Savage On Wheels

Mark Savage

If you’re a person who prefers the happy medium to going full out off-roader or suburban commuter for your pickup, Chevrolet’s Colorado will suit you well.

This bright red (Red Hot) Colorado was the top-level ZR2 with the Bison package, so slots in at the high-end of this segment’s pricing and is fully meant for off-road action. Not living on a farm or being a contractor that frequents construction sites, I had to settle for an on-road test.

Mark Savage

About a decade ago, Ford’s Ranger was a compact pickup made primarily, or so it seemed, for teenage boys to range around small towns and suburban areas.

Rangers were small, had inexpensive wheels, and were often the first truck a kid owned. Eight years after Ranger disappeared from Ford’s truck landscape, it’s back and it has grown into a midsize pickup, a true hauler that you could use to tow a decent-sized trailer and boat, or snowmobile.

Mark Savage

You’ll either want a Jeep Gladiator pickup, or you won’t.

What I mean is, the long-awaited Jeep pickup is an image vehicle as much as it is a pickup. That’s not to say it doesn’t function as well as a pickup, it certainly does. But it looks like a Jeep, and that’s really all that matters.

Case in point: my sister-in-law declared it an “ugly thing”, while another woman rider, who loves and owns Jeeps, said it looked “fantastic.”

Mark Savage

No matter how much good I have to say about Nissan’s new Leaf (and I have plenty to say), I’m not sure you’ll believe me.

That’s because the original Leaf, as revolutionary as it was as the first fully electric car to be marketed to the masses, was underwhelming, if for no other reason than that its range was only about 80 miles. Certainly that would be fine for a city commuter, but not real practical for much more than that.

Mark Savage

Ford revamped the nose and tail styling of its successful Edge crossover for 2019 and at gave it more power and a better transmission.

I’d driven a new Edge Titanium last winter and it, along with the lower level SE and SEL, is aimed squarely at the family market. But this bright metallic blue ST edition had a decidedly sportier edge to it.

Mark Savage

Volkswagen's (VW) new luxury family sedan proves that cars are not dead yet. This sporty fastback is simply so much more fun and comfortable to drive than an SUV or large crossover that it makes you wonder why cars are falling out of favor.

VW has launched the Arteon (odd name to be sure, but not a deal breaker) to replace the CC which was equally attractive. The tested Chili Red (medium metallic red) SEL with 4Motion has everything a family predestined to buy a ute or crossover could want.

Mark Savage

 

There’s no denying that pickups are the dandies of our nation’s auto buyers. Ford’s F-150 has been the top selling vehicle in the U.S. for 37 years now and Chevy’s Silverado pickup has been No. 2 most of that time. Chrysler’s Ram pickup is No. 3 now, just a sliver behind the Chevy.

That’s right, the top 3 best-sellers are all pickups, and the Ford by a wide margin, nearly 2 to 1 vs. the Chevy and the Ram.

Mark Savage

What should you expect when buying a car for $100,000?

Certainly standout looks and performance are in the top couple “must haves.” But do you expect a hybrid sports car with supercar looks and a steady whine?

Well, Lexus delivers on looks, performance and comfort with its hot sports coupe — the LC 500h. That “h” signifies this is a hybrid, so it even delivers better fuel economy than could be expected in a hot coupe. But there’s also a whine here that doesn’t befit the car’s luxury standing.

Mark Savage

Kia’s first big SUV is a perfect game. Whatever superlative sports metaphor you’d choose, the Telluride is all that.

It’s harder to write a glowing review than one that picks a few nits, yet I found none to pick in this review of Kia’s new Telluride SX AWD. That’s the top level model, but there are four trims, so one should fit in most folks’ budget.

Mark Savage

BMW is as synonymous with racing as Porsche and Ferrari. But BMW is also known for making road-worthy sedans and coupes that offer at least a modicum of civility and practicality.

As its 3 Series and 5 Series cars have continued to grow, both in size and price, BMW wisely stepped back toward its roots to create both a 1 and 2 Series. These are smaller and less pricey, comparatively, from its mainstream offerings.

Mark Savage

No words, no matter how many, can adequately describe RAM’s heavy-duty 3500 pickup. But I’ll try.

Check in the dictionary under “cowboy Cadillac” and I’m pretty sure you’ll see an image of my fancy metallic walnut brown test truck. This was the RAM 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab with four-wheel-drive and a long bed, just one notch down from RAM’s top-level Limited.

2020-toyota-corolla-hybrid-review
Mark Savage

After 60 years in the U.S. market, Toyota continues to impress when it comes to value. And its redesigned 2020 Corolla is a prime example.

Toyota revamped its popular Corolla to lower its ride height, widen its track, lower the cowl for better visibility and looks and then shorten the front overhang and lengthen its rear overhang. Still, you likely won’t drop a molar in excitement, but the compact is modestly pleasing to the eye.

I’ve owned a couple Mazdas through the years. I’ve liked them for their sporty handling and edgy styling, which sets them apart from many competitors.

The new 2019 Mazda3 Hatchback does nothing to spoil those differentiators. In fact, it improves on the looks and upgrades the interior to make it even more attractive. Mazda also adds all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option, putting it in direct competition with the sporty AWD Subaru Impreza, but with a touch more zip.

Mark Savage

If you’re in the market for a compact crossover there’d better be a good reason you haven’t test driven a Hyundai Santa Fe yet. You’d be crazy not to.

The five-passenger Santa Fe, formerly the Santa Fe Sport, practically sets the bar for this crossover segment for everything perhaps except handling. Mazda’s CX-5 excels there.

Mark Savage

Hyundai cranks up the heat on Japanese and European luxury sport sedan makers with its new “entry level” Genesis G70. It’s long on performance and luxury, but modestly short on price.

OK, the tested pearly “Casablanca White” AWD 3.3T model with the Prestige and Elite packages, logs in at $50,995. A bit beyond many pocketbooks, but compare that with BMW’s 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz’s C Class, Audi’s A4 or a Lexus IS and you’ll think you’ve stumbled on a bargain.

Pages