Monthly Archives: November 2014

2007 Infiniti M35 Teaser

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Review coming soon!

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2008 MazdaSpeed3 Review

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As a successor to the Protege, the Mazda3 launched in 2004 showcasing Mazda’s new design language and nomenclature. Before 2003, Mazda’s lineup was filled with pleasant but humdrum cars such as the Protege, MPV, Millenia, 626, Tribute, and so on. Starting in the late 1990s, Ford had a controlling stake in Mazda, and the two cooperated on future vehicles’ developments. With Ford’s resources and funding, Mazda had the opportunities to completely revamp its lineup. Numerical names would be used for its models (at least in Europe and North America), and Mazda set about reinventing itself. The Mazda3 and Mazda6 were the results. The Mazda3 (Called the Axela in Asia), developed with Ford alongside the Ford Focus and Volvo S40, embodied European styling and handling in a fuel efficient and affordable package. As a result, it was a success and garnered rave reviews worldwide. The Mazda3 chassis had the capability for more power, so Mazda saw fit to produce a Mazdaspeed variant of the 3. Mazda’s niche division, Mazdaspeed, produced a version of the Protege, which gained mechanical and visual tweaks enough to transform it into a sporty small sedan. This time, instead of a sedan body style, the Mazdaspeed3 would be a hatchback in order to please European buyers. In Europe, hot hatches, vehicles with fast power and sporty handling combined with the practicality and comfort of a hatchback, were popular. I have reviewed both the first and second generation Mazda3s (both sedans), so I was keen to try out these Mazdaspeed version. This is not your ordinary Mazda3.Whereas the top of the line version of the Mazda3 had up to 160 horsepower with a five speed manual transmission, the Mazdaspeed3 had racier exterior tweaks, and a turbocharged 263 horsepower four cylinder with a six speed manual transmission. Sounds like a hoot to me. Continue reading

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Michael’s 2012 Mazda3 i Touring Hatchback

This post is written by Michael (http://motorblogaz.wordpress.com/) about his 2012 Mazda3. You might remember him from his previous post about his Jeep Cherokee.  IMG_0040 (2)

 

2012 Mazda Mazda3 iTouring Hatchback Automatic (22,000mi/41,000mi)  Continue reading

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Ken’s 2000 Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6

This is a post is written by Ken about his 2000 Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6. He is from New Zealand, one of the most beautiful countries I ever visited, and he has a really cool car blog, revvedupblog.wordpress.com (You should check it out!). Anyways, here is his story about his Alfa Romeo. 

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What makes this car more special than others is that it was my first car. It was the car I learnt to drive in, it was the car I used to take my driving test, and it was the car I grew up with. My parents owned the car before me. We got it sometime around 2001 when I was but a small boy who didn’t know what an Alfa Romeo was. I remember looking down from my bedroom window onto the driveway and seeing this weird and unusual looking thing sitting there. I remember thinking it was a strange looking car, especially the front. I didn’t care much for the hidden door handles either as I could never reach it. I remember when they brought it back and they were so excited by it. I refused to ride in it unless I was forced to. I ignored the Alfa like a cat ignores an empty food bowl.

Now though, I think it’s a beautiful looking car. But of course I would. Still, you have to admit for a car that was launched in the late-1990s it still looks good today. It’s aged well. The same can’t be said for its contemporaries. The Walter d’Silva penned body exudes classic Italian styling cues. Subtle detailing, curves at all the right places, and perfect proportions. The Alfa shield up front which weirded the younger me out has now grown on me. The ‘whiskers’ joining the grille to the headlights are on of my favourite details. I like the unsymmetrical positioning of the number plate too. From the side it does look like a coupe with those hidden rear door handles. The rear actually looks like time was spent designing it. The taillights were so good that they pretty much used the same design for the 159. I love walking up to it in mornings and always give it second look when I leave it at night.  Continue reading

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Michael’s 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4X4

This story is written by Michael (http://motorblogaz.wordpress.com/) about his 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4X4.

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This is my 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4×4. This was the first car I purchased when I was 16 and still own to this day. This Jeep is responsible for really igniting my passion for cars. Many weekends were spent driving forest service roads with the windows down and the country music up, or navigating Broken Arrow trail in Sedona, AZ, or wrenching on it. I installed 4 KC HiLites on the roof, totaling 200 watts of American-made electric sunshine. A set of black Cragar steel wheels and a coat of bedliner on the fender flares helped set my Jeep apart from others in my Cherokee-popular hometown. My family actually owns two Jeep Cherokees, combined have traveled over half-a-million miles. The AMC 4.0 Inline 6 engine is bulletproof and was spawned back when men were men, trucks were trucks and engine blocks were cast iron. I have many plans for this Jeep, which, when added up monetarily sum in the range of $20,000. To this day, the Jeep starts instantly, makes 40psi of oil pressure at idle, and the air conditioning functions perfectly.  Continue reading

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Introducing a new segment: Readers’ Stories

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Hey guys, I recently had an idea after doing a review of my car. I think it would be cool for readers of this blog to share stories of their cars. Everybody drives a car that is special to them, and it is different for everybody. Just like how my Honda Pilot is special to me, everybody has different opinions on why they care about their cars, regardless of public perception. Most people consider the Honda Pilot as an average family SUV, but to me, this car is more than that. I’ve had a good ten years with this Pilot, and many memories were made.  I am doing this because I think it would be interesting for me and my readers to read about one’s personal connection to their cars.If you want to share your story about your car, this is all you have to do:  Continue reading

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Bryan’s 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Limited

Hey fellow car fanatics, welcome to the first ever Readers’ Stories post.  This post is written by Bryan ( http://coolqidstable.com/) about his 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Limited with 78k miles. 

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Some people may ask why I chose the Legacy GT over the conventional WRX. The reason is because I like to be different. Even with my first car (1966 Mustang), I modified it and did things that most other traditional Ford guys would do. I drove the Mustang for a good four years, until I needed something more practical for going off to school. I had rode in my buddy’s 2008 Legacy GT and really liked the contrast from the WRX. It combined the luxury of leather and a nicer interior with the power of the turbo charged Boxer engine, which I had always liked.  Continue reading

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2004 Honda Pilot EX-L Review (My Car)

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Most people ask me that if I have all this knowledge about cars, I must be driving something interesting and a car that only car enthusiasts would drive. Well, the truth of the matter is that I drive a Honda Pilot. That’s right, a 2004 Honda Pilot EX-L in Sage Bush Metallic. Yep, it’s an automatic SUV, which makes me out to be a hypocrite, especially since I preach manual transmissions, and since I say that SUVs are my least favorite type of cars. Let me tell you about the story behind this car, who by the way I named Neela (after the girl in Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift who drives a Mazda RX-8). At the time, we had a 1995 Honda Odyssey LX and a 2002 Toyota Camry. While it was a great car, the Odyssey was getting old, and a family member really needed a car, so we gave the car to her. It had 140,000 miles, and my family and I never really considered it a minivan due to the lack of sliding doors which helped my mom avoid the “soccer-mom” mentality. Anyways, this was in 2004, when SUVs were becoming the norm for family cars, and as you guessed, my parents jumped on the bandwagon. My family loves Hondas, but we wanted to go upmarket, so we looked at the Acura MDX (Acura is Honda’s luxury division). My mom loved the MDX, but my father, the cost conscious buyer, was keen on the MDX’s sibling, the Honda Pilot. It had launched a year ago, and we had many friends with Pilots, and everybody loved theirs. We went to the Honda dealership, and we looked at the Pilot.  Naturally, being a young kid, I was bored by all the technical talk, so my sister and I played around in the showroom cars. We test drove a red Pilot with a tan interior, and we were all amazed at how roomy and comfortable it was. We went to the Honda dealership a lot more after that. Then one night, my family went to the dealer without telling me and left me at home with the babysitter. The next day, we went to the dealership, and my sister (who loved to brag and tease me) told me, “Ha-Ha, Mom and Dad took me to the dealer, and not you, and I got to pick out the color! They like me better than you.” I pretended not to believe her, so I asked her, “Oh yeah? Where is our car? Huh? Huh?” And she pointed outside, and there was our Pilot. It was a Friday morning on May 28, 2004. It was a sunny afternoon, and our Pilot was so shiny it sparkled. That weekend, we embarked on a family trip in our brand new car to Ohio. We stopped at a farm, where we got to ride horses. My horse’s name was Diablo, and I remember this because at the time, my favorite Lamborghini was the Diablo. Before we knew it, we were driving this car everywhere. This car has been all over the country. We drove the Pilot many times to Canada, and Mexico two times, and it has been to both coasts of the country. Before I knew it, high school came. When I got my permit, I was supposed to drive our 2002 Toyota Camry, but as being a typical car guy, I said, “heck no!” I wanted a Ford Mustang so badly for my first car, and I was dismayed to find out my first car would be handed down to me. At first, I felt sad, because out of my friends, I had the boring car (my friends had a 2011 Ford Mustang, 2012 Dodge Challenger, Chargers, you name it). But after three years of driving this car, I cannot wish for a better first car. Since this blog just turned a year old, I thought it would be cool to do a review of my own car. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time, and I have been pressured to do so. Ever since I started this blog, I have had impromptu photo shoots of Neela. If I’m driving, and I see a location that I like, I’ll pull over for some pictures. I have accumulated quite a lot of pictures over time, and it is interesting to see how the car has changed in the past year. I actually posted a photo shoot of Neela and another Honda Pilot way back in Decemeber. I just never had the opportunity to do an actual review because I was always writing a review of another car. Now, the perfect opportunity presented itself. Just know that this review will be really long, because this isn’t a review of a random car. I’ve known this car for 10 years, which is a lot to summarize in a typical review, so brace yourself. Hope you guys enjoy it!

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2005 Mazda 3s 2.3 Photoshoot

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I was looking through my pictures, and I found that I had these pictures of the Mazda3 from a photoshoot that I never got around to editing. I reviewed this Mazda way back in January. I loved the first generation 3 with its stylish exterior and interior, spunky handling, and great engines. The only thing I wished for was a manual transmission. This cute 3 is the quintessential compact sedan. You know how everybody says you’re not perfect your first time? Well, this was my first attempt at night photography, so it is interesting to see how much progress I have made from this photoshoot to now. Hope you enjoy these pictures!

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