2011 Mazda Speed3

Mazda Speed3

Mazda Speed3

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If you are in the Market for an Impala, Taurus or Cadillac DTS you might want to skip over this review and catch the newest installment of “You Tell Me”. But, if you love fun to drive, quick and responsive smaller cars, keep reading.

The 2011 Mazda Speed 3 is special. If for nothing else its value alone should entice you to strap yourself in for a test drive. The Mazda Speed 3 starts out at $23,945.00 and tops out at a very reasonable $25,840.00. When you consider the fun quotient it’s a steal on any level. The only complaint I have is with the torque steer. I just don’t understand why the manufacturers don’t address this problem. I realize a light car with front wheel drive and high horsepower will produce some torque steer, however, something tells me they could minimize the effects of it.

As bad as the torque steer is, it’s easy to overlook when you’re driving the car in traffic. Some say the torque steer adds personality to the car. Well, if the personality you want is Gilbert Gottfried then mission accomplished. I find the torque steer makes the car less predictable than the price of fuel.

The heart of the Mazda Speed 3 is the turbo four-cylinder power-plant laying down 263HP and almost three hundred pounds of torque. These numbers allow for a very kind power to weight ratio. The kind of combination that makes even the most mundane trip to the local Brookshire’s an event to anticipate. The car allows you to plow through traffic like a gator through a swap. It almost feels like everyone else in the road is stuck in the mud. The nimble handling, which could only be improved with all-wheel drive is exhilarating

The interior of the Mazda Speed 3 is very welcoming and not nearly as confining as it looks from the outside. The front seats offer plenty of bolster to keep you planted in place to enjoy the ride. My seven-year old will tell you there is plenty of room in the back. The gauge cluster is easy to read and frankly, I like the color choice of the lighting package. The stereo is what you would expect from a car in this segment. There is ample bass and the integrated USB hook-ups that make putting a collection of your favorite driving songs on your I-pod as easy as switching to Suddenlink.

Over all, I would absolutely recommend the Mazda Speed 3 to anyone wanting a fun to drive road racer. The fuel mileage won’t set the world on fire. I averaged twenty-three miles per gallon under hard driving conditions, most of the time. That’s what I loved about the car. Hard driving is fun driving and fun driving is what the Mazda Speed 3 was bred for.

I’m Lonnie Johnson and this is this week’s review sponsored by Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive. Stop by and see Gary today. I’m very proud to have them sponsor these reviews and hope you will give them a chance to earn your business. At the corner of Donnybrook and Troup Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive offers what I think is the last full service station on the planet. You won’t find a more enhanced, enjoyable atmosphere anywhere in Tyler.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

2011 Mitubishi Outlander

2011 Mitubishi Outlander

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Moving the family from place to place has never been a particularly thrilling activity. All the kid wants is a USB jack and a video screen. All I want is to not encounter more problems than usual and all my wife wants is for me to shut-up and listen to classical music or NPR. Either one of those activities bore me to the core.

So, along comes the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander. At first sight it won’t exactly draw you in with its original styling. As a matter of fact, it looks very normal. Nothing on the sheet metal suggests that the Outlander is anything but utilitarian. Honestly, an aging Madonna probably gets more double takes. But, here’s the deal. It’s not supposed to. It does what the designers and engineers want. It moves people effortlessly from one quadrant to another quickly, quietly and comfortably.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. The Mitsubishi Outlander won “Dog Car of The Year” by dogs.com. It doesn’t stop there. It also collected hardware from the IHS (institute for Highway Safety). Those are very important awards, if you ask me. Who wouldn’t want their kids and pets safe? Although, I do concede my dogs may be equal to the kid. Well, the old dog anyway. The young one is just stupid.

Just to give you an idea of the safety features on the 2011 Outlander, you can start with a six airbag system, anti-lock brakes, RISE (REINFORCED IMPACT SAFTEY EVOLUTION BODY) and lower anchor tethers for child seats. Obviously that will give you quite a bit of peace of mind.

The 2011 Outlander also has a 10-year , 100,000 mile power-train warranty. That should keep your wallet safe as well. While we are here I should tell you that the Outlander starts at $22,000.00 for the four-cylinder ES and escalates to $28,000.00 for the Outlander GT with the V-6. If I were leading you one way or the other I would suggest the 230HP GT. It has enough power to move the Outlander around town quickly and easily. The AWC (ALL WHEEL CONTROL) on the GT makes the Outlander that much more sure-footed.

Look, everyone needs substance. You can’t live on wine and cheese. Well, yes, you could and if you should, get your wine at Keipersol’s. You’re welcome, Pierre. But if wine and cheese is less useful to you than Bill Mahr at a tea party, then, the 2011 Outlander is just the people transporter for you; the cheeseburger and fries of transportation. Hey, I love burgers and fries.

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Hatfields Photo Gallery 2011

All of us at The Car Show would like to thank Gary Hatfield for host another amazing day of cars and fun. Foe your enjoyment Ken took some pictures at the event to give you an overview of the show and to get your mouth watering for next years show. Just go to the Gallery page and you can see them all, the good, bad, and yes a picture of me completes the cycle.

Don’t forget this was all done for charity. Al proceeds went to help the ABC Room. Thanks again to Gary, Dale and the whole crew at Hatfields.

And, don’t forget we are taping the show at Breakers on Thursday night May 12th. It’s a week after Cinco De Mayo. So come join us at Breaker’s Seafood on the corner of Old Bullard and Rice Road. The show starts taping at 6:30 p.m. See you there

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