Car Reviews

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth Review: Flawed but feisty boredom-buster

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth Review: Flawed but feisty boredom-buster

The 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth had an advantage as soon as it gurgled onto my driveway. I'm a sucker for a small Fiat, though as with so many of my flaws I blame my parents for my weakness. Growing up, my mom had a series of tiny city cars from the Italian automaker: a bright red original 500, a rattling 126 with a fiddly manual choke, a boxy Uno and a couple of comparatively sleek Puntos, among others. None would win any awards for refinement, but all had its own particular charm.

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2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Review

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Review

Drive the Toyota Tacoma for even a day, and you suddenly realize quite how many are on the road. Toyota's pickup has a reputation for go-anywhere flexibility and live-forever build, and rightly so, though not all of them are finished in Inferno Orange like this 2016 Tacoma TRD Off-Road. You could argue, indeed, that this stab at fashion highlights one of Toyota's weaknesses: as its rivals have matured to be more refined, the Tacoma has been left behind.

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2017 Nissan GT-R: Supercar for the people

2017 Nissan GT-R: Supercar for the people

The 2017 Nissan GT-R is not a supercar that asks you to put down a deposit and wait your turn. It doesn't require that you be a previous Nissan owner to buy one, or that you be vetted by a team of brand gatekeepers to determine whether you're worth of GT-R stewardship. You don't have to accept exotic hybrid technologies to tap into what the GT-R has to offer, nor does it come with an elaborate maintenance schedule and a pair of white gloves that you must wear each and every time you slip behind the wheel. Instead, it simply kicks enormous amounts of ass, and invites you to come along for the ride.

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2016 Subaru WRX STI Review: Backroad Behemoth

2016 Subaru WRX STI Review: Backroad Behemoth

There's an "oh, NOW I get it," moment with the Subaru WRX STI. A point at which you stop hating the overly-firm ride, forget about the uninspiring interior, and can ignore the vast and ridiculous rear wing. It turns out, that point comes when you first throw the rally-inspired sports sedan into a corner on a slightly wet backroad, and realize that yes, they were right, Subaru's all-wheel drive really is that good.

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The Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is 485HP of tire hate

The Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack is 485HP of tire hate

You know what you're getting with a Dodge Challenger: some good, old-fashioned American muscle. In the somewhat confusing - unless you're a super-fan - line-up of trims, tunes, and general craziness, this 2016 Challenger RT Scat Pack strikes its balance near the top of the tree. No, it doesn't have the ridiculous 707 horsepower of the infamous SRT Hellcat, but its $38,995 sticker is also twenty-five grand cheaper.

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2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed Review: The $400,000 question

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed Review: The $400,000 question

It's late in the evening in San Francisco, and I'm singing along to Blondie's "Atomic" at the top of my lungs in a $400k Bentley Mulsanne Speed when I realize people have stopped walking to watch me at the lights. Then again, when you're driving eighteen feet of British hyper-luxury sedan, it probably doesn't matter much what you're doing. You're going to get attention either way.

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The Lexus RC F needs an attitude adjustment

The Lexus RC F needs an attitude adjustment

First impressions matter, which is why - economy be damned - the Lexus RC F should start up in its feistiest Sport S+ mode. Lexus' hottest model, offering 467 HP and 389 lb-ft of torque from a 5.0-liter V8 that, increasingly rare, succumbs neither to turbocharging nor supercharging, it sits alongside the more practical GS F but - also like its sedan sibling - hides its magic from the start.

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2016 Honda CR-V Review: Current King of the compact SUVs

2016 Honda CR-V Review: Current King of the compact SUVs

Sizzle might sell sports cars, but a much more conservative design philosophy guides the hottest segment of the automotive market: small SUVs. In fact, the top three best-selling sport-utility vehicles in the country also happen to be the among the least flashy options you'll find in any given showroom - and leading them all is the 2016 Honda CR-V.

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2017 Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport Review: The claws are out

2017 Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport Review: The claws are out

Things were not off to a good start in "Operation Impress the In-Laws". The Jaguar XJ I had expected, and which promised ample long wheelbase accommodation for their legs, was no longer arriving; instead, Jaguar's brand new 2017 XE R-Sport, the automaker's entry-level sports sedan and rival to the BMW 3 Series, was on its way. My extended family may not be especially swayed by brand cachet, but could the smallest Jag be too compact a kitty to keep four adults happy?

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2017 Audi Q7 3.0T quattro Review: Seven seat excess

2017 Audi Q7 3.0T quattro Review: Seven seat excess

If there's something clearly pathological about my attraction to vast, luxury SUVs despite having neither the family nor the lifestyle to demand them, I can probably take solace in the fact that a large chunk of America feels the same way. Audi's 2017 Q7 will do nothing to dissuade either them or I, redesigned from the ground up from its strong-selling predecessor and making a pitch as the most technologically advanced SUV this side of a considerably more expensive Tesla Model X.

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2017 Cadillac XT5 Review – This is no mini Escalade

2017 Cadillac XT5 Review – This is no mini Escalade

As a Brit who harbors a dark, some might say unnatural love for Cadillac's Escalade, I'm used to wearing my perversions on my sleeve, but I may be immune to the charms of the 2017 Cadillac XT5. Though sharp styling and clever all-wheel drive are welcome, as is an impressively high quality cabin that in most respects punches above its weight, there's the all-important question of that magic spark that true love requires.

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2016 Smart Fortwo Review: Tiny car, redux

2016 Smart Fortwo Review: Tiny car, redux

What a difference a year can make. Roughly 365 days ago I found myself behind the wheel of the 2016 Smart Fortwo for the very first time on the streets of Portland, Oregon, where I spent the day tooling around in the very latest version of the automaker's ultra-subcompact coupe. This past month, I had the opportunity to once again sample the Fortwo, only this time I had a full seven days to put the car through its paces and match it up with my daily routine. Surprisingly, the difference between those two experiences was substantial enough to change my perception of the car.

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