Signature Achievement: The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Mazda 6 Signature
The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature.
Regular TireKicker readers know of our fondness for the Mazda 6.  Of all the mid-size family sedans available, the 6 is the most engaging to drive.  For 2018, the 6 gets an interior and exterior refresh, plus a new trim level---Signature.


Beauty Is Only Skin Deep: The 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate
The 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate.
I've always been a bit confused about the target market for the Hyundai Veloster, as I admitted in my review of the 2017 Veloster Turbo.  Three-door hatchbacks with quirky styling might seem to be a segment car companies would take a pass on, but the Veloster has done well enough to not only survive, but be succeeded by a new-generation model, an early 2019.


They Grow Up So Fast: The 2018 Lexus NX 300 F SPORT

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Lexus NX 300 F SPORT
The 2018 Lexus NX 300 F SPORT.
Three model years ago, when Lexus rolled out the NX series, I remember thinking that it was awfully small.  That came from a quick comparison with the familiar RX, which had been the only Lexus crossover for literally decades.

Now, there's a thoroughly refreshed NX and after a week with it, the NX seems exactly right.


BMW With A Side of Kimchi: The 2018 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD
The 2018 Kia Stinger GT2 AWD.

"This is the car they said couldn't be built by this company."  That's been said a lot about Kia products
over the past 24 years as the South Korean carmaker kept stepping up its game, first in terms of content, then quality, then styling and now, performance.

With the Stinger GT2 AWD, Kia has built a 167 mile per hour, zero-to-60 in 4.7 seconds, 12.9 seconds in the quarter-mile sports sedan.  And lest you think that the headline above is hype, Kia benchmarked the BMW 4-series in developing the Stinger.  And most of its performance stats put it right in the hunt with mid-sizers from BMW, Audi and Mercedes.  The 0-60 time is actually a tenth of a second quicker than the BMW 440i Gran Coupe, and a full second quicker than the Audi A5 Sportback.


Walk on the Wild(ish) Side: The 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6

Side view of 2018 Toyota Camry XSE
The 2018 Toyota Camry XSE.
For 35 years, Toyota's Camry has been the car that everybody bought.  What's new in 2018 is that it has become the car that everyone notices.  Like the lab assistant who takes off her glasses and lets down her hair ("Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"),  the Camry has stopped blending in and is now considered....kinda hot, even in hybrid form.