CAR REVIEWS

The Volvo V60 Cross Country wagon is an alternative to the typical luxury crossover.

The word wagon may as well be on the extinction list, as it’s growing increasingly rare to see them on the road these days in the sea of SUVs that dominate family car buying in the U.S.A.


But fear not, wagon lovers: Volvo hasn’t forgotten about you. They continue their long wagon tradition with the Volvo V60, which also comes in a Cross Country version that I was able to spend some time in recently. Here’s my full report on what this unique vehicle offers.

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country
  • Price as tested: $50,130 (Starts at $41,700)
  • Best feature: High-riding luxury wagons are a rare find these days
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Those seeking a unique and versatile vehicle with a throwback look
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The new Hyundai Ioniq Electric can go up to 124 miles on a full charge.

The successful all-electric car is the elusive white whale of the auto industry, with a variety of automakers chasing the dream with limited success over the years.

But the battle is heating up again and some strong contenders are emerging. Including a somewhat surprising entry, the brand new Hyundai Ioniq. New for 2017, it features three varieties: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric.

I recently tested the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
  • Price as tested: $36,835
  • Best feature: No need for gas, impressive drive quality for an electric vehicle
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Commuters who want a quality vehicle and want to be eco-friendly and gasoline-free
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The interior of the 2017 Audi S6 is as classy and well-designed as any of its rivals.

Welcome to the fun zone.

Audi may have a hoidy-toidy reputation on the whole, but slap an S in any of their model names and things get a bit more loose.
I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2017 Audi S6 midsize sedan, and I’m back with the highlights of what you can expect from this hot rod.

1. Uberfast

The simplest way to put it is to say that the Audi S6 is a thoroughly enjoyable ride -- combining all the comfort and smoothness of the A6 with a more performance/sporty edge. It gets up to speed in stunning fashion for its size: You’re hauling you-know-what before you even realize it (“Am I really going that fast?” was a common expression during my time in the S6).

If you want to tone down the speed, get out of dynamic mode (which would be better labeled as beast mode).

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Audi S6
  • Price as tested: $82,425 (starts at $70,900)
  • Best feature: Incredible speed, classy interior
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury car buyers who want to get the maximum oomph out of their sedan
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Volvo's S90 is a new sedan model for 2017; replacing the S80

Sometimes you gotta try something new.

Without much fanfare for their previous midsize sedan (the S80), Volvo got in redesign mode and debuted the Volvo S90 for the 2017 model year.
A major improvement on its predecessor, I recently spent some time in an S90 and I’ll let you know how it measures up in the always-competitive luxury sedan segment.

1. LUXURY ABOUNDS

The exterior design of the S90 makes a statement -- this isn’t your dad’s Volvo.
You get a classy design up front that screams luxury (elegantly titled the “Upright Waterfall Front Chrome Grille”), and an overall sharp look that will get you some attention. That’s not often said about a Volvo, but it can be said about the S90. Part of the improvement is a sleek new headlight design (LED lights in an design called “Thor’s Hammer” -- another great bit of language from the Swedish automaker)

Diving inside, even when compared to other midsize luxury sedans, the S90 has a well-appointed and comfy interior. One specific detail I noticed was that the leather steering wheel feels great in hands. It’s also very roomy, even in back.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Volvo S90
  • Price as tested: $66.365 (starts at $46,950)
  • Best feature: Plush, comfy interior; Volvo safety innovation
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury sedan buyers who value safety and comfort above power and overall ride quality
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2017 Lexus RC 200t is a head-turning luxury coupe Featured

Apr 30, 2017
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The 2017 Lexus RC 200t features in-your-face but attractive styling.

Lexus aims for a home run with their 2017 RC 200t sport coupe. I had a chance to test the RC 200t recently, and I’m back with a report on five things you should know about it, and how many bases they were able to reach.

 

1. Simply beautiful
I’ll just come right out and say it: This is one of the most attractive sporty cars out there that’s within the financial grasp of mere mortal auto buyers. The front end and its sprawling black grille, along with its uniquely shaped headlights, are downright artistic in design. This model is a perfect fit for Lexus’ efforts to use bolder designs in the grille.

 

In the rear, there are other highlights on the design that make the car shine, including the notches in the rear that won’t go unnoticed.

The F Sport package gets you an even sportier look inside and out, plus an adaptive sport-tuned suspension.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2017 Lexus RC200t
  • Price as tested: $45,234 (starts at $40,155)
  • Best feature: Stunning exterior design
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Sport coupe buyers looking for an affordable luxury option that will turn heads
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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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