Take Note: Nissan Announces Pricing for Its Littlest Hatchback

Despite a public hell-bent on buying trucks and crossovers, Nissan is boldly continuing to forge paths and spend money in the sedan and subcompact categories. As Tim noted earlier this week, the company’s optimism in those segments comes at an interesting time.

We can now chalk another one up in the small car department for Nissan, by way of the 2019 Nissan Versa Note. This diminutive little hatch wears clothes that differ greatly from its sedan brother, a trait for which it should be thankful.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4×2 Double Cab Long Box

The truck you see above has a measured length nearly as long as its full name. Its overall length? A hair under 250 inches. In fact, its wheelbase is eight inches longer than an entire Nissan Micra.

Heavy Chevys have been around seemingly since the dawn of Detroit, alternating between hard work and getting shined up for a night at the Tastee Freeze. Of late, GM (and other companies) have ladeled on the chrome in an never-ending quest to quench the thirst of luxury truck buyers. And, oh yeah — profits, too.

What about at the other end of the scale? Surely there’s room for a no-options two-wheel drive Silverado HD on the worksite. As it turns out, the thing is endowed with a lot more kit for a lot less cheddar than even your flinty-eyed author expected.

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2019 Ford Ranger Pricing (For Real, This Time)

This time last week, Ford was busy claiming the leaked Build & Price tool for the 2019 Ford Ranger was “inaccurate.” At the time, most of the internet got a quick glance at the truck’s pricing and options packages before the Blue Oval hauled it down.

The official configurator is now live. About the only “inaccuracies” we could find? The listing for a Regular Cab truck has been replaced by a listing for a two-wheel drive Extended Cab pickup with no box.

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Department of the Interior: 2019 Ford Ranger

Today, readers, we learn the value of keeping browser tabs open. This is a more fruitful activity than, say, leaving a bag of potato chips open — which inevitably leads to soggy crisps.

While viewing the not-yet-ready-for-public-consumption Ford Ranger on Tuesday, a site promptly pulled down by the Blue Oval, we learned of the upcoming midsize truck’s (estimated) pricing and (likely) options packages. The page was largely devoid of interior shots, however. Until now.

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The Price Is Right: GM Axes Cost of Numerous SUVs

Generally when we write about sticker prices for the upcoming model year, it’s to document a price hike – sometimes minor, sometimes major. Rarely does a manufacturer cut prices, especially in a hot segment.

However, it appears that’s exactly what The General is doing across three of its brands. A few machines take a haircut and give up some standard equipment, while others will simply have a Monroney bearing a smaller number next year.

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2019 Acura RDX First Drive – Turn Up the Volume

In the fiercely competitive compact crossover segment, a game arguably invented by Lexus, a company has to have a killer app in order to stand out. The XC60 trades upon a platform of safety, thanks to the goodwill built by the Volvo brand. BMW has – rightly or wrongly – its rep for being the Ultimate Driving Machine to lure customers into an X3.

But Acura? Most would struggle to finger a standout attribute of their current offering in that segment, the RDX. This is not to say it is a bad machine – it outsells two of its closest rivals – but the company knows change has to be made, and consequently plans to turn up the volume … in more ways than one.

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Ace of Base: 2019 Honda Fit LX

Regular readers of this Ace of Base series (all three of you) know a sure-fire way into my penny-pinching heart is for a manufacturer to offer a bright palette of no-charge colors on the cheapest trim of a particular model.

Helios Yellow? Aegean Blue? Milano Red? The fabulously-named Orange Fury shown here? Honda will slather them all (well, one per car) on its base Fit, the LX. Let’s dive in.

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Inflation Alert: Acura Prices the 2019 RDX

Set to appear on dealer lots within the next few days, Acura has released pricing for the newest version of its compact crossover, the RDX.

Now in its third generation, the trucklet, contending in the savagely competitive compact luxury crossover segment against such heavies as the BMW X3 and Lexus NX, will make an opening bid south of $40,000, even for customers that want all-wheel drive.

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Gaining Insight: Honda Begins Production of Hybrid Sedan, Challenging Market Awaits

The first-generation Honda Insight was a rare false-start for the company, marketed as a hatchback that had more doors than seats (three and two, respectively). Its atomic-egg styling enveloped a 67 horsepower 1.0-liter gasoline engine paired to a 10kW electric motor. The second-gen model, a more conventional car in terms of its styling and capacity, also fell a bit flat compared to the segment-leading Prius.

Honda’s betting the third time’s the charm, kicking off the mass production start of the all-new 2019 Honda Insight today at its plant in Indiana. Will this Insight electrify buyers or fizzle out? At first glance, it would at least appear they’ve got the styling right this time. Not everyone wants to shout that they’re driving a hybrid.

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Trimming the Range: Toyota Adding Base LE Trim to C-HR

Like ‘em or not, compact crossovers are here to stay — and are in fact set to become the sole opening dish at the Blue Oval. Toyota has its own stable of mini-utes, including the alarmingly styled C-HR, a machine that currently sets an opening bid of $22,500 as its base sticker price.

Seeing potential opportunity to plumb a bit further into the market, it appears that Toyota is adding a cheaper model for 2019, one which explores the $20,000 price bracket.

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Charge It: Dodge Teases Facelifted 2019 Charger

The Dodge Charger and its Challenger cousin have been stalwart models of the Dodge lineup since the 2006 model year, back when the place was still called DaimlerChrysler.

By the way, it’s been 20 years since that “merger of equals” (which it totally wasn’t) and Automotive News has a fantastic longform piece on the milestone with behind-the-scenes stories from people who lived to tell the tale. The description of a senior-level German lighting up a cigar while steamrolling the “no smoking” exhortations of the Chrysler contingent tells you all you need to know about who was really in charge at the time.

I digress. Now, about that 2019 Charger. It appears a four-door Hellcat will continue after all.

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California Knows How to Party: 2019 Ford Mustang California Special

The Ford Mustang, recently made pointier and stripped of its middle-child V6 engine, earns a California Special package for 2019.

On the rare chance that anyone reading this is unfamiliar with the California Special’s history, it emphatically does not include surfing lessons and a being stuck on the 405. Among other items, though, it absolutely features the de rigeur GT/CS stripe because in California, there’s no point in doing something if you don’t shout about it, right?

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Ace of Base: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 W/T

This week in Detroit was, in a pleasant reversal of years past, all about pickups. Sure, there have been plenty of truck displays at past shows, but I’m struggling to recall the last time two of the Detroit Three unveiled a significant revamp while the other trumpeted a noteworthy new engine.

The one that made me sit bolt upright in my chair was not a top rung Limited from Ford, Laramie from Ram, or High Country from Chevy, although those are tasty trims indeed. No, the version which captured my attention is the one shown above: the poverty-spec Work Truck.

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta: The Wind Cries MQB

Volkswagen today took the wraps off its latest salvo in the compact sedan market, the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Based on the MQB platform that also has produced the Golf, Tiguan, and Atlas, the newest Jetta promises more interior room via a longer wheelbase and increases in overall length, width, and height — with a starting price $100 less than the outgoing model.

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Power Ranger: Ford (Re)Introduces Its Midsize Pickup

After watching helplessly as competition from Toyota, General Motors, and Nissan ate its lunch in the midsize truck game, Ford has finally rolled out a new Ford Ranger. Last seen darkening dealer lots as a 2011 model, the old Ranger was put to rest after soldiering on for years with underpinnings dating back to the Jurassic era, or at least the Clinton administration.

No such concerns are on tap for the 2019 Ford Ranger, which deploys all the latest technology ranging, from a Terrain Management System to an off-road cruise control type system called Trail Control. Customer demand for trucks has never been higher, so the time is right for Ford to join the midsized pickup fray. The Ranger’s back, and we hear Sajeev is planning a party.

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  • Islander800 That is the best 20-year-on update of the Honda Element that I've ever seen. Strip out the extraneous modern electronic crap that adds tens of thousands to the price and the completely unnecessary 400 pd/ft torque and horse power, and you have a 2022 Honda Element - right down to the neoprene interior "elements" of the Element - minus the very useful rear-hinged rear doors. The proportions and dimensions are identical.Call me biased, but I still drive my west coast 2004 Element, at 65K miles. Properly maintained, it will last another 20 years....Great job, Range Rover!
  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Cory. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.