Archive for September, 2013
2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude
Dates tested: 8/22/2013-8/29/2013
Miles Driven: 159
Real-world fuel economy: 25.8
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
Base price: $23,395 (not including $995 destination fee)
Price as tested: $26,055
Options on test car: Security and Cargo Group ($495), Uconnect ($595), Voice command and Bluetooth ($475)
The great: Surprisingly affordable
The good: New automatic transmission cures many ills
The not so good: Fuel economy trails class leaders
2013 Infiniti M Hybrid (M35h)
Dates tested: 9/09/2013-9/23/2013
Miles Driven: 447
Bad things happened to the automobile in the early to mid Seventies. In a nutshell, fuel prices soared, safety and emissions regulations became more stringent, and American attitudes regarding cars and driving were in flux.
Around that time the muscle car died, Nixon updated his resume, and Big Hoss and Little Joe rode horses through a burning map for the last time.
Also around that time the Ford Mustang underwent serious invasive surgery. The Mustang II, as the updated pony car was dubbed, was not met with universal love from the enthusiast community, but it did go on to sell shockingly well.
Mustang lovers had much to kvetch about. The newest ‘Stang shared mechanical bits with the lowly Pinto, straight-line performance was tepid, and the car’s styling was, for the most part, polarizing.
But was the Mustang II in any way a mistake? Ford says no. With the 50th anniversary of the Mustang upon us, the automaker is taking this opportunity to defend the direction Mustang was taken back in 1974. Reprinted in its entirety below is a Ford press release that claims the Mustang II was “The right car at the time.”
Was it? You can decide for yourself.
2013 Chrysler 200 Sedan Touring
Dates tested: 9/16/2013-9/30/2013
Miles Driven: 248
Real-world fuel economy: 21.0
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
Base price: $21,995 (not including $995 destination fee)
Price as tested: $24,180
Options on test car: S Exterior Appearance Group ($495), Uconnect ($695)
The great: Classy cabin, value pricing
The good: Luxury ride quality
The not so good: Cranky 4-cylinder engine, mediocre fuel economy
Everything we share here was found in the parking lot (or an adjacent lot) of the Walmart nearest Consumer Guide global headquarters at 8:35 this morning.
Merriam-Webster defines a V8 as “an internal combustion engine having two banks of four cylinders each with the banks at an angle to each other.” While true enough, a dictionary definition of one of motoring’s finest achievements can’t begin to capture the intoxicating power of a well-tuned small-block’s exhaust burble.
Sure, Americans have seen their share of V16 engines and V12 mills from here and abroad, but it’s the V8 that combines that magical triumvirate of power, practicality, and potential that car lovers so appreciate.
Here we’ve gathered five vintage car ads celebrating that most wonderful of engine configurations, the V8. Click here if you missed our V6 Madness post.
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR
Dates tested: 8/21/2013-9/05/2013
Miles driven: 121
Driving mix: 60 percent city, 40 percent highway
When it comes to offering a commercial cargo van for 2014, Ram is dancing a familiar step but with a new partner. The ProMaster is based on an established design from Chrysler Group’s Italian parent Fiat. It fills a void left by the erstwhile Sprinter, another high-roof walk-in van that Ram’s predecessor, Dodge Truck, had been granted back when Chrysler was under the control of a certain German manufacturer known by its three-pointed star.
A recent blog post by editor John Biel posed the question, “What’s with all the old ads showing cars by pools?” Sure enough, you can cruise online and locate dozens, if not hundreds, of vintage auto ads that feature the highlighted vehicle parked precariously close to an in-ground swimming pool. What makes these ads especially strange is that the driver of these vehicles is often wearing a suit. You can check out a few car-at-the-pool ads here.
The nameplate is familiar: Cherokee. The vehicle it’s on isn’t.
Jeep’s 2014 replacement for the Liberty—the model-year-2002 successor to the first vehicles that were badged Cherokee—is still a midsize sport-utility vehicle, but now in the emergent crossover-SUV mold. That means down deep it is based on a car platform, the front-drive Alfa Romeo Giulietta/Dodge Dart. It offers a choice of two engines, including a new downsized version of Chrysler Group’s Pentastar V6, and marks the debut of a 9-speed automatic transmission. It gets fuel-mileage numbers that the last Cherokees sold in North America couldn’t have touched with the proverbial 10-foot pole, and it can be equipped with a host of technology features that didn’t even exist in ’01.