2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

Kia’s electric crossover looks good, drives well …

Our electric car future receives another jolt of energy with the arrival of Kia’s Niro EV.

If you believe electrics are a fad or experiment and that internal combustion is the only way to go, well you’re in for a shock, ultimately. Because all the carmakers are rushing to get full electric cars and crossovers onto the highways as quickly as they can. Short-term the hybrids and plug-in hybrids are the way to go, but with mainstream cars like the Niro being electrified, it’s only a matter of time until one is in your driveway. Continue reading 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

Die-cast: Autoart’s 2016 Ford Focus RS

Ford’s raciest Focus, the RS looks great in 1/18 scale …

For my job reviewing cars for Public Radio I got to test drive the pocket rocket that is Ford’s Focus RS. Better put on your big-boy pants and racing shoes if you go that route.

See my review https://savageonwheels.com/2017/06/02/2017-ford-focus-rs/

In short, the RS is a blast to drive, and inexpensive as racers go, at roughly $37 grand. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s 2016 Ford Focus RS

2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4

Latest Wrangler Unlimited stirs ride, handling questions …  

A couple years back I drove the newly redesigned Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and was wowed by how much better it rode, and drove, than previous Wranglers.

For those who don’t worship Jeeps as God’s gift to off-roaders, the Wrangler (2-door) and Wrangler Unlimited (4-door) are Jeep lovers’ favorite Jeep. They look decidedly Jeepy, like updated World War II workhorses, but with today’s interior finery and much better fit and finish outside. Plus they aren’t all olive drab. My test unit was Firecracker Red, a bright red that looked great. Continue reading 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4

2020 Nissan Versa SR

New Versa SR proves you can get a lot for a little …

Bare bones cars are a rarity today as even the low-cost sedans that serve as entry-level vehicles for most car makes are far from what we would have called “basic transportation” just a decade or two ago when cars still had crank windows.

Take this week’s dandy little Nissan Versa SR for example. With a starting price of just $19,135, including delivery, you’d think this spiffy Electric Blue sedan would be about as bare bones as car makers go to satisfy the needs of the low-budget shopper. But you’d be wrong and the metallic blue paint job is only example one. Continue reading 2020 Nissan Versa SR

2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT

Subaru’s Outback just keeps getting better, and now it’s faster …

Subaru’s handsome Outback seems to have overrun southeastern Wisconsin roads and it makes sense. Outback is practical for families and also empty-nesters looking to travel in comfort and safety, all at a high value and with AWD.

Full disclosure, our family owns a 2017 Outback, so I knew what to expect when I test drove the 2020 line-topper, the Touring XT. But there were a few surprises. Continue reading 2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT

Die-cast: NEO’s 1959 Chevrolet Corvette XP-700

Long-nosed Corvette XP-700 concept a mixed bag of styling …

General Motors was big into concept cars in the 1950s, many having fighter jet and missile styling, be it the nose, tail or just the model and engine names, such as the Oldsmobile’s Rocket 88 in Pontiac’s Starfire.

So, naming an experimental or concept car the XP-700 seems natural enough, and that’s what Chevrolet did with its body styling experiment for Corvette on the 1959 auto show circuit. The XP featured a wide-mouthed, low-slung Ferrari-style nose protruding from the already recognizable quad headlights in rounded fenders that Corvette introduced in its 1958 model. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1959 Chevrolet Corvette XP-700

2020 Ford Explorer ST AWD

Explorer ST puts the sport into sport-utility (at a price) …

Ford’s Explorer is the ubiquitous family SUV. It’s likely today’s 20- and 30-somethings think of Explorer as what mom and dad, their uncles, cousins and maybe a brother or sister drove, or still drive.

There are a lot of Explorers on the road and to be honest, Explorer was one of the first super popular SUVs to persuade car buyers to switch to trucks. At its peak it was selling more than 400,000 units a year. After just a few years on the market it became one of the top 10 best-selling vehicles of the year. Continue reading 2020 Ford Explorer ST AWD

A hot new Italian ride arrives in my garage

My wife buys me my dream ride

ducati motorcycles, ducati panigale 959, ducati 959 PenNo silly boy, not a Ferrari but still a name that resonates performance. This only has two wheels and it’s a brand new Ducati 959 Penigale. Was I surprised? Well you bet and then some. For the past five years I have ridden my 2007 Suzuki Hayabusa all over the place and just recently crossed the 60,000 mile mark. That might not seem lot a whole lot but in the motorcycle world, it’s like 200,000 miles in a car. I’ve taken really good care of it, with a couple of oil changes each year, lubing the chain almost every ride, and replacing it every other year, I even had the engine dynoed last winter. I was ready to hang onto it after all, it’s a legendary ride. Continue reading A hot new Italian ride arrives in my garage

Die-cast: Auto World 1970 Ford Torino Cobra

1970 Ford Torino ‘Cobra Jet’ was bargain muscle car …

My wife’s family had an early 1970s Ford Torino, and while it looked OK and had oodles of power, it wasn’t really a very good car.

But these were the big Fords that raced in NASCAR in the day and in coupe version had a fastback roofline, so weren’t hard on the eye. Let’s be honest, the Torino was a bargain compared with some other muscle cars of the time, especially Ford’s own Mustang. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World 1970 Ford Torino Cobra

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Mercedes GLC 300 a lively, luxury ride …

Coming off an underwhelming performance from a Ranger Rover Evoque, the new Mercedes-Benz GLC (great little crossover?) was an absolute dream to drive.

The Benz felt more lively with better power, better handling and a better ride than the Evoque, and while still pricey, it costs $4 grand less. Granted the Evoque is better looking than the staid, yet stately, Mercedes, but do you want looks or performance? Oh, and everything worked on the Mercedes in contrast with the Rover. Continue reading 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL AWD

Palisade, like Telluride, a first rate family SUV …

I declared the Kia Telluride the finest SUV I’d driven in ages and an absolute winner in every way when I drove it last June, but its kissin’ cousin, the Hyundai Palisade is equally as praiseworthy.

I know us reviewers are supposed to pick at the loose threads that generally fray from any new make or model, but first I’d have to find one. Don’t make me choose between Palisade and the Telluride, although on price the Hyundai seems to have a slight advantage. Continue reading 2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL AWD

Lego: Go big or go home

Lego is a marketing machine

lego kit, lego bugatti, bugatti
All Photos: Lego

It’s amazing how this Danish company, started by a carpenter in 1932 making wooden blocks, has grown into a powerhouse. In 2015, The Lego Group became the world’s largest toy company by revenue, with sales amounting to US$2.1 billion, surpassing Mattel. They do it by coming up with cool new stuff all the time like its line of Lego Technic. This is more than just connecting plastic blocks. With this series  builders can create more than just something basic, they can build something that will do stuff like this Bugatti Chiron. This 1/18th scale model features logoed spoked rims with low-profile tires, and detailed brake discs, an accessible cockpit, Technic 8-speed gearbox, detailed W16 engine and the pistons move! Geeze I wish is were bigger so I could hop in and experience the Chiron’s mind-numbing speed.

Wait! What? Lego built one!

Damn! They actually did it! A team of 16 specialist spent 13,000 man hours and utilized almost 4,000 pieces to pull it off. This is amazing. When are they going to make it available in their store?

lego bugatti, lego cars, bugatti

 

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