Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

For some people, bigger is always better.
Thankfully for them, several automakers have not given up on producing full-sized SUVs, the stunningly large vehicles which look like they could fit most of a traveling circus inside of them, and which you might hear an echo in if you yelled to the people in the back row..

One of those full-size SUV options -- the Nissan Armada -- recently went through a remodel, and I recently got to test out the 2018 version. I’m back with a full report on what it offers and how it compares to others in the class -- which also includes the Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe.

LOOKS

The big change with the redesign is that the Armada is now based off the same underpinnings as its more upscale corporate sibling, the Infiniti QX80.
And just like the QX80, the Armada can be described as big -- as in very big, wow that’s big!

Monday, 16 April 2018 06:48

2018 Mazda CX-5 remains a driver’s SUV

With each new model year, even if there aren’t wholesale changes, any Mazda vehicle needs to continue to demonstrate some key abilities in order to maintain the brand’s reputation -- and chief among them is a stout driving performance.

I recently spent some time in the 2018 Mazda CX-5, a vehicle that has long been a favorite of mine in the mid-size SUV category, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up to expectations.

LOOKS

While not a lot is new in the 2018 CX-5 due to a significant remodel one year ago, you do get some changes for the new year, including a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel.
This exacerbates an already well-appointed interior in the CX-5, not at luxury level but sharper looking and more comfortable than most vehicles in the segment. You’ll find mostly soft surfaces, high-class touches on the dashboard. and leather-trimmed seating. A power moonroof is offered for a nice visual touch.

While the smallest cars are far from the top of the sales charts, the opposite trend can be seen among the smallest of the SUVs.

In recent years, many automakers are jumping on the subcompact SUV bandwagon, and Toyota is no exception -- with their new C-HR model.

They are aiming at those who want the ride height but not necessarily the ride length.


But how does the C-HR (aka Coupe-High Rider) compare to others in this growing class like the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V and Chevy Trax? I recent spent some time in a C-HR and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

The exterior of the C-HR is truly unique … there’s nothing like it on the road. Odd shapes and lines can be found all around, plus you get a unique spoiler and you even get a goofy spot up high for the rear door handles. This will stand out against the typical run-of-the-mill compacts. Toyota and Lexus have chosen to go bold with designs in recent years. Some may like it and others won’t … beauty is in the eye of the beholder; and I actually kind of like this design.

What does an automaker do after a redesign gives it one of the best-equipped and strongest-performing SUVs in the luxury landscape?  That’s easy -- you pretty much leave it alone for the next model year.

Such is the case for the 2018 Audi Q7, a three-row luxury SUV that follows a strong 2017 rethink. I recently drove a 2018 Audi Q7 3.0T quattro, and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

The look of a vehicle starts up front, and the Q7 features the always-attractive Audi rings atop a massive but tasteful horizontal-lined grille. Looking to the sides of the vehicle, you get a smooth profile with impressive lines and excellent aerodynamics.
Inside, the Q7 features room for seven passengers, but the back row is quite snug, and best reserved for small children. Also, the Q7’s maximum cargo space with back rows folded down is less than some of the competition.


Where the Q7 shines in is overall interior design. Up front you get a classy-looking long air vent setup, and the wood grain touches help complete the look on the dash (specifically, Terra Brown walnut inlays). I enjoyed the truly comfortable leather seating, even on longer rides, and the vehicle heats and cools very quickly.

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