Author Archive

Video Review: 2015 Audi A3

August 12th, 2015 No comments

Because the A4 has Grown Up

Automakers, especially the luxury marques, are downsizing in a big way. Their once compact “entry”-level sedans have all grown up. And now they are introducing a new breed of “compacts” to fill the voids. As we’ve discussed before, this sort of activity can sometimes dilute a brand’s pedigree. Nevertheless, these compacts have proven themselves to be lucrative assets time and again. Enter the A3, Audi’s response to the A4 ballooning in all directions. This latest generation loses the hatchback (unless you wait for the plug-in hybrid variant of course) body in favor of America’s more traditional preference: the sedan. Compare the A3 to the A4 of ten years ago and you’ll find a car that fills the vacancy within a mere 100 lbs and with similar size and equipment. Even the engines are familiar; the base engine being a 1.8T and the upgraded 2.0T standing in for the old A4’s V6 with matching horsepower and more torque. Watch and tell us if you agree. Read more…

Categories: Video, Video Reviews Tags: , , , , ,

Video Review: 2015 Kia Sedona SX Limited

May 16th, 2015 No comments

Minivans do not garner much favor around the Automotive Trends garage. We will agree that they serve a very practical purpose shuttling around that which is most important to us: our families. But the fact of the matter is the minivan was the first vehicle to supplant and displace our dearly beloved station wagons. And that is a sin to which there is just no atonement for. Read more…

Categories: Video, Video Reviews Tags: , ,

First Drive: 2015 Lexus NX

September 21st, 2014 No comments

Lexus Builds a 2.0T and Wraps it in a Dynamic Crossover

Small crossovers don’t get a lot of love around the Automotive Trends office. They just don’t get our enthusiast blood boiling. We aren’t fans of the compromises that go hand in hand with blending an otherwise rugged or useful SUV with a sedan (sporty or not). We desire something that is nimble, poised and has room for a few child car seats as needed. A compact / midsized station wagon or hatchback better fits our definition of a “sport utility”. But Lexus presented us with something intriguing in Nashville, Tennessee of all places. Read more…

Infotainment Center 001: Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat / Mazda3 Review

August 19th, 2014 No comments

Welcome to the Automotive Trends Infotainment Center: Episode 001. This pilot is our latest experiment in bringing you the latest automotive news highlights in an informative and concise video format.

In this episode we highlight:

2015 Kia Sorento
2015 Cadillac CTS
2015 Cadillac Escalade Platinum
2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

As well as the summer’s most anticipated car: the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The seemingly sensible 4-door alternative to the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Both are packing 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2L V8’s, and both will blast their way past street legal speeds in search of the magic 200-mph number on street tires.

Also, on a more sensible note, we review the 2014 Mazda3 i Grand Touring sedan. Enjoy!

Read more…

Categories: Preview, Video Tags:

Video Review: 2013 Scion FR-S

March 4th, 2013 No comments

      It isn’t everyday that we use the latest out of Toyota to provide a benchmark for a vehicle class, but we’re going to go ahead and say it’s safe to declare that is exactly what we’re doing with the Scion FR-S. The Subaru and Toyota tie-up has yielded a car that far exceeds all expectations. Greater than the sum of its parts you might say, the Scion FR-S (and its sister cars: the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 [not sold in the US]) has stolen the torch away from Mazda and its Miata as the bar to which affordable driving fun is measured. Read more…

Video Review: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo

December 18th, 2012 No comments


      To put it bluntly; the average guy was about as likely to purchase a previous-gen Volkswagen Beetle as he was to schedule a mani-pedi and DVR The View. Volkswagen knew this and as a result has done a commendable job at injecting some testosterone into the 2012 Beetle Turbo that we recently sampled. Of course we like the 2.0-liter turbo that is rated at 200 hp in this application, but we especially like the cooperative 6-speed manual, 19” wheels and sensitive brake pedal. This Beetle is a joy to motor around town in and far more skilled than its predecessor at managing coiled back roads. The body rolls a bit more than we’d like when pushed, but the suspension takes a nice set in the corners and the ride is one of best in the $25k class. The interior is a monumental improvement over the New Beetle and we like the fake carbon fiber accented dash and moderately bolstered seats. Rear headroom and cargo capacity are never going to be the Bug’s strengths but if you like the new look—and we do—you’ll enjoy driving the Beetle enough that jabs from your buddies won’t even bother you. Read more…

Categories: Video, Video Reviews Tags: , , ,

First Drive: 2013 Toyota Avalon

December 10th, 2012 No comments


Going Places

      I think we can all agree that the last iteration of the Toyota Avalon was in need of a double dose of espresso. So when I was invited recently to drive the all-new 2013 Avalon, my first thought was to caffeine up before I settled behind the wheel. What I expected to be little more than weak coffee turned out to be more like a caffe vanilla Frappuccino. Let me explain. Read more…

Categories: Test Drives Tags: , , ,

Video: 2012 Nissan Quest Preview

April 6th, 2012 No comments


      The cat’s out of the bag. We like the Nissan Quest. But before the comments flood in saying that we have sold our enthusiast soul to the transportation devil let’s first examine why we like this minivan. It’s good at what it does…period. Would we prefer a station wagon over this hauler of the soccer team? That goes without saying, but when it comes to upright rolling family boxes, the Nissan edges ahead.

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2012 Toyota Prius v Walk Around

February 16th, 2012 No comments


      The Toyota Prius has never been our cup of Earl Grey. In its third generation the Prius still makes too many sacrifices in the quest for ultimate fuel efficiency. Enter the Prius v. It’s larger in every important dimension, and thanks to Toyota keeping the weight gain in check, still manages an EPA rated 42mpg combined rating. It just might be a Prius we can get on board with.

Categories: Video Tags: , , , ,

2012 Fiat 500 in the Snow

January 21st, 2012 No comments


      What is an Automotive Trends editor to do when he has a brand new untested GoPro camera in a box, a 2012 Fiat 500 in the garage and a fresh layer of snow covering the AT Test Track? Go for a drive! I might also add that Automotive Trends highly recommends a good set of winter tires for any and all wintry conditions, regardless of vehicle drivetrain layout (you’ll note that the Fiat is wearing a snow shoe at each corner). Enjoy!  

Categories: Just For Fun, Video Tags: , , ,