Tag Archives: mountain

2009 BMW 328i Convertible Review

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For the review of the sedan, click here.

Known for its success as a compact luxury sedan, the BMW 3 Series is BMW’s most important model. It combines dynamic excellence and typical BMW virtues into a small package. Adding to its appeal is its variety of body styles available. One of those body styles includes a convertible. The 3 Series convertible made its introduction in the E30 iteration in 1987. Fast forward to 2007 to the E90 iteration. The convertible body style always employed a traditional cloth top, but due to current trends, BMW ditched the traditional soft top for a metal hard top. This is surprising considering that the more expensive 6 Series convertible uses a cloth top. Nonetheless, the metal hardtop was a first for the 3 Series convertible.

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2013 Infiniti QX56 Review

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For the review of the first generation of the Infiniti QX56 click here.

With Infiniti moving up in the luxury world, it took the Nissan Pathfinder Armada (later changed to just Armada) and spawned an Infiniti clone named the QX56. While it did reasonably well, it failed to entice buyers away from the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GL. It was cited for not having enough of the luxury factor and also because of its relatively harsh ride. Knowing this, Infiniti went to work at its replacement. Now no longer a clone of the Nissan Armada, the QX56 (As of 2014, it is now QX80) is based on the Nissan Patrol, an SUV not sold in North America. Boasting Infiniti’s latest design language and a more luxurious interior, the QX56 is aimed at the full size luxury SUV market. Continue reading

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2004 Mercedes-Benz ML500 Review

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As the SUV market was  booming in the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz was in need of an SUV. Launched in 1998, the M-Class was one of the first cars to be manufactured at Mercedes-Benz’s then new plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  It won several awards such as Motor Trend‘s Truck of the Year for 1998, and the World Car Award in 1999. Despite the acclaim, the M-Class was criticized for its poor reliability issues. I remember reading about how when it rained, the water would leak through the sunroof of these SUVs.  Mercedes-Benz attempted to rectify these flaws with the 2002 facelift. The V8 in the ML430 version was replaced by a 5.0 liter V8 and thus necessitated a name change to ML500. Continue reading

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2006 Lexus SC430 Review

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It was 1991, two years after Lexus was created, the SC was birthed to complement the successful LS sedan, and to combat the Mercedes SL, Acura Legend Coupe, and the Infiniti M30. Combining stunning looks and superb driving dynamics, not to mention typical Lexus reliability, the SC was a success. Fast forward nine years into its life cycle with no major updates, and the aging SC was in need of an immediate redesign. Then came 2001 when the redesigned SC would debut. In contrast to the previous  SC, the SC is a convertible. One of its unique characteristic was that it had a retractable aluminum hardtop which meant that it could combine the looks of a coupe and a convertible. Continue reading

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2008 Jeep Liberty Sport Review

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Prior to 2002, Jeep’s compact SUV was the Cherokee. With its lightweight body and excellent reliability, not to mention its off roading capabilities, the Cherokee was a hit. But in the late 1990s, U.S was experiencing a SUV boom which shifted the market from boxy and truck like SUVs to contemporary styled and carlike SUVs. In the compact category, the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 were one of the aforementioned car like SUVs. Amazed by these two SUVs’ successes, competitors rushed to produce similar vehicles. As a result, the Liberty was born. Replacing the Cherokee, the Liberty enjoyed success although in a different context.  Redesigned for 2008, the Liberty places emphasis on its boxy looks and its Jeep heritage. Continue reading

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