A Week Behind the Wheel of the 2021 BMW 430i xDrive Coupe

Let’s just get this out of the way first, as it’s going to be a big theme of this writeup: The 2021 BMW 430i xDrive Coupe is a beautiful car with sleek, gorgeous lines and a nicely appointed interior, marred by a ghastly front grill. It’s hard to understand what the BMW design engineers were thinking when they added the “beaver teeth” chrome-edged grill to the front of a vehicle that has literally zero chrome…Read More

2021 Buick Envision Essence FWD: Gradually Embracing the Future

Car manufacturers spend billions creating a brand identity. Think of Ferarri and it’s a sexy sports car. Think of BMW and it’s a sleek “driving machine”. Think about VW and it’s the people’s car. Subaru? Outdoors fanatics. Toyota? Reliability, perhaps at the cost of being less design-oriented than other manufacturers. But think of Buick and, well, the company knows the uphill journey it’s on with its old “It’s not your father’s automobile” slogan. No question,…Read More

The Terrific, Underrated 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX

Kia is one of those carmakers that keeps improving its product year over year, without the car buying public necessarily realizing it’s happening. One of my buddies is a big fan of both Kia and Hyundai, both Korean-based car manufacturers, so I hear all about the latest improvements and model releases. As a result, I was definitely interested when Kia offered me the chance to drive the 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX and was appreciative…Read More

Plugging in with the 2021 Toyota RAV-4 Prime Hybrid

32 miles is a special number in the world of automobiles. The reason is buried in ABC’s study on commuting, wherein they state that commuters “report an average one-way commute time of 26 minutes (over an average distance of 16 miles).” 32 miles, then, is the average round-trip commute in the United States. Lots of people have shorter commutes and some unfortunate souls have much longer commutes. When I’ve reviewed plug-in hybrid vehicles, one of…Read More

The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat: A Beast In Disguise

The lure of a supercar is that even sitting still it looks fast and sexy. Then there are the more pedestrian vehicles that look like they’re parked even when they’re zipping down the highway. The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat I was loaned by Dodge lands somewhere in the middle: In fact, it’s the Clark Kent of cars. From the outside, it’s a rather mild-mannered SUV with very little exceptional about its design, but under…Read More

Livin’ the Van Life with the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica LTD

Cargo trucks, vans, and small buses were great utilitarian vehicles but they also beget a new type of vehicle: The minivan. First introduced in 1983, the Dodge Caravan (and its sibling the Plymouth Voyager) launched the segment, a category of vehicle that was destined to be a craze for many years. From its peak of almost 7% of all vehicle sales in the mid-2000’s, the minivan has subsequently lost market share year after year to…Read More

The Sporty 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG Review

The last few vehicles I’ve driven have all hovered in the mid-20’s for fuel efficiency, but the latest generation of engines and vehicle design can support driving a lot further per gallon of gasoline. I’ve wondered if perhaps too much of the industry’s attention focused on electric vehicles and SUVs? Maybe not, if the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG is representative. Its sporty lines, peppy drive, and smart interior design demonstrate how far Honda’s has…Read More

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 SUV. Yes, A Mercedes SUV.

There’s really been no way to ignore it, consumer zeal for sport-utility vehicles has just kept growing and dominating the car marketplace. Just about everyone in the biz makes one now, from the Porsche Cayenne to the Rolls Royce Cullinan, to the somewhat awkwardly named Lamborghini Urus. BMW has an entire lineup of SUVs with its terrific X5 as a centerpiece. But Mercedes-Benz? The first Mercedes I ever drove was my father-in-law’s older sedan and…Read More

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