Auto Reviews


HIGHER GROUND
Toyota Highlander LE Plus

AUTO REVIEW— The Toyota Highlander has grown up. After nearly 15 years as the popular, practical workhorse of the Toyota product line, the Highlander has gotten a serious makeover and has become quite the attention getter. What was once a boxy, relatively unattractive crossover vehicle designed to carry people and cargo is now a larger, more stylish perfect-for-any-situation vehicle. Reed “The Traffic Guy” Berry reports.

PUTTING THE MINI BACK IN MINIVAN
Mazda5 Sport

AUTO REVIEW—Do you remember when minivans were mini? They’ve gotten so big over the years that no one dares reverse a minivan without a back-up camera. With the Mazda5 Sport, the manufacturer has put the “mini” back in minivan. Maneuverable. Sporty. Easy to park. Yet, ample three-row seating—and it has no competition. At $21,010 (including a $795 “delivery, processing, and handling fee”) there’s a lot of Mazda here for the money, and the window sticker bears that out.

FROM 2002 TO M235i
BMW’s new 2-series muscle

AUTO REVIEW— Those who follow BMW know a simple yet efficient designation of the product lines sold in the USA. The sedans are odd numbered, 3, 5, and 7. The second set of numbers denote the engine capacity in liters. Coupes bear even numbers. And for those willing to tear down the roads, there is an M – a sport and track oriented dominator. And then things went haywire. There is now the new BMW M235i, which is a successor to last year’s 1 Series coupe (shouldn’t 1 be a sedan?), which harkens back to the celebrated 2002. Harvey Schwartz reports.

THE SHINING
Infiniti’s balancing act with the Q70s 5.6

AUTO REVIEW—Ah , the contradictions of luxury car status symbols. You want to shine, but not like you’re trying too hard. Justin Bieber may be able to get away with a car finished in chrome, but that’s not the kind of shine most people seek in a luxury sedan. Infiniti thinks it strikes the right balance with its 2014 Q70S. Mark Dorman finds out if the car can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

CADDY SHOCK
2014 Cadillac ELR

AUTO REVIEW—No, we’re not talking about a sequel to Harold Ramis’ cult-classic “Caddyshack”. This is Caddy Shock, as in Cadillac’s first foray into extended range electric cars. While some may be shocked that it’s more than twice the price of GM’s other extended range electric car (the Volt), this one is a visual stunner—almost identical to the Cadillac Converj concept. It’s called the Cadillac ELR, and it’s a shoe-in for future classic car status. John Grafman reports.

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