The Hyundai Tucson Leads with Exceptional Design

Our first takeaway from our experience with the Hyundai Tucson was that it makes excellent use of modern design language in both appearance and features. The exterior of this SUV exquisitely combines smooth lines and chiseled edges to achieve an aesthetically stunning vehicle that is sure to stand out from other comparable options on the market. We especially liked the use of bladed angles that gave the body excellent detail and a shapely design.  

Inside the cabin, the Tucson is very spacious, which is especially enhanced by the awesome panoramic sunroof, which opens up the cabin to seemingly limitless space that both passengers and drivers can enjoy when the shade is pulled back. Among the plethora of SUVs currently on the market, this was hands-down an above-average choice if only for how exceptionally pleasant it is both in its exterior and interior design experience.  

Shifting the focus to the technology options, the Tucson was well-equipped with exceptional features that impressed our whole team. Our favorite was perhaps the Hyundai Digital Key feature, which is an awesome solution for lost keys since it allows you to unlock your door using your phone and allows you to share key capabilities with friends and family via text message. The Bluelink Connected Car features also enable you to remotely start the car and adjust temperature controls from wherever you are, which is an especially great feature for extreme weather conditions both hot and cold since you can make sure the environment is totally comfortable before even getting in. While this feature typically costs extra, the first 3 years come complimentary, so you get a good, long chance to decide if it’s worth the extra subscription cost before making a commitment. We were also partial to the wireless charging pad that both powers up and cools down any Qi-compatible devices.  

Safety features for the Tucson were also exceptional and included options that practically automated the driving experience, such as the Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control w/Stop & Go & Curve Control, which uses radar to help maintain a safe distance from the car ahead while maintaining the maximum speed limit available based on the legal speed limit of the road you’re driving on in any given moment.  

The Tucson offers great gas mileage, getting an average of 25 miles to the gallon in the city, and 32 on the highway, so a great option for any budget-conscious shoppers interested in a vehicle that won’t break the bank at the pump. The downside of all that great fuel economy is 187 horsepower: a bit on the weak side for an SUV, but plenty to get you and your family or friends around town.  

In summary, we found the Hyundai Tucson to be a great choice, especially for families wanting lots of space and an energy-efficient drive. Be sure to give it some thought if you’re looking for a 5-passenger SUV!

The 2023 Ford Escape is a Utilitarian Choice for Road Trip Fans and Weekend Thrifters

It its 3rd year of the notable upgrade in looks, utility, and function from the previous generation Ford Escape, this 2023 SUV offers an awesome sleek design, advanced technology features, and a modern interior. With Ford currently offering a whopping 8 different SUV models, the Escape often gets lost among its more famous siblings like the legendary Explorer and the headline-stealing Bronco & Mustang Mach-E, however, upon further examination, the Escape is a great option in itself. At first glance, the exterior is sleek and aerodynamic, featuring gentle curves and rounded edges that one member of our team playfully described as being as aesthetically pleasing as soap bubbles. 

Inside the cabin, there was plenty of space to get comfortable with ample legroom and spacious seating. Though our needs didn’t require the use of the ample cargo space or conveniently foldable seats, it was clear the Escape could easily come in handy for transporting all kinds of cumbersome items like road trip luggage or furniture pieces. When compared to its closest Ford siblings, the EcoSport and Bronco Sport, the Escape is the best option in terms of space since at 180 inches in length, it beats both by a healthy 7 inches. While the more compact EcoSport could make a great choice for fuel economy, and the Bronco Sport is the clear winner for off-roading adventures, we found the Escape to be hands-down the best middle-ground option for cargo utility and passenger comfort. The compact design made for easy maneuverability and was exceptionally easy to fit into any parking spot in the lot as well. This is an objectively easy car to drive and could even make a great choice for families with teenagers pending their first behind-the-wheel experience. 

The base model comes with a 1.5L EcoBoost and delivers a reasonable 180 horsepower, which may not make it the best choice for the track, but certainly comes into play when considering fuel economy. The estimated fuel economy for the base model is a respectable 28mpg for city driving, and 32 mpg on the highway. 

The large 13.2-inch center stack touch screen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster facilitated headache-free use of everything from navigation devices to entertainment features and were also super helpful while using visibility features like the 360-degree camera, which utilizes front, rear, and mirror-mounted cameras to provide a full birds-eye view around the vehicle. The optional 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen speaker system delivered tons of rich sound for any drivers who rely on music to supplement their driving experience. 

Starting at just $27,500, the Escape is a great choice for those prioritizing comfort, convenience, and value. It’s a great upgrade from bulkier previous models, and its technology features were definitely designed to provide hassle-free usage. Definitely consider the 2023 Ford Escape if you’re in the market for a 5-seater SUV. 

The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53 is a High-Performance Vehicle with Exceptional Luxury Features

The “family” version of the AMG GT Coupe line, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53 4-door foregoes the its 2-door siblings’ twin-turbo V8 for a smaller but very potent 3.0L inline-6 that produces a respectable 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque courtesy of forced induction and an electric compressor. 

Paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and an intelligent all-wheel drive system, this Merc delivers a very smooth and sporty driving experience that was lots of fun to test out on the open road. Ripped and ready to go from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, it’s easy to see the GT 53 is a great choice for anyone looking for a car that keep up and overtake any challengers mistaking this for an AMG GTR.

The styling of the GT 53 is unmistakably AMG GT, featuring a sleek, aerodynamic body that somehow mimics the classic long hood-short body look of the AMG GT coupe while adding an extra set of doors as well as some user-friendly sophistication akin to the stately E & S classes. Indeed sportier than the Mercedes-Benz E class or S class, the AMG GT 53 is a great choice for fans of the AMG GT coupe series interested in a family-friendlier version of Mercedes-Benz’s halo sports car. 

Inside the cabin, the GT 53 offers a variety of luxury features to further enhance the driving experience for the driver and passengers alike. The panoramic sunroof provided a great sensation of having limitless space, which was a great addition to the already spacious and comfortable seating both in the front and back seats. We also enjoyed the Burmester surround sound system, which delivered optimum sound quality for all our favorite tunes, and the large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster made for easy navigation as well as an agile selection process for entertainment features. The rapid heating feature for the front seats wasn’t necessary for our warm and sunny South Florida testing location; however, it’s easy to recognize how this feature could greatly enhance the driving experience for any GT 53 drivers in colder climates. Heated rear seats are available as an add-on package for drivers who prioritize the backside comfort of their passengers as well. Rear seat heating comes with a must-have-if-you-have-regular-rear-passengers $3,700 Premium Rear Seating Package, that also comes with a rear-cabin central touch screen display that puts entertainment features in the hands of your passengers, as well as climate-controlled rear cup holders, wireless charging, and a few other notable rear-cabin features. 

Another great add-on package to consider is the $2,700 Intelligent Drive Package, which equips the GT 53 with assist options that make your driving experience virtually automated. Anyone seriously considering the GT 53 should definitely tick this box for enhanced driving automation features. 

Overall, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 53 is a great choice for anyone on the market for a high-performance sports car offering a balance of power and luxury. Its stylish and sporty exterior is sure to turn heads for anyone who knows what they’re looking at, without drawing unwanted attention with overt flash. Definitely consider the GT 53 if you’re in the market for a great performance sedan that prioritizes comfort with luxury details.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a Great Choice for All Your Automotive Adventures!

It’s no secret that SUVs and Crossovers have become an incredibly popular choice in recent years, probably due to their exceptionally spacious capacity which makes them a great option for families and hobbyists requiring roomy cargo space, like outdoor aficionados in frequent need of space for gear, or even the more eclectic hobbyists like artists and musicians wanting to transport things like sculptures and canvasses or sound equipment and instruments. 

The Hyundai Santa Fe an exceptional stand-out since even amongst this typically spacious breed, offering a notably sizable interior with roomy seating and/or plenty of cargo room for all your passengers, gear, or equipment. 

Besides the exceptional spaciousness, the Hyundai Santa Fe offered great gas mileage as well as a smooth and comfortable drive. Achieving an average of 28 mpg on the highway, the Santa Fe is a great choice for budget-conscious automotive shoppers looking to protect their wallets from gas gluts that could inhibit frequent travel. The supple cruising capacity made for a very pleasant riding experience since even speed bumps and the occasional shallow pothole felt somewhat minimized in this melodiously responsive Crossover, making it a great choice for those with sleepy kids in the backseat or even the aforementioned hobbyist transporting fragile cargo. 

Besides the utilitarian potential of the spacious interior and the financial incentive of its mileage capacity, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers aesthetic appeal with its exceptional packaging. It’s an objectively pretty car that makes great use of space. The above-average interior size avoids the accompaniment of undesirable bulk with a streamlined appearance that utilizes smooth lines and conscious curves to achieve a sleek design that someone from our team identified as being inherently bullet-like. 

The wide-panel digital instrument cluster, featuring a high-res 10.25-inch touchscreen is another feature that perfectly positions this as a user-friendly vehicle for hassle-free adventuring since everything from GPS capabilities to entertainment and communication are helpfully accessible, minimizing user frustrations and maximizing safety. Additional technology features that make the Hyundai Santa Fe a step above the average automotive experience included available capabilities such as the Hyundai Digital Key which allows friends and family to digitally access the car via text message, and the wireless charging pad to effortlessly charge Qi-compatible devices without messy wires. Also available is the Blind-Spot View Monitor, which enhances safety with a video feed that prominently displays the vehicle’s blind spots. 

Our experience with the Hyundai Santa Fe left us certain that this is a great choice for anyone with priorities of space, convenience, and safety, and is likely an above-average choice, especially for active families interested in a great vehicle to simplify automotive adventures. Be sure to check it out if you’re in the market for a 5-seater Crossover with exceptional cargo space!

The Ram 1500 Rebel G/T is a Designated Powerhouse with an Exceptionally Smooth Ride!

There is nothing more fun than feeling large and in charge behind the wheel of a designated road monster like the Ram 1500 Rebel G/T. Peering down at all the other cars from this automotive mountain was an unavoidable ego boost that made even the self-identified environmentalist hippies on our team admit they could see the appeal of investing in a sumo-sized machismo machine like this one. 

Such an ego boost does come at a price, as parking this behemoth in a strip mall parking lot reminded us of an NFL linebacker flying commercial and trying to squeeze into a middle airplane seat. However, as long as you’re up for the challenge of your spatial awareness and are not intimidated by a living, breathing manifestation of “bigger is better,” the Rebel G/T’s benefits will outweigh the parking challenges.

In spite of being nearly the size of Rhode Island, the Rebel G/T had a surprisingly quiet and exceptionally smooth drive, leading our team to dub it “The Gentle Giant.” The Rebel G/T handled well, being surprisingly responsive to even slight adjustments in steering, braking, and acceleration, living up to its multiple G/T stickers and badges. While we didn’t have an aircraft carrier handy to test the cargo capacity of the truck bed, it is definitely more than enough for a weekend getaway a Home Depot run, or a busy day at the job site where someone, of course, forgot something, necessitating the aforementioned Home Depot run. The 5.7L HEMI V8 (yup, it’s got a HEMI!) delivers just 5 ponies shy of 400 hp, with over 400 lb-ft of torque.  

While the Rebel G/T is first and foremost a rough-and-tumble truck, we’d be remised not to highlight the inherent sportiness that comes with the G/T badge. The sports-oriented interior features bolstered bucket seats, paddle shifters on the steering column, and various performance readouts in the center screen, including torque split, steering angle and even tracked 0-60 times!  

Inside the cabin, we were pleasantly surprised by the great use of space that made for an exceptionally roomy backseat, making this a versatile choice for those who are looking for a vehicle that can be both sporty and utilitarian. Anyone in need of a powerful tool to assist in large projects requiring a spacious bed and robust engine won’t have to sacrifice passenger comfort for the utility since both are priorities with the Rebel G/T. 

Well-equipped at its starting price of just over $55k, the Rebel G/T offers many great add-on packages to help customize your experience, including options to enhance utilitarian functions such as the Bed Utility Group, which provides additional features like adjustable cargo tie-down hooks and added pick-up box lighting, as well as enhanced technology options available with packages like the Technology Group, which offers Heads-Up display and a digital rearview mirror. The Advanced Safety Group is another great add-on package, which provides features that are exceptionally handy for driving a large vehicle like the Rebel G/T, such as parallel and perpendicular park assist with stop to make the tricky task of parking easier, and lane keep assist to alert the driver when they’re coloring outside the lines. 

Overall, we enjoyed our experience with the Ram 1500 Rebel G/T, and we can easily see how it could be a great choice for anyone needing a designated utility vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice priorities like comfort and luxury either, while also providing a sporty experience considering this vehicle’s size. A great choice for anyone with a job or hobbies requiring a spacious bed and frequent road trips, the Rebel G/T ticks the utility, power, luxury, comfort, and sportiness boxes, which is a lot for just one truck!

All-Electric 2022 Bolt EUV is an Excellent Choice for First-Time EV Buyers!

Adding to the lineup of affordable electric vehicles, the All-Electric 2022 Bolt EV is a great choice for budget-conscious drivers on the hunt for a great deal on an electric vehicle. Starting at well below the average price for an EV, the 2022 Bolt EUV is well-equipped at around $33,000, making it a great choice for anyone interested in an eco-friendly vehicle that won’t break the bank.

The 2022 Bolt EV impresses with advanced features and tech options, including the Super Cruise feature, which is Chevrolet’s version of the Tesla autopilot. Super Cruise uses GPS real-time corrections and a lane-sensing camera to detect marked lines on the road for semi-autonomous driving capabilities that give drivers more flexibility with hands-free driving options. While not fully autonomous, Super Cruise will assist drivers on highways, whether you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic or on an open stretch. The Super Cruise technology is more advanced, and arguably safer than Tesla’s autopilot because Chevrolet uses much more sophisticated cameras and LIDAR technology sensors to read the road and understand traffic situations. GM’s integration of a 10.2-inch infotainment display on the center stack comes as part of the “Sun & Sound” package. However, the upgraded clarity and size for navigation and camera features come at a fairly steep price tag of an additional $3,000; hefty for a vehicle with one of the main selling features being its affordability. 

Our team at Behind the Wheel liked the simple but pleasing styling of this EV Crossover, which allows for considerable roominess in the cabin as well. The Bolt EV offers an impressive 39.1 inches of backseat legroom, making it the proverbial “Jet Blue” of moderate SUVs in terms of comfort. Interior designs feature supple leather upholstery with perforated leather-appointed seat trim and ventilated seats that keep up nicely even in direct sunlight. Backseat passengers also have access to USB-A and USB-C ports, so charging devices is possible from anywhere in the vehicle. 

The 2022 Bolt EUV’s 247-mile range is comparable to a full-tank range of a similar vehicle with a smaller gas tank. While it may not beat a Hellcat in a drag race, the 200 horsepower produced by the Bolt’s electric motor is plenty for a runabout city and highway driving.

GM’s program to cover the home installation of a Level 2 charging station for eligible customers makes this Chevy Bolt EV an excellent option for a first-time EV buyer. The 2022 Bolt EUV runs on both 1&2 charging outlets, so there is some convenient versatility there as well. 

Overall, we agreed this is a great EV for electric first-timers, and for any budget shoppers. As EVs are getting more commonplace and more affordable, the Bolt EV is an excellent example of an affordable electric vehicle with a reasonable driving range.  

2022 Kia EV6 GT Line RWD is an Impressive EV Crossover!

There is certainly a stubborn stigma in the automotive community, especially among automotive enthusiasts, against EVs and crossovers. As those with gasoline running through our veins, we love to pretend like we like our cars brutal, unreliable, loud, uncomfortable, uncompromising, and perpetually smelling like an old leather jacket someone left at an even older gas station. The convenient, roomy, accessible, and reliable Crossover is a natural enemy of the stubborn diehard “car people.” Make that Crossover an EV? Rage ensues!

So, it came as a surprise to our entire team that all of us, from the diehard gearheads to the modern automotive connoisseurs at Behind the Wheel absolutely fell in love with the Kia EV6! Over the past few years, Kia has absolutely been stepping up its product game, evolving its image from a last-resort discount brand for budget-challenged shoppers, to a desirable counter option for trusted economy brands.  The EV6 is yet another hit in a star-studded Kia lineup that is full of excellent offerings punching above their weight class. 

The exterior is not just well-balanced, but downright beautiful. The proportions and lines take all the awkwardness out of the Crossover Sedan/SUV middle child: the very chic and polished look is extenuated by the sweeping, contouring taillight bar, which is reminiscent of the exotic Aston Martin DBX, while the sloped coupe-like roof hints at the EV6’s athletic ability.   

Playing around with the Kia car configurator online, there is a plethora of color options available across all model ranges, with select “special” colors available at a very reasonable up-charge of just under $500; two zeros short of what the aforementioned Aston Martin DBX would ask for. The interior is similarly well-designed with a futuristic and sporty look that features vegan leather upholstery for the eco-conscious driver and is extremely spacious for a group of average-sized adults despite not being a very large SUV. Interior design options are tasteful, though the best one by far is the black automotive suede with neon green piping that is available on the range-topping AWD GT.

Some of the great technology features included massive LCD screens, which added to the modern, high-tech feel, and contributed value to the 360-degree camera, which made for an experience similar to having a third-person overhead view in a racing video game. We often felt like there was a drone following us around based on the clear, real-time overhead footage to show the EV6 from all angles in 3D. Other great and futuristic features include the heads-up display (HUD), which provides route guidance and safety information, projected right onto the windshield. In our opinion, Kia’s HUD is superior to comparable heads-up display options for many higher-end vehicles like BMW and Cadillac. 

The EV6 also did not disappoint when it came to smart driving features such as automatic emergency braking, and automatic assist. The feature that impressed us the most, however, is the Remote Parking Assist, which will automatically park the vehicle for you when you’re not inside it. This feature comes in handy when entering and exiting tight spaces like compact spots or cluttered garages. 

Our test vehicle was the rear-wheel drive (RWD) version from the GT line, which offers a reasonable 225 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Although 225 is plenty for city driving, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of both the base and GT line trim levels bump up the power to 320 hp and 446 lb-ft. of torque, which we would recommend for a bit more fun when stomping on the right pedal. If stomping on the right pedal is your cup of tea, however, we recommend going for the range-topping GT AWD, which packs supercar-worthy 576 horsepower with 545 lb-ft. of torque, good for 0-60 in an eye-blinking 3.3 seconds. 

With an estimated range of 310 miles on our test car, the GT-line RWD, is very convenient and comparable in range on a full tank of a similar gas-powered vehicle. The EV6 can also be used as a backup battery on camping trips or if the power goes out, which is a great perk for any adventurers who don’t want to risk being unreachable during their wilderness escapades, and need a place to plug in a laptop or other electronic device. 

As far as EV Crossovers go, starting at $48,500, the Kia EV6 is a compelling option for any motorist. Even our hardcore automotive enthusiasts universally loved this new offering from Kia. Beautiful design, inside and out, excellent power in the higher ranges, and an impressive cost-to-value ratio make the Kia EV6 an excellent choice for the environmentally-conscious and diehard gasoline gearhead alike. 

Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak is Our Favorite Display of Ridiculousness

Staying true to the uncompromisingly-powerful and truly retro nature of the Challenger line, the 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak is the dictionary definition of going out with a bang. The last hurrah of what is arguably the last true “American muscle car” is an incontestable powerhouse and instant gasoline-powered classic. 

So, why the long faces and sad goodbyes? In the era of efficient, small-displacement turbocharged engines, hybridization and a growing number of competitive EV offerings from almost every automotive brand, a howling-and-growling monster pushrod V8 is somewhat of a dinosaur. That, plus the ever-tightening emissions and Hybrid/EV production and sales regulations by California and the European Union, two of the world’s top automotive markets, means the dinosaur must go the way of the dinosaur and be relegated to history. 

But that is in the future. For 2023, this bad boy is alive and well, rolling off the showroom floor and celebrating every minute of its gas-guzzling, ridiculous existence! Let’s start with the name: a title of a vehicle that includes “hell,” “challenge,” “red eyes” and “breaking out of jail” all in the same name belongs on an 8-year-old boy’s crayon drawing; the fact that this is a serious title of a production-ready “adult” car is, yes, ridiculous, and also ultimately endearing, and just plain awesome! Regardless of how you feel about the name, this monster is worthy of every bit of its ridiculousness, earning its classification as part of the Dodge Jailbreak family both for its fully customizable package, and for its cheeky fist bump to its soon-to-be outlaw status. 

The main reason for this 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak’s “my fists are lethal weapons” persona is what it’s hiding under the hood. The big car and the long hood barely fit the absolutely massive 6.2-Liter HEMI V8 and its 2.7-Liter Supercharger, combining for a, yes, ridiculous, 8.9 liters of power! Eight truly is a lucky number here, because all that engine cranks out a whopping 807 horsepower, funneled through a TorqueFlite ® 8-speed Automatic transmission, while six-piston Brembo® brakes attempt to corral all those ponies. 

All that power is not just for bragging rights. Rolling off the showroom floor, this Jailbreak can do 0-60 in 2.6 seconds, and blow the doors off most production cars with a quarter mile run in 10.6 seconds topping out at 129 mph. Longer drag strip? This Jailbreak’s got you covered with a 203-mph top speed – yes, that means outrunning and outgunning most Ferraris, with all that ear-to-ear grin fun starting at under $90k. 

The 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak comes standard with the bulging widebody arch extensions and wider wheels/tires; a setup that improves handling due to the wider stance and bigger contact patch, while creating a more aggressive and athletic appearance when compared to the narrow-body Challenger. 

Playing with the “build and spec” configurator on Dodge’s website is an excellent first glimpse at the sheer ridiculousness of the Jailbreak. The interactive options menu is full of crazy colors, stripes, mix-and-match options for steering wheels, interior leather, seat belt colors, floor mats, and much more; plenty to bring out the wide-eyed kid in even the most adult-and-serious potential buyer. Some options do call for a bit of good-natured eye-rolling: Having the factory paint your entire Challenger any number of special and iconic Mopar® colors such as Triple Nickel, Smoke Show, F8 Green or Frostbite will set you back $95 – yes, we didn’t miss any zeroes on that. However, painting your brake calipers to match costs six times as much. Want to delete the rear seats to make room for a roll cage or simply to save weight for the drag strip? Be prepared to pay Dodge one dollar… that’s a serious option, and the actual price: we are not kidding. While the interior and exterior design feel very familiar as the Challenger has been around for more than a decade, owners will appreciate improved interior components including more leather, various interior trim options including Carbon Fiber, and an Alcantara® steering wheel and headliner, which enhances the motorsports feel of this instant classic.

The sheer ridiculousness of the 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak is what makes it such a compelling option. There are no rational, levelheaded, sensible reasons to purchase an 807-horsepower, gas-guzzling supercharged V8 monster; especially in 2023. Perhaps in this lack of sensibility that this Challenger truly shines: when there are no logical reasons, we are left with emotions and feelings, and it is out of sheer desire for something outrageous, for something gratuitous, and something that will likely never be again, do we love, recommend and want this ridiculous car so much.

The 2022 Mercedes C300 is Like Setting Foot Inside a Starship Cruiser!

It is always exciting when Mercedes-Benz gets a new addition to its robust family of offerings. The C Class has always been one of our favorites as it is a nimble, smaller luxury car that often comes with some of the most fun drivetrain options in the German automaker’s lineup through Mercedes’ in-house tuning and motorsports magicians at AMG. Testing the all-new C300, we immediately noted a more refined and sculpted exterior than previous generations, making it a lot of fun to show off while cruising through the streets.

The biggest notable difference, however, is the interior, which, according to our team’s resident Trekkie, looks and operates like something straight out of the Starship Enterprise. The spacious cabin centers around a large 12-inch touch screen display, which controls nearly every aspect of vehicle operation. It’s partnered with another large digital display for the instrument cluster as well. In this latest C Class installment, the cabin somehow looks and feels more spacious and bigger than ever, even though the car is relatively the same as previous generations, which means Mercedes has done an excellent job improving the overall packaging.

Star Trek references aside, we immediately fell in love with the modern design. The freshly-redesigned steering wheel comes with with stylish aluminum trim and features touch controls so you can make adjustments to your surroundings safely without your hands ever leaving the wheel. The minimalistic design keeps your dashboard clutter-free by only presenting necessary features when needed, which also adds to the futuristic space ship-esque feel of the vehicle overall.

The car itself is very comfortable to spend time in. The seats have a unique shape that we haven’t encountered before, but upon testing them out, we found them to be both plush and supportive, making them a great option for drives across town or across the country. Besides their unique and comfortable design, the seats are also available with heating and cooling options, which are great to combat the scorching summer months or the icy winter season. Mercedes-Benz’s MB-Tex leather substitute upholstery is standard, but you also have the option to upgrade to leather if that’s more your style.

The interior also offers some style choice with an assortment of trim options, including our favorite for this vehicle: Fineline Anthracite wood, which gives the interior a very classy and sophisticated look. Inside the car, you can also enjoy an intelligent voice-control system that uses AI to learn your voice and habits, and even grows smarter over time… notice how we keep coming back to Star Trek? To activate you simply say “hey Mercedes,” and it can pretty much control everything in the vehicle, including temperature, navigation, radio, and other preferences.

We really enjoyed the futuristic features and feel of the new Mercedes-Benz C300. While the brand-new C Class is currently only available with one engine choice, the 255 horsepower turbo 4, we are confident that more engine options, including our highly-anticipated AMG versions, will become available in the next months. It was a lot of fun to drive and felt very up-to-date in terms of technology, which was both fun and useful. We would absolutely recommend this car for anyone who likes a clean, minimalistic look and feel, and of course for any Trekkies out there who want to feel like they’re navigating the Starship Enterprise!

The Hyundai Palisade Delivers a Luxury Presence for an Economy Price!

While the Hyundai Palisade has been on the market for a while, after taking it for a test drive, we can confidently assert that this model range has aged very well. We loved the spacious feel, and how it delivers a totally luxurious experience for a surprisingly economical price. When our team played the “guess the price” game for this SUV, most of us guessed well above the actual cost, which further attests to its overall value. The Palisade starts at only $35k, while ticking every box can still land you under $50k.

The Palisade comes standard with a 291 horsepower V6. Although it will not squash you in your seat like an AMG 63s offering at 3x the price, the engine is plenty adequate to move the SUV, and even makes for a fun drive. The standard seating fits up to 7 passengers; the middle row can be configured with captain’s chairs or a bench seat, which is great for versatility depending on your passenger arrangement.

Our test vehicle was the Calligraphy version, which, besides sounding about as strange as Range Rover’s Autobiography trim level, features exquisite Nappa leather seats all around and made us feel very luxurious during the test drive. This SUV also features remote start through the key, and even allows you to roll the vehicle forwards or backwards via the remote, which is a great feature for tight parking spots or a cluttered garage where you’d otherwise have to shimmy into a half-open door.

The cabin feels very luxurious, especially in relation to the pricepoint. It comes equipped with lots of safety equipment to give drivers peace of mind, which is great for busy parents with noisy kiddos distracting them from the backseats. We were especially impressed with the innovative blind spot cameras that will show what’s next to you while on the highway right from within the digital instrument cluster; a very smart feature and trademark of Hyundai vehicles.

The Palisade’s large, panoramic moon roof, heated/cooled seats and a heated steering wheel are all comfort features typically seen in luxury SUVs high above Palisade’s pricepoint. Our Hyundai was also equipped with a Harmon Kardon premium sound system, another marquee of luxury vehicles.

The Palisade is an excellent example of Hyundai’s Renaissance; building reliable, attractive cars packed with luxury features but missing the eyebrow-raising high price tag. It drives very nicely for its segment and is a reliable choice if you’re on the market for a designated commute, soccer practice and school warrior. The Palisade’s platform and engine-sharing cousin, the Kia Telluride, is one of the most desirable SUVs currently on the market, making the Palisade an excellent choice against competitors and even versus much higher-priced SUVs.

In fact, when a friend asked our team for a recommendation on an SUV we were quick to recommend the Palisade. He took us on our word and bought one!