Posts tagged do-all
Dodge’s mid-size do-all is the very picture of a nondescript suburban vehicle. Introduced in 2009, the Journey has quietly infiltrated our neighborhoods, offering just-right size and cargo capacity, available all-wheel drive, and decent handling that suggest Chrysler learned a lot from the failings of its first vehicle of this type, the Pacifica.
You don’t notice them, but the Journey has sold well and they’re all over the place. I didn’t notice until my test vehicle arrived and I started seeing others. A comprehensive round of styling updates in 2011 has improved the Journey’s appeal, while brings a low-cost “American Value” option package (AVP). (more…)
It’s difficult to approach cars like this with an open mind. The Countryman is, basically, a “big” MINI. In addition to being an oxymoron, it’s hard to imagine that an all-wheel drive micro-SUV was on the minds of anyone involved with the original frugal MINI Cooper.
That said, times have changed, and the modern MINI is growing into a wider range of cars than even its versatile ancestor ever did. And for those buyers who’d love to have a MINI but also need four doors and a bit of cargo capacity, the MINI Cooper Countryman is just the ticket. It’s not really an SUV; this is really a four-door MINI Cooper with a bit more ground clearance and all-wheel drive. (more…)
In 2005 I took a memorable trip through the midwest, from Detroit to Wisconsin. The trip was memorable not because of the scenic American vistas I was passing through, but because of the Kia Spectra I was driving. While competent, the Spectra was very much an economy car, happiest with low-speed inner city travel and clearly not bred for long-distance driving. This year, I had the opportunity to repeat that trip, this time at the wheel of the Spectra’s successor, the Forte. What a difference five years makes!
To be specific, I was driving the Kia Forte 5-door, which is the new cargo-carrying variant of the Forte. Joining the sedan and sport two-door Forte Koup, the Forte 5-door offers an alternative to compact crossover vehicles. The entire Forte lineup stands as convincing evidence that Kia’s grown and changed in some impressive ways since 2005. (more…)