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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
RANGE ROVER BOASTS INCREDIBLE OFF- AND ON-ROAD PROWESS

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
About six years ago, we test drove the Range Rover Sport with a 5.0-liter (510 horsepower) supercharged V-8. That was impressive. Equally notable was the 2016 HSE version the Range Rover folks dispatched to us recently. But this one with an all-new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 engine belted out an ample 254 hp @ 4000 rpm and 443 pounds-feet of torque @ 1750 rpm. The midsize

MAZDA3 MAKES FOR AN EXCITING DAILY RIDE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a major facelift just two years ago, the Mazda3 maintains its status quo except for a standard rearview camera in all its trims, among minor tweaks. Based on the CX-5 SUV and the Mazda6 sedan, this best-seller for Mazda is a fun ride for the daily grind.
The power train in our third-generation Mazda3 sedan was fitted with the direct-injection Skyactiv technology,

2016 CIVIC LIKE AN ALL-NEW CAR IN HONDA LINEUP!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Honda could very well have removed the Civic name on the 2016 model and replaced it with another. After all, this is like an entirely new vehicle added to the Japanese carmaker lineup.
For starters, the 2016 Civic length is up by 2.9, width by 1.9, wheelbase by 1.2, front and rear headroom by 0.31 and 0.4 inches respectively. Trunk volume sees a hike of 2.6 to 15.1

VOLVO XC60 IS QUICK, ROOMY AND SAFE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Introduced in 2010, the XC60 hit record sales of over 26,000 units last year. And that should continue for a host of reasons laid down. Our small luxury crossover SUV was equipped with a T6 Drive-E 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged engine pumping out 302 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 295 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. Add an 8-speed auto gearbox and the start-stop

SPORTY KIA OPTIMA NOT YOUR TYPICAL SEDAN!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
It is undoubtedly one of the boldest-appearing midsize sedans today. Sharing its basic design with the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Optima has undergone a major transformation for 2016.
The sporty SX gets a 2.0-liter turbo gas inline-4 cylinder engine developing 245 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm. It is coupled to a seamless 6-speed auto. An

TAKE THE HONDA ODYSSEY ON A VOYAGE!

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Everyone’s favorite minivan (apart from the Toyota Sienna), the Odyssey continues in 2016 with its status quo intact. Except for the fact that Honda has introduced a new trim, Special Edition, which was our test drive for the week.
Under the hood sits a sole 3.5- liter i-VTEC V-6 engine, which develops 248 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 250 pounds-feet of torque @ 4800 rpm.

KIA EQUIPS 2016 K900 WITH A DESERVING V-6 ENGINE

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Two years ago, we test drove a K900 with a 5.0-liter V-8 power train under the hood. This year, Kia has added a 3.8-liter V-6 engine pumping 311 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 293 pounds-feet of torque @ 5000 rpm. Also revamped in the Korean carmaker rear-wheel-drive premium flagship is the front grille, while the rear gets fresh chrome trim, exhausts, tail lamps and a new bumper. And

REDESIGNED LEXUS RX350 EVEN MORE CLASSY, PRACTICAL

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
It has been totally revamped inside out. And for the better, of course. The 2016 Lexus RX350 retains the 3.5-liter V-6 power train but cranks out 295 (up 25) @ 6300 rpm and 267 (up 19) pounds-feet of torque @ 4700 rpm. Out goes the dated 6-speed to be replaced by an 8-speed auto transmission, ensuring fuel economy savings of at least 1 mpg. Also tweaked is the front MacPherson

POTENT AUDI S4 IS A BLAST TO DRIVE!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Lead-foot drivers, you have been warned! Put pedal to the metal on this ride and you are off 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. And top speed is 155 mph. This high-performance version of the Audi A4 sedan will take your breath away with a 3.0-liter V-6 supercharged engine putting out an amazing 333 horsepower @ 5500 rpm and 325 pounds-feet of torque @ 2900 rpm.
Getting power to

GS450h A SUPERB BLEND OF PERFORMANCE, STYLE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Take the conventional Lexus GS350, exchange its power train with a hybrid version, and you have the GS450h. The midsize luxury sedan still gets the 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine but this one, mated to electric motor/generators, cranks out 338 total horsepower. Zero to 60 mph is clocked at just 5.6 seconds with top speed limited at 137 mph. The rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive

REVAMPED 2017 ELANTRA IS A NO-BRAINER

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
This one is pretty much an all-new Elantra. Forget the previous power trains. The compact car is equipped with an all-new 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine, which develops out 147 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 132 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm; or the 1.4-liter turbocharged GDI 4-cylinder putting out 128 hp @ 5500 rpm and 156 pounds-feet of torque @ 3700 rpm. Transmission

OVERHAULED LINCOLN MKX GETS A NEW POWERFUL ENGINE!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Since it debuted nine years ago, buyers have enjoyed riding in extravagance and style in the Lincoln MKX. Now with a major re-do, the midsize luxury SUV shows even more promise. Nearly an inch more in wheelbase and 1/2 inch in length from its predecessor, the second-generation model is equipped with an all-new engine too and a more appealing interior.
Available in

ENJOY PASSENGER-, CARGO-HAULING PRACTICALITY IN SIENNA

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
It is inarguably, in our eyes, the best minivan on the road. So it does not surprise us that for 2016, Toyota has left its third-generation Sienna intact. And the minivan continues to be offered in all-wheel drive as well if that is to your liking. Under the hood resides the reliable 3.5-liter DOHC dual VVT inline-6 cylinder engine developing 266 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 245

SUBURBAN A UTILITARIAN WORKHORSE FOR 80 YEARS

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Take the Chevrolet Tahoe, super-size it and you basically have a Chevy Suburban. Jokes apart, the 2016 Suburban is the bigger sibling with a 14-inch longer wheelbase and stretched more than 20.4 inches in length.
In fact, the two full-size SUVs even share the sole 5.3-liter V-8 engine, which cranks 355 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 383 pounds-feet @ 4100 rpm. The fully

HYBRID RAV4 BOOSTS TOYOTA LINEUP

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Since it debuted in the United States in 1996, the RAV4 has stood the test of time. This year, it faces a new test with a hybrid version under the hood, a first for the compact crossover. 
The 2.5-liter DOHC inline-4 cylinder gas engine develops 150 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 152 pounds-feet of torque @ 4400 rpm. But two electric motors boast hp up to 194. A 244.8-volt

NISSAN ALTIMA: WHAT IS NEW FOR 2016?

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Though the powertrain stays as is, Nissan has revamped the exterior of its bestseller with a fresh hood, fenders, bumper and trunk, while lowering the front fascia with its distinct V-shaped, black-painted and chrome-surround grille. Step back and you will find a new fascia, bumper, chrome dual exhaust and door handles, and wider, four-piece tail lamps like a boomerang.
The

LUXURIOUS NX 200t OFFERS SPIRITED DRIVING!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Leave it to Lexus to shine in the compact luxury crossover segment. There is already the NX 300h we test drove last year and recently sat behind the NX 200t. It was a blast to drive, responding with quickness in any driving situation while loaded with luxury and tech goodies expected from this upscale division of Toyota.
A 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline-4

GMC CANYON GETS AN ALL-NEW DIESEL ENGINE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Last year, we test drove the 3.5-liter V-6 gas Canyon, which was a comeback vehicle. For 2016, the folks at GMC dispatched over an all-new diesel for us to enjoy. And enjoy, we did. The midsize truck is equipped with the optional 2.8-liter inline-4 cylinder turbo diesel that packs 181 horsepower @ 3400 rpm and an impressive 369 pounds-feet of torque @ 2000 rpm. It stays coupled

STEADFAST CAMRY SEATS FIVE WITH EASE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a major re-do inside out last year, the best-selling car in the United States continues as is in 2016. The 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine in the Toyota Camry develops 178 horsepower and 170 pounds-feet of torque, plenty to cruise on the highway or dodge traffic in the city (the other power train is a 3.5-liter V-6 cranking 268 hp and 248 pounds-feet of torque). The

MKC CONTINUES TO SHINE FOR LINCOLN

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Last year, about 25,000 units of the MKC were sold. Launched little less than 1½ years ago, this compact luxury SUV has come as a fresh boost of much-needed air for Lincoln. Available in all-wheel or front-wheel drive, the five-passenger ride comes in a 2.0-liter or 2.3-liter power train, both turbocharged. Our test vehicle was the latter putting out 285 horsepower @ 5500 rpm

SCION iM EKES ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Let us start off by recognizing that this all-new compact hatchback from Scion is no powerhouse. But it does offer some redeeming qualities that will appeal to potential buyers, especially the novice driver in the family.
Under the hood of the one-trim, front-wheel-drive car sits a 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine developing 137 horsepower @ 6100 rpm and 126 pounds-feet of

FORD SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON ITS COMPACT FOCUS

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Last year, Ford had sent over the 2.0-liter GDI inline-4 cylinder Focus hatchback to test drive. We wondered how the other power train, a 1.0-liter turbo EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine, would hold up in comparison. (EcoBoost is essentially twin turbochargers and a smaller-displacement engine working in tandem with gasoline direct injection to produce a powerful but fuel-efficient

LEXUS IS200 DELIVERS QUITE A PUNCH

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
That IS250 sport sedan (2.5-liter V-6) is history and ably replaced by an all-new IS200t, which boasts of a wheelbase up by 3 inches and 1/2-inch width increase from its predecessor. But probably the best part is the 2.0-liter twin-turbo and intercooled inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 241 horsepower @ 5800 rpm and 258 pounds-feet of torque @ 4400 rpm. It is more than

CASCADA – THIS BUICK BABY IS TOPLESS!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
The new Buick baby has arrived. No kidding! Known traditionally for its bulky and full-size vehicles, the GM luxury brand has undergone a renaissance of sorts that will continue well into 2018. The 2016 Cascada marks the return of a convertible to the Buick lineup after 25 years.
Under the hood resides a sole Ecotec 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 cylinder, which cranks

MAZDA CX-5: WHAT IS NEW FOR 2016?

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Hardly in its third year and the 2016 Mazda CX-5 has been revamped. The exterior gets a bold-looking five-point grille surrounded by trapezoidal eagle-eyed halogen headlights, and fresh fog lamp surround. Tweaked is the MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension. Noticeably lowered are noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.  Interior changes include a new

REFRESHED HONDA ACCORD IS COMPOSED, SUPPLE

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a major makeover in 2013, the Honda Accord is back, once again refreshed though the power train remains unchanged.
Once again, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine cranks out 278 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 252 pounds-feet of torque @ 4900 rpm. Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system operates in three or four cylinder modes to save fuel. Standard is a seamless 6-speed automatic

MITSUBISHI LANCER ADDS THRILL TO THE DRIVE!

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
That the Lancer is an exciting and energetic car to drive is an understatement. No wonder Mitsubishi has kept the 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder engine, which develops 168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 167 pounds-feet of torque @ 4100 rpm. Unlike in other competitor cars, the precise and easy-to-engage Continuous Variable Transmission works.
The front-wheel-drive sedan in the GT

ACURA MDX: WHAT IS NEW FOR 2016?

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Well, not a whole lot new going on with the 2016 MDX. That is because Acura revamped its luxury SUV just two years ago. The 3.5-liter V-6 continues to put out 290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 267 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. But say goodbye to the 6-speed auto transmission, which has now been replaced by a nine-speed gearbox. Once again, the MDX is offered in front-wheel as well as

MAZDA CX-3 WILL BE HARD TO BEAT

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Mazda has the SUV market covered quite well, from top to bottom. It starts with the full-size CX-9, then the midsize CX-7, down to the compact CX-5 and trickling to the all-new subcompact 2016 CX-3. Under its hood is a 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 146 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 146 pounds-feet of torque @ 2800 rpm while coupled to a 6-speed auto gearbox.

PRICEY RLX HYBRID A GOOD MIX OF POWER, LUXURY

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
This Acura flagship may not win accolades like its competitors but the ride truly is up to the job of perfectly blending performance and luxury. And with a hybrid power train added to the mix, the RLX becomes more appealing than ever before.
Our all-wheel-drive test car was equipped with a direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine cranking out 377 total horsepower and 341

QUIRKY KIA SOUL A TOUGH ACT TO BEAT!

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a major redesign last year, the Kia Soul continues mostly as is in 2015. Nowhere on the road would you miss the funky, tall and boxy look of this subcompact wagon, which has been one of the turnaround vehicles for the rapidly-growing Korean carmaker.
It is not a power house but the 2.0-liter gasoline-direct injection inline-4 cylinder engine is sufficient to get the job

RAM PROMASTER CITY GETS THE JOB DONE!

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Thank Fiat International, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the world, for the latest fine offering from Dodge. The 2015 compact Ram Promaster City wagon is a good alternative to the pickup or minivan.
The purposeful cargo/passenger van gets a sole 24-liter DOHC inline-4 cylinder engine offering 178 horsepower @ 6400 rpm and 174 pounds-feet of torque @

REVEL IN THE ON- OR OFF-ROADING TOYOTA 4RUNNER

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
For 2015, the Toyota 4Runner continues as is. And why should not the midsize SUV, which has been in the running for more than three decades? Once again, the robust ride is equipped with a 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 engine developing 270 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 278 pounds-feet of torque @ 4400 rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, which we hope will get one an

FUNCTIONAL RDX DELIVERS A VIGOROUS PERFORMANCE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a major overhaul three years ago, the 2016 Acura RDX gets a mid-cycle refresh, which we believe adds more value. As a result, the small luxury crossover maintains its status quo with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine cranking out 279 horsepower (up 6 from predecessor) @ 6200 rpm and 252 pounds-feet (up 1) of torque @ 4900 rpm under the hood. A fresh variable cylinder management

OUTLANDER MANAGES A PASSABLE PERFORMANCE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Mitsubishi had promised more than a mid-cycle refresh of its 2016 Outlander. And it appears the Japanese carmaker has followed through on its pledge with a revamped crossover utility vehicle that touts over 100 engineering and design improvements.
Unfortunately, there is no change in the 2.4-liter, inline-4 cylinder power train, which once again develops 166 horsepower

NEWCOMER, ROOMY HONDA HR-V LACKS POWER

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
It is a notch or two below the bestseller CR-V. Maybe Honda felt a subcompact SUV was needed to fill in a niche of sorts. And that the HR-V does for the most part, successfully. 
Available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the 2016 HR-V gets a 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine packing 141 horsepower @ 6500 rpm and 127 pounds-feet of torque @ 4300 rpm. It is mated to a

ACURA ILX: WHAT IS NEW FOR 2016?

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
When it debuted about three years ago, we found the entry-level sedan to be well-equipped and well-priced for young professionals seeking a quick, practical and enjoyable Acura. Same can be said of the 2016 ILX with some significant changes.
Gone is the 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder power train. Instead, the car retains the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, putting out a

2016 HYUNDAI TUCSON WILL ENTICE BUYERS

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Introduced in 2004, the compact Hyundai Tucson has undergone a makeover in the past. But the inside out redesign and power train change for the front-wheel or all-wheel-drive 2016 SUV appears to be major. And for the better, we must say.
Mated to a 6-speed auto transmission, the base SE trim comes with a 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 164 horsepower @

MUSCLE-CAR BUFFS WILL LOVE THE CHARGER R/T!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
It falls just one short of the SRT Hellcat, which Dodge has loaded up with a mind-numbing 700 horsepower. Our 2015 Charger R/T Scat Pack test drive was equipped with a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine, which still packed a massive punch at 485 hp @ 6000 rpm and 475 pounds-feet of torque @ 4200 rpm. And that is more than plenty for this full-size sedan, finally mated to an 8-speed auto

CAMARO SS WITH 1LE PACKAGE AN INCREDIBLE RIDE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
This one is especially for the performance-oriented folks. The rest should take a back seat. Seriously. The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS gets a mammoth 6.2-liter V-8 engine cranking out 426 horsepower at 5900 rpm and 420 pounds-feet of torque at 4600 rpm. Making the rear-wheel-drive coupe a thriller is an effortless and standard 6-speed manual stick with a 3.9 final drive gear

ALL-NEW FIAT 500X WRINGS OUT OK PERFORMANCE

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
And we thought the 2014 Fiat 500L was supersized. But that is not the case anymore with the debut of the 2016 FiatX, an even larger vehicle, in fact the largest Fiat on the roads. Since the then-Italian carmaker (and now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) began selling cars in the United States four years ago, it has been our fortune to drive them all: base 500, Abarth, 500L and recently the

LET THE 2016 PILOT STEER YOU TO YOUR DESTINATION

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Except for the suspension and steering, it is an all-new 2016 Honda Pilot. Here are most of the major changes compared to its predecessor in a nutshell: 30 more horsepower and 9 pounds-feet of torque; 5-speed auto is now either 6-speed or 9-speed depending on the model; weight is down by nearly 300 pounds; wheelbase is up by almost 2 inches and length almost 3.5 inches; 1.3

2016 SONATA HYBRID DELIVERS ON SEVERAL COUNTS

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
In the automotive world, bigger is always better. In most cases. But the 2016 Hyundai Sonata hybrid takes off in a different direction. The previous 2.4-liter power train has been replaced with a smaller 2.0-liter GDI 4-cylinder engine developing 154 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 140 pounds-feet of torque. When paired with the 38-watt kW (up by 3) electric motor, the car boasts

FOUR-DOOR MINI COOPER BROADENS BUYER APPEAL

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
And now we have a hardtop four-door Mini Cooper. This inevitably means larger in all aspects but it is still miniscule, sort of. A 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder twin-turbo engine develops 189 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 207 pounds-feet of torque @ 1250 rpm. The 6-speed manual in the 2015 Cooper S is a blast to shift, especially at lower speeds. Front suspension is left up to a

MEET THE LIGHTER 2016 MAZDA MIATA MX-5!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Since its debut in 1989, more than 950,000 units of the “Best-Selling Two-Seater Sports Car” have been sold. With a total redesign for its 2016 model, we expect the Mazda Miata MX-5 to hit the 1 million mark fairly soon. Really, no tribute can be enough for the charmer. Even after 26 years (who is counting?), top-down motoring enthusiasts have a blast going down the

PRACTICAL HYUNDAI SANTA FE IS A FUN SUV TO DRIVE!

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com

The popular and much-touted midsize crossover from Hyundai comes in several trims. There is the Santa Fe Sport, the Sport 2.0T, the GLS and the Limited, which was our test drive for a week. The six-passenger, front-wheel-drive  (AWD is also available) is equipped with a 3.3-liter gasoline-direct injection V-6 engine cranking out 290 horsepower @ 6400 rpm and 252 pounds-feet of

HANDS-ON MURANO A TOUGH PACKAGE TO BEAT

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com

Just six months ago, we presented an overall review of the 2015 Nissan Murano. This time, the Japanese carmaker sent over the five-passenger midsize crossover for a week. Our revamped and front-wheel-drive ride was fitted with a 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 engine, which is mated to a Continuous Variable Transmission. It develops 260 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 240 pounds-feet of torque

NISSAN REVAMPS 2016 MAXIMA

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
So far, Nissan has sold 2.9 million Maximas in the United States. With a total redesign for 2016, we expect a spike in sales of the Smyrna, Tenn.-assembled eighth-generation full-size car.
The front-wheel-drive “four-door sports sedan” as Nissan likes to call it, acquires a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, which pumps out 300 horsepower (up by 10) @ 6400 rpm and 261

FIAT ABARTH GETS ALL-NEW AUTO GEARBOX

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
If you have always yearned for the Abarth trim but did not buy one because it lacked an automatic transmission, your prayers have been answered. The performance-oriented turbocharged and intercooled 2015 Fiat Abarth is equipped with an all-new 6-speed auto gearbox (additional $1,350). But the hatchback or convertible retains the 1.4-liter inline-4 cylinder engine packing 160 hp @

NX 300h A WORTHY ADDITION TO LEXUS LINEUP

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
The compact luxury crossover segment just got “richer,” sort of, with the entry of the 2015 Lexus NX 300h. The all-new model is a pleasure to drive, responding with agility in any driving situation while packed with luxury and tech goodies expected from this upscale division of Toyota.
A 2.5-liter DOHC inline-4 cylinder gas engine with Atkinson cycle

ENJOY POWER-AT-ALL-TIMES IN SUPERCAR NISSAN GT-R

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Back in 2009, when the supercar debuted, base price was just $76,840 and horsepower topped 480. Forget those days, as they say. The 2016 Nissan GT-R Premium comes at a hefty $101,770 and though retaining the 3.8-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine, it blasts off 545 hp (up by 5 from its predecessor) @ 6400 rpm and 463 pounds-feet of torque @ 3200-5800 rpm. The 6-speed dual-clutch auto

E250 BLUETEC DIESEL A WIN-WIN FOR BENZ

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
At the risk of offending other carmakers, we believe, “There is nothing like a Mercedes.” Apparently, the folks over at Benz must have sensed our thoughts and decided to dispatch over the 2015 E250 BlueTEC. A wonderful, pleasant drive it was that stretched to about 575 miles before the gas light came on.
Unchanged for this year, the midsize luxury sedan is

CHRYSLER 300: WHAT IS NEW FOR 2015?

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Totally redesigned in about four years ago, the 2015 Chrysler 300 continues to be available in a base 3.6-liter V-6 engine developing 292 and 300 horsepower. However, under the hood of our rear-wheel-drive (all-wheel drive is also available) test car sat the legendary 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine belting out 363 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 394 pounds-feet of torque at 4200 rpm. Probably

SKIP PLENTY OF FILL-IT-UP STOPS IN CAMRY HYBRID

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Ready for the 600-mile summer trip up north on a 17-mile tank before a refill stop? Then take your seat in the revamped 2015 Toyota Camry hybrid, which can eke nearly 40 mpg in combined driving. The midsize sedan retains the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and an electric motor, putting out a total of 200 horsepower. Though not a powerhouse, the car can sprint from 0 to

REVAMPED 2015 HONDA CR-V IS ALSO A FUEL SAVER!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
In 2012, the Honda CR-V (Comfortable Runabout Vehicle) underwent a major transformation. And once again, the compact SUV has been refreshed this year though not on a massive scale. But it is all for the better.
Offered as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the 2015 CR-V acquires the direct-injection power train in the Accord: a 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder engine that

2016 KIA SORENTO GAINS A NEW TURBO ENGINE!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
It is bigger in wheelbase by 3.1 inches and width by 0.2 inches. Also overall cargo volume is up by 1.5 cubic feet and rear-seat passenger room by 0.5 cubic feet from its predecessor. Best of all, apart from the 2.4 and 3.3-liter GDI engines, the 2016 Kia Sorento is now equipped with an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This GDI power train puts out 240

MAZDA REVAMPS A FAIRLY NEW CX-5 SUV

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Mazda does not believe in resting on its laurels. Take the 2016 CX-5, for instance. This compact crossover is barely in its third year (if you recall, it replaced the Tribute and CX-7) and has already been overhauled. Seating five in comfort and style, the sporty ride sticks to its reliable power train. Its 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine still develops 184 horsepower @ 5700 rpm

ODYSSEY WILL SERVE YOU WELL ON A JOURNEY!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
After a major redesign in 2012 and some tweaks last year, the 2015 Odyssey returns with its status quo intact. The minivan retains a sole 3.5- liter i-VTEC V-6 engine, which puts out 248 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 250 pounds-feet of torque @ 4800 rpm. The Variable Cylinder Management system deactivates three or four of the cylinders at lower speeds to enhance the up to

FUEL-SIPPER MIRAGE PRICED JUST RIGHT!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Let us start with the good. Base-priced affordably at just $12,995, the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage is an awesome fuel-saving subcompact hatchback with handy standard cabin niceties. And now for the negatives. The ride is downright jumpy, handling wobbly, engine noise loud and acceleration lethargic.
The front-wheel-drive Mirage gets a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine putting out

ALL-NEW ACURA TLX A STRONG CONTENDER

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Consolidation is the keyword at Acura nowadays. As in merging the compact TSX and the midsize TL sedans into the all-new TLX luxury sports sedan. Placed between the ILX entry sedan and the flagship RLX, we must admit that the result is remarkable. Powertrain choices are a 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder (200 hp) or the 3.5-liter direct-injection V-6 engine putting out 290 horsepower (up

ALL-ELECTRIC KIA SOUL MAKES SUITABLE DEBUT

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
About 86 miles. That is the distance we were able to drive on a full tank of … Err, forget gas, since the all-new 2015 Kia Soul Electric Vehicle (EV) runs solely on an electric motor and battery. However, EPA estimates put the full charge battery range at 93 miles. Regardless, we must hand it to the Korean carmaker for equipping the quirky and lanky hot-seller with

HANDS-ON MAZDA5 A REMARKABLY USEFUL PACKAGE

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
This one defies any category. However, it has been termed a “microvan” for being smaller and cheaper than regular minivans. Sharing its basic design with the compact Mazda3, the midsize Mazda5 continues as is in the 2015 model year. Its base Sport, mid-level Touring and up-level Grand Touring share a common power train: 2.5-liter DOHC inline-4 cylinder developing