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2015 Toyota Sienna

  2015 Toyota Sienna DETROIT   If ever there was a scourge of the auto industry, it is a minivan. Most people don’t want to be caught dead in one. They are thought to convey a boring lifestyle, subservience to kids and the driver is viewed as an all-around gofer for the family. But even though sales have fallen, more than 1 million people a year purchase a minivan, most of them after they’ve had a ...

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2015 Lexus RC350 Coupe F Sport

By Frank S. Washington NNPA Columnist 2015 Lexus RC350 Coupe F Sport  DETROIT    For years Lexus sold vehicles on the strength of the brand. Build quality was outstanding, fit and finish was almost perfect and its customer satisfaction became an industry benchmark. But during our week-long test drive of the 2015 Lexus RC 350 Coupe F Sport, we were hailed several times by drivers who told us they loved ...

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2016 Volvo XC90

2016 Volvo XC90   SANTA MONICA, CALIF. – Now that Volvo has been left alone by its new Chinese owners, an opposite tack from its former corporate parent, the Swedish automaker can get back to being itself. That was evident here as Volvo unveiled its XC90 three row sport utility. The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a significant new vehicle on several levels. It signals Volvo’s climb into the ranks of luxury automak ...

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Car Review: 2015 Lexus NX

Car Review: 2015 Lexus NX In the Lexus alphanumeric lexicon, any vehicle nameplate ending with a small “h” is a hybrid. Such was the case with the 2015 Lexus NX 300h. It looks like a rocket. The NX was Lexus’ small 5-door crossover and it had very aggressive styling. Beginning with the brand’s spindle grille, the exterior was comprised of sharply angled edges and creases. The NX had a raked windshield as we ...

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Car Review: 2016 Fiat 500X

By Frank S. Washington NNPA Columnist Car Review: 2016 Fiat 500X It was bigger, taller and barely looked like a Fiat 500 from the side. But from the front it was unmistakably the small Italian import that has had some success during its four years in the U.S. market. The car had the double headlamps, the trapezoidal nose, signature “whiskers and logo” face and rounded clamshell hood reminiscent of the origi ...

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Car Review: Toyota’s RAV 4

Car Review:  Toyota’s RAV 4 Toyota’s RAV4 for 2015 is a stalwart. The small crossover is one of the earliest entrants in the field that has turned into one of the largest segments in the automotive industry. The current rendition that we test drove is in its third year and our 2015 Toyota RAV4 XLE had some characteristics that were worth noting. When we opened the door we were struck with the quality of the ...

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Car Review: 2015 – Dodge Durango

  Car Review: 2015 - Dodge Durango We drove a 2015 Dodge Durango here from Detroit and navigated around the Windy City for about 10 days. There was some apprehension, not with the Durango but with fuel consumption. Our tester was powered by a 5.7-liter V8 HEMI and immediately the price of gasoline during a 10 day-stay came to mind. After all, this HEMI made 360 horsepower, 390 pound-feet of torque and ...

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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

2015 Volkswagen Golf R   By Frank S. Washington NNPA Columnist The high-powered, low volume 2015 Volkswagen Golf R could play a big role in getting the German automaker’s U.S. sales back on the good foot. That would mean more VWs rolling out of showroom doors. Here’s the deal: the VW Golf recently was named car of the year by two very prestigious organizations. Now the Volkswagen Golf R helps to fill o ...

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CAR REVIEW – 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD

  CAR REVIEW - 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD GMC’s 2015 Sierra 2500HD is a serious truck. We had the Denali Crew Cab 4X4 trim model and found that the hulking full-size pickup had enough oomph to handle most jobs that an individual or small crew might come upon. Our test vehicle was powered by a 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel engine capable of operating on biodiesel fuel. It generated 397 horsepower and 765 pound-f ...

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Car Review: 2016 Kia Sorento

Car Review: 2016 Kia Sorento By Frank S. Washington/NNPA Columnist Although it should be sunny by the time you read this, we ran into real world conditions while here to test drive the new 2016 Kia Sorento. Wind gusts were up to 50 mph and sometimes more; precipitation varied between rain and sleet and a bunch of snow was expected that night. We felt some relief when we were told that Kia had brought all-wh ...

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