Tag Archive for review

2016 VW Golf R

'16 Golf R lead

Here’s an irony for you: When VW launched the hot hatch Golf R last year, it came only only with an automatic transmission. This year, Ford has launched the even hotter hatch Focus RS –  which comes only with a manual transmission. Ships passing in the night… . Now VW has decided to make a…

2016 BMW X5 eDrive

'16 X5 curb lead

BMW is going electric in a big way. The company honchos say so, openly. They see the IC engine as doomed – not because of scarce gas but omnipresent Uncle. Emissions and fuel-efficiency fatwas are becoming literally impossible to comply with. Think I’m exaggerating? Consider: In Europe, they consider (and regulate) carbon dioxide as an “emission.”…

2017 Chevy Volt

'17 Volt lead

Only Nixon could go to China, they said. Maybe they will say the same about me – and my (ducking now) endorsement of the Chevy Volt… . Ok. I just popped my head up from behind the dumpster, having dodged the rocks and rotten apples thrown my way by probably disappointed readers. But give me…

2016 Buick Cascada

'16 Cascada road 3

Impractical convertibles seem to do ok. The practical ones not so much. Ask Toyota. Or Chrysler. Or Volvo. Or VW. The Camry Solara, 200 convertible and C70 withered away for lack of interest, like unwanted timeshares – notwithstanding back seats that were both present and adult-usable as well as  trunks large enough to hold more than a bag…

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…