techshake

Review: 2012 Audi A7 3.0 TFSI quattro
Sep16

Review: 2012 Audi A7 3.0 TFSI quattro

By Kevin Miller

I’m a huge fan of big European five-door cars, which were once somewhat common in the US (think Merkur Scorpio, Saab 9000, and Sterling 827i). The segment, which offered luxury-sport-sedan performance and styling with the practicality of a wagon has been nonexistent in the US since the Saab 9000 was put out to pasture in the late 1990s, but the segment is making a big-dollar comeback with cars like the BMW 5-series Gran Turismo and even the Porsche Panamera. Audi’s A7 is the latest entry, though the A7 moniker demonstrates that Audi is pitching the car as a 4-door coupe rather than a 5-door sedan.

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Review: 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited Hardtop Convertible
Sep15

Review: 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited Hardtop Convertible

By Chris Haak

A few years ago when I had the opportunity to interview Justin Thompson, the designer of the then-new 2010 Buick LaCrosse, I asked him how designers felt when their original works were refreshed via a mid-cycle enhancement (MCE).  Suddenly, a piece of the car that they had labored for literally years of their life on was unceremoniously ripped off the car and replaced by something that may or may not quite mesh with the rest of the design.  I also asked him which designers were assigned to do the updates, and he indicated that a separate team worked on the updates, while the “whole car” group had moved onto – you guessed it – the next whole car.  Reading between the lines, the “B team” was doing the update work, while the more established designers were working on the stuff that we still haven’t seen.

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Review: 2011 Dodge Charger R/T Max AWD
Sep05

Review: 2011 Dodge Charger R/T Max AWD

By Chris Haak

Just the good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born.

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Review: 2011 Toyota Matrix S
Aug31

Review: 2011 Toyota Matrix S

By Roger Boylan

I was curious when a 2011 “Spruce Mica” (pine-green) Toyota Matrix tester rolled into my driveway. Not that it was unexpected; it had been on my testing schedule for weeks. It was just that the Matrix, as a model, had pretty much fallen off my radar at around the same time its cousin, the Pontiac Vibe, ceased to exist. The highways aren’t exactly teeming with Matrices, and Toyota hasn’t seemed to know precisely how to market the car. Is it a sporty hatchback? A sports wagon? A station wagon? A cute ute? Opinions are divided, as opinions tend to be. “A very sensible choice,” opines one distinguished reviewer. “Enthusiasts should look elsewhere,” sniffs another.

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Review: 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
Aug29

Review: 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite

By Chris Haak

When my wife and I decided almost four years ago that we had outgrown our midsize SUV and needed to get a bigger family hauler, I didn’t really know where to start looking.  At the time, I was somewhat against the image of a minivan; having borrowed older ones from time to time, it seemed that I’d never been cut off by other motorists as often as on those occasions behind the wheel of an old Town & Country.  To solve the problem, I embarked on a series of “family hauler” reviews, published on Techshake, where I laid out my thoughts on three of the four contenders.

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Review: 2011 Chevrolet Equinox FWD 2LT
Aug29

Review: 2011 Chevrolet Equinox FWD 2LT

By Charles Krome

If asked to pick the vehicle most responsible for GM’s current run of success, I imagine that most people would end up choosing between a pair of Chevrolet products, the Volt or the Cruze. The former would probably get the nod from voters focusing on the future, while the latter—the second-best-selling car in the country in July—would score points for doing the heavy lifting today. And while those two are fine choices, I think I’d have to go with the Chevrolet Equinox.

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