VOTY ’14: …And The Winner Is…

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
All photos by BobbiLe Marie N’Diaye/BobbiLe Ba Photography

This Victory & Reseda Vehicle of The Year Award was seen as the most competitive field ever brought together. The forty cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and minivans represented a diverse group that was strong across the board. Making a solid decision to narrow it down to ten was not easy, either. The panel offered their choices that ranged almost across the entire forty vehicle Long List.

Then, it was your turn. And, you came in droves. This year’s VOTY yielded the highest polling turnout in its eight-year history. Your say made it easier to pick a winner. This is why V&R has touted this as an award born on social media with the power of a public voice to make the final choice.

V&R might not be on par with larger media conglomerates or more popular websites. But, for one short moment, this site might as well be.

For all of this, there is a winner that will be awarded – hopefully – November 18-19 at the LA Auto Show.

Based on a total of vehicle evaluation points, social media engagement, panel feedback and your votes, the 2014 Victory & Reseda Vehicle of The Year is… Continue reading

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Of Fall’s Final Turn

2015 Mazda6 Grand Touring 005
Photo by Randy Stern

It is a wonderful thing, living in a place where four seasons exist.

Some may joke that Minnesota does not have four seasons. Rather two – winter and road construction. However, I beg to differ. The winters get a little long, but spring does arrive in time for the place to heat up and the mosquitos to start being obnoxious. Fall arrives as summer says good-bye, but not without a brief interlude reminding us how summer truly was before the leaves start permeating the lawn.

Fall is a great season, as it is the prelude to what comes afterwards – winter. It is a point where you want to forget about the impending sub-freezing temperatures, inches of snow to contend with by a snow plow, blower, or, in my case, shovel. The notion of never seeing anything green on the property for a few months or more is not something to celebrate when the leaves turn a different color. Not even when your winter shoes are losing traction to grip on the snow – let alone manage the ice.

But, fall – wondrous fall – where we go ga-ga over the turning of the leaves towards their annual death ritual. The quest for one final trek within a few hours of home to enjoy what nature has made onto a spectacle of the cycle of life.

However, I have yet to enjoy it. Changes in employment, finances and other intangibles caused me to lay low on expending recreation. During this time, survival caused for missed opportunities. Emotions turned as the leaves. I felt like an Airbus A380 trying to take off – bad analogy, but how do those damn things ever get off the ground?

I needed relief. Continue reading

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VOTY ’14: #Vote4VOTY

Looking for vote for your choice opf the 2014 Victory & Reseda Vehicle of The Year Award? Look no further than right here…

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

…and, thank you for your vote!

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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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