With its diesel engine, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL320 CDI transports seven people and plenty of cargo while getting mileage worthy of a midsize sedan. The oversize SUV from Mercedes-Benz features all the interior luxury we would expect from the German carmaker, along with performance that favors economy over power. Unfortunately, it uses the same baseline cabin gadgets we saw in its gasoline-engined counterpart, the Mercedes-Benz GL450. This system covers a lot of the basics well enough, but the interface is poor and some features are antiquated.
Our week with Audi's second-generation TT Coupe came soon after our earlier test of the Audi TT Roadster. We enjoyed the convertible version enough to give it an Editors' Choice award, mainly thanks to its unflappable performance and roster of available tech options.
The TT Coupe similarly impressed us, with its dynamic performance benefiting slightly from the inherently stiffer chassis that comes with a fixed roof versus a retractable one. Our test Coupe didn't include the navigation option just as the Roadster hadn't, and worse, did without our droptop's magnetic ride suspension, but we did get … Read more
Brian Cooley drives a 620 horsepower Mustang. The Saleen S302 Extreme starts out life as a Mustang GT, then gets modified and tuned from the engine through the suspension. And you can also get cabin tech niceties such as a navigation system.
Among the Mazda model lineup, the 2008 Mazda Tribute HEV looks a little out of place. If it noticed the curvier bodies of its siblings, it might figure out that it was adopted, and its real lineage lies in the Ford Motor Co. Yes, its real siblings, actually identical triplets, are the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The boxy Mazda Tribute HEV offers the same kind of advanced hybrid powertrain in an inexpensive and practical package. But it looks nothing like the CX-7, the closest Mazda model in size.
Figuring that owners of the iPhone and iPod touch are probably a good source of potential customers for its new XF sedan, Jaguar has launched a multimedia magazine to promote its forthcoming model designed specifically for Apple's touch-screen devices. The custom site, which was designed by 29HD Network, features some pretty snazzy-looking photos and videos of the new Big Cat in action that have been edited specifically for the iPhone/iPod Touch widescreen display. Check it out at jxfphone.com.
The vast model lineup from Mercedes-Benz ensures that one of its cars will suit just about anyone's needs, but the 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK550 Cabriolet fits a very narrow niche. The CLK550 is a coupe, offered as a convertible or hardtop. With the convertible version, which we reviewed, trunk room is so limited that a couple would need to use the back seats for luggage during a weekend getaway. Four people can fit in relative comfort, but forget bringing anything else. The car is fast and handles well, but its bland looks won't appeal to most sport drivers. It … Read more
Volkswagen has four new car architectures planned as part of its revamp, according to reports.
In mid-November Volkswagen announced it would be investing 28.9 billion euros in its automotive division over the next three years. The company said the changes would focus on completely new vehicles as well "successor models and derivatives" for all of its product classes. The investment will include new powertrain technologies and updates to manufacturing plants.
Today it's been reported this will entail the introduction of four completely new base architectures from which Volkswagen will build its new models and updates, according … Read more
The 2008 model year update to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid took the unoriginal path, reflected by model updates across the industry, of making everything bigger. The new Highlander is higher and wider, giving more space inside but also increasing the weight, a counterintuitive design move with a hybrid. On the positive side, the EPA-rated fuel economy hasn't changed, even though the car uses the same power train as in previous years.
We've been a little disappointed with the Acura cars we've seen lately, so the 2008 Acura TL Type-S surprised us with its fun performance. Last year's Acura RL in particular was a letdown, as its electronics were old and its performance wasn't particularly fun or economical. But the 2008 Acura TL Type-S proved to be a car we wanted to drive. And although its electronics are dated, its audio system is one of the best around.