One Year Of Finding Beauty In Simplicity With Our Favorite Hot Hatch
Autoblog has added a 2015 Volkswagen GTI to its long-term test fleet, in four-door S spec, with a six-speed manual transmission. We chose the base model for a good reason – read why we went light on the options for our latest long-termer.
Literally minutes after snapping the photo you see above, I was soaked – hit by the third round of storms that brought absolutely insane rainfall to Detroit this week. Amateur mistake, right there; if it looks like rain's a-comin', it's a-comin'. So if you're going to take pictures of the car, do it before it's too late.
I got a text message from Editor-In-Chief Sharon Carty one afternoon proclaiming that her new favorite SUV is our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee. And she's not alone. I'm not sure if anyone else on staff would go so far as to use the "favorite" descriptor, but after just over a month of honeymooning with our new long-termer, it's safe to say that the Jeep is quickly finding its way into the good graces of a number of Autoblog staffers.
"As far as street-legal rally cars go, there's still nothing better than a WRX." I wrote that line following my first drive of the 2015 Subaru WRX late last year – one of the better motoring experiences I had in 2013. Sure, a particularly involving drive route helped, but I don't want to sell the new Subaru short: it's a seriously good car – easily one of the sharpest, best-driving little turbos available today.
When we look back at some of the more shocking product launches of recent years, the Jeep Cherokee is certainly high up on the list. And we aren't just talking about its off-the-wall, polarizing design.
Despite our tendency as enthusiasts to clamor for things like wagons and hot hatchbacks, it's hard to argue with the buying public's increasing demand for functional crossovers. In fact, the great SUV craze of the late-1990s has all but faded in favor of the easier-driving, better-packaged, more-efficient crossover. That's even true at the larger end of the market – just look at what happened when Ford redesigned its body-on-frame Explorer into a stylish and well-equipped CUV. And now look
How I Used All The Grip The Six Could Offer (And Some Luck)
The Winter Without End is seemingly dead. Outside my office windows, my brown and yellow lawn is fully exposed to the increasingly powerful sunshine, the morning birdsong is louder than anything until the garbage trucks start rolling, and I'm seriously considering having the summer tires put back on my personal fleet. That last one is a little scary, as I'm a firm believer in the April Snow Jinx, but you get the idea.
Our newest long-termer – the Soul Red 2014 Mazda6 seen here – arrived in my driveway at the end of June. Without hesitation, I immediately put it to work as a daily driver, carpool bus and family vacation sled, and it accomplished all of those tasks with aplomb. Now, more than 4,000 miles down the road, I am left convinced that Mazda's latest midsize sedan is one of the best in its segment.
If you've been reading the past several updates on our long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, you may have noticed a trend developing. This is a flawed vehicle. Not critically so, but for many of our editors, this vehicle's annoying attributes are indeed outweighing the good. What may not be obvious, though, is that the deck is kind of stacked against the Turbo model.
When we say that our long-term 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has been busy, we mean it. Want proof? In the past month, the big, brown Nissan was only idle enough for us to take it in for its 11,500-mile routine service and to shoot a couple of new photos of the long-termer in Detroit.
The 2014 Mazda6 is our most recent addition to the Autoblog long-term fleet, and we spent the month of June getting to know our Soul Red tester, generally enjoying the honeymoon phase of this twelve-month relationship. During June, the Mazda6 spent the majority of its time with director of photography Drew Phillips, who in addition to putting together this pretty gallery of our rakish long-term car, had a lot to say about it as a daily driver.
There are an awful lot of good reasons to get into the Hyundai Veloster family and formula. This car looks good, is loaded out with tech and offers a great deal of practicality in a small form factor. One good reason not to consider a Veloster, at least if you're a city dweller or have primarily urban daily driving path, is the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine in the eponymous Veloster Turbo.
Despite the snow-capped photos you see here, our long-term Pathfinder has been the subject of some proper pre-summer lovin' here in metro Detroit (we're working on a new gallery). Now that the warm weather has hit Michigan, many of our staffers have eagerly grabbed the keys to our big, brown Nissan for road trips all over the place. And the Pathfinder has indeed proven itself to be quite the worthy long-distance hauler, as editors John Neff and Seyth Miersma have already experienced.
Although I went on the Portland launch of the regular-strength Veloster back in late 2011, my time in the Turbo model was previously limited to one very brief commuting experience, so I was glad to get some time in our long-term matte gray model this month. In a way, I lucked out, grabbing the key fob to our Hyundai just as the weather in mid-Michigan finally acknowledged spring's existence. The temperature change afforded us the chance to swap out the all-season Kumho Solus KH25 rubber that it