Automotive Industry and Car Reviews

Old automotive pages from 2007 and Before

New “Baby Benz” Blends Luxury, Comfort and Technology

Mercedes-Benz’ C class is the most affordable of the German carmaker’s sedan line, but that doesn’t mean it feels like an entry level vehicle.
It is, after all, a Mercedes. And that means even its lower end cars are upper echelon in the grand scheme of things. So it is with the new C.

Hybrid Highlander Flings Gas Pumps Away

Toyota’s revamped 2008 Highlander is a nice “crossover,” kind of like a stretched RAV4. It’s comfortable, well-built and with plenty of features. But it’s also quite big, with three rows of seating available and plenty of room for hauling your stuff.

By Jim Bray - Friday, February 1, 2008 - Full Story

New Volvo Crossover Worth a Look

Before I give you my impressions of Volvo’s newly-redesigned crossover, I’d like to correct some misinformation I disseminated in my piece on the Mazda Tribute a few weeks ago.  I wrote that it has disc brakes on all four wheels, which isn’t true: it has front discs/rear drums. I apologize for this sloppy reporting – though on the other hand it also helps to make my point that it’s time the Tribute were dragged into the 21st century.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, January 20, 2008 - Full Story

Groovy Gadgets for Gearheads

Horntones. I don’t know if it’s the greatest gadget for the car since the turbocharger – or the worst example of a company chasing profits at the expense of public good. One thing I do know is that it made me laugh so hard when I first discovered it that I just had to share it with you.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, January 20, 2008 - Full Story

Mazda SUV A Tribute To Days Gone By

Mazda’s Tribute small SUV is one case in which the manufacturer’s famous “zoom zoom” slogan doesn’t quite apply. It’s probably because the vehicle is a victim of time – it’s from a time now past.

By Jim Bray - Thursday, December 13, 2007 - Full Story

Audi A4 – Sweet Sedan

Once again, Audi has made me lust after one of their vehicles.

Earlier this year, I spent a week in an Audi A6 Avant wagon, and was ready to kidnap it and spirit it far, far away where the Audi folks would never find us.

By Jim Bray - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - Full Story

Ford’s New Taurus is No Bull

What’s in a name? Well, if you’re Ford it could be a lot.

After the company announced that last year’s Five Hundred would be this year’s Taurus, a name hearkening back to what they undoubtedly thought were better days of the 1980s and 1990s, I had to chuckle.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, December 8, 2007 - Full Story

Porsche Cayenne S – Splendid SUV

Porsche stood the automotive world on its ear a few years ago when it announced it was branching out from sports cars and into the world of SUV’s. Some thought it was a travesty for a sports car company to branch out like this, but the Cayenne has sold well.

By Jim Bray - Friday, December 7, 2007 - Full Story

A Tale of Two Porsches – High End Low End, and Low End High End

Do you lust after the legendary Porsche, but find the Carrera Turbo just a little too, well, stratospheric? Take heart! Even the more “down to earth” Porsches are still an absolute blast, as evidenced by a couple of weeks I spent with the “entry level” Carrera and the “upscale” entry level model, the Boxster S.

By Jim Bray - Friday, December 7, 2007 - Full Story

Toyota’s Highland Fling Fits Its Niche Well

Think of it as a big RAV4 – and that’s meant as a compliment.

The new, 2008 Toyota Highlander is, according to its maker, “the mid-sized SUV that delivers the versatility of a sport utility vehicle with the driving comfort and performance of a passenger car.” Toyota also says the Highlander is designed as an “urban-friendly” SUV, as opposed to the more off-road-aimed FJ Cruiser and 4Runner, with more forceful styling and performance and a more flexible interior than before.

By Jim Bray - Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - Full Story

Mazda MX-5 Tops Its Own Act!

Mazda’s little bundle of joy was reborn about a year ago, moving beyond the loveable and classic Miata with a new look, new power, and a new, shorter name: just plain MX-5.

At heart, it’s still the joyful little Miata, the two seat roadster that turned the automotive world on its ear by taking everything that was great about affordable, open top motoring as personified by classic MG’s, Healeys and Triumphs and bringing to the mix the legendary Japanese dependability.

By Jim Bray - Monday, November 19, 2007 - Full Story

Mazda CX-7 Hauls People, Stuff, Butt

Minivans are out, at least if you’re Mazda, and that may not be too bad a thing.

Mazda’s MPG minivan did about as good a job of putting “zoom zoom” into the little bus-like creatures as possible, and the last time I drove one I liked it quite a bit—as a minivan. But the MPG couldn’t hold a candle to the CX-7 which, while it may limit the tallness of objects you can carry compared to the minivan, ups the driving reward ante considerably while being just an all around more modern vehicle.

By Jim Bray - Monday, November 19, 2007 - Full Story