When this car was dropped off for me, I walked around it and thought, “Hmm, some Jaguar, some Lexus, and some of their own styling all blended together. Not a knockout, but definitely okay.”
I got in the car and thought the same thing, except with the addition of Audi.
Ten years ago, the average age of a Buick purchaser was somewhere in the seventies, and now its in the fifties. GM moved it down 20 years in 10 years. That’s still not where you want to be if you’re a car manufacturer, but it is progress.
I have rage issues. There I said it. Fortunately, I take out most of my aggression on inanimate objects (I’m great at patching drywall) and the rest gets spent at the gym. After spending a week in the Hyundai Veloster I couldn’t figure out why I was so angry about it. I really, really like the car. After reflecting on the subject for a while I realized it was not because of the car in any way. I was pissed at all of the other journalists that spent so much time complaining about how “limped” this car was by its lack of horsepower. Read on to find out why.
My test vehicle for the past week was the first Cadillac SRX I’d ever driven, and judging by the comments of automotive pundits gleaned hither and yon, the 2012 model is the one the General finally got right. Notably, the SRX now boasts a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 308 horses on tap, 16% more than the old 3.0-liter (a 2.8-liter V6 turbo was also available but much sneered at). It is, indeed, a superb engine, capable of hauling this beauty to 60 from a standstill in (per dependable Swiss chronometry) 6.8 seconds, with a nice satisfying snarl under the hood. I ascertained this important fact as early into my stewardship of the thing as possible. So far so good, I thought.
One of the worst-kept secrets in the auto industry is that the Fiat 500 was not going to hit its sales target of 50,000 units for 2011. Instead, Fiat sold just 19,769 cars in the US in 2011, falling short of its goal by more than 60 percent. While analysts have blamed the company’s slow rollout, tepid marketing, and lack of Fiat dealers for the car’s flop, I think I actually know the real reason. People literally laugh at big guys who drive these cars. Trust me – I’ve experienced this first hand.
By Chris Haak
Perhaps you’ve heard the Japanese word kaizen, which means ‘improvement.’ In the context of the auto industry, has been understood to represent Japanese automakers’ tendency to relentlessly and continuously improve their products so that over time, they go from the bottom of their class to best-in-class. Toyota and Honda in particular rode that wave to great success from the 1970s through the early part of the last decade.
By Kevin Miller
I’ve got to admit, my review of the Nissan Leaf has turned out quite a bit differently than I had expected it to. I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed “range anxiety” sufferer, and I somehow expected the electric propulsion of the Leaf and its batteries to leave me stranded, underpowered or underwhelmed. Fortunately, none of those happened. Actually, it was quite the opposite.
Instead of reviewing the Leaf as an “electric car” (you know, one of those almost-a-cars that provides diminished range, experience and expectations), I can review it just as a car with an uncommon powertrain. That said, here goes.