Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Video Review: 2011 Lexus CT 200h

March 10th, 2012 No comments

      The CT 200h Hybrid is actually Lexus’ second attempt at entering the compact personal luxury hybird segment, the first being the now departed HS 250h Hybrid. Ignore the powertrain for a minute and it is easy to see that Lexus has the Audi A3 square in their sights in terms of ride, handling and interior accomodations. However, and here we go again, the Prius powertrain under the hood is an instant buzz kill. But if you desire good handling and effiecent motoring is your primary requirement, the CT 200h is for you. Click play to let us explain.  Read more…

Categories: Video, Video Reviews Tags: , , ,

2011 Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Walk Around

January 30th, 2012 No comments


       This week we get a ride in the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but not as bad as the HS 250h Hybrid, which thankfully departs the Lexus lineup this year. The CT is actually a size smaller than the HS, or even the Prius, from which this little hatch steals its powertrain. Unfortunately, for as nimble as they’ve made the CT the hybrid/CVT pairing lets it fall flat on its face when the go pedal is depressed. A good number of hybrid fans out there won’t care, but this little Lexus is aimed square at the premium hatch segment of the market with its spry handling. A performance enhancing hybrid system would be better suited to this car’s willing chassis. And before we get a bunch of, “you don’t know what you are talking about this is a Toyota hybrid and it is suppose to be like this” comments we suggest you actually take this little bugger out for a jaunt on a twisty piece of tarmac with the drive selector spun to “Sport”. You’ll agree, the only thing missing is horsepower.

Categories: Video Tags: , , ,

Automotive Trends GARAGE Season 2 Episode 1

December 14th, 2011 No comments


      Stand by because the heroes of automotive banter are back in front of the video camera. In our season premiere we cover GM’s hotly anticipated new vehicle of the century: the Chevrolet Volt. We would be remiss to give it all away here, but in a nut shell, the boys are smitten. Read more…

Operation: Pyrat

October 25th, 2011 No comments

Chasing a Dream

      It is 3:24 in the morning and I am sitting bolt upright in my bed, awake a whole six minutes before my alarm starts blaring. There is a 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4 parked in the driveway gassed up and washed with clothing and gear for four days. The reason? A Roadtrip! The culmination of a great story, not just the beginning of one. Read more…

2011 Scion tC

October 10th, 2011 No comments

Scion’s Basic Coupe Fails to Meet Some Basic Expectations

     The low priced sporty coupe segment has been creeping upward in price during the last decade. The market used to be speckled with the likes of the Saturn SC, Ford Probe, Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, Mitsubishi Eclipse and Toyota Celica. Not one of those models exists today, but Toyota thinks it has an answer for the niche with the Scion tC. Starting at $18,275 the tC isn’t the cheapest coupe one can find, but does it offer enough sport to lure youthful car enthusiasts from straying to the used car market for their budget minded thrills? We tested a completely base tC to find out just how the Scion fares. Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , , ,

2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

September 26th, 2011 No comments

Low Tech Meets Low Compromise in the Battle for Fuel Efficiency

     It’s not as if Chevrolet has never attempted this before. Take a mainstream small car, make some powertrain tweaks and attempt to turn the vehicle into a hyper-mileage car that passes as conventional transportation. As General Motors’ entry-priced brand, Chevrolet has a long history–not all of it memorable–at marketing highly efficient vehicles. Some notable–scratch that, tragic–examples include the Chevette diesel, the GEO Metro XFi, and the Cobalt XFE. None of these vehicles set the sales charts on fire (a scant 324 diesel Chevettes were sold in 1986), so does Chevrolet’s latest hyper-miler, the Cruze ECO, have any chance at succes? Read more…

Does A Four Cylinder Belong In Today’s Premium Cars?

September 12th, 2011 No comments

     A while back we were staring down a schedule featuring two consecutive Audis powered by the company’s latest 2.0-liter four cylinder. There was a time not so long ago that seeing such a pint size engine in a anything from a premium manufacturer like Audi would have spelled certain sales doom and a hearty round of “what were they thinking!” reviews from the automotive press. Having spent considerable time with these engines in various Volkswagen and Audi products, including an A4 that we tested and approved a few years back, we were confident we’d continue to like what Audi was offering. It didn’t hurt that both the A4 and A5 were equipped with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, an increasingly rare treat for us three-pedal fans.  But the question remains, does a four cylinder belong in today’s premium cars? Read more…

Categories: Columns Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Video Review: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Wagon

September 4th, 2011 No comments


      True station wagons are a rare bird in the United States automotive landscape. Americans want their wagons high-riding so they don’t feel like they’re driving their grandparents Ford Country Squire to work. Our European brothers, however, embrace the wagon because of its low riding sedan characteristics and added utility. Watch as Editor Muxlow defends the honor of the station wagon to the land of the red, white and blue.  Read more…

2011 Chevrolet Volt

August 18th, 2011 No comments

Love At First Charge

    It’s not often that we anticipate testing a vehicle as much as we did with Chevrolet’s Volt. That’s because it’s not often that a vehicle comes along packing a powertrain as revolutionary as GM’s Voltec system. And it was because of this advanced propulsion system and its lightning paced development that we were preparing ourselves to overlook a few rough spots in the days before the vehicle’s delivery. We figured that if mighty Toyota still hadn’t sanded off all the sharp edges on its hybrid powertrain after three generations of Prius development the Volt and its more advanced, but still first gen, technology could be a bit of a half-baked science experiment in the real-world hands of our editors. The truth, it turns out, is that GM has managed to surprise our jaded staff with the level of refinement we enjoyed in our production-spec Volt. It’s so astonishing that it’s difficult to put into words, but we’re confident that after digesting both our written and video reviews you’ll understand our level of admiration for what the General’s best and brightest have accomplished with the world’s first extended-range electric vehicle. Read more…

2011 BMW 1M Coupe at the Tail of the Dragon

August 18th, 2011 No comments

      By now you’ve read all about what the 2011 BMW 1M Coupe is capable of. The 1M is an amazing machine. So when a friend of Automotive Trends decided he needed to add a 1M to his collection we were more than willing to tag along, document, and aid in its retrieval from the BMW Performance Center in Greer, SC. On its maiden voyage home to Michigan we stopped by the Tail of the Dragon for a bit of fun. More in depth coverage is coming, but the raw footage above pretty much speaks for itself. Enjoy.