Posts from ‘First Spin’
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?”
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.
When Hyundai says the new midsize, 8-passenger Palisade is aimed at families … they really put their money where their mouth is.
It’s not often that a vehicle’s redesign isn’t necessarily its headline news.
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.
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.
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.