Clanging Bell

2020 Nissan Rogue Sport — A sound crossover value

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(July 14, 2020) If your top criteria for shopping crossovers are mileage and cargo space, the Nissan Rogue Sport follows the Goldilocks principle of being just right. Slotted between the pipsqueak Kicks and popular compact Rogue, the Rogue Sport packs a lot of space into its tidy, stylish wrapper. Despite its affordable price, every Rogue Sport arrives with a full suite of safety/driver-assist features and above-average connectivity technology.

2019 Mazda CX-9 — An engaging driving experience

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(July 8, 2020) It's possible to sum up the 2020 Mazda CX-9 in a single paragraph. Here goes: There is nearly nothing about the CX-9 that will disappoint the typical SUV buyer beyond the stingy third-row seat and less-than-generous cargo area. There is plenty to like, though, including outstanding driving dynamics, smaller-SUV-like mileage, luxury-sedan-worthy interior and loads of standard safety/driver-assist technology. Plus, impressive connectivity and infotainment features reflected in either a 7- or 9-inch touchscreen. Basically, it checks almost every box any owner of a larger SUV would want. That's it. That pretty much covers it.

2020 Ram 1500 Limited — Going to Home Depot in style

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(June 18, 2020) Even when penning an evaluation of the highly capable, exciting-to-drive 2020 Ram 1500, writing a review of a pickup is more work than fun. There are just way too many engines, cab configurations and options to cram into one itty-bitty review. That's why, when deciding what to review in a given week, any pickup truck gets pushed to the next week. Well, for the 1500, it's next week.

2020 Mazda CX-30 — The look and feel of a more expensive car

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(June 10, 2020) Answering a question not many were asking, Mazda added the all-new 2020 Mazda CX-30 to its lineup. Shoehorned into the narrow crease between the pipsqueak CX-3 and compact CX-5, the CX-30 brings the Mazda CUV count to four. Did the world really need another small CUV? Not really, but no complaint here. The CX-30 is loaded with all manner of technology and it's a hoot to drive.

2020 Toyota Corolla — A good alternative to the poplar CUV

By Russ Heaps
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(May 22, 2020) Totally redesigned, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is the latest iteration of the best-selling nameplate around the globe. First on sale in Japan in 1966, Corolla finally made its way into U.S. showrooms in 1968. This new Corolla is its 12th generation. I've been covering the auto industry for eight of those launches and have probably written at least a dozen Corolla reviews over the years. Last year saw the introduction of the 2020 Toyota Corolla hatchback. This year Toyota released the redesigned 2020 Corolla sedan. Time to write another review!

2020 Jeep Cherokee offers superior off-roading potential

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(April 7, 2020) When considering the burgeoning field of midsize crossovers, the 2020 Jeep Cherokee stands out for a number of reasons not limited to its impressive towing capability, available off-road prowess and its Top Safety Pick rating from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Virtually unchanged for 2020, the Cherokee offers three engines, three 4-wheel-drive systems, and new for 2020, the available Advanced Safety Group featuring Lane Departure Warning-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus and rain-sensing wipers. In an early 2020 model-year move, Jeep did eliminate the Overland luxury trim from the grade lineup.

2020 Toyota Supra does the nameplate proud

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(April 5, 2020) I was about as close to giddy as a cantankerous old veteran car guy can get when I was handed the keys for the all-new 2020 Toyota Supra with which I would spend the following week. Having owned a 1979 Supra back when it was still called a Celica Supra, and then driving several examples of the A70 and A80 generations in the 1980s and 1990s, I was stoked to get behind the wheel of the latest A90 generation. I wasn't disappointed.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado — Flexibility, capability, comfort and value

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(March 27, 2020) Long on versatility and capability, but short on driver-assist technology, the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado is up to meet a variety of roles and pocketbooks. Once upon a time, smaller pickup trucks based their popularity on being among the most inexpensive rides on the road. No flash, little comfort and modest utility, models like the Mazda B-Series/Ford Courier of the 1970s and 1980s weren't much to look at and bare bones at best, but they were cheap to buy and own. They were the darlings of delivery-truck fleets for auto-parts stores everywhere. To realize how times have changed, look no farther than the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado.

2020 Hyundai Kona — A standout small crossover

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(February 21, 2020) A wonderful blend of style, capability and value, the 2020 Hyundai Kona packs a lot into its compact-crossover package. Depending on your point of view, its exterior styling is either born of genius or an auto designer's stab at cubism. Its face, in particular, is a riot of shapes and contrasts. In any event, there is nothing else on the road that looks quite like it.

2020 Nissan Versa — Sensible pick as a starter car

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(February 3, 2020) Better than the preceding Versa generations, the 2020 Nissan Versa is a more rounded, better looking small sedan than its predecessors. I'm going to make a statement that, if applied to almost any other area of our culture, would be called bigoted by some. But, hey, I'm a journalistic hero, so here goes, some cars are simply more fun to write about than others. It may not be science, but it's a fact.