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20 posts categorized "CarBlabber"

November 28, 2012

The 2013 Nissan Sentra Gets Style, Content and Performance Makeover

2013 Nissan Sentra: With a sleeker profile, lighter footprint and a more upscale interior, the 2013 Nissan Sentra has been completely redesigned for this model year – and it could give dominant players in this category a run for their money. Boasting up to 40 mpg on the highway, this compact sedan also answers the continued demand for fuel efficiency in an era of continually-rising gas prices. On sale now, starting at $15,990, this is Nissan’s seventh generation of this popular, value-priced model.

SENTRA-2833A gleaming chrome-framed grille defines the front end, which is capped by arrow-point headlamps accented with LED bulbs lined up dot-to-dot under the larger lights. A lowered beltline and more aerodynamically shaped roofline cut a sophisticated profile; the rear end is a bit chunky and low-slung, with wraparound taillamps and a liftgate with an integrated spoiler (on some trims). Chrome also accents the door handles and windows. Compared to the previous version, the 2013 Sentra has a longer wheelbase but shorter front overhang (and longer rear overhang), for a modern sports sedan look; it is five percent lighter and its drag coefficient is 0.29, down from 0.34 last year. Sixteen-inch wheels and tires are standard; 17-inch wheels are available, as are a few other exterior premium features, such as integrated rearview mirror turn signals.

Continue reading "The 2013 Nissan Sentra Gets Style, Content and Performance Makeover" »

November 02, 2012

The 2013 Ford Fusion-A Triumvirate of Models is a Home Run

Fusion 2Santa Monica, California: The view from my panoramic window took in the sun’s orange globe setting over the Pacific, a small cluster of beachgoers relaxing on the golden-colored sand, a parade of strollers and bikers along the boardwalk, and the famed Santa Monica Pier with its trademark Ferris wheel spinning its riders high into the salt air above the ocean punctuated by ribbons of neon lights.

I was in trendy Santa Monica, staying at the upscale and amiable  Casa del Mar Hotel—to drive the redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion over the course of two days. Not long ago, it would have been a fairly-short,  one-day drive, but Ford has expanded the offerings of Fusion models to three model types, and there are now three powertrain choices to select from, as well. The mid-sized sedan market today is a new, highly-competitive arena and the Blue Oval automaker has stepped up to the plate loading the bases with good product and also bringing seven new whiz-bang technology features to the game. It’s bound  to pay off!

Continue reading "The 2013 Ford Fusion-A Triumvirate of Models is a Home Run " »

October 23, 2012

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark Ignites the Micro-Car Market

San Francisco, California: It’s been on sale since July in 18 metro markets with success that has outpaced expectations and General Motors has now ordered more from Korea, where it is produced, to meet the increased demand. It is the new 2013 Chevy Spark, brought to the U.S. to join the ever-growing list of micro-compact cars now available in America. This little wedge of a four-seater has a sporty look, with more cargo room than you might expect from a mini machine. With a MSRP that starts at $12,995, Chevy hoped this new model that has sold in global markets since 2009 would ignite its home market—and it already has!

Spark-1While many come to San Francisco for the charm of its cable
cars, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, souvenir shops in Chinatown and the beautiful Victorian architecture in Haight-Ashbury, a group of autowriters came to San Francisco recently to try out the new Chevy Spark in this upscale and trend-setting environment. We bunked in at the stately-but-not
precocious St. Regis Hotel and, while north of the city for our drive day, we enjoyed the Hilltop 1892 as our lunch and jumping-off point to drive the Spark.

Continue reading "The 2013 Chevrolet Spark Ignites the Micro-Car Market" »

October 16, 2012

Driving a Bentley is more like flying on the wings of its logo

Bentley wing logo2When I was invited to my very first Bentley event I was ecstatic to learn more about the car model which costs more than most people’s homes, (including my own).  When I stepped into the Bentley of Austin’s showroom which resembles that of an art gallery as opposed to a car dealership, I was taken aback by the beauty of the vehicles I was surrounded by.  “These cars are a work of art because they are built by artists,” John Eagle European Motors and Bentley of Austin’s Dealer Principal, T.L. ‘Sonny’ Morgan said.

The main vehicle we were invited to the boutique dealership to preview and drive was the 2013 Continental GT V8 which is equipped with a 4.0L twin turbo with variable displacement which has the capabilities to switch (unnoticeably) from a V8 to a more efficient V4. “The Continental GT V8 combines the power and performance of a sports car with the efficiency of a grand tourer,” said a recent Bentley press release.

On-hand for the reveal of this and a few other 2013 Bentley models was President and COO of Bentley Motors, Christophe Georges.  Georges shared a little history mixed with what to expect of the models we would soon be test driving.  “Bentley’s are about passion,” Georges said.  “The company was created in 1919 and our vehicles have always featured the best combination of luxury, refinement, and craftsmanship.” 

Continue reading "Driving a Bentley is more like flying on the wings of its logo" »

February 20, 2012

2012 Hyundai Azera Car Review

Azera main pic

With a V6 - Six-speed electronic automatic with OD lock-up torque converter, shift lock and SHIFTRONIC® manual shift, Hyundai Azera offers more than just power.. it provides unending options.

With nine standard airbags – includes knee, front, rear, and side curtains, rear view back up camera and child LATCH system.  The manufacturer has also implemented their impact-reducing seat system for the Azera. This seat system eliminates the need for active front head restraints and is expected to reduce head and neck injuries by 17 percent over the front seats in the previous generation Azera, which had active front head restraints. This result is achieved through optimization of seat back structure to further absorb impacts.

The Azera also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes (12.6 inch front and 11.2 inch rear) and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected. 

Creature Comforts
Azera comfortable
Standard leather interior with heated front and rear seats, heated side mirrors, side window sunshades, elegant yet sporty with wrap-around LED taillights,  a flow-through center fascia and instrument panel. These flowing surfaces complement the exterior design and wrap around the driver and passengers creating a feeling of comfort and security.

 Ten-way power driver and eight-way front passenger’s seats are standard equipment. The driver’s seat has an optional cushion extension and an integrated memory system for the seat, steering wheel and side mirrors. Azera’s climate and seat temperature controls keep occupants in total comfort.  Heated front and rear seats standard, dual automatic climate control standard, second row air vents standard and standard cooled glove box make for chilled refreshments and a cool ride!

The Ride
The Azera is equipped with advanced front and rear-suspension using maximized through Sachs Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD), allowing tuning flexibility at smaller damper displacements, (less bumpy).   Azera also features ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor-Driven electric Power Steering (MDPS). Vehicle Stability Management, (VSM) works to control two effects. The first is when a driver accelerates or brakes on a split-mu surface (slippery on one side, dry pavement on the other) and the vehicle wants to pull in one direction. VSM detects this condition and sends a signal to the MDPS to apply steering assist. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides eight Newton meters of counter- steering. VSM reacts the same way during sudden lane changes or fast cornering. 
At just 3,605 pounds, Azera is lighter than the Buick LaCrosse and Ford Taurus.   This priority on weight allows the Azera to deliver a great combination of agility, performance and fuel efficiency.  The weight difference is 200 – 400 lbs. so no worries about feeling as if driving in an aluminum can.  Azera's high level of technology within the vehicle confirms the vehicle offers more than the average ride.

Azera tech
There is a standard navigation system with seven-inch touch screen, three month subscription of XM Satellite Radio, Real-time XM NavTraffic, XM NAV Weather®, XM Sports Ticker and XM Stock Ticker, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, auxiliary iPod/USB inputs, backup camera is standard on the vehicle.  The connectivity system features 8GB of flash memory and comes matched with a sound system that plays compact discs, accesses digital music files, and streaming audio.

Azera offers two choices in audio systems the Infinity 550-watt premium option features the Logic 7 audio system with 12 speakers, including an eight-inch subwoofer and external amplifier.  An XM Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the head unit and features channel logos and XM Data services, such as XM NavWeather®, XM Stock Ticker and XM Sports Ticker. Azera also offers standard HD Radio™ technology.
Azera averages 20 city mpg. /29 hwy. mpg. with a price starting at $32k.

January 26, 2012

NAIAS/Detroit Auto Show Proved Auto Makers Are Listening..

This month featured the country’s most revered auto show NAIAS’, Detroit Auto Show.  Upon first thought of the show chills of excitement made me giddy to be able to see the latest models for 2012 and beyond. Car manufacturer’s attended from across the globe and provided more than enough options when it came to new vehicles coming soon (or within the next year) to local dealerships.
The theme from the major auto players seemed to be adding diversity to vehicles so they could perform at multiple levels.  The line-up was immense while advances in safety, and technology were very clearly enhanced.

IMG_0078[1]The show was also a way for manufacturer’s to show they have not only been listening to consumers but they have been heeding the call and meeting their needs.  One of the most buzzed about vehicles at the show (which has been kept tightly under wraps) was the new fully redesigned Ford Fusion.  No longer a big brother version to the Focus, the Fusion is now completely its own unique car.  It has midsize sized feel with a streamlined and sporty vibe. The Fusion will be offered with eco-options such as the pure electric Energi and the Fusion Hybrid models which will be released in Fall.  The coolest aspects of the Fusion Energi is that it takes half of the time to charge an Energi than most other electric cars within its class and it more than doubles the amount of electric drive time.

Ford then continued to show their eco-friendlier side by announcing they will be launching six electric and hybrid cars releasing this year to early next. They are the Ford Focus, Fusion (standard, hybrid and Energi), C Max Energy, C Max Hybrid, and Ford's Transit Connect Van.  Fusion Hybrid designers say they look to the release and the capabilities of the hybrid in achieving up to 47 miles per gallon later this fall. 

Continue reading "NAIAS/Detroit Auto Show Proved Auto Makers Are Listening.." »

July 30, 2009

AskPatty Attends (and Survives) BlogHer09

Logo-tagline  AskPatty attended the BlogHer09 conference last week and we're so excited to share our experience. Even though we have worked together for more than two years, this was my first chance to spend some real quality time with my editor Brandy Schaffels. We drove to the airport together, flew together, roomed together and ate together, and had a great four days meeting fabulous BlogHers together! Ap_brandy-explains-her-bonehead-moveSomehow she managed to forget her cellphone at home, but after her initial panic and notifying important contacts that they could reach her on my blackberry, she also discovered that her iPod touch could still keep her connected by Twitter and email throughout the conference thanks to the excellent WiFi coverage at the Sheraton! Catastrophe averted!

First, a big shoutout to the three heads of BlogHer Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins, and Elisa Camahort; conference manager Lori Luna; and Community Manager Denise Tanton for making this incredible event possible. I was at the second BlogHer event in 2006, and since then it has evolved into an amazing educational experience for women (and even a few men) bloggers!

Even though the event presented a ton of information on a variety of female friendly subjects, we car folk at AskPatty were pleased to see these two automotive sponsors participating in the event:

090320-05-2010_Chevrolet_Camaro_rear General Motors has been a proud sponsor of BlogHer since 2006. This year, Chevrolet provided an entire fleet of fuel-efficient carpool vehicles for transportation to and from the conference and staffed a ride-and-drive station in the lowest level of the Sheraton offering test drives of the latest Chevy lineup including the Camaro, Equinox, Traverse, Tahoe Hybrid, Malibu, and more.

Ap_Michelin_Green  Michelin sponsored a breakout session on Green and Eco-Blogging, that featured Diane MacEachern, a best-selling author who encourages women green the marketplace with their purchase power; Jennifer Taggart, a concerned mother and environmental and consumer product law attorney; Siel/Green LA Girl,  an L.A.-area environment writer and activist; and Sommer Poquette, who has made it her mission to Ap_Jody_Devere_w_michelinman educate women and mothers on eco-friendly products, practices and laws. Topics were eco-friendly and educational for all in attendance, whether leafy green or just starting to bud, and Michelin even purchased offsets for energy use of the entire conference!! The Michelin Man, aka Bibendum, was on hand in the Expo area to take pictures with the BlogHers too.

Ap_jody_devere_wienermobile Another fun vehicle in attendance was the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile! BlogHers loved coming outside during the day to tour the big hot dog, and take their picture with it.

I was so excited to bump into new and old friends, including Yvonne DiVita  (You can follow her on twitter at @lipsticking),   Linda Lowen of the Women's Issues Guide, Susan Getgood of Marketing Roadmaps, Tracy Mooney Chief Cyber Security Mom at McAfee,  Barbara Jones of One2One Network,  and Beth Rosen of  Everywhere we went, we met a diverse assortment of ladies, older and younger, and many even brought their babies.

The first night's keynote featured more than 20 amazing women whose blogs appealed to us in wonderful and profound ways including Tanis Miller, the Redneck Mommy, whose reading of "Dear Internet, I'm Placing You on Notice" sent me bawling for 30 minutes in a nearby restroom, and Melissa Ford of Stirrup Queens whose recital of "Updating the Donation Room Porn"  also turned Brandy into a blubbering, tear-stained mess.

Ap_Babies_Moms_BlogHer09 After the keynote, BlogHers assembled for Karaoke. Brandy played backup dancer with jennyonthespot while SecondHandKarl, one of the few men in attendance, performed to "You can leave your hat on." Coincidentally, the girls had matching purple streaks in their hair, which is how the two knew they must be kindred spirits. GM's social media director, Christopher Barger was up on the Karaoke stage as well, but video of his performance of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" was tragically (fortunately?) damaged by some unknown (and maybe not unintentional) computer glitch.

Ap_Babies_BlogHer09 And no matter how it might have appeared, Brandy was NOT stalking Bossy (whom we are familiar with from last year's excellent Saturn road trip)  even though she kept bumping into her and professing her love for Bossy's blog.

Ap_Brandy_w_Ronald We skipped the Bowlher09 event on the second night, and while were sorry to miss out on the hot pink feather boas and all the fun with the fake @scottmonty,  we were quite pleased to experience the Eggplant Parmesan and Penne in Vodka sauce at Carmines on Rush Street - as well as their incredible homemade tiramisu.

Over the course of the weekend, we met lots of women who told us how much they love their cars, and others who told stories about being mistreated at car dealerships, including one who said she had been turned away for a test drive because her husband was not with her. Can you imagine?

Swag_overload The days flew by so fast! Everywhere we went, we were passing out our cool AskPatty Tire Pressure Gauges (did you get one?), sharing info on carblabber,  and picking up fun swag to bring home, including Mr. Potato Head dolls, Spiderman books, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, a Go-Girl Female Urination Device (oh yes, we'll have more on that later), reusable water bottles, Bounce fabric softening dryer bars, Suave hair products, Pepsico beverages, and lots of cool reusable shopping bags. This is just a fraction of the swag other women collected, but each one of us had enough fun stuff to cover our bed the night before we left and it cost us $20 to check that bag o' swag at the airport!

Next year's event will be held on Friday and Saturday, August 6-7, at the The Hilton New York in New York, New York! They're already accepting registrations, so  don't miss out on your opportunity to attend the next one!!

Jody-devere_president_askpatty Jody DeVere
President and CEO

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August 14, 2008

The Ways Women Show We Love Our Cars

Pinkandblackimpala_2 I was stuck in traffic recently, cruising along slowly amid a sea of bumper-to-bumper cars when a shiny flash of pink caught my eye. A few cars ahead of me was a gorgeous black impala that looked brand new. Clearly its owner loved her car, because not only did it shine as if it was just driven off the lot, but all its chrome and badging, even its wheels, had been trimmed in amazing hot pink!

In its interior, along the back package shelf and at the base of the windshield, the Impala was decorated with a feathery pink boa. The car, and its owner's personalization made me grin -- which was a happy change considering the way I really feel about creeping along the freeway at speeds slower than I can ordinarily walk. I battled against the traffic tide to catch up with the sedan, so I could give the owner her kudos on her car.

Pinkfeatherboa_2 As I struggled to keep her glorious car in my sights I began to speculate more and more about the woman and her ride, and what adventures the two must have together. I wondered if she might have named her car with something fun to reflect their travels together... yes I was daydreaming about a total stranger and her car. In my mind, I imagined that to her, her car was her personal princess, and with all that pink, she must love to pamper her.

Continue reading "The Ways Women Show We Love Our Cars" »

March 04, 2008

CarBlabber Prizes!


Ask Patty is thankful for your participation in CarBlabber, where you can share reviews with women like you!

We asked our women readers to share their stories about their cars: What does your car mean to you? Is your car sexy? Do you love or hate your car? Is your car a fashion statement or a pile of junk? We wanted to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about your car, and you told us all about it.

We promised you prizes, and here they are!

Carmd_tool_1_small_2 CarMD Vehicle Testers
We're ready to give away 12 CarMD vehicle testers worth $89.99 each. The CarMD vehicle tester can be used to monitor and maintain the health of your 1996-and-newer car, light truck, minivan, and/or SUV for the life of your vehicle. The red, yellow, and green indicator lights help you instantly diagnose the health of your, your family's, even your neighbor's vehicles. It can help you to examine a used car before you buy, give your vehicle a clean bill of health before a road trip, and pre-"smog" test your car! It can tell you why your check engine light is on or let you get a second opinion on your mechanic's report.

This thing is so useful it's ridiculous, and the following 12 CarBlabber women have won one:

Continue reading "CarBlabber Prizes!" »

November 29, 2007

Is Your Car Sexy? Review It on CarBlabber and Win Prizes


Announcing CarBlabber. It's car reviews for women by women like you!
Is your car sexy? What does your car mean to you? Do you love or hate your car? Is your car a fashion statement or a pile of junk? Ask Patty has just launched CarBlabber, where you can read and write reviews about your car.

So what can you do at CarBlabber?
    *Create a personal car profile
    *Write car reviews of any car you’ve ever owned or driven or heck, even seen!
    * Connect with other women who love or hate the same cars as you
    *Read reviews of cars written by women JUST like you before you buy your next car
    *Join car clubs online and find other car friends!
    *Create your own social network by founding a car club of your very own
    *Rate your cars and comment on others reviews

Learn from other women like you what turns them on and turns them off about their cars. And share your own story.

Oh, and here's the best part! We are giving away some amazing prizes just for reviewing your car. To qualify to win, you need to add a profile and one review of your car with a photo.

Carriage_large_satchel_280 Here's the breakdown:
*Grand prize is the tan Harvey's seat belt bag you see to the left (worth over $200!!)
*12 other lucky random winners will receive a CarMD tool!
Carcare_guide_cover *The first 200 profiles with car reviews get an official Car Care Council
53-page car care guide!

Why wouldn't you do it?! Ladies, we're talking about a free purse here! Wow!

Go to: and register now! 
(It’s 100% free) … go on, do it now…we you know you want to blab about your car!

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