On the heels of winning North American Car of the Year, Honda launched the new 2016 Civic Coupe to join the honored sedan sibling in its showrooms. For coupe fans, Honda did more than just hack off a couple of doors in delivering its new coupe to the market, but can it live up to the high mark already set?
Remember the boxy Volvo 240 series sedans and station wagons that were so popular in the 70s and 80s? They were safe, iconic … and did I mention boxy? Well, the Volvo of today is still safe; whether the S90 will be iconic remains to be seen, but “boxy” is no longer a word to associate with the auto brand.
It has been about five years since I last tested the Durango three-row SUV from Dodge and brother, that’s too long. When asked about which family sport ute I would recommend to folks the Durango is always near the top of my list and now my wife has joined the Dodge fan club as well.
In the fall of 2012, Nissan reintroduced the Sentra compact sedan in its seventh generation form. For 2016, the automaker gives its popular little car a midlife makeover with new styling to match what we’ve seen in the rest of the family lately. Nissan has also updated safety and driving technologies as well.
A little more than a year ago we saw the return of the GMC Canyon midsize pickup. It arrived as a 2015 model with more efficiency and more capability than the previous Canyon (and Chevy counterpart Colorado). For 2016, GMC offers Canyon with a Duramax turbo diesel engine for segment-leading towing and fuel economy.
A few years ago Subaru rolled out a new small utility vehicle dubbed XV Crosstrek. The little cute ute featured most everything Subaru was known for including Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a smooth Boxer four-cylinder engine. Trouble was that vehicle was overladen with one thing: its name. For 2016, Subaru introduces the Crosstrek.
Despite the drama surrounding the diesel fuel economy cheating scandal, Volkswagen is still one of the leading producers of automobiles globally. And no matter what unfolds in the wake of its recent problems, the automaker still offers some good vehicles and that includes the 2016 Jetta 1.8T compact sedan with turbocharged gasoline engine.
Last fall, Editor-in-Chief Judie Lipsett Stanford introduced you to the all-new 2016 Kia Optima sedan, a vehicle that leads the brand in sales numbers and is largely responsible for Kia’s improved perception. Recently I got my turn behind the wheel of the midsize sedan to see if her first impressions resonate with others.
One of the most anticipated new vehicles for me to drive this year is the Nissan Titan XD. This Titan is nothing like the previous fullsize pickup from Nissan and it is actually a little bit extra. Powered by an all-new Cummins V-8 turbodiesel, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD looks to shake things up in the pickup market.
The Honda Accord has long been one of the most popular sedans in North America and was the first nameplate built here by the automaker. In its nine generations the model has seen significant upgrades and improvements and for 2016 Accord gets some appreciated styling enhancements along with technology upgrades.
I find myself split on my opinions of the all-new 2016 iA sedan from Scion. And that’s not meant to be a pun as my opinions split almost right down the middle of the vehicle itself. Front? Good. Rear? Not so good. Not to mention the vehicle itself has sort of a split personality.
A few months back I mentioned that it seemed as though I was receiving nothing but repeats from the press fleet of vehicles for review. This is one of those and it arrived in the form of the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD 4×4, a nearly identical truck to the unit we reviewed last year.
Mazda has hit it out of the park with the all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata roadster. Now in its fourth generation, the new car is lighter, smaller and quicker than the model it replaces while still offering affordable fun. Following the mantra of Jinba Ittai (pairing the driver as one with the car) designers and engineers have created a little masterpiece.
Update: We’ve been getting a lot of calls and emails offering us vehicles to restore. To be clear, Gear Diary is not the company doing the restorations, and we can not forward your requests to Martin Brothers. Thank you for your understanding. 🙂
No sooner does Scion release a couple of all new vehicles than its parent company Toyota Motor Sales announces the division will be mothballed. Fortunately it appears the Scion vehicles will be rolled back into the Toyota production lineup as they are all very worthy including the newest hatchback, the Scion iM.
I am constantly asked what the best three-row crossover vehicle is and for many years my answer has not waivered: a minivan. I am still a firm believer that the ultimate utility comes from a model that receives so little respect these days, and recently we got a (final) look at the granddaddy of them, the Dodge Grand Caravan.
Longer, lower, livelier…these are the three L’s to live by in the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima. This is the eight-generation for the flagship four-door that leads the Nissan lineup and the automaker swears this four-door sports car – created by driving enthusiasts for driving enthusiasts – is its best yet.
The test driveway has been treated to a couple of hot little Italians in the form of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and, most recently, the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio. They both reside under the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles umbrella, both feature a cloth top that opens, and they both have turbocharged, four-cylinder engines.
Crossover utility vehicles are to the new millennium what minivans were to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s: all the rage. It seems, however, that many CUV designs blend together, especially when friends try to describe one they don’t know the name or brand of. GMC’s latest, the Terrain, sought to step apart from that confusing landscape.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is to driving what Fifty Shades of Grey is to Valentine’s Day. It is not subtle and it is not always pleasant. It is spank-your-ass driving that, when done, leaves you with a feeling like few other experiences in your life. This car is a seductress and it is a dominatrix.
As I eagerly await some more new vehicles to review (models I have not tested in the past couple of years) I will update you on some familiar fascias that have arrived in the test driveway recently. We first looked at the new Jeep Cherokee two years ago and the recent Trailhawk tester featured a couple of updates.