9.25.2016

What's The German Word For "Price Cut"? The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium
The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium.
In a business based on forward momentum, it shouldn't be a surprise that most of the time, prices move up from year to year.  Staying even with cost increases, exchange rates and sometimes more than a little hubris when the manufacturer senses it has a product for which customers will pay more all contribute to sticker price creep.

Sometimes it's several hundred dollars.  If it's only a hundred bucks, we'll comment on it (as we did last week in our review of the 2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD V6) as being an instance of admirable restraint.  And we'll call attention to it when the price remains unchanged.

So imagine our surprise and delight to find that the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium costs $775 less than the 2015 model we reviewed a year and a half ago.

9.21.2016

Gas For The Titans: The 2017 Nissan Titan Endurance V8 SL 4WD Crew Cab

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Nissan Titan Endurance V8 SL 4WD Crew Cab
The 2017 Nissan Titan Endurance V8 SL 4WD Crew Cab.
Give Nissan credit for doing everything counter to expectations with the new Titan pickup.  Where the big boys (Ford, Chevy, GMC and RAM) roll out their light-duty half-tons and then follow up with the Extra Duty/Super Duty/HD variants the following year, Nissan led with the big-brute diesel XD on launch this spring.

Now...right now, in fact...Nissan dealers are getting the first of the gas-powered models, the Endurance V8 series, which Nissan is branding as the "Every Duty Truck".

9.20.2016

All-American From Korea: The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate AWD

Front view of 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate.
The headline above may cause some controversy, so let's establish what I meant, right off the top.  By "All-American", I'm not talking about place of manufacture, the source of the engine or transmission.  All that is Korea.  No, by "All-American", I'm talking about hitting the target of what American families in 2016 seem to want in a vehicle...and in this case, hitting pretty close to the bulls-eye.

9.19.2016

Relentless Pursuit, Pursued: The 2017 Genesis G80 RWD 5.0 Ultimate

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Genesis G80 RWD 5.0
The 2017 Genesis G80 RWD 5.0 Ultimate.
It takes an enormous amount of confidence for a mainstream carmaker to spin off a new luxury line.  Toyota's choice to do that with Lexus makes it look like a no-brainer, but it's wise to remember that  Nissan has not done nearly as well with Infiniti, nor has Honda with Acura.  And Mazda was thisclose to launching one, Amati, but after three years and more than $400 million in research, decided not to.

With all that to consider, Hyundai is making the move.  For 2017, Genesis is its own line of cars.