Driven Reviews

2022 ALPINA XB7: The Most Exclusive BMW SUV Money Can Buy

2022 ALPINA XB7: The Most Exclusive BMW SUV Money Can Buy

When enough isn’t enough, skip the BMW X7 and go for the Alpina XB7 instead

Earlier this year BMW brought longtime German partner and small series car manufacturer ALPINA in-house, acquiring the brand which has been tastefully modifying BMW vehicles since 1978. There are currently 3 ALPINA models with which to shop from BMW’s American lineup but this one is the biggest. Based on the 3-row X7 this is the ALPINA XB7 - the most exclusive BMW SUV money can buy.

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2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate: Aspirational, Luxurious, and Self-Driving

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate: Aspirational, Luxurious, and Self-Driving

$80,000 of Self-Driving Luxuriousness

Luxury trucks are definitely a thing - they’re hot and the automakers who build them are smiling all the way to the bank. Even an ordinary truck these days will set you back $50,000 while at the high-end it’s more like $80,000. And that’s exactly what I’ve got here in the new GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate - an aspirational truck that can even drive itself.

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2022 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge: A Great EV But Not Perfect

2022 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge: A Great EV But Not Perfect

Are You Ready for Your First EV?

Perhaps more than any other legacy brand, Volvo has been the most intentional about their transition to an all-electric lineup; slating 2030 as the goal line. Currently, plug-in hybrids dominate Volvo’s offerings, but they do have a couple of pure EVs right now: the XC40 Recharge and this C40 Recharge, both of which can only be purchased online.

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2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53: Not As Hair-Raising As Its Two-Door Sibling

2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 53: Not As Hair-Raising As Its Two-Door Sibling

Is 6 Cylinders Enough?

One of my favorite test drives in recent memory is of the AMG GT R Coupe - a spectacular 2-seater with exotic-car looks; ready for the racetrack right out of the box. So, you’d think a 4-door version of that car would be nearly as exciting, right? well, I’m discovering this week that this GT 53 has a completely different personality; one that doesn’t raise the heartbeat to a full-on AMG level.

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2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: One of the Best Sports Sedans on the Market

This week I invite you to ride along in what is quite possibly the best sports sedan that I have ever driven during my 25 years as a car critic. And, no; it’s not from Germany. This is the CT5-V Blackwing and if you fancy yourself a driver, this is the Cadillac of your dreams.

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2022 Kia Forte GT Review: An Affordable, Fun-to-Drive Car

2022 Kia Forte GT Review: An Affordable, Fun-to-Drive Car

Value and Performance are its Strong Suit

So, you want something fun to drive but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Getting a car that meets those criteria isn’t easy these days. Oh, and if you want it to be fuel-efficient, spacious and loaded? Good luck. And that’s exactly why this new Kia Forte GT jumps off the page.

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2022 Dodge Durango Review: Old But Still Relevant

2022 Dodge Durango Review: Old But Still Relevant

The Durango may be old but this aging family hauler is surprisingly Up-to-Date

The Dodge Durango is a mid-size SUV that hasn’t changed too much since 2011. It came to the market with genuine capability — a rear-wheel-drive-based platform and an available 360-horsepower HEMI V-8 — at a time when most similarly sized competitors were transforming into crossovers.

The Ford Explorer dropped its V-8 and went front-wheel drive that same year. The Nissan Pathfinder followed a couple of years after that. And though it stayed true to its off-road roots, the Toyota 4Runner also dropped its optional V-8 (and lofty towing capacity) in 2010.

Better still, Dodge hasn’t left the Durango to wither into a sad bargain car. While it still shows its age in some areas, a recently redesigned interior nicely complements its well-balanced ride and handling, relatively spacious interior, and choice of three powerful engines — reaching as high as 475 horsepower.

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2022 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Review: Overpowered and Not Without Compromise

2022 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Review: Overpowered and Not Without Compromise

The Defender V8 might be worth it to some, but it’s truly overkill for most of us

While Ford and Jeep are messing around with new 400+ horsepower versions of their most extreme off-roaders, Land Rover’s like “wouldn’t you rather have a 518-horsepower supercharged engine?” Well, that’s the deal with their new Defender V8 - a six-figure SUV designed with a more dynamic side.

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2022 Subaru BRZ Review - Proof That Second Chances Are Well Worth It

2022 Subaru BRZ Review - Proof That Second Chances Are Well Worth It

Subaru ups the ante with the latest BRZ. So how did the sequel turn out?

Subaru didn’t have to change much about the BRZ. Since its debut in 2013, it has been almost in a class by itself — and a highly desirable one at that. Still, it wasn’t quite perfect. The interior was basic and dated, and not in an endearing way. The cabin was buzzy on the highway. There was basically no visual distinction from its Toyota 86 twin. And while its 200 horsepower was just right for some tastes, others felt the ideal output could be higher. Fix those things without wrecking something else, and the BRZ would be just about perfect, at least for someone who wants that type of vehicle.

There was no promise though that we’d even get a second generation. Toyota and Subaru could have put their development dollars somewhere else rather than on a low-volume affordable sports coupe. But sure enough, a redesigned BRZ (and a renamed Toyota GR86) hit the market for 2022, priced from $27,995. Subaru could have badly screwed up this redesign, especially from an enthusiast perspective where it could have diluted the BRZ’s appeal while chasing other mainstream rivals. But thankfully, that isn’t the case and if you liked the old BRZ, you’ll probably like the new one even more.

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2022 Mercedes EQC 400 Review - The Electric SUV With Hidden Character

2022 Mercedes EQC 400 Review - The Electric SUV With Hidden Character

The Mercedes EQC 400 is the first all-electric Benz - is it worth the hype?

Among the big automotive brands, Mercedes has one of the most comprehensive EV lineups currently on the market. The Mercedes EQC was introduced back in 2019 and is the first Mercedes EV. Recently, we got to drive the Mercedes EQC 400, which at this point in time, is the only available version of the compact luxury SUV. The EQC is the founder of the Mercedes’ all-electric, EQ lineup and these are our impressions.

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2023 Toyota BZ4X Review: Radically Different But Underachieving

2023 Toyota BZ4X Review: Radically Different But Underachieving

The BZ4X is Toyota’s attempt to move its EV sales ‘beyond zero’ and, this time, it is available in all 50 States

Someone must have told Toyota that electric vehicles are supposed to be different. For its first dedicated EV, the company applied that lesson with blacked-out fenders, a fabric-upholstered dashboard, an inscrutable gear selector, and an alphabet-soup name.

The result is the 2023 Toyota bZ4X — the “bZ” standing for a new all-electric “beyond zero” subbrand. At the same time, the bZ4X is more “normal” than many other leading EVs. It focuses on a smooth, quiet ride over explosive power and sporty handling. And despite its quirks, the Toyota’s interior is more plush than ultramodern.

Priced from $42,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, the bZ4X is a front-wheel-drive-based crossover that slots between the compact and mid-size segments. Toyota co-developed it with Subaru, which will sell a near-clone of the bZ4X as the Solterra. We just spent a week in a preproduction bZ4X to see how it fits into the fast-growing electric crossover segment.

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2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Review: The Sportier Electric Alternative to the XC40

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Review: The Sportier Electric Alternative to the XC40

Test-driving the Volvo C40 Recharge Twin left us pleasantly surprised

Volvo, like other manufacturers, is hard at work electrifying its entire lineup. While Polestar (Volvo’s ex-tuner) is considered to be the EV arm of the Swedish brand, Volvo is churning out fully-electric versions of its own models. The first Volvo-badged EV is the XC40 Recharge, which is still being sold with a variety of internal-combustion engines. However, its sportier sibling, the Volvo C40 Recharge is the brand’s first EV-only model, and we recently got a chance to spend some time with the twin-motor variant.

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