Archive for the ‘Road Tests’ Category

We Drive the All-New 6.7L Power Stroke

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Normally, we don’t get that excited about new truck press events. Show up, drive the truck, listen to the PR folks rave about how it’s the best thing since sliced Wonder Bread, get a lovely parting gift, (usually a brand ball cap), and a press kit with the real info you need to write your story. Usually, the event test mules are fairly loaded models, and you get plenty of seat time driving the truck, which is cool, since it gives you the basics on how well it performs. But how representative is a scenic drive for a truck that’s designed to work, as 99 percent of all diesels are?

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First Drive: BMW Xdrive35d

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

2010 BMW X5 xDrive35d
Another European Diesel SUV? Hardly.

BMW Diesel SUV

Germans must think that American truck designers sit inside a Wal-Mart every morning, deciding over an Egg McMuffin that of the millions of customer requests, they’re going to make some sort of exhaust brake, integrated trailer brake and six-speed automatic transmissions standard. Don’t forget to employ circa Y2K European after-treatment technology, too. Redemption is sweet and we’ve finally prepared our comeback shall it arise in any future debates on historical automotive design.
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Product Test: Trinity

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Product Test: Trinity

An In-Depth Look at the Latest Tuner From Diablosport

By Chris Neprasch

Photography: Chris Neprasch

We’ve entered a level of technology in electronics where it seems like everything is capable of performing multiple tasks. You can order a pizza online from the same cell phone you use to make calls and check the weather. For fitness gurus, wristwatches cannot only tell the time, they can calculate heart rate, calories burned and distance traveled. And now, a downloader can do more than install a program into your truck’s computer.

The Trinity from Diablosport is one of these new generation diesel tuners. Along with re-flashing the ECM, it can read engine parameters, clear trouble codes and provide a virtual drag strip on any open stretch of road. The Trinity has a large touch-screen display to serve as the command center for all of the functions and can even tune gas and diesel vehicles with one application number. To get a better feel for how far tuners have come, we ordered a Trinity to see how well it performs a few of the advertised key features. Here’s the breakdown of our experiences with Diablosport’s Trinity.

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First Drive: 2010 Audi A3

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

First Drive: 2010 Audi A3

Is the Green Car of the Year Worth Your Green?

By Chris Neprasch

Photography: Chris Neprasch

The thought, “Eh, that’s it?” was the first thing to cross our minds when we sat in the ’10 A3 TDI. It may be the Green Car of the Year and whatnot. But for a base MSRP of $29,950, you’d expect to at least have radio controls on the steering wheel, not to mention the unacceptable lack of lights incorporated into the visor mirrors. It was hardly the initial impression we were expecting, especially from an entry-level luxury car.

Chew on this: It does have a 2.0L diesel with its 30 mpg city and 42 mpg, yet you can spend about $5,000 less for the SportWagen, and get the same 140 hp, 236 lb-ft of torque with more cabin room. The other option is to spend about $10,000 more for the BMW 335d and get 155 extra hp, along with an additional 189 lb-ft of torque in a sportier package. Then there’s the Golf TDI, the cousin of the A3 and Jetta priced about $8,000 less. Given those nuggets to chomp on, how could anybody justify buying the A3? We found ourselves asking the same question for the first few days we had the car.

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