$20K-$30K

$20K-$30K

The Scion FR-S and its corporate cousins the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 are still relatively new to the sports car scene, having been launched in 2012. The cars represent an interesting alliance between Subaru and Toyota , two Japanese automakers, with Toyota taking care of the design work and Subaru handling the greasy bits underneath.

Though the cars have been well received by journalist and enthusiast the world over, it seems sales, at least in the U.S., arn’t living up to the hype with just over 40,000 FR-S units moved since 2012 and roughly 18,000 BRZs sold. That’s an oddity considering just how well the cars fulfill the sport car checklist.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a Scion FR-S getting to know its personality. My tester came equipped with nothing more than optional six-speed automatic transmission. No navigation or SiriusXM; just an honest sports coupe with a willing powerplant and skinny tires that made driving anywhere an exciting event.

Click past the jump for the full rundown of the 2014 Scion FR-S

Launched in 2012 for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the newest crossovers on the market. Sharing its platform with the smaller Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans, the CX-5 was Mazda’s first vehicle featuring the new KODO design language and the company’s SkyActiv technology. Available in North America since 2013, the U.S.-spec CX-5 is offered with two engines. The base, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder generates 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, while the 2.5-liter, four-banger is rated 184 ponies and 185 pound-feet. A six-speed autobox comes standard on three of four trims, while the FWD entry-level model is equipped with a six-speed manual. In Europe, Mazda is also selling a diesel version, powered by a 2.2-liter, inline-four that delivers as much as 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Coming into 2015, roughly three years since its debut, the Mazda CX-5 is received its first mid-cycle facelift.

Although the CX-5 is far from being old and still enjoys great success in the U.S. market, the Japanese automaker decided some nips and tucks are necessary in order for the crossover to keep up with its competitors. Changes are anything but wild, but customers will enjoy a couple of significant exterior updates.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mazda CX-5.

The Kia Sorento was launched in 2002 and went on sale in the United States the following year. The first-generation Sorento was a traditional body-on-frame SUV with off-road capabilities and a four-wheel drive system. The first-gen Sorento was replaced in 2009, when Kia introduced a completely redesigned vehicle. Now built on a car-based platform and relegated to crossover status, the second-gen Sorento began rolling off the West Point, Georgia production line for the 2010 model year. Slightly longer than its predecessor, the updated Sorento gained new 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter V-6 engines on U.S. soil.

The crossover received yet another makeover for the 2013 model year. Although Kia introduced it as a third-generation model with an all-new chassis and redesigned front and rear fascias, the update is commonly considered a facelift rather than a brand-new generation. Going into 2015, Kia introducing a revamped Sorento with hefty updates inside and out, including a longer wheelbase.

Updated 08/11/2014: Kia unveiled the first images of the new generation Sorento, with weeks before after its official debut in Paris. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Kia Sorento.

The Fiat 500 first saw life back in 1957 as the Fiat Nuova 500 and was an inexpensive little city car that became extremely popular throughout Italy. Its small, two-cylinder engine displaced roughly 500cc — hence the name — and produced a modest 13 brake horsepower. It enjoyed a ragtop roof that slid rearward and a pair of suicide doors. In comparison to today’s cars, the original Fiat 500 was a toy, only standing chest height to the average person. Production ended in 1975 and the 500 name laid dormant until 2007 when the current version became available in Europe.

The Fiat 500 swam the pond in 2010, marking the first time Fiat sold vehicles in the U.S. since 1984. The return happened, thanks to Fiat’s purchase of Chrysler and the two automakers’ global alliances. The car has remained unchanged for the most part, except the additional Abarth trim level new for 2012. That sporty trim added a ton of go-fast, have-fun goodies to Fiat’s spunky little run-about.

I recently spend a week getting to know the Fiat 500c Abarth. You’ll notice the ‘c’ in the 500’s name, well that signifies it carries a ragtop roof, just like the original Fiat 500 did. This 500, however, has 147 more horsepower than the original, a sweet exhaust note, and a superb five-speed manual gearbox. This thing is like the Mazda Miata of Italy — the tossable plaything that begs to be driven hard.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Fiat 500c Abarth

Honda introduced the CR-V in 1995. The crossover was based on the Honda Civic and came with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Built until 2001, the first-gen CR-V came to the United States in 1997 and had a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 126 horsepower. A 1999 facelift saw power increase to 147 ponies, as Honda responded to criticism that the crossover was underpowered. The second-gen model arrived in 2001 with extensive visual and technology upgrades. Three new engines were introduced, including a 2.4-liter inline-four. The CR-V was redesigned yet again for the 2007 model year, when production of the crossover began at the company’s new East Liberty, Ohio plant. The fourth-gen CR-V debuted at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale for 2012. In 2014, the vehicle is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-banger producing 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. As we move into 2015, the current CR-V is getting ready to receive a facelift, which will arrive in dealerships for the 2016 model year.

Revised front and rear fascia, an updated interior and an enhanced engine are the main feats surrounding this mid-cycle upgrade.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda CR-V.

Mitsubishi introduced the Outlander in 2001 as a midsize crossover based on the ASX concept. Initially known as the Mitsubishi Airtrek on the Japanese market, the first-gen Outlander was powered by a range of 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines mated to four- and five-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The vehicle was launched in the United States in 2003 as a replacement for the Montero Sport. The second-gen Outlander arrived in 2005. The redesigned shell came with new engines, new gearboxes and new safety features. For the first time, the crossover gained a 3.0-liter V-6 and a six-speed, twin-clutch transmission. A 2009 facelift added the Lancer’s front end to the Outlander. The second-gen model was replaced altogether for the 2013 model year, when major visual and drivetrain updates were operated. More importantly, the Outlander became available as a plug-in hybrid under the P-HEV moniker. As we move into the 2015 model year, Mitsubishi is readying the first mid-cycle refresh for its successful crossover.

The facelift comes as a last hurrah for the third-generation Outlander, which is scheduled to be replaced by a brand-new vehicle in 2017. To keep it fresh in a segment attended by many manufacturers, the Japanese automaker is refining the vehicle’s exterior looks, while upgrading the interior and the powertrains.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander.

The Toyota Prius has been around since 2001 and very rarely have we ever used the words "elegant" and "luxurious" to describe it. But Toyota is determined to infuse those two things on the 2015 Prius with the unveiling of the Persona Series Special Edition . Yes, the Toyota Prius is getting a special edition treatment. But that’s not even the most surprising part about this whole thing. Believe it or not, the Prius Persona Series Special Edition actually looks pretty darn good. Who knew!

This is actually the second time we’ve seen a Persona Series Prius, as Toyota released one in 2013 too. It comes with plenty of exterior and interior upgrades that really bring out a side of the Prius we rarely get to see. That’s about as big a compliment you can throw at the hybrid sedan that doesn’t involve its outstanding fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition will arrive in dealerships in September with a price of $26,985. Another $325 will be added to that total if customers opt for the Blizzard Pearl exterior paint.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition.

Ford has been selling the F-Series since 1948, but the F-150 model didn’t arrive until 1975, when Ford used it as a `tweener pickup to span the gap between the F-100 and F-250. When Ford rolled out the Atlas Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, we were pretty sure that the automaker was already hard at work overhauling the existing F-150 in its likeness. And for the 2015 model year, our suspicions are confirmed, as brand-new F-150, based on the Atlas concept, hit dealers.

With this redesign, Ford will focus on drastically reducing the F-150’s total weight by making use of lightweight aluminum materials. Under the hood, the model will carry a familiar line of engines with a new, 2.7-liter EcoBoost delivering awesome power and better fuel economy.

Updated 07/22/2014: Ford released the specifications figures for the F-150’s new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. Click past the jump for the details. A towing test video was also added.

Updated 07/29/2014: Ford released prices for the 2015 F-150, and they have suffered an increase of $395 to $3,515, depending on the trim level. (USA Today)

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford F-150.

The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.

It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.

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

Meet the Troller T4, a rough-and-tumble SUV Ford is building in Brazil. We hope it’s not love at first sight though, as this puppy isn’t destined for the States anytime soon. The story starts back with Ford’s 2007 purchase of the South American automaker Troller. The T4 was already in development at the time of acquisition, and Ford let the project continue. News of the T4 first broke in June of 2014, and from what Troller has revealed, the T4 will be a competent competitor to vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler , Land Rover Defender , and even perhaps the Mercedes G-Wagen — though not offering the level of posh or refinement as the Benz.

So why is this not the next Ford Bronco? Well, that’s thanks largely to the T4 not being developed by Ford for use in the States. That means it wouldn’t pass the U.S.’ rigorous crash tests. The T4 would, however, likely pass the U.S.’ emissions tests as it’s powered by the same 3.2-liter, I-5, Power Stroke turbodiesel that is offered in the 2015 Ford Transit Van.

The T4 is also fully equipped to handle the challenges found off road. Four-wheel drive; front D-Ring shackle points; high approach, break-over, and departure angles; and an interior that’s said to have easy-to-clean surfaces all aide the Troller Troller in tackling Mother Nature. Even the engine’s air filter is mounted high and to the side, ready for an aftermarket snorkel kit.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford Troller T4.

Source: Uncrate

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