Reviews

2021 BMW 540i xDrive Review: Benchmark in Balance

2021 BMW 540i xDrive Review: Benchmark in Balance

It feels strange saying it about a $72,000 luxury car, but it's oddly easy to overlook this 2021 BMW 540i xDrive. On the one hand, it's not an M5, or even an almost-M5 like the M550i; at the same time, neither is it a clever plug-in hybrid like the 545e. Instead it's about as close to a "standard" BMW 5 Series as you can get these days.

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Roku Express 4K+ Review: $40 of TV simplicity

Roku Express 4K+ Review: $40 of TV simplicity

For the cost of the monthly subscription to a handful of streaming services, the new Roku Express 4K+ makes a strong platform play for being your set-top box of choice. As always, Roku's pitch is flexibility and user-friendliness, only this time with a picture quality and system speed upgrade plus a handy voice remote. At $39.99, though, what's left out is just as key as what makes the cut, and that's before the challenge of getting every streaming provider to support all of your fancy new features.

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2021 Volkswagen Golf Review: Frugal Farewell

2021 Volkswagen Golf Review: Frugal Farewell

It's hard not to feel sorry for the Volkswagen Golf. Perennially overshadowed by its sportier, more eye-catching Golf GTI sibling, the "regular" car doesn't have the punchy performance or indeed the badge cachet, but hangs its appeal on value instead. As the 2021 Golf TSI prepares to close the books on Mk7 production, it turns out that's still an unexpectedly compelling argument.

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2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Review: Perfect Pairing

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Review: Perfect Pairing

Fun and practicality are a tricky combination in the world of crossovers, but the 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo could be the answer for those whose budget doesn't stretch to Porsche territory. While the Macan Turbo may blend engaging dynamics with its family-friendly form, the Mazda throws in unexpected attainability too.

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Apple AirTag Review: With power comes responsibility

Apple AirTag Review: With power comes responsibility

There's nothing quite so unpleasantly distinctive as the feeling of your stomach dropping when you realize your keys, laptop bag, or another important item has gone missing. Apple's pill-shaped AirTag isn't quite the perfect medicine for preventing that lurching sensation, but the long-anticipated $29 tracker does go a long way to settling some of the discomfort around lost or misplayed items.

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Proscenic S1 Cordless Vacuum Review – Lightweight Household Helper

Proscenic S1 Cordless Vacuum Review – Lightweight Household Helper

Our houses are being filled with smart devices but there are still some household tasks that can't simply be solved by those. Sure, a robot vacuum cleaner can handle most floors without breaking a sweat or a circuit board but beds, couches, and cars still require more specialized equipment. It doesn't have to be connected to the Internet to actually be great at what it does and the Proscenic S1 3-in-1 cordless vacuum cleaner is perhaps the testament of how a simple appliance can still be "smart" with just the right combination of features.

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Sony SRS-RA5000 Review: Taking an expensive risk on 360 audio

Sony SRS-RA5000 Review: Taking an expensive risk on 360 audio

The Sony SRS-RA5000 doesn't blend into a room, and neither does the 360 Reality Audio music its oddball design is all in aid of. The promise is intriguing: immersive music just as the artists and producers intended it to sound, and all from one - expensive - speaker. $700 gets you seats at the bleeding-edge of audio, but that's also a front-row view of the headaches a new format faces.

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Lutron Caseta Outdoor Smart Plug Review: Flexibility in the garden

Lutron Caseta Outdoor Smart Plug Review: Flexibility in the garden

I'm not saying the Lutron Caseta Wireless Outdoor Smart Plug saved me from being viciously attacked by wild birds, but that's certainly a possibility. Latest addition to the Caseta smart home range, the outdoor plug does exactly what you'd expect: give you weatherproof control over exterior devices, without having to worry about the weather.

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2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line Review: Genuinely Unexpected

2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line Review: Genuinely Unexpected

The Hyundai Sonata does not seem like the ideal starting point from which to build a sports sedan, but clearly nobody bothered informing the automaker's N tuning division of that. Little else explains the 2021 Sonata N Line's legitimately surprising and genuinely impressive showing, taking a car we already know to be affordable, well-equipped, and potential of great green credentials, and adding a performance string to its bow.

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2021 Buick Encore GX Review: Familiar to the point of frustration

2021 Buick Encore GX Review: Familiar to the point of frustration

Few automakers seem to revel in confusing drivers quite like General Motors does, and the 2021 Buick Encore GX is fine example of that. For a start it's one of two different models Buick offers with the same name: the original Encore, which dates back to 2012, and this Buick GX which is newer, slightly larger, and borrows the platform Chevrolet uses for its Trailblazer.

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2021 Toyota Corolla XSE Sedan Review: Ambition meets reality

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE Sedan Review: Ambition meets reality

The 2021 Toyota Corolla isn't satisfied with being a reliable, sensible, popular sedan - it wants to be beloved by driving enthusiasts, too. That's a big ask for a model that has traditionally been seen more as an appliance than something aspirational, but in XSE trim and with a fancy "Dynamic Shift" transmission, Toyota thinks it has the answer.

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2021 Cadillac CT5 Review: Personality Matters

2021 Cadillac CT5 Review: Personality Matters

For all the luxury sedan segment may be dwarfed by sales of lavish SUVs, that hasn't made the category any less competitive. On the one side, the German mainstays bring reputation and refinement to the party; on the other, comparative upstarts like Genesis, Lexus, and Acura claw back attention with imaginative risk-taking. What to make, then, of the 2021 Cadillac CT5 somewhere in the middle?

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