Category Archives: AutoPilot

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
October 28, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

Perhaps not since the First Sting Ray broke cover for the 1963 model year has there been a more highly anticipated Corvette.  Why? Two reasons. First, the engine is in the back and not the front, immediately making the 2020 Stingray a more exotic machine than any previous Corvette. Second, the base price is $60,000, which isn’t exotic money.

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2019 Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D
September 16, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

Over the past decade, Mazda has touted that a turbo-diesel would arrive, but the timeline kept buyers wondering if that would actually happen. Wonder now more. Called Skyactiv-D, the engine is the result of some serious development work by Mazda’s engineers, who appear to have broken many rules in the diesel playbook. The typical diesel uses a cast-iron engine block and a high compression ratio to create combustion (diesels don’t use spark plugs). The Skyactiv-D significantly lowers the compression within a lighter aluminum block.

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2020 Nissan Versa
August 26, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

The Eclipse Cross’ turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That’s plenty to move the Mitsu smartly along, but it’s modest when compared to the available output generated by some competitors.  The engine is backed by a continuously variable transmission with eight built-in ratios to simulate a traditional geared automatic. Fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive model is rated at 25 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.

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2020 Lincoln Corsair
July 22, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

The five-passenger Corsair is slated to arrive later this year with a noticeable sheetmetal refit, including a larger grille, crisper fender and door panel-creases and a cleaner-looking liftgate. The Corsair exudes a richer, classier appearance that should strike the right chord with upscale tall-wagon buyers.

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2020 Toyota Corolla
June 17, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

More than 46 million Toyota Corollas have been sold since the model’s beginnings in the 1960s, making it the most popular nameplate in automotive history.  That means there’s constant pressure on Toyota to keep the ball moving forward in terms of comfort, reliability, and resale value. The new 12th-generation Corolla sedan, which joins the new-for-2019 Corolla Hatchback, might not be the sharpest-looking sled on the block, or the quickest, but it’s special for other reasons.

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2019 FIAT 500X
May 13, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

As before, it comes with a free-wheeling (and fuel-saving) disconnect feature that engages the real wheels only when torque is required, thus stretching fuel dollars a bit further. The 500X is rated at 24 mpg in the city, 30 on the highway and 26 combined (slightly better than the previous non-turbo 2.4 with AWD and a nine-speed automatic transmission).

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2020 Jeep Gladiator
April 22, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

From the front, the Gladiator looks like any other Jeep Wrangler, with a traditional slotted vertical grille, round headlights and a stout bumper. Behind the second-row seat is a five-foot-long box that’s capable of transporting up to 1,600 pounds of ATV, dirt bikes, camping gear and/or just about anything else you can imagine. Trailering capacity with the proper tow package tops out at 7,650 pounds.

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2019 Volkswagen Golf
March 25, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

A minor facelift for 2018 improved on the Golf’s conservatively shaped appearance that is the automotive equivalent of a finely pressed suit. This is one car that VW’s designers seemed to have scrupulously avoided faddish or controversial shapes that might draw unwarranted attention.  Mostly unchanged for 2019 is a passenger compartment that’s devoid of any hint of low-rent cost cutting. Both the front and rear seats are well bolstered and the soft-touch dashboard and controls would look right at home in more expensive German brands.

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2019 Kia Niro
February 25, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

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

Overview

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Story Intro

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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