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2019 Nissan Kicks: How To Turn This Whole Thing Around

Nissan’s new Kicks compact ute is a back-to-basics conveyance. It delivers reasonable size, driving character, quirky style, and fuel economy without any kind of whizbang trickery. This isn’t a hybrid, there’s no turbocharger, no variable displacement, no slick compression ignition. It’s a small displacement traditional four-cylinder engine with modest but workable horsepower mated to a standard CVT and front-wheel drive. It’s based on Nissan’s Versa platform, so I didn’t have high hopes going in, but the Kicks was capable of something that CUVs traditionally haven’t been, and frankly cars aimed at regular consumers haven’t been for a long time; It was kind of fun.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was flown to San Diego, fed, and lodged by Nissan on behalf of Hooniverse to test drive the Kicks. I have done my level best to ensure my review of this car has not been influenced by their PR staff’s generosity. To get the full story, click the jump to find out more about the Nissan Kicks. 

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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback – A Tepid Hatch For The Masses

You’re a young professional with enough credit to your name that you can schlep down to basically any mainstream dealer and pick out a sensible and affordable hatchback, and you’d like the option of a manual transmission. Thankfully, right now, your options are basically limitless. Disregarding Ford’s asinine decision to drop the Focus from their showrooms for a moment, you’ve got the VW Golf, Mazda3, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and even Chevrolet will sell you a Cruze hatch with a manual. Toyota, then, has been late to this segment, but showed up with competent product at a competitive price. After the Ooops! All Scion Corolla iM that Toyota accidentally added to their product line for a year or two, they needed a car on an all-new platform to really kick things up a notch. This Corolla is large enough to be a sensible daily driver that you can cram four adults into, plus the hatch will allow some gear transport as well, without looking too stodgy for the youths or too dramatically Toyota (like the Prius and Avalon it shares the TNGA platform with) to turn off normal folks. Do you need one? Read on to find out.

In the interest of full disclosure, Toyota flew me to San Diego to test the new Corolla Hatchback (as well as the new Avalon), they also put me up in a nice hotel and fed me nice food. 

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2019 Toyota Avalon – A Good Large Sedan In A Sea Of Mediocre Crossovers

Strange edges, a weird surface tension, the overhanging tail lamps, the oddly McLaren 720S-esque lower door cut, and of course the all-grille-all-the-time front end; all of this translates to a car that is not particularly fun to look at from any angle. I know the Avalon is aimed at baby boomers, and I’m about as far removed from that demographic as possible, but they have functional eyeballs too, right? Toyota has built a passable almost-a-Lexus in the Avalon, and they should be proud of that fact, but why did they have to make it look like this? As much as I am loathe to hate on a properly good quasi-lux sedan while we’re in the midst of an all out CUV-pocalypse, I couldn’t bear to have this car in my driveway simply on aesthetic merit (and that says a lot, because I drive a 986-generation Boxster). That said, if you’re looking for a big four-door, the Impala is dead and the Chrysler 300 is about a million years old. What’s the competitive set for this car? A Kia Cadenza, and what else?

In the interest of full disclosure, Toyota flew me to San Diego to test the new Avalon (as well as the Corolla Hatchback, review coming next week), they also put me up in a nice hotel and fed me nice food. 

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The DFL Show: Episode 95 – Breakin’ Records

“Welcome to The DFL Show, Episode 95 brought to you Radwood At HooptieCon. This week, we bring you: The Captain’s downfall, Mazda steps on their own dick, Upside Down Ferraris, and some rich dudes raced around a field in England. I’m your host, Brad Brownell, and joining me this week is my cohosts, an absolutely un-terrorized Pat Hoffstetter”.


The DFL Show – Breakin’ Records

Check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias.

The DFL Show: Episode 94 – Risk It For the Biscuit

It’s a new format this week, hope you enjoy it. Look forward to shorter and sweeter episodes with *The News You Can Use* “Welcome to The DFL Show, Episode 94 brought to you…Nobody. Literally nobody. This week, we bring you: Robert Wickens gets dumped in Florida, NASCAR continues to be boring, and the 356th episode of ‘Pirelli World Challenge, what on earth are you doing?’ I’m your host, Eric Rood, and joining us this week is my cohosts, a very sore Stef Schrader…and a wake-and-bake Brad Brownell”.


The DFL Show – Risk It For The Biscuit

Check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias.

Photo: J.D. Ellis Pro Motorsport Photography

The Cammed & Tubbed Podcast: Episode 253 – Helga’s Homecoming

Cam and Brad discuss Helga’s homecoming, the cargo cult surrounding Elon Musk and Tesla, and the new Porsche and Range Rover shown at Geneva. Brad rages a bit about a lot of things, including Elon Musk and the new Porsche. 


The Cammed and Tubbed Podcast – Helga’s Homecoming

Check out our Instagram, our Twitter, and our Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias. If you’re so inclined, Cammed & Tubbed also now has a Patreon with some fun perks. You can even join our Cammed & Tubbed slack to chat with us basically all day, and get some live updates from Cam and Brad on our project cars.

HooptieCon: March 24th, Sonoma Raceway, Be There

As one of the founding members of Radwood, the car show for discerning 80s and 90s car fans, I’m pleased to announce that HooptieCon is going to feature the third ever Radwood on Saturday, March 24th, 2018 (just a few weeks away). No true ‘Con’ could ever revolve around just a single event, however, and HooptieCon has no fewer than nine separate events going on throughout the day to keep your short automotive attention span sated. In addition to a proper 24 Hours of Lemons Race and Radwood, HooptieCon will also feature car shows from Billetproof, Concours d’Lemons, Gambler 500, The Arcane Auto Society, and Lemons Rally. There will also be an engine-head BBQ cooking contest, as well as the first ever Crapcannes Film Festival. Click the jump to find out more. 

Hooniverse has a, ahem, tenuous relationship with Sonoma Raceway, but we should have Tim’s Ranchero out racing that weekend, and a bunch of Hooniverse writers (and alum) at the track for the weekend’s festivities. Stop in, enjoy yourself, and say hi, it’s going to be a bomb time. 

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The DFL Show: Episode 92 – There’s Fluoride In Lake Lloyd

Eric and Stef discuss the weekend’s goings on in the motorsport world, including the Daytona 500, where Austin Dillon did it for Dale. Oh yeah, there was a WRC event, too. With a surprise winner. A few Formula One cars were unveiled ahead of the new season. Eric has thoughts about Danica Patrick. Kubica tests Manor’s LMP1 Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mecachrome, which has a dumb name. Lots of other touring car, IndyCar, and sports car news. Check it out, it’s a fun time.


The DFL Show – There’s Fluoride In Lake Lloyd

Check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias.

Photo: NASCAR on Facebook

The Cammed & Tubbed Podcast: Episode 250 – The Podcast All-Star Break

With Brad absent this week, Cam is joined by Motor Affair’s Patrick Stevenson to talk about cars, kids, and understand BMWs, Porsches, and the Acura NSX.


The Cammed and Tubbed Podcast – The Podcast All-Star Break

Check out our Instagram, our Twitter, and our Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias. If you’re so inclined, Cammed & Tubbed also now has a Patreon with some fun perks. You can even join our Cammed & Tubbed slack to chat with us basically all day, and get some live updates from Cam and Brad on our project cars.

The DFL Show: Episode 90 – Avoid The Barber

Eric and Brad are around to discuss the various goings on in the world of motorsport. We have recaps of the 12 Hours of Bathurst, as well as a bit of Formula E. Eric has some stories from the Lemons Rally and the race at Barber, which sounded awesome. Then a bit of news from most of the series in the world. Good stuff. 

Also, a hearty congratulations for Hurley Haywood on his coming out. We’ll discuss representation in motorsport a bit more next week when the full team is around to talk. 

Thanks for listening!


The DFL Show – Avoid The Barber

Check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias.