2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium

2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium
2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium - Subaru Midsize Sedan Review - Automobile Magazine
A very convincing Clark Kent to the WRX’s Superman.

It was 12:45 a.m. and I was bounding down a very dark two-lane country road. Traffic cleared and I hit the high beams. Whoa! These are really, really good: bright as day, very good reach, very strong, uniform beam. A few days later, I drove a Porsche on the same stretch of road, also at night. I didn’t find its headlights to be any better than the Impreza’s. Very impressive.inline_mediumwraptextright0029053768/reviews/editors_notebook/1005_2010_subaru_impreza_25i_premium1005_06+2010_subaru_impreza_2_5i_premium+front_three_quarter_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium – Subaru Midsize Sedan Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2010 Volkswagen Routan SE

2010 Volkswagen Routan SE
2010 Volkswagen Routan SE - Volkswagen Minivan Review - Automobile Magazine
The Volkswagen Routan is not a bad minivan at all; in fact, it’s a pretty good one. But it’s not much of a Volkswagen.

There’s not much new to report on the VW Routan, a rebadged Chrysler Town & Country that was foisted on Volkswagen of America by a previous executive regime. Volkswagen’s U.S. dealers have no choice but to hold their noses and try to sell the darn thing. It’s a far, far cry from the modern-day Microbus that we and VW devotees everywhere so dearly wanted. But if you have a great relationship with your VW dealer and you want to keep your business there and you need a decent minivan, have at it, folks. The Volkswagen Routan is not a bad minivan at all; in fact, it’s a pretty good one. But it’s not much of a Volkswagen.inline_mediumwraptextright0033269196/reviews/editors_notebook/1005_2010_volkswagen_routan_se1005_01+2010_volkswagen_routan_sE+side_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2010 Volkswagen Routan SE – Volkswagen Minivan Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2010 Volkswagen Routan SE

2010 Volkswagen Routan SE
2010 Volkswagen Routan SE - Volkswagen Minivan Review - Automobile Magazine
The Volkswagen Routan is not a bad minivan at all; in fact, it’s a pretty good one. But it’s not much of a Volkswagen.

There’s not much new to report on the VW Routan, a rebadged Chrysler Town & Country that was foisted on Volkswagen of America by a previous executive regime. Volkswagen’s U.S. dealers have no choice but to hold their noses and try to sell the darn thing. It’s a far, far cry from the modern-day Microbus that we and VW devotees everywhere so dearly wanted. But if you have a great relationship with your VW dealer and you want to keep your business there and you need a decent minivan, have at it, folks. The Volkswagen Routan is not a bad minivan at all; in fact, it’s a pretty good one. But it’s not much of a Volkswagen.

Photo Gallery: 2010 Volkswagen Routan SE – Volkswagen Minivan Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

Small Car Comparison: SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI

Small Car Comparison: SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI
Small Car Comparison - SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI - Automobile Magazine
A comparison based on price. Are the luxury features worth it?

For obvious reasons, Automobile Magazine comparisons typically round up cars with similar base prices. If the scientific method works for scientists, surely it’s good enough for us. Consistent as these apples-to-apples tests are, though, they don’t always reveal the complexities that go into buying a car in the real world, where varying levels of equipment and add-ons can quickly muddy our neat and simple categorizations. Take for instance, three small sporty hatchbacks currently in our fleet – the Suzuki SX4 Sportback, the Mini Cooper, and the Volkswagen GTI. On paper, they’re three completely different cars in three different price segments. But look a little closer The SX4, loaded with navigation, Bluetooth, bigger wheels and other extras, carried an as tested price of $18,513, which is within a grand of a base Mini Cooper. The Mini, for its part, came with a slew of options that shot its sticker to $25,000 – about a thousand dollars more than the base price of a two-door GTI. Each of these vehicles fares very well when compared strictly to competitors in its traditional segment, but we couldn’t help but wonder how they’d match up in a clearly unfair fight, the sort that breaks out all the time when real people go shopping for real cars.inline_mediumwraptextright0029060770/reviews/driven/1005_small_car_comparison1005_02+2010_suzuki_sX4_sportback_vs_2010_mini_cooper+front_three_quarter_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: Small Car Comparison – SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI – Automobile Magazine

Read more

Small Car Comparison: SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI

Small Car Comparison: SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI
Small Car Comparison - SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI - Automobile Magazine
A comparison based on price. Are the luxury features worth it?

For obvious reasons, Automobile Magazine comparisons typically round up cars with similar base prices. If the scientific method works for scientists, surely it’s good enough for us. Consistent as these apples-to-apples tests are, though, they don’t always reveal the complexities that go into buying a car in the real world, where varying levels of equipment and add-ons can quickly muddy our neat and simple categorizations. Take for instance, three small sporty hatchbacks currently in our fleet – the Suzuki SX4 Sportback, the Mini Cooper, and the Volkswagen GTI. On paper, they’re three completely different cars in three different price segments. But look a little closer The SX4, loaded with navigation, Bluetooth, bigger wheels and other extras, carried an as tested price of $18,513, which is within a grand of a base Mini Cooper. The Mini, for its part, came with a slew of options that shot its sticker to $25,000 – about a thousand dollars more than the base price of a two-door GTI. Each of these vehicles fares very well when compared strictly to competitors in its traditional segment, but we couldn’t help but wonder how they’d match up in a clearly unfair fight, the sort that breaks out all the time when real people go shopping for real cars.

Photo Gallery: Small Car Comparison – SX4 Sportback vs Mini vs GTI – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2010 Lexus GS450h

2010 Lexus GS450h
2010 Lexus GS450h - Lexus Hybrid Sedan Review - Automobile Magazine
Although it looks the part of a luxury cruiser, it lacks the style and character of most of its competitors.

The Lexus GS450h is proof that there is such a thing as too much torque. The hybrid system teams up with the 3.5-liter V-6 to produce V-8 levels of power to the tune of 340 horses. The problem is that the accelerator pedal is so sensitive that the torque is available at the slightest — and I mean the slightest — twitch of a toe. That may sound cool, but it’s actually extremely annoying in this Lexus and makes the GS hybrid very difficult to drive smoothly at steady speeds. Surging to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.2 seconds (according to Toyota) is pretty impressive for a largish luxury sedan that’s EPA rated at 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Photo Gallery: 2010 Lexus GS450h – Lexus Hybrid Sedan Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2010 Lexus GS450h

2010 Lexus GS450h
2010 Lexus GS450h - Lexus Hybrid Sedan Review - Automobile Magazine
Although it looks the part of a luxury cruiser, it lacks the style and character of most of its competitors.

The Lexus GS450h is proof that there is such a thing as too much torque. The hybrid system teams up with the 3.5-liter V-6 to produce V-8 levels of power to the tune of 340 horses. The problem is that the accelerator pedal is so sensitive that the torque is available at the slightest — and I mean the slightest — twitch of a toe. That may sound cool, but it’s actually extremely annoying in this Lexus and makes the GS hybrid very difficult to drive smoothly at steady speeds. Surging to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.2 seconds (according to Toyota) is pretty impressive for a largish luxury sedan that’s EPA rated at 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.inline_mediumwraptextright0033266391/green/reviews/1005_2010_lexus_gs450h1005_05+2010_lexus_gS450h+front_three_quarter_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2010 Lexus GS450h – Lexus Hybrid Sedan Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS – Four Seasons Update – April 2010

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS – Four Seasons Update – April 2010
2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD - Suzuki Midsize Sedan Long Term Review - Automobile Magazine
Our Four Seasons Suzuki Kizashi’s curvy styling continues to elicit second glances and comments.

Months in fleet: two
Miles to date: 8341inline_mediumwraptextright0033293439/reviews/12_month_car_reviews/1005_2010_suzuki_kizashi_sls_april_update1005_01+2010_suzuki_kizashi_sLS+side_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD – Suzuki Midsize Sedan Long Term Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL550

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL550
2011 Mercedes Benz SL550 - Mercedes Benz Luxury Convertible Review - Automobile Magazine
As a relaxed and comfortable tourer, the SL550 is the car for the Sunday driver who doesn’t need to be a tire-squealing hooligan at every corner.

It’s always exciting to have a convertible in the spring when the sun is shining and the temperature starts to climb. With a Mercedes, you can actually enjoy top-down driving even if the temperature is in the 40s thanks to heated seats, good aerodynamics that help push wind around the passengers, and the Airscarf feature. Airscarf is a pair of heat vents at the bottom of the headrests that can blast warm air on your neck, which really takes the chill off a cold morning or evening. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but the results are quite nice for those who like to drive with the top down as much as possible.inline_mediumwraptextright0033265005/reviews/editors_notebook/1005_2011_mercedes_benz_sl5501005_06+2011_mercedes_benz_sL550+front_three_quarter_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2011 Mercedes Benz SL550 – Mercedes Benz Luxury Convertible Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL550

2011 Mercedes-Benz SL550
2011 Mercedes Benz SL550 - Mercedes Benz Luxury Convertible Review - Automobile Magazine
As a relaxed and comfortable tourer, the SL550 is the car for the Sunday driver who doesn’t need to be a tire-squealing hooligan at every corner.

It’s always exciting to have a convertible in the spring when the sun is shining and the temperature starts to climb. With a Mercedes, you can actually enjoy top-down driving even if the temperature is in the 40s thanks to heated seats, good aerodynamics that help push wind around the passengers, and the Airscarf feature. Airscarf is a pair of heat vents at the bottom of the headrests that can blast warm air on your neck, which really takes the chill off a cold morning or evening. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but the results are quite nice for those who like to drive with the top down as much as possible.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Mercedes Benz SL550 – Mercedes Benz Luxury Convertible Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

2010 Audi Q5 3.2 – Four Seasons Update – April 2010

2010 Audi Q5 3.2 – Four Seasons Update – April 2010
2010 Audi Q5 3.2 - Audi Luxury Crossover SUV Long Term Review - Automobile Magazine
This has been an interesting month for our Q5.

Months in fleet: six
Miles to date: 16,257inline_mediumwraptextright0029061958/reviews/12_month_car_reviews/1005_2010_audi_q5_3_2_april_update1005_06+2010_audi_q5_3_2+front_three_quarter_view.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2010 Audi Q5 3.2 – Audi Luxury Crossover SUV Long Term Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

First Drive: 2011 Ferrari 599GTO

First Drive: 2011 Ferrari 599GTO
2011 Ferrari 599GTO - Ferrari Exotic Coupe Review - Automobile Magazine
The GTO is a big, heavy, comfortable grand tourer with a big trunk, automatic climate control, and a dash full of Bose speakers. And it’s faster than an Enzo.

Ever notice how anyone driving slower than you is a moron and everyone passing you is a maniac? Funny, me too. That same logic tends to show up in car reviews – any easy-to-tame car is brandished as boring. Worse, if the driver runs out of talent before the car runs out of grip, it’s an evil bastard. The Ferrari 599GTO solves this by being one of the fastest, most perfectly balanced, and most capable cars in the world – and at the same time, its absurdly high limits are totally approachable. It makes good drivers very fast; it makes great drivers set world records.inline_mediumwraptextright0029050897/reviews/driven/1005_2011_ferrari_599gtoferrari-599-gTO-front-view-4.jpgtrue

Photo Gallery: 2011 Ferrari 599GTO – Ferrari Exotic Coupe Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more

First Drive: 2011 Ferrari 599GTO

First Drive: 2011 Ferrari 599GTO
2011 Ferrari 599GTO - Ferrari Exotic Coupe Review - Automobile Magazine
The GTO is a big, heavy, comfortable grand tourer with a big trunk, automatic climate control, and a dash full of Bose speakers. And it’s faster than an Enzo.

Ever notice how anyone driving slower than you is a moron and everyone passing you is a maniac? Funny, me too. That same logic tends to show up in car reviews – any easy-to-tame car is brandished as boring. Worse, if the driver runs out of talent before the car runs out of grip, it’s an evil bastard. The Ferrari 599GTO solves this by being one of the fastest, most perfectly balanced, and most capable cars in the world – and at the same time, its absurdly high limits are totally approachable. It makes good drivers very fast; it makes great drivers set world records.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Ferrari 599GTO – Ferrari Exotic Coupe Review – Automobile Magazine

Read more