Super Steed: 2017 Ford Mustang GT Performance Review

2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

Select performance parts take the Mustang GT to greater heights. I’ve driven nearly every Ford Performance enhanced product, with the exotic Ford GT supercar the lone exception. The overarching task of Ford’s performance division is to take ordinary or already sporty models and convert them into something extraordinary. Models like … Read more

Should I Buy a Car Now or Wait?

A new car, truck, SUV or van may be in your future. Besides reviewing cars on a regular basis — typically one or two new models week after week — I regularly dispense advice to friends who are shopping for a new or late model used car. Certainly, timing is … Read more

Premium SUV: 2018 Kia Sorento Review

2018 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento seats 5 or 7, offers 3 engine choices & tows up to 5,000 pounds. The midsize crossover market is awash with competitors, with the Kia Sorento one of the few offering two- and three-row seating capacities. Its elegant looks and available premium features make it a strong … Read more

Update by Halves: 2017.5 Mazda 6

Mazda 6 makes a case for the midsize sedan segment. Manufacturers typically adhere to model years except when they don’t. A case in point is the 2017.5 Mazda 6, a midsize sedan benefiting from light changes put in place too late for the 2017 model year, but months before the … Read more

Charmed, Then Snakebitten by a Shelby GT350

Flat-plane crank V8 engine and all that. When is a Ford Mustang not a Mustang? Answer: when it is a Shelby GT350 (or GT350R). Well, the Shelby is a Mustang, a special version bearing the name of the late Carroll Shelby, a racing driver and automotive designer of renown. Shelby’s … Read more

Kia Optima Hybrid: Extended Drive Time

Many miles and smiles with Kia’s Optima Hybrid sedan. Hybrid sales peaked in 2013 and have fallen steadily since. Low fuel prices are a significant contributor, falling below $2 per gallon at times with those low prices covering large swathes of America. Another reason is the advent of modern electric … Read more

Hybrid Finesse: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai’s Ioniq line of electrified vehicles is here. The Prius has long been synonymous with “hybrid” ever since Toyota launched this model two decades ago. Since then, various manufacturers have attempted to replicate Toyota’s success, but nearly every new model has failed to make a dent in Toyota’s dominance. But … Read more

Bantam Conveyance: 2017 Fiat 500

Behind the wheel of Fiat’s tiniest model. City cars are the smallest models you can purchase in North America, typically defined by such A-segment vehicles as the Smart ForTwo, Scion iQ, Chevrolet Spark, and the Fiat 500. Few manufacturers have dared to release such models for American and Canadian consumers, … Read more

Second-Generation Kia Cadenza Impresses

Large sedan owners should take notice. Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria owners take note: your replacement vehicle is the Kia Cadenza, a large sedan with all the amenities (and then some) of your current pillow-soft cruiser. In fact, a soft ride is about all these three models have … Read more

Hybrid Hatchback: 2017 Kia Niro

On the road with Kia’s newest model. The Kia Niro is a dedicated hybrid model, the first of its kind for this Korean brand. Yes, the Kia Optima Hybrid is the brand’s first hybrid electric vehicle, but it is a variant of a gas model. Not so with the Niro. … Read more

Second Look: 2017 Jaguar XE

British automaker Jaguar supplied a 2017 XE for my review recently, providing me with a second opportunity to examine this all-new compact luxury sedan up close and personal. As before, I remain intrigued by this entry-level model, the smallest and least costly vehicle offered by Jaguar. 2017 Jaguar XE The … Read more

Black Label: 2017 Lincoln Continental

A new flagship sedan for Lincoln. One of the most storied model names in autodom is back, as in Continental by Lincoln. The all-new model and flagship sedan provides a much-needed boost for a marque that once claimed top-selling status amongst luxury brands. In more recent years Lincoln has languished … Read more

Turbo Crossover: 2017 Kia Soul

Kia’s unique Soul is now in its ninth year. The Kia Soul defies easy categorization, but that’s not a bad thing. In a market where so many small cars look the same, the Soul is not quite a car nor is it a crossover SUV. In fact, it is a … Read more

Forced Induction Phenomenon: 2017 Volvo S90

Volvo’s largest sedan is a head turner. There aren’t too many times when I may urge shoppers to wait a year to purchase a particular model. Indeed, most people who approach me about my car recommendations have already completed their research and are simply looking for validation that their decision … Read more

Stretched Luxury: 2017 Infiniti Q70L

Infiniti’s largest and most luxurious sedan. Lacking a true full-size luxury sedan, Infiniti comes closest with the Q70L, a stretched wheelbase version of its midsize Q70 sedan. Infiniti’s largest sedan offers an extra five inches between the wheels, delivering a roomy rear compartment rivaling certain limousine-like models. Yet, the Q70L … Read more

2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO Review (Compact Performance)

2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo

Top-end Sentra model offers NISMO touches, enhanced performance. The 2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO offers the look of the brand’s motorsport division, but it falls short of expectations. That doesn’t mean the Sentra NISMO isn’t a fun car, rather the production version is a step-down from the Sentra Concept shown a … Read more

Premium Compact: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Top-of-the-line 2017 Elantra trim delivers the trappings in style. Compact sedans typically offer great value, supplying an ideal entryway to new car ownership for the majority of consumers. Nearly all manufacturers offer one, although the segment has been taking a hit as shoppers continue to shift their purchase decisions to … Read more

Hyundai Azera: The Last Hurrah

2017 marks the final year for Hyundai’s flagship sedan. American consumers continue to shift their new car purchase decisions to crossovers and that move has taken a toll. The Hyundai Azera will soon be no more, putting an end to this flagship sedan’s all-too-brief reign. Auto Trends confirmed the news … Read more

Hot Hatch: 2017 Volkswagen Golf R

VW Golf R fun, part two. There are certain cars that pass through the Auto Trends test fleet which are memorable. The Volkswagen Golf R is one of them. Compact, bold, and fast are just a few of the descriptors to append to this model. Affordable? Not unless you have … Read more

Nothing Ironic About the Hyundai Ioniq

Not a Prius fighter…or is it? Some may say the Hyundai Ioniq is this Korean manufacturer’s answer to the Toyota Prius. Hyundai insists otherwise, citing its own effort to deliver the most affordable and efficient cars the world over. Maybe there is a touch of irony here, but what’s important … Read more

PHEV Minivan: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

The industry’s first-ever hybrid minivan has arrived. Chrysler arrived late to the hybrid game releasing 2009 MY Dodge Durango Hybrid and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid models in the summer of 2008. Sharing the two-mode hybrid system developed jointly with GM, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, the Chrysler duo were discontinued a few months … Read more

Plug It In: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Fourth-generation Prius includes a new plug-in Prius Prime model. How many Prius models are there? Four, including the all-new Prius Prime — a plug-in electric vehicle based on the standard Prius theme. The Prius Prime isn’t the first Prius plug-in hybrid, but it does reflect the presence of Toyota’s latest … Read more

Second Look: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler’s award-winning minivan continues to attract new customers. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When crossover utility vehicles began to take hold early on in this century, minivan sales were expected to decline, then eventually disappear as models were canceled one by one. Manufacturers such as Ford and GM … Read more

On the Road With a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider

Once again, Mazda supplies a model for a competitor. Fiat has struggled mightily ever since returning to the US in 2011. A large part of that blame has to do with product mix. Indeed, timing is everything in this market and that’s one reason why small car models such as … Read more

Surprise Midsize Value: 2017 Volkswagen Passat

VW Passat adds premium features and demonstrate value. Family car sales have steadily fallen over the past several years as consumers select crossovers instead. And who can blame them? Crossovers offer superior utility while packing the storage room and towing capability many consumers prize. But crossovers may also cost you … Read more

Limousine Style: 2017 Audi A8L

2017 Audi A8L

Audi’s flagship has limousine-like room at the ready. The Audi A8L is a flagship luxury sedan, an all-wheel drive conveyance presented as an extended (A8L) wheelbase model only. A standard wheelbase model (A8) was also offered through 2016, then discontinued. This means that all 2016 and 2017 Audi A8L models … Read more

Luscious Premium Sedan: 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

On the road with a premium mainstream sports sedan. The car segment is under assault with consumers preferring crossovers in greater numbers as the reason for the shrinking demand. Indeed, overall car sales (coupes, sedans, and wagons) fell by 8.1 percent in 2016 in a passenger vehicle market that rose … Read more

All-Wheel Drive Edge: 2017 Subaru Legacy

New Sport trim adds pop to the Legacy line. Subaru can no longer be considered a niche car manufacturer. Fresh off its eighth consecutive year of record growth, this burgeoning Japanese brand continues to attract a wider base of American car shoppers, thanks in large part to its SUV-skewed lineup. … Read more