QOTD: Living Beyond One's Reasonable Years?

A new trim level here, a revised bumper there, general fiddling. Sometimes, there’s just no way around it — a manufacturer’s vehicular offering is overdue for replacement. Today we want to discuss the models on sale in The Current Year that have lived past their reasonable shelf life.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan

Our always (sometimes) reliable Ace of Base meter loves a good econocar, one that deigns to a low monthly payment but still doles out features like a benevolent reverend doles out candy at Easter. The diminutive Sonic has never been featured in this series, primarily due to the presence of its little brother — the Chevy Spark.

American auto-buyers seem to have shunned the Sonic as well, with the current model set to sail off into the twilight after this model year. Compared to the popular and evergreen Hyundai Accent sedan, can it secure an Ace of Base parting gift?

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Sales Roundup: Ram Beats Up On Chevy, Korean Brands Rake In Dough

Surprising exactly no one, Americans continue to snap up light trucks and SUV apace, driving manufacturers like Subaru to month-over-month gains in June. In fact, the Exploding Galaxy is continuing a remarkably torrid sales streak, chalking up 91 consecutive months of year-over-year growth. The beauty of all wheel drive, indeed.

That rumbling you hear are Chevrolet execs jumping over furniture to try and comprehend their sudden relegation to third place in the perpetual fight for pickup truck supremacy. Through to the end of June, Ram has trounced Silverado to the tune of about 50,000 units.

Ooooh; don’t you hate that burning smell?

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Ace of Base: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe SE

In all the years we’ve been presenting this series, Ace of Base has never focused on what was Hyundai’s first stepping stone into the world of crossovers and SUVs: the Santa Fe. Let’s correct that oversight with this new-for-2019 model.

To be clear, this is the two-row model, not the three-row which currently has an “XL” suffix appended to its name. That machine will vanish when the new Palisade appears later this year. Whatever it’s called, Hyundai sells a lot of ‘em; there must be a reason for that, right?

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Ace of Base: 2019 Golf Alltrack S 1.8T

This variant of the Golf family inhabits a grey area in which it’s not quite a crossover but is also not quite a station wagon. VW will still happily sell you one of those, sans this model’s taller suspenders and black over-the-wheel trim. The Alltrack is kinda like a SportWagen that’s clomping around in dad’s big boots.

As always, we’re suckers for a good wagon. Let’s see what it has to offer in base S trim.

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April 2018 U.S. Auto Sales: Volume Shrinks, but New Crossovers Are a Hit

With an extra selling day compared to the same month one year ago, auto sellers in America had the chance to improve their numbers in April. Subaru, the two Korean brands, and Nissan all managed that feat, while the likes of Fiat Chrysler and Toyota did not. Honda, for one, was roughly flat.

It all adds up to a softening market impacted by rising transaction prices and higher borrowing costs. At this rate, there’s a very good possibility that total light-vehicle sales in this country will drop below 17 million this year for the first time since 2014.

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2019 Infiniti QX50 Review - Owner of a Lonely Heart

Think of an occasion in which something really good appeared in a place where it was underappreciated. A fantastic steak at the downtown greasy spoon, perhaps? Beautiful new windows installed in a student rental house? My writing on this website? Wait, I wasn’t supposed to say that last one out loud…

Buried in the mire of Ghosngate at Nissan is some nifty new tech that should be turning the car world on its ear. The company’s variable compression engine, displacing an industry-typical 2.0 liters from a turbocharged four pot, is actually about as far from industry-typical as Yugo was from being a class leader in fit and finish. It’s able to vary its compression from 8:1 to 14:1, thus offering the best of power and economy characteristics. It’s been called the “holy grail.”

So where does this engineering marvel and technological triumph first appear? In the company’s sports car? Don’t be silly. It’s under the hood of a grey crossover, of course.

Talk about being underappreciated.

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2019 Mazda 3 AWD First Drive Review - Holding It All Down

Earlier this year, Mazda showed off its all-new 3 sedan in Los Angeles. The new compact’s intent is to impress a revised, upscale image on the brand. While the 3 delivered in quality, overall refinement, and driving enjoyment, it managed only middling marks with regard to power.

Now, Mazda has upped its game with a more stylish hatchback variant and the additional capability of an all-wheel drive system. But do style and substance mesh in the more expensive hatchback? We went back to California to find out.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Express 4×2

A couple of liberties are taken with this one, as the Ram 1500 Classic technically has a trim one step below the Express model. With pricing, rates, and residuals being what they are though – well, it’s safe to say this version of the new old Ram pickup embodies a great deal of appeal to buyers in the Ace of Base wheelhouse.

In fact, this heartily equipped pickup is cheaper than a good many milquetoast crossovers. It’s almost as if Reid Bigland himself wants you to exercise your patriotism and park a truck in your driveway.

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QOTD: Out of Touch, or Out of Time?

On Monday, Matthew Guy asked all of you to nominate vehicles that were ahead of their time. Those rare occasions where vehicles anticipated the desires of consumers, even before said desires were fully formed. Today, we flip it around and talk about Hall and Oates lyrics vehicles which were out of touch or behind the times, even when new.

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2019 Mazda 3 First Drive - A Cohesive Compact?

We travelled to the small and traffic-free city of Los Angeles last week to check out the newly revamped 2019 Mazda 3, the first product launched under the automaker’s equally new premium philosophy. The next-gen compact apparently heralds the introduction of other higher-end models.

So, is this all-important foundational compact car any good? Let’s find out.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Ford Ranger XL

Last summer, fans of mid-sized pickup trucks got a quick look behind the virtual curtain when the build-and-price tool for the new Ford Ranger leaked to the internet like a screen door on a submarine. Spox at the Blue Oval rapidly shouted #FakeNews, but the base price of $24,300 proved accurate.

At the time, we did an Ace of Base using the quickly-hauled-down pricing tool. Six months on, has anything changed? Are our readers still interested in a base Ranger priced $3,000 north of a base Colorado? Did NFL referees blow that call this weekend?

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QOTD: Sailing Past Sinking Ships in 2019?

Last Wednesday, our Question of the Day asked which automaker you wished well in 2019. Today we take a different approach, and ask which automaker doesn’t need any of your positive internet thoughts and prayers.

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QOTD: Your Prediction for 2019?

365 days. A year. One trip around the sun. Whatever you call it, we’re here: the last day of 2018.

Here’s where we let you look into the TTAC Magic 8 Ball and ask for your predictions of auto industry news you think will happen in 2019.

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Envoy to the Horde: GMC Trademarks a Name From Its Past

Someone at General Motors has been studying the company history books again. Fresh news earlier this year taught us the company is bringing back the storied Blazer nameplate, appending it to a FWD-based crossover in a move that disappointed some fans but will surely delight GM beancounters as they’ll probably sell every one they can make to a crossover-thirsty public, the majority of whom care not one whit about the old body-on-frame machine.

A trademark application uncovered by a GM Inside News forum poster suggests GM could be poised to bring back another well-known badge. This time, it is GMC’s turn to plumb their collective memory for a popular name. The lead image above gives you all the clues you need as to which one it may be.

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  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.