2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve mentioned before that car years are kind of like dog years. Two years in people time can be a long time on the showroom. Take the Honda Accord. When it was introduced as a 2018, it was the new hotness. One of, if not the best reasonably-priced family sedan. Time flies, though, and an all-new Toyota Camry and more recently Nissan Altima are vying to steal the Accord’s steak off the grille while it’s still sizzling. So, is the Honda Accord still hot? Bring Your Oven Mitts Well, in the ficklest of all areas – exterior style – the …

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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 – 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 2.4L 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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2018 Toyota CAMRY – First Drives of LE, XLE and XSE – By Zeid Nasser

[Parts of this post originally appeared on TheIntelligentDriver.com] Toyota knows how valuable the Camry is. It’s known as one of the most reliable, efficient and safe vehicles on today’s roadways. But times are changing, and many of today’s vehicles ace those hallmark Camry qualities. Toyota wants to keep their customers happy and maintain their sales lead with emotional design, leading tech and an engaging (gasp) driving experience. Did they accomplish it? Well, first some background info. Back in 2006 when I earned my license, I convinced my mother that the newest generation 2007 Camry was the way to go. I …

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2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring – HD Road Test Review w/ 2 Videos

The 2017 Mazda6 is an affordable midsize car for those seeking something better.  A car with premium handling, design and cabin feel.  Yet with pricing that undercuts its spiritual Audi and BMW rivals by tens of thousands. We’ve been a big fan of the Mazda6 for years now.   Our reco of the car has even led more than a few friends and neighbors to buy one. And for most of those people, the car was not even on their radar. So to answer the question of ‘Why don’t more people buy the Mazda6?‘ the answer is a lack of …

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2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Unless you are a newborn baby, (and someone is reading this to you) or you’ve been living in a cave for the last 25 years, you are familiar with Toyota’s Camry. For decades, it has either been the best-selling mid-size family sedan in the US, or one of the top three. It used to compete with only a handful of competitors, but in today’s world, every manufacturer has an excellent mid-size family sedan. And yet, the trusty Camry still soldiers on, and always lands at the top of the sales charts.  And helping those sales figures is the Hybrid version …

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2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SPORT – HD Road Test Review

The trusty midsize sedan segment of the car business has found itself in an unusual spot these days. SUVs and low gas prices mean the old days where Camrys and Accords sold by the dozen are long gone.  They are now fighting to be a purchase not of necessity, but one of desire. Subaru has stepped up with a serious rival in this high-stakes game.  A car that is still easy to buy and own, but with added pizzazz to make it pop versus the onslaught of new, high-riding competition. Subie’s answer? The new-for-2017 Subaru Legacy SPORT trimline.  The car is …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota Camry XSE

2016 Toyota Camry XSE Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman For decades now, The Toyota Camry has been one of the best-selling family sedans in America.  It isn’t because it does everything better than the competition, but rather it does everything well, and has built up a reputation for reliability, quality, and value.  For folks who have a hard time making a decision because they’re fearful of making a bad one, the Camry is always going to be a safe choice and one that won’t foster buyer’s remorse. It’s always easy for journalists to forget that the vast majority of the …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry XSE 2.5L – Sportier Handling + Surprising Four-Cylinder Pace

2015 Toyota Camry XSE 2.5L Review America’s sweetheart is heavily redesigned inside and out for 2015, so you are forgiven for missing a few trim-level additions for this year: an XSE four-cylinder and even an SE Hybrid. What’s the rationale behind Toyota’s move to bring flagship style and handling upgrades to all powertrains? — pretty low take rate for the V6 dramatically limited the previous V6 SE’s possible market share. This also cut the number of people who benefited from its crisper steering, handling and design outside — the new XSE upgrades outside, in the suspension/tire setup and cabin are …

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2015 Toyota Camry Retraces NASCAR Roots with a Drive on Daytona Beach

No NASCAR crash course would be truly immersive at Daytona without a drive on the original NASCAR track – this pristine stretch of flawless Atlantic beach. First off, an intro. Why would driving on sand at speeds topping 140-mph have ever seemed like a good idea? When you put yourself in the driver’s seat 65 years ago, running high-powered and highly dangerous racecars on Daytona Beach actually seems really reasonable. Daytona Beach has three qualities that make it extremely desirable for high-speed runs: it is smooth, flat and nearly endless. Those same criteria are exactly what the  Bugatti Veyron La …

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2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6 Morphs Into DAYTONA 500 Official Pace Car + #83 Johnny Sauter Camry NASCAR

First up-close look at the 2015 Camry Pace Car in real life. A modified 2015 CAMRY XSE V6, shiny exhausts and a lower stance are visible above 19-inch BBS alloys and Z-rated tires. Just a tire and spring change away from being approved for 155mph? Yep. Summer rubber on this pace car, even in chilly February! The pair of Camry Pace Cars is active regularly during the Budweiser Duel Races that serve as a qualifier for the Daytona 500 lineup. This new LED-lit 2015 Camry Pace Car has no trouble managing track brutes at up to 125-mph around tracks like …

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DAYTONA – Meeting the 199MPH 2015 Toyota Camry NASCAR of Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General

Thrilling week in Daytona Beach so far! An incredible day of meeting Toyota NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs and even the president of TRD USA, the overall lead in the Toyota Racing effort in American events. Meeting the 2015 Camry racer up close then seeing it in what felt like an HD action movie of the race Duels later? YES! So much fun to see the Daytona Speedweek leadup to the Daytona 500 tomorrow, Sunday the 22nd of February. The car-guy part of NASCAR culture makes tech and equipment off-track and in the pits every bit as serious as a wild …

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MEGA Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid

2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid Review At the new Camry’s launch event in Florida last Fall, we were very surprised to hear the best-seller’s recent powertrain sales mix. With such a gem of a 3.5-liter V6 available and pushing sprint times to the low 6’s, that would be our choice Monday through Sunday. And such a smooth and effortless hybrid available too, with almost no downsides except a very-slightly smaller trunk? These two premium powertrains have recently each pulled just 10-percent of overall sales each, with the base four-cylinder hoovering up 80-percent of the overall mix. Surprising to us as …

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2015 Toyota Camry and Corolla Special Editions + Revised Avalon Set For Chicago Launch

Toyota is really on the pulse of culture and style like never before: the best-selling Camry and Corolla have been tweaked for added coolness just ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. There is also a revised 2016 Avalon on the agenda: with tweaked LED designs, updated chassis tuning and a bit of cabin sprucing all likely. Sporty and enthusiast preferences are reflected in the new Camry and Corolla Special Editions – creating the trendy and chic style that guys and gals like us have used to aftermarket to achieve. But as ever, buying a Camry or Corolla can be done …

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Top 10 Midsize Sedans – 2016 Mazda6 Is Best, Subaru Legacy Second

The Mazda6 is the best-looking, best-handling and most refined mid-size sedan available even before these updates. But two areas kept the car from being a world-beater: the cabin design and a slightly unexciting exterior in the lower and cheaper trim levels. Yes, the Grand Touring had big wheels and LED accents, making the most of the absolutely gorgeous core design. The Mazda6 in every trim now looks like it should costs $50,000, versus only the GT giving that impression before. Both issues are resolved for 2015 with a sweeping enhancement to the design and content of a long-time favorite family …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry LE and XLE V6 Bring Lexus-Infused Style and Comfort

INTRO “Is that a Lexus?” This question came from two families passing by the new Camry XLE as we snapped photos on a rare stormy afternoon in Florida the other week.  The next thing they both said? “A Camry? Really?” For 2015, the Camry XLE V6 is almost unrecognizably-stylish and premium. The XLE version here with its dark-grey horizontal bars grille is fresh and very distinct from the SE and XSE cars’ gloss-black nose treatment. So does it just look like a Lexus, or is it a fairly convincing upgrade to Lexus levels of comfort, quality and refinement on the road? …

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SEMA Jaw-Dropper! 850HP Toyota Camry Dragster is Sleeper King

Not a sleeper king for catching your ZZzzz’s, but one for catching other drivers napping! This is so cool. Great job Toyota. In the driver’s seat of this amazing Camry Dragster, the new Toyota tagline might need to be… ‘Let’s Show O-faces!’   2015 Toyota Camry Dragster Toyota Surprises SEMA with 850-Horsepower Camry Dragster Sleeper Camry Set to Shock Racing Fans Nationwide  November 04, 2014 TORRANCE, Calif. Nov. 4, 2014 — In drag racing terms, a “sleeper” is a car that   looks as innocuous as possible, but has the means to blow the doors off the competition. The attendees at …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited Is Nipping Camry and Mazda6 Heels

Rave review first-drive here on the new Subaru Legacy! Along with three dozen all-new photos of this newly-competitive mid-size car. It looks like the drive video we shot did not survive its GoPro upload to the computer, so we will write this one up the old-fashioned way! EXTERIOR The new Legacy’s design is shown in its best light with the 2.5i Limited, which wears the latest LED accents and projector-beam lighting from the 3.6R top-line model. As equipped, this 2.5i is actually very handsome and premium. Why the surprise? Well, let’s face it: the base Legacy has been seriously nerdy …

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HD Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry XSE Is FAST and QUIET!

  Fast and Quiet? Yep. A variation on Fast ‘n’ Loud is what most sedan shoppers actually prefer in their daily drivers, and the Camry XSE nails these benchmarks better than any other mid-size sedan. INTRO Can you imagine how tough the Camry is on competing cars like the Accord and Fusion? As far as we see it, the Camry gets better and better every year — without one slot in the armor of this best-seller to sneak an arrow through? The only area where the previous Camry let its competition get some ideas was with the overall exterior design, …

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