Tag Archives: cars

RNR Automotive Blog is now 1 year old!

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Wow! Today’s date is the exact date that I created this blog a year ago. The picture above is my first ever review I posted on the blog. I expected this blog to be a hobby that I would work on once a week, but my, how wrong I was. Doing this blog changed from a hobby into doing something that I love. This blog has become a part of my life. I love being able to have the opportunity to drive all kinds of cars. One of the reasons I created this blog was because of the hype is on fancy and exotic cars that we can’t afford, and I thought it would be neat if I could make everyday cars cooler in a sense. It is like I am giving an ordinary car a story with pictures. Who thought a Camry could look cool standing in front of the mountains? But best of all, I love to write, and I love cars, so this blog is one of the best things that have happened to me. If I am not out there reviewing cars, I am writing a review. My personal best is five cars in one day.  I love working on this blog to the point that if I don’t do the actual review of a car for a number of weeks,  I start to miss it. I cannot believe the amount of support I’ve had from my friends and family on this blog. My mother even had me review the cars of the employees of her office, and I have friends who are finding me cars to review without me even having to ask them. This kind of support is what makes this blog so enjoyable. Most of all, I want to thank the readers of this blog for their everlasting support.  Never would I have thought I would have had the chance to drive some truly amazing cars, from a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle to a 2012 Nissan GT-R. As of today’s date, I have 20 thousand views from the U.S alone, and about 5,000 from other countries. To commemorate this anniversary, I have decided to do a review of my own car. For some reason, I never thought to review my own car. And…. my car is a 2004 Honda Pilot EX-L. Review is coming soon 🙂 I compiled a gallery of the best car pictures I have done for this blog. I hope you like it.  And if you want to keep up with me via social media, my Instagram is rnrautoblog. Thanks everybody for helping me keep RNR Automotive Blog a reality! As you might know, I am a manual transmission advocate, and I have a manual transmission tab for reviews of such cars. I am pleased to announce that I have done 27 manual cars, and surprising ones at that such as a 2008 Honda Accord EX sedan and a 2006 Audi A4.  Save the manuals! (Seriously, get a stick) On a side note, I would like to thank my friend, Carlton for helping me create this blog (He’s an amazing photographer. Check out his website ) and my friend Miranda M. for being my unofficial editor on this blog.

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Tribute to Betty: Our 2002 Toyota Camry LE

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Hey guys, remember that 2002 Toyota Camry LE that I reviewed? Well that was one of my first reviews on this blog, so you probably don’t remember. This car was a member of our family, having been bought brand new in 2002. I remember the car shopping experience. We had just gotten tired of our 1993 Saturn SL, and we were looking to upgrade. That Saturn had around 130 thousand miles when we were looking for a new car in the January of 2002. My dad, a Honda man, inevitably turned to the 2002 Honda Accord as the Saturn’s replacement. But the Accord was in its last year, and the Camry had just launched. My parents wanted to go upmarket, so they looked at the Acura TL, and the Volvo S70. I remember the exact cars that we test drove back in 2002. The Acura TL was silver, and it was a sunny afternoon, and I remember how luxurious it felt (Remember, our Saturn had manual windows and cloth seats!). I was sitting in the backseat, amazed by the center armrest because it had an opening that led to the inside of the trunk! As for the Volvo S70, my parents wanted to look at it because it was supposed to be one of the safest cars you could buy, and where we lived, Volvos were very popular, especially in wagon form. It was dark outside and snowing, and the Volvo salesman led us to this beautiful white S70. It was parked on the lot at a corner by itself, and the streetlights shined on the car. It just looked beautiful under the streetlight, and it had a spoiler and a tan interior. My parents liked the car very much, but they didn’t like that reliability was an issue. However, my parents felt these cars were too pricey, so we looked at the Toyota Camry which was just redesigned. Strangely I don’t remember much about the Toyota buying experience. I don’t remember how we even got the car. All I know is that we looked at the Camry, and my parents loved it. They felt that the Camry offered much more value than the Acura or the Volvo ever did. And then one day, it was in our garage, and the Saturn was parked outside. This being the new car, the Toyota was the cooler car. (At the time we also had a 1995 Honda Odyssey LX). I named the Camry Betty. Because when I think of a girl named Betty, I imagined that she is a vanilla type of woman. Nice and dependable, but not very adventurous, which describes the Camry perfectly.  Continue reading

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2012 Volkswagen Golf R Review

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Even though this looks like an ordinary Golf, I can assure you it is not. It is not the TDI diesel, nor the sporty GTI. Rather, this is the high performance R model. The Golf itself is one of the world’s best selling cars, and it all started with the 1974 first generation (sold as the Rabbit in the U.S). Dubbed the MK1 (generations of the Golf are codenamed MK), the front engined and front wheel drive replaced the rear wheel drive and rear wheel engined Beetle. With this generation came the GTI version, one of the first “hot hatches.” In Europe mainly where hatchbacks are the norm, Europeans crave the hot hatchbacks for their blend of high performance and ultimate practicality. As the Golf grew in age and size, so did the GTI. It was not until MK4 generation (1997-2004) that Volkswagen upped the GTI with the R32. In contrast to the GTI’s four cylinder turbo engine (a GTI hallmark) and front wheel drive underpinnings, the R32 employed a 3.2 liter VR6 six cylinder engine and all wheel drive. With 237 horsepower, the R32 was faster than the GTI and considerably more expensive. When the next Golf debuted in 2005, GTI and R32 variants followed. Unlike the first R32, this generation R32 was not popular. It still came with a V6 and all wheel drive, but whereas the previous R32 was exclusively six speed manual only, this R32’s only transmission was a paddle shifter dual clutch automatic transmission. A car like the R32 is supported by a specific community, and the community values European driving dynamics which includes the need for a manual transmission. Volkswagen redesigned the Golf in 2008, and instead of a R32, the high performance variant of the Golf was named “R” which I think is due to the fact it uses a more powerful version of the GTI’s four cylinder turbo instead of its own V6. Having had the chance to drive a MK6 GTI, I was interested in how this MK6 R compares in terms of handling and performance.  Continue reading

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2012 Nissan GT-R Teaser

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Review coming soon! You don’t want to miss this one 🙂
Credit goes to my friend Ben Husband for this picture.

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2000 Lexus GS300 Review

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For years, the Germans have ruled the luxury market in the U.S. However, in the late 1980s’, the Japanese created luxury divisions to take on the Germans. Toyota had Lexus, Honda had Acura, and Nissan had Infiniti. However, Lexus is the only automaker that took the U.S by surprise when it debuted the LS400 in 1989. Whereas German luxury cars were notorious for their poor reliability and were expensive to buy, the LS400 represented a change from the norm by providing excellent reliability and luxury with a starting price that undercut the Germans. As a result, the LS400 was a runaway success. Building on the success of the LS sedan, Lexus saw fit to expand its lineup. Seeing that the ES and LS sedans rivaled compact and large executive sedans, Lexus felt the need for a midsize sedan to rival the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Lexus hired the Italian design firm, Italdesign Guigiaro (a designer who is known for designing Italian cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini) to design the GS. Sold as a Toyota Aristo in Japan and as a Lexus in the U.S., sales were nowhere near that of the Germans. This can be attributed to its underpowered engine, high price, and weird styling. The GS was redesigned in 1997 as a 1998 model. This time, it had both a V6 and a V8, and its styling was more conventional, and it also placed more emphasis on its driving dynamics. This generation was also sold as a Toyota Aristo in Japan.

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1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Review

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In the eighties, Toyota wanted to replicate the success of its Land Cruiser SUV but in a smaller and more affordable package. Cue the 4Runner which debuted in mid-1984 as a 1985 model. Instead of developing an entirely new model like the Land Cruiser, Toyota used the Hilux chassis to create the 4Runner (sold as the Hilux Surf in other countries).  The first generation was nothing more than a pickup truck with a roof over the bed. The purpose of the 4Runner was to provide the versatility and the go anywhere ability of the Hilux truck while giving the comfort and utility expected of an SUV. I reviewed a third generation, a 1997 4Runner which was the first generation to be built as a separate model, not sharing any body parts or frames with the Hilux. I liked it very much, but I never really thought of reviewing the original 4Runner at all. I asked my friend if I could review his old Volvo 242 or something like that. It was a really cool old Volvo in burgundy and with a manual transmission. However, when I contacted him, he sold it and got this 4Runner. How could I say no to reviewing the original 4Runner with only two doors and a manual transmission?

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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 Acura ILX 2.4 Review

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As Acura came to the US marketplace in 1986, its first two models included the Legend and the Integra. The Integra, based off the Civic’s platform, aimed to provide a more reliable and affordable rival to the BMW 3-Series. However, it was not regarded as a direct rival, but it did achieve success. It garnered record sales due to its blend of engaging handling, typical Japanese reliability, and affordability. Third successful generations would follow, as well as a name change to RSX. Then in 2006, as Acura was repositioning itself as a true luxury company, the RSX was dropped as it did not fit within this new strategy. The ILX is not an official replacement for the Integra/RSX, but it shares the title of Acura’s entry level car, a role that the Integra/RSX fulfilled. The ILX’s purpose is similar to that of the Integra: to provide reliability, comfort, some degree of luxury, in a fun to drive package.

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