8.20.2017

Soul With Speed: The 2017 Kia Soul ! (Exclaim)

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Kia Soul ! (Exclaim)
The 2017 Kia Soul ! (Exclaim).
The Kia Soul has proven itself to be the best of the funky little urban "is it a car or a crossover?" boxes that came along at the beginning of the decade.  In fact, save the Nissan Juke, which moves a fraction of the number of copies the strong-selling Soul does, the others (Scion xB, Nissan Cube) are dead and gone.

The Soul simply offered a stronger blend of utility, price and features.  And now, performance enters the mix.

8.08.2017

Don't Call It A Bus: The 1937 White Yellowstone National Park Motor Coach



Somewhere, as a kid....National Geographic back issue?  Old stuff at my grandmother's?....I had seen and fallen in love with the old yellow buses that roamed Yellowstone National Park.   I remember wanting to ride in one if I ever got to Yellowstone.  And I was certain as time went on that they'd be long gone.

So when this summer rolled around, Mrs. TireKicker and I took a two-week, 3300-mile roadtrip that included Yellowstone and they were still on the road, I could barely contain my excitement.

8.05.2017

Something So Right: The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring

Side view of 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring
The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring .
The right car for a trip is like the right tool for a job.  It can make or break the whole enterprise.  So when Mrs. TireKicker and I cooked up our first-ever two-week summer vacation roadtrip, we knew we had to get the right car.

Regular readers will remember three years ago, when, for a shorter eight-day camping trip to Utah, the 2015 Kia Sorento SXL proved to be a terrific traveling companion.   This time, Mazda and their prep and delivery partners at Drive Shop partnered to provide a 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring for three weeks, allowing time for packing and cleanup.

7.25.2017

A Little Bit Extra: The 2017 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew Platinum

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Platinum
2017 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Platinum
Pickup trucks have become all about the extras.  Humble two-door standard cabs do not cut it anymore, except as work trucks for public utilities.  No, a privately-owned pickup truck today has to be a pickup truck, a performance vehicle, a luxury vehicle and, ideally, bigger, glitzier and more expensive than the neighbor's pickup truck.

7.24.2017

Return of an Icon: The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

Front 7/8 view of 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD
The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD.
The Volvo wagon.  In the 1980s and early-mid 90s, nothing said you were smart about however much money you had quite the way a Volvo wagon did.  Somewhere along the way, Volvo wagons lost that cachet...along with much of the Volvo lineup.  But now, the V90 is back, based on the S90 sedan  that yours truly pretty much lost his mind over last fall.  And it could take a Volvo wagon right back to being that type of understated status symbol for the next couple of decades.