reviews


2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco – A Good Car Even When Gas Is Cheap

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While the SUV in its various flavors is quickly expanding its hold on the American driver, the car isn’t quite dead yet. In fact, at Hyundai, its two best-selling models remain the Elantra and Sonata. With nearly 173,000 sold in the first ten months of 2016, The Elantra certainly appeals to a significant portion of the market and Hyundai wants to expand on that with a new variant for 2017, the Elantra Eco. Despite continuing cheap gas across the U.S. the Eco is definitely a car that consumers should consider.

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica – The Original and Still the Best

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Recently, Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant celebrated the 33th anniversary of the production launch of the original T-Wagon. If there was any one single vehicle that really defined Chrysler in the 1980s and early 1990s, this was was it, the minivan. The minivan no longer holds the position of importance in the American marketplace that it once did, but as a people-mover, no SUV or crossover can hold a candle to this form factor and FCA knows it. This year, FCA has rebooted its icon once again with a new design and the revival of a previously failed nameplate. Can the 2017 Pacifica still haul in the cash for Chrysler?

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2017 Jaguar F-Pace S – To Big Sur and Back

2017 Jaguar F-Pace S

2017 Jaguar F-Pace S

As the western coast of the United States rises up from the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, a 655-mile stretch of the boundary between land and water is marked by a strip of pavement known as California Route 1. Known in various locations as the Pacific Coast Highway or Cabrillo Highway, the road winds, climbs and falls as it seeks purchase along the perimeter of the continent. It’s the ideal road for the kinds of cars built by Jaguar and I recently spent some time there in one of the venerable British brand’s newest products. But rather than a car, I was driving the all-new F-Pace S.

Read the full review here

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2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider – Unfiltered Driving At Its Best

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (photo credit: Sam Abuelsamid)

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (photo credit: Sam Abuelsamid)

We exist in a world of pervasive screens and connectivity and touch interfaces. In that world, almost everything we do is intermediated, filtered and converted through layers of ones and zeros. In fact, in the not too distant future, it’s likely that many if not most of us will never actively drive a car again. Fortunately, we’re not quite at that final place yet and there remain a handful of virtually unfiltered driving experiences like the 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.

Read the full review here

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2016 BMW 650i – Touring In The Grand Style

2016 BMW 650i (photo credit: Sam Abuelsamid)

2016 BMW 650i (photo credit: Sam Abuelsamid)

It’s been a quarter century since I drove a BMW for the first time.  After years of reading Car and Driver’s praise of the 3 and 5 Series, my entre into the brand came via the big coupe which in those days was the 850i. The 8 series had supplanted the 6 series while moving significantly upmarket. The 8 was only produced for a single generation before giving way to an eventual revival of the 6 which I finally had a chance to drive recently in 650i form.

Read the rest of my BMW 650i review here

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2016 Titan XD – Is Good Enough, Good Enough?

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Up until the early-1970s the Detroit-based automakers absolutely dominated the American market. However, ever since then they have progressively lost share to brands from Asia and Europe in virtually every segment of the market, save one. Somehow Detroit has managed to maintain a near stranglehold on the full-size pickup truck. After what can only described as a swing and whiff with its original Titan pickup, Nissan is back to try again and this time they have really stepped up their game. But is it enough?

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2016 Lexus RX450h F Sport – Adding a Touch of Cayenne

2016 Lexus RX 450h F Sport

2016 Lexus RX 450h F Sport

For most of its nearly two decade history, the midsize RX crossover has been the best seller in the Lexus lineup by a fairly wide margin. Like other Lexi prior to the current generation, it also had generally inoffensive, but uninspired design. That all changed in 2015 with the debut of the fourth-generation RX including the hybrid RX450h F Sport that I recently drove. Whether you like the new design direction or not, this latest RX is at least less likely to get lost in a crowd.

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2016 Lincoln MKX – What the Brand Needs More Than What Enthusiasts Want

2016 Lincoln MKX

The luxury vehicle market today shares a very important characteristic with the market for more mainstream models. While enthusiasts may prefer the cars, especially sporty, performance oriented models, crossovers are where the big money is at. For all the strategic issues that Ford’s upmarket Lincoln brand has had over the past couple of decades, they at least seem to have recognized this truism. Thus instead of a BMW and Cadillac-chasing rear drive sports sedan or coupe, we have the new MKX midsize crossover and frankly that’s not an entirely bad thing.

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2016 Dodge Charger SXT Blacktop – For Pony Car Fans With a Family

2016 Dodge Charger SXT blacktopIf you’re the type of driver that inclined toward cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro or Dodge Challenger but regularly need to bring along more than one adult friend or strap kids into car seats, Dodge has an alternative for you. In many respects, the Dodge Charger is the family pony car. After spending a week with a 2016 Charger SXT Black Top Edition, I can attest that it has the feel these drivers would be looking for.

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