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June 20, 2012

Heels & Wheels - Flats not Heels for this Baby Boomer Test Driver

Jody_Flats_SeatbeltBagWomen over 50 were described as a "Spark Plugs" at a recent all women Heels & Wheels vehicle test drive event I attended in San Diego. These "Spark Plug" women have the highest net worth of any group in the U.S., wears flats, glasses and feel generally that spending money on acquiring “Stuff”  is less important than having new experiences. As a "Spark Plug" myself, I was asked to step into her shoes and test drive several new vehicles with her needs in mind.

Two all new General Motors vehicles were available in the fleet of 14 vehicles for test drives for this Spark Plug; the all new 2012 Buick Verano and the 2012 Cadillac XTS. So I slipped into my flats and took my first spin in the Verano along the Southern California coastline with Jennifer Nardicchio, the Buick Verano Marketing Manager, fun girl-talk included.

Jody_DeVere_Buick_Verano (1)With beautifully styled exterior and interior trim, simulated wood paneling, the Verano has many features found on much more pricey luxury sedans. It even has blue cockpit lighting for night time driving. Options include , dual-zone automatic climate control, push button starting and parking brake, heated leather seats with contrast-color stitching. Important to me was the hands free Buick IntelliLink "safety conscious" communication and entertainment functions that can be controlled by touch, voice, or steering wheel button commands. With Buick IntelliLink, you are truly in command of your connected infotainment experience. Simple, seamless, personalized – IntelliLink delivers a world of infotainment to the 7” high definition, full-color touch screen radio available as standard equipment on all 2012 Buick Verano's.

Buick_verano_2012It was like driving a sexy more compact and cost effective luxury sedan, really enjoyed the ride especially the feeling of the interior design.
Buick Verano’s surprising price range is from $22, 585 to $28,545 for the fully loaded version I drove.

For more Information visit the Buick Verano website.

Jody_DeVere_CadillacXTSNext up was a preview of the gorgeous and oh so Lux Diamond White 2013 Cadillac XTS. I was most impressed  with, other than the comfort and luxury driving experience, the many new cool safety features of this vehicle. I actually found out I need to pay more attention to staying in my own lane during the test drive and was zapped more than a few times as a reminder to get in my lane by the Lane Departure Seat Warning, the seat zaps you with a rather startling vibration on right or left thigh depending on what side you veered off on. Maybe I need better glasses for driving?

Other noteworthy safety features:

Forward Collision Alert    
Park Assist, Front and Rear        
Park Assist, Rear Standard    
Rear Cross Traffic Alert    
Rearview Backup Camera    
Side Blind Zone Alert

For more on the many additional safety features go here:

CadillacXTS_beach_Jody_DeVereThis Diamond White 2013 Cadillac XTS was one of the vehicles I did not want to take back after the test drive, I really saw myself driving off into the sunset in this one, however might need to switch to designer 1" heels for this one. It fits my style, comfort, extra safety concerns and meets my needs via the Cue navigation audio system which includes Natural Voice Recognition which allows you to speak your destination while on the go rather than stopping at the side of the road to key it in to a GPS system.

Price range: $44,075 - $61,805 for the fully loaded version I drove.

For more information visit the Cadillac XTS Website.


IMG_0042Jody DeVere
CEO Certified Female Friendly®


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