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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Cars That Have Gone From Bland to Grand

October 24th, 2014
Remember how the Optima used to look?

Remember how the Optima used to look?

Automakers know that boring doesn’t sell like it used to.

Think back a decade or so, and I’ll bet you can name five boring cars right off the top of your head. I know I can. There were still a lot of beautiful and fun cars in existence, but plenty of mass-produced cars back then didn’t have anything to offer in design, power or handling.

Today some of those same models have experienced a renaissance and have gone from completely bland to utterly grand.

Keep reading for some of the cars that have graduated from transportation appliance to royalty of the road.

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Miles of Smiles Per Gallon

October 22nd, 2014

2015-mitsubishi-mirage

When gas prices hit or exceed $4 per gallon, the cost to fill up my Audi Q7 gets scarily close to $100. I drive to conserve fuel by accelerating slowly, cruising on the highway at about 60-65 miles per hour, and not letting the engine run to warm up the car in the driveway.

At my local Costco this weekend, I pulled up and saw what I thought was a price of $3.94 on the pump’s display. Closer inspection showed a price of $3.44, and I nearly jumped for joy. Fifty cents per gallon, at about 18 gallons, saved a good nine dollars and made me a happy dude.

Gas prices are falling across the country, which is great news for all of us. If you want to save even more at the pump, while driving a brand new car, check this out:

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Porsche vs. Corvette: It Always Ends the Same

October 20th, 2014

 

porsche_vs_corvette

Showdowns between Porsche and Corvette always end in Porsche’s favor.

The word “always” is a dangerous one to use, but in this case it fits. There hasn’t been a time that I can recall when a Chevy Corvette has beat out a Porsche 911 or even a Cayman.

I suppose a Corvette vs. Cayenne showdown might end in Chevy’s favor, but that’s not a track competition anyone’s been too interested to complete.

European handling and balance of power simply destroys the American Corvette’s horsepower advantage. Every time.

Well, until now.

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Cars That Should Have a Diesel Option

October 17th, 2014

2015-ford-mustang-gt-burnout

Diesel-powered cars should be the wave of the future.

Electric vehicles have the distinction of being able to run on zero fossil fuel, but the production of electricity itself requires all kinds of dirty energy. Yes, it’s pretty cool to drive without any pollution, but how many tons of coal have to burn for the privilege?

That’s a discussion that won’t be resolved by a single blog post, but it’s the reason diesel-powered vehicles should be given a second look before buying electric.

Unfortunately there’s still a shortage of diesel cars in this country, but here’s a list of vehicles that should at least have the option.

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Kia’s Quality Up, But Buyers Haven’t Noticed

October 16th, 2014

2014-kia-cadenza

Remember the Sephia?

The oddly named Kia was one of the first cars the company sold in the United States. Its low cost and low quality quickly became synonymous with the Kia name. In the overview on CarGurus, there are “complaints of numerous repair problems, particularly with the brakes and transmission, along with a cheap plastic interior, an easily dented body, small backseat, and labored acceleration when the A/C is on.”

While the vehicles produced by Kia in recent years have increased in quality to rival some luxury automakers, the perception of Kia is still stuck on the early impressions of cars like the Sephia.

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What’s Better: FWD Hot Hatch or RWD Sports Car?

October 14th, 2014
2015 Ford Focus ST

2015 Ford Focus ST

Torque steer remains one of the spikes in the soul of the hot hatch.

Regardless, people love the little hatchbacks for their front-wheel drive and turbocharged engines. They are just as fast as some rear-wheel-drive competition and often have prices to match.

In my humble opinion, the hot hatch is for the guy or girl who wants a fun, fast car but wants everyone else to think they are driving something sensible and normal.

Take the Ford Focus ST for example.

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No, Porsche Shouldn’t Build an Entry Level Car

October 13th, 2014

porsche_718

Regarding the possibility of an entry level roadster, Porsche North America’s CEO Detlev von Platen recently said,

We’re not talking about entry models at Porsche. Our entry model is our pre-owned program.

Those words have dashed the dreams of many Porsche hopefuls who had hoped to get into a new Porsche for the price of a loaded Honda.

Sorry folks. If you want a new Porsche, you’re going to have to work a little harder; which is the way it should be.

Some people, though, disagree.

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The 2015 Audi S3: Coming Soon in Manual?

October 9th, 2014

2015 Audi S3

With 290 horsepower, a 0-60 time of under 5 seconds, all-wheel drive and an MSRP of just over $40,000, the 2015 Audi S3 has only one negative mark against it: its transmission.

Why would any self-respecting driver choose such a great car, but with the concession of letting an automatic transmission put the power to the pavement?

The S3 is light and powerful, and a proper 6-speed manual transmission would turn the car from a small-and-fast family sedan into a dream machine.

With news of the manual S3 potentially arriving in the United States, it’s time to ask yourself: Would you buy one, or would you search the used listings for something a little older, and perhaps even more fun?

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Favorites From the 2014 Paris Motor Show

October 3rd, 2014

Mercedes-AMG GT

The Paris Motor Show is known to inflict shock on unprepared auto journalists. It’s here that automakers like to unleash their inner crazy and debut concepts designed to capture the world’s attention.

Yesterday was when most automakers unveiled their wares, and while there were a few surprises, there wasn’t anything that left the world speechless.

Honda showed some chops with its most extreme hot hatch ever, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz debuted exactly what was expected, but Lamborghini seems to have stolen the show with a surprising new direction.

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Local Motors: The Future of Automaking

October 1st, 2014

Local Motors Rally Fighter

Whether you want a $700 remote-control car, a $1,900 skateboard or a $99,900 car, Local Motors has you covered.

The Phoenix company is famous for its open-source design strategy and series of micro factories, which allow for the company’s signature product, the Rally Fighter, to be designed, and built, by the same people who buy it.

The Local Motors website says the Rally Fighter:

Looks like a race car, rides like a luxury vehicle. A rugged tube chassis construction complemented with all the requisite creature comforts. This 50-state street legal off-road desert racer is at home on the open road, the daily commute, and on the most challenging desert terrains.

More on the Rally Fighter in a moment, but first, check this out:

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