2011 Nissan JUKE First Impressions Review – Not making sense has never been this much fun

Monday March 21st, 2011 at 1:33 PM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Nissan JUKE
By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Potent 1.6L turbocharged engine
  • Slick shifting 6 spd manual transmission
  • Surprisingly capable handling
  • Snappy interior design

Cons:

  • Sub-compact size means limited practicality
  • Exterior design is a bit cartoonish

Sometimes it seems like car designers are developing new models simply by taking the existing categories and just scrambling them together. Take the new Juke from Nissan. Styled like a crossover and based on the same B platform as the Versa and Cube, but armed with a potent 1.6 liter turbocharged and direct injected engine, the Juke is unlike any other car on the road today.

On paper the concept of a sub-compact sport crossover seems almost goofy, but after spending some time behind the wheel of the Juke, we can’t help but be impressed. This little micro-ute is just a ton of fun to drive.

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


2011 Audi Q5 First Impressions Review – Equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that packs a punch

Friday March 18th, 2011 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Price leader in its class
  • No decontenting in performance or luxe due to low price
  • Extremely stable in all conditions

Misses:

  • Paddle shift would be nice
  • Exterior a tad plain-Jane
  • Mirrors obscure side views

You might succumb to reverse sticker shock because the price of this Audi is so low. Opt for the new-for-2011 turbocharged, 4 cylinder, Q5, and your base price is just $35,200. The 2.0 liter power plant used across the VW/Audi model range in everything from the Golf to the A4 makes its debut in the Q5 this year. Yes, you do lose 69hp by choosing the 211hp turbo 4 instead of the 270hp V6. But that slight concession in power saves you thousands in base price at little cost in ultimate performance. There’s still plenty of pop for passing maneuvers, plenty of quiet for freeway cruising, excellent overall gas mileage (20 city/27highway), and lots of tow capacity (4,400 pounds). Trailer hitch pre-wiring is a nice standard feature.

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


2011 Lincoln MKX First Impressions Review

Thursday March 10th, 2011 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Luxuriant and well put together
  • Heated front and rear seats and steering wheel
  • Panorama dual sunroof

Misses:

  • Distracting Disneyland dash
  • Useless up/downshift button on gear selector stick
  • Needs to lose some of its 4,251 pound curb weight

If you’re looking for a mid-size crossover SUV for less than $50,000, then you’ll want to consider Lincoln’s newly empowered MKX. Last year, the 4,251 pound Lincoln depended on a modest 3.5 liter V6 to produce 265hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. This year, Lincoln has upped displacement of the V6 by 200cc. The enlarged engine now makes 305hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, a 15 percent increase that improves performance and pulling power. The 2011 MKX steps out smartly when asked to accelerate, yet despite the bonus power, the new MKX gets better gas mileage than its predecessor (19/26MPG versus 17/23MPG).

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Rebadged Dodge Journey Lives On as 2012 Fiat Freemont for the European Market

Tuesday January 25th, 2011 at 8:11 AM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Fiat FreemontThe partnership between Chrysler Group and Fiat will unveil the new 2012 seven-seat crossover Fiat Freemont at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The Fiat Freemont features the body of a Dodge Journey but is rebranded with a Fiat logo, new bumpers and grille, and includes different engine choices that have been developed by Fiat PowerTrain (FPT).

For FWD manual transmission models, a Fiat 2.0-liter MultiJet turbo diesel engine with 140- or 170-horsepower will be offered. Being released later will be the AWD 4×4 models with a 2.0-liter MultiJet 170-horsepower engine and Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 276-horsepower engine, both with automatic transmissions. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , , , || No Comments »


2011 Audi Q5 2.0T Review – The Benchmark Among 5-passenger Crossovers

Monday January 17th, 2011 at 4:11 PM
Posted by: the911guy

By Dan Tsuchiya

Pros

  • Attractive styling that appeals to both genders
  • Direct injection turbocharged engine with power that comes on very early
  • Handling feels closer to a European sport sedan and AWD to boot
  • Ultra-luxurious cabin with intuitive controls

Cons

  • Exterior side mirrors are really big
  • Luxury isn’t cheap
  • Can get thirsty if you have heavy feet
  • Some interior squeaks

Many years ago there was a mini-sport utility vehicle called the Jeep – versatile, rugged, and largely uncomfortable. The Jeep’s popularity spawned multiple knock-offs from every carmaker — from the ill-fated Suzuki Samurai to the successful RAV4. All three continents have been trying to get it right for the past 30 years and it wasn’t until automakers tried converting cars into sport utility vehicles that the modern compact SUV was born.

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


Video Review: 2011 Nissan Rogue vs. 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Monday December 13th, 2010 at 3:1212 PM
Posted by: Derek

Mitsubishi redesigned the Outlander Sport for 2011, but can it go toe-to-toe against the more established sport ute – the Nissan Rogue? Watch the video as Ryan and Aaron take these city crossovers deep into the forest on a holiday challenge and drive over some real terrain more challenging than a urban street riddled with potholes.

YouTube Preview Image

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Posted in Mitsubishi, Nissan, Video Reviews |Tags:, , , , , || 2 Comments »


Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet to Debut at 2010 LA Auto Show

Sunday November 14th, 2010 at 2:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabrioletDrop-top Drivers Can Now Bring Along 2 Bags of Luggage and their Golf Bags

The world’s first all-wheel drive crossover convertible, delivers the open-air exhilaration of a convertible while extending the versatility of the Murano in exciting new ways. With room for four adults, space for golf bags or luggage (even with the top down), and a premium level interior, the Murano CrossCabriolet represents a breakthrough in concept and design. Set to go on sale in early 2011.

Insider sources close to the project say the 2011 Murano convertible will be produced in limited numbers, and will be targeted at empty-nesters who need room to carry the grandkids, but still want something fun. But the kids will need to pack light, as the current Murano offers just 31.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and the convertible mechanism will certainly cut into that space.

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Posted in Nissan, Press and News |Tags:, , , , || 1 Comment »


2011 Kia Sportage EX FWD First Impression Review – The Sportage comes of age

Monday November 8th, 2010 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Kia Sportage
Pros:

  • Sharp styling
  • Good acceleration
  • Better than average MPG
  • Baby friendly access for moms and dads
  • Bluetooth® music streaming

Cons:

  • Temperamental power steering
  • Slightly harsh ride

Driving Impressions

The redesigned Kia Sportage makes a very good first impression, having inherited its handsome looks from the Kue concept of 2007. The sloping windshield makes this one of the most sporty looking crossovers on the road today. The Kia Sportage has a more distinctive design than any of the competition – the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, even its close cousin Hyundai Tucson.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Kia |Tags:, , || 7 Comments »


First Impressions Review: 2010 Ford Flex SEL AWD – Boxy is the New Sexy

Tuesday October 19th, 2010 at 9:1010 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

By Danny Chang

Pros

  • Smooth ride
  • Decent acceleration
  • Lots of interior space
  • 20-inch wheels bring road presence

Cons

  • Limb-threatening second row seats
  • Unwise location for hatch closing button
  • Controversial styling

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Ford |Tags:, , || No Comments »


CarReview's Best SUV and Crossover Choices of 2010

Monday October 18th, 2010 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: ggaillard

best_suv_crossover_2010_300x230Five Standout SUVs/Crossovers – CarReview’s Recommendations for 2010

By Greg Gaillard and the CarReview editorial team

In the 1990s when the practical minivan began to seem passé, consumers turned their heads and wallets to the fledgling Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market for some excitement to suit their new active lifestyles. The watchful eye of corporate marketing caught the emerging trend and aggressively promoted the ready-for-anything aura of the new Ford Explorer and instantly identifiable Jeep Cherokee. It worked.

Over the next 20 years manufacturers have refined the SUV from an inefficient 4 door truck glazed with rugged styling into some of the more sophisticated vehicles on the market. The crossover refinements have spawned a dizzying array of choices all called SUV or some variation if SUV (Think BMW’s sports activity vehicle designation for its X-series). While today’s models are much better than their forbearers, picking the best SUV/crossover is not as easy as it once was.

CarReview believes the current market has some great SUVs that do something better than the rest. To select the top 5, contributors used criteria that align with the original vision for the segment.

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Posted in Audi, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Ford, GMC, Honda, Volvo |Tags:, , , , , , , || 3 Comments »


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