Tag Archives: audi

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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2000 BMW Z3 Review

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Contrary to what most people think, the Z3 was not the first Z to start off the Z series (Z3 and Z4). That title goes to the Z1.  During 1989-1991, BMW built the Z1. The Z1 featured many innovative touches such as doors that slide down in their sills and a removable plastic body. This car could be driven with all of the body panels completely removed. They were never sold in North America, and the Z1 was discontinued after just two years and with 8,000 models produced. After noticing the success of the Mazda Miata roadster, BMW decided it wanted a piece of the action. Introduced in 1996, the Z3 made its debut in the James Bond film, Golden Eye, which BMW used to promote the car. The BMW Z3 emphasized its mix of modern BMW mechanicals with retro styling cues from the BMW 507 (a classic BMW roadster). It gained new interior and exterior revisions in 2000.

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2013 Audi A7 Review

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A few years ago, the luxury car sector was shaken up by the introduction of Mercedes Benz’s CLS. It gave meaning to the body type “four door coupe” as it boasted a sloping roof line and sharper looks. The success of the CLS has attracted the attention of BMW and Audi. BMW struck back with its 2012 6 Series Gran Coupe and Audi did so with its 2012 A7. Based off the Audi A6, the A7 flaunted sharper styling as well as higher prices. Much to Mercedes Benz’s chagrin, the Audi A7 achieved success. It was Automobile‘s “2012 Automobile of the Year”, International Car of the Year in 2012, AutoWeek’s Best of the Best/Car for 2012, and Esquire’s 2011 Esquire Car of the Year. Competing with rivals from Mercedes Benz and BMW, the A7 incorporates typical Audi virtues while giving prospective buyers an attractive alternative to the Audi A6. Continue reading

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2011 Audi A4 Prestige Review

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Determined to defeat the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C class as the king of compact luxury cars, the Audi A4 was redesigned in 2009. Understated styling and excellent quality is what separated the A4 from the aforementioned BMW and Mercedes. Whereas the BMW was sporty and the Mercedes luxurious, the A4 struggled to find a balance. Previous generations were too hard riding and noisy and not sporty enough which can be attributed to its front wheel drive (or front wheel drive based AWD) layout. In 2009, Audi was determined to take down its rivals. Flaunting modern styling and newly updated powertrains,  the latest Audi A4 was Audi’s contender in the compact luxury foray. Continue reading

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2008 Audi A4 2.0T Review

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What can I say about German engineering? When it comes to luxury cars, the German engineering is present in cars. You can feel it in the ride, the handling, and the overall feel of the controls. The Audi A4 is an example of such engineering. As Audi changed its nomenclature from just numbers (80, 100) to numbers and letters (A4, A6, A8), their cars adopted a different approach to beating BMW and Mercedes Benz in the luxury market. Audi, a division of Volkswagen, would use Volkswagen platforms to keep costs down, while focusing on driving performance and comfort. The Audi A4 succeeded the Audi 80 in 1996, as an attempt to better the likes of its rivals BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. Following up on the first generation A4’s success, the second generation A4 promises even better driving performance. Continue reading

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