Car Reviews

2016 Nissan Titan XD Review: Not-quite HD pickup makes cannonball splash

2016 Nissan Titan XD Review: Not-quite HD pickup makes cannonball splash

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is a puzzling truck. Let me explain. I've been driving trucks since I was a teenager, learning the joys of parking a battleship in an urban environment after my transition from country mouse to city mouse for college. In the intervening years I've seen the full-size pickup market blossom into the behemoth-laden bastion of Big Three profits that it's become today, with ultra-luxury trucks now as common as BMW and Lexus sedans at country clubs across the nation.

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2017 Fiat 124 Spider First Drive

2017 Fiat 124 Spider First Drive

In recent years modern automotive enthusiasts have become a spoiled lot. It’s hard to blame them though – we live in an era of unprecedented access to hair-raising performance, one in which 600 horsepower hardly raises an eyebrow and the prospect of a sub-four second dash to sixty miles per hour almost seems quaint. But amongst this output arms race, a contingent of sports car fans still yearn for a wholly different approach to driving bliss.

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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and 4S first drive

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and 4S first drive

The Porsche 911 is not the car for everyone, whether it’s the design or the price, but Porsche is okay with that. A mainstay of the sports segment for decades, it’s the benchmark by which serious drivers - and the automakers trying to sell them similarly seriously-driving cars - judge on-road experience. That means big boots to fill when it comes to a new model, something Porsche knows all too well as it launches the 2017 Carrera S Cabriolet and Carrera 4S Coupe.

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2016 BMW M2 Review: The ‘M’ Stands For ‘Fun’

2016 BMW M2 Review: The ‘M’ Stands For ‘Fun’

There's a set of roads I grew up on, far from the metropolitan sidewalks and boulevards that currently serve as the boundary markers in my adopted city. The kind of asphalt seemingly drawn on the map by a pendulum suspended in the passenger seat of a WRC car blasting full-tilt down an alpine rally stage. They served as my nursery when I first started driving, teaching me the fundamentals of opposite lock, car control, and how to call my father at 2 a.m. to come tow me out of an icy ditch. A natural, then, for exercising the all-new 2016 BMW M2, the latest addition to the German brand's growing stable of M-badged performance vehicles.

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2016 Volvo V60 Polestar T6 Review – Swedish mettle

2016 Volvo V60 Polestar T6 Review – Swedish mettle

Volvo should not make this car. That the Swedish automaker, beloved for its traditionally boxy style and obsessive approach toward safety, is responsible for the V60 Polestar, a wagon not so much of the "light the blue touch paper and stand back" variety but more "douse the place with gasoline and torch it, while cackling like an unhinged Batman villain", is equal parts oddity and triumph.

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2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin-Engine Plug-In Hybrid Review

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin-Engine Plug-In Hybrid Review

The 2016 Volvo XC90 turned more than a few heads when it hit the scene late last year, but while its opening act was a whirlwind of sleek Scandinavian styling and unexpectedly plush luxury, it's the encore that's really going to cement its run in the hearts and minds of SUV-seeking American buyers. The XC90 T8 is Volvo's moon-shot, the model with the power - and the price tag - required to cement its spot on the playbills of premium shoppers willing to entertain an alternative to the Teutonic trio of automakers that currently dominates high end sport-utility sales.

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2016 BMW i3 Review – The electric time machine

2016 BMW i3 Review – The electric time machine

The 2016 BMW i3 is the DeLorean of our times. No, I'm not talking about gullwing doors (that's the exclusive province of its bigger brother, the i8), nor am I referring to sketchy Renault mechanicals (you'll still have to travel to France for that pleasure). What I mean is, the BMW i3's future-tense design and real-world electric car performance qualify it as a time machine of the first caliber, a glimpse into tomorrow along the lines of what we were once promised in the breathless prose and scintillating images published in the pages of Popular Science magazine.

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McLaren 675LT Spider First Drive

McLaren 675LT Spider First Drive

I’m piercing the Scottish idyll in the McLaren 675LT Spider, and 25 feet to either side I imagine observant lichen rattle in the wake of the LT’s turbulence, smugly impressed before reverting to their simple-life ways. Only a road definitively signals that man has actually been here before, and in this setting one could plausibly argue that asphalt is a natural phenomenon.

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2017 Ford Escape First Drive – Turbocharging Evolution

2017 Ford Escape First Drive – Turbocharging Evolution

When the Ford Escape first hit the scene in 2001 it was an instant success, helping to launch a compact SUV segment that was still in its infancy. Flash forward a decade and a half later and the pond is increasingly crowded with an ichthyologist's nightmare of competing crossovers and sport-utility vehicles, each trying to snatch family buyers out of each other's jaws in a feeding frenzy that would terrify even the staunchest piranha.

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2016 Lexus LX 570 Review – Sasquatch in a cummerbund

2016 Lexus LX 570 Review – Sasquatch in a cummerbund

If the Lexus SUV credo has long been 'quiet luxury,' then the 2016 Lexus LX 570 is its incognito off-road assassin, Sasquatch in a cummerbund, Sir Edmund Hillary at a cocktail party surrounded by pretenders. This full-size, multi-ton beast is the inheritor of a legacy that includes countless crossings of the Serengeti mated with the penthouse-levels of charm and grace bred into its Land Cruiser-based platform by way of Lexus' ability to transcend badge-engineering and create something distinct from its Toyota truck roots. In other words, it's a people mover with few peers in a world where off-road credentials and stream-fording brass balls have largely been replaced by lumpen globs of metal and glass devoid of any personality.

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Four things the 2016 Prius Two Eco gets absolutely right

Four things the 2016 Prius Two Eco gets absolutely right

Not for nothing is the Toyota Prius the chariot-of-choice for the eco pious. Toyota's segment-starting hybrid has become a mainstay of the green driving movement over its nearly two decades of production, at the same time racking up criticisms that it's more appliance than automobile. Along comes the fourth-generation 2016 Prius, however, and while you may be tempted to write it off as more of the same, it turns out there's a lot more changed than just the controversial looks.

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2016 BMW 340i Review – Back on form

2016 BMW 340i Review – Back on form

Messing with an icon can be trouble, something BMW found when it launched the sixth-gen 3 Series in 2012, and something it aims to redress with the 2016 340i. The car that had long been the sport sedan to beat suddenly suffered a crisis of identity: too focused on luxury for those who look to Bavaria for their four-door performance, but not cosseting enough in the face of Mercedes' efforts. Now, for 2016, we get the 340i and a surprisingly successful do-over.

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