2020 Kia Soul: Think Outside the Box

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The formidable Kia Soul was born and bred on the rhythms and energy of music, so of course you can say it’s a Soul Rebel as Bob Marley poignantly chanted about. When it first hit the streets in 2009, the small, boxy ride was full of positive vibrations that made owners alike feel good about their ride while spawning joyful emotions during commutes. For 2019 the third generation derivative is showy as ever with enough flavor to satisfy a crowd full of urban hipsters. [Read more…]

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD: Refreshingly Intriguing

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

A dazzling crossover vehicle in the center of winter is always ideal for transporting a batch of kids to the multitude of activities and sporting events they partake in. Volleyball season is in full effect and I am always tasked to escort the girls and their teammates to practices and matches. They loved our vehicle’s Soul Red Crystal Metallic hue but enjoyed the second row legroom even more. Starting at $24,350, the 2019 CX-5 can be had in five trims including Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and the top-of-the-line Signature which could run you $39,325. [Read more…]

2018 Hyundai IONIQ Electric Limited: An Autoganic Delight

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

My perspective on alternative energy sources is quite simple. I absolutely love electric vehicles (EV) and the potential they have for impacting and reducing human reliance on crude oil. Global Warming is not a myth folks so we have to absolutely do all we can to sustain Mother Earth’s future by righting many of the wrongs committed through pollution. Therefore, I become enamored when automotive brands like Hyundai commit to resolutions that help rectify the quandary by way vehicles running off our electrical grid such as the 2018 IONIQ Electric Limited we recently tested.

Our midsize sedan came in a Symphony Air Silver exterior hue and black on black interior which was rather roomy and designed with recycled and ecologically-sensitive materials. In the backrow the kids had all the legroom needed for their daily antics without complaints and the headroom for my 6’ frame was more than adequate. Moreover, to reduce battery usage, Hyundai’s climate control system can be switched to ‘Driver only’ mode. [Read more…]

2019 Lexus UX 200 F Sport: Wintery Family Fun

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s extremely cold here in the Northeastern part of the country with temperatures hovering around 14 degrees Fahrenheit and strong wind chills. In fact, we just had our first major winter storm which sent 2 days of snow this way. Yet-in-still, I was able to maneuver through the inclement weather efficiently while simultaneously entertaining the kids during a day of sledding at the local park a few miles from the house thanks to Fit Fathers’ 2019 Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 Lexus UX 200 F Sport test vehicle. [Read more…]

BMW Designworks Collaborates with The North Face to Imagine New Camper Concept

In Las Vegas today, BMW Group subsidiary Designworks unveiled a new camper concept and virtual reality experience, in partnership with The North Face, to imagine the future of protection from the elements.

The lightweight camper concept and virtual experience were designed by Designworks to showcase a new fabric innovation from The North Face called FUTURELIGHT, which uses Nanospinning technology to create the world’s most advanced, breathable, waterproof material.

“We combined both physical and digital worlds to showcase this material, ensuring the holistic vision of the brand was clearly communicated, while giving people a real ‘hands-on’ experience,” said Laura Robin, Designworks LA Studio Director. “Thinking about extreme performance in new and unexpected ways from our experience of working across multiple industries, helped us to provide consumers with a unique and never before seen insight into the very heart of the material and its key attributes.”

The FUTURELIGHT camper was inspired by the 2008 BMW GINA Light Visionary Model concept car.  Like the GINA Concept, the FUTURELIGHT Camper is made of a fabric outer shell, consisting of a flexible material stretched over an iconic geodesic dome to demonstrate the potential uses of FUTURELIGHT fabric beyond just apparel.

The revolutionary Nanospinning process used to create FUTURELIGHT, has allowed the The North Face designers to add air permeability into the membrane of a fabric for the first time. The process creates nano-sized holes, allowing for incredible porosity while still maintaining total waterproofness, letting air move through the material and provide more venting than ever before.

FUTURELIGHT will first become available to consumers in The North Face Fall 2019 product line and will be featured across the brand’s pinnacle performance collections.

[Read more…]

2019 Toyota RAV4: The Adventuring Family Ride

I had an amazing time in Carmel Valley, CA with Fit Fathers and Automotive Rhythms exploring the attributes of the 5th generation 2019 Toyota RAV4 while enjoying wilderness activities such as trail running and meditating with Mother Nature from the exquisite grounds of Carmel Valley Ranch. Representing as Toyota’s best seller, the CUV’s edgier exterior styling is pretty prolific while featuring a new grille, higher clearance, wider body, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, panoramic moonroof and much more. Inside you’ll find added legroom, unique trim highlights, soft touch materials, Verizon WiFi connectivity and an upgraded JBL premium 11-speaker, 800-watt audio system with Clari-Fi sound restoration technology and A-pillar horn tweeters. [Read more…]

2019 Volvo S60 Sedan and V60 Wagon: Pure Swedish Performance

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The current stage of Volvo’s product assault has come to fruition with the introduction of the all-new 2019 S60 sedan and V60 wagon which are designed and engineered with a focus on powertrain electrification. I know it sounds cliché but the mid-sized premium Volvos truly drive like dreams as I discovered on the energetic roads of Southern California. Offered in four trims – Momentum, Inscription, R-Design and Polestar Engineered – the “60” series is another shining example from the ubiquitous Swedish lineup that includes award winning SUVs, stately sedans, multi-talented wagons and inimitable performance variants.

Yes, the Volvo product range is young and refreshing, yet innovative and captivating. The automaker is far more than just a safety pioneer. Volvo has become an industry tech leader by spearheading “sustainable resource” movements, simplifying the vehicle purchase process and diversifying manufacturing by way of cultural explosion at its newly built U.S. factory outside of Charleston, South Carolina where the S60 is built. [Read more…]

2019 BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle: Balanced Sovereignty

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Pay close attention when BMW decides to upgrade a product line to contend with the needs and demands of today’s innovative society. Whether it’s a letter M car or X vehicle there seems to be no limit of capabilities to ascertain the grandest technologies and stately driving pleasures are instilled in the vehicle at hand. This continues to be the case with the evolution of the reimagined 2019 BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) now in its fourth generation. From the enhanced iDrive 7 to the Off-Road Package — a BMW first – the latest X5 will amaze newcomers to the X-line and invigorate brand loyalists when it arrives to dealers in November.

Originally launched in Atlanta, GA 20 years ago BMW invited us back to the South for a weekend of off-roading and performance in the all-new X5. In the U.S. the SAV will be marketed as the X5 xDrive40i and the X5 xDrive 50i with a PHEV model following in a few years. However, do not expect a diesel engine anytime soon as BMW is not close to a decision. Currently signs point to a no.

My drive partner and I chose a Phytonic Blue Metallic xDrive40i with the amazingly efficient and powerful TwinPower Turbo 3-liter 6-cylinder engine with 335-horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 rpm which allows 0 to 60 mph sprints in 5.3 seconds. On the quiet, Georgian backroads we were moving with ease of grace. Power seemed to be available at all speeds for ultimate acceleration when required. If you’re looking for more firepower try the vigorously enhanced 4.4-liter V8 kicking out 456-horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both units are paired with BMW’s venerable 8-speed Steptronic transmission with paddle shifters and xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. Updated tuning of the gearbox’s hydraulic control creates sportier shifts. If you really want to feel grand then go with the optional Austrian crystal gear lever which is absolutely stunning! Various drive modes allow your X5 to transform into habit such as Sport which incorporates three levels depending on your aggression that day. Drivers can also select Eco Pro, Comfort and Adaptive modes (screen color changes when you switch modes). [Read more…]

2019 Nissan Altima: Athletically Intelligent

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s the volume maker and brand diplomat of the Japanese automaker. It’s the most recognized moniker in the company lineup with 5.7 million aggregate units sold thus far. Its dramatic transformation is the most significant to date since inception in 1992. Slotted between the Sentra and Maxima, the 6th generation 2019 Nissan Altima is blessed with the highest amount of resources ever from Nissan and hits the scene with two new powertrains, ProPilot Assist, Nissan Intelligent Mobility and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive for the first time on a U.S. based Nissan sedan.

The mid-size sedan is slated for mass market production and will be available for purchase in dealerships this month. The goal was to create a modish, spacious and tech savvy vehicle which appeals to various types of consumers with a package that is now an inch lower, wider and longer and a wheelbase that has been stretched by two inches. Styling is offered from nine divergent hues with highlights on the Sunset Drift Orange and Scarlet Ember Red. The Altima’s design characteristics are strong, sharp, robust and sporty as if it advanced from high school athletics to a D1 collegiate program. [Read more…]

2019 Cadillac XT4 Crossover: Detroit’s New Edition

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s been a while since we’ve witnessed a new vehicle launch from the historic 116-year old Cadillac brand. But rest assured that the next gen product to represent the American luxury automotive sector is designed for ultimate satisfaction. To experience the global media event Automotive Rhythms headed out West for the Seattle inauguration of the all-new 2019 XT4 luxury crossover. Offered in Sport, Premium Luxury and Luxury renditions, designers referred to the newfangled Caddy as the puppy stage of the full-size Escalade SUV.

After the evening reveal Steve Carlisle, President of Cadillac, explained to a full house of journalists the company’s 10-year market plan which is now in year 4. The premise is to continue communicating with interested consumers, embolden leadership and expand beneficial offerings which will lead to new Cadillac edition every 6 months for the next few years. This timeline also incorporates the replacement of current sedan models. Since the demand for innovative SUVs and crossovers is heightened I would expect more of the same in the area of the XT series. [Read more…]