Car Reviews

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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...

  • Review: 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid clears the way for electrification

    Review: 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid clears the way for electrification

    Being first to innovate the market does not mean best. Honda launched the first hybrid in the U.S. in 1999 with the two-seat, three-door, odd-pod Insight. Toyota followed with the more practical Prius. The Insight was discontinued in 2016, the Prius is the best-selling hybrid in the world. Honda...

  • Lights, Camry, action: 2018 Toyota Camry is anything but boring

    Lights, Camry, action: 2018 Toyota Camry is anything but boring

    Neighbors flagged it down in the middle of the street. Friends asked for a ride. The teenager in the parking lot stopped and gaped. "Is that the 2018?" It was not the latest Porsche turning heads, nor was it some high-revving supercar or ultra-luxe land yacht — it was the 2018 Toyota Camry. It's...

  • 2017 BMW i3 electric vehicle goes longer on style than miles

    2017 BMW i3 electric vehicle goes longer on style than miles

    When the BMW i3 debuted in 2014, we called it an odd duck. An odd headless duck. Nothing has changed on the outside for 2017. The duck pun may have been a reach; it looks more like geometric Picasso tiles for kids were fashioned together to form an eco-pod on wheels, especially in the new hue of...

  • Mercedes-AMG's first compact performance crossover takes a bite out of competition

    Mercedes-AMG's first compact performance crossover takes a bite out of competition

    Let the big dog eat. I don't know where the phrase comes from or why people seem to use it for everything from a toddler getting her way to a rare straight drive on the golf course, but it applies just as well to the Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The big dog here is AMG, the performance division competing...

  • 2017 BMW 530i xDrive is all very good and nice

    2017 BMW 530i xDrive is all very good and nice

    The refreshed BMW 530i is stylish, capable and nice. In a week of driving, it neither made my pulse jump nor made me wish for the end of the drive. It's all very good and nice. It's what you'd expect from the seventh generation 5-Series. It's almost unremarkable. Until it becomes apparent it is...

  • Porsche 911 GTS is the quickest, fastest and most popular Carrera

    Porsche 911 GTS is the quickest, fastest and most popular Carrera

    Most people know what a 911 is even if they mispronounce "Porsche" as one syllable. Since 1963, the rear-engined sports coupe with a wide butt and bulbous eyes has enchanted drivers and oglers alike with peerless handling and adrenaline-pumping responsiveness. It may be the only car to earn the...

  • 2018 Subaru WRX is too loud and I'm too old

    2018 Subaru WRX is too loud and I'm too old

    There was a poster in the bedroom of my youth that said if it's too loud, you're too old. The Subaru WRX is too loud, and I'm too old. At its best, the tamer wingless sibling of the STI with the shameless hood scoop does exactly what it's intended to do: give enthusiasts a tactile visceral ride...

  • The devil drives the 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR

    The devil drives the 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR

    Most people who saw the red convertible with the big wheels said, "Nice car." But when I fired up the Jaguar F-Type SVR and the engine snapped, crackled and popped, their expressions changed. Some were surprised, all were impressed, a few were afraid. SVR is the fastest and most powerful series...

  • 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio carves a sweet line in crowded crossover class

    2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio carves a sweet line in crowded crossover class

    Alfa Romeo may be late to the crossover party, but the all-new Stelvio cuts a distinct mark in the crowded crossover space. The Stelvio is crucial to the Italian brand's successful return to the U.S. Jaguar, like Alfa, was known for clever cars with questionable quality. Within its first year of...

  • Review: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a smooth three-row marvel

    Review: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a smooth three-row marvel

    The last time I remember being impressed with Acura was my dad's Acura Legend in the late '80s. Recently, the ILX felt like a gussied up Honda Civic and the RDX drifted into that great homogenous pool known as the compact crossover. But the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid earns the esteem — and premium —...

  • Review: Hyundai Elantra Sport holds its own against Honda Civic, Mazda3

    Review: Hyundai Elantra Sport holds its own against Honda Civic, Mazda3

    Spring weekends: When dreams of race tracks and winding backwoods roads come crashing down under the domestic weight of lawn care and countless family chores. Such obligations can feel less obligatory if you have a fun enough car. The Hyundai Elantra Sport is fun enough. The Elantra has long been...

  • Honda brings Civic hatch back in style

    Good things don't necessarily come in small packages. It's more like good things make great use of space. The 2017 Honda Civic hatchback is one of the roomiest compact hatches, which makes it competitive not just with other hatches but with America's darling, the compact crossover. The Civic hatch...

  • Sexiest Miata is more than just a seasonal convertible

    Forty-six degrees is not convertible weather. Unless the sun is out in March in Chicago. Such a bright appearance after such a gray season provokes people to wear shorts, drink early, smile. Or to put the top down at 70 mph with the heat on low and cozy up in the new hardtop Mazda Miata. The MX-5...

  • Evoque crossover convertible built to go anywhere, except my driveway

    Ugly can be alluring. Pugs. Clogs. Tom Petty. But ugly is in the eye of the beholder. The Range Rover Evoque convertible, with its sterile white body, bricklike lower half, and lopped-off black top, caught people's eyes. It looks like a beach shoe for Stormtroopers. Women liked it. The boy didn't....

  • Pickup or crossover? Chevy Colorado makes a case as family vehicle

    My friend wanted a pickup truck. He travels during the week for his white-collar job, and on weekends helps out with house projects in the neighborhood. A married father of three, he'd take out the seats to load up the minivan with tools, materials and sawhorses. A married father of three, he couldn't...

  • Lincoln-loving dad, skeptical son square off over 2017 Continental

    Sometimes, father knows best. This reluctant admission comes after a week with the 2017 Lincoln Continental, the first Lincoln in my adult lifetime that did not make my father's unwavering lifetime support of a once-proud premium brand seem bewildering. The only relevant Lincoln in my mind was...

  • 2017 BMW 740e charges flagship sedan segment

    BMW is plugging into the electrified future of automobiles by offering a plug-in variant across its product line. The 740e full-size sedan benefits from the same lightweight carbon core construction and impressive list of technology features as the redesigned luxury flagship, but it has a 2.0-liter...

  • Refreshed 2017 Nissan Pathfinder is not quite the one

    Testing a new car for a week is a lot like dating — exciting and different but without all the emotional vulnerability and wretched insecurity. The brief courtship with the refreshed 2017 Nissan Pathfinder followed a familiar pattern: initially impressed, ultimately disappointed. From across a...

  • 2017 Lexus GS F is old-school cool but lags the performance competition

    The performance sedan segment has been engaged in a battle for horsepower dominance in recent years. While a performance sedan making 400 horsepower would suffice a decade ago, we now have the option to buy a family-sized sedan that can produce as much power as some of the fastest supercars. Take...

  • Tesla Model X P100D is the stuff of dreams

    The falcon-wing doors sealed shut and the boy studied the moonroof above his seat. His eyes trailed forward to the panoramic front windshield. The 17-inch touch screen in the center stack arrested his attention, like headlights to a deer, causing the boy to mutter, as if in a trance, "This is how...

  • 2017 Volvo S90 T6 sedan wears elegance with simplicity

    The new Volvo S90 is like a tailor-made suit. It fits just right, balancing sharp lines with elegant comfort. It's as nice to look at as to luxuriate in, and there were random times behind the wheel where a seam in the seats or some other detail caught our attention and made us feel better, as...

  • Toyota Land Cruiser needs a full-size redesign to stay relevant

    When we got to the snow tubing hill, the five tweens packed in back had a change of mind. Instead of cruising down the hill, they wanted to scale up the hill in the Toyota Land Cruiser. The two adults were tempted too, despite the legal and ethical obstacles. Such is the temptation of driving a...

  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 provides luxury, lacks performance

    As the snow falls and the temperature plummets, access to a vehicle with drive going to all four wheels is a privilege that can't be overstated. While SUVs and crossovers are typically the vehicles associated with four-wheel drive, what if you want the utility of 4WD with the style and luxury of...

  • 2017 Genesis G90 flagship sedan carves out a spot for modest luxury

    Thick, wet snow shrouded visibility and parallel ruts formed in the white stuff, serving as lanes. Traffic slowed to 20 mph, except for trucks and our Genesis G90 full-size sedan. We had full confidence at double the speed, and the heavy car stayed planted even while sloshing through rutted lane...

  • 2017 Buick Envision is a premium crossover with a value proposition

    The temperatures dropped, the snow started and I faced a choice in the garage — with hockey bag in one hand, kids' backpacks in the other. In my pocket were two key fobs, one that promised something fun and new, the other assuring me of the practical but dull. The red pill in one pocket, the blue...

  • 2017 Honda Accord hybrid makes 50 mpg come easy

    Gas prices will go up and sedans will be the most popular car segment in America again. Unfortunately for the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, only one of those predictions is likely. For prognosticators who foretell a return to $4 per gallon, or for those who'd rather not spew money like emissions, the...

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