Category Archives: Autofile

Toyota Tundra: 2007-’13
March 23, 2020

Overview

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Description

This generation of Tundra had a solid reputation as s rugged performer that was nicely detailed inside and out. It was also better equipped to take on the full-size domestic pickups. Models equipped with the strong-running V-8 gave the Tundra real hauling and towing power, but the smaller V-6 and V-8 engines were also capable. All three cabs — regular, extended-length Double Cab and four-door CrewMax — provided buyers with roominess and comfort (for example, the extended Double Cab can actually carry five adult riders).

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Mini Countryman: 2011-’16
February 17, 2020

Overview

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Description

Unlike other Minis, the Countryman could comfortably seat four adults in individual chairs, or five passengers in 2014-’16 models that came with a split-folding rear seat. There was also plenty of cargo space behind the front seats when the rears were folded flat. As with other Mini models, there’s a moon-sized round pod that houses the speedometer and the infotainment screen. The car’s sport-tuned suspension and precise steering also made it fun to drive.

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Volkswagen Jetta: 2006-’10
January 20, 2020

Overview

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Description

The Mexico-built Jetta provided German-engineered fit and finish at a far more affordable price than, for example, a BMW 3 series, Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C-class sedan. Both Jetta gasoline engines, including the 150-horsepower five-cylinder (upgraded to 170 horsepower for 2008) and the 200-horsepower turbo four-cylinder (standard in the sporty GLI) delivered decent power. As well, the 140-horsepower four-cylinder turbo-diesel, available for 2009-’10 Jettas, was thrifty and provided reasonable acceleration.

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Mitsubishi Outlander: 2007-’13
December 16, 2019

Overview

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Description

The second-generation 2007-’13 Outlander was a big step above the original and provided more passenger space, comfort and, with the V-6 option, more power for hauling and towing. The optional all-wheel-drive was one of the better systems available and could direct up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, which it did when accelerating from rest. The AWD could also be locked in at any speed or road condition to aid grip in the turns.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata: 2007-’15
November 18, 2019

Overview

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Description

Mazda turned the sports-car world on its ear when the cute-and-sassy Miata arrived in the fall of 1989. The two-seat roadster, which was reminiscent of a 1960s-vintage Lotus Elan, boasted a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine along with a five-speed manual transmission. The available four-speed automatic was a rarely ordered option. In 1994, the Miata’s engine grew to 1.8 liters and horsepower crept up to 128 from 116. A larger and more-powerful Miata replaced the first-generation car for 1999, which continued until Mazda’s third-generation two-seater was launched for the 2007 model year.

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Mini Cooper: 2007-’13
October 28, 2019

Overview

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Description

The original Mini Cooper delivered plenty of driving fun and the newer models have continued that tradition. The carʼs low center of gravity and wide stance minimized body lean while cornering. Steering was ultra-quick and responsive. Likewise, shifting the standard-issue six-speed manual transmission was a treat (it was designed by BMW, after all). A six-speed automatic was optional.

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Scion tC: 2005-’16
September 2, 2019

Overview

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Description

Toyota’s youth-market division was launched in 2003 specifically for the North American market. The well-equipped xA hatch and xB wagon were joined for the 2005 model year by the sporty tC hatchback coupe. Initially, the car came with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that made 161 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. For 2011, those numbers jumped to 180/173 with the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder.

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BMW X6: 2008-’14
August 26, 2019

Overview

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Description

The X6 was based on BMW’s successful X5 sport utility vehicle, but the X6’s hatchback meant there was no confusing the two. Original powertrains included 300- and 315-horsepower inline six-cylinder engines for the xDrive35i. Optional 400- and 440-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-8 engines (depending on the year) came in the xDrive50i. For 2010, BMW added the more potent 550-horsepower X6 M as well as the 480-horesepower ActiveHybrid X6. An all-wheel-drive system that could vary torque front-to-back as well as side-to-side was standard issue on all X6s.

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Nissan Cube: 2009-ʼ14
July 8, 2019

Overview

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Description

Nissanʼs funky front-wheel-drive box on wheels was originally introduced to the Japan market in 1998. The third-generation model was brought to Europe and North America for the 2009 model year, by which time it displayed a unique (some would say youthful) styling. The Cubeʼs sole engine option was a 1.8-liter four-cylinder (the same one given to the Versa hatchback) that produced 122 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque.

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Mazda6: 2009-’13
June 17, 2019

Overview

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Description

The second-generation 2009-’13 Mazda6 did a decent job competing against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu, et al. Of particular note was the sharp styling and generously sized and appointed interior. Both front and rear seats were particularly supportive. The 6ʼs sport-tuned suspension and steering made it more fun to drive than many of its sedan competitors, but it still delivered a comfortable ride.

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