Diesel-Powered Jetta SportWagen is Simple and Functional on the Highway

BY MARK MAYNARD Volkswagen’s diesel-powered Jetta SportWagen is simple, functional and honest. But with a little more back seat space, it could be so much more to so many more users. Clean-diesel technology has evolved from what was once a fringe passenger-car fuel to what is now a mainstream choice in the United States. And… Continue Reading Diesel-Powered Jetta SportWagen is Simple and Functional on the Highway

Dodge Challenger SRT8

By Mark Maynard We all know “You can never go home” to that happy period in our lives with few responsibilities and a muscle car in the driveway. But with the rebirth of some retro-styled muscle cars, aging baby boomers can take a sip from the fountain of youth and re-energize some long-lost memories. The… Continue Reading Dodge Challenger SRT8

Savvy Sienna

By Mark Maynard Minivans are warhorses hitched to nonstop lifestyles. There is no vehicle better configured to comfortably carry people and cargo. Yet, these humble machines have wrongly come to represent the driver’s identity: “I drive a minivan, therefore I have no life.” Actually, the minivan driver is so full of life that it takes… Continue Reading Savvy Sienna

Retooled Tucson

By Mark Maynard The 2010 Hyundai Tucson is new, refocused and mostly improved. This five-passenger crossover is a complete update on the previous model, and it is lighter, roomier and more efficient. It has attractive styling, and its performance has been focused for “fun to drive” — with maybe a little too much emphasis on… Continue Reading Retooled Tucson

The SLS AMG has Performance and Finesse, Like a Hand-Tooled Howitzer

By Mark Maynard Three gullwing coupes bellowed along the front straight at California’s Laguna Seca Raceway sounding very unlike the typical Mercedes-Benz sports car. The trio was part of a test of the SLS AMG, the new coupe built by Mercedes-Benz and engineered by its high-performance division, AMG. The car’s 563-horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8 exhales through… Continue Reading The SLS AMG has Performance and Finesse, Like a Hand-Tooled Howitzer

Suitable Sorento

BY MARK MAYNARD San Diegans were the first in the United States to get behind the wheel of the 2011 Kia Sorento. It was late November when the re-engineered, midsize crossover christened the new factory in West Point, Ga. And Kia hustled a bunch to the San Diego International Auto Show in late December where… Continue Reading Suitable Sorento

Honda Accord Crosstour is a Creative Cross-Pollination

By Mark Maynard Five years ago in the booming economy of the United States, an automaker could sell just about anything to anybody. Crew-cab pickups became the sedan of choice: $90,000 off-road vehicles never went off road. Porsche brought out a sport-utility vehicle. And Cadillac luxury was defined by a truck. And then manufacturers got… Continue Reading Honda Accord Crosstour is a Creative Cross-Pollination

Ford’s New Transit Connect is a Work Solution That’s Almost Primed for Family Time

By Mark Maynard For a little utility van built in Turkey, the new Ford Transit Connect has surprising refinement and drivability. With a few more creature comforts for passengers, such as rear windows that open and rear air conditioning, the Transit Connect could become the single dad’s school bus. This would be the guy who… Continue Reading Ford’s New Transit Connect is a Work Solution That’s Almost Primed for Family Time

Roller Derby

By Mark Maynard It took the city of Vancouver, Canada, seven years to lay an infrastructure for the winter Olympic Games. It took BMW five years after it bought Rolls-Royce to launch the new flagship Phantom, and it started with nothing. When BMW bought the Rolls-Royce brand for $66 million in 1998, it “acquired” a… Continue Reading Roller Derby

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