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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By on August 21, 2019

You knew this Ace of Base would happen eventually. Ever since the dawn of time (or the moment Don Sherman started working at Car and Driver, whichever came first), speculation had been rife of an impending mid-engined Corvette. The shoe finally dropped last month, with the debut of Chevy’s eighth-gen Vette.

One huge detail? Its starting price of $59,995. For less than sixty grand, one will soon be able to plug themselves into the driver’s seat of America’s hot rod. What’s included (and not included?) in the base 1LT?

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By on August 14, 2019

It’s August 2019 and your author is pouring one out for little Blue Oval hatchbacks with mouths to match their trousers. Soon to depart from our shores (North American-market production has already ceased), the Focus and Fiesta represented bite-sized bits of fun that weren’t overly expensive and looked a bit derivative. Alas. At least we still have Honda, and it must be noted that Hyundai is stepping up its game in this segment.

For now, one can configure a 2019 Fiesta ST even if it is getting difficult to find them on dealer lots. Today’s post assumes the ST trim is a base car, insofar as we will be adding $0 in options to the sticker price.

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By on August 7, 2019

Our weekly sojourn into the nation’s vehicular bargain bin sometime takes a turn towards the extreme (you know we’ll be featuring the 2020 Corvette soon enough) but, every now and then, your author comes to his senses and remembers what this post is supposed to be all about.

It’s supposed to be about cheap cars like the one you see before you, of course. For the new model year, Nissan has re-upped on its smallest sedan at a time when other manufacturers are running away from such machinery en masse. A base model still exists of course, so let’s find out what this brand is offering those who choose to sit in the cheap seats.

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By on July 31, 2019

Take a guess as to how many variants of the 911 there are currently on sale today. We’ll give you a minute.

Nope, more than that. Yep — more than that, too. Including versions of the brand new model, no fewer than thirty models of 911 present themselves to customers who fire up the pricing tool. Earlier this week, Porsche rolled out the least-expensive trim of the new 911 so far. Simply called the Carrera, it starts at just a few stacks under a hundred grand.  (Read More…)

By on July 17, 2019

Large sedans have been and always will be a favourite around these parts. For those who are new to the audience, simply search for the ‘Panther Love’ tag to see what I’m on about. I’m still recovering from my Lincoln Stockholm Syndrome, by the way.

This full-sized Chevy has so far been resistant to the Ace of Base award, given that it was offered with a miserable 2.5L EcoTec as its base engine. Now, with the model seemingly about to be broomed, the four banger is gone for the 2020 model year, leaving the venerable 3.6L V6 as the entry-level mill.

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By on July 10, 2019

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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By on July 3, 2019

Digging up names from the past is a popular hobby at most car makers, to the point that a few of them would be well served to hire their own archaeologists to smooth out the process. Some are wantonly ditched prematurely in the pursuit of alphanumerics (*ahem* Legend, Vigor *ahem*) while others are relegated to the dustbin of history after being appended to a particularly horrid car.

Others simply slip away into the night like a silent bandit after the shuttering of its brand. Voyager is one of these, with FCA deciding to trot it out again and apply it to entry-level versions of the Pacifica (which, by itself, is a recycled name).

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By on June 19, 2019

When exactly did it come to pass that hatchback versions of small cars were generally priced higher than their sedan counterparts? It’s not true in every example but, more often than not, one will shell out a few more simoleons for a five-door. I’ll posit that the original Ford Focus started this trend.

At least customers get a more practical car and, in many cases, a more stylish one.

Such is the case with Kia’s littlest family member. Its five-door variant is priced just ever so slightly above its two-box brother. The Korean automaker has a trophy case packed with Ace of Base awards, largely thanks to its strong value for money proposition. Let’s check this one out.

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By on June 12, 2019

Today’s post is not meant to convince you that any particular crossover ranks super high on my personal Top Forty. Indeed, I would prefer if the Lincoln Motor Company was still cranking out Town Cars and Versailles (ok, maybe not the Versailles) than a myriad of tall wagons. However, market conditions rule the roost and here we are.

Longtime readers (thanks, both of you) know my unreasonable Stockholm Syndrome relationship with the Lincoln brand. This helps explain today’s choice, but you know what also helps its selection? That’s right — this platform’s return to rear-drive architecture.

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By on June 7, 2019
  1. After our most recent Rare Rides post, your author perused The Big List of BDB Ideas and discovered a suggestion commenter Sgeffe made many moons ago. He suggested the most basic coupe A-bodies on offer in 1979. Feeling cheap? Let’s get weird.

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By on June 5, 2019

It’ll not have escaped your notice that neither the Dodge Charger nor the Challenger has made an appearance in this series. Why? Because we try (emphasis on try) to include models which we think have base trims that might very well be the best of the line. With 797-horsepower options on the table, it’s hard to make that argument for the Dodge.

But what about its Chrysler cousin? A well-timed and much appreciated email from a reader suggested the 300 Touring might make a good candidate, especially since deep discounts can be had just for asking. We don’t usually consider incentive spending in Ace of Base, but when that figure routinely touches 25 percent — or more — of sticker price, it’s difficult to ignore.

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