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: Chrysler.com 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: Hyundai.com 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: Kiausa.com 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: Hyundai.com 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: Chrysler.com 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: Chrysler.com 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...]

2016 Fiat 500X Lounge AWD

Source: Victoria Mason "It's so cute!" I heard that phrase again and again as I posted pictures of the Fiat 500X Lounge on social media or when entering or exiting the SUV.  Yes, it is considered an SUV, but a subcompact one.  No one expected me to tell them that about this tiny car but it is larger than the you would think while still looking pint-sized and stylish. All new for 2016 the Fiat 500X Lounge AWD arrived at my door in all its 'Bianco Gelato' glory.  That's White Clear Coat for the rest of us but the Italian style must be mentioned and used. It's more fun to call the color 'Bianco Gelato', don't you think?  I loved its look instantly.  The smart black and red interior accents stirred up all sorts of excitement with anyone and everyone who got a look inside.  I loved the … [Read more...]

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T

Source: Victoria Mason Some rides are worth getting excited for.  The 2015 Santa Fe Sport with AWD from Hyundai is one of those vehicles.  Right away I was drawn to the Canyon Copper color that sparkled in the sun while the dual panel sun roof beckoned me to take a ride and enjoy a day where we finally had blue skies. Source: Hyundaiusa.com Style-wise the Santa Fe Sport is ready for its close-up.  I reviewed this car in the past (non-Sport model) and liked it and it has only improved over time.  That's what Hyundai is all about these days.  They made a crossover vehicle that performs well, is a pleasure to drive and has a dose of fun included in the Sport model.  The interior is roomy without taking up too much space and really comfortable and well-appointed. Inside the Santa Fe … [Read more...]