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Next-Gen 2019 Mazda3 Headed for L.A. Debut

Next-Gen 2019 Mazda3 Headed for L.A. Debut

Mazda’s first production model with the SkyActiv-X engine

After almost six years on the market, the current-generation Mazda3 will retire to make way for a redesigned model. The Japanese firm confirmed the new Mazda3 will make its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and released a new teaser of the car.

Actually, Mazda previewed two vehicles, as the photo includes images of both the sedan and hatchback versions. Not much can be seen in the photo, but it gives us a glimpse of the sedan’s roof and the hatchback’s rear end.

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BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive

BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive

That’s good, but it still looks like the i3 is going through an existential crisis

After all the mumbo jumbo surrounding the i3’s existence, the automaker has finally confirmed that the little electric hatchback will continue to live on. When the i4 was announced at the Paris Motor Show, it looked like a legit replacement for the i3; also because BMW did not address the i3. Now, however, BMW has confirmed that it has got future plans for the i3, according to The Drive.

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GAC Motors Reveals the 2019 GAC GS5 at the Paris Motor Show

GAC Motors Reveals the 2019 GAC GS5 at the Paris Motor Show

Chinese automaker wants to make a name for itself in the European market

GAC Motors has pulled the covers off of the GS5 SUV at the Paris Motor Show, signaling the Chinese automaker’s intent to become a major player in the European SUV market. The GS5 is the ninth model to come out of the GAC, which is only celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The relatively young automaker is banking on the GS5 to help establish the brand in a market that hasn’t been kind to Chinese auto brands in the past. There’s no timetable for the GS5’s launch in the European market, nor has GAC announced pricing for the SUV.

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The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Proves Efficiency Can Look Good at the Paris Motor Show

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Proves Efficiency Can Look Good at the Paris Motor Show

Toyota’s iconic crossover just sips

Toyota brought the new RAV4 to the Paris Motor Show, and while there will be a regular gasoline-burning model on offer, the automaker mainly focused on the new hybrid version.

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2021 Honda Jazz

2021 Honda Jazz

A fourth-gen subcompact from the H Badge

Honda is testing an all-new Jazz subcompact hatchback, also known as the Fit in some markets. It’s the fourth generation for the nameplate and it looks like it will retain the wedge-nosed one-box design of its predecessors, albeit with a slightly sportier design twist.

The camouflaged prototype spotted by our spies reveals quite a lot about the car, which is slated for a reveal no earlier than 2020, since the refreshed version of the current model only came out last year. Aside from the completely new and slightly more rakish-looking body, changes will be made to its powerplant lineup and interior. The hybrid version may share its powertrain with the new Insight.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 BMW X2

Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 BMW X2

It is a tall car or a small SUV? We don’t know, but it certainly looks good as a wallpaper for the weekend.

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2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan

2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan

The battle in the compact premium sedan market is about to get serious

The second-generation 1 Series has been around since 2011, when BMW redesigned the compact it first introduced in 2004. Unlike its predecessor, the current 1 Series consists of only three- and five-door hatchbacks since the two-door coupe and convertible was renamed the 2 Series back in 2011. In 2017, a third body style was added to the lineup, in the form of a four-door sedan.

Based on the Concept Compact Sedan that BMW showcased at the Guangzhou Motor Show in 2015, the 1 Series Sedan is a China-exclusive model and it’s manufactured as part of the joint venture between the BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd in Shenyang, alongside the long-wheelbase versions of the larger 3 Series and 5 Series.

The logic behind BMW’s decision to sell the 1 Series Sedan in China is pretty simple. The German firm sold over half a million cars in the country in 2016, which makes China BMW’s biggest market. The need of a smaller sedan based on the 1 Series appeared following customer requests of a more compact, yet premium vehicle for the crowded streets of China’s largest cities. Of course, the 1 Series Sedan is also a response to the popular Audi A3 Sedan, but BMW won’t be able to compete properly against its German rival unless it brings the new sedan to Europe and the United States too.

It remains to be seen whether this will change sooner or later, but until it happens, let’s have a closer look at the BMW 1 Series Sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan.

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2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape

The long-anticipated next-generation Ford Escape has been official unveiled at the 2015 LA Auto Show. Totally revised with new looks, two new powertrains, and a slew of technology features that not only make the Escape a better crossover, but a more connected one. That will surely help drive sales in this day in age.

The new Escape hasn’t grown over the outgoing model, but does take plenty of styling details from its larger brother, the Edge. The trapezoidal grille leads into a more angular design with a more premium feel. The steeply raked windshield returns, allowing for plenty of forward visibility.

Inside, a more upscale cabin greets all five passengers. The driver now has the use of SYNC 3, Ford’s latest infotainment software. What’s more, the Escape is also debuting SYNC 3’s newest feature called SYNC Connect. Coming with a free, five-year subscription, SYNC Connect allows owners to remotely start, lock and unlock, monitor diagnostics, and track vehicle location from a securely connected smartphone.

Of course, the new Escape come with Ford’s modern assortment of safety systems, including the blind spot information system, hill-start assist, auto high-beam control, and the foot-operated rear tailgate. New for the Escape is adaptive cruise control, Enhanced Active Park Assist, Lane-Keeping System, and the Driver Alert System.

Updated 11/17/2015: Ford unveiled the 2017 Escape at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Escape.

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2016 - 2018 Fiat 500X

2016 - 2018 Fiat 500X

Italy’s very own Jeep Renegade

Launched in 1957, the Fiat 500 evolved from a tiny economy car into a full lineup of vehicles incorporating various body styles and engines. The change occurred starting 2007, when Fiat unveiled the new 500, a modern car that features a distinctive, retro look similar to the new Mini Cooper and the Volkswagen New Beetle. Since its revival, the Fiat 500 range expanded to include the 500C, the larger 500L, the all-electric 500E and the high-performance 500 Abarth. In 2015, the Italians introduced a new model that marked the company’s entrance into the compact crossover market, a segment previously unexplored by the Italians.

Developed alongside the 2015 Jeep Renegade, the 500X is the largest 500-based Fiat yet and features a more rugged design, a revised interior and all the engines you can have with the regular hatch, save for the electric motor. The crossover joined the Jeep Renegade when it arrived in North America, where it’s sold alongside other versions of the 500 nameplate.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500X.

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2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V

2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V

Honda introduced the CR-V to Japan and the rest of the global market in 1995. Since then, the little SUV has seen four generations with the most recent strolling the red carpet in 2012. It only took a few years, but Honda updated it for the 2015 model year, bringing an improved safety structure to achieve better results during IIHS crash testing. Other improvements that came with the facelift include a new, direct-injected “Earth Dreams” engine and a new CVT transmission to go with new shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bars, and lower control arms. All this promised to provide better ride quality and performance, while a new steering gear ratio and larger brake booster also gave the little SUV a sportier feel during normal, everyday maneuvers.

All told, the CR-V has been a hot-selling crossover that has always achieved good all-weather performance while providing room for up to five passengers without sacrificing comfort. On top of that, the facelift in 2015 also brought about better fuel economy to the tune of four mpg in the city, three mpg on the highway, and three mpg combined. Furthermore, the EX-L with Rear Entertainment System trim was discontinued, but a new Touring trim as been added as range-topping trim with all available safety features as standard and standard side mirror cameras.

Obviously, Honda went above and beyond as far as facelifts seem to go these days, so let’s take a better look at the 2015 to 2016 Honda CR-V and go over all the details.

Updated 10/06/2016: After being heavily revised for the 2015 model year, Honda CR-R enters the 2016 model year with pretty much no changes. The only addition to the lineup is a new Special Edition placed between the LX and the EX. It gets 17-inch alloy wheels with an exclusive two tone finish, second-row and rear privacy glass, and security system. The 2016 Honda CR-V will be put on sale at a starting price of $23,595.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda CR-V.

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2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0i - Driven

2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0i - Driven

Introduced for 2012, the current fourth-generation Subaru Impreza holds its own against the small-car competition, yet it somehow lacked that special feel to it – its Subaru-ness that fans often talk about. Well for 2015, the Impreza bows with a mid-cycle refresh that includes a slight nose job and some interior material upgrades, but not much else.

To see if the changes make a difference, I spent a week behind the wheel of an Impreza 2.0i dressed in Limited trim. My sedan came coated in Crystal White paint with attractive 17-inch alloy wheels accenting the bright look. One major option package was selected, which included the EyeSight Driver-Assist System, navigation, keyless access and push-button start, and the power moonroof.

The trim and options combined to make a semi-luxurious sedan with and interesting combination of equipment. I say interesting because while the car could autonomously maintain a safe following distance, it left me to adjust the leather seats by hand. Such miss-matched combinations were almost common in the car, yet other pairings seemed to work well together.

Click past the jump for the full review

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2014 Toyota Corolla - Driven

2014 Toyota Corolla - Driven

The venerable Corolla has been a mainstay in Toyota’s U.S. lineup since its introduction in 1968. Toyota’s longest-running nameplate has undergone numerous alterations over the years, but has always remained a stalwart of the compact sedan segment. In 1997, the Corolla surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best selling nameplate worldwide. That tradition continues today with the updated 2014 Toyota Corolla.

I recently spent a week getting to know a Corolla equipped in the LE Eco trim — the Corolla’s most fuel-efficient trim package. Equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, electronic power steering, skinny tires, and a Continuously Variable Transmission, the Corolla earns an EPA economy rating of 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined.

Coated in a deep Evergreen color, the Corolla did a great job at keeping its fuel-conscience end of the bargain. My weekly total average topped just over 31 mpg, besting the Corolla’s EPA city rating. A light throttle and careful driving quickly saw the average increase on slower highway jaunts, making the EPA’s estimates seem obtainable.

The Corolla proved to be a reasonable yet rather tossable set of wheels during its week stay, though there were a few quibbles about NVH.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla

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2015 Subaru Legacy - Driven

2015 Subaru Legacy - Driven

The Legacy was a bit of a departure from the Subarus of the past when it rolled onto U.S. dealer lots in 1990. The all-new Legacy featured a new flat-four engine that was more refined and quieter than the automaker’s previous engines and it didn’t have to share the engine bay with the car’s spare tire. Yes, that was a thing. The Legacy’s first generation lasted until 1995 when the second generation took over. The Legacy was new again in 2000, 2004, and 2010 with the third, fourth, and fifth generations, respectively. Despite the changes over the years, the Legacy never lost its “quirkiness;” among which was a standard all-wheel-drive system and a manual transmission option.

Now totally redesigned for its sixth generation, the 2015 Legacy is a new bag of tricks. Subaru has seemingly traded quirkiness for quietness – a sort of yielding to the needs of the mainstream. Gone are the manual transmissions and visceral feelings of driving; replaced by a car better suited to compete with the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

I recently spent a week getting to know this new Subaru inside and out. My particular tester came loaded to the hilt with the most inclusive option package. Decked out in the Limited Trim, the car came with the “Moonroof + Keyless Access & Push-Button Start + Navigation” package. What’s more, under the hood was the optional 3.6-liter flat-six-cylinder engine that powers all four wheels.

Click past the jump for the full review of the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy

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Mazda in Hot Water Over Mazda6 Fire Risk

Mazda in Hot Water Over Mazda6 Fire Risk

If you happen to own one of the most beautiful mid-size sedans on sale, the new Mazda6, you may want to get to your dealer really quickly. Mazda and the NHTSA are recalling more than 19,000 2014 Mazda6 models for issues with the fuel system.

Now what happens is actually little awkward, but apparently you can put too much gas inside the tank. The back pressure that should build up to shut off the pump doesn’t do so at a low enough volume. Sure, you could accidentally spill some fuel and ruin your new shoes, but the real concern is a much different issue.

Image you fill up your car on a nice, crisp spring morning, and the temperature is a brisk 45 degrees. If you have that tank too full and the temp gets hot outside, all that fuel will begin to expand. According to the NHTSA, that fuel could find its way into the charcoal canister which is a part used for improved emissions. Yes, that means fuel is going near the exhaust system. Last time I checked, hot metal and gasoline was a pretty reliable recipe for making fire.

All it takes to fix is a quick adapter in the tank shut-off valve, and it shouldn’t take very long to fix. Just make sure you get into your Mazda dealer to have it done. You don’t want your car to burst into flames because you were too lazy to see a dealer, do you?

Read more about the Mazda Mazda6 sedan after the break.

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2014 Kia Forte

2014 Kia Forte

Much like its sister company, Hyundai, Kia has been designing cars that not only offer its customers low-cost options to higher-priced brands, but also cars that offer high-quality workmanship and stylish appearances. We all knew that the Kia Forte is going to be up for a significant redesign when its 2014 model year debuts at the 2012 LA Auto Show, but we were not too sure what direction Kia would take it.

But now that the covers have been officially pulled and we have our answer.

We want to say that the Forte blew us away, but that just wouldn’t be fair to it. Sure, there are things about it that we like, but some elements of the car still leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, a car like the Forte, or any other in this segment for that matter, isn’t subject to an all-or-noting affection level.

There are things about it we liked. There are things we didn’t like. At the end though, the Forte received good marks from us because the things we liked outweighed the things we didn’t like.

Not by much. But hey, that’s still worth some salt to us.

Updated 02/24/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, spent a week with a Kia Forte EX with all sorts of goodies installed. Did he love it? Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump.

Find out what we think of the new 2014 Kia Forte after the jump

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