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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Car Reviews

Honda Struggles With Latest Lineup, Three Little Pigs

On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 3:15PM | By: Chris Salamone


Honda Crosstour test 2

After earthquakes and Thai flooding, Japanese automakers have certainly faced an array challenges for one year. So much so that the damage caused by those events can still be seen today in lackluster 2012 model updates and limited supply offerings, a fact which Honda readily admits. However, with Honda’s latest sales report, devout followers may begin to question yet another aspect of sales operations: the model lineup.

What could be wrong with a lineup marked by year-after-year of Car and Driver 10Best Awards, widely recognized as the most reliable and efficient set of cars around? Considering those awards only went to Honda’s traditional fan favorites – Accord, Civic, Fit, Prelude, and so on – the issue rests squarely on the shoulders of Honda’s latest niche additions, aka the three little pigs.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Honda is an amazing company which currently produces some of the best vehicles on the road. But, the Ridgeline, CR-Z and Crosstour are not helping the company’s fiscal bottom line or reputation.


Element Era Ends: Ode To The Box

On: Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 10:13AM | By: Chris Salamone


Element Era Ends: Ode To The Box test 2

For years we heard rumors that the much-adored Honda Element would be axed due to slumping sales numbers. But, year after year, the Element reappeared in Honda’s lineup with some fresh new makeup meant to reignite a formerly strong market contender. Fans remained content – few could question the Element’s versatility, CUV efficiency, or boxy good looks. Nevertheless, as of last December, Honda announced plans to officially end the Element’s production after the 2011 model year.

The Element will be forever missed, but is survived by the all-new CR-V and Crosstour – for better or worse. Honda’s Element execution marks a significant loss in the percentage of completely box-shaped vehicles remaining in the market, and an even larger loss when the Element’s class-leading cabin space, 4WD, and fun-factor are taken into account. In light of these facts, we thought an ending to the Element era deserved a special tribute, an ode to the box.


The 2012 Ford Expedition; Capable and Comfortable

On: Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 1:09PM | By: Peter C Sessler


2012 Ford Expedition test 2

The 2012 Ford Expedition remains the do-it-all full-size SUV. The 2012 Ford Expedition features a best-in-class trailer tow rating of up to 9,200 pounds complemented by an array of clever control technologies to tow confidently in just about any condition, on or off road.

The standard 5.4-liter V-8 delivers 310hp and 365 lb.-ft. of torque. The 5.4-liter V-8 is flex-fuel capable, meaning the engine can run on unleaded gasoline, E85 (up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) or any mix of the two.


Press Release: The 2012 Ford Fiesta

On: Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 12:22PM | By: Peter C Sessler


2012 Ford Fiesta  test 2

Fiesta enters the 2012 model year in North America with two new interior style packages, an expanded sport appearance package and the across-the-board addition of an integrated blind spot side view mirror and driver’s seat armrest.

Fiesta adds fashionable interior style packages that include two-tone leather-trimmed seats with harmonizing door trim inserts, color-coordinated steering wheel and instrument panel trim, premium carpet floor mats with the Fiesta logo embroidered in front and a leather-wrapped gearshift knob.


 

Press Release: 2013 Cadillac XTS Unveiled in Los Angeles

On: Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 9:27AM | By: Peter C Sessler


2013 Cadillac XTS test 2

Cadillac unveiled the 2013 XTS on November 16 in Los Angeles, the newest addition to the Cadillac luxury sedan lineup. It arrives in showrooms in the spring of 2012 as the most technologically advanced production car in the Cadillac’s history.

Larger than the Cadillac CTS, it also marks the debut of CUE, a comprehensive in-vehicle experience that combines intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and media data.


Press Release: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8; Intoxicating Power-Stunning Looks

On: Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 7:27AM | By: Peter C Sessler


2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 test 2

Just look at the performance numbers for the 2012 Chrysler SRT8, 0-60 mph acceleration in the high 4-second range; quarter mile in high 12-second range; 0-100-0 mph in less than 16 seconds, top speed of 175 mph and stopping power from 60-0 mph in 120 feet. That sure is good.

The 300 SRT8 is targeted to those who seek power and at the same time, don’t want to sacrifice luxury either.


Mini Roadster: The More Masculine Mini?

On: Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 10:56AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Mini Roadster test 2

We've got to at least give Mini credit, they're trying—the new Mini roadster looks pretty good.  It’s Lower, shorter, and narrower than the current feminine four seater. The roadster is a bit more of a head-turner than any of the micro machines we've seen in recent years.  The roadster is very similar to your average Mini, but there are some small noticeable changes.  Ducts before and aft of the rear wheels as well a spoiler that automatically raises and lowers (up when the car goes over 50 mph and drops back down when the car dips below 37 mph) all help to spice up the looks a bit, while the multilayered top keeps the fun going by being able to be dropped from the driver's seat with almost no effort at all. 


Four Exhaust Pipes?! Beetle R Shows Stateside

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 11:34AM | By: Chris Salamone


VW Beetle R Concept test 2

Since VW’s booming announcement that a Golf R model would be coming down the pipeline soon, US fans of Das Auto have waited patiently – toes tapping all the while. But before the Golf R has even hit US showrooms, VW has seen fit to release another race-inspired prototype cast from an altogether different mold. During the vehicle’s initial debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Beetle R landed in US headlines with an appropriate level of enthusiasm and jealousy. We wanted the seemingly more virile Beetle R, and we wanted it first.

The LA Auto Show may not be the first Beetle R showing, but at least we finally get a close-up.


2013 Ford Escape Hype Hits Fever Pitch

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Salamone


2013 Ford Escape test 2

As of today, almost every major news source has picked up and extolled the virtues of Ford’s 2013 Escape. During an official unveiling at the LA Auto Show, automotive journalists and enthusiasts alike were treated to a huge array of information and sexy ad posturing. The trouble is, this latest Escape sort of downgrades the things about the former Escape which we’ve all come to know and love. Sure, the 2013 version looks refreshed, more modern, and offers superior gas mileage, but what happened to the Escape’s rugged, boxy look? What happened to a mini-SUV that made us feel like going on holiday?

Now we’re stuck with a CUV, strongly resembling the Ford Focus, which looks best navigating the crowded supermarket parking lot. There are some good points though…


2012 Ford Taurus SHO

On: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Peter C Sessler


2012 Ford Taurus SHO test 2

The Ford Taurus was originally released back in the 1990s, and during its production run, it gained quite a following—I remember there were SHO car clubs, which probably still exist. The Taurus was briefly dropped, and returned as the Ford Five Hundred, and then the Taurus brand was reintroduced once again—a much better car than the original Taurus, too.

The 2012 Taurus SHO is the top of the line version that is substantially different from the rest of the lineup. The engine is a 3.5L twin turbo EcoBoost V-6 making 365hp and 350 ft.-lb. of torque, and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The “Eco” part of the name is supposed to bring forth images of fuel economy, but that is not the case for the direct-injected V-6. The engine is rated at 17/25 mpg, but the reality of getting less than 17 mpg in city driving is probably likely.


Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts Of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 4:06PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Toyota Supra test 2

It could be argued that the Toyota Supra is in fact, the king of all performance imports. Not the entire line of them, mind you, but the Mark IV rendition available in the United States from 1993-1998. These cars were the perfect combination of sleek, stylish good looks, strong factory performance, and almost unlimited mod potential. The from-the-factory version was a stout sports car in its own right. Opting for the turbo model (and what self-respecting man wouldn't?), owners were privy to a very impressive list of performance pieces including a 2JZ-GTE twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that put down a lofty (and possibly underrated) 320-horsepower and 315-lb.-ft. of torque. The turbos on the Mark IV mimicked those on its rival RX-7, operating sequentially as opposed to simultaneously. Exhaust would first spin only one turbo in order to get the engine up and off its feet quickly so as to avoid the notorious "turbo lag" that so many imports were stigmatized with possessing. The first turbo would not only help produce low-end torque (below 2,000 rpm) that was comparable, if not better, than most rival American V8 engines, it would then feed the second turbo and help increase high RPM boost (above 4,000 rpm), making the Supra a force to be reckoned with at any speed, especially on the top end.