Thursday, April 5, 2012

DONLOE ON CARS: Cars That Aim To Please

I recently test drove the 2012 Sentra 2.0 SR, Volkswagen Jetta GLI, Nissan Rogue SV FWD, Buick LaCrosse with eAssist and the Escalade ESV AWD Platinum.   Each has its own personality. To see which one matches up with yours, take them all on a test drive.
Escalade ESV AWD Platinum

THE CAR: 2012 ESCALADE ESV AWD PLATINUM

Ok, to be honest, you don’t test drive an Escalade ESV Platinum, you just get in, sit back  and glide. That’s how the Escalade rolls.  It truly is a fabulous vehicle. You look good driving it and it looks good going down the road. To be such a large vehicle, it’s smooth sailing! The interior is so roomy, it’s much like a miniature apartment on wheels.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE:  The estimated annual fuel cost is $3,963, based on 15, 000 miles at $3.70 per gallon of gasoline. Engine: Vortec 6.2L V8 SFI W/active fuel management and flex fuel capability; transmission, 6 speed automatic, suspension package, magnetic ride control, differential locking rear fully automatic, engine oil cooling system, transmission cooling system, trailering equipment, Bluetooth for phone, leather wrapped IP Top Pad and door uppers, heated steering wheel, universal home remote, DVD headrest – dual, rear parking assist, power sunroof and more.

MSRP: $86,045
FUEL ECONOMY: 13/18 Highway
THE DRIVE: Whoo Hoo!

BUICK LACROSSE with eAssist

THE CAR: BUICK LACROSSE with eAssist

Now this is a nice car. This could be your granddaddy’s car, your       daddy’s car and even your car. Yes, it’s a Buick and it’s fabulous. It’s luxurious and it’s affordable!   You’ll appreciate the way it handles and maneuvers.  The mocha steel metallic exterior, coupled with a cocoa/light cashmere interior – looks classy and chic.

Here’s why!
Standard eAssist technology helps LaCrosse deliver 36 mpg highway, unsurpassed by any other full-size luxury sedan. eAssist optimizes fuel economy using an on-board lithium-ion battery and motor generator to provide an electric boost of up to 15 hp during certain driving conditions.  The estimated annual fuel cost is $1, 915 based on 15,000 miles at $3.70 per gallon.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: engine, Ecotec 2.4L DOHC 1-4; transmission: Gen II Hydra-Matic 6T40 – 6-speed; horsepower: (hp/kw) 182/136 @ 6700 rpm; torque: (lb-ft./Nm) 172/233@4900
MSRP: $36,685
FUEL ECONOMY: 25/36
THE DRIVE: Fantabulous!
NISSAN ROGUE SV FWD


THE CAR: NISSAN ROGUE SV FWD

Nissan ain’t messing around. They got it right with this comfortable crossover. This SUV is so comfortable to drive – you’ll keep thinking of places to go.

If it looks different, it’s because the Rogue was given a promotion in 2011.  Both its interior and exterior received a makeover.  The new styling is a head turner.  This is an economy crossover that has a classy feel.  The Rogue is a five-passenger compact available in two trim levels: S and SV. This version includes a navigation system, rearview monitor, a USB port, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.  Good handling!

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: 2.5 –liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine; 170 horsepower @ 600 rpm and 175 lb ft. of torque; 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, rear privacy glass, a 4.3-inch-display audio screen, a rearview camera and an upgraded sound system with a USB/iPod interface, steering wheel audio controls and satellite radio.

MSRP: $28, 088
FUEL ECONOMY: 22/28
THE DRIVE: Yes!

2012 SENTRA 2.0 SR

THE CAR: 2012 SENTRA 2.0 SR

Ok, to be honest, this is not a luxurious car. It’s a small sedan that  will get you from Point A to Point B. What it lacks in luxury, it makes up for in fuel economy.  And, with today’s gasoline prices – that’s enough to make you want to buy this standard vehicle. For For affordable transportation, the Sentra is a worthy selection.  It’s roomy enough with spacious front seats and is designed to appeal to driving enthusiasts.  Estimated annual fuel cost is $1, 498 based on 15, 000 miles at $3 per gallon.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE:  Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC 4-cylinder; 140 horsepower & 147 lb-ft Torque; 200-horsepower; offered in six different trim levels, including four mainstream models based on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR and 2.0 SL) and two high-performance variants powered by a 2.5-liter engine (SE-R and SE-R Spec V).

MSRP: $20,320
FUEL ECONOMY: 27/34
THE DRIVE: Nice!

VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GLI

THE CAR: VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GLI

So, you want to kick it up a notch. You want an economy car, but you don’t want it to look like an economy car or drive like an economy car. The Jetta GLI, doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but it is a cool car to consider.  This mid-size sedan is roomy and affordable!  If you know the Jetta, then you know that some changes have been made. Gone are the rear seat air vents and the front armrest is no longer adjustable. Those are only minor details and shouldn’t be a deciding factor regarding the purchase.


VEHICLE AT A GLANCE:

MSRP: from $15,515
FUEL ECONOMY: 24/34
THE DRIVE:  Efficient!

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