Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
|BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe|
Friday, December 16, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
|Mercedes CLS63 AMG|
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I recently had a chance to drive the Toyota Prius through Zipcar, and it's not all bad. Here is the review, which I wrote as a guest contributor for RawAutos, an interesting car blog you should also check out. The blog owner, Josh Lewis, is a great writer, has fresh opinions, and is an all-around good guy. So do yourself a favor and check out his blog as well!
Now on with the review...
The Toyota Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid and one of Toyota’s best selling cars…and all for good reason. It offers awesome fuel economy, a high-quality interior, and tons of trunk space. Having recently driven and reviewed the comparatively downmarket Honda Insight through Zipcar on my blog a few weeks ago, I can conclude that while the Insight is good yet slightly underrated, the Prius is rather deservedly highly rated. While I didn’t intend to make this article a battle royale between Honda and Toyota’s similar-looking 5-door hybrids, one can’t help but draw comparisons. Bottom line – the Prius is more pricey, but the driving experience is also more satisfying. Click through to see the rest of the review:
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I found this beast illegally parked in my Zipcar spot today, and thought, "so this is how Zipcar rewards its customers who return their cars on time..." Then I saw my reserved Prius parked a few spaces down and was brought back to reality. Hey, a guy can dream, right? Click through for a few more snapshots.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
|Mercedes SLS AMG|
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I probably shouldn't snap pictures while driving, but I was practically parked given the heavy traffic, and this Ferrari 458 Italia was begging to be photographed! Is there anything worse than driving a Ferrari in stop-and-go traffic? Well, maybe driving a Camry...but you get the point. The 458 has been oft described as the most beautiful, technologically advanced Ferrari ever. I like it a lot, but based on looks alone, I would probably get a Lambo Aventador, Lexus LFA, Mercedes SLS AMG, or McLaren MP-4 before I get a 458 (not that I can afford any of them...yet!). I tend to prefer the more calculated, rigid looks of older Ferraris like the 512TR, 348, and 355 as opposed to the more recently flowing designs, but that is just a matter of taste. The 458's engine does sounds thoroughly amazing and lets everyone know you are coming from miles away.
Can anyone guess what kind of car I am driving? I will only give 2 hints: it is a Zipcar, and it is the polar opposite of a Ferrari 458. Leave a comment with your guess...
Monday, September 12, 2011
A few months ago, Volvo announced that the S40 sedan and V50 wagon will soon be discontinued. After I had a chance to flog a Zipcar S40 this weekend, I understand why...sort of. The S40 has a number of lovable quirks, but I don't think it ever found its place amongst the sea of other entry luxury sedans. Click through to see my impressions.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
|1965 Corvette C2|
What a beauty - I passed this baby-blue 1965 Corvette C2 being transported on the highway...with its top down! Growing up, my favorite sports car was always an early-'90s Corvette - black interior and black exterior. However, as I got older, I discovered cars by Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes, and I started to lose excitement for the Corvette. Click through for some more snapshots and my thoughts on the Corvette brand.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
I recently participated in the 1-day Ford Fiesta Rally Experience at Team O'Neil Rally School in Dalton, NH. My father accompanied me, and while he did not want to drive, he was able to take some awesome pictures (thanks dad!). I was taught basic rally techniques in both a classroom and track setting. For $569, the 7-hour class for 15 people was an amazing value and more fun than I could ever imagine. Click through to see more.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
|Jeep Grand Cherokee|
Saturday, August 6, 2011
|Chrysler PT Cruiser|
- Cars that were awesome when they were released, but have since lost their novelty
- Cars that were awesome in the 50s/60s/70s, but due to cost cutting have become terrible. This is an American phenomenon, since Japanese car makers have not been in the states long enough to establish meaningful brand history.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Two of my favorite sports cars in the same parking lot...what are the chances?! Well actually, I live across the street from a fancy restaurant with a valet service and correspondingly often see fancy cars - I regularly get to see the finest specimens from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes AMG, and Aston Martin, new and old. This pairing of the LFA and DB9, though, was practically screaming out for me to take pictures! Click through to see more pictures and a comparison.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
|Honda CR-V Concept|
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I had the pleasure of seeing this beauty parked on the way to work yesterday. I will not claim to be an authority on 1960s cars, but I certainly appreciate this 1964 Impala. While trying to figure out the year of this car online, I noticed that practically each year in the 1960s, Chevrolet made noticeable tweaks to the headlight and taillight design. This practice of planned obsolescence is exactly the same thing Apple does to its i-products today - by making small, inexpensive changes, models become out of style quickly, making consumers want to buy the latest and greatest to stay in fashion. This practice is much less apparent in the automotive world today because of massive retooling costs and a keen focus on the bottom-line. Car models typically see longer lives today, often lasting 3-7 years. This '64 Impala prompted me to think about Impalas in my lifetime so far (in the last 2 decades), and how relatively unexciting they have been. Click through to see.
Monday, July 18, 2011
|Audi A3 Zipcar|
You may have seen a few Zipcars on the road - they are not the typical bland cars you'll find at Hertz or Avis (such as Toyota Corollas, Dodge Avengers, and Chevy Impalas). Instead, among the cars you will find are the BMW 3-Series, Volvo S40, Mini Cooper Convertible, VW Golf, and my personal favorite, the Audi A3.
I love everything about the A3, and I feel that the little sport-hatch doesn't get the attention it deserves. Recently I drove the A3 on a long trip involving a good mix of highway and twisty mountain roads; click through to see my impressions.
Friday, July 15, 2011
As I go through the current Infiniti lineup, my grievances really boil down to 3 categories:
1) The weird "podium-style" dashboard
2) The fact that each car has a near-identical Nissan counterpart, either as a US or JDM model
3) Disappointing exterior styling compared to competition
I can't comment on the ride, acceleration, braking, etc., as I have not driven any of Infiniti's current cars, but that is not the point of this post. From reading popular auto mags, most reviewers draw the same conclusion anyway: Infinitis produce decent performance, but are either on par with or slightly worse than European competitors. When was the last time you saw an Infiniti win a car comparo? I can't even remember.
Click through to see my explanation.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
As you can probably tell so far, I am not a huge Japanese car enthusiast. I don't hate Japanese cars, but for a variety of reasons, European cars excite me more. IMHO, European cars are more elegantly designed and appeal more to the senses than Japanese cars. Yes, Toyotas and Hondas will certainly be more reliable and perhaps technologically sound than their German and Italian counterparts, but Camrys and Accords do not excite car enthusiasts as much as Passats and S40s - plain and simple.
That being said, there are a handful of Japanese cars that do excite me. I'm limiting the list to vehicles under $100k, and sold some time within the last 25 years (1986-2011). I'm also leaving out some of the obvious ones like the Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Evo, Mazda Miata, because they are too overexposed. I'd much rather write about some of the unlikely favorites. Click through to see which ones made the cut:
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
I passed the '11 Accord on the way from work yesterday and I realized Honda added unattractive red taillight extensions on the trunk itself. I think they are for reflective safety purposes, but they just don't look good. I wanted to point out some other examples of excessive red glass in recent history:
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I pass this gussied-up Taurus every day on my way to work, and it really bothers me. It looks to be a 2000-03 model, and it sports the champagne color ever popular with rental companies, fleets, and mid-1990s suburbia. The chrome alloy wheels and red brake calipers do look expensive (read: overpriced), but are totally mismatched on a car this bland. But the real problem with this car are the aftermarket air vents and V8 logo. Both are a bit crooked and appear to have been affixed at home using crazy glue.
Air vents aren't supposed to protrude from a car - doesn't that defeat their aerodynamic purpose? And this Taurus is not a SHO (they didn't even offer one on this body style), so affixing a V8 logo is ridiculous. The V8 was only offered on late-90s SHOs anyway - today, a V6 is offered.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Time for the second installment of my favorite car lists - this time, sport utility vehicles. Keep in mind that the vehicles listed are assumed to be well-equipped (not base) models. Click through to see the lists - do you agree?
Monday, July 4, 2011
This weekend I saw this head-turner sitting in Columbus Circle, NYC. The 308 is one of my favorite Ferraris (although I am more partial to the GTB coupe than the pictured GTS targa). The "i" was added to the end of the GTS and GTB monikers in 1980 due to the introduction of fuel injection in response to higher fuel economy requirements coming out of the crisis period in the late 1970s. In every other respect, the GTSi was largely the same as the previous year's GTS, aside from small nuances, such as alloy wheel design, leather seat stitching, and a slightly rearranged dashboard.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Every so often, automakers decide to overhaul their entire line with a recognizable "look". I wanted to highlight some of the winners and losers in recent times (click through):
Friday, July 1, 2011
All car manufacturers reuse parts, designs, chassis, wheels, door handles, etc., across different models and brands. In fact, that is the only way large automakers are able to justify the large upfront R&D costs necessary to create a new car. However, as we all know, sometimes car makers get lazy and 2 different models look nearly identical (Ford Crown Vic / Mercury Grand Marquis, for example). Sometimes automakers push the envelope too far, and create a knockoff so irrelevant that consumers have no recollection of it. I wanted to highlight some notable recent examples:
Sunday, June 26, 2011
|Front of promotional material|
At the New York Auto Show last month, I was approached by a Lincoln saleswoman who offered me the chance to earn $50 simply by visiting my local Lincoln dealer and test driving any car. Sounds like a no brainer, right? I did not mind putting my name on their mailing list - the worst thing that could happen is I would get some promotional material in the mail. The $50 offer expired in 1 month. I received this reminder in the mail (click through to see more):
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Despite being the cheapest SUV, the Kia Sportage is surprisingly very attractive, in my opinion. However, every time I mention the car to friends and people I know looking for a small crossover, they instantly dismiss me, in large part because the Kia brand is still not considered cool in America. People think back to the early 90s when the Sportage, Spectra, Sephia, and Rio were in fact horrible cars to drive. I have never driven this car, so my review is based on exterior and interior design, driving reviews I've read in major car mags, and common business sense (remember, Hyundai/Kia's warranty is still the best in the US!). Click through for more:
Friday, June 24, 2011
I plan to write a combination of car reviews, responses to current recent news articles, and my thoughts on cars in general. I hope to gain followers and start some dialogue on this site.
The title of this blog, "you are what you drive" is IMHO a large reason why I'm interested in cars - I don't simply view cars as a way to get from point A to B, but rather as a very deep expression of one's inner-most identity. Car culture is exciting to me, and you can learn a lot about someone by the car they drive, its color, options, wheels, etc.