It's no secret that I'm a fan of Lexus in general, so I was excited to drive the 2017 CT 200h F SPORT when it arrived here at Rock Father HQ some weeks back. Packing Lexus style and F SPORT performance into a small, hatchback package, the immediate draw of the CT 200h is that it's a hybrid - a fuel-efficient, gas-powered luxury vehicle that carries a combined fuel economy of 42mpg.
When it comes to family adventures, road trips are great, and getting great gas mileage is even better. Over the past few years, hybrids have come down in price, while also becoming quite stylish - style being something that was seriously lacking in the early generations. At the forefront of the movement, Toyota has been a pioneer in the field, with their Prius becoming synonymous with the "hybrid" name, that technology eventually rolling into other models, expanding their offerings to a full nine vehicles for 2017. Among them, the 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid is set to be one of their most popular, and there's some solid reasons as to why.
A great road trip is one of the most exciting activities to enjoy with family, and a getaway during fall is one of the best times to do it. I say that, of course, with the American Midwest in-mind, but any locale that boasts the true seasonality of autumn, complete with falling leaves and a robust color palette will make for a beautiful drive. When it comes to hauling family, there's only been a few occasions where I've actually driven more than our immediate crew, fully complete at four. Sure, I've driven plenty of larger vehicles with third-row seating and plenty of people-moving power, but seldom have I actually had a full load. This trip was an exception, one in which I could use the 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited (on-loan from Toyota USA) to it's potential, heading straight out of Illinois and heading north to our relatives' lake house.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of Kia, and over the past few years I've also made some friendships there (my wife and I went to the Chicago Bulls game the other night with some Kia Execs, disclosure and all), but we don't own a Kia just yet. When it comes to the Chicago Auto Show, they've kicked it off the past few years, and this year they pretty much perfected the art of a kick-off press conference - bringing in the young students of the School of Rock Oak Park (ages 14-18) to truly ROCK the auto show. It's stuff like this that makes me love Kia - outside of their cars, of course. On a press conference note, it's hard for some of the other automakers to follow - especially the ones with really bland presentations (up your game, gentlemen - there's several of you). With a medley of tunes that included some from QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, LED ZEPPELIN, THE ROLLING STONES and more, the School of Rock Show Team provided the perfect soundtrack for Kia's Michael Sprague to throw down some Chicago music history (Chess Records was mentioned) before rolling out a trio of hybrids, one of which was the much-anticipated 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). Sprague said it was designed "in the rock and roll spirit of rebellion." I can dig it.
On October 15, Back Lot Music will release the original motion picture soundtrack for DEAD IN TOMBSTONE, as performed by UK-based electro-outfit, HYBRID. Available for pre-order now on iTunes, the full tracklisting and cover art can be viewed below. DEAD IN TOMBSTONE arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on October 22 via Universal, and stars DANNY TREJO, MICKEY ROURKE, and ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL.