Thursday, 25 July 2024
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In the compact crossover category, Mazda decided back in 2023 they liked it so much, they’d enter it twice.

On top of their long-running success with the CX-5 crossover, they launched the CX-50 model, which features new design language and offers a more rugged look and better off-road credentials than the CX-5 — while maintaining Mazda’s reputation as a brand for drivers who like some power and agility in their SUV.

After a successful launch, the CX-50 is back in 2024 with minimal changes, and still sits in showrooms alongside the CX-5.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2024 Mazda CX-50 (Meridian trim), which delivers impressive performance from its turbo engine and sharp design quality. Read on to hear about how well it holds up in the extremely competitive compact SUV segment.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2024 Mazda CX-50
  • Price as tested $43,860 (Starts around $31K)
  • Best feature Luxury-level interior, sharp design, Meridian trim is off-road friendly
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle? Compact SUV buyers seeking a upscale design for less, plus some off-road capability
Posted On Sunday, 10 March 2024 23:33 Written by
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As people continue to flock to smaller SUVs and crossovers, refreshes continue to come to vehicles in this segment to maximize their appeal.

For Hyundai, that means a new version of the 2024 Kona has hit the showrooms, launching the second generation of this subcompact SUV.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2024 Hyundai Kona N Line, which offers a bold update on a strong competitor in this class that definitely makes it stand out. Upgrades were made inside and out, and the difference is very clear. 

It’s one of the better redesigns I have seen in a long time, but it still faces a lot of tough competition in the segment. Read on to see how it competes against other strong mini-ute competitors — including Chevy Trax, Mazda CX-30, Volkswagen Taos, Honda HR-V and more.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2024 Hyundai Kona
  • Price as tested $34,145 
  • Best feature Sharp looks, solid tech features
  • Rating 4 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle? Drivers looking for a smaller ride with a funky design, advanced tech and safety offerings, and decent power
Posted On Wednesday, 06 March 2024 22:33 Written by
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For families shopping for an SUV that will serve their needs, the Toyota Highlander has long been on the list of vehicles to consider, in part because it can hold up to 8 passengers and lots of cargo.

This three-row midsize SUV isn’t the class-leader in all areas (some rivals are more luxurious, and have more third-row space, for example), but collectively it delivers an excellent experience that has led to it being a top seller in the segment for many years.

A full redesign of the Highlander hasn’t happened since 2020, but there was a change in the engine offerings starting with the 2023 model, which carried over to 2024. The new engine is a turbo 4-cylinder instead of the V6 offering that had been offered prior. And the new Highlander features an updated tech system that delivers an excellent user experience.

There are a ton of major vehicles in this segment — including Kia Telluride, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and more. Read on to see how the Highlander holds up in this very popular and competitive category of three-row family haulers.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle Toyota Highlander     
  • Price as tested $54,372 (starts around $40K)   
  • Best feature Easy-to-use tech, roomy interior, smooth ride, fuel efficiency   
  • Rating 4 out of five stars     
  • Who will want this vehicle? Midsize SUV buyers seeking a reliable, versatile, tech-savvy ride
Posted On Monday, 04 March 2024 00:54 Written by
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Toyota has many vehicles with impressive popularity, but in the SUV realm their clear champion is the Toyota RAV4, a compact crossover that consistently lands at or near the top of sales charts.

In terms of variety of RAV4 models, Toyota has been smart to recognize that not everyone is eager to jump into an electric vehicle, so they offer some other more reasonable alternatives — namely a hybrid version and a plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4.

This makes lots of sense, especially considering how Toyota was a longtime pioneer in the hybrid space going back to the launch of the Prius.

The plug-in option is called the RAV4 Prime, and I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a RAV Prime. A carryover to the 2024 model from the 2023 version, the RAV4 Prime is a well-designed, user-friendly vehicle that delivers a solid drive quality plus strong fuel economy.

Read on to learn more about what the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid has to offer compared to other vehicles in this space, and who will want to take one home.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Price as tested $51,294 (starts at $44K) 
  • Best feature Fuel economy, solid drive quality vs. other plug-in hybrids
  • Rating 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle? Toyota fans who want to take a step toward EVs, but still prefer a plug-in hybrid option   
Posted On Saturday, 17 February 2024 22:46 Written by
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In the midsize luxury SUV category, there are many strong choices that are worth considering, so each entry in this category must present its own unique character.

I recently tested one of those options, the 2024 Acura MDX, which has a lot to offer to the SUV buyer — even against strong competition from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Cadillac and other key luxury players.

Between its athletic drive quality, striking design and affordable nature compared to most luxury rivals, it’s an SUV that should strike a sweet spot for many car buyers.

Read on for 5 key things to know if you’re considering the 2024 Acura MDX for your next vehicle.

1. Unique, bold Acura design   

Though the look of the 2024 MDX carries over from the most recent redesign in 2022, it remains one of the standout exterior designs in the segment.

The front end features a muscular-looking grille and unique lighting design that won’t be confused with any of its luxury rivals, the rear features a dual exhaust setup, and the overall design is sleek and eye-catching.

19-inch wheels are standard, but you can upgrade to 21-inch wheels. You also get a panoramic sunroof and power liftgate.

Posted On Sunday, 11 February 2024 16:42 Written by
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