2021 GENESIS GV80 TEST DRIVE

The GV80 is a reality with its concept look very much intact. It’s exciting that I get to drive a first-ever model from a relatively new brand. And though there are some familiar parent company bits in here, this GV80 truly feels like a Genesis and not just a premium-level Hyundai. It’s exhilaratingly fresh in every way and for those who play close enough attention to: 1) Even know what Genesis is? And, 2) Where to find a dealer? Discovering the GV80 will be automotive bliss.
When you drive the GV80 it feels as though you’re behind the wheel of something even more expensive. For instance, the shocks are fed information from the forward-facing camera which previews the road ahead so that the GV80 can preemptively keep the ride comfortable. And even without the noise cancellation feature, this is one quiet SUV. It drives beautifully in all situations backed by an engine that delivers its turbo power with maturity. For $66k, this is very hard to beat.

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2021 LEXUS ES 250 F SPORT TEST DRIVE

My first go around in this current generation ES was 2 years ago when Lexus last redesigned it.  I really embraced the changes but ultimately decided that the hybrid powertrain was simply not for me.  Well now, Lexus is offering the ES with all-wheel drive for the first time but unfortunately they’ve paired it with the wrong engine.
Just to make it clear, I like the ES… but not like this.  With the 4-cylinder engine, this has to be the slowest luxury car I’ve ever driven and I’m not one that believes everything has to be a sports sedan; far from it.  I love cushy, smooth rides and quiet cabins.  But this here is a mistake and putting the F SPORT badge on it is an insult to the letter F and the word Sport.  So just make sure the numbers after your ES begin with a 3 and not a 2.
The ES F SPORT is an attractive, conservatively styled car with a little extra flair that when V6-powered can make for a worthy luxury companion.

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2021 Volvo V90 Inscription TEST DRIVE

I love Volvo’s pair of wagons but this is the first time I’ve driven the V90 without the Cross Country treatment which translates into a car that rides 2” lower.  Coupled with the optional air suspension and upsized 20” wheels, the drive is refined and luxurious while at the same time agile and confident.  It’s a beautiful blend of comfort and athleticism befitting a Volvo Inscription model.  And though it sounds a little funky, Volvo’s T6 motor moves this wagon along quite nicely with a dynamic setting that puts that supercharger to work.
The V90 is Volvo’s flagship wagon.  It’s elegantly long, svelte, and beautifully Scandinavian.  But you don’t see many of them like this, and by that I mean without the Cross Country specification.  This is the less rugged V90 and for the 2021 model year its appearance has been refreshed and it looks absolutely perfect.  In Platinum gray with optional 20” wheels the V90 emits an air of estate gracefulness. 

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2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid TEST DRIVE

Toyota considers this XSE Hybrid the RAV4’s flagship model. It features a sport-tuned suspension, racier styling and a standard 2-tone paint scheme. So if you’re shopping for a small SUV that delivers fun and frugality, put the XSE Hybrid on your short list. The RAV4’s redesign has been a runaway success for Toyota, partially because they’ve done such a good job at offering it in multiple flavors. From a very capable TRD Off-Road model to plug-in hybrids and everything in between, there’s likely a RAV4 that’ll specifically fit your small SUV needs. And this one here is the sportiest one you can buy without a plug; the XSE Hybrid.

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2021 Kia Sorento X-Line SX Prestige AWD

The Sorento is one of Kia’s best-selling nameplates.  It arrived in 2002 and has since grown into a 3-row segment heavy hitter, battling the likes of the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder.  But with this all-new 4th generation model, Kia is giving the Sorento a fresh perspective.  The V6 is gone, a pair of hybrids is in and this hero model takes the Sorento in a more premium yet rugged direction.   

This X-Line SX-Prestige gets the “off-road look” with exclusive bumpers, unique 20” wheels and a bridge-type roof rack.  There’s also a 1” increase in ride height, standard all-wheel drive with a center locking differential and hill decent control.  So this is the Sorento you want if you have a more adventurous family.

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