Niche No More: The 2017 Honda CR-V AWD Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Honda CR-V AWD Touring
The 2017 Honda CR-V AWD Touring.
Nine years ago, when I was launching TireKicker, small SUVs were just starting to catch on.  They had a nickname: "Cute-Utes".  And, if that sounds somewhat dismissive, well, I guess it was.  It suggested that they weren't really up to the task that, in those days, we assigned to Ford Explorers and Chevy Tahoes.

What a difference nine-tenths of a decade makes.  The landscape has changed so much that not only is the Honda CR-V outselling Explorers and Tahoes, it is, for the year so far, the fifth-best selling vehicle in the USA.


Fitting Into The Family: The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Toyota Corolla iM
The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM.
Twenty months ago, I wrote that the iM was the future for Scion.  At that moment, none of us outside the walls of Toyota knew the brand had no future.  It was four months and four days after that review posted that Toyota announced it was shutting down Scion.  Some models were killed off, but homes were found for others, including the iM, which is now the Corolla iM.


More MPG And More: The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid AWD Advance

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid AWD Advance
The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid AWD Advance.
Seven months ago, we reviewed the new, better-looking Acura MDX.  The one with a regular gasoline engine.  Everything we said about that MDX stands for this one, so follow the link.

So what's this one about?  A different engine, a different transmission and very different city fuel economy.  All the while providing more...yes, more...power.


Rx For Excess: The 2017 Toyota Camry XSE

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Toyota Camry XSE
The 2017 Toyota Camry XSE.
As you read this, truckloads of 2018 Toyota Camrys are heading for your local dealer.  Toyota, in its continuing quest to put its "beige" image behind it, has styled the new Camry very aggressively, causing some, even those who believe Toyota needed to be more exciting, to wonder how far is too far (see the current Prius).

If you are among that group, now is a wonderful time to get what is still this year's car---the 2017 Toyota Camry XSE.


The One To Have? The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF

Front/side view of 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.
Our fondness for the Mazda MX-5 Miata is well documented throughout the nine-year archives of TireKicker.  You'll find it firmly ensconced at number two on the list of TireKicker's Best Cars on the right-hand side of this page.

So what could make it even better?  Well, how about a hardtop that keeps out the noise and the rain that also goes away without the problems of where to store the roof or clunky styling (a problem with the previous-gen MX-5 Miata PRHT)?

That is exactly what the new MX-5 Miata RF delivers.


Brilliance on Four Wheels: The 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2.0T quattro S tronic

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Audi A4 Sedan
The 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2.0t.
Our Publisher and Executive Editor said it four years and some months ago, when last TireKicker reviewed an Audi A4: "The worst part of a successful car is keeping the ball rolling...doing the freshening needed to keep the car relevant without losing the thread and screwing it all up."  Michael's assessment at the time was that Audi had succeeded---that the 2013 A4 was, in his words, "simply tremendous".

That meant meeting or exceeding a very high bar this time around.  And more.


Just One Thing...The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.
There are four words to keep in mind when discussing fuel economy.  They are the disclaimer in every advertisement that touts an EPA estimate: "Your mileage may vary."

You see, what we have here in the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited, at least in the humble opinion of yours truly, is a perfectly-timed Prius killer.  There's just one thing...


Sweet Spot In A Hot Segment: The 2017 Lexus NX 200t F SPORT

Front view of 2017 Lexus NX 200t F SPORT
2017 Lexus NX 200t F SPORT.
In this third model year of the Lexus NX series, it is without question a success.  Sales are good, outpacing those of direct competitors like the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA-Class.   In fact, the NX has sold nearly as many copies this year as BMW has the midsize X3.  It is only a couple of thousand sales away from the bread-and-butter BMW 3-series.


Even Better: The 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring.
One of the surest ways into my heart is to be a good travel companion.  I've married the best human one I know, and in terms of vehicles, the Mazda CX-5 is certainly on the list.

It earned its place two years ago, when Mrs. TireKicker (known at the time as Navigator) and I took her two daughters to Southern California for a few days of fun and sun, museums and observatoriesa legendary restaurant, a then-endangered coffee shop and an Iranian ice cream parlor...oh yeah, and 16 hours at Disneyland.  And our ride for those four jam-packed days was the then-new 2016 Mazda CX-5.


Lunacy Within Reason: The 2017 Dodge Durango R/T

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Dodge Durango R/T
The 2017 Dodge Durango R/T.
Let us, for a moment, say that you, like I, read our Publisher and Executive Editor's review of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT last month and thought "That's a fun vehicle", but blanched a bit at the 485 horsepower, the EPA fuel economy estimate of 13 city/19 highway and the as-tested price of $78,355.  Suppose you like the idea, but would like to dial some of that down a notch or two, still resulting in a faster and sportier than average SUV without quite the same penalty at the payment book and the pump?

Let me introduce you to the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T.