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2018 Subaru Impreza 50th Anniversary Edition

2018 Subaru Impreza 50th Anniversary Edition

Celebrate Subaru’s 50th year in the U.S. with a limited-edition sedan

Unveiled for the 2017 model year, the current-generation Subaru Impreza received a significant makeover inside and out compared to the previous model, but old engine was carried over with mild revisions. Despite not being that much more powerful, the sedan gets a lot of praise for its comfortable and roomy cabin, the standard all-wheel-drive system, and the available safety features. For 2018, the Impreza continues without any changes — which isn’t surprising given that it’s still relatively new — but Subaru is offering a limited-edition, 50th Anniversary package.

The bundle is part of Subaru’s celebration of its 50th anniversary in the United States. Established in 1953, the Japanese firm crossed the pond to the U.S. in 1968, when Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm founded Subaru of America in Philadelphia and began selling the tiny 360 model. This limited-edition Impreza is part of a larger scale 50th Anniversary offensive that includes the entire U.S. lineup, minus the yet-to-be-available Ascent. Yes, you can have the package on the Legacy, Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, BRZ, and WRX too, but we’re going to focus on the Impreza in this article.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Impreza 50th Anniversary Edition.

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2019 BMW X4

2019 BMW X4

The Bavarian jack of all trades gets a second generation

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – people love their SUVs. It seems like every year, the segment gets bigger and more diverse, with a seemingly never-ending parade of tall-riding, off-road-styled, utility-oriented models filling every niche possible. One of the fresher entries in this space is the BMW X4, which hit the scene as recently as 2014 as the Bavarian’s take on compact/mid-size crossover luxury in a sporty, coupe-like package. Making its initial debut at the New York International Auto Show, the first-gen X4 has performed quite well for the brand in terms of sales, moving some 200,000 units since its introduction, nearly 10 percent of which went to the U.S. market. Now, just four years after its release, the X4 is gaining a second generation. Framed as a sporty, yet practical, yet off-road capable evolution of the Bavarian’s upscale SAC (BMW doesn’t like to call it an SUV, instead preferring the “Sports Activity Coupe” nomenclature), the 2019 BMW X4 offers consumers a surprising number of “sporty” updates, including a wider track, new suspension settings, more aggressive proportions, a lower center of gravity, and a more aerodynamic exterior.

The model line once again includes two equipment levels, starting with the xDrive30i, which replaces the outgoing xDrive28i, and ending with the more aggressive M40i, a carryover from the previous model year. Overall, the updates seem to double down on what the X4 does best, and will surely tempt buyers looking for something that can “do it all.” Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW X4.

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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Just the right stuff to keep it at the front

If Mercedes-Benz ever decided to make a greatest hits album, the C-Class would undoubtedly be one of the top tracks. Originally offered in the early ’90s as a replacement for the Mercedes-Benz 190 series, the C-Class is framed as the German brand’s entry-level luxury four-door compact. A second generation arrived in 2000, followed by a third-gen in 2007 and a fourth-gen in 2014. Now, as the fourth-gen C-Class enters its fifth year of production, it takes a spot in Merc’s lineup as the brand’s best-selling model, moving a total of 415,000 units in markets worldwide last year. That’s a huge volume for a single model. As such, Mercedes is looking to keep it feeling as fresh as possible, and will give it a slew of new updates to keep buyers coming back for more. The latest includes tweaked exterior styling, an updated interior, new infotainment gear, new safety and assistance tech, and even an extra splash of power as well. All good stuff, if you ask us.

The latest 2019 model year for the C-Class will appear in the metal for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show, where Merc will also pull the sheets on the new A-Class, the new G-Class, and the new AMG GT Coupe. While a full generational changeover is expected in a few years’ time, this new model definitely keeps that old C-Class magic we’ve come to expect, while also adding all the extra goodies needed to keep it in the running with the competition. Read on for the details, and make sure to check back here for the full rundown when the C-Class drops in Geneva.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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2018 Subaru BRZ 50th Anniversary Edition

2018 Subaru BRZ 50th Anniversary Edition

Nope, this one doesn’t have a turbo either!

While not as old as other Japanese carmakers like Toyota and Nissan, Subaru was one of the first companies from the country to open shop in the United States. It happened in 1968 when Malcolm Bricklin established Subaru of America in Philadelphia. Exactly 50 years have passed since them as of 2018, and Subaru is celebrating the event with a range of 50th Anniversary Edition models. The package is available across the entire U.S. lineup, including the BRZ sports car.

Limited to only a couple of hundred units, the BRZ 50th Anniversary Edition shares most of its special features with other vehicles included in this run. So it’s not exactly as exclusive as Subaru wants us to think. However, it has a range of cool features, including a new exterior color and new interior appointments. It’s also based on a higher-trim model, so it gets an extended range of standard equipment. Find out what it’s all about and how much it costs in the review below.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Gorgeous looks and features from the bigger luxury Mercs

The third-generation A-Class has been around for only six years as of 2018, and Mercedes-Benz has already launched a redesigned model. That’s not exactly surprising though, as the Germans are looking to replace each model after a six-year cycle in the future and the A-Class is one of the first to be part of this strategy. Spotted stretching its wheels in Europe since early 2017, the new-generation A-Class broke cover in February 2018, about one month before its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show. And by the looks of things, the competition doesn’t stand a chance against it.

The interesting thing about the upcoming A-Class, aside from the usual upgrades involving sportier looks, a refined, roomier interior, and more powerful and efficient engines, is that it will get a sedan version. The three-box model was previewed by the A-Class Sedan Concept in 2017 and as it turns out, it shares quite a lot of design features with the new hatchback. Inspired by the new CLS, the A-Class Sedan wasn’t just a fancied up concept, with most of its features transferred on the production five-door model. But until the four-door arrives to take on the Audi A3 Sedan and the China-only BMW 1 Series Sedan, let’s have a closer look at the most technologically advanced premium hatchback on the market.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

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2015 - 2018 BMW X1 By Dahler

2015 - 2018 BMW X1 By Dahler

There are plenty options on the table for X1 owners

The BMW X1 was never meant to be a record-breaking speed freak, but as is the case with most tuners, there’s never a bad time to turn it into one. Swiss tuner Dahler knows this better than anybody else. It’s been around for 30 years and has a long list of tuning products for Bavaria’s finest, and its most recent tuning project is for the aforementioned X1. The program comes with a range of upgrades for the crossover’s exterior, interior, and engine. It’s a relatively simple program, but the desired results are there for the taking.

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2020 BMW X2 Convertible

2020 BMW X2 Convertible

The X2 is going topless to compete against the Range Rover Evoque

Introduced in 2017 as a follow up to a concept vehicle launched in 2016, the X2 is BMW’s sixth crossover and the smallest of its kind alongside the X1. Although the even number in the badge suggests that this crossover is actually a smaller version of the X4, the X2 is far from being a coupe. Somewhat similar to the X1 in terms of shape and size, the X2 does have a few unique features that help it stand out. Already available in Europe and soon to be offered in the U.S. as well, the X2 could get a convertible version in the future. According to recent reports, BMW is already studying a business case for a competitor to the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

Not yet approved for production, the X2 Convertible is reportedly under serious consideration, with BMW having already conducted a study found that a significant number of drivers would buy such a model. A decision will be made later this year, but the X2 Convertible appears to be a solid proposition if BMW wants to further expand in the crossover segment. Should it get the green light, it will become the company’s eighth crossover, given that it will arrive after the flagship X7. Until BMW confirms it, let’s find out more about what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW X2 Convertible.

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2020 Hyundai Veloster Cabrio

2020 Hyundai Veloster Cabrio

It’s fun to imagine a world where this version of the Veloster exists

The second-generation Hyundai Veloster made its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. As expected, the Korean automaker put in a lot of work to differentiate the punchy hatchback from its predecessor. The new Veloster’s design still jumps out of the page, but it’s not as funky as the first-gen model that had all sorts of curves and weird edges on it. The tamer-looking second-gen Veloster is more appealing to look at. That car has already been well-received by the public, and the same thing should happen once the new Veloster hits dealerships.

But as good as the new Veloster looks like, can you imagine what a drop-top version could look like if Hyundai decided to build one? It’s unlikely that the company will go that route, but if it did, who’d be excited to see a Veloster Cabrio? Is it something you’d want to be seen driving in? If you can’t picture what that kind of car will look like, let this new rendering from master artist X Tomi Design guide your senses and perception. Convinced yet? I know I am.

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2018 Kia Rio GT-Line

2018 Kia Rio GT-Line

Prepare to meet Kia’s new sporty B-segment hatchback

They say great things come in small packages. In Kia’s case, that may well be true in the form of the Rio GT-Line, a "punchier" version of the company’s best-selling B-segment compact hatchback. According to Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, the new Rio GT-Line offers a “range of comfort and safety features, superb versatility, and confident, sporty styling.” We normally take comments like this with a grain of salt due to their self-serving nature, but we’re making an exception this time because the Rio GT-Line does have all those qualities, and then some.

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2019 Hyundai Tucson

2019 Hyundai Tucson

A mild refresh keeps the Tucson sunny

Hyundai is readying its first mid-cycle refresh for the third-generation Tucson crossover. Introduced for the 2015 model year, the two-row SUV has proven extremely lucrative for the South Korean automaker, with sales blasting northward like Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket. Hyundai managed to sell 114,735 examples of the Tucson in 2017 – 2.4 times the number it sold in 2014. Slow claps.

Yet; the current Tucson can’t be left to stagnate. Hyundai is wisely working on a refreshed version that is likely due for the 2019 model. If we’re lucky, we’ll see it debut sometime in 2018.

Our spy photographers captured a couple heavily camouflaged Tucson test mules running about in Germany. Both extreme winter testing and regular driving can be seen in the photos, showing just how much work automakers put into evaluating pre-production models.

Continue reading for more on the upcoming Hyundai Tucson.

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2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven

A premium feel to an affordable 5-Door

Mazda has always been an interesting automaker. Its combination of sportiness and affordability has given the car-buying public a good value for their dollar. Vehicles like the MX-5 Miata quickly come to mind. But the Miata isn’t Mazda’s only major success story. In fact, the Mazda3 has proven extremely successful since its introduction in 2004 thanks to is sedan and hatchback versions offering a fun-to-drive character with a reasonable sticker price. Now in its third generation, the 3 continues to offer those same attributes, but with an added level of refinement and class.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door equipped with the range-topping Grand Touring trim to see how Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” attitude was holding up. Happily, I can report the little car is a blast to drive and is impressively practical. See how the details shake out below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring.

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2019 Jeep Renegade

2019 Jeep Renegade

The baby Jeep is getting a facelift

The cute-ute Jeep Renegade is getting its first mid-cycle refresh. Spy photographers spotted a camouflaged Renegade winter testing in Europe along side the euro-spec Wrangler JL and some Alfa Romeo products. The changes are confined to the Renegade’s front and rear fascias, along with tweaks to the dashboard.

Changes to the drivetrain will likely be limited to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and updated Active Drive 4WD system, both courtesy of the updated 2019 Cherokee. Jeep could even include its new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, though at 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, is a big jump over the for the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder and its 180 horses and 175 pound-feet. The power would certainly be welcomed, though.

Jeep is expected to debut the updated Renegade sometime in 2018 ahead of the 2019 model year.

Continue reading for more on the refreshed Jeep Renegade.

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2019 Kia Forte

2019 Kia Forte

Third-gen compact sedan gets major makeover and Stinger-inspired styling

Introduced in 2008 as a brand-new nameplate, the Forte has already made a name for itself in the affordable compact car market. And while it might not be as popular as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the Forte was Kia’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in recent years and one of only 15 cars to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018. Not bad for an automobile that had nothing to brag about a decade ago. Almost six years old as of early 2018, the second-generation Forte is living its final months on the market, with a redesigned model introduced for the 2019 model year at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Redesigned from the ground up, the third-generation Forte follows in the footsteps of larger Kia models. Not only sportier on the outside, the new Forte comes with an upscale interior that moves it closer to the premium market. In addition to that, it’s the first Kia to borrow styling cues from the hot Stinger sedan. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been expecting Kia to add some "Sting" to its lineup ever since the four-door debuted in 2017. The new Forte arrives just in time for the redesigned Volkswagen Jetta, yet another affordable compact that wants to play in the premium league. But the Forte has other things to worry about too, like the popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. How does it stack against them? Let’s find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Forte Sedan.

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2019 Hyundai Veloster

2019 Hyundai Veloster

The second-gen three-door offers style and fun without breaking the bank

First introduced in 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show, the Hyundai Veloster initially hit the scene as a replacement for the Hyundai Tiburon, the FWD 2+2 coupe built between 1996 and 2008. By contrast, the Veloster changed it up with a funky hatchback profile and 2+1 door layout (one on the driver’s side, two on the passenger’s side). In a segment filled to the brim with hard-hitting, well-established competition, the Veloster is a bit of an upstart, shaking things up with a unique attitude that still manages to make fun-behind-the-wheel a top priority. Throughout its life cycle, we’ve seen a wide variety of custom takes on the Veloster, but now, Hyundai is offering up a whole new second generation. Once again making its debuts at the Detroit Auto Show, the latest 2019 model year brings with it a variety of models and trim levels, including the base model, and the mid-grade Turbo and R-Spec models. There’s even a go-faster N version if that happens to be more your speed (check out our full review on the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N). Just as it was before, the new Veloster once again aims at catching the eye of enthusiasts, with a focus on making the whole package more engaging, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of the driving experience. The latest model year also comes with a good bit upgraded infotainment stuff as well.

But will the Veloster’s sophomore effort be enough to topple equally enticing offerings from the likes of Mazda, Honda, or Ford? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Hyundai Veloster.

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2018 Renault Clio R.S.18

2018 Renault Clio R.S.18

It’s mostly of the cosmetic variety, but it’s still good enough to get our attention

Renault’s involvement in Formula One has crossed over into its production car business at various points in the past. Now, the French automaker is dipping into that pond again with the launch of the Clio R.S.18, a new iteration of Renault’s feisty five-door hatchback that traces its roots to the Clio 220 EDC Trophy.

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2018 Hyundai Elantra GT – Driven

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT – Driven

America’s version of the i30 hatchback

The Hyundai Elantra GT is completely new for 2018, bringing with it a very European flair to the longstanding Elantra GT nameplate. But despite its Elantra name, the GT version isn’t a hatchback version of the current Elantra sedan. Rather, the 2018 Elantra GT is a renamed 2018 i30, which is sold around the world. The i30/Elantra GT rides on a shorter wheelbase and have different interior stylings than the Elantra sedan.

So what’s that mean for Hyundai-shopping Americans?

It means the 2018 Elantra GT is a surprisingly classy and solid hatchback. Its fit and finish are impressively upscale, and its long list of features reiterates Hyundai’s value proposition. The GT even does hatchback things well, slotting between the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic Hatchback in cargo volume behind the second row. Fold the 60/40-split seats down, and the GT outdoes the competition by no less than two cubic feet.

Keep reading for the specifics and driving impressions of the 2018 Elantra GT.

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2020 Nissan IMx

2020 Nissan IMx

Japan’s answer to the Tesla Model X

Having launched the Leaf back in 2010, Nissan is one of the pioneers of the all-electric industry. While not as efficient as the recently launched Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the Leaf remains the best-selling EV ever build as of early 2018. However, Nissan has yet to expand its all-electric lineup beyond this hatchback, and it is now falling behind the competition. This could change by the end of 2018, with Nissan likely to debut a battery-powered crossover based on the IMx concept.

Introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the IMx is described as "an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600 km." Nissan also says that the vehicle provides "a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society." The IMx also previews the company’s new design language, so it could change quite a few things for the Japanese automaker. If put into production, it could go against the Tesla Model X, currently the quickest, most efficient, and most popular electric crossover out there.

While Nissan didn’t officially confirm a production version of the IMx, an all-electric crossover is the next logical step now that the second-generation Leaf is on its way to dealerships. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan IMx.

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2019 BMW 1 Series

2019 BMW 1 Series

The little BMW hatchback is coming back to America

We didn’t get a chance to enjoy the second-generation 1 Series here in the States, but with the introduction of the third-gen model, BMW has decided we are worthy yet again. So far, very little is known about the new 1 Series, but one big factor could be rather detrimental to its success: it’s shifting from a RWD architecture to a FWD architecture. It’s a move that’s surely ruffling some feathers in the Bimmer community. This switch is made possible by UKL platform that debuted in the 2014 Mini Cooper and now underpins the new 1 Series Sedan, 2 Series Active Tourer, and the X1. Outside of this, the new 1 Series will shed its homely exterior design in favor of a more aggressive look with a slightly longer wheelbase than previous models. Rumor also has it BMW is dropping the three-door model, leaving just the five-door hatch to fight against models like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, among others.

More importantly, however, is the fact that the UKL platform will translate to more space inside for rear seat passengers and cargo. Compared to the Mini Cooper, the new 1 Series will be a bit longer and is even said to be coming back to the U.S. And, to add even more fuel to the fire, the BMW 1M could come back with as much as 360 horsepower on tap – just enough to put the Focus RS and Golf R in their place. But, before we get too far into all of that, let’s take a short walk down memory lane before diving into hints offered by the first round of spy shots.

Updated 12/27/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW 1 Series out for a new testing session, this time during its first winter testing.

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2020 Project Redspace

2020 Project Redspace

A funky futuristic EV box for surviving the urban environment

The Earth is teeming with humanity. In 2011, the world population hit a head-spinning 7 billion people, and it’s only getting more crowded – at an accelerating rate, too. Most folks live in and around staggeringly dense urban centers called “megacities,” called as such thanks to population figures that eclipse the 10-million mark. With such incredible numbers of people to serve, transportation systems are at their limit. So what’s the solution? Something like Project Redspace might very well be it. Produced by a Chinese firm and aimed primarily at the Chinese market, the Project Redspace (Redspace as in “Revolutionary Electric Dream Space”) is an all-electric commuter with a unique twist. The driving philosophy behind its creation was to leverage space wherever possible, finding an ideal amalgamation between form and function through inherent adaptability and customization, all while leaving the door open for the integration of forthcoming autonomous systems. Introduced in concept form at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, this very well could be the transportation solution for future U.S. city dwellers.

While the Project Redspace certainly doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before, that’s kind of the point, or at least half of it. Spearheading the project is Chris Bangle, a noted American car designer with a resume that includes a stint at BMW and Fiat. Backed by Chinese partners from CHTC Motors (China Hi-Tech New Energy Automobile Co., Ltd), Bangle says that he managed to design “a space that decided to become a car,” and he’s deadest on meeting the needs of the traveling public of the future. While this might be a prototype model, a production iteration is reportedly just years away. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Project Redspace.

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2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec

Kicking out the compact crossover jams

Without a doubt, the SUV and crossover market is still running strong, prompting every automaker under the sun to fill their lineups to capacity with fresh tall-riding hatches in a bid to satisfy the public’s seemingly never-ending demand. Nissan is no different, offering U.S buyers no less than six different models in the segment, including the Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. Unfortunately, lovers of the funky and fun Juke won’t see the compact on the roster for much longer, as rumor has it Nissan is showing it the door in 2018. However, in its stead, Nissan will offer something fresh – enter the Kicks. The Kicks is Nissan’s very first new nameplate in 8 years, arriving as a new entry-level model in the Japanese automaker’s lineup with more room and a lower price tag than the Juke. It’s also got some nice technology, both for entertainment and for safety purposes.

The Kicks is already on sale in South America, but arrives stateside more or less unchanged in the hopes of enticing urban consumers, or as Nissan puts it, “singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.” So – how does it stack up?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.

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2018 Model Sondors

2018 Model Sondors

An EV three-wheeler with potential

The world of all-electric vehicles seems to be in a constant state of flux as of late, evolving from quirky, eco-friendly transportation alternatives, to top-shelf luxury cars, to high-performance speed machines, and now, it looks like we’re coming full circle. Unveiled in a small corner booth at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, this is the Model Sondors, the first offering from the Sondors Electric Car Company. Sondors is best known for its popular line of electric bicycles, and currently enjoys a position as the largest electric bike manufacturer and distributor in the U.S. Now, it’s aiming at expanding into the electric car game, starting with this slick-looking three-wheeling three-seater. Simplicity is the name of the game, from the powertrain to the interior. Even the way its built and sold will be streamlined, all in the name of driving down costs to bring electric motivation to the masses.

“I believe affordable, clean transportation should be the norm, not the exception. You shouldn’t have to choose between a car you can afford and a car that’s electric. We can do better,” says the founder of Sondors Electric Car Company, Storm Sondors. So far, so good. The prototype you see here was built in just seven months, an outright blitz by industry standards, and we think it looks quite good at this early stage. But is it really?

Continue reading to learn more about Sondors three-wheel EV.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven

2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven

Luxe compact hatchback, no schnitzel

When my friends talk about compact hatchbacks, sometimes the Volkswagen Golf gets left out of the conversation. But it really shouldn’t be that way: The Golf is far and away the best-selling compact in Europe. There are good reasons for that, not least of which is the Golf’s supreme practicality.

Here in America, we don’t get quite as many Golf variants as Europe does. We get the highlights, though: regular Golf, sporty GTI, raucous Golf R, cargo-friendly Golf Sportwagen, and most recently, soft-road-ready Golf Alltrack.

Volkswagen has sent me two Golf Rs in the last year. You might consider those the most evolved version of the car, in terms of overall performance. Fast and fun to toss around the twisties, the R also happens to be the most expensive version of the Golf — expect to pay $40,000 if you want one. But this time, VW sent me a regular Golf TSI SEL, a luxurious hatchback without all the high-performance hype — and it’s 25% cheaper than the Golf R, even though it’s loaded with options. It proved itself to be a great little transportation pod for my family of four.

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