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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2019 Toyota 86 GT 20

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 …

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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 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 …

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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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