The Lexus RX is no longer a “Mom Car”

  
The term “Mom Car” is a very indearing term for me, because I love my Mom. As guy born in the 1980’s, I have seen Mom Cars shift from station wagons, to mini vans, to SUVs, and now to crossovers. The RX line was introduced in 1998 and quickly saw widespread adoption – it is one of Lexus’ best selling vehicles. While I have seen many guys driving the RX, it appears to be dominated by females drivers; likely due to the fact that the previous three generations had a very feminen design…. Thus why I call it a Mom Car.
There is nothing wrong with driving a Mom Car, but as a single guy who is approaching 30 years old, I want something fun in my driveway, something that is stylish, and something that makes a statement. The new Lexus RX 350 F-Sport is just that!

  
The new design is masculine, aggressive and sleek. Details going all the way down to the headlights and mirrors examplify the new sporty appearance.

The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport also has a little bite to its bark, with a V6 engine that produces nearly 300 horsepower and a locking differential (for off-roading).

  
The cabin of my press vehicle was carefully wrapped in red leather with aluminum trim. The vehicle’s interior poster says performance with sporty bucket seats, paddle shifters and a heads-up-display on the windshield.

I can definitely see myself buying this car! So much so, that I choose the Lexus RX 350 F-Sport over my Porsche Boxster S (my personal car) to take a girl on a date last weekend. It ended up being a wise choice because she complimented me on how stylish the vehicle was… And she drives a Range Rover.

So if you ask me… The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport is a winner for both guys and girls!

The Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase Is Lady In The Streets And A Freak In The Sheets!

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What other vehicle would allow you to explore the swamp filled Florida everglades by day, and attend a black-tie charity gala by night? None other than the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase. It is the ultra-luxury version of the iconic Range Rover. By iconic, I mean its ancestor was the only vehicle on display at Louvre Art Museum in Paris.

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By ultra-luxury I mean leather, wood, and aluminum from top to bottom. Of-course you have the usual luxury features of heated and cooled seats along with a heated steering wheel. But, with the autobiography trim level, you get 18-way power adjustable seats with massagers, Full semi-aniline leather seats, an alcantara headliner and a 1700 watt 29 speaker 3D sound system from Meridian. As with its other Range Rover siblings, you get an air suspension system that offers a ride quality on par with the Mercedes S-Class sedan.

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The luxury amenities don’t stop with the front seats on the long wheelbase version of this machine, rear passengers will enjoy an unusually large amount of legroom, dual screen entertainment, massaging seats, and sunscreens on the side windows for privacy. Rear passengers can either listen to music and video through the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase’s built in sound system, or with wireless headphones.

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Under the hood of the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase (LRRRALWB) is a 5.0L supercharged V8 engine with 510 horsepower and 461 pounds of torque. It jets the SUV from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds; thats faster than the current generation Porsche Cayman! To exemplify the “Freak In The Sheets” analogy, the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase is equipped with a Terrain 2 Response system, a low-speed transfer case, and two locking differentials. While some may be concerned that the Long Wheelbase version of the Range Rover reduces your off-road capability, fear not… the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase offers 34.7 degree approach, 26.1 degree ramp, and 29.1 degree departure angles.

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In addition to being able to climb over nearly any obstacle, the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase is able to wade in up to 35.4 inches of water. I got to test that number with the help of a tour guide; while exploring the lost city of Golden Gates Estate Subdivision. In the 1960s real estate developers set out to create the largest residential subdivision in the United States. The property was set on 41,000 areas in/near the Florida Everglades and hosted nearly 300 miles of paved roads. The only problem is that the Florida Everglades floods during certain times of the year. Thus, it was the perfect place to test the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase water crossing abilities. Even though beautifully paved roads were underneath the water, it was surreal to think I was driving a $150,000 ultra-luxury vehicle through 2 feet of water… and it handled it like a pro. The cabin remained water tight as we waded past fish and birds through the flooded subdivision.

I look at the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase and think, “what are the odds of someone buying this vehicle and actually taking it off roading?” Unless you live Miami Beach (where a number of my friends lost their cars to flooding), on a ranch, or in the mountains, the odds are very slim… But, it is a great feeling to know that you can… It is just like buying a Porsche or a Ferrari; 90% of their owners will never take it to the track, but they know it would be an incredible experience. At least with a Range Rover, you will have private jet class accommodations.

 

I am in love with the 2016 Volvo XC90

There are few cars that I fall in love with after driving them for only a week. They usually tend to be small little sports cars that are meant to be driven on Sunday afternoons when the weather is nice.

So I was a little surprised when I started missing the 2016 Volvo XC90 when it left my garage after testing it for a week. It is the perfect luxury SUV! The exterior and interior design make it stick out from the crowd at the country club, while offering a conservative approach when offering a ride to clients, co-workers, and employees. Plus with the advanced safety features, it is a strong choice for hauling the family to soccer practice.

  

  
The interior of the Volvo XC90 is inviting. It’s Swedish design is elegantly simple. Open pore wood and real aluminum accents the doors, center consol and dash. The seats look futuristicly modern, but they were extremely comfortable. The contour of the seats do a great job of supporting your back. I took a day trip from Ft Lauderdale to Naples and back, and enjoyed every minute of it.

 
 The Volvo XC90 features an innovative iPad like infotainment system. The driver (or front passanger) can tab icons to control the car’s navigation system, make calls via Bluetooth, and control media options. A familiar home button rests at the bottom of the screen. To get even more Apple-like, the XC90 I tested featured Apple CarPlay. CarPlay allows iPhone users to plug their phone into the car (via USB) and control core iPhone functions though the car’s display – such as calling, music, and Apple Maps navigation. My only real complaint about CarPlay is that you have to plug the phone directly into the car versus using Bluetooth technology.

 It is no wonder why Volvo has a reputation for safety; the XC90 is packed with safety technology that actually works. The lane keep assist is spot on, the dynamic cruise control smoothly controls the car’s throttle, and the blind spot monitors are very senesitive. I didn’t get to try it, but the Volvo XC90 also offers emergency breaking. So, if the vehicle in front of you slams on the breaks, the XC90 will do the same while coming to a complete stop. Another nifty safety technology feature that I got to try out is pilot assist. The system allows the car to steer it self while applying the gas or break during heavy traffic – this was priceless while sitting in rush hour Miami traffic.

  
Sadly, all things must come to an end. But fortunately with a starting price of around $50,000, the 2016 Volvo XC90 has the potential to be sitting in my driveway.

Spare no expense with the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe

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Life doesn’t get any sweeter than driving around in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, unless you driving it’s muscular older the brother…. The Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG. The behemoth has a 621 horsepower Mercedes V12 engine under the hood. The handcrafted engine is able to propel the car from zero to sixty in just 4 seconds, but where it really shines is sixty to one hundred and fifty. It takes off like a rocket ship!

In addition to mind blowing acceleration for a car of this size and weight, it has superb stoping power thanks to massive 6-piston 15.4 inch disc brakes. The Active Body Control system on the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG actively makes use of the vehicles hydraulic suspension system, and is able to reduce body roll by up to 30%.

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If you read my article on the 2015 Mercedes S550 Coupe, you will know that the S65 AMG is the pinnacle of Germany engineering and luxury. The interior perfectly blends old world luxury with a modern high-tech design. Every inch of the cabin is wrapped in leather, carbon fiber (or wood), aluminum and glass. With the S65 AMG, you feel powerful, but refined.

At a price tag of over $250,000 (as tested), the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe costs almost a much as a the new Ferrari 488 GTB and the Lamborghini Hurcan. While the Ferrari and Lamborghini may be faster, the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe takes luxury to a whole new level. Do you want a car to take to the race track? Or do you want a car that will leave you refreshed after a cross-country road trip… Plus walk away from almost anything else on the road.

Exploring Arizona in the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Diesel

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Land Rover is one of my all-time favorite automotive manufactures for one reason, their vehicles are built to go anywhere. They are suited for the heat of the Sahara desert, the frigid cold of Alaska, and the wetness of the Amazon Rainforest. Land Rover’s Range Rover line adds sophistication to your great adventure, without sacraficing capability. A Land Rover driving instructor once described the Range Rover line as a mountain goat wearing a tuxedo.

A few weeks ago, Land Rover flew me to Sedona Arizona to test Range Rover and Rover Rover Sport’s newest engine configuration, a 3.0L Td6 Turbocharged Diesel. Previous drivetrain options were limited to a Supercharged 3.0L V6 or a Supercharged 5.0L V8. This new drivetrain option packs a punch! The Td6 offers 32% greater fuel economy than Land Rover’s Supercharged V6, and almost as much torque as Land Rover’s Supercharged V8 engine. That translates into 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 440 pounds of torque (21 pounds of torque shy of the Supercharged V8).

If you are reading this and saying to yourself: (1) diesel’s are noisy, diesel’s are dirty, (2) diesel fuel costs more, and (3) what about the VW diesel scandal? Then you have a lot to learn! While clean diesel technology is relativity new in the United States, European markets have been perfecting the diesel engine for decades. (1) Land Rover’s Td6 diesel engine is almost as quite as a traditional gasoline engine. Most people wouldn’t know that it is a diesel unless you are able to recognize the pitter patter sound of a diesel engine versus a gasoline engine. (2) Diesel fuel generally costs more than regular gasoline, but it is almost always cheaper than premium gasoline, which most high performance engines require. (3) VW gave diesel engines a bad rap. I have spoken with several automotive engineers who specialize in clean diesel technology, and all of them basically said the same thing: “VW took shortcuts in order to save money.” The more powerful the engine, the larger the emissions filters on diesel engines, the more they cost.

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So how does that translate to off-roading? You get the same off-road capabilities as the V6 and V8 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which is second to none. The Range Rover offers two locking differentials, nearly a foot of ground clearance, and an advanced terrain response system. The Range Rover comes standard with a twin speed transfer box (low and high gear range), but it is an extra on the Range Rover Sport.

The new diesel motor drivetrain on 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport turn one of the most capable and refined vehicles in the world into an SUV that will go anywhere and get great fuel economy.

Contact your local Land Rover dealer or click here to visit the Land Rover website for more information on the 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

Note: I did not receive compensation for this article, but Land Rover did pay for my trip to Sedona.

The Maybach Is Back! Review of the 2016 Mercedes S600 Maybach

  
Maybach has a long history of producing some of the finest automobiles in the while, dating back to 1909. In recent times, the vehicle is often regarded as one of the best kept secrets, because only truly wealthy people (and automotive enthusiasts) will recognize the name. This has both helped and hurt the brand throughout the years – Helped because the elite want something different from the dozens of Rolls-Royces parked in their neighbor’s drive way; and hurt because most people paying 200k+ for car want to be recognized driving a car that cost as much as the average home in mid-west.

  
Mercedes, the owner of the Macbach brand, has given us a toy to play with. The Mercedes-Benz S600 Maybach. The vehicle is no longer its own make, but an exclusive trim level of the S-Class sedan.

  
The Machbach version of the S-Class is eight inches longer than the long wheelbase S-Class, meaning more legroom for the rear passangers. Riding in the back of the Mercedes S600 Maybach is like riding in a private jet. With the touch of a few buttons, your seat reclines and a foot rest pops out. Dual video screens keep you occupied as you tour around town. Should you get thirsty, an available champagne cool and (real) silver champagne flutes are stored in the rear center console. If alcohol is not your thing, the rear cup holders are both heated and cooled.

  
On the off chance that you actually have to work for a living, tray tables pop out of the rear center consol on the Mercedes S600 Maybach.

Two leather pillows are elegantly placed for nap time in the rear. Rear and side window shades can automatically be raised to reduce ambient light.

  
The 2016 Mercedes S600 Maybach wasn’t built just for the backseat passangers, the driver gets enjoy unprecedented luxury. The cabin is a lined with Napa leather from top to bottom. A heated steering wheel, armrests, and seats keep you warm during the winter, while ventilated seats keep you cool during the summer. Two big and beautiful displays show colorful illustrations of your speed, route information, entertainment selection, and control options for the front and rear massaging seats. Imagine taking a one hour road trip with a masseuse gentle rubbing your back.

  
Should you feel the need for speed, just give the Mercedes S600 a little gas, and you will begin to feel the power of a twin-turbo charged V12 engine with over 600 horsepower. The transmission is wicked smooth – it glides you from zero to sixty in five seconds.

  
With private jet styling and one of the softest rides on the planet, the MayBach is back. But this time, with an iconic nameplate… Watchout Rolls-Royce and Bentley!

Upgrade to first class with the Infiniti Q70L

 
If you have  $50,000 to $65,000 to spend on a luxury sedan, you have a few options. You can get mid-sized sedan like the Mercedes E-Class or the BMW 5-Series, or you can upgrade to the full-sized Infiniti Q70L.

The Infiniti Q70L has Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8L qualities at a fraction of the price. You get a flagship vehicle with exceptinal ride quality, advanced technologies, and enough leg room for backseat passangers to stretch their legs with an additional six inches of leg room.

 
The interior of the Infiniti Q70L is very posh. The center consol, dash, and doors are dressed with real wood and soft the interior is lined with sof to the touch leather. An available 1o speaker Bose sounds system with twin speakers on the headrest of the front seats is litterally music to my ears – It creates a personalized sound experince for each occupant.

The Infiniti Q70L is avialable in two different engine configurations: a 3.7L V6 that produces 330 horsepower and a 5.6L V8 that produces 416 horsepower. The V8 moves! Both drivetrain option come with a 7-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly, but quickly when needed.

The usual flagship level features are standard with the 5.6L varient of the Infiniti Q70L, such as a 360 degree camera and and climate controled seats. So far $64,000 you are not just getting a bigger engine.

The overall design of the Inifiti Q70L has had a major update in almost a decade. This is good for buyers, because they can expect their car to look modern for years to come.

It’s good to be bad! A week with the Jaguar F-Type S


Everyone loves a bad boy… Girls want to be with him and guys want to be him. Why? Because bad boys are sexy. The 2016 Jaguar F-Type S is a bad boy, which through the transitive property of “you are what you drive,” this humble Midwestern is a bad boy too…. Well at least for a week.

The Jaguar F-Type S cuts through air like a shark cuts through the ocean. Its lines are an infusion of aerodynamics and beauty. They are aggressive and sleek, but not intimidating. Its authentic air vents, pop up spoiler, and powerful brakes show that the F-Type isn’t just a pretty face.

While the Porsche 911 compromises luxury for performance, the Jaguar F-Type S blends the two together beautifully. The airplane and racing inspired cabin on the F-Type S takes the term luxury sports car to a new level. It is exceptionally beautiful with ultra-soft leather on nearly every surface. The model I was driving included the optional performance seats, which are racing inspired.


Contrast orange stitching on the seats, doors, and dash enhance the sporty appearance.

You feel powerful behind the wheel! That is thanks to a 3.0L supercharged V6 with 380 horsepower and a throaty exhaust. With zero to sixty times of 5.3 with a manual transmission and 4.8 with an automatic transmission, the Jaguar F-Type S isn’t the fastest car in its segment, but it feels faster than the rest of the segment. It is exhilarating to punch it from a stoplight and hear massive roar come from the F-Type’s dual exhaust.

The 2016 Jaguar F-Type S was built to make you feel alive… As you cruise along A1A, you feel the wind blow through your hair as you are wrapped in premium leathers. You pull up to your date’s house and she hears the rumble from the exhaust. You then get on highway 95 with a spirited force, adrenaline is pumping through your veins you are grinning from ear to ear. As you drive to the restaurant, patrons jaws begin to drop. The car is beaming with sex appeal. Then when it is time to call it a night, you take the scenic route home so you can spend a few extra moments with the F-Type…. Whats the rush? Bad boys always get the girl!

A week with the Rolls-Royce Wraith

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Since 1907, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have been braking the mould of engineering and craftmanship. Their pedigree places them as one of the most iconic brands in the world. Renowned for luxury, but also with a history for performance. In the 1930’s, Rolls-Royce ruled the land, air, and sea – Having held simultaneous speed records for all three challenges. 80 years later, we are under a new era for Rolls-Royce. The brand is owned by BMW, but the company continues its tradition of making “the world’s best automobiles.”

When I got a phone call that Rolls-Royce was sending me a Wraith for a week, I thought I was dreaming. The Wraith is Rolls-Royce’s most powerful production car ever built.

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Under the hood is a monsterous 624 horsepower V12 engine. The motor is paired with a satilite aided transmission – you heard right, satilite – the transmission uses GPS to know the road ahead. If you are driving the car hard and approaching a turn, the Rolls-Royce Wraith will automatically downshift for you before you get into the turn… The car thinks for you.

At a curb rate of over 5,000 pounds, most people would think this SUV sized coupe wouldn’t be quick off of the line… but they’re are wrong. The Wraith can do zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds. That is faster than the Porsche 911!

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Of course the best part of the Rolls-Royce Wraith is its luxurious interior. The seats, dash, and doors are wrapped in bull’s leather. Most other manufactures use cow leather, because it is cheaper. Cow’s leather stretches overtime and causes creases. Rolls-Royce only uses bull’s leather, because bull’s leather is stronger and doesn’t stretch. The vehicle I drove was a bespoke model, which means that it uses custom materials, and it makes it a one-of-a-kind car. This beauty featured ostrich leather on the center consol, 1″ lambs wool floormats, and teak wood trim on the doors. The doors on Rolls-Royce are particularly special, because they are the suicide doors (notice the photo at the very top). The doors open from the front, which it make it easier to get in and out of the car. But, unless you have someone to close the door for you, it is extremely difficult to close the door for yourself. Rolls-Royce has a solution… motorized a doors! With the push of a button, your door closes for you.

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Another opulent feature of the Rolls-Royce Wraith is the night sky headliner. 1,340 LEDs re-create your favorite constellation in the night sky.

The whole point in owning a Rolls-Royce is how refined it gets you from point A to point B. Driving the Wraith is like “floating on a cloud.” You don’t feel the bumps in the road, you don’t hear the wind noise, and you don’t realize that you are moving until you look out of the window. The Wraith is nearly silent, even at highway speeds. I caught myself going faster than I had intended on multiple occasions. The car is a joy to cruise in – I could drive it for hours up and down A1A or 95. It is by far the best Rolls-Royce to drive yourself in.

I will admit, being a 28 year old guy, I felt a little weird driving a $400,000 car for a week. One of my friend’s commented that it looks like I stole Dad’s car… The Rolls-Royce Wraith draws a lot of attention. I had people ask me all sorts of questions: How can someone so young afford such a nice car? Can you give me money? Are you a celebrity? The Wraith is definitely over the top! It makes a statement and sets you apart from all of the other drivers on the road.

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A Rolls-Royce wouldn’t be complete with out its mascot, the Spirit of Ectasy. She pops out of the grill when the car is turned on; and at night, she lit with brilliant white LEDs for all of the world to see.

Let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of driving a Rolls-Royce…

Pros: 1) You get a lot of attention. 2) You know you are driving the world’s best luxury car. 3) The seats and ride are so comfortable, you feel refreshed getting out of the car after a long trip.

Cons: 1) You get a lot of attention. 2) You need to be carful where you park – theives like to steal the hood ornament, fans like to take pictures with the car, and envious drivers might try to key the car.

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There is no question that the 2015 Rolls-Royce rules the road. Its superior ride, beautiful design, and vast number of factory customizations makes it the most luxurious car money can buy.

So the question is, is the 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith worth the $400,000 (with options) price tag? I say yes!

Contact your local Rolls-Royce dealer for more information or click here to visit Rolls-Royce’s website.

You have “arrived” in the 2015 Cadillac Escalade

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Cadillac is amongst the oldest automotive brands in the world. Over the past 113 years, Cadillac has established itself as the premier American luxury automobile manufacture. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade continues that tradition with a new modern design. More aggressive lines and a new front fascia give the new  Escalade a slick look.

I had the pleasure of driving the 2015 Cadillac Escalade for a week in South Florida. The SUV is a thing of beauty: its big, powerful, and ultra luxurious.

Despite its massive size, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade was easy to drive. The full-size SUV offers good visibility and a fairly tight turning radius. The ride quality it great and the steering is soft, so driving the Escalade isn’t fatiguing. A benefit of driving such a large vehicle is that most drivers are unusually polite – I can see why the driver of a Maita or small Toyota might be intimaded. The 2015 Escalade is a big and powerful vehicle.

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While the outside of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade might appear intimidating, the interior is inviting. The seats, doors, and dash are wrapped in ultra-smooth leather. You will find real wood trim throughout the cabin, as well as, a alcantara headliner. The high quality materials remind me of what you might find on a corporate jet.

The new Cadillac Escalade is loaded with electronics. OnStar and Cue offer a high quality infotainment system, complete with premium audio and a four screen BlueRay player.

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You can seat 7 people comfortably in the Escalade: two in front, two in the middle, and three in back. All seven passangers have plenty of legroom, AC vents, and are easily able to see the TV screens. It is perfect for the modern family – I tested is with my friend and his kids; everyone was happy (and quite) after an hour long car ride.

Because of the premium materials used and level of comfort, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade should get an award for best-in-class interior… It’s exquisite!

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade, with its sleek design and supple interior, make the perfect luxury SUV for large families and those who like to drive big cars.

For more information, visit your local Cadillac dealer or click here to visit Cadillac’s website.