Articles by David Goodspeed

2009 Toyota Venza

This week’s Wednesday Walkaround features a look at the all-new 2009 Toyota Venza. Is it a car? Is it an SUV? Is it the new Camry station wagon?


2009 Nissan 370Z

(Click on image to see video) We got to spend a little time behind the wheel of the all-new 2009 Nissan 370Z on its Dallas stop during the national Follow the Nissan Z Tour making its way across country since the car’s debut at the LA Auto Show. While having the larger 3.7-liter V-6 engine first used in the Infiniti G37 Coupe last year, we really liked the new styling and the new SynchroRev Match technology that automatically serves up throttle blips during downshifts with the six-speed manual gearbox, a first for the industry. We did not have any time…



Houdini Tool – the Automotive Escape Device

When it comes to escaping from a wrecked vehicle or one submerged in water, you don’t dare lose a minute. With two new automotive Houdini Tools introduced by Houdini™, Inc., you can put your fears to rest.


Dodge Ram vs. Ford F-150: Round two

Even before my Oct. 23 AutoworldToday hit the newsstands, controversy was brewing over which new pickup can lay claim to being the best. Our review looked at the 2009 versions of the Dodge Ram and Ford F-150 half-ton trucks, each completely made over from the ground up. As I was preparing that piece for the print edition, press releases began flooding electronic mailboxes from the Dodge and Ford marketing divisions, who were apparently burning the midnight oil following the Texas Auto Writers’ annual Texas Truck Rodeo Oct. 17-19.



2009 Mercedes-Benz CLS550: The four-door sport coupe

Coupe: Stylish, sporty two-door presentation by automakers, designed to energize sales and attract drivers passionate about the motoring experience. Saloon (sedan): Usually upright, boxy styling on four-door platform, rarely evoking enthusiasm or excitement, suitable for family transportation. CLS550: unique synthesis of the two.


Wednesday Walkaround: Most capable 2009 Ford F-150

OK, granted it is now Friday, but we could not bring you the entire story of the all-new Ford F-150 before today due to embargo restrictions. The GearDiary team of Judie Lipsett and David Goodspeed spent two days in Michigan for a first-hand, full-tilt experience with the latest version of the world’s best-selling vehicle.



M3 vs. C63: Battle of the Bavarian supermodels!

Despite the uncertain state of fuel prices and overall economy, there are still a few who place “fun” above “sensible” when making a new car purchase. We recently got to test a pair of German imports aimed at that extreme side of the “fun” factor: a BMW M3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG sedan.


2009 Suzuki Equator and Grand Vitara

UPDATED WITH REVIEWS: Special Wednesday Walkaround: Two new models coming from American Suzuki – the all-new 2009 Equator pickup and the refreshed 2009 Grand Vitara. Suzuki hosted this press launch in the Texas Hill Country at the historic Knibbe Ranch. Click on image for video.



Hummer H3T and Hyundai Genesis

UPDATED: Reviews after the jump! This week’s Wednesday Walkaround is a double feature: We get first drives of the 2009 Hummer H3T pickup and the 2009 Hyundai Genesisi luxury sport sedan. Enjoy!


Wednesday Walkaround: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR

This week’s Wednesday Walkaround takes a look at the hot little Evolution GSR from Mitsubishi, one of my favorite cars to drive. Here is my review: Some weeks it is difficult for me to determine just how well the latest automotive entry will be received by the general public. Other weeks I just count how many people stop by the house to see what is sitting in the driveway. The latter has been one of those weeks as I tested the newest Evolution rally racer from Mitsubishi. Built on the next-generation Lancer platform (of which we also drove the new…


Wednesday Walkaround: 2008 Audi S8

This week we look at the 2008 Audi S8 luxury sport sedan in the backyard. Here is the full review: Audi S8 swimming in luxury, performance To best understand the Audi S8 luxury performance sedan, think Olympian Michael Phelps in a tuxedo. And despite the corporate logo having one fewer ring than the current quadrennial activities in Beijing, Audi is as fierce a German competitor as that female freestyle swimmer who took Dara Torres’ gold medal. S8 is the sport version of Audi’s flagship A8 luxury liner, a vehicle that offers the maximum performance and refinement in a large European…


2008 Nissan Rogue

There are vehicles that are easy to drive and there are vehicles that are fun to drive, but so many times we see these two concepts fail to come together in one particular model. And then there is the Nissan Rogue.



2009 Mazda6 is Zoom-zoom evolved

Despite building a very good midsize sedan, Mazda knew it needed to undertake a significant model makeover in order to keep up with the “Joneses” of the CD-segment, namely Accord and Camry. With the new 2009 Mazda6 it has done that and more. Their mantra? Zoom-zoom evolution. From the beginning Mazda knew it had three key areas to improve on before it would be ready to release a new model: Quality, power and size. These were areas where midsize buyers had been rejecting the current Mazda6 in favor of the competition. And Mazda is so proud of its accomplishments in…


MINI Cooper and smart fortwo – good things come in small packages

The tide has turned on large, mobile real estate-hogging vehicles here in the U.S. and the new trend is small – even tiny. We recently tested a couple of tiny cars – the MINI Cooper and the smart fortwo passion coupe – and one of the most common comments was relating to accidents, something along the lines of “I sure wouldn’t want to be in a wreck in one of those.” Well, I wouldn’t want to be in a wreck in anything, but I certainly concede their point after driving these little passenger vehicles in traffic next to one-ton duallies…


Zibra cuts the Wrap Rage and helps you Open It!

Seems like these days every little item you purchase in the store is wrapped in one of those “adult-proof” blister packs. You know the ones, heavy gauge plastic with laser-sealed edges that even the craftiest shoplifters – and consumers – cannot open.


First Drive: 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

GM is rolling out the third two-mode hybrid fullsize SUV later this summer. We got a first drive in the new Cadillac Escalade Hybrid recently as the automaker visited with members of the automotive media at the Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas. In addition to the new hybrid model, Cadillac representatives also showed their newest Platinum Escalade sporting one of the best-looking grilles of any fullsize SUV on the road today. The hybrid models use the same powertrain we first saw in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrids. It features a 6.0-liter gasoline V-8 engine mated…