If the ninth-generation 2012 Civic was considered a sizeable step back, the tenth-generation 2016 Civic represented two giant steps forward for the nameplate and the entire lineup. The mildly facelifted 2019 Civic expands on that progress by introducing a Sport trim for the sedan that offers a six-speed manual transmission. But don't think of the long, lean four-door as a trunked version of the more expensive Sport hatchback with its more powerful turbocharged engine. The sedan, which Honda describes as "entry-level performance," aims at the hearts of budget-conscious and first-time buyers seeking sedan sobriety leavened by a touch of old-fashioned Honda fun.
Cosmetic changes across the lineup for 2019 introduce a gloss black grille, a wider, more sculpted lower bumper, and repositioned Honda Sensing gear to add symmetry to the lower front intakes. The Sport trim goes without the chrome accents around the front fog lights found on the other four trims — LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. And unlike those other variants, the Sport sedan slots a trapezoidal exhaust finisher into a four-fin, diffuser-like insert. Inside, the instrument binnacle glows with red lighting, the pedals are made of aluminum, it has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and it features the nicer infotainment system with a 7-inch screen (and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration).
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 crossover is the biggest vehicle in the Japanese automaker's lineup, and the only one to offer a third row of seating. It has only one powertrain option, but offers a wide variety of other content across various trim levels. Many folks are drawn to Mazdas for their elegant design, affordability and driving dynamics that are sharper than most, and the CX-9 has all of that to a certain degree even if it's the biggest, most family-oriented one. Still, the CX-9 may be big for a Mazda, but it's one of the smallest in its segment in terms of third-row space and cargo capacity, so it may not be for every family.
Each trim gets a little something new, too. Sport now offers an optional Sport Package, costing $1,290, with heated front seats, a power driver's seat, heated mirrors, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Moving up to the Touring trim, the only other change is a frameless rear-view mirror. The Grand Touring trim gets a new 7-inch info screen in the instrument panel, along with new power-folding side mirrors and a 360-degree camera system. The top-level Signature trim gets new badges, rosewood interior trim, and accent lighting in the grille and around the shifter.
Earlier this year the folks at Bandai Namco announced Taiko Drum Master. This was a new rhythm game designed for the Nintendo Switch, but unfortunately the game seemed to be limited to Japan which meant that unless you knew how to read Japanese, you might have a hard time trying to enjoy the game.
The good news is that if you were looking forward to a Western release, you'll be pleased to learn that Bandai Namco has since announced Taiko No Tatsujin: Drum Session and Drum ‘n' Fun will be arriving on both the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch come 2nd of November, 2018, each with unique features catered to each console.
Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku have uploaded the PV for their song "Sweetest Tabou." onto YouTube.
"Sweetest Tabou." is a track off of the group's latest single "Dekadonden" which dropped on June 6. It's a pop tune written by Nishidera Kota (NONA REEVES) and arranged by Sato Yusuke (Camera=Mannenhitsu). The PV features the members of Ebichu enjoying their time in Hawaii.
Historically, the Toyota Corolla hasn't been associated with words like "interesting," "exciting" or anything resembling enthusiasm, with the obvious exception of the earlier rear-drive models. But the 2019 Corolla Hatchback seems different. It looks aggressive. It's going to be available with a manual. And since Toyota says that being fun-to-drive is the top reason for buying a small hatchback, here's hoping it will indeed be fun. But besides these tidbits, there are other interesting facets to the Corolla Hatchback that we learned while in New York.
It's way stiffer and has a lower center of gravity The new Corolla hatchback is built off of the TNGA modular platform that underpins the Prius, C-HR, Camry and now the RAV4. And one of the big benefits of this chassis is that it's pretty rigid. Toyota says that the new hatch is a full 60 percent more rigid than the current Corolla iM hatchback. The center of gravity has also been lowered by 2 cm. Both of these should help make it a more enjoyable car to drive.