Driven reviews reviews

view grid view horizontal compact blog view
2023 Mazda CX-50 Review: Truly Rugged But Not Meant for Serious Off-Roading

2023 Mazda CX-50 Review: Truly Rugged But Not Meant for Serious Off-Roading

How Much Farther Can it Go?

With the Zoom-Zoom days a distant memory, what exactly is Mazda these days? They currently offer a low-volume roadster, a multi-flavored compact car, and 4 crossover SUVs, one of which is an EV limited to the California market. And of all of them, only one sells in any appreciable numbers: the CX-5. So, introducing the all-new 2023 CX-50 is a smart move; advancing their most popular utility’s capabilities while capitalizing on the off-road craze. This is Mazda’s attempt at getting more rugged, tiptoeing into muddier waters.

Read more
2023 Honda HR-V Review: A Desirable Subcompact SUV With Few Flaws

2023 Honda HR-V Review: A Desirable Subcompact SUV With Few Flaws

Find out if the HR-V has what it takes to compete in popular subcompact SUV space

The Honda HR-V is now into its third generation of production. With a complete refresh, the HR-V is back in a big way, in order to stay relevant in what is a fiercely competitive market. Ever since 2016, the HR-V has maintained impressive sales figures with over 700,000 units sold up to last month.

I recently had the chance to see what having an HR-V would be like for a week if I were to own one. So, the question I need to ask is this; is the Honda HR-V a desirable subcompact SUV and is it worth the hype? With what I know now, let’s find out, shall we?

Read more
2022 Hyundai Elantra N: Serious Thrills In A Small Package

2022 Hyundai Elantra N: Serious Thrills In A Small Package

The Elantra N breaks onto the scene with serious, affordable performance

Hyundai is aiming to make its “N” models as synonymous with sportiness as an “M” on a BMW or a “V” adorning a Cadillac, and the rush of new, performance-enhanced models from the automaker continues to grow. The Elantra N is the newest entrant into the “N” stable that closely competes with the Subaru WRX and Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

Don’t confuse the Elantra N-Line, which aligns more closely with the Honda Civic SI and Kia Forte GT, the full “N” model is a phenomenal corner carver purpose-built, to serve inexpensive excitement while maintaining key elements of the standard Elantra’s practicality.

Though it is easy to bemoan the loss of the Veloster N, that’s headed to a big scrapyard in the sky, the Elantra N continues its legacy, providing serious fun in a small but pragmatic package.

Read more
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD: Not A Throwaway Car Anymore

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD: Not A Throwaway Car Anymore

While makes like Daewoo, Suzuki, Isuzu, and others have failed to adapt to American tastes, Kia is the poster child for perseverance leading to great success.

When I was but 25 years old, moonlighting as a car critic while playing a TV weatherman by day, it was all too easy to be seduced by every new tester that was dropped off at my door. After all; there’s no substitute for experience when judging subject matter based largely on comparison. The Daewoo Leganza, I authoritatively declared, would take the U.S. sedan market by storm – it didn’t. But on occasion, even a wet-behind-the-ears journalist like myself could snuff out a complete dud. To this day, when asked about the worst vehicle I’ve ever tested I cite the original Kia Sportage circa 2000 – the epitome of a throwaway car. Flash ahead 23 years and Kia now leads the industry in dependability, they’re the most awarded brand in J.D. Power’s APEAL study, and they’re at the forefront of electrification. This Titanic-sized turnaround is the stuff of auto industry dreams and to complete it less than 2 decades later is hall of fame worthy.

Read more
Toyota Corolla APEX Review: The Sporty Compact Car For The Enthusiast

Toyota Corolla APEX Review: The Sporty Compact Car For The Enthusiast

Is the Corolla APEX a desirable sporty compact car?

The Toyota Corolla first landed on US soil in 1968 and has made one of the biggest impacts on the nation’s car scene ever since. With the Corolla having sold over 50 million units globally, it is a feat not many car companies can say they have achieved. At some points in the vehicle’s history, the Corolla received sporty features and options to make it more of an enthusiast’s car rather than just a boring old compact sedan.

Now well into its twelfth generation, Corolla enthusiasts get another sporty compact sedan. Named the "APEX" like a predator, I had the keys to a Corolla Apex for a week. I got a chance to figure out if it is sporty enough to be a desirable car for the enthusiast.

Read more
2022 BMW i4 M50 Review: A True Unicorn in the Wild

2022 BMW i4 M50 Review: A True Unicorn in the Wild

The Ultimate Driving Machine Goes Electric

In May of 2009, I drove my first EV. It was a Cube-based Nissan prototype propelled by an all-electric platform that spawned the LEAF three years later; America’s first modern electric car. A decade later and I’m not sure what’s more astonishing: that electric cars like this new i4 offer such incredible performance or that with such a large lead Nissan still can’t get the ARIYA to market?

Read more
2023 Land Rover Defender 90 Review: The Smallest Big SUV

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 Review: The Smallest Big SUV

The two-door Defender has massive character without massive bulk

Walk up to a hulking apocalypse-ready SUV. Climb aboard into a towering driver’s seat with plenty of space to spread out. Take in the cabin’s perfect balance of premium and rugged qualities. Fire up the available 518-horsepower V-8 engine. Then scoot into a parallel parking spot that wouldn’t fit a Honda Civic.

This is the unique place of the 2023 Land Rover Defender 90. By lopping the rear doors off the big three-row Defender 110, Land Rover preserves this off-road icon’s mighty yet sophisticated feel — but without the cumbersome bulk that accompanies every other big-feeling SUV. And by combining a two-door body with a classic Land Rover shape, it further ups the Defender’s already-mighty cool factor.

Here are our full impressions of a week with this unique Land Rover.

Read more
2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T AWD Review: A Luxury SUV for the Masses

2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T AWD Review: A Luxury SUV for the Masses

Could the GV70 be the best affordable luxury SUV on the market?

The Genesis GV70 is a brand new compact luxury SUV that hit the market not too long ago. Manufactured by parent company Hyundai, the GV70 is now the second SUV to sell under the Genesis name, next to the bigger GV80. Priced to compete in the affordable luxury category, the GV70 faces some stiff competition.

In the time since the GV70 has gone on sale, I have seen quite a few of them on the road and have wondered what it is like to drive. Luckily, I was able to get the keys to a pristine example for a week to find out how exactly it stacks up against its rivals. Do you want to know where it lands? Well, let’s find out together.

Read more
2022 Infiniti QX55 Review: Polarizing and Somewhat Outdated

2022 Infiniti QX55 Review: Polarizing and Somewhat Outdated

Infiniti rejoins the coupe-crossover segment with a stylish rework of its QX50

Infiniti was one of the first manufacturers to hone its knives and carve a fastback roof onto a crossover with the debut of its FX,, and later, QX70 models. Since those offerings hit the market, the luxury coupe SUV space has run rampant, with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, and even Lamborghini now joining the segment.

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 shares its underpinnings with the compact QX50, and marks the return of Infiniti to the fastback fray, but how does it stack up against an expanding list of competitors?

Read more
2022 Mini Cooper Convertible Review: Is ‘Miata' Really Always the Answer?

2022 Mini Cooper Convertible Review: Is ‘Miata’ Really Always the Answer?

Packed with Retro-British charm, the latest Mini Convertible offers open-top motoring with a range of peppy engines and zippy go-kart-like handling

You’ve likely heard the saying - “Miata Is Always The Answer,” and for good reason. Mazda’s magnificent two-seat roadster is a delight to drive that provides an old-fashioned connection between the driver and the road. It’s also the least expensive convertible you can buy, supplying that exclusive separation between cabin and sky. It’s a joyful car that costs less than the best-selling crossover SUVs. Why wouldn’t it be the answer for anyone who loves driving?

But maybe Miata isn’t always the answer and we don’t even mean people who are asking about three rows of seats and 10,000-pound towing capacities. Instead, we spent a week driving the 2022 Mini Cooper Convertible — whose starting price, $27,900, is just $600 above the base 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata. With its retro-British charm, turbocharged engines, four-passenger capacity, and front-wheel-drive configuration, the Mini is no Miata clone. But if you’re interested in a small, fun-to-drive convertible, it’s one of just two options you can buy from new today.

Here’s what we learned about the open-top Mini.

Read more
2022 Lexus LX 600 Review: All-New in an Old-School Way

2022 Lexus LX 600 Review: All-New in an Old-School Way

The LX 600 is all-new in an old-school kind of way, and it’s also perfect for almost any occasion

If you’ve ever stayed at a really fancy hotel, the Lexus LX is as common a sight as spoiled little kids running around the lobby. It’s the chariot of choice for the concierge, doctors, and rich people who want to be perceived as coming from old money. And as is typical, anytime I’ve called out Toyota or Lexus products as being a blackhole of newness and technology, the sycophants come screaming about the one thing they hold dearly - reliability. “As long as I have a steering wheel and a seat I’m satisfied because 20 years from now it’ll still be running.” And my counter to this has always been, “Ok, well, if you’re paying a premium for one of these shouldn’t you expect BOTH reliability and new features?” Which brings me to this all-new LX 600 Luxury; a $108,000 SUV for those afraid of change.

Read more
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Review: Off-Road Worthy, But It's No Raptor or TRX

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Review: Off-Road Worthy, But It’s No Raptor or TRX

Who’s The Boss, Now?

Since the Silverado’s 2019 redesign, the Trail Boss has been the go-to trim for truck shoppers eager to traverse the road less traveled. But now, Chevy’s providing an even more serious off-road option - the first-ever Silverado ZR2.

Read more
Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport Review: The Affordable Luxury Crossover With Few Complaints

Does an affordable price tag justify buying a UX 250h F-Sport? Read on to find out

The Lexus UX 250h is a subcompact crossover SUV, that launched in the United States in late 2018. The UX 250h aims to compete in the "affordable luxury" crossover class. Since its debut, the UX 250h has only sold over 51,500 units in America. That might seem like a low number, but it means very little to those who want to buy an "affordable luxury" subcompact crossover SUV.

I had the keys to a UX 250h F-Sport for a week and was able to determine if it has what it takes to be a justifiable affordable luxury vehicle. If you would like to know if it indeed is, then please, let’s go through this together, shall we?

Read more