May 31, 2015 |
Three-way luxury battle: 2015 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Performance Collection vs. Lexus IS350 F-Sport AWD vs. 2015 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD. This week: Infiniti Q50S. Price: $47,955 as tested ($45,450 base price, plus $1,400 for Navigation package and $200 for a temporary spare tire). Marketer's pitch: "Not all reflexes are biological. Some are digital. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked the "many standard high-tech electronic and safety features . . . muscular V-6 engine; roomy trunk" but not the lack of "a frugal four-cylinder engine; disappointing handling when pushed.
July 20, 2014 |
Once again, we are reminded that the Korean automaker Hyundai, like its corporate sibling, Kia, is a pretty quick study. A case in point is the redesigned 2015 Genesis, the second coming of its luxury sedan. The first-generation Genesis, which debuted in 2009, offered a lot of features for the buck, and pretty much went downhill from there. The styling lurked somewhere between bland and generic, and the ride and handling were even more forgettable. Enter the renaissance redesign for 2015, an automotive quantum leap.
February 23, 2014 |
In South Korea, Kia calls its first full-blown luxury car the K9. That name just wouldn't do in the United States, allowed a faintly smiling Michael Sprague, the automaker's high priest of American marketing. So, when it makes its imminent debut in this country, it will be known as the K900. Good move. Who wants the most expensive car the company ever made to evoke Lassie? How many prospective buyers would welcome the vision of their friends leaving little packets of Purina Dog Chow under their wiper blades?
July 29, 2013 |
With its redesigned flagship, the 2014 S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is doing what it habitually does: reinventing the luxury sedan. There is a ton of fresh technology in this car that, history tells us, will emulate the Republican trickle-down theory and eventually become available in less expensive Mercedes models - and the rest of the industry. (An example: Electronic stability control was Mercedes' idea. It is now found in nearly every new car on the road.) To show off some of that new hardware and software, Mercedes built an automotive answer to the flight simulator at the site of a recent regional press introduction for the S-Class.
July 22, 2013 |
When it comes to compact luxury sports sedans, the BMW 3 Series has been the perennial gold standard. And when you are that good, you become ripe for emulation by automakers who want to get into your game. The 3 Series was certainly a role model for the first Lexus IS, which debuted in the 2001 model year. The IS external dimensions were very close to those of the 3 car, and it was even powered by an inline six, just like the BMW. And now, we have the 2013 Cadillac ATS, a brand new model at least as Bimmer-like as the first IS. If you look at the specs for this freshly coined compact Caddy, you will see that its wheelbase, length, width, height and track widths are all within an inch of the corresponding 3 Series measurements.
June 16, 2013 |
The new-for-2013 Lexus ES 300h is the automaker's first resident in the entry-level luxury hybrid subdivision, a growing community. To do this, it substituted a four-cylinder gas engine, two electric motors and a 36-module battery pack for the V-6 in the conventional ES 350. In the process, it came up with a midsize entry-level luxury sedan with an EPA city mileage estimate of 40 m.p.g. - almost twice what the ES 350 gets. In addition to the hybridization, the 300h benefits from two significant changes in the ES for 2013.
July 5, 2012 |
Do people who want luxury care about fuel economy? Lexus is betting that the answer is yes. Thus comes the unveiling of the 2013 ES300h hybrid. The entry-level luxury sedan will make the sixth hybrid in the Lexus lineup when it joins the fleet in mid-August. "There really isn't anything that competes with it that gets close to the mileage numbers," Lexus marketing vice president Brian Smith said during the recent East Coast unveiling of the entry-level luxury sedan's new look and new power train offering.
February 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Rick Santorum grew wealthy over his four years working as a corporate consultant and media commentator after leaving the Senate in 2006, his newly released federal tax returns show. He made more than $3.6 million and drove an Audi luxury sedan - details that could be at odds with his effort to attract blue-collar voters in the GOP's forthcoming presidential primary in Michigan. Santorum, 53, has presented himself in the Republican primaries as a social conservative and a Washington outsider, stressing his family's coal-mining background and his appeal to religious and working-class voters.
January 28, 2012 |
Freshly minted green cars. Groundbreaking automobiles like the 2013 Ford Fusion. Indoor demonstration rides in Toyota hybrids. The dashing new Porsche 911. These are among the innovative sights that will vie for the hearts and minds of the 250,000 car-crazed and perfectly normal people expected to attend the Philadelphia Auto Show that opens Saturday at the Convention Center. The annual extravaganza will feature hundreds of new cars and trucks, including more than a dozen soon-to-be-released vehicles on display for the first time in this region.
October 16, 2008 |
THERE'S NOTHING like a recession to cause you to rethink your priorities. For instance, for the past few months, I'd had my eye on that new Bentley Azure convertible, the one with the wire-mesh grille and the Connolly hide upholstery, but now . . . well, you know. It's this darned economy. So you see? Right there by deciding to pass on the Bentley, I've not only saved myself about $330,000, my idle chit-chat also has become far more interesting and sympathetic than it otherwise might be. But luxury is as luxury does.