EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I laughed out loud when I saw the price of this thing. It’s a nice car, though. It’s solid, fast, really well built, good-looking and it checks all the midsize-sedan boxes.Read more
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: For as old as this thing is, it is still one fine automobile. It’s as structurally sound as any convertible I can remember driving.Read more
A viable workhorse.
Months in fleet: Nine
Miles to date: 25,916
MANAGING EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: I like the concept of a hybrid, fuel-efficient pickup, but the sticker shock might be more than most folks could handle.Read more
The new, more powerful V-6 Mustang is certainly a very solid performer.
With all the hoopla surrounding the launch of 300-plus-hp pony cars (Camaro, Genesis, Mustang) that have recently hit the market, you’d think there was no reason to opt for a V-8 other than bragging rights. I don’t want to be seen as the codger bemoaning the loss of carburetors and bias-ply tires, but it’s worth buying a V-8 Mustang or Camaro for the engine’s sound alone. Yes, a six-cylinder engine CAN be engineered to sound great, but so far neither Ford nor GM nor Dodge is willing to provide a stock exhaust system on their V-6 pony cars that sounds more menacing than a vacuum cleaner. It’s a pity. These spectacularly powerful, yet surprisingly fuel efficient, sporty cars will be parked at sorority houses until they sound more like performance cars.
The next best thing to an Acura coupe.
Acura doesn’t offer a two-door car right now, and that’s probably a good thing. With a rich leather interior and surplus of electronics, the Accord V-6 EX-L we recently spent some time with makes any Acura coupe redundant.
Photo Gallery: 2010 Honda Accord Coupe V-6 – Driven – Automobile Magazine
On its third week in the office, the BWM 535i went on its first road trip.
Months in fleet: Three
Miles to date: 6023
Borderline Insanity: The Raptor is the baddest truck on the Mexican border. Ezra Dyer rides shotgun with the sheriff.
Most right-minded people agree that the Ford Raptor is a sweet ride.
NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: The Insight hybrid is a nice interpretation of the modern hybrid. Honda pitches this as the hybrid for everyone, and I agree.Read more
More enjoyable as a daily driver than the high-strung Evo.
I haven’t driven a Mitsubishi Lancer in quite a while and, because the Lancer Evolution lacks seat-height adjustment, I was prepared to be a bit uncomfortable behind the wheel when I signed out the GTS for the night. Fortunately for shorter people like me, this less-focused-but-still-sporty Lancer model comes with the full array of seat adjusters. In fact, overall this entire package is far more enjoyable as a daily driver than the high-strung Evo.
An early example of the midsize sedan’s future
Hyundai is relatively inexperienced when it comes to turbocharging gas engines, and that showed with the company’s last boosted powerplant, in the Genesis coupe. In addition to providing relatively tepid performance, the coupe’s turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder is sluggish and abrasive. While the Sonata 2.0T’s engine uses the same block as the Genesis coupe’s, the Koreans have made enough changes to craft what feels like an entirely new — and seriously impressive — engine.
Photo Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T – First Drive – Automobile Magazine
Easy to drive as a normal car around town.
My evening with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG began when Mike, the car geek who mans the tollbooth in our parking structure, gave the SLS the once-over. Here’s where the gullwing doors actually came in handy: the departure lane is of course relatively narrow, so anytime I’m in a car that interests him, Mike’s usual view is solely through the open driver’s window. But with the SLS, I just cracked the driver’s door, he confirmed that there was plenty of clearance, and I thrust it upward, giving him a panoramic view of the SLS AMG’s striking interior: red leather with carbon fiber trim over black carpets, in the case of our test example. I put the transmission in Park and gave the 563-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 a good blip: the resulting gnarly growl and the snap-crackle-pop of the exhaust absolutely made Mike’s day – and probably his week.
EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: This truck was built to be a worker, to haul stuff–lots of stuff–and go just about anywhere. Using it to commute to a softball tournament is like using an atomic missile to hunt squirrels. Overkill, for sure.Read more
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: This is a good car, not a great one, but good. It’s better than a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry, but then again, that’s what the Sonata is for.Read more
A dark horse candidate if you’re looking for a sporty, comfortable, and relatively affordable coupe.
I was pleasantly surprised by the manual Accord coupe. It’s a good example of Honda’s knack for building vehicles that appeal to the mainstream consumer but still offer a bit of enjoyment for the enthusiast. The light steering is effortless in daily driving but it also provides enough feedback to be rewarding on the curvy stuff. Even with 271 hp, the 3.5-liter V-6 doesn’t often overpower the front tires but it’s also no slouch. Plus, it sounds great. Start off slow and you’ll hear a nice muffled growl; floor it and that faint noise builds into a roar by the time it reaches redline. The six-speed manual and the clutch pedal require more effort than I expect from a Honda — particularly the heavy clutch — but it wouldn’t stop me from choosing the manual if I were going to buy an Accord coupe.
Unleashing a 556-hp, American coupe on the streets of Europe.
DETROIT TO PARIS
Charles de Gaulle airport is a confusing mess, but I forgive it its trespasses because it is, after all, the portal to Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world. On this particular day, having arrived on Air France’s overnight flight from Detroit, I am even more keen than usual to arrive in the City of Light. That’s because, rather than taking the dreary RER commuter train into the city center, I will be at the wheel of a 2011 Cadillac CTS-V coupe. Hanspeter Ryser, Cadillac’s Zurich-based European PR head, meets me in baggage claim and escorts me to an underground parking structure. “I think it’s in aisle 20,” he says as we stroll through the low-ceilinged space. Eighteen, nineteen, twenty. One glance down the row of tightly packed Renaults and Peugeots in aisle 20 is all it takes to spy the distinctly chiseled, high rump of the big red coupe from Detroit. Ryser pops the trunk lid and points out a thick dossier under the trunk floor that will come in handy should any authorities question the Michigan license plates. He apologizes for the navigation system, which is still dialed in for America rather than Continental Europe, hands me the keys, and wishes me well. This Caddy is mine!
Photo Gallery: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe First Drive – Automobile Magazine