Honda talks about bigger hybrids, Cash for Clunkers might have been a huge boondoggle, Infiniti will get an electric car, should DWT be punished harder than DUI? And we take you for a ride in the frustratingly fun Scion xB.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 142 SHOW NOTES
Wagon fans rejoice!
After the public's abysmal reception of the Accord Crosstour and the Acura ZDX, Honda has decided to bring the Accord Touring to North American shores. This is a proper wagon, not an odd genre-bending XUV. The model will wear a 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon badge and will be available in fall 2010.
If you remember, the Honda Accord Touring was listed among our Top 10 awesome wagons you can't have. As you'd expect, we're very excited to see it coming off of that list.
Slinging the RDX through corners, we were impressed by this little SUV's handling. Acura's all-wheel-drive system does amazing things for keeping the car settled when inertial forces attempt to drag it over a cliff. But we weren't so impressed after a glance down at the trip computer's fuel economy number. The turbocharged four-cylinder was drinking up the gas like a frat boy at Oktoberfest.
A good cabin tech update added to the driving experience, its new iPod integration letting us listen to a variety of music over the excellent ELS audio system. Navigation and weather are … Read more
The drumbeat gets louder against driving while texting, it's hybrid vs. diesel for Green Car of the Year, GM says selling on eBay was great--but we're over it! And we go for a ride in a new retractable Lexus that is either BMW's nightmare--or a total chick car.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 139 SHOW NOTES
When we saw the line of Acura ZDX models waiting for us in the parking lot, the cleanness of the design stood out. The sheet metal looked smoother than any new car we had seen recently, and Acura didn't load the body down with jewelry, just nicely integrated headlight casings. And the grille, which stands out like a beak on the smaller Acura sedans, seems to have found its medium. Unlike when we first saw the ZDX earlier this year at the New York auto show, the design took on new life under the bright sun at this special driving preview.
Built on the Acura MDX SUV platform, the ZDX is lower but just a tad longer than its platform-mate. During a presentation, an Acura representative called it a "four door sports coupe," and touted its off-road characteristics by showing a video of it running on a snow track. That schizophrenic character points to the ZDX's blessing or curse--it will be a convenient multipurpose vehicle to some people, but not good at any particular duty for others. That said, the ZDX comes out at the same time as other automakers experiment with this new type of crossover. BMW has the X6, and is working on the 5-series Gran Turismo. Audi is looking at making a hatchback version of the A5. These companies are trying to develop an SUV-alternative for people that no long want to drive a truck.
Most concept cars lose their most interesting features when they come to production, but the ZDX didn't drop a thing from its initial showing. It uses a glass roof extending from the hood to hatchback, giving both seating rows a sunroof. The short rear doors have handles hidden in the C pillar graphics. The center stack looks black when the car is off, but backlighting highlights button labels when the audio system and climate control are turned on. We hope this feature finds its way into other Acura models, as it works well to hide the mass of buttons scattered over current Acura dashboards. … Read more
Details emerge on cash for guzzlers--and some of it's ugly! It's a bad, bad week for TomTom. Our hybrid car tech Prizefight divides the CNET car community. And a ride in the best fun car you can get less than $30,000.SHOW NOTES
If Acura is to be believed, the vehicle above is not an SUX, not CUV, and not a wagon. No, Acura is calling the 2010 ZDX a four-door sports coupe. If you thought the BMW X6 was an odd bird, you're going to love this.
The ZDX will be powered by a 3.7-liter, all-aluminum V-6 engine will send 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque through an all-new six-speed automatic transmission. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters should lend to the ZDX's sports coupe image, while standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) should keep the 19-inch, 7-spoke alloy … Read more
Acura enlisted the director duo of Chris Hopewell and Ben Foley of Collision Films (previous work includes music videos for Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand), for this RDX commercial, which uses stop-frame animation techniques.
Watching this TV spot you think the car is traveling in an animated world, but in actuality the car never moves.
The shoot took 17 graffiti artists and painters working on a massive 100-foot by 40-foot wall. All art was done by artists, not CGI. The 10-day shoot for "Wall Art" used more than 450 gallons of paint and 500 cans of spray paint, resulting … Read more
Certain cars feature such atrocious designs that they become automotive legends. Think cars such as the AMC Pacer and Pontiac Aztek. In the last year, we've seen quirky designs that may reach such legendary status from the vaunted brands BMW, Acura, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin. Some of these designs are attempts at entering the crossover segment, building an SUV with the fuel economy and ride quality of a car. Others attempt to expand model lineups dominated by sports cars, giving the prospective buyer who wants to add a baby seat an option. Take a look at these photos … Read more
We spend a lot of time evaluating the electronics in new cars, digging through navigation system menus, hooking up phones and iPods, and listening to audio systems. But occasionally we get to put these very same cars on the track, to find out how their performance technologies work under stress.
This year, we drove a wide variety of cars on the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There was the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Chevrolet Camaro. We had familiar rides such as the BMW M3 and Acura TL SH-AWD. Then there were the race-bred cars, the Audi R8 and … Read more