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2019 RAM 1500 Rebel

2019 RAM 1500 Rebel RAM's budget answer to the Raptor By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 RAM has a bit of Raptor envy. The Ford F-150 Raptor is seen as many as the ultimate off-road truck, with its upgraded suspension dampers, wild engine and bold wide-body styling. But it's an expensive proposition, with an opening ante over 52 grand, and rising quickly from there with a few option groups. So RAM thought it had a better idea: take a basic RAM 1500–all-new for 2019–and give it uprated Bilstein monotube dampers, knobby tires, and a look that sets it apart from the standard truck, and save the customer a heap-load of money. As Fiat Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown put it, "Owners wanted the lift and look," but they didn't necessarily want to go full-bore if they're not racing their truck through the desert on the regular. We got a chance to try it out off road at Calamigos Ranch outside Malibu. What is this vehicle? The RAM 1500 is the brand's full-size pickup truck, a rugged workhorse that also provides creature comforts. The 1500 is the brand's lightest-duty truck, with heavy-duty variants starting at the 2500 level. But that doesn't mean it can't handle a ton of weight...literally. It can haul up to 2,300 lbs. of payload in the bed, and tow another 12,750 behind it if equipped right. The RAM 1500 [...]

2018-06-23T21:12:47-04:00Jun 2018|Car Reviews|

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Returning some sparkle to the triple-diamond By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 The compact utility segment–with well-known entries like the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape–is the best-selling in the industry, having leap-frogged the sedan segments as the family car of record for Americans. Mitsubishi wants to use its new entry in the segment as a basis for its climb back to relevance with U.S. consumers. The brand has had a tough slog, with a 10-year decline from 2002 to 2012, which saw the brand lose 83% of its sales volume. Over the past five years the tri-diamond has been growing, with 2017's sales nearly 80% above that of 2012. Nearly all of that increase has been owed to the brand's two existing crossovers, the Outlander and Outlander Sport. But to really kick up the momentum, and to introduce its new sense of design flair, Mitsubishi has resurrected the Eclipse name for a utility vehicle that tries to offer a distinct sense of sportiness in a field of crossovers that's more focused on utility and efficiency. What is this vehicle? The Eclipse Cross actually occupies the space in between the compact and subcompact segments, though Mitsubishi is positioning the vehicle against the compacts of the world. Its wheelbase and width suggest a vehicle right in the thick of competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but its [...]

2018-06-15T00:50:28-04:00Jun 2018|Uncategorized|

Comparo: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 vs. Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 vs. 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Midsize off-road trucks battle for the rock-crawling crown By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 At the Motor Press Guild’s recent Droptops & Dirt event at Calamigos Ranch, near Malibu, CA, journalists had a chance to try out a unique mix of off-road focused trucks and utilities, as well as sporty convertible models. This is an intriguing time for those who like to play in the muck, as there are several different options within the pickup segments offering specially developed off-road editions straight from the factory. We got a chance to try two of these trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, side-by-side. What are these vehicles? These are trim levels of the popular Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Already highly capable trucks, the brands add special equipment that allows them to be used in extreme off-roading tasks, like special suspension pieces that allow for better articulation during rock crawling, powertrain components that allow torque to be precisely controlled for optimal traction, body protection that preserves the panels even among tough terrain, and appearance pieces that announce to the world that they’re trucks to be reckoned with. Who are these vehicle for? These trucks appeal most to outdoor enthusiasts, many of whom appreciate the ability of these highly refined pickups to serve as [...]

2018-06-11T21:55:53-04:00Jun 2018|Car Reviews|

2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 Nissan Kicks Nissan’s smallest SUV joins the car world’s biggest craze. By Nick Kurczewski, Car-ED.com | June 2018 Small SUVs are the next big thing in the car world, and automakers are rapidly adding more of them to their lineups. The 2018 Nissan Kicks joins in as the latest entry in this growing range of subcompact SUVs, which includes similarly brand-new models like the Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Kona. More established competition in this segment – which Nissan expects to more than double in sales volume over the next 3-4 years – includes the Kia Soul, Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V and Toyota CH-R. What is this vehicle? In terms of its size, the Kicks is right in the thick of its competition. The Nissan stretches 169.1 inches in total length, making it slightly larger than the Kia Soul (163 inches long), a bit smaller than the Toyota CH-R (171.7 inches), and the exact same length as the Honda HR-V (169.1 inches). Helping the 2018 Kicks stand out from the crowd is an aggressively low starting price of $18,965, including the $995 destination fee. A fully-loaded Kicks SR, such as the one we recently test drove in San Diego, California, still came with an affordable as-tested price of $22,025. Our test car included features such as a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android compatibility, blind spot monitors, surround-view camera, rear cross-traffic warning, leather-wrapped [...]

2018-06-12T22:58:38-04:00Jun 2018|Uncategorized|