Driven Reviews

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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

The GLA 250 is an all-round package, but all the droolworthy features are offered as optional that make it exorbitantly expensive

Mercedes launched the 2021 GLA in July last year and promoted it as a much safer, spacious, and off-road-oriented compact vehicle. While we don’t agree that offering a four-wheel-drive system makes it an off-roader, it certainly seems to have become a better package overall.

The GLA is a seasoned product that only gotten better this time around. It feels a lot more luxurious and modern than its predecessor. But, does spending close to $40,000 for an entry-level, compact Mercedes with a four-pot mill make a whole lot of sense?

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2021 Nissan Armada - Driven

2021 Nissan Armada - Driven

Nissan’s full-size SUV has been updated with fresh tech, but does that make it good enough?

The Nissan Armada started life back in 2004 riding on Nissan Titan underpinnings and was built in Canton Mississippi. All that changed when the second-generation was launched for the 2017 model year, with production shifting to Yakuhashi, Kyushu, Japan as Nissan based the second-gen on Nissan Patrol underpinnings that feature some very specific modifications to make it suitable for the North American market. As of 2021, the Nissan Armada has been updated to feature a prettier face, a new center console inside, and some updated technology. As is the case with all refreshed models, we’ve been wondering if Nissan did enough to keep the Armada relevant in such a brutally competitive market. Does it hold its own against the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition? Well, let’s find out.

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Mercedes GLE Coupe

Mercedes GLE Coupe

An off-beat choice that comes with sweet engine options, spacious interior, and top-notch tech

The Mercedes GLE is everything you’d need in a vehicle. It looks handsome (if you’re into coupes, that is), feels premium on the inside, comes with tech features that will make nerds go weak in their knees, and powertrain options that will satisfy your adrenaline rush. On paper, every requirement is ticked well. But, it’s still not a complete package. The automaker left some rough edges that are glaringly evident, especially in the ride quality and ergonomics department. Will these prove to be deal-breakers, or can the overall package swerve your decision to choose it over the BMW X6 or the Audi SQ5? .

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2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

If you’re looking to stand out, the AMG E63 S will not disappoint as long as you’ve got six figures to spend.

While the station wagon may have been a big hit in the United States long ago, today, out of all the cars sold on the U.S. market, only a handful are offered in the wagon body style. Of course, you have mainstays like the Subaru Outback, Audi A4 Allroad, and the Volvo V90 Cross Country and there are a few more obscure models like the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and soon to be forever gone Jaguar XF Sportbrake. A few others are out there too, like the car you see here, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon – a go-fast wagon that can easily make you forget that you’re an SUV-loving American living smack dab in the middle of North America. We recently spend a week with the AMG E63 S to see if it really was a strong, sexy alternative to the many, many SUVs on the market, and you’ll be surprised what we’ve learned.

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2021 Chevrolet Traverse High Country - Driven

2021 Chevrolet Traverse High Country - Driven

The Traverse is a perfect alternative to a minivan that comes with handsome looks, spacious cabin, and a brilliant engine+transmission combo

The Chevrolet Traverse is a three-row SUV that can best be described as a better-looking and equally practical alternative to a minivan. It offers the best cargo space in the segment, and courtesy of its length and wheelbase, it doesn’t come with a cramped third row. A V-6 engine is the only option offered across the range, but will suffice the needs of most of the owners. There is no dearth of features, but most of them are either optional or offered only in the top trim, which means a complete, loaded SUV will be quite pricey. We got to test the Chevy Traverse in its top avatar, the High Country trim, with an all-wheel-drive configuration, and here are our impressions of this bowtie product.

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2021 Nissan Maxima - Driven

2021 Nissan Maxima - Driven

Has an old dog learned any new tricks for 2021?

The Nissan Maxima – there’s quite a bit to say about it. Once a popular, full-size family sedan, the Nissan Maxima has fallen from average U.S. sales for 60,000 plus to just 18,141 units in 2020. Those numbers in 2020 are specifically worrying as Nissan updated the Maxima for the 2019 model year to bring in some extra safety and modernized technology. As of 2021, the Maxima is now five years into its eighth generation, so have things turned around or does Nissan have to make a tough choice between discontinuation and spending heaps of money in designing a ninth-gen model? We spent a week with the 2021 Nissan Maxima to find out, and this is our experience.

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2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye - Driven

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye - Driven

The range-topping Charger has a lot of good points and a few bad

The current Dodge Charger has been on the market since 2011 and, while it is getting a little long in the tooth, Dodge has continuously found ways to keep it interesting. It didn’t go so far as to make a Charger Demon to match the widely loved Challenger Demon, but it certainly came close with the car you see here – the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye – a 797-horsepower monster of a car that’s capable of standing down some of the world’s finest sports cars with nothing but some good old fashioned American muscle. Being such a powerful sedan, we’ve been curious about just what it can offer and whether or not near-800 horsepower puts it out family car segment altogether. We got to spend a week with it, and this is what we’ve learned.

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport - Driven

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport - Driven

Subaru has upped the ante for the Crosstrek by introducing new safety tech, a new trim, and a more powerful engine

Subaru introduced the Crosstrek last decade as a successor to the Outback Sport. It was essentially an Impreza with an off-road bias. This formula worked well for the company as it soon became the best-selling Subaru in the U.S.

For the 2021 model year, Subaru introduced a new ‘Sport’ trim along with a new engine option that further makes this a desirable product. Will these upgrades help Subaru sell more than Crosstreks than it has in the previous years?

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2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z51 - Driven

2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z51 - Driven

Chevy’s resident supercar squares off with more expensive models - does it stand a chance?

Chevy quite literally redefined what the Corvette name means when it unveiled the all-new, mid-engined C8 Corvette – a model that was decades in the making. Finally bringing the mid-engine configuration to the Corvette was no easy undertaking, but in the end, the new Corvette looked like a supercar, performed like a high-end sportscar, and created quite a stir in the automotive community thanks to its attractive low price. It seems impossible that a car like the C8 Corvette could retail for less than $60,000, but as promised it does ($59,995 as of the time of this writing). This makes the C8 Corvette come off as a much-cheaper alternative to many exotic cars, so how does it hold up? We spent a week with the 2021 C8 Corvette 3LT with the Z51 performance package to find out.

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2021 Cadillac XT6 - Driven

2021 Cadillac XT6 - Driven

The XT6 checks almost all the boxes, but it lacks the pizzazz that its German rivals offer

The Cadillac XT6 is a fairly new kid on the block. It is a full-fledged three-row SUV that comes with a smart exterior, a host of features inside the cabin, and two different engine options to choose from. For the 2021 model year, the company has introduced a new base trim with a four-cylinder engine option.

The higher trims, however, come with the big V-6 that is neither fuel-efficient nor too powerful. Even on paper, it doesn’t feel as accomplished as the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7. The XT6 doesn’t feel like a threat to its German counterparts, but it’s still an all-rounded SUV that offers a lot of bang for the buck. Can Cadillac make the XT6 a threatening proposition in the coming years?

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2021 Volvo V60 Cross Country - Driven

2021 Volvo V60 Cross Country - Driven

Can a station wagon survive an SUV world?

It’s almost ancient history now, but the Volvo station wagon spent years as a staple of upscale families. Luxurious without being ostentatious, known for its safety, and able to carry plenty of cargo, it was a fixture at field hockey practice — at least until SUVs took over that mantle. Even in the Volvo lineup, the station wagon is an afterthought next to the XC40, XC60, and XC90 crossovers.

But is that because SUVs are better than station wagons? Or are wagons unfairly overlooked and deserving of more attention? Volvo does still sell two wagons: the compact V60 and the midsize V90. We spent a week with the Volvo V60 Cross Country to see what a Volvo station wagon has to offer in this decade.

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2020 Mercedes E450 Cabriolet - Driven

2020 Mercedes E450 Cabriolet - Driven

The topless midsize Mercedes makes quite the offering if you’ve got $75,000 to burn

In a world where SUVs have all but taken over the market, there are fewer sedans and coupes to choose from. That reality is even worse for those looking for something with a top that gracefully stows away in the rear for unlimited headroom on demand. In fact, if you want a decent convertible these days, you’re only good option is either going with a roadster – like the Mercedes SLC or Jaguar F-Type – or something more conventional like the Audi S5 Cabriolet or the car we have here: A Mercedes E450 4Matic Cabriolet. Naturally positioned between the C-Class and the S-Class, the E-Class starts out right around $71,000, making it perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a smaller C-Class but can’t afford the six-figure price of the larger S-Class. So, what’s it like to live with the E-Class Cabrio? Well, I’m glad you asked, because we just spent a week with it and this is our story.

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2020 GMC Canyon - Driven

2020 GMC Canyon - Driven

The automaker has revamped and rejigged the Canyon lineup, and it looks more balanced than before

GMC Canyon has been around for quite some time now, and together with the Chevy Colorado, it is raking up respectable numbers for General Motors. The Canyon is positioned as a more premium and stylish version of the Colorado. Thanks to the growing competition, GMC has had to put its best foot forward to not let the newcomers like the Jeep Gladiator take a share of its pie.

To make sure of this, GMC has rejigged the 2021 Canyon’s lineup by making some big changes. For starters, the top-spec Denali trim has gotten all the more premium, while the All-Terrain trim is dropped in favor of the exciting new AT4 trim that is present on the big brother Sierra as well. Will these changes and additions be able to induce more sales for GMC?

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2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Driven

2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Driven

Does A Rolls-Royce SUV have a real place in this world?

From the outside, and to the 99-percenters, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan looks like an over-priced BMW or a reworked Phantom with a taller roof that was designed to keep the brand from falling into the abyss of irrelevant brands. In fact, you might actually be right to some extent. The Cullinan does look a lot like the Phantom in the front thanks to the big rectangular grille, boxy headlights, and square front end. And, the brand is owned by BMW, so yeah, there’s some Bimmer DNA there too. That said, the Cullinan is the very first Rolls-Royce SUV and, outside of that, it also introduced a lot of new tech for the brand, including an off-road driving mode and all-wheel drive. Introduced in 2017, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been on the market for a few years now, and it’s been staring down the barrel of the Bentley Bentayga ever since. So, how does is hold up three years in? Well, we spent a week with the Cullinan to find out for ourselves, and this is what you need to know.

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2021 Volvo XC90 T8 - Driven

2021 Volvo XC90 T8 - Driven

Volvo’s range-topping SUV sees some updates for 2021

One of the oldest models in Volvo’s current lineup is still one of its most important. Despite being a six-year-old design now, Volvo is still selling its XC90 like hotcakes. And to keep things fresh, it has tweaked it for the 2021 model year and is offering it with a host of different engine choices.

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2020 Jeep Compass - Driven

2020 Jeep Compass - Driven

It’s not the best vehicle in the segment, but it checks almost all the boxes quite comfortably

Jeep Compass has been in the market for over a decade now and has become a staple moniker in the segment now. This two-row SUV is one of the rare models in this segment that can actually be taken off the roads without doubting its abilities. Of course, it’s no Cherokee, but it does a lot better than its rivals in this aspect. Although it features a heavy 2.4-liter engine, the power outputs aren’t that great and the nine-speed automatic gearbox makes the whole drive even more lethargic. However, it comes with a nice interior setup, decent tech features, and aesthetics that will please all and offend none. So, should you pick the Jeep Compass over the Honda CR-V or the Ford Escape?

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2020 Genesis G70 Sport - Driven

2020 Genesis G70 Sport - Driven

The Genesis G70 is an underrated sedan that strikes the perfect balance between performance and luxury

The 2020 Genesis G70 is just a two-year-old car, but you cannot call it an amateur by any means. The company has managed to crack the code to make a sedan that is strong on performance, drives well in the real world, comes with all the bells and whistles, and feels luxurious inside-out. In a horde of other luxury sport sedans that include the Germans and the Japanese, this South Korean is the underdog that has all the potential to beat its rivals.

A top-spec 2020 G70 recently arrived at Top Speed’s headquarters and here are our impressions.

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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - Driven

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - Driven

When economy, comfort, and practicality blend together into a nice package

When Hyundai introduced the eighth-gen Sonata in 2019, it essentially built on top of the already awesome styling that was brought with the seventh-gen’s mid-cycle facelift. Today, the car looks like it sits in a higher price bracket than it does and in hybrid form it delivers some pretty impressive fuel economy figures too. Does the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid have the looks, comfort, and driving experience to nudge itself above cars like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid? Well, we just spent a week with the Sonata Hybrid, and we actually have a lot to say about it. Here’s what you need to know.

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2021 Jaguar F-Type Convertible - Driven

2021 Jaguar F-Type Convertible - Driven

Jaguar’s sporty convertible has some strong selling points, but is it Porsche 911 and Mercedes SL good?

It took 27 years for the Jaguar F-Type to be born, with its roots tracing all the way back to the XJ41 and XJ42 concepts of 1986. There was also the F-Type Concept back in 2000 and the C-X16 Concept in 2011. Finally, in 2013, this sexy two-seater grand tourer was born and – oddly enough – it was launched as a convertible first with the coupe model to follow a year later. That is, technically where the F-Type’s story stops as it’s been on the market ever since, soldiering on as a first-generation model. It was facelifted in 2019 for the 2020 model year and we’ve been wondering if the now-seven-year-old F-Type has aged as well as other dinosaurs on the market like the Dodge Challenger (2008) and Nissan GT-R (2007). Well, we finally got behind the wheel of the Jaguar F-Type P380 AWD, and let’s just say that we had a lot of fun. This is what you need to know about it.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C - Driven

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C - Driven

How is the AMG GT C in the real world?

Drive the new Mercedes-AMG GT C and you will get attention wherever you go. It is a very special car that hopes to go after the Porsche 911. We found the car to be a work of art. This is definitely not an ordinary car. It is extremely quick and full of luxury touches so the question becomes is it worth the price? It really depends on your paycheck so let’s dig deeper.

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2020 Genesis G90 - Driven

2020 Genesis G90 - Driven

After an extensive facelift, is the 2020 Genesis G90 a formidable competitor to the Lexus LS and Audi A8?

When we first saw the Genesis G90 at its debut, we know that Hyundai’s luxury arm was onto something, but the G90 suffered from the same thing most new models fall victim to – there was definitely some room for improvement. For the 2020 model year, Genesis revamped the G90 rather extensively, and we finally got a chance to check it out in person. Does the G90 finally live up to the Halo it’s meant to wear in Genesis’ lineup? And can the Genesis G90 wholeheartedly compete with cars like the Lexus LS and Audi A8? It’s time we find out!

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