I am loving this RED hot Mustang

Few colors are more passionate than, and few cars are more iconic than the Ford Mustang. While the vehicle has evolved over the years from boxy to round, and then back to a retro look across 6 generations, one thing has remained the same – the Ford Mustang creates an emotion connection to everyone who experiences it. You will be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t reminisce about driving on the open road with their friends, or burning rubber… after all it is a Pony car.

The latest incarnation is the 2018 Mustang, with engines ranging from a 310hp 2.3L turbo-charger 4-Cylinder to a 526hp 5.2L V8. But no matter which engine you choose, you get the distinct feeling of driving a modern Mustang. I specify “modern” because the current generation finally offers independent suspension across all models versus a straight axel (like on previous generations). This means you get a smoother ride and better handling. The new Mustang is not just for the drag strip, it can keep with the best of them on autocross and road courses.

In addition to enhanced drivetrain and suspension components, the modern Mustang offers an aggressive fighter jet style interior with toggle switches and the label “ground speed” on the speedometer. Peering over the dash, you still get a long deck lid and, which gives you a traditional muscle car feel.

The particular model I tested was a convertible, which was great because the Mustang can give you a sports car feeling, but it is also comfortable enough to relax in and simply cruise. The top goes up and down very quickly for a convertible – this is important because it allows you to soak up the sun or take shelter at a moments notice. With the top up, the cabin is surprisingly quite, but not as quite as a fixed roof Mustang. I found myself lowering the top as often as possible in order to enjoy the siren experience of the wind blowing through my hair.

There is just something magic about driving a red Mustang, especially when it is a convertible. It can turn a bad into a great a day with the press of a gas pedal and an engine roar, or by pushing the drop top button and basking in the sub. So if you are tired of boring old sedans and need/want an economically priced four-seater, than take a look at the 2018 Ford Mustang.

Visit your local Ford dealer for more info on the Mustang or click here.

The 2018 “Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Ultimate” Ticks All The Boxes

When browsing a corporate parking garage, it is easy to get lost in the sea of executive and middle management cars. Everyone tends to drive BMWs and Audi’s that cost north of $50,000, but have half of the features of this week’s test vehicle. And arguably, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport looks better too. I am a big fan of the brand’s new design language, which appears to have a little German and Japanese influence in it. Yet, this crossover utility vehicle was assembled in the USA and is technically more American than the Ford Edge or a Chevrolet Equinox.

So there are three reasons why I think the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport truly ticks all of the boxes for an economical mid-sized CUV/SUV:

1. Hyundai paid close attention to detail when designing and building this car. It is a great value, but it is not cheaply made. They looked at vehicles with premium options such as heated and cooled leather seats, reclining rear seats, 360 degree cameras, LED headlights, a hands-free rear hatch, and a panoramic moonroof… and then Hyundai made all of those features standard on the Ultimate trim level. There are also smaller details, such as aluminum door sills and dual automatic climate controls. For the audiophile, you get a surround sound Infinity audio system. Oh!I forgot to mention that the Ultimate trim level on the Santa Fe Sport is price at only $35,650… with all of these features standard.

2. Every Hyundai comes with “America’s Best Warranty.” That is a 5-year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. That is amazing considering that cars from 15 years ago use to have some sort of major mechanical failure before they reach 100,000 miles.

3. You often times have to make a choice between fuel efficiency and power, but the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport gives you a nice blend of both. You get a 2.0L 4-cylinder motor that produces a respectable 240 horsepower, but the vehicle still gets 27 miles per gallon while carrying a family of five to Disney World.

Contact your local dealer for more information on the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, or click here.

It doesn’t get any better than the Mercedes-Maybach S650

Since the 1970’s, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (Special Class) has been considered the gold standard in the full-size luxury car segment. Manufactures such as BMW and Audi regularly compare their finest vehicles with the S-Class because it is a benchmark vehicle in terms of engineering, technology and luxury. This segment is where advanced comfort and safety technologies are often times introduced to the public, such as massaging seats, lane keep assist, and pretension seatbelts.

But what do you if you want a luxury car that is better than “the best?” What if money is no object? Celebrities and flashy elites usually turn to a Rolls Royce, and more modest gentlemen will often times admire a Bentley…. but they are forgetting a brand that dates back to 1909, Maybach. The brand was once a stand alone marque, but Mercedes has resurrected the name for their ultra-luxury flagship sedan.

This sedan may look like an ordinary Mercedes on the outside, but it is extra ordinary inside. The cabin is handcrafted from top to bottom in nappa leather and features quilted diamond pattern stitching on select surfaces to add an extra touch of detail. All of the elements of this car screen quality.

Mercedes calls this a “trim level” but it is not… It’s like going from First Class on an American Airlines flight to flying privately on a Gulfstream Jet. Both are nice, but once you starting flying private, it is hard to go back.

In addition to Maybach styling and the special materials used, you will also noticed an enhanced ride. It is even more supple than a regular S-Class. This is because the S650 Maybach features a unique “Magic Body Control” system that scans the road ahead so the suspension can proactively counteract bumps and dips in the road. The system also has a very impressive “Curve” mode which will counteract G-Forces by leaning the car inwards like a motorcycle driver when making quick sharp turns. I tested this feature numerous times, and I still can’t get over how well it works!

What also works surprisingly well on this car are the brakes. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 weighs nearly 5,300 pounds, but it able to stop with sports-car like precision. This is a very important quality to have, because: One, the faster you can stop the safer you are. And two, this Mercedes likes to fly when you hit the gas pedal. Under the hood is a 6.0L Bi-Turbo V12 that pumps out 621 horsepower and over 700 pounds of torque – that is super car status – so you are going to need all that stopping power.

Hopefully if you have the means to afford such a beautiful machine, you will also have a chauffeur on hand, because the backseats are even more opulent than the front. From the back you get to enjoy reclining heated and cooled seats with built in massagers. Additionally you can sit back and put your feet up and take a nap because you got an extra 6-inches of legroom and a motorized footrest. If staying awake is more your style you can look up at the stars at night through the rear moonroof or entertain yourself with the rear video displays.

With a vehicle that is more understated than a Bentley and fancier inside than a Rolls Royce, it is hard not to want the Mercedes-Maybach S650 as your daily driver. The great thing is that it is also a relative bargain, my test vehicle was listed at $207,000 with options. Where as the Bentley Flying Spur starts at $189,000 and the Rolls Royce Ghost starts a $311,000.

Contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer or click here for more information on the 2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650.

Droid Not Included… The 2018 Nissan Rogue With ProPilot Assist

In a galaxy not so far away, the Nissan Rogue is helping drivers navigate life’s daily battles with the dark side. This includes crazy drivers switching lanes without notice, crazy rush hour drivers slamming on their brakes, and distracting kids in the backseat wanting your attention.

While this X-Wing Fighter doesn’t have BB-8 as your wingman, it does have Nissan’s new ProPilot Assist. The system provides assisted steering, braking and accelerating while at cruising speeds. Beware, you can’t take yours eyes off of the road. If you do get distracted though, this CUV will keep you in your lane and brake autonomously should the driver of the car in front of you make an emergency stop. That could mean the different between life or death in some situations.

I have seen this technology on a number of other vehicles – The $100k Mercedes-Benz S-Class for example – but what is amazing is that you can pickup one of these family friendly CUVs for less than $35,000.

This price tag gives you a Nissan Rogue SL Platnium with heated leather seats and a heated leather steering wheel, a 9-speaker Bose sound system, a 360 degree camera system for parking. It also comes with a fuel efficient 4-cylinder engine that gets 33mpg on the highway and a modern all-wheel-drive system to handle slippery surfaces…. the only thing you don’t get is a cute little Droid named BB-8 to help guide you on life’s adventures.

Visit your local Nissan dealer to learn more about ProPilot Assist on the 2018 Nissan Rouge or click here.

It is hard not to fall in love with the TTRS!

We met on a winters day, with a cool breeze coming off of the ocean and the roar of a 5-cylinder Audi engine in the background. It may sound like a love story, and that is because it is.

The Audi TT was always a good car. Small, nimble, and German traditionally made its defining characteristics. But the TTRS is a whole new beast! It is like Audi’s Quattro Motorsport team has injected a super human serum into the gas tank.

The TTRS is bold, louder, and quicker than ever before. Behind the grill is a 20-valve dual overhead cam 2.5L 5-cylinder turbo-charged engine that produces 400 horsepower and 350 pounds of torque. That may not seem like an insane amount, but for this tiny car, but the TTRS weighs only 3,300 pounds and it has got a dual-clutch gearbox. That allows it to sling shot from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. In comparison, the current generation Porsche 911 S with a PDK transmission goes 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. So the 911 is slower and it costs $40,000 more to buy.

I will admit, the TTRS does feel a little claustrophobic when you first get in it, but you quickly get use to it and eventually start to appreciate it. The small stature of the TTRS when combined with standard adjustable magnetic suspension and Quattro all-Wheel-drive make the vehicle feel like a go-kart. It brings pure joy to the driver and leaves you grinning from ear to ear as you power slide through a corner.

On long boring stretches of highway, the driver is still fully entertained. Front and center is a large virtual cockpit that displays all of your key instruments, as well as, your navigation, audio, and backup camera. This means you can just casually glance down for everything. Without a center screen, the passengers’ viewpoint is pretty bare. This can be great for them if they want to enjoy the scenery, but troublesome for the driver if the passenger is the one imputing navigation information due to the only screen being on the driver’s side. On the plus side, the driver the only who gets to control the music!

The seats in the TTRS felt very special. In additional to the futuristic and sporty shape, thick red stitching and dressed them for a unique look. The design is very Super Car / GT Car like. The backseat felt cramped for an average size adult, but it is way more usable than a 911.

With a starting price of $64,900, the Audi TTRS seems like the deal of the century! It doesn’t have the racing pedigree of the Porsche 911, Corvette (Grand Sport), or Jaguar F-Type, but on paper, it is faster than all of them and cheaper… so what is not to love?

Visit your local Audi dealer or click here to learn more about the 2018 Audi TTRS.

P.S. Remember to get it like it’s hot, because the first Audi TTRS was limited production.

The Chrysler Pacifica Is A Win For Families

I don’t have any kids (yet), so a 31 year old male driving a mini-van isn’t attractive. But looking into the future, I understand why Moms and Dads have fallen in love with the vehicles.

Mini vans are the ultimate vehicle for parents, even more so than an SUV, because it is fuel efficient and versatile. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid gets 84 MPGe and offers 33 miles of pure electric driving. That means if your daily commute is just around town, you could theoretically just use electricity day to day and reserve filling up at the pump for family road trips.

Speaking of family road trips, this versatile family hauler keeps everyone comfortable and entertained. With stow and go seating, you can seat up to 7 people, or you can fold the middle row into the floor and provide extra legroom for three kids and the dog. Or if you need an extra large luggage complement, keep the middle row up and fold down the third row. Either way, everyone can enjoy a movie during the day with multiple video screens and the stars at night with an extra large panoramic moonroof.

The beauty of mini vans is that they can conform to the needs of your growing family: from multiple young kids who need a safe vehicle to teenagers who need to get to soccer practice. Plus when your kids do start driving, they can’t get into too much trouble with a mini van.

Visit your local Chrysler dealer for more information on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

Cadillac is back, with the CT6

I was a kid of the 80’s and 90’s. Back then, when you said the name Cadillac, people envisioned a big luxury car. The brand repositioned itself in the 2000s to become modern sports saloons. The transition was vital to keeping the brand alive and getting younger buyers to take notice in the brand, but Cadillac lost the lazyboy experience you got while driving a big beautiful Cadillac. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports cars and sports sedans, but Cadillac neglected a market segment of distinguished buyers who don’t care about sport.

Big luxury cars fans can rejoice now because the new CT6 was designed from the ground up for comfort. Cadillac went back to the drawing board with this one to give us a vehicle that not only looks sharp from the outside, glides over the road like an airline.

The Cadillac CT6’s cabin is spacious with large plus seats and a wide armrest so you don’t elbow your neighbor. Interior surfaces were dressed in leather, wood, carbon fiber, and premium plastics. The infotainment center is definitely the start of the show. It is controlled using a touch screen display or a touchpad on the center console. I am a big fan of this combo and I hope GM uses this setup for future projects because it can get annoying holding your arm up for extended periods of time to flip though radio stations. Speaking of music, the Cadillac CT6 is available with a 36 speaker surround sound system. Yes, 36 speakers of pure joy from Bose. This is by far the best of the best when it comes to audio from Bose. I was very impressed.

If you are a passenger, you also get to enjoy video entertainment from two large screens in the back – they pop out of the front passengers’ seats while driving.

This is the type of car you want to be chauffeur in, luckily you can… well almost. The CT6 I tested feature Supercruise technology which allows the car to drive semi-autonomously. It isn’t like Kit where you can tell him to take you to the grocery store, but the CT6 will stay in it’s lane on the highway and stop if the car in front of you stops. It is “the first true handsfree driving system.” Unfortunately it is a bit complicated to activate and it only works on limited freeways, but it is very impressive. As with all current semi-autonomous driving technology, you shouldn’t read the paper while the car guides you, you still need to be alert, but Supercruise certainly makes long commutes more enjoyable.

So whether you are being chauffeured in the back seat or front seat of the CT6 you will be living in style and comfort.

Contact your local Cadillac dealer for more information on the 2018 CT6 with Supercruise or click here to visit Cadillac’s website.

The Buick Encore Is For The Urban Explorer


There is a need in the USA for small fuel-efficient crossover vehicles and the new Buick Encore fits the bill nicely. It is a great option for young millennial who have an active lifestyle and need all 18 cubic feet of cargo space, as well as, baby boomers who no longer have kids to haul around, but want the ride height of an SUV and great fuel economy (34 mpg on the highway) for road trips.


With a starting price of $23,000, the Buick Encore is a great value in the premium small crossover segment. The vehicle comes in five trim levels and is offer with both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive drivetrains. The interior of the car I test felt premium with leather seats and soft-touch plastics. The sticking on the dash was definitely an added touch that enhanced the premium feeling. The Buick Encore is no Cadillac, but it is definitely a step above a basic Chevrolet.

Safety features on the Buick Encore include 10 standard air bags and rear backup camera. Active safety features include rear cross traffic alert, blindspot detection, and forward collision alert. It won’t stop for you, but it will alert you if the car in front of our slams on their brakes.

Visit your local dealer to learn more about the Buick Encore or click here to visit Buick’s website.

An icon reborn: The Lincoln Continental

No other American luxury sedan is as iconic as the Lincoln Continental. The vehicle’s legacy dates back to the late 1930’s. It was the ride of choice for Heads of State. Celebrities would be chauffeured in Continentals for premier parties and oscars. Its success continued on and off until since then, but the last great Continental (in my book) was 1969. President Kennedy was famous for driving around in one.

Fast forward to today… and the Continental is back! It has got classic styling with high-tech packaging. This is first time in a long time that I have been this excited about Lincoln’s flagship sedan. The vehicle has a nostalgic feeling to it, but it can easily compete with the features and comfort of a modern S-Class.

The seats made a lasting impression on me, even after recently having driven a Mercedes S Class. I love the way you can independently contour the top and lower back supports to offer a customized seat shape. You would also independently adjust the seat length and height between the left and right sides. No other car on the market offers this degree of control.

The rest of the interior stood out as well. The combination of blue leather and aluminum trim gave the Lincoln a unique look, one that was special in this segment of vehicles. The infotainment system felt a little generic when compared to other Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the lineup, but it is tried and true.

Backseat passages will enjoy luxury accommodations as well, but no so luxurious as to where you feel like you are driving a limousine.

My final compliment to Lincoln for the recreation of the Continental is in regards to the attention to exterior details. I love chrome trim door handles that blend seemlessly into the the body design. Well done, Lincoln!

Visit your local dealer for more information on the 2017 Lincoln Continental or click here to visit the Lincoln Motor Company website. 

The Lexus RC Turbo a “Little Duece Coupe”

The term “Duece Coupe” originally referenced a 1932 Hot Rod Ford, because of the model year. But I think it is more befitting of Lexus’ newest RC model, the 2.0L RC Turbo, because it has a 2.0L motor, plus I got to test it in the heart of Ford territory, Michigan.

All of the characteristics and styling of the more powerful RC 300/350/F are here, but now the RC features a fuel efficient rear-wheel drive option. At 32 MPG, I was able to drive the car across the entire state of Michigan and back (~350 miles) on a single tank of gas – and it doesn’t have a big tank. While the RC Turbo has half of cylinders and almost half the horsepower (241hp) as the RC F (467hp), it still has pep to its step. Plus since it is performance inspired, you can keep the momentum going as you hug a twisty road – enhanced by the adaptive variable suspension. It brakes well too with 11″ ventilated discs. Another item to note is that 18″ wheels are standard.

Because of the Lexus RC Tubro’s plush interior, it makes a well suited grand tourer. The heated and ventalited seats were perfect for my long trek across the state. I would almost describe them as “unusually comfortable” for its segment because the contour of the seats fit my back well. Being a Lexus, of course they were made from high quality leather. I point this out because most the German competition (excluding Audi) have leatherette seats. 

The infotainment center is easy to use. It is controlled using voice commands or a touch pad on the center armrest. The touch pad isn’t as intuiative as you would think, but once you get use to it, you will love it! Sound wise, beats are pumped out from an optional 17 speaker Mark Levinson sound system. The vehicle I tested this time didn’t have the upgraded sound system, but I heard it play on other RCs before.

Value always come into play when I look at sporty cars, and the RC Turbo is amongst the best! At a starting price of $40k, you will be hard pressed to find a more stylish luxury sports coupe that offers this many standard features. Also it is comforting to know you are driving a machine backed by Toyota (parent company of Lexus) so the car will last FOREVER. 

Visit your local Lexus dealer for more information on the 2017 Lexus RC Turbo or click here to visit the Lexus website.