Okay, you guys, I was really lucky to be able to drive a whole bunch of cars this year.
I mean, I don't know like 60 70 of them all brand spanking new automobiles, but there are five that really stood out in my mind.
And now that 2020 is almost over they have a year here they are in no particular order.
All right, first up, Land Rover Defender.
Now I first fell in love with the old school defender when I drove it in the gazelle rally in Morocco.
But then when I found out that the new one was going to have unibody construction and independent suspension all the way around, I mean, I was pretty skeptical.
In fact, I was pretty mad.
I mean, there was no way this new defender was going to live up to the old one.
And you guys, I was totally, totally wrong on a press trip to Namibia.
I took this thing through everything.
I mean, we went, we went through rocks, we went through silt, we went through mud, sand water.
We did it all and I didn't have a single problem.
I mean, okay maybe I had some pre production electrical issues.
I mean, surprise, surprise it's not like landrovers really known for having good electrical systems but still, the defender did everything that I wanted it to do and more.
The Defender has full time four wheel drive, a two speed transfer case center and rear locking differentials plus a whole host of traction control algorithms.
And all of those work to really complement the three liter mild hybrid inline six cylinder engine.
I mean, this thing was just so happy, toddling along in the African desert.
I mean, it's doing what it was made to do.
Now a defenders.
starts at about $46,000.
But you guys you can easily opt in this thing up to close to six figures if not over six figures.
So, caveat emptor, y'all and going from one adventure rig to another, I've really enjoyed my time in the rivian r1 t electric pickup truck and I'll tell you why one word T-O-R-Q.
I'm talking about torque baby.
The r1 T has got four electric motors and together they produce 826 pound feet of torque.
Why do you need that?
You can just like billy goat super slowly pick your way up anything and you don't have to worry about any kind of momentum.
I mean sure 754 horses don't really hurt but it's really all about the electric torque that gets me excited now on my trip.
I had the 135 kilowatt-hour battery which gave me about a hundred and sixty seven miles on average of off-road driving on a suspended.
I know that this doesn't really sound like a lot, right?
I mean that 135 kilowatt hour battery.
Sure To give you three, a hundred miles of rain, but that isn't ideal conditions and you guys off-road is not ideal conditions.
Also, my truck had a pre-production battery, so I'm really confident that ravine is going to be able to get that battery up to snuff.
By the time it reaches its full production capabilities.
Now as recharging I was able to charge at about 150 kilowatts, which gave me 80% of the battery charge in about 30 minutes.
As for the offroad stuff, well it's got full time four wheel drive, but there's no two speed transfer case.
There's no lockers.
There's just a bunch of torque and a whole bunch of trash control algorithms that makes sure that that power gets down to the wheel that's got the most traction exactly when it needs it.
But the rivian has caught on mazing geometry right I'm talking 14 and a half inches of ground clearance.
It has an approach angle of 34.8 degrees a departure angle of 29.3 degrees and a breakover angle of 25.7 degrees.
Now those numbers are better than the Ford Raptor and the new ram tr x so electric take it, [LAUGH] I just love that truck.
It's so great.
Now the Ruby an r1 T will come to market in June of 2021 at a starting price of about $75,000.
And here's a surprise you guys, don't humble Nissan Sentra, I know I don't get it either.
I don't know why I like this vehicle, but 2020 has been really good to the Sentra.
It's giving it better looks, more powerful engine, and more technology, I mean look at it, that orange is great, does that sense rental [INAUDIBLE] to you because it doesn't to me.
And even taking a look at the inside I mean yeah it's no luxury mobile but still everything looks really good, it's got some style, and you get Nissan's excellent zero gravity seats which are super super comfy.
Under the hood is a new two liter engine, which pushes out 149 horsepower and 146 pound feet of torque.
I mean, like that's not a lot but it's fine for what the center does, which is basically just commuting back and forth to work right.
Plus Nissan has ditched that really ancient portion beam suspension in the rear and replace it with an honest to god independent suspension.
So now the driving experience while you're commuting, at least it's a little bit more pleasurable.
The center comes with blind spot monitoring and Lane Keeping Assist.
Heck, you can even get adaptive cruise control on a vehicle that doesn't ever go over $25,000 when like the center is not any kind of a corner Carver are fun to drive machine but it really does punch above its weight when it comes to value.
I'm going to consider 2020 the year I learned to love the plug in hybrid and the vehicle that did it for me.
The 2020 Kia Niro, pH, Evie.
Now, why drive a plug in hybrid?
Okay, well here's the thing.
You get an all electric range.
In this case you get about 26 miles and that's for you know, drinking around town.
But then you also have a gas powered engine.
So that means that I can go off on a long road trip and knock it all worked out with range anxiety.
g/PhEvs are perfect for people who really want to take that electric plunge, but they're still a little nervous about charging times and infrastructure availability.
When you combine the Nero's electric motor with its 1.6 litre four cylinder engine, Get 139 horsepower and a very healthy 195 pound feet of torque and that is made it to a six speed dual clutch transmission.
That's right, no continuously variable transmission.
So it's going to be a lot more enjoyable to drive than say the Subaru Crosstrek pgv, which has that dreaded CVT.
[SOUND] But what I really like are all of the planning tricks that they Nero has.
So let's say I want to go from here in San Francisco, up to Lake Tahoe, so I put that into the GPS.
The Nero knows like, hey, she's got to go up a big giant pass.
So it will save all of that electric juice for when I really needed to get me up and over the hill.
Will also show me the radius of my all electric range and that's really helpful if I want to stay in pure Eevee mode while I'm just going going around town, the 2020 Kia Niro starts at right around $30,000 and listen if you are looking for a pH TV, even if you're not if you're just looking for a regular car, you should go drive it Well, I'm not much of a muscle car gal.
I really really love the Ford Mustang bullet.
It's so cool.
This is the Mustang GT two paid homage to Steve McQueen and his Mustang of the late 1960s doesn't have any badges just got these really cool black and 19 inch wheels and a super thick green paint job.
Now as a side note, you can get the Mustang bullet in blue or black but if you do that if you do that, I will find you and you will not be happy when I do, get the green.
That five liter V eight engine pushes out just a little bit more power than a standard Mustang I'm talking 480 horses and 420 pounds.
[UNKNOWN] Torque, and that is made exclusively as God intended to a six speed manual transmission and you guys it is a joy.
It's got this white cue ball shifter feels really good in your hand you get the satisfying black because you put it into gear.
The clutch pedal is just heavy enough to let that you're actually doing something.
I mean the whole thing is just a joy.
If you can keep your right foot in check and don't drive like you're constantly leaving cars and copy the Mustang bill it can actually turn pretty well and it's got a limited slip differential in the rear and it's got super sticky Michelin Pilot Sport four S tires.
Now if you can afford it if you have the means I highly suggest that you go for the optional Magnetic Ride suspension.
Really keeps any kind of body rolling check in it offers up a very, very smooth ride.
Now the bad news is that the bullet is an $8,000 up charge over a standard Mustang in premium trim.
And the one that I drove was right around $52,000.
But listen if you're gonna get a muscle car.
You gotta get one that's cool and classic, just make sure you get it.
Hey, my pals and colleagues, Anton Goodwin and Craig Cole both have their own top five lists, so be sure to check those out.
I'm pretty sure that Craig fell in love with a Ford Transit connected this year.
And then Anton told me that he was super into a Chevy Trailblazer, but he might have been joking.
I'm not sure sometimes it's kind of hard to tell what that guy
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