By on March 6, 2019

Today is the last day of Chevrolet Cruze production in America. Much to the chagrin of hard-working Lordstown Assembly employees and one Associate Editor, a compact Chevy sedan will no longer roll off production lines in Ohio. The Cruze continues to be built south of the border for other markets.

We’re sending it off the only way we know how. It’s time to pour one out for the last-ever base model Cruze.

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By on February 28, 2019

Yes, yes. It’s a Corolla. I’ve cursed them in traffic, you’ve done the same, and more than a few of them are purchased by a segment of the driving public who view the car as an appliance.

The little sedan from Toyota didn’t become a success for no reason; they’re scattered around this country like litter after a ticker-tape parade, after all. Can the new-for-2020 base model pull the pursestrings of this flinty-eyed author? Or is the frugal shopper better off spending $450 and upgrading to the LE trim?

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By on February 20, 2019

This one is sure to set tongues wagging and keyboards clacking. The return of the mighty Supra nameplate is — depending to whom you speak — either an abomination the likes of which the motoring world has never seen, or a wonderful harbinger of all things fun and sporty.

For the record, your author is in the latter camp. Don’t @ me.

Three trims of the are new Supra available at launch: Base 3.0, Premium 3.0, and a Launch Edition. Is the entry-level model worth a mention? Or should one proceed directly to one of the more expensive options?

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By on February 13, 2019

Ram 1500

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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By on February 6, 2019

New truck season is, without a doubt, the most wonderful time of the year. However, it must be recognized that not every gearhead feels the need to be on the bleeding edge of product development, choosing instead to hoover up deals on last year’s rigs. With the Detroit Three busy bludgeoning each other in the pickup truck game, there are bargains for the taking on their outgoing models.

Case in point? This burly Ram 2500 Tradesman, priced just $300 more than a Ranger XLT 4×4.

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By on January 30, 2019

2019 Dodge Durango SXT

America. It’s generally thought of as the country where everything is bigger and customers get a lot more for a lot less. Take the price of fuel, for example, or the portions at any all-you-can-eat buffet.

Viewed in that light, this base model Durango should have an American flag on the hood and pictures of bald eagles stitched into the seats. This is a lot of truck for less than $30,000.

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By on January 23, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger

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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By on January 16, 2019

Gearheads are never satisfied, are we? After years of carping that no affordable and fun sports cars exist, Toyota deigns to grant our wishes with the FR-S 86 coupe. Lightweight and affordable with just enough power, the lively little scamp seemed to be the magic elixir that cures a case of the common car.

And what did we do? Criticize it, naturally. And then most of us refused to buy it. I sincerely hope the new Supra doesn’t suffer the same fate because – as a statement of intent – these cars are a couple of belters.

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By on January 9, 2019

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Our man Steph Willems chronicled the state of the station wagon in America a couple of days ago, reporting that longroofs (longrooves?) amounted to less than 2 percent of the new vehicle market in 2018 despite a 29 percent sales increase compared to five years earlier.

VW Group is doing its part, offering both the pricey A4 Allroad and the bargain Golf SportWagen shown here. The latter is a case of getting more for less, as the wagon is priced $160 less than its hatchback fraternal brother, despite having more horsepower and more cabin room.

And, oh yeah, it’s still available with a manual transmission.

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By on January 2, 2019

Despite what some other websites will tell you, it is indeed possible to waltz into a BMW dealership and drive away with a new 3-Series wagon for the 2019 model year … so long as you don’t mind it being the outgoing bodystyle.

Hey, last year’s fashions are sometimes the best deal, right?

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By on December 27, 2018

 

After consuming far too much turkey over the last couple of days, your humble author is suddenly a proponent of removing a few things from one’s plate. Sure, that third hot roast turkey smothered in hot gravy sounded like a good idea while ladling it onto my plate, but proved to be a fatal error just a couple of hours later as I slipped into yet another tryptophan-induced Christmas coma.

Such is the case with the 2019 Chevy Tahoe. By selecting a certain series of options, one can spec a body-on-frame SUV that actually bears a Monroney less than its base starting price. Does this make it a super Ace of Base? Do we still have turkey in the fridge?

The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “yes” … especially for the turkey.

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By on December 19, 2018

You knew this one was coming.

The unveiling of Jeep’s first truck in nigh thirty years was a widely anticipated event at the L.A. Auto Show, with our man on the ground reporting at the time that neither man nor beast could get handy to the media area. Gaining admission during the reveal was only slightly less difficult than beating Reid Bigland at arm wrestling.

While we’re still sans pricing, we do know the level of kit bestowed on each trim of Gladiator, including – wait for it! – the base model.

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By on December 12, 2018

Over the years, the Hyundai Sonata has gone through more changes than the White House duty roster. Technically, there have been seven generations of the sedan, six of which have been sold on our shores. Even during those generations, frequent and extensive styling tweaks have been the norm. Hyundai takes the mid-cycle refresh very seriously. Click through to see what I mean.

For 2019, a year in which most shoppers rush past sedans to look at tall crossovers, the Sonata remains on the High Value list. They’re probably getting ready to introduce fresh styling as we speak.

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By on December 5, 2018

The old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to household plumbing, your kid’s Lego creations, and the squeaking ventilation fan in my Dodge Charger. It also applies to the Nissan Frontier pickup, apparently.

Seriously. Even though this thing is almost old enough to vote, Nissan is selling them by the boatload.

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By on November 28, 2018

One of the advantages when getting rid of (or leaving) something is the propensity to use up supplies on your way out the door. Moving out tomorrow? Better drink all that beer in the fridge. Trading the car in this afternoon? Let’s drive around to burn off the remaining fuel we put in the tank last week.

It would seem the Blue Oval subscribes to this theory as well. With all of its cars headed to the glue factory, some base models have actually gained features while keeping their sticker price steady.

Case in point? The Fiesta S, now with air conditioning.

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