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Review: 2012 Kia Optima SX
Dec27

Review: 2012 Kia Optima SX

By Brendan Moore

My goodness, the hits just keep coming from Kia. Here we have the exuberant and pretty 2012 Kia Optima SX, a car that is sure to give serious heartburn to its competitors like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.

Why? Because it does things better than those cars, it’s less expensive and it’s much better-looking – in a nutshell. That’s why. No mystery here.

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Review: 2012 Audi A7 3.0 TFSI quattro, Take Two
Dec23

Review: 2012 Audi A7 3.0 TFSI quattro, Take Two

By Chris Haak

Several weeks ago, I was planning a guy’s weekend in the woods near Jim Thorpe, PA with some college buddies.  I packed my sleeping bag, extra clothes, a cooler full of beer and ice, my hiking boots, and my iPad – the basics for a night in the woods.  Had things gone as planned, I would have hauled myself and my camping supplies the 100 miles from my house to Jim Thorpe in an Audi Q5 2.0T.  Things don’t always work out as planned, though.  When I arrived home from the office, there was a gorgeous red A7 waiting for me in my driveway instead.  I kept thinking to myself, “the bank made an error in my favor.”  Despite the fact that we published Kevin Miller’s review of a nearly-identical A7, a week with an A7 was a delightful turn of events.

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Review: 2011 Acura TSX Wagon Tech
Dec15

Review: 2011 Acura TSX Wagon Tech

By Brendan Moore

The last of the 2011 models for me, and I’m going to sneak it in under the wire here. Late though it may be, we want to include it since there are not a lot of Acura Wagons around in terms of press loaners, and it is in a segment (actual station wagons) that doesn’t have a great many possibilities for the prospective buyer. It’s a niche product, but a niche that Techshake readers are partial to, so here we go.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should lay my cards on the table right now and state that I am a fan of wagons. Call them what you will; wagons, combis, estates, breaks, familiales, touring models, whatever, I’m a fan. I wish their numbers had not decreased to the point of almost being extinct in America, but tastes change, and now people that want a vehicle with some carrying utility buy a truck, an SUV, a crossover, a minivan, an “activity vehicle” like a Kia Forte or a Toyota Venza that straddles a couple of different vehicle types, and it seems, if all else fails, then, a wagon.

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Review: 2012 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro
Dec07

Review: 2012 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro

By Kevin Miller

Something readers may not know about me is that I have an identical twin- or, I am an identical twin. My brother and I share the same DNA, the same “frame,” and look very similar to one another. While my brother and I are literally made from the same genetic material, we’ve grown to be distinct from one another in our professions and hobbies. While we’re essentially the same weight and height, I am an electrical engineer and auto blogger, who spends way too much time at a computer keyboard. My brother, on the other hand, is an Olympic rower turned collegiate rowing coach who bikes to work most days, so he has a distinctly more athletic appearance than I do.

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Review: 2012 Mazda Mazda5
Dec07

Review: 2012 Mazda Mazda5

By Chris Haak

Back in the dark ages, there were cars and trucks.  Then there were cars with cargo beds and trucks with seats.  Then there were vans.  Then there were hippies in custom vans.  Then there were minivans, built on a car’s platform.  Then over several generations, those minivans grew to be almost 17 feet long and weigh more than two tons.  With its new-for-2012 Mazda5, Mazda is banking on the idea that perhaps we need a reset of the definition of the word ‘minivan.’

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Review: 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature
Dec05

Review: 2011 Hyundai Equus Signature

By Chris Haak

It’s time to take Hyundai seriously as an automaker.  Akio Toyoda certainly knows this, as much of Hyundai’s current lineup takes direct aim at his company’s products, and often manages to top Toyota in a number of areas, while undercutting the Japanese company’s prices.

The Equus is certainly no joke.  It is a credible competitor for the established luxury brands at a price thousands of dollars below the asking price of those other cars.  GM, the once-and-future “world’s largest automaker” makes no product even close to what the Equus delivers.

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