It felt like an old friend had come by to visit last week. I was fortunate to receive the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI five-door hatchback in the test driveway, and this model arrived with a manual transmission. It just felt like old times behind the wheel of this hot little hatch, and I enjoyed every minute.
I know it has been said before that sedan sales are on the decline, but just a little over a year ago Chevrolet quoted that hatchback sales had seen a 9 percent market growth. On the heels of that, Chevy introduced the Cruze Hatch and for 2018 they now offer it with the 1.6-liter turbodiesel power plant.
Somewhere between Iconic and Ironic in Wikipedia you will find the Hyundai Ioniq. What the heck is Ioniq, you ask? This is the new hybrid vehicle from Korean automaker Hyundai that will give the iconic Prius a real run for its money.
Kia has been in the hybrid gas/electric propulsion game for about six years now and for 2017 they have released the brand’s first dedicated hybrid model dubbed Niro. The Kia Niro is described as an urban crossover hybrid vehicle that combines utility with excellent fuel economy.
It’s been barely 18 months since we last drove a Golf Sportwagen from Volkswagen and recently they sent us the 2017 model. VW moved Sportwagen from the Jetta line to the Golf family for MY2015 and since then they have given the model a few tech upgrades.
Kia’s funky little runabout gets some new “soul” for 2017. The Soul urban activity vehicle sees the addition of a turbocharged 1.6-liter GDI engine this model year along with a new 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. It arrives in the Exclaim model and puts more fun in funky.
Volkswagen says its GTI defined the term hot hatch – a fun-to-drive hatchback offering power, playful performance, refinement, and style. The latest iteration was North American Car of the Year for 2015 and recently we spent time behind the wheel of the 2016 Golf GTI.
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.
Five is more than four. Of course we all learned this early on in grade school but that point was reinforced recently as I spent a week with the 2015 Kia Forte5, the sport wagon version of the Forte sedan. The new Forte5 is certainly more than its four-door sedan counterpart and the number of doors is only the beginning.
Just when you thought station wagons had gone the way of the Dodo bird, Volkswagen releases a new model – dubbed SportWagen – and releases it on the family of vehicle that brought home the 2015 North American Car of the Year crown, the VW Golf. The V-dub Golf S-dub arrived earlier this year and it replaces the Jetta SportWagen.
While U.S. consumers eagerly await the arrival of Ford’s global rally car, the Focus RS, we enjoy zipping around town (or the track) in the sport tuned Focus ST that received some upgrades for the 2015 model year. We spent time recently checking out the updated driving dynamics (steering and suspension) along with styling changes inside and out.
I hadn’t driven the Lexus CT 200h hybrid Cross Tourer since its launch four years ago, despite my efforts to the contrary. I enjoyed testing the new hybrid-only wagon-like vehicle from Toyota’s luxury division and looked forward to spending a full week behind the wheel, but it did not come to fruition until only recently. And I still liked it.
Some vehicles go for more than a decade without changing much (Nissan Titan, I am looking at you) but others seem to get makeovers as often as the seasons change. The Honda Fit falls into this latter category as although it was introduced to the U.S. in 2006 as a 2007 model, MY2015 is the third-generation of the tiny Honda.
The midsize S60 sedan from Volvo has become one of my favorite new vehicles over the past few years. Bolstering this middle segment from the Swedish automaker was also sibling crossover XC60. For 2015 Volvo V60 T5 brings a new sport wagon to the center of its lineup in the form of the V60 and it is quickly gaining favor.
The Mazda3 recently turned 10 years old, and to celebrate the automaker gave the world an all-new, third-generation model. Mazda‘s been a bridesmaid to other Japanese automakers for years, but with new releases like the CX-5, Mazda6 and this little gem, Mazda proves it deserves to be in the same conversations as the likes of Toyota and Honda.
Earlier this week, we reviewed the 2014 Kia Soul; if you looked at that car and thought “it needs to be electric”, then you’re in luck! Kia has announced an all-electric Soul, with a range of 80-100 miles between charges. This is in line with other electric vehicles, but the Soul makes being an EV look good.
Two years ago I reviewed the Kia Rio, and I was pleasantly surprised. Later that year I reviewed the Kia Optima Hybrid, and I was impressed. This past week I’ve had the chance to review the 2014 Kia Soul, and I think I am in love. It was hard to say goodbye to our review car!
Usually when I show up in the review vehicle of the week, friends and family freely express their opinions on the new model and I find these to mostly be favorable but sometimes polarized with love it/hate it reactions. Not so with the new 500L from Fiat where nearly everyone told me it was just flat out ugly.
Honda unveiled the all-new 2015 Fit subcompact hatch at the North American International Auto Show. Arriving this spring, the new Fit is redesigned from the ground up offering more interior space in a stylish, fun to drive package with good fuel efficiency and state-of-the-art safety combined with vehicle connectivity, or, in Honda’s words, a small car with big aspirations.
The first Kia Soul model was sold in 2010. Since then, the Soul has become a favorite of everyone from urban dwellers looking for a fuel-efficient compact with personality, to those who appreciate its low profile with easy trunk and rider access. 2014 brings its first major redesign since 2010, and it quite the transformation. The Soul is known for…
Toyota has been in the hybrid automobile business longer than just about anyone. Both Honda and Toyota have been offering hybrid gas/electric vehicles more than a decade, but only Toyota and its Prius line, including the new Prius v, has grown so much it not only outsells mainstream models, but has evolved into a family all its own: Prii. The…