Monthly Archives: January 2014

2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited Review

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Rewind to 15 years ago, and it would have been embarrassing to drive a Korean car. This is referenced in the media. In the Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift film, Han gives Sean a Mitsubishi Evo, and he says, “What, you think I’m going to let you roll in a Hyundai?”. Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson says your life has hit rock bottom if you drive a Hyundai Accent Diesel. A long time ago, a girl asked me what car she should get, and I said, “You should get a Hyundai”. Big mistake. She never talked to me again. Point is that Hyundais and Kias (Hyundai owns Kia) have always been burdened with the reputation of being cheap and mediocre cars. It’s funny how things can change in time. The Hyundai Sonata always had been a left field contender rivaling the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But the Sonata was redesigned in 2006, and it became a decent family sedan with a roomy interior and civilized road manners. It sold well, but it still trailed the better family sedans. Enter the sixth generation Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata attempts to build on the fundamentals of the earlier sonatas while using eye catching styling and fuel efficiency to garner sales.

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2010 Nissan Sentra 2.0S Review

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When I think of the Nissan Sentra, i think of the sporty Nissan Sentra Spec V. Sadly this is a normal 2.0S. The Sentra goes all the way back to 1986. Datsun had just changed its name to Nissan, and Datsun 210 became the Nissan Sentra. However, in the earlier years, some Sentras still had a Datsun badge instead of a Nissan badge. Many years would pass by before the Sentra became a real contender in the compact economy class. It was not until the 2000 redesign that the Sentra became competitive. Boasting contemporary styling and decent road manners, the Sentra boosted its sales. The fact that a sporty Spec V version with upgraded horsepower and mechanicals was available did not hurt either. The Sentra was redesigned in 2006. Placing emphasis on comfort and fuel efficiency, the six generation Sentra was a different vehicle than the Sentra it replaced. Continue reading

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1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Review

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As a company known for its Corolla, Cressida, and Tercel, Toyota joined the SUV market with its 4Runner. It was based off their Toyota Pickup, and looked nothing more than a truck with a shell on the bed. For the second generation, the 4Runner looked less than an altered pick up truck and more like an SUV. With the SUV market coming to fruition in the early 1990s’, the 4Runner was noteworthy for its go anywhere capability and reliability. Then came the third generation 4Runner that you see here. It became more than a rugged SUV and placed more emphasis on its build quality and comfort while still capable off road. Continue reading

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2013 Chevrolet Traverse LS Review

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It is well known that Chevrolet prides itself on its Suburban and Tahoe SUVs. But then came along the 2008 recession and the fuel crisis, and Chevrolet was forced to think outside the box for its customers who needed a large family SUV but with better fuel economy. Enter the Chevrolet Traverse. Introduced in 2008 as a 2009 model, the Traverse was based off a platform shared with the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook. These four SUVs replaced the Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander, and Saturn Relay minivans. The Traverse is a first for Chevrolet, as it is its first dedicated unibody large SUV. Lambasted for its fuel economy and unresponsive transmission, the Traverse was refreshed for 2013 with new updated styling and powertrain. Continue reading

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2005 Mazda3 S Review

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Zoom Zoom! That is the feeling that you think of when it comes to this car. The history of the Mazda3 goes all the way back to the late 1970’s. It all started with the Mazda GLC. The GLC was Mazda’s smallest offering, and at a time when competitors were moving to front wheel drive, it was notable for its rear wheel drive. The GLC was replaced by the 323 in 1986. The 323 was praised for its Germanic handling and quick powertrain, and an all wheel drive turbocharged 323 GTX was launched. Replacing the 323 in 1990, the Protege shared the 323’s fun to drive nature but also was one of the most roomiest and comfortable car of its class. Finally, the 3 replaced the Protege in 2004. This time, the Mazda3 shared a platform with the European Ford Focus, and it marked a new era for Mazda. The Mazda3 places emphasis on driving pleasure and looks. Continue reading

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