Monday
Jan062014

Reviewed 2013 Mazda MX-5 Club Sport: Sports Car Personified 

In today's world more is always more, more power, more brakes, more grip, and this is all evaluated on a spreadsheet.  Very rarely is there talk of more driving fun.  If the numbers don't add up on the spreadsheet, then the car must not be good.

Those that are actually interested in DRVING cars rather than just evaluating how they look on a spreadsheet know that the name of the ESPN show "Numbers Never Lie" is false, great cars, memorable cars are not about the numbers, they are about the DRVING!

Like the British sports cars of old, MG's, Lotus Elan, Triumph TR6's and Spitfire's, and more recently the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, light weight chassis don't require big horsepower numbers to be fun.

For 15 years now the Mazda MX-5/Miata have been that car.  Yes it has grown in weight and size some over the years, but it still stays true to the formula that fun can be had in small packages.  We can say, with no qualifiers, that every time we got in the MX-5 and drove it we had FUN!  Even if it was just heading through town to the market to pick up a couple things for dinner.  How many cars can you say that about?  And on top of all that, you can drop the top and let the sun shine in!

Wednesday
Jan012014

Reviewed 2013 Chevy Cruze Diesel: 45+ MPG Is Easy Like Sunday Morning

 

The auto enthusiast community has been clambering for a small diesel car, from a U.S. manufacturer, for quite some time.  Chevy has answered their call by bringing the 2.0 Turbo Diesel engine from Europe to the U.S. and placed it in the Cruze, and it is set to go head to head with the Volkswagen Jetta.
The Cruze on it's own is a pretty solid car, however, once you put the clean diesel engine in the car, does it make it better, worse, or the same?  Will American's take to a clean diesel car from a U.S. manufacturer that gets 30mpg in the city and almost 50mpg on the highway?
That is what we find out on this episode of Rumblestrip.NET and Ten Minute Test Drive.

 

Monday
Dec302013

Reviewed: 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE

As we were trying to catch up on some of the reviews we've done this year, we came across this one from the summer that we missed.

Toyota's RAV4 is one of the more popular vehicles in this segment, and that was before the refresh, now almost 12 months ago.  This new version of the RAV4 is significantly better than the old model, that said, is it good enough to compete with two of the best in this segment, the Ford Escape/Kuga and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport?  That is what we look into on this episode of Rumblestrip.NET and Ten Minute Test Drive.

Saturday
Dec282013

Sunday Morning Drive: St. John U.S.V.I

First vacation in a few years, and the beautiful roads of St. John in the U.S.V.I. make for a perfect Sunday Morning Drive.  The vehicle for the video was a Suzuki Grand Vitara, it was our rental vehicle for the stay.
In the U.S.V.I you drive on the left side of the road, and the steering wheel is on the left side as well, so the rule is keep your shoulder on the shoulder.
Enjoy the steelpan sounds of Albion Sewer as we go for a morning drive.
Friday
Dec062013

First Look: 2015 Ford Mustang

Invited to launch
Quick take, a bit disappointed 
Few details, so we will focus on styling
Side profile car looks to long from the B pillar forward for the rest of the car
The grill looks like it could have come off a Taurus
Headlights have "sharks gills" that emulate the tri-bar rear tail lights
Headlights have a pulled back look to them giving them a Joan Rivers too many facelifts look
Rear quarter window line does not flow with the rest of the car and looks like three other cars
rear facia has too much rake, trying to flow with the back end of the car, just looks awkward
from the rear the greenhouse looks to narrow on the rest of the body
The rear is 40mm wider to accommodate the IRS now standard on all models
Front suspension gets upgraded as well
Ford calls this an all new platform however it IS an evolution of the S197 platform
Interior looks to be quite a big upgrade "aircraft inspired" doors were locked could not look closer
Three engines
Base 3.7L V6 300hp 270 tq, down a bit from the 2013 model
EcoBoost 2.3L 4 cylinder with twin scroll turbo  305+ hp  300tq, wiser numbers closer to 320 for both
5.0 V8 gets upgraded cylinder heads, intake and cams, should see a power bump to around 440hp, maybe 450.
15 inch 6 piston brakes will be available in the performance pack
two six speed transmissions, the auto will have paddle shifters
Blind spot, collision warning, cross traffic warning, my ford touch, radar cruise control will all be options
More details at the New York Auto Show in April, no official launch date or pricing.

Invited to launch
Quick take, a bit disappointed 
Few details, so we will focus on styling
Side profile car looks to long from the B pillar forward for the rest of the car
The grill looks like it could have come off a Taurus
Headlights have "sharks gills" that emulate the tri-bar rear tail lights
Headlights have a pulled back look to them giving them a Joan Rivers too many facelifts look
Rear quarter window line does not flow with the rest of the car and looks like three other cars
rear facia has too much rake, trying to flow with the back end of the car, just looks awkward
from the rear the greenhouse looks to narrow on the rest of the body
The rear is 40mm wider to accommodate the IRS now standard on all models
Front suspension gets upgraded as well
Ford calls this an all new platform however it IS an evolution of the S197 platform
Interior looks to be quite a big upgrade "aircraft inspired" doors were locked could not look closer
Three engines
Base 3.7L V6 300hp 270 tq, down a bit from the 2013 modelEcoBoost 2.3L 4 cylinder with twin scroll turbo  305+ hp  300tq, wiser numbers closer to 320 for both5.0 V8 gets upgraded cylinder heads, intake and cams, should see a power bump to around 440hp, maybe 450.
15 inch 6 piston brakes will be available in the performance pack
two six speed transmissions, the auto will have paddle shifters
Blind spot, collision warning, cross traffic warning, my ford touch, radar cruise control will all be options
More details at the New York Auto Show in April, no official launch date or pricing.