Going to the Arizona International Auto Show with my friends has become an annual tradition. This show travels to over a dozen major US cities and always comes to Phoenix for Thanksgiving weekend.
Last year we did something a little bit different. Instead of walking the floor and looking at all of the new models, we stayed outside and went on a bunch of test drives instead. That was so much fun that we did the same thing again!
This year, I drove 7 different vehicles in one day. I tried to pick some cars that were different from my usual go-fast machines. Here are my impressions of the cars I drove this year:
2014 Kia Sorento SUV
I drove the Optima Limited with the 2.0 Turbo last year and was thoroughly impressed with it. Rather than take it for a lap of Phoenix three years in a row, I picked something completely different: a V6 crossover SUV. One thing I really liked was the panoramic glass roof. It had excellent visibility, especially for the rear passengers.
Last year I wrote a detailed review of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. This summer, I had a chance to get behind the wheel of a 2013 Malibu while on vacation. So what’s new with this year’s model? Actually, there’s quite a lot!
For 2013, the Malibu gets a big exterior redesign with a new front and rear end. The back has a chunky, muscular look with a recessed trunk lid while the front has a larger, more prominent grille and a bigger bow tie. But the changes are more than cosmetic, there have been some engine and interior enhancements as well.
Today was the final day of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013. By the numbers, it was one of the most successful auctions ever. Over 3,400 bidders participated in the 7-day event, buying $100 million worth of vehicles – $58 million of which happened on Saturday alone.
As the cars are delivered to their new owners and the booths and tents are packed up, I would like to reflect on 10 things I loved about Barrett-Jackson 2013.
It won Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” before it was even available for sale nationwide. It runs on gasoline – and, when it wants to, on electricity. Its mileage is more controversial than global warming and stem cells combined. It is the most interesting car in the world.
Whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent about hybrid cars, there’s no question that the Chevrolet Volt has generated a ton of attention from the media. I was fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of a Volt at the 2011 Arizona International Auto Show.
For over 40 years, the Malibu has been a mainstay of the mid-size car market and one of the most popular cars in Chevrolet’s lineup. It offers more cargo space and power than a compact car while being less expensive to own and operate than a full size car.
However, times have changed since the Malibu was first introduced in 1964. Today, the mid-size car segment is one of the most competitive in the auto industry. The Malibu is up against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Dodge Avenger, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, and dozens of others. What sets the Malibu apart from the rest, and where does it fall short?