2020 Lexus ES300h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The Lexus ES is moving upmarket. Can it step up to the task? The seventh generation ES was new for 2019 with the 2020 model receiving a few minor updates. Moving forward, the ES will have to cover for its traditionally sportier sibling with Car and Driver, reporting that the GS is going out of production.   Exterior You’d be forgiven for mistaking the Lexus ES for a sports sedan. The updated design is beautiful, sporty, and luxurious. The ES is longer and lower than the previous generation with the wheels pushed out to the corners. It is a gorgeous …

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2020 Jeep “JLUR” Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

After four years off, FCA brought back the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel. This time they’ve decided to add it to the Jeep Wrangler. Enthusiasts call the newest Wrangler the JL.  If it’s the four-door version they, add a “U,” and for the Rubicon trim they add an R. Our test model was a 2020 JLUR EcoDiesel. Video Intro   Overview Arguably America’s most rugged vehicle, the newest Jeep Wrangler has been modernized without compromise to off-road ability. The Jeep brand is FCA’s top seller in the U.S., and the Wrangler is a big portion of that. In order to please a wider …

Read more 2020 Jeep “JLUR” Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2020 Cadillac XT6 Drive Review – By Matt Barnes – An Almost Excellent 3-Row Crossover

The XT6 is a front wheel drive luxury crossover from Cadillac using the same platform as the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse. While the quadruplets are based on the same platform, the XT6 looks significantly different. The XT6 is more upscale and sportier than the other three. It appears nimbler and more luxurious yet retains the same 310 hp 3.6-liter V6 used in the others. Exterior When compared to its siblings, the XT6 has sharper lines, a lower body, and more chrome. The headlights are unique from all other Cadillac vehicles, but the grill, bumper, and fog lights …

Read more 2020 Cadillac XT6 Drive Review – By Matt Barnes – An Almost Excellent 3-Row Crossover

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 …

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2020 Toyota Land Cruiser – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

What can be said about the 200 series Land Cruiser that hasn’t already been said? It’s been around since 2008 and has only had a few meaningful changes since then. For 2020, there is an all new Heritage Edition that removes the rear seats and center armrest cooler and adds a roof rack, BBS forged wheels, and special badges. Other than that, little has changed from the 2019 model year. For our review, Toyota sent us a base model Land Cruiser for a week. Keep in mind the base model Land Cruiser starts at over $85,000 and there is only …

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2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road – Off-Pavement Drive Review – By Matt Barnes

The RAV4 is a tent-pole for Toyota USA with nearly half a million sales in 2019 and as the top-selling SUV in the United States. The RAV4 was updated in 2019 to be better in almost every way. Toyota moved away from the bland styling of yesteryear to create a more athletic and polarizing vehicle with more Tacoma and 4Runner design cues. Toyota is offering a new trim level for the RAV4, the TRD Off-Road for 2020 to match this newly masculine and athletic theme. On-Road For on road driving, the TRD Off-Road handles similarly to all other RAV4’s we’ve …

Read more 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road – Off-Pavement Drive Review – By Matt Barnes

2020 BMW X6 40i – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Sports Car in a Crossover’s Clothes: the New BMX X6 German vehicle manufacturers have recently been flooding the US market with a variety of crossovers; Audi offers six, Mercedes offers eight, and BMW offers seven. For BMW, they offer their SUVs as wagons and coupes. The X1 is the wagon and X2 the coupe riding on the same platforms. This goes for the X3 and X4, and the X5 and X6. The only wagon without a coupe is the new X7 as there is no X8 available yet. BMW was kind enough to give us a week with an X6 …

Read more 2020 BMW X6 40i – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 6.6L Gas V8 – Off-Road Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

Chevy has updated the 2500 and 3500 Silverados for 2020. The grill is even bigger than before, the cab is longer and more spacious, the bed is wider and longer, and they are now offering a bigger V8 gas engine. Chevy has used the 6.0 gas V8 for over a decade now, and it’s long past due for a major update. We found the new 6.6-liter V8 gas engine to be more than adequate for most uses. With a towing capacity of up to 16,600 pounds most weekend warriors will be able to take their boats to the lake or …

Read more 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 6.6L Gas V8 – Off-Road Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition – Review By Matt Barnes

Nissan gave us the opportunity to drive the 2019 Pathfinder SL 4wd Rock Creek Edition. The Pathfinder name has been used by Nissan for almost 60 years, and this newest iteration delivers. The Rock Creek Edition adds a ton of the most commonly popular features at a discounted price and makes for a beautiful color scheme. Outside There’s something about the color scheme and Midnight Pine Metallic paint that says “take me on an adventure”, but Nissan doesn’t add any additional off-road capability with the Rock Creek Edition. What it adds is a plethora of dark and rugged themed features, …

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2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD – Road Test Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

Nissan has done a good job of making their SUV’s feel higher class than they have in the past. Often, Nissan’s are thought of as budget Toyotas, with great reliability but very basic. However, in the past few years, Nissan has moved into luxury interiors with comfortable seating and plenty of standard safety features. While bare bones base models are still available for price conscious customers, it’s Nissan’s middle and upper trims that really bring out the comfort and convenience features. Outside Our test model was an AWD SL trim with the premium Sunset Drift paint color. It is a …

Read more 2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD – Road Test Review + Video – By Matt Barnes

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Toyota made many changes to the Rav4 for 2019, including a new chassis, new bold look, and more space. How will Toyota’s top seller in the United States fare with these new changes? Coming in at $37,699, is this loaded crossover worth the coin? Overview The Rav4 has long been a big seller for Toyota. It was an early, if not the first, car-based SUV, now called crossovers. For 2019, the Rav4 is more aggressive with a higher stance and a half inch higher ground clearance. This bodes well for the Rav4 Adventure whose focus is on outdoorsy people who …

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2019 Ford F-150 Limited – Road Test & Towing Review – By Matt Barnes

With the intense pickup truck wars in full effect right now, manufacturers are offering more luxury and ease-of-use features than ever before. Coming in at the very top of Ford’s F-150 lineup is the new Limited model. Recently, Ford sent us an F-150 Limited for review and we found that there were only six added options. Nearly every other conceivable feature is standard equipment. The Limited model is only available in the Super Crew 5.5 ft. bed configuration. It comes with so many features on the interior that there are few things that can be optioned. On the inside, our …

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2019 Lexus RX350 F Sport AWD – Review By Matt Barnes

For 2019, there haven’t been many changes to the RX 350 F Sport from the 2018 or even 2017 model years. It remains a strong seller for Lexus and a great all-around vehicle. Inside, the F Sport trim adds a variety of interior pieces from the pedals and steering wheel to the F Sport leather trim and seats. Outside, the F Sport gets a nice set of 20-inch rims and a couple of F Sport badges. Performance wise, there aren’t any substantial changes. It still uses the 295 hp V6 that all other RX 350’s use, however, the F Sport …

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2019 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line V6 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The Volkswagen Atlas is a vehicle that rides, drives and handles much smaller than it actually is. For 2019, it has been updated to include more standard features across the lineup, including forward collision warning, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Our test vehicle was the SE w/ Technology R-line model equipped with the 3.6 liter V6 and 8-speed automatic. Mid-size SUVs have been gaining in popularity for quite some time now, which is a great thing for buyers in this segment. Being in a profitable segment means that there is a lot of R&D put into these vehicles, …

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2018 Toyota Land Cruiser – Off-Road & Towing Review – By Matt Barnes

The Toyota Land Cruiser has a loyal global following, and for good reason. It is one of the most reliable, longest lasting vehicles in automotive history. Cruisers are lauded as the ultimate overlanding vehicle. There are many different variants sold throughout the world, but here in the United States, we get one model with one trim level, and only one available option package. Unless you account for the Lexus LX570, which offers a few more features and a more luxurious interior. To test the capability of the Land Cruiser, we decided to head into the desert hills to see what …

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2018 Lexus GX460 – On & Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Badged as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado worldwide, the Lexus GX460 is a luxuriously adorned version for the United States and other upscale markets. The underpinnings are as durable as one would expect from a Toyota product with all the luxury of a Lexus. Interior The GX460 is a very luxurious vehicle with all the features you would expect in a Lexus. The leather is soft and supple, with heated and ventilated seats. The second row has heated seats, but not ventilated. The steering wheel is also heated. The middle row captain’s chairs are comfortable and allow easy access to …

Read more 2018 Lexus GX460 – On & Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Battle of the 2019 Jeep Cherokees – Trailhawk Vs Limited – By Matt Barnes

A few months, back we had the chance to test drive the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited. We really enjoyed our time with the vehicle and you can read about it here. Recently, Jeep sent us the Trailhawk version of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee, with the same 3.2 liter V6 and 9 speed automatic transmission. This gave us a good opportunity to compare the two similarly equipped vehicles, costing within $200 of each other. Similarities Both 2019 Cherokees we tested came with: Adaptive cruise control Lane keep assist 9 speaker audio system with the 8.4 inch Uconnect and GPS setup Leather …

Read more Battle of the 2019 Jeep Cherokees – Trailhawk Vs Limited – By Matt Barnes

2018 Lexus RX450h – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

The 2018 Lexus RX has always been a big seller for Lexus, and the new version is the best one yet. All variants of the mid-size luxury SUV use a 3.5 liter V-6, but the 450h (hybrid) model adds a small battery and three electric motors. There is also a new long version that has been stretched a little over four inches to accommodate 3rd row seating. Like all Lexus vehicles, the RX 450h has high quality interior materials, a quiet ride and smooth braking and steering. Does the hybrid RX really deliver luxury-car feel and econo-car mileage? The V-6 …

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2019 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

With a $125,000 base price, the Mercedes GLS 63 AMG is out of range for many people. For those who have the wherewithal and need to haul six people, it is an excellent — and perhaps only — choice. Featuring a hand assembled AMG 5.5 liter twin turbo (Mercedes calls it a biturbo) V8 with 577 horsepower and 561 torque, the GLS AMG has only one three-row performance competitor: the 475 horsepower Dodge Durango SRT 392.  [Audi is not bringing the diesel SQ7 to the USA.] When it comes to luxury, the Mercedes is at the top in this class. …

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2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 – MEGA Photo Gallery – By Matt Barnes

Check out the rave review of this muscle-truck over here too!   http://www.car-revs-daily.com/2018/09/17/2018-dodge-durango-srt-392-road-test-review-gifs-by-matt-barnes/     http://www.car-revs-daily.com/2018/09/17/2018-dodge-durango-srt-392-road-test-review-gifs-by-matt-barnes/    

2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 – Road Test Review + GIFs – By Matt Barnes

The SRT 392 Durango is by far the best-looking Durango produced to date. The SRT package takes the Durango from mundane to monstrous. As we spent more time with it, the Durango just kept growing on us to the point that we didn’t want to return it. Exterior It’s nice to know that the hood vents and scoop are real and have an actual purpose, something not seen on many vehicles today, performance or otherwise. The SRT 392 sits lower than the standard Durango and has a more aggressive stance with wider tires. The black dual racing stripes that run …

Read more 2018 Dodge Durango SRT 392 – Road Test Review + GIFs – By Matt Barnes

2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

When looking at the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee, one may wonder how a solid axle XJ from a few decades ago has evolved into a smooth-riding, fully independent suspension and a seemingly less off road capable vehicle. From our experience, the new Cherokee is much better on road and is every bit as capable and possibly even more capable than its predecessor. Exterior For 2019, the Jeep Cherokee has a few exterior updates that are different from the 2018 model, making it more attractive and lighter. The bumpers, LED head lights, LED tail lights, hood and liftgate have all been …

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2018 RAM 2500 Limited 4×4 Long Box – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

When thinking of an HD pickup truck, the first things that come to mind are diesel power and a terrible ride. Only one of those two things is true with the 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4 Long Box. Our test vehicle came with a lot of upgrades and packages, making it one of the most comfortable three-quarter ton trucks we have ever driven. Exterior This was an attractive truck from nearly any angle. It really stood out from all the other vehicles around it due to its enormous size and alluring deep indigo red paint. The Limited Tungsten …

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4.2s 2016 Lotus ELISE 220 Is Quickest Ever! USA Arrivals in March; No Fatties T-Shirt Optional

  Shocking speed from this new Elise 220 from Lotus!  Just 4.2-seconds to 60-mph for its estimated $60k US price makes it one of the most rapid machines for the money. And that is just in a straight line! Put some curves in the road course, and the Elise will walk away from most American metal — regardless of price or power ratings. The new Elise Sport is the base model below the 220, but is down about 80 ponies from the 217 of the top road-legal Elise in 2016.  Even so, the Elise Sport’s 6-second blast to 60-mph will …

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3.7s, 170MPH 2016 Lotus EXIGE SPORT 350 is New Road-Legal Cup Racer

A two-pack of exciting news from Lotus today: the new Exige Sport 350 drops nearly 100 pounds from the Exige S via an extensive lightweighting program.  Along with its 345-horsepower supercharged 3.5-liter V6, the new Exige Sport 350 is an absolute rocketship! Consider that the total weight of the Exige is barely 2500-pounds, and you can instantly know how fast the car is.  That weight is up just 200 versus the front-engine MX5 for 2016… a car with only 160-ponies in its most potent guise. Interestingly, the new Exige Sport 350 is now even more rapid as a paddle-shifted automatic: …

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HD Engine Startup! Meeting Three NASCAR Truck Series 2015 Toyota Tundra Drivers

Insights about the 2015 Toyota Tundra NASCAR trucks versus the cars? A special meet/greet with Johnny Sauter let us know that the trucks are far more controllable, and far more thrilling to race (in the driver’s seat) as a result. The NASCAR sedans, in contrast, were much more “exhilarating” due to a pronounced lack of control via grippy downforce. Exhilarating would definitely be a code-word for terrifying and loose and wild….! The 2015 NASCAR Tundra, by contrast, is more playful and playable out there on the Daytona International Speedway — per driver Johnny Sauter, who drove both trucks and cars …

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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 …

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