The Fiat 500 might be a bit unconventional by modern styling trends, but it has its own loyal following. Never has that been more evident than when we look at its sales figures, which have exceeded more than 1.5-million units sold since 2007. Needless to say, it’s an old favorite among its followers and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. It was updated for the 2016 model year and will probably get a revamp in the near future. Until then, we want to cater to our 500 fanboys out there and declare the Fiat 500 our wallpaper of the day. We’ve hand-picked our favorite, but there’s plenty more in the gallery at the bottom of this page if you find yourself wanting a little more. Go ahead and snag them up – they are free!
Acura is Not Interested in a Subcompact SUV; Aims to Always Put Performance over Luxury
The launch of the redesigned 2019 Acura RDX marks an important time in Acura’s business. Honda’s performance brand has been on the right side of business recently, and the introduction of the new RDX gives the automaker another model to offer to the public. Should the RDX become a success, it could convince Acura to beef up its lineup with a smaller, subcompact SUV. That may be a possibility in the future, but for the moment, don’t expect to see one, at least according to Acura Division general manager Jon Ikeda.
New Toyota Aygo Can Overtake the VW Up! and Hyundai i10 in Europe but Has Little Chance Against Fiat
It’s not the fanciest or most powerful car in the world, but the Toyota Aygo is present and accounted for at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Toyota’s little munchkin of a hatchback is packing serious visual and technical updates, fitting for a car that was in need of a mid-life refresh. The updates range from the prominent to the obscure. All told, they make for an impressive-looking hatchback that should help the Aygo gain ground on models like the Volkswagen Up! and Hyundai i10.
2017 Abarth 695 Rivale
The Abarth 500 has been on the receiving end of some interesting special edition models in the past. We’ve seen the Abarth 695 Biposto Record, the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition, and the 500 Track Experience, among others. None of them, though, can lay claim to the title of being the “most sophisticated Abarth ever.” That distinction, according to Abarth itself, now rests on the shoulders of the 695 Rivale Special Edition.
Developed specifically to celebrate the company’s close ties to yacht maker Riva, the 695 Rivale is the physical embodiment of the premium luxury that goes into the craft of building those sea vessels. Safe to say, that “most sophisticated Abarth ever” title fits the 695 Rivale. It’s inundated with aesthetic features that shine a big spotlight on the nautical theme of the compact car. Inside and out, the 695 Rivale is decked to the brim with luxury, the kind you expect from any one of the yachts that Riva has built in its 175-year history. The special edition Abarth 695 doesn’t pack any power or performance upgrades, but that’s an inconsequential omission when you compare it to the quantity and quality of cosmetic additions given to the hot hatch. There’s no word yet on how many models Abarth plans to build of the 695 Rivale, but another special edition model, the Abarth 695 Rivale 175th Anniversary, is limited to just 350 units, divided into 175 units for the coupe model and another 175 for the cabriolet version.
Update 02/21/2018: Our friend Cyril stopped by a showroom in Paris and snapped a few shots of the Abarth 695 Rivale. Check them out in the gallery below!
If The US-Spec Fiat 500 Received an Updated Styling, Why Does it Still Look the Same?
The updated Fiat 500 has been revealed at the Chicago Auto Show, and as far as revelations go, it didn’t really reveal anything of importance other than the hatch getting a standard 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. The new 500 also received what Fiat described as a “sportier appearance.” That would’ve been great, except that, by and large, the 500 still looks the same.
The Chicago-Bound Fiat 500 Is Really Old, Including the "New" Turbo Engine
The Fiat 500 may have received a turbocharged engine at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, but it’s not something you should get excited about. The force-fed 1.4-liter four-cylinder is actually at least five years old and its introduction is more of a return to the market. The engine was first offered in the 500 Turbo model in North America in 2013 and remained into production until 2016. It was rated at 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, only two pound-feet short of the "new" engine. A similar unit, but with the full 152 pound-feet, was previously offered on Euro-spec Abarth models.
Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show
When the Fiat 500 was first introduced way back in 1957, it was offered as a zippy little runabout that could tackle the pressures of city driving in style. While not necessarily fast, the 500 was considered quick enough, and it offered the diminutive exterior dimensions desired for urban living. Since then, the 500 has changed. It’s bigger now, and the name has been applied to other segments as well, with both a tall-riding crossover and all-electric iterations making their debut over the years. Unfortunately, as we all know, these segments aren’t necessarily bywords for fun, and the world’s standard for “quick enough” has moved on. Now, though, it looks like the Italian icon is getting a little closer to its fun-to-dirve roots thanks to a solid dose of turbocharging under the hood.
Continue reading for the full story.
Ford Reveals Updated Ka+; Adds Crossover Model and Diesel Engine
Launched back in 1996 as the company’s smallest vehicle, slotted under the popular Fiesta, the Ford Ka+ was redesigned in 2014. Four years later and the tiny hatchback is getting its mid-cycle refresh with new styling cues and updated technology. But unlike most facelifts, the Ka also gained a much-needed diesel engine and a crossover-inspired model. Design changes are pretty much what you’d expect from a mild facelift. The headlamps are slightly larger; the grille was revised and gained a new chrome frame, while the rear features chrome taillight detailing and C-shaped moldings at each corner of the bumper.
Inside, there’s a revised dashboard that looks clean and crisp, plus some new tech. Highlights include a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Sync3 infotainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rain-sensing wipers, and a heated windscreen. Automatic climate control and parking sensors are available as options. Under the hood, the Ka+ continues with the familiar 1.2-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine. The unit is rated at either 70 or 85 PS (69 or 84 horsepower), depending on trim. The big news is the addition of a diesel engine for the European market. But more about that and the new Active version below.
Continue reading for the full story.
Epic Life Hack - German Man Uses Smartcars to Stop People From Parking Near His Driveway
If you’ve ever heard of the expression “First World problems,” you’ll be thinking a lot about it once you’re done with this doozy of a story. A German man who lives in the affluent neighborhood of Oberkassel in Germany had a problem with people parking too close to his driveway. To address that problem, he decided to buy a pair of smart ForTwos and parked them on either side of the driveway. It’s probably one of the most expensive ways to mark your territory, but the man did it anyway because he could.
According to German news site RP Online the ForTwos have been on guard duty for three years now. The man’s neighbors even say that two city cars have left their spots only once since they set up shop there back in 2015, presumably to renew their registration or get serviced for being idle too long.
As for the man’s reasons? Apparently, his problem wasn’t about having his driveway blocked by cars or having cars parked (legally) on either side of his driveway. He just wants the entire space for himself because he wanted as much room to comfortably enter and leave his driveway with what neighbors say is an SUV. That’s it. That’s his reason.
To make this story more interesting, his ForTwo bookend strategy is reportedly legal under Dusseldorf’s traffic laws. According to the city’s Traffic Management Office, the ForTwos can stay parked where they are as long as they can be driven away if needed.
It’s hard to say if the man is crazy or a genius for marking his own territory this way. Perhaps it’s even a combination of both. Either way, this is one instance where the expression “First World problems” definitely applies.
2018 Kia Rio - Driven
Ask anyone to think of the Kia Rio, and first recollections generally include its overall cheapness and lack of desirability. Well, Kia has worked hard to changes that for 2018, moving the humble hatchback up-market while actually dropping its base price. Is it too good to be true? To find out, I spent a week with the new 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door equipped in its range-topping EX trim.
It’s worth knowing the 2018 Rio isn’t technically new. In fact, it rides on the same platform as before and uses the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder. However, that’s where the similarities stop. The car has been slightly lengthened and widened, and the naturally aspirated engine gets improvements in efficiency and drivability. Of course, the 2018 Rio’s appearance is different, too. The new car looks more upscale than before, both outside and inside.
Let’s have a look at Kia’s most affordable model.
Continue reading for more on the 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door.
2019 Mini Cooper Lineup Unveiled
Mini just revealed its refreshed Cooper lineup, giving us an early look at what’s in store before the pint-sized auto hits the show floor in Detroit later this month. The update encompasses no less than three body styles, including the Mini Hardtop 2 Door, the Mini Hardtop 4 Door, and the Mini Convertible, and adds tweaked exterior styling, more tech in the cabin, more standard features, and more customization options as well.
At either end, you may notice the Mini gets small updates to the headlight and taillight designs. This is especially noticeable in the rear, where the brake lights gain a Union Jack design for extra U.K. points. There are LEDs for illumination purposes, while the headlights get LEDs as an available option. You’ll also find LEDs for the daytime running lights and turn signals. Piano Black exterior trim can be had as an option for the headlight surrounds, taillight surrounds, and grille surround, while the body panels gain new paint options like Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic. New alloy wheel designs can be found in the corners, with sizing up to 17 inches offered across the range of body styles. Mini also updated its logo throughout.
Open the door, and you’ll be greeted with a Mini logo splash projection from the underside of the side-view mirrors. The funky dash incorporates a 6.5-inch screen, with the possibility to throw in a 8.8-inch screen if desired. On the tech front, USB and Bluetooth are both standard appointment, while options include a touchscreen and navigation. There’s also wireless charging for your smartphone via the center armrest, and more services offered through Mini Connect as well.
Look for our full updated reviews after the 2019 Mini Cooper lineup struts its stuff at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show later this month.
Toyota Breeding All-New Subcompact Crossover
Just days after showing off the FT-AC Concept, Toyota has confirmed that it will soon release another small SUV that will slot below the RAV4. This is where the C-HR is positioned now, but the new SUV, which is unnamed at the moment, will actually come a bit cheaper in price. And, like the FT-AC, FT-4X and TJ Cruiser concepts, it will be near-endlessly customizable and urbanely styled with a focus on “lifestyle.” It will also serve as a basis for the next-gen Toyota RAV4 and Toyota 4Runner as well. Want to know more? Keep reading to learn about possible production schedules and a few more specifics…