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52 Cars in 52 Weeks part 35: 2015 Mazda CX-5

In a broad sense, one of my favorite classes of vehicle is the small SUV or crossover. Even though they’re getting less off-road capable these days, a compact do-all is still a cheerful way to get around. Combine the friendly nature of most of these vehicles with Mazda’s expertise in creating driving joy, and you’ve got the CX-5. You’ve also got one of the more entertaining ways to tackle the question of getting from Point Applebee’s to Point Bed Bath & Beyond in the suburbs. Continue reading

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52 Cars in 52 Weeks part 34: Kia Sorento

I’m not sure what this says about it exactly, but the Kia Sorento is one of the few vehicles that actually looks distinctive in white. Maybe it’s because of the details; the Snow White Pearl paint really brings out the way that Kia’s integrated its family grille, headlights and window trim into the design. The high contrast pale gray and white interior adds to the atmosphere, taking a page from the high-luxury book that Kia opened earlier this year with the K900. The Sorento can be tricked out with black wood trim, a full-length sunroof and rear-seat window shades. Of course this is the range-topping SX-L model, but with a starting price of $39,900, it’s still reasonably affordable style. Continue reading

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52 Cars in 52 Weeks part 33: 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata

In a constantly shifting automotive landscape, the Mazda MX-5 is a perennial. One finds its way into my driveway every couple of years (and of course, there was Chihiro) and the adventures that invariably ensue have a comfortable familiarity about them.

It’s pretty common knowledge that the MX-5, born in 1989 as the Miata, singlehandedly revived the sports roadster, spawning imitations and competitors from day one. The Miata has always held true to its mission as a relatively low-cost, bare-bones, fun-to-drive two-seat convertible, and that dedication has paid off for three generations of MX-5s. Here’s what’s changed about the Miata: for 2015 there are a couple of new colors and a (sold-out) 25th anniversary edition. That’s it. Continue reading