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  1. The Kia Stinger has been one of the most hotly anticipated vehicles in recent years. Here was a model that promised to rival models from luxury brands in terms styling, performance, and handling at a lower price. It felt like Kia was bitting off more they could chew, but I was willing to give it a chance. After spending a week in a Stinger GT1, I have to say it delivers on most of those promises. Depending on where you look at the Stinger, the impression will range from something quite beautiful to a bit of a mess. Straight on the front, the Stinger looks like something from an Italian or
  2. I was a bit surprised when I got word that I would be spending a few days with a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only a few weeks after doing a brief first drive. As I noted in my report, I came away pretty impressed with certain aspects of this latest contender in the compact crossover class. But there were some items that I needed more time to mess around with such as the infotainment system and powertrain. With a bit more time behind the wheel, how would Mitsubishi’s newest model fare? As I talked about in my quick first drive, Mitsubishi’s design staff went crazy with the Eclipse Cross. Sha
  3. I was a bit surprised when I got word that I would be spending a few days with a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only a few weeks after doing a brief first drive. As I noted in my report, I came away pretty impressed with certain aspects of this latest contender in the compact crossover class. But there were some items that I needed more time to mess around with such as the infotainment system and powertrain. With a bit more time behind the wheel, how would Mitsubishi’s newest model fare? As I talked about in my quick first drive, Mitsubishi’s design staff went crazy with the Eclipse Cross. Sha
  4. The Kia Stinger has been one of the most hotly anticipated vehicles in recent years. Here was a model that promised to rival models from luxury brands in terms styling, performance, and handling at a lower price. It felt like Kia was bitting off more they could chew, but I was willing to give it a chance. After spending a week in a Stinger GT1, I have to say it delivers on most of those promises. Depending on where you look at the Stinger, the impression will range from something quite beautiful to a bit of a mess. Straight on the front, the Stinger looks like something from an Italian or
  5. Last year, I had the chance to spend a week in a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. While I found it to offer improved handling and a somewhat nicer interior over the Mazda MX-5 Miata it is based on, there were a few items that kept me from saying it was better - mainly the turbo engine and exterior design. A couple of months ago, I found myself in another 124 Spider. This time, it was the Lusso which drops a fair amount of the aggression from the Abarth, along with providing a softer suspension tune. Would this model be able to change my tune? The Lusso is the polar opposite to the Abarth I drov
  6. Last year, I had the chance to spend a week in a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. While I found it to offer improved handling and a somewhat nicer interior over the Mazda MX-5 Miata it is based on, there were a few items that kept me from saying it was better - mainly the turbo engine and exterior design. A couple of months ago, I found myself in another 124 Spider. This time, it was the Lusso which drops a fair amount of the aggression from the Abarth, along with providing a softer suspension tune. Would this model be able to change my tune? The Lusso is the polar opposite to the Abarth I drov
  7. It has been a year since I first drove the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and came away very impressed. For a seven-passenger vehicle, getting 33 miles on electric power only and an average fuel economy of over 30 mpg was quite the shock. Would I still feel that way a year on? Chrysler made some minor changes for 2018 Pacifica Hybrid, including revamping the trim lineup and adding more standard features. In the case of our Limited tester, it gains a 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound system as standard. Can I just say how good the Pacifica Hybrid looks in this rich blue. The color helps Pa
  8. It has been a year since I first drove the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and came away very impressed. For a seven-passenger vehicle, getting 33 miles on electric power only and an average fuel economy of over 30 mpg was quite the shock. Would I still feel that way a year on? Chrysler made some minor changes for 2018 Pacifica Hybrid, including revamping the trim lineup and adding more standard features. In the case of our Limited tester, it gains a 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound system as standard. Can I just say how good the Pacifica Hybrid looks in this rich blue. The color helps Pa
  9. It seems a bit odd to be driving the Giulia Ti almost half a year on from spending a week high-performance Quadrifoglio. This felt like I had a nice slice of cake and was now facing a bowl of vegetables. Trying to keep an open mind on Ti was going to be difficult, considering the mixed opinions I had with the first Giulia. But I knew that I had to try. I actually prefer the toned-down nature of Ti Sport compared to Quadrifoglio as lacks the aggressive bumper treatment and cloverleaf emblems on the fenders. Some items such as the uniquely styled wheels do carry over and add a small spor
  10. It seems a bit odd to be driving the Giulia Ti almost half a year on from spending a week high-performance Quadrifoglio. This felt like I had a nice slice of cake and was now facing a bowl of vegetables. Trying to keep an open mind on Ti was going to be difficult, considering the mixed opinions I had with the first Giulia. But I knew that I had to try. I actually prefer the toned-down nature of Ti Sport compared to Quadrifoglio as lacks the aggressive bumper treatment and cloverleaf emblems on the fenders. Some items such as the uniquely styled wheels do carry over and add a small spor
  11. (Author's Note: Before diving into this review, I did an Afterthoughts piece on maximizing the fuel economy in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk last month. If you want to see Trackhawk somewhat out of its element, then check out the piece here.) I keep a list of vehicles that I would like to evaluate on my computer. This list is what I reference whenever I reach out to automakers and inquire about getting vehicles. Some of the vehicles on the list only spend a short time, while others are there for years. An example of the latter is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Having driven this briefly a co
  12. (Author's Note: Before diving into this review, I did an Afterthoughts piece on maximizing the fuel economy in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk last month. If you want to see Trackhawk somewhat out of its element, then check out the piece here.) I keep a list of vehicles that I would like to evaluate on my computer. This list is what I reference whenever I reach out to automakers and inquire about getting vehicles. Some of the vehicles on the list only spend a short time, while others are there for years. An example of the latter is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Having driven this briefly a co
  13. With all of the new improvements and technology for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, it was going to slightly more expensive. We now know how much more that will be. Motor1 reports that when the Wrangler hits dealers early next year, it will have a starting price of $28,190 (includes a $1,195 destination charge) for the base 2-door Wrangler. This is an increase of $3,000 when compared to the 2017 model. All 2018 Wrangler models see an average increase of $3,020 to their base price. You're not getting much with the Wrangler Sport. Standard equipment includes a six-speed manual gearbox, Dana ax
  14. With all of the new improvements and technology for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, it was going to slightly more expensive. We now know how much more that will be. Motor1 reports that when the Wrangler hits dealers early next year, it will have a starting price of $28,190 (includes a $1,195 destination charge) for the base 2-door Wrangler. This is an increase of $3,000 when compared to the 2017 model. All 2018 Wrangler models see an average increase of $3,020 to their base price. You're not getting much with the Wrangler Sport. Standard equipment includes a six-speed manual gearbox, Dana ax
  15. When Toyota introduced the Prius C back in 2012, it served two purposes. It was the entry-level model for then growing Prius family (Prius, Prius Plug-In, and Prius V). Plus, it was part of a small group of vehicles that could achieve almost 50 mpg if driven efficiently. But Toyota really hasn’t made any changes to the Prius C since it was launched, only making minor changes to the feature set for the past few years. Meanwhile, the rest of the Prius lineup has undergone significant changes with models either being dropped (Prius V) or being redesigned (Prius). For 2018, Toyota has decide
  16. When Toyota introduced the Prius C back in 2012, it served two purposes. It was the entry-level model for then growing Prius family (Prius, Prius Plug-In, and Prius V). Plus, it was part of a small group of vehicles that could achieve almost 50 mpg if driven efficiently. But Toyota really hasn’t made any changes to the Prius C since it was launched, only making minor changes to the feature set for the past few years. Meanwhile, the rest of the Prius lineup has undergone significant changes with models either being dropped (Prius V) or being redesigned (Prius). For 2018, Toyota has decide
  17. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was originally supposed to arrive in the U.S. a few years back. But the launch would be pushed back as the model would prove to be quite popular in Europe, causing Mitsubishi to reallocate supplies. Now, Mitsubishi has finally started selling the Outlander PHEV in the U.S. Was it worth the wait? Much like the Eclipse Cross I posted a couple of weeks back, this first drive of the Outlander PHEV was quite brief. I only had about 15 to 20 miles of driving under my belt, while the rest saw me sitting in the passenger seat. Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll be a
  18. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was originally supposed to arrive in the U.S. a few years back. But the launch would be pushed back as the model would prove to be quite popular in Europe, causing Mitsubishi to reallocate supplies. Now, Mitsubishi has finally started selling the Outlander PHEV in the U.S. Was it worth the wait? Much like the Eclipse Cross I posted a couple of weeks back, this first drive of the Outlander PHEV was quite brief. I only had about 15 to 20 miles of driving under my belt, while the rest saw me sitting in the passenger seat. Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll be a
  19. As we got off the on-ramp to I-94, my driving partner realized something. “We’re going the wrong direction.” Instead of going westbound, we were traveling eastbound. We had misread the directions only a few hundred yards from the starting point. Once realizing this, I drove towards the next exit to turn around. A few extra miles wouldn’t hurt either in the vehicle that I was piloting. Mitsubishi had invited a small number of Detroit-based automotive writers to drive the new Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV. Which is how I found myself behind the wheel of the Eclipse Cross to beg
  20. As we got off the on-ramp to I-94, my driving partner realized something. “We’re going the wrong direction.” Instead of going westbound, we were traveling eastbound. We had misread the directions only a few hundred yards from the starting point. Once realizing this, I drove towards the next exit to turn around. A few extra miles wouldn’t hurt either in the vehicle that I was piloting. Mitsubishi had invited a small number of Detroit-based automotive writers to drive the new Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV. Which is how I found myself behind the wheel of the Eclipse Cross to beg
  21. The Mazda6 is a prime example of how making various improvements throughout the lifecycle can make a vehicle. Since the first model I drove back in 2014, Mazda has been messing around with various aspects such as the interior and NVH levels. Last year saw Mazda make some key changes to 6 with the big news being the introduction of a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9 crossover. This was to address one of the major shortcomings of the sedan, lackluster performance when it comes to making a pass or merging onto a freeway. There are some other minor changes to go with the updated engin
  22. The Mazda6 is a prime example of how making various improvements throughout the lifecycle can make a vehicle. Since the first model I drove back in 2014, Mazda has been messing around with various aspects such as the interior and NVH levels. Last year saw Mazda make some key changes to 6 with the big news being the introduction of a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9 crossover. This was to address one of the major shortcomings of the sedan, lackluster performance when it comes to making a pass or merging onto a freeway. There are some other minor changes to go with the updated engin
  23. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do
  24. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do
  25. A few weeks ago, I wrote a comparison test between the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. It was a close fight, but the Atlas ended up being the victor as it proved to be the better all-around three-row crossover. I find myself comparing these two brands once again, this time with their compact crossovers. Like their larger brethren, the two models take different approaches. The Mazda CX-5 goes for something that provides a premium feel and exciting drive, while the Volkswagen Tiguan uses space and comfort as its guide. Which one of these crossovers Which one of these crossovers is right f

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