Nissan Titan (Price as tested: $39,505)
While truck sales are dominated by the trio of Ford, Chevy and Ram, we shouldn’t forget that there are other capable options out there worth considering. And I’m not talking about getting a truck for a Sunday drive: I’m talking about the Nissan Titan, which comes ready to do some work, whether it be hauling or towing, as a pickup truck should do.
With a starting price under $30K, the Titan is a strong option -- especially if you opt for the 5.6-liter V8 engine and its 390 horsepower/394 lb.-ft. of torque.
I used a Titan to haul some large loads of metal and appliances to the scrap yard, and it held up well throughout. It gets the job done, which is the point of a truck like this. Towing capacity is over 9,000 pounds, and payload capacity is just over 1,900 pounds.
Official mpg numbers on the Titan are 15 city/21 highway and 18 combined.
Bottom line: I wouldn’t want this big machine as my daily driver, as it’s too slow and lumbering for that, but if I was in the hauling and towing business on a daily basis, i would have to give it serious consideration.
2017 Infiniti QX60 (Price as tested: $60,045)
When people have money to spend, they’re often going to spend in on cars. That’s why it’s so important for automakers to get their big luxury vehicles right, as brand loyalty is a key factor so you don’t want to screw that up from the start.
I’ve driven multiple versions of this next vehicle, the Infiniti QX60 (previously known as the JX35 upon its initial launch), and it only gets better with time. It remains one of my favorite luxury SUVs, inside and out.
Recent upgrades to the QX60 include boosted power from the engine, as well as a larger infotainment screen up front. Outside design is sharp, recognizable and smooth looking -- typically the case with Infiniti. Inside layout is created for comfort for driver and passengers, with quality leather plus wood grain touches to enhance look.
Its 3.5-liter V6 (295 horsepower, 270 lb.-ft. of torque) isn’t best in class but still doesn’t disappoint. The tech setup is a bit too button-laden; could be simplified. But that’s a minor quibble since the vehicle’s drive quality is smooth to the point I’d call it silky. Fuel mileage numbers are 19 city/26 highway/22 combined, and safety ratings are top-notch.
Bottom line: Unless you absolutely need the most powerful engine in class, the QX60 is one of your most comfortable, safest and family-friendliest options in the luxury SUV category.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.
If you can’t have fun in this hot rod, you must be an empty shell of a human being or just hate the idea of driving.
Featuring 365 horsepower from a 3.0-liter, turbo 6-cylinder engine, the M240i features stunning speed and agility and was one of the strongest vehicles I tested this year.
It’s a two-seater by default (back seat isn’t really capable of holding humans of any significant size, and even the front seats are a bit cramped). But it’s all worth it due to the performance.
This machine isn’t just fast; it launches you forward, going 0-to-60 in under 5 seconds.
It’s a thrill to drive, even if you don’t have a particular destination (perhaps even moreso).
It doesn’t just hug the turns, it gives them the “I haven’t seen you since last Christmas so we’re going to make this count” embrace.
Bottom line: Enthusiasts who want to enjoy every second they’re driving should take a BMW M240i for a test drive when shopping for their next ride,, as the M series vehicles from BMW are perennial contenders for their attention.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.
Sunday was an emotional day in the NASCAR world -- there’s no way around that.
For a sport that’s all about horsepower and strength, whose heroes have names like the Intimidator, there’s a lot of heart underneath.
Who among us -- after watching and hearing about all the personal trials and tribulations that Martin Truex Jr., Sherry Pollex, and the entire 78 team for Furniture Row Racing, have been through in the past few years -- wasn’t moved by that championship win? Who among us watching that epic battle at the end didn’t get a little misty-eyed to see the pure joy in their celebration -- a celebration by a driver who didn’t know if he’d even have a career after a controversial end to his time at Michael Waltrip Racing (itchy arm syndrome race) and his girlfriend who has been courageously battling cancer?
“It’s just overwhelming. To think about all the rough days and bad days, the days that couldn’t run 20th, to be here, I never thought this day would come and to be here is so unbelievable,” Truex said after his win.
Luxury sedans come in all shapes and sizes; some meant for carrying the whole family and others meant for driver experience and limited cargo. In this second category, you will find the 2017 Cadillac ATS coupe, which I recently was able to test.
While not practical for families, the compact ATS coupe continues to be a great choice if you’re looking for a thrilling and responsive ride and aren’t going to carry many passengers. Read on for a full breakdown.
Visually, Cadillac has not changed the look of the ATS, its entry level luxury ride, much in the past five years. That’s OK, because it looks pretty sharp. The exterior offers distinct lines and creasing that make it uniquely Cadillac. It’s one of the vehicle lineups on the roadways that don’t blend in with the competition.
Inside, you can choose either leatherette (synthetic leather) or leather seating materials. There’s a nice dash of wood trimming to complement the equally sharp interior design, which is up there with the best in the class in terms of high-end look and feel.
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