Car Reviews

  • Auto review: 2018 GMC Terrain Denali is not the champagne of compact crossovers

    Auto review: 2018 GMC Terrain Denali is not the champagne of compact crossovers

    The 2018 GMC Terrain reminds me of mass-produced beer. It’s more similar than different from compact crossovers such as the Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V and other contenders in America’s hottest segment. But fans of Miller High Life, the champagne of beers, know it’s different...

  • Review: 2018 BMW 3-Series still has it

    Review: 2018 BMW 3-Series still has it

    The 2018 BMW 340i helps you to make excuses for going on a drive. Kids want a ride to school with this beautiful weather? Fine, but we’re taking the long way. Quick trip to the store? As long as we can hit an on-ramp. A spin to the post office? Sure, I’ve got nothing to mail, but it has a big empty...

  • Review: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a great compromise

    Review: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a great compromise

    Two cars diverged in a garage and I, I took the one less fun. Leaving behind a BMW 340i for the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid was the only choice for a weekend glamping with two tweens. Call it the great compromise known as adulthood. Whatever it’s called, the Outlander and its iterations...

  • Review: 2019 Volvo XC40 continues winning crossover tradition

    Review: 2019 Volvo XC40 continues winning crossover tradition

    Volvo is one of the last automakers to flesh out its premium crossover lineup, yet it has done so with winning success. The XC90 three-row crossover won 2016 North American Truck/Utility of the Year; the midsize XC60 earned 2018 honors. Now comes the 2019 Volvo XC40, which straddles the line between...

  • 2018 Jeep Wrangler rules the off-road world

    2018 Jeep Wrangler rules the off-road world

    If some days are better than others, a day off-roading in a Jeep Wrangler is great. Add some insane terrain, the season’s first sunshine, the muddy muck following a Midwestern winter that wouldn’t quit and the only thing clearer than this overdue sunny day was why the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon...

  • Considering a plug-in car? 2018 Kia Niro PHEV is a good starter

    Considering a plug-in car? 2018 Kia Niro PHEV is a good starter

    If the Kia Soul and Toyota Prius Prime had a baby, it’d be something like the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The compact crossover hybrid launched last year gets a plug for 2018, as well as a much larger motor and a whole lot more emission-free driving. Despite debuting in a down market...

  • Tesla Model 3 just may be worth the wait

    Tesla Model 3 just may be worth the wait

    The Tesla Model 3 is the most hyped car since the days of the Model T. Since it was unveiled in March 2016, more than a half-million people have deposited $1,000 to reserve their Model 3 sight unseen, drive untested. But with deliveries to customers moving at Model T pace, the hype has waned to...

  • 2018 Nissan Armada review: The beauty of this beast is value

    2018 Nissan Armada review: The beauty of this beast is value

    Big has never been so bountiful. That’s a challenge for the 2018 Nissan Armada full-size SUV. The flagship of Nissan’s flotilla of crossovers contends in a crowded class of redesigned family leviathans spanning from GM’s 2015 family of full-sizers to the upstream 2018 Lincoln Navigator to the forthcoming...

  • 2018 Ford EcoSport is too little, too late

    2018 Ford EcoSport is too little, too late

    Sometimes the smallest things have the hardest time fitting in. The 2018 Ford EcoSport is the latest to arrive at the subcompact crossover party, and it doesn’t stand out from established competitors like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Subaru Crosstrek. Ford’s runt of the litter is at least a...

  • What makes Rolls-Royce Phantom worth $643,000?

    What makes Rolls-Royce Phantom worth $643,000?

    The Rolls-Royce Phantom is a car. It has four wheels, four doors, a steering wheel, an engine. But that’s where the similarity to any other vehicle on the road ends. For $643,000 — my God, $643,000 — it’s not so much a car as a sense of self-being. It is all about having what you want and how you...

  • 2018 Lexus LC500h review: How to neuter a sports car into a hybrid

    2018 Lexus LC500h review: How to neuter a sports car into a hybrid

    Before I drank coffee, I didn’t get the reason for decaf. Before I drove the less potent hybrid version of the Lexus LC500, I didn’t get that either. But now I get it. Decaf gives you the taste without the stimulant. It’s good with cake. The 2018 LC500h gives you performance without the guilt....

  • 2018 Toyota Sequoia review: What’s old is not new

    2018 Toyota Sequoia review: What’s old is not new

    Reclaimed wood. Arcade bars. Conservatism. Toyota Sequoia. Old things repackaged as something new are all the rage. Toyota’s full-size three-row SUV rumbles on, same as it was a decade ago with technology upgraded for the modern era that has the look and feel of something from the prior era. Such...

  • 2018 Audi SQ5 performance crossover lets you be parent and punk

    2018 Audi SQ5 performance crossover lets you be parent and punk

    Performance crossovers such as the 2018 Audi SQ5 provide the utility of a high-riding hatchback with the adrenaline-pumping verve of a sports car. It lets you be two things at once, sherpa parent around town, bat out of hell out of town. This duality comes at price: $68,000 for the SQ5. Audi’s...

  • 2018 Lincoln Navigator outdoes Cadillac Escalade as most refined family hauler

    2018 Lincoln Navigator outdoes Cadillac Escalade as most refined family hauler

    A familiar family scene in a full-size SUV: Two parents up front, four tweens behind, a sister in the third row aggravating her brother and his teammates in the second row, who are barking and bobbing with all the excitement of leaving for a far-away game. Here’s where it becomes less familiar:...

  • Plug-in Cadillacs evolve with CT6 sedan

    Plug-in Cadillacs evolve with CT6 sedan

    Remember the ELR? You shouldn’t. The CT6 full-size sedan, Cadillac’s second go at a luxury plug-in hybrid, is an evolutionary leap over the short-lived ELR coupe. The ELR tried to be a luxury plug-in performance coupe but it lacked that whole performance thing. It hit 60 mph in nearly 8 seconds...

  • What's in a $63,000 Ford F-150?

    What's in a $63,000 Ford F-150?

    The 2018 Ford F-150 has just the right balance of capability, comfort and convenience to make you feel that what you want is what you need. That is the success story of America’s best-selling vehicle for nearly four decades: to convince the market that want and need are the same. I know I’m not...

  • Fancy 2018 Infiniti QX60 is overdue for a redesign

    Fancy 2018 Infiniti QX60 is overdue for a redesign

    There is nothing new for the 2018 Infiniti QX60. So why bother reviewing it? Automakers give reviewers a chance to bid farewell to outgoing models before a redesign as a way to show off the new model’s evolution, or to pique interest in an outgoing model that can be had for a sweet price as dealers...

  • Auto review: 2018 Hyundai Sonata competes on value

    Auto review: 2018 Hyundai Sonata competes on value

    New cars are special. Baked into that new car smell is a feeling of excitement. Why else would we pay thousands of dollars more for something that loses 10 percent of its value the first time we use it? Compared with the redesigned Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the refreshed Hyundai Sonata fails...

  • That's a Kia? Stinger puts a buzz in performance sedans

    That's a Kia? Stinger puts a buzz in performance sedans

    The Stinger is a five-door sportback rear-wheel drive performance sedan hitting 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Aside from the badge, nothing about it sounds or looks like a Kia. This caused much confusion. Taking the 2018 Kia Stinger out in the wild, even in its most muted Silky Silver coat in drab, salt-washed...

  • Believe the hype: 2018 Honda Accord is that good

    Believe the hype: 2018 Honda Accord is that good

    The redesigned 2018 Honda Accord has won a slew of awards, including the 2018 North American Car of the Year, the industry’s most impartial acknowledgment. Awards are like opinions, sure, and the 10th-generation Accord may not be good enough to stop the sales slide of midsize sedans to crossovers...

  • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas carries 3-row SUV class on its shoulders

    2018 Volkswagen Atlas carries 3-row SUV class on its shoulders

    With the all-new Atlas, Volkswagen is one of the last automakers to debut a proper three-row SUV. Being late to the three-row party has its advantages; Atlas feels roomier, smoother and altogether more unified than the competition. It may just carry the beleaguered brand on its back, much as its...

  • Auto review: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is like a good winter coat

    Auto review: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is like a good winter coat

    A good compact crossover is like a good winter coat: it’s nothing to get excited about, but its ability to satisfy several functions can be very pleasing. The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is like a good winter coat. Fortunately for car buyers, the hottest segment in the industry doesn’t have any duds...

  • 2018 Range Rover Velar: Two touch screens too many?

    2018 Range Rover Velar: Two touch screens too many?

    New for 2018, the Range Rover Velar enters a field flooded with luxury crossovers. Like so many overlooked middle children, it’s challenging to tell where Velar fits even within the Rover family. The fourth crossover sibling in the more luxurious Range Rover lineage is slightly larger than Land...

  • 2018 Dodge Durango SRT: For drivers who don't give a hoot

    2018 Dodge Durango SRT: For drivers who don't give a hoot

    Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Less than 10 mpg. We drove the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT how most people would drive a three-row SUV, toting the kids around town, making the occasional highway commute, rumbling 392 cubic inches of fire-breathing V-8 engine monstrosity into the school drop-off...

  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 takes the lead in luxury coupes

    2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 takes the lead in luxury coupes

    Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans are respectable and responsible luxury cars for respectable and responsible drivers. But chop off two doors, widen its stance, lower the roofline and suddenly you’re ready to cut loose. Going back to the 1970s, E-Class coupes have been some of the most desirable cars...

  • 2018 Kia Rio refines budget car space

    There aren’t many new cars in the $15,000 range anymore, largely because there aren’t many subcompact budget cars being sold. Though redesigned for 2018, the Kia Rio subcompact hatch is a throwback to the days when owning a car was a rite of passage into adulthood. It didn’t have to be flashy or...

  • Volvo surges ahead of competition with XC60 plug-in hybrid

    With the 2018 XC60 plug-in hybrid crossover, Volvo has demonstrated that it is a luxury brand at the vanguard of electrification. Most of the luxury makes have promised a portfolio of plug-ins, but the pledge by the Swedish brand owned by the Chinese multinational to replace gas-only models with...

  • Hyundai Elantra GT Sport outdoes the Honda Civic hatch in overall value

    With the 2018 Elantra GT Sport, Hyundai is following in the treads of the Honda Civic with a compelling redesign that offers some five-door fun under the shadow of its taller, duller cousin, the compact crossover. The second-generation hatchback rebadged from Touring to GT gets a Sport variant...

  • Ugly or edgy? 2018 Toyota C-HR banks on being different

    The 2018 Toyota C-HR is different. “It’s hideous,” said the mom waving cars through the school drop-off. “Pull away before I go blind.” She may have been referring to the white roof and teal body that sounds like a Toyota lettuce blend: iceberg/radiant green. “Interesting color,” said the woman...

  • What it's like driving the Dodge Demon, the world's fastest production car

    Tired of stories about driverless cars? Then how about a story of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, one of the world’s quickest cars ever made? It’s so tuned to driving it comes standard with only a driver’s seat. The latest addition to the Challenger lineup is specifically engineered for drag...

  • 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk better off road than on

    The Trailhawk version of the 2017 Jeep Compass can ford creeks, scale dale and dell and do everything you’d expect from a Jeep 4x4. In on-road applications, it’s a pokey ride that looks better than it performs. The second generation Compass blends the old Patriot and Compass into one model in the...

  • 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the best family car on the market

    A day in the life of a parent like me in a family car like the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan could have one less to-do: the twice-a-week stop at the gas station. One less to-do is no small ado, and this is the promise of the plug-in hybrid family vehicle: to make life easier, better. The plug-in...

  • 2017 Land Rover Discovery ushers in new era of luxury SUV ease

    If technology is supposed to make our lives easier, then the Land Rover Discovery is making good on a premise that often feels as if it complicates things. The redesigned three-row SUV is all about easy luxury, loaded with advanced driver assist systems and equipped with one of the quietest diesel...

  • Wings of glory: Honda Civic Type R outsoars Ford Focus RS

    After a day out with the 2017 Honda Civic Type R and the 2016 Ford Focus RS, it came down to this: “If someone handed you the keys to either, which one would you take?” This is not “The Matrix” and these combatants are not pills. They are the most anticipated sports cars on the market and have...

  • 2018 Chevrolet Traverse offers up minivan function in SUV form

    Minivan haters, SUV lovers, take heart: The redesigned 2018 Chevy Traverse is one of the few three-row crossovers as convenient as the minivan with the looks of something like an SUV. With its first full redesign since it was introduced nine years ago, the new Traverse grows into its role as midsize...

  • Chevy Colorado ZR2: putting the rad in off-road pickup trucks

    First there was dirt. Then there was a truck. The dirt was free. The truck was the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2. Without either, the landscaping job that had been waiting for a year or three wouldn’t have gotten done. That’s what happens when you have a pickup: Things get done. Or at least it increases...

  • On the wagon: Volvo V90 Cross Country is an AWD alternative to minivan, crossover

    Wagons are still a thing, and the Volvo V90 Cross Country is nothing like the family barges so many grew up with. The Cross Country is a smooth-riding, sleek-looking, versatile family hauler that is more attractive than the wagon’s successors — the minivan and the crossover. The Cross Country is...

  • 2018 Genesis G80 Sport is much more than a Hyundai

    The launch of Hyundai’s premium Genesis brand is getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment: No respect. For the first day in the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport, my passengers would smooth their hands over the leather seats and soft touch dash, open and close the panoramic sunroof, note the silly analog...

  • Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500 is both beauty and beast

    With the 2018 LC 500, Lexus now has a thrilling sports coupe. Yet the market is jaded. The question I heard most from people was: Who needs another $100,000 sports coupe? Lexus does. The RC F and GS F, from which the V-8 engine is derived, are fun, powerful cars, but they don’t turn heads and make...

  • Hot, hot hatch: Mercedes-AMG 45 is a more refined sport

    Kryptonite is known to drain Superman of his powers. The color kryptonite green has the opposite effect on mere mortals getting behind the wheel of the super AMG GLA45. The No. 1 comment we got about this hot hot hatch was about the color; the second was, Who is it for? The second question is harder...

  • Complete guide to new and redesigned 2018 vehicles

    Important vehicles are getting revamps for the 2018 model year, including the Toyota Camry, which has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for 15 years. Two of the Camry's archrivals, the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, are also new for 2018. The Ram pickup — a consistent best-seller — will also...

  • 2017 Porsche Panamera is quick and nice for a steep steep price

    The 2017 Porsche Panamera is like a pair of nice but overpriced shoes. Once you stop considering all the other things that could have and maybe should have been bought with the same amount of money, it becomes more and more pleasurable. Porsche expects this of its customers, and while the Audi...

  • Driving the 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in a word? SICK

    As if a 475-horsepower SUV wasn’t enough, why make a 707-horsepower beast? Because Jeep can and has in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Using parts from SRT, the performance division of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles who brought to market the Hellcat performance line, the Trackhawk...

  • Auto review: 2017 Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV comes up short

    Getting the Cadillac of SUVs for an epic camping trip with seven other families over Labor Day weekend promised certain safeguards: We could help bring stuff other families couldn’t fit; we could sleep in it should inclement weather or creatures descend on our site; we wouldn’t need to make bathroom...

  • Best affordable sports car? 2017 Honda Civic Si

    The sign indicated curves ahead. The road was so newly paved it didn't have a dividing line. The asphalt undulated left and right, with an occasional dip before the far-off turn. There were no houses or driveways, just woods on one side, a meadow on the other. It was the perfect road for the Honda...

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