Car Reviews

Vehicle Preview: Lucid Air

Vehicle Preview: Lucid Air Setting the Definition of Luxury Mobility By Randy Lioz, Editor, | February 2018 At the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, Car-ED had an exclusive chat with Lucid Motors VP of Design Derek Jenkins. He is what you would call "a designer's designer," with an impressive resume that shows he's helped put into place some of the most exciting and respected design languages in the industry, at brands like Audi and Mazda. Jenkins is tasked with bringing the company's first luxury EV sedan, the Lucid Air, to market by 2019, and he and Marketing Director Zak Edson gave us a thorough walk-around of their upcoming vehicle and some insight into the company’s plans for the rollout. Who is this company? Lucid has been around since 2007, at first focusing on battery technology under the name Atieva, but in the past few years has parlayed that research into developing their own car. Lucid is an electric vehicle luxury brand, and as such some see it as a challenger to Tesla. It has also lured away a decent number of Elon Musk’s employees, including Lucid Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson, but the upstart is aiming to best the Silicon Valley star in a few key ways. First of all is their battery and powertrain technology. Lucid says it’s making big advances in energy density and charging speed. In fact, the company has said [...]

2018-02-15T00:00:07-05:00Feb 2018|Car Reviews, News|

On Your Radar: Kia Rio

On Your Radar: Kia Rio Now That's What I Call Value! By Randy Lioz, Editor, | January 2018 The Rio is one of the more underappreciated cars in the Subcompact Car segment, but with its mix of style, value and space, KIA’s most affordable model definitely warrants a look from buyers in the market for basic transportation, with a little flair. What is this vehicle? The Rio is the entry point for the KIA lineup, and while a few generations ago it matched its bargain basement price with a cellar-level reputation, over the past few years it’s gained an image of being one of the most spacious and powerful packages in the segment, offering ample feature content for not too much money. It’s a subcompact car that’s available as either a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatch, and while many people see the Rio nameplate as basic transportation, it can give you many of the features available in more upscale vehicles, but in a space- and fuel-efficient package that’s easy on the wallet. Who is this vehicle for? Young people—and older buyers—who otherwise might be considering a used car can look to a KIA Rio to get a car that not only doesn’t come with the potential pitfalls—and smells—of the previous owners, but also includes KIA’s highly competitive 10-year/100k-mile powertrain warranty—the rest of car has 5-year/60k-mile coverage. With the subcompact car segment [...]

2018-02-14T23:59:03-05:00Ene 2018|Car Reviews|

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Don’t Mess With a Good Thing By Randy Lioz, Editor, | January 2018 The Jeep Wrangler is hitting showrooms with a major redesign, and enthusiasts are stoked. Without losing its legendary capability, the Wrangler will be more refined, with better fuel economy and more technology. With either two or four doors and a choice of 3 different roof types, plus its first ever full-time 4WD system, there’s  a Wrangler for…well, not everyone, but more people than ever. What is this vehicle? It’s exactly what you think: a rugged, go-anywhere, do-anything off-roader, with unmatched rock-crawling abilities and a whole host of removable parts, from roof to doors to its fold-down windshield. There were rumors that some of these details would go away, and that Fiat-Chrysler would go heavily aluminum with the structure, but the traditionalists have won out mostly, with only some body panels being made of soda can metal, and much more use of high-strength steel to achieve the needed weight reductions. The rear “swing gate” is actually made out of magnesium, which is even lighter than aluminum. Who is this vehicle for? Wrangler buyers tend to be a fairly diverse bunch, and its cross-shopping list would drop your jaw. That’s because for many shoppers it’s about the vehicle’s image and lifestyle statement, especially those drawn to its status as a rare four-door convertible—currently the only one on the market. [...]

2018-02-15T00:02:18-05:00Ene 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent Rising Above the Outback By Randy Lioz, Editor, | January 2018 A new 3-row crossover from Subaru debuted at the LA Auto Show, which will bring the brand back into one of the hottest segments in the market. The Ascent won’t hit showrooms until next year, but it should help the brand extend its reach in the U.S., and sustain its momentum. What is this vehicle? The 2019 Ascent marks Subaru’s return to the 3-row SUV game for the first time since 2014, when the Tribeca left the market. While the Tribeca was smaller and more upscale than most of its competitors—telegraphed by its swanky Manhattan neighborhood namesake—the Ascent is a more conventional approach. It’s dimensionally similar to the larger competitors in the mid-size segment, like the Ford Explorer, so it has one of the most spacious interiors in the class, and can carry up to 8 people up the mountain. Who is this vehicle for? Big families and carpoolers can finally check out Subaru, and the brand can retain even more of its fierce loyalists who might have looked elsewhere when the Outback no longer met their needs. Subarus are highly popular in the Pacific Northwest and mountainous regions like Colorado, since the brand has been built on its all-wheel drive heritage. This expansion into one of the hottest segments in the industry is likely to broaden that appeal [...]

2018-02-15T00:01:19-05:00Ene 2018|Car Reviews, News|

On Your Radar: Sub-Compact Utilities

On Your Radar: Sub-Compact Utilities By Randy Lioz, Editor, | December 2017 Auto show season kicked off last Friday, when the LA Auto Show opened to the public. It features 20 world debuts and runs until December 10th at the LA Convention Center. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, going to one of the shows in the coming months—whether it be one of the big ones in Detroit, New York or Chicago, or a smaller regional show—is a great way to see what’s out there. Whatever segment you happen to be looking in, there are no doubt several vehicles that just aren’t on your radar. In a new series of posts, we wanted to take a look at some popular segments and point out a few entries that might not have caught your attention, but are definitely worth looking into. We start with one of the hottest segments in the industry, which has been growing quickly in both offerings and sales. The Sub-Compact Utility Segment What is it? These cute utes are often based on subcompact cars—the Honda HR-V, one of the top sellers in the segment, is built off the Fit platform—offering the cargo room, increased ride height and aggressive styling of SUVs, but with reasonable fuel economy. They also usually offer all-wheel drive for buyers in colder regions. Who is it for? Younger buyers grew up during the [...]

2018-02-15T00:04:30-05:00Dic 2017|Car Reviews, News|

On Your Radar: Luxury Utilities

On Your Radar: Luxury Utilities By Randy Lioz, Editor, | December 2017 Luxury brands really helped to kick off the crossover SUV craze of the 1990s. What started with the Mercedes M-Class and Lexus RX quickly blossomed into a full-scale invasion of utilities that has continued to this day. The onslaught began with mid-sized 2-row vehicles, but eventually spread outward to longer 3-row crossovers and compact utilities that offer an entry into these premium brands. Several of the vehicles that bowed last month at the LA Auto Show offer an illustration of these trends. Since they’re adding choice to what are some of the most popular luxury segments, we definitely think you should know about them, so here’s a roundup of the latest entries into the upscale utility fray. Luxury Crossover Utilities What are they?  These SUVs from premium brands are built on car platforms—without a separate underbody frame—meaning they offer car-like handling and fuel economy, but generally still have a ride height advantage for a more commanding view of the road, and offer either standard or optional all-wheel drive. Who is it for? Luxury buyers have just as much desire for all-weather and cargo-hauling capability. Many buyers have reported appreciating the height advantage of a utility vehicle, especially with the other SUVs and trucks on the road. Families also enjoy the many flexible seating options, and the choice to include rear-entertainment systems [...]

2018-02-15T00:05:24-05:00Dic 2017|Car Reviews, News|

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla Wise with Age - But Keeping it Young! By Kevin Joostema, Partner, | July 2017 The 2017 Toyota Corolla brings a long list of updates to its minor cycle refresh that allow it to continue to be a wise choice to get you through the grind of daily life. Whether it is your trip to high school, to college, your commute to work, daily runs to the grocery store and Target or even Starbucks runs, the Corolla provides a safe and secure feeling to leave home with and return every day. What is this vehicle? The Corolla is the compact sedan offer from Toyota – and is one of the highest selling nameplates in the world. The 50th anniversary edition was available in 2016 as the first generation was launched back in 1966. The Corolla became the best selling model in the world back in 1997 – surpassing the VW Beetle. Over 40 million have been sold and this is the 11th generation of the Corolla. The Corolla, along with the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus and to a lesser extent the VW Golf (as a hatchback), define the continuum of the Compact Sedan segment in the US marketplace. Who is this vehicle for? Anyone looking at a Compact Sedan; there is no one type of owner, but it often can be for the first time vehicle owner that [...]

2018-02-15T00:06:45-05:00Jul 2017|Car Reviews|

Toyota Prius Three

Toyota Prius Three From the Sun to the Road – an electrification Tour de Force By Kevin Joostema, Partner, July 2017 With over 20 years and 2 million plus Prius family vehicles sold in the US alone, the iconic hybrid vehicle from Toyota Motor continues to give you a feeling of WOW when driving this third generation, the Prius Three. What is this vehicle? This is the iconic hybrid from Toyota Motor. With a new styling that is liked by some, but not liked by others. The styling takes a new leap forward with this third generation of the Prius to keep looking advanced and carrying some futuristic edging from the Mirai fuel cell vehicle. It is the rear tail light treatment that gets the ding for the styling by most consumers. On the positive side – it does stand out and is a defining signature look, which plays better at night on the road to stand out and be recognized as something unique. The vehicle is a 5 passenger, compact hatchback that reads from the side exterior almost like a midsize sedan with a fastback design. Who is this vehicle for? Mainstream compact car owners or midsize sedan buyers that definitely want to make a Green statement with the highest fuel efficiency available and to feel like you are making a difference as a car driver. This difference also contributes to [...]

2018-02-15T00:10:22-05:00Jul 2017|Car Reviews|

Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas VW “Goes Big” in the US By Kevin Joostema, Partner, | July 2017 With an additional investment of 0 million in the factory just opened in 2011, VW is bringing its biggest vehicle to date – the VW Atlas – to US consumers this summer. What is this vehicle? This is a competitive, 3-row, Midsize SUV newly developed by Volkswagen to compete in one of the hottest segments of the US vehicle market: Historically, Midsize Sedans have been the largest volume segment in the US. However, market volume – and profits – for the leading manufacturers, whether mainstream or luxury – are now driven by Compact SUVs and these Midsize SUVs. It meets all the required cues for what the most popular, high-volume Midsize SUVs have given consumers for decades: It has a presence on the road due to its size. The driver has a commanding view of the road and feels “p0werful” from inside. It is cavernous inside – with flexible space in seating versus cargo It drives like a car – not a truck. Dynamically it is comfortable to drive. Who is this vehicle for? Mature families that want an alternative to the high volume (and thus common) leaders like the Honda Pilot or For Explorer in this segment. This is a new buyer for the VW brand to attract – to date there has not been [...]

2018-02-15T00:07:48-05:00Jul 2017|Car Reviews|