Tag Archives: drive modes

2019 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

XC90 keeps boxy, safe  family haulers tradition alive …2019 Volvo XC90

Give Volvo credit for staying true to its roots all these years. It remains the maker of boxy family hauling machines that are long on safety. Too bad for Volvo that the rest of the automotive world has caught onto the safety gig.

Well, actually the rest of the automotive world is increasingly intent on building big boxy vehicles too, call it the SUV-ing of America, and I suspect, eventually, the rest of the world. Continue reading 2019 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD

Lexus LS500 impressive and loaded … 2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD

OMG, the Lexus LS 500 is one of the most impressive luxury sedans I’ve ever driven! That’s high praise, but this car is worthy.

Starting at $79,215, including delivery, one would expect nothing less than superfine, but loaded with 11 options and packages this goes all the way to stellar. Think competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

Also think big bank loan, cash in the 401k and hope great-aunt Harriet hasn’t forgotten you in her will. Continue reading 2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate

 Hyundai Veloster a semi-hot hatch, and affordable … 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Fewer and fewer sporty coupes are available for drivers who enjoy driving, and there are fewer yet that are both snazzy looking and affordable.

Hyundai’s revamped Veloster is a good one though and meets all of the above requirements. Continue reading 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn

VW Golf GTI is one rockin’ little hatchback …2018 VW Golf GTI

Nimble handling, turbo power and sporty ride are nearly forgotten in the auto world now that SUVs and crossovers rule the roads.

But Volkswagen has a long memory and it mastered handling years ago. With turbochargers added to VW’s economical 4-cylinder engines it now has power licked too.

Add to that a good ride, affordable pricing and good gas mileage and what you’re defining is VW’s Golf GTI. I drove its upscale Autobahn edition, and even that lists at a reasonable $35,965, including delivery. Continue reading 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn

2019 Kia Sorento SXL AWD

Sorento trims galore will fit all SUV lovers’ budgets … 2019 Kia Sorento

It had been a couple years and three model years since I’d driven Kia’s Sorento, its large SUV that aims to be a family hauler and has migrated, in top-end trim, to being a luxury vehicle.

Luckily all the good stuff remains, including a standard third row seat, and a few new goodies have been added. But at its core, Sorento is a stout entry in this market and comes in enough flavors (trim levels) to satisfy any SUV cravings a driver may have. Continue reading 2019 Kia Sorento SXL AWD

2018 Audi A5 Sportback quattro

Sporty Audi A5 Sportback looks slick, fast …2018 Audi A5 Sportback

Fastbacks look, well, fast. Audi has decided its sportbacks will look slick too and that’s what Audi calls its new A5 hatchback. This is a sedan with a hatch that in profile is reminiscent of Audi’s spectacular A7, a good thing indeed.

In addition to styling panache, the A5 Sportback delivers plenty of giddy-up and sport sedan handling, with a well-controlled, but sporty ride. Continue reading 2018 Audi A5 Sportback quattro

2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE

Range Rover Velar a sport-ute rolling in luxury …2018 Range Rover Velar

Don’t ask me what Velar means; something to do with your soft palette, but that doesn’t make me think of cars much. So to me it sounds like another made-up car name. I suspect though that Land Rover feels Velar sounds sexy and luxurious, which is certainly how this sport-utility vehicle looks.

There’s enough leather and aluminum inside to worry cattle and cheer miners. Velar’s streamlined looks with a swept-back tail that tapers from front to rear is distinctive in the sport-ute market. Well, Kia’s Soul has a similar look, but on a much smaller scale. Continue reading 2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE

2017.5 Mazda6 Grand Touring

Mazda6 GT stylish and loaded with goodies … 2017.5 Mazda6

While theaters are bulging with “Star Wars,” auto dealer showrooms are embroiled in car wars as top-selling mid-size sedans butt heads with their latest models. Continue reading 2017.5 Mazda6 Grand Touring

2018 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T

Honda Accord styling catches up with its competence … 2018 Honda Accord

Finally Honda has come out of its conservative styling funk to make its always solid Accord sedan look like more than a very reliable box. Continue reading 2018 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T

2018 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T quattro

Audi A5 Coupe a rare breed …2018 Audi A5 Coupe

Coupes used to be a more plentiful subset of cars, but as cars become a smaller subset of vehicles the coupe appears closer and closer to extinction.

But Audi, for one, is committed to the segment and its A5 Coupe is a good example of how much pleasure can be derived from a coupe. It looks sharp, and melds sporty handling and power with a smooth-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive, which Audi calls quattro.

The A5 does everything well, but is not a racer, nor a true family car, unless your little ones are in booster seats and can latch themselves in, or big enough to not need a booster, yet not too long-legged. Rear seat room is fairly cramped.

But a coupe is meant to transport two folks, mostly, and here they ride in comfort and style.2018 Audi A5 Coupe

The silver test car ($575 extra for the paint job) came with Audi’s stout 2.0-liter turbo I4 that creates a spirited, if not rambunctious, 252 horsepower and 273 ft.-lbs. of torque. Turbo lag is non-existent, in fact, I looked under the hood to make sure there was a turbo. The power here comes on so smoothly and in such a linear manner that it’s not obvious that all this boost is from a turbo. Continue reading 2018 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T quattro