In 2009, Hyundai launched a sedan/coupe duo deemed to be so revolutionary as to be called “Genesis.” They took the establishment by storm by undercutting top competitors on price and value for money while delivering similar, if not better, performance. The Genesis Coupe, in particular, upended the rule that inexpensive, sporty, compact coupes came solely from North America and Japan. Four years later, has it aged well?
This week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Volkswagen officials offered some new details and information about the the brand’s upcoming 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid. The car is expected to be a leader in achieving the brand’s goal of efficient motoring alongside the diesel powered TDI model and also serve as the last piece in the Jetta lineup which now offers customers five different versions of Jetta to choose from.
Did you ever have a friend who is a lot of fun in small doses, but after an extended period, their presence starts to wear on you? That’s kind of how I usually feel about small, underpowered cars. I enjoy the maneuverability and economy of them, and feel that it’s something of a novelty to drive something as small as a Scion iQ or a Fiat 500. Yet, I often find myself requesting small cars to evaluate. So, despite owning a nearly two ton, 304 horsepower sedan as my daily driver, this is the third Fiat 500 I’ve borrowed for a week. (First, I had the Fiat 500C, then I had the Fiat 500 Sport. And now, the Fiat 500 ABARTH.) It was fun to spend a week using the ABARTH, but I could never live with a car this small as a daily driver.
If you live in Manhattan and own a car larger than, say, a Lotus Elan, you become the urban equivalent of That Guy with a Pickup Truck Down the Street. Your weekends, once set aside for relaxing with a cup of coffee at a neighborhood cafe, are suddenly filled by new friends’ moving and hauling tasks. And as much as you fight the urge, you suddenly find yourself ready, willing, and able to do favors at a moment’s notice. Could the car-based, 2012 Mazda CX-9 stand up to the task?
I have mentioned several times over the years about how the opportunity to drive high-horsepower cars has jaded me. The seat of my pants is now calibrated so that 400 horsepower is the baseline, 500 horsepower is fast, and 600 horsepower is nuts. In other words, my expectations are probably about 150 horsepower higher than they should be. Two hundred fifty horsepower is still plenty of power to move almost any car. Heck, the 1985 Corvette that I borrowed to go to my senior prom had 230 horsepower. With that being said, I think I have discovered that 580 horsepower is just as nuts as 600. Say hello to the Camaro ZL1.
Remember when Cadillacs rode on bespoke platforms with Cadillac-exclusive engines and set the benchmark for luxury cars? Yeah, neither do I, mainly because I was born just one year before the (gasp) Nova-based Seville made its 1976 debut. While the CTS is the only vehicle that rides on its Sigma rear wheel drive-based platform, and the new ATS sedan rides on a bespoke platform, that’s not the case for this XTS. This big boy, the closest thing to a “traditional buyer’s” Cadillac in execution, rides on the same platform as the Chevrolet Impala. And the Malibu. And the Buick Regal and LaCrosse.