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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 Acura ZDX Review – Innovation in art and automotive performance

Tuesday June 15th, 2010 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2010 Acura ZDX

By Holly Roberts

Pros:

  • High commanding view high like an SUV
  • Seriously comfortable seats
  • Excellent handling ability
  • Really fun to drive
  • Roomy interior
  • A place for everything and everything in its place
  • Massive panoramic glass moonroof
  • Gorgeous styling

Cons:

  • Back seats aren’t really geared for tall people
  • Manual and automatic shifting from 1st to 2nd was sluggish (that could just be a tuning issue)
  • I felt like the rear-view mirrors could have been a *bit* larger

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


2010 Mazda CX-9 Review – An SUV with plenty of room and a little zoom

Monday June 7th, 2010 at 3:66 PM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2010 Mazda CX-9
By Gary Chan

Pros

  • Driving position
  • Cavernous with all seats folded
  • Lots of features for price

Cons

  • Weak gas mileage
  • Choppy ride
  • Limited leg room for 2nd and 3rd row seats

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


2011 Kia Sorento EX 3.5 Review – A Lot More Than Meets the Eye

Tuesday May 25th, 2010 at 3:55 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Kia Sorento

By Danny Chang

Pros:

  • Third-row seating
  • Good power & decent MPG
  • Great backseat AC
  • Panoramic sunroof

Cons:

  • Narrow cabin
  • Temperamental iPod jack
  • Slightly harsh ride

After seeing Kia’s TV commercial for the Sorento that features the oversized stuffed animal monkey with freaky button eyes, an orange one-eyed monster, a teddy bear, and the robot daydreaming about cruising around town having a blast, I’ve been curious about this SUV. Is it really that much fun that toys dream about driving this thing around town and getting mom tattoos sewn onto their stuffed animal arms? I wondered. I thought about renting a monkey suit to drive the Sorento around town, but quickly realized that I don’t have the budget to do so.

Driving Impressions

Even without the monkey suit, the Kia Sorento EX has a 3.5L V6 that pumps out 276 horses and 248 lb-ft of torque which was actually very decent for this 3,896-lb. SUV. Get-up was good and I felt like a champ merging into traffic on the 280 in the morning. High-end acceleration was also good as I passed up those suckers on my way to the carpool lane. Life is good. Steering feel is solid and the SUV handled well at highway speeds as well as at 35 MPH down Main Street in Los Altos. The ride was smooth for the most part with an occasional creak from the rear of the vehicle. The view out of the side of the vehicle was less than ideal, since the C pillar is pretty darn thick.

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


2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Review – Not the design catastrophe you so deliriously predicted

Friday May 7th, 2010 at 8:55 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour
By Danny Chang

Pros

  • Solid all-around performance
  • Roomy interior
  • Spacious trunk with under-floor organizer
  • High seating position

Cons

  • Less-than-stellar fuel efficiency
  • Awkward styling
  • Busy dashboard

I recently became the father of the cutest baby in the world, so I asked my editor for a family vehicle to test drive instead of the usual Porsches and Astons he throws my way. Then he showed up with this blue Honda Accord Crosstour 4WD EX-L. I’m not sure whether Honda intended the Crosstour for families, I read that they were actually trying to target empty nesters, much like the Toyota Venza. That being said, the Crosstour is still much better for the baby seat than my G35 so I was actually pretty jazzed to try it out for the weekend.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Honda |Tags:, , || 4 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 »


2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Review – A safe car for the storm of the decade.

Friday February 19th, 2010 at 11:22 AM
Posted by: Francois

2010 Subaru Outback visiting Bear Valley, CA

By Francis Cebedo

Good:

  • New double-wishbone rear suspension and other chassis enhancements deliver smoothest, quietest ride ever in an Outback.
  • 9 cubic feet more room over previous model
  • Ample hidden storage compartment under the rear panel
  • Excellent fuel economy at 22 city/29 hwy
  • Feels ultra safe
  • 6-speed manual
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Innovative parking brake release
  • Very comfortable travel car

Bad:

  • Redesign is tall and unattractive
  • 170 hp engine feels underpowered
  • No turbocharged or diesel engine options
  • Very uninspired handling car
  • It’s a safe and practical car but the fun is less
  • Side mirrors do not fold back
  • The heated seats seem to completely shut off and on for long periods

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Subaru |Tags:, , || 8 Comments »


2010 Acura RDX FWD Review- A Cure for the Common Crossover

Friday February 19th, 2010 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: bclark

2010 Acura RDX

By Bill Clark

Pros:

  • Fun to drive
  • Voice activated navigation helps keeps eyes on the road
  • Concert-hall 10-speaker stereo
  • Luxuriously appointed interior

Cons:

  • FIRM ride
  • That turbo is thirsty!
  • Minimal cargo room
  • Front fascia styling only a mother could love

Just when I thought there was no hope for the crossover segment, Acura introduces the game-changing 2010 RDX with a fresh new exterior look, a more luxurious interior, and a host of new technology features. The 2010 RDX is now available with a two-wheel drive option which offers improved fuel economy and a lower price point over its SH-AWD™ counterpart.

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Posted in Acura, Expert Reviews |Tags:, , , || 4 Comments »


2010 Cadillac SRX Review – Not exactly your Grand Daddy's Caddy..

Monday February 8th, 2010 at 2:22 PM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2010 Cadillac SRX

By Holly Roberts

Pros:

  • Luxury-car ride
  • Very roomy
  • Seriously comfortable seats
  • Sweet features for both comfort and usability
  • Live traffic updates via satellite connection warns you of traffic jams (it was spot on)
  • The moving headlights (“Adaptive Forward Lighting”) RULE!!!

Cons:

  • Oddball location for the door locks – center of the dashboard.
  • Annoying seat heater has to be switched on each time the car is started

Introduction:
Okay, I have to admit: when I think of Cadillac, I think of grandparents.  And great-grandparents. And people (besides Marge Simpson) with blue hair. But when I got into the SRX, it sure didn’t seem like your typical grandparents’ car. It was comfortable, and quiet, for sure. But it was red!  It had neat features, sporty 20 inch wheels, a humongous sunroof, and I could plug my iPod into it and have lots and lots of music! In short: I was considerably more thrilled to drive it once I saw it than when I initially heard I’d get to review it…  And then once I drove it, well…

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


2010 Mazda CX-7 Review – the "Easy" Button of the Crossover World

Tuesday February 2nd, 2010 at 2:22 PM
Posted by: bclark

2010 Mazda CX-7
By Bill Clark

Pros:

  • Easy on the eyes
  • Easy to Operate
  • Easy on the wallet

Cons:

  • Forward A-pillar and large side view mirrors create nasty blindspots
  • Tire size/type cripples the handling
  • Useless coat hangers
  • Zoom-zoom completely undetectable

The 2010 Mazda CX-7 looks like a promising package – sharp design, great cargo capacity and it says “Always the Soul of a Sports Car” right there on the window sticker. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Mazda |Tags:, , , || 11 Comments »


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