2019 Mazda3 Skyactiv-D hatchback - Driven
Mazda has created one of the most beautiful shapes in the compact hatchback segment, its new Mazda3 hatch, a shape that lifts it above any competitor in terms of design. It has a pretty face, nice sides, and a unique rear end that lends it a lot of personality, but at the same time, it also needs to do all the boring, practical stuff well in order to be a serious class contender.
Its interior feels upmarket, and the driving experience is precise and relaxed, especially if the power plant under the hood is Mazda’s latest diesel engine, still available in the 3 and other models the Japanese manufacturer sells in Europe. This latest model doesn’t feel as sharp as its predecessor nor is it the best in class, but it’s far more relaxed and refined than the car it replaces, and it exudes an overall desirable and premium feeling.
The car it replaces was a great all-rounder, although it suffered from excessive tire roar inside at speed (and generally not the best soundproofing), plus its interior didn’t feel as nice as some rivals’, and it also lagged behind in terms of tech. Mazda has addressed all these concerns and more with its new 3, and the result is a much better all-rounder with an even prettier face than before, plus that rear end that will sure to draw a lot of gazes.
The Mercedes GLB Has Been Confirmed for a 2019 Launch, Mercedes EQB to Follow in 2021
The compact crossover segmentshows no signs of slowing down, and Mercedes is adding to the momentum with the promise of two new models, one of which is powered by gasoline, the other of which is all-electric. Dubbed the GLB and EQB respectively, the fresh nameplates are set to arrive very, very soon, as confirmed by Board of Management member Britta Seeger at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
The 2020 Hyundai Venue Raises the Bar for Compact SUVs As It Wows New York
Chevy Has Debuted the All-New 2020 Trailblazer and Tracker in China, But is it More of the Same?
The Shanghai Auto Show is now in full force, and despite declining sales numbers, automakers are still flocking to the event to show off their latest and greatest China-bound model lines. Chevy is getting in on the action with the release of the 2020 Trailblazer and 2020 Tracker, two small SUVs designed to tempt younger buyers with sharp style and loads of practicality. However, does either one have what it takes?
The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production
Six months after it made its debut as a concept car at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the Renault K-ZE broke cover in production form at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. The tiny electric crossover was designed in China as part of the eGT New Energy Automotive Co. Ltd. joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and local carmaker Dongfeng.
The 2020 Mini Clubman Has a New Look
Mini just debuted a mid-cycle facelift for the Clubman. Introduced in 2015, the second-generation Clubman is already four years old, and it was about time for an upgrade. Be that as it may, the changes are mild inside and out, while the engines are identical. Yup... Typical Mini facelift here.
Shanghai Buick Showcases Four New Models, Including the All-New Encore and the VELITE 6
Buick has arrived at Auto Shanghai 2019, and it’s brought with it not one, but four vehicles to the event. The all-new Encore crossover leads the four-vehicle lineup, and it’s joined by the long-wheelbase Encore GX, the GL8 Avenir Concept MPV, and the VELITE 6 MAV electric vehicle. All four vehicles are integral to Buick’s long-term plans in the Chinese market. The Encore SUVs, as well as the VELITE 6 MAV, are all part of Buick’s plan to introduce eight new and/or refreshed models in the Chinese market. The automaker’s aggressive approach in the Chinese market may catch some people here by surprise, but the American automaker, which has lost a lot of its shine in its home soil, is treated as an aspirational automaker among the Chinese, particularly the country’s younger demographic. Knowing that gives you an idea why Buick holds is going all-out at Auto Shanghai 2019 with four models that more or less represents the automaker’s future offerings in the world’s biggest auto market.
Mercedes Showcases the 2020 AMG A35 L in Shanghai Because China Loves Long Compacts
Manufacturers have adapted to the specific needs of the Chinese automotive market, and one of the prime adaptations has to do with providing long-wheelbase versions of sedans they already sell elsewhere. Now, that may not seem especially ridiculous if you think about a C- or E-Class Mercedes, for instance, but an extended wheelbase version of the compact Mercedes-AMG A35 sedan? That’s certainly more unusual.
The 2019 Mercedes GLB Concept a New Boxy, Compact SUV
Automakers have made it a habit to thinly disguise future production models with accessories, crazy rims, paint schemes, and interior materials, and that’s exactly what the Mercedes GLB Concept is. It essentially previews the production Mercedes GLB crossover that’s set to make its debut in production form in late-2019.
2020 Ford Escape (Kuga) vs 2020 Toyota RAV4
Ford has just launched an all-new, fourth-generation Escape crossover, a model known as the Kuga in Europe and some other markets. The vehicle enters one of the most competitive and hotly contested segments where all rivals are hugely talented (there really isn’t one bad car to speak of) and picking one above all others is by no means an easy task. But if you were to choose an important rival to compare the Escape to, then that has to be the aggressive-looking Toyota RAV4.
Toyota went for a dramatic visual reinvention of the RAV4 for its fifth generation since the model had really become rather boring to look at in its previous incarnation. Frankly, no subsequent RAV4 had anywhere near the visual flair of the first generation model, a car that looked better without painted bumpers and side trim - that’s how quirky and cool it was. Now, thankfully, the latest RAV4 tries to rekindle that flame, albeit with fresh, edgy styling that makes it look contemporary, although it doesn’t look visually related to the original RAV4 in the way older generations did.
The Blue Oval, on the other hand, didn’t want to risk anything with its new Escape, so it made the vehicle look pretty much exactly like a puffy high-riding Focus. That’s literally all there is to its design, so in this respect, the RAV4 is already starting to look like the more daring, flamboyant option, yet being a Toyota, it doesn’t automatically have associated shortcomings.
2020 Hyudani Venue
The Hyundai Venue is a new crossover that the Korean company will unveil at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Set to become the brand’s entry-level SUV, it will slot below the Kona and compete against vehicles like the Kia Soul and the Nissan Kicks.
Hyundai launched a couple of teasers and sketches before the unveiling, but they aren’t very revealing. However, the Korean describes the crossover as "a great fit in accommodating busy lifestyles with an abundance of playful and practical features including seamless safety, versatility, and connectivity. Fortunately, the mini SUV was spotted testing in the wild, and the paparazzi managed to take a peek under the covers. The Venue will debut on April 17, so stay tuned for a full review of the crossover. Until then, let’s have a look at what we already know about it.
Xtomi’s Rending of the 2021 Ford Escape (Kuga) ST Gives Us Hope in a Bleak, Car-Less Future
The 2020 Ford Escape (Kuga in Europe) just broke cover with styling cues from the Focus and the Fiesta hatchbacks, and the first thing that came into my mind is whether Ford will offer a higher performance ST version of it. FoMoCo has yet to talk about such plans, but this rendering from X-Tomi Design shows that the fourth-generation Escape would look cool in ST trim.
Video: We Spent Some Time with the Forbidden 2019 Mazda 3 Hatchback Diesel and it was Amazing
Mazda has created a lot of buzz around its all-new 3 hatchback, a car that has made an impression with its pretty body, premium-like interior, and good handling. To be more specific, this is a car with a nice face, toned, flowing sides, and quite the rump - it looks like it’s wearing leggings two sizes too small, but it is for some reason a very good look - a look that’s much better than that of the boring three-box Mazda3 that debuted alongside it.
Chevy Teases New Trailblazer and Tracker; Proves The Company Only Knows How to Copy and Paste Designs
How many of you remember the Chevy TrailBlazer and the Tracker? The two models disappeared into oblivion, but Chevrolet has decided to revive the nameplates at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. The Trailblazer and the Tracker are coming along with their cousins, the Buick Encore and the Encore GX. Chevy has teased the two Ts, but it has been tight-lipped about the crossovers. Are we in for some major surprise?