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Auto Meter 5289 GPS Electric Speedometer Interface Module Autometer
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Archive for the ‘compact cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The New Civic Si is Going to be a Glorified Grocery Getter

The hot hatch market is a busy one, and just about every Honda fan has begged Honda to bring the Type R to the U.S. for years. It’s finally going to happen for the 2018 model year, but we’re also getting the Civic Si, which was the performance go-to for Honda guys in the absence of an official Type R. It was the most powerful Civic off the production line here for the longest time. Well, with the Type R finally coming to the U.S., Honda doesn’t have a whole lot of motivation to make the Civic Si a showstopper in the power department, and, compared to the 2018 Type R, the Civic Si could be nothing more than a pretty looking (if you like the look) grocery getter. An e-mail sent out by Honda that leaked the Civic Si’s torque output doesn’t help matters, either.

According to the e-mail, which was sent to those who signed up for Honda’s mailing list, the Civic Si will deliver 192 pound-feet of torque – a figure Honda claims will make “everyday errands more exciting than ever.” To put that into perspective, the range-topping non-Si model (the Civic Touring) that uses the same engine offers up 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet, while the Type R will offer 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet from a 2.0-liter. That means there’s a small gap between the Civic Touring and a massive gap between the Si and the Type R. Not cool.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Corolla iM – Driven

Ah Scion, Toyota’s youth-market sub brand. Now in 2017, we can only reminisce about bygone days when new Scion hatchbacks, coupes, and toasters sat in showrooms waiting for eager high-school teens to arrive with daddy’s money or senior citizens to stroll in looking for something more economical than their worn-out Mercury Grand Marquis. Those days are gone though, thanks to Toyota shuttering Scion and consolidating a few of its models into the Toyota fleet. One such example is the Scion iM.

The iM was all-new for the U.S. market in 2015, launched beside the Mazda-derived Scion iA sedan. The iM was basically a Toyota Corolla Hatchback, though you’d never hear a Scion salesman pointing that to potential buyers. The car featured the same, 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the Corolla, as well as the six-speed manual or optional Continuously Variable Transmission. But, sadly, the iM and iA couldn’t save the Scion brand. Toyota ended the brand’s 13-year run in August of 2016. Fast-forward to today, and Toyota has rebadged the iA, iM, and FR-S as the Yaris iA, Corolla iM, and the 86, respectively.

I recently got to sample the Corolla iM for a week – living with it during the daily grind. My tester came equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and zero options. It’s rare to have press fleet cars come so equipped. But rather than being a buzzkill from the usual whiz-bang gadgetry and overly complicated nature of many modern cars, the iM’s basic nature proved a welcomed reprieve and rather enjoyable. Heck, my tester didn’t even have floor mats. (I’ve heard Toyota is stingy with their floor mats.)

Of course, the most noticeable feature of this iM is its color – that big, bright, green color. Oh boy. Toyota calls it “Spring Green Metallic.” I call it ugly. Yet the color helped add a particular flare to car it wouldn’t have otherwise had. It also attracted everyone’s attention. I lovingly named my tester Snot Rocket.

Continue reading for the full driven review.


PostHeaderIcon Buyer's Guide: Mazda 3 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

SUVs have the world by storm, getting a second wind after the high-priced fuel crisis of years past, and ultimately forcing automakers to rethink their whole strategy. But, SUVS aren’t the only popular models on the market, as hatchbacks are still a big-ticket item as well. There are so many to choose from – models like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and even the Mini Cooper have found their way into the hearts of many, but there are two other players in this game that are worth your consideration, and those are the Honda Civic Hatchback and the Mazda3. Both offer aggressive styling, decent power output, and the ability to haul a decent amount of cargo or a few friends with ease.

The Honda Civic has been around for a long time, being introduced back in 1972. It was originally offered in a number of configurations, including three- and five-door hatchback form. The Civic itself has survived well over the years with the tenth-gen model being introduced for 2016. The Mazda3, on the other hand, is relatively a baby in comparison, being introduced just back in 2003. It saw its third generational shift for the 2014 model year and went through a minor revision for the 2017 model year. With Mazda’s latest design language and range of SkyActiv engines, the Mazda 3 is always ready to do battle with the other great hatchbacks in the world, but today we’re going to compare it directly to the Civic Hatchback and help you decide which one you should buy when it comes time to pull the trigger on your next big purchase.

With that said, let’s dive on in and take a good look at each one. Both come to the party with a lot to offer, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. Join me down the page, and we’ll get started.


PostHeaderIcon Seven Wallet-Friendly Cars Unveiled in Geneva

The 2017 Geneva Motor Show has come to an end and it’s pretty obvious that this year’s event has been a massive success. With more than 60 vehicles on display, Geneva once again proved why its among the most important auto shows of the year.

But, while we drooled upon supercars like the Ferrari 812 Superfast, Lamborghini Huracan Performante, and McLaren 720S, Geneva also brought us quite a few cars for the average Joe. They might not be as spectacular when it comes to performance and technology, but they’re equally important to the automotive industry and deserve all the attention they can get.

Geneva may seem like an event that’s about the glitz and glamour of luxury and performance cars more than anything else, but this is mostly because we all dream of owning cars that can go fast, and keep us comfortable and connected with the latest gadgets. But, once we stop dreaming, we realize that we can’t afford a Lamborghini Huracan and that our daily driver is no-nonsense compact. When that moment comes, have a look at the cool, yet affordable cars you might have missed while rushing to find out how fast the Huracan is around the Nurburgring.

You might need a new daily driver soon. Just saying…

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Q50

The Infiniti Q50 hit the market for the 2014 model year, and just two years later, Infiniti refreshed it for the 2016 model year. Well, instead of ushering in a new generation, Infiniti has decided to do another mild update for the 2018 model year, which includes a slightly different look outside, a revamped interior, and some new driver assistance features not previously available. Engine options include a 2.0-liter gasoline mill, a 2.2-liter turbodiesel, the 3.5-liter V-6, and a hybrid setup that combines a 3.5-liter V-6 and a 50-kW electric motor – giving the car a power output range of anywhere between 168 horsepower and 400 horsepower. The Q50 also makes use of Direct Adaptive Steering, a feature that Infiniti says is a “key building block to achieving fully-autonomous driving.” But, what is more important, is that each trim level will have its own stand-alone features and styling that will help it stand out in the lineup.

Roland Krueger, the President of Infiniti, said, “Infiniti seeks to empower our customers on their journey through their experience with us – whether it is our products, our technologies, our services, or simply a passion for driving. There is no better vehicle that incorporates all the elements of the Infiniti brand than the Q50 saloon.”

Now that the 2018 Infiniti Q5 has made its debut at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show, we have lots to talk about, so let’s dive on in and take a closer look at it and how it compares to the competition.


PostHeaderIcon Nissan Micra Bose Personal Edition

The Nissan Micra is a good subcompact car that Nissan has relied on to compete against the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Jazz. It’s certainly made a name for itself in its segment, but the last thing you’d probably associate with the Micra is a premium sound system company like Bose. Then again, the auto industry is a business of never-ending surprises, and we were treated to one such surprise at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Nissan brought with it the Micra Bose Personal Edition, a special edition iteration of the subcompact car that was developed to celebrate the collaboration between Nissan and, you guessed it, Bose.

There is some initial surprise in seeing a car like the Micra get the full Bose treatment, but once that first reaction wears off, you’ll be happy to know that the Micra Bose Personal Edition is actually a pretty interesting offering. Sure, Bose is heavily involved, particularly when it comes to the car’s sound system, but the car isn’t just about Bose either. It also has a choice of unique paint colors and a wide range of added accessories courtesy of the car’s very own personalization program.

Yep, the Nissan Micra has its own version of Porsche Exclusive or McLaren Special Operations, relative, of course, to the quality and price point of its segment. Oh, and while we’re at it, the Micra Bose Limited Edition also has a trove of tech and standard equipment, all thanks to the fact that the whole run of limited edition models – 3,000 in total – are based on the range-topping Tekna trim.

As far as cars with personalities are concerned, the Nissan Micra Bose Personal Edition makes no bones about what makes it special. You can point to the fancy-schematic color scheme or the aforementioned menu of tech and equipment, but at the end of the day, this limited run version of the Micra is all about Bose.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Micra Bose Personal Edition.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus

The Ford Focus was first launched in the European marking in 1998 but came to North America for the 2000 model year as a replacement for the Ford Escort and its cousin, the Mercury Tracer. Despite being a “cheaper” model with goofy, bubbly headlights and a somewhat lackluster interior, the Focus was a big hit. The first generation model ran until 2004 and won more than 60 awards during its lifespan. It even found itself on Car and Driver’s Ten Best List. Ford has continued to improve on the looks and overall function of the Focus, and it is currently in its third generation, with a facelift taking place for the 2015 model year.

With the current generation being six years old, it’s not all that shocking that our spy photographers have caught what we believe to be the next-generation Focus out doing some cold weather testing. Oddly, it isn’t under any camo, and it looks quite similar to the facelifted Focus that debuted in 2015. Be that as it may, there are still some significant changes to mention – some that might be hinting that this mule is sporting an old, modified body as a decoy.

While the body may very well be a decoy, we can still make some predictions about the next-gen Focus. Take a little walk with me as I talk about what we see in the photos, and what we can expect when the next-gen Focus is unveiled sometime in the future.

Update 3/15/2017: We have received a second round of spy shots that show the next-gen Focus playing in the snow and on the ice. This time around, however, it’s sporting what appears to be the official body with lots of camo and padding to throw us off. Check out the exterior section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Ford Focus.


PostHeaderIcon 2017 Toyota Yaris Demonstrates How Auto Turnover Is Speeding Up

We all know competition in the auto world is absolutely ruthless these days. The pressure to make a sale is enormous, and that means each and every update has to be as effective as possible in order to keep a model afloat. For example, take the new Toyota Yaris. While technically just a mid-life refresh, this latest model year of the Yaris ushers in a slew of tweaks, refinements, and additions, which, taken as a whole, might qualify as a whole new generation just a decade ago.

It makes sense when you consider the Japanese brand has sold over three million of these things between 2001 and 2016. That’s a lot of Yarises (Yarii?), even when spread out across numerous major markets, including Europe, Africa, North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Clearly, this subcompact hatchback is an important model for Toyota, and as such, the company invested some 90 million euros ($95.3 million) to improve it. Many of the updates take after the Vitz, the Yaris’ Japanese equivalent, and include new styling, more equipment, improved handling, new safety features, and an updated 1.5-liter gasoline engine. There’s also an optional hybrid powerplant on the table, with 40 percent of the models sold in Europe being hybrids.

In total, the update consists of some 900 individual new parts. Read on to see how they fit together and why this is more than a simple refresh.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Nissan Micra Receives Its First Special Edition In Geneva

Nissan has launched the first special edition for the fifth-generation Micra subcompact car. It’s called the Bose Personal Edition and it features some wild color accents on the outside, an even wilder interior color scheme, and of course, an upgraded Bose sound system. Nissan is making 3,000 examples available to Europeans starting in the summer of 2017.

The Bose Personal Edition is based on the Micra’s range-topping trim, the Tekna grade. Both the turbocharged 0.9-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and the 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel will be available. But the drivetrain options aren’t the story. Rather is the attention-grabbing color scheme and blaring radio.

The Micra comes in a choice of Enigma Black or Gunmetal Grey – both accented by the bright Energy Orange stripes and wheel inserts. The orange color is also found on the side mirrors. Special badging on the B-pillar denotes this being a Bose Personal Edition.

Inside, the black interior is heavily brightened by the fiery orange color. The seats have orange accents along the bolsters and down the backrests. The Center console gets padded leather pieces colored in the stuff. Even the center dash section burns brightly with Energy Orange. Quite honestly, the finished product isn’t terrible looking. In fact, it adds quite the personality to Nissan’s little economy car.

But the biggest news is the stereo. It only uses six speakers but maximizes sound via Bose’s latest signal processing technology. “We engineered the Bose Personal sound system to deliver unexpectedly big sound from a limited number of components,” said Marc Mansell, VP at Bose Automotive Systems. “Using just six high-performance speakers and our latest signal processing technology, the system rewards Micra owners with a superior, fully-customizable audio experience unlike anything else available today.”

Beyond the stereo, the car includes navigation, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist, and Intelligent Lane Intervention. Options include Nissan’s Around View Monitor, heated front seats, and a spare tire.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Nissan Micra Receives Its First Special Edition In Geneva

Nissan has launched the first special edition for the fifth-generation Micra subcompact car. It’s called the Bose Personal Edition and it features some wild color accents on the outside, an even wilder interior color scheme, and of course, an upgraded Bose sound system. Nissan is making 3,000 examples available to Europeans starting in the summer of 2017.

The Bose Personal Edition is based on the Micra’s range-topping trim, the Tekna grade. Both the turbocharged 0.9-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and the 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel will be available. But the drivetrain options aren’t the story. Rather is the attention-grabbing color scheme and blaring radio.

The Micra comes in a choice of Enigma Black or Gunmetal Grey – both accented by the bright Energy Orange stripes and wheel inserts. The orange color is also found on the side mirrors. Special badging on the B-pillar denotes this being a Bose Personal Edition.

Inside, the black interior is heavily brightened by the fiery orange color. The seats have orange accents along the bolsters and down the backrests. The Center console gets padded leather pieces colored in the stuff. Even the center dash section burns brightly with Energy Orange. Quite honestly, the finished product isn’t terrible looking. In fact, it adds quite the personality to Nissan’s little economy car.

But the biggest news is the stereo. It only uses six speakers but maximizes sound via Bose’s latest signal processing technology. “We engineered the Bose Personal sound system to deliver unexpectedly big sound from a limited number of components,” said Marc Mansell, VP at Bose Automotive Systems. “Using just six high-performance speakers and our latest signal processing technology, the system rewards Micra owners with a superior, fully-customizable audio experience unlike anything else available today.”

Beyond the stereo, the car includes navigation, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist, and Intelligent Lane Intervention. Options include Nissan’s Around View Monitor, heated front seats, and a spare tire.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Renault Captur Gets Mild Tweaks and More Refined Interior

This year’s Geneva Motor Show may be packed with loads of flashy supercars and special-edition models, but the event is also about daily drivers focused on practicality and affordability. One of them is the Renault Captur, Europe’s best-selling B-segment crossover in 2016, which has received some light mid-cycle tweaks.

Identical to the outgoing model for the most part, the Captur retains its two-tone body color option and gets two new hues. In all, customers now have access to 36 color combinations. New features include full LED headlamps (optional), a fixed glass roof for models with the two-tone paint, and new 16- and 17-inch wheels. The Captur also gained a few features from the bigger Kadjar model, including a chrome strip on the front grille and new skid plates for both bumpers.

Inside, the crossover features more upmarket materials for the steering wheel and a revised gear lever. Renault also crafted new seats with enhanced lateral support on some trims, while a new Signature S Nav trim adds heated Nappa leather seats, full-grain Nappa leather steering wheel, leather door panels, aluminum pedals, and chrome trim.

There’s no word of any drivetrain modifications, so it’s safe to assume that the Captur carries over with the previous engines. Options include the 0.9-liter three-cylinder with 90 horsepower and 100 pound-feet, the 1.2-liter four-cylinder with 116 horses and 140 pound-feet, and the 1.5-liter diesel with 90 horsepower and 162 pound-feet.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Renault Captur Gets Mild Tweaks and More Refined Interior

This year’s Geneva Motor Show may be packed with loads of flashy supercars and special-edition models, but the event is also about daily drivers focused on practicality and affordability. One of them is the Renault Captur, Europe’s best-selling B-segment crossover in 2016, which has received some light mid-cycle tweaks.

Identical to the outgoing model for the most part, the Captur retains its two-tone body color option and gets two new hues. In all, customers now have access to 36 color combinations. New features include full LED headlamps (optional), a fixed glass roof for models with the two-tone paint, and new 16- and 17-inch wheels. The Captur also gained a few features from the bigger Kadjar model, including a chrome strip on the front grille and new skid plates for both bumpers.

Inside, the crossover features more upmarket materials for the steering wheel and a revised gear lever. Renault also crafted new seats with enhanced lateral support on some trims, while a new Signature S Nav trim adds heated Nappa leather seats, full-grain Nappa leather steering wheel, leather door panels, aluminum pedals, and chrome trim.

There’s no word of any drivetrain modifications, so it’s safe to assume that the Captur carries over with the previous engines. Options include the 0.9-liter three-cylinder with 90 horsepower and 100 pound-feet, the 1.2-liter four-cylinder with 116 horses and 140 pound-feet, and the 1.5-liter diesel with 90 horsepower and 162 pound-feet.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Picanto Shows its New, Sporty Face in Geneva

After six years on the market, the tiny Kia Picanto was redesigned from the ground up and unveiled in January 2017. Come March, and the hatchback aimed at the Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo made its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Upgraded to the company’s new styling language, the new Picanto sports a more youthful design with more angular features. The “tiger-nose” grille adds a bit of aggressiveness up front, while the dual exhaust and diffuser-like element around back enhances the sporty appearance. The cabin gained higher quality materials and new tech, including a seven-inch touchscreen with navigation and optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Kia claims that the new hatchback offers “best-in-class packaging efficiency” and more legroom and headroom than more popular rivals in the A-segment.

Under the hood, the Picanto carries over with the 1.0-liter three-cylinder and 1.25-liter four-cylinder engines from the previous model, but with upgrades for improved efficiency and driveability. The 1.0-liter cranks out 66 horsepower and 96 Nm (71 pound-feet) of torque and uses a new exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head and a new cooling system with shut-off valve. The 1.25-liter delivers 83 horsepower and 122 Nm (90 pound-feet) of torque. This engine was upgraded with an optimized valve timing and new cooling system with shut-off valve. Later in 2017, the Picanto will also get a turbocharged 1.0-liter engine good for 99 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of twist.

Kia also made several upgrades in the safety department. With 44 percent of the body shell cast in Advanced High Strength Steel, the car is lighter but stronger, while torsional stiffness has been improved by 32 percent. Standard features include six airbags, Vehicle Stability Management, and Electronic Stability Control.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Yaris GRMN Takes the Hot-Hatch Market by Storm

Introduced in 1999, the Toyota Yaris evolved into a strong competitor for the supermini market, gaining popularity thanks to its affordable sticker, roomy interior given the small size, cheap maintenance, and good fuel economy. But even though the Yaris has become significantly better with each generation, Toyota received a lot of heat for not developing a higher performance version. Now, critics can finally rest as the Japanese firm introduced the Yaris GRMN at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Inspired by the Yaris WRC rally car built in cooperation with Gazoo Racing, the Yaris GRMN is the Volkswagen Polo GTi and Ford Fiesta ST competitor that Toyota enthusiasts have been requesting for years. Based on the 2017 upgrade for the standard Yaris, also unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the GRMN has a sportier exterior highlighted by a unique front grille and foglamps, a more aggressive rear bumper with a center-mounted exhaust, a tailgate spoiler, and black and red paint accents. It also rides on 17-inch, BBS wheels.

Inside, the GRMN features sports seats designed for this car by Toyota Boshoku, a leather-wrapped steering wheel taken from the GT86, and aluminum sport pedals.

But arguably the most important feature of the car is the supercharged, 1.8-liter engine. Rated at “more than 207” horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual transmission, it promises to deliver “best-in-class times both for the sprint from nought to 100 km/h and acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fourth gear.” Specific data is not yet available, but the GRMN needs to hit 62 mph in less than 6.5 seconds for this statement to be true.

The drivetrain is backed by a custom, reinforced chassis with additional bracing, a suspension system tuned through extensive testing at the Nurburgring track with input from Gazoo Racing, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Shorter springs, dedicated shock absorbers developed with Sachs, a larger diameter front stabilizer bar, and performance brakes round off the package.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Abarth 595 Pista

Revived in 2007 after a 32-year hiatus, the modern Fiat 500 soldiered on almost unchanged up until now. A facelift operated in 2016 added a new grille, reshaped headlamps, and LED technology, but it’s far from being a full-fledged redesign. The performance-oriented Abarth model also received a similar update and as a result Fiat returned to producing special-edition models for the auto shows around the world. One of them is the 595 Pista and was unveiled ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Named Pista, which is Italian for race track, the special edition makes clear reference to the racing vocation of the Abarth 500 and stands out by means of bespoke features inside and out, as well as the one-of-a-kind Abarth Telemetry system. The Pista version completes the new 595 Abarth line-up, which includes two body styles (hatchback and convertible), three trim levels (595, 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione), and as many drivetrain output and tuning levels.

Pricing and availability information is not yet known, but the 595 Pista will likely go on sale in most European markets. It might not come to the U.S. though, but Fiat will launch other special-edition models here.

Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 595 Pista.


PostHeaderIcon DS 7 Crossback

Citroën has been around since 1919, but its premium sub-brand, DS Automobiles has only been around since its announcement back in 2009 – making the brand just shy of a decade old. Since then, the brand has released a few concepts and no fewer than six individual models that include the DS 3, DS 6, two iterations of the DS 4, and two iterations of the DS 5. Now with the upcoming Geneva Auto Show, the DS brand is set to release a new SUV, aptly called the DS7.

It will fight against models like the Lexus NX, Audi Q2, and even the BMW X1 – a tall order, but not exactly unfathomable given the looks, luxury, and comfort offered by the brand’s newest SUV… uhem… Crossback. Designed with comfort and performance in mind, the DS 7 features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that delivers some 300 ponies through all four wheels when needed. Features like DS Night Vision, DS Active Scan Suspension, DS Connected Pilot, and a pair of 12-inch screens inside are present – all of which poses a strong proposition for the competition.

There are even rumors that this newest model could, in fact, bring the Citroën brand – or at least some derivative of it – back to the U.S. for the first time in nearly three decades. Of course, word has it that its initial reentry will be trough a company called TravelCar which would help the brand introduce its newest models to the U.S. market as rental or ride-share vehicles. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves and get too excited, that’s still some time away, and the DS7 is still headed to Geneva Motor Show. So, let’s take a better look at DS’ newest SUV and talk more about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the DS 7 Crossback.


PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500X S-Design Special

There once was a time when a high-riding Fiat 500 would’ve amounted to some form of ridicule. The 500, after all, has been around for 60 years and at no point did it venture past being a small compact car. But time has a way of flipping long-standing narratives in the auto industry, and no more is that more evident than the launch of the Fiat 500X back in 2015. Essentially a small crossover version of the 500, the 500X checks off some boxes that the traditional 500 can’t. It’s bigger, more spacious, and provides a fresh alternative to the established compact city car. Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the 500X will be well-represented at the event with a special edition model called the 500X S-Design Special.

Mind you, this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for the biggest variant of the Fiat 500. We’ve seen it get an Opening Edition in the past and it’s also been a staple in SEMA for the past few years. But the S-Design Special is different, not only because it’s Geneva-bound, but because it’s also arguably the most dressed-up version of the Fiat 500X that we’ve seen so far.

Okay, so it’s not exactly dripping with exclusive features, but it does have a lot of unique qualities unto itself. It has a new paint finish and a slew of unique exterior and interior details that help shape the exclusivity attached to this model. It also has tinted windows, which apparently is significant enough to warrant a mention in the Italian automaker’s press release.

Altogether, these features help create the identity of the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition. For what it’s worth, we’re all going to see how appealing the special edition 500X is in the eyes of customers since Fiat plans to open orders for the model in June 2017, a few months after it debuts in Geneva.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition


PostHeaderIcon Fiat Tipo S-Design

Using a name that dates back to 1988, the Fiat Tipo returned to the market in 2015, after a 20-year hiatus. Designed to replace both the Linea and Bravo, the Tipo is offered in three body styles — sedan, hatchback, and wagon. All three versions are already available in showrooms and, for 2017, Fiat is launching a new model. Dubbed S-Design, it features a few sportier elements on the outside and unique features inside, giving it a distinct personality. The S-Design upgrade will be available for both the hatchback and wagon and the former will make its public debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Launched alongside other special-edition Fiats, especially 500 hatchbacks, the Tipo S-Design is actually a trim level that will probably become the most expensive in the lineup. But, while the exterior and interior is stands out by means of extra features, the drivetrains carry over unchanged. And the fact that Fiat isn’t offering the base gasoline and diesel engines in the S-Design is confirmation that the new model is set to become the range-topping Tipo.

There’s no word on pricing and availability yet, but the Tipo S-Design should go on sale in all European markets where the Italian compact is already available.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat Tipo S-Design.


PostHeaderIcon Smart Fortwo Cabrio Brabus Edition #2

The third-generation Smart ForTwo came to be in 2014, when the German firm unveiled a completely redesigned city car with underpinnings borrowed from the Renault Twingo. For 2017, Smart introduced a new version of the higher performance ForTwo developed by long-time Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus. A couple of special-edition models followed and Smart is now launching the ForTwo Cabrio Brabus Edition #2 at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Essentially a limited-edition model featuring an extensive line of equipment and appointments, the Edition #2 is arguably the most bespoke ForTwo Cabrio to date. Not only offered in unique color combinations inside and out, the Edition #2 is also packed with standard features, including no fewer than four distinct packages.

Set to go on sale in March 2017, the Cabrio Brabus Edition #2 will be showcased at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the ForFour Crosstown Edition. There’s no word whether the Edition #2 will make it Stateside, but until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at this fancy little city car.

Continue reading to learn more about the Smart Fortwo Cabrio Brabus Edition #2.


PostHeaderIcon Smart ForFour Crosstown Edition

Am I the only one who thinks that there’s something redeemable about the Smart ForFour? The four-door compact car hasn’t been as well-received as Smart would’ve liked, but it still has some qualities about it that make it an appealing choice for urban-goers. Say what you will about the ForFour, but you can’t deny that it has enough merits to warrant a special edition model, which is exactly what we’ll be getting when Smart brings the ForFour Crosstown Edition at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

I get the skepticism about the car; I really do. I get it that people think that it’s still too small for their liking. I get it that it’s still hilariously underpowered. I even get it that the car hasn’t changed much since the second-generation model was launched in 2014. All fair points, but give credit to Smart for not only soldiering on with the ForFour, but for also doubling down on it with the Crosstown Edition.

As you can expect, the special edition ForFour features a wide range of enhancements and packages, all of which were added to give the ForFour an exclusive look to it that the model rarely gets. Think of the ForFour Crosstown Edition then as a Smart catalog on four wheels that’s meant to showcase a lot of the equipment and appointments that usually come as added options on standard models.

The special edition ForFour doesn’t have any engine enhancements, so don’t expect anything in that regard. But there are some notable features elsewhere around the car, and in the absence of anything exciting happening under its modest hood, Smart makes up for it with some interesting upgrades both inside and outside of the ForFour Crosstown Edition.

So give it a look. You might end up liking it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Smart ForFour Crosstown Edition


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