Friday, May 21, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Jetta TDI SportWagen: Turbocharged clean diesel

Photo by Volkswagen

Most cars, like most people, are a mixed bag. They do some things well, and others, well, not so much. (Of course, you can find real lemons in both groups.)

The new Volkswagen Jetta TDI SportWagen bucks the trend. There isn't much the car doesn't do extremely well.

I spent a few days driving the sporty little wagon around town. At 42 mpg, the mileage rivaled the Toyota Prius hybrid, but with a more traditional profile.

By the time I had to give it back, I was a believer in clean diesel:
No stinky diesel exhaust. No significant rattle in the engine.
Lots of power. And - because whether or not we admit it, looks count - the car is cute as all get out.

With the coming launch of the Nissan LEAF, hybrid power, clean diesel and electric vehicles are duking it out on the market. On the plus side: It's nice to have choices. On the minus side: The consumer faces the choice of limited travel range for the electric, disposing of hybrid batteries the rising price and availability of diesel. It will be interesting to see where it all goes.

Because I still need room to carry cargo from time to time, if I had to vote with my checkbook right now, I'd go with the Jetta.

You can read my print review of the 2010 Jetta TDI SportWagen here.

For Don's take...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Outlandish Performance

Photo courtesy Mitsubishi

The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander:
Get in. Get ready. Get up and Go.

It wouldn't be hard, in this business at this particular time for the market, to become a little crossover-weary. I mean, every manufacturer is riding the craze. Some work better than others.
The Outlander compact crossover worked for me. I liked the size, the power and the flexibility.
Wasn't so crazy about the third seat, and I'm not a fan of the Mitsubishi red instrument lights. But other than that, I was a fan.

You can read my review of the Mitsubishi Outlander here.
Don's take.

Maxima Satisfaction

Photo courtesy Nissan

The more I drive, the more I've come to realize that not all automobile manufacturers are created equal.
Some just don't seem to understand the link between what drivers - particularly female drivers - want and what they demand. Hey, we're not just in the car because we've got nothing else to do. Most of us drive because we're driven by jobs, families and time-crunched schedules. But that doesn't mean we don't care about how we get there. We do.
Nissan gets it. Case in point? The 2010 Nissan Maxima.

You can read my review of the Maxima here

Don's take.

Friday, February 5, 2010

When you don't want to just spin your wheels

All too often, manufacturers try to create vehicles that can be all things to all people. And, all too often, they fall short.
But Honda, with the 2010 Crosstour, may have hit on the right formula.

You can read my review of the Honda Crosstour here...
For Don's take...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Snow Bunny

Sure, winter in Spokane has been hit or miss this year. Snow has been followed by rain.
Right now, the streets are dry and there isn't any white stuff around. But, memories of last year (the record-breaking, frozen, snowiest-winter-of-all-time) are still fresh. When winter arrives, I don't want to be on the road without the right car.
Well, let me introduce you to Mr Right...
The 2010 Audi Q5 isn't just another pretty face. It's a very good car for winter driving.
And, as luck would have it, I got to drive it around town during the first snowfall of the year.

You can read my review of the Audi Q5 here...

And, for Don's take...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hey, did you see the way that car looked at me?

At first glance, Lincoln's new MKT let's you know what to expect. That grille. That sexy, sexy, grille...And, once inside, Lincoln doesn't skimp on the luxe.
So, if you like 'em big and smart and powerful, this might be the car for you.

My lowdown on the Lincoln MKT
And for Don's take...