2018 Nissan Kicks SR FWD — Will millennials buy its style, safety, technology and value?

Nissan recently invited me to participate in a media drive event for the first ever 2018 Nissan Kicks in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Kicks, which Nissan calls “The Expressive CUV” joins the Nissan line up as the smallest vehicle under the Rogue Sport and the Rogue, Nissan’s Sales leader. The Kicks replaces the more expensive Juke with its love-it or leave-it styling and turbo powered Nismo variant.

All Kicks have the same drive train consisting of a  1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine and an Xtronic CVT transmission and front wheel drive.  All wheel drive is not offered, nor is a manual transmission.  The engine cranks out 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque.  The Kicks fuel economy is rated at 31 city, 36 highway or 33 mpg combined. Will millennials buy the Kicks?

PART 2 - Introducing STEM at the Washington Auto Show w/OwnersIllustrated and ToyzElectronics

After the first video we kept talking and decided to create Part 2 which goes deeper into entrepreneurship. 

We had very exciting discussions with Damola Idowu and his talented son Wole on introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to kids at the Washington Auto Show. to get them to understand that they can be the creators of future technologies that will power our transportation systems.  It's an interesting and engaging interview.    #WAS18

LGBTQ Family Night at the Washington Auto Show — Gurl!

I caught up with William West Hopper, one of the event leaders, after the Washington Auto Show to talk about the LGBTQ Family Night, which occurred on 1 February 2018.

What’s the concept for the event?  When did it begin?

"LGBTQ Family Night was originally designed last year to be an opportunity for the LGBT community to come out to the Washington Auto Show, and feel as if they are a part of the overall Washington DC family.  This is especially important “since the political climate of the country was changing toward less inclusion.” “This year we added to our sponsors and attracted more attendees.” 

Introducing STEM to kids at the Washington Auto Show with OwnersIllustrated and ToyzElectronics

We had a very exciting discussion with Damola Idowu and his talented son Wole on introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to kids at the Washington Auto Show. to get them to understand that they can be the creators of future technologies that will power our transportation systems.  It's an interesting and engaging interview.  Also check out the Part 2 video which goes deeper into entrepreneurship.  #WAS18

I saw an unicorn at the 2018 Washington Auto Show

I spotted the rare Karma Revero at the 2018 Washington Auto Show Media Day, just as workers drove it silently off the floor.

The über luxurious Karma Revero is essentially an electric vehicle with a powerful gasoline engine that charges the batteries and/or powers the two electric motors that drive the rear wheels.  Revero has 50 mile all electric range and 300 mile range using the gasoline motor to charge the batteries.  The Revero’s gasoline capacity is 9 1/2  gallons.  The base price comes in at $131.400.

2017 Washington Automotive Press Association Rally Highlights

The Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) held it's annual rally on October 12th on Kent Island Md at the Inn at the Chesapeake Beach Club.  WAPA and about 30 sponsors made the event possible.  About 200 automotive journalists and influencers we are able to drive and photograph about 55 vehicles that covered nearly every market segment from the Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge to a more affordable Kia Rio.  The only problem was that one day is not enough time to try them all; but everyone did their best.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD - A Strong Contender

I spent a week getting to know the all new 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD compact crossover decked out in Soul Red Crystal Metallic and Parchment Leather.  The CX-5 is Mazda’s sales leader and a player in the highly competitive compact crossover market.  Does the 2017 CX-5 deliver what it takes to continue to lead sales in the Mazda line up and beat out the competition for market share?  Is the CX-5 a contender?

Cool picks from the Chicago Auto Show

I attended the Chicago Auto Show media preview on February 9th and 10th and got to hear from automobile manufacturers and sample vehicles ranging from family haulers to supercars.  The nation’s largest auto show was in the nation’s largest convention center, McCormick Place, that boasts 5 indoor test tracks.  The show ran from February 11th to the 20th.  

I picked a cool hybrid, fast and sexy SUV and an updated favorite for this piece.

Chrysler Pacifica

Maserati Lavante

Subaru Legacy

Cover photo is courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Presenting the 2017 Washington DC Auto Show!

2017 Washington Auto Show: Check out the latest vehicles and advanced technologies that will be showcased at the 2017 @WashAutoShow, January 27 to February 5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Kimatni Rawlins @ARtvKimatni of @AutomotiveRhythms introduces the innovative products you must see in our nation's capital with the latest SUV trends, exotics, crossovers, concept cars and luxury vehicles, as well as the landscape of alternative fuel products and connectivity for 2017 and beyond. Last but not least they will be painting art cars live at#AutomotiveRhythms 2nd Annual#ARTofMotion exhibit throughout the show. Please join us!

2017 Ford Escape SE 2.0L EcoBoost: Game On!

Experienced by Marvin Bowser

The Escape is Ford’s second best seller trailing only the venerable F-150 pickup truck. It’s also one of the market leaders in the very hot and highly competitive compact-crossover segment. Ford decided to “refresh” the 2017 Escape by adding a new, masculine grille, exterior detailing, technology and two newfangled EcoBoost engines. Will these enhancements be enough to maintain or improve the Escape’s sales leadership position? We think so.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Top Down in the Lowcountry

What can I say, it was a special day where I had the chance to evaluate a set of joyous vehicles on the open road to replicate the daily itinerary of the active “two car” family during Mazda’s Southern Escape held at Montage Palmetto Bluff, a luxury resort in the Lowcountry between Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA. The property is nestled within a 20,000-acre forest surrounded by 32 miles of riverfront (May River) with massive, live oaks draped in Spanish moss dominating the picturesque landscape.