folks do a double take on the road and that is quite surprising for such a popular mainstream model. Maxima’s 2019 upgrade and also 2020 tweaks to the range update the machine very nicely — and not a moment too soon in the face of impressive new competition from the Kia Stinger, the ever-popular …

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2019 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport Review by Ben Lewis

We used to go to a movie theater that had catchy phrases on the popcorn containers. On the largest size was the especially memorable: BIG IS MORE. Well, there’s no arguing that in popcorn. Or full-size SUV’s. Which brings us to the 2019 Toyota Sequoia. If an SUV ever deserved that motto on the side, this would be it. But there’s plenty to talk about outside of the big and tall dimensions. Big is Beautiful The 2019 Sequoia is a good-looking beast. Unlike the new RAV4 (that we loved) that’s dressed up to look rugged, the big Toy bowls you …

Read more 2019 Toyota Sequoia TRD Sport Review by Ben Lewis

2020 Hyundai Palisade – Road Test Review + POV Video in All Seats

Our first outing the the Palisade was up at the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC and the surrounding mountains.  As you can read and watch, we hauled our butts up a mountain then did some off-roading in a mad caravan of Palisades.  We looked like a villain’s entourage with so many black luxury SUVs in convoy form! This follow-up was much more down to earth.  When the villains go home for the weekend, perhaps, and take on normal parenting and lifestyle duties. This involved a boring commute in traffic, jaunts around town running errands and lots of everyday life …

Read more 2020 Hyundai Palisade – Road Test Review + POV Video in All Seats

Road Test Followup – 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate By Carl Malek

When we last met the Hyundai Kona, it was in Detroit where we got to briefly experience its charms on various roads in the Metro Detroit area (as well as run into Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond of Top Gear and Grand Tour fame). Our brush with the stars aside, the Kona delivered a good first impression, thanks to its compact size, as well as the sheer amount of standard equipment that is infused into every Kona. The Kona even took its act to the green car market, where the Kona EV has been making waves since it …

Read more Road Test Followup – 2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate By Carl Malek

2019 VW Arteon SEL 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all new Nissan Altima, and came away impressed and hopeful for the fate of the 4-door sedan. Yes, the Crossover/SUV is the new King, but there still seems to be plenty of room in the royal family for a sedan. And for a lot of manufacturers – especially luxury brands – there still needs to be a halo sedan. Enter the VW Arteon. Replacing the VW CC, which was a stylish version of the Passat Sedan, the Arteon, is bigger, more stylish and more expensive. So our question – Is VW’s new flagship a dreamboat, or …

Read more 2019 VW Arteon SEL 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2019 Honda Civic Touring – By Carl Malek

Honda has a lot riding on the shoulders of the 2020 Civic sedan and hatchback. While the Civic still commands a sizable chunk of sales in the compact car market, it’s no secret that the nameplate has felt the pressure in recent years from a resurgence in CUV and SUV demand in the U.S. While the Civic Si and the range topping Type R have helped the Civic bolster its impressive performance credentials, the mainstream Civic has had to use a completely different set of skills to help it maintain its lofty position in Honda’s broader sales pie. The 10th …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Honda Civic Touring – By Carl Malek

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

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

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

2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

What’s the purpose of owning a car besides just transportation? Sure, you need to be able to scoot around town, commute and take the occasional road trip. But beyond that, the real joy of car ownership is the entertainment value. Having a car you love to drive, and one that makes you smile every time you tap the start button, is one of the true joys in this life for some of us. Over the course of 2019 there is no car that has elicited more howling laughter in my hands than this Veloster N. Here we have Hyundai’s first …

Read more 2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport M/T – By Carl Malek

The battle in the compact sport sedan segment is still heating up despite the rapid ascent of compact crossovers, and the slow introduction of their equally spicy performance variants. While the Honda Civic Si, Volkswagen GLI, and the Subaru WRX have become the established players when it comes to delivering bargain focused performance to selective enthusiasts. An alternative choice that has always been considered the outsider looking in is the venerable Elantra Sport. Hyundai has recently been kickstarting its attempts at being a relevant player in this shrinking but still viable segment. This is thanks mainly to the Veloster and …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport M/T – By Carl Malek

2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS Review by Ben Lewis

Ok, first things first. We promise not to make any “Turning over a new LEAF” jokes. Which isn’t to say that’s not what the new LEAF Plus is, because the Plus trim gives the LEAF the full EV credentials it needs to compete in today’s marketplace. Which is important, because since its introduction in 2010, it has been the best-selling electric vehicle in the world. And Nissan would like to keep it that way. An all-new LEAF was introduced for the 2018 model year, and when we tested it, we came away impressed – loads of tech, fun to drive, …

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

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

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

2019 Toyota Prius Limited – Review by Ben Lewis

It’s tough being at the top. Take the Prius for example. I mean, it pretty much invented the hybrid category. And it bore the brunt of a lot criticism early on. But it emerged. Not only unscathed, but look at how many Hybrid models are for sale now. Toyota alone offers a Camry, Corolla, Avalon, RAV4, Highlander, Prius, Prius Prime and Prius C models. All Hybrids! That’s quite a lineup, and as the pater familias (father of the family) of this clan of efficiency, Toyota has to make sure that it stays relevant and attractive. So, for 2019, The Prius …

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

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

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

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Review By Ben Lewis

Toyota has found their mojo. The new Camry is awesome. The Hybrid version, is too. The Corolla Hatch? Desirable and fun. Even the Avalon is sexy now. Yes, the Avalon. But it’s the SUVs and Crossovers that are make or break for manufacturers. And since the RAV4 pretty much invented the small car-based SUV 22 years ago, it’s been a big hit. In fact, Toyota says the RAV4 is not only the best-selling vehicle in its class, it’s the best-selling non-pickup in the country. That would make a lot of manufacturers cautious, careful and conservative. Don’t rock that money boat! …

Read more 2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Review By Ben Lewis

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

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

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Road Test Review – 2019 Toyta Avalon Limited Hybrid- By Carl Malek

When it comes to big sedans, few can come close to matching the unique arsenal of traits that the venerable Toyota Avalon brings to the table. Focusing on providing comfort and borderline luxury to its owners, the Avalon is a key name in the large sedan segment. But with schools of CUV and SUV models circling this iconic segment like sharks, the Avalon faces turbulent waters in its quest to remain true to its virtues. Despite this (as well as the success of its own utility offerings) Toyota is still keen to be a key player in the sedan segment, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Toyta Avalon Limited Hybrid- By Carl Malek

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

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

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

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We just spent another week in Kona, and although we’re not tan, we can’t wait to go back. This is our second visit – after our first trip, we came back singing praises for its Island Style, the strong performance, and loads of equipment for the buck. And in many ways the Kona EV is even better. Slicker and Sleeker We loved the regular Kona’s style, and it had a tough, aggressive vibe to it. For the EV, Hyundai has decided to go a little more futuristic, a little more upscale. It starts with the grille. Well, it’s a grille …

Read more 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis