Jake Thiewes

Fan of all things wheeled. Competes on four wheels with a 1997 BMW M3, and two feet in Spartan Races. Queso enthusiast. Will badger you to come to the track and get rides and/or HPDE seat time, because everyone deserves to be a slightly better driver.

2022 Mazda MX-30 EV

2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Review: 100 Miles of Range Isn’t Enough, Unless It Is

Americans are obsessed with ambition, particularly when it comes to driving. Despite reality often painting a very different picture, people buy more vehicle than they need or generally use, because maybe one day they’ll do the thing. They’ll go off-roading on rocky trails or overland through the desert for weeks at a time. They’ll hit …

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2021 Land Rover Defender 90

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 Towing Review: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

I was slightly surprised when Land Rover unveiled their new Defender last year. Here was a modern take on their most off-road-focused vehicle. It was, in theory, quite capable away from pavement. Great, so are vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco. But where those fall short is on towing capacity, something Land …

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2021 Jaguar XF

2021 Jaguar XF Review: What is ‘a Proper Jaguar,’ Anyway?

Though the Jaguar XF has historically been the brand’s midsize sedan, Jaguar stopped selling their compact XE, tweaking the 2021 Jaguar XF to fit both compact and midsize price points. Sedans aren’t selling as well as crossovers, and every sedan on the market has to be that much more intentional to really justify its existence. …

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2021 GMC Yukon AT4 towing

2021 GMC Yukon AT4 Towing Review: For Enclosed Trailers, Go Bigger or Differently

Look around any track paddock and you’ll see throngs of General Motors’ full-size SUVs. They’re a staple, and for good reason. Based on the GM half-ton pickup chassis, Chevrolet’s Tahoe and Suburban and GMC’s Yukon and Yukon XL offer a wagon-shaped pickup alternative that can tow open or enclosed trailers alike. I took a 2021 …

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2021 Polestar 2

2021 Polestar 2 Review: Carefully Optioned, Better than a Tesla Model 3?

If you’ve shopped for a performance-oriented, road-trip-range sort of electric car with that was truly “an car” – not a crossover of some sort – your only options until recently came from Tesla, in the form of the smallish Model 3 and largeish Model S. There are plenty of reasons to like the Model 3, and plenty …

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2021 Lexus LS 500

2021 Lexus LS 500 Review: Magic Carpet Ride with Complicated Technology

“I think I’m going to do something very silly,” I said to my passenger. Nick, a current student at my alma mater and member of its motorsports club, was riding shotgun in the 2021 Lexus LS 500 that I was driving. I had traveled a few hours outside Washington, D.C. to attend the club’s fall …

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2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback

2021 Audi SQ5 Sportback Review: Fun-First and Utilitarian Enough

I’m a stick in the mud when it comes to SUVs and crossovers. I grew up with trucky, un-fun (as high-speed driving goes) SUVs built on ladder frames, and early unibody crossovers weren’t much different. Sure, performance variants have come and gone over the years, but they’ve still stuck to the theme of “fast boxes.” …

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2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Review: Legitimately, Surprisingly Good Off-Road

“Come on, come on, figure it out,” I half-shouted at the dashboard. The nose of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness was pointed relatively skyward, three of the four wheels balanced on a mix of dry dirt and rocks as I prodded the throttle. The front right wheel was a foot or more in the air …

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2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum

2021 Toyota Sienna Review: Driver-Focused ‘Gearhead Van’ or Hybrid People Hauler?

Minivans were just hitting their stride when I was a little kid. We had some family friends who were still living out their station wagon fantasies, and others that had bought in to the first wave of minivan fandom (vandom?) with Caravans, Voyagers, Windstars, and Astros. I thought those vans were excessively cool and begged …

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