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Dee Coppola

When I first saw the sharp looking 2009 Toyota Venza up close and personal, my first question was, “Who exactly is this vehicle aimed at?” It’s far more utilitarian than a passenger car, spacious like a minivan, yet smaller and lower than an SUV, while boasting all the usual high-end equipment usually found on an upscale sport-ute. Meanwhile, it rides, drives, and handles like a sports sedan. read more »

 

You’ll never catch Tim Allen grunting appreciatively over the mid-size Honda Ridgeline, because it isn’t exactly a macho truck. But it combines Honda’s best attributes — dependability, refinement, and fit-and-finish, with some handy, innovative features.

Compared head-to-head with conventional pickups — Ford F-150, Nissan Titan et. al., the Ridgeline will rank dead last. read more »

 

Who would have thought? A V8-powered, midsize, truck-based, body-on-frame SUV that seats seven, can tow up to 7,500 pounds, and competes hard against the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, and Toyota 4Runner — from Kia. That’s the story on the all-new 2009 Kia Borrego.

The Borrego is offered in both 2-wheel drive and true 4-wheel drive , in two trim levels: LX and EX. read more »

 
Hybrid joins lineup of sporty sedans

When it comes to real “driver’s cars,” the 2009 Nissan Altima is one of my personal favorites, and a standout in the midsize sedan segment. This is the fourth-generation Altima, which was all-new in model year 2007. It set sales records, while earning the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Mid-Size Cars, and finding itself ranked highest among mid-size sedans in the J.D. Power APPEAL study. read more »

 

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That’s the bottom line on the 2009 Kia Sorento. Debuting in 2003, the Sorento quickly captured the high ground against almost every other SUV in its class. In head-to-head on and off-road competition, 26 professional automotive writers from across the nation voted it as Best in Class and Best SUV Value, at Mudfest, the nation’s premier SUV competition. read more »

 

After seven successful years, the Toyota Highlander was redesigned and re-engineered for the 2008 model year. The new version of the popular crossover SUV is bigger, roomier, and more powerful — but not at the expense of fuel economy. I’ve been a fan of the Highlander since the first time I drove it — but I like the hybrid even more. read more »

 

Honda did extensive consumer research before embarking on the redesign of its popular full-sized crossover SUV, the Pilot. Debuting in 2002, the Honda Pilot was an immediate hit and has stood out from its competition with good looks, great handling and very smart packaging. In fact, Car and Driver has honored the Pilot with six of it Best Trucks Awards in the past eight years. read more »

 

One of the perks of writing these reviews is being able to test drive cars when visiting other places. When we decided to take some R&R at our condo in Scottsdale, Ariz., a phone call to Carrie Owens at A&M had us behind the wheel of a 2008 Nissan 350Z, Enthusiast version coupe. read more »

 

Almost no one has ever used the words, “Honda Accord,” and “sporty,” in the same sentence. Before now, there has never been much reason to. The redesigned 2008 Honda Accord sedan should be a strong challenger to class sales leading, Toyota Camry, because it’s sleeker, roomier inside and more powerful. read more »

 
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