Category Archives: Road Review

Cars we have more real experience with. Includes our own cars, friend’s cars, and cars we have lived with. There are some things you can only learn as you really get to know a car.

The Lincoln Mark VII Chronicles, Part IV: Back In The Saddle Again (briefly)

Lincoln Mark VII Front 2

By December, the Mark VII was sitting in the garage, in from the cold but not forgotten. I got car parts for my birthday, including a new set of front air springs, a compressor, and rebuild kits for each front solenoid. While I successfully installed everything, the rear failed while fixing the front. Continue reading The Lincoln Mark VII Chronicles, Part IV: Back In The Saddle Again (briefly)

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So I made another purchase this weekend…

Mazda NC Miata Club Edition 1

Wait, didn’t he just buy an old red Miata? Why the hell would he buy a new red Miata now?

That is the question everyone around me has been asking all weekend. Yes, I went and bought this beautiful 2014 Mazda MX5 Miata Club Edition this weekend, and no I’m not crazy, although it may seem that way to many people around me right now.

Here’s why I went and bought this car, as best as I can explain it right now.

Continue reading So I made another purchase this weekend…

My 1993 Mazda Miata: Saying Goodbye To “Sara”

Dear Grandma,

As you know, I took home a 1993 Mazda Miata on January 14, 2015. Everyone in the family loved the car, and I was a happy man, learning the tricks to the trade of owning an older car and learning how to some small work on a car instead of relying on the dealers and mechanics around the area. On April 16, 2016, that came to an end when I sold it to Nick, who you never met but knew as someone who was a mirror image of your car-addicted grandson. But this is not the end of my letter. It is merely the beginning. Continue reading My 1993 Mazda Miata: Saying Goodbye To “Sara”

Volkswagen Touareg TDI: The Dieselgate Review

This 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI is my dad’s daily driver, and despite us owning it for nearly 5 years now, I’ve yet to do a review on it until now. But with the advent of Dieselgate, which now affects our Touareg, I figured it was time.

In the video I review the Touareg, and how it’s been for our family over the years. Then, with that in mind, I give my take on Dieselgate and what we plan to do as things progress.

I wrote an article on Dieselgate earlier, before the V6 diesel models were affected, but now that our Touareg has been drawn into it, I wanted to do show my take on the full issue on video.

Enjoy!

Here are some pics of our VW Touareg TDI shot by our friend, Dan Valanzola:

VW Touareg Diesel VW Touareg Diesel VW Touareg Diesel

-Nick Walker

Road Review: 2015 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT/RS Convertible (Grade: C)

As most of you all know, I spent a weekend in Florida in February. When you’re in South Florida, mass transportation is not really a “thing” like it is in the Northeast where I live year-round. When you’re staying with family and need to get around, a rental car is job number one, considering that at my age, it wouldn’t be right to rely on others for getting places. As a result, I embarked on a journey to find a decent deal on a cheap rental. It took just five minutes to figure out that as an AAA member, I could get deals on rentals—and Thrifty was only more than willing to provide. When all the papers were signed, I had spent just 400 dollars—on a convertible. In South Florida, where this rental level is always a high-demand product, I expected to be priced out of the market. Instead, I got one for the price of a subcompact at a five-day rate. Suckers…giving a 25-year-old a convertible that said “Ford Mustang or similar.” Thrifty said, “Take any Ford Mustang you want.” I looked for twenty minutes, then had to ask “Where’s the Mustangs?

They had none left (Thrifty, advertise what you have, not what you don’t), but when I asked the old man at the counter in the lot about the Cadillac CTS and the Camaro convertible sitting front of the booth, he simply said after checking my reciept from the counter, “Just take it, no extra charge.” I dropped my luggage and jacket in the trunk, threw the Camaro in gear, and set off to my grandmother’s condo. As I drove it from Fort Lauderdale International to the great city of Boca Raton (where I was the youngest man driving a convertible for miles and miles), I asked myself a question: “Can the V6 Camaro Convertible be a lot more than just a rental car, or only that?” A few days, a tank of gas, plenty of bugs in the mouth, and a few beers later, I had found an answer. Continue reading Road Review: 2015 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT/RS Convertible (Grade: C)

The Subaru Baja From Hell, Reviewed!

Subaru Baja From Hell by Area1320

This is a heavily modified, fire breathing example of Subaru’s lukewarm Outback-pickup-thing, which they called the Baja. It belongs to my friend, Rob, who has spent the last eight years corrupting every last inch of this once awkward and unassuming ‘Ute toward the dark side of The Force.

Why… Just why?

Because things like this need to exist. Subaru never made a blood thirsty rally version of the Baja, so Rob has taken it upon himself to make one.

What is the main thing I need to know about the Baja From Hell?

It is different, and its entire identity revolves around being so. Rob’s Baja is a car that is bursting at the seams with “special” and it has proven able to draw a sizable crowd at any sort of automotive gathering.

Continue reading The Subaru Baja From Hell, Reviewed!

2008 Subaru Legacy GT – Al’s Daily Driver (GRADE: B+)

Considering the time frame I had to buy a car back in May 2012, I lucked out rather well.  After narrowing down my choices of chariot to just two cars via figuring out that a Pontiac G8 GT would bankrupt me in fuel costs and a Dodge Charger was too much to insure, I was stuck between two cars after driving plenty, including a Volkswagen R32 (which turned out to be a dud with repairs needed immediately) and this black Subaru.  I almost didn’t even look at it.  It took a win by the New York Mets (yup, those 2012 Mets, not the 1986 squad) and some poking and prodding by my brother Matt, who knew I was still looking into this very car, to even dial up the dealership.  In the end though, the rest was history, and now, more than 18 months later, I’m making payments on this black bundle of joy and driving it constantly.  These are my thoughts.

Continue reading 2008 Subaru Legacy GT – Al’s Daily Driver (GRADE: B+)

Nick’s new daily driver, a 2012 Volkswagen CC Sport

Nick's 2012 Volkswagen CC

Those of you who routinely follow us, here at Mind Over Motor, may have noticed that my posts last week were a bit light. It wasn’t because I was nodding off, it was because I was going through the process of purchasing my new (but used) daily driver, this beautiful 2012 Volkswagen CC Sport.

I, like many car enthusiasts,  am seen as a sort of car guru by my friends and family, who often turn to me for advice on all things relating to automobiles. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back too much here, but they all know that I am quite well informed on many aspects of automobillia, especially when it comes to buying the right car.  So when I actually wind up signing papers on a car for myself, I always get a lot of questions as to why I chose the car I bought.

My purchase of this Volkswagen CC is the result of over a year of serious consideration, as well as many years of playing “what if” games on Auto Trader. Given that this blog is largely about documenting our lives as they relate to our passion for automobiles, I wanted to do a post that shows you, the reader, my thought process for the purchase of my CC.

Continue reading Nick’s new daily driver, a 2012 Volkswagen CC Sport

Nick’s 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Review

2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

It has been nearly three years since I began working on Mind Over Motor, and for some reason I have not gotten around to reviewing the car I know the best in the world, my 2004 Subaru WRX STi.

For most, it would’ve been the very first car to review, but I wanted to focus more on finding ways to get other cars and setting our foundation around that. Having said that, I do think it is high time that I do a proper article on my beloved Subaru, and what better way to begin 2014?

Incidentally, this article will also debut a new style of car review for me, on Mind Over Motor. It is one with a question and answer structure that will hopefully be more conversational in feel. Let me know what you think of the new style, and any suggested improvements you may have in the comments.

So with that, lets start talking Subaru.

Continue reading Nick’s 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Review

Road Review: 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera (9.5/10)

1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 996
Photo by Dan Valanzola

The essence of the Porsche 911 hasn’t changed all that much over the years, and when something does change it usually stirs up controversy. The car you see here is my Dad’s 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera (996 generation), and it marks one of the most drastic inflection points in the 911’s history: the switch from air-cooling to water-cooling. Here in 2013, early 996s haven’t had the most love from collectors, and their value has fallen far more than most 911s. That said this is still a Porsche, and Porsche doesn’t make bad cars. I have driven many Porsches, ranging from a Cayenne V6 to the mighty 997 Turbo S. All of them have been extremely entertaining within their own context, and my dad’s car is far from an exception.

Continue reading Road Review: 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera (9.5/10)

Road Review: Miata Farewell

1993 Mazda Miata

Nothing lasts forever in life. There will always come a time when you must say goodbye to friends, pets, loved ones, or in this case a possession which you hold very dear. Sometimes when things part ways the situation is tragic, but other times it is for the best, and you are excited for what is to come next. I am happy to say that my situation is the latter of the two. After nearly three years lovely with my Mazda Miata, it has come time for me to let it go. I just recently graduated college, and life is changing such that having two sports cars will no longer be ideal for me. So with that, I would like to take a look back at my experiences with the car, and what I have learned from it along the way.   Continue reading Road Review: Miata Farewell

Road Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (9/10)

VW Jetta Hybrid

This is my mom’s new car, Volkswagen’s brand new Jetta Hybrid. Her Volvo was rear-ended and totaled back in December, so naturally the car search began. For some reason this car managed to fly under my radar until just recently. There hasn’t been much media coverage, and it debuted quietly at NAIAS last year. I had been triaging, and test driving a few different options when my dad asked me what I thought of the Jetta Hybrid. That got me looking, and when I saw the details, I was pretty blown away. I went and test drove one the next day, and my recommendation was set. This was the car, and you will soon see why.

Hybrids have really caught on as a way of saving gas here in America. For most hybrids, the focus is on fuel economy alone, all in an effort to woo people with the showroom window sticker. The undisputed leader of the hybrid movement has been Toyota, with cars that are as much a political statement as they are a form of transportation. We all know the Prius, some love it, some hate it, but it has set the standard for the hybrid segment. Other carmakers, like Ford, have hybrids too, but they are basically copies of the Toyota’s design formula. Because of this, people tend to know what to expect when they see a hybrid, but Volkswagen has taken a different approach.

Continue reading Road Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (9/10)