Articles in Behind the Wheel

2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD – Review and Test Drive

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The sub-compact crossover market is a cluttered one, although it follows the same pattern (car platform, rugged looks, SUV-like capacity) as that of its larger brethren. In addition to the new Chevy Trax, there’s the Honda HR-V, the Fiat 500X, and the Nissan Juke, just to name a few. One such crossover, the Mazda CX-3, which began its life in the United States in late 2015 as a 2016 model, …

2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid – First Look and Review

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It’s been almost a decade since Ford owned Aston Martin but there it is, the Aston Martin-like grille… on a Ford Fusion.
Now in its second generation, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, first introduced in 2009 for the 2010 model year (the more conventional gasoline-powered Fusion was launched in 2006), was completely redesigned for 2013. To the best of my knowledge, the 2013 Fusion lineup was the first production sedan to be …

2016 Ford Mustang GT Fastback California Special – Review and Test Drive

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Back in the 1960s, California Ford dealers came up with the idea of a limited-edition Mustang based on the GT and Carroll Shelby’s “Little Red” 1967 show car hardtop. The California Special was offered for less than six months and those cars are highly sought after by collectors today. Some 40 years later, Ford began to offer California Special variants of the current Mustang GT models and that tradition continues …

Review: BMW Performance Center West Driving School – Two-Day Car Control Clinic


A series of signs greeting students at BMW’s Performance Center Driving School in Spartanburg, S.C. carries an important reminder: “Don’t forget to breathe.”
BMW, which has offered driver training in Germany since 1977 and in the United States since 1999, now has a permanent facility in Southern California. The BMW Performance Center West, located in the aptly named town of Thermal, offers the same complement of courses including one- and two-day …

Photo Essay: BMW’s New Performance Center West Driving School

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It is said that a picture is worth 1,000 words and there was much I wanted to tell about the new BMW Performance Center West Driving School in Thermal, California.
The new facility opened a little over a year ago and offers the same programs as its counterpart in Spartanburg, South Carolina, including the two-day Car Control Clinic in which I had enrolled.
Click continue for a look at the amazing experience at the …

5 Tips Before You Take a Fall Road Trip

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The impending end of Daylight Saving Time makes driving more dangerous as the days become shorter and dusk arrives earlier.
The shift to fewer daylight hours not only leads to more accidents but also increases the possibility of being stranded in the dark in the breakdown lane.
Regardless of whether you are embarking upon a long journey or merely staying local, being prepared for all eventualities and exigencies is crucial.
Here are five …

2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible – Road Test and Review


The calendar may say it is fall, but with blue skies and temperatures in the 80s F (high 20s C), it was still summer as far as I was concerned and the perfect time to motor around town with a droptop Mini Cooper S.
There was no rain in the forecast, but we needn’t have fretted. The latest Mini Convertible will alert the driver of impending precipitation with sufficient time to …