A Perfect Spring Weekend with the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD High Country

One unsurprising consequence of children getting older is that family travel logistics get more and more difficult. By the time one or more are off to college – or launched into their lives – getting everyone together for even a short trip can be quite challenging. Then there’s the question of “with significant others?” or is it a family-only trip, which might have some family members appreciative while others sulk and spend all their time…Read More

We Almost Drove to KC In a 2021 Toyota Venza

We were all set for a fun spring road trip, Denver to Kansas City, a drive I’ve taken dozens of times. Y’know the old joke about Kansas being flatter than a pancake? It is. It’s not the most exciting drive but I do like Kansas City and my 17yo daughter and I were looking forward to a weekend there, some good BBQ, and some time on the open road too. Our reason for travel was…Read More

Sun And Snow with the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

When Toyota reached out to offer me a week behind the wheel of the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE AWD, I’m sure they didn’t think I would take it on two road trips, but that’s exactly what happened! First up was a few days in Breckenridge, Colorado, at 9,600 feet elevation and a strange mix of sun, warmth, and snow. What makes Breck a great drive from my home in Boulder is that the elevation gain…Read More

Driving The Beast: The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX Crew Cab 4×4

There seem to be three basic types of pickup trucks in the industry nowadays. The little ones are for suburban drivers, basically a small SUV with the rear exposed, then there are commercial trucks, either luxury pickups with a surprising array of premium features or bare bones pickup trucks for job sites where it’s all about towing and hauling capacity. While the RAM 1500 line might bridge the latter two categorizations, the 2021 RAM 1500…Read More

The Fun and Sporty 2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV

Let me start by saying again that I really don’t understand the Lexus naming conventions. Is there a vehicle manufacturer with more obscure and confusing naming? Be that as it may, however, Lexus has really found the balance between performance, comfort, luxury and convenience with the 2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV, and it’s been really fun to drive this car for a week through some pretty variable weather here in Colorado. Featuring a…Read More

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e: Great Hybrid, Confusing EV

I’ve had a string of BMW vehicles to test out, which has been really fun as I don’t often get behind the wheel of this well-known premium German brand. BMW, in case you don’t know, stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or, in a happy coincidence of translation, Bavarian Motor Works. The company was actually founded in 1916 and started out making aircraft engines, of all things. The first BMW vehicle wheeled out of the…Read More

My Love/Hate Relationship with the 2021 GMC Yukon 4WD AT4

I definitely consider myself an environmentalist, support environmental groups like the Sierra Club and do all the things we’re supposed to do, including reducing my energy footprint, recycling as much as I can and making purchase decisions based on how green products are. I constantly harp on the fuel inefficiency of most modern cars and trucks when I write a review. Which is why I’m so torn with the GMC Yukon: It has horrible mileage…Read More

Zipping About in the 2021 Plug-In Hybrid BMW 330e

A couple of years ago I had the chance to drive the 2018 BMW 530e through the Colorado Rocky Mountains on a beautiful summer afternoon. I loved it. The energy efficiency of the plug-in hybrid coupled with the zippy driving experience and luxurious design that’s a BMW trademark definitely kicked up my vehicle envy more than a little bit. Three years later I was offered the chance to get behind the wheel of a brand…Read More

The 2020 Buick Encore GX: Not Your Father’s SUV

Buick has been making automobiles for an unimaginably long time. The company made its first cars back in 1899, though the company was then called Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company and focused more on marine engines. Like many American car manufacturers, Buick has risen and fallen through the decades and has ended up with a reputation for stodgy cars that your parents might like, but probably nothing to check out if you want modern, sporty,…Read More

Inconsistent Luxury in the 2021 Lexus NX 300h Luxury AWD SUV

Watch an old movie where they’re driving and you’ll get the distinct impression that the first era of automobiles was about the driving experience, not the experience of being in a car while motoring from point A to point B. There were exceptions, the super fancy cars for rich folk like a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, but generally speaking, it was all about speed, handling, steering, and reliability. At some point along the way the interiors…Read More

2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo: Love The Car, But Oh! That Color

I drive a compact SUV – known in the biz as a CUV – so I am primed to like other vehicles in the same category. The Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and, yes, the Kia Seltos are all in the same class as my Mazda CX-5, and they all price out similarly at around $30K. A good group to compare, and as I’m a big fan of the Kia vehicle line, I was delighted…Read More

Truckin’ on in a 2020 Ford Ranger 4×4 Lariat

Just as a lot of SUV owners never actually offroad, it’s hard not to be at least a bit suspicious about people who would purchase a Ford pickup truck with 4×4 off-road capabilities: Are owners really driving through mud, streams, rock-covered canyons and other rough terrain? Either way, sometimes it’s enough to know that a vehicle can manage tough terrain, regardless of what actually constitutes a daily drive. And the 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat 4×4 SuperCrew…Read More

One Of My Favorite Cars Ever: The 2020 Chevy Bolt EV Premier

At this point I have probably driven over 75 cars in the last few years, each for at least a few hundred miles and at least a week of city, highway, suburbs, mountain and even just a short jaunt to the market. Lots to like in most of these vehicles and obvious differences between, say, a pickup truck, a large luxury SUV and a sporty compact. Most of them have had one thing in common,…Read More

Blazin’ a Trail with the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer

Cars go in and out of style, and some models are well left in the past. The Vega or Pinto, anyone? Sometimes it’s bad design, but other times it’s more of a fashion issue or a buyer community that finds a new obsession and leaves a particular vehicle in the obsolete lot behind the dealership. But just like how movies and TV shows revive sleepers, car companies are starting to do the same thing, and…Read More

Fun and Fuel Efficient: The 2020 Lexus ux 250h F Sport

Let’s start by decoding the Lexus naming conventions. Generally speaking, the number refers to the engine size, so a 300 is a 3.0 liter engine, for example. That means that this 2020 Lexus UX 250h F Sport should have a 2.5L engine, right? Nope. Because it’s a hybrid – the meaning of the ‘h’ suffix – it’s powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine instead. UX stands for “urban explorer” and marks Lexus moving into crossover…Read More

Driving the Compact 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

While I’m sure there are more, I really think of two other vehicles when I contemplate direct competitors with my Mazda CX-5: The Toyota RAV-4 and the Honda CR-V. All have a very similar profile, similar interior design, a hyphen in their name and all are categorized as compact SUVs or CUVs, as they say in the biz. They are all also phenomenally popular, offering a large interior for the wheelbase and overall vehicle size…Read More

A Week with the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LTD Platinum

Hard to believe that it was twelve years ago that I sold both my Toyota Prius and Volvo XC90 to buy a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It was a really useful upgrade in size, capacity and capabilities and the new vehicle offered decent fuel efficiency and a good driving experience. I kept that Highlander for almost a decade before I downsized to a Mazda CX-5 a few years ago. I’ve written about my Highlander experiences and…Read More

Road Trip with the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser!

I’ve written quite a few car reviews here on this site, from sports cars to minivans, plug-in hybrids to gas hungry pickup trucks. During that entire time, however, there have never really been any constraints that kept me home. Until the coronavirus. All of a sudden we’re supposed to stay home to keep safe and to help our community wrestle with this virus that can be carried asymptomatically (how many people knew what that word…Read More

Humming Along with the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Limited

A plug-in hybrid. I really love these crossover vehicles that give you all the benefits of an internal combustion engine, including range and the ability to fuel up and continue your road trip with a two minute pit stop in the middle of nowhere, plus the smooth drive and flexibility of electric too. Most plug-in hybrids are optimized for local driving, which is great right now because I find I’m not driving anywhere near as…Read More

So Much Space! The 2020 Toyota Sienna LTD AWD Minivan

I’ve lost count of how many vehicles I’ve owned in my years of driving, but there’s no question, the roomiest were the minivans. When you have kids and pets, it’s just glorious to have all the space, and modern vans offer features we just dreamt of back in the day, like a blu-ray player for videos and fold-down seat stowage. We started with a Chrysler Town & Country van which was great, but the upgrade…Read More

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE: 54mpg for $25K

Cultural trends tend to start on the coasts and gradually migrate towards the heartland of America. In a similar fashion, vehicular technology improvements tend to be introduced on the top end (read “expensive”) cars in a auto manufacturer’s lineup, then gradually make their way down to the more entry-level vehicles. Most of the modern wave of car safety tech is now in that place where that migration has borne great fruit. Enter the tricked out,…Read More