VOTY ’14: The Finalists

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Htrac 011
Photo by Randy Stern

The scores have been tabulated. The panel deliberated on the forty-strong Long List. After all of that, the ten finalists for the 2014 Victory & Reseda Vehicle of The Year Award are as follows:

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Commentary: Beating the Stigma

Ryan Reed - Photo courtesy of Roush Fenway Racing

Ryan Reed – Photo courtesy of Roush Fenway Racing

Just because you have a medical condition with a stigma does not mean you cannot beat the odds.

Diabetes has a lot of stigmas attached to it. There is no cure, but living with it can be pure hell or manageable to live a healthy life. If it goes untreated, certain body functions will no longer work.

At age 17, Ryan Reed found out about this disease. He was diagnosed as Type I – Juvenile onset diabetes. He found out through symptoms that denote the disease.

However, Reed had a passion for motorsport. At the time of his diagnosis, he already was set towards a career in late model stock car racing. His goal was to make it up the NASCAR ranks. All he needed was a care team, a healthy regimen and the drive to be able to fulfill his dream.

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Reporting for (Super) Duty

2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty - All Photos by Jimmy Dinsmore

2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch SuperCab DRW – All Photos by Jimmy Dinsmore

A Victory & Reseda review of the 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty

There are pickup trucks, then there are PICKUP TRUCKS. Ford is well known for their line of pickups and I’ve driven a bunch of them. But when my tester this week was dropped off to my home, I was surprised.

I was taken aback at just how big the Ford F-350 Super Duty was. This dually was special. It was the F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab with the Lariat and King Ranch trim. In other words, it was fully loaded, inside and outside.

Let’s make one thing clear: The Ford F-350 is a work truck, not a daily driver. In fact, it depends on the type of work needed to determine if you need this Super Duty. In most scenarios a F-150 or F-250 will be enough. During my week with the F-350 I used it, but you could almost hear the truck taunting me with the little bit of work I asked of it.

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Recipe For Success

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe - All Photos by Jimmy Dinsmore

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe – All Photos by Jimmy Dinsmore

A Victory & Reseda review of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Before we dive into this review, let V&R introduce you to a veteran of this business and a friend of ours – Jimmy Dinsmore. Based in Cincinnati, Dinsmore’s work has appeared in the Dayton Daily News, the Austin American-Statesman, Springfield (OH) News-Sun, Car Fanatics and Car News Cafe. He has gone freelance, along with is new site, Driver’s Side. V&R have known Dinsmore for over a few years now and we can vouch for his style and his breadth of his work. We welcome Dinsmore to our team and please follow him on Twitter via his handle @driverside and his Facebook page. Now, enjoy his first review on V&R…

When you have a successful recipe or formula, you don’t mess with it. Anyone remember New Coke? Exactly! So, for General Motors to completely redesign the Chevrolet Tahoe for the 2015 model year was a risk. The Tahoe is the best-selling full-size SUV on the market. It, along with the Suburban represent almost 50 percent of the full-size SUV market.
And since GM is not having the best of years (understatement), they need a success story. And with the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, they may just have one.

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe shows that General Motors is listening to customers by making vast improvements and improving fuel economy. The Tahoe has always been a big seller for GM. The Tahoe was a horse of a vehicle; guzzling gas and not very accommodating when it came to cargo room due to a cumbersome third row. Times have certainly changed. While the formula has been updated, the recipe, so to speak, is still the same.

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Turn It On

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Htrac 028
2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 HTrac sedan All Photos by Randy Stern

A Victory & Reseda review of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan

No, I should not use musical metaphors in my review.

But, I am going to. It is because of this car. The name. It evokes anger with Top Gear’s Richard Hammond. A tool for Jeremy Clarkson to use, if he is not reported in some tabloid for some remark he made otherwise.

Still, the name. Not in the biblical sense, but in a context that made a drummer replace a future curator of world music as its lead vocalist. It was a single move that took the prog rock band into mainstream Album Oriented Rock. Otherwise, would they not made hits and sold millions of copies of records to solidify their future?

Just like their musical namesake, Hyundai took a new turn on their premium sedan. Continue reading

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VOTY ’14: And, Now, The Long List…

2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack
Photo by Randy Stern

Without further ado, here are the following vehicle candidates that are being considered for the 2014 Victory & Reseda Vehicle of the Year Award…the Long List!

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Quickies: The Best Selling Vehicle in The Good Ol’ U.S. of A.

2014 Ford F-150 XLT 4WD Crew Cab
2014 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew 4WD. All Photos by Randy Stern

In my world, stories simply pop up when you least expect it.

A couple of weeks ago, an e-mail came from a public relations firm I usually deal with. They invited me to come to a local dealer for the unveiling of a special edition of the best selling vehicle in the USA. Normally, I would pass on such a thing. However, there is a thing to be said about timing.

Granted, I am not an outdoorsman. I have no interest in hunting, fishing, camping or anything that I had no reference for in the outdoors. But, I have a lot of respect for those who do and are able to pass their traditions down through the generations.

This is exactly what Pheasants Forever does. They promote the outdoors for enthusiasts to pass it down to their kin. It seems logical for this organization to use of a very popular pickup truck for three special package deals to be installed in them. That, along with additional accessories to complete the pheasant lifestyle.

This is where the truck comes in. Continue reading

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VOTY ’14: Here We Go…

2013 Vehicle of The Year Award Handoff
The 2013 Vehicle of The Year Award hand-off to Dave Leone for Cadillac at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Photo by Victory & Reseda

The eighth time could be the charm!

Soon, we will announce the Long List for the eighth Victory & Reseda Vehicle of the Year award. Every year, this award gets elevated towards becoming one of social media‚Äôs top automotive honors. Last year, that award was presented to General Motors and Cadillac for the ATS. I had the privilege of handing over the award to Cadillac’s Chief Engineer Dave Leone at Chicago Auto Show this past February.

After the award has been handed off, a full evaluation on the format, metrics and process is undertaken. Improvements are made to ensure a smoother award evaluation process. These improvements are implemented for the coming VOTY season. It is that simple.

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Historiography: The Quarter Century Pursuit of Perfection

1990 Lexus LS 400
The original. All Photos by Randy Stern

Luxury has never been the same over the past 25 years.

By 1989, luxury cars were defined by long histories. The names of Rolls-Royce, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz yielded over a century’s legacy by providing the finest of its kind. These three names always had been there as symbols of great power and wealth. They withstood war, economic collapse, and a changing global landscape. Soon, their names grew – Jaguar, BMW and Lincoln.

These western brands locked down a marketplace replete with those who benefitted from the policies of Reagan, Mulroney, Thatcher and Kohl. They also saw their worth expand where newer wealth is being enjoyed, including the Persian Gulf and across Asia.

Yet, there was a country that was poised to change the paradigm of luxury automobiles on a truly global stage. Though some were skeptical that anything from that country would fall short of the German flagships. In the end, those skeptics were ultimately silenced.

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Commentary: Could There Be More Mid-Sized Pickups?

2015 Chevrolet Colorado
Photo by Randy Stern

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are arriving at dealerships shortly. Can we get an Amen?

General Motors’ new mid-sized pickups will join the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier as in this once neglected segment. The latter two had been holding on in the face of the rise of the full-sized and heavy duty pickup. It does not help that Nissan and Toyota offer full-sized models. Luckily, in the case of the Frontier, the Titan has been running last in sales for its segment, while the mid-sized truck is selling at a higher rate than its larger cousin. At Toyota, they sell equal numbers of Tacomas as they do the full-sized Tundra.

Now that GM has returned to segment, many analysts are watching the mid-sized truck market concluding that there is a potential for segment growth in North America. But, is that summation for certain? Or, are we going to be disappointed?

On our Facebook, V&R asked our fans whether they think the new Colorado/Canyon will succeed. We also asked that if the conditions were favorable whether they would like to see other mid-sized trucks compete against GM, Nissan and Toyota?

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