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Unnamed Automotive Podcast

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Benjamin and Sami are two journalists who take a weekly look at the funnier side of the automotive industry and the cars they drive.
208 Episodes
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Sami tries to figure out if it's enough for the 2020 Genesis G80 to be a comfortable and luxurious sedan, or if it needs to add athleticism to its portfolio to stand against the Germans that dominate the segment?. Benjamin is puzzled by the 2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X, which needs to be better than the full-size pickup competition to catch eyes among truck buyers, but seems determined to merely match a narrow spectrum of what customers are looking for.
Sami splits between the 2021 Hyundai Elantra and the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N. Is the Elantra finally Civic-level in terms of its broad appeal? Can Benjamin be convinced that someone out there actually wants to pay that much more for a front-wheel drive, high performance family sedan? Next up are a pair of platform-mates from Mazda, the new 3 Turbo and the CX-30 SUV. Is Mazda's compact star a true luxury player now that it's left its MazdaSPEED days behind? Is there really any reason to choose the CX-30 over the almost-identical 3 hatchback?
Did Genesis hit one out of the park on the first try with the 2021 Genesis GV80? Sami certainly thinks so, as his time with the all-new SUV has him convinced it's got the German competition by the throat. The pair compare their back -to-back experiences in the 2021 BMW M8 Gran Coupe before wrapping things up with Benjamin's almost-complete 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer LS engine swap.
The Nissan Rogue has always done big business, but much of that was based on price and incentives. Sami's drive of the 2021 redesign reveals that Nissan's new investment in the Rogue elevates it to a new level among other compact SUVs and gives you reasons to buy it other than simply getting a great deal. Benjamin spends a week with the 2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe, a sporty compact that's among the last of its breed - and a car that is discontinued at the end of this year. How does the Si stack up against the dwindling crop of two-door offerings at the $25,000 mark?
Is the 2021 Mini John Cooper Works GP a logical track star step for fans of the brand, or are its real-world shortcomings too much of a liability? Sami puts it on a road course alongside the 2021 BMW 440i and the enormous 2021 Alpina XB7 SUV to figure out which of BMW's latest performers is the most fun to drive fast. Benjamin heads in the other direction with the 2020 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid, which is perhaps the biggest surprise of the year for him. The pair wrap things up with listener questions, including clearing up a few more fake movie cars and digging in to the Fiat 500 Abarth.
Is the 2021 Cadillac CT5-V a marked improvement over the CT4-V in terms of driving feel, even though the two cars are surpisingly close in price? Benjamin gets his turn behind the wheel of the latest V Series and discovers what works, and what doesn't, about the quickest performance sedan from Caddy outside of a Blackwing. Sami re-acquaints himself with a perennial favorite, the everything to everyone 2020 Ford Escape SUV. The pair wrap things up with a look at the fake movie cars that Hollywood churns out to feed our need for speed.
The 2021 Acura TLX comes out of the gate strong with a redesigned platfrom a new turbo base engine that offers 100 lb-ft more torque than the model it replaces. Sami spends time with the sport sedan to see if it's enough to make people care about the four-door passenger car segment in a world where SUV's reign supreme. Benjamin plunges back into the world of pickups with the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4, a new sub-brand from the truck manufacturer that attempts to deliver off-road capability without edging too far onto the hardcore side of the spectrum. The pair wrap things up with a discussion of the coolest electric cars pulled straight from science-fiction.
Benjamin makes a case for the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 bring the most innovative off-road truck in the mid-size segment, while Sami puzzles over the lack of a 2020 Kia Soul EV for American electric car fans. What pushes the ZR2 above the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro? How much better is the Soul EV over the Chevrolet Bolt? The pair answer these questions, and more, on this week's episode.
The 2021 GMC Yukon Denali makes major changes to a decades-old formula. Is it enough to bring the model back to the top of the full-size American SUV segment? Benjamin spends a hot 24 hours inside GM's biggest sport-utility vehicle to find out, before trading it in for a longer stretch in the (still-underachieving) Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss. How hard does the Bowtie's Rebel response take it to Ram's champion? Sami wraps up the show by reminding us all how good the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV really is, how cheap it is to own one, and the late-night secrets of what really happens at the local charging station after dark.
Is the 2020 Aston Martin DB 11 ultra-luxury grand touring car any less enjoyable with an AMG-sourced V8 under the hood versus a British V12? Benjamin puts hundreds of miles on a bright yellow version of the coupe to find the answer. Sami goes in a different direction with the Polestar 2, the Volvo-owned EV brand's attempt to prove it can build a reasonable everyday electric car alongside the Polestar 1 high performance exotic. The duo also discuss the Cadillac XT6, a luxury crossover that can't seem to live up to its stately appearance. Surprisingly, this may not be its fault.
V, M, AMG, S, it all gets dissected on this week's episode thanks to the nightmare world of branding and Cadillac's ultra-confusing nomenclature, kicked off by Benjamin driving the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V sedan. The pair then discuss the Nissan Z Proto, which has Sami excited about the turbocharged sports car's potential to continue the Z legacy into the future with its clutch pedal intact.
The 2020 Kia Seltos and the 2020 Chevrolet Trailblazer are ostensibly the same, but different, which describes almost every small SUV and crossover currently available on the market. Overwhelmed with slightly different shades of choice, Benjamin and Sami try to make some sense of it all after spending time with each vehicle. The pair also get lost in the madness that is the AUTO button on modern climate control systems.
Benjamin's time behind the wheel of the 2020 BMW X5 M Competition has him comparing it against the ultimate muscle truck, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk - but is more refined a better formula for super SUVs? Sami gets up to speed on the long list of new cars introduced over the last week, including the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the 2020 Hyundai Kona and Hyundai Tucson. The pair also discuss a listener's experience with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Personality goes a long way, which is what Sami discovers when comparing two luxury performance SUVs - the 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo and the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 - that on paper seem a lot closer than they are in reality. Benjamin is completely befuddled by the 2020 Lexus GX 460, an off-road SUV that time forgot, wrapped in a luxury package that time also forget. Also on deck is talk about the Kia Stinger, the Bollinger van, and automotive audiobook recommendations.
The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk is the baddest high performance SUV on the planet - but is the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT a few months away from kicking sand in its face? Benjamin extolls his love for Jeep's most ridiculous truck, and then discusses just how close the Mach-E GT will likely be when it comes to handling and acceleration. Sami then explains why the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport is a much better small sport-utility vehicle value than it might at first seem, especially when it comes to safety. Also, there's a really long tangent about hawks versus eagles versus falcons. You've been warned!
The 2020 Subaru BRZ tS is the last of a dying breed, and Benjamin is lucky to spend a week behind the wheel before the lightweight sports car gets redesigned to reflect the modern turbocharged reality. Sami isn't quite as enthused after his time with the Cadillac CT5-V, which muddies the waters for the luxury brand versus its European rivals. The two wrap things up by talking about a trio of sports cars - the BMW Z3, the Pontiac Solstice, and the Lexus RC F - that tried very hard to rise about the sum of their parts bin roots.
Benjamin discovers that the 2020 Lincoln Aviator turns its back on its Ford Explorer template to provide luxury customers with something more fitting of its $70k purchase price. Sami has to search his heart before using his brain when selecting between the 2020 Nissan Kicks or 2020 Hyundai Venue, which each offer something completely different to entry-level small SUV buyers. The pair then also debate the merits of Billy Gibbons and his car collection as presented in the ZZ Top guitarist's new book.
Is the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R one of the best cars the Silver Star has produced in the past decade? Benjamin certainly thinks so, and Sami is inclined to agree after a week behind the wheel of the twin-turbo sports car. The pair aren't nearly as impressed with the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2.3L High Performance Package, however, which keeps trying to make 'EcoBoost' and 'performance' synonmous for pony car fans. The duo wrap things up with an update about Benjamin's 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer LS swap project.
Does Benjamin have the same negativity towards the 2020 Ford Explorer ST that Sami does after his Edge ST experience? Does Sami prefer the Legacy XT or the Outback XT, and is there a place for Subaru's mid-size sedan in a crossover-crowded market? The pair answer these questions - along with a couple sent in by listeners - before tying things up by reviewing a new Motorbooks publication about the history of the Nissan/Datsun Z.
Is the 2020 BMW X7 M50i SUV a better buy than the often-overlooked BMW 7 Series sedan? Benjamin weighs in after having sampled the full spectrum of Bavarian big-boned sport-utilities. Sami gets small with the 2020 Kia Forte 5 GT, which provides secret hatchback practicality in a package you can't find from corporate sibling Hyundai. The two then wrap things up with a fairly deep dive into the reveal of the 2021 Ford Bronco off-roader.
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