Carmakers


2017 Volvo XC90 T8 – The Big Swede Gets Plugged In

The launch of the second-generation XC90 marked the beginning of a new era for Volvo a couple of years ago. The XC90 is the first model to ride on the company’s all-new scalable product architecture (SPA), the first all-new platform to come from Gothenburg since Ford sold the Swedish brand to China’s Geely in 2010. After initially being available only with boosted four-cylinder engines, the XC90 is now the first regular production plug-in model Volvo is offering in America and I recently spent a week driving one.

(more…)


2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro – Autobahn Born and Bred

2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro

2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro

Cars, like the people that create them have distinct characters. Some of that comes down to the individuals responsible for the design and development and the corporate culture they work in. Other aspects of automotive ethnicity come the places where they were created. Despite the differences between the various German brands, they all share some common DNA, in particular, the way they behave at elevated speeds on highways like the Autobahn. Such is the case for the latest generation Audi A4 that arrived on American shores earlier this year.

Read the rest of my review on Forbes


Don’t Miss The Wheel Bearings Podcast!

img_20161109_153334_processed-01-1024x1024In case you missed it, Dan Roth and I have launched a new podcast called Wheel Bearings where we talk about the cars we’re driving and the news and topics that we think are important in the world of transportation and mobility. We’ll have guests and interviews with experts and interesting people too. You can find the show at http://wheelbearings.media/

Add the RSS Feed to your favorite podcatcher – http://wheelbearings.media/feed/podcast
Subscribe in PocketCasts – http://pca.st/tMO4
Subscribe in Google Play – https://goo.gl/fazd4D
Subscribe in iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wheel-bearings/id1174442079
Follow the show on TuneIn – http://tunein.com/radio/Wheel-Bearings-p930642/


2016 Mazda CX-9 – Moving People in Style

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature

Earlier this year, nearly eight years after Ford started divesting its controlling interest in Mazda, the Japanese brand finally replaced the last of the products that shared hardware with the Dearborn brand. Mazda’s biggest vehicle was also its oldest with the original CX-9 lasting nearly a decade before a complete redesign. Now that the CX-9 is new and fresh, does it finally fit in with the rest of the family from the brand that says “driving matters?”

(more…)


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

2017-hyundai-elantra-eco-7-of-27

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.

(more…)


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?

(more…)


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


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


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