• 2019 Kia Sorento

    Taco Winter

    While you weren’t looking, Kia quietly has become a mass-market brand with decidedly premium aspirations. It now sells a whole range of vehicles that can cost more than $40,000, including the sporty Stinger, a BMW 3-series competitor; the cushy Cadenza, a bona fide rival to the Lexus ES; the indulgent K900, a rear-wheel-drive luxury barge;…

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  • Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4²

    Taco Winter

    Perhaps the auto industry’s most unlikely icon, the Mercedes-Benz G-wagen was originally developed for the German military way back in 1979. The civilian model gained popularity for its rugged chic and anti-style style. Then AMG got its hands on the G-wagen, and the muscled-up variants including the G63 and the twin-turbo V-12–powered G65 eventually eclipsed the standard…

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  • 2019 Acura RDX

    Taco Winter

    For all the advances realized by the completely new 2019 Acura RDX, the automaker’s agenda to remake it from a popular but dynamically unremarkable vehicle into a genuinely sporting one can be distilled down to one ostensibly minor and optimistic detail: The default setting for the RDX’s Integrated Dynamics driving-mode system is Sport. Realized with a…

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  • 2018 BMW i3s with Range Extender

    Taco Winter

    With the original i3 EV, BMW aimed to apply its engineering prowess in unconventional ways—not just with weight-saving construction techniques that mated a carbon-fiber composite passenger cell to a mostly aluminum chassis, but also with eco-friendly elements such as natural-fiber cabin finishes, leather seats tanned with an olive-oil extract, a key fob made of a castor-oil-based…

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  • 2019 Volvo XC40

    Taco Winter

    Volvo is courting youthful, premium-minded buyers with the XC40, a stylish subcompact crossover drowning in charm and packed with tech. This quirky little Swede imparts a carefree feeling so real that you can practically hear it humming ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” as it hustles through traffic. Inside its stylish cabin, much effort went into making the XC40…

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  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI

    Taco Winter

    The GTI is now entering its 12th consecutive year as a winner of our 10 Best Cars award (along with the rest of its Golf family), and it’s as good as ever. The GTI is a practical car with real performance credibility at a price that would make plenty of dynamically inferior cars blush. But despite already having…

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  • 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

    Taco Winter

    “Too long; didn’t read,” abbreviated tl;dr by internet commenters who can’t be bothered to spell out all of four words, could be our new national motto, a reflection of society’s shrinking attention span. Twitter’s generous doubling of its character limit notwithstanding, we live in a world that tends to ignore complex ideas that can’t be…

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  • 2018 Volvo V60

    Taco Winter

    Volvo and station wagons go together like Ikea and Swedish meatballs. The V60, Volvo’s smallest wagon offering, is neither the latest nor greatest example of the breed—that would be the larger V90—but it still offers a distinctive combination of practicality and Scandinavian style despite its age. (It was put into production in 2010 and went on…

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