Nissan Titan — upgrades freshen a good truck

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

With the much publicized launch of the full-sized Toyota Tundra pickup last year, the complete makeover of the Chevrolet Silverado two years ago and the upcoming fall introduction of an all-new Ford F-150 and a completely revitalized Dodge Ram, we thought perhaps it was time to revisit the full-sized Nissan Titan.

Mitsubishi Lancer finds itself back in the race

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If the previous standard-issue Mitsubishi Lancer is completely off your automotive radar there’s a good reason. It was a very average car that was offered in a plain vanilla wrapping.

With so many good compacts in stores over the last few years including the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Ford Focus, it’s no wonder you may be scratching your head trying to figure out just what the eighth-generation Lancer was all about. It was easy to miss and dismiss.

Mini Cooper Clubman — stretched is very good

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Like thousands of Americans, the wife fell in love with the tiny Mini Cooper the first time it arrived for a test drive several years ago. She was enamored of its quirky exterior appearance that mimicked the famous English city car and adored the interior with its dinner plate speedometer smack-dab in the middle of the dashboard and the form-over-function toggle switches for windows and lights.

Mercury Sable — great companion for 3,000-mile trek

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Some say the Mercury brand is hanging by a thread. There’s talk that parent Ford Motor Company will pull the plug in the near future. 
We agree the product lineup is thin and sales have been in decline, but we discovered over five days and nearly 3,000 miles that there’s still life in Mercury. 

Mercury Mariner – gains in value with lower price points


By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Over the years Ford has a penchant for getting a head start on the competition.

For example, the company started shipping the 2005 Escape in the winter of 2004. Going back a decade Ford introduced the all-new 1997 F-150 pickup in January of 1996.

Mercury Mariner, a compact sport utility based on the Ford Escape, gets the jump start this year. The 2008 Mariner started showing up in showrooms this past winter – at least after January 1.

Mercedes C-Class is turning heads and delivering entry level luxury

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If and when you purchase automotive entry-level luxury north of $30,000 you would expect your car to have a luxury persona from the way it looks inside and out and from the way it drives and performs.

Mazda3 hatchback defined by quality looks and feel

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We don’t understand why Mazda sells only on average about 100,000 units a year of its Mazda3 sedan and five-door hatchback in North America.

Granted, that’s not an insignificant number. Few nameplates reach six-figure sales. But when the Mazda3 is compared to its top two competitors, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, it’s a modest number. Both the Civic and Corolla approach and sometimes exceed 300,000 almost every year.

Mazda5 – excellence in a small package

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

There are many attractive transportation alternatives for a small family. And with the advent of incredibly high gas prices the most attractive family feature may be good gas mileage.

That makes the Mazda5 perhaps one of the most desirable choices when it comes time to replace Old Betsy. And we think it is one heck of good vehicle.

Mazda MX-5 – continuous fun

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Aah, nostalgia; for nearly two decades the Mazda MX-5 has been the only British-style (note, not British like) roadster available in North America.

Land Rover Range Rover – for the landed gentry - they get to buy the best

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We can understand why India’s mega-conglomerate and car producer Tata wanted to get its hands on Land Rover; after all Land Rover sells nearly 50,000 premium sport utility vehicles in America every year. Its flagship Range Rover has outsold the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser combined the past few years, and it annually outsells the Mercedes G-Class.