quick drive

Winding Road Video: 2012 Buick Regal GS – Quick Drive

This week we get to drive the 2012 Buick Regal GS.

By Chris Amos | January 25, 2012
Quick Drive: 2012 Audi TT 2.0T

This base-level Audi TT is a pretty desirable sports coupe, but it does require a buyer that’s slightly more interested in luxury, styling, and/or overall image than performance. Don’t misunderstand me; I’ve quite enjoyed every TT driving experience that I’ve had, including this 2.0T. And, within the narrow TT universe, the base car is actually a smoking bargain (the higher spec cars get expensive quickly). But in terms of the always difficult to assess “thrills per dollar” metric, there are certainly better options.

By Winding Road Staff | January 05, 2012
Quick Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Eos

On my usual way in to the office, there’s a nice, wide on-ramp with a very sharp righthand corner before a very short entrance to the freeway. In most cars, to make it to highway speeds before having to merge, I have to carry a lot of speed through that corner. No problem, it’s a great way to start my day, and get a small sense of what the car can do. I start wide on the left, and try to hit the late apex while putting the power back on.

By Winding Road Staff | November 21, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec

If I’m buying either the S400 or S350 over the S550, part of the focus is on fuel efficiency. The diesel S-Class achieves 21/31 miles per gallon, while the hybrid only gets 19/25. If I own this car along with others, this is going to be the one I take on longer drives, where highway mileage is more important.

By Winding Road Staff | November 03, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 BMW 335is Coupe

The 335is is subtle, too. There’s just enough performance on top of what the standard 35i offers to make you think you’re driving something special, but none of the harshness that can sometimes result from aftermarket adventures. The Dinan guys may have something to say about that, I admit, but until we’re able to put together a comparison along those lines, I’ll stick with recommending the factory car.

By Winding Road Staff | September 28, 2011
Winding Road Video: 2011 Mini Countryman – Quick Drive

This week we take you on a short tour of the 2011 Mini Countryman. For this video, we left the Countryman in sport mode (hence all the pops and burbles from the exhaust).

By Chris Amos | July 29, 2011
Winding Road Video: 2011 Nissan 370Z – Quick Drive

Last week, we spent some quality time in the 2011 Nissan 370Z. For this video, you’ll want your headphones on to fully experience the 370Z’s exhaust note.

By Chris Amos | July 25, 2011
Winding Road Video: 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 – Quick Drive

Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of wafting around in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350. Turn up your speakers or slip on your headphones, the GLK350’s throaty 3.5-liter V-6 sounds fantastic!

By Chris Amos | July 18, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Lariat 4×4

This is not your granddaddy’s pick-up truck. It’s powered by a biturbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. It has an interior that wouldn’t look out of place at your local IKEA. The gear selector sits on the floor. It has air-conditioned seats for crying out loud! And navigation! Blasphemy?

By Winding Road Staff | July 01, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Acura RDX

I think that the Acura RDX suffers a little bit from being an early entry into this kind of strange, small luxury crossover segment. I too love the 2.3-liter turbo four in the RDX, it’s a strong, characterful engine that shows that Honda really can do a turbo if it sets its mind to it. But, the fact of the matter is that I can buy an Infiniti EX35 that offers slightly better fuel economy and more power (though a tiny bit less torque) from it’s 3.5-liter V-6, for less money.

By Winding Road Staff | July 01, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The role in the world for the Fusion Hybrid seems to be as the slightly better handling alternative to Toyota’s Prius. What one gives up to drive the Fusion versus the Prius— hatchback functionality, some fuel economy, and Toyota residual value—is made up for on a day-to-day fun basis. Sure, the Fusion may only be 10 percent more fun to drive than the Toyota, but that small amount adds up with the occasional fast corner, or spirited session when taking the long way home from work.

By Winding Road Staff | June 25, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Ford Explorer XLT 4X4

The most recent step in the evolution of the Ford Explorer has been a good one, in my opinion. Sure, the rough-around-the-edges, truck-based Explorer of old had its charm, but it was failing to keep up with the times, meaning the demands and concerns of the contemporary consumer. This one fixes a lot of that.

By Winding Road Staff | June 20, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Lexus LX570

“Smooth.” That’s the one word that kept creeping into my mind during my time with the LX. Something as simple as pulling away from a stoplight, regardless of throttle input, is a relaxed, comfortable experience. By relaxed, I certainly don’t mean slow, as the 5.7-liter V-8 provides more than enough power to get you going.

By Winding Road Staff | April 25, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco

Our Chevrolet Cruze Eco had a standard six-speed manual transmission. After having driven the Cruze with the clumsy, sluggish automatic transmission, the do-it-yourself gearbox really seemed to breathe life into the small turbocharged engine.

By Winding Road Staff | April 25, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Audi S4

The last time we had an S4 in the office, it was for the purposes of doing a comparison test with the Mitsubishi Evo MR Touring. That turned out to be a surprisingly well-matched set of cars, and a hell of a good week of driving, to boot. This newer S4 experience didn’t do anything to disappoint me then, or to change my mind about loving Audi’s performance middle child.

By Winding Road Staff | February 24, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

The CTS Coupe may not rip as hard as the V version, but that’s just fine. It is still really good. The rear wheels will still break loose just a little during takeoff, and power seems to come to a crescendo in the middle part of the rev range. The ride is still comfortable and smooth, with relative quiet, but when pushed a bit, the CTS is not afraid to get aggressive. Shifts could come a little quicker from the steering-wheel-mounted buttons—and I’d still prefer proper paddles—but it’s not a slouch, and will shift cleanly through the gears as long as you pay close attention, or just let it shift on its own.

By Winding Road Staff | January 24, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

This is a 306-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive, Korean muscle car. I know, it’s crazy. But it’s also very good. The Genesis Coupe packs a 3.8-liter V-6 that, besides the aforementioned 306 ponies, produces 266 pound-feet of torque, which for those keeping track at home puts it squarely in the range of the V-6 derivatives of the Ford Mustang (305 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque) and Chevrolet Camaro (312 horsepower, 278 pound-feet of torque).

By Winding Road Staff | January 05, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Volvo S60

Some brands have a well-identified and executed character that cuts across much of what they do—for better or for worse. Most Toyotas are rather dull and uninvolving, and have rather lame design qualities inside and out. Most Porsches are entertaining to drive, give up some secondary ride comfort in the quest for handling, and draw on the 911 loosely for design inspiration (or distraction).

By Tom Martin | January 02, 2011
Quick Drive: 2011 Jaguar XK Coupe

What the XK is not is a true driver’s sports car. The automatic transmission is a bit too lazy when one asks for quick shifts. The motor, while plenty potent, has got an awful lot of weight to shift in this big coupe, which makes the experience something well short of “scary” fast in all cases. Perhaps most telling though, is that the XK never really commits to turning in like a smallish sports car should—preferring to take longer, stately arcing turns in favor of fast directional changes.

By Winding Road Staff | December 28, 2010
Quick Drive: 2011 Ford Fusion SE

Especially after driving sedans like the Hyundai Sonata and the Suzuki Kizashi for our recent comparison test, I can’t help but find my opinion of the Fusion cooling just a bit. There’s no question that the Fusion is a nice-handling and competent car, but the newest entries in the mid-size segment are starting to move it down a bit on the segment’s “most desirable” list.

By Winding Road Staff | December 20, 2010
Quick Drive: 2011 GMC Sierra 2500

On the surface, the Sierra is a pretty decent truck. The Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 offers gobs of torque, while the six-speed Allison transmission smartly handles the shifting duties. While we really liked the 6.0-liter V-8 that we had in our Silverado HD, this is the motor to have.

By Winding Road Staff | December 20, 2010


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