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2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Thursday July 22nd, 2010 at 9:77 AM
Posted by: peter

By Peter Newton

Pros:

  • Radio controls integrated into steering wheel (and integrated very well!)
  • Bluetooth® phone controls
  • iPod support
  • XM® Satellite Radio
  • Lots of storage compartments
  • Elegant trim touches
  • Good mileage for gas SUV at 22 mpg

Cons:

  • Dated styling
  • Uninspired driving
  • Acceptable freeway on-ramp power

First Impressions
Over the last decade, Hyundai has made huge strides in improving their reputation for safety and quality. In 2006, they passed Toyota in the JD Powers and Associates quality ranking – a major change for a brand that had once been the poster child for low quality. Note that this was way before Toyota started recalling everything – they used to be the standard for quality! With the better reputation, long warranties and their low prices, Hyundai has grown sales in North America from about 250,000 cars in 2000 to 435,000 in 2009, grabbing share from their established rivals. The biggest part of that success has been the Santa Fe, a crossover SUV that has become commonplace here in import-friendly California. The gist of all of this background is that I was interested to check out the most popular SUV that the up-and-coming Hyundai has to offer.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Hyundai |Tags:, , , , || 1 Comment »


2010 Nissan Altima Coupe Review – Sedan Minus Two Doors = FUN

Wednesday May 12th, 2010 at 10:55 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Nissan Altima Coupe
>> Review by Michael D. Leroy | >> Photographs by Derek Mau

Pros:

  • The Infiniti-like redesign is sporty and aggressive looking
  • CVT is smooth and non-intrusive
  • Great iPod integration with Premium package
  • Interior conveniences: large glove box and hidden front seat storage are nice

Cons:

  • Base 4-cylinder could use more oomph
  • Small trunk
  • HVAC and other controls look dated
  • Suspension could be more sporty

Let’s face it, sedans can often have quite sedentary and dull looks. Nissan must understand this, because the 2010 Altima Coupe is far more exciting to look at than its larger, 4-door laden, sister. Some people just like the look of two doors better. For those that cry foul at four doors, you are in luck. The 2010 model has undergone a refresh this year and is much improved.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Nissan |Tags:, , || 2 Comments »


2010 Hyundai Tucson Review

Friday March 26th, 2010 at 3:33 PM
Posted by: Derek

What we like:

  • Almost perfect compact suburban get-it-done family mover
  • Most of the road noise stays outside
  • Sharp-dressed interior
  • Good fuel economy
  • Available XM Nav traffic with live updates

What we didn’t like:

  • Position and angle of display screen gets a lot of glare from sun
  • iPod interface and controls reset to default settings every time the ignition is turned on
  • To maximize fuel economy the automatic transmission up-shifts too early, which causes engine to  fall out of power range and bog
  • Tight cargo hold limits “utility” function

Ruling: it’s fuel-efficient, stylish and high-rent — but limited on utility

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Hyundai |Tags:, , , || 3 Comments »


First Impressions: 2010 Mercedes-Benz C350

Friday March 19th, 2010 at 1:33 PM
Posted by: michael.leroy

By Michael Leroy

Pros

  • Quiet and comfortable on the freeway
  • Standard “Sports Grille” looks great
  • Good gas mileage

Cons

  • Awkward iPod integration
  • Need to buy several options to fix flaws
  • Slightly numb steering

As the middle child in the C-Class model line, the C350 fills the niche between the base model C300 and the mighty C63 AMG. Like any middle child, it’s easy for the C350 to be overlooked between its thrifty, cheaper sibling and its steroid-using big brother. Sibling rivalry aside, the C350 manages to stand out as a compelling option in the C-class lineup.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Mercedes-Benz |Tags:, , , || 2 Comments »


Audi Announces Two Limited Edition RS6 Packages

Tuesday February 23rd, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Audi RS6Expatriates have all the luck

If you are looking another reason to pack your bags and move to Europe, maybe Audi can finally persuade you with a limited edition RS6 that is only available in Europe. 500 of these limited edition RS6′s will be made and each will be individually numbered. There will be two separate packages, but both will come with 20-inch wheels, sports suspension and a “Carbon design package” for the engine bay.

Audi has has given both special edition packages rather cumbersome names: RS6 plus Sport and RS6 plus Audi exclusive. Customers looking for special colored leather trim and a custom paint job will want to choose the exclusive package. The far less “exclusive” plus Sport package will have an instrument-panel hood and a center console wrapped in leather. Audi will even throw in a set of special front floor mats.

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Posted in Audi, Press and News |Tags:, , , , || No Comments »


2010 Ford Taurus SHO Review – SHO nuff! …Finally!

Wednesday December 23rd, 2009 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2010 Ford Taurus SHO
By Gary Chan

Pros

  • Engine – Smooth as silk
  • Quiet interior (for a performance car)
  • Ride quality rivals a European full-size sedan
  • Microsoft SYNC

Cons

  • Sometimes bigger isn’t always better
  • 10-way power adjustable Multi-Contour front seats didn’t make my backside happy
  • Luxury car price for a (very nice) Ford sedan

I was in college when the first Ford Taurus SHO came out with the Yamaha-built V-6. Back in the day before the Internet became a big funnel of information and porn, I remember reading all the car-buff mags and drooling over its awesome 220-horsepower. It was with great interest that I wanted to drive this new Ford Taurus SHO with the cool redesign that possessed a very sporty and European-look. The fact that it was painted Candy Red Metallic surely didn’t help matters (*grin*) … where are the keys!

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Ford |Tags:, , , || 3 Comments »


2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Video

Monday November 24th, 2008 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Mazda MAZDA3 sedan2010 Mazda MAZDA3 sedan2010 Mazda MAZDA3 sedan

We have driving shots of the newly redesigned 2010 Mazda MAZDA3 that was officially revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Mazda also tells us that the 3 will carry over its 2.0L four-cylinder, but be joined by a larger 2.5L engine to replace the current car’s 2.3L. As for the Mazda3 five-door hatchback, we’ll have to wait until some time after the L.A. Auto Show for that.

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Posted in Mazda, Press and News, Video Reviews |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »




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