ELECTRIFIED
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

AUTO REVIEW—The new 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron with the 1.4 liter TFSI Turbo inline four-cylinder engine/electric motor, Audi signature styling, Audi assist, interior quality, ergonomics, luxury and safety, making this model one of the best on the compact hybrid market. I am testing the new model with the technology package and A3 Sportback Premium Plus package. Updated e-tron models now offer improved technology with the virtual cockpit and standard driver assistance systems including Audi pre-sense front braking. Harvey Schwartz reports.

ROMEO AND GIULIA
Alfa Romeo’s romantic sport sedan

AUTO REVIEW—The midsize sedan segment is slowly shrinking as more buyers are grabbing midsize SUVs and crossovers. Nonetheless, Alfa has come back into this segment with a vehicle that turns heads, is luxurious inside, is fast, and features a ZF 8-speed transmission with RWD while exhibiting superb handling, braking, connectivity and safety. Introduced in 2017, the only changes for 2018 are added paint colors. The Giulia is available with two powertrains: a 2.9 liter 505hp, twin-turbo V6, and a 2.0 liter, 280hp, turbo inline 4-cylinder, that I tested. The car brings Italian style and craftsmanship to the segment. Harvey Schwartz reports.

THE GREAT ESCAPE
2017 Ford Escape Titanium AWD

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AUTO REVIEW – Those of you paying attention on the road have seen plenty 2017 Ford Escapes. Nearly 200,000 units are on the road and that’s just the 2017 rendition. Get behind the wheel of one and you’ll soon realize why it’s so popular.

RETRO-RACER
The Shelby GT350 Mustang Lives!

Shelby GT350 by the Original Venice Crew

From the Original Venice Crew’s website: “In 1964 Shelby American started with a “K Code” 65 Mustang 2+2 and converted Ford Motor Company’s mild mannered Mustang into a heart pounding, fire breathing racer that dominated road race circuits all over America.” Editor Stokes was invited to the little coming out party that the Shelby folks threw recently for the latest iteration of the indelible, indefatigable Shelby Mustang … half a century after the first ones blew an equal number of minds and track records … here’s his personal take on this powerful pony …

GOING PLATINUM
2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD

Beauty-Right_500

AUTO REVIEW – People buy Cadillacs in full expectation of owning a well-crafted American made luxury vehicle. The 2017 Cadillac XT5 does not disappoint and fulfills the firm’s mid-sized crossover SUV niche quite nicely. XT5 represents Cadillac’s Crossover Touring series of vehicles, replacing previous versions under the SRX banner. This particular market segment is historically the company’s largest seller. Whichever alphabet-soup naming scheme is employed, Cadillac has done a fine job in producing the XT5.

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