Welcome to Motoring Monday for December 22nd, 2014. Happy Holidays to you all out there whatever it is you are celebrating this week. I love you all and so glad you’re here.

Today we have a fun and exciting countdown of our Top Ten Videos of 2014 that you all voted for by watching more than any others. The countdown and a few behind the scenes stories on them, are coming right up!

Video #10: Quick drive: 2015 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E

At Number 10 for 2014 is a drive review of the 2015 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E, a video that took off for the top of the charts from day one.

The drive took place in Las Vegas, Nevada at an official Volvo event which showcased their all-new Drive-E engines which came to their 2015 V60, S60 and XC60 models.

It was admittedly my first time behind the wheel of any of these vehicles so I came off a bit like a newb to the brand, but was and remain very excited by Volvo’s comeback.

It was windy in Las Vegas when this was shot, and cold as well. Time was short too so this particular drive was a but rushed, finishing up in the parting garage at the Aria resort.

Video #9: SEMA Show 2014: Vaughn Gittin Jr drifting Street Truck Concept

Unlike the last video, Number 9 in our countdown is pretty fresh, just shot and produced last November on election day during the 2014 SEMA Show, again in Las Vegas.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is always a show stopper when he puts on his signature drifting exhibitions and this year he threw in an extra wrinkle to the show, a pickup truck.

As soon as this video hit the web, it shot up the charts and started a vigorous conversation about the very idea of a drift truck, how ridiculous or cool it is, and when are they gonna build one. It was a fun show indeed.

The toughest part of this shoot was keeping the rubber particles flying through the air off the camera lens, a hazard of the job at drift exhibitions.

Video #8: First Drive: 2015 Mustang GT 5.0

At Number 8 is a video close to my own heart and one that’s still running strong, my first and long awaited drive of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT.

While many journalists were invited to the big media launch in Los Angeles, I sadly wasn’t this time around. But we did have a very short one-day event in my hometown of Phoenix, AZ shortly thereafter.

The big challenge on this drive was that the many journalists there wanted a piece of this car, and I had all of about 15 minutes with it myself to shoot still video inside and out as well as do my drive review.

Considering most shoots take 2-3 days when I test a car, it was a miracle that this one came together as well as it did in 15 minutes. The drive itself went from start to finish in one take, though a motorcyclist did disappear into thin air about 2/3 the way through due to edits.

Most of the ribbing I got from this drive video is that I didn’t really push the car hard enough. I agree, but alas it was recorded live and on public roads. I gotta be a good boy sometimes.

Video #7: Test driven: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line

A surprise to me this year was the popularity of our 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo test drive which lands at Number 7 this year, even though it was recorded in 2013.

I shouldn’t be too surprised, after all it is a pretty damn nice car. I’m an admitted Volkswagen enthusiast though and perhaps that spirited love comes across in this drive review. And I do tell this during the drive, that I am about as fair and balanced as a proud parent.

The drive takes place on Highway 89, better known as Apache Trail which is in the mountains just East of Phoenix, AZ. It’s a nice windy road that makes this car really a treat, and makes for some great drive by video.

We got a nice sunny day in October for this shoot which was a bonus and it’s a car that I enjoyed very much. I still wish it had an off-button for the traction control.

Video #6: First Look: 2015 Ford Edge

The popularity of video Number 6 on the list was unexpected to me. Who knew you would all want to watch a video about the 2015 Ford Edge in such large numbers?

I should have known however as the video we made on the concept version of the very same crossover vehicle last year at the LA Auto Show was also topped our charts.

Our presentation here is produced entirely of Ford B-Roll video with me voicing over my own word. Most of the automakers provide this high quality video for journalists to use like this, and we very much appreciate it.

What I can’t wait for now is the chance to drive a 2015 Ford Edge, because if our first look videos are any indicator, our drive reviews will be popular too!

Video #5: First Look: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

At Number 5 is likely one of the hottest cars to make the headlines this year, the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat!

At over 100,000 views since its post last May the first look video has garnered a great deal of conversation and bench racing banter.

The most interesting thing to me is that when we made this video, Dodge had said the horsepower rating was and I quote “over 600 horsepower”.

Well a month later they dropped the bomb that the engine in fact made 707 horsepower and all hell broke loose online. This little video got its second wind on the charts.

Like that Ford Edge, I haven’t had the occasion to test drive and review the Challenger or Charger Hellcat yet. But when I do, you will be the first to know. Count on it.

Video #4: First look: 2015 Jeep Renegade

At Number 4, the Jeep Renegade got its season in the sun too. Our first look at the new Italian built Jeep has been quite the conversation piece from all angles.

It made its debut at the Geneva Auto Show last March and immediately became a controversial topic among Jeep enthusiasts and auto industry followers alike. A Jeep made in Italy? The horror.

Just like the Jeep Cherokee which caused a stir before it, the Renegade has had more conversation traded before its arrival on the lots than most. And like the Cherokee, I think its going to sell like hot cakes.

It just goes to prove that sometimes the story behind a new car is sometimes bigger than the car itself. Either way, I think Jeep has a winner with the Renegade.

Video #3: First Look Extended Play: 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang

Our next video is hot. It lands in our Number 3 spot in just a little over a month since its first posting. This video is as of today, Number 1 on YouTube search for the 2016 Shelby GT350

Put together from Ford’s top end B-Roll, my take on the 2016 Shelby GT350 as always adds my own affinity and long term love for Ford’s pony car. I have owned dozens of these cars, so talking about them comes easy.

This video is actually the second one we posted in the same day, the first one was shorter and used different footage. No sooner than it had posted in the morning, Ford released the track footage you see here, and we had to run back to the editing room for the extended play version.

I’m glad we did, because you watched it and continue to do so more than any other video we have right now, and I’m betting it will still be in our top 10 next year at this time.

Video #2: First Look: 2015 Volvo XC90 crossover SUV

At Number 2 is a video that I am honestly shocked has been so popular around the world, the first look at the new 2015 Volvo XC90.

It’s just a mid-size luxury crossover SUV from a company that has been close to being out of business for the past decade. How can this be such a hot car everyone wants to hear about?

Well I think we all like an underdog. We all like a comeback story. When you roll in some good design and what looks like excellent quality, people respond. And with over 200,000 views in a few months that’s a big deal for us here at TestDrivenTV.

Like the 2015 Ford Edge, this is a vehicle I can’t wait to drive myself and do a good healthy review on. My sense is that if your enthusiasm is any guide here, Volvo might just have a winner on its hands.

Video #1: My take: 2015 Ford Mustang inside and out

Now, our Number 1 video of the year, this one is our all time Number 1 in fact with well over half a million views. I had a feeling when the 2015 Ford Mustang made its debut, it would be well viewed. What I didn’t know, is how much.

Last December I went out to Hollywood to see the reveal of the all-new 2015 Mustang, which was held in five locations around the world simultaneously. The event in Hollywood was held at the Chinese Theater with a short pull the sheet reveal which I dutifully recorded.

Like many there, I raced to my hotel room and posted the video which of course got many views at first, but in the end wasn’t that much to watch. When I got home, I went to the editing room and produced a second video.

Like the 2016 Shelby GT350, it was when I sat down and put my own take and opinion to the car that it really took off. In many ways it was an introduction from me to you, to explain who I was and why what I had to say about the Mustang had some kind of meaning.

Some of you appreciated that aspect of it, others told me to shut up and just show the pictures. Either way this video
was Number 1 on YouTube search for the 2015 Mustang much of this year and your engagement made that happen.

So there you have it, the Top Ten Videos of the year for TestDrivenTV. And to follow up on that last bit, it’s your engagement that has made this list as well as our first full year of bringing these videos to you successful.

I would not be here if we had no viewers. Thus I am very thankful to you, each and every one of you for continuing to watch, to comment, and to come back and see us each week.

If you like what you see, click on the link here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel where I ‘ll keep you updated on our latest auto reviews and news.

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Happy Holidays to you all and be safe out there. I’m Sam Haymart for TestDrivenTV, I hope you enjoyed the ride!

Oh….and be sure to come back next week for Motoring Monday where we have a very special announcement to make. See you then!