Ford F-Series Super Duty proves its worth in tough Texas weather

By Jim Meachen

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — An old ranch hand confided that competitive roping was in his blood as he gracefully threw his lasso over a set of bull horns.

He was showing off his cowboy skills to a couple of automotive writers who were among dozens assembled to drive the 2008 Ford Super Duty pickups in what turned out to be the muddy, wet and icy hill country of west Texas. Mother Nature in mid-January gave us one of the worst Texas winters in years. Burrrr!

Volvo C30 – small but very satisfying

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We love small, practical cars that in addition to their practicality offer some measure of driving excitement including a healthy dose of horsepower and torque with smile-inducing handling traits and a modicum of desirable amenities create the perfect car for 
us.A newcomer that fits neatly into our driving lifestyle equation is the 2008 Volvo

Volkswagen R32 – limited edition finds unlimited fun

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Small tossable hot hatchbacks were always intriguing to us. And years ago we wished for more horsepower in the little guys. That was back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Change was on the way in 1983 when Volkswagen endowed its square-box Rabbit with a bigger engine and called it the GTI.

Toyota Sequoia – when big is absolutely necessary

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Toyota has become well known for its environmentally friendly vehicles.

The best example is the hybrid Prius, which has become an unqualified sales success in the 21st Century. The fuel-sipping Prius is the status symbol of the so-called environmentally correct, one of only two vehicles in 2007 that exceeded 35 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving as measured by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Toyota Land Cruiser – a modernized classic in a changing market


By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The flags at the top of the ski slope directed us straight down hill, about 2,000 feet of rock-strewn mountain side during the off-season at Big Sky resort near Bozeman, Montana.

Second-generation Toyota Highlander improves in almost every way for 2008


By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Uninspired styling and ordinary gas mileage will not deter buyers from purchasing in large numbers the all-new Toyota Highlander crossover utility vehicle.

Suzuki SX4 — affordable all-wheel drive

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

All-wheel drive is becoming increasingly popular, now found on many vehicles including sedans and sports cars. New, sophisticated all-wheel drive systems are better than two-wheel drive in nearly all applications.

Subaru’s Impreza WRX STI – more conservative in looks only

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Rewarding utility meets awesome power in the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

Grocery-hauling attributes combine with the fast and furious for the man who has family responsibilities, but also the need for incredible speed.

Subaru Tribeca – looking good

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The face that no one could love is gone.

The controversial front-end of the Subaru B9 Tribeca has been revised and now looks much like several mainstream vehicles, but perhaps most like a Chrysler Pacifica.

It’s merely a ho-hum change, but one that was needed. The previous Tribeca, on the market for two years, had an airplane-shaped grille that drew considerable criticism and derision. No doubt it cost Subaru sales. Any change was a good change.