Category: New Cars

By on February 22, 2021

2020 Toyota Camry TRD

I once wrote that the Toyota Camry is a jack-of-all-trades kind of car – a balanced machine that does lots of things well but not one thing in any spectacular way. I’ve also long told anyone shopping for a mid-size sedan that while the Camry is great, if they want something sporty, they need to give their attention to Honda and Mazda.

Toyota has decided to do something about that.

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By on February 19, 2021

Mazda just unlocked a first for the brand.

The “zoom-zoom” brand is now sitting atop Consumer Reports’ yearly list of most reliable automotive brands. That’s the first time that has happened.

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By on February 19, 2021

Imagine for a moment you’re not a well-heeled connoisseur of expensive cars and high finance, and there’s not a Bentley Mulsanne and a Land Cruiser in your garage. Instead, imagine you have to buy one of the three cheapest sedans on sale in America in 2021.

Today it’s Buy/Drive/Burn meets Ace of Base.

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By on February 18, 2021

2022 Hyundai Kona

Another day, another Zoom presentation to learn about some new hotness.

Today it’s the 2022 Hyundai Kona, which we teased last year, with a side of Santa Fe.

As we noted, the Kona now gets an N Line trim so that the brand can argue that its subcompact crossover can be considered truly “sporty” (we’ll be the judge of the merits of said argument once we drive it), and there are new duds.

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By on February 17, 2021

McLaren Artura

Join us in welcoming another hybrid supercar to the world. Introducing the McLaren Artura.

Yeah, it’s another car (or car company — we see you, Stellantis) with a weird name that sounds vaguely celestial.

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By on February 16, 2021

In the lead-up to my seat time with Maserati’s latest on the big track at Willow Springs International Raceway and the nondescript streets surrounding it, the automaker held a press briefing via video conference. Here, company PR chief Kas Rigas explained the “duality” of the brand, citing the original Quattroporte as the prime example.

Launched in 1963, it was Maserati’s first road car after a long string of successful, purpose-built race cars, and it featured a motorsport-derived, all-aluminum DOHC V8 ensconced in a Pietro Frua-designed grand-touring sedan wrapper.

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By on February 12, 2021

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Several years ago now, I called the Volkswagen Atlas three-row “German comfort food.” It remains that – a boxy, slightly bland crossover that nonetheless does the basics well.

Enter the Cross Sport, which is supposed to liven things up, at least a little, by being lowered and shortened, while losing the weight that comes with the nip/tuck and the removal of the third row of seats (at least in theory. With all-wheel drive, the 2.0T is a skosh heavier than a four-cylinder, three-row Atlas. Generally, however, the two-row is lighter.). The front facelift that matches the larger Atlas is also meant to make things more interesting.

These changes only go so far. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here we have a vehicle that is smaller but no less comfortable, and as you will see, that is just fine.

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By on February 11, 2021

2022 Acura MDXOne thing I’ve observed in my decade-plus covering this industry is that Honda and its luxury brand, Acura, seem to respond more quickly to criticism than most OEMs.

I note my bias here – I once owned an Accord – but I don’t think my former ownership of a used Honda is throwing me off. My observation, difficult to quantify as it admittedly is, seems correct.

Specific to Acura’s case, the luxury brand was panned earlier this decade for unflattering styling, subpar luxury accouterments for the class, and a slide in performance. Not all of this criticism was fair – a manual ILX is on my “weird cars I’d like to own but probably never will” list, because that thing was spunky – but nevertheless, Acura has seemingly addressed it, and addressed it well, in recent history.

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By on February 10, 2021

2021 Mazda CX-30 TurboSome cars are segment tweeners. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo is one of those.

The raised hatchback is just barely a crossover, but Mazda lists it as such. Whatever it is, it does stay true to Mazda’s “zoom-zoom” marketing, and turbo power helps with that.

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By on February 5, 2021

400Z

In photos obtained by japanesenstalgiccar.com,  the Nissan 400Z prototype is seen with its hood propped open, and there it is, a 400 horsepower, twin-IHI turbocharged, VR30DDTT V6 engine. First available in the Infiniti Q50 sedan, a year later in 2016 it was also in the Q60 coupe in 300 and 400 HP versions.

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By on February 4, 2021

FrontierSixty-two years ago, Nissan, then known as Datsun, introduced the first compact pickup in the U.S. For 2o22, an all-new Frontier looks to reestablish its leadership in the mid-size ranks.

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By on February 3, 2021

After we covered American and Japanese trios of $25,000 subcompact crossovers, round three means it’s time for the Korean offerings. But there are only two Korean brands in North America, so today we cover both of their entries and another from Japan.

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By on February 1, 2021

Cadillac

Last week, GM announced plans to go 100 percent EV with its light-duty vehicle fleet in less than 15 years. Tonight, Cadillac took the wraps off two high-performance luxury sport sedans that probably won’t pass too many gas pumps.

Talk about whiplash.

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By on January 30, 2021

Ford

Ford announced that a Chinese version of the Mustang Mach-E, also known by some of us cynical scribes as the Mustang Mock-E, will be built in China by Changan Ford.

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By on January 27, 2021

2022 Mini Cooper

Sorry folks, that headline isn’t some coded reference to the return of a Morris Minor.

No, Mini has unveiled updates from 2022 that the brand calls “significant” but in actuality fall under what we cynical scribes would categorize as a minor refresh.

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