Mid-Size Car reviews

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2020 Ineos Grenadier

2020 Ineos Grenadier

An up and coming British automaker’s attempt at an old-school off-road SUV inspired by the old Defender

When folks like us are obsessed with a car, we draw it on papers, doodle about it, and all of that. But, if you have billions of pounds in your bank account, you just build a fully-functional vehicle from scratch. This is how the Ineos Grenadier came to life.

Ineos is a British petrochemicals group founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe which now has an automotive division in its portfolio. Such was his love for the classic Defender that he tried to purchase the rights from Land Rover. When denied, he went on to build an SUV from the ground up that takes heavy inspiration from the old Defender. Although it looks the part, is the Ineos Grenadier as tough as the classic Land Rover?

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - Driven

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - Driven

Everything about the Tesla Model Y looks like the car of the future. From its pod shape, to its silent but explosive acceleration, to its all-encompassing infotainment screen with no physical buttons, the electric-car maker’s new entry-level crossover is more about sensibly reducing gasoline usage. It gives you a peek into the decades to come, and it gives you a rollicking good time while you do it. It’s not just an electric car, but a special vehicle that triggers a powerful emotional response. This is one way to electrify an SUV.

Then there’s Mitsubishi’s way: the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport PHEV. All-electric cars eventually run out of charge, even long-range models like Teslas. So Mitsubishi made a plug-in hybrid whose gasoline engine can help out when you use up the battery or need more power. To keep costs down, the battery isn’t huge and the motors aren’t wildly powerful. And Mitsubishi already makes many gas-powered crossovers, so rather than wasting resources to develop a new one, it retrofitted electric components into its flagship model, the compact Outlander.

The result is a left-brain approach to the segment — the Outlander PHEV makes perfect sense, but it’s an improved present rather than the future. At best, you’ll feel something between mildly impressed and grudgingly accepting. It’s hard to imagine falling in love.

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The 2021 Dodge Durango Is About More Than a Facelift Thanks to the New 710-Horsepower SRT Hellcat Trim

The 2021 Dodge Durango Is About More Than a Facelift Thanks to the New 710-Horsepower SRT Hellcat Trim

With this, every 2021 Dodge model now has an SRT trim in its lineup

The current-gen Durango has been in the running for a decade now, and it was high time for the fourth-gen to make its debut. However, the company announced that it’ll just be a facelift. But, after seeing the 2021 Durango “facelift”, we are not complaining because this is even better than the next-gen stuff.

Apart from the exterior and cabin upgrades, Dodge has added an SRT trim to the Durango’s lineup that brings with it the Hellcat engine. The Durango equipped with this mill will make a mammoth 710 horses that will allow the heavy family hauler to sprint to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds! Well, this a fourth of July present from FCA that we’ll gleefully accept.

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2021 Kia K5

2021 Kia K5

Kia’s Optima replacement has arrived

It’s been almost a decade since Kia introduced the 2011 Optima in the U.S. and the time has come for a generation swap. Call it a model swap, actually, as the new 2021 Kia K5 mid-size saloon is here to take over from where the Optima left off.

Kia will assemble the K5 next to the crisp-looking Telluride SUV at its plant in West Point, Georgia. Before the first cars roll off the production line, let’s look at what customers will be getting from the 2021 K5 sedan.

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2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon has Debuted With An X6-Style Illuminated Grille and Wagon Body Style

At a time when the whole world is moving from sedans to crossovers and SUVs – much to the dismay of the car lovers – the Volkswagen Arteon comes as a knight in shining armor. The Arteon was launched as a successor of the Volkswagen Passat CC just three years back, and now VW has given it a mid-cycle refresh with a few tweaks on the outside and many changes on the inside. The German automaker is unearthing the R-Line variant, adding a plug-in trim, and also introducing a shooting brake body style.

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2021 GMC Canyon Syclone by Specialty Vehicle Engineering

2021 GMC Canyon Syclone by Specialty Vehicle Engineering

SVE is back with the second edition of the modern-day Syclone; this time with 750 horses under the hood!

We’ve been seeing a lot of revived monikers lately, so why not add one more to the list? This one, however, is revived by an aftermarket company and not the automaker itself. We’re talking about the GMC Syclone that was launched almost three decades back but was way ahead of its time. Specialty Vehicles Engineering, an aftermarket company based out of New Jersey, brought the Syclone badge back last year, and now it is following up with the 2021 model.

The 2021 Syclone is based on the 2021 GMC Canyon.The highlight of the 2021 Syclone is that it has 300 horses more than its predecessor, the 2019 GMC Syclone. We’re talking about 750 horses in a compact truck with a variety of other upgrades and a moniker that set the path to change the course of how trucks are generally viewed. Need we say anything more?

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2020 Mercedes-AMG GP 63 Bi-TURBO by G-Power

2020 Mercedes-AMG GP 63 Bi-TURBO by G-Power

The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door can now flex muscles it didn’t know it had

G-Power’s reputation is one of the foremost BMW tuners in the land. That reputation has laid the foundation for the German tuner to branch out to other automakers, including Bimmer’s crosstown rival, Mercedes-Benz. Take this program for the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-door, for example. In keeping with tradition, G-Power is presenting a three-stage engine upgrade program that pulls some sickening power and performance figures out of the AMG GT 4’s 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. On top of that, G-Power’s new kit for the power-packed four-door luxury Merc-AMG also includes a new set of wheels and a smattering of other cosmetic upgrades that help elevate the AMG GT 4-door’s stature higher than where it’s already at. If you thought the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door is the most subdued of all AMG GT models, then prepare to be blown away with what G-Power is offering for the high-powered sedan.

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2020 Audi RS Q8 By Lumma Design

2020 Audi RS Q8 By Lumma Design

A 700-plus horsepower SUV with loads of carbon fiber elements makes this a rather special build

Lumma Design is back with another iteration of the Audi Q8, although this time it has chosen the RS version of the SUV to work on. The German aftermarket company has worked on the standard Q8 in the past and gave it bold exterior looks and customizable power figures based on your preference.

This time around, this RS Q8 receives a modified body kit, a lot of carbon fiber elements, and a huge increase in power. Following the footsteps of the Q8’s moniker system, this one is called the Lumma CLR 8 RS. Do we like this version better than Lumma’s standard Q8 build? Oh yes!

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2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Driven

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Driven

Familiar style meets improved substance

Back in 2012, the Range Rover Evoque was a radical departure. This Land Rover sub-brand made a name for itself with powerful, comfortable SUVs, with big, boxy, classic styling. The “Baby Range Rover” Evoque was a subcompact crossover with a sleek silhouette and tiny windows. It looked like a bold concept car that instead hit the streets. The bet paid off — the Evoque not only brought new customers into the Range Rover fold, but it successfully previewed the brand’s direction. This once-radical face now adorns the Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Sport, and even the flagship original Range Rover.

What the 2012 Evoque didn’t have was perfect luxury-grade substance. It was a head-turning little luxury SUV upholstered in expensive leather, but built from old Ford parts. Buyers who fell in love with the looks had to live with mediocre ride, handling, and acceleration, to say nothing of its cramped cabin and tight outward visibility. And while many buyers happily did so, Land Rover redesigned the Evoque this year to improve its substance without compromising its style.

We recently spent a week in the redesigned 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (apologies for the long name) to evaluate how well the company did. We found it to be improved but still imperfect: loyal owners should have nothing but praise for the changes, and there are enough improvements to bring in some new buyers to the fold. But purely on substance, we’d be hard-pressed to call the Evoque a leader in the cutthroat subcompact luxury SUV segment, particularly at above-average prices that start above $42,650. Let’s discuss why.

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2021 Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule Design Package

2021 Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule Design Package

The new Pearl Capsule Design package for the 2021 Lamborghini Urus brightens things up with new colors and carbon fiber elements

The Lamborghini Urus is the youngest model in the company’s lineup and was the best-selling product for the automaker in 2019. The company has sold over 8,300 examples of the Urus since its launch in September 2018, 4,962 copies of which were moved last year. This accounted for 60-percent of the automaker’s total sales in 2019. So, it was imperative that the company kept the product fresh and exciting entering in its third year.

To do so, Lamborghini has introduced the 2021 Urus with a new Capsule Design package along with a few other changes. The package includes new colors, carbon fiber elements, etc. Not to mention, the prices of the Urus are also increased.

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2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport - Driven Review and Impressions

Is the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport really a competitor to BMW and Mercedes-AMG?

Infiniti – it’s not a brand that you really hear a lot about these days. But with only five cars in its lineup – one sedan, one coupe, and three SUVs – you really can’t expect the brand to make headlines nearly as much as the brands that it’s actually trying to compete with. Does this obscurity mean that it’s not capable of competing in the mid-luxury performance segment? Not at al. In fact, after spending a week with the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport (basically a two-door Q50) we’ve come to be quite fond of the sporty little 400-horsepower coupe. This is what we’ve learned from that experience.

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2020 Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition SV600 By Manhart Performance

2020 Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition SV600 By Manhart Performance

The tuner has given the SUV some extra boost along with subtle exterior changes

Range Rover is generally regarded as a brand that has churned out tough, brawny vehicles with a tilt towards off-roading. The Velar, however, will change your mind. Don’t get me wrong; the SUV can still take the beaten paths, but it’s the opulence and the luxuriousness that will leave you drooling.

But, even if this wasn’t enough for you, Manhart Performance has something the offer. The German tuner has given the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition a twist that increases the output figure to make almost 600 horses. That should make you happy.

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2020 Nissan Murano - Driven

2020 Nissan Murano - Driven

An SUV that covers all the bases well but doesn’t excel in any of them

The Nissan Murano has been around for quite some time now and is fairly popular in the market. It isn’t the best-selling SUV in the segment, but it rakes in decent sales numbers for the Japanese automaker.

Named after an Italian city, the Murano slots between the Rogue and the Pathfinder in Nissan’s lineup. The Murano’s last generation change came back in 2015, which means the next-gen is on the horizon. The company has given the SUV a few facelifts that make it look fresh, though. The Murano arrived at TopSpeed’s HQ recently, and here are our impressions about this SUV.

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2020 Lexus RX450hL - Driven

2020 Lexus RX450hL - Driven

We tested the 2020 Lexus RX 450hL — the RX model with the longest name

The Lexus RX invented the luxury crossover. It invented the luxury hybrid. And it’s consistently America’s best-selling luxury SUV. That’s why the current-generation RX’s shortcomings have been so surprising. It debuted in 2016 with polarizing styling, limited cargo space, no available third-row seat, cumbersome controls, and missing infotainment features.

At least based on the sales numbers, buyers registered no objections. They either embraced or accepted the RX for what it is, continuing to be drawn to its quiet ride, rich leather, and promise of headache-free reliability. But Lexus has steadily improved the vehicle since that 2016 debut. It added an extended-length three-row model for the 2018 model year, known as the RX L. Now, the 2020 RX features an upgraded infotainment system and tweaks to the styling and suspension.

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2020 BMW X5 M Competition - Driven

2020 BMW X5 M Competition - Driven

BMW’s best attempt yet at making a lumpy SUV feel like a sporty sedan

With 615 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, the BMW X5 M Competition is one of the most powerful BMWs ever made, a 5,500-pound behemoth capable of going from naught to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and do it while enveloping you in a luxurious cabin blending leather and carbon fiber. We took the X5 M Competition out for a spin because we know that it shares its engine with the M5 and the M8 Competition but we wanted to find out if it also drives like BMW’s quick sedans.

When BMW came up with the X5 over two decades ago, the unique selling proposition of the first Bavarian crossover of any kind was that it offered all the benefits of an SUV - like the added practicality, the higher driving position, and off-road ability - while staying true to the BMW ethos and thus delivering that much-coveted driving pleasure. BMW even tried to create a brand-new niche with the arrival of the X5, calling it an ’SAV’ which is something that still applies to this day, with the only difference being that, over the years, the X5 did become sportier and felt more and more like a sedan able to belie its generous dimensions.

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2020 Nissan Altima - Driven

2020 Nissan Altima - Driven

Ultimately, an honest set of wheels

For the past two years, Nissan has been selling about 210,000 Altimas, the mid-size sedan that’s been lurking in the shadows behind its Japanese peers from Honda and Toyota since 2014. The introduction of the sixth-generation model in 2018 didn’t turn the tides in Nissan’s favor and we drove a range-topping Platinum with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine to see why more people and businesses choose an Accord or a Camry over the Altima.

Fresh-faced and with a variety of clever features such as semi-autonomous driving functions, the Altima is Nissan’s bid to regain the lead in the once-booming mid-size sedan segment. While people generally moved away from sedans in favor of MPVs and SUVs, the big players in the market still move in excess of 320,000 units a year of their best-selling models and Nissan hopes the Altima, a $24,000 proposition in its cheapest form, can keep the company’s otherwise leaking boat from sinking.

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2021 Audi A6 Avant TFSI e quattro

2021 Audi A6 Avant TFSI e quattro

The wagon can cover 32 miles on electric mode alone

Audi has launched a new plug-in hybrid trim for its wagon, the A6 Avant. It is based on the A6 Avant 55 TFSI trim, the plug-in model was first revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. It isn’t a new powertrain as it’s already been doing duty in the plug-in hybrid versions of the A7 Sportback and Q5. The wagon will be capable of covering 32 miles on battery power alone. Neat add-on to one the most popular station wagons, isn’t it?

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2021 Volkswagen Arteon R

2021 Volkswagen Arteon R

We have reasons to believe that a hotter R-badged Arteon is on its way

The Volkswagen Arteon came to our attention back in 2017, during its unveil at the Geneva Motor Show. Three years into the fastback-shaped sedan’s career, Volkswagen is planning to give the Arteon a well-deserved nip and tuck which would keep customer interest fresh and address the areas that needed further improvements.

With the refreshed Arteon, however, we’re expecting Volkswagen to introduce a spicier, more performance oriented version under its notorious R badge. Our suspicions are backed up by a recent set of spy shots that show a virtually undisguised test mule that wears a lot of R-specific features. Allow us to detail, then.

Update 4/29/2020: The Volkswagen Arteon R was spotted once again, this time sporting a look that represents the upcoming facelift and what we can expect from the new Arteon R. Check it out in our special Spy Shots section below!

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2021 BMW M4 Coupe

2021 BMW M4 Coupe

Mere days after we saw a prototype version of the all-new BMW M4 prancing around in test mule form comes its hardtop sibling, which, not surprisingly, is also decked in full camo regalia. To be fair, this isn’t the first time that the BMW M4 Coupe was spotted in the wild.

Back in December, we caught a glimpse of the sports coupé being unloaded from a car transporter. That sighting didn’t amount to much, but this fresh batch of spy photos shows the M4 Coupe — still wrapped in heavy camouflage — in its more natural state, engaged in test runs in and around the streets of Germany.

Just like its roofless sibling, the all-new BMW M4 Coupe is set to debut sometime this summer ahead of its market launch at the end of the year. But before any of that happens, BMW will continue doing test runs of the M4, hopefully with fewer camo wraps in the succeeding sessions.

Update 4/28/2020: The BMW M4 Coupe was spied testing once again, and this time we’ve gotten a look at the interior. Check it out in our special Spy Shots section below!

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2020 Audi SQ7

2020 Audi SQ7

Audi’s range-topping flagship performance SUV features a new gasoline V-8 engine

The 2020 Audi SQ7 is the facelifted, range-topping version of the second-generation midsize SUV. Unveiled alongside its regular sibling, the 2020 SQ7 sports a revised front fascia and a new interior borrowed from the Q8. More importantly, it’s the first iteration of the SQ7 that features a gasoline engine. Launched in 2016, the SQ7 was a diesel-only model up until now. The gas-powered 2020 SQ7 features a turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine that generates 500 horsepower, making it the most powerful Q7 model yet. It’s also the quickest to 62 mph. The arrival of the 2020 SQ7 gives Audi a proper alternative to the BMW X5 M50i and the Mercedes-Benz GLE 580. Find out more about this high-performance SUV in the review below.

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