Tag Archives: japan

2008 Infiniti QX56 Review

qx563

Definition of infinity: a point in space or time that is or seems infinitely distant. In other words, Infiniti as a company goes beyond its limits. Conceived in 1989 by Nissan as a luxury division, Infiniti challenged the European luxury cars (Lexus and Acura were conceived at around the same time as Infiniti), but ultimately failed due to its lack of prestige and unusual styling which were unmistakeably Japanese. It was not until 2003 that Infiniti became competitive with the arrival of the G35. The G35 sedan and coupe garnered acclaim for its combination of driving excellence, sharp styling, comfort, and affordability. The G35 won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award when it debuted in 2003. As time passed, Infiniti cars became better. This QX56 is one of Infiniti’s competitive products. Originally, it was a rebadged version of the Nissan Pathfinder dubbed QX4, but it morphed into a clone of the Nissan Armada as the company’s status elevated.

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2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser (Trails Team Special Edition) Review

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Toyota as a company is not known for adventurous vehicles. Practical transportation, yes. Adventurous? No. While the earlier Land Cruisers and 4Runners were considered adventurous, the latest iterations of these SUVs have morphed into conservative vehicles. The FJ Cruiser fills in the void. Rivaling the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra, the FJ Cruiser debuted in 2006 with priorities on looks and off road ability. The FJ Cruiser is meant to be a retro model inspired by the original Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers while retaining Toyota’s reliability. The Trails Team Special Edition version you see here is one of 2,500 produced in 2012. This particular version receives many TRD (Toyota Racing Development) upgrades such as upgraded tires, cosmetic changes, body colored interior, and others. Continue reading

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2005 Acura TL Review

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Before 2004, the Acura TL wasn’t considered a genuine rival to the BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class, which could be attributed to its image and dullness. The 2004 redesign changed that. Combining modern styling, sharp performance, affordability, and comfort, the TL surprised it’s German rivals with its competence. The fact it was available in Type S trim and with a manual transmission didn’t hurt either.The original TL (TL stands for ‘Touring Luxury’) was introduced in 1996 to replace the Vigor. The TL did not concern the Europeans as it had dull styling and underwhelming performance. Same thing applies to the second generation TL which debuted in 1999. It wasn’t till 2004 that Acura gave a car the Europeans were afraid of. It became the second best selling luxury sedan behind the BMW 3-Series in the U.S following 2004. Continue reading

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2009 Mazda3 S Grand Touring Review

tackling the woods

“If a car’s not worth driving, it’s not worth building” This motto completely describes Mazda as a company. Mazda prides itself on driving enjoyment, as reflected by the availability of the manual transmission on all its cars  including the 5 minivan, CX9 excepted and its focus on sheer driving enjoyment. Mazda strayed from its ordinary mainstream image as soon as it adopted a numerical naming scheme for its cars. The Mazda3 replaced the mundane looking but somewhat fun to drive Protege, while the 6 replaced the forgettable 626. Ford and Mazda shared an operating agreement that Ford would use Mazda’s engines and chassis, while Mazda would get Ford’s facilities. The deal fell through a year or two ago. There were reports that Mazda would go under. Mazda is a small company that builds cars in Japan, which is less than ideal due to the yen and the cost of transporting the cars across the sea. Mazda came through. How? Two words: KODOS, and SKYACTIV. These two terms represent Mazda’s comeback. Mazda adopted a new design language and new fuel efficient engines and transmissions, which has propelled Mazda to the spotlight in terms of design, engineering, and driving performance. The CX5, 6, and the newly launched 3 are examples of this company’s rejuvenation. Continue reading

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2007 Acura RL Review

looking good

No, your eyes do not deceive you. What you see here is an Acura RL. With 379 of the RLs sold in 2012, it is rare. I told the owner of this car this fact, and she said, “Hmm, then I guess my car is a collectible!”.  The RL’s genealogy can be traced back to the Legend. in 1986, Honda created a luxury division with the Mid size Legend and the compact sporty Integra. Replacing the successful and popular Legend that jump started the Acura brand, the 1996 RL attempted to provide a comfortable and reliable alternative to the BMW 5 series and Mercedes E-Class. It barely made a dent on the sales chart, as the Acura with its front wheel drive layout and 200 horsepower V6 could not match the superior dynamics and power of its European rivals, and also it lacked prestige. The Acura RL was redesigned in 2005, and for the first time, all-wheel drive was standard. In 2014, the RL is succeeded by the RLX. Continue reading

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2002 Toyota Camry LE Review

You Think

You guys are probably wondering what is a Toyota Camry, one of the dullest cars on the market, doing on this automotive blog? Well, let me shed a little light on the situation. This car is special to me, because we bought this car brand new when I was in kindergarten. This car has been there for our family as long as I can remember. At 143,000 miles, the Camry is still running strong with no problems, despite the notable scratches and dents that we never bothered to repair. Toyota poured $1 billion into developing the Camry and this was the result. Continue reading

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