Tag Archive for review

The Littlest Triple

'72 S1 ad

Weird little bikes are hard to find new. A bleak homogeneity has settled in. Small bikes are safe bikes; conventionally styled, with mild engines. Made, in brief, for beginners. To be thrown away once mastered and their owner moves on to something more interesting. Kawasaki’s littlest triple – the S1 250 Mach I – was…

The Almost Muscle Car: Chevy Monza, 1975-1980

Monza 1

The ’70s (and early ’80s) were Weird Years for the car industry. The muscle car era of the ’60s was fading fast, but the fumes still lingered… what would come next? What would be in between? Chevy’s answer – well, one of them – was the Monza 2+2. Though small, it was still rear-wheel-drive. And…

2015 VW Jetta

'15 jetta curb 1

VW’s Jetta sedan hasn’t got a lot of sex appeal. Nothing about it seems automotive centerfold worthy. And yet, it’s a perennial favorite – one of the most successful (in terms of sales and model longevity) cars in its class. If this seems contradictory, it’s not. Think about people you dated in high school and…

2015 Mercedes GLA250

'15 GLA curb 1

Everyone wants to get in on the compact crossover sporty wagon action – even Mercedes, which until recently refrained from entry, preferring instead to concentrate on coupes and sedans and SUVs (all of them built on rear-wheel-drive-based layouts). But there is a lot of money to be made selling small crossovers. Ask Audi – or BMW.…

2015 BMW 740Ld

'15 740Ld lead 2

Our time seems to be one of role reversal. Bruce Jenner, for instance. Also diesel engines. They are work truck – and economy car – engines no longer. In the U.S., they are primarily high-end car engines. As in the 7 Series BMW. It’s their biggest, swankiest – and most expensive – sedan. And now…

2015 Acura TLX

'15 TLX curb 1

It’s rare for a luxury car’s price to go down for the new model year. Rarer still for that to happen when the car in question is “all new.” Well, here you are – the 2015 TLX. It replaces the TL luxury sport-sedan and (more or less) fills the same slot in Acura’s lineup, targeting the same…

2015 BMW X4

'15 X4 snow pic

BMW calls the new X4 a “sports activity coupe” – notwithstanding its, uh, four doors. Five, actually – if you count the hatchback. So what is it, actually? Imagine a fastbacked (and lowered) X3. Or maybe a higher-riding 2 Series … with an extra set of doors. Well, okay, three extra doors. The idea being (says…

2015 Infiniti QX80

2015 Infiniti QX80

Well, gas is cheap again. Does it mean big SUVs (with big, thirsty V8s) will make a comeback? I doubt it. Even though the cost of fuel is down, the cost of everything else has gone up. I don’t buy the happy talk about the “recovery.” No one I know has “recovered.” Most of us…

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

'15 GLA 45 rear view

Wastegates popping, all four tires skittering … zero to 60 in the mid-high fours. In a snarky little hatchback hot rod.  STi, right? Nope. GLA 45 AMG. Mercedes’ take on Subaru’s idea. High-lined and tweaked up. Sits lower. Runs harder. Sounds tougher. Extremely turbocharged 2.0 four feeding a ground-grabbing, pavement rippling all-wheel-drive system… just sans the gold anodized wheels and super-sized…

2015 Subaru Legacy

'15 Legacy lead

Subarus used to be such an easy sell. If you were a buyer looking for an AWD car, Subaru was one of the few that sold them. And pretty much the only one that wasn’t also an expensive German brand. Subarus – including the 2015 Legacy reviewed here – still come standard with all-wheel-drive. But…