2019 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Drive Review with Performance Video

What a difference a year can make! For the shockingly designed Camry that was so polarizing in 2018, 2019 has mellowed the reaction to its looks and let us really focus on what a terrific upgrade it is. Both versus previous-gen Camrys and its most of its mid-size rivals, for that matter. For your scribe, a year of driving his personal ‘beach car’ (CX-9) during in a press-car drought meant that getting in Camry V6 is nothing short of a revolution!  So fast! So quiet and such sophisticated electronics!  I had a thought the day before Toyota announced there will …

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Resurgence of the American Car

Manufacturers redouble efforts in face of SUV domination Will 2019 go down as the final hurrah, or when the tide turned for the American Car? A rising tide has lifted most all boats in the SUV/CUV ocean. The manufacturers enjoy the ease with which they can print money, for the most part. Traditional car companies, once dosed with a recipe rich in higher hip points, and one of the multitude of more than two wheel drive systems, see their bottom lines shored up. In the unsure future bets for some form of electrification of drivetrains, the next safest option is …

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2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring 10

2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The sedan is not dead. Sure, SUVs and Crossovers are the big biz these days, but there are a lot of folks who like sedans. And there are some areas where those SUV’s and Crossovers are still falling short. Take Fuel Economy When it comes to efficiency, a crossover or SUV with its bigger body, poorer aerodynamics and greater weight, is going to be challenged. Yes, they’re getting better, but they’re not there yet. Also, sedans are fighting back with technology from hybrid, to plug-in hybrid, to EV. Take for example, …

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2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video

Toyota does not shy away from a challenge. In the face of shrinking interest and sales of four-door sedans, Toyota has gone and made the evergreen Camry seriously better.  This new Camry is easily the best ever, and sets a high bar for its cheapie rivals all the way up to cars like the Audi A4. Nobody might have taken a Camry vs A4 battle very seriously until this generation. This is not just hyperbole: we were firmly expecting a lightly re-heated model with updated tech and style for the 2018 redesign. It is only since driving the top Camry …

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2019 Mazda6 Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Some say the sedan is dead, that the SUV/Crossover buried it. We say poppycock. (Actually, no one says poppycock anymore, but it keeps us out of trouble with the language nannies). Proof? Look at the aggressive tack we’re seeing right now, with an all-new sporty Toyota Camry, an all-new Honda Accord with available detuned Civic Type R motor, and all-new Nissan Altima with a world’s first Variable displacement turbo engine.  Sedans are back and they’re mad as heck. With all this new sheetmetal on sale, it’s got to be tough for a not-so-new sedan like the Mazda 6 to keep …

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2018 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First off, game over. Hybrid has beaten Diesel. At least for passenger cars. The VW debacle has pretty much snuffed the light out for diesel cars as your super-efficient way to motor around. And with the departure of our dear departed Diesel, expect to start seeing more hybrids. Hybrids ‘R Us. So, it makes sense to see what Toyota’s up to. Especially since they pretty much owned the tech for a long time, and made Prius and Hybrid a household word. And no, this isn’t a Prius test, because there’s a brand-new Camry for 2018, and after having a ball …

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2018 VW Passat SE 2.0T w/ Technology – Road Test Review

The USA-made and optimized Passat is now in its second generation on American roads.  The refresh for 2016 brought optional LEDs that are Audi-tastic, new infotainment tech and a few other tweaks. For 2018, Passat gains an all-new 2.0T engine as standard versus the 1.8-liter turbo from the previous four-cylinder models.  The extra pony count is pretty modest – just four extra for a total of 174. As ever, VW’s turbo models punch above their stats when it comes to real-world pace.  This motor is no different – and cuts the sprint time to 60-mph down to one of the …

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2018 Hyundai Sonata 2_9

2018 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L Limited – Road Test Review

Not everyone drives their car like an escaped felon. More accurately, the vast majority of midsize sedan shoppers have little to no interest in 0-60-mph times, lateral grip or brake feel. These concerns are just totally alien to their transportation needs. Your average midsize sedan buyer wants tons of cabin space, low monthly payments and easy-to-operate tech features. So why drive like a madman? We took a relaxed, more realistic, approach to this Sonata Limited review.  The video is thick with minutes and minutes of walk-arounds inside and out; back seat and front.  Totally sedate throttle inputs – enjoying the …

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2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We like cars that shake things up. That take what you thought you knew, and lead you in a whole new direction. One of the biggest surprises this year is Toyota’s venerable family sedan. From the sharp creased lines, to the sharply-creased performance, it’s got a lot of people asking the same question. That’s a Camry? Yep. But first, some housekeeping. The rumor of the family sedan being dead is a bit overstated. Yes, crossovers are big business, but there are a lot of buyers out there who are just as happy with a solid, sensible, four-door sedan. And they …

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