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Cars and car reviews
  • The current generation Dodge Challenger “borrows” more than a few bodylines and exterior cues from the classic, and highly collectible, first generation 1971 Dodge Challenger. FCA knows well enough to leave the new/old bodylines alone as Challenger has steadily been increasing sales and has reached a milestone; it has surpassed the once mighty Camaro to become the no. 2 best-selling retro pony. In 2018 Mustang sales were 75,842 (7.4 % drop), Challenger with its 10-year old platform, had a sales increase (3%) to reach 66,716 units.  As for Camaro, the bottom dropped out as sales slid to 50,963 units (25% drop) in 2018.

  • The current generation Ford Explorer is one of our all-time-favorite SUVs. It's more than just a car, it is in fact an American icon. Ford continues to position it as something more than just another SUV and frankly it works well. They have an excellent vehicle that may just be our favorite choice for a road trip. We've had the chance to enjoy the the 5th generation Explorer on multiple occasions and we were in Detroit to welcome in the latest iteration. Let's take a look at what's new!

  • The Ford Ranger is probably the most anticipated new truck to launch this year. Ford made waves in 2018 by telling us they were shifting away from cars and doubling down on trucks and SUVs so there's a lot riding on the success of this entry to the mid-sized truck segment. We're doing a full driving review of the Ford Ranger in March but here's our initial thoughts based on the chance to spend a couple hours riding around San Diego as a passenger.

  • Toyota is the undisputed leader of the compact crossover SUV space and now they've made it even better. With the launch of the 2019 RAV4, Toyota has made it bigger, more aggressive, more fun, more stylish and generally more everything that buyers would want to see. Ultimately though it's not perfect but Toyota's new design theory seems to be on the right path to create great vehicles that are more than just "reliable". To celebrate the launch of this new vehicle, we tested it out on a road trip along the California coast including the twists and turns of Big Sur and the mountains of Carmel Valley.

  • Buick is a car brand that has almost universal name recognition in the United States (and likely much of the world). Unfortunately it suffers from a perception problem that it is "and old man's car" and they've even embraced that with the "That's a Buick!?" marketing campaign. I'll be fank - when I was invited to Palm Springs earlier this week, there wasn't a single car in their lineup that I was excited to drive. However, I accepted the invite because I really love working with GM and the company has treated me VERY WELL over the past couple years. What I discovered after spending some time listening, feeling, and driving a few different vehicles was that this is a brand that is worth considering if you are looking for what they describe as, "Attainable Luxury."

  • The desert is an amazing place to explore - on road as well as off. Despite the fact that some people might think it is dead and desolate, this is an environment that is incredibly dynamic. Dangers as well as beauty can pop up at any moment and disappear just as quickly. One of these dangers is sudden dust storms or sandstorms. They are most common in the deserts of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula but also in parts of the United States including California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

    While American sand storms are often smaller in size than what might be experienced in the Saharan Desert, the danger to motorists can be similar. Here's what to do if you find yourself in a sand storm.

  • Ford's Mustang is one of the most iconic vehicles on the market today. Very few vehicles have survived the generations the way this one has and chances are that you father and grandfather lusted after one the way you do now. While there have been good design years and bad years, the current generation 2019 Mustang is clearly a winner. With looks to kill, a super comfortable interior, and a distinct engine / muffler noise that can be modulated from quietly start out of the garage in the morning... to a F&[email protected] YEAH! I'm in a Mustang roar that will wake up the neighborhood.

  • Nissan has a history of building somewhat rebellious small vehicles, like the Juke and the asymmetrical Cube. While the new 2018 Nissan Kicks sounds like stylish shoes you picked up at the mall, it’s actually a sporty compact crossover with the name that gives a nod to Brazilian kicking sports. This portrays the vehicle perfectly. It’s hip, but only rebellious when it comes to its competition.

  • Everyone has at least one car they would love to own, or at least find themselves behind the wheel of. I have about 100 cars I would like to own, and the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 is one of those vehicles. The DB11 is not practical, economical and certainly not inexpensive. This car drips chic and distinction. Driving this car turned out to be one of my road-going highlights of the past 12 months. The performance and grand touring road experience make this coupe a very livable exotic piece.

  • Miles Per Gallon is probably one of the biggest selling points for cars today. Even though fuel prices are lower now that they were just a few years ago, we all know it won't stay that way forever. To solve that problem, American manufacturers have focused primarily on EV and hybrid platforms but there's a third option that Chevy presented to me - diesel. When they first challenged me to test out the Cruze Hatch Diesel I nearly declined their offer. After all, my experience with diesel engines was good in terms of hauling loads... but at the sacrifice of peppy performance, especially the ability to accelerate quickly and pass people on the highway. Then they asked if I'd like to do a road trip from San Diego to Scottsdale for some Spring Training Baseball and I simply wasn't able to pass up that invitation.

  • Trucks are clearly being used as more than just tools to haul and explore, and today that means that there are LOTS of great options out there. Last month, we got the chance to test out one of the best - GMC's 2018 Sierra 2500 Denali HD. Our route would be the five-hour road trip from San Diego to Vegas, plus a few detours! While I would have loved to test out the truck hauling some toys into the desert, this wasn't that kind of trip. Instead, we were looking for something that would look good pulling up to the valet and cruising the strip - but still be capable of cruising down some back roads through the desert.

  • A convertible is something special that almost begs to be driven somewhere special. That's what we did recently when Buick dropped off their new Cascada and said "have at it!". The following are some of our favorite road trips in San Diego that are perfect for enjoying with the top down.

  • Winter is here, the snow has started to fall, and you've decided you're going to make a couple of extra bucks plowing driveways. Now what? It goes without saying that you'll need a truck, and to get the job done right you'll need the right truck!

  • Jeep has announced that they will be unveiling the all-new 2018 Wrangler at the LA Auto Show coming up later this month. Jeep is one of our favorite car brands since it has managed to transcend being "just another truck" and instead is a full on lifestyle brand. If you haven't had the opportunity to drive a Jeep, it's a different sort of feeling than any other off-road vehicle out there and we can't wait to get our chance to get this one dirty once it's ready for testing!

  • The Chevy Tahoe is one of my favorite big SUVs and that's because it is apologetically big and powerful, yet still fun to drive. Chevy has made it even better this year by offering a new trim level, "Custom" where they've removed the third row, made a towing package standard, and added a few cosmetic tweaks as well. What you're left with is the perfect truck for pulling everything you need for the weekend and tons of cargo space inside, along with a super comfortable ride and great tech to help you get there safely.

  • This is a different sort of Raptor review. The Ford Raptor is hands down the most fun truck or SUV that I've had the chance to test - ever. While most reviews focus on it's extreme off road abilities as a Baja racing truck that you can buy from a dealer vs building your own. The truth is that the truck goes way beyond that and after spending a few days testing it out with my wife and another couple during a getaway to Borrego Springs, California, I'm even more impressed. This is far more than just "dad's toy"!

  • One of the challenges - and frankly the thrills - of having a 4x4 truck is seeing how capable it really is. The challenge with that though is that sometimes the line between awesome fun and danger is blurred and you never really learn except by making mistakes. That's why I absolutely love the fact that the state of California along with some local off road clubs created this amazing park located just east of San Diego with marked challenges and obstacles ranging from the absolutely insane to beginner. This also gave us the perfect place to test out and compare the TRD Pro trucks that Toyota had given us to play with.

  • While I love horsepower and off road capability, there's something to be said for a practical car that is affordable, handles well, and has an amazing fuel economy. While a hatchback hybrid like the Kia Niro certainly isn't the sexiest car I've driven recently it performed incredibly well. Considering that it got more miles per gallon than the three trucks I'd be driving later in the week COMBINED, that was pretty impressive! While I knew the Niro would be perfect around town... what about going over mountains with tight turns and steep grades?

  • Virtually every man I know has an appreciation - if not an outright love of cars. While some are simply dull practical machines to get back and forth, many of them are in fact works of mechanical and artistic triumph that deserve to be celebrated. That's one of the reasons why I love the annual Fabulous Fords Forever show. It's more than just an exotic car show, but rather it's a celebration of passion for one of my favorite automotive brands - Ford Motor Company. 

  • The Mazda mx-5 RF was never meant for a guy like me and frankly I can't drive with the top down but that doesn't stop me from enjoying it. It is one hell of a car! The engineers at Mazda did a spectacular job when they created this vehicle. It has everything that the soft top version does and really nothing more than a different top. However, it feels like a totally different car, but with everything that was great about the original. If you are in the market for an affordable roadster but live in a climate where a soft top might not be practical, this is the car for you!

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