2010 Volkswagen GTI – Four Seasons Update – September 2010

2010 Volkswagen GTI – Four Seasons Update – September 2010
2010 Volkswagen GTI - September 2010 Update - Automobile Magazine
You might think everyone at the magazine loves the Volkswagen GTI. Not so.

Months in Fleet: Nine
Miles to date: 24,017

Photo Gallery: 2010 Volkswagen GTI – September 2010 Update – Automobile Magazine

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2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD – Four Seasons Update – September 2010

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD – Four Seasons Update – September 2010
2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD - September 2010 Update - Automobile Magazine
Still feels as fresh as it did upon arrival here at 120 East Liberty Street.

Months in Fleet: Seven
Miles to Date: 22,572

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First Drive: 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe

First Drive: 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe
2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe - First Drive - Automobile Magazine
Infiniti begins work on its higher performance image.

Infiniti’s current advertising spots begin with a Shodo brush stroke of a car silhouette, the designer’s first representation of how a new car will look. With the IPL — Infiniti Performance Line — the brand puts figurative pen to paper and begins to sketch out a new, high-performance sub-brand. In creating the IPL, Infiniti is following well-established practice in the luxury-car arena. All of its major rivals already have a family of extra-sporty variants: M for BMW, AMG for Mercedes-Benz, S and RS for Audi, the V-series for Cadillac, and the nascent F models for Lexus. Given its comparatively small global sales footprint, however, Infiniti is starting small — as a package, the IPL G Coupe is a considerably more modest effort than any of those specialty machines.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe – First Drive – Automobile Magazine

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Off-Road Driving: A Dirty, Mud-Spattered Primer

Off-Road Driving: A Dirty, Mud-Spattered Primer
Off-Road Driving - Feature - Automobile Magazine
The unpaved world holds some pretty amazing stuff. Here’s how you can get involved.

“America,” Henry Ford once said, “is a gorgeous, vast, and monumentally impressive kind of place. Now hold my beer while I build an industry that’ll let us crap it all up.”

Photo Gallery: Off-Road Driving – Feature – Automobile Magazine

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2010 Toyota Tundra Limited 4×4 Double Cab

2010 Toyota Tundra Limited 4×4 Double Cab
2010 Toyota Tundra Limited 4x4 Double Cab - Editor's Notebook - Automobile Magazine
The Tundra seems to compare favorably with the rest of the usual pickup suspects.

It’s obvious that the Tundra is well-built, both from outward appearances (precise exterior panel fits and finishes) and from the way it feels once you’re inside (the rigid body structure is transmitted through the steering wheel). And the mechanical specs are impressive. That said, taken as a whole, it’s not as satisfying as the Dodge Ram. It doesn’t ride nearly as well as the Ram, it has more body roll, and the 4.6-liter engine revs too much in everyday driving. Plenty of power here for a 2000-pound loaded trailer, though.

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2011 Kia Sportage EX AWD

2011 Kia Sportage EX AWD
2011 Kia Sportage EX AWD - Editor's Notebook - Automobile Magazine
Gives Honda CR-V drivers something to think about.

I’m somewhat taken aback that this Sportage runs right up against the $30,000 mark, but I’m still very impressed with it. The exterior styling is a vast improvement over the previous Sportage; I parked next to an older model in the parking garage and the two vehicles didn’t look related in any way. The interior is also a huge upgrade, with nicely designed instruments and much better materials. Our test car had pretty much every amenity that a crossover buyer would want, including 4WD, a very nice navigation system, satellite radio, heated seats and outside mirrors, and more. This Sportage is just the latest sign that Kia is producing vehicles that can compete against the best vehicles in the segment.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Kia Sportage EX AWD – Editor’s Notebook – Automobile Magazine

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First Drive: 2011 Ford F150 (V-8s)

First Drive: 2011 Ford F150 (V-8s)
2011 Ford F150 (V-8s) - First Drive - Automobile Magazine
Power to the pickup people.

When pump prices soar and the economy dives, full-sized pickup truck sales plummet. With jobs and mortgages in jeopardy, who needs an expensive gas guzzler’s fat monthly payments? This calamity and the bankruptcy experienced by two out of Detroit’s (formerly) Big Three would normally send truck engineers straight to early retirement. Ford, however, never got that memo. A thorough overall for the 2011 F-150 pickups kept right on truckin’. In the teeth of troubled times, the class leader kept its head high and prospects bright for the post apocalypse.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Ford F150 (V-8s) – First Drive – Automobile Magazine

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