Friday, May 30, 2008

Ford Falcon XT

At first glance, the new Ford Falcon looks remarkably like the old one. That’s partly because Ford gave the previous generation Falcon a new nose late in its life to prepare us for the new model. And, partly, because the new model has the old model’s hubcaps and badging (other than the Ford badge on the grille, which is noticeably bigger).

In the metal, however, the differences become more apparent and the new Falcon looks like a much cleaner design.

The new Ford Falcon’s roof is slightly wider to create more headroom, and the sides of the car are more upright.

The new Falcon is slightly bigger in every dimension and yet overall weight has barely changed from its predecessor. While the exterior styling may be “evolutionary”, as designers like to say when they don’t change the look that much, the interior is a big improvement, and a big change.

Many of the buttons that were hidden from view behind the steering wheel are now plain to see. And, finally, Ford has fitted a digital speedometer as part of the trip computer display in between the regular speedo and tacho.

The trip computer is also more clever; you can adjust the increments by 1km/h by pushing the button briefly, or adjust the increments by 10km/h by holding the same button a moment longer.

The steering wheel has a quality feel and the cruise and audio controls are easy to navigate. One big blot, though: the steering wheel-mounted buttons are not illuminated at night (as they are on all Commodores).

The indicator and wiper stalks are carried over from the previous Falcon but the indicators now have a soft-touch three-flash lane-change function. Holden also introduced this European-style feature on the new Commodore.

The quality of the new Falcon’s cabin materials is a big step up, and the layout of most controls are user-friendly. Some testers commented on the number of buttons – and the small symbols that identified what each did – but we got used to them by the end of the drive.

The centre console is massive and, cleverly, contains a small pouch to store a phone or MP3 music player. An auxiliary audio input socket is standard but you can also option an iPod connector which allows all your songs to be displayed on the digital display and controlled through the car’s audio controls, while charging the iPod at the same time.

Other fine details such as the Audi-style retractable key (standard on all new Falcons, whereas retractable keys are reserved for only the more expensive Holdens) and the new Falcon’s soft-touch external boot release (the Holden only has an internal boot-release switch and a button on the remote) are things many car reviewers may gloss over, but which customers will no doubt appreciate.

The previous Falcon’s small side mirrors, which were like looking through Ned Kelly’s helmet, have been replaced by larger mirrors which provide a much better over-shoulder view (although it could be improved further with an ultra-wide convex mirror on the driver’s side, as many new models have these days).

The steering and seating positions are unchanged from the previous Falcon and don’t have the same level of adjustment as the Commodore.

The steering wheel could do with more reach adjustment and the seat is too high. That said, of all the Falcons, the base model Falcon XT has the lowest and most comfortable seating position because the seat fabric compresses more readily than the leather seats in the luxury and sports models, which also sit slightly higher because they have the hardware for their electric adjustment underneath.

The side bolsters on the lower seat cushions of all the Falcons, we noted, felt flimsy and wasn’t as supportive as it could be.

Back seat room is marginally improved from the previous Falcon. There’s about 10cm of space between an average-sized adult’s knees and the back of the front seat. In a Commodore there’s about 15cm of knee room.

The Falcon’s back bench is reasonably comfortable except the seat back is quite short. The fixed foam headrests (only on the outer two positions) barely come up to the necks of adults, let alone offer any decent whiplash protection. The middle back-seat passenger gets no headrest at all and, further, it’s possible to hit your head on the lug on the parcel shelf that child restraints bolt on to.

The Commodore also lacks a headrest in the middle rear seating position but the seat back itself is taller. In the Commodore, the two fixed foam headrests are also taller than the Falcon’s and get closer to protecting adult passengers’ necks from whiplash in a rear-end crash.

Both sedans have massive boots, but only the Falcon gets a split-fold seat that opens to the cargo hold, creating a large load space for pushbikes, surfboads and the like.

Further, the Falcon has a clever recess in the floor above the spare wheel, which is handy to stop shopping bags from emptying their contents on the way home. True story: during development of the new Falcon, Ford’s chief engineer randomly approached Falcon-driving mums and dads in shopping centre car parks to ask them what they were putting in their boot. And he never once got a black eye. The rectangular recess is the result of his grassroots research.

The Falcon’s 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine is older than grandpa’s axe but it’s had another round of refinements that give it more power – and better efficiency – before it is replaced by an imported V6 engine in 2010.

The updated six-cylinder still has that characteristic Falcon shudder as it cranks over – although with the new FG Falcon there’s now a one-touch starting system that automatically cranks the engine until it starts. And there’s a moment of coarseness as it gets going, but it idles and runs smoothly.

It’s now matched to a five-speed automatic transmission, which helps get the Falcon off the line smartly, is better for overtaking and also improves fuel efficiency at freeway speeds. The extra ratio also means there’s a better chance the car will be in the right gear at the right time.

For an extra $1500 the Falcon can be had with a more efficient six-speed automatic, which delivers incremental improvements to driveability and acceleration. Assuming today’s fuel prices of around $1.50 a litre, it would take about 250,000km of driving to pay off the difference between the standard five-speed auto and optional six-speed.

These cars aren’t supposed to be sports sedans but acceleration times provide an interesting insight into their overall performance.

In our satellite assisted 0 to 100km/h tests, the XT stopped the clocks in 7.4 seconds – more than two seconds faster than the Commodore Omega and one second faster than the Calais.

The Falcon XT has the edge in overtaking performance as well. The extra ratio (the Commodore Omega is a four-speed only) means it’s never left wanting.

Of course, straight line speed is just one measure of a car.

Ford has spent millions of dollars reworking the steering and front suspension on the new Falcon, and it shows. The previous model’s steering was too sensitive on bumpy bends and Ford has removed much of that nervousness. The new Falcon feels well connected to the road, even in its most basic guise, and the ride is comfortable without being floaty.

But, alas, having spent plenty of time in the Falcon, it was time for a change of scenery.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2008 Lancer Review Summary & Specifications

One of the above all 2008 patterns to land in dealer showrooms, the new Mitsubishi Lancer is a thorough remake from what i read in the wheels up of the company's entry in the compact sedan class. This is not just an exercise in dressing the previous exemplary in a new set of threads. From sheetmetal to upholstery to mechanicals to interior trim, it's a new car.

The body has kept on re-styled, in on a larger amount of aggressive fascia and a wedgier profile. The result, sadly, is mixed. It looks as if it's in fact sharp head on, a little dull ready away. Overall levels are balanced, though, so the closing result is a plus.

The engine is new, albeit the same displacement as before, but now with a dual overhead cam in place of the '06's single, and updated electronics. Horsepower is up by 32, torque by 16 pound-feet of torque (22 and 12, respectively, in suggests provided California emission rules). A Continuously Variable Transmission replaces the '06's automatic, with a five-speed manual still the rule gearbox.
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer has gained weight over the '06, between 200 and 400 pounds, depending on ideal and trim. This, up amidst the funny things powerful engine, no hesitation accounts at the very least in part to the lower electricity market's prosperity scores for the 2008 model. Lower, also, as opposed to numerous of the competition, particular of that proper the Lancer by 5 miles per gallon or a good deal more in EPA City and Highway estimates.
Inside, there is roomy seating for five. Instruments and dash are pleasing to the eye and friendly to the fingers, through easy-to-use knobs and switches for the a good amount critical functions. Some details are relatively low as opposed to ideal, but the Lancer is, subsequent to all, an state car and not Mitsubishi's flagship.

The options include comprises value-adding packages. Disappointing is the need to pay supplementary for air conditioning and antilock brakes on the base Lancer. But a high-quality sound process is offered for the two upper trim levels. And astounding for their market value level is a full-featured navigation-cum-music server system around on the top model.

Pricing wasn't announced as this investigate is written. Expect, however, the base exemplary to begin around $14,000.

The Mitsubishi Lancer profits for 2008 after skipping the 2007 model year. Now, just now one engine is available: a 152-hp four-cylinder (143-hp in California emissions form). It comes surrounded by a selection of five-speed manual transmission or optional CVT automatic, a continuously variable transmission. Body style is currently a four-door, five-passenger sedan.

The Mitsubishi Lancer DE is the base model. Standard portions are sparse. There is no air conditioning, though the heater does experience micron filtration. Shift knob and tilt steering wheel are wrapped in urethane. Most interior trim pieces and accents are black, as are portion view mirror housings and inside and outside door handles. Driver and front passenger get four-way, manually adjustable seats. The audio method is a four-speaker, 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 unit, but it has DSP and vehicle speed-compensated volume and equalization and pre-wiring for Sirius satellite radio. Windows and outside mirrors are powered, but door locks are not. A driver tips heart hosts a trip meter, electricity market's prosperity information screen and fuel and coolant admonition lamps. Steel wheels wear P205/60R16 tires. There's an anti-theft engine immobilizer. One factory option is offered for the DE, a package consisting of antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, air conditioning, fuel door locks and auto-up on the driver portion window. Dealers sell the fog lights and floor mats.

The Lancer ES comes with air conditioning, cruise control provided steering wheel-mounted controls, electricity door locks in on keyless remote, six-way adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seatback with folding core armrest, front map lights, floor mats, the auto-up driver-side window, premium fabric upholstery, silver interior accents, body-color outside mirror housings and door handles, second power point, anti-theft security alarm and steering wheel-mounted redundant audio controls and pre-wired Bluetooth switch. Aluminum alloys replace the DE's steel wheels, and the rear suspension gets a stabilizer bar. The Sun & Sound package includes a 650-watt, nine-speaker, Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system; a six-month, pre-paid Sirius satellite radio subscription; a six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 changer; an auxiliary audio input jack; and a power, tilt-and-slide, glass sunroof. Fog lights are sold by dealers.
The Lancer GTS is the top of the line. Automatic climate control is standard. Leather wraps the steering wheel and shift knob. Driver and front passenger get sport bucket seats with unusual fabric surfaces. Most interior accents get a geometric print. The stereo adds two speakers, for a whole of six. An aero package through front air dam, harm portion air dams and rear spoiler spruces up the exterior. The factory installs the fog lights. Tires are P215/45R18s on alloy wheels. The suspension becomes sport-tuned shocks and springs and stiffened bushings. A cross-brace bar bolted to the tops of the front suspension towers increases person stiffness. The Sportronic version of the CVT, exclusive to the GTS, lets the driver shift gears using steering wheel-mounted, magnesium paddles. Options insert the same Sun & Sound package. The Navigation & Technology package includes a GPS-based navigation system storing mapping data on a 30GB hard disk press (with 6GB set aside for personally recorded audio files). Integrated into the navigation system is the driver info center plus screens displaying, surrounded by other things, ambient temperature, barometric pressure and altimeter; automobile maintenance reminder and calendar; controls for the underlying Rockford-Fosgate audio process and Sirius satellite radio; and customization settings for the Lancer's various interior electronics. Also in this package is Fast-Key, a keyless, proximity-activated, auto-unlock system.

Safety parts record seven airbags, providing a driver's knee airbag augmenting the expected collection of frontal airbags; front seat-mounted, upper body-protecting half airbags; and head-protecting, side-curtain airbags. Front seatbelts hold pretensionsers and drive limiters to help position users for maximum preservation from what i read in airbags in crashes. Rear seats incorporate child safety seat anchors and tethers (LATCH).

Antilock brakes, which enable the driver to steer the car within panic stops, and electronic brake-force distribution, that balances emergency brake application between front and rear brakes for maximum effect, are standard on ES and GTS and optional on DE. Tire pressure monitors, which warn of low tire pressure, are ordinary across the line. Missing, however, is an electronic stability program, which attempts to avoid spin outs, an critical safety feature that's ordinary or at the very least optional on many cars in the Lancer's class.

Were it not for the trademark, three-diamond logo, minimal almost the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer leads to it is linked in any way to the 2006 model. In now instance, however, right now is good. As terrific a car as who previous edition was, its competitors have leapfrogged it in almost any sense, not the lowest of which is styling.

Where the 2006 Lancer was somewhat minimalist in its approach, with a swept-back hood and squinty headlights, the 2008 presents a brusque face, amongst a strong chin and scowling eyes, a look Mitsubishi not unfairly compares to a shark's snout. Grille and lower intake form a trapezoid horizontally split by the front bumper; Mitsubishi claims such a a jet fighter. Blacked-out blanks short of the bumper balance the headlights and house the projector-lens fog lights when fitted. Mild creases trace the hood's electricity bulge from the grille back to the A-pillars framing the windshield, quitting well-defined shoulders over the front wheel wells.

Side view stays real to the shark theme, with the upper border of the grille looming in the rather flush front bumper. A high beltline (where the side windows meet the smaller door panels) goes down the car's Residual core of gravity, giving it a !no! substantial and more strurdily planted look. A character chain that plays on the car's wedge circumstances begins in a deep groove in the front quarter panel and front door and fills in as it moves to the rear simply below the full-round door handles, fading to a shallow shadow throughout the rear quarter panel before ending at the acutely angled rear side-marker light. Even the base, 60-aspect tires on 16-inch wheels check right in the circular wheel openings.The rear aspect is outstandingly bustle-ish, providing a tall trunk lid. Taillights try to echo the headlights shark-like scowl, but do not pretty allure it off, how surrounded by the egregious spots of surrounding, for the most part flat sheetmetal. In the end, it is a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise sleek design with a healthy dose of personality.

Autodom's interior styling pendulum turns out to swing according to busy to not-so-busy. One year there are more buttons and switches than any ten fingers and two eyes can manage and of all strange sizes and shapes. Then the next, all folks myriad of drives are buried short of 3 or uni knobs, or in the insane a single monumental one, with a few switches sprinkled right here and there for margin features. In the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer, right now seems to have been heard caught in mid-swing. Much of the result is good, but a few bits need greater number of refinement.

Most monumental in this measure is the dash, in the instrument cluster and climate and audio controls. In the former, a large, circular tachometer and speedometer bracketing a digital, LCD-based info center in the '08 replace an asymmetrical array of two large and three small gauges in the '06. And therein lies the conundrum. The new, i.e., '08, group looks slicker, a greater amount of contemporary and even a bit sportier than the '06's. But the analog-style fuel and coolant gauges in the '06 were always there, so properties did not have to be identified up by pressing a button somewhere. And they communicated such a guidelines more readily, requiring recently a quick glance in its place of a refocusing of the eye on a little tower of light.There's sharp and not so good, too, in the climate and audio control panels. The most easy functions, covet fan, temperature, mode, volume and tuning, have traditional, relatively large, rotating knobs. They're correctly placed, too, surrounded by climate beneath and audio above, at which it is more accessible. After all, a multitude of lendees adjust audio locations a great deal more repeatedly as opposed to climate. And reasonably sized, well-marked buttons choose station presets and manage funny things media. But the info telltales are merely obscured LEDs tucked away in a slit at the middle top of the dash where deciphering them forces drivers to divert their consideration from traffic and shift this optical focus from distance to close. Again, want the instrument cluster, it all looks like it's good, but comes up very brief in function.

The shining exception to all this ambivalence is the screen and control operate for the GPS-based navigation system. Buttons and rocker switches with firm tactile feel clamor up the desired screen. Moving a joystick in the lower right-hand corner underlines the desired function. Pressing it accesses the function. While Other of the information is supplementary entertaining than essential, like the x/y axis dot graphs popping median speeds and energy economy within the duration of a floating two-hour window (especially when higher speeds coincide among higher energy economy; cool), the ease of use is tops.

The story pretty even exists the same elsewhere across the interior. Front seats are comfortable, with adequate, if not exorbitant depth in the seat underside cushions. The driver's door armrest and the padded top on the front heart console are both too low, and the heart console is too far rearward, for supporting a driver's elbows on straight and boring interstates. The handbrake positioning is not optimal, resting proudly between the driver's seat rock bottom cushion and the heart console at just the ideal height to trip the floor of a slurpee on its way to or of one of the console's two cup holders.

Rear seats are marked improvements over the '06's. There's more definition in the cushions, the seat bottoms are deeper and now there are 3 head out restraints, all adjustable. The fold-down, center armrest in the ES and GTS is more stable as opposed to it looks, which means everyday driving isn't prospective to spill the kids' soda pop.

By the numbers, the 2008 Lancer causes the numerous of its more than two inches of added width within the '06. Careful packaging of interior facets and trim permits the majority of of the present two inches to front seat hiproom and adds basically twice the current to rear seat hiproom. This parks the new Lancer smack in the middle of the pack on this measurement. The Nissan Sentra, the Hyundai Elantra and the Mazda 3 best it, and the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus fall a bit short. Otherwise, the '08 Lancer could be within an inch plus or minus of the '06 in headroom and legroom front and rear. Versus the competition, the new Lancer once again splits the adjustment in front seat legroom but ratings near the top in rear seat legroom. All the way in the back, the Lancer's trunk betters only the Mazda 3's 11.4 cubic feet and whores up about 3 cubic feet to the most-commodious-in-class Ford Focus's 14.8 cu. ft.

Driving Impressions
For the various part, the new MitsubishiLancer's static-mode idiosyncrasies exhaust significance once the car is in motion. This holds whether the movement is in the channel of fun or work, as the car is equally comfortable and competent on arrow-straight interstates or grapevine-twisted back roads.

Steering response is decent, if not sparkling, truly on folks coming back roads, as the new Lancer is likely to waste some concentration when pointed straight to come for for a while now stretches. For a front-wheel force sedan, it tracks well with corners, in on no astronomical person lean.

The GTS, of course, is the most recomensing driver, amid firmer coil springs, news absorbers and bushings and perfect stabilizer bars than the DE and ES models. The stiffness added by the cross brace on the front suspension towers is tangible in a quicker, more and more precise steering response. Interestingly, however, the GTS' sporty front seats do not add much by way of lateral substantiation within the duration of the ES' buckets.

In ride and handling, two of the competitive brands stand out: the Civic, providing its longer wheelbase (by around two-and-one-half inches), has a smoother ride just generally, but several notably over weather-induced pavement heaves, and the Mazda 3 is a sportier drive.Throttle response is respectable for the class. Only the Mazda 3's top engine pumps out more horsepower (160 vs. the Lancer's 152), but the Lancer is the heaviest of the class, amid the GTS only topping 3000 lbs. Brake pedal feel is firm in the ES, even supplementary so in the GTS, that becomes the Outlander's large discs.

The manual transmission's shift lever requires a bit of a stretch to reach third gear and fifth gear with the driver's seat comfortably positioned for a six-foot tall driver. And the juxtaposition of the brake pedal and accelerator force an awkward ankle contortion to effect a heel-and-toe double-clutch on a downshift. In the GTS amid the Sportronic, the manual up/down choice slot opens to the driver's side of the shift gate, that Other drivers find larger number of normal than away throughout to the passenger's side. This certainly isn't as much an matter in the GTS, however, what in those handy steering column levers.

In all odds due in no diminutive side to that aforementioned weight penalty, the '08 Lancer rather much brings up the rear in power economy. For example, the less important engine in the 200 lb.-lighter Toyota Corolla instigates six more horsepower but betters the Lancer by thre miles per gallon in the city and by seven miles per gallon on the highway, according to EPA estimates. And the more powerful Mazda 3, weighing roughly 100 lbs. less than the Lancer, comes out down the road by 3 mpg and two mpg, city and highway respectively.

The new, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer may not be the several attractive, the several popular, the most powerful, the most miniature or the several fun-to-drive in the affordable, compact sedan class. But in every of folks measures, it is second in sequence or at the very least competitive. That instigates it well market worth a look when shopping for a car in this class.

Monday, May 19, 2008

2010 Ford Fiesta and Refreshed 2009 Focus

Small cars, direct-injection, and turbocharging are all part of the fuel-efficient vehicle strategy.
The way Ford sees it, miniature cars could be big. Potential subcompact or B-segment folks are climbing by leaps and bounds, fueled by astronomical gasoline prices, and the automaker thinks it will be well-positioned to get in on the action amongst the all-new Ford Fiesta.

The Fiesta goes on sell in the U.S. in 2010 as a automobile one size smaller than the compact (C-segment) Ford Focus. It’s a popular size in the rest of the world, and one the present is appreciating popularity in North America because smaller cars regularly are additionally fuel-efficient and the Fiesta is planning to be no exception. It would have a compressed four-cylinder engine of undisclosed displacement, according to Ford.

And there probably also will be an Ecoboost option—Ford’s overarching powertrain strategy that will use direct injection and turbocharging to enable downsizing of its engines in 500,000 vehicles in North America by 2013.
Initially, that strategy suggests putting a turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 in the Lincoln MKS sedan in the first part of 2009 and adding it to the 2010 Ford F-150 pickup and the new Ford Mustang in such a over&wshyp;arching timeframe. It also means putting boosted fours finally in the Ford Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta, surrounded by displacements more than likely ranging from 1.0 to 1.6 liters by 2020.

But fuel-efficient and lower-emissions engines are not enough, suggests Derrick Kuzak, bunch vice president in credit of global product development. Ford moreover needs lighter unibody vehicles, six-speed and dual-clutch transmissions, electric power-assisted steering, battery management systems, and !no! aerodynamic vehicles.

And Ford needs a larger number of small cars. B-cars accounted for only one percent of U.S. sells in 2002, grew to two per cent in 2007, and ought to dual once more to uni percent by 2012, says Beth Donovan, Ford small car product manager. Globally, subcompacts account for in regards to 27 per cent of industry sales or about 85 million units. Importantly, Donovan argues 32 per cent of first-car households purchase a B-car, contrasted amongst 28 per cent who buy the larger C-car.

The goal demographic for the Fiesta in the U.S. are the so-called Millennials—14 to 29-year-olds forecast to comprise 20 percent of the arena in 2010, says Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s number one of worldwide marketing. Ford wants to woo them amongst a compact sedan it hopes should forward better looks, features, materials, and performance as opposed to the econoboxes of the 1970s the got loved clearly for the sticker price.

Econoboxes in the U.S. market can be traced back to the Toyota Corolla’s debut in 1968, followed by the Honda N600 two-door in 1970. Ford imported the original Fiestas to the U.S. from 1978 to 1980 in a knee-jerk response, followed by the Ford Festiva based on information from 1988 to 1993, which gave way to the Ford Aspire from 1994 to 1997. They all had one thing in common: they provided dispassionate but affordable clear transportation.

Today Ford is a pithy car leader in Europe and the automaker’s design and engineering lofts there took the lead in developing the next-gen Fiesta overly has carried on shown in thinking form as the Verve sedan and hatchback at auto shows in Frankfurt, Shanghai, and Detroit.

Meanwhile, Ford announced it is tweaking the front and rear fascias of the 2009 Ford Focus to give the SE coupe a sportier appear and more in series amongst the approaching Fiesta for North America; a move that includes ditching the heinous chrome fender vents. The SE will start at $16,615 when it goes on sell such a summer. The top-of-the-line Focus SES will get 17-inch aluminum wheels norm and a new roofline spoiler, with pricing to start at $18,035. The moves are programmed to draw younger mortgage holders for the Focus. No fluxes got announced for the Focus sedan.

The Focus was redesigned for 2008 and a coupe added to the lineup for North America to try to still be the first-generation car fresh until the third-generation of the car is introduced globally (Ford transactions the second-gen Focus in the rest of the world).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hummer Limousines (H2). I like!!!

I suffer carried on in multi numerous kinds of limos. They all look the same and feel the same. But if you are seeming for a limo the stands out in a crowd of limos, there is one and only one choice, the hummer limo.The hummer was grown in 1979 by the U.S military to replace jeeps and lighter vehicles. It was an instant achievement on the battle fields. It grew in popularity over the gulf war, as the American info broadcast showed soldiers driving roughly hummers.The first hummer was introduced to the general public in 1991. It was a moment eye catcher. The hummer attracted rich and renowned clientele such as Arnold Schwartznegger. In 2003 the hummer introduced the H2, a smaller and a great deal more rational version of the original hummer.
My primarily undergo in a hummer limo was at my brother's wedding. He got married in a small town in Quebec Canada five ages ago. In overall he had four limos, but only one was a hummer limo. When that hummer pulled up in front of my parents house to decide on up the groom and the grooms men, the gargantuan street came out to look at the hummer limo. They had never seen a limo like that before. we had never witnessed a limo similar to this. People got rendering pictures of the hummer limo and looking inside, it was not anything like any !no! limo they had witnessed before.So in finishing if you want to stand out in a crowd of limos, I suggest you get yourself in a hummer limo. It's vastly costs the supplementary cost.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GMC Parts to a Grand Mighty Condition

General Motors Company shortly became identified as one of the largest car manufacturers in the industry in the wake of it was shown in 1908. A year after, Grabowsky Rapid Motor Vehicle Company (GMC) teamed up in on General Motors. The trade and cr GMC Trucks was mostly introduced in 1912 at the New York Auto Show. Eight months later, it was registered amongst the United States Patent Office. Known as the high-end truck-building division of General Motors, the "GMC" in GMC Truck stands for General Motors Corporation today.

Trucks are usually depleted for a variety of purposes. They are mainly used for tough tasks. Trucks can be a movable support for heavy supplies, transferring large goods, materials, or equipments. Since they look for to provide tough role, properties force owning parts that can allow them to do heavy aim performances to make them qualified of fulfilling strenuous tasks. Even if it is a GMC truck, pickup, minivan or greater number of GMC heavy aim vehicle type, it is central to have rigid and strong sufficient GMC truck aspects to endure all the heavy goal works it can own to carry on.

GMC sources various essential truck parts. They supply engine parts ranging from spark plug, oil filter, suspension, transmission part, electrical part, carburetor, clutch, cooling system, axle, energy steering pump, fuel filter, waste system, oil filter, and gears to any other engine/ transmission part. Other mechanical parts like fenders, alternators, starters, bumpers, automatic transaxle, brakes, clutch, and cooling technique are fully going by the firm. Additional truck facets may also consist of service parts, repair parts, engine repair parts, OEM parts, car dealer parts and automotive parts.

Every part contributes to the overall performance of a vehicle. The entire GMC parts are also a decent element that can continue and customize this lineup of automobiles. These are given to yield into the amendment and replacement of worn auto parts. GMC automotive features stay GMC vehicles in complete mobility all over the world. With portions the are carefully and accurately engineered to optimum innovation, it is an adequate basis to keep GMC sport-utility vehicles, GMC trucks or GMC vans for a extensively time. It keeps the owner together surrounded by a good deal more passengers geared up through various driving adventures.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Corvette - The Amazing Sixth Generation Continues

The Existing Corvette is a 2-door, 2-goer sports car, or convertible sports car, close by in 10 trims, ranging from the Coupe LT1 to the Z06 LZ3.�The immediate base engine for the 2008 Corvette is the LS3 V8.�The company says that the prevalent Corvette is riding at anchor in the extreme drivable in day-to-day commutes thanks to Leading-Intensity Discharge lighting, fog lamps, leather seating, dual-zone air conditioning, cabin air filtration and head-upturn display (HUD) with track mode and g-meter (all standard).�In flare to the Corvette Coupe and Z06, the 2008 Corvette is besides disengaged as a convertible.�2008 Chevrolet Corvette with empty formality that rivals $200,000 exotics, the up-to-the-minute Corvette is -- at wedded-fourth to guy-third the cost -- the buy of a lifetime for distinguished sports car enthusiasts.

2008 Corvette:

When a premium-philharmonic car boasts so much capacity, it is governing that the handling match its capabilities, and that�s what the yet again Corvette does clobber.�There are too a host of exterior and interior refinements that grow the Chevy Corvette happiness status and enhance the feeling of craftsmanship.�The changes involve all from an all-new-fashioned, larger and then nervous V-8 engine to refinements in driving characteristics that solidify the Corvettes position as the duly constituted American sports car and further the argument that it is identical of the world�s outstrip.�

The current Chevrolet Corvette has to be the maximum troubling car to have narrow the gap off the General Motors production lines in the company�s rota and the 2008 example is all set to make a commanding entrance at the 9th Middle East International Motor Show.�The LS3 with the six-speed paddle-shift automatic is the fastest automatic-equipped prevalent Corvette ever, with 0-60 mph capability of 4 seconds.�As a sprout from, the standard Corvette is true super car, equal to of 190 mph.�

And back again for 08 is the 505-horsepower Corvette Z06, an American super car that has won over enthusiasts, journalists and racers around the world for its retain of racetrack-bred step, daily-driving civility and value.�Options on the present-time Corvette Z06 are the same as that of the coupe and convertible minus the roof option.�The Z06 version is aerosol the fastest and a outrance valid production Corvette ever, thanks to its 7 liter 505 horsepower engine.

Corvette Engine:

A trendy 6 liter engine with intake valves that commodity lightweight hollow stems, which enable the engines 6,600-rpm capability.�To change the engines large valves and enable additional direct intake port flow, the intake-side rocker arms are offset 6 mm between the valve tip and the push rod.�If connect gets the engine with a handling exhaust altogether the boundlessness increases to 436 horsepower.�A considerable selection of 430- and 505-horsepower V8 engines which are well-suited of mind-blowing speed allows it to compete with yet valuable exotics. Versatile handling dynamics afford daily driving comfort an redoubtable 22.

Corvette Coupe:

Wheels on the current Corvette Coupe and Convertible models relate to with a immanent split-spoke wheel design for 2008.�The coupe and convertible models of the yet again Corvette are powered by a 6 liter 430 horsepower engine.�Optional on the 2008 coupe and convertible models is a navigation system, a transparent roof, a memory driver�s seat, and a Bose music system with seven speakers.�The six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission on Coupe and Convertible is enriched with contemporary appliances and a trendy controller calibration that deliver quicker shifts.

Corvette Z06:

To further set it apart from the standard newfangled Corvette, the Z06 uses all-novel wheels, tires, brakes, as well as its plead guilty rear spring and roll stabilizer and the six-speed transmission that the engine is mated to has a limited slip differential.�Some options that customers will declare versatile on the Z06 include polished, gray or chrome wheels, a telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, side-impact air bags, a navigation system with GPS and universal deeply remote.�The Z06 has a wider tire semifluid, and composite vaporish body.�The Z06 is powered by a 7 liter 505 horsepower engine.

Corvette Price:

The untapped Corvette for 2008 impresses with its exotic, yet lavishness-priced sports car execution abilities.�The cabin is appointed with leather-led expendable that, along by with the untouched Corvettes observation, belies the affordable price tag. .�The 2008, with a base price of $45,170, is arguably man of the establishment fruition-per-dollars.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tips for buying used car

When it comes time to make any major purchase, most buyers are interested in one core concept: getting the most for their money. This is especially true in the used vehicle market, where there is no set price for a particular vehicle. And when you add up the costs of vehicle ownership—mainly price, insurance, and depreciation—it becomes clear that there is no better value than buying used. On top of that, the selection is virtually endless, and all the extra options that you may not be able to splurge for on a new car suddenly become affordable. Cars are also now built to last longer than ever, and problems that were common two decades ago now occur with much less frequency.

But while used cars represent the peak of value, they can also represent the peak of risk. Everyone has heard stories of car buyers getting saddled with lemons, and having no recourse. Familiarizing yourself with all these potential risks is the best way to avoid them, and this is easier than you think. Your story can end happily if you stay informed from the start, and know what to expect every step of the way.

What's Right for You?

Only you can ultimately decide the type of vehicle you'd like to pursue, but you have all the help you'll need right at your fingertips. The internet is the most valuable tool for vehicle research, and it can help you get a very specific idea about what you're looking for, even down to the particular vehicle, well before you decide to start contacting vehicle sellers and taking test drives.

If your options are completely open, it's a good idea to start by determining your preferred vehicle body style. It should be in line with your personal taste, of course, but also consider what you'll need from your vehicle. How many passengers will you regularly need to accommodate? What about cargo room and towing capacity? Gas mileage and safety features? Examine your lifestyle, anticipate whether or not it will be changing in the near future, and be specific—the used vehicle spectrum is wide enough to have something for everybody. Once you have a body style in mind, you can use it to tailor your searches right here on, as well as read extensive model information and even compare models side-by-side. Consumer and expert reviews are also widely available for most models, and can factor heavily into your search.

Once you've chosen one or two models to focus on, you can further narrow your options by setting a strict budget and examining the mileage of a used vehicle. A vehicle's mileage only tells a small portion of the whole story of how it has been treated and whether routine maintenance has been performed—however, it will factor into the price of the vehicle quite a bit. A popular rule of thumb is to look for vehicles with not much more than 12,000 miles per year since they were built.

Find out as much as you can about a vehicle before you go see it. The wide selection of used vehicles on the market means you don't need to waste your time with a vehicle that doesn't meet your standards. In particular, finding out the 17-character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a must. The VIN is included in many online car listings; otherwise, getting it from the seller should be no hassle. It's all the information you need to receive comprehensive Vehicle History Reports from CARFAX. A one-time fee will allow you to get CARFAX Reports on an unlimited number of cars, as well as model-specific Safety and Reliability Reports. A Vehicle History Report tells you if a vehicle has ever been totaled, flooded or stolen, if its odometer has been tampered with, and plenty of other useful facts that must check out for you to proceed with a purchase.

Caution is also necessary when using the internet to shop. Further protect yourself by reading our Fraud Awareness Tips.

Money Matters

By now you should have a short list of vehicles to examine in person, but before you go, you should have a financial plan in place. This doesn't just mean setting a strict budget for the price of the car, but also considering other costs of ownership, such as insurance rates. Also, most used cars either have very little warranty left or none at all. Examine your extended warranty options and see if one would be right for you.

With, you can choose the best loan for you within minutes from up to 4 lenders. Plus tips and advice on securing the best loan.

There is also, of course, the issue of price. It's important to keep in mind that value is in the eye of the beholder, and purchase price will be determined by how much the buyer or seller is willing to budge—but more on that later. At the start, a good indicator of a vehicle's worth is easy to find by searching for it on

By now you have the makings of an ideal used vehicle shopping packet, which you can take with you for quick reference when you go out to shop. It should include:

* Any applicable CARFAX Vehicle History Reports
* Your credit report, if you're planning to finance through a dealership
* Several price quotes
* Car loan pre-approval information
* Insurance quotes
* Extended warranty quotes
* Pricing information for your current car, if you're considering a trade-in
* A notebook, to record everything you learn during the inspection and test drive

Time to Drive

Now, all that's left before you go is placing a phone call to set up a test drive. While you're on the phone, verify the information you've already learned from the Vehicle History Report. Ask if they have service records to back up their upkeep of the vehicle, and try to get a general feel for them and why they're selling the car. If sellers seem to waver in their answers, you'll know to tread carefully and be vigilant for other red flags.

During your first inspection of the vehicle, be sure to examine every part of the interior and exterior and look for any flaws that could potentially affect your decision, or lower your asking price. It's often helpful to bring along a mechanically inclined friend to point out things you might have missed. If you're able, also examine the area where the car is normally parked; a stained driveway or parking lot may be a warning sign that the car has a potentially problematic fluid leak.

A car's VIN will also come in handy during your initial inspection. It's commonly displayed on the driver's side of the dash (viewable through the windshield), and it may also be located the front of the engine block, or in various other places depending on the particular model. Find out all the places where the VIN should be located and see if they match up—mismatched VINs are a telltale sign of major body work.

When you get behind the wheel, there are a number of things you can do to make the most out of your test drive. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself while test driving a used vehicle:

* Does the vehicle have enough head and leg room for everybody who will regularly ride in it?
* Does it have the acceleration you're looking for?
* Does it slow smoothly when you brake?
* How does it feel on bumpy roads?
* Are the interior controls and displays easily accessible and readable?

Listen carefully for any abnormal noises that may suggest problems. If you hear anything, or even if you don't, another important piece of advice still applies: your safest bet is always to get any vehicle checked out by a certified third-party mechanic.

Name Your Price

When you've decided on the car you want, it's time to get down to the numbers. The car's value on should be considered, but that number should always be matched up against what you discover during your inspections and test drives. Often times, your initial offer will have nothing to do with the seller's asking price, but you will have plenty of concrete information and research to back up your offer. Don't be afraid to make a low offer, and if you have to move up, do so in small increments. If you have a price ceiling set, don't budge from it. However, you also should be willing to make sacrifices for quality. The car with the lowest sticker price can often end up costing you much more in the long run, not to mention the headaches of having to make time for numerous trips to the service shop.

If at any point you don't have a good feeling about your negotiation, don't be afraid to walk out the door; hopefully you won't have to. Everybody negotiates in their own way, and bringing along your ample internet research is a huge first step to getting a great deal. Knowledge is power!

Close the Deal

Before you sign anything, make sure to get everything you've been promised in writing—especially anything that relates to a money-back guarantee or any other kind of warranty. Even then, only sign an "As Is" paper if you know you're getting a pristine vehicle, because that document overrides anything else you've been promised. By this point, you should know just as much about the vehicle as the seller does, but you should still leave nothing to chance. And after all the paperwork is in order, you can drive away smiling, knowing that you've maximized your value.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2009 Toyota Corolla Road Test Review

The ninth generation of Toyota Corolla was not so much old, though it definitely had outstayed its welcome, as it had become boring. If fact, say that bo-ring, with the emphasis on the first syllable, as in Beauregard. Not grammatically correct, perhaps, but more exciting to talk about than the Corolla was to drive.

Not that economy cars have any right to be exciting or even entertaining, but there’s no reason why frugal wheels must be Exhibit A in a mattress commercial. And that’s what the Corolla had become: a rolling snooze. Need any more proof? Scion is Toyota’s confession that its smaller offerings had induced enthusiasm comas among the young.

Of course, the team working on the tenth generation Toyota Corolla could have yielded the field to Scion, but that also would have left Corolla’s market share open to poaching by competitors and left themselves contemplating unemployment.

So instead of another generation of generic econoboxes, Toyota pulls the wrap from a 2009 Corolla that’s surprisingly striking for an economy sedan from the company whose logo is the man wearing a sombrero.

Indeed, the 2009 Corolla is no box, econo or otherwise. While not as daring as the Honda Civic, the Toyota has a few styling flourishes of its own including a chic drooping snout behind a wide grille. A neat feature is how the Toyota logo suspended from the leading edge of the hood is matched by an indent in the lower edge of the grille surround, certainly a result of some designer’s aha! moment.

Toyota breaks with boring design with organic crests growing atop the hood, leading not to the shoulder line but to the A-pillar. The clear-covered headlamp array contours back to the front fender and down along the side of the vehicle. Toyota kicked the base of the A-pillar forward for a “faster” windshield and gave the backlight a flatter angle as well. The shape of the trunk continues the shoulder line with a step along the rear flanks, similar to Volvo but with clear red taillamps that project from the body.

The 2009 Corolla has five trim levels: standard, LE and XLE, and the sporty accented S and the high performance—relatively speaking—XRS. The latter two have “ground effects” trim along the rocker panels and under the rear bumper, plus “sideburn” (our term) spoilers on both front corners.

The interior matches the exterior. Plain it’s not but it doesn’t have the sci-fi dash like the Civic. Instead, the instrument panel is topped by a double curved cowling matching the large, legible speedometer and tachometer. The steering wheel has tilt/telescoping as standard equipment on all trim levels, as are XM satellite radio ready audio, air conditioning, front seat side and side curtain airbags, intermittent wipers and 60/40 split folding rear seats. The price leader “standard” model has hand crank windows; to get central locking means moving up to the LE trim level. At the other end of the Corolla sedan spectrum, the XLE includes variable intermittent wipers, center console, wood grain trim and fancy “optitron” gauges, also used on the XRS. The latter is Toyota simply putting your money where your eyes are.

The S and XRS have front sport seats, cruise control and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. The XRS improves sport driving with 17-inch alloy wheels with P215/45R17 tires, rear disc brakes to replace drums, and a strut tower brace to stiffen the chassis for better handling. The XRS also has stability control standard, otherwise optional on all trim packages.

The exterior dimensions of the 2009 Toyota Corolla increased by less than a half inch in length and just short of 2.5 inches wide while decreasing about 1 inch in overall height while maintaining the same interior space. The greater width yields increased shoulder room and Toyota says there’s more room for an over-six footer to sit in comfort…which we can’t confirm because we aren’t over six foot, but folks, can half an inch more legroom make that much difference?

Toyota also says it gave special attention to wind noise around the A-pillar, plus a five-layer acoustic glass windshield, with two layers of glass sandwiching a layer of acoustic material. Side window vibration was also reduced and the carpeting was modified for better sound insulation.

A choice of two new engines comes with three different transmissions. An all-new 1.8-liter 16-valve four doesn’t skimp on technology with variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides. The result is an impressive-for-its-size 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with a four-speed automatic optional. The automatic has hill sensing technology which, based on throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration, determines whether the car is going up or downhill and selects gear ratios accordingly, including shifting down on downhills for moderate engine braking.

The other engine is Toyota’s 2.4-liter four, though completely redesigned for use in the Corolla. It’s rated at 158 horses, but it’s the gain in torque that makes the bigger engine worthwhile. At 162 lb-ft, the extra grunt improves acceleration and around-town drivability. It too comes with a 5-speed manual as standard equipment but the optional automatic is a five rather than four-speed.

We had the opportunity to drive two Corollas, one with the 1.8-liter and four-speed automatic, and the other with the 2.4-liter and the manual shift five-speed in an XRS. They were about as far apart on the Corolla spectrum as possible, as was the performance. Simply put, although the 1.8-liter was smooth and quiet, at full throttle it had a raspy exhaust note. Performance was more an accumulation of velocity rather than acceleration.

The automatic shifted smoothly but it gave the impression of soaking up torque like California absorbs rain…when it finally does, rain in California, that is. On the highway it feels like the transmission, although in drive, was left in an intermediate ratio. It sounds like the engine wants to be shifted up, except there’s nothing more up to shift up to.

Corolla drivers will find the handling comfortable and familiar. A soft ride compromises ultimate cornering but the Toyota is confident up to its limit, with plenty of warning before it’s reached. We do recommend the stability control, however, to keep things on the up and up...literally.

Performance of the XRS was pleasantly perky, and casual driving took a lot less throttle to accelerate away from traffic lights without feeling like a traffic cone with wheels. The five-speed manual was reasonably crisp and didn’t suffer from synchronizer lockup when revved to its redline. Not, of course, that the forces are that great to begin with. Still, it scoots entertainingly and with more security than lesser Corollas, thanks primarily to the lower profile tires with less sidewall squirm. What the XRS lacks is a true sport suspension with firmer springs and shocks and well-sorted anti-roll bars.

The Corolla XRS, to that extent, is sort of an odd bird. It is, according to a Toyota spokesman, not a car one seeks out for its own characteristics. Rather it’s something that someone who has already decided on a Corolla will spec up to as better than an ordinary Corolla. Perhaps. Still, Toyota expects about five percent of Corolla sales to be the XRS.

Whatever trim level, we see the tenth-generation Toyota Corolla as a significant improvement over its predecessors (though not so much in quality because there was less room for gains there). The 2009 Corolla rescues the model from the mundane just when its competitors are spicing up their mainstream econocoaches. Bo-ring? Not now. Not if you don’t want it to be.

2010 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Renderings

Though not officially confirmed, a top-of-the-line “V” model of Cadillac’s upcoming CTS Coupe (based on the Detroit Show concept) is probably in the works as there’s no better way of promoting a car like this than creating a “halo” version. As these photo illustrations created by Nick Wilcox for Insideline suggest, apart from receiving GM’s supercharged 550Hp 6.2-liter V8 engine, Cadillac’s answer to the BMW M3 will also feature an aggressive bodykit to help it stand out from the standard versions.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2008 Audi A4

The A4 is Audi's spirited and versatile mainstay, offering a combination of style and substance that keeps it highly competitive within its class. It is available in sedan, wagon and Cabriolet body styles, with a choice between Audi's legendary quattro all-wheel drive system and FrontTrak front-wheel drive on sedans and Cabriolets.

The A4 2.0T trims are outfitted with a 200 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; A4 3.2 trims get a 255 hp 3.2-liter V6; both engines feature FSI direct fuel injection. Available transmissions include a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic with Tiptronic and a seven-speed Multitronic CVT. Standard features on all A4 trims include electronic stability control, alloy wheels, power sunroof (except Cabriolets), automatic climate control and a 6-disc CD changer; 3.2 trims add heated front seats, leather upholstery and genuine wood trim elements.
For 2008, the Audi A4 Sedan and Avant get a major visual upgrade; the S line exterior package is now standard, including revised bumpers, grille and integrated trunklid spoiler. As well, the 3.2 trims get new standard 18-inch alloy wheels. The Cabriolet remains largely untouched for 2008.

The good: The 2008 Audi A4 combines nimble performance with sprightly handling and the availability of some stylish S-Line trim. Its upgraded audio system is worth the investment.

The bad: The A4's dismal iPod integration, bizarre audio options, and dated navigation system give it some of the weakest cabin technology available on a premium sedan.

The bottom line: The 2008 A4 demonstrates Audi's ability to run with the competition when it comes to performance, but the car's im

Friday, May 2, 2008

Toyota Corolla Altis 2008

Road Test – Toyota Corolla Altis 2008
Toyota has been selling Corollas since the 60's. Despite serving the masses well, it’s painfully uninspired, and its designs have become somewhat of a numbing norm. Now in its 10th incarnation, it shares similar engines with the previous model. Can it hold a candle to the stylishly popular Honda Civic or the aggressively fashioned Mitsubishi Lancer?

You wouldn't be able to guess what it is from a distance. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a Camry. Great! Toyota has taken hints of its large sedan and slapped them onto the new Altis, mainly in the form of the car’s front grille and headlamps.

And that’s the first impression we get with this new model. At last, a little visual justice has been done to this icon of daily, workhorse transportation. After proving to be the definitive, popular choice of Singaporean families, Toyota has made it even more irresistible to own one with their current offspring.


At 20mm closer to the ground and almost 60mm wider than its predecessor, the new Toyota Corolla exudes a much younger and sportier nature. The soft, distinct lines cut and define their way from front to rear as they flow over the headlamps, past the bonnet and running the length of the sides before gently dissolving at the trunk. Toyota calls this modelling process a “Sweep Cut”, which is basically one of their forms of car sculpting.

So it has character. Even more than the past few Corolla's combined. But like everything else, something had to give, and that came in the form of the back-side of the car.
The odd shaped tail lamps seem to be a compromise between that of the Camry's and the older Altis'. This somewhat dampened the excitement that the front conveyed. Even the circular reflectors embedded in either side of the bumpers were a little off, and reeked of last minute placement.

To get our minds off that, Toyota distracts by pointing out that in their bid to contribute to a greener environment, they have reduced the amount of environmentally harmful substances used in the production of their cars. Materials used in parts like silicon weather stripping and the blackout portion of the door frame and roof moulding have been substituted with less harmful materials.

The result? 80% less Volatile Organic Compounds in the atmosphere as compared to the previous model. No wonder it cost almost a billion yen to develop…


You are greeted by a neat, uncluttered dash together with a beige colour scheme - easy on the eyes with a sense of calm, overriding any form of negative energy. The centre console's various buttons are distributed well, and are all within the reach of the driver.

The rest of it is pretty much standard issue - an updated steering wheel with audio control buttons, CD player, a graphic audio interface and climate control.

Keeping with the trend, the steering wheel has been updated as well. Audio & Multi-Information Display switches have been installed so you can change the radio station when an annoying Britney rendition plays for the umpteenth time. Another pleasant surprise was telescopic adjustment that allowed us to pull, or push the wheel away, effectively adjusting its reach with relative ease.

The seating position and comfortable support of the seats kept us happy throughout our test drive. This was carried over to the rear seats as well. With added width and strategically placed C Pillar, more space has been granted with the ability for to swallow 3 adults easily at the back.

A total absence of the typical “hump” in the rear flooring area is a breath of fresh air consequently, sliding around is much easier, if you fancy that sort of thing.

The 475L boot manages 4 golf bags and a bunch of smaller items with ease. The glove box has 2 separate compartments on top of each other - a novel way to utilise space. Not only can it store more items but we found ourselves opening and closing it in fascination. Although it lasts for all but the first 7 times, it’s a cool distraction piece for passengers who talk way too much while you drive.

Engine & Driving Impressions

Both engines have been retuned to comply with stringent Euro-3 emission control regulations, and while power hikes aren’t a priority, they are a little more fuel efficient. The straight-4, 3ZZ-FE spec in the 1.6l produces 145Nm of torque at 4400 rpm while putting out a respectable 107bhp. The more powerful 1.8l 1ZZ-FE found in the SS1 model Celica and the Wish, squeezes 170Nm of torque at 4200rpm with 130bhp on tap. Both models come in a four-speed automatic transmission, with the 1.8l featuring a sequential gear shift facility.

We test drove the mainstream 1.6-litre variant, and despite relatively mediocre power figures, there is enough pulling power to make overtaking a breeze should you decide to floor the loud pedal. Lane change-acceleration capabilities aren’t a problem at all, even with the whole family piled into the car.

Coming to an abrupt stop is efficiently facilitated by the 15'' ventilated discs up front and solid discs at the back. Wind and road noise hardly exist below 100km/h but when you bury the accelerator into the carpet, the engine whimpers for a second before a loud, disgruntled roar makes itself heard. Then, you’ll see the speedometer needle move rapidly to the right. Even as legal limits are breached, noise, vibration and harshness levels were kept low whilst comfort levels were hardly compromised by Corolla standards.

The McPherson struts (front) and torsion beam (rear) both do their job well in keeping occupants focused on their own thing while driving, although all of us agreed that high speed stability could have been better, especially with the overly-assisted steering. Humps didn't prove to be too jarring when driven over at higher than recommended speeds.

Despite the mysterious decision to not include a multi-linked rear setup commonly found in cars its class, this new one actually handles slightly better, if not the same. It dives willingly into corners and turn in is precise. When pushed, heavy understeer rears its ugly head at this car's relatively low limits of grip, as might be expected of it.

Why buy it?

With a slew of safety features like a reinforced cabin, dual airbags, brake-assist, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and an anti-theft System, all of which comes as standard.

Obviously, the new Corolla Altis will have to put up a fight against the Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.5 Sports which is almost $5,000 cheaper and slower ($63,988 as of 20 Mar '08). Then there is the Mazda 3 with its continental car-like stability and the Honda Civic with its funky interior, with the latter being the most expensive, and value-scarce car.

The base 1.6L currently retails for $67,388 with the most expensive and highly equipped 1.8L at $76,988 as of 21st March 2008. Not exactly the cheapest car, but that price tag is certainly justified once you are behind the wheel. It has more mass appeal now than ever with its handsome, grown up looks and it has to be said, that everything else about this car has grown with it.