sienna se

Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota Sienna SE Is The Ultimate High-Speed Q-Ship

When you think of minivans, the sportiest one available might seem like a dumb question. I mean, what is the point of having huge power on demand when you are likely to have a car full of kids? After a week rocking the 2014 Sienna SE to Ponte Vedra, Florida and back for the Camry rollout, we became seriously attached to the Sienna’s easy highway manners and friendly city maneuverability. Without a variety of kids and 1000-pounds of toys in the eight-passenger Sienna SE, we can tell you that this is the sportiest van of them all. Standard format of …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota Sienna SE Is The Ultimate High-Speed Q-Ship

lacrosse 2015 gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Buick LaCrosse V6 Premium Is Deceptively Sporty and Extremely Luxurious

Quick: name the best large sedan on the market for less than $50,000? Requirements for consideration are a huge back seat, width to never touch elbows with front passengers and all-day cruising comfort. Because you are a keen driver and love a great curving road, let’s add mountain road poise to the list. We are not considering luxury cars like the BMW 5 series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz C or E-Classes — they are too small in the back seat. The immediate group of competitors with these prerequisites are: the Hyundai Azera, Lincoln MKS, Toyota Avalon, Kia Cadenza and perhaps …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Buick LaCrosse V6 Premium Is Deceptively Sporty and Extremely Luxurious

2015 Cadillac Escalade Luxury AWD 89

HD Road Test Review – 2015 Cadillac Escalade Luxury AWD – Long Live The King

INTRO   The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is the ultimate in look-good, feel-good luxury SUVs. After a week driving the Escalade around Georgia and the Carolinas, we really came to love the big truck and never ceased to be amazing by its performance and tech achievements in this fourth-generation model. For many years of the first three generations of Escalade, SUV buyers seemed to bow down to the king Caddy for its prestige appeal — with the actual changes and upgrades from the Denali seeming less-than-complete. The risk of paying the Cadillac premium is that car-guys might see through the blingy …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2015 Cadillac Escalade Luxury AWD – Long Live The King

2029 Infiniti Synaptiq gif1

2029 Infiniti SYNAPTIQ Is Spinal Tap – Flying Racecar is F1-Fast + Off-Road-Ready

The Infiniti entry into the annual LA Design challenge is pretty outstanding – blending future-tech with fantasy to answer to question posed by the contest for this year: how will we interact with cars in 2029? Infiniti’s answer? A spinal lock communications system to allow thought-controlled driving and tech functions. A ‘Spinal Tap‘ if you will — and this one is just as pretend in many ways than the joke band of the same name. However, Synaptiq does offer a highly stylized version of future F1 types of cars in its circuit race setting. The flying and off-road sections of …

Read more 2029 Infiniti SYNAPTIQ Is Spinal Tap – Flying Racecar is F1-Fast + Off-Road-Ready

rav4 gif

Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD

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

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD

camry xle v6 gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry LE and XLE V6 Bring Lexus-Infused Style and Comfort

INTRO “Is that a Lexus?” This question came from two families passing by the new Camry XLE as we snapped photos on a rare stormy afternoon in Florida the other week.  The next thing they both said? “A Camry? Really?” For 2015, the Camry XLE V6 is almost unrecognizably-stylish and premium. The XLE version here with its dark-grey horizontal bars grille is fresh and very distinct from the SE and XSE cars’ gloss-black nose treatment. So does it just look like a Lexus, or is it a fairly convincing upgrade to Lexus levels of comfort, quality and refinement on the road? …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry LE and XLE V6 Bring Lexus-Infused Style and Comfort

yaris gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Yaris SE 5-Door Is A Hipsters Delight!

 2015 Toyota Yaris Review Quick: name the only Toyota (or Lexus) that is imported to the US from Europe? Any guesses? The header here is a solid clue. It is indeed the 2015 Yaris. Designed and built in Europe, the land of hot hatch excellence and cheap/cheerful mini cars, the Yaris embodies all the frisky spirit of the Fiat 500 or the MINI Cooper — but with a giant discount. The 2015 Yaris hopes to sell on more the efficiency and low entry pricing, however. It brings a full suspension redesign, a cabin upgrade and even funky LED lighting on …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Yaris SE 5-Door Is A Hipsters Delight!

camry xse header

HD Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry XSE Is FAST and QUIET!

  Fast and Quiet? Yep. A variation on Fast ‘n’ Loud is what most sedan shoppers actually prefer in their daily drivers, and the Camry XSE nails these benchmarks better than any other mid-size sedan. INTRO Can you imagine how tough the Camry is on competing cars like the Accord and Fusion? As far as we see it, the Camry gets better and better every year — without one slot in the armor of this best-seller to sneak an arrow through? The only area where the previous Camry let its competition get some ideas was with the overall exterior design, …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry XSE Is FAST and QUIET!

fiesta st gif2

Update1 – Road Test Review – 2015 Ford Fiesta ST Is Freaky Fast, Freaky Good

 Updated 10.18.14 With New Videos Performance Specials. They are the cream of the crop. They are the CTS-V’s of the world, the M5s and the Lancer Evo’s. They are freaky specials that are the product of pure driving joy, allowed to slip into showrooms every now and then. For car guys, they are the holy grail. Rare. Special. Excellent. From the moment you sit in the Ford Fiesta ST, you know that it is going to be a hugely fun drive. The seats are packed with support bolsters and the engine start button kicks the Fiesta into life with a …

Read more Update1 – Road Test Review – 2015 Ford Fiesta ST Is Freaky Fast, Freaky Good

Avalon Hybrid gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Like any project, the ones you are passionate about are far easier to do quickly and with great results. Alternatively, the ones where there is tough news to deliver can sit on the back burner for far longer than is ideal. And so it is with car reviews – even week-long press loaner reviews that are usually top-priority. There are great updates to the latest Avalon and Avalon Hybrid, including the exterior style, interior tech and great efficiency. But there are also serious areas where the new Avalon Hybrid neither delivers the cushy ride of the old model — nor …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

c300 gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Sport is Smooth, Sexy and Classy

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is moving up in both desirability and style for 2015. The 2015 C300 and C400 models both pack turbocharged engines and 4Matic AWD as standard for the US market, and the pricing moves up the scale noticeably as well. But as a quick spin in the C300 4Matic Sport with the LED Lighting and Airmatic suspension packages shows, this is a Benz that is the best of all worlds. In many ways, the new C-Class goes back to the roots of Mercedes brand strengths. It is fast but ultra-luxurious. It ride like a dream but can hold …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Sport is Smooth, Sexy and Classy

Nav gif

Update2 – Road Test Review – 2015 Lincoln Navigator Driven Back-to-Back with Escalade ESV = Surprise Winner!

UPDATED 10.9.14 Corrections to the suspension specs of the Navigator Select trim, as well as the name of the LWB Escalade from EXT to its actual name, the ESV. It has been hard to take the new Navigator and Expedition seriously in the face of the newer-seeming Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade. The Navigator seemed to be the slightest of light refreshes versus those all-new models from across town. But after time at the wheel of both the Navigator and the new Escalade ESV — we were strongly leaning toward the Navigator. This surprised no one more than your humble scribe. …

Read more Update2 – Road Test Review – 2015 Lincoln Navigator Driven Back-to-Back with Escalade ESV = Surprise Winner!

MKZ AWD gif1

Road Test Review – 2014 Lincoln MKZ 3.7 AWD Is Stylish, Sporty and Futuristic!

The Lincoln MKZ is easily the best Lincoln this author has ever driven. Outstanding design and technology features make the MKZ stand apart from anything else coming out of Detroit this decade, and getting to know the new Lincoln over a week was endlessly surprising. This car handles with a fantastic AWD balance of my personal Subaru Legacy GT, carries a charming and unique design that is cutting-edge and futuristic unlike anything else on the road. Dozens of preconceptions went out the ultra-sleek moonroof as we cruised to Atlanta with the Active Cruise engaged, the massage seats on full blast, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Lincoln MKZ 3.7 AWD Is Stylish, Sporty and Futuristic!

IS350C gif header

Road Test Review – 2014 Lexus IS350C F Sport – Convertible Coupe Perfection?

The market for cabrios hit the skids hard during the financial crisis, when any wind in your hair seemed suddenly too-lavish, and too-decadent. Even luxury shoppers pulled back during that unprecedented stock market decline. This makes sense: those in the market were the most exposed to big on-paper losses. As such, it was a pretty inopportune time for Lexus to launch its best-ever convertible: the ISC. This amazing machine entered a soft market with competition from the all-star BMW 3 (and now 4 series) droptop, as well as the better-sounding Infiniti G37 (now Q60) Convertible. So what has Lexus done? …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Lexus IS350C F Sport – Convertible Coupe Perfection?

Fiesta ST

Road Test Review – 2015 Ford Fiesta ST Is JJ Fantastic: Freaky Fast, Freaky Good! Even Better than BR-Z and FR-S

Performance Specials. They are the cream of the crop. They are the CTS-V’s of the world, the M5s and the Lancer Evo’s. They are freaky specials that are the product of pure driving joy, allowed to slip into showrooms every now and then. For car guys, they are the holy grail. Rare. Special. Excellent. From the moment you sit in the Ford Fiesta ST, you know that it is going to be a hugely fun drive. The seats are packed with support bolsters and the engine start button kicks the Fiesta into life with a snort from up front and …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Ford Fiesta ST Is JJ Fantastic: Freaky Fast, Freaky Good! Even Better than BR-Z and FR-S

Lexus ES300h gif1324

Road Test Review – 2015 Lexus ES300h Delivers Industry-Best Value, Efficiency and Cabin Comfort

The ES is by far the most-successful Lexus nameplate since the brand launched in 1989. These days, the ES is outsold only by the crossover king RX350 and RH Hybrid, so the ES flame is still burning bright in Lexus showrooms worldwide. The ES300h Hybrid is just about the opposite of the car most performance-sedan fans might pick for themselves, but the fact of the matter is: we absolutely adored the ES300h after spending a week together.   Intro: ES Bias? From an outsider perspective, one might write off the ES350 and ES300h as legacy models — cars sold to …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Lexus ES300h Delivers Industry-Best Value, Efficiency and Cabin Comfort

2015 TLX gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Acura TLX 2.4L Is Seriously Good Fun: Quick, Lux and Nimble

Just like delivering a compliment is easy and second-nature, writing a good car’s review is remarkably easy and refreshing. It feels great to give praise, and the words come flowing out. Alternatively – delivering bad news tactfully in a car review requires much more graceful delivery. You must plan your points carefully so they are constructive and helpful. The 2015 Acura TLX firmly falls into the easy compliment category. Say what you will — and what I have written — about the Acura nose in the last few years: this 2015 TLX absolutely blew me away with its amazing combination …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Acura TLX 2.4L Is Seriously Good Fun: Quick, Lux and Nimble

Panamera GIF1

Road Test Review – 2010 Porsche Panamera S is Gorgeous, Potent and Precisely Adjustable German U-boat

A Banker’s Hot Rod. Have you heard this term before? There are a few ways to define this old Buick advertising tagline from the 1950s: — a car for financial gurus at the top of the global banking markets. A commuter special – able to beat many muscle-cars in stoplight drag races, but also able to wow prospective clients on a lunch outing — the other definition? a car for successfully robbing banks. A getaway car that is so fast and so adept at outrunning normal machines that it will easily haul four newly-affluent people far and fast from the …

Read more Road Test Review – 2010 Porsche Panamera S is Gorgeous, Potent and Precisely Adjustable German U-boat

Civic Coupe EX-L GIF2

Road Test Review – 2014 Honda Civic EX-L Coupe Is Sharp-Looking Two-Door With Great Tech and Handling!

  Racy coupe bodies are about as hot as it gets up and down the automotive spectrum. A two-door tells the world you are unattached – and unburdened by kids or carpools. You are single and ready to mingle! The Honda Civic Coupe is one of the most adored nameplates in the youth car culture scene. Last year’s 2013 Civic Coupe has lost is austere nose from 2013 and come back stronger, better, faster and cooler for 2014. This brings an all-new nose design with some aggressive profiling and chrome-accented foglamps, a dark grille slash in semi-gloss black widening the …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Honda Civic EX-L Coupe Is Sharp-Looking Two-Door With Great Tech and Handling!