Category Archives: 2013

All-electric Fiat 500e has new, aerodynamic exterior.

Fiat 500e electric

LOS ANGELES,CALIF. — The Fiat 500 is cute, fun, efficient, and economical, but nobody would really call it electrifying. Until now. For 2014, the Fiat 500 will come in a version called the 500e, with the “e” standing for electric. Before consumers in 49 states get too excited about the 500e maybe becoming their electric car of choice, however, the car will require a little California Dreamin’ because the only showrooms it …

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Snow and slush can't even ruin the BMW 750iXL's classic appeal.

BMW 750iXL excellence dicey when roads icy

A prominent note in my notebook will remind me to plead with the press-fleet powers at BMW to send me the new BMW 750iL for a second test-drive week, after the persistent snow and ice of this never-ending winter finally cash in their chips. As it is, the chance to experience the many wonderful features of the car, which is BMW’s flagship of luxury and class. It’s not as though I didn’t get a chance …

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Name could stand for ‘American 3 Series’

ATS isn’t simply a car Cadillac wants to offer. It’s a car Cadillac needs to offer. Globally, the biggest category in the luxury field is the compact performance segment, and Caddy simply hasn’t been a player. Until now. Eight inches shorter and 500 pounds lighter than its CTS showroom mate, ATS is virtually all new; only its available V-6 is off the shelf. Everything else is consciously designed to target …

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2013 Fiat 500 Turbo: Bling? Maybe; Bing? Definitely!

The car was a techy new 21st-century turbo so, of course, it reminded me of a 1944 Bing Crosby movie. In “Here Come the Waves,” I’ll bet you’ll recall, Crosby sings “Ac-ent-tchu-ate the Positive,” a song whose lyric advises: “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative . . . don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.” And therein lies the irony. Fiat’s new 500 Turbo seeks to accentuate positives and eliminate negatives by …

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2013 Honda Accord Sedan

2013 Honda Accord focuses on performance, not looks

Honda’s Accord has become a generic family sedan in America, a car that’s a good value, an excellent performer, but does not stand out. You may never notice the 2013 model, but you may want to own one. While Toyota has added a touch of styling flair to its formerly vanilla Camry and Ford has leapt forward with its new Fusion design, Honda stays with its safe, bland look, coupled …

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2013 Nissan Pathfinder is tailored for family comfort

Not long ago, Nissan’s Pathfinder was a sport-utility truck that was set up for off-roading and hauling gear. Today, that tough truck has gotten a little softer and is tailored more for comfort. Oh, it can haul and is available with all-wheel-drive, but you are not going to take this vehicle off road. With its remodel for 2013, Pathfinder is pure crossover, leaning toward minivan. That’s because it rides on …

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Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek is solid low-cost hauling option

Subaru’s new crossover, the XV Crosstrek, is an attractive vehicle that splits the difference between sedan, wagon and crossover, with many of the good characteristics of each. But the Crosstrek, which rides on the compact Impreza platform, is underpowered, so keep that in mind if you plan to haul four people or a load of stuff under its roomy hatchback. Crosstrek has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, but looks more …

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2013 ACURA ILX 2.0L

2013 Acura ILX: Honda’s uptown brand offers luxury to the masses

Despite high-priced new iron like the 2014 RLX sedan and MDX crossover, Acura figures there’s a market, as well, for a classy-but-affordable compact aimed at 20- and 30-somethings who seek to make an “I have arrived” statement, even if they’re still in transit. Thus, we get the 2013 Acura ILX. The new ILX shares its basic platform with the Honda Civic, but you’d need the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes …

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