Tag Archive for review

2014 Nissan Altima

'14 Altima lead

You may have heard this story: Back in the mid ’60s, that wild and crazy guy John Z. DeLorean – father of the GTO – almost fathered a Pontiac rival to Chevy’s Corvette. It was a slick two-seater called Banshee (internally, XP-833) that got disappeared as soon as GM upper management discovered what he was…

2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid

'14 Camry hybrid lead

Does the Camry hybrid – vs. the regular Camry – make economic sense? Or is it an emotional (and political) thing primarily – as in: Hey, look how much I care about the environment? Hmmmm . . . On the one hand, the Camry hybrid will cost you $3,460 more to buy than an otherwise…

2014 Audi A8

'14 A8 lead

Two things about the Audi A8. First, it’s a relative bargain. $75,100 to start – and that’s with Quattro all-wheel-drive. To put that in some perspective, Mercedes wants $92,900 for the least expensive Mercedes S-Class . . . without AWD. Now, the Benz does come standard with a V-8 while the Audi comes standard with…

2014 Jeep Cherokee

'14 Cherokee lead

Here’s what didn’t work: Liberty (2002-2012). Commander (2006-2010). Which probably accounts for the new Cherokee . . . and what it’s not. It isn’t a traditional SUV. Reason? They’re a hard sell these days. At least, as mass-market vehicles. Despite Jeep’s boulder-hopping rep, the truth is most of Jeep’s current vehicles aren’t traditional SUVs anymore.…

2014 Honda Insight

'14 Insight lead pic

There are two hybrid models on the market that address what’s arguably the most persuasive argument against buying a new hybrid: They cost too much. Or, to put a finer point on it: Their cost to buy is too high relative to what you’ll save on fuel.  A new Toyota Prius, for instance, has a…

2014 BMW 320i

'14 320i lead pic

Don’t say it out loud – but there’s now an economy version of the BMW 3 Series sedan. Well, a more economical – to buy and drive – version. It’s the 320i – and it comes with a slightly less powerful version of the 2.0 liter engine found in the 328i . . .  …

2014 Lexus GS350 F Sport

'14 GS 350 curb 3

Lexus was originally – and for the most part has remained – a brand devoted primarily to luxury. To poshness, softness, quietude and comfort. ES, RX, LS. These have been the big-sellers, the money-makers. Over the years, there have been a few stabs taken at purveying a passionate car. Examples include the original (2001-’05) IS…

2014 Toyota Tundra

Tundra road 4

One area where the Japanese have not been able to eat the proverbial lunch of Detroit’s Big Three has been full-size pick-ups. To date, none of the Japanese 1500s have been more than peripheral players. Why? Probably at least in part because when it comes to big trucks, American truck buyers are like Harley-Davidson owners…

2014 BMW X5

'14 X5 3:4

When you’ve got a good thing going – and BMW’s X5 has been going good for almost 15 years – you don’t mess with it. Not fundamentally. Keep what’s good – what works – and tweak things to make the overall package better. That’s the 2014 X5 – updated, but in ways that aren’t threatening…

2014 VW Passat 1.8 Liter

'14 Passat road 2

One of VW’s chief calling cards has always been efficiency. For a long time – until very recently, in fact – VW was the only car company selling affordable diesel-powered cars. The handful of others were all high-end luxury brands (Mercedes, BMW, Audi). Now VW is striving to make its gas-powered offerings more efficient, too.…