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Unnamed Automotive Podcast
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Unnamed Automotive Podcast

Author: 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.
163 Episodes
When Ford announced it was canceling all of its passenger cars, it put a lot of pressure on the redesigned 2020 Ford Escape to satisfy the needs of the entire spectrum of the brand's entry-level buyers. Sami spends a week with the Escape to determine just how worthy it is of that mantle - and how it compares to excellent entries in the segment from Toyota and Honda. Benjamin rewinds his BMW experience with the M550i xDrive, which takes last week's Gran Coupe drivetrain and packages it in a familiar sedan wrapper. Is it so all-around competent that it renders the M5 unnecessary? The pair wrap things up with a listener question about 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
What is there to say about the 2020 Honda CR-V? Sami struggles to come up with anything more than good vibes about possibly the best compact family crossover money can buy, but doesn't particularly think that's a problem for customers. After a brief diversion into the fascinating world of car showers, Benjamin reveals that the 2020 BMW M850i Gran Coupe is not just just a great alternative to the stuffier 7 Series, but also happens to deliver the kind of hands-off self-driving features he can actually appreciate. The pair then wrap things up with disgraced Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's wacky escape from Japan .
Has BMW finally figured out how to translate the fun bits of the MINI Countryman platform into an intriguing compact SUV of its own? Benjamin is surprised by how strong a response the 2020 BMW X1 elicited from him during their 7 days together. Sami, on the other hand, checks out a less exciting, but still important piece of the Lexus line-up - the 450h SUV - and reflects on its place in a world where every second people mover hails from the mid-size segment.
Guest Stefan Ogbac shares his experience with the absolutely crazy Polestar 1 supercar, which offers 619 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque from a hybrid setup. Benjamin reveals just how uncomfortable he felt driving the twitchy 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon pickup truck on a long highway trip, while Sami is back from Detroit with news about the redesigned 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban SUVs. The show wraps with a look at an awesome listener project from Norway that dates all the way back to World War 2.
The 2020 Toyota Highlander emerges into a hyper-competitive 3-row SUV market that is currently being lead by an unexpected pair of Korean contenders. Does it have what it takes to unseat the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade? Benjamin and Sami head to Texas - but not together - to find out. The two also discuss whether the long-awaited 2019 Mazda CX-5 diesel crossover makes sense, and if the 2020 Lincoln Aviator SUV is a worthy follow-up to the Navigator. Finally, it's time to answer a listener question about the Fiat 500e EV.
Is the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan a step in the right direction after the disappointment that was the CLA-Class? Benjamin drives the 2019 A220 to find out. Meanwhile, Sami tries hard to understand where exactly the all-new 2020 Cadillac XT6 fits into the luxury SUV universe. Rounding things off, the two talk about 'stealth' car movies where the vehicles are the true stars and the plot is in the backseat.
How can the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque offer such distinctly different personalities behind the wheel when you add 50 horsepower from a mild hybrid system? That's what Benjamin and Sami try to figure out after they each drove this luxury SUV and came away impressed by some of it, and puzzled by more. The pair then dive into news about the JETTA sub-brand, Volkswagen's I.Bees, the Hyundai Sonata N-Line, and whether Aston Martin might be about to find a new owner.
Is the future of Porsche electric? Sami tries to figure out what that might look like after driving the phenomenally expensive - and very, very heavy - 2020 Porsche Taycan. He also slips behind the wheel of the 2020 Hyundai Venue to see if it can dislodge that special spot he keeps warm in his heart for another tiny crossover, the similarly-priced Nissan Kicks. Benjamin relates his disbelief over the current state of Acura after driving the 2020 MDX, and also discusses his latest book review, which looks at the Ford vs. Ferrari battle that's currently in theatres. Also, listener questions, Cybertrucks, and more!
How different is the new, front-wheel drive platform under the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe as compared to the rear-wheel drive BMW 2 Series coupe? Sami drives a prototype and comes back with his opinion on how well this entry-level four-door fits into the BMW family. Benjamin drives two of the best three-row SUVs on the market - the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and the 2020 Kia Telluride - and can't believe how much better they are compared to a number of more expensive luxury people movers. The pair wrap things up with listener questions.
Is it possible that taking the roof off a car Benjamin never really enjoyed driving suddenly changes everything? So it would seem with the 2019 BMW M4 Cabriolet, the last edition of this generation's convertible M car, and perhaps the second-most interesting drop top in the BMW line-up. Sami, on the other hand, can't quite understand who's out there lusting after the 2020 BMW X6's muscular hindquarters after driving the new model at the company's Spartanburg plant. The pair also answer listener questions about the Mustang Mach-E, the VW ID3, and update everyone on the status of Benjamin's Scion xB situation.
Guest Chad Kirchner gets a ride in the 2020 Ford Bronco R, the 'Raptor' version of the upcoming SUV, and dives deep into the details on what to expect from the heritage-inspired model. Benjamin is back from Texas after driving the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage, which marries a German heart to a British body. Sami and Chad both attended the Infiniti at 30 celebration, which generated some surprise EV-related news for the brand, and finally the trio debate the merits of the upcoming electric Ford Mustang SUV, before trying to decide whether Benjamin need to buy a Release Series 1.0 Scion xB.
Sami's trip to the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show with Toyota paid dividends for car fans who are also robot lovers, as he was exposed to all manner of chasing, gripping, and transportation-oriented bots that combine terrifying levels of dexterity with a personality that 'wants to get to know you better in the night.' Highlights include Olympic robots, artificially intelligent Lexus concepts, and some sort of self-driving broom that may or may not be Halloween themed. It's the stuff of Benjamin's nightmares!
How far has the Porsche Cayenne fallen behind the rest of the luxury people mover pack? Sami discusses his disappointment with what was once a class leader after driving the 2019 model. Benjamin, on the other hand, has a surprisingly positive encounter with the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio after failing to be impressed by the standard, non-performance model. He compares it back-to-back against the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SUV, which may be one of the last V8-powered muscle trucks from the German brand.
Minivans get almost no respect on an SUV-laden landscape, but if the 2019 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid is any indication, they are still the best option for families who truly need to maximize space and practicality. Benjamin drives the battery-powered van and discovers all the ways it's a better choice than an SUV for so many buyers. Sami reports back on his time with the 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, a revised sport-utility that has more bounce to the ounce, but doesn't quite deliver when it comes to th drive. The pair also answer a listener question about the current crop of turbocharged subcompact hot hatches. This weeks episode is brought to you by the new Roland Gumpert Nathalie. To learn more go to
Charger fans have finally been thrown a bone by SRT in the form of the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, a track-oriented version of the super sedan that mimics the wider stance of last year's Challenger Widebody while bringing some important suspension and performance improvements to the table, too. Benjamin drives both the Hellcat and Scat Pack Widebody cars at Sonoma Raceway and compares them to how their standard versions handle themselves at high speeds. Next up is Sami talking about his driving experiences in Ireland behind the wheel of Volkswagen's tiniest SUV, the T-Cross.
Is America ready for the first-ever Subaru to have been fully built by STI - to the point where it had to be homologated as an all-new manufacturer? Benjamin drives the 2019 Subaru STI S209 on a race track to find out if it lives up to the hype. Meanwhile, Sami puts the 2019 Ford F-150 Platinum Diesel to work and realizes he might still prefer the revamped Ram. Finally, we take a deep dive into Jeremy Renner's private social media network controversy.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI really a Golf GTI with a trunk? VW would love to convince you that's true, but Benjamin isn't so sure after a week together with the car. Sami rediscovers the Mini Cooper S magic that he thinks makes the car something special in a very crowded slice of the new car market.
Friend of the show Chad Kirchner spends time in the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBost High Performance Pack and comes back to tell Benjamin just how wrong he was about his instant dismissal of the turbocharged muscle car. Sami then leads a discussion on the Netflix show Hyperdrive, which is perhaps the first time someone has made a competitive driving program that doesn't completely suck.
Is the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata's new motor a worthy upgrade over the previous 4-cylinder? Benjamin certainly thinks so - to the point where it changes the entire character of the car for the better. Sami then dives deep into the 2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV and wonders how such a luxurious three-row hauler came to market without a Genesis badge. Finally, the pair pay their respects to Benjamin's Datsun engine, which died doing what it loved at Watkins Glen International Raceway this past week. Also - Porsche book contest winners!
Subaru's basic design language doesn't take any risks, and after driving the 2020 Subaru Legacy for the first time Sami kind of wishes it did so that more buyers might be tempted to take a chance on the brand instead of seeking out the more stylish competition. Benjamin sets sail in the 2019 BMW 750i xDrive across two-lane blacktop seeking county fair fun, and is surprised by the combo of performance and plushness offered by the massive four-door sedan.
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