By on May 21, 2020

 

This still-an-actual-midsizer from Nissan has been profiled more than once during the Ace of Base series, managing to pull off wins thanks to a fix-it-with-a-hammer powertrain and rock-bottom price tag.

Things are different for 2020. Despite wearing last year’s clothes (to be truthful, those clothes are over a decade old), the Frontier has a new power team under its hood. Accompanying this is, of course, a higher price tag. Can this combination of old school looks and new school guts still peg the Ace of Base meter?

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By on April 8, 2020

There’s comfort in a big sedan, both literally and figuratively. The familiarity of a stretch-em-out interior and ability to chew up the miles like candy is like a rejuvenate tonic for those of us who enjoy large cars. Sure, hot hatches are a great bit of fun, but full-size whips are like shaking hands with an old friend.

The Toyota Avalon has been around for longer than you may think, showing up at the Chicago Auto Show in 1994 before going on sale later that same year as a 1995 model. Twenty-five years later, the model remains atop the Big T’s range of cars — and now includes a gonzo TRD version, for some reason. What does the entry-level trim bring? Let’s find out.

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By on April 1, 2020

A few days ago, on the Official TTAC Slack Channel(TM), our bearded car reviewer was carping about the MSRP of a Nissan Versa he happened to be testing that week. “Too expensive!” he grumbled into his facial shrubbery, before extolling the virtues of several terrible French cars.

This got your author thinking: on sale now for the better part of a year, and recently refurbished from “Beirut taxi” to something resembling an actual car you’d want to drive, how does the base S model stack up against its bucks-deluxe brother which found itself on one of our doorsteps in Ohio?

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By on March 25, 2020

Long-time readers (thanks, all three of you) may recall a certain, erm, affinity at this site for vehicles from the old Lincoln-Mercury stable. Sajeev shed many bitter tears over various Cougars and Marks found in our nation’s junkyards, while your author freely admits he suffers an odd form of Stockholm Syndrome. And the world turns.

It’s difficult to pin down just how much time the Continental has left on this mortal earth, with the Blue Oval suits pulling the plug on everything with a trunk in Ford’s showroom. Production changes at Flat Rock surely spell its death by 2021 to make room for EVs, but, for now, it remains.

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By on March 19, 2020

Let’s be clear: sometimes an Ace of Base post is written purely to help shoppers of a particular make and model determine if the entry level option is worth considering. We are quite certain there are plenty of readers who will deride today’s entry simply because they don’t like the vehicle or its name. That’s fine; not everyone is a big fan of the compact crossover segment.

But they do sell, otherwise manufacturers wouldn’t be building the things. We can argue until we’re blue in the face about how OEMs sometimes wag the dog in terms of market demand but, for now, let’s see if the new-for-’21 Chevrolet Trailblazer is worth considering at its cheapest price point.

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By on March 12, 2020

It will not have escaped your notice that The General has deep-sixed the Holden brand in Australia. To the gearhead Aussies within your author’s circle of friends, this amounts to a treasonous action, especially since Holden is as much part of the Oz fabric as kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee. I’m sure it all makes business sense; matters of the heart are rarely cheap on the wallet.

The binning of a brand usually means one thing: deals. This is situation is no different, so let’s see what equipment one finds in a base model Commodore.

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By on March 4, 2020

No, despite appearances, we haven’t taken complete leave of our senses. At least not until our road tester starts telling us in excruciating detail about how he wants to see the Genesis reunion later this year.

On the pickup truck side of Ford’s showroom, the cheapest way into a rig powered by the burly 7.3-liter V8 is via an Ace of Base F-250. That vehicle bears a price of $33,705 plus $2,045 for the hairy-chested eight-pot. The E-Series starts at just $33,265 … and carries the 7.3L as standard equipment.

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By on February 26, 2020

Those of us in a certain age bracket, which is to say rapidly approaching our fortieth year or more, recall the Honda Civic as a primarily hatchback form of transportation. Sure, a few weirdos went and got the sedan or coupe but, by and large, the Civic was a hatchback. At least in our town.

Then, it suddenly disappeared from dealer lots in North America. The seventh-gen car was available in coupe or sedan form on this side of the pond, save for the slightly oddball Si and its bent-nail gearstick. Mercifully, it reappeared in volume for the current model.

We’ve studied the Civic sedan and coupe in this series but not the hatchback. Let’s right that wrong today.

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By on February 19, 2020

It’s been a minute since the fish-mouthed Yaris sedan has been seen in the Ace of Base arena. Closely related to the not-for-us Mazda 2, the littlest Toyota does its best to quash the bad old days of entry-level econoboxes.

Just make sure to park the thing front-in at every parking space, please.

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By on February 12, 2020

At first blush, the confusingly-named 2020 Mazda CX-30 might seem to be simply a CX-3 appended with an errant naught. They do, after all, appear similar now that Mazda has adopted Audi’s different-lengths-of-sausage styling credo. Fortunately for us, the look is a good one.

About 4 inches of length, 40 horses of power, and about 400 pounds of weight separate the CX-30 from the CX-3 (makes it easy to remember, eh? Maybe they shoulda called this the CX-4). As always, the Ace of Base meter is primarily concerned with the entry level model, simply called the “CX-30.”

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By on February 5, 2020

Last night, General Motors showed off the new iteration of its Cadillac Escalade. Before that, the 2021 GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe appeared in separate events, as if parents were throwing two birthday parties for warring twin boys. You know which brand we’re choosing for Ace of Base duty.

And before you get yer knickers in a knot, I know that’s not a base Tahoe in the hero image — it’s an RST. Absent of an actual build and price tool, we’re working with what we have on the media site. Hey, we’re tryin’ to get you the most up-to-date information about base model vehicles! Qwityerbishen.

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By on January 29, 2020

There are many things difficult to fathom in the automotive industry, with the story of Carlos Ghosn exiting Japan in a musical instrument case being but one of them. Another is Mazda’s seemingly perpetual streak of diminutive (compared to other brands) sales numbers. When someone asks your author for a recommendation, be it compact car or crossover, the zoom-zoom brand is invariably on the list. They’ve also been enjoying success in endurance racing, taking a podium at this year’s Daytona soirée. Go figure.

But I digress. The mystifyingly named CX-30, apparently picking up an errant “0” on its way to America, is fresh off the boat for 2020. Does it stack up in terms of feature content like other offerings in the showroom?

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By on January 22, 2020

Kia is no stranger to the Ace of Base series, given its propensity to stuff its cars and SUVs to the gunwales with features generally found on cars one octave higher in price. What is a stranger to the AoB pages is the 2021 model year. Welcome to the future, folks (there are still no hoverboards).

While the little Seltos hasn’t yet been added to Kia’s build-n-price tool, the media site has more than enough collateral with which to determine the base car’s level of kit. Does it continue Kia’s value-added ways? Will it be another hit for Kia? Is it colder than the surface of Hoth outside your author’s home? The TTAC Magic 8 Ball says “signs point to yes” for all of these questions.

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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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