Driving the 2008 Mercury Sable around San Francisco, we considered painting it yellow, putting a light on top, and starting a career as a taxi driver. The Mercury Sable, brand engineered from the Ford Taurus, is a big sedan with a huge amount of trunk space. The car seems reasonably well-built, with good interior fit and finish, while its V-6 engine gives it enough power to get around. But the car offers a completely characterless driving experience, with poor powertrain response and loads of understeer. One of the key reasons we wanted to review the Mercury Sable, and its most … Read more
Acura has begun to drip-feed us information about its updated TSX sedan, which will be formally unveiled at this year's New York auto show. Based on the single beauty show we got today, the styling of the 2009 TSX departs from that of the current model in several significant ways. The front end has the same beak-shaped arrangement that many of Acura's newer models, including the 2009 RL, which was unveiled last week. At the stern, the new TSX appears to have more of a raked rear windshield than the current model. It also appears to forgo the … Read more
Making a virtue out of practicality, the 2008 Honda Fit Sport doesn't offer breathtaking looks, rugged capability, or racetrack speed. What it does offer is low-speed power, maneuverability, nice cabin materials, and plenty of room inside for occupants and cargo. But even with these practical points, it's a car that doesn't live up to its potential.
From our Car Tech perspective, there is very little special about the Fit. As is typical with the segment, GPS navigation isn't available. Nor does it offer Bluetooth cell phone integration, like the Nissan Versa. Also, you won't get … Read more
As we spun down winding mountain roads, exercising the famous 3.5-liter V-6 and shifting with its paddles, we inwardly smiled, as the exterior of our gray 2008 Infiniti G35 didn't hint at the power and performance within. It is a sleek and curvy modern design. We like the way the hood nestles caplike between the two front fenders. However, the general shape of this sedan makes it look like a car for the everyday commute. Perhaps it looks like a car that middle managers might use to take team members out to lunch, or a car that won'… Read more
When most car companies launch a special edition, it means custom colors, maybe some new interior components, and 10 percent to 20 percent price increase. But Japanese car maker Mitsuoka went the opposite direction, launching a special edition of its Orochi model called the Orochi Zero. It comes in about 10 percent cheaper than the standard model. We first saw the Mitsuoka Orochi at the 2005 Tokyo Auto Show. This different-looking handmade car, originally based on the Acura NSX platform, uses a 3.3-liter V-6 producing 230 horsepower. We don't know why Mitsuoka decided to build the Orochi Zero, … Read more
We take a close look at photos of the updated Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class to see how the cabin tech may have been improved. The design of the CLS impressed us ever since the car's launch in 2005. But Mercedes-Benz's cabin tech has been a mixed bag, with some mediocre versions of its COMAND interface in various models. We saw great improvement with the new C-Class last year, and hope the new CLS gets a similar update.
"The car wanted us to get all the way back to downtown San Francisco from Moss Beach in only 24 minutes"
After the local authorities in the Santa Clara Valley wouldn't let us anywhere near the rare snow fall on Mount Hamilton, we did the next best thing with our 2008 Subaru Legacy tester: we took it on a GPS rally, using its navigation system as our official time-keeper and judge. Read our review to find out how we fared, and what we thought of the cabin tech and performance of Subaru's little all-wheel-drive sedan.
Read … Read more
Given the wild proliferation of stretch limos on the road today, we've always appreciated Rolls-Royce's restraint in preserving its traditional form. So it was with some trepidation that we learned of its newly extended version of the classic Phantom.
But thankfully, RR hasn't lost its senses in designing its stretched model, which has an extended-wheelbase that's 25 centimeters longer (just under 10 inches). The extension supposedly provides more leg room for the rear seats, though fellow Craver (and auto guru) Kevin Massy observes that the interior doesn't seem significantly more spacious than the original model, … Read more
This week, Daimler's long-awaited Smart Fortwo goes on sale at 70 dealerships across the country. The two-seater microcar is already a smash hit in European cities, where it combines urban-chic styling with practical parkability. We just got back from Rome--dubbed the "Smart Car capital of the world"--where we had plenty of opportunity to see the Fortwo up close. Check out our holiday snaps and the details of the next small big thing to hit the U.S. automotive market.
In this latest video from a series about GM designers, Cadillac design director Clay Dean talks about the CTS-V, the sport-tuned version of the new CTS. We gave the 2008 Cadillac CTS our Tech Car of the Year award, so the CTS-V is working from a platform we really like. In the video, Mr. Dean talks about his background a little bit, then gets up close to the car, pointing out specific design cues. Our favorite quote, "This is no boy racer, no hoorah, no frou frou. This is the real stuff."