When Lexus launched the sixth-generation ES premium midsize sedan a few years back it used the tagline of ‘Impossible to ignore, impossible to forget.’ More recently, the luxury division of Toyota Motor Company has given the ES lineup a mild makeover, and over the holidays we took delivery of the 2017 Lexus ES 300h hybrid sedan in the test driveway.
It still surprises me just how many vehicles grace the test driveway each calendar year. It also surprises me what has not yet made it down our way when I look at the number of new or refreshed vehicles that have hit the market this year. Here is a look at my top five faves from 2016.
I finish out the class of 2016 with a vehicle that features a legendary name but actually arrives from a little boot-shaped country in the Mediterranean. The Jeep Renegade compact off-roader came to be thanks to the corporate influence of Fiat and proved to be quite a surprise of a vehicle.
Kia’s funky little runabout gets some new “soul” for 2017. The Soul urban activity vehicle sees the addition of a turbocharged 1.6-liter GDI engine this model year along with a new 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. It arrives in the Exclaim model and puts more fun in funky.
Acura rolled out the third generation of its MDX three-row crossover utility vehicle three years ago and for model year 2017 it receives a bit of a makeover. Along with sporting a new beak the 2017 MDX arrived with a host of new technologies as well.
This week I got a chance to try a new and exciting technology that was already present and built into several 2017 Audi models since June 1 but had just come online. V2I, or Vehicle to Infrastructure, Traffic Light Information is built into the Audi A4, Q7, and allroad models; the first city to offer it is Las Vegas, Nevada.
Volkswagen says its GTI defined the term hot hatch – a fun-to-drive hatchback offering power, playful performance, refinement, and style. The latest iteration was North American Car of the Year for 2015 and recently we spent time behind the wheel of the 2016 Golf GTI.
It has been no secret that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been one of my favorite vehicles in recent years. The latest platform is very stable and solid both on road and off despite the model line going to unibody chassis. Our recent Overland tester showed some nice (and needed) upgrades to the JGC line.
Honey, I shrunk the Acadia. Those were my exact thoughts when I first saw the redesigned 2017 Acadia three-row family crossover from GMC. And I kept thinking that when I learned it was powered by a four-cylinder engine. Can this new model fill the shoes of its previous generation?
In February, ZTE and Mojio announced an agreement to work on a connected car initiative. Today they are announcing the development of this technology as T-Mobile’s SyncUP DRIVE solution.
Buick is back, and this IS a Buick. After years of marketing folks telling us what was not one of its models, Buick is alive and well in the large sedan – and sporting its new corporate face – in the form of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.
Nissan has finally rolled out the remainder of its Titan pickup line. Last model year we saw the first new Titan to roll off the assembly lines and it arrived in a 5/8-model branded Titan XD and powered by a Cummins diesel engine. For 2017 we see the half-ton models arriving with the V-8 gas engines.
I saw the Ram 1500 Rebel at its debut during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2015 and kind of wondered to myself why it took Ram so long to offer an off-road package like this from the factory. It’s here, and its beauty is more than skin-deep.
General Motors must think I have a large family or something, as they have sent me one version or another of their extra-large family sport ute (AKA Carryall). I admit I am a fan of the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL vehicles, but five in the test driveway over the past two years – overload, perhaps?
I live in Texas, where huge pickups and SUVs are everywhere. Top of the line for either would have to be the GMC Denali, but you don’t have to be in a full-size Yukon or 4 door pickup to get the Denali package; you can also find it in the much more maneuverable, yet still roomy, 2017 GMC Acadia Denali.
It was just three years ago that we reviewed the then all-new, second-generation Kia Forte sedan. We proclaimed our amazement at how far the Korean automaker had come in a relatively short time in this market, as well as just how good the new Forte was. Fast-forward to model year 2017 and the Kia Forte gets a makeover.
Happy Anniversary, Jeep! Born in 1941, the iconic brand is celebrating 75 years of off-road toughness and its go anywhere, do anything attitude. We recently marked the stellar occasion by spending a week behind the wheel of a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock Edition as we celebrated our anniversary in the Texas Hill Country.
Several months ago I reviewed the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta sedan. I liked the car but it was a sedate, average daily driver. Recently I received the Jetta GLI, and I gotta tell ya, where the Jetta 1.8T left off the GLI begins, and for 2016 the GLI gets some nice upgrades.
As Ram and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepare to roll out a redesigned 2017 2500 Power Wagon this fall, they sent us a new 2016 version recently that we used for a weekend road trip visiting some out of the way places west of the sprawling Metroplex in North Texas.
Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. just got better. For the 2016 model year, the automaker has given its Altima midsize sedan a mid-cycle refresh inside and out. The new look embraces Nissan’s new Energetic Flow design language first seen in Murano and Maxima, and Altima also receives some significant technology upgrades as well.
Mitsubishi has given its crossover utility lineup a makeover. The Outlander and Outlander Sport each feature new styling and new content to make them more competitive in the very crowded utility segment. We recently tested the Outlander Sport GT and found the new little Mitsubishi to be a pleasant surprise.