Off-Road Fun With a Toyota FJ Cruiser Ultimate

Toyota is saying “good-bye” to its FJ Cruiser in a big way. To mark the end of this utility vehicle’s 8-year model run, it launched a special “Ultimate” edition in Jan. Instead of the usual solid color body with a white roof, this edition features a white grille and Heritage … Read more

Active Hybrid: 2014 Lexus CT 200h

Lexus has taken its own approach to the premium/luxury segment. Its model line is composed mostly of a variety of sedans and utility vehicles, each powered by a gasoline engine. There is nary a diesel found in its North American lineup. Instead, Lexus serves up five hybrid models to demonstrate … Read more

Raw to the Core: 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT

Where the fun begins. Say “muscle car and the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro immediately come to mind. These two sport coupes are the best known and the longest produced models in the segment, but they are not the only two. The Dodge Challenger is the third model, one that … Read more

American Luxury Sedan: 2014 Lincoln MKZ

The Ford Motor Company has turned its attention to reviving Lincoln, once a leading luxury brand. In the past decade Lincoln has been overtaken by three German makes, three Japanese makes as well as Cadillac, its domestic competitor. 2014 Lincoln MKZ Two new models — the MKZ and MKC crossover … Read more

Versatile Crossover: 2014 Toyota Highlander XLE

Toyota offers customers six utility vehicles — seven if you include the FJ Cruiser that is being retired this year. Half of the remaining six models are traditional body-on-frame sport utility vehicles; the other three are crossovers. It is in the middle of the line up where customers are best … Read more

Driven: 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (FWD)

Behind the wheel of Hyundai’s larger, but not largest crossover. Here a crossover, there a crossover. The market is flooded with car-based utility vehicles, offering excellent room, superior body rigidity and decent fuel mileage nearly across the board. Hyundai has two offerings in the crossover department — a compact Tucson … Read more

Performance Luxury Sedan: 2014 Lexus IS F

Exploring the performance side of the Lexus house. Think “Lexus” and the usual terms such as “luxury” and “quality” come to mind. “Fuel efficiency” and “value” are other hallmarks of Toyota’s 25-year-old luxury brand. What does not come to mind all that often is “performance” or at least not to … Read more

Bargain Hatch: 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Heated seats, power accessories and a CVT. Survey Nissan’s product line and you will find multiple models priced from under $20,000. That price point is important for some consumers, especially people who simply do not want to pay anywhere near the current $31,200 average price for a new car. Five … Read more

Peak This: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

One year after taking delivery of my first 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee test vehicle, the fourth model pulled into my driveway. Among Grand Cherokees the Summit appropriately occupies the apex of the model line although the Grand Cherokee SRT costs much more and acts like a sports car. It is … Read more

Compact Crossover: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited FWD

Invariably, when I am asked my opinion about a new passenger vehicle, the conversation includes one or more crossover utility vehicles (CUVs). These models are immensely popular and represent today’s version of the sport utility vehicle. SUVs are built on truck-based platforms while CUVs have “crossed over” to car-based platforms. … Read more

Hauled It: 2014 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van

Nissan NV200

Driving the little van that could. Cars, trucks, utility vehicles and vans have come and gone, but there has been nothing quite like the 2014 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van that was a recent weekly driver. For one thing, the compact Nissan was the first model supplied by a manufacturer’s commercial … Read more

Midsize Maven: 2014 Hyundai Sonata Limited

The Hyundai Sonata is not the best selling vehicle in the midsize segment. That honor belongs to the Toyota Camry. 2014 Hyundai Sonata Limited As a matter of fact, the Sonata trails the Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and the Ford Fusion. And at present, it is running neck and … Read more

Behind the Wheel of a 2014 Infiniti QX60 AWD

Infiniti has changed its model naming convention by assigning a “Q” or a “QX” to precede the two-digit name for every vehicle that it sells. The “Q” precedes every car model, the “QX” designation is for its utility vehicles. Thus, a 2013 G Coupe is now a 2014 Q60 and … Read more

2014 Audi A6 TDI Quattro: Diesel Does It!

Audi diesel delivers excellent fuel economy and performance. My first and only diesel vehicle was a used 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit, a model with a single, overarching positive attribute: it got 50 miles per gallon. Beyond that, the Rabbit diesel was as slow as molasses to the point where my palms … Read more

Redemption: Lincoln MKZ is a Hit

Whether you love it or hate, the Lincoln MKZ is a sales hit for Ford’s luxury brand. One of five Lincoln models available, the MKZ is also the brands best seller with 9,218 units sold in the US through March 2014. That represents an increase of 145.3 percent year to … Read more

2014 Hyundai Azera: Value-Oriented Luxury

Second-generation model makes a luxury statement. The current Azera features Hyundais fluidic sculpture design language. Hyundai offers four medium to large sedans, more than any other brand. The Korean manufacturer has steadily expanded its product line to provide incrementally larger and more luxurious vehicles beginning with the midsize Sonata and … Read more

2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE: Green Dreams

You can make your green dreams a reality with the Fusion Energi. ===MPG figures updated June 12, 2014 per the Ford Motor Company.=== We’ve heard it all before: for just under $40,000 you can get behind the wheel of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and receive a sizable federal … Read more

2014 Dodge Durango Limited: Classy Crossover

Shop for a larger sport utility vehicle and you’ll soon find that the market is now dominated by crossovers. These are models that dispense with traditional body-on-frame or truck-like construction in favor of unibody or car-like construction, the latter providing a more rigid frame for a better handling ride. This … Read more

2014 Toyota Corolla: Best Bang for the Buck?

Small sedan provides big value. The Toyota Corolla may offer the best bang for the buck, a five passenger front-wheel drive sedan that can be had for under $20,000. Corolla is the best selling vehicle of all time, a compact model that competes against the Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Volkswagen … Read more

Sporty Sedan: 2014 Buick Regal GS

A North American sedan with European roots. In 2013, GM sold more than 9.7 million vehicles worldwide for one of its best years ever. Its Buick brand contributed over 1 million sales, nearly matching Opel, and behind Chevrolet. China is the biggest market for Buick. In the United States, consumers … Read more

Cadillac ELR: 2+2 Luxury PHEV Coupe

Electrified Cadillac is provocative and swank. You may have heard the narrative: the Cadillac ELR is an overpriced Chevrolet Volt, GM’s attempt to put one over on the masses. True, the ELR is based on the Volt’s platform, but the similarities end there. In the Cadillac ELR you have a … Read more

New Honda Civic Models Pace 2014 Line

Feb. debut for hybrid and natural gas models. More than four decades after its US launch, the Honda Civic is larger and heavier than the original model. No longer classified as a subcompact, it vies with the Toyota Corolla for segment leadership, the brands best selling model behind the Accord … Read more

Charleston: Drayton Hall and a 2014 Toyota Highlander

Charleston, SC was the host city for an Urban Adventure, the theme for Toyotas week-long media event featuring its all-new Highlander crossover sport utility vehicle. Founded as Charleston Towne in 1670, the city has survived hurricanes, an earthquake, war, and most recently a winter storm that brought travel to a … Read more

Living Large With the Hyundai Equus Ultimate

The Hyundai Equus is the top-of-the-line model in this Korean brands arsenal, a true-blue full-size luxury sedan that is in the same class as the Lexus LS, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It retails for about $10,000 less than the Lexus and comes in at a … Read more

2014 Buick Encore:
Premium Small Crossover

It isn’t too often that the same model shows up in my driveway within three or four months, but when one does there is usually a different engine or drivetrain layout that sets these vehicles apart. In the case of the Buick Encore, it was a model year change that … Read more

Subaru BRZ: Lets Drift!

The attainable sports car: 2014 Subaru BRZ. One week with the Subaru BRZ has changed my mind about small, sports cars. Not that my mind had been set in stone mind you, rather I’ve always had my eye on larger and pricier models, well-equipped sports coupes that start around $40,000 … Read more