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Car : 2012 Ford F150 EcoBoost
Author : Chris Chan

Whenever anyone thinks about America and the automobile industry, one of the first things that should pop-up into mind is the pickup truck: an automobile that is synonymously iconic to our culture like the small roadster is to Great Britain or the executive saloon is to Germany. And when anyone thinks of a pickup truck, the ultimate buy word in the segment would arguably be the proverbial Ford F150. That should be a given considering that the Dearborn-based manufacturer invented the automobile when they produced the “Ford Model T Runabout with a Pickup Body” in 1925. Not to mention, the F150 is indubitably one of automotive history’s most iconic automobiles, racking up some astonishing accolades such as America’s best-selling vehicle for 24-years and best-selling truck for 34.

That said, the Ford F150 can be considered the car that ‘built’ America, much like how Jeremy Clarkson showed the world that the Ford Transit had “built” Great Britain. No matter where you go, you’ll always find some generation and some sort of variant of the Ford F150 running about doing all things utilitarian. I can go on and on about the F150’s prominence, but that would be similar to me rambling on about how famous Mr. Henry Ford is himself—gee, thanks Captain Obvious.

But truth be told, I have very little personal experience with pickups for my short time on Earth. The first and last pickup truck that I had comprehensively driven in-depth was a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 with the 5.9L Magnum V8. And even though the Ram was uncomfortable, brash and tiresome to drive—on top of abysmal fuel economy that never went north of 15 mpg—the Ram’s commanding view of the road made it interestingly fun to drive and its practicality was hard to trump, considering that the Ram helped me move back and forth between college and home.

Afterwards, the last pickup I ever drove entirely prior to this review was a 2005 Ford F150 King Ranch SuperCrew, complete with the top-of-the-line 5.4L Triton V8 during my time working at a used car dealer. Other than that though, pickup trucks never really appealed to my taste for refined and fun-driving performance and luxury cars. And that was due to their sacrifice for utilitarianism in place of luxury and driving pleasure. In other words, I felt one would be socially awkward pulling up to a fancy function in a workhorse pickup truck rather than a stately executive saloon. (Read More)

Car : Nissan Juke
Author : Jan Gleitsmann

If I were to create a nickname for the Nissan Juke-R, I would have call it ‘Hellboy’, as a tribute to its hellish GT-R powertrain and its fresh, young presence as a compact SUV. In May, Nissan Germany gave myself and 10 other German car bloggers the opportunity to drive the Nissan JUKE-R (and the Nissan GT-R) on the streets of a small town close to Cologne, Germany.

Nissan took us to an old, but refurbished, industrial plant. While the shuttle was passing the gate of the areal, I could see a noir-matte Nissan Juke inside a little hall that looked slightly different from the standard looking Juke that I had seen so far. After a meet and greet, I walked straight to that hall to say ‘hello’ to hellboy, but much to my disappointment, it was gone. Waiting for the other bloggers to return, I heard this continuous growling thunder approaching from a distance well before I could see the car.

Beside the chassis, everything has been modified in terms of performance. Like the GT-R, the Juke-R comes with 4wd, and the engine and transmission are taken from the 2010 Nissan GT-R, which means you get to enjoy the power from a 3.8 Liter Twin-Turbo V6 with 485-hp. In order to stuff that engine under the hood of the Juke, some not so important parts like the air conditioner were done away with – but hey, at least you have power windows. Rear passenger seating was also sacrificed, leaving behind only space, and a sealed up sheet of metal that used to be a passenger door.

When you first climb inside the Juke-R, it feels like you’ve ended up in a racecar, as you are surrounded by its FIA roll cage. As for seats, the model comes with OMP-racing seats with Schroth 6pt racing belts. The Nissan Juke-R is in a class all its own, and it is pure fun to drive. As one of the very few people who have been fortunate enough to drive it, I can tell you that overall, this is one awesome driving experience. (Read More)

Car : 2012 Buick Verano
Author : Omar Rana

On the outside, the 2012 Buick Verano basically carries over most of the sheet metal from the Opel Astra sedan offered in Europe. Sitting on a wheelbase that measures 105.7 inches with a length of 183.9 inches, a width of 71.4 and a height of 58.4, the Buick Verano is just a tad bit bigger here and there when compared to the body of the Cruze.

Styling wise, the Buick Verano doesn’t take your breath away, but it’s something that wouldn’t make you feel insignificant when cruising around town. It has a nice elegant stance with Buick’s signature overuse of chrome.What about the shoes? The Buick Verano rides on standard 18-inch forged alloy silver-finish wheels but buyers can opt for  premium 18-inch forged alloy, split-spoke wheels in Manoogian Silver finish the 1ST models.

Whether you’re driving at high-speeds or just around the city, the Verano’s interior provides a very quiet and comfortable feeling. Standard and optional interior features on the Verano include push-button start, dual-zone climate control, 6-way power driver seat, heated leather steering wheel, heated seats and steering wheel audio controls. Standard technological features include Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, USB iPod connectivity, rearview camera, and Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system, which integrates Pandora and Stitcher and is controlled through a 7-inch LED high-res touchscreen. Navigation and a Bose audio system are available as an option.

So is the Buick Verano a variable option in the compact luxury sedan segment. Definitely, yes – especially when you consider the massive list of standard features with a starting price tag of just $22,585.The cars that it competes with (or cars that Buick is gunning after) start over the $30,000 mark. Even the top-end 2012 Buick Verano with all the bells and whistles starts at $25,965. Will the young affluent crowd rush into to dealerships to buy one? I’m going to leave that one up to Buick’s marketing time. (Read More)

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Sources : EGMCartech Photo | About EGMCartech | Ford F150 Ecoboost Photo | Ford F150 Ecoboost Article | Nissan Juke Photo | Nissan Juke Article | Buick Verano Photo | Buick Verano Article


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