12.30.2019

Sexy, Swift and Safe: The 2020 Volvo S60 T8 E-AWD R-Design

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Volvo S60 T8 E-AWD R-Design
The 2020 Volvo S60 T8 E-AWD R-Design.
Those of us of a certain age remember when Volvos were boxy sedans and station wagons sold largely on their safety. In the 80s, Volvo's TV commercials were largely videos of their cars in crash tests---including plummeting off cliffs into a concrete pit 45 feet below.

In the past few years, Volvo has figured out how to maintain the safety and blend styling and power into the mix. The big S90 sedan ranks high on my want list since reviewing it three years ago. And now, a lot of what makes the S90 so desirable is available in a mid-size package, the S60.


12.27.2019

Apace In The Crowd: The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SEL Premium w/4MOTION

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SEL Premium w/4MOTION
The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SEL Premium w/4MOTION.
They told us this was coming and we're here. We live in a crossover SUV world. They are the biggest selling single type of vehicle after pickup trucks, and pretty much every manufacturer makes one or more of them---in varying sizes.

As you can imagine, in that crowded a field, it's tough to stand out. And that brings us to the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan.


12.23.2019

Compact Is The New Mid-Size: The 2020 Lexus NX 300h

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Lexus NX 300h
The 2020 Lexus NX 300h.
Perception is a funny thing. Four years ago, when Lexus introduced the NX, a smaller companion to its long-running, best-selling RX crossover, I thought it was kinda small. Its proportions haven't changed at all---but it has grown on me.

Especially if your life is lived in urban traffic, a tighter, more compact vehicle is a worthwhile thing---easier to get into tight spaces on a freeway or in a parking lot, no wasted space for extra stuff you don't carry around anyway and, usually, some savings on gas.

12.20.2019

Fixing A Hole: The 2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport AWD
The 2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport AWD.
Cadillac buyers who wanted a three-row SUV but didn't want the super-sized Escalade have had to look elsewhere. There was a big gap in size and perceived prestige between the Escalade and the XT5. That's over now. For 2020, Cadillac has the XT6, a right-size, very handsome three-seat SUV that fits right in between those two.

12.16.2019

Pilot, Black: The 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition
The 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition.
Have you noticed how many cars have started going dark? As in black trim, black wheels---everything black? It's as if Darth Vader had joined the design studios of several automakers at once.

This past summer, we tested the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S, which followed this formula, and now Honda brings us the Honda Pilot Black Edition.


12.13.2019

Fashionably Late: The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive 40i

Front 3/4 view of 2019 BMW X7 xDrive 40i
The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive 40i.
Six letters that, twenty years ago, most car people would have told you would never go together. BMW SUV.
The world has changed. Porsche proved that the way to keep making sports cars is to make fast, comfortable, good-handling big SUVs to pay for them. Audi and Mercedes-Benz followed, and now BMW is actually the last to the party...but the new BMW X7 absolutely qualifies as making one heck of an entrance.

12.09.2019

Goldilocks' Own Honda: The 2020 Honda Insight Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Honda Insight Touring
The 2020 Honda Insight Touring.
If I say "Honda", you might say "Civic". Or "Accord". Or "CR-V". Odds are, you won't say "Insight". You might not even know there is such a car as the Honda Insight. And if you do, you probably have the wrong impression of it.

21 years ago, the first Honda Insight came along---a hybrid, to do battle with the Toyota Prius. It was funny looking (even compared to the Prius) and only a two-seater, which made it impractical for families. It flopped and was pulled from the market after seven years.

11 years ago, the second Honda Insight appeared. Also a hybrid, it had seating for five and looked like someone laid a sheet of tracing paper over a picture of a Prius and then blurred the details a bit so the lawyers could relax. It cost less than a Prius. But it was smaller inside than the Toyota, was slower than the Prius and still got worse gas mileage. It was dead and gone in five years. Strike two.

Last year, Honda brought back the Insight name but applied it to a new four-door sedan. It's a hybrid again, this time with an EPA fuel economy estimate of 51 miles per gallon highway and 45 city.

And it's darn near perfect.

12.06.2019

"Good Heavens, Miss Sakomoto! You're Beautiful!": The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE.
About that headline. If you don't get the reference, it's from Thomas Dolby's 1983 hit "She Blinded Me With Science".   And yeah, it's a cliche', but the 2020 Toyota Corolla is kind of like the woman who takes the glasses off, lets the hair down and you're stunned. 

For 54 years, the Toyota Corolla has been the car that was everywhere and went unnoticed.

Oh, they sold plenty of them---in fact, the Toyota Corolla is, adding up all the examples moved since 1966, the best-selling car in the world.

But it has always looked---kinda anonymous. Like the response the stylists were trying to elicit was "small four-door economy sedan".

12.02.2019

Family Reputations Can Be A Handicap: The 2019 Jeep Compass Limited High Altitude 4X4

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Jeep Compass Limited High Altitude 4X4
2019 Jeep Compass Limited High Altitude 4X4.
You may have noticed that I don't rip cars to shreds in these reviews---that generally, I find the upside to most of the vehicles I drive.
The biggest reason for that goes back to when I was 14, growing up in Bishop, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Central California. The local Ford dealer was a family friend, and I was a teenage car freak who would ride my bike out to the dealership near the edge of town once a week to see what new stuff had come in. Not old enough to drive, but full of opinions about what was cool and what was not, I was spouting off one day about what I thought were the inadequacies of a new car on the lot.
Jim Ellis put a fatherly hand on my shoulder and said "Mike, there's a butt for every seat".

11.29.2019

Good Companies Continuing To Do Good: The Turn 5 Scholarship Winners for Spring 2020

One of the proudest associations we have here at TireKicker is with Turn5.  That name may not ring a bell, but Turn5 owns American Muscle and Extreme Terrain, which have been advertisers on TireKicker since 2012 and American Trucks, which joined the party at the beginning of last year.

Advertising on TireKicker doesn't buy a company editorial coverage, but Turn5 does a lot of good.  We've told you about their Positive Payload Program, which gives money to charities that use American pickups in their service to the community twice a year.  And, back in November, we covered their bi-annual scholarship program.  The winners have been announced for Spring of 2020:

American Muscle's scholarship is an essay-based program.  Entrants write about how they plan to use their automotive education to drive change in the custom car industry.  Four winners are selected, two per semester. The scholarship is $2,000 each.  It's been going on since 2013, with 24 winners so far---the two newest just this month---Josiah Dumitrescu from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan and Olivia Larson, a high school senior who has engineering program applications into several universities. 

American Trucks started its own scholarship program in 2018, focusing on students striving to contribute to the construction and building trades.  Each year, four winners are awarded $2,000 each and this semester's winners are Jesse Larson of Perry Technical Institute in Yakima, Washington and Kevon Smith from Fayetteville Technical Community College.

Extreme Terrain's program awards $3,000 once per semester.  This semester's winner is Jordan Buslewicz from the University of Connecticut. 

All told, Turn5 has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to deserving students in the past five years, beginning the year the company was founded---giving back right out of the gate.  That's not only newsworthy, it's noteworthy and admirable.  Again, we're proud of our association with Turn 5.

11.25.2019

Korean Missile: The 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T Dynamic Edition

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T Dynamic Edition
The 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T Dynamic Edition.
About ten years ago, I started writing that Korean cars---Hyundai and Kia---were roaring up in the rearview mirrors of the established Japanese automakers---Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda---and would soon be as just as solid a choice to buy. That came true. Now, it's the Europeans' turn to worry.

Hyundai's luxury-sport wing, Genesis, has just introduced its first true sport sedan, the G70. And I spent a week driving the highest-performance version, the G70 3.3T Dynamic Edition.

11.22.2019

This Is Cadillac: The 2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport AWD
The 2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport AWD.
The car you see above is Cadillac's best-selling vehicle. That's right. A mid-size crossover SUV is the current king of the hill for Cadillac. It's a sign of how things have changed---not only for the automaker that was regarded as the "Standard of the World" in the 20th century---but for the way we use cars.

For all its pursuit of European-style performance the past 20 years, what the XT5 says is that, ultimately, Americans with the means to consider Cadillac want room to carry people and things, and to do so in quiet and comfort.

11.18.2019

Good Thing, Small Package: The 2019 Lexus UX 250h F SPORT

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Lexus UX 250h F SPORT
The 2019 Lexus UX 250h F SPORT.
"Little" and "luxury" have a hard time co-existing in American minds. Houses, cars, diamonds, boats---bigger means more expensive and more expensive means luxury.

Or so it went. There's a new generation of luxury buyers coming into their peak earning years who realize that luxury is an experience, not a physical measurement. If a small crossover SUV that gets good gas mileage makes sense for them, then why can't there simply be a luxurious version of that?

That's where the 2019 Lexus UX 250h comes in. It is the smallest of Lexus' three crossovers---the big RX, the medium-sized NX, and now the UX---and there are a lot of good things that come in this small package.

11.15.2019

"Hybrid Lust Object" Is Not An Oxymoron: The 2020 Lexus LC 500h

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Lexus LC 500h
The 2020 Lexus LC 500h.
Meet my current dream machine. The "if I had all the money in the world, I'd buy..." car. I am, as I have said  before, a beauty addict. It's why I love living in Northern California. Beauty surrounds us. And for my money, the Lexus LC 500h is the most beautiful car on the market today.

This is the kind of car that people stop and stare at. I came outside on the fourth day I had the LC 500h to find a neighbor I've never met before standing in my driveway in alternating states of awe and bliss. I have a new friend now. We bonded over the LC 500h.

Part of it is the LC's rarity. So far, there are only about 3,000 of them out there after two years in production.

11.11.2019

The One With The Six: The 2020 BMW M340i

Front 3/4 view of 2020 BMW M340i
The 2020 BMW M340i.
If you've ever wondered why the BMW 3-series sedan became a thing---it's the engine. Or it was. A silky-smooth inline six-cylinder, capable of propelling BMW's small (now mid-size) sedan quickly with seemingly endless reserves of both torque and horsepower. You would pin the speedometer, lose your license or both long before you ever felt you needed more from under the hood.

As technology has evolved and fuel economy has become a matter of law, automotive engineers have found that they can achieve that kind of power from a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. And BMW has adopted them in the 330i. It's a fine engine---among the best of its type. But it doesn't have the same feel, the same sound as that glorious BMW straight six. If you want that in 2020---and can't quite justify the leap to the hardcore twin-turbo 425-horsepower M3, you want the BMW M340i.

11.08.2019

The Comeback Kid: The 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD A-Spec

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD A-Spec
The 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD A-Spec.
We all have our ups and downs. That goes for car companies too. Take Acura---the hotter-than-hot upscale performance arm of Honda in the 90s, which, as the new millennium wore on, saw its luster wear off.

Well, Acura is back and the best example I can think of is the 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD A-Spec.

11.04.2019

A GTI For The Family: The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI


Front 3/4 view of 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
The Volkswagen Jetta is all-new for 2019, bigger on the inside and outside, with sleeker styling. It's a more aggressive look that pairs well with the GLI, the most sporting of the Jetta lineup.

11.01.2019

Some Camaro In Your Blazer? The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD.
The slicing and dicing of the crossover/sport utility vehicle market is a wondrous thing to watch. 


The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is Chevy’s sixth SUV.  That’s right.  Sixth.   The bowtie boys and girls (check the Chevy logo if that reference escapes you) have found a space of daylight between the compact Equinox and the midsize Traverse and thus we have the Blazer.

Actually, there’s some fair amount of good sense involved here, since the Blazer pretty well goes head-to-head against the Toyota Highlander and that’s a vehicle worth competing with. 

10.28.2019

Off Into The Sunset: The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition Cabrio


Front 3/4 view of 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition Cabrio
The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition Cabrio.

You probably saw the articles and videos earlier this year---“Volkswagen Beetle ends production after 70 years!”  I hate to be a buzzkill, but I hate hype and inaccuracy more, so indulge me a moment, please. 

The Volkswagen Beetle that started production 70 years ago ended production 40 years ago. There was a whole big farewell for that one, too---in 1979.  And the triple-white Final Edition convertibles are still on the street in a whole lot of American towns.

Once that one went away, there wasn’t a Beetle for sale in America for 19 years---until the arrival of the 1998 New Beetle, which had zero in common with the original apart from a rounded body.  The engine was in the front, not the back, it was water-cooled, not air-cooled---it was a rounded Beetle-inspired body on the chassis of a Jetta.  But we’re not mourning the retirement of that car after a 21-year run, either.  Its last year was 2011.

No, the model that we’re saying goodbye to is the current Volkswagen Beetle---which has been in production since 2012.  But “Volkswagen Beetle ends production after 7 years” isn’t much of a headline, is it?


10.25.2019

Rugged Luxury: The 2019 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury
The 2019 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury.
The idea of "rugged luxury" seems like a contradiction in terms...but it's not. Proof positive of that is the 2019 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury. It's a very rugged, extremely capable SUV that can go pretty much anywhere you don't need an airplane or boat to get to, but it's quiet, refined and exceptionally well-built.


10.21.2019

Time, Miles and Love: The 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD

Front view of 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD
The 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. You don't really know if you love a car until you've lived with a car for a bit. Hours and miles are the best way to know just how good the machine to which you trust your life and your family's lives really is. Five minutes in a test drive around the block with a salesman at your side doesn't cut it. And even the typical car reviewer week around town isn't the same as getting out on the open road for an extended period of time.

Mrs. TireKicker and I take our annual big camping trip in late September every year. This time it was nine days, with the ultimate destination being Telluride, Colorado---and the folks at Toyota Motors North America and their prep and delivery partners at DriveShop were terrific enough to provide a two-week loan of the 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum All Wheel Drive.

10.18.2019

Emphasizing The "Sport" In Sport-Utility: The 2019 BMW X2 M35i

Front 3/4 view of 2019 BMW X2 M35i
The 2019 BMW X2 M35i
Small crossover SUVs are a thing right now---and most of them lean to the "utility" part of "Sport Utility Vehicle". There's a cure for that, and it's the 2019 BMW X2 M35i.

10.14.2019

Status Symbol With A Tailgate: The 2019 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Limited

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Limited
The 2019 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Limited.
Mrs. TireKicker and I were driving down the street the other day, came to a corner, and as I stopped I saw something that seemed----weird. It was a newer pickup truck---but one with only two doors, in one color, with black trim and steel wheels. Now, back in the day, that was a pickup truck. Today, they're called "work trucks", but not too long ago, they were all work trucks. You could make them a little fancier with colored vinyl seats or a two-tone paint job, but a truck was a truck.

And then they got nicer, and bigger, and grew a second set of doors, and got bigger again, and nicer again.

That trend accelerated in the past decade or two and now, apart from bare-bones work trucks, a pickup truck can be, and most often is, a luxury vehicle. Those Cadillacs and Imperials and Lincolns your grandparents and their friends drove? They're now Silverados and Sierras and RAMs and F-150s.

Want proof? I present the 2019 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Limited. If you've ever envied your neighbor's F-150 King Ranch, this is the answer. It's two levels of luxury above and beyond the King Ranch (there's also a Platinum trim between the two).

10.11.2019

Beginnings: The 2019 Honda HR-V AWD Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Honda HR-V AWD Touring
The 2019 Honda HR-V AWD Touring.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, there was a perfect car for young people starting out on their own---the compact hatchback. Everybody made 'em. Everybody bought 'em. And with good reason---they were Corollas and Civics and whatever Datsun/Nissan was calling its small car that year, but instead of a trunk, the whole back end opened up, the rear seats folded flat and you could carry stuff without driving a station wagon.

Somewhere along the line, the word "hatchback" became as uncool as the term "station wagon"---but they're actually back. They're now the smallest of the small crossover sport-utility vehicles---the Nissan Kicks, the Toyota C-HR and the Honda HR-V.

10.07.2019

Meeting The Revolution Halfway: The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Hyundai Ioniq
2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid.

Look around you in traffic.  It may be a bit different where you live, but here in Northern California, I guarantee you that you can hold your breath until you see an electric car and pretty much not interrupt normal breathing.  

Yes, being an area full of highly-educated people, early adopters and where they make Teslas stacks the odds a bit, but even on our nine-day camping trip that took us through remote areas of Utah and Colorado, not a day went by that I didn't see a Tesla Model S or Model 3, a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Bolt.

But what if you’re not quite ready to take the all-electric plunge?  A plug-in hybrid is a great way to go---in fact, I think PHEVs are the underappreciated gateway to electric mobility for the majority of Americans.

10.03.2019

Life Is Good: The 2019 Maserati Levante S GranSport

Front view of 2019 Maserati Levante S GranSport
The 2019 Maserati Levante S GranSport.
“My Maserati does 185.  I lost my license. Now I don’t drive.”

Far more people have heard Joe Walsh sing that lyric over the years than have ever seen, let alone driven, a Maserati---so that’s probably a good place to begin talking about the 2019 Maserati Levante S Gransport.

First of all, this Maserati does 187, so Joe’s car, a gorgeous 1960s 5000GT, has nothing on it (in fact, Joe indulged in a bit of artistic license in the song---top speed of the 5000S is 168).   

What’s most impressive is that the Levante is an SUV.  That’s right, a 187 mile per hour Sport Utility Vehicle.

9.09.2019

Small Sedan Comparison: The 2019 Mazda 3 vs The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Mazda 3 and 2019 Volkswagen Jetta
The 2019 Mazda 3 (left) and the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta (right).

Let’s say you’re in the market for a compact sedan but want to go beyond the predictable, safe choices of Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic.  Have I got a review for you.  There are two other strong candidates, both brand-new for 2019 and both ended up in my driveway at the same time---a situation just begging a comparison test.

The Platinum Gray four-door you see is the 2019 Jetta 1.4T SEL.  And positively glittering in Soul Red Crystal Metallic is the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan with Premium Package AWD (that’s the name on the window sticker).

9.06.2019

0 to 60 in 3.5: The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk


Front view of 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of physics says for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.   So it is with automobiles.  At a time when many manufacturers are making vehicles that run on electricity, Fiat Chrysler is making the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.  It runs on gasoline.  Lots and lots of gasoline.  So. Much. Gasoline.

8.19.2019

Third Time's A Charm: The 2019 Honda Insight Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Honda Insight
The 2019 Honda Insight Touring.
Honda, the carmaker that very rarely gets it wrong, has done so at least twice---ten years apart.

In 1999, Honda decided to be the first with a hybrid in North America.  The first-generation Insight beat the original Toyota Prius to showrooms by seven months.  The head start was of little help.  In seven years, just as the second-gen Prius was setting sales records, Honda pulled the plug on the Insight.  It was funny-looking (even compared to the Prius) and impractical, as it had only two seats.

Honda regrouped and in 2009, came back with an Insight that looked like it was meant to compete head-to-head with the Prius.  Seating for five, styling that looked like someone had pretty much put a sheet of tracing paper over a Prius brochure and then made some adjustments to keep the lawyers happy.

It died in five years.  It might have looked better than the first and been a couple of thousand dollars less than a Prius, but it wasn't nearly as good as a Prius.

Well, here we are, living in a year ending with a "9", and here comes Honda again---with the third Insight.

And it's just plain tremendous.

8.16.2019

Saving The Best For Last: The 2019 Buick Regal GS AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Buick Regal GS AWD
The 2019 Buick Regal GS AWD.
Shopping for a sports sedan?   Here’s a radical idea.

Buick.

Okay, I know.  This is 2019.  The last time Buick sedans were hot, Grandpa came home with a block-long Electra 225 with tailfins.

Things change.  And now, things have changed back in Buick’s favor. 

8.15.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium R-Line w/4MOTION

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium R-Line
The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium R-Line w/4MOTION.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My tenth and final drive for the day was the new 2019 Volkswagen Arteon.

8.14.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2020 Subaru Outback

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Subaru Outback
The 2020 Subaru Outback.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My ninth drive of the day was the 2020 Subaru Outback on the off-road course.

8.13.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2019 Range Rover HSE P400e

Front view of 2019 Range Rover HSE P400e
The 2019 Range Rover HSE P400e.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My eighth drive of the day was the 2019 Range Rover HSE P400e.

8.12.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD

Front view of 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD
The 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My seventh drive of the day was in the 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD.

8.10.2019

What Next? The 2019 Nissan Maxima SL

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Nissan Maxima SL
The 2019 Nissan Maxima SL.
These are hard times, you may have heard, for the traditional three-box (hood, passenger compartment, trunk) sedan.  Harder still for the larger ones. Over the past decade, when faced with the choice of a large sedan or a crossover, American families have chosen the car-based SUV enough  times to send some nameplates to the great dealership in the sky (Ford Taurus) or put them on the endangered list (Chevy Impala, which was to have ended production by now, but has been given at least a one-year reprieve, likely at the request of rental fleets).

In the midst of this, the Nissan Maxima has just received a mid-cycle refresh for 2019.  That's a confidence-inspiring move.  But for 2020, Nissan is introducing an all-new Altima that's larger than the Maxima, and that makes the Maxima's future a bit more murky.

8.09.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2019 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Dynamic Edition

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Dynamic Edition
The 2019 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Dynamic Edition.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My sixth drive of the day was the 2019 Genesis G70 RWD 3.3T Dynamic Edition.

8.08.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2019 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Front view of 2019 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
The 2019 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

Round Five of the day for me was a ride in a 2019 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon on the Land Rover Experience off-road course.

8.07.2019

Like A Locomotive That Needs No Tracks: The 2019 Range Rover 3.0 liter Td6 Diesel

Front view of 2019 Range Rover 3.0 liter Td6 Diesel
The 2019 Range Rover 3.0 liter Td6 Diesel.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My fourth drive of the day was on the Land Rover Experience course---in the 2019 Range Rover 3.0 liter Td6 Diesel.

8.06.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My third drive of the day was at the wheel of the 2018 (the 2019 is the same, as will be the 2020) Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD.

8.05.2019

30 Minutes With: The 2020 Ford Explorer ST 4WD

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Ford Explorer ST 4WD
The 2020 Ford Explorer ST 4WD.
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at TireKicker are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical.  Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days.  Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during the just-concluded Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Monterey, California.

Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.

Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley over Laureles Grade and back or off-road on the acclaimed Land Rover Experience on the grounds of Quail Lodge.

My second vehicle of the day was the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer ST.