Friday, November 18, 2011

Revealed: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Mazda revealed the 2013 Mazda CX-5 which replaces the aging Tribute. The new CX-5 in my opinion is the best looking model currently in Mazda's lineup. This vehicle now wears the new Kodo styling instead of the "Smiley Face" design that everyone is used to to. The vehicle looks very sporty and aggressive which is a step in the right direction. I really like the interior on this Mazda which looks a lot better than the interiors in other Mazda products.

The new CX-5 is powered by Mazda's new 2.0L direct injected SkyActive-G engine. This engine produces 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Front wheel drive models will return 26 mpgs in the city and 33 mpgs on the highway. Front wheel drive models equipped with a manual transmission will return 35 mpgs on the highway. All wheel drive models will return 25 mpgs in the city and 30 mpgs on the highway. The base model vehicles can be had with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. The all wheel drive models will only be equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. There will be three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring.

The CX-5 will be slotted below the bigger CX-7. I am very excited for future products that come from Mazda. The CX-5 is a great start for displaying the new Kodo styling. I can see this being a big seller for Mazda because of it's styling and fuel economy. One thing that bothers me is that this engine only produces 155 horses, I expected a little bit more coming from Mazda. Other than that I am very pleased with the new CX-5.

The CX-5 will go on sale in early 2012.

Update: The CX-5 will be priced at $21,490 for the base model.
Touring: $24,690 (FWD), $25,940 (AWD)
Grand Touring: $27,840 (FWD), $29,090 (AWD)

For more information on this car please check out Mazda's website:

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Revealed: 2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT

Lincoln revealed the refreshed MKS and MKT at the L.A. Auto Show. I don't know what Ford/Lincoln was thinking but the new corporate grill is worse than the one it replaces. I actually prefer the old grill compared to this new one, I thought it made Lincolns look bold. Many people didn't like it which is the reason for this new grill but it was not a good choice. Just like Honda has to go back and make some changes to the new Civic, Ford/Lincoln needs to go back and make some MORE changes. The interior of both vehicles are better than they were before but I would like to see something a lot different. When I look at the interiors they still remind me of the Ford brand. Lincoln really has to drastically change up the interiors the next go around.

Besides the new grill and front fascia, the MKS and MKT also receive new features. One of the new features are the Continuously Controlled Damping system, which is standard on all MKS models and only available on the MKT models equipped with the EcoBoost 3.5 V-6 engine. Another feature is The Lincoln Drive Control allows the driver to change the settings on the car from normal, comfort, or sport. Lincoln will also offer a lane keeping system and a lane keeping aid. The standard 3.7L V-6 engine now pushes out 300 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. That is a bump of 32 horsepower for the MKT and 27 horsepower for the MKS. The highway fuel economy has risen by 1 mpg for the MKT and by 3 mpg for the MKS.

I think that Lincoln did make the right changes under the body of the vehicles but not the right choices with the designs. I don't think that this new fascia makes the vehicles look classy or professional, it just makes it look odd and boring. The previous grill made a BIG statement and made Lincoln's very recognizable on the road. I know that Lincoln has a long way to go but more changes need to be made along the way. I really want Lincoln to succeed and be a true luxury competitor but Ford has to really make that effort.

The new 2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT will go on sale in Spring of 2012.

How do you feel about the design change?

For more information on the new MKS and MKT check out Lincoln's website:

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Revealed: 2012 Hyundai Azera

Hyundai revealed the redesigned 2013 Hyundai Azera  and it is now my favorite Hyundai model to look at. The Azera will sit between the Sonata and the Genesis in Hyundai's lineup. It will compete against the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, and Ford Taurus (They have some serious competition!). The design of the Azera makes it look like a luxury car which is not a bad thing. To me the Azera wears Hyundai's fluidic design the best. The interior of the Azera looks great as well and is similar to other Hyundai models.

The Azera will be powered by a 3.3L direct injection V-6 engine that produces 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The power will be sent to the front wheels. The Azera is expected to achieve 20 mpgs in the city and 29 mpgs on the highway. I think that Hyundai kept this car very competitive with others in it's class. The Azera should be very quick and have really good fuel economy.

Where Hyundai shines with the Azera is with the standard features. The Azera will come standard with leather seats, navigation, and Hyundai's new Blue Link system. Hyundai really wanted to set high standards with the Azera and I believe they accomplished that. Even entry luxury cars such as the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse need to keep their eyes open. The Azera definitely offers a lot of competition.

The Azera will go on sale in February.

What are your thoughts on the 2012 Hyundai Azera?

For more information on the new Azera check out Hyundai's website:

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Revealed: 2013 Cadillac XTS

I want to start off and say that the 2013 Cadillac XTS is a damn good looking car! I love the designs of Cadillac's models but the XTS just stands out the most. Cadillac really nailed the the exterior of this vehicle and it looks different than the other cars in it's class. The XTS will compete against the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Infiniti M, and the Mercedes-Benz E Class. The interior of the XTS is also a selling point of this car, which includes Cadillac's new CUE system. Some advanced technologies include land departure, forward collision, and side blind zone warnings.

The XTS is replacing the aging STS and DTS models in Cadillac's lineup. The XTS will be powered by a 3.6L direct injection V-6 engine that produces 300 horsepower. The power will be sent to the front wheels. This engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. I am very surprised that the XTS's engine does not produce more horsepower but I'm sure 300 horses will be enough for the buyers of this vehicle.

The production of the XTS will begin in the spring. I love cars that have bold designs so I can't wait to see this vehicle in person! This is a great start for the Cadillac brand in changing up their lineup.

What are your thoughts on the 2013 Cadillac XTS?

For more information on the XTS check out Cadillac's website:

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Revealed: 2013 Infiniti JX

Yesterday Infiniti revealed the new 2013 JX , it's new front-wheel drive luxury crossover. In a previous post about the JX concept I gave praise to Infiniti for delivering another great looking vehicle. I think Infiniti has to add more vehicles to it's lineup and the JX is a great start. The production version doesn't look much different than the concept car. The interior of the JX screams luxurious!

The front-wheel drive version will start at a little over $40,000 and the an all-wheel drive version will start around $42,000. The JX will be powered by a 3.5L V-6 engine that produces 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque mated to a sport-tuned CVT. Which will achieve 17 miles in the city and 23 miles on the highway.

I am actually really disappointed with the engine that Infiniti has chosen to use in the JX. I really expected this vehicle to have more horsepower and torque. This engine is very similar to the engine used in the Nissan Murano. This is not to say that it is a bad engine but I think it was the wrong choice for the JX. At these price points I expected to see an engine similar to the ones found in other Infiniti models. I'm curious as to why Infiniti didn't use the Maxima's engine which produces 290 horsepower? Infiniti did price this vehicle well and it will undercut the starting prices of the Acura MDX and Audi Q7.

The Infiniti JX will go on sale in the Spring of 2012. I expect this model to be very important for the Infiniti brand. I think Infiniti has a hit on their hands and I can't wait to drive the new JX!

*Update: Since this morning (3/27/12) I have been reading and watching reviews and comments on the 2013 Infiniti JX35. There are some who fully like the vehicle and others who only like certain aspects of the vehicle. Three problems that came up were about the 265 hp V6 engine, style and the CVT transmission. Many could not understand why Infiniti chose it. I know that the choice of the CVT was for fuel economy. The JX does offer better fuel economy than the MDX and RX. I love the styling of Infiniti vehicles so I am a big fan of the JX styling, but some are not fans of it. When I first heard Infiniti was using the 265 hp V6 I was quite shocked by it. When I think of Infiniti I always think of bold styling and horsepower! But I can see where Infiniti is coming from with this vehicle. I may not agree with all of the choices but I respect it. I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the JX35 to see how it really performs.

What are your thoughts on the 2013 Infiniti JX?

For more information on the JX check out Infiniti's website:

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Interview with Ian Shannon and Chris Hayek, Pennzoil

I recently had the chance to interview Ian Shannon, Global Lead Automotive Products R&D for Passenger Car Motor Oils, and Chris Hayek, Director of Global Brand Marketing.

My interview with Ian Shannon and Chris Hayek focused on motor oil myths, the shift in motor oil from wear protection to cleansing, motor oil testing, the truth behind company claims, and the future of Pennzoil.

Check out my interview below:


I want to give a big thanks to Kyle Ragonese for working with my schedule to make this interview happen! I also want to thank Ian Shannon and Chris Hayek for taking out the time to answer my questions. 

For more information on Pennzoil check out their website:

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