Author Archive

Exotic Car Rental

The Mercedes-Benz SL550 is among the special vehicles available for rent in the Enterprise Exotic Car Collection.

The term “rental car” usually conjures images of ordinary 4-door sedans, SUVs, and minivans used simply as a means of conveyance by business travelers or people on vacation.


1963-1964 Chrysler Turbine Car

The jet age of the 1950s and 1960s had a lot of influence on the auto industry. The finned rear ends of many cars—such as the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, and 1958 Plymouth Fury—reflect the interest in space rockets, jet airplanes, and other forms of new-age, sky-riding transportation.

Giant Bentley Key

The key fob of the Bentley Continental GTC Speed is heavier than conventional fobs.

The Bentley Continental GTC Speed is one of the most luxurious vehicles on the planet, and as such, it has a key to match its opulence. After all, a chintzy plastic fob would dilute the ownership experience (we’re looking at you, BMW M5).

Long Term Pathfinder

Editor Dave Hall used Consumer Guide’s long-term 2013 Nissan Pathfinder to move from one apartment to another.

Normally, the staffers here at Consumer Guide Automotive switch cars twice a week. A few days in a car is enough for an editor to observe all of the car’s behaviors, use all of its features, and spend an adequate amount of time driving it to make a good objective report. Most cars stay with us for about two weeks, meaning that four editors have the chance to thoroughly drive a vehicle, compare opinions, and come up with a verdict, which becomes the review we post on our website.


The Fiat 500 Abarth has a 160-horsepower turbocharged version of the 500’s 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, and the Cabrio adds a retractable cloth top that stacks atop the rear deck. The main exterior differences between the 500 and 500 Abarth are a different front fascia, unique 16- or optional 17-inch wheels, uprated brakes with red-painted calipers, sport suspension, and signature Abarth badges. The front badge has an air intake that feeds air into the engine.

Drop the top and drink in that raspy exhaust note. The fun-to-drive nature and great sounds of the Fiat 500 Abarth will soon be available without a roof. Get ready for the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio (meaning cabriolet; i.e., convertible). The 500 Abarth Cabrio, also known as the 500c Abarth, will go on sale in the second quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, here it is in pictures.

Fiat 500e Pics

The only obvious differences in appearance between the Fiat 500 and the 500e, shown, are the unique wheels and white lower grille with 500e logo.

Despite being an electric car, the Fiat 500e looks very much like the conventional Fiat 500 upon which it is based. Your average citizen will likely never guess it runs on electricity instead of gasoline.

Coolest Vehicles of 2002

Acura NSX

Also check out Tom Appel’s Senior-Year Lust: The 5 Coolest Vehicles of 1983,” Ed Piotrowski’s Senior-Year Lust: The 5 Coolest Vehicles of 1998,” and Rick Cotta’s Senior-Year Lust: The 5 Coolest Vehicles of…1974.”

In my senior year of high school, the auto industry was finally pulling out of the 1990s and moving away from all of the jellybean car designs produced during that period of time (*COUGH* FORD ASPIRE *COUGH*). While many other desirable cars were available, these were my favorites from my graduation year of 2002. Though I had to settle for driving Mom and Dad’s Volvo 240 sedan and station wagon (vehicles I learned to love and still do), these were the ones I lusted after. I put pictures of them on my bedroom wall and on the inside of my locker door at school to show the world that I was a car enthusiast, and had damn good taste in vehicles.

Huge Porsche Key

The Porsche 911’s key possesses the look of the curvaceous car to which it belongs.

In this edition of “The Keymaster,” we take a look at the key fob for the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S.

Unlike the last Keymaster post on this blog, which focused on the Jaguar XJL Supersport’s fob (which looks like a square with rounded corners), the Porsche’s key is much more imaginative. About as long as your index finger, the 911’s key is loosely shaped like the sports car to which it’s married. The Porsche shield is a textured badge set into the hood. The buttons on the “roof” have a rubbery feel and, when pressed, activate a blinking red light above the “Unlock” button. Though heavier than the average “smart” key, it won’t put a strain on your key ring. Its weight simply imparts a feel of quality and substantiality.

Jeep Cherokee Returns

2014 Jeep Cherokee

After a 13-year absence, Cherokee is returning to Jeep’s model lineup.

2014 Tundra Freshening

2014 Toyota Tundra

At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota unveiled the 2014 Tundra.

Toyota’s large pickup truck receives new features as well as new exterior and interior styling. Exterior changes include a unique front grille and lower bumper design for each trim level, a new tailgate with “Tundra” embossed directly into the sheet metal, and a new look for the pickup’s bed sides. Also, a built-in rear spoiler is expected to help with fuel economy. Regardless of trim level, the grille and hood are 1.6 inches higher than the outgoing model. A big change for the 2014 model is the introduction of new three-piece front and rear bumpers that are less expensive to replace.