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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2012 Porsche Cayenne

The Cayenne has been a big sales success for Porsche. The 2012 Porsche Cayenne is a very important part of Porsche's model lineup.

The base model 2012 Porsche Cayenne starts at $48,200. This model features a 3.6L V6 engine that produces 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The power from the engine is sent to all 4 wheels. The EPA rating for the 2012 Cayenne is 15/city and 22/hwy.

While at the 2012 New York Auto Show, I stopped by the Porsche booth to see the inside of the Cayenne. I knew the Cayenne was going to be luxurious but it surpassed my expectations. The seats in the Cayenne were soft and supportive. Watching reviews of the Cayenne I expected there to be tons of buttons and I was correct. There are way TOO many buttons and knobs! I really liked the layout of the dashboard and center console. The leather is really nice and there was soft touch materials throughout the cabin. The steering wheel was easy to grip but I don't like where the paddle shifters are located. There was a lot of leg and headroom in the back of the Cayenne.

Overall I really like the design of the 2012 Cayenne and can see why it is a hot seller. Besides the Nissan GT-R (Which I have driven!), the Porsche Cayenne is another vehicle I hope to own one day. Hopefully I am able to get behind the wheel of the Cayenne and do a full review.

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2013 Cadillac ATS


The 2013 Cadillac ATS is Cadillac's new luxury compact sports sedan. The new ATS will compete against the  BMW 3-series, Infiniti G, Mercedes-Benz C Class, and Audi A4. The ATS will take the slot below the bigger Cadillac CTS.

There will be three engine choices to choose from. The base model car will come with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 200 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. A 2.0L turbo four-cylinder producing 270 horsepower. The last choice is a 3.6L V6 producing 318 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel-drive will be an available option. Just like the XTS, the ATS will also have Cadillac's CUE Infotainment System.

I had a chance to get inside of the ATS and I was very impressed. There are soft touch and padded materials throughout the cabin. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather, and the shifter fits nicely in the hand. The driver's seat is where everyone should want to be at. The front seats are soft, supportive, and offer lumbar support. There was decent headroom in the front for the driver and passenger. The back seats of the ATS are a different story. Like many luxury compact sedans, the back seats are tight. I am 5'9" and had just a little bit of headroom due to the low roof line. There is also a huge drive shaft that will make anyone who sits in the middle seat very uncomfortable.

I have to say that the ATS is a great looking vehicle inside and out. I think that Cadillac has done a great job with the design of the ATS. It seems that Cadillac has really done their research and tests to make sure the ATS was able to face it's German rivals. I have only driven the Infiniti G and BMW 3-series, so I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the new ATS.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

2013 Ford Escape Pricing

The 2013 Ford Escape will start at $22,470. The redesigned Escape will go on sale this Spring.

The base model Escape will be equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5L engine will produce 168 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The other two engine choices are a 1.6L and 2.0L EcoBoost engine. The 1.6L 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine produces 171 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0L 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine will produce 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The top of the line Titanium model will be equipped with the 2.0L EcoBoost engine. Both EcoBoost engines will be paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 2013 Ford Escape gain the attention of many buyers. The new look of the Escape might not be the most attractive CUV on the market but it looks a lot better than the current generation.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 NY Auto Show: 2013 Lincoln MKS

The 2013 Lincoln MKS is Lincoln's midsize luxury sedan. The MKS offers two engine choices: a 3.7L V6 engine pushing out 304 hp and 279 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5L Twin Turbo Charged Direct Injection EcoBoost V6 engine producing 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The 3.7L and 3.5L engines are mated to a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle shifts. Front-wheel drive is standard with the 3.7L engine but All-Wheel drive is an option. The 3.5L EcoBoost engine comes standard with All-Wheel drive. The MKS competes against the Infiniti M, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E Class, and Audi A6.

EPA Ratings:
FDW: 18/city, 27/hwy
AWD (3.7L): 18/city, 26/hwy
EcoBoost: 17/city, 25/hwy

Over the past few years I have been hard on the Lincoln brand. When I saw pictures of the refreshed MKS I was very disappointed. I thought that the MKS looked better before this refresh was given. I will say that I have seen the 2013 MKS in person and have to retract my rant! The 2013 Lincoln MKS is a good looking sedan in person. I was really surprised to find myself liking the MKS as much as I did. The inside of the MKS is all about luxury and does not disappoint. The backseats of the MKS are one of the most comfortable seats I have been in. There was a decent amount of leg and headroom which is always a plus. The low tunnel shaft makes it easy to fit a person in the middle. The driver's seat was supportive and at a good position. It was easy to reach the controls and buttons on the dashboard and center console. The steering wheel and shifter were easy to grip and control. The MKS is laced with soft touch materials throughout the cabin.

I really LIKE the 2013 Lincoln MKS and I haven't even driven it yet. But the fact that I like a Lincoln is HUGE for me because I haven't been a fan of a Lincoln since the LS. The 2013 Lincoln MKS will start at $42, 810 which is less than the other vehicles in the class.

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2013 Acura ILX

The 2013 Acura ILX will be Acura's entry level sedan. The ILX is based on the Honda Civic and will share a few things in common. There will be three engine choices: a 2.0L four-cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed Sequential Sportshift automatic transmission, a 2.4L four-cylinder mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, and a 1.5L four-cylinder engine mated to a electric hybrid motor and automatic transmission. The 2.0L four-cylinder engine will achieve 24 mpg/city and 35 mpg/hwy. The 2.4L four-cylinder engine will achieve 22 mpg/city and 31 mpg/hwy. The hybrid variant will achieve 39 mpg/city and 38/hwy. All-Wheel drive will not be an option on the ILX. To differentiate this model from the Civic, the ILX will receive options such as premium leather, a Keyless Access System, and push button start.

The inside of the ILX is quite tight in the backseat. I am 5'9" and I had decent legroom but very limited headroom. The backseats are very comfortable and plush. There is also a low tunnel shaft which is always a good thing. The driver's seat is a more enjoyable place to be in the ILX. The dashboard and console of the ILX is done very well and screams luxury. There are nice materials throughout the cabin but you will notice areas where there are hard plastics. I am a new fan of Acura's display screen and navigation system. Like any Acura vehicle there is plenty of storage to put your items in. I was very worried about what the interior would be like but I was really impressed.

I think that Acura has done a great job with the ILX and I am sure they will attract new entry level luxury buyers. Lately Acura has been changing my perception about them with their vehicles. I look forward to getting behind the wheel of the new 2013 ILX.

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2012 Acura MDX

The Acura MDX is a 7 passenger luxury crossover. The 2012 Acura MDX is equipped with a 3.7L VTEC V6  engine that is paired with a 6-speed transmission. The 3.7L V6 engine pushes out 300 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The MDX comes standard with Acura's SH-AWD system (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). The fuel economy for this vehicle is rated at 16 mpg/city and 21mpg/hwy. Some standard features on the MDX include 18 inch wheels, automatic xenon headlamps, a power liftgate, two-way adjustable driver lumbar, and Bluetooth connectivity. The 2012 Acura MDX competes with the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GL, and the new Infiniti JX35.

I had the chance to check out the MDX at the New York Auto Show and was quite impressed with this vehicle. I know I have bashed Acura vehicles before but I may have to retract some of those comments. There were quite a few things that I did like about the MDX. The driver's seat is very comfortable and has a great driving position. The dashboard and counsel layout is done very well and is easy to reach. I really love touchscreens so I did not know if I would like the MDX's non-touchscreen. But I actually found it very simple and easy to use. The Acura controller was easy to get comfortable with and I was able to move at a quick place when putting in information. There is a lot of storage in the MDX that you will not have a problem finding somewhere to put your belongings. The backseats of the MDX were comfortable but there was not a lot of second row legroom. I also thought that folding the second row seats were more complicated than they needed to be. The third row was uncomfortable and should only be used by small children! The new Infiniti JX35 does offer more second row legroom and the seats are much easier to move and fold.

Overall I think that the 2012 Acura MDX is a great vehicle and offers a lot. I haven't driven the MDX and I am not in the market for a 7 passenger crossover but I wouldn't mind driving this car for a few days. The MDX may not be the most attractive vehicle in the class but it should definitely be considered.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 NY Auto Show: 2012 Hyundai Equus

The Equus is Hyundai's top premium vehicle. The 2012 Hyundai Equus is powered by 5.0L GDI engine which produces 429 hp and is mated to a 8-speed automatic. All of that power is sent to the rear wheels. The Equus is priced at just under $60,000 which makes it a great bargain.

I had the opportunity to check out the Equus at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The Equus is a very luxurious  vehicle that offers a lot of value. The exterior of the Equus is not the most attractive but it still is a nice looking car. The back seats of the Equus are large and comfortable. There is a lot of leg and headroom that the passengers will enjoy. The controls in the back are easy to use and are of good quality. The dashboard and center console of the Equus also uses high quality materials. The drivers and passengers seat are power moving. The drivers seat is one of the most comfortable seats I've sat in. But there are a few places where Hyundai cut corners which to me is not that big of a deal.

People who are looking for a luxury vehicle but don't want to pay the luxury price should take a look at the Hyundai Equus. This car is all about value and getting the most for your money. I haven't driven the Equus but I think that Hyundai has done a good job with this vehicle.

How do you feel about the Hyundai Equus?

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2012 Hyundai Azera

The 2012 Hyundai Azera is a very attractive looking vehicle. The Azera competes against the Nissan Maxima, Ford Taurus, and the newly redesigned Chevy Impala and Toyota Avalon.

The Azera is 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.

I had the chance to have a quick look at the Azera at the 2012 New York Auto Show and I really like the look of it. The design is bold, aggressive, and luxurious. The inside of the Azera looks as good as the outside. There is soft touch materials throughout the cabin which gives the Azera a high quality feel. The backseat of the Azera offers great leg and headroom. There is a low drive shaft tunnel which allows the Azera to actually seat 3 people in the back. The driver's seat is where everyone should be. The driver's seat is supportive and plus. There is good leg and headroom for the driver as well. The Azera has a nice steering wheel and good quality knobs and buttons. I am big on shifters and the Azera's shifter does not disappoint. Overall the Azera has a impressive cabin and exterior to match. I just can't wait to get behind the wheel and see how the Azera drives.


What do you think of the 2012 Hyundai Azera?

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Friday, April 6, 2012

2012 NY Auto Show: Infiniti LE Concept


 Infiniti pulled the sheet off of their new electric car, the LE. It has the underpinnings of the Nissan Leaf but in my opinion looks a lot better inside and out. The LE will produce 134 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque which is more than the Leaf. It should run about 100 miles on a full charge.

The Infiniti LE has a unique design that is full of curves in all the right places. There is no denying that this vehicle belongs to Infiniti. I love the styling of this car, it really makes the LE standout. The interior of the LE is very upscale and features blue LED lighting that flows through the cabin. There is also a wireless charging station that fits underneath the LE in the rear of the car. Infiniti has not released pricing or any other information about the LE. The Infiniti LE may change peoples perceptions about electric vehicles.



What do you think of the Infiniti LE Concept?

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2013 Lincoln MKZ


Lincoln revealed the 2013 MKZ at the New York Auto Show. The exterior of the car is very similar to the concept that was revealed earlier this year. Even though the MKZ rides on the same platform as the Ford Fusion, there is a big difference between the two. The 2013 MKZ will have two available engines, a 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 engine and a 3.7L V6 engine. The 2.0L I-4 engine produces 240 hp and the 3.7L V6 produces 300 hp. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional and a hybrid model will follow.




I think that the MKZ is a beautiful car to look at and I am happy that it looks nothing like the Ford Fusion. It is a very luxurious looking car. I had a chance to get in the car and I was impressed. The backseats of the MKZ are really comfortable and supportive. I had ample leg and headroom and was very comfortable in the back. The driver's seat was just as comfortable as the backseats. The dashboard and doors use padded and soft touch materials. The center console is amazing and flows well with the rest of the cabin. The highlight of the MKZ is the sliding glass roof! One thing I am not a big fan of are the buttons that are used for Park, Reverse, Neutral, etc. I would have liked to see an actual shift knob but there may be people who actually like this feature. The 2013 MKZ is a very important vehicle for Lincoln and they are moving in the right direction.



Do you like the 2013 Lincoln MKZ?

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 NY Auto Show: 2014 Chevy Impala

The 2014 Chevy Impala was revealed at the 2012 New York Auto Show.The Impala has been heavily revised  inside and out. There will be three direct-injection engine choices: a 2.4L I-4 e Assist producing 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. A 2.5L Ecotec I-4 producing 195 hp and 187 lb-ft, and a 3.6L V6 producing 303 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. Standard on all models are 18 inch wheels. The LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels will continue with the 2014 Impala.

The dashboard and doors are padded with soft-touch materials. The center console features an 8 inch touch screen with a hidden compartment. Chevy's MyLink with be an option. There are tons of safety features such as lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alert. The interior of the Impala is 100 times better than the current model. GM has finally given Chevy a interior that is worth the money. The backseats of the Impala are very comfortable, so anyone would enjoy sitting in the back. The sloping roof line does cut down on headroom but at 5'8" there was still some room. Legroom in the back was also really good. The driver's seat is very supportive and comfortable. The buttons and knobs used are really nice and easy to use. I really found the cabin of the Impala spacious and a some what luxurious. The 2014 Impala will compete against the Nissan Maxima, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, and Hyundai Azera. All of these cars have great designs and offer a lot of value but I think the Impala will put up a fight. Chevy did a great job on the Impala and definitely has my interest. I never liked the Impala before but I am a fan now!

Would you consider the 2014 Chevy Impala?

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2013 Cadillac XTS

Today Cadillac announced that the XTS sedan will start at $44,995 including a $920 destination charge. A loaded XTS Platinum will come in at about $62,000. The XTS will get CUE, Cadillac's infotainment system. It will also get a direct-injected 3.6L V6 engine, which will be paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.


I had the chance to sit in the XTS and I have to say that I was very impressed! The trunk of the XTS is massive, there was tons of space available. The back seats of the XTS are soft and plush. I was very comfortable sitting there, I had plenty of legroom and headroom. The front two seats are just as comfortable as the seats in the back. Both come with lumbar support which is terrific for drivers, especially on long drives. The front two seats are power seats and they are very supportive. The leather that is used in the Cadillac is top-notch. The layout of dashboard and console were well thought-out and adds to the XTS's luxurious feel.I am crazy about shift knobs and I can say that I love the shift knob in the XTS. I did have a chance to play around with Cadillac's CUE system which isn't finalized yet but I really like the system. I found it easy to touch and make changes, it was also very responsive. The real test of the CUE system will be when it is put into production and appears in production models.  

I think that the XTS so far is a great looking car and will do well when it is released. I can see Cadillac selling quite a few of these. A lot of people are saying that the XTS is not worth the money because of it's engine and the fact that it is front-wheel drive. But I have to disagree, the XTS offers a lot of value and luxury for your buck. This is a luxury midsize sedan and just because other cars in the class are sporty doesn't mean that the XTS is not worth it. There are plenty of people who just want a cruising car and one that has a soft and relaxing ride.


What are your thoughts on the 2013 Cadillac XTS?

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2012 NY Auto Show: 2013 Ram 1500

The 2013 Ram 1500 was revealed at the 2012 New York Auto Show today. The new Ram 1500 was built from the ground up and was created to be perfect. The Ram 1500 will have the option of the Pentastar 3.6L V6 engine or the 5.7L Hemi V8 engine. The V6 is rated at 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The V8 is rated at 395 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque. Both engine will be paired with a 8-speed automatic transmission.

Some new features and technology include:
*Auto stop-start technology
*Electric power steering
*Shutters which are used to reduce aerodynamic drag
*Flexible air dam
*Air suspension
*Rotary shift knob

The Ram 1500 receives all new sheet-metal while retaining that distinct Ram look, making it standout even more. There is no denying that the 1500 is bold and aggressive. There is also heavy use of chrome, which in my opinion is done very nicely. The interior of the Ram also receives a major upgrade making the 1500 look very luxurious. The Chrysler Group's 8.4 in touchscreen makes its way into the new 1500.

Overall I am very impressed with what Ram has done. The 1500 is one of the most beautiful vehicles I've seen these past two days. Ram sells tons of these pickup trucks and I am sure they will sell even more once this truck hits the market. I am not a truck person but I really want to be in this vehicle and drive it!


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What do you think of the 2013 Ram 1500?

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2012 New York Auto Show: 2013 SRT Viper

Today SRT unveiled the 2013 Viper at the New York Auto Show. The 2013 SRT Viper was built from the ground up with the thought of previous Viper owners concerns. The 2013 SRT Viper will be powered by a 8.4L V10 engine producing 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be paired with a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission. The viper will have a top speed of 206 mph.

The Viper has shed some weight and now weighs in at 3,300 lbs. The interior of this car is beautifully designed, you can tell that a lot of time was spent inside. a 8.4 inch touch-screen is standard on the Viper. Also standard is a 7-inch digital display in the center of the gauges. The icing on the cake is the red Viper logo that appears as you reach the red line.

I really like the Viper and could sense the passion from Ralph Gilles during the press conference. The Chrysler Group seems to be doing a lot of things right and the Viper is one of them. I know all the hardcore Viper fanatics are VERY satisfied!




What do you think of the 2013 SRT Viper?

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