2022 Honda Civic Si 4DR Review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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Toyota GR Corolla Teases More Details, Reveal Date Confirmed

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

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2022 BMW M240i xDrive review by Ben Lewis

There are a lot of BMW models out there. A lot. But if we had to pick just one as a fave, we’d be leaning towards the 2-series coupe. Why? Well, call us old school, but the 2 reminds us most of the brand’s roots, from the early 1600-2002, to the 1-series, to the previous 2-series. Close coupled, personal with loads of performance and personality – and at the lower end of the price spectrum for the brand. So, when we heard there was an all-new 2-series, we were thrilled to get the opportunity to test one. Does it stay …

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

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

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

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

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2022 Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback Review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the all-new 2022 Honda Civic sedan and loved it. Classy and upgraded inside out with great performance. What’s not to love? So, Honda tells us they now have a new hatchback model, with more utility and – hold on to your hats – an available manual transmission! Time for another road test. Haven’t We Met Before? The hatchback is a near-twin to the sedan – no problem there, we like the sedan’s grown-up look. Like the sedan, the front end has a very Accord-like look, with a prominent forward grille, featuring LED headlights with a cool signature …

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2022 Subaru BRZ Limited review by Ben Lewis

For enthusiasts on a budget, one of the most awaited new sports cars is the 2022 Subaru BRZ, and it’s twin the 2022 Toyota GR86.  It’s easy to see why, the original BRZ and then-named Toyota FR-S, came out in 2013 and were aimed directly at drivers with a front-engine, rear drive powertrain, a low-slung Subaru boxer powerplant, an equally low-slung design, a superb driving experience and a very reasonable price. Think of it as a Miata competitor with a permanent metal roof, a hatchback with two tiny rear seats, and you get the picture. But the little coupe punches …

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Road Test Review – 2022 MINI Cooper JCW Convertible – Dropping The Top On Compromised Performance

The iconic MINI Cooper has always managed to find a way to win over even the most skeptical of skeptics thanks to its combination of quirky good looks and deceptive amounts of driving fun. JCW models enhance this feeling with their mixture of style and inner substance. But can the JCW lineup still stand out as a top-tier performance bargain? Or has it lost some of its luster?   JCW Exterior Styling Still Shines To find out, MINI allowed us to spend some quality time with the JCW convertible, which serves as the droptop member of the JCW family. The …

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2021 Lexus RC 350 F SPORT review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested and loved the all-new Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance, with a massively powerful and sonorous 5.0-liter V8. It was a fantastic sport sedan. But maybe you like the svelte lines of a coupe. And don’t really need all that power, but still want something quick and sporty – and with all that luxury and goodness of Toyota’s premium division? Well have we got a car for you! The Lexus RC 350 F SPORT. Let’s take a look. Sporty, Smooth and Sophisticated The RC has been with us for several years now, yet it still turns head …

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

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

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2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT and were frankly wowed by the enhancements to the looks and performance, taking a really good car and making it great. And it reinforced all the talk from Lexus and Toyota being serious about performance was the real deal. How real? Well Lexus has slapped the gorgeous naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 from the luscious LC IS 500 in the IS sedan, creating a new trim – F SPORT Performance – which is above F SPORT but below F models. Ok, a little confusing, but it sounds like a marriage made in …

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2022 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door Review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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Acura Reveals Integra Prototype, Revives Nameplate After Several Decade Absence

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

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2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line RWD review by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the Kia Stinger GT2 V6 and came away massively impressed. Mildly refreshed and featuring a 368-horsepower twin turbo V6 that loves to sing at high rpms, it was a thrill ride. But we also knew that the more affordable 4-cylinder turbo model was getting even bigger changes – how does going from a 255-hp 2.0-liter to a 300 hp, 2.5-liter sound? Sounds like a reason for a road test! Wow-house Design For those Stinger lovers on a budget, the first thing you should know is that the 4-cylinder GT-Line is almost impossible to tell from the much …

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

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

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2022 Honda Civic Touring Sedan review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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Latest Acura Integra Teaser Image Confirms Six-Speed Manual Transmission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2021 Toyota Corolla XSE Review by Ben Lewis

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

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2021 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL Review by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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2021 Mercedes AMG A35 4MATIC Review by Ben Lewis

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

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2021 Kia K5 GT Review by Ben Lewis

When we recently tested the all-new Kia K5 GT-Line, we came away hugely impressed – a great looking and driving car. We found the 1.6-liter, turbo 4-cylinder to have plenty of punch, but we did think some added juice would make this even more fun. And now we have the Kia K5 GT (not to be confused with the GT-Line) with a 290-horsepower, 2.5-liter, turbo four. Well, that got our attention! But should it get yours? Let’s take a look. Blue Thunder! Like our previous K5, the GT shares the platform with the new Hyundai Sonata (we recently tested the …

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo Premium Plus by Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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2021 Kia K5 GT-Line by Ben Lewis

When Kia introduced the new Soul recently, we mourned the loss of the adorable hamsters in their ad campaign. But the all-new vehicle more than made up for it. This time Kia is killing off a model name – Optima – and replacing it with the all-new K5. Will we be as enthused as we were with the Soul? Let’s find out! Bigger Bolder, Badder The All-new K5 shares the platform with the all-new Hyundai Sonata, and it’s interesting how different they look. We’ll take the K5’s aggressive lines, and it definitely looks longer, lower and wider than the already-handsome …

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Volkswagen doubles down on performance with 2022 Golf R, here’s four things to know about this newest R model

Volkswagen is very keen to remind people that it’s still the benchmark when it comes to the hot hatch segment. While some were disappointed that the German auto giant did not bring the standard issue Golf to U.S. shores, execs revealed that the GTI and the Golf R were un affected by this edict. With the current generation GTI being unveiled awhile ago, Volkswagen has made things go full circle, with the firm revealing the 2022 Golf R. The new and improved R promises to make a big splash in the segment, and here are five key things that you …

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Volkswagen teases 2021 Golf R, claims it will be most powerful Golf model in history

Volkswagen has always had a way of pleasing the masses. The current generation Golf GTI still remains one of the best performance bargains in the market today, but what if your a hot hatch buyer that craves more power, and wants something that can really make a splash at the local track day? Volkswagen has just the answer for you, with the German auto giant releasing the first official teaser for the 2021 Golf R.   Exterior styling pumps up the volume Volkswagen chose to release one lone teaser image which appears to show a portion of the model’s rear …

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2020 VW Golf GTI 2.0T Autobahn by Ben Lewis

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

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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 …

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2020 MINI Cooper S Clubman by Ben Lewis

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

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2020 Subaru WRX Series. White by Ben Lewis

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

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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 …

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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 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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. …

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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 …

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2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport – Road Test Review + Drive Video

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

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

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

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2019 Mazda3 Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2019 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. …

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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 …

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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 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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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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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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 …

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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 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 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 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 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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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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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 …

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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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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 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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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 …

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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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