Nissan’s New Crossover Kicks Aside All-Wheel Drive

Rarely does a new vehicle debut with less power and capability than the model it’s replacing. Yet the Nissan Kicks compact crossover is hitting the market without all wheel drive and with less horsepower than its predecessor, the Juke.

AWD has become a staple of crossovers from almost all automakers. So, the decision not to offer it as an option is an interesting one. Will the new Nissan Kicks find a fan base in spite of its front-wheel-drive-only architecture and 1.6-liter 125-hp motor?  Continue reading >>>

Automaker Byton Focuses on Tech First with Electric SUV

The auto industry is evolving in two ways, both of which spell massive changes for the industry with which we all grew up.

First, the industry has become globalized like never before. American cars are built in Mexico, Japanese cars are made in America, parts are sourced from around the world, and finished cars are exported into global markets.

Second, this global evolution is the continued blurring of the lines between car and tech experience. Rather than cars offering tech products, tech products are becoming cars.

That’s an important distinction from the carmakers of our youth, and one that’s driving a new breed of automaker into the limelight. Chinese automaker Byton is a perfect example.  Continue reading >>>

Here are the 2018 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Finalists

The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards aren’t your typical auto accolades. Rather than being chosen by a specific organization, these awards are given by an independent jury of automotive journalists based throughout the United States and Canada.

The winners are often vehicles that shake up the status quo while delivering an exceptional experience to the driver and passengers. Only cars that are new to the market, or substantially redesigned, are eligible for nomination.

Each member of the 57-person voting committee submits a score for each of the finalists. They are free to judge the cars however they like, but must disperse a pre-determined number of points across each of the three finalists in each category. The vehicle with the most points in each category wins. The winners are announced each January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

This year’s finalists are prime examples of the exciting cars being produced by automakers around the world. Continue reading >>>

Accord vs. Camry: The Epic Rivalry Returns

The 2018 Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are now available on dealer lots, bringing the decades-old rivalry into modern times.

Both cars have a long list of pros: They have strong reputations for reliability and quality, and both sport new designs that should have no problem turning heads.

While both cars come from Japanese automakers, they are built right here in the United States. Both have long and storied histories here, and both are virtually guaranteed to provide years of trouble-free driving while depreciating more slowly than other sedans.

Honda and Toyota face the same challenges too: They are trying hard to keep their sedans relevant in the age of the high-riding crossover.

But which car is better? That, of course, depends on who you are and what model year you buy. Continue reading >>>

Will INFINITI’s New Engine Lure Buyers From the Competition?

The 2019 INFINITI QX50, which debuted at the LA Auto Show, is not only a stunner, it’s a technological marvel that will be surprisingly affordable when it hits the U.S. market next year.

In addition to coming equipped with a semi-autonomous driving system, the new luxury crossover will have the world’s first variable compression engine. What is that exactly?

We’ll get to that.

Let’s talk about the luxury crossover segment first. It’s red-hot right now, and entrants from Infiniti, Lexus, Jaguar, and more are stepping up the competition. Will Infiniti’s new engine make the choice easier for car buyers? Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen “Crozzes” Over to World of EVs

Volkswagen knows a thing or two about branding.

VW’s first hit the U.S. market in 1949. The Type 1 Beetle was a car with a deep military history, earning it its nickname “The Victory Wagon.” In 1959, the company stepped away from its military history with its “Think Small” campaign. It set its sights on a decidedly different audience with a new campaign with the goal of attracting a younger consumer eager to find an affordable car that was also fuel efficient.

The oil crises of the 1970s led VW to make a major pivot: It invested in diesel engines. And for decades, the company could, literally, go the distance with diesel.

But oh, how the times have changed. Nowadays, consumers want fuel-efficient cars that are also environmentally friendly.

Based on what we saw at the LA Auto Show, VW is up to the task.

Enter the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz.

Continue reading >>>

Kia Optima Offers Infiniti-Level Style

Thanksgiving weekend in Southern California. More specifically, a car rental parking lot at LAX.

To my left was a dark gray 2017 Kia Optima, a 178-horsepower 4-door midsize sedan with knockout good looks and impressive highway fuel economy.

On the right was a blue 2017 Toyota Camry, promising plenty of comfort and reliability.

In the middle was a silver 2017 Ford Fusion, a car with sleek design and a high-quality interior.

If you had free access to the keys of each of these cars for a long weekend in Southern California, which would you take?

The Kia was my choice. How does the Infiniti work into this story? Read on, dear friends. Continue reading >>>

The Off-Road-Only Roxor May Hit U.S. In 2018

Image Courtesy of DC-Design

Image Courtesy of DC-Design

Cars sold in the U.S. come from all corners of the globe, and there are very few differences in quality, regardless of a vehicle’s country of origin.

The first Japanese import came in 1958, when the Toyopet Crown debuted here to very little fanfare. Few would have guessed that the little Japanese company, which we now know as Toyota, would have massive manufacturing facilities in this country and change the face of the U.S. and world auto industry.

It would be nearly thirty years before Hyundai, made in Korea, launched a car for the U.S. market. Now, the automaker is a household name.

We’ll see if Americans will learn to love a new import – this time, from India. Continue reading >>>

Corvette ZR1 to Challenge Porsche 911 for Fastest Time Around the ‘Ring

Chevrolet Corvette.

Does it get any more American than that? Sure, we could include the cliché baseball and apple pie, but it’s the Corvette that might best define what it means to be an American.

Like many Americans, the Corvette tries really hard to be good looking, could probably stand to lose a few pounds, and can’t quite keep up with its fancy European peers.

The new Corvette ZR1, however, might finally be the car to outshine its European counterparts.

Well, maybe not all of them. Continue reading >>>