2019 Kia Niro
February 25, 2019

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2019 Kia Niro</br>February 25, 2019

The Niro trio has arrived at a time of relatively affordable fuel prices. They’ll need to rely on practicality and price as well as economy of operation to make a dent in the marketplace. Note that Hyundai, Kia’s parent, has the similarly powered Ioniq hatchback models, plus the electric version of the Kona small wagon.

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2019 Jeep Renegade
January 28, 2019

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2019 Jeep Renegade</br>January 28, 2019

For 2019, the Renegade receives a number of updates. There’s a new hood and a grille with active shutters that close at higher speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag. There are also new wheel designs and now-optional LED headlights and tail lamps. In reality, these changes are barely discernible from the previous edition. It’s a similar story inside. There are slight adjustments to the instrument panel, an added smartphone holder and a new-look infotainment system.

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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
December 24, 2018

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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback</br>December 24, 2018

On the outside, the Corolla Hatchback might still seem like an updated iM, except that the Hatchback is built on Toyota’s latest chassis architecture, which is claimed to be lighter and 60 percent stiffer. It also reduces the ride height by nearly half an inch for a lower center of gravity. The front and rear suspension components are also new and designed to provide better cornering precision and ride comfort.

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2019 Audi Q8
November 26, 2018

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2019 Audi Q8</br>November 26, 2018

The Q8’s fastback styling stands in contrast to the Q7’s square-back design that allows for a kid-zone third row (the five-passenger Q8 has two rows) plus additional cargo room, especially with the second and third rows folded flat. Although both models are built off the same platform, the Q8 is shorter by three inches, which also accounts for the Q7’s increased functionality.

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2019 Kia Forte
October 29, 2018

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2019 Kia Forte</br>October 29, 2018

Over the years, the Forte, along with many of its competitors, has grown up (physically and stylistically) to a point where it could easily qualify as a principal family sedan. Compared to the outgoing model, the 2019 Forte is more than three inches longer and nearly an inch wider. The distance between the front and rear wheels remains the same. A modest gain in roof height means more overall passenger space as well as increased cargo volume.

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2019 Genesis G70
September 24, 2018

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2019 Genesis G70</br>September 24, 2018

The interior strikes the correct balance between luxury and practicality. The driver-centric stitched-leather-covered dashboard comes with a trio of large dials for operating the various heating/cooling functions, and the eight-inch tablet-like touchscreen doesn’t look like an afterthought.  The G70’s platform is based on the Kia Stinger hatchback (Kia is owned by Hyundai), but the G70 has been shortened by about three inches between the front and rear wheels.

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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
August 27, 2018

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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV</br>August 27, 2018

Mitsubishi is an automaker in transition, but the core values that the company was built on are still in place. Among them is the advanced engineering efforts that have resulted in the Outlander PHEV. For the uninitiated, PHEV stands for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, a system that advances the typical gasoline-electric hybrid to the next level in terms of efficiency.

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2018 Mustang convertible
July 23, 2018

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2018 Mustang convertible</br>July 23, 2018

If you think that a tiny turbo engine reduces the Mustang to poser status, you’re in for a big surprise. Ford has reworked the engine so that it puts out 350 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm, or 30 more pound-feet than the 2017 version. The horsepower rating remains unchanged at 310. Putting those numbers into perspective, the now-banished V-6 was rated at 300 horses and 280 pound-feet at 4,000 rpm.

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2018 Nissan Kicks
June 25, 2018

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2018 Nissan Kicks</br>June 25, 2018

The name given to Nissan’s new small wagon broadly hints at the intended demographic. Kicks is urban slang for a cool pair of running shoes, but in this case it’s also about having fun.
In many respects, the Kicks becomes the replacement for the funky 2011-’17 Juke. That oddity of a car never really caught on with younger or older buyers, despite being a gutsy little beast that drove better than it looked.

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2018 Colorado ZR2
May 28, 2018

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2018 Colorado ZR2</br>May 28, 2018

In case you missed the memo, automakers have locked on to the latest Big Thing, which is to create off-road-capable versions of their midsize and full-size pickups. In this group, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 (one size down from the Silverado) is a serious piece of sporting gear.  The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor that arrived for 2010 (now simply called Raptor) is the inspirational model for the ZR2, as it was for the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram Rebel. The upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger is also slated for the full-on Raptor treatment.

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