Posts Tagged ‘luxury’

2010 Lexus RX 350

August 27th, 2010 No comments

The King Of Crossover Comfort

     We like luxury crossovers. They ride nice, handle better than their big brothers, pack all the latest luxury goodies and can transport the whole clan through Mother Nature’s worst all the way to grandma’s house. Lexus likes luxury crossovers too. Mostly because they invented the segment with the 1998 RX 300 and have since infiltrated American suburbia with more than a million of them. But maintaining volume like that gets harder by the day and the RX has had to fend off increasingly tough competition in recent years, so Lexus set out to reset the bar with their thoroughly re-engineered 2010 model. Does the Crossover King still sit on the throne or do those ambitious new members of the court from Audi, Cadillac and BMW have a chance at claiming the big seat? Without a proper comparison test we can only answer that question with speculation, but we can tell you the new RX is ready to defend its title. Read more…

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2009 Audi A4 2.0T

March 3rd, 2010 No comments

Entry-Level Luxury Never Looked So Good

    Driving the new 2009 Audi A4 helps explain a lot of things. Like, for instance, how Audi actually set a new sales record of 1.03 million vehicles in 2008 while most other automakers’ showrooms looked like ghost towns. It’s not that there’s simply more power (there is) or a new technology (several, in fact) it’s that every single facet of all new Audi’s is an improvement over the replacement. And the latest A4 is no exception. We’re here to tell you the 2009 model is more comfortable, more powerful, more dynamically satisfying, more efficient and more luxurious than ever. Don’t believe us? Read on. Read more…

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2007 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

March 1st, 2010 No comments

Making 400 Horsepower Feel Slow

    When the current generation of Range Rover debuted back in 2002 it was embraced by wealthy suburbanites and praised by the media as the greatest luxury vehicle since the S-Class. Ok, maybe nobody stood in front of a banner declaring such, but that seemed like the general tone to us. Its distinctive retroish body shared the same unimaginative upright greenhouse and short wheelbase that Range Rovers have always shared. But the only real important part of the exterior was the large Range Rover lettering just above the grille that let everyone know this was an expensive SUV far above the realm of mere Escalades and Navigators. In our opinion the contemporary interior was the crowning achievement, although BMW power and plenty of luxury features didn’t hurt the vehicle’s prospects for success. But all that can be gleaned from the glossy brochure photos and slick television commercials. We recently spent a week with a nearly six figure fully loaded Range Rover Supercharged model, and we have to admit we were disappointed. Read more…

2007 Cadillac Escalade

February 28th, 2010 No comments

More Power Than A Corvette, And More Room Too!

    Everyone expected the new Escalade to be good, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear us proclaim that, indeed, it is good. The bigger question we have to answer is this: is the new Cadillac $15k better than the fully loaded Tahoe we drove a few weeks before this stylish new ‘Slade showed up? That’s tougher to answer than you may think. Read more…

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The Plight of the Entry-Level Luxury Car

February 28th, 2010 2 comments

     Acura TSX, BMW 3-series, Cadillac CTS. Excellent cars? Yes. Luxury cars? Hardly.
     I’ve taken the time to contemplate the subject of luxury manufacturers recently. More specifically, I have been considering the ultimate value of the entry-level “luxury car”. Two very different cars started my mind’s wheels turning. One was a result of a brief conversation I had about the value of the Cayenne to Porsche. Read more…

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2007 Cadillac STS-V

February 27th, 2010 No comments

Almost A Sports Sedan

    Ah yes, finally something to whet the enthusiast spirit. The winter was a long and cold one, as it always is here in Michigan. Especially because those of us living in the Great Lakes State have to put our toys away for the winter. So early this spring the GM boys dropped off a Cadillac STS-V for me to exercise my aching right foot. Sadly, our story ends with me asking “Is that it?” But rest assured, it is mostly my high-octane fueled blood that is to blame. Read more…

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2007 Cadillac SRX

February 26th, 2010 No comments

Still A Contender

    When the SRX debuted at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we were ecstatic. After decades of being so far behind the state of the art they weren’t even in the country of the art anymore, Cadillac was finally going to be selling a product that could legitimately take on competitors like the Lexus RX, Acura MDX and Lincoln Aviator. It was sitting on a modern rear-drive (or optional all-wheel drive) architecture, offered the smooth Northstar V8, a standard 5-speed automatic and looked clean and contemporary from all angles. The only downfall we could see was an interior that shared almost everything with the CTS sedan—not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, unless you own a plastic factory. Read more…

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2007 Lexus LS 460

February 24th, 2010 No comments

     If you ever need proof that money doesn’t buy happiness, look to the Middle East.
     Fifty years ago, this region was little more than sand and camels punctuated by a few ramshackle tents that housed people who hadn’t changed their standard of living in 1,000 years. Read more…

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2006 Lincoln Mark LT

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

The Best F-150 Ever Isn’t Even A Ford

    That’s right. The best F-150 you can buy wears a Lincoln badge, and, for some reason, is called the Mark LT. Actually, the Lincoln folks won’t like that statement, but we call ‘em as we see ‘em here. If it looks like an F-150, sounds like an F-150 and drives like an F-150, then logic would dictate it must be Ford’s bread-and-butter pickup. But logic doesn’t always find a home in the automobile business, and that’s why Lincoln can add a little chrome—ok, a lot of chrome—to an F-150, and charge a premium for it. Neglecting the fact that you and I both know this is little more than a trim level on the work-a-day F-150, how did Lincoln’s second attempt to crack the luxury truck code turnout? Read on for that answer. Read more…

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI

February 22nd, 2010 No comments

Stereotype Slayer

    We Americans like our stereotypes. For instance, everyone knows the English have bad teeth, the Chinese are short and the French are cheese-eating cowards (OK, that one may be true). Likewise, nobody argues with the American perception that diesel cars clatter like a junior high band, are slower than a chess tournament and smoke like the Marlboro Man. Except Mercedes-Benz, who has been changing consumers’ opinions one test drive at a time since the E320 CDI debuted as a 2005 model. Read more…