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Coming into Focus
 Good things do come in small packages. That’s a lesson former Wheels editors Jimmy Dinsmore and Dave Mikesell learned this week. Case in point is the 2016 Ford Focus, which is already diminutive, but now has a new (tiny) 1.0-liter engine. Ford, of course, has mastered the engineering of boosting small engines for maximum output. They&rsquo...

4:00 AM Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Good things do come in small packages. That’s a lesson former Wheels editors Jimmy Dinsmore and Dave Mikesell learned this week. Case in point is the 2016 Ford Focus, which is already diminutive, but now has a new (tiny) 1.0-liter engine. Ford, of course, has mastered the engineering of boosting small engines for maximum output. They&rsquo...
Cruzing toward change
 Change is good. Changing for the sake of change is not good. When it comes it to the automotive industry, changing a car is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment. So change can’t be done too quickly or haphazardly. In the case of my tester this week, the change is good and well executed. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is widely improved...

4:00 AM Friday, Aug. 05, 2016

Change is good. Changing for the sake of change is not good. When it comes it to the automotive industry, changing a car is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment. So change can’t be done too quickly or haphazardly. In the case of my tester this week, the change is good and well executed. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is widely improved...
GMC Canyon pushes the envelope with diesel power
 The American consumer is infatuated with big pickup trucks. I am in touch with the American consumer – or so I like to think – but I believe today’s consumer has more truck than they need. That’s why the midsize segment is growing. When the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon emerged, they helped push the envelope. My...

4:00 AM Friday, Jul. 29, 2016

The American consumer is infatuated with big pickup trucks. I am in touch with the American consumer – or so I like to think – but I believe today’s consumer has more truck than they need. That’s why the midsize segment is growing. When the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon emerged, they helped push the envelope. My...
Award-worthy
 When you’re nominated for a prestigious award, the common saying is, it’s just an honor to be nominated. And that certainly can apply to my tester, although, rightfully, the 2016 Volvo XC90 has a right to a long, drawn out acceptance speech or victory lap. During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January...

4:00 AM Friday, Jul. 22, 2016

When you’re nominated for a prestigious award, the common saying is, it’s just an honor to be nominated. And that certainly can apply to my tester, although, rightfully, the 2016 Volvo XC90 has a right to a long, drawn out acceptance speech or victory lap. During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January...
Maxima improvement
 For the sake of writing about it, I’m going to call my tester this week a full-size sedan even though it defies many of the qualifications and certainly is incomparable to others in this decreasing segment. In fact, my tester this week left the segment – and the auto industry altogether – for a year. But after a year hiatus...

4:00 AM Friday, Jul. 15, 2016

For the sake of writing about it, I’m going to call my tester this week a full-size sedan even though it defies many of the qualifications and certainly is incomparable to others in this decreasing segment. In fact, my tester this week left the segment – and the auto industry altogether – for a year. But after a year hiatus...
Taking a firm stand
 Mazda will go inch-for-inch against all manufacturers in the midsize-sedan design category. Its entry, the Mazda6, is visually arresting with a sleek profile, redesigned front end that accentuates the grille, rising roofline and a sharp taillight package in back. Former Wheels editors Dave Mikesell and Jimmy Dinsmore take a look at the Mazda6...

4:00 AM Friday, Jul. 01, 2016

Mazda will go inch-for-inch against all manufacturers in the midsize-sedan design category. Its entry, the Mazda6, is visually arresting with a sleek profile, redesigned front end that accentuates the grille, rising roofline and a sharp taillight package in back. Former Wheels editors Dave Mikesell and Jimmy Dinsmore take a look at the Mazda6...
Does R stands for Relevant in RAV4?
 You could argue the compact SUV market is the most competitive in the auto industry. So it takes a lot for a vehicle to stand out and remain relevant. Sometimes it requires a gimmick. Other times it needs a fast engine or fantastic fuel economy. And still other times it requires regular updates and refreshes. That’s where my tester...

4:00 AM Friday, Jun. 24, 2016

You could argue the compact SUV market is the most competitive in the auto industry. So it takes a lot for a vehicle to stand out and remain relevant. Sometimes it requires a gimmick. Other times it needs a fast engine or fantastic fuel economy. And still other times it requires regular updates and refreshes. That’s where my tester...
Don’t sleep on the Golf
 There’s a phrase many of the young people are using that applies to my tester this week. And even though I’m not one to use trendy jargon or phrases, I’m going to say it anyway. The 2016 Volkswagen Golf R hit me right in the feels during our week together. Yeah, I realize how stupid I sound saying that. Move on. When you...

4:00 AM Friday, Jun. 17, 2016

There’s a phrase many of the young people are using that applies to my tester this week. And even though I’m not one to use trendy jargon or phrases, I’m going to say it anyway. The 2016 Volkswagen Golf R hit me right in the feels during our week together. Yeah, I realize how stupid I sound saying that. Move on. When you...
Automotive enigma
 Some vehicles refuse to be pigeonholed, and that makes them more difficult to critique. That’s certainly the case this week for my tester – the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover HSE Td6. You see this is a big, luxurious SUV (it’s what you expect from all Land Rover vehicles). But it’s also an off-road beast. Oh, and it&rsquo...

4:00 AM Friday, Jun. 10, 2016

Some vehicles refuse to be pigeonholed, and that makes them more difficult to critique. That’s certainly the case this week for my tester – the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover HSE Td6. You see this is a big, luxurious SUV (it’s what you expect from all Land Rover vehicles). But it’s also an off-road beast. Oh, and it&rsquo...
Plugged in, turned on
 Finding the sweet spot for cost-conscious midsize sedan buyers is an ongoing effort for auto manufacturers. They must try to stand out from the crowd while maximizing looks, quality and features without exceeding a price point that will jeopardize value or the pocketbook. And no longer are gas-electric hybrids or plug-in hybrids seen as alien...

4:00 AM Friday, May. 27, 2016

Finding the sweet spot for cost-conscious midsize sedan buyers is an ongoing effort for auto manufacturers. They must try to stand out from the crowd while maximizing looks, quality and features without exceeding a price point that will jeopardize value or the pocketbook. And no longer are gas-electric hybrids or plug-in hybrids seen as alien...
Tundra takes a back seat to no one
 This year, my tester for the week is having to take a back seat to its little brother. For 2016, it’s all Tacoma this and Tacoma that. It could give the Tundra a complex. Thankfully, my tester, the 2016 Toyota Tundra, is stout and has a solid reputation to withstand the praise and attention the Tacoma is getting. While not significantly...

4:00 AM Friday, May. 20, 2016

This year, my tester for the week is having to take a back seat to its little brother. For 2016, it’s all Tacoma this and Tacoma that. It could give the Tundra a complex. Thankfully, my tester, the 2016 Toyota Tundra, is stout and has a solid reputation to withstand the praise and attention the Tacoma is getting. While not significantly...
Mid-sized, full bodied
 Lately, the Lincoln brand is starting to come (back) into its own. Ford’s luxury brand is starting to put a stamp of distinction and style on these vehicles. The luxurious feel had been waning for years, looking far too much like other vehicles. Here to talk about the completely redesigned 2016 Lincoln MKX are two guys who have been...

4:00 AM Friday, May. 13, 2016

Lately, the Lincoln brand is starting to come (back) into its own. Ford’s luxury brand is starting to put a stamp of distinction and style on these vehicles. The luxurious feel had been waning for years, looking far too much like other vehicles. Here to talk about the completely redesigned 2016 Lincoln MKX are two guys who have been...
TITANic return
 I always wanted to drive a monster truck. This week’s tester almost made me feel like I had fulfilled that wish on my bucket list. The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is a big truck. Not quite Bigfoot or Grave Digger, the Titan has a big name and is also now affiliated with a big name in the heavy-duty truck world. Cummins, once exclusive with...

4:00 AM Friday, May. 06, 2016

I always wanted to drive a monster truck. This week’s tester almost made me feel like I had fulfilled that wish on my bucket list. The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is a big truck. Not quite Bigfoot or Grave Digger, the Titan has a big name and is also now affiliated with a big name in the heavy-duty truck world. Cummins, once exclusive with...
ReVOLTolution
 It’s good to see General Motors not treating one of their coolest vehicles as just a flash in the pan. When it debuted in model year 2011, the Chevrolet Volt was revolutionary. It was the brainchild of automotive legend Bob Lutz. The Volt was his pet project and one of his last big stamps he left on General Motors. Like other electric...

4:00 AM Friday, Apr. 22, 2016

It’s good to see General Motors not treating one of their coolest vehicles as just a flash in the pan. When it debuted in model year 2011, the Chevrolet Volt was revolutionary. It was the brainchild of automotive legend Bob Lutz. The Volt was his pet project and one of his last big stamps he left on General Motors. Like other electric...
Genesis: A new beginning
 How good is the Hyundai Genesis? It’s so good that the Korean automaker has decided to launch an entire luxury product line - similar to Lexus and Acura - using the Genesis name. It seems apropos because the Hyundai Genesis was the Korean automaker’s first offering in the luxury car segment. And it was a huge hit. I’ve seen...

4:00 AM Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

How good is the Hyundai Genesis? It’s so good that the Korean automaker has decided to launch an entire luxury product line - similar to Lexus and Acura - using the Genesis name. It seems apropos because the Hyundai Genesis was the Korean automaker’s first offering in the luxury car segment. And it was a huge hit. I’ve seen...
Recipe for success
 You know that restaurant that you like, that you always go back to over and over? That’s sort of like my tester for the week. The 2016 Honda Accord never disappoints. Perhaps that’s why it’s a top-selling vehicle. Few vehicles resonate so broadly as the Accord. It’s hard being all things to all people, but the Accord...

4:00 AM Friday, Apr. 08, 2016

You know that restaurant that you like, that you always go back to over and over? That’s sort of like my tester for the week. The 2016 Honda Accord never disappoints. Perhaps that’s why it’s a top-selling vehicle. Few vehicles resonate so broadly as the Accord. It’s hard being all things to all people, but the Accord...
Big-time truck
 One word kept coming to mind this week with my tester – BIG. Or, perhaps a certain Presidential candidate may say UUUGE. The 2016 GMC Sierra Denali is big (or huge) in all regards. The Sierra is the more luxurious version of the Chevrolet Silverado, and while the Silverado outsells the Sierra, the Sierra is the one that’s big...

4:00 AM Friday, Mar. 25, 2016

One word kept coming to mind this week with my tester – BIG. Or, perhaps a certain Presidential candidate may say UUUGE. The 2016 GMC Sierra Denali is big (or huge) in all regards. The Sierra is the more luxurious version of the Chevrolet Silverado, and while the Silverado outsells the Sierra, the Sierra is the one that’s big...
Personality to spare
 This week’s vehicle can be called a crossover, because that’s technically what it is. But with all due respect, it doesn’t look much like a crossover, and certainly doesn’t perform like one, either. The Fiat 500X is in a class of its own, really. With some Italian inspiration, it shares the “cutesy” looks...

4:00 AM Friday, Mar. 18, 2016

This week’s vehicle can be called a crossover, because that’s technically what it is. But with all due respect, it doesn’t look much like a crossover, and certainly doesn’t perform like one, either. The Fiat 500X is in a class of its own, really. With some Italian inspiration, it shares the “cutesy” looks...
Give me a V …
 By adding one letter, my test drive subject went from very good to exceptional! Who knew one letter could make such a difference? The little car in question this week is the Cadillac ATS and that one letter that changes everything is V. The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V turns this compact sporty car into something truly special. The ATS was already...

5:00 AM Friday, Mar. 11, 2016

By adding one letter, my test drive subject went from very good to exceptional! Who knew one letter could make such a difference? The little car in question this week is the Cadillac ATS and that one letter that changes everything is V. The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V turns this compact sporty car into something truly special. The ATS was already...
Making a name for itself
 Say you were playing a game of “Family Feud” and the question was, “Name something associated with Malibu.” Your likely answers would be Barbie, California or rum. General Motors and Chevrolet would like to also make sure their midsize sedan is first on your mind when you hear the name Malibu. In the ultra-competitive...

5:00 AM Friday, Mar. 04, 2016

Say you were playing a game of “Family Feud” and the question was, “Name something associated with Malibu.” Your likely answers would be Barbie, California or rum. General Motors and Chevrolet would like to also make sure their midsize sedan is first on your mind when you hear the name Malibu. In the ultra-competitive...
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