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2014 Scion FR-S: Underpowered or just right?

2014 Scion FR-S: Underpowered or just right?

The 2014 Scion FR-S is a real sports car. Just consider the attributes listed in the Wikipedia entry for “sports car”: small (check: the 2014 Scion FR-S is certainly not a large vehicle) usually two-seater (check: the FR-S is a 2+2, but the rear seats are tiny) two-door (check) “designed for spirited performance and nimble handling” (check: this is a purpose-built […]

2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Edition 507: Street Art

2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Edition 507: Street Art

This little monster is among the last of Mercedes-Benz models to receive a naturally-aspirated AMG V8. New, turbocharged motors power everything from CLA-class to S-class AMG models, and a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo makes up to 503 horsepower in the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car. The broad switch to turbocharged engines for the AMG lineup just makes this 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG […]

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Luxury Features, Affordable Price

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport: Luxury Features, Affordable Price

What constitutes a luxury vehicle? Is it an esteemed nameplate with a long history of producing fine automobiles, like Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac? Is it technology like the electric propulsion system of a Tesla? Or do certain features define a luxury vehicle, like a panoramic sunroof or a heated steering wheel? If the last definition is your idea of luxury, you […]

2014 Ford Fiesta SFE: Go Small or Go Home

2014 Ford Fiesta SFE: Go Small or Go Home

When I heard about Ford’s new-to-the-U.S. three-cylinder EcoBoost engine available on the subcompact Fiesta, I was intrigued. The tiny, 1.0-liter turbocharged motor is lightweight yet relatively powerful, and Europeans – both auto experts and everyday drivers – have raved about it for years. But beyond this interesting engine, my expectations for the 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE were modest. This is […]

I’m posting from inside a 2015 Buick LaCrosse with 4G LTE

I’m posting from inside a 2015 Buick LaCrosse with 4G LTE

I’m sitting inside a 2015 Buick LaCrosse as I write this. This vehicle is equipped with 4G LTE from OnStar, which turns the car into a wireless hotspot. If you use your call like a mobile office, consider a model from Buick or one of 30 other 2015 model year GM vehicles offering the technology.

2014 Porsche Cayman S Review: Best Sports Car at Any Price?

2014 Porsche Cayman S Review: Best Sports Car at Any Price?

Precision. That’s the word that kept coming to mind as a drove the 2014 Porsche Cayman S. This is a sports car that delivers precise performance in every aspect, from the fit of the well-bolstered seats to the crisp gear changes and glorious mid-mounted six. A colleague said the Cayman S may be “the best sports car at any price,” […]

No Atlanta Alfa Romeo Dealer, for Now…

No Atlanta Alfa Romeo Dealer, for Now…

Chrysler announced 82 U.S. franchise Fiat and Maserati dealers that will sell Alfa Romeo models when the Italian brand makes its return to the U.S. The list includes dealers in 33 states including one in Savannah, Georgia. Unfortunately for the city too busy to hate, Chrysler has not included an Atlanta Alfa Romeo dealer, at least for now. That’s a […]

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by / on April 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm / in Drives, Mercedes-Benz

4-Cylinder Superlative: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Review

You’ll hear no complaints from me when the Ride of the Week can make the following claim: under the hood of this little sedan is the most powerful production 4-cylinder engine in the world. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG builds on one of the luxury brands newest models, the compact CLA sedan. It’s another so-called “four-door coupe” that joined the […]

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by / on March 18, 2014 at 7:50 am / in Drives, Toyota

2014 Toyota Avalon Limited Review: We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

“It doesn’t have the badge.” My car recommendation to a friend flunked his test drive, even though he reported no specific dislikes about his experience behind the wheel. He wanted something swankier, and the budget allowed it. Chalk one up for the Germans. They do make a damn fine automobile. I understand the sentiment. But I also know this: for […]

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by / on December 2, 2013 at 7:04 am / in Drives, Toyota

2013 Toyota 4Runner Trail: First Look

Here’s a first look at the latest Ride of the Week, a 2013 Toyota 4Runner Trail. The 4Runner is one of the few remaining true SUVs. It’s a body-on-frame vehicle with available part-time or full-time four-wheel drive, a powerful standard V6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. Optional third-row seating allows space for seven passengers, but most 4Runner drivers will […]

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by / on October 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm / in Drives, Toyota

2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE fwd: First Look

Here’s a first look at the latest Ride of the Week, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE fwd. Compact SUVs and crossovers like the RAV4 are right-sized. They’re big enough to be practical but small enough to be fuel-efficient and easy to drive and park. In fact, shoppers in the mid-size sedan category should consider a smaller, 5-passenger SUV as well. […]

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by / on October 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm / in Motorsports, SRT

SRT Motorsports at Petit Le Mans: Behind the Scenes

Light rain seemed to come and go in 20-minute intervals just before the start of yesterday’s race at Road Atlanta. As teams debated tire choices — slicks or wets — we went behind the scenes with SRT Motorsports at Petit Le Mans. The factory team was preparing to run two SRT Viper GTS-R race cars in the GT class of […]

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by / on October 11, 2013 at 9:49 am / in Drives, Toyota

2014 Toyota Tundra 4×4 Limited CrewMax: First Look

Here’s a first look at the latest Ride of the Week, the 2014 Toyota Tundra 4×4 Limited CrewMax. I’ve had an opportunity to drive several Tundra models lately, including the 2013 Tundra that was the Ride of the Week back in July. But for the 2014 model year, Tundra is redesigned inside and out – although platform and powertrains remain […]

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by / on October 3, 2013 at 7:51 am / in Chevrolet, Diesel, Drives

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: First Look

Here’s a first look at the latest Ride of the Week: the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel. A small badge that reads “2.0TD” is mounted on the decklid of this compact Chevy sedan. It’s the only indication that this Cruze runs on Europe’s favorite fuel. To the casual observer, the diesel-powered version is identical to it’s gasoline counterpart. Drivers, however, will notice three significant […]

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by / on September 26, 2013 at 7:00 am / in Hybrid/EV, Nissan

Free Gas in Atlanta Courtesy of Nissan

Imagine never paying for gas again. For drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf, that’s a reality. Sure, they pay for the electricity to charge their vehicles, but that costs pennies on the dollar compared to fueling a gas-powered vehicle. Low operational costs has helped to make the Leaf the best-selling EV in history. And in August, Atlanta […]

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by / on September 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm / in Buick, Drives, Nissan, Odds & Ends

2013 Buick Encore Safety: Close Call

Last Sunday, my wife and children and I were headed to a kids’ birthday party in nearby Decatur. We were riding in the 2013 Buick Encore, a compact crossover vehicle, when an erratic and unpredictable move by another driver very nearly caused a crash. Once our vehicle came to a complete stop and each of my passengers assured me that […]

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by / on September 11, 2013 at 9:22 am / in Buick, Drives, Uncategorized

First Look: 2013 Buick Encore Premium FWD

The latest Ride of the Week is a 2013 Buick Encore Premium FWD. The Encore is a compact 5-passenger crossover that debuted for the 2013 model year. Earlier this year I had an opportunity to get an up-close look at the Encore and take a short drive, but it wasn’t enough exposure to really get a sense of what this […]

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