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.
Continue reading "How to Drive 834 Miles on One Tank of Fuel in the 2015 Audi A3 TDI [REVIEW]" »
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.
Continue reading "2014 Mazda3 Sedan (Review)" »
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?
Continue reading "Quick Spin in the 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (Review)" »
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!
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What exactly is a hot hatch and why do enthusiasts love them so much? According to Wikipedia a "Hot hatch" or "hot hatchback" is a high-performance derivative of a car body style consisting of a three- or five-door hatchback automobile. Vehicles of this class are based on family-oriented automobiles, and are equipped with an uprated more powerful internal combustion engine, improved suspension, and may also include additional 'aerodynamic' body parts and larger wheels and tires. In other words a hot hatch takes a basic economy car and dials up the performance, without compromising its versatility and practicality. For years the segment has been dominated by the Volkswagen GTI and today includes models like the Mazdaspeed3 and Subaru WRX. Ford has decided to take a stab at the segment, which it abandoned in 2004 when the last SVT Focus rolled off the line. Once again the Focus has been tapped as Ford's entry in the highly competitive "hot hatch" segment, but this time it's dubbed the Focus ST with "ST" standing for "sport technologies." We loved the 2002-2004 Focus SVT, but how well does the 2013 Focus ST stack up against the king of the class, the GTI?
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Forget all about that two-door Ford Explorer Sport, the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport may have two more doors than before, but it packs a lot more "sport" under the hood. The 2013 Explorer Sport is powered by the same 3.5L EcoBoost engine as the Taurus SHO and Flex EcoBoost, which means that it packs 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft. of torque under the hood. The 3.5L is mated to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Compared to the other two engines, the Explorer offers, the turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost generates 75 more horsepower than the naturally-aspirated 3.5L V6 and a whopping 125 more than the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. The news gets even better, the all-wheel-drive Explorer Sport is only slightly less fuel efficient than the 3.5L Explorer all-wheel-drive with a 16/22 mpg rating compared to 17/23.
Continue reading "2013 Ford Explorer Sport Finally Adds More "Sport" to the Lineup (Review)" »
Who remembers the Mazda Navajo? It was Mazda's first attempt at an SUV in the US, but it was basically a rebadged two-door Ford Explorer Sport. Then there was the Mazda Tribute, which was basically an easily forgotten rebadged Ford Escape. Then the most recent attempt at a compact/ midsize crossover, the CX-7, which was plagued by bad gas mileage and a cramped interior. What does this all translate to? For over two decades Mazda hasn't been able to create a competitive compact crossover to go head to head with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4.
Well everything changed last year that with the introduction of the 2013 Mazda CX-5, which quickly jumped to the front of the compact crossover class, but was only held back by one issue, its engine. With only 155 horsepower under the hood you can imagine how hard it would be to get going. Well for the 2014 model year Mazda has introduced a more powerful 2.5L engine for the CX-5's two two trim levels. Does the new engine answer our prayers for more power without a big sacrifice in fuel economy?
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Subcompact cars like the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent are often regarded as practical transportation that is more at home in a college parking lot than on a track. While it's definitely a far stretch to say that the Mazda2 is so sporty that it would be a great car for the track, it definitely brings more fun to the segment than expected. With a base price starting under $15k and only 100 horsepower under the hood, the Mazda2 looks like a bargain basement small car on paper, but as we quickly found out, it's actually one of the more enjoyable models in its segment.
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This week at the Detroit Auto Show Honda took the wraps off its Urban SUV Concept, which previews a new small Fit-based crossover that will be smaller than the current Honda CR-V. The new small Honda crossover is one entry in a growing segment that also includes models like the Nissan Juke, Buick Encore and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. These new small crossovers are perfect for an urban environment, but does their smaller footprint kill one of the reasons why people love crossovers: versatility? We took the keys to a 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in Manhattan to find out just how usable a small crossover actually is.
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The Kia Sportage was one of Kia's first models that it offered in the US, when it entered our market in the mid-1990s. That first Sportage was a small body-on-frame SUV that would eventually compete with small crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Almost 20 years later the Sportage has evolved into a stylish crossover that has moved to a unibody platform, but is also now offered with a powerful turbocharged engine. After two weeks with the 2013 Kia Sportage SX Turbo, we came away mostly impressed with Kia's latest Sportage. Here's why...
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Ford is out to take on the hybrid/ electric car segment with the introduction of several new models like the C-MAX, C-MAX Energi and Fusion hybrids. Toyota has dominated the hybrid segment for over 10 years with the Prius, but has some real competition finally arrived? This fall the 2013 Ford C-MAX and C-MAX Energi arrive, which are Ford's direct competitors to the popular Prius. Ford makes it no secret that it has set the Prius as its target, but did it succeed?
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