Posts Tagged ‘midsize’

2010 Ford Fusion SEL

May 21st, 2010 2 comments

A Minor Refresh Makes A Major Difference

      The movers and shakers inside Ford had a great idea once upon a time ago. They decided they were going to make a family sedan that was sporty. What could go wrong? They had experience fashioning family sedans such as the Taurus, and sports cars like the Mustang. Surely they could graft the two together. After all, they were starting out with a Mazda6, an astoundingly thrilling car to drive considering it is propelled via the front-wheels. Oh sure, the result was a nice car. They made it bigger so you could stretch out. They made the suspension softer so the bumps wouldn’t fling the contact lenses from your eyes. And they made it heavier by adding fluffy foamy stuff so you can’t hear the engine noises. They made it boring…
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2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS

April 13th, 2010 1 comment

Suzuki Shoots for the Stars…Hits a Passing Comet

      In its press material Suzuki cites comparisons against the Nissan Altima and the Honda Accord. Good candidates to measure oneself against considering that the Accord has ruled the midsize sedan segment along side the Toyota Camry for some time now. But reading further we find that Suzuki not only laid the Kizashi and Volkswagen CC spec sheets side by side, they also openly challenged perspective buyers of Audi A4 and Acura TSX’s to test drive the Kizashi first. A challenge that culminated with the challengee receiving a $100 check card from Suzuki if after 10 days they decided that the Audi or Acura was right car for them instead. Bold… Read more…

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

Pontiac Imports Some Thunder From Down Under

     Before the GT hit these shores earlier this year sedan shoppers looking for a bit of excitement at the Pontiac dealer had to settle for the Grand Prix GXP. Although it does have a V8, the Grand Prix’s front wheel drive chassis and archaic transmission will not cause BMW owners to get nervous at stoplights. That might start to change as the latest (and probably greatest) Pontiac starts to populate the byways of America. See, the new G8 not only packs a seriously gutsy V8, it also offers up a great transmission to send power to the rear end of a completely modern chassis. And all that adds up to a car that can get off the line like few other large sedans, but also carve corners like a much smaller one. We’re not giving anything away by saying we like GM’s latest import (designed and assembled in Australia) but it’s not without its faults. Read on. Read more…

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2008 Cadillac CTS

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

So Good It Nearly Makes Us Forget The Cimarron

     After scooping up rave reviews, comparison test victories, and Car of the Year honors for the latest CTS you’d think Cadillac has been in the business of building superb sport sedans for decades, like BMW. Then, of course, you’d recall some previous efforts by the Wreath and Crest division. There was the Opel-based Catera in 1997, which looked and drove more like a Buick than a BMW. Back up even more to the ‘82 Cimarron, Cadillac’s rookie effort at building a small sporty sedan that was so disastrous it almost single-handedly sent the “Standard of the World” brand on a steep decline until the first-generation CTS bowed in 2002. That car was a solid attempt at buttoning down a chassis and livening up the steering like the German competition, but its uninspired styling and muddled, plasticy interior kept it from being a true competitor. Read more…

2008 Nissan Altima Coupe

March 1st, 2010 No comments

Nissan Puts The Accord Coupe In Its Crosshairs

     Nissan recently launched its revised 2007 Altima sedan complete with the requisite Hybrid model to generally positive reviews. While we haven’t driven the latest iteration of the family hauler we expect it to continue being the slightly sportier, less frumpy alternative to the Camry and Accord that it has always been. But Nissan is no longer content with simply fighting for the family sedan buyer; it wants to offer something for what it calls “typically younger, more performance-oriented coupe buyers.” And after driving it, the Camry Solara and Accord Coupe better hit the gym and get down to fighting weight because the all-new 2008 Altima Coupe offers credible performance in a body almost as sexy as the big brother Infiniti G37. Read more…

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2007 Suzuki XL7

March 1st, 2010 No comments

Stiff Competition Makes Life Difficult For The Improved XL7

     Here’s a good example of just how competitive the auto industry is in 2007. Let’s be honest, Suzuki’s XL7 has been rubbish since it debuted. But when the details on the new generation started to leak out there was a lot of reason for hope. The whole thing was going to be based on a stretched version of GM’s Theta architecture, which works fine in the Chevy Equinox, and even better news was Suzuki’s decision to drop their old, underpowered engine in favor of GM’s 3.6-liter V6 and smooth shifting 5-speed automatic. Read more…

2007 Saturn Aura XR

February 28th, 2010 No comments

And Then There Were Two

    It’s hard to believe but there are now two good-looking Saturns on the road. The first was the Sky, which debuted last year to a collective, “That’s a Saturn?” by the automotive press. The suits promised there would be more to come from the reinvigorated brand. Apparently the GM guys just dropped off the “more to come” part because the type of descriptive words that keep coming to mind for the car I’m looking at include handsome, European, taut, expensive looking and refined. Excuse me if I am a little excited, but these are not words I’ve been able to use lately when talking about GM cars—let alone the Playskool-cars-for-grownups Saturn brand. But there it is, the midsize Saturn Aura and its tasteful chrome trim sparkling like jewelry on the Midnight Blue steel body. The days of the function-before-form Saturns are over. From now on, Saturns are going to be stylish. Read more…

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2007 Audi RS 4

February 24th, 2010 No comments

Audi Gets Serious About Its Smallest Sedan

    There’s good news and bad news regarding our review of the hottest Audi to hit these shores since the RS 6 discovered exactly how limited “limited production” is when Ingolstadt stopped turbocharging the daylights out of its midsize sedan in 2003.
     The good news is we got our anxious little driving-gloved hands on an example, and not just any example. This was an Imola Yellow screamer so shockingly noticeable area cops were planning Hawaiian vacations on their lunch hours. A radar detector or cleavage should come standard. Read more…

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2006 Mitsubishi Raider

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

Hoping To Raid The Midsize Truck Market

    “Sure thing, drop it off, gotta go!” I exclaim to the Mitsubishi PR guy as quickly as I can while trying to hammer out the final details of an important business meeting as I am walking into it with two colleagues.
     “What was that all about?” one colleague inquires.
     “We get a Mitsu Raider for the weekend, so if we…” Read more…

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2006 Mercury Milan

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

      Welcome back, all you journalism fans. It’s time for the lightning round in America’s hot new game show, “How to Review a Mercury.”
     For the first question, pick how you’d describe the 2006 Mercury Milan.
     Choice A: “It’s the best car Mercury’s made in years.”
     Choice B: “It’s an overpriced Ford Fusion.”
     Choice C: “Is Mercury still around?” Read more…

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