Thursday, 29 September 2022
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

When it comes to sporty compact SUVs, Mazda has no shortage of offerings for potential customers — all providing the rare SUV combination of driving enjoyment and vehicle utility.

In addition to their long-standing CX-5, Mazda recently introduced the CX-50 — a more off-road inspired offering with higher ground clearance.

For the 2022 CX-5, Mazda has made all-wheel drive standard, improved engine options, made minor exterior design changes, and also upgraded the suspension.

I recently tested out the 2022 CX-5, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up to its competition both outside and inside the Mazda lineup.

Fifteen years is an eternity in the automotive industry.

But before the release of the 2022 Toyota Tundra, that’s how long it had been since the brand’s biggest truck had gotten a new look. With as much innovation as its competitors have seen in the years since, this move was long overdue.

Packing some strong tech upgrades, new power plant options including a hybrid offering, and an exciting new look, the 2022 Tundra is sure to bring a spark into Toyota’s efforts to grow in the full-size truck segment as it takes on the Detroit Three’s heavyweight contenders.

I recently spent some time in the redesigned Tundra and I'm back with a full report.

Compact SUVs are one of the most reliably successful sellers in today’s automotive ecosystem, putting up some of the biggest overall numbers once you get past the top-selling trucks.

Chevy’s Equinox competes in this tough segment — battling a bevy of competitors including the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.

For those buyers who remain loyal to the U.S. “Big Three” options, the Equinox emerges as one of the top competitors in the segment. While not completely redesigned, the 2022 Equinox does get some minor refreshes and offers a bold new RS trim level.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 Equinox RS, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in the segment.

 

Subaru enthusiasts love to drive and are loyal to their brand, and their patience has paid off with the arrival of a long overdue redesign of the WRX for 2022, nearly a decade since the previous generation was unveiled.

This sporty, compact hot rod looks better, drives better and sounds better than its predecessors. It also holds up well against tough competition such as the Honda Civic SI and Volkswagen Golf GTI, among others.

I recently tested a 2022 Subaru WRX, and I’m back with a full report. 

 

“Wow. That’s a Nissan?”

This was a common expression I heard all week when people would walk by and stare at the 2023 Nissan Z I was test-driving.

The long-awaited vehicle — the 7th generation of the Z model aimed at driving enthusiasts — has finally arrived this summer, offering a more affordable option to fans of speed and power who don’t want to spend luxury dollars for a rear-wheel-drive coupe offering a pure thrill ride. With few true competitors — most notably the Toyota GR Supra — the latest Z has a great shot at drawing a significant fan base among devoted enthusiasts. 

In an era where most big launches are electric vehicles, the arrival of the new Z is a big deal.

The 2023 Nissan Z is the 7th generation of the Z legacy, which stretches back all the way to 1969. I was able to test a prototype of this highly anticipated sports car, and I’m back with a full report on the vehicle — which aims to continue the Z’s historic styling and sporty nature while adding in some modern tech features.

In the world of luxury crossovers, one of the growing sectors is coupe-style designs that aim to offer a slick look while maintaining practicality.

Infiniti is one of the luxury crossover brands fighting for buyers in this segment — debuting its QX55 model for the 2022 model year and battling against other coupe-style SUVs from brands including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Genesis.

This model has its origins going back to the long-time Infiniti FX model, which had its run from the early 2000s to 2017, and shares many interior, powertrain and suspension elements with Infiniti’s QX50 SUV, but offers an improved exterior design.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the 2022 QX55, and I’m back with a full report on how it stacks up to its luxury rivals.

The compact SUV class is one with limitless options for car buyers, but one key element that is usually missing from these vehicles is power. Many of them are well-designed but lack oomph when you’re behind the wheel.

But one brand that has never lacked oomph is Mazda, and they offer several options in the compact SUV class — including the CX-5, CX-30 and CX-50.

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is essentially a lifted version of the Mazda 3 hatchback. Slight changes have been made to the model lineup for 2022 (including a new Carbon Edition trim level), and all-wheel-drive is now standard on all CX-30 trims.

I recently spent some time driving a 2022 CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus edition, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up vs. the competition. 

Volkswagen’s wee but consistently-lauded Golf has long been a favorite of driving enthusiasts — a vehicle focused on providing a truly joyous driving experience to enthusiasts who appreciate what a vehicle can do and don’t want to shell out luxury-level bucks to get that ride quality.

This vehicle helped bring about the “hot hatch” category that is both performance focused while attempting to retain some level of practicality. It faces stiff competition from Hyundai, Honda, Subaru and MINI hatchback models, but has always been a standout in the category.

Returning for 2022, the Golf GTI debuts the 8th generation of this popular and sporty ride, boosting performance and retooling some physical elements of the car’s design and tech setup.

I recently spent some time in a 2022 VW Golf GTI, and I’m back with a full report on how well it holds up in the realm of hot hatches.

Four doors are better than two — at least in the minds of some car buyers.

So it makes sense that BMW is bringing back a redesigned 4-series Gran Coupe for 2022. This vehicle is a sort of hybrid between its two-door 4-series coupe, and its 3-series sedan, aiming to be a best of both worlds type of vehicle.

The goal here is to create more accessibility and room for rear passengers without compromising the driving aesthetic that BMW’s reputation brings.

With two powerful engine options, the Gran Coupe delivers — which is essential in the extremely competitive luxury car genre.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 BMW 430i Gran Coupe, and I’m back with a full report on whether it achieves its goal of maintaining driving excellence while increasing practicality.

BMW has a variety of popular models, but even for this sports-car focused brand, SUVs are increasingly stealing the spotlight.

Case in point: The BMW X3 — a compact luxury SUV offering — is now the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S. with over 75,000 vehicles sold in 2021.

That’s a tremendous success considering the strong competition in this sector from brands including Genesis, Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln and more.

I recently tested the 2022 BMW X3, which features design upgrades as well as tech improvements, and I’m back with a full report.

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