Dodge Nitro — head-turning crossover

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We were sitting in the parking lot of a convenience going through the Sirius satellite radio offerings when a couple women walked by obviously admiring the red Dodge Nitro R/T.

"Look at that truck. That's what I want," one of them remarked to the other as they slid past keeping their eyes glued on the in-your-face Nitro.

Dodge Dakota – if you need it it’s the only V-8 in the class

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It seems that Chrysler’s biggest problem is too few products that stand out, that say check me out first before going to another store. And if buyers consistently avoid Chrysler stores, all is lost for the re-emerging company.

Despite Consumer Reports magazine’s recent proclamation that most of Chrysler’s products are generally inferior, Chrysler has some good stuff, certainly worthy of a look and in most cases worthy of a test drive.

Dodge Avenger, a bit macho and different in a tough segment

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The 2008 Dodge Avenger brings a bold attitude to the popular mid-sized sedan segment dominated by the mainstream Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Chrysler Town & Country – more than practical, its fun

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The minivan segment has been distilled over the past couple of years into the “big three” — Chrysler (and Dodge), Honda and Toyota — and a few smaller players.

Gone from the segment are industry giants General Motors and Ford; both having deciding to redirect their resources into crossover sport utilities and vehicles of a different ilk.

Chevrolet’s 2008 Malibu lives up to GM’s expectations and then some

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

No car in our memory has been pitched to the American public like the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. We can’t fathom a man, woman or child who reads a newspaper or magazine, watches television or surfs the Web that hasn’t seen at least one if not a 100 commercial spots for the newest Chevy. Rumors have it that the budget for Malibu is between $100 and $150-million dollars. That’s lots of scratch.

Cadillac STS – where the V-6 strikes the right note

By Jim Meachen

Like most automotive journalists, we’re power junkies. The more power the more fun. That’s usually the bottom line.

But there are other things power brings to the table. For instance, the more power the better to extricate one-self from those occasional troubling encounters on crowded highways. Power is confidence inspiring.

So when there’s a choice of engines, we usually desire to drive the biggest and most powerful in the lineup.

Cadillac CTS has found itself and it’s a great find

By Jim Meachen

Cadillac officials think they’ve hit a home run with the all-new second-generation CTS sedan. Talk to an engineer or a marketing type and they’re bubbling over with enthusiasm. There’s excitement at General Motors’ Cadillac Division. And there should be.

Buick Lucerne Super – front fender ports back, a Buick to remember

By Ted Biederman and Jim Meachen

We know people who long for the good old days. Perhaps that’s because the old days always seem better than they actually were in the rearview mirror of life.

And those same people think they long for the good old days when cars were big, softy sprung, cozy and comfy, and powered by big V-8 engines.

For those who do we have something from Buick that will bring those good old days back to life, but in a modern suit of clothes and with modern technology.

Buick Enclave a CUV worthy of its size

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

General Motors saved its best for last.

That was a conclusion easily reached after a few miles behind the wheel of the 2008 Buick Enclave, a full-sized crossover sport utility vehicle.

The Enclave is the third of General Motors’ vehicles off the so-called Lambda platform to reach the showroom. The Enclave is entering the marketplace about six months after its platform mates, the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia, made their initial appearance.

BMW X6 – a tempting choice in a limited market

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Most people liked it. A few had reservations. Conversations ensued. It was probably the most interesting vehicle from the standpoint of sidewalk curiosity we’ve driven in the past year.

All wanted an explanation. The big question, what is it?