Posts from ‘First Spin’

Aug
06
2020 Nissan Versa Review

2020 Nissan Versa

Consumer Guide Automotive

Since its introduction for 2007, the Nissan Versa’s claim to fame has been that it was often the least expensive new vehicle on the market. So the biggest question going into the preview for the redesigned 2020 model in Nashville was, “Will it remain so?”

Jul
29
2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback

Consumer Guide Automotive

It’s probably not a stretch to say that the Outback is what put Subaru on the map. Introduced for 1995 as an SUV-flavored trim level of the Legacy wagon, it was soon upgraded to its own model, and sales have seen a steady climb since. Today – as for many years – it is Subaru’s best-selling vehicle.

For 2020, Subaru ushers in the sixth generation of the Outback. With it comes greater rear-seat and cargo room, some new features, and the return of a turbocharged engine. Also added is a new Onyx trim level that carries black wheels and trim along with special StarTex water-repellent upholstery.

Jun
24
2020 Hyundai Palisade

2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL

Consumer Guide Automotive

When Hyundai says the new midsize, 8-passenger Palisade is aimed at families … they really put their money where their mouth is.

Jun
20
2020 Ford Explorer, 2020 Ford Explorer Review

2020 Ford Explorer ST

Consumer Guide Automotive

Although it looks much like the outgoing version, the redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer hides what is almost a seismic, “full circle” shift: Having switched from its original 1991 truck-based rear-drive architecture to a car-based front-drive one for 2011, it returns to a rear-drive platform for 2020, though this time, sans an underlying truck-type frame. Meanwhile, it also adopts new powertrains – including a hybrid version – and some newly added features, some of them being standard.

Mar
23
Mazda 3 AWD

2019 Mazda 3 AWD

Consumer Guide Automotive It’s not often that a vehicle’s redesign isn’t necessarily its headline news.

Mar
01
2019 Ram HD

2019 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 Limited Mega Cab

Consumer Guide Automotive It wasn’t so much a matter of “if” as a matter of “when” … and “who.”

Over the past couple of decades, those following heavy-duty pickups have been treated to a race similar to that enjoyed by car enthusiasts for years. This one, however, wasn’t about horsepower; it was about torque. And though all the top contenders kept leap-frogging each other toward that magic 1000 lb-ft finish line, it was Ram that got there first.

Feb
04
2019 Chevrolet Blazer

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS

If you were hoping that Chevrolet’s anticipated revival of its Blazer nameplate would result in a modern-day off-roader that could square off against Ford’s soon-to-be-unveiled 2020 Bronco, we’ve got bad news for you.

Feb
01
GMC Sierra AT4

2019 GMC Sierra AT4

The 2019 model year is a momentous one for domestic-brand full-size pickups. The Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ram 1500 are all redesigned, and the Ford F-150 sees some notable updates. As always, these big haulers are available in a dizzying array of body and cab styles, trim levels, and powertrain options, and the GMC Sierra roster gets even bigger with the mid-year addition of the new AT4 trim level and an accompanying performance package.

Jan
31
2019 Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport

Consumer Guide Automotive Frankly, it seems Honda got caught with its pants down.

As the market made its seismic shift to crossovers, the company continued to concentrate on cars, adding but one entry of the crossover variety in the past 15 years. As a result, today’s Honda lineup of 10 vehicles contains only three crossovers.

Oh, the shame.

Dec
24
2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Mazda CX-5

This preview didn’t go entirely according to plan.

Mazda flew us up to Whistler, British Columbia — site of the 2010 Winter Olympics — to demonstrate its “predictive” i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive system, introduce a newly available turbocharged engine in the CX-5 line, and let us experience all three of its crossovers in slippery, snowy conditions. The first and last, of course, depended on the cooperation of Mother Nature, and she accommodated — a little too generously, as it turned out.

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