James Hamel

2015 Honda CR-Z

  2015 Honda CR-Z Review by James Hamel Introduction Rumors of the 2015 Honda CR-Z’s demise have been greatly exaggerated many times over by the motoring press over the course of its rather controversial lifetime. Honestly, who in their right mind would think to build a sporty, two seat hatchback hybrid powered coupe that’s available with a six-speed manual transmission. No other hybrid offer...[Read More]

2015 Chevrolet Sonic

  2015 Chevy Sonic Hatchback LT Review by James Hamel An Introduction General Motors hasn’t always had the best of luck with building subcompact cars with examples ranging from the Aveo, the Metro all the way down to the good old 1976-mid 1980’s Chevy Chevette/Pontiac T-1000 which may have done more to damage this company’s reputation for building small cars that aren’t built as well as their...[Read More]

2015 Hyundai Tucson

  Driven: 2015 Hyundai Tucson GLS Review By James Hamel Introduction Nowhere did Hyundai’s ascendancy as an auto manufacturing powerhouse become clearest than with its exemplary compact and midsize SUV offerings known as the Tucson and Santa Fe. Then, of course, came the space age Sonata and Elantra as well as the luxuriously envelope pushing Genesis and Equus not to mention the ridicul...[Read More]

2015 Cadillac ELR

  Driven: 2015 Cadillac ELR Coupe Written by James Hamel / Video by MaryAnne Wendt Introduction First off, we have all heard the complaints about the 2015 Cadillac ELR which range from talk about its $75,000 starting sticker price (over $80K as tested) all the way down to its barely child sized rear seats. Who do you think we are Consumer Reports? Like we are going to shake our finger at anyo...[Read More]

2014 Mazda Touring

  Driven: 2014 Mazda2 Touring Review By James Hamel Introduction When it comes to new cars, it’s easy to get all caught up in the latest technological features out there, like push-button starting, 4-zone climate control, transmissions with 8-gears and on-board computers that can parallel park for you. Or you can do something completely out of sync with the times and simplify your life ...[Read More]

2015 Kia Forte

  2015 Kia Forte Koup SX Turbo Review by James Hamel Introduction The Kia Forte Koup has always been a sporty and sexy little two door, albeit one with a rather funny name that makes us think of the overthrow of a South American dictator. Do note, however, that the car reviewed here is pronounced “coupe” and not “coup” as the odd spelling of Koup might suggest. Beyond its name, the 2015 Kia F...[Read More]

Kia K900

  Driven: 2015 Kia K900 Review By James Hamel Introduction The 2015 Kia K900 ultra luxury sedan broke into the national consciousness last Super Bowl Sunday when, in an ingenious ad where Laurence Fishburne reprised his role of Morpheus from “The Matrix,” literally blew the doors off of the competition as he rode in the back seat of the car as it drove down a city street. While the ad no doub...[Read More]

Audi Q5 Quattro

  Driven: 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro by James Hamel Introduction We test a lot of SUVs each year and it is a rare case indeed when we get attached to these admittedly capable yet rarely exciting family haulers. But that was not the case with a very handsome Teak Brown Metallic 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro that just left our driveway. As Shakespeare once wrote, “parting is such sweet sorrow....[Read More]

Mazda MX-5

  2014 Mazda Miata MX-5 Review By James Hamel First Memories Driving a Miata The last time I drove a Miata it was 1991. My High School friend Ian had borrowed his parent’s brand new white Miata MX-5 (they only came in red, white and blue back then) and we decided to drive it around aimlessly for the day. I was hugely impressed with how light and agile it felt and was mesmerized that any...[Read More]

2014 VW Jetta

  2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.8T Review Video by James Hamel Introduction In this country the tried and true, ever-boxy Volkswagen Jetta needs little introduction to the buying populace. This relatively affordable German sedan has always offered an engaging driving experience, an enormous trunk (you know how much we love those!), terrific fuel efficiency and affordable prices of entry. Well, w...[Read More]

2014 Dodge Charger SRT8

Driven: The 2014 Dodge Charger SRT-8 By James Hamel and Adam Fredricks Introduction We should preface this entire review by saying that you can get into a whole mess of trouble owning a 2014 Dodge Charger SRT-8. Just look at our video review piece co-produced with CarCultureTV.com where our performance test driver Adam gets pulled over and arrested for being a scofflaw and making use of all 6.4 li...[Read More]

2014 Mazda CX-9

Driven: 2014 Mazda CX-9 Crossover Review By James Hamel Introduction Family cars generally don’t come with many more uses than the 7-passenger 2014 Mazda CX-9 SUV without requiring some form of special licensing. Taking into account its standard 273 horsepower/270 lb. feet of torque 3.7 liter V6 engine, spacious cabin and ability to tow a load up to 3,500 pounds (AWD model) it is easy to see...[Read More]