Acura gives the old TL a bump for the 2009 model year, updating the styling and improving the cabin tech, but also splitting the model into a standard version and a sporty, all-wheel-drive version. We take that hyped-up TL SH-AWD and go in search of some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, with the aid of Acura's new navigation system.
Volkswagen launched its best-looking car ever, the CC, and we took it for a drive to check out the tech. This sedan has a seductively curved roofline and a beautiful two-tone interior, with a new suite of cabin tech that looks really good on paper. Hard-drive-based navigation with traffic, onboard music storage, iPod and USB drive integration, and a Dynaudio sound system are all cutting-edge features, but will they hold up on the road? We also put the car's sport aspirations to the test, seeing how it handles around the corners.
People used to think of hybrids as economy commuter cars, then Lexus launched the RX 400h. This SUV proved that a hybrid could be luxurious, comfortable, and still achieve excellent mileage. CNET Car Tech does an in-depth review of the RX 400h, taking it on road trip to Los Angeles to find some of the worst traffic in the country, the kind of place where a hybrid performs best. Read our review to see how this car, soon to be replaced by a seriously updated model, fares.
Whether the Infiniti FX's bulbous curves can be considered beautiful is debatable, but one thing we know for certain is that--in FX50S trim--it certainly is imposing. With muscular front fenders, a large dark chrome grill, and a pair of the most aggressive headlights we've ever seen on an SUV, the 2009 Infiniti FX50S prowls the streets looking like an angry hippopotamus on 21-inch wheels.
Before you laugh, there's something you should know about the hippo. It is one of the most aggressive animals in the world, and is often regarded as the most dangerous animal in Africa … Read more
With the body of a 1950s station wagon, what's the Ford Flex doing on a car technology site? The answer is inside, as this retro-wagon features the best infotainment system currently available. Mention an album name, and the stereo will start playing it. Say a street name, and the car will show you how to get there, on a route that avoids any bad traffic. Get low on fuel, and the car can tell you where to find the cheapest gas. It even gives you a weather forecast, movie times, and sports scores.
As for the drive quality, well, … Read more
The Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, and sitting in one is a very special experience. Sitting in a DBS and listening to a Bang & Olufsen audio system takes that special experience and adds a choir of angels. The high-end Danish audio-components maker lends its expertise to Aston Martin with its Beosound DBS system, now coming as standard in the new DBS. At the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show we sat in the DBS as a Bang & Olufsen representative played a variety of music through the system.
The car spun around on its turntable as a drum-and-bass … Read more
The Audi A4 gets a serious update for 2009, with a much-needed cabin tech overhaul. But the fun really starts with the new Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which gets a new rear differential. We put it to the test on some slick roads, pushing it to the limits of traction. Along the way, we also try out the new Audi Drive Select feature, which lets you choose from sport or comfort settings for the steering, suspension, and transmission.
Lexus takes its standard IS model and turns it into an M3 competitor, giving it a more displacement than the BMW. We test out this speed demon and revel in its engine pitch as we try for our best zero to 60 mph times. And, as usual, we take a close look at the cabin tech. It has navigation, Bluetooth, and an impressive audio system, but most of these components date back to the 2006 IS model update, putting them behind the curve for current gadgetry. Oh well, we guess we will have to content ourselves with a superior driving … Read more
We didn't expect a tuner car from Chevy, but the Cobalt SS measure up in all ways. Two-liter four cylinder engine, check. Variable valve timing, check. Turbocharger, bonus. With 260 horsepower, the Cobalt SS has more power than a Honda Civic Si, and the Cobalt SS' limited slip differential, stabilizer bars, and suspension tuning lead to good handling in the corners. Put it in launch-control mode and you can achieve maximum grip and acceleration off the line. Chevy also steps up a bit in cabin tech, giving the Cobalt SS iPod integration and a bass-heavy Pioneer audio system.
Records are skinny things, but once you have more than 100 or so they start to take up a lot of space. Some vinyl philes just leave them on the floor, or lean them up against furniture. Yuch! The nice folks at Atocha Design build gorgeous hi-fi furniture. Each piece is made to fit your needs, contact Atocha Design to get a price quote. Finish options run to American Maple, Walnut, Oak, and Bamboo; handles are solid brass. Atocha Designs are hand crafted in the U.S.A.