Tag: New Cars

By on April 2, 2020

2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Time was, you couldn’t pay me to drive a Toyota Avalon.

Okay, that’s not true – part of this job I’m paid to do requires me to drive cars and review them. Including many vehicles that would never be on my wish list.

Allow me to rephrase, then: There was a time I wouldn’t have driven an Avalon unless I was being paid.

Times change.

(Read More…)

By on April 1, 2020

Try as we might, there’s just no way to know everything about the contemporary offerings of all car manufacturers, even if consideration is limited in scope to North America. Invariably, our mental encyclopedia is missing a few pages. That means sometimes, we should consider the unknowns of our automotive knowledge.

Allow me to explain.

(Read More…)

By on March 31, 2020

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition

“Schläfer” is the German word for sleeper, or so Google tells me (I spent my foreign language education on Spanish, and I can perhaps order in a restaurant using that language. Maybe). Perhaps it should just be changed to 2019 Volkswagen GLI.

Yeah, there are still sleeper cars on the market – and this delightful spin on an already reliable German econobox is one of them.

I’ve found the normal Jetta to be solid, affordable transport. But for those who want to spice up their schnitzel, so to speak, the GLI does the trick nicely. And unlike just about all of the other sporty compacts, include corporate stablemate Golf GTI, it does so without advertising what it is. Your mother-in-law won’t know this is a performance car, unless you dig deep into the throttle. Or downshift in anger to pass a slowpoke.

(Read More…)

By on March 30, 2020

genesis motors

Gazing at the next-generation Genesis G80, it’s not hard to believe that the fledgling brand’s design boss once penned the lines of Bentley models.

All-new for 2021, Genesis’ midsize sedan aims to lure premium shoppers out of their German machines and into a Korean conveyance. The brand obviously doesn’t see this as a step down. Far from it. (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

2020 Audi A6

Once upon a time, if you were shopping for a luxury vehicle that drove like a sports car, you’d get a BMW or, in some cases, a Jaguar. If you wanted one strictly for its comfort and opulence, you’d get a Mercedes-Benz or a Lexus. If you wanted a sort of ‘tweener, then you’d consider an Audi, particularly since it was one of the few in its segment to offer all-wheel drive. But these days, the German (and Japanese, and British) luxury giants have become so competitive with each other, they’re no longer separated by the unique characteristics that once defined them.

When it comes to the midsize-luxury-sedan trifecta, this trend couldn’t have been any more apparent. The BMW 5 Series seemingly gave up some of its enthusiast-minded “ultimate driving machine” superiority to focus on technology innovation while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class lost its allure for over-engineered excellence during its mix-up with the DaimlerChrysler merger of equals. Meanwhile, Audi took the lead with the A6, dethroning its direct competitors from their winning pedestals in numerous class comparisons over the years just by ticking all of the boxes incredibly well.

Does the story remain the same with the new fifth-generation model, which recently launched in our market?

(Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

bmw

Steady change. Minus a few models incapable of adapting to the times, the auto industry’s relentless march forward delivers new efficiencies every year. No newly revamped model can sip more fuel than the one that came before it, and that was certainly true of the enlarged 3 Series that bowed (in 330i form) for the 2019 model year. With 2.0-liter under hood, BMW’s go-to sports sedan boasted added economy in its latest iteration.

You might recall that there was already a 3 Series plug-in hybrid (330e). Well, the marque has seen fit to return it to the lineup for 2021 with an updated body, dropping it on dealers come May. The differences between old and new may not be drastic, but they’re likely big enough to be appreciated. (Read More…)

By on March 25, 2020

2019 Maserati Levante GTSOne of my longstanding beefs with certain luxury brands that share corporate families with mainstream nameplates is that many of them don’t do enough to differentiate their high-priced metal from what’s on offer further down the ladder.

Count Maserati among that number — at least when it comes to the Levante GTS. While it boasts Italian designer looks on the outside, its connection to “lesser” Fiat Chrysler models is apparent on the inside.

(Read More…)

By on March 20, 2020

gm

Lost in the madness of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this week was the debut of a refreshed version of General Motors’ largest crossover, the Chevrolet Traverse.

The full-size, three-row people hauler enters the 2021 model year with updated front and rear styling, along with notable changes in content. Let’s take a closer look at this generously sized non-minivan. (Read More…)

By on March 17, 2020

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

I’m not, generally speaking, a crossover fan. That said, I’m not a full-on hater, either — I understand that sometimes people need the utility offered by crossovers. And some of the compact five-seat crossovers, the small ones that aren’t rolling barges, seem to be decent tools for automotive multitasking, at least to my eye.

Take Toyota’s RAV4. Always a hit with the public, if not with enthusiasts, and the newest version is quite good.

And just like the Accord/Camry battles that have been fought since before I could legally drive, the CR-V and RAV4 are fighters in opposite corners, duking it out for buyer’s bucks. Including those buyers who want to go green.

There are many reasons one buys a hybrid — the fuel-economy gains, the green cred, or the “green” posturing/posing — but no matter what the why is, there are buyers out there who want that badge.

(Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

The most anticipated new vehicle launch of 2020 will not go ahead as planned. Not unexpectedly, the debut of the (very) long awaited Ford Bronco, expected in the middle of next week, is now on the back burner.

Ford made the announcement Friday morning amid a rapidly growing crackdown on public gatherings and other measures aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

General Motors is offering plenty of opportunity to drop mountains of cash on a next-generation GMC Yukon, but if frills are something you don’t need, easing into a 2021 Yukon can be a fairly painless process.

The longer and more spacious full-sizer carries a base price just $100 higher than 2020’s entry-level trim, though moving up the ladder will obviously see GM take home extra. There’s now an extra rung on that ladder, too. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

The virus that’s on everyone’s lips is having an incredible economic impact throughout the world. Auto shows have thus far been disrupted by the virus outbreak, too, and I’ve begun wondering: At the end of the day, do they actually matter?

(Read More…)

By on March 6, 2020

vw

Refreshed for the 2021 model year, the successful Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t change what consumers already like — and part of that strategy means keep its entry price static. Donning a revamped front and rear fascia that mimics its slightly shorter two-row sibling, the Atlas Cross Sport, the midsize crossover again starts at $32,656 after destination.

That price gets you into a front-drive S powered by a carryover 2.0-liter turbo four. Should your wishes include all-wheel drive, expect to find a lot more choice. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2020

2020 Kia Telluride

My review of the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride last year was mostly positive.

There’s a reason for this – I thought it was pretty damn good. Especially given its price point, and that it was Kia coming up with a very good three-row crossover, seemingly out of nowhere.

Yep, Kia, a brand that hadn’t been a player in this segment since its last attempt, a body-on-frame SUV called Borrego, ran into the economic headwinds of the Great Recession. Kia had help from corporate partner Hyundai – that brand’s Palisade is the more urbane sibling to Telluride – but still, Kia’s reentry to the segment seemed remarkable.

After living with the Telluride for a week as opposed to a day, that remains true.

(Read More…)

By on March 5, 2020

genesis motors

Lexus has the spindle grille, BMW has kidneys, and Genesis now has twin horizontal streaks as its signature styling cue. Front and back and even on the sides, illuminated parallel lines are the next-generation G80 sedan’s defining design flourish.

Revealed late Wednesday on Instagram (a coronavirus-free but still virulent venue), the upcoming midsize sedan looks to its larger siblings for inspiration. (Read More…)

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