In my career, I get a chance to sample many, many cars. And as cool as they are, there are a select few who are consistently good at their game.

HYUNDAI is probably number one. And the reason being that although there are many car companies out there doing great stuff, the higher end ones are hyper-niching their market and leaving the lower ends undone. But Hyundai lives and breathes the car market across the board in a way that is consistently on a wide target.

Their cars are built well, designed well and you just feel good about having one.

The past few weeks I’ve gotten several Hyundais including the 2019 TUSCON ULTIMATE. A great SUV that I really enjoyed driving.

If my personality were just a bit simpler, I’d snag a Hyundai no problem. The one specific to my Malibu Lifestyle. But a car like the Tuscon is a great distance traveler. Want to see the sights of Vegas or Sedona? Do it in the Tuscon.

The language is clean and well designed, although still a bit undefinable. The thing I’d like to see from them is a clearly defined language so you can look at it and KNOW… it’s a Hyundai. Genesis is doing that well and it’s working.

Don’t get me wrong… it’s close. But for a medium sized SUV with 25mpg and a $32K price tag, what you get is rock-solid performance, a design that’s pleasing to the eye and a host of features that will boggle your mind.

Thumbs up for the Tuscon and just about every other car they make. KONA coming next…


2019 GMC TERRAIN BLACK EDITION – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 922 – For the inaugural drive of the 2019 GMC Terrain Night Edition, Fireball does a photoshoot with Automotive Artist Geoff Ombao and heads into DTLA for an amazing Impossible Burger.

The 2019 HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC LIMITED results in full Game of Thrones Badassery…

It’s hard sometimes to get excited about some of Hyundai’s products, but all you really need is some perspective. A Game of Thrones Perspective.

The world is getting more and more filled with EVs and many of them are way out of range for the average buyer. Now me being in Malibu, the average buyer here grabs a Tesla or JaguarE. But buyers across the country need something more affordable, dependable, efficient and tough.

Enter, the 2019 HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC. A seriously affordable EV at just over $37K, super dependable and ultra-efficient. Like a titanium magic sword that fits in your pocket, but when you pull it out… BOOYAA!!!

Now my Vlog being about design, lets get some of the details out of the way. “E” range is about 136 miles on a charge, saving you $500 in fuel costs over 5 years. That means that you can slay the freeways at a distance and be home for Kale Salad in time for GOT Netflix. 118hp is just enough to get little LaTeesha to the college campus and back (although it feels A LOT more powerful than that due to the uninterrupted pull). Like riding a Dragon and nearly soiling yourself.

But the design obviously mirrors what Toyota did with the Prius before Toyota had a brainfart with the design and went hogwild. BUILD. BURN. POOF!

I’d be into doing a Fireballed version of the Ioniq if they asked. Nothing a bit of paint, wheels, tint and a bit of GOT Badassery could make this a nice whip. Next season… here we come.

Other than that, the IONIQ is chock fulla coolness on the inside. Comfortable, warm, quiet and appealing. Kinda like the King’s quarters… and no one knows you’re there.

All it lacks is some personal style. These would be the cars that would be fun to create as an ART CAR program.

So let it be said that the Ioniq is a Champion for the EV Dragon-slaying lifestyle. A smart choice in a mystical world expanding all-electric. Now if I could just get them to add a bit of ancient chocolate sprinkles, evil smiles or perfunktory pimpedness.

They are just inches away from greatness…

The 2019 CORVETTE is a senseless car that makes PERFECT SENSE…

Here’s a car that borders on supercar status. Although what separates it is its pricepoint. 

Basically it is as fast, as nimble and as spirited as virtually any supercar out there, but at over $100,000 less. In some cases, much less at $86,000.

I got the 2019 Chevy Corvette for a week to see how practical it was as an everyday driver here in Malibu. And after a week, it’s both totally practical and severely impractical. So, it’s understood how someone can be on the fence about the thing.

As a practical machine in a heavy car culture town, this ride makes perfect sense. As car shows are every weekend, it’s a blast to drive there, puts smiles on people’s faces, has enough horsepower at 650, and possibly gets you a visit to the local Police Car Show and stay longer than what’s comfortable. It just gives you an all-around great driving experience.

Did I mention that it puts smiles on people’s faces, especially in this hyper-lemon yellow?

Well it does, although the people are about 2 1/2 feet tall. Basically, I’ve been driving a Hot Wheels car, and the kids love it.

One other thing, as a track car, it kills just about anything out there. As long as you learn how to drive it and I would recommend that a day at Willow Springs Raceway would do wonders for increasing your knowledge and comfort with such a beast.

But then there’s the impractical side. 

As a daily driver with daily tasks, it makes no sense whatsoever. Unless you want to build up your arms by getting out of the car each time. Like doing pushups with a bag of sand on your back. 

Then there’s the issue of your POV being so low in traffic that it’s a better idea to just look under other cars to see forward.

There’s also the issue of groceries, errands and/or anything else you need to do where there needs to be room in the car. 

Golfing? Forget it. 

Groceries? Sure, as long as you can lay the bags on their sides. 

Surfboard? Well, Kathie and I did that once and the board broke free on the highway and flew over an embankment. 

So, there’s that.

Gas mileage? Yes, it uses gas and lots of it. But it begs to be an EV as it would be the sickest supecar EV out there. 

Sure, it’s completely impractical as an everyday driver and doing everyday normal stuff, but here’s the thing: We live in Malibu. 

And Malibu is not normal by any means. It is filled with completely impractical people doing impractical things. None of it makes any sense, so it makes sense to have a car like this to make sense of it all. 

Make sense?

So, there you have it. A no-nonsense, makes-no-sense, senselessly impractical car that is totally practical and makes a hell of a lot of sense in a town that makes no sense.

Got all that?


Boy, have Vans come a long way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean better. Although, in the case of the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, better is certainly a word I’d choose.

Here on the VlogBlog, it’s not about the tech so much as it is about DESIGN and FUNCTION. Does the Pacifica look cool? Does it fit the lifestyle?

Well, years ago I had a Toyota Previa. I loved that car. Only, it had one sliding door that never worked right, average handling, not a lot of power and a silly purple color.

The improvements for the Pacifica far exceed that, but so does every other Van. So what’s special about this one? Girth.

The Chrysler Pacifica shares the language of Dodge Muscle. The seats, steering wheel and controls are all bulky and thick. I like that. When I turn a knob, it’s a KNOB. When I grab the wheel, I grab the WHEEL. There’s no mistake that you’re holding onto something strong and powerful.

At just over $48K, the Pacifica can hold its own in the Van Market. The Jazz Blue Pearl reflects a cool hue from the sky, although not really sure what Jazz has to to with that exactly. But it rocks, so I’d call it Rock Blue Pearl.

It’s got a 16gl tank to help with the 84mpg Hybrid support. No, that wasn’t a typo. It gets 84 frikkin’ MPGs. It also has so many options including 2 sliding doors that you could write a book. Pretty sure they did that. But… the best part is the POTENTIAL.

The wheels on the car are docile. But you black out the windows and bump those 17inch polished Aluminums to 19… and you’ve got an Academy Awards Killer. It’s at home shindigging around celebs as much as hitting Home Depot for a Table Saw.

It’s ECO meets EGO. Friendly, snappy looking and a quantum level interior that in white… would make your local Guru proud.

You need a Van? It’s simple. The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica is everything a van should be. Although, a big phat wing on the back would be cool too.

A week in the blistering 467hp 2019 LEXUS GS F…

We’re getting closer. Closer to the day where all sedans become autonomous. And because of that, car makers are looking for reasons to expand and enhance their lines to bridge the gap and give people a reason to buy.

There are tons of sedans out there and many are good. But very few are GREAT. This… is where the 2019 LEXUS GS F comes in…

I had this car for a week and although I could spout specs like everyone else (467hp, 5.0l, 32v, 389ftlbs), I’d rather just concentrate on driving experience and cool factor… k?

This car is a blast to drive. And yes, mostly because it’s powerful. But it’s also a perfect fitting suit that stretches in just the right ways to put a smile on your face. It looks sick, snaps to grid and can pretty much do whatever it’s asked. And… it better at just under a $100K.

But I had fun in this car. It’s not hoyty toyty like some others, not cheap like others still, but perfect porrage hot. Something you could tuck your nasty mother-in-law around in as she berates you… or flip the shit on her and show her who’s boss.

Like I said, fun. It’s got all the bells and whistles you need to justify a $100K car and it performs admirably. So let’s give it a solid 98%Fireball.

But… here’s the 2% rub. In a world that is shifting to conscious-aware products, the dinosaurs will need to either boot up or be dished out. And the 2019 Lexus GS F gets 19mpg. I don’t care how rich you are and whether you don’t care about this or not… it’s a factor and it needs to be addressed. There’s no room for Lexus in the future if they continue on this road. But alas, they’ll smarten up and snap to grid I sure.

Big thanks to them for sending me the car and in Matte Nebula Grey, it got a lot of compliments. Thinking about dying my hair the same color… not. But it looks mighty fine in the beast. Have a righty fine day, folks.

A Week in the 2018 MAZDA 6 Sport Sedan…

Once again, MAZDA has challenged me with trying to find what’s good in their 2018 MAZDA 6. And although the design language of the car is great, the problem I faced with this car was the fact that it came to me right off the heels of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

So here’s the thing… starting with what I like, the MAZDA 6 is a subtle sculptural masterpiece. Not overstated or extreme, but subtley beautiful and cohesive with the entire line of their cars. It’s balanced, smooth-looking and aggressive where it needs to be aggressive.

Where most car companies just round corners, Mazda takes each curve and turn with purpose in their design. That can be attributed to their language philosophy. And at $36, it would seem to be that that was enough. But the interior feels good too, although with some ergonomic question marks.

As I mentioned, the problem with this car was that I had the Hyundai Sonata Eco right before it, at $35K. And where the Hyundai lacks in it’s semi-dull design language and Mazda excels, the Hyundai is an engineering masterpiece. The Mazda, not so much.

I removed some things from the Hyundai trunk, closed the deck and didn’t think a thing about it. But then I transferred what I had to the Mazda. When I heard the sound that the trunk made as it closed… my eyes popped. It sounded tinny and cheap.

I did the same thing with the doors. And the same sound occurred. The Hyundai was solid and the Mazda thin.

Paying $1000 more for the Mazda and getting a feeling that it was tinny wasn’t in the cards for my experience. Where the Hyundai, although not as great a looking car as the Mazda, was clearly the better choice.

The interior ergonomics of the Mazda were also less inviting. It looked VERY cool, but functionality felt and performed to be more complex and somewhat annoying compared to the Apple-Easy process of the Hyundai. Even setting up the phone was a challenge compared with the Sonata.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The 2018 Mazda 6 Sedan is a good car and you may NEVER be able to compare it to anything in a test drive. You also may be a loyal Mazda driver and never want anything else, to which I have to say, “Good on ya, brother.” But for my money, the Hyundai hits home.

Two-cents and this will get you a… wait, let’s make that $20 bucks and this will get you a latte. Hope this helps…

467HP LEXUS GS F arrives at The Fireball Pad…

This week’s ride… the 2019 LEXUS GS-F. And the first Car Show is today at THE MURPHY AUTO MUSEUM. I’ll be there with this car to see the Murphy Chevy Show and Vlog. So if you’ve got a cool car, tap me on the shoulder. 😉

The GS-F? Just 467hp and 389ftlbs. 5.0l DOHC, 32 Valve V8. Dooooosh…

Have you seen the WOOLSEY FIRE EPISODES on the Vlog? Here’s the PLAYLIST!

A silent week in a new 2018 HYUNDAI SONATA HYBRID…

“Our new 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in models add appeal in every area, from exterior to interior design, handling, steering, ride comfort, safety and infotainment,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in are sure to attract even more eco-focused buyers.”

Well… let’s just see about that.

A week in this 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has been interesting. It’s not a car for A-type people. It’s not aggressive, superfast, extreme or has a vibrant color. It’s not the car for those that want to get noticed.

But… here’s what the Sonata IS. Silent. Comfortable. Secure. Relaxed… and almost meditative.

With a 2.0-liter Nu GDI 4-cylinder motor marriaged to a six-speed automatic transmission and a 38 kW electric motor, the car knows exactly what it is. And that my friends, is CLEAR TRANSPORTATION.

Now before you get your wundies in a bunch, let’s examine what “Clear Transpo” is exactly.

People buy cars for different reasons, but the reason to buy something like this… is to not have to think too much about it. It looks good, super comfy, super-efficient, reliable and fearless. As in, not one will steal it thinking they could get a lot for it or part it out. It’s a STRESS-FREE car.

And in many cases, that’s exactly what people need… and even me. A car that you don’t EVER have to worry about. Take you friends around town and although none of them might say, “hey this is a nice car,” they definitely won’t be complaining. They’ll just focus on where you’re going or the problem they are having with a girl or boy.

Like I said… stress-free. (Forget about the girl or boy issue.)

At a grand total of $35K for a completely stress-less car, this seems like a steal. 193hp, full electric mode, small enough to park anywhere and you could focus completely on your Edible Dog-Leash (EDL) entrepreneurial business. I mean, serious stuff.

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is still a winner. And being “Eco-focused” as Mr. O’Brien said above… is the new norm. Maybe that means that the 2019 model should be edible? Note to Hyundai: Make mine Chocolate-flavored.

Nicely done.



6.6l V12, 780hp, 560lb-ft at 9000rpm. So… it’s just about right. 😉