Category archives: Driven

Driven: 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch diesel

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty diesel with King Ranch trim package | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty diesel with King Ranch trim package | Larry Edsall photos

I’m in love. Head-over-heels in love. With a truck.

But this isn’t just any truck. It’s a 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab, trimmed out with the King Ranch package and empowered by a whopping and turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel-fueled V8.

Oh, and it’s a 4×4, so not only can it pull an RV or boat or horse trailer or, for that matter, a small village (or anything else weighing up to 15,000 pounds), it can go pretty much anywhere you can fit a vehicle that’s nearly 21 feet in length, almost 9 feet wide with its big and lighted power-folding mirrors extended, and is almost as tall as an NBA center. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Dodge Durango R/T

Hemi-powered 2017 Dodge Durango R/T has stealthy, street-fighter look in its monotone color | Larry Edsall photo
Hemi-powered 2017 Dodge Durango R/T has stealthy, street-fighter look in its monotone color | Larry Edsall photo

The look of the 2017 Dodge Durango R/T is stealthily sinister, especially in monotone Granite Metallic exterior paint and riding on matching wheels — 20-inch machine-cast aluminum wheels done in a low-gloss Granite Crystal finish.

Not only do the wheels match the body color, but they have an open 10-spoke design that showcases the nearly 14-inch diameter vented disc brakes up front, with only slightly smaller 13s in the rear. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Genesis G90

The G90 is the flagship of Hyundai's luxury Genesis lineup | Larry Edsall photos
The G90 is the flagship of Hyundai’s luxury Genesis lineup | Larry Edsall photos

Once upon a time, Hyundai’s public relations department bragged about the fact that the company’s compact economy sedan, I recall it as the Elanta but it may have been the Excel, was the most-stolen car in America. What the PR team didn’t point out was that the car was being stolen not because thieves wanted to drive it, but because it had a quality radio that was extremely easy to pop out and sell on the black market.

Not long thereafter, Hyundai invited a group of American automotive writers to visit South Korea, where the next-generation Sonata was going into production. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Kia Niro

2017 Kia Niro is a compact hybrid crossover | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Kia Niro is a compact hybrid crossover | Larry Edsall photos

O.K., so the television commercials featuring Melissa McCarthy saving the whales, the ice cap, the rhinos, and hugging the trees are hilariously entertaining, and the background music — Bonnie Tyler’s I Need a Hero — adds a dramatic pulse to the production.

And I know that Kia spells the name of its new hybrid crossover Niro, not Nero, but it sure sounds like it rhymes not only with Tyler’s Hero lyric but is pronounced just like the name of the last-in-his-line emperor who had his own mother executed and who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned? Continue reading

Mayday! What’s the scariest car you’ve driven? Here’s mine

Geo Metro LSi convertible was a sub-compact that didn't instill confidence in its driver | GM file photo
Geo Metro LSi convertible was a sub-compact that didn’t instill confidence in its driver | GM file photos

The question was posted recently on Petrolicious’ Facebook page: “What is the Scariest Car You’ve Ever Driven?”

As you might expect, people responding listed cars including the Porsche Turbo, Dodge Viper GTS, Ferrari F430, Shelby 427 Cobra, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and the list kept going with such high-performance memories. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln MKZ has been redesigned for the 2017 model year | Larry Edsall photos
Lincoln MKZ has been redesigned for the 2017 model year | Larry Edsall photos

You’ve just spent $53,405 on a luxurious sedan. You proudly drive it home and park it in your driveway. Except in the case of a 2017 Lincoln MKZ like the one I’ve been driving this week, you back it into the driveway, and back it as closely as possible to your garage door. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster/GT C Roadster

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster comes highly recommended | Mercedes-AMG photos
2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster comes highly recommended | Mercedes-AMG photos

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is fast, expensive, and sexy. I could stop right there, because that summarizes this brand-new Mercedes-Benz better than anything else.

The hood stretches a veritable mile in front of the cockpit. The rump is nicely rounded. The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V- delivers a whopping 469-horsepower, or 550 hp in the range-topping GT C Roadster model. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SEL

2017 Volkswagen Passat propelled by a 170 hp turbocharged four-banger | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Volkswagen Passat propelled by a 170 hp turbocharged four-banger | Larry Edsall photos

Turns out Carroll Shelby was right.

Ol’ Shel’ once told me that all you really needed in any car was 170 horsepower. That was plenty to get going and to keep up with traffic at — and even beyond — whatever speeds might be posted on the fastest of American freeways.

Of course, in his next breath, Shelby told me about a 1,000-horsepower engine he and his team were building for their latest Ford Mustang project. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Honda CR-V

Launch of 2017 Honda CR-V marks the start of the compact crossover's fifth generation | Larry Edsall photos
Launch of 2017 Honda CR-V marks the start of the compact crossover’s fifth generation | Larry Edsall photos

In the sixth day of my week-long drive of the new and fifth-generation Honda CR-V, I finally opened the hood to see for myself.

The pricing sticker and the Honda press kit both claimed the compact crossover utility vehicle has a turbocharged engine. But after a few hundred miles and nearly six days of driving, I was skeptical. Pleased that there was no discernible turbo lag, but skeptical that there even was a turbo installed, so tortoise-like is this crossover’s power to accelerate. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 all-wheel-drive

The slimmed-down GMC Acadia gets improved fuel mileages with better drivability | GMC photos
The slimmed-down GMC Acadia gets improved fuel mileages with better drivability | GMC photos

The road from Phoenix to Durango, Colorado, is pretty long, but at least it passes by some quality Southwest scenery, such as Monument Valley, and some improbable landmarks, such as Four Corners, the only place in the U.S. where four states touch – Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

There’s also a place where you can pull off the road and see actual dinosaur tracks imbedded in the ancient stone surface, always with some random Navajo youngsters on hand to show you the way, for a fee. Continue reading