By on August 11, 2016

2017-civic-hatchback

The third addition to the Honda Civic lineup was recently spotted at a UK port, providing a glimpse of a vehicle we’ve only seen in prototype guise.

The Honda Civic hatchback shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March wasn’t a production model, but images posted on the CivicX forum show what American buyers can expect. (Read More…)

By on August 10, 2016

Lada XRay

Times are still tough in Russia, and your average Moscovite or St. Petersburgian doesn’t want to risk buying a new car — unless it’s a vivid, modern new Lada.

Lada, the much-maligned butt of Western jokes for decades, has reaped the rewards of luring a British ex-Volvo designer into its fold. In a vehicle market that continues to contract like a dying star, Lada’s new models are a pinpoint of light. (Read More…)

By on July 21, 2016

2016 Mazda 3 sedan red

Enthusiast praise for the Mazda3 began before the current-generation compact Mazda arrived in late 2013. Previous iterations benefited from hugely positive reviews. “We’re going to love the 3 once it arrives in America,” Automobile wrote in December 2003. Credit for dynamic excellence was the norm a generation later. “Steering is direct and the suspension is firm enough for spirited driving and equally competent at soaking up bumps,” said AutoGuide in early 2009. I haven’t hesitated to get in on the action, writing in my second review of the latest compact Mazda, “The Mazda3 is still the best compact car you can buy.”

It’s therefore not surprising to see that in a five-way compact car comparison for the magazine’s July edition, Car and Driver named the 2016 Mazda3 i Grand Touring the winner of the test. Car and Driver handed the Mazda 203 points, 44-percent more than the fifth-ranked 2016 Nissan Sentra SL achieved.

Industry observers also won’t be surprised to learn that Car and Driver’s fifth-ranked Nissan Sentra produced 139-percent more first-half sales than the Mazda, while the other three losers all roundly outsold the Mazda, as well. (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2016

2017 Elantra Sport

Hyundai set out to make its Elantra hotter, and it’s happy to report that the sedan’s output now tops 200 horsepower in newly unveiled Sport form.

The 2017 Elantra Sport brings a third engine choice to the model lineup — a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder making “more than” 200 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque, according to the automaker. (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2016

2016 Volkswagen Golf R Lapiz blue

TTAC reader Gerard Van Ginkel writes:

I love your reviews.
I drove the Golf R last week and it was nice but it didn’t compare to my RS4. I was wondering, of all the cars you have driven recently, anything you would suggest that might be a reasonable replacement for this Audi RS4 monster?

Gerard obviously loves the horsepower and torque of his vehicle’s 4.2-liter V8, but the time has come to dump his German pocket rocket, which he identifies as a 2007 model. The 292 horses under the hood of the Volkswagen Golf R didn’t set Gerard’s heart on fire (or maybe the package was too Volkswagen), so what’s a reader to do?

Rather than have TTAC brass tell him what to do, we’re turning this question over to the minds of the Best and Brightest.

Put yourself in Gerard’s car-buying shoes and weigh in. With Golf R-level money ready to spend, what should this man buy?

[Image:  © 2016 Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]

By on June 9, 2016

chevrolet code concept

General Motors wants to use a model name once applied to a compact, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, and has the trademark filing to prove it.

The automaker applied to trademark the name “Chevrolet Code” for automotive use on June 2, AutoGuide reports, leading many to believe the taught, Alpha-platform Code 130R concept car shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show could soon be headed to production.

But is Chevrolet really going to slot another rear-drive coupe into the Chevrolet lineup? It’s very unlikely, and here’s why. (Read More…)

By on May 19, 2016

1980 Showroom Stock C National Championship

Murilee loves to wax about the scourge of Miserable Econoboxes infesting our shores during the Malaise Era. Turns out, a few of them skipped daily commuter duty and went straight to the track instead.

(Read More…)

By on May 7, 2016

2017 Elantra Eco

Hyundai sent its newly redesigned compact away for a lifestyle change, and it returned as the fuel-sipping Elantra Eco.

Sporting a new drivetrain and an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon, the 2017 Elantra Eco retails for $21,485 (after freight). City and combined ratings are 32 and 35 mpg, respectively.

The 2017 Elantra Limited we tested was no gas guzzler, often surpassing its 37 mpg highway rating, but the new Eco clearly has its competitors’ 40-plus mpg ratings in its sights. It’s also possible that Hyundai still has some lingering guilt over the not-yet-forgotten gas mileage scandal of four years ago. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

Hyundai-Elantra-Sport

Hyundai just revealed its Korean-market Avante Sport, but it’s also a preview of what North American customers can expect in their Elantra lineup.

The Avante is what people in Seoul call an Elantra, and the new performance model puts the automaker in a better position to fend off competition from the likes of Honda, Volkswagen and Mazda.

The redesigned 2017 Elantra Limited we tested had improved styling and a better ride, but was lacking in power. The Sport model’s Korean specifications shows 204 horsepower from a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder, as well as a multi-link rear suspension. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2016

2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover

It looks like Cadillac doesn’t think the Chevrolet Cruze is a suitable platform for a new luxury model.

A source in a story we ran yesterday claimed an internal program code that popped up at General Motors points to a new Cadillac model based on the Cruze’s front-wheel-drive Delta platform, but the automaker is now refuting the claim. (Read More…)

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