Mazda has upped its game and has moved a bit more into the premium space with the Signature trim level.
The 2020 Mazda CX-9 3-row midsize SUV now has increased engine torque, a new off-road traction assist, new available center row captain’s chairs, and more.
Check it all out right here.
The 2020 Chicago Auto Show has the distinction of being the first big auto show of the new year and also of this new decade.
Nearly 1,000 different vehicles are on display for the news media and most importantly for customers and potential customers.
Read this and you’ll want to go.
First introduced for 2019 the Lexus UX premium compact crossover has gotten a few upgrades for 2020.
Available as the FWD UX 200 and the AWD UX 250h, the Lexus UX provides decent driving dynamics with good acceleration, balanced ride and handling in a refined driving environment.
Check it out here.
Posted in all-wheel drive, automobiles, compact SUV, crossover SUV, driver-assistance safety features, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, luxury SUV, new car review, safety, SUVs, Uncategorized
The 12th-generation Toyota Corolla made its arrival in two chapters: the all-new Corolla Hatchback arrived in 2018, while the sedan has been redesigned from the ground up for 2020, with an available hybrid for the first time in the U.S.
I road tripped in a Corolla XSE with its new power plant, a169-horsepower 2.0-L 4-cylinder mated to CVT.
The 2020 Corolla is available in L, LE, XLE, SE and XSE trims with base prices ranging from $19,500 to $25,450.
The 5-seat compact Corolla in its 2020 guise has plenty of pep with its 169-HP and good overall ride comfort. It’s well suited for city living, commuting, or an occasional long road trip.
Check out more right here.
Mitsubishi’s best-selling model, the Outlander Sport, has been redesigned for 2020.
Overall the Outlander Sport offers reasonable value and might just make a good choice for those on a tight budget but needing the versatility of a crossover SUV. It’s a crossover SUV designed for the city and does provide good versatility.
There are ten trim and drivetrain combinations with base prices ranging from a low of $22,495 up to $26,895, plus a $1,095 destination charge.
Check out out right here.
The V60 Cross Country is a well-designed and elegant station wagon with all-weather and road safety, practicality and comfort. For those seeking a premium driving experience, no matter your age generation, there is lots of satisfaction to be had from this car.
The 2020 Volvo V60 T5 AWD Cross Country is priced at $45,100 plus options and shipping.
Check it out right here.
Versatile and with good value. The 2020 Versa is all new. It’s a bit larger and a bit roomier and has a bit more performance.
Technology is a top priority in the all-new Nissan Versa, featuring available Nissan Safety Shield 360 that helps provide front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies.
The value story makes it a great choice for a new teen driver and over a similarly priced used car.
Check it out here.
All-new again. The 2020 Ford Explorer has been redone and now is based on a rear-drive platform.
There’s new engines including a hybrid plus a 10-speed automatic.
Most everything is better, as of course it should be.
Read more here with one click.
Now in its 7th generation the 2020 BMW 3-Series grows up a little bit more following its roots from the iconic 2002.
A six-cylinder engine has returned to make for all the more driving pleasure.
Check it out right here.
Cadillac’s new for 2020 XT6 3-row SUV has a 310-HP V6 that helps make it a great family hauler. Premium Luxury or Sport trims help suit varied tastes and styles.
Check out more on the XT6 right here.
The Tacoma TRD Pro for 2020 has been given the once over by Toyota Racing Development. With a strong cachet among off-roaders I drove it in the dirt and on the road. It’s one of the best for hitting the trials.
Read a bit more right here.
The 2020 Acura RDX represents a good value in the premium compact SUV. It has a nice luxury feel, interesting styling, sporty performance, refined ride and handling, decent fuel economy as well as a roomy interior.
This third generation RDX was new-from-the-ground-up in 2019 with new styling, both in and out and a new 272-HP engine.
Prices start and $38,595. Read more here.
The Volvo XC40 provides an overall very satisfying driving experience. It’s quiet with a nice open and spacious feeling in the cabin, seat design is very comfortable for long road trips, has a smooth ride but yet the suspension is tuned for sporty handling, and the engine provides plenty of zip. In a pinch its 8.3 inches of ground clearance will help get you down an unpaved road or through some deepish snow.
The XC40 is a premium urban vehicle aimed at a younger demographic, but will suite many a driver from all walks of life.
Read a bit more right here.
A mild front and rear freshening along with a new touchscreen interface keeps the 2020 Lexus RX and RXL in the forefront.
There’s a new kick-to-open rear hatch control plus two F-Sport packages.
There’s more to learn right here.
The Palisade is the new Hyundai flagship. It will seat up to eight, has a powerful V6, can tow a bunch, and is surprisingly luxurious for the price.
It’s well known that the Hyundai Palisade shares its architecture and powertrain with the Kia Telluride. The Telluride is also a very good new entry in the midsize SUV segment.
Different drivers have different priorities as well as likes and dislikes. Here’s my take on the Palisade. Just click here. What’s your preference.
The first all-new Supra in 21 years has arrived. Co-developed with BMW and Toyota’s Gazoo Racing…thus the GR in GR Supra, with 335-HP it’ll get to 60 mph for stop in 4.1 seconds and top out at 155 mph.
In a coupe body with seats for two and automatic transmission only, the GR Supra makes for a great track car as well as a fun street car.
Read more about it right here.
The 2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition pays homage to the Z heritage as well as a tribute to the BRE 240Z race cars. The BRE Datsun 240Z coupes were run by Peter Brock and his Brock Racing Enterprises team with the very talented John Morton doing the driving. Morton is legendary and went on to dominate US club racing in his 240Z.
Today’s 332-horsepower “Z” will deliver loads of fun both on and off the track for under $40,000.
Get more enthused right here.
The new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has a 5.2-L aluminum alloy 760-horsepower supercharged V8. It’s the most powerful street-legal Ford ever. The engine develops 625 ft.-lbs. of torque. This horsepower, together with huge Brembo brakes, will take the GT500 from 0 to 100 to 0 mph in 10.6 seconds.
A Tremec 7-speed dual clutch transmission can shift in 80 milliseconds. Zero to 60 mph is in 3.3 seconds. Ford’s official quarter mile ET is 10.7 seconds with trap speed at the big end in the realm of the low 130’s.
The American pony car horsepower war goes on! Learn more.
The 2019 BMW X2 is interesting and appealing. The M35i delivers a high level of performance and entertainment. The rear opening hatch makes it very functional and utilitarian. The exterior design is quite car-like. The interior is comfortable and well outfitted with premium materials.
The 302-horsepower X2 M35i is priced at $46,450.
Check it out here.
The premium look of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon along with its roomy interior, large cargo space, and decent performance make it worthy of serious consideration. The Arteon is all-new for 2019 and a candidate for the North American Car of the Year award. Its dramatic coupe-like shape, typically reserved for premium sedans, is very striking. Its got 268-horsepower, an 8-speed automatic and available all-wheel drive.
Check it out here.
This street-legal race car from Ford is something to behold. It’s fast, nimble and fun.
With a 526-HP V8, Tremec 6-speed manual, huge brakes and a well tuned suspension the 2019 Shelby GT350 delivers thrill after thrill.
I played with it both on the street and on the track. You should too.
Here’s more to inspire you right here.
With standard quattro all-wheel drive, a new exterior design, smart technology integration, and thoughtful interior flexibility, the 2019 Audi Q3 offers a strong entry in the premium compact SUV segment.
The 228-HP turbo 2.0-L mated to an 8-speed automatic gives the Q3 good all around performance. Suspension upgrades improve driving dynamics.
The interior is among the best in the business and is loaded with tech.
Read more of my drive here.
Cadillac’s entry in the premium compact SUV segment comes across as a viable offering with its decent driving dynamics and long list of features and options. There’s plenty of safety and technology to choose from.
The XT4 with its 237-HP 2.0-L Turbo in combo with a 9-speed auto trans and either front- or all-wheel drive is good choice for someone wanting to step into the luxury segment at a reasonable price.
Read a bit more with one click.
For 2020 all 707-HP Charger SRT Hellcats get the Widebody treatment. The 485-HP Charger Scat Pack gets it too, as an option.
There’s a new limited-production 717-HP Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition of the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody. Only 501 will be made.
Very streetable and mild mannered while also very track-ready, these badass sedans from Dodge will pump your heart rate up.
Read about the details and my street and track drive experience here.
The Equinox has been a part of the Chevrolet portfolio for about 15 years. It was redesigned in 2018 and became a bit smaller. It’s shorter and lighter but still quite roomy.
There’s been a few updates for 2019 and a choice of three different engines including a diesel is offered.
Equinox can be equipped from a basic to a well equipped SUV. It fits well into an urban environment and makes for a good member in many a household fleet.
Read a bit more here.
Mazda started talking about bringing a diesel engine to the U.S. way back in the early part of this decade. Well, it’s finally here. I’ve just driven the new 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel Signature AWD.
The twin-turbo 2.2-L diesel develops lots of low end torque for good pulling power giving the CX-5 a 3,500 lb. tow rating.
Real world fuel consumption is around 10 mpg better than the gasoline engine in both city and highway driving.
It may not be for everyone but diesel purists will like this new entry in the market.
More details on my drive of this new diesel are here.
The LC 500 was all-new in 2018 and has received a few upgrades for 2019. The rear-wheel drive coupe has a 471-HP 5.0-L V8 with a 10-speed automatic that will take you from 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 168 mph.
It’s the kind of car that you just want to jump in and drive across the country.
Read more right here. It’ll get your juices flowing.
Nissan ProPILOT Assist mates steering assist with adaptive cruise control to keep the car centered in the driving lane. All you need is to keep a comfortable grip on the steering wheel and the system steers you along the highway, even on mild curves. The driver must stay engaged in the driving task and ready to take over if the traffic situation warrants.
I was most interested to drive the Rogue on a long trip since it would give me a lots of miles and different traffic conditions to test out the ProPILOT Assist system.
You can read a more about the 2020 Nissan Rogue and my road trip here.
With 215 miles of driving range, and maybe even more with some additional effort, the 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus is a near perfect car for getting around any big city. There’s plenty of room and plenty of performance.
With EV charging station infrastructure getting better and growing every day, soon long trips with a short break to recharge may just be the norm.
Read a bit more about my drive here.
With five different trims and as many different engines, the Range Rover Sport has something for everyone. Engine output is from 254hp to 575hp.
A mild hybrid as well as a plug-in hybrid are offered. Plus there’s a diesel and a powerful V8.
I spent time driving the $74K mild hybrid HSE variant. You can read about that here.
Lincoln’s entry in the premium midsize utility segment has a new name and a new look. The Nautilus for 2019 has a choice of two new turbo engines, an 8-speed automatic and a full suite of ADAS safety equipment.
Priced to start from just above $40K to abound $57K, there’s a choice of options to let you customize to your pleasure.
Read more here about the new Nautilus.
The Ford Ranger is back for 2019. Another entry in the midsize pickup market to meet the needs of those who don’t really need a full size pickup.
The Ranger is offered in one wheelbase and in two body-styles, the extended cab with a 6-foot bed or a crew cab with a 5-foot bed. There’s only one powertrain and it comes with either a 4X2 or 4X4 drivetrain.
Learn more about how this truck can fit not your life here.
All new for 2019. Long, low and sleek. Available with 255 or 382 horsepower. It’s plenty fast and loads of fun on the track. Add a touch of practicality with a fairly roomy trunk, as it goes for 2-seaters.
It’s a classic.
Read a bit more to get you excited now.
The sixth generation Outback has arrived and is all-new for 2020. With new structure, refined suspension, a new 260-HP turbo 2.4-L engine and standard all-wheel drive it’s ready for the highway or a dusty trail.
There are seats for five, plenty of cargo room and a roof rack with swing-into-place cross bars.
A new Onyx Edition XT adds a stealthy look. Check out more on the Outback here.
The new flagship from Volkswagen, replacing the CC sedan, is the much larger Arteon. With its premium, fastback look, refined face and roomy interior you’ll think you’re driving a more-premium brand car.
Priced to start at $35,845 and with 268-horsepower and an eight-speed automatic, you’ll be all set for some boulevard cruising with the family.
4Motion all-wheel drive and VW’s R-line trim is available.
Read more here with one click.
The all-new 2020 Hyundai Palisade will seat up to eight, has a powerful V6, can tow a bunch, and is surprisingly luxurious for the price. This new flagship midsize SUV from Hyundai has 291-horsepower and is priced beginning at $31,550.
With bold exterior styling and a refined and upscale interior the new Palisade is worth everyone’s look.
Read a bit more about my first drive test drive of the new Palisade here.
The 2020 Telluride is a completely new 3-row SUV on the market from Kia. The Telluride is offered in LX, S, EX and SX trims with prices starting at $31,690.
With seats for seven or eight, power from a 291-horsepower 3.8-L V6, and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive, the new Telluride is well equipped and nicely priced to find a home in many a household.
More details and my notes on the Telluride can be found here.
The all-new S60 luxury sedan is Volvo’s first “Made in the USA” car, being built at its new plant near Charleston, South Carolina.
The S60 is all new for 2019 and is available in three different trims, with three different engines and with front- or all-wheel drive. Prices start at $35,800.
The S60 is a good value in the premium car segment. Read a bit more here.
The new 2019 Edge ST has a high-output 335-HP V6, a new 8-speed transmission, better handling and braking, ST-tuned sport suspension, Sport Mode, plus standard all-wheel-drive to help deliver all-around performance.
The Edge ST also gets its own design front fascia with a wide mesh grille for optimal cooling, deep side skirts, dual-exhaust outlets, and 20-inch or optional black-painted 21-inch wheels. The cabin features supportive leather-trimmed sport seats with unique design elements on the steering wheel, seat backs and sill plates.
Check out my drive report here.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was awarded Green Car Journal’s 2019 Green SUV of the Year. With all-wheel drive, 22 miles of pure-electric range plus room for five and decent cargo space, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is unique in the market.
Read my take on the 2019 Outlander PHEV right here.
For 2019 the Mazda3 is an all-new design and offered in 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback body styles. Sedan prices start at $21,000 and is offered in base, Select, Preferred and Premium trims. The hatchback starts at $23,600 and comes in base, Preferred and Premium trims.
New for the Mazda3 is the availability of all-wheel drive, making it a rarity in the compact car segment.
Hatchbacks make a great choice for urban-dwellers. Read more here.
Hyundai has upped its game with the new Veloster N that’s only available with a six-speed manual transmission. The base model N has 250-HP and is priced at $26,900. With the optional Performance Package the power is boosted to 275-HP for $29,000. Plus there’s a host of more performance enhancements with this package.
The N is a lot of performance and fun for the money. A good value pocket-rocket that will give you lots of grins.
Read more about the new 2019 Hyundai Veloster N right here.
Save the manuals.
The UX is an all-new compact crossover from Lexus for 2019. The UX 200 is front-wheel drive with a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter priced at $32,000. The UX 250h is all-wheel drive with the same 2.0-liter mated to a CVT and two separate, dedicated electric motor-generators producing 181-total system horsepower, priced at $34,000.
The hybrid UX 250h has better fuel economy and also better performance that the UX 200.
I found the UX to be very car like. Check it out at this link for more details.
Posted in all-wheel drive, automobiles, compact SUV, crossover SUV, driver-assistance safety features, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, new car review, safety, SUVs, Uncategorized
Ford invited a number of local auto writers to join in with a contingent of police officers from various Illinois communities to drive the new 2020 Ford Police Interceptor at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL.
A derivative model of the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, the Ford Police Interceptor (PI) comes standard with a hybrid engine designed to provide all the needed performance and yet save lots of the taxpayer’s money on fuel.
Here’s my run-down of the Ford PI at this link.
Kia has revamped the Soul for 2020 and now there’s a GT-Line with a 1.6 Turbo engine.
The 1.6 Turbo puts out 201-HP and is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. A sport-tuned suspension, larger disc brakes, 18-inch wheels with P235/45 R18 tires round out the GT-line’s driving dynamics. Shift paddles and a sport mode are there for those who want more go and more fun.
On the outside and also inside the Soul GT-Line has unique design features and trim.
Read a bit more on this fun-to-drive urban use pocket rocket right here.
With its 280-horsepower V6 backed up by a 9-speed automatic, the midsize SUV Honda Passport is quite a joy to drive. There’s room for five, plenty of cargo space and it can tow up to 5,000 lbs.
I did a bunch of road tripping in this Lunar Silver rig and easily exceeded the EPA highway mpg ratings.
Read more here.
The Levante GTS is powered by a 550-HP twin turbo 3.8-L V8 built at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy. It’ll push the GTS to 60mph in 4 seconds flat and top things out at 181mph. It’s the same engine as used the flagship Quattroporte GTS. Driving through an 8-speed automatic, the Maserati Q4 intelligent all-wheel drive system puts the power to the ground.
The base price of the GTS is $120,980. The one I drove was optioned out to $136,890
Read a bit more on this Italian gem here.
The Badlands Off-Road Park in Attica, Indiana leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to driving in dirt, rocks and water.
We paid a visit with Jeep and Ram and did manage to get things pretty dirty.
Read more here and perhaps you’ll want to make the trip.
With just ten minutes behind the wheel I knew I should be heading to Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL or Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. A 4.4-liter TwinPower turbo V-8 with 617 horsepower paired up with an 8-speed automatic and rear-biased all-wheel drive will get you to 60 in 3.1 seconds and top out at 189 mph.
The M5 Competition will run you $110,000 to start and easily creep up to $130K.
Read a bit more on this street-legal race car right here.
In celebration of 35 years of minivan leadership, the 2019 Pacifica Hybrid is offered in a 35th Anniversary edition that’s available on Pacifica Touring L Hybrid and Limited Hybrid models.
This special edition features new badging, an all-black interior with Cranberry Wine accent stitching and upgraded content.
With an all-electric range of 32 miles and a total electric plus gasoline range of 520 miles the Pacifica Hybrid is a very good choice for both around the town zero-emission driving as well as long road trips.
Check out more right here.