Category Archives: AutoPilot

2020 Toyota Prius AWD
February 10, 2020

Overview

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Story Intro

More than two decades ago, Toyota got its max-fuel-economy ball rolling with the very first Prius. Since then, Toyota has become synonymous with fuel-sipping hybrid technology that has spawned other Toyota/Lexus models (remember the short-lived Lexus HS250?) as well as nearly every other mainstream automaker.
For the Prius nameplate, the expansion continues. The fourth-generation model, introduced for the 2016 model year, is available in standard hybrid as well as the Prius Prime plug-in. And for 2020, the AWD-e — as in all-wheel-drive — has been added as an option, but only for non-plug-in models.

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2020 Ram EcoDiesel
January 13, 2020

Overview

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Story Intro

The Ford F150 turbo-diesel (also a 3.0-liter V-6) delivers 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet, and GM’s 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra has 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet. Yes, the numbers are close, but the Ram holds a definite edge in the crucial torque department.
It’s also a horse race for official fuel economy. GM leads the pack at 27 mpg in combined city/highway driving, followed by Ram at 26 mpg and Ford at 25.

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2020 Hyundai Venue
December 9, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

After introducing the range-topping eight-passenger Palisade for the 2019 model year, Hyundai is addressing the small end of the lineup with the sub-compact Venue. It slots below the Kona — another relative newbie — and joins what becomes an eight-model lineup of wagons and hatchbacks that also includes the Tucson, Santa Fe, Veloster, Elantra GT and Nexo Fuel Cell.

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2020 BMW Z4
November 18, 2019

Overview

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Story Intro

The aluminum-trimmed dashboard is elegant and the controls are straightforward. There’s a 12.3-inch gauge display plus a 10.25-inch information/navigation screen controlled by BMW’s iDrive rotary dial on the center console, just to the right of the shifter.  The sDrive30i runs with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s rated at 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

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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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