Buick’s doing much better now than it was at the same time half a decade ago. They brought us the Regal, which is a rebadged Opel Insignia, and the Verano, a rebadged and re-engineered Chevrolet Cruze. Normally, this would make me want to tear my own hear out of my scalp, as GM’s track record with rebadged cars is just plain awful. The last time a European sedan was adapted for the USA market was in 1997 when Cadillac dumped the Catera on our shores, a reheated Opel Omega–with predictably lukewarm results. Buick’s last American compact, the Skylark, was an embarrassment to its name and was insulting to someone who wanted a premium small car. Luckily, I got the chance to sample Buick’s two best turbocharged options last month in the form of the Regal GS and Verano Turbo. Originally, I was going to keep the two separate, but after a long thought and two eye-opening drives, I’ve changed my mind, because these two cars should be looked at together. One of them is clearly better than the other–and one of the two doesn’t quite live up to its badge’s reputation.
The BMW 6-Series can be a tough car to really pin down. Based on its market price and its layout, it is a direct competitor to cars like the Jaguar XJ and the Porsche 911. That said, its size is on the big side for a personal coupe, yet it wears its size well. I was at the Greenwich Concours and BMW had this and a 750i available for test drives, so I took the plunge and gave this rather expensive droptop a good shakedown. Then, I got a chance to drive a 750i, equipped with xDrive AWD, the long-wheelbase body, and the M-Sport trim (an interesting combination that should definitely go over well in the Northeast, where AWD is an important selling point). I took each out and asked myself a question: These two cars are based on pretty much the same platform in different lengths–which one does the job that it sets out to do in the better manner, and which one is actually better overall? I was surprised by the results. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a big moment for American auto industry, one that can mark a turning point toward success or a continued trend of let downs in the luxury market. Obviously the big comparison is with the BMW 3 series, and I have been very unimpressed with the comparisons done by large publications so far (favoritism and bias run rampant over objectivism and sense). So, I went out and drove the ATS and BMW 3 series back to back to see what I thought from the driver seat. I’m not going to string you along, I liked the Cadillac better, and I will explain why in the paragraphs that follow. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a great video showcasing two of the best roadsters in history. The Elan was the inspiration for the MX5 in a different era, and both cars have lessons to teach other carmakers today. This is pure driving and pure fun, the hell with 0-60 times and 1/4 mile runs. I can only hope that one day I get to drive a Lotus Elan like this, it is pretty high up there on my list. Enjoy the vid.
These two Ferraris were in the car park at the 2012 Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Island. This is the first FF I have gotten up close with, and it just happened to be parked next to the 612 that it replaced. The owner was very cool and was happy to open the car up and let people sit in it for a few minutes. It was cool to see the FF right next to the 612 Scaglietti because it really let me appreciate the leap in design that Ferrari has taken with the FF. See for yourself, and enjoy.
Some great insights and some truly epic sounds. Awesome video, enjoy.
I first saw the new VW Beetle up close at the New York International Autoshow this past year. I was very excited to see that the new version had become more of a sporting machine and less of a decorated flowerpot. On the surface the Beetle is on the same chassis as the Golf, and the one I was interested in, the Beetle Turbo, basically has the same mechanics as the famed GTI. This made me wonder how similar they really were to each other because I know VW would not want to steal sales from themselves. I decided to go try them both out back to back and compare. Read the rest of this entry »
For all of the eco conscious folks out there here is a test showing that you should not judge a book by it’s cover, or the “green-ness” of a car by it’s engine size. Knowledge is power.
At Mainstreet in Motion at the Meadowlands at the end of July, I was already somewhat familiar with the LaCrosse, having driven one for two laps around the Buick circuit in Philadelphia. But, I took the opportunity to drive the rest of the lineup during the event in New Jersey, so here’s a few thoughts on it. Read the rest of this entry »
Test Driven COMPARISION: 2012 Ford Focus SE Sport vs. 2011 Mazda3s Sport vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLSPosted: June 2, 2011
Since when did compact cars become so interesting? Back in 2009, if you wanted something good in the compact class, you bought a Honda Civic or Volkswagen Jetta, and no one was the wiser. But now, other brands have stepped in, and the pickings are, evidently, worth a serious look. On a random day in April, I decided to drive three new compact cars, all of which are significant in their own right. Read the rest of this entry »