CAR REVIEWS

The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback has a new look for 2018, and it's sharp.

As Buick continues its efforts to grow more popular in the luxury realm, they have to get creative to compete. And for 2018, they definitely did that with the Regal, offering it in several different flavors, from the new TourX (a raised wagon, like the Outback), the speedy Regal GS, and the sharp-looking 2018 Regal Sportback, which I recently had the chance to test.

I’m back with a full report on this luxury sedan and how it competes with the rest of the segment.

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Buick Regal Sportback
  • Price as tested: $35,575 (starts at $24,990)
  • Best feature: Sharp design, extra comfortable interior and smooth ride quality
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury buyers seeking a sleek ride at a good price
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The GT version of the 2018 Volkswagen Passat spices up the segment with a powerful V6 and sport suspension.

Discussions of exciting rides in the sedan segment generally don’t involve vehicles like the Volkswagen Passat, which tend to be more safe and family-friendly choices.

But hold on a second, because a new version of the Passat (the 2018 Passat GT) is looking to change that perception.

I recently tested a 2018 Passat GT, and I’m back with a full report on how it spices up a normally tame segment.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT
  • Price as tested: $29,995
  • Best feature: Fun-to-drive nature of the GT version stands out in midsize sedan class
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Sedan buyers seeking a punchy ride
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2018 Hyundai Elantra offers strong Eco option Featured

Jul 09, 2018
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The 2018 Hyundai Elantra Eco offers highway mileage of 40 mpg and an impressive ride quality vs. other eco-friendly rides.

Compact cars do not dominate auto sales, but there is still a market for them. And for many of the folks who do crave a smaller ride, one key element they are focused on is strong fuel mileage/eco-friendly features.

Beyond hybrids and electric vehicles, most automakers offer some sort of standard gas-powered vehicle that would appeal to this crowd.

One vehicle that qualifies in this segment is Hyundai’s 2018 Elantra sedan, specifically the Eco trim level with highway fuel mileage of 40 mpg.

I recently tested the 2018 Elantra Eco, and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer.

LOOKS

In the grand scheme of the small car segment, the Elantra’s outside looks are among the best in the segment. You get an eye-catching design, with unique headlamps and grille.

The Elantra Eco comes with 15 inch tires, plus LED daytime running lights.

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Hyundai Elantra Eco
  • Price as tested: $21,560 (base price at $20,550; but incentives can push it down to $18K)
  • Best feature: Fuel mileage, tech features, roominess
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Those seeking an affordable, eco-friendly sedan
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2018 Lexus GS F is all about performance Featured

Jul 06, 2018
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The 2018 Lexus GS F looks to battle in the elite category of luxury performance sedan

Some cars just scream out their identity. You look at it, and you know what you’re going to get when you sit behind the wheel.

That’s very much the case with the Lexus GS F, a performance sedan with massive power numbers and a fully engaging ride that aims to tackle the biggest names in the exclusive luxury performance sedan segment.

I recently spent some time driving a 2018 Lexus GS F, and I’m back with a full report.

 

LOOKS

Looking like it would be very much at home racing around a track competitively, the 2018 GS F features a very large, intense spider-web design up front on the grille, which works well on the F sport

a considering its character. It’s also low to the ground and features some great curves in its exterior design.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Lexus GS F
  • Price as tested: $86,725
  • Best feature: Powerful engine and thrilling ride
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: If racecar-level power and luxury looks are your top two priorities, the Lexus GS F is right in your wheelhouse
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The Audi S4 isn't the most flashy looking sport sedan, but it dazzles under the hood.

Driving is a passion lost on many of today’s younger generation, who have grown up in the era of Uber and the impending arrival of self-driving vehicles, and have little desire to get behind the wheel at all.

But for those who remember the joy of getting behind the wheel for the first time and the freedom it offers, who know the thrill that a fast, sporty vehicle can provide, there are still many vehicles available to help us enjoy those experiences well into adulthood.

Enter the Audi S4, a top-notch sports sedan that provides about as exhilarating a ride as you’ll get in cars targeted at mere mortals who don’t own any yachts or private islands.
I recently spent some time driving the 2018 S4, and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Audi S4
  • Price as tested: $59,550 (starts at $51,400)
  • Best feature: Exhilarating driving experience
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Fans of driver-focused vehicles who want to enjoy their time on the road
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The e-Golf is a way to enjoy the Golf experience while being eco-friendly.

The auto world has been buzzing with electricity in recent years … literally.

With nearly all major automakers heavily committing to moving away from internal-combustion engines, some entirely and some in phases, over the next several years, the battle for best electric vehicle is already heating up

I recently spent a little time with one of Volkswagen’s entries into the fray, the Volkswagen e-Golf -- an electric version of it’s perennial top-ranked vehicle -- and I’m back with a full report on what the buzz is all about on this particular plug-in ride.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: Volkswagen e-Golf
  • Price as tested: $39,240 (starts at $30,495) … tax credits/incentives for electric vehicles can lower cost
  • Best feature: No need for gas; Drives like a Golf
  • Rating: 3 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: City dwellers who don’t drive long distances and want to avoid the need to get gas
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The 2018 Toyota Corolla doesn't offer a thrilling ride, but it's reliable, safe and a top-seller year in and year out.

Toyota is an interesting company to me right now, when it comes to auto design.

From their most elaborate Lexus luxury models right down to basic Toyota vehicles, a thorough redesign is happening that can only be described as aggressive.


Perhaps the look doesn’t go over well with everyone, but the big and bold grilles they are unveiling across the board gives a hint of power and in-your-face attitude.

That doesn’t always translate to the actual performance though, so you need to keep things in perspective.

I recently spent time in a 2018 Toyota Corolla, and I’m back with a full report on where it shines and where it lacks.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Toyota Corolla
  • Price as tested: $22,925 (starts at $18,600)
  • Best feature: Reliability, price, loads of standard safety features
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Budget car buyers seeking reliability who are not focused on power
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The 2018 Kia Rio is one of the more impressive subcompact sedans available to carbuyers today.

Despite what you might have read lately, the fact is that not everyone needs an SUV.

Every car has its purpose and audience, and while subcompacts are far from the biggest segment in the auto world, they do serve a purpose.

Many people don’t have families to lug around, rarely carry passengers in their vehicles and don’t need a lot of cargo space. Others just need something with decent gas mileage to get their to work and back. For these groups of people, something like the Kia Rio, a small and affordable subcompact sedan, is right up their alley.

I recently spent time in a 2018 Rio, and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer.

LOOKS

Being upfront, I will say this: The Rio is a small vehicle. If you go in expecting that, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for extra-roomy seating or lots of storage room, you’re going to want to look in larger classes (though you can fold down the back seats to increase storage space).

This might work as a second car in many households. The going-to-work car, which sits next to the family SUV in the garage. Or it could be the only car for someone who travels solo more often than not. Even in the subcompact class, competitors have the Rio beat in storage capacity.

The exterior design is nothing that jumps out at you as special, but it’s not unattractive at the same time. The Rio is very low to the ground, pretty wide for the segment and a bit longer on the latest remodel. The Interior design on my test vehicle was surprisingly upscale and plush (leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, high-quality and comfortable seating materials), and it was an EX trim line, the highest offered on the Rio.

The Rio, by the way, is available as either a hatchback or a sedan.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Kia Rio
  • Price as tested: $20,225 (starts at $13,900)
  • Best feature: Affordability, upscale interior
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Small car buyers looking to get a respectable vehicle for an affordable price
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