2019 Toyota Avalon Review: Far From Boring

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Toyota, deservedly, has received a reputation for making boring cars. You don’t buy a Camry or a Prius because you put driver enjoyment above all else. But a glimpse of just how fun Toyota’s cars could be comes from an unlikely source: the 2019 Avalon. Toyota’s flagship sedan isn’t just spacious and comfortable, two things one would expect from a large sedan, it’s striking and surprisingly fun to drive. It’s an impressive sedan that dips its feet in multiple pots.

Here’s a review I wrote on the 2019 Toyota Avalon for Right Foot Down.

2019 Chevrolet Volt Review: Gas Plus Electricity Is A Happy Marriage

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Electrified is the answer for a lot of things these days. Gas is expensive? Not if you have an electric car. Want to do your part for the planet? Ditch the oil burner. Need a way to bring up the MPG figures of your fleet? Go electric. In the world of PHEVs, there’s one clear winner: the 2019 Chevrolet Volt. It has 53 miles of electric range, which is best in class, an efficient gasoline engine, and a chassis that’s far from boring. Darn those rear seats are tight, though. And if you try to squeeze five in the back — shame on you. With just 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the Volt isn’t exactly spacious. But these are the compromises you’ll pay with going for one of the best electrified vehicles on the market.

Check out my review of the 2019 Chevrolet Volt here for Digital Trends and here for FutureCar.

2019 Toyota Sequoia Review: The Dinosaur’s Still Got It

Tags

, , , , , ,

By all records, including carbon dating, the 2019 Toyota Sequoia is a dinosaur. It’s massive, features a thirsty V8 engine, and still rides on an outdated frame. But when it comes to eating up to seven in comfort, few can do it as well as the Sequoia. During a recent trip for a wedding, we ferried seven full-sized adults in the Sequoia and no one complained. We even carried some cargo in the back and went off-roading. If ever there was a vehicle that could do it all, it’s the Sequoia. Age is just a number.

Here’s a review I wrote on the 2019 Toyota Sequoia for Right Foot Down.

2018 Kia Niro PHEV Review: The Best Mix Of Both Worlds

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Until electric vehicles actually come with a usable amount of range, which still hasn’t happened, plug-in hybrid vehicles are proving to be the best mix for the majority of consumers. Offering drivers with a small amount of electric range, 26 miles in the Kia Niro PHEV’s case, and range from an internal combustion engine, 534 miles, you never have to worry about range anxiety. Commute less than 26 miles to work every day? You’ll rarely have to fill up on gasoline, as long as you have access to a charger.

Read the full review I wrote on the 2018 Kia Niro PHEV for Right Foot Down and FutureCar.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Review: Fun Comes In A Small Package

Tags

, , , , , ,

Hatchbacks have been the primary vehicle of choice for enthusiasts looking to get into sporty vehicles on a budget. While sports cars are the preferred sporty body style, hatchbacks are cheaper and much more practical — seating four and groceries has its own type of appeal. Note quite as sporty as a Volkswagen Golf GTI or Ford Fiesta ST, the Hyundai Elantra GT is the ideal vehicle for drivers that don’t want to sacrifice comfort or features for that extra tenth at every other month’s track meet. Providing an ideal combination of performance, comfort, and features, you’ll be wondering whether putting sportiness above else is really a good option.

Check out a review I wrote for Autoweek on the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT here.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Review: Keeping Sedans Alive With Style

Tags

, , , , , , ,

It’s no secret that SUVs are quickly taking over as the go-to vehicles for consumers over sedans. To help the once popular four-door body style to regain some of its readiness, Hyundai’s looking to give the 2018 Sonata a prettier design. In the midst of going through with its design-first mantra, Hyundai’s struck a balance of offering excellent value, while still hitting the nail on the head with everything sedans do right.

Here’s a review I wrote for Autoweek on the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

2019 Kia Optima Review: Even Stronger Value Than Before

Tags

, , , , ,

Kia has moved past being known for shoddy build quality and cornering the market when it comes to value. For the 2019 Kia Optima, the South Korean brand has made its popular midsize sedan an even stronger value option. It’s also kept the Optima relevant with a few subtle updates, which include an upgraded infotainment system, refreshed styling, and a sport-tuned suspension for the sporty SX 2.0T trim. The results now come together to make a midsize sedan that’s closer than ever to being the complete package. Here’s a review I wrote on the 2019 Kia Optima for Right Foot Down.

2019 Kia Optima; All Photos By: Joel Patel

2018 Kia Forte5 SX Review: One Step From A Hot Hatch

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Despite having a punchy, 201-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, the 2018 Kia Forte5 SX isn’t quite a hot hatchback. It’s plenty quick, but lacks the finesse and gratification of sharper competitors. Still, the Forte5 SX upholds Kia’s standard of value, as well as boasting an excellent list of features. Not a weekend warrior, but more of a competent cruiser that can also handle some twisties, the Forte5 SX is certainly a sporty hatchback. Unfortunately, it’s a few rungs short of hot hatchback territory.

Here’s a review I wrote on the 2018 Kia Forte5 SX for Digital Trends where I gave it a 3/5.

2018 Kia Forte5 SX; All Photos By: Joel Patel

Testing 3 Bridgestone Tires Reveals How Important Fresh Rubber Is

Tags

, , , ,

For the most part, tires go practically unnoticed on cars until something goes horribly wrong. Whether it’s a flat or a lack of traction in inclement weather, the majority of consumers don’t notice the tires on their car until it’s too late. In May 2018, Bridgestone introduced three new tires. Check out a test I did on Autoweek’s behalf on Bridgestone’s recent tires here.

Bridgestone Tires; All Photos By: Joel Patel

Subaru’s Winter Experience: Let Your Inner Rally Driver Out

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Winter driving schools aren’t new. Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz all offer a course for consumers with enough money to take one of their respective vehicles and let loose on ice. Subaru, a brand that’s practically made a name for itself because of its all-wheel-drive system has joined the fray. From letting drivers, even ones that don’t own a Subaru, get sideways with help from skilled professionals from FlatOut Sweden and DirtFish rally school, the Subaru Winter Experience is unlike anything else. At $1,450 for a one-day course, which doesn’t include airfare, room and board, or warm clothes, it’s pricey, but it’s certainly worth the money. Check out the article I wrote for Autoweek here.

Subaru Winter Experience; All Photos By: Joel Patel