Infinity EX35

EX35

EX35


This week I received my second Infinity. Normally this doesn’t happen. But I’ve never been happier. I was very impressed with the fit and finish and extreme luxury of the brand. This week nothing changes but the name. The Infinity EX35 is another winner in my book.

The size of the EX35 is perfect for a small family. Much like the Infinity M Hybrid, the EX35 has the looks and the performance to impress the most stringent critic. Some of the reviews I’ve read have come down hard on the size of the EX-35. Look, if you want a big SUV get one but, thankfully we all don’t need the big ride.
Ease of driving comes to mind first, followed closely by comfort. The ergonomics are spot on. The power, while not excessive offers plenty of go-mo.

Far and away the most impressive award must go to exterior design. The body flows like the pre-dam Colorado. The smooth front fascia gives way to rounded shoulders over all of the wheel wells and snaps back into uniformity before you get to the hatchback.

I’ve always been a fan of Nissan/Infinity. They make some of the most amazingly smooth power-plants in the industry today. The Infinity EX35 is no exception. The 3.5 liter makes 297HP thanks in part to an aluminum block and heads. Low friction molybdenum-coated pistons, and CVTCS.

Power gets you there but convenience makes the trip better also. With its dual-zone climate control and heated and cooled back seat center console vent the EX35 assures a happy tribe, although, the Indians in the back need to have short legs to ride in total comfort. The lack of legroom for the back seat passengers is one glaring weakness.

The Bose 11-speaker infotainment system offers more beautiful noise than a twenty song set by Fleetwood Mac. Of course there are USB ports for all of our “needed” world monitors. Man, I miss the days of un-connectivity.

If you have a family of four or less and you are the anti-sedan type, the Infinity EX35 is a perfect choice.

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Infinity M Hybrid

Infinity M Hybrid

Infinity M Hybrid


I’m a music fan. I prefer rock and roll. I actually like all types of music but, rock is by far my favorite. And every decade or so a song comes out that both blazes new territory and also stands the test of time. Case and point, Prodigy’s “Breathe” impressed me the first time I heard it and continues to captivate me to this day.

So, with all of the manufacturers trying to master this new “hybrid” idea, Infinity has gotten my attention.
The Infinity M Hybrid is a flawless execution of a platform that gives me real hope for the future of Hybrids. To be fair all of the other manufacturers are also making great headway, but, the way Nissan strung this car together is clearly a huge leap forward.

First of all, let me tell you this car is more luxurious than a week on your own island. The sound deafening allows you to motor about town and on the highway in complete solace. The Bose system allows you to enjoy Prodigy or the Russian Easter Overture. How often do you see those two in the same sentence? The front seats are climate controlled and the steering wheel is heated. The Japanese Ash wood trim is as beautiful as Brooklyn Decker on a Maui beach. Offering a finish that looks weathered in from day one. When I sat in the car my first thought was it looked like a Jag. That’s not bad company when it comes to styling.

Although the interior is sublime the real star of this show is the power-train. Starting with the 3.5 liter 24 valveV-6, aluminum alloy block and heads with Low-friction coated pistons that offers 330HP on its own, then adding an additional battery to bring the total horsepower to 360 the Infinity M will get to 60MPH in less than six seconds. The power transfer from motor to electric is seamless. Actually, it’s better than that. The only way to tell which motor is driving the car is to keep your eye on the tach.

Most of the time while driving in town I was running electric. On a trip to Richardson to see my little brother graduate form UTD I was able to complete the trip with less than a quarter tank of gas. At one time the car switched to electric on the highway.

The fuel economy is said to be 18/25 but, I did much better. The trick is to stay in economy mode. You hear that Washington? The trick is to stay in economy mode but, I digress.

The trick to getting all of us sold on hybrids is cars like the Infinity M Hybrid. If the manufacturers will just understand that the buyers want it all than there should be no problem. The joy of the M Hybrid is the “hybrid” is not the focus. It’s just an amazing car that is quiet, fast and sips fuel like a four-banger. There, that’s all we want.

Congratulations Infinity. Even though the price tag of $53,700 eliminates buyers like my newly degreed brother there are many others who should put this car on their short list.

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2012 Cadillac CTS-v

2012 Cadillac CTS-v

2012 Cadillac CTS-v


To whom much is given much is expected. Back a few years ago we gave the General as much as we could. That led to some lofty expectations for most of us. Having tested most of their product line since then I would say they are well on their way to fulfilling those expectations. From fuel sipping models like the Cruze, to big and bad ZL1’s and CTS-V’s. Although I appreciate the former, I’m in love with the latter.
The 2012 Cadillac CTS-V is vicious! When it was delivered all auto controls were in place. Traction control, check, Torque management, on. I pulled away from the office like 90 percent of the tenants in our building, driving a four door sedan. I took the windy road home and maybe even smiled a little.
I woke up the next morning, turned off the traction control and found Lithium on Satellite Radio. I took the same windy road back to work and when I arrived I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. The car I had yesterday had disappeared. In its place was a fire breathing, ill tempered wannabe nascar. I loved it.
The 2012 CTS-v is the perfect gentlemen’s car. Impress your clients with the luxury during the day and beat it hard on the way home or, uh…at the track. Unlike the CTS-v coupe which I did not like nearly as much as the sedan, the four door version allows room for comfort, room to be a Cadillac. I mean, if you buy a Cadillac you should have ample space and trust me you’ll never run out of power. With almost cartoonish horse power and torque numbers 556/551 the CTS-v is more fun than a weekend with Steve-O.
All power numbers aside the CTS-v is absolutely balanced and stable. For a car as heavy as the CTS-v you would expect a mushy driving experience. I assure you the opposite is true. With the Dual-Mode Magnetic Ride Control, the Chris Farley of cars rips the road up.
My favorite feature has to be the Recaro driving seats. Offering more adjustments than John Travolta’s Masseuse, the comfort is unmatched. As long as you’re comfortable enjoy your tunes on the fully integrated Bluetooth system.
The price range from a low of $64,000.00 to a still reasonable $73,000.00 fully loaded. And best of all, it’s a Cadillac.

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2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

Listen to Review

I’m ready to concede that now is the time for Hybrids to be embraced and relied upon for mundane transportation. After all, what kind of excitement can you really get from city traffic? Sure it’s fun to weave in and out of traffic but, I now ask myself at what cost? Now is my time to grow up and realize it’s not all about my entertainment.

If you can drive to and from work and the store on battery power, why not do it? If natural gas is the way to go, why not do it? If extremely low performing, mileage rich internal combustion motors get you where you need to go, just slower, why not do it? What does it matter if one of our cars in the driveway is no fun to drive? With all of the automotive performance options available to us in 2012 surely we can sacrifice one joyous hour or two a day to rid ourselves of the big black monster.

The first time I reviewed the Volt I blasted it. This time I get the Volt just as the news is reporting fires occurring in recently crashed vehicles. Big deal. These fires occurred days after extensive damage, long after the occupants would be safely recovering at home or the hospital. The first Volt fire was over two weeks after the crash test.

2012 Volt Interior

2012 Volt Interior

Look, there will be hurdles but, overall we are right on schedule. When you drive the Volt you don’t feel like you’re giving up anything, including acceleration. I actually enjoyed my time in the 2012 Chevrolet Volt so much I would look at buying one down the road. There is something cool about driving a whisper quiet car. I felt more peaceful, more in tune with the world around me. It’s strange to think about a quiet world, but I can hope. What will stand out to you more than anything when you pilot the Volt is peaceful motoring. I don’t know about you, but the more quiet I can have in my life the better.

I hear a ton of objections to the Volt. The biggest is the price, $39,145.00 for the base model and $45,170.00 for the Volt I tested. The extra six grand gets you the same set of GM features that you will find on just about any GM model. Here’s the deal though, the new Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible cost $42,000.00 and change. Why can’t we put the same emphasis on mileage performance as we do on straight line acceleration? I mean really, this is the age of The Geek Squad! Let’s just embrace our inner nerd.

I know you’ll never take my word for it. Go drive one for yourself. Sales are not exactly robust for the Volt but, I see this car as a gateway car, allowing us to envision what the future could hold.
The hardest thing is opening your motor-head mind.

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2012 Ram Tradesman

2012 Ram Tradesman

2012 Ram Tradesman


If you happen to have read my last review or heard it on the show, you know I was railing on the wussification of the American car buyer. I was testing the loaded out Nissan Armada and the amenities threw me for a loop. The interesting thing about that to me was the extremely harsh reaction I received from everyone. Men, women, and kids alike it seems are destined to enjoy the easy life of power doors, seats, and navigation.

Ok, I get it. I just don’t agree. Cars today have more options than one of Donald Trump’s grand kids. Amazingly the car gods sent me the automobile to prove my point.

The all new Ram Tradesman came with zero power options. Your hear that? No power windows, and not even power locks are included in the great package for the working man or woman.

Start with a beefy 5.7 liter Hemi that produces almost 400HP and over 400 lbft of torque. Continue with a very cool bed storage system that has more ability to change on the fly than either of our current political parties. There are storage boxes on the outside of the bed that are lighted and could comfortably fit tools, guns, fishing gear, whatever you want. Also the bed is designed to adjust to secure any type of load you may be carrying.

The cab of the 2012 Ram Tradesman is a single cab. When was the last time you rode in a single cab pickup? Let me tell you it’s a lot different from an extended or crew cab. First of all, there is obviously half the room, secondly, there are limited storage compartments. In fact the only one I found doubled as the middle of a bench seat. The bench seat was cool. Wanted to take the wife on a ride and stick her in the middle just for the fun of it. Interestingly enough she wasn’t interested. It turns out women are less attracted to work trucks than fish are to eagles.

Inside the singe cab you find zero extra knobs to twist and break. No seven-inch video screen to distract you and last of all, no carpet. Yes no carpet. Seems dirty boots don’t agree with the frail nature of carpet.
Here’s the cool part. The truck was easy to drive, quick and comfortable despite lacking all of the modern amenities. I can’t wait to show the truck to my stepfather this week. He is the man who said sunroofs don’t belong in trucks. If he gives his stamp of approval for the Ram Tradesman I say job well done

The mileage, as you would expect is not the greatest. Gearing and grunt usually don’t help you pass gas stations. Ha, I just said “pass gas”. Sorry, I digress.

If it’s a work truck you need you should visit your local Dodge house and have a look. Just tell them Lonnie said, “Show me the man truck”.

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