Here’s Your First Teaser of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK8 - WIll it Be More of the Same?
At the recent Volkswagen Brand Annual Session 2018, an event held for the employees and inventors of the company, Volkswagen released a sketch of the brand-new 2020 Golf Mk8. This is a big deal for the company who, more or less, built its riches on the success of the Golf’s seven previous generations. Volkswagen, is nowadays hatching ever so appealing hatches. Recently, the company released the Skoda Scala - a hatchback - that is set to take some Golf buyers. This fact alone reveals the truth about the new Golf - it will go upmarket. New tech, plusher looks, better materials inside, and more powerful engines are all coming to the Wolfsburg pride. In total, the Volkswagen Group produces four important hatchbacks - the Skoda Scala, the Audi A3, the Seat Leon, and the Volkswagen Golf.
While the sketch released at the event is quite vague, I managed to dig out so much more information on the new Golf Mk8, it’s like I can already imagine it in my head. Let’s go.
2019 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR
For years now, Zero Motorcycles has pushed the EV-bike envelope in an attempt to show how viable/flexible battery-bikes can actually be, and the factory just took another important developmental step with a fresh set of updates for its DS and DSR. These dual-sport rides toe the genre line with their overall design, but of course, the real magic is under the hood with an all-electric drivetrain the factory graced with both a power boost and a range increase in an effort to expand the factory’s footprint within this rapidly burgeoning market segment. Street-electrics generally stay in relatively civilized areas, but dual-sport rides are just as happy off the beaten path and that brings its own set of variables and issues to be resolved, so today I want to take a look at this pair to see what all the factory has done to address those concerns.
Kia will soon launch an all-new high-riding crossover model based on its Ceed hatchback and, thanks to the first batch of spy photos showing a camouflaged prototype, we can start to tell you what it’s going to be like. The plan for this model is to slot in between the Stonic and Sportage in the Kia range, although judging by its overall shape it looks like a more hatchback-like crossover (like the Stonic) and not a more SUV-like model such as the larger Sportage. There’s definitely a new Kia Ceed look about this as of yet unnamed model, although it does look quite a bit higher than the regular hatch model. The automaker really wanted us not to see the details, so it covered the front and rear fascias with especially heavy camouflage that doesn’t really allow us to see anything.
We can, however, spot that it will have a similar face to the Ceed (the latest Kia family face), complete with headlights and grille that look similar to those of the hatch.
This model will go up against models such as the Ford Focus Active or Subaru Crosstrek (also known as the XV), some of which have all-wheel drive, others not - in this example, for instance, the Subaru has it as standard, while the Ford doesn’t get it at all and the big question with this Ceed crossover is whether or not it will be offered as an option; it definitely won’t have standard all-wheel drive like the Subaru, that’s for sure.
2019 Mazda 3 Sedan
Revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan manages to reinvigorate the market of compact sedans by providing it with a simplistic three-box shape with an added spice of the Mazda second generation Kodo design.
The Mazda 3 hatch basically what the five-door hatchbacks were to its three-door coupe knockoffs back in the day when people actually wanted to drive them. The Mazda 3 Sedan is a sensible, rational, and family-centric vehicle. The Hatch is a bit more on the wild side. See, just like in the day of the three-door and five-door hatches.
2020 Kia Soul EV
Ever since the Kia Soul first broke into the auto scene in 2009, it has carved its own path unique path in the auto industry. Almost ten years later, the Soul is entering its third-generation, and it includes an improved EV model as well. The 2020 Kia Soul EV has arrived, and it’s a far departure from what we know of the Soul’s all-electric model. It has a fresh new look and, more importantly, a bigger battery pack to go with a more potent electric motor. You think that the 2020 Soul EV is the still the same electric crossover from year’s past? You’d be wrong. The 2020 Kia Soul EV will launch sometime in mid-2019 but pricing figures have yet to be announced.
2019 Nissan Maxima
Nissan’s participation at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show included the introduction of the 2019 Nissan Maxima. An updated version of the eighth-generation A36 Maxima in L.A. for the 2019 model year with a subtle exterior refresh to go along with a suite of new safety technologies. Nissan hopes that the updates are enough to stem the tide of declining sales that has plagued not only the Maxima but the entire sedan market in the U.S. As Nissan’s longest-running nameplate — the Maxima has been around since 1981 — there’s a lot of pressure on the 2019 Maxima to live up to, or even exceed, the expectations that Nissan has for it. The 2019 model goes on sale in mid-December.
2018 - 2019 Suzuki Burgman 400
Say Farewell to the Volkswagen Beetle in Los Angeles
After eight years on the market in this generation, and 22 years since the nameplate was revived in Europe and North America, the Volkswagen Beetle is going into the history books for the second time. With production set to end in 2019, the German firm is bidding farewell to the funky two-door with a Final Edition model. The last of the A5-generation Beetle made its public debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Does the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Look Any Better in Person?
When Mitsubishi announced that it will revive the Eclipse nameplate for a crossover a few years ago, many enthusiasts went berserk. Now that the Eclipse Cross has arrived, things have settled down. However, many still think that the compact SUV isn’t worthy of the "Eclipse" badge. But is the Eclipse Cross really that awful?
2020 Kia SOUL Arrives With a Fresh Redesign That Doubles Down on The Quirkiness
Nine years after first gracing us with its all-around quirkiness, the Kia SOUL is now in its third-generation, and it looks as quirky as ever. The all-new SOUL was unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show with a fresh new look, albeit one with a more modern slant to its design. It’s still the SOUL, though, which is to say that it retains its upright and boxy look. It’s still very much the square crossover we’ve all had in our lives since 2009. Give Kia credit, though, for giving it a fresher design. To add to the new design, it’s also longer and wider than the outgoing model. That’s a win-win in our book.
Mazda3 Moves Up the Premium Ladder with Gorgeous Interior, New Materials
The new-generation Mazda3 just made its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show. It looks hotter than ever, boasting an evolution of the company’s KODO design language seen in the RX-Vision and Kai concept. It also features new engines, including a diesel and an innovative gas unit featuring innovative spark controlled compression ignition. More importantly, Mazda moved its compact into the premium market.
The Production Version of Honda’s Urban EV Could be Your Next Posh Electric City Runabout
Honda is testing camouflaged prototypes for the production version of its Urban EV concept, and even with the camo, we can pretty much make out the entire shape of the car and most of its details. Unlike the motor show design study, the production version will have five instead of three doors and several additional detail changes.
2019 Ural CT
Ural revised its lineup ahead of MY2019 with a host of improvements to the drivetrain, and the CT is one of the units buffed to carry the marque into the 21st century. As with all of Ural’s products, the CT mounts an old-fashioned sidecar that, in turn, acts as a platform for a number of stock accessories. This is a more urban-centric of Ural’s products and not the terrain-tackling Gear Up model meant for use off the beaten path, so its best for folks who plan on staying on relatively civilized roads. It’s also the cleanest base model that Ural has to offer, so let’s check out this “entry-level” sidecar and see how it stacks up against some of the others in the three-wheeled field.
2020 Honda Urban EV
It turns out the rumors that Honda was eventually going to put its Urban EV Concept from the 2017 Frankfurt motor show into production were true. Our spies have caught what is, evidently, a camouflaged production prototype of that study and, while it does do away with some of the concept’s craziness, it’s still an interesting and unexpected model.
Back at its motor show debut, the Urban EV concept caused quite a stir with its retro-futuristic styling and all-electric powertrain, although it was probably the former that made it unique. Honda seems to have left the overall design mostly unchanged for the production version, the big difference being that it has grown from a three-door into a five-door.
The concept also had rear-hinged (so-called “suicide”) doors, but this production interpretation seems to have regular doors. Another change over the concept has to do with the shape of the rear lights that are now round as opposed to square, mirroring the shape of the front clusters.
It’s also going to be Honda’s first all-electric vehicle for the European market, but aside from that, it’s also apparently going to be a sold as a kind of premium vehicle (according to some rumors), so it probably won’t necessarily be an affordable supermini/subcompact.
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Black Style R-Line Design Package
Volkswagen is rolling out a special new package for the Tiguan. It’s called the Black Style R-Line Design Package, and it’s made up of aesthetic upgrades for the automaker’s resident crossover. The Black Style R-Line Design Package is available with the Tiguan’s Comfort and Highline specification packages. It costs €3,365 in Germany, though the price could go up if you want to upgrade your wheels. That’s about $3,840 based on current exchange rates.
1994 - 2002 Honda Passport
The Honda Passport was the Japanese company’s first entry into the SUV market in the United States. The Passport was born from a partnership between Honda and Isuzu as a badge-engineered version of the Rodeo. The Passport arrived in the U.S. for the 1994 model year, three years after the Isuzu Rodeo. The second-generation model was introduced for 1998 and production came to a halt in 2002.
Launched to compete against the Ford Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, and Nissan Pathfinder, the Passport was Honda’s desperate answer to the SUV craze that was taking off in the U.S. And even though it wasn’t impressively popular back in the day, it gave Honda a good start in the crossover field ahead of the CR-V’s American launch in 1997. The Passport is bound to return for the 2019 model year, so let’s have a closer look at its predecessors from the 1990s and early 2000s.
Is the Next-Gen Soul Going to be More of the Same or is Kia Taking a Play from the Nissan Juke Playbook?
Kia is merely days away from unveiling the new Soul compact crossover at this year’s L.A. Auto Show. The Korean automaker has released a few sneak previews to get the hype up and what we can see is a car with similar proportions to the previous Soul and with a heavy emphasis under the skin on electrification.
The original Soul will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year. It was an odd appearance in the compact crossover market thanks to its boxy body, high-perched taillights, and truck-like rear window. Since then, Kia launched the second-generation Soul back in 2014, and that model will retire once and for all when the third-generation iteration is introduced next week.
The upcoming Soul will be available in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019 with an array of 4-cylinder gas engines while, in Europe, some markets will only have the option to buy an electric version.
2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
The electric-bike market becomes more viable almost daily it seems, and Zero is at the cutting edge with a number of improvements for its naked-sportbike series — the “S” and “SR” models – going into 2019. We’re talking about more power with a higher top-end kind of improvements, and that’s on top of faster recharge times and a lighter curb weight; in other words, just about every important metric was buffed for MY19. Even the electronics are smarter this year to complete the package. This might be the hottest thing going in the EV bike sector at this point, so today I want to see what’s under the hood and how it stacks up against some of the likely competition.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Is A Surprisingly Good Off-Roader
It seems like there’s no shortage of “off-road ready” crossovers on the market these days - or at least that’s the impression you might get glancing over all the PR fluff. But while glory shots on top of a mountain might look good, the actual capability of these machines doesn’t always live up to the hype. Fortunately, Toyota can both talk the talk and walk the walk, as I find out firsthand after the Japanese automaker flew me out to Carmel, California for a stint in the new 2019 RAV4.
2019 BMW C 400 GT
BMW Motorrad expands its C 400 range with a Gran Turismo version designed to bring some long-distance capabilities to the table. This mid-size scooter features comfort amenities alongside safety features that deliver peace of mind, and let’s face it, peace of mind has a comfort factor all its own. Cutting-edge electronics and multimedia connectivity come standard, and I gotta’ say the electronics suite is vastly superior to a good number of “proper” motorcycles on the market today. Think I’m overstating it? Hold that thought for just a few minutes and I’ll make a believer of you.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 GT.