The Retro 4×4 Fun of the 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD

A few weeks ago the Toyota team reached out and asked my family if we wanted to head to a Rockies vs. Mets game at Denver’s Coors Field Stadium. Better yet, we’d be enjoying the game from their luxe stadium box seats. You can read about it: Let’s Go Places with Toyota: A Baseball Game! Short summary: It was fantastic! 🙂 What I didn’t talk about in that post, however, was that Team Toyota also said…Read More

Plugging in to the Sweet 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid

Ah, minivans. Is there any category of vehicle that has such a love-hate relationship with drivers? My story begins many years ago when my oldest was a newborn. I was driving a light blue targa-top 1992 Toyota Supra (similar to the photo on the right) and loved it. Hitting the beach, driving through the Northern California redwoods, even just cruising downtown San Francisco, it was terrific. 1992 was also the last year that the Supra…Read More

What’s New for 2018 in the Mazda CX-5 GT?

As a car reviewer, it’s rather uncommon for you to have a chance to review a newer model of your own vehicle. There are hundreds of different vehicle types and styles for sale from dozens of manufacturers, so the odds of your own car showing up are low. Nonetheless, less than a year ago I traded up my much loved 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for a 2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD Grand Touring edition in white….Read More

A Week with the Comfy 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Sport Utility Vehicles are one of the hottest categories in the automotive industry. There’s something about the combination of roominess and rugged drive capabilities that resonates with quite a lot of drivers nowadays. I should know, I’ve driven SUVs for the last decade and most recently downsized to a compact SUV, the Mazda CX-5. More so than most vehicle styles, there are also SUVs that range from the relatively tiny up to behemoths that almost…Read More

Wall to Wall Cars at the Denver Auto Show

I grew up in Southern California, I like cars. It’s somewhat of an inevitability when you live in such a car-oriented culture, a sprawling city where public transport just doesn’t really work very well. That’s okay, I had a license and my own car from the day I could manage to drive within the law, as did my buddies. From a Chevy Nova to a Chevy Malibu to a Mazda RX-4, the first few years…Read More

Behind the Wheel of the Swanky 2018 Toyota Camry XSE

If you’re a regular reader of my site, you already know that I get to drive a lot of different cars and write about them. Most recently, it was a silver 2018 Jeep Compass 4×4 that graced my driveway for a week as we took it through its paces in Colorado suburban life. This time, however, I didn’t get behind the wheel of yet another SUV but rather a surprisingly luxurious 2018 Toyota Camry. A…Read More

The 2018 Jeep Compass Limited: A Surprisingly Comfortable Ride

Few automobile brands are as fabled as Jeep. If you don’t know, Autoweek has a nice recap: “Jeep’s early history is legendary. Its role in helping defeat the Axis powers during World War II is undeniable. On the battlefield, the Jeep was fast, nimble and tough. It could handle nearly any terrain, and when it did get stuck, it was light enough for soldiers to lift free. It towed anti-tank weapons that could be deployed…Read More

A Week With Bumblebee, A 2017 Jeep Renegade

Most cars are pretty dull colors. White, black, grey, dark blue, those encompass most of what you see on the road, and I’m just as susceptible as the next car buyer too: My last few cars have been white and blue and my current vehicle is, yes, white. Boring, I know. That’s why when I was loaned a bright yellow 2017 Jeep Renegade my first reaction was “Wow!” and, well, my 13yo daughter immediately requested…Read More

Cut The Nighttime Glare With Night Drivers

Disclosure:This post was sponsored by Night Drivers as part of an influencer activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are, however, my own. But you already knew that! I drive a lot. That’s not news given that I’m both a car reviewer and parent. Miles and miles, back and forth, taking the girl to school or heading to my own events or favorite venues. I can remember my Dad talking about his…Read More

On Road, Not Off, with the 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Sometimes the stars are in alignment or something and things happen in an eerie but oddly appropriate way. Like getting a bright orange vehicle to test drive on Halloween weekend, as I did when the startlingly orange 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk showed up in my driveway. Jeep calls this color “Spitfire Orange” for reasons that escape me, but whatever its official name, it’s hard not to grin at the cheery vehicle: It’s one of those…Read More

Zipping along in the 2018 Toyota C-HR

After a wave of luxury SUVs with $50,000 price tags, it was a breath of fresh air to have a week behind the wheel of a more modest budget crossover, the 2018 Toyota C-HR. It’s a little car – perhaps a bit too little for some families – and while it’s not powered by a big engine offering a performance drive, it’s still reasonably responsive and typically well designed and engineered by Toyota. There are…Read More

A Mediocre Experience Driving the 2018 Subaru Forester

Subaru is one of the car companies that I think has come the longest way in the last 20-30 years, transitioning from a low cost vehicle manufacturer that eschewed all comforts into a brand with vehicles ranging from entry level up to fancy sedans and sports cars. Living in Boulder, Colorado, it’s also impossible not to see Subaru vehicles on the road and in every parking lot: It sure seems like the Subaru Outback and…Read More

Dad’s Advice on Managing Expenses Related to your Car

My oldest has her own car, and I’m always interested in watching how she manages one of the least obvious, but most important parts of car ownership: all those darn ancillary expenses. Whether it’s gasoline, oil changes, new tires or general maintenance, I’m convinced that she hasn’t yet realized cars cost more than just the initial sticker price to drive it off the lot. Thing of it is, in our culture car ownership and driving…Read More

The Toyota Highlander: Ten Years Later

When I divorced all those years ago, I ended up with two of our cars: a Toyota Prius and a Volvo XC-90. The Prius proved to be too small for my three kids + gear, and the Volvo? I never really liked the vehicle and found it uncomfortable and clumsy. It was time to upgrade, so I purchased a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. This was back in 2008, and I drove the car until just a…Read More

The 2017 Toyota RAV-4 AWD, Good and Bad

I know it’s not just me; every time I look at the front grill design of the 2017 Toyota RAV-4 in white (uh, “blizzard pearl”) I see the headgear of a Stormtrooper from the Star Wars universe. I kid you not, check this photo out: I don’t want to say that the Toyota design team might have spent one too many late nights catching up on the Star Wars saga, but the similarities are sufficiently…Read More

2000 Miles with a 2017 Mazda CX-9

It’s one thing to look at a map and say “hey, that’s just a few inches, it won’t be that long a drive” and actually get behind the wheel for a substantial road trip. Fortunately, I have lots of experience with long haul drives and have actually hit all of the lower 48 states of the United States by car. Not on the same trip, however. Yeesh! When I learned I needed to drive from…Read More

Road Trip: Colorado to Montana

I’m an old hand at road trips and long drives, having logged thousands of miles behind the wheel in various vehicles, on routes taking me north and south, east and west. Being based in the center of the country, it’s easy to head just about anywhere. Long drives are relaxing too, particularly with cruise control and audio books, it’s almost a meditation as the miles recede into the rear view mirror. This latest trip is…Read More

Everything but the Electronics: The 2017 Acura MDX

Acura has been the luxury brand of Honda Motor Company since 1986. The brand has become known for its luxury appointments and comfortable ride, a “practical luxury” line of vehicles that compete effectively against others in its class. The secret strength is that the Acura vehicles are also built upon both the reliability and low maintenance cost of the entire Honda line. Somewhere along the way, however, Acura stopped keeping up with the rest of…Read More

The Amazingly Slick 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

A hybrid minivan? I was surprised when I first learned about Chrysler‘s plans to not just end of life the Town & Country (our first minivan, many years ago) but to take all that the company learned about minivans and modern family vehicle life and produce the Pacifica instead. First Pacificas off the line were back in 2004, but that wasn’t quite the same thing. It’s with 2017 that the Pacifica has become that oddest…Read More

Best Cars from the Rocky Mtn Driving Experience, Part 2

I already wrote both about the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience, a great event for automotive journalists, and about some of the cars I had a chance to drive in part 1 of my review. What I wanted to do in this second part is highlight some of my favorite vehicles at RMDE this year, rather than bore you with the full list. The goal of the event is to wow us journalists with the different…Read More

The Pedestrian 2017 Toyota Sienna Minivan

It’s a product category that’s inherently not very exciting: the mini-van. If you have a family, you know what I’m talking about, whether you own one or not, because the cross between a cargo van and an SUV is something that appeals to quite a lot of families. Heck, we had our spate of minivans too, starting with a Chrysler Town & Country that replaced my Toyota Supra convertible. <<sigh>> The sacrifices we make for…Read More