2019 VW Tiguan SEL Premium 4Motion Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the massive 2019 Toyota Sequoia, and we felt that it had earned the motto (ok, we read it on a popcorn box) Big is More. In its class the jumbo Toy makes the most of its size. But it’s not the only class where size matters. Take for example the 2019 VW Tiguan. The previous gen was one of our favorite small SUV’s – it felt like you were getting some GTI DNA mixed in with crossover practicality. When time came around for VW to update the Tig, it decided to aim directly for the U.S. market. …

Read more 2019 VW Tiguan SEL Premium 4Motion Review by Ben Lewis

IMG_8067

2019 Buick Enclave Premium FWD – Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Buick Regal TourX and concluded that it’s a sweet sport wagon – and not the big and friendly family Roadmaster wagon of day’s past. What if a big comfy wagon is what you’re looking for? As we like to say, step right this way, to the 2019 Buick Enclave. While the wagon market is rapidly shrinking, the crossover segment is going like gangbusters. And for the family with places to go, the three-row Buick is a great way to get there. Sleek 7-seater If you’re hoping for slabs of plasticized pine, you’ll be disappointed here. On …

Read more 2019 Buick Enclave Premium FWD – Review by Ben Lewis

2019 Subaru ASCENT Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve always admired that Subaru stays true to its roots. A clever mix of marketing and engineering makes Subie owners set apart from the crowd. And in an age where so many brands seem to offer similar products, that difference is a fresh and welcome breeze. That said, Subaru doesn’t operate in a vacuum – they have to offer vehicles that buyers want. A perfect example is the 3-row crossover. Right now, that 7-passenger capability is a hot ticket, and we’ve seen everything from the new VW Tiguan to Kia Sorento stepping up to snag a bite of that apple. …

Read more 2019 Subaru ASCENT Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 VW E-Golf SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

OK, we’re a little late to the EV game. We recently tested the Soul EV, and came away charmed by the unique driving experience, and the way Kia made the electric Soul feel special and unique – like driving a car of the future. Which is a great counterpoint to the VW Golf EV. While the Kia celebrates its EV-ness, the Golf plays it the other way – it completely feels like any other Golf, the only difference is that it has a different way of fueling up. For someone with EV anxiety, or who just wants to go electric …

Read more 2017 VW E-Golf SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Buick Encore Premium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the new Buick Enclave, and found it to be an excellent blend of style, performance and luxury. What if you want all that, but something in a smaller package, perfect for running around the city as well as the open road? Well then, how about the Buick Encore?  Refreshed in 2017, the small SUV has proven to be exceptionally popular – it’s Buick best-selling model – and it shows how quickly the brand has moved from stodgy to hip and cool in a short time. Not the urban lumberjack, Jack. In the land of small SUV’s trying …

Read more 2018 Buick Encore Premium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Subaru CrossTrek Review 11

2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium – Road Test Review

Subaru refreshed its Outback Jr for the 2018 model year with a bump in horsepower and fresh LEDs on the top trims.  New cabin tech and the slightest of slight design upgrade to detailing outside and in completed the refresh. Most notably, the top Crosstreks now have a sexy LED DRL that comes standard with the upgraded bi-xenon, auto-highbeam cornering lamps on the Crosstrek Limited. Humbler trims like our 2.0i Premium tester have to make do another year with bulb DRLs and a decidedly dowdy look on the road. No LEDs in front for this trim but some searingly-bright LED …

Read more 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium – Road Test Review

2018 VW Atlas V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion – Road Test Review + Video

A recent comment on our amazing VW Atlas youtube drive review has really stuck in my craw. “Atlas is not a Tahoe competitor,” they say. “Atlas competes with Pilot and Highlander, dude,” is the refrain. And I used to agree with these guys. On paper, Atlas with its seating for 8 and pricing from $30k, might seem like a natural rival to car-based midsize crossovers.  It even runs a standard turbo four and front-wheel drive, after all!  (Same for new Q7 on the turbo four…) But Atlas is so much more than a proper three-row rival to Explorer and Durango. …

Read more 2018 VW Atlas V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion – Road Test Review + Video

2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

 We start the drive video review asking a serious question: does this Euro Infiniti QX30 belong in the USA? This baby Infiniti has two variants on sale in America: the crossover-ish QX30 and QX30 AWD.  Then there is the wild cousin: the QX30 Sport.  Lowered ride height.  Performance mods and gloss black finishes galore.  Stance to make the most of the double-clutch automatic and turbo motor from Mercedes-Benz. Premium compact five-doors are big business on the continent.  Instead of trading up to a sedan after the Golf/Focus class, owners will shell out big cash to get into the A3, 1 …

Read more 2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

DSCN4428

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

2017 Nissan GT-R Review 5

2017 Nissan GT-R Premium – First Drive Review w/ Video + 77 Photos

Let me invite you behind the scenes for a moment.  Reviewing the photos that come back from my Nikon is an exercise in Deletion.  Usually every third photo will be wonky.  Either out of focus, framed wrong or perhaps with just one LED lit.  Taking 100 photos then leaves us with about 60. Not so with this Nissan GT-R.   We’re finding focus and beauty in almost every frame! A lot like the drive, in fact.  This car in a downpour outside Road America racetrack in Wisconsin was 40 minutes in heaven.  The roads were slick, wound through the woods …

Read more 2017 Nissan GT-R Premium – First Drive Review w/ Video + 77 Photos

2017 INFINITI Q60 3

2017 INFINITI Q60 3.0t Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The all-new Infiniti Q60 has a heck of a fight on its hands, and we don’t envy it. The premium coupe segment is where manufacturers like to work your endorphins to peak frenzy to get you to buy, buy, buy their latest sweethearts. And they have been offering up some tasty temptations. Tempting to swoon the 2-door dollars out of your wallet are the handsome and proven BMW 4-series, surprisingly good upstart Cadillac ATS, stunning Lexus RC, Mercedes’ rounded C-Class coupe, and just-introduced Audi A5. And if that’s not enough to get your head spinning, just about every manufacturer now offers …

Read more 2017 INFINITI Q60 3.0t Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Cadillac ATS 3

2017 Cadillac ATS 3.6 Performance – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Drive this Cadillac and you’ll never want an Electric Vehicle. Ever. We’ve been having this discussion lately. While some of our friends are having eye-watering fantasies about driving the new Tesla to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, we’re rather meh on the whole deal. And you can blame this Cadillac ATS for that. The Caddy doesn’t try to redefine the sport sedan segment – and it doesn’t need to. What the ATS does is remind you about everything a great sport sedan brings to the table, lays it out in front of you, and invites you to dig in. …

Read more 2017 Cadillac ATS 3.6 Performance – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

pa211869

2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

  In Europe, they make fun of the Volkswagen Passat Americans drive. Their suspension and materials are superior, they argue. OK, fine. Relish that superiority, Europe. That doesn’t change the fact the ‘Merican Passat remains one of the best all-around midsize family sedans in ‘Merica. Family values I spent a week with a 2017 VW Passat and pretty much fell in love with its practicality and handsome good looks — but mostly its practicality. Some people have criticized this generation of the Passat for being too understated. It takes on Volkswagen’s corporate low-and-wide styling, so the grille and headlights aren’t …

Read more 2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

2014 INFINITI Q50S AWD Hybrid -- 1080p HD Road Test Videos & 50 Photos -- AAA+ Refinement and Truly Authentic Steering -- An Excellent BMW 535i Competitor 23

2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0T – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

After three non-stop hours behind the wheel of a 2016 Infiniti Q50, I’ve never been more mixed on a car. It simply delights, frustrates, pleases and annoys all at the same time. Here’s why. Throughout my week of driving the car, I had taken short trips while saving one long-distance trip for the compact car. My reasoning is simple. This trip was a mix of city, highway and dirt driving through the northern Colorado landscape of fields and rolling hills. There are hair-pin turns, long, straight roads and plenty of deep drops and quick climbs. It is ideal for seeing …

Read more 2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0T – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

2016 VW Passat SEL 11

2016 Volkswagen PASSAT 1.8T SEL Premium – HD First Drive

    Watch us put the new VW Passat through some autocross corners around Georgia’s Lake Lanier Islands Resort. Thrilled with the 1.8T engine’s thrust and the car’s handling balance — as well as the six-speed automatic, which fooled us into thinking it was a DSG!  But actually just a terrific Tiptronic with Sport mode.  Impressive.   2016 Volkswagen PASSAT 1.8T SEL Premium 2016 Volkswagen PASSAT 1.8T SEL Premium – Interior

Beating the Supercar Paradox - 2007 Ferrari F430 at Velocity Motorsports Supercar Track Drive 30

The Do’s and Don’ts of Renting an Exotic Car – Scott Huntington Shares Best Practices

Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of zipping around town in a Ferrari 360 Modena Spider, or maybe you want a standout car for a special occasion such as a honeymoon or dream vacation. Whatever the reason, when it comes to renting luxury or exotic cars, you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely with a legitimate company. DO Pay Attention to the Rules A reputable luxury car rental company is going to have similar rules to any other car rental company. You’ll likely need to be a certain age – for some companies that might be 25 and for …

Read more The Do’s and Don’ts of Renting an Exotic Car – Scott Huntington Shares Best Practices

2015 LA Auto Show Photos 27

2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Gorgeous Miata Makeover Is Biggest LA Debut Yet

    More to follow.  Wanted this gorgeous new FIAT online ASAP!   2017 FIAT 124 Spider ALL-NEW 2017 FIAT 124 SPIDER REVIVES LEGENDARY NAMEPLATE WITH ICONIC ITALIAN STYLING AND DYNAMIC DRIVING EXPERIENCE 18/11/15 2017 Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction Revival of roadster continues expansion of FIAT brand in North America Delivers iconic Italian style with modern adaptation of original Spider legend Powered by turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, available with manual or automatic transmission Available with an array of safety and security features, plus technologies for added …

Read more 2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Gorgeous Miata Makeover Is Biggest LA Debut Yet

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 …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium AWD

2016 Chevrolet EQUINOX – First Look at New LEDs, Nose and Interior in 50 Photos

First in-person look at the refreshed 2016 Chevy Equinox — which is an even-more-impressive execution of a large SUV with the pricing of a compact crossover. The 2016 model starts from just $23k in its front-drive 2.4-liter form, where it comes in with an impressive 32-mpg. The uplevel 3.6-liter V6 engine is the real sprint champ, however, with just a 6.7-second official time. Other impressive elements of the Equinox? Inside, the tech and build quality take a huge leap upward. The loaded LTZ model shown here features the new Saddle brown leather for its seats as well as dash wraps. …

Read more 2016 Chevrolet EQUINOX – First Look at New LEDs, Nose and Interior in 50 Photos

2016 INFINITI Q30 Makes Global Debut Ahead of January Arrival to USA Showrooms

This is a big year for Infiniti. A bevy of new products hope to invigorate the range in its core US market, but also establish a foothold in the premium compact markets of Europe and China. To that end, the new Q30 is a big next chapter for the firm. It joins the new 2.0-liter turbo engine option on the 2016 Q50 and a production-spec Q60 (coupe) coming in January. The Q30 comes in two flavors stateside: the base, Premium and Sport. The Q30S wears a unique nose clip with beautiful swirls around its lower grille/jawline. Special wheels, boxed twin …

Read more 2016 INFINITI Q30 Makes Global Debut Ahead of January Arrival to USA Showrooms

Update1 – 2016 INFINITI Q70 Premium Select Bows At Pebble Beach With Black Chrome Details

Despite the name ‘Premium Select’ sounding like a chicken fingers value meal at McDonalds… the new Q70 Premium Select Edition is actually a very cool style option for the 2016 full-size sports sedan. 20-inch dark alloys and dark brightwork complete the makeover outside… with some unique touches to update the cabin as well. It is just enough to create some buzz about the very handsome Q70 sedan flagship.    2016 INFINITI Q70 Premium Select 2016 INFINITI Q70 PREMIUM SELECT EDITION DEBUTS AT PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS d’ELEGANCE 12/08/15   PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Infiniti today announced that the new 2016 Infiniti …

Read more Update1 – 2016 INFINITI Q70 Premium Select Bows At Pebble Beach With Black Chrome Details

2015 Toyota 4Runner  20

Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium 4×4 with KDSS Suspension

The whole SUV world of has gone soft. Crossovers from near and far have ditched their rugged truck frames in favor of cushy third rows and lazy AWD. What is a real off-roader to do for an SUV with 2015 tech and features alongside totally invincible traction and durability?! You can pick up a Wrangler Unlimited with its four-door hardtop giving year-round thrills, or perhaps the Nissan xTerra? Or you can stick with the one you know delivers: the Toyota 4Runner. This is a truck that maintains the greatest parts of its core appeal for 30 years of US sales, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium 4×4 with KDSS Suspension

LEDetails - 2015 Lexus NX300h Triple LED Lights 68

LEDetails – 2015 Lexus NX300h – Up Close with the Triple-Beam LED Lights

Met up with another sexy black Lexus NX recently, and spent some time starting deep into its LED eyeballs! Just kidding. Nothing weird here. The Lexus style has just taken a huge leap with these ultra-cool triple LED headlamp style. It is stunning on the roads as an option on the new RC and NX, as well as the upcoming RX replacement. Here is a very close look at the lights in real life. The interplay between the actual light output and my Nikon’s sensors is fairly interesting. The Nikon goes dark when the Lexus lights are shining right into …

Read more LEDetails – 2015 Lexus NX300h – Up Close with the Triple-Beam LED Lights

2008 Citroen HYPNOS 35

Concept Flashback – 2008 Citroen HYPNOS Was X6-Sized Missed Opportunity

  This 2008 Citroen concept is best known for its melted candy interior – with a swirl of wild colors looking a bit like a bag of Skittles left of the dashboard of a car in direct sunlight. But in fact, this crossover was one of Citroen’s first attempts at a soft-roader. Powered by a 2.0-liter HDi turbodiesel making 200-horsepower to the front wheels, plus a hybrid electric setup with 50HP for the back axle. The crossover and SUV space presented and still does present a fantastic opportunity for mass-market brands to achieve premium sales they all crave. Evidence? How …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2008 Citroen HYPNOS Was X6-Sized Missed Opportunity

Scion iA 16

All-New 2016 Scion iA Poised to be Best Subcompact 4-Door With Sporty Chassis and Upscale Cabin

Scion’s littlest car in history is also set to be one of its most chuckable and sporty handlers!  This new four-door compact sedan will be priced around $16,000 with just one well-speced trim level and choice between six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The 106-horsepower four-cylinder sedan is closely related to the new 2016 Mazda2, but offers a sedan bodystyle not available on the Mazda. The style is quite fresh from nose and profile angles, with shapely creases and an overall lean and sporty look. The roof is fairly low, which is refreshing versus the too-tall Ford Fiesta and Chevy Spark. …

Read more All-New 2016 Scion iA Poised to be Best Subcompact 4-Door With Sporty Chassis and Upscale Cabin

2015-03-31_131645d

Update1 – 2016 GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali Refreshed With LEDs

  A midsize crossover so bland that we regularly forget it exists? Oh, that would be GMC’s second-best-seller: the Terrain. Paired with the Chevrolet Equinox, the new Terrain and Terrain Denali are right on the pulse of many buyers size, price and style needs even six years since their launch in 2009. The Terrain and Equinox have actually increased their sales performance fairly dramatically in recent years, which may explain why they are so updated so slightly for 2016. A new look for the nose comes from a fresh lower fascia design, revised grille detailing and a new hood shape …

Read more Update1 – 2016 GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali Refreshed With LEDs

2016 Chevrolet Equinox  1

2016 Chevrolet Equinox Facelift Revealed in Chicago

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox just had its best-ever sales month in January 2015, which is proof that the large and affordable crossover is still a hit with shoppers. For 2016, the Equinox features an all-new nose and tail look, along with a classier glasshouse shape and upgraded interior. Chevrolet Equinox – 2016 Fresh Face: Chevrolet Introduces Restyled 2016 Equinox Premium cues, new safety features enhance Chevy’s record-selling compact SUV CHICAGO – Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, …

Read more 2016 Chevrolet Equinox Facelift Revealed in Chicago

ilx gif

2016 Acura ILX Adds Power, Excellent 8-Speed Twin-Clutch Automatic and Classy LED Headlamps

   After a quick spin in the new TLX 2.4-liter with Acura’s outstanding new eight-speed twin-clutch automatic, we fell hard and fast for the often-chastised Honda luxury brand. The TLX is a revolution in funtionality, style and performance dynamics — and hopes to shine some of its new skills on the ILX sedan forming the entry to the Acura range. For 2016, we have a finessed ILX lineup that no longer includes a hybrid but does bring a standard jump of 50 horsepower and 40 pound-feet of torqye versus the previous cars. The 201-horsepower total might not win many headlines …

Read more 2016 Acura ILX Adds Power, Excellent 8-Speed Twin-Clutch Automatic and Classy LED Headlamps

gtr prem 15 gif

Best of Awards – 2015 Nissan GT-R Premium in 4K Track Drive Reviews

 TRACK DRIVE VIDEO – 4K Quality The Midwest Auto Media Association’s Fall Rally in 2013 was my first-ever taste of the mighty Nissan GT-R. Last year, the Nissan USA guys brought a seriously menacing Track Edition model for quick laps around the Autobahn Country Club racetrack. We arrived on the scene in a press loan Nissan JUKE Nismo so it was a love-fest overall for the Nissan performance lineup. But a late arrival meant we skipped the track in 2013 in favor of mild street drives instead. Or so we thought. In Race/Race/Race settings, the GT-R threw my iPhone camera …

Read more Best of Awards – 2015 Nissan GT-R Premium in 4K Track Drive Reviews