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

Top 11 Hot Hatchbacks in the USA for 2017

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

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2017 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

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

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

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

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2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo Debut – Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

The new Sportage is here in USA form, which we pleased to say looks exactly like the min-Cayenne of the Euro GT-Line rangetopper. The poshest trim for the USA is the SX Turbo AWD, as shown here. 2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo PREVIOUS KIA’s push to excel globally is ramping up nicely. Frankfurt, California and Korea-based teams are now aligned to make the most of each area’s strengths. Korea as the lead manufacturing hub/supplier base, Cali as a tech and design center of excellence, and the European R&D division taking a much bigger role in vehicle development. It is a …

Read more 2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo Debut – Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

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2016 Ford Focus RS Priced from $36k – Color Visualizer + 40 New Launch Photos

Fresh batch of 40 gorgeous photos from the 2016 Focus RS media launch this week — with the flagship Focus model stunning all comers in its Nitrous Blue over standard charcoal 19-inch alloys. Pricing is from $35,700, with options like $2k alternate wheel styles, plus the RS2 package for about $3k even. Most will leave the showroom with a price within $100 of of $40k. And for good reason! This playful hyper-hatch packs stunning track speed and grip beyond most Mustangs. Just four colors for the exterior are offered on the RS, but they are all exclusive and never-before-seen on …

Read more 2016 Ford Focus RS Priced from $36k – Color Visualizer + 40 New Launch Photos

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2016 Renault TALISMAN – Pricing and Trims from €27,900

Updated 11.1.15 with French prices and new photos.         Welcome to the top of the Renault range: the new Talisman sedan. This fresh D-segment saloon is a larger and more plush big brother to the Laguna — promising world-class comfort, design, luxury and technology. All with a completely fresh design and dimensions to compete with the BMW 5 series. A total length of 4.85-metres is fairly gigantic for a front-drive luxury sedan in France. As the segment’s built-in government and livery driver pool looks to Germany for their fleets, the large car market in France is fairly …

Read more 2016 Renault TALISMAN – Pricing and Trims from €27,900

2016 Ford Focus ST Kona Blue ST1 Flyaround in 120 Pics + HD Video

    Really had a ball flogging the Focus ST on track the other week. GoPro video came back as a photo-set by accident, so left with *just* these gorgeous 120 photos of the new slugger. Kona Blue is the color, with minimal options and an as-tested price very close to the $25k base. Versus the $36k of the RS, the ST really earned its keep out there in the twisties. Strong brakes, awesome front diff grip that felt totally understeer-proof, plus a snorty throttle intake and shouty new exhaust. The stick is as feelsome and snicky as ever — …

Read more 2016 Ford Focus ST Kona Blue ST1 Flyaround in 120 Pics + HD Video

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2017 KIA Sportage First Look: GT Line Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

KIA’s push to excel globally is ramping up nicely. Frankfurt, California and Korea-based teams are now aligned to make the most of each area’s strengths. Korea as the lead manufacturing hub/supplier base, Cali as a tech and design center of excellence, and the European R&D division taking a much bigger role in vehicle development. It is a smart foundation for KIA’s move to become Hyundai’s sportier cousin. As it stands, the Kia range is broad but lacks a cohesive, defining nature. The firm has their eyes on BMW. If they can engineer cars to be sold world-wide in one chassis …

Read more 2017 KIA Sportage First Look: GT Line Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

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2016 Renault TALISMAN Is All-New French Flagship Saloon

Welcome to the top of the Renault range: the new Talisman sedan. This fresh D-segment saloon is a larger and more plush big brother to the awkward Laguna — promising world-class comfort, design, luxury and technology. All with a completely fresh design and dimensions to compete with the BMW 5 series. A total length of 4.85-metres is fairly gigantic for a front-drive luxury sedan in France. As the segment’s built-in government and livery driver pool looks to Germany for their fleets, the large car market in France is fairly depressed and likely to continue deteriorating. As the Citroen C6 and …

Read more 2016 Renault TALISMAN Is All-New French Flagship Saloon

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First Drive Review – 2015 Ford Focus ST in HD Video + 150 Photos!

Loved meeting the 2015 Focus ST in the flesh recently for a fast blast around Texas Motor Speedway. Not high in the banked oval, unfortunately. Just a bit of on-camera hooning in the roads nearby. The town name of “No Limits” seemed applicable to flying past dozens of vacant track parking lots. The changes for the 252-horsepower 2015 model are perfect updates. A new nose with a low and mean style, standard LED headlight accent blades, HID headlights for the ST2 and ST3 trim packs, and standard Rado Grey wheels. The tail is also revised with a new rear window …

Read more First Drive Review – 2015 Ford Focus ST in HD Video + 150 Photos!

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2016 Ford Focus RS Escapes Auto Show Cage to See NYC Sights

Updated 4.14.15 With 22 New Photos Great to see the new Focus RS in the wild — with its Nitrous Blue paintwork far lighter and brighter than the traditional RS shade of navy blue. Car looks stunning – with performance to match when it arrives in US showrooms in Spring 2016. 2016 Ford Focus RS PREVIOUS       Ford Performance is rolling deep into Manhattan next week – with a broad range of high-performance models. A threatening gang indeed — with the Nitrous Blue signature color atop the 2017 Ford GT concept, the 2017 Ford Raptor and the 2016 …

Read more 2016 Ford Focus RS Escapes Auto Show Cage to See NYC Sights

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2016 Scion iM Debuts in NY With Focus Size But Fiesta Pricing

  Scion just rolled out two brand-new 2016 models for the subcompact and compact segments — with this iM hatchback being the firm’s shot against the Kia Forte5, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic. The single-trim entry price of below $20,000 is set to be fairly well-equipped and roomy versus the rivals mentioned; the iM is almost the exact same size as the Ford Focus and VW Golf. But those expecting a credible threat to those car’s performance might be underwhelmed. The chassis seems fairly promising with a double-wishbone independent rear suspension paired with sport-tuned electronic power steering. Big rubber and a standard …

Read more 2016 Scion iM Debuts in NY With Focus Size But Fiesta Pricing

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2016 Ford Focus RS – Digital Colorizer and Tallpapers

Just a bit of fun in Photoshop to celebrate the 2016 Focus RS coming to the USA for the first time. AWD, a promise of “well more than 310 horsepower” and even a new torque-vectoring rear end to deliver on-demand power slides — just three of the incredible reasons the Focus RS is set to be Spring 2016’s hottest hatch. A red-hot hatch, perhaps!? The color lineup so far is promised to include four exclusive colors, headlined by the new signature Nitrous Blue. But what about some wild shades on the aftermarket/customs market?  We really fell hard for the new …

Read more 2016 Ford Focus RS – Digital Colorizer and Tallpapers

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Nitrous Blue 2016 Ford Focus RS Coming to NYC Next Week! USA Showrooms Next Year

Ford Performance is rolling deep into Manhattan next week – with a broad range of high-performance models. A threatening gang indeed — with the Nitrous Blue signature color atop the 2017 Ford GT concept, the 2017 Ford Raptor and the 2016 Ford Mustang GT350R. But one of the most exciting vehicles to wear this scorching blue hue? One of the first to arrive in showrooms, too — the 340-horsepower 2016 Ford Focus RS. With all-wheel-drive and dynamic torque vectoring at the back for a drift-mode plaything, the Focus RS is set to be the hottest Ford hatch ever made. Competing …

Read more Nitrous Blue 2016 Ford Focus RS Coming to NYC Next Week! USA Showrooms Next Year

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~340HP 2016 Ford Focus RS Runs AWD and DTV! Official Debut + Drift Video

  The new Ford Focus RS is official, and officially stunning! With a new 2.3-liter turbo engine and an extreme new AWD setup, the wildest part of the new Focus RS might be under the metal. But that metal is also pretty intense: wide-body fenders, a giant splitter up front, deeper sills and a rear end to honor the Ford RS legacy. That means a giant Rallycross wing and huge coffee-can exhausts mounted inboard for max visual and aural impact. Best news of all? This new Focus RS is coming to America! Check out the video below to see and …

Read more ~340HP 2016 Ford Focus RS Runs AWD and DTV! Official Debut + Drift Video

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2014 Scion iM Concept Heading for US Showrooms in 2015 to Battle GTI and Focus ST

Scion is looking to expand its model range in calendar 2015 with two new models: one based on the Mazda2 sedan, and the other being this remarkably cool 5-door hatch shown in LA as the iM concept. You might be asking yourself if the production iM, set to be revealed in NY in April 2015, overlaps with the xB and xD. We certainly were. But we believe the answer is that the iM production car will be more advanced in the chassis department and more powerful than Scion’s box-car twins. This means a more-modern automatic transmission than the four-speeds in …

Read more 2014 Scion iM Concept Heading for US Showrooms in 2015 to Battle GTI and Focus ST

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Updated With 12 New Photos – 2015 Ford Focus ST to Make Dynamic Debut at Goodwood FoS

  Newsbrief from Ford today announcing the 2015 Ford Focus ST! This hot hatch is highly anticipated and the first glimpse of the new model will be Friday June 27th at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — when the ST will head up the hill in a real-time race versus players driving the 2015 ST in Gran Turismo 6. Pretty cool! UPDATE- The latest Focus ST photos show an evolutionary design outside, with subtle tweaks like a thinner grille and even a thinner ST badge lettering putting the emphasis on refined and lightweight dynamics. Inside, the 2015 ST shows a …

Read more Updated With 12 New Photos – 2015 Ford Focus ST to Make Dynamic Debut at Goodwood FoS

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2015 Ford Focus ST to Debut at Goodwood This Friday! Exclusive LED DRL + Headlights Rendering

  Newsbrief from Ford today announcing the 2015 Ford Focus ST! This hot hatch is highly anticipated and the first glimpse of the new model will be Friday June 27th at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — when the ST will head up the hill in a real-time race versus players driving the 2015 ST in Gran Turismo 6. Pretty cool! The latest Focus ST has similar LED headlight accents as the regular Focus, and they are illuminated here in an exclusive rendering. 2015 Ford Focus ST LED Jun 23, 2014 | GOODWOOD, U.K. New Ford Focus ST Global Reveal …

Read more 2015 Ford Focus ST to Debut at Goodwood This Friday! Exclusive LED DRL + Headlights Rendering

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Update1 – 2015 Ford Focus Tech and Design Refresh Adds 8-Inch Nav, EcoBoost Triple + LED Accents

Hot off the presses!  Initial thoughts? Much improved! The dark trims really make the sedan’s nose much more appealing. This dark trim is available on the five-door as well – in either SE Appearance package or the SE Sport (or the SE EcoBoost!) pack, which goes even darker for the wheels to gloss black. The specs are below.   2015 Ford Focus – TIRES AND WHEELS S  15-in. steel wi th silver painted cover, 195/65R15 all-season BSW SE  16-in. painted al uminum, 215/55R16 all-season BSW SE SFE Package  16-in. painted al uminum, 215/55R16 LRR all-season BSW SE Sport Package SE …

Read more Update1 – 2015 Ford Focus Tech and Design Refresh Adds 8-Inch Nav, EcoBoost Triple + LED Accents

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2014 Ford Focus ST Is Most Ferocious and Grippy Car at Road America Autocross

Like every journalist everywhere who has written unexpected results: we can only revert to an old stand-by defense. “…We don’t make the news, we just report it…!” It is this situation now, reporting that the Focus ST indeed felt the most ferocious and grippy around the Go-Kart track of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Perhaps because this mini road course is so similar to many proving grounds in the UK where the Focus ST honed its skills? The Focus ST could even be caught briefly doing the old cover-shot classic pose: with its rear inner tire off the ground …

Read more 2014 Ford Focus ST Is Most Ferocious and Grippy Car at Road America Autocross

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FORD Debuts 2015 US-Spec Focus Sedan — Style Update Brings Chic Dark Trims, Plus Enhanced Tech — But No HIDs…?

Hot off the presses!  Initial thoughts? Much improved! The dark trims really make the sedan’s nose much more appealing. This dark trim will no-doubt be available on the five-door as well.   The Good News: The tail of the hatch is also much cleaner in its appearance from directly behind, while the production-spec Focus Electric goes from the looker of the bunch to a bit eco-wimpy. The dark grille of the sedan is by far the best and biggest single improvement. The Not-So-Good News: The latest US Focus does still appear to lack the bi-xenon + LED lighting from the …

Read more FORD Debuts 2015 US-Spec Focus Sedan — Style Update Brings Chic Dark Trims, Plus Enhanced Tech — But No HIDs…?

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2015 Ford Transit Is Nearly Here! Summer 2014 Arrival — Work Van Revolution Via RWD Diesel and EcoBoost V6 Plus Decent Cabin

Cargo van, passenger van, cut-away or chassis cab: Three wheelbases. Three roof heights. Three engines: 2.5-liter turbodiesel, 3.7-liter V6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Rear drive. Six-speed automatic. The 2015 Ford Transit is nothing short of a revolution. This is perhaps my fifth time through the configurations and specs since the first teasers emerged about this time last year — and certainly my third or fourth total article on how important this new truck is. Building it in Kansas City is not small achievement for this once-European model, now honed and up-fit for American truck buyer needs. The second challenge? Ford has been …

Read more 2015 Ford Transit Is Nearly Here! Summer 2014 Arrival — Work Van Revolution Via RWD Diesel and EcoBoost V6 Plus Decent Cabin

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Young Henry Ford Lookin’ Gangster! 2014 Mustang Widebody + 2015 Mustang Starring in Need For Speed Movie — 20 HQ Photos

I am not sure if you will agree, but, to me: the NFS trailer from summer 2013 made this movie seem like a pretty lackluster effort. Luckily, that no longer seems to be the case. Production values are especially-important to movie-goers. Many of these fans can spot crappy CGI effects from 10,000 miles away. Jump-cuts and sloppy slow-mo? You just lost all M13-34. I only got four seconds into summer’s teaser trailer before an (involuntary) Big Eye-roll. So, among this audience: it is critical to have the action feel, sound and look as authentic as possible. The Ford Mustang is this movie’s …

Read more Young Henry Ford Lookin’ Gangster! 2014 Mustang Widebody + 2015 Mustang Starring in Need For Speed Movie — 20 HQ Photos

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Vauxhall Astra Hits 300HP In VXR-topping Extreme Spec — A Production-Ready Front-Drive Z/28?

The latest Astra from Opel in Europe and Vauxhall in England is a really handsome machine. Surprisingly, it pips even the latest Focus on style, even in hum-drum TopGear “Star in a reasonably Priced Car” trim. The LEDs (at night) are far better than anything out of Woking, so far, glowing a bright white around Dunsfold on the rainiest, grayest days of this never-ending winter. The upgrade here adds 30 horsepower, a huge carbon-fiber overhall outside for racing aero, and a very impressive grip setup. I was trying to think of what race series this car seems from — and …

Read more Vauxhall Astra Hits 300HP In VXR-topping Extreme Spec — A Production-Ready Front-Drive Z/28?

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Sing-song Status — Geeeen-ee-vahh Is the Place To Be… 2015 Focus + MINI Clubman Join A-list Cast

As you may note, I am getting really stir crazy in my new digs down in South Carolina.   Even while I lived in the suburbs for the last six months of my time Chicago from 2005 to 2013 — I am really a pretty urban person. I moved from Wrigleyville to suburbs to be closer to the auto fleet offices. So, I just moved again!  To Charleston!  What is up with that? My family is here. Car-Revs-Daily.com is way ahead of schedule in terms of the broad launch flowcharts detailed December (post-kickstarter-flop). So. Big changes in my home office …

Read more Sing-song Status — Geeeen-ee-vahh Is the Place To Be… 2015 Focus + MINI Clubman Join A-list Cast

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Best of Awards — 2014 Mazda3 Sedan and Hatch — The Smartest Compact Car in America

The Mazda3 is an amazing, incredible achievement. While preparing this article, I could not help being stunned by these tasteful, unique and attractive designs inside and out. Both the 5-door and the brand-new four-door sedan are extremely good-looking and sophisticated cars from all angles. I thought to myself — is this the thinking man’s BMW or VW Golf? As I moved further into the specs, I realized — this is just a brilliant package up and down the range! Automatic, manual, small engine or big: the Mazda3 just nails every single category or theoretical competitor I can think to name. …

Read more Best of Awards — 2014 Mazda3 Sedan and Hatch — The Smartest Compact Car in America

2014 Ford Transit Connect – Hot Wheels Concept Shows Widebody Style, Cool New Nose

The SEMA show is not my favorite. In a bit of an rough mood this morning, and not holding back much. Imagine walking around a normal auto show, like Chicago or Detroit, but instead of perhaps 70 brand displays, there are 70,000. Such is SEMA. You might like a car, never know what it was or where it came from, and never see it again. So many tuners and OEMs descend on the Vegas strip every November — it can be hard to keep track, let alone care. But then there is that one… The 2014 Ford Transit Connect is …

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186mph BMW M4 Screams into Focus – Colors, Technical Video + 75 Photos

What to do in a time like this? One of the most exciting cars of 2014 sneaks onto the web, without BMW’s official blessings. The best thing we know is to add value to the news, and cite the source. BimmerBoost.com is sure to have its biggest traffic, ever, this week! WHile the images in all their glory are astounding, there is far more to the M4’s turbocharged howl than just this new yellow paint color. Yellow? It is called Austin Yellow Metallic, in case you wondered, and is a dead ringer for the prismatic paint used on the recent …

Read more 186mph BMW M4 Screams into Focus – Colors, Technical Video + 75 Photos