Tag Archive for review

2016 Hyundai Veloster

'16 Veloster road 1

The problem with two-doors is it’s hard to take more than one person along for the ride. Even if the car has four seats. Getting to them – and out of them – is a chore, even if you’re young and nimble. Hyundai decided to split the difference by adding a third door to create…

2016 Nissan Maxima

'16 Maxima lead

Toyota’s got the Avalon … for people who want a larger, nicer Camry. That’s more or less the role the Maxima has played lately in Nissan’s lineup. In theory, it’s the car for people who want something a bit more than the Altima offers, especially performance and style-wise … but not quite as much as…

2016 Mazda Miata

'16 Miata lead

If it had an accessible power point, it’d be the perfect car. That’s my only beef. No place to plug in the radar detector. Which is as necessary in this car as a dozen juice box holders are in a minivan. Well, no good – that is, accessible – place. It took thumbing through the owner’s…

2016 Lincoln MKX

'16 MKX lead

It’s a tricky thing, re-selling a mainstream model as a luxury model. Audi and Acura are two who do it pretty well. So does Cadillac. Can Lincoln? The key to success is not just slapping a “premium” badge on the same basic ride… along with a premium price tag. It’s ok if car A is related…

2016 Subaru Legacy

'16 Legacy lead

The car business is weird. On the one hand, you can’t stick your arms out sideways from your body without touching an all-wheel-drive crossover SUV. These things are like Pez dispensers. They keep coming up with new ones. And yet, the feature that has arguably made them so popular (all-wheel-drive) is all-but-absent in family-priced mid-sized…

2016 Scion iA

'16 iA & Mazda3

Does it matter what the wrapper says if it’s the exact same Snickers bar inside? That, as the saying goes, is the question. Toyota’s small car spin-off needed a new model; Mazda had one to spare. A deal was struck and – voila – the (ahem) Scion iA. Mechanically, it’s a Mazda2 – which is…

2016 Jeep Renegade

'16 Renegade in the mud

Fun cars that don’t cost a small fortune are getting hard to find. Especially if they’re not cars at all. Like this Jeep Renegade. How many small SUVs are there out there with a starting sticker price under $18 that come standard with a turbocharged engine and a six-speed manual transmission? Not many. How many have the turbo…

Fiat’s Miata

'17 Fiat 124 lead

Fiat needs a transfusion, something new. But the pending (2017) Spider 124 strikes me as a graft … a pre-existing thing stitched on to the body. Will it take? Time will tell. The 124 is a rebadged Mazda Miata with a Fiat Abarth 1.4 liter engine in place of the Mazda 2.0 engine. The Fiat engine…

2016 Subaru BRZ

'16 BRZ lead

You have to work it to appreciate it. If you don’t – you probably won’t. That’s the thing to know going in. This isn’t a Miata. Which is by no means a bad thing. You’ve got a different thing here. The BRZ (and its Scion-badged twin, the FR-S) are full-tilt cars. Run the growly little…

2016 Nissan Altima

'16 Altima side view

There is just one thing missing – but maybe it doesn’t matter anymore. A manual transmission. This is, after all, supposed to be a sport sedan. But then, the Youth no longer care much, if at all, about shifting for themselves. Most don’t even know how. The manual transmission is therefore going the way of…