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Frank S. Washington

Stories by Frank S.

Tease photo 2017 Jeep Compass

With the update of the 2017 Jeep Compass, now on sale, every Jeep has been remodeled. That is an indication that Jeep has no intention of resting on its laurels after seven consecutive years of sales growth. In 2010 the brand sold 400,000 copies, last year it sold 1.4 million.

Tease photo 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring

As soon as they dropped off the 2017 Mazda6, we were headed down Hwy 14 to connect with I-94 West and on to Chicago. Once we were clear of the expressway like traffic, we set the car’s adaptive cruise control on 78 mph and settled in for what turned out to be an uneventful drive.

Tease photo 2017 Lexus ES 350

The Lexus ES 350 is a sleeper sedan. It is the kind of car that is just outside of the young active demographic that you see targeted in automobile commercials of all stripes. Yet the ES is important, it has a following and it is aimed at a mature driver, not old, who is stable and doesn’t spend money unwisely.

Tease photo 2017 Kia Soul Turbo

The Kia Soul has survived in a niche where many have failed. It is a square box yet stylish, sassy and it had a little bit of sex appeal. What’s more, this year’s edition was beefed up with added power.

Tease photo - 2016 Mazda CX-9

Mazda introduced its mid-size three row crossover vehicle, the CX-9, in 2006. The automaker redesigned it for the 2016 model year. And there was no need to completely redo it for this model year. Besides, it is an excellent vehicle.

Tease photo 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

When you think of Mitsubishi, it’s a question of is the glass half full or is it half empty. It just might be tilting toward the former now that Renault Nissan has purchased a controlling interest in the Japanese automaker. But until the combination is ready to execute the new business plan, Mitsubishi must solider on with its current products. And they’re not bad.

Tease photo - 2017 Toyota Sampling

We came here to test a bevy of 2017 Toyota products. We had the Prius Prime, the 86, the Corolla, the Highlander and the Sienna. We dealt with the Prius Prime in another column so that leaves the other four. First up was the 86.

Tease photo 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman

The Mini Cooper has always been special. And as the brand has expanded, engineers and stylists have not failed at baking-in the uniqueness that has kept the car highly popular for more than 50-years.

Tease photo - 2017 Cadillac XT5

We’ve recognized Cadillac’s new character and personality after a week-long test drive of the 2017 XT5 crossover; the replacement for the SRX. Like the ATS, the CTS and the CT6, the XT5 is lighter, quicker, more nimble and more maneuverable then the model it replaced and it can run rings around most of its direct competitors. In short, the XT5 is for drivers.

Tease photo 2016 Cadillac CT6

On guy asked if he could sit behind the steering wheel while another got in the back seat and a third stood outside the car checking out the lines of the 2016 Cadillac’s CT6. You expect that sort of reaction out of young boys but these were fully grown men.

Tease photo - 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

We were so impressed with the spin that we took more or less around the block in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica that we asked for a longer test drive. We got our first up close look at the Pacifica during a brief show and tell here at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ headquarters.

Tease photo 2016 Hyundai Azera Limited

Hyundai’s 2016 Azera is a great car. The Korean automaker called it a premium sedan. But this car to us qualifies as a mid-size luxury performance sedan.

Tease photo 2016 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Drive-E

Volvo has begun to revamp its product line. The Swedish automaker introduced an all new XC90 last year and showed off a brand new S90 at the beginning of this year. But while it debuts the new, it must keep the old up to date and interesting. That is exactly what Volvo has done with one of its best-selling models, the XC60.

Tease photo 2016 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander birthed the midsize crossover segment. That’s what Toyota claims. We can think of a several other automakers that might want to dispute that but none can argue that the Highlander is a first rate crossover.

Tease photo 2016 Toyota Prius

Toyota’s Prius is almost as significant to the auto industry as the Model T. The Prius was the first mass produced gasoline hybrid vehicle. And its popularity, some 3.5 million have been sold here since it was introduced almost 20-years ago, has virtually dragged other automakers into making hybrids of their own to compete.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis AWD 3.8

From the moment we got in the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, our thought was Hyundai has found how to bake in that intangible that says luxury. It wasn’t in the sedan’s equipment or the engine; it was the ambience or the air of luxury inside the car.

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2016 Nissan Maxima

You’ve got to give Nissan credit. The automaker has always been a little bit different; intrepid when it comes to going places where no others dare. This time the variance involved its flagship sedan, the Maxima, and how the company has incorporated its new futuristic design language into the car. In a phrase, you’re either going to love or loathe the 2016 Nissan Maxima.

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2015 Volkswagen Golf R

The high powered low volume 2015 Volkswagen Golf R could play a big role in getting the German automaker’s U.S. sales back on the good foot. That would be more VWs rolling out of showroom doors.

Tease photo 2015 Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has been the bestselling car in the United States for 12 years. Ten point two million have been sold and more than half, 6.6 million, are still on the road. So why change it?

Tease photo - 2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring

Let’s get straight to it: the 2015 Mazda6 may be the best looking midsize family sedan around. Yes, the current generation has been on sale for one model year but it is just beginning to get some traction in the market.

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AboutThatCar.Com: 2015 Lexus NX Crossover

When it comes to the 2015 Lexus NX crossover, there’s good news and then there is a cautionary yellow warning light.

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2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel

The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is the only American made diesel powered passenger car sold in the U.S. And it was a more than capable automobile.

Tease photo 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST was firecracker of a little car. Under the hood was a direct injected1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that made 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual gear-box, the four-door hatchback was very stylish, very powerful and very fast.

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2014 Ram Trucks

Ram, formerly Dodge Ram, has seen its share of the pickup truck market grow from 11percent in 2009 when it separated from Dodge to19 percent today as a stand-alone brand. And as Ram continues its assault on the segment with a new round of products, the truck brand used four philosophies to bring a new bevy of pickups to market: fuel economy, payload, power and towing.

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2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

For the road test, we had the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe SE. The car had not one option, thus the price was a very affordable $20,615.

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2013 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio

A 160 horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that made 170 pound-feet of torque doesn’t sound like much oomph.

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2013 Lincoln MKZ

This is it. Yes it was the title of what was to be Michael Jackson’s last concert tour. And if Lincoln’s new MKZ luxury sedan is not successful, it could mean the end of the brand.

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2013 Honda Accord EX Sedan

The 2013 Honda Accord is not necessarily a conquest vehicle but owners love it and wouldn’t buy anything else. In other words, with competition intensifying in the mid-size sedan market

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

From the earliest moments of the test drive, the 2013 Santa Fe had a premium ambience. The 3.3–liter direct injection six cylinder engine was quiet. The 290 horsepower it generated gave Hyundai

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2013 Lexus GS 350 AWD

This all-wheel-drive sedan was smooth, quiet and relatively spacious for a midsize car; all attributes that are common to any Lexus. But the Lexus GS 350 was also fun to drive. That’s somewhat new for Lexus.

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2014 Lexus IS

Lexus had set up a slalom course in the parking lot of the Michigan International Speedway race track. For comparison, the automaker

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2013 Cadillac ATS

During the last two to three product generations, Cadillac has made quantum leaps in its offering. And now with the 2013 Cadillac ATS, GM’s luxury brand has created a car that can compete, tread to tread

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2013 Mitsubishi Lance GT

It was powered by a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine that made 168 horsepower and 167 pound feet of torque. Though this engine can be mated to a continuously variable transmission

Tease photo 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Street cred, as in credibility, that’s what the Hyundai Veloster pocket rocket was all about. As the Korean automaker moves the brand upstream it is becoming obvious that there are no plans to skirt competitors.

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2013 Lexus GS 450h

Under the hood, the hybrid features an Atkinson 3.5-liter V6 mated to a high output, water cooled permanent magnet electric motor powered by a high performance nickel-metal hydride battery pack.

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Black Consumers on Cutting Edge Of Toyota Avalon’s new Ad Campaign

What makes it a first is that the campaign, which begins with a trio of TV commercials, is aimed at African Americans. Of course it features African American actors including Idris Elba in his first commercial

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The first was the equipment. My test vehicle was chock full of stuff. It had a heated steering wheel, three drive setting ratios: normal, sport and comfort, heated front seats and a panoramic roof.

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2013 Toyota RAV4

I had forgotten that Toyota’s RAV4 was the first crossover on the market when it went on sale in 1995. There are 45 crossovers being sold today. Now, we’ve come here to test drive the 2013 version of the RAV4

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2013 Chrysler/Dodge AWD

We came to this town that sits at the shore of Keweenaw Bay in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a winter program to test the all-wheel-drive system that is offered on the Chrysler 300

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2013 Toyota Avalon

ANN ARBOR, MICH., – It’s a sign of things to come. Toyota held the regional debut of its full-size 2013 Toyota Avalon sedan here because this is the first of its cars that was and will be designed, engineered in Michigan