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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Author Archive: Ann M. Job

4Runner keeps rugged charm

Thirty years after its U.S. debut as a utilitarian, four-wheel drive truck with a fiberglass cover on the back, the Toyota 4Runner remains a different kind of family sport utility vehicle. Sure, the 2014 4Runner has seats for up to seven passengers and can be stocked with navigation system, leather-trimmed seats and satellite radio — […]

Cadillac takes on Tesla with plug-in ELR

Finally, there’s an electric car that rivals Tesla’s eye-catching Model S. The sleek, new-for-2014 Cadillac ELR coupe is arguably as sexy looking as the sporty Model S, and like the Tesla, it’s a plug-in vehicle that’s capable of traveling for hours without stopping. For drivers who don’t want to worry about finding a place to […]

April 11, 2014 | Posted in Business and Real Estate | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Kia doesn’t lose Soul in improvements for 2014

The animated and dapper hamsters in Kia’s television ads aren’t the only ones who ride comfortably in Kia’s newly revamped Soul five-door hatchback. People of nearly all sizes and budgets can find the five-passenger, 2014 Soul to be a satisfying small car. For 2014, it has a more responsive engine, more rigid body, ritzier passenger […]

Toyota Sienna: Roomy family vehicle

Remember when Toyota’s quintessential family vehicle, the Sienna, was called a minivan? Today, the Sienna stretches nearly 17 feet in length, and with generous seating for seven or eight people and impressive cargo space, the Sienna no longer is mini. Even the Sienna’s four-cylinder engine is gone for 2014, leaving all Siennas to be powered […]

Volkswagen Passat a fuelish family sedan

Don’t be fooled by the mild-looking exterior of the Volkswagen Passat sedan. This mid-size four door comes with a solid, stable ride, European-style handling, exceptional back-seat legroom and superlative fuel economy. In fact, the Passat differentiates itself well from other mid-size family sedans because it is one of the few sold in the United States […]

Sleek, nimble FR-S is sportiest Scion

The sportiest car in Toyota’s Scion family, the 2014 FR-S, is a fun-to-drive, four-cylinder, rear-wheel drive coupe that looks more expensive than its $25,455 starting price tag. Even better, the 2014 FR-S earned top, five out of five stars in overall federal government crash tests. And, considering its tidy size, coupe body style, rear-drive propulsion […]

Kia’s stylish 2014 Forte is worthy competitor

The 2014 Kia Forte sedan is a stylish and roomier-than-expected four-door car that’s longer and wider than its predecessor and offers features not usually found in affordable cars in the segment. As an example, Forte sedan buyers can add heated seats for both front and rear passengers, a heated steering wheel, puddle and door handle lights […]

Durango is a worthy three-row SUV

Already a commendable family vehicle with three rows of seats, the Dodge Durango gets even better for 2014 with improved fuel economy, an impressively easy touchscreen and voice control dashboard system and attractively updated interior and exterior. There also are thoughtful details, such as a push button for the driver to remotely fold down the head restraints on […]

Freshened Hyundai Equus boosts styling, equipment

For the first time since its late 2010 introduction, Hyundai’s flagship Equus luxury sedan is subtly restyled for a more premium appearance and adds more safety equipment, more amenities and a retuned suspension for improved ride. Thankfully, notable elements of the Equus are not changed — including pricing that’s thousands below competitors and a warranty […]

Toyota’s Tundra pickup updated for 2014

In its first major update since 2007, the full-size Toyota Tundra pickup truck is redesigned with a bold, American-style exterior, a refined, quieter interior and standard backup camera and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. What’s not changed are the engines — a V-6 and pair of V-8s, all gasoline-powered — as well as the Tundra’s […]

Acura refines its largest SUV, the MDX

Acura’s luxury MDX sport utility vehicle is redesigned for 2014 with quieter interior, more cargo space, a new, more powerful engine, better fuel economy and improved handling. The starting retail price is down to $43,185, including destination charge, because for the first time, the MDX is available in front-wheel drive. All previous MDX SUVs came […]

A stylish, roomier Toyota Corolla for 2014

The Toyota Corolla, the fifth best-selling nameplate in the United States, is a larger, roomier sedan for 2014 with improved ride and better gasoline mileage than its predecessor. But it doesn’t look like a Corolla. The conservative character is gone, replaced by contemporary styling outside and an intriguing, almost retro, dashboard design inside. Plus, there’s […]

New Malibu marks a first _ stop-start engine

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu packs a surprise: It’s the first mainstream mid-size sedan sold in the United States with standard automatic engine stop-start that saves gasoline. The system turns off the car’s engine in certain conditions when the vehicle is stopped and automatically turns it back on as a driver lets up on the brake […]

2014 Ford Fiesta is affordable, peppy, fuel sipper

Ford’s smallest car in the United States, the Fiesta, doesn’t have a hybrid powerplant and it doesn’t plug into an electric outlet. The 2014 Fiesta doesn’t even come with a fuel-conscious continuously variable transmission. Yet, the affordable, sprightly, five-seat Fiesta ranks as a top nameplate in the United States in fuel economy among 2014 cars […]

BMW 4-Series Coupe has fine handling

Officials at German automaker BMW did a fine job differentiating their new-for-2014 smallish coupe from last year’s 3-Series coupe. The new, rear-wheel drive, two-door BMW is wider, longer and lower than its predecessor; it’s attractively styled and has great handling dynamics and a new name: The 4-Series. Better yet, a twin-scroll turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that’s […]

2014 Mazda3 shines as a driver’s car

Since debuting as a new, third-generation model, the 2014 Mazda3 has been racking up the accolades — and with good reason. Mazda’s right-sized, five-seat sedan and hatchback are restyled to look more expensive than ever and even give Hyundai’s designers a run for the money. The Mazda3 cars get more power from their four-cylinder engines […]

Ford Escape is roaring back

Pleasantly styled inside and out and offering fuel-savvy, turbocharged power, the Ford Escape sport utility vehicle is threatening to dethrone the Honda CR-V as America’s top-selling compact SUV. For 2014, the five-passenger Escape retains its agile handling and tidy size while adding a rearview camera and improved Sync MyFord voice-activated phone and audio system as […]

Infiniti SUV has new name: QX56 becomes QX80

With the new name of QX80 for 2014, Infiniti’s largest sport utility vehicle packs some of the softest-feeling leather, shiniest burl wood and a host of other luxury items into a big, nicely crafted interior. But this seven- or eight-passenger SUV, renamed from last year’s QX56 so it fits with Infiniti’s new, 2014 nomenclature, retains […]

2014 Silverado: Chevy’s new truck is refined

Don’t let appearances fool you. While Chevrolet’s 2014 Silverado looks a lot like its predecessor on the outside, major changes give the new Silverado better ride and handling, improved safety and a more luxurious, quiet interior with features that rival some offices. As an example, a modern strip of outlets — to accommodate three flash […]

2014 Enclave: SUV is most popular Buick

The best-selling Buick in America, the Enclave, is a roomy, smooth-riding, sizable family SUV with top safety scores and a novel center air bag that deploys between the front seats in certain side crashes. For 2014, the pleasantly styled Enclave sport utility vehicle with standard, three rows of seats adds enhanced audio and more safety […]

Audi adds diesel to compact SUV

Audi’s best-selling sport utility vehicle, the Q5, gets even better in 2014 with the addition of a six-cylinder, diesel engine that is fuel-thrifty yet muscular. The federal government mileage ratings for the new-for-2014 Q5 TDI with turbocharged and direct-injection V-6 — 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on highways — rival […]

Updated Buick LaCrosse is a peaceful riding sedan

Buick’s largest sedan, the LaCrosse, is a quiet and peaceful riding car with a spacious interior that is updated for 2014 with new seats, styling and luxury appointments. The 2014 LaCrosse also has flashier exterior styling than its 2013 predecessor — from a bigger waterfall-type grille and long, shiny, silver strip on the trunk — […]

For 2014, Fiat offers a longer 500 model

It doesn’t sound like much: An extra 27.7 inches of length, nearly 6 more inches of height, two additional doors and four more panels of window glass on a small car badged “Fiat 500L”. But the not-quite-14-foot-long, four-door, new-for-2014 Fiat 500L is a unique small car ride — odd to some, stylish to others and […]

Lexus GS is top fuel mileage luxury sedan

The 2013 Lexus GS 450h offers the best of two worlds — best-in-class gasoline-electric hybrid fuel economy when you’re not in a rush, and pedal-stomping acceleration when you are. The newly revamped-for-2013 GS 450h mid-size sedan also has an aggressive, sporty sedan look and retains the rear-wheel drive configuration that many sports car aficionados prefer. […]

Chevy Impala leaps into rare territory

The re-engineered 2014 Chevrolet Impala isn’t just new, attractively styled and comfortable to ride in. It’s the first American-branded car in at least 20 years to be rated the top new sedan by Consumer Reports magazine. In fact, the Consumer Reports score of 95 for the new Impala was higher than all other cars except […]

Toyota Avalon adds fuel-thrifty hybrid

Move over, Toyota Camry. It’s time for Toyota’s other sizable sedan, the Avalon, to get some well-deserved attention. Recently revamped with a stylish body and new features, the five-door Avalon now also has an impressive, fuel-sipping, gasoline-electric hybrid model. Not only does the Avalon Hybrid provide comfortable seating for five, with a roomy back seat, […]

New Mazda6 poised for gains

Agile and poised, the new-for-2014 Mazda6 mid-size sedan is a major leap over its predecessor in styling, features and fuel economy. Gone is the ho-hum, Toyota Camry-like exterior. In its place is a handsome, rakish look and larger tires. The five-seat Mazda6 interior looks nicer, too, with soft-touch plastic all around and nearly an inch […]

Kia Sorento for 2014 is all about ‘more’

For 2014, Kia’s top-selling Sorento sport utility vehicle is all about “more.” The restyled Sorento with attractive new face has a more upscale interior, a more powerful V-6, a more comfortable ride and more available features and safety equipment than its predecessor. The 2014 Sorento also is one of the few crossover SUVs that lets […]

CTS-V Wagon is rare and getting rarer

The 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon — the only V-8-powered station wagon factory built in the United States — is a rare blend of awesome acceleration, luxury accoutrements, sporty handling and station-wagon functionality. It’s like having the cargo room of a compact sport utility vehicle at the back of a sporty luxury car — except the […]

New Nissan Sentra looks like Altima

Restyled for a new, upscale look, Nissan’s Sentra small sedan for 2013 is more fuel efficient than ever and so roomy inside the government no longer ranks it as a compact sedan. Some people even confuse the new, mid-size Sentra with the larger, 2013 Nissan Altima because from the outside, the Sentra looks a lot […]

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