Posts from ‘First Spin’
Over the past 20 years or so, most SUVs have morphed from a body-on-frame, truck-based construction to become “crossover” SUVs that utilize car-like unibody construction. The upside of this shift in design is better on-road driving dynamics and better driver ergonomics. The downside is reduced towing capacity and diminished capabilities in serious off-roading.
When the redesigned – and decidedly upmarket – Nissan Versa was introduced earlier this year, one of the biggest questions surrounding it was, “Will this spell the end of the Sentra?”
It didn’t take Nissan long to answer.
This is a vehicle Goldilocks may have influenced.
While the burgeoning popularity of crossovers has caused some hair-splitting additions to model lineups of late, the new Mazda CX-30 fills a surprisingly large gap between the company’s CX-3 subcompact and CX-5 compact. And it fills that gap nearly dead-center, as its 173-inch length falls almost midway between the 168- and 179-inch spans, respectively, of its stablemates.
It also fills a gap in price.
Freshened for 2020, the Lexus RX premium midsize crossover is quietly one of the most successful, and most important, vehicles to have been introduced into the American marketplace in decades. In fact, I would argue, the RX enjoys a position of retail significance so compelling, its success is rivaled only by ketchup. Heinz Ketchup, to be exact. Allow me to explain…
In a class that divides roughly 2.4 million annual sales between just six entries with average transaction prices reaching $48,000, Nissan’s Titan has long run a distant last. While it’s unlikely this recent update will change that, it may well result in a bigger slice of this very lucrative pie.
Jeep’s iconic Wrangler has been selling like the proverbial hotcakes of late, its 2018 redesign making it all the more popular. So some might question what the company expects to gain by adding a turbodiesel engine to the Wrangler’s option list.
The answer? Torque …
… lots and lots of torque.
Ever since the tenth-generation Civic’s debut as a 2016 model, Honda has stayed busy rolling out new versions and fine tuning the Civic lineup’s styling and ergonomic details. Coupe and hatchback body styles followed shortly after the ’16 Civic sedan’s launch, sporty Si models (and the racetrack-ready Type R hatchback) followed for 2017, and a freshening for 2019 included an improved infotainment system and other welcome updates.
Just how many ponies does a pony car need? Well, certainly not 760 ….
That will undoubtedly raise the eyebrows of my fellow enthusiasts, to whom “too much power” is a phrase bordering on blasphemy. But honestly, it’s really hard to make use of that much power on the street … at least, for very long.