Leo Laporte and Sam try out the 2019 Kia Niro EV, an impressive compact electric crossover with a 239 mile range
One of the recurring storylines around Tesla is the rarity with which new automotive brands launch and succeed in a self-sustaining way. In fact, while it’s not exactly common, it does happen with some degree of regularity. Case in point is Kia. While the company traces it roots back to 1944, it was really only in the early-1990s that it ventured outside of South Korea under its own name. While the early models were to say the least not very good and the company went bankrupt in the Asian financial crisis, it persevered. Hyundai took a controlling interest in 1998 and it’s been uphill for both companies ever since. The 2019 K900 is yet more evidence that fantastic luxury cars don’t have to come from Europe, America or Japan.
In my formative years as a car enthusiast, having any kind of affection for British cars was fraught with peril. While many of them were attractive and enormously fun to drive, they also had a well-deserved reputation for unreliability. As often as not, the source of a failure to move could be traced back to electrical gremlins. After what seemed like an interminable wait, I finally had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the all-new all-electric Jaguar i-Pace to see if it could live up to the hype and not let me down.
When I first drove the Lexus LC500 nearly a year ago, I came away with the impression that it was an incredibly striking and surprisingly engaging grand tourer. This impression was reinforced when I had a chance to lap the big V8-powered coupe at Road America earlier this year and found it to be remarkably capable when thrashed on one of the country’s greatest race tracks. Since Lexus is the premium brand of Toyota Motor Corporation, it should come as no shock that there is also an electrically-augmented version of the LC with an h suffix. Does it live up to what it’s sibling delivers?
Cars are apparently a dying breed at Ford Motor Company with one distinct exception, the Mustang. While domestic Mustang sales have declined since the debut of the current generation for the car’s 50th anniversary in 2014, the expansion of its global availability has kept overall numbers high enough to justify its continuing existence. Plus as chairman Bill Ford likes to say, the Mustang is the heart and soul of the company. As a Mustang fan since childhood, I was pumped for another opportunity to drive one and experience the latest batch of tweaks.
This week Sam is driving the updated Acura TLX, now available in A-Spec trim