by car review editor on May 24, 2013
THE 2013 BUICK ENCORE REVIEW
Summary Review by Tess: Substandard Performance Limits Appeal
A new entry in the 2013 lineup of SUVs, the Buick Encore represents an interesting new direction for the automaker after years without a compact crossover in its stable. The Encore is definitely compact; its diminutive profile is shorter than most others in its automotive class. Despite this small size, its 1.4-liter engine cannot produce adequate power to motivate the Encore and represents a serious shortcoming for this otherwise serviceable commuter vehicle.
Under the hood
The 2013 Buick Encore SUV is powered by a 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that → Read More
by car review editor on May 23, 2013
THE 2013 SMART FORTWO HATCHBACK REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: Of Taglines, Cans, and Conspiracy Theories
Every product needs a witty, relevant, and memorable tagline. Therefore, a few apt slogans could be presented for the 2013 Smart Fortwo.
“The 2013 Smart Fortwo: Smart so you don’t have to be!”
“The 2013 Smart Fortwo: All the danger of a motorcycle and none of the bravado!”
“The 2013 Smart Fortwo: Ha ha!”
Any Smart marketing representative to whom these suggestions → Read More
by car review editor on May 22, 2013
THE 2013 HONDA CIVIC SI REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: Waffling Between a Win and a Whiff
Want a souped-up hot hatch? There’s a Subaru WRX for that. Want a zippy, pleasant roadster? There’s a Mazda Miata for that. Stuck in the middle? Cannot decide? Then consider the 2013 Honda Civic Si.
The outgoing Si, which was recently introduced in 2012, succeeded in much the same way as a Michael Bay Hollywood blockbuster. Honda sold gobs of them to the admiring masses, but professionals turned up their noses at the redesigned Civic. Distilled, boring, and disappointing, they called it. So Honda, after collecting check after check from the public, promised the pundits that it would atone → Read More
by car review editor on May 21, 2013
THE 2013 NISSAN QUEST REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: How to Be Cool
Just seven years ago, you were cool. Friday nights brimmed – overflowed, really – with late nights, tall drinks, and loud music at the downtown speakeasy. Your skinny jeans fit perfectly because every morning at 9:00 a.m. found you sweating on the treadmill. You even owned a pair of genuine Oakley Holbrook shades.
Then came Junior. And his sister. And her sister. And the dog. And 15 pounds. And the Nissan Quest: your last-ditch effort to convince yourself that you – family, pets, and waistline notwithstanding – are still cool.
Now, go strap in that booster seat like a boss. → Read More
by car review editor on May 20, 2013
THE 2013 MERCEDES-BENZ SLK350 REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: Grand Touring Tradition
The SLK is a compact convertible roadster designed to be sporty, lightweight, and compact. It is the cheapest roadster made by Mercedes, and like most niche products, is more publicity stunt than sales product. Less than 5,000 SLKs were sold last year, and it was a good year by most any reasonable standard.
What separates an SLK350 roadster from, say, a Pontiac Solstice? Whereas the Solstice was a conventional soft-top and is currently on the wrong side of a coffin, the SLK350 is very much alive and sports a power-retractable hard-top roof. The advantages of a hard-top roof are legion: reduced wind and road noise, improved → Read More