Tag: New Cars

By on October 16, 2019

bmw

Hoping to attract new clientele, BMW has crafted a sedan aimed at capturing the attention of lower-end American buyers. The 2020 2 Series Gran Coupe is not a four-door version of the well-regarded 2 Series coupe, but you probably knew that by now.

Sporting precious little real estate between the front door and front wheel arch, a raised, pedestrian-cushioning hood, rear flanks and roofline mimicking the Chevrolet Malibu, a front-biased drivetrain, and a platform borrowed from a pair of small crossovers, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is not the long-hood affair you lusted after as a kid. To its credit, BMW couldn’t stomach the prospect of offering the model in FWD.

All-wheel drive comes standard on this thrifty German chariot. (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2019

2020 Dodge Charger Widebody

No one has a need for a large family sedan that produces over 700 horsepower.

But I’m glad one exists.

Dodge is now offering a wider Charger Hellcat and Scat Pack in a bid to keep reminding us enthusiasts that the Charger’s aging platform may still have plenty of life left in it. Somehow, this trick continues to work.

(Read More…)

By on October 9, 2019

For its last model year, the Cadillac ATS boasted rear-wheel drive, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and an MSRP of $35,495 plus destination. Two years later, the newest and smallest addition to the Cadillac range keeps the recipe more or less the same, only the starting price of the 2020 CT4 rings in a couple grand lower.

Less power, less price, but perhaps more buyers? (Read More…)

By on October 4, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Lincoln’s MKC was a solid effort for the brand’s first foray into the compact premium crossover market, but certain gripes stood out. For this not-broad-of-beam writer, the relatively narrow front chairs didn’t usher in that sense of coddling a buyer demands of a high-end vehicle. In base spec, the 2.0-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder felt slightly labored, and that push-button transmission, with the selector keys mounted high on the center stack, isn’t something a driver grows used to in a hurry.

It looked above-par for its class, however. Kudos to Lincoln’s designers.

For 2020, the MKC nameplate mercifully bites the dust, replaced by an all-new vehicle with an honest-to-goodness name and an extra helping of style. (Read More…)

By on October 1, 2019

Did you know that in these modern and fuel-conscious times, Lexus presently offers three different rear drive, naturally aspirated V8 luxury cars? They’re all fast, on sale in 2020, and cost about the same money. Which one’s worth a Buy?

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2019

Image: Corey Lewis/TTACA new trim level here, a revised bumper there, general fiddling. Sometimes, there’s just no way around it — a manufacturer’s vehicular offering is overdue for replacement. Today we want to discuss the models on sale in The Current Year that have lived past their reasonable shelf life.

(Read More…)

By on September 24, 2019

Say you’re an auto shopper of wealth and taste who has around $60,000 to spend. Now, let’s assume the usual options from Japan and Germany are not for you. Would you turn to America or Sweden to fill your luxury needs?

(Read More…)

By on September 20, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package

During Ford’s product presentation, held just north of the famed Golden Gate bridge on a chilly Bay Area morning in September, one of the men who worked on the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package trotted out a not unexpected comparison.

He brought up the old LX trim available on Fox-body Mustangs of yore, and compared today’s four-cylinder Mustang to that model.

It’s not the world’s worst comparison, although the LX back then was available with the same renowned 5.0-liter (yes, I know it that it’s really a 4.9) V8 that was under the hood of the GT. The LX’s claim to fame was that it was lighter, cheaper, and perhaps less expensive to insure, while still offering V8 power and a five-speed stick. That’s why your author bought a used ’89 example in the late 1990s.

As someone who owned that LX Fox body for five years, I sniggered a bit, since the Mustang parked in front of us had just half the cylinder count, but of course today’s turbocharged four-banger could smoke the V8 of yore. I understood where Ford was going with this, though – the EcoBoost Mustang High Performance Package is meant to be the value performance buy, and not just a rental-fleet darling or the car for Mustang shoppers who care more about show than go.

Of course, when I relayed this spiel to the ne’er do wells in the TTAC Slack channel, contributor Chris Tonn shot back “SVO”, typed out repeatedly, a la Nicholson’s manuscript in The Shining.

(Read More…)

By on September 19, 2019

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

The 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid faces the same problem as its gas-engined sibling: Styling.

That’s the bad news for Ford. The good news is that this particular hybrid doesn’t sacrifice too much of the gas Escape’s fun-to-drive factor in the search for better fuel economy.

(Read More…)

By on September 18, 2019

2020 Ford Escape

Ford says it is eventually going to phase out most of its cars – save the Mustang – but the brand isn’t above basing a compact crossover on a car platform.

Yeah, it may be called a crossover, especially by people who draw paychecks from the Blue Oval, but the 2020 Ford Escape is based on the company’s European Focus platform.

Perhaps it’s a bit of a cynical approach, especially with a more rugged “baby Bronco” on the way. But if ride and handling are something you care about, even when shopping crossovers, the results may be pleasing to you.

Possibly more pleasing than the Escape’s styling, anyway.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2019

2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport

The 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport makes a compelling case for saving the manual transmission. But perhaps not compelling enough, as between the time I drove this car and wrote this review, Hyundai killed the stick in the 2020 Elantra Sport.

I daresay that’s not the car’s fault — the stick-shift Sport would be on my shopping list if I were eyeing a sporty compact commuter. Market forces continue to kill off manual transmissions and, while some brands are fighting the good fight, Hyundai must not have seen a business case in doing battle.

That’s too bad, because the budget buyer looking for value in a sporty compact car just lost one option.

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2019

2020 Kia Soul profile

Names and categories used to matter when referring to cars. Coupes used to have two doors, period. Porsche got a bunch of flak last week when they called their electric sedan a Turbo. Tesla uses the term Supercharger for a device that isn’t connected to a crankshaft with a big belt.

Click through to Kia’s website (open a new tab, please – don’t leave me here alone!) and you’ll note five distinct categories. Sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and hybrids/electrics all follow the hot one – SUVs and Crossovers. Unsurprisingly, this 2019 Kia Soul sits right atop that list, though by any traditional automotive taxonomy this box is a hatchback. Peel back the sharp edges, however, and the Soul offers many of the advantages of a popular crossover without the compromises.

(Read More…)

By on August 29, 2019

2020 GMC Sierra HD

Heavy-duty truck buyers tow things often. So do many light-duty truck buyers. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to be be asked, shortly after stepping off an airplane, to get behind the wheel of an HD truck towing something like 13,000 pounds of RV.

This, despite having trailering experience that hovered near zero. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve trailered. I did it years ago in Maryland on another GMC event, and last year in the same region (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) with the light-duty Chevrolet Silverado, but until last week, that was about it.

Gulp.

GMC would tell you that the combination of its trucks’ capability and some high-tech doodads make trailering easy, even for the novice. GMC would be correct on that count, but there’s more to the story when it comes to this year’s crop of trucks.

We were turned loose in a variety of GMC Sierra trucks over the course of two days – and not all had a mobile home’s worth of weight behind them. Still, towing and hauling were a bit part of this particular junket; even when we weren’t towing, we were driving trucks with beds full of logs. We also did a bit of light off-roading.

(Read More…)

By on August 28, 2019

2020 GMC Acadia

GMC has long made a fuss about its Denali sub-brand, which is meant to signify the most luxurious trim available for any given GMC model. GMCs, of course, are supposed to be more upscale versions of Chevrolet trucks and SUVs, even without Denali badging.

Enter a new sub-brand – AT4. First available as an off-road-oriented trim on the Sierra full-size pickup, and intended to become available on all GMC models within the next two years, AT4 is a trim that aims to emphasize off-road ability – or at least look the part.

While the Sierra’s AT4 trim offers mechanical changes that serve to improve the truck’s off-road prowess, the Acadia version is more about off-road looks, all-terrain tires and standard all-wheel drive notwithstanding. GMC knows the Acadia is a suburban shuttle, not a bad-ass off-roader, and has adjusted the AT4 treatment for this vehicle as such.

(Read More…)

By on August 27, 2019

2019 Buick Envision interior

True story: a person this writer knows was recently upsold into a higher-trim version of a popular domestic subcompact crossover, with the selling point being, obviously, the model’s additional plushness and safety features. Once in the driveway, this buyer instantly grew annoyed with the vehicle’s various driver-assist features and, not knowing how to dial them back or cancel them altogether, began the process of finding a buyer.

Dealers and their salespeople have a long way to go in educating the buying public on the industry’s growing list of tech-heavy features; doing so would help boost satisfaction rates for new vehicles. A great number of people have a bone to pick with their car’s driver-assist features, and it may prevent them from sticking with the brand. (Read More…)

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