2020 Mazda 3 - Driven Review
Flying in to Newark International Airport last month, I arrived at the Budget Rent a Car counter and received the keys to a familiar staple of rental fleets: a 2019 Nissan Sentra wearing scratched-up Ignore Me Silver paint. Plenty of travelers would likely ask if, pretty please, anything else was available. This previous-generation Sentra (the car was fully redesigned for 2020) is generally reviled by anyone who appreciates a fine automobile. It’s underpowered, it lacks handling poise, and it’s drab-looking inside and out. And yet, it was just what my family of three needed for a three-hour drive home to Maryland. The Sentra’s plus-sized rear backseat was perfect for our rear-facing child seat, and its big trunk swallowed our suitcases and stroller with ease. Its generously sized windows offered excellent outward visibility, and it could go 41.3 miles before burning a gallon of gasoline. And, keeping our rental rate in check, the Sentra provided plenty of features at low prices.
This brings us to the subject of today’s review: the 2020 Mazda3. Like the Sentra, it belongs to the compact economy car market segment. But that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. For two cars in the same segment, it’s hard to get more dissimilar than our tested Mazda3 and our rental Sentra — for better and for worse.
The Mazda3 is basically a luxury sports sedan (or, like in our test car, a five-door hatchback). It’s beautifully styled, elegantly finished, laden with features, and — although it’s not as energetically zippy as it once was — a pleasure to drive. It even offers all-wheel-drive, just like an Audi or BMW. Yet like a luxury car, it’s also more expensive, has a cramped rear seat and tight cargo hold, has slits for windows, isn’t cheap for its class, and gets lousy gas mileage. It would have been absolutely the wrong choice for a family road trip, even for our small family. But if you appreciate something finer than a Sentra and won’t often carry more than one extra passenger, the Mazda3 brings a high-end experience at relatively affordable prices — starting from $21,500.
You Will Soon Be Able To Perfectly Launch Your Tesla With The "Cheetah Stance"
Musk had announced last year that the Cybertruck will be Tesla’s last new product in the near future. This year, the automaker will look to work on technologies and other such stuff. Planning for the production of the Cybertruck could’ve also been one of the reasons. That said, Tesla has been proactive in rolling out new features and tech on its cars lately. It recently revealed a new exciting Track Package and Track Mode V2 for the Model 3 Performance. Now, Tesla is working on something called the “Cheetah Stance” that will help the driver get the perfect launch. Will this be rolled out to the existing cars as an update, too?
Fisker Is Teasing a "Rescue and Mil-Spec" Package for the Ocean SUV
The Fisker Ocean SUV was unveiled at the 2020 Consumer Electronics. The company has had beautiful vehicles in the past, but none of them really hit the market. Henrik Fisker, the CEO of Fisker Inc., has the propensity to overcommit and under-deliver, so no one took him seriously when he announced in 2019 that Fisker is planning to build an affordable electric four-wheel-drive SUV with a range of 300 miles.
However, Fisker not only revealed the SUV, but also announced a sub-$30,000 starting price tag – after discounting for the credits – that took everyone by surprise. Now, the company has teased a new off-road trim for the SUV that looks tough and could invoke a lot of interest.
2020 Ford F-150 by Mil-Spec
Ford F-150 is the hot favorite pickup truck for tuners and here’s another proof. Michigan-based Mil-Spec Automotive has laid its hands on this truck and transformed into a complete beast. Although a lot of tuners and aftermarket companies are customizing the F-150 in their own ways, this example actually stands out. Mil-Spec has made cosmetic upgrades on the outside, some plush changes on the inside, and a whole lot of changes to the mechanicals and drivetrain of the truck. From our initial impressions, this is one of the better modded-F-150s we’ve seen in recent times.
The Mercedes EQS Will, In fact, Get AMG Tuning Comparable to that of an AMG S65
Back in 2016, Mercedes-Benz introduced EQ, a sub-brand that would handle its electric car lineup. The German firm has already introduced the EQC crossover and EQV van and it plans four more models until 2022.
One of them is the EQS. Previewed by the Vision EQS concept, the EQS will become the brand’s flagship model, essentially an all-electric S-Class with sleeker styling. Confirmed for 2021, the EQS will also spawn an AMG version that’s said to be just as hot as the Mercedes-AMG S63.
Watch The Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Hilux Fight It Out In A Series Of Off-Road Challenges
The folks at Carwow decided to bring three pickup trucks of German, American, and Japanese descents together and put them in a series of off-road challenges. Automakers these days have realized that there is a big market for this niche and are offering special packages and trims that make these day-to-day work haulers into weekend fun trucks.
The trucks in question are the Volkswagen Amarok, the Ford Ranger, and the Toyota Hilux. All these trucks come with their own strengths and weaknesses, but which pickup do you think will emerge as the winner at the end?
Right now, we know that GM is working on a Hummer EV, and we know that, for some reason, the company thinks the Cadillac brand can sell a six-figure car, known as the Celestiq. I have downright critisized the brand on a number of occasions for not taking EVs seriously enough and, more recently, for the whole Celestiq situation. To me, it seems like GM just doesn’t know what it’s doing, and I always assumed it was because of poor leadership. Now, word has surfaced that Honda and GM are teaming up on EVs. To be more specific, GM is going to help Honda develop it’s next two EVs, and at first I thought this was a very bad move, but then I saw the bigger picture.
Everything You Didn’t Know About The Jeep Comanche
The Jeep Comanche was a compact pickup truck that American Motors Corporation (AMC) introduced in 1985. Based on the XJ-generation Cherokee, the Comanche was produced until 1992. Production of the small pickup truck moved under the Chrysler Corporation in 1987, when the giant purchased AMC.
A spiritual successor to the Jeep Scrambler, the Comanche was the brand’s last pickup truck until the Gladiator was revived in 2019. Despite not being as iconic as other Jeep models, the Comanche is slowly but surely becoming a classic. Prices have gone up in recent years as this compact truck is as rare as a Ferrari. Here’s a few things you did not know about the Jeep Comanche.
2020 Hyundai Kona - Driven
The Hyundai Kona is a strong competitor in the subcompact SUV market, and it’s made itself known in the two short years it’s been on the market. The Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V both claim their own fame as being top contenders, so we decided to see just how well the Kona can hold up now that it has actually established itself on the market. So, we decided to ask for a test car, and next thing we knew, the Kona was rolling up to Topspeed HQ with its gray paint finish and silver highlights. This is our experience and thoughts after spending a whole week with the Hyundai Kona.
Here Are the Engines Ford Will Offer in the 2021 F-150
Considering that the F-150 is the most popular truck in the States and has been sitting on the throne for over four decades, Ford has done a fairly good job of being tight-lipped about revealing any details prior to its new-generation launch.
However, it couldn’t do its job as good as Tesla did with the Cybertruck. As it turns out, the different engine options that Ford has to offer on the 2021 F-150 have leaked. A post on NewF150Forum suggests that the pickup truck will be offered with six different engine options. Good to see Ford not downsizing the number of engine options to simplify the lineup.
Say Goodbye to the Little Guy as Alfa Romeo Discontinues the Giulietta
Just like any other car out there, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta had its flaws. It had strong selling points, too, like its appealing looks and crisp dynamic abilities. Those, however, were not enough to keep sales figures from sinking under the pressure of its very potent compact rivals and that of crossovers, too.
Speaking of crossovers, their rise to power is the reason behind Alfa Romeo’s decision to axe the Giulietta. As a replacement, the Italians won’t launch a new hatchback and will instead put their hopes of a profit in a high-riding vehicle we know as the Alfa Romeo Tonale.
We Hope You Weren’t Planning to Buy a Cadillac CT4-V or CT5-V Blackwing This Year
As many other fellow carmakers, General Motors had its factories shut down because of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. The giant was supposed to maintain the lockdown until March 30 and reevaluate the situation at that point.
Since things aren’t showing signs of improvement in the U.S. and plants remain closed, the ripple effect created by the measure is beginning to affect GM’s portfolio, including brands like Cadillac.
2022 BMW iNext Electric SUV
When BMW launched the Vision iNext concept at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show, it took the world by surprise. It was supposed to be the next big thing to come out of the company’s stable, but all people could talk about was that gaudy grille that eclipsed everything else.
The crossover with the Bavarian DNA is designed to combine advanced autonomous systems, connectivity, and electrification blended into one recipe that is touted to be the company’s flagship electric product. The model sits on a new platform and will provide the building blocks for the automaker moving forward. Is this a preview of what we can expect from BMW 10 years down the line?
This Is How the Toyota GR Hilux Is Going to Take on the Ford Ranger Raptor
Remember when Toyota said it would make high-performance trims of every model it builds? Looks like Toyota was serious about it. Interestingly, the Japanese automaker announced this in a reply to a twitter user who suggested a Hilux GRMN.
Fast forward 13 months and Toyota has announced a GR Hilux that will go up against the Ranger Raptor. The truck will feature a new diesel V-6 mill that will churn out over 250 horses. How exciting is that?
Novitec Transforms The Maserati Levante Trofeo Into World’s Fastest SUV
The Maserati Levante Trofeo has the genes of a Ferrari. That itself says a lot. And, until the Ferrari Purosangue arrives, this is the closest thing we have to a Ferrari SUV. The Levante Trofeo is an exotic SUV that looks stunning on the outside, reeks of luxury on the inside, and has the engine that makes it one of the fastest SUVs on sale today.
Now, imagine everything being raised by a notch. Aftermarket tuner Novitec has laid its hands on Maserati’s latest SUV, the Levante Trofeo and gave it a twist inside out. Called the Levante Esteso V2, it comes with over 600 horses and is now the world’s fastest SUV, beating the mighty Bentley Bentayga.