There are pickup trucks and then there are pickup trucks. I’m talking about ones with dual rear wheels, diesel engines that push up to 1,000 pound-feet of torque and that can tow over 33,000 pounds. Well, that’s exactly the resume of this all-new Ram 3500 Heavy Duty. And on top of that, it can be optioned like a luxury sedan.
The 3500 is the biggest, most capable truck that Ram sells and for 2019 it brings with it many of the polished innovations first seen on the all-new 1500; fusing the brawniest mechanical elements with those of a luxury rig. Like all trucks, Ram’s Heavy Duty series can be configured in a multitude of cab, box and engine layouts in both 2500 and 3500 payload capacities. But they don’t get any bigger than this one – the 3500 Mega Cab 4X4 dually weighing over 4 tons and measuring 21’ long with a 6’4” box. Payload: 5,420 pounds. Max Trailer Weight Rating: 33,020 pounds, thanks to the twisting force of Ram’s newest high output turbo. The 3500 Laramie 4X4 Mega Cab starts at about $55,000 and totals $83,670 as-tested. Made in Mexico, this new Heavy Duty is for the ranch or business owner who doesn’t sacrifice comfort for capability.
Much like Jeep, the iconic G-Wagan has evolved over the past 4 decades from a utilitarian, military-spec 4-wheeler to the top rung of Mercedes’ luxurious SUV lineup. And it’s been redesigned this year with a more grandiose personality and of course more earth scorching power. This is the new G 63 Edition 1. Its coolness factor is off the charts. Its cult status decidedly secured. But now there’s a newfound pragmatism to Benz’s most ludicrous vehicle that makes it even more desirable.
Just when the Kona thought it had the small end of Hyundai’s SUV lineup all to itself in comes its just born little sibling; the all-new 2020 Venue.
This entry-level utility vehicle gives Hyundai a total of 7 from which to choose and the Venue will be the most affordable when it arrives at dealerships this fall. Hyundai says this one is “for those constantly on-the-go”, accommodating busy lifestyles in a fast-paced urban environment.
Knowing fuel economy is an important consideration for customers in this segment, the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is estimated to deliver up to 33mpg in combined driving mated to either Hyundai’s excellent CVT or even a 6-speed manual – both driving the front wheels. No all-wheel drive option here.
Providing interior volume not too dissimilar from the Kona, the cabin has been designed for “adequate space for the versatile urban commuter, making it an ideal alternative to a subcompact car, according to Hyundai.
And because it’s Hyundai you know they won’t skimp on “stuff” and indeed a suite of advanced safety features, connectivity and multimedia systems are offered.
Affordable, fun and frugal; the GLI has been fitting that bill now for a number of years. And even though this model is all-new the GLI continues to deliver on that heritage. Getting into a VW is like going to visit your grandparents; familiar, welcoming, but kind of stuck in time. You know exactly what you’re going to get and that’s not necessarily a criticism because VW’s formula for building fun to drive cars simply works. The GLI still offers a stick shift and it’s as easy as Sunday morning, the flat cowl provides excellent forward visibility and the turbo adds zip. It’s not groundbreaking stuff but put it all together and it just feels right. Spacious, efficient, reasonably priced and dialed in the GLI is the right Jetta for the driver who wants a little more.
If you’re not famous but seek instant rock star status this car can get you there without ever learning a chord. It’s the BMW i8 and it’s one of the most magnetizing cars I’ve ever driven, now available in top-down style.
The i8 Roadster isn’t a car that needs to be driven hard to be enjoyed.
This top of the line i8 Roadster Tera World Copper with everything as standard is priced at $166,795 and qualifies for a $5,700 Federal Tax Credit. 5 years after its release the wow factor is still off the charts and the i8 continues to strut an eco-friendly sport-car future.