By Chris Haak
When I think of Australian cars, my thoughts immediately go to the likes of the Holden Commodore/Calais/Caprice and Ford Falcon, and all of their related derivatives. Then the next thought that comes to mind is a tricked-out HSV-fortified Maloo R8 (pictured here) with its 6.2 liter LS3 V8 underhood. They’re charming cars, and fun to drive (at least the old Pontiac G8 version of the Commodore was). Unfortunately, they’re also dinosaurs in a world where small displacement, forced induction, and front wheel drive is the norm.
By Kevin Miller
Nissan’s Versa has been a solid entry in the low-cost, entry-level car segment, with a base version of the first-generation Versa sedan actually claiming the title of cheapest car available with its $9995 base price. While that price didn’t include much standard equipment (like air conditioning or a radio), more expensive versions with more generous equipment levels (including features like keyless entry/go and leather-wrapped steering wheel) were available, though with such an inexpensive starting point the Versa was always a Spartan vehicle.
In our second full week of filming the afternoon commute, we fell into more of a rhythm. The audio issues appear to have been resolved and we’ve settled on a camera placement. Keep us posted on what you would be interested in seeing and hearing about in the automotive world. After the break are all of the videos from this week.
By Chris Haak
Ah yes, the “good old days.” Remember when cars had names like Comet, Monterey, Nova, Tempest, Metropolitan, and Zephyr? Though there is more diversity in the auto market today than there has been in decades (though no longer thousands of boutique automakers in the US as there were in the early days of the industry), vehicle names that are actual words found in the dictionary are becoming more scarce. That is not news. Some automakers, though not all, have decided that rather than building better, more sophisticated cars, they might just trick the buying public into believing that a DTS is more upscale than a Deville, that an MKZ is more contemporary than a Zephyr, or that a G6 outshines a Grand Am. Again, this is all old news. Today I’m more concerned about model names that once described engine displacement. If you read on, I have some solutions too.
By Kevin Gordon
I have a confession. I stereotype drivers. More specifically, I stereotype drivers of luxury cars. Sadly, my innate judgement doesn’t just stop at brand, it extends to model. Every time I see a BMW 328i coupe, I assume that the driver decided that they liked the image of the car, but little about the way it actually drives. I probably give Audi drivers the harshest judgement of all. There are some exceptions to this; if you drive an early Audi S4 Avant, I instantly want to be your friend despite any moral shortcomings you may have.