At Last: The 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT
The 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT.
It was just less than a year ago when I reviewed the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT and wrote about the elephant in the room:  Hyundai's ground-breaking first legitimate hot hatch was showing its age.  At a time when the Hyundai/Kia cousins were cranking out freshened and all-new models at a seemingly non-stop pace, the Elantra had gone since 2011 without an update. Now, Hyundai has leap-frogged past the 2015 model year and brought us a mildly refreshed 2016 Elantra GT.

A Happier Medium: The 2015 Lexus LS460 F SPORT

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Lexus LS 460 F SPORT
The 2015 Lexus LS460 F SPORT.
The word "uncompromising" is considered a compliment in many circles, especially in performance automobiles.  But compromise can be necessary, even good. And the 2015 Lexus LS460 F SPORT is a classic example.

I'd Still Buy The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid front 3/4 view
The 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid.
Thirteen months ago, I reviewed...okay...raved about...the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid. That was after a 470-mile plus journey from Folsom (suburban Sacramento) to Ukiah, up to Mendocino and down Highway 1 to California 116, inland to Santa Rosa and then home all in a four-day weekend.

As luck would have it, Navigator and I had another road trip scheduled for the weekend the 2015 Avalon Hybrid would be with us, though this one was considerably shorter.

Same Car, Less Money: The 2015 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT

Front 3/4 view of  2015 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT
The 2015 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT.
Just shy of eight months ago, I reviewed the 2014 Lexus GS 350, in a piece called "What An Extra $5,695 Can Do For Your Lexus GS 350".  By all means, click through and read it, but the summary is that I said that adding the optional F SPORT package to the GS 350 made it a better-handling and more desirable automobile.


2016 Acura RDX Advance: Freshness Date Extended

Partial front view of 2016 Acura RDX Advance
The 2016 Acura RDX Advance.
The pace of technology is such that mid-cycle refreshes, when an automaker makes substantial changes to a vehicle without creating an all-new, next-generation model, are more important than ever. A clean-sheet is too expensive to do every three years, but you'll get killed  by the competition if you're waiting for the next go-round to bring the goodies that were too expensive, not available yet or no one in the segment had been offering when you launched the current generation.


And The First Shall Be Fashionably Late: The 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport
The 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport.
For the company that invented the modern luxury crossover with the RX 350, Lexus has taken a comparatively long time making its entrance into the hottest segment in the automotive industry...the small luxury crossover.

Navigating Troubled Waters: The 2015 Lincoln Navigator

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Lincoln Navigator
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator.
It is hard to remember now, but the Lincoln Navigator was the first, and for a time, most successful of the big luxury SUVs.  In 1997 (as a 1998 model), it beat Cadillac's Escalade to the market by a full year and sold 44,000 units.  By 2014, sales were down to a point where it would have taken more than five years to sell that many.

Muscles In A Tuxedo: The 2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum

2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum front view
The 2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum.
In the ten years the Chrysler 300C has been with us (in this incarnation), there have been endless comparisons to Bentley. Most of it was prompted by the simple visual of a big grille with a large winged badge on it. Others had to do with the smooth yet substantial shape and wide, determined stance of the 300C, which had more than a passing resemblance to the Bentley Flying Spur sedan introduced the year before.


Carmel Cruiser: The 2015 Volkswagen CC R-Line

Front 3/4 view of the 2015 Volkswagen CC
The 2015 Volkswagen CC.
You know how good it feels to get dressed up when you're going someplace special?  It holds true for cars, too.  So it was sheer good fortune to have an invitation to write about a rather unique inn in Carmel-By-The-Sea and find that it coincided with a week in the 2015 Volkswagen CC.

Based on the Passat, the CC (which stands for Comfort Coupe) has bodywork that takes it out of the realm of pedestrian family sedans.  If you mistook it for an Audi just from glancing at the photo above, you're forgiven.

But beauty is as beauty does, so how'd the CC do?