My family owned a Toyota Corolla back in the early 1980s. That’s family as in me, my wife and two small kids. So, take note young families, you CAN survive without a minivan, crossover or sport-utility truck.
That’s even easier now as the current Corolla, the 10th generation, is nearly as large as a Camry was a decade ago. Call it dimensional creep.
The 2013 Corolla rides on a 102.4-inch wheelbase and is 179.3 inches long. But it still weighs a seemingly svelte 2,767 lbs. and is rated at 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. I got 28.3 mpg in a fairly even mix of city and highway driving. That’s good for a young family’s budget.
My tested magnetic gray metallic (dark metallic gray) test car was the top-level S model that offers sportier looks, but not much in the way of sporty performance. This one came with an automatic transmission and even with that it remains a solid choice for youngsters needing just a step up from basic wheels. But don’t confuse this with a sports sedan. Continue reading 2013 Toyota Corolla S→
Volkswagen Tiguan: Putting the Sport into Sport-Ute
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed driving Volkswagen’s restyled Tiguan, a small sport utility with the emphasis on sport.
The silver test ute was the mid-level SE with 4Motion, a giant sunroof and a navigation system, so it started at a very un-small price tag of $32,480.
Thing is, for that price I can find a lot of fairly sporty utes that don’t require premium fuel, get better gas mileage and frankly have better acceleration than this I4 turbo unit, at least during normal driving situations. Continue reading 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion→
The new 2012 Audi A6 is just about everything a luxury sport sedan should be. It’s fast, it’s nimble, it’s stylish inside and out and it’s loaded with luxury amenities. Any quibbles I have are minor.
First, Audi continues its string of well styled cars that offer character and identity. When you see an A6, you know it’s an Audi, with its large grille opening and stylish LED headlamps in front and its slim lights and trim rear styling. It looks strong, yet elegant, and unlike most of its German competitors, it delivers an equally stylish, not staid and primarily black interior. Audi calls its interior a wraparound skyline design. Continue reading 2012 Audi A6→
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→
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→