Archive for April, 2012

Apr
25

Scion FR-S drifting in a skid

Scion’s professional drift racer, Ken Gushi, was on hand during the Scion FR-S press preview to show us the capabilities of the company’s new rear-wheel-drive performance car. As part of the program, journalists were put in the passenger seat for a lesson in drifting as Gushi gracefully flung the car around a wet skidpad. I gotta tell you, Ken makes it look easy. Under his care, the FR-S carved wide arcs and made smooth transitions from one opposite-lock drift to the next as if it were grasped by the hand of God. During his slides, he made constant minor adjustments to the steering, accelerator, and brakes to keep the car on its magical sideways trajectory.

Apr
25

New cars don’t just seem expensive, for many consumers, they’re out of reach.

Most people don’t know that there is a unifying intersection in the metric system. Not by accident, one cubic centimeter of water weighs one gram. That’s probably mineral-free distilled water, but you get the point—there’s a connection between how we measure lines and how we measure mass.

Apr
25
Jeep Patriot

Few cars can beat the audio- and climate-control placement and simplicity of the Jeep Patriot.

Before roof pillars got thicker, thus escalating “visibility” to my No. 1 pet peeve, control layouts headed my list of automotive annoyances.

Apr
24
2012 Ford F-150, Best 2012 Large Pickup Trucks

2012 Ford F-150

Consumer Guide Automotive presents its Best Buy and Recommended Awards to five 2012 Large Pickup Trucks. Best Buys represent the best balance of attributes and price within the large-pickup class. Also be sure to check out our 2012 Best Buy and Recommended selections for the 17 other vehicle classes.

Apr
24
Nobel Peace Laureates

F. W. de Klerk, the former president of the Republic of South Africa and a 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, arrived in a Chrysler 300 at the 2012 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago.

Carmakers are no strangers to event sponsorships. Most luxury makers have reached out to golf enthusiasts by working with the PGA and LPGA, and Kia has rather famously embraced the NBA. Looking outside the box, some makers latch on to more peripheral activities. For 2012, Mini became the official sponsor of Table Tennis Canada (TTCAN).

Apr
24
2012 Hyundai Sonata

2012 Hyundai Sonata

Each year, Consumer Guide Automotive editors test drive and evaluate nearly every vehicle sold in the United States. Together, the editors rate each vehicle 1–10 in the following categories: Acceleration, Fuel Economy, Ride Quality, Steering/Handling/Braking, Quietness, Controls, Details, Room/Comfort/Driver Seating (front), Room/Comfort (rear), Cargo Room, and Value Within Class.

Apr
23
Picture of Dorian Gray, Kia

The concept of picturing the Optima’s exterior on its dash reminds Chris of “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Shown here is a still from the 1945 film.

I recently tested three versions of the 2012 Kia Optima, and I noticed in each one that the vehicle-information display, between the speedometer and tachometer, contains a little picture of the car. The image is always displayed and, curiously, varies with model: a profile view in one, a rear-three-quarter angle in another, a front aspect in the third.

Apr
23
Shaquille O’Neal pitches the Buick LaCrosse

Shaquille O’Neal pitches the Buick LaCrosse. Maybe it’s me, but it doesn’t appear that Shaq has quite enough legroom.

As we enter the two-month season known as the NBA Playoffs, we’re bound to see plenty of the new Buick LaCrosse commercial starring Shaquille O’Neal. In the ad, Shaq easily (seemingly) slides his 7-foot-1, 325-pound body into the front seat of his LaCrosse, a car that he says offers him “full-size luxury.”

Apr
23
14-Inch Wheels

Will wheels like this be a thing of the past soon?

I was traipsing into the office this morning when a 2012 Hyundai Accent hatchback parked in our building’s lot caused me to do a double take. Run-of-the-mill subcompacts usually don’t cause me to break stride, but . . . man, the wheels on this car looked TINY! I couldn’t help myself. I crouched down for a closer look at a sidewall: 175/70R14. Wow. Fourteen-inch wheels. I forgot those still existed!

Apr
23
David Hasselhoff and KITT in “Knight Rider”, Cadillac Super Cruise

David Hasselhoff and KITT in “Knight Rider”

Where have you gone, David Hasselhoff? Detroit turns its lonely (electronic) eyes to you.

Cadillac is road-testing a system designed to automatically steer, brake, and keep a car centered in a lane. In other words, drive itself. General Motors’ luxury-car division calls this system Super Cruise and says it could find its way to showrooms by the middle of this decade.

We’re not making this stuff up. But somebody did. In the Eighties. For a television show. They called it KITT.

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