Piloting Stuttgart's Latest And Greatest At The Porsche Experience Center

While Audi, Mercedes-AMG, and other luxury automakers hold performance driving programs at various race tracks across the U.S. and abroad, years ago Porsche decided to take a different tack. Now operating in seven different locations around the world, its Porsche Experience Centers are basically automotive playgrounds that showcase the brand’s performance heritage and contemporary racing efforts while also providing a facility for customers to build out custom specifications in the Personal Design Studio. The most interesting feature of the PECs, though, is the Driver Development Tracks. These purpose-built proving grounds allow drivers to put the capabilities of Porsche’s various vehicles to the test – whether that’s the at-limit handling of a Cayman or the off-road prowess of a Cayenne.

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2022 Volkswagen Tiguan First Drive - Changed, Yet the Same

Volkswagen is in the midst of remaking its SUV lineup.

Just in the past few years the company has added a five-seat version of the Atlas – the Atlas Cross Sport – as well as adding the Taos small SUV and the ID.4 EV. Now the venerable Tiguan, which was the veteran of the group, has gone under the knife.

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2022 Infiniti QX60 First Drive - What is Style Worth to You?

Like the Nissan Pathfinder it shares its bones with, the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is redone for 2022.

Infiniti folks try to shy away from the Pathfinder references and comparisons because it’s their job to sell consumers on the differences, as well as why one should pay more for the QX60 when it’s mechanically a Pathfinder.

Never mind that most car buyers, regardless of their level of industry knowledge, know that Infinitis are Nissans in fancier clothing, just like Lexus with Toyota and Acura with Honda. Luxury-car shoppers know this and don’t care – they are spending bigger bucks on the luxury brands for some combination of the following reasons: Standard features, available features, the dealer experience, interior materials, and styling.

I can’t speak to the dealer experience, but Infiniti has gotten the differentiation right when it comes to the rest of that list, especially the styling and materials. As for the feature and content mix, well, that’s going to come down to what you’re willing to spend.

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2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T AWD Prestige Review: It Is So Choice

As I’m sure many of you who’ve read my work here know, I’m not a full-time automotive journalist. I work in a sales career – my nights and weekends, when not occupied with my kids and their activities, are spent in my dungeon of a basement office, mashing out car reviews and other stuff. I literally take vacation from my day gig to go on the occasional new car launch for TTAC and other places. So, I don’t get to write about every car I drive – and occasionally, it takes me a while to publish on a car I’d driven months ago. Witness reviews publishing in June that have snow in the background (Ed. note: You’re not the only one. Ahem).

I’m mentioning this as it’s been about three months since I drove the 2021 Genesis GV80. It’s been a busy summer, to be certain, but I’ve had time. But every time I open a new Word doc and title it “2021 Genesis GV80 Review.docx,” I sit staring at a blinking cursor for what seems like hours before I pack it in and resolve to write another day.

My struggle comes from my complete lack of complaint about the GV80 – and my total concern that I come off to you, the Best & Brightest, as a Genesis shill. If a midsized premium SUV/wagon/crossover thing is what you need, I can think of no other vehicle that is better. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Second Drive: Truck-ish?

It’s probably exciting to be working in transportation media at a dawn of an all-new product category. Imagine the journalists in 1964 witnessing the birth of the pony car. What about those in the mid-Nineties covering the birth of the crossover – never mind, that probably wasn’t all that thrilling. I’m picturing, instead, the newsroom at The Truth About Buggies in 1884, with cigar-chomping editors looking at telegraphed press releases touting the first automobile, sending poorly-paid flunky journalists on junkets via train with a typewriter.

Perhaps we’ve witnessed our own segment birth – or, really, re-birth – with the reimagining of the compact pickup truck market. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, it would seem to anyone watching, would be the first entrant into that category. Hyundai, inexplicably, would rather you not call it a truck.

Have you ever seen those wobbly hitch-mounted cargo carriers obscuring the license plates on slow-moving SUVs – usually with a Yeti cooler and some camp chairs strapped down? Perhaps the Santa Cruz is more like that – a Tucson with a well-integrated, weather-resistant (when properly equipped) cargo carrier.

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2022 Jeep Wagoneer First Drive - Luxury Light

The differences between the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer aren’t many.

The latter has a smaller-displacement V8, less power, an available 4×2 drive train, a cheaper price tag, and isn’t quite as deluxe. But it’s still upscale – just not quite as much as the SUV with Grand as part of the moniker.

That means the overall experience of driving the Wagoneer isn’t too different from the Grand Wagoneer, yet there are still some noticeable variations.

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2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer First Drive - In the Mix

When the invite hit to drive the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer hit my inbox, I found myself a tad surprised by the location – New York City.

Or, to be precise, the roads outside the city in the Hudson Valley and Westchester County. We’d merely be laying our heads in Manhattan, with the real action taking place in the suburbs. With brief forays into strange lands named New Jersey and Connecticut.

There’s a reason why so many first drives are held in California – good roads and good weather. It’s the same reason why drives don’t take place as often in places like New York, Chicago, or even Detroit. The roads aren’t as fun to drive and are often in bad shape, and the weather is less predictable. Events that involve the (mostly) controlled environment of a track are an exception, of course.

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2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz First Drive - Style Meets Substance

Let the minitruck wars begin.

While the Ford Maverick has gotten most of the spotlight, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz became available for the media horde – or at least those in the horde than Hyundai deemed worthy of an invitation – to drive before the Ford.

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2022 Hyundai Kona N First Drive - Double Shot of Espresso

I was still rubbing sleep from my eyes when I checked my phone upon waking. I was scheduled to drive the Hyundai Santa Cruz, and here was a notification of an email saying something about driving the Hyundai Kona N instead. Was Hyundai short a truck or something?

Nope, they just had two Kona Ns around for media to drive at the lunch stop, and those Ns had to get there somehow. Would I like to drive one?

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2021 Honda Odyssey Elite Review - The Driver's Van

Life circumstances force some folks to buy minivans. Others do so for the utility – coolness be damned.

Regardless of why one buys a minivan, he or she probably anticipates that the driving experience will be far from fun. But that’s not always the case – Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid (review forthcoming) isn’t a chore to drive. And Honda’s Odyssey is more engaging than the Chrysler.

Relative to the class, of course. We’ll get to that.

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2021 Nissan Kicks Review - Staying the Course, For Better or Worse

On paper, the 2021 Nissan Kicks doesn’t seem all that different.

And really, it isn’t – most changes involve the addition of new features, though the exterior is also refreshed, getting a new grille and available LED headlights.

The only real mechanical change is the addition of rear disc brakes for the SV and SR trims.

Yet when Nissan loaned me a Kicks some months back (the snow in some of these pics is a giveaway), I immediately noticed a difference, in terms of ride and handling, between the 2021 model and previous versions I’ve piloted.

The difference was slight but nonetheless noticeable.

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: At Speed With Bentley's 2021 Lineup

For those of typical means, ultra-luxury automakers like Bentley exist in a vacuum. We see an M3’s worth of options on a Flying Spur and scoff at something so preposterous, so alien to our understanding of a dollar’s value.

It’s true enough that the law of diminishing returns tends to really kick in when MSRPs soar into six-figure territory and beyond: Is a Bugatti Chiron 50 times better than a C8 Corvette? Probably not. But years ago, when I was handed the keys to my first Bentley press car, I approached the prospect with a similar mindset and came away a changed man.

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QOTD: How We Feeling About THAT Ford?

It’s Bronco Day.

Today is the day that you, the reader, can finally read the reviews of the much-hyped 2021 Ford Bronco.

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2021 Ford Bronco First Drive - Living Up to the Hype

Few new-vehicle launches in recent years have generated as much hype or been as anticipated as that of the Ford Bronco.

Bronco has been a big story for us and our peers since last summer. We’ve ridden in one already, and now it was our turn to finally drive it. So I dutifully packed a bag and headed to the Texas Hill Country outside of Austin to see if the big Bronco would live up to the hype – and be a strong challenger to Jeep’s venerable Wrangler.

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2021 Nissan Rogue SV AWD Review - Comfortable Conformity

The word “rogue” has several meanings, and one of those meanings relates to someone who goes their own way – someone who has “gone rogue.” This is why it’s long been ironic that Nissan slaps the moniker on a conformist crossover.

I am sure I am not the first to point this out, but it bears repeating, especially as the 2021 Nissan Rogue conforms to Nissan’s newest design identity.

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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L First Drive - The Three-Row for the Jeep Stan

Jeep has offered all sorts of different utility vehicles over the years – it’s sort of the brand’s thing – but it hasn’t recently offered a three-row crossover. The last one it sold was the Commander, which left the market a decade ago.

I quite honestly forgot the Commander even existed – and I started in automotive journalism in 2007. While it was still on the market. I suspect most Jeep faithful have also memory holed that model.

That’s unlikely to happen with the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, for better or for worse.

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2022 Nissan Pathfinder First Drive - Step, Not Leap, in the Right Direction

The last-generation Nissan Pathfinder became the forgotten three-row crossover, in part because it went from a rugged-looking rig to a soft-roading crossover. Nissan is apparently quite well aware of why the Pathfinder moved to the back of mind for a lot of shoppers, and the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is meant to, if not be actually rugged, to project a rugged image.

So, for 2022, you get what the brand calls “bold, rugged design”. And it is bolder than before, with a bit more masculinity to its style, but it’s still blandly conservative enough to fit fine in the PTA line. As if Nissan’s designers felt they could only go so far in terms of being “rugged.”

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Rental Review: The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan S 4Motion, Days Be Numbered

Today’s review is brought to you by water: Water! It’s moist. The other day when I handed over the keys to the Golf Sportwagen, my dealer’s service department loaned me this base model 2021 Tiguan S 4Motion. There’s no glass on the roof so it’s almost certain not to leak water, but what about its other characteristics?

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2022 Volkswagen Taos First Drive - Fitting Right In

Standing outside a building that typically hosts weddings in downtown Chelsea, Michigan, a fellow auto journalist and I chatted through our masks about how it’s getting harder and harder to write about crossovers, because so many of them are just in that happy middle – not particularly great, and certainly not bad.

Add the 2022 Volkswagen Taos to that list.

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2020 Land Rover Defender 110 SE Review - Charm Overcomes British Quirks

Like many folks, I was excited to hear that Land Rover was resurrecting the Defender nameplate. I grew up admiring the boxy go-anywhere Defenders of days gone by, and I was hoping Jaguar Land Rover could recreate that magic.

Imagine my consternation when instead the brand came up with an SUV that seemed to be quite the departure from the old-school Defender. Still, after seeing it up close at auto shows, I became cautiously optimistic about this modern-day interpretation of the Defender. After driving it, I came away mostly impressed – but the usual British reliability issues complicated things.

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2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 Review - A Sports Car For All Occasions

As the 911 has continued to expand in size and skillset over recent years, the line between its sporting and grand touring intentions has started to blur.

Versatility is certainly a virtue for any road-going performance vehicle, but for those looking for a dyed-in-the-wool sportscar, the platform shared between the Boxster and Cayman has always made more sense, offering better weight distribution thanks to its mid-engined layout and dimensions that harken back to the 911’s air-cooled days.

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2021 Kia K5 EX Review - Awkward Name, Good Car

I am not, in general, one to fret too much when an automaker messes with car nomenclature. Even if, in the case of the formerly named Kia Optima, the brand switches to an alphanumeric structure.

That’s not to say I never get upset – I was pretty harsh on Infiniti when it switched to its current naming convention, because I found and still find it confusing. And sometimes, yeah, I get annoyed when a cool name is dropped for alphabet soup.

The Optima moniker wasn’t quite great, but it was good enough, and at least people, especially folks who know little about cars, knew, or at least vaguely knew, that it referred to a mid-size Kia sedan.

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2020 Subaru WRX STI Review - Aging Yet Still Fun

Most people slow down a bit, in terms of being the life of the party, as they approach their dotage. Others keep rocking straight into the retirement home.

Count the Subaru WRX STI among that latter group.

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2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Review - A Potent Pony at A Bargain

Let’s say you’re in the market for a Ford Mustang. Let’s say you like to drive fast and like cars that handle well, so the venerable pony car is on your radar. Let’s also say that when you sit down at your laptop and start playing with the consumer website’s build and price feature and you see that a well-equipped GT quickly busts your budget, you trudge off to the fridge to drown your sorrows in adult beverages while you question every life decision you’ve ever made that left you in such a financial state that a V8 pony car is unattainable.

Well, you can cheer up, at least a little. The V8 experience is available to you for less money IF you can sacrifice the soundtrack and live with half the cylinders.

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited Review - New Engine, Fresh Face, Familiar Utility

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek isn’t changed much, and that’s almost certainly a good thing for Subie.

After all, the Crosstrek, like other Subaru products, is popular with the brand faithful because of its utility abilities. So it behooves Subaru not to screw with it too much.

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2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve AWD Review - Getting It Right

Defining what makes a large luxury SUV “good” can be harder than it looks.

Sure, some things are obvious – are the materials nice enough to justify the price? Is the ride comfortable? Are the seats nice and relaxing? Is NVH kept to a minimum? Is the features list long, with many items that are optional on cheaper vehicles standard?

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Review - Affordable Supercar

I was cruising along Interstate 55 somewhere southwest of Chicago when I came upon a Mercedes SUV that was continually adjusting speed. Annoyed by someone who couldn’t maintain a constant speed in the passing lane, I dipped the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette I was driving into the right lane and tried to carefully weave my way through scattered traffic and work my way past the schlub.

It was only as I leisurely passed by that I saw the raised smartphone camera. Even in the dark of night, the C8 Corvette stands out, and I was now a temporary celebrity, about to be put into someone’s camera roll – or posted to their social-media accounts – whether I liked it or not.

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2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Review - Dressed for the Country, Fine in the City

If I told you a popular crossover that had good on-road manners got an off-road treatment, you’d probably think those manners would become a bit rougher around the edges.

In the case of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, you’d be mostly wrong.

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2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring Review - Speaking Softly

The term “soft roader” is often thrown around as a pejorative aimed at crossovers, particularly ones that have some limited off-road ability but don’t look particularly rugged and/or are just not likely to be used for anything other than family-hauling duty.

Hear me out for a sec, though: What if it’s not OK for a crossover to be a soft-roader, but actually desirable?

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TTAC Test Car Review Roundup: April 2021

There are pros and cons to living in Ohio while attempting to convince people that I’m a motoring journalist. On the plus side, I don’t have to live with the horrendous roads or the stifling car insurance rates that come with living near Detroit.

Downside? I’m not in the heart of the action. Many times, a last-minute invite to an event will materialize – but I need to plan an entire day around it, as I’m 200 miles from Detroit. I need to take an entire day away from work – mind you, I really don’t mind missing work – but it takes more planning than my Detroit colleagues.

An unexpected win, however, comes with loaner cars. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the various press fleets have generally been sending me cars in a non-stop weekly rotation as they don’t want to have two drivers (one driving and one retrieving my loaner) in a car together for three-plus hours. Thus, I’ve had two (occasionally three) cars in my driveway nearly continuously for over a year.

The thing is – I don’t have time to review them all. So we’ll try a new monthly feature on for size. Since this fat-ass isn’t allowed to go to a REAL buffet anymore, I’m bringing you small, bite-sized samplers of the variety of cars I’m driving each month. It’s possible some of these might get the full review treatment at some point – or one of us here might have already done a full review. Still, I’m here to bring you a bit of everything.

Ed. note: We will still be doing the regular full reviews, as well, the ones that are mostly written by either Chris or myself. So stay tuned for those.

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2021 Lexus LC Convertible Review - Open It Up In Style

What if I told you one of the best old-school muscle-car convertible experiences available today came not from a Detroit 2.5 automaker but Lexus?

That may sound crazy, but it’s true.

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2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe First Drive - Incredible Off-Road Machine, Just An Okay Hybrid

We live in incredible times. Just a few short years ago, there was only one engine you could get with your Jeep Wrangler. Now there’s half a dozen. Sure, the tried-and-true 3.6-liter Pentastar is a great place to start, but you can also get the 2.0-liter turbo, the 48-volt 3.6-liter eTorque setup, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, and a bonkers 6.4-liter Hemi. Plus, for 2021, Jeep is offering a plug-in hybrid version. Called 4xe, it promises green off-roading in a way only a Jeep can. But does it deliver?

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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Review - Baddest Mustang

When is a Mustang a reptile? When it’s a Shelby, of course.

And when the car has Shelby badging on it, you’re in for a treat.

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2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Review - Family Fun Time

Most large sedans exist to provide comfort and some level of luxury to their owners. Some have a bit of sport, and some are bought to haul humans while others are meant to coddle the driver, regardless of whether they’re sporty or not.

Then there’s the Dodge Charger Hellcat, which exists to kick ass while also being an easy commuter.

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2020 Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury AWD Review - Close, Yet Far

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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2020 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab - Bowing Out at the Right Time

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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2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT Edition - Keeping the Wagon Flame Going

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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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD LT Review - Pleasant Surprise

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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2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost First Drive - The Rolls for the Common Man

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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2022 Mitsubishi Outlander First Drive - No Longer the Short Kid At Recess

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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2020 Ford Escape Hybrid SE Sport Review - Mixed Bag

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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2022 Infiniti QX55 First Drive - Swing and a Miss

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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2020 Honda Civic Type R Review - Changed But Unaffected

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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2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited Review - Moving in Anonymity

Before 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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2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Review - Mission Focused

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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2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Review: Still Playing Catchup

On 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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2020 Lexus RC F Review - 'F' For Fast

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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2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Drive - The Future Comes in Baby Steps

The 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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2021 Kia Sorento SX First Drive - Competent Crossover Seeking Spark

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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2020 Hyundai Venue Denim Review - Basic Done Well

We love to daydream about Hellcats and TRXs and Shelbys and even affordable sports cars like a Type R, but there are many among the masses who care not for such iron, and don’t have enough paper for those things even if they did.

Some of these folks need and/or want something even more basic than your standard Civic or Corolla. Or they want some boxy utility with paying the premium commanded by so many crossovers.

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2021 Ram 1500 TRX Review - You Don't Need It, But You'll Want It

When the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX launched last fall, the usual suspects on auto-journalist Twitter started complaining that the truck offered more power than anyone really needed, at a terrible cost to the environment, since a truck like this would suck down fuel at a distressing rate.

These folks had a point, though they seemed to ignore that the TRX is likely to sell in such small numbers that it’s unlikely these trucks will add much fuel to the climate-change fire.

Arguments about possible contribution to the destruction of our planet aside, there really is no logical reason to buy a TRX. You buy a 702-horsepower dune-jumper because you want one and can afford it. That’s pretty much it.

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2020 Toyota Camry TRD Review - Spicing It Up

I once wrote that the Toyota Camry is a jack-of-all-trades kind of car – a balanced machine that does lots of things well but not one thing in any spectacular way. I’ve also long told anyone shopping for a mid-size sedan that while the Camry is great, if they want something sporty, they need to give their attention to Honda and Mazda.

Toyota has decided to do something about that.

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2021 Nissan Altima SR VC-Turbo Review - Seeking Extra Raciness

Just then, they came in sight of thirty or forty sporty crossovers that rise from that plain. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.

Such is the life of the sports-sedan enthusiast these days, tilting at the hulking windmills as we pray for a low, lithe vehicle with handling and power aplenty – matched with a real trunk. We ask for these things from automakers who have proven that once upon a time, such mythical creatures did indeed exist and did indeed move from showroom floors in appreciable numbers.

I’d hoped beyond hope that the 2021 Nissan Altima SR on these pages might have rekindled the old four-door sportscar soul deep within Nissan. See those “SR” letters? They look awfully close to the “SE-R” trim that graced generations of sporty Sentras and even an Altima way back when. “VC-Turbo,” too, hints at performance potential. Can this turbocharged sedan meet the increasingly quixotic and depressingly small market for three-box motors with verve?

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2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD Review - Ready for a Revolution That Isn't Here Yet

I’ve been waiting to get my grubby mitts on the steering wheel of the Ford Mustang Mach-E for over a year now.

I spent a good chunk of a weekend learning all about it before the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. And I was all set to trek to Detroit to drive it last fall. But, well, COVID travel restrictions forced me to keep my FIB (if you know, you know) self out of Michigan. So we sent friend of the site Chad, since he was unencumbered by such things.

Finally, a scant few months later, the electric Mustang (yeah, I know. It’s on a different platform and I’m on record as not liking the use of the Mustang moniker) graced my garage.

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2021 Maserati Lineup First Drive: The Song Remains (Mostly) The Same

In the lead-up to my seat time with Maserati’s latest on the big track at Willow Springs International Raceway and the nondescript streets surrounding it, the automaker held a press briefing via video conference. Here, company PR chief Kas Rigas explained the “duality” of the brand, citing the original Quattroporte as the prime example.

Launched in 1963, it was Maserati’s first road car after a long string of successful, purpose-built race cars, and it featured a motorsport-derived, all-aluminum DOHC V8 ensconced in a Pietro Frua-designed grand-touring sedan wrapper.

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2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 2.0T SEL Review - Subtract Seats, Keep the Comfort

Several years ago now, I called the Volkswagen Atlas three-row “ German comfort food.” It remains that – a boxy, slightly bland crossover that nonetheless does the basics well.

Enter the Cross Sport, which is supposed to liven things up, at least a little, by being lowered and shortened, while losing the weight that comes with the nip/tuck and the removal of the third row of seats (at least in theory. With all-wheel drive, the 2.0T is a skosh heavier than a four-cylinder, three-row Atlas. Generally, however, the two-row is lighter.). The front facelift that matches the larger Atlas is also meant to make things more interesting.

These changes only go so far. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here we have a vehicle that is smaller but no less comfortable, and as you will see, that is just fine.

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2022 Acura MDX First Drive - Driver's Choice Crossover

One thing I’ve observed in my decade-plus covering this industry is that Honda and its luxury brand, Acura, seem to respond more quickly to criticism than most OEMs.

I note my bias here – I once owned an Accord – but I don’t think my former ownership of a used Honda is throwing me off. My observation, difficult to quantify as it admittedly is, seems correct.

Specific to Acura’s case, the luxury brand was panned earlier this decade for unflattering styling, subpar luxury accouterments for the class, and a slide in performance. Not all of this criticism was fair – a manual ILX is on my “weird cars I’d like to own but probably never will” list, because that thing was spunky – but nevertheless, Acura has seemingly addressed it, and addressed it well, in recent history.

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2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo First Drive - Turbocharged Tweener

Some cars are segment tweeners. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo is one of those.

The raised hatchback is just barely a crossover, but Mazda lists it as such. Whatever it is, it does stay true to Mazda’s “zoom-zoom” marketing, and turbo power helps with that.

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2020 Lexus GX460 Review - A Retro Classic You Can Buy New Today

I’m trying to imagine the buyer who walks into a Lexus dealership, ready to buy an SUV. The options can be overwhelming. No fewer than five distinct models with a bit of ground clearance dot the clean, modern showroom and perfectly aligned aisles of fresh deliveries.

The RX is the gold standard of luxury crossovers, of course – and it’s now available with a third-row great for small children, small dogs, or golf clubs. The NX and UX lean toward the more affordable scale, for upwardly mobile folks who don’t need to be mobile with a ton of stuff.

The 2020 Lexus GX460, however, is in a weird spot. It really doesn’t give the passengers much additional space over the RX, but it’s a much bigger vehicle overall. It’s a rugged, body-on-frame beast that can tame many an off-road trail. It doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the Lexus lineup – bigger LX notwithstanding. But it clearly meets the needs of many, many drivers.

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2021 Kia Seltos S Turbo AWD Review - Routine Competence

Kia’s little Seltos urban runabout has been getting plaudits from pundits since the first drives took place last year, right before the world shut down.

Those plaudits are well earned. The Seltos isn’t spectacular, but it does what its asked of it. And while we review plenty of cars/utility vehicles/trucks around these parts that do way more than what’s necessary – seriously, the last three reviews are of two utes and a coupe of the high-performance variety – the average vehicle buyer, particularly the one without a large bank account, only really needs a car that does what’s asked of it. Competently.

That’s the Seltos. It won’t turn heads, and it probably won’t impress your friends, unless they care about practicality at a good price. But it’s no depression box. You won’t feel depressed to see it in your driveway.

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  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.
  • Lou_BC High end EV's are selling well. Car companies are taking advantage of that fact. I see quite a few $100k pickups in my travels so why is that ok but $100k EV's are bad? The cynical side of me sees car companies tack on 8k premiums to EV's around the time we see governments up EV credits. Coincidence? No fooking way.
  • EBFlex "I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price."Demand is very low. Supply is even lower. Saying that demand is outstripping supply without providing context is dishonest at best.