$20K-$30K

$20K-$30K

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

With nine months of year-over-year sales gains during 2013 and off to a great start in 2014, the tiny Fiat 500 is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, mostly because of its classic look and affordable price. Its 101-horsepower, inline-four engine won’t break any speed records, but this is where the brawnier Abarth version comes in. Yes, the Fiat 500 Abarth is being readied for the 2015 model year as we speak, with the high-performance city car scheduled to be showcased during the New York Auto Show later this month, in both hatchback and cabrio guises.

To keep the 500 Abarth appealing for 2015, the Italians have operated a number of interior and powertrain updates without altering the vehicle’s sporty character. In fact, the new transmission the 500 Abarth is set to receive promises to offer "an even more engaged driving experience."

Last time we drove the Fiat 500 Abarth we dubbed it "mini Ferrari" . Now let’s find out if this little, turbocharged hatch is ready to carry its legacy even further.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio.

Korean automaker Kia Motors has officialy released details of the 2015 Sedona , its newest competitor in the minivan segment set for its global debut at the New York Auto Show happening April 16.

The news of a new minivan is good news for soccer moms everywhere since the market has grown stale over the last few years. Once the Sedona hits the market, it will be the newest game in town by a long shot with the second newest competitors – the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna – both being new for 2011.

Minivan sales have been relatively good with both the Sienna and Odyssey selling roughly 120,000 vans each in 2013. The Kia, on the other hand, has struggled. Only managing to roll 7,079 units off the lot last year, the Sedona is obviously in need of some help. Considering how well Kia’s other products are doing (think Optima ), the automaker is capable of a home run here, if they’ll cater to its audience with the right features, space, available options, and priced at the right dollar amount.

Even with an all-new van, it’s hard imagining Kia raising the Sedona’s price much past its current $25,900 starting slot, especially if it want to compete with the Odyssey, Sienna, and Grand Caravan. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the complete coverage of the 2014 New York Auto Show in the coming weeks.

Updated 04/14/2014: Kia announced today the official details on the 2015 Sedona with just a few days before the car’s official debut in New York Auto Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia Sedona.

In a market that has no shortage of worthy competitors, the Nissan Altima has etched a name for itself that we just can’t overlook. Sure, more notable models like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry get more of the buzz, but the Altima, thanks to its redesigned exterior, sophisticated interior and a choice of two engines, is by no means a slouch.

For the 2014 model year, Nissan built on the changes made to the 2013 version to give the Altima more bang for your buck. The addition of the newest version of NissanConnect is a huge plus with connectivity to online apps never been easier.

That’s crucial for young buyers of the vehicle and Nissan did a good job of keeping the Altima look sporty and athletic to cater to a new wave of potential customers.

Updated 06/02/2014: Nissan announced prices for the 2015 Altima which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices for the 2015 Altima will range from $22,300 for the base 2.5 version up to $31,950 for the 3.5 SL version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Altima.


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