The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a niche model aimed at driving enthusiasts who don’t want to sacrifice handling and style to accommodate small families or dogs. Despite sales running far below the more mainstream RDX crossover, the TSX wagon is a unique offering in a segment where most competitors are ditching wagons in favor of compact SUVs.
There are a few caveats with the TSX wagon versus the sedan: the wagon is only offered with the base four-cylinder paired with a five-speed automatic. The 2013 TSX sedan is offered in a manual for the four-cylinder as well as a V-6 automatic in top trims.
Sport Wagons are firmly back in style, as the new Audi RS4 and RS6 are offered in Avant form only. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake takes the hot wagon style to a new level with ultra-chic dimensions.
Wagons make sense by maintaining a low center of gravity for better handling while also packing more versatile cargo areas. Additionally, Audi claims that wagons are more stable at ultra-high-speeds versus sedans and coupes by offering a long, flat roof and a chopped rear end.
The TSX wagon emphasizes handling above both acceleration and interior room. Acura owns this segment since all mainstream sedans have ditched their wagon variants. The new Mazda6 may come to the U.S. in a wagon body in mid-2014, but it is not likely due to the Mazda CX-5 crossover’s success with buyers. The only other non-crossover wagon on the sub $40,000 radar is the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen that looks dreadful but undercuts the TSX in price.
Click past the jump for the full review of the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Full story
Chrysler has unveiled the first details on a new limited-edition vehicle set to be unveiled at next month’s Chicago Auto Show. The new Mopar ’13 Dodge Dart will join the current lineup of limited-edition vehicles offered by Mopar: Mopar ’10 Dodge Challenger, Mopar ’11 Dodge Charger and Mopar ’12 Chrysler 300.
This special Dart will be distinguished by a gloss-black finish with a pair of car-length Mopar Blue stripes, plus a very cool aerodynamic kit and an updated interior.
The new Dodge Dart Mopar ’13 will be limited to only 500 units, and will be put into production this spring at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. Each customer will also get a limited-edition sketch of the vehicle signed by Mark Trostle, Chrysler Group Chief Designer for the Mopar Brand.
Updated 01/31/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
UPDATE 06/13/13: Dodge has released pricing details for the Dart Mopar ’13. Click past the jump to read at least how much it’s going to cost you to own one.
Hit the jump to read more about the Mopar ’13 Dodge Dart. Full story
When Skoda says that the new Octavia vRS is the "fastest road-going skoda Octavia yet", we have to stand up and pay attention.
That’s why it’s important for us to pay heed to the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed this coming July because that’s the event where the all-new Octavia vRS is scheduled to make its world premier.
The car will be based on the new generation Octavia, a car that Skoda had just unveiled earlier this year. Keeping in line with the automaker’s renewed attempt to gain some traction in the industry, the Octavia vRS is being pegged to be longer, wider, and lighter than its predecessor, all important qualities that will make for a pretty interesting vehicle.
Describing the new sporty Octavia, Skoda officials are saying: "Never before has an Octavia RS been so fast and dynamic and yet so spacious, convenient, safe and comfortable as the third generation of our compact sports car."
Updated 06/05/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Are they right? Click past the jump to find out. Full story
The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR is a sports car masquerading as a four-door sedan that was born out of the world of rally racing. The Evo still hangs onto its rally-racing roots while also being comfortable enough to use as a daily driver. The all-wheel drive GSR only gets better when the roads get slick as it is able to keep traction long after others would have spun out of control.
The 2013 model year will mark the end of an era for the Evolution, with it being the last in the line to use a traditional gas-powered turbocharged engine. That fairly thirsty little motor will be replaced by a hybrid or possibly all electric system.
The Evo is one of those dream cars that young men craved for years, thanks to its appearance in numerous car-racing games, but for a long time you couldn’t get one in the U.S. Fortunately, Mitsubishi eventually brought it into the U.S. and the dream car became a reality.
The GSR does lack some of the refinement of its more expensive rivals, but is still a great raw performance car.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR. Full story
The seventh generation Volkswagen Golf GTI has been initially previewed by a very cool Golf VII GTI Concept unveiled in 2012 at the Paris Auto Show, but now is time to finally see the production version at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
The seventh generation Golf GTI brings some major updates for the model: next to exterior and interior updates, the new GTI is being offered for the first time in two different power levels: a standard GTI and a Performance version that increases the final output by 10 horsepower. Also, despite being more powerful than the previous generation, the new GTI is also more fuel efficient: an improvement of about 18%.
On the German market the seventh generation Golf GTI will be priced at 28,350 euro - about $37,00 at the current exchange rates.
UPDATE 02/27/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI. Full story
With so many Mercedes-Benz AMG models floating around the market at the moment, it would have been easy to forget that the German giant doesn’t have a direct competitor to the Audi RS3 hatch or the BMW M135i. That’s where the new A45 AMG is said to step in.
Pinned to be the most affordable AMG on sale, the A45 AMG aims to not only compete with the aforementioned BMW and Audi models, but to completely annihilate them with its performance capabilities.
The A45 AMG has actually been in development for the better part of two years, and, after spying it in many times, the first official details on the car are finally here. It is the first high-performance vehicle Mercedes has ever offered in the compact class, and according to officials it will target the age range from 30 to mid-40.
The new Mercedes A45 AMG will be making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will be put on sale in April.
UPDATE 05/21/2013: Mercedes unveiled a new commercial for the new A45 AMG. Called "Apparition" the new ad is featuring features Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg riding the car. the ad is oddly similar to Toyota’s RAV4 ad, sans the high-performance hatchback, of course. Enjoy! Full story
Volkswagen is already offering a Convertible and a GTI Convertible for their Golf line, so it would be ridiculous not to apply the same treatment to the most powerful model in the Golf line-up: the R version. The model is expected to make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, but Volkswagen already offered the first details on the model.
The new Golf R Convertible has been described as "the first-ever open-top R model and the fastest-ever production open-top Golf," and it pretty much offers the same features as the hatchback version. The difference will be of course its fully electric insulated hood that can be lowered in 9.5 seconds and raised in 11 seconds at speed up to 18 mph.
Updated 02/07/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf R Convertible. Full story
At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen unveiled the Cross Up concept as a preview for the 5-door version of the Up. One year later, Vee-Dub-Ya is testing the production version of the Cross Up and our spy photographers managed to catch one in action without camouflage. To make things even more official, the prototype even has the Cross Up stickers on the rear doors – at least VW didn’t try to put pasties on a prototype this time around. This will be the fourth model in the Cross lineup, which includes the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran.
From these spy shots it looks like the production version will stay faithful to the concept car, with just the door strip being changed. Also, when compared to the standard Up, the Cross Up version will receive different bumpers, wider fenders, underbody protection and alloy wheels. Under the hood, we will most likely see the same engine lineup found in the Up.
We expect to see the Cross Up unveiled during the first half of 2013.
Skoda has begun testing the next generation Octavia months ago, and today the company finally decided to release the official information of its best sold model ever. The model arrives just two months after the official unveiling of the new Rapid and will be put on sale early in 2013.
The new Skoda Octavia will replace the second generation unveiled back in 2004 and will move from the current A5 (PQ35) platform to the new MQB platform. This is also the platform used for the seventh generation Golf, which means that the next Skoda will share most of its technical parts with the Golf.
The new generation Octavia will be offering a new exterior design language - also seen on the Rapid sedan - and will deliver "lots of room, quality, precise workmanship, modern, mature technology, timeless design, high functionality and the best price-value ratio."
Update 12/11/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the new generation Octavia. Full story
Much like its sister company, Hyundai, Kia has been designing cars that not only offer its customers low-cost options to higher-priced brands, but also cars that offer high-quality workmanship and stylish appearances. We all knew that the Kia Forte is going to be up for a significant redesign when its 2014 model year debuts at the 2012 LA Auto Show, but we were not too sure what direction Kia would take it.
But now that the covers have been officially pulled and we have our answer.
We want to say that the Forte blew us away, but that just wouldn’t be fair to it. Sure, there are things about it that we like, but some elements of the car still leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, a car like the Forte, or any other in this segment for that matter, isn’t subject to an all-or-noting affection level.
There are things about it we liked. There are things we didn’t like. At the end though, the Forte received good marks from us because the things we liked outweighed the things we didn’t like.
Not by much. But hey, that’s still worth some salt to us.
Updated 03/21/2013: Kia announced that the 2014 Forte sedan will arrive at dealerships at a starting price of $15,900 - or lowest starting MSRP in the compact segment.
Find out what we think of the new 2014 Kia Forte after the jump Full story