On this page you'll find the latest updates to our Long-Term Road Tests. The topics covered in these ongoing vehicle reviews range from things like fuel efficiency and comfort to highlights of specific features like GPS and audio technology. Check back frequently as our auto reviews are updated on a regular basis.
Where Did We Drive It? In the shortest month, our 2017 Infiniti QX30 largely handled local commuting duties, and yours truly drove the little beast to San Diego through the worst of what South L.A. traffic can offer. Along the way, our reactions were ... mixed. Senior Writer Mark Takahashi felt so strongly that he couldn't express his dissatisfaction without relying on cultural references from a quarter-century ago.
There's still praise around the office for the Mercedes-cum-Infiniti's punchy acceleration and maneuverability, but the cramped interior, clunky transmission and outdated infotainment haven't won it many converts.
Where Did We Drive It? Our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV accumulated only 774 fresh miles this month, which brings it up to 14,563 miles in all. Sure, February is a short month, but more nefarious forces were at work. Our trusty Bolt let us down and spent a full week at a local dealer going nowhere while it awaited a brand-new replacement battery pack.
Full details will come in a stand-alone writeup that will appear soon, including how we learned this was a known issue supposedly confined to early Bolts that had long since been discovered and resolved in production.
But this knowledge did not impress Kurt, the person who was driving when the Bolt abruptly toggled from 60 miles remaining to reduced power mode while in the leftmost HOV lane on a crowded freeway. As power ebbed away, he somehow steered it across lanes and onto the shoulder of a long exit ramp. Still, something like this leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you sit waiting for a tow truck for 90 minutes for no understandable reason.
Unlike January, there were no long trips out of town. Kurt's pre-problem drive was typical of this month's miles. It was all local go-to-work driving.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Manager of Content Strategy
Where Did We Drive It? Our long-term 2018 BMW 540i xDrive had a relatively light month in February. It rolled up about 850 new miles, most of which came courtesy of editor Cameron Rogers on his road trip to Cupertino in Northern California. The logbook continues to swell with praise for the 540i's refinement, swiftness and fuel economy. Yes, fuel economy — given that our Bimmer only needs about 4.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, its parsimony at the pump is downright amazing. More on that below.
Where Did We Drive It? Expectation: Land Rover's website grandly displays pictures of its Discovery charging across majestic rocky terrain in search of adventure and fun.
Reality: I can personally attest to doing little more in our 2017 Discovery this month than driving to work and taking my kids to school while listening to sports talk radio sipping a Starbucks flat white. Adventure is all about where you find it, I guess.
Still, as an urban adventure vehicle, the Discovery works out well. Here's the latest report on what we love and what we don't.
Where Did We Drive It? For such an abundantly capable off-road rig, we enjoy driving our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 on the highway quite a bit. February wasn't its most mileage-heavy month, but the ZR2 did clock more than 1,000 miles, primarily on the open road. We're fond of how it smooths out road imperfections and remains relatively silent over most surfaces despite its knobby tires. The tall tire sidewalls seem to help in the city, too, with no pothole or speed bump too large to go crashing over at speed.
Where Did We Drive It? In contrast to a quiet December, the first month of 2018 brought a lot of action to our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. With all of our drivers back in the office after some much-needed R&R, our Bolt stayed out of the garage and on the roads — a lot. In fact, nearly all of the 1,393 miles accrued during January were on nothing but Los Angeles' finest traffic-clogged roads.
Thanks to its HOV sticker, the Bolt was an easy choice for drivers needing to get across town in less than two hours. And although it's a compact, the fold-down seats proved invaluable when we needed to haul some gear around or go on a long shopping run.
Where Did We Drive It? Our long-term 2017 Infiniti QX30 didn't travel far last month, spending most of its time around the Los Angeles and Orange County sprawls of Southern California. The staff continues to be divided on the Liquid-Copper-Rose-Gold-Pink-Champagne paint, but there's no question about its ability to draw people's attention.
Even in such a low-mileage month, our staff wasn't short on observations, ranging from a quirky electronic glitch to an interesting feature that likely no QX30 owner in the U.S. has used. (Tell us if we're wrong.) We get into these in the logbook comments below.
Where Did We Drive It? Ah, new love. I've heard that the brain activity of those who are newly smitten with a mate resembles psychosis. We're just in the getting-to-know-you phase with our 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat FX4, and while I don't think any of us are clinical, we're enamored with our new addition. I mean, we can transport a massive flat-screen television — upright! — in the crew cab right before the Super Bowl. How can you not love something that will do that for you?
We started driving the F-150 during the last week of November, while December served as a good break-in month of mostly local driving, and the extended miles started piling on in January. We're already sold on the new 10-speed automatic transmission, the truck's ride comfort, the comfortable seats, and the convenient storage nooks. And the big crew cab's easy driving demeanor means it'll be a popular choice among our editors whether they live in the wide-street world of the 'burbs or the narrower lanes of dense Los Angeles.
Where Did We Drive It? We took possession of our 2017 Tesla Model 3 sedan on January 5, which left 27 days before the month ended. In that time we added 1,388 miles. That may not sound like much, but it does work out to a rate of nearly 1,600 miles per month, pretty much where it needs to be to achieve our nominal target of 20,000 miles in a year.
And we pulled it off despite a steady diet of local commuting and running around town. We haven't really gone anywhere, the lone exception my weekend drive into the local mountains to a place called Crystal Lake Cafe. You'll find it where Highway 39 dead-ends high up in the San Gabriel Mountains. Highway 39 is the sort of road that gets a lot of attention from motorcyclists and drivers of nimble-handling cars.