2021 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD High Country: Two For One

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Wow, the latest generation Suburban is the truth, as is its stablemate, familiarly known as the Tahoe. Both have held their own in the extra-large SUV category with toughness, spaciousness, and ruggedness. But unlike its legendary predecessor, this all-new fleet is endowed with remarkable technology, innovative safety advancements, and satiating comfort features. Essentially, you now receive 2-for-1 in the 2021 Suburban.

Thinking back, I must know at least 20 people — along with cousin Yukon – that own one or the other. Since day one, GM’s SUV collection has been a hot item ticket, so imagine the pursuit of the 2021 models once the economy stabilizes.  I was fortunate enough to have had the 2021 Suburban 4WD High Country dropped off for three days of enjoyment and evaluations. My team hauler rolled up in a Graywood Metallic exterior enhanced by a unique High Country signature grille and quad circular exhaust tips. The Jet Black interior featured bronze accents and contrast stitching outlining the premium leather. The High Country is the most elite package out of six Suburban trims, which comprises the Premier, Z71, RST, LT, and the entry-level LS that kicks off at $51,700. [Read more…]

2020 MAZDA CX-9 Signature AWD: Celestial Summertime

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Summers are specialized for the Rawlins Family. We use this celestial time to explore unique destinations, rekindle favorite pastimes, and venture to various health, food, and fitness festivals focused on developmental skills. Of course, that has been slowed down by the pandemic, but we still found time to enjoy the great outdoors with the 2020 MAZDA CX-9 Signature AWD in Machine Gray Metallic. It’s that natural energy of July and August that keep us energized like nomads always looking for the next adventure, which consisted of hiking and biking.

The CX-9 is a beauty to look at and stands out from other similar-looking mid-size crossovers which it competes. The elongated front fascia is the most defining style feature and the attractive 20” alloy rims outlined by embedded body cladding around the wheel wells add flavor. LED lights, aluminum roof rails, and the body-colored rear tailgate spoiler advance the styling presentation. The CX-9 has been a significant focus for Mazda. Over the last year, the small Japanese manufacturer has made several product enhancements, including captain’s chairs, a hands-free power liftgate, and the 9” full-color touchscreen display. These new additions have helped the family vehicle maintain steady growth in sales. [Read more…]

2020 Hyundai Sonata HEV Limited: Food for Thought in a Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I love it! The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) has a range of 560 miles and 47 combined mpg based on my driving style. It breaks down to 51 highway mpg and 45 city mpg.  I bet you can increase the range with extended economical habits. The Sonata HEV is so fuel-efficient and looks so good that it precipitates impromptu human behavior such as long drives hours away.

When the 8th-generation Sonata (Hyundai’s longest-standing and most successful model) arrived in a Shimmering Silver hue and spindle 17” alloy rims wrapped in Michelin tires, I knew that we would be putting out high mileage during Fit Fathers weekly test drive. To pay it forward, my wife and I decided to exercise for three hours to burn off 1000+ calories and then hit the road from Silver Spring, MD to Philadelphia, PA, to score some vegan cheesesteaks from the all-vegan Blackbird Pizzeria. I put work in on my new Specialized Sirrus 4.0 hybrid bike for two hours and boxed while Misa ran and jumped on the spin bike. [Read more…]

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road: Urban Outfitted and Enhanced

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Not to take away from Toyota’s standard family of vehicles, but if I had to choose, then I’m rolling with the TRD variant of any of those models. Representing Toyota Racing Design, the TRD label enhances your vehicle with a rugged appearance package, gritty wheels, and more aggressive accessories. Such is the case with the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, which is dominant over its base stablemate.

Our crossover arrived in a Lunar Rock hue with a contrasting white roof, black roof rails, black mirrors, black body cladding, and matte black TRD alloy rims wrapped in knobby Falken WildPeak A/T tires (225/60R18). The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is primed for adventure whenever you seek it. All I endeavored to do was take my bikes for epics rides knowing that the RAV4 TRD Off-Road had no visible limitations. It sits high for proper ground clearance and features Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Multi-Terrain Select, and a TRD-tuned suspension when hitting muddy, snowy, sandy, or rocky trails. Quad pipes are a nice touch as well. Like an animal in the wild, the TRD Off-Road is always ready for action.

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Biker Boys: Ride the Rhythm of Specialized this Summer!

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, www.FitFathers.com

So, we’re in the thick of summer’s heat, and biking has taken precedence over the typical calendar of events. How so, you ask? Due to COVID-19, air travel was reduced dramatically, which shifted many people’s focus back on riding. This renewed interest is the reason why stocks are depleted or low until the fall. Hopefully, you were able to score one or had a chance to reinvigorate your cycle with fresh lubrication and tuning of the brakes, wheels, and cables.

I grew up on two-wheels dating back to my BMX days as a youth in the gritty streets of Camden, NJ. Every kid had a bike, allowing us to traverse from neighborhood to neighborhood until sunset. Some like myself could clear fences from makeshift ramps and wheelie city blocks for as long as traffic allowed. Those were some joyous days. Today, I rekindle some of those memories on my mountain bike. MTBing wooded trails for hours at a time bring back euphoria reminiscent of the 80s. However, recently I wanted to change course and hit the streets and the asphalt trail systems that typically connect various parks and townships. Additionally, many of my good friends and business colleagues congregate for weekend biker boy meetups on road bikes. Therefore, I began looking relentlessly for a hybrid in Large for roughly $800. [Read more…]

S-Works Evade Helmet with ANGi by Specialized

Accessories to outfit your ride should include a seat pack for an extra innertube and wrench storage, bottle cage, mini air pump, and a smartphone handlebar mount for following your maps and music if you choose. For yourself, think about padded biker shorts, lightweight open-finger gloves, and of course, a helmet.

For $275, the advanced S-Works Evade lid with an integrated ANGi crash sensor by Specialized is a prudent and sophisticated bet. Hey, we wouldn’t mind paying extra for safety measurements. The aerodynamic and properly ventilated protection encompasses “win tunnel” development, 4th dimension cooling, Aramid-Reinforced skeleton, soft and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing, and a magnetic buckle system. With heavier helmets, riders can sometimes experience neck fatigue on longer rides. Well, that problem has been alleviated with the Evade.

Additionally, users of this product receive a lifetime subscription to the Specialized Ride app. View for more details.

2020 Ford Expedition Limited: Big and Bold

 

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

So you decided on an XXX-sized family SUV for the household’s comprehensive needs and activities. The main choices were the GMC Yukon Denali, Chevy Tahoe and Yukon, and the 2020 Ford Expedition Limited, which I just recently tested. The Yukon Denali is the best looking out of the bunch, but you were interested in the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine that packs quite a punch for a vehicle of this proportion. The mpg at 22 highway and 17 city were not bad at all, you thought, considering the weight and room for eight!

The 2020 Expedition is clean and not as clumsy in style as years prior. All of my guests were impressed with its commanding presence and confident demeanor. Everything about the SUV is big and bold down to the size of the cupholders. The cabin is comfortable and relaxing as my girls were lamping in the back like they were on vacation. The middle row seats split in three ways, so as the two outer positions replicate captain chairs. Fold both rows flat, and you will have enough storage to bring home a patio deck full of boxed furniture and supplies. Just in time for summer grilling was the plan. The 3rd row folds electronically, similar to the Lincoln SUVs. Ford officially dubs them Second-row 40/20/40 Power Folding Tip and Slide seats and PowerFold and Power Recline 60/40 third-row seat.

Running boards and grab handle on each front door helps you up into the vehicle, and a rotary shifter with various drive modes gets you going. My SUV featured Intelligent 4WD for roughing it through harsh weather or terrain, while the EcoBoost is paired to a smooth 10-speed SelectShift Automatic Transmission. I was impressed at its acceleration, even when the vehicle was weighted down. It’s hard to believe there is a V6 with 375-horsepower and 470 lb.-ft of torque under the lid. The steering adjustments are powered as well. The multimedia system comes in the form of SYNC 3 (not my favorite) with Enhanced Voice Recognition Communications, a wireless charging pad to keep the kids updated with juice, and an enjoyable 12-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen. My ride was also upgraded with the 360-Degree Camera with Split View. The Expedition’s leather seats were snug, but the black interior cabin was rather bland and uninspiring. Yet, you are going for convenience here like the Panoramic Vista Roof. Ford offers a choice of a King Ranch MAX if you want to drive in the high life.

My 2020 Ford Expedition Limited in Iconic Silver Metallic was blessed with the $2,035 FX4 Off-Road Package, so it felt assured when I loaded up the mountain bike to hit the trails. FX4 comes with the previously mentioned cameras for viewing your surroundings; 18” Magnetic-painted aluminum rims with massive Michelin Primacy A/T 275/65/R18 tires;  a 3.73 electronic limited-slip differentia; skid plates; the chrome-plated running boards; and a few more add-ons. For the price, this is a very generous offering!

MSRP for this model is $66,470 and totaled $72,455. The Expedition is perfect for adventurous families who love exploring with one another along with their nomadic gear. Camping anyone?

Toyota/Lexus Minority Owners Dealership Association to Sponsor National ‘COVID-19 Day of Service’ on May 22

The Toyota/Lexus Minority Owners Dealership Association (TLMODA) is working with The Salvation Army to fill the pantries of families in need during the coronavirus pandemic. On May 22, 2020, TLMODA Dealers and The Salvation Army will distribute more than 4,800 packages in 24 communities throughout the country.

“The coronavirus pandemic has left many families vulnerable and in a state of economic instability,” says TLMODA Board President Ed Fitzpatrick. “The COVID-19 Day of Service represents the TLMODA member’s collective compassion and responsibility to give back to the community.”

During TLMODA’s National COVID-19 Day of Service, Toyota and Lexus dealership staff will distribute grocery boxes of non-perishable items like boxes of cereal and canned goods to help feed a family of four, for a week. Items for the grocery boxes will be packed and assembled by local Salvation Army teams in accordance with safety guidelines from local, state and federal health officials.

The Salvation Army is helping identify families in need of food and instructing them to visit one of the participating Toyota or Lexus dealerships to pick up their grocery box. In order to maintain proper social distance protocols, boxes will be placed in the trunk of each family’s vehicle on a first-come, first-served basis until supplies are exhausted. All families must contact their local Salvation Army to qualify for a grocery box.

“Across the country, the economic impact of this pandemic continues to impact families, both those who were already experiencing the challenges of poverty, and some who are experiencing them for the first time,” said David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We are extremely grateful for the support of organizations like TLMODA so we can continue to meet the evolving needs of the most vulnerable.”

More information on the TLMODA ‘COVID-19 Day of Service’ can be found at TLMODA.org/day-

of-service/

TLMODA’s goal is to represent the needs of minority dealers within Toyota and Lexus. Any dealership which represents a minority group, based on 51 percent or more ownership, is invited to join as a dealer member. Some of the benefits available to dealer members include networking opportunities, mentoring support, collective representation within Toyota and Lexus, community involvement support, and development opportunities, among others.

Toyota Lexus Minority Owners Dealership Association (TLMODA) is a diverse dealer association focused on the growth and sustainability of Toyota and Lexus minority customers, and ethnic minority dealers. For more information, go to www.tlmoda.org.

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2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax: Powerfully Authentic

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Sadly, the current state of humanity is living in fear, but the world needed to slow down to gain perspective on the pillars that matter most in life: family, health, and mindfulness. For me, purging and reducing unnecessary – or old- goods bring clarity to help focus on other essential tasks. With that, I decided to use the 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax to clean up the yards, shed, and remake the garage into a garage gym. As well, I lent a hand to neighbors as they too were purging. So, let’s say that our local recycling center is now my best friend.

Aesthetically, the Tundra TRD Pro is a paragon of excellence with conspicuous TRD design statements. The pickup arrived in Incredible Hulk mode with its Army Green camo and TRD frame looking chiseled like Greek gods. The merits of the latest Tundra TRD Pro are intriguing. They include a black grille frame, a new hood scoop, revised springs, new shocks and rims, and suspension upgrades consisting of new TRD-tuned Fox 2.5” front and rear internal-bypass shocks, and an additional 1.5” of front wheel travel and 2” rear wheel travel from the springs.  The TRD dual exhaust system in black is pretty throaty, and the black-highlighted LED fog lights and headlights are TRD originals. You will see TRD bolstered all over and throughout the green-machined Tundra. Speaking of which, I initially would not have considered a green pickup truck, but I enjoyed this specific hue as well as everyone else who came into contact with it. [Read more…]

2020 Nissan Versa SR CVT: Rainbow Delight

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Small cars get the job done efficiently, economically, and conveniently. If you need to park in a micro space in the downtown area of your city, then done. If you require 35 to 40 highway mpg for long journeys, then done. And if your overall budget is less than $22,000, then done. You won’t be winning road races in this category, and your girlfriend will not be highly impressed on date night, but you will have a greater peace of mind knowing that essentialism can be achieved in a respected manner. Thus, the little 2020 Nissan Versa SR 4-door sedan provides the essentials for day-today human operations. [Read more…]