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Rob Riggle’s brand of humor can be a little over the top sometimes, but this new Ford commercial for the Super Bowl, doesn’t show that off.

Here we see a more subdued Riggle talking to a coffee-sipping Ford exec while describing the benefits of driving a Ford hybrid. At one point, Riggle even ventures into the world of mythology to make his point, comparing the hybrid to a griffin complete with a soliloquy about the griffin having the "head of an eagle, the body of a lion."

We don’t know if we can necessarily compare a Ford hybrid (maybe he was talking about a Fusion Hybrid ?) to that mythic creature, but we do see the point of Riggle’s comparison. If anything, he does a good job of selling his spiel, even though it doesn’t make much sense at all.

Oh, well. Guess that’s how Ford is going to roll with its set of ads for the Super Bowl. Maybe it has more up its sleeve, but this one, while pretty funny in a Rob Riggle kind of way, misses on what the #nearlydouble hashtag is trying to get across.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Crash safety is an important thing and vehicles these days are safer than ever before. But the auto industry took a hard hit when the Institute of Insurance and Highway Safety recently released its review of 11 subcompact minicars for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

Out of 11 cars tested in the IIHS’s small overlap crash test, only the Chevy Spark received an “acceptable” rating while the other contenders got lesser scores of “marginal” or “poor.” None of the cars earned the best rating of “good.” With the Spark’s advantage in the small overlap test, combined with its “good” ratings in the IIHS’ other crash tests, the Spark was awarded a 2014 Top Safety Pick.

The small overlap test has gotten its share of flack since its introduction in August 2012. Automakers complain the test wasn’t announced far enough in advance for new models already in development to accommodate the new crash standards. It appears the Honda Fit , Fiat 500 , Hyundai Accent , Nissan Versa , Mitsubishi Mirage , and the Toyota Prius C were the ones who missed the memo – all scoring the lowest score of “poor.” The Ford Fiesta , Toyota Yaris , Kia Rio , and Mazda2 fared a bit better with a score of “marginal.”

Mind you, the small overlap crash is only one test out of several conducted by the IIHS including the moderate overlap and side impact. Clicking past the jump will shows the complete video chronicles of the 11 mincars.

Click past the jump to watch the IIHS crash these 11 minicars

Posted on by Simona  
Chevrolet Cruze

This isn’t the first time we’ve caught the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze out testing, but this is the first time that we managed to snop off a few pictures of its interior. Though the shots of the Cruze ’s interior are not complete, we still have to say that we like what we’re looking at so far.

As revealed by these spy shots, it looks like the 2015 Cruze will get a new, large touchscreen, a new multi-function steering wheel, a stitched dash and plenty of chrome accents throughout the cabin. It looks like the Cruze will also feature an additional "Eco" mode, and will come equipped with park-assist sensors, a voice-recognition system and possibly a lane-departure warning system.

GM will build the 2015 Cruze — codenamed "D2SC" — on its new Delta chassis that it will share with several other cars, including the next Volt , Equinox and Opel Astra . We know very little else about the new Cruze up to this point, but we do expect it to get a lineup of improved engines that will focus on reducing fuel consumption.

For the U.S. market, the 2015 Cruze will go into production in late 2014 at the Lordstown assembly plant.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze.

Posted on by Simona  

Cadillac unveiled a first ELR concept back in 2011 and ever since then everyone was pretty sure a production will also follow. Things got pretty clear in 2012 when a leak from OnStar confirmed Cadillac will dive into the hybrid realm with a vehicle not named "Escalade ." The model finally made its world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and according to the first official details we have, it offers "an unprecedented combination of luxury, advanced engineering and progressive design."

However, this is not the first time in Caddy’s long history that it’s tread into the economy car world. The first one was the laughably Cavalier-like Cimarron. If you recall, Cadillac was so embarrassed by the Cimarron that the automaker refused to call it a Cadillac and instead dubbed it the “Cimarron by Cadillac” originally. GM later forced a name change to “Cadillac Cimarron.”

Needless to say Caddy does not want to relive those days, so they took things pretty serious with the ELR. The model is being powered by the latest GM EREV technology that combined a pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4 liter gasoline-powered electric generator.

Updated 02/10/2014: Cadillac unveiled a first commercial for its new ELR electric coupe featuring actor Neil McDonough. Enjoy!

Updated 03/25/2014: Cadillac unveiled a new video for the new ELR coupe which hopes it will help it sell the electric coupe better. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read the entire review to see if the ELR will end up on TIME’s “50 Worst Cars of All Time” list alongside the Cimarron.

Toyota has invested a lot into the redesigned 2014 Corolla sedan, heralding its new designs both inside and out as fresh and exciting, but despite the new looks, the Corolla falls short in the safety department. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranks the new Corolla as “marginal” in the small-overlap crash test.

The new-for-2013 small overlap crash test has caught many automakers off-guard with its stringent new standards, but Toyota is feeling the ill effects with many of its vehicles. The Camry , Prius V , and RAV4 all received a “poor” rating in the new test. As a result, those vehicles will not qualify for the IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ honors.

During the test, the Corolla suffered damage to the driver’s foot well, raising the chances of lower-leg injuries. The dummy’s head also rolled to the left of the airbag and could potentially strike the A-pillar or dashboard. Luckily, the side curtain airbag deployed properly and prevented any injuries to the dummy’s head.

Toyota was obviously not happy with the results. Spokesman John Hanson even questioned the new standard’s relevancy by saying, “When all-new crash tests are introduced by the [IIHS], we need to be confident that the changes needed to accommodate the tests will enhance overall safety in real-world crashes.”

The IIHS says the new standards are in response to research suggesting that 25 percent of all highway deaths are caused by small overlap head-on collisions.

The news isn’t all bad for Toyota, however. The redesigned Scion tC earned the second-highest safety rating of “acceptable” in the small-overlap frontal crash test back in August.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota Corolla

With every passing year, compact cars seem to get better and better, so it’s no surprise that the the Sentra is not the same entry-level, cheapo Nissan it used to be. Our Sentra tester is fitted with the SR trim package, which adds in plenty of bells and whistles that you would expect from a more expensive vehicle, including keyless entry, push-button start and navigation. The best part is the price; at $21,550 as tested, the Sentra SR offers plenty of bang for your buck.

The Sentra SR’s exterior is very well appointed with LED headlight surrounds, sport front and rear bumpers, and side skirts that look like they belong in "The Fast and the Furious" series. Even the alloy wheels look pretty good for the price.

What really pulls the whole exterior together is that Electric Metallic Blue paint that we last saw on the 370Z a few years back. Sure, it’s not a Ferrari, but there’s a lot to take in for the price point.

Nissan Sentra SR

The interior is a not quite as satisfying as the outside, but the push-button start and navigation system for under $22k, we’re not complaining.

The seats are cloth, but they look good for the class, and the dash is padded with the more expensive, soft plastic. Add to that trimming that doesn’t feel like it was stamped in the same Chinese factory as your iPhone case, and the overall interior package is fairly attractive. Top that with good rear leg room, nice visibility all around and folding rear seats, and you have a flexible product with very little compromises.

On the road, the Sentra drives okay, but with a CVT driving the front wheels, it is not an overly exhilarating experience. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels better than a lot of more expensive cars, and the CVT does a good job at limiting torque steer and unwanted movement in the steering wheel.

The suspension is comfortable for daily use, but it also allows you to take corners with confidence. We even caught ourselves taking a few corners fast enough to get a little feedback from the tires, which added a some extra fun to the drive. Is it Porsche fun? No, but it is above average for the econo-box class.

Overall The Nissan Sentra SR gives you a lot for your money. On the outside, it looks good enough to prevent your buddies from chuckling at you when you roll up in it, and inside, you have plenty of premium features to keep you happy for years to come.

Of course, with the 2014 Toyota Corolla debuting a sporty look, your choice of entry-level sedans is getting harder.

Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla
Nissan Sentra SR
Posted on by TB +  

The Ford Fiesta sedan and hatch are fresh for 2014, with a nose restyle and additional interior features, like an optional touchscreen infotainment. The biggest mechanical news comes from the hot Fiesta ST performance model, but the humble four-door sedan and five-door hatchbacks are packing a new EcoBoost option as well.

Ford is bringing the award-winning EcoBoost 1.0-liter three-cylinder to the U.S.-market Fiesta for 2014, where the engine’s 148 pound-feet of torque will be the top offering. The in-line-three cylinder engine is a marvel of power and efficiency, with a predicted mpg score that is well above even the 41 highway rating of the Special Fuel Economy version of the sedan.

The Fiesta’s previous styling effort and lackluster engines have slowed the adoption of this compact car by most U.S. shoppers. 2014’s tasteful new nose helps bring the Fiesta’s appearance in line with the handsome new Fusion – with a sculpted trapezoidal grille with horizontal chrome slats. Paired with the Fiesta’s new bumpers and hood-mounted Blue Oval badge – the Fiesta is finally looking chic enough to be cross-shopped with the Fiat 500 and other fashion super-minis.

In reality, the bulk of the Fiesta’s market is also considering the Chevrolet Sonic and Dodge Dart – but benchmarking the Fiat 500 is important for the Ford to attract young city drivers. Among this ‘fashion compact’ segment, the Fiat ’s quirky design and image helps make the car seem more like an accessory – a designer handbag of a car instead of just boring transport.

Click past the jump to see how the 2014 Ford Fiesta compares with rivals, plus detailed information on the new EcoBoost three-cylinder engine’s performance chops.

Posted on by Simona  

In the latest episode of Drive, Chris Harris performed a rather interesting head-to-head comparison, putting a Mercedes G63 AMG against a Ford Fiesta ST . That may sound insane, given the ST hits 60 mph in around 7 seconds and the G63 AMG does the same in 5.3 seconds, but there is a twist. The twist is that Harris wanted to see if the G63 AMG could beat the Fiesta ST to 60 mph while towing, well... the Fiesta ST...

That’s right, Chris strapped 4 tons of trailer and car to the G63 AMG and put the pedal to the metal to see if monstrous Benz SUV can get to 60 mph in under 7 seconds. Quite an interesting and original comparison.

As a reminder, the G63 AMG is powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 biturbo engine that delivers a total of 544 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. The Fiesta ST’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine produces 197 horsepower and 214 pound of torque.

So, is the Fiesta ST faster under its own power or while strapped to the back of the Mercedes ?

Posted on by TB +  

Mission control: The Datsun launch is a GO. I repeat - Datsun is GO for launch. Ignition sequence…

The re-launch of the Datsun brand took a big step forward with the reveal of its new budget car, the GO. This compact, five-door hatchback will spearhead Nissan ’s ambitions across some of the largest developing markets in the world, starting with India and Russia in early 2014.

The Datsun brand will form the low-cost and extra-reliable rung of the Nissan family that also includes the Infiniti luxury division. Datsun wants a piece of the huge sales numbers achieved by Maruti-Suzuki and Dacia with an eye on future expansion across Asia, Africa and South America.

The new Datsun ethos is fun, youthful cars that are extremely practical. The marketing is lifestyle focused with strong appeals to youth culture and breaking away from the norm. New brands and segments are easier to establish among young shoppers with fewer brand loyalties.

The Datsun GO must carve a careful niche to maximize its success in the Indian home market, where the car was also developed and will be assembled. A low selling price is king but customers will spend more to get the features they need, like a tailgate that opens for luggage access and of course, air conditioning. The slow-motion failure of the unpopular Tata Nano is a cautionary tale for the new Datsun brand.

How will Datsun’s launch model perform in challenging market conditions?

Click past the jump for the full preview of the 2014 Datsun GO, a new generation of compact cars from the legendary Datsun brand.

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We have seen nearly every gimmick under the sun with various automakers, from Saturn and its "No Haggle" pricing — see where that got it — to Volkswagen with its "Sign Then Drive Event." One gimmick that we’ve been waiting for is for when dealerships start renting out their cars for extended test drives or just a weekend trip.

Well, the wait is now over, as Toyota has done just that. From the looks of things, about 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealers across the U.S. participate in this program and Toyota claims that its rental rates are competitive with local car-rental companies. According to the Toyota Rent a Car website, you can rent cars, trucks, SUVs, Hybrids and even the 2013 RAV4 EV for a day, week or even months. Unfortunately, the 2013 Scion FR-S isn’t on the list of available models, but the almost-as-cool Scion tC is on the list.

So, we can now check brand-new rent-a-buckets off of our wish list, now we are just waiting for all of the dealers to morph into rental showrooms and Internet-based car buying — now that is "no haggle pricing!" Those two will likely never happen, but at the rate that Tesla is changing the car-buying experience, you just never know what will happen.

Your move, Elon Musk...

Click past the jump to read about some of the coolest models that Toyota is renting out under this program


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