2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD: Small Ball

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The Houston Rockets are showing the basketball world that a big man in the middle is not required to compete. As long as the guards and forwards continue to drain threes and score off the dribble, then “small ball” will work in their favor. In another significant Texas town, Kia adopted the same game plan for the national press introduction of the 2021 adventure-ready Seltos, which is the polar opposite of the larger, distinguished Telluride. Being that the Korean automaker is the transportation face of the NBA, the meshing of the two philosophies works well.

Kia welcomed Fit Fathers and Automotive Rhythms to the second most populated city in the “Lone Star State” for a few days of testing, colonial culture experiences, and a bit of chilly, outdoorsy weather. San Antonio, located in south-central, was ideal for driving as it presented open and flat roads, highways, a mix of switchbacks, and rugged gravel trails to help me truly understand the dynamics of the entry-level SUV. I even performed some light off-roading in the Seltos so we now know it’s not just a pretty face. Christened after the Greek god Celtus, Kia positioned the Seltos between the energetic Soul and Sportage models. Marketing is targeting Generation Y consumers who range anywhere from 22 to 37 years old and demand connected technology as a lifestyle precept. The celestial name is pretty cool too. [Read more…]

2020 Chevy Blazer 3LT Leather AWD

Experienced by Kimatni D Rawlins

An icon has returned with a fashionable, refreshing outlook utilizing its mighty moniker and compelling reputation. I was especially devoted to the robust and resolute Blazers of the 1990s since the nostalgic hallmark left my young crew with many fond memories. Today, the latest generation of Chevy’s eminent SUV comes in the form of a crossover utility with grace and updated technologies to meet consumer’s trendy expectations.

The 2020 Chevy Blazer 3LT Leather AWD I was testing for the week rolled in the Automotive Rhythms driveway in a lively Red Hot hue outfitted with standard 18” Bright Silver Aluminum wheels and dual split exhaust tips. For more character and performance, larger 20″ Gloss Black rims are available on the AWD model, and the two-tone black body cladding, roof rails, bumper pieces, A, B, and C pillars, and the chiseled Blazer signature grille add the perfect balance of contrast and flair. The body-colored tailgate spoiler with a streak of black is an excellent design touch as well. Though, I would prefer Chevy’s tamed tones for this SUV such as grey, black, or white because a red of this illumination is characteristic of sports cars and smaller, playful vehicles like Kia Souls and MINIs. [Read more…]

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab

GMC is on the ground floor making headways with the Sierra pickup, including the recent news of a collaboration with Harley-Davidson and Tuscany Motor to unleash a 250-model limited-edition Harley-Davidson branded GMC Sierra which is bad to the bone. Inspired by Harley’s famed Fat Boy model, expect over 65 edition-specific enhancements that make this unique, custom truck one of the toughest on the block.

Ironically, when the broadcast passed by my desk regarding H-D and GMC, I was currently testing the 2020 Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab with the all-powerful Duramax 6.6-liter V8 turbo diesel engine and Allison 10-speed automatic transmission. Quite naturally, I focused on heavy lifting, incorporating multiple roundtrip excursions to my local landscaping supply center for firewood and gravel loads. I also had to remove a few dead trees in the yard, which was easy work for the truck in comparison to its top-end capabilities. Additionally, my collegiate football mentees were home on winter break and needed work, so the four jumped inside the crew cab to join me and were amazed by the head and legroom in the rear. The new Sierra Heavy Duty features a longer wheelbase and a more domineering hood line in comparison to the model it replaces. [Read more…]

2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited: Beyond the Scope

An Arizona test drive for East Coast visitors like myself is always a welcoming reception during the winter Holiday season. Add in drive time behind the wheel of one of Hyundai’s new and innovative automobiles to navigate through town in, and the ante is upped trifold. Yes, the FWD 2020 Hyundai Sonata is smarter, assertive, and far more stunning than the model it replaces.

Lining up alongside the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima in competition, the Sonata is better suited to draw attention with its modern looks in addition to the value it has offered for so long. Hyundai lowered and widened the vehicle, increased its wheelbase, enlarged the wheel wells, enhanced the aerodynamics, and shortened the overhangs for an aggressive 3-dimensional look. But the main design focus was centered on the front fascia, which leaves the strongest impression on viewers. And one of the cooler features is the “Vortex Generators” atop the LED boomerang taillights, which reduces air turbulence along with the integrated trunk lip. These divots act as a spoiler to stabilize the Sonata at higher speeds. [Read more…]

Axial $5,000 Wrangler and Tacoma Parts Giveaway

Win a $5k Shopping Spree on ExtremeTerrain.com | Sponsored by Axial

Attention Wrangler and Tacoma owners: here is your chance to win a $5,000 parts spree on ExtremeTerrain.com (XT). Sponsored by Axial, manufacturer of off-road LED lighting, the Axial $5,000 giveaway will award one finalist with $5K to spend on XT’s site. Even though Axial is exclusive to XT and known for LED lighting, the winner can select products from any category on XT’s site including: Tacoma Grills, Jeep Wheels, and Jeep Seat Covers.

To maximize your chances of taking home the grand prize, enter daily on your respective vehicle’s Axial brand page until 12/31/2019—no purchase necessary. One finalist will be selected on or around 1/7/2020, see official rules for complete details and restrictions.

Wrangler Owners Enter Here: https://www.extremeterrain.com/axial-jeep-wrangler-parts.html

Tacoma Owners Enter Here: https://www.extremeterrain.com/axial-tacoma-parts.html

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About ExtremeTerrain

ExtremeTerrain.com is a leader in aftermarket Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma parts. Located just outside Philadelphia, PA, ExtremeTerrain provides Wrangler, Tacoma, and Tundra owners with fast shipping and enthusiast-level, award winning service, while also ensuring the conservation and protection of off-road trails.

Justin Dugan Reviews the 2020 GT500

   

2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Official Review – Hot Lap

In this episode of AmericanMuscle’s (AM) Hot Lap YouTube Series, host Justin Dugan visits Shelby’s Heritage Center in Las Vegas, Nevada to review and drag race the all-new 2020 GT500. After months of speculation and salivating over specifications, Justin jumps behind the wheel of Ford’s new halo pony car on the street, road course and drag strip to provide his expert take on the next generation of Ford Performance. [Read more…]

Powerbeats Pro: All Bark, No Bite

 
Wow, Beats and Apple should be ashamed of themselves for charging $250 for a rudimentary and low-quality set of sports earphones. I have never been a fan of Beats because of a lack of advanced technology, industry experience, and shoddy materials. But I allowed those NBA ad spots with Harden, Draymond, and Anthony Davis to alter my opinion. The Powerbeats Pros look great and fit perfectly, but they feel cheap in hand and lack both bass and power. Audio is hollow and treble-focused.
 
Basically, I should have stuck with my Bose SoundSports, but Bose had me looking like Frankenstein with the bulky package. Plus, Powerbeats are not noise-canceling nor sweatproof or waterproof, which is strange since Beats advertises them for that very reason, sports! So if I run a half marathon in Miami I supposed to stop, and dry them off? At best, these are a $79.99 pair of headphones. I will now look at the $130 Amazon Echo Buds which use Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology and the cheaper JLabs JBuds Airs. I wasn’t impressed with the muffled sounds of the Jabra Elite 75ts and Apple AirPod 2s are not ergonomically designed for sports activities.
 
So please be aware of what you are getting into on Black Friday! Beats Headphones

MINI’s Future, Featuring E-Power and the 301-HP JCW Clubman ALL4

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

MINI, owned by the BMW Group, continues to celebrate its 60th Anniversary year with fresh new products, innovation, and substance for loyal owners and minimalist of the classic brand. In South Carolina at BMW Group Test Fest, held at the BMW Performance Center, I was able to test drive the 301-horsepower 2020 MINI John Cooper Works ALL4 with its peppy new engine as well as experience the “60 Years Edition” Cooper S; Cooper S variants of the revised Clubman and Countryman; throwback MINIs from the past; and the new battery-electric MINI Cooper SE. As you see, MINI has the goods, so let’s motor baby! [Read more…]

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 760 Reasons Why!

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Let’s rock! It was a fantastic day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the launch of the breathtaking 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the 760 galloping horses it packs under the hood. The muscle car is smarter, faster, and nastier. With 55 years of Mustang heritage under its belt, Ford set out to build a street-legal “weapon of mass seduction” to represent as the most powerful member of the family. The pony car hits 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, ¼ mile in 10.7 seconds, and 0-100-0 in 10.6 seconds. Mission accomplished.

The muscle car from Detroit ignites from a hand-built, supercharged 5.2-liter V8 producing 760-horsepower as mentioned above and 625 incredible ft-lbs of torque. An intelligent engine requires intelligent shifting, so Ford Performance paired the 5.2 with a Tremec TR-9070 DCT 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with normal, weather, sport, drag, and track modes. The symphony of the inverted 2.65-liter Eaton supercharger (with an air-to-water intercooler on top) sounds so glorious when the Shelby GT500 blows by like mammals giving chase. You can clearly distinguish the difference in the technical reverberations of the new Shelby GT500 as opposed to that of aggressive muscle roars. [Read more…]

F-150 Oil Separators Tested and Explained

Does Your F-150 Need a Catch Can?

In this episode of AmericanTrucks’ (AT) ‘What’s Up With That?’ YouTube Series, Justin Dugan performs a continuous effectiveness test on oil separators using his 2017 F-150 Raptor. An oil separator — sometimes referred to as a ‘catch can’ — is installed in-line with a vehicle’s positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system to trap blow-by. Since forced-induction engines are prone to blow-by, where increased cylinder pressures force oil past the piston rings into the engine’s crankcase, an oil separator is beneficial in capturing oily vapors to prevent coking on intake valves. Catch cans can be extremely useful in maintaining and safeguarding direct-injected engines that lack supplemental port injection, such as the 2011-2014 3.5L EcoBoost as well as 2015-2017 2.7L (Nano) EcoBoost.

[Read more…]