2021 Mazda Cx-5 Review | Prices, Specs, Features And Photos

2021 Mazda CX-5 Review | Prices, specs, features and photos

If you're looking for a compact luxury SUV but are iffy about the higher price tags and running costs (quite understandably), the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a perfect alternative. It all starts with its elegantly sporty styling and carries inside where its handsome design and plush materials are a clear step up from others at its price point. Then, when you're behind the wheel, the CX-5 impresses with engaging driving manners that we've routinely described as being indicative of a "budget Porsche." Its available turbocharged engine even has as much or more power as several similarly sized luxury crossovers.

Now, if the CX-5 can be credibly considered an alternative to luxury vehicles, it's safe to say that it also stands tall against non-luxury choices like the popular Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Certainly, its style, plush interior and driving manners count for a lot. It also gets a new infortainment system for 2021, addressing one of this Mazda's few low points. It's still smaller than those top competitors, particularly in the cargo area, so if max utility and versatility are a priority, it may not be the best choice. Fashion and function rarely go hand-in-hand, and the CX-5 is no exception.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Review | Price, specs, features and photos

Few vehicles define a segment quite as clearly as the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. Before it came along nine years and one generation ago, there really weren't any subcompact crossovers. Today, competitors like the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Jeep Renegade keep popping out. Unlike those, though, the Crosstrek continues to basically be an Impreza hatchback with a 3.6-inch suspension lift, some black body cladding and chunky roof rails. It's a recipe that also continues to work. 

Despite sharing a chassis with the definitely-not-a-crossover Impreza, the Crosstrek still manages to offer class-leading ground clearance with a correspondingly tall seating position and good visibility, multiple driving modes geared toward inclement weather and dirt roads, and a reasonably sized cargo area — you know, the kinds of things that small crossover buyers will actually use and appreciate. And like nearly all other Subarus, the Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive. It now offers a choice of three powertrains (including a plug-in hybrid) and may very well be the best buy in its segment.

2021 Toyota Venza Review | Price, Features, Specs And Photos

2021 Toyota Venza Review | Price, features, specs and photos

The 2021 Toyota Venza is a new, hybrid-only crossover that doesn't share much of anything with its predecessor save for the name. It does, however, share an awful lot with the RAV4 Hybrid, including its powertrain and underlying platform. However, the Venza is distinctive enough in style, features and refinement to appeal to different audiences – and command a higher price. 

Toyota took the Venza further upmarket in a bid to appeal to those who want a more refined crossover, but still want the efficiency of a hybrid vehicle. If you go for the top trim, the Venza is encroaching on entry-level Lexus territory with its design and materials. No RAV4 can say the same. It deviates from the competitive set, too. Where other midsize crossovers aim for sportiness and style, the Venza aims for good fuel economy and style. So even though Toyota is using a more traditional body style than the original hatchback/wagon/SUV/other Venza, the new one is still sticking its neck out hoping that it can find buyers who care more about saving fuel than 0-60 mph times. When it comes to crossovers, we think that's a fair bet to make.

2021 Mazda Cx-30 Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos

2021 Mazda CX-30 Review | Price, specs, features and photos

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is one of those cars that can be considered an alternative to a variety of segments. It provides a higher seating position than compact hatchbacks like the Mazda3, with which it's nearly identical under the skin. It's smaller than bigger, pricier compact SUVs like Mazda's CX-5 or the Honda CR-V, yet it's also more spacious and refined than subcompact models like the Hyundai Kona. Meanwhile, its ritzy interior, sleek styling and budget-Porsche driving dynamics mean you can legitimately cross-shop it with luxury models like the Audi Q3, BMW X2 and Mercedes GLA.

Actually, not only can you cross-shop it with those, we think it's a much smarter purchase. The CX-30 was one of the most compelling new cars introduced last year, and it gets even better for 2021 thanks to the introduction of the new 2.5 Turbo model. It's still not vice free, though: The tech interface isn't ideal for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and we aren't alone in thinking that the huge plastic wheel arches look cheap rather than evoking some sort of Subaru-like off-road cred. Yet taken as a whole, this in-betweener alternative should make sense for a lot of buyers, no matter which type of car or SUV they initially started looking for.

2021 Honda Civic Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos

2021 Honda Civic Review | Price, specs, features and photos

Cue up Semisonic, it's closing time for the current-generation Honda Civic. It sure had a good run, though, as it managed to get back all the mojo that had been lost with its underwhelming and barely competitive predecessor. Available in sedan, hatchback and now-discontinued coupe body styles, along with the Civic Si and Civic Type R performance models, Honda's definitive compact car returned to its status as a segment leader.

That's still the case for the 2021 Honda Civic despite the fact that it's about to be replaced. It remains spacious for the segment and boasts a clever, functional interior. The driving experience is refined with nicely balanced ride and handling, while the available turbocharged engine upgrade provides class-leading acceleration and fuel economy. There's also the matter of Honda's low ownership costs and high retained value. Now, the Civic does show its age with its frustrating infotainment and safety technologies, as well as its interior's materials quality and design (especially compared to the Mazda3 and Nissan Sentra). We also never warmed to the busy, vent-riddled styling (the Honda Insight hybrid manages to be much prettier despite sharing the same bones). Though we know very little about the next-generation Civic, we do expect these issues to be addressed.

2020 Nissan 370z 50th Anniversary Drivers' Notes Review | Adding Some Stickers

2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Drivers' Notes Review | Adding some stickers

The 2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition is a last-gasp effort at making the old 370Z as relevant as it can be today. Mechanically, the special edition is the same as a 370Z in Sport trim. That means it has the limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes and Rays 19-inch forged wheels. A 3.7-liter V6 with 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque is under the hood, and our tester is equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. Nissan is channeling its historic Z car past with this special edition car, specifically, it's celebrating the 1969 Nissan 240Z and the #46 BRE 240Z of the SCCA National Championship years.

Two choices are available for the 50th Anniversary Edition car: White/Red, or Silver/Black. One of the Silver/Black 370Zs showed up to our offices, and while we may prefer the White/Red look in photos, this 370Z still managed to stop us in our tracks. The package for the special edition itself is $2,600 on top of the base car and includes the following exterior appearance treatments: an anniversary side marker decal, exterior graphics, 50th Anniversary badging and red wheel accents. The interior adds things like a 50th Anniversary tachometer, special kick plates, leather seats with suede inserts, unique stitching, suede door panel inserts, a suede/leather combination steering wheel and a leather-wrapped shift knob. Equipment additions include a power driver's seat and heated seats. Our tester had unique 50th Anniversary floor mats added in for an additional $290, bringing the grand total to $37,605. 

2020 Acura Nsx Road Test Review

2020 Acura NSX Road Test review

The 2020 Acura NSX is the kind of car you're pumped to drive. You think about it the night before. You read up on it. You tell your friends and family. You notice passers-by admiring it in the driveway. They try to be sly. Some gawk. There's anticipation.

But is there satisfaction? The NSX immediately raises two questions. Where does it fit among its contemporaries and does it measure up to its legendary predecessor?

Abe Calls For National Security-framework Review

Abe calls for national security-framework review

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says the government will carry out a thorough review of national security strategy, including missile defense.

Former defense minister Onodera Itsunori heads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's national security panel. He visited Abe on Tuesday to present a proposal on missile defense formulated by the party.

Pro Baseball, Soccer To Review Virus Responses

Pro baseball, soccer to review virus responses

Experts on infectious diseases have asked officials of Japan's pro baseball and soccer leagues to review how they will deal with any coronavirus cases among players or staff.

A joint taskforce of the organizers of the two sports held talks on Monday.

2021 Subaru Ascent Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos

2021 Subaru Ascent Review | Price, specs, features and photos

The 2021 Subaru Ascent doesn't really stand above and beyond the crowded field of three-row family crossovers. There are those that make a bolder statement outside, that are more luxurious inside and that are better to drive. Some are even more spacious or versatile. Frankly, it's hard not to point you towards a Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade or Toyota Highlander instead.

However, the Ascent really isn't for the general three-row crossover-buying population. It's for Subaru's fiercely loyal customers, and specifically the great many who outgrow their Foresters and Outbacks. Previously, if they needed more space and/or seats, they were forced to abandon the brand that A) they were used to, and B) catered to their specific requirements that often involve outdoorsy adventures. With the Ascent, they get that extra space but it comes with the same 8.7 inches of ground clearance and beefy roof rails, an awfully familiar driving experience, and the cabin puts the same emphasis on no-nonsense, user-friendly controls. The Ascent even looks like an Outback, albeit a gigantic one. So although the Ascent isn't for everyone, it should be just right for those already onboard the good ship Subaru.

1999 Honda Prelude Type Sh Review | Retro First Drive, What It's Like To Drive, Pricing

1999 Honda Prelude Type SH Review | Retro first drive, what it's like to drive, pricing

Autoblog wasn't around for the literal first drive review, but as they say, it's better late than never. Take a trip down memory lane in our latest retro first drive.

 "Designed to be an aggressive sports coupe with superior handling, the Prelude is intended to appeal to drivers who will appreciate its high level of performance and refinement," the press release for the 1997 Honda Prelude reads.

2021 Honda Pilot Review | Price, Features, Specs And Photos

2021 Honda Pilot Review | Price, features, specs and photos

The 2021 Honda Pilot carries over the same generation that dates back five years now, making it one of the oldest three-row crossovers on the market. Considering how many impressive new or redesigned entries have been introduced since then, it's surprising that the Pilot manages to remain as relevant as it does. Though certainly overshadowed, it's still an ultra-practical choice blessed with an abundance of clever storage, ample cargo capacity and a well-sorted driving experience that nicely toes the line between comfort and response. There's also the matter of Honda's long-standing reputation for reliability and resale value. 

Basically, the Pilot can be considered the most sensible of three-row family crossovers (though the Subaru Ascent sure comes awfully close). Of course, "sensible" often doesn't equate to "desirable" as the makers of plain black running shoes can attest. The Pilot is a bit frumpy to look at, and the rather plain interior design doesn't reach the near-luxury heights of the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Toyota Highlander or Mazda CX-9. Even the Pilot's five-passenger fraternal twin, the Passport, manages to be a bit cooler. But such things are in the eye of the beholder. While we think the Telluride and Palisade in particular are stronger overall choices, the Pilot is nevertheless a well-rounded crossover that'll make sense for many families. 

2021 Toyota Supra Review | Price, Features, Specs And Photos

2021 Toyota Supra Review | Price, features, specs and photos

Ignore the noise about where the engine and most of the parts come from — BMW. Never mind the comparisons to the last Supra, which was born in a different era and carried a much higher relative price. The 2021 Toyota GR Supra is a phenomenal sports car. Powerful, agile and communicative, it's a genuine performance machine capable of keeping up with more expensive cars on a track or your favorite winding road. Yet, it's also playful and full of character, eagerly wagging its tail around corners and sounding sensational in the process. And although its looks aren't universally adored, our time spent in various Supras would indicate the general public likes it enough to draw impressed stares and thumbs up.

And as we go into below, the Supra lineup expands for 2021. The new four-cylinder model lowers the price of entry, and although it certainly doesn't provide the thrills or speed of the six-cylinder (which was given a significant bump in power this year), it should nevertheless be priced well below similarly powerful luxury-branded sports cars, including its BMW Z4 platform-mate and the Porsche 718 Cayman. Of course, the six-cylinder Supra makes its own compelling value proposition, but it also drives so well that it doesn't have to lean on its price tag to get noticed. 

2020 Nissan Kicks Review | Price, Specs, Features And Photos

2020 Nissan Kicks Review | Price, specs, features and photos

It's easy to roll your eyes at many of the tiny "crossovers" that are flowing out of carmakers these days. Though marketed as crossovers and given a few token styling cues to go with a modest increase of ride and seat height, most are simply glorified hatchbacks. That description certainly applies to the 2020 Nissan Kicks, which doesn't even offer all-wheel drive to satisfy the crossover M.O. But here's the thing: Being a hatchback isn't bad, and the Kicks is quite a good one. It supplies a massive amount of space for a vehicle its size, comes with a wealth of safety features for a vehicle with its modest price, and doesn't feel like a penalty box to sit in or drive despite the hatchback reputation. For those seeking an efficient, inexpensive urban runabout that can swallow enough stuff for a weekend getaway, it makes a lot of sense.

Indeed, it makes more sense in that scenario than other subcompact "crossovers" that usually cost more and provide less space. Upper trim levels are also quite nicely adorned, with a few key trim pieces drawing your eyes away from understandably cheaper ones. However, there are reasons it's not a slam dunk. Nissan's engineers did their best to make the Kicks feel quick enough, but there's only so much one can do with a wheezy 122 horsepower. Its lack of all-wheel drive is another issue, and the unusual steering can frustrate. This is by no means a fun car to drive, and it's hardly a comfy, quiet, long-distance cruiser, either. So it's not perfect, but within the segment company it keeps, it doesn't need to be.