Peter Hubbard

Lexus GS 350 F Sport loaded with luxury and technology

By Peter A. Hubbard

(April 4, 2018) Believe it or not, the Lexus GS mid-level performance sedan is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the American market. It arrived in 1993, one year after the launch of the remarkable full-size LS sedan and smaller ES Camry-clone sedan — the first two models Toyota offered as part of its premium brand. 

Kia Forte5 SX offers style, good value, sporty performance

By Peter A. Hubbard

(March 29, 2018) For the past 10 years or so, entry-level car buyers have been flocking to Kia dealerships. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.  Price, price, price!  Sorry for adapting your slogan, Realtor friends, but that’s the bottom line.  Kia currently offers 7, count them, 7 different models with a starting MSRP under $26,000. The list includes nearly the entire line: Optima, Sportage, Sorrento, Soul, Rio, Niro and Forte. 

2018 Toyota C-HR targets younger buyers with unique styling

By Peter Hubbard

(March 27, 2018) In  2003-04, Toyota spent untold millions launching a new entry-level brand called Scion, specifically targeting young “hipster” Gen Y and Millennial customers with what they saw as edgy compacts and crossovers designed to lure them into Scion showrooms and turn them into loyal, lifelong Toyota/Lexus car buyers. So in an effort to appear “with it” and equally hip, Toyota used rather unconventional (for an automaker) guerrilla and viral Internet marketing campaign tactics.

Volvo S90 impresses with refinement, safety technology

By Peter Hubbard

(March 21, 2018) With apologies to Oldsmobile for “borrowing” their ad slogan from 1988, but – this is NOT your father’s Volvo! The premier Volvo sedan from 30 years ago was the 760 Turbo.  Its 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivered a muscular (for typical death-grip-on-the-steering wheel, safety-obsessed Volvo owners) 182 horsepower, and according to reports from the time, propelled the boxy sedan from 0-60 in under 8 seconds. 

Honda's CR-V remains the compact SUV class leader

By Peter A.  Hubbard

(March 13, 2018) When your vehicle actually invented its classification, it typically has a target on its back — and it's the one every other automaker benchmarks.  So you have no choice but to keep moving and keep improving. 

Such is the case for the cuddly little Honda CR-V, which first burst onto the automotive landscape some 20 years ago — way back in February 1997 — becoming the first compact SUV. 

Mazda CX-5 impresses with athletic handling, styling, safety features

By Peter A. Hubbard

(March 4, 2018) Unless you’ve just crawled out from under an Afghan, you’re probably aware that the roadways and parking lots are jam-packed with crossovers these day — of every brand, color, size and description. 

If you had asked someone 20 years ago to define “crossover,” they would have either given you a blank stare, or started babbling some basketball jargon about a certain kind of play.  

Back then you had sedans, coupes, convertibles, station wagons, trucks and SUVs. Period. 

Honda Civic Si delivers flawless performance, great price

By Peter A. Hubbard

(November 27, 2017) If you’re like the majority of us 99-percenters, you have champagne tastes but are hobbled by a bank account that requires you live on a beer budget, or an occasional white wine every now and then.  But now we can all take heart. We may not be able to afford a brand new Corvette or Porsche — much less a Ferrari or Aston Martin — but for those of us with a need for speed, the new 2017 Honda Civic Si just might provide an affordable solution. 

New Mazda MX-5 RF continues to excite roadster fans

By Peter Hubbard

(November 20, 2017) Writers — even auto writers — need a spark of inspiration every so often, to get their motors running and creativity flowing.  But for this review, lack of inspiration will not be an issue.  After all, if you can’t get inspired after a weeklong fling with a Mazda MX-5 Miata, you may be brain dead … or possibly German. 

Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas by TAWA

By Peter A. Hubbard


(October 29, 2017) AUSTIN, Texas — Once the dust had settled after two days of hard driving on pastures and hillside gravel  at the Longhorn River Ranch west of Austin, the 2018 F150 emerged as the 2018 Truck of Texas, as voted on by some 75 members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA). 

Infiniti QX60 impresses with style, handling and high-tech options

By Peter Hubbard

(August 4, 2017) Step into the “Way Back” time machine with me, and return if you will to 1990.  It’s a wild and crazy time for the Japanese automakers, as Toyota, Honda and Nissan have all decided that in order to keep the aging and increasingly affluent Baby Boomers coming back for more, they need to start new luxury channels.