By on September 17, 2021

Mazda had elected to make all future CX SUVs default to all-wheel drive, rather than front-wheel drive, as it continues to shift its products upmarket. However, the announcement was curiously hidden within the marketing materials for the refreshed CX-5, rather than being allowed to stand on its own.

From the 2022 model year onward, all Mazda products carrying the CX designation will come equipped from the factory with i-Activ all-wheel drive. For now, this pertains exclusively to the U.S. market and will undoubtedly result in vehicles carrying a higher price tag. AWD typically requires shoppers to tack another $1,500 (give or take) onto the MSRP and we doubt Mazda will be giving away the extra parts for free.  (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2021

While a slew of vehicles has swum in its wake, nothing has been able to replace the Subaru WRX as the world’s favorite road-going rally car. Despite owing its own existence to the original Audi Quattro, the souped-up Impreza become synonymous with vehicular hooliganism and (for some reason) vaping.

Delivered onto the United States as part of the 2002 model year, the WRX has been maturing as slowly as its hardcore fan base of two decades. This remains apparent as the company has opted to give the car a new platform, new engine, and an updated appearance while adhering closely to the fundamentals. That means customers should be getting more of what they wanted out of the car — at least in the relative sense.  (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2021

2022 Infiniti QX60

Fresh off the line for this model year, the new QX60 turns Infiniti’s offering in the brutally competitive luxury crossover segment from a long-in-the-tooth ride to a modern new whip with screens and tech galore. Snicker if you will at my choice of mentioning those two features off the top, but customers spending in excess of 50 large on a rig like this tend to be entranced by those items.

There is a quartet of trims on tap for the 2022 QX60, all of which are propelled by the same engine and transmission combo. Our man Tim had the chance to sample a top-shelf trim in the tony environs of Napa Valley, but is that the one to get? Let’s break down the options and find out.

(Read More…)

By on August 10, 2021

If you’ve set sights on driving home a new Volkswagen Taos today, best cool your jets. According to a report by Automotive News, the model is under a stop-sale order by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Well, all-wheel-drive models are, anyway.

(Read More…)

By on February 3, 2021

After we covered American and Japanese trios of $25,000 subcompact crossovers, round three means it’s time for the Korean offerings. But there are only two Korean brands in North America, so today we cover both of their entries and another from Japan.

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2021

In our last edition of Buy/Drive/Burn, we took a look at three subcompact American CUVs competing at the $25,000 price point. Most of you seemed to agree they were all terrible, but the Trax edged out the Buy in the comments.

Let’s see how you feel about the Japanese competition.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2021

They’re small and space efficient because they’re hatchbacks, and they sell well because they’re called crossovers. Which small American CUV is worth buying with real money if you’ve got a $25,000 budget?

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2021

The Rare Rides series featured a Passat wagon once before, in the long ago time of 2018. It was a 1992 G60 with all-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and supercharged engine. Staying true to quirky form, today’s newer and more luxury-oriented Passat pairs its all-wheel drive grip with an eight-cylinder engine.

(Read More…)

By on December 28, 2020

1990 Mitsubishi Galant GSX in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAs we’ve seen in this series, Coloradans bought plenty of all-wheel-drive-equipped AMC Eagles, VW Quantum Syncros, Audi Quattros, and Toyota All-Tracs during the 1980s. The suits at Mitsubishi Motors saw all those AWD-enhanced car sales in snowy American regions and decided to sell some rally-influenced Galants on our shores. A few decades later, this rare-but-not-valuable Galant GS-X appeared in a Colorado Springs self-service car graveyard. (Read More…)

By on August 20, 2020

Toyota

As expected, the traditionally front-drive Lexus ES will enliven its rear axle for the 2021 model year.

Like its sister sedan, the Toyota Avalon, the ES range will see the addition of an all-wheel drive model motivated by the automaker’s stalwart 2.5-liter four-cylinder. A powerhouse it is not, but come winter, the ES 250 AWD could be a respectable motorist’s best friend. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2020

Despite deep-sixing its Yaris hatch and sedan for the coming model year, Toyota hasn’t lost interest in all of its passenger car models (not that the Yaris was really as Toyota, but that’s beside the point). There’s been a fair bit of action on that front in recent years, and the automaker shows no signs of stopping.

New trims join the brand’s car entourage for 2021, though those looking to get into the barest-bones Camry will walk away from this article disappointed. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2020

Once upon a time, it was expected to find the driven wheels of a car aft of the rear seat. In this writer’s recollection, the coming of winter would see the addition of a few bags of concrete mix or sidewalk salt added to the trunk for extra traction. Most pickups, usually of the wholesome regular cab variety, boasted the same setup.

Eventually, front-wheel drive replaced RWD as the go-to way to put power down, while in the background four-wheel drive gathered steam.

Would it surprise you to learn that the majority of 2020 model-year vehicles sold in the U.S. thus far eschewed front- or rear-drive? (Read More…)

By on April 22, 2020

Today’s Rare Ride is an example of a vehicle that was fairly common in the early Nineties. However, the passage of time is never kind to low-value and oft-forgotten economy cars, so survivors like this little blue Tempo are quite a find.

(Read More…)

By on February 27, 2020

An all-wheel-drive vehicle will reappear early this spring after a decades-long absence, tempting those who demand a sure-footed sedan with untold amounts of badge and nameplate loyalty.

While the Toyota Camry AWD might arrive too late to tackle our current winter, the future is a blank slate, ready to be filled with instances of snow-flinging fun. Perhaps a dirt road race against a Subaru Legacy driver is in the cards.

As the Camry AWD heads to dealerships, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy for the intriguing model. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2020

nissan

Within a couple of years, Nissan hopes to put the company’s current dark clouds behind it and get on with the business of selling cars and making money. One vehicle expected to help the automaker in this supposedly EV-hungry decade is a production version of last year’s Ariya — a concept crossover powered solely by electricity.

Looking pretty fleshed-out for a concept, the Ariya, or whatever Nissan chooses to call it, will join the long-running Leaf in the company’s emissions-free stable. At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, the automaker chose to show off the system that gets the Ariya moving. It’s an unholy marriage of letters and numbers. (Read More…)

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