The IIHS has finally crash tested the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan, and it has earned the organization's second highest commendation of Top Safety Pick. It matches the hatchback that was tested earlier, meaning all versions of the Corolla have this high safety rating.
Getting the car to the Top Safety Pick rating are excellent crash test results. The car earned the top "Good" ratings for all crashes including the difficult passenger-side small overlap crash. Its standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems also earned the top "Superior" rating and was able to prevent a collision even at 25 mph.
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).
Midsize sedans may no longer be the vehicle of choice for most families who increasingly prefer SUVs, but for those happy to keep kicking it old school, the 2019 Honda Accord is a top choice. Its large dimensions house unmatched interior space, but the driving experience remains responsive and imparts a feeling of being light on its feet. Its turbocharged engines offer compelling performance, but also return exceptional fuel economy. Meanwhile, the Accord Hybrid might actually be the pick of the litter for its superior fuel economy and lack of major drawbacks. There's also the matter of its well-made interior, generous feature content and the Accord's long-standing reliability reputation.
If you're looking for a midsize sedan, the Accord should be at the top of your must-drive list. Its well-rounded nature made it an easy pick when we compared it to the Toyota Camry and Mazda 6. We also think shoppers shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the Accord in favor of a compact SUV. The back seat is more comfortable and spacious, the fuel economy is better, and you're not sacrificing that much utility thanks to its enormous trunk. Oh, and if you're like us and appreciate wringing every bit of driving fun out of a car as possible, the Accord Sport offers a six-speed manual as a no-cost option.
The ancestor of the Mazda6, the Mazda 626, got a modern front-wheel-drive setup starting in the 1983 model year. Prior to that, though, Mazda sold a rear-wheel-drive 626 based on the Capella, which could be purchased in North America for the 1978 through 1982 model years. At that time, Mazda was best-known on these shores for gas-swilling Wankel-engined cars, though the economical GLC (distant ancestor to the Mazda3) had given the brand more mainstream appeal. The early 626 never sold well over here, and so I had seen exactly one in wrecking yards during the past decade, prior to today's Junkyard Gem.
This one reached just 134,424 miles during its 37-year career, though we can't say how many of those years were spent sitting in a driveway. Note the Malaise Era 85 mph speedometer, complete with the notorious circled 55.
Nissan is introducing some new, advanced driver assist systems for the Japanese market Skyline sedan this fall. Similarly to Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot, the updated ProPILOT system now combines navigation and automatic lane-changing. In addition, hands-off driving is enabled when certain guidelines are met and the driver is paying attention to the road ahead. Earlier ProPILOT iterations have required the driver to keep a hand on the wheel at all times.
This advanced cruise control/lane keeping assist now allows hands-off driving in a single highway lane, while constantly monitoring the driver's attentiveness, as the system will need the driver to take over in a sudden situation. With a pre-defined route activated on the navigation system and relying on a suite of cameras and radars, the ProPILOT equipped Skyline is able to change lanes and choose the correct ramp; at the highway exit ramp, the system prompts the driver to take full control of the car, both with audio and visual cues.
The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan received a very minor update for this model year, dropping the iA name (a carryover from the days of Scion) and adding a few trim levels. The car is still based on the Mazda2, a vehicle no longer sold in America. Aside from the badging and the grille, the styling both inside and out is distinctly Mazda. Before, the car was only available in one basic spec (again, a legacy of Scion), but now Toyota is offering three separate trims — L, LE and XLE. All three are still powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four, though only the L and LE are available with manual transmissions. The automatic improves fuel economy by 1 mpg across the board. Standard features on the XLE include leatherette seating, a 7-inch infotainment screen, keyless entry and ignition, and automatic climate control.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Yaris is one of the stronger, better-looking cars in this diminutive class. It looks far nicer than its predecessors, and the interior is better than expected for this price point. Thanks to its Mazda genetics, the Yaris handles well with a tight chassis and solid steering. It's a tossable little sedan. I was able to get a carseat in back, which was slightly challenging with a car this small but nothing crazy. The Yaris is fun-to-drive, attractive and a decent bargain.