As Americans downsize their vehicles to get better fuel economy and fit on increasingly congested urban streets, automakers have met the demand with a range of small SUVs. Unlike the lumbering beasts of the '90s, these little SUVs use independent suspensions to improve ride comfort and new technologies to aggressively pursue better fuel economy. Versatile seating means these vehicles can seat five or haul large amounts of cargo.… Read more
I am one of those traditionalists who believes a coupe should only have two doors, yet after driving the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe, I don't care how many doors this sleek bit of German automotive engineering sports. The car is such an excellent example of tech used well that our staff could find very little worth criticizing.
In its various comfort settings, the 640i Gran Coupe cruises along in luxury, treating passengers to massage seats, fine materials in the cabin, and delicious sound quality from a Bang & Olufsen audio system. Push a couple of buttons, and suddenly … Read more
Toyota has had an excellent run with the Prius, making it the most popular hybrid in the country. Now Ford will attempt to supplant the Prius' position with the new C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi, dedicated hybrids that can boast similar specs.
The Prius faced competition from the Honda Insight previously, and handily trashed it, so Ford will be challenging a tested competitor. Previously, Ford put its Fusion Hybrid up against the Toyota Camry Hybrid, but this is the first time Ford has brought out a dedicated hybrid, a characteristic that has helped the Prius maintain its position.… Read more
Short on revenue but a beat on profit -- bottom line: Wall Street liked what it heard from Tesla about its second quarter.
The luxury electric car maker posted a non-GAAP loss of $93 million, or $0.89 per share, 3 cents better than Wall Street expected, on $27 million in sales during the second quarter. The consensus revenue estimate was $30.9 million.
The loss was slightly better than expectations, though the sales figure came in light as analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 93 cents a share on revenue of $30.7 million. Tesla also … Read more
We knew that the handsome Mazda Takeri concept that debuted at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show was an indicator of the direction that Mazda would be taking with its Mazda6 sedan. Now, after a handful of teaser videos released to YouTube, the automaker has finally given us a clear look at exactly how close the concept is to production with a handful of photos of the production 2014 Mazda6's front end.
The 2014 Mazda6 will be the third model in the automaker's lineup to wear the SkyActiv badge and to be powered by the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G direct-injected … Read more
Kia has radically restyled its model lineup over the last five years, coming up with a consistent look for everything from SUVs to compact hatches. Renderings of the next-generation Forte (to be called the K3 in Korea) show further evolution of Kia's design language, which should point the way for other Kia models.
With its lack of door handles and side mirrors, the front and rear renderings show a model that greatly resembles a concept car. These necessities will surely be added by the time the new Forte makes a public appearance. Current Kia design traits, such as the tiger nose grille, are present in this design.… Read more
When many people think Jaguar, they think of slippery British sports cars lead by long, flowing hoods. They think of the E-Type: one of the most beautiful cars ever built. However, maybe more people probably think of the awkward S-Type and the questionable reliability of just about every Jaguar model built before the turn of the century. Clearly, Jaguar has some work to do to improve its reputation.
Recently, I was given an opportunity to experience the automaker's latest reputation repair tool: an 18-city Jaguar Alive Driving Experience program that allows the public to try out the automaker's … Read more
The buzz around the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sister-ships has been very strong, yet the FR-S CNET tested met the hype. Driving the FR-S is one of the more sublime experiences you can have in a car.
Rear-wheel drive and a very mechanical feeling, precise six-speed manual transmission contribute to the sports car attributes, and the engine uses a direct injection system that helps it output 100 horsepower per liter, pretty good for natural aspiration. However, the power feels a little flat until you are up at 6,000rpm. The FR-S won't win any drag races, so don'… Read more
At this year's CES, Harman International's Aha announced a partnership with Honda. Today Honda hosted a conference showing how that partnership would play out with a new service called HondaLink. This new connected service will let drivers listen to a variety of Internet-based stations, featuring everything from Slacker radio to Yelp listings of nearby restaurants.… Read more
Some compact cars offer Eco buttons and fewer have Sport modes. The Juke not only has both, but makes these settings more comprehensive than any other car in its class.
The car's D-Mode (which does a very techie-cool swap with the climate controls) includes a color display that shows the different features for each setting. For example, Eco mode not only detunes the throttle, but runs the air conditioning on lower power. Sport mode affects not only the engine and transmission, but also the power steering.
These D-Mode settings are made possible in part by the Juke's advanced … Read more