How The Mitsubishi Lancer GT Surprised Me

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT.
If you live anywhere other than, oh, say...California...you could go a very long time without seeing a new Mitsubishi Lancer go by.  In the Golden State, however, there are a fair number on the roads, and not all wearing bar codes in the rear window identifying them as part of the inventory of a rental fleet.

In fact, 2013 was a good year for Lancer sales...up significantly. On its face, that seems puzzling, since Lancer is in its eighth year without major changes.  So what's going on?


Why The Mazda MX-5 Miata Makes Me Smile

2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club.

Well, just look at it, wouldya?  I mean, if you don't break into an involuntary grin at the sight of a gleaming, polished Miata, you should check to see if you have a pulse.

And if the driver's seat is empty, and you have the key fob to said Miata in your pocket...well, the fun is just beginning.


Why The 2014 Kia Forte Is So Important

2014 Kia Forte
The 2014 Kia Forte.
Ten years ago, a compact Kia sedan was what you bought if you couldn't afford anything else. Hey, at least it had that 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.

Four years ago (this month, in fact), we wrote about the 2010 Kia Forte and how it had come from behind to be a legitimate contender in the small car field...something for Toyota and Honda to worry about.

Well, with the all-new 2014 Forte, the day of reckoning has arrived.


2014 Toyota Tundra: Has Toyota Finally Gotten The Big Pickup Thing Right?

2014 Toyota Tundra Limited
The 2014 Toyota Tundra Limited
Okay, I'll admit, the headline is a bit of a trick question.

Regular TireKicker readers who recall our review of the 2013 model just last summer know that we think Toyota got the big pickup thing right with the last-generation Tundra.  But buyers don't agree..the Tundra is still not a threat to the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram.

So is the new 2014 Tundra a game-changer?


Where Will The Prius Price Creep Stop?

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius.

Four and a half years ago, we reviewed a then-new 2010 Prius. Lavishly equipped, it had a base price of 25,800 and an as-tested price of $30,709.  Even then (though I didn't say it in print), I wondered at what point a Prius could be too pricey.

Just shy of two years ago, we tested a then-new 2012 Prius.  Again, a well-equipped model (known as the Four), base price $28,235, as-tested price $33,035.

Now comes another turn in a well-equipped Prius (a 2013 Five model)...and the car (essentially the same as the last two...the same generation of Prius, the same EPA estimated 51 city/48 highway) now has a base price of $30,005 and our tester rang in at.....


New Car Review: 2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring Sedan (Updated)

Front 3/4 view of 2014 Mazda 6




Those are some of the one-word labels that get stuck on mid-size family sedans...especially the Toyota Camry, and, until the new one, the Honda Accord.  Well, even if you're not moved by the all-around goodness of the Accord, we dare you to be unmoved by the new Mazda 6.

Even when the midsizers (a group that also includes the Dodge Avenger, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima) were at their blandest, the Mazda 6 has always been more of a driver's car.  Good to see they stepped up their game at the same time (some of)  the other guys did.

53 Reasons (46 Highway) To Buy The Toyota Prius C

Toyota Prius C
The Toyota Prius C.

The original Toyota Prius was a great concept...a ground-breaking, high-mileage hybrid vehicle for a bargain-basement price.

As the years have gone by (14 of them, to be exact), the Prius has become a big hit, spawned multiple trim levels, and the bargain-basement models are hard to find on dealer lots (and at $24,200 without options, the word "bargain" could be debated).  Most Prii have stickers at or above $30,000.

And that creates a perfect opportunity for the Prius C.