Posts Tagged ‘sedan’

Video Review: 2014 Toyota Corolla S

May 21st, 2014 No comments

For as long as we can remember the Corolla has been forgettable. Of course, that abstract truth hasn’t stopped Toyota from selling millions of them over the model’s long life. Still, we’d argue it’s more a testament to their ability to build a reliable car at a low price and take care of their customers better than just about anyone than some burning desire American’s have to make 60 monthly payments on a new beige Corolla. However, for 2014 Toyota is looking to inject a bit of desire into the Corolla lineup with trims like the sporty S we recently had in the AT Garage. Did we like what we found? You’ll have to find the play button to find out.

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2014 Mazda6

March 19th, 2014 No comments

Mazda Goodness Just Keeps Getting Better

We’ve been fans of the Mazda6 since the start. Our Senior Editor even parted with his own hard-earned money to put a rare manual 5-door hatchback in his fleet. You’ll understand our excitement then when the opportunity came to review the latest generation of the enthusiasts’ favored family sedan. Unfortunately, winter weather prevented us from strapping on the camera equipment for a full video review so what follows are some brief thoughts from our week with a fully loaded Grand Touring trim ($29,695 base / $33,145 as-tested) and a plea for Mazda to send it back up when spring has sprung. Read more…

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2014 NAIAS: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

January 17th, 2014 No comments

Competitor’s take note: Mercedes is getting really, really good at building luxury cars again. Oh sure they haven’t produced any junk in the last decade but a certain confidence that was embodied in every Mercedes of the 90s was dialed back as the obvious search for additional profits lead to something we hadn’t seen in any 3-pointed star before: cost cutting. But now the S-Class is the envy of the car world again and Mercedes is bringing that magic to the masses in the form of the new 2015 C-Class. The turbocharged four and six cylinder engines now power a nearly perfectly shrunken S-Class that even offers most of the flagship’s tech and luxury features. For the first time an air suspension is available as are luxuries like distronic cruise control plus steering assist, Burmester audio and even a climate control system that uses GPS to adjust before you enter a tunnel. In the hunt for efficiency engineers also reduced weight more than 200 pounds over the previous generation. Also of note is the 3-inch stretch in wheelbase that adds a bit more room to the previously tight rear seats. With an interior design drunk on details and finished as beautifully as anything costing twice as much the C-Class will find it almost easy to steal customers from the competition. Welcome back Mercedes and keep it coming.

2014 NAIAS: 2015 Chrysler 200

January 13th, 2014 No comments


In the course of a press conference Chrysler has gone from second string to major player in the midsize sedan market with the all-new 2015 200S and 2ooC. The 200 seeks to erase the frumpy memory of past models by offering a stunning 4-door coupe body with upscale surface treatments and detailing not usually found at this price point. The front and rear lamps use LED accents and the narrow grille opening and prominent winged Chrysler badge debut the newly refined face of the company’s car line. Mechanically the 20o offers more than ever before with your choice of a 2.4-liter I4 (good for at least 35 mpg highway) or 295 hp 3.6-liter V6 matched to a standard 9-speed automatic and all-wheel drive with the V6. Chrysler says the 200S emphasizes sportiness and the 200C is the luxury tip of the lineup. However, when the doors swing open both models are way ahead of the competition. Great two-tone color schemes and uniquely finished wood trim along with plenty of metallic details make the new 200 feel a class above its class. The available 8.4″ UConnect infotainment system is present and the available heated steering wheel will be appreciated by demanding young buyers. The Chevrolet Malibu had better start printing some big rebate checks when this thing goes on sale later this year because the 200 is finally ready to steal some customers.

Video Review: 2013 Audi A8L 3.0T

August 1st, 2013 No comments


      Audi seems to be all about choice these days and the flagship A8 range seems to prove that. When only a few years ago a buyer could choose from V8 or W12, with the addition of the 3.0T model buyers can now choose from a V6, two V8s, a W12 and an upcoming diesel. Read more…

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First Drive: 2013 Toyota Avalon

December 10th, 2012 No comments


Going Places

      I think we can all agree that the last iteration of the Toyota Avalon was in need of a double dose of espresso. So when I was invited recently to drive the all-new 2013 Avalon, my first thought was to caffeine up before I settled behind the wheel. What I expected to be little more than weak coffee turned out to be more like a caffe vanilla Frappuccino. Let me explain. Read more…

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2013 Toyota Avalon Design Critique

November 19th, 2012 No comments


      The Toyota Avalon has been with us for much longer than seems possible. When it debuted as a 1995 model, it was credited with being ‘Toyota’s Buick.’ Whether that was intended as an insult or a compliment depends on how you felt about Buicks at the time, but we’ll speculate those making the assessment weren’t referring to the LT1 V8-powered Roadmaster, but rather the somewhat smaller LeSabre or even the 13-year old Century. In any case, the Avalon has continued to be a plusher, larger, softer variation of the Camry. Like the Camry, the Avalon has remained fairly anonymous. Indeed, its styling was likely created with the intent of being used as a template for the ‘anycars’ used in various automotive supply advertisements.  Read more…

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

September 8th, 2012 No comments

2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO

 Rental Car No More

     Several years ago, 2004 to be precise, GM began to unload the original front wheel drive Chevrolet Malibu as a rental car by stripping it of its Malibu nameplates and slapping the vague Classic lettering on the deck lid. Having worked as a rental car lot attendant, I can attest that this car was the backbone of the rental car world. Unfortunately, its reliability and non-descript styling were its best points. It seemed Chevrolet had decided to join the Japanese in offering a forgettable midsize sedan except every facet was executed with mediocrity resulting in unsupportive seats, carpet that separated from its rocker sills and a completely lifeless driving experience. The revised 2004 Malibu that went to retail customers rather than fleets was hardly an improvement with its numb electrically assisted steering. If the outgoing Malibu/Classic’s styling could be described as vanilla, its replacement was nothing more than French Vanilla. GM finally stepped up to the plate with the well-received all-new Malibu for 2007. Five model years have passed, and though it was hardly looking old, GM realized that a timely replacement would be necessary to maintain the Malibu’s newfound competitiveness.  Read more…

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First Drive: 2013 Acura ILX and RDX

April 23rd, 2012 No comments

Reinvigorating Acura From the Bottom Up

     It’s no secret the last few years haven’t been the highlights of Acura’s 25 year history. Some of the trouble was self-inflicted—we’re looking at you 2009 TL—and some of it was economic meltdown and Mother Nature’s wrath, but Acura is planning to meet aggressive sales targets during the next few years by reinvigorating their lineup from the bottom up. The plan starts with winning in two of the highest anticipated growth segments during the next five years with the all-new ILX entering the Near Premium sedan segment and the redesigned RDX contesting the Entry Premium crossover segment. We were recently invited to sample the new entry points to the Acura brand and we’re now far more confident that Acura’s projected 45% sales increase this year is within reach. Read more…

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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…

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