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2020 Nissan Titan - Driven

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven

A lot of tweaks in all the departments, but it still lacks the pizzazz

The Titan is in Nissan’s lineup since 2004. The pickup truck’s current-gen was launched four years back and now the company has already rolled out the facelift. The 2020 model brings in a few significant changes to the truck. On the outside, the changes are subtle, but they are noteworthy under the hood.

Nissan dropped the Cummins mill and the Titan can now be had only with the 5.6-liter V-8 mill. What’s more, it comes with a new transmission and a power boost. However, is the Titan a worthy alternative to the established trucks like the F-150 and the Silverado?

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2020 Mazda 3 - Driven Review

2020 Mazda 3 - Driven Review

How well does the Mazda 3 carry over to the 2020 model year?

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.

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2020 Audi RS6-R Avant by ABT

2020 Audi RS6-R Avant by ABT

When you need a family hauler and a mighty powerful beast in one package

The Audi RS6 Avant is arguably one of the hottest wagons on sale today. This powerful family hauler seems to be every tuner’s wet dream these days. One such aftermarket company is the Kempten-based ABT. ABT is known to give a twist to almost all the Volkswagen Group cars.

Recently, it revealed its version of the RS6 Avant itself, but it looks like that wasn’t enough. ABT decided to work on this wagon again by equipping it with the Power R performance upgrade and calling it the ABT RS6-R. Amongst all the other cosmetic upgrades and carbon fiber treatments, the wagon also benefits from 50 extra horses over the ABT RS6. Do we like it all the more now? Hell yeah!

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2020 Ford F-150 by Mil-Spec

2020 Ford F-150 by Mil-Spec

An off-road-oriented truck that is way wider and taller than the Raptor

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.

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2020 BMW M5 Hurricane RS by G-Power

2020 BMW M5 Hurricane RS by G-Power

German tuner gives current-generation M5 some serious grunt

With a 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 engine producing 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, the BMW F90 M5 packs a mean punch. The performance sedan is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. It’s also capable of maxing out at 155 mph, though if you take the limiter off, the M5 can blitz its way to a top speed of 186 mph. All these numbers paint a clear picture of the M5’s performance capabilities, and, at least on the surface, the numbers are impressive. Then again, the F90 M5 is still teeming with untapped potential, and when there’s room for improvement, a tuner like G-Power is there to answer the bell. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the orange metallic body wrap-wearing BMW F90 M5 Hurricane RS by G-Power, and it is a monster in every sense of the word.

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Everything You Didn't Know About The Jeep Comanche

Everything You Didn’t Know About The Jeep Comanche

It was Jeep’s last truck before the Gladiator came in 2019

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.

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2020 Hyundai Kona - Driven

2020 Hyundai Kona - Driven

It really is the baby Hyundai that could - as long as you have the turbo engine

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.

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2022 BMW iNext Electric SUV

2022 BMW iNext Electric SUV

The iNext is touted to be BMW’s flagship product in the EV segment

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?

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Novitec Transforms The Maserati Levante Trofeo Into World's Fastest SUV

Novitec Transforms The Maserati Levante Trofeo Into World’s Fastest SUV

With extra power and a lowered body stance, the SUV is now faster than the Bentley Bentayga!

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.

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2020 Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept

2020 Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept

May 25 can’t come soon enough...for more reasons than one

A year after announcing that it had become an official video game partner for Gran Turismo Sport, Mazda has unveiled its new digital ride for the game. Called the RX-Vision GT3 Concept, the GT3-class racer is as enthralling and as captivating as you expect it would be.

That’s not a surprise given that the racer pilfers some of its design cues from the obnoxiously raunchy RX-Vision Concept that Mazda unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The low-riding, slinky racer is the creation of Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s global design boss. The Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept isn’t available in Gran Turismo Sport, at least not until May 25, when it arrives as part of an online update. It will join the Atenza Gr.3 as the second GT3-class Mazda in the game.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

A more powerful AMG GT R? Yes please!

Introduced in 2014, the Mercedes-AMG GT is no longer the company’s flagship sports car, but a full lineup of vehicles. In three years, AMG not only developed a Roadster but also launched a higher performance coupe and a beefed-up convertible too. Oh, and it also created two different race cars based on the GT. In all, the AMG GT includes seven members, which is darn impressive. But Mercedes-AMG won’t stop here. Although rumors of a Black Series model have yet to be confirmed, recent spy shots suggest that such a version is indeed underway. And we might just see it in the metal in early 2019.

With the GT R in showrooms, a Black Series model might not make much sense, but Mercedes has plenty of room to either slot it between the GT S and GT R or place it above everything else as a range-topping model. The latter scenario is more likely, so we could get an AMG GT with close to 600 horsepower and built in a very limited run. We should find out more later this year, so make sure you stick around for updates. Meanwhile, have a look at my speculative review below.

Update 3/24/2020: The Mercedes-AMG Black Series is about ready for production and we just got a fresh look. Check out the Spy Shots section below to see the latest pictures and learn what has changed!

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2020 Ford Ranger Prorunner By APG

2020 Ford Ranger Prorunner By APG

A pretty good alternative to the yet-to-arrive Ford Ranger Raptor here in the States

Ford is denying us the pleasure of owning a Ranger Raptor in the U.S., but aftermarket companies are cashing in on this opportunity. One such company is South California-based aftermarket tuner Automotive Performance Group, who’s offering a conversion package for the Ranger that may not make it a Raptor, but surely fills the void to a certain extent.

Called the Prorunner Series 1 Package, it comes with a new body kit, carbon fiber fenders, axle shafts, and a lot more stuff. With this package equipped, you can finally take your Ranger to bash the dunes, or through treacherous paths that were close to impossible to tackle with the stock Ranger.

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