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.
As soon as I first laid eyes on the Evoque I knew it was going to be a game changer. It was a completely new formula for a luxury SUV that, not only, drastically redefined style, but also drivability and usability as well. Being the founding member of what seems to be an emerging segment in the high end market, the Evoque sets the precedents for future entries. I have pointed out this segment before in articles concerning the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman, however the Evoque represents the first full on luxury offering of this sort. This past year, at Pebble Beach, Land Rover was holding Evoque test drives, so having been eager to try it out since I saw it, I signed the papers and took one out for a spin. Read the rest of this entry »
Jaguar is a brand long known for sporty, luxurious British automobiles, but their attempt two decades ago to bring out a fully-fledged supercar did not quite pan out as expected. For the reason, the XJ220 is notable in its development and how it changed when the finished product hit the market. It’s still one of the prettiest cars of the early 1990s, and carries with it a particularly intriguing automotive story. Read the rest of this entry »
Range Rover has been probably one of the best-known names in the world for the past quarter of a century. Their products have been described as a luxury sedan capable of going off-road. So, with that in mind, I took a drive of their newest offering, the Evoque, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Read the rest of this entry »
Subaru has recently announced that the next generation of WRX and STI will be separate from the Impreza. They have said the WRX line will consist of two door cars and will have 1.6L turbocharged engines. This is in an effort to market the WRX brand as full on sports models, not just a fast version of a mundane sedan. So what should we make of this? Read the rest of this entry »
The first car I drove with my license was a Volvo S60 sedan, so I’ve always had a huge soft spot for it. The R was the ultimate version of the previous-gen S60. While it was supposed to be an M3 competitor, it was more of a fast luxury sedan than anything else. However, it is by no means a bad car to have. Read the rest of this entry »
Last month, I intended to test drive a Buick Regal Turbo, but after a walk around the used-car lot, I discovered this little gem on the used car lot. It’s a 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited, and I’ve been seriously considering one for after I graduate next spring. Faced with the opportunity, I decided to postpone driving the Buick and take this LGT for a drive instead. Read the rest of this entry »
Hot hatchbacks represent one of the market’s easiest ways to get into a brand-new sporty car without paying an exorbitant price. Although the segment has expanded drastically over the years, Volkswagen is still the company that seems to win every single comparison test. The GTI is the yardstick by which the others are measured, and I decided that I should go and find out why. Read the rest of this entry »