2017 Ford Focus RS – On Track and Street

The Ford Focus RS is, basically, a street legal race car. I drove it around the 4-mile Road American circuit, criss-crossed Chicago’s streets and made a highway run almost to Iowa in search of a little more freedom. For a mere $40K it’ll make your heart pump. If you’re an adrenalin junky, the RS will get you high all day long.

In spite of its four doors, seats for five and large rear hatch opening to a roomy and convenient grocery holder, the RS may just chatter your teeth a bit too much. But it’ll be up to you to decide if you can live with the RS all week so you are alway ready for a weekend outing at a convenient race circuit.

More specifics on the RS, now in its last year, can be found here.


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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric – Drive Report

Perhaps a perfect Chicago car! Yes, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric with its 124 mile driving range, compact exterior combined with 5-peson seating and a roomy rear cargo area would do the job very adequately.

It’s priced at $29,500, before any Federal tax credits or local incentives, and available right now to buy–no deposit needed and no long wait for your car to show up.

Check out more details right here.


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2017 Toyota Prius Prime – Drive Report

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid may just be a perfect car for Chicago residents. Well, not only Chicago but for residents of any large, crowded, densely populated city. With a pure-EV battery operation of up to 25 miles, the Prius Prime will easily let you criss-cross a city to run your Saturday errands without using a drop of gasoline. Head out of town for the weekend and with its 640 mile total  driving range there could be no gasoline stops at all.

I drove silently around Chicago for a week. Well not completely in silence, the gasoline engine did run from time to time. Read a bit more about the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime right here.


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2017 Kia Soul Turbo – Drive Report

Kia added some punch to its Soul with the addition of a new 201-HP turbocharged engine in the Soul Exclaim (!) model. The boxy, 5-passenger compact hatchback/wagon not only has more go-power but better fuel economy too. A 7-speed dual clutch trans makes for quick shifting and lot of fun.

Read more right here with just one click.


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2017 Lexus LX570 – Drive Report

The very large and very luxurious Lexus LX 570 can be a bit big for negotiating crowded city streets. But with seating for eight and 7000 lbs. of trailer pulling power the 2017 LX 570 is great for touring the wide open spaces. Just hook up your favorite Airstream and hit the open highway.

Its 383-HP 5.7-L V8 is a bit thirsty on gas but it has plenty to move you down the road. At around $90K it can be all yours.

Read a bit more right here.


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2017 Mazda Miata MX-5 RF – Drive Report

DSC_0088DSC_0092Mazda’s 2017 Miata MX-5 RF, the retractable fastback, functions quite well around Chicagoland. Push the switch for the top and it’s down, or up, in 13 seconds. That makes things pretty convenient for buzzing around in the open air and then easily securing the MX-5 when parked. The trunk is roomy enough for hauling groceries, and it’ll hold two small suitcases or duffles for a weekend trip into the country.

The MX-5 RF is priced in the mid-$30s. The soft top MX-5 can be had in the middle-$20s. Read more on my RF drive right here.



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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan – First Drive

VW has an all-new second-generation Tiguan for 2018. It’s longer, roomier and can carry up to seven.  The current Tiguan will be rebadged as the Tiguan Limited and both of these compact SUVs join VW’s new midsize 3-row Atlas SUV.

Prices start at $25,345 and you can get front-drive or all-wheel drive in each of the four trim levels. Its turbo 4-cylinder puts out 184HP and there’s an 8-speed automatic getting the power to the wheels.

I drove the all-new Tiguan out in Denver and the surrounding Colorado mountains. You can read a bit more right here.




Posted in all-wheel drive, automobiles, compact SUV, driver-assistance safety features, new car review, SUVs, Uncategorized | Leave a comment