Home » Archive by Author

Articles by Jonathan Spira

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Mercedes A 220 4Matic Sedan

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Mercedes A 220 4Matic Sedan

The inventor of the automobile has reinvented, well, the automobile.  More specifically, Mercedes-Benz has rethought what constitutes an entry-level vehicle and has come up with the rather impressive 2020 A 220 Sedan.
Luxury automakers view entry-level vehicles as a means of getting a car buyer into the brand with what is …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Mazda Mazda6 Signature – Road Trip to Asbury Park

Review and Test Drive:  2020 Mazda Mazda6 Signature – Road Trip to Asbury Park

Reviewing cars during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic here in the New York area was one of the few things I could really look forward to and the temporary drop in traffic made far longer day trips possible as a perverse form of compensation.
Every spring, like clockwork we have …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE

Review and Test Drive:  2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XSE

It’s hard to imagine that the Toyota Avalon has been around long enough to be in its fifth generation but the elegant family sedan continues to carve out its niche in the United States, now sporting a massive grille à la Lexus. Built on the new TNGA platform shared with …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

Review and Test Drive:  2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE

If you think gasoline-electric vehicles are a non-starter, you haven’t driven the 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE.  While Toyota has manufactured the Camry since 1982 – that’s almost 40 years if you’re counting – this is decidedly not your father’s Camry.
The eighth generation of the Camry – known internally as …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid

Review and Test Drive:  2020 Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid

While I’ve always admired Volvo from afar, it wasn’t until the launch of the new 90 Series, specifically the XC90 and the S90 that quickly followed it, that I actually lusted after one.
All 90 Series vehicles are built on the automaker’s global platform, SPA or Scalable Product Architecture. They all …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and Nightshade Edition

Review and Test Drive:  2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and Nightshade Edition

If you want a bit of fun, park your Army Green Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro somewhat adjacent to an off-road trail or gravel road.  For even more fun, wear a safety vest and hold a large walkie-talkie in your hand. For no good reason whatsoever, almost every car turning off will …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line

When it was introduced in 2008, it was the latest in a trend from German automakers: the four-door coupe. Traditionally, a coupe had two doors but those presumptions have long fallen by the wayside.  We’re talking about the Volkswagen CC. We loved it when it came out (CC stood for “Comfort …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve

Review and Test Drive:  2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve

If the name Lincoln Aviator sounds familiar, that’s because it is: the first generation Lincoln Aviator was produced from 2003 through 2005 as a rebadged Mercury Mountaineer, itself being a rebadged Ford Explorer.  Perhaps the only Lincoln with a shorter shelf life was the Lincoln Blackwood pickup, which made its …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport

Executive Sedan.  If you weren’t paying attention, that’s what the “ES” in Lexus ES stands for.  Lexus first introduced the ES series in its earliest days back in 1989 a mere seven generations ago.  The ES started as a compact executive sedan and over the years became a mid-sized luxury …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Lexus LS and LS Hybrid

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Lexus LS and LS Hybrid

Now in its fifth generation, the current LS made its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and claims a heritage that goes back to 1989, when Lexus first entered the U.S. market.
While the first four generations of the LS were V8 powered and predominantly rear-wheel …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Lexus UX 200 Luxury

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Lexus UX 200 Luxury

Lexus introduced its tiny (based on Lexus standards) UX 200 subcompact crossover SUV at the March 2018 Geneva Motor Show, slotting it below the compact NX, which we last reviewed in April.   For the curious, UX stands for “Urban Explorer,” Lexus tells us, and the moniker does fit nicely.
The UX …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Toyota Prius Limited

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Toyota Prius Limited

It’s been several years since we looked at the standard Toyota Prius in depth.  In the interim, we reviewed the smaller Prius c, which was completely redone in 2018. The ‘c’ based not on other Prii but on the much smaller Yaris so any similarities beyond the name are without …