The compact crossover segment is now one of the fastest growing segments with almost every automaker jumping in. The 2016 Honda HR-V is set to arrive this month and will be one of the heavy hitters that will compete with other new models, like the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Chevy Trax and Mazda CX-3. The HR-V borrows its platform from the small Fit, nabs the Civic's engine and comes filled with features that Honda hopes will set it apart, does it work?
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Hyundai has completely revamped the 2015 Sonata, which marks the introduction of the seventh-generation. While the last Sonata was a bold move from Hyundai - it grabbed everyone's attention with its daring and aggressive exterior, but rather than continue with the bold styling, Hyundai has taken a different route with the new Sonata. Its styling has been toned down, giving it a more refined and sophisticated look as Hyundai tries to take more market share from the midsize heavyweights like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
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In 2011 Nissan launched the first mainstream electric car, the Leaf. To much fanfare, it was introduced and went on sale right about the same time as Chevy's Volt. While not technically direct competitors, since the Leaf is a true electric vehicle and the Volt a plug-in hybrid, they engaged in a sales battle over who would win the hard earned dollars of early eco adopters. Now four years later, it appears the Leaf has won and after a week living with one, I can easily understand why.
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When the Jaguar XF was first introduced in 2009 it was a stunner. Not only was it a dramatic departure from the S-Type before it, but it ushered in a whole new design language for Jaguar. One that would inevitably reinvigorate the entire brand and lineup. Even now as it nears the end of its lifecycle, the XF looks crisp and fresh while many newer rivals are already beginning to show their age.
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Looking for a fun, compact hybrid with a bit of luxury thrown in? Well add the Lexus CT 200h to your test drive list. The CT 200h arrived on the market in 2011 and is still the only compact luxury hybrid on the market and even though it shares a lot in common with the not so fun Prius, the CT 200h has a character that is all its own.
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Did Volkswagen just create one of the best electric cars under $40,000? Well lets just say that I was so impressed with the new eGolf that I asked Volkswagen if I could keep it longer - definitely something that I don't do often. The new seventh-generation Golf is an impressive platform, so it's no surprise that the eGolf is this great.
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It seems like every automaker is finally jumping on the electric bandwagon, which will give buyers other options besides the best-selling Nissan Leaf. Luxury automakers are even throwing their hat in the ring, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz being the two latest luxury brands to enter the segment with the BMW i3 and Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Both the i3 and B-Class Electric Drive have similar prices and even driving ranges that are close (if you don't buy the i3 with the range extender). Which one is better?
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Kia's new K900 flagship sedan is literally the new kid on the block. With a full plate of formidable players, from the BMW 7-series to it's own stable mate, the Hyundai Equus, the K900 really has to bring something different to the table, and luckily it does.
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For over a decade Lexus has only offered one crossover in its lineup - the RX, which essentially started the luxury crossover craze. Now Lexus has finally released a second smaller crossover, that competes in the heavily packed compact crossover segment. With the release of the new NX does Lexus have something that will be as successful as the RX and will it be able to compete with other luxury compact crossovers like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5 and the BMW X1/X3 models?
Continue reading "2015 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid [REVIEW]" »
The Ford Edge was introduced 10 years ago and now the 2015 Edge kicks off the all-new third generation. Since its introduction the Edge has been one of the most popular five-seat crossovers on the market. For the 2015 Edge, Ford started with a clean slate, with some of the stuff that buyers liked about the last two generations thrown in. What we have now is the best looking Edge yet that is now powered by new engines and filled with the latest tech features. How well does it stack up against its newest competitors, like the also new Kia Sorento and Nissan Murano?
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The Acura TLX is unique in the that it's an all new model, yet technically replaces two. By being affordable, feature filled, and versatile, it's going to offer a ton of value making your forget all about the TSX and TL before it. What it will remind you of though is... an Audi. After a week behind the wheel of the V6 AWD model with the Advance package, that's what it kept repeatedly reminding me of, and that's not a bad thing.
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The Kia Soul is easily one of the best models in Kia's lineup, which explains why it's also one of the brand's best-sellers. Its combination of style, fun to drive nature and low entry price should put it on any one's shopping list. Now how well does it hold up if you take out the four-cylinder engine and swap in Kia's first electric powertrain? Well it actually gets better.
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Other markets like Europe and Japan offer plenty of fun hatchbacks to choose from, but here in the U.S. the hatchback has a negative stigma and many buyers sadly prefer a sedan over the more versatile hatchback. Fortunately a few automakers still offer them here, like Volkswagen and Mazda. The latest VW Golf has received overwhelming praise from the automotive media, but how does one of its main rivals, the Mazda3 stack up?
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The current Hyundai Elantra debuted at the end of 2010 making it one of the oldest models in the compact sedan segment, but thanks to Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design language, the Elantra doesn't look its age. The segment continues to be dominated by heavy hitters like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, but even as the curtain is about to be closed on the current generation Elantra, is it even worth checking out?
Continue reading "2015 Hyundai Elantra Sport [REVIEW]" »
During the 1990s and early 2000s Mitsubishi's lineup was filled with exciting models like the Lancer Evo, Eclipse and 3000GT. Even its SUV lineup brought a bit of excitement to the table with the Montero and Montero Sport models. Fast forward to 2014 and Mitsubishi barely even registers a blip on the radar. Today the last exciting model, the Lancer Evolution is basically dead. So what's left? Well Mitsubishi has decided to ditch its sporty past for greener, more efficient models like the funky i-MiEV electric car and the small Mirage hatchback. It's SUV lineup is still there, but now "Montero" has been replaced by "Outlander" and buyers can choose from either the seven-passenger Outlander or the smaller Outlander Sport. But now that Mitsubishi has completely ditched its past is it even worth checking out?
Continue reading "2015 Mitsubishi Outlander GT [REVIEW]" »
I wake up from a nap to find myself sweating in a car with the A/C off in the middle of the California desert. No this isn't a nightmare, my driving partner and I are trying to reach it to San Diego, which is over 100 miles away, but our 2015 Audi A3 TDI's gas gauge says were almost on empty. Why couldn't we stop for fuel? Last week Audi invited 18 journalists out to Albuquerque, New Mexico to take part in its newest TDI Challenge. This isn't the first time that Audi has set up a mileage challenge, since a similar drive was done with the A6 and Q7 TDI diesel models, but this time the only model in the challenge would be the all-new A3 TDI.
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Earlier this year Ford unveiled the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup at the Detroit Auto Show with the biggest update being its new aluminum body. With the new F-150 about to roll into showrooms the communication still centers around the F-150's "beer can" exterior, but what about the rest of the new F-150? Ford gave us the keys to a new F-150 for a quick trip around San Antonio, Texas to see how much has changed and there's definitely a lot more than those lighter body panels.
Continue reading "2015 Ford F-150 Goes on a Diet and its New 2.7L V6 Impresses [Review]" »
In the past 30 years the Toyota Camry has never really been associated with the words "style" or "exciting," well maybe with the exception of the Lexus-esque 1992-1996 Camry. Toyota is trying to change that with this new more "emotional" and "stylish" 2015 Camry, but does it succeed?
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After what seemed like a long tortuous winter, summer is finally here and many people are now getting ready to plan their summer vacations. While many people fly to their vacation spots, there are also a lot of us that will also plan a fun road trip to places like the mountains, the beach or maybe even just a fun drive up the coast. Here are five new cars that will make that road trip even more enjoyable and five of the latest gadgets to bring along for the trip.
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This month marks the introduction of the all-new 2015 Honda Fit, which is the third-generation of the popular subcompact hatchback. Since the second-generation Fit which arrived for the 2009 model year, the subcompact segment has gotten more competitive with new models like the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic and the Nissan Versa Note. Does the 2015 Fit have what it takes?
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Who remembers the Kia Amanti? Back in 2004 Kia released the Amanti sedan, which was the automaker's first attempt at selling a near luxury sedan. Sadly it never really appealed to anyone and was easily forgotten. Fast forward to 2014 and Kia is trying it again with the much more memorable Cadenza. This time around does the Kia Cadenza have what it takes to compete against luxury rivals like BMW and Lexus?
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The last time we drove the Kia Soul was back in 2012 and although it has been one of Kia's best selling models, we dinged it for its cheap feeling interior, loud road noise and bouncy suspension. Now in its second-generation the 2014 Kia Soul has been completely redesigned, but keeps that same boxy shape that has made it almost as famous as the dancing hamsters that are supposed to make you want to by it.
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Ever since the Mazda3 took over for the Protege as Mazda's small compact model, the Mazda3 has been one of the best compact cars in the segment. Now in its third-generation, the all-new 2014 Mazda3 has been completely redesigned inside and out with sexier styling and more efficient powertrains. Is the new Mazda3 still one of the best models in the segment? Read on to find out.
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The 2013 Kia Optima offers buyers a choice of three powertrains, a base 2.4L four-cylinder, a turbocharged 2.0L and a four-cylinder hybrid. When we last tested the Optima back in 2012 we were very impressed with the style and performance of the turbocharged 2.0L Optima, but will the same feelings hold true for the 2013 Optima Hybrid? Read on to find out.
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The midsize SUV segment is one of the hottest segments with many buyers ditching their midsize sedans and boring minivans for the added versatility that an SUV provides. Toyota knows this and has just introduced its all-new 2014 Toyota Highlander SUV, which marks the introduction of the third-generation of the popular SUV. Buyers have several choices in this segment from the Ford Explorer, to the Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot, so Toyota has pulled out all the stops to make sure the Highlander stays at the top of the segment.
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On paper with only 167 horsepower under the hood, the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn't look like a sports car, but unlike other sports cars that boast about their gobs of power, this little roadster has something else under its sleeve. When Mazda handed me the keys to the 2014 Miata Club Sport I didn't know what I was in store for. On paper the Miata's stats didn't seem too impressive, so I prepared myself for what would end up being a kinda blah experience. Well I was definitely wrong.
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What do you think of when you hear the name Rolls-Royce? Most of us picture being driven in a big, luxurious over the top sedan with your own driver and a multi-person staff waiting back for you at your mansion in the hills. Rolls-Royce caters to a select group of individuals that most likely have CEO next to their name on their business card, but would this same group of buyers be willing to leave their driver at home and take the wheel? Let's hope so for Rolls-Royce's sake...
Continue reading "First Drive: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith - A Driver's Rolls-Royce? (Review)" »
Have you ever driven a car that makes you giggle with excitement every time you hit the start button? A car that is so over the top that makes you not care about anything else? Well that's exactly how we felt after a few days with the keys to the 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S.
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Yup you read that right! The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has an EPA rating of 50 mpg in the city, making it the most efficient hybrid four-door sedan currently on the market. But of course after all of Ford's drama, the next question is... does it actually get 50 mpg? Yes! Honda invited us out to San Antonio, Texas to get some seat time behind the all-new 2014 Accord Hybrid, which is going to arrive in showrooms on Halloween.
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The 2014 Kia Forte has thrown away its boring economy car duds for a stylish exterior that will make you forget about every Kia compact sedan before it. As the latest model in Kia's lineup to get Kia's new stylish design language, the 2014 Forte is now one of the most stylish models in the crowded compact sedan segment.
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2014 marks the 45th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla and the introduction of the all-new 11th generation. The 2014 Corolla is bigger, more stylish and more efficient than the outgoing model. It also sees the introduction of a new CVT transmission, a fuel efficient Eco model and gets the latest version of Toyota's entune infotainment system. With the compact segment getting more competitive each year, does the new Corolla have the right mix to keep it on top?
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Honda has something new to celebrate. The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid now holds the title as the most fuel-efficient four-door sedan (non plug-in hybrid) with a rating of 50 mpg in the city. The Accord Hybrid's rating is three miles per gallon higher than the closest segment competitor and its calculated driving range of 673 miles is more than 46 miles farther than any vehicle in its segment.
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For the 2013 model year Cadillac has updated the Cadillac SRX crossover with some styling tweaks and more technology on the inside, but is it enough to help it compete against other models like the Lexus RX, BMW X3 and Audi Q5?
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The midsize sedan segment is one of the most competitive segments in the US and for years it's been dominated by models like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. In the past year it's gotten even tougher for automakers competing in the segment since Honda, Ford and Nissan all released new models. Now Mazda has put its hat in the ring with its all-new 2014 Mazda6, which makes you take notice with its sexy Kodo design and efficient SkyActiv technology under the hood.
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Last year Nissan promised five new models to its lineup, which started with the all-new Altima, followed by the new Sentra and Pathfinder. Now Nissan has introduced its fourth all-new model, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note, which is the replacement for the Versa hatchback. The Nissan Versa dominates the subcompact segment and with the addition of the all-new hatchback, which will be sold alongside the existing sedan version, Nissan is confident that it will continue to hold onto the number one sales spot.
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Lincoln is on the cusp of a reinvention with the first of its new lineup being the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. Over the next four years Lincoln is planning on introducing four new models, which will reportedly include a new small crossover and compact entry-level model. GM managed to turn around Cadillac with sales now at their highest level in years, but can Ford pull the same success story with Lincoln?
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Kia continues to move upward towards the entry-level luxury segment with models like the new Kia Cadenza. Buyers are even willing to pay more for the higher trim levels of Kia's mainstream models like the Optima midsize sedan and the Sorento crossover. For the 2014 model year Kia has upgraded the Sorento with a facelift, revised interior and some upgrades under the hood.
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As a frequent business traveler and car lover, I always get a little anxiety over the make and model of my rental cars. Thankfully, companies like Hertz and National have gradually gotten more flexible in recent years by allowing renters to choose their own cars within their reserved car class. When I landed in sunny Los Angeles last week, I took advantage of this flexibility and elected to spend the week with the all-new, 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE.
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For those buyers that love the Mitsubishi Evolution, but can't quite afford its $34k price tag, but want more performance than the standard Lancer offers, Mitsubishi offers the Lancer Ralliart. The Lancer Ralliart is powered by a turbocharged 237 horsepower 2.0L four-cylinder engine, which is 54 horsepower less than the Evo, but a nice 89 horsepower more than is offered in the standard Lancer models. Think of the Lancer Ralliart as a direct competitor to the Subaru WRX. On paper the Lancer Ralliart packs more than enough power to satisfy enthusiasts and with its $28k starting price it's a bit more attainable than the Evolution, but is it worth it?
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With all of the focus on electric cars, hybrids and new CAFE rules in the news everyday, you might think that the days of the muscle car are long gone, but are they? While it's no longer common to see a large V8 stuffed under the hood of an everyday car, there are a few models that are still around to satisfy buyers that value horsepower over fuel economy. Enter the 2013 Cadillac CTS-V. It packs a supercharged 6.2L V8 with a whopping 556 horsepower that propels the CTS-V from 0-60 mph in an insane 3.9 seconds!
Continue reading "2013 Cadillac CTS-V is a Muscle Car Wrapped in Luxury Car Clothes (Review)" »