2023 CADILLAC CT4-V BLACKWING TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Like many automakers, Cadillac is a brand in transition – concurrently embracing its V8 heritage and all-electric destiny.  As of today, you still can’t buy…

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2023 HONDA HR-V TEST DRIVE FOR TOP SPEED BY STEVE HAMMES 2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L Scared off by runaway new car prices?  There’s good reason – the average transaction price remains over $48,000!  But don’t fear; the lower end…

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2023 CADILLAC ESCALADE V-Series TEST DRIVE FOR TOP SPEED BY STEVE HAMMES 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series Outside of spotting an exotic supercar, the Escalade is the most ostentatious new vehicle on the road today.  Its gargantuan size dominated by an…

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2023 KIA TELLURIDE X-Pro TEST DRIVE FOR TOP SPEED BY STEVE HAMMES 2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Pro  Instantly becoming one of the brand’s bestsellers upon introduction for the 2020 model year, the Kia “Selluride” continues to woo shoppers in droves with…

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There is no more Civic Coupe or Civic Hybrid but there is a stellar new sedan, frisky Si model and an upcoming high-performance Type R. And when you begin with a car that’s this good you might as well make as many variants as possible. So here’s the Hatchback, priced with a $1,000 premium over the Civic with a trunk for a starting MSRP of $24,365 including destination. How much different is it than the sedan? It’s 5” shorter, can be had with a 6-speed and takes cargo volume with the seats up to over 24 cubic feet or the same as an HR-V. That’s basically it. And the sedan does have a couple of advantages…more paint choices and better gas mileage. This top-of-the-line Sport Touring trim comes only in black, white or gray and in an apples-to-apples comparison loses up to 3mpg when equipped with the standard CVT. But if you crave this kind of short throw shift for yourself fun make sure you choose one of the 4 Hatch trims that starts with the word Sport otherwise you’re getting a CVT…not a bad one but still. And then if you want the stick and the turbo? Well, you’re looking at it…you’ve got to go Sport Touring. The good news is that the manual is a no-charge option and the turbo is actually more fuel efficient than the 2.0-liter base engine. In typical Honda fashion there’s just about zero personalization options but at least everything you see here is standard for an as-tested price of $31,260. And for that price you are getting a well-stocked car with leather, sport pedals, heated seats, a moonroof and the full panoply of driver assistance features. And it’s the Sport Touring that’s the only hatch that gets such goodies as parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear view mirror with garage door opener, a power passenger seat though one without height adjustment, and more substantive stuff like wireless phone projection, the big touchscreen with navi, an awesome sounding 12-speaker Bose sound system with sat and HD radio, a wireless phone charger, rear USB ports, and the bigger and better driver info screen. Outside, this is the only one to get fogs and dual exhaust finishers. With sharp styling, an exciting drive and SUV-fighting cargo room, the Hatchback is yet another variation to the Civic lineup worth keeping.

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