2013 Hyundai Veloster

2013 Hyundai Veloster

2013 Hyundai Veloster

If you don’t want a Hyundai Veloster turbo of your very own after you drive one, you have no sporting automotive soul. The 2013 veloster turbo is the Aaron Neville of cars. Fun, light, and fulfilling, I got lost in myself while driving the Veloster this past week.

I drove the Hyundai Genesis not long ago and was unimpressed with the 2.0 turbo. Granted the Genesis with the six cylinder is quite fun, but, the 2.0 turbo was just no fun to drive at all. In fact the Genesis 2.0 lowered my expectations for the 2013 Veloster.

One of the guys I do the radio show with has been making more noise than a broken rod about this car for over a year. He’s a euro dude, if not geographically, then mentally. He drives a BWM and covets small fun to drive cars. He also wears low top Chuck Taylors with no socks. See, told you so.

When I came down stairs to pick up the Veloster every expectation I had of the car changed. First off, I love the styling. The front end is blunt, like very blunt, like blunt like me. The wheels fit perfectly in the oversized wheel wheels. Then, there are the huge fenders, square back and a great stance, the Hyundai Veloster had everything I covet in a rally inspired car.

Granted, it’s one door short. Well, no, actually if you count the hatch back there’s four. The Veloster actual has one back door on the passenger side it’s just the right ingress opportunity for a young adult. It’s not the door I would choose to enter the car. It’s much more fun to enter through the driver’s door

Jump in and you will find a comfortable cockpit with extremely functional, sensible easy to use gauges and controls. The seats are firm and very supportive. The interior lay out is very sporty with sport accents on the front seats of the turbo. One of the best ideas Hyundai had was putting the start/fire it up button, in the center of the dash. It feels great to reach up and slightly to the right to bring anything to life.

veloster interior

veloster interior

Once fired up and on the tarmac the Veloster turbo shines more than Lil’ Wayne’s grill. The turbo version of the 1.6 liter offers 201 HP and 195 pounds of torque. That’s more than enough to propel the 3700 pound car. What also surprised me was the stiffness of the chassis. Where the Genesis felt like it couldn’t handle anymore boost, the Veloster almost screams, “give me more”. The six-speed manual was smooth and tight. And the clutch engages at just the right point.

I know I should point out a weak point. That could have been the mileage but, it wasn’t. The Veloster turbo gets 26 city and 38 Hwy. I’m beginning to wonder if the manufacturers are understating their mileage, as Ford has done for years under estimating their horsepower on the Mustang GT’s. I was able to easily coax 40mpg out of the Veloster turbo on the highway.

Hyundai manages to place all of this fun in an affordable package. The MSRP on the 2013 Veloster is 21,950. It feels like it could sell for up to eight grand more than that before you would start to hear complaints.

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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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