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  1. There are some cars I will not turn down the opportunity to spend time with again. A prime example is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, a car that brings a smile to my face. This past fall, I had a chance to spend some time in a soft-top version and to figure out whether I would have this or the RF. What has changed since our last visit with Miata? Only a few things such as the addition of Mazda's i-Activsense suite of active safety features (automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning) as standard; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the Club and Grand Tourin
  2. There are some cars I will not turn down the opportunity to spend time with again. A prime example is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, a car that brings a smile to my face. This past fall, I had a chance to spend some time in a soft-top version and to figure out whether I would have this or the RF. What has changed since our last visit with Miata? Only a few things such as the addition of Mazda's i-Activsense suite of active safety features (automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning) as standard; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the Club and Grand Tourin
  3. I rarely get the opportunity to drive two different flavors of the same vehicle within a short timeframe. But that's what happened in the fall when I had the chance to drive the new Hyundai Sonata in its standard and hybrid forms. The Sonata has always been a favorite of mine as it offered a lot for a midsize sedan, with a surprising price tag. It has also come very close to being at the top of the class, but falling somewhat short due to one thing or another. This new version has the chance of changing that. Very Polarizing Design The consensus from several readers on Cheers &
  4. I rarely get the opportunity to drive two different flavors of the same vehicle within a short timeframe. But that's what happened in the fall when I had the chance to drive the new Hyundai Sonata in its standard and hybrid forms. The Sonata has always been a favorite of mine as it offered a lot for a midsize sedan, with a surprising price tag. It has also come very close to being at the top of the class, but falling somewhat short due to one thing or another. This new version has the chance of changing that. Very Polarizing Design The consensus from several readers on Cheers &
  5. Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt. You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It do
  6. Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt. You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It do
  7. Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becomin
  8. Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becomin
  9. Genesis has come a long way since it was spun off to its own brand back in 2015. We have heaped praise on the G80 and G90 sedans, but it needs to be noted that these were badged as Hyundais before becoming Genesis models. The real test would be seeing how an original model stacked up. Our chance came in the fall when a 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport was dropped off for a week. This new entrant into the compact sport luxury sedan appears on paper to have the goods, but how would fare in the real world? The Heart & Bones Power in this G70 is the optional twin-turbo 3.3L V6 engine prov
  10. Genesis has come a long way since it was spun off to its own brand back in 2015. We have heaped praise on the G80 and G90 sedans, but it needs to be noted that these were badged as Hyundais before becoming Genesis models. The real test would be seeing how an original model stacked up. Our chance came in the fall when a 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport was dropped off for a week. This new entrant into the compact sport luxury sedan appears on paper to have the goods, but how would fare in the real world? The Heart & Bones Power in this G70 is the optional twin-turbo 3.3L V6 engine prov
  11. Considering the number of Lexus RC coupes I have driven over the years, there has been a significant hole - the V8 RC F. Whenever I have asked for one, the vehicle either wasn't in the press fleet or someone else was driving it during the dates I had available. But I was able to finally get my hands on one for a week in early fall. It was good timing as I was feeling the effects of being home for the past six months due to COVID-19. Maybe this coupe could give me a bit of joy. The RC F is not a shrinking violet. From its bright yellow paint, blacked-out 20-inch wheels, and optional car
  12. Considering the number of Lexus RC coupes I have driven over the years, there has been a significant hole - the V8 RC F. Whenever I have asked for one, the vehicle either wasn't in the press fleet or someone else was driving it during the dates I had available. But I was able to finally get my hands on one for a week in early fall. It was good timing as I was feeling the effects of being home for the past six months due to COVID-19. Maybe this coupe could give me a bit of joy. The RC F is not a shrinking violet. From its bright yellow paint, blacked-out 20-inch wheels, and optional car
  13. The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen
  14. The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen
  15. Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different. Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey w
  16. Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different. Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey w
  17. This week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau sees the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux come in for an interactive review. It has been some time since I last drove any version of the RX and it has gone some significant changes. The key one is the introduction of a three-row version - designated by the L at the end. Another welcome change is an introduction of a touchscreen for the Lexus Enform infotainment system. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Out the door, this RX 350 comes with a
  18. This week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau sees the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux come in for an interactive review. It has been some time since I last drove any version of the RX and it has gone some significant changes. The key one is the introduction of a three-row version - designated by the L at the end. Another welcome change is an introduction of a touchscreen for the Lexus Enform infotainment system. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Out the door, this RX 350 comes with a
  19. Next up for an interactive review is the most expensive Volvo I have driven, the 2020 XC90 T8 Inscription - as-tested price of $86,790 with a $995.00 destination charge. Sadly, there is no kitchen sink to find, but this vehicle is loaded. It has four-corner air suspension, 21-inch wheels, a Bowers and Wilkins audio system, massaging front seats, heated steering whee, captain chairs for the second row with heat, panoramic sunroof, and 360-degree camera. Power comes from the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain that I tried in the V60 Polestar a few weeks back. While not as potent as the Polestar,
  20. Next up for an interactive review is the most expensive Volvo I have driven, the 2020 XC90 T8 Inscription - as-tested price of $86,790 with a $995.00 destination charge. Sadly, there is no kitchen sink to find, but this vehicle is loaded. It has four-corner air suspension, 21-inch wheels, a Bowers and Wilkins audio system, massaging front seats, heated steering whee, captain chairs for the second row with heat, panoramic sunroof, and 360-degree camera. Power comes from the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain that I tried in the V60 Polestar a few weeks back. While not as potent as the Polestar,
  21. First off, sorry for not posting an interactive review last week. My day job kept me busy and I needed some time to recharge. Nevertheless, you'll be hearing more about the Lexus RC F and its yellow paint color in a few weeks time as a quick drive review. In the meantime, let me introduce to latest vehicle to enter C&G's Detroit garage, the 2020 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate. This packs a 5.0L V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic. My test car is rear-wheel drive, but you can order all-wheel drive. The Ultimate brings everything to
  22. Taking the place of the Toyota 86 this week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau is the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited. A car which I have been wanting to drive since it made its North American debut last spring at the New York Auto Show. The new model solves one of the biggest criticisms I had with the last-generation model, a very boring and plain design. Taking it out last night, I was noticing people glancing at this midsize sedan. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder producing 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic. T
  23. First off, sorry for not posting an interactive review last week. My day job kept me busy and I needed some time to recharge. Nevertheless, you'll be hearing more about the Lexus RC F and its yellow paint color in a few weeks time as a quick drive review. In the meantime, let me introduce to latest vehicle to enter C&G's Detroit garage, the 2020 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate. This packs a 5.0L V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic. My test car is rear-wheel drive, but you can order all-wheel drive. The Ultimate brings everything to
  24. Taking the place of the Toyota 86 this week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau is the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited. A car which I have been wanting to drive since it made its North American debut last spring at the New York Auto Show. The new model solves one of the biggest criticisms I had with the last-generation model, a very boring and plain design. Taking it out last night, I was noticing people glancing at this midsize sedan. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder producing 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic. T
  25. Next up on the review vehicle playlist here at C&G's Detroit Bureau is the 2020 Toyota 86, a vehicle I haven't driven since it was called the Scion FR-S. A lot has changed with this model aside from its name since the one I drove back in 2013. The styling has been refreshed, various tweaks made the suspension, and minor updates to the interior. What hasn't changed is the 2.0L boxer-four from Subaru that produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. My test vehicle has the standard six-speed manual. The as-tested price for this 86 comes to $34,783, partly due to a couple of TRD

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