2021 Lexus ES: to receive all-wheel drive, limited Black Line Edition variant

When the 2020 Lexus ES appeared, it helped inject new styling, technology, and performance into the brand’s bread and butter sedan. But while the U.S. Government prevented its advanced video mirror technology from being brought here due to safety regulations, the lack of all-wheel drive was a very glaring omission. Lexus has formally remedied that for 2021, and is even bringing the Black Line trim to the ES for the first time ever. The ES has never had all-wheel drive, but the ES 250 will be the first ES in the brand’s history to have the option. This system allows …

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2020 Chrysler Pacifica Launch Edition Debuts, Blends Style and Luxury Into Compelling Minivan Package

When Chrysler announced that the upcoming 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Launch Edition would get all-wheel drive, not only was it a surprise considering that the 2021 version was just around the corner, but also an example to just how popular the outgoing Pacifica was with family buyers. The Launch Edition has now made its way to dealer order books, and it aims to bring all-wheel drive capability at a value focused price. The odd thing that buyers might notice is that the Launch Edition uses the exterior styling of the outgoing model versus the 2021 Pacifica for its visual presentation. FCA’s …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Lexus LS 500 F-Sport – By Carl Malek

When we last met the Lexus LS 500, it was back in 2018, when we invited it to a special three way dance to see which flagship sedan could indeed emerge as the best of the best. While the F-Sport we had at the time lost out to the Genesis G90 and the first place Cadillac CT6, it also helped play a supporting role in a very key life moment for this writer (the proposal to my fiancée Emily.) With a bundle of subtle updates for the 2020 model year, we were eager to catch up with this very special …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Volvo S90 R-Design – By Carl Malek

In the world of high end luxury cars, marques such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and more can usually be found flooding the parking lots of shopping malls, bustling downtowns, and those elegant high end restaurants. This is due to how well built they are, as well as the love affair that many loyalists have with their elegant charms, state of the art technology, and luxury trappings. As a result, they present a formidable bar for others to surpass. One such contender looking to do this is Volvo, which has recently mounted a renewed effort at adding ample amounts of …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD – By Carl Malek

In the world of hatchbacks, few have had the underdog effect that the venerable Mazda3 has had during its long run in production. While the Volkswagen Golf has reigned supreme over the segment, the Mazda3 has been a persistent underdog, a potent disruptor that always aimed to try and snatch the top spot from the talented German. While the Golf always managed to ward off these challenges thanks to its superior, interior craftsmanship, and more polished engines, the 3 bided its time, and gradually improved some of its flaws. But with the departure of the recently axed Ford Focus from …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Dodge Challenger GT – By Carl Malek

A revolution is in the air in the muscle car segment. Ever since one can remember, a typical American muscle car was generally known for having a big V8 engine and, more importantly, rear-wheel drive. Even 10 years ago, the very idea of an all-wheel drive muscle coupe was seen as an alien concept to the big three domestic automakers (GM Ford and FCA.) The folks at Dodge are eager to overthrow the established order with the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT, but can this pioneering model bring true four season performance to a traditionally two season vehicle segment? or is …

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Road Test Review: 2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label – By Carl Malek

Lincoln has recently seen an upswing in fortunes over the past several years. With slick TV commercials starring celebrity Matthew McConaughey as well as a string of new vehicles, it’s clear that Ford’s once flat lining luxury brand is pulling out all the stops in its quest to lure new customers into its showrooms. But can Lincoln’s new lineup of vehicle’s reflect the new-found pulse that is circulating through the brand? Or do they come up a bit short? Even though the 2017 Lincoln Continental is currently the vehicle at the forefront of Lincoln’s recent string of TV ads due to …

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Road Test Review: 2017 Dodge Charger SXT AWD – By Carl Malek

Dodge has been on a performance vehicle blitz the past few months. From unveiling the fire breathing Durango SRT, to the recent unveiling of the utterly bonkers Dodge Challenger Demon at the New York Auto Show, it’s no secret that the brand is going all in on its quest to nab performance minded enthusiasts. But with the slow selling Dodge Dart mercifully sent to the land of discontinued automobiles, can the 2017 Dodge Charger still draw in family buyers looking for a sedan that can haul occupants and cargo? While still allowing you to unleash your weekend warrior tendencies at the …

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2016 Ford Focus RS – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

When Ford first unleashed the Focus RS back in 2002, it was a very tempting piece of forbidden fruit that was exclusive to European roads. 212 horsepower out of a highly-modified turbo Cosworth four ensured a firecracker of a car. The strong demand for this variant prompted Ford to launch a sequel in 2009 that made use of a Volvo designed 2.5 liter turbocharged five cylinder engine to produce just over 300 horsepower in a wrapper that was bolder and more aggressive looking than ever before. Unfortunately it remained out of reach for U.S. buyers who had to make do …

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