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Posts Tagged ‘small SUV review’

First Drive: 2018 Hyundai Kona

Putting a little crossover through its paces on the Big Island.

by on Mar.26, 2018

The Hyundai Kona is one of the smallest of the small CUVs - but only on the outside.

So much for palm trees swaying in a sunny, South Pacific breeze. The wind is blowing, all right, but the normally desert-like Kona Coast is anything but warm and dry as we head out for a day’s drive across the Big Island of Hawaii.

Actually, we’re just fine with that, as it gives us a chance to put the new 2019 Hyundai Kona through its paces as we explore one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. By the time we wrap up we’ll experience just about every sort of weather one can imagine short of snow – and at the top of Saddle Road, which cuts between the currently dormant Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, even a blizzard is possible.

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We’ve spent nearly 12 hours in the air flying to, yes, Kona, Hawaii to see just how well the new Kona crossover lives up our expectations. Hyundai was slow to recognize one of the most dramatic shifts in the automotive market, the rapid shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and crossover-utility vehicles. As it rolls into dealer showrooms across the U.S. in the coming weeks, it becomes the Korean brand’s third utility vehicle, joining the compact Tucson and midsize Santa Fe – with an assortment of others, including the hydrogen-powered Nexo, to follow.

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First Drive: BMW X3 xDrive35i

The Ultimate Freeway Machine Isn’t as Happy in Town.

by on Sep.09, 2011

The styling of the BMW X3 is an evolution of the original baby Bimmer sport ute.

It’s not surprising that BMW’s X3 xDrive35i loves to stretch its legs on the freeways and highways. After all, it was bred on Germany’s silky smooth and – in some places – speed limit-free Autobahn.

In that arena, the twin-turbo inline six provides effortless acceleration, there’s plenty of room for everyone and the X3’s many luxury features coddle occupants.

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So why does its personality completely change around town where it feels like a pit bull straining its leash?

The first-generation X3 was roundly criticized for its punishing ride and, in retrospect, the automaker admitted that the interior wasn’t as good as it should have been, either.

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