2018

2018 Ford Mustang GT — The muscle car lives



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

In about a year the iconic Mustang will be the last car standing at Ford Motor Company. The entire fleet of coupe and sedans is scheduled to be terminated in favor of the current popular flavor — crossover SUVs and light trucks. Lucky for Mustang fans — and sports car enthusiasts — the current pony car is enjoying worldwide success or it would have probably been on the chopping block as well.

Toyota RAV4 — Driving a best-seller

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 represents the fourth generation's sixth and final year since it was completely redesigned for 2013. The current edition has received enhancements over the years with a major freshening in 2016, adding extra safety features and updating technology, but it's largely the same utility-focused vehicle it has been since its inception.

2018 Maserati Levante



CHELESA, Mich. — Maserati, an Italian automaker with a rich and noble racing heritage delivered by its luxurious high-performance sedans, sports cars and coupes, has, for the first time, added the brand’s trident badge to a much needed sport utility vehicle. Named the Levante (pronounced la-von-tay) for the tropical Mediterranean winds, it is uniquely Italian and positioned to compete directly against vehicles like Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport.

Ford EcoSport — Driving small

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The 2018 Ford EcoSport is misnamed — it's not particularly economical and it isn't exceptionally sporty. But the sub-compact crossover, which entered the U.S. market this year — several years after being introduced in Europe — has a lot going for it in a growing and competitive segment. And it plugs a hole in Ford's ever-expanding crossover SUV lineup after the company announced it was casting off its passenger cars.

Volkswagen Golf R is a true 'pocket rocket'

By David Finkelstein

Even if you're just an occasional "motor head", I suspect that you've heard the term, "pocket rocket!" To define the term, it generally describes a sub compact, or similar size automobile with a higher level of performance being generated from the car's engine. That said, Volkswagen is wanting to draw your attention towards their 2018 Golf R Model.

Volkswagen Passat GT — A performance bargain

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If the 2018 Volkswagen Passat looks totally familiar, that's because it has been around since 2012 with basically the same look, only refreshed in 2015. Most rival mid-sized sedans have been redesigned at least once since that time.

Kia Stinger — Challenging the elite

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Korean auto company known for its nondescript economy cars of the '90s has surprised the automotive world over the past decade with new, fresh, head-turning designs including a revitalized mid-sized Optima sedan that now competes with the best of the segment; a funky little Soul hatchback that will wow you over with its driving demeanor, and the mid-sized Sorento crossover that has earned numerous awards.

2018 Lexus RX 350L



INDIANAPOLIS — Our society teaches our little brains that longer is better, whether we’re talking about hot dogs, vacations, or, um, car hoods.  But, longer is not always better.  Nobody needs a longer workday, dentist visit, or hurricane.  But, a longer Lexus RX crossover with a third-row seat?  Yeah, that’s definitely better.

Lexus LS 500 — Raising the luxury bar

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Lexus brand was launched nearly 30 years ago to take on the European auto elite. The first car produced by Toyota's new luxury division was the LS 400, a large sedan with a 4.0-liter V-8 engine making 250 horsepower and mated to a four-speed automatic. It became an instant success. As the years went by, the LS has become more sophisticated and the engines have gotten bigger and more advanced. And they have all come with eight cylinders — until now.

2018 Challenger Widebody



PHOENIX — Since Dodge reintroduced the Challenger for the 2008 model year, both the Mustang and Camaro muscle cars have undergone complete refreshes. Further, Camaro is expecting another update for 2019. By contrast, the Challenger has basically remained unchanged for the past 11 years, except for one minor mid-cycle refresh back in 2015. Still, sales keep climbing and thus far in 2018, it is outselling the three-year-old Camaro.