Throughout the year, we've seen some pretty amazing cars at CNET Car Tech, but two stood out for our sports car-oriented gear heads. We reviewed two versions of the BMW M3, the first a coupe with a manual transmission, the second a convertible with an automated dual-clutch transmission. Given the model history, we expected these cars to be good, and they were. Between these reviews, we had the 2009 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, which proved a more than pleasant surprise. Similar in size and price to the M3, the C63 is Mercedes-Benz's idea of a small high-end sports car, … Read more
The 2009 Acura RL is an evolved version of the generation of Acura's flagship that first entered the market in 2005. The main changes to the car's exterior styling are bolder chrome flashes across the revised fascia and rear decklid, as well as the usual nips, tucks, and lens reshaping. Under the hood, a larger V-6 delivers the oomph the previous RL lacked.
Inside, things are mostly familiar, with some nice trim upgrades and a subtler palette than in our previous test cars. The much-lauded voice-control system has expanded its vocabulary to 700 commands, joining a few other … Read more
Mini just revealed the Mini E on Friday, scheduled to be revealed at the 2008 LA Auto Show. The E stands for electric, as the major difference between this and the standard Mini is the all-electric drivetrain. The Mini E will be produced in a limited quantity of 500-1000 units and leased to customers in a few major cities.
The Mini E's 204 horsepower electric motor also puts out 162 pound-feet of torque with juice being supplied by advanced lithium ion battery tech. Charge time is expected to be about 8 hours with a range of about 150 miles … Read more
The 2010 Toyota Prius is scheduled to be revealed at the 2008 LA Auto Show, but there's just one small problem. We've already seen it!
Images of the new Prius leaked all over the Web earlier this week and, on Thursday, Toyota confirmed that the leaked images were--in fact--authentic.
Taking a look at the next-gen Prius, we can see that the nose gets a fairly aggressive update. I'm not a fan of the boomerang headlamps trend, but apparently we'll be seeing a lot more of it in the coming years. The new Prius' lower grill and … Read more
At the 2008 Paris Motor Show, we got our first chance to try out the new version of BMW's iDrive in the new version of the 7-series. Unfortunately, the language was set to French so we only had a vague idea of what we were accomplishing by selecting various menu areas. But it was still enlightening to get a feel for the new interface and imagine how it might work in English. From what we could tell, it will be a vast improvement over the current system, and take away our major criticism of BMW's cabin tech.
Riding around in a bright red Dodge Challenger SRT8 is not the best way to go unnoticed. With its wide and low design and deep HEMI V-8 growl, all eyes were on us as we cruised the streets of San Francisco. But the kind of attention attracted in the Challenger was unlike most high-powered sports cars in which we've found ourselves behind the wheel. Everywhere we went, people--almost exclusively male--were giving us the thumbs up, approving nods, fist pumps, and, on one occasion, a full-on round of applause. Yeah, that last one surprised even us.
The attention didn't … Read more
The external aesthetic of the 2009 Honda CR-V mixes the Honda Civic's space-age design with the face and bulk of a bulldog. Although you may never catch us calling the CR-V attractive, its looks aren't offensive. More importantly, spend some time behind the wheel and you'll see that the CR-V manages to combine the sporty ride and handling of a small sedan with the utility of a small SUV while making few, if any, compromises.
In its EX-L with Nav trim level, the CR-V has an extra trick up its sleeve in the form of a DVD-based … Read more
Everyone who saw VW's Microbus concept vehicle and immediately wanted one, raise your hand.
Lots of hands.
Now, everyone who would pay $40,000 or $50,000 or more for one, raise your hands.
Not too many hands out there...
Volkswagen was one of the first automakers to bring a concept vehicle to production virtually unchanged with the New Beetle a decade ago, but not all concept vehicles are destined for production. Europe was not interested in the Microbus, and a unique platform and high-cost assembly plant, plus limited sales potential meant that it stayed a concept. And although … Read more
When we first laid eyes on the Dodge Ram, a few words came to mind: gargantuan, behemoth, colossal. The words that didn't immediately come to mind when the big ol' truck rolled into the CNET garage were "high" or "tech." However, after--literally--climbing into the Ram's cab and spending some time behind the wheel, we found a surprising amount of drive-train tech and, more surprisingly, some very sophisticated cabin tech.
Satellite TV, a hard drive-based audio system, and in-vehicle Wi-Fi are just some of the ambitious, if unrefined, tricks the Dodge Ram has up its … Read more