The Gold Standard Of Compact Cars: The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SEL

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI.
If you have not noticed it, there is a game of follow-the-leader that's been going on in small cars for exactly 40 years now.  It began with the original Volkswagen Rabbit (which was the Golf in Europe). Each time a new generation of the Golf is introduced, it is so right, so clearly focused, that it becomes the template for a contemporary compact.  And then, over the next five years, competitors catch up. Thankfully, five years is the product cycle for the Golf.  The previous generation came along in 2010. Now, in 2015, we have a new Golf.


Hello, Old Friend: 2015 Mazda CX-9

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Mazda CX-9
The 2015 Mazda CX-9.
It has been a long time since our last drive in a Mazda CX-9.  Almost four years, in fact.  Not much has changed, which is a good news/bad news kind of thing.


The Incredible Vanishing Car: The 2015 Scion tC

Front view of 2015 Scion tC
The 2015 Scion tC.
If it seems like you don't see nearly as many Scion tCs on the road as you once did, there's a good reason for that.

They're not there to see.

And The Last Shall Be First...Or Maybe Third: 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD

Side view of 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD
The 2015 Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD.
It is hard to believe, but this fall will be 20 years since the Toyota RAV4 came on the scene.  Tiny, tinny and underpowered, many people in America wondered what it was for, at what possible market segment it could be aimed.  It and the competitors that followed were dubbed "cute utes".

But the RAV4 (and competitors) grew, became refined and now...improbable as it seemed in the fall of 1995...they make up one of the hottest segments in the automotive industry, the compact crossover SUV.

Relentless: The 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD front 3/4
The 2016 Kia Sorento Limited V6 AWD
Regular TireKicker readers know that the Kia Sorento has earned its way onto the TireKicker's Best Cars list on the right side of this page through a series of weeklong exposures...not the least of which was serving as our trusty steed for an eight-day, 1800-mile camping roadtrip from suburban Sacramento to four national parks in Nevada and Utah and then home.

If you'd asked us, we wouldn't have thought the Sorento was due for an update.  But Kia is on a mission, relentlessly stepping up its game and its profile in the marketplace.  And the 2016 Kia Sorento is destined to play a big part in that.