Posts Tagged ‘compact’

Video Review: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic

November 4th, 2013 No comments

      GM’s been enjoying much improved sales results the last few years and a big driver of that has been the newfound competitiveness in its car lineup. Chevrolet now has a strong entry at every level from the ity bity Spark to the downright handsome Impala and it’s been far too long since we’ve been able to declare that. We just got a crack at the 5-door Sonic and while no one will be using phrases like “downright handsome” to describe it, we found a lot to like about the little Michigan-made Chevy. Read more…

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NAIAS 2011: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic

January 11th, 2011 3 comments

     Even when there were approximately 67 better options Chevrolet still managed to sell a lot of Aveos. So GM Brass should be feeling pretty confident about the Sonic’s future now that Chevy’s new compact class entrant can take on any competitor without excuse. Read more…

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2010 Hyundai Tucson

November 8th, 2010 3 comments

A Stylish Redesign Still Leaves The Tucson A Bit Short

     Hyundai’s aggressive product investment has rewarded the stalwart automaker with one of the freshest lineups in the business. We’ve already put our stamp of approval on the company’s killer new Sonata sedan, but there is tempting new product on the crossover front too. Last year the vanilla Tucson was the extra-strength sleep aid of the Hyundai lineup thanks to generic headlights, a homely grille and chunky plastic cladding that tried in vain to liven up the derivative profile. But the Tucson enters 2010 with swoopy new bodywork and a stylish interior ready to engage the hotly contested small crossover segment and attract new consumers that simply didn’t consider Hyundai just a few years ago. Read more…

2011 Scion tC

September 28th, 2010 No comments

28 Year Old Males Rejoice! The Cool Scion Just Got Better

     Graphic artists, computer programmers and aspiring music industry professionals turn down your iPods and pay attention. Scion has some big news for you and your spiky haired twenty-something friends. The handsome tC coupe that debuted in 2004 and has since brought Scion more than 40% of its sales is finally getting a well deserved redesign that focuses on improved fuel efficiency, overall refinement and, here’s where we get interested, increased performance. Scion recently invited us to a college campus teeming with its target buyers to get some seat time in the vehicle that officials hope will rejuvenate the brand’s stalled sales and lead the company into a new dimension of success. Read more…

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2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

August 17th, 2010 2 comments

Debunking the Diesel Stereotype

      Diesels have intrigued me from the time I was old enough to make basic automotive observations. Much to my delight, on family road trips my parent’s diesel 1978 Olds Custom Cruiser would fill up alongside the big-rig trucks. This fascination was bolstered by an uncle who owned a yellow diesel Rabbit in the ’80s followed by a diesel Ford Tempo, complete with the secondary battery mounted in the trunk. When it came time to find a light duty long distance tow vehicle I purchased a ’92 Chevrolet C2500 Silverado with a 6.5L turbo diesel. For all of their actual and perceived faults, each of these vehicles were compelling in some significant way. And yet diesels remain merely a niche in America’s automotive market. What is the reason for this? Is this simply due to undeserved stereotypes that won’t die, or a deficiency in the vehicles themselves? Read more…

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Honda CR-Z (Design Critique)

May 4th, 2010 2 comments

      In what is now ancient and obscure automotive history, in the late 1960s American Motors decided to shorten the chassis of its pony car offering, the Javelin, in order to create a hard-to-categorize two seat AMX.  A decade and a half later Honda seemed to have the same idea by abbreviating the chassis of the mundane Civic, creating a nimble and attractive two seater. Read more…

2010 Mazda3

March 3rd, 2010 No comments

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder…

      …And this auto scribe thinks someone whacked the 2010 Mazda3 with an ugly stick! But regardless of what I think of the wrapper the real measure is whether or not the 2010 3 follows the formula that Mazda patented with the original. That is to pack this entry-level compact hatch with as much content as they can squeeze between the sheetmetal and offer it at a value you just can’t resist. Read more…

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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

March 3rd, 2010 No comments

It Lacks The Go Anywhere Ability Of Its Big Brother, But It’s Much More Fun To Drive

    If you are planning on picking up a new Tiguan to serve as a smaller, more fuel-efficient alternative to your go-anywhere Touareg be prepared for a new experience: getting stuck. That’s because Volkswagen’s second SUV is far more Honda than Hummer. Yes, it can be equipped with all-wheel drive, but you’ll only have 6.9 inches of ground clearance to work with, same as our front-wheel drive tester. Exactly none of the more capable Touareg’s hardware (air suspension, three locking differentials, low-range transfer case) is passed down to the Tiguan. But that detail only irked us when the Tiguan got itself stuck—twice—during our late December test. That’s because the rest of the time we were driving the thing like it was a GTI in maternity clothes. A fact that took us by surprise even though Volkswagen’s own press materials refer to the Tiguan as the “GTI of compact sport utility vehicles”. Read more…

2008 Ford Escape Hybrid

March 2nd, 2010 1 comment

It’s Not Easy Being Green!

     The 2008 Ford Escape is like a breath of fresh air in a Ford lineup that has grown stale and boring. I dare say the Toyota Camry is more exciting than either the identity-crisised Taurus or razor bladed Fusion. Excluding the Mustang and its many special editions the bread and butter of Ford’s lineup is…well…bland. Read more…

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2007 Suzuki SX4

March 1st, 2010 No comments

An Econobox With Traction!

     Visually the Suzuki SX4 registers exactly nil on the coveted Muxlow fun-o-meter. It looks about as enticing as an emergency escape capsule from a space ship, and I don’t desire to pilot one of those either. But this little orange pumpkin was my charge for the week and I gave it all the tender loving care and affection I show all my cars. Well…sorta. Read more…