Sedans

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Cheapest Real Estate Around

The new Versa Sedan from Nissan offers some of the cheapest real estate on the market today. Completely redesigned for 2012, Nissan touts the new little four-door as “Small on the outside, big on the inside.” And actually it isn’t really that small on the outside. What is small is the pricetag as compared to the market today. For 2012, Versa Sedan rolls in at just under 11 grand. Yes,…


2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Delivers The Goods

Some things in life just don’t live up to the hype. Take, for instance, the much anticipated iPhone announcement this week. For many like me, it was a disappointment. Fortunately not all things fall into this category of “much ado/much a didn’t.” The new Chrysler 300 SRT8 is a shining example of “delivering the goods.” I was all set to be underwhelmed with this latest overhyped made in Detroit machine….


The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Cheaper Does Not Mean Cheapened

Volkswagen is in the midst of a product transformation. For model year 2011 it completely redesigned the popular Jetta and this year they are introducing a new Passat and Beetle. While giving the vehicles more precise lines there seems to be a strong determination to clean things up and simplify design and content while at the same time placing a great deal of urgency on “getting things right.” We recently…


Stylish New Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Lacks Finesse, but So Did All the Others At First

The Korean automakers have gotten into the hybrid game finally and the first models to market from Kia and Hyundai are on the shared midsize sedan platform of Sonata and Optima. Recently I spent some time with the former sporting what Hyundai has dubbed its Hybrid Blue Drive system. During the time I had the vehicle I was noticing some blogs reporting steering issues and a technical bulletin issued by…


Grinding Gears in the 2011 Subaru WRX STi

The ubiquitous star of the World Rally Championship circuit and edgy X-game competition has brought even more excitement and performance to the model you and I can call a daily driver. In 2008, Subaru redesigned and rebuilt the Impreza lineup. In 2009, the WRX team worked toward a goal termed “Kyo-Ka” (translated from Japanese as “strengthening”) to make the Impreza model even more appealing to factory tuner aficionados. For 2011…


2011 Jaguar XJL Hopes ‘The Road Goes On Forever’

Jaguar is celebrating 75 years of luxury automaking. Sure there have been some bumps in the road along the way, but they have also turned out some of the most sought-after road warriors in the industry. And have you seen Jaguar lately? Heralding their three quarters of a century is an all-new flagship XJ sedan lineup, with my driveway seeing the new XJL saloon recently. For 2011 the XJ has…


Chevy Volt: A Week in the Life

I have written about the new Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle before so I am not going to go into too much technical detail here. This time I am going to delve into the “electric lifestyle” that would surround a consumer who drives one of the new breed of vehicles home. It did not take me long to figure out a week with an electric vehicle was going to require…


2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Made For Summer Travel

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is the luxury marque’s first foray into the world of hybrid technology. It goes without saying this technology is borrowed directly from the Ford Fusion Hybrid. What does need said is this is a very good package. Since first driving this hybrid powertrain arrangement in the Fusion a couple of years back I knew the engineers at Ford were on to something. Fuel economy figures (41…


2011 Chevrolet Cruze a ‘Sound’ Choice

Last summer we got our first drives in the all-new Chevrolet Cruze. Recently we spent a week behind the wheel of a 2LT RS model with the new turbocharged 1.4-liter inline four-banger. (The base engine for American Cruze models is a 1.8-liter producing the same horsepower – 138 – and both are backed by six speed manual or automatic transmissions.) Our tester had the automatic gearbox connected to front drive…


Ford Taurus Ready to Serve and Protect

Every time a certain co-worker logs on to a computer at work I see his wallpaper of a map of a special place called “The Dragon’s Tail.” “Hey, I’ve been there,” I tell him. “What kind of bike were you riding,” he queries. “Bike? We were testing the new Ford Taurus SHO – and it rocked.” Yes, add taming the Dragon’s Tail to the list of things the new Ford…


Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart: More Than Just an Evo-Lite

Mitsubishi, specifically Mitsubishi Motors in North America, always seems to be a car company struggling for recognition and respect. Over the past few decades they have been quietly supplying OEM engines and automotive components for many domestic vehicles but without much fanfare. A few years ago, with the help of a popular movie with the 20-something crowd, the automaker began to see brand recognition begin to take off. And thanks…


2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid Boring, and Boring Is a Good Thing

“Boring.” That is how my spouse described the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid I tested recently. “The interior is boring, the ride is boring … it’s just boring.” It is also based on one of the best-selling cars in America for more than a decade. I guess boring is what REALLY sells when it comes to passenger cars here. The Toyota Camry has also garnered quite a few automotive accolades as…


2011 Buick Regal, Part Deux

“I never quite thought of the Regal as a sports sedan myself, but the GNX from 1987 did get close and the new car will offer a turbo motor once more to tempt eager drivers.” That is what I wrote last summer after my first experience with the new 2011 Regal from Buick. Recently I took delivery of the turbocharged CXL T-type model and well, not much has changed. My…


2011 Volvo S60 AWD Best Yet

When looking back on the list of cars I have driven this year there are a few that resonate driving enjoyment and would be nameplates I would like to see in my own driveway permanently. One of the biggest surprises was a Volvo – yes, I said Volvo. The new S60 sedan, delivered to me in All-Wheel Drive form, stood out enough to best the likes of BMW 3-series’ and…


Chevy Volt: Out of the Box

Buck fifty a day. According to the automaker, that is all it will cost you to operate your new Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle when used in EV mode only. The car that GM is calling the “game-changer” is arriving in select markets this month. We spent some quality time with the Volt and its team members on a recent jaunt in the Texas Hill Country north and west…


G Coupe or M Sedan, Infiniti’s Class of 37s Offer Driving Nirvana

Most of you have probably seen the Nissan commercial where a new father-to-be laments his ownership of a Z sports coupe after hearing the news his family is growing. He is suddenly struck with the brilliant idea to stretch the Z to a four-door sports car in the form of the Maxima. Flip this same scenario to an Infiniti family and that is exactly the case as we went from…


2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

Something great is coming, that is what Suzuki is telling me with the arrival of its all-new sport sedan Kizashi (pronounced Kee-Zah-Shee) model. So let me get this straight, this new vehicle is the something great or this car is the messenger telling us something great is coming? Either way, in my opinion something great is already here – the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport. Many hold strong to the…


First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

I was invited down to San Antonio, Texas recently to get my first experience with this new compact vehicle from Chevrolet that is replacing the Cobalt model. The new vehicle, set to arrive in dealerships in September, is called Cruze. One of my first questions during a marketing presentation was “What is the origin of the name Cruze?” Seems I stumped the panel. No one could give me an answer….


Eruption to Evolution: 2011 Buick Regal

I was excited to see Buick resurrecting the Regal model this year. My first real experience with the badge dates to my car cruising years of the mid-1980s and the popular scene on Cooper Street in Arlington, Texas. Those were also my ear-shattering car stereo years where us early adopters were tearing out complete interiors to accommodate our rolling sound systems. I drove a 1983 Olds Cutlass and had been…


Ford Fusion update: A really good ‘Sport’

The Calendar had not quite read 2009 yet but I remember a chilly day in Michigan when the good folks over at Ford introduced us to our first 2010 model – the Fusion, complete with hybrid and sport versions. Ford Motor Company invited journalists up to its Dearborn world headquarters in December, 2008, for a “hush-hush” sneak peek of some of its new product, and this included the made-over 2010…


First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

Well, I did it. I drove the new Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle that will be available later this year. What is it? In many ways it is similar to the current Toyota Prius hybrid. It features a battery pack that powers an electric motor that turns the wheels to make the thing go. It also has a combustion engine powered by gasoline that charges the battery pack when…