2019 Ford F150 Raptor Review

About 2 years ago an all-new Raptor was born, feeding on rock and mud like never before. We tested it in wide array of conditions and from tarmac to trail the Raptor never disappointed. But Ford thinks they can make things even better so for 2019 the Raptor receives a trio of upgrades.

MSRP as-tested: $71,985

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2020 FORD SUPER DUTY FIRST LOOK

2020 FORD SUPER DUTY FIRST LOOK BY AUTO CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. Serious work trucks are judged on 2 main criteria; towing and payload.

So Ford is ratcheting up both in their all-new 2020 Super Duty.  Shipping to dealers this fall, the Super Duty lineup which includes the F-250, F-350 and F-450 is powered by a 6.2-liter gas V8 as standard or customers can upgrade to the next generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 making more horsepower and torque or opt for a new entry; a 7.3-liter gas V8. 

Though numbers have not been released, Ford says they expect the 7.3 to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class.  All 3 engines will use a new Ford-developed 10-speed automatic transmission designed for the harshest towing conditions. 

Without citing specifics, Ford says this Super Duty offers its highest-ever conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing and payload ratings.  Optimized cooling across the range is courtesy of a new front-end design that also enhances the performance of the LED headlamps. 

Ford says the improved front bumper also makes using the utility hooks easier.  The cabin has been completely refreshed, crafted with the use of even more luxurious materials on the Limited model and modern touches such as wireless charging, Wi-Fi, and Pro Trailer Backup Assist add technology, connectivity and convenience. 

Though pricing has yet to be released, the current Super Duty lineup starts at under $35,000 while an F-450 Limited can cross $90,000.

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2019 TOYOTA RAV4 REVIEW

The RAV4 is one of the best-selling vehicles in America and has even usurped the Toyota sales thrown from the Camry. And this all-new RAV4, designed with a higher level of athleticism and charisma, is a bolder, tougher SUV ready to go beyond the mall parking lot.

MSRP as-tested: $39,479

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2019 GENESIS G70 REVIEW

Many still don’t know the Genesis brand despite the fact that they’ve been selling 2 different nameplates for a couple of years now – both top notch luxury sedans, one of which comes in a delectable Sport trim. But this car is the one designed for you drivers out there – it’s their sportiest and most affordable – the all-new G70.

The Genesis brand launched late in 2016 and it’s still learning to fly, having left the Hyundai nest for its own retail space but in limited numbers. The nearest dealership to me is over 45 miles away.  And in an SUV world they don’t offer a single one.  In recent years, luxury automakers measured their coolness by their compact sports sedans.  That’s no longer the case but having a car that starts at under $40,000 is important and the G70 could be the car that gets the metal moving.  Why?  Because it’s rear-wheel drive, still offers a stick and most of all, has an exclusive allure that has captured the attention of car enthusiasts.

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2019 Mazda CX 9 Review

The family’s growing. The kids have friends and sports no longer have an off-season. You’re in the market for a 3-row SUV. Sure, the neighbors all have Pilots and Highlanders but you go your own way. And that’s where Mazda fits in with the CX-9; a distinctly unique take on the family mobile.

MSRP as-tested: $49,230

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