Mark Savage is a writer and editor. He has written a car review column, Savage on Wheels, for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1989 and was a business news reporter there for 16 years. He also is the editor of American Snowmobiler magazine and has written about diecast cars and slot cars for various hobby magazines. He also is an avid Indy 500 fan, attending races since 1962.
Buick moves into the compact sedan market with its new Verano based on a front-drive Opel platform from Europe.
This has been a successful General Motors strategy of late, revamping its European models and offering the restyled versions in the North American market. Verano’s goal was to reach the entry-level luxury sedan buyer, the first-time luxury car shopper. Buick says its primary targets were buyers aiming at the Acura TSX, Lexus IS 250 and Volvo V30. -But wait, there’s more!>
Luxury cars make you feel special; they coddle you.
After a week in a gorgeous “mercury metallic (dark sparkling metallic blue)” 2013 Lexus GS350 I consider myself sufficiently coddled. The redesigned full-size GS comes as both a rear-drive and all-wheel-drive model, this being the latter.
All come with a strong 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 that delivers 306 horsepower via a seamless 6-speed automatic that allows you to shift manually via the console shifter or paddle shifters located behind the power tilt/telescope steering wheel. Everything feels silky smooth, belying the GS AWD’s $49,450 base price. Continue reading Lexus GS 350 AWD→
Dario Franchitti’s Indy winner a nice model at a moderate price
Greenlight Collectibles’ 1:18 casting of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 race winner’s bright red Target Chip Ganassi racer is a great display model, if Indy cars are your thing.
IndyCar racing has regained much of its popularity the last few years as a new star has emerged, Dario Franchitti. The Scotsman with an Italian name is well spoken, friendly and married to movie actress Ashley Judd. He’s a marketing bonanza. Continue reading Die-cast car: Greenlight 2010 Indy winner→
The Ferrari F430 is a champ on the track and a popular racer in the American LeMans and FIA GT championship series, and also has raced at the 24 Hours of LeMans. Plus who the heck doesn’t like a Ferrari?
So it’s natural enough that noted Italian die-cast car model maker BBR has jumped into the slot car world with an F430.
In the real world the F430 goes for upward of $225,000 in the U.S. market and its 4.3-liter V-8 cranks out an a stout 483 horses with a top speed of nearly 197 mph. No wonder these are racers.
With Hummer gone, Jeep is our resident Alpha male off-road vehicle and truth be told, it has been for 70+ years. Hummer was the upstart.
While Wrangler is Jeep’s real Type A personality, it’s more sophisticated brother, the Grand Cherokee is no shy guy. Take the Limited model for example.
Standard with a 290-horse Pentastar V6, our silver test model upped the ante with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with variable valve timing and Fuel Saver Technology aimed at eeking out an extra mpg while still giving the Jeep major grunt. Continue reading 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee→
Hyundai is trying something few carmakers have of late, offer a small entry-level car with nice styling.
No, the Accent isn’t as swoopy as the Sonata or even the Elantra, which is sandwiched between Accent and Sonata. But its lines are crisp and give the small car some flair. I drove a sparkling “marathon blue” 4-door GLS for the week and found it a great value. Here’s why.
First, it doesn’t cost you much to get into an Accent. Base price on the 4-door is $12,545 and for that you get the same 1.6-liter fuel-efficient direct-injected 4-cylinder all aluminum engine as all Accents. It delivers 138 horsepower, which is best in class, so there’s plenty of power for a light, 2,463-lb. car. Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Accent GLS→