Ford's crossover, the Flex, shows off original style in a practical people carrier, but doesn't short on the tech side. The 2010 model can be had with Ford's new EcoBoost engine, which delivers a huge amount of power without giving up fuel economy. The navigation option is excellent, featuring traffic, weather, and gas prices. Our review car lacked this option, giving us a chance to try out Sync's navigation service. This service proved problematic and frustrating, reinforcing our contention that onboard navigation is the best.
I bought my first hi-fi with money I made working at a supermarket when I was 16 years old.
The system had a Garrard turntable, XAM amplifier, and XAM speakers. The system cost $106 in 1965, that would be more like $600 to $700 in 2009 dollars.
Man, that little system ruled! My records came to life like never before. A month or two after I bought the system I accidentally crushed the "needle," so I bought a better phono cartridge and my records sounded even better. I became an audiophile! It didn't take long before I … Read more
Most of you probably think of JBL as a manufacturer of affordable high-performance speakers, but the company offers a truly vast range of consumer and professional models.
The K2 S9900 ($15,000 each) is the best consumer speaker JBL makes. It's a massive thing, weighing in at 182 pounds, and it's armed with a 15-inch woofer, 4-inch magnesium, horn-loaded midrange, and 1-inch magnesium horn-loaded tweeter. It can handle amplifiers as large as 500 watts a channel.
The JBL K2 S9900 will be equally at home in ultra-high-end music and home theater systems.
The K2 was originally developed for … Read more
Tractors use diesel engines to pull heavy trailers cross-country, so it makes sense that diesel could do a good job of powering an SUV. Volkswagen attempts to prove the point with its Touareg TDI. Under its hood is a turbocharged 3-liter diesel V-6 that makes only 221 horsepower but a whopping 406 pound-feet of torque. That amount of twist coupled with the locking differential should give the Touareg TDI some off-road chops.
After a little bit of performance testing with the Audi Q5, we couldn't get enough of this car. Although a small SUV with a ride height far above your average sports car, the Q5 takes corners like a champ, with Audi's Dynamic Steering technology performing strange magic to keep the car in line. Dynamic Steering comes as part of the Drive Select package, which also adjusts the gearbox and suspension to transform the car from cruiser to bruiser. The Q5 also gave us the chance to dive in deep with Audi's new navigation system, featuring rich maps … Read more
Steven Mishoe opened In Living Stereo just a few weeks before 9/11, and it turned out to be the worst possible time to open a high-end hi-fi shop in New York City.
But ILS is still there on 4th Street, right across from where Tower Records used to be. And unlike the bigger, more established hi-fi shops, ILS sells music systems. Don't go there to pick Mishoe's brain about music servers or iPhone apps. No, In Living Stereo caters to people who listen to music at home. What a concept!
Over the years I've heard great … Read more
When the Kia Soul arrived in our garage, we immediately took to its funky-but-sporty styling. The interior didn't let us down, either, with its houndstooth seat fabric and crazy light pulsing front door speakers. Fitting the youthful look of the car, iPod integration is standard, along with an impressive sound system. But what we didn't expect was that the Bluetooth phone system would be the most standout-tech feature of the car.
When Honda redesigned its large Pilot SUV last year, we saw the expected sheet metal changes. But we didn't expect such a radical change to the cabin tech. In fact, so much of the tech interface is borrowed from Acura that we were in pretty familiar territory. There was the big joystick/knob controller, the profusion of buttons over steering wheel and stack, and the two sets of buttons for two different voice control systems. The cabin tech has the essentials: a stereo with digital music sources, navigation, and a Bluetooth hands-free system, along with an impressive rear-seat entertainment … Read more
In line with its safety focus, Volvo is pioneering some very cool electronic-driver-aid technology. The 2010 Volvo XC60 can be had with lane departure warning, following-distance warning, and blind-spot detection. But while these safety gadgets are optional, Volvo takes the impressive step of making its City Safety feature standard. This feature automatically jams on the brakes when it detects an imminent low-speed collision, which should make insurance companies happy.
Over the last year, Ford has been at the top of the game with its cabin tech, offering the best MP3 player and cell phone integration, along with a truly useful navigation system. But less interesting were its engines. Ford just stepped up the performance end with its all new 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, the muscle version of its standard Taurus sedan.
This car uses Ford's new EcoBoost engine, a direct injection 3.5-liter V-6 with twin turbos. During our testing of the new SHO, we saw impressive 0-to-60-mph times, and even found a few points to compare to … Read more