Posts By: Adam Tonge

By on February 6, 2019

2019 is quickly turning into The Year of the HD Truck. FCA debuted its all-new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty at last month’s North American International Auto Show; Ford teased its refreshed 2020 SuperDuty in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Not to be outdone, Chevrolet debuted its all new 2020 Silverado HD at the Flint Assembly plant yesterday morning. This is the third all-new Silverado to debut in 18 months, and one that aims to be King of Truck Mountain.

Chevy says the 2020 Silverado HD is the most capable Silverado HD ever. But if it wasn’t, why would they even bother? (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2019

Wednesday night, Ford pulled the wraps off its all-new 2020 Explorer at an event held, quite appropriately, at Detroit’s Ford Field. The model is a complete redesign of America’s all-time best-selling SUV.

Since the introduction of the original, Ranger-based Explorer, over eight million units have found American homes. With that heritage in mind, the 2020 Explorer adopts a rear-wheel drive platform for the first time in a decade, with more attention paid to power, space, and capability.  At the same time, Ford added new technology to assist owners who’ve managed to escape the daily grind. (Read More…)

By on November 28, 2018

Image: FCA

The midsize truck market’s explosive growth has already brought the Ford Ranger back to our spacious skies and amber waves of grain. However, Jeep thinks America the Beautiful wants a midsize truck that tackles the purple mountains’ majesties while looking down upon the fruited plains. Enter the 2020 Jeep Gladiator; the vehicle that Jeep calls the most capable midsize truck ever.

Jeep customers have been vocal about their lust for a Jeep truck ever since the Jeep Comanche ended production 25 years ago. The dream of the capability of a Wrangler in a truck package has been elusive. Customers demanding such a vehicle have been forced to fulfill their desires in the aftermarket. That is, until now. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2018

Image: 2017 GMC Yukon

The current generation of General Motors’ full-sized SUVs has become the dominant force in the segment. The six nameplates offered up by GM own seventy-five percent of America’s full-sized, body-on-frame, truck-based SUV market. The GMC Yukon and GMC Yukon XL are a big part of that dominance. Their high average transaction prices and robust sales have helped build General Motors’ fastest growing brand into a sales powerhouse.

The Yukon has always been a luxurious, yet restrained, step above the Tahoe and Suburban, and the 2015 model boosted the upscale feel with the addition of better materials like real wood. A more powerful engine further differentiated the model from its Chevy sibling. Unfortunately, the 420 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 was only available on the Denali-trimmed Yukons.

That is, until the 2019 GMC Yukon hits dealer lots. But there’s a catch. (Read More…)

By on March 15, 2018

GMC unveiled the 2019 GMC Sierra amid great pomp and circumstance on March 1st. Much of the buzz surrounding the new truck focused on new features like a multi-function tailgate and comprehensive towing suite. One of the new features, CarbonPro, is the industry’s first carbon fiber pickup box. Duncan Aldred, GMC’s Global Vice President, went as far as saying, “In 116 years of making GMC pickup trucks, our industry-first carbon fiber box is the toughest and most durable pickup box we have ever made.”

While we have little reason to question that statement, it gives the impression that this pickup box is made out of supercars and iPhone cases. In reality, it’s chopped up carbon fiber in a nylon plastic resin. After talking to GMC and the supplier that builds the CarbonPro box, we’ve this product does indeed have some important advancements. At the same time, it is also shares some similarities with the pickup boxes found on the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2018

On a snowy Thursday in Detroit, GMC unveiled the newest, and arguably most important, product in its portfolio. The 2019 GMC Sierra was designed and engineered to lead the charge to take back control of Truck Mountain. In an attempt to redefine the luxury truck segment, GMC is introducing a truck that’s all-new from the ground up.

The next-generation pickup also boasts a number of segment-exclusive features, including a tailgate that can open in six different positions, and a bed made out of Blue Oval tears. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2018

Ford has finally brought its subcompact crossover to the United States. The 2018 Ford EcoSport, pronounced “EchoSport” for some reason, is hitting dealer lots as I type. Available in other markets since 2012, the recently refreshed second-generation EcoSport arrives on our shores to take on segment favorites like the Mazda CX-3 and Buick Encore.

The world seems to love mini crossovers. Ford is late to the party here, but the Blue Oval crowd are trying to make up ground with a class leading vehicle the best they could do on a budget. We have not driven the EcoSport, but we have sat in it. If anyone asks, we did not break any trim pieces. After sitting in the EcoSport, opening its doors, touching its Cozy Coupe-grade plastics, using its inconvenient rear hatch, and not being able fit my feet into the back seat, it is obvious that it is not good. No road test will change that.

But here we are, and Ford needs to offer a product in this segment. Engineering a vehicle for Third World markets while GM brought the upscale-branded Buick Encore to the U.S. proved to be a misstep. Now Ford has to poach buyers, make bold moves, and go further. We all know what that means: a marketing campaign!

According to Ford, the EcoSport is here to hack your life. (Read More…)

By on January 29, 2018

Since former CEO Mark Fields announced Ford would bring the Bronco and Ranger back to the United States, the Blue Oval rumor mill has focused mainly on those vehicles. With the 2019 Ford Ranger now out of the bag, car enthusiasts everywhere will now hone their attention on the 2020 Ford Bronco.

However, the Bronco is not the most important new Ford in 2020. That honor goes to the next-generation 2020 Ford Explorer, a vehicle that diverges from the current model in significant ways. (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2017

The formula for the Volkswagen Golf GTI is simple; take a good car, add horsepower, add styling flourishes, and make something special. For the past 35 years in the United States, the GTI has done this more often than not. Sure, there may have been some misses in there, but for over a decade now, it […]

By on November 17, 2017

The Volkswagen Golf is one of the best-selling vehicles of all time, in the top three in many global markets, but is somehow a niche vehicle in the United States. With consumer tastes shifting to crossovers and SUVs, Volkswagen has continued to differentiate the Golf from its peers by offering six unique versions. The most […]

By on November 15, 2017

2018 Volkswagen Golf, Image: VW Group

It has been 41 years since Volkswagen’s iconic hatchback debuted in the United States. The Giugiaro-designed replacement for the ubiquitous Volkswagen Beetle would go on to become one of the world’s most successful cars during that time. Now, the Golf finds itself in the middle of its seventh generation, and it’s time for a refresh.

During its lengthy existence, the Golf settled down and started a family. The Golf clan now contains six members — the standard Golf hatchback, GTI, Golf R, Golf Sportwagen, Golf Alltrack, and eGolf. While each model shares the same architecture, they all boast a unique identity. For the 2018 model year, the whole family is getting a new look. (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2017

2018-jaguar-e-pace

Jaguar introduced its newly expanded 2018 model year lineup for North America last week, with the British automaker adding the subcompact E-Pace SUV, XF Sportbrake wagon, and XJR575 flagship sedan to its roster. With these new models, Jaguar hopes to continue the sales momentum that made it the fastest-growing automotive brand in the US market in 2016.

The 2016 model-year addition of the F-Pace SUV and XE sedan led to a doubling of the brand’s annual sales, and its best showing since 2004. For the coming year, Jaguar aims to cover more bases and lure in the buyers it missed. (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2017

2017 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback, Image: Ford

It disappeared in the night. There was no fanfare. No protest. No grand announcement. Barely anyone even noticed. They all just kept buying amorphous transportation blobs with available all-wheel drive. No one took the time to look at the options list on the compact car bolted to the dealership floor.

That’s right. In the United States of America, the 2017 Ford Focus hatchback is no longer available with a manual transmission outside of the ST and RS.

(Read More…)

By on September 14, 2016

Autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid Side

Taking to a Dearborn stage on Monday, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields declared, “We are expanding our business to be both an auto and mobility company.” With this statement, Fields has created additional competition. No longer will Ford only be battling traditional auto manufacturers.

Now, the automaker’s competitors include Uber, Lyft, Google, and Apple — each one focused on current and future mobility solutions. How does the company plan to win? (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2016

Each year, Jeep builds a few concept vehicles and takes to the Easter Jeep Safari through off-road trails in Moab, Utah. Jeep uses the nine day trek to show off the off-road capabilities of its vehicles while celebrating its storied past. Maybe our invitation was lost in the mail. Fortunately, Jeep did invite us to a different […]

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