Monthly Archives: December 2014

2009 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport Photoshoot

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Remember the 2006 Mercedes-Benz S430 that I photographed? Well, the owner hired me to photograph his other Mercedes-Benz: a 2009 C300 Sport. I reviewed the refreshed model in two door form, and while it wasn’t my cup of tea, it was a solid compact luxury car. I did get to drive this 2009, and I found it to be a capable performer. It steers nicely, and the brakes are sharp. To be honest, I do prefer the 2012 face-lift over this styling, but it is still a decent looker. I hope you like the pictures!

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2013 BMW 328i Review

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As you may know, for the past three years, I drove a Honda Pilot. But my sister drove a 2002 Toyota Camry LE, which got totaled this summer, so she got the Pilot. What I may not have mentioned is that since August, I have been driving a 2010 BMW 328i sedan (It’s my dad’s) . It was quite the change, as I actually have to worry about huge dips and speed bumps and what not. But I embraced the svelte inline six cylinder engine and the sublime handling. The 328i (I named her Gisele) is the last 3-Series they produced with the heavenly hydraulic steering. I know it seems trivial to obsess over a steering system, but that is what makes a BMW feel like a BMW. In other words, the steering is weighty and it is brimming with feedback. That is why when I got the opportunity to review the latest 3-Series, I approached this car with dread as it was going to be hard for me to remain objective. After all, I arrived to do the review in an E90 (3-Series’ are classified by their generation names. E90 is from 2006-2011, and F30 is 2012-present), review a F30, then leave in an E90. But what really made me approach the F30 with trepidation is the fact that the F30 replaces the amazing hydraulic steering system with an electric system. After reading reviews stating the obvious lack of feel in these new electric steering systems, I tried to approach this car with an open mind. I should explain: previous 3’s were not particularly fuel efficient, so BMW saw fit to install an a more fuel efficient electric system in the F30. The 3 series has a long history dating back to 1975 which when the first generation launched. Since the first generation, the 3 series has solidified its reputation as the best compact luxury sedan in the world. For five generations, it has remained supreme in terms of sales despite the emergence of worthy competitors. Now, it is going to be hard not to be biased. But I am going to try to be objective with the review of this car. It is just that I arrived in an E90 to test drive a F30, and I left in an E90. Can’t be that hard to remain objective right? I have reviewed the third, fourth, and fifth and I have loved them all, so hope was high that I would become fond of the sixth generation.  Continue reading

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2007 Infiniti M35 Review

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For the longest time I could remember, the third generation Infiniti M has always been my favorite luxury sedan. Funny thing is, I have never actually driven one. Its sporty looks and the fact that it was based off the same platform as the Nissan Z sports car gave it performance credibility. This generation was a Consumer Reports Top Pick, and it was well received by the press. The strange thing is that the M wasn’t always a luxury sedan. Rather, it was a two door in either a coupe or convertible configuration. In 1989, Nissan introduced its luxury division, Infiniti, to take on the Germans. As one of the first two models to be produced by Infiniti, the 1989 M30 Coupe and Convertible were a rebadged Nissan Leopard. Alas, it lasted only three years in production. According to Wikipedia, it is rumored that less than 12,000 M30s have been sold, making it the rarest Infiniti ever made. It was not until 2002 that the M was revived as a rebadged Nissan Gloria, this time as a luxury sedan. My friend Madison’s father had a silver M45 when I was little, and I remember being fascinated with it. The second generation M was long and narrow, and this gave it a futuristic appearance. The fact that it was powered by a 340 horsepower V8 which was a a lot back then added to its appeal. Sadly, due to its high price and unremarkable handling, it trailed the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Sales were so low that this generation only lasted for two years. This time, Infiniti wasn’t taking any chances. In 2006, it debuted an all new and redesigned M, again another rebadged Nissan sold as the Nissan Fuga in Japan. This time, the Infiniti M was based off the “FM” (front-midship which basically means the engine is pushed behind the front axle for better weight distribution) platform that underpinned the Nissan Z sports car as well as the sporty Infiniti FX SUV and G sedan. In addition to having a chassis derived from a sports car, the M also was powered by Nissan’s well-received “VQ-series” engines. I was both nervous and excited to review this car to see if it really did live up to my expectations.  Continue reading

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