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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – The Eat, Shoot, And Leave Review

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You’ve heard the one about the panda right? A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. One patron says to another patron “What’s the deal with the murderin’ Panda?” and in reply the guy pulls up Wikipedia and reads aloud “Panda Bear: Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”. Haha, get it? Grammar jokes! Improper use of a comma is hilarious. Well, on this particular trip, I was the panda, but my weapon of choice was a Canon T5i instead of a 9mm pistol. It was a quick 24 hour trip to San Diego to drive the All New Elantra, and of course eat some delicious shrimp tacos. Read on to get an in-depth look at all of the new tech available in the Elantra, and get an idea for how it is to drive. Before we get into that, I have to say that I’m impressed that Hyundai has kept to traditional names instead of alpha-numerics, and I told them so in person.

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2016 Mazda CX-3: Tiny CUV Packs Plenty Of Fun

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Crossovers suck! …said the average enthusiast, who might be looking to eat their own words in the near future. Crossovers have gotten a lot better, and a whole lot more engaging to drive. Exhibit M: The Mazda CX-3.

It’s a sub-compact CUV packing in a whole lot of driving enjoyment.

Do we wish there were more wagon options out there? Yes, no question.
Are there finally crossovers we can actually enjoy driving? Yes, absolutely.

The Mazda CX-3 is near the top of that list too, as long as you don’t have serious cargo space needs.

[Disclaimer: Mazda tossed us the keys to the CX-3 for a week and included a tank of gas. We drove the car hard and didn’t put much of a dent into that fuel gauge.]

2016 Prius: Toyota’s Flawed Crown Jewel

As I approached the grumpy face and flat ass of the new Prius, I had no idea what to expect. Toyota PR had gone over the how they wanted to make the Prius an engaging car to drive with revised suspension, design language from the GT86 and a power mode. Did Toyota learn that you can only get so many buyers with a boring appliance, or were they just making a racket so the enthusiast press might look twice?

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Aston Martin DB9 GT: A Lovely Way To Say Good Bye

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The Aston Martin DB9 is bowing out. It’s a grand Grand Tourer riding on a grand-old platform, and it’s time to make way for the future of Aston Martin machines. The automaker has created one final version of the car, and ti’s called the DB9 GT. It’s a pumped up version of the standard car, boasting a bit more horsepower, some badges, and the updated center stack that’s also found in the Vanquish.

This, friends, is the proper way to say good bye.

(And it makes us extremely excited for what the DB11 will bring to the table…)

[Disclaimer: Aston Martin gently placed the stainless and sapphire key to the DB9 GT in our hand, and had a tank of gas ready in the car. We turned that fuel into glorious noise and lots of forward motivation.]

Quick Spin: Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6

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It is interesting how in a span of a lifetime people change, or don’t change. Four years ago I went to Poland where I met up with my childhood friend. As a child, my friend Paul has always had interest in outdoor and expedition type activities. While he’s not full-on car geek like me, he always preferred 4x4s over conventional cars. Many years ago Paul even bought my father’s old UAZ when he, ahem, upgraded to a Lada Niva.

Fortunately, Paul has done quite well for himself in the post-communist Poland, running a successful construction company. About four years ago, few days before I arrived for a visit, he happened to pick up a brand new Land Rover Discovery 4 (LR4 in U.S.) with the then new turbo-diesel V6 engine. After a few minutes in that vehicle I began wondering about the sanity of Land Rover product managers. Why were they not selling Rovers with this engine in North America?!

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Subaru BRZ Series.Blue
It’s Not A Miata… Thankfully

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You love driving. You’re in the market for a new car. Luckily, the world is currently your oyster because there’s pretty much a great option for you at every price point. Mazda recently released their updated MX-5, the Mustang is a great buy, and there’s always the Hellcat if you hate money and tires but love noise and shenanigans.

Maybe though, you should forget all of that and look at the Subaru BRZ…

[Disclaimer: Subaru tossed us the keys to the BRZ Series.Blue for a week, and included a tank of gas. I tried and was able to fit a baby seat in the back.]

Ram Rebel: Not A Raptor, But Plenty Of Fun

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The Ram Rebel is a tough looking truck. Is it up to the task of tackling trails, dunes, and dirt? Well, it’s definitely not a direct Ford Raptor competitor, but it does offer up plenty of fun. Check it all out by hitting that play button above…

[Disclaimer: Ram loaned us the truck for a week. We went through some fuel, got it dirty, and then washed up it up nice before turning it over to Ram once again.]

Cadillac ATS-V: A Better BMW

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Yes, Jeff drove it on the race track already. That doesn’t show what it’s like to live with the new Cadillac ATS-V though, so I sucked it up and took on the task of playing with the car as a daily driver for a week. Short straw draw, but I’ll manage…

What Cadillac have created in the new ATS-V is essentially the vehicle that you’d expect BMW to be building if they’d continued existing after the E39 M5. Since they stopped making cars that people can enjoy we’ll have to live in this alternative universe and enjoy the absolutely excellent Cadillac ATS-V.

LeMons Tow Rig Review: 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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Before returning the our 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, I had to do my best to get the get the oil, beer, and food spills out of the bed and the wiff-of-homeless-guy out of the interior. Three days of LeMons Support duty will do that to a truck. The Car Blog Commenting Guild™ endlessly laments the increasing niceness of pickup trucks. Trucks like the high-end F150 Kamil reviewed cause wailing and gnashing of teeth. “Whatever happened to cloth interiors? I don’t want a Cadillac, I just want a truck!”.

This is a Truck.

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Quick Spin: 2015 BMW M235i Convertible

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I try to write a review of every car I drive, but this is not always possible. In 2015 for many, mostly personal, reasons I missed a few. Here are my abbreviated impressions of the BMW M235i.

I’ve owned seven BMWs. They are had the following traits in common: rear wheel drive, in-line six cylinder engines, and manual transmissions. While they all varied in chassis codes (E28, E34, E36, E39, E46), they were true to the BMW fundamentals of being drivers’ cars, whatever that means. They were simply fun to drive, or at least more fun than their rivals. Unfortunately BMW seems to have sort of lost its ways lately. But there is hope and it is called the M235i.

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