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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Let’s Motor: Celebrating 15 Years of Mini in America

Let’s Motor: Celebrating 15 Years of Mini in America

As a child, I had seen them in England but hadn’t paid much attention. It was a fixture in spy films of the 1960s and 1970s including the classic 1969 film “The Italian Job,” starring Michael Caine. It was featured in what was one of the most memorable scenes in …

Review and Test Drive: 2017 Volvo S60

Review and Test Drive:  2017 Volvo S60

Having most recently driven a Volvo in the heat of a desert, it was refreshing to drive the 2017 Volvo S60 in a climate that it was certainly more familiar with, namely winter in New York. While the S60 is one of Volvo’s oldest models, it has aged well and …

Review and First Drive: 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

Review and First Drive:  2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

If you worried what Chinese ownership might mean for the venerable Volvo brand, you needn’t fret. Since Geely took control in 2010, the Gothenburg-based automaker has become nothing if not more Swedish than it was, has sold more cars (it set a record in 2015, when it sold over half …

Review and Test Drive: 2017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD

Review and Test Drive:  2017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD

The new Cadillac CT6 – the first car to adopt Cadillac’s new product naming conventions announced in 2014 – is more than just a new name with a pretty face.
Indeed, when Cadillac first announced the new product designations – each will start with the letters “CT” followed by a number …

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, …