Review: Scion tC 6MT, Take Two
Jul21

Review: Scion tC 6MT, Take Two

By Charles Krome

Here’s a fun little factoid about the Scion tC: According to a recent study by a group called Quality Planning—which provides research for the insurance industry—Scion’s sports coupe is the third-most-ticketed car in the U.S., trailing only the Mercedes-Benz SL and the Toyota Camry/Solara. Of course, seeing the tC so high on the list was no surprise to me, because I’d already been driving one for a couple of days by then and knew full well what a blast the car was. Scion had lent me a tC in “Super White” with a six-speed manual and a full tank of gas, and that turned out to be a surprisingly affordable recipe for some serious driving excitement.

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Hey, There’s a Bunch of Cool Cars
Jul21

Hey, There’s a Bunch of Cool Cars

By Charles Krome

If you listen to some people in the industry, traditional “car culture” is a dying animal here in the U.S. For example, when I attended an Automotive Press Association event earlier this year, I heard designers from the Detroit three talk about how the generations that are now coming of driving age really aren’t all that interested in the actual activity of driving; they view cars as means, but not ends. I don’t know if that’s really the case or not, but if it is, the culture is certainly going out with a bang. Take the growing popularity of neighborhood gatherings of auto enthusiasts, who bring their vehicles together on weekend mornings to share America’s favorite hot caffeinated beverage, show off, and talk cars.

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Review: Toyota Sienna XLE 3.5L
Jul13

Review: Toyota Sienna XLE 3.5L

By Charles Krome

As most people with more than two kids eventually discover, it really takes more than two rows worth of seating to survive a family road trip of any kind of distance (or time) with your sanity intact. And if you need to optimize your ability to haul both cargo and kids at the same time on said trip, even today’s full-size crossovers can be a tight squeeze. Alternatively, for those whose routine driving includes shorter but more frequent trips carrying the same sort of payload mix—kids, kids’ friends, everyone’s gear, etc.—the same concern over maximizing interior at the expense of nearly everything else still obtains. Which is where the minivan comes in. Only nowadays, in an effort to get people to consider these vehicles because out of choice, not necessity, not quite everything is being sacrificed on the altar of interior versatility. Which is where the 2011 Toyota Sienna comes in.

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Hey, There’s a Cool Car: 2005/2006 Pontiac GTO
Jul05

Hey, There’s a Cool Car: 2005/2006 Pontiac GTO

By Charles Krome

How can a 400-hp rear-wheel-drive coupe that runs from 0-60 in under 5 seconds be anything less than cool? Yet, as we all know, the car here was an utter failure for Pontiac/GM, and for a lot of different reasons. It all starts with the car’s name, obviously—if it had been anything other than “GTO,” things might have turned out a lot differently.

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Review: 2011 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Platinum Hybrid
Jun29

Review: 2011 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Platinum Hybrid

By Charles Krome

Getting into one of the General’s big body-on-frame dual-mode hybrid trucks has been high on my list for some time, and the automaker recently obliged me with the ne ultra of the breed, this year’s Cadillac Escalade Hybrid with both four-wheel drive and the brand’s ultimate Platinum package of goodies. It’s the most expensive model in the Cadillac lineup(!), sporting an MSRP of $88,140—a tidy $24,685 over the price of admission to the base Escalade—but hey, it’s also the only one capable of an EPA city rating of 20 mpg, which goes with marks of 23 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.

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