Review
Mar 28

Cars: 2014 VW Passat TDI Review

The new diesel-ran Volkswagen Passat TDI produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

The new diesel-powered Volkswagen Passat TDI produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and gets 43 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Volkswagen Group, parent company of a host of automakers including Volkswagen and Audi, is one of the world’s leaders in diesel passenger-car technology and in recent years has really stepped up its game.

In Europe, diesels have been popular for decades because of their frugality with fuel, an important factor given the expense of filling up a car in Europe. In Germany, for example, gas is now about $8 a gallon, more than double what it costs in most U.S. markets.

Dec 13

Cars: Rolls-Royce Ghost Review – Style, Class And Luxury With A Mean V8

The 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase carries a base price of $296,000. (Photo: Rolls-Royce)

The 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase carries a base price of $296,000. (Photo: Rolls-Royce)

In 1977, I think it was, P.J. O’Rouke wrote a hilarious and controversial review of a $70,000 Aston-Martin Volante for Car & Driver. In that review O’Rourke famously wrote that he couldn’t give an accurate take on the nuances of the car’s performance threshold.  O’Rourke said something to the effect of — and I’m paraphrasing here – that he drove the car “like it had a trunk full of live babies and you would, too, if you were in someone else’s $70,000 car.”

Being a young, impressionable kid, I thought that was funny.

Flash ahead 36 years and I now understand exactly what he meant.

That’s because I recently spent a week with a 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase, which carried a base price of $296,000 and an as-tested priced of $356,770, which is roughly double the median housing price in Cabarrus County, N.C., the place that I call home.  And as you can imagine, in the little 5,000-person town where I live, the big Rolls-Royce stood out like Miley Cyrus twerking in a Baptist church on Sunday morning.

Nov 11

Cars: The 2013 Porsche Boxster S — A True Sports Car

Porsche Boxster S

The Porsche Boxster S, arguably the purest expression of what a mass-produced sports car can and should be. (Photo: Tom Jensen)

I’ve read a lot lately about how Millennials supposedly hate cars.

Fortunately, modern science has come up with an antidote that for automotive antipathy: It’s called the Porsche Boxster S, arguably the purest expression of what a mass-produced sports car can and should be. And it will make your heart race, knees weak and the inside of your mouth wet.

Oct 1

Car Review: GM 2014 Camaro Continues To Perform

2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Here is the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS. (Photo: Courtesy of GM)

Since resurrecting the venerable Camaro after a sever-year absence, Chevrolet has enjoyed considerable success with its traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive muscle car.

Reintroduced as a 2010 model, the fifth-generation Camaro has been a hit with buyers and generally well received among critics as well.

Sep 15

Infiniti QX56 Review: Impressive Performance Suited With Luxury

Photo Credit: Infiniti

Photo Credit: Infiniti

Nissan’s Infiniti luxury division is going through a major naming shift in 2014, with many of its new vehicle names changing, even if a lot of the cars and light-duty trucks themselves are very familiar.

A good case in point is Infiniti’s top-of-the-line, eight-passenger sport-utility vehicle. Known as the QX56 in 2013, the 2014 model will be called the QX80, although it is largely a carryover, save for the addition of Infiniti’s Backup Collision Intervention System, which becomes part of the high-line SUV’s optional Technology Package. The body, chassis, engine and most other key components remain unchanged between the two.