Awesome week in the 2021 JEEP GLADIATOR SPORT TURBODIESEL… and I’m STILL smiling.

Ok, so there’s a lot of cars out there. I mean… a lot. And most are really good cars. They last, they drive well, they look good. But honestly, when was the last time you got in a NEW car and it put a smile on your face? And you didn’t even start it yet?

Good day, and welcome to the front seat of the 2021 JEEP GLADIATOR SPORT TURBODIESEL. It’s a Jeep for sure, but one that can carry a lotta crap in it.

Kathie and I had a ’98 Wrangler and it was awesome until someone launched into it on PCH. But up until then, it was a blast to drive and take pretty much ANYWHERE.

But, it was limited in the back for carrying anything over groceries. Thus, Jeep understood this and got to work in bringing the classic Gladiator back to market. The Jeep… that carries STUFF.

What’s it carry? Well, I’m so glad you asked because in order to answer that question you’ll need to lift your garage door and tell me what’s inside. Got a Kayak? Check. Bicycle? Check. Hauling furniture for your buddy… for the 12th time? Check. Gotta clean out the garage ’cause you’re wife has had enough of your Boxed-up Classic Rock T-Shirt Collection? Yup, it’ll bust that move for sure.

Point is, the Gladiator is a step up from the Wrangler if you have to haul ass and haul crap. It gets it done in a way that the Wrangler can’t. Sure, the bed may not be as big as some trucks, but… this is a Jeep and Jeeps do it like only Jeeps can. (Did I say Jeep enough times?)

The PLUSES? Great looks, super tech and fast as this one went with a 3.0L V6 TurboDiesel. The interior is comfortable and slick and feels like you would want to come up with reasons to drive. But the main thing is the feeling that you could go ANYWHERE. You don’t feel that in other cars.

Easter Eggs. Tons of hidden things in the Jeep makes me wish they did a deal with Marvel and hid characters everywhere. But alas, there are hidden Jeeps throughout the car and it’s a fun thing to do with kids.

The Minuses? 24mpg and $50K. Not great mileage in today’s world and as they are coming out with the Wrangler Hybrid, it’s a tough choice. And $50K is a lot to plunk down for ANYTHING. But many people don’t really care about either of these two and JUST WANT A JEEP. I get it, and that’s why this Gladiator exists.

That the Ford Bronco is taking over is like Cadillac Sedans are going to suffer because BMW has a Sedan. Jeep will prosper because of diehard Jeep Fans who would NEVER consider a Bronco. And vice versa. But Jeep is here to stay… and the GLADIATOR is here to carry your crap. So get busy before your friend calls back with another move.

Fireball bringing 2021 CORVETTE to Malibu Car Show this Sunday…

Quite an insane show happening on Sundays in Malibu now with almost 700 cars… but no new Vettes last weekend!

THAT will be remedied this Sunday as Fireball’s bringing in the stellar 2021 CORVETTE in Torch Red.

2020 CADILLAC CT5 VS CT4… What the heck’s the difference?

So I got sent the new 2020 CADILLAC CT5 followed by the CT4 over a couple weeks. Both in black (not shown here), which made it even weirder, but my conclusion ripped me to my core. (Not really, but that sounds good…)

Since this is a DESIGN Blog, I’m not gonna get into the mechanicals of the cars as you can go to Cadillac and compare. If it’s horsepower that interests you, ignore these cars and get the “V” Versions. Onward!

From a design stand-point, the CT5 and CT4 are two brothers from the same mother. Back to back, I felt like I just entered a Cadillac Alternate Universe. I mean, look at the fronts of these cars? Both awesome, but nothing to suggest that one is “less than” the other. Not sure what Cadillac was thinking in putting out two almost identical models out, although the CT5 is about $4K more than the CT4.

Seems like you could just get an upgraded CT4 and turn it into a CT5, but whatever… funny-logic aside, both these cars kick ass in the design world. The interiors are also virtually the same and if you didn’t tell anyone what you had, both would be equal as opposed to… “this is the super-duper luxo-version, my friend.”

Ergonomics are simple sans a lot of the haptid tech in previous models. I do like the fact that my butt vibrates on a certain side of the seat when someone gets to close. **Wish I could make that happen On Command.

From the side… it’s just about color as the proportions are rock solid. This results in you going to the dealership and picking the color that you like regardless of it being a 4 or 5 model. Wheels might be a factor too as that’s a car’s attitude and personality.

As I see it, there are two kinds of buyers for these models. The buyer who ISN’T a car person and just wants a beautiful Cadillac. Maybe a Realtor. The second buyer is a guy like me. Car guy… to which I would pick neither but get the CT5-V. What I would call a “Hyper-Scooter.” Suave and Debonaire by day, Badass Crime Fighter by night. Just something to ponder…

All in all, both the CT5 and CT4 are fantastic cars. Pick your poison and know that Cadillac’s future is solid… even if they are making Twin Sons.

Here’s a Vlog I did on the 2019 CT6… Check it.

A curious week in the 2020 TOYOTA COROLLA XSE reveals why this car NEEDS to exist…

Very few cars on the planet NEED to exist. I mean, not everyone wants a Panoz, Ferrari, BMW MSeries of Vette. But the Carolla… without it, the world just might ex-implode. And here’s why…

Ok, what they heck is Fireball talking about THIS TIME? Well, I’m glad you asked my fine feliners… ’cause I’ma gonna tell ya…

A week on the 2020 TOYOTA COROLLA XSE has taught me one thing for sure and that is that for those that really have difficulty buying a car, or even choosing one, the Corolla makes it easy.

It’s a car that pretty much appeals to all 8 (or is it 9?) billion inhabitots that dwell on the surface of this tiny marble. Getting around it requires that we have a car for most of us, and buying a car ain’t an easy thing… for some.

With all those choices, couldn’t someone just build a car that appeals to ALL of us… is simple to drive and understand, and doesn’t cost a fortune? Can’t someone make it look pretty nice, but not too nice? Racy, but not obnoxious? Help me carry all my peeps and stuff, but easy to clean because my dog had an “accident?”

Well, again I’m glad you asked because THIS is the 2020 Corolla… at its core. Not an easy thing to achieve for a car company. Imagine, creating a car that pretty much NO ONE hates? Now, that doesn’t mean they LOVE it, but they definitely DON’T HATE IT.

Let’s delve… starting with price. $19K to $28K. The XSE is $25K. Ridiculous as you could plop down $500 and get an easy payment probably. 139hp? Sho nuff. Just enough to pull a Grand Poobah, but not enough to get in trouble with the Fuzz. 29/37mpg is gooood for a non-EV, but ah yes, they have an EV too. Take that, Planet Earth!

Whatever color you choose, when you go to show your friends, they’ll say “Cool, let’s get Ice Cream.” Then they’ll pile in a never give it another thought… and that’s not a bad thing.

The interior… like pretty much EVERY other car, comes in a black version. It’s today’s thing. Black is the new Black and Toyota’s with it. Sure, it would be nice to see a green interior with white piping, but it’s not gonna happen, so shut yer trap and slam down that Plant Based Cashew Ice Cream.

So, what does this leave you with? Well, again I’m shocked that you are consistent with your amazing questions! It leaves you with a car that does EXACTLY what a car is designed to do. Get you from here to there in comfort, style and enough cash left over to chug the rest of your Sasparilla. How cool is that?

1-5 on the Fireball Scale? 5. That is… unless you’re like me and you want to Bitch Slap those Canyon roads into submission with a Boosted Barnstormer of a Vehicular Contraption? In that case, I know someone you can call to turn your Corolla into a CRUSHEROLLA. Lmk.

Insane 1000HP 2022 GMC HUMMER EV revealed… and this Saturday, we’ll see it in the flesh!

This Saturday, Fireball will be doing a FacebookLIVE from inside the all-new nutso 1000hp 2022 GMC HUMMER EV. Will it be as cool as it looks? Well, it’s got a 350+ mile range and over 11,000lbft of Torque! So probably…

Looks pretty snappy here, folks!!

A week in the 2020 JEEP COMPASS 4X4…

Really, how many people are actually gonna drive their Jeep in the dirt, let alone on the Rubicon? Maybe a dirt parking lot from time to time, yes.

But we’re not talking about the Wrangler…. today we’re discussing the design of the 2020 JEEP COMPASS LIMITED 4X4. Basically, a baby Jeep.

As younger brothers go, the Compass isn’t as strong, agile, aggressive or capable like the Wrangler, but it’s about security. Soccer Moms, students, Nannies and Families all benefit from the safety and security of the Compass.

In fact, Jeep really being an off-road brand, driving the streets and highways is a simple task. I mean, it’s a sad Jeep story when one never makes it off-road.

But the language on the Compass, although becoming slightly dated now, is still refined and poised for action. Even if that action is to the store and not to the Redwoods. But it’s about the feeling that you COULD, should the need arise.

Where the Compass really shines is where all Jeeps shine. In the girth that is Jeep. The seats, steering wheel, dash and all things feel “thick” and rugged. Makes me ponder thoughts of poppin’ a tent on top and heading to the trees. It’s a perfect outdoor-seeker for the budget conscious with a $29K base.

Some specs include 25mpg average, a 24L and 180hp. All improvable in the near future as Jeep rolls out its EV platforms, but for now… adequate.

As with all Jeeps, I get excited at the prospects of what can be done once in the hands of creatively focused individuals. What you can do, where you can go. The Adventure begins… And isn’t that the point? If you’re on the fence about Jeeps in general, it’s isn’t so much about what they are as what they CAN be.

How creative can YOU get with a Compass?

A week in the 2020 FIAT 500X SPORT reveals that BIG Fiats… are actually pretty fun!

If I had to describe the 2020 FIAT 500X in one word, I’d have to say that it’s a Transition Car. Ok, that’s two words, but the point is… is that this Fiat achieves something that small runabout MiniSUV’s don’t. Not even sure the MINI does?

But as a small city car, the Fiat is easy on many levels. It’s efficient in that it’s 26-30mpg, it’s fairly cheap in $27K (Base. Mine was $34K), fairly cheap on insurance (as long as you don’t park it around a pole) and a nice easy on the eyes design language. Oh, and super easy to park ANYWHERE.

But many people make buying choices for different reasons. Simple decisions like color, seating, they had one before, cheap. One tag decisions.

But rarely do people make a buying choice on the simple fact that it’s FUN. In certain cars, you drive it, it’s nice and you get to where you want to go. But in the Fiat, you actually enjoy the driving experience MUCH MORE. It feels like a pet. Or maybe a tour at Disneyland on the Jungle Cruise or a launch on a Rollercoaster.

It’s a heighten sense to that something fun is about to happen.

I’m constantly impressed with the products that FCA is pumping out and it deserves some Coloring Book attention. A “BatFiat” is certainly in order, but until then… and if you’re looking for something fun to drive with your kids, your squeeze, your Virtual College Classes or just going to the store for Chipotle Peppers for you salsa, the 2020 FIAT 500X is just cool.

Interior-wise, EVERYONE is doing black, so avoid it. Try to be bold and get a cool Italian interior. Have fun with the build and know you’re getting something that will bring you and others some joyful driving.

And once the warranty runs out… SLAM THE HELL OUT OF IT, black out the windows, lock in a CAI, dual exhaust, twin turbo, pimpin’ rims and an explosive Italian pasta wrap. But, that’s just me.

Ok, so off you go. Stop fiddlesticking and get the the Fiat site to build one. And get the Hot Wheels version also so you can start visualizing…

A week in the agile 2020 VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS CROSS SPORT…

Ok, here’s how it goes… The 2020 VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS CROSS SPORT reminds me of a Rhino. Yup, a Rhino.

Now at first glance, that wouldn’t sound all that good. I mean, Rhinos are BIG, heavy, not necessarily good-looking and aggressive. But…

Let’s get into the world of Fireball a bit. And as you know, Fireball is ALL about Kustom Modification. CARS & ART, as in what would you do to Rhino to make it FASTER, SLEEKER, more POWERFUL and… kinda cool looking?

The ATLAS starts at around $31K, although my version was quite a bit more due to our Rhino going shopping. So, you can still get one for a rather reasonable SUV price, or go all hog-wild (rhino-wild) and slap on some speedy doo-hickies. I’d recommend that as your beast probably likes going fast.

24mpg means that it’s not a guzzler, but it’s an SUV. This Rhino’s not a vegan, so expect to have a gas budget on tap. Eight colors, although Rhinos are grey. But can you see a Rhino in an Aurora Red Metallic Pinstripe Suit with this interior? Well now that’s a picture. Happy Rhino.

2liter 4-cylinder and 285HP. Just enough to get this beast moving, although a pasta dinner the night before in his little Rhino Bowl might boost that a bit. Worth considering.

The ATLAS is an open-air, high-haunched, speedy-looking and quietly comfortable SUV. It works in grey and grey is the color that people pick when they don’t know what to pick. Color scares most, and Rhino’s can be scary in grey. Platinum Grey Metallic specifically.

But this car in its basic sense is pretty awesome. And as I drive a lot of SUVs, in comparison to most… this Vdub is quite the package. It has an aggressive forward stance, begs for personal mods like wheels, tint, DEEP BLACK PEARL and is as solid as it gets in Germany Engineering.

Plus, it feels SAFE. Like this Rhino is your buddy and he’s gonna protect you from Lions, Tigers and Bears. Oh, my… what it would be to have a pet rhino.

On the Fireball-Scale of crap to cool? This baby’s got it goin’ on and will not disappoint. Although… and E-Version would lean out your Rhino significantly. (Rhino-wink.) But who know when that will pull up into your little Rhino bed?

Screaming 382HP Nitro Yellow ’21 TOYOTA GR SUPRA rocketing to Malibu Village Car Show Sunday…

Can you fit in this car? Find out on Sunday at Malibu Village… $56K, 22mpg, 382hp.

A week in the stunning 2020 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED X 4X4…

MO POWAAA!!!!

Right outta the gate, and much like all Jeeps, the 2020 GRAND CHEROKEE is awesome. It’s brute force, THICK on all sides, super comfy and luxurious with a strong confident design language.

And it’s got lottsa power…. BUT here the thing. It’s kinda not fair that they make a TrackHawk version with a Hellcat motor. I mean, who wants this one when they can have THAT ONE? Seriously.

It’s like… let’s go get an ice cream and get ONE SCOOP. Who does that? Remember Thrifty with the cylinder-shaped ice cream scoops? They were tiny, so we always opted for more. At least 3. NOBODY… EVER… GOT ONE SCOOP.

And this is what Jeep does, dammit. This Cherokee is a One-scooper. It’s awesome. Delicious. Goes down smooth and silky, but IT’S ONE SCOOP AND I WANT MORE!

I guess that’s a good thing. To know that there IS more is what Jeep is all about, right? Design-wise, the Cherokee hasn’t changed all that much in the past few years. It’s like Ford building the Fairmont or Buick the Grand National. Both are fairly nonchalant cars, but hey, “Lets put a BEAST of a Motor in one and she’ll sell like gangbusters!”

Sure, it works. And three scoops is cool. 4 is too much as it topples over when you are riding your bike on the sidewalk. Like… 1500 hp in a Jeep. Silly. But 707hp in a Cherokee? Daaaaaaamn.

Like… like… It’s like finding that last WACKY STICKER to make your set complete. The Star Wars Action Figure you’ve been missing and just found at a swap meet… for $.50! It’s like THREE SCOOPS!

Oh, before I forget, let’s get the tech stuff outta the way. 21mpg (ouch), $52K (ouchy2) and 293hp. SEE WHAT I MEAN? 293hp? That’s full-on 1 scoop, ppl!

Ok, there is a case from Mom’s picking up grungy dirty kids and Dad’s going to a meeting (unless he’s seeing his mistress, a Hellcat Dodge)… and the occasional off-road adventure to Grandma’s house in the Woods (creepyFriday13thface), but come on… IT’S A JEEP. And despite Jeep’s Marketing Campaign on ALL their cars, we ALL know that Jeeps are built for trails and off-road excursions. WE AIN’T STOOPID.

Driving a Jeep on the freeway (and streets) only… is like buying a pair of running shoes, but all you do is stand around at the office eating your donut. Buying a Hot Wheels and sticking it immediately into your collection… in the closet. Oh, oh… how about this one? Buy a fancy Hellcat Coffee Maker… then go MAKE TEA!!! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PEOPLE!!! TAKE YOUR JEEP WHERE IT SUPPOSED TO GO!!!

Ok, I’m done now. I like the 2020 Grand Cherokee Limited a lot. Buy one, or don’t. But know that if you do… and you solely drive it on the freeway… I will be watching… And I have a certain set of skills…. I will find you. And I WILL give you my Hairy Eyeball, PERSONALLY.