2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven
For very many years, the Ford F-150 Raptor was the only off-road standalone model you could get straight from the factory. Ram, however, decided to come up with a rival for it and announced its intention by coming up with a concept performance off-road truck in 2016 called the TRX. Pretty much everything we saw there made it to the production version as well.
Fast forward to 2020, Ram launched the TRX as a Raptor-killer by upping the ante in almost every single department. The TRX was introduced with a supercharged V-8 that makes over 700 horses, impressive off-road equipment and specs, and an uber-premium cabin. Given all the bells and whistles Ram offered, there was no way this was going to be an inexpensive truck. Ram priced it at $69,000 at launch in the ‘base’ form. At that time, it was clearly positioned above the Raptor as they both had a significant price difference.
While this is a truck that you definitely want, is this a truck that you actually need? A white 2021 Ram TRX arrived at TopSpeed and we find out the answer to that.
2021 Kia K5 GT-Line - Driven
After two decades and four generations in U.S., Kia has decided to globally rebrand the Optima as the K5 – a name it had be using for the Optima in the Korean market since 2010. With the name change came a much sportier exterior, a simple yet attractive interior, and a pair of engines that split the difference between great fuel economy and great performance – you can have one or the other. In early 2021, we had the opportunity to spend a week with the more economical K5 with a 1.6-liter inline-four that was good for 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Fast forward a few months, and Kia graced us with the K5 GT-Line AWD, which comes at a $1,600 premium over the FWD model plus a few extra standard goodies, including a special “Snow Mode.” Is it necessary to have a K5 with AWD, though?
2022 Kia Carnival - Driven
The Kia Carnival name might sound new to you, but Kia has been using it for this exact minivan in various markets since its introduction since 1998. Up until this point, you’ve known it as the Kia Sedona, but with the transition into the fourth-generation – which has been on sale in South Korea since September 2020 and in parts of Europe as of March of 2021. It will hit the North American market in July of 2021, but we managed to get behind the wheel of the new Carnival beforehand. This is what you need to know about the 2022 Kia Carnival.
2021 Nissan Versa - Driven
The current N18, third-generation Nissan Versa was released in 2019 among falling sales in a dying segment. Featuring Nissan’s latest design language, revised technology, and better materials, but it’s still one of the last few remaining subcompact sedans on the market, and the lack of interest is so obvious it hurts. In 2019, Nissan sold 66,596 Versas in the U.S., 2,369 in Canada, and 88,707 in Mexico, while the 2020 model year saw those numbers drop to 48,273, 125, and 68,013, respectively. That leaves us to wonder: Is there something inheritantly wrong with the Nissan Versa’s recipe, or are falling sales just the result of the COVID pandemic and a general lack of public interest in small sedans? We spent a week with the Nissan Versa to find out.
2021 Kia Sorento - Driven
The 2021 model year marks the fourth generation of the Kia Sorento. The previous generations were soft, curvy, and rounded, but the 2021 model is boxy, sexy, and a lot sharper. The company has pinned the SUV on a new platform, and has introduced new hybrid and plug-in hybrid engine options. The cabin feels fresh, more spacious, and can be had with captain chairs in the second row. All in all, the family SUV is a huge improvement over the outgoing model. The 2021 Kia Sorento recently arrived at TopSpeed headquarters and we have to say, it is pretty darn impressive.
2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition - Driven
The Honda Civic Type R is a very special vehicle. Many will belittle it because it is front wheel drive. Others will say that it is stupid to pay that much money for a fixed up Civic. People that say things like that are inexperienced drivers who have no idea how much fun a proper front wheel drive car can be. And if they need a badge from a high end European car to define a sports car, then they have an ego problem and they do not know anything about cars. Honda’s rich racing history is one of the most successful in recent times and products such as the Type R are a result of what their engineers learn from racing. We spent a few days with the Civic Type R and it is one of the most fun sports cars at any price. That sums it up. If you want more details, keep reading.
2021 Cadillac Escalade - Driven
The Escalade hasn’t had an easy life. It started as a ripped-off GMC Yukon back in the 90s, but was soon spun off as a standalone SUV. That didn’t change its fortunes either. It was never perceived as a strong contender in the market despite having its own set of advantages. This went on for three generations but GM didn’t give up on the moniker. For the 2021 model, the automaker decided to up the ante and how. For the fifth-gen, Cadillac turned the Escalade into a big, attention-seeking SUV with oodles of space inside and a tech-savvy cabin. Stuff like a 38-inch screen, 36-speaker setup, and Super Cruise technology, are only some of its accolades. Can fifth time be the charm for Cadillac and the Escalade?
2021 Hyundai Sonata N-Line - Driven
Outside of the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and a few others, the concept of sporty and quick sedans is slowly dying off as people look to either bigger, similarly quick, vehicles or smaller two-door sports cars. Then you’ve got brands like Hyundai that seems to either not care or wants to keep the thrill of driving alive, and this is where the Hyundai Sonata N-Line comes in. It’s based on your typical midsized family sedan but is injected with enough sporty DNA that it stands out both visually and in terms of performance. Of course, we’re not talking Porsche Panamera or Dodge Challenger levels of performance, but affordable performance – something that, arguably, gives you a bigger bang for your buck. Here’s what you need to know about the Sonata N-Line and why you should consider it for your next daily driver.
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat - Driven
Until 2020, the Dodge Durango was a family SUV with a sporty side to it. It came with a V-8 engine that churned out enough power to fulfill the adrenaline rush while also serving as a practical utility vehicle. For the 2021 model, however, Dodge upped the ante. As part of its process to plonk in the Hellcat engine in every product in its portfolio, the automaker transformed the Durango into a beast incarnate that just can’t be tamed. On paper, the Durango SRT Hellcat is now the most powerful production SUV. It can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. Isn’t that a wonderful and frightening sight at the same time?
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 is based on the standard Mercedes GLS SUV. It costs twice as much as the GLS but is a lot more premium and plusher. The Maybach-affiliation to the SUV puts it right at the top with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Bentley Bentayga. It isn’t as expensive as the British brands, but comes with enough tech and luxuriousness to keep you happy if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It comes with a V-8 engine under the hood to help it propel to 60 mph in less than four seconds. The looks, however, isn’t the GLS600’s strong suit.
While it seems a good package overall, will a Bentayga or a Cullinan customer consider the GLS600? Or will a standard GLS customer upgrade to it, for that matter?
2021 BMW M4 - Driven
The new BMW 4 Series, which was based on the BMW Concept 4, has been the victim of heavy criticism for some time now, and the M4 has fallen victim to the same big glass of hateraid. But, what sits behind that big, bulky, look-at-me nose is a humble powerhouse of performance that’s just as thrilling to drive as any other BMW on the market. After spending a week with the 2021 BMW M4 we can tell you that ugliness only runs skin deep, and you certainly shouldn’t judge a car by its face – this is our story with the new M4.
2021 Kia K5 - Driven
Let me introduce you to the Kia K5 midsize sedan – a car that really doesn’t need much of an introduction because you’ve known it as the Kia Optima ever since it hit the market back in 2000, but I’ll discuss that a bit later. Like the Optima, the K5 is known for its attractive styling, sexy yet functional interior, and – naturally – a great value for the money. Highlights of the new k5 (or 5th-gen Optima, if you like) are even bolder styling, new engine offerings, and, believe it or not, available all-wheel drive. Pricing for the new Kia K5 starts out at a very reasonable $23,590 (making it one of the most affordable midsize cars on the market) with the loaded, more powerful, range-topping GT trim commanding just $30,590. With this in mind, is the Kia K5 right for you? Keep reading to find out.
2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel - Driven
The Jeep Gladiator was one of the most anticipated vehicles for a very long time. Jeep had revealed the Gladiator concept back in 2005 but took almost 14 years to roll out the production model. But, we finally had a Jeep-branded truck after three long decades. The truck was launched with much pomp and show and it caught a lot of attention. The truck comes in a wide number of trims with uncountable packages and accessories to complement it. The automaker keeps the Gladiator fresh by launching special editions, too.
However, Jeep hasn’t been able to sell the Gladiator in big numbers. One reason could be the high pricing, and the other was offering it with just a single engine option – the old but reliable V-6 Pentastar. Jeep probably figured this out soon and launched an EcoDiesel engine as an option. A Gladiator dressed in the Overland trim with the new diesel mill under the hood arrived at TopSpeed, and here are our impressions of it.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
Mercedes launched the 2021 GLA in July last year and promoted it as a much safer, spacious, and off-road-oriented compact vehicle. While we don’t agree that offering a four-wheel-drive system makes it an off-roader, it certainly seems to have become a better package overall.
The GLA is a seasoned product that only gotten better this time around. It feels a lot more luxurious and modern than its predecessor. But, does spending close to $40,000 for an entry-level, compact Mercedes with a four-pot mill make a whole lot of sense?
2021 Nissan Armada - Driven
The Nissan Armada started life back in 2004 riding on Nissan Titan underpinnings and was built in Canton Mississippi. All that changed when the second-generation was launched for the 2017 model year, with production shifting to Yakuhashi, Kyushu, Japan as Nissan based the second-gen on Nissan Patrol underpinnings that feature some very specific modifications to make it suitable for the North American market. As of 2021, the Nissan Armada has been updated to feature a prettier face, a new center console inside, and some updated technology. As is the case with all refreshed models, we’ve been wondering if Nissan did enough to keep the Armada relevant in such a brutally competitive market. Does it hold its own against the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition? Well, let’s find out.
Mercedes GLE Coupe
The Mercedes GLE is everything you’d need in a vehicle. It looks handsome (if you’re into coupes, that is), feels premium on the inside, comes with tech features that will make nerds go weak in their knees, and powertrain options that will satisfy your adrenaline rush. On paper, every requirement is ticked well. But, it’s still not a complete package. The automaker left some rough edges that are glaringly evident, especially in the ride quality and ergonomics department. Will these prove to be deal-breakers, or can the overall package swerve your decision to choose it over the BMW X6 or the Audi SQ5? .
2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon
While the station wagon may have been a big hit in the United States long ago, today, out of all the cars sold on the U.S. market, only a handful are offered in the wagon body style. Of course, you have mainstays like the Subaru Outback, Audi A4 Allroad, and the Volvo V90 Cross Country and there are a few more obscure models like the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and soon to be forever gone Jaguar XF Sportbrake. A few others are out there too, like the car you see here, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon – a go-fast wagon that can easily make you forget that you’re an SUV-loving American living smack dab in the middle of North America. We recently spend a week with the AMG E63 S to see if it really was a strong, sexy alternative to the many, many SUVs on the market, and you’ll be surprised what we’ve learned.
2021 Chevrolet Traverse High Country - Driven
The Chevrolet Traverse is a three-row SUV that can best be described as a better-looking and equally practical alternative to a minivan. It offers the best cargo space in the segment, and courtesy of its length and wheelbase, it doesn’t come with a cramped third row. A V-6 engine is the only option offered across the range, but will suffice the needs of most of the owners. There is no dearth of features, but most of them are either optional or offered only in the top trim, which means a complete, loaded SUV will be quite pricey. We got to test the Chevy Traverse in its top avatar, the High Country trim, with an all-wheel-drive configuration, and here are our impressions of this bowtie product.
2021 Nissan Maxima - Driven
The Nissan Maxima – there’s quite a bit to say about it. Once a popular, full-size family sedan, the Nissan Maxima has fallen from average U.S. sales for 60,000 plus to just 18,141 units in 2020. Those numbers in 2020 are specifically worrying as Nissan updated the Maxima for the 2019 model year to bring in some extra safety and modernized technology. As of 2021, the Maxima is now five years into its eighth generation, so have things turned around or does Nissan have to make a tough choice between discontinuation and spending heaps of money in designing a ninth-gen model? We spent a week with the 2021 Nissan Maxima to find out, and this is our experience.
2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye - Driven
The current Dodge Charger has been on the market since 2011 and, while it is getting a little long in the tooth, Dodge has continuously found ways to keep it interesting. It didn’t go so far as to make a Charger Demon to match the widely loved Challenger Demon, but it certainly came close with the car you see here – the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye – a 797-horsepower monster of a car that’s capable of standing down some of the world’s finest sports cars with nothing but some good old fashioned American muscle. Being such a powerful sedan, we’ve been curious about just what it can offer and whether or not near-800 horsepower puts it out family car segment altogether. We got to spend a week with it, and this is what we’ve learned.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport - Driven
Subaru introduced the Crosstrek last decade as a successor to the Outback Sport. It was essentially an Impreza with an off-road bias. This formula worked well for the company as it soon became the best-selling Subaru in the U.S.
For the 2021 model year, Subaru introduced a new ‘Sport’ trim along with a new engine option that further makes this a desirable product. Will these upgrades help Subaru sell more than Crosstreks than it has in the previous years?
2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z51 - Driven
Chevy quite literally redefined what the Corvette name means when it unveiled the all-new, mid-engined C8 Corvette – a model that was decades in the making. Finally bringing the mid-engine configuration to the Corvette was no easy undertaking, but in the end, the new Corvette looked like a supercar, performed like a high-end sportscar, and created quite a stir in the automotive community thanks to its attractive low price. It seems impossible that a car like the C8 Corvette could retail for less than $60,000, but as promised it does ($59,995 as of the time of this writing). This makes the C8 Corvette come off as a much-cheaper alternative to many exotic cars, so how does it hold up? We spent a week with the 2021 C8 Corvette 3LT with the Z51 performance package to find out.