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

The Armageddon-Ready 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4×4

There’s really no way around it, when you climb into a Jeep Rubicon, you feel like you’re ready for the Earth to rip asunder, roads to vanish, streams to need fording and canyons to need crossing. It exudes a rugged sensibility and it’s very clear why the company continues to enjoy good sales as the Jeep faithful keep buying these sort of toughe 4×4 vehicles. I know, I just finished up a week driving the…Read More

A Glorious Week with the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD SUV

A lot of car companies have been around for far longer than you may realize. For example, when I got behind the wheel of the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD, I was in the latest vehicle from a company that’s been building cars since way back in 1910. The company started out as ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) by founder Cavalier Ugo Stella taking over a French car factory on the outskirts of Milan….Read More

The 2019 Fiat 500X AWD is Chic and Fun Both!

I drive a lot of vehicles and perhaps inevitably have become a bit blasé about amenities and design elements that might otherwise excite a new car owner. Hard not to have that happen when I get behind the wheel of so many vehicles. I mean, I can call it “professional sophistication” or “expertise” but it’s more pragmatic: how many different ways can you engage smart cruise control, adjust headlights or pair a phone via bluetooth?…Read More

Ready For The Worst with the 2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite 4×4

Nowadays Jeep has quite a lineup of SUVs that all follow the same basic design language and frankly look quite similar too.Can you tell the difference between the Jeep Compass and the Jeep Cherokee with the same trim package in the same color? Then again, Jeep has a good thing going and retains its enviable reputation as a solid off-road vehicle that can handle just about any inclement weather or poor driving conditions it encounters….Read More

A Weekend in Breckenridge with the 2020 GMC Acadia AWD AT4

My youngest just turned 16 and to celebrate, we all decided to head up to the beautiful mountain ski resort of Breckenridge, Colorado. It’s about a 2 hour drive (depending on traffic, which can be hugely variable) through some of the most lovely terrain on Earth and in the winter, you can go from a stunning vista of snow-covered mountains to an evergreen forest in the blink of an eye. It’s also famously tricky driving…Read More

The 2020 Chevy Blazer Premium AWD: Your Next SUV

I drive a lot of different vehicles and there are always issues or problems. The dashboard layout will be quirky, the entertainment system will feel ancient or clumsy, and the back seat passengers might be treated like second class citizens with a complete lack of amenities. Then there’s the actual drive experience too; a lot of car manufacturers seem to focus on luxury features rather than a solid, tight driving experience when behind the steering…Read More

The 2019 Honda Civic Touring Is A Mixed Bag

After spending a week driving the 2019 Honda Civic Touring edition, one can’t help ask whether curbside appeal is sufficient to make a car a great purchase or not. Yes, it has lots of safety features, but there are also a lot of missing elements, odd interface choices, a baffling entertainment system and a surprising lack of modern amenities. But first, let’s start on the outside, because the 2019 Civic body design is beautiful. This…Read More

The 2019 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e: Finally, AWD.

Years ago I had a Toyota Prius. The second generation with the current body style, but still relatively early on in the car’s lifecycle. Heck, I had to wait six months after ordering it to get the vehicle I wanted, as I recall. And then there was Boulder Toyota who tried to trick me out of an additional $1000 for a “high altitude prep package” which caused me to switch dealerships for the purchase, but……Read More

The Fun RAV4: The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE

I’ve driven and owned more Toyota vehicles than those from any other manufacturer in the business. While in college I got my first new car: A gold Toyota Tercel hatchback. Ugly in retrospect, but a great workhorse that kept me on the move through road trips, a move from San Diego to Colorado and then a move from Colorado out to the San Francisco area. Never had an issue. Subsequent Toyota vehicles included a Sienna…Read More

The Most Spacious Mazda, The 2019 CX-9

I’ve been a happy Mazda CX-5 driver for a couple of years now, and I find it a splendid little SUV (well, technically it’s known as a CUV, a compact SUV, but that’s a goofy acronym at best). I did downsize, however, going from a Toyota Highlander with quite a bit more room. Three kids, two of them with their own cars, and it turns out I don’t really need as much room. Still, when…Read More

Dozens of Cars and Beautiful Roads: RMDE 2019

One of the best perks of being an automotive writer is the ability to join the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press group and attend the annual Rocky Mountain Driving Experience. I couldn’t make it last year – disappointing! – but two years ago we took over the Stanley Hotel parking lot in Estes Park and three years ago we were at the Devil’s Thumb Resort in Winter Park. This year the venue changed yet again, to…Read More

The Road to Adventure with the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure

I’ve owned Toyota vehicles for years and years, starting back with a dorky gold Tercel hatchback I purchased in 1984, my first new car. Indeed, every time I’ve looked at other car manufacturers I’ve felt a tiny bit guilty, though Toyota is the most successful car company in the world and can probably survive without my purchases. My most recent Toyota was a 2007 Highlander, which served my family really well for a decade before…Read More

Got a Mazda Upgrade: CarPlay and Android Auto!

When I bought my Mazda CX-5 in 2017, there was quite a lot I liked about the vehicle and its huge array of smart safety tech. The one surprise, though, was that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto weren’t already baked into the entertainment system. Keep in mind that CarPlay showed up in all the way back in May of 2014, so that was plenty of time for Mazda to add it to all their vehicles….Read More