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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