Hyundai introduced the Venue subcompact crossover for the 2020 model year as an all-new model that’s based on the same platform as the Ascent compact sedan. As a subcompact, you can get a well-equipped model for less than $20,000, but that affordability doesn’t come without its tradeoffs. Being an all-new model, we’ve been itching to see how Hyundai’s latest entry to the U.S. market holds up, especially against long-running nameplates like the Ford EcoSport and Nissan Kicks. We finally got our chance with the mid-level SEL trim, and this is what you can expect from it.
2020 Jeep Gladiator - Driven
The Gladiator was the most anticipated launch of 2020, right alongside the Chevrolet C8. Jeep had revealed the pickup truck concept back in 2005, but it took the company 15 years to bring out the production version. This was going to be Jeep’s first pickup truck in 30 years, so it was natural for enthusiasts to be hyped up for it. Jeep even introduced five different Gladiator concepts at the 2019 Eastern Jeep Safari and gave the Wranglers a miss; which is some sort of a record in Jeep’s history.
The company launched the Gladiator with four trims plus a limited Launch Edition trim, but it expanded the lineup with three more trims within a year. The Gladiator was a true-blue Jeep, but it isn’t bringing in volumes for the automaker, perhaps because of its slightly-higher pricing. But, a year post its launch with new trims in line and price discounts to lure the customers, can the Gladiator rake in sales numbers for Jeep?
2020 Acura NSX - Driven
Most supercars live a life of unexplored potential. In a world where a Toyota Camry can hit 60 mph in a once-shocking six seconds, and six-figure performance machines have to cut that time in half to be relevant, few cars can be pushed to their limits in legal conditions. And the higher the limits, the fewer the chances you have to approach them. That means most supercars spend their days flaunting their looks — along with the prestige associated with their extreme capabilities — between occasional bursts of all-out speed.
2020 Toyota Highlander - Driven
Last year, the Toyota Highlander was in its final model year of a generation that wasn’t great even when it was new. This three-row crossover lacked the spaciousness, slick driving manners, extra-easy ergonomics, modern infotainment, and upscale interior details of the latest competitors. Yet by a healthy margin, it outsold every other seven-seat vehicle in the country. Buyers were drawn to a trusted name, and even if the competition might have been more impressive, loyal customers didn’t find enough wrong with the Highlander to try their hand with, say, a Mazda CX-9 or Kia Telluride. Now, there’s a new Highlander, and it’s time to see where Toyota has made marked improvements.
In recent decades, few Lincolns have been known for excellence. The company has largely settled for making marginally nicer Fords at marginally higher prices. That’s not a bad niche to occupy — for example, recent Lincolns like the MKZ sedan and Nautilus crossover provide comfortable interiors, rich leather, lots of features, and a quiet ride for less money than sportier, more opulent Mercedes-Benz or BMW competitors — but this approach did little for the brand’s prestige.
Now, Lincoln is undergoing a renaissance. New Lincolns do still borrow from Fords mechanically. But starting with the redesigned 2018 Navigator, the brand’s models have been packing a greater visual punch, differentiating themselves from their Ford cousins and from the competition. One of the latest beneficiaries is the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator, a luxury version of the Ford Explorer that Lincoln had last sold in 2005.
The new Aviator stands comfortably apart from the Explorer, sharing its family-friendly seven-seat layout and its new rear-wheel-drive-based platform, but with a unique and eye-catching exterior and interior design. From its striking looks to its standard 400-horsepower engine to a host of thoughtfully executed details, this isn’t a Lincoln that aims for being merely “acceptable” or “pretty good.” Some buyers might wish for sportier handling, a few details could be improved, and our test car’s $76,310 MSRP feels steep. But when you stay closer to the $51,100 base price, the new Aviator is a head-turning combination of performance, seven-passenger seating, and stunning design.
In 2019, we got the chance to spend a week with the Ford Mustang GT Convertible,, and it was an absolute blast to drive. In fact, we even described it as presenting a “few reasons why you still need a V-8.” Ever since then, we’ve been wondering about the four-cylinder Mustang, aka the Mustang EcoBoost. Can a Mustang with a four-cylinder engine really live up to the name of a thoroughbred muscle car? Well, after months of asking, a 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible landed in the parking lot outside of TopSpeed HQ. That car was destined to spend the next week with us, and now we want to give you our impression of the beast with a little but dominating heart.
2020 Lexus LX 570 - Driven
From the company that invented the luxury crossover, the 2020 Lexus LX 570 is a decided throwback. This is a full-sized SUV that’s derived not from a car platform like you’d find in a Mercedes-Benz GLS or BMW X7, or even from the family-focused Toyota Sequoia.
Instead, it borrows its underpinnings from the Toyota Land Cruiser — one of the most capable SUVs you can buy. The LX 570 is no mere leather-lined cocoon, but also a boulder-climbing machine that employs a mix of electronic gizmos and burly suspension components to tackle challenging terrain.
2020 Chevrolet Bolt - Driven
Chevrolet Bolt has been around for less than four years, but it is one of the earliest mainstream EVs to have hit the market. The Bolt hasn’t taken the market by storm, but it is an important product for Chevrolet in the EV segment.
The automaker is constantly updating the little EV, and for the 2020 model, it comes with a few more miles in the battery pack. To put things into perspective, it is the best non-Tesla model on sale today in terms of range. The 2020 Chevy Bolt arrived at TopSpeed’s headquarters recently, and here are our impressions about this urban commuter.
Everything about the Tesla Model Y looks like the car of the future. From its pod shape, to its silent but explosive acceleration, to its all-encompassing infotainment screen with no physical buttons, the electric-car maker’s new entry-level crossover is more about sensibly reducing gasoline usage. It gives you a peek into the decades to come, and it gives you a rollicking good time while you do it. It’s not just an electric car, but a special vehicle that triggers a powerful emotional response. This is one way to electrify an SUV.
Then there’s Mitsubishi’s way: the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport PHEV. All-electric cars eventually run out of charge, even long-range models like Teslas. So Mitsubishi made a plug-in hybrid whose gasoline engine can help out when you use up the battery or need more power. To keep costs down, the battery isn’t huge and the motors aren’t wildly powerful. And Mitsubishi already makes many gas-powered crossovers, so rather than wasting resources to develop a new one, it retrofitted electric components into its flagship model, the compact Outlander.
The result is a left-brain approach to the segment — the Outlander PHEV makes perfect sense, but it’s an improved present rather than the future. At best, you’ll feel something between mildly impressed and grudgingly accepting. It’s hard to imagine falling in love.
I love 4-door cars. Being able to have room inside for your friends is usually a good thing and having a big four door with 600 hp is even better. Enter the new BMW M8 Gran Coupe. This is a car for when you don’t want compromises and you want everything. There are usually drawbacks for such situations and in this case it comes down to money. But let’s just enjoy the fast and luxurious M8 for now.
2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven
The demand for sedans – and cars in general, for that matter – has been plummeting for some now, and a lot of automakers have started to or completely withdrawn from the segment altogether. As of now, you’d be hard pressed to find a performance sedan outside of the Dodge Charger, without looking to German- or Japanese-built cars, and even then, a big chunk of those fall into the luxury category. This week, we were treated to a week’s worth of driving the 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody, and it got us to thinking – without any real homegrown competition, does this car have what it takes to compete with mid-performance offerings from Germany? Well, it’s a tough call, and there’s a lot to take into consideration, so as we dive into our experience with the Charger Scat Pack Widebody, we’re going to explore just how it stacks up against its closest German competitors, the BMW M340i and the Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan.
2020 Nissan Sentra - Driven
The last two generations of Nissan Sentra have followed a simple formula: a spacious interior, a smooth ride, great gas mileage, and low prices. For plenty of compact-sedan buyers, that’s a winning formula. But it came at the expense of driving pleasure — to the extreme. Last year’s Nissan Sentra wasn’t merely dull, but downright awful if you try to get some grins. Its wheezy 124-horsepower engine struggled under all but the gentlest acceleration, and its handling betrayed an alarming lack of composure for a modern small car. And while its upright styling could be considered elegant from some angles, it just looked tall and narrow from others.
For the 2020 model year, Nissan has worked to reinvent the Sentra. A striking new body sits atop a more sophisticated suspension and wraps around a more potent engine and a fancier interior. All the while, Nissan has kept prices in check and even improved the Sentra’s gas mileage.
Do the changes turn the Sentra into a class leader? Not exactly. Even after this year’s improvements, you can still find quicker, sharper-handling, more luxuriously-finished small sedans. And if you loved the old Sentra because you could get a huge backseat and trunk at a fire-sale price, the new model will feel like a step backward.
By becoming more similar to competitors like the latest Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, and Kia Forte, the 2020 Sentra loses the old model’s standout spaciousness and value — but it brings fresh advantages to the table all while keeping costs in check.
2021 Kia Seltos - Driven
The subcompact crossover class has so much potential. Best-selling “compact” models like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox have gotten fantastically spacious, refined — and expensive. A modern CR-V or RAV4 is just as big, fancy, and costly as midsize models used to be. For lots of people, they’re still a great deal: for as little as $25,000, you get ample space for four or even five adults and their stuff, all the latest advanced safety features, a fully featured touchscreen infotainment system, and great gas mileage. But lots of people don’t need or even want something this big, or at least aren’t eager to pay for it. So most automakers now offer a subcompact model that’s smaller and less expensive than their compact.
What’s puzzling, though, is how flawed most of these subcompact crossovers have proven to be. Many of them are polarizing styling statements, sometimes with looks that compromise their utility even more than their scaled-down dimensions do. A surprising number of them offer no all-wheel-drive. Some suffer from execution flaws like underpowered yet inefficient engines, compromised interior layouts, or clumsy driving dynamics. Each model that gets a lot right has also had at least one serious flaw — whether it’s the fun-to-drive but cramped Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 and CX-30; the spacious but slow, noisy Honda HR-V; the pleasant but overpriced Nissan Rogue Sport; the off-road-ready, on-road-jerky Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek; or a host of other would-be contenders. That’s to say nothing of the ones that, well, don’t get a lot right. Why, oh why, couldn’t someone just take everything that people love about a compact crossover and simply make it a little smaller and less expensive?
At long last, that call has been answered. The all-new 2021 Kia Seltos is a mechanical cousin to the Hyundai Kona, but it’s taller and longer. And that’s just what was needed to address the Kona’s lower, more car-like seating position and its tight rear seating. This makes the Seltos the first truly well-rounded subcompact crossover, delivering all-around competence with no disastrous downsides. It’s handsome, functional, fun to drive, fuel-efficient, and affordable. While no car is perfect — certain buyers will gravitate toward the specific advantages of some Seltos competitors — this is the only subcompact crossover that has something for just about everyone.
The Hyundai Sonata entered its eighth generation for the 2020 model year, finally completing the transformation from econobox family sedan to something that looks luxurious and sporty. In fact, at a glance, it even looks a lot like the new Audi A7 or RS7 with a slightly tweaked front end. So, do the aggressive exterior design cues, sporty proportions, and upscale appearance actually push it into a position to leave the Honda Accord and Kia Optima behind as it starts to compete with brands like Audi, BMW, and Porsche? Well, after spending a week with eh all-new Sonata, we can comfortably say it isn’t quite there yet, but it’s not far off. This is what it was like to live with the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.
2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Driven
Back in 2012, the Range Rover Evoque was a radical departure. This Land Rover sub-brand made a name for itself with powerful, comfortable SUVs, with big, boxy, classic styling. The “Baby Range Rover” Evoque was a subcompact crossover with a sleek silhouette and tiny windows. It looked like a bold concept car that instead hit the streets. The bet paid off — the Evoque not only brought new customers into the Range Rover fold, but it successfully previewed the brand’s direction. This once-radical face now adorns the Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Sport, and even the flagship original Range Rover.
What the 2012 Evoque didn’t have was perfect luxury-grade substance. It was a head-turning little luxury SUV upholstered in expensive leather, but built from old Ford parts. Buyers who fell in love with the looks had to live with mediocre ride, handling, and acceleration, to say nothing of its cramped cabin and tight outward visibility. And while many buyers happily did so, Land Rover redesigned the Evoque this year to improve its substance without compromising its style.
We recently spent a week in the redesigned 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (apologies for the long name) to evaluate how well the company did. We found it to be improved but still imperfect: loyal owners should have nothing but praise for the changes, and there are enough improvements to bring in some new buyers to the fold. But purely on substance, we’d be hard-pressed to call the Evoque a leader in the cutthroat subcompact luxury SUV segment, particularly at above-average prices that start above $42,650. Let’s discuss why.
2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions
Infiniti – it’s not a brand that you really hear a lot about these days. But with only five cars in its lineup – one sedan, one coupe, and three SUVs – you really can’t expect the brand to make headlines nearly as much as the brands that it’s actually trying to compete with. Does this obscurity mean that it’s not capable of competing in the mid-luxury performance segment? Not at al. In fact, after spending a week with the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport (basically a two-door Q50) we’ve come to be quite fond of the sporty little 400-horsepower coupe. This is what we’ve learned from that experience.
The Hyundai Veloster is a fun, affordable car that is positioned securely in the compact hatchback niche and, while it doesn’t rank necessarily high in terms of power, its unique style, performance, and fairly upscale interior is quite noteworthy. Currently a year into its second generation, we decided it was time to get behind the wheel of Hyundai’s fan favorite, and to our surprise, a Veloster Turbo landing in Topspeed HQ’s parking lot. This, my friends, gave us the perfect opportunity to see how the Veloster Turbo holds water against models like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Honda Civic Sport Touring. This is our story after spending a week with the one and only Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
2020 Genesis G90 - Driven
For 2020, Genesis has performed a styling update that makes the 2020 Genesis G90 look a decade newer than last year’s model. The new design, along with some other updates, make the G90 more worthy of its flagship status. Still, this is a Korean car with a base price of $72,200 — a combination that’s going to be a tough sell regardless of the vehicle’s merits, and despite the fact that its closest competitors are even more expensive. What does Genesis do to earn these big bucks? We spent a week in a top-of-the-line G90 5.0 Ultimate to find out.
2020 Nissan Murano - Driven
The Nissan Murano has been around for quite some time now and is fairly popular in the market. It isn’t the best-selling SUV in the segment, but it rakes in decent sales numbers for the Japanese automaker.
Named after an Italian city, the Murano slots between the Rogue and the Pathfinder in Nissan’s lineup. The Murano’s last generation change came back in 2015, which means the next-gen is on the horizon. The company has given the SUV a few facelifts that make it look fresh, though. The Murano arrived at TopSpeed’s HQ recently, and here are our impressions about this SUV.
2020 Lexus RX450hL - Driven
The Lexus RX invented the luxury crossover. It invented the luxury hybrid. And it’s consistently America’s best-selling luxury SUV. That’s why the current-generation RX’s shortcomings have been so surprising. It debuted in 2016 with polarizing styling, limited cargo space, no available third-row seat, cumbersome controls, and missing infotainment features.
At least based on the sales numbers, buyers registered no objections. They either embraced or accepted the RX for what it is, continuing to be drawn to its quiet ride, rich leather, and promise of headache-free reliability. But Lexus has steadily improved the vehicle since that 2016 debut. It added an extended-length three-row model for the 2018 model year, known as the RX L. Now, the 2020 RX features an upgraded infotainment system and tweaks to the styling and suspension.