Thursday, August 30, 2012

2013 Chevy Malibu Sips Fuel in Style

If you're in the market for a very good midsize sedan, you shouldn't overlook one of the longstanding names in the segment: the Chevrolet Malibu.

With its styling and good fuel economy, the 2013 model presents an attractive and sensible choice.

Fuel economy is an especially prominent feature of the Malibu Eco model, which uses General Motors' eAssist technology to conserve fuel.

Basically, eAssist is hybrid technology that shuts down the gasoline engine when it's not needed, such as when you are at a stoplight. That not only saves you fuel, but also allows you to listen more closely to Spandau Ballet's "True," and other great hits from the '80s (you've seen the TV commercial, right?).

Chevy used its Camaro sports car as design inspiration for the Malibu, and while this sedan isn't quite that radically styled, it does have some sporty, aggressive lines.

Read more

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cadillac Offers a Peek at its XTS Sedan

Recently, General Motors' Cadillac luxury brand brought its all-new 2013 XTS luxury sedan to Atlanta to give the local automotive media a glance.
Cadillac is calling XTS the most technologically advanced production car in the brand’s history.
The company sure did roll out a high-tech presentation at a local eatery to reveal this model, featuring slick video production projected onto surrounding walls and a theater-like sound system.
The Beat didn't get an opportunity to sit in or drive the XTS (had to run off to catch a darn meeting), but it appears to be a spacious and luxurious model that, while certainly appealing to more mature buyers, will also grab a few younger eyeballs as well.

As  for the technology, Cadillac touted its CUE, or Cadillac User Experience, system as being a true breakthrough in driver empowerment. Cadillac took cues (pardon the pun) from the iPad and other popular tablets in developing the technology, which it says "merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls for information and media control."

The XTS comes in a well-equipped standard model and three optional collections: Luxury, Premium and Platinum. Caddy calls the Platinum "the highest level of technology and luxury."

Here are a few points of note about the XTS:

■Direct-injected 3.6L V-6 with lightweight features, including integrated cylinder heads/exhaust manifolds

■Advanced all-wheel-drive system with electronically controlled limited-slip differential

■Magnetic Ride Control, rear air springs, HiPer Strut front suspension and Brembo front brakes – all standard

■Standard 19-inch wheels and available 20-inch wheels

We hope to get behind the wheel of an XTS soon and provide a full report.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 Infiniti G37 IPL Coupe: Who Knew You Could Have This Much Fun Legally?

When you get behind the wheel of the 2012 Infiniti G37 IPL Coupe, you're immediately impressed by its sporty, stylish design.

When you crank the engine and take it out on the road, that good impression turns into pure lust.

This car gives you sharp handling, a comfortable ride and great looks.

Yet it also comes with a reasonable (by luxury standards) price tag, which puts some of its competitors to shame (ya' hear me Porsche?!!).

So think of the G37 IPL like this: you take the Nissan 370Z sports car platform, add the Infiniti G elements of design and luxury and then add some kick-butt additional performance dynamics that rival those of the top European luxury marques, and then you've pretty much got the G37 IPL.

Infiniti created the IPL brand (Infiniti Performance Line) to showcase its ability to deliver world-class performance vehicles.

This talent cannot be more eloquently stated than from what's delivered in the G37 IPL Coupe.

Its great looks, strong performance and athletic handling will wow you. On the interior, your breath will be taken away by the fantastic materials, a stylish design and technology.

Want a roomy interior? Sorry, that's one thing you won't get here. But come on, now, if you want a true sports car, you shouldn't really expect to be able to stuff grandma, the kids and a few groceries in there with you.

What you are sure to get, though, is scintillating acceleration, great gear shifts and terrific handling.

The test drive model carried a sticker price of $52,345. Don't choke on that, Euro-lux brands!!

Infiniti decided to show off a little with the IPL G Coupe, and boy are we glad about it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012 Chevrolet Equinox Offers Pleasant Surprises

Sometimes, you hop in a vehicle and you're surprised, especially if the last time you drove it, you really weren't all that impressed.

When we got ahold of the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox, our expectations weren't all that high, frankly. To wit, when a colleague asked us what the test drive vehicle of the week was, and we replied Equinox, he said, "Oh, I'm sorry."
But lo and behold, this crossover SUV turned out to be pretty good.
You can get it in front- or all-wheel drive and it has three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ.
It offers pretty good fuel economy and a reasonable price tag. 

The standard engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 182 horsepower. You can opt for a 3.0-liter, V-6 that makes 264 horsepower. The transmission is a six-speed automatic. Chevy says the four-cylinder engine produces 172 pounds-feet of torque and has a towing capacity of 1500 pounds and the V-6 produces 222 pounds-feet of torque and can tow up to 3500 pounds, when equipped with the dealer-installed trailer equipment package.

The front-wheel drive Equinox gets gas mileage of 22 mpg city, 32 highway with the four-cylinder and 15 and 22 with the V-6. If you get all-wheel-drive, you get 20 and 29 with the four-banger and 12 and 17 with the six.
The Equinox is surprisingly pleasant inside. The seating for five is comfortable and fairly roomy.

On the outside, the Equinox has a pretty cool style, not at all like a suburban soccer mom-mobile. Its angular lines make it look rather sporty.

The Equinox is priced from around $24,000 to about $32,000.

This vehicle is a very nice family hauler that gives versatility, functionality and a surprising amount of style.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Look: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

Austin, Texas -- For the 2013 model year, Hyundai is adding two new vehicles to its Elantra compact car family: the Elantra GT and the Elantra Coupe.

The latter model targets younger buyers who want something stylish and sporty. And with its affordable sticker price, the Korean automaker is likely to find success with this model.

We got a chance to test both models, as well as the third, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, on a recent trip to Austin, Texas.

We’ll focus now on the Coupe, with reports coming soon on the other two models.