Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport - front
Photo by Mercedes Lilienthal
I generally feel I’m aware of the latest automotive offerings as they hit the market, or even before they come out--whether they’re not small cars. However, while at the Portland International Auto Show this winter, my friend, Tuan, pointed out the latest iteration of the Hyundai Elantra GT. We drove the previous version of Hyundai’s GT hatchback back in 2013, and despite the GT moniker, we found it less than sporty.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ford Will Abandon Most Cars. What's This Say About The Current Small Car Climate?

We've already talked about how Ford is saying Adios to the Fiesta. However, a couple of days ago, we learned FoMoCo is also letting the Focus and Fusion die on the vine in favor of other market segments. What's all this mean? Is this a sign of things to come in North America?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Are Automakers Abandoning the B-Segment?

2018 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan
2018 Chevrolet Sonic
For the last few months, gas prices have been fairly low, certainly under $3 a gallon in most places. And when fuel prices are down and the economy is up, people often forego the small cars and opt for trucks, SUVs, and big sedans. We get it: You’ve got money in your pocket and are willing to spend.
But keep in mind, it wasn’t that long ago that fuel prices were over $4 a gallon, the economy was climbing out of the ooze, and people were buying small cars. They were better on fuel, cheaper to purchase, and less expensive to operate. But American car buyers have short memories and auto manufacturers would much rather reap the big profits of big cars and trucks. I get it -- it’s a business. I also understand that large cars and trucks are a status symbol. No one looks at you like a baller in a Mitsubishi Mirage. Ask me how I know. Ask me if I care.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Review: 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid

Hyundai, a Korean manufacturer known for its comfortable and solidly built cruisers, has now entered the plug-in hybrid game. The all-new Ioniq four-door plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is their answer to the similarly operated Chevy Volt. This model is in addition to the 2017 regular hybrid and pure electric versions. It’s the first time an auto manufacturer released a single model available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric runabout. We’ve had a chance to drive this vehicle for a week, so we’ll share our good, our great, and our could-be-improved opinions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Plans for The Rage (aka our 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage)

We've now had our 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage about six months, and frankly we dig it. It's simple, economical, the prefect size, and different. But we have plans to turn the Mirage into a ragin' subcompact. It won't stay stock.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: 2018 Toyota CH-R XLE

2018 Toyota CH-R front

Some cars answer a question that nobody asked. The CH-R might be one of those vehicles. This makes me wonder, what would the question be? Maybe it's, where are all the funky-styled front-drive crossovers? Or perhaps, do you really need good rear visibility? We know it has to involve bringing teal back, however.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Manual Mania: Why I'm a Stick Shift Die-Hard

The car I learned to drive on - a 1979 VW Rabbit diesel
This is the car I learned to drive stick shift on: a diesel-powered 1979 VW Rabbit.
 “Why do you drive a stick-shift (aka: manual-transmission) car? Isn’t it a pain in the butt?” Yes, it's 2018, and some people still do enjoy driving a car with a manual transmission.

People may ponder if it’s the control factor, the fun factor, fuel savings or just simplicity. Perhaps, it's owning the ultimate millennial theft deterrent? To us, it’s all of the above. My humble opinion? Stick shifts are where they’re at.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Subcompact Surprise: 2019 Hyundai Veloster

2019 Hyundai Veloster N NAIAS
Photo courtesy of Exploring Elements
Well looky here: Hyundai has debuted the all-new 2019 Veloster at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. OK, that's not really that much of a surprise. However, the promise of a 275 hp Veloster is. Let's see what Hyundai has in store for the little hatchback.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2017 Subcompact Sales Summary

2017 Kia Soul

Here's 2017's subcompact/small car sales info. There were a lot of big drops in sales vs. 2016, likely due to low fuel prices as well as a strong economy. And while both of those things are good for the U.S., they're not good for small car sales.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Doug DeMuro Doesn't Like the Mitsubishi Mirage. We Do. Here's Why.

Doug DeMuro Mitsubishi Mirage
Doug DeMuro on why the Mitsubishi Mirage is the worst new car on sale today. 
Maybe you've seen the 22 minute video that Doug DeMuro made about the Mitsubishi Mirage and why he says it's "the worst new car on sale." Hey, we're all entitled to our opinions, right? Personally, I found the video tedious to watch as Doug goes into infinitesimal detail about how cheap the car is, down to the color on the interior door lock mechanism. He makes more noise about the car's shortcomings than the the Mirage's CVT at full throttle. Doug can have his opinions, and I'm OK with that—really I am. However, I'd like to point a few things out.