AUTO REVIEW—For the past several months, those of us in Southern California might be the envy of the rest of the nation. We can’t really fault those on the East Coast for being jealous. Pessimists only see a drought. We, on the other hand, are very appreciative having the Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water on earth, at our beck and call. The 2014 Audi Q5 with the 2.0T engine is the perfect complement to this unseasonably summer-like weather.
AUTO REVIEW—Resplendently loud in its blatant yellow and black, the R Line Beetle GSR is surely the most boy racer-ish of cars that I’ve lately been assigned to drive. I think that I saw more than a couple pedestrians raise their arms as if to hail a cab as I drew near. On the other hand, this Beetle has all sort of fun features. At one point in time, VWs were taken up by people (like Paul Newman for one) who could afford far more costly machines and driven as sort of reverse status symbols. “I can afford a $90K car, but I’m driving this $30K tuner car because it is just so damn much fun.”
AUTO REVIEW— Each year, I have the opportunity to road test a number of new vehicles for review purposes. Some of them are impressive, others are quite unmemorable and, every once in a while, there is one I just don’t want to give back. When a car is sporty, fun to drive, practical and fuel efficient, it really gets my attention and respect. Such is the case with the 2014 Mazda3 I 4-Door Grand Touring. I’ve always heard that things happen in threes.
AUTO REVIEW— In a concerto, cadenza refers to a portion in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone. It was initially improvised, but nowadays the well-known cadenzas are written out in full. Some of these have become effectively part of the standard repertoire. Upon encountering the 2014 Kia Cadenza, one finds it aptly named (beyond revealing its creators’ love, and talent for, classical music) because this product represents an exuberant, seemingly unexpected, and improvised addition to a repertoire.
AUTO REVIEW—Please excuse the political incorrectness, but this is a manly truck. Go to GMC’s website and “build” a Sierra and you’ll see what we mean. The available accessories and options paint a picture of mud-drenched back-country roads and working conditions with temperatures well below zero and head-high piles of snow. The way GMC chooses to present these options makes the city-slicker yearn for a new harsher life.