Eight Years of V&R…So, Which Vehicles Are Missing?

This site’s eight years have had its moments. These great moments that were beyond limited to the four I listed in the last article.

We also had the opportunity to work with some great automobiles – also, too numerous to list beyond the four we posted before. Maybe, someday I’ll have a list of everything that made this website and my own media work worth these past eight years.

However, you may have found that there were a few vehicles missing among the well over 350 of them utilized for editorial on this site. This is the purpose of this article – to list out those vehicles that have been missed by this work.

It is actually not that long of a list. However, you may be scratching your head and wondering “how come I did not have that in for review or for an article of some sort.” Too many reasons. Maybe missed opportunities? Who knows? Who cares?

Here is that list. Don’t laugh too hard…

LEXUS HS: There are many folks who will say that I am not missing out on this. The premise seems reasonable – another hybrid-only Lexus that sits above the CT hatchback. In fact, it is based on a car that is not sold here – the Toyota Avensis. The dedicated hybrid model did everything to engage with luxury buyers looking for sustainable motoring. The driveline is unique to the USA – the 2.4-liter instead of the 1.8 on the Prius and the 2.5 on the ES. It would be an interesting vehicle to drive, but Lexus pulled this offering out of the lineup in 2012 – supplanting it with the larger and much better ES Hybrid.

2016 Jaguar XE

JAGUAR XE: I have never gotten around to the new small Jag. I understand why they did it – to compete with the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, etc. Though other recent Jaguars point to a want of the Indian-owned British marque to go after the Germans (and the Japanese and anyone else making luxury cars) on their own terms. The XE seems compelling – but, would I fit in one? That is always the question when addressing smallish cars with high aspirations.

SUZUKI KIZASHI: I got into the business of reviewing vehicles provided by the manufacturer in 2011. Then, came a corporate decision by American Suzuki to stop selling its automobiles the next year. The disappointment was not because Suzuki left the automobile market. It was because a lot of my colleagues really heaped a lot of praise upon it. It reminded me of the first generation Mazda6 – a car that was sporty from the get-go and offered a driving experience that engaged enthusiasts. To this day, I have yet to drive one. I’d like to know what I really missed by not working with one.


TOYOTA VENZA: No, seriously. The Venza was indeed a thing when I started doing this work. Toyota thought that this Camry-based, Kentucky-produced crossover was going to be a smash hit. Well…not exactly. It was designed somewhere between an SUV and a minivan. This may have put off a few customers, who have looked elsewhere in the lineup for their family transport needs. The Sienna minivan held true to its mission, while customers could get a RAV4 or a Highlander for around the same money. Yet, the Venza was a curiosity all the way to its demise in 2015.

MERCEDES-BENZ SL (AND MERCEDES-AMG GT): Some Mercedes are more elusive than others. The SL was considered the ultimate car of the Three-Pointed Star lineup. The larger roadster was the two-seater that announced your arrival onto the world. These days, there is now a pecking order that has sent the magnificent SL down in the order. These days, the Mercedes-AMG GT tops the range, based on performance and execution. Since I have yet to drive either one, perhaps this notion should be put to the test – old school vs. new school.

WAPA EV Day at the 2019 Washington Auto Show

RANGE ROVER SPORT: I’ve driven the Evoque, Velar, and the flagship Range Rover. But, why not the Sport? Everyone who has driven one has recommended I do so. It is the balancer between all three other Ranges. Interesting. It is also a competitor for the Lexus GX 460, but with a choice of power. My question would be of capability. The GX 460 is highly capable. So is the Range Rover Sport – though one would question it, as such. I think this debate should be addressed sometime…

FERRARI: As ridiculous as it sounds, I have never driven a Ferrari – ever. It seems that every car person should drive one, right? Only for the experience and the bragging rights that I drove something from the legacy of Enzo Ferrari. We put so much on a badge, do we? After all, there is an air of Italian excellence and superiority when one drives a Ferrari. That makes for a good story.


All photos by Randy Stern

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