2021 Has Been A Great Year for Cars & Trucks

Have you checked out the Queer4Cars YouTube Channel? Videos and real drive stories about the cars and trucks we review.
The 2021 Kia Sorento at Christmas 2020 with William West Hopper.
The 2021 Kia Sorento at Christmas 2020 with William West Hopper.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for spending your valuable time watching and reading about cars and trucks with us this year both here and on our two YouTube Channels, Queer4Cars and The Real DCCarGuy. I hope you have enjoyed our videos and posts. If you missed any of these stories, check them out. If so, I encourage you to subscribe, share our posts, and follow us on the various social platforms YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TokTok.

2021 provided us some amazing cars to tell you about. Interestingly enough there were none that we said, here take the keys back, we have had enough, as in years past. We experienced some really amazing and well-crafted vehicles in 2021.  Closing out last year with the new Kia Sorento, then kicking off with the electrifying Mini Cooper E. January had us in a GMC Yukon Denali on a road trip along the Susquehanna River in Maryland. Which we also reported on through the Queer4Travel site as well.

Star White Ford Mustang Mache
The Ford MACH-E has muscular lines like its Mustang counterpart.

March, we drove the Blue Oval’s all-new Mach-e for a week – and in doing so we did our first of a number of co-videos with Jake Maynard and Colin Hawkins from Gas Guzzler Reviews YouTube Channel.  If you have not checked out these two young guys on YouTube, I encourage you to do so.  Anyone who says young people are not interested in cars has not spent any time with young people. These two guys are amazing and while they started the channel for fun, they really work hard at researching the vehicles, turning it into a profitable business. For me, it has been a great treat to learn from them, as I help them by sharing my media review vehicles with them to expand the vehicles they review on video.

2021 Acura TLX in Advanced Trim
2021 Acura TLX in Advanced Trim

Spring showed two opposites; the highly technological Acura TLX a true four-door sports sedan, and then the consummate and Iconic off-roader, a 4×4 nameplate that is almost as old as I am. And one that is happiest where there are no paved roads. This would be the Toyota Land Cruiser. 

William West Hopper and the Infiniti QX55
William West Hopper and the Infiniti QX55 with the social media frame and hashtag DemandCenterStage

May had us in the Infiniti QX55 a true upscale luxury crossover that is bringing Infiniti up to par with so many in its market segment.  A trip to NYC along with Jake from the Guzzler Channel, to see the world launch of the Kia EV6 an all-new high line electric vehicle from our friends at Kia. This was an amazing opportunity to go behind the scenes in Times Square at a major launch.  Yes, they bought out Times Square, now that was an experience, just in itself.

Bentley Continental GT V8

Our first Super Car showed up for the Memorial Day weekend, A quarter of a million-dollar luxury coupe, the Bentley Continental GT V8.  We took it to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, so be sure to check out our Windy Hill Farm Edition video on that swanky piece of proper British metal.

Summer started off full throttle with a car a week throughout the month of June. Starting with the Genesis GV80. We took on a road trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Then the very versatile and urban-friendly crossover the Mazda MX30, and an old favorite the Audi Q5, and we forgot how much we like the Audi line of SUVs and totally understand why they are so popular. Classic style, great pricing, and lots of technology. Plus, the Q5 had enough space for us to load with items to sell at a flea market.  Closing out the month was the super affordable urban vehicle Hyundai Venue. One that we were really surprised with. Expecting a small cheap ride. Instead, we found it had great use of space, was intelligently designed, and had a lot of charm, perfect for living in the city, or as an affordable runaround car for anyone who wants well-priced dependable transportation, especially with Hyundai’s amazing warranty.

Crowds at Chryslers at Carlisle
Crowds at Chryslers at Carlisle

The rest of the summer kicked me into creative gear doing some interviews with Chrysler muscle car designers at the annual Chryslers at Carlisle. Held at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds which almost weekly holds some sort of ultimate car meet in Carlisle PA.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric charging at a Clipper Creek Charger

It’s been two years since we leased our own personal vehicle, a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and we used it for an Electric Vehicle range anxiety trip video on our Real DC Car Guy Channel. Showing that driving an electric vehicle along the Mid-Atlantic’s I95 corridor can be accomplished and for less money than in an internal combustion vehicle. Of course, with the help of free charging from the Residence Inn in Bala Cynwyd PA. If you have not checked out our travel site and channel, Queer4Travel.com, and the accompanying YouTube Videos, there you will be able to find hotel reviews for the hotels we have stayed in this year.  We will be growing that channel more in the coming years.

black on black hyundai santa cruz
Hyundai’s All-Activity Vehicle the Santa Cruz

Fall opened and we took out the brand-new all-activity vehicle from Hyundai the Santa Cruz for a trip to the Radnor Concours d’Elegance. Again another trip to PA, this time along with the Gas Guzzler Reviews Channel team. We participated in a scavenger hunt, and I was invited to be part of the judging team this year. Which was a great honor.

The Guzzler Guys wanted to do a modern minivan, so in comes the Kia Carnival.

Man and dog in the back of a Genesis GV80
Officer Matt and Oliver in the 2021 Genesis GV80

Another road trip, this time to New York State in a Toyota Prius XLE AWD.  While that fuel economy master is much hated in the enthusiast world, I have to say our bank account loved it with a simple thirty-buck fuel bill.  Officer Matt and I took it to the International Motor Press’s annual all brand drive event where we to drive a variety of cars. Sorry no Oliver time, Officer Matt’s faithful and loveable Doberman pincher who was rescued, and now lives like a king.

VW ID4 The New People’s Car

Our own Washington Automotive Press Associations Annual Fall WAPA Rally provided us the opportunity to test out a number of 2022 vehicles including the Polestar2, the new Mazda EV, and the VW ID4 electric vehicles.  A great follow-up for when we joined VW on two consumer experience drive events locally where I got to drive both the ID4 and Taos. People ask why automakers are forgoing auto shows, many are finding they get more bang for their buck in hosting their own consumer experiences.

green four door pickman electric pickup
the four-door pickman all-electric pickup truck

As the electrification of transportation intrigues, us, we spent some time in the brand-new Lucid Motors showroom here in Northern Virginia and spent a day with the East Coast Pickman rep and driving the road-legal LSV Low-Speed Vehicle. All-Electric Pickman pickup truck. Not for everybody, but an impressive and simple EV for those who just need around-town, campus, or park transportation. Did you see the Electric Couch in the video?

key to the Land Rover Defender 90 First Edition
The Land Rover Defender 90 First Edition

We closed out the year in the Land Rover Defender 90. This proves to us that the 2-door 4×4 is still very much with us. Though it did not feature lots of burled walnut and exotic hides, it did show that modern design and elegance do not mean you need to use rare and non-sustainable materials. This ultra-capable 4×4 was quite impressive.

If you were to ask me what my favorite car is, I often say, whichever one I have the keys to in my hand at the moment.  Looking back on 2021 I have to say my favorites were the Hyundai Santa Cruz, the Land Rover Defender 90, and the Mini Cooper Electric. Surprised that the Bentley Continental was not a fav?  Well, it was exciting, but for that kind of money, I was surprised that it was not mind-blowing, which it was close to, but not quite.  The Toyota Land Cruiser, Acura TLX, and Infiniti QX55 came in close

black on black hyundai santa cruz
Four doors and a pickup bed The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a very manageable size.

And of course, my favorite car of all time is the Hyundai Ioniq Electric that I personally make a monthly lease payment on.  No matter what cool media vehicles I get to drive, I still get back into the Ioniq every time and say to myself how much I like this simple little all-electric hatchback.

I am now planning for 2022.  At present, I am scheduled to be a VIP Tour Guide for the Washington DC Auto Show on January 22 and 23rd and then on 29th and 30th, with multiple tours scheduled, so book a tour at the Washington DC Auto Show website with me.  Let us all hope and pray that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 does not derail our major Washington DC Auto Show this year like it did in 2020.  We are starting out the year 2020 with a review vehicles schedule of both the Ford Maverick and Bronco as well as the Jeep Wagoneer – so stay tuned as we gear up for a great 2022.

Officer Matt Rihl helmeted and harnessed up prior to driving a SHELBY GT 500 on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Track at speed. October 19 2020
Officer Matt Rihl helmeted and harnessed up prior to driving a SHELBY GT 500 on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Track at speed.

I want to thank everyone who has been helpful this year as we grow this outlet, from my good friend Officer Matt, with a local Police Dept. The fleet companies who manage the cars, NAVs, and Drive Shop. As well as my continued relationship with both the Washington Automotive Press Association and the International Automotive Press Association.

I am looking forward to doing more car and truck reviews and stories on the automotive lifestyle, just for you in 2022. And to see you on our next episode, as well as right here on this site.

Happy New Year to you and yours!  Until the next time have a fabulous end of the year celebration with your family and friends.

William West Hopper – December 2021


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