Archive for October, 2013

2014 Ram Heavy Duty

For 2014, Ram 2500 rides better, thanks to a beefy version of the Ram 1500’s coil-spring rear suspension.

The evolution of Ram’s 2500- and 3500-series heavy-duty pickups continues with a new engine option and substantial suspension changes for 2014. Additional towing might with a gas engine and an improved ride in the 2500 are the results.


A pure-electric vehicle, the Spark EV wears a “wave” badge tagged with letters “EV.”

Blue is the new “Green,” sort of. A quick review of recent eco-themed automotive marketing suggests that the word green may be losing steam as a catch-all descriptor of things eco-friendly.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

Impala is all new for 2014. A top line 2LTZ is shown here.

2014 Chevrolet Impala LTZ

Miles Driven: 452

Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway

Real-world fuel economy: 21.0 mpg

2014 Mazda CX-5

2014 Mazda CX-5


Chicago radio legends Steve and Johnnie take the 2014 Mazda CX-5 for a video test drive. What did they think of their test vehicle? Watch and find out.


The EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6 produces 240 horsepower in the Ram 1500.

The mention of a diesel-powered full-size pickup truck might not make you look up from whatever it is you’re doing. After all, haven’t there been diesel pickups like forever?

Not at the light-duty end of the spectrum, where Ram is planting its flag with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 available in a number of its 2014 half-ton 1500-series models. This first-of-its-kind engine application is intended to provide stout towing capability while delivering projected fuel savings.

70s Brochure Quiz

Quiz image number 1.

By now you probably know the drill; We give you an abstract portion of a brochure cover, and you have to guess the vehicle featured. For this quiz we’re featuring the cars of the Seventies. As with our Eighties brochure quiz, all the vehicles in question were available for sale in the U.S. We can also tell you that none of the cars here are especially rare, obscure, or of a kit-car nature. Nutshell: you’re familiar with them.


The 2014 Durango starts at $29,795; the R/T shown here starts at $38,995.

Eyeing what it sees as renewed vigor in the full-sized sport-utility vehicle market and cognizant of the appeal of large crossovers with three-row seating, Dodge has perked up its Durango SUV for 2014 with new features and a few appearance tweaks.

According to the division’s figures, the combined sales of those two segments have increased by 48 percent since 2009 and 60 percent of the full-sized SUVs and crossovers are three-row models. Considering that 100 percent of Durango models have three rows of seats, Dodge no doubt would like to see those trends continue. In hopes of staying competitive in the field, it is installing a new standard 8-speed automatic transmission in all models, freshening up front and rear styling, and adding a Limited model.

1973 Porsche 911 Review

The 1973 911 was powered by Porsche’s “2.4 L” engine, which actually displaced closer to 2.3 liters.

The current editorial team here at Consumer Guide couldn’t think more highly of the Porsche 911, but was our appreciation for this German icon always so robust? To help celebrate this rear-engine sports car’s 50th anniversary, let’s jump back 40 years and see how the team felt back then.

Please enjoy this review extracted from Consumer Guide Auto ’73.

1981 Volkswagen Jetta. Car Brochures

Quiz image number 1.

Think you’re ready for a challenge? This one is pretty straightforward, though perhaps not all that easy. Above and below please find five image abstracts extracted from random Eighties auto brochures. Can you identify these Reagan-era rides?

The only promise we make is this: The vehicles in question were available for sale in the United States. Best of luck! Oh, and the answers can be found below.


Our test 2014 Mazda 3 i 5-Door Grand Touring came to $24,635 on the sticker.

2014 Mazda 3 i 5-Door Grand Touring

Dates tested: 10/09/2013-10/22/2013

Miles Driven: 434

Real-world fuel economy: 30.1 mpg

Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway

Base price: $23,245 (not including $795 destination charge)

Price as tested: $24,635

Options on test car: “Soul Red” paint ($300), Door sill trim plates ($125), Rear bumper guard ($100), Cargo mat ($70)

Quick Hits

The great: Sporty handling, delightful shifter and clutch

The good: Handsome cabin

The not so good: Complicated audio controls, drumming noise on some road surfaces

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