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[ 21 Sep 2016 | Comments Off on QX50 crossover keeps Infiniti in the game, begs for update ]

Infiniti has tried hard to get its mojo back.
Introduced the same year as Lexus, the company bolted on the scene with the Q45, a stunning piece that gave Jaguar a serious challenge. It hasn’t had a big sedan that adventurous since, probably because it’s more concerned with trucks and crossovers.
That’s not a big problem since the company’s crossovers and trucks are pretty good.
The QX50 is one of those crossovers. It started as the FX35 back …

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[ 29 Jan 2016 | Comments Off on Land Rover LR4 handles any terrain ]

I am fond of Land Rovers. The British really know how to build a luxury SUV.
But why would I buy a $100,000 vehicle to take it bashing through the woods? A dent in something this good looking would be a pity.
Yeah, I know, you can say the same about almost any other SUV of today. Heck, even pickup trucks cost a lot and look good as well.
OK, so do not buy the Range Rover. You …

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[ 19 Jan 2016 | Comments Off on Murano gets bolder styling, better ride and handling ]

Nissan continues to make its SUV and crossover lineup interesting. It isn’t afraid to push the styling envelope which is seen on the restyled 2015 Murano. A little bigger, bolder and more fuel efficient than the model it replaces, this new Murano may be all the SUV you need.
I say SUV but I think the proper term is crossover since this is more car than truck. Oh, it will handle the truck stuff you throw …

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[ 18 Jul 2014 | Comments Off on Audi Q7 loaded with luxury but showing its age ]

 
The luxury SUV market has become a very crowded field. There’s hardly a marque that doesn’t have such a vehicle or plan to have such a vehicle within the next couple of years.
There are some really good ones. The Audi Q7 is one of those good ones. Yes, it has its age issues but for those looking for something that offers a tremendous amount of luxury, please, look here.
I was able to sample the diesel …

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[ 19 Oct 2013 | Comments Off on Acura’s RLX moves company in right direction ]

Acura used to strike fear in the hearts of luxury car makers. This upstart Japanese firm offered two cars which were done so well that others were trying to catch up.
Yes, the entry-level Integra and the “near luxury” Legend were the talk. I mean the talk. Many people wanted them, especially the Legend, a car which was good as anything produced in Germany or England.
Acura lost some of its mojo in 1996 when the Legend …

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[ 25 Apr 2013 | Comments Off on Caddy’s ATS is one special sports sedan ]

Well, well, what’s this? Cadillac makes a serious push into the luxury compact sedan segment.
Yes, that’s right. If you haven’t heard, the ATS is the real deal. It’s done so right that Audi, BMW Lexus and Infiniti need to take notice.
The ATS is so strong it was voted automobile of the year at the North American Auto show a few months back. After sampling a couple of these beauties I have to say the folks …

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[ 22 Feb 2013 | Comments Off on Infiniti JX35 SUV is well crafted, balanced effort ]

The luxury SUV market is saturated with good product. Big behemoths filled with leather, wood, fancy entertainment systems and big engines that whisk you down the road with very little fanfare.
So how do you make your product stand out among the crowd? Add a bit more polish, little more leather, more horsepower? That works, but what works even better is to make the overall package feel so integrated and satisfying that, well,  just works.
That’s what …

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[ 30 Sep 2012 | Comments Off on Stealthy Maxima still Nissan’s top offering ]

I once thought Nissan should drop the Maxima. What’s the point? The Altima is nearly the same size, is cheaper and is nearly identical in look.
So I thought.
I changed my mind when I drove a Maxima recently. The Altima is a very good family sedan. The Maxima is a nearly great four door sports car.
Nissan still markets the Maxima as such. The 4DSC stickers are still on the rear windows, nearly hidden though. I guess …

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[ 5 Jul 2012 | Comments Off on Ford bullish on 2013 Taurus restyle, options ]

Ford set the automotive industry on its collective ear when it introduced the 1986 Taurus sedan in late 1985.
The chiefs at the other car companies dismissed it as being too radical and the public wouldn’t go for it. Wrong. It was a huge hit, so much so that others tried to follow too quickly and came up with messes and misses.
By the 2000s every company had gotten it right and the Taurus was an afterthought. …

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[ 27 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Chrysler 300: imported from Detroit and proud ]

 
When you have something as popular as Chrysler’s 300 sedan and you need to make changes but don’t want to mess up a good thing what do you do?
You do exactly what chief designer Ralph Giles and company did – fix the car’s interior and freshen the exterior so that it’s recognizable but better.
Give Mr. Giles a medal for restraint and his use of simple elegance. The 300 has only gotten better looking. It no …