If you didn’t realize that there was a gap between the Kia Soul and the Kia Sportage, well, don’t feel bad because we didn’t either. But, it’s all good, because Kia has managed to fill that gap with a model known as the Seltos. It celebrated its U.S. launch at the 2019 Los Angels Auto Show after being introduced a couple of months before that in India. Naturally, there are some minor changes to make it meet U.S. regulations, but for the most part, we’re looking at a compact SUV with some Telluride-inspired design cues and enough ground clearance that you could actually take it off the beaten path if you really wanted to.
The real highlight of the Seltos is its cargo capacity. In relation to its size, the capacity is rather respectable at 26.6 cubic-feet with the rear seats in place and 62.8 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded down. It also comes with a decent list of technology, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that looks like it came out of yesteryear’s BMW parts bin, and there’s even an 8-speaker Bose audio system. The latter is actually a first for a Kia, so it has that going for it.
The Seltos is available with your choice of two different engines. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The smaller, but turbocharged 1.6-liter mill delivers 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s also a small model, so it should be adequate. Kia is promising an impressive starting point of “below $22,000,” so expect it to start out around $21,990 and climb closer to the $30,000 range in top trim.
2021 KTM 890 Duke R
KTM added to its mid-range naked-sportbike bracket with the 890 Duke R, and it looks like it’ll make it over to our side of the pond just in time for the 2021 model year. Essentially, the factory took its proven 790 Duke and buffed it with fully-adjustable suspension, racier ergos, and better anchors. An all-new powerplant gives a boost in power and torque along with a handful of rider aids to add an element of control over the ride characteristics.
2019 - 2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled
The Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled saw its first major update ahead of MY2019 after only two years on the market, and the new version has a handful of things to offer over and above the previous gen. It starts with the bones reinforced to better withstand the rigors of off-road riding and rally-style tires that are designed for same. Rideability and comfort was buffed along with the security system, and the electronics suite features an off-road-specific upgrade as well. Those are the broad strokes, but as ever, the devil is in the details, so let’s dive right in and start chasing them down.
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
Suzuki unveiled its new V-Strom 1050 line at the 2019 Milan show with an aggressive new look and expanded capabilities meant to make it easier to range hither and yon over a variety of surfaces. In addition to the new rally-style look, updated electronics and upgraded engine performance are part of the package for MY2020. The V-Strom 1050 serves as the platform for the top-shelf “XT” models but even the stock base model comes packed with upgraded electronics and net-new tech to make it attractive and competitive within the adventure bike market.
2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer 10th Anniversary
Moto Guzzi celebrates a decade of V7 Racer bikes with the 2020 V7 III Racer 10th Anniversary. The factory builds on the third and current generation V7 Racer with some café-tastic bodywork that sets it apart from the base model. There are Easter Eggs a’plenty from models past scattered about this celebratory machine to turn it into something of a rolling tribute piece. As with the rest of the V7 III line, power comes from the signature, transverse-mount V-twin with over 50 ponies on tap and a new, adjustable, house-brand traction control feature to help you keep it under control. Under the hood, wireless connectivity to web-based services brings an infotainment element to the table along with bonafide modern credentials.
2018 - 2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough
Moto Guzzi expanded its V7 III footprint off the black and onto the brown with the new-in-2018 “Rough” variant. As its cleverly-ingenious name implies, this model comes set up to have some definite scramble-tastic tendencies with street-knobbies that perform as well on soft terrain as they do on the pavement. Like the rest of the family, power comes from a 744 cc V-twin that delivers 44 pound-feet of torque for solid holeshots and plenty of hill-conquering grunt. There’s plenty of that characteristic MG style as well, courtesy of the sideways engine mount and fuel tank design. Best of all, the Rough beefs up its entry-level bike claim with ABS and traction control that can be turned off for a raw ride, or enabled for maximum stability.
The 10 Best 2019 Black Friday Amazon Deals for You and Your Car
Black Friday is here folks and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to put our money where our mouth is and make a move for those items we’ve been saving in our online shopping baskets for months now. We’ve assembled a list of useful items that you and your car might benefit from using. They’re all available on Amazon so if you see something you like, make sure you take advantage of the Black Friday deals!
2017 - 2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Special
Moto Guzzi carries its “Special” into 2020 after the introduction of the V7 III family in 2017 that brought in a new engine and all-new frame. This is the third generation of ’Guzzi’s venerable V7 line, and the Special has DNA that goes all the way back to the V750 S3 of ’75 in a conspicuous display of its deep roots but keeps things purely modern where it counts. A new V-twin delivers ample ponies with that distinctive rumble and transverse orientation you’d expect, along with a traction control feature to help you keep it under control while accelerating. ABS overwatch for safe braking makes the Special suitable for entry-level riders and fun for experienced ones.
2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Driven
The reborn, retro-chic, Fiat 500 first graced North American shores back in 2011 and now, eight years down the line, we got behind the wheel of the peppy Abarth version to get one final sting from the scorpion as the entire 500 range is being discontinued by Fiat-Chrysler. Prepare for some top-down driving as we assess whether we’ll miss the 500 for what it is or for its vibe akin to an endless summer holiday in the rolling hills of Tuscany.
2019 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle
Ducati’s Scrambler Full Throttle was among the Scrambler models brushed up for the 2019 model year, and the revised version brings even more flat-track attitude to the table. The paint was spruced up a bit, along with the saddle to give the “FT” a year-specific finish. It ain’t all about the looks though; new electronics and safety equipment further increases its value right along with its curb appeal.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Kawasaki steps up its game ahead of the 2020 model year with new body components, updated electronics, and a smoother-running engine for its Ninja 1000SX. The factory also tuned up the ergonomics in an effort to improve long-range comfort and even chucked on an adjustable clutch lever for a little bit of lagniappe. Improvements in rideability, control, and aesthetics join the liter-plus engine and Ninja pedigree to deliver a refined product to the masses.
2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
Italian marque Moto Guzzi treated us with an expansion to its V85 TT family at 2019 EICMA with its new V85 TT Travel. As the devilishly-ingenious name suggests, the “Travel” is a touring-oriented adventure bike that comes with a number of long-range comfort-related features meant to help you stay in the saddle longer. Power delivery is on par with the rest of the V85 range with a transverse V-twin “Eight and a Half” that cranks out 80 horsepower for your riding pleasure. Adjustable suspension components, traction control, and variable power-delivery modes round out the package.
2020 Kawasaki Z900
Kawasaki beefed up its naked Z900 with even more under-the-hood updates for 2020 and an all-new look created by a wild new color combination. It may look a lot like the previous generation, but this model saw a ground-up rebuild that touched on just about everything but the engine with refinements across the board. While the 948 cc engine reprises its role as the beating heart of this machine, it also benefits from new electronic features in a bid to garner an advantage in the hotly-contested, sub-liter naked bracket.
2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
Ducati spruced up its base mid-size 950 Multistrada ahead of MY2019 with a host of electronic rider aids, and in a first for the 950 range, the builder in Bologna put together an “S” variant with even more top-shelf fandanglery for your riding pleasure. The 950 range offers an alternative to riders for whom the 1260 model is just a little too much, and that makes it more suitable for the folks who are looking for a commuter-friendly, everyday ride. Street-oriented adventure bikes are rapidly replacing standards and sport-tourers as the favored choice du jour for urban travelers and weekend warriors, so this is an increasingly important bracket in which to perform.
2020 Kawasaki W800
Kawasaki draws on its very own historical roots for the newest addition to its “W” range with the reintroduced-for-2020 W800. This authentically retro ride doles out a healthy dollop of nostalgia for the 40-plus crowd, but beneath the classic veneer beats the heart of a thoroughly modern machine. An air-cooled twin delivers the goods with over 40 pounds o’ grunt and many of the ride-quality electronic features riders have come to expect to round out the package.
The Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo and Urus ST-X Lego Speed Champions Set Could Be The Coolest So Far, Or Is It?
We’ve got a lot of love for Lego’s car sets, and some of our favorite desk boosters are Speed Champions-branded. Lego’s move to branch out and launch this new category back in 2015 is something we’ve been applauding from day one. The sets are small enough to build in your lunch break, and they won’t eat up as much space on your desk as a Creator set, for example. That said, the Speed Champions family just added a new member. Two, in fact: say hello to the plasticky Huracan Super Trofeo Evo and Urus ST-X.
2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
Engine upgrades joined other improvements in the 2018 model year as Suzuki pushes to keep its sport-standard-sector momentum going with the GSX-S1000. The family tree branched yet again with the new-in-2018, blackout GSX-S1000Z and Suzuki dropped the “F” in favor of the “FZ” for last year. The family now has even more of what it takes to dominate the street with a Gixxer engine in a naked bike chassis.