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

Road Trip Journal: 2019 Nissan Murano, 2200 miles

Hard to believe it’s only been a week since we returned, but last week at this time my son and I were on the last leg of our epic road trip to bring him home from his freshman year at beautiful Pitzer College in Claremont, California. We live in Boulder, Colorado, so that’s almost exactly 1000 miles away. The route goes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, then through Utah, a little corner of Arizona, Nevada…Read More

A Luxurious Drive with the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Of all the different cars I’ve driven over the last few years, my younger daughter’s favorite was the Toyota Avalon. Because of the comfort? Because of the smooth drive? Nope, she fell in love with the sound system and would sit in the driveway listening to her music for hours. [You can read my reviews of the 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and 2016 Toyota Avalon]. When Toyota offered to send the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid…Read More

Is the 2019 Nissan Murano SL really the Great Pumpkin?

Okay, so it’s probably a bit much to obsess over a cool car color, but then again, just as the Earth is 2/3 water, the majority of a vehicle is its body panels, so color counts quite a bit. That’s why I really fell in love with the distinctive “Sunset Drift” color of the 2019 Nissan Murano SL AWD full size SUV after a week of driving it all over the place. With great road…Read More

Into the Rockies with the 2019 Toyota C-HR XLE

While it’s really fun to drive expensive supercars and luxury sedans, I have a spot in my heart for entry level and budget vehicles too. Perhaps unusually for car writers, actually, as I feel like most just complain that lower cost vehicles don’t have all the fancy bells and whistles of a $50K alternative. Not everyone can afford those swanky vehicles, of course, and not everyone wants to have the responsibility of an expensive car…Read More

The Good, And Not So Good, of the 2018 Mazda Mazda6 Signature

As a Mazda CX-5 owner, it’s always fun to get behind the wheel of a different model Mazda vehicle. A chance to see what’s the same and what’s changed. The car in question this time was the 2018 Mazda6 Signature, Mazda’s higher end sedan with a base MSRP of almost $35K. Introduced back in 2003 it replaced the 626 and Millenia sedans and has been slowly evolving ever since. It’s a peppy drive and there’s…Read More

Lots and Lots of Cool Cars at the 2019 Denver Auto Show

I get a chance to drive a lot of cars in a given year. On average, I’m in 15-20 vehicles in a given 12mo period and sometimes it’s quite a bit more than that, like when I attend the journalist-only Rocky Mountain Drive Experience. In 2017 I logged about a dozen cars at the event (“A Million Dollars Worth of Cars“) and in 2018 figured I drove at least as many cars in my two…Read More