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  • 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.

  • At this year’s 110th edition of the Chicago Auto Show, the buzz was all about trucks and SUVs as they continue to rack up record sales. Alternatively, almost every automaker touched on their autonomous vehicle programs, but no one will discuss when day zero will happen, or how autonomous vehicles will affect sales.

  • 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!

  • There are few things in life that are more satisfying and rewarding than restoring a classic car. Throughout the process, you are essentially breathing new life into a machine which may have lay dormant for years, and this is an incredibly enjoyable feeling. However, it is also one of the most time-consuming, tedious, expensive and occasionally frustrating activities one can engage in, and you must be certain that you are ready for the challenges as well as the rewards before committing to a project.

  • 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"!

  • NASCAR haulers are an absolute marvel that has the ability to transform from a truck that hauls stuff from race to race into a high-tech mobile command center. Over the years, I've walked by hundreds of NASCAR haulers but never had the opportunity to go inside and see what it looks like and how the team actually uses it on a race weekend. Thanks to Kelley Blue Book though, I got my opportunity when they invited me to join them at the New Hampshire Motorspeedway.

  • 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?

  • It's no secret that the auto industry is extremely competitive and that American tastes are shifting away from mid-sized sedans to SUVs like the Mazda MX-5, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, and Jeep Cherokee. What is interesting to me is how similar each of these cars is on paper and price - yet so different in driving experience. It made me step back a bit and think about how I experience cars since rarely do I get a chance to actually compare vehicles directly. Typically we're provided a top of the line model and asked to share our thoughts on it. Through a bit of luck and planning though, I managed to drive all four of these this year and take the opportunity to compare not just their bullet-ed talking points - but what it actually means to someone shopping for the right SUV for their lifestyle.

  • As a dad, you are expected to know everything about the car, but over the past two months I've discovered that while I appreciate tires... sometimes you can still be surprised. 

  • There’s something special about donuts – no not just the fried ones – but the burning rubber and smoking tires type. It’s a celebration of freedom and a way to literally leave your mark after a major accomplishment. The thrill of watching from the stands or side of the track as an expert driver like BFGoodrich Performance Team Member RJ Anderson makes a perfect race donut is something that everyone out there deserves to experience at least once.

  • I take a lot of road trips each year to explore different places. There's something exciting about exploring and seeing not just tourist destinations but all those spots in between. Unfortunately taking photos through the window of a moving car is among the most challenging shots to take but with a few quick tips, you can make sure that your shots look great!

  • 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. 

  • Last weekend Sear & Craftsman Tools invited me out to check out the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Perris Auto Speedway, in Perris California. This was my first time ever at a Sprint Car race and I really didn't know what to expect.

  • Phoenix in the spring is a pilgrimage destination for all guys (and women) that love baseball. There is simply no better place in the world that you can go to experience the pure joy and excitement of the sport unspoiled by commercialism and the pressures of rankings. For a few weeks, it's just about playing the game and seeing some amazing young talent playing their hearts out along side seasoned veterans serving as their mentors. This is a destination that I try to visit each year, so when the folks at Toyota invited me out to celebrate in the sun with them I excitedly accepted.

Meet James and Heather!

 

 

 

 

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