Tuesday, 23 July 2024

The luxury car world is one with a wide variety of competitors – some dealing in high volumes in the U.S. and others on the lower end.

One of the brands that doesn’t have a huge market share but still offers some compelling vehicles is Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan that has been offered in the U.S. for more than 30 years.

On the smaller end of their SUV lineup, Infiniti offers a couple vehicles — the QX50 and the QX55 (QX50 being a more traditional compact SUV, and QX55 featuring a more sporty and coupe-style design). Part of their appeal is their pricing starts at less than some of their major luxury competitors — making them appealing to buyers with a budget.

I recently tested a 2024 Infiniti QX50, and I’m back with a full report on how it compares in today’s luxury car market.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

January 2, 2024 — Barely two and a half months after its world premiere, the new BMW R 1300 GS proves its outstanding off-road expertise and unique robustness in South America. From December 6-7, 2023, starting from sea level on the Nevado Ojos del Salado — at 6,893 metres the highest active volcano in the world — a fleet of fully equipped BMW R 1300 GS models managed to reach an altitude of more than 6,000 metres in less than 24 hours. The climb, which is very difficult for riders, bikes and tyres, culminates in the notorious “Rock Channel” on the northern flank of the Nevado Ojos del Salado, where the expedition climbed to 6,006 metres in just 19 hours and 22 minutes to reach a maximum altitude of 6,027 metres.

The backdrop for the expedition is the Circuito de los Seis Miles in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the highest active volcano chain in the world, to which the Nevado Ojos del Salado belongs. The four standard BMW R 1300 GS models set off on December 6 at 3 p.m. local time from Bahia Inglesa, a town near the port of Caldera on the Pacific Ocean in the Atacama region, to climb the Nevado Ojos Del Salado.

Published in NEWS

With the respect BMW has earned over nearly a century of making automobiles, it’s no surprise that many luxury buyers want to get behind the wheel of one of their current-day offerings.

But as a luxury ride, the price often presents a major barrier to access, leading potential buyers to explore some of BMW's smaller offerings as potential entryways into the brand.

One such vehicle is the BMW X1, the brand’s smallest crossover SUV offering, which got a full redesign for 2023 that carries over into the 2024 lineup.

This little ride packs a lot of features into a small package — including strong overall design, an upscale interior, a performance boost over past models, and updates to safety and tech features.

I recently tested a 2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i model, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in a crowded luxury crossover segment that features strong offerings such as the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC40 and more.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

 

In the luxury realm, one of the biggest battles waged every year is between the crème de la crème heavy hitters in the large luxury sedan category.

All the major luxury brands have a flagship sedan that is decked out to the gills with the latest design innovations, powerful engines, advanced tech features and safety equipment, and aims to reach that select group of buyers who can afford to shell out six figures for these high-end rides.

For BMW, that entry is its 7-series sedan, which took its assignment seriously with an impressive redesign for 2023.

The new 7-Series generation debuts for 2023 with a complete redesign, inside and out, and with some impressive new tech and safety features.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the 2023 BMW 760i xDrive sedan, a vehicle that is truly fit for a king, a VIP executive, or anyone else who wants to pamper themselves. It’s the type of vehicle that’s so classy, a chauffeur would be a good fit. Read on for a full report on what it has to offer.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Big. Beautiful. Bold. Beast. 

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2023 BMW X7 M60i, and all these words apply to this luxury SUV.

The X7 is the biggest vehicle in BMW’s SUV lineup, and comes equipped with loads of power that make it a front-runner despite stiff competition from SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover and Lincoln Navigator.

Updates have been made to both the exterior and interior of the X7 for the 2023 model, further solidifying its status as a segment leader.

Read on for a full evaluation of how the X7 holds up in the competitive world of three-row luxury SUVs.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – The first ever BMW XM Label—the company’s most powerful production vehicle to date with 738-horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque on tap—set a new record for hybrid electric SUVs at Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs on September 21, 2023, during an officially certified course run.

Following a previous attempt for the race day record in June during the 101st running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, BMW driver Matt Mullins returned to take on the course last month aboard the range-topping BMW XM Label with support from Rhys Millen Racing. Reaching the summit in 10:48:60, Mullins outpaced the previous race day record by nearly a second and a half.

To provide a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into preparing both man and machine for such an extreme challenge, BMW had a camera crew follow Mullins and team during each stage of the endeavor. The result is an emotional two-part short film that exposes the heartbreaking lows of a failed first fun, followed by the exhilarating highs of success atop the mountain. Both parts are available online at the @BMWUSA official YouTube channel.

Published in NEWS

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. — More than 3,000 drivers rallied together on October 21 as part of the latest iteration of MINI Together, a one-day event by MINI USA that encourages owners across the United States to motor for a cause.  MINI owners gathered at their local dealerships to kick off an early morning, app-based road trip followed by an evening virtual event connecting this year’s theme of showing “Big Love” for the planet with interactive activities including seed planting and more.

Also during the evening festivities, the starting location for the 2024 MINI TAKES THE STATES owner rally was revealed to be Albuquerque, New Mexico. A big change from the East Coast-centric 2022 MINI TAKES THE STATES route, this kickoff from the southwestern United States gives owners a sneak peek at the potential route that can be expected next summer.

Published in NEWS

BMW has been a longtime supporter of electric vehicles in the luxury realm, dating back to the quirky little i3 a decade ago. And they have stepped up their game with recent EV models that are much closer in design and performance to their regular lineup than ever before.

I recently tested one of those offerings, the BMW i4 — their entry in the compact EV sedan category, which is significant since so many new EVs are focused on SUV lineups. (NOTE: I tested a 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40, which transferred to 2023 with only minor changes)


LOOKS

The BMW i4 is a small EV sedan — based on the longtime favorite 3-series sedan and the 4-series Gran Coupe — with a hatchback-style trunk. It features a sleek, eye-catching exterior design that visually tops the looks of the few EV sedans available in the luxury realm, such as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

BMW’s kidney-style grille will continue to polarize opinions, with some loving it while many loathe it, but I thought it fit well with the overall design. The Mineral White Metallic paint on my test vehicle was also very sharp, and the power glass moonroof lets the sun shine in.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

In the realm of luxury cars, there is a wide variety of SUVs available as plug-in hybrids. But when you turn to the sedan side of things, the numbers are pretty thin.

One company that remains committed to this type of model, which bridges the gap between gas-only rides and full EVs, is Volvo, which offers multiple plug-in hybrid sedan options.

I recently tested the 2023 Volvo S60 Recharge, a stylish entry-level luxury sedan that oozes class and is packed with technology and safety features.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

Lexus is a luxury brand that has long been a supporter of hybrid vehicles, and it recently unveiled its first fully electric vehicle, the RZ 450e.

In the middle of that spectrum of differently powered vehicles is the plug-in hybrid, which embraces a partial EV operation combined with a hybrid setup. Lexus is also pursuing this category, with their first-ever offering being the 2022 Lexus NX 450h+, a plug-in hybrid version of their popular compact SUV.

The 450h+ is part of the second generation of the NX line, which also includes ICE and standard hybrid versions. Plug-in hybrids can help ease worries about range anxiety among buyers, while also allowing them to begin their journey toward fully embracing a true EV.

The luxury battlefield is always intense, and that applies to the electrified/hybrid realm too. So Lexus knows it has to come strong to compete in this sector — where it’s battling brands like Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and more.

I recently spent time in a 2022 NX 450h+ F Sport, and I’m back with a full report on the vehicle, which shares some technology with the nonluxury Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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