by darlene donloe
I recently test drove the Nissan 2012 Maxima 3.5 SV, the 2012 Z® Roadster Tour and the Chevrolet Sonic. Yes, that’s a rather eclectic grouping. However, all of the vehicles have a unique personality and are awesome in their own right. Nissan is doing something right, as is Chevrolet. Check it out!!!
THE CAR: NISSAN 2012 MAXIMA 3.5 SV
This is a cool 4-door sports sedan. You don’t want to overlook this car. Don’t take it for granted. You WANT to drive this car and I’ll tell you why. It’s looks good, which makes YOU look good. It handles well. With a wieldy adaptable chassis, it has a hassle-free ride and handles quite well. It has decent fuel economy and comes in under $41,000. The price is a bit high, but I still think it’s worth every penny!!!. Go ahead, take hold of the leather wrapped steering wheel and roll on down the road!!!
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE:
3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine; 290 horsepower& 261 lb-ft Torque, 18”, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) alloy wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat, leather appointed seats, BOSE® Audio System, power sliding moon roof, rear bucket seats (three-passenger seating)
MSRP: $40, 930
FUEL ECONOMY: 19/26
THE DRIVE: NICE!!!!!!
THE CAR: NISSAN Z® ROADSTER
Whoo Hoo! This isn’t the old 240Z, this is a modern version of that car. When you drive this car – it’s more of a happening! You automatically rack up COOL points driving down the road in a Z. Heads turn and mouths drop due to the stylish, sporty exterior. This car doesn’t rely on just it’s good looks to get by. There is power under that hood. The price is a bit steep, there is some road noise and the gas mileage could be a lot better, but when you’re buying a Z, lets be honest, you’re not buying it for gas mileage! All in all, this is an engaging and enjoyable driving experience. If you want to look good cruising, this is your car!!!
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE:
3.7-liter DOH V6 engine w/variable valve event & lift (VVEL), 332 horsepower & 270-lb-ft Torque, 7-speed automatic transmission w/ paddle shifters & downshift rev matching; continuously variable valve timing control system (CVTCS), 18” alloy wheels, front and rear stabilizer bars, 8-way adjustable driver’s seat (4-way power), 4-way power adjustable passenger’s seat, automatic on/off headlights, heated outside mirrors
FUEL ECONOMY: 18/25
THE DRIVE: HIGH-QUALITY!!!
CHEVROLET SONIC 5DR LTZ
THE CAR: CHEVROLET SONIC 5DR LTZ
I like this car!!! This is Chevrolet’s newest small car. That being said, small doesn’t signify a lack. This car, which has plenty of interior space, was developed first and foremost to be fun to drive – and it certainly meets that mark. The ride and the handling don’t give away its size. It packs a punch! The Sonic blends the affordability and practicality of a small car with athletic and agile performance. The engine is more powerful than those offered in the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris. The Sonic is more spacious, faster and fun to drive. The hatchback looks racier and has twice the cargo capacity. IIHS Top Safety Pick.
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: Engine: ecotec turbo 1.4L, 6-speed automatic. hill hold feature, driver information center, oil life monitoring system, remote vehicle start, leatherette seating surfaces, antilock brakes
MSRP: $20, 315
FUEL ECONOMY: 27/37
THE DRIVE: YIPPEE!