2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD – First Drive – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

For 10 straight months, sales of Hyundai’s SUV’s have increased sales. Kona, Tucson, and Santa Fe are models leading the way. Now the Korean manufacturer has just launched their largest SUV to date, the Palisade.  At a recent press event with the Midwest Automotive Media Association, outside of Chicago, we had a chance to spend several hours behind the wheel of the top level Palisade Limited.  It’s a special vehicle with a lot to offer anyone looking for a mid-size luxury SUV. The Palisade has standard 3-row seating that can seat 7 people or 8, if you choose a second …

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2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD – Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

FEATURES-FUN-PRACTICALITY AND VALUE The 2019 Hyundai Kona is one of the best subcompact crossovers that money can buy. That’s a bold statement, but the Kona can back it up. This 5-passenger SUV is available in five trim levels, the SE, SEL, Limited, and Ultimate, with starting front-wheel-drive models coasting $19,240, $21,050, $24,300, and $26,250 respectively. Add $1,400 for All-Wheel-Drive. The Iron Man trim, at $30,550, comes with a matte grey finish with red accents all around the vehicle,  red trim inside the cabin, and larger wheels. Not worth the money. The first 2 trim levels come with a 2.0 liter …

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2017 Kia NIRO Touring – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

The Deep Cerulean blue Kia Niro was waiting for me and the wife at the Ft. Lauderdale airport parking lot, and it was a welcome sight after a long day of airline travel. We dropped the rear seatbacks down, and the generous 54.5 cubic feet cargo area swallowed up two huge suitcases, that in a bygone era would have been labeled “steamer trunks”. A set of golf clubs, and the carry-on bags were added easily. As we eased into the front seats, we basked in the glory of comfortable perforated leather seats, with all the leg room we could want.  …

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2018 Genesis G80 Sport 3.3T RWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

If you were asked to name luxury automobile manufacturers today, your answers would be somewhat different based upon your age. Those of you above the age of 45 would most likely include names like Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus Cadillac, and Lincoln among the top brands. One brand you wouldn’t likely think of would be Genesis, or the brand that spawned it, Hyundai. But if you were under 45, I’d bet you’d have those two brands in the mix, and near the top. The reason is that so many younger drivers have grown up with, and have enjoyed, the ownership experience …

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

  When it comes to hybrid vehicles, Toyota knows their stuff.  The Prius has been around for decades now, and have constantly improved them with each new makeover.  It is the best-selling hybrid of all time.  So as the company expanded their hybrid offerings to many of their other models, customers can feel comfortable enough to buy these larger vehicles in hybrid form.  I couldn’t wait to see how their full size Avalon, which I enjoyed in its gasoline version, would stack up.  The verdict?  It’s a wonderful hybrid car too. We tested the 2017 Avalon XLE Premium, which slots …

Read more 2017 Toyota AVALON Hybrid XLE Premium – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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2017 Lexus RC350 RWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

I’ve driven a fair amount of Lexus sedans and SUV’s recently. I have enjoyed all of them as far as luxury cars are concerned. Quiet, sedate, upscale interiors, enough power, and almost everything a luxury buyer could desire.  What they all lacked, however, was some driving excitement.  While I pointed that out in the reviews, I didn’t give those cars demerits on that point.  The reason is because they weren’t designed to be thrilling driving machines. They were designed for luxury and comfort, and they checked most of the boxes for that mission statement. But things are somewhat different when …

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

For 2017 Hyundai introduces their 6th generation Elantra, and it’s destined to be a big hit.  Gone is last year’s brash, in-your-face design that separated it styling-wise from the more bland competitors in this compact car segment. Now we have an emphasis on a more elegant shape, and sophisticated style, and that sophistication is evident throughout the cabin and in the entire feel of this new model. Boomerang-shaped LED running lights fame a deeper, wider gill, with chrome horizontal slats that give the front end a more bold and obvious presence.  The cut lines on the sides of the Elantra …

Read more 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Indian Scout 69 – Ride Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

In August of 2013 Indian Motorcycles, built by Polaris Industries, in Spirit Lake Iowa, unveiled their first new motorcycle at the Sturgis rally. The Indian Chief was a huge hit with the public, and they have introduced more Chief models since then. All Chief models are fitted with large displacement engines and designed to go head to head with Harley-Davidson, just as they did from the early 1900’s to 1953, when Indian closed their doors. But to truly compete with Harley today, they also needed a smaller displacement motorcycle, and the Indian Scout nameplate was resurrected. Today you can buy …

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2017 Lexus ES350 – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  If you are looking for a large, roomy, luxury vehicle with a soft comfortable boulevard ride, the Lexus ES 350 is an excellent choice.  If you want a bit more driving excitement, you’ll need to look to the smaller IS or GS models. The ES offers two powerplants.  The hybrid model has a 2.5 liter inline four, with an electric motor system for high gas mileage, and the standard 3.5 liter V-6 that makes 268 horsepower, and 248 ft. lbs. of torque. This engine provides good acceleration, and there is a control knob setting for Sport that adds a …

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2017 Polaris Slingshot SL – First Drive Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman  

Taking a ride out to Nielsen Enterprises, in Lake Villa, IL is always a treat. They’re the ultimate big boy toy store.  You can buy anything from ATV’s, UTV’s personal watercraft, snowmobiles, all four Japanese motorcycle brands, Can-AM Spyders, and Polaris products. If it’s fun, and it goes fast, Nielsen’s got it. Today’s mission is to take a Polaris Slingshot out for a test and find out why they can’t make them fast enough. The Slingshot is a three-wheel vehicle, with two wheels in front, and a single wheel in back.  It is 150” long, which is 4” shorter than …

Read more 2017 Polaris Slingshot SL – First Drive Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman  

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2018 Chevrolet EQUINOX Premier – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Car manufacturers apparently do not use the same calendar as the rest of the world. I know this because I found myself in Asheville, North Carolina last month — before the end of the first quarter of 2017 — road testing the new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox. I’m not sure why they time-shift like this, but I guess the folks at Chevy thought this new groundup re-make was so good, they just couldn’t wait to get it into customer’s garages.  And after spending the day with the new Equinox, I can say that they’ll have a lot of happy customers. In 2016, compact crossover …

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2017 KIA Soul Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Kia sells a full lineup of excellent vehicles, from small economy sedans and crossovers, to mid and full size sedans and Suv’s . They even build a luxury sedan rivaling some of the best from Japan and Europe.  They have many hybrid models, and even a fully electric car.  But their best-selling model is the Soul. This compact crossover is designed to appeal to the young Millennial generation, but even this old greybeard find it an engaging vehicle that provides a lot of features, roomy interior, gas mileage economy in a fun package. For 2017, Kia has upped the fun …

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2017 Ford Fusion Sport AWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  Ford launched the Fusion back in 2006, slotting in between the smaller Focus sedan and the larger Taurus. It was an excellent offering in the crowded mid-size sedan marketplace and it was well received by the press community, and buying public. The second generation came along in 2013, with improvements and more model options, and sales got even stronger.  For 2017, a mid-cycle update brings a new model to the Ford table with the Fusion Sport. Unlike the Lexus F-Sport designations, which mainly consist of a lot of badging, and styling modifications, Ford has really put the extra money …

Read more 2017 Ford Fusion Sport AWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Ford ESCAPE Titanium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

A third of the auto industry’s sales last year were SUV’s. That means that about 5 million of them were sold here.  At Ford, their leading SUV model is the Escape. Over 300,000 units were sold last year alone, making the Escape the number 2 selling Ford model, behind only the Ford F-150 pickup truck.  The Escape debuted way back in the year 2000, and they have sold more than 2.4 million of them.  After spending a week with the 2017 Escape, it’s not hard to understand why. For 2017, the Escape gets a mid-cycle refresh, bringing some significant changes to the …

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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 …

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

2016 Ford EDGE Titanium – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  The wife and I picked up our friends to go out to dinner in the Ford Edge. They weren’t in the car more than 60 seconds before they both said (almost in unison) “Wow, there’s a lot of room back here.”  A few minutes later, “these seat warmers are really nice.”  I then suggested they recline the seatbacks a little bit, and they were delighted with that feature, too. Ten minutes later, I heard, “Boy, this car rides really smoothly, even better than our Lexus RX. What is it?” They were surprised to learn that it was a Ford.  …

Read more 2016 Ford EDGE Titanium – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Volvo XC90 – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  It has been a very long time since I’ve reviewed a Volvo. So I was anxious to get my hands on the 2017 XC90 T6 Inscription with AWD.  As I did a quick walk around of the vehicle, the styling showed a fairly generic shape, especially when viewed from the side.  It doesn’t have a long front overhand, nor a steeply raked windshield.  The front end shows the traditional Volvo grill, which in my youth looked outdated, as it was mostly seen on boxy shaped boring sedans. But on the XC90 it looks more stately, sitting between the headlights …

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2016 KIA K900 V6 – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

My friends are used to seeing a lot of new cars in my driveway, from almost every manufacturer.  They were especially intrigued by the new Kia 900. They admired the understated exterior styling, and the absolutely beautifully appointed interior.  The next question was, “How Much?” “Just under $61,000”, I replied.  “Are you kidding???” came the response.  “A $61,000 Kia?”  “That’s just NUTS”. I had to remind them that it was only two decades or so ago that they said the same thing when Toyota, Nissan, and Honda each came out with very expensive luxury cars.  But today, nobody laughs at …

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2016 Lexus RX450h F Sport AWD – Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Way back in 1998 Lexus introduced the RX model, and it was an instant hit.  In those days it was a unique blend of car and truck. It featured a high seating position for a command of the road, along with the cargo capacity of a large station wagon. The RX offered the smooth quiet ride of a Lexus sedan, along with the luxury interior appointments they’d come to expect from the Lexus brand, and better gas mileage than any truck based vehicle. The public snapped them up like hotcakes. In fact it became the first Lexus model to sell …

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2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

From 1966 through 1978 the Fiat 124 Spider roamed the streets of America, and Europe, and became an icon of a classic, affordable, Pininfarina designed Italian two-seat roadster.  Light and agile, with decent performance, the car appealed to iconoclastic drivers who wanted something different than the heavy muscle cars of the era, and when most Japanese cars looked like the boxes that their parts came in. On the downside, they were much like their British counterparts of the time, like MG’s and Triumphs, in that they weren’t very reliable.  In those days, it was joked that Fiat stood for “Fix …

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2017 Toyota PRIUS – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  When Toyota brought the first Prius to the US back in 2000, you knew it was a hybrid by driving it, and even just looking at it.  It was an awkward looking thing that seemed to scream cheap sub-compact.  Inside, it wasn’t much better, with cheap looking and feeling materials, and it didn’t offer many amenities.  It was a purpose-built machine incorporating as many weight saving ideas built into it so that it could deliver outstanding gas mileage.  If that meant Spartan interiors and few features, so be it.  If it meant that the car wasn’t fun to drive, …

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2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD 3

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  Mazda’s new 2016 CX-9 is the largest of their three SUV offerings, and in fact, the largest Mazda vehicle they have ever made.  The larger dimensions are put to good use, as there is ample room for driver and passenger in the front, very good leg and headroom for second row passengers, and even decent, if not spacious, room for average size adults in the third row. We had a chance to spend a week with the top of the line Signature AWD model.  Mazda threw everything it had into this one, and it came with a very un-Mazda …

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2016 Volkswagen Passat CC 2.0T R-Line – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Volkswagen brought out the CC model in 2009, and it was an immediate hit styling-wise, as it separated itself from the more upright and boxy Passat that it was based on. And since that first model, the styling hasn’t changed much, which is a good thing, since it is still a striking timeless look.  The long arc of the roofline gives the CC a low, long, sleek look that reminds one of a Mercedes CLS, or Audi A-7.  Like the lines on a true coupe, the frameless doors make interesting visuals, like a four-door-coupe.  And there is enough chrome around …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota Rav4 SE – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

If you are in the market for a small crossover SUV there is good news, and bad news.  The good news is that virtually every auto manufacturer from Japan, America, Europe, and Korea make at least one.  The bad news is that virtually every auto manufacturer from Japan, America, Europe, and Korea make at least one.  So choosing the right one to buy will be a daunting task.  There isn’t a rotten apple in the whole bushel full of competitors. This is by far the most hotly contested segment in the industry.  And it’s not hard to see why. These …

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2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Tell the truth: when you see one of the big SUV on the road, the first thing you think about is how much the gas costs to run it. And while we are currently enjoying relatively low gas prices right now, trust me, the oil companies are working night and day to reverse that trend.  And they will invent some reason to scare us into believing that gas prices are justified in going up.  But I digress . . . When the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited showed up in my driveway, I was amazed to look on the Monroney Label and …

Read more 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Road Test Review – 2016 Lincoln MKX AWD – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Ford has been producing Lincoln vehicles for 98 years, but I’m sure Henry Ford never envisioned making a crossover as great as this one. There is a lot of competition in this luxury crossover space, and this MKX is right up there with the best of them, from Japan, Europe, and cross-state rival Cadillac. It’s obvious that Lincoln is shooting to make a new name for itself as being a company that builds vehicles that can pamper its customers in luxury, and also make their customers smile with invigorating performance and handling.   The standard engine in the MKX is a …

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Club 6MT 3

Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda MX-5 Club 6MT – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  In the spring of 1971, I was almost finished with my freshman year at the University of Iowa, and it was time for me to get my first new car.  My father and I were to split the cost.  His idea of the perfect car for me was a low mileage, 1969 Chevrolet Impala, 4-door.  And my idea was a 1971 MGB rag top.  While my friends were into muscle cars of the time like Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers and Barracudas, I was more interested in small British cars that, while not fast, were known for handling prowess, rather than …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda MX-5 Club 6MT – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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Road Test Review – 2017 Hyundai ELANTRA Limited – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Last month, in March of 2016, I tested the 2017 Kia Sportage.  This month, in April of 2016, I’m driving the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. I’m beginning to think that Korea uses a different calendar than we do in the US.  No matter, the point is that this new Elantra is ahead of its time, and is a wonderful remake of an already excellent automobile. Way back in 2004, I bought an Elantra for daughter #2 as she graduated from college and needed her first new car.  It was a small, compact car …

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Drive Review - 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer 2

Drive Review – 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer 2.4 SEL AWC – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

    The Mitsubishi Lancer is 10 years old, and unfortunately, it’s showing its age.  It is by far the oldest compact sedan in its class, which includes the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic, and Chevy Cruze, among others. And except for the all-wheel drive feature, and a modest price, the other models have passed this Lancer by in terms of interior quality, refinement, gas mileage, and styling. The base engine in the front-wheel-drive ES model is a 148-horsepower 2.0 inline 4, with either a 5-speed manual or optional CVT automatic transmission.  The gas mileage …

Read more Drive Review – 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer 2.4 SEL AWC – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Road Test Review – 2016 Chevrolet MALIBU LT – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Since seeing the new Chevy Malibu way back in February at the Chicago Auto Show, I was anxious to test drive.  I thought it looked outstanding, and the leather interior was both handsome and inviting.  So I was delighted to see the Silver Ice Metallic Malibu dropped off in my driveway for a week. I was disappointed that the model I got was the LT, rather than the top line 2LT or Premier trim levels.  The LT comes with a 1.5 liter turbocharged engine rather than the 2.0 liter turbo.  Heck, I’ve owned motorcycles with larger displacement engines.  In fact …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Kia Sportage SX FWD – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Review: 2017 Kia Sportage SX FWD By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman So I get a new Kia Sportage dropped off in my driveway on March 21, 2016.  I look at the window sticker and is says that’s it’s a 2017 model.  What’s up with that?  Seems a little early in the year to be bringing out next year’s model, no?  And they’re still selling 2016’s, next to the all-new 2017’s.  Sometimes I just can’t figure out how the car companies work.  So depending upon when you’re reading this post, you’ll get an insight into this authors work habits.  Do I write …

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2016 Mazda 6 GT 3

Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda6 – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2016 Mazda 6 i Grand Touring By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman I always look forward to getting a Mazda dropped off in my driveway for a week’s worth of driving.  You can always count on a Mazda to deliver three things: peppy performance, great gas mileage, and outstanding handling. Our test car was the top of the line model, the Grand Touring model. As all Mazda 6 models, it comes with a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder direct injection, variable valve timing engine with a very high 13:1 compression ratio and is designed to use unleaded gas.  The engine makes 184 horsepower and …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda6 – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2016 INFINITI QX80 Limited AWD Review - EXTERIOR PHOTOS 3

Road Test Review – 2016 INFINITI QX80 Limited with Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2016 INFINITI QX80 Limited AWD Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   The first thing I noticed when the Infiniti QX80 arrived in my driveway was how big it is.  It’s HUGE.  How huge is it?  I think the front bumper resides in a different zip code than the rear bumper. (Rim-shot)  You don’t look for a parking space as much as a mooring. (Another rim-shot).  If you are not Shaquille O’Neal, you better get a ladder if you want to wash the roof. The QX80 is a full five-inches longer than a Cadillac Escalade, and has a five-inch longer wheelbase.  That’s …

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2016 Scion iM Review by Ken Glassman 10

Road Test Review – 2016 Scion iM by Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Road Test Review – 2016 Scion iM By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman In 2003, Toyota created the Scion brand to appeal to younger buyers with small fuel efficient vehicles that were entry level, but without making the buyer feel like they were entry level. Also, Toyota was never known to push the styling envelope, so Scion was supposed to be the new brand that would put more hip styling on display without upsetting Toyota’s core customers. As it turns out, young buyers prefer the Toyota brand over the Scion brand.  Over the years, Scion had built some interesting vehicles, but they …

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2016 Ford EDGE AWD Titanium 7

Hawkeye Drives! 2016 Ford EDGE Titanium AWD Review

By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman The Edge was dropped off at my house just after a little snowstorm, which made for some unflattering photos because of the street salt residue all over it, but I was fortunate to be able to test the all wheel drive vehicle in the slippery stuff. The first thing I noticed was that the brakes were very touchy and grabby right from the top of the pedal travel.  In fact it caused the ABS to kick in when on my driveway merely rolling it back to park, and when inching forward to leave the driveway.  Naturally, …

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Hawkeye Drives – 2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad Plus AWD Review

The Dodge Journey is mostly unchanged from the previous year’s model. In fact, it’s little changed since its introduction back in 2009. There was a refresh in 2011, but that was mostly cosmetic. Beneath the skin, it shows its age a bit as the other competitors in its class, like the Nissan Rogue, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav 4, or the Kia Sorento, have out classed it over the years. The Journey just isn’t as sophisticated as the others, and feels a bit dated. That’s not to say that the Journey doesn’t have some positive attributes. Unlike the Honda, Toyota, and …

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Hawkeye Drives – 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited 1.6T Review

2016 Hyundai Tucson Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Two years ago, I needed to replace the wife’s aging Hyundai Santa Fe.  Since the new Santa Fe models had grown considerably in size, and she still wanted a small SUV, I went to the dealer to buy the Tucson.  We were a Hyundai family, as both daughters and a son-in-law owned Hyundai various models, and everyone was happy with their vehicles.  But I found the generation II Tucson was the first Hyundai I had ever been disappointed in.  So disappointed, we wound up with a Nissan Rogue, which we’ve been happy …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus – Hawkeye Drives!

  2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Acura describes the ILX as a “Gateway” product that allows a customer to enter the world of Acura at a lower price point, in the hopes that more expensive move-up models will be in their future.  Perhaps that will prove true, but there is a lot of competition in the “Near Luxury” segment, loosely defined by sticker prices in the low to mid $30,000 range, and cars like the Buick Verano, or Audi A3 might be better choices, among others. The 2016 ILX is a mid-cycle updated vehicle, with …

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Road Test Review - 2016 Subaru Legacy 3

Road Test Review – 2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited

2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   In the late 60’s Subaru came to the United States.  Like other Japanese brands at the time, Subaru’s were small, oddly styled, and considered quirky, compared to US autos.  In the early 1970’s Subaru chose to set themselves apart by introducing all-wheel-drive.  And while they didn’t invent AWD, but at that time, if a customer wanted a vehicle with all-wheel-drive, they were pretty much limited to Jeep products, or truck models.   By offering all-wheel-drive and introducing economical, small displacement boxer-style engines, Subaru cars appealed to an audience interested in …

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2016 Lexus IS200t F Sport Review Glassman 6

Road Test Review – 2016 Lexus IS200t F Sport

2016 Lexus IS200t F Sport Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman The Lexus IS series gets a new engine for 2016, a 2-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged inline 4 cylinder that makes 241-hp @ 5800 rpm, and 258 ft.-lbs. of torque @ 1650 rpm.  It replaces last year’s entry level, small 2.5 liter V-6, that made a meager 204 horsepower and a weak 185 ft.-lbs.  of torque.  This new engine is rated for 22 City and 33 Highway mileage figures. If the 200t moniker sounds familiar, it’s because it the same engine designation from the Lexus NX 200t, their small Sport Ute crossover …

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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 – 2016 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

2016 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8 Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   With a major makeover in 2015, the second generation Hyundai Genesis continued it ascension in the ranks of luxury cars.  While there are few changes to the 2016 model year, the Genesis continues to amaze with its price, content, and quality. The sedan is quickly distancing itself from luxury models coming out of Japan and Germany, which it rightly rivals, in the “bang for the buck” category. Simply put, you can’t find another car in the marketplace that has the features and performance of the Genesis and not have …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Kia Optima SX Turbo

2016 Kia Optima SX Turbo Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Midsize family sedans are a huge segment of the automobile business, and it’s a hotly contested space.  The Kia Optima is a strong player, and getting stronger each year, with improvements and even more standard content.  It has to keep improving in order to compete with the likes of a Toyota Camry & Avalon, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Mazda 6, or Nissan’s Altima. The 2016 Optima has been redesigned inside and out, and the result is an outstanding automobile, that ranks right up there with the best in the class. …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Lexus RX350 F Sport AWD

2016 Lexus RX 350AWD F Sport Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   Sixteen years ago Lexus introduced us to the RX – a midsize luxury SUV that seated 5 people, had a very usable rear cargo area, and was based on a car chassis, so it drove more like a car than a truck.  It had a pleasant ovoid or jelly bean shape, and was reasonably priced.  It struck a chord with the buying public, and quickly became Lexus’ best-selling vehicle, and it has remains their top selling vehicle as it now launches the fourth generation for 2016.  The RX …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota AVALON Touring

2016 Toyota Avalon Touring Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman We recently tested a 2015 Toyota Avalon, the first Avalon we had tested in quite a few years.  And the full size car impressed us with its roominess, performance, and its luxury look and feel. But before I had a chance to write the review, the 2016 model became available, so I decided to wait a little bit, and write about that one, to also report on the subtle changes for the 2016 model year. This year, the Avalon’s grill gets a bit larger, and sports a little downturn at the …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium AWD

2015 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium AWD Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Let’s just get this out of the way right at the beginning . . . nobody wants to drive a minivan. There, I said it. No matter what manufacturers do, they are all pretty ugly and ungainly to look at. And they have a stigma attached to it. Either it’s a “Soccer Mom” image, or an old fart image of Grandma and Grampa snowbirds driving it back and forth each winter from cold climates to Florida or Arizona with a cargo full of luggage. Either way, there’s not a …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Buick Encore AWD Premium with Ken Glassman

2015 Buick Encore AWD Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   The marketing folks at Buick have identified a large group of auto buyers who are looking for cars that have a prestige image, contemporary styling, and nicely appointed comfortable cabins. These shoppers want luxury amenities, but are also environmentally conscious and don’t require strong gas guzzling performance. The 2015 Buick Encore was designed with those attributes in mind. The handsome, rugged exterior styling features sculpted lines from the front clip and steeply raked hood (complete with Buicks iconic Venti-ports) to the character lines running just above the beltline, and door …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Lincoln MKC AWD with Ken Glassman

2015 Lincoln MKC AWD Review by Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman The Lincoln brand has been trying to find itself and find its place in the market for years now. They have produced some fine vehicles, but their focus has been a bit blurry. They need to appeal to younger buyers who for years have only considered German or Japanese luxury brands as being the real deal. But this compact crossover may be just the vehicle to boost the Lincoln cachet, and puts the brand on a path to growth and prosperity. The MKC has handsome, sophisticated exterior styling, performs well , …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Lexus ES350 with Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2015 Lexus ES350 Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Lexus has been making fine luxury cars for decades now. It’s what they are known for, and why the brand has been remarkably successful. They put high quality materials in their car’s interiors, and a long list of optional amenities to add to cabin comfort and entertainment. They provide smooth, quiet, soft, comfortable ride qualities, and smooth engines and transmissions. The big car magazine and web site journalists think they were Formula 1 drivers in a past life, so while they give Lexus props for those qualities, they always seem to temper …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Dodge Charger R/T 392 Scat Pack with Ken Glassman

2015 Dodge Charger R/T 392 Scat Pack By Ken Glassman As soon as the bright blue Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack was delivered to my driveway, my heart began to race. Paperwork was quickly signed, and returning phone calls went to the bottom of my “to-do” list. I immediately jumped in the super-sport sedan, and gazed out onto that long hood with its mean looking dual air scoops.  Usually, I’ll spend 20 minutes acclimating myself to the switches, seats, mirrors, and setting preferences, and radio stations – but not this time. When you’ve got 485 Scat Pack horsepower from the …

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Road Test Review – 2015 BMW 228i Convertible with Ken Glassman

  2015 BMW 228i Convertible Review By Ken Glassman The 2015 BMW 228i convertible replaces the 1-Series as the company’s entry level rag top. This version has a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase, has 2.5 inches of additional length, and extra inch of width. And that helps to make it less stubby looking than the 1-Series cars. The better proportions, along with sharp character lines along the sides, and sleek front end, means that this 2-Series is a great looking car. It is also a really fun car to drive. The 228i is powered by a 2-liter, TwinPower Turbo inline 4, direct fuel …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD With Ken Glassman

    2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD Review By Ken Glassman These days, it seems like everyone loves the sport utility vehicle, and it’s the most hotly contested segment in the car market. Whether it’s the compact, midsize, or large version, the family hauler is now usually some form of SUV. And Hyundai’s Santa Fe models are serious players in that segment. For those looking for a smaller midsize SUV, the Santa Fe Sport is Hyundai’s entry ticket. It seats five adults and their cargo comfortably and offers a choice of two different 4-cyclindar gas engines — a 2.4 …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Lexus NX200t F Sport AWD With Ken Glassman

2015 Lexus NX200t F Sport AWD Review By Ken Glassman Lexus is breaking ground by introducing their first compact SUV crossover, and by putting their first turbocharged engine in it. And with engine technology improving, and stricter gas mileage rules fast approaching, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more turbos in the Lexus lineup soon. Lexus is certainly no stranger to SUV’s. Their landmark RX mid-size is the best selling luxury vehicle in the country with over 100,000 units sold each year. Only time will tell if the NX 200 will be able to match that, and if it does, …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S with Ken Glassman

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S Review By Ken Glassman   Set your way-back machine to 1983. Volkswagen introduces a new car that is designed for “drivers”, not just people who drive cars. The Golf GTI was meant to be a small, stylish (which was debatable) car that had good power, combined with excellent handling, a slick gearbox, basic interior appointments, and would still get excellent gas mileage. It had to fit four people (albeit a bit tight) and have the flexibility of a hatchback, which has always been popular in Europe. But built into everyone was the most important feature: …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E With Ken Glassman

2015 Volvo S60 T6 Review By Ken Glassman A Hooligan Volvo Sedan? Yes, but . . . Ever since the 1960’s Volvo’s built their reputation by being a boxy (homely?) vehicle that was reliable, fuel efficient, roomy, and most of all . . . a very safe vehicle. It sold safety, when American cars were selling big engines and style, and Japan was selling cheap cost. College professors, wearing tweed sport coats with patches on the elbows, and young conservative families interested in safety seemed like the average buyers. But in the last 20 years or so, all car companies …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 with Ken Glassman

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 By Ken Glassman   The Jeep came into existence during World War II, when the US Government needed a small agile 4-wheel drive vehicle that could get through mud, snow, and sand, and carry 4 soldiers, crawl up and down hills, ford small streams, tow a light artillery piece, and be reliable and easy to service. Millions of them were built, and they saw action in the forests of Europe, and the sands and jungles of Asia in World War II, as well as Korea, and even Viet Nam. And millions of soldiers drove …

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2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad AWD

Road Test Review – 2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad AWD By Ken Glassman

  2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad AWD Review By Ken Glassman The Dodge Journey is a bit of a sleeper in the conversation about compact SUV’s. Some of that may be due to the fact that it’s larger than the likes of the Nissan Rogue, Honda CRV, or Toyota Rav 4, yet still not up to the size of full sized SUV’s, like the Highlander, Pathfinder, or Pilot.  But this Dodge “tweener” has some good features, and for those looking for a larger family vehicle, which can be had with a third row seat, there’s a lot to look at. There …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Subaru Outback Limited By Ken Glassman

  2015 Subaru Outback Limited By Ken Glassman Since nearly 25% of Subaru’s total vehicle sales, or around 120,000 copies, comes from the Outback model, Subaru understood that radical changes would be a risky proposition. Outback buyers are a fiercely loyal group, and that’s because they have been happy with the package that Subaru has been offering for many years. So while the 2015 model is based off the new Legacy sedan, the Outback changes have been evolutionary, not revolutionary. The result is a better vehicle, with mild styling changes, and improvements. PERFORMANCE Two engine options are available, and while …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Nissan Rogue SV AWD By Ken Glassman

  2015 Nissan Rogue SV AWD Review By Ken Glassman Nissan’s sales growth has been aggressive over the last several years, and one of the main reasons for that is the popularity of the Rogue, now their second leading volume model, trailing only the mid-size Altima sedan. And like the Altima, the rogue swims in a large pond of competitors. But steady improvements over the years has added up to a fine small SUV that combines strong fuel economy with a right-size vehicle that can span the spectrum from entry level to near luxury with a broad range of option …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD – By Ken Glassman

  2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review   By Ken Glassman Last year the Toyota Highlander underwent its third major makeover, and not much has changed for this year. While the Highlander is technically a crossover vehicle, based upon a car platform, it looks and feels very much more truck-like, and seems more akin to the Toyota 4Runner than a Camry. It is a large vehicle, which seats 7 or 8 depending upon the interior choices, and has more cargo space than the last generation. It is also better looking, with a bold front end and brawny, bulging fenders. The base …

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2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited Review

Road Test Review – 2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited – By Ken Glassman

2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited Review By Ken Glassman The first Hyundai Sonata appeared on the scene way back in 1988. It was a small, homely looking sedan, but a capable, economical car with a lot of content found only on cars costing a few thousand dollars more. And it may be best remembered for having a five year bumper to bumper warranty, and 10 years on the powertrain. Hyundai in those years were trying to impress the buying public that their cars were ready for prime time, and they were willing to back them up with the best warranty in …

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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 …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 RWD

2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Review By Ken Glassman   If you got behind the wheel of the new Hyundai Genesis 5.0 and didn’t know who manufactured the car, you’d swear you were driving a German luxury car, like the E-class Mercedes, or 5-Series BMW, or Audi A6. Only after looking at the price tag would you know that it couldn’t be one of those European makes, because a similarly equipped German sedan would cost at least 6 to 10 grand more. The Genesis is both an outstanding car in its own right, and an outstanding value. V-8 engines are becoming …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Lexus RX350 AWD

2015 Lexus RX350 AWD Review By Ken Glassman   Let’s set our way-back machine to 1999, when Lexus created the mid-size luxury SUV market with the RX 300. It was an immediate success, and sent the rest of the industry scrambling to catch up. Within a few years, all the major luxury brands were turning out competitor vehicles, and they all got better and better. Today, the competition is fierce with Acura, BMW, Audi, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Infinity all vying for a share of the pie. But the RX has remained one of the most successful models of all time. …

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Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD

   2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD Review     By Ken Glassman Way back in 1996, Toyota introduced the RAV4 as a small sport utility vehicle that was something different than a stodgy station wagon. It provided the cargo carrying capacity of a wagon, comfort for 4 adults (and a fifth in a pinch), and was fuel efficient and high quality. It was a boxy and homely, but it quickly became the formula for other manufacturers to emulate. It wasn’t an exciting vehicle to drive, but its utilitarian function won over a generation of drivers. Today the 2014 RAV4 is …

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Road Test Review – 2014 Mazda3 S Grand Touring 5-Door Drives Like BMW!

By Special Contributor Ken Glassman Mazda has been making some great cars for a long time. And Mazda has been setting themselves apart from the crowd by dialing in more driving excitement. You can always count on a Mazda to offer outstanding handling and excellent performance into all their models. And the 3 series Grand Touring is no exception.  EXTERIOR The styling of this 5-door hatchback is slick and unique. Hatchbacks are not nearly as popular in the US as they are everywhere else in the world, but this one may change how Americans look at a hatchback, and see …

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Road Test Review – 2014 Lexus GS350 AWD Is Quick And Balanced with Killer 835W Audio System

By Special Contributor Ken Glassman Photos Include the 2015 GS350 F Sport Crafted Line EXTERIOR Refreshed in 2013, the Lexus GS350 remains about the same for the 2014 model year. For whatever reason, the mid-size Lexus has never been a great selling model, maybe because it goes up against some stiff competition from the European models like the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, BMW’s 5-Series, and even the excellent Cadillac CTS. But the GS350 and its GS hybrid cousin are still very fine automobiles, and should appeal to anyone looking for a mid-size luxury car.     The power comes from …

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Road Test Review – 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line Convertible

  By Ken Glassman Five minutes after they dropped off the new Beetle Convertible R-Line in my driveway, I was out cruising down the road. Perfect sunny day, with temps in the mid 70’s, and I’m loving it. I am a big convertible fan, and will take any opportunity to get into one and enjoy the pleasure of top down driving. Unfortunately, there are precious few convertibles on the market – at least within the price range of average folks. Of course if you want to take out a second mortgage on your house, you can choose from some outstanding …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD Is Solid Drive with Potent V6 and Swanky Cockpit

  By Ken Glassman A few months ago, I had the chance to spend about 20 minutes in the new Chrysler 200C, and I liked it very much. Now after spending a week with the car, I can confidently say that it will be my choice for Car of the Year. And I suspect that it will garner many votes from journalists for that title. It’s that good. The first generation of 200 sedans was offered in 2011, and were a good improvement over the Sebring models it replaced. But these new 200 sedans, labeled as 2015 models, takes the …

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