2021 CADILLAC ESCALADE TEST DRIVE

2021 CADILLAC ESCALADE TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES.
GM’s extra-large, body-on-frame SUVs have all recently undergone comprehensive transformations but this one is the headliner.  It’s America’s aspirational SUV and has been for over 20 years.  I’ve driven all of them, but this 5th generation Escalade is by far the most ambitious evolution.  Bigger, techier, and far more sophisticated, this is the Escalade at the pinnacle of success.  It’s a 6-figure, ostentatious symbol of over-the-top American living where 16mpg matters not and supersized is a way of life.  But this one also sweats the details with attention paid to even the minutest particulars.  

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2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look By Car Critic Steve Hammes. 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Following the recently released off-road oriented Super Duty Tremor comes a Tremor package for Ford’s smallest pickup. When equipped with the Tremor Off-Road Package, the 2021 Ford Ranger gives customers a truck with even more capability, taking it several notches beyond the already-capable FX4 Package. A lifted suspension provides nearly another inch of ground clearance which combined with the new 32” Grabber tires improves the Ranger’s off-road metrics for tackling tougher angles. FOX shocks with external reservoirs at the rear and hydraulic rebound stops keep things comfortable even over severe terrain. A steel front bash plate, skid plates, 2 new recovery hooks in the rear, a locking rear differential and Terrain Management System round out the package. Even the traction control system has been recalibrated for improved acceleration while driving on loose surfaces. Inside, you’ll find a bank of auxiliary power switches to control accessories such as a winch and lights and special Tremor accented seats. Powered by a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo producing 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the Tremor Off-Road Package is priced at $4,290 and is available on XLT and Lariat grades in the SuperCrew 4X4 configuration.

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2020 PORSCHE  911 CARRERA S TEST DRIVE

2020 PORSCHE  911 CARRERA S TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. When you’re really passionate about something you dive deep into your desires. If you’re an audiophile you’ll pick up on every nuance of the speakers, or if you’re a watch collector you’ll have intimate knowledge of its inner workings. And that’s what buying a Porsche is like; it’s a car for the driver who appreciates exactness and demands the best no matter the cost.
The priciest options on this tester are the Black/Bordeaux Red leather interior, the Adaptive Sport Seats with memory, the Sport Package which includes the exhaust, the front axle lift system to keep that chin off the ground, the rear axle steering and the Bose sound system.  As-tested, this car comes in at $137,570 and features new easier to control touchscreen infotainment with wireless CarPlay and other innovative features.
At face value you could say it’s just another Silver 911…but its added muscularity and new lighting design give it the subtle newness you’re looking for while retaining its unmistakable silhouette.

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2021 Volvo V60 Cross Country

2021 Volvo V60 Cross Country Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes. Volvo’s smallest and most affordable wagon has recently received the brand’s Cross Country treatment, meaning it rides higher, is driven by all 4 wheels and possesses a look that takes it into crossover territory. Volvo’s styling game is completely on point, particularly with their car lineup and this is one sharp-looking wagon, accentuated by metallic Crystal White paint and optional 19” wheels.  It looks like nothing else on the road and that’s not an easy claim these days.

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2020 LEXUS RC 350 F SPORT AWD REVIEW

2020 LEXUS RC 350 F SPORT AWD REVIEW BY TESTDRIVENOW CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. The RC possesses that unique blend of Lexus luxury in its ride quality with a spirited character that’ll have you seeking the long way home.  Coupe owners, obviously, crave fun and driving precision and the RC provides that without any white knuckle drama as it sticks to the road with all-wheel drive grip and the benefit of the F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension.  Dial into the highest Sport S + drive mode and gear shifts happen faster, the steering is firmer, and the suspension less yielding.  But to get the most out of the experience, use the paddle shifters otherwise the 6-speed can feel tardy.  And even though from out here the RC doesn’t sound like much, Lexus has created a convincing soundtrack for those inside…it really works quite well.  All-season tires make sense on this trim I suppose, but a more aggressive set of rubber would help scrub out some of this understeer as you attack a corner.    

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