Polar Vortex Incoming! Here’s How to Protect Your Car
Brace yourselves - Polar Vortex 2019 is just over the horizon, and it’s poised to break temperature records across the U.S. with extreme cold weather conditions. And when I say extreme, I’m talking about dangerously low temperatures, with some parts of the Midwest dipping down into the negative 50s or even negative 60s with the added wind chill factor. Temperatures like this can have a huge effect on cars, so we put together a few tips to help you protect your ride and keep it moving.
Six Generations of the Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer has been around for almost 30 years. In that time, the SUV segment has evolved in ways no one could’ve dreamed of. Through it all, the Explorer has remained one of the segment’s backbones, a pillar from which the SUV world has stood on for close to three decades. The Explorer’s life reads like a Hollywood script, too. It started off with a bang, establishing itself as one of the most popular SUVs on the market. That success lasted for more than a decade before the Explorer lost its way as other SUVs arrived. Sales eventually cratered, leaving Ford desperate to recapture the magic the Explorer had when it became the breakout hit of the early ’90s. The return to form eventually took place as the SUV segment in the U.S. exploded. With the Explorer now entrenched as one of the most popular SUVs in the market, Ford’s banking on the sixth-generation model to keep that momentum. Whether it does so or not remains to be seen, but the all-new Explorer appears fully equipped to take on that challenge.
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Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
It’s like a battle between two hulks, if you may. As if their off-roading capabilities were not good enough, Chevrolet and Toyota decided to elevate the game to the next level. Toyota launched the Tacoma TRD Pro sometime last year and the Colorado ZR2 Bison is due for launch early next year. Chevrolet has built the Colorado ZR2 Bison in collaboration with AEV – American Expedition Vehicles – an aftermarket truck outfitter.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Vs. 2019 BMW X5
Please welcome the heavyweight SUV showdown. This is the Mercedes-Benz GLE versus the BMW X5. No, you will not find out which one is better, nor will I suggest you get one over the other. You will, however, find out how two of the most astounding SUVs of today stack one against another. How do they differ? Do they bring anything new? How cool are they?
I am well aware that many hate SUVs because they find them too flamboyant and too aggressive for the world we live in, but the matter of the fact is that SUVs have become a staple of car design, leaders of technology development, and models that make a lot of money. Every SUV you buy fuels a bit of money into the development of the really cool stuff. So, as far as I’m concerned, you should buy them as much as possible.
With the recent introduction of the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, SUV fandom becomes even richer.
13 Crossover Wagons You Could Buy Instead of an SUV
High-riding vehicles, like crossovers and SUVs are at the height of popularity right now, but they’re not the only way to go if you want practicality and some off-road capability. Crossover style raised wagons are a great alternative and while they can still drive you over a rough field or rutted road with ease, they’re better to drive on road and actually pretty stylish.
They are essentially the wagon versions of different cars which have gained extra ride height and plastic cladding on the outside to protect them from scratches in their most vulnerable points. These vehicles usually have standard all-wheel drive and are usually a higher trim level, so they are not cheap (compared to the vehicle they’re based on) but they also come with a lot of equipment.
Here’s a list of the 13 coolest crossover-style wagons you can buy today.
Top 10 Most Blasphemous Models To Turn Into An EV
The world of EVs is ever growing, and as we near a time when there will be no gas to fill our tanks, we realized some of the world’s best-sounding and glorious engines will have to be ditched in favor of electric power. Think of an electric Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, or Lamborghini... does it sound good? Or rather, does it make any sound at all?
With the advent of electrification in the business of car building, you see every major manufacturer scramble to put together a lineup of eco-friendly electric vehicles as a statement of their forward-thinking plans and their bias towards the future of mobility. It all looked foolish almost 20 years ago when Honda introduced the original hybrid Insight, which was shortly followed by Toyota’s Prius, but today, this seems to be the trend that will sell. For some, it might be a marketing ploy to appease a new section of the market, but you can’t dismiss the trend altogether.
Audi just took the wraps off its first fully-electric car, the E-Tron. Mercedes was doing the same just a few weeks ago with its EQC, and just about any manufacturer you can think of has a mid- to long-term plan for at least hybrid, if not electric. For instance, Aston-Martin is looking forward to the year 2030, by which time the British manufacturer’s stable should be made up exclusively of electric cars. Ferrari, well-known for their devotion to making their cars sound perfect, is planning a 60 percent hybridization of its lineup in just four year’s time. You can imagine a Ferrari EV isn’t that far off in the future, then.
All this got us thinking - which cars would you never want to see without a growling V-8, or maybe a high-revving V-12 under the hood? Which car’s move from gas to electric sounds like blasphemy to you? We know there is a Mustang-inspired sports utility vehicle coming from Ford in 2020, and the pony car itself might go electric in the future, so how does that make you feel?
Read on to learn about our top 10 cars that would be blasphemous to turn into EVs.
10 Best Handling Crossovers on the Market
Crossovers are vehicles designed to look like they can go off-road, but really be at their best on the road. Sure, some can do light off-roading, but realistically you won’t want to stray too far from the blacktop or the occasional bumpy gravel backroad.
To this end it’s not trivial to know which of these 4x4-aping high riders are best out on the open (and sometimes twisty) road, since it’s where they will spend most of their time. But don’t go thinking that they are on par with more conventional car shapes, because their higher center of gravity and usually higher mass will affect handling.
Safety is at the top of buyers’ lists these days, but what many don’t think about when browsing lists of cars rated with safety stars is that good, predictable road manners and sharp handling are one of the biggest safety features a car can have, since they allow the driver to avoid crashing in the first place.
And while crossovers may give occupants a feeling of extra safety when they’re on board, their poor road manners bring this into question.
Here’s a list of the 10 best handling high-riding vehicles ever made.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 Physics-Defying Performance Crossovers And SUVs
Technology has a very strange habit of turning the impossible (or at the very least, the improbable) into reality. This is especially true in the automotive world, where seemingly contradictory attributes manage to find a happy middle ground with surprising regularity. Case in point – the performance crossover and SUV segment. Once a body style relegated to utility, the modern tall-bodied, cargo-tastic crossover or SUV can now be had with a heavy dose of speed as well, apparently defying the laws of physics with mammoth grip and absurd levels of power. These days, it doesn’t matter if a model is heavy and huge – add the right parts, and it’ll be quick as well.
It’s a combination that seems to be growing in popularity, with a nice assortment of options available across the market. As such, we’ve collected five of the best right here for your perusal. Each offers a decent amount of cargo space, high levels of luxury, and the option for performance as well, all for a price tag around $70,000 (give or take). Our picks look like this – BMW X3 M, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Mercedes-AMG GLC63, Porsche Macan Turbo, and Land Rover Range Rover Sport. We’ve got the lowdown on each right here, so read on for more info. And don’t forget to post your favorite in the comments section below!
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Physics-Defying Performance Crossovers And SUVs.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 High-End Track-Ready Sports Coupes
Let’s say you’ve got a solid six-figures burning a hole in your pocket, and you’re looking to get out on the track for a little turnin’ and burnin’. Sure, why not? But here’s the catch – whatever you bring to the pits has to make its way back home as well, and without a trailer to boot. Luckily, there are options aplenty these days that fit the bill, with a rash of barely street-legal track stars making headlines with ever-increasing levels of presence, poise, and performance. But which to pick?
Never fear, because we’ve got five of the best lined up for your reading enjoyment right here. Each can be driven on the street and each offers some modicum of comfort. However, the emphasis here is clear – speed, and loads of it, with apex-hungry suspension and tons of power under the right pedal. Restrictions for this list include a maximum of two doors and a price tag around $150,000, but we tried to stay flexible on that latter bit to keep things interesting. As such, we’ve included the Acura NSX, Audi R8, McLaren 570S, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R, and Porsche 911 GT3. Which is your track-ready sports coupe of choice? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget the bench racing.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 High-End Track-Ready Sports Coupes.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 Luxury Compact Crossovers
When it comes to the U.S. automotive market, compact crossovers are cleaning up. The segment continues to see unprecedented growth, even with a huge variety of options already on offer. The appeal of the luxury compact crossover is multifaceted, mixing a “go anywhere, do anything” attitude with comfort and inherent driveability. Luxury compact crossovers are practical and spacious, without going overboard in terms of exterior dimensions, improving fuel efficiency and maneuverability over larger SUVs. Inside, there are amenities aplenty without breaking the bank, while the high seating position provides ample views of the road ahead. And while better suited for mall crawling rather than rock crawling, luxury compact crossovers still get that “off-roader” style, plus AWD when the weather turns sour. And of course, the extra room in the rear supports a range of lifestyles, whether its kid hauling for a family, or gear running for active outdoorsy activities. There are even performance options, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Boil it down, and the philosophy goes something like this – mix equal parts practicality, comfort, and road presence, then spread evenly on a tall-bodied package. But where to start? To help you navigate this seemingly bottomless sea of possibilities, we’ve collected facts and figures from five of the best entries in the segment, including the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz GLC Class. Read on for the lowdown.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Luxury Compact Crossovers.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 Convertibles That Won’t Break The Bank
Well, it’s officially summertime, and that means it’s the right season to get out and enjoy the warm weather. And, if you have the means, that should also include breaking free from the confines of a fixed hardtop roof and enjoying unlimited blue-sky headroom. Unfortunately, getting behind the wheel of a convertible isn’t always the cheapest proposition around, but fear not, because we’ve assembled five of our top picks for going topless without breaking the bank.
Of course, there are plenty of other options out there at this price range, but we decided to cut out the flab and only keep those droptops that you’ll actually want to drive. That means each offers something interesting under the hood, all while maintaining that fun in the sun factor. Of course, no roof means you’ll get a little extra slop in the corners, given the lack of chassis rigidity, but that’s okay – you’ll be enjoying your time in the elements all the same. Let us know which you’d have in the comments!
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Convertibles That Won’t Break The Bank.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 Street Cars With Ridiculous Spec Sheets
We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but things have been getting a little out of hand lately. In the never-ending quest to one-up the competition, automakers have unleashed some truly astounding machines upon the world, each packed to the brim with jaw-dropping stats. The numbers these things bring to the table are simply ridiculous – outrageous power, mind-warping speed, and otherworldly performance potential. Any one of these rides will permanently alter your perception of what it means to go fast, even if all you do is digest the numbers. As such, we’ve listed here our top five favorite street cars with simply ridiculous spec sheets.
Obviously, super cars make up the majority of the entries, but we’ve also got the king of the muscle cars and even an all-electric icon on the list as well. Each entry is fully capable of melting face in its own special way, and each serves as a reminder that we are indeed living in a special time. Enthusiasts, say hello to the ultimate bench racers, the four-wheeled monsters bringing the hottest of the heat. Which would you have? Let us know in the comments section below, or post up your pick for the car with the most ridiculous spec sheet.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Cars With Ridiculous Spec Sheets.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 All-Electric Performance Cars
Last week, we took a look at our top picks for the best five hybrid sports, listing off some truly awe-inspiring gas/electric combos that proved hybridization wasn’t something to be feared by the common auto enthusiast. But while adding a big battery pack and a few electric motors might seem like a pretty sizable modification to the traditional sports car formula, there’s an even-greater change lurking just over the horizon – the pure-electric powertrain. That’s right, gasoline need not apply in this crowd, and yet, the speed potential is still enough to melt your face. This is our list of the top five all-electric performance cars.
There are plenty of benefits that electric power offers over internal combustion, especially when it comes to the business of going fast. For starters, the torque curve for an electric motor is totally flat, with maximum twist created the instant you touch the long pedal to the right. There’s also zero power loss at high altitude, a characteristic that’s particularly useful at hill climb events like Pikes Peak. What’s more, with enough motors and a little electronic wizardry, you can get away with some pretty kick ass torque vectoring dynamics. Of course, it’s not all roses – for example, the all-electric appliance noise will never beat the sound of exploding dino juice. Regardless, all-electric performance is still quite impressive. Here are five examples that prove it.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 All-Electric Performance Cars.
What’s The Best Upscale Performance Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?
The sport sedan – talk about a hotly contested segment. Almost every major automaker out there has one, but as you might expect, not all are created equal. And that’s where we come in, armed with a boatload of facts and figures to help rank the various entries from best to worst. Of course, more attentive TopSpeed readers out there are sure to point out that this is a topic we’ve covered before, most recently in a comparison piece looking at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But unlike that last article, which focused on luxury cars with a sporty flavor, this piece will instead focus on cars that place a greater emphasis on performance, with luxury as a secondary priority. As such, we’re picking apart the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volvo S60. Sure, there’s overlap, but in this crowd, the effort is made more for grins behind the wheel than backside coddling.
That isn’t to say these cars aren’t comfortable – indeed, each offers a fair amount of upscale treatment, some more so than others. That said, we weighed performance much more heavily this time around, giving otherwise more spartan models a shot at the top of the list. So how do we place these five four-doors? Read on to find out.
Continue reading for the full comparison.