Sunday, 05 February 2023
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Some car models have many sides to their personality, catering to a variety of tastes. For example, alongside the more tame versions of Hyundai’s compact Elantra sedan, there’s a star that’s ready for its spotlight.

I’m referring to the Hyundai Elantra N, the performance-oriented ride that’s truly the gem of this lineup in terms of driving performance and overall design.

The Elantra N was introduced as a new model for 2022, and has carried over with little change for the 2023 model year. The N is for those driving enthusiasts who want some oomph under the hood and a vehicle built to tackle the open road (or a racetrack) with complete confidence. The powerful N brand is just one method Hyundai is using to grow its audience beyond those who want your typical day-to-day car or SUV options.

The Elantra N competes directly with sporty compact cars from brands including Honda, Volkswagen, Subaru and Toyota.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of an Elantra N, and I’m back with a full report on this highly customizable hot rod.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle Hyundai Elantra N
  • Price as tested $35,145 
  • Best feature Customizable and truly fun driving experience   
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle? Driving enthusiasts looking for a versatile hot rod that won’t break the bank
Posted On Sunday, 22 January 2023 18:01 Written by

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Mazda has always aimed higher than its status.

While not officially a competitor in the luxury class, it has long designed its vehicles to look and perform at a level that will make people think of Mazda as a luxury-level purchase, even if the price is lower.

That applies to their smallest vehicles too, including the 2023 Mazda3, which is available as both a sedan and a hatchback.

There have been some updates to the engine lineup for 2023 to further improve drive quality, more tech features are standard, and there is an attractive new trim level offered called Carbon Edition — which I was recently able to test.

When you’re going against major players like the Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra and more, you have to come strong.

And to put it simply, Mazda’s compact sedan and hatchback options continue to deliver performance over and above their competition, while also maintaining a distinct looks advantage.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2023 Mazda3
  • Price as tested $31,115 (starts around $24K) 
  • Best feature Sporty ride, upscale styling   
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle? Compact car buyers looking for the most enjoyable ride in the class
Posted On Saturday, 24 December 2022 21:47 Written by
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While some car buyers are focused on large, roomy, family-friendly SUVs, there’s also plenty of people who just want a vehicle that’ll let you have a little fun — every single day.

That’s where sporty, rear-wheel drive coupes like the Subaru BRZ come into the picture. (Of note: It’s the only Subaru vehicle that doesn’t come in all-wheel drive)

Redesigned for the 2022 model year, this vehicle is the brainchild of both Subaru and Toyota, who offer near-twin versions of the vehicle (Toyota’s GR86 is the alternate version in this partnership).

This second version of the BRZ gets an updated interior, and some updated technology. But in the end, this is all about the driving experience, and a more powerful motor comes with the updated package.

There are lots of sports cars out there, but most vehicles that offer such a purely enjoyable driving experience are out of reach for the average buyer. The BRZ aims to change that.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 BRZ, and I’m back with a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2022 Subaru BRZ
  • Price as tested $30,555 (starts around $29K)
  • Best feature Extra sporty drive quality without breaking the bank
  • Rating 4 out of five stars     
  • Who will want this vehicle? Driving enthusiasts looking for a budget-friendly sport coupe
Posted On Tuesday, 20 December 2022 00:56 Written by
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The wagon is a staple of American car culture.

And even if we don’t use the term much anymore in a world focused on SUVs and crossovers, the fact is they do still exist and are available from a small number of automakers in 2022.

The most obvious example of a wagon that people still take out on the roadways every day is the Subaru Outback, which has for years been the dominant vehicle in the segment — accounting for the vast majority of wagon sales in the U.S. each year..

This long, spacious ride might not look exactly like the wood-paneled vehicles of your childhood, but it serves the same purpose — hauling the family and a bunch of cargo with ease.

With its rugged looks and design, and the introduction of a more off-road friendly Wilderness model for 2022, the Outback continues to work on expanding its foothold in this segment. Combine all that with a truly versatile interior, and the Outback is a vehicle that probably should be even more popular than it is.

I recently spent some time in a 2022 Outback Wilderness, and I’m back with a full report.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2022 Subaru Outback
  • Price as tested $39,965 (starts around $29K)
  • Best feature Roomy design, off-road capability     
  • Rating 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle? Families looking for something roomy and versatile, but different than your standard SUV
Posted On Sunday, 16 October 2022 21:41 Written by
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Competition is tough in the luxury sedan world these days — with stout offerings available from upstarts like Genesis as well as long-standing segment leaders such as Audi and BMW.

One brand that always puts up a good fight in this arena is Mercedes-Benz, and their midsize sedan offering, the E-class, should never be left out of the discussion of top luxury rides.

The E-class slots between Mercedes’ smaller C-class and larger S-class. WIth a history of offering sharp looks inside and out, a powerful and smooth ride, as well as leading tech and safety options, it has a strong past to live up to.

The 2022 E-class model sees some minor upgrades in terms of features offered, as well as some new paint schemes — but it’s core competencies remain strong. It’s a sporty ride masquerading as a family sedan, featuring exquisite design and powerful performance.

The 2022 E-class is available as a sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon. I recently spent some time behind the week of a 2022 Mercedes-Benz E450 sedan, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up vs. its luxury competition.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2022 Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan  
  • Price as tested $73,350 (starts at $56K)
  • Best feature Smooth and powerful Mercedes performance, comprehensive and user-friendly tech 
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle? Luxury car buyers seeking a classy, high-tech sedan they will love to drive 
Posted On Monday, 10 October 2022 00:29 Written by
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