Posts from ‘First Spin’

Sep
17
2019 Cadillac XT4

2019 Cadillac XT4

Consumer Guide Automotive

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Cadillac’s newly introduced compact crossover is that … it took so long to get here.

For a market that is essentially 15 years old, has long contained more than a dozen entries, and is growing in popularity at an incredibly rapid rate, Cadillac seems kind of late to the party. But they’ve finally arrived for 2019 bearing a pretty darn nice gift: the impressive new XT4.

Aug
30
2019 Ram 1500 eTorque

2019 Ram 1500 Hemi with eTorque

Consumer Guide Automotive In a quest for better fuel economy in traditionally thirsty trucks, Ram takes a page from the automotive playbook and banks on … a hybrid.

Well, a mild hybrid, actually, and while unique in today’s marketplace, it’s not the first.

Aug
28
2019 GMC Sierra Denali

2019 GMC Sierra Denali

Consumer Guide Automotive GMC has long used the tagline, “Professional Grade,” promoting the brand as being a cut above others in the same class. That has been best demonstrated in the top-line Denali trim level — recently offered on nearly all GMC models — which has been elevated to essentially a “luxury” sub-brand. It’s been particularly noteworthy in the case of the company’s Sierra full-size pickups, as the rest of the lineup didn’t really offer much over its very similar Chevrolet Silverado cousin. But that’s changing.

Aug
27
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Consumer Guide Automotive, 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Review OK, stick with us here—this gets a bit complicated. With the introduction of the redesigned 2019 Santa Fe, Hyundai is changing up its midsize-SUV strategy. Previously, the Santa Fe was offered in a 3-row, 7-passenger version called Santa Fe, and a shorter 2-row, 5-passenger version named Santa Fe Sport.

Aug
24
2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Honda Pilot

Consumer Guide Automotive Honda’s popular midsize crossover has long been a Consumer Guide Best Buy, and revisions to the freshened 2019 Pilot only serve to make it better.

As this is a “refresh” and not a redesign, the Pilot platform and appearance haven’t changed much. Oh, the grille is different – taking on what Honda deems as a “more rugged” demeanor to reflect Pilot’s admittedly good off-road prowess – but the vehicle still looks and drives like a Pilot … which is just fine.

Aug
17
2019 Chevrolet Silverado High Country front

2019 Chevrolet Silverado High Country in … high country.

Consumer Guide Automotive

Recent history has shown that one byproduct of war is technical advancement. And rarely has that held more true than in the current battle for pickup-truck supremacy.

Aug
13
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

Consumer Guide Automotive

Yikes, where does the time go? The MX-5 Miata is fast closing in on its 30th birthday, but Mazda apparently couldn’t wait until the pearl-anniversary year of its beloved two-seat roadster to roll out a welcome round of enhancements. Ever since the first Miata debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show as a 1990 model, Mazda has stayed wonderfully true to its original MX-5 concept: a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, lightweight two-seat sports car with modest power, an easily removable roof, and a sporty-yet-compliant suspension.

Aug
12
2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody (left) and R/T Scat Pack Widebody

Consumer Guide Automotive

You had to figure this was coming.

After setting the record books ablaze last year with the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon — and keeping its promise that it would be a one-year-only model — Dodge unveiled a more “streetable” version of much the same car for 2019. Plus it carried over some of the Demon’s drag-racing technology to a more budget-priced model aimed at … well … drag racing.

Jun
18
2018 Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

Consumer Guide Automotive

Although somewhat late to the subcompact-crossover party, at least Hyundai showed up with a nice present: the 2018 Kona, introduced earlier this year.

Our first exposure to the Kona came recently in Detroit, perhaps one of the few major cities in this country with roads as bad as ours here in Chicago. That’s notable because our preview drives usually take place in areas with smoother pavement, making it tough to judge ride quality. Not a problem in this case.

Jun
14
2019 Hyundai Veloster

2019 Hyundai Veloster

Consumer Guide Automotive Hyundai’s sporty car returns for a second generation as a 2019 model, continuing its unusual 3-door layout and available turbocharged power but adding a host of new features and a higher level of practicality.

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