The family-friendly four-door is often the forgotten sibling in households that also offer a two-seater sports coupe, and in the case of the Altima Coupe, itâ€™s easy to see why. While technically looking related to itâ€™s slightly larger, and more door-endowed brother, the Altima Coupe got all the looks in all the right places. The grill, the wheels, the sleek rear window, even slightly adjusted headlamps tell a story of mischief and trouble that the older, more mature four-door just doesn’t seem to know about. And Iâ€™m sure as the proud parent of the sedan, the coupe would always be the favorite child.
Driving the Altima was as rewarding an experience as Iâ€™ve had in a while. It was comfortable, thanks to nicely bolstered seats and comfortable leather. It was quiet on the highway. It was tight and agile in the corners. It was snappy and ready to go in the throttle. And starting around $21,000 (and delivering 175 hp), this was quite a car with quite an appeal for anyone willing to live with two doors. If you bump that dollar amount to the $26,000 range and get yourself a 3.5 SE, youâ€™ll be negotiating and extra 95 horsepower, taking the total to 270. $5000 for extra luxuries and almost 100 horsepower can only be described as a win-win. Continue reading Review: 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe
With 2008 comes a newly designed Volvo V70, and the passing of an era. Gone are the days of boxy, homely Volvos reminiscent of 20+ years in manufacturing. With the updated styling in this yearâ€™s model, Volvo has made complete its transformation into a sleek-lined car company, with the DNA of styling running through every car in its lineup.
While the 5-door wagon will never be confused with a true sport-wagon like the Mercedes-Benz AMG E-Class, or even Audiâ€™s RS6 Avante, this wagon holds its own for blending every-day practicality while possibly looking better than any other $32,000 wagon out there (base-price). When adding in Volvoâ€™s renown safety record, and forward-thinking features, youâ€™re getting class, elegance, functionality, and common-sense… And did I mention looks? Continue reading Review: 2008 Volvo V70
You donâ€™t get into a Ford F250 Super Duty, you climb into it. Opening the door, and hoisting yourself into the driverâ€™s seat, you suddenly become a â€œtruck driverâ€, whether you started out as one or not. Turn on the engine, hear the diesel engine grumble to a roar, and put it in gear. Everything about this truck says â€œBig and Tough,â€ and as the driver, you begin to take on that persona as well.
I really wish I had a trailer of horses to tow, or a flat-bed filled to the brim with quads and toys, because Iâ€™m sure this truck would have delighted in the extra work required, not stopping for a moment to complain, but happily taking whatever you threw at it and asking where you wanted it delivered. It was certainly up for the task. Instead, I was stuck driving it through downtown Portland, navigating smaller cars like a Godzilla avoiding screaming people. For that purpose, I didnâ€™t have as much appreciation for the size and power of the vehicle, as it did me little good (accept to annoy hybrid drivers with my gas guzzing–not that I like doing that.) Continue reading Review: Ford F250 Super Duty
Iâ€™m going to start right off with the nicest feature Iâ€™ve seen in a car this year: When you have 50 miles left on your tank, the LR2 will beep and give you a low fuel warning on your dash. Sure, you say. Thatâ€™s normal. â€œNot so fast,â€ I reply, because then it will automatically turn on the navigation map highlighting all gas stations in your area! This is fantastic! This is technology actually working for us the way we have been promised. This is the future. Your car knows you need gas and is helping you find gas stations without any action on your part, a completely automated system. While this feature may exist in other cars–and truthfully, I donâ€™t tend to test the low-mileage feature on them–this is the first time Iâ€™ve seen it. All manufacturers who employ technology in this way should be congratulated, and rewarded. Thank you Land Rover. I heart you.
As for the rest of the car? It didnâ€™t disappoint. Continue reading Review: 2008 Land Rover LR2
The 2008 Liberty is back with a whole new look, and an updated platform to make this one of the more enjoyable small-to-mid sized SUVs Iâ€™ve driven recently. Iâ€™m a big fan of the Commander, which is the big, strong, SUV in Jeepâ€™s lineup that commands respect both on- and off-road, and the new Liberty truly feels like it belongs in the same family. With itâ€™s increased size, and upgraded suspension, taking this vehicle into the snow was thoughtless as it handled slippery terrain with absolute confidence. It delivered reliably on the pavement as well with style points left over.
In general, I appreciate the new look a lot. I donâ€™t mind the rounded features of past Liberties, but they always seemed sort of â€œcuteâ€ to me. Not so with the updated styling, looking lean and mean and strong. The new grill also looks less like the Wrangler and more like the kid brother of the Commander as well. Inside, the new platform gave a little more leg room for both the backseat and the driver, with both sets of passengers appreciating it. The interior is a slight bit on the bland side, but very clean and easy to manage. All details were logical and felt like they belonged. Another notable change was the transition from a rear door with a side-hinged door to a top-hinged lifting gate (complete with separate opening glass window). I go back and forth on which I prefer, but I do like moving the spare tire into the interior and off the rear gate, as it can interfere with bike racks and other rear mounted items (I know you can put a standard bike rack on top of the spare, Iâ€™ve done it, but I donâ€™t believe you can use a hitch mounted bike rack, which is my preference with SUVs this tall). Continue reading Review: 2008 Jeep Liberty