2016 Toyota PRIUS 9

2016 Toyota PRIUS Intros Future-Tech Design, Sharper Handling and 10% Efficiency Bump

New new Prius made a splashy debut last night in Las Vegas — marking a new phase in hybrid-electric cars right in a desert city that neon and AC made possible. Is this fun-loving mission a disconnect for the ultra-responsible Prius? Not at all: the new Prius adds efficiency and new tech to the classic Prius merits, but injects a healthy share of fun and style for the first time in 2016. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into three buckets: tech, fun and style. TECH The basics are that the new Prius is 2.4-inches longer, 0.6-inches wider …

Read more 2016 Toyota PRIUS Intros Future-Tech Design, Sharper Handling and 10% Efficiency Bump

2016 Maxima SR Midnight

2016 Nissan MAXIMA SR Midnight Is Official! Revealed At BET Experience Festival

Updated 6.26.15 The 2015 Maxima black pack is official! The entire upgrade detailed below can now be ordered as the Maxima SR Midnight edition. Launched at the BET Experience, the key difference between the Maxima SR Midnight and a DIY black pack via Nissan accessories is that the Midnight comes exclusively in Super Black exterior paintwork. However you get to these 19-inch black alloys and sport bodywork upgrades, the results speak for themselves! 2016 Nissan MAXIMA SR Midnight The 2016 Maxima is finally arriving!  The new 4DSC is one of Nissan’s biggest launches for 2015 — and the company is …

Read more 2016 Nissan MAXIMA SR Midnight Is Official! Revealed At BET Experience Festival

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2016 Nissan MAXIMA SR Black Pack Details, Track Test Video and 99 New Photos

The 2016 Maxima is finally arriving!  The new 4DSC is one of Nissan’s biggest launches for 2015 — and the company is going all-out to rev up excitement among loyalists. Nissan just revealed its sport styling parts, and they are right up our alley. Gloss-black 19-inch wheels with matching black diffuser and trunk spoiler are deeply cool. The side sills are a contrast metallic grey and really help deliver some concept-car stance to the sportiest Maximas. Pricing from $32k to around $39k is detailed in the animated configurator mid-way down the page, along with colors and tech specs.   2016 …

Read more 2016 Nissan MAXIMA SR Black Pack Details, Track Test Video and 99 New Photos

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2015 Kia Novo Concept Is Surprise 4-Door Coupe for Seoul Motor Show

  Some impressive design coming from the latest Kia studio! This concept shows the potential look of a Forte replacement in the coming years. We love the nose best, as the profile and tail are near clones of the just-revealed Optima for 2016. But unfortunately for the production Optima, the Novo is far cleaner and more appealing. Part of what makes the Novo feel cool are its heavily rear-drive proportions and long dash-to-axle ratio in front. But there are more subtle things, too, like the fairly steep windshield angle and the way the hood’s leading edge becomes the grille below. …

Read more 2015 Kia Novo Concept Is Surprise 4-Door Coupe for Seoul Motor Show

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4DSC Returns! 2016 Nissan MAXIMA Bringing Hot Style, Tech and Paddle-Shifted 300HP From $32k!

  The all-new Nissan Maxima made its global debut this morning at the NY auto show with a standard 300-horsepower V6, premium cabin design and details, and a special offer for first adopters! Almost as important — it looks phenomenal inside and out!  From the pure nose and tail views, the Maxima just shot to the top of the full-size sedan desirability charts with its low, wide stance and memorable details. How does the nose look so cool? Let’s look at the DRL’s at night and as an X-ray, via some photoshop. What do you get out of that? We …

Read more 4DSC Returns! 2016 Nissan MAXIMA Bringing Hot Style, Tech and Paddle-Shifted 300HP From $32k!

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2016 Jaguar XF Thinks It Is a Porsche 911; We Break The Bad News To Bad Mr. Kitty

Updated 4.1.15 With 99 New Images We stand corrected – the 2016 XF is actually an all-new design, with no panels carrying over from the existing car. The chassis improvements are fairly dramatic as the XF shifts from its steel structure toward the aluminum of the XJ and F-Type. But why oh why must the styling be so dry? This trend of carmakers ever-so-lightly refreshing models makes no sense at all to me – especially if the panels are, in fact, all new. What is the point?! Chrysler 300, Kia Optima, Audi A6, Bentley Continental…. and now Jaguar XF. Every …

Read more 2016 Jaguar XF Thinks It Is a Porsche 911; We Break The Bad News To Bad Mr. Kitty

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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 Jaguar XF Reveals Fresh Nose and Tail + All-New Cabin

800-feet above the water in a high-wire London river crossing!? Yessir – the 2016 XF is trying to make a splash by… not making a splash. The subtle nose and tail are all-new for the upcoming model-year, with new LED tech for the low and high-beams plus new F-Type-shaped LED optics for the brake lights. It is not a truly splashy makeover, but a subtle update to better fit the new design of the all-new XE compact and upcoming XJ refresh. The biggest news, arguably, happens inside the cabin. All-new Jaguar touch-screen and 12-inch TFT display bring the XF up …

Read more 2016 Jaguar XF Reveals Fresh Nose and Tail + All-New Cabin

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2016 Range Rover EVOQUE Refreshed With Full-LED Lighting, New Cabin and All-New Infotainment

Remember how much excitement the Evoque generated just a few short years ago!? Looking like a production Range Stormer Concept, but sized at the affordable side of the Land Rover catalog — the Evoque really packed a wallop in the cool-SUV poker game. But reality is a harsh mistress. The Evoque took almost two years to finally arrive in the USA, by which time most of the excitement had worn off. Still cool, make no mistake. But not gotta-have-it cool. And then you sit inside. It is respectable in the front, but woefully tiny in the rear seat. The low …

Read more 2016 Range Rover EVOQUE Refreshed With Full-LED Lighting, New Cabin and All-New Infotainment

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2016 Hyundai Veloster RALLY Edition + New 7-Sp DCT Turbo Lead Updated Range

The 2016 Veloster is here with some extra-subtle tweaks and a sweet Rally Edition limited to just 1200 units in sexy matte-blue paint over gloss-black Rays alloys. A bit less exciting visually, but far more thrilling on throttle is the Veloster Turbo. This speedy model now features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to zing through the gears on the way to an estimated 6.8-seconds to 60-mph. 2016 Hyundai Veloster RALLY Edition   2016 HYUNDAI VELOSTER RECEIVES MAJOR PERFORMANCE, DESIGN AND CONNECTIVITY ENHANCEMENTS, PLUS NEW RALLY EDITION 13/02/15 New Rally Edition Model Adds both Dynamic and Aesthetic Upgrades to Turbo R-Spec Model CHICAGO, …

Read more 2016 Hyundai Veloster RALLY Edition + New 7-Sp DCT Turbo Lead Updated Range

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2015 KIA Trail’Ster Concept Previews Upcoming Soul Refresh + All-New Interior

The Kia Soul is easily our favorite model in the Kia range – with actual sportiness in the handling and impressive power, there is no other car on the market with such a flexible crossover package. Best of all? The Soul is priced like an economy car, and has almost double the power of the Scion xD and xB. But how to make it a real SUV instead of just a fun and light-hearted crossover? For that, you need all-wheel-drive. KIA has gone theRX450h route here — powering the rear axle with hybrid electric motors. Efficient, compact, and lacking any …

Read more 2015 KIA Trail’Ster Concept Previews Upcoming Soul Refresh + All-New Interior

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2015 Toyota Prius C Is Fresh With New Cabin Tech + Revised Nose/Tail LED Lighting

 Officially one of the most LED-intensive compact vehicles on the market for 2015, the new Prius C is becoming quite a looker in its own light. The big news is all about the bright new design themes in front and inside with a huge new Entune touchpanel inside. Wild colors are part of the section for 2015 for this ultra-economical Prius hatchback. But the biggest news perhaps? The C in Prius C now officially stands for City versus Compact. 2015 Toyota Prius C 2015 Toyota Prius c: Light, Tight, Bright and the Highest City Fuel Economy of Any Vehicle Without …

Read more 2015 Toyota Prius C Is Fresh With New Cabin Tech + Revised Nose/Tail LED Lighting

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Zero to Hero in the 2015 Chevrolet Impala CNG SuperCruise

The Chevrolet Impala is a critical test-bed for two future GM technologies in 2015: a bi-fuel CNG option and the forthcoming SuperCruise automated highway driving system. We caught up with a 2015 Impala LTZ featuring the shield grille that comes on LTZ cars with the Safety tech option package – and this is still the best-looking full-size sedan from Chevy in decades. The current setup does not yet incorporate lane-keeping and automatic steering, but that is certainly in the pipeline. The Cadillac CT6 is tipped to debut a true SuperCruise functionality next year — with on-ramp to off-ramp highway driving …

Read more Zero to Hero in the 2015 Chevrolet Impala CNG SuperCruise

Is Now The Smartest Time To Buy a 2014 Ford F-150? New Truck This Winter Bringing BEST DEALS EVER on Current Models

This is somewhat counter-intuitive for a car news writer to ask – but I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind at some point as well. Here is the scenario: You want and need a new truck. New F-150 looks awesome, so you have been waiting to see it come out before you decide whether to buy one. But here is an alternative scenario: Save yourself $10,000 or more buy snapping up one of the 2014-model-year trucks — loaded to the gills and priced to move. Tempting, right? As new as the 2015 F-150 is, the 2014 truck is still …

Read more Is Now The Smartest Time To Buy a 2014 Ford F-150? New Truck This Winter Bringing BEST DEALS EVER on Current Models

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2015 Lincoln MKC Arriving in Showrooms Now – 2.0L EcoBoost from $34k, 2.3L WIth 285HP from $40k

The new MKC is huge news for Lincoln – at a time when this is the exact product the company needs. Lincoln needs the MKC to really enjoy some of the sales gains being logged by Audi and even Cadillac. Speaking of Cadillac, the MKC hits a big hole in this cross-town rival’s product portfolio. A mid-size premium crossover is an exploding segment, and the MKC is right atop the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 on size and price. The pricing is a bit more ambitious than expected – with the $34,000 base price for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost climbing up …

Read more 2015 Lincoln MKC Arriving in Showrooms Now – 2.0L EcoBoost from $34k, 2.3L WIth 285HP from $40k

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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 Fiesta Adds EcoBoost Turbo Triple, MyFord Touch and Tinted Lamps!

The colorful Ford Fiesta is refreshed for 2014 outside and in, enhancing what is already an amazing small-car package. Updates are subtle enough to miss outside, but really to bring the 2014 Fiesta a bit of the ST model’s coolness – without the price jump that comes with the sportiest Fiesta model. The EcoBoost 1.0-liter bumps max fuel economy from 39 MPG up to a whopping 45 MPG with the SFE package. But is it a hilarious riot to drive, as promised by its long-time best-seller status in the UK, home of TopGear and all things cars? We did not …

Read more 2014 Ford Fiesta Adds EcoBoost Turbo Triple, MyFord Touch and Tinted Lamps!

2015 Chrysler 200 Aims For the Middle, But Design and Cabin Undeniably Much-Improved

By Special Contributor Anthony Alaniz   There is little doubt that the forthcoming 2015 Chrysler 200 is important. The mid-sized car segment has been virtually void of any credible Chrysler product for some time—lest we forget about Eminem and that commercial. As maligned the Chrysler 200 is, it is hard to forget the 200 first appeared on showroom floors just a few years ago as a 2010 model, replacing the worst-car-on-the-market Sebring sedan. See a pattern here? For 2015, Chrysler has finally found the fire necessary to produce something competitive, or at least inoffensive and of a quality high enough …

Read more 2015 Chrysler 200 Aims For the Middle, But Design and Cabin Undeniably Much-Improved

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AWD TDI Golf SportWagen to Join GTI, TSI and TDI — But Not Until 2015 Calendar Year With Est $36k Price

  The American-market Mark7 2015 Golf line is only about three years late, but finally looks like it is not missing some critical members this time. Scratch that: the Golf Plus and Golf Sportvan are still nowhere to be found, along with the long-promised/never-delivered e-Golf. The e-Golf is now on sale only in Europe, and has been teased in the US since at least 2008. As many VW people know very well, the GTI has always been the star pupil of the group — both due to its performance and it vastly superior build quality and materials versus the Pueblo-built …

Read more AWD TDI Golf SportWagen to Join GTI, TSI and TDI — But Not Until 2015 Calendar Year With Est $36k Price

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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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2014 LeMans LMP1 – Toyota TS040 Hybrid – A Dark Horse in Audi vs. Porsche Battle

The TS040 Hybrid is looking mighty rapid this year, with a huge increase in stamina and budget for the Toyota Motorsports Group based in Cologne, Germany. Training with past winners and local talent can only be considered a huge new asset in the Toyota WEC racing ambition for its LMP1 cars. TS040 Hybrid running from ToyotaGB on Vimeo. So, is the TS040 fast and powerful enough to outwit the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Audi R18 trio? Fast enough remains to be seen, but the Toyota effort in LMP1 has garnered five race victories since 2012, which is certainly nothing to …

Read more 2014 LeMans LMP1 – Toyota TS040 Hybrid – A Dark Horse in Audi vs. Porsche Battle

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR is Ultra-Chic for Chicago Auto Show — Dark Hipster Style on Low Budget + 40MPG Highway!

So, let’s imagine you are young and trendy and super-cool. You have not hit 37 years old yet, nor added the extra 37 pounds that comes standard with that anniversary (…for most people.) You are cool as F***! Seriously, you guys. How f****** cool are you in those tight dark denims? But what new cars reflect your fashion sense… as well as budget, performance and reliability standards? For brand-new cars with a full factory warranty, the 2015 Versa Note SR is about as cool as it gets. Friends might not mistake its profile for a GT-R or the hot future …

Read more 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR is Ultra-Chic for Chicago Auto Show — Dark Hipster Style on Low Budget + 40MPG Highway!

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Best of Awards – Zero to Hero in the 2014 Chevrolet Impala

The 2014 Impala looks amazing in the flesh and on the streets. One might even say it is… “really, really, really ridiculously good-looking.” Even its base trims are very cool and dark up front, with a really solid appearance that is unique and very attractive. Yes, on a Chevy Impala!   The 2014 Impala comes in three engine options, from the eAssist 2.4-liter up to the 3.6-liter V6 that should be a must for anyone reading this. The headlights are even quite interesting, which is special at this price point. HID bi-xenons are optional, with LEDs ringing the main beams …

Read more Best of Awards – Zero to Hero in the 2014 Chevrolet Impala

2014 Volvo XC60 Buyer's Guide 56

Volvo XC60 Buyer's Guide Info, Galleries and Videos

It is just a Volvo kind of morning here in Chicago. Snow has been falling for two days, and the temps are extremely frigid. My Subaru had major struggles getting up and out of the steep driveway, thanks to my amazing decision not to shovel. My poor Subaru Legacy GT. What a hard, battered life it leads. Most of the damage sustained by the car has been off the pavement. Something about huge, huge turbo power and AWD has led me — time and time again — to take the low-slung LGT off-roading. Much as I love the Q-car appeal …

Read more Volvo XC60 Buyer's Guide Info, Galleries and Videos