• 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 High Country 4WD

    ALAN GELL | Updated: Fri, Jan 30, 2015

    It was the morning to swap 'test cars.'  For the week to come, the delivered vehicle was not just an ordinary pickup truck.  This was a workhorse, a new 2015 Chevy Silverado heavy-duty with almost everything added on to it.  Specifically, it was the High Country edition, four-wheel-drive, 2500 model, crew cab, with a Duramax Plus package.  It was awesome in appearance, with the exterior a Deep Ruby Metallic color scheme.  The interior was almost all two-tone leather.  I knew the week ahead would be not only fun to drive around, but a major opportunity to put this heavy-duty Silverado to real-life testing with hay wagons, cows, and horses, as well as a weather predictions ranging all over the place.

  • 2015 Audi R8

    Nelson Ireson, thecarconnection.com | Updated: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    The Audi R8’s supercar status is unquestionable, with its dramatic appearance and raucous sounds. But despite the rock-star act, the R8 is also a very approachable, comfortable car to drive. For the 2015 model year, a few new look and feel elements further enhance this proven sports car. The entry R8 is still a 420-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8-powered Coupe, paired with a convertible, or Spyder. The 525-horsepower, 5.2-liter V-10 Coupe and Spyder likewise carry into 2015. All 2015 R8s share updated appearance and interior features, mostly minor tweaks, but collectively, a visible refinement of design.

  • 2015 GMC Canyon - Review

    Marty Padgett , thecarconnection.com | Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    Until now, shoppers wanting something less than a full-size truck had exactly two choices, and neither of them were what we'd call fresh, or innovative. The mid-size niche is growing this year, in the form of two new trucks nearly identical in configuration, but not so close in style: the Chevy Colorado, and the 2015 GMC Canyon. With the Canyon, GMC hopes to woo drivers back into mid-size trucks from the crossovers they're currently driving--where many decamped when the last Canyon and Colorado went away in 2012, and the Ford Ranger, soon after. This is no compact truck, though. With a maximum bed length of six feet and with its biggest engine a 3.6-liter V-6, the bigger and more expensive Canyons overlap the base

  • 2015 Honda Fit

    Review By Bengt Halvorson, thecarconnection.com | Updated: Thu, Jan 15, 2015

      The Honda Fit did extraordinarily well before in making a lot of useful space out of a small footprint. And with the redesigned 2015 model, it does even better—plus, it sports crisper, more aerodynamic lines, as well as a new and more fuel-efficient powertrain. The 2015 Fit retain the "Magic Seat" rear seat that gives it simply unparalleled interior flexibility--but housed in a quieter and more comfortable vehicle that is likely to offer tough competition for other subcompacts on the market. As one of Honda's most attractive yet most pragmatic vehicles by design, the Fit looks less like a scaled-down minivan than either of the two previous generations.

  • 2015 Infiniti QX60: terrific SUV for family holidays

    by ALAN GELL Automotive Journalist | Updated: Mon, Jan 5, 2015

        The Christmas holiday week was approaching.  Children and grandchildren would be making their way 'over the river and through the woods' to Grandpa and Grandmother's house.  When I was told I would be test-driving a new Infiniti QX60 for those two weeks, I was excited.  Heated seats, heated steering wheel, three rows of seating, rain-sensing wipers would be part of the package, so in spite of anticipated rainy and cold weather, my vehicle occupants and I would be safe and sound.   The 2015 Infiniti QX60 is referred to most often as a three-row luxury crossover utility vehicle.  There are only a few competitors to this terrific Infiniti, including the Lincoln MKT, the

  • 2015 GMC Acadia - Review

    Marty Padgett, thecarconnection.com | Updated: Sun, Dec 28, 2014

     GMC made its name on pickup trucks , but over the past decade it's become equally well-known for its sport-utility and crossover vehicles. The Acadia isn't related at all to its workhorse trucks and full-size SUVs--instead, it's an eight-passenger crossover that tackles the passenger-hauling duties for the brand. A single powertrain drives all Acadias, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The 288-horsepower V-6 is strong enough for most family duties, but it's taxed by the crossover's hefty 5,000-pound curb weight and a transmission that can be reluctant to downshift. A well-balanced ride with premium shocks is the Acadia's real strength, and handling is modestly capable for its size. With excellent crash-test scores, the

  • See How Moms Can Get Minivan Swag in 2015

    Carla Meadows | Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Driving a minivan doesn't mean you have to get your diva card revoked. See how parents can still get that swag with one of today's leading models that has been mom-tested and golden retriever approved for high-quality family transport.

  • 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid: Full-sized luxury without full-sized price

    by ALAN GELL | Updated: Wed, Dec 3, 2014

    It was July, the hottest month of the year.  My initial reaction for a test-drive vehicle was not the make, model, or mileage.  It was a simple, “Does the AC work really well?”  Once that had been established, I could relax and enjoy all the pleasures of driving the new Avalon Hybrid for a full week.   Manufacturers do not hide the fact that mid-size sedans are bread and butter to their industry's sales.  But it appears that a whole lot more emphasis is being placed on large sedans, both premium and luxury.  The designs are more pronounced.  The interiors are loaded down with technology and much higher quality materials.   Almost all vehicles, trucks

  • RAV4: Toyota's Sport Utility Vehicle that offers versatility & functionality

    BY ALAN GELL | Updated: Tue, Dec 2, 2014

    Almost 2 million of the RAV4 vehicles have been produced for the US market and about 80 percent of them are still on the road.  Earlier this year, I was privileged to have one of these great vehicles for a full-week test-drive.  It was an XLE model, front-wheel-drive, with an exterior color called Pyrite Mica.   The RAV4 became a significant part of the Toyota family in 1994 as the world's first crossover SUV.  Back then, most of us did not really understand what determined a crossover vehicle.  After a few years, the term morphed into CUV for Crossover Utility Vehicle.  Most recently, the CUV designation has dropped and now the general term is SUV for all of those type vehicles.

  • 2015 Kia Cadenza - Review

    By Bengt Halvorson, thecarconnection.com | Updated: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    The Cadenza was Kia's first foray above the $40,000 base-price level, and just in the year since it's been introduced, it's already been joined by a larger luxury-minded sedan, the rear-drive K900. Other models, like the Kia Sorento SUV, can be optioned past that $40k mark, but the Cadenza represents Kia's desire to be taken seriously as a luxury brand, even if it still puts emphasis on value. It's a true test of the brand's boundaries The 2015 Cadenza continues to try to erase memories of the similarly-sized Kia Amanti while injecting the brand's latest European-influenced design and sporty demeanor, without actually being sporty. The Cadenza is closely related to the Hyundai Azera, but the two are well differentiated by unique

  • 2015 Mazda MAZDA3 - Review

    By Bengt Halvorson, thecarconnection.com | Updated: Wed, Nov 19, 2014

    The Mazda 3 is one of the best small cars on the market, although it is sometimes overlooked by shoppers in the crowded compact-car segment. A 2014 redesign brought seriously attractive styling to the fun package, along with more features and more efficient engines. It should be a mandatory addition to the shopping list for anyone searching for a car this size. What's more, the improvements to the 3 come without disturbing what's been Mazda's primary appeal, particularly with this car's predecessors: driving fun. The 3 is one of just a handful of driver's cars in the segment, along with the Ford Focus and the VW Golf.

  • 2015 Kia Soul - Review

    Bengt Halvorson, thecarconnestion.com | Updated: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

      The Soul continues for 2015 with only a handful of changes, after last year receiving its first complete redesign since its original introduction. The redesign was evolutionary, building on the Soul's unique place in the market. Kia also managed to address some of the boxy car's flaws in the process. Ride, handling, and comfort have been improved, there are more standard and available features, and the space-efficient design saw enhancements. The Soul defies categorization to some degree. It's a small hatchback, but it doesn't share the same swept-back profile that most small five-doors do. Instead, the Soul has a boxy profile and embraces its different look while capitalizing on it by providing more space for people