2017 Kia Sportage First Drive Review
As you know, I'm a huge fan of Kia and I own a Soul. The company is something very special that you don't find that often - in the auto industry or really anyplace else. There is a sense of confidence that comes from being a winner and that's true for the 2017 Kia Sportage as well. Having first launched in 1995, the Sportage (like its sister models) has moved from "this cheap Korean brand" to one of the best in the industry. What makes it special though is that they are laser focused on brand integration and catering to a certain lifestyle that just makes you crave getting an invite to the party. To help celebrate the launch of the new Sportage we were invited to drive it around San Diego, eat some great food, hang out with some amazing people, and party the way only a true rock star can!
What I've Learned After Living With a Soul EV For a Week
With "Auto Show Season" in full swing now it's likely that you are going to see an EV this year and think, "I wonder what it's like to live with one?". That's how I felt a few months ago. Luckily Kia was kind enough to loan me a Soul EV for a week to test it out. This isn't a review of the Soul EV but rather a summary of my experience living in what is likely the future of personal transportation.
Getting High With the 2016 Kia Optima In Aspen
A few months ago I had the chance to take a spin in the 2015 Optima and now I have had the chance to put the all-new 2016 version through it's paces too. Kia refers to their objective with the Optima as being to "Defy Ordinary" and that's why they chose the setting of Aspen, Colorado to showcase their latest version of this great family sedan.
My Favorite Cars At SEMA & How They Inspired Me To Think Different
Last week I had the chance to attend one of the most amazing trade shows ever - The SEMA Show. If you've ever wondered what might happen if you brought thousands of car geeks together to show off their creations and passion for all things car related then you have to visit this show. Thankfully I was invited as a special guest of Kia to see some of their latest creations as part of this year's marketing theme #KiaWanderlust.
Experience the Kia Ride & Drive Like We Did at the OC Auto Show
I'm lucky - not a month goes by where I don't get a chance to hop in an awesome new car and take it for a spin. While many of my friends get jealous when I talk about jetting off to Aspen or some other exotic locale, the reality is that you can have a similar experience even closer to home by visiting your local auto show and checking out the Kia Ride & Drive.
Exploring British Columbia in the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum
Anyone can "drive somewhere" but to make an absolutely awesome road trip, you've got to combine a few things: friends, vehicle, and setting. It simply isn't enough to just strap in to a car and drive somewhere. The folks at Ford totally get this and developed an incredible route from Vancouver, British Columbia down to Albuquerque, New Mexico to showcase the stunningly awesome 2016 Ford Explorer. For the third part, "friends"... well they invited a bunch of bloggers and other media people to drive the route along with them.
Five Fall Tips To Help Tundra Owners Save Gas
Gas isn't as expensive as it once was, but for those of you who own trucks like the Toyota Tundra, every little bit helps. Here's some advice for getting the maximum gas mileage from your truck.
Kia Optima SX - a Family Car You Can Look Good Driving
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.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe Review: Big Power in an Affordable Package
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.
Kia Racing - Driving Great Causes Forward ...
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.
Setting a Pace - the 500, NASCAR and Z06
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.
Getting Down and Dirty with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson
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.
Tips for Keeping Your Car Happy This Summer
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.
2015 Hyundai Azera Road Trip Review - Vegas Baby!
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.
2015 Mazda CX-9 Road Trip Review
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.
Dodge Challenger Scat Pack: American Muscle Power Aint Dead Yet!
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...
Holy Cow, That's a Lot of Mustangs! (A Visit to Fabulous Fords Forever)
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.
A Track Day with Clarion Builds 1974 BMW model 2002
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!
Introducing the 2016 Fiat 500x - Road Test Review
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.
2015 La Jolla Concours d'Elegance
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.
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