Is This Your Next Honda?
Kevin at Westpundit says this is "the Honda Civic of the air." I don't know about that, but Connors has more details and a link to HondaJet specs. Go here. Or should I say "fly here" instead?
Mark Tapscott has been reviewing new cars and trucks since 1985. His "Behind the Wheel" reviews reach nearly 1 million readers every week, appearing every Friday in The Washington Examiner, The Baltimore Examiner and Examiner.com. Marcus MacFarland Tapscott's "Fast Forward" reviews appear in the Patuxent Publications weeklies in the Baltimore suburbs, reaching more than a quarter of a million readers.
Quick, who said this?
What can be said about an automobile that has about as much personality as a can opener? With petrol selling for three bucks a gallon, quite a bit, actually. So what about the Hyundai Accent?
By the normal standards of automotive criticism, the Accent is just another faceless, boring little econocar sought only by first-time buyers on a tight budget who view their daily driver as nothing more than a way to get from point A to point B.
But the normal standards don’t always apply, especially when you are dealing with the most expensive per-gallon fuel costs of the modern era, so the Accent bears special attention.
The 12.40 second 0-60 mph time reflects the lack of power. Thus, driving the automatic transmissioned Accent requires being comfortable with life in the slow lane. Getting up significant grades always means a downshift or two and lots of noise as the little four does its best to keep things moving.
But there are a lot of good things here. The exterior styling is not exactly inspiring but it’s decent enough. And the interior is spacious for the econocar class and tastefully outfitted with an appealing two-tone color scheme. Instrumentation is straight forward and easy to use. An unexpected plus is the driver’s armrest – ala minivan practice – that comes in handy if your daily commute includes lots of bumper-to-bumper crawl.
Where the Accent shines is on the value side of the equation, thanks to the standard equipment list that includes six air bags, anti-lock brakes, tilt steering and rear-seat armrests. My loaded GLS tester came in at $14,870, which under prices a similarly equipped Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla.
On the fuel economy side, my tester compiled a 27.5 mpg overall figure during its week in the test fleet. Considering the official EPA figures are 28 city and 36 highway, the 27.5 figure might seem like a let-down. But it’s not uncommon for actual mileage to vary by a noticeable amount from the official government figures, mainly due to the unrealistic driving cycle used by the EPA.
In any case, the Accent is pleasant enough, offers lots of room and versatility and never feels like a penalty box on wheels. It’s still an automotive appliance, but let’s not sneer at efficiency and value. At least not until the price of gas comes down.
The IS series is the second portion of the Lexus lineup to be redesigned with much more emphasis on performance, with the GS series having been redone last year. The resulting vehicle is harder edged and distinctly more likely to appeal to the serious driver in search of a sports sedan deserving of the label.
My Mystic Gold Metallic tester was equipped with all-wheel-drive and Lexus’ six-speed paddle-shifting automatic hooked to the 2.5 liter V-6 behind the IS250 designation. The engine produces 204 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque.
Acceleration is good, but not stunning, showing a 7.07 second 0-60 mph time. The transmission does its thing with typical Toyota/Lexus efficiency, moving up and down the shift range smoothly and without drama.
By the way, no matter how hard I try, I still dislike paddle shifters. Yes, yes, they’re “just like F1,” they simply aren’t as enjoyable to use as a traditional manual shift with properly placed pedals.
Moving right along, the IS250’s full-time all-wheel-drive is essentially transparent in every respect except the added weight it brings, which is reflected somewhat in the straight-line performance.
Wet-road grip is superb, of course, and dry pavement cornering is crisp and utterly predictable, with soft understeer following quick turn-in. If you are getting the impression that the redesigned IS is much more rewarding to move down a twisting piece of macadam, you are absolutely right.
The interior is marked by highly legible gauging that is set-off with illuminated rings. There is also a flowing instrument panel that gives the IS250’s passenger cabin a bit of a modernistic atmosphere. The seating is quite comfortable but grips in the right places, at least on my average-sized frame.
Notable among the safety features of the new IS are what Lexus calls “Twin Chamber” advanced air bags that create an indentation in the middle that the automaker claims eases the shock of impact with the body.
Overall, the IS250 is a definite move up from the previous generation. Is it something to go Bimmer hunting with yet? Not the IS250, but I have a hunch the more powerful IS350 might be just the thing.
That's the word this afternoon from Business Week, via Automotive News. Details are sketchy but predictable. When word spread through the world automotive industry that a Renault-Nissan-GM alliance might be in the works on some basis, wheels started turning in a bunch of executives' heads, including those at mighty Toyota.
Remember the Double Nickel? Remember how the highways and byways of America would become red rivers of blood if ever the speed limits were raised? So what happened? The Wall Street Journal offers a history lesson: