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Archive for the ‘First Drive’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Better late than never, Atlas gives VW a solid entry in SUV battle.

by on Apr.23, 2019

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas gives the automaker a strong contender in the highly competitive SUV segment.

Utility vehicles are a stretch for any number of automakers and while Volkswagen has made and pioneered any number of vehicles styles during its history it was a bit slow of coming around to developing one of the perennial favorites of the of the U.S. – the midsized SUV.

However, Volkswagen of America has come around and the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is a very solid entry into what has now become a crowded and very competitive field where manufacturers are going all out to win over customers with attractive new vehicles.

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The Atlas, as its name suggests, is solid, roomy, loaded with new technology and three rows of seating. Moreover, the powertrain does well under different conditions and has more than enough power to handle everyday chores such as commuting and running errands that include hauling extra passengers and or gear and cargo. (more…)

Lincoln Corsair: a Small SUV with a Big Role to Play

Plug-in and full battery-electric models now in the works.

by on Apr.17, 2019

The 2020 Lincoln Corsair breaks cover in NY.

Check the dictionary and you’ll find a variety of different meanings for the word, “corsair.” It can be used to describe a pirate ship, as well as a World War II fighter plane, though Joy Falotico prefers the Latin definition, “journey,” or “course.”

That would seem more appropriate for Lincoln, the brand Falotico runs, because the Corsair is the newest in a series of recent models that are starting to put the luxury marque back on track after years of struggle.

Auto Show News!

Replacing the old Lincoln MKC, and making its debut at this week’s New York International Auto Show, the Corsair gets a complete new look, a lot more upscale features and, about a year from introduction, it will also add a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain – with Lincoln likely to also add an all-electric version soon afterwards, Falotico told TheDetroitBureau.com during a conversation in New York ahead of Corsair’s official NYIAS debut.

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First Drive: 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab

Stylish looks with ample power and comfort — a recipe for success.

by on Apr.16, 2019

The Chevy Colorado Z71 offers a do-it-all vehicle in a growing and competitive segment.

Even with the car business facing some stiffening headwinds, trucks are still going strong and manufacturers are driving interest the segment with new models.

For example, the Chevrolet Colorado has been vital to the growth of the midsized truck market, which has expanded recently, prompting manufacturers to tinker with variants such as the one I drove recently.

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The 2019 Colorado Z71 Crew Cab Short Box with four-wheel drive has a bold presence and plenty of curb appeal as well as a spirited powertrain as well as the ground clearance to ride confidently on dirt roads or even off road. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

An impressive blend of panache and performance.

by on Apr.09, 2019

The high-performance Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio should turn heads and change perceptions about the Italian brand in the U.S.

Judging from the less than overwhelming reception it has received since the brand was brought back to the United States by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., Alfa Romeo vehicles are likely to be something of an acquired taste for American motorists.

But there is a lot to like in the Alfa Romeo line-up, starting with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio with all-wheel drive – a utility vehicles with a great deal of style and panache that sets it apart from the very crowded competitive set of premium mid-sized SUVs.

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In fact, the exterior silhouette of the Stelvio has done the entire industry a favor by re-defining the appearance of utility vehicles. On the outside, the Stelvio is lower, sleeker and brings elements of sports-car design, which are the foundation of Alfa Romeo’s historic identity, into a unique and distinctive package. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Audi A6

Impressive design and stellar performance.

by on Apr.05, 2019

The 2019 Audi A6 features impressive exterior styling with powerful performance.

The sales numbers don’t lie.

Sedans are going out of style or at least out of favor with consumers. But after driving the Audi A6 sedan with its nicely balanced blend of technology, power, comfort, luxury and handsome design, anyone with an appreciation of automotive hardware is left to wonder about what drivers the prevailing market trends.

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For starters, the exterior styling of the A6 endows the car with instant curb appeal. It looks good standing but also in motion with a blend of traditional Audi design cues, starting with the emblematic four rings as well as a new design “language,” for lack of a better word, that first showed up on Audi concept cars and other cars in its current product portfolio such as the Audi A8 and the Audio A7. (more…)

First Drive: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Far more than just a Wrangler with a bed.

by on Apr.01, 2019

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon has 11" ground clearance and can handle 30" of water.

“Sunny California” hasn’t been nearly as bright blue as normal during the last few months, with record rainfall across the state and even some snow down in the Los Angeles hills.

Up here in Healdsburg, in the center of Napa Valley wine country, farm fields are waterlogged, dirt roads turning to gooey mud. While not everyone might be pleased, these are the perfect conditions for testing out the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

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There was a time when pickups were a regular option in the Jeep line-up, starting with a version of the classic, post-World War II CJ model. From 1945 to 1968, in fact, trucks made up about 40% of the CJ’s production run, about 200,000 in all. (more…)

Jeep Plans One Day Sale of Gladiator Launch Edition – and Will Give One Buyer a Year’s Pay to Play

“Go anywhere and live out your dreams,” says brand’s marketing chief.

by on Apr.01, 2019

Jeep hopes to sell 4,190 Gladiator Launch Editions.

With its first pickup in 27 years getting ready to roll into showrooms, Jeep said it will offer a special Launch Edition of the new Gladiator, but only for 24 hours, starting at 12:01 AM on April 4th – what is also known as “4x4 Day.”

The Launch Edition will be a fully loaded version of the off-road Jeep Gladiator Rubicon model and it will carry a steep price tag of $60,815. But to ease the bite – at least for one lucky customer – Jeep will give them “a year’s salary to go anywhere and live out their dreams,” said Scott Tallon, the brand’s marketing manager.

Keep on Trucking!

All told, Jeep will offer a maximum 4,190 of the Gladiator Launch Edition models – a reference to the 419 area code for Toledo, Ohio, where all of the pickups will be assembled.

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Kia Uncovers Two New SUV Concepts at Seoul Motor Show

Expect production models to follow.

by on Mar.28, 2019

Kia isn't saying what it will call the production version of its sub-Sportage, Signature Concept.

Better late than never, Kia is racing to catch up to key competitors by adding a flood of new sport-utility vehicles to its line-up, and its giving a hint of what’s coming with two SUVs concepts making their debut at this week’s Seoul Motor Show.

The two bookend Kia’s future utility line-up, the Masterpiece hinting at a large SUV with serious off-road capabilities, while the Signature suggests where Kia will be heading with a compact urban crossover.

Product News!

“While each of the concepts hint at the direction Kia’s designers could take in future, each also illustrates different elements of the brand’s future model strategy (in terms of) in terms of design, layout and use of technology,” the automaker said in a statement previewing the debut of the two new utility vehicles.

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First Drive: 2019 Mazda3

Blend of power, handling and comfort make it a segment leader.

by on Mar.26, 2019

The new 2019 Mazda3 confirms the brand's leadership position within the small car segment.

Small cars or relatively small vehicles remain a fundamental part of the car business and some companies are just better at making them just as some basketball players are better shooting from beyond the three-point line.

Mazda has long been one of the companies that seems to have the right touch for building successful small cars that earn loyal fans and critical praise. So, the debut of the 2019 Mazda3 sedan and Mazda3 hatchback subcompacts are noteworthy events especially at time when Americans seem to prefer larger sport-utility vehicles.

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Moreover, Mazda’s key Japanese rivals have stated publicly, there is plenty of space in a sprawling U.S. car market for small cars. (more…)

First Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride

Automaker expands into a new segment.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Kia is playing catch up when it comes to its sport-utility line-up. The new Telluride is a big move in that direction.

With the introduction of the 2020 Kia Telluride, the South Korean automaker is moving into a whole new arena.

Kia has succeeded over the year in building its reputation as a challenger brand by building well-designed cars while earning plaudits for quality and winning customers with its economical pricing.

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With the introduction of 2020 Telluride, Kia, which also has shown an opportunistic willingness to take chances, is moving upscale into what has become perhaps the single most competitive space the car business today – the midsized sport utility segment.  (more…)