CAR REVIEWS

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport's performance is a bit surprising, in a good way.

Hyundai has come a long way over the years to get the American public to respect its brand as reliable and a strong option to consider when purchasing a vehicle.

Now, it wants to show us its fun side. Enter the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport, a compact sedan with a big personality. I recently spent some time in one, and here are five things you need to know about the Elantra Sport if you’re in the market for a compact sedan.


1. Bigger than it looks

As far as sedans go, it’s pretty attractive by comparison, but not overly distinctive (few vehicles are these days).
The bladed front grille does stand out some, you get a decent amount of trunk space, and unlike some compact sedans rear space impresses.

You can sit three people in back and they’ll actual feel pretty comfortable for the most part (though I wouldn’t take it on a long road trip with that setup). Getting people around town is possible in this vehicle, unlike some other vehicles where the back seat is pretty useless.

 

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2017 Toyota Prius offers stunning fuel economy Featured

Apr 12, 2017
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The 2017 Toyota Prius offers fuel mileage above and beyond what other hybrids can offer.

The word Prius is synonymous with the idea of hybrid vehicles. That tends to be the case when you’ve been doing this for two decades, and really dug in before anyone else got serious about it, like Toyota did in the 1990s -- long before there were dozens of hybrids on the market to choose from.

I recently spent some time in a 2017 Prius, specifically a Prius Three Touring model, and here are the top five things you need to know about it:

1. It’s extremely quiet
When driving the Prius, you’ll have perhaps the quietest experience you’ve ever had in a car. The sound of it powering up and down is less car-like and more appliance-like, which is fitting since the tech involved here makes this more of an appliance than a traditional vehicle.

Especially during stops, when everything shuts down to save gas, you’ll forget the car is even running due to lack of noise. Speaking of forgetting, if you ever get out of the car before powering off (which I may have done a time or two), it beeps to remind you the vehicle is still running. The one exception to the quiet, which is quite odd to me, is the very loud beeping noise (only audible within the vehicle, oddly) when you are going in reverse. There is also a very loud beep if you ever forget to put on your seat belt. And it will not stop until you buckle up, like that 7 a.m. alarm where you keep hitting snooze and it stills come back.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Toyota Prius
  • Price as tested: $28,960 (starts at $24,685)
  • Best feature: Obviously the fuel mileage, that’s kind of why this car exists
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Anyone looking to go eco-friendly and save big money on gas, and doesn’t mind an underpowered vehicle as the way to do it.
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The 2017 Buick LaCrosse has undergone a major overhaul for the 2017 model year.

The Buick name means different things in various places around the world. In China, it’s seen as a foreign status symbol by many and sales reflect that, with the brand selling a record 1.18 million vehicles in China in 2016.


But in the U.S. it has more of an uphill battle to climb, with its reputation as GM’s luxury-lite brand (behind the truly luxurious Cadillac), and the brand having to convince potential buyers that a Buick is not just your grandpa’s car anymore.

 

The Buick brand represents a small portion of GM’s U.S. sales (roughly 230,000 sales out of 3 million total for GM in 2016); and among those Buick sales the majority were for SUVs.

 

Still, every sale counts, and the Buick brand’s sedans persist in America, and they plan to stick it out for the long run.
I recently tested out their flagship sedan, the largest and best one Buick offers -- the 2017 Buick Lacrosse, which got a major overhaul for the 2017 model year -- and I’m back with a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Buick LaCrosse
  • Price as tested: $43,200 (starts at $32,065)
  • Best feature: Sharp looks in and out, roominess, strong on technology
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Folks looking for a capable entry-level luxury vehicle with strong tech features
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Spacious 2017 Toyota Avalon is all about comfort Featured

Mar 20, 2017
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The 2017 Toyota Avalon offers lots of room and lots of comfort.

 

 

As vehicle trends change over the years and customers change their minds about what kind of cars and SUVs they want to take home, some things don’t seem to change much. One of those is the continued presence of large sedans for folks not following trends to go small.


Think back to the decades past and you’ll envision many large boxy sedans. And while the boxy look is now gone, many folks who want to stick to sedans still want to have some room to enjoy their ride, and for those people, longer vehicles like the Toyota Avalon still exist.

I recently drove a 2017 Avalon, and I’m back with a full report on how this big sedan stacks up.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Toyota Avalon
  • Price as tested: $37,539 (starts at $33,300)
  • Best feature: Comfy and large interior space, surprisingly strong engine
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Folks looking for a quality large sedan without making full leap to luxury level.
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Kia’s upscale Cadenza sedan reboots for 2017 Featured

Mar 02, 2017
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The Kia Cadenza gets a redesign for 2017.

The Cadenza seemingly came out of nowhere in 2014 -- It was Kia’s attempt to show itself as capable of producing a sedan that could compete in the entry-level luxury segment (what I like to call “luxury lite”). At the time, when I tested the original, I thought it was a bold splash, but needed some refinement and improvements to truly compete.

Here we are in 2017, and that refresh has arrived.

The Cadenza sits somewhere between a midsize sedan and a large sedan, but the new model moves it more toward the large side of that argument.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Kia Cadenza
  • Price as tested: Starts at $31,990 (tops out about $45K)
  • Best feature: Top-notch and classy interior design, spacious back seat
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Folks who want an upscale sedan without going the full luxury route
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Toyota's Corolla has hit the half-century mark, a rarity in the auto industry.

50 years is a rare birthday for a car make to reach … Only a select few have done it; but the Toyota Corolla has now joined that group.


Toyota has sold a ton of these things over the years (technically, it’s the best-selling car of all time with over 43 million sold), and it’s gone through many changes through the years, but the nameplate persists, and strongly too.

To put the model’s popularity in perspective: Once you get past the pickup sales, the Corolla only trails Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Civic in overall U.S. sales … that’s impressive.

I recently drove a Corolla and I’m back to let you all know whether the car measures up to all the hype it’s been creating for the past five decades.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Toyota Corolla
  • Price as tested: $24.831 (starting price is $18.500)
  • Best feature: Reliability, spacious interior
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Small car buyers seeking an inexpensive option with high reliability and resale value
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The 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport coupe aims to shake up the luxury coupe market.

 

Some cars are just vessels -- to get you where you need to go. They place no emphasis on beauty.

Some are the total opposite, designed to not only get you moving, but also to stun you visually -- in a good way.

In this second category you can place the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, a sporty coupe that even car aficionados will have to take a moment to appreciate.

After some time in the Q60 Red Sport, I’m back with a full review on how it compares both visually and performance-wise.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport coupe
  • Price as tested: $62,355 (base Q60 model starts at $38,950)
  • Best feature: Beautiful design, powerful ride, plush interior
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Coupe buyers looking for one of the more attractive, powerful and luxurious options on the market
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The 2017 Audi A6 has an attractive design both inside and out.

I have high expectations of Audi vehicles.

From the time I first stepped into one years ago, they have impressed me highly, so any step down in new models will be noticed. As the saying goes, getting to the top is hard, but staying up there is harder once the standard is set.

I recently tested a 2017 Audi A6, the luxury automaker’s mid-size sedan entry, and I’m back with a full report on my experience.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Audi A6
  • Price as tested: $56,875 (starts at $47,600)
  • Best feature: Powerful, responsive engine, sharp Audi design; Safety scores
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Anyone who truly enjoys driving and is looking for a luxury sedan
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