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Feature Friday, Part 6 of 8, New Cars Announced for 2020:

Posted by Jess Stoeckeler on

Our list of the hottest cars of 2020 continues. Here are the next ones:

Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup

Predicted Cost: $18,000

‘It’s an understatement to say that Hyundai isn’t exactly known for their pickup trucks. The South Korean automaker mostly specializes in entry-level and executive vehicles, which makes sense because South Koreans aren’t nearly as obsessed about offroad action as Americans. In 2015, an executive at Hyundai thought it would be a good idea to try building a pickup truck that caters to North American audiences. It took three attempts at approving the project before the Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup went from an idea to an actual car for sale. Kia and Hyundai are partnering up to develop the car together, meaning that we’re likely to see a Kia pickup of a similar kind soon.

The compact truck will be built at Hyundai's manufacturing plant in Alabama and is set for a 2021 release. The companies are planning to invest $410 million to expand their facilities for this process while creating an additional 200 jobs. It's believed that the Santa Cruz Pickup will feature a 2.5-liter I-4 engine boasting 191 horsepower. Whether or not it ends up performing to satisfactory results remains to be seen. One thing we can say for sure is that the Santa Cruz Pickup is an absolute joy to behold.

Mazdaspeed 3

Predicted Cost: $21,300

Mazda has really been pulling out all the stops this year when it comes to their sports lines. In addition to the Mazda RX-9 that’s slated to come out this year, the Japanese automaker is also working on this brand new sports car called the Mazdaspeed3. You can choose to get the Mazdaspeed3 in either sedan or hatchback and can go for either a single-engine or a 2.5-liter inline-four. Mazda also made sure to give racing drivers a wink by adding manual transmission as an optional choice, if that’s what you prefer, and some incredible driving and safety features to boot.

Every Mazdaspeed3 comes with an active drive-assist system, as-well-as a lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitors. This makes the Mazdaspeed3 a very safe car, which is especially important considering that it's projected to be one of the faster cars that the carmaker has produced in recent years. You can expect to get the Mazdaspeed3 for a very reasonable price of just over $20,000. Whether or not the low cost will be felt in the end result or come as a huge bonus remains to be seen.

Jeep Wrangler Plug-in Hybrid

Predicted Cost: $31,295

One of the biggest problems with SUVs and pickup trucks is their incredible appetite for fuel. It’s not uncommon to see one of these bad boys guzzling an impressive 30+ miles per gallon when driving in the city. Jeep is trying to remedy that problem by creating a plug-in hybrid version of their beloved Jeep Wrangler, and is expected to release the new car model sometime in 2020. The main premise and idea behind making a hybrid of such an unexpected car is the dramatic improvement we are likely going to see in the hybrid Wrangler’s fuel economy.

The car was recently spotted being test-driven at the Jeep Auburn Hills, Michigan plant, and so far it looks like the car maker is going to keep every last bit of its sense of adventure, while also making sure there would be an environment to enjoy in the coming years and decades. In-terms of its abilities to drive in water, we’re happy to tell you that the Wrangler would be just as able to drive in anything below two feet of water without a problem.’

- Herald Weekly, 8/22/2019 & photos from Respective Dealers

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