Shelby helps Ford flex its muscle with 2007 Mustang GT500

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

There’s only one reason to put a 500-horsepower Mustang in your garage. It’s certainly not for fuel efficiency. It comes with an SUV-like gas mileage rating and a $1,300 gas guzzler tax. And it’s not because we enjoy lining the pockets of insurance companies. But a painful hike in your auto insurance premium will surely follow your purchase. And it’s definitely not because states have eliminated maximum speed limits on their highways. You know anyone with an abandoned runway?

Edge – leading the way forward for Ford

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

SAN FRANCISCO — The Ford Edge has a lot in common with the Saturn Aura. Odd, certainly, that we would compare an all-new crossover utility vehicle and an all-new mid-sized sedan, cars from different segments.

New version of 2007 Sport Trac puts Ford on the right track

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Ford’s 2007 Explorer Sport Trac is an in-your-face competitor of the Honda Ridgeline. The two pickup-truck-like vehicles are as closely related as Pepsi and Coke. It’s only the flavor that separates them.

The new Sport Trac was introduced in February 2006, a year behind the Ridgeline, which joined the pickup truck fray in February 2005. Both blend a four-door car-like passenger compartment with a short cargo bed. And as strange as it might seem to Honda fans, the Sport Trac stacks up quite nicely against the vaunted Honda creation.

Dodge Ram Mega Cab – a big brut and thirsty too

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The dictionary defines mega as “large.”

The Dodge Ram Mega Cab has been aptly named. The Mega Cab is akin to a limousine with a six-foot bed attached. It takes the increasingly popular crew cab pickup truck to a new level of spaciousness. If you were so inclined you could camp out in the rear seat and watch your favorite video on the optional rear entertainment system before dropping off to sleep.

Dodge Caliber makes it easy to forget Neon

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Hatchbacks are remarkably functional. They turn a small car into a practical car capable of hauling a lot of stuff in addition to two front-seat passengers.

And with gas prices having become a major concern, the practicality of hatchbacks is being revisited by manufacturers. That’s because most of the really useful hatch designs are found on compact-sized cars with small appetites for fuel.

Chrysler Aspen, pretty and a Hemi too

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Let’s give the Chrysler brand a big atta-boy. Its first-ever sport utility carries about as much eye-catching chrome accents as the Cadillac Escalade, the high-riding king of glitter.

Chevy Tahoe finds favor in difficult truck market

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The timing of the January launch of an all-new Chevrolet Tahoe couldn’t be worse said industry analysts in September 2005 following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina had just ravished a wide area of the Gulf Coast and the impact on gas prices highlighted a worst-case scenario for Detroit’s largest automaker: As gasoline prices rise, the product mix shifts away from big SUVs and profits evaporate.

Chevy Suburban, historical excellence prevails

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

1936 was an insignificant year for most of us who weren’t there to witness it first hand and aren’t history buffs or avid watchers of the History Channel. But 1936 was notable for many things including the re-election of President Franklin Roosevelt and the first full year of Social Security.

Cadillac Escalade – beyond hip-hop to the boardroom

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

What has made the Cadillac Escalade so popular with professional athletes, hip-hop stars and other celebrity millionaires has been ramped up a notch in the all-new 2007 version.

Cadillac officials know they sell infinitely more Escalades to doctors, lawyers and businessmen than the high-profile set, but they also know that the “bling-bling” publicity generated by sports stars and music entertainers has been priceless.

BMW 750Li – love the drive but save us from iDrive

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If you had to name one production car that is loaded with more technology, performance and luxury than anything else on the road you could make an excellent argument for the BMW 7-Series.

After a week behind the wheel of the flagship Bimmer, a stretched 750Li outfitted with a potent V-8 engine, we had barely scratched through the surface layer of gizmos and gadgets available to the owner of one of these amazing German sedans.