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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2018 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Manual – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Classic. What makes a car a classic? Often times, it takes years, or even decades to bestow a title like that. Or an ad on Craigslist for some clapped-out conveyance you should never consider buying. Let’s ignore the latter, and concentrate on the former. And we’re here to tell you that the 2018 Audi A4 is a classic. Classical Elegance Even though the A4 was all-new last year, you might not have noticed. Audi is a founding member of the Evolution, not Revolution design club. And besides, the previous model was pretty sweet. The new model looks a little crisper, …

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2017 VW Golf R 6-Speed Manual – HD Road Test Review

How does the Golf R’s halo/hero status match up with reality in your garage? Well, it scores huge with 5-second sprints and a $36,475 price right off the bat.  Then you get Golf R into its race mode and HANG ON for its throaty brummm up redline/supralegal speed. It’s been a thrilling few months of hot hatch and performance car reviews around here – so we feel well-placed to judge this hot hatch king.  Focus RS will be the main competitor for comparisons, but also feedback on how Audi S3 differs too.  Longtime Subaru WRX fan/owner helps to appreciate Golf …

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Double Drive Review! 2016 MINI Cooper S CLUBMAN – 8sp Automatic versus 6sp Stick

  For years now, the number of manual transmissions has been dropping in favor of the automatic transmissions. True car enthusiasts have bemoaned the loss of the stick while automakers pander to growing consumer demand for automatics (plus, many drivers can’t drive a manual). However, with the Mini Cooper Clubman, the manual vs. automatic debate is at the heart of the car. Is a Mini Cooper, well, a Mini Cooper without a stick? Nope. A few weeks ago, I reviewed a 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman S manual and enjoyed all of its quirkiness including the thrill of getting off the …

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2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S 21

3.7s, 206MPH 2017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Updates Tech, Adds 7-Speed Stickshift Option

The Aston V12 Vantage S has future-classic writ large all over it.  Aston Martin’s smallest, lightest platform paired with their largest engine.  What could be better!? A stickshift option, that’s what! The 2017 model introduces a new seven-speed manual transmission choice to go along with the paddle-shifted variety.  New infotainment units across the board for all 2017 Astons will bring the V12 Vantage S bang up to date on the tech integration front too. Performance is shared across the six-speed automatic or the new stickshift: 3.9-seconds to 62-mph and a 206-mph top end. The slick new stick has a dogleg …

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