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Hey, There’s a Cool Car: 2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird
Sep01

Hey, There’s a Cool Car: 2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird

By Charles Krome

Here’s an example of a beautiful car that was, unfortunately, Jinx-ed almost from the very start. Which is only funny if you remember that “Jinx” was the name of the character played by Halle Berry in “Die Another Day”—and perhaps not even then. Regardless, the Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond film co-starred a number of PAG-era Ford products, including an Aston Martin Vanquish for Mr. Bond, a Jaguar XKR for one of the chief bad guys and a T-bird for Jinx—and it’s that last choice that caused the problem.

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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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Review: 2011 Scion xB
Aug24

Review: 2011 Scion xB

By Roger Boylan

One of the main raps against Japanese cars over the years has been their blandness. This is less true now. Granted, many still have all the personality of a bowl of ramen noodles, but a strain of quirkiness has crept into the line-up; after all, Japan is the country that gave us Kabuki and Noh theatre, not to mention Pokemon. Those influences are apparent in some contemporary Japanese vehicles, such as the Nissan Cube and Honda Fit, as well as the Scion xB– the original xB, the oh-so-hip one that looked like an angry refrigerator. As far as its present-day descendant is concerned, however, the image that comes to my mind is that of Hector, the Looney Tunes cartoon bulldog. Actually, a squared-off version of Hector. Put it this way: if Hector mated with a shoebox, you’d have a 2011 Scion xB.

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