Good, but Could Be Better

LOS ANGELES—Welcome to the most obvious car review you will ever read. Mazda took a car we love, the 2020 Automobile All-Stars alumnus Mazda3, and added an engine we love, the 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder from its biggest SUV, the CX-9. In doing so, Mazda fixed the biggest flaws of both: The Mazda 3 needed more power and the 2.5T engine needed a better wrapper. What’s the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo AWD like to drive? After our test, we know it’s every bit as brilliant as the regular Mazda 3, the chief difference being you no longer have that frustrated look on your face when you try to power out of a corner. But there is plenty more to talk about.

2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo AWD Test: Still Not the Car We Hoped For

Why? Because Mazda’s engineers are freaking brilliant. I’ll spare you the

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The Excellent 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid (and More)

LEBEC, California—The most interesting thing about the new 2021 Ford F-150 isn’t the engine or the new interior or the new safety features. It’s a nondescript set of power outlets, hidden around back in the bed, consisting of four standard 120-volt, 20-amp plugs and one big-momma 240V/30A. Electrical outlets in cars are nothing new, but Ford’s optional Pro Power Onboard system can supply up to 7.2 kilowatts, fed by the new Powerboost hybrid powertrain. According to Ford, that’s enough power to run a plasma cutter, a TiG welder, a chop saw, an air compressor, an angle grinder and a work light—all at once—for up to 32 hours until the gas tank runs dry. Power outage at the homestead? No problem! Break out a few extension cords and the 2021 Ford F-150 can literally keep the lights on, not to mention the fridge, the TV, and maybe an air conditioner

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A New Level of Luxury?

Before the all-new 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class begins to invade luxury showroom floors in mid-2021, we took an intimate tour of an example of the S580 with the Maybach treatment. The new iteration of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class packs a massive amount of advanced technology and dials-up extravagance a few notches. Mercedes is yet to release pricing for the next level S-Class, but we expect that figure to leap over the $200,000 mark.

A 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 496 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque sends power to the wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission, which should be plenty to get this elegant sedan moving quickly. Staged perfectly at a private residence in Malibu, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, we grabbed a seat to experience the opulence of the Maybach luxury line, a characteristic that rivals Rolls-Royce.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: Exterior Design Refresh  

Let’s focus on the

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2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392: The Baddest Wrangler Yet

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392: The V-8 Revival

For the first time in almost 40 years, and against all prior resistance to a factory V-8 under the hood, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the most high-performance production Jeep Wrangler ever. Powered by a 6.4-liter naturally aspirated Hemi engine mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Wrangler Rubicon 392 can hustle to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 13 seconds. Promising better off-road capability, Jeep says 75 percent of peak torque is available right above engine idle speed.

With a cast-iron cylinder block and aluminum heads, the V-8 includes an active intake manifold, twin spark plugs for each cylinder, sodium-filled exhaust valves, and variable camshaft timing. Equipped with fuel-saving technology and cylinder deactivation, Jeep says that when this Wrangler cruises at slow speeds on the highway, it shifts seamlessly and it automatically

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2022 Hyundai Elantra N Preview Drive: It’s Looking Damn Good

WEST HOLLYWOOD, California—During the press preview for the new 2021 Hyundai Elantra and Sonata N-Line models, Hyundai also had a couple of 2022 Elantra N prototypes available for brief, mile-long drives. But somehow, I got to drive the 2022 Elantra N for more than 70 miles over some of my favorite curvy roads. Hyundai’s PR people never said, “Please be careful, this is only one of two prototypes we have;”instead they said, “We need this at the lunch stop, so hustle, would you?”

The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N: Work in Progress

Before I dive into the details, a little disclaimer: Hyundai didn’t have much in the way of technical specifics to share, and the car I drove was a prototype just at the beginning of its final-tuning stages. The Elantra N you will be able to buy next year is likely to be somewhat different, perhaps even in

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