Road Test Review – 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sahara – By Carl Malek

When it comes to bearing the weight of the world on ones shoulders, few can match the burden carried by the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Sharing roots with the Willys Jeep that played a key role in turning the tide for the Allied Forces during World War II, the Wrangler has made a name for itself for offering buyers amazing off-road capability in a package that has still retained much of its core values over the years, while also resisting the urge to outright abandon its functional design cues. But with a new decade now upon us, the iconic Wrangler has …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG – By Carl Malek

With the SUV and CUV segments adding so many new models into their respective ranks, it can be easy to forget that there are a few iconic nameplates sitting at various points in the segment. If your a rapper, celebrity, third world leader, or even the pope, few entries can match the extensive rap sheet wielded by the Mercedes G-Class. First conceived in 1972 at the suggestion of the King of Iran, the G-Class initially started life as a military vehicle, with the Argentinian army interestingly being the first power to use it in 1981. The first civilian version appeared …

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Road Test Followup – 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate – By Carl Malek

When we last met the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, it was on its home turf in Alabama, where we had a chance to sample some of the reworked engineering, styling, and performance that went into making this iteration of Santa Fe a true standout in Hyundai’s growing SUV lineup. This time around, we had the opportunity to check out the Santa Fe on the familiar roads that dot our Metro Detroit branch to see if its southern infused charm can translate into a truly capable offering that can bring the best of both worlds to eager SUV buyers.   Functionally …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD – By Carl Malek

It’s no secret that Mazda’s CX-5 has emerged as a very key player for the Japanese car maker for the past several years. Once known for having a very car focused lineup over 10 years ago, Mazda has been very quick to embrace the recent shift towards CUV and SUV entries, with the CX-3 and the CX-9 being just two examples of how the Hiroshima based company has responded to this abrupt shift in buyer demand. However, it is ultimately the CX-5 that has emerged as the key cog in Mazda’s plans to sharpen up its position in the utility …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury (4WD) – By Carl Malek

When we had our chance to experience the 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label sometime ago, we adored its interior, elegant driving manners, and its yacht-esque styling both inside and out. We were so impressed, that we decided to test its chops with a road trip to northern and western Michigan where it performed almost flawlessly. But we always had an eye on giving domestic rival Cadillac the chance to issue a rebuttal. Cadillac reps obliged, and allowed us to experience an Escalade on our home turf. But can the Escalade (a model that once dominated older Navigator iterations in sales) …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label – By Carl Malek

When Lincoln revamped the Navigator full-sized SUV for 2018, they had a lot of ground to make up. Once an innovator in the full size luxury SUV segment when it first made its debut in 1998, the big Lincoln generated a lot of attention, and even inspired Cadillac to make its own entry, the Cadillac Escalade. However, the Navigators that followed failed to maintain this initial momentum, with the situation growing increasingly dire in 2015 when the refreshed third generation Navigator appeared. Lacking the precision and attention to detail that had become a staple of the fore-mentioned Escalade, that iteration …

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2017 Toyota Highlander Limited Platinum (AWD) – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

Three row SUVs have always possessed a special spot in the minds of many family buyers. With enough seating for a whole family, as well as tremendous amounts of cargo space, these bruisers have become a must have tool for many families. The Toyota Highlander is one of the top entries in this class, but can the updated 2017 Highlander allow Toyota to continue its winning ways? Or have they caused the Highlander to lose some ground to a growing crop of SUV rivals?   The exterior styling of the Highlander was lightly revised for the 2017 model year, and …

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2017 Toyota RAV4 Platinum – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

With all the new entries that have entered the compact SUV segment over the past few years, it is easy to forget about one of the pioneers in this hotly contested segment, the Toyota RAV4. Designed to bring a compelling blend of safety, versatility, and value to a segment that was in its infancy at the time. The RAV4 would emerge as one of the leading compact SUV entries on the market, while also proving to be a huge sales success for Toyota at the same time, but can the current generation RAV4 confidently follow in the tire tracks of …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium – By Carl Malek

In an era where CUVs and even full size SUVs are embracing car based platforms as their underlying DNA, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner is a compelling glimpse into an era when pickup based SUVs ruled the roads both on and off the beaten path. With its sole rival the Nissan Xterra being discontinued last year, the 4Runner is one of the few remaining stalwarts in a shrinking market segment. But does its blend of capability, size, and utility still allow it to stand out against rivals? or has the passage of time finally caught up to Toyota’s off road bruiser? …

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