2012 Toyota Yaris

2012 Toyota Yaris


If you’re the kind of commuter that could care less if you take the train, bus or any subcompact on the road, I’ve found the car for you. With as much edge as Sinbad set, the 2012 Toyota Yaris gets the job done. At forty-six years of age I’m starting to understand the benefit of proper tools.

Gas prices are going to continue to rise no matter what party you choose to be conned by in the fall elections. I for one do get tired of filling my truck up at 80-100 bucks a pop. Truth be told, I rarely use my truck for truck duty. It spends most of its life empty, with no dead weight dragging behind it. Sounds like Tom Cruise. So, what’s wrong with me seeing the sensibility of owning a high mileage subcompact for daily commutes around town? As far as style, style cost money, money that could be used on gas. That reason alone could justify throwing down the small amount of jack required to purchase a new Yaris. The Yaris pricing starts at $14,115.00. That seems very reasonable considering Toyota is happy to include their reliable reputation in the deal.

Just don’t expect an exhilarating driving experience. Not that it’s boring; let’s just say you have about as much sex appeal Andy Dick on a three week bender. But, automotive sex appeal can’t always take center stage. At some point we all have to realize it’s just a commuter car.

One of the things that really appeals to me is the radio. Instead of all these crazy teeny tiny little buttons to control everything but nuclear fusion, there is one giant button, one for volume and for scanning. Brilliant. Of course, you can still connect your iPod. The 2012 Yaris includes iPod connectivity plus AUX and USB ports.
There no optional NAV system but, that’s ok ,they still make maps, right?

Now, for the power numbers. I was going to make a joke here but, the power is actually ok. You get 100HP and 100 pounds of torque. Offering old school port fuel injection –vs- the more modern diret injection the Yaris still claims fuel mileage of 30/38. Did I mention it’s under $14,500.00?

If I was a gen-Y and wanted to make a break from my parent’s house before I was thirty I would strongly consider the 2012 Yaris.

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ

2012 Silverado 1500 LTZ

2012 Silverado 1500 LTZ


Just like Madonna all men seek their inner masculinity. Whether its big guns like hers or, big guns that can blow thing up, most guys like stuff that makes us think or, look like we can tackle anything. But while tuff will always be in for guys, we live in a new age that allows us to be tuff and groomed at the same time.

That’s really my impression of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2WD Crew Cab LTZ. Tuff and well groomed.
Powered by the little LS that could, the 5.3 liter version of Chevy’s now iconic small block series, the 5.3 liter offers more torque than I could imagine, out of a motor with limited cubic inches. I could probably do this whole review as an ode to the LS but I won’t. This power-plant has been overly documented in reviews of everything from trucks to Corvettes. And much like Madonna they seem to continue to get stronger as they age.

As much as I love the power-plant, I love the styling of the 2012 Silverado even more. Unlike Madonna the lines are smooth and clean. Ok, ok, I’ll lay of Madge. The front fascia appeals to me with its straight “truck” lines and a new slit just above the bumper actually makes the Silverado look related to the Corvette and Camaro.

I will tell you that until this last little tweak of the exterior sheet metal I preferred the looks of another manufacturer over the Silverado. No longer, the designers at G.M. seem to have hit on all of my personal styling preferences.

With its active fuel management technology the 2012 Silverado gets a very respectable 15 city, and 21 miles to the gallon on the highway. Estimated annual fuel cost is $3,263.00.

The ride of the Silverado is almost car like. The steering is responsive and handling around corners if very flat for a several thousand pound vehicle. Coil over shocks on the front suspension is my guess as to how Chevrolet accomplishes this. Also, the boxed frame offers rigidity that helps with not only handling but towing. Speaking of towing the 2012 Silverado helps you handle that with- STABILITRAC- stability control with trailer sway control.

With the LTZ package comes a very plush interior that includes a leather wrapped steering wheel, power, heated front bucket seats w/ driver memory and a Bose system that sounds fantastic. This however is also one of my gripes about the Silverado. To change the station on the radio anyone under six feet tall has to really lean to the right- which is of course tough for me-to change the station. This requires you to take your eyes off the road. With all of the unintended distractions already brought aboard we don’t need any factory distractions.

Silverado interior

Silverado interior

One gripe is pretty good in my book; however, you pay for all of this grooming. Total vehicle price for the 2012 Silverado 1500 2WD Crew Cab LTZ is as large as its full name, $45,319.00 to be exact.
But again masculinity has never looked so good. Sorry Madonna

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2013 Mustang GT

2013 Mustang GT

2013 Mustang GT


Got some bad news last week, I found out I would have to keep the 2013 Mustang GT an extra day. Instead of the usual Tuesday delivery, Ford wanted to deliver the Mustang on Monday because of the Fourth of July holiday.

I don’t know if a color can make a car faster but, if it could Grabber Blue would be it. I know Ford has done the Grabber Blue before but, not like this. I’ll do my best to describe how this color looks, so blue and so light and so tuff at the same time. It’s like a twenty-two year old at a party for middle aged folks. It stands out. You know how Steve Martin had that line about never being able to sing a sad song to a banjo. Well, it’s just as hard to be sad driving a light blue muscle car. I mean its BLUUUUUE.

When you open the door you can’t help but notice how the dark blue, accented black leather seats call your name. Slide in and grab the billet cue ball shift knob. OUCH! My God, That thing was hot. Ford, right now, you need to put leather on all of the shift knobs on cars destined for the Southwest. Seriously, I’ve never touched anything that hot in a car before. I had to use a napkin to put over it. But, man it looked great.

The Hot Stick

The Hot Stick

As far as appearance goes, they’ve done more tweaking than Bruce Jenner’s plastic surgeon. If you put a 2006 Mustang next to a 2013 you will be shocked at the subtle changes. For one, the rear fascia is now far more understated, especially with the spoiler delete. All of the changes give the Mustang a much more refined appearance. Even the “mood lighting” was tolerable.

Slide around to the front of the car and open the hood and you’ll see one of the most attractive engine compartments in the industry. Yea, it’s all plastic on top of the Coyote motor but, at least they made it look great.

Oh yea, the Coyote motor. Ford says it puts out 402 on regular gas and 420 on Premium. Save your money. My guess is they’re lying and it’s actually about 420 on regular. This motor is strong. It’s giving the Camaro lovers fits. Four hundred pounds of torque at 4205RPM gets you under way faster than MTV’s Teen Moms get arrested.

Acceleration Test

Acceleration Test


I know the Mustang is up for a huge design change, and there have been rumors of distancing from the retro styling. I’m whole heartedly on board. I think the newest version of the Mustang GT looks far less retro than the 2005 model.

That shift knob heating up is a problem. So is the fact that you now pay forty thousand dollars for a Mustang GT. But, it’s ok. Order one in Hugger Blue and you’ll be way too happy to care about the price.

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Let Carroll Shelby Rest in Peace

Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby

It’s time to thaw Carroll out.

I don’t know if you read about this but, the Ford Racing legend Carroll Shelby lies frozen in a box in a Dallas hospital.

I had the chance to meet Carroll at the launch of the Ford GT500. For me it was the chance of a lifetime. Being from East Texas, Carroll was an even larger legend to me than most.

So, here I am in Detroit at a Ford sponsored media drive for the GT500 and there sits Carroll, bigger than life, auto writer after auto writer besieging him with rambling questions about the GT500. If I got in front of him, I promised myself I would make him remember me. So, when my turn came to ask the legend a question I popped off this line. “Hi Carroll, I’m sure you’ve talked enough about the mustang today. What I really want to know is what are your thoughts on those great *^%$#%$# Noonday onions”. He started laughing and ended up giving me all of his personal contact info on a Shelby business card.

That was a great moment that I’ll always have, along with a card with his info written in his hand. This may not be much to you but, for a dude born in New Boston, Texas who loves cars, this was a moment I’ll never forget.
Now, fast forward to today and it makes me sick to see what’s going on. Cleo Shelby, aka, wife number six, is in a battle with the lawyers over Carroll’s remains.

This is wife number six. Really? Wife number six? What makes you think Carroll loved or cared for you anymore than 3 thru 5?
Everyone who owns a Shelby product should get in it, drive to Dallas, back their cars up to Baylor Hospital and rev their engines to defrost the single largest contributor to Ford racing.

That’s right. It’s time to defrost and either cremate or bury our East Texas comrade.
Carroll deserves better than this. Even a life spent suing everyone you know should not end in perpetual non- organic numbness.

Why do people feel the need to control the fate of deceased family members? Money and power, that’s what this is all about.

Look, all parents and children have ups and downs. I assure you if my father had passed when I was between the ages of 17-25 it would be a whole different story than it would be today. But, no matter what happens, family is family and number 6 is number six.

Let’s just hope they don’t let this continue so long they make another dark comedy about East Texas folks, like “Bernie”-which, by the way, was a great movie.

Carroll, here’s hoping you finally get in the fast lane to your final resting place.

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2012 Volvo C30

2012 Volvo C30

2012 Volvo C30


The world has officially shifted on its axis. Tom Cruise plays a ROCKSTAR and I like a Volvo station wagon.

First I’ll just touch on the many things that are wrong with Mr. Cruise playing a ROCKSTAR. Wait, there’s just not enough space. So, we’ll move onto the Volvo C30 Turbo.

I’m getting to be a huge fan of the “Rally” style cars. It started with an STI that a friend of mine owned. Ryan, from the show had a 700HP Subaru that both scared and attracted me at the same time, kind of like Rihanna.

I’m not sure Volvo intended the C30 to be seen as a rally car but, to me a turbo hatchback is a rally car indeed.
Starting with its very peppy power-plant, a 2.5 liter turbo that puts out about 235HP and 230ftlbs of torque the C30 offers a very upbeat driving experience. I was lucky enough to get the “R” package which includes a lower stance, huge wheels and tires and a handling package. This car should not be fast or even quick. You see it has a weight problem. Weighing in at 4,300lbs-that’s only a few pounds shy of my truck- the Volvo c30 won’t be winning any bathing suit competitions.

This is what I find fascinating about cars. It’s all about the set up. In the normal world I would become uninterested very quickly in this cars horsepower to weight ratio. On paper it looks like a slug. On the road the C30 feels like a fun little slot car.

What really sets the Volvo apart from the rest of the-yawn-hatchbacks is the exterior styling. The C30 is the most stylish car I’ve been given this year. It looks like nothing else on the road today. There is a body line that starts at the headlights and continues to the rear of the car. The line gets more pronounced as it goes farther back. Just above the rear wheels this body line turns into about a four inch shelf. For those of you that are confused, the C30 has a Donkey Butt. Wow, never thought I would use that in a review.

The dash is a thing of beauty. All of the controls are on a pod about fourteen inches tall, six inches wide and one inch deep. It literally looks like a big i-phone. However, even though it looks really cool, the extremely small and cramped buttons make it almost impossible to operate while driving. I guess its ok since the Volvo has always been a very safe car to crash.

The C30 has two doors and four seats. There is no room in the back seat for anyone large enough to ride the roller coaster. I don’t care because the C30 is so much fun to drive I don’t want the car full of people.

It is so rare to find originality in our world. The C30 is to cars what the Red Hot Chili Peppers are to rock.
With a price ranging from $25,000.00 TO $32,000.00 THE C30 is very reasonably priced. If you’re looking for a cool hatchback to infuse your daily commute with style, fun and safety there is no better choice out there. As for the fuel economy, it was great. I averaged 30mpg over my week of automotive bliss.

I just wish Tom Cruise didn’t play a ROCKSTAR.

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