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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2020 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

For decades, Toyota has been known for having bland vehicle styling. To change that reputation, they have recently made an effort to modernize their vehicles and add exciting features to the body work. From the new Camry to the Tacoma, we’d say that it’s working. Continuing that trend, Toyota has updated the 2020 C-HR with a restyled front end, bold new colors, and attention-grabbing wheel designs. Toyota sent us a 2020 C-HR Limited trim to test for a week.   Exterior The most common colors on vehicles sold in the US today are white, black, and every shade of grey …

Read more 2020 Toyota C-HR – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

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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2020 Subaru Legacy Sport Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve always liked Subaru. They’re the perfect example of a company zigging while others zagged. Steadfast in their belief in all-wheel-drive (except for the BR-Z sports car), Subies gained a foothold in areas with lots of snow or slop and became beloved for their mountain-goat-like abilities. The brand has been smart, spreading the gospel of AWD, the horizontally-opposed “Boxer” engine, and has created a name with true identity; green, caring, safe. Subaru isn’t just for the snow-belt anymore. They use the word Love a lot in their ads. All good. Of course, the other brands aren’t just going to sit …

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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 …

Read more 2020 Mazda CX-30 by Ben Lewis

2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium by Ben Lewis

It’s hard to remember a new Toyota vehicle that’s had this much attention around it. Yes, the new RAV4 was a big deal, and the new Camry was also important. But neither of them had car guys (and gals) drooling, dreaming, and scouring social media for info like the new Supra. And the Supra is a very important car for the brand. As Toyota has made huge efforts to make each new vehicle more exciting and better performing, they needed a halo vehicle to show what the brand is really made of. Enter one of the most popular performance cars …

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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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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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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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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. …

Read more 2020 Kia Forte GT by Ben Lewis

2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Review by Ben Lewis

You have to give Toyota credit. After all, with home runs like the RAV4 (best-selling SUV in America) Camry (best-selling car in America 18 out of 19 years) Tacoma (best-selling mid-size pickup), they really don’t have to go out and sell sports cars. But they do. In fact, this year they’ve got not one, but two, the 86, and the all-new Supra. OK, you can argue the big T doesn’t go it alone – the 86 is a cooperative effort with Subaru that markets its near twin the BR-Z, and the Supra shares a great deal with the new BMW …

Read more 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Review by Ben Lewis

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 …

Read more 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport – Road Test Review + Drive Video

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) …

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

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 …

Read more 2019 Mazda3 Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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, …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray – Review by Ben Lewis

Funny how things change. Today, if a friend tells you they’ve bought a Subaru, it’s probably a Forester, or an Outback, maybe an Ascent. And they’re all lovely vehicles. But back in 2002, when you bought a Subie, it was probably a WRX. And it was revelation – a rally proven, high-performance legend that the brand finally decided to bring over here. And it radically changed what people thought about Subaru. And it was the beginning of a long relationship between the cute little sedan or hatch and those who love to drive. Well, now we have the 2019 WRX …

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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. …

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

2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition DSG Review by Ben Lewis

We’ve been talking about great European sedans lately. In fact, we came away saying the new Mazda 3 sedan might be your best entry level Euro choice – yes, it technically isn’t European, but it sure drives that way! Well VW must have heard us, because they’ve now introduced an all new Jetta GLI, (we recently drove the regular Jetta) and it’s not only a great European sedan, it’s what the GLI should always have been – a true 4-door version of the beloved GTI hatch. Big is More We used to see that motto on popcorn at the movie …

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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 …

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

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Insider: 3 Tips for Avoiding Hefty Car Repair Bills

What with the cost of your insurance premium, the gas that you have to shell out for, and the tax that you have to pay, your car drains enough of your finances as it is. Throw in hefty repair bills every so often, and everything gets a lot more expensive.  The fact of the matter is, however, that if you take care of your car in the present, you will avoid having to pay out for repairs on it in the future. It is crucial that you take the following advice, and that you treat your care with the utmost …

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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 …

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

2019 Acura ILX A-Spec – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Remember when Acura first launched? It may seem common now, but Honda was the first Japanese brand to bring in a luxury line – setting the path for Toyota’s Lexus and Nissan’s Infiniti. Mazda was dangerously close to bringing in the Amati line…but backed out. Still we owe props to Acura for being first, and the two first products, the Legend and the Integra were excellent, with all the Honda goodness, plus a nice layer of premium added on top. Acura kind of lost their way for a while – but as of late they’ve come back swinging. We recently …

Read more 2019 Acura ILX A-Spec – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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2019 Ginetta Akula – Underdog Debut Pips Geneva Hypercar Elite

We’re fans of underdog supercar maker Ginetta for a few reasons.  First of all is that they are actual racers. Most of the supercars that debut today will not have bona-fide tracktime in their futures, while this Akula certainly does. And secondly, for the functionality of their approach to sports cars. The spirit of the new Akula’s design vaguely recalls TVR from the wild old days.  This is not a machine that went  through dozens of focus groups and design evolutions.  This is a murderous slasher film in CFRP — all vents and intakes and outlets throughout the entire lower …

Read more 2019 Ginetta Akula – Underdog Debut Pips Geneva Hypercar Elite

2019 Toyota 86 GT 2

2019 Toyota 86 GT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Someone said a bad thing. They said driving is on the way out. That people would rather Uber or Lyft than own a car of their own. That sports cars will be the first to go. Someone has not been in a Toyota 86. The Toyota 86 could be the ambassador for all things that car lovers love. And a little bit of time behind the wheel could convert a lot of skeptics too. Let the propaganda begin! Sports Car Ancestry.com The 86 is beautifully-designed. Time flies in auto-dom. When the 2013 FR-S appeared, it was a sensation – a …

Read more 2019 Toyota 86 GT – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF – By Carl Malek

Perfection, how hard is it to indeed update an icon that has been winning over the hearts of enthusiasts for the past several decades? Mazda engineers had the unenviable task of bringing even more magic into the ND platformed MX-5 (aka the Miata,) which already had the formula for fun sports car ownership firmly baked into its DNA when it originally debuted in 2016. But is it really worth it to trade up to a 2019 MX-5 versus its older predecessors? We were keen to find out, and see if this newly refreshed MX-5 does indeed have the tools necessary …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF – By Carl Malek

Toyota Teases Idea of Performance Focused Corolla Variants

Toyota’s revamped 2020 Corolla has already made great strides in eliminating the rather mundane reputation that it managed to earn for itself over the past several decades, with the recently launched Corolla hatchback being a viable enthusiast focused offering. However, Toyota knows that some Corolla buyers want a bit more of everything in their drive (bigger brakes, more power, etc) and a recent statement by a high ranking Toyota executive could indicate that spicier versions of the Corolla are indeed in the works. According to the Dutch auto enthusiast website AutoRAI, Toyota’s deputy chief designer Toshio Kanei appeared to reveal …

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Volkswagen Infuses More GTI Magic and Golf R DNA Into 2019 Jetta GLI [Live Pics]

Volkswagen has alot riding on the current generation Jetta. While the newly updated Jetta brings a lot of good things to the iconic compact, the one thing that felt missing here was the absence of the range topping GLI variant. Volkswagen has taken note of this absence, and has formally unveiled the 2019 Jetta GLI at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. The exterior styling of the 2019 Jetta GLI follows the same motif as other iterations of the GLI, with the suit of clothes largely being shared with the standard Jetta. However, the honeycomb grille is a dead giveaway of …

Read more Volkswagen Infuses More GTI Magic and Golf R DNA Into 2019 Jetta GLI [Live Pics]

Volkswagen Teases 2020 Jetta GLI Sedan Ahead of Chcago Debut

Volkswagen is primed and ready to showoff the new generation Jetta GLI at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show later this week, but before the sportiest of al;\l Jettas makes its mark, the German car giant has chosen to release a small teaser of what buyers can expect when the new and improved GLI eventually makes its way to dealerships later this year. Unlike the typical teaser campaign that usually begins with a lone teaser image usually from odd or even unorthodox angles, Volkswagen has chosen to release a small GIF image of the GLI going in and out of focus …

Read more Volkswagen Teases 2020 Jetta GLI Sedan Ahead of Chcago Debut

2019 Kia Forte S – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It pays to have a good-looking sibling in the family. Especially an automotive family. Let’s say you’re drawn to your friendly neighborhood Kia dealer to see the hot ‘n sexy Stinger sedan. And it’s more than a looker – the 6-cylinder rear wheel drive Stinger we tested was a great performance sedan, with the credentials, capabilities and feel-good pricing to keep the European brands looking over their shoulders. So, when it came time to redesign the company’s small sedan, the Forte, Kia was clever enough to make it’s reasonably-priced, fuel-sipping, value player look like its handsome big brother. So, we …

Read more 2019 Kia Forte S – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

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

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 …

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

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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 …

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

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. …

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

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 …

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

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

As we write this, it’s the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Perfect time to review a roadster, then. And on such a noteworthy day, the 124 Spider Abarth seems like the ideal car for celebrating. Brio! Translated from Italian, it means vigor, vivacity. And the Fiat serves this up, with a fun to drive personality, stunning looks, and intangibles that just feel so European…which is pretty interesting when you consider, the 124 is mostly Japanese. Underneath the swanky Italian bodywork is a Miata. But before we delve under the body, let’s linger on the handsome suit draping …

Read more 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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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 …

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

2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium R-Code 30

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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2017 Mazda VISION COUPE and KAI Concepts Bow in Tokyo

You know I really wanted this scoop because all these came from Mazda’s Japanese media site! The new Vision Coupe is a breathtaking, cab-backward look at a future Mazda sedan.  Its sharky nose and pert tail are almost like an MX-5 saloon car!  In the best ways. The KAI is a look at the upcoming Mazda3 refresh.  It takes sleek, slinky curves to a new level.  A fully shrink-wrapped package with sport stance like a Golf R.  But with half the roof. Both stunning.  Watch this space for updates and real photos once the cars debut on stage at the …

Read more 2017 Mazda VISION COUPE and KAI Concepts Bow in Tokyo

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 …

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

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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 …

Read more Autocross Class of 2017! Which Pocket Rocket Is Quickest?

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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 …

Read more 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – Road Test Review

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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 …

Read more 2017 MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept – Design Analysis

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 …

Read more 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport 6MT – First Drive Review

2017 Jannarelly Design-1 Heads to First Owners!

A great startup launch story for Jannarelly Automotive this year.  From prototype to production in just a matter of months is a huge achievement. The first ever JD1 is now in its happy owners hands in France, but the second is headed to NY!  The US distributor Vandouble is handling orders for the machines stateside, with around a six-month delivery timeframe.  Production is sold out until February 2018, Jannarelly tells us, so get your order in soon to be among the first owners. As a recap, we have a mid-mounted V6 driving the back wheels and flyweight carbon construction to make the …

Read more 2017 Jannarelly Design-1 Heads to First Owners!

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 …

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

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 …

Read more 2017 KIA Soul Turbo – HD Road Test Review + Video

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 …

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

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 …

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

2017 Kia NIRO Touring Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

As auto journalists, we’re constantly asked about what’s new, what we like, what we’re driving. So, it’s surprising that the vehicle we’re talking a bunch about lately is the exciting Kia Niro hybrid. Kia? Hybrid? Exciting? Yes, Yes, and really… Yes. And we’re just as surprised as you. We were expecting a decent little vehicle – probably more of a penalty box – in the pursuit of all elusive high mpg numbers, at the expense of everything else. But it ain’t so. The Niro is a stylish, well-equipped, little hatch/crossover that happens to be great fun to drive. And fun …

Read more 2017 Kia NIRO Touring Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Polaris Slingshot SL – First Drive Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman  

Taking a ride out to Nielsen Enterprises, in Lake Villa, IL is always a treat. They’re the ultimate big boy toy store.  You can buy anything from ATV’s, UTV’s personal watercraft, snowmobiles, all four Japanese motorcycle brands, Can-AM Spyders, and Polaris products. If it’s fun, and it goes fast, Nielsen’s got it. Today’s mission is to take a Polaris Slingshot out for a test and find out why they can’t make them fast enough. The Slingshot is a three-wheel vehicle, with two wheels in front, and a single wheel in back.  It is 150” long, which is 4” shorter than …

Read more 2017 Polaris Slingshot SL – First Drive Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman  

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 – …

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

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 …

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

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 …

Read more 2017 Honda CIVIC Si Now In Showrooms from $24k

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2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  No spoiler alert needed: The Fiat 124 Spider is built on the all-new Miata. But don’t dismiss it as a Japanese sports car – and an excellent one at that – trying to pull a fast one by donning an Armani suit. It’s surprisingly different from Mazda. Let’s start with style, ok? Per favore! When the new Miata debuted, it was a surprise, the previous generations felt like organic developments of the same design, with a lot of thanks owed to the original Lotus Elan, if you ask us. But when the new model saw daylight, it was noticeably …

Read more 2017 FIAT 124 Spider – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

Read more Top 11 Hot Hatchbacks in the USA for 2017

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 …

Read more 2017 Honda Civic Type R – Nurburgring Record Video & Photos

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 …

Read more 2017 Ford Focus RS – HD Road Test Review

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

Read more 2017 VW Jetta GLI DSG Automatic – HD Road Test Review

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Gallery: AC Schnitzer 30th Anniversary in 200 Photos

Anniversaries are a nice vote of confidence in any company.  But when the total years is less than 30 or so, the business is usually still pretty new.  Recordkeeping was usually poor and the products sometimes laughable in hindsight. You better believe this last bit applies to the tuned car business.  AC Schnitzer is one of the best – broadening from their first M3 and 635CSi offerings into MINI, Range Rover and every fast BMW since.  But the company did keep records, and it does celebrate its weirder achievements.  3 series X-Road wagon in 2001?  Or the 2003 Topster Z3 …

Read more Gallery: AC Schnitzer 30th Anniversary in 200 Photos

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3.2s 2017 Renault ZOE e-SPORT Concept Is Geneva Highlight

RenaultSport has found itself at the apex between F1 and Formula E in 2017.  They also produce one of the biggest range of EVs available.  No one is better prepared to take track-fast electrics to the street. The new Zoe e-Sport promises just that.  With a widebody style like the iconic Renault rally rockets, and a matte blue paintwork that happily recalls past Clio V6s. 460HP is the power allowed for this hatch smaller than a Ford Fiesta.  With almost a third of the total vehicle weight as batteries, this ZOE e-Sport might even have some midengine dynamics to add …

Read more 3.2s 2017 Renault ZOE e-SPORT Concept Is Geneva Highlight

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 …

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

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1957 Fiat-Stanguellini 1200 SPIDER AMERICA [24 Photos]

  I promise you have never tripped over something so lovely.  This TINY Fiat Stanguellini is even tinier than a doorstop.  Its ultra rounded nosecone/intake is a joyous production version of the rocket/jetage themes in high auto design of the era.  1957 but conceived in the hearts and minds of the world’s car-designers together about 1953.  Tailfins, streamlined aero and UFO-like body shaping. Without advanced CAD-CAM there was no way to know what truly worked in wind tunnels.  So if it looked right, it would fly right was the old adage. This 1200 Spider America flies right.  A bite-sized dream. Is …

Read more 1957 Fiat-Stanguellini 1200 SPIDER AMERICA [24 Photos]

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 …

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

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 …

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

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1965 Prince INFINITI R380 – First-Ever USA Show for Porsche-Beating Racer [50 Photos]

Infiniti has adopted the design and sports credentials of the Prince marque from its glory days of the 1950s and 1960s.  The firm is best known for creating the Skyline and was acquired by Nissan in 1966 — the same year a pair of these stunning, magnificent beasts took one-two in the Japanese Grand Prix.  It was a pride match for the locals in Japan.  Porsche 904s and 906s beating Skyline front-engine racers on Japanese tracks that inspired the entire vehicle.  Mid-engine endurance racer. With a 1964 Brabham spaceframe to start from, the company crafted its ultra-shrieking straight six making 200 …

Read more 1965 Prince INFINITI R380 – First-Ever USA Show for Porsche-Beating Racer [50 Photos]

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 …

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

2017 Audi S3 Quattro S-tronic – HD Road Test Review

This big question you have for yourself when spending near $50k for a compact exec car is:  does the performance upgrade make up for its lack of scale? For the same money as the revised 2017 S3, you can find yourself in a (small-engined) fullsize luxury car like Genesis G80 or even Audi’s own A6. While that is a rational thoughtline for your brain, it all goes out the window in real life. The money spent upgrading an A3 to this S3 quattro sedan with S-tronic all goes directly to your cheeks.  To help you smile bigger, and laugh harder! …

Read more 2017 Audi S3 Quattro S-tronic – HD Road Test Review

2017 KIA Soul Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Kia sells a full lineup of excellent vehicles, from small economy sedans and crossovers, to mid and full size sedans and Suv’s . They even build a luxury sedan rivaling some of the best from Japan and Europe.  They have many hybrid models, and even a fully electric car.  But their best-selling model is the Soul. This compact crossover is designed to appeal to the young Millennial generation, but even this old greybeard find it an engaging vehicle that provides a lot of features, roomy interior, gas mileage economy in a fun package. For 2017, Kia has upped the fun …

Read more 2017 KIA Soul Turbo – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

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 …

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

USA-Bound 2017 Lotus Exclusive EVORA 410 Honors Submersible Bond Esprit

Two pieces of cool news in this new Lotus Exclusives special:  a salute to one of the coolest movie cars of all time AND news that a US-legal version of the Evora 410 is headed to the USA around May of 2017. The Lotus Exclusive team rebodied parts of the Evora Sport 410’s nose and tail to make it a true homage to the 1970s Lotus Esprit S1 that James Bond used so deftly to escape the bad guys on a mountain road… before driving off a cliff! Oh no! But wait: in one of the greatest Bond (and action …

Read more USA-Bound 2017 Lotus Exclusive EVORA 410 Honors Submersible Bond Esprit

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen S 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the Golf Wagen 4Mo the cure for Diesel-departum depression? If you’re a VW fan, you know by now that the diesel (TDI to the faithful) is a goner. And that’s a big bummer to Wagon fans. We know a lot of VW Wagon owners who just looooove the great fuel economy of the TDI – making it an especially adept long range cruiser, and a great alternative to a small crossover. While you can’t get that TDI Wagen (or is it wagon?) anymore, for 2017, VW is sweetening the deal by offering the Golf SportWagen for the first time …

Read more 2017 VW Golf SportWagen S 4Motion – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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 …

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

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2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the best new Mercedes an Infiniti? It might be. Because sneaky folks that they are, Infiniti started with a fine small SUV, the Mercedes GLA250, and then kept the good bits, massaged some of the other bits, and did a pretty major overhaul of the exterior and interior. The result is a unique blend of performance and style.  But is it enough to lure buyers of the three-pointed star to the sideways Pac Man? Well on looks alone, yes. While the GLA has that Euro-sensible look, like a taller hatchier version of the CLA sedan, the QX30 in comparison, …

Read more 2017 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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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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2016 VW Golf R – Road Test Review – By Lyndon Johnson

You read the headline correctly: This is a review of a 2016 VW Golf R — not a 2017. Why are we just now getting to review this model? Because when a car is this good, every media outlet wants to drive it. Luck of the draw meant we got this Lapiz Blue example of the 2016 Golf R late in the calendar year. That’s how it goes sometimes. The Golf R is now available as a 2017 model, with an MSRP starting a little bit north of $35K and topping out at $40,475. We hear you saying it: “Forty-large …

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2016 BMW Z4 M Sport sDrive35i – HD Walkaround, Obituary and Photo Gallery

BMW Z3/Z4: 1993-2016. Soon gone, but never forgotten!   As the last few Z4s are sold to customers, we mark the end of the line for the plucky and stylish BMW Z roadster.  It ceased production in August. The BMW Z3/Z4 used to be a huge tentpole for the brand.  In the 1990s the Z3’s arrival in stores was the most hotly anticipated arrival in the marque’s history.   A big lead time between when the Goldeneye Bond film gave us the first look at the car helped build excitement.  The fact that it would be made stateside was also huge …

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2017 KIA SOUL! Turbo DCT – HD Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The Kia Soul has been one of the most successful small ‘utes in history.  Those engaging Hamster commercials did a great job of renting some space in our minds. When the Soul was redesigned, we saw the hamsters hit the gym, slim down, and start dressing like Daniel Craig in the Bond films. But what happens when the carmaker introduces the turbo, double-clutch 2017 Kia Soul! (pronounced “exclamation”)? Hamsters on steroids! And we have to give Kia credit for putting the loveable Soul on the juice, because they could probably sell every one they make already. It’s a great little …

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2017 Subaru WRX Limited Sport Lineartronic – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

WRX= love. But CVT= hate. Can they get along? For Subie’s sake!? Few cars are as enamored by enthusiasts as the WRX. While the rest of the world had enjoyed Subaru’s extreme rally car for the street, it wasn’t until 2002 that we got one here. It was worth the wait. While it had a cult following for the in-the-know, the majority of the population had no idea. We have happy memories of terrorizing a Porsche 911 with a silver, bug-eyed 2002 test sedan. It was so unassuming, yet with its turbo-four cylinder and all-wheel-drive, immensely capable and fast. What’s …

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

Standard carbon aero and a boost up to 375HP are enough to make this latest Lotus special into quite the slayer.  Its on-paper figures are outstanding and up there with a very rarified competitive set. The difference?  This Exige Sport 380 is also pretty light on the wallet!  It is priced at just 90k Euros and is aimed at the UK, German and Japanese markets. No official word on its US potential… but all this kit is certainly available for US Exige clients!  Just not bundled together right out of the factory. But hey, longing for Lotuses that are not …

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2018 Golf lineup

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

Is the Beetle Dune ragtop just what the doctor ordered? Back in September, we tested a VW Beetle Dune, and decided it could be the answer to VW’s Diesel-inspired tummy troubles. While the folks at VW may (still) be reaching for a Super Gulp-size Pepto, we found a much better choice for quick relief. The 2017 VW Beetle DUNE Cabrio. The recipe for the convertible is pretty similar to the Dune hardtop. Based as an homage to the Baja Bugs of yore, all Dune models get a notable bump in the macho department, with a slightly taller ride height (half …

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

It is 124 Spider week here on CRD! Carl Malek got the joy of hooning the Abarth 124 around Monticello, New York while we were flinging the 124 Lusso around Charleston, SC. Both cars are absolute heroes.  Is any 124 Spider one of those rare cars that you’d love to drive 1000 miles at the drop of a hat? Yes, yes it is. His Abarth slid in with pricing in the mid-30s, while our midspec model with automatic transmission kissed 32k out the door with a few options. For these prices, there is nothing else on the road that will bring …

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