Car Gear

Kensington Hands-Free Visor Car Kit REVIEW

When I’m barreling down the highway meeting and greeting folks, it can be a challenge (but NOT always safe) to call whoever is deserving of a return call at that moment. I have an iPhone that allows my fingers to flip through the spinning wheel of contacts, but dialing and driving are frowned upon. Some places even have laws against such behavior. The other time tested alternative is to wear a Bluetooth earpiece. I have a favorite reviewed here, but in some places there are fashion laws displaying such behavior. So what’s a road warrior to do? Kensington has introduced…

2009 GMC Canyon – a date with a V-8

As if straight out of a “Pimp My Ride” episode on TV, General Motors is offering its compact pickup trucks with a fullsize V-8 powerplant under the hood, complete with a factory warranty and fully-intact fenders and hood.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I never really took notice of the benchmark status of Highlander until recent new model introduction events held by competitor automakers. More and more I heard the name “Highlander” included in their marketing and technical presentations when reciting segment target data.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

This week’s Wednesday Walkaround takes place on a brisk 15 degree (F) day in Dearborn, Mich. as we check out the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. (Click on the image for video) UPDATED with review!

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?

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.

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.

An Update on My Car PC

I’m coming up on 2 months since I installed my Car PC, and I have to say it’s been great. Stability has probably been the most impressive thing, I haven’t had any issues with it crashing, and restart it maybe once a week to flush to memory and generally keep Windows happy. I also received the final piece of the dash puzzle, a spare ash tray. Since my stock ashtray was woodgrain, I didn’t want to ruin it and paint over it (a. because they are worth a fair bit of money and b. I want to be able to…

Review: Petty Driving Experience Orlando: Drive It Like You Stole It

Five years ago while at a conference in Orlando I booked an 8 lap session at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. They hold two classes daily – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Surprisingly the hardest thing about the class was keeping up with the instructor. You’d think that once inside a race care that you’d tend to drive fast. I found (along with most of the others that day) that I was overly cautious. That doesn’t mean I still wasn’t able to round the track at 125 mph. More photos, as well as some tips and…

Yada YD-V1 Universal Phone Holder and Headset Review

I’m a talker… Always have been, and will likely be yackin’ my head off the day I die.  I… have the gift of gab. We all know its true, so who are we kidding. With the influx of new devices I’ve got, E-TEN X800, E-TEN X650, and BB Curve 8310, I’ve been doing a lot of talking lately. I’ve been using the Palm Bluetooth Headset since Palm gave me one with the Treo Trip kit they gave all of the original 700w reviewers a couple-three years ago. its been a dependable, and half-way decent headset.  However, it leaves a bit…

The Targus 100W Auto Power Inverter Review

I just missed posting this review in time for Texas’ Spring Break, but it should still be timely for everyone who plans on traveling this summer. I’ll warn you now though, in order to use this product you’ll need to give up one of your vehicle’s cup-holders. Why would I ask for something so uncivilized? Because by giving up a cup-holder you might just gain the means to charge up to three devices at the same time, all from a single cigar lighter or power port. Intrigued? I was, which is how I came to be in possession of the…

The Venturi Mini Review

Chris Spera called me the other day while I was driving my Alfa. We talked for a little bit, but then I finally had to admit that I was driving a stick shift in traffic, and holding my mobile phone to my left ear was a little bit tricky…since that was the hand I needed for the steering wheel, while my right hand was working the shift. He, of course, reminded me that they make headsets for that. I, of course, don’t really like wearing one. This review will focus on a compromise for people like me, those who don’t…

My Car PC

When I bought my new car in September 2007 I knew I would be keeping it for a few years, so I decided that I was going to take the plunge, and build a Car PC like those that I had read about on the forums. The computer would replace the standard audio system, and add MP3 playback, video, GPS, GPS tracking and internet access to my car After months of dreaming about such a setup my Car PC is finally installed. I’ve had the computer on my desk for over 3 mths now but time and money kinda…

The Ownersite Vehicle Maintenance Online Log Site Review

People like me, who are used to using a software program such as eWallet, know the value and convenience of having all of their important personal data in an easily accessible and secure location. Once you’ve put out the initial effort required during setup, staying on top of future entries is just a matter of regular updates as new items occur. I mention the concept behind eWallet, because the service I’ll tell you about in this review takes that same basic idea, but then applies it in a much more thorough way to vehicle maintenance, management, and logging. The service…

An Afternoon with Ford

Tuesday I was in Dearborn, Michigan, with about 200 other journalists attending an event held in and marking the reopening of the renovated historic Ford Dearborn Glass Plant. Before I get into the particulars of our day, I want to mention that the Dearborn Glass Plant was designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1922. It has a “front wall and ceiling made of glass” which allowed the plant to “let air and light in and excess heat out, providing a more comfortable work environment for employees.” This building was closed in 1998, and after its recent extensive renovations, it…

Sync your mobile digital lifestyle: The Ford Focus | Sync Review

[THIS is a monster post with lots of photos – so give your browser some spinning wheel time!] GearDiary was invited to join traditional media and automobile journalists to experience the launch of the redesigned Ford Focus and Ford Sync™. Hosted in Seattle, Washington by Ford Motor Company and Microsoft, the program included significant drive time with the Focus vehicle, demonstration of the Sync technology and a visit to the Microsoft campus to view the House of the Future. Geekness and coolness personified ❗ . Sync is the newest mobile technology to emerge from the Ford-Microsoft relationship. Debuting in the…

The Linear-Logic ScanGauge II Review

Digital displays for a car dashboards have always been a thing of the future shown in T.V. shows, movies and concept cars on display at the auto show. Here we are here in the 21st century, and cars still don’t come with a full digital dash. When I discovered a new device called the ScanGauge II Automotive Computer made by Linear-Logic, I was in awe that a little black box with a LCD could offer up digital gauges, trip computers, and OBD2 scan tools all in one easy to install package. ScanGauge II package contents