Category Archives: Car Reviews

2012 Infiniti M56X

Infiniti M56X:

Infiniti’s new M56X sedan is the rich man’s Park Avenue, full of luxury and comfortable ride, but also an absolute blast to drive.

Certainly it’s more spirited than many large luxury sedans, while looking as tame as, well, a Park Avenue. Yet there’s a growling 5.6-liter V8 under its hood that is just waiting to use its monster 420 horsepower. Continue reading 2012 Infiniti M56X

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2012 Buick Verano

Buick’s new compact sedan, the Verano, is based on an Opel platform from Europe. It features a 2.4-liter I4 that generates 180 horsepower.

Buick Enters Compact Sedan Market:

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!>

Lexus GS 350 AWD

Lexus GS 350, car review, Lexus GS 350 review,
Photos courtesy Lexus

Let the coddling begin!

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

Kia Rio hatch delivers sporty feel

2012-Kia-5-door-Hatch review, auto reviews, savageonwheels
Photos courtesy Kia

Last week I drove the Hyundai Accent and this week I drive its near twin, the 2012 Kia Rio SX, both fine small entry-level cars. But there are differences among the similarities.

First, the test Rio was a 5-door or hatchback version, while last week’s Accent was a four-door sedan.

Second, Rio has a much sportier feel created by a stiffer suspension and more supportive contoured seats inside. Continue reading Kia Rio hatch delivers sporty feel

2012 Hyundai Accent GLS

Hyundai is trying something few carmakers have of late, offer a small entry-level car with nice styling.

4-door sedan reviews, Hyundai Accent 4-door sedan
Photos Courtesy Hyundai

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

2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

The world needs another compact sport-utility vehicle like it needs a few more politicians, but Mazda definitely needed a new compact SUV.

It’s Tribute, which was based off Ford’s Escape, was aging and barely selling. Its CX-7 and CX-9 are larger and frankly, more expensive.

2013 Mazda CX-5, Mazda reviews, savageonwheels
Photos courtesy of Mazda

So the 2013 (already) CX-5 comes along at just the right time, for Mazda. The fact that it’s attractive, abandoning the giant gaping mouth nose styling that Mazda has fancied of late, will likely make it popular too, that and its performance. The good mojo starts with better than average gas mileage and extends to a pleasant ride, above average handling and a stylish interior. Continue reading 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

2012 Subaru Impreza

Let’s get this right up front, I like the looks, ride and handling of the restyled 2012 Subaru Impreza.

Subaru Impreza, car reviews, savageonwheels
Subaru Impreza

The small sedan’s chiseled nose and flattened wheel flares give it a much more exciting appearance than its predecessor. But the variable speed 5-speed transmission is a stumbling block. The continuously variable transmission (CVT), like so many others, makes the car’s acceleration less than stellar, plus combines with the engine to create a whine and groan that make the car sound like it’s working awfully hard to get up to normal driving speeds. Continue reading 2012 Subaru Impreza