Driven Reviews

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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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2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 4MATIC Review: Tech Laden and Eager to Please

The Mercedes EQS is the cream of the EV crop, and while it might be quite expensive, it blows Tesla out of the water

The barrage of electric cars has only just begun and my internal voltmeter is pinned to the right. I love this progression of the automobile and the way it’s transforming the driving experience, and the EQS is as transformative as they come.

As of today, Mercedes offers one EV in the U.S. market, and this is it - the EQS Sedan, with a starting price of $103,360 (including destination.) This commences MB’s top-down approach to fleshing out their electric offerings; soon to be joined by an SUV of the same name, an E-Class-like midsize sedan called the EQE, and a more attainable compact SUV called the EQB (not to mention a pair of racy AMG variants.) The goal is to make every newly-developed Mercedes electric-only starting in 2025, while at the same time having an EV alternative for every model the company makes. If it has an EQ in front of its alphanumeric name it’s electric.

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2022 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain Review: The Perfect SUV Alternative?

2022 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain Review: The Perfect SUV Alternative?

The E-Class Wagon is only available in Crossover-Esq All-Terrain guise. It offers seven seats with best-in-class cargo space

It’s a classic car-enthusiast grumble: “All these SUVs are nothing but tall station wagons.” But what happens when you get a station wagon that’s almost like a low SUV? That’s the 2022 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain, currently the only way you can still get an E-Class station wagon.

The E-Class wagon takes everything that makes an E-Class sedan great — fantastic ride and handling, a beautifully finished interior, cutting-edge technology, a decadent overall experience — and nearly three times the trunk space (35 cubic feet of trunk space instead of 13). But starting last year, Mercedes decided this much cargo space needs some SUV trimmings and created the All-Terrain.

What that means is gray plastic cladding, four-wheel height-adjustable air suspension, and standard all-wheel drive. It comes in at a steep base price of $68,400, which is higher than even most luxury SUVs. We spent a week testing the 2022 E450 All-Terrain and here’s what we found.

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Test Drive: The Range Rover Velar Is Painfully Under-Appreciated

Test Drive: The Range Rover Velar Is Painfully Under-Appreciated

Here’s why the Range Rover Velar doesn’t get enough credit, despite sitting right in the sweet spot of the lineup

Range Rover is well known as Land Rover’s luxury lineup. In 2017, the luxury arm of the British manufacturer introduced the Range Rover Velar. The luxury SUV did a great job of filling the gap between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. But while moderately successful compared to its bigger sibling, the Velar’s sales between 2017 and 2022 are nearly 30-percent less than its bigger, more expensive sibling, the Sport. We are here to tell you why the Velar is one of the best sports-luxury SUVs and a better option than the Range Rover Sport.

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2022 Mercedes EQS 580 Test Drive: The Definition of Luxury, Electrified

2022 Mercedes EQS 580 Test Drive: The Definition of Luxury, Electrified

Here’s what the most powerful, non-AMG version of Mercedes’ flagship EV is like to drive

The Mercedes EQS is already on sale as the brand’s EV equivalent to the Mercedes S-Class. The EQS is currently being offered in five different flavors, two of which are AMG variants. Power ranges from 288 horsepower in the base EQS 350 to 761 horsepower in the AMG EQS 53. We recently got the chance to drive the Mercedes EQS 580, which is the most powerful version of the EQS before you step up to the AMG models. I’m here to tell you that it’s better that you’d expect.

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2022 BMW M3 Competition - Driving Impressions

2022 BMW M3 Competition - Driving Impressions

The M3 Competition is an impressively fun car, though it’s not for everybody

The BMW 3 Series is widely regarded as the poster child of what a compact luxury sedan is supposed to be. The M3 Competition, on the other hand, serves as a firm representation of what a compact performance saloon should be. The range of sheer precision and performance between a base 3 Series and the M3 Competition is so wide that the two couldn’t feel more different from a driver’s perspective. With just over 500 horsepower on tap, is the M3 Competition really suitable as a daily road car, though? I spent a week with it to find out, and let’s just say that there’s more to the M3 than the grille.

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2022 KIA EV6 - Driven

2022 KIA EV6 - Driven

The EV6 is a new level of awesome, and things only get better for Kia from here

Kia aims to launch 11 new electric vehicles by 2026 and the entire portfolio starts with the 2022 Kia EV6 compact crossover. It rides on the E-GMP platform, so it shares its core with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the soon-to-launch Genesis GV60. That said, the EV6 is a bit of a milestone for the Kia brand as it’s the very first EV from the company to be built from the ground up as an EV first as opposed to previous, EVs that were based on ICE-powered models. The EV6 has its work cut out for it, though, as it has to face models like the Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and – indirectly – the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

These are all very tough models to compete with, in what’s becoming a very cutthroat segment, but the EV6 isn’t coming to the game half-cocked. It starts out at just $40,900, offers up to 310 miles of range, and can be had with up to 320 horsepower with a range-topping 576-horsepower model on the way. Clearly, the EV6 is geared to be very competitive in this segment, and it’s a space we need to watch. So, we asked Kia if we could spend some time with its new EV, and they were happy to oblige. Is the Kia EV6 truly the gamechanger it seems to be and does it stand a chance against more established EVs already on the market? The answer to these questions might surprise you.

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2022 Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 - Driven

2022 Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 - Driven

Is the Pan America 1250 the most capable Harley-Davidsons you can buy? Hell yeah!

When I first heard about the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, I was slightly scared of how an ADV bike, from a company that specializes in low-slung cruisers, would fare on tricky terrain and under low-grip conditions. And having never ridden a full-sized ADV, this sure was not my cup of tea.

However, I recently got a chance to swing a leg over the Pan Am 1250 and I’m happy to report that the bike felt like Bruce Banner rather than an angry Hulk waiting to Hulk-smash the life outta you.

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2022 BMW X4 M - Driven

2022 BMW X4 M - Driven

The X4 M is one of the quirkiest models out there, and it gets even better for 2022

“Look at me,” the X4 M Competition screams as it rolls down the city streets, through parking lots, or just about anywhere cars and people come together. Based on the best-selling BMW X3, the X4 is so interesting and quirky because it ditches the X3’s “normal” roofline for something that is more coupe-inspired. It features the same twin-turbo inline-six found in the M3 and M4, which is why the X4 M is the highest-performing coupe-SUV in the compact segment. That doesn’t mean it’s not without some stout competition, though. Mercedes has the AMG GLC 63 Coupe in its stable, while Porsche has the Macan GTS. The X4 M was updated for the 2022 model year, though, which was quite a surprise since it was launched back in 2019 for the 2020 model year. BMW claims that it has taken customer feedback into consideration, but is it all smoke and mirrors? We spent a week with the updated 2022 BMW X4 M Competition to find out for ourselves.

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2022 Lincoln Nautilus - Driven

2022 Lincoln Nautilus - Driven

The upscale Ford Edge is one impressive value for the money, but is it really worth owning?

Once known as the MKX, the Lincoln Nautilus rides comfortably in the two-row midsize SUV segment and is underpinned by the same platform as the Ford Edge. As little more than a glorified Edge with a different look and nicer materials, the Nautilus is far from being the most exciting in its class, but it does seem to fit right in with people more focused on comfort than sporty capability. Lincoln updated the Nautilus for the 2021 model year, so for 2022, there’s nothing new to talk about. The Nautilus is still offered with your choice of two engines, one being a four-cylinder and the higher trims featuring a larger V-6 that offers ample power for its class. While most people will tell you that the Nautilus exists to compete with models like the Cadillac XT5, Lexus RX, and Genesis GV80, we’ve also looked to the slightly smaller BMW X3 and Audi Q5 – both sit in similar price brackets and bring a fair bang for your buck. Now, after spending a week with the Nautilus, it’s time we tell you a little more about it in detail.

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2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD - Driven

2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD - Driven

The all-new Hyundai Tucson Hybrid has proven itself to be the superior model, and in more ways than one

As Hyundai’s best-selling model, and its resident competitor for the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5, it’s no surprise that the fourth-gen model takes style, technology, and personal performance to an all-new level. As an all-new model for the 2022 model year, the Tucson brings an attractive, bold look, an impressive and comfortable interior, and a lot of standard technology to the table. The launch model includes a range of fuel-efficient powertrains, including the 187-horsepower inline-four from the Hyundai Sonata or a new 226-horsepower hybrid system that pairs a turbocharged 1.6-liter with an electric motor. While the exterior looks bold and commanding, the interior is more relaxing and well-rounded. When you bring it all together, the new Tucson is certainly heading to the top of the segment, and we’re more than happy to confirm that after spending plenty of time behind the wheel.

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2022 Alpina B8 - Driven

2022 Alpina B8 - Driven

The perfect over-priced, luxury four-door for those that want the performance and the cushy ride to go with it

Alpina might be a longtime collaborator with BMW and has tuned just about anything with a BMW badge that you can think of, but Alpina isn’t your typical tuner. Where some companies will dazzle you with oodles of power and impressive lap times, Alpina sticks to a more traditional – and usable – recipe. Alpina is more known for tweaking BMWs in just the right way, it builds a little on performance, but it also brings mild improvements to the appearance and, more importantly, it makes every single model it works on ride more comfortably than BMW ever could. For a big, bulky model that the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, that’s a very big deal, and we’re here to tell you that Alpina did it just right.

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2022 Ford Edge ST - Driven

2022 Ford Edge ST - Driven

What do you get when you cram extra performance into an SUV that doesn’t need it? An SUV that practically resides in a niche all its own

The Ford Edge, in general, competes against models like the Acura RDX, Hyundai Santa Fe, and even the Chevy Equinox. And it competes well. But Ford has kicked things up a notch with the Edge ST by replacing the four-cylinder with a V-6 and injecting a few other performance credentials to go with it. Now, the midsize luxury SUV segment has no shortage of high-performance offerings, but the Edge ST doesn’t exactly fall into the luxury category, nor does it fit into any category really.

See, none of the Edge’s competitors are offered as high-performance models, so the Edge ST actually sits in a niche all its own. That means that, unless you’re dead set on an Edge ST, you actually have to look at the luxury segment to find anything that actually competes. Dare I say the Ford Edge ST competes with the Audi SQ5 or the Porsche Macan? It’s not quite as expensive in base form, but with the 401A equipment group, which includes things like the panoramic vista roof and remote start, and the ST Performance Brake Package, it suddenly slips right into the same territory. Does it really hold its own, though? We spent a week with it to find out.

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