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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Toyota C-HR Limited

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Toyota C-HR Limited

The funky Toyota C-HR, which made quite a splash at its debut last year, has grown to now include three distinct editions, the LE, XLE, and Limited (last year’s XLE Premium). From the base LE up, each has increasingly more gear and more features.
For those who are wondering what Toyota …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

When a 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited in Parisian Night Pearl – a rather striking color – arrived at our offices right before Labor Day, more than a few staffers thought a Lexus had been delivered by mistake. The confusion was understandable.
Now in its 25th year, the Avalon sports a …

Review and Test Drive: 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Momentum

Review and Test Drive:  2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Momentum

The Volvo XC40 was first unveiled in September 2017 and was fast tracked into production by November 2017. Most notably, the XC40 is the first in the Swedish automaker’s 40 Series of vehicles and is the first to be built on the new CMA modular small car platform.
Unusual for a …

Volkswagen Rabbit GTI to Return for 2019

Volkswagen Rabbit GTI to Return for 2019

Fahrvergnügen Continues, 35 Years Down the Road
The first generation Volkswagen Golf was marketed as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States when it was introduced in 1974 to replace the Beetle. Wolfsburg introduced a second generation Golf in 1983 along with a sportier model called the GTI.
The GTI is turning …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWD

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWD

The Mitsubishi Outlander first made its appearance in 2001 in Japan as the Airtrek, a vehicle that promised “footloose, adventure-filled motoring pleasure.” It arrived in the States in 2003 as the Outlander and that name replaced Airtrek in all markets, including Japan, by 2005.
Now in its third generation, the Mitsubishi …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lexus LS 500h

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Lexus LS 500h

When Lexus’ flagship sedan, the LS, made its debut in 1989, it marked the first successful volley of a Japanese automaker into the luxury space. Its very existence was headline worthy and it overtook BMW and Mercedes-Benz in overall U.S. sales within two years, although it took a little over …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid Luxury Coupe

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid Luxury Coupe

The striking LF-LC Concept – LF-LC stands for Lexus Future Luxury Coupe – made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in 2012 to thunderous applause although few believed it would ever make it into production relatively unchanged. It defied the odds, however, and was introduced as the …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lexus RX 350

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Lexus RX 350

Introduced some 20 years ago, the Lexus RX 350 is now in its fourth iteration. RX stands for Radiant Crossover and the RX was a pioneer in the luxury crossover segment. The updated RX (unveiled in 2015 at the New York International Auto Show) builds on this foundation, sporting a …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport

The Infiniti Q50, which made its debut in 2013 as a replacement for the Infiniti G sedan, became much sportier two years ago with the introduction of the Q50 Red Sport.
The Q50 Red Sport is equipped with a powerful engine, quick-shifting transmission, sporty styling, performance brakes, model-specific Red Sport 400 …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lincoln Navigator Reserve and Black Label

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Lincoln Navigator Reserve and Black Label

Back in the day, when I was in high school secretly reading car magazines instead of the approved reading assignment, the battle for the best luxury sedan or coupe was a fairly big deal. One of the leading car magazines of the period would refer to the winner as “King …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Toyota C-HR

Review and Test Drive:  2018 Toyota C-HR

Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Toyota C-HR keeps everyone guessing what C-HR might stand for. In introducing the car, Toyota said the name was derived from both Compact High Rider and Cross Hatch Run-about, but that really doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that it has a distinctively …

5 Tips for Driving in Europe This Summer

5 Tips for Driving in Europe This Summer

Planning a trip to Europe this summer? If so, consider touring the continent by car. Whether it’s the Romantische Straße in Germany, the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße in Austria, the Adriatic Highway from Split to Dubrovnik, or an equally beautiful but less well known path such as the Donau Straße in Lower …