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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD RS

If you’re a subcompact buyer, there may be a Korean-designed crossover that will allow you to “see the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet.”
The Chevrolet Trailblazer, designed by GM Korea, made its debut at the 2019 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, and its U.S. debut later that year at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.  It began to make its way into dealer showrooms in early 2020 as a 2021 model.
Since this …

It’s 2021: Why Are We Still Using Cash?

The term “filthy rich” may in fact not be a misnomer: Paper money is notoriously dirty, practically plastered with germs.  The influenza virus can live on a five-dollar bill for up to 17 days.  Yet the warnings issued by researchers at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic with respect to how the virus could be transmitted on currency didn’t worry me a bit.
It’s not because I wasn’t concerned about …

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

Mercedes-Benz introduced the first GLS Class, which was known as the GL-Class, at the North American Auto Show in 2006.  It was the flagship SUV in the Stuttgart-based automaker’s lineup, the SUV equivalent to the S Class, if you will.
While we didn’t review the original GL, we did review the second generation GL at its launch.  My colleague Dan Collins noted that the new (at the time) GL was “larger …

I Will Not Be Silent

Over the past nine weeks, the capitals of the two countries I call home – Austria and the United States – experienced domestic terrorist attacks.
In the November 2nd attack in Vienna, it was a lone gunman, a 20-year-old Islamic terrorist who managed to kill four people and wound 23 others.  The attack was carried out in such a manner that the police originally believed that there were multiple shooters.
Some eight …

Strictly Speaking, It Wasn’t a Coup… So What Was It?

A good part of my Wednesday afternoon this week, in between doses of live coverage from the U.S. Capitol, bursts of work, and time spent wondering if the world was coming to an end, was spent explaining to people why what was transpiring in the nation’s capital wasn’t a coup.
My responses read something like this:
“No. It was not an attempted coup.  It might, however, in some banana republics have been …

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line

Despite long being a symbol of the open road, Americans are falling out of love with the sedan and have focused their affections on behemoth SUVs, which now dominate the market.  General Motors, whose models for the majority of the automaker’s existence were the epitome of the genre, recently killed six sedans including the Buick LaCrosse, the Cadillac CT6, the Cadillac XTS, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Impala, and the …

Review: New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2021 in the Musikverein, Vienna

Watching the annual Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert is an event steeped in tradition.  It’s the only televised event I can recall from growing up for which attendance was mandatory, regardless of the turn of events over the previous year.
Indeed, my father had never attended but he and I entered the lottery (which then gives the winners the right to purchase the, rather expensive but once-in-a-lifetime, tickets), and I …