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$20K-$30K

$20K-$30K

In New York, Mini has just finished introducing us to the 2015 Countryman . Not one to limit its attendance to just one major auto show, Mini decided to spread its new models out evenly by opting to introduce the equally refreshed 2015 Paceman in Beijing .

Ok, maybe ’refreshed’ isn’t the right word to describe the 2015 Paceman because, well, there aren’t too many changes to begin with. It does adopt some of the changes made to the Countryman, but that’s not saying a lot.

So, in essence, the 2015 Paceman’s biggest change is its a new model year.

But it’s not the Paceman’s fault, nor is it Minis, for that matter. The Paceman, after all, was only introduced a few years ago, so a major refresh probably still isn’t in the cards until next year. More importantly, with the company’s expansion plans in full effect, Mini’s new-found lineup versatility has given rise to more choices for its customers.

Volkswagen seems to be shaking that bland, boring vibe it’s currently got going on, swapping it in favor for style and attitude in the German automaker’s latest concept just revealed at the Beijing Auto Show . Known as the Midsize Coupe Concept, the car is shorter than the Jetta but wider than the CC, , making for a much sportier appearance from the onset.

Skipping right to the good part, the VW Coupe Concept lives up to its sporty appearance with the familiar 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder banging away 217 horsepower on its way to a 6.5-second run to 62 mph. What’s more, it achieves an estimated 34 mpg while cruising the highway, and its top speed is listed at 152 mph.

Besides its size and sporty character, the VW concept sports some new design cues both inside and out. The three-bar grille’s chrome bars continue into the LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights, while a detail-rich lower air dam and side grilles pull in extra air and extra attention. Around to the side are large 20-inch, multi-colored wheels wrapped in performance 245-series rubber.

There is quite a rumble of excitement surrounding this concept, though VW hasn’t announced any official plans to build it. We do know the automaker plans to incorporate some of the design and styling cues into its product lineup in the future, but whether the Midsize Coupe Concept will actually live has yet to be seen. Beyond it getting a green light for production, we’ll have to further worry about its entry into the U.S. as VW has a tendency to hold back the performance-oriented products from burning rubber on our shores.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe Concept.


Toyota is turning up the fun factor with the heavily refreshed 2015 Camry, making it more exciting to drive, quieter inside, and more appealing to look at. A new interior includes better materials and even a handy wireless phone charger in the center console. This update comes only two years after the Camry’s last refresh, but in its quest to excite customers with a more upmarket sedan, Toyota is staying poised on its toes, jabbing at the competition.

Though much of the car’s underpinnings are not new, the car will have a fresh feel and character. Revised suspension components make the Camry a better handler while upgraded insulation keeps NVH levels to a minimum. Outside, every body panel except for the roof has been replaced in a effort to liven up the Camry’s demeanor.

While the Camry gets a new look, the greasy bits under the hood will carry over. The 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder and the 3.5-liter V-6 return, as does the six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid trim carries over as well, utilizing the same Atkinson Cycle 2.5-liter I-4 mated to an E-CVT. All three engines are good performers and get impressive fuel economy numbers, though none of them will be setting lap time records or leaving burnout marks up Interstate on-ramps.

The Camry might not be setting records around a racetrack, but it sure has set plenty of sales records, leading the pack as the best selling sedan for the last 12 years. Toyota has sold nearly a million Camrys in the last two years alone. So is messing with success worth it? Click past the jump for all the details on the new 2015 Camry and decide for yourself.

Click past the jump for the low down on the 2015 Toyota Camry

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.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Dodge ’s highly anticipated facelift for the Challenger has finally arrived — a little late we might add — to give the pony a fresh start in the muscle car battle against its Detroit rivals.

Revamped inside and out, the Challenger stormed into New York with updated front and rear fascias, and new exterior colors and wheel designs. Sure, the facelift is not as spectacular as the one seen on the Charger , but it should be enough to keep the Challenger marketable until the next-generation model arrives.

Those who were looking forward to see some engine updates will end up a bit disappointed, as Dodge didn’t bother to offer extra oomph, and, apparently, the new Hellcat V-8 is not yet ready to make an entrance. However, the ancient five-speed automatic has finally been moved to the dustbin, making way for a more attractive unit.

The new Challenger comes just as Dodge is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the muscle car will certainly be a part of this summer’s merrymaking. We bet something special is coming our way, but, until them, let’s take a deep dive into the 2015 Challenger.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger.


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.

In 25 years, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has become a cult icon and entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling, two-seat, open-top sports car . But that is old news, and we are here to show you just what Mazda plans to do in celebration of the Miata’s 25th year in existence. The automaker is launching a 25th Anniversary Edition at the New York Auto Show to show buyers just how important the roadster is to Mazda.

This special-edition MX-5 Miata is based on the power retractable hard top (PRHT) version of the car, giving this drop-top a nice and quiet cabin when the top is up — I noted this in my recent test drive of the Club version . The 25th Anniversary Edition will be exclusively available in Soul Red Metallic — a proper color for the iconic sports car — with contrasting black mirrors, A-pillars and top. On the inside, the special model gets off-white leather seating and door trim, and a hand-finished decorative panel.

Under the hood, things will remain the same, as it will feature the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder mill that cranks out 167 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque when mated to the standard six-cog manual. You can also opt for the six-speed auto transmission, but that results in 11 fewer ponies under the hood. This special MX-5 also gets the added benefit of Bilstein dampers to keep it glued to the road in the twist.

Unfortunately, there are no real modifications to this car other than the exclusive colors inside and out, the hand-worked decorative panel and badges, but it is still a nice send-off for the NC-generation MX-5.

Click past the jump to the MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition up close.


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