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Review: 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost Limited
Mar14

Review: 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost Limited

Edge? Why Edge? Why not “Corner,” or “Side,” or “Top”? Because we’re not talking about that kind of edge. Let’s not get all literal. This Edge is all about cutting edge, edginess, and the eponymous member of the band U2: Coolness, in a word. The Ford Edge is so-called because it wants us to see it as representing the cutting edge of automotive fashion. And in a way it does, as a member of that trendy species, the crossover SUV, and now, in EcoBoost guise, as belonging to that even trendier subspecies, the fuel-sipping turbo-4, hopeful successor to the V6 and V8 guzzlers of yore, available in the new Explorer, too, and in more members of the Ford family and relatives in due course. The manufacturer claims the engine attains the giddy heights of 30 miles per gallon on the highway; EPA estimates concur. Pretty good for an SUV-type vehicle. Is it true? Well, I devoted my attention to this and other urgent questions over the week during which a handsome metallic-green Edge EcoBoost Limited was my daily driver.

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Technology Review: Waze Navigation Application for iPhone
Mar13

Technology Review: Waze Navigation Application for iPhone

If you own an iPhone (and our stats say that almost 50% of you do) then you know that the one major feature it is missing is a built in turn-by-turn navigation application. For all of you Android users, please enjoy a moment of smugness, as you have an excellent navigation application as part of Google Maps. In either case, many developers have attempted to sell and give away navigation applications for all of the smartphone platforms with varying success. Recently, I have begun to use Waze; which is a free, community-based traffic and navigation application. After living with it every day for a few weeks it appears to be worth an install.

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Review: 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch 4×4
Mar08

Review: 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch 4×4

“No paired phones detected!” lamented the driver info display, taking me aback, since I’d never asked it to detect phones, paired or otherwise. The message soon disappeared, then, a few hours later, elbowing aside actual useful information (MPG, fuel range, that kind of thing) the screen flashed the warning that my truck’s engine would shut down in 50 miles—49—48—unless I replenished the diesel exhaust fluid right away. Now, the Ford F-250 I was driving was a diesel, a species I’m not used to, so I consulted the driver’s manual to see what to do.  My concerns were founded – I was worried about running low on the stuff en route to a distant purveyor—there being none within a 25-mile radius of my home–and enduring the humiliation of having the truck shut down to idle speed which, apparently, it would do soon after the prescribed 50 miles (46—45) had elapsed….

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Review: 2012 Buick Regal GS
Mar05

Review: 2012 Buick Regal GS

The Opel Insignia is a pretty good car, but it’s not sold in the U.S. The new Buick Regal, which is based on that same Opel, is also a pretty good car, and it is sold here, and, it’s sold here with a six-speed manual transmission. That’s not a misprint; this is a new Buick sedan that has a six-speed manual transmission.

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Video Review: 2012 Suzuki Kizashi GTS AWD
Mar01

Video Review: 2012 Suzuki Kizashi GTS AWD

It is amazing how a seemingly minor change can impact the personality of a car. I have had a crush on the Suzuki Kizashi since I first laid my eyes on one at a press event years ago. I couldn’t believe that Suzuki had made something so handsome and well equipped. The first time I saw one, I was not allowed to drive it, but I did get a chance to sit inside and get talked through the interior. My amazement continued when I found a nice looking layout, a strong stereo, and  an extensive list of potential options. Options that, at the time, had out-ranked most everything in its class. Last week I had the chance to spend a week with one and I did not get quite what I expected. Read on to find out why.

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Review: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO
Feb29

Review: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO

I just spent a week in a car of the future. The 2013 Malibu Eco, to be precise. While still recognizably a Malibu, it’s a sleeker version of today’s family sedan. It joins the Opel Insignia, Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal on GM’s global Epsilon II platform, and represents the face of the new Chevrolet, which seems to be intent on remaking itself into a kind of American Toyota–no bad ambition. Indeed, despite the esthetic borrowings from cousin Camaro, notably the tail lights and instrument panel, the new Malibu owes something more to the redesigned Toyota Camry, clearly the principal rival in GM’s crosshairs.

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