2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec
Without a doubt, the SUV and crossover market is still running strong, prompting every automaker under the sun to fill their lineups to capacity with fresh tall-riding hatches in a bid to satisfy the public’s seemingly never-ending demand. Nissan is no different, offering U.S buyers no less than six different models in the segment, including the Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. Unfortunately, lovers of the funky and fun Juke won’t see the compact on the roster for much longer, as rumor has it Nissan is showing it the door in 2018. However, in its stead, Nissan will offer something fresh – enter the Kicks. The Kicks is Nissan’s very first new nameplate in 8 years, arriving as a new entry-level model in the Japanese automaker’s lineup with more room and a lower price tag than the Juke. It’s also got some nice technology, both for entertainment and for safety purposes.
The Kicks is already on sale in South America, but arrives stateside more or less unchanged in the hopes of enticing urban consumers, or as Nissan puts it, “singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.” So – how does it stack up?
Updated 05/08/2018: Nissan announced prices for the 2018 Kicks. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.
2019 BMW i8 Roadster
The world got its first official look at the production-ready BMW i8 hybrid sports car back in 2013 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Critics and enthusiasts alike went gaga over its sci-fi good looks while reveling in its promises of speed and efficiency, and consumers responded by buying over 10,000 examples of the i8 as of November of 2016, making it the best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car in the world. Impressive stuff, no doubt, but now there’s a new model out, and this time, it’s got a bit off the top. This roofless iteration of the Bavarian’s hybrid sports car made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, and brings with it a few small tweaks to the exterior styling, updated tech in the cabin, and a little extra oomph in the electrified powertrain department as well.
Overall, the updates are pretty minor, refining what’s already there without changing much. And considering the widespread acclaim levied at the i8 in the few short years it’s been on the market, it makes sense to keep things more or less unchanged, right? That said, the hybrid and EV market have seen some mighty impressive advances over the course of that time period, which begs the question – can unlimited headroom keep the i8 feeling fresh for the 2019 model year?
Updated 01/24/2018: We’ve updated this review with all the latest official info straight from BMW!
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.
2018 Aria FXE
If you’ve never heard of ‘em, don’t feel bad. Aria is best known as the pen behind projects like the Tesla Model S Concept from 2009, the bespoke carbon fiber body panels that adorn the Singer 911s, and the Ford Shelby GR-1, as well as the SpaceX Dragon capsule and the Warthog from Halo 4. Just 100 employees make up the entire firm. Now, this small, yet talented group is offering up a glimpse at its very first production passenger car, and long story short, it’s a whopper. Recently unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Aria calls it the FXE, as it’s an evolved iteration of the FE concept shown in LA last year. The FXE looks like a spaceship, and based on Aria’s claim regarding the onboard hybrid V-8 powertrain, it should go like one too. Taking inspiration from track cars, the FXE is made for the road and aims to topple the best of the best from Europe, including the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1.
Of course, that’s a rather tall order for any carmaker, let alone a tiny boutique design house looking to make their first production vehicle. So the question is this – can Aria pull it off?
Continue reading to learn more about the Aria FXE.
2018 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography
The Land Rover Range Rover’s ultimate trim level, the SVAutobiography, is getting a healthy update for 2018. Of course, many of these same updates are found on the standard 2018 Range Rover, too, having undergone a welcomed refresh. The 2018 SVAutobiography is available on the long-wheelbase Range Rover. It comes with ultra-premium levels of luxury fittings and first-class accommodations for rear passengers. Airline-style reclining seats with massaging, folding aluminum tray tables, power-operated doors, twin 10.2-inch entertainment monitors, and a refrigerated compartment are just some of the highlights.
As part of the Range Rover’s 2018 update, the dashboard now features the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with two 10-inch touchscreens in the center stack and another 10-inch screen for the fully digital gauge cluster. Other tech features include 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for eight devices, plenty of USB and 12-volt ports, a household power plug. Land Rover’s Connect Pro brings smartphone connection and remote controlling of the vehicle’s systems. The app allows for operating door locks, setting climate control temperatures, and remotely starting the engine. And for those times when having keys for a phone on your person isn’t feasible, the available Activity Key wristband doubles as the key fob.
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface, so let’s dive into what’s new.
Continue reading for more on the updated 2018 Range Rover SVAutobiography.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus
Introduced in 2006 as a replacement for the Aviator, the Lincoln MKX soldiered on for almost a decade until it was redesigned in 2015. After only two years on the market, the second-generation MKX received its mid-cycle facelift. Launched at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the midsize crossover was renamed the Nautilus, as part of the company’s new strategy that involves dropping alphanumeric badges. Alongside the new name, the crossover also gained an updated front fascia, now inline with most Lincoln vehicles, new technology, and a new engine under the hood.
Lincoln’s decision to rename the MKX isn’t surprising. The midsize is the firm’s best-selling SUV and a vehicle that attracts most new customers from other brands, with nearly 40 percent reportedly crossing over from Cadillac and Lexus. The Nautilus is supposed to build on the momentum of the MKX, which is on track to deliver its best sales year since 2007. But does it have what it takes to give the Cadillac XT5 a run for its money? Find out in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lincoln Nautilus.
2019 Saleen S1
Established in 1983, Saleen quickly became one of America’s most renowned Ford Mustang tuners. Already a highly praised company in the 1990s, Saleen became a full-fledged automaker by launching the S7 in 2000. One of the first hand-built American supercars, the S7 went on to become a legend and survived for no fewer than nine years on the market. Once it discontinued the S7, Saleen went back to modifying muscle cars, providing upgrades not only for the Mustang but for the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger (and even the Tesla Model S) too. But it seems that Saleen is now ready to launch its second original design. It’s called the S1, and it was introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The small sports car is a surprising appearance. Not only it came out of nowhere, but it also arrived at a time when Saleen barely emerged from years of struggling with financial difficulties. And the California-based firm has big plans with the S1, hoping to sell more than 1,500 units a year in the U.S. alone. The two-door is also built from scratch by the American company, which is a big feat given that Saleen was almost bankrupt a few years ago. But it’s worth mentioning that Saleen isn’t alone in this project. The S1 is actually made by Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technologies Group, a company based in China that is building a billion-dollar manufacturing facility in the country.
Saleen also revealed that the S1 project began a few years ago when the firm purchased the tooling for the Artega GT, a German sports car designed by Henrik Fisker in the late 2000s. Launched in 2009, the GT was short-lived, being discontinued when Artega went bankrupt in 2012. However, the S1 isn’t based on the GT. Saleen found that an update wasn’t feasible and designed a new coupe from scratch.
Continue reading to find out more about the Saleen S1.
First arriving in North America for the 2003 model year as a replacement for the Mazda 626, the Mazda6 was billed as the Japanese brand’s premium midsize four-door offering. Hailed as Mazda’s flagship sedan model, the nameplate has seen three generations throughout its career, with the most recent getting a debut at the Moscow International Motor Show in August of 2012. Now, it’s time for a refresh, with Mazda dropping details on the 2018 model year at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The updates this time around are extensive, and include a more upscale interior, improved chassis refinement, and most importantly, the addition of a turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood.
All told, the 2018 Mazda6 gets a rather impressive list of revisions, much more than we’re accustomed to seeing in a simple mid-cycle refresh. And that’s great, especially when you consider how impressed we were with the older model. By all accounts, it looks like Mazda is vying to instill the 6 with a sense of elevated quality and luxury, leveling its crosshairs at more expensive competitors in the segment. At the same time, that requisite Mazda fun gets a boost thanks to forced induction. So then, what’s the end result? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda6.
2019 BMW i8
First unveiled in 2013, the BMW i8 was met with critical acclaim for its sharp space-age looks, high-tech hybrid powertrain, and impressive speed potential. First rolling off the production line in 2014, the i8 has remained a hugely desirable hybrid sports car throughout its brief lifetime. However, it’s been several years now since its initial release, which means it’s time for a refresh. As such, BMW introduced a mid-cycle refresh for the i8 Coupe at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, simultaneously dropping the sheets alongside a new open-top Roadster iteration. Overall, the tweaks are minor but do include some new styling options and a slightly beefier battery pack. Power and all-electric range see incremental increases, but is it enough to keep the Bavarian spaceship feeling as cutting edge as it should?
After all, we’ve seen some pretty impressive gains in the sporty hybrid segment, even in the past three years. Which begs the question – how does the 2019 i8 shape up amongst the current crop of segment offerings, and does this refresh lag against the times?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW i8.
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS
Introduced in 2003, the Mercedes-Benz CLS created a new vehicle segment that combined the dynamic design of a coupe with the comfort and functionality of a luxury sedan. Come 2017, and the four-door coupe moved into its third-generation with updated styling, a revised interior with brand-new tech, and a completely new engine under the hood. The new-generation CLS replaces the W218 model that’s been in production since 2011. It was launched at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and will go on sale in 2018.
The new model has pure CLS genes with its arching waistline, flat side window lines, and low greenhouse. It also retains its unique design, despite being based on the same underpinnings as the E-Class sedan. Though not as unique on the inside, the CLS blends the styling cues of the E-Class and S-Class with new features and exclusive technology. Under the hood, it comes with a new six-cylinder engine that uses EQ Boost, an electric motor that increases performance while returning better fuel economy. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
A Quick Look at how the Mazda6 Has Changed for 2018
Sometimes, in the smallest of updates can make a big difference for a car. The new Mazda6 is proof of that. It still looks like the same attractive sedan, but take a closer look at it, and you’ll notice a few subtle tweaks that give the sedan a more refined appearance. Part of the changes is tied to Mazda’s “Mature Elegance” styling, a design language that the automaker first unveiled in its Vision Coupe concept. The new Mazda6 receives some hints of the new aesthetic architecture. That’s on top of the car also receiving a more powerful turbocharged engine. It’s a new day for the new-and-improved Mazda6.
The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!!
It’s been a long time coming, but the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is finally here. It debuted in all of its two-door and four-door glory, sporting three different engines, two transmissions (including a new eight-speed auto,) fresh interior design with a new Uconnect infotainment system, body-on-frame design, and more than 75 available safety and security offerings. There’s already a host of performance parts from Mopar available and, with four different trims available (three for the two-door plus the Sahara trim on four-door models) there’s definitely an option for anyone with a hankering for a new off-road but road-capable machine.
According to Jeep, all models include a trail-rated badge due to the outstanding four-wheel drive system that includes a 2.72:1 crawl ratio on Sport and Sahara models, a 4LO ratio of 4:1 and locking differentials on Rubicon models, and the ability to ford up to 30-inches of water when properly equipped. Furthermore, the new JL Wrangler can haul as much as 3,500 pounds and can be had with 17-inch off-road wheels. Rubicon models get 33-inch tires as standard equipment while all models get a standard approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, departure angle of 37 degrees, and a minimum ground clearance of 10.9 inches.
When equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar, the Wrangler will offer 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The new 2.0-liter, hybridized, four-cylinder offers as much as 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and – for those of you who really want some serious torque – the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will deliver 260 horsepower and an astonishing 442 pound-feet of torque on demand. That new eight-speed auto offers up decent economy and simple stop-and-go driving and can be equipped on any model. Real Jeep fanatics will surely go for the three-pedal-and-six-gears standard offering with a revised shift pattern, shorter throws, and a 4.41 ratio for better efficiency, higher speeds, and quick acceleration. All told it’s not bad, but we’ll let you decide for yourself once we update our full review. Until then, you can check out the debut video below, and check out the important specs below along with the full press release at the bottom.
2019 Mercedes CLS Gets a New Inline-Six and Can Seat Five
The Doors to the Los Angeles Auto Show are Propped open, and all the Worlds Most Important Car Makers are in Attendance. Among the crowd of new and revised cars sits the 2019 Mercedes CLS, a car that features an updated exterior design, fresh interior, and there’s even a new inline-six to deliver a decent 362 horsepower. For the first time in the car’s history, the four-door sedan or (“four-door coupe” as Merc likes to call it) now offers seating for five thanks to a bench seat in the rear, something previously only available on the shooting-brake.
Want to know more? We have more details below!
BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster
The doors to the Los Angeles Auto Show have opened, and BMW was hoping to WOW the crowd with a “new” i8 Coupe and the first-ever i8 Roadster. Sharing the same exterior features as the coupe, the Roadster gets the benefit of a soft top and the option of unlimited headroom, a first for the model. The electric drive system has been updated and now offers 18 miles of all-electric driving – 3 more than the coupe offered before. The new Roadster can hit the 60-mph sprint in 4.4 seconds while the Coupe can do it in 4.2; both top out at 155 mph. Both vehicles feature BMW’s “new” i8 design that includes revised headlights, a new front hood, and new LED strips in the taillights. There is also some slight tweaking apparent to the side skirts below the doors, two new body colors (E-Copper and Donnington Grey,) Carbon Fiber interior trim, and 12 extra horsepower – bringing total output up to 369 ponies. Check out the press release below and come back soon to check out our updated reviews