By Diana Claussen
The Texas Auto Writer’s Association met recently at
Texas Motor Speedway to choose the top cars of Texas. More than 50 model year 2013
and 2014 vehicles were available for TAWA members to drive and review during the two-day event. By the time the event was over, a few surprising models
came up on the top of their winner’s list. A few of the most notable vehicles were equipped with
conveniences, comfort, and safety features sure to appeal to busy women on the go.
Continue reading "Highlighting Top New Cars and Features for 2013 and 2014" »
Iron Man 3 broke box office records this weekend, earning
$175.3 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, $504.8 million in
international receipts, and more than $680.1 million in the days
since its worldwide release.
And as much as we love watching the handsome Tony Stark
(played by Robert Downey Jr.) and gorgeous Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) on
the big screen, the true stars of the movie are the gadgets and toys. Who
wouldn't want to have Stark's money, laboratory, and the armored suits he uses
to fight villains? But here's another thing I wouldn't mind having: Tony Stark's
Audi R8 e-tron, or Pepper Potts' Audi S7 Sportback. Other models with cameos in
the movie are the Audi A8 L, Audi A6, Audi S5 Coupe, and Audi Q5.
Continue reading "Who is the Real Star of Iron Man 3? (Hint: It's not Robert Downey Jr.) " »
It’s stunning to me that many American consumers have such a negative response to diesel automobiles. They still have the mindset that diesel fuel is something out of a gothic novel—smelly, toxic, smoky, expensive, and bad for the environment.
It’s not, I assure you. Let me educate you to the future of clean diesel. In this case, it's Mercedes-Benz’ version called BlueTEC.
Continue reading "2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 4MATIC: Clean Diesel via BlueTEC" »
Mitsubishi transported a group of journalists to central Oregon for the introduction of the 2014 Outlander, a seven-passenger crossover utility vehicle. The location in Redmond, Oregon--with wide-open roads, gentle hills and vistas to swoon over--was the kind of place the Outlander fits right in.
Continue reading "Changing Faces: What the new-for-2014 Mitsubishi Outlander offers Women Drivers" »
Brasada Ranch, Redmond, Oregon: Attractive new styling, more powerful and efficient engines and some of the latest creature comforts, even at the entry-level model, define the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander; it’s a crossover sport utility vehicle that seats seven. Mitsubishi says the third-generation Outlander has some “ground-breaking safety features for its class”—and we agree. It is also the only SUV at its price in its segment with three-row seating that comes standard. The new model also gets improved aerodynamics and better sound insulation; high-end technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a crash-mitigation system. While Mitsubishi has not announced exact pricing, the new model will be priced close to the outgoing version, with an impressive array of added content over the previous generation.
Continue reading "The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Gets Complete Makeover: New Features and Prices Make it a Standout in its Class" »
I took a little road trip recently, spending
several hours in my Ford Fiesta to drive down to LaJolla, California, for a
chance to experience an Aston Martin Vanquish and enjoy a delicious lunch at
Cusp, in the Hotel La Jolla by
As a work-at-home mom, small adventures like this are a
lovely opportunity for an indulgent treat, a chance to gather with and meet
other like-minded car and women bloggers. It's also a chance to explore new
places and cars that would not otherwise be among my regular portfolio.
Continue reading "Quick Drive: Aston Martin Vanquish " »
Competition is tight in the minivan segment, with each
manufacturer setting new standards by improving styling, introducing functional
features, upgrading safety, and installing more powerful engines.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey Elite wins the Best of Show at the 2013 New
York International Auto Show for one very cool feature: the all-new HondaVAC tucked into the wayback. Developed
in conjunction with Shop-Vac, the HondaVAC features a powerful
vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag, and nozzle accessories neatly
integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear
Continue reading "Best of Show: 2014 Honda Odyssey Elite" »
The 2014 model year marks the 10th time Chevrolet has introduced a new Impala – and this little antelope, born in the Year of the Snake, is a refined, modern take on “The General’s” iconic five-passenger sedan. Its looks have not always been consistently stunning-in fact, the outgoing model was growing a bit long-in-the-tooth. However, the 2014 Chevy Impala’s design team has hit it out of the park with a gorgeous design that is equal parts American muscle and European sculpture.
Continue reading "2014 Chevrolet Impala: Chevy’s Iconic Flagship Takes Flight at a New Level" »
: For the 2013 model year Toyota is giving RAV4 customers a little less and a little more for their money. The “more” category includes a complete interior and exterior redesign, a new engine, new six-speed transmission, and new all-wheel-drive system. Under the “less” heading, Toyota has filed its V6 motor, which was previously available as an option on this compact SUV, as well as removed the optional 3rd-row seat. The 2013 RAV4
starts at $24,145, including destination. The 4th generation RAV4 is significantly more refined and distinct from the first models that came to market in 1994 as ’95 editions with little competition; since Toyota has sold 1.7 million RAV4s in 150 countries and says some 80 percent are still on the road. The latest edition now joins 45 crossovers, including its direct competitors, the Ford Escape
, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Chevy Equinox. Toyota’s California design team penned the new model for the U.S.; it gets 8 standard airbags (including driver side knee airbag, front passenger seat cushion airbag and side airbags for front and second row) and a standard backup camera, as well as optional goodies like Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
and a height-adjustable power liftgate.
Outside, the all-new RAV4 has the profile of an Olympic cyclist, with a low front bumper shape that wraps up from below like handlebars and a roofline that slopes steeply back from the A-pillar like a hunched-over speed racer. Glistening headlamps have an asymmetrical shape that slants inward toward the nose, which features a V-shaped grille that emphasizes this “cute ute’s” more aerodynamic look.
The rear of the ute, which features an integrated spoiler with LED lights, has a bulbous shape that belies the cargo space inside. We’re thrilled that a liftgate replaces the swinging rear door of previous model years which also held the spare tire; standard steel wheels are 17 inches, with 17- and 18-inch alloys available on higher-end trim lines. The spare is now tucked under the cargo floor.
Continue reading "2013 Toyota RAV4: Large Update for a Big Player in the Small-Sized Segment by Sue Mead" »
“It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat- boxes and supper boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.”
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The year was 1922 and it was nine o’clock in the morning when Gatsby drove up to Nick Carraway’s bungalow in his Rolls Royce. At this particular time in history, Bentley had not yet come across the pond. But, most certainly, if it had been available in the US, Gatsby would have owned one.
In fact, nearly a decade later, in 1931, Rolls Royce acquired Bentley. The companies eventually parted ways in 2002. (It is said that Bentley aficionados refer to these six decades as "the blackest of all.")
Several years ago when I visited the Body Assembly Hall in Crewe, England, the factory where Bentleys are handcrafted, my guide Slim proudly explained, “Bentley Motor Cars, in operation since 1919, started off with the 1920 2 Litre, a vehicle which went on to win the Le Mans in 1924. Bentleys have been making beautiful history ever since.”
Everyone from royalty to Ian Fleming, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Kobe Bryant have owned Bentleys. And even if these vehicles do not assume the same bloodlines as the Rolls-Royce, it is fair to say that driving in a Bentley evokes the same kind of sentiment as Fitzgerald’s poignant quote from The Great Gatsby.
Continue reading "Glamour To Go: Bentley Continental GT Convertible" »