2022 Mazda MX-30 review by Ben Lewis

Ok, Mazda will be the first to admit, but they are late to the EV party. But as a small, independent automaker, we can see that there are only so much development dollars to go around. That said, while the MX-30 EV is their first product, there will be more hybrid/EV type vehicles coming. So how does Mazda’s first crack at an EV come out? Let’s see! Sporty Styling The first look is exciting. While it’s based on the CX-30 that we love, the look differently goes its own way. The MX-30 continues with the “Kodo” design philosophy, plus adds …

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2022 Hyundai Kona Electric Limited Review by Ben Lewis

Ok, maybe it’s the name but we always seem to be spending our holidays in Kona. The Hyundai Kona, that is. Last year we spent Xmas with the new 2022 Kona Limited, and now we’re spending Memorial Day with the Kona Electric. We’ve always been fans of the Kona – a very sporty small crossover, especially with the powerful 1.6-liter turbo engine. So, we wondered, would we still love it with a full EV powertrain? Let’s find out! Sporty but Unique At first glance, you know this is a Kona. That’s good, we love the expressive style, especially with the …

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2022 Subaru WRX Limited Review by Ben Lewis

So, it’s easy to be a fan of Subaru – we’ve recently tested the Outback, the Forester, and the Ascent and loved them all. That’s the SUV outdoorsy type of owner. But you’ve also got the performance-type Subie lover, and that means the BRZ and the WRX. We recently tested the BRZ rear-wheel drive sport coupe and it’s a huge step forward for an already great driver’s car. So, when we heard there was an all-new WRX, we gladly got in line. Introduced in 2002, the WRX stunned the performance world with turbocharged all-wheel-drive performance that gave rally car goodness …

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2022 Honda Civic Si 4DR Review by Ben Lewis

The 2022 model year saw a brand new Honda Civic, and we’ve enjoyed every one we’ve tested, especially the turbo models, including the Honda Civic Touring Sedan, and the Civic Sport Touring Hatchback. But Honda kept us waiting with a slightly delayed introduction of the Civic Si, the Civic aimed straight at the heart of the enthusiast. So, was it worth the wait? Let’s find out! Bold Design We’ve already talked about how much we love the new Civics’ looks. It’s grown up, with a much cleaner overall appearance and less gimmicky aerodynamic baubles that were a little too shouty …

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2023 Nissan Leaf Boasts Light Refresh For New York

Nissan is once again making headlines in the EV market. Still, this time around, the focus is not on the revolutionary Ariya EV but rather on a grizzled veteran, the 2023 Nissan Leaf, which will make its debut in the Big Apple.   Revised Exterior And Interior Define New Leaf The current generation Leaf’s exterior design was starting to noticeably age compared to some of its rivals, and Nissan designers have made some tweaks to help it stay fresh. The front grille is brand new, and the slick 17-inch wheels get a new Ariya inspired design. A new light-up Nissan badge …

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Road Test Comparison – 2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback vs 2022 Honda Civic Si – Which Is Better?

The compact sedan market can be a very interesting place to explore once you have a chance to look at some of the current offerings that are available for consumer consumption. Once relegated to cheap econoboxes that favored thriftiness over performance (hot hatches like the GTI excluded) the segment has rapidly morphed into a different breed with luxury, design, and technology rapidly becoming the key benchmarks as they attempt to stand out against CUVs. The 2022 Mazda 3 and the 2022 Honda Civic Si are two such examples, with both trying to appeal to a broader swath of the market. …

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Toyota Helps Corolla Go Super Saiyan With All New 2023 GR Corolla, 300 hp and Track Ready Tech Are Standard

With many automakers reducing their involvement in hatchback models to cater to a growing hunger for crossover and utility vehicle sales, it’s still good to see that a few are still tinkering with the iconic hot hatch. Toyota is one such company and has unveiled the all-new 2023 GR Corolla which aims to bring international market performance to American buyers.   GR Corolla Embraces Track Ready Motif When the GR Corolla makes its way to dealerships later this year, it will be offered in two grades (Core and the launch Exclusive Circuit Edition.) Core models represent the budget focused option …

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Toyota GR Corolla Teases More Details, Reveal Date Confirmed

If anyone has been following Toyota and it’s ongoing teaser campaign for the GR Corolla, you’ll know that Toyota is promising something special for the Corolla that has once been exclusive to our friends across the pond, performance. The teasers so far have been subtle with the heavily camouflaged example peeking out from the background. This latest round of teasers though places the GR front and center and the company even revealed that the new model will be appearing March 31st.   A Spicier Corolla The GR Corolla (Gazoo Racing) will be the third member of the GR brand and …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing – Super Sedan Spreads Its Wings For Maximum Performance

Cadillac is about to fully double down on its commitment to the electric vehicle market. The luxury brand plans to eventually ditch gasoline vehicles in place of an all-electric future. Before that happens, though, the luxury brand is throwing one final celebration of performance with the Blackwing lineup of performance models (and the Escalade-V to a lesser extent.) One of these is the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing which strives to have one last dance with rivals like the BMW M3. But does it finally have the mustard to overcome the benchmark of the sport sedan segment?   Blackwing Exterior Styling Is …

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Acura Pulls The Veil Off 2023 Integra, Spicier Type S Model Is Coming

When Acura first confirmed that it was bringing back the 2023 Integra, it immediately brought back memories of moves like the Fast & The Furious and the massive car customization craze that it helped jumpstart alongside the Honda Civic. The 2023 Acura Integra aims to catch lightning in a bottle once again, and it seeks to appeal to a new generation of young buyers.   Showcar Styling Defines Integra As with other recent Acura models, the Integra’s styling mirrors the prototype closely, with the production version retaining the sporty lines that defined that model. The large graphics and the colored …

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Road Test Review – 2022 Hyundai Veloster N DCT – Better Seats And Extra Amounts Of Fun

When Hyundai first released the Veloster N hot hatch several years ago, it seemed the Korean car giant finally hit all the right notes when it came to making a fun performance car. The Veloster N packed an impressive amount of power, technology, and value into its flanks. However, the interior resembled a pieced together Fischer Price kit and it was a manual-only offering. Hyundai is not only committed to enhancing the Veloster N’s sales success but also learn from past mistakes with the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N which adds a DCT and a few welcome enhancements into an already …

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2022 Kia Niro EV Review by Ben Lewis

We’re all pretty familiar with makers like Tesla and RIVIAN, showcases of what EV vehicles can do. And while they are great vehicles, they are expensive. If you want to own the hearts and minds of regular folks, you’ll need something more affordable. Enter the Kia Niro EV. The Niro has been one Kia’s most popular crossovers for a while now, and being offered in Hybrid and plug-in Hybrid versions, it’s a showcase for advanced power tech. But is the full-on EV model the one to make you give up your need for gasoline? Let’s take a look. Modern and …

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Ford Scores Double Win In NACTOY Awards, EVs Shut Out For 2022

When the 2021 NACTOY Awards took place last year, it was a very strong year for Ford with the American auto giant earning truck and utility of the year awards with the Ford F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E. The only category it missed out on is one that it doesn’t really compete in anymore, with Hyundai’s Elantra getting the nod for car of the year. The 2022 winners were announced at an APA event in Detroit and Ford once again sweeped the utility and truck categories with the Ford Bronco and Maverick pickup earning the top spots while the Honda …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Mercedes-AMG A35 4MATIC – A35 AMG Leaves Our Shores With A Bang

Mercedes-Benz and their AMG sub-brand are on a quest to lure in more customers thanks in part to a revamped model lineup and some new thinking in the way they promote their models. Unfortunately, part of this new thinking involves some shuffling in the lineup with Mercedes axing the A35 AMG from our shores in the process of writing this review. What will we miss out on with the model gone from our shores?   Spunky Character Defines A35 Formula For starters, we’ll no longer get to see the A35’s design-focused personality. The standard A-Class already has some impressive design …

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2022 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door Review by Ben Lewis

Porsche used to have an ad campaign that said, “There is no substitute”. But when you look at a lot of the company’s latest SUV’s and the like, well…there are plenty of substitutes. No, we think if you want something really unique – and somewhat affordable – you look at the MINI. We were especially excited to drive the base model, 3-door hatchback. For 2022, the MINIs have gotten a new look and some added features to keep things fresh, and we like the idea of getting into the brand’s most affordable model. Let’s Motor! (Ok, that’s their ad campaign). …

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Mercedes-AMG A35 Latest Sedan To Leave U.S. Market, Poor Sales Possible Factor

The lumps keep coming for Mercedes-Benz and AMG. First, the ongoing pandemic forced Mercedes-AMG to not ship V8 engines into the U.S. for the 2022 model year, and it now appears that poor sales are potentially forcing the spunky A35 AMG sedan to bail from our shores after 2021.   A35 AMG Receives Neuralzyer Treatment Fans that have followed the Men In Black film series will undoubtedly remember scenes where agents use a neuralyzer to wipe and alter the memories of those pointing at it to cover up their activities. While Mercedes reps aren’t planting new memories into buyers, they …

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Acura Reveals Integra Prototype, Revives Nameplate After Several Decade Absence

It has been several decades since the Integra last roamed the roads, but Acura feels that there’s still some life left in this cult icon and has revived the Integra for 2023, with the company revealing a near-production prototype ahead of its official debut at the L.A. Auto Show.   2023 Integra Has Cleaner Styling, But Where’s The Passion? As mentioned, the Integra that Acura had for the world to see was one of their long-running “Prototype” concept series and like others that follow this script, the Integra on display here is not quite ready for full production yet with …

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2022 Nissan Sentra Brings Light Updates, Retains $20,485 Base MSRP Price

The current generation Nissan Sentra first arrived on the scene in 2020 when it was radically revamped for that particular model year. With such an extensive list of changes, Nissan has chosen to give a lighter touch to the Sentra for 2022 with a small suite of updates as well as a slightly tweaked base price for customers looking to add the compact four-door to their garage.   Minor Updates Add Big Value To Sentra Before we get into some of the broader pricing tweaks, we might as well spend some time covering all three of the updates that will …

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2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited HTRAC review by Ben Lewis

Here we are testing the all-new 2002 Hyundai Tucson, the vehicle that is the maker’s best-selling model globally, so it must be the standard bearer for the direction the company is going. And in the US, the compact SUV segment is huge as well. So, no pressure then, for the new model! But we have been consistently impressed with all the new Hyundais we’ve driven, from the full-size Pallisade SUV to the Elantra and Sonata sedans. Is the new Tucson ready to take on world? Let’s find out. Stunning Looks Well, if you’re going to make a good first impression, …

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Honda Unveils 2022 Civic Si, Better Performance Is Paired With Mandatory Manual

Honda is preparing a new wave of performance offerings. While the 2023 Type R is still waiting in the wings, the Japanese auto giant has chosen to unveil the latest generation Si, bringing more performance and substance to an iconic model that has been a popular choice among young budget-minded performance buyers.    Manual Transmission Is Still Mandatory On 2022 Civic Si A critical question that we had going into today was whether the Civic Si would add the CVT standard on many lesser Civic models? Unlike Civic Sis of the past, this one would have to contend with a new …

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2022 Honda Civic Touring Sedan review by Ben Lewis

You’ve got to admire Honda. With the all-new 2022 model, the carmaker is calling it “The Best Civic Ever!” With this being the 11th generation, there are a lot of previous models, and previous owners who might be skeptical. But hey, we’ve got an open mind – let’s see if it’s as good as they say. All Grown Up The first thing that hits you is the maturity of the design. No not, modern maturity, just a clean grown-up look. While we loved the previous model, we can understand why some felt it was a little to boy-racer over the …

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Honda Teases Civic Si Again, Confirms Speedy Honda Will Make Its Debut Tommorow

The current generation Honda Civic is shaping up to be the one where performance and maturity have finally managed to coexist in one sleek package. The reworked sedan and hatchback delivered a Civic that was more polished than its crudely penned predecessor and it even promised to add some spice back into its step. Honda confirmed that it will be debuting the new Civic Si tomorrow, but it has decided to release one final teaser image before we see the sprightly Honda in all of its glory.   Orange Paint And Darkened Taillights Signal Return To Form This latest teaser …

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Latest Acura Integra Teaser Image Confirms Six-Speed Manual Transmission

The Acura Integra is coming back, and Acura is pretty keen on achieving the same lightning in a bottle effect that it accomplished with older Integra’s especially those that appeared during the early 2000s. However, one lone question we had was whether the car would get the key ingredient that made it all work (a manual transmission.) Acura has released a new teaser video that not only serves as a nice trip down memory lane, but also confirms that the latest chapter in the Integra story will include a six-speed manual. Shifting Yourself Has Never Been So Much Fun Acura’s …

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2021 Toyota Prius Prime Review by Ben Lewis

Do you remember the original Prius? It first came ashore in the US in 2000, and it was really the first Hybrid that was mass marketed. It was a slightly odd-looking agrarian sedan, but the technology was fascinating. Nowadays, you can get a hybrid on pretty much anything – heck, Toyota alone offers you a hybrid choice on 5 model lines. And almost every other maker offers a hybrid powertrain – all the way up to Porsche. Still, you must pay props to one of the originals, and along the way, Toyota has continually developed both the Prius and the …

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2022 VW Taos SEL FWD review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new VW ID.4 EV SUV and came away impressed. VW is on a roll. So, we were equally excited to test the all-new Taos, their smallest SUV that slots below the Tiguan. And since the automaker no longer is going to sell a Golf TSI hatchback, the Taos is your go-to for affordable and capable VW-ness. Let’s see if VW has another hit, or a sophomore slump. Family Resemblance Well, the exterior is clearly VW. And in the case of Taos, it’s a big player – it is almost as large as its big brother Tiguan, …

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2021 VW ID.4 PRO S review by Ben Lewis

We really admire VW. After the Dieselgate trauma, the brand was really on the ropes, especially here in the U.S. We wouldn’t have been surprised if the German brand would have pulled out of the US market. But they didn’t. Instead, the fixed what was wrong with the Diesels, and started building exciting new models, like the all-new GTI and the Jetta GLI. VW also threw itself into being one of the leaders in EV tech. The first offering we saw was the E-Golf that we really enjoyed, but like many other carmakers, it was taking an existing vehicle and …

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Hyundai Unveils 2022 Elantra N, Will Target Civic Si And Volkswagen GLI

The U.S. version of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N was originally supposed to make its debut at the 2021 New York Auto Show but the rapidly rising threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 forced show organizers to cancel the event. Hyundai had a plan B and took to the internet to formally unveil the newest member of the growing N brand family which aims to potentially dethrone the Honda Civic Si and other compact performance entries.   Elantra N A Sharper Instrument Of Sportiness The standard Elantra is already a very sporty compact sedan with the recent revamp it …

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2022 Hyundai Elantra N Oozes Performance, But How Does It Stack Up Against Rivals?

While technical difficulties prevented us from formally covering the recent unveiling of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, we used our time on the sidelines to dive into the Elantra N’s competition and find out how this spunky Korean pocket rocket measures up against the segment’s best when it’s compared by the numbers.   A Brief Recap Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of it all, we might as well bring you up to speed on what the Elantra N brings to the table. Serving as the range-topper in the Elantra model family, the N goes all out in its …

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Volkswagen Debuts 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R Models, GTI To Start At $29,545

When Volkswagen promised to deliver the 2022 Golf GTI and the 2022 Golf R, we were left wondering what was in store for U.S. buyers? While the German car giant outlined what was in store for European buyers but, we were left wondering what would have to be changed to offer them here? Surprise, not much, with the duo coming over here largely unaltered.   European Flavored Performance When you take a glance at the 2022 GTI and the 2022 Golf R, you’ll be pleased to discover that both engines mirror their European counterparts. In the GTI, that means a 2.0-liter …

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Hyundai Kills Standard Veloster For 2022, Veloster N Will Be Lone Representative For Funky Hatchback

When Hyundai released its plans for 2022 late last week, we couldn’t help but notice that the standard-issue Veloster wasn’t mentioned in the Korean car giant’s documentation. We scratched our heads and pondered on this for a bit, but the company has decided to confirm what many long suspected, and that’s the demise of the Veloster which will be axed for 2022 with the 2.0, 2.0 Premium, R-SPec, Turbo and Ultimate models all being axed .   Funky Hatchback Is Going Into Retirement..Kinda While the bulk of the Veloster lineup fell victim to the surge in popularity of CUVs like …

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2022 BMW 2 Series Embraces Retro Modernism, Offers Better Performance Across The Board

With BMW’s other models featuring twin-kidney grilles that are bigger than ever and styling that appears to sacrifice some of their heritage for the sake of modernism, the BMW 2-Series might seem like a welcome throwback to the model’s of yesteryear. Its resemblance to the 1960’s era 2002 is more than a coincidence, and the 2 has proven to be a spunky offering when driven by a skilled driver. But even this small model needs an update from time to time, and the company has unveiled the 2022 BMW 2 Series lineup.   Enhancing The Retro Vibe While Sharpening Its …

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Hyundai Teases 2022 Elantra N Again, Sheds Light On Some Of Its Inner Personality

Late last week, Hyundai released a teaser video that appeared to hint that something new was coming from the performance-focused N sub-brand. The blink or you’ll miss it video didn’t tell us much and gave us a quick glimpse of the Elantra N. The company has now released a new video that provides a better look at the Elantra N while also showing off some new details for consumers.   Elantra N Abbreviations Could Be Hiding New Technologies The new teaser video follows the basic layout of the prior teaser and leaves a lot of the details to the viewer’s …

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Hyundai Promises A Track Focused Surprise, What Could It Be? The Elantra N?

Hyundai is promising a big surprise on July 14th with the company releasing a brief teaser video that draws us to the fabled Nurburgring race track in Germany. The company might not be ready to reveal the full details just yet, but it appears that the Kona N and the recently teased Elantra N are involved.    What We Know So Far, Will We See The Elantra N? Hyundai’s teaser video does not reveal too much, with the bulk of the video featuring a computer-generated pen vigorously drawing the fore-mentioned track on a sheet of paper. After the pen performs …

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Road Test Review- 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL – The Perfect Alternative To CUVs?

Remember when Hyundai used to be known for making cars that blended into the environment and preferred to focus on rock bottom pricing? If you don’t, we don’t blame you with Hyundai successfully rehabbing its styling image over the past decade. What was once functional and Maytag chic has transformed into a daring design language that has helped Hyundai become a key player in the automotive segment. But while the Sonata and the Tuscon are currently commanding the bulk of the spotlight, Hyundai has not forgotten about the Elantra and has given the tiny four-door its own makeover for 2021. …

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2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Increases Utility, Retains Youthful Styling And Even Throws In A Manual

Here’s a question that undoubtedly faced the buyer of a Honda Civic when they entered a showroom. What if you wanted some of the value-focused charms of the iconic compact but needed a hatchback for increased space and style? Honda has thankfully answered this question and confirmed that the 2022 Civic Hatchback would continue to be offered for customers looking for more zest in their drive.   Five-Door Styling Enhances Civic Hatchback’s Wow Factor Appealing to what Honda calls “Young Active Buyers” (whatever that means), the Civic Hatchback shares some of its core styling with the sedan version. However, the …

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2021 Buick Envision Review

2021 Buick Envision The 2021 Buick Envision was redesigned for 2021, and with Buick’s attempts to appeal to younger buyers, the Envision has a much more captivating design than the outgoing model. Exterior The Envision is the best-looking GM vehicle in this class. As far as exterior design goes Chevy’s Equinox utilitarian, GMC’s Terrain is boxy, and Cadillac’s XT4 is conservative. This leaves the sporty spot for the Envision. The nose is long and low with multiple creases in the hood creating a sporty and powerful look. The grill is large, but not overly so, with plenty of cooling for …

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2021 Toyota Corolla XSE Review by Ben Lewis

When you think about it, the Toyota Corolla is like a McDonald’s Hamburger. In car-land the Corolla is the best-selling nameplate ever, with over 46 million sold. (For those playing at home, Mickey D’s has sold over 300 Billion burgers.) And with that popularity comes a familiarity, a confidence – Toyota and McDonald’s know what they’re doing. And in both, you can tell that while they may constantly tweak and improve, they stick with a recipe they know that works. So, while other competitors come and go, sometimes being spicier and flashier, there’s a comfort in familiar brands. You know …

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2021 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Review by Ben Lewis

There have always been a percentage of people out there who love the MINI Cooper’s bulldog looks, cheeky attitude and British persona (although BMW has owned them since 2003)  but just found the diminutive hatch a little too small. And MINI has been busy bringing in a variety of models, including the Clubman – longer and wider – and the Countryman – taller and wider. We’ve always liked the Countryman, it adds just enough usability to function like a small SUV, but still has that MINI charm. MINI points out that it’s the first model with an exterior length of …

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Honda Goes Digital With 2022 Civic, More Power And Better Interior Highlight Changes

It may seem hard to believe, but the Honda Civic has been around for 11 consecutive iterations, with each one building the model into a world-beating benchmark that’s still the favorite target of rivals. Honda claims that this iteration embraces a new philosophy with the company is touting a “Man-Maximum, Machine – Minimum” philosophy that defines the new Civic. But does it really help transform the Civic into a new form?   Simplicity Helps Craft A New Design The outgoing Civic was certainly an aggressive-looking model, but we will admit that it also managed to look like an overly elaborate …

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2022 Mini JCW Lineup Adds New Dampers And Styling For Customers To Enjoy

It wasn’t too long ago that Mini released the goods on the 2022 Mini Cooper Hardtop and Convertible lineup, promising that the duo was getting some welcome updates for the 2022 model year. Notably missing absent from the party were the JCW versions, with Mini reps only revealing that they were also going to get some updates of their own. At last, Mini has shown the world what the 2022 JCW models have in store for consumers, and it appears that these spunky track slayers will have enough new stuff to please even the pickiest of Mini loyalists.   Adaptive …

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Honda Shows Off Production 2022 Honda Civic, Has Accord Inspiration

Honda first revealed the 2022 Civic prototype to the world late in 2020 when the company revealed it via virtual event during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the Civic has flown under the radar, but the company has recently unveiled a new teaser image of the 2022 Honda Civic, which is scheduled to make its global debut on April 28th.   More To Come For now, Honda is limiting our view of the 2022 Civic to one lone image, which gives us our first glimpse of the Civic’s new front fascia. The look here is virtually …

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2021 Lexus UX 200 F SPORT Review by Ben Lewis

In marketing terms, UX is the shorthand for “User Experience”. So, it seems a natural question, does Lexus’ smallest Crossover/SUV give you the user experience luxury buyers expect? Let’s take a look. Familiar Sporty Style Look at the UX and you can see the family resemblance with the larger NX and RX crossovers. That’s a good thing – Lexus has really crafted its own style now, and these vehicles are modern and sporty with sharp angles and aggressive lines. Like our recent review of the Lexus ES250 AWD, the front end has that massive spindle grille, but like the ES, …

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2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL Review by Ben Lewis

Everyone loves a good success story, and you’d certainly be hard pressed to find a better one than Hyundai. Back in 1986 the Korean maker came to the US with the Excel with an extremely durable yet otherwise forgettable Excel sedan. But much like the Japanese carmakers in the late 50’s and early 60’s, Hyundai paid its dues, worked hard, and constantly improved its products to become what it is today – a top brand, with a wide variety of vehicles, three brands (Kia and Genesis also part of the fam), and as we’ve said in many recent reviews, the …

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Road Test Review – 2021 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD – The Ultimate Winter Toy

Are you an enthusiast that’s been waiting for Subaru to release the updated WRX? While Subaru has so far been quiet about when it will do that, the folks at Mazda are hoping that you will perhaps embrace their alternative, the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo. This spirited Mazda has always been a favorite here at Car-Revs-Daily, and the company has finally mated the new engine to the 3’s all-wheel-drive system. But is this proverbial match in heaven a true four-season contender capable of bringing the fight to the Subaru? We were eager to find out.   Exterior Styling Still Has The …

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2021 Mercedes AMG A35 4MATIC Review by Ben Lewis

Any enthusiast worth their salt knows AMG. The performance arm of Mercedes-Benz, it turns out some of the most powerful and desirable cars in the world. And to many, the pantheon of AMG products starts with handcrafted bi-turbo V8 screamers like the AMG C 63 S. A 503-hp rocket, it is an incredible piece of work. The problem is, starting at $76,200 and building from there, it’s breathing rarefied air few can afford. Which leaves many buyers scoping out older or CPO AMG products, just to get a foot (or dip a toe) in to the brand. But AMG also …

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo Premium Plus by Ben Lewis

We were big fans when Mazda introduced the all-new 2019 Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback. Shortly thereafter the CX-30, basically a tall version of the 3 hatch came along as well. And they all shared the same DNA, bringing a new, more luxurious and upscale experience to the 3 line, while still keeping the Mazda love of the drive. And the Zoom-Zoom company has shown they’re not going to rest on their laurels – bringing their 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine into the 3. So, is the 250 horsepower turbo sedan the stuff enthusiast dreams are made of? Let’s find out! A …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE (Sedan) – The World’s Most Underrated Performance Sedan?

In a world filled with fun entries like the Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and even the Volkswagen Jetta we will understand if the Toyota Corolla appears to not have the chops to enter this esteemed pedigree of compact cars at first glance. The Corolla was an avid follower of the Maytag school of driving. It looked like a dryer, drove like an uninspired pack of socks, and rode through the motions like the novel Irene Iddesleigh. But times are changing at Toyota with the Japanese auto giant embracing newfound levels of fun and style. The Supra might have helped spearhead …

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2021 BMW 430i Coupe by Ben Lewis

Have you ever been all ready to dislike something, and then get won over? Well, we were kind of in that boat with the all-new BMW 4-series coupe. We had seen pictures, heard the grumbling, and based on just that, were ready to give it the cold shoulder. Except, pictures and grumbling are not a good way to evaluate a car – it needs to be driven. And drive the all-new Bimmer, and you’ll find it easy to love. Prominent Proboscis Okay let’s take care of the 800 lb. Gorilla in the room. The 4-series nose. The familiar BMW kidney …

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2021 Chevy Trailblazer Video Reviews By Matt Barnes

Chevy re-released the Trailblazer as a 2021 model year crossover. It is available with a pair of 3-cylinder turbo power plants, and has optional AWD. Our test model was a 2021 Trailblazer AWD Activ model. The new Trailblazer is a much smaller package than the previous generation which was a body on frame SUV. Becoming a small crossover with a unibody frame has completely changed the Trailblazer from what it used to be. It now handles fairly well and has a very stiff chassis. The engines are all new for this year first debuting in the Buick Encore GX. The …

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Subtle updates blend with green focused technology to add dimension to 2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Remember back when the Toyota Prius was once considered to be the de-facto benchmark of the green vehicle segment? We do and apparently so do some of its rivals who are out to show the world that there are indeed other options besides the mighty green icon. One of these firms is Hyundai who has perhaps pulled the boldest coup of them all with the 2020 Ioniq. On the surface the Ioniq appeared to check off alot of the boxes that green car buyers want. That included exceptional fuel economy and futuristic technology but can the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq continue …

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek 2.5L Limited by Ben Lewis

It’s hard not to like the Subaru Crosstrek – it’s a great looking small crossover, based on the equally likeable Subaru Impreza and it combines a nice compact size with good off-road abilities, and most of the friendly traits that make Subaru an agreeable brand. It has been hard to love the Crosstrek, though. It’s always felt a little underpowered, and the lack of power seemed to highlight the CVT transmission in a negative light. In short, a good vehicle looking for a better engine. Well, Subie heard our wishes, and for 2021, a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder replaces the …

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Has Honda created a true Golf R killer? We take a second look at the 2021 Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Si for the longest time has always been the de-facto top performance offering for Honda in the United States. But our friends across the pond always had access to something a bit spicier, the Type R. The long wait matched the level of our collective jealousy, but at long last the current generation Type R finally arrived to truly unify the performance car constellations. The Type R has had some time to cement its place in the performance car ranks, and Honda has added some minor updates to the hottest of all Civics for the 2021 model …

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Honda brings power to the gamers, unveils 2022 Civic Prototype on Twitch

Honda has big plans for the Civic. When we first reported on it yesterday, Honda aimed to make waves with Generation Z, and chose to unveil the 2022 Civic Prototype via Twitch (the first time that an automaker has ever used the service for that purpose.) But we were left wondering, can the 2022 Honda Civic serve as an effective continuation of the Civic nameplate? Especially as younger buyers are rapidly moving towards utility vehicles? Radical styling shift signals more polish is coming to the Civic We learned several things from Honda’s trip to Twitch. The fact that there are …

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2022 Honda Civic promises to be a welcome evolution of iconic marque, 5 things to pay attention to

The venerable Honda Civic has certainly been a trailblazer for the Japanese automaker since it first appeared on the scene several decades ago. The Civic has gone through its fair share of changes and revisions during that time, and the end result is perhaps one of the best compact offerings on the market today. But it’s hard to ignore that the current generation Honda Civic is starting to get long in the tooth, and that change is indeed needed. Honda is planning to do that with the 2022 model, and here’s 5 things that you should know about it. Sleeker …

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2020 VW Golf GTI 2.0T Autobahn by Ben Lewis

We often get asked, what vehicle do you recommend for an enthusiast who also needs real-world practicality? While we would love to recommend something like the BMW M235i Gran Coupe we tested, we get it – it’s not inexpensive. Ditto for the Mini Countryman JCW. But for those who especially like European driving manners, there’s always been an easy answer – VW’s delightful GTI. And with a new model around the corner, we thought we’d take a last look at the 7th gen hot hatch to see if it still holds up as a great all-rounder. ( A new 2022 …

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STARTECH adds new flair and polish to Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is certainly one of the most talked about electric vehicle entries in the market today. But while it brings massive amounts of electric range and state of the art technology to the forefront, there’s no denying that it’s the least attractive of all of Teslas offerings. STARTECH is out tor try and change that however, and has unveiled an all new upgrade suite for the 3 that aims to up its game inside and out.   Highlights include a custom body kit, a revamped interior with higher quality materials, as well as other touches aimed at …

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2020 Mazda Miata MX-5 RF Grand Touring by Ben Lewis

Great cars seem to have a few things in common. But it really boils down to this – a great car always creates a sense of occasion, every time you drive. And that’s something you can say about every Miata since the first one came ashore in 1990. Yep, 30 years. While you can argue which model is best, there’s never been a mis-step, they’ve never tried to change its mission…a Miata is not a luxury car. Or an SUV. Or heaven forbid, a minivan. It’s a sports car, pure and undiluted. Let’s celebrate the MX-5’s big 3-0! Classic Proportions …

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2020 Hyundai Ioniq HEV Limited by Ben Lewis

It’s interesting how popular hybrids are these days. Historically, gas is relatively cheap, and with the pandemic, lots of people are driving less. Seems like a good excuse to get something crazy like the 485-horsepower Dodge Charger Scat Pack we recently tested. But no, being frugal, and eco-friendly seem to be trends that are not going away. So, we decided to test one of our favorite hybrid vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq. And although the Korean carmaker was later to the market with this kind of vehicle, it has quickly become a major challenge to the Toyota Prius. Let’s see why. …

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2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the MINI Clubman and remarked that there’s a lot of BMW under the skin. Well, in many ways, you could say the new BMW 2-series Gran Coupe has a fair amount of MINI under the skin – and just like the Clubby, it’s a good thing. Another way to think of the M235i Gran Coupe is the sedan version of the monster X2 M35i we tested – they share a lot of the same running gear – but going from SAV/SUV/Crossover to Sedan/Gran Coupe (stop with all the different names, please!) creates a very different beast. But …

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2020 MINI Cooper S Clubman by Ben Lewis

Is there anybody that still thinks MINI is a British company? Well, the truth is, it’s been part of BMW for a long time. In fact, many of the current BMW’s – like the X1 SUV – share MINI running gear. But that’s no reason to cry into your warm beer, as MINI is the best of both worlds. While the stylists who surround the MINI product make grand efforts to keep the bulldog-style, the fun and whimsical vibe, the knowledgeable folks at BMW continue to massage and refine the product. Ever year, there’s lots of little improvements. So, we …

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2020 Subaru WRX Series. White by Ben Lewis

Subaru does something very European. They never seem to be completely satisfied and are constantly tweaking the WRX. Of course, you have the big cycle changes, and the smaller ones, and don’t forget the Special Editions. Since 2002, when it was introduced, the WRX has evolved. But this is more than just that.  The WRX Series. White is something really special. The changes are subtle in the overall scheme of things, and yet, this thing just works. Impressively so. So is the Series. White the best WRX ever? Let’s find out.   WRX Series. White Exterior – the Plain White …

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Road Test Followup – 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD – By Carl Malek

The Mazda3 is the spirited underdog in the compact car segment. When the current generation model first made its appearance back in 2019, it was perhaps the most comprehensive effort yet at making the budget focused 3 into a true contender in the segment. With expressive exterior design, a cabin that blurs the line between luxury and affordability, and a chassis to envy for. The Mazda3 certainly had a head start in its quest to dethrone the Volkswagen Golf from the top of the sales charts. With such a strong start for 2019, what could Mazda engineers do to help …

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2020 Mazda CX-30 by Ben Lewis

Okay, we’re spoiled for choice these days. If you say you can’t find a vehicle to meet your needs, you’re not looking hard enough. Let’s take small cars/SUVs/crossovers. And a manufacturer like Mazda. Need a small car? There’s the Mazda 3 sedan and the Mazda 3 hatchback. We’ve tested both and loved them. Maybe want a small crossover/SUV? There’s the Mazda CX-3. Also, excellent. But you say, well, I want something a little taller than a sedan/hatch, but not quite an SUV. Okay says Mazda – here’s the all-new CX-30! And it might be the perfect blend of all the …

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2020 Toyota C-HR Limited By Ben Lewis

It’s interesting how time changes things. When we tested the 2018 C-HR, it was one of the first of the mini-crossovers, and it looked like the small sedan was on its way of going extinct. Well, the small sedan still isn’t what it used to be, but it’s around. And we’ve found some really good ones lately, including the Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte GT. But what’s even more interesting to us, is that the mini-crossover has now been attracting the interest of a new type of buyer – those who were thinking about luxury vehicles, but with the economy …

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2020 Fiat 500x Sport by Ben Lewis

Are you a fan of Monty Python? (OK, we may be dating ourselves here..) Well, they used to have a segment with a newsman-like person at a desk saying, “And now for something completely different.” And you know, they could have been talking about the Fiat 500x. Fiat 500x Exterior – Thinking out of The Box It starts with expressive looks. While it shares the running gear with the Jeep Renegade, it won’t be confused with that, or any other small SUV. Last year, the 500x got a facelift, with new front and rear fascia that trade in a little …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Mini Cooper S Clubman – By Carl Malek [Video]

The 2020 Mini Cooper S Clubman is the answer to a very interesting question. What would happen if you take a Mini Cooper hatchback, and try to apply some of its quirky charm and appeal to a segment blurring utility focused model? The end result is the Clubman which tries to add more versatility and cargo hauling ability into its distinctly British flanks. But while the Clubman Panel Van a few years ago was a short lived and ultimately flawed experiment, the standard Clubman has managed to gather a sizable following of loyalists over the years. We were eager to …

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Hyundai Lets You See and Hear The N-Line Magic In New Hyundai Sonata N-Line [Video]

It was merely a month ago when Hyundai introduced the world to the all new Elantra sedan, and while the futuristic design and the revamped interior promised to restore some of the Elantra’s prestige and the innovative disruptive moxie that was lost with the old model. The world wondered what a performance focused Elantra would look like following the confirmation that the Elantra was next to get the N-Line treatment? The Korean car giant has answered the call (kinda) and has formally previewed the Elantra N-Line in a new video package. While the video is the first tangible evidence that …

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Hyundai Formally Unveils 2020 Veloster N Hot Hatch, 8 Speed DCT And Interior Tweaks Highlight Updates

Following a recent rumor that appeared to suggest that the 2020 Hyundai Veloster N would get a bigger 2.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, Hyundai has appeared to move quickly to silence this speculation by unveiling the 2020 Veloster N hatchback. The bigger engine is not in the cards, but the quirky three door does gain a few new tricks which should help it remain vibrant and fresh for the 2020 model year. The big change here is the all new DCT which is being used on the formerly manual only Veloster N for the first time ever. In this …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Veloster N Performance Package – By Carl Malek [Video]

Remember when Hyundai challenged segment benchmarks like the Volkswagen Golf GTI to a duel on the track? If your recollection is a bit fuzzy we don’t blame you. When the Hyundai Veloster first made its appearance several years ago, it certainly was a bold departure for the brand. Once known for making cheap runabouts, the Veloster aimed to bring about a styling change with its three door layout, hatchback proportions, and a whole new perspective on design. But while the addition of a turbo variant later in its life cycle helped bring a pinch of sizzle to the party, it …

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Road Test Review – 2020 Toyota Yaris XLE Sedan – By Carl Malek

The Toyota Yaris has had a very interesting life, with twists and turns worthy of a Tom Clancy novel. Once unveiled as a port of the model lineup for the axed Scion brand, the little four door transitioned to the main Toyota roster where it was briefly sold alongside its cruder predecessor. This went on until it took over the Yaris nameplate a short while ago, and has continued its role as Toyota’s smallest sub-compact offering. When we last met it, it was a few years ago where we had the chance to pilot a manual transmission equipped model. But …

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Twin Test: 2020 Hyundai Kona Turbo FWD – Cheaper, But Much Less Grip

In the first part of this twin test we crowned the Kona Turbo AWD a best-of-2020 winner and clearly the superior Kona Turbo for performance enthusiasts.  This segment takes a look at what the differences are via a drive review and a new photoset of the 2020 Kona 1.6T front-wheel-drive. The upcoming Kona N performance model makes perfect sense to anyone who has driven the turbo version of these cars.  (The base Kona trims have significantly worse more affordable mechanicals beyond the engine so the boosted upgrade is very worthwhile.) But once you have sprung for the turbo, should you …

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Twin Test: Hyundai Kona Turbo AWD – Brilliant Speed, Grip & Handling

Testing two cars in different trim and powertrains is often pretty dull with the same conclusions applying to both vehicles. Not in this case. For enthusiasts, the AWD is the clear favorite. The bar is extra high for these small Hyundais since experiencing the pure driving joy that is the Veloster N.  The bar is raised high by that giggly pocket rocket — so its extra admirable that Kona is in same ballpark. The top Hyundai Kona trims both run the 1.6T and double-clutch automatic but differ in their drivetrains and rear suspensions.  The AWD is the clear winner on …

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2020 Hyundai Venue Road Test Review by Ben Lewis

2020 Hyundai Venue SEL Review Here’s a term you don’t here that much anymore. Basic transportation. You probably remember them, usually a small car, no frills, no thrills, just get me to work (or school) and back. Thrifty and reliable. Well, those don’t really exist anymore. Part of that is good – comprehensive safety is becoming standard equipment on just about all vehicles. And with almost everyone using a smartphone, connectivity is important. And oh yeah, might as well make it a small SUV/Crossover – versatility and practicality won’t take a back seat anymore. So that’s opened the door for …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Accent Limited – By Carl Malek

When the Hyundai Accent first appeared on the scene back in 1994, it was known more so for its rock bottom price point versus being an exceptionally good long term value. While it undercut many econoboxes at the time, owners paid a price for this by having to deal with middling engines that delivered ho hum performance, and a plastic fantastic interior that would make a Chevrolet Cavalier blush with envy. But with budget focused CUVs representing a very real threat to the Accent’s existence, Hyundai had to completely revamp the Accent to not only be a mere darling to …

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2020 VW Jetta GLI Autobahn by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new 2020 Kia Forte and came away impressed. It’s the latest of the new-class of fun-to-drive sedans that are taking the fight to the small crossover/SUV market. And one of the most exciting members of that new class is the VW Jetta GLI. For a long time, the GLI has been the hot-tach GTI’s poor relation – nice, and fun, but no GTI. Well, all that changed last year with the introduction of the new Jetta, which included a new GLI. And VW did enthusiasts a solid – giving us the same running gear of the …

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2021 Honda Insight Has Higher Price Tag, Gains New Technology And Color

Honda has released new information regarding the 2021 Honda Insight hybrid. The Insight gains a number of mild updates for the new model year which aim to not only help it remain competitive, but to also help it bring the fight to other hybrid entries that are vying for the top spot in a rapidly evolving marketplace.   A key change is in pricing, with Honda revealing that the base LX model is still holding firm at $23,855 which includes the $955 destination fee. The base feature list also remains largely the same, but the EX and Touring see a …

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2020 Kia Forte GT by Ben Lewis

Many have said that the small car is on the way out. That small crossovers like the Hyundai Kona or tall hatchbacks like the Mazda CX30 will pushing them out. And the numbers don’t lie, SUV crossovers are king. (outside of full-size pickup trucks). But the sedan isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. In fact, struggling to stay relevant has brought some of the best 4-doors to market that we’ve seen in a long time. The new Toyota Camry is excellent and fun. The Honda Accord, too. Heck they even put a turbo motor in the Mazda 6. …

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2021 Hyundai Elantra To Officially Debut March 17th In L.A. [Video]

A new Hyundai Elantra is indeed on the way, with numerous sightings of testers all over the world hinting that something is indeed cooking within the halls of the South Korean automaker. With the Elantra’s debut fast approaching, Hyundai has released a couple of teaser images to provide a small taste of what is to come, and also revealed that the revamped four door will be making its debut on March 17th. The arrival of this iteration of Elantra is a much needed boost to the nameplate, with the current generation model receiving some criticism for its odd exterior styling, …

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2021 Volkswagen GTI Brings New Styling, Power Bump To U.S. Consumers

Volkswagen might not be bringing the entry level Golf here in the U.S. but that does not mean the German company is leaving performance hungry buyers high and dry. Volkswagen is bringing the GTI and the R models to the U.S. with the company using the Geneva Motor Show to showcase the eighth generation GTI. The design of the outgoing GTI is certainly a tough act to follow, with the seventh generation model blending a balanced recipe of refinement and performance into a sensibly designed package. The eighth gen model largely sticks to this proven script, but adds new touches …

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2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Review by Ben Lewis

The Kia Soul has long been one of our favorite vehicles – cool style, hip vibe, strong performance, loads of tech at a reasonable price. What’s not to love? And we were equally thrilled when we recently tested the all-new 2020 X-Line, we came away very impressed. Except we kind of missed the Hamsters that Kia has killed from their ad campaign. What Kia didn’t kill was the available turbo-engined model, which has always been the enthusiast’s choice. But with the new 2.0-liter, non-turbo we tested we didn’t miss the turbo rush as much as we he had remembered. So, …

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2020 Hyundai Venue SE – Entry Level Quick-Take

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a delightful, affordable, entry-level crossover. This review is for the most basic SE model which is priced $17,250 with basic floor and cargo mats, and wheel locks adding $305, and a $1,095 delivery, for a total of $18,650 before trades, discounts and negotiations. As of this writing, there is a $500 offer; and you might qualify for others. All in for under $20,000 is almost hard to accomplish today, especially in the popular crossover segment. The 2020 Venue drives better than the price would imply. The base transmission is a 6-speed manual, and that is …

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2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport – Road Test Review + Drive Video

Hyundai’s global Elantra sedan brought fresh style and tech details for the 2019 model-year and this Elantra Sport trim is at the top of the range.  Pricing for the Sport comes in at about a $24k base that is well above the $18k stickers for some of the cheapest Elantras out there. For that extra cash you get a big upgrade in power, style and equipment, as you might expect.  Swapping from the default four to the turbo 1.6T with 201HP brings along an extra 52 ponies and standard 7-speed double-clutch automatic.  A stick was briefly offered but the Elantra …

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Hyundai Showcases Refreshed Ioniq With 170 Miles Of Driving Range, Updated Exterior Styling

Hyundai‘s Ioniq lineup has made quite a splash since it debuted a few years ago. Designed to be a potent Toyota Prius competitor, the Ioniq had plenty of potential, and even mirrored the Prius’s extensive green lineup with a Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and even a pure EV variant all ready to battle against their bitter Japanese rival. But with the battle still swinging in Toyota’s favor, Hyundai has instead chosen to use the opportunity to update the Ioniq for 2021 to help give it a new lease on life, as well as give it several new tricks to help it …

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2020 Nissan Sentra Debuts With Improved Styling, Upgraded Technology

When the Nissan Sentra first debuted back in 1982, it was when small econoboxes ruled a far bigger slice of the American car market, and it already had to contend with not only the Toyota Corolla, but also a whole host of long forgotten domestic entries that were vying for the attention of frugal minded U.S. shoppers. But 32 years of evolution have helped the Sentra not only become one of Nissan’s most successful models ever (with over six million units sold,) but also a much better entry in the compact car segment. Nissan is eager to showcase just how …

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2019 Honda Civic 1.5T 2dr Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Love at first sight. Okay, not at first sight. The Honda Civic coupe has been around for a while now, but there’s something special about our tester that keeps us coming back for more. And we have an idea why. It starts with choosing the right Civic We have tested a wide range of Civics, and being enthusiasts, we’ve gravitated to the hi-po models like the Civic Type R, the Civic Si and the grins-for-the-buck Civic Sport.  The first thing we noticed, they’re all 4-doors. And in the case of the Type R (or CTR for those in the know) …

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2019 Mazda3 Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new Mazda 3 sedan, and with its premium feel and refined road manners, called it the best Euro sedan for the money right now. Not bad for a Japanese brand, eh? Well, Mazda seems to always serve up a hatchback on the 3 as well, to give those who want more practicality with a larger cargo bay, but the vehicles are usually pretty similar. (If you wanted a high-performance Mazda 3, the MazdaSpeed 3’s were built on the hatchback, but they haven’t done that in a while.) So, we were excited to test the all-new Mazda …

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Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Alfa Romeo Ends 4C Production, Part Of Broader Reshuffling Initiative

The Alfa Romeo 4C wowed us several years ago with its bold Italian charms and a driving character that made us eager to come back for more. But those two traits (as well as a whole heaping helping of spunk) were not enough to help the 4C avoid the axe, with Alfa Romeo revealing that it has killed the 4C for 2020 thus ending the 4C’s brief but exciting time in the marketplace.   In some ways, the 4C was already living on borrowed time, with the coupe version being discontinued in the U.S. back in 2018. The droptop Spider …

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2019 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 60th Anniversary – Review by Ben Lewis

When we talk about performance cars, the benchmark is still 0-60. Which may be outdated, but it’s easy to get your head around and compare cars of the past with cars of today. (Spoiler Alert – cars of today are much faster today.) That said, we are talking 0-60 mph. But with the 2019, we are talking something completely different. 0 – 60 Years Yep, years. Hard to believe that the original Mini first bowed in 1959. Especially since a super-small, efficient and fun vehicle seems so now. 1959 was an interesting year – The first Barbie Doll was introduced, …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Honda Civic Touring – By Carl Malek

Honda has a lot riding on the shoulders of the 2020 Civic sedan and hatchback. While the Civic still commands a sizable chunk of sales in the compact car market, it’s no secret that the nameplate has felt the pressure in recent years from a resurgence in CUV and SUV demand in the U.S. While the Civic Si and the range topping Type R have helped the Civic bolster its impressive performance credentials, the mainstream Civic has had to use a completely different set of skills to help it maintain its lofty position in Honda’s broader sales pie. The 10th …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD – By Carl Malek

In the world of hatchbacks, few have had the underdog effect that the venerable Mazda3 has had during its long run in production. While the Volkswagen Golf has reigned supreme over the segment, the Mazda3 has been a persistent underdog, a potent disruptor that always aimed to try and snatch the top spot from the talented German. While the Golf always managed to ward off these challenges thanks to its superior, interior craftsmanship, and more polished engines, the 3 bided its time, and gradually improved some of its flaws. But with the departure of the recently axed Ford Focus from …

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2019 Hyundai Veloster N – Road Test Review + Performance Drive Video

What’s the purpose of owning a car besides just transportation? Sure, you need to be able to scoot around town, commute and take the occasional road trip. But beyond that, the real joy of car ownership is the entertainment value. Having a car you love to drive, and one that makes you smile every time you tap the start button, is one of the true joys in this life for some of us. Over the course of 2019 there is no car that has elicited more howling laughter in my hands than this Veloster N. Here we have Hyundai’s first …

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2019 BMW X2 M35i – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Every time there’s a new small BMW, we hear the talk about the “Spiritual Successor to the BMW 2002.” This was BMW’s small 2-door that around 1970 took the quite pleasant 1600 2-door and stuffed a larger 2.0-liter 4-cylinder motor in it – classic hot-rodding, actually – and basically turned the automotive world on its ear. With the 2002, you had a totally practical, roomy and innocuous little sedan that outperformed the traditional sports cars of the day, and when the later fuel-injected 2002tii appeared, it was hunting down bigger game – including expensive European cars and powerful domestics, too. …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport M/T – By Carl Malek

The battle in the compact sport sedan segment is still heating up despite the rapid ascent of compact crossovers, and the slow introduction of their equally spicy performance variants. While the Honda Civic Si, Volkswagen GLI, and the Subaru WRX have become the established players when it comes to delivering bargain focused performance to selective enthusiasts. An alternative choice that has always been considered the outsider looking in is the venerable Elantra Sport. Hyundai has recently been kickstarting its attempts at being a relevant player in this shrinking but still viable segment. This is thanks mainly to the Veloster and …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE 6-Speed Manual – By Carl Malek

When it comes to the venerable Toyota Corolla, the iconic compact sedan has developed a very loyal following during its several decade production run, and it has managed to even block the challenge to its sales supremacy that has been cast into stone by a growing field of CUV competitors. But while the Corolla has managed to check all the other boxes that car buyers think in their minds when they purchase one, the lone item that has been missing in recent years is excitement. So when Toyota revealed that it planned to release a five-door version of its econobox, …

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2019 Mazda3 AWD Sedan Review by Ben Lewis

A lot of people love European vehicles. The quality, the ride, the design, the feeling that you’re in something special – it’s all good, and it’s all there. So, we often get asked, “what’s a good entry-level European sedan?” Well, the best Euro sedan for the money right now is… the 2019 Mazda 3. Yes, the Mazda 3. We’ve just spent a week in the all-new Mazda 3 sedan (a hatchback is available, too), and it is impressive. Now we’ve always liked the 3 – a lot of enthusiasts we know who’d like a BMW or an Audi end up …

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2020 Toyota Corolla SE 6-Speed Manual Sedan – Review by Ben Lewis

If I tell you there’s a 4-door compact sedan that’s got hot styling, some real attitude, and is lots of fun to drive thanks to a 6-speed manual transmission, what would you say? Civic? Mazda 3, Elantra? How about a Toyota Corolla? Yes, the Corolla. Okay, we can’t blame you if it didn’t pop in your mind. Although there have been the occasional performance versions including the hot-hatch 1988 Corolla FX16, and the 2005 Corolla XRS sedan (8,000 rpm redline!), most of the model’s reputation has been built on solid, sensible and reliable transportation over flash. And it’s been a …

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2020 Kia Soul X-Line – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

First, a moment of silence. Today we mourn The Hamster. Well, not a real Hamster, but the special-FX rodents that came to be identified with the Kia Soul, thanks to their great commercials. For the all-new 2020 Soul, it looks like the furry funmakers have been tossed in the proverbial dustbin. (At least they could have been buried in the backyard, no?) Shed no tears, though, because this is an all-new Kia Soul, and while it keeps the, errr…Soul of the previous model, it sports a lot of great improvements that keep it one of the most enjoyable and endearing …

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2019 Honda Civic Sport 2.0L 4-Door Manual – Review by Ben Lewis

Ok, we’re going out on a ledge here. But we bet this Civic may become a collectible. Yes, we get that the Civic Type R (or CTR for those in the know) will be a legend. And the current Civic Si is continuing a long line of sweet-performing Si’s. But the Civic Sport seems to go even deeper than that. More to the core of what has always made a Honda a Honda – or a Civic a Civic – for that matter. There’s a simplicity here.  A purity of purpose that typifies the man and the brand. 20-30 years …

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2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport 6MT 2

2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Recently, I was picking up a press car, and they asked me – in all sincerity – if I drive a stick. Really? Yes, it’s come to this. Manuals are getting so rare that some auto scribes don’t know how to drive one. Please don’t tell Hyundai. Because recently we drove the 2019 Elantra Sport, with 6-speed manual trans, and it was a delight. A Meaner Mugshot All ’19 Elantras get a crisp new look, with a restyled hood, front fascia, grille and headlights that look more aggressive and squintier, including LED headlights and a special grille on our Sport …

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