2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Test Drive By Car Critic Steve Hammes.
Petite, powerful & pretty. The most lusted after car in its class.
So this Giulia is pretty much what you imagine a racy, Italian sedan to be: bold, boisterous and perhaps, a little high maintenance. New for 2020 there’s an improved touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and enhanced performance pages, a host of connectivity features including WiFi and a mobile app that allows you to control certain car functions, the addition of modern driver assistance features such as the semi-autonomous highway assist and traffic jam assist which do some of the driving for you in select situations, a center console with larger cupholders and increased storage, a wireless charge pad and an updated carbon fiber steering wheel design. It’s not a major update by any stretch but it does address the Giulia’s most pronounced shortcomings making it a more complete luxury sports car. You’re not getting the immersive, light, sound, smell and graphics show the Germans are flaunting these days but you are getting enough high-end convenience, comfort and safety features to make this much more of an attractive buy. Plus, this car drives like it was born to dominate. Close your eyes and listen to it go by and you might think it’s race day at the track.
2021 KIA SORENTO FIRST LOOK BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. A 3-row family vehicle, the Sorento is offered with optional 2nd row captain’s chairs for either 6- or 7-passenger seating. Kia says the redesigned model provides more interior flexibility with improved legroom and cargo room. The platform it’s built upon is lighter and stronger, affording improved driving dynamics, including acceleration and ride and handling. An available full digital gauge cluster, Connected Routing for real-time navigation that can predict upcoming traffic, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration, and enhanced voice controls highlight the tech improvements. A new feature called Last Mile Navigation even provides walking directions to the driver’s final destination if the vehicle is parked within a 1.2 mile radius and the Find My Car feature uses the Sorento’s cameras to capture pictures of the car and its surroundings which are then accessible via the UVO app. All very cool stuff. And the depth of new driver assistance features is off the charts…if you get into an accident with this Sorento you’ll have no one to blame but the man in the mirror.
About the powertrain options; it starts with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder paired to a traditional 8-speed automatic making 191 horsepower, then a turbocharged version of that motor hooked up to a 8-speed dual clutch transmission producing 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Moving up, there’s a front-wheel drive only, gas-electric hybrid rated at 37mpg in mixed driving and finally an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid with an estimated 30 mile all-electric range. Kia’s optional all-wheel drive system uses torque-vectoring and a center-locking differential to give added power to the rear wheels when needed.
The X-Line SX-Prestige gets the off-road look with exclusive bumpers, unique 20” wheels and bridge-type roof rack to complement its 1” increase in ride height, standard all-wheel drive and hill decent control. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date near the end of 2020.
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look By Car Critic Steve Hammes. 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Following the recently released off-road oriented Super Duty Tremor comes a Tremor package for Ford’s smallest pickup. When equipped with the Tremor Off-Road Package, the 2021 Ford Ranger gives customers a truck with even more capability, taking it several notches beyond the already-capable FX4 Package. A lifted suspension provides nearly another inch of ground clearance which combined with the new 32” Grabber tires improves the Ranger’s off-road metrics for tackling tougher angles. FOX shocks with external reservoirs at the rear and hydraulic rebound stops keep things comfortable even over severe terrain. A steel front bash plate, skid plates, 2 new recovery hooks in the rear, a locking rear differential and Terrain Management System round out the package. Even the traction control system has been recalibrated for improved acceleration while driving on loose surfaces. Inside, you’ll find a bank of auxiliary power switches to control accessories such as a winch and lights and special Tremor accented seats. Powered by a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo producing 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the Tremor Off-Road Package is priced at $4,290 and is available on XLT and Lariat grades in the SuperCrew 4X4 configuration.
2020 MERCEDES AMG CLA45 TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. One of the most affordable AMG models has just been redesigned and it’s a live wire with tons of boost and a youthful spirit. This is the CLA 45
Here’s what you need to know. The CLA is all about big turbo punch and road feel. This is one of, if not the, stiffest rides you can buy regardless of drive mode. It’s going to shove you into your seat and take off like a rocket but in a very controlled way. But you’ve got to love the turbo life and not be offended by a nearly brittle ride and lots of tire noise. If you’re ok with that the CLA is going to deliver on fun. Whatever you do though don’t pass on these Recaro seats; they are perfect.
2020 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA RF QUICK TAKES TESTDRIVENOW.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is offered in a soft top as well as in a RF – retractable fastback – configuration. The MX-5 RF can open or close its roof in a remarkable 13 seconds; providing the look and feel of both a sporty coupe and an iconic convertible. It’s now available in Mazda’s new Polymetal Gray exterior color.