Car Reviews

You may recall my first drive experience with the all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It took place in the heartland of Alabama, along I-65 at Hyundai’s Montgomery Assembly Plant. There I spent time in with all three Sonata models: the 1.6-liter, I-4 Turbo in the Eco model, the 2.4-liter, I-4 volume engine, and the sportier, 2.0-liter, I-4 Turbo. All three made a positive impression during the short routes over the busy afternoon. A more extended test was in order.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a Sonata 2.0T painted in Urban Sunset, much like the tester I had in Montgomery. Even the options list — or lack thereof — looked the same. Carpeted floor mats costing $125 was the only added extra my recent ride had. That’s not altogether terrible, as the Sonata comes with a healthy list of standard features, including the proximity key entry and push-button starting, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a five-inch touchscreen in the dash with SiriusXM and Bluetooth connectivity, HID headlights, and LED taillights. The most noticeable feature missing is navigation, but it is available.

The Sonata proved to be a helpful tool in the week’s chore list — a list that included a trip to IKEA, hauling four other passengers around town, and jaunting down the highway while riding solo. So how did the Hyundai handle the week? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for more on the 2015 Sonata

Luxury business tycoon Stephen Hung has just scored the world’s largest Rolls-Royce Phantom fleet for his opulent Louis XIII hotel and casino in Macau. Hung, together with a handful of his Louis XIII lieutenants, paid a visit to Rolls-Royce’s headquarters at Goodwood, England to officially place an order for 30 bespoke extended-wheelbase Phantoms, all of which will be used for his opulent boutique hotel in Macau’s Coloane district.

Each of the 30 Phantom Louis XIII Edition models will feature bespoke elements on both the exterior and interior, including bespoke clocks created specifically by ritzy jeweler Graff. Two of the Phantom models, in particular, are the most expensive Phantoms ever commissioned. That’s hardly a surprise considering Hung’s Louis XIII hotel and casino isn’t exactly for weak wallets either. The hotel will only have 230 available rooms once its completed in 2016, but each of these rooms will have at least 2,000 square feet of space all the way up to massive 20,000-square-foot mega suites.

The partnership between the two companies also extended to designing the parking and driveways at Louis XIII that will house the fleet of Rolls-Royce models. Likewise, Rolls-Royce will also train chauffeurs from the hotel on the “appropriate driving and handling” of these 30 special edition Phantoms.

So yeah, Louis XIII (the hotel, not the old French monarch) and Rolls-Royce are a match made in royalty heaven.

Click past the jump to read more about the Rolls Royce Phantom Louis XIII Special Edition.

G-Power continues to do wonders for the BMW M6 Gran Coupe . Because of its work on the model, it’s not surprising that the German tuner jumped at the chance to work on another M6 Gran Coupe.

The tuning firm’s new Bi-Tronik 5 system is a step up from the Bi-Tronic-III V2 kit that we previously saw on the M6 Gran Coupe back in 2013. Part of that "step up" is a noticeable bump in output that should ring music to the ears of M6 Gran Coupe owners. All the cursory modifications are also there, including upgrades for the wheels, brakes, and suspension system.

But the most noticeable and surprising modification happened on the car’s interior. Who knew G-Power had the knowledge to create a multi-functional cabin that features an eclectic yet effective package featuring fine leather, Alcantara, iPads , and an iMac that comes with Apple TV? It’s a pleasant shift from what we’re used to with G-Power and it’s a big reason G-Power’s program for the M6 Gran Coupe has our unbiased seal of approval.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M6 Gran Coupe By G-Power.

Mercedes-Benz is expanding its S-Class lineup for 2015 with a plug-in hybrid version, joining the S400 Hybrid and the S300 BlueTEC Hybrid. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid features an extreme level of technical innovations all working together to produce the most efficient driving experience while still offering all the posh buyers expect from Mercedes.

The sedan uses a twin-turbocharged, V-6 engine and a high-voltage, 8.7 kWh lithium-ion battery to motivate the car. A super-compact electric motor fits in place of the seven-speed automatic’s torque converter, allowing for easy fitment under the S-Class’ floor pan.

Four drive modes allow the driver to chose between Hybrid, E-Mode (electric only, E-Save (less electric, more gasoline) and Charge (charges the battery while driving). The S550 Plug-in Hybrid also uses recuperative braking system to slow the car. The system works to eliminate the noticeable transition between the conventional brakes and the electric motor in generator mode.

On top of recuperative braking, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid lives up to its name by offering a receptacle in the rear bumper for charging from a power source. What’s more, Mercedes Mercedes is working alongside BMW on a wireless, inductive charging system. Mercedes hasn’t revealed when inductive charging with be available, but expect it in the future.

Updated 09/17/2014: Mercedes unveiled a new set of images and full specs on the 2015 S500 Plug-in Hybrid. Check them out after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the S500 Plug-In Hybrid

Peugeot launched the 308 in 2007 as the successor to the 307 . The company’s new competitor to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus was based on the same chassis as the 307 but received a redesigned body and a revamped interior. The 308 included a host of gasoline and diesel engines at launch, and it carried over unchanged until a facelift in 2011. A brand-new 308 was unveiled in late 2013, sporting Peugeot’s new design language showcased on the 508 sedan and the 208 hatchback. Besides inaugurating the new Peugeot numbering system where the final digits remain fixed, the 308 received the 2014 European Car of the Year award, beating vehicles the likes of the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S . As we’re moving closer to the 2015 model year, Peugeot is introducing a warmed-up GT model that boasts extra power and sportier looks compared to the standard versions.

This new GT trim is available in both the hatchback and wagon models. Power is provided by either a gasoline or a diesel engine, with both mills being the most powerful of the 308 lineup as of September 2014. Beefed-up engines aside, the GT is also a more stylish proposition for hatchback and wagon consumers, as it comes with a host of unique features inside and out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Peugeot 308 GT.

It took BMW about a year to release the 2 Series Convertible to sit alongside the Coupe version , but now that the drop-top is here on official terms, Munich is rolling out all the goodies that come with each new model. This time around, the Germans started with the M Sport Package, a bundle that adds a touch of aggressiveness to the stylish cabriolet. It’s for those looking to get more than just a plain 2 Series Convertible in terms of looks, but can do just fine without the brawnier engines of the M235i or the M2 .

As you might have already guessed, the M Sport Package leaves the drop-top’s powertrain unaltered. The proven 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit gets to keep its 240 ponies and 255 pound-feet of torque, which do an excellent job at pushing the 2 Series Convertible from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds with rear-wheel drive or 5.6 seconds with the available xDrive system.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Convertible with the M Sport Package.

Volvo is the king of the family-hauling luxury SUV . When the XC90 hit the scene, it began a slow domination of the three-row market. Soon after, the Swedish automaker moved into the smaller market with the XC60 and once again, Volvo had a relative hit for the brand. Now for the new 2015.5 model, the XC60 is updated, upgraded and supposedly better than ever, and I was going to drive the new, more fuel efficient T6 Drive-E model.

As someone who ordinarily hates family hauling crossovers, but loves nicely designed cars like those from Sweden, I was interested in giving this car a run for its money. One of my favorite small hatches of all time is the Volvo C30 , so would Volvo be able to make me like a crossover ?

It is great to look at, has lots of nice details and features, plus it has 300 horsepower under the hood. I took the keys for a week and a few hundred miles to see if it was worth buying. Would the fuel saving features ruin the fun? Would the generally boring driving dynamics of a family car make me hate driving it?

Read on to find out more about the new 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E.

Porsche Exclusive is running out of models to work on. That appears to be the case after Porsche’s design division released a new program for one of its models, namely the Cayenne .

The new program is the latest in a series of models that Porsche has been working on. Remember the Porsche Cayman from a few weeks ago? This time, the Cayenne gets treated to a comprehensive exterior and interior upgrade, highlighted by the Palladium Metallic exterior paint finish.

The color is not dramatic to the point that its style and character changes, but it is significant enough to provide a new look to the luxury SUV. If anything, the gold touches on the body and wheels of the Cayenne S bring out a fresh and regal visual appeal to the mighty Porsche SUV .

I admittedly don’t own a Cayenne, but if I did, this is the kind of look I want it to have. It’s classy and flashy at the same time. More importantly, it’s indicative of what Porsche Exclusive can do when you let it run around and work on any model it likes.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Cayenne S Palladium Metallic By Porsche Exclusive.

The Formula E Championship kicked off in spectacular style over the weekend, featuring a last-lap crash between the race leaders Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld that gift-wrapped the historic win to Lucas di Grassi. That’s what everybody’s talking about and rightfully so. But the inaugural Formula E race also saw the BMW i8 take center stage as the series’ official safety car.

Isn’t it fitting that a championship among electric-powered race cars would have a low-emission, hybrid sports car like the i8 serving as its safety car?

The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car, as it’s officially known, was joined by its little brother, the BMW i3 , which also performed duties as the series’ official medical car and extraction car. Might as well keep it in the family!

True to form, the i8 Safety Car ended up taking part in a busy and action-packed race, none more dramatic than the hellacious crash in the last lap of the race. While jockeying for the lead, Prost’s Renault made contact with Heidfeld’s Venturi, sending the latter into the barricades in one of the most spectacular crashes we’ve seen this year. Fortunately, both Prost and Venturi escaped the accident in relatively unscathed.

At the very least, it gave us a good preview of how exciting the new FIA Formula E Championship can be. The BMW i8 Safety Car already knows that after only one race manning the track.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Safety Car.

Posted on by Simona  

The Porsche 911 started its run back in 1963 - and oh what a run it is -, but it wasn’t until 1999 that a GT3 version was offered up for our ravenous consumption. It came to complete the series of performance vehicles that started back in 1973 with the 911 RS, a model that was capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 13 seconds. Why the short history lesson? Well, the new generation GT3 has just made its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and would be nice to make a comparison between the things that were and the things to come.

The new GT3 is lighter and more powerful than the model it replaces, and it brings innovative features like the first active rear wheel steering in a production Porsche. There is a bad news too unfortunately: the new GT3 will only be offered with a PDK transmission - at least for now!

Updated 09/16/2014: Porsche unveiled a new video showing the new 911 GT3 in action on the track. Enjoy!

Hit the jump to read more about the next generation Porsche GT3.


1 2 3 4 5 next >
Back to top