Posts Tagged ‘luxury’

2016 NAIAS: 2016 Cadillac CT6

January 13th, 2016 No comments

Though Cadillac revealed the new CT6 sedan months ago in New York, we finally got a chance to get up close and personal with GM’s most luxurious sedan. Just as Cadillac executives insisted that the XTS was not the brands flagship they are claiming that this full size, rear wheel drive sedan shouldn’t bear that responsibility either. While this gives us hope for a car as stunning as the Cadillac Elmiraj concept, there is still much to appreciate about the CT6. Available with a 2.0L turbo, 3.6L V6, or 3.0L twin turbo V6, the CT6 eschews traditional V8 motivation in stark contrast to the last full size rear wheel drive Cadillac, the 1996 Fleetwood. We should insert an asterisk here and clarify that only the 2.0L turbo can be combined with RWD. The V6 models come standard with all-wheel-drive. The interior is outfitted with premium materials, rich colors, and enough rear seat room to simultaneously satisfy all but the very tallest of occupants. With a base price of $54,490 it seems that Cadillac is taking the time honored practice of dramatically undercutting the competition’s price to lure them into the showroom. The base CT6 is priced so low it makes one wonder if it will steal sales from the smaller CTS. While the CT6 has been criticized for being too similar to the CTS and ATS in appearance, we are reminded that this is the same approach used at Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW so GM’s luxury brand is at worst imitating industry leaders.

Categories: Auto Shows, Video Tags: , , ,

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V

January 15th, 2015 No comments


Cadillac may have taken the wraps off the ATS-V sport sedan and coupe several weeks ago, but the significance of the car has not diminished. Gleaming under the lights at Cobo Hall during the North American International Auto Show, Cadillac is giving potential buyers and up close look at the brands most agile performance model. The ATS-V is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that produces V8-like power output. Horsepower is rated at 455 and torque at 445 ft.-lbs. A six speed manual appeases the traditional enthusiast crowd while an eight speed paddle shift automatic caters to those who don’t mind a little bit of technology assisting in their sprint to 60. Cornering is enhanced by magnetic ride control while braking is accomplished with 14.5″ diameter front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers. That speed is accomplished in a mere 3.9 seconds and terminal velocity is achieved at 185 mph. It will be easy to distinguish an ATS-V from its standard coupe and sedan brethren by means of a mesh grille, vented hood, and deck lid spoiler. The ATS-V should eliminate any doubt that Cadillac is capable of playing in the premium sport sedan league.

Video Review: 2014 Hyundai Equus

December 18th, 2014 No comments


It is hard to believe that it has been 30 model years since Hyundai introduced the lowly Excel to the United States.  Priced at $4995 it pretty much was undercut in price (and quality) by only the Yugo GV.  The Excel has long left the market and Hyundai has slowly and surely been moving the top end of its brand upmarket.  Rather than introduce a separate marque to sell premium cars Hyundai has simply added the range topping Equus.  The ‘base’ Equus we piloted starts at $61,250.  For that type of money one could purchase a whole fleet of Excels if one were skilled enough to find any unlikely survivors.  And yet at just over sixty grand the Equus undercuts similarly spec’ed flagships like the 7-Series and A8.  This pricing strategy mirrors that of Lexus in its inaugural 1989 model year.  Has Hyundai truly refined its skills to offer a legitimate luxury cruiser capable of threatening the established BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus offerings?  Will the well-to-do be willing to shop for their Equus in the same showroom as those who are negotiating for low monthly payments on an Elantra?  Watch as we ponder these questions in the video above. Read more…

Categories: Video, Video Reviews Tags: , , , ,

First Drive: 2013 Lexus GS

December 15th, 2011 No comments

Lexus Caters Less to the Realtors and More to the Racers

     Over the course of the last decade Lexus seems to have become the official conveyance of realtors across the country. Realtors seeking an isolated, quiet, plush yet inoffensive cocoon to shuttle prospective clients to and fro have adopted the Lexus lineup as their transport of choice. Until recently the company seemed content with the reputation they’ve earned as a builder of reliable but staid luxury vehicles. But now executives are convinced that to grow the brand and attract some interest from Audi, Mercedes and BMW drivers they’ll have to add some sport to their currently soft sedans and after a day spent throwing the new 2013 GS lineup around the infield road course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, we can confidently report that they’ve done just that. Read more…

Categories: Test Drives Tags: , , , , ,

2012 Acura TL

August 7th, 2011 No comments

      The good news about the new Acura TL is that it’s a nicer version of the Honda Accord. The bad news? It’s a nicer version of the Honda Accord. That’s the contradiction of the TL, which has been refreshed — and made a lot prettier — for the 2012 model year. It takes a fantastic, fun, ultra-reliable Accord and spiffs it up for the luxury market, packing it full of cool gadgets and adding sound-deadening materials to make it quiet on the highway. Read more…

Categories: Test Drives Tags: , , , , , , ,

2011 Cadillac SRX 2.8 Turbo

February 14th, 2011 1 comment

Just a Flash in the Pan

      Since our weeklong foray with the Cadillac SRX 2.8 Turbo, GM has decided that Cadillac dealers no longer require the services of this “premium” offering of their midsize crossover and have decided to cancel the 2.8 Turbo engine offering after one year. Without tipping my hand too far here, I have to say we are inclined to call this a smart move. But let’s delve into the details a bit before we bury the hatchet on Cadillac’s troubled turbo crossover. Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , , , , ,

NAIAS 2011: 2011 Audi A6

January 11th, 2011 No comments

     Audi seems destined to repeat BMW’s formula from the ’90s by making one sausage at 3 different lengths. Just as the 3, 5 and 7-Series sedans were clones of each other in sizes small, medium and large, so too has Audi developed a lineup of A4, A6 and A8 sedans that are nearly indistinguishable. We aren’t implying that’s a bad thing. Audi’s clean, tidy lines contribute to a timeless design that has served the company well. Read more…

Categories: Auto Shows Tags: , , , , ,

2011 Jaguar XJL

January 4th, 2011 No comments

More Than Just A Pretty Face

     The XJ hasn’t been a contender for years. Even when the last generation stepped forward with advanced aluminum intensive construction for the 2004 model year, a ho-hum base engine, tired styling and uninspired interior guaranteed it would never light up the radar of discriminating luxury sedan buyers. The XJ’s disastrous reception forced Jaguar management to sever its retro stranglehold and turn to maestro of design Ian Callum to develop a modern design language, which we first saw on the svelte, but still traditional, XF. For the flagship XJ Callum pushes the envelope even further and blesses the big cat with a distinctive presence that we think will finally draw curious consumers to Jaguar showrooms. After a week with a long-wheelbase XJ we’re confident they’re going to like what they find. Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , , ,

2010 Jaguar XJL (Design Critique)

December 30th, 2010 No comments

      After nearly two decades of unprofitableness under the ownership of Ford, Jaguar management has been quite eager to re-establish the British brand as a viable automaker. Jaguars have long been considered beautiful cars, but somehow that has failed to make them sell in volumes that would make the brand profitable. Starting with the XF, Jaguar has attempted to bring some modern shapes and designs into the fold, abandoning the overtly classic looking S-type and XJ sedans. The new XJ and XJL are an even greater departure from classic Jaguar sedans. Where the XF was a departure for Jaguar, it would have been a controversial design for any automaker due to its unconventionally styled D-pillar. It is a shame that the designers felt compelled to push the boundaries of automotive design, because the rest of the XJ design seems to work quite well. Read more…

2010 Mercedes-Benz C350

October 7th, 2010 1 comment

Down In Power, But Still A Contender For The Sports Sedan Crown

     In case you haven’t noticed, horsepower numbers are ballooning like Al Gore after public office and the new threshold for contenders in the sports sedan race is something north of 300 horses. Competitors from Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus all offer up power ratings starting with a three, and even though Audi’s standard A4 can’t play with the big boys you can step up to the supercharged S4, which is available for about a grand more than the C350 that is the subject of this review and could certainly be considered a competitor. The problem for Mercedes is that their class entrant only puts out 268 hp, so even before delivery we were preparing to treat it as an entry-level luxury car instead of a true sports sedan. But when our baby Benz showed up wearing bright red paint, AMG wheels and cross-drilled brakes we knew the boys in Stuttgart weren’t going to let a horsepower deficit keep them on the bench. Read more…