How the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Re-Energized Me

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?  Last week the Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF answered that age old question for me. Source: Victoria Mason What's Old is New At this point in my life, I have been driving for 25 years.  Yikes! That's three years less than the age of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. But, I had a secret and it was really starting to get to me. I couldn't drive stick.  Nope, only automatics for me.  I had tried to learn years ago when I first got married but deployments got in the way and we never owned another manual car again after that desert stint.  I write about cars and I couldn't drive stick.  How sad is that? How embarrassing! When the 2017 Mazda MX-5 also known to most as the Miata drove up to my driveway I knew things had to change.  I was going to use this … [Read more...]

2 Ways the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser Help Us Create a Summer to Remember

Sunrise on the beach with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. Source: Victoria Mason Toyota loves to say, "Let's go places!" And that's exactly what we did with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser with its V8 engine and 4WD this summer. We did a lot of traveling and spent a great deal of time together as one big family unit, especially during the month of August.  It was as if we were really feeling the waning days of summer and wanted to chase after them, even if it meant we had to get in the car and drive for hours on end to do so. I'm talking to you eclipse traffic. The Land Cruiser is part of those memories because it gave us the ability to do exactly what we wanted without sacrificing comfort or safety at any point during our two trips.  First, when we were northbound to Bethany Beach, DE … [Read more...]

Cruising in a Five Passenger Crossover with the 2017 Mazda CX-5

It is not often that I get to review a car that I like multiple times over the years. It is fun to see the changes that occur in technology and design. It is, even more, fun to see a good car get better over time. That's what I see with the 2017 Mazda CX-5. 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD in Soul Red. Source: Victoria Mason First Impressions I wasn't initially supposed to have the CX-5 but a small issue with my intended car brought this five-passenger crossover SUV back into my life and driveway.  I have always loved this car in years past and this time was no different. The 2017 model is redesigned.  That shows in the more upscale interior styling and with the Grand Touring (tested model) a few standard extras like, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keeping … [Read more...]

Seeing the Possibilities in a Sedan Again with the 2017 Genesis G80

It's not often that I drive a sedan like the 2017 Genesis G80 and think, "I might own this. I can see this car in my future." It's even less often that my husband says the same thing even after I tell him the sticker price. That was totally the case with the 2017 Genesis G80 with AWD. Source: Victoria Mason Seeing Sedans Fresh off a road trip with 'Chloe' my crammed full SUV, I was ready to climb inside a brand new spacious sedan with leather interior.  The Genesis G80, formerly the Hyundai Genesis, doesn't scream "take me on a road trip with kids!". Instead, it indulges you with its soft leather interior and ticking dashboard clock that takes you back to another time.  The time before kids or maybe back to the future. A time when I'm not shuttling those cherubs around anymore and … [Read more...]

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Source: When it comes to minivans I have always been leery.  However, after seeing the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica in June at a WAPA event, my attitude changed. I was really excited for this summer loan and not just because I had a road trip all mapped out. The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (in any of its five trim packages) is no ordinary minivan.  It replaces the beloved Town & Country by Chrysler and in effect created a minivan that doesn't just compete with its rivals the Odyssey and Sienna but challenges them to be better.  Yes, I really just said that.  The Pacifica challenged me to think long and hard on whether or not this could be my next family vehicle and I made a marriage vow to never own a minivan. Chrysler calls the Pacifica the "minivan reinvented". It … [Read more...]

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited

Source: When people find out that I review cars they immediately ask about luxury and sports cars.  When I tell them my latest is more every day like the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited they sometimes act let down. That's a mistake.  It's the every day car that makes our commute worthwhile.  It is cars like the Elantra that get us where we need to go and don't let us down with temperamental behavior, but instead consistently keep performing day in and day out.  We don't give these cars a second thought but that's partly what is so right about them. Redesigned for 2017 the Hyundai Elantra Limited arrived at my door with all the features this car can possess.  With more power than a Corolla (147 horsepower) and the hands-free Smart Trunk feature, like the luxury sedan the … [Read more...]

2016 Kia Sedona SX-L

Source: The 2016 Kia Sedona SX-L seats seven passengers, offers a dashboard designed with the driver in mind and is a slightly better version than its 2015 redesigned model.  How did it perform for a woman who has always been loathe to drive this family friendly mode of transportation?  Let's find out! Source: Victoria Mason I have a theory about minivans.  It's a new one because despite having three kids and tons of activities we have stuck to our SUV.  Not only do I love it, but H and I made a pact back in our early days of dating that we would never buy a minivan.  Never.  Yet, I really wanted someone to give me on to test drive. My friends adore them.  Would I?  No one dared to send one, it seemed.  Until earlier this month when Kia stepped up to the plate with the … [Read more...]

2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD

Source: The all-new 2016 Hyundai Tucson arrived on a cold February day looking particularly sunny and bright in a striking 'Caribbean Blue' shade.  I immediately smiled at this compact crossover SUV that boasted a lot of extras as standard features.  I was excited to have it all to myself for a week. What's New The redesigned Tucson boasts a roomier interior and I saw that right away.  The front feels just right for many adults and the back is able to easily and comfortably transport regular sized grown up people versus just a few teens or kids still in safety seats.  This new model is safer and has more technological upgrades than the previous model that shine through on your daily drives as well.  A turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder engine that is also fuel-efficient completes … [Read more...]

2016 Nissan Maxima SR

The 2016 Nissan Maxima SR is not your average sedan. It's combination of sleek lines, normal and sport drive mode with a V6 engine (3.5-Liter DHOC 24-Valve) and sport-tuned suspension make it a sportier more fun version of the typical family sedan. Who doesn't want a little more of that in their world? Source: Nissan USA First Impressions I learned to drive on a Nissan Maxima but the white with gold rims and tinted windows 1989 version with its talking computer was vastly different in styling than the SR I drove for a week.  The only thing these two cars had in common was the newly redesigned 2016 Maxima can still turn heads (It no longer looks so much like the more sedate Altima!) and the 'Deep Pearl Blue' color on mine mixed with its curving lines on the hood and sides certainly … [Read more...]

2015 Chrysler 300C AWD

Source: The day the 'Velvet Red Pearl' coat Chrysler 300C AWD pulled into my driveway my oldest daughter was home sick from school. She declared it to be "the prettiest color car" I've ever reviewed.  The fleet driver laughed and agreed, it was his favorite too.  The striking color, intense lines and presence of the 300C continuously provided me with comments from others the entire week that I drove it, including that it was a "hot red car" making my friend even more excited about our Friday night movie plans. Source: The thing I loved most about the 300C was its style.  It is a head turner in any color.  Inside and out the car beckons you to take in its lines and details.  From the classic Chrysler clock on the centerstack and the quilted leather lining the … [Read more...]