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2023 Mazda CX-50 First Drive – Treading New Ground

There’s an argument to be made Mazda is the little car company that could. Representing a sliver of the American market compared to its larger competitors, the Hiroshima-made vehicles are typically infused with the type of driving fun that’s seemingly been surgically removed from the vehicles with which it competes. Actually, the term ‘Hiroshima-made’ is no longer totally correct. With the introduction of the 2023 CX-50 crossover you see on these digital pages, Mazda now has a manufacturing footprint in this country to the annual tune of 150,000 vehicles. It’s…

2022 Hyundai Elantra N First Drive – Aiming for the Sweet Spot

The “hot compact” segment has its players, and they all seem to have a defined role. This is especially true when we’re talking about compacts with more than two doors, especially if they offer a three-pedal option and are priced under $40K. The Subaru WRX is the all-wheel-drive one. The Honda Civic Si is the bargain one. The Volkswagen GTI is the balanced hatchback one. The Hyundai Veloster N is the quirky three-door one. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the refined one. Extending things out to compacts that are a…

2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review – Window Shopping On Company Time

I’m well aware that I’m remarkably privileged to do what I do here at TTAC. I’m a car enthusiast, getting paid to go play with cars. Friends often will ask what I’m driving this week, rather than the usual small talk about the weather. A touch of envy seeps into the conversation when I reveal that I’m driving a high-end luxury car or some powerful sportscar. When it comes down to it, however, I’m using whatever car arrives in my driveway that week as my primary driver: First, to properly…

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe First Drive – What’s Green Worth to You?

Everybody’s going electric these days, it seems. Or at least, electrified. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is Jeep’s latest entry in the electrified-vehicle space (sorry for that bit of marketing speak, I must need more coffee), following, of course, the Wrangler 4xe. Getting electrified might be good for the ‘ole CAFE standards – but is it worth the price premium? Will electrification change a vehicle’s character – and if so, for the better or for worse? To find out, I headed deep to the heart of Texas last month. (Full…

Audi Urbansphere: A Trojan Horse

Back when everyone still bought into the hype surrounding self-driving cars, automakers were releasing concept vehicles framed as a “lounge on wheels.” The theory was that once autonomous vehicles hit the mainstream, companies would begin dropping futuristic models with swanky interiors because drivers would no longer be responsible for piloting the car for the duration of its journey. However, the public eventually learned that autonomous driving technologies had failed to progress as promised and would likely come with a host of restrictions plenty of drivers wouldn’t be interested in once…

Mercedes Vision EQXX Goes 626 Miles on a Single Charge

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept is driven from Sindelfingen, Germany, to Cassis on the Côte d’Azur, demonstrating its 1000-kilometer potential. The prototype features a 100-kWh battery and uses a number of advanced technologies to achieve an exceptionally long range on a single charge, including lightweight materials and recuperative braking. The prototype sedan still had range left over when it arrived in France on its 626-mile trip. The ambitious Mercedes-Benz EQXX concept proved it could accomplish the feat for which it was designed, covering a range of 1000 kilometers or 621 miles on a…