2019 VW Tiguan is habanero hot!

By Keith Turner

We drove it. And it was hot.

With a special habanero exterior color, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is sure to gain attention wherever it travels.

The 2.0-liter TSI (turbo) engine is quick and powerful, and the interior is roomy and comfortable.

The Tiguan’s three rows of seats can be folded flat to allow for plenty of cargo space and the panoramic sunroof gives every row extra sunlight.



April 27, 2019 at 2:35 am Leave a comment

Kicks with Bose speakers behind each ear

When we first saw the 2019 Nissan Kicks introduced at the 2017 LA Auto Show, we were taken with its cute, sporty styling and proposed 30-plus mpg fuel efficiency.

Now that we’ve driven the Kicks we are even more impressed. There are lots of extras in the Kicks, geared specifically with the young in mind — as well as the young-at-heart.

Sporting numerous USB ports, Apple and Android connectivity, and even a full set of eight Bose speakers, including two stashed in the driver’s headrest, make this the perfect get-around and get-outta-town ride for active individuals.

Get your Kick for just north of $20,000 fully loaded.

March 27, 2019 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

Sportwagen from VW is fast and flexible

The 2019 Golf SportWagen is available in three trims—S, S 4Motion, and SE. We tested the SE version and were pleasantly surprised to find the interior cargo space to be plentiful.

2019 S and S 4Motion models offer an available Driver Assistance package including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert.

SE models add 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), fog lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping System, (Lane Assist), and High Beam Control (Light Assist). Good things do come in small packages.

Watch the entire video for a surprise at the end. TheFamilyCar.com/GreenFamilyCar.com

March 27, 2019 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

The 500

They have built themselves up, slowly but steadily, ’til now, when they, the 500, have become something deserving notice. We are talking about none other than our first 500 subscribers to The Family Car YouTube channel.

We thank you for joining alongside us in our journey together, toward the future of ground transportation, by way of our regular video examinations of new vehicle efficiency, comfort, safety, and aesthetics. We encourage members of our community of 500 subscribers to communicate with us about all things automotive.

We’re on a family road trip with you and your family! Destination TBD, tomorrow and beyond. And we’re happy you are along with us for the ride.

Carguy Keith Turner

Wayback Dean Adams Curtis

Speaking of “way back” we share below one of the images from the opening animation of our genesis video The Family Car, created for broadcast and cable distribution fifteen years ago. Since then, we, and our family cartoon characters “The Rubbernecks” have gone online, with 500 subscribers now following our fun and informative vehicle videos.

March 2, 2019 at 11:35 pm Leave a comment

Truckin’ in the Rain

A trip to the feed store and chicken ranch was made easy-peasy, driving as we were in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado RST pickup featuring a full-size bed with spray-on bedliner and plenty of room inside the cab for family.

But perhaps the most surprising thing about the Silverado is that it’s only a four cylinder. 2.7-liter engine with turbo boost so it really gets up and goes. Exterior lights are strategically positioned around the truck and in the bed, and 12 anchored hooks make it easy to tie down any size or chase of cargo in the bed.

Be sure to subscribe to our “The Family Car” our YouTube channel for more new vehicle reviews.

February 22, 2019 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

Our 200th Video, and Beyond!

Going Rogue – feeling today’s advanced augmented driving reality

The 2019 Nissan Rogue does much of the steering for you. Guided by Nissan’s Pro-Pilot Assist, the Rogue gently nudges you away from the sides of the lane, back into the center.

There’s also a rear sonar system that gives you an alert to anything behind you when backing, augmenting the backup camera’s display.

We drove the Nissan Rogue along the Sacramento River Delta, where we discovered how much fun this little crossover can be.

Next, we checked out the 2019 Ford F-150 Supercrew Limited Edition truck!

We took it traveling around horse property in the foothills of Northern California, we experienced the comfort and luxury of t. The interior cabin is so spacious and comfortable, one could easily forget that you are riding in a pickup truck. We loved the heated/cooling massaging seats in the front and the heated seats for rear passengers. The bed has a sturdy painted-on liner and fold out tailgate step for easy access into the back of the truck. This fully loaded F-150 topped out at just under $75,000.

And finally, we recently made our way to Detroit for an early introduction to Ford’s new 2020 Explorer. The automaker pulled out all the stops for the grand unveiling, taking over Ford Field, home of football’s Detroit Lions, for a NFL-sized “sneak peek” of the three-row SUV.

With sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks driving the bulk of new vehicle sales these days, Ford is making sure that the redesign of its historically best-selling SUV, the Ford Explorer, doesn’t get lost in the crowd. Returning to its roots, the 2020 Ford Explorer sports a rear-wheel-drive platform and an all-wheel-drive option while featuring lighter, leaner and stronger construction, more powerful and efficient EcoBoost engines and new technology to help keep family members safe, comfortable and happy. The rear-wheel-drive architecture enables a sportier design, improved on- and off-road capability and 600 pounds more in maximum towing capacity when properly equipped and the available 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine makes this the most powerful Explorer ever. While details about aftermarket accessory options will be released at a later date, the new Explorer will offer its broadest model lineup ever with standard, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum models available. Improved off-road capability comes courtesy of intelligent four-wheel drive and an available new “Terrain Management System” that features seven easy-to-engage drive modes accessible by a dial in the center console and each come with special 3D animated graphics in the available new 12.3-inch digital cluster. Powertrain offerings include a 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 projected to produce 365 horsepower and 380 foot pounds of torque making this the most powerful Explorer ever.

February 17, 2019 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

Our Top Family Cars for 2019

By Keith Turner

Start by feasting your eyes on Subaru’s new Forester for 2019 (video above), which comes complete with their “Eye-Sight” and the “Driver Focus” distraction mitigation system, both designed to help keep you and your family safer while on the road.

Also coming in early summer from Subaru, is their new Ascent (see below), a three-row midsize SUV with high ground clearance for rough off-roading and better road visibility than other Subaru models, plus it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the Ascent will be $31,995 and it will get 21 miles per gallon (MPG) when driven in the city and 27 MPG out on the highway.


What other vehicles are available, or will become available? The term “everything old is new again” could surely be applied to the 2019 crop of family-friendly cars and trucks being rolled out by automakers. At least four model names are being recycled from past years, yet in their modern form, they present the most up-to-date technology that today’s families demand in their transportation. Trucks and sport-utility-vehicles dominate the current offerings, with a few sedans, hybrids, and electric vehicles sprinkled in.

You can look down a bit at our LA Auto Show post to check out the Jeep Gladiator climb up stairs. It features a crew cab configuration and best-in-class towing.

2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn

Another couple trucks are noteworthy. The Ram 1500 has been redesigned and is leading the charge in popularity among the big rigs of family trucking. It has a full-size cabin, and more back seat space than any of its competitors. And the Ford Ranger is being revived in this model year with a high-strength steel frame, EcoBoost engine, and all the active safety features typically found in high-end models.

2019 Ford Ranger

Hyundai Palisade — The Korean automaker is busting into the large SUV market in a big way, with the three-row, eight-seat Hyundai Palisade coming in the summer. A host of family friendly features will include an in-car intercom that allows the driver to talk to third row occupants without interrupting those in the second row. Price to be announced.


Honda Passport — The all-new Passport may have a blast-from-the-past name, but the five-passenger SUV will be anything but old and boring. Featuring off-road capability, on-road comfort and ample underfloor storage, the Passport is focused on families looking for more utility than the compact CR-V, but not as much as the three-row Pilot SUV. Price to be announced.

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack

GMC Acadia Denali — (below) The Denali name represents the top of the GMC model lineup and garners about a third of the sales. This year the Acadia features front- and all-wheel-drive models, second-row sliding seats and “Tow Vision” that uses the rear camera to help line up with a trailer. MSRP: $45,500 / MPG: 18 city, 25 highway.

2018 GMC Acadia Denali

Also from General Motors, consider the 2019 Chevy Equinox. We did, in our recent video review of it, below…

Ford Edge — (below) Completely redesigned for 2019, the Edge is a midsize SUV with two rows of seats and an optional all-wheel-drive and an ST model that features a twin turbo for extra get-up-and-go when needed. Price to be announced.

2019 Edge Titanium Elite

Lincoln Aviator – After a 14-year hiatus, Lincoln is bringing back the Aviator name in a three-row, midsize SUV that is a smaller than its sibling Navigator. It features lots of interesting options, including using your phone as a key to lock/unlock the doors, tailgate and even start the vehicle. Price to be announced.

Lincoln Aviator

Honda Insight — Another historic nameplate returns this year as Honda brings back the Insight, the very first hybrid to enter the market. But beyond the great 50-plus mpg fuel mileage, the Insight is a quiet, well-equipped and budget-priced family sedan. MSRP: $22,830 / MPG: 55 city, 49 highway.

[For the latest on electric and hybrid vehicles for your family, see greenfamilycar]

2019 Honda Insight

Kia Soul — Ever since it launched in 2010, the Kia Soul has gained the attention of budget-minded families who need a small car with ample cargo space. This year, the Soul gets a makeover and more powerful engines, including a turbo, and the Soul electric (EV) model will sport better battery range of more than 200 miles per charge. Price to be announced.

2020 Soul GT-Line

Mazda 3 — While trucks, SUVs and electric models are making the biggest news in 2019, compact cars are continuing to get their share of attention. Having sold more than 6 million Mazda 3 models since 2003, the automaker is redesigning the vehicle for 2019 and offering choices of a sedan and hatchback for small families. Price to be announced.


Keith Turner is a professional auto reviewer for families. He can be reached at carguy@hotmail.com

February 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

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