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Found 31 results

  1. Another week is upon us and a new review vehicle has arrived. In this case it happens to be the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71. This is one of the vehicles that I have been waiting for quite awhile to get my hands on for review and its finally here. My particular tester is a Z71 crew cab with Short bed. With a couple of options ticked off, it rings in at $36,710. First impressions are quite good. The Colorado is quite the sharp looker with silver paint and 17-inch wheels. Moving inside and the controls are within easy reach and the seats are wrapped in a leather/cloth combination. Chevrolet MyLink so far hasn't crashed or showed any sign of slowdown. Also, this is one of the first GM vehicles with OnStar 4G LTE and wi-fi connectivity. I'll have more on this later in the week. There are a couple of downsides that I have found/experienced at the moment. One is there appears not to be enough adjustments in the seat and steering wheel to make myself comfortable at the moment. Currently, my knees are touching the steering wheel column. The other is a somewhat slow transmission. When I was driving on the freeway and trying to make a pass, the transmission took a few seconds to upshift. I'll have some more thoughts and impressions as the week goes on. In the meantime, if you have questions you would like to answer, drop them below. View full article
  2. William Maley

    Ask Me Anything: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado

    Another week is upon us and a new review vehicle has arrived. In this case it happens to be the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71. This is one of the vehicles that I have been waiting for quite awhile to get my hands on for review and its finally here. My particular tester is a Z71 crew cab with Short bed. With a couple of options ticked off, it rings in at $36,710. First impressions are quite good. The Colorado is quite the sharp looker with silver paint and 17-inch wheels. Moving inside and the controls are within easy reach and the seats are wrapped in a leather/cloth combination. Chevrolet MyLink so far hasn't crashed or showed any sign of slowdown. Also, this is one of the first GM vehicles with OnStar 4G LTE and wi-fi connectivity. I'll have more on this later in the week. There are a couple of downsides that I have found/experienced at the moment. One is there appears not to be enough adjustments in the seat and steering wheel to make myself comfortable at the moment. Currently, my knees are touching the steering wheel column. The other is a somewhat slow transmission. When I was driving on the freeway and trying to make a pass, the transmission took a few seconds to upshift. I'll have some more thoughts and impressions as the week goes on. In the meantime, if you have questions you would like to answer, drop them below.
  3. William Maley

    Ask Me Anything: 2015 Volkswagen CC Sport 2.0T

    It has been close to eight months since I last drove a vehicle equipped with manual transmission - a Volkswagen Jetta TDI. So it seems fitting that another Volkswagen is equipped with a manual. In this case it happens to be the CC, Volkswagen's top of the line sedan in the U.S. This CC is the base Sport model - which coincidentally is the only trim that you can get with a six-speed manual. But despite it being the base trim, the Sport comes with a impressive feature list. Standard equipment includes leatherette, heated front seats, 5-inch touchscreen with navigation and backup camera; and 17-inch wheels. Total cost? $33,550 with a $865.00 destination charge. Power comes from Volkswagen's highly-regarded turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet. This engine feels more powerful than the power figures suggest as power is right there and will get you moving in a quite a hurry. The six-speed manual is easy to shift and throws are somewhere in the middle - not too short, not too long. Complaints? The only one I have at the moment is with the 5-inch touchscreen being too small to glance at closely and having a somewhat dated interface. I'll have more thoughts and a update in the coming days. If you have questions about the CC, post them below.
  4. It has been close to eight months since I last drove a vehicle equipped with manual transmission - a Volkswagen Jetta TDI. So it seems fitting that another Volkswagen is equipped with a manual. In this case it happens to be the CC, Volkswagen's top of the line sedan in the U.S. This CC is the base Sport model - which coincidentally is the only trim that you can get with a six-speed manual. But despite it being the base trim, the Sport comes with a impressive feature list. Standard equipment includes leatherette, heated front seats, 5-inch touchscreen with navigation and backup camera; and 17-inch wheels. Total cost? $33,550 with a $865.00 destination charge. Power comes from Volkswagen's highly-regarded turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet. This engine feels more powerful than the power figures suggest as power is right there and will get you moving in a quite a hurry. The six-speed manual is easy to shift and throws are somewhere in the middle - not too short, not too long. Complaints? The only one I have at the moment is with the 5-inch touchscreen being too small to glance at closely and having a somewhat dated interface. I'll have more thoughts and a update in the coming days. If you have questions about the CC, post them below. View full article
  5. William Maley

    Ask Me Anything: 2016 Fiat 500L Easy

    It has been quite awhile since we did an interactive review (two years). But I thought it was time to bring it back. You might have questions for a particular vehicle and I can do my best to answer them. It also gives you guys a preview of what will be coming round the car review docket. So let us begin with this week's test vehicle - the 2015 Fiat 500L Easy. This is the biggest model in the Fiat lineup (until the Fiat 500X hits dealers), which really isn't saying a lot. I haven't spent a lot time driving the 500L since it came yesterday because I was feeling a bit sick. But I did spend some time poking around 500L and can give some thoughts. Not quite sure about the 500L's looks. I think some of this is due to the red paint and the standard wheels on the Easy model. I would go for the Trekking model as it swaps wheels and adds some body cladding to make it slightly better to look at. The interior feels very spacious thanks to the large amount of glass used on the 500L. Feels very airy. Chrysler's UConnect system is present and quite easy to use. Unlike other Chrysler models, the 500L uses a 6-inch screen. I find it quite easy to use and look at a glance. I do want to smack the designer who decided to put the HVAC controls way down in the center stack - they're hard to reach and glance at. The back seat mostly earns positive marks. Fiat raised the seats to allow passengers a better view, and legroom is quite excellent. The downside is headroom. My 5'8" frame was touching the roof liner, so taller passengers will have to crick their head if they want to feel comfortable. This is due to my tester being equipped with a panoramic sunroof. Base price of the 500L Easy is $20,545. My tester rings in $26,895 thanks to two options. A six-speed automatic for $1,350 and the Easy Collection 4 package which includes UConnect, sunroof, Beats audio system, dual-zone climate control, and other features for $4,100. I'll be updating this throughout the week with more impressions and answers to your questions.
  6. William Maley

    Ask Me Anything: 2016 Fiat 500L Easy

    It has been quite awhile since we did an interactive review (two years). But I thought it was time to bring it back. You might have questions for a particular vehicle and I can do my best to answer them. It also gives you guys a preview of what will be coming round the car review docket. So let us begin with this week's test vehicle - the 2015 Fiat 500L Easy. This is the biggest model in the Fiat lineup (until the Fiat 500X hits dealers), which really isn't saying a lot. I haven't spent a lot time driving the 500L since it came yesterday because I was feeling a bit sick. But I did spend some time poking around 500L and can give some thoughts. Not quite sure about the 500L's looks. I think some of this is due to the red paint and the standard wheels on the Easy model. I would go for the Trekking model as it swaps wheels and adds some body cladding to make it slightly better to look at. The interior feels very spacious thanks to the large amount of glass used on the 500L. Feels very airy. Chrysler's UConnect system is present and quite easy to use. Unlike other Chrysler models, the 500L uses a 6-inch screen. I find it quite easy to use and look at a glance. I do want to smack the designer who decided to put the HVAC controls way down in the center stack - they're hard to reach and glance at. The back seat mostly earns positive marks. Fiat raised the seats to allow passengers a better view, and legroom is quite excellent. The downside is headroom. My 5'8" frame was touching the roof liner, so taller passengers will have to crick their head if they want to feel comfortable. This is due to my tester being equipped with a panoramic sunroof. Base price of the 500L Easy is $20,545. My tester rings in $26,895 thanks to two options. A six-speed automatic for $1,350 and the Easy Collection 4 package which includes UConnect, sunroof, Beats audio system, dual-zone climate control, and other features for $4,100. I'll be updating this throughout the week with more impressions and answers to your questions. View full article
  7. William Maley

    2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond: Day 3

    Welcome to day three of the 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche Black Diamond Interactive Review. When I had last updated, I gave some brief information on the Avalanche and the price. Since then, I've been putting on the mileage on the truck and can offer some brief impressions. I'm really impressed with the Avalanche's ride. It doesn't feel like a pickup where it seems to transmit most road imperfections and very bouncy. Instead the Avalanche rides like a luxury vehicle, driving over the bumps with you not really noticing it all. Disappointments are coming from the interior as the cheap wood trim and the old headunit. They are really aging the Avalanche really quick. Fuel economy has been hovering around 15.5 MPG so far in mostly suburban driving. I did take the Avalanche on a freeway trip and saw fuel economy rise to about 19.3 MPG. I will have another update or two on Avalanche during the week, including how it fared during a donation run to the Salivation Army. In the mean time, leave your questions in the comments.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 4, 2013 Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first Cheers & Gears Interactive Review of 2013: The 2013 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab 4x4. This particular Tacoma stickers at $30,580 (originally $31,005, but Toyota takes off $425.00 due to value package) thanks to the SR5 Extra Value package, towing package, an optional radio with USB and AUX, running boards, and a few odds and ends. Power comes from a 4.0L V6 producing 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. That is sent through a five-speed automatic down to either the rear or all four wheels thanks to a part-time 4WD system. Positives The 4.0L V6 has a surprising amount of low end grunt and gets up to speed at a surprising rate. 4WD system is quick to engage and disengage. Very comfortable and well-built interior Negatives I forgot how bouncy a truck's ride can be. The Tacoma is a prime example of this. 16 City/21 Highway/18 Combined is the EPA rating for the Tacoma's V6. The full-size F-150 when equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost is only one MPG off in the city and combined, and matches the highway. I have the Tacoma until January 10th and will update as my time goes on. In the meantime, drop your questions and I'll do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 4, 2013 Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first Cheers & Gears Interactive Review of 2013: The 2013 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab 4x4. This particular Tacoma stickers at $30,580 (originally $31,005, but Toyota takes off $425.00 due to value package) thanks to the SR5 Extra Value package, towing package, an optional radio with USB and AUX, running boards, and a few odds and ends. Power comes from a 4.0L V6 producing 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. That is sent through a five-speed automatic down to either the rear or all four wheels thanks to a part-time 4WD system. Positives The 4.0L V6 has a surprising amount of low end grunt and gets up to speed at a surprising rate. 4WD system is quick to engage and disengage. Very comfortable and well-built interior Negatives I forgot how bouncy a truck's ride can be. The Tacoma is a prime example of this. 16 City/21 Highway/18 Combined is the EPA rating for the Tacoma's V6. The full-size F-150 when equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost is only one MPG off in the city and combined, and matches the highway. I have the Tacoma until January 10th and will update as my time goes on. In the meantime, drop your questions and I'll do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  10. William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L AWD

    By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 If there is one vehicle that has been talked about more than any other since I've been writing here at Cheers and Gears, that vehicle would be the new Cadillac ATS. There are a number of threads speculating, arguing, complaining, and talking about this compact luxury sedan. Well the day has come. We finally have an ATS in for an interactive review. This ATS comes equipped with the 3.6 DI V6 producing 321 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic, and the optional AWD system. Anyone who was hoping this was the Performance Collection model will be somewhat disappointed as this is the base Luxury Collection model. But we do have CUE and a Cold Weather Package bringing the pricetag to $45,985 (includes $895.00 destination charge). I have the ATS till Monday and will be updating with thoughts during that time. If you have questions for the ATS, get them in. Update - Read the 2013 Cadillac ATS Full Review here and my Review of Cadillac's CUE system here. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 If there is one vehicle that has been talked about more than any other since I've been writing here at Cheers and Gears, that vehicle would be the new Cadillac ATS. There are a number of threads speculating, arguing, complaining, and talking about this compact luxury sedan. Well the day has come. We finally have an ATS in for an interactive review. This ATS comes equipped with the 3.6 DI V6 producing 321 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic, and the optional AWD system. Anyone who was hoping this was the Performance Collection model will be somewhat disappointed as this is the base Luxury Collection model. But we do have CUE and a Cold Weather Package bringing the pricetag to $45,985 (includes $895.00 destination charge). I have the ATS till Monday and will be updating with thoughts during that time. If you have questions for the ATS, get them in. Update - Read the 2013 Cadillac ATS Full Review here and my Review of Cadillac's CUE system here. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2013 Scion FR-S

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 21, 2012 This week in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage, I have 2013 Scion FR-S coupe. Its the car that a lot of people have been talking about this year. A lightweight, rear-wheel drive coupe that costs under $30,000..? Where do I sign up? Drew has briefly driven the FR-S back at the IMPA Test Days earlier this year and my test FR-S is pretty much the same vehicle aside from the color; a base model equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission for an as-tested price of $26,099.00 (includes $730.00 destination charge). The good: The steering is amazing. Its precise, has a good amount of feel and weight, and is very direct. The engine has a nice sound and doesn’t mind being pushed. The handling is really good around corners as the light-weight and nimbleness makes a fun car throw around corners. The bad: I can’t seem to fit into the front seats due to my shoulders being a just shy too wide for the bolsters. Also, I really don’t like the radio in this car because a good amount of the buttons are too small and trying to accomplish simple things like trying to setup the bluetooth system is a pain the butt. I’ll will be giving some updates of the Christmas holiday about my time with the FR-S. In the meantime, if you have questions on this orange coupe, drop them in. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2013 Scion FR-S

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 21, 2012 This week in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage, I have 2013 Scion FR-S coupe. Its the car that a lot of people have been talking about this year. A lightweight, rear-wheel drive coupe that costs under $30,000..? Where do I sign up? Drew has briefly driven the FR-S back at the IMPA Test Days earlier this year and my test FR-S is pretty much the same vehicle aside from the color; a base model equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission for an as-tested price of $26,099.00 (includes $730.00 destination charge). The good: The steering is amazing. Its precise, has a good amount of feel and weight, and is very direct. The engine has a nice sound and doesn’t mind being pushed. The handling is really good around corners as the light-weight and nimbleness makes a fun car throw around corners. The bad: I can’t seem to fit into the front seats due to my shoulders being a just shy too wide for the bolsters. Also, I really don’t like the radio in this car because a good amount of the buttons are too small and trying to accomplish simple things like trying to setup the bluetooth system is a pain the butt. I’ll will be giving some updates of the Christmas holiday about my time with the FR-S. In the meantime, if you have questions on this orange coupe, drop them in. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 6, 2012 In for review this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the vehicle that started the hybrid revolution. I'm of course referring to the Toyota Prius. Our test Prius is the Prius Four, which is the almost top of the line model in the lineup. As tested price for this $33,118.00 (includes $760.00 destination charge) thanks mostly to a Deluxe Solar Roof Package which adds a solar powered ventilation system and a load of tech goodies including navigation and Toyota's Entune system. Spending a few moments in the Prius, I found the interior is much like the current crop of Toyota's passenger vehicles (aside from the new Avalon); hard plastics are abundant through the dash and the standard leather seats feel like the vinyl covering your grandma would throw over the furniture to protect it. Positive points include how much space is inside for front and most rear passengers, cargo space, how quiet the car is in electric mode, and of course the fuel economy. At the moment, I'm averaging around 52 MPG. Now, I have the Prius till next Thursday and will be updating during my time with it. In the meantime, if you have questions, drop them below. Update: November 9, 2012 Its been a few days since the Prius came into my care and I'm undecided on it so far. I wish there was more power so I can keep up with traffic a little bit better without switching to the power button or sticking my foot into it. I do like that I'm averaging so far around 50.1 MPG with mostly suburban driving. Some things are causing me to scratch my head. For example, who at Toyota decided to put the heated seat controls in the storage cubby right underneath the center stack? Also, no instant MPG readout? I'll be updating this once again after I take the Prius out on the highway and spend some more time with it. Get your questions in. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  15. William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2012 Toyota Prius Four

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 6, 2012 In for review this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the vehicle that started the hybrid revolution. I'm of course referring to the Toyota Prius. Our test Prius is the Prius Four, which is the almost top of the line model in the lineup. As tested price for this $33,118.00 (includes $760.00 destination charge) thanks mostly to a Deluxe Solar Roof Package which adds a solar powered ventilation system and a load of tech goodies including navigation and Toyota's Entune system. Spending a few moments in the Prius, I found the interior is much like the current crop of Toyota's passenger vehicles (aside from the new Avalon); hard plastics are abundant through the dash and the standard leather seats feel like the vinyl covering your grandma would throw over the furniture to protect it. Positive points include how much space is inside for front and most rear passengers, cargo space, how quiet the car is in electric mode, and of course the fuel economy. At the moment, I'm averaging around 52 MPG. Now, I have the Prius till next Thursday and will be updating during my time with it. In the meantime, if you have questions, drop them below. Update: November 9, 2012 Its been a few days since the Prius came into my care and I'm undecided on it so far. I wish there was more power so I can keep up with traffic a little bit better without switching to the power button or sticking my foot into it. I do like that I'm averaging so far around 50.1 MPG with mostly suburban driving. Some things are causing me to scratch my head. For example, who at Toyota decided to put the heated seat controls in the storage cubby right underneath the center stack? Also, no instant MPG readout? I'll be updating this once again after I take the Prius out on the highway and spend some more time with it. Get your questions in. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 15, 2012 I'm very excited with this week's vehicle at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit Garage since its a Volvo and very special one at that. This happens to be the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design. Now, the R-Design adds some performance goodies to a normal S60 T6 AWD in the form of some changes to the body giving it a more aggressive look, a R-Design sport chassis, and some performance tweaks to the 3.0L turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The pricetag on this S60 T6 AWD R-Design is $48,195.00 thanks in part to the S60 Platinum package which adds navigation, upgraded audio system, and a rear camera for $2,700, and the climate package which adds heated seats, an air quality system, and heated windshield nozzles for $700.00. First impressions are very positive. I like the looks and the interior. The engine moves the S60 at a very rapid pace. The AWD makes sure that power is getting onto the road and keeping the vehicle on there as well. Couple concerns I have so far with the S60. One: the back window is very small. This isn't helped with the back seat headrests that cause some big blind spots. Two: the gas has two positions. Lightly touch the pedal and you're moving at a normal pace. Touch the pedal like you normally would and you're entering hyperspace. There isn't a smooth increase of acceleration when you press on the pedal. Its either on or really on. I will have more thoughts on the S60 during this week. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this, drop them below. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 15, 2012 I'm very excited with this week's vehicle at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit Garage since its a Volvo and very special one at that. This happens to be the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design. Now, the R-Design adds some performance goodies to a normal S60 T6 AWD in the form of some changes to the body giving it a more aggressive look, a R-Design sport chassis, and some performance tweaks to the 3.0L turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The pricetag on this S60 T6 AWD R-Design is $48,195.00 thanks in part to the S60 Platinum package which adds navigation, upgraded audio system, and a rear camera for $2,700, and the climate package which adds heated seats, an air quality system, and heated windshield nozzles for $700.00. First impressions are very positive. I like the looks and the interior. The engine moves the S60 at a very rapid pace. The AWD makes sure that power is getting onto the road and keeping the vehicle on there as well. Couple concerns I have so far with the S60. One: the back window is very small. This isn't helped with the back seat headrests that cause some big blind spots. Two: the gas has two positions. Lightly touch the pedal and you're moving at a normal pace. Touch the pedal like you normally would and you're entering hyperspace. There isn't a smooth increase of acceleration when you press on the pedal. Its either on or really on. I will have more thoughts on the S60 during this week. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this, drop them below. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 12, 2012 Coming in this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Mazda3 i Grand Touring hatchback. This 3 is equipped with a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder producing 150 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque and goes through a six-speed automatic. If you're wondering, this is the same powertrain package in the Mazda CX-5 crossover I had back in August. The 3 i Grand Touring starts at $23,150 and my test vehicle stickers at $25,345* (includes $795 destination charge) thanks to the optional Technology Package. I had this car for about day and there are some items that impress me and others that drive me somewhat crazy. 2.0L SKYACTIV engine doesn't feel sluggish at all in the 3. I'm thinking the lighter weight of the 3 to the CX-5 plays a role. Handling is sublime and fun. The car is stable when turning and the steering is just right in feel and weight. Ride could use some improvement as the 3 will transmit every little bump into the interior. Average fuel economy so far is an impressive 35 MPG (EPA rating is 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined) I have the 3 till Wednesday and will be updating before it goes back. If you have any questions for the 3, drop them below and I will do my best to answer them. Update: October 15, 2012 It has been an interesting weekend with the Mazda 3 as it had to deal with endless rain and being used to carry a good amount of stuff to the recycling bin as I was cleaning out my closet. The 3 dealt with both of these without a sweat. Average fuel economy has dropped to about 33 MPG, which is still above the combined fuel economy figure. I also did a bit of highway driving which saw fuel economy climb to an impressive 40 MPG. The highway also revealed that the Mazda3 isn't so good at containing road noise. I'll have one more update before the 3 leaves on Wednesday. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate. Drop them off. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 12, 2012 Coming in this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Mazda3 i Grand Touring hatchback. This 3 is equipped with a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder producing 150 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque and goes through a six-speed automatic. If you're wondering, this is the same powertrain package in the Mazda CX-5 crossover I had back in August. The 3 i Grand Touring starts at $23,150 and my test vehicle stickers at $25,345* (includes $795 destination charge) thanks to the optional Technology Package. I had this car for about day and there are some items that impress me and others that drive me somewhat crazy. 2.0L SKYACTIV engine doesn't feel sluggish at all in the 3. I'm thinking the lighter weight of the 3 to the CX-5 plays a role. Handling is sublime and fun. The car is stable when turning and the steering is just right in feel and weight. Ride could use some improvement as the 3 will transmit every little bump into the interior. Average fuel economy so far is an impressive 35 MPG (EPA rating is 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined) I have the 3 till Wednesday and will be updating before it goes back. If you have any questions for the 3, drop them below and I will do my best to answer them. Update: October 15, 2012 It has been an interesting weekend with the Mazda 3 as it had to deal with endless rain and being used to carry a good amount of stuff to the recycling bin as I was cleaning out my closet. The 3 dealt with both of these without a sweat. Average fuel economy has dropped to about 33 MPG, which is still above the combined fuel economy figure. I also did a bit of highway driving which saw fuel economy climb to an impressive 40 MPG. The highway also revealed that the Mazda3 isn't so good at containing road noise. I'll have one more update before the 3 leaves on Wednesday. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate. Drop them off. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 18, 2012 This week in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Nissan cube 1.8S Indigo Limited Edition. The 1.8S is the mid-level model in the cube lineup and comes with a 1.8L inline-four producing 122 HP and 127 lb-ft of torque and can go through either a six-speed manual or Nissan's Xtronic CVT. Our model is equipped with the CVT. Our cube is also equipped with Indigo Limited Edition package which adds keyless entry, push-button start, an upgraded six-speaker sound system with a subwoofer, a five-inch touchscreen, navigation, rear-view camera, unique black and indigo upholstery, and fifteen-inch alloy wheels. That package and few other options brings the as-tested price to $20,975 (Includes $780.00 destination charge). First Impressions so far Really like the blue and the fifteen-inch alloys on the cube I think there is about a quarter-mile of headroom inside Like the way the cube drives, perfect for those who live in a city I'll have more updates as the week goes on. In the meantime, drop your questions and I will do my best to answer them. Update - September 24, 2012 My time with the Nissan cube is coming to close as it will go back tomorrow, and for what it is, its a very good package. The cube provides a surprising amount of space and equipment for the price tag. The cube is also one of those vehicles which actually provides excellent visibility and maneuverability, making it perfect for city or suburban driving. However if you decide to do any driving on the freeway or long-distance with the cube, be prepared for a large amount of wind- and road-noise (mostly due to the shape) and the seats not being real comfortable for the long distance. The cube wasn't built for that in mind. Fuel economy has been really impressing me with an average of 31.5 MPG. If you have any last minute questions on the cube, get them in and I will do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 18, 2012 This week in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Nissan cube 1.8S Indigo Limited Edition. The 1.8S is the mid-level model in the cube lineup and comes with a 1.8L inline-four producing 122 HP and 127 lb-ft of torque and can go through either a six-speed manual or Nissan's Xtronic CVT. Our model is equipped with the CVT. Our cube is also equipped with Indigo Limited Edition package which adds keyless entry, push-button start, an upgraded six-speaker sound system with a subwoofer, a five-inch touchscreen, navigation, rear-view camera, unique black and indigo upholstery, and fifteen-inch alloy wheels. That package and few other options brings the as-tested price to $20,975 (Includes $780.00 destination charge). First Impressions so far Really like the blue and the fifteen-inch alloys on the cube I think there is about a quarter-mile of headroom inside Like the way the cube drives, perfect for those who live in a city I'll have more updates as the week goes on. In the meantime, drop your questions and I will do my best to answer them. Update - September 24, 2012 My time with the Nissan cube is coming to close as it will go back tomorrow, and for what it is, its a very good package. The cube provides a surprising amount of space and equipment for the price tag. The cube is also one of those vehicles which actually provides excellent visibility and maneuverability, making it perfect for city or suburban driving. However if you decide to do any driving on the freeway or long-distance with the cube, be prepared for a large amount of wind- and road-noise (mostly due to the shape) and the seats not being real comfortable for the long distance. The cube wasn't built for that in mind. Fuel economy has been really impressing me with an average of 31.5 MPG. If you have any last minute questions on the cube, get them in and I will do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 24, 2012 This is a momentous occasion here in the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage. For one, we welcome another new brand into fold. Also, its our first 2013 model year vehicle. Please welcome the 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover. (I had a brief drive in a CX-5 back in May at the MAMA Spring Rally. You can check out my thoughts on it by clicking here.) This CX-5 is the mid-level Touring FWD model which starts at $23,895. That nets you a 2.0L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder producing 155 HP and 150 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed automatic. Other standard equipment includes seventeen-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, a 5.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment, six-way power seat for the driver, Bluetooth, and blind spot monitoring. This car is fitted with two option packages. The Moonroof/Bose package adds a moonroof and a nine-speaker bose sound system. The technology package adds navigation, HID headlights, rain sensing wipers, and a few other items. That gives our CX-5 Touring a as-tested price of $27,005 (Includes a $795 destination charge). First impressions are these CX-5's 2.0L needs more power on the low end. Really don't like that I have to go above 2500 to 3000 RPMs to really get moving. Fuel economy is really good so far. 27 to 28 MPG is the average. If there is someone who can make a CUV fun to drive, that someone is Mazda I'll have more updates as the week with the CX-5 goes on, including how it fares when I take it on vacation. In the meantime, if you have questions, post them and I'll do my best to answer them. Update 1: I just finished up a 200 mile trip to Northern Michigan for vacation and to see some relatives of mine. The trip also revealed some of the CX-5's high and low points. The CX-5's seats are great for enthusiastic driving and short trips. However for long trips, you will be wishing for more comfort. Noticed the driver's side view mirror was vibrating while on the freeway, passenger's side wasn't. Somewhat worry some on a 6,000 mile example. EPA rates the CX-5 on the Highway with 32 MPG for the front-wheel drive model. On my drive, I exceeded that by a good amount. When I arrived at my destination, my average was 37.8 MPG. Wind and Road noise isolation is good, whether on the highway or in the city I'll have some more updates later on in the week. If you got questions, don't hesitate to ask them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  23. William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 24, 2012 This is a momentous occasion here in the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage. For one, we welcome another new brand into fold. Also, its our first 2013 model year vehicle. Please welcome the 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover. (I had a brief drive in a CX-5 back in May at the MAMA Spring Rally. You can check out my thoughts on it by clicking here.) This CX-5 is the mid-level Touring FWD model which starts at $23,895. That nets you a 2.0L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder producing 155 HP and 150 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed automatic. Other standard equipment includes seventeen-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, a 5.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment, six-way power seat for the driver, Bluetooth, and blind spot monitoring. This car is fitted with two option packages. The Moonroof/Bose package adds a moonroof and a nine-speaker bose sound system. The technology package adds navigation, HID headlights, rain sensing wipers, and a few other items. That gives our CX-5 Touring a as-tested price of $27,005 (Includes a $795 destination charge). First impressions are these CX-5's 2.0L needs more power on the low end. Really don't like that I have to go above 2500 to 3000 RPMs to really get moving. Fuel economy is really good so far. 27 to 28 MPG is the average. If there is someone who can make a CUV fun to drive, that someone is Mazda I'll have more updates as the week with the CX-5 goes on, including how it fares when I take it on vacation. In the meantime, if you have questions, post them and I'll do my best to answer them. Update 1: I just finished up a 200 mile trip to Northern Michigan for vacation and to see some relatives of mine. The trip also revealed some of the CX-5's high and low points. The CX-5's seats are great for enthusiastic driving and short trips. However for long trips, you will be wishing for more comfort. Noticed the driver's side view mirror was vibrating while on the freeway, passenger's side wasn't. Somewhat worry some on a 6,000 mile example. EPA rates the CX-5 on the Highway with 32 MPG for the front-wheel drive model. On my drive, I exceeded that by a good amount. When I arrived at my destination, my average was 37.8 MPG. Wind and Road noise isolation is good, whether on the highway or in the city I'll have some more updates later on in the week. If you got questions, don't hesitate to ask them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 17, 2012 This time at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage is a newcomer, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (takes breath). For $26,404 (the pricetag on the car) 2.4L inline-four, CVT Transmission, AWD, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an appearance package, and a banging 425 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. The Kizashi sits in a interesting position in the new car field. Its size and pricetag puts somewhere between a compact and a mid-size vehicle. Think the last generation Volkswagen Jetta. First impressions are mostly good. The interior is put together well, steering and handling is quite good, and the powertrain combo works well when you get above about 2000 RPMs. I'll have more thoughts as the week with Kizashi goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 17, 2012 This time at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage is a newcomer, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (takes breath). For $26,404 (the pricetag on the car) 2.4L inline-four, CVT Transmission, AWD, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an appearance package, and a banging 425 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. The Kizashi sits in a interesting position in the new car field. Its size and pricetag puts somewhere between a compact and a mid-size vehicle. Think the last generation Volkswagen Jetta. First impressions are mostly good. The interior is put together well, steering and handling is quite good, and the powertrain combo works well when you get above about 2000 RPMs. I'll have more thoughts as the week with Kizashi goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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