Car Reviews

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 Review: More modern, less muscle

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 Review: More modern, less muscle

If you're in the luxury game, the pressure to build high performance editions of almost every model in your line-up is a strong one. Most premium brands pursue volume as aggressively as possible, extending their reach into every conceivable niche to create a balance of both divine (Audi RS7) and strange (BMW X6 M) bedfellows. After replacing its longtime SLK nameplate with the new SLC roadster, Mercedes-Benz turns its hot rodding skills to the 2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 and continues its tradition of dumping a big engine in a small car - with a few important twists.

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2016 Cadillac ATS-V Review

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Review

Ambition gurgles at the core of Cadillac, but it takes more than bold words and marketing promise to make a car that gives the Germans sleepless nights. On the one hand you have the CT6, a smartly designed walk through what "American luxury" means to the modern driver, while on the other you have this, the 2016 ATS-V Sedan, a fire-breathing assault on contemporary classics like the BMW M3.

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2017 Chevrolet Volt Review: The secret hybrid

2017 Chevrolet Volt Review: The secret hybrid

My head knows the future of transportation is probably electric, but my stomach can’t quite get past the range anxiety. Pure EV drivers do, over time, quit the urge to stare at the dwindling range and worry about where their next outlet might be, but Chevrolet has another solution if you don't mind carrying a little old-school fossil fuel. The 2017 Chevrolet Volt may officially be a hybrid, but it desperately wants to leave its gas engine turned off and providing mental reassurance not actual power.

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2016 Bentley Flying Spur Review: Lavish is an understatement

2016 Bentley Flying Spur Review: Lavish is an understatement

The Bentley Flying Spur is over seven feet wide. Wider, in fact, than a Hummer H1. Just twenty inches narrower than a Smart car is long. Ironically for a marque so closely associated with Britain, that makes the Flying Spur singularly unsuited for a great many British roads. And, with a price tag easily ten times that of the Smart - and dwarfing even the cost of a full tank of gas for the Humvee - it's not something you want to scrape along one of the ancient stone walls you suddenly notice the UK has in abundance when you're driving a borrowed behemoth.

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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Review – Trading ponies for stallions

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Review – Trading ponies for stallions

The 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 wasn't designed to kick ass at the drag strip, but that doesn't mean I'm not sitting in the right-hand lane of the closest 1320 waiting for the staging lights to clear. You see, yesterday's lightning storm wiped out the lapping sessions I was scheduled to attend that evening, which left me scrambling to find a track on which to sample Ford's all-new apex pony car.

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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Review: Italy gives Miata an attitude adjustment

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Review: Italy gives Miata an attitude adjustment

Somebody screwed up. That, at least, was my first thought upon slipping into the compact cabin of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider and finding, not a sweet little six-speed shifter, but an automatic. Somebody, when filling in the order form, foolishly and unforgivably ticked the $1,350 six-speed auto transmission option.

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An impassioned defense of the 2016 Lexus GS F, a car misunderstood

An impassioned defense of the 2016 Lexus GS F, a car misunderstood

I cannot, rationally, say that you ought to buy the 2016 Lexus GS F, but I hope that a least one or two of you does. It has its share of hurdles, I know, like the love-it-or-hate-it design, not to mention the price. At $84,440 - rising, with the 17-speaker, 835W Mark Levinson audio system (which you really, really want), plus the fancy blue mica paint and a trunk mat, along with delivery, to $87,470 in total - this isn't just a lot to pay for a Lexus, it's a lot to pay for any luxury performance four-door.

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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Review – Turbo all the things

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Review – Turbo all the things

Brand purists are simultaneously the best and worst buyers a car company can have flocking to its showrooms, and few automakers understand this better than Porsche. While it's an ego boost to have a loyal group of followers celebrating your heritage, that same cohort can turn on you in a heartbeat should it feel that the march of progress has in some way desecrated the traditions that they hold most dear. Still, this hasn't kept the German sport car builder from pushing past the boundaries of its own illustrious past, first with front-engine V8s (the 928), then while swapping air-cooled sixes for modern water-cooled designs (the 996), and now by going all-in on the turbo zeitgeist with the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera.

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2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith Review – Leave the chauffeur at home

2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith Review – Leave the chauffeur at home

The 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith is something of an outlier for the British luxury brand - it’s the Rolls you drive yourself, rather than enjoy from the more traditional perspective of the rear seat. Past that, however, it's also a car that intends to make your time behind the wheel a bit more engaging than what your chauffeur would experience piloting the four-door Ghost sedan on which the Wraith is based. Either way, after driving this two-door behemoth in and around Montreal, there's one thing I can state without reservation: regardless of where you're sitting, being inside the Rolls-Royce Wraith is an event in and of itself.

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2017 Ford Fusion First Drive: Mid-size sedan blurs traditional luxury / sport lines

2017 Ford Fusion First Drive: Mid-size sedan blurs traditional luxury / sport lines

When you've got a top-five mid-size sedan in your fleet - like the Blue Oval does with the Ford Fusion - you've got to take extra care when revising any of the details that have made it such a popular option with bread-and-butter four-door buyers. By combining affordability, style, and one of the most versatile under-hood options list in its segment, the Fusion has managed to stay within striking distance of heavyweights like the Toyota Camry, the Nissan Altima, and the Honda Accord while outpacing its domestic rival, the Chevrolet Malibu. For 2017, a series of updates have been implemented to give the new Ford Fusion a performance edge it's been lacking, as well improve on the technologies it has to offer family shoppers.

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2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i Review

2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i Review

Decry me as a wagon-loving European rabble-rouser if you must, but BMW's decision to give the X1 a crossover-style makeover felt like a misstep. The original X1 always felt like a clandestine feint by the German automaker: yes, it bore the badge of an X Series, but its 3 Series underpinnings were more wagon than America's tastes generally lean toward.

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2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Review – Italy’s bad-attitude baby supercar

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Review – Italy’s bad-attitude baby supercar

The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has a secret. It's not particularly good at keeping it either. You see, this is a car that honestly doesn’t care if you have a problem with its 'lack' of power steering (demanding strength beyond strength when parking), or its ultra-wide door sills (that require you to fold your body like a jackknife to slide behind the wheel), or even its miniscule trunk (truly just a plastic bin tucked behind the motor that's barely big enough to store the fussy fabric roof that you need to snap-and-tug on and off all on your own).

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