2018 Lexus LC500 - Review 14

2018 Lexus LC500 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Most times, I’m an auto journalist. Testing and writing about the latest and greatest from manufacturers, and hoping to give you the info you need to know. But today, I’m a Bond villain. Well at least I feel that way. I’m in the new Lexus LC500, and it makes such a definitive statement, and takes the brand in a bold new direction. And it does make you feel evil. In a good way. For your eyes, only…. Let’s start with the looks. While James Bond started with Astons, got sidetracked with Lotus and BMW’s along the way (and the occasional …

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2018 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring Sport 7 A/T – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Although summer is a memory in the rearview mirror for most of us, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy a roadster – in fact, cooler weather and leaves changing color make fall one of the joys of owning a drop top. And if you’re looking for joy in a roadster, look here. The 370Z is getting to be a senior citizen in the sports car world. The coupe appearing in 2009, the roadster in 2010. Mind you, there have been updates, including a facelift – but the basic vehicle is pretty much the same, even as its approaching it’s …

Read more 2018 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring Sport 7 A/T – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 VW Golf Alltrack S 10

2017 VW Golf Alltrack S w/ 4Motion – HD Road Test Review

Wagons are back! Have you heard? Small families and bachelors alike are rediscovering how easy, smooth and practical they are versus the endless line of mini SUVs.  Wagons have better mileage, handling and — sometimes — even long-roof style. There are places where the Golf Sportwagen’s low ride height is simply not ideal — even with that car’s optional 4Motion AWD system.  For mountain states like Colorado or Vermont, there can never be enough tall, 4×4 wagons to choose from. Subaru has had this market on lock for decades now with their big Outback and smaller Crosstrek wagons. VW is …

Read more 2017 VW Golf Alltrack S w/ 4Motion – HD Road Test Review

2017 Fiat 500C 1.4L Auto – Road Test Review

Is “hilarious” a helpful car description?  What about uproarious laughter at redline on the video review? Not really.  You migtht think the guy is laughing at the the car when he is actually laughing along with it. Either way, a serious case of the giggles comes standard on the Fiat 500C. The $17k 500 Cabrio is actually the cheapest way into a softtop in the USA for 2017 and 2018.  But with hard metal roof pillars, some might say this isn’t an all-the-way cabriolet. It might not be a full ragtop but it is delightfully sunny in the little Fiat …

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2017 VW Golf R w/ DCC & Nav – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Most car makers have “halo” cars.  You know, special products (usually at nosebleed prices) to show off the best of what they can do, and to make you feel better about the garden-variety products that most of us end up buying. Think Nissan GT-R, Corvette Z06, Acura NSX. VW has a halo vehicle, too. And while the family parts bin of Audi goodness could probably have given them some ridiculous $80,000 über Passat or something, they did something very cool. They made a VW Golf their showpiece. So, is the VW Golf R a hatch that super-enthusiasts can really get …

Read more 2017 VW Golf R w/ DCC & Nav – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 – HD Road Test Review

The Dodge Charger has always made big, loud speed its reason for being.  Even the simple R/T V8 runs a shouty HEMI and gets close to 5 seconds on the 60-mph sprint.  Simply heroic thrust on the road.  All with pricing that is a damn bargain versus any hot Camaro or Mustang, let alone anything else with a V8 and four doors.  (Rare breed indeed, lately). So now we have this Daytona edition with its Hellcat-alike bodywork and sexy black details.  Atop the Daytona kit you can add a three-number code that shouts POWERRR from the heavens:  the 392. Now …

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2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A long time ago, the SUV was a truck. In fact, many of our SUV-owning friends used to call them trucks. It was a badge of pride. Tough, no-nonsense. Go anywhere. The anti-Minivan in every sense of the word. But we got seduced. Today, nearly everyone wants car-like comfort, luxuries, swank styling. Rugged capability? Who cares. Well, if you’ve seen the weather lately, or watch the hot TV shows, you know, it might not be such a bad idea to have a little go-anywhere in your garage. Which leads us to today’s question: What vehicle do you want when the …

Read more 2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Nissan TITAN SL 4×4 – Road Test Review

Trucks are all about strength.  Why not have more towing, hauling and running power than you might need?  There is huge peace of mind in knowing you have so much excess capability. At some point, though, that extra muscle makes life more difficult.  That point is arguably between 1500 and 2500 pickups.  Yes, the 2500s have even more giant motors and higher tow ratings.  The new Nissan Titan bridges this gap and aims for 1500 ease of use but near 2500 size and stats. The Titan XD straddles that gap perfectly and the XD option comes standard with the 5.0-liter …

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2018 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T Quattro S Tronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If we’ve learned anything from Hollywood, it’s that the sequel is treacherous territory. While famous follow-ups like Godfather 2 and even Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, come to mind, the 2.0 movie has a bad reputation – and it boils down to where do we go from here? And if you look at the first-run Audi A5 Coupe, (some say coo-pay) you’ve got to feel for the folks at Audi. Penned by famed designer Walter de Silva, he called it “the most beautiful car I have ever built”. And you can see his point. It was stunning – and …

Read more 2018 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T Quattro S Tronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Autocross Class of 2017 5

Autocross Class of 2017! Which Pocket Rocket Is Quickest?

Imagine the best kart track ever – inside the amazing Road America racetrack itself.  Then swap the karts for real cars.  And race them against the stopwatch in rapid-fire rotations of drivers! It was an squeely good time with the class of 2017’s new and special pocket rockets.   A big variety in power, drivetrain layout and body style: everything from the Abarth 500C to MX-5 RF and 370Z Heritage Edition.  Hyundai’s new Elantra Sport joined the fun, as did a ragtop Miata, 124 Abarth, Toyota 86 and VW Golf R.     They were all a laugh riot around …

Read more Autocross Class of 2017! Which Pocket Rocket Is Quickest?

2017 RAM Sport Night Edition EXTERIORS 2

2017 RAM Sport Night Edition 5.7L 4×2 – Road Test Review

The pickup market is more competive than ever lately.  With massive new Titan, ultra-modern Silverado and alloy F-150 in the last few years, you might’ve expected big changes in market share. In fact, the biggest gainer over the last few years is the familiar Ram 1500. We spent a week finding out why RAM goes all-caps and size 1500 font for its new badges in back.  This is a machine with a bold soul! Our rear-drive tester is the amazing Night Edition with fully blacked-out details and monochrome paintwork all around.  Glossy black for the giant cross-hair grille is a …

Read more 2017 RAM Sport Night Edition 5.7L 4×2 – Road Test Review

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid SEL – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

These days a lot of automakers offer a hybrid of some sort. But pretty much the undisputed king is the Prius. And Toyota earned the reputation the hard way – putting out their necks first with a little agrarian car that earned more than its share of jibes and rude noises. But Toyota’s laughing now. Interestingly, there have been precious few direct competitors to the Prius. But now we have a new fuel-sipping gunslinger in town –the all-new Hyundai Ioniq hybrid. So, does it send the Prius packing, or is it more ironic than Ioniq? Well it definitely has the …

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2017 Lexus RC 350 2

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 …

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

2017 Lexus LS460 F Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If you know anything about Lexus, you already know the LS460. This is the whole enchilada, the übersedan (not to be confused with Uber-sedan), the division’s luxury flagship, providing all aboard uncompromised wafting comfort. Oh wait, this is the F-Sport version. Whaaaa? Yes F-Sport. In the Lexicon of Lexii, you have your regular models, your AMG-baiting F division RC-F and GS-F, and in between, F-Sport. Kind of like BMW’s M-sport. Sporty, but not designed to remove fillings at the first speed bump. And we’ve tested various F Sport trims, including everything from the IS350 F Sport, which we loved dearly, …

Read more 2017 Lexus LS460 F Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Land Rover DISCOVERY 21

2018 Land Rover DISCOVERY – Off-Road First Drive

When the truck that gets stuck — metal to rock — in front of you on an offroad course is a 2017 Raptor, you start to wonder if your truck will make it through the same obstacle. Except when it is a Land Rover? We found out just how incredible the 2018 Disco was offroad the other week.  And documented the experience thoroughly! Not totally fair to call this a review of any sort.  Seat time was less than an hour, while we never touched pavement.  So these observations are nearly static impressions. But here goes. WOW! The most ultramodern …

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2017 Lexus IS350 F Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

There’s a little Jekyll and Hyde going on at Lexus. Does the brand want to be that same trusted conservative luxury purveyor the pampered have learned to love? Or does it want to throw off the kidskin gloves, and take on the Europeans in the performance pantheon? Does the Lexus IS350 F Sport Sprechen the Lingo? Well, you get the intent from the exterior design. Hard to believe it’s been with us since 2013, the IS really still looks fresh, and aggressive. For 2017, all IS models get kicked up a notch, with a redesigned front end with an even …

Read more 2017 Lexus IS350 F Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Lexus GS350 RWD Luxury 5

2017 Lexus GS350 RWD Luxury – Road Test Review + Drive Video!

The GS slides into 2017 with great stance, racy handling and serious value. The Lexus transformation into a performance-car brand is firmly ON TRACK with this new GS.  So smooth and easy… but handles and hustles in Sport+? Even without the F Sport package, our tester drew stares like the GS-F during its week in the speed fleet. We thoroughly enjoyed its performance and luxury, with a special nod to some amazing options that make a good car into a great car. Standard article headings and a quick drive video of the fresh-faced Lexus GS here to share. HD Drive …

Read more 2017 Lexus GS350 RWD Luxury – Road Test Review + Drive Video!

2017 Volvo S90 T6 – Road Test Review + Best of 2017 Award-Winner

We all knew the brand-new Volvo S90 sedan would be a quantum leap ahead of its S60 and S80 predecessors in the luxury segment.  We knew this new S90 is the second Volvo since XC90 to be a real class-best achievement in style and safety. But knowing all this still offers no prep for how absolutely phenomenal the new S90 is inside and on the road.  It is so magnificently high-tech, yet grounded in light Swedish leathers and a open-pore walnut woods. It drives with lightness and agility unlike anything you might expect from a 5 series or E-Class rival. …

Read more 2017 Volvo S90 T6 – Road Test Review + Best of 2017 Award-Winner

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid – Road Test Review – by Ben Lewis

Hybrids are everywhere. And with the rare exception, while they offer improved fuel efficiency, they rarely offer the enthusiast excitement. Now an Acura hybrid? Well that might be something. After all, the new NSX supercar qualifies as a hybrid. Then again, so does the Accord Hybrid, from Acura’s sibling Honda. So the question is, is the MDX Hybrid a sleeper supercar, or just a snooze? Well the looks don’t give anything away. This is the same large 3-row SUV we’ve known for some time. Acura has been honing the design for 2017, with a new “Diamond Pentagon” grille, “Jewel Eye” …

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2017 Lexus IS350 F Sport RWD – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

The IS350 was a perfect way to hit the roads of CHicago and Wisconsin ahead of a track event the other week. Here is a fun, fast and tactile sport sedan for the ages! Fun because it loves revs and Gs. Fast as its F-Sport induction harmonics encourage floored throttle all the time. Tactile because its steering is alive in your hands.  IS350 F-Sport steering feel has heft like a great sports car, but also a sharp and eagerness to change direction any time.  Any place.  This IS350 pivots like a boss. Just a big soppy lovefest for this car, …

Read more 2017 Lexus IS350 F Sport RWD – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

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 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 Kia NIRO Touring Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

As auto journalists, we’re constantly asked about what’s new, what we like, what we’re driving. So, it’s surprising that the vehicle we’re talking a bunch about lately is the exciting Kia Niro hybrid. Kia? Hybrid? Exciting? Yes, Yes, and really… Yes. And we’re just as surprised as you. We were expecting a decent little vehicle – probably more of a penalty box – in the pursuit of all elusive high mpg numbers, at the expense of everything else. But it ain’t so. The Niro is a stylish, well-equipped, little hatch/crossover that happens to be great fun to drive. And fun …

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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 …

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

2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Thinking that if you want a European Sport Sedan, It’s got to be a Bimmer, Benz, Audi or Jag? Maybe taking a chance with an Alfa? You might be missing out on something very cool.  The Volvo S90 T6. Yes, Volvo. Most people think they’re mostly a maker of SUV’s (they make a couple of excellent ones) or don’t even know they’re still in business. So sure, they look great loaded up outside IKEA with your latest FINNBY Bookcase (who comes up with these names?), but does it have the credibility on the streets with the big boys from Bavaria? …

Read more 2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Toyota LAND CRUISER – HD Road Test Review + 3 Videos

Driving the incredible Land Cruiser for a week is a major dream-come-true for any car reviewer. So legendary!  So rare! Practically speaking, Land Cruiser is also a test of skills to describe – and do this unique machine justice.  But all the while?  A huge grin on my face and a major thrill to accept this challenge. What makes Land Cruiser so special?  For one, it sits proudly atop the Toyota hierarchy in terms of pricing.  This is the most expensive Big T by far. Continuous production since 1951 is evidence of enduring appeal. And sure, Land Cruiser’s worldwide acclaim …

Read more 2017 Toyota LAND CRUISER – HD Road Test Review + 3 Videos

2018 Dodge DEMON and SRT Durango – Startup, Revs and Exhaust Note VIDEOS

Dodge brought out the big guns for the recent Midwest Auto Media event at Road America racetrack. Their two new sluggers left the crowd in awe!  The SRT Durango was a surprising arrival — considering it has never been seen in real life to date.  The huge news with this monster-V8 SUV is that its tires are simply massive.  Taller than you might expect and wider than most true performance cars — these Pirellis are critical for putting so much power to the ground.  Dodge promises performance to wallop the Yukon Denali and even out-handle the SRT Grand Cherokee. But the …

Read more 2018 Dodge DEMON and SRT Durango – Startup, Revs and Exhaust Note VIDEOS

2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock – Review By Tim Esterdahl

Rubicon Hard Rock – Tough As Nails As one of the most recognized nameplates in the off-road community, the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock is just about the most purpose built vehicle you can buy. It is a rugged, off-road machine meant for those “hey watch this” moments in the outdoors. Virtually unchanged for the past several years, the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon offers the same powertrain, style and off-road equipment its fans have come to enjoy and rely on. About the only thing new this year is the shocking Hypergreen exterior paint color on our $43,325 test model. That …

Read more 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock – Review By Tim Esterdahl

2017 Toyota Corolla iM – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Would a Scion by any other name smell as sweet? In case you missed the press release, Toyota folded up the hip- and hip-hop Scion brand recently, and moved everything over to the Toyota brand. Scion-ara!  In 2003, it was a bold experiment, Scion creating a brand that spoke to youth, attracting new buyers to the Toyota family. And it worked for a while. The problem was, not only the young wanted a less-expensive, but hip Toyota. Case in point; the super-funky xB box was a big hit with the kids, but also found a surprising home with seniors – …

Read more 2017 Toyota Corolla iM – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Lexus RX450h F Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The world is clamoring for hybrids. Especially since VW has probably signed the death warrant on Diesel, at least in the U.S. Luckily for Lexus and Toyota, their brands have been THE place to go for Hybrids selling the funky and agrarian Prius sedan here since 2000. And hybrids have come a long way, in performance, livability, and technology. So if you’re looking for a luxury SUV, but still want to feel good about yourself among your eco-conscious friends, where to go? Ahem… right here. The 2017 Lexus RX450h. Feel good is what the RX450h is all about. Partly, because Lexus …

Read more 2017 Lexus RX450h F Sport – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Fiat 124 Spider EXTERIOR 15

2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  No spoiler alert needed: The Fiat 124 Spider is built on the all-new Miata. But don’t dismiss it as a Japanese sports car – and an excellent one at that – trying to pull a fast one by donning an Armani suit. It’s surprisingly different from Mazda. Let’s start with style, ok? Per favore! When the new Miata debuted, it was a surprise, the previous generations felt like organic developments of the same design, with a lot of thanks owed to the original Lotus Elan, if you ask us. But when the new model saw daylight, it was noticeably …

Read more 2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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

2016 McLaren P1 GTR 27

Road-Legal 2016 McLaren P1 GTR Heads to RM Villa Erba 2017 Auctions

Oh, the whims of the ultra rich. Who can predict what they will want in 12 months time? This P1 GTR is perfect evidence of a gift-from-God hypercar available for an eager second owner. The question now: price.  Of course.  Will it have appreciated in its short time on this earth?  Or will its current owner take a $100k bath for the privilege of being one of the lucky few. This GTR has something extra in its quiver, however, atop its one-of-58 exclusivity worldwide. That is a road-legal conversion applied to only half the cars produced. Here you have a …

Read more Road-Legal 2016 McLaren P1 GTR Heads to RM Villa Erba 2017 Auctions

2017 Toyota Prius PRIME – HD Road Test Review

Our hopes about Prius Prime were through the roof.  Gorgeous new looks.  A battery pack 10X as large as the most thrifty standard Prius.  Luxed-up cabin and 20 miles of EV range? It seemed like a winning formula on paper, and it is a winner in the flesh on the road. We spent a happy week in the Prime to see how this Super Prius compares versus young gun Hyundai Ioniq as well as full EVs like the eGolf, Focus Electric or even a pre-owned Tesla.  ANd how about the upcoming Honda Clarity Plugin? There is great and less-great news to …

Read more 2017 Toyota Prius PRIME – HD Road Test Review

2017 Jaguar XF 35t AWD R-Sport 57

2017 Jaguar XF 35t AWD R-Sport – HD Road Test Review w/ 2 Videos

Shhh.  The Jaguar XF does not know it’s a sedan!  With a big back seat and giant trunk! You won’t realize that either when driving.  This is a sports sedan that puts the SPORT proudly FIRST. Here is a car that doesn’t need the (optional) leaper cat emblem.  Why? Because a supercharged pop off the line delivers 5.1-second sprints to 60-mph — no matter what. This AWD variant is a tenth quicker than the rear-drive model.  So it aims to be just as quick rain, snow or shine. We took the XF by the scruff of the neck for an HD …

Read more 2017 Jaguar XF 35t AWD R-Sport – HD Road Test Review w/ 2 Videos

2017 BMW 740e xDrive – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

I have driven the car of the future, today. OK, we hear stories like this all the time. And usually, the “Car of the Future” is some cobbled-together prototype that has little likelihood of actually making it to market. Or worse, it points to the time when folks like you and I aren’t needed. Just robots, pal. And if you think an autonomous EV is the wave of the future, I’m going to disagree. While there are plenty of folks who would rather let the machine drive, there are also plenty who still enjoy time behind the wheel. And for …

Read more 2017 BMW 740e xDrive – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 GENESIS G80 AWD 3.8 – Road Test Review

The Genesis G80 is a real luxury-car hero around here. The car’s beating performance heart is evident every time we have the pleasure of snapping Sport mode on and the throttle down.  Here is a long-wheelbase limo that handles! The AWD upgrade on the G80 3.8-liter V6 makes a fantastic case for itself on the basis of handling alone.  WHat it brings to the table is a precise, grippy nose and unshakeable confidence around fast corners. The Big G as a standalone brand for 2017 kept this car essentially the same as 2016.  With the car business — and especially …

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2017 Lexus ES350 – HD Road Test Review w/ 2 Videos – By Tom Burkart

The Lexus ES was refreshed for the 2016 model-year to enhance its styling and luxury equipment, along with a new build location as the first Lexus to be made in the USA. Its upgrades are fairly skin-deep, however, so we worried this car would be left behind by all the new midsize luxury models.  Vehicles like the Lincoln Continental or C-Class are all significantly fresher than the ES350 outside and in.  The ES has a huge target on its back — even from upstarts like the latest Avalon, Acura TLX and even Kia Cadenza. These rivals often have the latest turbo …

Read more 2017 Lexus ES350 – HD Road Test Review w/ 2 Videos – By Tom Burkart

2017 Genesis G90 1

2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate RWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The hunt for the elusive Luxury buyer is on with the all-new Genesis division. We recently tested the G80 sedan, and came away mightily impressed – a dynamic, stylish, beautifully-equipped competitor to the BMW 5 series. But for the price of a lowly turbo 4-cylinder Bavarian, the G80 had 5.0-liters of rip snorting V8 muscle. While Genesis is on safari for luxury brand competitors, it doesn’t stop at the G80, because with the larger G90, the brand is taking on the big game – Lexus LS, BMW 7-series and Mercedes S-Class. So, does it come home with a trophy, or …

Read more 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate RWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Hyundai SANTA FE Ultimate – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

  Overlooked by many consumers, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is the sleeper pick by many journalists as the best full-size CUV on the market. Why the disconnect between consumers and critics? No idea, it is really that good. The Hyundai Santa Fe has been around for years and in 2012 a longer-wheel base model called the Limited hit the sales rooms. As opposed to the smaller Sport model, the Limited offers a third-row – a key item for family shoppers. It also received a different grille design, optional 19 inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips and its overall shape …

Read more 2017 Hyundai SANTA FE Ultimate – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

2017 Nissan ARMADA Platinum – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

In a segment long dominated by the Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon, the 2017 Nissan Armada arrives to take them both head on. With a huge interior and plenty of horsepower under the hood along with a very unique style, it is bold challenger, yet does it truly measure up? Yes and it might just surprise many large SUV buyers. Fresh off a one-year hiatus, the 2017 Armada is back with new looks, improved V8 and loads of safety and security tech. It continues Nissan’s push to be more than a low-budget volume seller and instead be a major …

Read more 2017 Nissan ARMADA Platinum – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

2017 VW Golf R 6-Speed Manual – HD Road Test Review

How does the Golf R’s halo/hero status match up with reality in your garage? Well, it scores huge with 5-second sprints and a $36,475 price right off the bat.  Then you get Golf R into its race mode and HANG ON for its throaty brummm up redline/supralegal speed. It’s been a thrilling few months of hot hatch and performance car reviews around here – so we feel well-placed to judge this hot hatch king.  Focus RS will be the main competitor for comparisons, but also feedback on how Audi S3 differs too.  Longtime Subaru WRX fan/owner helps to appreciate Golf …

Read more 2017 VW Golf R 6-Speed Manual – HD Road Test Review

2017 VW Jetta GLI 2.0T 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Crave the delectable deliciousness of a German Sport Sedan, but don’t have the coin for an Audi, BMW or Benz? We’ve got a solution for you. The Jetta GLI sedan. Yes, a Jetta. With all the heavy-duty incentive, low-low financing, come-on-down-to-your friendly V-Dub dealer ads for garden variety Jettas, you might have forgotten VW’s love letter to the Sport Sedan. And it’s a tough world for sedans these days. With the heat for crossovers and the newfound interest in hatchbacks, the pickings for the discerning sedan driver on a budget are few. In the spectrum of things, there’s the hard-edged …

Read more 2017 VW Jetta GLI 2.0T 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

1957 Jaguar XKSS 716 at Amelia Island Concours 16

1957 Jaguar XKSS 716 at Amelia Island Concours [41 Photos]

A ‘racecar for the road’ is almost cliche these days in how often it describes sports and supercars.  But this XKSS was a revolution in its time: it added bumpers, road lights and a luggage rack to the LeMans-dominating speed of the XKD.  Of, and a windshield, softtop and side glass! But beyond these detail mods, the XKSS is pure racecar. In person, its otherworldly curves and body flow are spectacular to behold.  The curt front end metal wraps the oval intake and glassed-in headlamps with no flab whatsoever.  Just like a bubble flying through the universe.  But this bubble …

Read more 1957 Jaguar XKSS 716 at Amelia Island Concours [41 Photos]

2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the new Sentra NISMO heir to the SE-R throne? That depends on who you ask. And really, ask the right person. Why? Well there’s a lot of snobbery, and it seems to come from people who haven’t taken the trouble to even drive the car. And they’re missing out. From the enthusiast camp, the issue seems to be the expectations based on the NISMO name – that you should expect BMW M Division, Mercedes AMG level commitment to performance. While we think that’s true in the GT-R NISMO and 370Z NISMO, when it comes to models like the Sentra …

Read more 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Edition – HD Road Test Review

Is the coolest Maxima in ages also the best? We found out over a week of driving the 2017 Maxima SR Midnight and came away impressed, if full of caveats.  And understanding some of the fanboy hate for the Maxima’s drivetrain these days. We didn’t get too bogged down by worries about how true a 4DSC the Maxima really is in this generation.  You see, describing Maxima as a four-door sports car sets some pretty unrealistic performance expectations. Let’s explore this complex car for what it is: a stylish and comfortable full-size sedan that is blessed with a standard 300-horse V6. Breaking …

Read more 2017 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Edition – HD Road Test Review

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2017 Nissan TITAN Pro4X V8 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  The full-size pickup truck is as American as BBQ, and it sells like hot cakes. But it’s not something just Ford, GM and Dodge have noticed. While Nissan and Toyota both have made strong inroads in the compact pickup truck market, they’ve long wanted a slice – even a sliver – of that huge Full-size pie. Well for 2017 we have an all-new bigger, better, Titan. Did Nissan get the recipe right, or are they going to end up being extra crispy? Well, they’ve certainly given it their best shot. Outside of the Nissan badge on the hood, this …

Read more 2017 Nissan TITAN Pro4X V8 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 VW Jetta 1.4T SE Manual – HD Road Test Review

The Jetta has been the target of scorn for many years here at Car-Revs-Daily.  We quietly laughed at each redesign on the Jetta’s descent into bland hell over the last decade. All the while, longing for the cool little sedan of our memories.  The one from the clever “Synchronicity” ads with the windshield wipers/world timed to the beat.  The one almost as big and nice-driving as a base BMW.  The one with an unpretentious exterior and surprisingly high-quality cabin. The 2017 Jetta is well on its way back to greatness.  Three levels of turbo gasoline power are available, and we’re …

Read more 2017 VW Jetta 1.4T SE Manual – HD Road Test Review

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD – Road Test Review + New Photos!

  The new Pathfinder is quite the looker in this flashy Sandstone paintwork! It is quite unusual for a family crossover to attract as much attention as this beauty received in our care for a week.  The facelift definitely works at reinvigorating the Pathfinder’s style, then. But the 2017 refresh for the Pathfinder is actually more than skin-deep. An all-new 3.5-liter V6 is the big news under the redesigned hood – upping the tow rating to 6000-pounds and juicing the 0-60 times as well. Is the refresh enough to make the Pathfinder top of the class with the Toyota Highlander, …

Read more 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD – Road Test Review + New Photos!

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2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 FWD – HD Road Test Review

You know the shorthand details on the all-new 2017 Acadia from GMC:  it is 700-pounds lighter and overall far more carlike than its predecessor. While still seating six or seven with its three-row seating. Another few changes slipped out of the big news, though: the Acadia is gorgeous now, and runs a gorgeous 26-mpg highway via its standard front-drive, four-cylinder power. This is pretty huge news versus the Acadia’s at the top of the range with their big V6 engine and ubiquiotus AWD and huge wheels.  A rarity in the car-reviews business, then. We have ourselves an entry-level model to …

Read more 2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 FWD – HD Road Test Review

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2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the best new Mercedes an Infiniti? It might be. Because sneaky folks that they are, Infiniti started with a fine small SUV, the Mercedes GLA250, and then kept the good bits, massaged some of the other bits, and did a pretty major overhaul of the exterior and interior. The result is a unique blend of performance and style.  But is it enough to lure buyers of the three-pointed star to the sideways Pac Man? Well on looks alone, yes. While the GLA has that Euro-sensible look, like a taller hatchier version of the CLA sedan, the QX30 in comparison, …

Read more 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2017 Honda CIVIC Sport 6MT Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Civic loyalists, your car is back! If you’ve wanted a performance Civic hatch, it’s been a long wait.  The last one was in 2003! In Si form, that Civic five-door was a neat little car.  We especially liked the rally-style shifter mounted high on the center console, the sport bucket seats, and the large (for Honda) 2.0-liter with i-VTEC. And while not a nose-bleed revver like the smaller Civics, it was still fun to drive hard. But that was 14 years ago! And while we’ve had plenty of enjoyable Civics to drive, they’ve only been offered in Coupe and Sedan …

Read more 2017 Honda CIVIC Sport 6MT Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 KIA SOUL! Turbo DCT – HD Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The Kia Soul has been one of the most successful small ‘utes in history.  Those engaging Hamster commercials did a great job of renting some space in our minds. When the Soul was redesigned, we saw the hamsters hit the gym, slim down, and start dressing like Daniel Craig in the Bond films. But what happens when the carmaker introduces the turbo, double-clutch 2017 Kia Soul! (pronounced “exclamation”)? Hamsters on steroids! And we have to give Kia credit for putting the loveable Soul on the juice, because they could probably sell every one they make already. It’s a great little …

Read more 2017 KIA SOUL! Turbo DCT – HD Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

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

2016 Fiat 500L Trekking – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Are you taking things too seriously? Been following politics? Fighting holiday crowds? Dreading a New Year’s resolution? We have a cure for you. The Fiat 500L. While it is a real SUV, capable of meeting your daily needs, there’s just enough slightly wacky, off-the-beaten-path, Euro-quirkiness to help take you out of the doldrums and put a smile on your face. It started out with the cute as a bug’s ear 500. Enthusiasts rejoiced when the brand added the Mighty Mouse 500 Abarth. And we have many frugal friends enjoying the super-green 500e electric vehicle (especially at the $99/month lease!). For those …

Read more 2016 Fiat 500L Trekking – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2016 Volkswagen TIGUAN R-Line 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart       

Our reviews here on Car-Revs-Daily.com generally try to be upbeat and playfully informative.  With insightful observations galore and a few critiques along the way. It is usually because the cars manufacturers send our way are all fairly loveable, newsworthy and generally pretty fresh on the market.  We put ourselves in the position of the buyers in that market segment for a week.  A week of driving later.. we’re usually gushing with some form of praise. This Tiguan review will have many of those characteristics, but with a darker edge. The 2016 Tiguan is woefully outclassed by nearly any compact crossover …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen TIGUAN R-Line 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart       

2017 Genesis G80 5.0 Ultimate – HD Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart

The Genesis launch is in full swing for 2017! No more Hyundai badges to be found anywhere on the two-model range.  Flying wings for the nose and tail are a huge relief for customers who disliked the previous dissonance of two ‘brand’ emblems on the same car. The G80 and its EQUUS-replacing G90 are both lightly refreshed beyond the badge upgrades, however. We were blessed to spend a week in the top G80: the 5.0-liter V8 Ultimate.  This rear-drive sports sedan delivers some SERIOUS heat to chase its 550i and E550 rivals. How do 420 ponies and sub-5-second sprints sound …

Read more 2017 Genesis G80 5.0 Ultimate – HD Road Test Review – By Tom Burkart

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2017 Subaru WRX Limited Sport Lineartronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

WRX= love. But CVT= hate. Can they get along? For Subie’s sake!? Few cars are as enamored by enthusiasts as the WRX. While the rest of the world had enjoyed Subaru’s extreme rally car for the street, it wasn’t until 2002 that we got one here. It was worth the wait. While it had a cult following for the in-the-know, the majority of the population had no idea. We have happy memories of terrorizing a Porsche 911 with a silver, bug-eyed 2002 test sedan. It was so unassuming, yet with its turbo-four cylinder and all-wheel-drive, immensely capable and fast. What’s …

Read more 2017 Subaru WRX Limited Sport Lineartronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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

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2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  Is the Mazda CX-9 a Miata for 7? It’s an interesting thing. Used to be, you had needs, you bought a vehicle that fit those needs. Things changed when SUV’s got popular. Suddenly, if you needed a minivan, but didn’t want to be seen in a minivan, you could get something cooler. No more settling. Well, that opened the floodgates. Pickup truck that’s decked out like a luxury sedan? You can get them with more cow on the inside than you can tow on the outside. EV’s that will stomp all over supercars? Here’s your Tesla. Convertible Crossovers? How …

Read more 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SPORT – HD Road Test Review

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

Read more 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SPORT – HD Road Test Review

2016 Lexus NX200t F SPORT AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If the NX200t did one of those TV Ancestry tests, what would show up? Platform sharing today makes it difficult to figure out what is a real brand anymore. You’ve got rebadged Mercedes posing as Infiniti’s. Jeeps driving around on Fiat underpinnings. Fiats driving around on Mazda bits. Subaru’s, Scions. And more.  Oh my. Then we have intermingling within the automakers as well, and they can be very well disguised. Case in point, Lexus and Toyota. There’s a lot of sharing going on. In all honesty, though, it always felt like the downscale Toyota models were getting Lexus goodness, rather …

Read more 2016 Lexus NX200t F SPORT AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2016 Toyota Yaris LE – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

With the recent influx of economy minded products from both rivals as well as the dearly departed Scion brand, it is easy to assume at first glance that the humble Toyota Yaris gets lost in the shuffle. But does this tiny hatchback still have what it takes to stand out in this crowded segment? Or does it come up just a bit short?     The exterior styling of our 2016 Barcelona Red LE grade test car (2017 models have minimal changes) certainly made our car stand out in a crowd, and also helped it have a sporty flair. This …

Read more 2016 Toyota Yaris LE – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

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2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo SV – Road Test Review

The compact cargo van market is becoming a big deal for carmakers and small-biz owners alike. Sales growth in the segment is near the top of the charts. Why? Many reasons.  And yes, it helps that compact cargo vans did not exist until the last few years.  Nissan arguably kicked off the trend that now includes the Ford Transit Connect Cargo, RAM ProMaster City and even the Chevy City Express … ( itself an NV200 clone) Why are these vans so hot right now?   And how does the revised-in-2015 NV200 rank versus the best out there? Let’s find out… HD …

Read more 2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo SV – Road Test Review

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2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Nissan and the Pathfinder are working hard to give you the SUV you really want. Which is really pretty admirable. Along with Toyota’s 4Runner, the Pathfinder is one of the most storied names in SUV-dom. But unlike the Toy, which has soldiered on being rugged and truckish – with pros and cons attached – in 2013, Nissan took the Pathfinder into the meat of the SUV marketplace with a unibody, 3-row family vehicle. OK, this was tough for some to swallow; the rugged little Nissan that drove all the way to the Amazon (memorialized in a series of commercials in …

Read more 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

The Volkswagen Tiguan was early to the party of compact crossovers, debuting in 2006 during a period of high gas prices. One would think it was great timing to introduce a small SUV to consumers concerned with conserving fuel. But in fact, by the time it got here in 2009, the gasser Tiguan was rated at 19 MPG city, 26 MPG highway by EPA. That didn’t get MPG-conscious consumers beating down the doors of their nearest VW dealer, and falling gas prices did little to boost Tiguan sales. Fact is, the VW Tiguan has stayed right there at an EPA …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

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2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL–E – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the Honda Ridgeline too good for most truck buyers? I mean after all, when the first Ridgeline appeared in 2005, it was revolutionary. Where trucks had trundled on for decades on separate chassis and bodies, the Honda re-envisioned the pickup with a unibody design. Much in the way the SUV’s and crossovers were dramatically improved with car-like comfort and manners, the Ridgeline should have been the standard bearer for pickups. Instead, after making a small splash, the majority of truck buyers went back to the harsh riding, less fuel efficient, but perceived tougher and more durable traditional trucks. They …

Read more 2017 Honda Ridgeline RTL–E – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

Is the XT5 ready for the runway, or still a work in progress?  The mid-size luxury SUV segment has exploded in recent years and the rush to bring new products to market has forced many companies to expedite development plans. Unfortunately, this means some products are released before they really deliver the wow factor consumers are looking for. Such is the case with the 2017 Cadillac XT5. It fails to stand out in a crowded market and feels like a work in progress. Before we get too far along, it is worth noting there is nothing wrong with the 2017 Cadillac …

Read more 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

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2016 VW Golf GTI Autobahn Performance Pack – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  It’s easy to love sports cars. They’re usually a ball to drive, fun to look at, and exist solely to make you happy. Who wouldn’t like that? Well, except that a sports car is a selfish thing. They usually seat only two. Or the rear seats are torture devices. They can ride harsh. They can be loud. Trunk space? Ha! As an only car, a sports car is best for the young and unencumbered. Otherwise you’ll need a second car. On roads clogged full of Sports Cars, Sedans, SUVs, CUVs and Trucks… …is a GTI the only vehicle you’ll ever need?The …

Read more 2016 VW Golf GTI Autobahn Performance Pack – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

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

2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4×4 V6 – Road Test Review

Welcome to the most luxurious Jeep Cherokee of all time. Dubbed the Overland as this new-for-2016 trim, the Cherokee now packs its feature lists to overflowing proportions. You name the luxury feature, and this truck has it. Along the way, the Cherokee Overland 4×4 V6 has almost grown out of its Ford Escape and Honda CR-V competitive set.  In power, safety and premium elements, this Cherokee Overland competes much more closely against the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The problem with those much-tougher rivals is easy to imagine: they are great little trucks that handle well, have speedy turbo powertrains and …

Read more 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4×4 V6 – Road Test Review

2017 Jannarelly JD1 Arrives in USA! Rear-Engine and Road-Legal from $90k

Very exciting news today! The shockingly beautiful mid-engine Jannarelly JD1 is now in low-volume production, and coming to not just USA tracks near you… but also the roads there and back! This marks a big difference between Radical, Ariel and a few other boutique supercars.  The US market is both a holy grail and a huge barrier-to-entry in the supercar business.  If your car can’t be sold in the US, you have to cut volume projections in half. Thrilling news then that Jannarelly has a new US distributor established in VanDouble.  This Bedford Hills, New York firm promises hands-on help …

Read more 2017 Jannarelly JD1 Arrives in USA! Rear-Engine and Road-Legal from $90k

2017 Nissan ARMADA – Road Test Review

When Nissan announced the details of the 2017 Armada, we were confused but optimistic.  Optimistic because this is indeed a huge upgrade versus the outgoing model, but confused because it appeared virtually identical to the Infiniti QX80. Nissan has sold their version of the QX80 globally for a few years now under the Patrol badge.  But it is only very-slightly cheaper than the QX80 proper in most markets.  That is how close these two platform-mates are.  The last QX80 we tested, mind you, cost close to $100k with its Limited package.  And it is still supremely competitive with the latest Navigator, …

Read more 2017 Nissan ARMADA – Road Test Review

2017 Honda HR-V 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A Honda HR-V with 2WD and manual transmission. ! Rare barely begins to describe the 6MT on Honda lots nationwide. Perhaps this is an auto-reviewer special!? It’s certainly possible. In the craze for small crossovers, it seems like an automatic is de rigueur, and most buyers are finding the added grip and confidence of All-Wheel Drive (AWD to you and me) a temptation too hard to resist. A while ago, we tested an AWD, CVT, HR-V (OK, it’s alphabet soup) and really liked it. A bit slow perhaps, but with all the brilliant simplicity of design that we think would …

Read more 2017 Honda HR-V 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

Is the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited a “dad car?” What the heck is a “dad car,” anyway? Those are the questions with which I wrangled during a weeklong test of the model. A couple of friends of mine described it as a “dad car.” I’m a dad of two boys. They said the car was a good fit for me. I typically like my cars quirkier than the Hyundai Elantra. My daily driver is the antithesis of what most might consider a “dad car:” a Nissan cube. For many other men I know, sedans with a definite masculinity such as …

Read more 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

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2016 Chrysler 300S – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Everybody’s gone SUV/Crossover crazy lately. Manufacturers are luring us out of small cars with the new CX-3, HR-V, Trax models, while sales of the largest SUV’s like Escalades, Tahoe and Suburbans –  thanks in part to cheap gasoline – are selling like crazy. In the rush for capability, capacity and audacity, something’s been lost. In case you might have forgot, there’s a segment that still deserves your attention. Ladies and Gentlemen, may we re-introduce a performer we’ve know and loved for years – the Great American Sedan. And perhaps there’s none greater than the 2016 Chrysler 300S. Depending on your …

Read more 2016 Chrysler 300S – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Chrysler PACIFICA Touring – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

Minivans are minivans right? They are soccer mom vehicles, often shunned by the general public who lust after more stylish and powerful SUVs. What if an automaker turned “what makes a minivan, a minivan” on its head? You would get the stylish 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – a real challenge to your notion of what a minivan is. Or rather, what a minivan can be! My notions and deeply held beliefs on minivans were challenged during my week of driving my press loan of a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. This minivan definitely felt more like an SUV with the added bonus of kid …

Read more 2017 Chrysler PACIFICA Touring – Road Test Review – By Tim Esterdahl

2016 Chrysler 200 Touring LX – Road Test Review – By: Carl Malek

It has been a turbulent few years for the Chrysler 200. When the current generation model first appeared, Chrysler was banking on the 200 being able to take advantage of high gas prices while also making people forget about the past sins that the old 200 and its ancestor the mediocre Sebring wrought on buyers during their respective times in production. Unfortunately the recent drop in gas prices as well as the spike in SUV/CUV demand caused the 200 to fall short of its sales targets. With the 200’s time in production coming to an end later this year, we …

Read more 2016 Chrysler 200 Touring LX – Road Test Review – By: Carl Malek

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 …

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

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2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  You say you want a small crossover/SUV? We can’t blame you. It’s just about the hottest-selling segment in the industry, and it looks like the small family sedan is taking a firm backseat because of it. And while there are a lot of nice choices out there, there is a problem. They all sort of look alike. There are notable exceptions like the mutant amphibian Nissan Juke. And the squat-and-squashed Mini Clubman. But in general, and HRV, CRV, CX-3, CX-5, RAV4, Forester, Rogue all look – and function – like relatives at a family reunion. Is the Jeep Renegade the cure …

Read more 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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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 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

When gas prices jumped a few years ago, a new breed of luxury car immediately came to the forefront of automotive buyers. Dubbed the “compact luxury car” these vehicles promised to offer their owners a long list of equipment, performance, and luxury in a decidedly smaller package. The 2016 Audi A3 aims to stand out against rivals such as the BMW 2-Series and the Mercedes CLA in this hotly contested segment, but has its push for sales diluted the very traits that have defined recent Audi models?   The exterior styling of our Monsoon Gray Metallic tester is a compelling …

Read more 2016 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

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2017 Audi A4 Quattro – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  We recently read a comment that the Audi A4 has become so refined and smooth – perhaps overly so – that why not just pocket the cash and get a Toyota Camry? This is a shopping decision that faces us in many places in modern life. Is that fancy artisanal sprouted bread really worth three times the price of the generic loaf at the local grocery? The freshly barista-poured Peaberry better than smudgy carafe of regular at the neighborhood donut house? And now we have an all-new Audi A4. Are we buying? Well, this may not be as easy …

Read more 2017 Audi A4 Quattro – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2016 Nissan TITAN XD Platinum Reserve 5.6L V8 – HD Road Test Review

The Titan XD is making trouble in the full-size truck business! Like many disruptive troublemakers, though, they are doing a great service to the rest of the class.  Think of the rigid 1500 vs 2500 hierarchy of Fords and Chevys as the annoyed teacher, and buyers as the giggling classmates – in this broad metaphor. The established players in the segment are deeply invested in the half-ton, full-ton distinctions.  Beefier springs and a heavy-gauge chassis equals massive profits for the established truckmakers. Nissan has shaken things up with its all-new, ground-up redesign of the 2016 Titan XD – or Every …

Read more 2016 Nissan TITAN XD Platinum Reserve 5.6L V8 – HD Road Test Review

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2016 Audi TT Coupe 2.0T Quattro S-Tronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The Audi TT has always been a bit of a head scratcher for us enthusiasts. When it first launched in the mid 1990’s, it was a visual stunner. And in many ways, it was the birth of the Audi cool that we have today. But there was a problem. As stylish and trendsetting as the TT was, it was not a sports car. And in the world of Porsche Boxsters and BMW Z4s, the TT was odd man out. When the second-gen TT bowed in 2006, it lost some of the groundbreaking style, but was well on the way to …

Read more 2016 Audi TT Coupe 2.0T Quattro S-Tronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

Mid-size trucks are gaining sales a wild rate in 2016. With the revitalization of the mid-size truck segment over the past two years, this is now a hotly-contested battlefield. Once defined by wheezy entries such as the Ford Ranger, as well as older iterations of the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, the second generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have set the current benchmark for the segment, and pushed their Asian rivals out of the mix in the process. Honda looks to reverse this trend with the 2017 Honda Ridgeline, but can this revamped entry standout in a crowded segment while …

Read more 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD RTL-E – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

2016 VW Beetle DUNE 9

2016 VW Beetle DUNE – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

You might not be a big fan of VW right now. Diesel has once again become a dirty word, and while the automaker struggles to make things right with the government and the buying public, the brand has been getting the stink eye in a lot of ways. We’re going to look past the diesel models, because there’s also a lot of goodness in the VW lineup, and we think there are an awful lot of folks who design, make, and sell the brand that had nothing to do with the problems going on. Right now, VW needs a new …

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2017 Volvo XC60 Exterior 2

2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

  With all the attention and fanfare that the revamped 2016 Volvo XC90 has received since it was unveiled to the world a year ago, it can be easy to forget about the other SUV in the Swedish automaker’s lineup the 2017 XC60. With the spotlight currently on its bigger brand sibling, does the XC60 still have what it takes to stand out in the hearts and minds of SUV buyers? Or has it fallen behind the times? The exterior styling of our Osmium Grey Metallic tester is an exercise in smoothness and elegance with Volvo designers even adding subtle …

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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 …

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

2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring 7

2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The Toyota Prius hasn’t really been on the radar of auto enthusiasts. Oh sure, it’s been technically interesting – and with hybrid powertrains showing up in many supercars these days, you have to give a tip of the hat to Toyota for spearheading the effort. Of course, if you’re a diesel fan, you might not feel so warm and tingly. Where the Europeans have long felt that diesel was the way to get performance with miserly fuel economy, Americans bought into Hybrids in a big way. So big, in fact, that it forced many of the Europeans to develop both …

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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 Honda Civic 1

Road Test Review – 2016 Honda CIVIC 1.5T Sedan – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

It seems like Honda has been making Civics forever.  It could be because that from the very first one, the Civic has been an outstanding small compact car with a reputation for value, reliability, and excellent gas mileage among other virtues.  It was loved by journalists and buyers, alike. However, the last generation Civic (2011 through 2015) was received with tepid enthusiasm from the press, and from customers.  That led to a very unusual second-year update, but even that didn’t do much to help keep the Civic near the top of the competition that got fiercer every year. For 2016, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Honda CIVIC 1.5T Sedan – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 2.OL FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  If you’ve read our other tests of Kia vehicles, you might remember that we’ve been noticing a distinctively German feel to these Korean Vehicles, much of it owing to the stewardship of Kia/Hyundai Honcho Peter Schreyer, who previously penned much of Audi’s goodness. When we tested the Kia Optima SX we found loads of Audi-ness in the overall feel of the car. And now with the all-new Sportage SUV, we’re tasting hints of Porsche and BMW in the mix as well. Has Kia created the Korean Kayenne? Well, from first glance, it will definitely catch Stuttgart’s attention. And a …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited – By Carl Malek

When the revamped Hyundai Sonata first made its appearance back in 2009, it immediately stood out thanks to its slick exterior styling which marked a noticeable departure from the more mundane styling cues that once defined older Sonatas as well as Hyundai products in general. Can the revamped 2016 Hyundai Sonata still deliver on its promises of slick styling, while also retaining the impressive levels of technology that made the last generation model a hit with buyers? The exterior styling still looks handsome and elegant but whereas the last generation model was a ground up design, this iteration shares more …

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2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition (6MT) – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek   

EVO = “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” That definition best describes the Lancer Evolution, a car that originally started out life as the mediocre Lancer compact sedan, but would gradually transform into a performance car bargain thanks to the efforts of Mitsubishi engineers. Its rivalry with its Asian arch nemesis the Subaru WRX rewrote the performance car genre, and inspired other automakers to follow suit with entries such as the Dodge Neon SRT-4 (and its horrible follow up the Caliber SRT-4) the Ford Focus ST, and the Volkswagen Golf R. Sometimes …

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2016 Lexus CT 200h- By Carl Malek 8

Road Test Review – 2016 Lexus CT200h – By Carl Malek

  Looking for a luxury branded vehicle that can deliver Prius grade levels of fuel economy without telling the world that you’re driving a Prius? Lexus thinks that it has the solution with the 2016 Lexus CT 200h, but can this sporty looking eco warrior successfully deliver stellar fuel economy while also living up to the lofty expectations that comes with donning the iconic Lexus badge? The exterior styling of the CT certainly does a stellar job of hiding its Prius roots. Wheras the Toyota’s styling can be best described as being boring and outright amorphous, Lexus designers went for …

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2016 Highlander Hybrid 3

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 …

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