$20K-$30K

$20K-$30K

The Scion xB still looks like a shoebox, but give credit to Scion for not giving up on this model when so many others would have. On the contrary, Scion’s actually continuing to build up the xB with debut of the Release Series 10.0, a specially designed xB that comes with a whole new list of modern technologies.

Limited to just 1,500 units — like the FR-S Release Series 1.0 — the xB Release Series 10.0 doesn’t completely change the vehicle’s outward appearance, but it does have a host of modifications that at least makes it look a little more presentable. That’s probably the only recourse Scion has in differentiating the xB Release Series 10.0 from the standard version, so it set out to do just that, dressing up the model with am Electric Quartz paint that it describes as a mixture of pearl white with subtle green highlights.

That’s just the beginning of a range of new bits for the xB Release Series 10.0. But the best part is that the model is expected to hit dealerships this summer at a price of $20,420, excluding the $755 in delivery, processing and handling fees. Not too bad for a relatively exclusive xB.

Before that, though, the Scion xB Release Series 10.0 made a quick stop at the 2014 New York Auto Show for its official debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion xB Release Series 10.0.

The 2014 New York Auto Show is here and Mini has brought with it the new 2015 Countryman . It’s safe to say that the Countryman has come a long way since being introduced to the U.S. in the 2011 model year, even establishing a following of its own that’s unique to all other variants of the Cooper .

Being a five-door model was probably a big advantage for those who sought a bigger Cooper. It was also the first all-wheel drive Mini , which made it ideal as one of the few Coopers that can hit the beaten path when called upon.

The 2015 Countryman doesn’t offer a lot of changes that will blow you away. But the success of the Countryman as a unique model should make the 2015 model another popular seller. If anything, the minor cosmetic tweaks can be described as a bonus relative to what the whole package is offering.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mini Countryman.

The wait is over for the all-new 2015 Dodge Charger, though with a quick glance at the photos, it seems ‘all-new’ is a bit of a stretch. But while everything but the front grille may look carried over, nearly every body panel has been updated. The subtle changes continue inside with a reworked dashboard, a more techno-laden gauge cluster, a new center stack, and a sweet T-handle gear selector.

Things under the hood are still familiar, too. The base 3.6-liter, Pentastar V-6 returns, as does the venerable 5.7-liter, HEMI V-8. The transmission options have changed, however. The eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic is now standard across the board, helping the Pentastar V-6 achieve 31 mpg highway while assisting the 5.7-liter HEMI sprint to 60 mph in roughly 5 seconds.

The interior sees a host of electronic upgrades and new technologies within Chrysler’s latest version of Uconnect. Voice texting, updated 3D navigation, WiFi hotspot capabilities, and the all-new Dodge Performance pages all find a home within the 8.4-inch touch screen. That latter item holds a plethora of performance options and customizable settings including launch control and its rpm settings, performance timers, extra gauges, and even a g-force meter.

Matching the updated and more upmarket interior is the Charger’s reworked outer skin. The most noticeable changes lie up front with its more Dodge Dart -like appearance. Around to the sides are scalloped doors still flowing into the large rear haunches and then to a detail-rich rear fascia. A new crop of wheels completes the 2015 transformation.

Click past the jump for the complete run-down on the 2015 Dodge Charger

Volkswagen has unveiled all of the juicy bits for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI . Suffice to say, the MK VII Golf GTI has the refined power we all look for in a sports hatchback . The 2015 model not only has that in spades, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, I-4 engine that packs 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but it also has a lot of standard and optional features to choose from.

Even better, Volkswagen is set to offer a Performance Package for the Golf GTI later in the year. This package is expected to include larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, all for just $1,495. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system will also be available later in the 2015 model year on the SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be giddy about with the 2015 Golf GTI and we won’t blame you for feeling the same way.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Why oh why must Toyota and Scion continuously tease us with fast-looking versions of the GT 86 and FR-S , but never actually release one with any go-fast bits on it? Well, here is yet another example of all show and no go from Toyota, as Scion has unveiled its FR-S Release Series 1.0 in New York, and revealed even more that it couldn’t care less what the masses are asking for.

The only good thing to come from this new version is that it will be limited to just 1,500 units and feature a few useful gadgets among the useless, rice-boy add-on equipment. We’ll start with the good stuff, which includes push-button start, black seats with a "T" pattern, HID headlights and automatic dual climate control. Those are all nice additions, but Toyota Toyota went ahead and riced this bad-boy out with its TRD Quad Tip Exhaust System, lowering springs, aero kit with a rear spoiler and fender garnishes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all not calling the FR-S Release Series 1.0 ugly by any means, but I take issue with slapping all of that extra weight onto the FR-S and making it look the part of a racer without bumping the actual performance. Sure, the lowering springs may make it more agile — doubtful — but the engine remains the same 200-horsepower, 151-pound-feet unit it’s always had. The only hope that we have is that the TRD exhaust system actually frees up a few ponies, but there is no mention of that.

According to Scion, the FR-S Release Series 1.0 will cost "under $30,000" plus handling and destination charges.

Guess we’ll continue to wait for a performance version of the GT 86/FR-S/BRZ triplets...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Scion FR-S Release Series.

The success of the Volkswagen Jetta is unquestioned. After all, it doesn’t earn the distinction of being VW’s best-selling vehicle for nothing. That being said, it’s a little disappointing that the 2015 Jetta , which is set to make its debut at the New York Auto Show , didn’t receive as many upgrades as we had anticipated. But hey, Volkswagen seems to think that the modifications it did put in are enough to continue the Jetta’s path as its breadwinner. It’s hard to argue on that front considering that the variety of Jetta models that are likely to be offered in the market will run the gamut of customer preferences.

Be it an entry-level Jetta, or the diesel-sipping Jetta TDI, this Volkswagen sedan is as versatile as they come in the business. Oh, and it’s got a workhorse GLI model, too, just in case you’re looking for one that has 200 horsepower under its hood.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta.

Not to toot our own horn, but we did call this , didn’t we? Mini has officially announced the winner of the "MINI Originals” design contest and like we predicted, that Tron-looking Cooper, dubbed "DeLux" by creator Alex Coyle, was announced as the winner of the competition.

The blacklight-influenced Mini Cooper beat out some worthy challengers, but in the end, none were as popular to the Mini community as Coyle’s design, whose name he explained came from the word "lux," the "root meaning of the word ’light’".

As the winner of the contest, the young sophomore student studying creative advertising and photography at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA will now have the distinction of seeing his creation come to life in the form of a limited run of Coopers carrying the ’DeLux" package.

Anybody interested in it can now place orders on MINIUSA.com and through MINI dealerships across the country. Be warned, though, Mini has indicated that there will only be up to 56 models of Coyle’s DeLux package so if you’re pining for one, better place an order before the units run out.

In the meantime, the DeLux Cooper will be in attendance at the New York Auto Show next week so that’s also a good a time as any to have an up-close look at this very unique Cooper.

Click past the jump to read more about Mini Cooper.

The Citroen Wild Rubis Concept is finally getting its production due with the arrival of the DS 6WR at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show . Exclusive to the Chinese market, the DS 6WR’s arrival also marks Citroen’s entry into the burgeoining crossover segment of the biggest auto market in the world.

Full details of the DS 6WR are being reserved for its debut at Beijing, but Citroen is really promising a lot with the model, boasting on how it plans to "marry power and refinement" in one impressive design package.

What we can at least expect is a crossover that will ride on the same platform as the DS5 and DS 5LS, two models that, coincidentally, are already being manufactured in China .

The DS 6WR will also be carry the same production plans, thanks to the joint venture between Citroen’s parent company, PSA, and Chinese brand Changan.

Reported performance figures will include a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that will produce as much as 200 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque. Other engine options available will likely come with output numbers of 163 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, as well as a 1.8-liter engine that nets 139 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque

As far as price is concerned, the DS 6WR is tipped to retail at a base price of around $26,000 with the top-of-the-line model fetching close to $32,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the Citroen DS 6WR .

After Toyota North America filled trademarks for two new models — the NX 200t and NX 300h — it was not hard to figure out that these were upcoming Lexus models. The fact that they were SUVs was made simply by the "X" in their names. It was also not very difficult to understand that one trademark — the NX 200t — will be the turbocharged gasoline version, while the other one — the NX 300h — will be a hybrid model. The NX 200t will be powered by the company’s new 2.0-liter, turbocharged AR engine set to launch in 2014, while the 300h will likely get the same hybrid powertrain as in the Lexus ES 300h : a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle hybrid engine.

The new Lexus NX will be placed under the company’s current RX and will most likely debut on the market sometime in 2015.

Updated 4/11/2014: Lexus has officially confirmed that the NX line will debut at the 2014 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 20th. The lineup will include the base NX 200, the turbocharged NX 200t and the hybrid NX 300h. Details are still limited, but we detailed as much as we could, plugs a look at the concepts that previewed the NX, after the jump.

Buying a new vehicle for cheap these days can be a daunting task, especially a pickup truck. As customer demands have grown, so have the trucks’ capabilities and price tags. If you’ve got $50,000 to blow, the options are nearly limitless. But what about $30,000? Or even under that? What kind of truck can be had for less than that magical money ceiling?

The truck market is a highly competitive one with each automaker gunning to outdo and one-up the competition. This is great for those looking for feature-laden trucks with more technology than the best luxury cars could boast five years ago or tow ratings that seem to compete with Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.

Consequently, prices for these “work vehicles” have become luxury-like in the process. Sure, some buyers need a truck to pull double duty as the family sedan throughout the week while still towing the boat or RV on the weekends. For that purpose, modern full-size trucks in mid- to upper-grade trim reign supreme.

Because prices have jumped so high, folks wanting to spend $30,000 or less on a truck only have a few options, consisting mostly of single- or extended-cab full-size trucks or smaller midsize trucks. It all depends on how the truck is optioned out.

Those looking to tow will have to sacrifice interior amenities for a larger engine and a towing package. Those looking for interior room will ironically have to stick with a midsized truck that offers a four-door crew cab model. For buyers, it all boils down to how the truck will be used. Evaluating personal use is perhaps the most critical aspect of buying a truck on a budget.

Click past the jump for TopSpeed’s 5 best trucks under $30K


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