Currently browsing: Car of the week

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ road test

Subcompact SUV done right for North America BY MARK MAYNARD The new Chevrolet Trailblazer is a social climber in a steep segment of small SUVs that expands the perception and function of a subcompact vehicle. It makes the most of a small space and scoots around on a choice of two turbocharged, three-cylinder engines. It revives the nameplate previously applied to the midsize model discontinued in 2009. But the 2021 Trailblazer is a fresh start...

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid road test

More power, more fuel economy — more fundamental goodness BY MARK MAYNARD The Honda CR-V hits a sweet spot of wholesomeness among compact SUV crossovers. It is poised, comfortable and rich in clever engineering and function. And this year, the automaker raised its relevance with a gasoline-electric hybrid model, making it the most powerful and fuel-efficient CR-V in the lineup. Launched in 1997, the CR-V has brought Honda 5 million sales and is currently the...

2020 Hyundai Venue SEL road test

BY MARK MAYNARD As the Coronavirus sucks the spontaneity out of our daily routines, having to replace anything, especially a vehicle, gets new scrutiny. How much or how little is required? Do we make ourselves happy? Or do we settle? Hyundai’s newest and smallest SUV crossover, the Venue, makes the most of difficult choices. Based on the Hyundai’s subcompact Accent sedan, the Venue is the boxy equivalent, but it’s not a penalty box. It’s a...

All-electric Mustang Mach-E 1400 showcased Aug. 8-9 in NASCAR Cup series broadcast

NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano had a chance to feel the raw electric power of the Mustang Mach-E 1400 prototype along with Ford’s famed drift star Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Ford’s Romeo Proving Grounds in Michigan. Logano and Gittin were on-track the week of Aug. 7 to make a short film to showcase the Mustang Mach-E 1400 — developed in collaboration with Gittin’s RTR (Ready to Rock) Vehicles — that will appear for the...

Chevrolet to stage weeklong virtual cruise

‘Cruisin’ the USA in your Chevrolet’ a tribute to history, iconic vehicles, technological innovations and Chevy experts BY MARK MAYNARD While the summer car-show season has been socially distanced to near death, Chevrolet is reimagining shows and cruise nights through a weeklong virtual festival. Hosted on Chevy’s social media channels from Aug. 10-16, “Cruisin’ the USA in your Chevrolet” will be a tribute more than a century of the brand’s automotive history, technological innovation, design...

2020 SEMA Show cancelled

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, announced Aug. 5 that due to COVID-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable — and, therefore, the 2020 SEMA Show will not take place. While event organizers and industry members have been working to develop the sprawling trade show in Las Vegas, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable. Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual trade show with...

2020 Cadillac CT5 road test

Sized, contented and priced to conquest new customers — but its timing suffers from the syndrome known as “It’s not an SUV” BY MARK MAYNARD Cadillac has one foot on the gas and the other on a power inverter as it transitions to be General Motors’ electric vehicle division. And all this arrives with the release this year of two new gasoline-powered sedans that replace two very competent sedans. The new models, the CT5 and...

Yokohama Tire rewards sweat equity with Spartan Race Series promotion, through Sept. 30

Through Sept. 30, the promotion features free 2021 race entry, worth up to a $190 value with the purchase of four eligible tires BY MARK MAYNARD As the official tire sponsor for the U.S. Spartan Race Series, Yokohama is offering a summer promotion that highlights the brand’s tough tires and world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand. Though the coronavirus has scuttled the 2020 Spartan race season, organizers are focused on 2021. And now through...

Bentley hews 3D wood for new Flying Spur

Rear-door inserts handcrafted from a single block of American Walnut or American Cherry BY MARK MAYNARD Wood is an organic element that adds natural warmth in an inorganic mode of transportation — but not all wood is equal. The ultraluxury car segment has long been a purveyor of unique wood veneers for vehicle interiors. And the types of woods used by some makers, such as Rolls-Royce, are archived, catalogued and identified by the vehicle, make...

2020 AMG CLA 35 4Matic road test

Strategic precision in a compact four-door “coupe” BY MARK MAYNARD Highland Valley Road is a tangled black shoelace of two-lane country road in northeastern San Diego County. It’s a favorite for car-club runs and leisure drives to get some fresh air. The meandering road leads past acres of growing land for landscape nurseries and pine-tree farms before ascending to an area of vineyards and wineries. Mature scrub oaks form shaded canopies along stretches amid a...