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Bruce Caldwell

The last car I ever talked my mother into buying was a Rally Red 1970 Dodge Challenger with the gutsy 340 V-8, slap stick TorqueFlite transmission, hood scoops, spoilers, mag wheels and black bucket seats. I hoped the hot Challenger would eventually makes its way into my sweaty hands, but that dream died at a Volvo dealership during the first gas crisis. read more »

 

Small and affordable doesn’t have to mean boring and lethargic. The 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover is a subcompact car that packs a great deal of sportiness and fun into a handsome, very practical package. And it does all this with an outstanding warranty and prices well under $20,000 .

The SX4 comes in two body styles, a 5-door hatchback called the Crossover and a more traditional sedan. We drove the SX4 Crossover with AWD. read more »

 

Subarus have always done well in the Pacific Northwest and rightfully so, because they’re ideally suited to the climate, roads, and needs of the residents. Subarus are unique and so are we.

The Subaru Forester started out in 1998 as a very practical, spacious inside/compact outside, all-weather crossover SUV. It wasn’t the flashiest box on the road, but it was affordable and most importantly it did everything active owners required. read more »

 

To say that Volvos are popular in the Pacific Northwest is like saying Gortex should be the official state fabric. Volvos, especially Volvo wagons, are a natural fit for the climate, driving conditions, active lifestyles, and sensibilities of area consumers. read more »

 

Trying to find something negative about the Honda Civic is like trying to criticize the American flag. Unless you’re some kind of Yugo-loving commie there’s nothing but praise to offer.

Not that we wanted to find fault with the 2008 Honda Civic EX-L, it’s just that we’re amazed how this once tiny economy car has come to be the gold standard of compact cars. read more »

 

The Honda Accord has been in the U.S. for thirty-two years and it’s now in its eighth iteration. The all-new 2008 Accord has come a very long ways since the little hatchback coupe was introduced in 1976.

I attended that introductory press launch and was so impressed with the car that I bought one in 1978 even though I worked at HOT ROD Magazine and drove a GTO. read more »

 

Ford’s Fusion is exactly the kind of car Ford needs to build if it wants to regain financial health. The 2008 Ford Fusion is a car that does everything well, but it’s more than just a competent appliance, it’s pleasurable to drive. Note, we said pleasurable, not fun.

That statement isn’t meant as a backhanded compliment, it’s just that although the Fusion has a pretty sporty appearance it’s not a sports sedan — and that’s fine. read more »

 

We liked the GMC Denali concept the first time we drove a Yukon Denali in the nineties. We went on a long family vacation to central Oregon. The blend of luxury and function made the Denali a pleasure whether cruising at 80-plus on U.S. 97, trekking along silt Forest Service roads or plowing through deep snow on the way to Mt. Bachelor.

That great Denali tradition carries on in the 2008 GMC Envoy Denali. read more »

 

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its twin, the GMC Sierra, were redesigned for 2007, so changes for 2008 are minimal. That’s fine because the 2007 package was good enough to win Motor Trend Magazine’s coveted Truck of the Year award. The 2008 models get a revised gauge cluster, standard XM Satellite Radio and improved seats. There’s an optional integrated trailer brake controller. read more »

 
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