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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car Reviews

2011 Chevy Cruze - A Hint Of Lavishness To Inexpensive Small Cars

On: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 3:14PM | By: Mary McRae

2011 Chevy Cruze Exterior test 2

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a completely new model that brings a hint of lavishness to inexpensive small cars. One of the utmost compliments you can give a car is to say it feels more expensive than it is; that is surely the case with the Cruze. In terms of small car competition, Chevrolet has never had a competitive player. The mediocre Cobalt, as well as the generally terrible Cavalier that preceded it, was doomed as its rivals consistently outperformed them in key areas. Having said that, Chevrolet did a lot right here; when compared to this segment's traditional leaders, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Cruze is fully competitive (or even better) in terms of design and driving dynamics.

A Review Of The 2011 Honda Fit

On: Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 1:54PM | By: Mary McRae

2011 Honda Fit Review test 2

Honda stepped away from the subcompact car segment that helped build the brand so long ago, but Honda has recently rejoined the game with its five-door Fit.

The Fit goes back to what made Honda popular in the first place—back to its roots, a vehicle that stays true to all the elements that made the Civic so popular—however, with the modern day comforts and safety features that were not available during the Civic's childhood. A car that is cute, frugal, fun-to-drive, and, above all, is reliable; again, back to the roots of the Civic. The Fit was created to challenge the new kids on the block such as Scion, Hyundai, and MINI, in addition to Toyota's econo-box Yaris sedan.

Even though the Fit is priced a little higher than most of the competition, Honda is designed with a substantial number of standard features, plus one attribute you will not find on any option list: Excellent resale value.

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid: 100 Grand Never Looked So Green!

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 6:02PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid test 2

So you're finally in the market for a hybrid. Enough of the 7-Series BMWs and the big S-Class Mercedes, you want something different, something that makes you feel a little better about yourself. But let's face it, after working your way up life's ladder for the past few decades; you can't demean yourself to the likes of a lowly Prius or Altima Hybrid. A Tesla looks like fun, but you still have to pick up the grandkids every now and then or take that extended weekend with the wife at the country club, so, of course, you need your space. So, what are you options? Not many, my friend, not many. But, thankfully, there is at least one new option on the block, and it may be the only one you need:  The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid. That's right; the biggest Porsche car is now also the greenest. 

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster: A Wingless Angel

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 10:26AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster:  A Wingless Angel test 1-1

Sometimes when car companies decide to resurrect a car or a nameplate, it doesn't quite work out. It seems as if someone somewhere in marketing (who obviously is not a gearhead) just got the job, thanks to Monster.com, comes up with the idea to bring back a name in the history books with no real idea of what the original bearer of that name stood for.  

But for every modern Malibu SS, GTO, or Thunderbird, once in a while we get a car brought back that is arguably even better than the original. In 2010 we saw the most recent rendition of retro in the form of the undeniably elegant, yet extremely powerful Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Harking back to the 1950's 300SL, the modern form of the gullwing was every bit as breathtaking as the first specimen. Now, only a little more than a year later Mercedes will bring back yet another model for us to enjoy, in the form of the SLS AMG Roadster. This droptop beauty will mirror the late 50s version of that same venerable 300SL Roadster. 


Clearing Up DIY Headlight Restorations

On: Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:18PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Headlight Restoration test 2

Car headlights sometimes become cloudy and less effective than they should be over time. Why? UV rays, vehicle exhaust, ozone, acid rain, chemicals, and road debris take their toll on the plastic and cause them to get cloudy. This cloudiness caused by degradation can reduce and diffuse the light going through the headlight lens. This makes it difficult to see when driving in the dark and creates an unsafe situation for many drivers; most of whom don’t even realize it’s happened. In fact, if you are out cruising at night, the odds are good that you can’t see anywhere near as well (or as far) as you could when your car was new.

This happens to all plastic headlight lenses over time, and some cars seem to experience it faster than others, depending on many, many factors. Take a walk outside and inspect your cars plastic lenses; if the car is a few years old, chances are there are visible signs of weathering and hazing. Folks who live in warm climates like me are likely to experience the problem much sooner. That is why my 2007 Nissan Sentra Spec-V is in need of some headlamp TLC.

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0: The Purest Purist's Car Ever.

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:19AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 test 2

So, maybe you’re a sports car purist. You want things simple, but deadly efficient on the road and track. You know that a low curb weight is just as important as the amount of power you are putting to the ground, so that means no turbo, no hefty all-wheel drive setup, and no silly self-shifting techno-crazed semi-automated, triple-clutch, paddle-shifted nonsense. Your dream car should have a clutch, and a shifter, and should be powered by a naturally-aspirated, high revving hero under the hood bred from pure racing DNA, and that's about it. 

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

On: Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:52AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly) test 1-1

Everyone remembers the first time they saw it. It instantly captured the imaginations of men, younger men, some women, and every child that laid eyes on it. The Dodge Viper roared off the production line in 1992 and carved out a place in the human heart that no American car had in nearly three decades. 

Inspired by the first car to bear a snake badge (and had the fangs to match), the Viper became the modern rendition of the perennial Shelby Cobra. In its initial public offering, the Viper was incredibly close to the Cobra, not only in design, but in options as well. No roof, no door handles, no side windows (unless you count zipping up pieces of plastic), no air conditioning, no traction control, or anti-lock brake system.

2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake: 800 Horsepower On A Budget

On: Tue, May 24, 2011 at 3:12PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake test 2

Sure, the new Ford Mustang GT is a fun. It's got the awesome Coyote 5.0 engine sporting dual overhead cams, 32 valves with variable technology, and not to mention 400+ horsepower. But, what's that? Not enough horsepower, you say? Well, okay, Dearborn has an answer for your power needs too, in the form of the very exciting Shelby GT500.  

Surely, with 550 horsepower and a 5.4 liter supercharged all-aluminum ground-pounding V8, that should certainly cover your horsepower needs? No? Really? Okay, well, then Shelby can take that garden variety GT500 of yours and turn it into one of the meanest Mustangs to ever come off a production line.

The Biggest Mini!

On: Tue, May 24, 2011 at 7:57AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Mini Cooper Countryman S All4 test 2

It seems that carmakers these days want to make sure they explore every avenue imaginable. They want to see that there is a car to fit every need, want, or even whim. We have all-wheel drive Ferraris, Porsche SUVs, and even four hundred horsepower Jeeps; there really is something for everyone. And now, there's one more option out there for those that have been dreaming of it:  The Mini Cooper Countryman S All4.  

Don't be mistaken, this car, err, truck, er, uh... crossover... yeah, crossover is still a Mini. It runs with the same 1.6-liter inline four cylinder 181-horsepower engine as the standard Cooper, the same six-speed manual gearbox, same big tachometer front and center, and has the same standard Cooper's quirky personality. The only real difference is that the Countryman S All4 is bigger by two doors and taller by a few inches. The only other big difference is that the All4 runs through... you guessed it... all four wheels instead of the traditional two Coopers have been accustomed to.

Chevy Cruze Eco: A Great Choice To Beat High Fuel Costs

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 12:03PM | By: Chuck Arehart

Chevy Cruze ECO test 2

When General Motors announced the new Chevy Cruze as the replacement for the Cobalt, it was easy to dismiss it as another ho-hum small car from GM that lacked refinement and was nothing more than basic transportation. Let's face facts. GM has a nearly 40-year record of making small cars that never competed for top-of-class honors. The new Chevy Cruze changes that.

All it took was years of red ink and the death bed of bankruptcy, but GM finally put the resources that transformed the rest of its line from middle-of-the-road to world-class into creating the Cruze. The result is what we always knew GM could do and the Cruze really can go toe-to-toe with Japanese competition. Those words are typed from the fingers of a driver who's owned Japanese products for the last 20 years.

Not-So-Smart Fourtwo?

On: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 1:31PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Smart Fourtwo EV test 2

Technology for the most part is good. Technology is also fun, to some extent, but it does have its drawbacks. Sometimes, on the way to making something truly special, there are a lot of... not so innovative... innovations. The laserdisc player, the eight-track, video phones, Charlie Sheen, car stereo remotes, they all had high buy-in costs and low returns in terms of usability and entertainment. Most of these non-comedians eventually led to actual useful results in modern day life, but we had to go through a bit of a technological adolescence that was more infamous than famous.  

Right now, America is going through a similar period with automobiles. Before we can get to true freedom from oil, we have to get past this time of awkward growth. We know we can't survive on gasoline much longer, and ideally electric cars are the way we are going. We can see glimpses of the future with cars like the new Porsche 918 Hybrid and Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell on the high end, as well as the Prius, Volt, and Leaf on the low end of the price spectrum.