Kia did some things with the Forte Koup quite well, while other things don’t quite measure up. For a start, it’s a good looking car, especially in the Corsa Blue paint that our tester came in. It does look a bit too much like a Honda Civic Coupe, but the added aggression in the front and rear fascia really works well.
Turn up your speakers, plug in your headphones, Winding Road has made an in-depth exhaust note comparison video.
Nissan has announced its Drive Electric Tour, spanning 26 cities in 20 states, that will offer consumers first-hand testing of the manufacturer’s all-electric Leaf plug-in. Each event offers consumers the opportunity to talk to Leaf product specialists about driving and owning the Leaf.
In terms of engine mods, the JCW features reinforced pistons, a lower compression ratio (10.0:1 versus 10.5:1 in the Cooper S) and more boost (1.3 bar in the JCW, 0.9 bar in the Cooper S) from a larger turbocharger and exhaust manifold. A larger cold-air intake and mass airflow sensor are also fitted to improve throttle response. Finally, a reworked exhaust system produces a genuinely mean sounding note, that barks and burbles on overrun. All that mechanical nonsense means there’s 208 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque (207 pound-feet during overboost) at the disposal of your right foot.
To call it Sonata Junior sounds pejorative, but not when you consider the merits of the Sonata, plus those of smaller vehicles. It packs a lot of comfort into a small package, and offers up a lot of the stability and characteristic quality. It feels roomy inside, with a relaxed ride, but still with the rotational gumption befitting its small footprint. Unfortunately, it’s not the best at rewarding the driver or providing useful feedback.
In case you haven’t noticed, we really like what Kia (and sister company Hyundai) have been up to lately. Case in point is the new turbocharged Optima, which takes all the things that made the regular mid-sizer so great, and adds a big, fat helping of force-induction goodness.
The biggest non-reliability-focused issue with the Range Rover, as ever, is that its much-less-expensive stable mate is every bit as good to drive, and more useable to boot. After taking it on a long road trip last year, and testing it verus other, posh three-row SUVs just a few months ago, I can’t really find a lot of rationale for buy the Range over the LR4.
After two to three years on the market, it isn’t unusual to see a manufacturer change some things about a model, no matter how successful it’s been. Such has been the case for the 2011 Mini Cooper S, which sees a host of changes inside, outside, and under the hood. We spent a week with the revised Cooper S to see what impact these changes actually made.
This is a more significant car than many may realize. Based on our consumer interviews, the CT200h captures the attention of many people actually in the market because it combines some features largely missing from the market so far. This, we think, is a car that every major OEM needs to study.
The last time we had a Ralliart – a sedan – I was quite charmed. The Ralliart has a fun level of power, a well-controlled suspension, and one of the best ATM transmissions around (which Mitsubishi calls SST – a dual clutch system). As a mini-Evo for those who want SST and don’t have the coin for the big hitter, it seemed like a very attractive package. I did feel that power was a smidge lower than one might want, as was grip on the street.