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Nissan Armada Platinum

2012 Nissan Armada Platinum

2012 Nissan Armada Platinum

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In the interest of comparison, the Nissan Leaf is to the Nissan Armada what I am to William F Buckley Jr.
You’re welcome to do the math on that one if you want but, I could just save you the time and tell you there is a huge difference.

What the Nissan Armada drives home to me is that somewhere there has to be a family not hampered by the crazy spikes in gasoline prices. My co-host on The Car Show is always quick to point out that, if you can afford it and want it, there should be a product for it. From a capitalist approach I understand that argument but, do we really need a vehicle intended to move people getting 12 mpg city, in 2012.

The Nissan Frontier offers 317 horsepower which is needed due to the weight of the Armada. Actually, a little more would be great. At 12/18 the Armada falls in line with most large SUV’s. That’s good news for Nissan but, is it good enough for us.

I have a twenty-one year old brother who is in many ways indicative of the Gen-Y crowd. Talks a lot of green but drives a Ford Crown Vic. The truth is he could care less about cars. He’s busy laying the ground work for a successful life. So I’ll give him a pass. But, what is interesting to me is how much Gen-Y talks about being green when the Hippies of the 60’s and 70”s seemed far more concerned with the fragile nature of our planet.

Obviously I won’t save the world here. My one contribution may be the untimely use of pop culture metaphors.
The reason I bring this up is because I am very impressed with the Nissan Armada. With the one exception of needing arms with more ability to stretch than Lindsey Lohan’s attorney to turn the station on the radio, I enjoy every minute behind the wheel.

The Armada is extremely comfortable offering leather seating and more eight inch plasma screens than a Starbucks at six in the morning. The Bose sound system is sublime and 8-way adjustable driver’s seat leaves you feeling in command of your ship. The Armada has dual zone Automatic A/C with rear A/C controls so your squids being chauffeured about town can keep themselves cool while you burn more fuel than 50 rednecks at a bond fire.

Another thing about the Armada is its massive list of standard features. On my test car the only options were floor and cargo mats and a rear cargo net totaling $475.00. With a thousand dollar destination charge it brings the cost of acquiring an Armada Platinum $55,400.00.

On the show David and I constantly debate the people mover concept. His view, and I concede he is right, is that if you have many people to move it is far cheaper to move them in one gas guzzler than three cars that get 25mpg. My argument is what happens when the massive ship in not full of passengers.
I guess if Yachts can have dingys then you should have a Nissan Leaf in your driveway next to your Armada. There you’re welcome Nissan

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2012 Buick Regal GS Turbo

2012 Buick Regal GS Turbo

2012 Buick Regal GS Turbo

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The 2012 Buick Regal GS Turbo is tight. Its shifts are tight and it’s driver’s seat even tighter. If your spouse is urging you to write into The Biggest Loser this might not be the ride for you. The Buick Regal GS has seats designed to hold you in place while it lays down .92 g’s on the skid pad. To do this it feels as if Buick wanted you to be integrated into the seat, not simply sitting on it.

Tight would also be an apt description of the GS’s handling. It is without a doubt the stiffest Buick ever produced ending the long heritage of straight-line Buicks of the past.

The Buick Regal GS has a 2.0 liter turbo inline-four making 270HP and almost three hundred lb-ft of torque. Given the power of the GS’s power-plant it has little torque steer.

It took a few days to really understand the car. When it first arrived the interior grabbed my attention. I thought it was similar to the old Pontiac G8. Sort of like a four-door Corvette. That has to be the goal of this Sport sedan.

I have to admit the exterior design looks like many other cars to me. However, a rear quarter view is the Buick’s best profile.

Driving the Buick is the best part. It is both nimble and aware. The GS came with a six-speed gearbox that offers a very soft clutch and smooth operation. I have to wonder what a tuner could do with the GS. A little more boost…who knows.

Bottom line is this. America is putting out some of the best cars in the world right now. That’s right I said it, and the 2012 Buick GS is a great example of what’s to come. Less juice and more boost.

The cost of a new Regal GS? Well, it starts at $34,000.00 and can kiss forty grand loaded.
Again, as the old saying goes, It’s what’s inside that counts, unless you’re Dick Cheney.

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 the I m 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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2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

2012-Subaru-Legacy-2.5i-Sedan

2012-Subaru-Legacy-2.5i-Sedan

As I look through my older post I cannot find one bad review of a Subaru. I’m not saying this will be the one. The point is I have great respect for the “other” boxer motor cars.
I’ve got too many friends who live and die by the next WRX, who equate Subaru more with boost and all-wheel drive than reliability. I get it; the Subaru brand to me has always stood for Rally.
Imagine my surprise when the 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i was delivered. The shell made it, and it looked great but, they forgot the power. Yes, the all-new Legacy looks great but the 2.5 four-banger offers up only 175 HP, only enough to get the Legacy from zero to sixty in 9 seconds. By today’s standards that’s slower than one of Madonna’s high Kicks. By the way Madonna, Skeletor called he wants his body back. Wow, one day you’re like a virgin the next you’re like a fossil.
The interior of the 2012 Subaru Legacy is surprisingly supple. With wood grained accents and leather throughout you can’t help but enjoy your time in the cockpit. The instrument cluster is very sporty with black face gauges and white highlights that make keeping track of your speed and fuel a breeze.
I also liked the way the driver fits in the car. The driver’s seat offers a full range of bolster and the fact that the seats are heated makes them just that much better. There is one question I have and it’s for all automakers. Why not get Sirius and XM? They are a combined entity now. Why should I not be able to enjoy Howard if I have Satellite?
Now back to the driving experience. The 2.5H four’s miniscule power output is only farther diminished by the highly touted CVT transmission. This is another baffling thing to me. I like to feel a car change gears. It’s just more of that seat of the pants feel I use when I’m driving. If you want flawless, emotionless, mind numbing boredom out of a car put a CVT transmission in it.
Subaru, however, will also forever be known as one of the most reliable automotive brands. This should give you comfort, as now anything more than an econo-box will run you thirty large. For the record the Subaru Legacy offers extremely good reliability.
If it were me making the purchase I would recommend the four-cylinder turbo. That will deliver almost another hundred horsepower. There is always the 3.6 liter six that is naturally aspirated as a second choice.
Overall, I would say go visit your Subaru dealer and check out the Legacy if you’re in the market for a mid size sedan. They look great, run forever, and unlike the material girl age gracefully.
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 the I m 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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2012 Nissan Juke SV

2012 Nissan Juke

2012 Nissan Juke

I’ve stated for some time that I am mostly impressed with the Crossover market. Just like Neil Diamond music, the crossover as a segment is as pop-bland as you can be. Justin Bieber surely must possess somewhere in his collection a highly (read overly modified), pitch black Crossover.

Each manufacturer has put its best foot forward in this segment. The Ford Edge, the Hyundai Tucson, G.M’s Terrain and Equinox, and even BMW with its X3, are all great sellers. Yet, it’s getting more difficult every day to tell them apart. Basically, just give me the one I can afford and gets good mpg.

So what’s the next logical step for Nissan? Ah, let’s make the Dr. Seuss collection, I guess. First, with the Nissan Cube, and yes it is, and then with the Juke that looks to me kind of like a Nissan Cube that The Jolly Green Giant tried to pry apart.

However, it was in the driver’s seat that it all went temporarily south for me. Sitting there on top of the gauge cluster was a rear spoiler from a nineteen seventy-six Trans-AM. I’m not kidding. Serving as an eyelid connecting the two large humps of the gauge cluster was this…spoiler! Single worst automotive design I’ve seen yet. Just unbelievable.

If you can get past that, and I couldn’t, the 2012 Nissan Juke delivers everything buyers want in this segment. It’s peppy; really, the 1.6 liter power-plant manages 188HP and great mileage, 27/32 actually.

Wait, from here on out everything under 1.7 liters will be referred to as a power plant and not a motor.
The six-speed gear box is un-impressive but, I don’t think this buyer minds. Plus, if you don’t want to row your Juke, opt for the CVT transmission. The Juke is Fun and easy to drive. What I think is odd about the design is that I think it would look better as an off-roader with a higher ride height and larger wheels and tires, it already has an option for all-wheel-drive. Or, as Nissan has done, slam one on the ground and shoe-horn a GTR motor in it. Now you’re talking. You can visit our face book page at thecarshowktbb.com and see the entire Juke GTR build.

Finally, I love the pricing on the Juke. It starts at $19,000.00. I spent fifteen minutes of the boss’s time clicking on every option Nissan offers except a car cover and I couldn’t break $29,000.00. That’s value. One funny thing though. They offer an optional rear-spoiler for $390.00. I didn’t click on that; I’d just tear the one off the dashboard.

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2012 Infinity G37 ipl

Infinity ipl

Infinity ipl


Every so often a car comes along that feels like the manufacturer took a mold of my body and cast a car around it. For me to say that is a huge statement. You see, I’m 5’10’’ 180. I am the quintessential, average U.S. male. I think the average is now six feet but, close enough. The stores are always out of my size and I can’t climb into the back of a new pickup and look cool doing it.

When the Infinity G37 G lpl was delivered I was underwhelmed to say the least. The styling is rather bland. The color, gray, didn’t do much to make the car stand out. The wheels were also understated. Don’t get me wrong they look great. They just look like they have two days worth of brake dust on them.

Then I opened the door, sat down, hit the start button, stuck the G37 in 1st and I still haven’t lost the smile on my face, it was unrelenting driving excitement.

One of the things that I love about the Corvettes and Vipers is their power. But, truth be told, when I stand on the throttle in these cars I rarely get out of second gear. There is just almost too much….can’t say it…can’t say it… Damn it, can’t say it. Look, I understand you can never have enough horse power or torque.

Most drivers of performance cars have no idea of their cars potential. The manufactures know it. Do you really think Nissan expects its customers drive over 150 more than once? No, they don’t. So why not build a rear-wheel drive 350hp coupe that you can actually air out a little.

The G37’s best attribute is that it handles like it’s on a rail. Thanks in part to an upgraded suspension. The steering has just the perfect amount of feedback and the car is able to stay straight under hard acceleration.
The seats are just firm enough to give the needed bolster but, soft enough to enjoy a long road trip.

The Infinity G37 G ipl will set you back about half a hundred thousand. Well worth the cost if you consider the competition. The mileage will vary. Infinity states 19/27. I did a little better thanks in part to the silky smooth, six speed gear box which has more options than Katy Perry.

Thank you, Infinity for nailing it.

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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2012 Mercedes C250c

C250c

C250c

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Growing up in small towns most of my childhood I never saw many Mercedes. I think the first one I saw was on the television series Dallas. When I was a teen I moved to Dallas. It was 1981, Dallas was in full blown indulgence mode. There were tons and tons of Mercedes in every combination.

It would be years later when I drove my first Mercedes. I remember wondering what the big deal was. That’s the funny thing about youth, you never appreciate engineering. I was more concerned with how many girls I could fit into any car I was in. Driving pleasure never entered my mind. Come to think of it not much else but girls consumed my teenage years.

Well, it’s been over thirty years since those crazy days. Now, much older, weaker and unattractive, I find myself appreciating the finer things in life. Good red wine, well balanced cars and yes, my recliner.

Refinement now has a place in my life and refinement is one of the many consistencies afforded us by Mercedes.
When I first laid eyes on the 2012 Mercedes C250 I immediately was impressed. The C250 does not stand out because of its styling. Its style and grace make it stand out.

Sit behind the wheel on what Mercedes considers an entry level car and you see exactly what the German’s are all about. What is listed as 201HP and 229 lb-ft of torque seems underrated by a third. Mated to the 7 speed Adaptive Automatic Transmission this little 1.8 four cylinder is extremely quick.

Mercedes has always stood for more than performance. Sophistication has also set them apart from the red-necks across the pond. We have made great strides here in America over the last several years but, try as we might we just can’t seem to create the refinement of the Germans.

The driving position is stellar. And everything is effortlessly controlled from the pilot’s seat.
What else can I say, I absolutely loved the C250 and for $37,000.00 you can put one in the garage tomorrow. Visit Classic Mercedes this weekend and see one for yourself.

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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2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland edition feels like they wrapped a Jeep Rubicon over a Mercedes. While its toughness can’t be denied, the JGC is more luxurious than a Congressional meet and greet.

The all-new JGC first hit the design board when Jeep was still involved with Mercedes and it shows. The deep rich leather and wood accent trim make you feel more like cruising around town slowly than blasting up the side of Barnwell Mountain. But, that doesn’t mean the JGC can’t blast up the side of a mountain, far from it. The JGC is extremely trail capable. With the adjustable ride height you can lower the JGC to street friendly six-inches of travel to get in and out of, then, hit the trail and from the cabin raise the ride height to over ten-inches of travel. More than enough to traverse many off-road obstacles

There are actually four different trim levels offered for the JGC. You can choose from the Limited, starting at $36,795.00 to the feared and revered JGC SRT8. The SRT8 back after a short lay-off offers 470HP to assist you in embarrassing Camaro and Mustang owners. For that thrill you can expect the price to jump to $54,470.00. Don’t forget the most important component with power is traction and the JGC makes sure that is taken care of with four-wheel drive.
I think what I liked most about the JGC was…everything. The size for starters is just perfect. Easy to park, easy to drive and comfortable to navigate.

The one complaint I did have with the JGC was the very difficult to adjust seating and steering. With a telescoping wheel and power adjustable seats you would think there would be more of a sweet spot. But, no matter how I tried I could not convince the jeep to allow me to feel 100 percent comfortable behind the wheel. Note to manufacturers, bring back the old school tilt wheel, please. All of this telescoping and controlled tilting is just too much. Just give me a lever and a wheel. I’ll figure it out.

Mileage, although better than last year’s, is still fair. The 3.6 and 5.7 liter you can expect 17cty/23hwy mpg and with the SRT8 you’ll only manage 12 cty/18 hwy. Not great.

The looks and amenities make the sale on this jeep. There is a HUGE panoramic sun roof that I found works well as a solar heating panel on a cold winter day and really gives you the “open air” jeep feel.

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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