Dom & Jeremy

It’s Denver’s favorite morning radio show! And that’s not just US saying it – the Colorado Broadcasters Association has etched our names on a bunch of plaques.

Dom has hosted the morning show for a LONG time. (Let’s put it this way: there are college seniors who weren’t born yet when Dom started at Mix 100.) Jeremy has also been making you laugh with his quirky stories and wacky sense of humor since 2004!

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Mix 100.3 Morning Podcasts

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Dom Testa

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mix 100 jeremy padgettJeremy Padgett

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March 22, 2019

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Review: 2019 Lexus UX 250h AWD

The crossover/SUV market is getting more crowded with choices every month, it seems. You have access to plenty that will dominate the space in your garage and maybe even necessitate parking farther out in the grocery store lot in order to not be squeezed into a tiny space.

Slowly but surely, car makers are realizing that there’s a pretty good demand for something in the category that doesn’t overwhelm you. Lexus, which already has a few winners in the crossover arena (see the Lexus RX350, which I reviewed here) and now they’re proudly unveiling their newest player.

The UX 250h is the hybrid version of the brand new UX. If you opt for the traditional engine, it’s the UX 200.

I drove the hybrid 250h for a week.

The Basics

This is a sweet looking crossover. Although it’s smaller than its family members, the RX and the NX, it doesn’t seem shrimpy. Granted, storage space has been sacrificed, especially in the hybrid, but not to the point where it seems tiny.

The exterior modeling has been quite well done. I found the UX to be one of the more attractive crossovers I’ve driven.Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Honda Pilot Elite AWD

There are several choices for families who lust for a third-row SUV, a vehicle capable of carting around 7 or 8 people and their stuff.

The Honda Pilot has battled in this segment for many years, and battled well. But there have been small, niggling issues that have kept it from rock star status in the past.

For 2019 Honda has addressed some of these, and the result is another solid entry in the category.

The Basics

This is an eye-catching mid-size SUV, and by adding some small styling touches Honda jazzed it up even further.

The front grille gives the Pilot more of a rugged look, which I guess is important to some. (I read an article last year that said previous Pilots looked too much like a minivan. That’s fightin’ talk.)Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Mazda CX-9

Sometimes it comes down to this: Do you simply want to impress people with the name badge on the back of your vehicle, or do you treat it as mere transportation and the ride is most important?

If you’re in Group A — and there’s nothing wrong with that — you’ll likely confine your crossover/SUV shopping to the well-known luxury brands, like Lexus, Audi, BMW, etc.

If you’re in the second group, I’ve got a winner for you. The 2019 Mazda CX-9 doesn’t clock a perfect score, but it’s a strong choice that won’t set you back dollar-wise nearly as much as the fancy-pants choices.

And, as a bonus, it looks terrific.


The Basics

The CX-9 came out of the chute running, picking up the Motor Trend SUV of the Year Award just two years after it was unveiled. In the years since, it has made enough tweaks and adjustments to keep it relevant and popular with the masses.Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Lexus RX 350

For the past several years I’ve placed the Lexus RX 350 in my top three of all cars reviewed — and that’s a bunch of cars.

The thing is, Lexus has the opportunity to almost make this the perfect family vehicle. Almost. To me there’s only one thing keeping it from a 9.9 (remember, there’s no such thing as a 10).

More on that in a bit.

In the meantime, just know that if you’re searching for a crossover/SUV that drives beautifully, comes loaded with luxury details, and looks terrific inside and out, this could very well be one of your top candidates.

The Basics

Lexus first introduced the RX a little over twenty years ago, and since its introduction in the U.S. the sales have been spectacular. Forbes claims its the best-selling luxury SUV.

You can find it in only two trim levels, the base and the F-Sport. However, both of these offer a variety of options, including your choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel.Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Where do you go from the top? It’s a question Toyota has had to ask itself even since the Corolla became not only the biggest selling car in the world, but then earning the title of “best-selling car of all time.”

To their credit, the engineers at Toyota decided that messing with a good thing was just stupid. If people love the Corolla that much, just keep giving them more of a good thing.

Thus, we get to the 2019 version, more than half-a-century after the first Corolla came off the assembly line in the fall of 1966. We’re now into the 11th generation, and it’s no surprise why the little car continues to sell.


The Basics

In a way, I’m happy to see that Toyota has (so far) refrained from plumping up this vehicle in order to call it a crossover. Nay, says Toyota! It is a hatchback!

Hey, I grew up with a mom who drove an old-fashioned station wagon — wood paneling on the sides and everything — so I like this.

Replacing the mostly-unpopular Scion iM, the Corolla hatchback is a wanna-be-sporty little thing that can zip you around town and carry a few things in the back.Continue Reading

Don’t Renew Your Vows – Rewrite Them

On the morning show we talked about couples renewing their wedding vows, a practice often seen on 10th or 20th anniversaries.

I gave it some thought during a commercial break and came to the conclusion that people might be looking at it the wrong way. Sure, you can renew your vows and pledge once again to be faithful and supportive — you know, the usual words spoken millions of times before.

But to me this puts your marriage vows on the same level as your car’s registration, a routine that’s somewhat mechanical, following an established procedure on a predetermined timeline that everyone follows.

After the show I drove home, still pondering the idea. Here’s a link to my post about rewriting your vows.

Review: 2019 GMC Acadia Denali

This is America, which means everything must get bigger and bigger. If ever the saying “size is everything” applies, it’s the SUV category for automobile manufacturers.

If it was 185-inches long last year, then by gum we’re gonna make it 189-inches this year. Harummphh!

But whoa, Nelly. The folks at GMC either didn’t get the memo or they win the Rebel of the Year Award. A couple of years ago they threw everyone a curve by going the opposite direction with their Acadia.

I salute them.

I know, people who buy third-row SUVs often want something straight out of the Cretaceous Period. While the ’19 Acadia does indeed have three rows (we’ll talk in a bit about their frequency of use), it has the advantage of letting you spread out while not taking up two parking spaces.

The Basics

The Acadia can be found in four basic trim levels, although there are sub-trim levels, too. (Because we don’t have enough choices in this country.)Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Chevy Equinox Premier AWD

Before I even got behind the wheel of the Chevy Equinox – my first time to ever drive one – I was curious what others thought of it.

Discrepancies immediately popped up. Many of the professional reviewers were giving it anywhere from 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5. But actual owners had it hovering around 4.5. In other words, regular folks liked it much better than the so-called experts.

As soon as my week was up and I turned the Equinox back in, I realized who I sided with. And it wasn’t the professional gearheads.

This is a former mid-size crossover SUV that today is often classed as a compact, thanks to a diet that shed about 5 inches in length over the years. It holds 5 passengers comfortably, and while it won’t set the world on fire with performance numbers, it’s a fun ride.

The Basics

There are four trim levels of the Equinox to choose from, but that’s a bit misleading. The base model, known simply as the L, will be hard to find on car lots because it’s a special order.Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Over the years I’ve seen cars and SUVs that offered several trim styles, but the Chevy Traverse really stretches those capabilities.

Companies are sometimes accused of trying to be all things to all people, but with the Traverse it’s really more about plugging in the right pieces for your needs. And since that could run you from the high $20s to the low $50s, you obviously have a lot of choices.

But regardless of the route you take in building yours, you’ll come away with the space and comfort that many families are searching for without having to go the way of the Suburbasaurus.

The Basics

It’s fun to scan the family tree of your favorite car or truck, because it can soon begin to sound like the line of “begats” in the Old Testament.

In this case, the Traverse lineage goes back to the Chevy TrailBlazer, the last of which rolled off the factory line in late 2008.

But the Traverse, a mid-size crossover SUV that made its debut with the ’09 model, continues to share its basic platform with some other GM cousins like the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave.Continue Reading

Review: 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec

I love to learn how specific cars were named. Back in the good ol’ days we actually got to have badass names for our rides, like Mustang, Cougar, Thunderbird, Camaro, and, uh, Accord.

Okay, so they weren’t all badass. But at least they were names. Today we’re drowning in letters and numbers. Who could ever be passionate about something called a Q50, an X5, or an FT-4X?

When I walked outside and saw the new Acura MDX at least I had a story. Do you know where Honda/Acura got those initials?

Multi-Dimensional LuXury.

Wait. Shouldn’t that be MDL?

I wish they’d just called it the Acura Firestorm, or the Acura Governator, something we could sink our teeth into. Ah, well, they never asked me.

What they did, however, is dress up this latest version of the MDX. The crossover SUV itself debuted in 2000, and the third generation premiered about five years ago, so it’s getting close to a complete overhaul, no doubt.

While you wait, check out this tricked-out version known as the A-Spec. What does A-Spec add to the MDX’s engine? Nothing. To its suspension and/or handling? Nothing.

But it does dress the vehicle up with style, and lots of it, both inside and out. To quote some of the marketing materials from Acura, it adds “a sophisticated suite of human-centric enhancements.”

So you’ll dig it, but your dog will be non-plussed.

Look, I’m goofing around here. The truth is, the MDX is a damn fine vehicle, one that competes very nicely in the segment.Continue Reading

Dom In The Morning Blog

Review: 2019 Lexus UX 250h AWD

The crossover/SUV market is getting more crowded with choices every month, it seems. You have access to plenty that will dominate the space in your garage and maybe even necessitate parking farther out in the grocery store lot in order to not be squeezed into a tiny space.

Slowly but surely, car makers are realizing that there’s a pretty good demand for something in the category that doesn’t overwhelm you. Lexus, which already has a few winners in the crossover arena (see the Lexus RX350, which I reviewed here) and now they’re proudly unveiling their newest player.

The UX 250h is the hybrid version of the brand new UX. If you opt for the traditional engine, it’s the UX 200.

I drove the hybrid 250h for a week.

The Basics

This is a sweet looking crossover. Although it’s smaller than its family members, the RX and the NX, it doesn’t seem shrimpy. Granted, storage space has been sacrificed, especially in the hybrid, but not to the point where it seems tiny.

The exterior modeling has been quite well done. I found the UX to be one of the more attractive crossovers I’ve driven.

It’s available in two trim levels, the base and the F Sport. A 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine is paired with a couple of motors. Altogether the package delivers 181 horsepower.

A third electric motor is assigned to power the rear wheels in order to provide all-wheel drive. The non-hybrid UX 200 is only available with traditional front-wheel drive.

One thing you’ll notice is that this vehicle rides lower to the ground than most of the crossover/SUVs you might be used to. That’s an important consideration for some people, although it didn’t bother me a bit. In fact, I felt like it provided the 250h with a sportier, more nimble ride.

The Interior

I’ve yet to be disappointed with the smooth comfort of a Lexus cockpit. Again, there’s some styling that makes it stand out, although more than a few people have pointed out that Lexus cut a few corners in order to make this model more affordable.

I never felt like it cheapened the UX at all.

Things are laid out fine, with a nice setup of virtual gauges for the driver to see between the steering wheel. With its smaller, more intimate interior, everything is easy to reach. In my notes I actually used the word ‘snug,’ but not in a derogatory way. Sometimes I really appreciate a snug driver’s space.

If you’re looking for an SUV with tons of cargo space, you’ve come to the wrong place. The standard UX 200 has about 22 cubic feet, while the hybrid edition is limited to 17. It all depends on your priorities; I’ve never demanded the capability to haul a grand piano, so the UX’s modest way-back space is fine by me.

To help matters, the rear seat features a 60/40 split fold down.

What wasn’t as fine was the storage up front. We’re all getting spoiled to those wide/deep bins and cubbys, and you won’t get those here. I’d rate the storage in the front as okay.

The leather-stitched seats were very comfortable, but that’s pretty much a given with any Lexus. The two-toned look isn’t my personal favorite, but Gretchen thought it was nice.

The driver and front passenger get plenty of room, and although the rear seat can technically hold three additional passengers, two would be better. Remember, we’re talking about a smaller crossover here, so don’t think you’re getting the space of a Lincoln Navigator or anything.

Still, it’s a comfortable space.

The Drive

There is some yin and yang with the drive of the UX 250h.

The car was not made to bolt from the starting line like a track star. In fact, a zero-to-60 time isn’t even worth talking about. A big part of this likely can be blamed on the 3,600 pounds it’s having to move.

On the flip side, it’s not pokey, either. The combination of gas engine and electric motors did a very good job of navigating around town. At no time did I feel uncomfortable pulling out at an intersection or merging into traffic on the highway.

I guess you could call it the Goldilocks option: It’s just right.

Handling and steering were both very good, and, as mentioned, the UX feels nimble while darting around town. Overall I loved the way this car drove.

The Tech

The one real ding I’ve given Lexus over the years is their stubborn insistence on the interface. They’re going to keep pushing this touchpad nonsense, although I swear it’s way too distracting for a driver.

That’s combined with some scrolling wheels and buttons. The screen itself is large and pleasant to deal with.

Luckily they’ve made the climate control a bit simpler, which is at least something. I think the luxury car makers won’t stop annoying us with a touchpad or mouse until we all rise up and demand they stop. Give us regular buttons!

Apple CarPlay is available, but not Android Auto, sorry. You also get the big suite of Lexus tech toys, including the Enform wifi system, along with Alexa and smart watch integration. That’s cool.

Although Lexus is generous with standard tech features, there are also plenty of options, some bundled into packages.

The Bottom Line

Of the ten cars I’ve test-driven so far in 2019, I’d put the UX in my top three. It’s just the size I (personally) find attractive, the exterior styling is sharp and eye-appealing, and the drive is sporty and fun.

I do wish there was a bit more storage room up front, and backseat passengers might appreciate a touch more leg room.

But that doesn’t take away the fact that the UX 250h is a dynamic little hybrid crossover that will get you where you’re going in style.

Plus, when you factor in the fuel savings with the hybrid power plant, you’ll appreciate the break for your wallet. The combined mileage, according to the EPA, is around 39 mpg.

If your family doesn’t need to haul half your house every time you go somewhere, it’s a solid choice for you to consider — especially given the price compared to other luxury crossovers.

The Details

2019 Lexus UX 250h
2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine with dual hybrid electric motors
Continuously variable transmission
All-wheel drive (front-wheel drive standard in the UX 200)
Fuel economy: 41/38/39 combined
MSRP: $34,000
As tested: $42,050

Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by manufacturer

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Hoops & Hoopla

Saturday, April 6th
Broncos Stadium at Mile High, United Club Level, West Lounge
Join us for the college basketball semi-finals on Saturday, April 6th at Broncos Stadium for Hoops and Hoopla presented by Greiner Electric. The event benefits Morgridge Academy at National Jewish Health. Gourmet Meal, Hosted Bar, Auction and much more.

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