Featured

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

Radio review at Pirate Radio featuring George Gray and Matt Arguello:

The Toyota Corolla XSE that I was recently able to test came in a pleasing Blueprint blue metallic paint scheme and featured black SofTex seating surfaces.  The Toyota Corolla, one of the best-selling nameplates of all time, has moved over 45 million cars onto driveways around the world (well, mostly driveways), and the car is in its twelfth generation configuration, having been around since 1966.

The 2021 front wheel drive Corolla sits on a 103.9” wheelbase, is 70.5” wide, 57.1” high, and weighs 3,060 lbs.  The way that Greeley and Ft. Collins have grown, it seems you are always poking around looking for parking space, so with a car that’s 172 inches long, it is not too difficult with Toyota’s Corolla.

Acceleration, handling, visibility and guidance were all acceptable for the Corolla.  The power was supplied by a 2 liter, 4 cylinder engine, putting out 168 horsepower through a continuously variable (CVT) transmission.  Silver and gray ten-spoke alloy wheels were fitted with P225/40R18 all-season radials on the car.

The 5 passenger interior of the Corolla was comfortable and the seating was supportive and looked good.  The car had a backup camera, 8″ touchscreen, cruise control, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope steering column, and keyless entry.  M.S.R.P for my test Corolla came in at $29,289.00, including freight.  The biggest item added to its $25,725.00 base price was a premium audio/navigation package ($1,715.00) consisting of a JBL stereo and dynamic navigation.

The Corolla did a super job for me during the test in Northern Colorado.  The slick styling caught a lot of eyes, the car kept pace at the stoplights, and with the 38 mpg highway mileage rating, I spent a nominal amount of money on gas.  I’d say it is a good value.

Featured

“Everything that Glitters – ” 2021 KIA Seltos SX Turbo AWD

When the press fleet driver pulled up at my home with a new KIA, I immediately was pleased with the glittering gold paint job that I was seeing out the front door.  When I pulled the window sticker out of the glove box, I was surprised to find the name of the paint was “Starbright Yellow”.  It brought to mind for me the song by Dan Seals – “Everything that Glitters is Not Gold”, from 1986.

Dan Seals is one of my favorite all-time singers, and is often heard on K96.9 FM radio, including him performing the number one hit that he co-wrote.  “Everything that Glitters is Not Gold” involves the song’s narrator and an estranged female lover, now popular on the livestock rodeo circuit.  The rodeo star, with her flowing blond hair, is burnished in the singers’s brain and he struggles to deal with his little girl’s curiosity about the ex-lover riding on her horse “with the sunlight in her hair”.   

So it is that I had a yellow KIA to test, and along with the distinctive paint, it featured terrific styling.  KIA Motors, based in South Korea, is that country’s second largest auto manufacturer, trailing only Hyundai, its one-third owner.  As recently as 1986, KIA only produced 26 automobiles, but the total was 658,000 in America last year.

The 2021 Seltos that was brought to me was an SX turbo upgraded all-wheel drive model.  Total M.S.R.P. came to $29,485.00, including freight charges of $1,120.00. With the SX, a buyer gets heated front seats, cargo cover, heated outside mirrors, and a Bose stereo.  The seating was black leather with room for five and luggage space came to 26.6 cubic feet behind the rear seat.  Electronics included the navigation, backup camera, pushbutton starter, proximity keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, USB input, and power seats.

The 1.6 liter turbocharged gas engine produces 175 horsepower and 195 lb. ft. of torque.  With its seven-speed automatic transmission the KIA reportedly accelerates from zero to 60 in 7.7 seconds.  Fuel economy ratings are 25-city and 30-highway with a 27 combined reading.  I averaged 28.8 mpg with the SX – the gas tank holds 16.4 gallons on this model.

The wheels were 18” ten spoke alloys with red center trim rings.  Tires were Kumho 245/45R18 all-season radials.  Dual exhausts peeked out from the rear of the SX,  and brushed nickel door handles and window trim was on the car.  Matching roof rails were on top and deep tint windows were all around the rear.

Ruth and I drove the SX to a Denver destination one afternoon; the KIA’s road manners were fine as were its guidance and road noise.  Turning diameter (34.8′) is minimal, reducing stress on the narrow streets in parts of the Mile High City.  And the perky turbo engine makes for a fast escape in city traffic after the visit.

The KIA test car turned out to be a bit of a favorite of mine with a generous amount of glitter and audacity.  

 

 

Featured

2020 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD Touring

 Honda Motor Company started exporting motorcycles to America, from Japan, in the early 1960’s with a clever slogan, “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda”.  I became  an early customer when I purchased a new 1964 Honda while in high school in Grant,  Nebraska.  All three Wright brothers eventually bought Hondas, and of course mine was the smallest, the Honda 50, a little machine I rolled past the Perkins County fairgrounds on thinking I would impress those patrons inside with my little exhaust report.564569_4530557393104_1470037628_n

 It was later, in the 1970’s, that Honda started exporting automobiles to the U.S., and in 1997 they sent their first in-house designed sport utility vehicle, the CR-V to our shores.  The CR-V (compact recreational vehicle) is based on the Civic sedan and is currently in its fifth generation configuration.  Sales of the CR-V started off at 67,000 in the first year and they have swelled to over 300,000 per year for the last seven years.  

   Recently, a 2020 Honda CR-V 1.5T Touring edition was loaned to me out of the press fleet, and I drove it for a week.  The CR-V comes in a hybrid, LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring edition, which is the top model and the one I tested.  For $35,845.00, including freight, the Touring edition has a leather interior, navigation system with backup camera, adaptive radar cruise control, heated steering wheel, lane departure warning, moon roof, and dual heated power bucket seats.  

   The driving experience when behind the wheel of the CR-V is excellent, with a somewhat quieter environment than the unit I drove in 2018 but with similar guidance, handling, and ride; all good.  Visibility is top-notch, and real-world economy for this reviewer came in at 25.5 mpg, right on target with the EPA estimate.  

   The mid-sized Honda CR-V rolls on 19” ten spoke alloy wheels with Continental P235/55R19 Cross Contact all season radials.  All CR-V’s were refreshed for 2020, and the power train is now a turbocharged 190 horsepower four with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

   In high school I  fantasized about someday driving an automobile with the quality and innovation of my little Honda 50.  Never would I have imagined that sedans would become so unpopular (along with small motorcycles) and that “sport-utility” vehicles would basically take over the roads.  Nonetheless, someday arrived after a fashion a week ago when I tested the very capable, American made Honda CR-V.  And, I suspect, you still “Meet the Nicest People in a Honda”.       

2022 Volkswagen FWD Jetta 1.5T Sport

George Gray of Pirate Radio 104.7 assisted me in a review of the Volkswagen Jetta:

Platinum gray metallic paint with titan black cloth seating for 5 – heated front buckets with console mounted shifter, weighs 2,989 lbs. and has a 105.7” wheelbase and is 186.5” long – 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space in trunk,  17” – polished and painted aluminum spoke wheels and 205/60R17 total performance all season radials, 8.5” multimedia infotainment screen for driver  – backup camera,  navigation, wireless phone charger, and VW FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 1.5 liter four cylinder turbo engine with 158 horsepower, 6-speed manual transmission, front wheel drive, $23,215.00  list price, fuel economy (34 city/highway combined, 43 highway)  13 gallon tank with 559 mi.range                                                                          

  

2022 Honda Civic Si FWD Sports Sedan

A discussion with George Gray of Pirate Radio 104.7FM served as a review of the Honda Civic:

Blazing orange metallic paint with red and black fabric seating for 5 – console mounted manual transmission shifter, weighs 3,075 lbs., has a 108” wheelbase and is 183.3” long – 14.5 cubic ft. trunk, 18” Cement black finished aluminum spoke wheels and 235/40R18 Goodyear summer radials, 9” multimedia infotainment screen – backup camera, wireless flatbed phone charger, tilt and telescope steering column, moon roof, and 12 speaker Bose FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 1.5 liter hybrid engine with 200 total system horsepower, 192 ft. lb. of torque, dual exhausts, 6 speed manual transmission, rev matching, 3 driving modes, and front wheel drive, $28,910.00  list price –  built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada, fuel economy (27 city 37 highway 31 combined),  12 gallon tank with 444 mi.range  

                           

 

 

2022 Lexus NX-450h Plug-in Hybrid SUV

The Lexus was analyzed with the help of George “Elvis” Gray of Pirate Radio 104.7FM :

Ultrasonic blue mica metallic paint with red and black perforated leather seating for 5 – heated and a/c front buckets, heated rear outboard bucket seats, and console mounted electronic shifter, weighs 4,475 lbs., has a 105.9” wheelbase and is 183.5” long, 20” polished black finished aluminum spoke wheels and 255/55R20 Bridgestone all season radials, 14” multimedia infotainment screen – backup camera, navigation, rearview mirror camera, wireless flatbed phone charger, remote start, heated steering wheel, head up display, power tilt and telescope steering column, dual moon roof and 14 speaker Lexus FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, power hands free tailgate, puddle lights and blind spot warning, 2.5 liter hybrid engine with 304 total system horsepower, 266 ft. lb. of torque and a CVT automatic transmission, paddle shifters on steering column, and all wheel drive, $61,790.00  list price –  built in Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country 4 x 4 Crew Cab

George Gray of Pirate Radio assisted in reviewing the 2022 Chevy Silverado:

Dark Ash metallic paint with black leather seating for 5 – heated front buckets with console mounted electronic shifter, weighs 4,950 lbs. and has a 126” wheelbase and is 242.4” long, short cargo box and dual under bumper chrome exhausts, 20” – Polished and painted aluminum spoke wheels and 275/60R20 Bridgestone Dueler all season radials, 13.4” multimedia infotainment screen – backup camera, rearview mirror camera, wireless flatbed phone charger, remote start, heated steering wheel, head up display, eye in the sky camera system, tilt and telescope steering column, and 14 speaker Bose Surround sound FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, multipro tailgate, power rear window, and blind spot warning, 6.2 liter eight cylinder engine with 420 horsepower, 460 ft. lb. of torque and a ten speed automatic transmission, four wheel drive, $68,800.00  list price –  built in Silao, GJ, Mexico, fuel economy (17 city/highway combined, 15 city, 20 highway)  28 gallon tank with 560 mi.range

                                                                          

 

2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade FWD Hybrid

George and Alana both of Pirate Radio 104.7FM, pitched in to help review the Toyota Prius:Classic silver metallic paint with black Softex seating for 5, heated front buckets with dashboard mounted shifter, weighs 3,075 lbs. and has a 106.3” wheelbase and is 180” long, 27.4 cubic ft. cargo space (50.7 w/seats flat), 17” – black painted aluminum spoke wheels and 215/45R17 Bridgestone total performance all season radials, 7” multimedia infotainment screen – backup camera, wireless flatbed phone charger, heated steering wheel, and 6 speaker FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 1.8 liter hybrid four cylinder engine with 121 horsepower, CVT automatic transmission, front wheel drive, $31,056.00  list price –  built in Toyota, Aichi, Japan, fuel economy (52 city/highway combined, 54 city, 50 highway)  11.3 gallon tank with 565 mi.range

                                        

 

 

 

 

2022 Toyota Tundra Limited 4×4 CrewMax 5.5

George “Elvis” Gray of Pirate Radio 104.7FM gave me an assist in reviewing the 2022 Toyota Tundra:

Supersonic red paint with black patterned Softex seating for 5, heated and air conditioned front buckets with console mounted shifter, weighs 5,490 lbs. and has a 145.7” wheelbase and is 233.6” long, 65.6” bed length, 20” black painted aluminum spoke wheels and 265/60R20 Falken total performance all season radials, 14” multimedia infotainment screen, backup camera,  navigation, wireless flatbed phone charger, and JBL 12 speaker FM/AM satellite stereo, Android / Apple integration, “eye in the sky” camera system, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert and braking, blind spot warning, 3.5 liter V-6 twin turbo engine with 389 horsepower, 10-speed automatic transmission, four wheel drive, $60,273.00  list price, built in San Antonio, TX, fuel economy (19 city/highway combined, 17 city, 22 highway)  32.2 gallon tank with 700 mi.range                         

 

2022 Infiniti QX60 Sensory AWD

George and Alana were instrumental in reviewing the QX-60 outside the Pirate Radio studios:

Moonbow blue metallic paint with sandstone leather seating for 8 – heated and cooled front buckets with electronic console mounted shifter, weighs 4,393 lbs. and has a 114.2” wheelbase and is 198.2” long – 52.3 cubic feet of cargo space with back seats erect, 20” – Silver and black polished and painted aluminum spoke wheels and 255/55R20 Hankook total performance all season radials, 12.3” multimedia infotainment screen for driver  – backup camera, overhead bird’s eye camera setup, navigation, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, wireless phone charger, and 17 speaker premium Bose, 950-watt FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, panoramic power moon roof, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 3.5 liter V-6 engine with 295 horsepower, 270 lb. ft. of torque, 9-speed transmission, all wheel drive, 0-60 in 7.6 sec., $60,745.00  list price, fuel economy (22 city/highway combined, 25 highway)  18.5 gallon tank with 462.5 mi.range

                                                                       

20” – Silver and black polished and painted aluminum spoke wheels and 255/55R20 Hankook total performance all season radials

12.3” multimedia infotainment screen for driver  – backup camera, overhead bird’s eye camera setup, navigation, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, wireless phone charger, and 17 speaker premium Bose, 950-watt FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, panoramic power moon roof

Radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning

3.5 liter V-6 engine with 295 horsepower, 270 lb. ft. of torque, 9-speed transmission, all wheel drive, 0-60 in 7.6 sec. 

$60,745.00  list price 

Fuel economy (22 city/highway combined, 25 highway)  18.5 gallon tank with 462.5 mi.range  

2022 Mazda CX-30 Turbo AWD with Premium Plus Package


George and Alana of Pirate Radio 104.7FM offered an assist in analyzing the Mazda CX-30 AWD Turbo:

Machine gray metallic paint with black and brown leather seating for 5 – heated and cooled front buckets with console mounted shifter, weighs 3,388 lbs. and has a 104.4” wheelbase and is 173.0” long – 20.3 cubic feet of cargo space with back seats erect,  18” – Black painted aluminum spoke wheels and 215/55R18 Bridgestone total performance all season radials, 8.8” multimedia infotainment screen for driver  – backup camera, head up display in windshield, navigation, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, wireless phone charger, and 12 speaker premium Bose FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, panoramic power moon roof, radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning, 2.5 liter four cylinder turbo engine with 227 horsepower, 310 lb. ft. of torque, 6-speed transmission, all wheel drive, 0-60 in 5.9 sec., $36,435.00  list price, fuel economy (25 city/highway combined, 30 highway)  12.7 gallon tank with 381 mi.range  

 

                              

18” – Black painted aluminum spoke wheels and 215/55R18 Bridgestone total performance all season radials

8.8” multimedia infotainment screen for driver  – backup camera, head up display in windshield, navigation, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, wireless phone charger, and 12 speaker premium Bose FM/AM-Satellite stereo – Android / Apple integration, panoramic power moon roof

Radar cruise control, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warning

2.5 liter four cylinder turbo engine with 227 horsepower, 310 lb. ft. of torque, 6-speed transmission, all wheel drive, 0-60 in 5.9 sec. 

$36,435.00  list price 

Fuel economy (25 city/highway combined, 30 highway)  12.7 gallon tank with 381 mi.range  

 

2022 Toyota TRD Pro 4 x 4 Double Cab

Pirate Radio DJ George “Elvis” Gray assisted in analyzing the wildly popular Toyota Tacoma pickup:

Electric Lime metallic paint – heated leather black interior – 5 passenger seating, navigation system with 8” touchscreen and radar dynamic cruise control, payload of 990 lbs. and ability to tow a 6,400 lb. trailer – 60.5” bed length, JBL AM/FM/MP3/CD/Satellite stereo with six speakers, 4,405 lb. weight – 127.4” wheelbase, 212.3” overall length like a GMC Terrain, pushbutton/remote start and backup camera, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, 278 horsepower V-6 – 3.5 liter with 265 lb. ft. of torque and six-speed automatic transmission, 16” Black aluminum wheels and P265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler All-terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires, $50,733.00 window sticker   22 mpg highway gas mileage, 18 mpg city gas mileage       20 mpg combined gas mileage, 21.1 gallon tank for 464 miles of range                

2022 Toyota RAV-4 XSE Prime AWD

George “Elvis” Gray of Pirate Radio gave me an assist in analyzing the Toyota RAV-4:

Blueprint blue metallic paint with black Softex upholstered interior for five, heated and cooled front buckets – rear seats heated only, full panoramic moon roof with power tilt and slide feature, head up display in windshield and navigation in touchscreen, electric tailgate that can be foot operated, JBL stereo with 11 speakers, 42 miles of range on electric power, (I am getting 37.5 mpg on gas power), range is 550 miles, console mounted gear shift, continuously variable automatic transmission with paddle shifters, 19” bright finish five spoke wheels with 235/55R19 Yokohama Avid GT all season radial tires, 302 horsepower 4 cylinder engine with plug-in hybrid system, 3.3 kw on board charger, $50,731 M.S.R.P.,  built in Obu, Aichi, Japan