Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All-New 2011 Honda Odyssey

The 2011 Honda Odyssey is no ordinary minivan. Already a winner with such awards as the '2011 Best Redesigned Vehicle' from and a 2011 'All Star' from Automobile Magazine, it's no wonder the Odyssey is a bestselling minivan. The 2011 model does not disappoint; it is packed with a lot of great features and offers efficiency, top safety amenities, comfort and convenience, hi-tech goodies, and plenty of space.

A 3.5-liter V-6 engine that generates 248 horsepower powers all 2011 Odysseys. Its Variable Cylinder Management system allows for excellent power, fuel efficiency, and low emissions. A six-speed automatic transmission is available that delivers an impressive 28 mpg highway estimated fuel economy. As an eight-passenger van, 28 mpg make the Odyssey a class leader.

Honda is committed to providing safe vehicles, and the Odyssey is no exception. It comes equipped with sophisticated safety technology that can help avoid accidents and protect occupants. The Odyssey's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure helps absorb impacts in the event of a collision. A slew of standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control, anti lock brakes with brake distribution, front and front side airbags, three-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor and active head restraints. Also included to help prevent accidents from occurring is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System. This system uses a warning icon to notify the driver when significantly low pressure is detected in a tire.

The Odyssey's cabin screams comfort and convenience with useful features and smart engineering. The very user-friendly interior is designed with the purpose to make lives easier. The comfortable driver seat features 10-way power adjustment and power lumbar support included on EX models and above. Drivers can choose a soundtrack with Song By Voice, get directions with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition, or make a call with Bluetooth all hands-free in the Odyssey. Space is also bountiful in this minivan with room for eight passengers and plenty of cargo space to fit loading needs.

Also enhancing the Odyssey's appeal, other cutting-edge hi-tech goodies available include a 16.2-inch Honda DVD Rear Entertainment System with HDM Technology and blind spot information system on the Touring Elite and the multi-view rear camera with the navigation system. The Odyssey can even handle any mess with its Flip-Up Trash Bag Ring and can keep any drink cold with the beverage cool box, available on the EX model and above.

Improving upon its predecessor, the 2011 model is also better-looking. The modern styling gives the minivan a unique and desirable appearance. The 2011 exterior is sure to grab attention with its low-slung and aerodynamic features. Also depending on model, the Odyssey is equipped with great features including power tailgate, power sliding doors, high-intensity headlamps, and power side mirrors with integrated turn indicators.

Car Reviews: 2011 Jaguar XJ Luxury Car

The 2011 Jaguar XJ is the British car manufacturer's flagship car and is loaded with luxury and is the most technologically advanced XJ to date. The current model's design, which was introduced for the 2010 model year, is a departure from the previous generations of XJ cars that have been around for decades. The new design is aimed to bring a younger audience to the brand.

The new design seems to have worked as the car has been getting many rave reviews from car websites and magazines; the design is very unique and can't be mistaken for another car. The interior design is very contemporary with a very user friendly layout and ease of use in mind. The entire interior is covered by leather including the seats, the dashboard, the center console and even the door panels. Because of all this soft material and extra sound dampening materials, the Jag's interior is extremely quiet and luxurious. The car comes with a 600 watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system and can hold up to 10 gigabytes of music on the hard-drive. The sound system is controlled through an eight inch touch screen LCD display which also controls the climate and the message seats. The same screen also acts as the navigation screen and can be used as a screen to watch movies (currently only available in the European models) and displays images from the rear view camera when in reverse gear.

On the exterior the Jaguar XJ has a very sleek and sporty look to it; the rear window is sloped like a sports car. It makes the car look good but it makes it very difficult to look out the back window when reversing, the reverse camera and parking sensors come in very handy.

The standard version of the 2011 Jaguar XJ comes with a 5.0 liter V8 engine that produces 385 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 380 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm and is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted by paddles located on the steering wheel. The car can reach 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds and is electronically limited to a top speed of 121 miles per hour. There is also a supercharged version of this car available which increased horsepower to 470 and 424 pound-feet of torque, making the 0 - 60 run in 4.9 seconds. The third and most powerful version is called the Supersport which ups the power to 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque.

The standard Jaguar XJ starts at a price of $72,700 and gets an EPA estimated fuel mileage of 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway. The supercharged version starts at a price of $87,700 and gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway. The Jaguar XJ Supersport starts at $113,200 and gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway.

2011 Car Award Winners

This year, the Chevrolet Volt seems to be taking all of the awards; the North American Car of the Year, Green Car of the Year and others. But there are plenty of other 2011 models out there that are causing quite a stir and driving away with their own awards. While engineering and innovation are important factors when picking a winner for different car awards; they are not factors that concern the everyday car buying consumer. Factors like value and safety are some of the most important factors a car buyer will look at when making the decision to purchase a car. And while these cars may not make the Best Car of the Year award list, they are getting their own awards in categories that really matter to the consumer.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety picks cars every year to be on their Top Safety picks list. For 2011 66 different models earned a spot on this coveted list. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests the safety of these vehicles based on their performance in high-speed front and side crash tests and rollover tests. The IIHS also evaluates how well the seat and head restraints protect against neck injuries in rear impacts. All vehicles place on the Top Safety Picks list must score the Institute's highest rating of 'Good' in all test and come standard with electronic stability control.

The IIHS has stricter safety tests than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; but they also create a list of passing vehicles from their tests. The IIHS put each of its winners in a class; in the Large Cars class, the Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300 and Hyundai Genesis were just three of the 14 winners. In the Small Cars class; the Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen GTI were a few of the 14 winners. The Ford Fiesta, Toyota Sienna, and Volkswagen Touareg were the only winners in their classes of Minicars, Minivans and Large SUVs, respectively. In the Midsize Car category a wide array of vehicles won from many different auto makers including, Audi, Hyundai, Ford, Subaru, Mercedes and Volvo; for a total of 15 cars.

A New Car Audio System For New Year

Revive your car audio system in time for the New Year by investing in a new stereo for 2011. Although most car audio stereos now have the options of CD, Mp3, DVD and Bluetooth, 2011 is set to see the CD slowly vanish into the past, just like the tape, to be replaced by the Mp3 alone. If you still want a car CD player, now is the time to invest in one before CD's vanish into the abyss.

Car audio players have a great number of options, especially in this day and age. They vary in design depending on the types of technology you need for your car audio system, from simple distortion technology for the radio to communications technology. For instance a number of people both use CD's, USB and iPods, thus incorporating them all into the design makes the stereo more versatile and adaptable to your needs. A well designed system will have most of these options.

When looking for a new car stereo, you need to consider the radio specifications as well. A good car CD/Mp3 player will have a wide range of frequencies for AM/FM radio and should be able to pick up a clearer signal as well as filter out most of the distortion. You can also find car stereos with digital, HD and satellite based radio at the higher end of the market. Keep in mind these technologies are relatively new and may be expensive for a few years yet, however, they will be sticking around for a long time, making them a worthwhile investment for the future.

There are a great number of audio systems for the car on the market from 2010, yet with 2011 just around the corner, what new technologies and design elements are set to set the standard for the audio industry? It may be in fact worth waiting till 2011 to see what the top car/home audio brands release before investing in a audio system for the car for New Year's. But for now there are still a great number of car audio systems on the market that are equipped for your entertainment and communication requirements.

2011's Best New Cars

Many of the best new cars for 2011 have advanced safety features that keep you and your passengers more secure as well as making your insurance agent happy. Keep in mind when considering a new car the potential cost of your cover insurance, and seek an online car insurance quote to help you make the final purchase decision.


The Tesla Roadster for 2011 is the gold-standard for electric vehicles, with a price to match at £86950. Manufactured at the Lotus plant in Hethel, England, the 2011 Roadster can travel up to 386 km on a single charge - compared to the electric Nissan Leaf, which has a range of 161 km. Performance-wise, this revolutionary electric car goes from 0-96.5 km/h in 3.7 seconds. However, the manufacturer announced in January 2011 that Roadster production will be suspended until 2013, so this is the year to snap up your Tesla Roadster, available by order.


The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the long-awaited electric/petrol hybrid that has been heralded as the most fuel-efficient vehicle available on the world market. Named Car of the Year for 2011 by Motor Trend magazine, the Volt can travel up to 65 km on an electric charge, at which point the petrol-powered generator kicks in to assist the electric engine. While the manufacturer is not due to release the Volt in Europe and the UK until November of 2011, speculates the MSRP will be near £25,500. The Opal/Vauxhall Amper, the European spec version of the same automobile, will sell for £28,995 after deducting a £5000 government subsidy.

Family Category

Subaru Outback, Motor Trend's SUV of the year, ranks high in the family category for 2011 with a roomier interior than the 2010 version, combining superior all-wheel-drive performance with a family-friendly ride. The manufacturer introduced its new turbo Boxer diesel Outback in 2011, with a 2.0-litre, 1,998cc engine. This updated diesel engine boasts reduced carbon emissions and improved fuel efficiency, and comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. Dual-stage deployment airbags and a reinforced body structure provide a safe family environment, and you will notice the difference in online car insurance quotes. The base price for the Outback 2.0D is £27995.

Luxury Sport Category

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is made in Stuttgart, Germany. A rear-wheel drive, performance vehicle that races from 0-96.5 km/h in 5 seconds (Model E500), the Cabriolet nevertheless delivers solid handling even on curving, slick roadways. The luxurious interior has heated seats, burl walnut wood trim on premium models and a DVD-based navigation system. A Pre-Safe sensory system anticipates potential danger by adjusting seats and positioning headrests for an anticipated impact. Featuring a retractable all-weather soft-top, the Cabriolet is outfitted for luxurious travel. The base price for the E200 sport model is £36755.

Future Car - 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Introducing The Chevy Cruze

One of the cars that will influence GM for years to come is the Chevrolet Cruze (pronounced cruise) a compact car slightly larger than the current Chevy Cobalt. Originally, it appeared that GM would replace the Cobalt with the Cruze, but after the August 2008 press reveal in Lordstown, Ohio, management has indicated that the Cobalt may soldier on as a separate model.

Regardless of where GM stands with the Cobalt, the Cruze is the car that could make or break the automaker when it goes on sale in Europe beginning in Spring 2009 followed by its US debut one year later. Though the US model will probably have a slightly different powertrain offering than what the European market will see, GM says that the Cruze will still get at least 40 mpg on the highway. Not bad for a gasoline model, putting it in the diminutive Smart Fortwo's territory while delivering a bigger and safer car.

Excellent Engine, Transmission Choices Means 40+ MPG Highway

GM says that the Cruze will be available with 16-valve, 1.6-liter (112 hp) and 1.8-liter (140 hp) gasoline engines featuring variable valve timing (VVT) on both inlet and exhaust sides. This will give the car additional power as well as better fuel economy while producing lower emissions. The automaker's new 2.0-liter turbo diesel, developing 150 hp will add more power with even greater fuel thriftiness. A five-speed manual transmission will be standard, but an optional six-speed automatic transmission will round out the Cruze's offerings. The latter transmission choice is unusual in that it'll be the first time that a six-speed transmission is used in the compact car class.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG Revealed

With all of the talk lately about the newest BMW M5 F10 model coming out late this year there has been little attention given to the fact that Mercedes Benz is also launching a new E63 AMG model into production. Like the F10 model, the E63 will squeeze out all 518 horses through a downsized, twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8. That's a significant step downward (in terms of engine size) from the 6.2-liter V8 that used to produce 518 horsepower and 465 ft-lb of torque, which is certainly an improvement in power efficiency considering an increase in torque for the new 5.5 liter V8 while no loss in horsepower.

It appears that with the latest CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards that most performance auto makers are stepping away from naturally aspirated 8, 10 and 12 cylinder engines and most manufactures that are sticking with 8 cylinder engines are now looking to turbochargers for added performance. The new BMW M5 F10 features a much smaller 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 that pumps out 560 horsepower and 502 ft-lb of torque, getting the sleek sedan from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The E63 AMG will also reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds which is all fun and dandy until you whip out the AMG's Performance Pack.

You see, unlike the new M5, AMG is offering a "Performance Pack" that will boost (no pun intended) output to 550 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque; a significant torque advantage over the new M5, especially considering that the Performance Pack will push the E63 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, about half a second faster than the M5.

Of course, you can still expect to have a luxurious interior, with 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound, 14-way power adjustable seats, or a HD 7-inch screen but what's the point if you buy an AMG? The only thing you'll probably notice is the seat squeezing your butt cheeks as you propel past the F10 M5 on the highway waving friendly gestures to indicate that there is absolutely no rivalry between the two performance manufacturers.

But will you be able to afford the fly-by? The new M5 will have an estimated MSRP of $93,000, while the E63 is estimated to go for approximately $87,000 which seems reasonably close but there is no point in getting the E63 AMG unless you upgrade the power with the Performance Pack which will cost you a Kia Rio on top of the MSRP, or an additional $12,900.

The E63 is no doubt going to be a fantastic sports sedan that will certainly please the car enthusiast that wants to be both practical and fast at the same time. The styling improvements and engine enhancements will certainly make the E63 one of the best looking and fastest sedans on the market in 2012 but BMW is also a force to be reckoned with. I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of competitive rivalries continue to grow on as the two German manufacturers continue to make some of the best cars in the world.