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Bruce Caldwell

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 »

 

The 2009 Ford Mustang GT isn’t a revolutionary car, but that doesn’t stop it from being great. Many contemporary cars overwhelm drivers with technological innovations. The 45th anniversary model Mustang GT is more old school, relying on a proven formula of front-mounted engine and rear-wheel-drive. Ford has refined this combo so it works very well and is cost effective. 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 »

 

It doesn’t matter how great a vehicle is if buyers don’t like the way it looks. We think that could have been a factor in the slow sales for the Subaru B9 Tribeca, because in only its third year Subaru gave the crossover SUV a substantial makeover.

We like the makeover. Gone is the odd Alfa Romeo-like grille treatment and the triangular headlight covers. The new nose is much more generic, but much more appealing. read more »

 

Our friend, Mike, drives a Corvette Z06 when he isn’t riding his Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. Mike loves both modes of transportation, but he needed something roomier and more practical to accommodate his grandsons. Mike wanted an SUV, but he didn’t want to give up performance. He may be a grandfather, but he’s a long ways from driving something “sensible.”

Mike’s idea of sensible is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. read more »

 
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