The new and highly anticipated 2008 BMW M3 embodies many qualities that made BMW's reputation. This rear-wheel-drive slugger leaves a little room to play with the handling, so expert drivers can learn to work with the car on track days, yet it works perfectly well in the daily commute, with many creature comforts, such as cutting-edge cabin tech and fine low-speed drivability. With its sizable trunk and usable rear seats, you could even make the argument that it is practical, as long as you ignore the fuel economy.
Audi previously impressed us with its handling technology in the Audi TT, but even that car feels a bit staid when compared with the 2008 Audi R8. The R8 holds the pavement as only a low-slung car with all-wheel-drive and massive tires can. Then Audi throws in its magnetic damping technology to keep the suspension tuned for whatever kind of road you are driving on and puts the engine in the middle to balance the car. All of this combines to let us take the R8 around corners at speeds we wouldn't think possible.
For cabin tech, the R8 … Read more
After reviewing the pricey Volkswagen Touareg 2, we were happy to see a more likely people's car in the form of the humble 2008 Volkswagen Jetta. While you have to pony up about $20,000 to get one, the Jetta is definitely on the affordable end of the scale, especially when you take into account its standard features that are sure to make any commute safe and comfortable. The Jetta offers a good value proposition in no-frills style.
It's also the first car that we've seen where we were happy that it didn't include a navigation … Read more
"Taut" became our word of the day as we started to test out the 2008 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. There is nothing loose about this car--it goes exactly where you point it and evenly distributes power when you push the accelerator. Its exterior lines are simple, with no excessively flared fenders or gaudy spoilers, maintaining the original 911 look. Our 911 model gets a lot of modifiers in this incarnation: the "4" means all-wheel-drive, the "S" marks it as a sport version, and "Cabriolet" is a fancy word for convertible.
But … Read more
Crossover vehicles are all the rage. There is nary a midsize sedan on the market that isn't in line to be redesigned as a small wagon or SUV loaded with family-friendly options and sold as a minivan substitute. Into this fray comes the 2009 Dodge Journey R/T AWD, riding on a stretched Avenger platform and squeezing a third row of seats into the bargain.
So how does Chrysler, inventor and ongoing proponent of the minivan, fare in its effort to de-minivan the minivan? A lot about the Journey is good, especially the available interior electronics. It's available … Read more
With its chunky body, powerful stereo, and live rear axle handling, we couldn't help but think of the 2008 Ford Mustang Convertible as a thick, juicy steak of a car. The styling evokes the muscle car era effectively, reason enough to salivate for people in a certain age group. On a hard corner, the car feels like it has a lot of meat on its rear, making power slides possible, for good or ill. The 500-watt stereo pumps out audio thick enough to satisfy fans of bass-heavy music, although people of more refined appetites should stay away.
Ford has … Read more
One year after the introduction of the 2007 Vue Green Line, Saturn has brought out a significantly revised version of the model. The 2008 Vue Green Line may share most of the tech features of the original model, but its exterior design shows that Saturn has spent a busy 12 months at the drawing board. Gone is the square-cut back end and unsightly plastic grille treatment up front, and in its pace is a curved profile and color-coded paintwork. Its dazzling as-standard 17-inch alloy rims complete the picture. Under the stylish sheet metal, things remain largely unchanged. The 2008 Vue … Read more
We really didn't think anything like the motorized monocycle "WheelSurf" would ever be marketed to the masses, but now we find out that one is being offered by mainstream gadget shop Hammacher Schlemmer of all places. Of course, it's selling for nearly twice the price listed back in September, for $13,000.
Even if you do have that kind of dough to blow, you won't be able to commute in this unicycle on steroids because it's not street-legal, as BornRich points out. But still, talk about making your buddies jealous: After all, how many … Read more
The beauty of the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe first struck us when we saw a picture of the car on an advertisement in an airport last year. Since then, we've seen a few Accord Coupes driving around, and we've been as impressed with the real thing as the photograph. During our review week with the Accord Coupe, we found it to be as exciting as the Accord Sedan is dull. Of course, we had the top trimmed EX-L Accord Coupe with its V-6 engine and six-speed manual transmission, much more fun than the five-speed automatic in the sedan. … Read more
As we pulled the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 up a rocky slope for its photo shoot, we started thinking about taking the car through even more hostile terrain, such as out near Moab, Utah, or from San Francisco to Dakar. With the Touareg's four-wheel drive, lockable center differential and adjustable ride height, it seems like it can handle all obstacles, slopes, and surfaces. But we were restricted to paved roads during our time with the car, which we didn't really mind as the leather interior, comfortable ride, and modern exterior are perfectly at home in an urban environment. … Read more