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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i First Impression

Subaru Outback 2.5i (1 of 4)

We recently replaced our 1998 Avalon with a 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i.  The Outback will primarily be used as our kid taxi, but it will also be used for longer road trips as well as exploring the great outdoors.  We went with a Subaru for several reasons; we needed a safe all wheel drive car for the family, a car …

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1998 Honda LX CRV 4×4


The Honda CRV has been in production since 1995 but was only introduced to the United States in 1997. This little sport-ute definitely has its place in the market, especially since it’s the largest growing. The sport utility market has been growing faster than any other since the dawn of the industrial era. Just about every auto manufacturer has jumped …

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2005 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2005 Mitsubishi Outlander is the least expensive of the Japanese manufacturer’s three sports utility vehicles. It’s compact, nicely designed and offers more standard features than many SUVs nearly twice the price. But the Outlander faces a tough challenge. In a popular category that includes best-buy choices like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, the Outlander doesn’t offer …

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2006 Toyota RAV4 SUV

Some cars take a while to grow on you, and some seem great at first but grow progressively disappointing. The Toyota RAV4 was remarkably consistent through our week-long test drive; its strengths and weaknesses are fairly clear. It’s an easy car to get to know, with intuitive controls in the places you’d expect, and no big complications or tricks to …

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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

  Review Notes: 2011 Jeep Compass – 2.4 L DOHC 15-Valve I4 w/ CVT Tra Pros • Incredibly well appointed luxury SUV that can go where others can’t • 5.7 liter Hemi V8 • Elegant, functional interior as good as Lexus and better than BMW Cons • Slow responding transmission  • Power to weight ratio • 13 MPG city EPA …

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2011 Jeep Compass with Freedom Drive II

  Review Notes: 2011 Jeep Compass – 2.4 L DOHC 15-Valve I4 w/ CVT Tra Pros • Surprisingly capable off-road capabilities • 28 MPG for a 4×4 vehicle (2.4 L w/Manual trans) • More serious, new look • 19.11:1 Max low-gear ratio Cons • CVT transmission is noisy • Automatic trans shifter looks like it belongs in a Peterbilt • …

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2005 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck review

Review Notes: Toyota Tacoma V6 Access Cab 4WD with Six-Speed Manual Personality a truck lover’s truck, despite interior design Above Average: brute-force acceleration with V6; probably reliability; cornering with TRD Needs Work In: gas mileage, clutch force (V6), noise (V6), rear seats (Access Cab), wheel hop when braking Toyota Tacoma mid-sized pickup The Toyota Tacoma is a beefier version of …

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The Chevrolet Avalanche: 2002 and 2004

Review By Dr. David A. Zatz Review Notes: Chevrolet Avalanche Personality Well-behaved work truck; in 2004; with luxury features Quirks Door handle, brake release placement Unusual features Effective brakes, fold-down rear seats with removable window glass Above Average: Braking, usability, handling (with Stabilitrak) Needs Work In: Minor touches, gas mileage Gas mileage: 14 city, 18 highway (EPA, 2004) The Chevrolet …

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban 4×4

Review By Dr. David A. Zatz Review Notes: Chevrolet Suburban Personality Feels like an oversized minivan, pulls like a demon Quirks Some odd control placements, indecisive transmission Unusual features Relatively efficient and reliable Above Average: Power, handling, available gadgets Needs Work In: Gas mileage – though it’s top of class now; some controls   The Chevrolet Suburban was produced long …

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2003 GMC Sierra 1500 HD Automatic 4WD

Review by Dr. David A. Zatz Review Notes: GMC Sierra 1500 HD Automatic 4WD Personality Serious work truck with luxury amenities Quirks Door handle, brake release placement, cruise control Unusual features Interesting options, four wheel steering, power and payload Above Average Braking, capacity, technology – and integration of technology Needs Work In Lighter liftgate, better e-brake controls, door handles   …

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