In the States, we know that size still matters. And just like dinner portions, Americans love their bigger cars and trucks. But times, they are a changin’, and the current crop of hatchbacks just goes to show that manufacturers are putting in a lot more thought, time and money into developing small cars that work big. Driving a hatchback no longer makes you look like you were holding the door when they were handing out real cars. The combination of solid styling, creature comforts and great fuel economy (and, sometimes. wickedly good performance) has young and old alike turning to 5-doors options. We drove five of the best for a month and came away with a new appreciation for the hot hatch.
Tops be droppin'
Summer isn’t nearly as enjoyable without top-down driving. As much as we’re fans of hardtop automotive design and the way a sweeping roofline catches the eye, we have to admit that the clear growl of an engine and the wind in your hair makes the warmer months that much better. Even a drive up Pacific Coast Highway in a cream-hued 1995 Chrysler Sebring Convertible can be a pleasure (as long as no one actually sees you). Bully for you, convertibles are better than ever — gone are the fussy tops, the anemic engines, and silhouettes that would make Quasimodo cringe. The crop of current convertibles range from modern nostalgia to supercar power players, but one thing they all do is make your motoring pleasure good for all the world to see.
The 10 That Got Away
Some concept cars are the stuff of dreams, and some make a justified beeline for the crusher. But then there are the truly glorious ones: the concepts built just for show, never meant to be anything more than the Paris runway model of the automotive world, or those lucky few that see their design elements actually influence production cars, even if they themselves never make it to the street. Tragically, for many of the best, somewhere between an auto show debut and the fevered, hopeful dreams of auto enthusiasts, some kind of childhood-hating shutdown switch gets flicked by faceless bean counters. In honor of the fallen, we take a look at 10 of the best concept cars that only ever got to lay rubber on the auto show floor.
A new generation of four-doors
Family sedans tend to be the automotive equivalent of Valium (minivans are horse tranquilizers, in case you were wondering), but times have changed. Family men no longer need to sacrifice
too much in the way of driving excitement and looks in order to transport tykes and trikes. We get it. You’d rather be doing some tire ripping, engine-snorting performance runs on your way to drop off your son at school. Still, we’ve compiled our list of “family sedans” that take let you perform your dad duties with aplomb while still allowing you more than a modicum of manly fun.
The midsize car wars wage on, making up nearly 20% of the total market share of consumer automobiles. And there are more players than ever, so if you want to compete, you’d better not bring your knife to a gun fight. We love the current Mazda6, but the
The one, the only
The MX-5 is the quintessential roadster. Balanced, tractable and compliant, it’s a true driving purist’s car. And Mazda churns out special editions of their venerable little roadster like the Alien Mother pops out face huggers. Perhaps the most significant permutation of the MX-5 is the Mazda MX-5 Super20, a one-of-a-kind version that first bowed at…
The 2010 Paris Motor Show had landed and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to for a man to assume an amplitude of impossibly sexy cars, leggy models, and enough bespoke suits to make the men of Positano blush. Well, if this year’s display of supercar prowess is anything more than a declaration that the recession is…
Last month, Gear Patrol was invited to be amongst the very first folks in North America to get keys to the brand new 2011 Mazda2. Naturally, we were keen to accept the offer where we sojourned to Montreal to get our hands, feet, and butts-in-seat on Mazda’s forthcoming compact – an award-winning vehicle that’s garnered…
Zoom-Zoom For Real
There’s no doubt that smaller cars are hot right now (finally). With the Geneva Auto Show around the corner, Mazda has thrown out a few teasers to the Mazdaspeed3, a devilish vehicle powered by a 263 horsepower 2.3 liter DISI turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Sure, it might not qualify as the best method of transportation for…
[click on image to enlarge] Suffice it to say, these days aren’t exactly ideal for car ownership. But giving up some of your monthly car payment allowance doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice image, quality or performance (and efficiency). Mazda’s laid a pretty impressive punch to the automarket with its 2009 Mazda6. The Mazda6, aestheticlaly,…