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In the Rearview: Here Come the Holidays (and Apocalypse)

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Welcome to In the Rearview, where I catch you up on some of the top stories on The News Wheel in the past week.

First, we have been treated to a number of product reviews (it is December, after all), including SimplyFun’s ‘Drive’, a retro board game called ‘Burn Out’, the NASCAR Heroes comic books, the Unofficial Lego Technic Builder’s Guide, and Karoad’s stainless steel license plate frames.

Then we switch gears slightly to review the second episode of the highly-awaited The Grand Tour. Overall, the consensus seems to be “bleh.”

Third, we move to Sailor Moon, in a new commercial where Ford dubs over a scene from the show to make it look like Usagi wants to drive the new Ford Fusion. Honestly, we don’t really agree with Ford, here–I said that she would probably drive something like the Prius V, and editor Rebecca Bernard said she would probably be happier in a Miata.

Next up, Hyundai seems to be jumping into the electric vehicle market with both feet, putting out the Ioniq this month in California and other EV-friendly states in a triad of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric forms.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw it, but Mazda is indeed, for sure, no backsies, bringing its diesel engines to the United States in the next year, while also promising an electric vehicle to arrive by 2019.

Speaking of power, though, Nissan has given its smallest sedan, the 2017 Sentra, a full NISMO version, squeezing all the performance out the of the little car that they can. The idea is to give customers an easier-accessed taste of performance.

Another tiny car that is getting a major upgrade comes from toymaker Power Wheels, who make the little kid-sized battery cars that people occasionally race down muddy hills or make insane modifications to. Power Wheels has made what they call the Smart Drive Mustang, filled with real car systems and a better in-cab entertainment system than I have.

Finally, we leave with a warm glow in our hearts as a repo man from Illinois decided that he (with help from his friends) would pay off and fix up an elderly couple’s repossessed Buick.