Category: Car Reviews

By on April 15, 2021

2020 Cadillac CT5

The automotive press, ourselves included, has been hard on Cadillac in recent years. But the brand is making strides back to respectability.

Unfortunately, the journey is long and incomplete.

For evidence, I submit the CT5. There’s a lot to like about it. But every day I spent with it revealed more and more flaws.

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By on April 14, 2021

2020 Nissan Frontier

As you know by now, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is all new.

I haven’t yet gotten my hands on one, and nor has, it appears, most of the rest of the automotive press. But I did get to sample one of the last-gen trucks before it moved into the dustbin of history.

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By on April 13, 2021

 

2020 Subaru Outback

Subaru’s Outback has long been a standard-bearer for wagons. The addition of the Onyx Edition XT trim level for 2020 won’t change that.

Really, that’s the big news, and I don’t mean that sarcastically. While minor trim-level additions and changes sometimes seem so minor as to not be worth a review, this one is.

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By on April 9, 2021

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

The reemergence of the Trailblazer name in the Chevrolet lineup seemed like a cynical nostalgia ploy at first.

Trailblazer a cute ‘ute? That’s almost as bad as using Blazer nameplate on a five-seat crossover with little, if anything, in the way of off-road chops.

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By on April 7, 2021

rolls royce ghost

I didn’t choose the Rolls-Royce lifestyle, the Rolls-Royce lifestyle chose me.

A while back, I was just minding my own business when the brand’s PR team emailed me and asked if I’d come to a small, COVID-safe meeting at my local RR dealer to talk about the all-new Ghost. I figured it would be the standard thing we used to do pre-pandemic – show up for a bit, check out a new model, talk specs, and get some pics. Maybe I’d get a post out of it. If not, I’d learn useful info on background.

Color me surprised, then, when my local fleet soon emailed me, asking if I’d like a brief loan to sample the Ghost.

Yes, please, I said. Now, where’s that damn Grey Poupon?

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By on April 6, 2021

 

Remember recess kickball? Invariably, a pair of jocks and/or popular kids would square off, choosing, in turn, their sides for the battle over the red rubber ball. The draft lines would dwindle to a few undesirables – the uncoordinated, small kids certain to be a drag on the lineup but required to be there via a teacher-enforced fairness doctrine.

Mitsubishi, I’m sad to say, has been that little kid at the end of the bench for many years. Their offerings haven’t been the first choice in any of the limited segments in which they compete. Rather, they’ve become the default choice of those who’ve defaulted before, owing to their reliance on subprime buyers.

Maybe not for long, however. With an entirely new platform shared with one of the bestsellers in the class, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has a new look and a compelling list of features that could move this three-row crossover into the starting lineup.

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By on April 2, 2021

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

It’s been a year and a half or so since I first drove the current-gen Ford Escape down in Kentucky, before anyone heard the word, COVID, and I still don’t know what to make of it. That goes double for the hybrid.

I wasn’t enamored with its blob-like styling, but some of youse guys found it attractive, or at least acceptable. Certainly, Ford gets credit for taking a bit of risk in order to make the Escape stand out in the sea of anonymous compact crossovers.

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By on March 25, 2021

2022 Infiniti QX55

Infiniti wants so badly to show that it is back on the comeback trail.

It wants to do that so badly that it made a big marketing and P.R. push around the QX55 crossover. It even trailered the vehicle to journalists’ homes when it came time for each writer’s turn to evaluate the vehicle.

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By on March 24, 2021

2020 Honda Civic Type R

The last time your humble scribe traveled on an airplane to test drive a new car in some location that is “not here” was just over a year ago. That vehicle was the Honda CR-V Hybrid.

While in Tucson, Honda reps told us to keep an eye on our inboxes for an upcoming drive of the updated Civic Type R. This raised my eyebrows, as I knew the changes to the Type R for 2020 were fairly mild, though they did promise some improvements to the already excellent driving dynamics.

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By on March 23, 2021

2020 Jeep Cherokee LimitedBefore I became an automotive journalist, I wanted to write about sports. And one of the first things I learned from more-experienced sportswriters while I was in journalism school is that writing about a .500 team sucks unless there are colorful personalities on the roster.

This is because it’s generally more interesting to write about really good or really bad teams. I am sure there are exceptions, but generally speaking, mediocre teams were more challenging to cover.

In a decade-plus of writing about cars, I’ve discovered this applies to vehicles, as well.

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By on March 22, 2021

2020 Toyota Supra

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the 2020 Toyota Supra is that it borrows too much of its bones from BMW.

I didn’t care about that during our first drive, and after a longer loan with the car, I still don’t. Except for one aspect of the use of the BMW parts, which I’ll get to.

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By on March 18, 2021

2020 Nissan TitanOn the face of it, the redesigned 2020 Nissan Titan is a fine truck.

The 5.6-liter V8 packs enough punch for around-town driving – and presumably for hauling and towing, though I had no chance to do either during my time behind the wheel – and the all-new nine-speed automatic helps bring the aging Titan in line with the modern truck world.

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By on March 16, 2021

2020 Lexus RC F

It’s no secret the Lexus RC F is fast. That’s what tends to happen when you drop a honkin’ V8 in a two-door luxury coupe.

That said, the RC F, and the RC coupe it’s based on, feel almost like mysteries, giving how they seem to be afterthoughts in a class that itself has become a bit of an afterthought in today’s crossover-crazed marketplace.

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By on March 12, 2021

2021 Volkswagen ID.4The electric-vehicle revolution keeps chugging along, one small crossover at a time.

Last month, the Ford Mustang Mach-E graced my garage. This week, I got about 48 hours, give or take, in the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4.

The two aren’t really the same, but they are similar – both are crossovers, both are EVs, and both are key early, if not first, steps taken by their respective manufacturers into the world of mass-market EVs.

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By on March 4, 2021

2021 Kia Sorento

Kia’s slogan of the moment is “give it everything.” Problem is, the brand only gave the 2021 most of the things, not everything.

The result is a solid crossover choice that doesn’t feel quite as well finished as the company’s larger Telluride or its K5 mid-size sedan.

I was loaned a Sorento for a very short time, but I still managed to take it out on my preferred driving loop, and my quick take based on the short drive is that the overall package here is quite good, but there are more nitpicks around the margins than I’ve had with any Kia vehicle in recent times.

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