Posts tagged "review"

2014 Fiat 500L and 2014 Kia Soul - Getting Personal - Comparison Review + Vids

Cute Utes - (TOP) 2014 FIAT 500L starts at $19,195 for a base Pops edition. A loaded 500L Lounge registers at $27,745<br> <br>(BOTTOM) 2014 Kia Soul 1.6L base stickers at $15,495, while our filled-to-the-gills Soul ! 2.0L rings up at $26,195<br>
Small “urban crossover vehicles” sure started out bland, boxy and inert. See the original Scion xB.  An infusion of soul gave them the lifestyle that milennials expect. We say “personal crossover.“ Two of the “Cuter Utes” to recently hit the U.S. scene include the 2014 FIAT 500L and the reworked 2014 Kia Soul, both which... Read more »

2014 Subaru Forester + 2014 Toyota RAV4 AWD - DHS Compact Crossover Comparison

(TOP) 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i is far less the "box" it used to be. Though, the engine remains boxer in layout. Starting at $22,000 with 5-speed manual, a loaded Touring model with optional Eye-Sight Collision Avoidance runs $33,220.<br> <br> (BOTTOM): Swept back front of 2014 Toyota RAV4 makes it RAD4! In XLE AWD trim with Navigation the MSRP is $27,580<br>
What’s not to love about the compact cross-over utility vehicle?  Families are smaller these days. You say Fido is a St. Bernard? He’ll still have some sitting room in compact SUV. Equipped with rear-view cameras they are barely trickier to parallel park than a Smart For Two. Make that TWO Smart For Twos. Have you... Read more »

2014 Kia Cadenza - Ringer For a Four Ringer - Review

The 2014 Kia Cadenza. The full-sized front-drive sedan is appointed with Nappa leathers, heated steering, seating, ventilated front seats, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control.<br>  <br>Throw in a panoramic roof, voice commanded navigation & infotainment, dual-zone auto climate, HID and LED lighting, and 19" wheels and the MSRP is under $42,000.<br>
________________________________ At a time of overwhelming SUV popularity, nothing in the junior executive lot proclaims “You’ve arrived” better than a premium full size sedan.  Like the 2014 Kia Cadenza. It’s Bavarian handsome, with a milder rendition of the “tiger nose” culled from the mid-size Kia Optima , is nearly a  ringer for a previous Audi A8... Read more »
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2014 Ford Fiesta SE and 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LT - Shift-It-Yourself Subs - Comparison Review

Chevrolet (TOP) and Ford (BOTTOM) offer their respective Sonic LT (top) and Fiesta SE (bottom) 5-door sub-compacts with manual transmissions.<br>  <br> Both start at the $16,000 mark and are nicely contented for under $19,000 (if you omit the Sonic's dealer-installed "black-out" kit).<br> For drivers who like to do the "Demi Plie" with three pedals and stick shift. <br>
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - “Why bother making and selling manual transmission sub-compact cars that probably will never hit a professional road course, and in a country [United States] where barely one out of every eleven 200 million... Read more »

Ford Sync + MyFord Touch - A Little More Conversation - in-vehicle Voice Commands demo

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“Drive…He Said” recently had a conversation with Ford’s Sync [by Microsoft] hands-free in-vehicle communicator/ controller. As in “a computer.” There are three unified segments to this demo-video taken at night in the 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium, with MyTouch 8″ LCD quad-split display: Pt.1 – Selecting vehicle cabin temperature Pt.2 – Selecting a radio channel Pt.3... Read more »

2014 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD - Boost Me, Baby - Review

"Gems" and "Precious Metals" set this 2013 Ford Fusion premium mid-size family sedan apart from "ordinary Fusions."<br>  <br> "Ruby Red Metallic" is a $375 paint option. "Titanium" is the high-zoot edition which tacks on $11,000 to the price of a base Fusion SE.<br>  <br> The $37,000 MSRP of our tester omits only the kitchen sink and an available moon-roof and Driver's Alert. Otherwise virtually every adjustment aboard is power made...and many by voice commands. And there are high-tech drivers aids + conveniences galore. Count among them Active Park Assist, Blind Spot / Cross-Traffic Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Active Park Assist, Automatic High Beams, Intelligent Key, Multi-color ambient illumination, Remote Start, Comfort Keyless Ignition/ Entry, ETC. ETC.<br>
‘Tis the Season for Giving. Over at Ford Motor Co., CEO Alan Mulally owes Chris Hamilton big-time for his transformation of the Ford Fusion / Mondeo. Hamilton ought stuff a stocking hanging over the mantelpiece of Ian Callum, who penned the Aston Martin DB series, a major Fusion donor. But there are Ford Fusions, and... Read more »
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2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDi - Bug Imitating Camel - Review

For a touring rag-top with "To Die For" highway fuel economy and gobs of passing power, there's the "TDi." Planted on the rear of our Candy White 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, "TDi" = "Power by Rudolf Diesel."<br>  <br>Priced at $31,000 with navigation, we think the extra $2600 spent over the base inline 5-pot "gas" engine earns it a place high-up the compact "drop top" Short List.<br> <br> Does cruise control belong on the left side high beam/ turn signal steering column stalk?<br>
“Drive…He Said” recently put Volkswagen of America’s Mark Gillies on the spot. We asked whether every VW offering in the U.S. would eventually feature torque brimming diesel powerplants. Gillies winked and said Americans should expect diesels across the entire VW line by the next model cycles. For Now: Americans make do with six VW models... Read more »

2013 Nissan Juke NISMO AWD - Frog Hopping the Gridiron - Review

Call it "Godzilla...extra,extra-light." New-for-2013 is Nissan's sportiest-for-the-masses personal crossover-ute. The Juke NISMO. Good for the Gridiron.<br>  <br>Starting at $22,900 for the front-drive 6-speed manual version. The fully optioned CVT all-wheel drive model tops out at $27,200, which, coincidentally is just undercuts the base price of the Mini Cooper Countryman S All4.<br>
You wouldn’t normally describe the amphibian Rana temporaria, aka the “Frog”, as particularly “Cute.” Unless you happen to be a 21-year-old to 30 something urban gal in search of a squatting, bug-eyed sub-compact crossover-utility vehicle. For the boys, whose interest in amphibians leans to more menacing creatures, for 2013 Nissan introduces a [mild] factory tuner... Read more »

2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport - Expletive Make-Over of a "Chi-Chi" X-Over - Review

2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport - Expletive Make-Over of a "Chi-Chi" X-Over - Review
Lexus likes being the Numero Uno selling luxury car-brand in the good ole U. S. of A. Lexus doesn’t like the ribbing it’s been taking over the years for offerings which isolated rather than communicated. Pampered rather than rewarded. Appending the “F-Sport” designation (derived from the Fuji Raceway in Japan) to the more athletic cars... Read more »
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2013 Chevrolet Spark - Your Tortilla Chips are in My Mole - Review

"Your tortilla chips are in my zesty mole!" The Jalapeno sheen of the 2013 Chevrolet Spark sure is spicy. It's the General's newest attempt at a five-door city car coming from its South Korea arm  (formerly Daewoo).
Blow all the sissy whistles you want at our Jalapeno (bright metallic pastel green) 2013 Chevrolet Spark micro-sportback car. Because (A) it don’t show the dirt (B) it shimmers at night (C) it goes pretty good with fresh tortilla chips. It’s not that a recent “Drive…He Said’s”extended play-date with this city hatchback did much to... Read more »