Category Archives: Everyday Normal Cars

I call them “Transportation Appliances”, but this is what most people are looking for.

Test Driven: 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

I’ve gotten used to hybrids in the four years I’ve driven them.  They aren’t glamorous, they aren’t designed to make you feel like Ayrton Senna in the mountains, and they’re certainly not designed to tow a boat.  That is, of course, until General Motors decided otherwise.  Meet the Cadillac Escalade.  It’s the most expensive, most blinged-out, and most conspicuous SUV GM offers, and it now comes as a hybrid.  I wonder what Greenpeace thinks?  Well, in reality, I don’t give a damn what they think, so I decided to see what this V8-powered mild hybrid, full-size, full-frame truck was all about at the Radnor Hunt Concours last September. Continue reading Test Driven: 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid


Test Driven: 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL

Volkswagen Passat TDI (Front)

As some of our readers might know, my very first post on Mind Over Motor was about the upcoming diesel option on the new Volkswagen Passat.  Well, it’s here.  And, somewhere along the way, the Passat won Motor Trend‘s 2012 Car of the Year award, one of the most prestigious in the business.  This was likely due in no small part to the new diesel model, among other things. But, I had to find out for myself just what else makes this new Passat “Car of the Year”.  A local dealer had one ready for a drive, so I took the opportunity and drove it around to find out. Continue reading Test Driven: 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL

Test Driven: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle 2.5

The Beetle’s shape is probably one of the best-known (and in some circles, most reviled) shapes on the road.  However, the previous “New Beetle” was getting old by 2011, and Volkswagen took the time to completely redesign it for 2012.  Because of its cultural impact over the years (and the fact that I know some people who read this site are interested), I took one for a drive recently.  Continue reading Test Driven: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle 2.5

Test Driven: Chrysler 200

Chrysler 200 (Front)

All things considered, Chrysler was probably the worst choice of the entire midsize car field for the past couple of years.  Thanks to a multitude of bad qualities, such as frumpy styling, a rental-spec interior, and cringeworthy driving dynamics, the Sebring, and its Dodge Avenger brother, was one of the most hated cars in the segment.  Jeremy Clarkson, for example, doesn’t usually hold back when he finds things wrong with a car, but when he ranked the Sebring Convertible as his least favorite of 2008, clearly, something was wrong.  So, Chrysler went back to the drawing board with a dull pencil and not a lot of outright cash, and the result is the red sedan you see above. Continue reading Test Driven: Chrysler 200

Test Driven: Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt, savior of AMERICA!!!!

This is one I have been waiting to do for a while now, the much hyped Volt from Chevy. I knew of course that the Volt was a new sort of hybrid car and I knew that its design was far superior to that of other hybrids already on sale, like the Prius. However, the way it drove surprised the hell out of me. What I expected was a mushy, slow econobox, what I got was totally different.   Continue reading Test Driven: Chevrolet Volt

Test Driven: Honda CR-Z EX Automatic

Honda CRZ

As most of our readers are aware, I bashed the new Honda CRZ in a previous article.  However, after reading the sales results for it since January 2011, I noticed that it’s been selling in similar numbers to the Volkswagen GTI, which is an established, award-winning hot hatchback.  So, I decided to test my own personal opinion: Would Al have to (and not for the first time) eat his words? Continue reading Test Driven: Honda CR-Z EX Automatic

Test Driven COMPARISION: 2012 Ford Focus SE Sport vs. 2011 Mazda3s Sport vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS

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. Continue reading Test Driven COMPARISION: 2012 Ford Focus SE Sport vs. 2011 Mazda3s Sport vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS