Saturday, 09 December 2023
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Maintaining a competitive advantage in the ever-changing sedan segment means reinvention from time to time, and Kia has taken that to heart.

After two decades of selling its midsize sedan under the Optima name, the automaker has decided to do a full redesign for 2021 and rebrand the vehicle as the Kia K5 — a more upscale, more powerful alternative better equipped to battle the segment sales leaders.

Highlights of this upgraded and renamed model also include a bolder style, and available all-wheel drive. I recently tested a 2021 Kia K5, and I’m back with a full report.


The exterior design of the K5 features a sleek yet aggressive redesign that is highlighted by sharp-looking headlights and is overall a much bolder look than the Optima offered. It will definitely catch your eye more than most sedan competitors. 

Exterior features include automatic LED reflector headlights, amber LED daytime running lights, power heated outside mirrors, an acoustic front windshield, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Kia K5 
  • Price as tested $32,355 (starts around $24K)
  • Best feature Smooth driving experience, quality design inside and out, sharp technology
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle? Sedan buyers looking for a brand-new, modern, high-class and comfortable vehicle for an affordable price.
Posted On Sunday, 17 January 2021 23:19 Written by
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Luxury sedans, at least compared to their counterparts in the nonluxury realm, are doing quite well as we begin 2021. All the elite luxury brands have strong options available, so it’s really a matter of what fits the luxury buyer’s style and needs more.

One of those luxury brands, Lexus, is doing some trimming down of their lineup for 2021, ditching the GS sedan offering and focusing its efforts on the more popular ES sedan lineup.

One member of that lineup is the Lexus ES 350 F Sport, a luxury sedan focused both on comfort and powerful performance. I recently spent time in one of these high-end hot rods, and I’m back with a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2020 Lexus ES 350 F Sport 
  • Price as tested $53,950 (starts at $45K) 
  • Best feature Sporty drive quality, comfortable and luxurious interior 
  • Rating 4 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle? Luxury sedan buyers looking for a classy, powerful vehicle 
Posted On Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:32 Written by
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With the rise of SUVS, the sedan is a vehicle type that has had its obituary written by many, but that’s a bit premature. While it’s true that many sedans are ceasing production or being converted into SUVs, the ones that have remained are still very strong.

Toyota is arguably the leader for the sedan, primarily through its strong-selling Camry. But at the top of their sedan arsenal is the Avalon, a full-size sedan — that rare breed of vehicle which is truly a dying breed.

Hybrids are an even rarer vehicle type to find in the full-size sedan realm, outside of luxury models, making the 2021 Toyota Avalon hybrid an extremely unique offering. There are some vehicles — including the Honda Accord hybrid and Hyundai Sonata hybrid — that come close in size to the Avalon hybrid, but lack the sophistication and performance it offers.

I recently sent time in a 2021 Avalon hybrid, and here is a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Toyota Avalon hybrid   
  • Price as tested $46,717   
  • Best feature Luxury level styling, impressive tech and safety features
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle? People looking for a high-end, full-size hybrid sedan that won't break the bank
Posted On Monday, 16 November 2020 01:02 Written by
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There’s a lot to like about a good wagon. Even in an era when the majority of buyers prefer SUV and crossovers, a wagon can still offer you the level of storage space an SUV can, while offering a less bulky frame and easier entry and access to materials. 

Throw in a bit of luxury, and you have the 2021 Volvo V90, a stylish and well-designed wagon that is one of few vehicles keeping the luxury wagon segment alive. (Benz and Audi have some offerings, and Volvo also offers the smaller V60)

I can’t stress enough that these are not your 1970s or 1980s wood-paneled type of wagons either. For one, they don’t have the rear-facing “wayback” seat (though that would be a pretty cool thing for someone to bring back). But these high-end wagons are also now high-tech, beautiful machines that rival anything on the roadways.

I recently spent some time in a 2021 V90, and I’m back with a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Volvo V90  
  • Price as tested $67,640 (starts at $52K) 
  • Best feature Long, attractive wagon design; stylish interior, safety features, massaging seats
  • Rating 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle? Wagon lovers who want advanced safety features paired with high-end European style
Posted On Sunday, 01 November 2020 00:43 Written by
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For sedans to remain a strong competitor in the battle for customer interest, they have to keep things sharp. So, many are undergoing redesigns. One of those is the Hyundai Sonata, which gets a brand new look for the 2020 model year.

In baseball terms, sometimes automakers hit a double or a triple when they unveil these remodels, but Hyundai has knocked it out of the park here. The 2020 Sonata looks brilliant, drives wonderfully and has a tech bonanza inside. Read on for my full thoughts on the vehicle, which is bound to do wonders for Hyundai and the sedan category as a whole.


First let's talk about the paint job. The vehicle I tested was a stunning color called Glowing Yellow. I've never quite seen this color on another car and was extremely impressed with the look. 

The overall design of this redesigned Sonata is truly eye-catching and had heads turning when I drove it. With a low and lean profile and a sharp-looking panoramic moonroof, this Sonata looks like a vehicle of the future, not of the past.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2020 Hyundai Sonata 
  • Price as tested $31,265 
  • Best feature Stylish new look, sporty drive, strong tech offerings
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle? Sedan buyers who want to turn heads and love their commute
Posted On Sunday, 04 October 2020 00:58 Written by
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