Showing posts from July, 2020

Quick Drive | Quick Review: 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn

In a world dominated by SUVs, it’s great that there are still a few sporty subcompact vehicles. The small amount of these is hatchbacks and sedans. Volkswagen is known to make the Golf lineup really fun. Both the Golf GTI and Golf R have different styling, upgraded engines, suspensions, and a few styling cues to differentiate them from the regular Golf. As good as the Golf is, it’s still a hatchback and some people still want sedans. That’s where the Jetta and the Jetta GLI come in.  This Quick Drive is a little different. I own a 2016 Volkswagen GTI and tested a 2020 Volkswagen GLI. There are two things I wanted to see: how well the Jetta GLI is in general and how it compares to the GTI. When looking at these, I’m going to look particularly more at the driving experience as well as build quality and options. Since the GLI has some upgrades a 2016 GTI couldn’t have, I took a look at them apart from the comparison. These are the infotainment system and digital dials.  I’m going to start

Quick Drive | Quick Review: 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD

I’ve been a fan of Alfa Romeo for a long time. When FCA decided to bring back Alfa Romeo to the United States, I was quite happy. Eventually, they brought over the Giulia sedan and debuted the Stelvio SUV. Although both of these are quite similar in almost every aspect, I was able to drive the Stelvio. The thing is, this wasn’t just any Stelvio. No, this Stelvio wore the four-leaf clover, otherwise known as the Quadrifoglio . When an Alfa Romeo is a Quadrifoglio, you’re driving something truly special. If you’ve ever seen a regular Stelvio, which seems quite rare on the road, you’ll see an SUV clearly designed by Italians. It has the classic Alfa Romeo front end but with the proportions of an SUV. Quadrifoglio models take the beauty of regular models but with much more aggression. This is especially true with the Stelvio. My test car had the Misano Blue Metallic paint ($600)  which is the only other color I would choose for any Alfa other than red. Making the Stelvio Quadrifoglio more

How I Would Spec It: 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA45

CARS Original Post: Beyond creating niches within niches, automakers make sure that cars literally have no competition. Want a luxury wagon? You have about two to three choices now. Convertibles are also dwindling in number. One of the most interesting aspects of having almost no competition includes vehicles with powerful engines that are not needed. The culprit I’m thinking of behind this is Mercedes-Benz and their sports division, Mercedes-AMG. AMG creates some powerful vehicles, but there usually is some competition. That’s not the case with a certain vehicle. Funny enough, this is a sub-compact four-door coupe. Have you ever jumped into a vehicle and thought “oh my goodness, this is so unnecessary but hilarious”? That’s how I felt when I did a very short drive of the 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA45. AMG really hit it out of the ballpark with the 45 series. These 2.0-liter engines are the most powerful I4

How I Would Spec It: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

The world of mid-size pickups trucks can do almost any job. As with full-size trucks, you’ll see people hauling, towing, or using their trucks as family vehicles. For FCA, you would think the mid-size truck in their lineup would be RAM, and you’d be wrong. Instead, Jeep took their Wrangler and converted it into the Gladiator. Since the Gladiator has become a front-runner in its segment, I wanted to see how it is. I ran a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave 4x4 for a week and came across some interesting findings.  One of the funniest things about driving around the Mojave was just how intimidating is it. Riding on 33” tires, the Gladiator Mojave looks huge. Being a pickup, it still has a usable bed, and being a Wrangler, it has the same interior. Did I like the Gladiator Mojave? There’s only one way to find out by reading about my quick review here . Would I recommend it to someone that won’t go off-roading on mud or snow? No. Absolutely not. It’s exactly why you think I wouldn’t recommend i

Quick Drive | Quick Review: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4Matic Coupe

*Disclaimer: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 4Matic Coupe courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Hoffman Estates. Check them out here .* It’s not surprising that the entry into the world of Mercedes-Benz doesn’t come cheap. Even looking at their cheapest “coupe” comes as a cost. That said, Mercedes has been redesigning many of their vehicles, and the CLA coupe was one of them. I was interested to see just how different the CLA was compared to the old one, and if it’s worth taking a test-drive. Looking at the CLA, it finally looks like a smaller version of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The one that I looked at had Sun Yellow paint. Although this makes it a striking vehicle, after further thought, it’s a little too strong. If you want colorful paint, blue or red will work much better. Part of the exterior image included both the AMG Line and Night Package. These make the CLA look bolder with AMG styling and black elements. For a CLA, the AMG Line or any AMG styling package makes your CLA stand out even more,

Quick Drive | Quick Review: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave 4X4

When you walk into a Jeep dealership, you’re looking at some of the toughest SUVs that the United States makes. If you want the SUV with the most illustrious history for Jeep, go no further than the Wrangler. This boxy icon is loved by soccer moms and off-roaders alike. There was one problem with Jeep’s current lineup. Why don’t they (and not RAM, FCA’s actual truck brand) make a mid-size go-anywhere pickup? Well, don’t worry about that because there is the Gladiator!  Although I did a longer drive than normal, I’ll talk about what to do when you have a short time to drive one. Looking at the Gladiator, you see something familiar. What is it? Oh yeah, it looks like a Wrangler with a cargo-bed. There are a few things to note for people that actual pickup users should know as pickups: the Gladiator can only be had as a four-door cab with a five-foot box. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the Mojave trim level. A Bright White Clear-Coat Exterior Paint covers the Gladiato