Category Archives: Autofile

Mazda MX-5 Miata: 2007-’15
April 12, 2021

Overview

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Description

The fun-loving Miata represented one of the best sports-car values on the road. Along with its inspired styling and handling, the accommodations for the driver and passenger were comfortable, but snug. The manually operated convertible top, offered in vinyl or optional cloth, folded and unfolded with ease with one hand. It securely latched to the windshield frame and was built to last.

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Toyota Corolla: 2009-’13
April 5, 2021

Overview

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Description

This series of Corollas continued to hold fast to its popularity primarily because they vehicles provided comfortable accommodations, decent storage space and excellent fuel economy, all wrapped up in a neat, tidy package that resembled the larger Camry. These cars also possessed an enviable reputation for reliability. Corolla drivers are so practical that they often see no reason to trade up when their car is running perfectly fine. It’s not uncommon to see decade-old cars (or older) on the road in seemingly in good shape.

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Chrysler Town & Country: 2011-’16
March 1, 2021

Overview

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Description

Minivans, first and foremost, are all about function. In that department the T & C excelled, but it also added more than a splash of luxury, which is what differentiated it from the similar, but more humble, Grand Caravan. For maximizing load volume, the Stow ’n Go feature made the second-row bench seat disappear beneath the floor, while the third-row seat could be equally well hidden. The standard 283-horsepower V-6 was no slouch, whether accelerating from a dead stop or during highway passing.

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BMW 1-Series 2008-’13
February 15, 2021

Overview

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Description

The 1-series coupe/convertibles were made on a shortened (by four inches) version of the 3-series platform and used the same engines. The base 128i came with a non-turbo inline six-cylinder that made 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, while the 135i’s twin-turbocharged six-cylinder rang in at 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Each could be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic.

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Acura RDX: 2007-’12
January 25, 2021

Overview

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Description

The RDX was a competitive alternative to the BMW X3 and was every bit as good, or better, in the all-wheel-drive department. Acura’s SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) system — also used in the top-end RL sedan — could direct 100 percent of the engine’s rear-axle torque to the outside wheel when turning. In ideal traction conditions, front/rear torque was split 90/10. The variability made the RDX adept in slippery conditions.

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BMW X6: 2009-’14
December 14, 2020

Overview

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Description

Surprisingly, the first-generation X6 had nearly as much passenger and trunk space as the squared-off X5 (credit the extra-tall body for that slight of hand). As well, sharing the X5’s engine choices meant the vehicle was a lively performer despite its nearly 5,000-pound curb weight. The X6 could hold its own on twisty roads, thanks in large measure to a superior all-wheel-drive system. Most amazing was the brutish 555-horse X6 M that was capable of sprints to 60 mph from zero in the low-four-second range.

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GMC Acadia: 2007-’16
November 2, 2020

Overview

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Description

The Acadia provided plenty of leg, knee and elbowroom for everyone, including adults seated in the third row. Entering and exiting the wagon was also fairly easy due to a lower ride height than similar models that were built on pickup-type full frames. Acadias that were equipped with all-wheel-drive earned nearly the same fuel-economy rating as the front-wheel-drive models. Versions fitted with second-row captain’s chairs (instead of a bench seat) were limited to seven passengers, but those in the middle row had additional room and comfort.

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Audi A3: 2006-’13
September 21, 2020

Overview

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Description

The A3 proved to be an excellent introductory model for the Audi line. Not surprisingly, there was a reasonable amount of stowage space in back, and the rest of the interior was clean and uncluttered. The standard 200-horsepower turbo four-cylinder was a smooth-running jewel of an engine with enough spunk to propel the A3 to 60 mph from zero in 6.5 seconds (according to Audi).

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Volvo XC90: 2003-’14
September 7, 2020

Overview

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Description

The handsome XC90 was a success for Volvo right from the start, despite a pricetag that topped the XC70 wagon by nearly $6,000. The squared-off body translated into generous cargo space, while passenger accommodations — always a Volvo strong point — were first rate. The XC90’s boulder-clearing ride height came in handy on or off the beaten path.

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Lexus LS 460/600h L: 2007-’12
August 24, 2020

Overview

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Description

The fourth-generation (2007-’12) LS was known for its sumptuous passenger accommodations: soft leather seat coverings; and genuine walnut trim. It was also one of the roomiest and most comfortable sedans in its class, offering plenty of rear-seat space. Even better, the extended-length versions provided about five extra inches between the front and rear wheels. The LS was whisper quiet with engine, road and wind noise barely audible at any speed.

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