2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SPORT – HD Road Test Review

The trusty midsize sedan segment of the car business has found itself in an unusual spot these days. SUVs and low gas prices mean the old days where Camrys and Accords sold by the dozen are long gone.  They are now fighting to be a purchase not of necessity, but one of desire. Subaru has stepped up with a serious rival in this high-stakes game.  A car that is still easy to buy and own, but with added pizzazz to make it pop versus the onslaught of new, high-riding competition. Subie’s answer? The new-for-2017 Subaru Legacy SPORT trimline.  The car is instantly quite sexy in the flesh thanks to a sport-ified exterior treatment. And what does the Legacy bring to the table no other mid-size sedan can match? Standard AWD! WITH 34-mpg on the highway and standard paddle shifters for its autobox. How does this new Legacy Sport compare with the …

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3.5s, 178MPH 2017 Lotus EXIGE SPORT 380 is Fastest Flyweight Yet

Standard carbon aero and a boost up to 375HP are enough to make this latest Lotus special into quite the slayer.  Its on-paper figures are outstanding and up there with a very rarified competitive set. The difference?  This Exige Sport 380 is also pretty light on the wallet!  It is priced at just 90k Euros and is aimed at the UK, German and Japanese markets. No official word on its US potential… but all this kit is certainly available for US Exige clients!  Just not bundled together right out of the factory. But hey, longing for Lotuses that are not sold in the States is half the fun of this self-described Supercar Killer. The other half?  Hanging the tail wide around a corner with a huge grin from ear to ear! 2017 Lotus EXIGE SPORT 380     LOTUS EXIGE SPORT 380: SUPERCAR KILLER Fastest Exige ever: 0-60 mph in 3.5 secs 375 …

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2016 Lexus NX200t F SPORT AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If the NX200t did one of those TV Ancestry tests, what would show up? Platform sharing today makes it difficult to figure out what is a real brand anymore. You’ve got rebadged Mercedes posing as Infiniti’s. Jeeps driving around on Fiat underpinnings. Fiats driving around on Mazda bits. Subaru’s, Scions. And more.  Oh my. Then we have intermingling within the automakers as well, and they can be very well disguised. Case in point, Lexus and Toyota. There’s a lot of sharing going on. In all honesty, though, it always felt like the downscale Toyota models were getting Lexus goodness, rather than the other way around. Still, with the crazed small crossover/SUV wars going on, if you’re not a player, you may not be in business in a couple years. So Lexus knew it needed something special in a hurry to slot below the larger RX300. Voila! Enter the NX200t. (And …

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2016 Toyota Yaris LE – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

Toyota Yaris front fascia angle

With the recent influx of economy minded products from both rivals as well as the dearly departed Scion brand, it is easy to assume at first glance that the humble Toyota Yaris gets lost in the shuffle. But does this tiny hatchback still have what it takes to stand out in this crowded segment? Or does it come up just a bit short?     The exterior styling of our 2016 Barcelona Red LE grade test car (2017 models have minimal changes) certainly made our car stand out in a crowd, and also helped it have a sporty flair. This is enhanced further by the optional Black Pearl accents that adorn the upper half of the car. The front fascia is a curious interpretation of sportiness, with the bold headlights and prominent Toyota badge balanced out by a massive lower grille that looks awkward from some angles. The rear fascia meanwhile …

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2017 VW Beetle DUNE Cabriolet – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the Beetle Dune ragtop just what the doctor ordered? Back in September, we tested a VW Beetle Dune, and decided it could be the answer to VW’s Diesel-inspired tummy troubles. While the folks at VW may (still) be reaching for a Super Gulp-size Pepto, we found a much better choice for quick relief. The 2017 VW Beetle DUNE Cabrio. The recipe for the convertible is pretty similar to the Dune hardtop. Based as an homage to the Baja Bugs of yore, all Dune models get a notable bump in the macho department, with a slightly taller ride height (half an inch), and a 0.2- inch wider rear track. The Dune also gets some nice eye candy, with black moldings in the fenders, and unique 18-inch “Canyon” alloys that fill out the wheelwels. Add in a honeycomb front grille, skid plates front and rear (for appearance only), a chunky Porsche-like …

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Cars of Our Lives – Levante S, M235i Cabrio, 550i Shadowline, 740i, X1, 320i and 440 Gran Coupe

  A bevy of fine-driving BMWs to share in this first-ever installment of a ‘daily gallery’ feature post.  We share MANY more photos on social media than often end up in articles here on the web.  The problem with that is the quality of the pics is greatly decreased.  An image that might be 5MB on phone is about 80kb on facebook.com/carrevsdaily or instagram/car_revs_daily On with the show!  100 or so pics from the last two weeks on my iPhone.  Cars we drove only every-so-briefly…. or not at all in some cases!  The Maserati Levante and upgraded Chevy SS have remained off-limits.  But still fun to find in the wild. Favorites among the BMWs so far?  Surely the i8!!!  Not photographed at all yet.  Soon. Second place?  The 550i is bad-ass gangster and faster than all holy hell.  So nice. New 740i also heavenly. No M3/M4 seat time yet, but …

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2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo SV – Road Test Review

The compact cargo van market is becoming a big deal for carmakers and small-biz owners alike. Sales growth in the segment is near the top of the charts. Why? Many reasons.  And yes, it helps that compact cargo vans did not exist until the last few years.  Nissan arguably kicked off the trend that now includes the Ford Transit Connect Cargo, RAM ProMaster City and even the Chevy City Express … ( itself an NV200 clone) Why are these vans so hot right now?   And how does the revised-in-2015 NV200 rank versus the best out there? Let’s find out… HD Drive Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YegCpWgdx4w       EXTERIOR What a friendly face.  The NV200 cannot help its slab-sided practicality – and may not be a design icon for the ages as a result.  Even so, this SV trim level with its $200 appearance pack does have much charm. Our Cayenne Red …

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2016 VW Golf TSI SE – HD Road Test Review + Video

Where does the Golf fit in VW’s great comeback? The Golf has long been the most intellectual, well-travelled and worldly compact hatch.  Despite pricing from the low 20s, the Golf is clearly a classy machine.  A car for those who recoil at the idea of driving just another Corolla or Focus. VW as a ‘cognoscenti special’ in the Golf was badly bruised by the dieselgate scandal.  That much is clear. But there is no TDI badge on the back of this car.  The TSI emblem in back confirms this is a high-tech gasoline turbo engine. Revisions for 2016 now bring the Golf bang up-to-date with all its infotainment: the Golf has full Apple CarPlay, AndroidAuto and even VW CarNet – a wifi hotspot solution to rival OnStar and its suite of connected services. Beyond this touchscreen tech upgrade, the Golf 7 here in the states is still a dead ringer …

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2017 Fiat 124 SPIDER – Road Test Review + HD Drive Video

It is 124 Spider week here on CRD! Carl Malek got the joy of hooning the Abarth 124 around Monticello, New York while we were flinging the 124 Lusso around Charleston, SC. Both cars are absolute heroes.  Is any 124 Spider one of those rare cars that you’d love to drive 1000 miles at the drop of a hat? Yes, yes it is. His Abarth slid in with pricing in the mid-30s, while our midspec model with automatic transmission kissed 32k out the door with a few options. For these prices, there is nothing else on the road that will bring so much childish delight to any driver. We have a sweet HD drive video around some twisty State Park roads, plus 70 photos to make our case:  You Need the 124 Spider. It is that amazing to drive, and quite unique in appeal versus its Mazda MX-5 sibling. Let’s find …

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