Monday, 28 November 2022
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Just because you’re a perennial contender for best-selling car of the year, that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels.

Exhibit A: The Toyota Corolla, which gets a complete redesign for the 2020 model year as it attempts to stay current against a crop of strong compact car competitors. Read on for a full report on how it compares in the segment.

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One major area where the Corolla sees upgrades for 2020 is its bolder look, particular in the metallic front grille design. The sides and rear of the Corolla also get an improved look.

LED headlights and LED tail lights will keep things in clear focus as you drive.

Other exterior touches on the XSE model I tested were heated power outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, a rear spoiler, single exhaust with dual chrome tips, and a power tilt/slide moonroof.

Inside, a major boost in materials quality can be found, including premium fabric with SofTex sport seats. You can get heated front seats, along with a leather steering wheel and shift knob.

Unfortunately, the space inside is tight, particularly a back seat that provides limited comfort for passengers in terms of leg room and head room. The trunk is also limited in space, so don’t expect to carry a lot of people or cargo in this vehicle
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Posted On Saturday, 18 May 2019 23:59 Written by

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Wow is a word you shouldn’t overuse.

It’s only applicable when something truly surprises and impresses you.

But in this case, when talking about the 2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400, wow is the appropriate word to use. Because once you start driving this rocketship luxury coupe, you’ll find find yourself saying that word a lot.
Between its stunning looks, truly bold performance chops and tech offerings, it makes a strong claim for the crown of best luxury sport coupe. Read on for a full report.


LOOKS

While it hasn’t undergone a major redesign for a couple years, the Q60 (which is based on the Q50 sedan) remains one of the most attractive luxury coupes available, with its long swooping hood and sleek lines.

The interior is plush and more comfortable to driver than most sporty rides, and offers unique silver styling in the trim. A power sliding tinted glass moonroof is included, a feature that’s a must to truly enjoy this type of vehicle.

To be honest, the back seat is there for show only. As with most coupes, think of the Q60 as a two-seater.  The reality is these types of vehicles are about performance, not utility. Nobody will fit in back except maybe small children. It also has a very small trunk, even smaller than most of its competitors, so don’t plan to bring a lot of cargo.

To bring home the performance angle, the Q60 Red Sport features 20-inch aluminum-alloy sport wheels, and all-season performance tires. There are also special exhaust tips and red-painted brake calipers. The Red Sport also includes exclusive aluminum accented sport pedals.

Other options include illuminated kick plates, interior ambient lighting, and a carbon fiber package that offers carbon fiber rear decklid spoiler, exterior mirror covers, fog lamp finishers, and fender vents for just over $2K.

Examples of classy design touches are: Genuine carbon fiber on center console and doors, aluminum front door sill kick plates, chrome INFINITI Double-arch signature grille, welcome lighting on front door handles, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

 

Posted On Saturday, 20 April 2019 16:44 Written by
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Mazda, strictly by the numbers, shouldn’t be leading the pack at anything. For background, in 2018, Mazda sold about 300,000 vehicles in North America. Toyota, by comparison, sold more than 2 million vehicles in North America in the same time frame.

Given those numbers, and the assumed budgets behind the scenes that one would imply from them, it’s truly an impressive feat that the Mazda brand continues to deliver quality the way it does.

While there may not be as many of them on the road as other brands, anyone who has ever driven a Mazda will usually have very kind words to say about the experience and how impressive the vehicle design and drive quality was.

Recently I was able to test a Mazda6, the midsize sedan taking on names like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, VW Passat and Kia Optima. I’m back with a full report on whether the Mazda6 lives up this underdog’s past successes at it battles in this busy segment.

 

Posted On Thursday, 04 April 2019 02:27 Written by
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When I think of the best compact cars, Kia is not usually the first brand that pops into my head. But that could be about to change.  

I recently spent some time in the fully redesigned 2019 Kia Forte, and I’m back with a rundown of how it measures up in the segment — which I must say, was surprisingly well.  


LOOKS

The Deep Sea Blue-colored 2019 Kia Forte I tested was attractive enough, by the standards of non-luxury compact cars. None of them are extreme lookers, to be honest, but there were some unique things going on with the grille and the rear lights that stood out vs. the competition.


The Forte looks bigger than a typical compact car; and has a somewhat roomy back seat and very roomy trunk for the segment. Everything is also well-organized inside, and the quality of the seating and other interior materials was higher-end than I anticipated. Seating is comfortable, and all controls are well-placed for driver use.


On the lighting front, you get LED tail lights, LED Daytime Running Lights, and power heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators.

You also get a compact spare tire, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, a power adjustable driver’s seat, and heated and ventilated front seats. 17-inch alloy wheels were included on the 2019 Kia Forte EX that I tested, and 15-inch wheels come on the base model.

Posted On Sunday, 24 March 2019 00:00 Written by
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