2021 Hyundai Sonata N-Line - Driven
Outside of the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and a few others, the concept of sporty and quick sedans is slowly dying off as people look to either bigger, similarly quick, vehicles or smaller two-door sports cars. Then you’ve got brands like Hyundai that seems to either not care or wants to keep the thrill of driving alive, and this is where the Hyundai Sonata N-Line comes in. It’s based on your typical midsized family sedan but is injected with enough sporty DNA that it stands out both visually and in terms of performance. Of course, we’re not talking Porsche Panamera or Dodge Challenger levels of performance, but affordable performance – something that, arguably, gives you a bigger bang for your buck. Here’s what you need to know about the Sonata N-Line and why you should consider it for your next daily driver.
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat - Driven
Until 2020, the Dodge Durango was a family SUV with a sporty side to it. It came with a V-8 engine that churned out enough power to fulfill the adrenaline rush while also serving as a practical utility vehicle. For the 2021 model, however, Dodge upped the ante. As part of its process to plonk in the Hellcat engine in every product in its portfolio, the automaker transformed the Durango into a beast incarnate that just can’t be tamed. On paper, the Durango SRT Hellcat is now the most powerful production SUV. It can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. Isn’t that a wonderful and frightening sight at the same time?
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 is based on the standard Mercedes GLS SUV. It costs twice as much as the GLS but is a lot more premium and plusher. The Maybach-affiliation to the SUV puts it right at the top with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Bentley Bentayga. It isn’t as expensive as the British brands, but comes with enough tech and luxuriousness to keep you happy if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It comes with a V-8 engine under the hood to help it propel to 60 mph in less than four seconds. The looks, however, isn’t the GLS600’s strong suit.
While it seems a good package overall, will a Bentayga or a Cullinan customer consider the GLS600? Or will a standard GLS customer upgrade to it, for that matter?
2021 BMW M4 - Driven
The new BMW 4 Series, which was based on the BMW Concept 4, has been the victim of heavy criticism for some time now, and the M4 has fallen victim to the same big glass of hateraid. But, what sits behind that big, bulky, look-at-me nose is a humble powerhouse of performance that’s just as thrilling to drive as any other BMW on the market. After spending a week with the 2021 BMW M4 we can tell you that ugliness only runs skin deep, and you certainly shouldn’t judge a car by its face – this is our story with the new M4.
2021 Kia K5 - Driven
Let me introduce you to the Kia K5 midsize sedan – a car that really doesn’t need much of an introduction because you’ve known it as the Kia Optima ever since it hit the market back in 2000, but I’ll discuss that a bit later. Like the Optima, the K5 is known for its attractive styling, sexy yet functional interior, and – naturally – a great value for the money. Highlights of the new k5 (or 5th-gen Optima, if you like) are even bolder styling, new engine offerings, and, believe it or not, available all-wheel drive. Pricing for the new Kia K5 starts out at a very reasonable $23,590 (making it one of the most affordable midsize cars on the market) with the loaded, more powerful, range-topping GT trim commanding just $30,590. With this in mind, is the Kia K5 right for you? Keep reading to find out.
2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel - Driven
The Jeep Gladiator was one of the most anticipated vehicles for a very long time. Jeep had revealed the Gladiator concept back in 2005 but took almost 14 years to roll out the production model. But, we finally had a Jeep-branded truck after three long decades. The truck was launched with much pomp and show and it caught a lot of attention. The truck comes in a wide number of trims with uncountable packages and accessories to complement it. The automaker keeps the Gladiator fresh by launching special editions, too.
However, Jeep hasn’t been able to sell the Gladiator in big numbers. One reason could be the high pricing, and the other was offering it with just a single engine option – the old but reliable V-6 Pentastar. Jeep probably figured this out soon and launched an EcoDiesel engine as an option. A Gladiator dressed in the Overland trim with the new diesel mill under the hood arrived at TopSpeed, and here are our impressions of it.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
Mercedes launched the 2021 GLA in July last year and promoted it as a much safer, spacious, and off-road-oriented compact vehicle. While we don’t agree that offering a four-wheel-drive system makes it an off-roader, it certainly seems to have become a better package overall.
The GLA is a seasoned product that only gotten better this time around. It feels a lot more luxurious and modern than its predecessor. But, does spending close to $40,000 for an entry-level, compact Mercedes with a four-pot mill make a whole lot of sense?
2021 Nissan Armada - Driven
The Nissan Armada started life back in 2004 riding on Nissan Titan underpinnings and was built in Canton Mississippi. All that changed when the second-generation was launched for the 2017 model year, with production shifting to Yakuhashi, Kyushu, Japan as Nissan based the second-gen on Nissan Patrol underpinnings that feature some very specific modifications to make it suitable for the North American market. As of 2021, the Nissan Armada has been updated to feature a prettier face, a new center console inside, and some updated technology. As is the case with all refreshed models, we’ve been wondering if Nissan did enough to keep the Armada relevant in such a brutally competitive market. Does it hold its own against the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition? Well, let’s find out.
Mercedes GLE Coupe
The Mercedes GLE is everything you’d need in a vehicle. It looks handsome (if you’re into coupes, that is), feels premium on the inside, comes with tech features that will make nerds go weak in their knees, and powertrain options that will satisfy your adrenaline rush. On paper, every requirement is ticked well. But, it’s still not a complete package. The automaker left some rough edges that are glaringly evident, especially in the ride quality and ergonomics department. Will these prove to be deal-breakers, or can the overall package swerve your decision to choose it over the BMW X6 or the Audi SQ5? .
2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon
While the station wagon may have been a big hit in the United States long ago, today, out of all the cars sold on the U.S. market, only a handful are offered in the wagon body style. Of course, you have mainstays like the Subaru Outback, Audi A4 Allroad, and the Volvo V90 Cross Country and there are a few more obscure models like the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and soon to be forever gone Jaguar XF Sportbrake. A few others are out there too, like the car you see here, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon – a go-fast wagon that can easily make you forget that you’re an SUV-loving American living smack dab in the middle of North America. We recently spend a week with the AMG E63 S to see if it really was a strong, sexy alternative to the many, many SUVs on the market, and you’ll be surprised what we’ve learned.
2021 Nissan Maxima - Driven
The Nissan Maxima – there’s quite a bit to say about it. Once a popular, full-size family sedan, the Nissan Maxima has fallen from average U.S. sales for 60,000 plus to just 18,141 units in 2020. Those numbers in 2020 are specifically worrying as Nissan updated the Maxima for the 2019 model year to bring in some extra safety and modernized technology. As of 2021, the Maxima is now five years into its eighth generation, so have things turned around or does Nissan have to make a tough choice between discontinuation and spending heaps of money in designing a ninth-gen model? We spent a week with the 2021 Nissan Maxima to find out, and this is our experience.
2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye - Driven
The current Dodge Charger has been on the market since 2011 and, while it is getting a little long in the tooth, Dodge has continuously found ways to keep it interesting. It didn’t go so far as to make a Charger Demon to match the widely loved Challenger Demon, but it certainly came close with the car you see here – the Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye – a 797-horsepower monster of a car that’s capable of standing down some of the world’s finest sports cars with nothing but some good old fashioned American muscle. Being such a powerful sedan, we’ve been curious about just what it can offer and whether or not near-800 horsepower puts it out family car segment altogether. We got to spend a week with it, and this is what we’ve learned.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport - Driven
Subaru introduced the Crosstrek last decade as a successor to the Outback Sport. It was essentially an Impreza with an off-road bias. This formula worked well for the company as it soon became the best-selling Subaru in the U.S.
For the 2021 model year, Subaru introduced a new ‘Sport’ trim along with a new engine option that further makes this a desirable product. Will these upgrades help Subaru sell more than Crosstreks than it has in the previous years?
2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z51 - Driven
Chevy quite literally redefined what the Corvette name means when it unveiled the all-new, mid-engined C8 Corvette – a model that was decades in the making. Finally bringing the mid-engine configuration to the Corvette was no easy undertaking, but in the end, the new Corvette looked like a supercar, performed like a high-end sportscar, and created quite a stir in the automotive community thanks to its attractive low price. It seems impossible that a car like the C8 Corvette could retail for less than $60,000, but as promised it does ($59,995 as of the time of this writing). This makes the C8 Corvette come off as a much-cheaper alternative to many exotic cars, so how does it hold up? We spent a week with the 2021 C8 Corvette 3LT with the Z51 performance package to find out.
2021 Cadillac XT6 - Driven
The Cadillac XT6 is a fairly new kid on the block. It is a full-fledged three-row SUV that comes with a smart exterior, a host of features inside the cabin, and two different engine options to choose from. For the 2021 model year, the company has introduced a new base trim with a four-cylinder engine option.
The higher trims, however, come with the big V-6 that is neither fuel-efficient nor too powerful. Even on paper, it doesn’t feel as accomplished as the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7. The XT6 doesn’t feel like a threat to its German counterparts, but it’s still an all-rounded SUV that offers a lot of bang for the buck. Can Cadillac make the XT6 a threatening proposition in the coming years?
2021 Volvo V60 Cross Country - Driven
It’s almost ancient history now, but the Volvo station wagon spent years as a staple of upscale families. Luxurious without being ostentatious, known for its safety, and able to carry plenty of cargo, it was a fixture at field hockey practice — at least until SUVs took over that mantle. Even in the Volvo lineup, the station wagon is an afterthought next to the XC40, XC60, and XC90 crossovers.
But is that because SUVs are better than station wagons? Or are wagons unfairly overlooked and deserving of more attention? Volvo does still sell two wagons: the compact V60 and the midsize V90. We spent a week with the Volvo V60 Cross Country to see what a Volvo station wagon has to offer in this decade.
2020 Mercedes E450 Cabriolet - Driven
In a world where SUVs have all but taken over the market, there are fewer sedans and coupes to choose from. That reality is even worse for those looking for something with a top that gracefully stows away in the rear for unlimited headroom on demand. In fact, if you want a decent convertible these days, you’re only good option is either going with a roadster – like the Mercedes SLC or Jaguar F-Type – or something more conventional like the Audi S5 Cabriolet or the car we have here: A Mercedes E450 4Matic Cabriolet. Naturally positioned between the C-Class and the S-Class, the E-Class starts out right around $71,000, making it perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a smaller C-Class but can’t afford the six-figure price of the larger S-Class. So, what’s it like to live with the E-Class Cabrio? Well, I’m glad you asked, because we just spent a week with it and this is our story.
2020 GMC Canyon - Driven
GMC Canyon has been around for quite some time now, and together with the Chevy Colorado, it is raking up respectable numbers for General Motors. The Canyon is positioned as a more premium and stylish version of the Colorado. Thanks to the growing competition, GMC has had to put its best foot forward to not let the newcomers like the Jeep Gladiator take a share of its pie.
To make sure of this, GMC has rejigged the 2021 Canyon’s lineup by making some big changes. For starters, the top-spec Denali trim has gotten all the more premium, while the All-Terrain trim is dropped in favor of the exciting new AT4 trim that is present on the big brother Sierra as well. Will these changes and additions be able to induce more sales for GMC?
2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Driven
From the outside, and to the 99-percenters, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan looks like an over-priced BMW or a reworked Phantom with a taller roof that was designed to keep the brand from falling into the abyss of irrelevant brands. In fact, you might actually be right to some extent. The Cullinan does look a lot like the Phantom in the front thanks to the big rectangular grille, boxy headlights, and square front end. And, the brand is owned by BMW, so yeah, there’s some Bimmer DNA there too. That said, the Cullinan is the very first Rolls-Royce SUV and, outside of that, it also introduced a lot of new tech for the brand, including an off-road driving mode and all-wheel drive. Introduced in 2017, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been on the market for a few years now, and it’s been staring down the barrel of the Bentley Bentayga ever since. So, how does is hold up three years in? Well, we spent a week with the Cullinan to find out for ourselves, and this is what you need to know.
2021 Volvo XC90 T8 - Driven
One of the oldest models in Volvo’s current lineup is still one of its most important. Despite being a six-year-old design now, Volvo is still selling its XC90 like hotcakes. And to keep things fresh, it has tweaked it for the 2021 model year and is offering it with a host of different engine choices.