Car Reviews

  • Review: 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is no family truckster

    Review: 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is no family truckster

    The 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is a wagon that is nothing like the wagons that ferried Gen Xers through their suburban youth. This Jaguar wagon has the cargo volume of a crossover, the athleticism of a performance sedan, and bears no resemblance to the Griswald’s Family Truckster. Based on the XF...

  • Nissan Titan XD is a diesel beast of a truck

    Nissan Titan XD is a diesel beast of a truck

    The 2018 Nissan Titan XD is beyond huge, beyond titanic. It’s like Andre the Giant ringside, like the Yeti in a mountain snow, like Fortnite to a tween. The XD likely stands for eXtra Duty since Nissan promotes it as heavy-duty capable but light-duty driveable, like a Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado...

  • 2019 Ram 1500 is the pickup truck for winning arguments

    2019 Ram 1500 is the pickup truck for winning arguments

    The $50,000 pickup truck question boils down to: How is it going to be used every day? If you’ve been on the losing end of the argument over what you’re going to do with a pickup the 300-or-so days a year when you’re not towing or hauling or helping, then the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 is your counterargument....

  • Review: Subaru climbs into 3-row class with 2019 Ascent

    Review: Subaru climbs into 3-row class with 2019 Ascent

    Subaru is rising. The small Japanese brand has had 78 months of consecutive growth. It is one of the industry leaders in conquest sales — taking customers from other brands — and has the second highest brand loyalty rate, behind Toyota, according to Edmunds.com. It has capitalized on the crossover...

  • Auto review: Mitsubishi shows signs of life with 2018 Eclipse Cross

    Auto review: Mitsubishi shows signs of life with 2018 Eclipse Cross

    Back when I was learning how to drive and presidential sex scandals focused on interns with blue dresses, Mitsubishi sold sports coupes in the United States. My dad bought into the fastest growing car company of the ’90s with a 195-horsepower Mitsubishi Eclipse with a five-speed manual. It might...

  • Auto review: Mercedes-Benz S560 Cabriolet options over $150,000 of drop-top luxury

    Auto review: Mercedes-Benz S560 Cabriolet options over $150,000 of drop-top luxury

    Perhaps it was the white carpet and white-carpeted floor mats. Perhaps it was the Swarovski crystal-encrusted headlights. It could have been the cabin fragrance system. But something made my wife say, “I feel like I just got into Liberace’s car.” One thing was certain about the Mercedes-Benz S-Class...

  • Car review: Volkswagen finally gives Golf GTI the tech it deserves

    Car review: Volkswagen finally gives Golf GTI the tech it deserves

    Since 1974, the Volkswagen Golf has proven that driving can be fun, and driving fun can be affordable. The spacious hatchback has always balanced good handling with punchy powertrains in a package versatile enough to mature with owners beyond their 20s. But the technology was awful. Until now....

  • 2018 Subaru WRX STi Type RA boggles the mind as most expensive Subaru

    2018 Subaru WRX STi Type RA boggles the mind as most expensive Subaru

    The 2018 Subaru WRX STi Type RA is the poster child of Japanese rally car design, putting the silly in the serious, and prioritizing handling over engine breath. This limited edition model won’t sell much, and not because it’s the most expensive production Subaru at $49,000. It won’t sell much...

  • Review: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is betta’, inside and out

    Review: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is betta’, inside and out

    Whipping the redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta around an autocross course may not be the first thing you think to do with the compact sedan. Yet the new model was surprisingly capable and surprisingly fun. Of course, taking grandpa’s Town Car on an autocross course can be a blast, but the seventh-generation...

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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?

    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

    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

    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...

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