Thursday, March 21, 2013

                                                 2011 Buick Regal (aka Opel Insignia)

The pleasure was all mine in getting to know the  2011 Buick Regal. My journey started at a suggestion to take a Buick Regal on a 3 hour trip down to Bowling Green, KY to deliver some paperwork for one of my clients. Todd (GM) suggested I would like the drive and the Regal would have great fuel economy and a wonderful ride. At first I wasn't keen on taking 3 hours out of my day and secondly I wasn't real excited to drive a Buick at all. My idea of Buick over the years had been of a much older generation. A highway car, but big, bulky, and gas hungry. I had seen the Peyton Manning, and Shaquille O'Neal commercials, but still hadn't quite drank the Kool Aid.

Eventually I grab the keys, paperwork, sodas, etc, and head for the car. This particular 2011 Regal CXL was dressed in Silver with a Black leather cabin. From the approach you can tell this isn't a 80s or 90's Buick. This vehicle is sporty, bold, classy, and refreshing. The interior was spacious, and luxurious and completely not what I had expected. Once I had my seat, mirrors, radio stations, etc settled I felt right at home. The leather was very nice and ready to compete in the vehicle's class, and I felt quite, comfortable, and secure. The real story here is what I learned about the vehicle after I had taken this trip. So to summarize the drive to Bowling Green: The acceleration would be the only downside. It felt a little touchy at times, and I would probably prefer the Turbo Regal which is an option. The braking was fine. Cornering was fun, and the interior was phenomenal.

This story begins at search query to help write this very blog!. Google is my all time favorite so I "Google" 2011 Buick Regal. To my surprise the name Opel is being thrown in with Buick on most of the querys. Upon further research and review it turns out, this is an Opel Insignia. Opel is a German auto manufacturer that has been in buildings automobile since 1899. Opel became a majority stake subsidiary of General Motors since 1929, and has been a wholly owned subsidiary since 1931.

So this brings us to the Opel Insignia which was released in 2008 to replace the Opel Vectra. Which brings us to the Regal which had not had a platform or release in 6 years. The 2011 Buick Regal is actually a Opel Insignia/Vauxhall Insignia (United Kingdom). So basically I was hanging out with a little German car all night, and had no clue. The Insignia was also voted European Car of the Year in 2009 which truthfully is a pretty big deal.

General Motors + Opel = 2011 Buick Regal

This car is great and would be a great sedan for any driveway. I'm proud of this American brand for taking a swing and hitting it out of the park. Take a drive in one of these if you're looking for an American brand supplement to the Lexus IS 250 or Acura TSX.


Engine & Performance

2.4 L Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Inline 4 16
Variable 172 ft-lbs. @ 4900 rpm
182 hp @ 6700 rpm 37.4 ft.


  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar

6 ft. 1.1 in. (73.1 in.) 4 ft. 10.4 in. (58.4 in.)
15 ft. 10.2 in. (190.2 in.) 5 ft. 2.4 in. (62.4 in.)
5 ft. 2.5 in. (62.5 in.) 8 ft. 11.8 in. (107.8 in.)

Interior Measurements

38.8 in. 55.4 in.
42.1 in. 56.7 in.
52.3 in. 36.8 in.
37.3 in. 54.4 in.


Gas Regular unleaded
18.0 gal. 342.0/540.0 mi.
19/30 mpg

Weights and Capacities

111.1 cu.ft. 3600 lbs.
14.2 cu.ft.


Front wheel drive 6-speed shiftable automatic



2011 Buick Regal For Sale:

2011 Buick Regal Videos:

2011 Buick Regal "How to" Videos:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Car and Driver's Editor for the Day Event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

On October 29th I received an email from Car and Driver/Road & Track to join them at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on November 11th to review and drive the 5 most competetive mid size sedans in the World. The result was mind blowing and the event was amazing. I asked my colleague and dear friend Alex Mason of Craig and Landreth Cars to join me. Below are a few file photos of the 5 cars tested, and I will also continue to add to this story throughout the week, and I will also post video as well.

2012 Ford Fusion
2013 Nissan Altima
2013 Toyota Camry
2012 Honda Accord
2013 Hyundai Sonata

2013 Ford Fusion:
Going into this event I had my own preconceived notions. First things first, I had never seen the 2013 Fusion in person until it pulled up right in front of us at Indy. The Accord is my personal favorite, because I have owned several Hondas and several Accords over the years. The Camry's styling turned me away with the redesign, and the textures. The Sonata was one of my favorite designs at it's time of release, and the Altima, I never paid even a single bit of attention too. Most if not all of of those things changed a little bit in Indy after a few laps.

The Fusion redesign is awesome. From it's Aston Martin inspired front fascia to it's Jaguar inspired rear tail lights the car is almost breathtaking at first glance. Inside she is appointed with luxurious ammenities, and the cabin was very roomy. The textures were clean and soft to the touch, and the technology was more than impressive. I was super impressed. On the track the car was very nice, but far from a favorite. The people at Ford did a heck of a job on this car, and they really raised the mark for the American car manufacturers. The Fusion did have drastically larger tires than any of the other acrs competeing, and the car handled very nicely. The Fusion was the first car we drove, so I guess I still had a few jitters, but the car was very, very nice. 4 out of 5 stars from me. On and off the track.

2013 Nissan Altima:
As a car salesman I guess I have become a tad complacent or jaded by the Altima because we sell so many Altimas every month. However when asked to slow down and actually touch, feel, smell, and drive the car I was thoroughly impressed. The leather and interior appointments were by far the classiest of the group, and Nissan's premium company Infifniti had it's  technology and textures are all over the cabin. The leather was the best by far. Very soft, extremley well stitched, and soft to the touch. The back seat with leather was my favotite interior of the group. The drive was just as nice. The car was extremley responsive and did very well for a 4 cylinder in a variety of different road situations. 4 out of 5 stars from me on and off the track.

2013 Toyota Camry:
The redesign turned me off big time. The interior appointments were near ugly, the steering wheel, was weird, and I honestly didn't know if I could even say anything nice about the Camry before the test drive. That was until after the test drive though. The car performed marvelously in every situation, and handled borderline perfectly. I know that the Camry is one of America's sweethearts, but I just couldn't get over the cheaply stitched leather, and the cloth version was damn near hideous. The plastics were chunky and the textures just felt cheap. All of that being said, those things are all just personal opinions. On the track though, this car is the real deal. In daily driving terms this car is the real deal. The Camry in general is the real deal. Safe, Affordable, Good fuel Economy, good resell value, and awesome road skills. Styling 2.5 stars Track/Road 4.5 out of 5 stars.

2013 Honda Accord:
Call me biased, call me what you will. The Accord is the star of this group as it is every single year. The Accord is matched perfectly all the way around. Class,y yet sporty styling, calm yet inspired driving, great textures, and damn near the perfect car all around. I would suggest the Accord to anyone in the market for a car. They have and do it all. The car outperforms the driver, and it makes the driver better, it helps the driver with smooth transitions, ample power, and phenomenal feel. True road emergency situations were completley avoidable with just the nudge on the steering wheel or even the slightest tap on the brake. This car is perfect in every way but one. The only inconvenienvce is the car does almost too much. It's almost too nice, and too, agile. As crazy as that sounds, the car is almost too smooth and too controlled. The only complaint if any would be that the car is too well behaved and that the top end raises a little too much when flooring the accelerator. Other than that this car is PERFECT! 5 out of 5 stars.

2013 Hyundai Sonata:
By far the most fun of the group. She behaved like a nutty girlfriend. She was loose on the turns, had a great interaction between the driver and the car. Extremley agile, and nimble, Handled the slalom with ease but was by far the most fun and the most exhilerating sedan to drive of the group. This may mean the car is inferior to the others and it's wilder less responsive, etc., but on the track that means more fun! It was a blast to drive. The Sonata had a cool steering wheel, some innovative button styles, and was truly enjoyable to drive. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

In essence, if you ever get invited to a road event, make sure you go. We had access to places at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that some people will never ever get to see. Below is a video with Alex Mason at the wheel of a 2013 Hyundai Sonata, and there are also links to the Speedway, Car and Driver, Road and Track, and a few fun facts about the Speedway. Thanks again for your time and remember to buckle your seat belts!

YouTube video of Alex Mason 2013 Hyundai Sonata (Indy Speedway retired F-1 course)

Some interesting, fun facts about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500:
  • Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City all can fit inside the IMS oval, which covers 253 acres.
  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats. If the seat boards from the grandstands at IMS were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles.
  • The first event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a helium gas-filled balloon competition on Saturday, June 5, 1909, more than two months before the oval was completed.
IMS Grounds Information
  • IMS total acreage: 1,025 (includes track, Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, all parking lots)
  • IMS infield: 253 acres; Parking acreage: 750 acres
  • 26 bridges, six tunnels
  • 17 grandstands with a 220-acre footprint (if the seat boards were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles)

Indianapolis 500 Food & Beverage Information (May 2009)
  • Coca-Cola products: More than 16,000 gallons, which would fill two tanker trucks
  • Miller Lite and other beer products: More than 14,000 gallons
  • Indy Dogs: If laid end-to-end, would circle the 2.5-mile IMS oval more than two times
  • Bratwurst: If laid end-to-end, would circle the 2.5-mile IMS oval more than one time
  • Brickyard Burgers: More than 10,000 pounds, equal to the weight of six IZOD IndyCars
  • Track fries: More than 24,000 pounds, equal to the weight of an elephant
  • Chicken tenders: More than 2,000 pounds, equal to the weight of 13 Borg-Warner Trophies
  • Ketchup: More than 475 gallons, which would fill 10 bathtubs
  • Ice: More than 300,000 pounds

Indianapolis 500 Food & Beverage Information (Race Day 2009)
  • Not-for-profit group and third-party vendor workers on site: More than 1,000
  • IMS concession stands: 61
  • IMS Margarita/Bloody Mary bars: 29
  • Beer/soft drink vendors in grandstands: Approximately 100
  • Ice cream/frozen lemonade locations: 44
  • Pretzel/fresh-squeezed lemonade locations: 35

Indianapolis 500 Television Information (May 2009)
  • Miles of cable run outside of the Broadcast Compound: 42
  • Miles of cable run within the Broadcast Compound: 10
  • Additional staff hired by IMS Productions: 223
  • Worldwide television distribution of the Indianapolis 500 broadcast: 213 countries, with an audience reach of over 292 million households

Indianapolis 500 Retail Information (Race Day 2009)
  • If all the post cards sold in IMS Gift Shops were laid end to end, they would span more than 3 miles
  • The most popular item sold in the Gift Shops was the Indianapolis 500 Official Program
  • The most expensive item in the Gift Shops: A TAG-Heuer watch, $1,450
  • The least expensive item in the Gift Shops: A post card, 33 cents
  • If all T-shirts sold at IMS were stretched end to end, they would reach Terre Haute, Ind.

Miscellaneous Indianapolis 500 Information (May 2009)
  • Firestone tires teams used throughout the month: More than 4,900
  • Total laps officially completed, including all practice days and Race Day: 18,263
  • Total miles officially completed, including all practice days and Race Day: 45,657.5
  • Total laps officially completed in Rookie Orientation Program: 402
  • Total miles officially completed in Rookie Orientation Program: 1,005

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The 2011 Odyssey, Pizza, and two crazy kids

2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L

I'll start by saying I have a 12 year old daughter whom I love so very dearly. I'll add though my 12 year old daughter is a complete maniac, when you add another kid to the mix. She just loves to sing, dance, yell, and have fun when there is another kiddo around. That being said it was Pizza Night, and her favorite pizza joint in New Albany, IN roughly 25 minutes from my house in Louisville, KY. For this little excursion I decided to take a vehicle with a TV/DVD system, so as to possibly calm these two little girls down on the way to the pizza place. That didn't happen and I'll tell you why. I forgot to bring a movie, so luckily there were plenty of ammenities to take my mind off the 2 little girls screaming Katy Perry songs no more than 2 feet behind me. The Odyssey has long been recognized as one of the best selling mini vans in the World. The Odyssey ranks high in reliability, safety, and styling (even if it's minivan), and they never fail to impress the minivan demographic. Tonights Odyssey is a 2011 Honda Odyssey EX-L with leather, TV/DVD, Alloy Wheels, Moonroof, Rear Parking Sensors, Dual Power Doors and a whole lot more. The first thing we had to do when I picked up the girls was put some gas in the tank. I hadn't driven a minivan since I was 16 and my Mom had an Aerostar. So my point is I had no idea how much gas I would need and really how much we were going to use. I decided I would just put $15 in and see how far we could get. If we need more I'll stop again. Once we were gassed up, the girls were amped and we jumped on the expressway. The Odyssey is nimble for a big vehicle, it's quick, and it's extremley smooth. The interior seemed huge, and the girls had plenty of room to in the 2nd row. The sound system was great, the ambient lighting was cool, and the overall driver experience was really cool for a minivan. I was thoroughly suprised. These are not the minivans of the 90's these are technological dream vans at this point. The ammenities were everywhere, and all of them were well lit and easily controlled. The trip across the bridge took a good 25 minutes and by the time we arrived we were all 3 starving. One large cheese pizza and $25 worth of quarters for games later we were stuffed headed back to the Odyssey. As we approached I took the opportunity to blow the girls minds by opening the power van doors with the keyless remote. So as we approached the van the doors calmly slide open and the girls both said the same thing at the same time, "COOL!". Once we were all buckled up and nestled in we headed back home on I-65. Once again these Odysseys are phenomenal on the roads. The ride and the comfort on the expressway is unmatched by any of the vans I've driven in the past few years. We were totally comfortable, at all times. My daughter and I don't have the normal family life. I'm a single dad, and she is my only child. So my point is we would never need a vehicle that big. Howevere for a minute on the drive home I wondered what it would be like to be the guy with 3 or 4 kids and what would I be comfortable driving if I was that guy. The answer is the Honda Odyssey! These things are sweet. Tons of cool stuff, and a great ride. The $15 dollars I spent on gas was a great deal. The needle never even moved on the gas gauge and we crossed state lines. I'm just guessing, but I'm guessing it had alot to do with Hondas ECO feature which literally  changes the shifting patterns, energy use, etc. to save fuel. We defintiley drove 45 miles, and I'm telling you the needle did not move. So in essence, Pizza night is awesome, My kiddo is awesome but a little nutty, and the Odyssey is the ultimate family van. I would easily recommend the Odyssey to anyone in the market for an suv or minivan. The vehicle had a nice style, clean, crisp, futuristic lines, and the ride was phenomenal. If you're in the market for a minivan you ought to give the people from Honda a shot, because they definitley got this one right!

LENGTH 16ft 10.9in
WIDTH 6ft 7.2in
5ft 8.4in
0ft 4.5in
Body style illustration may not reflect the actual shape of this vehicle.
Exterior Measurements
6 ft. 7.2 in. (79.2 in.)5 ft. 8.4 in. (68.4 in.)
16 ft. 10.9 in. (202.9 in.)0 ft. 4.5 in. (4.5 in.)
5 ft. 8.1 in. (68.1 in.)5 ft. 8.2 in. (68.2 in.)
9 ft. 10.1 in. (118.1 in.)
Interior Measurements
38.3 in. 58.2 in.
40.9 in. 64.4 in.
66.1 in. 39.4 in.
40.9 in. 63.5 in.
Gas Regular unleaded
21.0 gal. 378.0/567.0 mi.
18/27 mpg
Weights and Capacities
3500 lbs. 1340 lbs.
4483 lbs. 38.4 cu.ft.
148.5 cu.ft.
** When adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drivetrain upgrades.
Front wheel drive 5-speed automatic
Engine & Performance
3.5 L Single overhead cam (SOHC)
V6 24
Variable 250 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm
248 hp @ 5700 rpm 36.7 ft.
  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • Double wishbone rear suspension
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Stabilizer bar stabilizer bar
3 yr./ 36000 mi. 5 yr./ 60000 mi.


Interior Features

3rd Row Seats
40-60 split bench
manual folding split-bench

2nd Row Seats
removable captains chairs
split folding
folding with storage

1st Row Seats

Standard seating shown. Other seating may be available as optional equipment.
Front Seats
  • Multi-level heating passenger seat
  • 4 -way power passenger seat
  • 8 -way power driver seat
  • Multi-level heating driver seat
  • Driver seat with power adjustable lumbar support
  • Height adjustable driver seat
  • Leather
  • Bucket front seats
Rear Seats
  • Split-folding rear seatback
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Folding with storage center armrest
  • Manual folding split-bench third row seats
  • Rear ventilation ducts with fan control
Power Features
  • Remote power door locks
  • Power mirrors
  • Heated mirrors
  • 2 one-touch power windows
  • Remote window operation
  • Clock
  • Tachometer
  • Trip computer
  • External temperature display
  • Low fuel level warning
  • Compass
  • Cruise control
  • Front console with storage
  • Front, rear and 3rd row cupholders
  • Front and rear door pockets
  • Overhead console with storage
  • Remote trunk release
  • Front seatback storage
  • Speed-proportional power steering
  • Universal remote transmitter (for garage door, security system, etc.)
  • 12V front and 12V rear power outlet(s)
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
  • Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
  • Rear view camera
  • Interior air filtration
  • Three zone climate control
  • Cooled storage compartment
  • Cargo area light
  • Leather trim on doors
  • Front and rear reading lights
  • Leather trim on shift knob
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror
  • Dual illuminating vanity mirrors
In Car Entertainment
  • Element antenna
  • 6 total speakers
  • 229 watts stereo output
  • AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo
  • XM satellite radio
  • Auxiliary MP3 audio input
  • 1 subwoofer(s)
  • 3 Months of provided satellite radio service
  • Memory card slot
  • Radio data system
  • USB connection
  • Pre-wired for phone
  • Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone

Exterior Features

Roof and Glass
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Privacy glass
  • Rear defogger
  • Power opening rear quarter windows
  • Intermittent rear wiper
  • Manual sunshades for rear side windows
  • Power glass sunroof
  • Remote sunroof operation
  • Rear spoiler
Tires and Wheels
  • Painted alloy wheels
  • 17 x 7.0 in. wheels
  • Steel spare wheel
  • 235/65R17 103T tires
  • All season tires
  • Inside mounted spare tire
  • Temporary spare tire
  • Rear power liftgate door
Towing and Hauling
  • Cargo tie downs

Safety Features

  • 4-wheel ABS
  • Front, rear and third row head airbags
  • Dual front side-mounted airbags
  • Child seat anchors
  • Remote anti-theft alarm system
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Daytime running lights
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Auto delay off headlamps
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • 2 front headrests
  • 3 rear headrests
  • Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation
  • Rear center 3-point belt
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • Front height adjustable headrests
  • Rear height adjustable headrests
  • Passenger head restraint whiplash protection system
  • Driver head restraint whiplash protection system
  • Tire pressure monitoring


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chevrolet Avalanche

2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Black Diamond Anniversary Edition

Yesterday it was freezing and light drizzle brought on by Hurricane Sandy had graced us with her presence. I had seen this Avalanche on our lot in the early morning, and when I got some time I was going to come take it for a spin. Around 1 pm my boss comes in and asks me to drive the Avalanche to our Dixie Highway store (the opposite end of town), which is pretty much the best thing that's happened to me all day. As I approach the vehicle I can't help but drool over how gorgeous this truck really is. The lines are incredible, the styling is bold, the chrome is reflecting off the black exterior paint job perfectly. The inside is cavernous and simply stunning. Everything looks great so far. I pull out of the lot and head for I-64. The majority of this test drive takes place on I-64, with a little bit of Dixie Highway time (Nothing but traffic). Right off the bat I feel comfortable. The visibility is good, with the exception of the C-Pillar, and I really like what I'm seeing. Looks wise these trucks are awesome, but as we all know already, looks aren't everything. The whole test drive I felt like I was fighting the steering wheel, it almost needed constant attention. Once I got up to 70 mph, the truck drove and rode like a Cadillac. But seriously how much time to you spend going 70 mph. You pretty much have to smash the accelerator, to get any loving from the engine, and the brakes have to be ppressed with real determination, in order to stop. I don't usually knock vehicles on this blog, but I was terribly dissappointed. Sure she's sexy, but she's really expensive, and she's not all that you would expect from a $40,000 plus truck. Instead of ranting and bashing this truck, I'll say that the real suprise of the day came when I dropped the Avalanche off. They put me in a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ. Now the Traverse is all that and a bag of chips! The Traverse had eye catching lines, tons of room, but not bulky, and a super smooth ride. The Traverse was loaded with Rearview Cameras, Dual Moonroof, and a Premium stereo system. The Traverse literally stole the show. It's a good looking suv and perfect for a growing family. The conditions were wet and the roadways were flooded with driver's who can't drive in the rain, but this Traverese steeped up and delivered! One of my new favorite suv's is definitley the Traverse. We sold the unit I demoed, but I will sit down when I can and write a true review of the Traverse, because it's well worth it. I don't want to sound mean, but the Avalanche kind of sucks. I'd much rather have a F-150 or even a Silverado. The Avalanche is like having a super hot girlfriend, but when she opens her mouth, she runs evryone off. So to end this little tale I'll leave you with this: If you want to drive a truck that looks good but doesn't behave, this might be the truck for you. Super disappointed in the Avalanche, but very impressed with Chevy's Traverse. Can't win em all, I guess! Thanks for your time and we appreciate you taking the time to read our blog!

Video of 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche

Engine & Performance
  • Base engine size: 5.3 L
  • Cam type: Overhead valves (OHV)
  • Cylinders: V8
  • Valves: 16
  • Torque: 340 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm
  • Horsepower: 320 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Turning circle: 43.0 ft.
  • Base engine type: gas
  • Drive type: rear wheel drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic
  • Short and long arm front suspension
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Front independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Fuel type: gas
  • Fuel type: regular unleaded
  • Fuel tank capacity: 31.0 gal.
  • Range in miles (cty/hwy): 434.0/620.0 mi.
  • EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 14/20 mpg

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Jeep Liberty 4X4

2012 Jeep Liberty 4X4
3.7L V-6

Jeeps have long had a cult like following in America. A following that says we "can't understand" unless we are a part of it. So today I took the opportunity to drive the 2012 Jeep Liberty Sport 4X4. As always the Jeep suv's have the boxy Jeep look with a dominant and historically bold grill gracing the front. The style is not my personal favorite, but for some there is no better looking suv on the road. The one I'll drive today is dressed in a marron metallic and looks just as classy as it does ruggedly stylish. This Liberty will fit in at the Country Club or the local P.T.A. meeting. I approach with my normal test drive anticipation, and I'm headed a minimum of 25 miles today. Some highway miles and some back roads. Today's adventure won't have an offroad theme, which is disapointing, but every Jeep I have ever driven off road has performed with unmatched and unparalled capabilities. That being said this one will probably go anywhere you want to take it. Once inside the Jeep, I start to get comfortable. I adjust the mirrors, seat, program my favorite local radio channels, and fire it up. It's not a loud engine at all, but there is a Jeepish sound that is noticeable in the cabin. The seats feel good, but they are sturdy, and made to withstand the elements, so with that, they aren't comparable to say a Lexus RX350 or Acura MDX, but they aren't supposed to be comparable anyway. The interior has a very common feel to it for me. I take pictures for the dealership, so I get in and out of tons of Jeeps. They all use the same buttons, switches, radios, etc. We sell tons of Jeeps. Jeeps have a huge following, and I am starting to understand why. The ride wasn't smooth by any means, but it isn't supposed to be. The sound system was good, the ergonomics were good, and the overall feel is very comfortable. It's a Jeep thing and I'm starting to get it. Jeep customers are paying for what they want and like. It's not supposed to be a Cadillac, it's a Jeep. The power was plentiful and there was always some in reserve. The highway merging was great and pretty fun. These things have some power and the highways were enjoyable. You can pass and merge, and do so with confidence. I didn't really feel much sway in the body on corners or curves, and for an suv it was pretty cool all around. I liked this Jeep. It would fit my lifestyle pretty nicely. I think it would fit most the people I knows lifestyle nicely. They say "It's a Jeep thing you wouldn't understand", but I'm starting to get it:) Well worth a look if your in the midsize SUV market.

Engine & Performance
  • Base engine size: 3.7 L
  • Cam type: Single overhead cam (SOHC)
  • Cylinders: V6
  • Valves: 12
  • Torque: 235 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
  • Horsepower: 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Turning circle: 35.5 ft.
  • Base engine type: gas
  • Drive type: rear wheel drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic
  • Short and long arm front suspension
  • Solid live axle rear suspension
  • Front independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Fuel type: gas
  • Fuel type: regular unleaded
  • Fuel tank capacity: 19.5 gal.
  • Range in miles (cty/hwy): 312.0/429.0 mi.
  • EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 16/22 mpg
Mechanical Options
  • Engine Block Heater


  • FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 16/22 mpg
  • CAR TYPE4dr Suv
  • TRANSMISSION 4-speed Automatic
  • BASIC WARRANTY 3 Yr./ 36000 Mi.
  • CONSUMER RATINGNot Available

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 Mercedes Benz E-Class Cabriolet

2012 Mercedes Benz E-350 Cabriolet 2-Door Rear Wheel Drive , 302 bhp, 273 lb-ft, 7-sp Automatic, 18/28 mpg
4 passengers, 3950 lb, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, 13.1 lb/bhp

From the moment I spotted this vehicle on our lot, I prayed for the gas gauge to border empty. The empty tank equates to a trip to the gas station, and a trip to the gas station means 15 minutes in a driver's paradise. Today was that day! With the tank brordering E, I approahced the Steel gray metallic beast with a huge smile and a beautiful sun shining down on me. I couldn't help but stop and admire the crisp, bold lines, the folks in Germany decided to bless us with this time around. I've written before of Mercedes's legendary SL 500 and SL550's roadsters. There is no doubt in my mind at this point, that Mercedes Benz builds the most luxurious and exhilerating roadster/convertibles in the World! I love the SL's and I fell hard for this E-350 drop top.
I slid into the beautifully appointed cabin, and as always Mercedes didn't dissappoint. The leather is sturdy, yet supple, gorgeous, yet sporty. Every button, every ammenity carefully layed out. I reach for the arm rest first. This is where, conveniently hidden the power top button rests. The hard top quickly, and silently nestles it's self down into it's hideaway. Next, I reach for the stereo and program my 6 favorite local channels, position my mirrors, and adjust my seat. I am now perfectly situated for my 2 mile excursion:)

As I pull out on to Hurstbourne Pkwy (One of Louisville, KY's most congested roadways), I can feel the stares already. The oncoming traffic, can't help but catch a glimpse of Europe's finest, trying to slip into their little rat race. As, I carefully nudge the accelerator the E-Class wants to take off a like a wild horse. It almost feels like you are trying to contain it, and control it vs begging it for power. I love the way this car feels, looks, smells, drives, corners, and brakes. I'm already impressed and this party has just started. As I float through several lights I realize I have the top down and I'm not being assaulted by the wind I'm simply greeted by it's presence. The day is perfect and I'm stoked about this how perfect this car feels. I decide to slam the brakes at the next light. The braking is near pefrect. The car doesn't nose dive or fight you, the vehicle simply squats where you tell her too. I decide to switch to the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters to run through the gears when the light turns green. The moment the light turns green, I'm rolling through the first 3 gears, and the connection between myself and the vehicle is absolutley awesome. The engine purrs, but doesn't roar, and it's matched perfectly with the transmission.

 Eventually I'm at the gas station filling up a Premium Fuel tank. Thinking to myself, I'm glad I'm not catching the bill on this fill up. As soon as I'm done I make a turn on to Taylorsville Rd, realizing I'm headed in the wrong direction. I quickly slide into a parking lot and effortlessly turn the car around. The turning radius was phenomenal. Once I'm at the next light, both phones start ringing. One is my boss telling me to get the car back to the dealership A.S.A.P., the other is a potential client. I look down, I'm dressed in a blue button down Polo shirt, jeans, and sweet brown loafers, and realize I'm that guy! I'm the dude at the light in the 2012 Drop top Benz, Polo'ed up talking on two cell phones. This is my super busy, rich guy, moment. As I pull up to the lot, I realize some lucky person will have this car in their garage soon, and my days of being the two cell phone rich Mercedes guy are over. It was fun while it lasted, and I absolutley loved this car. Last but not least the back seat is easily the most comfortable back seat in a convertible I've ever sat in. Thanks for taking the time to read my little story, and if you get a chance, drive one of these things even if it's only to the gas station.

$58595 E350 E350 Cabriolet
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive , 302 bhp, 273 lb-ft, 7-sp Automatic, 18/28 mpg
4 passengers, 3950 lb, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, 13.1 lb/bhp
Brake Type Pwr
Brake ABS System 4-Wheel
Brake ABS System (Second Line) N/A
Disc - Front (Yes or ) Yes
Disc - Rear (Yes or ) Yes
Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness 12.7 x 1.3 in
Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness 11.8 x 0.9 in
Cargo Area Dimensions
Trunk Volume 11.5 ft³
Cooling System
Total Cooling System Capacity N/A qts
Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) N/A
Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) N/A
Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year 8.3
EPA Greenhouse Gas Score 5
Engine Type Gas V6
Displacement 3.5L/213
Fuel System Direct Injection
SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM 302 @ 6500
SAE Net Torque @ RPM 273 @ 3500-5250
Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase 108.7 in
Length, Overall 185.0 in
Width, Max w/o mirrors N/A in
Height, Overall 55.2 in
Track Width, Front 60.5 in
Track Width, Rear 60.8 in
Min Ground Clearance 3.0 in
Liftover Height N/A in
Fuel Tank
Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx 22.0 gal
Aux Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx N/A gal
Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity 4
Passenger Volume N/A ft³
Front Head Room 40.2 in
Front Leg Room 42.0 in
Front Shoulder Room 40.4 in
Front Hip Room N/A in
Second Head Room 35.8 in
Second Leg Room 32.9 in
Second Shoulder Room 48.9 in
Second Hip Room N/A in
EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy 28 MPG
Cruising Range - City 396.00 mi
EPA Fuel Economy Est - City 18 MPG
Fuel Economy Est-Combined 22 MPG
Cruising Range - Hwy 616.00 mi
EPA MPG Equivalent - City N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent - Hwy N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent - Combined N/A
Battery Range N/A mi
Steering Type Pwr Rack & Pinion
Steering Ratio (:1), Overall 14.7
Lock to Lock Turns (Steering) 3.0
Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb 35.3 ft
Suspension Type - Front Independent
Suspension Type - Rear Multi-Link
Shock Absorber Diameter - Front N/A mm
Shock Absorber Diameter - Rear N/A mm
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Front N/A in
Stabilizer Bar Diameter - Rear N/A in
Front Tire Size P235/45R17
Rear Tire Size P255/40R17
Spare Tire Size Compact
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Trans Type 7
Trans Description Cont. Automatic
First Gear Ratio (:1) 4.38
Second Gear Ratio (:1) 2.86
Third Gear Ratio (:1) 1.92
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1) 1.37
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) 1.00
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1) 0.82
Reverse Ratio (:1) 3.42/2.23
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) 2.82
Seventh Gear Ratio (:1) 0.73
EPA Classification Subcompact Cars
Weight Information
Base Curb Weight 3948 lbs
Front Wheel Size 17 x 7.5 in
Rear Wheel Size 17 x 8.5 in
Spare Wheel Size Compact in
Front Wheel Material Aluminum
Rear Wheel Material Aluminum
Spare Wheel Material

Video of 2012 Mercedes Benz E-350 Cabriolet:



Saturday, January 28, 2012

The 2011 Mazda Speed3 delivers the goods!

There is only one word that comes to mind when I think of the majority of the Mazdas I have ever driven, FUN! Mazda builds affordable, fuel efficient, performance oriented vehicles that seem to be quite reliable and trustworthy, but most importantly they are a blast to drive. The engineers at Mazda have brought some legendary vehicles to our shores over the last few decades. The first one that comes to mind is the RX-7, then the RX-8, and then one of the most important roadsters of all time the Mazda Miata. Steeped in that tradition comes the 2011 Mazda Speed3 and it delivers one of the most entertaining drives that you'll find under $30,000. The Mazda Speed3 was redesigned in 2010 and while most people loved it a few people thought the new front fascia was just too much to handle. I personally love the style of this car even if it looks like it's smiling back at you from the front end. Perhaps the car is smiling, letting everyone know that the Mazda Speed3 is providing a good time at an affordable price. From the hood scoop to the european inspired 18" wheels these Speed3's are stunning. Today's 2011 Mazda Speed3 is a vicious looking little hatchback. From the sides this car looks like it could stun anything on the road. Our 2011 Mazda Speed3 is done up in a light gray metallic paint job and inside it has probably one of the coolest interiors you'll find for under $30,000. Today's version has black leather seating with red baseball stitching running down the seams. I personally love the red baseball stitching and it truly makes the interior look phenomenal. Inside this Mazda Speed3 has a list of luxury features that would keep any enthusiast happy for years. From the second you open the door you are greeted with a long list of cool features. The first thing I noticed was the aluminum pedals and aluminum kick plate. Then I remembered that they only come in manual version and all of a sudden my heart started race. This was going to be a fun drive, and now I'm pumped up for today's drive. Once inside the cockpit I start to get comfortable which was easy to do. Every button seems to be placed right where you would like it to be, and the seating was very supple and secure. My only complaint would've been the tiny Navigation screen they use. Most smart phones have bigger display screens than this Navigation unit, but I don't use Navigation very often anyway, so it's not that big of a deal. Under the hood the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3  has a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine. Packing 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it can get you to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds. The car has beautiful exhaust notes and I can't wait to get to the nearest expressway. Right off the bat I notice that this turbocharged engine may be almost to powerful for this chassis. When you truly step into the accelerator there is quite a bit of torque steer, but that's what I come to work for everyday anyway. The steering was quick, responsive, and smooth. The brakes were phenomenal, and the cornering was an absolute blast. Once on the freeway I couldn't find a vehicle that would want to tangle with this Speed3. These things are the real deal. It's hard to believe that you can get this much enjoyment out of a little hatchback like this, but it delivered in every category. I couldn't find one single thing I disliked about the Mazda Speed3, except it's miniature Navigation screen. For the money it's hard to believe anything could possibly compete with this car, but apparently it's contender's deliver the goods as well. The thing that most impressed me was the shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. You're practically screaming down the street before you even get to 3rd gear. All in all this car is awesome. From the styling, performance, handling, and price the Mazda Speed3 is no joke. If you are out shopping Lancer's, Civics, even Mustangs, the Mazda Speed3 should definitely get a test run, because I guarantee you'll be impressed.  If you haven't given Mazda a chance, now is the time, because they went all out for the 2011 Mazda Speed3!

2011 Mazda Speed3 Specs:

Engine & Performance
  • Base engine size: 2.3 L
  • Cam type: Double overhead cam (DOHC)
  • Cylinders: inline 4
  • Valves: 16
  • Valve timing: Variable
  • Direct injection
  • Torque: 280 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm
  • Horsepower: 263 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Turning circle: 36.1 ft.
  • Base engine type: gas
  • Drive type: front wheel drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Front limited slip differential
  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Fuel type: gas
  • Fuel type: premium unleaded (required)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 15.9 gal.
  • Range in miles (cty/hwy): 286.2/397.5 mi.
  • EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 18/25 mpg

2011 Mazda Speed3 Warranty:


  • Basic: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
  • Drivetrain: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Roadside: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.