Toyota Goes All In With 2020 Corolla, Promises To Revamp Driving Experience For Buyers

Toyota’s Corolla sedan has emerged into a powerhouse for the Japanese automaker, with over 40 million units sold since the Corolla first entered production. However, all of this success and good fortune masks a car that has always never been known for its fun mannerisms, instead, preferring to be known as a dependable albeit bland piece of transportation that aims to get the job done and not much else. With the compact car segment still a viable segment in the marketplace, Toyota couldn’t afford to sit on its heels, and has thrown everything into the 2020 Corolla to try and …

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2017 VW E-Golf SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

OK, we’re a little late to the EV game. We recently tested the Soul EV, and came away charmed by the unique driving experience, and the way Kia made the electric Soul feel special and unique – like driving a car of the future. Which is a great counterpoint to the VW Golf EV. While the Kia celebrates its EV-ness, the Golf plays it the other way – it completely feels like any other Golf, the only difference is that it has a different way of fueling up. For someone with EV anxiety, or who just wants to go electric …

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2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We like cars that fly in the face of convention. Nissan’s Juke, Kia’s Soul, many Minis…all a little off of center, but lovable and fun. And to this list, you have to include the Hyundai Veloster. The quirky, sporty, three-door hatch that some love and has other scratching their heads, has always be an affordable funster. And now we have an all-new 2019 Veloster, and that’s always a crap-shoot. Will it keep the unique vibe, or go more mainstream and lose the plot in the second chapter? Chapter Two Well, the looks have gone from funky to aggressive, but we …

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Kia Unveils 201 Horsepower 2020 Forte GT, At Last Our Prayers Have Been Answered

When we last met the 2019 Kia Forte, it was navigating the twist and turns of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The mountain roads that dotted our route highlighted the Forte’s new chassis, as well as the spirited character that defined its exterior and interior design. Sadly, a lack of power was also evident, and it had us wondering “Where’s the Beef?” Well it appears Kia has been listening to this persistent criticism, and has at last given the Forte a proper engine to formally tango with its reworked bones, as well as a new trim the Forte GT, Living up to its …

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2019 VW Jetta SE – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the 2018 VW Passat GT, an exciting twist on one of the carmaker’s oldest models. And now, we have the 2019 VW Jetta, its newest model. And make no mistake about it, a new Jetta is a big deal. It’s the most successful European nameplate in the US, with 3.2 million sold since 1980. And, that’s just a drop in the bucket – worldwide sales are over 17.5 million. Now we have the seventh-generation of the popular sedan, and VW has pushed the envelope to give us a bigger, better, more advanced sedan to continue to woo …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Toyota Corolla SE – By Carl Malek

When it comes to offering buyers a reliable four door sedan that can safely haul people and cargo from one place to another, one venerable nameplate has always stood out among compact car buyers, the Toyota Corolla. While the bulk of the changes for 2018 are focused on its new hatchback sibling (which we tested a short while ago,) the sedan still soldiers on for 2018 with very minimal changes. But can this infusion of minimalist themed updates allow the aging Corolla to still maintain its iron grip on top of the compact sedan segment? Or is it time for …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Toyota Prius C – By Carl Malek

The green car segment has seen its fair share of twists and turns over the past several years. While Tesla currently has the spotlight when it comes to pure EV offerings, Toyota and its Prii range in particular are considered by many to be the benchmark offerings in the hybrid vehicle segment. The Japanese auto giant doubled down on hybrids in the mid 1990’s with the original Prius, much to the astonishment and the occasional snicker of a few of its domestic competitors. That initial gambit has transformed into a lucrative business, with the Prii lineup redefining green car culture …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited – By Carl Malek

Like two sides of a coin, the 2018 Kia Rio and the 2018 Hyundai Accent have very important roles to play for their respective brands. Both offer an affordable gateway to their respective lineups, they are small, and each also offer their buyers a unique experience that drives home the mission of their respective identities. When we last spent time in the 2018 Kia Rio, we loved the Rio’s spunk and its value oriented pricing. Can the same magic apply to its more upscale corporate sibling, the Hyundai Accent? Or is it still overshadowed by the popular Elantra? Wheras the …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Kia Forte EX – By Carl Malek

It’s no secret that the Kia Forte has proven to be a key cog in Kia’s long term plan of revising its image. Once known for being an offering that thrived on being cheap and cheerful when it was released nearly a decade ago, the Forte has morphed into an intriguing compact sedan offering. When we last met the Forte, it was late last year, and while it had some good things going for it, the car was aging quickly against entries like the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus. Kia plans to reverse all that with the 2019 Forte, …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Kia Rio EX – By Carl Malek

In a world where pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers have become the dominant players in the quest for supremacy, it is easy to forget that the sub-compact segment is still a vital battlefield for automakers. lWhile the subcompact range has undergone some shrinkage recently, there are still a diverse cast of entries vying for buyer attention. One of these is the 2018 Kia Rio, which aims to bring some youthful vibes and sensible frugality into Kia’s rapidly changing lineup of cars. But can the Rio take advantage of the impending departure of the benchmark Ford Fiesta, and steal some extra …

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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

You know those commercials for Overstock.com? (no, we’re not getting a free couch for this). The ones where people are judged – sometimes unfairly – for their names. Well, the Corolla has the same problem. We say Corolla, and you probably think, small, supremely reliable, pleasant, good value. But exciting? Meh.  One small step for a Corolla and One giant step for Corolla-kind. Previously, the formerly known as Scion iM was renamed, and the stylish little hatchback became the Corolla IM. And it was a nice looking, decent performing hatch with loads of features – typical Scion. A nice start. …

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Industry Insider – New or Used Cars: Which is Better?

This is an age-old question. Should you buy a new or used car? Everyone seems to have a different answer and different reasons why. There really is no single right answer because it all depends on your current lifestyle and living situation. Different financial obligations, abilities, hobbies, and plans will determine whether a new or used car makes sense for you. In order to figure out which is best, let’s consider the upfront cost of the car, the gas mileage, the insurance cost, and the cost of repairs. It’s important to crunch the numbers before making any decisions. Determine What …

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2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Volvo is on a roll. For a while, the Swedish brand (owned by Chinese company Geely), was more of a bit player in the premium European segment, trading on a well-earned rep of safety and Swedish sensibility – but not really setting any hearts afire. Well, all of that has changed. The big spark came from the gorgeous XC90, one of the most handsome big SUV’s, with a to-die-for interior and loads of well-engineered tech. In the always-hungry SUV market it became a huge hit, and it put the brand on the shopping list of loads of BMW, Mercedes and …

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2018 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Elantra GT hatchback and found it to be a fun and flexible small hatch – one that might be better for some buyers than a crossover or SUV. And while those vehicles seem to be getting the lion’s share of sales, along with small hatchbacks, there’s still a need in the marketplace for the small sedan. There’s always a sweet spot for cars like the Corolla, Civic and our tester, the Elantra sedan. They make great first cars for new drivers, great second cars for families, and comfortable and reliable transportation for older buyers, too. The …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate – By Carl Malek

When the first generation Veloster arrived on the scene several years ago, it was a symbol of Hyundai’s early foray into revamping the image of its overall product lineup. While the first generation Veloster did have a few rough edges and flaws underneath its slick skin, it nevertheless served as a compelling “reverse halo” offering that did bring in more young buyers. With the arrival of the second generation Veloster, Hyundai has made the usual assortment of updates and revisions to help the Veloster refine and hone its youthful swagger. Can this updated Veloster stand out in a segment that …

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2018 Mazda3 GT 5-Door – Road Test Review w/ Perf Drive Video

Want to know the true reason why nobody should suffer driving a car they don’t love? And also the reason why car shoppers are fools to make up their mind online instead of on the test drives? The shining example for both is the delightful 2018 Mazda3 GT.  Here is a car that will hit 35-mpg on the highway and keep your payments easily below $300 a month.  All while having truly fun performance and actual torque to keep you ahead of traffic! Driving the Mazda3 for a week is like a slap in the face or a dunk in …

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2018 Kia Niro PHEV LX – ~240MPG Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Last year we tested the Kia Niro hybrid, and it came away as one of our favorite vehicles of the year. Here was a hybrid with the practicality of a small crossover, excellent fuel economy, and best of all, it was truly fun to drive. We’d gladly have one in our driveway – and it would make a perfect day-to-day partner to some rip-snorting, fuel guzzling, socially questionable weekend toy. Plugging into the latest and greatest While hybrids have been around for quite a while now and become extremely successful, getting people into full EV electric vehicles has been a …

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2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium R-Code Design – Video Road Test Review w/ Mega Gallery!

  Don’t get too bogged down in what type of vehicle C-HR is before you start to love it.  SUV Compact?  City Style Hatchback? It is a racy five-door hatchback with off-road-ish looks and playful road handling. Exclusively front-drive and sliding in right above the Corolla in fun-to-drive and standout style. Pricing matches that four-door but there are many differences under the skin. This C-HR for example runs a slightly tighter wheelbase and overall length.  And a slightly wider stance with its bubble hardtop accentuating the racy roofline and concept-like body shapes on both ends. But really, all the style …

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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT A/T – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

One of the great things about the popularity of small SUV’s and Crossovers is that it’s also creating renewed interest in small wagons and hatchbacks too. Once you’ve experienced the practicality of RAV4 or HR-V, it’s pretty hard to go back to a small sedan. So, don’t go back to a small sedan. With the all-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT, you get carrying capacity – plus a whole lot of other nice surprises. And even if comes down to choosing between an Elantra sedan and GT hatchback, it’s no contest – hatch wins. Euro style. It starts with the looks …

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2018 Buick Encore Premium FWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We recently tested the new Buick Enclave, and found it to be an excellent blend of style, performance and luxury. What if you want all that, but something in a smaller package, perfect for running around the city as well as the open road? Well then, how about the Buick Encore?  Refreshed in 2017, the small SUV has proven to be exceptionally popular – it’s Buick best-selling model – and it shows how quickly the brand has moved from stodgy to hip and cool in a short time. Not the urban lumberjack, Jack. In the land of small SUV’s trying …

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2018 Honda Civic Type R – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Are you an extrovert? Do you like being the center of attention? Do you like answering lots of questions from people you don’t know? Then we have the car for you. The Honda Civic Type R. It’s R turn. While Type R Honda models have been the epitome of performance for the brand elsewhere, Honda and Acura have been extremely stingy bringing any to the U.S. When the new Civic bowed, a promise   that the lineup would include the first ever U.S. Civic Type R got enthusiasts all fizzy with excitement. Sparkling or flat? Not everyone likes bright and bold …

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Road Test Review- 2018 Mazda 3 Grand Touring (Sedan) – By Carl Malek

What makes the Mazda 3 such a good value in the compact car segment? It’s stylish good looks are definitely a good start along with an interior that has always offered occupants a near premium driving experience. But with many of its rivals either upping their aesthetic game, or offering more performance and fundamental value. Can the 2018 Mazda 3 keep up with the changing landscape while still offering the compelling DNA that keeps Mazda loyalists coming back for more? To find out, we revisited this old favorite to see for ourselves if the Mazda 3 has aged into a …

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2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium – Road Test Review

Subaru refreshed its Outback Jr for the 2018 model year with a bump in horsepower and fresh LEDs on the top trims.  New cabin tech and the slightest of slight design upgrade to detailing outside and in completed the refresh. Most notably, the top Crosstreks now have a sexy LED DRL that comes standard with the upgraded bi-xenon, auto-highbeam cornering lamps on the Crosstrek Limited. Humbler trims like our 2.0i Premium tester have to make do another year with bulb DRLs and a decidedly dowdy look on the road. No LEDs in front for this trim but some searingly-bright LED …

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Road Test Review – 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT – By Carl Malek

Hatchbacks have always been a unique breed of automobile. A feisty blend of utility and performance, they have survived the original SUV craze, and have so far held their own against the current crush of CUVs, and the massive pressure they have wrought on other segments of the automotive market including hatchbacks. But amid the current crop of hatchback offerings, is there one that can usurp the current king of the hatchback, the Volkswagen Golf/GTI? Or could an upstart make its way through the ranks and pull off a monumental upset?   This is not our first encounter with the …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Kia Forte S – By Carl Malek

With the 2019 Kia Forte embracing some of the successful DNA that has turned the Stinger into a compelling BMW fighter, the current generation Kia Forte has the unenviable task of staying fresh and relevant against a relatively fresh crop of contenders. The Forte offers tweaked styling and versatile feature content for a new generation of buyers, but can these wholesome charms keep the Forte in winning form until its replacement arrives? or will the 2019 version be forced to regain lost ground when it eventually arrives in dealer lots. The exterior styling of our Currant Red “S” grade tester …

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta Brings More Technology & Style To NAIAS 2018

Volkswagen’s Golf lineup is proof of how dominant the German auto giant can be in the small car market. The Jetta on the other hand, was an example of what happened when bean counters were given free reign in designing a car. With cheaper materials, and a mediocre interior. Volkswagen’s interpretation of a compact sedan for the U.S. was lost in translation, especially with buyers. The 2019 Jetta aims to correct this with new technology and a host of updates that make it better than ever. The exterior styling of the outgoing Jetta was about as bland as buttered toast, …

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Honda Provides Insight Into Its Green Fueled Ambitions With Insight Prototype

Honda has made great strides when it comes to adding more green to its lineup of vehicles. From the Clarity lineup, to the upcoming Accord Hybrid, It’s no secret that Honda is keen on regaining ground that it has lost to Toyota and its ever growing lineup of hybrid vehicles. On that front, Honda has revealed its latest step in this initiative, the reawakened Insight hybrid sedan. Dormant for the last few years, Honda plans to position the 2019 Insight above its popular Civic sedan, making it serve a tweener role between the forementioned Civic, and the larger Accord sedan. …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf – By Carl Malek

When the e-Golf first arrived on our shores back in 2014, it was considered an afterthought especially considering that it arrived during the pinnacle of Volkswagen’s TDI-fueled dominance of the green car market. But with this diesel empire toppled by scandal, and a growing field of electric vehicles entering the marketplace, the e-Golf’s role in Volkswagen’s arsenal has become much more important. Can this electrified Golf stand out against the competition while still retaining the VW’s winning formula? At first glance, the exterior styling does not scream that your driving an electric car. In fact, it looks like a run …

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2018 Kia Rio EX 5-door – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve often said it’s more interesting to see how a manufacturer makes their inexpensive cars vs. the big-ticket items. We recently tested the Genesis G80 Sport, one of the most lux of the Kia/Hyundai/Genesis family, and came away mightily impressed. How about the other end of the spectrum, Kia Rio? Can the littlest Kia win us over? Welcome to the Rodney Dangerfield section of the auto market. It’s hard to get any respect. The little Rio is the cheapest car K-H-G sells in the U.S., and while the brand has made huge strides, especially in the last 10 years, it’s …

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2018 Hyundai KONA – Arrives February to Clamoring US Shoppers

The Kona is a pretty big deal for Hyundai.  It will be expected to shift more than 100,000 units a year, we estimate, to be considered a success for the brand’s SUV mission. In a perfect world, this machine might even kiss 200,000 units in 2019!?   Can you imagine? Hilarious. Or is it? When you think of the future as seen in movies, Kona’s design will fit right in.  It is a post-apocalyptic surivor — navigating the ruins of cities with enough ground clearance not to scrape.  Or to have those pesky gravel cuts in the paint — thanks to …

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2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

 We start the drive video review asking a serious question: does this Euro Infiniti QX30 belong in the USA? This baby Infiniti has two variants on sale in America: the crossover-ish QX30 and QX30 AWD.  Then there is the wild cousin: the QX30 Sport.  Lowered ride height.  Performance mods and gloss black finishes galore.  Stance to make the most of the double-clutch automatic and turbo motor from Mercedes-Benz. Premium compact five-doors are big business on the continent.  Instead of trading up to a sedan after the Golf/Focus class, owners will shell out big cash to get into the A3, 1 …

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2017 Toyota Yaris iA – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

While it’s great to test the latest hi-tech, hi-buck vehicles, we really enjoy when a manufacturer makes an inexpensive car something special. Especially when it’s not only good, but also a surprisingly good drive.  And this is one of those vehicles. Yaris, I am your father… OK, the Yaris has a confused parentage going on here. Until last year, the iA was a Scion. And when Toyota got rid of that brand, it adopted the little sedan. Hence the funny iA name – clearly a remnant from Scion. But of course, that’s only half the story, because the iA is actually …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Toyota Yaris iA – By Carl Malek

The legacy of Scion continues to permeate throughout Toyota showrooms. While the logos, marketing material, and the fancy displays have long since been deposited in the dark corners of history, several of its models continue to linger in Toyota showrooms. One of these is the budget friendly iA sedan. Designed and engineered with help from Mazda, the iA was Scion’s last ditch effort at attracting young first time buyers before the rug was pulled from under it. Will the addition of a Toyota badge and a new name allow the Yaris iA to still fulfill its mission in life? Or …

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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Base Automatic – Road Test Review + 2 Videos

There are cars that are simply better than they have to be. They go beyond just beating their obvious rivals and into another level of long-term partnership potential for their drivers. Such is the case with the five-door Hyundai Elantra GT.  This variant of the best-selling sedan shares much of its drivetrain cabin, but none of its exterior or platform design. It enters a market segment that has more strong rivals than ever.  Focus and Cruze hatchback might be easy to beat.  But how about the new Civic Sport 5-door, Mazda3 and VW Golf?  Those are some seriously good global …

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Electric or Hybrid, Which Is Indeed The Superior Green Option?

Remember back when gasoline (and to a lesser extent) diesel engines, were once the sole choices for U.S. drivers looking to buy an automobile for their driveway? We sure do, and we also remember back when the idea of electric let alone hybrid offerings were mere science experiments that existed in the world of concept cars. Fast forward a few decades, and this established order has been toppled by a strong pool of hybrid vehicles, as well as the emergence of a new wave of all electric offerings. But which choice is better for consumers? And which choice will stand …

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2017 Jeep Compass 4×4 Limited – HD Road Test Review

Guess who does not love compact crossovers, generally, for their woeful speed and handling?  This guy. So the 2017 Compass really had its work cut out for it when it came to CRD for a review.  We were pre-biased and would’ve been tossed from a jury trial for inability to be impartial. Our personal disdain for micro-SUVs is dead wrong based on vehicle sales charts, though. Mini crossovers are the hottest segment of the car business these days.  They are replacing huge chunks of traditional compact and midsize car sales – through their combination of coolness and capability. Jeep is …

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2017 Fiat 500C 1.4L Auto – Road Test Review

Is “hilarious” a helpful car description?  What about uproarious laughter at redline on the video review? Not really.  You migtht think the guy is laughing at the the car when he is actually laughing along with it. Either way, a serious case of the giggles comes standard on the Fiat 500C. The $17k 500 Cabrio is actually the cheapest way into a softtop in the USA for 2017 and 2018.  But with hard metal roof pillars, some might say this isn’t an all-the-way cabriolet. It might not be a full ragtop but it is delightfully sunny in the little Fiat …

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2017 VW Golf R w/ DCC & Nav – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Most car makers have “halo” cars.  You know, special products (usually at nosebleed prices) to show off the best of what they can do, and to make you feel better about the garden-variety products that most of us end up buying. Think Nissan GT-R, Corvette Z06, Acura NSX. VW has a halo vehicle, too. And while the family parts bin of Audi goodness could probably have given them some ridiculous $80,000 über Passat or something, they did something very cool. They made a VW Golf their showpiece. So, is the VW Golf R a hatch that super-enthusiasts can really get …

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2017 KIA Proceed Concept Brings Hot-Wagon Style to Frankfurt

KIA is really movin’ on up in this world.  Their Stinger GT AWD promises some real grand touring luxury and speed when it arrives in showrooms next month.  And their Euro lineup is stronger than ever thanks to extensive tuning at the Nurburgring.  And thanks to a giant crew of German engineers poached from the top carmakers in the world. So this Proceed concept’s fast-wagon nature is not too far from reality.  Simply GORGEOUS flowing lines, great long-roof proportions and a chopped front overhang make for the stuff of dreams.  This bodystyle is headed for production, Kia strongly hints, as …

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Autocross Class of 2017! Which Pocket Rocket Is Quickest?

Imagine the best kart track ever – inside the amazing Road America racetrack itself.  Then swap the karts for real cars.  And race them against the stopwatch in rapid-fire rotations of drivers! It was an squeely good time with the class of 2017’s new and special pocket rockets.   A big variety in power, drivetrain layout and body style: everything from the Abarth 500C to MX-5 RF and 370Z Heritage Edition.  Hyundai’s new Elantra Sport joined the fun, as did a ragtop Miata, 124 Abarth, Toyota 86 and VW Golf R.     They were all a laugh riot around …

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – Road Test Review

Ioniq is really a charmer on the road.  This is a car that can out-eco a Prius and yet also sling itself around corners like a balanced Lotus. 50 mpg has never been so easy, or fun!  No plugs needed and no range anxiety.  Ioniq is good enough to make you really rethink the logic of a full EV.  This just seems so much smarter and more versatile.  It is a seamless normal-car replacement.  Smoother than a normal sedan’s drivetrain and just as easy to own. We spent a week testing the Ioniq’s limits in a high-performance drive video.  And …

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2017 MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept – Design Analysis

MINI fatigue is undeniable lately as an enthusiast and for car shoppers alike.  The improvements are so substantive, but the design and image seems frozen in time.  Most of the time. Then rumbles up a track-attack prototype so extreme that even it hates being a hatchback.  It hates that its breadvan shape lacks the low nose of a supercar or the mid-engined silhouette. So this JCW GP concept rejects its limitations.  It says: i will create extreme downforce and aero — hatchback shape and all.  It does not accept that front-drive is a demerit on the Nordschleife. Floating external fenders …

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2018 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited Sedan – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

When people ask us what’s “in” this year, we have an answer: Premium. It seems like these things cycle through. One year, it’s performance, the next – gadgets. Safety and autonomous tech are going to be with us now for the foreseeable future. But this year – especially in smaller vehicles – carmakers are pumping up the quietness, the tech, and the high quality goods. And with so many buyers fleeing to small crossovers, this makes sense. If you can’t compete with the versatility, you compete with feel-good of an upscale drive. And next in line for the primo treatment …

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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport 6MT – First Drive Review

Hyundai is perfecting its performance-car credentials.  The latest pack of redesigns go as hard at their tech/ style as they do at full turbo boost and fast corners. This handling skill and steering feel are creating a new impression of the brand as a whole. You need a preface like this to absorb the impressions of how sweet a drive the Elantra GT Sport was the other day.  This is Hyundai’s Scirocco rival for Europe and GTI-fighter for the USA — with a slinky low roof, five-door layout and lively powertrain.  How alive is GT?  It forms the basis for …

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2018 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

There’s a lot of talk lately that the small car is on its last legs. And you-know-who is to blame…the crossover. It started quite a while ago with SUVs swaying the public, with their rugged looks, great versatility, and comfy, tall seating position. Then came the small SUV wave, and it’s become a Tsunami – the Nissan Rogue is currently the best selling non-pickup vehicle (full-size pickups are still big business) in the country, with a passel of CR-V’s, RAV4’s, and CX-5’s and more not far behind. Still, the smallest of the small cars felt safe until recently, when the …

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2017 KIA Soul Turbo – HD Road Test Review + Video

The Kia Soul is a runaway  success. It is the best-selling global Kia vehicle in the brand’s history.  And it has outlasted its Nissan Cube or the Scion xB box-car rivals in the marketplace by being better. This acclaim is perhaps why the Soul still wears its original sheetmetal — albeit revamped slightly for the exterior of this latest iteration.  Fresh LEDs, bumpers and trim details are all this car needs to be fresh in 2017. If the core package was so right-sized and right-priced, it does make sense to keep it humming along nicely with the same look. Beneath …

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2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Honda’s redesigned Civic is a big hit. And they’ve been clever, rolling out the vehicles over a period of time. Sedans, then hatchbacks, (long missing from the Civic lineup), then Civic Coupe.  Then a turbo, (a first for a Civic in the U.S) and then an aggressive-looking Civic Sport model. And each model has been a tasty treat, but we’ve always known there might be something better in the wings. Well now we have the new Civic Si – long-time top of the line for the Civics sold here in the states. The new Si is tantalizing different from models …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Limited – By Carl Malek

Once considered rolling science experiments 15 to 20 years ago, electric vehicles are seeing a resurgence in both relevance and importance to a new generation of car buyers. When I was growing up in Metro Detroit, it was in a GM household, and the infamous EV-1 was the symbol of GM’s brief but compelling trip into the world of mass market vehicle electrification. Tremendous progress has been made since then (case in point the Chevrolet Bolt), and electric vehicles are slowly making the transition from curiosity, to mass market reality. But does this mean that electric vehicles are at long …

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

For 2017 Hyundai introduces their 6th generation Elantra, and it’s destined to be a big hit.  Gone is last year’s brash, in-your-face design that separated it styling-wise from the more bland competitors in this compact car segment. Now we have an emphasis on a more elegant shape, and sophisticated style, and that sophistication is evident throughout the cabin and in the entire feel of this new model. Boomerang-shaped LED running lights fame a deeper, wider gill, with chrome horizontal slats that give the front end a more bold and obvious presence.  The cut lines on the sides of the Elantra …

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2017 Honda Fit – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’re often asked for buying recommendations, and certain models are our go-to cars. We know they’re good, fun, reliable, and the odds of getting a bad one are slim. (We hate angry emails.) And for many years, the city car of choice has been the Honda Fit. These days, so many buyers are clamoring for mini-crossovers, we forget that for a lot of folks, a small hatch is equally capable to do the job. So, is today’s Fit still a good fit for buyers? Well, it’s certainly a good looking little guy. Okay, we should probably caveat that. The bright …

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2017 Toyota Corolla iM – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Would a Scion by any other name smell as sweet? In case you missed the press release, Toyota folded up the hip- and hip-hop Scion brand recently, and moved everything over to the Toyota brand. Scion-ara!  In 2003, it was a bold experiment, Scion creating a brand that spoke to youth, attracting new buyers to the Toyota family. And it worked for a while. The problem was, not only the young wanted a less-expensive, but hip Toyota. Case in point; the super-funky xB box was a big hit with the kids, but also found a surprising home with seniors – …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Volkswagen GTI Sport (6MT) – By Carl Malek

Volkswagen’s venerable GTI hatchback has always been an iconic and almost quintessential part of the greater hot hatch segment. From its handsome styling, to its punchy lineup of engines, the GTI certainly has the blueprints to be the perfect performance value. But, could it also serve as a glimpse into an alternate future? That was the very question that this author faced when our Tornado Red GTI Sport tester arrived to spend some time at our humble Michigan outpost. You see, I almost purchased a GTI several years ago when the current generation Mk7 model was first unveiled to the …

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2017 Honda CIVIC Si Now In Showrooms from $24k

UPDATE 5.12.17 The new Si twins from Honda go on sale across the USA tomorrow!  Pretty exciting stuff, even though the new 205HP turbo motor matches the previous Si outputs.  Why?  Because of the new surge in low-end torque that will shave nearly a second off real-world 0-60-mph sprints. The turbo engine also presents an extremely easy tuning roadmap.  Juicing 300 ponies out of here might cost $4k for ECU reflash plus big downpipe/intake/exhaust.  Getting to 300 from the naturally aspirated engine would cost at least double that and be frankly quite challenging without a full race rebuild of the …

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Top 11 Hot Hatchbacks in the USA for 2017

This spring has been a renaissance for hot hatch testing here at Car-Revs-Daily.  We’ve had the great pleasure of flogging the two reigning champs: the Focus RS and Golf R — and realized these pocket rockets are a speedfreak’s dream come true.  So tight and nimble.  So ferocious on throttle.  And so affordable versus a big V8 in Camaro  or Mustang!  Affordable to buy and also to insure and own. They make spouses less furious  than an impractical two-seat coupe.  And they are actually useful at transporting big things via their fold-down back seats. The market for hot hatchbacks has …

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2017 Honda Civic Type R – Nurburgring Record Video & Photos

The new CIvic Type R is on full boost now.  Its US launch is two months out and production is in full swing.  This must mean the first shipment is already on a giant boat headed stateside! Excitement for the most-powerful Honda Civic of all time is palpable lately, especially with the Si  launch just last week. To prove that AWD is not necessary to take on the Focus RS and Golf R, Honda took the new Civic to break some records on track.  This is now the quickest front-driver of all time around with a 7:43:80 time.  Watch the …

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2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept A – Debuts Fresh Design in Shanghai

This new Mercedes-Benz concept feels a bit disingenuous.  On the one hand, we have a clear look at the next CLA-Class compact sedan.   But on the other, we have a heavy-handed effort to link this piglet with the 4-door AMG GT Concept.  Aka, the full hog. AMG GT CONCEPT Actually, we take most of that back.  The look of this Concept A is endlessly charming.  Its new LeMans-type grille with vertical slats meets ultra slimline LED headlights.  Wide intakes below leave no doubt as to how turbocharged and speedy MB’s always are. Could the LEDs up front be even …

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2017 Toyota Prius PRIME – HD Road Test Review

Our hopes about Prius Prime were through the roof.  Gorgeous new looks.  A battery pack 10X as large as the most thrifty standard Prius.  Luxed-up cabin and 20 miles of EV range? It seemed like a winning formula on paper, and it is a winner in the flesh on the road. We spent a happy week in the Prime to see how this Super Prius compares versus young gun Hyundai Ioniq as well as full EVs like the eGolf, Focus Electric or even a pre-owned Tesla.  ANd how about the upcoming Honda Clarity Plugin? There is great and less-great news to …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Toyota Corolla XSE – By Carl Malek

When we last met the Toyota Corolla back in 2016, we loved its compact size, improved styling, as well as its high value for the money ratio. However, we pulled no punches when it came to its lackluster performance hardware, especially its fussy manual gearbox. With the arrival of the 2017 Corolla, Toyota promises new things for its venerable compact offering. But can the Corolla’s suite of updates help it stand up to a growing wave of compact competition? Or will it still get left in the dust once again? The exterior styling of our XSE grade tester certainly makes a …

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2017 Ford Focus RS – HD Road Test Review

From the moment the Focus RS fires up with pops from its race exhaust system, you know you are in for something special. How could a normal car, one that is practical and affordable, be so hilariously fast, playful and potent? 350HP to all four wheels makes this a hyperhatch.  Or maybe a boiling hot hatchback.  This is car on that can sprint to 60-mph in the 4’s and have WRX STi levels of grip as its flung around corners.  Yet one whose Drift Mode and ultra-hightech rear axle also give you tail-out adjustability like a stunt car. Now that …

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2017 Honda Civic Type R – 20-Photo USA Debut Gallery w/Video

Check out the most intriguing hyper-hatch in ages!  Here is a 306HP turbo to the front wheels — making it the fastest Honda of all time! The engineering upgrades list to manage that power is long….  but majors on grip and adjustability.  Drive modes and adjustable suspension will give supreme control.  We absolutely crave its exterior design.  It is so massively aggressive.  So carefully modified for the track.  You can sense that none of this body addenda — like the giant front splitter or artful rear wing — is there for looks alone.  This is a purposeful car that came to …

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Best of NYIAS – 2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept

Welcome to Toyota getting hip with the kids! Since Scion was politely folded into the Big T proper, there are many products in the pipeline that still embody that wacky Scion spirit. The FT-4X is one of those, and looks set for arrival to showrooms within about a year at the most.  This machine is a heavily redesigned and off-road-optimized version of the sexy new C-HR subcompact crossover.  The FT-4X is far more than just a tall-roof variant.  (Although that is its core nature). From a tread perspective, the FT-4X rides far higher, with grippier rubber and longer-travel suspension.  Likely-standard …

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2017 Honda CIVIC Si Coupe and Sedan Rock 205HP Turbos, In Stores Next Month

It has been a long time coming, Honda fans!  We’ve been holding our collective breath hoping for greatness in the future Civic Type R. AND.. SCORE! Honda delivered and is on an unbelievable hot streak. FLASHBACK:  Here we rendered some dreams of a euro civic in USA. That was back in 2014.  Three years later: New Accord Sport, Civic Sport are world-class excellent once again.  Perhaps not causal… but certainly correlated!?  This new Si looks fairly similar to the Civic Sport from up front — which is to say, amazing.  Around back, new spoilers and exhausts speak volumes about what’s …

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2018 VW Golfs Debut USA Facelift For Six-Strong Model Line

The new Golf is bringing the global model upgrades to the USA at last!  In fact, the lead time/delay between the Euro debut and the USA arrival is actually much shorter than before.  [It took almost three years for the Golf 7 to arrive in USA.] The six-strong 2018 Golf lineup arrives stateside around September of 2017 as 2018 models.  The e-Golf is on a slightly different timetable but also adds these revisions. The freshening includes standard LED DRLs, full LED tail lights new wheels and upgraded cabin infotainment.  The Golf R brings a fresh 7-speed DSG versus the current …

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2017 VW Jetta GLI DSG Automatic – HD Road Test Review

The Jetta GLI is the ultimate humble brag. For those in the know, the GLI is clearly a joyous drive and a frisky friend. A car that majors in FUN while never really showing much effort.  But as you pull up to stoplights, it will take a car-guy/gal to appreciate that this a sweet sports car.  Wrapped in mild-mannered and supremely practical four-door form. We spent a week with the throttle floored to learn if GLI’s charm can make up for its extremely subtle design and brand worries. Two videos and 60 photos accompany section headings of Exterior, Interior, Performance and …

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2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric – First Drive Review w/ Video

The sleeper hit of the Hyundai Ioniq launch? The full EV! This will be the rarest of the three Ioniq models as it will be sold in California only for the first year.  [First arrivals around April/May in stores, by the way, and Ioniq EV can be special-ordered nationwide at that time too.] It was not just the incredible normalcy about the EV drive Ioniq that makes it surprising.  Really it’s the thoroughness of the engineering and exceptional value this car represents. Hold your horses, though!  Let’s discuss what this car offers, how it looks, drives and feels.  Click play below …

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – First Drive Review w/ Video [60 Photos]

Ioniq launches for 2017 as the first direct Prius rival in years.  Yes, I hear you — there are dozens of Prius rivals! And you are right: hybrids and EVs have gained traction in midsize sedans, luxury cars and SUVs at a rapid clip recently.  But no car actually tries to out-do Prius in 2017.  Not the cancelled Honda Insight.  And not the plug-in Chevy Volt, or battery-only VW eGolf. The reasons for this are many.  Mostly because Prius has beaten them all.  Ridiculously good mileage – no matter what.  A formula that surprisingly has never been cracked by another …

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2017 VW Golf R 6-Speed Manual – HD Road Test Review

How does the Golf R’s halo/hero status match up with reality in your garage? Well, it scores huge with 5-second sprints and a $36,475 price right off the bat.  Then you get Golf R into its race mode and HANG ON for its throaty brummm up redline/supralegal speed. It’s been a thrilling few months of hot hatch and performance car reviews around here – so we feel well-placed to judge this hot hatch king.  Focus RS will be the main competitor for comparisons, but also feedback on how Audi S3 differs too.  Longtime Subaru WRX fan/owner helps to appreciate Golf …

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2017 VW Jetta GLI 2.0T 6MT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Crave the delectable deliciousness of a German Sport Sedan, but don’t have the coin for an Audi, BMW or Benz? We’ve got a solution for you. The Jetta GLI sedan. Yes, a Jetta. With all the heavy-duty incentive, low-low financing, come-on-down-to-your friendly V-Dub dealer ads for garden variety Jettas, you might have forgotten VW’s love letter to the Sport Sedan. And it’s a tough world for sedans these days. With the heat for crossovers and the newfound interest in hatchbacks, the pickings for the discerning sedan driver on a budget are few. In the spectrum of things, there’s the hard-edged …

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2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the new Sentra NISMO heir to the SE-R throne? That depends on who you ask. And really, ask the right person. Why? Well there’s a lot of snobbery, and it seems to come from people who haven’t taken the trouble to even drive the car. And they’re missing out. From the enthusiast camp, the issue seems to be the expectations based on the NISMO name – that you should expect BMW M Division, Mercedes AMG level commitment to performance. While we think that’s true in the GT-R NISMO and 370Z NISMO, when it comes to models like the Sentra …

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2017 VW Golf TSI SEL (Wolfsburg Edition) – Road Test Review w/ Video

Three tentpole themes define the VW Golf SEL for 2017:  its discreetly sporty drive manners, its intense build quality, and how the SEL might be sweet spot of the Golf line.  Some clarity into the SEL vs Wolfsburg trims, too. This post is centered on the very-good performance drive video below.  We start outside the car and hop in to floor it down some country roads.  Then a right turn into one of the twistiest roads we have here by the Atlantic Ocean here in South Carolina.   Fun to Drive There we find the Golf’s mid-spec 1.8-liter turbo plays very nicely …

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2017 VW Jetta 1.4T SE Manual – HD Road Test Review

The Jetta has been the target of scorn for many years here at Car-Revs-Daily.  We quietly laughed at each redesign on the Jetta’s descent into bland hell over the last decade. All the while, longing for the cool little sedan of our memories.  The one from the clever “Synchronicity” ads with the windshield wipers/world timed to the beat.  The one almost as big and nice-driving as a base BMW.  The one with an unpretentious exterior and surprisingly high-quality cabin. The 2017 Jetta is well on its way back to greatness.  Three levels of turbo gasoline power are available, and we’re …

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2017 Honda CIVIC Sport 6MT Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Civic loyalists, your car is back! If you’ve wanted a performance Civic hatch, it’s been a long wait.  The last one was in 2003! In Si form, that Civic five-door was a neat little car.  We especially liked the rally-style shifter mounted high on the center console, the sport bucket seats, and the large (for Honda) 2.0-liter with i-VTEC. And while not a nose-bleed revver like the smaller Civics, it was still fun to drive hard. But that was 14 years ago! And while we’ve had plenty of enjoyable Civics to drive, they’ve only been offered in Coupe and Sedan …

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CES 2017 – Top 10 Big Reveals + Showfloor Gallery

Many semi-cool reveals at CES this year.  And thankfully, they are not all wearing the same shade of Apple-knockoff white plastic for bodywork! Oh wait, all the cars are the same silver this year?  Delightful. This biggest headlines were undoubtedly for the Faraday Future FF91, a Tesla Model X rival that actually seems super smart and innovative.  If not exactly sexy, the design is certainly unique and practical.  This FF91 flagship is production-bound with a direct-to-consumer sales model that also takes great inspiration from Tesla. The Toyota Concept I is silly fun, while the Chrysler Portal is slightly more serious.  The …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Kia Soul + – By Carl Malek

When Kia first unleashed the Soul back in 2008, the funky CUV was a bold gamble for the Korean car giant. Boasting boxy styling, youthful vigor, and an ad campaign featuring cute hamsters, the Soul proved to be a hit with CUV buyers, and prompted the company to release numerous variants including the recently launched Soul Turbo model. But has its mid-cycle update helped the Soul stay relevant among millennials? or has it lost a few steps against a new wave of CUV entries that are all vying for their piece of the greater CUV sales pie.     The exterior …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco – By Carl Malek

With the recent resurgence that Hyundai has undergone the past few years, its truly remarkable just how much progress the brand has made over the last 10 to 15 years. Once known for making cars that excelled at being cheap reliable transportation (and not much else,) the current lineup has evolved to offer customers a premium driving experience, while still being a great value for many budgets. This was apparent in the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Limited Turbo we recently tested, but how has this sweeping change affected the more mainstream oriented Hyundai Elantra? and can it repeat the same levels …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SE – By Carl Malek

It wasn’t too long ago that the subcompact car segment was once relegated to bench warmer status in the lineups of many automakers. Due to the strong sales of SUVS as well as a relatively small pool of customers to take advantage of, many automakers did not put that much effort into them, and it showed in many ways (anyone remember the Chevrolet Aveo?….No?) Don’t worry your not alone. However, when gas prices spiked several years ago, the renewed demand forced automakers to invest in these pint sized offerings, and it helped transform the segment into a viable and competitive …

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

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 …

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Volkswagen Unveils Updated 2018 Golf Lineup

Volkswagen has pulled the veil off of the updated 2018 Golf model lineup which represents the first major suite of updates for the current generation Golf as it seeks to stay relevant against rivals such as the Ford Focus as well as the recently unveiled Chevrolet Cruze hatchback.   The exterior styling of the 2018 model carries over from the current Golf, and as a result observers will be hard pressed to spot the various updates at first glance. However, a closer look reveals lightly tweaked front and rear bumpers, as well as full LED taillights that steal a page out …

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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 …

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2016 Ford Focus RS – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

When Ford first unleashed the Focus RS back in 2002, it was a very tempting piece of forbidden fruit that was exclusive to European roads. 212 horsepower out of a highly-modified turbo Cosworth four ensured a firecracker of a car. The strong demand for this variant prompted Ford to launch a sequel in 2009 that made use of a Volvo designed 2.5 liter turbocharged five cylinder engine to produce just over 300 horsepower in a wrapper that was bolder and more aggressive looking than ever before. Unfortunately it remained out of reach for U.S. buyers who had to make do …

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

Is the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited a “dad car?” What the heck is a “dad car,” anyway? Those are the questions with which I wrangled during a weeklong test of the model. A couple of friends of mine described it as a “dad car.” I’m a dad of two boys. They said the car was a good fit for me. I typically like my cars quirkier than the Hyundai Elantra. My daily driver is the antithesis of what most might consider a “dad car:” a Nissan cube. For many other men I know, sedans with a definite masculinity such as …

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Update1 – Audi Pulls No Punches With 400HP RS3 Sedan

It’s no secret that we love the Audi A3 here at this site, in fact we even had the chance to review the A3 for ourselves recently and loved it. But while the S3 is a tempting treat in its own right, it’s always made us wonder what would happen if Audi took it to the next level? The company has answered this all important question by unveiling the next evolution of the A3, the all new RS3. The headline snatching feature of this tiny track terror is what lies under the hood, with the RS3 packing the same 400 …

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2017 Hyundai ELANTRA Ultimate – Road Test Review + Drive Video

The 2017 Elantra Limited is a knockout. It blew us away with its supremely European handling and best-ever-tested autonomous drive. How do we do this phenomenal car justice in a text-only written review?  Impossible! As such, we have the usual 50 photos of the car plus a very cool HD drive video to come along for the ride. Just try not to be wowed by what this Acura ILX rival can do!   HD DRIVE VIDEO – 2017 Hyundai ELANTRA Ultimate     EXTERIOR First things first, though.  How does it look?  Remarkably mature and sophisticated.  The Elantra Limited is the top …

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3-Second VW? OCT Tuning Liberates 450HP from GOLF 7 R

The new Golf R is so fast and hilarious in Race mode that we noted many times how strong its engine felt in the first-drive video below. If it “felt like 400HP” with just its stock 300 ponies, imagine how it must feel with a full 150 extra??!     450HP and 405-pound-feet of torque are confirmed from the dyno-honed outputs secured by German tuning boss OCT. 2016 OCT Tuning GOLF R   A MUSCLED BEAST powered by O.CT TUNING – THE GOLF VII R Photos: O.CT Oberscheider Tuning GmbH Since 1994 O.CT Tuning operates as its own department within …

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HD First Drive – 2017 Hyundai ELANTRA ECO

    Just the HD drive video and 40 pics of this plucky little sedan. One pic for every highway MPG this advanced-tech compact can achieve?  Yes indeed.  32-mpg city and 40-mpg highway are the audited, confirmed EPA numbers on this most-efficient Elantra ever. No full review today. Our time in the car was too brief to really make many lasting impressions.  Do recall loving that seven-speed DCT and 128-pony, 1.4-liter turbo engine.  Less the stinky brakes/clutches after a fast drive and those embarrassingly tiny alloy wheels.  At least they painted up the mini alloys a discrete anthracite grey to …

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2017 Mazda3 Refresh – First Look By Anthony Fongaro

    Mazda has had an extremely successful compact car in their lineup with the Mazda3. It has won awards ranging from Car and Driver’s prestigious 10Best list to winning comparison tests for its ride quality, comfort, and interior. Since the current-generation Mazda3 has been out for three years, it is time for it to once again raise the standards in the compact class. Looking at the exterior, the 2017 Mazda3 receives minor changes to the vehicle’s KODO – Soul of Motion design. These include a bolder grille, available LED headlights and tail lights, and a redesigned bumper for the …

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2017 Chevrolet VOLT Premier – HD Drive Video + 64 Lakeside Photos

A really fun steer — and one whose urge and handling delighted the sports-car fan in all of us!  We do even make a “Corvette hybrid” reference-slash-joke while flying around the corners of Lake Lanier Island, Georgia.     2017 Chevrolet VOLT Premier – Exterior Gallery 2017 Chevrolet VOLT Premier – Interior Gallery    

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Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Sedan (6MT) – By Carl Malek

With the recent surge in CUV sales, it is easy to forget that the compact car segment is still one of the hottest segments in the automotive market. From the Ford Focus to the venerable Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra, the segment has a wide range of talent to choose from. Bucking the trend is the 2016 Mazda3 which has always offered buyers a spirited driving experience in a sensibly priced package. But has its stellar road manners blunted the 3’s ability to rise above established compact car benchmarks? Looking at its exterior styling, it appears that the 3 is …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Mazda MX-5 Club 6MT – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  In the spring of 1971, I was almost finished with my freshman year at the University of Iowa, and it was time for me to get my first new car.  My father and I were to split the cost.  His idea of the perfect car for me was a low mileage, 1969 Chevrolet Impala, 4-door.  And my idea was a 1971 MGB rag top.  While my friends were into muscle cars of the time like Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers and Barracudas, I was more interested in small British cars that, while not fast, were known for handling prowess, rather than …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota Corolla S 6MT – By Carl Malek

When Toyota unleashed the current generation Corolla back in 2013, it had lofty shoes to fill. While its predecessor was about as bland as a pair of 80’s era tennis shoes, it was also a key cog in Toyota’s formidable sales machine, and helped the brand lure in budget focused buyers. With that formidable sales reputation, and the inevitable pressure that it brings, does the current generation Corolla have what it takes to keep up this momentum? Or has it lost a step or two? Looking at the exterior styling of my 2016 Corolla S Plus tester, it is obvious …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Hyundai ELANTRA Limited – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Last month, in March of 2016, I tested the 2017 Kia Sportage.  This month, in April of 2016, I’m driving the 2017 Hyundai Elantra. I’m beginning to think that Korea uses a different calendar than we do in the US.  No matter, the point is that this new Elantra is ahead of its time, and is a wonderful remake of an already excellent automobile. Way back in 2004, I bought an Elantra for daughter #2 as she graduated from college and needed her first new car.  It was a small, compact car …

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Drive Review – 2016 Honda CIVIC COUPE – By Ben Lewis

    Is the new Civic a great little coupe, or the end of the automobile as we know it? A bit over-dramatic? Maybe not. We’ll get there. But first…   Honda recently introduced and all-new Civic Sedan that marked the 10th generation of feel-good affordable Honda sedans. And over the years, the Civic has had its ups and downs, but it’s always been pretty good and sometimes brilliant. The new one gets a very, very, very good rating from us. And like before, there’s a Coupe version on offer as well. In this case, we prefer the Coupe. To …

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Drive Review – 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman S – By Ben Lewis

  Pardon us while we get all Existentialist on you. But is Mini as a measure of size, or a state of mind?  That’s what’s got us scratching our heads with the latest Clubman S. This is actually the second generation of the Clubber, the first was a longer wheelbase version of the existing model, with a small suicide door on the passenger side to help passengers pile in and enjoy the extra room. It actually made a lot of sense, it gave a bit better ride, and introduced Mini drivers to the joys (accessibility) and horrors (visibility) of split …

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BMW Unveils Updated 2017 i3 with Giant New 33kWh Battery – By Carl Malek

  When BMW first unveiled the i3, it brought several innovations to the electric vehicle segment, while also allowing the company to launch its green minded i brand. However, with the current trend towards bigger batteries, the tiny i3 found itself slowly falling behind rivals when it came to driving range. BMW has rectified this flaw with the unveiling of the updated 2017 i3. Known formally as the 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) the second chapter of the i3 doesn’t focus so much on its long moniker, but rather on giving buyers more driving range than before. This is made …

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BEIJING 2016 – Analysis: State of the Chinese Car Industry + Top 12 Global-Brand Debuts

The Beijing Motor Show is the flagship event for the absolutely gigantic Chinese car market, and as such is a great barometer of how the industry there is evolving.  For many years, the narrative has been twin threads: — huge potential and rapid advancement from bicycles 25 years ago — shameless flouting of IP via copies of well-known brands and cars, right down to the smallest details. All executed in horrible fashion.  Door shutline gaps that could swallow a hand, paint mismatches, cabin gawps, weird detailing and — last but not least — some laughable names to English-speaking ears. Enter, …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn 6-Speed – By Tim Esterdahl

Review: 2016 VW Golf GTI Improves on Technology While Keeping Superb Drive While VW may be mired in a diesel scandal, this doesn’t mean the rest of their gas vehicles should be overlooked. A great example is the critically acclaimed 2016 VW Golf equipped with a turbocharged gasoline engine and featuring updated technology features. The big news for the 2016 VW Golf is all-new technology features found in a new 6.5” touchscreen infotainment screen and part of VW Car-Net. This was a big need in prior Golf vehicles and VW stepped up to fill this gap. The new touchscreen is …

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2017 Smart BRABUS Twins Revealed – 20% Power Bump, Quicker Steering and Sport Exhaust

The new Smart twins are actually quite promising in their first major redesign since the brand was started in the late 1990s. The microcars have been as popular as polio in the US market in their ten years on the market, so the US arrival of the on-sale-now generations to America was never a top priority.  That still stands: there is no official timeframe for them to jump the pond.  A November arrival in 2016 seems plausible. We hope the ForFour will join the unloved ForTwo in the back corner of Mercedes-Benz service loaner folder. Only for clients they hate …

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Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1959 Berkeley SE492 – Micromini FWD English Roadster?!

It is difficult to describe how small this car is. The 1959 Berkeley Sports Twosome SE492 is about the size of a normal carnival bumper-car.  And perhaps only slightly larger than most PowerWheels children’s toys. Its 70-inch wheelbase meets extremely low and narrow overall dimensions — and is literally dwarfed by some of the bigger classic cars parked nearby. The concept of a lightweight and cheap English roadster was taken to new millimeter-small dimensions during the 1956-1960 production run of the Berkeley automotive venture. The engine of this SE492 is an air-cooled triple making just 30 horsepower. A four-speed automatic send …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Ford FOCUS Titanium – By Tim Esterdahl

While all the attention these days is on its faster brother, the 2016 Ford Focus Hatchback Titanium isn’t so quickly overlooked. With its fun to drive size, quick acceleration and plentiful cargo room, the Focus is a great commuter or around town vehicle and probably not the best choice for long road trips. Hatchbacks hold a special place in the automotive landscape with plenty of fans and critics of its size and styling. Fans love the size, fun to drive sporty aspect of it and its versatility of holding 5 with cargo room. Yet, critics see SUVs as better options …

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