100 episodes

The iDriveSoCal Podcast covers automotive news and the future of transportation from the car capital of the world – Southern California.

The region with the worst traffic on the planet has become ground zero for the revolution in how humans and our stuff travels from points ‘A’ to ‘B’.

But while the future of mobility is sorted out, you still have to drive, pretty much everywhere, especially here in SoCal. So, our content includes lots of vehicle reviews and behind the scenes car buying tips from real car dealers. After all, what better time to contemplate the details of your next vehicle purchase then when you're stuck in traffic?

Plus we're always covering cool automotive events, shows museums and everything about the history and future of transportation.

iDriveSoCal Tom Smith

    • Leisure
    • 3.5 • 2 Ratings

The iDriveSoCal Podcast covers automotive news and the future of transportation from the car capital of the world – Southern California.

The region with the worst traffic on the planet has become ground zero for the revolution in how humans and our stuff travels from points ‘A’ to ‘B’.

But while the future of mobility is sorted out, you still have to drive, pretty much everywhere, especially here in SoCal. So, our content includes lots of vehicle reviews and behind the scenes car buying tips from real car dealers. After all, what better time to contemplate the details of your next vehicle purchase then when you're stuck in traffic?

Plus we're always covering cool automotive events, shows museums and everything about the history and future of transportation.

    2022 Volkswagen Golf R, Prices, Trims, Specs, Features & Photos

    2022 Volkswagen Golf R, Prices, Trims, Specs, Features & Photos

    The all-new 2022 Volkswagen Golf R means business.  By far it's the hottest hatch to date.

    As it always has, the fifth generation takes driving to the next level.  The driving enthusiasts' Volkswagen is all performance.

    But without sacrificing style.  Plus VW injects technology in all the right places.

    And sure, it's comfortable too!  Definitely a daily driver with weekend track capability.

    ⇒ iDriveSoCal is driven by Ontario Volkswagen!

    2022 Volkswagen Golf R - Top-3:




    -->Continue reading or listen below.--

    315 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque

    New For 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

    So the 2022 VW Golf R is all-new.

    And more of everything is on tap.  Over 300 horsepower and almost as many pound-feet of torque.

    Manual or automatic transmission.  New driving modes for handling improvement.  Plus new interior with standard Digital Cockpit Pro.

    First only available in a single trim.  But now 20th Anniversary Edition is available - albeit in lower supply.

    Trims And Prices

    The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R was available only in a single trim.

    Yet, Volkswagen as it often does threw a curve ball.  Adding a 20th Anniversary Edition to the line-up.

    The price difference is almost non-existent.  But the 20th Anniversary trim is likely to attract collectors.  And fetch a higher resale value over time.

    2022 VW Golf R Trims & MSRPs:

    Base $44,290

    20th Anniversary Edition $44,940

    A mere 1,800 20th Anniversary units are on plan for all North America.  Special badging is a key difference.

    Also, 19-inch wheels that are gloss black.  Plus carbon fiber interior accents.

    And something key is being taken away.  That's the sunroof.  VW says it shaves weight.  Which makes sense in many ways.

    Because even here in Southern California.  Most of our cars have them.  But many drivers don't use them anyway.

    Engine, Transmission, And MPG

    We dig the engine.  And the transmission.  The whole powertrain.


    Putting out 315 hp with up to 295 lb-ft of torque.  The 2022 VW Golf R comes standard with a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder.

    It's a 16-valve turbocharged, TSI with intercooling.


    Connecting that engine to the wheels and road are two optional transmissions.

    There's a 6-speed manual.  Always fun to drive.  And likely the option we'd go with.  Depending on the driving environment.

    Because if you're daily driving in high congestion areas.  The automatic transmission could make more sense.  That's a 7-speed.

    And the automatic trans has paddle shifters.  So the ability remains to make the car do exactly what you want.

    Finally, all-wheel drive is the only way Golf R comes.

    Fuel Economy:

    Manual 20/23/28

    Automatic 23/26/30


    And the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R has a curb weight that varies.  Depending on a manual or automatic transmission.

    Manual transmission weighs 3,417 pounds.  An automatic is a bit more, weighing in at 3,481 lbs.

    2022 Golf R blue accents inside and out

    2022 VW Golf R - What's It Look Like?

    For certain it looks like a Volkswagen Golf R to the educated eye.

    To the less informed, 2022 looks like a sporty European hatchback.  Unassuming even.

    But the unassuming looks are deceiving to that less informed crowd.  Because the V-Dub Golf R is track-ready.

    In fact, it offers track mode.  As well as Drift mode.

    • 14 min
    2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, Prices, Trims, Specs And Pics

    2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, Prices, Trims, Specs And Pics

    The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a stylish midsize SUV that seats five.

    Smaller than its big brother Atlas yet bigger than its little brother's Tiguan and ID.4.  Atlas Cross Sport is delivering Audi-Esque European styling.  But at a price point lower than its sibling luxury brand.

    ⇒iDriveSoCal's VW HQ is Ontario Volkswagen

    2022 VW Atlas Cross Sport - Top-3:




    Wheelbase 117.3" - Length 195.5"

    New For 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

    Volkswagen is axing the S trim for the 2022 Atlas Cross Sport.

    SE trims now receive an 8.0-inch digital cockpit standard.  And SEL models are getting 4MOTION and 20-inch wheels.  Plus an R-Line Black package makes an entry with black twenties and R-Line accents.

    If you're wanting even bigger wheels - no problem.  Because VW is offering SEL Premium R-Lines with 21-inch wheels!

    Trims And Prices

    Here are the trims and MSRPs for the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.  There are six of them for 2022.

    2022 VW Atlas Cross Sport trims and starting MSRPs:

    SE $33,635

    w/ Tech $37,805

    SEL $43,405

    SEL R-Line $44,805

    R-Line Black $45,355

    Premium R-Line $50,805

    *All starting MSRPs. Plus $1,295 destination fee.

    Engines, Transmissions, And MPG

    VW is continuing to offer Atlas Cross Sport with two engines.

    Whichever engine you go with the transmission will be the same.  But you do have the deciding factor of different drivetrains.

    So there's a turbocharged 4-cylinder as well as a 6-cylinder that you'll be choosing from.

    Driving both of them, they're pretty similar in performance.  While the turbo 4-cylinder feels a bit quicker to speed up from slow speeds.  The 6-cylinder feels the same at highway speeds.  But they feel quite similar.

    Atlas Cross Sport Engines

    2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder - 235 horsepower w/ 258 pound-feet of torque

    3.6-liter 6-cylinder - 276 hp / 266 lb-ft of torque

    Towing Capacity

    This might be your deciding factor.  Because if you plan on towing anything with your 2022 Atlas Cross Sport.  There is a big difference.

    With the 4-cylinder you top out at 2,000 lbs of towing capability.  Whereas with the 6-cylinder you can drag up to 5,000 lbs.


    Engine aside, the 2022 Atlas Cross Sport comes with smooth and efficient transmission.   And that's an 8-speed automatic.

    Leaving you with the options of 2-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.  And in the VW world 4Motion refers to AWD.  While its 2-wheel option is front-wheel drive.

    195.5" width - 67.8" height

    Fuel Economy:

    2.0L-Turbo 4-cylinder

    FWD 21/23/25

    AWD 20/22/24

    3.6L 6-cylinder

    FWD 18/20/24

    AWD 18/20/24


    Looking At The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

    The styling continues to be a highlight for the 2022 Atlas Cross Sport.

    Because it's European roots.  Also due to its Audi family ties.  As well thanks to its rear downward-sloping roofline.

    The 2022 crossover midsize 5-seater is a Volkswagen for sure.  Good looking, classy, and athletic from every angle.

    Exterior Dimensions:

    Wheelbase 117.3

    Length 195.5

    Width 78.3


    front 67.0

    rear 67.6

    Ground clearance 7.1

    *All inches

    And the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport has a curb weight ...

    • 18 min
    2022 Chevrolet Traverse Prices, Trims, Features, Specs And Pics

    2022 Chevrolet Traverse Prices, Trims, Features, Specs And Pics

    The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse is a serious midsize three-row crossover SUV.

    For families and singles.  Executives and adventurers.  This is a serious contender.

    Stylish good looks.  Available luxury features.  Best-in-class cargo space.  Plus it's easy and fun to drive.

    It's a great Southern California car.  Not too big.  Confident highway acceleration.  And nimble u-turnability.

    ⇒ iDriveSoCal is driven by Martin Chevrolet!

    Top-3: 2022 Chevy Traverse




    2022 Chevrolet Traverse Premier trim

    New For 2022 Chevrolet Traverse

    Delivering a fresh look the 2022 Chevy Traverse is notable in a few areas.  First, the front with a new fascia and grilles.  Plus a new headlamp configuration.

    Also, the taillamp has a new look along with the roof rail and wheels.  Then there's available power-folding and heated mirrors.

    Additionally, the bow-tie brand updates Traverse's popular Redline Edition.  And it adds Midnight and Sport Edition availability along with a few new colors.

    Inside Traverse is offering more tech features for 2022.  Including tech for assisting the driver and connectivity.  Our favorite being the addition of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

    Trims And Prices

    Traverse comes is a trim configuration for every purpose we can think of.

    From the base LS to the loaded High Country.  But also there are special edition packages many buyers love adding on to various trims.

    And these include Midnight, Sport, and Redline Edition.  Plus Chevy's website informs of an RS Edition.  How that is different from the RS trim is unclear.

    2022 Chevrolet Traverse trims and starting MSRPs:

    LS $35,095


    cloth $37,595

    leather $41,295

    RS $45,595

    Premier $47,995

    High Country $52,595

    Engine, Transmissions, And MPG

    Keeping it easy Chevy Traverse comes with a single engine and transmission.  That's no matter which trims you're buying.

    And we're loving the engine!  Because it's a 3.6-liter V6.  Boasting 310 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.  It's powerful and quick.

    That's thanks to the smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission.  That's responsive and efficient.

    So your option is all-wheel-drive or two-wheel drive.  And the two-wheel option means your getting a front-wheel drive.  Being big fans of rear-wheel drive, that's one thing we'd love to see change.

    The fuel economy for the 2022 Chevy Traverse is solid.  Staying consistent throughout the trim options.

    Fuel Economy:

    FWD 18/27

    AWD 17/25


    Curb Weight And Towing Capacity

    Chevrolet says the 2022 Traverse has a curb weight of at least 4,310 lbs.  And that's with the LS trim and front-wheel drive.  So all the higher-level trim configurations will weigh more.

    Plus Traverse is a capable crossover for towing.  Because you can drag up to 5,000 lbs of stuff wherever Chevrolet's new roads are taking you.  To be clear, that's with the available trailering package.

    310 hp & 266 lb-ft of torque - 5,000 max. towing

    What's It Look Like - 2022 Chevrolet Traverse

    The updating in the front and rear of Traverse serves it well.

    Because it amplifies the crossover's already good looks.  Brings it more in line with its upstream Tahoe and Suburban.

    Even better assimilating with the smaller Chevy Blazer.  All are bold, sporty, and athletic in appearance.

    Exterior dimensions:

    Length 205.9

    Wheelbase 120.9

    • 15 min
    2022 Chevrolet Suburban Review, Features, Trims, Specs And Pics

    2022 Chevrolet Suburban Review, Features, Trims, Specs And Pics

    The 2022 Chevrolet Suburban makes me want a bigger garage.

    Because it's a bigger than full-size SUV.  Great for large families and one of the largest non-commercial vehicles on the road.

    it's huge inside, versatile, and available with almost every conceivable option.  Either from the factory or aftermarket.

    For example, it's hard to imagine a motorcade that doesn't include at least one Suburban.

    And Chevy Suburban is the original sport utility vehicle.  With the first one rolling out of the factory in 1935.

    ⇒ Martin Chevrolet is iDriveSoCal's Chevy Dealer

    Top-3: 2022 Chevrolet Suburban




    New For 2022 Chevrolet Suburban

    New for the 2022 Chevrolet Suburban includes lots of available options across trims.

    Leading off with the 6.2-liter V8 engine.  It's now available the RST Z71 and Premier trims.  Plus there are technology options available throughout the trim configurations.

    And that's let by a larger digital instrument cluster.  More camera views and driver assist technology.  Also, new exterior color options are new for 2022.

    134.1" wheelbase - 225.7" length

    Trims And Prices

    Chevrolet is offering six trim configurations for the 2022 Suburban.

    But that doesn't include special editions and many options within each trim config.

    2022 Chevy Suburban starting MSRPs:

    LS $53,200

    LT $58,700

    RST $62,200

    Z71 $64,200

    Premier $67,000

    High Country $73,800

    Engines, Transmissions, And MPG

    For 2022 Chevrolet is offering three optional engines in Suburban.  And those include one diesel along with two different V8s.


    So there's a 5.3-liter V8 that puts out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.  Plus there's the bigger 6.2L V8 and that puts out 420 hp with 460 lb-ft or torque.

    There's also the 3.0L turbo diesel that delivers 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

    2022 Chevy Suburban Transmissions

    The same 10-speed automatic transmission comes with the 2022 Suburban.  Regardless of engine you run.

    And that trans is both smooth shifting and efficient.  Of course, you do have the decision of two-wheel or four-wheel drive.

    But considering the four-wheel drive option seems the way to go.  Because there's not much difference in fuel economy.

    Fuel Economy

    The EPA estimates for Suburban's fuel economy vary.  Because it depends on engine and transmission combination.

    2022 Suburban MPG:

    5.3L V8

    2WD 15/20

    4WD 14/19

    6.2L V8

    2WD 14/20

    4WD 14/19

    3.0L Turbo Diesel

    2WD 21/20

    4WD 27/26

    *All city/highway

    Curb Weight And Towing Capacity

    Depending on the configuration, the 2022 Suburban has a curb weight of between 5,616 and 6,072 lbs.

    And on towing capacity.  That too depends on your configuration.  But you can trailer up to 8,300 lbs with Suburban.

    Available 420 hp / 460 lb-ft of torque

    What's It Look Like - 2022 Chevy Suburban

    Since Suburban's recent redesign it's been delivering great looks.  Especially for an SUV of its size and capability.

    But its bold and athletic appearance adjusts with trim and options.  It can have a more on or off-road look.

    Exterior Dimensions:

    Length 225.7

    Wheelbase 134.1

    Width 81.1

    Height 75.7


    front 68.5

    rear 68.3

    Ground clearance 8 to 10

    • 15 min
    2022 Volkswagen Arteon Review, Trims, Prices And Specs

    2022 Volkswagen Arteon Review, Trims, Prices And Specs

    The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon receives updates in all the right places.

    In fact, the midsize flagship sedan comes this/close to its luxury sibling Audi.  And that's in many areas.

    Increased horsepower makes it more fun to drive.  Enhanced technology takes the user experience to another level.

    And bold, athletic styling continues to inspire something more than VW.  Exactly the flagship's purpose.

    ⇒ Ontario Volkswagen drives iDriveSoCal

    2022 VW Arteon Top-3




    -->Continue reading below or click play to listen.--

    300 horsepower / 295 pound-feet of torque

    New For 2022 Volkswagen Arteon

    Leading the 2022 Arteon's newness in 2022 is more.  Because that brings its performance on par with its already sporty good looks.

    Plus that power comes from a new bigger engine.  So, accenting the power and good looks are R-Line design enhancements.  And those are now standard across all trims.

    Also, VW is adding sporty new available 19 and 20-inch wheels.  Which, with the increased horsepower is a match we love.

    Trims And Prices

    So the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon comes in three different trim configurations.

    2022 VW Arteon trims & MSRPs:

    SE R-Line $42,045

    SEL R-Line $46,845

    SEL Premium R-Line $50,845

    And it's notable that each trim only comes in one drive type.  So if you want front-wheel drive then you need to opt for the SE R-Line.

    Because the SEL R-Line and the SEL Premium R-Line both come with all-wheel drive.  And in Volkswagen's terminology that's 4MOTION.

    Engine, Transmission, And MPG

    The 2022 Arteon delivers the same engine and transmission.  And that's no matter what trim configuration you decide to go with.

    But that engine upgrade is immediately noticed.  Which is a little surprising because it's not that much bigger than its predecessor.


    So the new motor is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder 16 valve.  It's turbocharged and delivers 300 horsepower with 295 pound-feet of torque.

    That's up from the previous engine delivering 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.


    The same automatic transmission comes in every 2022 Arteon.  And that's a 7-speed with optional driving modes for every surface condition.

    Additionally, all trims include the back of the steering wheel paddle shifters.  But, I found the driving modes to be more than adequate during my test drive.

    The final note on transmission is whether you're going FWD or VW's 4MOTION/AWD.

    Fuel Economy

    Because of the same engine and transmission combo.  Arteon is delivering a similar MPG.  Even with the FWD or 4MOTION difference.

    2022 VW Arteon MPG:

    FWD 24/28/34

    AWD 22/25/30

    *EPA estimates

    Curb weight for the 2022 Arteon comes between 3,653 and 3,935.  And that difference depends on how you're equipping the vehicle.

    2022 Volkswagen Arteon SE R-Line

    What's The 2022 VW Arteon Look Like?

    The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon can, without much trouble, be mistaken for an Audi.

    It's European, stylish, athletic, and bold.  But it also has a classy elegance.  And yet it's a Volkswagen.

    Adding to Arteon's wide and low stance is the downward sloping roofline.  Which adds to the sedan's 'coupe' look.

    And call Arteon what you will, a fastback, Sportback, or hatchback.  It's one sporty-looking midsize four-door.

    Exterior Dimensions:

    Length 191.5

    Wheelbase 111.9

    Width 73.7


    Front 62.5

    • 16 min
    2022 Chevrolet Blazer Review, Prices, Trims, Features, Specs And Images

    2022 Chevrolet Blazer Review, Prices, Trims, Features, Specs And Images

    The 2022 Chevrolet Blazer continues delivering crossover SUV sportiness.

    For sure it's more on-road athleticism than off.  But that's in line for its midsize two-row class.

    And some of the additives Chevy equips the Blazer with for 2022 help dance it up just a bit more.

    ⇒ Martin Chevrolet is iDriveSoCal's Chevy Dealer

    2022 Chevy Blazer Top-3:




    -->Continue Reading Or Click Play Below To Listen--

    Premier Trim, Pewter Metallic Exterior

    New For 2022 Chevrolet Blazer

    This year the Blazer keeps things fresh with a few enhancements.

    New wheels on the Premier trim are included.  Plus there's a cool two-tone roof option on the LT and RS trims.  Additionally, there are two new colors for the outside.  And those are Nitro Yellow Metallic and Blue Glow Metallic.

    Also improved for 2022 are the Premier trim's convenience package and the trailering package for Blazers with the 4-cylinder engine.

    Trims And Prices

    For 2022 Chevy offers the Blazer in four different trim configuration options.

    Trims And Starting MSRPs:

    2LT $34,795

    3LT $38,995

    RS $42,495

    Premier $42,495

    Now the RS and Premier being the same starting MSRP isn't a typo.  Because the RS comes only in the larger 6-cylinder.

    Whereas the Premier starting MSRP includes the smaller 4-cylinder.  For a few bucks more the 6-cylinder is an option on the Premier trim.

    Special Edition Packages

    And as the bow-tie brand often does, it's offering Special Edition packages for 2022.

    So there are the Midnight, Sport, and Redline Editions available on Blazer this year.  These are primarily appearance packages.  But are a great way to customize your Blazer.

    Engines, Transmissions, And MPG

    The 2022 Chevy Blazer pictured throughout this article is the Premier trim.  And it has the 6-cylinder engine option with a two-wheel drive transmission.


    2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder - 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque

    3.6L 6-cylinder - 308 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque


    Blazer is delivered as either a two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

    But either way, it comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission.  And it does its job well.  Providing a good balance of fuel economy, performance, and comfort.

    One thing I wish Chevy would do with the Blazer is to make the vehicle rear-wheel drive rather than front-wheel drive.  But that's just me.

    Fuel Economy

    So the EPA estimated MPG for the 2022 Blazer ranges from a low of 19 in the city and up to 29 on the highway.

    2.0L Turbo

    FWD 22 city / 29 highway

    AWD 22 city / 27 hwy


    FWD 19 city / 27 hwy

    AWD 19 city / 26 hwy

    Overall, with the 6-cylinder engine, this crossover sport-ute is just as quick and fun to drive as it looks.

    191.4-inch length / 112.7" wheelbase

    What's The 2022 Chevy Blazer Look Like?

    When recently reintroduced Blazer's styling cues definitely came from Chevy's Camaro.

    Since then that overall style is recognized throughout the Chevy vehicle line-up.  And it's sharp.  Sporty, athletic, and bold.

    All while being totally American and distinct from the bow-tie brand.

    Exterior dimensions:

    Length 191.4

    Wheelbase 112.7

    Height 67

    Width 76.7


    front 66.4

    rear 66.2

    *All inches

    Depending on the trim configuration,

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

cscscsc28 ,

Review or Advertisement for Rock Honda?

I listened to the Civic Hatchback Review and it seemed more like an advertisement for a car dealership with name dropping folks over at the car dealership. Would have loved more info on the actual car