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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Review and Test Drive: 2017 Volvo XC60

Review and Test Drive:  2017 Volvo XC60

Now that Volvo has brought the full range of the 90 Series to the market it has turned its attention to the 60 Series, which will be at Volvo dealerships soon. To better appreciate what is to come, we undertook a last hurrah with the current generation XC60, which was …

First Look and Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500h and LC 500

First Look and Review:  2018 Lexus LC 500h and LC 500

Please Don’t Call It ‘Boring’
When the striking LF-LC Concept was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2012, few if any thought it would make it into production relatively unchanged. Indeed, the LF-LC, which stands for Lexus Future Luxury Coupe – in the guise of the …

Review and Road Test: 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance

Review and Road Test: 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance

Acura took the wraps off the then new Acura MDX at the annual New York Auto Show back in 2000, explaining that MDX stood for “Multi-Dimensional Luxury.” Fast forward to today, when Acura refreshed the third generation of the MDX, becoming the first production Acura to receive the brand’s new …

2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD – Review and Test Drive

The sub-compact crossover market is a cluttered one, although it follows the same pattern (car platform, rugged looks, SUV-like capacity) as that of its larger brethren. In addition to the new Chevy Trax, there’s the Honda HR-V, the Fiat 500X, and the Nissan Juke, just to name a few. One …

Review: BMW Performance Center West Driving School – Two-Day Car Control Clinic

Review: BMW Performance Center West Driving School – Two-Day Car Control Clinic

A series of signs greeting students at BMW’s Performance Center Driving School in Spartanburg, S.C. carries an important reminder: “Don’t forget to breathe.”
BMW, which has offered driver training in Germany since 1977 and in the United States since 1999, now has a permanent facility in Southern California. The BMW Performance …

Review: ‘The Escape’ at BMW Films

Review: ‘The Escape’ at BMW Films

As part of its introduction of the new BMW 5 Series, the Bavarian automaker had its newest sedan vanquish a Volvo truck, destroy a Bell 206 helicopter, and rescue a young girl – all in under ten minutes.
“The Escape” resurrects the BMW film series “The Hire,” a series of eight …

2017 Acura RDX – Review and Test Drive

2017 Acura RDX – Review and Test Drive

Refreshed for the 2016 model year, the once plain Jane Acura RDX was first presented to society at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The makeover did much to help the RDX stand out in a crowd.
New for 2016 were the cool-looking Jewel Eye LED headlights with light piping on the …

2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible – Road Test and Review

2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible – Road Test and Review

The calendar may say it is fall, but with blue skies and temperatures in the 80s F (high 20s C), it was still summer as far as I was concerned and the perfect time to motor around town with a droptop Mini Cooper S.
There was no rain in the forecast, …

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Review and Test Drive

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature – Review and Test Drive

The Mazda CX-9 was completely new for the 2016 model year and is on its own, no longer sharing the Ford CD3 platform, and even a casual glance shows its designers bestowed on it a new level of refinement and excitement that makes it gravitate towards the luxury-car segment, competing …

2017 Toyota Prius Prime: First Look and Photo Gallery

2017 Toyota Prius Prime: First Look and Photo Gallery

The Toyota Prius Prime is an all-new plug-in hybrid and the successor to the Prius Plug-In Hybrid that the Japanese automaker introduced in 2012. It’s far more efficient than the outgoing model, is replete with new technology, and can travel greater distances on all-electric power.
While the Prius Prime’s styling is …

Road Test and Review: 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Road Test and Review: 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Of all the places I had imagined I’d drive a Volvo – Alaska, Gothenburg, even New England in the snow – I never thought of the car as a desert warrior. But there I was in Palm Springs, California, in a Seashell Metallic S60 Inscription T5 and the temperature had …

2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid – Review and Road Test

2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid – Review and Road Test

The first-ever Toyota Avalon, a 1995 model, rolled off the assembly line at the automaker’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky in 1994, and it has been updated several times since. The current fourth generation model, introduced for the 2013 model year marked the debut of the Avalon Hybrid, which is built …