Tag Archive for review

2016 BMW X1

'16 X1 lead

Well, this is weird. Doing the background research I always do before I start to spew my opinion about a new car, I discovered that while the “compact” size BMW X1 is smaller on the outside than the “mid-size” X3, it actually has more room inside for people. And almost exactly the same amount of…

2016 Ford Focus “Triple”

'16 Focus lead

I have a three cylinder motorcycle. A “triple.” For a 400 pound bike, it’s plenty. But how about a 2,900 pound car? A 3,000 pound-plus car, once you add you. Well, me. But the Ford Focus manages – probably because its “triple” makes 123 hp – which is a lot of power for a 1…

2016 Chevy Malibu

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

History does repeat – in unexpected ways. When Japanese (and later, Korean) car companies challenged the family car hegemony of Detroit’s Big Three back in the ‘70s ands ‘80s, they did so with smaller-engined/high-efficiency/value-priced (but still very nice) cars. Cue Role Reversal. While Japanese family cars like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord still come…

2016 Dodge Charger

2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

American cars are all but extinct. Not American brands. GM and Ford are still making cars. But they are very different kinds of cars now. Mostly, they are front-wheel-drive in layout, “sensible” in in demeanor and powered by a four … with perhaps a six available optionally. Forget a V8. An exception to this rule is the Dodge Charger.…

2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Camry lead

It is no easy thing going from a 500 horsepower Challenger R/T to a no-horsepower Toyota Camry hybrid. Well, ok, that’s not fair. The Camry hybrid does have horsepower. But only about a third as much as the Challenger R/T I reviewed last week. Then again, the Challenger only gives you about a third of the…

2016 Subaru WRX

'16 WRX Sti

Speed is indeed a question of money … and not only in terms of how fast do you want to go. Last week, I test-drove the 2016 BMW 340i (review here) which is a ripper in luxury sedan drag. Spool up the turbos and dump the clutch… the thing will leave twin ruts in the asphalt … and…

2016 BMW 340i

'16 BMW burnout

I like a plain brown wrapper. Why advertise what you’re up to? I mean, if you plan to actually do it as opposed to just thinking about doing it…? Well, maybe a white wrapper… like this one. This innocent-looking all-white BMW 340i they sent me. Or silver. Blue’s ok, too. Who’d suspect? It’s an upmarket…

2016 Nissan Sentra

'16 Sentra side meat

Why buy a sedan? Aren’t crossovers the thing now? Yes, exactly. Hence the sedan’s appeal. They cost less as advertised – and you’re in a stronger position, haggle-wise, to knock that down. With crossovers – which are popular right now – your position is weaker, because if you don’t buy this afternoon, probably someone else…

2016 VW Passat

'16 Passat lead 2

Last year, VW nixed the so-so-fuel-efficient (but simple and inexpensive) 2.5 liter in-line five that used to be the Passat’s standard engine in favor of a slightly more fuel-efficient (but more expensive and complicated) four cylinder turbocharged engine. This year, Uncle’s nixed the extremely fuel-efficient TDI diesel engine that used to be optionally available in…