2009 and 2010 His and Hers Used Car Reviews

 

If you're buying a used 2009 or 2010 car, don't miss our His and Hers reviews and get both sides of the story. This installment, from the 2010 model year we feature the Subaru Outback, Ford Taurus, Ford Fusion hybrid, Lexus RX 450h, Lexus H250h, Toyota Prius, Suzuki Kizashi, Hyundai Genesis coupe and Mazda3. As a bonus we have added a 2009 Chrysler 300 review.
   
 2010 Chrysler Town & Country
     
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP: $37,300 as Tested MSRP: $37,300 as Tested
Performance
The 6 speed, 251 horsepower Town & Country minivan is a great vehicle in its class. Designed for heavy payload and lots of passengers, the 6 speed automatic transmission, 4.0 liter engine has some get up and go. The vehicle responds well and the ride is comfortable for all passengers - well, truth be told, I wasn't sitting in the back row for long. Armed with Electronic Stability Control and ABS brakes for maximum control of vehicle. The Chrysler Town & Country is a peppy car with its 4.0 Liter V6 engine, 6 speed automatic transmission and 251 horsepower. When I say "peppy" I mean it has sufficient power to get you going.  The throttle response is immediate, and considering the girth, and overall weight of the car, is impressive.  This vehicle is designed for many passengers with added weight in the form of luggage, pets, passengers, etc, so don't expect responsive handling when taking the turns fast.  I'm not saying the Chrysler isn't capable in the corners, just not at excessive speeds.The ride in the Town & Country is steady and responsive.  It's fun to be in the command seating position cruising down the highway.  Small imperfections in the road don't translate to the interior discomfort of the front or rear passengers. ABS and the Electronic Stability Program come to the rescue when human error is detected.
Fuel Economy
17 MPG City, 25 MPG Highway 17 MPG City, 25 MPG Highway
The Car
Did Chrysler employ the design team from NASA and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams when in the early throws of product development? No kidding, this vehicle, with its advanced technology and comfort, its nooks and crannies, make it a leader for the family on the go.Seating layout is two in front, two in middle and three in the rear optional seat. The Swivel and Go heated captain's chairs for passengers in the second row allow for 180 degree turning to be fully engaged with third row passengers. The seating in the 2nd and third row can easily be removed, allowing for critical space required during a move or for business or delivery purposes. The vehicle has a stow-away table to place things on during transit. Each child can have their own or share the very convenient in-floor storage compartments to maximize roominess during trip. Watching the entertainment is not going to be an issue, as there are two DVD screens -- one for second row and the other for third row passengers. Power doors that can be opened/closed with the remote. And, when packing up or unloading, the rear hatch can be opened/closed with a touch of a button. Luggage racks for additional storage on roof. Admittedly, I haven't had too much experience with this type of vehicle.  Here's what I really liked - the sheer roominess.  If you have anything to transport, simply fold down, or remove the seats!  Added conveniences:  both sides of the vehicle have power doors that can be opened/closed with the remote.  The rear hatch can also be opened/closed with a touch of a button.  A very large and comfortable 8-way power driver's seat.  The power adjustable pedals are awesome!  There are cup holders everywhere.  Swivel-n-Go Chairs in the rear are handy when stopped for a short snack, or playing cards with your friends.  Enjoy the heated front and second row seats on those cold wintery days.
Safety
The Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path accident avoidance devices assist driver when changing lanes-side mirrors light up as well as an audible chime alerts the driver of approaching vehicle.  Tire Pressure Monitoring System with warning indicator.The ParkView™ rear park assist system helps you see what is immediately behind car when backing up. Be sure to use common sense and still look in all directions before backing up-do not solely rely on this device. Multi-air bags and drivers and front passenger active head restraints for maximum safety. Integrated child booster seat is a smart, innovative feature, especially moms picking up or dropping off their neighbor's children. Advanced Multi-Stage Front AirbagsSupplemental Side Curtain Air Bags in ALL Rows Anti-Lock Braking System Electronic Stability Program Tire Pressure Monitoring System with Warning Indicator
Technology
As mentioned, this minivan comes with two rear DVD displays, a media Center with CD MP-3 and an iPod Interface.I loved the remote engine starter which is a perfect feature to have on the most chilly or warmer days. Remote keyless entry and security alarm are great to have. Rain sensing wipers amaze me -- how does it know those few drops of rain hit the windshield? And, the U Connect phone with voice command is a plus feature. Remote Keyless Entry with Engine ImmobilizerRemote Engine Start- good for getting the car heated up on cold days, or cooling it down in the Summer. Media Center with CD MP-3 and I-Pod Interface Park View Rear back-Up Camera Park Sense parking System with Audio Warning Indicator Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection U-Connect Phone with Voice Command Security Alarm Rain Sensing Wipers Two Rear Video Displays with DVD Player Smart Beam Headlamps
Aesthetics & Styling
With the growth of the SUV/Crossover market and the dramatic decline of sales in the minivan category, having a state of the art minivan with great design language and appeal is most challenging. How do you make a minivan not look like a minivan-pretty difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, the car is not unattractive and does what is indented to do. Safely and functionally transport numerous people.The interior is spacious, clean and functional with a neutral soft slate and charcoal palate. Buttons and dials are easy to see and reach for. Lots and lots of compartments. The design of the 2010 Chrysler Town & Country is average.  I don't think that the design engineers were striving for anything extreme or modern here; they may have been more concerned with "design functionality."  The exterior of the car looks clean, with defined edges and corners.  The chrome exterior mirrors and signal indicators add a nice touch of elegance to the Town & Country.The interior of the vehicle can best be described as clean.  The lines are rigid, with meaning and purpose.  For example, the center console is rectangular in design so that it can be easily located, and opened.  The controls on the console aren't spread about- they're laid out in a very specific pattern so that the driver and passenger can reach, and use them with ease.
Warranty
5-Year, 100,000  Power train limited warranty 5-Year, 100,000  Power train limited warranty
Non-tangibles / Other
Vehicle is assembled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Fuel economy can be improved upon. This was an enjoyable car to drive.  I had a few jobs to complete where I had to drop of loads of food, and the Chrysler Town & Country made it very easy with its two power sliding side doors, and the power rear hatch.  I really enjoyed being able to start the car remotely on cold mornings!  If you find yourself in the market for a family styled car, you'll be impressed with the roominess and extended list of options on this particular model.
June 2010
2010 Nissan Rogue AWD
 
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$23,245 as Tested MSRP:$23,245 as Tested
Performance
The 2010 Nissan Rogue is a very strong contender into the smaller SUV class. Topping off at 170 horsepower, the 2.5 liter engine can rev up and carry a good amount of power. The handling on this vehicle is quick and responsive.Like most Nissans, its built with CVT, Continuously Variable Transmission. Conventional transmission systems control the ratio between engine speed and wheel speed using a fixed number of metal gears. Rather than using gears, the Rogue uses a pair of variable-diameter pulleys connected by a belt or chain that can produce an infinite number of engine/wheel speed ratios. While there remains debate about CVT, the Nissan engineers and executives say the advantages of it include: Smooth, seamless acceleration without the jerk or jolt from changing gears, elimination of frequent downshifting on hills and up to $1500 in gas savings over life of the car due to better fuel efficiency. The 2010 Nissan Rogue has good pick-up, and drives very comfortably.  This smaller SUV is very easy to handle on most surfaces, and the ride is stable with exceptional handling.  Because this is a smaller scale SUV, the turning radius is tighter, and navigating small parking spaces is done with ease.  4-wheel disc brakes ensure stopping power in all situations. A 2.5 liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower and 175 ft. lbs. of torque with CVT-- Continuously Variable Transmission.
Fuel Economy
21 MPG City, 26 MPG Highway 21 MPG City, 26 MPG Highway
The Car
Priced attractively, the Rogue is a good looking vehicle. With leather, heated seats and a clean interior, the vehicle takes very little to like about it. Storage areas, pockets, cup holders and even a three-way compartment underneath the trunk allows for maximizing your organization.Attractive again will be used to describe the instrument panel. Easy to read buttons and knobs allow for quick adjustments on the road. Leather wrapped steering wheel is easy to hold on to. Excellent reliability and a quiet ride. The new Nissan Rogue is an easy car to get used to.  Slide into the comfortable leather (optional) seats and you're ready to roll.  There are plenty of cup holders for your drinks, and storage areas for food or other items.The dash is laid out in such a manner that the driver can easily access all the important buttons in a snap. Rear passengers will be equally comfortable with roomy seats and more than ample leg and head room. The interior is handsome and functional.  The AC works well, as does the heat.
Safety
Advanced Air Bag System with Front Seat mounted side impact supplemental air bag system. Also included are roof-mounted Side Curtain Air Bags, roll over supplemental air bags for outboard occupant head protection, and active head restraints. The body construction includes front and rear crumple zones.  Four wheel antilock brakes are standard. Nissan Advanced Air Bag SystemFront Seat Mounted Side Impact Supplemental Air Bag System Roof-Mounted Side Curtain Air Bags, Roll over supplemental air bags for outboard occupant head protection Energy Absorbing Steering Column Zone body construction with front and rear crumple zones Electronic Brake Force Distribution 4-Wheel ABS
Technology
Bose Premium Sound System with 7 speakers and bass woofer maximize listening pleasure. Add in the AM/FM 6-CD player with MP-3 and I-Pod interface and Radio Data System, as well as XM Satellite Radio. Bluetooth Hand-Free System for safe connectivity. Keyless entry is standard. Bose Premium Sound System with 7 speakers and ND Rich Bass WooferAM/FM 6-CD Player with MP-3 and I-Pod interface and Radio Data System XM Satellite Radio Bluetooth Hand-Free System Speed Sensitive Sound Adjustment Nissan Intelligent Key High-Intensity Discharge Light with Manual Levelizer
Aesthetics & Styling
This vehicle gets solid top grades in all areas of styling. Outside in and inside out. The attractive lines and grill provide universal appeal. Inside the eggshell leather and charcoal and chrome color combination are clean and crisp. Tinted rear windows. The 2010 Nissan Rogue has interesting style cues.  It's smaller than full-size SUVs, and similar to Toyota's Rav 4, the Hyundai Tucson, and Honda CRV.What makes these SUV's attractive, especially the Rogue, is the smaller engine (resulting in better gas mileage) and enhanced maneuverability. The overall shape and design can best be described as "rounded" or "smooth."  The lines and edges of the exterior are unremarkable, but not distasteful. The front of the new Rogue is pleasant enough, with rounded headlights and a smooth, curved bumper.  The rear of the vehicle mirrors much of the same, with few carry-over design elements from the larger, Nissan Murano.
Warranty
Basic Bumper to Bumper: 3 years-36,000Drive train: 5 years, 60,000 Roadside Assistance: 3 years, 36,000 miles Basic: 3 years-36,000 mile bumper-to-bumperDrivetrain: 5 years, 60,000 Roadside Assistance: 3 years, 36,000 miles
Non-tangibles / Other
Assembled in Japan. The small size SUZ market is increasing with popularity.  Drivers are interested in leaving smaller "carbon footprints" but still want the versatility and roominess of a SUV.  The Nissan Rogue fit those needs to a tee.  Not only is it easy on the petrol, it's stylish, cool, and fun to drive.
2010 Toyota Tundra Tundra Double Cab, 4x4 4.6L V-8
2010 Toyota Tundra
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
                            As tested:  $31,508.                   As tested:  $31,508.
Performance
4.6 I Force V-8, a refreshed version from '09Attractive and more powerful 310 Horsepower 327 Ft. Lbs. Torque and ACIS DOHC 32 Valve, Dual Independent VVT-I 6-Speed automatic transmission with Sequential Shift touting this monster can get 20 MPG 4-Wheel Demand System Electronically Controlled  2-Speed Transfer Case This ginormous truck weighs as more than two (2) Smart cars or the equivalent of the NFL's top 20 linebackers (weighing in at 265lbs) It has real get up and go. To the point, where I was so quite aware the commanding presence it has on windy roads of my community, and had to slow down to be/appear courteous as not to hog the road. Handling is good, but I sometimes felt as if the 4.6 I Force V-8DOHC 32 Valve, Dual Independent VVT-I 310 Horsepower 327 Ft. Lbs. Torque and ACIS 6-Speed automatic transmission with Sequential Shift 4-Wheel Demand System with Electronically Controlled  2-Speed Transfer Case This truck has a lot of power.  It amazed me how much muscle it transfers to the wheels considering in weighs in at approximately 5,400 pounds! Use caution with the accelerator; it's responsive.  Getting up to speed is effortless, simply hit the gas and you're gone.  Navigating this behemoth in small neighborhoods can be a challenge. Handling is good, but I sometimes felt as if the rear wheels weren't providing the necessary traction and control I wanted- even with the Automatic Limited Slip Differential. Completely enjoyed the command seating position; the ride was exceptional.
Fuel Economy
14 City MPG;  19-20 Highway MPG 14 City  19 HighwayConsiderably less if you're towing anything.
The Car
This adult version of Pack and Play or Stow and Go is a beefer. I needed a pole vault and a booster seat to get in, and even then was looking for nearby Yellow Pages to bolster me upAggressive honking hot look and profile. With a truck this big, how could it not be? A surprisingly smooth and responsive truck. Its towing capacity of 6,900 pounds and a payload limit of 1515 pounds is just tad more than required for my everyday commuting, but there are many instances when this baby could come in handy - when taking the kids to Chucke Cheese, when DD and going out for a GNO, when gladly helping my neighbors move far, far away, etc. Notice that everything on or in this car is big - from the turn knobs, to the mirrors (are themselves almost a blind spot), to the oversized, heart tires. It's a challenge to 61" tall and drive this. Seating is comfy. Took abit to situate myself; I felt like I was adjusting myself (err, so to speak. I think neighbors kept asking "Just what is she doing in there?") with every drive. The speedometer and gauges were all sized well and easy to read. Double cab indeed. Two more doors in back --simply multiply the space up front by 2. This is a big truck designed for one thing- work!  Its huge engine and high torque ratio translates into a towing capacity of 6900 pounds, with a payload limit of 1515 pounds.The large cloth seats were very comfortable.  All of the controls are over-sized, and in plain view.  The speedometer and other gauges have an orange tint that illuminates for evening driving. The AC and heat work well; there must be a huge fan lurking about somewhere under the hood. The center console between the two front seats has a giant arm rest and massive storage container perfect for your lap-top.  There's also plenty of room left over for other items you may have. This is a real double-cab truck.  That means you have two additional doors, and plenty of room for lunch coolers, tool belts, and two large adults.
Safety
Excellent crash test ratingsVehicle Stability Control with Active Traction Control Active headrests Driver and Front Passenger Air bags and Knee Air bags; roll-Sensing Curtain Air Bags 3-Point Seatbelts with Pretensioners and Force Limiters Tire pressure monitoring system Star Safety System with ABS and electric brake force distribution<Vehicle Stability Control with Active Traction Control Driver and Front Passenger Air bags Driver and Front Passenger Knee Air bags Roll-Sensing Curtain Air Bags 3-Point Seatbelts with Pretensioners and Force Limiters Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Technology
AM/FM Stereo with MP3 and I-pod InterfacePower heated outside mirrors Love the Dual-zone climate gauges for personalized temperature control Remote Keyless Entry Power Heated Outside MirrorsDual Zone Climate Control with Sync Mode AM/FM Stereo with MP3 and I-pod Interface Remote Keyless Entry System
Aesthetics & Styling
The outside is hot from the side, from the front, and actually, from the back. Strong masculine design.Two toned interior of the cabin is designed with functionality in mind; nothing fancy nor clearly designed to be. This is a truck with presence.  The huge flared fenders and swooping front hood add to the magnetism of this vehicle.  While on the parkway, I continuously noticed cars "getting out of my way."The interior of the cabin is designed with functionality in mind.  As mentioned before, all of the pertinent controls are easily reachable.  Interior cabin lighting is bright for reading maps, finding tools, or anything else that may have dropped on the floor. While this is a vehicle designed with work in mind, I could easily see myself wanting it for everyday use- it's that appealing. Our oversized styled steel wheels, chrome tube steps, bed-liner and deck rail system added to the charisma of our test vehicle.
Warranty
36 months/36,000 miles all components other than normal wear and tear60 Months/60,000 miles engine, power train, transmission airbags 36 months/36,000 miles all components other than normal wear and tear60 Months/60,000 miles engine, power train, transmission airbags
Non-tangibles / Other
The full sized Toyota Tundra was originally introduced to compete in the lucrative market of full size truck such as the Ford F-150, and Chevrolet Silverado.  Although the two domestic truck makers are still in the lead by a wide margin, Toyota may start gaining ground if they continue to produce quality trucks such as the Toyota Tundra.
April 15, 2010
2010 Dodge Journey SXT AWD
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
$30,040 as tested $30,040 as tested
Performance
This crossover SUV is hearty. There was no place I couldn't travel during the SnowZilla of February in the Journey. Perhaps not the sexiest vehicle, but who needs that when security is the word of the day during the snowiest month ever?That said, the vehicle is abit loud and slow to performA 3.5 liter V6 engine, Anti-lock 4 wheel disc brakes and ESP Traction and speed control 6 speed A 3.5 liter V6 24V MPI EngineAnti-lock 4 wheel disc brakes and ESP6 speed Automotive 62TE Transmission This car combines the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger platform. Ride is unflattering while overall it's a safe and steady vehicle.
Fuel Economy
15 City /23 Highway MPG's 15 City /23 Highway MPG's
The Car
If you need to get places and take up to seven (7) passengers, this vehicle will accommodate. Especially, as mentioned, when buried under 20" of snow.Stiff and somewhat rough in handling and respondingHandy remote starter Second rows of seats have 60/40 split which worked splendidly when placing luggage in the seat 6 way power driver seat for adjustability and comfort; with manual lumbar support; love the heated front seats Great storage and space for the families necessities; including illuminated multiple cup holders Second row reclining seats; very hard for the passengers in rear to activate middle seat so they could get out; didn't intuitively 'get' the tilt and slide Second row in floor storage bins are great-each child can keep their goodies segragated. Ditto for passenger storage in cushion - brilliant. Those in the back will not lack for comfort on those inclement days - with 3 ways temperature control Optional 50-50 split folding bench in third row Adjustable roof rails/crossbars for additional storage Ample lighting for all in rows one, two and three If it's a 'tried and true' car you are looking for, this is it. A new model, so the verdict yet is still out.Vehicle is awkward as it really has a 'mini van' feel on inside and exterior. In fact, it's much closer to a mini van than an SUV, no matter what nomenclature is used.Amenities and features of the vehicle are many, including. 6 way power, heated front seats. Lumbar adjust on drive's side Plenty of compartment, storage and cup holders - a place for all the stuff that will get used inside; floor storage bins and in-seat cushion storage great Dual climate control is a nice touch, and same for those in the back row(s) Plenty of lighting but did not like the industrial-looking light dials in the front seats Tinted windows help with the winter/summer glare Optional 50-50 split folding bench in third row Roof rails/crossbars for additional storage
Safety
This vehicle has very strong crash test scoresMultistage front air bags and supplemental font seat side air bags; active head restraintsChild seat anchor LATCH system Automatic rear view dimming mirror Anti-theft system Front Air bags and Supplemental font seat side air bagsActive head restraintsSecurity Alarm Child seat anchor LATCH system Automatic rear view dimming mirror Anti-theft system
Technology
Sirius satellite radio for one yearTrip computer: has the outside temperature and compass (i.e. rudimentary GPS, without the satellite)6 CD/DVD/MP3 radio; 6 Infinity speakers with subwoofer to jam to 115 volt auxiliary power outlet Power heated exterior mirrors - handy, no kidding! Audio jack for MP3's, etc. including 115 volt auxiliary power outletOne year SIRIUS Satellite radioPower front windows Phone connect with voice command 6 CD/DVD/MP3 radio; 6 Infinity speakers with 368 watt amplifier
Aesthetics & Styling
This car-type SUV is much better than the 'van', but with much competition in the crossover category, while this car has many amenities, the verdict is out on its styling and performance. This car gets a nod for the family ride, but the overall design is dated.
Warranty
Basic, 3 year/36,000 milesPower train, 5 year/100,00024 hour towing assistance, ask dealer about restrictions Basic, 3 year/36,000 milesPower train, 5 year/100,000
Non-tangibles / Other
Final Assembly Point, Mexico. Engine and transmission made in USA
Hyundai 2010 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Grand Touring
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$30,925 as tested MSRP:$30,925 as tested
Performance
This new coupe is sassy indeed. 3.8 Liter, V-6 engine with 306 horsepower gives the Genesis Coupe real get up and go.The car hugs the asphalt, cement or bricks-this "genie" responds quickly.  You will feel the road and each divot.Test drove the automatic. The Shiftronic paddles are there and easy to access -positioned naturally behind steering wheel. Gas V-6 3.8 Liter Producing 306 Horsepower @ 6300 RPM266 FPT @4700 RPMHold on to your hat, this is a fast (and fun) car.  Immediate throttle response is what you get when you "tap" the accelerator.  Floor it, and with the ESC off, you can burn up the tires a bit.  The throaty growl will keep a smile on your face while driving. At first, steering felt a bit hard.  After some extended driving in the Coupe, I became accustomed to the feel and responsiveness which is immediate.   The wide tires provide excellent handling on any road. The ride isn't mushy.  You can feel the bumps and abnormalities in the road-just remember this is a sports car; enjoy the ride!
Fuel Economy
                        17 city and 27 highway mpg 21 MPG CITY  17MPG CITY
The Car
A new coupe and new category for Hyundai, this car will be taking market share. Attractive, well priced and positioned to trade up or trade over those buyers that will fall in love on their test drive.It's well groomed on the exterior and interior and a show stopperKeyless entry and ignition is car-starting made simple Like most coupes, my seat has to be positioned all the way up and all the way forward leaving me with the steering wheel positioned quite close to my body, ok, and my chest. I think you get the idea-not so comfortable. That said, visibility was good in this vehicle. Those in the back seat really don't want to be there very long - its tight and rigid This car is going to generate some real excitement in the automotive industry.  With its aggressive styling, and reasonable pricing, people will be lining up for test drives.Besides being designed and marketed as a "sports" car, the friendliness and intuitiveness make it an every-day car as well.The Genesis Coupe is easy to navigate, and park.
Safety
EBD and AWB systems with stability and traction control. Active head restrains for driver and front passenger.Advanced ffront-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.                 The Genesis Coupe is loaded with safety features4-wheel anti-lock braking system with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution)Electronic Stability Control Traction Control Front and Rear Crumple Zones and advanced dual front air bags with occupant classification system (determines size and weight of occupants) Active Front Head Restraints
Technology
XM Satellite radio - 3 months free. Not sure why the stereo control knob was so small. I wear a size 4.5 ring size and every time I touched the knob, it was so small and sensitive, the station would jump or two past where I wanted to land.Output jacks accommodate an ipod or MP3Infinity 360 watt sound system with sub woofer and 10 speakers for a kick sound Navigation system that was not overly  intuitive to use The Genesis Coupe comes standard with two (2) auxiliary output jacks for your I-Pod or MP3.  The shiftronic paddle shifter will keep the control at your fingertips.Also included in the Gran Touring Model: Xenon HID Lamps,  a 360 Watt Infinity sound system with 10 speakers and a sub-woofer, auto-dimming mirrors, navigations system, reverse warning system, push-button start, heated seats, and a tilt and slide sunroof system.
Aesthetics & Styling
Red hot painted car with latte/black combo interior with smooth lined exterior make this a car quite a 'looker'.An attractive multi-lined grill, angular extended headlights, and the 18" alloy wheels all work well together to enhance the design and appeal.Chrome accents on black frame the interior nicely Deep butterscotch colored leather seats are fairly comfortable (for a coupe) and are heated The Genesis Coupe is well-designed.  We had a red Genesis, and it looked fast, standing still.  The coupe doors are colossal, and access is easy.  The front end of the vehicle screams "look at me," with its sweet lines and big wheels.  The inside of the car is no nonsense.  Although the GT (Grand Touring model came packed with technology, it was easy to become accustomed to. There are electronic torque and MPG readouts above the radio console.  The seats are firm and comfortable.  Rear visibility is good, but not excellent.
Warranty
Well, the folks from Hyundai say its America's best warranty, and I concur5 year/50,000 Basic; 10 year/100,000 warranty Power train; 5 year unlimited Roadside Assistance                         10 years, 100,000 miles
Non-tangibles / Other
                        For those of you (and, you know who you are), that would never consider owning or driving a Hyundai, let alone a sports car from Hyundai, get over yourself and your brand-consciousness, and take this one a lap or two. This car has got it going on at thousands of dollars below its Infiniti fellow competitor.                         If you're in the market for a fast new vehicle, be sure to make a stop at your local Hyundai dealer.  The Genesis Coupe can keep up with the likes of the Infiniti G, Lexus IS, and Acura TL on the track, and it will also cost you thousands less to own one.
March 1st, 2010
2010 Suzuki Kizashi S
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$22,650 as tested MSRP:$22,650 as tested
Performance
With this car, Suzuki enters a new class of cars. It's a step outside of the box, with the name (yea, I know, I had to say it a few times to 'get it right), but especially going into the mid- sized sedan class. Known for its high performance products, Suzuki is banking on this model entering this class and tearing up market share. With most models between $19,000 and a $22,000, the car enters a fairly competitive and already busy market with Honda, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai.Begin with the performance - this 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder 185 horsepower engine has get up and go. It just requires some wait time to get up and actually go; I was expecting more punch. But, like Newton's law, like most things, once in motion, tend to stay in motion well.With fuel-injection with dual overhead cam; the independent suspension was lacking, as the ride was stiff and rigid on the not-yet-potholed roads of winter AWD on this model; electronic stability control is standard on all Also available in GTS sporty model, with 6 speed for under $24K Gas, In-line Four Cylinder185 horsepower at 6500 RPMMaximum torque 170 LB. @ 4000 RPM Multi-Port Fuel Injection Dual Overhead Cam 4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Multi-Link Rear Suspension This is not a responsive car.  Acceleration is slow and unresponsive.  If you're looking to merge onto the highway...well, make sure there aren't any cars coming for a while. Handling was soft.  The car felt "connected" to the road at times, however, those occasions were infrequent.  The suspension transferred the bumps on the road to the interior of the car. Once up to speed the Kizashi did have its moments.  On the parkway the car did ride well at higher speeds as long as there were no abnormalities in the road.
Fuel Economy
                        22 mpg city/29 mpg highway                         22 City 29 Highway
The Car
A good value from Suzuki, the word on this vehicle is not out yetInterior functionality and aesetics are ample and easy to read/controlHeated front seating is comfortable; seats five with no extra room for much. That said, 60/40 split folding rear seats with center pass thru and rear armrest with cup holders Power windows, doors and mirrors and seats- with 10 way adjustments with lumbar support. All are easy to set Good visibility and light; sunroof adds light at will Dual-zone climate control is great for mitigating feuds No fumbling required with the push-button keyless start made simple and ez Good storage space for the uprights and last minute take-alongs. Interior trunk release switch The Suzuki isn't exciting to drive, but is economical.  This is a new model for the car company, and is supposed to be an attractive addition into this particular segment of the automotive industry.  The Suzuki will be competing with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, and Nissan Altima.The interior of the car is average.  Instrumentation isn't easy to read, and is often impeded by the steering wheel. Ample trunk room provides plenty of room for bags, golf clubs, and ski boots.  Cup holders are abundant. The controls are within reach.  The seats were average providing adequate support for about -town trips.  There was no Navigation system in our model, but it is available.  The Rockford Fostgate stereo system was crisp with plenty of bass.   Steering wheel controls for the stereo added to ease of use. Power windows with automatic up and down Tilting and Telescoping Wheel, Sunroof with Tilt and Open
Safety
Safety matters in this All-Wheel Drive; take a closer look. Complete with eight (8) standard airbags, advanced Electronic Stability control with traction assist and Anti lock brakes.The vehicle is already compliant with 2014 Crash Standards - ahead of its classTire Pressure monitoring system Rear door child safety locks and LATCH system for child seats Unlimited roadside assistance, and for three (3) years Anti-Lock Braking System3-mode Intelligent All Wheel Drive3- Way Seat  with Pre-Tensioners, Force Limiter, and Height Adjustors Latch Seat Child Anchors Child Safety Locks Daytime Running Lights
Technology
Bluetooth™ for  hands-free callingWireless music streaming capabilitySound can bust out with the AM FM CD XM capable audio system with 7 speakers and MP3 playback Driver Info-center in cluster provides average speed, average and immediate MPG and exterior temperature Integrated Bluetooth with Audio StreamingHomelink Wireless Contro SystemSmartpass Keyless Ignition and Entry Power Outlet (12 Volts)accessory sockets Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror LED Ambien Interior Lighting Vehicle Security System
Aesthetics & Styling
Let's start with the design - the outside is sassy indeed. The overall body design is urban and contemporary; a well fitted exterior topped off with four attractive 17" or 18" alloy wheels.Coming from the self proclaimed Grill Girl, the Kazashi's front grill is aggressive - but not overdone - and offers a wide looking stanceThe interior is clean, understated, and comfortable                         The Suzuki Kizashi is a noticeable car.  I'm not sure if it's a "good" noticeable.  It does look a bit boxy, and the bulbous headlamps seem awkward.  I can't really put my finger on any fluidity with the design; it's a love- hate thing.  The variability in the lines of this car makes it difficult for permanent decisions as far as the aesthetics are concerned.
Warranty
3 year/36,000 Basic warrantyDrive train warranty is 7 years/100,000Unlimited roadside assistance, and for three (3) years Basic coverage is 3 years, 36,000 milesDrivetrain coverage 7 years, 100,000 milesRoadside Assistance, 3 years, 36,000 miles Rust Coverage 3 years unlimited
Non-tangibles / Other
                        An interesting entry for Suzuki getting into the sedan market. Word is out. Check it out and make up your own mind. It's a great value from a monetary and feature/benefit perspective. The Suzuki Kizashi is economical.  It gets reasonable gas mileage, but has poor acceleration and a harsh ride.  The instrument panel seems outdated, and the design of the car has a yet-to-be-determined feel.  With all of the difficulties that Toyota has been having, this could be the perfect opportunity for Suzuki to increase its sales in this particular segment.

Her and His Reviews

January 31, 2010
2010 Toyota Prius
 
2010 Toyota Prius
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$23,000.00 as tested price MSRP:MSRP $23,000.00
Performance
The Prius II Hybrid is quite the car. Not known for its power or get up and go, the car is about energy efficiency, quality and the long haul1.8 Liter Dual Overhead Cam 16 Valve VVTI; 4-Cylinder Engine, with 98 HorsepowerAcceleration is tricky. Press the pedal and then press again as takes some time to get the pressure worked out to get the 'right' amount of acceleration needed Responsiveness is quick and delightful in this hatchback Hybrid Synergy Drive System; 1.8 Liter Dual Overhead Cam 16 Valve VVTI; 4-Cylinder Engine, Producing 98 HorsepowerFirstly, this isn't a performance-oriented vehicle; it's designed primarily to get optimum fuel efficiency.  That being said, acceleration in the new Prius is underwhelming (98 horsepower).If you're looking for a car that will get you there fast, the Prius isn't for you.  However, if you're interested in a smooth, relaxing driving experience, it's quite nice. Most impressive is the lack of engine and road noise.  Handling is good, and actually a bit sporty.  The turning radius is tight, making 3-point turns and parallel parking a snap.
Fuel Economy
                        51 city miles; 48 highway miles; annual fuel est. $570                         City 51 MPG; Highway 48 MPG Gotta love it!
The Car
Buyers are smart and Toyota appreciates that. No one is buying the Prius II because of its sex or muscle appeal. Hand it to Toyota for taking the lead earlier this decade and being the singular OEM leader in energy efficient, marketable hybrids as an estimated 500,000 Prius' were sold in 2009 in the USA great hybrid that is sensibly styled and pricedOn road responsiveness is very good and feels almost sporty Easy to handle, park and get around Comfortable seats and easily adjustable (manual) Good organization and ditties for drinks and cups 60/40 split fold-down rear seats-flush would be best Rear pull down bench with cup holders for two rear passengers use Good trunk space with cargo net for families' necessities The Prius is very straightforward inside.  The dash is in the center of the console, instead of the left-hand side.  All of the information is displayed via an electronic multi-information center.   The display also lets the driver know what the hybrid/combustion ratio is....easily understandable.The seats are comfy, and have adequate, but not extra lumbar support.  The windows are large, which makes visibility better than average.There is a split window in the trunk-hatch for added detection of obstacles when backing up; nice job Toyota.
Safety
ABS and Brake AssistDriver and Front Passenger Airbags and side curtain airbags; along with active Headrests3-Point seatbelts and 3 headrests in backseat Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control with ABS and Brake AssistPassive Advanced Air Bag System, with Driver and Front Passenger Active Headrests3-Point Seatbelts Tire pressure Monitoring System
Technology
AM/FM CD MP3 Player with 6-Speakers for good soundAux. Jack, and Satellite Radio CompatibilityDriver Door and Smart key System Remote Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start Eco-Power Modes with Touch Tracer Display Telescoping steering wheel w/controls Upgrade to Solar Roof with embedded solar panels which assist in ventilating the cabin's air temperature Eco-Power Modes with Touch Tracer DisplayAM/FM CD MP3 Player with 6-Speakers, Aux. Jack, and Satellite Radio CompatibilityDriver Door and Smart key System Remote Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start
Aesthetics & Styling
Aerodynamic exterior and updated; not so FlinstonianDriver viewing is clear in front, sides (love the cut away window look) and out the rear windowInterior is design and color treatment is simple and clean. Not fancy, and definitely understandable The new Prius looks a bit like a space capsule.  Its aerodynamic design is visually appealing, and permeates a modern-yet-current design.The interior of the car is unfussy.  The controls are easy to reach and understand.
Warranty
                        Basic: 3 years, 36,000 miles; Drive-train: 5 years, 60,000 miles                         Basic:  3 years, 36,000 miles. Drive-train:5 years, 60,000 miles
Non-tangibles / Other
                        Assembled in Japan                         This is the third generation Toyota Prius.  The first generation Prius was close to perfect, so it's safe to say that the Toyota engineers have gotten everything as close to perfection this time around.  In my opinion, if you're looking for a Hybrid, you will not find a better car than the 2010 Toyota Prius.

2010 Lexus HS 250 Hybrid

                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
                           $44,967 as tested                   Price as Tested:  $44,967.00
Performance
                            2.4-liter, 4 wheel power with an Electric Drive Motor w/ Hybrid provides 187 horsepower to two front wheels through an Electronically Controlled Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT).When fully stopped, there is a need to floor accelerator and after a second or two delay, the HS gains power and is good to go. On the highway or up the hills of Pittsburgh, the car, once in motion, picks up speedFour wheel power assisted front & rear assisted disc brakes                             2.4 Liter, 16 Valve DOHC VVT-I producing 147 Horsepower. Electronic-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT)When you hit the accelerator not much happens.  Firstly, the electric motor engages (quietly), and then the internal combustion engine kicks in for that extra needed power, and believe me, it's needed.Acceleration in the Lexus HS 250 is mediocre unless you press the pedal to the metal. The ride is very comfy and soft.  The car isn't lively on the road, but it doesn't feel detached either. Steering is concise thanks to the electronic Power Rack-and-Pinion Steering.
Fuel Economy
                            34 mpg/City and 35mpg/Highway.Est. annual fuel cost: $1,115                         35 MPG City, 34 MPG Highway -- Impressive.
The Car
                            This car is a first for Lexus entering the hybrid market and it's a welcomed additionThe enhancing interior has neutral cream color and black and mahogany linesAdvanced navigation system included. Lots of holders for cups, but missing is a pockets on back of front seats for storage of books, and games for kids 18" Alloy wheels                             The Lexus HS 250 is nicely equipped inside.  The 10-way adjustable Semi-Analine leather seats are very snug and supportive.All of the controls in the vehicle are placed within easy reach.  It does take some time to go through the manual, as this particular test car was loaded with technology.Steering wheel mounted controls make talking on the phone, and controlling the audio system a breeze. There are plenty of cup holders in the front as well as the rear of the vehicle. Although the HS 250 is a small car, leg room is plentiful for all passengers.  The heated seats are great when it's chilly.  The AC blew cold air throughout with ease, even reaching passengers in the back of the vehicle.
Safety
                            Advanced front airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags, front/rear side airbagsVehicle theft deterrent systemSmart Access w/ push-button starter Safety Connect™ phone system with one-year subscription Backup monitor automatically engages when car is put into reverse. As always ladies, don't get lazy with this device - still turn around both ways to check for any blind spots. There is nothing lacking in this car; the design team included the standard Tool Kit, First Aid Kit and Tire Pressure monitor in the trunk. Three (3) headrests in back seat. Also three (3) TETHER systems for children's seats                             Anti-Locking Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake AssistAdvanced Airbags with Driver's and Front and Passengers Knee Air BagsFront and Side Impact Air Bags Side Curtain Airbags Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) 3-Point Seat Belts for all seating Positions with Force-Limiting Pretensioners
Technology
                            Driver information Center with Trip ComputerSafety Connect™ phone system with one-year subscriptionBackup monitor automatically engages when car is put into reverse. As always ladies, don't get lazy with this device - still turn around both ways to check for any blind spots. Advanced navigation system included Premium Audio System is truly wonderful in this vehicle... I heard instrumental sounds out of this system I have never heard before when listening to "Go Your Own Way" over the last 30 years. With a 6 disc CD changer. USB Input; mini plug auxiliary input for MP3player XM Satellite™ Radio for 90 days trial - that's too much of a tease and abit stingy on a vehicle in this price range. BlueTooth® technology include                             It's Loaded...Smart-Access Key with Push-Button Start/StopElectroluminescent Optitron Gauges Inside Auto Dimming Electrochromic rear-View Mirror with Compass Driver information Center with Trip Computer Lexus Premium Audio System with Automatic Sound Levilizer (ASL) 6-Disc In-Dash CD Changer, USB, I-Pod input Jacks XM Satellite Radio with 90 day trial subscription Bluetooth technology Heads-UP-Display *The HUD could be adjusted up and down, but not side to side.  I could only see half of it...so annoying! Rain-Sensing Wipers
Aesthetics & Styling
                            The car's interior is smart and attractive. The front looks like you are inside a Cessna Sky Catcher cockpit; really.The exterior has something to be desired. Almost too much of a stately and mature look to it.The heated seats were terrific as was the air-vent option is a delight on those summer days. All seats are mutli-positional and offer personalized, luxurious feel. Premium Audio System is truly wonderful in this vehicle... I heard instrumental sounds out of this system I have never heard before when listening to "Go Your Own Way" over the last 30 years. With a 6 disc CD changer.                         The Lexus HS 250 looks are average at best.  Although the finish on the vehicle is excellent, it still looks too much like a Toyota Corolla
Warranty
                        48 month or 50,000 miles. The power train warranty extends to 5 years and 70,000 miles                         48 Months or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first
Non-tangibles / Other
                        While a great technological addition to the Lexus line-up, the styling is the one things I was disappointed with .The grill with its 'venetian blinds' looks too much like a Ford and the body misses the mark for a hot, luxury brand.                             The Lexus HS Hybrid 250 is the first Hybrid-dedicated vehicle for the luxury car company.  It has a superior finish and an abundance of technological features.Even with these new features is it really worth the $44, 967.00 as tested price?  If you really want the Lexus badge, then it may be an option.  If you're truly looking for an A-list Hybrid machine that will save you big bucks on fuel and the car, consider the latest Toyota Prius.
  Keep watching as we add more reviews each week. To see our stories, go to the "reviews" tab above and scroll down to "2010 His and Hers Reviews".

2010 Kia Forte

                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$19,290 as tested MSRP:Price as Tested:  $19,290.00
Performance
  • A new KIA acronym: Kick 'In (some) Attitude
  • 2.0 Liter four cylinder engine,  156 horsepower
  • 6,200 rpm and 144 pound-feet of torque
  • 4 speed automatic transmission
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • A "smart" alternator that runs only when the battery needs charging
  • Handling and responsiveness are quite good.      Acceleration on straight-aways or flats was good.       However, on hills performance was not as consistent.
  • 2.0 Liter 16-Valve DOHC CVVT 4-Cylinder Engine,
  • 156 Horsepower
  • 4-Speed Automatic Transmission with Independent Front Suspension, Front Stabilizer Bar, and Torsion Beam Rear Suspension
  • Rack and Pinion Steering
  • 195/65R15 Tires
  • Front and Rear Disc Brakes
  • 0-60 times for the new Forte run in the seven second range.  Handling is predictable, but not necessarily sporty.  With a comfortable ride, the driver feels connected with the road.  The short wheel base helps make parking manageable.
Fuel Economy
                        25 mpg/City and 34 mpg/Highway                         25 MPG City, 34 MPG Highway
The Car
  • A tremendous value whether your purchasing the LX - around a $14K sticker price - or the EX, as tested
  • The car has a 104.3-inch wheelbase like the Hyundai Elantra, and its wide stance of 61.3"in the front and 61.6" in the rear make this vehicle the widest in the sedan economy class
  • The interior is as pristine as the outside. An upscale, clean dashboard with easy to read controls; love having most panel controls at my fingertips
  • Leather seating is the perfect touch to these pre-winter days but, ouch, with just an ON or OFF button, seats got quite warm quickly and would have to turn OFF
  • Seats were adjustable and comfortable. Back seat hold two adults comfortably, three in a crunch; center console and arm rests in rear. Two (2) Lower Anchors and Tethers to secure children and child seats
  • Cavernous trunk holds lots of luggage and travel gear
  • Another bothersome thing was the front doors; seemingly light, they would not 'catch' in place once open
  • Kia Motors offers several exciting and affordable options for the Forte;  Prices for the new Forte start around $14,390 and top out close to $20,530.  The Forte is available in three models: LX, EX, and SX.
  • Additional options include sport-tuned suspension, fog lights, power sunroof, and dual-body remote power mirrors with turn signal indicator.  The interior of the new Kia Forte is uncomplicated yet relaxed.
  • Easy-to-reach, well marked controls make up an attractive instrument cluster, back-lit with a red glow.  The sedan seats four comfortably, with enough leg room for two adults in the rear.  The seats provide ample support, especially the six-way adjustable driver seat with optional heated seats on the SX model.
  • Plentiful trunk space measures 12.6 cubic feet.
Safety
                        Dual seat mounted air bags, full length side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, stability control.
  • The Kia Forte is equipped with side-impact airbags for the front passengers, side curtain airbags, four wheel anti-lock disc brakes, active head restraints, and an electronic stability system.
  • Included are traction control, electronic brake-force distribution and a tire pressure monitoring system-all come standard.
Technology
                        Hands-free Bluetooth® bonus included in all models, and the EX upgrades to Sirius Satellite Radio® and CD stereo with six (6) speakers. USB jacks, auxiliary and steering wheel controls are included in EX.                         One exceptional value for the new Forte is the I-Pod/USB connection, Satellite Radio, and Blue Tooth connection... all standard on every new Forte! This will surely attract hordes of young drivers.  As an added convenience, the ES and SX have steering wheel mounted controls for Bluetooth and Stereo.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        This updated sedan is head over heels above its predecessor, the Spectra. The clean lines and attractive exterior design may be somewhat Honda-esque, but either way, the Forte is a top contender. Sunroof included.                         The Kia Forte is an attractive vehicle.  Its slanted roof line and fluid design make it an attractive option for buyers who are considering other sub-compact vehicles.
Warranty
  • 10 Years/100,000 Limited Power train Warranty
  • 5-Years, 60,000 Miles Warranty
  • 24-Hour Roadside Assistance(ask your local dealer for details)
  • 10 Year, 100,000 Mile Warranty Limited Powertrain Warranty
  • 5-Years, 60,000 Miles Warranty
  • 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
*Ask your local dealer for Warranty Details
Non-tangibles / Other
                        Tremendous value for its class. For a brand that has been gaining recognition and market penetration, the Forte is securing KIA its strongest year yet. Assembly, Korea.                         The Kia Forte competes with the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, and Honda Civic.   With its list of standard and optional features, it should appeal to a range of ages.  With the increased reliability marks and visionary design, Kia will continue to grow-possibly outperforming the competition in the future.
April 15, 2010
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
                           As Tested:  $33,210.                   As Tested:  $33,210.
Performance
2.5 Liter In Line 4155 Horsepower, 136 Pound Feet Torque4-Wheel disc brakes with ABS and regenerative brakingCVT TransmissionTraction Control 2.5 Liter In Line 4155 Horsepower, 136 Pound Feet TorqueCVT TransmissionDon't hold onto your hat, acceleration is modest, but that's understandable; this is a hybrid after all.  Ford claims this vehicle can operate at up to 47 MPH on the electric motor alone.If you need the extra power in a hurry, floor it- you can easily get up to speed when you need to.  When traveling at low speeds, or stopped at a light, the engine is silent. Handling is quite good.  The wheels hug the road, and steering is responsive.  No "disconnect" feeling here, the big wheels keep the Fusion firmly planted on the pavement. 4-Wheel disc brakes with ABS and regenerative braking assure stopping power at low and high speeds.
Fuel Economy
41 City miles and  36 Highway miles47 MPG exclusively on electric motor                         41 MPG City    36 MPG Highway700 Mile city driving range -- Wow.
The Car
The Fusion Hybrid is a great vehicle; a nice upgrade and love the affordable, full sized family car hybridAs with all hybrids, there is still a delay when drivers engages accelerator; at a light or starting out in the morning. On the hills, it's more noticeable.Really comfortable leather seats with lumbar supportEasy push button starter.Good organization and plenty of places for the families 'necessities'; cup holders abound.No fuss cap less gas-filler Dual zone, personalized  climate control leaves everyone happy in the car                         The Fusion Hybrid is a nice car to drive.  It's easy to navigate, and the controls are large, simple to read.The seats in our test car were "eco-friendly" (whatever that means) and comfortable.  Seat adjusters were within reach, and simple to operate.  The AC blows plenty of cold air.  The heat works very well also.There are plenty of cup holders for those longer trips.Rear seating room is adequate, but if you're taller than 5'10" you may want to be in the front seat.The exterior of the car is handsome, with nice lines and a shiny.
Safety
Back up camera and monitor engages automatically when car is in reverse.Advanced ESCLatch Child Safety SystemTire Pressure Monitoring SystemTraction ControlSide Air bags Curtain Air bags SOS Post Crash Alert System                         Advanced ESCLatch Child Safety SystemPerimeter Alarm- this comes in handy when trying to back up, or park the vehicle.Securilock  Pass Anti Theft SystemTire Pressure Monitoring SystemTraction Control Side Air bags Curtain Air bags SOS Post Crash Alert System
Technology
Sync phone and ipod connections are great for parents and all family members, especially when on longer tripsNavigation System with Voice Recognition was a plus. Another smart way to maintain both hands on the wheel.Really great Cross-traffic system alerts driver when cars are approaching from either direction.Moon and Tune Value PackageA kick it out Sony Sound System with Voice Recognition with 12 speakers. Crystal clear listening to all including all my favorite Satellite XM stations.Heated leather seats throughout car; good neutral color. Love the 'heat in winter' and 'cool in summer' option for front seat drivers. Power moon roof Bluetooth Our car was loaded with *optional goodies that included:Navigation System with Voice RecognitionCross Traffic Alert SystemMoon and Tune Value PackageSony Audio System with Voice Recognition and 12 speakersPower Moonroof Heated Leather Seats
Aesthetics & Styling
The Ford Fusion Hybrid has clean exterior lines and design and the 17" alloy wheels add to lookThe headlights in front, and contoured design and look from front to back, all work well.While the grill has a forward look, I still would like to see a slightly more aggressive grill than the 'venetian blind' appearance.The car is filled with such wonderful functional amenities on the inside, but where are the acumens and design language inside to mirror the exterior? For example, the position of the instrument panel below the Navigation screen didn't work for me. The icons for the heat and the air conditioner were so small I needed my readers to use.The leather seating and styling was great but the two tone combination of plastic of the dash simply left an unfinished look.What's with the ginormous button on the storage container on the dashboard? The good news? I don't need my readers for that.                         The Ford Fusion Hybrid is an attractive car on the outside.  Aggressive exterior styling will appeal to young and older buyers.The LCD screen on the dash shows small green leaves with bars that elevate when you're in eco mode, and getting the most out of the electric engine.Besides that, prepare to have your senses catastrophically assaulted!  How can a company put together such an advanced Hybrid, and totally forget about refinements when it comes to the interior?  Get ready for the same plastic components that were used in the old Fords.  The textured plastic on the dash, the plastic-chrome finish on the shifter, and an obtrusive storage box on top of the dash are just a few of the design mistakes.
Warranty
3 year/36,000 miles bumper to bumper5 year/60,000 powertrain                         3 year/36,000 miles bumper to bumper5 year/60,000 powertrain
Non-tangibles / Other
The Ford Fusion Hybrid gets exceptional gas mileage; some of the best I've ever seen.  If you can get past the somewhat lacking interior styling, you'll definitely be spending less time at the gas pump.

Her and His Reviews

June 2010
2010 Ford Taurus SHO
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP: $45,175 as Tested MSRP: $45,175 as Tested
Performance
The Ford Taurus 'SHO'does appeal at a whole new level. With 365 horsepower and a 3.5 liter V6 Ecoboost, this six speed vehicle has the performance of a muscle car with the styling and design of a mid-luxury sports model. Who really needs the paddle shifters (with limited finger room to engage), as this car has acceleration plus. This is one powerful, fast car!  Powered by a 3.5 Liter Ecoboost Engine, Twin Turbo V-6 with a 6-speed Transmission, 365 Horsepower 6250 RPM and 249 ft lbs. of torque @ 4500 RPM.It sure was fun testing the limits of this car. On several occasions I tried to peel the tires a bit, but the ESC prevented me from acting irresponsible. Be prepared for launch control! The handling on the Ford Taurus SHO is soft, but sturdy. This car can't really decide if it wants to be a comfortable cruiser, or potent sports-car.Cornering is controlled, but feels soft in some situations.Sport tuned suspension is firm and comfortable for passengers in front, and back.4-Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS ensure controlled stops
Fuel Economy
17 MPG City, 25 MPG Highway 17 MPG City, 25 MPG Highway
The Car
Transformation occurred between the old Taurus and the new one in a very short amount of time. What used to be a fairly vanilla and reliable family sedan now looks nothing like its predecessor. This jacked up car is of a serious nature; it's about getting there as quickly as humanly and legally possible, and in style and comfort.A Taurus for $45K--- who knew? This vehicle drives as fast as the BMW 5 series and with a totally hot and bold interior pallate, it has a men's slant to it. Not like the Taurus days of old that appealed to both genders as well as company cars and rentals.The 10-way power 2-tone leather seats are comfortable.  The handsome interior has camel nubuck suede combined and stitched to contrasting midnight smooth leather. The seats are beyond comfortable and on my early to rise rides I loved to pump the heat into them... ah! The rear seats heat, also.Instrument panels and the soft LED lights made for an inescapable love of this vehicle. The 20" aluminum wheels made it a SHO-stopper. Four people in four days asked me about the car and if they could look inside. Ford took a big risk with the new Taurus SHO.  Falling sales, and outdated design almost erased the Taurus from existence forever.  The new design is modern and stylish, with amenities for old as well as young drivers.The 10-way power 2-tone leather seats are comfortable, and a key element in the new design of the SHO.  The stitched leather parallels that of much pricier, European models.  The dash is elegant and easy to read.  Buttons for the stereo, AC, heat and AC are easy to operate.The stereo was phenomenal, with crisp highs, and deep bass.  The voice activated Navigation system only takes a few minutes to understand and operate.Why is the back window so small?  It's virtually impossible to navigate when backing up- luckily, the Ford Taurus comes with optional back-up assist.
Safety
Power heated mirrors with blinking security approach lamps notify drivers of approaching or passing traffic.Back up assist with camera and screen to view otherwise invisible obstacles directly behind car-we caution you to use common sense and look in all directions before backing up; do not solely rely on this device.SOS Post-crash alert system, with front seat side airbags.Tire pressure monitoring system is included, along with a perimeter alarm. The 4 wheel ABS keeps braking and stability in check. SOS Post-crash Alert System4-Wheel ABSFront Seat Side Airbags2-Rows of Safety CanopiesTire Pressure Monitoring SystemPerimeter Alarm
Technology
Amenities galore are in this model, like the easy to use voice activated NAV system, and the Sony 12 speaker sound system. Bluetooth and Sirius? satellite radio are simply layers onto an already fun car. Push-button start and keyless entry are included. Blind Spot Monitoring system with alarm and rear window power shade. Rear view camera assist driver. Standard and optional equipment include:Push-Button StartSony Premium Sound System with Sirius SatelliteSync Voice Activated Navigation and Stereo SystemBlind Spot Monitoring System with AlarmRear Window Power Shade Rear View Camera Electronically Adjustable Pedals
Aesthetics & Styling
Let's start with the very beginning of the exterior and the grill is hot. Not like the venetian blind look that Ford designers have such an attraction to and I have such an aversion against. This look is not so tidy and symmetrical; it's aggressive while not being overdone. The headlights are forceful and contoured, strangely looking abit like the Philadelphia Eagles emblem. The lines of the car are smart and strong; the exterior is a 100% match for what in on the inside and for the capability of the engine. No secrets here. The body is painted with a black metallic fleck-very attractive and eye-catching.Terrific design language on the inside that has simple things like organization line up to the overall design.One feature that is troublesome is the size of the rear view window. Its depth is very narrow and does not allow for optimum visibility in the least, especially with two passengers in back seat. The completely redesigned 2010 Ford Tauraus is stylish and current. Gone are the roundish head lamps, fenders, roof line, and bizarre tail lights.  The new lines are angular with distinctive headlamps and fenders.The HID projector beams, coupled with powerful fog lights add to the unique appeal. The interior is equally attractive with soft yet angled interior accents.  Aluminum interior pedals add to the sportiness of  the SHO
Warranty
Bumper to Bumper: 3 years, 36,000 milesPower train:  5 years, 60,000 miles Bumper to Bumper: 3 years, 36,000 milesPowertrain:  5 years, 60,000 miles
Non-tangibles / Other
A stickler for consistency in branding and messaging, may I suggest it might be time to update the blue Ford script iconic logo that is not so dissimilar to its 1927 predecessor? We entered the 21st century 10 years ago Kudos to Ford for bringing back to life a car that surely was destined for the graveyard.  The new styling, up to date electronics and super-powered engine will surely attract Ford loyalists.One major point of contention - limited rear visibility.  The small window impedes the driver's ability to back up safely.Still in its design infancy, it's too early to tell if the new Ford Taurus SHO will be a success.  With all the bells and whistles, the SHO tops out at close to 50k; expensive for a domestic sedan.  Will it sell?  Stay tuned.

Her and His Reviews

June 2010
2010 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP: $52,303 as Tested MSRP: $52,303 as Tested
Performance
Lexus Luxury abound; there is nothing like it. Truly a sleek, responsive vehicle. Acceleration and braking are both smooth and deliberate.With a 3.5 liter, 24 valve, the V6 powerhouse engine with three electric motors and a battery system bring 295 HP to this vehicle. CVT transmission. At slower speeds, car moves on electric power.  All Wheel Drive is perfect for all weather climates and assured maximum control. Front and Rear Disc brakes. The Lexus 450h Hybrid is smooth and quiet.  Be careful, when you sit in the driver's seat, engage the ignition and wait, nothing happens.  The car is on - it's just perfectly quiet...   don't press the start button again and again like I did; the electric motor is on.There's no explosion of acceleration here; it's more of a smooth transition when you apply the gas.  You can feel the electric motor propel the car- it's a thing of beauty.  When the combustion engine kicks in, it's quiet as well, thanks to the excellent insulation that the Lexus engineers installed.Steering is agile and responsive.  This is an SUV, but takes the corners like a sedan.  The ride is all luxury- perfect for long trips, and has plenty of room for luggage, and four adults.With the on-demand 4 Wheel drive, 295 horsepower and a powerful 3.5 Liter, 24 valve V6 engine, this vehicle puts the driver in complete control. Also equipped with 4 wheel power assisted front and rear disc brakes.
Fuel Economy
This hybrid gets 30 city miles and 28 highway 30 MPG City, 28 MPG Highway
The Car
A short or longer ride in the 450h makes no matter - comfort is maximizes, and no matter in the front or back seat. Luxurious leather seating works for all. Driver and passenger seats get the dual temperature control - for cool days of winter or the warmth of the summer's rays.  10 way control for personalized seat preference and fit. Frankly, like my living room on wheels, I wanted for little.Little touches too- like at night when the exterior lights go on when you engage the remote key. I felt safe approaching the vehicle even after a soirée in the city.After shopping at my local grocery store, the auto latch & opening of the rear door made the packing much easier while saving a few inklings of time.Reclining/sliding 40/20/40 split rear seatSliding front console helps shorter drivers like me not have to turn around quite so awkwardly to get to my tea in the morning. Simply an ez-grab.One touch easy glide moonroof Roof rails for additional luggage and towing The Lexus 450H is extravagant, but practical.  The sumptuousness of the 10-way adjustable leather seats makes one think they're sitting in a comfortable recliner, not a vehicle.  There are plenty of cup holders, and storage bins.  Leg room is plenty for the rear passengers, and there are powerful vents to deliver AC or heat as well.The main instrumentation panel is easy to read, and glows an ambient cool blue in the evening.  There a new "mouse-like" controller that operates all important functions on the large nav. screen- completely new for 2010, and ingenious.  If you're used to using a computer, this will be a snap to master.
Safety
Air bags galore - Dual Advanced Front Airbags with Driver/Passenger Air Bags, Knee Airbags, Front & Rear Side Curtain Airbags and Front/Rear Seat mounted Airbags.Rear camera back up monitor engages when vehicle is put in reverse - still look around you, this technology does not preclude effort and intentionLove the 4 wheel Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), Vehicle Stability Control and Brake Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring System.Front active headrests; adjustable headrests for all seats.Tool and Emergency Kit included and stored in trunk.Daytime Running Lamps/On-Off Auto Headlamps. The Vehicle Theft deterrent allows for 'no sharing'. And, so appreciate that blind spot alert on side mirrors so I know when car is approaching. Dual Advanced Front Air Bags, and Driver's and Passenger's Knee Air BagsFront and Rear Seat-Mounted Side Air Bags3-Point Seat Belts for all Seating PositionsEnergy Managing Crumple Zones, Side Door Beams4-Wheel ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Technology
Kick out the sound with the 9 speaker audio system with sound levelizer, in glass antenna and Bluetooth® - every sound rocks it out in this car. MP3 plug in and iPod interfaceSmart Access Passive Entry System; push button start.Center console is a home office on wheels. Use the pointer to operate the audio, navigational, telephone and climate functions.Voice command easy to operate navigation system is a great tool. XM Satellite Radio for all your music, sports, traffic and talk show programming. Lexus 9-Speaker Premium Audio SystemAutomatic Sound Levelizer and In-Dash 6-CDIn-Glass Antenna with FM Diversity SystemBluetooth TechnologyXM Satellite RadioLexus Home Link Universal Transceiver Smart Access Entry System LCD Multifunctional Display with Lexus Personalized Settings/Trip Computer/Outside Temperature Control Be-Xenon Headlamps Back-up Monitor MP3 and USB interface for I-pod Electrochromatic Power Outside Heated Mirrors
Aesthetics & Styling
The interior aesthetics with stained wood and black, along with the dashboard and instrument layout, make this a plush, tasteful interior.Unlike other SUV's, the rear window is positioned underneath the top, so the back window gets a perfect swipe each time; not a partial one.Evening ambient cobalt blue lighting really works and is easy on the eyes on evening drives.The exterior is shaped well, with nice flowing design elements from the back to the front, headlights included, of carSolid 19" oversized alloy wheels add for a sturdy ride The styling changes of the new RX 450h are subtle.  The headlamps are a bit rounder, as are the brake lights.  The rear wiper blade is now hidden beneath the sun-shade.  Fit and finish on the Lexus are excellent.  The interior changes are more drastic.  The center console has a rectangular design to enhance ease of use, and functionality.   The shifter is lower, and easier to operate than the previous model.  Visibility is improved as well.
Warranty
48 months/50, 000 miles 4 Year, 50,000 miles basic warranty5 Years, 70,000 power train warranty
Non-tangibles / Other
A phenom car and ride. The question remains, how many will trade up to the hybrid, more expensive model considering the RX 350 gets 22 mpg? Lexus continues to improve upon their vehicles, especially their well-received RX series.  This SUV continues to be a consumer favorite because of its functionality, reliability, and high re-sale value.
October 30, 2009
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
 
2010 Subarau Outback
There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Jason Oliver, Global Lifestyle Editor, Delta Sky magazine
Anne Jason
Price
MSRP:$30, 995 Hands down, the best value in it's class. MSRP:Base $30,995 I like this price. It reminds me of Goldilocks when she gets into bed #3 and it feels just right. Not too high and not too low. This price says comfortable chic, like the perfect roast chicken without the mark-up for an overblown location and a waiter in a tux. A sublime roast chicken paired with a glass of a cool Sauvignon Blanc (and I am probably not supposed to talk about driving and drinking, but you know what I mean, right?)
Performance
A 3.6 liter engine carries 256 horsepower @ 6,000 RPM. The BOXER engine built with Symmetrical AWD for maximum performance. Lineartronic CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission).  paddle shifters saves gas by monitoring rev-range.
Fuel Economy
                  18 miles in city; 25 in city. A real opportunity for Subaru - whose corporate mantra and partnerships ooze a clean, green and healthy world - to get a hybrid to market. 18 miles in the city! I love it. That will take me from my home in Brooklyn, New York to lunch on Madison Avenue and then to the Flower District and down to the Meatpacking nabe to stock up on groovy sunglasses and jeans and home without hitting a pump. I might also stop in at Sephora en route for a spritz of fragrance and at J. Crew for flannel pants, too!And 25 miles in the country-that's so Green Acres glam! I can jaunt from my pied-a-terre in the Catskills across the Hudson River with nary a visit to the gas station whilst popping in at the greenmarket and the local dairy for Painted Goat Farm cheese to pair with a simple arugula and pear salad. Maybe I will stop for an apple cider, too. Divine!
The Car
                 The Subaru mystic continues with the 2010 edition:  A powerhouse vehicle built for outdoor ruggedness or urban haulingEver so responsive steering performance, even when off-road driving at 11,000 feet elevationConfident acceleration and assured ABS brakingGenerous interior, as car interior is wider than LY; driver and front passenger seating room expanded. Rear passengers enjoy 4" more leg room. Rear seats rear now recline making napping a cinch on longer tripsLATCH system, lower anchors/tethers for three (3)children; also three individual head rests in back seatSpacious cargo capacity, 8 cup holders, door handle pockets60/40 split folding rear seats make packing and transporting easier yetThe cabin and instrument panel is attractive, designed well and easy to read. Had a slight human induced error with the NAV system getting started Dual zone temperature flow and heated cloth or leather seats allows for personalized climate control Lumbar support and multi- positioned seats for ultimate comfort Tows up to 3,000 pounds     I felt very stylish in my Outback-sort of like a get-up from L.L. Bean (you know, good salt-of-the-earth classic!) paired with a sweater from Agnes b. or a messenger bag with great details or the right stationery bordered in emerald green. Rugged, but chic, too. Driving up and down the mountain in Wyoming, I had no worries that I might spill off the 11,000-foot ledge immediately next to the car. Instead I cranked up the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs on the amazing sound system and focused on whether to bestow Fortnum & Mason hampers upon my co-workers and whether I had a torn cuticle instead of the vertiginous drop just beside. "That's Not My Name," I chirped, cliffhanger be damned!The Outback's trunk could easily hold my stash of acid-hued Globe-Trotter luggage and maybe even a hamper full of delicious nibbles and champagne and perhaps my dog, Jasper, and certainly a few tennis rackets. I actually got out of the car and measured for all of the above, so I know of what I speak. And, besides, what more could you possibly ever need to carry in your boot?I love a good animal skin, and the Outback's leather seats added a posh note to the interior styling. Comfortable, too, with a capital "C!" And while not quite Hermes caliber, the seats were certainly on par with a Coach or Cole Haan.Apparently, the Outback can tow 3,000 pounds, but I have no plans to attach a tractor or boat to the back bumper anytime soon. Still, if I ever grow an award-winning pumpkin or perhaps a giant gourd in my garden, I will have no qualms pulling it along behind the car and not fretting en route to the fair.
Safety
Awarded the NHTSA 5 Star for Safety, Front-Side & Side Curtain Air Bags, ABS, Ring shaped Reinforcement Frame provides maximum resistance to impact, VDC electronic stability detects a loss of control. NHTSA 5 Star for Safety, what more can I say? I have no idea what the "NHTSA" is, but they sound like they know what they are talking about. "New Hampshire Traffic Safety Association?" "New Haven Transportation Star Awards?" Who knows. If they had only awarded 4 Stars to the Outback, I might not be so effusive in my effusiveness. Nice work, NHTSA: I felt snug as a bug in a rug-and that's no joke.
Technology
Bluetooth®, a voice activated NAV system - need my readers to respond to visual queues. 440 watt powerful nine (9) speaker sound system ensures no one misses a beat. Aesthetics & Styling                   Why not take the exterior design to a more sleek, contoured look, like the Audi wagon?  The sterile blueprint has a safe, universal appeal, but there remains an opportunity to get out of the bubble look and create a more stylized and fresh design for this leader.An improved transition between headlights and side offer a more open stance. The car has additional clearance height. Clean lines on the interior complimented with a black, chrome and tortoise trimmed panel. An outstanding combination of attractive and comfort - this model is competing toe-to-toe with features found in the luxury sector at luxury pricing, like Volvo.                                                       H-O-T. I am smitten with the Outback's smoking good looks, and I don't like most outdoorsy-type anything unless it's a hot tub in the Hollywood Hills or a catered dinner on the lanai. And forget the misconception that the Outback is a granola-mobile! Frankly, the Outback is everything I want in a car: The lines are spare and chic and whisper style (and they certainly don't whisper the lyrics to "Galileo"). Frankly, I could care less about kayaking and canoeing, and I have no interest in living part-time with the pygmies in Africa or not flushing the toilet, and I still loved the Outback. I can easily see myself arriving at Fashion Week or the opening of a SoHo boutique in the Outback and looking damned good. Warranty 3 years/36,000 & 5 years/60,000 Power train Three years. And that's better than many relationships I've had over the years. Non-tangibles / Other It's a no wonder this company continues to have double digit increases in this extraordinary year. Their entire line-up offers tremendous value and relentless reliability. The average buyer has her vehicle 7 years, and the est. life of a Subaru is 10 years. This is one of those sections that I never answer because I don't know what they are looking for. So I will say "E. All of the above" and hope that's what Anne wants here. Sounds like something you'd see on an IRS form to trick you up and then you end up owing money with interest.
2010 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Her and His Reviews

October 14, 2009
2009 Chrysler 300 Touring
There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$33,925 as tested MSRP:$33,925.00
Performance
A 3.5 liter engine carries 250 horsepower - powerful enough on level roads, but a tad slow to respond to accelerating. Auto 5 speed transmission allows for a more powerful drive                   3.5 liter high output overhead cam 24 valve V-6 engine generating 250 horsepower at 6400 RPM with 250 feet torque at 3800 RPM.  5-Speed Automatic Transmission with Auto-Stick that provides clutch-less shifting.
Fuel Economy
17 miles in city; 23 in city. When will the hybrid of more ecomical performing model be introduced? 17 city/23 highway
The Car
The Chrysler 300 Touring is a swanky looking car. As a through-n-through 'grill girl' this car has a fantastic aggressive front and a sophisticated, sizeable designInterior is roomy for the family or an evening out for twoEasy, adjustable seating and leather, heated seats provide for a comfortable ride. Dual zone temperature control in front.Steering was loose; responsiveness slowTrim, design and color palate inside are sharp and aesthetically pleasing. Position of instrument and LED color combinations and brightness all easy to read.Extensive trunk capacity is roomy enough for a family's pullmans, duffels and coolers for a day or longer road trip.With weight of car over 3,700 pounds, would like to drive on a slick or snowy East Coast day. Road tested in October, 09.Multiple child seat upper tether anchorages in back seat; rear seats provide a 60/40 split MP3 and IPod interface available Since the introduction of the 300 in 2005, Chrysler has enjoyed many positive accolades from car enthusiasts, as well as every-day drivers.  With its Bentley-esque front end, large door panels with undersized side windows and sleek back end, the 300 is a design phenomenon.   The large sedan is visually appealing, and mimics a much pricier European luxury sedan.The car drives well, but seems underpowered and has underwhelming acceleration.  Steering is ordinary, and often feels a bit too soft.  Average braking and handling can seem less than secure at times.The cabin is comfortable and the instrument panel is easy to read and navigate.  Large leather seats provide plenty of comfort for long trips.  Power adjustable pedals provide a tailored driving experience for the driver.Design-wise, the most bothersome is the substandard plastic and chrome center console.  It almost looks like Chrysler outsourced this particular portion of the car to the same companies that mass produce artificial, synthetic toy parts.
Safety
Advanced Multistage Front Air Bags & Side Curtain Air Bags, Power Trunk-lid Release, ABS, and Electronic Stability Control. Received a 2009 rating of 5 Stars from the NHSTA for front impact crash test. Sentry key theft deterrent. Advanced Multistage Front Air Bags, Power Trunk-lid Release, Supplemental Side Curtain Air Bags, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Stability Control
Technology
Keyless entry and remote starter is standard. SIRIUS satellite is available for one year free. The sound and speakers are average - an opportunity for Chrysler to upgrade. NAV system with GPS.                                 The Chrysler 300 doesn't have all of the electronic goodies that many other comparable vehicles do.  While not a technological marvel, it comes standard with an electroluminescent instrument cluster, and one-year Sirius satellite radio.  The four-speaker sound system is average at best.  Remote keyless entry is standard.
Aesthetics & Styling
Can you say 'hot'? This car, with its impeccable forward design, has worked well for Chrysler, expanding the 300's consumer profile. With great curb appeal, the car gets looks from a wide array of on-lookers. The Chrysler 300 is a visual stunner.   With silky and lustrous lines, it's no wonder why this vehicle has been such a successful model for the American car company.  Large 18-inch wheels add to the allure.  Aftermarket chrome grills can boost aesthetics and let the owner personalize the car for their particular taste.
Warranty
36,000/ 3 years 36,000 miles, 36 months.
Non-tangibles / Other
There remains an opportunity for Chrysler to add refined safety, responsiveness, and technology features to create more value for consumers in this heavy traffic price segment.  Assembled in Ontario, Canada The Chrysler 300 is a beautiful car, but lacks the refinement and performance of a true European sedan.  The lofty price doesn't match the car's average performance and lackluster interior.  If you're looking for sportiness and value, go for a used Mercedes Bens E-Class or BMW 5-Series.
There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Chuck Kerber, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 2010 Mazda3
Anne Chuck
Price
MSRP:$25,560 as tested MSRP:$25,560 as tested
Performance
                      2.5L 4 cylinder engine with 167 horsepower and 6,200 RPM. 5 Speed automatic 5 door. Front wheel drive, this little powerhouse gets around nicely up and down continuous hills on urban and highways roads.                         2.5 Liter DOHC 16 Valve WT 14 Engine Producing 167 Horsepower @ 6000 RPM5-Speed Sport Automatic TransmissionDynamic Stability ControlTraction Control SystemFront Wheel DriveThe Mazda 3 is a sheer joy to drive. Upon taking your first corner you'll realize that this "fun" car is also remarkably sophisticated and capable. Don't be fooled by the pretty red lights inside- this is a vehicle likes to be driven.The handling is spot-on; variable assist power steering adds just the right amount of support to the driver without computer-overcompensation.When you hit the gas be prepared.  Although the engine is small, (4-cylinder) it still provides ample power.  Merging into highway traffic is easy, and acceleration through turns is a breeze thanks to a competent engine coupled with independent front/rear suspension and stabilizer bars.
Fuel Economy
                        22 city/ 29 highway                         22 MPG City, 29 MPG Highway
The Car
                        The MAZDA 3 is a blast to drive - with its performance, get up and go and overall responsiveness. Oh, and a blast to park. Zoom Zoom.Technically inspired, attractive panel with midnight & chrome combination allowing the easy-to-read LED instrument panels to pop.Handy steering controls for hands-on driving8 way adjustable leather trimmed comfortable seats. These heated front seats and sunroof allow for flexibility - warming up or letting the elements in. Dual-zone climate control maximizes peaceRemote Keyless entry system with push button starter.Back seat - only one had integrated mag holder- why not on the rear drivers sideBack seat 3 person "compact comfy" seating. Center pull down arm rest with integrated cup holdersMultiple cup holder and storage bins Leather wrapped tilt and telescoping steering  wheel ensures personalized driving experience                         The looks of the new Mazda-3 are innovative yet supple.  Although the styling is far from traditional, its aggressive lines and swooping rear angles aren't too forceful.The 17-inch alloy wheels and automatic auto-leveling Bi-Xenon headlights give the Mazda an exceedingly sporty appearance.  The clear lens LED taillights provide drivers behind you with a clear warning when you have to stop suddenly-hopefully a design advance that all carmakers will adopt soon.  Sporty bumpers and a bright-tipped exhaust tip add to the overall allure.The interior of the car is almost ergonomically perfect-everything fits and is easy to access, as well as operate.The leather seats are heated, and soft enough for long road trips.  All of the controls are within reach and well labeled.The telescoping steering wheel is adaptable, and also adjusts vertically.  Heated power mirrors with signal repeater lights provide a clear view of what's beside you, as well as adding an additional safety component.   Rain-sensing wipers are helpful when you're busy multi-tasking in your car.All of the instrumentation is electroluminescent-red; very soothing. Additional radio/blue-tooth controls are situated on the steering column for convenience.The heating and cooling systems in the car work well with plenty of blowing power to reach the occupants in the rear.
Safety
                        AWB system. Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control System. Front air bags & front side air bags and side curtains.LATCH child seat safety anchors and tethers; child safety rear lock doors.Collapsible steering column                         Advanced Dual Front Air BagsSide-Impact Air Bags and Curtain bag SystemTire Pressure Monitoring and Warning SystemLatch Child Safety Seat Anchors"Crashable" Brake Pedal and Collapsible Steering Column4-Wheel Disc Brakes with Anti-Lock Braking System
Technology
                        SIRIUS music ensures finding your sound. CD. Bluetooth® hands free phone. Robust, crisp BOSE surround sound with 10 speakers. 6-disc CD.  Two 12 volt power outlets. MP3 compatible charger. GPS with steering wheel adjustable controls.                         Standard and optional equipment include:Full-color Navigation SystemAdvanced Keyless System with Push-Button Star242 Watt Bose System with 10 Speaker Surround SoundSirius Satellite Radio with free 6-Month SubscriptionPerimeter AlarmIn-Dash 5-Disc CD Changer with I-Pod and MP-3 InterfaceBlue-Tooth Hands-Free Phone and Audio
Aesthetics & Styling
Fluid exterior lines on this attractive compact. Honeycomb black grill enhances sport, aggressive sporty. Is that one major smiley face staring at me as I look at the car?Contoured extended headlights promote seamless design                         The 2010 Mazda-3 is a fun car to look at.  What does that mean you might ask?  Well, it's unlike most cars on the road.  The styling is courageous and original.   It's not overly assertive stylistically, but has just enough flair and style to get you noticed...just not all the time.
Warranty
                        3 year/36,000 and 5 year/ 60,000 Power train                         36-Month, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper60 Month, 60,000 mile Powertrain Warranty24-Hour Roadside Assistance Program
Non-tangibles / Other
                        Assembled in Japan                         This is a fantastic car.  I can't think of a better way to relieve the malaise of every day driving other than buying a sporty, fun Mazda-3.

2011 Kia Sportage EX AWD

2011 Kia Sportage
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
Anne Don
Price
MSRP:$18,295 to $29, 990 (as tested) MSRP:$18,295 to $29, 990 (as tested)
Performance
                      175 horsepower, 2.4 Liter cylinder engine, 168 pounds feet of torque. Option between the front and all wheel drive.                         175 horsepower, 2.4 liter,  168 pounds feet of torque, dual overhead cam engine
Fuel Economy
                        21 city, 28 highway, est. annual gas consumption of $1,957.                         21 city, 28 highway
The Car
One of my dearest friends had the Sportage, circa 1997 box version, and wow has this vehicle seen a transformation over the past 15 plus years. It has a very euro, contemporary styling and interior, sporting all the amenities needed in this competitive class, with a sticker price sure to save the average woman/family thousands.Good handling, turning, and improved performance make this a best buy.Keyless entry, 18" alloy wheels and comfort abound in this Sportage. Telescoping steering wheel with driver side adjustable seat make for a personalized fit that is most needed and appreciated by women - the key buyers of this vehicle. The Sportage is coming into a highly competitive market, and with just about all the other entries being pretty much equal in quality and fit and finish, it will be styling and content that will make the difference, and on that score, the Sportage is in terrific shape.
Safety
Dual front airbags, front seat mounted airbags, full length curtain airbags, ABS, Traction Control Brakes and ESC, Rollover Protection, Downhill Brake assist and Hill start assist - all really great as the first snowfall of the northeast has come and gone.Tire Pressure Monitoring system to alert when air is needed, Lower Anchors and Tethers for children, Front active headrests, Side door active beams. Driver, head/curtain, passenger, side airbags, stability control and traction control, hill climb and hill descent controls, child door locks.
Technology
Heated seats and heated side mirrors. Parking assist, remote keyless entry, SIRIUS for some tune jamming, Bluetooth and standard USB port, panoramic moon roof, dual zone front temperature controls for personalized comfort, navigation system with voice activation - great for 'both-hands-on-the-wheel' driving! First row LCD screen on LX and EX, heated side mirrors on those two models. Parking assist, remote keyless entry, standard USB port and Bluetooth, panoramic moon roof available, dual zone front automatic air conditioning on all but base model, navigation system with voice activation available,  etc.
Aesthetics & Styling
A step up in modeling and aesthetics.Nice design on the interior, though there is a lot of plastic with some hints of polished chrome. But spacious head and leg room, comfortable leather seating (with heat/cooling option on driver's seat).Rear seats have a 60/40 split. Decent cargo room for comings and goings, cargo cover, and compartments underneath for easy organization. Plenty of places for cup holders and quick storage of mobile accessories.Rear spoiler and roof rails. To my eyes, this is the best looking small SUV on the market.  It has a decidedly masculine, rugged, sport look that I think will wear well over the years. It's very chiseled, very dynamic, and looks as though it's moving when it's standing still. I absolutely loved the looks. The interior is equally nice but has a bit too much hard plastic at touch points.
Warranty
Five (5) year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, Ten (10) year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Includes 3 months subscription on 24-Hour Roadside Assistance. Five year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, ten year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty
Non-tangibles / Other
With shares tripling in value in 2009 due to persistent value-added, improved quality and styling entries, KIA continues to steal pockets of market share in this sensitive economic climate. Yet, the company is not without its challenges. While Toyota can afford to (can they?) recall over 10 million cars, KIA's CEO was asked to resign after the company recalled over 104,000 vehicles in September of this year. Kia's on a roll these days, and the Sportage is a prime example why.  It's pretty roomy, although cargo space is a bit limited, it's very well built, and has equipment that you can't get on any of the competition. The Sportage comes in front wheel and all wheel drive, and represents a pretty decent value. The only concerns I've heard mentioned is a ride that an be rough at times, reduced visibility because of the side windows, and doors that can be heavy and bulky.

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