We Got a Charge Out of the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime!

Driving a different car each week, it’s easy to fall into a state of ennui. At some level most cars are the same, and certainly within a specific class of vehicles, it’s hard to really get too excited about yet another SUV or yet another small 4-door sedan. Except there are cars that redefine their class and offer a design or technological experience that makes the stand out, even to a slightly jaded automotive writer…Read More

Mostly a Luxury Experience with the 2017 Lexus NX300h

I had a chance to drive a brand new 2017 Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV and while I was expecting a terrific experience, it was more frustrating than I had any reason to expect. After all, I’ve owned a Toyota hybrid SUV — a Highlander Hybrid — for many years and the Lexus is the luxury brand of Toyota so it should be like my vehicle, but better and newer, right? Certainly, it’s a beautiful vehicle…Read More

Drifting around curves in the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT

Test driving lots of cars is really fun, even as I admit candidly that I’m not a “car guy”. I don’t read the car magazines, don’t travel to the big national car shows in Detroit, Chicago or Los Angeles, and can’t even tell you the bore ratio or torque rating of my own vehicle. Heck, I’m driving an SUV that’s almost 10 years old and turned over 100,000 miles quite a while ago. But I grew…Read More

Luxury 4×4: The 2017 Jeep Cherokee Limited

I’m not much of an off-road driver, but there are plenty of rough dirt roads in my neighborhood and when the weather isn’t cooperative, there can be ice and even slick snow on the roads. Two wheel drive works okay but knowing how to come out of a skid is helpful, whether you have antilock brakes or not (it’s about steering too). But a 4×4? Now we’re talking: as long as one wheel has some…Read More

The Peppy 2017 Toyota Camry XSE

Driving hybrids rather spoils you for regular engines and regular transmissions: on a hybrid there’s a continuously variable transmission and what most non-hybrid drivers don’t realize is that it makes your car really peppy and reactive. Ya know how on a standard gas engine if you punch it from a stop there’s an acceleration that has hiccups as the car revs up then shifts to the next gear? You don’t get that with a CVT…Read More

The Mazda Version of Luxury: 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

Mazda Corporation started as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Company, founded in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1920. In 1927 “Cork” was dropped from the company name and in 1931 Toyo Kogyo Company began manufacturing vehicles with the introduction of the Mazda-Go autorickshaw. In 1984 the company renamed again, to Mazda, and by then was already selling the famed Mazda rotary (or “Wankel”) engine. By the late 1970’s the rotary engine was an option and a few years…Read More

Almost Autonomous: The 2017 Toyota Prius Four

In my quest to drive the perfect car, I had a chance to revisit a car model to see the latest updates and technology for 2017 thanks to Toyota. The company loaned me a 2017 Toyota Prius Four Touring for a week to check out all that’s new and interesting in the vehicle. And there’s a lot to like. I owned a Toyota Prius years ago and while there was a lot about the car…Read More

In the Lap of Luxury with the 2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

It’s a new year which means that it’s time for me to start checking out all the 2017 model year vehicles. Top of the list is Toyota with its incremental updates and some interesting new changes to its vehicles for the new year. I’ve driven lots of Toyotas and my regular vehicle is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, so I’m probably a bit biased, but hey, now you know. My first 2017 Toyota has been a…Read More

Cute & Tech Throughout: The 2017 Mazda CX-3

It’s not news that I’m a fan of Mazda. I think the company’s doing a great job upgrading its entire vehicle line, centered on both the SKYACTIV driving and engine tech and the KODO design that the company calls its “soul of motion” appearance. The 2017 Mazda CX-3 is the fifth model of Mazda’s crossover line (presumably the “CX” designation), a compact that lives in the gray area between a sedan and an SUV. I…Read More

Movember and the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Ever seen a car with a black mustache? You might have seen a pink mustache to indicate it’s a Lyft driver, but a black mustache? It being November, savvy men might understand the connection between a car and a mustache, however, because November is also Movember, a month-long series of charitable events to raise money for men’s health research. Plenty of individuals and groups support Movember, including my pals at the Dad 2.0 Summit, but I…Read More

Digital Hiccups with the 2016 Toyota RAV4

The first car to be sold on the common market was the 1908 Model-T from Ford Motor Company. Since then we’ve had 108 years of development, radical thinking and improvements in design, manufacturing, assembly, roads and even drivers. By this point in the 21st Century it’s fair to say that just about every car on the market has a solid suspension system, reliable wheels, an engine good for at least 100,000 miles and a car…Read More

Montana Road Trip with the 2016 Mazda CX-5

I head up to Northern Montana every few months to visit family and have gotten into the practice of driving there from Colorado because I just love the rural Montana scenery with its hundreds of hidden lakes and unexpected vistas. Colorado’s not a slacker when it comes to scenery, but there’s something about the far north with its mountains and brisk weather that’s invigorating. This time my trip fell during, well, fall. An Autumn road…Read More

It’s All About the Tech with the 2016 Mazda CX-9

Just turned in the 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature All Wheel Drive after a week of driving it around Colorado, from mountains to suburbs, deep into the city and just taking my youngest to school and heading to the market. The results? It’s one of my favorite cars of the year from a driving and feature perspective. Now, fair disclosure: I’m ready to buy a new car to replace my great 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and…Read More

Rocky Mountain Driving Experience: 16 Cars, 24 Hours

As an automotive journalist, I have access to a lot of really cool experiences related to cars, including of course being able to drive different cars for a week at a stretch and write about them. It’s very different to go on a 15min test drive and have a chance to try out a car for a longer period in your daily life. If nothing else, I have a chance to figure out the dashboard…Read More

Putting on my Trucker with the 2016 Toyota Tacoma

I’m a car guy. I’ve been driving cars almost exclusively for the decades I’ve been on the road, starting with a little blue Chevy Nova and bouncing through sports cars, coupes and sedans, with a detour for a couple of years of minivan. Fellow parents know what that’s like. Now I drive an SUV – a Toyota Highlander – and it’s a nice, comfortable ride. But every so often there’s stuff I want to haul,…Read More

A Week of Luxury with the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

There’s so much to like about the latest generation of Toyota’s flagship luxury car, the Avalon, that I don’t know where to start. Maybe I’ll start with the fact that not only does it have seat warmers for both front and back passengers, but it also has seat cooling tech for the front seats on those days when it’s really hot outside and you’d prefer not to stick to the seat. Or that the hybrid…Read More

Prime Techie Car Accessories: Escort Max 360 + JumPack

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Escort Radar for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I can remember the station wagon we had when I was a kid, with its bench seats and not much else. Pop open the hood and there was an engine. Just an engine. Nowadays cars have a dozen computers and so much tech that the engine compartment is solid and you can’t even see the…Read More

Test Drive-palooza with the DiscoverKia event!

Head to a dealership and you can test drive a car or two, but it’ll probably take you hours to go through the process. Instead, car companies are starting to bring the vehicle inventory to us, the driver, and that’s a nice change. Kia Motors USA has always been great at outreach (I’ve enjoyed Kia test drives at the Dad 2.0 Summit, for example) and so when the company added Lakewood, Colorado to its touring…Read More

“Prom Car” adventures with the 2016 Nissan Maxima

I’ve had a soft spot for the Nissan Maxima ever since it was my parents car of choice for well over a decade, an early 90’s model that just kept going and going, showing its age but still proving extremely reliable. Nissan’s come a long way since that early version of the Maxima, and the latest model, the 2016 Nissan Maxima SL, looked very BMW-esque from the outside, and definitely luxurious on the inside. My…Read More

Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid my next vehicle?

Just wrapped up a week with the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Limited AWD and was particularly interested to give it a solid test drive because of all the cars on the market, this is the one that seems the most logical choice for the next vehicle after I’ve finally burned out on my Toyota Highlander Hybrid. With 119k miles, it’s still going great, but as my oldest child heads off to college, it’s feeling unnecessarily…Read More

Driving the ‘hood with a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV

While it’s fun to coordinate vehicle loaner periods with road trips, my 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander loan phase coincided with, well, nothing special. Which was great, because it gave me a chance to really try out the shiny red SUV in my day-to-day routine, including driving to and from school dropoff, heading to the gym, and using the GPS navigational system  to find a meeting locale in Denver, about 25 miles from my home base in…Read More