Infamous car nerd Dave Coleman (formerly with Sport Compact Car Magazine, now with Mazda) gives his inside perspective on the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata at the US launch in Los Angeles.
Once the neglected step-child of Rolls Royce, Bentley has found new life under Volkswagen. The first offspring of this relationship is the Continental GT. Now with a V8, the newest version of the GT brings a new level of economy. Ryan takes the new Continental GT V8 S on the open road to see if a $250,000 British supercar is worth all the fuss.
Ryan flys out to West Virginia to test the new 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat at Summit Point Raceway. Just how much power is too much power? Let’s explore that idea…
The Dodge Charger Hellcat features a 707-horsepower 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI V8. It seats four comfortably and has plenty of room for golf bags. Plus, it is capable of up to 204 miles per hour and can do the quarter-mile in 11 seconds. Is this too much power? Base price: $63,995
Ryan drives the new 2015 Hyundai Genesis, a rear-wheel drive sport sedan that’s targeting BMW and Audi. Can Hyundai convince buyers to consider their take on sport luxury? The Genesis features a 311-hp V6 and starts at $38,000 (as tested.)
This is the newest mid-size sedan from Hyundai. Though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the hood as the badge simply says “Genesis.”
Starting at $38,000, the 2015 Genesis Sedan is looking to make inroads against premium brands like Audi and BMW. The ingredients are all there, starting with the standard 3.8-liter V6 engine. It’s good for up to 29 miles to the gallon, thanks to direct injection. And it’s not just efficient, it’s also powerful; boasting 311 peak horsepower. An even more powerful 5-liter V8 is also available, tromping out 420 horses, but that also bumps the price to more than $50,000
The model we’re driving today is nicely equipped with power mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, navigation and an interior befitting a premium sport sedan.
Turn on the engine and you quickly realize, this car doesn’t just look the part – it also sounds the part.
Inside, you’ll find a promising attempt at an upscale interior with the obligatory faux-wood trim, leather-wrapped transmission knob, and a large, high-definition infotainment screen — all standard equipment. The navigation system in particular is very well done. It has a clean design, responds to input quickly, and provides some useful features.
Physical button are just below the screen, providing fast access for the most common functions. Even the Aircon uses traditional switchgear, which is a welcome design choice.
12 volt power and USB ports are directly in front of the shifter. For easy access.
In standard Drive Mode, the Genesis is a competent sedan. Yes, you can also get the Genesis with a 410 horsepower V8, and if you’re into showing off with big numbers, that’s a good choice. However, the V6 in the base model is 400 pound lighter. That lightness makes the base model more agile and more economical. These are two very good things.
Though our test car doesn’t have adaptive suspension (it’s only an option on the 5.0) there is still a sport mode just a push-button away. On the Genesis V6 it improves the steering ratio and also makes the throttle response more abrupt. Small changes that don’t really amount to much in the scheme of things.
Either way, the drive is better than what we’ve come to expect from Hyundai. The cabin is quiet at speed. Steering feel is adequate for the class, and the shocks are nicely damped. If you drove the previous Genesis you’d understand these are no small feats.
It was only when we started to have fun, that we noted a major shortcoming with this Genesis. Even with traction control disabled, it won’t allow the driver the joy of a big smoky, chest beating burnout – let alone a sad attempt at a drift. The software cuts in just before the fun begins. Every time. This is disappointing.
So has Hyundai built a sport sedan competes squarely with luxury rivals, but for thousands less? Absolutely. That said, if you live on the fringes and demand a car that is more willing to let you have your way with it, go ahead and
The Jetta is critically important to Volkswagen as a company, that’s because the Jetta accounts for a quarter of all Volkswagens sold globally. That’s huge. Ryan takes a look at the updated 2015 Jetta SE 1.8T in this review.
This is the modestly updated 2015 Volkswagen Jetta SE. This compact sedan is critically important to Volkswagen because the Jetta accounts for a quarter of all Volkswagens sold globally. That’s huge.
Because of this, changes for 2015 are conservative. Including a new rear decklid. As well as updates to the 1.8-liter turbo. It now puts out up to 37 miles to the gallon on the highway, 25 around town.
Inside, you’ll find a very familiar Volkswagen interior with decent seats, push-button start and a multi-function gauge cluster.
Climate controls consists of nicely appointed dials. Dual-zone is an upper-trim option. Heated seats are standard on the SE. The transmission is a six-speed automatic.
The head unit is very basic on our $20,000 test car. With support for optional XM Radio, CDs and Media players. Both rear-view camera and navigation are costly add-ons.
The Jettas suspension had significant improvements in 2014. So, for 2015 the ride is very much more of the same. Which is to say, quite good.
The 1.8-liter turbo engine provides plenty of pep through the front-wheels. At the same time, providing excellent economy. Making this particular motor the best choice versus the slower 2.0-liter naturally aspirated and 2.0-liter turbo options.
So that’s the 2015 Jetta. It’s a very practical sedan that just keeps getting better.
Ryan drives a pre-production version of the US-Spec Alfa Romeo 4c. Does this car have all the ingredients necessary to call it a supercar?
Priced at $65,000 (as tested) the 4c has a four-cylinder engine with both direct-injection and a turbo charger. Options on this car include: leather-trimmed interior, sport seats, convenience package (cruise control, voice commands, rear parking assist), red brakes, optional red paint (Rosso Competizione) and the sport exhaust system.