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Cars and car reviews
  • It's tough being a guy with a family, in the past you could have that two-seat coupe and be the envy of the guys at the office, but now you have kids, a wife, mortgage and you gotta be practical. (Or at least that's what your wife keeps telling you!)

    For far too long, "practical" meant being boring and conservative while sacrificing "style" and "vroom" for "safety" and "space for the kids". As you know, I love Kia and I am a Kia owner myself, so I was really excited to check out the 2015 Optima prior to our trip next month for the launch of the 2016 version.

  • If you're looking for a rocket for a great price then you really can't beat the 2015 Genesis Coupe. It's an interesting beast since it shares it's name with a phenomenal luxury sedan that we're going to be checking out in a few weeks, but it is all about sports performance.

  • This weekend while watching NASCAR it's hard to miss the overt commercialism of the sport. As you watch cars fly by with logos on almost every square inch of space where a camera just might pan to during the race it's sort of crazy. That's true for the World Challenge Racing League that Kia competes in too, but instead of blasting Kia logos and oil companies, Kia and the team owners Kinetic Racing decided to do something special and focus on promoting two very important and awesome charities - B.R.A.K.E.S. and DonorsChoose.org. Sure, there's a Kia logo on the side, but in press materials and on the track, these cars are referred to as the No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Optima turbo and the No. 38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo.

    That says something about the company when they lead by promoting two amazing charities rather than focusing just on their own brand, and I found that refreshing.

  • The Indianapolis 500 has been run 99 times in the past 104 years. Beginning with the very first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 a pace car has led the field to the green flag. During the previous 98 races there have been some odd, improbable and just plain goofy vehicles selected or modified to lead the field, but the Indianapolis 500 established the role of the pace for the race and all other circuit-style races.

  • Every so often a car launch event happens that surprises you and this was one of them. Honestly, the Hyundai Tucson is was not at the top of my list when it comes to cars I dreamed of driving. Sure, I LOVE it's big brothers - the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport - but the idea of a smaller version initially made me think of less power, less space, and less fun. However, the trip was to Minneapolis, I love Hyundai, and all my friends were going... so why not! What I discovered was that while it's true that this car has less power, less space, and less cost - it's big on fun, style, and completely capable of doing everything you need.

  • Summer is here and while it might be time to enjoy a cross-country road trip, a day at the beach, or a late night looking at stars from the back of your pickup truck, this is GO TIME! for your car. Heat, direct sunlight, severe weather and more can all combine to present a direct threat to your car, in more ways than one.

  • With the exception of twisty turny roads, driving to Las Vegas from San Diego is a great way to test out what a car is made of. There is a great combo of stop and go traffic, high speed roads that are long and flat to test mileage, and it's just long enough at about 4.5 hours to tell if the car will be comfortable on a long road trip... without finding out and being stuck with it. The Hyundai Azera is an interesting beast - somewhat stuck between two incredible cars, the Sonata and the Genesis and it blends the two extremely well to create a fantastic option for someone that still needs a "family car" but wants many of the features and comforts found a luxury car like the Genesis.

  • A few weeks ago I drove my first Mazda and was excited about the brand - it's come a long way since I first experienced the brand (when it seemed to mostly be rebadged Fords). What I like about the brand is that they have a distinct style and while this care is CLEARLY a suburban people hauler it was fun to drive. However, the car was not without it's quirks - including one of the strangest "keyless" ignition systems that I've yet to experience.

  • American muscle power aint dead yet! While we live in an age where EVs and MPGs are what seems to be in demand, it's ironic that Dodge has chosen this moment in time to go full bore into an effort to deliver some of the most exceptionally powerful cars on the market. This trend is completely counter-intuitive with gas prices that while temporarily down, will almost certainly go back up. That's not what this car is about though. It is about RAW POWER - but also surprisingly practical too as we found on our road trip across the desert to Vegas from San Diego.

    Let's get the stats out of the way first - this car is FAST! With a 6.4-Liter V8 SRT HEMI providing 485 horses delivering 475 LB-FT torque it has WAY more power than anyone ever needs, knocks you back in the seat, and it delivers that satisfying roar that makes you know you are part of an elite club of owners. Despite that power, the challenger Scat Pack is still able to get 14 city / 23 highway (the SXT with V6 gets 19/30), which honestly is pretty impressive for something this big and powerful.

    With a top speed of 182-mph and a 0-60 mph time in the low 4 seconds, this car probably costs close to a $100k right? NO! It unbelievably is affordable starting at just under $40,000...

  • For the past 30 years, Ford owners have been gathering in Southern California for one of the coolest car shows I've had a chance to attend recently. While there are others with fancier, more expensive, and more variety of makes and models, Fabulous Fords Forever was clearly a show that was special. 

    With more than 1,800 entries from 57 classes, this is the largest "All Ford Show" in the western united states and at times it was pretty overwhelming - even for someone like me that LOVES Ford in almost all of its incarnations from Ford Racing to Mustangs and tucks too.

  • What is better than looking at a lovingly restored 1974 BMW model 2002? I would say enjoying the same car with an impressive clarion sound system at a private track with drift car champion Chris Forsberg!

  • At this point, unless you are living under a rock you are probably familiar with the Fiat 500 line. Over the past few years, the "500" has grown and morphed into a whole line of vehicles from the super compact 500 to the family hauler 500L as well as the sporty Abarth. Now it's time to introduce the 500x - Fiat's interpretation of a SUV. This car was designed not just for the American market but truly as a global car that will be driven by people in cultures as diverse as Russia, Brazil, United States, and of course - Italy.

    To launch the car, Fiat held events all over the world, but I was invited to join them in Beverly Hills at the famous Mr. C Hotel. From this base of operations, we had the a chance to put the Fiat 500x through it's paces as we raced up the hills north of LA and down the canyons as we headed towards the beach. Throughout the experience, the Fiat 500x performed remarkably well and was always fun to drive.

  • If you haven't been before, this classic motor car extravaganza weekend gathers over 300 of the most elite car collections from around the world atop the bluffs of La Jolla Cove at the Ellen Browning Scripps Park. La Jolla means "The Jewel" in Spanish and we couldn't think of a more fitting place to experience these incredible vehicles than outdoor, overlooking the Pacific Ocean while surrounded by some of the most luxurious real estate in the world. While we know that there will be some amazing classic cars and modern luxury as well as sports cars, it's always a thrill to walk by something you've never seen before. 

  • You don't always need to travel somewhere far to have the perfect romantic getaway. Sometimes, you will find something great right in your backyard that is an experience you will remember for a lifetime. That's what happened for Heather and I last weekend when I got a last minute invitation to be Kia's guest at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California. While this happened to only be 30 minutes from home it was the perfect getaway and since the Park Hyatt Aviara is pet friendly it made things that much better!

  • A few months ago we got a chance to test drive the "not a minivan" Kia Sedona and while it was fun to drive around the streets of Dana Point, I couldn't help but feel that where it would really shine would be on a long road trip.  Between the peppy engine, comfortable seats, great complement of electronic gadget, and some bad-ass passenger seats that recline almost like International First Class airline seats this is the car that you would want to drive if you were wanting to see America with your best friends.

  • Luxury car probably isn't what comes to mind when you think about the Kia brand - but I just drove a car that has changed my perception of one of my favorite auto companies. The K900 is their flagship vehicle and while I feel like there were some things I didn't care for, my complaints are sort of like bitching about my ice cream being too creamy or my down pillow being too soft. This is a car that if they are able to continue to evolve it should have everyone from Lexus to Mercedes and BMW concerned. It is a great car that illustrates just how far this "upstart" Korean company has come from one known as creating cheap cars for kids to now a world-class luxury car that fully loaded clocks it at almost $70,000!

  • In this episode of Men Who Blog, Colby and James check out the all new 2016 Ford Explorer at the Chicago Auto Show and talk with Lead Engineer, Arie Groeneveld while sitting inside the SUV. 

    Made in Chicago, it's only fair that they would bring it there to show off. Along with the consumer version of the SUV, we also had the chance to check out the Police Interceptor version .. which btw you probably don't want to get in the back seat of, so mind those speed limits and always obey the law!

  • The band that spawned such iconic songs as "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Kick Start My Heart", and the arena anthem "Home Sweet Home" and a dozen or more 80's and 90's smashes made a very rare appearance at a small venue last weekend in Dallas. The "Crue" played a sold out/climb the walls to get in venue last Saturday November 1st at Richard Rawlings' (he of Discovery Channel's Fast-n-Loud reality show), Gas Monkey Live concert club. It was billed as "Dodge Rocks Gas Monkey" sponsored by the car manufacturer-who is sponsoring the Crue's North American farewell tour through the end of the month. The worldwide tour ends in 2015

  • Simply put, the Hemi Hellcat version of the 2015 Dodge Charger is the most powerful 4-door sedan on Earth and we got a chance to put it through the paces recently during a trip from Washington DC to a track in West Virginia. What's awesome about this car is the extreme range of options that it has from the base model that is a great "around town" car to the 707 hp Hellcat, but after having a chance to drive a few different models, our favorite was the Dodge Charger SRT 392 that still delivered a whopping 485 horsepower but had the perfect balance of power, affordability, and practicality.

  • Electric cars aren't sexy, they aren't fast enough to have fun with, and they certainly aren't fun to drive - right? WRONG! The folks at Kia should be very proud of the latest iteration of the Kia Soul. While mocked as "that hamster car" the truth is that this is one of the most stylish and fun to drive cars in the world right now. That's not shared by everyone, but it is true for me and at least several million other people who have bought one and helped propel the rapid growth of this once "upstart" auto manufacturer. 

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