Archive for June, 2012
I am pretty sure that if, as a nation, we could assess and grade the driving skills of all our drivers—and we could subsequently keep folks earning D and F grades off the road during rush hour—our collective commuting times would drop by at least half.
Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2012 BMW 3-Series Sedan, a premium-compact car that starts at $34,900.
I recently spent a beautiful summer day at Ford’s Dearborn Development Center at a media event. It’s a fairly surreal place since it is basically across the street from the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The steam-powered train in the village is often heard, providing a bit of an audio link back to the time of Henry Ford.
Ford planned a full day of activities, and one of the more interesting ones was a chance to drive a European Focus with the new 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Yes, a 3-cylinder engine.
Ford’s 1.0-liter three is a new design; it’s not based on a four with a cylinder removed. Engineers went with a cast-iron block because it allowed them to keep the engine as compact as possible. A powertrain engineer said the 1.0 weighs 213.8 pounds. Like other EcoBoost engines, it uses a combination of turbocharging, direct fuel injection, and variable valve timing.
In Europe the engine comes in two versions, which make approximately 98 and 123 horsepower. The cars I drove had the 123-horse engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. European fuel economy is rated at 56.5 mpg.
A bad rap can go a long way toward messing your legacy. Take the poor, ill-remembered Edsel. Rendered largely unsellable by a recession and some dubious marketing, the car is now recalled as a lemon, which is certainly not the case.
Although I’ve visited California frequently over the past 20 years—and even lived there briefly back in the ’70s—it always takes a while after arrival to acclimate to the local climate. And I don’t mean the weather. I mean the driving climate. Which, like the weather, differs from that of the rest of the country.
I like police cars. I think they’re cool, exciting, and just plain bad-ass. It’s thrilling when I see one speeding down the road with the lights flashing and the siren going. Even though the mid-1990s Chevrolet Caprices and Ford Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptors weren’t the best looking vehicles to my eyes, they still exhibited a certain measure of get-out-of-my-way authority when dressed in police livery.
GMC first added the Denali nameplate to the Yukon in 1999, followed by the Sierra, Envoy, and Acadia. Now in 2013, GMC introduces the Terrain Denali.
Denali models are loaded with luxury features, and the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali is no exception. Genuine wood trim, leather upholstery, 19-inch chrome alloy wheels, a driver-seat memory system, forward-collision warning . . . all these features and many more can be had on the Denali version. In addition, the entire Terrain lineup gets a new V6 engine, upping horsepower from 264 to 301.
Click here for Ed Piotrowski’s first spin in a 2013 GMC Terrain Denali.
Chrysler has had some great brand names in its long history, and the company isn’t reluctant to trade on its past glory. Now for the 2013 Ram 1500, Chrysler is bringing back the TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
1) Accent or Elantra?
Driving the redesigned 2012 Azera this weekend got me thinking: Boy, Hyundai’s cars sure do look alike, at least from the front. With that in mind, here’s a modest quiz designed to see if you can tell them apart. When creating the images for this particular test, more than once did I have to go back to Hyundai’s media website to make sure I had the correct cars. Maybe your eyes are a little sharper than mine are. Mystery car quiz.