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Welcome to the Alfa Romeo 4C's wheelhouse. It has performance and style—and then some more.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is as close to a budget supercar as most of us will ever get. Its mid-engine layout, carbon-fiber body, turbo-4, and dual-clutch automatic work in concert and unencumbered by weight or unnecessary luxuries.
Starting with the exceptional body work, the Alfa Romeo 4C is one of the best-looking cars on the road today—it's inescapable.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C is powered by a 1.8L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which is mounted behind the cockpit, in the tradition of the best Italian sports cars. The engine is capable of producing 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. While that may seem rather modest for a sports car of this caliber, Alfa Romeo claims that the 4C is still capable of 0-60 times in about 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 160 mph.
Audi. BMW. Mercedes. These are the popular brands people reflexively shop when looking for a luxury sedan. But what if you find them to be a bit boring or complacent? That's where the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia comes in. This luxury sedan newcomer isn't well-known, but once you see it, it's hard to ignore.
On the outside, the Giulia looks like nothing else on the road thanks to its taut styling and classic Alfa Romeo grille. The beauty is more than skin-deep, too. The underlying hardware is competitive, with the base Giulia and Giulia Ti receiving a lively 280-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels through a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
It's the top-of-the-line Giulia Quadrifoglio trim, however, that truly makes its presence known by aggressively gunning for top performance honors of the class. It comes outfitted with a powerful Ferrari-developed turbocharged V6 engine, weight-saving carbon fiber, articulating aerodynamics, and a whole host of other speed-enhancing features to win over the hearts and wallets of performance fans.
The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia storms into a class of formidable competitors from all over the world. This Italian-born luxury compact is likely to win over buyers who prioritize driving performance over rear seat legroom or trunk space. The interior is sleekly styled, although the knobs and controls lack high-quality heft. A lively turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers the rear-wheel-drive base model, which is available with all-wheel drive
Two potent turbocharged engines to choose from; sleek interior cabin styling; infotainment system has an easy user interface; one of the best-driving cars in the segment
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Fiat dealers have had a rough row to hoe for the last eight or nine years. They signed up to help resuscitate a brand that shuttered its showrooms 27 years ago due in large part to its reputation for dodgy quality. They were then offered one model name to sell: 500. This alarming dearth of product was in part compensated for by a proliferation of variants—Cabrio, Abarth, electric, then stretched four-door L, and all-wheel-drive X models joined, each with multiple trim levels to choose so that there were 25 different orderable 500s last year. Well, for 2017, as the first totally new model number (124) begins to dribble in, the extended 500 family gets some much-needed trim-level and equipment rationalizing down to three orderable trim levels each. (An E-sport version was added to the electric 500e.) Because it’s been ages since we sampled the four-door 500L, we decided to focus our critical attention on this largest, most practical of the 500s.
The 2017 Fiat 500L’s remaining trim choices are Pop, Trekking, and Lounge. All get slight increases in standard equipment, and the base Pop upgrades much of its rental-grade trim items, such as steel wheels, black door handles, a urethane steering wheel, and minimally tinted glass to essentially the level of the previous Easy grade. The price also rises to $200 above the 2016 Easy, at $21,990. The Trekking model starts $1,115 higher but includes $2,700 worth of Uconnect/6.5-inch touchscreen telematics and a white roof. The matte-black trim that distinguished the Trekking Urbana model now becomes a stand-alone $595 Urbana package. And the Lounge price drops $1,100 to $24,690, but formerly standard items such as the ParkView rear camera, dual-zone climate controls, and power lumbar adjustment move to a Premium option package.
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Instead of offering five trim levels and limited options, the 2017 Fiat 500X now offers three trim levels and a wider variety of options and packages across the lineup. Last year’s Easy and Trekking Plus models are gone, but the remaining Pop, Trekking, and Lounge models all grant buyers more access to the options list. And that means more choice, not less.
Fiat has a real chance to win over American buyers with the 500X, which is certainly its most mainstream offering here—perhaps ever.
With the 500X, Fiat finally has a mainstream vehicle with widespread appeal. It's a compact crossover SUV that shares running gear with the Jeep Renegade. Rivals include the Honda HR-V, Buick Encore and Chevy Trax, and the Mazda CX-3.
The 500X lineup has been pared down to just three trim levels for 2017 after its rather confusing debut, a move that should make it easier for consumers to find the 500X of their dreams on a dealership lot. Remaining trims include the entry-level Pop, the more rugged-looking Trekking, and the range-topping Lounge.
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The just-right-sized Edge, with its daring styling, relaxed ride, and sizable cargo bay, is a crossover worth considering. A 245-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 mate to a six-speed automatic and front- or all-wheel drive. The top Sport model has standard all-wheel drive and a 2.7-liter 315-hp twin-turbo V-6. The Edge has plenty of tech options, too, including Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment, a self-parking feature, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist.
Shopping for a small crossover presents a dizzying array of options, but the Ford Escape is a smart, safe choice among a crop of great contenders. The 2017 Escape receives style and power upgrades, improved small item storage, and an updated tech interface that packs plenty of connected punch. The Escape offers optional all-wheel drive, respectable fuel economy, a spacious cargo bay and an available hands-free power liftgate. You can outfit the Escape from comfortable casual (the SE trim with no options) to rugged luxury (a loaded Titanium model that can breach $40,000). On the road, its agility instills a level of driver confidence that's rare in this class.
For 2017, Ford has trickled some desirable features such as automatic climate control down to lower Escape trim levels. The old lever-operated parking brake has been replaced by a button, which frees up space for improved small item storage. The 2017 Escape gets revised exterior styling, some minor interior improvements, a newly available 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a modified 2.0-liter engine with a bit more power. Models with Sync 3 also provide an ownership app (FordPass with Sync Connect) and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Safety features now include lane departure prevention, a drowsy driver warning system, and adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert.
Edmunds:Shoppers pretty much want everything from their full-size light-duty trucks these days. You want your new truck to be comfortable, have the most modern tech on the inside, get impressive fuel economy and, oh yeah, do all that truck stuff, too, like hauling cords of firewood and towing an Airstream travel trailer. It's easy to take all of this capability for granted, but the 2017 Ford F-150 is a perfect example of that kind of modern truck.
The Focus competes in the tough compact segment against cars from the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Power for the base car comes from either a 2.0-liter I-4 making 160 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque or a 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3 making 123 hp and 125 lb-ft. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual (2.0-liter), a six-speed manual (1.0-liter), or a six-speed automatic. The 2.0-liter is EPA-rated 25-26/34-38/28-31 mpg city/highway/combined, while the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is EPA-rated 27-30/38-40/31-34 mpg depending on transmission
The high-performance Focus ST and Focus RS are powered by four-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engines. Power for the Focus ST comes from a 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 making 252 hp and 270 lb-ft. A six-speed manual sends power to the front wheels. The Focus RS is powered by 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 pumping out 350 hp and 350 lb-ft. Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed manual and a new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, A new Drift mode is included in the Focus RS hatchback’s driving modes.
Most of the Mustang's evolution happened under its skin. Its turbocharged inline-4 available is an epic shift in how Ford defines performance, and the Mustang doesn't come out badly for it. The inline-4 delivers strong performance even though it underwhelms in its soundtrack. Of course we'd skip the base V-6 and shift attention right to the GT's intensely strong 435-horsepower V-8; it hustles best when it's amped up with a Performance Pack that includes a Torsen limited-slip rear end, summer tires, Brembo brakes and extra body bracing.
Available in a wide variety of models and backed by 52 years of heritage, it's easy to understand the 2017 Ford Mustang's appeal. But make no mistake in thinking this is a bare-bones muscle car of yore. The Mustang has evolved quite a bit over the years, and this newest generation, which debuted two years ago, can give even European luxury cars a run for their money.
Of course, a key component of the Mustang's appeal is what you get under the hood. We think the Mustang GT's V8 is the way to go given its impressive smoothness and 435 ponies. But even if you stick with the more affordable V6 or the turbocharged four-cylinder, the Mustang delivers respectable power and fuel economy. Inside, the cabin is nicely trimmed, and you can get the Mustang with Ford's latest Sync 3 touchscreen interface (introduced last year), which is a big improvement over the prior MyFord Touch system.
Building on last year's significant updates, the 2017 Honda Accord should appeal whether you're prioritizing interior space, fuel economy, value or even an engaging driving experience. The Accord is a must-drive if you're shopping for a midsize sedan or coupe.
Following some notable revisions last year, the 2017 Honda Accord is essentially a carryover model, Honda last gave its Accord a full redesign for the 2013 model year. Even so, most of the midsize sedan segment is still playing catch up. The current Accord is arguably Honda at its finest. It scores highly in just about every category, and unlike many rivals, it's a genuine pleasure to drive. If you're looking for a family sedan that does it all, or perhaps a sporty yet still roomy coupe, the 2017 Accord's across-the-board excellence simply cannot be ignored.
It's hard to overstate how much we like the 2018 Honda Civic. Equipped with the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, it's one of the best cars in its class for delivering both impressive acceleration and high fuel economy. Inside, it has plenty of room for passengers, clever storage solutions and more cargo space than most competitors in any body style. It also offers technology features that put some other compact cars to shame and safety ratings that are among the best.
Available as a sedan, coupe or hatchback, the Civic has a version for every niche, and all of them are good. Want more sauce? There's the sportier Civic Si, as well as the absolutely bananas Civic Type R. Just as impressive, neither one sacrifices the qualities we love about the standard variants.
The fifth-generation Honda CR-V crossover debuts this year riding on a new chassis with more aggressive styling, and an available turbocharged engine – the first offered in the model’s 20-year history. New standard features include LED daytime running lights and dual exhaust tips, and larger standard and available wheels. A longer wheelbase increases interior space. Inside, there are more soft-touch materials, an available 7.0-inch touchscreen Display Audio interface with a Garmin-based navigation system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and the return of the volume knob. Other available features include LED headlights, Auto High Beam headlights, a power liftgate with hands-free access, and an electric parking brake with auto brake hold.
The CR-V is Honda’s long-running compact crossover and slots between the subcompact HR-V and three-row Pilot crossovers. The Honda CR-V has grown in size over the past 20 years, making room for the HR-V below it in the lineup.
The 2017 Honda Fit marks the 10th anniversary for Honda's pint-sized pack mule, and its longevity shouldn't surprise anyone. With impressive fuel economy, loads of passenger room and unmatched cargo versatility, the Fit made subcompact cars a mainstream consideration. Today's Fit continues to offer those winning traits while adding cutting-edge technology and creature comforts such as leather upholstery and keyless ignition.
One of the Fit's standout features is its Magic Seat, a unique rear seat that includes a flip-up cushion that opens a large cargo space behind the front seatbacks. Alternatively, you can leave that seat bottom down and fold the rear seatbacks forward, yielding a cargo hold that rivals those of some small crossovers. Add in a fold-flat front seat, and there's not a lot that the Fit can't haul or handle.
The Fit isn't just a big box to carry your things, though. Even the most fuel-thirsty trim level returns more than 30 mpg, and its diminutive footprint makes for easy maneuvering and parking in dense metro areas. Its touchscreen technology interface enables the latest smartphone integration (with a caveat to Android users), and its nimble handling and excellent visibility remain core qualities.
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The 2017 Honda Odyssey is likely riding off into the sunset this year—burger wrappers, pulverized cereal, lost Legos and all. A new van replaced it for 2018, but regardless of generation, the Odyssey stays as one of the most versatile and comfortable family vehicles on the road.
New for 2017, Honda has added sound-insulating windshields to more models and has made available on more models family features such as rear-seat entertainment systems and in-car vacuums
The Odyssey sports some of the convenience features we like to see in a minivan: an in-car vacuum, rear-seat entertainment, and even a rung to hang a trash bag. Odysseys were built for families, and it's clear that designers listened to their customers.
The 2017 Honda Odyssey is built on versatility, comfort, and flexibility for interior space. All three rows—which can seat up to eight adults—can slide fore and aft, and the rear two rows can get out of the way for hauling versatility.
With lots of space, a versatile interior and even a bit of off-road capability, the 2017 Honda Pilot is appealing for all sorts of reasons. Capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds and comfortably carrying eight passengers, the Pilot is utilitarian by almost all standards. Getting the kids in and out is relatively easy, and options such as a Blu-ray rear entertainment system turn road trips into a breeze. And for daily commutes, the quiet cabin and smooth ride make the Pilot extremely livable.
With ample power and respectable handling, the Pilot is among the athletes in the three-row SUV segment. It's a winner on mountain roads, easily gets up to speed, and can manage light towing and slippery surfaces with the optional all-wheel drive. New to Pilots with the 8-inch touchscreen (EX and above) is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Given its above-average ride quality and seat comfort plus ample space in first and second rows, the Pilot is a very comfortable SUV. Ease of use is very high, too, which makes the Pilot a convenient and easy SUV to live with. The Pilot exhibits typical Honda efficiency and build quality. Use of space is very good with lots of storage. Practical features such as the easy-entry third row and flat load floor with the second and third rows lowered make a difference when hauling cargo and people.
Coupes just aren't as popular as they once were. In fact, more luxury shoppers buy supposedly unfashionable wagons these days than coupes. Wagons, for Pete's sake! Yet this smallish segment is getting a proverbial Hollywood reboot with the arrival of the new 2017 Infiniti Q60. This coupe's exterior styling is dramatically different (and much more striking, in our opinion) than the previous generation Q60's, and it also helps the new Q60 stand out from its competitors.
So, from a "Hey, look at my cool car!" perspective, the new Q60 delivers exactly as a luxury coupe should. It also presents strong value for the money, especially on the lower end of its trim level spectrum, and advanced, well-executed safety features are widely available. Infiniti has also introduced a turbocharged V6 engine with eyebrow-raising 400 horsepower. In pictures and on the spec sheet, there's a lot to like.
You don't have to pay a fortune to get a luxury-branded vehicle these days. The new 2017 Infiniti QX30 is reasonably priced and yet offers you more style and performance than the typical small crossover SUV. Read more to learn if the QX30 has everything you're looking for.
Infiniti considers its all-new 2017 QX30 a combination of coupe, hatchback and crossover. The way it straddles these body types can be advantageous. From a driver enjoyment perspective, you will find the QX30 more athletic and better handling than a typical SUV. Compared to a traditional sedan, the QX30's hatchback design gives you greater versatility, both in terms of its taller ride height and increased cargo capacity. Then there's the QX30's coupe-like styling, which helps it look sportier than the typical sedan or crossover.
In the QX30’s cabin the upscale materials are as good as, if not better than, those of competitive luxury crossover SUVs in this segment. Its artistic arrangement is clean enough to have lasting appeal. The InTouch multifunction controller on the center console operates most of the QX30's systems except the radio and climate. Dials adjust temperature and volume, and logically labeled buttons operate all other adjustments.
Comfort from the standard front seats is excellent, and the available sport seats offer even more support.
Standard features on the base QX30 include 18-inch alloy wheels, all-season run-flat tires, automatic headlights, LED running lights, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way manual front seats (with four-way power lumbar), dual-zone climate control, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks and leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery. Standard technology features include a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, Infiniti's InTouch infotainment system, a 7-inch display, voice controls, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and two USB ports.
The Sport trim offers unique equipment not found on other QX30s. To start, Sports are only front-wheel-drive and come with a sport-tuned suspension that rides 0.6 inch lower than FWD models. Standard fare includes 19-inch alloy wheels, run-flat summer tires, front and rear parking sensors, black exterior mirror housings, specific front and rear lower fascias, body-color side sill panels, a black-colored grille, front sport seats with simulated-suede seat trim (base leatherette upholstery) and an automated parking system. The Bose sound system is also standard.
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The 2017 Infiniti QX50 has a powerful V6 engine, handles more like an agile car than an SUV, and has one of the lowest base prices in the class.
Yes, the Infiniti QX50 is a good vehicle. Like any crossover, it combines elements of both a car and an SUV. It has a powerful V6 engine, and it is one of the more fun-to-drive cars in the class. The 2017 QX50 has a nice cabin – as you'd expect from a luxury vehicle – and it has plenty of standard and available features. To top things off, the QX50 has a starting MSRP under $35,000, which is one of the lowest prices in the class.
The 2017 QX50 has an MSRP of $34,650 for the base model, making it one of the least expensive luxury compact SUVs. Some class rivals, like the Acura RDX, are only about $1,000 more, but others, like the Audi Q5 (MSRP of $40,900), are significantly more expensive. The QX50's base model has rear-wheel drive, but you can get an all-wheel-drive model for $1,800 more. There are several available packages, ranging from the $900 Premium package to the $2,750 Technology package, that add features like an 11-speaker Bose audio system, touch-screen navigation, and power-folding rear seats. There are also plenty of available driver assistance features, such as front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking.
For some shoppers, a minivan just doesn't have the right capabilities. Even large, crossover-based SUVs won't do the trick. That's where hulking three-row, luxury vehicles such as the 2017 Infiniti QX80 come into play. With real towing power, high-quality interior appointments and a big-SUV attitude, the QX80 can shuttle your whole crew, and it can do it with style.
Equipped with a powerful V8 engine, the QX80 can pull up to 8,500 pounds. Its robust optional four-wheel-drive system can take you far off the beaten path. Or it can just transport you and seven of your closest friends to and from the local diner. The QX comes with upscale standard equipment such as tri-zone climate control and a 360-degree camera, and it is available with a suspension that gives it serious handling skill for its size — definitely not an attribute you typically associate with a three-row SUV. Thanks to its overall competence and several unique strengths, the 2017 Infiniti QX80 is definitely one of our top picks in the luxury, three-row SUV segment.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers a reason to take another look at this family SUV. While the regular Outlander lacks the comfort and refinement of its many competitors, the new PHEV model is one of the first vehicles to bring plug-in recharging capability to the SUV class.
Mitsubishi has sold the Outlander PHEV in other global markets for two years. Now it makes its debut in the United States. Starting at about $35,000 before applicable tax credits, the Outlander PHEV looks pretty much the same as its gas engine-only counterpart.
It's a different story under the hood, where a four-cylinder gas engine joins electric hybrid components. The engine and electric motor combination drives the front wheels, while a second electric motor drives the rear wheels. Sophisticated computer processing determines the best way to dole out power to all four wheels, although drivers can also manually engage a four-wheel-drive lock mode when desired.
Though the Nissan Leaf has received incremental changes over its lifetime, 2018 brings the most comprehensive rework of the car to date. The new car's styling is a complete departure from the previous Leaf, although under the skin the cars are very similar aside from the larger battery capacity and additional power.
The Leaf hasn't become more expensive in the bargain. In fact, the new car is actually less costly than the outgoing model when you factor in the differences in feature content. As such, it offers more range for the same price as other similar EVs, such as the Volkswagen e-Golf. Only the more expensive Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offer more driving range.
Other advantages to the 2018 Leaf include its new e-pedal mode and a new suite of advanced driver assist features called ProPilot Assist. The e-pedal delivers stronger regenerative braking when you lift off the accelerator, making it easier to slow the car appreciably without requiring you to apply the brake pedal.
The Toyota Tacoma, redesigned in 2016, has stuck closely to its formula for two decades. Though it doesn't represent a revolution in truck design, this newest Tacoma has plenty of appeal for those shoppers who don't want the bulk or inconvenience of a regular full-size pickup.
You can pick either a four-cylinder or a V6 engine as well as either an extended-cab or crew-cab body style. Interestingly, all rear-wheel-drive Tacomas share the raised ride height of the four-wheel-drive (4WD) variants, but the 4WD Tacoma's ability to do things off-road has never been greater. The TRD Off-Road variant (with the automatic transmission) has Toyota's Crawl Control driver aid system, and for 2017 there is a new TRD Pro model with even more off-road-oriented equipment. Other appealing qualities include Toyota's latest touchscreen interfaces, a standard lockable damped tailgate and an available tri-fold hard tonneau cover.
If excellent utility and off-road ability are priorities for your next vehicle, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma should be high on your list. The wealth of available configurations means there's likely a Tacoma that fits your needs, and some of them provide an impressive degree of trail-busting capability.
Alongside those specialized off-road Tacomas with their knobby tires, upgraded suspension and off-road driving aids, there are street-oriented versions of the Tacoma, too. Notably, even the more luxurious trim levels share their siblings' lifted stance. It creates a high step-in height and a slightly unusual seating position, but it also means every Tacoma is at least a little adventure-ready.
Overall, we think the Tacoma hits the spot for what most midsize pickup shoppers are looking for.
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While we rarely skip an opportunity to praise the Volkswagen Golf, our infatuation has never fixated on the hatchback’s price. That’s because while its cost is reasonable, its core competencies—a solid structure, an impeccably finished interior, and comfortable and capable suspension—would be welcome at any price. And value is just one of the main criteria we use to name cars to our 10 Best Cars list, the others being satisfying driving dynamics and unparalleled execution of purpose. Because the Golf excels at all three, it has been named a 10Best winner for a decade running.
Its lighter price tag has no effect at the test track, of course. The turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder still makes 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, and the six-speed automatic transmission’s ratios are unchanged. The Wolfsburg model tested here reached 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and stopped from 70 mph in 168 feet. Those figures are a shade better than those laid down by our 2015 long-term test car when new. This Wolfsburg’s 0.84-g skidpad grip figure trails that car’s, due to its less grippy tires on 16-inch wheels in place of the older model’s 18-inch rubber.