Friday, February 24, 2017

New Ford Fiesta ST Loses a Cylinder, Gains Performance

2017 Ford Fiesta ST - Europe

Ford has debuted its next-generation Fiesta ST, or as it's affectionately known, the FiST. The new FiST will come with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine—down one piston from the last iteration. However, power is reported to be 200 PS, which translates to 197 hp, the same as it is now. Torque is going up to 290 Nm (214 lbs/ft) from 202 lbs/ft. Ford is anticipating a 0-62 time of 6.7 seconds.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

High Performance Yaris GRMN to Get Supercharged 1.8-Liter Engine

Toyota Yaris GRMN

Word is out that the upcoming Yaris hot hatch will actually be powered by a supercharged 1.8-liter engine and will make 210 horsepower vs the previously reported turbocharged 1.6-liter mill.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: 2017 Kia Sportage SX FWD

2017 Kia Sportage SX FWD

Who buys an FWD crossover? People who don't need AWD, that's who. And this 240 hp Kia Sportage SX is surprisingly fun, luxurious, and fast. It's quite good and quite entertaining. Read more over at Crankshaft Culture.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

One Day, Three Test Drives: Driving the Models We Missed

Fiat 500 Abarth Interior

While we get to drive a host of new cars, many aren't necessarily the spec, we'd personally buy. Sometimes we want a lower trim level, a different engine, and always the manual transmission option. So every now and then my curiosity takes me to a dealership to seek out some of these vehicles. Yesterday was one of those days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Smart to Drop Gas-Powered Fortwo, Will Sell Only EVs in North America


Smart has decided to pull the plug on its gas-powered Fortwo in the U.S., and has decided to only sell its  Smart Electric Coupe instead.

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's not a Tracker, it's a Traka!

Range Rover Traka

So what exactly are we looking at? This is a Traka conversion, which is based off of a Land Rover. Its 4WD. It has a Rover V8. It's got to be a hoot an a half.

This one belongs to Mule Expedition Outfitters in Issaquah, WA. It's pretty freaking amazing. You can read all about it at Crankshaft Culture. Do it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

January 2017 Subcompact Car Sales

2017 Toyota Yaris - Subcompact Culture

The first month's sales of subcompact cars is done and gone, and we have the results here.

Surprisingly, the sales were pretty good overall. The Toyota Yaris is at the top of the year vs. year heap selling quite a few more than last year. It is joined by the MINI Countryman, MINI Cooper Clubman, and BMW i3 for triple-digit increases. Granted, the total amount sold of the four is just less than the Ford Fiesta's overall sales. That being said, impressive improvement over January, 2016.

At the bottom of the list, unsurprisingly, is the Fiat 500L, down 70% from January 2016. And yes, Fiat moved just 106 units—about three units per day nationwide. Not so good. Joining the 500L at the bottom are the four- and two-door MINI Coopers, which are not off to a good start for the year. Together, the bottom three sold just over the total amount of Fiat 500 models moved in January. Interesting.

2017 Jeep Renegade - Subcompact Culture

The biggest seller of January was the Jeep Renegade, which simply crushed it selling 9,365 units—even more than the perennially hot-selling Nissan Versa or Kia Soul. Well done, FCA. Well done.

In other news, we've dropped the Honda CR-Z from the list, since it's not being sold as a 2017. We have added the Chevrolet bolt which moved a healthy 1,162 electrified units.

Make/Model%2016 vs 2017 YTD
Toyota Yaris Liftback142.71330
MINI Countyman122.61122
MINI Cooper /S Clubman112.3588
BMW i3109.9382
Mazda MX-5 Miata65.9929
Hyundai Accent53.04159
Jeep Renegade52.09365
Chevolet Spark51.21695
Chevrolet Trax40.35257
Ford Fiesta39.63575
Honda HR-V36.25689
Mitsubishi Mirage36.11311
Fiat 50024.01218
Hyundai Veloster20.22699
Nissan Versa10.88870
Buick Encore6.95258
Toyota Yaris iA6.01951
Honda Fit -0.53078
Nissan Juke-13.61304
Mazda CX-3-14.01184
Kia Soul-15.27792
Smart Fortwo-18.8324
Kia Rio-31.0986
Toyota Prius c-35.21143
Fiat 500X-42.0600
Chevrolet Sonic-43.02095
MINI Cooper /S Hardtop 2 Dr-46.1656
MINI Cooper /S Hardtop 4 Dr-61.6473
Fiat 500L-70.0106
MINI Cooper /S Convertiblena270
Fiat Spiderna240
Chevrolet Boltna1162

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Snow Day Review: 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL AWC

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

We've driven the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport compact crossover a number of time including in 2011 and in 2013. Back then, they had the anemic 2.0-liter engine. The recently restyled 2017 we tested had the more powerful 2.4-liter mill. Oh, we also ended up putting AWD CUV to the test in a 40-year snow storm in Portland. However, that's not the whole story.

Read the full review over at Crankshaft Culture.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Small Cars from the 2017 Portland International Auto Show

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV at the 2017 Portland International Auto Show
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Words by Andy Lilienthal, Photos by Mercedes Lilienthal

It's that time of year again in Portland, when many of the latest makes and models head to the Oregon Convention Center for the 2017 Portland International Auto Show, held January 26–29. While '17 isn't shaping up to be a highly anticipated small car year, there were some cool—and new—small cars on display.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Kei Campervans from Japan

kei car campervan

You have kei car. You have a van.
Uh! Kei car van.

You have a kei car. you have a campervan.
Uh! Kei car campervan.

Kei car van kei campervan.

Read more at Crankshaft Culture...