Category Archives: 2012

Ram 1500 4x4

Ram 1500 Tradesman Proves Useful

2012 Ram 1500 Review: Chrysler, under the guise of its truck brand, Ram, thought tradesmen needed a good solid low-cost truck, and the 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4×4 fits the bill. This is a bare bones truck with standard cab and comes with a 4.7-liter, 310-horse V8. Base price for a 2-wheel drive standard cab pickup, with RamBox cargo system is $22,125. An even more basic model without the RamBox …

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NissanMuranoexterior1

Nissan Murano: A Comfortable, Roomy Ride

Nissan’s Murano crossover remains a solid, quiet and comfortable family mover. While many folks buy this in front-wheel-drive form, I tested the SL model with all-wheel drive. That means it goes for nearly $41,000, which seems high, until you consider many other crossovers with luxury leanings. The tested dark metallic blue Murano started at $38,000 and ended up $40,855 with mainly a navigation system upgrade adding to the price. If …

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Acura TSX rear corner

Acura TSX Family Alternative for Accord-seekers

2012 Acura TSX Review: If you were a loyal Honda Accord buyer, and you know a new generation of Accord is coming out in September of 2012, would you be interested in an Accord-like vehicle from Honda that exceeds every feature you always wished the Accord possessed, for about the same money? If you would you pay $32,000 for the much-anticipated 2013 Accord, would you pay $30,000 for an Acura …

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Mini Cooper JCW 2

Mini Cooper’s JCW Coupe a Hot Little Number

2012 Mini Cooper’s JCW Coupe Review: The new Mini Cooper Coupe – the John Cooper Works, or JCW, edition – perked up my driveway. The Coupe is Mini’s new model, has no back seat and a lowered roofline that gives it a distinctive profile, and a more buglike appearance. With black paint and a red racing stripe – reversed on the red roof with a black racing stripe – the …

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Fiat 500 Abarth Gets Points for ‘Cute,’ Little Else

A co-worker called my black and white Fiat 500 Abarth the Beanie Baby of cars – Cute with a capital C. I like small cars, appreciate their efficiency, their fun factor and generally their lower cost. The Fiat 500 is cute almost to a fault. At its base Pop trim level it’s a fun subcompact that starts at an extremely attractive $15,500. The Abarth (Fiat tells us that’s pronounced AH-bart) …

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2012 Mitsubishi i SE

2012 Mitsubishi i SE Review: Be careful out there. That caution from an old cop drama on television is all you need to know about the 2012 Mitsubishi i—or, for that matter, any purely electric car. The i is the latest and least expensive electric vehicle marketed by a major manufacturer. Called the i MiEV (for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) in its native Japan, it is a four-door hatchback just …

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Mazda MX-5 exterior 1

Miata Has More Power, Refinement

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review: To look at Mazda’s MX-5 Miata you’d think little has changed since its introduction nearly 25 years ago. It’s the quintessential two-seater with a simple layout, lines, controls and a simple price tag. The base Sport with a soft convertible top goes for $23,470, and the tested Special Edition with a power hardtop lists at $31,225. Add in the $795 destination charge and you’re looking …

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abarth_exterior_1

2012 Fiat Abarth

For decades beginning in the 1960s, the name Abarth represented an easy way to improve a car’s performance while making it sound terrific. All you had to do was swap your original exhaust system for one made by Abarth of Italy. Not only did it boost horsepower, you got the sweetest tailpipe sounds you could imagine. Practically everybody pronounced the name Ay-barth. Now Abarth is back as a hot version …

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