By on January 16, 2020

Occasionally, the Ace of Base award will be trotted out not because a particular vehicle is the most desirable in its range, but because of the remarkable amount of kit or capability it offers for its entry level price. The truck you see before you definitely falls into the latter category.

Consider this: a base model F-250 serves up a 385 horsepower V8, 78.5 cubic feet of space in its 8-foot cargo box, and the ability to tow up to 13,300 pounds — all for less than the price of a loaded Camry.

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By on January 8, 2020

Despite the best efforts of Hackett & Co. to turn the Blue Oval into a car-free enterprise, the Ford Fusion continues to sell apace. In fact, the sedan outsold some of the company’s biggest SUV nameplates in 2019, including the Edge. Seriously. The only models to outsell the Fusion last year were the F-Series, Escape, and — by a hair — the Explorer. This helps explain why it hasn’t yet gone the way of Focus and Fiesta.

While it’s still around, there is ample reason to look and see what buyers are taking home in a base-model Fusion.

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By on December 18, 2019

There was a time when no one out-weirded Subaru. Gonzo digital gauges, windows within windows, and a general Birkenstock image cemented them as the choice of the grains-n-granola crowd. These days, the cars still march to a different beat but appeal to a much wider audience. The company’s winning sales streak stands as proof.

For 2020, the Pleiades brand has tweaked its Impreza sedan ever so slightly … but that’s not why it stands as today’s pick. It is, so far as our research shows, the cheapest way to buy a brand-new all-wheel drive car in America.

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By on December 11, 2019

You jokers should know by now that this author is an unapologetic truck guy. When something new in the segment is introduced, it is studied by these jaundiced eyes until all the details are absorbed. My browser history is a mash of truck configurators and off-road websites. Plus a few recipes for southern barbecue.

That sound you heard yesterday was your author crashing over furniture to get a good look at the new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban. Growing up in a 1978 Blazer, these rigs and their ilk have an unreasonable hold on my heartstrings. While pricing wasn’t announced, it definitely put this Truck Guy in a Chevy state of mind.

For the 2020 model year, let’s see what the soon-to-vanish Impala has to offer the Ace of Base shopper.

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By on December 4, 2019

News arrived in our inboxes this morning of yet another death in the automotive family. The Buick Regal TourX, aged just three model years, was pronounced dead today, victim of insatiable consumer thirst for crossovers and SUVs. It leaves to mourn many dozens of wagon-lovers across the nation.

In a classic case of calling the locksmith after the equines have departed, let’s look at what a base model Regal TourX would have provided wagon customers.

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By on November 27, 2019

Unless you’ve been living under an especially virulent rock, it’ll not have escaped your notice that most manufacturers are building crossovers and mini-utes (apologies to our readers in Oz for the loose usage of “ute”) to either replace or supplement the cars at the entry-level end of their lineup. After all, customers have to start somewhere, and if an affordable rig exists for young or first time buyers, the company stands a better chance of selling that customer their second car. And third. And so forth.

Priced at $17,250, the entry level Hyundai Venue SE definitely fits the bill. Known for packing its cars to the gunwales with standard features not generally found at instant ramen price levels, has Hyundai taken the same approach with this Venue?

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By on November 20, 2019

How much content can we milk out of the new Mustang Mach-E? Plenty, as it turns out.

When this EV hits the streets next year, it’ll be offered in several different trims. By definition, there must be a base model, right? Absolutely. And, in this case, it is called the Select (cue raging Lincoln loyalists). This post isn’t to acquit the Mach-E or Ford’s decision to call the thing a Mustang. Rather, it’s to see if the cheapest version has enough equipment to warrant a look when it shows up in a few months.

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By on November 6, 2019

The modern sedan is, sadly, a slowly dying breed. With most of Detroit exiting the segment faster than that black cat ran off the field at MetLife Stadium, the selection of large four-doors is smaller than ever (if you haven’t heard Kevin Harlan’s call while said cat was on the field, you *must* take the time to listen).

However, the manufacturers that remain committed to sedans are plowing plenty of development dollars into their creation. When the build & price for the wild new Hyundai Sonata becomes available, you know it’ll be featured in this series, for example.

Nissan has decided to re-up its spacious Altima for 2020, offering American customers a variety of powertrain and trim options. In fact, no fewer than a dozen choices stare shoppers in the face when they visit the Altima corner of Nissan’s website. Let’s see what the base S has to offer.

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By on October 24, 2019

Earlier this week, Mazda hauled the covers off its MX-30, an EV with more than a hint of RX-8 and MX-5. The company’s decision to imbue the trucklet with clamshell doors and a jacked-up posture cements two things in your author’s foggy mind: first, EVs are here for good; second, most of them will be shaped like pseudo-offroaders.

Which got me thinking about the Hyundai Kona. Available in many trims (including a base model we’ve profiled here before), it is also offered in EV form, bearing less grille than the original Infiniti Q. With three trim levels in the order books for this Korean electron eater, is the cheapest one a customer’s best bet?

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By on October 17, 2019

It has come to our attention that there has been a dearth of Mitsubishi products in this Ace of Base series. Seeing what’s on offer at the instant noodle end of a particular price spectrum can be entertaining, so there’s little reason for us to have ignored one of the least-expensive new cars on sale in America today.

Poking fun at an entry-level car is low hanging fruit, one that’s been picked clean by many corners of the internet. Ignoring that dross, what exactly does Mitsubishi offer in an entry-level Mirage? The answer: more than I expected.

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By on October 9, 2019

It’s not difficult to spend forty large on a new car in America these days. Heck, the average transaction price across this country is knocking on that amount, suggesting that nearly half of buyers are signing a note for that amount or more.

Thing is, it needn’t be spent on a milquetoast minivan or cringeworthy crossover. There are more creative options out there in which to haul the family and life’s detritus to the hockey rink and soccer pitch.

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By on September 18, 2019

Let it be known that, in calendar year 2019, one is able to buy a large purple rear-drive SUV with near-as-makes-no-difference 300 horsepower for about the same starting price as a Camry Hybrid. It shares showroom space and DNA with psychotic coupes bearing 800 horsepower and, in a fit of brilliant marketing, is the recipient of Power Dollars.

Anyone who says the golden age of automobiles is any time other than right friggin’ now needs to have their head examined.

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By on September 11, 2019

This is the most predictable Ace of Base appearance since the C8 Corvette earlier this summer. With a stout off-road presence and a dose of retro style, the Land Rover Defender was shown in production form yesterday in Frankfurt.

A trio of trims will be available in America when it goes on sale, to be joined later by similarly equipped Defenders in two-door 90 next year and a long-wheelbase 130 sometime down the road. This base model, simply called the 110, starts under fifty grand.

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By on September 4, 2019

It will surprise exactly no one to find a Hyundai on deck for this week’s Ace of Base; after all, value for money is this brand’s modus operandi. The new Palisade isn’t the brand’s first crack at the three-row crossover segment but, also unsurprisingly, it is certainly its best effort.

Fresh for 2020, this machine has space for all hands and an enormous grille that’s sure to menace its way through the pick-up lane at school. Is it packed with features at a reasonable price? You bet it is.

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By on August 28, 2019

Subaru has been on something of a tear lately, cashing in on the crossover craze and ringing up ledgers full of sales. In fact, as of July this year, the company can boast of 92 consecutive months of year-over-year growth. That month was also the second best in Subaru history, just 435 units off its best month ever, recorded in December of last year.

For 2020, the Exploding Galaxy has paid attention to its Legacy sedan, imbuing it with fresh styling and all manner of safety features. Despite these advances, this big car still bears a base price of just $22,745. And, yes, all-wheel drive is standard.

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