2019 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T SEL Sedan

The Volkswagen was driven to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) for an analysis by the DJ’s, Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello and George “Elvis” Gray:

Tornado Red paint – Heated Titan black leatherette buckets and five passenger seating – 8” touchscreen multimedia display – Cruise control, radar equipped   LED headlights and daytime running lights – Panoramic moon roof and lane keeping system – BeatsAudio premium stereo with subwoofer – 147 horsepower, 1.4 liter turbo four w/ 184 lb. ft. of torque – Eight speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive – Backup camera and start/stop technology – 16” alloy wheels and 14.1 cubic ft. trunk – $25,265.00 –  Made in Puebla, Mexico – 40 highway-30 city-34 combined  MPG – 528 miles of range w/ 13.2 gal. tank


Ford F-150 4 x 4 Supercrew Pickup

The Ford F-150 was driven to Pirate Radio (104.7) so that George “Elvis” Gray could help me analyze the unit:

When I got my driver’s license, GMC Truck and Coach was building America’s first V-6 powered pickup (pretty much America’s first V-6, period).  At that time (1963) it was customary for most pickups to have V-8 power, and to think of a six-cylinder pickup was to think of a cheap pickup.  That was unless it was a GMC, thought to be a premium brand with its huge V-6s and lots of torque.  I remember farmers bringing their GMC’s into Grant, Nebraska, and chugging around town running errands and rounding up supplies.

Now, 55 years later, Ford Motor Company has moved to V-6 power for their best-selling pickup lineup (both gasoline and diesel).  When I picked up Ford’s 2018 F-150 for this test, I was anxious to experience the V-6 that they employ in these vehicles.  My loaner was powered with a 3.0 liter diesel engine with turbocharger and 250 horsepower at 5,000 rpm.  Torque for the unit was 420 lb. ft. @ 2,500 rpm, enhanced by installing the turbochargers and direct fuel injection.  Ford adds a sound enhancer to the V-6, and thus the driver gets the sound of a V-8 upon acceleration – this one enjoyed it.  A ten-speed SelectShift automatic (console shifter) was also on hand.

The F-150 was the Lariat edition (M.S.R.P. – $62,955.00 with all options and freight), the middle of the road offering of their five models.  Quite fancy it was, with two rows of heated leather seating, navigation, Bang and Olufsen audio system, blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, oversized moonroof, tailgate ladder with grab bar, trailering package, electric sliding back glass, heated steering wheel and Lightning blue tri-coat metallic paint.  Additionally, the pickup had a FX4 off-road package with locking rear axle, hill descent control, skid plates and tuned front and rear shock absorbers.

With such equipment, it would seem as if the Ford F-150 would not impress on the highway.  That was not the case, as ride, handling, road noise and guidance were all on target.  Visibility in this truck will surprise a person, and hats off to Ford for putting the scallops in the driver and passenger glass for peeking under the exterior mirrors.

Styling has been a hallmark of Ford pickups for a long time, and the company has enjoyed the number one rung on the sales ladder for over three decades.  For 2018, the vehicle has been restyled, but the big news is the aluminum alloy now used to produce the cab and box.  Ford calls it “high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy” and it shaves between 500 and 70o lbs. off of the weight of the unit.  Thus, the fuel economy (I got 21.8 mpg), acceleration, and load capacity are all enhanced.  This Ford F-150 Supercrew has quite a range of capabilities.


2018 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T SE Sedan

Front wheel drive – Silk Blue metallic paint – Cornsilk Beige leatherette trim   5 passenger – 183” long like a Toyota Corolla – Heated front bucket seats   Weighs 3,000 lbs. – Power sunroof – Backup camera, blind spot warning, and cruise control -XM/AM/FM stereo – 4 speakers – 6.4” touchscreen – 1.4 liter Four cylinderTurbo engine with 150 horsepower – torque is 184 – Zero to 60 in 8.4 seconds – Six speed automatic transmission – 16”  alloy wheels   205/55HR16 all season radials – $23,095.00  list price        Built in Puebla, Mexico – 550 miles of range, 32 mpg combined, 28 mpg city, and 38 mpg highway – 14.5 gallon tank

Lexus GS-300 F Sport RWD Sedan

A trip was made to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) to review the Lexus with Matt “The Big Kanuna” Arguello and George “Elvis” Gray:

Rear wheel drive with 3 driving modes – Ultrasonic Blue Mica blue paint with jet black leather seating – 5 passenger – 193” long like a Chevy Malibu   Weighs 3,805 lbs. with a 38.6’ turning circle – 19”, machined split-five spoke aluminum alloy wheels – Heads up display and LED daytime running lights   Backup camera, navigation, blind spot monitor, cruise control, lane departure warning, and rear park assist/cross traffic alert, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability and heated steering wheel – Power sliding moon roof – XM/AM/FM Lexus premium stereo – 8” touchscreen – 2.0 liter 241 horsepower, turbo-four engine with eight speed automatic – zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds – $54,520.00  list price     –      Built in Toyota, Aichi, Japan – 525 miles of range, 30 mpg highway/21 mpg city/24 combined – 17.5 gallon tank

2018 Lexus RX-350 AWD F Sport


At Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) George “Elvis” Gray joined me in taking a look at the Lexus SUV in the parking lot:

Nebula Gray Pearl metallic paint – Red leather seating for 5 – 285 horsepower V-6 – 8 – speed automatic transmission – All wheel drive – 20″ Alloy wheels – F Sport package – Navigation/Mark Levinson stereo/12.3″ touchscreen – Moon roof – Power tailgate – Built in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada – $59,345.00 M.S.R.P. – 26 mpg Highway rating

2018 Prius Prime Advanced FWD Sedan

The Prius was driven to Pirate Radio for an analysis by the DJ’s, Matt “The Big Kanuna” Arguello and George “Elvis” Gray……

Blue Magnetism blue metallic – Black SofTex leatherette trim – 4 passenger – 182.9” long, same as a BMW X3 – weighs 3,375# – Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced-Polymer Hatchback design – 15”, Five spoke alloy wheels with two-tone wheel covers – Heated front seats and heated steering wheel – Backup camera, navigation, blind spot monitor, and radar cruise control XM/AM/FM JBL stereo – 10 speakers – 11.6” touchscreen  1.8 liter 4 cylinder hybrid engine with 95 horsepower (torque is 105) – ECVT automatic transmission – $33,985.00  list price        Built in Aichi, Japan – 629 miles of range, 54 mpg combined, 55 mpg city, and 53 mpg highway – 11.4 gallon tank – 25 miles range on battery power