CAR REVIEWS

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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2018 Volvo S90 stakes claim as a legit luxury sedan Featured

May 29, 2018
Hit: 325
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The Volvo S90 is no pretender in the luxury sedan segment, holding up well against bigger-name competitors.

It’s a sign you’ve really made it -- when you can pick up that high-end sedan and tool around town in true comfort and luxury.

But what do you choose? Will the traditional German offerings tempt you? How about a domestic variety like Cadillac or Lincoln? Or an Asian model like Lexus or Acura?

But hold on for a second, let’s not forget about Volvo, the Swedish brand which continues to impress with its new luxury models.

I recently spent some time in a 2018 Volvo S90, and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Volvo S90
  • Price as tested: $69,140 (starts at $48,100)
  • Best feature: Comfort, design, power
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury sedan buyers seeing a well-designed and fun-to-drive alternative to the usual suspects
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The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport offers an enjoyable driving experience.

Contrary to what you may be hearing, not everyone wants to drive an SUV. Sure they take over more and more the sales charts each year, but don’t discount the fact that some folks out there don’t need to carry a bunch of people around or a lot of cargo space. They want a small, fun, sporty ride that they can enjoy.

Enter a couple of contenders in this arena, which I recently was able to test:

In this corner, the new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, a capable ride with a strong level of nimbleness. In the other, the 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring, which annually draws solid support from those of us who love to drive (and from buyers, as the Mazda3 is the top selling Mazda worldwide).

Here’s a full rundown of what each of these vehicles has to offer to those looking in this segment.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring
  • Price as tested: Hyundai: $29,210 Mazda: $27.070
  • Best feature: Hyundai: Roomy interior, nimble ride, strong tech features Mazda: Amazing handling, high-end interior
  • Rating: Hyundai: 3.5 out of five stars Mazda: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Hyundai: Buyers seeking a fun, nimble ride Mazda: Buyers seeking a more upscale feel to their ride and a sporty experience
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The 2018 Genesis G80 may not be from an established luxury brand, but it holds up well with the best of them.

To be a successful competitor in the luxury automobile world is no easy task, even for established brands, which jockey back and forth for position annually.

And for a new entry in the field, it’s that much harder. Enter Genesis, now in its second model year as the official luxury brand offshoot of Hyundai (Like Lexus to Toyota; Acura to Honda; Infiniti to Nissan, etc.).

 

In this cutthroat area of the industry, where most buyers are fiercely brand-loyal, how does the Hyundai offshoot fare, and will car buyers respect it as a luxury brand? I recently spent some time in the 2018 Genesis G80, and I’m back with a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Genesis G80
  • Price as tested: $55,325 (base price is $41,750)
  • Best feature: Elegant style; smooth as silk; strong tech setup
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury buyers not tied to a brand who are seeking a strong, smooth and sporty ride
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Feel safe and sound in the 2018 Subaru Legacy sedan Featured

Mar 08, 2018
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The 2018 Subaru Legacy comes standard with all-wheel-drive, making it unique in the segment.

Avoiding anonymity is a fight all sedans that aren’t the top sellers in the category must take on. The way to do it is distinguish yourself in a way that the bigger names don’t, and hopefully that will lead to a maintained or growing market share.

Subaru is one of the smaller brands fighting this battle, and I recently tested out a 2018 Subaru Legacy, their midsize sedan offering. While the vehicle has its hits and misses, the good news is that its standard all-wheel drive very strong tech and safety features are standout in the segment, so it does make a name for itself.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2018 Subaru Legacy
  • Price as tested: $29,300 (starting price is $22,195)
  • Best feature: Top-notch safety and tech features; standard all-wheel-drive
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Sedan buyers seeking a leader in safety/tech and all weather capability
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