Steve’s Top Picks

2021 Acura TLX A-Spec TEST DRIVE

I really love this TLX. It is hands-down one of the most fun-to-drive cars I’ve tested this year. I don’t care if it’s front-wheel drive-based or not, this car is an absolute blast to take out on backroads. As the driver, you feel involved and excited to take on the next curve. It really is a beautiful sports sedan drive.
Two sedans, 2 SUVs and a supercar; that’s what Acura is producing these days. But the car portion has struggled to draw an audience in recent years as the utilities have taken center stage. Now enter the 2021 TLX – their premium sports sedan relaunched for its next act and this one is a blockbuster. A dedicated platform, double-wishbone suspension, turbocharged VTEC engine, super-handling all-wheel drive; these are the cast members that’ll have Acura devotees coming back to the showroom.

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2021 SUBARU CROSSTREK SPORT TEST DRIVE

2021 SUBARU CROSSTREK SPORT TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. For my money, this is the best Subaru you can buy. And I’ve held that opinion since it was first called the XV Crosstrek back in 2013. You can think of it as a bite-sized Outback. And now you can have one in Sport trim with a more powerful engine.

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2020 CHEVROLET CORVETTE STINGRAY

2020 CHEVROLET CORVETTE STINGRAY CONVERTIBLE TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES.
I haven’t had a car attract this much attention in forever.  Car people, non-car people, doesn’t matter.  Everyone knows this is something special.  It looks like a race car and depending on the angle it could be a Corvette, a Ferrari, a Lambo or an NSX.  But this baby bleeds red, white and Elkhart Lake Blue.  And this isn’t just the all-new C8 Corvette, this is the Convertible with a power retractable hardtop so seamlessly integrated you wouldn’t know this isn’t the Coupe.  Well, that is unless you go looking for the window to the engine…about the only sacrifice you’ll have to make for top-down driving.

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2021 LEXUS LC 500 CONVERTIBLE TEST DRIVE

2021 LEXUS LC 500 CONVERTIBLE TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. After 2+ decades of driving new cars each week, I admit, you can get pretty jaded. So it’s rarer now that I get really wowed when a car is delivered but that’s happening right now. I mean, just look at this thing. The LC is already a gorgeous car but make it a convertible and paint it red like this and all of a sudden I’m a teenager again at Spencer Gift’s buying the poster because the Lexus LC 500 Convertible is as close as it gets to a rolling piece of art.
the LC is not a sports car…this is a grand tourer in the greatest sense.  This is all about a beautiful autumn day, top down, companion in the passenger seat, neck heater blowing, and the intoxicating sounds of the V8.  The huge 21” wheels and high performance tires ding the ride quality a bit and overall the suspension doesn’t feel as sophisticated as you would like so driving it with verve is more pleasing when the road isn’t too twisty. I love convertibles and the showier the better.  And this Lexus makes for the ideal sunny skies weekender as long as you can handle all of the attention.  

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2020 Mercedes AMG S63 Cabriolet

2020 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet
When even the paint is a $7,500 option you know you’re driving something exclusive. Not only is this the most expensive Mercedes convertible it’s also the fastest. This car is custom order, packed with bespoke touches from Mercedes’ designo in-house design team. This light brown Nappa leather is so choice of course I’d spend nearly $13,000 on it. And what kind of cheapskate would pass on the Swarovski crystal headlamp jewels? Yes, it’s true; this car has over $43,000 in options but there’s not a one of them I wouldn’t want. Anyone care to loan me a quarter of a million? I’m good for it.
Zero-to-60 in 3.4 seconds in a convertible of this size is ridiculous. But maybe not as ridiculous as the price…this one checks in at over $227,000. And, oh yeah…rumor has it this car is going away soon so you’d better act fast if it’s on your dream car wish list.

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