2017 Toyota Highlander SE AWD Turns My Head

Back in 2015, I did a 'Trunk Show' about the 2015 Toyota Highlander and I wasn't too impressed. I didn't do a full review and I found the Highlander sluggish with an interior that didn't inspire and drove more like a minivan. I know that the Highlander is incredibly popular among car buyers and I get why. It drives like a car because it is on that type of platform, it gets excellent gas mileage and is a safe ride.  Does that ring true for the refreshed 2017 Toyota Highlander SE with AWD that I tested out last month?  Let's find out. The light plays tricks on the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE 'Salsa Red' paint. Source: Victoria Mason On the Outside with the Toyota Highlander The 2017 model, a third-generation Highlander,  features a slightly sportier look than the previous model I … [Read more...]

Commuter Happiness with the 2017 Toyota RAV4 XLE

Looking for a compact crossover? Find out what the 2017 Toyota RAV4 was like during the week that I drove it around town. Source: Toyota First Impressions on the 2017 Toyota RAV4 I cannot say it was easy going from the Lexus crossover to the Toyota RAV4.  You cannot compare the two vehicles.  However, I kept an open mind the week I drove the RAV4.  The 2017 Toyota RAV4 may not be a head turner but it will serve you well on the road and offers good gas mileage and storage capabilities. What's New New this year to the RAV4 is the Toyota Star Safety System package that now comes standard.  It includes enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, smart stop technology, and electronic brake force distribution, steering assist, pedestrian … [Read more...]

2017 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport

We have had our share of rainy days this May. I'm not going to lie and say it was fine with me. I needed a little inspiration. Something sleek with dynamic styling and a bit of sportiness thrown in to combat the rainy day blues. The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport was just the thing to cure the doldrums of spring. 2017 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport. Source: Victoria Mason Lexus RX 350 F-Sport First Impressions It's rare that I get excited over a crossover SUV.  It is even harder for me to wish the car in review could stay just a little bit longer, but that is exactly how I felt with the Lexus RX 350 F-Sport.  I cannot deny that the 'Atomic Silver' color with red leather interior and bolstered seats didn't sway me.  They totally did each time I climbed into the driver's seat.  For me and my … [Read more...]

2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

The 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring is a head turner. Did I mention that it is also family car? Source: Victoria Mason Yes! The Mazda6 is a four door sedan that offers style, comfort and a safe ride all in one without compromising on looks. The arrival of the Mazda6 Grand Touring came on another cold winter day.  A year ago I reviewed the 2016 Mazda6 and got the same reactions from people, "What a hot car! What is it?"  The same goes for the 2017 model.  That's because this year the Mazda6 remains unchanged on the exterior with some small changes inside and under the hood.  It's the little things, right? What's New The biggest change is that the Mazda6 has Skyactiv-G which means that the car has better steering response.  When I realized this and felt it I thought, "Oh, this is so … [Read more...]

2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4WD

Introducing the Nissan Pathfinder for 2017. Source: Victoria Mason This week we have the chance to take a look at a car that I hold near and dear to my heart.  The Nissan Pathfinder.  I own a 2005 myself. Her name is Chloe and she is our one and only family car.  We bought her a few months before our first baby was born and this week that girl turns eleven.  The Pathfinder is still going strong each day and I still love her like I did on day one.  Chloe has undergone a few changes by me over the years and the 2017 Pathfinder is no different.   My 2005 Silver Pathfinder and the 2017 Pathfinder in Caspian Blue.  Then and Now What's new for 2017 is a more rugged and powerful Pathfinder. After a big redesign a few years ago that created a crossover out of the truck-like SUV … [Read more...]

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE

The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE enters the review line up with a few new components and great fuel economy. Source: Victoria Mason When the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE arrived earlier this month I was surprised. I was expecting a hatchback, not a compact sedan with 15-inch wheels.  Still, I was game to tackle this type of sedan and see what it had to offer me during its week-long stay. At First Glance The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 in the SE trim comes standard with a push-button ignition, which is located on the left side. I never did get used that.  Climate control, steering wheel mounted audio controls, a back up camera, heated cloth seats, cruise control and remote locks are all included in the SE trim package. There is a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and some seriously tiny knobs (I … [Read more...]

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4

May I introduce the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4. The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4. Gorgeous and ready for the holidays. Source: Victoria Mason I am always a little sad when I come upon my last vehicle review of the year.  However, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 did not disappoint me.  I was impressed with its interior space and design right from the start as well as its rugged but still refined exterior.  As soon as I started posting about it on my social media channels the questions began rolling in.  I was sad to give it up, especially when it meant saying good-bye to the heated steering wheel and seats during one of the coldest days of 2016. Ruggedness and Refinement Through and Through You will probably keep reading about those two 'r' words throughout this … [Read more...]

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD

The 2016 Mazda CX-9, another year and a very different review. Mazda CX-9 in Sonic Silver Metallic. Source: Victoria Mason At the annual WAPA Rally in October the Mazda CX-9 was my first drive of the day.  I always like to start the event off with a brand I feel comfortable with and car that doesn't offer a ton of surprises.  While I may know Mazda, the 2016 CX-9 offered plenty of surprises the minute I opened the driver's side door. On the Outside All new for 2016, the Mazda CX-9 is great to look at and offers families a lot in a 7-passenger vehicle. With 20-inch alloy wheels (standard in the Signature trim), heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and a power open/close rear lift-gate you find convenience and ease that is hard to beat. Features like rearview cameras,a lane-keep … [Read more...]

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe LTD ULT AWD

Meet the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe LTD ULT AWD. Source: Victoria Mason There is so much to love in this latest vehicle from Hyundai and I feel like I can't say it enough, but when it comes to getting more for your money Hyundai hits it out of the park.  Why? Check this out: Source: Victoria Mason An aerial shot comes first.  Then the driver can pick the angle as they navigate a space.  It is absolutely freeing to have this technology. That's the 8-inch touchscreen with the multi-view camera system that offers 360-degree view.  I have a long, downhill, curvy driveway that I usually do a 360 turn in to get out of when I'm in my own SUV. With the multi-view camera I can navigate my way out much faster and park the Santa Fe anywhere with little effort or sweating.  Other … [Read more...]

2016 Mini Cooper – A Family Car

Guest post by Stephanie from Where in the World Am I?.   Source: Miniusa.com I chose a Mini Cooper as a family car. A 4-Door Mini Cooper Hardtop, to be exact.  Here's why. Sizing It Up About six months ago I mused to a friend that I should get a Mini, since my husband travels for work all the time it’s mostly our young daughter and me driving together. I started noticing other parents getting their kids in and out of Minis in parking lots and approached a few of them to see what they thought of it. For daily use people thought it was perfect. Some joked it wasn’t a problem until their children became teenagers and wanted to drive the car themselves. While the back seat is tight for three people (although there is a middle seatbelt) two children fit fine--and we only have one. … [Read more...]