2019 Toyota Avalon: First Drive Impressions
The sedan segment has taken some pretty big hits over the last few years, regularly losing ground to the ever-popular SUV and crossover body styles. But while overall sales are down, some automakers are sticking it out with fresh new four-doors in the hopes that customers will once again see the light. Toyota is one such automaker, and the latest 2019 Avalon is a great reason to go against the grain.
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Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe vs Mercedes CLS: Here’s What Sets Them Apart
Rumored for more than two years now, the four-door version of the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car finally broke cover at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. However, it turns out that the GT 4-Door is exactly a sedan version of the already popular coupe. The four-door model not only uses a different platform that the sports car — based on that of the midsize E-Class — but it also looks a bit different front and rear. While this isn’t necessarily an issue, the fact that it’s very similar to the recently unveiled CLS has ignited some debate on whether Mercedes-Benz was a bit lazy in the design department.
Granted, the two cars are far from identical, but there aren’t many differences to talk about inside and out. That’s why we decided to bring them side by side for a proper comparison. Of course, with the AMG GT 4-Door being the more performance-oriented model, a proper comparison isn’t possible, but fortunately, both models come in "AMG 53" spec. Let’s have a closer look at what sets them apart on the outside, inside the cabin, and under the hood in the comparison below. Does it make sense for Merc to offer both? Leave your comments in the box below.
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2018 Geneva International Motor Show - Worst In Show
We went a little gaga in our list of the best debuts from the 2018 Geneva International Auto Show, including no less than five honorable mentions in addition to our regular list of five winners. But, as is tradition, we must now don our collective troll faces and single out those rides that not only failed to make the cut, but also elicited our ire and dismay. So read on for our list of the Worst In Show from Switzerland this year, and don’t forget to post your opinion in the comments!
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BMW M5: Old vs. New
2017 brought us the new BMW 5 Series, so it’s only fitting that 2018 brings us a new M5. We must have been good this year because Santa came early, and with him, he brought a whole slew of updates that include an updated V-8, loads of new technology, BMW’s xDrive AWD system as standard (optional outside the U.S.,) a lighter chassis, and better performance. Talk about some good news, right? Truth be told, the M5 dropped as much as 127 pounds, has more aggressive styling, an updated interior with the latest infotainment system, and an extra 38 ponies and 51 pound-feet over the outgoing model – that brings total output figures up to 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It can now hit 62 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds and 124 mph in just 11.1 seconds. Of course, top speed is still pinned at 155 mph, unless you get the M Driver’s package, which increases the top speed to 189 mph.
Now, it’s set to take on other established beasts in the market that include the Mercedes-AMG E63, the Audi RS7, and the Cadillac CTS-V – I know, it’s not German, but this thing is seriously a beast, so don’t get caught slipping because it will eat you alive. With all this in mind, we decided to throw together a little infographic for the M5 to help bring its best features and qualities to the forefront. Check it all out in our visual comparison below.
Labor Day Is Almost Here, Bring On The Deals
With the summer coming to a close and autumn closing in, Labor Day is just about here, giving us all an opportunity to kick back and relax, fire up the BBQ one last time, and bid farewell to the warm weather. Not only that, but Labor Day is also traditionally a great time to find a good deal on a new car. Deliveries of the new stock are just over the horizon, which means the older models must go, and dealers are ramping up the incentives to make room on the lot. Whether you’re looking for an SUV, sedan, or truck, this weekend looks like a great time to save some money. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some of the best deals out there right now to help you find what you need at a price you want.
If you’re looking for a little more information and a few tips when it comes to buying a new car, check out our quick Labor Day buying guide here, where we list some of the pros and cons of taking the plunge this time of the year. So then, without further ado, read on for the deals of 2017.
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Is the new BMW M5 a Waste of Money? Why not Just Get the M550i?
We’re fortunate enough to live in a world where brands like BMW take pride in their performance arms and like to apply M-power to just about everything. But, is it for everyone? Probably not. M-cars are typically much more expensive than the model that sits below them, but the tradeoff is usually lots of extra power and slightly more aggressive looks. Unless you’re one of those people that needs to have the best of everything, you could find yourself questioning whether or not the M5 is really for you, and I honestly can’t blame you. The new M5 comes just a year after the 5 Series transitioned into its seventh generation. With this transition, the 5 Series lost some weight (as much as 137 pounds) and came complete with some updated engine options that deliver better fuel economy and performance. On top of that, BMW finally decided to give the M5 all-wheel drive (standard in the U.S. but optional everywhere else) which is enough to bring it up to par with the competition from Audi and Mercedes. But, with a car like the BMW M550i xDrive resting just below the M5 in the lineup, do you really need to pony up for the M5?
Well, that’s not something I can answer directly, but I would be lying if I told you that the M550i didn’t have some intriguing points to back up why it just might be a better candidate. After all, the M550i is a gorgeous car with attractive and aggressive looks that make it stand out among its brethren, and it does have enough balls to compete on its own in most cases. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why the M550i may be a better option for you and talk a little more about it.
The Gilded History of the Rolls-Royce Phantom
Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce, is quoted as saying, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it doesn’t exist, design it.” Those are some pretty heavy words, but it’s the right credo for an automaker like Rolls-Royce. With a history of producing some of the most elegant, opulent, and downright desirable luxury vehicles on the planet, perfection isn’t just a goal – it’s an expectation. Such is the case with the Phantom, Rolls-Royce’s highly recognizable flagship model. These are cars that are destined for the stables of royalty, acting as a rolling signature of power, wealth, and prestige.
Lead by the trademark Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood, the Phantom comes equipped with top-shelf extravagance and lavishness, offering high levels of personalization to those select buyers with pockets deep enough to really enjoy it. Currently offered in a variety of different flavors, including the standard Phantom, an Extended Wheelbase model, a Coupe, and a Drophead Coupe, Rolls has announced a new eighth generation slated for release later this week. However, the history of the nameplate is rapidly approaching a full century at this point, so how’d we get here? To find out, we delved into the Phantom’s history, taking a look at the seven generations that have come and gone since the model’s introduction in 1925.
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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.
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What’s The Best Sporty Luxury Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?
At its most basic, a sport sedan should be a happy balance between two competing philosophies. The “sport” half of the equation should make it engaging, both in the way it drives, and the way it looks. A sport sedan should issue a dose of adrenaline when the hammer is down, and be a willing dance partner in the corners. It’s also gotta draw attention, turning heads as it goes, making its owner pause momentarily after exiting and locking the doors. Then there’s the “sedan” bit. A sport sedan isn’t supposed to be stripped down and basic – practicality and comfort are paramount. Often used as a daily driver, backside coddling should be there in abundance, complementing the car’s speed potential, rather than taking away from it. All told, it’s a big ask, but this segment has plenty of contenders vying for the title of best. In this comparison, we look at six of the top entries and sort them out, from first to last.
Listed in alphabetical order, this comparison will take a look at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We’ve evaluated each in terms of exterior aesthetics, interior comfort and technology, powertrain and drivetrain specs, and chassis and handling. We’ve also included a glut of info in chart and graph form to help you make a quick comparison. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best sporty luxury sedan you can get for less than $50,000.
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Taking On Ze Germans… In A Camry?!
You know, you can buy a lot of car for not a whole lotta money these days. For example, if it’s straight-line muscle you’re looking for, the Dodge Charger Hellcat and Dodge Challenger Hellcat will put over 700 horsepower at your disposal for a mere $65,000. That’s pretty insane if you ask us, but what about something on the either side of the spectrum, where comfort and style rule supreme? Well, around these parts, you could opt for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German’s mid-size luxury four-door that comes jam-packed with high-tech goodies, top-shelf opulence, and upper-crust flair. Or, as an alternative, consider the new eighth-generation Toyota Camry. No, seriously.
Suffice to say, we’re big fans of the new Camry. So much so, we feel comfortable comparing it to one of Merc’s best luxury barges. The updated Toyota just dropped cover at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and we’re convinced it’s got the goods to punch way above its weight.
But maybe we’re overstepping things a bit. Maybe we’re completely off in the deep end. Maybe. It’s certainly a possibility. But after the response we got when we compared the Camry and the BMW 5 Series, we shrugged our shoulders and went for it anyway.
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The Kia Stinger GT Might Be The Affordable Korean Panamera GTS You’ve Been Looking For
In my mind, the most exciting thing to debut in Detroit this year has to be the Kia Stinger GT. Based on the brand’s GT Concept car that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2011, as well as the GT4 Stinger concept that debuted in Detroit in 2014, the Stinger GT is a watershed moment for the South Korean automaker. Long story short, this is Kia’s new halo performance machine, and it arrives ready to tangle with some of the most popular European four-doors on the planet. That said, it might seem like a bit of a stretch to put this thing up against a $115K Porsche, right? I mean, have we gone completely loony?!
Woah there, Internet warrior. Put down the keyboard. There’s a method to our madness. While it’s true that any Porsche buyer worth his PDK wouldn’t step within 100 miles of Kia dealership, a gearhead with some 911 wallpaper on his phone making a third as much money a year just might. If there happens to be a few Stinger GT’s waiting for a test drive.
And why not? It’s got a similar body style, and if you get the base model Panamera, straight-line acceleration is roughly the same.
Still… seems like a bit of a stretch, no? Maybe… but maybe not. Continue reading to see what we’re on about.
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So, entry-level sports cars aren’t good enough. You make too much money to be seen in a Mazda MX-5 or a normal Ford Mustang. Your successful self needs something powerful and exciting. Well, there is plenty of choices in the market.
To be as precise as possible, there is actually an overwhelming amount of choices in the market, with each car being a little different. There are German performance coupes, American muscle, and Japanese street rockets. These machines have the same sort of mind-bending power, but the way each puts that power down is as different as Apollo and the Space Shuttle.
Due to that reason, we had a hard time putting machines like the Dodge Challenger in same category as the Porsche Boxster. How can you compare two machines that are so vastly different? Sure, we could have, but it just wouldn’t have worked. So, after the jump we have three - even though the title says ten - different top fives. The price cap is $60,000.
We broke it down like this. At the top we have four-door performance machines that use amazing power with epic grip and practicality. Then we have the coupes. Don’t get these coupes mixed up with the Corvette-type coupes because these European cars are tuned for a mixture of speed and cornering ability. Finally, we have the American straight road muscle. Cars that run the quarter miles as naturally as a sports analyst getting a prediction terribly wrong.
Hit the jump to read the lists.
As you have seen by now, we have a tendency to rank cars differently than other car sites. While we love practicality as much as the next site, at TopSpeed, we put speed, performance, and that certain sparkle above the size of the trunk and the back seat.
With entry-level luxury cars, finding the gems between the boring sales rep vehicles can be a pretty hard task. We have so many terribly dull sedans that are only good for taking you down the motorway to work and that’s about it. We aren’t looking for that. We don’t care about sales, we don’t care about popularity, we care about how these cars drive on the track and in the real world. We are aware that a point to point car is what most people will like, but we want an entry-level sedan that provides excitement on that everyday journey. Something that can make you smile and enjoy the drive home. A car that will make you take the back roads.
Over the course of this series we have jumped price by $10,000 each time, starting from $20,000 with the small cars and then $30,000 with the midsize. For this test, we are jumping by $15,000, to make the price cap at $45,000.
Hit the jump to see what our top ten entry-level luxury vehicles are.
Midsize sedans are the bread and butter cars of most companies. Yet, even if typical bread and butter may seem like a bland food, that doesn’t stop these cars from being stylish, sporty, and fun to drive.
The best selling cars in the country are midsize sedans and the best selling cars for most automakers are their sedan offerings. The midsize sedan offers practicality without the reputation crushing style of a minivan.
At least, that’s what they want you to think.
The Toyota Camry was once the most popular car in the world and a year ago, the Camry’s annual American sales typically exceeded the total annual new car sales in the average European country.
There are many choices for car buyers and that allows people to demand many different things from these four door cars. Some people buy them as family cars, opting for more room over a compact sedan, without sacrificing small car handling and fuel economy. Other people like a bigger car over a smaller one and then there’s people who prefer the Honda Accord to the Civic because it has a bigger presence on the road. The larger car makes you feel safer and more secure during highway travel.
These are our top ten midsize cars under $30,000.
Hit the jump to read on.