2020 Toyota Corolla SE 6-Speed Manual Sedan – Review by Ben Lewis

If I tell you there’s a 4-door compact sedan that’s got hot styling, some real attitude, and is lots of fun to drive thanks to a 6-speed manual transmission, what would you say? Civic? Mazda 3, Elantra? How about a Toyota Corolla? Yes, the Corolla. Okay, we can’t blame you if it didn’t pop in your mind. Although there have been the occasional performance versions including the hot-hatch 1988 Corolla FX16, and the 2005 Corolla XRS sedan (8,000 rpm redline!), most of the model’s reputation has been built on solid, sensible and reliable transportation over flash. And it’s been a …

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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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2020 Kia Soul X-Line – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First, a moment of silence. Today we mourn The Hamster. Well, not a real Hamster, but the special-FX rodents that came to be identified with the Kia Soul, thanks to their great commercials. For the all-new 2020 Soul, it looks like the furry funmakers have been tossed in the proverbial dustbin. (At least they could have been buried in the backyard, no?) Shed no tears, though, because this is an all-new Kia Soul, and while it keeps the, errr…Soul of the previous model, it sports a lot of great improvements that keep it one of the most enjoyable and endearing …

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Review by Ben Lewis

The CX-5 crossover is a big deal to Mazda – it’s the best-selling vehicle they have in the U.S., and having sold over 2 million units worldwide it’s a bona fide success. It’s a well-loved product, too. Having been here since 2012, it got a nice refresh when we tested the 2017 CX-5, and we felt that it was still our favorite small crossover – it’s a great drive. But time moves on, some big hitters have come our way, including the all-new 2019 RAV4, which we loved for its looks, performance, and hybrid efficiency, all in one package. Mazda …

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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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2020 BMW 330i M Sport xDrive – First Drive Review Video & Photo Gallery

A rainy morning in hilly northern Wisconsin was the perfect time and place to try out the new BMW 3 series with AWD.  This redesign was sure to be pretty excellent – focused on the interior roominess and luxury, and maintaining the excellent pace and agility that the sedan perfected generations ago. We flogged its turbo four to really feel the 5.3-second sprint to 60-mph and came out grinning.The xDrive AWD models have the same turbo four as the rear-drive models but this time tuned with about 80 extra pound-feet of torque. BMW has done this for years and it …

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2019 Lexus LS500 F Sport – Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve always been fans of the Lexus luxury flagship. And when it’s the sporty F SPORT model, even more so. We enjoyed the previous-gen 2017 Lexus 460 F SPORT, and were enamored with its powerful V8 engine. And then we were seduced by the new 2018 Lexus LS500, especially with the reclining rear seats with massage function – pure luxury limo. But even then, we knew the hot ticket would be the LS500 F SPORT. Losing the 460’s V8 would be tough, but gaining 30 hp and 67 lb-ft of twin-turbo V6 muscle seemed like a pretty good deal. Add …

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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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chevy colorado zr2 bison

2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison AEV 2.8L Diesel – First Drive Review

Aptly named save for one trait Upon reflection of my encounter with Chevy’s new ZR2 Bison AEV trim package for their mid-sized truck offering, the Colorado, the Bison moniker was appropriate. I found myself with a bit of a shiver on a particularly cold morning, with what felt like freezing fog. For being in the heart of a land that had lived in harmony with the name Chevy decided on for this variant, Bison, I hadn’t heeded the lessons learned from the past centuries of the local peoples. As my breath puffed visibly as I grew closer to this truck, …

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