2011 Infiniti M37

2011 Infiniti M37
2011 Infiniti M37 - Editor's Notebook - Automobile Magazine
One sexy, sultry machine.

The new Infiniti M is one sexy, sultry machine. It looks tight, taut, and ready to pounce. It really makes a strong design statement, which is exactly what Infiniti should be doing. The interior is especially enticing, with an ambience that is at once ultramodern yet traditionally posh. I dare say that Infiniti and Jaguar are now leading the way in cabin design, a mantle once held by Audi. Or, at least, they are the equal of Audi.

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2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Premium

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Premium
2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Premium - Editor's Notebook - Automobile Magazine
An exquisitely chiseled piece of metal.

After the demise of the Dodge Magnum, it’s refreshing to have a wagon offering from a domestic manufacturer. It’s likely that the CTS wagon will find very few takers — if the slow-selling Magnum and the now-redesigned wagon-like first generation Cadillac SRX are any indication — but in my opinion, this CTS wagon looks great and is hard evidence that Cadillac is willing to take chances to regain its world class status.

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Four Seasons Update: 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE – August 2010

Four Seasons Update: 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE – August 2010
2011 Hyundai Sonata SE - August 2010 Update - Automobile Magazine
Since our 2011 Hyundai Sonata arrived in Ann Arbor at the beginning of July, editors and friends of the magazine have collectively piled on nearly 8000 miles.

Months in fleet: Two
Miles to date: 7850

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2010 Mini Cooper JCW Convertible

2010 Mini Cooper JCW Convertible
2010 Mini Cooper JCW Convertible - Editor's Notebook - Automobile Magazine
Does the JCW option actually detract from the total package?

First, allow me to state the obvious: $35,000 is a silly amount of money to pay for a front-wheel-drive convertible with two usable seats and few luxury options (no leather, no nav, no automatic climate control). If someone were to ask me to recommend some smart ways to spend $35,000, the Mini Cooper JCW convertible would fall somewhere between “patent leather suit” and “old General Motors Corp stock.” And yet, if I wanted some wind in my hair, I’d probably give the Mini some consideration. Why? One word: Fun.

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Identity Crisis: 2011 Honda CR-Z

Identity Crisis: 2011 Honda CR-Z
Identity Crisis: 2011 Honda CR-Z - Automobile Magazine
The show car’s cool styling got noticed, but so did the hybrid badge. So we can’t help but wonder: is the 2011 Honda CR-Z just another hybrid for fuel-economy dorks or a hot hatch for cool dudes?

Honda’s CRX is something of a legend, one of those cars about which everyone seems to have memories. Fond memories at that, usually involving an ultracool college-age dude who drove the wheels off one. The first-generation Honda Insight, on the other hand, is a car that the in crowd probably doesn’t even remember, but it was pure dork delight. With an aluminum unibody, it was the first hybrid to reach the U.S. and posted the highest EPA combined fuel economy number of all time: 53 mpg (49/61 mpg city/highway).

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2010 Lexus IS-F

2010 Lexus IS-F
2010 Lexus IS-F - Editor's Notebook - Automobile Magazine
The high-performance import sedan for those who march to the beat of a different drummer.

This is the high-performance import sedan for those who march to the beat of a different drummer. It’s decidedly different from the longtime category leader, the BMW M3, from the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, or even the Cadillac CTS-V. Like those three sedans, though, it’s got one helluva V-8 engine stuffed under its hood, and it’s mated to a state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic gearbox. The IS-F feels a lot smaller and more intimate than the other cars, which will be good for some people and off-putting for others. It’s a bit more frenetic than its competitors, too, and perhaps falls more on the sport/performance side of things than the luxury side. Whereas the Cadillac and the Mercedes split luxury and sport equally, I’d venture. If you never thought Lexus could make a truly hard-edged sport sedan, you ought to drive this car; it likely will surprise you.

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