2021 Dodge Hellcat Redeye

PHOENIX — Last year, we tested the bargain-priced Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack Plus, equipped with a 485-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8 SRT 392 Hemi, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That Charger was overshadowed by the attention-getting headlines of its more powerful big brother, the 707-horsepower Charger Hellcat.
Now for 2021, it’s no surprise that Dodge once again released a better and more powerful SRT version of its high-performing Charger.

BMW M440i xDrive — An excellent coupe wearing a new face

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

When you consider buying a BMW you usually want to know how it drives and handles and how many horses reside under the hood to provide that aggressive BMW "Ultimate Driving Machine" experience. Those traits, however, may be secondary in the purchase decision of the 2021 BMW 4-Series coupe. First you will need to get used to the controversial large buck-toothed kidney grille up front. It seems to be a love or hate thing. But nonetheless it will be a consideration when ponying up between $60,000 and $75,000 for a copy of the M440i.

Mazda3 2.5 Turbo — A new hot hatch

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Mazda Speed3 built from 2007 through 2013 was Mazda's answer to the hot hatch craze in the early part of the 21st Century offering competition to the Ford Focus ST, Dodge Caliber SRT-4, and Volkswagen Golf GTI. The final model came with a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4 making 263 horsepower and could accomplish a 0-to-60 run in just over 5 seconds. Those were the days — and Mazda is bringing them back in the form of the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo.

2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been the best-selling pickup for generations, has carried carpenters to worksites, busted trails to mountaintops, rolled up to clubs, and took young couples to the altar.  It’s so embedded in American culture that it’s even been on postage stamps.  But, for the first time in its very long history, it can power a worksite, campsite, or partysite all on its own.  A full redesign lofts the 2021 Ford F-150 to the top.


2021 GMC Yukon AT4

INDIANAPOLIS — One of my favorite car magazines essentially called GM’s all-new full-size SUVs losers because they’re apparently not that great on the skid pad.  In other words, their grip when being driven like a race car is not good.  Well, newsflash, full-size SUVs weighing 5,677 lbs. and packing the underpinnings to rise up and bound over rough trails are rarely very good at autocrossing.  Climb aboard the completely redesigned 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 and I suspect you won’t care.

2021 Mercedes GLA250

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The redesigned Mercedes-Benz GLA250 puts a little more emphasis on “utility” in this, the smallest of Benz SUVs. Make no mistake, there is still a certain amount of fun-to-drive in the GLA250, but in its re-imagining, Mercedes added some traditional SUV cues resulting in a more mature, more substantial carryall.
I recently spent a week with a front-drive GLA250. The price of admission to the GLA-Class is $37,280, including the $1,050 factory delivery charge.

Genesis G80 — New and impressive

MotorwayAmerica photo

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

A decade ago Hyundai began building its luxury Genesis brand — with considerable success. The car that started it all is now called the G80, a mid-sized sedan, which has been fully redesigned for the 2021 model year building on the previous two iterations, offering sleek head-turning styling and with more technology, safety features and diving aids than ever before. The G80 package carries the "Wow!" factor.

Toyota Venza — Hybrid batteries included

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Toyota has brought back the Venza nameplate attaching it to a new mid-sized two-row crossover that comes exclusively with a hybrid powertrain consisting of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine, and three electric motors — one attached to the rear wheels and the other two assigned to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.

2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge

INDIANAOPLIS — Volvo has a well-earned reputation for building autos that protect their passengers, but the automaker is expanding its compassion for humans to include the environment.  It has launched its Polestar electric vehicle division and offers an all-electric XC40 compact crossover, but plug-in versions of its traditional models will add juice to the plans.  The 2021 XC60 Recharge Inscription is a great example.

Chevrolet Tahoe — Bigger and better

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It's been more than a quarter century since the Chevrolet Tahoe entered the marketplace, a full-sized truck-based rear-drive sport utility vehicle that became an instant hit along with its GMC Yukon sibling. The Tahoe is still very much alive in our new age of car-based crossovers — and the all-new 2021 Tahoe should insure that it will continue as one of the best-selling SUVs on the U.S market.