By on September 17, 2021

2022 Subaru BRZ

Yes, I know – we covered the Toyota GR 86, this car’s fraternal twin, just two weeks ago. But with both companies making a play for enthusiast dollars, it’s smart to see if the same conclusions we drew for the Big T also apply to the Exploding Galaxy.

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By on September 3, 2021

When Toyota and Subaru shacked up nearly a decade ago to birth the 86/BRZ twins, our enthusiast community rejoiced at the bundle of joy. Here was an affordable, rear-wheel-drive coupe on skinny tires that was designed to make its driver grin – both on the way to work and at the autocross course.

The next-gen car, called the GR 86 in Toyota showrooms, builds on the nimble chassis while bumping its displacement for more (and more accessible) power. There are but two trims – base and Premium – plus the choice of a manual or automatic transmission. You know our answer to the latter, so let’s figure out which trim is more appealing to the fun-seeking gearhead.

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By on August 25, 2021

2022-santa-cruz

One of the last things your author thought he’d be writing were the words “Hyundai pickup truck” as they relate to a real-world vehicle one can buy right off the showroom floor. Until this year, the only relationship we’ve had with such a vehicle is after a knackered old Elantra caught the business end of a Sawzall.

But build it they have, with Tim handing down his verdict after a First Drive earlier this month. As per usual on such events, all the testers were a top-rung model with the most expensive powertrain. But is that the way to go if you’re seeking a unibody trucklet for work and play?

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By on August 17, 2021

2022 Jeep Wagoneer

Jeep has decided to jump in the expensive end of the SUV pool with the truck-based Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. By now you’ve read Tim’s reviews of the brutes and had time to make up your mind if Jeep is on the right track or not with its ‘different lengths of sausage’ approach to styling. Hey, it works for Audi.

Drilling down into the minutiae of trims and features is always fun. Let’s see if we can parse The Right Spec from the maze of options on offer in this segment’s newest player.

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By on August 5, 2021

Corolla Hatch 2022

It might surprise readers to learn that the writing staff at TTAC do not spend the majority of their time in gullwinged supercars or week-old BMWs. We do occasionally put down the jar of Grey Poupon and clamber aboard practical cars – y’know, the type which people actually buy.

The humble Corolla is likely at or near the top of the list made by shoppers who want simple transportation. Your author knows more than a couple of people for whom Corolla could actually be a parallel for the term ‘default car’. This series examined the Civic a couple of months ago, so it’s only right we do the same for the other popular machine in this segment.

We’ll return to six-figure hypercars next week.

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By on July 29, 2021

 

2022 Defender 90

There are more than a few readers looking at this installment of The Right Spec and opining that the best way to spec a Land Rover – any Land Rover – is to not do so at all. Given some, uh, challenges that have befallen early adopters of the rebooted Defender, they may have a point.

Nevertheless, this thing turns more than a few heads and stylists in Coventry certainly got it right when putting pen to paper (or mouse to screen, as it were). For 2022, the Defender’s base price has jumped a bit; but, as we’ll see, the best models are much further up the food chain.

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By on July 21, 2021

Jeep GCL front

If you’re initially confused between the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer (both Grand and not), we don’t blame you. They are distinguishable side-by-each – but separately? Not so much. Think of it this way: The GCL is a unibody design with V6 and V8 options while the Wago is body-on-frame and has two V8 choices.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L was put through its First Drive paces on this site just a month ago. With that top-tier entrée having settled nicely, it is time to paw through the chaff six different trim levels and figure out which one makes for The Right Spec.

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By on July 15, 2021

2022 Nissan Pathfinder SV 3

Thanks to Nissan’s glacier-like design cycles, we don’t have to look very far back in the history books to find a so-called ‘real’ Pathfinder. Before it morphed into a three-row crossover that blended into the scenery, it was a body-on-frame rig with a proven engine and square-shouldered stance that didn’t apparently play well in the company’s corporate slide deck.

Except it probably should have. After all, Toyota is currently making bank with such a machine in the gotta-have-it 4Runner.

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By on July 7, 2021

2022 Civic front

Like it or not, the Civic perpetually resides at or near the top of automobile sales charts in America. Even in 2020, a notably tumultuous year, Honda sold over a quarter-million of the things, good enough for eighth place on the best-seller list (they also sold over 333,502 CR-V crossovers, if you’re wondering).

While we’re eons away from the old days of Civic Nation and underglow lights, any new compact sedan from the Big H is worth talking about. There are four trims on offer at launch – LX, Sport, EX, and Touring. Which is our favorite? You know we’re gonna ask you to click the jump and find out.

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By on July 1, 2021

Ford Bronco

Seeing the response to a Right Spec analysis to last week’s Wrangler, our fancy-pants Managing Ed rightly suggested we go ahead and examine the Bronco. Fresh off a couple of days wheeling it around the sagebrush of Texas, he was ready to declare the long-awaited Blue Oval bruiser lives up to all the hype.

But what the correct mix of options? What’s the Right Spec? Let’s crack open the configurator and find out.

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By on June 24, 2021

2021 Jeep Wrangler

We briefly thought about covering the new (and thirsty) Grand Wagoneer for this week’s entry into the Base Camp series, given the model’s excellent retro name and propensity to induce rose-colored myopia in adults who mis-remember the Malaise Era. However, we all know there’s only one way to order such a rig: fully loaded.

Which is why we’re focusing our efforts on the Wrangler. It serves as Jeep’s trademark since it is the image that pops into most people’s minds – even non-gearheads – when they hear the word ‘Jeep’. Plus, in most guises, it approaches something that can even be called affordable.

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By on June 16, 2021

Ford Maverick

Thanks to all of you who welcomed this new series when it appeared on your digital screens last week. Experiments can fall flatter than that can of 7Up you left out overnight, and we’re glad this one made the cut.

Given the BnB’s propensity for small pickup trucks with blue ovals on the grille (remember Sajeev’s understandable but slightly terrifying infatuation with his last-gen Ford Ranger?), the new Maverick makes a perfect foil for the second entry in The Right Spec series of posts.

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By on June 11, 2021

BlueSkyImage/Shutterstock.com

Yesterday you saw our new feature, The Right Spec, which exists to replace Ace of Base. As a reminder of how it works, Matthew (or anyone who pens one in his absence) will take a popular model (and/or one recently reviewed here) and tell you how he thinks you should spec it.

As I edited his piece, I was reminded of the endless debate that takes place in auto-journo circles when it comes to specs on the cars we actually test.

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By on June 10, 2021

2021 Challenger R:T Scat

Long-time readers of this site (thanks, both of you) will recall the Ace of Base series of posts, natterings in which we ruminated on the state of a particular model and its entry-level trim. Thanks to a myriad of reasons, we’re morphing this concept into a new product for your eyeballs called The Right Spec. This time around, we’ll be teasing out what we think is the best spec of a given vehicle – we hope it generates some comments. Knowing you, the BnB, it surely will.

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