By Matt Kelly
"It’s a rocket,” said Dave Barthmuss, GM’s Western Region PR Manager, when I took delivery of the new 2014 Chevy Spark EV for a four-day test drive in Southern California.
Able to reach 0 to 60 mph in less than 7.6 seconds, all on pure battery electric power, Barthmuss was right about the spritely performance of the electric Spark: That’s pretty good performance for an electric car. Based on the Beat, one of GM’s global triplet concept cars unveiled at the 2007 New York International Auto Show and designed at the automaker’s Korean design studio, the four-passenger Spark EV has a top speed of 90 mph and boasts 105 kilowatts (140 horsepower) of electric drive power. Not that speed was my primary interest when I took delivery however, but speed and quick pick-up did come in handy when I wanted to change lanes or merge in front of that driver talking on his cell phone while driving 75 mph in a gas-guzzling SUV on LA’s tightly packed 101 and 405 highways. But I digress.
Continue reading "Fighting Range Anxiety in the Electric 2014 Chevrolet Spark " »
If you’re a motorcycling enthusiast who enjoys the exhilaration offered by two-wheeled forms of transportation but who doesn’t necessarily want to worry about the effects of gravity and physics that accompany such vehicles, then consider the three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder instead.
I took my first ride on one of these unique vehicles at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach last week, on the same day that Danica Patrick was there for her #FirstTime on a Can-Am Spyder. I am not an experienced motorcyclist -- okay, I admit, I’ve never piloted a motorcycle at all -- so I had a bit of a learning curve. While my first experience might have been a little bumpy as I learned to steer and control the throttle at the same time, I didn’t have to worry about dropping a motorcycle on its side, or learn the physics of counter-steer. While some of the bloggers with previous motorcycle were quickly proficient piloting the Can-Am Spyder around the coned course, let’s just say I’ll need a little more practice before I dare venture out onto public streets.
Continue reading "Driving the Can-Am Spyder - A Three-Wheeled Cruiser that Ladies can Love " »
By Sue Mead
Nissan went after families when remaking the Pathfinder last year. This somewhat trucky SUV morphed into a kinder, gentler crossover with an uplevel interior that can carry seven passengers and, at the same time, tote up to 16 cubic feet of cargo; there’s even way more room when you have fewer riders.
What could be better? Nissan realized that many women with children are also looking for the better fuel economy, so has now expanded its Pathfinder lineup, adding the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid to the list of 14 available models that include both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (4WD) versions.
Continue reading "Nissan Takes a New Path for Families with the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid" »
By Sue Mead
Let’s start with
a question: what comes to mind when you think of Buick?
Young drivers? Spritely performance? The latest in automotive technology at
your fingertips? Buick is all of these things today, but some car buyers think
it’s an ‘older buyers’ brand and that Buick’s vehicles are stodgy, with
soft-sprung suspensions. Think again, if this is you!
Continue reading "The 2014 Buick Regal: Buick’s Mid-Sized Sedan Gets Makeover" »
When the Kia Soul came to market in 2010, the company was trying to reinvent itself to appeal to the children of baby boomers, aka Gen Y. At the time, Tom Loveless, VP of Sales for Kia Motors said, “This is the tip of a very big iceberg. It’s the direction Kia is going.”
And I wrote, “Could it be that, by next year, it will actually be cool to own a Kia?”
My prediction was spot on. Kia has certainly upped its cool factor, especially with the Soul, an urban hatchback that, like Gen Y, is not cut from the mold.
The ad campaign for Soul, which started out featuring hamsters on wheels, was different from the get-go. Over the years, Kia has grown the hamster theme to incorporate everything from rapping and hip-hop hamsters to this year’s edition, Lady Gaga.
Continue reading "Kia's Newest Star: The 2014 Soul " »
By Sue Mead
There’s a new Range Rover Sport in the royal British
automotive family of Land Rover, so move over, Baby George! The all-new,
second-generation Sport is the fastest Range Rover to date; it is lighter by
800 lbs., and you get a choice of engines that includes a – let’s just say it –
ludicrously-powerful 510-horesepower supercharged version, plus more “Range Rover-ness”
luxury and Star Wars-like technology--so say the Range Rover folks. And, here’s
a pop quiz: what was the vehicle that Brit Baby George had his first ride in? A
Range Rover! The new model has a starting MSRP of $63,495.
Continue reading "2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Has Ludicrous Power and Lavish Luxury" »
“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”-
If you have ever driven a Range Rover you will know that, yes, in fact, any road will get you there.
Now, let’s take this conversation up a few notches and talk about the 2014 Range Rover Sport. It is the company’s lightest, fastest, most agile version to date. The new Sport can steer through 33.5 inches of water, wind out at high speeds on highways and challenging roads and look great just standing still.
“In 1970, Land Rover came out with the Range Rover,” remarked Fred Monsees, Land Rover Driving Instructor, at the September launch in San Francisco. “It was a state of the art vehicle then. The new Range Rover Sport continues the theme of having greater on road and off road capabilities. Just like it was revolutionary in 1970, we are at the forefront of SUV technology now.”
Continue reading "Any Road Will Get You There in the 2014 Range Rover Sport" »
trucks are more in vogue than ever! As the U.S. economy comes back and auto
sales have soared once again, truck makers are seeing double-digit increases as
pickups are being put to work in the housing market, on ranches and farms, and
for couples and families that appreciate the multiple-use practicality of
Continue reading "2014 Toyota Tundra Review: A New American Pickup" »
People always ask me what my favorite car is. And I always answer tactfully, “Whatever I am driving this week.” If pushed, I concede to the one vehicle I’d have in Manhattan, the MINI Cooper S.
Continue reading "Small Footprint With Lots of Sparkle: MINI Cooper S" »
By Sue Mead
What is the 2014 Nissan Versa
With three names and three trim lines, the 2014 Nissan Versa
seems like a lot of car, at least on paper. But call it simply ‘the Note’ as
they do in non-U.S. automotive markets around the globe, and you’ve got a
straightforward, family-friendly small people-hauler with some nice features,
notable options, and helpful technology under the hood. The Note is a small car with lots of features for women to love. The
attractively-designed, five-door, five-passenger hatchback is especially “cargo
friendly” for its size, and has been value priced starting at $13,999 making it
the lowest-priced hatch in its segment.
Continue reading "Nissan's 2014 Versa Note is Your ‘Door to More’!" »