2019 Nissan Versa - Driven
The third-generation Nissan Versa was launched and the 2019 New York Auto Show, and with it came an all-new design inside an out. The new Versa features a wider body, was finally updated to feature Nissan’s V-Motion grille, and the rear end benefits form boomerang-shaped tail lights. We got the chance to test the SR model, so it had the extra spoiler on the rear deck but overall, as a package, the new Versa is sportier and more aggressive than before.
The interior felt a dramatic revamp as well, borrowing features from the recently updated Maxima and Altima. The new “Gliding Wing” instrument panel is probably the most recognizable change here, but we also had the SR model, so we were focused on things like the flat-bottom steering wheel, seven-inch infotainment display, and the red and black interior. In terms of cargo room, the Versa will swallow up 14.3 cubic-feet of goods with the rear seats in place or as much as 88.9 with the seats folded down.
Under the hood of our SR tester sits a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that was completely revamped from the last model. It delivers a meager 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, which is, impressively, 12-percent more horsepower and 7-percent more torque. The engine sent the power to the front, 17-inch wheels via an automatic transmission. Pricing for the Versa SR starts at $18,240, but ours was priced at $21,490 with a few option boxes checked. Stay tuned for a full, in-depth review of the 2019 Nissan Versa SR.
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Realtree Edition
Chevrolet has brought back the Realtree Edition on the Silverado 1500 after a five-year hiatus. Based on the Custom Trail Boss, Chevy has collaborated with Realtree, a leading camouflage brand, once again after five years to come up with the Silverado 1500 Realtree Edition. The differences in this edition are purely aesthetic. The truck comes with camouflage graphics on the sides of the truck bed, hood, and inside the cabin.
2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xtreme-Trail Rated
If you peep into the Mopar directory, you will see numerous packages and accessories for almost all the products owned by FCA. These packages are hugely popular with the SUV and truck owners.
Recently, it was revealed that a Wrangler owner spends an average of $800 on additional stuff from the factory itself when buying the vehicle. Jeep decided to capitalize on this even more and came up with a special edition for the Wrangler called Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xtreme-Trail Rated.
Essentially, it is a culmination of a few packages that Jeep already has to offer along with a new yellow body paint. But, to maintain exclusivity, the company has capped the production to just 100 examples. Also, it will be available only in Mexico! Por qué harías eso, Jeep?
2021 Aurus Komendant SUV
The 2021 Aurus Komendant is a luxury SUV designed and built by Russian company Aurus. A brand owned by the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute (NAMI in Russian), Aurus also builds the Senat, a sedan that was unveiled in 2018. A version of this four-door is Vladimir Putin’s presidential car. Aurus also offers a van called the Arsenal.
Spotted testing in Sweden, the Komendant is not yet ready to go into production. But word has it that Aurus will debut the model at the 2020 Moscow Auto Show in August, with sales to commence sometime in 2021. At first glance, it looks like this SUV is aimed at the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
2022 Rolls Royce Ghost
The 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost is the second-generation model of the company’s full-size four-door sedan. An upcoming vehicle that’s still in the testing phase, the 2022 Ghost will replace a first-generation model that’s 11 years old as of 2020.
Just like its predecessor, the 2022 Ghost will slot under the Phantom sedan and above the Wraith grand tourer. The second-generation Ghost will be heavily based on the current Phantom, which was introduced in 2017 with extensive updates. The sedan will retain the boxy silhouette of its predecessor and will feature a detuned version of the Phantom’s 6.75-liter V-12. Find out what we already know about the 2022 Ghost in the review below.
2020 Subaru Legacy - Driven
One automaker after another is facing a new reality: Most people prefer SUVs to cars. That’s nothing new to Subaru, whose cars have played second fiddle to its crossovers ever since it turned the midsize Legacy station wagon into the Outback in 1995.
A crossover before the term “crossover” existed — before even “car-based SUVs” had really emerged on the scene — the Outback was a Legacy with some butcher detailing and, soon after its launch, a higher ground clearance. Since then, the Legacy has dwindled from Subaru’s flagship to a minor part of the company’s lineup, while the Outback has become its No. 1 product. Last year, the company sold five times as many Outbacks as Legacys.
Other companies’ buyers stuck with sedans longer. That’s probably because Subarus’ famously standard all-wheel-drive system already attracted the type of buyer who wanted more utility than a sedan. But now, nearly across the board, sedan sales are falling as crossover sales rise.
Some automakers have responded by discontinuing their sedans. Many of the survivors are focusing on what makes sedans stand out from SUVs: low, sleek proportions and a sporty driving experience. The latest iterations of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry have all dialed up their style and their performance chops. The idea is that if someone still wants a car today, they really want a car — something beautiful, something fun, something interesting.
The redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy, meanwhile, isn’t really any of those things. It sticks firmly to the old-school midsize sedan rules: a smooth ride, a big back seat, a fuel-efficient powertrain, and easy outward visibility. And, just like it has for decades, it comes standard with the same all-wheel-drive system that you’d find in a Subaru crossover. There’s little pizzazz to the design, which is nearly indistinguishable visually from the previous-generation 2015-2019 Legacy. The driving experience isn’t zesty like an Accord or like some past Legacy generations. This is a sedan that blends into the background, and Subaru doesn’t use discounted pricing to lure the remaining sedan shoppers. Even the Legacy’s storied all-wheel-drive advantage is dwindling; the Nissan Altima recently introduced an optional AWD system, and the Toyota Camry is following suit this year.
The Legacy is a safe, comfortable, no-nonsense midsize sedan. The new generation is roomier than before, it gets better gas mileage (especially if you opt for the optional new turbocharged four-cylinder, which replaces last year’s thirsty six-cylinder), and it has a bigger infotainment screen on most models. If you think excitement is overrated, you don’t have to count out this Subaru — though we’re going to go over its shortcomings as well. Prices start at $23,645, including the mandatory $900 destination charge.
2020 Ram 2500 HD - Driven
Although Ram has been around the block for almost four decades, it was not until recently that the brand became a household name and a serious contender to the undisputed king of the industry, the Ford F-Series. Ram is essentially a by-product of Dodge and is a fully-owned subsidiary of the FCA since 2014. The name might be new, but the company has been building trucks since the 1970s under the name ’Fargo Trucks’ which was sold outside the United States.
The marque has essentially gone through a paradigm shift over the last decade and is consistently rising up the sales chart. In 2019, Ram sold over 630,000 examples; almost 60,000 more than the Chevy Silverado, to occupy the runner-up position. A lot of it can be credited to the fantastic engines in the lineup, and Ram’s constant effort to infuse luxury into its cargo-haulers. Not to mention, it has been paying a lot attention to safety as well. To top it all off, these trucks became an overnight sensation when Ram announced a 1,000 pound-feet of torque figure for the 3500 series. The Ram 2500 doesn’t boast of that, but it still has a lot going in its favor to be deemed as a potent threat to the Blue Oval and the Bowtie.
The model that arrived at the TopSpeed HQ was a black Ram 2500 HD Laramie. This is a mid-level trim that may not come with the best features that Ram has to offer, but it is one of the most practical trims to buy that covers all the basic essentials you would need on a daily basis. The truck came with a Cummins engine under the hood, a large touchscreen system on the inside, and a fairly wide, intimidating footprint that would shoo away all the smaller vehicles on the road with ease. But, when you pit it against the like-for-like trims of Ford and Chevy products on paper, it feels a little weak.
With that said, the Ram 2500 HD Laramie is still a strong contender and worthy of being shortlisted in your book if you’re in the market for a heavy-duty truck priced at around $50,000.
2020 BMW X3 M Competition by AC Schnitzer
AC Schnitzer knows its way around BMW models. That knowledge comes in handy when we’re talking about a comprehensive aftermarket program for one of Bimmer’s resident performance crossovers, the X3 M.
You’re probably thinking the same thing. The X3 M already has 510 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. It doesn’t need more power than what it already has, right? Well, don’t tell that to AC Schnitzer. The German tuner isn’t interested in what’s already there; it’s in the business of imagining what it could become and bringing that scenario to life. The product of all that is this extensive tuning program that not only adds a slew of aerodynamic improvements to the X3 M, but, more importantly, also adds more power to what is already a powerful performance workhorse.
AC Schnitzer hasn’t announced pricing details for the X3 M Competition program, but rest assured, expect to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000 to $30,000 for the program alone.
The seventh-generation Subaru Legacy debuted at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, and less than a year later, we finally got to get behind the wheel of one. Right away, we were impressed. It’s built on top of Subaru’s newly optimized global platform, which means it’s stiffer in all the right places. And, thanks to Subaru’s newly adopted Dynamic X Solid philosophy that makes the Legacy more expressive than even – something that’s clearly visible in the front end design and in the rear where the rear decklid is morphed into a makeshift spoiler of sorts.
The interior probably got the biggest update, though, with the major highlight being that new 11.6-inch, vertically oriented infotainment display. It’s dubbed “HD Subaru Starlink,” and it’s about as modern as you can get without stepping into a Mercedes. Other interior features worth boasting is the new Nappa leather – a first for the Legacy and Subaru as a company – improved headroom and legroom, and improved cargo capacity.
Subaru has finally decided to Turbocharge the Legacy for the first time since 2012, and our Legacy XT tester featured a 2.4-liter Boxer engine that delivers a cool 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. All of that is sent through a CVT with a somewhat decent manual mode. It doesn’t make up for the lack of a manual or something with real gears, but it’s definitely not the worst CVT on the market. Four-wheel drive is, as you’d expect, a standard affair, and it took our tester just 6.1 seconds to hit 60 mph – not bad for a family sedan that’s also safe. The Subaru Legacy starts out at $22,745, but to get an XT model like ours, you’ll have to pony up at least $34,195 or $35,895 for the XT Touring.
2020 Ford F-150 5.11 Tactical Edition by Roush Performance
There are only a handful of companies in the world that have a reputation and rich heritage like Roush. Roush has been in performance engineering since 1976. The company’s founder, Jack Roush, had a drag racing team in the early 70s, so you can be assured of the quality of work on Roush-modded trucks. Roush has been associated with Ford for decades now and has created a lot of trucks for the Blue Oval. Its latest creation is the Roush F-150 5.11 Tactical Edition. The truck is powered by the same Coyote V-8 engine, but in a different power tune and with few more add-ons to make it an absolute beast. Roush brought the truck to the 2020 SHOT Show in Las Vegas and announced that the production will be limited to merely 150 examples. Talk about exclusivity here!
2022 BMW 3 Series Electric
The BMW 3 Series is arguably Bimmer’s most popular model, and it’s about to go electric. The all-electric 3 Series is one of the 25 electric and electrified models that BMW has in the pipeline, and while most of those models will probably end up being electric crossovers and SUVs, the 3 Series EV is arguably the most intriguing, in part because it’s shaped as a sedan and has big shoes to fill.
Recent spy shots of a heavily camouflaged 3 Series sporting “Electric Test Vehicle” stickers recently made their way into the Interwebs, providing us with all we need to know that the car under all the swirly bits is nothing else but the electric 3 Series. There’s no set timetable on when the electric 3 Series will hit the market, but with testing ongoing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see BMW debut the model this year ahead of a possible launch in 2021.
2020 Laffite G-Tec X-Road
Remember the Zarooq Sand Racer? You don’t? Well, that’s no biggie, because it died at some point a couple of years ago, but now it’s back under a different name, with a polished attitude.
The Zarooq Sand Racer was supposed to open a new niche, that of off-road supercars. It packed a V-6 good for 300 horsepower and looked like a hybrid between a Dakar rally car and an exotic, but was rather short-lived. This is where the Laffite G-Tec X-Road comes to pick up where the Sand Racer left off.
2021 Volkswagen SMV
The 2021 Volkswagen SMV is a brand-new SUV that the German firm will unleash on the Chinese market sometime in 2020. Based on a concept vehicle unveiled at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, the SMV is slightly bigger than the Atlas, currently the company’s longest SUV.
Specifically, at 201 inches long the SMV is almost three inches longer than the Atlas, sold as the Teramont in China. The production model doesn’t have an official name yet, but it was spotted testing in cold weather in Sweden. But don’t get your hopes up, although Volkswagen is testing it in Europe, the SMV will be a China-only vehicle. Let’s find out more about it in the speculative review below.
2020 Jaguar XJ EV
It’s no secret that Jaguar has eyes on launching an all-electric version of the XJ sedan, and just as we started lamenting the lack of tangible evidence of an all-electric XJ, a batch of spy photos fell on our laps and, lo and behold, we get our first look and what looks to be the all-electric XJ.
Granted, the spy photos don’t show the heavily wrapped sedan doing blitzing test runs, but, rather, they show the sedan getting transported to an undisclosed location where it could potentially do those blitzing test runs. We’ll take our victories where we can get them, though, and this batch of spy photos is validation — to a certain extent, at least — that the Jaguar XJ EV is actually a real thing. Expect more spy photos to come in the near future. Hopefully, those photos will show the sedan with its wheels touching the ground.
2020 Lightyear One
There is no dearth of electric cars in the market today. The technology related to EVs is still developing and every automaker has to start from scratch. Perhaps, that is why you can see a lot of new automakers here.
Millennial companies like Tesla have become an existential threat to bigger marques like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. But, this has opened doors to a lot of new companies that are trying to make a name for themselves. One such company is Lightyear, started by a bunch of University students from the Netherlands back in 2016.
2020 Maserati MilleMiglia Concept
If you ever looked at the Ferrari Monza SP1 and thought to yourself that Maserati, the once-great Italian supercar maker that’s nowadays stuck with sub-standard SUVs and luxury sedans, should make something similar, your prayers have been heard. Sadly, not by Maserati but by freelance designer Luca Serafini who came up with this. If there’s still good left in the world, the MilleMiglia Concept will become a reality.
Imagine taking the best design cues from legendary Maserati models such as the 250F and 6CM, mix in a little bit of McLaren Elva and a sprinkle of Infiniti’s Prototype 10 and you end up with the bold, curvaceous, and utterly beautiful Maserati MilleMiglia Concept. As the name suggests, it would be perfect for a dash down Italy’s tight and twisting B roads, if only it were real...
2020 Morgan Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition
After more than 70 years of serving as the skeleton of Morgan models, the British automaker’s long-running steel chassis finally has an expiration date. But before that day comes, Morgan is giving the chassis a proper send-off by launching the Plus 4 70th Edition.
Yes, Morgan is celebrating the life and times of its steel chassis by taking the special edition route. The move isn’t uncommon these days among automakers — Bentley just announced the Mulsanne 6.75 Edition to celebrate the Mulsanne’s impending retirement — but Morgan’s decision to pay tribute to its decades-old steel chassis does have strong emotional ties to it, in part because of how long it was used by the automaker.
The Morgan Plus 4 70th Edition is limited to just 20 units with each unit priced at £60,995 or just a tick under $80,000 based on current exchange rates. Unfortunately for those who are looking to buy one, all 20 units are already accounted for.
2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0
The 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 is a naturally aspirated version of the existing 718 Cayman. An update of the current 718 Cayman GTS, the GTS 4.0 ditches the turbocharged, 2.5-liter flat-four engine in favor of a 4.0-liter flat-six mill. The engine is shared with the range-topping 2020 718 Cayman GT4, but detuned in order to slot the GTS 4.0 a bit lower in the lineup.
The 2021 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 was unveiled alongside an identical version of the 718 Boxster. The 2021 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 is expected to hit dealerships for the 2021 model year. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
2021 GMC Yukon
What do we have here? Fresh off the debut of the all-new Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC has launched the more upscale Yukon and Yukon XL. Right away, we have to give GMC credit for making such a bold statement in a world where any SUV that’s going to succeed stands out. The new Yukon comes with a larger footprint, more third-row legroom, an updated engine lineup, and more upscale materials inside. Can it finally compete in the premium segment that it was meant for?
2020 Bentley Mulsanne 6.75 Edition
Bentley is bidding adieu to the Mulsanne luxury sedan in the most fitting way possible. The British automaker is launching a special edition Mulsanne called the 6.75 Edition. Only 30 units of the Mulsanne 6.75 Edition and, in keeping with Bentley’s tradition of dressing up its special edition models to the nines, the limited-run Mulsanne comes with enough exclusive touches in the exterior and interior to justify its special edition billing.
Bentley hasn’t announced a release timetable for the Mulsanne 6.75, but with the Mulsanne’s production run ending this year, expect the 6.75 Edition to arrive within the year.
2021 Genesis GV80
The 2021 Genesis GV80 is a midsize SUV from Hyundai’s premium vehicle division. The company’s first crossover, it joins a lineup made of three sedans, so it’s also the company’s largest vehicle yet. Unveiled in South Korea, Genesis’ home market, in January 2020, the GV80 will come to the U.S. later in 2020. Although U.S. engine specs are still a mystery, the SUV will probably travel across the pond with two gasoline units. The GV80 is fitted with an impressive technology package and features the largest infotainment display in its class. More on that in the comprehensive review below.
2020 BMW X7 - Driven
The BMW X7 is one of the newest models in Bimmer’s lineup, and it serves a noble purpose as the brand’s flagship SUV (or Sports Activity Vehicle, if you listen to BMW’s “we-need-to-be-different” nonsense.) It was announced back in 2014, and shown off in concept form (the BMW X7 iPerformance Concept) in 2017, but wasn’t available at dealers until March 2019. Since then, we’ve been itching to get behind the wheel of one, and BMW was happy to oblige.
As you might expect from a flagship model, the X7 is about as luxurious as you can get without dipping your toes in the six-figure range. It comes close, with the X7 XDrive50i commanding an MSRP of $92,600, but it won’t cross that big mark unless you start checking off option boxes. Even the M50i falls just shy of six figures at $99,600. Under the hood of our xDrive50i sat a 4.4-liter V-8 (the same one that may be discontinued soon enough,) and it was good for 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 mph was rated at 5.2, but we got there in just a hair over 5 seconds, mighty impressive for a vehicle that weighs 5,617 pounds.
Interior space of the X7 was great, but what really caught our attention was the air suspension that would raise or lower as needed. Loading something into the rear? No problem, the suspension will drop to make it easier for you. Going over rough roads? Raise it up a notch. Spirited driving? The suspension will help keep things level. It’s like there’s nothing it can’t do. Comfort was on par with what you would expect, while materials and fit and finish were top notch.
We’re busy writing out in-depth review and driving impression of the 2020 BMW X7 right now, but until we’re done, we’ve posted our awesome photo gallery in the slider above and further down the page – be sure to check it out.