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 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
    History Of Chevrolet Vehicles – Trucks, SUVs, Cars, EVs And Vans

    History Of Chevrolet Vehicles – Trucks, SUVs, Cars, EVs And Vans

    The History Of Chevrolet - the bow-tie brand or just, Chevy.

    We experience the brand daily.  So causes most of us to take the legendary American carmaker for granted.  Because of that, it can be hard to fully appreciate its significance.

    ⇒ iDriveSoCal's Chevrolet Dealer is Martin Chevy in Torrance, California

    But where did the American brand of cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans come from?  How did it get its start?  Who are Chevrolet's founders?  And why did they create Chevrolet vehicles in the first place?

    What Is The History of Chevrolet?

    Here we're going to unpack a bit of the history of Chevrolet.  And yes, just a bit.  Because there are volumes written about Chevy and its rich American history.  So we'll focus on the 'nuts and bolts.'

    This iconic American carmaker is part of our daily lives.  And that's whether we see the commercials, read about the vehicles, drive the cars or work with the brand in any number of ways.

    What Does Chevrolet mean?

    Throughout the history of Chevrolet one of the common questions is exactly what the name means?  Or where did Chevrolet come from?

    And the answer might surprise you.  Because Chevrolet is the last name of an engineer, racecar driver, and mechanic.  Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland and lived from 1878 to 1941.

    Why is Chevrolet called Chevy?

    Consequently, the next question after what does Chevrolet mean is; Why is Chevrolet called Chevy?

    And, the moniker Chevy is merely short for Chevrolet.  Similar to how Smitty is to Smith.

    Who Owns Chevrolet?

    Chevrolet is owned by the General Motors Corporation.  And GM was founded in 1908 in Flint, Michigan.

    Over the years GM has owned many automotive brands.  But Chevy has consistently been the top seller.  And Chevrolet's current sibling brands under the General Motors umbrella include Buick, GMC, and Cadillac.

    To clarify GM owns other brands in the automotive industry.  But those other brands do not manufacture cars, trucks, SUVs, or vans.

    For example, GM owns OnStar, AC Delco, and GM Financial.  Plus emerging technology brands that pertain to the future of mobility.  Like electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

    Who Founded Chevrolet And When?

    Considering the brand of Chevrolet vehicles was named after a man it's natural to assume he's the founder.  However, in the history of Chevrolet, it's not exactly the case.

    Because the primary founder was a more legendary car guy by the name of William C. Durant.  'Billy' Durant lived from 1861 through 1947.  And he was an automotive marketer.

    So Durant leveraged Chevrolet's name as a racecar driver in creating the Chevrolet brand of vehicles.  It's kind of ironic that Durant (the marketer) is a name very few know.  Whereas Chevrolet (the mechanic, driver, engineer) is the name known around the world.

    When Was Chevy Founded?

    Chevrolet was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1911.

    But Billy Durant and Louis Chevrolet weren't entirely alone in the endeavor.  Because Durant gathered investors who are also considered founders.

    Also, many people wonder which came first, GMC or Chevrolet?  And the answer is that GMC, technically, came before Chevrolet.  But like much of history there are caveats to that.

    How And Why Was Chevrolet Started?

    Billy Durant was pushed out of General Motors.  And he wasn't happy about it.  So, he aimed to start another car company.

    Durant took his business acumen and marketing skills.  Adding Louis Chevrolet's name, reputation, mechanical skills, and racing experience.  And aimed at taking on Ford and its top-selling Model T.


    Southern California Chevy Dealer

    What Was The First Chevrolet Madein History?

    • 14 min
    2022 Chevrolet Equinox Review, Prices, Trims, Features Specs + Photos

    2022 Chevrolet Equinox Review, Prices, Trims, Features Specs + Photos

    The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox gets a refresh this year.

    And the Bow Tie brand does its top-selling SUV well by the adjustments it delivers.

    In fact in the entire Chevy vehicle line-up, sales of the compact sport-ute are bested only by Silverado.

    With that in mind, it makes sense that Chevrolet pays extra-special attention to the 5-seat Equinox and its upgrades.

    So let's unpack the details in this review, starting with the Top-3 things that make this compact crossover so popular.

    ⇒ Martin Chevrolet Is iDriveSoCal's Chevy HQ

    2022 Chevy Equinox Top-3:




    Compact Crossover/SUV - up to 31 MPG

    What's New For 2022 Chevy Equinox SUV

    At first glance, the '22 Equinox is noticeably updated by the refreshed front and rear fascias.

    Often these are the areas that carmakers focus on for updates, but Chevy designers get kudos for this one.  Because it takes closer inspection to determine if the vehicle is all-new or just spruced up.

    Chevrolet also ads its popular RS offering to the Equinox trim line-up for 2022.  That's Rally Sport for the uninitiated.  And as the name suggests, it delivers a sportier appearance among other upgrades.

    Additionally, the bow tie brand adds some new exterior colors for '22.  Including Cherry Red Tintcoat, Iron Gray Metallic, Seaglas Blue Metallic, and Blue Glow Metallic - some at an extra cost.

    Finally, there's some new technology available in the '22 Equinox.  And that covers available auto parking assist and front and rear park assist along with Outside heated adjustable mirrors.

    But the favorite tech enhancement that most road warriors will appreciate is the addition of wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.

    1.5L Turbocharged Inline 4-cylinder

    Trims And MSRPs

    For 2022 Chevy Equinox comes in four optional trim configurations.  With the starting manufacturers suggested retail price is $25,800.

    LS $25,800

    LT $26,900

    RS $30,100

    Premier $31,000

    Engine, Transmissions, And MPG

    There is a bit of engine news or 2022.  And that is that your choice of engines got much easier.  Because Chevy is offering only one this year.


    However, it's an enthusiastic 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder Ecotec engine.  Plus that power plant delivers 170 horsepower with 203 pound-feet of torque.


    Likewise, there's a single transmission option, but with a two or all-wheel drive decision to make.

    So the trans is a six-speed automatic.  It pairs nicely with the motor and keeps the driving experience confident and enjoyable.

    And Equinox is more of a crossover than an SUV.  This is evidenced in the transmission area with the two-wheel-drive option being front-wheel drive rather than the power coming from the rear wheels.

    Fuel Economy

    As expected, with the only differences being FWD and AWD the estimated fuel economy is quite similar.

    Specifically, the FWD will give you 26 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.  Whereas the AWD is estimated to deliver 25 mpg in the city and 30 out on the open road.

    183.1-inches long + 72.6" wide

    What's The '22 Chevy Equinox Look Like?

    With this refresh, the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox looks sportier for sure.  But also it appears a little wider and bolder.

    And this brings the overall styling of the compact SUV more in line with the appearance of its brethren.  Specifically, the Trailblazer and Blazer, both of which returned to Chevy's lineup in recent years.

    And upon their return, they both ushered in the more sleek and sporty look that the 2022 Equinox represe...

    • 16 min
    2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review, Prices, Trims, Features + Pics

    2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review, Prices, Trims, Features + Pics

    The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is refreshed this year.  And I like what The People's Car people have done!

    For sure the compact sedan always delivers on stylish good looks and performance.  Furthermore, they always manage to do it at a great price point.

    But even with that in mind, it feels like VW has leveled up its game for this refresh.  Perhaps you'll agree as we unpack this review.

    Ontario Volkswagen ⇒ iDriveSoCal's Official Volkswagen Dealer

    2022 VW Jetta GLI Top-3:




    What's New For 2022 VW Jetta GLI?

    So the front grill and rear bumper are the most noticeable areas of the 2022 GLI's refreshment.

    And both are enhancements that play perfectly to the target market of Jetta driving enthusiasts.  And the cover picture of this article tells the story on the front.  But the back is a bit more subtle as you'll notice below.

    Sporty rear lower valance

    Spot the honeycomb lower valance across the rear bumper?  Nice touch!

    Volkswagen also notes larger exhaust pipes on the '22 GLI but I don't think that's quite as noticeable.  Other exterior changes include new wheel design options and a Black appearance package.

    Additionally refreshed areas are inside the Jetta GLI.  Including a newly designed steering wheel wrapped in leather.  And red accent stitching.

    2022 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn

    Trim Configuration And MSRP

    For the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI it's super simple.  Because the German carmaker gives you only one option.

    So if you want to go with the enthusiasts Jetta for this model year, then you're getting the Autobahn trim.

    And the '22 Autobahn GLI trim is well equipped and the starting manufacturers suggested retail price is $31,295.

    Engine, Transmissions, And MPG

    Also, when it comes to your engine and transmission options your decision-making is simple.

    Because the 2022 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn comes with one engine.  However, here in the United States, we have the option of transmissions.

    First, the engine is a spirited 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder.  It's a 16-valve turbocharged inter-cooled, TSI.

    And available here in the US for 2022 the GLI Autobahn is available in both automatic and manual transmission!  (Exciting because in VW's European home only manual is available.)


    However, GLI is a blast to drive especially at its price point.

    This is due in large part to the well-balanced 228 horsepower engine that puts out 258 pound-feet of torque.


    Aside from manual and automatic, there is a slight difference in the transmissions.

    The automatic, which I test drove and you see pictured throughout this article is a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.  Notable here is that paddle shifters come with the single-trimmed GLI for 2022.  And this automatic trans/paddle-shifter combo provides ample driving enjoyment.

    However, if you want to take your driving enthusiasm to the next level, you can opt for manual transmission.  And it's a six-speed.  (My guess is that getting your hands on a manual transmission will probably require a special order.)

    GLI Fuel Economy

    Near identical MPG will be delivered for the 2022 VW Jetta GLI regardless of your transmission.

    If you opt for the manual trans then you'll get an estimated 26 MPG in the city and 37 on the highway.

    Ever-so-slightly adjusted MPG for the GLI automatic transmission is an estimated 26 in the city and 36 on the highway.

    The fuel economy for these transmissions is so close that they're estimated to both deliver 30 MPG for combined city/highway averages.

    • 15 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

Top Podcasts In Leisure

Critical Role
Si Robertson & Justin Martin
The Car Mom LLC / tentwentytwo Projects
Lisa Bass