Car Review: 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition M/T

2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition

I’ve been a fan of the Veloster Turbo from Hyundai since I drove the inaugural version several years ago through the winding canyon roads surrounding San Diego. I recently had the 2016 Rally Edition for a week and got to experience the vehicle again, this time with plenty of routine city and highway drive time along with some more challenging roads. The car is just as fun as I remember, though I do miss those SoCal roads.

Exterior

My Veloster Rally Edition came with Matte Blue exterior paint with black wheel rims that made the car stand out as I drove through town. The Veloster is still in its first generation, so there haven’t been significant design changes to the exterior, which still features the unique third door for easy access to the back seats. The unique look and body shape gives the Veloster more interior room, as the designers weren’t wed to tradition sports car dimensions, while the headlamps and large grille provide a powerful look for the vehicle.

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Toyota pulls the plug on Scion

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Toyota made the surprising announcement this week that it’s giving up on the Scion brand. It’s somewhat surprising from our perspective since we were pretty impressed with the Scion vehicles we tested for this model year.

As it turns out, the three models we tested the FR-S sports coupe, the iA sedan and the iM hatchback — will be rebadged as Toyota models.

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First Drive: 2016 Nissan Sentra

2016 Nissan Sentra - angle

The 2016 Nissan Sentra gets a facelift, including a new front grille, as part of a substantial mid-cycle refresh for this compact car. About 20% of the Sentra has been changed, which is about three times the change in a refresh design and makes the Sentra’s look consistent with the changes we’re seeing in Nissan’s sedan lineup. I drove the new Sentra on a gorgeous, sunny day in Orange County with some spectacular coastline views and plenty of city driving settings.

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Lincoln brings back the Continental

Lincoln is bringing back the iconic Continental name for its new flagship sedan for the 2017 model year. The full-size, luxury sedan will be available in the fall of 2017 in the US and China.

Lincoln’s new signature grille grabs your attention immediately as the most distinctive feature of the new Continental. It will be interesting to see how this new grille starts to impact the design of other models in the Lincoln line-up, as it’s such a departure from the more modern and stylized grille currently dominating Lincoln designs. This new grille offers a more classic and traditional look. It’s elegant and appropriate for a luxury line, and it may be representative of the design direction Lincoln needs to follow to reclaim its traditional place among the top luxury brands in the US. I’ve heard some feedback that the new look is too similar to other luxury brands like Bentley, and while that may be a fair criticism, the new front end certainly looks good on this new vehicle.

“The Continental name has long been associated with the ultimate in Lincoln beauty and luxury,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “With the all-new model, we are focusing on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients – providing what we call quiet luxury.”

Lincoln is stressing all of the luxury and comfort offered by the new Continental, but I’m most interested in the all-new Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers that produces a projected 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. We can see from the photos that the new design is worthy of the Continental name, so I’m anxious to drive the vehicle and see of the entire experience lives up to that standard as well.

  

First Drive: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is different. It’s packaged lightning, and the package is pretty impressive.

This Italian-made pocket rocket is the first of a slew of Alfa Romeos headed to this market. And if the 4C is any indication, then there is a new player in the luxury performance game and the engineers from Modena, Italy are to be taken seriously.

Our test car was 157.5 inches long, 73.5 inches wide, and at 46.6 inches, it wasn’t even four feet tall. That meant we had to slide down into the 4C, and it was almost like sliding down into a not-so-shallow bathtub, and then had to climb our way back out.

If ever there was a pretentious test for friends, female and male alike, getting into and out of the Alfa Romeo 4C is it. But the slide into the tub was worth it. The Alfa Romeo 4C is a palpitating piece of machinery.

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